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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 covenant-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
* M»lt xxviii.19, 80. Heb. xiii 7.17. 1 Thess. v. IS, 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, xvn. Wherein doth the ministerial office essentially consist?The office of the sacred ministry is a mixed relation, (not a simpley). 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 instrui John xx. 21. xiii. 20. Lukex. 3. Rom. x. 15. Acts xx. 88.
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 intrusion2.
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».
1. The dispositive acts of Christ are, 1. 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 powerb. 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 ' jusdocendi, 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 ' a termino.' 1. Formally the office consisteth in, 1. 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.
» Phil. i. 13—17. Malt. vii. 22. Rom. xv. 14.
« Eph. iv. 7, 8. 2 Tim. ii. 2. i.5. 7. Eph. vi. 19. Col. iv. 3. « Cor. 1.4,5.
i> Tit. i. 2. 2 Cor. iii. 6. 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2. Tit. i.7.
* 2 Tim. ii. 2. iii. 2. iv. 11. vi.2,3. 1 Thess. v. 12,13.
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 worshipd.
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 e.
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 sheepf. 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 necessary 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.
d Hcb. xiii. 7.17. Acts vi. 4. ix.40. xx. 36. Mal.ii. 7. Heb. x. 11. 'Rev.i.6. v. 10. jx.6. 1 Pet. ii. 5, 6.
'Rom. i. 1. Col. iv. 12. 2 Pet. xi. 1. 1 Cor. Iv. 1, 2. iii.J. 2Cor.iii. 6. vi. 4, xi. 23. Matt. xxiv. 45, 46. 48. 1 Cor. ix. 19. VOL. V. U
2. That this was not peculiar to the apostles or their age is proved, 1. Because not an extraordinary work, like miracles, &c. but the first great business of the Gospel and ministry in the world. 2. Because others as well as the apostles did it in that age, and ever since. 3. Because the promise is annexed to the office thus described " I am with you alway to the end of the world." Or if you translate it "age," it is the age of the church of the Messiah incarnate, which is all one. 4. Because it was a small part of theworld comparatively that heard the Gospel in the apostles' days. And the far greatest part of the world is without itat this day, when yet God our Saviour would have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5. Even where the Gospel hath long continued, for the most part there are many still that are in infidelity. And so great a work is not left without an appointed, suitable means for its performance. And if an office was necessary for it in the first age, it is not credible that it is left to private men's charity ever since. 6. Especially considering that private men are to be supposed insufficient; (1.) Because they are not educated purposely for it, but usually for something else. (2.) Because that they have other callings to take them up. (3.) Because they have no special obligation. And that which is no man's peculiar work, is usually left undone by all. II. The people's call or consent is not necessary to a minister's reception of his office in general, nor for this part of his work in special: but only to his pastoral relation to themselves. 1. It is so in other functions that are exercised by skill. The patients or people make not a man a physician or lawyer, but only choose what physician shall be their physician, and what lawyer shall be their counsellor. 2. If the people's call or consent be necessary, it is either the infidels or the churches. Not the infidels to whom he is to preach: for 1. He is authorized to preach to them (as the apostles were) before he goeth to them. 2. Their consent is but a natural consequent requisite for the reception and success of their teaching, but not to the authority which is prerequisite. 3. Infidels cannot do so much towards the making of a minister of Christ. 4. Else Christ would have few such ministers. 5. If it be infidels, either all or some? If some, why those rather than others? Or