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tion there, then each apostle preached but seldom'; which will not consist with Acts vi. 2.
3dly, The diversity of languages among the believers, mentioned both in the second and sixth chapters of the Acts, doth argue more congregations than one in that church.
Secondly, All those congregations were under one presbyterial government ; because, ist, They were one church y.
2dly, The elders of the church are mentioned 2.
3dly, The apostles did the ordinary acts of presbyters, as presbyters in that kirk; which proveth a presbyterial church before the dispersion, Acts via
4thly, The several congregations in Jerusalem being one church, the elders of that church are mentioned as meeting together for acts of governmente; which proves that those several congregations were under one presbyterial govern. ment.
x Acts vi. 2. Then the twelve called declared all things that God had done the multitude of the disciples unto with them. Ver. 6. And the apostles them, and said, It is not reason that we and elders came together to consider should leave the word of God, and of this matter. Ver. 22. Then it pleasserve tables.
ed the apostles and elders, with the y Acts viii. 1. And Saul was con- whole church, to send chosen men of senting unto his death. And at that their own company to Antioch, with time there was a great persecution Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas against the church which was at Jeru. sumamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief salem; and they were all scattered men among the brethren. Acts xxi. abroad throughout the regions of Ju. 17. And when we were come to Jeru. dea and Samaria, except the apostles. salem, the brethren received us gladly, Acts ii. 47. Praising God, and having Ver. 18. And the day following Paul fåvour with all the people: and the went in with us unto James, and all Lord added unto the church daily such the elders were present. as should be saved. Compared with a Acts xi. 30. Which also they did, Acts v. 11. And great fear came upon and sent it to the elders by the hands all the church, and upon as many as
of Barnabas and Saul. Acts xv. 4. And heard these things. Acts xii. 5. Peter when they were come to Jerusalem, therefore was kept in prison : buć pray- they were received of the church, and er was made without ceasing of the of the apostles and elders; and they de. church unto God for him. Acts xv. 4. clared all things that God had done And when they were come to Jerusa- with them. Ver. 6. And the apostles lem, they were received of the church, and elders came together for to consi, and of the apostles and elders; and der of this matter. Ver. 22. Then it they declared all things that God had pleased the apostles and elders, with done with them.
the whole church, to send chosen men z Acts xi. 30. Which also they did, of their own company to Antioch, with and sent it to the elders by the hands Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas, of Barnabas and Saul. Acts xv. 4. And surnamed Barsübas, and Silas, chief when they were come to Jerusalem, men among the brethren. Acts xxi, they were received of the church, and 17. And when we were come to Jerusaof the apostles and elders; and they lem, the brethren received us gladly.
And whether these congregations were fixed or not fixed; in regard of officers or members, it is also one as to the truth of the proposition.
Nor doth there appear any material difference betwixt the several congregations in Jerusalem, and the many congregations now in the ordinary condition of the church, as to the point of fixedness required of officers or members.
Thirdly, Therefore the scripture doth hold forth, that many congregations may be under one presbyterial government.
II. Secondly, by the instance of the church of Ephesus; for,
First, That there were more congregations than one" in the church of Ephesus, appears by Acts xx. 31.", where is mention of Paul's continuance at Ephesus in preaching for the space of three years ; and Acts xix. 18, 19, 20. where the special effect of the word is mentioned ; and ver. 10. and 17. of the same chapter, where is a distinction of Jews
a and Greeks d ; and 1 Cor. xvi. 8, 9. where is a reason of Paul's stay at Ephesus until Pentecost; and ver. 19. where
; is mention of a particular church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, then at Ephesus , as appears, Acts xviii. 19, 24, 268. All which laid together, doth prove that the multitudes of believers did make more congregations than one in the church of Ephesus. Ver. 18. And the day following Paul all, and the name of the Lord Jesus went in with us unto James; and all the was magnified. elders were present. And so forward. e 1 Cor. xvi. 8. But I will tarry at
6 Acts xx. 31. Therefore watch, and Ephesus until Pentecost. Ver. 9. For remember that, by the space of three a great door and effectual is opened years, I ceased not to warn every one unto me, and there are many adversanight and day with tears.
ries. C Acts xix. 18. And many that be- f 1 Cor. xvi. 19. The churches of lieved came, and confessed, and shew- Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla ed their deeds. Ver. 19. Many also of salute you much in the Lord, with the them which used curious arts brought church that is in their house. their books together, and burned them & Acts xviii. 19. And he came to before all men: and they counted the Ephesus, and left them there: but he price of them, and found it fifty thou- himself entered into the synagogue, sand pieces of silver. Ver. 20. So migh- and reasoned with the Jews. Ver. 24. tily grew the word of God, and pre- And a certain Jew named Apollos, vailed.
born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, d Acts xix. 10. And this continued and mighty in the scriptures, come to by the space of two years; so that all Ephesus. Ver. 26. And he began to they which dwelt in Asia heard the speak boldly in the synagogue: whom word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, Greeks. Ver. 17. And this was known they took him unto them, and expound. to all the Jews and Greeks also dwell- ed unto him the way of God more per. ing at Ephesus; and fear fell on them fectly.
Secondly, That there were many elders over these many congregations, as one flock, appeareth b.
Thirdly, That these many congregations were one church, and that they were under one presbyterial government, appearethi
Of Synodical Assemblies.
HE scripture doth hold out another sort of assemblies
congregational, all which we call Synodicalk.
Pastors and teachers, and other church-governors, (as also other fit persons, when it shall be deemed expedient,) are members of those assemblies which we call Synodical, where they have a lawful calling thereunto.
Synodical assemblies may lawfully be of several sorts, as provincial, national, and oecumenical.
It is lawful, and agreeable to the word of God, that there be a subordination of congregational, classical, provincial, and national assemblies, for the government of the church.
h Acts xx. 17. And from Miletus he which say they are apostles, and are sent to Ephesus, and called the elders not, and hast found them liars. Ver. of the church. Ver. 25. And now, be- 3. And hast borne, and hast patience, hold, I know that ye all, among whom and for my name's sake hast laboured, I have gone preaching the kingdom of and hast not fainted. Ver. 4. NeverGod, shall see my face no more. Ver. theless, I have somewhat against thee, 28. Take heed therefore unto your. because thou hast left thy first love. selves, and to all the flock over the Ver. 5. Remember, therefore, from which the Holy Ghost hath made you whence thou art fallen, and repent, and overseers, to feed the church of God, do the first works; or else I will come which he hath purchased with his own unto thee quickly, and will remove blood. Ver. 30. Also of your own thy candlestick out of his place, exselves shall men arise, speaking per- cept thou repent. Ver. 6. But this verse things, to draw away disciples thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds after them. Ver. 36. And, when he of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and Joined with Acts xx. 17, 28. [See in prayed with them all. Ver. 37. And letter h.] they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's k Acts xv. 2. When therefore Paul neck, and kissed him.
and Barnabas had no small dissension i Rev. ii. 1. Unto the angel of the and disputation with them, they dechurch of Ephesus write; These things termined that Paul and Barnabas, and saith he that holdeth the seven stars certain other of them, should go up to
in his right hand, who walketh in the Jerusalem unto the apostles andelders midst of the seven golden candle- about this question. Ver. 6. And the sticks; Ver. 2. I know thy works, apostles and elders came togtiher for and thy labour, and thy patience, and to consider of this matter. Ver. 22, how thou canst not bear them which Thenit pleased the apostles and elders, se evil : and thou hast tried them with the whole church, to send chuone of Ordination of Ministers. NDER the head of Ordination of Ministers is to be
considered, either the doctrine of ordination, or the power of it.
Touching the Doctrine of Ordination.
of the word without a lawful calling
Ordination is the solemn setting apart of a person to some publick church office
men of their own company to Antioch, Christ, and the elect angels, that thoi with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Ju- observe these things, without predas, surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, ferring one before another, doing no. chief men among the brethren : Ver. thing by partiality. Ver. 22. Lay 23. And wrote letters by them after hands suddenly on 116 man, neither be this manner: The apostles, and elders, partaker of other men's sins: keep thyand brethren, send greeting unto the self pure. brethren which are of the Gentiles in n Numb. viii. 10. And thou shalt Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. bring the Levites before the Lord, and
1 John lii. 27. John answered and the children of Israel shall put their said, A man can receive nothing, ex hands upon the Levites : Ver. 11 cept it be given him from heaven. And Aaron shall offer the Levitès beRom. x. 14. How then shall they call fore the Lord, for an offering of the on him in whom they have not believ- children of Israel ; that they may exeed ? and how shall they believe in him cute the service of the Lord. Ver. 14. of whom they have not heard? Thus shalt thou separate the Levites and how shall they hear without a from among the children of Israel : preacher ? Ver. 15. And how shall and the Levites shall be mine. Verthey preach except they be sent? As 19. And I have given the Levites as a it is written, How beautiful are the gift to Aaron, and to his sons, from feet of them that preach the gospel of among the children of Israel, to do the peace, and bring glad tidings of good service of the children of Israel in the things ! Jer. xiv. 14. Then the Lord tabernacle of the congregation, and to said unto me, The prophets prophesy make an atonement for the children of lies in my name : I sent them not, nei- Israel: that there be no plague among ther have I commanded them, neither the children of Israel, when the child. -pake unto them: they prophesy unto ren of Israel come nigh unto the sancyou a false vision, and divination, and tuary. Ver. 22. And after that went a thing of nought, and the deceit of the Levites in to do their service in the their heart. Heb. v. 4. And no man tabernacle of the congregation, before taketh this honour unto himself, but Aaron, and before his sons: as the he that is called of God, as was Aaron. Lord had commanded Moses concert
m Tit. i. 5. For this case left I thee ing the Levites, so did they unto them. in Crete, that thou shouldest set in or- Acts vi. 3. Wherefore, brethren, look der the things that are wanting, and ye out among you seven men of honest ordain elders in every city, as I had report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisappointed thee. 1 Tim. v. 21. I charge dom, whom we may appoint over this
e before God, and the Lord Jesus business. Ver. 5. And the saying
Every minister of the word is to be ordained by imposition of hands, and prayer, with fasting, by those preaching presbyters to whom it doth belongo,
It is agreeable to the word of God, and very expedient, that such as are to be ordained ministers, be designed to some particular church, or other ministerial charge P.
He that is to be ordained minister must be duly qualified, both for life and ministerial abilities, according to the rules of the apostle %.
He is to be examined and approved by those by whom he is to be ordained".
No man is to be ordained a minister for a particular con
pleased the whole multitude: and they not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient; chose Stephen, a man full of faith and not a brawler ; not coveious : Ver. 4. of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and One that ruleth well his own house, Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, having his children in subjection with and Parinents, and Nicolas a proselyte all gravity : Ver. 5. (For if a man know of Antioch: Ver. 6. Whom they set not how to rule hus own house, how before the apostles; and when they shall he take care of the church of had prayed, they laid their hands on God?) Ver. 6. Not a novice, lest, bethem.
ing lifted up with pride, he fall into o 1 Tim. v. 22. Lay hands suddenly the condemnation of the devil. Tit. i. on no man, neither be partaker of other 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, men's sins : keep thyself pure. Acts that thou shouldest set in order the xiv. 23. And when they had ordamed things that are wanting, and ordain them elders in every church, and had elders in every city, as I had appointed prayed with fasting, they commended thee. Ver. 6. If any be blameless, the them to the Lord, on whom they be- husband of one wife, having faithfui lieved. Acts xii. 3. And when they children, not accused of rot, or unruhad fasted and prayed, and laid theti ly: Ver. 7. For a bishop must be hands on them, they sent them away. blameless, as the steward of God; not
p Acts xiv. 23. (See before.] Tit. selt-willed, not soon angry, noi given 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, to wine, no striker, not given to filthy that thou shouldest set in order the lucre ; 'Ver. 8. But a lover of pospitalithings that are wanting, and ordain ty, a loverof good men, sober, just, hoelders in every city, as I had appoint. ly, temperate; Ver. 9. Holding fast ed thee.' Acts xx. 17. And from Mi-' the fathful word, as he haih been letus he sent to Ephesus, and called tunglit, that he may be able by sound the elders' of the church. Ver. 28. docirine both to exhort and to conTake heed therefore unto yourselves, vrice the gainsayers. and to all the flock over the which p 1 Tim. 16. 7. Moréover, he must the Holy Ghost hath made you over- have a good report of them which are seers, to feed the church of God, without; lest he fall into reproach, which he hath purchased with his own and the share of the devil. Ver. 10. blood.
And let these also first be proved ; q 1 Tim. iii. 2. A bishop then must then let them use the office of a deabe blameless, the husband of one wife, con, being found blameless. 1 Tim. v. vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, 22. Lay bands sndilenly on no man, given to hospitality, apt to teach: neither be partaker of other men's Ver. 3. Not given to wine, no striker, sins : keep thyself pure