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true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth...... behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.
The administration of discipline consists, first, in receiving and treating with gentleness the weak or lapsed members of the church. Rom. xiv. 1. him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. Gal. vi. 1. brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Matt. ix. 16. no man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. John xvi. 12. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 1 Thess. v. 14. comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak. Jude 22, 23. of some have compassion, making a difference. It was for the sake of such that those temporary decrees were made, Acts xv. For similar reasons Paul circumcised Timothy, xvi. 3. and purified himself in the temple, xxi. 26.
Secondly, in composing differences between the brethren, Matt. xviii. 17. if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church.
Thirdly, in admonishing or openly rebuking grievous offenders. 1 Tim. v. 20. them that sin rebuke before all. Tit. iii. 10. a man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition reject. 1 Cor. iv. 21. shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness? 2 Cor. ii. 6. sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 1 Thess. v. 14. warn them that are unruly. 1 Tim. v. 1. rebuke not an elder. 3 John 10. if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth.
Fourthly, in separating the disobedient from the communion of the church. Rom. xvi. 17. I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them. 1 Cor. v. 11. with such an one no not to eat. 2 Thess. iii. 6. we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. v. 14. if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 2 John 10, 11. if there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds. Rev. ii. 14. I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam.
Or even, lastly, in ejecting them from the church;” not however for their destruction, but rather for their preservation, if so they may be induced to repent; as was done in the ancient synagogue, John ix. 22, 34. xii. 42. Matt. xviii. 17. if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 1 Cor. v. 5. deliver such an one unto Satan (that is, give him over again to the world, which, as being out of the pale of the church, is the kingdom of Satan) for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 2 Cor. ii. 7, 8. so that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such an one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. xiii. 10. therefore I write these things, being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. 2 Thess. iii. 15. yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 1 Tim. i. 20. whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. Rev. ii. 2. I know thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil.
* ‘Quos ecclesiae est e coetu fidelium ejicere, non magistratuum e civitate pellere, siquidem in leges civiles non peccant.” Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio. Prose Works, V. 47. The various degrees of church censure, its design, and its effects, are described in a most eloquent passage of the treatise on Church Government, &c. I. 140–142. Compare also p. 53, 54. Qf Reformation in England.
There are some, however, who may justly be considered irrecoverable. I Cor. xvi. 22. if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maran-atha; by which form of words an incurable sinner is abandoned to the dreadful judgement of the Lord at his final advent. I John v. 16. there is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it.
The civil power differs from the ecclesiastical in the following respects. First, every man is subject to the civil power; that is to say, in matters properly civil. Rom. xiii. 1. let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. On the contrary, none but the members of the church are subject to ecclesiastical power, and that only in religious matters, with a liability to ecclesiastical punishment alone, that is, to punishment inflicted by their own body: Matt. xviii. 15, 16. if thy brother shall trespass against thee...... tell it unto the church; if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. John viii. 11. neither do I condemn thee. 1 Cor. v. 11–13. now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator.... with such an one no not to eat: jor what have I to do to judge also them that are without 2 Secondly, the civil power has dominion only over the body and external faculties of man; the ecclesiastical is exercised exclusively on the faculties of the mind, which acknowledge no other jurisdiction." Luke xii. 14. who made me a judge or a divider over you ? Acts v. 4. whiles it remained, was it not thine own 2 1 Cor. vi. 4. if then ye have judgements of things
* “Especially for that the church hath in her immediate cure those inner parts and affections of the mind, where the seat of reason is.” Reason of Church Government, &c. Prose Works, I. 79. “The magistrate hath only to deal with the outward part ... God hath committed this other office, of preserving in healthful constitution the inner man, to his spiritual deputy, the minister of each congregation,’ &c. Ibid. 134. ‘Christ hath a government of his own .... It deals only with the inward man and his actions, which are all spiritual, and to outward force not liable.' Treatise of Civil Poner in Ecclesiastical Causes, III. 331.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - this attracts the soul,
Governs the inner man, the nobler part;
pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 2 Cor. x. 3, 4, though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal—. James iv. 12. there is one lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another ? Nay, we are expressly enjoined not to suffer ourselves to be governed by the commandments of men in matters of religion. 1 Cor. vii. 23. ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Thirdly, the civil power punishes even such as confess their faults; the ecclesiastical, on the contrary, pardons all who are penitent. John viii. 7. when they continued asking him, he lifted up him
self, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
The power of the church against those who despise her discipline is exceedingly great and extensive. 2 Cor. x. 4, &c. the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience.
It is therefore highly derogatory to the power of the church, as well as an utter want of faith, to suppose that her government cannot
be properly administered without the intervention of the civil magistrate.
C. H. A. P. XXXIII.
THE GENERAL CONFLAGRATION.
In the twenty-fifth chapter I treated of that IMPERFECT GLORIFICAtion to which believers attain in this life. I now proceed to consider, lastly, that PERFECT GloriFIcATION which is effected in eternity.
Before the law this was typified by the translation of Enoch, Gen. v. 24. as it was under the law by that of Elijah, 2 Kings ii. 11.
Its fulfilment and consummation will commence from the period of Christ's second coming to judgement, and the resurrection of the dead. Luke xxi. 28. when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh. 2 Thess. i. 7, to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed Jrom heaven.
THE coming of THE LORD to JUDGEMENT, when he shall judge the world with his holy angels, was predicted, first, by Enoch and the