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Priscilla, then at Ephesus s, as appears, Acts xviii
. 19. 24. 26. g. All which laid together doth, prove that the multitudes of believers did make more congregations than one in the church of Ephesus.
2. That there were many elders over these many congregations, as one flock, appeareth h.
3. That these many congregations were one church, and that they were under one presbyterial government, appear. eth i.
Of Synodical Assemblies. HE Scripture doth hold out another fort of Af semblies for the government of the Church, be
fide f 1 Cor. xvi. 19. The churches to draw away disciples after them, of Asia salute you.
you. Aquila and v. 36. And when he bad thus fpoPriscilla salute you much in the Lord, ken, he kneeled down, and prayed with the church that is in their with them all. v. 37. And they all house.
wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, & Acts xviii. 19. And he came to and kissed him. Ephesus, and left them there : but i Rev. ii. 1. Unto the angel of he himself entered into the syna- the church of Ephesus, write, Thefe gogue, and reasoned with the Jews. things faith he that holdeth the fev. 24. And a certain Jew named ven stars in his right hand, who Apollos, born at Alexandria, an e- walkethin the midft of the seven golloquent man, and mighty in the den candlesticks.
V. 2. I know thy scriptures, came to Ephesus. v. 26. works, and thy labour, and thy pa. And he began to speak boldly in the tience, and how thou canst not bear fynagogue. Whom when Aquila them which are evil : and thou halt and Priscilla had heard, they took tried them which say they are a. him unto them, and expounded un- postles, and are not, and hast found to him the way of God more per- them liars. v. 3. And hast born, fectly.
and hast patience, and for my names h Acts-xx. 17. And from Miletus fake halt laboured, aná halt not he sent to Ephesus, and called the fainted. v. 4. Nevertheless, I have elders of the church. V. 25. And somewhat against thee, because thos now behold, I know that ye all, hast left thy first love. among whom í have gone preaching member therefore from whence thou the kingdom of God, shall see my art fallen, and repent, and do the face no more. V. 28. Take heed first works; or else I will come untherefore unto yourselves, and to all to thee quickly, and will remove the flock, over the which the Holy thy candlestick out of his place, ex: Ghost hath made you overseers to cept thou repent. v. 6. But this thou feed the church of God, which he hast, that thou hatest the deeds of hath purchased with his own blood. the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. V. 30. Also of your own selves fhall Joined with Acts xx. 17. 28. (See men arise, speaking perverse things, in letter b.),.
V. 5. Re.
fide classical and congregational, all which we call fynodicalk.
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 ecumenical.
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.
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 1.
Ordination k Acts xv. 2. When therefore call on him in whom they have not Paul and Barnabas had no small dil- believed ? and how shall they believe sention and disputation with them, in him, of whom they have not they determined that Paul and Bar- heard ? and how shall they hear nabas, and certain other of them, without a preacher. v. 15. And should go up to Jerusalem unto the how shall they preach, except they apostles and elders about this que. be sent ? as it is written, How stion. v. 6. And the apostles and beautiful are the feet of them that elders came together for to consider preach the gospel of peace, and of this matter. v. 22. Then pleaf- bring glad tidings of good things ! ed it the apostles and elders with the Jer. xiv. 14. Then the Lord said whole church, to send chosen men
The prophets prophesy of their own company to Antioch, lies in my name, I sent them not, with Paul and Barnabas; namely, neither have I commanded them, Judas firnamed Barfabas, and Silas, neither spake unto them: they prochief men among the brethren: v. phesy unto you a false , vision, and 23. And wrote letters by them after divination, and a thing of nought, this manner : The apostles, andel- and the deceit of their heart. Heb. ders and brethren send greeting un- V. 4. And no man taketh this ho- . to the brethren which are of the nour unto himself, but he that is calGentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and led of God, as was Aaron. Cilicia.
in' Tit. i. 5. For this cause left 1 John iii. 27. John answered and I thee in Crete, that thou shouldīt said, a man can receive nothing, fet in order the things that are wantexcept it be given him from heaven. ing, and ordain elders in every city, Rom. x. 14. How then shall they as I had appointed thee. Tim. v.
Ordination is the folemn setting apart of a person to some public church-office n.
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 belong o.
It is agreeable to the word of God, and very expedient, that such as are to be ordained minifters, be designed to fonie particular church, or other ministerial charge po
He 21. I charge thee before God and port, full of the Holy Ghost and the I ord Jelus Christ, and the elect wisdom, whom we may appoint oangels, that thou observe these țhings ver this business.
v. 5. And the without preferring one before ano- faying pleased the whole multitude: ther, doing nothing by partiality. and they chose Stephen, a man full V. 22. Lay hands suddenly on no of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, man, neither be partaker of other and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nimens fins : keep thyself pure. canor, and Timon, and Parmenas,
n Numb. viii. 10. And thou shalt and Nicolas a profelyte of Antioch : bring the Levites before the Lord; v. 6. Whom they ser before the aand the children of Israel shall put postles; and when they had prayed, their hands upon the Levites : v. they laid their hands on theni. II. And 'Aaron shall offer the Le os Tim. V. 22. Lay hands sudvites before the Lord, for an offer. denly on no man, neither be paring of the children of Israel; that taker of other mens fins : keep thy. they may execute the service of the self pure. Acts xiv. 23. And when Lord.
v. 14. Thus flialt thou se- they had ordained them elders parare the Levités from among the in every church, and prayed with children of Israel: and the Levites fasting, they commended them to shall be mine. v. 19. And I have the Lord, on whom they believed. given the Levitis as a gift to Aaron, Ads xiii. 3. And when they had and to his fons, from among the falted and prayed, and laid their children of Israel; to do the service hands on them, they fent them 2. of the children of Israel in the ta- way. þernacle of the congregation, and to p Acts xiv. 23. (See before).Tit
. i. make an atonement for the children 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, of Israel: that there be no plague that thou shouldst set in order the among the children of Israel, when things that are wanting, and ordain the children of Israel come nigh un- elders in every city, as I had apo to the fànctuary. v. 22. And after pointed thee. Acts xx. 17.
And from that went the Levites in, to do their Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and service in the tabernacle of the con- called the elders of the church. gregation, before Aaron, and before v. 28. Take heed therefore unto his sons: as the Lord had command- yourselves, and to all the flock o. ed Mofes concerning the Levites, so ver the which the Holy Ghoft hath did they unto them. Acs vi. 3. made you overseers, to feed the Wherefore, brethren, look ye out church of God, which he hath pure among you seven nien of honeft re- chased with his own blood.
He that is to be ordained minister, must be duly qualified, both for life and ministerial abilities, according to the rules of the apostle q.
He is to be examined and approved by those by whom he is to be ordained r.
No man is to be ordained a minister for a particular congregation, if they of that congregation can fhew just cause of exception against him f.
Touching the Power of Ordination,
The power of ordering the whole work of ordination is in the whole Presbytery, which, when it is over more congregations than one, whether those congregations be fixed, or not fixed, in the regard of officers or members, it is indifferent as to the point of ordination v.
It q 1 Tim. ii. 2. A bishop then men, sober, just, holy, temperate; must be blameless, the husband of v. 9. Holding fast the faithful word, one wife, vigilant, fober, of good as he hath been taught, that he may behaviour, given to hospitality, api be able by found doctrine, both to to teach; v. 3. Not given to wine, exhort and to convince the gainsayno striker, not greedy of filthy lu- ers. cre, but patient ? not a brawler, r I Tim. iii. 7. Moreover, he must not covetous : v. 4. One that ruleth have a good report of them which well his own house, having his chil- are without; left he fall into redren in subjection with all gravity; proach, and the snare of the devil. v. v. 5. (For if a man know not how 10. And let these also first be proved; to rule his own house, how shall he then let them use the office of a deatake care of the church of God?) con, being found blameless. 1 Tim. v. 6. Not a novice, lest being lifted v. 22. Lay hands suddenly on no up with pride, he fall into the con- man, neither be partaker of other demnation of the devil. Tit. i. 5. mens fins : keep thyself pure. For this caufe left I thee in Crete, si lim. iii. 2. A bishop then that thou should set in order the must be blameless, the husband of things that are wanting, and ordain one wife, vigilant, sober, of good elders in every city, as I had ap- behaviour, given to hospitality, apt pointed thee. v. 6. If any be blame
Tit. i. 7. For a bishop less, the husband of one wife, hav- must be blameless, as the steward of ing faithful children, not accused of God. riot, or unruly. v. 7. For a bishop t i Tim. iv. 14. Ņeglect not the must be blameless, as the steward of gift that is in thee, which was given God; not self-willed, not soon an- thee by prophecy, with the laying on gry, not given to wine, no ftriker, of the hands of the presbytery, not given tfilthy lucre; v. 8. But o I Tim. iv. 14. 'See in letter t. & lover of hospitality, a lover of goud
It is very requisite that no single congregation, that can conveniently asociate, do assume to itself all and fole power in ordination :
1. Because there is no example in fcripture, that any single congregation, which might conveniently associate, did afiume to itself all and sole power in ordination; neither is there any rule which may warrant such a practice.
2. Because there is in scripture example of an ordination in a presbytery over divers congregations; as in the Church of Jerusalem, where were many congregations, these many congregations were under one presbytery, and this presby. tery did ordain.
The preaching presbyters orderly associated, either in cities or neighbouring villages, are those to whom the impofition of hands doth appertain, for those congregations within their bounds respectively: Concerning the Doctrinal Part of Ordination of Ministers.
O man ought to take upon him the office of a Mini
ster of the word, without a lawful calling w. 2. Ordination is always to be continued in the Church x.
3. Ordination is the solemn setting appart of a person to some public Church-office y,
4. Every Minister of the word is to be ordained by imposition of hands, and prayer, with fasting by these preaching presbyters to whom it doth belong z.
5. The power of ordering the whole work of ordination is in the whole presbytery, which, when it is over more con. gregations than one, whether those congregations be fixed or not fixed, in regard of officers or members, it is indifferent as to the point of ordination a.
6. It is agreeable to the word, and every expedient that such as are to be ordained Ministers, be designed to fonie particular church, or other ministerial charge b. 7. He that is to be ordained Minister, must be duly qua
w See before in letter I. * See before in letter m.
See before in letter n.
See before in letter o. à See before in letter o.
See before in letter p.