Chapter I--The Constitution of the Church, or Church Polity





I. Definition Of The Church.

(a) The church of Christ, in its largest signification, is the whole company of regenerate persons in all times and ages, in heaven and on earth. (Mat. 16: 18; Eph. 1 : 22, 23; 3 : 10; 5 : 24, 25; Col. 1 : 18; Heb. 12: 23). In this sense, the church is identical with the spiritual kiugdom of God; both signify that redeemed humanity in which God in Christ exercises actual spiritual dominion (John 3 : 3, 5).

Hit. 16:18—" Thoa art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it"; Eph. 1: 22, 23 — "and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all"; 3 :10 —" to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God "; 5 : 24, 25 —" But as the church is subject to Christ, so let ute wires also be to their husbands in every thing. Husbands, lore your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it"; Col. 1 :18 —" And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, tie firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence"; Heb. 12:23—"the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven"; John 3:3,5 —" Except a man be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God .... Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

Cicero's words apply here: "Una navls est jam bonorum omnium"— all good men are In one boat. Cicero speaks of the state, but it Is still more true of the church Invisible. Andrews, in Bib. Sac, Jan., 18K1: 54, mentions the following- differences between the church and the kingdom, or, as we prefer to say, between the visible church and the Invisible church: (1) the church began with Christ — the kingdom began earlier; (2) the church is confined to believers in the historic Christ — the kingdom includes all God's children; (31 the church belongs wholly to this world — not so the kingdom; (4) the church is vlsibk? —not so the kingdom; (5) the church has crwa^ri organic character, and leads out Into local churches —this is not so with the kingdom. On the universal or invisible church, see Cremer, Lexicon N. T„ transl., 113, 114, 331; Jacob, Eccl. Polity of N. T., 12.

(6) The Scriptures, however, distinguish between this invisible or universal church, and the individual church, in which the universal church takes local and temporal form, and in which the idea of the church as a whole is concretely exhibited.

Mat 10 : 32 —" Every one therefore, who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven"; 12 : 34, 35—"out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. The good man out of his good treasure brrageth forth good things"; Rom. 10 : 9,10—"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus is Lord, and shalt believe in thine hurt that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth ant* righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation "; James 1:18 —" Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that he should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures "—we are saved, not for ourselves only, but as parts and beginnings of an organic kingdom of God; believers are called "first-fruits," because from them the blessing shall spread, until the whole world shall be pervaded with the new life; Pentecost, as the feast of first-fruits, was but the beginning of a stream that shall continue to flow until the whole race of man is gathered in.

K. S. 8torrs: "When any truth becomes central and vital, there comes the desire to utter It"—and we may add, not only in words, but In organization. So beliefs crystallize Into Institutions. But Christian faith is something more vital than the common beliefs of the world. Linking the soul to Christ, it brings Christians into living fellowship with one another before any bonds of outward organization exist; outward organization, indeed, only expresses and symbolizes this inward union of spirit to Christ and to one another.

(c) The individual church may be defined as that smaller company of regenerate persons, who, in any given community, unite themselves voluntarily together, in accordance with Christ's laws, for the purpose of securing the complete establishment of his kingdom in themselves and in the world.

Mat. 18 :17—" And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican "; lets 14 : 23 —" appointed for them elders in every church "; Rom. 16 : 5 —" salute the church that is in their house "; 1 Cor. 1: 2 —" the church of God which is at Corinth "; 4 :17 —" even as I teach everywhere in every church "; 1 These. 2 :14 —" the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus,"

We do not define the church as a body of " baptized believers," because baptism is but one of "Christ's laws," in accordance with which believers unite themselves. Since these laws arc the laws of church-organization contained in the New Testament, no Temperance Society or Young Men's Christian Association is properly a church.

We may summarize these laws as follows: (1) the sufficiency and sole authority of Scripture as the rule both of doctrine and polity; (2) credible evidence of regeneration and conversion as prerequisite to church-membership; (3) immersion only, as answering to Christ's command of baptism, and to the symbolic meaning of the ordinance; (4) the order of the ordinances, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, as of divine appointment, as well as the ordinances themselves; (5) the right of each member of the church to a voice in its government and discipline; (6) each church, while holding fellowship with other churches, solely responsible to Christ; (7) the freedom of the individual conscience, and the total independence of church and state.

These are the essential principles of Baptist churches, although other bodies of Christians have come to recognize a portion of them. Bodies of Christians which refuse to accept these principles we may, in a somewhat loose and modified sense, call churches; but we cannot regard them as churches organized in all respects according to Christ's laws, or as completely answering to the New Testament model of church organization.

As Luther, having found the doctrine of justification by faith, could not recognize that doctrine as Christian which taught Justification by works, but denounced the church which held it as Antichrist, saying, "Here I stand: I cannot do otherwise, God help me," so we, in matters not indifferent, as feet-washing, but vitally affecting the existence of the church, as regenerate church-membership, must stand by the New Testament, and refuse to call any other body of Christians a regular church, that is not organized according to Christ's laws. The English word 'church,' like the Scotch 'kirk' and the German ' Kirche,' is derived from the Greek «upi«*ij, and means' belonging to the Lord.' The term itself should teach us to regard only Christ's laws as our rule of organization.

(d) Besides these two significations of the term 'church,' there are properly in the New Testament no others. The word inxfaioia is indeed used in Acts 7 : 38; 19 : 32, 39; Heb. 2 : 12, to designate a popular assembly; but since this is a secular use of the term, it does not here concern us. In certain passages, as for example Acts 9 : 31 (imAr/oia, sing., Nabo), 1 Cor. 12: 28, Phil. 3 : 6, and 1 Tim. 3 : 15, etnlr/ala appears to be used either as a generic or as a collective term, to denote simply the body of independent local churches existing in a given region or at a given epoch. But since there is no evidence that these churches were bound together in any outward organization, this use of the term imAr/ota cannot be regarded as adding any new sense to those of 'the universal church' and 'the local church' already mentioned.

acta 7 : 38 —" the church [ marg. 'oongregation ] in the wilderness -the whole body of the people of Israel; 19:32—"the assemblj was in confusion the tumultuous mob In the theatre at Ephesus; 39 " the regular assembly "; 9 : 31 —" So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samana had peaoe, being edited"; 1 Cor. 12 : 28—"and God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers"; Phil. 3:6 —"as touching seal, persecuting the church "; 1 Tim. 3:15—" that thou majest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

In the original use of the word «KxAipria, as a popular assembly, there was doubtless an allusion to the derivation from •< and «aMu, to call out, by herald. Some have held that the N. T. terra contains an allusion to the fact that the members of Christ's church are called, chosen, elected by God. This, however, is more than doubtful. In common use, the term had lost its etymological meaning, and signified merely an assembly, however gathered or summoned. The church was never so large that It could not assemble. The church of Jerusalem gathered for the choice of deacons (acts 6: 2,51, and the church of Antioch gathered to hear Paul's account of bis missionary Journey (lata 14 : 27).

It Is only by a common figure of rhetoric that many churches are spoken of together In the singular number, in such passages as icti 9: 31. We speak generlcally of ' man,' meaning the whole race of men: and of 'the horse,' meaning all horses. Gibbon, speaking of the successive tribes that swept down upon the Roman Empire, uses a noun in the singular number, and describes them as "the several detachments of that immense army of northern barbarians"— yet he does not mean to Intimate that these tribes had any common government. So we may speak of "the American college" or "the American theological seminary," but we do not thereby mean that the colleges or the seminaries are bound together by any tie of outward organization.

So Paul says that God has set In the church apostles, prophets, and teachere (1 Car. 12: 28), but the word 1 church' is only a collective term fpr the many Independent churches. In this same sense, we may speak of " the Baptist church " of New York, or of America; but it must be remembered that we use the term without any such Implication of common government as is involved In the phrases 'the Presbyterian church,' or 'the Protestant Episcopal church,' or 'the Roman Catholic church'; with us. In this connection, the term 'church' means simply 'churches.'

On the meaning of ««AT|<na, see Cremer, Lex. N. T., 329; Trench, 8yn. N. T., 1:18; Girdles tone, Syn. O. T., 887; Curtis, Progress of Baptist Principles, 301; Dexter, Congregationalism, 25; Dagg, Church Order, 100-120; Robinson, N. T. Lex., ml) voc*.

The prevailing usage of the N. T. gives to the term iiu&riaia the second of these two significations. It is this local church only which has definite and temporal existence, and of this alone we henceforth treat. Our definition of the individual church implies the two following particulars:

A. The church, like the family and the state, is an institution of divine appointment. This is plain: (a) from ito relation to the church universal, as its concrete embodiment; (b) from the fact that its necessity is grounded in the social and religious nature of man; (c) from the Scripture,— as for example, Christ's command in Mat. 18 : 17, and the designation 'church of God,' applied to individual churches (1 Cor. 1:2).

President Wayland: "The universal church comes before the particular church. The society which Christ has established Is the foundation of every particular association calling itself a church of Christ." Andrews, in Bib. Sac., Jan., 1883:35-58, on the conception »«x<|o->'a In the N. T„ says that "the 'church' is the print of all local 4 churches.' e««Ai|o-i'<i In Acts 9:31 = the church, so far as represented in those provinces. It is ecumenical-local, as in 1 Cor. 10 :33. The local church is a microcosm, a specialized localization of the universal body. Snp, in the O. T. and in the Targums, means the whole congregation of Israel, and then secondarily those local bodies which were parts and representations of the whole. Christ, using Aramaic, probably used ^HjJ in lUt. 18:17. He took his idea of the church from it, not from the heathen use of the word «'c«j<na, which expresses the notion of locality and state much more than ^HfJ. The larger sense of inK\<ria is the primary. Local churches are points of consciousness and activity for the great all-inclusive unit, and they are not themselves the units for an ecclesiastical aggregate. They are faces, not parts of the one church."

B. The church, unlike the family and the state, is a voluntary society, {a) This results from the fact that the local church is the outward expression of that rational and free life in Christ which characterizes the church, as a whole. In this it differs from those other organizations of divine appointment, entrance into which is not optional. Membership in the church is not hereditary or compulsory, (b) The doctrine of the church, as thus defined, is a necessary outgrowth of the doctrine of regeneration. As this fundamental spiritual change is mediated not by outward appliances, but by inward and conscious reception of Christ and his truth, union with the church logically follows, not precedes, the soul's spiritual uuion with Christ.

Dorucr includes under his doctrine of the Church: (1) the genesis of the church, through the new-birth of the Spirit, or Regeneration; (2) the growth and persistence of the church through the continuous operation of the Spirit in the means of grace, or Eeclesiology proper, as others call it; (3) the completion of the church, or Eschatology. While this scheme seems designed to favor a theory of baptismal regeneration, wo must commend its recognition of the fact that the doctrine of the church grows out of the doctrine of regeneration and is determined in its nuture by it. If regeneration has always conversion for its obverse side, and if conversion always includes faith in Christ, it is vain to speak of regeneration without faith. And if union with the church is but the outward expression of a preceding union with Christ which involves regeneration and conversion, then involuntary church-membership is an absurdity, and a misrepresentation of the whole method of salvation.

The value of compulsory religion may be illustrated from David Hume's experience. A godly matron of the Canongate, so runs the story, when Hume sank in the mud in her vicinity, and on account of his obesity could not get out, compelled the sceptic to say the Lord's Prayer before she would help him. Amos Kendall, on the other hand, concluded In his old age that he had not t>een acting on Christ's plan for saving the world, and so, of his own accord, connected himself with the church.

II. Organization Of The Church. 1. The fact of organization.

Organization may exist without lists of members or formal choice of officers. These last are the proofs, reminders, and helps of organization, but they are not essential to it. It is however not merely informal, but formal, organization in the church, to which the New Testament bears witness.

That there was such organization is abundantly shown from (a) its stated meetings, (b) elections, and (c) officers; (d) from the designations of its ministers, together with (e) the recognized authority of the minister and of the church; (/) from its discipline, (g) contributions, (A) letters of commendation, (i) registers of widows, (j) uniform customs, and (k) ordinances; (/) from the order enjoined and observed, (m) the qualifications for membership, and (n) the common work of the whole body.

(a) Acts 20 : 7—"upon the first day of the week, when we were fathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them "; Heb. 10 : 25 —" not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom of some is. but exhorting one another."

(b) lets 1: 23-26 —the election of Matthias; 6 : 5, 8 —the election of deacons, (r) Phil. 1 :1—"the saints in Const Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons."

(</) Acts 20 : 17. 28 —" the elders of the church the flock in the which the Holy Ghost bath made you bishops

[marg.: 'overseers'

if) Mat, 18 :17—"And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican"; 1 Pet. 5 : 2—"Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God."

(/) 1 Cor. 5 : 4, 5,13—-"in the name of the Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of the Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus .... Put away the wicked man from among yourselves."

iff) Rom. IS; 26—" For it hath been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints that are at Jerusalem "; 1 Cor. 16 : I. 2 —" Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I gave order to the churches of Galatia, so also do ye. Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store, as he may prosper, that no collection be made when I come."

(ft) Acts 18 : 27—"And when be was minded to pass over into Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive htm "; 2 Cor. 3 : 1 —" Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? or need we, as do some, epistles of commendation to you or from you?"

(f) 1 Tim. 5:9—" Let none be enrolled as a widow under three score years old "; cf. Acts 6 : 1 —" there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.''

(j) 1 Cor. 11 : 16— "But if any man seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God."

{k) Acts 2 : 41 —" Then they that received his word were baptised "; 1 Cor. 11 : 23-26 - " For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you "— the institution of the Lord*s Supper.

(I) 1 Cor. 14:40— "Let all things be done decently and in order"; Col. 2 : 5—" For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ."

im) Mat. 28 : 19—"Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost"; Acts 2 : 47 —" And the Lord added to them day by day those that were being saved."

in- Phil. 2 : 30—"because for the work of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me."

As indicative of a developed organization in the N. T. church, of which only the germ existed before Christ's death, it is important to notice the progress in names from the gospels to the epistles. In the gospels, the word "disciples" is the common designation of Christ's followers, but it is not once found in the epistles. In the epistles, there are only "saints," "brethren," "churches." A consideration of the facts here referred to is sufficient to evince the unscriptural nature of two modern theories of the church:

A. The theory that the church is an exclusively spiritual body, destitute of all formal organization, and bound together only by the mtuual relation of each believer to his indwelling Lord.

The church, upon this view, so far as outward bonds are concerned, is only an aggregation of isolated units. Those believers who chance to gather at a particular place, or to live at a particular time, constitute the church of that place or time. This view is held by the Friends and by the Plymouth Brethren. It ignores the tendencies to organization inherent in human nature; confounds the visible with the invisible church; and is directly opposed to the Scripture representations of the visible church as comprehending some who are not true believers.

Acta 5 :1-11 —Ananias and Sapphira show that the visible ehurch comprehended some who were not tme believers; 1 Cor. 14 : 23 —" If therefore the whole church be assembled togethfr. and all speak with tongues, and there come in men unlearned or unbelieving, will they not say that ye are mad? - here, if the church had been an unorganized assembly, the unlearned visitors who came in would have formed a part of It; Phil. 3 :18 —" For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ"

Some years ago a book was placed upon the Index, at Koine, entitled: "The Priesthood a Chronic Disorder of the Human Kace." The Plymouth Brethren dislike church organizations, for fear they will become machines; they dislike ordained ministers, for fear they will become bishops. They object to praying for the Holy Ghost, because ho was (riven on Pentecost, ignoring the fact that the church after Pentecost so prayed: see lets 4 : 31 —" And when they had prayed, the plaoe was shaken wherein they were gathered together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness," What we call a giving or descent of the Holy Spirit is, since the Holy Spirit Is omnipresent, only a manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit, and this certainly may be prayed for; see Luke II: 13 —" If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall yoor heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

The Plymouth brethren would "unite Christendom by Its dismemberment, and do away with all sects by the creation of a new sect, more narrow and bitter in its hostility to existing sects than any other." Yet the tendency to organize Is so strong in human nature, that even Plymouth brethren, when they meet regularly together, fall into an informal, if not a formal, organization; certain teachers and leaders are tacitly recognized as oIBeers of the body; committees and rules are unconsciously used for facilitating business. Even one of their own writers, C. H. M., speaks of the "natural tendency to association without God —as In the Shlnar Association or Babel Confederacy of Gen. 11, which aimed at building up a name upon the earth. The Christian church is God's appointed association to take the place of all these. Hence God confounds the (judgment); gives tongues in acts 2 (grace); but only one tongue is spoken in Rev. 7 (glory)."

Dr. Win. Reid, Plymouth Brethrenism Unveiled, 79-143, attributes to the sect the following Church-principles: (1) the church did not exist before Pentecost; (2) the visible and the invisible church identical; (3) the one assembly of God; (3) the presidency of the Holy Spirit; (5) rejection of a one-man and man-made ministry; (6) the church is without government. Also the following heresies: (1) Christ's heavenly humanity; (2) denial of Christ's righteousness, as being obedience to law; (3) denial that Christ's righteousness Is Imputed; (4) justification In the risen Christ; (5) Christ's non-atoning sufferings; (6) denial of moral law as rule of life; (7) the Lord's day is not the Sabbath; (8) perfectionism; (9) secret rapture of the saints — caught up to be with Christ. To these we may add: (10) premillenial advent of Christ.

On the Plymouth Brethren and their doctrine, see British Quar., Oct. 1873 : 202; Princeton Rev., 1872 : 48-77; H. If. King, in Baptist Review, 1881 : 438-4*5; Fish, Ecclesiology, 314-316; Dagg, Church Order, 80-S); It. H. Carson, The Brethren, 8-14; J. C. L. Carson, The Heresies of the Plymouth Brethren; Croskery, Plymouth Brethrenism; Teulon, Hist, and Teachings of Plymouth Brethren.

B. The theory that the form of church organization is not definitely prescribed in the New Testament, but is a matter of expediency, each body of believers being permitted to adopt that method of organization which best suits its circumstances and condition.

The view under consideration seems in some respects to be favored by Neander, and is often regarded as incidental to his larger conception of church history as a progressive development. But a proper theory of development does not exclude the idea of a church organization already complete in all essential particulars before the close of the inspired canon, so that the record of it may constitute a providential example of binding authority upon all subsequent ages. The view mentioned exaggerates the differences of practice between the N. T. churches; underestimates the need of divine direction as to methods of church union; and admits a principle of 'churcli powers,' which may be historically shown to be subversive of the very existence of the church as a spiritual body.

Dr. Galusba Anderson finds the theory of optional church government in Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, and says that not until Bishop Bancroft was there claimed a divine right of Episcopacy. Hunt, also, in his Religious Thought in England, 1: 57, says that Hooker gives up the divine origin of Episcopacy. So Jacob, Eccl. Polity of the N. T., and Hatch, Organization of Eurly Christian Churches —both Hatch and Jacob belonging to the Chu/ch of England. But we may well ask: Shall missionaries conform church order to the degraded ideas of the nations among which they labor? Shall Church government be despotic In Turkey, a limited monarchy In England, a democracy in the United States of America, and two-headed in Japan? For the development theory of Neander, see his Church History, 1 : 179-190. On the general subject, see Hitchcock, in Presb. Kev. im: 285; Davidson, Eccl. Polity, 1-42; Harvey, The Church.

2. The nature of this organization.

The nature of any organization may be determined by asking, first: who constitute its members? secondly: for what object has it been formed? and, thirdly: what are the laws which regulate its operations?

The three questions with which our treatment of the nature of this organization begins are furnished us by Pres. Wayland, in his Principles and Practices of Baptists.

A. They only can properly be members of the local church, who have previously become members of the church universal,— or, in other words, have become regenerate persons.

Only those who have been previously united to Christ are, In the New Testament, permitted to unite with his church. See Acts 2 : 47— "And the Lord added to them day by day those that were being saved [ Am. Rev.: 'those that were saved']"; 5 :14 —"and believers ware the more added to the Lord "; 1 Cor. 1 : 2 —" the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours."

From this limitation of membership to regenerate persons, certain results follow:

(a) Since each member bears supreme allegiance to Christ, the church as a body must recognize Christ as the only lawgiver. The relation of the individual Christian to the church does not supersede, but furthers and expresses, his relation to Christ.

1 John 2 : 20—"And ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things"—see Neander, Com. in loot —" No believer is at liberty to forego this maturity and personal independence, bestowed in that inward anointing [ of the Holy Spirit ], or to place himself in a dependent relation, inconsistent with this birthright, to any teacher whatever among men. .. . .... This inward anointing furnishes an element of resistance tosuch arrogated authority." Here we have reproved the tendency on the part of ministers to take the place of the church, in Christian work and worship, instead of leading it forward in work and worship of its own. The missionary who keeps his converts in prolonged and unnecessary tutelage Is also untrue to the church organization of the Now Testament, and untrue to Christ whose aim in church training is to educate his followers to the bearing of responsibility and the use of liberty. Macaulay: "The only remedy for the evils of liberty is liberty."

(b) Since each regenerate man recognizes in every other a brother in Christ, the several members are upon a footing of absolute equality (Mat. 23:8-10).

Mat. 23 : 8-10—"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, eren he who is in hearen "; John 15 : 5—" I am the vine, ye are the branches"—no one branch of the vine outranks another; one may be more advantageously situated, more ample in size, more fruitful; but all are alike In kind, draw vitality from one source. Among the planets "one sUr diftereth from another star in glory" (1 Cor. 15 : 41), yet all shine in the same heaven, and draw their light from the same sun. "The servingman may know more of the mind of God than the scholar." Christianity has therefore been the foe to heathen castes. The Japanese noble objected to it, "because the brotherhood of man was incompatible with proper reverence for rank." There can be no rightful human lordship over God's heritage (1 Pet. 5 : 3— "neither as lording it oyer the charge allotted to you. but making yourselves ensamples to the flock " ).

(r) Since each local church is directly subject to Christ, there is no jurisdiction of one church over another, but all are on an equal footing, and all are independent of interference or control by the civil power.

Hat. 22:21—"Render therefore unto Cssar the things that are Cesar's; and unto God the things that are God's"; Acts 5 : 29—" We must obey God rather than men." As each believer has personal dealings with Christ and for even the pastor to come between him and his Lord is treachery to Christ and harmful to his soul, so much more does the New Testament condemn any attempt to bring the church into subjection to any other church or combination of churches, or to make the church the creature of the state. Absolute liberty of conscience under Christ has always been a distinguishing tenet of Baptists, as it is of the New Testament (cf. Horn. 14 : 4—"Who art thou that judgest the servant of another? to his own Lord he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand " ).

B. The sole object of the local church is the glory of God, in the complete establishment of his kingdom, both in the hearts of believers and in the world. This object is to be promoted:

(a) By united worship,— including prayer and religious instruction; Heb. 10 : 25—"not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another."

(6) By mutual watch-care and exhortation;

1 Thess. 5 :11 —"Wherefore exhort one another, and build each other up, even as also ye do "; Heb. 3:13 —"exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

(c) By common labors for the reclamation of the impenitent world.

Mat, 28 :19 —" Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations "; Acts 8 : 4 —" They therefore that were scattared abroad went about preaching the word "; 2 Cor. 8 : 5 —" and this, not as we had hoped, bat first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God "; Jude 23 —" And on some have mercy, who are in doubt; and some save, snatching them out of the fire." Inscribed upon a mural tablet of a Christian church, in Aneltyum in the South Seas, to the mercy of Dr. John Geddie, the pioneer missionary in that field, are the words: "When he came here, there were no Christians; when he went away, there were no heathen."

C. The law of the church is simply tho will of Christ, as expressed in the Scriptures and interpreted by the Holy Spirit. This law respects:

(a) The qualifications for membership. — These are regeneration and baptism, i. e., spiritual new birth and ritual new birth; the surrender of the inward and of outward life to Christ; the spiritual entrance into communion with Christ's death and resurrection, and the formal profession of this to the world by being buried with Christ and raising with him in baptism.

(6) The duties imposed on members. — In discovering the will of Christ from the Scriptures, each member has the right of private judgment, being directly responsible to Christ for his use of the means of knowledge, and for his obedience to Christ's commands when these are known. On the whole subject, see Dagg, Church Order, 74-99; Curtis, on Communion, 1-61.

3. The genesis of this organization.

(a) The church existed in germ before the day of Pentecost,— otherwise there would have been nothing to which those converted upon that day could have been "added" ( Acts 2 : 47). Among the apostles, regenerate as they were, united to Christ by faith and in that faith baptized (Acts 19: 4), under Christ's instruction and engaged in common work for him, there were already the beginnings of organization. There was a treasurer of the body (John 13 : 29), and as a body they celebrated for the first time the Lord's Supper (Mat. 29 : 26-29). • To all intents and purposes they constituted a church, although the church was not yet fully equipped for its work by the outpouring of the Spirit ( Acts 2 ), and by the appointment of pastors and deacons. The church existed without officers, as in the first days succeeding Pentecost.

Acts 2 : 47 —" And the Lord added to them [ marg.: 'together' ] day by day those that were being sayed "; 19: 4 --"And Pail said. John baptised with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should beliere on him which ^ho Ud coma after him, that is, on Jesus "; John 13 : 29 —" For some thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus mii unto him, Buy what things we have need of for the feast; or, that we shoild gire something to the poor"; Mat. 26 : 26-29 —" And as they were eating. Jesus took bread .... and he gave to the disciples and said. Take,

eat And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying. Drink ye all of it"; Acts 2 — the Holy

Spirit is poured out. It is to be remembered that Christ himself Is the embodied union between Cod and man, the true temple of God's indwelling:. So soon as the flret believer joined himself to Christ, the church existed in mlniaturo and {jreroi.

Fish, Ecclesiology, 11-14, by a striking analogy, distinguishes three periods of the church's life: il) the pre-natal period, in which the church is not separated front Christ's bodily presence; (2; the period of childhood, in which the church is under tutelage, preparing for an independent life; (3) the period of maturity, in which the church, equipped with doctrines and officers, is ready for self-government. The three periods may lie likened to bud, blossom, and fruit. Before Christ's death, the church existed in bud only.

(!>) That provision for these offices was made gradually as exigencies arose, is natural when we consider that the church immediately after Christ's ascension was under the tutelage of inspired apostles, and was to be prepared, by a process of education, for independence and self-government. As doctrine was communicated gradually yet infallibly, through the oral and written teaching of the apostles, so we are warranted in believing that the church was gradually but infallibly guided to the adoption of Christ's own plan of church organization and of Christian work. The same promise of the Spirit which renders the New Testament an unerring and sufficient rule of fuith, renders it also an unerring aud sufficient rule of practice, for the church in all places and times.

John 16:12-16 is to be interpreted as a promise of gradual lending by the Spirit into all the truth; 1 Cor. 14 : 37—"the th'ngs which I write unto you .... they are the commandments of the Lord," An examination of Paul's epistles in their chronological order shows a progress in deflniteness of teaching with regard to church polity, as well us with regard to doctrine in general. In this matter, as in other matters, apostolic instruction was given as providential exigencies demanded it. In the earliest days of the church, attention was paid to preaching rather than to organization. Like Luther, Paul thought more of church order in his later days than tit the beginning of his work. Yet even in his first epistle we find the germ which is afterwards continuously developed. See:

(1) t Thess. 5 :12,13 ( A. D. 52)—"But we beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among you, and aro o?er you ( ^poto-Ta^«rovt) in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them exceeding highly in lore for their work's sake."

(2) 1 Cor. 12 : 28 (A. D. 57)—"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps [ a*TiA7}/x^e« = gifts needed by deacons ], governments [«ug«pi'ijtr<i5 = gifts needed by pastors], divers kinds of tongues."

(3) Rom. 12 : 6-8 ( A. D. 58)—" And having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; or ministry [ Siaxoviav ], let us give ourselves to oar ministry; or he that teacheth, to his teaching; or he that exhortsth, to his eihorting: he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth [6], with diligence: he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.'1

(4) Phil. 1:1 (A. D. 62)—" Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops [ ewio-Koirois, marg.: 1 overseers' ] and deacons [ Biatiovois ]."

(5) Eph. 4 :11 (A. D. 63)—"And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, [rroiu, i ,n ««i jio-accaAovt ]."

(0) 1 Tim. 3 :1, 2 ( A. D. 66)—" If a man seeketh the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. The bishop [ Tor iwio-Kowov ] therefore must be without reproach." On this last passage, Huther in Meyer's Com. remarks: "Paul In the beginning looked at the church In its unity —only gradually does he make prominent its leaders. We must not infer that the churches in the earlier time were without leadership, but only that in the later time circumstances were such as to require him to lay emphasis upon the pastor's office and work." See also Schaff, Teaching-of the Twelve Apostles, 62-75.

On the question how far our Lord and his apostles, in the organization of the church, -availed themselves of the synagogue as a model, see Neander, Planting and Training, 28-34. The ministry of the church is without doubt an outgrowth and adaptation of the eldership of the synagogue. In the synagogue, there were elders who gave themselves to the study and expounding of the Scriptures. The synagogues held united prayer, and exercised discipline. They were democratic In government, and Independent of each other. It has sometimes been said that election of officers by the membership of the church came from the Greek e««A>|cria, or popular assembly. But Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1: 438, says of the elders of the synagogue that " their election depended on the choice of the congregation." Talmud, lierachob, 55 a: "No ruler Is appointed over a congregation, unless the congregation is consulted."

(c) Any number of believers, therefore, may constitute themselves into a ■Christian church, by adopting for their rule of faith and practice Christ's law as laid down in the New Testament, and by associating themselves together, in accordance with it, for his worship and service. It is important, where practicable, that a council of churches be previously called, to advise the brethren proposing this union as to the desirableness of constituting a new and distinct local body; and if it be found desirable, to recognize them, after its formation, as being a church of Christ. But such action of a council, however valuable as affording ground for the fellowship of other churches, is not constitutive, but is simply declaratory; and, without such action, the body of believers alluded to, if formed after the N. T. example, may notwithstanding be a true church of Christ. Still further, a band of converts, among the heathen or providentially precluded from access to existing churches, might rightfully appoint one of their number to baptize the rest, and then might organize, de novo, a New Testament church.

Hagenbacli, Hist. Doct., 2 : 294, quotes from Luther, as follows:—"If a company of pious Christian laymen were captured and sent to a desert place, and had not among them an ordained priest, and were all agreed in the matter, and elected one and told him to baptize, administer the mass, absolve, and preach, such a one would be as true & priest as if all the bishops and popes had ordained him."

LLT. Government Of The Church.

1. Nature of this government in general.

It is evident from the direct relation of each member of the church, and so of the church as a whole, to Christ as sovereign and lawgiver, that the government of the church, so far as regards the source of authority, is an absolute monarchy.

In ascertaining the will of Christ, however, and in applying his commands to providential exigencies, the Holy Spirit enlightens one member through the counsel of another, and, as the result of combined deliberation, guides the whole body to right conclusions. This work of the Spirit is the fundation of the Scripture injunctions to unity. This unity, since it is a unity of the Spirit, is not an enforced, but an intelligent and willing unity. While Christ is sole king, therefore, the government of the church, so far as regards the interpretation and execution of his will by the body, is an absolute democracy, in which the whole body of members is intrusted with the duty and responsibility of carrying out the laws of Christ as expressed in hia word.

The seceders from the established church of Scotland, on the memorable 18th of May, 1843, embodied in their protest the following words: We go out " from an establishment which we loved and prized, through interference with conscience, the dishonor done to Christ's crown, and the rejection of bis sole and supreme authority as King: in his church." The church should be rightly ordered, since it is the representative and guardian of God's truth — its " pillar and ground" (1 Tim. 3 :15) — the Holy Spirit working in and through it.

But it is this very relation of the church to Christ and his truth which renders it needful to insist upon the right of each member of the church to his private judgment as to the meaning of Scripture: In other words, absolute monarchy, in this case, requires for its complement an absolute democracy. President Wayland: "No individual Christian or number of individual Christians, no individual church or number of individual churches, has original authority, or has power over the whole. None can add to or subtract from the laws of Christ, or interfere with his direct and absolute sovereignty over the hearts and lives of his subjects." Each member, as equal to every other, has right to a voice in the decisions of the whole body; and no action of the majority can bind him against bis conviction of duty to Christ.

A. Proof that the government of the church* is democratic or congregational.

(a) From the duty of the whole church to preserve unity in its action.

Rom. 12 :16—"Be of the same mind one toward another"; 1 Cor. 1:10—"Now I beseech you that ye all

speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment"; 2 Cor. 13 :11 —" be of the same mind "; Eph. 4 : 3 —" giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace "; Phil. 1: 27 —" that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striring for the faith of the gospel"; 1 Pet, 3 : 8 —" be ye ail likeminded."

These exhortations to unity are not mere counsels to passive submission, such as might be given under a hierarchy, or to the members of a society of Jesuits; they are counsels to cooperation and to harmonious judgment. Each member, while forming his own opinions under the guidance of the Spirit, is to remember that the other members have the Spirit also, and .that a final conclusion as to the will of God Is to be reached only through comparison of views. The exhortation to unity is therefore an exhortation to be open-minded, docile, ready to subject our opinions to discussion, to welcome new light with regard to them, and to give up any opinion when we find it to be in the wrong. The church is In general to secure unanimity by moral suasion only; though, la case of wilful and perverse opposition to its decisions, it may be necessary to secure unity by excluding an obstructive member, for schism.

A quiet and peaceful unity is the result of the Holy Spirit's work in the hearts of Christians. New Testament church government proceeds upon the supposition that Christ dwells In all believers. Baptist polity is the best possible polity for good people. Christ has made no provision for an unregenerate church-membership, and for Satanic possession of Christians. It is best that a church in which Christ does not dwell should by dissension reveal its weakness, and fall to pieces; and any outward organization that conceals inward disintegration, and compels a merely formal union after the Holy Spirit has departed, is a hindrance instead of a help to true religion.

(6) From the responsibility of the whole church for maintaining pure

doctrine and practice.

1 Tim. 3 :15 —" the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth "; Jude 3 —" exhorting jou to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints "; Rev. 2 and 3 — exhortations to the seven churches of Asia to maintain pure doctrine and practice. In all these passages, pastoral charges are given, not by a so-called bishop to his subordinate priests, but by an apostle to the whole church and to all its members.

(<■) From the committing of the ordinances to the charge of the whole church to observe and guard. As the church expresses truth in her teaching, so she is to express it in symbol through the ordinances.

Mat 28 :19, 20 —"Go je therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them .... teaching them"; ef. Luke 24 : 33 —" And they rose up that very hour, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them "; Acts 1 :15 —" And in these days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, and said (and there was a multitude of persons gathered together, about a hundred and twenty) "; 1 Cor. 15 : 6 —" then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at onoe "— these passages show that It was not to the eleven apostles alone that Jesus committed the ordinances.

1 Cor. 11: 2 — " Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things, and hold fast the traditions, even as 1 delivered them to you "; cf. 23, 24 —" For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, how that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: This do in remembrance of me"— here Paul commits the Lord's Supper Into the charge, not of a body of officials, but of the whole church. Baptism and the Lord's Supper, therefore, are not to be administered at the discretion of the Individual minister. He is simply the organ of the church ; and pocket baptismal and communion services are without warrant. See Curtis, Progress of liaptlst Principles, 289; Robinson, Harmony of Gospels, notes, 8170.

(d) From the election by the whole church, of its own officers and delegates. In Acts 14 : 23, the literal interpretation of xetporavfyrnvrtt is not to be pressed. In Titus 1 : 5, "when Paul empowers Titus to set presiding officers over the communities, this circumstance decides nothing as to the mode of choice, nor is a choice by the community itself thereby necessarily excluded."

Acta 1: 23, 26 —" And they put forward two .... and they gave lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles "; 6 : 3. 5 —" Look ye out therefore, brethren, from among you seven men of

good report And the saying pleased the whole multitude; and they chose Stephen,.... and Philip, and Prochorus,

and Kicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas"— as deacons; Acts. 13 : 2. 3—"And as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said. Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Then when they bad fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away."

On this passage, see Meyer's comment: "'Ministered' here expresses the act of celebrating divine service on the part of the whole church. To refer avrijv to the 'prophets and teachers' Is forbidden by the id>opio-oT« — and by verse 3. This interpretation would confine this most important mission-act to five persons, of whom two were the missionaries sent; and the church would have had no part in it, even through its presbyters. This agrees, neither with the common possession of the Spirit in the apostolic church, nor with the concrete cases of the choice of an apostle (ch. 1) and of deacons (ch. 6). Compare 14 : 27 where the returned missionaries report to the church. The imposition of hands (verse 3) Is by the presbyters, as representatives of the whole church. The subject in verses 2 and 3 is'the church'-(represented by the presbyters In this case). The church sends the missionaries to the heathen, and consecrates them through its elders."

Acts 15 : 2, 4, 22, 30—"the brethren appointed that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem .... And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church and the apostles and the elders. .... Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.... So they ... came down to Antioch; and having gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle "; 2 Cor. 8 :19 — " who was also appointed by the churches to travel with us in the matter of this graoe "— the contribution for the poor in Jerusalem; Acts 14 : 23 —" And when they had appointed (xf-porovriaamei) for them elders in every church"—the apostles announced the election of the church, as a College President confers degrees, i. e„ by announcing degrees conferred by the Board of Trustees.

Hackett, Com. on Acts —" x'tpo-rovianms is not to be pressed, since Paul and Barnabas constitute the persons ordaining- It may possibly Indicate a concurrent appointment, in accordance with the usuul practice of universal Mill 'rage; but the burden of proof lies on those who would so modify the meaning tif the verb. The verb U frequently used in the sense of choosing, appointing, with reference to the formality of raising the hand." Per cuntm, see Meyer, in Ux-a: "The church officers were elective. As appears from analog)- of 6 :2-6 (election of deacons), tin.' word xeipoTonjo-a^Tfs retains its etymological sense, and does not mean * constituted ' or * created.' Their choice was a recognition of a gift already bestowed,— not the ground of the office and source of authority, but merely the means by which the gift becomes [ known, recognized, and ] an actual office in the church."

Bauingarten, Apostolic History, 1 : 4S6 —"They — the two apostles — allow presbyters to be chosen for the community by voting." Alexander, Com. on Acts —" The method of election here, as the expression xcipoTovTiaavrts indicates, wasthe same as that in acts 6: 5. 6, where the people chose the seven, and the twelve ordained them." Barnes, Com. on Acts: "The apostles presided in the assembly where the choice was made — appointed them in the usual way by the suffrage of the people." Dexter, Congregationalism, 138 —" 'Ordained means here ' prompted and secured the election' of elders in every church." So in Titus 1: 5—"appoint elders in every city." Compare the Latin: "dictator consuleg crtavit" = prompted and secured the election of consuls by the people. See Neander, Church History, 1: 189; Guerlcke, Church History, 1 : 110; Meyer, on lets 13 :2.

(e) From the power of the whole church to exercise discipline. Passages which show the right of the whole body to exclude, show also the right of the whole body to admit, members.

Hat. 18 : 17 —" And if be refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be to thee as the Gentile and the publican. Verily. I say unto jou. What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in hearen: and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven "— words often inscribed over Roman Catholic confessionals, but improperly, since they refer not to the decisions of a single priest, but to the decisions of a whole body of believers guided by the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor. 5 : 4. S, 13—"ye being gathered together .... to deliver such an one unto Satan .... Put away that wicked man from among yourselves"; 2 Cor. 2 : 6, 7—"Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the many; so that contrariwise ye should rather forgive him and comfort him "; 7 :11 —" For behold this self same thing .... what earnest care it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves .... In every thing ye approved yourselves to be pure in the matter"; 2 Thess. 3 : 6, 14,15—"withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly .... If any man obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him, to the end that he may be ashamed, and yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."

The educational influence upon the whole church of this election of officers, admission and exclusion of members, general conduct of business, and responsibility for doctrine and practice, cannot be over-estimated. The whole body can know those who apply for admission, better than pastor or elders can. To put the whole government of the church into the hands of a few is to deprive the membership of one great means of Christian training and progress. Hence the pastor's duty Is to develop the self-government of the church. The missionary should not command, but advise. That minister is most successful who gets the whole hotly to move, and who renders the church independent of himself. The test of his work is not while he is with them, but after he leaves them. Then it can be seen whether he has taught them to follow him, or to follow Christ; whether he has led them to the formation of habits of independent Christian activity, or whether he has made them passively dependent upon himself.

A Christian pastor can either rule, or he can have the reputation of ruling; but he can not do both. Keal ruling involves a sinking of self, a working through others, a doing of nothing that some one one else can be got to do. The reputation of ruling leads sooner or later to the loss of real influence, and to the decline of the activities of the church Itself. See Coleman, Manual of Prelacy and Ritualism, 87-125; and on the advantages of Congregationalism over every other form of church-polity, see Dexter, Congregationalism, 236-29(1. Dexter, 290, note, quotes from Belcher's Religions Denominations of the U. S., 184, as follows: "Jefferson said that he considered Baptist church government the only form of pure democracy which then existed in the world, and had concluded that it would be the best plan of government for the American Colonies. This was eight or ten years before the American Revolution."

B. Erroneous views as to church government refuted by the foregoing passages.

(a) The world-church theory, or the Romanist view.—This holds that all local churches are subject to the supreme authority of the bishop of Rome, as the successor of Peter and the infallible vicegerent of Christ, and, as thus united, constitute the one and only church of Christ on earth. We reply:

First,—Christ gave no such supreme authority to Peter. Mat. 16 : 18, 19, simply refers to the personal position of Peter as first confessor of Christ and preacher of his name to Jews and Gentiles. Hence other apostles also constituted the foundation (Eph. 2 : 20; Rev. 21 : 14). On one occasion, the counsel of James was regarded as of equal weight with that of Peter {Acts 15 : 7-30), while on another occasion Peter was rebuked by Paul (Gal. 2 : 11), and Peter calls himself only a fellow-elder (1 Pet. 5:1). Secondly, — if Peter had such authority given him, there is no evidence that he had power to transmit it to others. Thirdly,— there is no conclusive evidence that Peter ever was at Rome, much less that he was bishop of Rome. Fourthly,— there is no evidence that he really did so appoint the bishops of Rome as his successors. Fifthly,— if he did so appoint the bishops of Rome, the evidence of continuous succession since that time is lacking. Sixthly,— there is abundant evidence that a hierarchical form of church government is corrupting to the church and dishonoring to Christ.

Mat. 16 : 18. 19 —" And I also say unto the?, that thou art Pet ;r. and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it I will giro unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Peter exercised this power of the keys for both Jews and Gentiles, by being the first to preach Christ to them, and so admit them to the kingdom of heaven. The confession of Christ makes him a rock upon which the church can be built. Pluraptre on Epistles of Peter, Introd., H—" He was a stone—one with that rock with which he was now joined by an indissoluble union." Hut others come to be associated with him: Eph. 2 : 20—"built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief comer stone "; Rev. 21:14 — "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Acts 15 : 7-30 —the Council of Jerusalem. Gal. 2 :11 —"But when Cephas came to Antioch, I resisted him to the face, because he stood condemned "; 1 Pet 5 :1 —" The elders therefore among you I exhort who am a fellow elder."

Here it should be remembered thnt three things were necessary to constitute an apostle: (1) ho must have seen Christ after his resurrection, so as to be a witness to the fact that Christ had risen from the dead: (2) he must lie a worker of miracles, to certify that he was Christ's messenger; (3) ho must be an inspired teacher of Christ's truth, so that his tins] utterances are the very word of God. in Rom. 16 :17—"Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles" means simply: 'who are highly esteemed among, or by, the apostles.' Barnabas is called an apostle, in the etymological sense of a messenger: Acts 13 : 2—"Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Then when they had fastad and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away "; Heb. 3 :1 —"consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus." In this latter sense, the number of the apostles was not limited to twelve.

On the question whether Peter founded the Roman church, see Meyer, Com. on Romans, transl., vol. 1: 23—"Paul followed the principle of not interfering with another apostle's field of labor. Hence Peter could not have been laboring at Rome, at the time when Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans from Ephesus; ef. Acts 19 : 21; Rom. 15 : 20; 2 Cor. 10 :16. Meyer thinks Peter was martyred at Rome, but that he did not found the Roman church, the origin of which Is unknown. "The epistle to the Romans," he says, "since Peter cannot have labored at Rome before it was written, is a fact destructive of the historical basis of the Papacy" (p. 28). See also Elliott, Hone Auocalyptictc, 3 : 560.

"Romanism," says Dorner, "identities the church and the kingdom of God. The professedly perfect hierarchy Is itself the church, or its essence." Vet Moehler, the greatest modern advocate of the Romanist system, himself acknowledges that there were popes before the Reformation " whom hell has swallowed up "; see Dorner, Hist. Prot. Theol., Introd., cul .fiwm. If the Romanist asks: "Where was your church before Luther?" the Protestant may reply: "Where was your face this morning before it was washed?" Disciples of Christ have sometimes kissed the feet of Antichrist, but it recalls an ancient story. When an Athenian noble thus, in old times, debased himself to the king of Persia, his fellow-citizens at Athens doomed hiin to death. Sec Coleman, Manual on Prelacy and Ritualism, 265-274; Park, in 1Mb. Sac, 3 : 451; Princeton Rev., Apr., 1878 :365.

(b) The national-church theory, or the theory of provincial or national churches. This holds that all members of the church in any province or nation are bound together in provincial or national organization, and that this organization has jurisdiction over the local churches.— We reply:

First,— the theory has no support in the Scriptures. There is no evidence that the word tKn?-r/aia in the New Testament ever means a national church organization. 1 Cor. 12 : 28, Phil. 3 : 6, and 1 Tim. 3 : 15, may be more naturally interpreted as referring to the generic church. In Acts 9 r 31, exiOjiaia is a mere generalization for the local churches then and there existing, and implies no sort of organization among them. Secondly,—it is contradicted by the intercourse which the New Testament churches held with each other as independent bodies,— for example, at the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15). Thirdly,—it has no practical advantages over the Congregational polity, but rather tends to formality, division, and the extinction of the principles of self-government and direct responsibility to Christ. Fourthly,—it is inconsistent with itself, in binding a professedly spiritual church by formal and geographical lines. Fifthly,—it logically leads to the theory of Romanism. If two churches need a superior authority to control them and settle their differences, then two countries and two hemispheres need a common ecclesiastical government,—and a worldchurch, under one visible head, is Romanism.

1 Cor. 12 : 28—" And God kith jet some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then iniracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues"; Phil. 3 : 6—" as touching seal, persecuting the church "; 1 Tim 3 :15 —" that thon mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth "; Acts 9 : 31 —" So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, being edited." For advocacy of the Presbyterian system, see Cunningham, Historical Theology, 2 : 514-550; McPherson, Presbyterianism. Per contra, seo Jacob, Eccl. Polity of X. T., 9—"There Is no example of a national church In the New Testament."

There were no councils that claimed authority till the second century, and the independence of the churches was not given up until the third or fourth century. In Bp. Llghtfoot's essay on tho Christian Ministry, in the appendix to his Com. on Phlllppians, progress to episcopacy is thus described: "In the time of Ignatius, the bishop, then prim us inter jxtn'N, was regarded only as a centre of unity; in the time of Irentcus, as a depository of primitive truth; in the time of Cyprian, as absolute vicegerent of Christ in things spiritual."

Hatch, in his Bampton Lectures on Organization of Early Christian Churches, without discussing the evidence from the New Testament, proceeds to treat of the post-apostolic development of organization, as If finding the germs of episcopacy very soon after the apostles rendered such a system legitimate or obligatory. In reply, we would ask whether we are under moral obligation to conform to whatever succeeded in developing itself? If so, then the priests of Baal, as well as the priests of Rome, had just claims to human belief and obedience. Prof. Black: "We have no objection to antiquity, if they will only go back far enough. We wish to listen, not only to the fathers of the church, but also to the grandfathers."

In the Episcopal system, bishops qualified to ordain must be: (1) baptized persons; (2) not scandalously Immoral; (3) not having obtained office by bribery; (4) must not have been deposed. In view of these qualifications. Archbishop Whately pronounces the doctrine of apostolic succession untenable, and declares that "there is no Christian minister existing now, who can trace up with complete certainty his own ordination. through perfectly regular steps, to the time of the apostles." See Macaulay's Review of Gladstone on Church and State, in his Essays, * : 166-178. There are breaks in the line, and a chain Is only as strong as its weakest part. S#e Presb. Rev., 1886 : 89-128.

Instance the evils of Presbyterianisra in practice. Dr. Park says that "the split between the Old and the New School was due to an attempt on the part of the majority to

Impose their will on the minority The Unitarian defection in New England would

have ruined Presbyterian churches, but it did not ruin Congregational churches. A Presbyterian church may be deprived of the minister it has chosen, by the votes of neighboring churches, or by the few leading men who control them, or by one single vote in a close contest."

We see leanings toward the world-church idea in Panangllcau and Panpresbytorian Councils. Human nature ever tends to substitute the unity of external organization for the spiritual unity which belongs to all believers in Christ. There is no necessity for common government, whether Presbyterian or Episcopal: since Christ's truth and Spirit arc competent to govern all as easily as one. It is a remarkable fact, that the Baptist denomination, without external bonds, has maintained a greater unity in doctrine, and a closer general conformity to New Testament standards, than the churches which adopt the principle of episcopacy, or of provincial organization. See Jacob, Eccl. Polity of N. T., 130; Dexter, Congregationalism, 23(1; Coleman, Manual on Prelacy and Ritualism, 138-284; Albert Barnes, Apostolic Church.

2. Officers of the Church.

A. The number of offices in the church is two — first, the office of bishop, presbyter, or pastor; and, secondly, the office of deacon.

(a) That the appellations ' bishop,' 'presbyter,' and ' pastor' designate the same office and order of persons, may be shown from Acts '20 : 28 — iiziaKd-rrov^ mi/iaivetv (cf. 17 — Kptofivrtpovc); Phil. 1 : 1; 1 Tim. 3:1,8; Titus 1 : 5, 7; 1 Pet. 5:1, 2 — Trpea^vripovc ' ' ' TrapaKoXu 6 ovfiirpeopbrepuc ' ' ' —m/iavar? -oifivinv ■ ■ ■ en-tctcowovvTtc. Conybeare and Howson: "The terms 'bishop' and ' elder' are used in the New Testament as equivalent — the former denoting (as its meaning of overseer implies) the duties, the latter the rank, of the office." See passages quoted in Giessler, Church History, 1 : 90, note 1 —as, for example, Jerome: "Apud veteres iidem episcopi et presbyteri, quia illud nomen dignitatis est, hoc retatis. Idem est ergo presbyter qui episcopns."

Acts 20 : 28— "Take heed onto yourselves, and to all the flock, in the which the Holy Ghost hath made you bishops [marg. 'overseers' ], to feed [lit. 'to shepherd,' '"be pastors of] the church of the Lord, which he purchased with his own blood" (so Am. Rev.); cf. 17 —" the elders of the church" are those whom Paul addresses as bishops or overseers, and whom he exhorts to be good pastors. Phil. 1:1—" bishops and deacons "; 1 Tim. 3 :1, 8 —" If a man seeketh the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work .... Deacons in like manner must be grave "; Tit. 1 : 5, 7—" Appoint elders in every city; for the bishop must be blameless "; 1 Pet 5 :1, 2 —"The elders therefore among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder .... Tend [ lit. 'shepherd,' 'be pastors of] the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight [ acting as bishops ], not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God." In this last passage, Westcott and Hort, with Tischendorf's 8th edition, follow X and B in omitting «iriff«oiroii'T«s. Tregelles and our Revised Version follow A and Nc in retaining it. Rightly, we think; since it is easy to see how, In a growing eccleslasticism, it should have been omitted, from the feeling that too much was here ascribed to a mere presbyter.

Dexter, Congregationalism, 114, shows that bishop, elder, pastor are names for the same office: (1) from the significance of the words; (2) from the fact that the same qualifications are demanded from all; (3) from the fact that the same duties are assigned to all; (4) from the fact that the texts held to prove higher rank of the bishop do not support that claim.

(b) The only plausible objection to the identity of the presbyter and the bishop is that first suggested by Calvin, on the ground of 1 Tim. 5 : 17. But this text only shows that the one office of presbyter or bishop involved two kinds of labor, and that certain presbyters or bishops were more successful iu one kind than in the other. That gifts of teaching and ruling belonged to the same individual, is clear from Acts 20 : 28-31; Eph. 4:11; Heb. 13 : 7; 1 Tim. 3 : 2 — i^iano-ov SidaicriKdv,

1 Tim. 5 : 17 —" Let the elders that rule veil be counted worthy of doable honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching"; Wilson, Primitive Government of Christian Churches, concedes that this last text •• expresses a diversity in the exercise of the pregbyterial office, but not in the office itself "; and although he was a Presbyterian, he very consistently refused to have any ruling elders in his church.

ids 20 : 28-31 — "bishops, to feed the church of the Lord .... wherefore watch ye": Eph. 4 :11—"and some, pastors and teachers"—hero Meyer remarks that the single article binds the two words together, and prevents us from supposing that separate offices are intended. Jerome: "Nemo ... pastoris slbl nomen assumero debet, nisi possit docere quos pasclt." Heb. 13: 7 —"Remember them that had the rule over jou, which spake unto you the word of God"; 1 Tim. 3 : 2—"the bishop must be .... apt to teach." The great temptation to ambition in the Christian ministry is provided against by having no gradation of ranks. The pastor is a priest, only as every Christian is. See Jacob, Ecel. Polity of N. T., 56; Olshausen, on 1 Tim. 5 : 17; Hackett on Acts 1* : 23; Presb. ltev., Vm: 89-126.

('•) In certain of the N. T. churches there appears to have been a plurality of elders (Acts 20 : 17; Phil. 1:1; Tit. 1: 5). There in, however, no evidence that the number of elders was uniform, or that the plurality which frequently existed was due to any other cause than the size of the churches for which these elders cared. The N. T. example, while it permits the multiplication of assistant pastors according to need, does not require a plural eldership in every case; nor does it render this eldership, where it exists, of coordinate authority with the church. There are indications, moreover, that, at least in certain churches, the pastor was one, while the deacons were more than one, in number.

icts 20 :17—"And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to him the elders of the church"; Phil. 1:1—"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons"; Tit. 1: 5 —" For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge." See, however, Acts 12 :17—"Tell these things unto James, and to the brethren "; 15 : 13 —" and after they had held their peace, James answered, saying. Brethren, hearken unto me "; 21:18 —" And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present"; Gal. 1:19—"But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother"; 2:12—"certain came from James." These passages seem to indicate that James was the pastor or president of the church at Jerusalem, au Intimation which tradition corroborates.

1 Tim. 3 : 2 —"The bishop therefore must be without reproach"; Tit. 1 : 7 —" For the bishop must be blameless, as

God's steward "; cf.i Tim. 3 : 8,10,12 —" Deacons in like manner must be grave And let these also first be

proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless .... Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well "— in all these passages the bishop Is spoken of In the singular number, the deacons In the plural. So, too, in Rev. 2:1, 8,12,18 and 3 :1, 7,14, "the angel of the church" is best Interpreted as meaning the pastor of the church; and, if this be correct, it Is clear that each church had, not many pastors, but one.

It would, moreover, seem antecedently Improbable that every church of Christ, however small, should be required to have a plural eldership, particularly since churches exist that have only a single male member. A plural eldership is natural and advantageous, only where the church is very numerous and the pastor needs assistants in his work; and only in such cases can we say that New Testament example favors it. For advocacy of the theory of plural eldership, see Fish, Ecclesiology, 229-249; Ladd, Principles of Church Polity, 22-29. On the whole subject of offices in the church, see Dexter, Congregationalism, 77-98; Dagg, Church Order, 241-268.

B. The duties belonging to these offices.

(a) The pastor, bishop, or elder is:

First,— a spiritual teacher, in public and private;

Acts 20 : 20, 21, 35—" ho* that I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that via profitable, and teaching you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.... In all things I gave you an example, how that so laboring ye ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive '; 1 Thess. 5 :12 —" But we beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you "; Seb. 13: 7,17 —" Remember them that had the rule over you, which spake unto you the word of God; and considering the issue of their life, imitate their faith .... Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account"

Here we should remember that the pastor's private work of religious conversation and prayer is equally important with his public ministrations; In this respect he is to be an example to his Hock, and they arc to learn from him the art of winning the unconverted and of caring for those who are alreadj' saved.

Secondly,— administrator of the ordinances;

Mat. 28 :19. 20 Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded "; 1 Cor. 1 : 16, 16 — "and I baptized also the household of Stephens: besides, I know not whether I baptised any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." Here it is evident that, although the pastor administers the ordinances, this is not his main work, nor is the church absolutely dependent upon him in the matter. He is not set, like an O. T. priest, to minister at the altar, but to preach the gospel. In an emergency any other member appointed by the church may adminster them with equal propriety, the church always determining who are tit subjects of the ordinances, and constituting him their organ in administering them. Any other view is based on sacramental notions, and on ideas of apostolic succession.

Thirdly,— superintendent of the discipline, as well as presiding officer at meetings of the church.

Superintendent of discipline: 1 Tim. 5 :17—" Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in word and in teaching "; 3 : 5—" If a man knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?" Presiding officer at meetings of the church: 1 Cor. 12: 28 —"governments"; 1 Pet 5 : 2, 3—"Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock."

In the old Congregational churches of New England, an authority was accorded to the pastor which exceeded the New Testament standard. "Dr. Bellamy could break in upon a festival which he deemed improper, and order the members of his parish to their homes." Tho congregation rose as the minister entered the church, and stood uncovered as he passed out of the porch. We must not hope or desire to restore the New England regime. The pastor is to take responsibility, to put himself forward when there is need, but he Is to rule only by moral suasion, and that only by guiding, teaching, and carrying Into effect the rules Imposed by Christ and the decisions of the church in accordance with those rules.

Dexter, Congregationalism, 115,155,157—"The Governorof New York suggests to the Legislature such and such enactments, and then executes such laws as they please to pass. He is chief ruler of the State, while the Legislature adopts or rejects what he proposes." So the pastor's functions are not legislative, but executive. Christ is the only lawgiver. In fulfilling this office, the manner and spirit of the pastor's work are of as great importance as are correctness of judgment and faithfulness to Christ's law. "The young man who cannot distinguish the wolves from the dogs should not think of becoming a shepherd." Gregory Nazianzen: "Either teach none, or let your life teach too." See Harvey, The Pastor; Wayland, Apostolic Ministry; Jacob, Eccl. Polity of N. T., 99; Samson, in Madison Avenue Lectures, 361-288.

{/)) The deacon is helper to the pastor and the church, in both spiritual and temporal things.

First— relieving the pastor of external labors, informing him of the condition and wants of the church, and forming a bond of union between pastor and people.

lets 6 :1-4 —" Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. And the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not fit that we should forsake the word of God, and serve tables. Look ye oat therefore, brethren, from among you, seven men of good report, fall of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Procborus, and Nicanor, and Timon. and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands upon them "; ef. 8-10 — where Stephen shows power in disputation; Rom. 12 : 7 —" or ministry [ Uaxovinv ], let us give ourselves to our ministry "; 1 Cor. 12 : 28 — "helps"; Phil. 1:1—" bishops and deacons."

Secondly — helping the church by relieving the poor and sick, and ministering in an informal way to the church's spiritual needs, as well as performing certain external duties connected with the service of the sanctuary.

Since deacons are to t>e helpers, It is not necessary In all cases that they should be old or rich: in fact, it is better that among the number of deacons the various differences in station, aire, wealth, and opinion in the church should be represented. The qualifications for the dlaconate mentioned in Acts 6 :1-4 and 1 Tim. 3 : 8-13. are, in substance: wisdom, sympathy, and spirituality. There are advantages in electing deacons, not for life, but for a term of years. While there is no New Testament prescription in this matter, and each church may exercise its option, service for a term of years, with reelection wtiere the office has been well discharged, would at least seem favored by 1 Tim. 3 :10 —" Let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless "; 13 —" For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."

In Rom. 16 :1, 2, we have apparent mention of a deaconess—"I commend unto yon Phosbe, our sister, who is a servant [ marg.—'deaconess' ] of the church that is in Cenchrec .... for she herself also hath been a succorer of many, and of mine own self." See also 1 Tim. 3 :11 —" Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderous, temperate, faithful in all things"—here Ellicott and Alford claim that the word "women" refers, not to deacons' wives, as our Auth. Vers, had it, but to deaconesses. Dexter, Congregationalism, 8ft, 13i, maintains that the office of deaconess, though it once existed, has passed away, as belonging to a time when men could not, without suspicion, minister to women.

This view that there are temporary offices in the church does not, however, commend itself to us. It is more correct to say that there is yet doubt whether there uxu such an office as deaconess, even in the early church. Each church has a right in this matter to interpret Scripture for itself, and to act accordingly. An article in the Bap. Quar., 1869 : 40, denies the existence of any diaconal rank or office, for male or female. Fish, is his Ecclesiology, holds that Stephen was a deacon, but an elder also, and preached as elder, not as deacon — Acts 6 :1-4 being called the institution, not of the diaconate, but of the Christian ministry. The use of the phrase SKutoneiv T»air<<<us, and the distinction between the diaeonate and the pastorate subsequently made in the Epistles, seem to refute this interpretation. On the fitness of women for the ministry of religion, see F. P. Cobbe, Peak of Darlen, 199-283. On the general subject, see Howell, The Deaconship; Williams, The Deaconship; Robinson, X. T. Lexicon, «iti>j|+«.

C. Ordination of officers.

(a) What is ordination? •

Ordination is the setting apart of a person divinely called to a work of special ministration in the church. It does not involve the communication of power,—it is simply a recognition of powers previously conferred by God, and a consequent formal authorization, on the part of the church, to exercise the gifts already bestowed. This recognition and authorization should not only be expressed by the vote in which the candidate is approved by the church or the council which represents it, but should also be accompanied by a special service of admonition, prayer, and the laying-on of hands (Acts 6 : 5, 6; 13 : 2, 3; 14 : 23; 1 Tim. 4 : 14; 5 : 22).

Licensure simply commends a man to the churches as fitted to preach. Ordination recognizes him as set apart to the work of preaching and administering ordinances, in some particular church or in some designated field of labor, as representative of the church.

Of his call to the ministry, the candidate himself is to be first persuaded {1 Cor. 9 : 16; 1 Tim. 1 : 12); but, secondly, the church must be persuaded also, before he can have authority to minister among them (1 Tim. 3 : 2-7; 4:14; Titus 1: 6-9).

The word 'ordain' has come to hare a technical signification not found In the New Testament. There it means simply to choose, appoint, set apart. In 1 Tim. 2:7—" whereunto I was appointed [ iriS^y ] a preacher and an apostle .... a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth "— It apparently denotes ordination of God. In the following passages we read of an ordination by the church: lets 6 : 5, 6 -" and the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen,.... and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nieanor, and Tiraon, and Parmenus, and Nicolas .... whom they set before the apostles: and when ihey had prayed, they laid their hands on them "— the ordination of deacons; 13 : 2, 3 —" ind as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I hare called them. Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away "; 14 : 23 —" ind when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed "; 1 Tim 4 :14 —" Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery "; 5 : 22 —" Lay hands hastily on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins."

Since ordination Is simply choosing, appointing, setting apart, it seems plain that in the case of deacons, who sustain official relations only to the church that constitutes them, ordination requires no consultation with other churches. Hut in the ordination of a pastor, there are three natural stages: (1) the call of the church; (2) the decision of a council (the council being virtually only the church advised by its brethren); (3) the publication of this decision by a public service of prayer and the laying on of hands. The prior call to be pastor may be said, in the case of a man yet unordained, to be given by the church conditionally, and in anticipation of a ratification of its action by the subsequent judgment of the council. In a well-instructed church, the calling of A council is a regular method of appeal from the church unadvised to the church advised by its brethren; and the vote of the council approving the candidate is only the essential completing of an ordination, of which the vote of the church calling the candidate to the pastorate was the preliminary stage.

This setting apart by the church, with the advice and assistance of the council, is all that is necessarily implied in the New Testament words which are translated " ordain "; and such ordination, by simple vote of church and council, could not be counted invalid. But it would be Irregular. New Testament precedent makes certain accompaniments not only appropriate, but obligatory. A formal publication of the decree of the council, by laying-on of hands, in connection with prayer, is the last of the duties of this advisory body, which serves as the organ and assistant of tho church. The laying-on of hands is appointed to be the regular accompaniment of ordination, as baptism is appointed to be the regular accompaniment of regeneration; while yet the laying-on of hands is no more the substance of ordination, than baptism is the substance of regeneration.

The imposition of bands is the natural symbol of the communication, not of grace, but of authority. It docs not make a man a minister of the gospel, any more than coronation makes Victoria a Queen. What it does signify and publish, is formal recognition and authorization. Viewed in this light, there not only can be no objection to the imposition of hands upon the ground that it favors sacramentalism, but insistence upon it is the bounden duty of every council of ordination.

(6) Who are to ordain?

Ordination is the act of the church, not the act of a privileged class in the church, as the eldership has sometimes wrongly been regarded, nor yet the act of other churches, assembled by their representatives in council. No ecclesiastical authority higher than that of the local church is recognized in the New Testament. This authority, however, has its limits; and since the church has no authority outside of its own body, the candidate for ordination should be a member of the ordaining church.

Since each church is bound to recognize the presence of the Spirit in other rightly constituted churches, and its own decisions, in like manner, are to be recognized by others, it is desirable in ordination, as in all important steps affecting other churches, that advice be taken before the candidate is inducted into office, and that other churches be called to sit ■with it in council, and if thought best, assist in setting the candidate apart for the ministry.

It is always to be remembered, however, that the power to ordain rests with the church, and that the church may proceed without a council, or even against the decision of the council. Such ordination, of course, would give authority only within the bounds of the individual church. Where no immediate exception is taken to the decision of the council, that decision is to be regarded as virtually the decision of the church by which it was called. The same rule applies to a council's decision to depose from the ministry. In the absence of immediate protest from the church, the decision of the council is rightly taken as virtually the decision of the church.

In so far as ordination is an act performed by the local church with the advice and assistance of other rightly constituted churches, it is justly regarded as giving formal permission to exercise gifts and administer ordinances within the bounds of such churches. Ordination is not, therefore, to be repeated upon the transfer of the minister's pastoral relation from one church to another. In every case, however, where a minister from a body of Christians not scripturally constituted assumes the pastoral relation in a rightly organized church, there is peculiar propriety, not only in the examination, by a council, of his Christian experience, call to the ministry, and views of doctrine, but also in that act of formal recognition and authorization which is called ordination.

The council of ordination is not to be composed simply of ministers who have been, themselves ordained. As the whole church is to preserve the ordinances and to maintain sound doctrine, and as the unordalned church member is often a more sagacious judge of a candidate's Christian experience than his own pastor would be, there seeina no warrant, either in Scripture or in reason, for the exclusion of lay-delegates from ordaining councils. It was not merely the apostles and elders, but the whole church at Jerusalem, that passed upon the matters submitted to them at the council, and others than ministers appear to have been delegates. The theory that only ministers can ordain has In It the beginnings of a hierarchy. To make the ministry a close corporation is to recognize the principle of apostolic succession, to deny the validity of all our past ordinations, and to sell to an ecclesiastical caste the liberties of the church of God.

The council should be numerous and impartially constituted. The church calling the council should be represented in it by a fair number of delegates. Neither the church, nor the council, should permit a prejudgment of the case by the previous announcement of an ordinHtion service. While the examination of the candidate should be public, all danger that the council be unduly influenced by pressure from without should be obviated by its conducting its deliberations, and arriving at its decision, In private session. We subjoin the form of a letter missive, calling a council of ordination; an order of procedure after the council has assembled; and a programme of exercises for the public service:

Letter Missive. The church of to the church of :Dear Brethren:

By vote of this church, you are requested to send your pastor and two delegates to meet

with us in accordance with the following resolutions, passed by us on the , 188—:

Wherem, brother , a member of this church, has offered himself to the work of the

gospel ministry, and has been chosen by us as our pastor, therefore, I?t'j*o7ml, 1. That such neighboring churches, in fellowship with us, as shall be herein designated, be requested to send their pastor and two delegates each, to meet and counsel with this

church, at — o'clock —. M., on , 188—, and if, after examination by the Council, he be

approved, that brother be on the next day set apart, formally, by public service, to

the gospel ministry. Rexolvcd, 2. That the Council, if they approve the ordination, be requested to appoint two of their number to act with the candidate, in arranging the ordination services. Rcgolval, 3. That printed letters of invitation, embodying: those resolutions, and signed by the clerk of this church, be sent to the following- churches,

, and that these churches be requested to furnish to their delegates

an officially signed certificate of their appointment, to bo presented at the organization

of the Council. Rc&AveA, 4. That Rev. , and brethren , be also invited by

the clerk of the church to be present as members of the Council. Retoh-rxl, 5. That

brethren , , and , be appointed as our delegates, to represent this church in

the deliberations of the Council: and that brother be requested to present the candidate to the Council, with an expression of the high respect and warm attachment with

which we have welcomed him and his labors among us. In behalf of the church,

.Clerk. ,188-.

Order Of Procedure. 1. Reading, by the clerk of the church, of the letter-missive, followed by a call, in their order, upon all churches and individuals invited, to present responses and names in writing; each delegate, as he presents his credentials, taking his seat in u portion of the house reserved for the Council. 2. Announcement, by the clerk of the church, that a Council has convened, and call for the nomination of a moderator —the motion to be put by the clerk — after which the moderator takes the chair. 3. Organization completed by election of a clerk of the Council, the otTering of prayer, and the invitation of visiting brethren to sit with the Council, but not to vote. 4. Reading, on behalf of the church, by Its clerk, of the records of the church concerning the call extended to the candidate, and his acceptance, together with documentary evidence of his licensure, of his present church membership, and of his standing in other respects, if coming from another denomination. 5. Vote, by the Council, that the proceedings of the church, and the standing of the candidate, warrant an examination of his claim to ordination. 6. Introduction of the candidate to the Council, by some representative of ■ the church, with an expression of the church's feeling respecting him and his labors. 7. Vote to hear his Christian experience. Narration on the part of the candidate, followed by questions as to any features of it still needing elucidation. 8. Vote to hear the candidate's reasons for believing himself called to the ministry. Narration and questions. 0. Vote to hear the candidate's views of Christian doctrine. Narration and questions. 10. Vote to conclude the public examination, and to withdraw for private session. 11. In private session, after prayer, the Council determines, by three separate votes, in order to secure separate consideration of each question, whether It is satisfied with the candidate's Christian experience, call to the ministry, and views of Christian doctrine. 12. Vote that the candidate be hereby set apart to the gospel ministry, and that a public service be held, expressive of this fact; that for this purpose, a committee of two be appointed, to act with the candidate, in arranging such service of ordination, and to report before adjournment. 13. Reading of minutes, by clerk of Council, and correction of them, to prepare for presentation at the ordination service, and for preservation in the archives of the church. 14. Vote to give the candidate a certificate of ordination, signed by the moderator and clerk of the Council, and to publish an account of the proceedings in the Journals of the denomination. 15. Adjourn to meet at the service of ordination.

Programme Op Public Service (two hours in length). 1. Voluntary— five minutes. 2. Anthem — five. 3. Reading minutes of the Council, by the clerk of the council — ten. 4. Prayerof invocation — five. 5. Readingof Scripture —five. 8. Sermon— twenty-five. 7. Prayer of ordination, with laying-on of hands —fifteen. 8. Hymn —ten. 0. Right hand of fellowship — five. 10. Charge to the candidate — fifteen. 11. Charge to the church —fifteen. 12. Doxology — live. 13. Benediction by the newly ordained pastor.

The tenor of the N. T. would seem to indicate that deacons should be ordained with prayer and the laying-on of hands, though not by council or public-service. Evangelists, missionaries, ministers serving as secretaries of benevolent societies, should also be ordained, since they are organs of the church, set apart for special religious work on behalf of the churches. The same rule applies to those who are set to be teachers of the teachers, the professors of theological seminaries. Philip, baptizing the eunuch, is to be regarded as an organ of the church at Jerusalem. Roth home missionaries and foreign missionaries are evangelists; and both, as organs of the home churches to which they belong, are not under obligation to take letters of dismission to the churches they gather.

Retirement from the office of public teacher should work a forfeiture of the official character. The authorization granted by the Council was based upon a previous recognition of a divine call. When by reason of permanent withdrawal from the ministry, and devotion to wholly secular pursuits, there remains no longer any div ine call to be recognized, all authority and standing as a Christian minister should cease also. We therefore repudiate the doctrine of the "indelibility of sacred orders," and the corresponding maxim: "Once ordained, always ordained"; although we do not, with the Cambridge Platform, confine the ministerial function to the pastoral relation. That Platform held that "the pastoral relation ceasing, the ministerial function ceases, and the pastor becomes a layman again, to be restored to the ministry only by a second ordination, called installation. This theory of the ministry proved so inadequate, that it was held scarcely more than a single generation. It was rejected by the Congregational churches of England ten years after it was formulated in New England."

"The National Council of Congregational Churches, in 1880, resolved that any man serving a church as minister can be dealt with und disciplined by any church, no matter what his relations may be In church membership, or ecclesiastical affiliations. If the church choosing him will not call a council, then any church can call one for that purpose"; sex: New Euglander, July, 1883 : 461-45*1. This latter course, however, presupposes that the steps of fraternal labor and admonition, provided for in our next section on the Relation of Local Churches to each other, have been taken, and have l>een insufficient to induct: proper action on the part of the church to which such minister belongs. See articles on Councils of Ordination, their Powers and Duties, by A. H. Strong, in The Examiner, Jan. 2 and », 1870; Wayland, Principles and Practices of Baptists, 114; Dexter, Congregationalism, 138, 145, 146,150, 151. Per contra, see Fish, Ecclesiology, 365399; Presb. Rev., 188B : 89-126.

8. Discipline of the Church.

A. Kinds of discipline. Discipline is of two sorts, according as offences are private or public, (a) Private offences are to be dealt with according to the rule in Mat. 5 : 23, 24; 18 : 15-17.

Mat. 5 : 23, 24 —" If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and than come and offer thy gift "—here is provision for self-discipline on the part of each offender; 18 : 15, 17 —" and if thy brother sin against thee, go, shew him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established, and if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican "— here is, first, private discipline, one of another; and then, only as a last resort, discipline by the church.

(6) Public offences are to be dealt with according to the rule in 1 Cor. 5 : 3-5, 13, and 2 Thess. 3 : 6.

1 Cor. 5 : 3-5.13—" For I verily, being absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as though I wore present, judged him that hath so wrought this thing, in the name of the Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may bo saved in the day of the Lord Jesus .... Put away the wicked man from among yourselves."

Notice here that Paul gave the incestuous person no opportunity to repent, confess, and avert sentence. The church can have no valid evidence of repentance immediately upon discovery and arraignment. At such a time the natural conscience always reacts in remorse and self-accusation, but whether the sin is hated because of its inherent wickedness, or only because of its unfortunate consequences, cannot be known at once. Only fruits meet for repentance can prove repentance real. But such fruits take time. And the church has no time to wait. Its good repute in the community, and its influence over its own members, are at stake. These therefore demand the instant exclusion of the wrong-doer, as evidence that the church clears its skirts from all complicity with the wrong. In the case of gross public offences, labor with the offender is to come, not before, but after, his excommunication.

2 Thess. 3 : 6 —" Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which they received of us." The mere " dropping" of names from the list of members seems altogether contrary to the spirit of the N. T. polity. That recognizes only three methods of exit from the local church: (1) exclusion; (2) dismission; (3) death. To provide for the case of members whose residence has long been unknown, it is well for the church to have a standing rule that all members residing at a distance shall report each year by letter or by contribution, and, in case of failure to report for two successive years, shall be subject to discipline. The action of the church, In such cases, should take the form of an adoption of preamble and resolution: "Whereas, A. B. has been absent from the church for more than two years, and has failed to comply with the standing: rule requiring a yearly report or contribution, therefore, RavAvcd, that the church withdraw from A. B. the hand of fellowship."

In al! cases of exclusion, the resolution may uniformly read as above; the preamble may indefinitely vary, and should always cite the exact nature of the offence. In this way, neglectof the church or breach of covenant obligations may be distinguished from offences against common morality, so that exclusion upon the former ground shall not be mistaken for exclusion upon the latter. As the persons excluded are not commonly present at the meeting of the church when they are excluded, a written copy of the preamble and resolution, signed by the Clerk of the Church, should always be immediately sent to them.

B. Relation of the pastor to discipline, (a) He Las no original authority; {b) but is the organ of the church, and (c) superintendent of its labors for its own purification and for the reclamation of offenders; and therefore (d) may best do the work of discipline, not directly, by constituting himself a special policeman or detective, but indirectly, by securing proper labor on the part of the deacons or brethren of the church.

It is not well for the pastor to be, or to have the reputation of being, a ferreter-out of misdemeanors among his church members. It is best for him in general to serve only as presiding officer in cases of discipline, instead of being a partisan or a counsel for the prosecution. For this reason it is well for him to secure the appointment by his church of a Prudential Committee, or Committee on Discipline, whose duty it shall be at a fixed time each year to look over the list of members, initiate labor In the case of delinquents, and, after the proper steps have been taken, present proper preambles and resolutions in cases where the church needs to take action. This regular yearly process renders discipline easy; whereas the neglect of it for several successive years results in an accumulation of cases, in each of which the person exposed to discipline has friends, and these are tempted to obstruct the church's dealing with others from fear that the taking up of any other case may lead to the taking up of that one in which they are most nearly Interested.

As the Prudential Committee, or Committee on Discipline, is simply the church Itself preparing ite own business, the church may well require all complaints to be made to it through the committee. In this way it may be made certain that the preliminary steps of labor have been taken, and the disquieting of the church by premature charges may be avoided. Where the committee, after proper representations made to it, fails to do its duty, the individual member may appeal directly to the assembled church; and the difference between the New Testament order and that of a hierarchy is this, that according to the former all final action and responsibility is taken by the church itself in its collective capacity, whereas on the latter the minister, the session, or the bishop, so far as the Individual church is concerned, determines the result. See Savage, Church Discipline, Formative and Corrective; Dagg, Church Order, 268-274.

IV. Relation Of Local Churches To One Another.

1. The general nature of this relation is that of fellowship between equals. — Notice here:

(a) The absolute equality of the churches.— No church or council of churches, no association or convention or society, can relieve any single church of its direct responsibility to Christ, or assume control of its action.

(b) The fraternal fellowship and cooperation of the churches.— No church can properly ignore, or disregard, the existence or work of other churches around it. Every other church is presumptively possessed of the Spirit, in equal measure with itself. There must therefore be sympathy

and mutual furtherance of each other's welfare among churches, as among individual Christians. Upon this principle are based letters of dismission, recognition of the pastors of other churches, and all associational unions, or unions for common Christian work.

2. This fellowship involves the duty of special consultation with regard to matters affecting the common interest.

(a) The duty of seeking advice.— Since the order and good repute of each is valuable to all the others, cases of grave importance and difficulty in internal discipline, as well as the question of ordaining members to the ministry, should be submitted to a council of churches called for the purpose.

(b) The duty of taking advice. —For the same reason, each church should show readiness to receive admonition from others. So long as this is in the nature of friendly reminder that the church is guilty of defects from the doctrine or practice enjoined by Christ, the mutual acceptance of whose commands is the basis of all church fellowship, no church can justly refuse to have such defects pointed out, or to consider the scripturalness of its own proceeding. Such admonition or advice, however, whether 'coming from a single church or from a council of churches, is not itself of binding authority. It is simply in the nature of moral suasion. The church receiving it has still to compare it with Christ's laws. The ultimate decision rests entirely with the church so advised or asking advice.

3. This fellowship may be broken by manifest departures from the faith or practice of the Scriptures, on the part of any church.

In such case, duty to Christ requires the churches whose labors to reclaim a sister church from error have proved unavailing to withdraw their fellowship from it, until such time as the erring church shall return to the path of duty. In this regard, the law which applies to individuals applies to churches, and the polity of the New Testament is congregational rather than independent.

Independence is qualified by interdependence. While each church is, in the last resort, thrown upon its own responsibility in ascertaining doctrine and duty, it is to acknowledge the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in other churches us well as in itself, and the value of the public opinion of the churches as an indication of the mind of the SpiritThe church in Antioch asks advice of the church in Jerusalem, although Paul himself was at Antioch. Although no church or union of churches has rightful Jurisdiction over the single local body, yet the Council, when rightly called and constituted, has the power of moral influence. Its decision is an index to truth which only the gravest reasons will justify the church in ignoring or refusing to follow.

The fact that the church has always the right, for just cause, of going behind the decision of the Council, and of determining for itself whether it will ratify or reject that decision, shows conclusively that the church has parted with no particle of its original independence or authority. Yet, though the Council is simply a counsellor —an organ and helper of the church — the neglect of its advice may involve such ecclesiastical or moral wrong ns to justify the churches represented in it, as well as other churches, in withdrawing, from the church that called it, their denominational fellowship. The relation of churches to one another Is analogous to the relation of private Christians to one another. No meddlesome spirit is to be allowed; but in matters of grave moment, a church, as well as an Individual, may be justified in giving advice unasked.

Lightfoot, in his new edition of Clemens Komanus, shows that the Epistle, Instead of emanating from Clement as Bishop of Rome, is a letter of the church at Rome to the Corinthians, urging: them to peace. No pope and no bishop existed, but the whole church congregationally addressed Its counsels to its sister body of believers at Corinth. Congregationalism, in A. D. 95, considered it a duty to labor with a sister church that had in its judgment gone astray, or that was in dangror of going astray. The only primacy was the primacy of the church, not of the bishop; and this primacy was a primacy of goodness, backed up by metropolitan advantages. All this fraternal fellowship follows from the fundamental conception of the local church as the concrete embodiment of the universal church. Park: "Congregationalism recognizee a voluntary cooperation and communion of the churches, which Independency does not do. Independent churches ordain and depose pastors without asking advice from other churches."

In accordance with this general principle, in a case of serious disagreement between different portions of the same church, the council called to advise should be, if possible, a mutual, not an ex parte, council; see Dexter, Congregationalism, 2, 3, 01-64. It is a more general application of the same principle, to say that the pastor should not shut himBclf in to his own church, but should cultivate friendly relations with other pastors and with other churches, should be present and active at the meetings of Associations and State Conventions, and at the Anniversaries of the National Societies of the denomination. His example of friendly interest in the welfare of others will affect his «hurch. The strong should be taught to help the weak, after the example of Paul in raising contributions for the poor churches of Judea.

The principle of church independence is not only consistent with, but it absolutely requires under Christ, all manner of Christian cooperation with other churches; and Social and Mission Unions to unify the work of the denomination, to secure the starting of new enterprises, to prevent one church from trenching upon the territory or appropriating the members of another, are only natural outgrowths of the principle. President Wayland's remark, " He who is displeased with everybody and everything gives the best evidence that his own temper is defective and that he is a bad associate," applies to churches as well as to individuals. Each church is to remember that, though it Is honored by the indwelling of its Lord, it constitutes only a part of that great body of which Christ is the head.

See Davidson, Bool. Polity of the N. T.; Ladd, Principles of Church Polity: and on the general subject of the Church, Hodge, Essays, 801; Flint, Christ's Kingdom on Earth, 53-82; Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity; The Church,—a collection of essays by Luthardt, Kahnls, etc.; Hiscox, Baptist Church Directory; Ripley, Church Polity; Harvey, The Church; Crowell, Church Members' Manual; R. W. Dale, Manual of Congregational Principles; Lightfoot, Com. on Philipplans, excursus on the Christian Ministry.