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4. Of elders, who are also in scripture called bishops, some attend chiefly to the ministry of the word, as the pastors and teachers; others attend especially unto rule, who are therefore called ruling elders. 1 Tim. ii. 3. Phil. i. 1. Acts, xx. 17, 28. 1 Tim. v. 17.
5. The office of pastor and teacher, appears to be distinct. The pastor's special work is, to attend to exhortation, and therein to administer a word of wisdom; the teacher is to attend to doctrine, and therein to administer a word of knowledge ; and either of them to administer the seals of that covenant, unto the dispensation whereof they are alike called; as also to execute the censures, being but a kind of application of the word : The preaching of which, together with the application thereof, they are alike charged withal.
Eph. iv. 11. Rom. xii. 7, 8. 1 Cor. xii. 8. 2 Tim. iv. li 2. 2 Titus, i. 9.
6. And forasmuch as both pastors and teachers are given by Christ for the perfecting of the saints, and edifying of his body; which saints and body of Christ is his church : and therefore we account pastors and teachers to be both of them church officers, and not the pastor for the church, and the teacher only for the schools : though this we gladly acknowledge, that schools are both lawful, profitable, and necessary for the training up of such in good literature or learning, as may afterwards be
called forth unto office of pastor or teacher in the church.*
Eph. iv. 11, 12, and i, 22, 23. 1 Sam. x. 12, 19, 20. % Kings, ii. 3, 15.
Of ruling elders and deacons.
1. The ruling elder's office is distinct from the office of pastor and teacher. The ruling elders are not so called, to exclude the pastors and teachers from ruling, because ruling and governing is common to these with the other, whereas attending to teach and preach the word is peculiar unto the former.
Rom. xii. 7, 8, 9. 1 Tim. v. 17. 1 Cor. xii. 28. Heb. xiii. 17. 1 Tim. v. 17.
2. The ruling elder's work is to join with the pastor and teacher in those acts of spiritual rule, which are distinct from the ministry of the word and sacraments committed to them. Of which sort these be as followeth : 1. To open and shut the doors of God's house, by the adınission of members approved by the church; by ordination of officers chosen by the church, and by excommunication of notori
* The distinction between pastor and teacher, was at first strictly observed in the churches of New England, but after the first generation it was generally disused, and now it is somewhat difficult to be understood. B.
ous and obstinate offenders renounced by the church, and by restoring of penitents forgiven by the church. 2. To call the church together when there is occasion, and seasonably to dismiss them again. 3. To prepare matters in private, that in public they may be carried to an end with less trouble, and more speedy despatch. 4. To moderate the carriage of all matters in the church assembled ; as, to propound matters to the church, to order the season of speech and silence, and to pronounce sentence according to the mind of Christ, with the consent of the church. 5. To be guides and leaders to the church in all matters whatsoever pertaining to church administrations and actions. 6. To see that none in the church live inordinately, out of rank and place, without a calling, or idly in their calling. 7. To prevent and heal such offences in life or in doctrine, as might corrupt the church. 8. To feed the flock of God with a word of admonition. 9. And as they shall be sent for, to visit and pray over their sick brethren. 10. And at other times as opportunity shall serve thereunto.*
1 Tim. v. 17. 2 Chron. xxiii. 19. Rev. xxi. 12. 1 Tim. iv. 14. Matt. xxviii. 17. 2 Cor. ii. 7, 8. Acts, ii. 6, and xxi. 18, 22, 23, and vi. 2, 3, and xiii. 15. 2 Cor. viii. 19. Heb. xiii. 7, 17. 2 Thess. 10–12. Acts, xx. 28, 32. 1 Thess. v. 12. James, v. 14. Acts, xx. 20.
* The congregational ruling elder is not to be confounded with the ruling elder of the Presbyterian church. The former was an ordained and ordaining minister, though he was not a professional
3. The office of a deacon is instituted in the church by the Lord Jesus ; sometimes they are called helps. The scripture telleth us how they should be qualified, “Grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not given to filthy lucre." They must first be proved, and then use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. The office and work of a deacon, is to receive the offerings of the church, gifts given to the church, and to keep the treasury of the church, and therewith to serve the tables which the church is to provide for; as the Lord's table, the table of the ministers, and of such as are in necessity, to whom they are to distribute in simplicity.*
Acts, vi. 3, 6. Phil. i. 1. 1 Tim. iii. 8. 1 Cor. xii. 28. 1 Tim. iii. 8, 9. Acts, iv, 35, and vi. 2, 3. Rom. xii. 8.
4. The office therefore being limited unto the care of the temporal good things of the church, it extends not to the attendance upon, and administration of the spiritual things thereof, as the word and sacraments, or the like,
1 Cor. vii. 17.
5. The ordinance of the apostle, and practice of the church, commends the Lord's day as a fit time for the contribution of the saints.
1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2, 3.
6. The instituting of all these officers in the church, is the work of God himself, of the preacher and did not administer baptism or the Lord's Supper, Such an officer as a ruling elder has not been known in any congregational church for several generations past, except as a matter of history. B.
* Heads of Agreement, Ch. V. B.
Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Ghost; and therefore such officers as he hath not appointed, are altogether unlawful either to be placed in the church, or to be retained therein, and are to he looked at as human creatures, mere invensions and appointments of man, to the great dishonor of Christ Jesus, the Lord of his house, the king of his church, whether popes, patriarchs, cardinals, archbishops, lord-bishops, arch-deacons, officials, commissaries, and the like. These and the rest of that hierarchy and retinue, not being plants of the Lord's planting, shall all be certainly rooted out and cast forth.
1 Cor. xii. 28. Eph. iv. 8, 11. Acts, xx. 28. Matt. xv. 13.
7. The Lord hath appointed ancient widows, where they may be had, to minister in the church, in giving attendance to the sick, and to give succor unto them, and others in the like necessity.
1 Tim. v. 9, 10.
Of the election of church officers.
1. No man may take the honor of a church officer unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. Heb. v. 4. 2. Calling unto office is either immediate,