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Priscilla, then at Ephesus ƒ, 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 Ephefus.

2. That there were many elders over these many congregations, as one flock, appeareth b.

3. That these many congregations were one church, and that they were under one presbyterial government, appear. eth i.

T

Of Synodical Affemblies.

HE Scripture doth hold out another fort of Af femblies for the government of the Church, befide

f 1 Cor. xvi. 19. The churches of Afia falute you. Aquila and Prifcilla falute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their houfe.

g Acts xviii. 19. And he came to Ephefus, and left them there : but he himself entered into the fynagogue, and reafoned with the Jews. v. 24. And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the fcriptures, came to Ephefus. v. 26. And he began to speak boldly in the fynagogue. Whom when Aquila and Prifcilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

h Acts xx. 17. And from Miletus he fent to Ephefus, and called the elders of the church. v. 25. And now behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, fhall fee my face no more. v. 28. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overfeers to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. v. 30. Alfo of your own felves fhall men arife, fpeaking perverfe things,

to draw away difciples after them, v. 36. And when he had thus fpoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. v. 37. And they all wept fore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kiffed him.

i Rev. ii. 1. Unto the angel of the church of Ephefus, write, Thefe things faith he that holdeth the feven ftars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. v. 2. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou haft tried them which fay they are apoftles, and are not, and haft found them liars. v. 3. And haft born, and haft patience, and for my names fake haft laboured, and haft not fainted. v. 4. Nevertheless, I have fomewhat against thee, because thou haft left thy first love. v. 5. Re member therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the firft works; or elfe I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. v. 6. But this thou haft, that thou hateft the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Joined with Acts xx, 17. 28. (See in letter h.).

Afs

fide claffical and congregational, all which we call fynodical k.

Paftors and teachers, and other church-governors, (as also other fit perfons, when it shall be deemed expedient), are members of thofe affemblies which we call fynodical, where they have a lawful calling thereunto.

Synodical affemblies may lawfully be of feveral forts, as provincial, national and ecumenical.

It is lawful and agreeable to the word of God, that there be a fubordination of congregational, claffical, provincial and national assemblies, for the government of the church. Of Ordination of Ministers.

UNDER the

NDER the head of Ordination of Minifters, is to be confidered, either the doctrine of ordination, or the

of it.

power

Touching the Doctrine of Ordination.

O man ought to take upon him the office of a minister of the word, without a lawful calling 1. Ordination is always to be continued in the church m.

k Acts xv. 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small diffention and difputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnaba s, and certain other of them, fhould go up to Jerufalem unto the apostles and elders about this queftion. v. 6. And the apoftles and elder s came together for to confider of this matter. v. 22. Then pleafed it the apoftles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas firnamed Barfabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren : v. 23. And wrote letters by them after this manner: The apoftles, and elders and brethren fend greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia.

/ John iii. 27. John answered and faid, a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Rom. x. 14. How then fhall they

Ordination call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? and how fhall they hear without a preacher. V. 15. And how fhall they preach, except they be fent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Jer. xiv. 14. Then the Lord faid unto me, The prophets prophefy lies in my name, I fent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither fpake unto them: they prophefy unto you a falfe, vifion, and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Heb. v. 4. And no man taketh this ho-. nour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

m Tit. i. 5. For this caufe left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldst fet in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. 1 Tim. v.

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Ordination is the folemn fetting apart of a perfon to fome public church-office n.

Every minifter of the word is to be ordained by impofition of hands, and prayer, with fafting, by thofe preaching prefbyters to whom it doth belong o.

It is agreeable to the word of God, and very expedient, that fuch as are to be ordained minifters, be defigned to fome particular church, or other minifterial charge p.

21. I charge thee before God and the I ord Jefus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. v. 22. Lay hands fuddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other mens fins: keep thyfelf pure.

n Numb. viii. 10. And thou fhalt bring the Levites before the Lord, and the children of Ifrael fhall put their hands upon the Levites: v. II. And Aaron fhall offer the Levites before the Lord, for an offering of the children of Ifrael; that they may execute the fervice of the Lord. v. 14. Thus fhalt thou feparate the Levites from among the children of Ifrael: and the Levites fhall be mine. v. 19. And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron, and to his fons, from among the children of Ifrael; to do the fervice of the children of Ifrael in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Ifrael: that there be no plague among the children of Ifrael, when the children of Ifrael come nigh unto the fanctuary. v. 22. And after that went the Levites in, to do their fervice in the tabernacle of the congregation, before Aaron, and before his fons as the Lord had commanded Mofes concerning the Levites, fo did they unto them. Acts vi. 3. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you feven men of honeft re

:

He

port, full of the Holy Ghoft and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this bufinefs. V. 5. And the faying pleased the whole multitude: and they chofe Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghoft, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a profelyte of Antioch: v. 6. Whom they fet before the apoftles; and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

o 1 Tim. v. 22. Lay hands fuddenly on no man, neither be par taker of other mens fins: keep thyfelf pure. Acts xiv. 23. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and prayed with fafting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. Acts xiii. 3. And when they had fafted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they fent them as way.

Acts xiv. 23. (See before).Tit. i. 5. For this caufe left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldft fet in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. Acts xx. 17. And from Miletus he fent to Ephefus, and called the elders of the church. v. 28. Take heed therefore unto yourfelves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghoft hath made you overfeers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchafed with his own blood.

He that is to be ordained minifter, must be duly qualified, both for life and minifterial abilities, according to the rules of the apoftle q.

He is to be examined and approved by thofe by whom he is to be ordained r.

No man is to be ordained a minifter for a particular congregation, if they of that congregation can fhew juft cause of exception against him f

Touching the Power of Ordination,

RDINATION is the act of a Prefbytery t.

O

The power of ordering the whole work of ordination is in the whole Prefbytery, which, when it is over more congregations than one, whether thofe congregations be fixed, or not fixed, in the regard of officers or members, it is indifferent as to the point of ordination v.

q 1 Tim. iii. 2. A bishop then must be blameless, the hufband of one wife, vigilant, fober, of good behaviour, given to hofpitality, apt to teach; v. 3. Not given to wine, no ftriker, not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient? not a brawler, not covetous: v. 4. One that ruleth well his own houfe, having his children in fubjection with all gravity; v. 5. (For if a man know not how to rule his own houfe, how fhall he take care of the church of God?) v. 6. Not a novice, left being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Tit. i. 5. For this caufe left I thee in Crete, that thou should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain. elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. v. 6. If any be blameJefs, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accufed of riot, or unruly. v. 7. For a bishop must be blameless, as the fteward of God; not felf-willed, not foon angry, not given to wine, no ftriker, not given to filthy lucre; v. 8. But a lover of hofpitality, a lover of good

It men, fober, juft, holy, temperate; v. 9. Holding fast the faithful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by found doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the gainfay

ers.

r1 Tim. iii. 7. Moreover, he must have a good report of them which are without; left he fal into reproach, and the fnare of the devil. v. 10. And let thefe also first be proved; then let them ufe the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 1 Tim. v. 22. Lay hands fuddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other mens fins keep thyself pure.

f 1 Tim. iii. 2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, fober, of good behaviour, given to hofpitality, apt to teach. Tit. i. 7. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God.

I

t1 Tim. iv. 14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the prefbytery.

Tim. iv. 14. See in letter t.
See

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It is very requifite that no fingle congregation, that can conveniently afiociate, do affume to itfelf all and fole power

in ordination:

1. Becaufe there is no example in fcripture, that any fingle congregation, which might conveniently affociate, did affume to itself all and fole power in ordination; neither is there any rule which may warrant fuch a practice.

2. Because there is in fcripture example of an ordination in a presbytery over divers congregations; as in the Church of Jerufalem, where were many congregations, thefe many congregations were under one presbytery, and this presbytery did ordain.

The preaching presbyters orderly affociated, either in cities or neighbouring villages, are thofe to whom the impofition of hands doth appertain, for thofe congregations within their bounds refpe&tively.

Concerning the Doctrinal Part of Ordination of Ministers. man ought to take upon him the office of a Minifter of the word, without a lawful calling w.

Nn

2. Ordination is always to be continued in the Church x. 3. Ordination is the folemn fetting appart of a perfon to fome public Church-office y.

4. Every Minister of the word is to be ordained by impofition of hands, and prayer, with fafting by thefe preaching presbyters to whom it doth belong z.

I.

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 thofe 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 fuch as are to be ordained Minifters, be defigned to fome particular church, or other minifterial charge b.

7. He that is to be ordained Minister, must be duly qua

lified

w See before in letter l. * See before in letter m. See before in letter m.

z See before in letter o.

à See before in letter v.
See before in letter p.

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