When Godly Ministers Lack Righteous Judgment

Men may be very straight and tender in the work of God, and bold in reference to suffering; and yet faint and be defective in the prosecuting of church censures against erroneous men. This appears both from this epistle and that which follows, where their particular condition and public carriage in other things is exceedingly commended; yet is there a “notwithstanding” in both in reference to this. If it be asked: What can be the reason that honest, tender, and zealous men should be so often defective in this, who yet may be zealous and fervent against scandalous practices? Answer. These reasons may be given.… Read More When Godly Ministers Lack Righteous Judgment

Episcopacy Refuted: Historical Arguments

John Dick (1764–1833)Lectures on TheologyVol. 2, excerpt from Lecture XCVIII. I concluded the last lecture by observing that Episcopalians appeal to antiquity in favour of their scheme of ecclesiastical government. Many of them have too much wisdom to think that any decisive argument can be drawn from the Scriptures, and they therefore have recourse to… Read More Episcopacy Refuted: Historical Arguments

Episcopacy Refuted: Scriptural Arguments

John Dick (1764–1833)Lectures on TheologyVol. 2, excerpt from Lecture XCVII. In the Church of England, there are three ecclesiastical orders,—Deacons, Priests, and Bishops. The lowest is the order of Deacons, whose office it is to baptize, to read the Scriptures, homilies, and prayers to the people, to assist the Priests in the distribution of the… Read More Episcopacy Refuted: Scriptural Arguments

The Discretionary Power of the Church | Willem Apollonius

William Apollonius (1602-1657)A Consideration of Certain Controversies (1644), pp. 130-143. Whether it be lawful for churches to prescribe to themselves constituted laws and forms, and certain canons, by ecclesiastical authority, wherein articles of faith, and things necessarily required by God for the government and discipline of the churches, are out of the holy Scriptures ex­pounded… Read More The Discretionary Power of the Church | Willem Apollonius

Synodal Authority Proven From Scripture | Willem Apollonius

William Apollonius (1602-1657)A Consideration of Certain Controversies (1644)VI. Of Classes, and Synods, and their Authority, pp. 90-130. Question 1. Whether Classes and Synods have an authoritative power, whereby they may authoritatively judge causes ecclesiastical, with ecclesiastical jurisdiction; so as that particular Churches ought to submit them­selves to their decrees, under the penalty of ecclesiastical censure? We judge… Read More Synodal Authority Proven From Scripture | Willem Apollonius

Private Men May Not Preach | Willem Apollonius

Question: Whether the exercise of preaching is a perpetual institution in the Church of God, whereby private men who bear no church office, may, for the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit, publicly before the whole body of the church preach the Word of God with all authority in the name of God, and ex­plain and apply it, for instruction, confutation, reprehension, and consolation of the hearers?… Read More Private Men May Not Preach | Willem Apollonius

Of Ecclesiastical Power | Willem Apollonius

Whether the ecclesiastical power, or power of the keys, be given by Christ to the multitude or all the members of a church as the first and immediate subject: so as believers not bearing any church office may by themselves immediately exercise all ecclesiastical jurisdiction, discipline, and causes ecclesiastical, save only the Sacraments. And consequently, whether private Christians being church members have such an ecclesiastical power as that they may authoritatively admit church members to ecclesiastical communion, reprove by ecclesiastical authority such as commit offences, bind by excommunication and church censures, absolve from excommunication, and authoritatively remit sins? Whether to them also belongeth the conferring the power of the keys on the Ministers and Pastors of the Church, and that power which giveth to the Ministers an ecclesiastical office; and consequently, the examination of Pastors, the sending unto and confirming them in that church office by imposition of hands, and again authoritative suspending and removing Pastors from that function?… Read More Of Ecclesiastical Power | Willem Apollonius

The Church as an Institution | Willem Apollonius

Whether no other external visible church be described in Scripture, and acknowledged by the Word of God, but a parochial or particular church: which is confi­ned to such limits, as that of necessity it must be such as may be contained, and ought to meet, ordinarily in one place, for the celebra­ting of God’s public worship, and all the or­dinances of God with mutual edification: so that the constitution of such a church, which by reason of their multitude, or some other cause, cannot in all their members meet ordi­narily in one place for the celebration of the worship of God and exercise of all God’s ordi­nances, is unlawful and repugnant to the Word of God and the Apostles institutions concerning the constitution of a church de­scribed in the holy Scripture?… Read More The Church as an Institution | Willem Apollonius

How To Combat False Teachers

It is a judicial action of the church, consisting in two things here noted: first, in examination of false doctrine and false teachers; secondly, in condemnation afterward. The examination of them is set down in these words: “and hast examined them that say they are apostles, and are not” (Rev. 2:2); and their condemning or sentence giving in the words following, “and has found them liars” (Rev. 2:2).… Read More How To Combat False Teachers

Keys of the Kingdom: Congregationalism or Presbyterianism?

Jus Divinum Regiminis Ecclesiastici The Divine Right of Church Government Chapter 10 That the community of the faithful, or body of the people, are not the immediate subject of the power of Church government. Thus we see, that Jesus Christ our Mediator did not commit any proper formal ecclesiastical power for church government to the… Read More Keys of the Kingdom: Congregationalism or Presbyterianism?