were delivered to Satan, that they might learn not
to blaspheme,” 1 Tim. i. 20: more generally
of the Church; thus the incestuous person was to be
put away from among them lest the whole lump of the
church should be leavened by him, 1 Cor. v. 3.
Absolution also is for edification, lest the penitent
party “should be swallowed up of too much sorrow,”
2 Cor. ii. 7. 4. All the officers of his Church
are for edification of the Church, (Eph. iv. 7, 8,
11, 12, 16,) together with all the gifts and endowments
in these officers, whether of prayer, prophecy, tongues,
&c., all must be managed to edification. This
is the scope of the whole chapter. 1 Cor. xii. 7,
&c., and 1 Cor. xiv. 3-5, 9, 12, &c., 26; read the
whole chapter. That passage of Paul is remarkable,
“I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than
you all; yet in the church I had rather speak five
words with my understanding, that by my voice I might
teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown
tongue,” verses 18, 19. Thus church government,
and all sorts of ordinances, with the particular acts
thereof, are to be levelled at this mark of edification.
Edification is an elegant metaphor from material buildings
(perhaps of the material and typical temple) to the
spiritual; for explanation’s sake briefly thus
take the accommodation: The architects
or builders, are the ministers
, 1 Cor. iii.
10. The foundation
that bears up, binds together, and gives strength to
the building, is Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. iii. 11; 1 Pet.
ii. 4, 6. The stones
are the faithful
, 2 Cor. i.
1. The building
, or house itself, is the
, that spiritual house, and temple
of the living God
, Eph. ii. 21, and iv. 12; 1
Cor. iii. 9, 16, 17. The edification of this
house is gradually to be perfected more and more till
the coming of Christ, by laying the foundation of Christianity,
in bringing men still unto Christ, and carrying on
the superstruction in perfecting them in Christ in
all spiritual growth, till at last the top-stone be
laid on, the Church completed, and translated to
the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens
Of the proper receptacle and distinct subject of
all this power and authority of Church Government,
which Christ hath peculiarly intrusted with the execution
thereof according to the Scriptures. And 1.
Negatively, That the political magistrate is not
the proper subject of this power.