The Divine Right of Church Government by Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 373 pages of information about The Divine Right of Church Government by Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London.
of church authority; but then here is a contradiction to the former position, that made the particular congregation the first subject of all power.  And though apostles and elders be the first subject of authority, yet, when the keys were first committed to them, they were not in relation to any particular church, but to the general. 6.  Finally, that both elders and brethren, walking and joining together in truth and peace, are the first subjects of all church power, is liable also to exception.  For this joins the brethren (who indeed have no authoritative power at all) with the elders, as the joint subject of all power.  And this but allowed to them walking and joining together in truth and peace:  but what if the major part of the Church prove heretical, and so walk not in truth; or schismatical, and so walk not in peace, shall the elders and the non-offending party lose all their power?  Where then shall that independent church find healing? for appeals to presbyteries and synods are counted apocryphal by them.  But enough hath been said to detect the vanity of these new dreams and notions; it is a bad sore that must be wrapped in so many clouts.[43]

CHAPTER XI.

Of the proper Receptacle, or immediate subject of the Power of Church Government:  affirmatively, what it is, viz.  Christ’s own Officers.

Thus the proper receptacle or subject of ecclesiastical power hath been considered negatively, what it is not, viz:  not the political magistrate, nor yet the community of the faithful, or body of the people, with or without their eldership.  Now this receptacle of power comes to be evidenced affirmatively, what it is, viz. (according to the express words of the description of government,) Christ’s own officers.  This is the last branch of the description, the divine right whereof remains to be cleared; which may most satisfactorily be done by evidencing these three things, viz:  1.  That Jesus Christ our Mediator hath certain peculiar church guides and officers which he hath erected in his Church. 2.  That Jesus Christ our Mediator hath especially intrusted his own officers with the government of his Church. 3.  How, or in what sense the ruling officers are intrusted with this government, severally or jointly?

SECTION I.

1. Of the Divine Right of Christ’s Church Officers, viz.  Pastors and Teachers, with Ruling Elders.

Touching the first, that Christ hath certain peculiar church guides and officers, which he hath erected in his Church.  Take it thus: 

Jesus Christ our Mediator hath ordained and set in his Church (besides the apostles and other extraordinary officers that are now ceased) pastors and teachers, as also ruling elders, as the subject of the keys for all ordinary ecclesiastical administrations.  The divine right of these ordinary church officers may appear as followeth: 

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The Divine Right of Church Government by Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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