CHAP. 7. SECT. 7.
A more speciall consideration of Ruling Elders, Deacons, and Widdowes. 1 Tim. 5. 17.
Ob. 14. But Rom. 12. 8. the Apostle speaketh of divers gifts, as v. 6. having then gifts, differing according to the grace, that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophecy, &c. Ergo, the Apostle doth not speak of divers offices. 2. One and the same man may both teach, and exhort, and therefore Pastor and Doctor are not here differenced. 3. The Deacons office shall be here described, by the interjection of the ruling Elder, but the two acts of the deacon, which is to give with simplicity, and, to shew mercy with cheerefulnesse, and which is an insolent order, therfore the Apostle doth not here ennumer∣ate divers offices.
Object. 11. The Deacon by his Office is to serve Tables, Act. 6. 2. that is, to administer the Sacraments, at least he is by office to baptize; for Iesus himselfe baptized not, but his Disciples, Io•. 4. 2. and Christ sent not Paul to baptize, but to preach; therefore the dpostles bap∣tized by others, by Deacons, and by others whose ministery and helpe they used in baptizing, Ergo, the Deacons office is not onely to care for the poore.
Object. 12. Paul, 1 Tim. 3. requireth that the Deacon v. 10. should first be tryed, and thereafter use the office, so he be found blameles; Ergo, the Deacon must be ordained with imposition of hands, as the presbyter, and so must be, by office, some more eminent person, then one who serveth Tables only; for grace was given to
Timothy; by the laying on of hands, 1 Tim. 3. 14. and Chryso∣stome observeth, that Steven did no miracles; nor did he speak with wisdome, that the adversaries were not able to resist v. 8. 9. 10. till first hee was appointed a Deacon, by imposition of hands, which evidenceth to us more then a poore office of giving almes to the poore.
CHAP. 10. SECT. 10.
Of the communion of the visible Catholique Church.
Ob. 6. Either must you complaine to a presbyteriall, provinciall, and nationall Church, before you complaine to that congregation of which the 'Delinquent is a member, or after that you have complain∣ed to that congregation; if the former be said, then you cannot tell the presbytery, or superior Courts, but in case of obstinacy; for if you can gaine a Brother, or a Church in a private way, you are not to bring him to a more publickeshame, that is contrary to Christs order, v. 15. If he heare thee, thou hast gained thy brother. And if you tell it the Presbytery and the superior Courts, after you have told it to the Church, whereof he is a member, then you make foure steps, in your reclaiming your brother, where Christ hath made but three.
Ob. 7. The Church spoken of, Mat. 18. is all one with the House of God, and the House of Prayer, where two or three agree to pray for onething. v. 19. and the place where worshiping is, and word and Sa•raments, that society in which stewards give a portion of the trea•• of life to every child of the House, Mat. 24. 45, 1 Cor. 4. 1. 2. 〈◊〉 publick Rebukes are tendered to these who sin publickly, before all, that others may feare, 1 Tim. 5. 20. : this must be in the Churches hearing and before the Congregation meet for the Word and Sacraments, for these ordinances of God worke for the edi∣fying both of the party reproved and before all the Congregation, which shall heare and feare; and they worke upon the Heart, as the Word of God doth: now a presbyteriall Church convened in some Elders of divers Congregations, for Church censures and exercise of juris∣diction, is not such a House of God, where are the Word, Sacraments and publick rebukes in the hearing of the Congregation; for the Con∣gregations of all the presbytery being 20. or 30. cannot meet in one Church.
Object. 12. That neerest Church to whom we delate the offence of one single offender, is a single Congregation, else we must over-leap this Church, and tell the Presbytery, contrary to Christs dire∣ction; but if he heare not that very Church to whom we tell the bu∣sinesse, he is excommunicated by that neerest Church, as the words beare; Ergo, that nearest Church being single congregations, may excommunicate, and so it is the first Church, and the Presbyterial Church is not the first Church.
Obj. 14. We doe not thinke that the Church, Math. 18. 16. is the community its alone, nor the Elders there alone; but the Elders in presence of the community. For even Act. 15. when the Apostles andElders did give out decrees, they did it before the Church of Ierusa∣lem, and in their presence, V. 22. Then pleased it the Apostles, El∣ders, and whole Church, to send chosen men to Antioch. For shew us a warrant in the Word, where the Elders there alone did exercise jurisdiction, the people not being convened, and where such a company of Elders there alone is called a Church. The Iudges in Israel judged in the gates before the people; the Elders judged in, or, before the Church, as the eye seeth united to the head, not separated from it.
Ob. 4. It is not much that the word, Church, signifieth onely in this place a company of godly men, witnesses of the mans offence; forsignifieth onely once, Joh. 3. the wind. 2. Christ spake in the Syriak and Gnedah, Psal. 22. Gnedah a company, or many Buls have com∣p•ss•d m•, 1 San. 19. a company of Prophets, Gnedah. The meaning is, if he be not convinced by the testimony of two, rebuke him before many.
Ob. 7. Whatsoever you bind on earth, is in good sence, that he who offendeth any little one that believeth, his sinne is bound in Heaven, as the friends of Job c. 42. were not accepted of God, till they made their peace first with Iob, yet Iob had no power of the Keyes overhis friends, and an offering is not accepted, while first the offerer be reconciled to his broth•r, and so his sinnes are bound in Heaven, and yet one brother hath not a jurisdiction over another.
Object. 8. If Classicall Presbyters be not Elders in •elation to the classicall Church, and so to all the Congregations in it, yee must forsake all these places, where it is said, the Elders of Jerusalem, the Elders of Ephesus, the Angels of the seven Churches, which is absurd; if they be Elders to all these Churches, then 1. All those people in those Churches must submit their consciences to them and their Ministery, as to a lawfull ordi∣nance of God. 2. All the people of those Churches must have voyce in election of them all. 3. All these people owe to the•s maintenance and double honor. 1 Tim. 5. 17. for if the Oxes mouth must not be muzl•d, but he must be fed by me and my corne, he must tread my corne, and labour for me. These Churches cannot all meet in one, to ordaine, and chuse all these Ministers, and to submit to their Ministery.
Object. 4. But a Synod or a classicall presbytery hath more 〈◊〉 and authoritie, then one private man, or one single Congregati∣on. 1. Because they are a company of Elders, to whom, as to the Priests of the Lord, whose lips should preserve knowledge, the ••yes of know∣ledge, and consequently a power and Synodicall authoritie is given, though they have no power of jurisdiction. 2. Because as a private mans power is inferiour to a Pastors, so is the power of classicall and Synodioall meeting of Elders above a man, or a single congregation; and a Synod, in dogmaticall power, ariseth so higher then these, •• divine institution doth fall upon it.
Object. 2. But there is no censuring of persons for scandalls in this meeting, because there is nothing here but a doctrinall declaration of the falsehood of their opinion who taught a necessitie of circumcision; and that all is done by way of doctrine and by power of the Keyes of knowledge, not of jurisdiction, is cleare from the end of this meeting, Act. 5. 2. Paul and Barnabas were sent from the Church of Antioc• unto Jerusalem unto the Apostles and Elders,, concerning this question, and v. 6. the Apostles and Elders came to∣gether to consider,, of this matter, consideration ofquestions being the end of the Synod is a thing belonging to doctrinal power meerely, so Mr. Mather.
Object. 8. The reason why Patel could not, though hee was an A∣postle, determine this at Antioch, was not because hee wanted Aposto∣lick authoritie, but because his Apostolick power was more questiona∣ble, hee not having seene Christ in the flesh, nor being a witnesse of the life, death and resurrection of Christ, then the authoritie of James and Peter who wer• eye-witnesses of Christs life, doctrine, and suffe∣rings, and saw him visibly ascend to heaven, and the believers doub∣ted if hee was an Apostle, and the Synod was convened to have there∣solution of the Apostles, and so it was meerely Apostolicall.
Object. 17. From the power of jurisdiction, in a Synod, you may inferre a power of jurisdiction, in a nationall Church, and a power of jurisdiction in the whole Christian world, and wee know not any Politicall Church Catholick and visible in Scripture, and if then were any such Church Catholick, then might they conveene and sweart a Catholick-covenant for uniformitie of doctrine, worship, and govern∣ment of the Church, as wee have done in Britaine, and this Catho∣lick Church might impose it, upon a nationall Church, even by that same Law of proportion, by which the nationall Church may im∣pose it on particular Churches which are parts of the Nationall Church.
Object. 2. If one should say, God hath placed in the common-wealth Emperours, Kings, Dukes, Princes and Rulers, as the eyes and eares of the Commonwealth, it should no wayes follow that all the Common∣wealths in the earth are one visible civill body having a government, so though it hee said God hath placed in the spirituall Common∣wealths of the Church Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, &c. it followeth not that the Church is all one spirituall, politick visible body, it followeth onely that the Lord hath placed in the Church Apostles, Prophets, Teachers indefinitly, that is, that these may bee in any one single Con∣gregation, as it is said, James 2. 2. If there come into your Assem∣bly, or Synagogue, a man with a gold Ring, &c. now this will not prove that all the dispersed Jewes, to whom James wrote, were all but one Congregation.