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III. Church cenfures are neceffary 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 profeffion of the gospel, and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the church, if they should fuffer his covenant, and the feals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obftinate offenders c...
IV. For the better attaining of thefe ends, the officers of the church are to proceed by admonition, fufpenfion from the facrament of the Lord's fupper for a season, and by excomunication from the church, according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the perfon d.
they are remitted unto them: and whofe foever fins ye retain, they are retained. 2.Cor. ii. 6. Sufficient to fuchaman is this punifhment, which was inflicted of many. v. 7. So that contrariwife, ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, left perhaps fuch a one should be fwallowed up with overmuch forrow. v. 8. Wherefore I beseech you, that you would confirm your love towards him.
III. (1 Cor.v.ch, throughout.) 1 Tim. v. 20. Them that fin, rebuke before all, that others alfo may fear. Mat. vii. 6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither caft you your pearls before fwine, left they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rent you. 1 Tim. i. 20. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blafpheme. (1 Cor. xi. 27. to the end.) With Jude 23. And others fave with fear, pulling then out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted by the flesh.
IV. 41 Theff. v. 12. And we be
feech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. 2 Theff. iii. 6. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jefus Chrift, that ye withdraw yourfelyes from every brother that walketh diforderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. v. 14. And if any man obey not our word by this epiitle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be afhamed. v. 15. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a bro ther. 1 Cor. v. 4. In the name of our Lord Jefus Chrift, when ye are gathered together, and my fpirit, with the power of our Lord Jeius Christ, v. 5. To deliver fuch an one unto Satan for the deftruction of the fleft; that the spirit may be faved in the day of the Lord Jesus. v. 13. But them that are without, God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked perfon. Mat. xviii. 17. And if he thall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear
CHAP. XXXI. Of Synods and Councils.
OR the better government and further edification of the church, there ought to be fuch affemblies as are commonly called fynods or councils a.
II. As magiftrates may lawfully call a fynod of minifters and other fit perfons, to confult and advife with about matters of religion b: fo, if magiftrates be open enemies to the church, the minifters of Chrift, of themselves, by virtue of their office; or they, with other fit perfons upon delegation from their churches, may meet together in fuch affemblies ċ. III. It For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honefty. (2 Chron. xix. 8. to the end.) (2 Chron. xxix. and xxx. chapters throughout.) Mat. ii. 4. And when he had gathered all the chief pries and feribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. v. 5. And they faid unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea : for thus it is written by the prophet. Prov. xi. 14. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is fafety.
c Acts xv. 2, 4. (See in letter a.) v. 22. Then pleafed it the apoftles and elders, with the whole church, to fend chofen men of their own company to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas firnamed Barfabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren. v. 23. And wrote letters by them after this manner, The apostles, and elders, and brethren fend greeting unto the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. v. 25. It feemed good unto us, being affembled with one accord, to fend chofen men unto you with our be
the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Tit. jii. 10. A man that is an heretick, after the first and second admonition, reject.
I. a Acts xv. 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small diffention and difputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, fhould go up to Jerufalem unto the apolles and elders about this queftion. v. 4. And when they were come to Jerufalem, they were received of the church, and of the apoftles and elders; and they declared all things that God had done with them. v. 6. And the apoftles and elders came together for to confider of this matter.
II. Ifa. xlix. 23. And kings fhall be thy nurfing fathers, and their queens thy nurfing mothers: they fhall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the duft of their feet, and thou fhalt know that I am the Lord: for they fhall not be afhamed that wait for me. 1 Tim. ii. 1. I exhort therefore, that first of all, fupplications, prayers, interceffions, and giving of thanks be made for all men: v. 2.
III. It belongeth to fynods and councils, minifterially to determine controverfies of faith, and cafes of conscience; to fet down rules and directions for the better ordering of the publick worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cafes of mal-administration, and authoritatively to determine the fame: which decrees and determinations, if confonant to the word of God, are to be received with reverence and fubmiffion, not only for their agreement with the word, but alfo 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 apoftles times, whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred: therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith or practice, 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 cafes extraordinary; or by way of advice Father who is in heaven. v. 20. For' where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
IV. Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jefus Chrift himself being the chief corner-flone. Acts' xvii. 11. These were more noble than thofe in Theffalonica, in that they received the word with all readinefs of mind, and fearched the fcriptures daily, whether thofe things were fo. 1 Cor. ii. 5. That your faith fhould not stand in the' wifdom of men, but in the power of God. 2 Cor. i. 24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy; for by faith ye ftand.
loved Barnabas and Paul.
III. d Acts xv. 15, 19, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. (See in the Bible.) Acts xvi. 4. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apoftles and elders who were at Jerufalem. Mat. xviii. 17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. v. 18. Verily I fay unto you, Whatsoever ye fhall bind on earth, fhall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye fhall loose on earth, fhall be loofed in heaven. v. 19. Again I fay unto you, that if two of you fhall agree on earth as touching any thing that they fhall afk, it shall be done for them of my
advice for fatisfaction of confcience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magiftrate f.
CHAP. XXXII. Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Refurrection of the Dead.
HE bodies of men, after death return to duft, and fee corruption a; but their fouls (which neither die nor fleep) having an immortal fubfiftence, immediately return to God who gave them b. The fouls 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 fouls of the wicked are caft into hell, where they remain in forments and utter darkness, referved to the judgment of the great paradife. Eccl. xii. 7. Then fhall the duft return to the earth as it was: and the spirit fhall return un to God who gave it..
Heb. xii. 23. To the general affembly, and church of the firstborn which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the fpirits of jutt men made perfect. 2 Cor. v. 1. For we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernaclè were diffolved, we have a building of God, an houfe not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. v. 6. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are abfent from the Lord. v. 8. We are con fident, I fay, and willing rather to be abfent from the body, and to be prefent with the Lord. Phil. i. 23. For I am in a ftrait betwixt two, having a defire to depart, and to be with Chrift; which is far better. With Acts iii. 21. Whom the heaven muit receive, until the times of
V.f Luke xii. 13. And one of the company faid unto him, Mafter, fpeak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. v. 14. And he faid unto him, Man, who made me a judge, or a divider over you? John xviii. 36. Jefus anfwered, Mykingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my fervants fight, that I fhould not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
I. a Gen. iii. 19. In the fweat of thy face fhalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for duft thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return. Acts xiii. 36. For David, after he had ferved his own generation by the will of God, fell on fleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and faw corruption.
b Luke xxiii. 43. And Jefus faid unto him, Verily I fay unto thee, To day fhalt thou be with me in
great day d. Befides thefe two places for fouls feparated from their bodies, the fcripture acknowledgeth none.
II. At the last day, fuch as are found alive shall not die, but be changed e: and all the dead fhall be raised up with the felf-fame bodies, and none other, altho' with different quali ties, which fhall be united again to their fouls for ever f.
III. The bodies of the unjust fhall by the power of Christ be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just by his Spirit unto honour, and be made comformable unto his own glorious body g.
reftitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, fince the world began. And Eph. iv. 10. He that deicended, is the fame alfo that afcended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.
Luke xvi. 23. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and feeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bofom. y. 24. And he cried, and faid, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and fend Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Acts i. 25. That he may take part of this miniftry and apostlefhip, from which Judas by tranfgreffion fell, that he might go to his own place. Jude 6. And the angels who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath referved in everlafting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. v. 7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are fet forth for an example, fuffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 1 Pet. iii. 19. By which alfo he went and preached unto the fpirits in prifon.
CHAP. II. 1 Theff. iv. 17. Then we who are alive and remain, fhall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the lord in the air: and f fhall we ever be with the Lord. I Cor. xv. 51. Behold, I fhew you a mystery; we shall not all fleep, but we thall all be changed, v. 52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet fhall found, and the dead fhall be raifed incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
f Job xix. 26. And though after my fkin, worms deftroy this body, yet in my flefh fhall I fee God. v. 27. Whom I fhall fee for myself, and mine eyes fhall behold, and not another; though my reins be confumed within me. I Cor. xv. 42. So alfo is the resurrection of the dead. It is fown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: v. 43. It is fown in difhonour, it is raised in glory; it is fown in weakness, it is railed in pow. er: v. 44. It is fown a natural body, it is raised a fpiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a fpiritual body.
III.g Acts xxiv. 15. And have hope towards God, which they themfelves alfo allow, that there fhall be a refurrection of the dead, both of the juft and unjust. John. v. 28. L 3 Marvel