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Asembly at Edinburgh, February 10. 1645. Seff. 16.
ACT of the General Adembly of the Kirk of Scotland, approving the pro
positions concerning Kirk-Govern nent, and ordination of Ministers. TH HE General Assembly being most desirous and follicitous not
only of the establishment and preservation of the Form of Kirk-government in this kingdom, according to the word of God, books of discipline, acts of General Assemblies, and national covenant, but also of an uniformity in Kirk-government betwixt these kingdoms, now more straitly and strongly united by the late Solemn League and Covenant: And condidering, that as in former times there did, fo hereafter there may arise, through the nearness of contagion, manifold mischiefs to this kirk from a corrupt form of government in the kirk of England : likeas the precious opportunity of bringing the kirks of Christ in all the three kingdoms to an uniformity in Kirk-government, being the happiness of the present times above the former ; which may also, by the blessing of God, prove an effectual mean, and a good foundation to prepare for a safe and well-grounded pacification, by removing the cause from which the present pressures and bloody wars did originally proceed: and own the Aflembly having thrice read, and diligently examined the propositions (hereunto annexed) concerning the officers, assemblies, and government of the kirk, and concerning the ordination of ministers, brought unto us, as the results of the long and learned debates of the assembly of divines fitting at Westminster, and of the treaty of uniformity with the commissioners of this kirk there residing; after mature deliberation, and after timeous calling upon, and warning of all, who have any exceptions against the same, to make them known, that they might receive fatisfaction ; doth agree to and approve the propositions afore-mentioned, touching Kirk-government and ordination; and doth hereby authorise the Commissioners of this Aflembly, who are to meet at Edinburgh, to agree to, and conclude in the name of this Allembly, an uniformity betwixt the kirks in both kingdoms, in the afore-mentioned particulars, so soon as the same shall be ratified, without any substantial alteration, by an ordinance of the honourable houses of the Parliament of England ; which ratification shall be timely intimate and made known by the commissioners of this kirk residing at London. Provided always that this act be noways prejudicial to the further discussion and examination of that article which holds forth, That the doctor or teacher hath power of the administration of the facraments, as well as the pastor: as also of the distinct rights and interests of presbyteries and people, in the calling of minifters ; but that it shall be free to debate and discuss these points, as God shall be pleased to give further light.
the fame. Of the power in common of all these Assemblies. Of Congregational Assemblies, that is, The meeting of the rul
ing Officers of a particular Congregation, for the Govern
ment thereof. Of Classical Assemblies. Of Synodical Assemblies. Of Ordination of Ministers. Youching the Doctrine of Ordination. Touching the power of Ordination. Concerning the Doctrinal Part of the Ordination of Ministers. The Directory for the Ordination of Ministers.
name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace a, of the increase of whose government and peace there shall be no end, who fits upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice, from henceforth even for ever; having all power given unto him in heaven and in earth by the Futher, who raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand, far above all principalities and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come, and put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all : He being ascended up far above att heavens, that he might fill all things, received gifts for his church, and gave officers necesary for the edification of his church, and perfecting of his Saints b.
a If. ix. 6. 7. 6 Matth. xxviii. 18. 19. 20. Eph. i. 20. 21, 22. 23. Compared with Eph. iv. 8. 11. and Pfal. Ixviii. 18.
Of the Church.
New Testament a.
ment, a I Cor. xii. 12. For as the bo- tiles, whether we be bond or free; dy is one, and hath many members, and have been all made to drink inand all the members of that one bo- to one Spirit. v. 28. And God hath dy being many, are one body: fo fet fome in the church, first apoalso is Chrift. v. 13. For by one files, secondarily prophets, thirdly Spirit are we all baptized into one teachers, after that miracles, then body, whether we be Jews or Gen- gifts of healing, helps, govern.nents,
ment, are given by Jesus Christ to the general church visible, for the gathering and perfecting of it in this life, until his fecond coming b.
Particular visible churches, members of the general church, are also held forth in the New Testament c. Particular churches in the primitive times, were made up of visible faints, viz. Of such as, being of age, professed faith in Christ, and obedience unto Christ, according to the rules of faith and life, taught by Christ and his apostles; and of their children d.
Of diversities of tongues. Together with Grace be unto you, and peace from the rest of the chapter.
him which is, and which was, and b. Cor. xii. 28. See before. Eph. which is to come; and from the se. iv. 4. There is one body and one ven spirits which are before his Spirit, even as ye are called in one throne ; v. 20. The mystery of the hope of your calling; v. 5. One seven stars which thou sawelt in my Lord, one faith, one baptism. Com- right band, and the seven golden pared with v. 10. He that descend- candlesticks. The seven stars are ed, is the same also that afcended the angels of the seven churches: up far above all heavens, that he and the seven candlesticks which might fill all things. v. 11. And he thou sawelt, are the seven churches. gave fome apostles, and some pro- Rev. ii. 1. Unto the angel of the phets, and somie evangelists, and church of Ephesus, write, These fome paltors and teachers; v. 12. things faith he that holdeth the feFor the perfecting of the saints, for ven stars in his right hand, who the work of the ministry, for the walketh in the midót of the seven edifying of the body of Christ: golden candlesticks. v. 13. Till we all come in the uni- d Acts ii. 38. Then Peter said unto ty of the faith, and of the know. them, Repent and be baptized every ledge of the Son of God, unto a one of you, in the name of Jesus Chrift, perfect man, unto the measure of for the remission of fins, and ye shall the stature of the fulness of Christ. receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. v. 15. But speaking the truth in v. 41. Then they that gladly receiv. love, may grow up unto him in all ed his word, were baptized; and things, which is the head, even the same day there were added unChrist: v. 16. From whom the to them about three thousand souls. whole body fitly joined together, v. 4. Praising God, and having fa. and compacted by that which every vour with all the people. And the joint supplieth, according to the ef- Lord added to the church daily fectual working in the measure of such as should be saved. Compared every part, maketh increase of the with Acts v. 14. And believers body, unto the edifying of itself in were the more added to the Lord, love.
multitudes both of men and women. Gal. i. 21. Afterwards I came I Cor. i. 2. Unto the church of into the regions of Syria and Cili- God, which is at Corinth, to them cia; v. 22. And was unknown by face that are fanctified in Christ Jefus. unto the churches of Judea, which called to be faints, with all that is were in Christ. Rev.i. 4. John to the every place call upon the name seyen churches which are in Afia: Jesus Christ our Lord, both their