Thursday, December 14, 2017

Knollys on Church

The quote below is written by 17th century London Baptist Hanserd Knollys on the subject of the church. It is interesting; though I am not sure I entirely comprehend his meaning.

[And send it unto the Seven Churches, which are in Asia, &c.] Those Seven Churches were planted by the Apostles in the Seven principal Cities in the Lesser Asia, here named, and hence each particular Church denominated, as appears in the Second and Third Chapters of this Book, in the exposition whereof, more will be spoken of this matter: All that I shall say in general touching these, (and other Churches of God mentioned in the holy Scripture) in this place is,
First, That each Church contained and comprehended, the whole number of them that believed in Jesus Christ, confessed the Faith of the Gospel, and walked in the Order and Ordinances of the Lord in one City and Suburbs thereof; and had the Denomination of that City, and was called the Church of God in that City. Search these Scriptures, Act. 8. 1. and 11. 22. also, I Cor. 1. 2. and 14. 34. likewise, Phil. 1. 1, 5. and I Thess. 1. 1.  Rev. 2. 1, 8, 12, 18. and Chap. 3. 1, 7, 14.
Secondly, Although the Church in any City, at the beginning and first Planting of it, was but one Congregation, and assembled themselves together in one place, Act. 2. 1. and 4. 31, and I Cor. 14. 23. yet when the number of the Disciples was multiplied, Act. 4. 32. and 6. 1, 2. and Multitudes both Men and Women were added to the Lord, and by the Lord to the Church, Act. 2. 41, 47. and 4. 4. and 5. 14. then the Church was necessitated, for the Edification of the Multitude, and great number of the Members thereof, to assemble themselves together in particular Congregations, and became distinct Companies, of whom we read Act. 4.19, 23. Peter and John had their own Company or Congregation, and so had Paul and Barnabas; and each Company or Congregation had their Elders and Deacons, Phil. 1. 1. and the denomination of the Church, I Cor. 16. 1. and are called Churches, I Cor. 16. 16. The Apostles Writing to the Saints in the Church of Corinth, said, Let your Women keep silence in the Churches, I Cor. 14. 34. and 2 Cor. 8. 24. Shew ye to them, and before the Churches, the proof of your Love.
Thirdly, Church is an Homogenial word,[i] As Water in the Sea, in a River, in a Well, and in a Spoon, is called Water; so the Assembly or Congregation of Sanctified Believers in the general Assembly, is called the Church, Heb. 12. 23. and the particular Assemblies or Congregations in an City is called the Church, I Cor. 1. 1, 2. so in any Village or Town, Rom. 16. 1. yea, in any House, Col. 4. 15.

[i] By “homogenial word” I believe Knollys simply means that the same word (church) is used whether talking about all believers (the general assembly), all believers meeting in a city, all believers meeting in a house, etc.

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