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Of the Government of the Church. This same church, under its only head Christ, is governed by the ministers of the New Testament.

The church is a society properly constituted and regulated; consequently there must be a government in it. This government, however, is not despotic or lordly; but pastoral and fatherly; for souls are committed to its care. Hence there is no room for command here, but for instruction and admonition; for no one can be compelled by force to believe.

The governors of the church consist of Pastors and Spiritual Teachers, according to the doctrine of Paul to the Ephesians; "And he (Christ) gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Eph. iv. 11, 12.

Of Pastors, some are greater, such as Bishops; and others are lesser, such as Presbyters or Ministers. Christ alone is the head of this church government and service; because, as he is the founder of his church, so he is her only independent governor, who ruleth her invisibly by his word and

spirit. Consequently, in all matters respecting the essence of faith, the church can obey no one except himself, and the evident testimony of the word of God. Of this the apostle writes clearly to the Ephesians, v. 25, "Christ is the head of the church, and he is the Saviour of the body;" and verse 29, "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church."

The duties of pastors and teachers are,

1st, To teach. And this teaching consists in the following points: to instruct in the ways of truth, remove objections, recommend good morals, and lead the unruly to amendment.

2d, To dispense the mysteries, and offer up the general prayers; as, for example, to baptize, give the communion, receive professions of repentance, &c. There is also given by our Saviour, to the pastors of the church, power to bind, and to loose, or the power of the keys, which consists in this, that they can, and ought, after many admonitions have failed, in the name of Christ, to cut off, from the communion of the church, the unruly Christian, or the evidently hardened sinner, and to make it known that he is not a Christian; and this is to bind. But if such a one shall afterwards be softened, by the grace of God, and shall

bring forth the fruits of true repentance, then he shall be received again into the church of Christ; and this is to loose. Such important powers can only be founded on the word of God.

When it happens that a heretical Christian appears in the church, who has devised pernicious opinions against the truth, and endeavours to infect the church with them; in such a case, a general or particular council is called: that is, the chief pastors of the church assemble from different quarters, in one place, when, after due examination of the new opinions, and having found that they do not agree with the word of God, it is made known to the whole church that such opinions are contrary to the truth of God, and he who holds them is excluded from the number of Christians.

There have been seven such general councils, exclusive of that of the apostles, mentioned in Acts xv. 6. 1st, Of Nice. 2d, Of Constantinople. 3d, Of Ephesus. 4th, Of Chalcedon. 5th, Second of Constantinople. 6th, Third of Constantinople. 7th, Second of Nice.* These councils were

* The first council of Nice was held A. D. 325, under Constantine, against Arius, who denied the divinity of the Son.

2. The first council of Constantinople, A. D. 381, under Theodosius the Great, against Macedonius, who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost.

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usually called by pious Emperors, in which some-
times those great personages were present them-
selves; for orthodox Monarchs are the chief
guardians and protectors of the church. A Chris-
tian Monarch is bound to strive no less for the
prosperity of the church, than for the general good
of the state. From him the church of Christ de-
mands 1st, To know the law of God. 2d, To
have the fear of God, and give a pious example.
3d, To observe that the government of the
church be properly administered, and to en-
courage faithful labourers. 4th, To quench di-
visions, and protect her from oppressors and re-

3. The council of Ephesus, A. D. 431, in the reign of Theodosius Minor, against Nestorius, who, together with the errors of Arius, believed that our Saviour had two persons as well as

two natures.

4. The council of Chalcedon, A. D. 451, was held in the reign of Marcian, against the errors of Eutyches, who denied the humanity of Christ, and asserted that he had only an imaginary or phantastic body.

5. The second council of Constantinople was held in the reign of Justinian, A. D. 553, against Origen, Evagrius, and Dydimus, who denied the resurrection of the flesh, and held that the soul is created before the body.

6. The third council of Constantinople was held in the reign of Constantine Pogonatus, A. D. 680, against the Monothelites, who held, that Christ had only one will and one act, and denied that he had two distinct natures and two wills.

7. The second council of Nice, was held A. D. 787, in the reign of Constantine and his mother Irene, against the Iconomachi, who condemned the use of pictures and images in the worship of God.


vilers. 5th, To disseminate learning, and liberally to support schools. 6th, To endeavour to bring the unbelieving nations to the faith.

From this every one will see what a close connection exists betwixt civil society and the church; because, in order that an honest citizen may rightly perform the duties of his station, it is necessary that he keep himself from evil, and perform these conscientiously. But who can bind the conscience except God, the searcher of hearts and trier of the reins? And more particularly, it is of peculiar advantage for a Sovereign to be under the influence of a holy faith: because he, although subject to no human laws, is thereby made subject to the law of faith, and is thus preserved within the bounds of holy justice. Moreover, it enables him, with firmness, to perform his exalted duties; for, as a Monarch has no person on earth higher than himself, so he can be rewarded by none for his labours; hence, faith alone can encourage a Sovereign in the discharge of his duty, while it promises him a real, worthy, and most exalted reward in heaven,


Of the mysteries.

Jesus Christ has established in his church mysteries or holy ordinances, in which, under sensible

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