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publick reading of the scriptures belongeth to the pastor's office.
To feed the flock, by preaching of the word, according to which he is to teach, convince, reprove, exhort, and comfort".
To catechise, which is a plain laying down the first principles of the oracles of God", or of the doctrine of Christ, and is a part of preaching.
To dispense other divine mysteries ".
To administer the sacraments P.
To bless the people from God, Numb. vi. 23, 24, 25, 26. Compared with Rev. xiv. 5. (where the same blessings, and persons from whom they come, are expressly mentioned 4.)
believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 1 Cor. xi. 23. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. Ver. 24. And, when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in re
m 1 Tim. iii. 2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: Ver. 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Tit. 1. 9. Holding fast the faith-membrance of me. Ver. 25. After the ful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the gain
n Heb. v. 12. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
1 Cor. iv. 1. Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Ver. 2. Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. -·*.
p Mat. xxviii. 19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Ver. 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with your alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Mark xvi. 15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Ver. 16. He that
same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. Compared with 1 Cor. x. 26. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
q Numb. vi. 23. Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, Ver. 24. The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. Ver. 25. The Lord make his face to shine upon theeVer. 26. The Lord lift up his counte nance upon thee, and give thee peace. Compared with Rev. i. 4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne: Ver. 5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first-be
Isa. Ixvi. 21. where, under the names of priests and Levites to be continued under the gospel, are meant evangelical pastors, who therefore are by office to bless the people *.
- To take care of the poor '.
And he hath also a ruling power over the flock as a pastort.
gotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Isa. lxvi. 21. And I will also take of them for priests, and for Levites, saith the Lord."
Deut. x. 8. At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the" ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister unto Kim, and to bless in his name, unto this day. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, Be with you all. Amen. Eph. i. 2. Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts xi. 30. Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Acts iv. 34. Neither was there any among them that Jacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses, sold them, and Brought the prices of the things that were sold, Ver. 35. And laid them down at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made unto every man according as He had need. Ver. 36. And Joses, who By the apostles was surnamed BarnaDas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Ver. 37. Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet. Acts vi. 2. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Ver. 3. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Ver. 4. But we will give our selves continually to prayer, and to the ninistry of the word. 1 Cor. xvi. 1. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the
churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Ver. 2. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. Ver. 3. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. Ver. 4. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. Gal. ii. 9. And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Ver. 10. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
# 1 Tim. v. 17. Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. Acts xx. 17. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. Ver. 28. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 1 Thess. v. 12. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over vou in the Lord, and admonish you. Heb. xiii 7. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Ver. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account: that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you...
Teacher or Doctor.
HE scripture doth hold out the name and title of teacher, as well as of the pastor".
Who is also a minister of the word, as well as the pastor, and hath power of administration of the sacraments.
The Lord having given different gifts, and divers exercises according to these gifts, in the ministry of the word "; though these different gifts may meet in, and accordingly be exercised by, one and the same minister *; yet, where be several ministers in the same congregation, they may be designed to several employments, according to the different gifts in which each of them doth most excel. And he that doth more excel in exposition of scriptures, in teaching sound doctrine, and in convincing gainsavers, than he doth in application, and is accordingly employed therein, may be called a teacher, or doctor, (the places alleged by the notation of the word do prove the proposition.) Nevertheless, where is but one minister in a particular congregation, he
u 1 Cor. xii. 28. And God hath set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Eph. iv. 11. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.
Rom. xii. 6. Having then gifts, differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Ver. 7. Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; Ver. 8. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 1 Cor. xii. 1. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ver. 4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. Ver. 5. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. Ver. 6. And there are diversities of operations,
but it is the same God which worketh all in all. Ver. 7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
x 1 Cor. xiv. 3. But he that prophesieth, speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 2 Tim. iv. 2. Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. Tit. i. 9. Holding fast the faithful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
y [See in letter w immediately preceding.] 1 Pet. iv. 10. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Ver. 11. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ; to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. §.
is to perform, so far as he is able, the whole work of the ministry 2.
A teacher, or doctor, is of most excellent use in schools and universities; as of old in the schools of the prophets, and at Jerusalem, where Gamaliel and others taught as doctors.
S there were in the Jewish church elders of the people joined with the priests and Levites in the government of the church; so Christ, who hath instituted government, and governors ecclesiastical in the church, hath furnished some in his church, beside the ministers of the word, with gifts for government, and with commission to execute the same when called thereunto, who are to join with the minister in the government of the church. Which officers reformed churches commonly call Elders..
HE scripture doth hold out deacons as distinct officers in the church *.
* 2 Tim. iv. 2. Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. Tit. i. 9. Holding fast the faithful word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 1 Tm. vi. 2. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
a 2 Chron. xix. 8. Moreover, in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord, and for controver sies, when they returned to Jerusalem. Ver. 9. And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. Ver. 10. And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that
dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, and statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them, that they trespass not against the Lord, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass,
Rom. xii. 7. Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; Ver. 8. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence;" he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 1 Cor. xii. 28. And God hath set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
c Phil. i. 1. Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons. 1 Tim. ii. 8. Likewise must the dea
Whose office is perpetual 4. To whose office it belongs not to preach the word, or administer the sacraments, but to take special care in distributing to the necessities of the poor *.
Of particular Congregations.
T is lawful and expedient that there be fixed congregations, that is, a certain company of Christians to meet in one assembly ordinarily for publick worship. When believers multiply to such a number, that they cannot conveniently meet in one place, it is lawful and expedient that they should be divided into distinct and fixed congregations, for the better administration of such ordinances as belong unto them, and the discharge of mutual duties f.
The ordinary way of dividing Christians into distinct congregations, and most expedient for edification, is by the respective bounds of their dwellings.
First, Because they who dwell together, being bound to all kind of moral duties one to another, have the better opportunity thereby to discharge them; which moral tie is perpetual; for Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it 8.
Secondly, The communion of saints must be so ordered, as may stand with the most convenient use of the ordi
cons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre.
d 1 Tim. iii. 8. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre. [See in the Bible to Ver. 15.] Acts vi. 1, And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose amurmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Ver. 2. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Ver. 3. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this busipess. Ver. 4. But we will give our
selves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
e Acts vi. 1-4. [See before in letter d]
fi Cor. xiv. 26.-Let all things be done to edifying. Ver. 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Ver. 40. Let all things be done decently, and in order.
g Deut. xv. 7. If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thine hand, from thy poor brother. Ver. 11. For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor and to thy needy in thy land. Matt, xxij. 39. And the second is like unto it, Thou