Monday, March 06, 2017

Customs of Primitive Churches, Office of Minister, continued

Customs of Primitive Churches, the Office of Minister, continued

6. To read the scripture, viz. in public; As his custom was, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read, Luk. iv. 16-19. Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, and after reading &c. Act. xiii. 14-15, 27, ch. xv. 21. When this epistle is read among you cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea, Col. iv. 16. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren, I Thes. v. 27.
7. To preach; But we will give ourselves continually to the ministry of the church &c. Act. vi. 4. Or ministry, let us wait on our ministry, Rom xii. 7-8. Go, preach the gospel, &c. Mar. xvi. 16. How can they hear without a preacher? Rom. x. 14.
8. To break bread; Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples; likewise also the cup, Math. xxvi. 26-27. On the first day of the week the disciples came together to break bread—and when Paul had broken bread &c. Act. xx. 7-11. And they continued daily in the apostles doctrine and breaking bread &c. Act. ii. 42.
9. To dismiss, and bless the people; While he sent the people away, &c. When he had sent the multitudes away, Math. xiv. 22-23. Else when thou shalt bless how shall he, that occupieth the room of the unlearned, say Amen? 1 Cor. xiv. 16. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, &c. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, on this wise shall ye bless the children of Israel, The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious to thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace, &c. Num. vi. 23-26.
10. To govern, viz. in conjunction with the ruling elders. The elders who rule well—especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1 Tim. v. 17. Remember them who have the rule over you, and have spoken to you the word of God, &c. Obey them who have the rule over you, &c. Heb. xiii. 7, 17.
11. To take into the church, viz. to admit members, and restore the excommunicated. See the manner under the propositions which relate to the subjects. I give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven Math. xvi. 19, xviii. 18. Ye that are spiritual [the ministers, 1 Cor. xiv. 37.] restore such a one, Gal. vi. 1. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive, 2 Cor. ii. 7, 10.
12. To bind or retain sin, viz. in a declarative way when the judgment of the church is obtained, Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, Math. xvi. 10. Whatsover ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, ch. xviii. 18. Whoseovers sins ye retain, they are retained, Joh. xx. 23.
13. To admonish, viz. in public, and in an official way, towards recovering the sinner, or make way for his excommunication. See this exemplified under the proposition which relates to the subject. Them that are over you in the Lord, and admonish you, 1 Thes. v. 12. Them that sin rebuke before all, 1 Tim. v. 20. After the first and second admonition, reject, 1 Tim. iii. 10.
14. To cast out of the church or excommunicate. See the manner under the proposition that concerns the matter. Whom I have delivered to Satan, 1 Tim. 1, 20. I, present in spirit, have judged &c. Ye, with my spirit, deliver such a one to Satan, 1 Cor. v. 3-5. Whose deeds I will remember, 3 Joh. 10. Peter said, thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, Act. viii. 20-21.
15. To loose or remit sin, viz. (1) The sin of the penitent excommunicate, (2) Of the penitent sick. See the manner under the propositions which treat of the subjects. Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, Math. xvi. 19. xviii. 18. Whosoevers sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, Joh. xx. 23. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive in the person of Christ, 2 Cor. ii. 7, 10. Let the sick send for the elders of the church—and if he have committed sin, it shall be forgiven, Jam. v. 14, 16.
16. To lay on hands, viz. (1) On persons baptized, They were baptized both men and women &c. Peter and John laid hands on them, Act. viii. 12, 17. They were baptized, and when Paul had laid his hands on them, Act. xix. 5-6. (2) On persons ordained to offices, whom they set before the apostles, and when they had laid their hands upon them, Act. vi. 6. And when [the prophets and teachers] had laid their hands on Paul and Barnabas, Act. xiii. 3. The gift that is in thee by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery, &c. The laying on of my hands, 1 Tim. iv. 14. 2 Tim. i. 6. Lay hands suddenly on no man, 1 Tim. v. 22. (3) On children when the minister blesseth, prays for, and names them, There were brought unto him little children that he should put his hands on them, &c. He took them up in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them, &c. Math. xix. 13-15. Luk. xviii. 15-17.
17. To baptize; Go, and teach all nations, baptizing them, Math. xxviii. 19. John did baptize, &c. Joh. iv. 1-2. And he [Philip the evangelist] baptized the eunuch, &c. Act. viii. 38. I [Paul] baptized, 1 Cor. i. 14-16. Lay baptism is unscriptural.
18. To visit, viz., the flock, whether sick or well. This is implied in the title of bishop; whence the word bishoprick is sometimes translated visitation, Lu. xix. 44. 1 Pet. ii. 12. If any be sick let him send for the elders of the church, Jam. v. 14. Pure religion and undefiled is—to visit the fatherless and widow in their afflictions, Jam. i. 27. Paul said unto Barnabas, let us go and visit the brethren where we have preached and see how they do, Act. xv. 36. I have taught you from house to house, Act. xx. 20. When ye come to a house salute it, Math. x. 12. Ye have not visited the flock, Jer. xxiii. 2.
19. To give a good example in all things; In all things shew thyself a pattern of good works, Tit. ii. 7. Be thou an example to the believers in word, conversation, charity, spirit, faith and purity, 1 Tim. iv. 12. Being examples to the flock, 1 Pet. v. 3. Take the prophets for example, Jam. v. 10. As ye have us for example, Phil. iii. 17. 2 Thes. iii. 9. They that have spoken to you the word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation, Heb. xiii. 7. Be ye followers of me, as I am of Christ, 1 Cor. iv. 16.
20. To anoint the sic; Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, &c. Jam. v. 14-16. See the manner under the proposition, of anointing the sick.
21. To bury the dead; And it came to pass in those days that Dorcas was sick, and died, whom when they had washed, they laid in an upper room—And they sent two men to Peter desiring him that he would not delay to come unto them, &c. Act. ix. 37-38. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, Act. viii. 2.
22. To perform marriages; There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and both Jesus was called to the marriage, and his disciples, Joh. ii. 1-2. What therefore God hath joined together let no man put asunder, Math. xix. 6.
23. To catechize; Let him that is taught [Gr. that is catechized] communicate to him that teacheth [Gr. that catechiseth] in all good things. Gal. vi. 6.
24. To bless infants, name them, and lay hands on them, They there were brought unto him little children that he should put his hands on them and pray, &c. He took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them, &c. Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, &c. Math. xix. 13-16. Mar. x. 13-16. Luk. xviii. 15-17. [Zacharias the priest] said his name is John, Luk. i. 63.
25. To defend the faith; Knowing that I am set for the defence of the Gospel, Phil. i. 17. A bishop must be able to hold fast the faithful word to convince gainsayers &c. Tit. i. 9. This charge I commit to thee, son Timothy, hold the faith, &c. 1 Tim. i. 18. The same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others, 2 Tim. ii. 2. The priests lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts, Mal. ii. 7.
26. To assist at associations, ordinations, constituting churches &c. See Act. xv. Tit. i. 5. Act. viii. 14. ch. xi. 12, 22.

Customs of Primitive Churches, Morgan Edwards, 1768, pages 13-15

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