3. The holy Scriptures are now completely and unalterably perfect, containing such exact rules for the churches of God in all states and ages, both under the Old and New Testament, that not only the people of God, of all sorts and degrees, but also the men of God, and officers of the Church, of all sorts and ages, may thereby be made perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. “The law of the Lord is perfect,” Psal. xix. 7. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work,” 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. And in his first epistle to Timothy, (which is the Church’s directory for divine worship, discipline, and government,) he saith, “These things write I unto thee—that thou mightest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God,” (this is spoken in reference to matters of church government peculiarly,) 1 Tim. iii. 14, 15. And the apostle, having respect to the former matters in his epistle, saith to Timothy, and to all Timothies after him, “I give thee charge in the sight of God—that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (therefore, this charge is intended for all ministers after Timothy to the world’s end,) 1 Tim. vi. 13, 14, compared with 1 Tim. v. 21, observe these things. And the perfection of the whole scripture canon is sealed up with that testimony in the close of the last book, “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book,” Rev. xxii. 18, 19. Now, if the Scriptures be thus accurately perfect and complete, they must needs contain a sufficient pattern, and rules of church government now under the New Testament; which rules are scattered here and there in several books of the word, (as flowers grow scattered in the field, as silver is mingled in the mine, or as gold is mixed with the sand,) that so God may exercise his Church, in sifting and searching them out.
4. All the substantials of church government under the New Testament are laid down in the word in particular rules, whether they be touching officers, ordinances, censures, assemblies, and the compass of their power, as after will appear; and all the circumstantials are laid down in the word, under general rules of order, decency, and edification, 1 Cor, xiv. 40, and ver. 5,12, 26.
Consequently, there is a perfect and sufficient rule for church government laid down in the Scriptures, which is obligatory upon all.
Of the Proper Author or Fountain, whence Church Government and the authority thereof is derived by Divine Right, viz. Jesus Christ our Mediator.