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will be of one side, and some of another, when they forsake the terms of Christ.
8. Yet if the pastor shall see cause upon suspicion of hypocrisy, 'ad melius esse,' to put divers questions to one man more than to another, and to desire further satisfaction, the catechumens ought in conscience to answer him, and endeavour his satisfaction. For a minister is not tied up to speak only such or such words to the penitent; and he that should say, 'I will answer you no further than to repeat the Creed,' doth give a man reason to suppose him either ignorant or proud, and to suspend the reception of him, though not to deny it. But still ad esse' no terms must be imposed as necessary on the church, but what the Holy Ghost by the apostles hath established.
Quest. xvi. What is necessary to a man's reception into mem
bership in a particular church, over and above his aforesaid title? Whether any other trials, or covenant, or what?
1. A particular church is a regular part of the universal, as a city of a kingdom, or a troop of an army.
2. Every man that is a member of the particular church, is a member of the universal ; but every one that is a member of the universal church, is not a member of a particular.
3. Every particular church hath its own particular pastor (one or more), and its own particular place or bounds of habitation or residence; therefore he that will be a member of a particular church, 1. Must co-habit, or live in a proximity capable of communion. 2. And must consent to be a member of that particular church, and to be under the guidance of its particular pastor, in their office work. For he cannot be made a member without his own consent and will; nor can he be a member, that subjecteth not himself to the governor or guide.
4. He therefore that will intrude into their communion and privileges without expressing his consent beforehand to be a member, and to submit to the pastoral oversight, is to be taken for an invader.
5. But no other personal qualification is to be exacted from him as necessary, but that he be a member of the church universal. As he is not to be baptized again, so neither to give again all that account of his faith and repentance particularly which he gave at baptism; much less any higher proofs of his sincerity ; but if he continue in the covenant and church-state which he was baptized into, he is capable thereby of reception into any particular church upon particular consent. Nor is there any Scripture proof of any new examinations about their conversion or sincerity, at their removals or entrance into a particular church.
6. But yet because he is not now looked on only as a covenant-maker, as he was at baptism, but also as a cove- nant-keeper or performer, therefore if any can prove that he is false to his baptismal covenant, by apostacy, heresy, or a wicked life, he is to be refused till he be absolved upon his renewed repentance.
7. He that oft professeth to repent, and by oft revolting into mortal sin, (that is, sin which sheweth a state of death,) doth shew that he was not sincere, must afterward shew his repentance by actual amendment, before he can say, it is his due to be believed.
8. Whether you will call this consent to particular church relation and duty, by the name of a covenant or not, is but ‘lis de nomine :' it is more than mutual consent that is necessary to be expressed: and mutual consent expressed may be called a covenant. : 9. ' Ad melius esse,' the more express the consent or covenant is, the better: for in so great matters men should know what they do, and deal above board : especially when experience telleth us, that ignorance and imagery is ready to eat out the heart of religion in almost all the churches in the world. But yet ad esse' churches must see that they feign or make no more covenants necessary than God hath made; because human, unnecessary inventions have so long distracted and laid waste the churches of Christ.
10. The pastor's consent must concur with the persons to be received: for it must be mutual consent: and as none can be a member, so none may be a pastor against his will *. And though he be under Christ's laws what persons to receive, and is not arbitrary to do what he list, yet he is the guide of the church, and the discerner of his own duty. And a pastor may have reasons to refuse to take a man into
* Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. Heb. xiii 7. 17. 1 Thess. v. 12, 13. 1 Tim. v. 17.
his particular charge, without rejecting him as unworthy. Perhaps he may already have more in number than he can well take care of. And other such reasons may fall out.
11. In those countries where the magistrate's laws and common consent, do take every unqualified person for a member of that church where his habitation is, (called a parish,) and to which he ordinarily resorteth, the pastor that undertaketh that charge, doth thereby seem to consent to be pastor to all such persons in that parish. And there cohabitation and ordinary conjunction with the church, may go for a signification of consent, and instead of more particular contract or covenant, by virtue of the exposition of the said laws and customs. Yet so, that a man is not therefore to be taken for a member of the church, merely because he liveth in the parish; for so atheists, infidels, heretics and papists may do: but because he is, 1. A parishioner, 2. Qualified, 3. Joining with the church, and actually submitting to the ministry.
12. Where there is this much only, it is a sinful slander to say that such a parish is no true church of Christ; however there may be many desirable orders wanting to its better being. Who hath the power of trying and receiving we shall shew anon.
Quest. xvii. Wherein doth the ministerial office essentially
consist ? ,
The office of the sacred ministry is a mixed relation, (not a simple y). I. As the minister is related to Christ he is his servant or minister by office: that is, one commissioned by him for that sacred work: where there is, 1. The commission itself, (which is not particular, but general, in a general law, applicable to each singular person when qualified). 2. The determination of the individual person who is to receive it: which consisteth in the call, which I have opened before and therefore repeat not. Only note again, 1. That by virtue of the general commission or institution of the office in specie, the power is conveyed from Christ to the individual person, and that the church (electors or ordainers) are not the donors, authorizers, or obligers, but only instru
y John xx. 21. xiii. 20. Luke x. 3. Rom. X. 15. Acts xx. 28.
ments of designing an apt recipient, and delivering him possession. 2. That by virtue of this institution, charter, or law commission, it is that the acts of a man seemingly or visibly called, are valid to the church, though really he were not ordained or truly called, but deceived them by hypocritical intrusion?.
2. The causation or efficiency of Christ in the making any one a minister, is, 1. Dispositive, making him a qualified, fit recipient; 2. Then applying the general commission to him, or giving him the function itself a.
1. The dispositive acts of Christ are, l. Giving him competent knowledge for a minister. 2. Giving him competent goodness; that is, love to God, truth, and souls, and willingness for the work. 3. Giving him competent power and abilities for execution, which is principally in utterance; and so qualifying his intellect, will, and executive power b.
2. The immediate conveyance or act of collation, is, 1. An obligation laid on the person to do the work. 2. Authority given him to warrant him, and to oblige others : that is; a “jus docendi, gubernandi,' &c.
3. The form of the relation is denominated, 1. From the reception of these efficiencies in general. 2. From the subordination which hereby they are placed in to Christ, as their relation is denominated ' à termino.'
1. Formally the office consisteth in, l. An obligation to do the work of the office. 2. Authority to do it, and to oblige others to submit to it.
2. These make up an office which being denominated also from the terminus,' is considered, 1. As to the nearest term, which is the work to be done. 2. The remote, which is the object of that work.
The work is 1. Teaching : 2. Ruling: 3. Worshipping”. And so it is essentially · An obligation and power of ministerial teaching, ruling, and worshipping God.'
2. As to the object it is, 1. The world to be converted. à con ship resulte
2 Phil. i. 15–17. Matt. vii. 22. Rom. xv. 14.
a Eph. iv, 7, 8. 2 Tim. ii. 2. i. 5. 7. Eph. vi. 19. Col. iv, 3. i. 4,5.
b Tit. i. 2. 2 Cor. iji. 6. 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2. Tit. i.7.
2. The converted to be baptized, and congregated or ordered into particular societies, (so far as may be). 3. The baptized and congregate to be, (1.) Taught; (2.) Ruled; (3.) Guided in worship d.
From all which resulteth an office which is ministerially subordinate to Christ, 1. The prophet or teacher; 2. The Ruler; 3. The Highpriest and Lover of his church : and it may be aptly called both a teaching ministry, a ruling ministry, (not by the sword, but by the Word,) and a priesthood or priestly ministry.
II. As the pastor is related to the church, he is, 1. A constitutive part of particular political churches. 2. He is Christ's minister for the church and for Christ; that is, to teach, rule, and worship with the church. He is above the church, and greater than it, as to order and power, and not the minister of the church as the efficient of the ministry: but he is less and worse than the church finally and materially; and is finally the church's minister, as the physician is the patient's physician; not made a physician by him, but chosen and used as his physician for his cure: so that to speak properly, he is not from them, but for them. He is Christ's minister for their good; as the shepherd is his master's servant, for his flock, and so finally only the servant of the sheep f.
The whole uncontrovertible work of the office is laid down in my small book called “ Universal Concord,” to which I must refer you.
Quest. xviii. Whether the people's choice or consent is neces
sary to the office of a minister in his first work, as he is to convert infidels, and baptize them? And whether this be a work of office? And what call is necessary to it?
I conjoin these three distinct questions for expedition.
I. That it is part of the minister's office-work to teach, convert, and baptize men, to bring them out of the world into the church, is undeniable; 1. In Christ's express commission, Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. “ Go disciple me all nations, baptizing them—” 2. In the execution of this commission.
Heb. xiii. 7. 17. Acts vi. 4. ix. 40. xx. 36. Mal. ii. 7. Heb. x. 11. e Rev. j. 6. v. 10. xx. 6. 1 Pet, ji. 5, 6.
f Ron, i. 1. Col. iv. 12. 2 Pet. xi. 1.' 1 Cor. iv, 1, 2. iii. j. 2 Cor. iii. 6. vi. 4. xi. 23. Matt. xxiv. 45, 46. 48. 1 Cor. ix, 19.