Page images

is the messenger of God, he is termed the angel of the church. As he is sent to declare the will of God to finners, and to beseech them to be reconciled to God through Christ, he is termed ambassadors. And, as he dispenses th mani fold grace of God, and the ordinances instituted

, by Christ, he is termed steward of the mysteries of God".


Of ruling Elders.


ULING elders are properly the represen

tatives of the people, chosen by them, for Name, &c. the purpose of exercising government and discipline, in conjunction with pastors or ministers. This office haz been understood, by a great part of the protestant reformed churches, to be designated, in the holy fcriptures, by the


f Mal. 26 7.

Rev. 2. 1. ard, whom his Lord shall make Unto the angel of the church ruler over his household, to of Ephesus, write. Rev. 1. give them their portion of meat

The seven stars are the iu due season ? i Cor. 4. 1, 2. angels of the seven churches. Moreover it is required in See also, Rev. 3. I, 7,

stewards, that a nan be found g 2 Cor. 5. 20. Now then faithful. we are ambassadors for Christ, I a 1 Tim. 5. 17. Let the as though God did beseech you elders that rule well be countby us: we pray you, in Christ's ed worthy of double honour, stead, be ye reconciled to God. especially they who labour in Eph. 6. 20.

the word and doctrine. Rom, h Luke 12. 42. Who then 12. 7, 8.--Acts 15.25 is that faithful and wife ftew

title of governments: and of those who rule well; but do not labour in the word and doctrine".

CH A P. V.

Of Deacons.

[ocr errors]

THE fcriptures clearly point out deacons as

distinct officers in the church”, whose buName, &c. finess it is to take care of the poor, and to distribute among them the collections which may be raised for their use". To them also may be properly committed the management of their temporal affairs of the church'.

bi Cur. 12. 28. And God should leave the word of God, hath fet some in th church, and ferve tables. first apostles, secondarily pro- cAds 6. 3, 5, 6. Where. phets," thirdly teachers, after fore brethren, look ye out a. that miracles, then gifts of mong you feven men of honest healings, helps, governments, report, full of the Holy Ghost, diverfities of tongues. See let. a. and wisdom, whom we may

I a Phil. 1. 1.- Tim, 3. appoint over this business and 8. to verse 15

the saying pleased the whole b Acts 6. 1, 2. And in multitude :

and they chose I those days when the number of Stephen, a man full of faith,

the disciples was multiplied, and of the Holy Ghoft, and there arose a murmuring of Philip, and Prochorus, and Nithe Grecians against the He canor, and Timon, and ParBrews, because their widows menas, and Nicolas a prose .yte were neglected in the dai- of Antioch.- Whom they set ly ministration. Then the before the aposties: and when twelve called the multitude of they had prayed, they laid the disciples unto them, and their hands on them, faid, It is not reason that we



Of Ordinances in a particular



THE ordinances, established by Christ the

head, in a particular church, which is reOrdinances of gularly constituted with its proper the church. officers“, are, prayer”, singing praises', reading“, expounding and preaching the word of God"; administering baptism and the Lord's supper'; public solemn fasting and thanksgiv

la 1 Cor. 14. 26, 33, 40. to exhort and to convince the Let all things be done to edi gain-Sayers. Acts 10. 42. He fying.-For God is not the commanded us to preach unto author of confusion, but of the people. See a!so, Ads 28. peace, as in all churches of the 23. Luke 24. 47. 2 Tim. 4: 2. saints.-Let all things be done Ads 9. 20. decently and in order.

f Matt, 28. 19. Go ye thereBb Ads 6. 4. But we will fore and teach all nations, bapgive ourselves continually to tising them in the name of the prayer, and to the ministry of Father, and of the Son, and of the word. I Tim. 2. I. the Holy Ghoft. See ver. 20.

c Col. 3. 16. Teaching and and Mark 16. 15, 16.I Cor. admonishing one, another, in II. 23. 24, 25. For I have psalms, and hymns, and spiri- received of the Lord, that cual fongs, singing with grace which also I delivered unto in your hearts to the Lord.. you; that the Lord Jesus, the Psal. 9. 11. Eph. 3: 19.-- fame night in which he was Alfo Col. 4. 16.

betrayed, took bread. And d Acts 15. 21. Luke 4. when he had given thanks, he 16, and 17.

brake it, and said, Take, eat; e Tit. 1. 9. Holding fast this is my body, which is broko the faithful word as he hath en for you : this do in remembeen taught, that he may be brance of me.-After the same able by sound doctrine, both manner also he took the cup,

ing, catechifing", making collections for the poor, and other pious purposes'; exercising dis. ciplinek; and blessing the people'.

when he had fupped, saying, in store as God hath prospered This cup is the New Testament him, that there be no gatherin my blood, this do ye, as oft ings when I come And when as ye drink it, in remembrance I come, whomsoever ye shall of me. Verse 26. For as often approve by your letters, then as ye eat this bread, and drink will I send to bring your liberthis cup, ye do lhew the Lord's ality unto Jerusalem. And if it death till he conie. Compared be meet that I go also, they with 1 Cor. 10. 16.

thall go with me. Gal. 2. 10. g Luke 5. 35. But the days Only they would that we should will come when the bride. remember the poor; the same groom shall be taken away which I also was forward to do. from them, and theo shall they k Heb 13. 17. Obey them fast in those days. Plal. 50. 14. that have the rule over your Offer unto God thanksgiving and submit yourselves: for they and pay thy vows unto the Most watch for your souls, as they High. Phil. 4: 6.-In every that must give account: that thing, by prayer and supplica- they may do it with joy, and tion, with thanksgiving, let not with grief; for that is un. your requests be made known profitable for you. I Thes. 5. unto God. See 1 Tim. 2. I. 12. 13. And we beseech you, Psal. 95. 200

brethren, so know them which h Heb. 5. 12. For when labour among you, and are o for the time ye ought to be ver you in the Lord, and adteachers, ye have need that monish you; and to esteem one teach you again, which be them very highly in love for the first principles of the ora- their work's fake; and be at cles of God, and are become peace among yourselves. such as have need of milk, and I 2 Cor. 13. 14. The grace not of strong meat.

of the Lord Jesus Christ, and i i Cor. 16. 1, 2, 3, 4. the love of God, and the comNow concerning the collection munion of the Holy Ghost, be for the saints, as I have given with you all. Amen. Eph. 1. order to the churches of Gala- 2. Grace be to you, and peace tia, even so do ye.-Upon from Gud our Father, and from the first day of the week, let the Lord Jesus Chrik. every one of you lay by him


Of Church Government, and the several kinds of Judicatories.


Sect. I. TT is absolutely necessary that the

government of the church, be exDifferent

ercised under fome certain and definite Judicatories. forma : And we hold it to be expedient, and agreeable to scripture and the practice of the primitive Christians, that the church be governed by congregational, presbyterial and fynodical assemblies. In full consistency with this belief, we embrace, in the spirit of charity, those Christians who differ from us, in opinion or in practice, on these subjects'.

Sect. II. These affemblics ought not to pof. Their pow. sess any civil jurisdiction, nor to inflict

any civil penalties' : Their power is wholly moral or spiritual, and that only minifte


I. a Ezek. 43. Ii, 12. b Acts 15 5,6. But there Shew them the form of the rose up certain of the fect of house, and the fashion thereof, the Pharisees which believed, and the goings-out thereof, and saying, "That it was needful to the comings in thereof; and circumcife them, and to comall the forms thereof, and all the mand them to keep the law of ordinances thereof, and all the Moles. And the apostles and forms thereof, and all the laws elders came together for to conthereof: and write it in their fider of this matter, fight, that they may keep the 11. c Luke 12. 13, 14. And whole form thercof, and all the one of the company said unto ordinances thereof, and do them him, Master, speak to my This is the law of the house. brother, that he divide che in.

« PreviousContinue »