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cers: that, in general, it was absurd to elect a man without his having a peculiar province for exertion ; and that, though they did not deem reordination necessary on a new call, they could figure in their minds no strong objection to it. They agreed to imposition of hands, provided it conveyed no power of office. The Presbyterians carried the divine right in the assembly, the seven Independent divines entering a protest. On the question of synodical assemblies, the Presbyterians asserted that subordination is implied in the passage, Matt. xviii. 15, 16, 17, where there is a reference, first to several witnesses, and afterwards to the church at large: and in Acts, xv. 2, where the church of Antioch confesses the superior jurisdiction of the church of Jerusalem. But the Independents replied, that a synod of presbyters
is no where denominated a church; and that the re- ference of Antioch to Jerusalem was merely for ad
vice, not for judicial determination. The first church of Jerusalem was assembled in one place, consisting only of 120 members, Acts, i. 15; ii. 1; iv. 6. The members of this church were all, with one accord, in Solomon's porch, Acts, v. 12. It was the whole multitude of the disciples called together, that chose the deacons, Acts, vi. 2,5. At the return of Paul and Barnabas, the church was still in one place, Acts, xv. 4; and it was the Apostles, elders, and whole multitude, that sent these with other ministers to Antioch, From all this it is inferred, that in the primitive church, the election of the congregation was the 'call 'to the ministry, and that 'nb Vestige of classes and synods can be traced *. As the Jewish Sanhedrim was proposed as a model for the presbytery, Lightfoot, and other 'Hebraists inclined to the Independent principle; observing that the judges 'of inferior courts went to Jerusalem only for advice, and were not subject to the control of the Sanhedrim. Selden, at the head of the Erastians, disapproving of all spiritual jurisdiction, expounded the passage, Deuter. xvii. 12, as signi'fying, that he who would not yield obedience to the priest, should die by the sentence of the judge, in opposition to the Presbyterian doctrine, that the priest held one court, and the judge another.
The Presbyterians carried this point in the 'Assembly. The Independents dissenting, complained of the neglect of their remonstrances ; and 'still affirmed that the divine right of church government remained with each congregation. In the House of Commons, the Scotch commissioners, and the small party of their friends, were anxious to carry, by surprise, 'measures thus far success. ful; but the Erastians and Independents smoked this design, and Glyn speaking one hour, and Whitlock another, with studious prolixity against the jus divinum,' the house was filled in the mean time, and the clause'was' accordingly lost.
* Lightfoot's Rem. p. 17.
The commissioners, sorély vexed, stirred up pétitioners in their favourist.but every solicitation was disregarded:; jealousy/wasi sown between the Parliament and the city; and the high Presbyterian cause was ruinedui-im! Nomu to a.;
One last point remained for the discussion of the Assembly and Parliament:tnanely, excommunication, or what 'was termed the power of the keys.' Herejías in the former instances; the Presbyterians had triumphed in the Assemblý, büt the Erastiáns and Independents uniting their forcés, prepared for a trial of strength with them.in Parliament.': The Presbyterians affirmed thắt the key's of the kingdom of heaven had been com mitted by Christ to officers of the church: and they consequently laid daim to the power of excommunication, not soliciting it as a boon from the favour of the legislature, but demanding it jure divino." The Independents claimed à like jus divi num for the whole brotherhood in each particular congregation; though without the sanction of civil penalties: while the Erastians insisted on laying the communion entirely open; and referring all crimes solely to the civil magistratë. Saiba. " Selden exhibited his stores of theological know* ledge, as chief advocate of the Erastian principles. He observed, that no law existed for 4000 years, suspending any persons from religious exercises. Pagans, it is true, were prohibited from eating the passover ; but these were of a different religion: VOL. II.
the present question related to excluding Protestants from the communion. No man ought to be banished from it by sin ; all :are sinners more or less : and public sins: ought not to be more thể objects of human punishment than private ones. The Dic Ecclesiæ in St. Matthew related to the courts of law, at that time sitting in Jerusalem. Excommunication was first introduced, 200 years after Christ, by Popes Victor and Zephorinus, as an auxiliary in their private quarrels. Whitlock, on the same side, took a different view of the subject. , “ The power of excommunication,” said he, “is to be vested in every parish, in the hands of a pastor and seyeral ruling elders. Now the office of a pastor is to feed his sheeps but the exercise of this power is to excludepthem from food. : Drinkye all of the cup,' said Christ to his Apostles, though Judas the 'traitor was at that time one of the company. - As to the eating and drinking unworthily, it is the unworthiness, not the eating and drinking, which condemns, and the judgment of this is not in the ministerijbut in the sinner himself. But with these pastors it was proposed that ruling elders should be conjoined in the church government of every parish. I Now elders amongst the ancient Jews signified inen of the chief power and dignity; 'hence alsó, in several countries, senators, aldermen, seigniors. But the power of excommunication is exceedingly great; and it is doubtful whether, in obscure parishes, age
alone would confer a competent measure of judginent for its exercise. The two grounds of exclusion would be ignorance and scandalous offences. But it was possible that what would be pronounced ignorance or scandal in one parish, might be held as no ground of exclusion in another. Besides, why cut men off from communion ? they ought to be the rather retained and improved. A man may be a good physician who never amputates á limb. Here, in short, you are about to raise up an ecclesiastical judicatory in every parish, when all the while the civil power is amply sufficient to correct the evil *.”
* It may be expedient in a state to keep ecclesiastics in check, by granting an appeal to the civil tribunals. But the Erastian argument denied the propriety of vesting any power of church censure in the hands of the clergy; and indeed, it would appear, even of the civil powers. Their arguments however were quibbling and inconclusive. How would they surmount or explain the Anathema-Maranatha, of 1 Cor. xvi. 22; or the order to deliver the incestuous person unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord, 1 Cor. v. 5; or the-" let him be unto you a sa heathen man and a publican," of Matt. xviii. 17; or the-- have no company with the disorderly," of 2 Thess. iii. 6-14? That all men are sinners, is true : but Selden forgot the distinction betwixt habitual, scandalous, deliberate, presumptuous, unrepented sins; and trespasses of surprise and infirmity, not causing offence to the community, deeply deplored, and earnestly struggled with..
To Whitlock it might be replied, that various circumstances in the offence of Judas render it po fair criterion ; that guilt is certainly unworthiness, yet is aggravated by the daring ttia