Page images

and Moses said unto him, Enviest and taught diligently the things of thou for my sake? Would God that the Lord, knowing only the baptism all the Lord's people were prophets, of John, &c. whom when Aquila and and that the Lord would put his Priscilla had taught the way of God Spirit upon them!-Numb. xi. 26–29. more perfectly, he did mightily conMark xi. 27, 28.

vince the Jews, and that publickly; Solomon stood before the altar of shewing by the scriptures that Jesus the Lord in the presence of all the was Christ.--Acts xviii. 24–29. congregation, and spread forth his Think soberly, according as God hands toward heaven; and he said, hath dealt to every man the measure Lord God of Israel, &c.—1 Kings of faith. For as we have many memviii. 22, &c.

bers in one body, and all members Jehoshaphat stood in the congre- have not the same office : so we, gation, &c. in the house of the Lord, being many, are one body, &c. Havbefore the new court, and said, O ing then gifts differing, according to Lord God of our fathers, are not thou the grace that is given to us, whether God in heaven ? &c.—2 Chron. xx. prophecy, let us prophesy according 4, &c.

to the proportion of faith, &c. Or he Then they that feared the Lord, that teacheth, on teaching : or he spake often one to another; and the that exhorteth, on exhortation, &c. Lord hearkened, &c. They shall be he that ruleth, with diligence.—Rom. mine, saith the Lord of hosts, &c.- xii. 3—9. Mal. iii. 16, 17.

I myself am also persuaded of you, John said, Master, we saw one my brethren, that ye also are full of casting out devils in thy name, and goodness, filled with all knowledge, he followeth not us, and we forbad able also to admonish one another.him; but Jesus said, Forbid him not; Rom. xv. 14. for there is no man which shall do a I thank my God, &c. that in every miracle in my naine, that can lightly thing ye are enriched by him, in all speak evil of me : for he that is not utterance, and in all knowledge.against us, is on our part.—Mark ix. 1 Cor. i. 4,5. 38—40. Luke ix. 50.

Now there are diversities of gifts, The Jews used to have such to but the same Spirit, &c. But the speak in their synagogues, who were manifestation of the Spirit is given either priests, or other officers, as to every man to profit withal. For appears in these instances.—Luke iv. to one is given by the Spirit the word 16-22. Acts xiii. 14–19. xvii. 1-3. of wisdom, to another the word of

There was a great persecution knowledge, &c. to another faith, &c. against the church which was at Je- to another prophecy, &c. But all rusalem: and they were all scattered these worketh that one and the selfabroad, &c. except the apostles, &c. same Spirit, dividing to every man therefore they that were scattered severally, as he will, &c. If the foot abroad, went every where preaching shall say, Because I am not the hand, the word.-Acts viii. 1. 4.

I am not of the body, &c. God hath Now they which were scattered, set the members every one of them &c. when they were come to Antioch, in the body, as it hath pleased him, spake unto the Grecians, preaching &c. Are all apostles ? &c. Have all the Lord Jesus ; and the hand of the the gifts of healing? Do all speak Lord was with them: and a great with tongues ? &c. But covet earnumber believed, and turned unto the nestly the best gifts.—1 Cor. xii. 4. Lord.—Acts xi. 19—21.

7-11. 15. 18. 28–31. Apollos, &c. an eloquent man, and Desire spiritual gifts, but rather mighty in the scriptures, &c. he spake that ye may prophesy, &c. He that

prophesieth, speaketh unto men to For when, for the time, ye ought edification, and exhortation, and com- to be teachers, ye have need that one fort, &c. He edifieth the church, &c. teach you again which be the first Forasmuch as ye are zealous of spi- principles of the oracles of God.ritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to Heb. v. 12. the edifying of the church, &c. If all Let us consider one another, &c. prophesy, and there come in one that not forsaking the assembling of ourbelieveth not, &c. he is convinced of selves together, as the manner of all, &c. he will report that God is in some is ; but exhorting one another ; you of a truth. How is it then, bre- and so much the more, &c.—Heb. x. thren, when ye come together, every 24, 25. one of you hath a psalm, &c. Let all As every man hath received the things be done to edifying, &c. Let gift, even so minister the same one the prophets speak, two or three, and to another, as good stewards of the let the other judge. If any thing be manifold grace of God. If any man revealed to another that sitteth by, speak, let him speak as the oracles let the first hold his peace. For ye of God: if any man minister, let him inay all prophesy one by one, that all do it as of the ability which God may learn, and all may be comforted. giveth, that God in all things may be And the spirits of the prophets are glorified.—1 Pet. iv. 10, 11, subject to the prophets. For God, &c. Let your women keep silence in the Eighthly. Of other Acts done in, churches, &c. Wherefore, brethren,

and by these particular Churches, covet to prophesy, &c. Let all things in sending Messengers to other be done decently, and in order.

Churches ; and, upon occasion, de1 Cor. xiv. 1. 3—5. 12. 23-26. termining Controversies in religious 29–34. 37. 39, 40.

Matters ; writing, and sending We also believe, and therefore

Epistles, and ordering other Afspeak.--2 Cor. iv. 13.

fairs. Of their meeting together, As abound in every thing, in

in order hereto, and receiving, and ye faith, in utterance, and knowledge,

hearing such Epistles: the Epistles &c.—2 Cor. viii. 7.

directed to the whole Body. Be ye filled with the Spirit, speak When tidings of the Gentiles reing to yourselves in psalms, &c. sing- ceiving the gospel came unto the ears ing, &c.--Eph. v. 18, 19.

of the church which was in Jerusalem, Many of the brethren in the Lord they sent forth Barnabas, that he waxing confident by my bonds, are should go as far as Antioch, &c, much more bold to speak the word When the dearth came which was without fear. Some, indeed, preach prophesied of, the disciples, every Christ out of envy, &c. What then? man according to his ability, deter&c. Christ is preached, and I therein mined to send relief unto the brethren do rejoice, &c. - Phil. i. 14–18. which dwelt in Judea. Which also

Let the word of Christ dwell in you they did, and sent it to the elders by richly, in all wisdom, teaching and ad- the hands of Barnabas and Saul. monishing one another.-Col. iii. 16. Acts xi. 22. 28–30.

Comfort (or exhort) one another Paul and Barnabas coming to Anwith these words. Thess. v. 11. tioch, gathered the church together,

Take heed, brethren, lest there be and rehearsed all that God had done in any of you an evil heart of unbe- for them, and how, &c.-Acts xiy. lief, &c. But exhort one another 26, 27. daily, while it is called to day ; lest When the matter of circumcision any of you be hardened through the was in dispute in the church at Andeceitfulness of sin.—Heb. iii. 12, 13. tioch, they determined that Paul and

Barnabas, and certain others of them, received in the Lord, that thou fulfil should go up to Jerusalem unto the it.—Col. iv. 16, 17. apostles and elders, about this ques I charge you by the Lord, that this tion. And being brought on their epistle be read unto all the holy breway by the church, &c. when they thren.--1 Thess. v. 27. were come to Jerusalem, they were Salute all them that have the rule received of the church, and of the over you, and all the saints.—Heb. apostles, &c. All the multitude kept xiii. 24. silence, and gave audience to Bar Peter, having written at large to nabas and Paul, &c. Then James the saints, speaks distinctly to the spake, &c. Then pleased it the apo- elders thus : The elders which are stles and elders, with the whole among you, I exhort, &c. to feed the church, to send chosen men of their flock of God, &c.—1 Pet. v. 1-3. own company to Antioch, &c. and I wrote unto the church, but Diowrote letters by them after this man- trephes, who loveth to have the prener ; The apostles, and elders, and eminence among them, receiveth us brethren, send greeting unto the bre- not: wherefore if I come, I will rethren which are of the Gentiles, &c. member his deeds, &c. and not conIt seemed good to us, being assembled tent therewith, neither doth he himwith one accord, to send chosen men self receive the brethren, and forunto you, &c. it seemed good to the biddeth them that would, and casteth Holy Ghost and to us, &c. They came them out of the church. Beloved, to Antioch; and when they had follow not that which is evil.—3 John gathered the multitude together, 9-11. they delivered the epistle. -Acts John wrote to the seven churches xv. 1–4. 6. 12, 13. 22, 23. 25. 27, in Asia distinctly, though they were 28. 30.

in one country, and charges each If then

ye have judgment of things church with its own guilt, and compertaining to this life, set them to mends each church by itself: takes judge who are least esteemed in the no notice of any power that any had church.-1 Cor. vi. 4.

over other. He directs his epistles When I coine, whomsoever you to the angel of the church ; but the shall approve by your letters, them matter he speaks to the whole church: will I send to bring your liberality and concludes, Hear what the Spirit unto Jerusalem.-1 Cor. xvi. 3. saith unto the churches.-Rev. i. 4.

We have sent with him the bro- ii. iii. ther, &c. who was also chosen of the See more of Church Acts in Discichurches to travel with us, with this pline. grace (or gift), &c. Whether any do inquire, &c. of our brethren, they are Ninthly. Of the ending of Controthe messengers of the churches, and versies arising between the Memthe glory of Christ.--2 Cor. viii. 18, bers of the Church to avoid going 19. 23.

to Law before the Infidels. I supposed it necessary to send to Dare any of you, having a matter you Epaphroditus, &c. your messen- against another, go to law before the ger, and he that ministered to my unjust, and not before the saints ? wants.-Phil. ii. 25.

Do ye not know, that the saints shall When this epistle is read among judge the world? and if the world you, cause that it be read also in the shall be judged by you, are ye unchurch of the Laodiceans; and that worthy to judge the smallest matters? ye likewise read the epistle from Lao- Know ye not, that we shall judge dicea. And say to Archippus, Take angels how much more things that heed to the ministry which thou hast pertain to this life ? &c. Set them to


judge, who are least esteemed in the sus, how he said, It is more blessed church. I speak to your shame : Is to give than to receive:-Acts xx. it so that there is not a wise man 34, 35. among you ? no, not one that shall It hath pleased them of Macedonia, be able to judge between his bre- and Achaia, to make a certain contrithren: but brother goeth to law with bution for the poor saints which are brother, and that before the unbe- at Jerusalem. Rom. xv. 25, 26. lievers. Now, therefore, there is Now, concerning the collection for utterly a fault among you, because ye the saints, as I have given order to go to law one with another: why do the churches of Galatia, even so do ye not rather take wrong ? &c. ye; upon the first day of the week, 1 Cor. vi, 1-8.

let every one of you lay by him in Tentaly. Of the Relief of the Poor that there be no gathering when I

store, as God hath prospered him, of the Churches ; and their Contributions to the Necessity of other come.- 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. Churches, and the Order of it.

By occasion of the forwardness of

others, and to prove the sincerity of And the multitude of them that

love ; for

know the grace of believed, were of one heart, and one our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he soul: neither said any of them, that was rich, &c. Not that other men be ought of the things which he pos, eased, and you burdened: but by an sessed was his own : but they had equality, &c.—2 Cor. viii. 8,9. 13, 14. all things common, &c. Neither was Every man, according as he purthere any among them that lacked : poseth in his heart, so let him give; for as many as were possessors of not grudgingly, or of necessity : for lands, or houses, sold them, and God loveth a cheerful giver, &c. The brought the prices, &c. and laid them administration of this service not only down at the apostle's feet : and dis- supplieth the want of the saints, but tribution was made unto every man it is abundant also by many thanksaccording as he had need.-Acts iv. givings unto God, &c. They glorify 32.34, 35.

God for your professed subjection The price of the land ? While it unto the gospel of Christ.—2 Cor. ix. remained, was it not thine own? and 7. 12, 13. after it was sold, was it not in thine If any would not work, neither own power ? why hast thou ? &c.— should he eat, &c. But


brethren, Acts v. 1-4.

be not weary in well doing, &c.When the number of the disciples 2 Thess. iii. 10-13. was multiplied, there arose a mur If any widow have children or muring of the Grecians against the nephews, let them learn first to shew Hebrews, because their widows were piety at home, and to requite their neglected in the daily ministration. parents, &c. If any provide not for Whereupon the church chose deacons his own, &c. If any man or woman to look to this matter.--Acts vi. 1-6. that believeth, have widows, let them

The disciples, every man according relieve them; and let not the church to his ability, determined to send re- be charged, that it may relieve them lief unto the brethren, &c.--Acts xi. that are widows indeed.—1 Tim. v. 28-30.

4. 8. 16. These hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

I have shewed all things, how that, so labouring, ye onght to support the weak; and to remember the words of the Lord Je


ELEVENTHLY. Of the Officers of shewed you all things, how that, so

particular Churches, their Power, labouring, ye ought to support the Duty, and Recompense : how they weak; and to remember the words should be qualified for the Office; of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is and of the Churches' Duty to them more blessed to give than to receive. as such.

-Acts xx. 17, 18. 28–31. 35.

Let us wait on our ministering; or 1. Of the Officers, Power, Duties, &c. he that teacheth, on teaching; or he

I will give you pastors according that exhorteth, on exhortation, &c. to mine heart, which shall (feed you he that ruleth, with diligence, &c. with knowledge and understanding. Rom. xii. 7, 8. -Jer. iii. 15. xxiii. 4. John xxi. 15, 16. It is required in stewards, that a

Thou shalt speak my words unto man be found faithful.-1 Cor. iv. 2. them, whether they will hear, or God hath set some in the church: whether they will forbear.-Ezek. ii. first apostles, secondarily prophets, 7. Levit. x. 11.

thirdly teachers, &c. helps, governI have made thee a watchman, &c. ments.- 1 Cor. xii. 28. give them warning from me. When

He gave some apostles, and some I say unto the wicked, &c. and thou prophets, and some evangelists, and givest him not warning, &c. his blood some pastors and teachers; for the will I require at thine hand : yet if perfecting of the saints, for the work thou warn, &c.—Ezek. iii. 17-19. of the ministry, for the edifying of

They shall teach my people the the body of Christ; till we all come difference between the holy and pro- in the unity of the faith, &c.—Eph. fane, and cause them to discern be- iv. 11-14. tween the unclean and the clean, &c. To all the saints in Christ Jesus and they shall keep my laws and my which are at Philippi, with the bishops statutes in all mine assemblies, &c.— and deacons.-Phil. i. 1. Ezek. xliv. 23, 24. Jer. xv. 19.

Say to Archippus, Take heed to Levit. x. 8—10.

the ministry which thou hast received Their widows were neglected in in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. Col. the daily ministration.

Then the iv. 17. twelve called the multitude of the

Neither give heed to fables, and disciples unto them, and said, It is endless genealogies; which minister not reason that we should leave the questions, rather than godly edifying, word of God, and serve tables ; &c. from which some having swerved, wherefore, brethren, look ye out have turned aside unto vain jangling. among you seven men of honest re- - 1 Tim. i. 4. 6. port, full of the Holy Ghost and of If a man desire the office of a wisdom, &c. but we will give our- bishop, he desireth a good work: a selves continually to prayer, and the bishop then must be blameless, the ministry of the word.-Acts vi. 1–4. husband of one wife ; vigilant, sober,

Paul sent to Ephesus, and called of good behaviour (or modest); given the elders of the church ; and when to hospitality, apt to teach ; not they were come to him, he said unto given to wine, no striker, not greedy them, &c. Take heed therefore unto of filthy lucre, but patient : not a yourselves, and to all the flock, over brawler, not covetous :

one that the which the Holy Ghost hath made ruleth well his own house, having his you overseers (or bishops), to feed children in subjection with all grathe church of God, &c. I know this, vity : for if a man know not how to that after my departing, grievous rule his own house, how shall he take wolves shall enter in among you, &c. care of the church of God ? not a therefore watch, &c. and I have novice (or one newly come to the

« PreviousContinue »