قراءة كتاب The Divine Right of Church Government Wherein it is proved that the Presbyterian government, by preaching and ruling elders, in sessional, Presbyterial and synodical assemblies, may lay the only lawful claim to a divine right, according to the Holy Scrip
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The Divine Right of Church Government Wherein it is proved that the Presbyterian government, by preaching and ruling elders, in sessional, Presbyterial and synodical assemblies, may lay the only lawful claim to a divine right, according to the Holy Scrip
steering the spiritual vessel of the Church; thus, Beza on this place, says he declares the order of Presbyters, who are keepers of discipline and church polity. For how improperly should these, or any officers be styled Governments in the Church, if they had not a power of government in the Church settled upon them? Nor can this be interpreted of the civil magistrate; for, when the Apostle wrote this, the Church had her government, when yet she had no civil magistrate to protect her; and when did God ever take this power from the Church and settle it upon the civil magistrate? Besides, all the other officers here enumerated are purely ecclesiastical officers; how groundless then and inconsistent is it under this name of Governments to introduce a foreign power, viz. the political magistrate, into the list and roll of mere church officers? Finally, the civil magistrate, as a magistrate, is not so much as a member of the visible Church, (for then all Pagan magistrates should be members of the Church,) much less a governor in the Church of Christ. 5. That this government settled in the Church is of divine right; for, of those Governments, as well as of Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers, it is said, God hath set them in the Church. God hath set them, hath put, set—Tremellius out of the Syriac. Hath constituted, ordained—Beza out of the Greek. Now, if they be set in the Church and God hath set them there, here is a plain divine right for government in the Church.
Add hereto, 2 Cor. x. 8, "Of our authority, which the Lord hath given to us for the edification, and not for the destruction of you." Here are mentioned—1. Church power or authority for government in the Church. 2. The end of this power—positively, for the edification; negatively, not for the destruction of the Church. 3. The Author or Fountain of this authority—the Lord Christ hath given it, dispensed it; there is the divine right. 4. The proper subjects intrusted with this authority, viz: the church guides, our authority, which he hath given to us. They are the receptacle of power for the Church, and the government thereof. Compare also 1 Thes. v. 12, Matth. xvi. 19, 20, with xviii. 11, and John xx. 21, 22, 23. In which and divers like places the divine right of church government is apparently vouched by the Scripture, as will hereafter more fully appear; but this may suffice in general for the confirmation of this general proposition.