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therefore, he hath laid care upon some beyond others, who watch for the souls of their brethren, as they that must give account." Page 13, speaking of the several sorts of persons which have proved troublesome in the church, he mentions some, who, says he, "if they be reproved for their unruliness, according to the good order of the church of Christ, then they cry out, Breach of liberty, oppression, persecution! We will have none of your order and government: we are taught to follow the light in our consciences, and not the orders of men." Then, after proving by plain scripture, that "Christ did appoint and ordain that there should be order and government in the church," and that any one" refusing to hear the judgment of the church, or whole assembly, he doth thereby exclude himself, and shut out himself from being a member, and is justly judged by his brethren as a heathen and a publican:" he affirms, page 17, that "the church, gathering, or assembly of God's people, has power to examine and call to account such, as appearing to be among them, or owning the same faith with them, do transgress; and in case of their refusing to hear or repent, to exclude them from their fellowship; and that God hath a special regard to the judgment and sense of his people thus orderly proceeding, so as to hold such bound in heaven, whom they bind on earth, and such loosed in heaven, whom they loose on earth: and if there should be any so unreasonable as to deny it, I could prove it by inevitable consequences; which at present, as taking it for granted, I forbear to do. If it be reckoned so great a crime to offend one of the little ones, that it were better for him, than so do, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea; without question, to offend and gainsay the whole flock, must be more criminal, and must draw after it a far deeper judgment." Pages 20 and 21, proving authority and submission, from the case of circumcision, he says, "It is said expressly, Acts xv. 6. And the apostles and elders came together to consider of this matter, and after there had been much disputing about it,' (no doubt then, there were here diversities of opinions and judgments,) the apostles and elders told their judginents, and came also to a positive conclusion. Sure some behoved to submit, else they should never have

agreed. So those that were the elders gave a positive judgment, and they were bold to say, that it pleased not only them, but the holy ghost."

Then he proceeds to show that these things were not only singular practices, but that they held it doctrinally, that is to say, it was doctrine which they preached, that there ought to be order and government in the church. And to prove it, quotes 1 Cor. iv. 15, 16, 17, at length, upon which he says, "Here the apostle Paul is very absolute:" and soon upon it, page 22, says, "No doubt there were apostates and dissenting spirits in the church of Corinth, that gave Paul occasion thus to write; as he testifies in the beginning of the chapter, how he was judged by some of them; he shows how they were grown high, verse 8th. 'Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us,' &c. Might not these dissenters of the church of Corinth have reasoned thus against Paul? Did not this Paul teach us, at first, to mind the measure of grace in ourselves, and follow that? (for no doubt that was Paul's doctrine,) but now he begins to lord it over us, and tell us we must be followers of him." He says, pages 24, 25, " And seeing in case of difference the Lord hath, and doth, and will reveal his will to his people, and hath and doth raise up members of his body, to whom he gives a discerning, and power, and authority, to instruct, reprove, yea, and command in some cases; those that are faithful and low in their minds, keeping their own places, and minding the Lord, and the interest and good of his truth in the general over all, shut out the murmurer; and the spirit of God leads them to have unity, and concur with their brethren. But such as are heady and high-minded, are inwardly vexed that any should lead or rule but themselves and so it is the high thing in themselves that makes them quarrel with others for taking so much upon them; pretending a liberty, not sinking down in the seed, to be willing to be of no reputation for its sake. Such, rather than give up their own wills, will study to make rents and divisions, not sparing the flock." Then after divers scripture quotations and remarks, he brings, pages 27, 28, 2 Thess. iii. 4. "And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do, and will do, the things which we command

you." Verse 6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." What more positive than this? and yet the apostle was not here an imposer. And yet further, verse 14:" And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." Thus Hebrews 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." Verse 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." Jude 8: "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." "I might at length enlarge," continues Barclay, "if needful, upon these passages, any of which is sufficient to prove the matter in hand, but that what is said may satisfy such as are not wilfully blind and obstinate. For there can be nothing more plain from these testimonies, than that the ancient apostles and primitive christians practised order and government in the church; that some did appoint and order certain things, condemn and approve certain practices, as well as doctrines, by the spirit of God; that there lay an obligation, in point of duty, upon others, to obey and submit; that this was no encroachment nor imposition upon their christian liberty, nor any ways contradictory to their being inwardly and immediately led by the spirit of God in their hearts; and lastly, that such as are in the true feeling and sense, will find it their places to obey and be one with the church of Christ in such like cases; and that it is such as have lost their sense and feeling of the life of the body, that dissent and are disobedient, under the false pretence of liberty."

Now for brevity's sake I pass (though almost unwillingly) over much, well said to the purpose, till page 63, where querying if such and such ought not to be admonished, reproved, and condemned, he adds: "It seems the apostle judged it very needful they should be so dealt with, Titus i. 10, when he says,

'There are many unruly and vain talkers, and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, &c." These words, "whose mouths must be stopped," Barclay has in capitals, such stress he lays upon them. In the same page he asks," What need of convincing and exhorting gainsayers, if to gainsay be no crime? Where should the unity of the faith be?" Pages 65, 66, after affirming that the church. "hath power to decide by the spirit of God, in matters fundamental and weighty," and also in other matters of less moment, he asserts her "power by the same spirit, and not otherwise, being acted, moved, assisted, and led by it thereto, to pronounce a positive judgment; which, no doubt, (says he,) will be found obligatory upon all such, who have a sense and feeling of the mind of the spirit; though rejected by such as are not watchful, and so are out of the feeling and unity of the life." Then he mentions such with whom he had to do, and their claiming the privilege of immediate revelation, saying, "that they being moved to do such and such things, though contrary to the mind and sense of the brethren, are not to be judged for it; (they) adding, why may it not be so that God hath moved them to it?" Now if this be a sufficient reason, (says he,) for them to suppose as to one or two, I may without absurdity suppose it as well to the whole body." After this, he brings in several instructive passages of scripture, and speaks of things being done," not from the pure moving of the spirit of God; but either from that which being puffed up, affecteth singularity, and therethrough would be observed, commended, and exalted; or from that, which is the malignity of some humours and natural tempers, which will be contradicting without cause, and secretly begetting of divi sions, animosities, and emulations, by which the unity and unfeighed love for the brethren is lessened or rent." Then he proceeds, pages 69, 70, saying, "If it be granted, (as it cannot be denied,) that there may arise persons in the true church that may do such things, from such a spirit, though pretending conscience and tenderness; then it must also be acknowledged, that such to whom God hath given a true discerning by his spirit, may, and ought to judge such practices, and the spirit they come from, and have no unity with them." Again, page 91. "That

ordinarily God hath, in the communicating of his will under his gospel, employed such whom he had made use of in gathering of his church, and in feeding and watching over them, though not excluding others." This he argues upon, producing several instances, and pages 93, 94, says, "And indeed I mind not where, under the gospel, Christ hath used any other method; but that he always, in revealing his will, hath made use of such as he himself had before appointed elders and officers in his church; though it be far from us to limit the Lord, so as to exclude any from this privilege; nor yet, on the other hand, will the possibility hereof, be a sufficient warrant to allow every obscure member, to stand up and offer to rule, judge, and condemn the whole body; nor yet is it without cause, that such an one's message is jealousied and called in question, unless it have very great evidence, and be bottomed upon some very weighty and solid cause and foundation."

Thus far Barclay, and a plenty more very pertinent might be quoted; indeed the whole of this excellent treatise would, I believe, if rightly perused, prove very profitable to a well disposed mind.

Next I find in an Epistle written by Joseph Pike, bound with the aforesaid piece, much wholesome advice. Pages, 6, 7, he says, "There are, and always will be, different degrees of growth, in the members of the church of Christ; yet as all are growing in truth, and drawing one way, and aiming at the same thing, namely, the honour of the Lord and prosperity of his holy truth, there will be a general condescension and submission to one another; but more especially to godly elders and overseers. Here the strong and self-will of man is kept out, and the unity of the spirit, in an heavenly harmony maintained in those meetings, as well as among the whole body, or church of Christ." And considerable more, showing, pages 8, 9, how "rebellion and confederacy against good order in the church, was very great and strong," and that " in some places they set up separate meetings." But that "the Lord brought a blast upon that spirit," &c.

But I hasten to William Penn's "Brief Examination of Spiritual Liberty," a truly valuable performance; in my quotations

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