An assertion of the government of the Church of Scotland in the points of ruling-elders and of the authority of presbyteries and synods with a postscript in answer to a treatise lately published against presbyteriall government.
Gillespie, George, 1613-1648.

THE CONTENTS OF the first part of this Treatise.

CHAP. I. Of the words Elder, Lay-Elder, Ruling-Elder.

FOure significations of the word Elder in Scripture. Of the nickname of Lay-Elders. That the Popish distin∣ction of the Clergie, and the Laity ought to be banished. Of the name of Ruling-Elders, and the reason thereof.

CHAP. II. Of the function of Ruling-Elders, and what sre of officers they be.

OF the distinction of Pastors, Doctors, Elders, and Deacons. Of the behaviour and conuersation of Ruling-Elders. Of the distinction of the power of Order and of jurisdiction. That the Ruling-Elder his power of jurisdiction, is to sit and voice in all the Consistories and Assemblies of the Church. That his power of order, is to do by way of authority those duties of edification, which every Christian is bound to do by way of charity.

CHAP. III. The first argument for Ruling-Elders taken from the Iewish-Church.

THat we ought to follow the Jewish Church in such things as they had not for any speciall reason proper to them, but as they were an Ecclesiasticall Republike. That the Elders among the Jews did sit among the Priests and voice in their Ecclesiasticall Courts, according to Baravias own confession, but were not their will Magi∣strates as he alleadgeth. Bilsons objections answered.

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CHAP. IV. The second Argument taken from Math. 18.17.

WHat is the meaning of these words, Tell the Church? Why the Presbytery may be called the Church. Our argument from this place for Ruling-Elders.

CHAP. V. The third Argument taken from Rom. 12.8.

THe words Rom. 12.8. expounded. That by him that rueth, is meant the Ruling-Elder. The objections to the contrary answered.

CHAP. VI. The fourth Argument taken from 1 Cor. 12.28.

THt by governments the Apostle meaneth ruling-El∣ders. Two glosses given by our opposites confuted.

CHAP. VII. The fist Argument taken from 1 Tim. 5.17.

OUr Argument from this place vindicated against en false glosses devised by our opposites.

CHAP. VIII. The testimony of Ambrose for Ruling-Elders vindicated.

NO certain ground alledged against the authority of those Commentaries upon the Epistles ascribed to Ambrose. Other answers made by our opposites to the place upon 1 Tim. 5. confuted.

CHAP. IX. Other Testimonies of Antiquitie.

TEstimonies for Ruling-Elders out of Tertullion, Cyprian, Epiphanius, Bsil, Chrysostome, Hierome, Eu∣sbius, Augustine, Origen, Isidore, the first counsell of T∣lido. Other testimoies observed by Iustellus, and Voe∣tius. Bilsons answer confuted.

CHAP. X. The consent of Protestant Writers, and the confession of our op∣posites for Ruling-Elders.

CItatons of sundry Protestant writers to this purpose. This truth hath extorted a confession from Witgist, Page  [unnumbered] Saravia, Sultiffe, Camero, and M. Io. Wemys of Craigtown.

CHAP. XI. Dr. Fields five arguments against ruling-Elders, answered.

HIs first reason, that no foot-step of Ruling-Elders for many hundreth years could be found in any Chri∣stian Church, answered five waies. Footsteps of Ruling-Elders in the Church of England. His second reason an∣swered. That we ought to judge of the Officers of the Church, not from 1 Tim. 3. only, but from that and other places compared together. His third reason answered by the crtain bounds of the power of Ruling-Elders. His fourth reason answered by the distinction of the Ecclesia∣stical Sanedrim of the Iewes, from their civill Sanedrim. His last reason concerning the names holdeth not.

CHAP. XII. The extravagancies of Whitegift, and Saravia, in the matter of ruling-Elders.

THe one alloweth of Ruling-Elders under an Infidell Magistrate, but not under a Christian Magistrate. The other alloweth of them under a Christian Magistrate, but not under an Infidell. That Ruling-Elders do not prejudge the power of the civill Magistrate, but the Pre∣lacie doth, which confuteth Whitegift. That Christian Magistrates are not come in place of the Jewish Seniors, which confuteth Saravia.

CHAP. XIII. Whether ruling-Elders have the power of decisive voices when they they sit in Presbyteries and Synods.

THe affirmative proved by nine reasons. Two objecti∣ons to the contrary answered. The place 1 Cor. 14.32. explained.

CHAP. XIIII. Of the Ordination of ruling-Elders. Of the continuance of their Office, and of their maintenance.

THat the want of the Imposition of hands in Ordina∣tion, the want of maintainance, and the not conti∣nuing Page  [unnumbered] alwaies in the xercise of the Office, cannot be pre∣judiciall to the Office it selfe of Ruling-Elders.