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Churches in that kingdom, contains the following explicit declarations. Art. 29. “ We believe that " this true Church ought to be governed by that “ regiment or discipline, which our Lord Jesus “ Christ hath established, to wit, so that there be “ in it Pastors, Elders, and Deacons, that the pu
rity of doctrine may be retained, vices suppressed, " the foor, and others that be in misery, according “ to their necessity, may be provided for; and " that there may be holy meetings, for the edily“ ing both of small and great." Art. 30.“ We “ believe that all true Pastors, in what place soever
they be placed, have the same and equal authori
ty given unto them, under Jesus Christ, the only “ Head, and the chief and alone universal Bishop; " and that, therefore, it is not lawful for any Church
to challenge unto itself dominion or sovereignty over any other Church*.”
The Belgic Confession, formed in 1566, contains the following explícit and decisive articles. Art 30. “ We believe, that this Church ought to be ruled " and governed by that spiritual regiment, which 6 God himself hath delivered in his word, so that “ there be placed in it Pastors and Ministers, pure“ ly to preach, and rightly to administer the holy " Sacraments-That there be also in it Seniors (or “ Elders) and Deacons, of whom the Senate “ of the Church might consist, that, by these
means, true Religion might be preserved,
Harm. of Confessions, Sect. 11.
mis; faced Testimony of the Reformers.
“ did, with a common consent and labour, govern " the Church. No man lifted up himself above “ another; none usurped greater authority or
power over his fellow Bishops; for they remem" bered the words of the Lord, He which will be " the chiefest among you, let him be your servant. “ They kept in themselves by humility, and did “ mutually aid one another in the government and " preservation of the Church. Notwithstanding " for orders' sake, some one of the ministers called " the Assembly together, propounded unto the As“ sembly the matters to be consulted of, gathered “ together the voices or sentences of the rest, and, “ to be brief, as much as lay in him, provided that " there might arise no confusion. So did Saint
Peter, as we read in the Acts ; who yet, for all
that, was neither above the rest, nor had greater “ authority than the rest. Very true, therefore, is " that saying of Cyprian, the Martyr, in his book “ De Simpl. Cler.The same doubtless were the rest “ of the Apostles that Peter was, having an equal
fellowship with him both in honour and power ; “ but the beginning thereof proceedeth from unity,
to signify unto us that there is but one Church. “ Saint Jerome, upon the Epistle of Paul to Titus, “ hath a saying not much unlike this Before that
by the instinct of the Devil there was purtaking “ in relgion, the Churches were governed by the “ common advice of the Presbyters; but after that every one thought, that those whom he baptized
his own and not Christ's, it was decreed
" that one of the Presbyters should be chosen and set
over the rest, who should have the care of the “ whole Church laid upon him, and by whose means “ all schism should be removed. Yet Jerome doth “ not avouch this as an order set down of God: for “ straightway after, he addeth-Even as, saith he, “ the Presbyters knew by the continual custom of “ the Church, that they were subject to him that is
set over them-So the Bishops must know that they “ are above the Presbyters, rather by custom, than " by the prescript rule of God's truth ; and they
should have the government of the Church in com
mon with them. Thus far Jerome. Now there . “ fore no man can forbid by any right, that we “ may return to the old appointment of God, and “ rather receive that, than the custom devised by
men.-Furthermore, no man ought to usurp the " honour of the ecclesiastical ministry, that is to
say, greedily to pluck it to him by bribes, or any “ evil shifts, or of his own accord. But let the “ ministers of the Church be called and chosen by
a lawful and ecclesiastical election and vocation. 66 —And those which are chosen, let them be or“ dained of the Elders, with public prayer, and lay“ ing on of hands. We do condemn all those “ which run of their own accord, being neither “ chosen, sent, nor ordained*.”
The Confession of Bohemia, drawn up about 1573, in chapter 9th, contains the following passage
* Harmony of Confessions, Sect. 11.
s and sincere doctrine in every place retained and - spread abroad ; that vicious and wicked men “ might, after a spiritual manner, be rebuked, " amended, and as it were by the bridle of disci.
pline kept within their compass; that the poor " in like manner, and those that be afflicted, may “ be relieved, either with aid or comfort, accord66 ing to the several necessities of every one.
For " then shall all things in the Church be done in “ due and convenient order, when faithful and
godly men are chosen to have the government of “ the same, even as St. Paul hath prescribed in
1 Timothy 3. and in Titus 1.” Art. 31. “ We 66 believe that the Ministers, Elders, and Deacons, u ought to be called to those their functions, and " by the lawful election of the Church to be ad66 vanced into those rooms, earnest prayer being " made unto God, and after the order and manner “ which is set down unto us in the word of God. " This especially every one ought to take diligent “ heed of, that he do not by unlawful means thrust 66 himself into those offices. For every one must
wait until he be called of God himself, that he
may have a certain testimony of his vocation, " and may know that it is from the Lord. Yet in 66 what place of the world soever the ministers of " the word of God do keep, they have all of them “ the same and equal power and authority; being “ all of them equally the ministers of Christ, the * only universal Bishop and Head of the Church*.”
* Harmony of Confessions, Sect. 11.
The second Helvetic Confession was drawn up by the Pastors of Zurich, in the year 1566, and subscribed not only by themselves, but also by the Churches of Geneva, Hungary, and Scotland. In the eighteenth chapter of that Confession, which is entitled, Of the Ministers of the Church, their Institution and Offices, are found the following declarations" The Apostles of Christ do term all " those which believe in Christ, Priests, but not in
regard of their ministry, but because all the “ faithful, being made King's and Priests by Christ, “ may offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God. The
Ministry, then, and Priesthood are things far a different one from the other. For priesthood, as we said even now, is common to ail Christians,
is not the ministry. And we have not taken away the ministry from the Church, because we “ have thrust the Popish priesthood out of the 16 Church of Christ. For surely in the New Co
venant of Christ, there is no longer any such « Priesthood as was in the ancient Church of the “ Fews, which had an external anointing, holy gar
ments, and very many ceremonies, which were figures and types of Christ, who by his coming, “ fulfilled and abolished them. And he himself re“ maineth the only Priest for ever; and we do not “ communicate the name of Priest to any of the “ ministers, lest we should detract any thing from “ Christ. Now the power that is given to the mi66 nisters of the Church is the same and alike in " all: and, in the beginning, the Bishops or Elders,