IV. Of a Divine Right by Divine Acts.
IV. By divine acts. Whatsoever matters of religion were erected in, or conferred upon the Church of God, by God, or any person of the blessed Trinity, and are left recorded in the Scripture, they are of divine right, by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ. Shall divine approbation, yea, shall the saints’ binding example hold forth to us a divine right, and shall not the divine actions of God, Christ, and the Spirit, do it much more? Take some instances: the Lord’s-day sabbath, under the New Testament, was it not instituted (the seventh day being changed to the first day of the week) by the acts of Christ, having now perfected the spiritual creation of the new world? viz: by his resurrection and apparitions to his disciples on that day, and miraculous blessing and sanctifying of that day, by pouring forth the gifts of the Holy Ghost, Acts ii., all which were seconded with the apostolical practice in the primitive churches, Acts xx. 7, &c.; 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2. And do not the churches of Christ generally conclude upon these grounds, that the Lord’s-day sabbath is of divine warrant? Thus circumcision is abrogated of divine right, by Christ’s act, instituting baptism instead thereof, Col. ii. 11, 12. The passover is abolished of divine right, by Christ himself, our true passover, being sacrificed for us, 1 Cor. v. 7; and the Lord’s supper being instituted a memorial of Christ’s death instead of it, Matt, xxvi., Mark xiv., Luke xxii. And the whole ceremonial law is antiquated and made void by Christ’s death, accomplishing all those dark types; therefore Christ, immediately before his yielding up the ghost, cried, It is finished, John xix. 30. See Col. ii. 14; Eph. ii. 14, 15; abolishing the law of commandments in ordinances, Heb. viii. 13, and x. 4, 5, &c. Thus by Christ’s act of giving the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter and the apostles, Matt. xvi. 19, and xviii. 18, 19, the keys belong to the officers of the church by divine right. By God’s act of setting in the Church some, first apostles, &c., 1 Cor. xii. 28, all those officers belong to the general visible Church by divine right. By Christ’s act of bounty upon his triumphant ascension into heaven, in giving gifts to men, Eph. iv. 7, 11, 12; all those church officers being Christ’s gifts, are of divine right. Finally, by the Holy Ghost’s act, in setting elders, overseers over the flock, Acts xx. 28, elders are such overseers by divine right.
V. Of a Divine Right by Divine Precepts.