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.
Page  47

CHAP. VII. Argument 5. from 1 Tim. 5.17.

OUR fift Argument is taken from a cleer place, 1 Tim. 5.17. Let the Elders that rule well bee counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and do∣ctrine. Hence we reason after this manner.

These Churches which had some Elders that laboured not in the Word and Doctrine, yet were worthy of double honour for ru∣ling well, had the very same ruling Elders we plead for.

But the Apostolicke Churches had some Elders that laboured not in the Word and Doctrine, yet were worthy of double honor for ruling well. Ergo.

The Argument riseth from the plaine Text, then which what can be cleerer? But there are some who would darken light, and ligh∣ten darkenesse.

Doctor Field propoundeth three glosses upon this place for the frustration of our Ar∣gument.* First, that the guides of the Church are worthy of double honour, both in respect of governing and teaching, but especially for their paines in teaching; so that the A∣postle Page  48 noteth two parts or duties of Presby∣teriall offices, not two sorts of Presbyters. This is manifestly against the Text, which speaketh of officers, not of offices, of per∣sons, not of duties, for it is not said, especially for labouring, &c. But especially they that la∣bour, &c.

Secondly, he saith, among Elders some la∣boured principally in governing and mini∣stering the Sacraments, some in preaching. So Paul sheweth that he preached and labou∣red more then all the Apostles,* but baptised few or none. And when Paul and Barnabas were companions, and their travells equall; yet Paul was the chiefe speaker; so that though both were worthy of double honour, yet Paul especially. But for answer to this. First, we would gladly know what warrant had hee for expounding Pauls more aboun∣dant labouring then all the Apostles, of his preaching alone? Secondly, what warrant for such a distinction of Elders, that some laboured principally in governing, some in preaching? Because Paul preached and did not baptise, and because hee was the chiefe speaker when hee and Barnabas travelled to∣gether: therefore some Elders laboured in governing, some in preaching; good Logick forsooth. Thirdly, thought he that the A∣postle Page  49 did ever account such Ministers as doe not mainly labour in preaching to be worthy of double honour: nay, it was never the Apo∣stles minde to allow any honour, farre lesse double honour, either to non-preaching or to seldome preaching Ministers.*Vt quid enim doctor appellatur nisi ut docat? saith Chryso∣stome. 4. Tell me whether is preaching a duty belonging to all the Ministers of the Gospell or not? if it be not the duty of all, then it is the duty of none, but a work of supererogation or some such thing; for if some be not bound to preach by their Presbyteriall order and vo∣cation, what is there that should binde others to preach? The order and calling of a Pres∣byter is alike common to all. Now if all bee bound to preach (which Field himselfe see∣meth to say in his first glosse, when hee cal∣leth paines in teaching, a part or duty of the Presbyteriall office, no lesse then governing) how shall those Presbyters bee worthy of double honour, who doe not the duties of their Presbyteriall office, but leave the one halfe of them undone?

Thirdly, saith Field, there were some that remained in certaine places for governing of those who were already wonne by the prea∣ching of the Gospell: others travelled with great labour, from place to place, to preach Page  50 Christ to such as had never heard of him. Both these were worthy of double honour, but especially the later, who did not build up∣on anothers foundation, nor governe those whom others had gained. The Poet would here answere:

Non minor est virtus quam quaerere parta tueri.

A Physitian would haply say, that to pre∣vent the recidivation, is as much worth as the cure. But I answer, 1. There is no such opposition in the Text, but a subordination rather: for Elders who labour in the word and doctrine, are not contra-distinguished from Elders that rule well, but are declared to bee one kinde of Elders that rule well. 2. Though the Apostles and Evangelists tra∣velled from one Countrey to another, to preach Christ to such as never heard of him; yet where hath hee read that some of these who were meere▪ Presbyters (for of such speaketh the Text in hand) did so likewise? It rather appeareth from Act. 14.23. Tit. 1.5. that Elders were ordained in every Citie, there to remain at their particular charges, and no Elders finde we ordained by the Apostles ordinatione vaga.

We have heard D. Fields three glosses up∣on this place in question. Sutcliffe hath given us other three which are no better.* First, he Page  51 saith, that if there bee here any distinction of ruling Elders, it is betwixt those that labour more aboundantly and painfully, and betwixt those that labour not so much.* This glosse is also received by Saravia, by Titen, by Bishop Hall in his Assertion of Episcopacie by divine right. They tell us, it is one thing to preach, another thing to labour in the word and do∣ctrine, Answ. 1. It is not the ministery of the word, but the ministery of ruling which here the Apostle maketh common to both. 2. This exposition alloweth not onely honour, but double honour; yea, a high degree of double honour to such as take no paines in preaching, but are sparing therein. 3. It maketh the A∣postles speech not to grow, but to fall: for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 when they have stretched it to the full, noteth onely great labour, whereas to rule well importeth both great labour and great prudence, dexterity, faithfulnesse and charity beside. 4. It maketh the last part of the speech, In the Word and Doctrine, to bee superfluous: for they hold that all the difference here, is in the measure or manner of labour, and no dif∣rence in re subjecta. 5. All who have any charge in the Ministery, are called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 1 Thess. 5.11. If they be at all faithfull, and worthy of honor, then do they labour, 1 Cor. 3.8. yea, in labouring, watch, as they that must give account, Heb. 13.27. 6. The Rhe∣mists Page  52 doe interpret the Apostle in the same manner. But Cartwright answereth them; If hee had meant any extraordinary labour, hee would rather have sayd,*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, then 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: for other where hee useth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as a degree of painful travell above 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is put for common labour, Rom, 16.12.

But it may be the next Commentary shall be better. The words, saith Sutcliffe, are to be rendred thus: Let Elders that rule well, bee counted worthy of double honour, labouring greatly in the Word and Doctrine: so that the later part of the speech is added exegetically, to shew who they bee that rule well, to wit, these who labour greatly in the word and do∣ctrine. That the words are so to bee under∣stood, he undertaketh to prove from the text it selfe: For, saith hee, one who purposeth to say in Greeke, especially they who labour, will not say, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Thus changing the Participle into a Verb, and the prepositive article 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is written with an aspiration alone, into the subjunctive 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉cum accentu gravi, for this answereth to the relative who, which the prepositive article doth never. Moreover, saith he, if the Apo∣stle would have distinguished Elders into these that preach, and these that preach not, he would have added the adversative particle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 after 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifieth indeed Page  53especially, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 alone without signifi∣eth greatly, or much, as here it doth. Answ. 1. This reading of his is very harsh, and had need to sound better before it contradict both the English Translators, and the common current of Protestant Interpreters. 2. Hee is not so very well skilled in the Greeke, as hee boasteth to bee, unlesse he make the Apostle Paul a great Ignoramus in that language. For hee putteth a Participle with the Pre∣positive Article for a Verbe and a Rela∣tive, Philip. 4.7. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the peace of God which passeth all understanding. So Eph. 4.22. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The old man which is cor∣rupt, and v. 24. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The new man which after God is created. 1 Thess. 5.12. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. To know them which labour among you. If St∣cliffs rule hold, we may not read it so, but thus, To know them labouring among you. So Apoc. 7.14. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, These are they who come out of great tribulation. Many places of this kinde there are, which I need not cite. 3. An Ellipsis of the particle , is no error, no not in members of an opposi∣tion, as Col. 2.23. much lesse in the distin∣ction of a Species from the Genus. 4. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 without , is put for especially, as well as when it hath , 1 Tim. 4.10. who is the Saviour of all Page  54 men, especially of these that beleeve.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. This skilled Grecian would have us to conceive it thus: God is the Saviour of all men who beleeve much: and so it shall be a com∣fortlesse text for those of little faith.

Surely this man had need to be more happy in his third exposition; and now let us know what it is? He saith, that though wee could evince, that the Apostle here speaketh of some other Elders besides the Ministers of the word; yet wee shall have no advantage for our ruling Elders: for the Apostle being to prove that the Ministers of the word ought to be maintained, why might he not, saith he, use this generall proposition, That all Rulers, whether publicke or domestick, whether Ci∣vill or Ecclesiasticall, are to bee honored? When the Apostle speaketh of the chusing of Deacons, he will have them to bee such as have ruled their own houses well. This is his last refuge, and how weak, let any ma judge. We have heard of many sorts of Rulers, but who did ever hear (before Sutliffe told it) of Domesticke or Civill Elders that rule well. Had not the word Elders been in the Text, but the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 alone, he might have been the bolder to have given this sense. But since the Apostle speaketh not generally of Page  55 them that rule well, but of Elders in the Church that rule well, this marreth his glosse altogether.

Bilson giveth yet another sense,* That there were two sorts of Elders, some who laboured in the word and doctrine, some who had the care of the poore: both were worthy of dou∣ble honour; but especially they who labou∣red in the word. Answ. Deacons are distin∣guished from Elders, Rom. 12. 1 Cor. 12. 1 Tim. 3. and by all antiquity. If wee make Deacons to bee Elders, and the care of the poore to be an act of ruling, then let us make what you will of the plainest Scriptures.

I finde in Didoclavius three other interpre∣tations beside the former:* First, Bridges saith, That by Elders who labour not in the word and doctrine, are meant rulers or inferiour Magistrates, chosen for compounding of ci∣vill controversies. Answ. 1. This is a strange language to call civill Magistrates by the name of Elders. 2. The Apostle is speaking of Ecclesiasticall not of Civill office-bearers. 3. This exposition maketh Pastors who la∣bour in the word and doctrine, to bee a sort of civill Magistrates, because they are a kinde of Elders that rule well.

Next, Bishop King expoundeth this place of old and infirme Bishops, who cannot la∣bour Page  56 in the word and doctrine. Answ. 1. The Apostle speaketh of Presbyters, not of Pre∣lates. 2. To rule well importeth as great la∣bour as preaching, and somewhat more, as I shewed before, so that they who cannot la∣bour in preaching, cannot labour in ruling neither. 3. They who have eviscerate and spent themselves in the work of the Ministry, who have been (as long as they could stand up∣on their feet) valiant Champions for the truth, against the enemies thereof, who have served their time according to the will of God, with∣out the staine of Heresie, Schisme, Apostasie, or unfaithfulnesse, when they become old and infirme, they ought not to be the lesse honoured (as the impious verdict of this Pre∣late would have it) but so much the more honour ought to be given to their hoare head found in the way of righteousnesse.

Another Glosse is given by the same King, namely, that the Apostle would have Mini∣sters, not onely to live well, but to feed also by the word and doctrine. Answ. 1. The ri∣sing of the Apostles words doth not concern duties, but persons, as wee have said before. 2. To live well is not to rule well, unlesse wee will make all who live godly, to rule well. 3. Thirdly, this glosse doth stil leave a double honor to Ministers that live well, though they do not preach.

Page  57We see now, our opposites have been trying all windes to fetch upon us: but here we leave them betwixt winde and wave: or this our last argument carrieth us away with full saile.