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III. Church.censures' are necessary for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren, for deterring of others from the like offences, for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honour of Christ and the holy profession of the gospel, and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the church, if they should suffer his covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders c.
IV. For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the church are to proceed by admonition, fuspension from the facrament of the Lord's fupper for a season, and by excommunication from the church, according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the perfon d.
CH A P.
be swallowed up with overmuch for- brother that walketh diforderly, row. v.8. Wherefore I beseech you, and not after the tradition which that you would confirm your love he received of us.
v. 14. And if towards bin.
any man obey not our word by this III. c (1 Cor. v. throughout.) epistle, note that man, and have no 3 Tim. v. 20. Them that sin re- company with him, that he may buke before all, that others also be ashamed. V. 15. Yet count him may fear. Matth. vii. 6. Give not
not as an enemy, but admonish him that which is holy unto the dogs, as a brother. 1 Cor. V. 4. In the neither cast ye your pearls before name of our Lord Jesus Christ, fwine, left they trample them under when ye are gathered together, and their feet, and turn again and rent my spirit, with the power of our you. 1 Tim. i. 20. Of whom is Lord Jesus Chrift.
v. 5. To deli. Hymeneus and Alexander; whom I ver such an one unto Satan' for the have delivered unto Satan, that they destruction of the flesh, that the may learn not to blafpheme. (1 Cor. fpirit may be saved in the day of xi. 27. to the end.) With Jude, the Lord Jesus. V. 13. But them 23. And others fave with fear, that are without, God judgeth. pulling them out of the fire; hat. Therefore put away from among ing even the garments spotted by the yourselves that wicked perfon. fiesh.
Matth. xviii. 17. And if he fhall IV. d 1 Theff. v. 12. And we neglect to hear them, tell it unto beseech you brethren, to know, the church: but if he neglect to them which lobour among you, and hear the church, let him be unto are over you in the Lord, and ad- thee as an heathen man, and a pu
Theff. iii, 6. Now blican, Tit. iii, 10. A man that is we command you, brethren, in the an heretic, after the first and fecond Dame of our Lord Jesus Christ, that admonition, reject, ye withdraw yourselves from every
CHA P. XXXI, Of Synods and Councils. VOR the better government and further edification of
the church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils a.
II. As magiftrates may lawfully call a fynod of ministers, and other fit persons, to consult and advise with about matters of religion b: fo if magistrates be open enemies to the church, the ministers of Christ, of themselves, by virtue of their office ; or they, with other fit persons upon delegation from their churches, may meet together in such assemblies c.
III. It belongeth to fynods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of con
I. a A&s xv. 2. When therefore and honesty. (2 Chron. xix. 8. to Paul and Barnabas h.ad no small dif- the end.) 2 Chron. xxix. and xxx. sension and disputation with them, chapters throughout.) Matth. ii, they determined that Paul and Bar 4. And when he had gathered all nabas, and certain other of them, the chief priests and scribes of the should go up to Jerusalem unto the people together, he demanded of apostles and elders about this que- them where Christ should be born. stion. And when they were v. 5. And they said unto him, In
come to Jerusalem, they were re, Bethlehem of Judea : for thus it is *ceived of the church, and of the written by the prophet. Prov. xi.
apostles and elders, and they de- 14. Where no counsel is, the peoclared all things that God had done ple fall; but in the multitude of with them. v. 6. And the apostles counsellors there is safety. and elders came together for to con c Acts xv. 24. (See in letter a.) fider of this matter.
v. 22. Then pleased it the apostles II. b Il. xlix. 23. And kings shall and elders, with the whole church, be thy nursing - fathers, and their to send chosen men of their own queens thy nursing-mothers: they company to Antioch, with Paul and shall bow down to thee with their Barnabas; namely, Judas sirnamed face toward the earth, and lick up Barsabas, and Silas, chief men athe dult of thy feet, and thou shait mong the brethren.
v. 23. And know that I am the Lord; for they wrote letters by them after this shall not be ashamed that wait for manner, The apostles, and elders, me. I Tim. ii. 1. I exhort there- and brethren send greeting unto the fore, that first of all, fupplications, brethren which are of the Gentles prayers, intercessions, and giving of in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. thanks be made for all men : v. 25. It seemed good unto us, beFor kings, and for all that are in ing assembled with one accord, to authority; that we may lead a quiet fend chosen men unto you, with our and peaceable life in all godlinefs beloved Barnabas and Paul.
science; to fet down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the fame: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the word of God, are to be received with reverence and fubmiffion, not only for their agreement with the word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his word d.
IV, All fynods or councils fince the apostles times, whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred; therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith or prac- , tice, but to be used as an help in both e.
V. Synods and councils are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is ecclefiaftical : and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs, which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition, in cases extraordinary; or by way of advice for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate f.
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III. d Acts xv. 15. 19. 24• 27:
IV. e Eph. ii. 20. And are built 28, 29, 30, 31. (See in the Biblc.) upon the foundation of the apostles Acts. xvi. 4. And as they went and prophets, Jesus Christ himself through the cities, they delivered being the chief corner-stone. Aets them the decrees for to keep, that xvii. 11. These were more noble were ordained of the apostles and than those in Thessalonica, in that elders which were at Jerusalem. they received the word with all Matth. xviii. 17. And if he shall ne- readiness of mind, and searched the glect to hear them, tell it unto the scriptures daily, whether those things church: but if he neglect to hear the
5. church, let him be unto thee as an faith should not stand in the wif. heathen man, and a publican. v. 18. dom of men, but in the power of Verily I say un you, Whatsoever ye
Not for that thall bind on earth, shall be bound in we have dominion over your faith, heaven: and whatsoever ye shallloofè but are helpers of your joy: for by on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. faith ye stand. v. 19. Again I say unto you, that V. f Luke xii
. 13. And one of if two of
shall agree on earth, the company faid unto him, Master as touching any thing that they shall speak to my brother, that he divide afk, it shall be done for them of my the inherirance with me. v. 14. And Father which is in heaven. V. 20. he said unto him, Man, who made For where two or three are gather- me a judge, or a divider over you ? ed together in my name, there am I John xviii. 36. Jesus answered, My in the midh of them.
kingdom is not of this world: if my
CH A P. XXXII. Of the State of Men after Death, and
of the Resurrection of the Dead. HE bodies of men after death, return to dust and
see corruption a; but their souls (which neither die nor sleep) having an immortal subsistence, immediatley return to God who gave them b. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies c; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day d. Besides these two places for souls separated from the bodies, the scripture acknowledgeth none.
II. At kingdom were of this world, then of God, an house not made with would my servants fight, that I hands, eternal in the heavens. v. 6. , Thould not be delivered to the Jews: Therefore we are always confident, but now is my kingdom not from knowing that whilst we are at home hence,
in the body, we are absent from the 1. a Gen. iii. 19. In the sweat of Lord: v. 8. We are confident, I thy face shalt thou eat bread, till say, and willing rather to be absent thou return unto the ground; for from the body, and to be present out of it wast thou taken: for dust with the Lord. Phil. i. 23. For I thou art, and unto dust thou shalt am in a strait betwixt two, having return. Aets. xiii. 36. For David, a desire to depart, and to be with after he had served his own genera- Christ; which is far better. With tion by the will of God fell on Acts iii. 21. Whom the heaven must sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, receive, until the times of restituand saw corruption.
tion of all things, which God hath b Luke xxiii. 43. And Jesus said spoken by the mouth of all his holy unto him, Verily I say unto thee, prophets, since the world began. To-day shalt thou be with me in pa- And Eph. iv. 10. He that descended radise. Eccl. xii. 7. Then shall the is the same also that ascended up far dust return to the earth as it was: above all heavens, that he might fill and the spirit shall return unto God all things. who gave it.
d Luke xvi. 23. And in hell he c Heb. xii. 23. To the general lift up his eyes, being in torments, assembly and church of the first and feeth Abrahan afar off, and born, which are written in heaven; Lazarus in his bofom. V. 24. And and to God the judge of all, and to he cried, and faid, Father Abraham, the spirits of just men made perfect. have mercy on me, and send Laza2 Cor. v. 1. For, we know, that if rus that he may dip the tip of his our earthly house of this tabernacle finger in water, and cool my tongue; were dissolved, we have a building for I am tormented in this flame. Acts
II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed e: and all the dead shall be raised up with the self-fame bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their fouls for ever f.
III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious
CHA P. XXXIII. Of the last Judgment.
of this my skin, worms destroy this body, ministry and apostleship, from which yet in my flesh shall I see God, Judas by transgression fell, that he v. 27. Whom I shall see for myself, might go to his own place. Jude 6. and mine eyes shall behold, and not And the angels which kept not their another; though my reins be confirft eftate, but left their own habi-' fumed, within me.
1 Cor. xv. 42. tation, he hath reserved in everlast. So also is the resurrection of the ing chains under darkness, unto dead. It is sown in corruption, it is the judgment of the great day. v.7. raised in incorruption : v. 43. It is Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and sown in dishonour,it is raised in glothe cities about them in like manner, ry: it is sown in weakness, it is raisgiving themselves over to fornica- ed in power : V. 44. It is sowo a tion, and going after strange flesh, natural body, it is raised a spiritual are set forth for an example, suffer- body. There is a natural body, and ing the vengeance of eternal fire. there is a spiritual body. 1 Pet. iii. 19. By which also he III.
8 Acts xxiv. 15. And have went and preached unto the spirits hope towards God, which they in prison.
themselves also allow, that there II. e i Theff. iv. 17. Then we shall be a resurrection of the dead, which are alive and remain, shall be both of the just and unjust. John v. caught up together with them in the 28. Marvel not at this : for the hour clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: is coming, in the which all that are and so shall we erer be with the in the graves shall hear his voice. Lord. 1 Cor. xv. 51. Behold, I V. 29. And shall come forth, they fhew you a mystery; we shall not that have done good unto the reall fleep, but we shall all be changed, furrection of life; and they that V. 52. In a moment, in the twink- have done evil, unto the resurrection ling of an eye, at the last trump, of damnation. 1.Cor. xv. 43. (See (for the trumpet shall found,) and in letter f.) Phil. iji. 21. Who thall the dead shall be raised incorruptible, change our vile body, that it may and we shall be changed.
be fashioned like unto his glor ous f Job xix. 26. And though after body, according to the working