In the outlines and appendixes presented here, I tried to show, first, some broad views and differences concerning the church, and why there is so much confusion about this doctrine. Second, after studying all the passages where the word evkklhsia, is found in the New Testament, it is seen that essentially every time it is mention it cannot be questioned but that the meaning refers to a local congregation. All rules of Biblical interpretation teach that the clear must interpret the obscure. (Since the Greek word evkklhsia, always referred to an assembly or congregation prior to the writing of the New Testament, why should we think that the meaning changed in the New Testament? Where is the verse or verses which states that God changed the meaning of the word?) Third, I have presented the passages in the New Testament which connect the word body to evkklhsia, and sought to prove that the word body is never used to indicate anything but a congregation. Fourth, I tried to set forth the difficult passage of Heb 12:23 in its context. This passage refers to when saints of God shall be congregated together in glory. Fifth, I presented what is meant by the generic or institutional usage of the word church. Sixth, I refer to the history of how the London Confession of Faith in 1689 came to be written. Seventh, a study of the London Confession in connection with the Westminster and Savoy Confession proves that there were definite differences in their beliefs concerning the doctrine of the church. There is a difference in the meaning and the usage of a word.
The second outline shows the nature of the congregation, that it was in existence prior to Pentecost, and that the commission was given to the congregation. In connection with this, there is a third outline which is a study concerning the ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s supper). In this outline I tried to set forth the nature of the ordinances and where they reside. Therefore, since the commission and ordinances were given to the church, it is the church (congregation) which is to guard, defend, preserve, and maintain them until the Lord returns (1Co 11:26). Since the Scriptures are our only guide and they never show a congregation of people which did not previously have connection with another congregation or congregations, we are persuaded that this is what God would have us believe as to how the church is to be perpetuated.
If the above is true, we can agree on the following syllogism.
1. The church is a congregation of people gathered together by God for His glory.
2. The commission and ordinances were given to the congregation to be kept pure until the return of the Lord.
3. Therefore, the Word of God, the commission, and the ordinances are to be perpetuated by congregations and only congregations which have these Divinely given articles have the authority to deliver them to others.
Note what the government of the United States of America had to say about Baptists in 1926.
“It is a distinct principle with Baptists that they acknowledge no human founder, recognizes no human authority, and subscribe to no human creed. For all these things, Baptists of every name and order go back to the New Testament. And while no competent Baptist historian assumes to be able to trace a succession of Baptist churches through the ages, most of them are of one accord in believing that, if we could secure the records, there would be found heroic groups of believers in every age who upheld with their testimonies and, in many cases, with their lives, the great outstanding and distinctive principles of the Baptist churches of today.”
From the Bureau of Census for 1926
United States Department of Commerce
In conclusion, these notes were not written for the intention of being published for the public. They were written as an outline to systematically teach to others. However, over the years others have requested copies and I have tried to make changes with each printing to better serve those who might read them. Therefore, since these notes were written for my usage and not for instructing others, there is no doubt some places where it is not clear as to why the outline is written as it is. Please overlook this, as well as the writer’s rustic style and mannerisms. Hopefully, the reader will benefit from this work. If so, all the glory belongs to the Lord of glory, the Head of the congregation.
Copyright by Veritas Publications 1999
(i) After affirming that the access to the Father is “through” or “by means of” Christ, Lenski writes: ‘The Greek is able to add the apposition to the “we” by means of the verb ending after the object “peace,” thereby helping to emphasize the apposition: “we – the both (of us),” Gentiles and Jews alike. They come to the Father, not by two roads, but by one. Hence also the phrase “in one spirit.” One hesitates to leave the consensus of the commentators who here translate “in one Spirit” as do our versions. This consensus also finds the Trinity in Paul's wording: “through him” (Christ) – “in one (Holy) Spirit” – the Father.” Yet, attractive as this appears, we question its soundness. In Eph 2:16 we have “in one body” to which there is now added as the complement, “in one spirit.” This correspondence extends much farther when we note that “one” recurs together with “both” (“two”): Eph 2:14, “both the parts one part”; Eph 2:15, “the two men one new man”; Eph 2:16, “the both of them one body”; now, “the both of us in one spirit.” In this chain of four “both – one,” one part, one man, one body, the last link is surely one spirit (not one Spirit). Not the thought that God or Christ or the Spirit are one fits into the chain, but one spirit, a unit mind and heart filled with one life and one faith by Christ, his blood and his cross, his gospel preaching of peace does. The decisive word is “one.”
‘“The access to the Father” implies that the Ephesian Gentiles and Jews have an approach to him as his children and sons, oikeioi, “household members.” All the rights of children are theirs as also all the gifts that this divine Father bestows. All come to him as a unit, come “in one spirit,” and are thus in one and the same blessed relation and position, no matter if they once were two, some of them Gentiles, others Jews. Pros is the face-to-face preposition; “there is something almost intimate as well as personal in some of the examples” (R. 624, etc.), it is so in fact.’ The Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians, pp. 447-448.
(ii) Though Salmond, in The Expositor's Greek Testament, maintains that the word spirit refers to the Holy Spirit, he insists it be translated in one Spirit: ‘The en is not = by, but in, with reference to the element in which alone we have the access. As that right is ours only through Christ ..., so it is made ours in actual experience only in the Spirit, by Jew and Gentile have it alike because it is one and the same Spirit that works in both. Vol. 3, p. 298.
(iii)Fausset, in Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary, agrees with Salmond. Vol. 6, p. 405.
(iv)A. T. Robertson and William Hendriksen also maintain that it should be translated in one Spirit.
(v) The American Standard Version and the New American Standard Version translated it in one Spirit.
 That ekklhsia does not mean the called out is demonstrated by the following verses: Ac 9:31; 13:1; 14:23; 15:4,22,41; 16:5; 19:37; 20:17; Ro 16:4-5,16,23; 1Co 6:17,4; 7:17; 11:16,18; 12:28; 14:19,23,28,33-34,35; 16:1,19; 2Co 8:1,18-19,23-24; 11:28; 12:13; Ga 1:2,22; Eph 5:27; Php 4:15; 1Th 2:14; 2Th 1:4; 1Ti 5:16; Heb 2:12; Jas 5:14; 3Jo 9-10; Re 1:4,11,20; 2:7,11,17,29,29; 3:6,13,22; 22:16.
 See Appendix B.
 See Appendix C.
 Eorth, to keep a feast; amusement, play, sport, enjoyment. Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell & Scott, p. 484.
[a] Mt 3:6,11,11,13-14,16; 20:22,22-23,23*; Mt 28:19.
[b] Mr 1:4*, Mr 1:5,8,8-9; 10:38,38-39,39*; Mr 16:16.
[c] Lu 3:7,12,16,16,21,21; 7:29-30*; Lu 12:50.
[d] Joh 1:25-26,28,31,33,33; 3:22-23*, Joh 1:23,26; 4:1-2.
[e] Ac 1:5,5; 2:38,41; 8:12,12,16,36,38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 11:16,16; 16:15,33*; Ac 18:8; 19:3-4,5; 22:16.
[f] Ro 6:3,3*.
[g] 1Co 1:13-14,15-16,16-17; 10:2*; 1Co 12:13; 15:29,29.
[h] Ga 3:27*.
[a] Mr 7:4.
[b] Lu 11:38.
(iii)Baptist, Mr 6:14*.
(iv)Baptized, Joh 10:40.
(i) Mt 3:7; 20:22-23*; Mt 21:25.
(ii) Mr 1:4*; Mr 10:38-39*; Mr 11:30.
(iii)Lu 3:3; 7:29*; Lu 12:50*; Lu 20:4.
(iv)Ac 1:22; 10:37; 13:24; 18:25; 19:3-4.
(v) Ro 6:4*.
(viii) 1Pe 3:21.
(i) Mt 3:1*; Mt 11:11*, Mt 11:12; 14:2*, Mt 14:8; 16:14; 17:13.
(ii) Mr 6:24-25; 8:28.
(iii)Lu 7:20,28*, Lu 7:33; 9:19.
(i) Lu 16:24*.
(ii) Joh 13:26.
[a] Mr 7:4,8.
[b] Heb 9:10.
(ii) Baptism, Heb 6:2.
(i) It is translated in 1,874 times.
(ii) It is translated with 135 times.
(iii)If King James I had not given the translators the rule stating that “the old ecclesiastical words to be kept,” the word en (as well as baptizw) might have been properly translated in reference to baptism. Since King James I was a Roman Catholic at heart, he would only allow “the old ecclesiastical words” such as used and understood by Roman Catholics.
(i) Ama is used 10 times and trans. 1 time with.
(ii) Apo is used 656 times and trans. 4 times with.
(iii)Dia (with the genitive) is used 383 times and trans. 16 times with.
(iv)Dia (with the accusative) is used 257 times and trans. 1 time with.
(v) Eij is used 1,773 times ans trans. 1 time with.
(vi)Ek is used 921 times and trans. 25 times with.
(vii)En, is used 2,781 times and is trans. 135 times with.
(viii)Epi (with the dative) is used 203 times and is trans. 6 times with.
(ix)Epi (with the accusative) is used 473 times and is trans. 2 times with.
(x) Ecw is used 709 times and is trans. 1 time with.
(xi)Kata (with the accusative) is used 404 times and is trans. 3 times with.
(xii)Meta (with the genitive) is used 371 times and is trans. 345 times with.
(xiii)Para (with the dative) is used 56 times and is trans. 42 times with.
(xiv)Peri (with the genitive) 293 times and is trans. 1 time with.
(xv)Proj is used 711 times and is trans. 43 times with.
(xvi)Sun is used 125 times and is trans. 125 times with.
(xvii)Upo (with the genitive) is used 181 times and is trans. 14 times with.
(xviii)Oj is used 492 times and is trans. 1 time with.
(i) A close study of this passage indicates that there was a congregation at Troas.
(ii) Some question whether the breaking of bread at Troas was the Lord's supper due to the definite article not preceding the word loaf (bread) in the Greek text. This is questioned because those passages which definitely refer to the Lord's Supper have the definite article prior to the word for bread.
NOTE: R. L. Dabney in his Systematic Theology, pp. 774-775, has clearly described the issues.
The odious ecclesiastical consequences of the Immersionist dogma should be pressed; because they form a most potent and just argument against it. All parties are agreed, that baptism is the initiatory rite which gives membership in the visible Church of Christ. The great commission was: Go ye, and disciple all nations, baptizing them into the Trinity. Baptism recognizes and constitutes the outward discipleship. Least of all, can any immersionist dispute this ground. Now, if all other forms of baptism than immersion are not only irregular, but null and void, all unimmersed persons are out of the visible Church. But if each and every member of a paedobaptist visible Church is thus unchurched: of course the whole body is unchurched. All paedobaptist societies, then, are guilty of an intrusive error, when they pretend to the character of a visible Church of Christ. Consequently, they can have no ministry; and this for several reasons. Surely no valid office can exist in an association whose claim to be an ecclesiastical commonwealth is utterly invalid. When the temple is non-existent, there can be no actual pillars to that temple. How can an unauthorized herd of unbaptized persons, to whom Christ conceded no church authority, confer any valid office? Again: it is preposterous that a man should receive and hold office in a commonwealth where he himself has no citizenship; but this unimmersed paedobaptist minister, so-called, is no member of any visible Church. There are no real ministers in the world, except the Immersionist preachers! The pretensions of all others, therefore, to act as ministers, and to administer the sacraments, are sinful intrusions. It is hard to see how any intelligent and conscientious Immersionist can do any act, which countenances or sanctions this profane intrusion. They should not allow any weak inclinations of faternity and peace to sway their consciences in this point of high principle. They are bound, then, not only to practise close communion, but to refuse all ministerial recognition and communion to these intruders. The sacraments cannot go beyond the pale of the visible Church. Hence, the same stern denunciations ought to be hurled at the Lord's Supper in paedobaptist societies, and at all their prayers and preachings in public, as at the iniquity of “baby-sprinkling.” The enlightened immersionist should treat all these societies, just as he does that ‘Synagogue of Satan,’ the Papal Church: there may be many good, misguided believers in them; but no church character, ministry, nor sacraments whatever.
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
PART I. – NATURE OF THE CHURCH
THE CHURCH AS DEFINED IN SCRIPTURE.
Many, perhaps indeed most, of the controversies which have arisen in connection with ecclesiastical theology, are to be traced back to fundamental differences of opinion regarding the essential nature and character of that society which Christ has instituted. The different or opposite notions which men have professed to gather from Scripture, in regard to the origin and essential principles of the Christian Church, have necessarily led to conclusions widely different in regard to its functions, its authority, its ordinances, and its government. It is highly important, therefore, to lay down at the outset those scriptural principles as to the nature and character of the Church of Christ, which may prove to us guiding principles in our subsequent investigations into its powers, and the offices it is appointed to discharge. And the first question which naturally arises is regarding the meaning which ought to be attached to the word “Church.” Different societies or associations of Christians are found claiming to themselves, and denying to others, the character and privileges of a Church of Christ; and opinions widely differing from each other are held as to the meaning of the designation. In such circumstances we must have recourse to the Word of God, in order that, by an examination of its statements, we may ascertain in what sense, or in what senses, the term Church is to be understood by us.
The word evkklhsi,a , which is translated Church in our version of the New Testament, in its primary meaning denotes any as-/6sembly gathered together from a promiscuous multitude, whether it be or be not regularly organized, and whether it be for civil or ecclesiastical purposes. Examples both in classical and inspired writers are at hand to prove the extensive meaning of the term; and the same wide signification belongs to the corresponding word in the Hebrew of the Old Testament. In the application of the term to secular assemblies, we find it used to signify the city council, convened in an orderly manner by the magistrate for the determination of civil matters; as in Ac 19., where the townclerk of Ephesus is represented as addressing the citizens: “If Demetrius, and the craftsmen who are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another. But if ye inquire anything concerning other matters, it shall be determined (en th ennomw evkklhsia, ) in a lawful convention.” In a similar application of the term to secular assemblies, we find it employed to denote a riotous assemblage of people, gathered together in a disorderly crowd, for purposes of tumult; as in the same chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, when it is said, in regard to the mob who assaulted Paul and his companions: “Some therefore cried one thing, and some another, for (h evkklhsia, ) the assembly or crowd was confused.” With this wide use of the term, as applied to secular assemblies, it is plain that the precise signification of the word, in any given instance, is to be gathered from the manner in which it is employed, and from the context. The same is true in regard to the use of the term evkklhsia, , when applied to sacred or ecclesiastical assemblies of people. Here, too, the range of its application is a wide one; and the precise meaning of the word, in any particular case, must be ascertained from the general sense of the passage and from the context. There are five different but closely allied meanings of the term “Church” to be gathered from Scripture.
I. The word Church signifies the whole body of the faithful, /7 whether in heaven or on earth, who have been or shall be spiritually united to Christ as their Saviour.
There are many examples in Scripture of the use of the term in this wide sense. The first occasion on which the word occurs in the New Testament is one of these, when our Lord declares that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church,” – language which plainly refers to the society or association of all those who had believed or should believe in Him. All history proves that particular and local Churches may fall away from the faith into complete and final apostasy. The promise of our Lord can apply to no special community except the universal Church of Christ, invisible to human eye, and known only to His, consisting of all true believers, and of none else. Again, in the Epistle to the Ephesians, we are told that Christ “loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” That society of men for whom Christ died, and who shall, each one of them, be presented at last holy and without spot before God, is plainly a society the members of which no man can number or declare by any external mark; which can be restricted to no geographical locality, and can be recognized by no features visible to the outward eye. It is the society of the elect, and not identical with any outward Church or Churches of whatsoever name. It is the spiritual and invisible Church of the Redeemer, known only to Himself, of which Scripture thus speaks; and in entire accordance with this use of the term Church in Scripture to denote a society comprehending the whole body of the elect, and none else, are other names or titles given to it in the New Testament. The Church is at one time spoken of under the mysterious name of the Bride or Spouse of Christ, – an expression which can apply to no local or particular Church – to no society, indeed, at all, measured and recognized by the eye of man under any form, or under all forms, of Christian profession, – but must be intended to mark out those, and those only, who have been espoused to Christ through the holy union of His Spirit with theirs. At another time it is spoken of as “the temple of the Holy Ghost,” /8 “a spiritual house,” “an habitation of God through the Spirit,” – language plainly designed to mark out a society defined by no outward limits, but identical with the whole number of spiritual Christians of whatsoever society throughout the world, who have been quickened by the Spirit.
And, finally, the Church is described as “the body of Christ,” all the members of which are united to Him as the Head of life and influence and grace to them, – a description not applicable to any outward body of professing Christians made up of any or all communions, but only to be realized in that great multitude which no man has seen or numbered, who make up the invisible Church of the Redeemer, and whose names are written in heaven. In these passages, and in many others, we have a society defined and described, which embraces the whole number of Christ's elect, and none but they, – a society not identical with any known on earth, and not to be recognized by any local names or notes or boundaries, – a society marked out from any other by the possession of certain high and mysterious privileges, and standing in a very close and peculiar relation to Christ, but unseen and unknown of man, – a society whose members are unreckoned and unobserved on earth, but all of whom are numbered and know in heaven. Such is the invisible Church of the Redeemer. “The catholic or universal Church,” says the Confession of Faith, “which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect that have been or shall be gathered into one under Christ, the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.”
II. The term Church is made use of in Scripture to denote the whole body throughout the world of those that outwardly profess the faith of Christ.
Over and above that unseen society, consisting of the whole number of the elect, who are spiritually united to Christ, there is set forth to us in Scripture another society, externally con-/9 nected with Christ, and standing out visibly before the eyes of the world. This is the visible Church of Christ, known to men by the outward profession of faith in Him, and by the practice of those Church ordinances and observances which He has appointed for His worshippers. It is not to be identified with the invisible Church, for men may belong to the one society, who do not truly belong to the other; and the relation in which the one body stands to Christ is different from the relation occupied by the other. Neither are the two to be wholly placed in opposition to each other; for they form, not so much two separate Churches, as one Church under two distinct and different characters or aspects, – the invisible Church being spiritually united to Christ, the visible being externally united to Him for the sake of the other. This outward society of professing Christians is frequently spoken of and delineated in Scripture under the term Church. It is spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles, when it is said that “the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.” It is spoken of in the Epistle to the Corinthians, when mention is made by Paul of the outward provision which God has made for the order and government and edification of the Church: “And God has set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” It is spoken of again, in reference to the same matter, in the Epistle to the Ephesians, when the same inspired writer says that Christ, “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” In such passages, it is plain that a visible society of professing Christians is referred to, known and marked out among men by certain outward ordinances and observances peculiar to them, but not to be confounded with the invisible Church made up of the elect. Under the outward form of the visible Church, the invisible society of true believers may to a great extent lie concealed; but under that outward form there may be multitudes also, not truly members of the body of Christ, and only joined to Him by external profession and external ordinances.
That a Church visible and outward, known and recognized by the profession of the faith of Christ and the administration of /10 Christ's ordinances, and yet not to be identified with the invisible society of true believers, is acknowledged and described in Scripture, may be distinctly ascertained, from a careful consideration of the various acceptations in which the word Church is made use of in the New Testament. But if additional evidence were desired on this point, it would be found in various parables of our Lord, in which He more especially describes the visible Church under the expressive title of “the kingdom of heaven.” “The kingdom of heaven,” said our Lord on one occasion, “is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.” This separation of the good from the evil in His kingdom or visible Church is to take place, as He expressly adds, “at the end of the world,” when “the angels shall sever the wicked from among the just,” – the visible Church in this world being made up, in the meantime, of a multitude of true and feigned believers under one common profession, and yet being recognized by Christ as His Church. “The kingdom of heaven,” said our Lord in another parable, “is like unto a man which sowed good seed in this field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the also.” And was this introduction of the tares into the visible Church inconsistent with its character as a Church, and immediately to be remedied by their removal? “Nay,” continues the parable, “lest, while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.” To exactly the same effect is that remarkable similitude, in which our Lord likens the relation between Himself and His Church to the union subsisting between the vine and the branches. “I am the true vine,” said He, “and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered.” It is plain that in such language our Lord recognized a twofold union to Himself, – one, a living union, like that of the fruitful branch in the vine; the other, a dead or mere external union, such as the unfruitful branch in the vine, /11 that was cast forth and withered; and such precisely is the twofold connection with Christ, exemplified in the case respectively of the invisible and the visible Church. Those who are united to the Saviour by a living union, – unseen indeed of men, but known to Him, – constitute that society of believers spoken of in Scripture as the spiritual or invisible Church of Christ. Those, on the other hand, who are united to the Saviour by an external union of outward profession and outward privileges, known and seen of men, numbering among them the true believers in Christ, but not exclusively made up of true believers, constitute the visible Church. “The visible Church,” says the Confession of Faith, “which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation as before under law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children, and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.”
III. The term Church is frequently employed in Scripture to denote the body of believers in any particular place, associated together in the worship of God.
This third meaning of the word lies on the very surface of Scripture, and requires almost no illustration. Even in the case of two or three professing Christians, met together for prayer and worship, whether publicly or in private houses, the term evkklhsia, is applied to them in the New Testament; and that, too, before such a congregation might be organized, by having regular office-bearers and minister appointed over them. In the Acts of the Apostles we are told that Paul and Barnabas “ordained them elders in every Church” as they journeyed through Lystra and Iconium and Antioch, – language which plainly recognizes the congregation of professing believers as a Church, even previously /12 to the ordination of office-bearers among them. The body of believers in any particular place associating together for worship, whether numerous or not, have the true character of a Church of Christ. Thus the Apostle Paul on some occasions recognizes as a Church the meeting of believers in the private house of some one or other of his converts. “Greet,” says he in the Epistle to the Romans, “Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus; likewise greet the Church that is in their house.” In his epistle to the Corinthians the same apostle sends to his converts, first, the salutation of the Churches of Asia, and second, the salutation of the congregation or Church assembling in the house of Aquila and Priscilla. “The Churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the Church that is in their house.” In like manner, in the Epistle to Colossians, we hear, “Salute Nymphas, and the Church which is in his house;” and in the Epistle to Philemon, “To the Church in thy house: grace and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ;” – so numerous and distinct are the testimonies to this third meaning of the term Church, as a company of professing Christians, however small, associated together in any one place for the worship and service of God.
IV. The word Church is applied in the New Testament to a number of congregations associated together under a common government.
It is not necessary to suppose that the term “Church,” when used in reference to the society of professing Christians belonging to one locality, was limited to a single congregation meeting in one building. On the contrary, there seems to be the strongest evidence for assuming that a plurality of congregations, meeting for worship in separate houses, but connected together under one ecclesiastical order, was designated by the general term of a Church. It is not necessary at this stage to enter at length into the discussion of a point, which will more naturally fall to be argued when we come to speak of the government of the Church. It may be enough at present simply to indicate the kind of argument by which it can be shown that the word Church is not restricted in its application to a single congregation, but is used in reference to more that one connected together under one common ecclesiastical arrangement. This will sufficiently appear if we /13 take the case of the converts at Jerusalem, who are spoken of under the general name of “the Church at Jerusalem,” but who, nevertheless, must have constituted more than one congregation in that city. There is enough recorded in the Acts of the Apostles regarding the vast number of Christians at Jerusalem, to forbid the supposition that they could have met all together in one congregation, or under one roof, for their ordinary religious services. On one occasion – that of the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost – we are expressly told that “there were added” to the number of believers previously at Jerusalem “about three thousand souls.” After this it is declared that “daily the Lord added to the Church such as should be saved.” At a later period still, when Peter had preached after healing the lame man at the gate of the temple, we are told that “many of them that heard the word believed; and the number of the men (andrwn) was about five thousand,” – a number evidently exclusive of women. Even this vast number of converts was still further augmented; for in the next chapter we are told that “believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” And at a subsequent date we have the testimony of James, speaking to Paul respecting the converts at Jerusalem: “Thou seest, brother, how many thousands (literally, myriads, posai muriadej) of Jews there are which believe.” With such facts as these before us regarding the multitudes of converts at Jerusalem, it seems impossible to maintain that the Church there consisted of no more than one solitary congregation, worshipping together under a single roof. No one building could have contained the many thousands of believers that crowded Jerusalem at that time in the fulness of a Pentecostal harvest; nor is it possible, except under the influence of some misleading theory, to believe that they formed no more than one congregation. The conclusion, then, seems to be inevitable, that when we read of the Church at Jerusalem, we find the term applied, not to a single congregation of believers, but to a plurality of congregations, connected together as one body or Church by means of a common government. An examination of the cases of the Church at Corinth and the Church of Ephesus would lead to a similar conclusion, and would justify us in affirming that the word Church in these instances also denotes, not a single congregation of worshippers, but several con- /14gregations associated together by vicinity of place, but still more by a common ecclesiastical rule and order. I do not stop at present to inquire under what form of government separate congregations were thus connected together. The fact that they were so is all that is necessary for us to know in assigning to the term Church this fourth signification.
V. The word Church is applied, in the New Testament, to the body of professing believers in any place, as represented by their rulers and office-bearers.
The principle of representation is fully and frequently recognized in Scripture as having a place in the dispensations of God, as well as in the ordinary transactions of life; nor can it seem anything new to find the body of believers in any given place represented by their office-bearers, and the term primarily descriptive of the one applied to the other. An example of this application of the term Church is to be found in Matthew xviii., when our Lord is laying down the principles on which a Christian ought to proceed in the case of a brother who has trespassed against him. If, after dealing with the offender as to his fault, first in private with himself alone, and then in the presence of two or three witnesses, he shall still neglect to hear and acknowledge his offence, the command of our Lord is to “tell it to the Church.” In such an injunction our Lord referred to the synagogue Court known and established among the Jews, which had its elders and officers for the decision of such matters of discipline; and in the expression “the Church,” which He made use of, the Jews who heard Him must have understood the authorized rulers, as distinct from the ruled, to be the parties who were to determine in such controversies. An impartial consideration of this text in its connection seems to justify the assertion that the word Church is in Scripture, among its other meanings, employed to denote the rulers or office-bearers of the Christian society.
Such are the five different senses in which the word Church is used in the New Testament Scriptures; and it is not unimportant to remark the connection between them, and the order in which they stand related to each other. The primary and normal idea of the Church, as set forth in Scripture, is unquestionably that of a body of men spiritually united to Christ, and, in consequence of that union, one with each other, as they are one with Him. From this fundamental idea of the universal invisible Church of /15 Christ, all the others are derived. Add to this first idea of a Church, as indicated in Scripture, an outward provision of government, ordinances, and office-bearers, appointed for the purpose of ministering to the edification of its members, and you have the visible Church, as laid down in the New Testament, – an outward society formed upon the inward and spiritual one, and established and maintained in the world for its benefit. Add to this second scriptural idea of a Church the further notion of locality, so that instead of being viewed in its universal character as extending over all the world, it is viewed in its local character as existing in certain places, and limited to them, – and you learn the third meaning of the term as found in the New Testament, namely, a body of professing Christians assembling together in one place for the worship and service of God. Further still, annex to this third notion of the Church, as existing in particular localities and congregations, the additional idea of co-operation and union under some one form of ecclesiastical government, and you arrive at the fourth meaning of the word Church in Scripture, – a number of particular congregations associated together under one Church order and authority. And lastly, to this fourth idea of a Church conjoin the principle of representation, so largely developed both in the dispensations of God and in the arrangements of civil society, and you reach the fifth and final use of the term as found in the Bible, namely, to denote a society or societies of professing Christians, as represented by their office-bearers and rulers. From the single germ of one believer or of several believers, vitally united to a Saviour, and in the enjoyment of the privileges belonging to that union, it is not difficult to trace the Church of Christ under all the different yet closely allied characters in which it is defined and delineated in Scripture.
It is of great importance, at the outset, to fix with some measure of precision the different significations in which the word Church is used in Scripture, because of the opposite opinions entertained /16 by different parties as to this matter, – opinions which cannot fail to bear directly or indirectly upon every step in our subsequent discussions. For example, the Romanist sets himself in opposition to the first of those meanings which we have found to be attached in Scripture to the term Church. He is prepared to deny altogether, or, if not to deny abstractly, yet practically to set aside, the idea of an invisible Church as the primary and fundamental one, and to substitute that of a visible Church in its stead. Bossuet, in his Variations of the Protestant Churches, goes so far as to charge upon the Reformers the invention of the idea of a Church invisible, with a view to meet the alleged difficulty, so often urged by Romanists, of the visible existence of no Church, identical in principles and character with the Reformed before the Reformation. And more recent Romanist controversialists, if they do not in so many terms deny the existence of a Church invisible, endeavour to substitute in its stead that of a visible body as the leading and normal idea of the Christian society. Now, concede to Romanists the position they are so anxious to assume, and deny that there is an invisible and spiritual Church at all, or at least that this is the primary and leading idea of the Christian society; grant that the outward and visible Church is the source from which the inward and invisible is derived, – and you open up the way for some of the worst and most characteristic errors of Popery. That single admission with respect to the fundamental idea of the Christian society, prepares the way for making communion with an outward Church take the place of a spiritual reality, and substituting the external charm of priestly arts and sacramental grace for the living union of the soul to the Saviour.
/17 Or, take another example from the case of the Independents. Independents deny the second of the five meanings which we have found ascribed to the word Church in Scripture. They repudiate altogether the idea of a visible Church, sustaining a real, although external, relation to Christ, and composed of His professing people. Now, concede to the Independents this position, and set aside the idea of a visible Church with its outward order and privileges, and you concede to them at the same time all that is necessary to determine in their favour the question regarding the character and qualifications of Church members, and to establish their principles on the subject of “pure communion.” In like manner the Independents reject the fourth and fifth meanings of the word Church. They deny that it is ever found in Scripture to signify either a plurality of congregations under one government, or simply the representatives or office-bearers of the congregation as contradistinguished from the congregation itself. Here, too, the difference of opinion in regard to the use and meaning of the term in Scripture is a fundamental one, giving rise to other and no less fundamental differences at future stages of the discussion. Admit the narrow position taken up by the Independents in regard to the true meaning and nature of a Church as defined in Scripture, restrict the term to one or other of the two significations of either the invisible Church at large, or a single congregation of believers in a particular locality, and you, in fact, concede every principle that is necessary for them to establish their views as to the form of the Church, and the nature of its government. There cannot be, in fact, a more important question, or one in the determination of which more fundamental principles are involved, than that in regard to the real nature of the Christian Church, as delineated in Scripture; and if we have succeeded in discovering the meaning of the term according to New Testament usage, we shall have done much to prepare the way for our future discussions.
 This appendix is chapter I (pages 5-17), from vol. I, of James Bannerman's work The Church of Christ. Bannerman was a member of the Church of Scotland and lived from 1807 to 1868. Due to the different format of the pages, the footnote numbers will not exactly correspond to the numbers in Bannerman's book. While the Greek words are spelled out with the Greek letters, the accent and breathing marks are not included; the Hebrew letters are changed to English because I could not print out the Hebrew letters with this program. Pages are noted with a /n, with the n being the page number.
 See Schleusner, Lexicon Nov. Test. in voc. ekklhsia.
 .lhq (from lh;q\ = in Hiph. to call together), “congregation,” “assembly,” LXX. ekklhsia and sunagwgh, twice to plhqoj, and once sunedrion; and hd[ (from d[;q = to appoint, and in Niph. to come together, “congregation,” “assembly,” LXX sunagwgh, once parembolh, and once episustasij; arq.mi, again (from arq = kalew), “convocation,” “assembly,” LXX. klhtoj, epiklhtoj, is always restricted, in the Old Testament, to an assembly for religious purposes.
Conf. chap. xxv. 1 [Caput in Illo homine agnoscimus, qui natus est de Maria Virgine, etc. Hoc est caput Ecclesiae. Corpus hujus capitis Ecclesia est, non quae hoc loco est, sed et quae hoc loco et per totum orbem terrarum; nec illa quae hoc tempore, sed ab ipso Abel usque ad eos qui nascituri sunt usque in finem et credituri in Christum, totus populus sanctorum ad unam civitatem pertinentium, quae civitas corpus est Christi, cui caput est Christus. Aug. in Ps 90:1. Opera, ed, Migne, tom. iv. Pars ii. p. 1159.]
 Conf. chap. xxv. 2. [Comp. also the Second Book of Discipline, chap. i. 1. “The Kirk of God is sumtymes largelie takin for all them that professe the Evangill of Jesus Christ, and so it is a Company and Fellowship not onely of the Godly, but also of Hypocrites professing alwayis outwardly ane true Religion; uther Tymes it is takin for the Godlie and Elect onlie.” – Dunlop's Collection of Confessions of Faith, Catechisms, Directories, Books of Discipline, etc. Of Publick Authority in the Church of Scotland, Edinr. 1722, vol. ii. p. 759. “Ecclesia consistit in illis personis in quibus est notitia vera et confessio fidei et veritatis.” – Nicolas de Lyra (ob. 1340), quoted by Melanchthon in the Apol. Conf. Aug. chap. 4.
 Compare with these five meanings of the term Church those given by Mr. Palmer, who may be taken as a representative of the English High Church party: Treatise on the Church of Christ, Lond. 1838, vol. i. pp. 4, 5. [Also Wordsworth's Theoph. Angl., Lond. 1863, part i. chaps. i. ii. iii. Nitzsch, System der christl. Lehre, 6te Ausg. <185> 187: Die Kirche ist zuerst, und ehe sie etwas anders ist, die Gemeinde der Geheiligten, und insofern selbst ein Gegenstand des Glaubens, u. s. w. Comp. Melanchthon in Apol. Conf. Aug. art. iv.: Ecclesia est principaliter societas fidei et Spiritus Sancti in cordibus.]
 Bossuet, Variations of the Protestant Churches, Dublin 1836, vol. ii. pp. 281, 290, 2d ed.
 “Nostra autem sententia est,” say Bellarmine, after reviewing the opinions of the Reformers regarding the Church visible and invisible, “Ecclesiam unam tantum esse, non duas, et illam unam et veram esse cætum hominum ejusdem Christian‘ fidei professione, et eorundem Sacramentorum communione colligatum, sub regimine legitimorum pastorum, ac pa‘cipue unius Christi in terris Vicarii Romani Pontificis. Ex qua definitione,” he most justly adds, “facile colligi potest qui homines ad Ecclesiam pertineant, qui vero ad eam non pertineant.” Bell. Opera, tom. ii. lib. iii. chaps. ii. xi. xii., where he distinctly denies the existence of an invisible church, and argues against it at length. See also M”hler, Symbolism, Robertson's Trans., vol. ii. pp. 5 f. 108; 2d ed. [Comp. also Nitzsch's protestantische Beantwortung der Symbolik M”hler's, pp. 232, 233; Schliermacher's christliche Glaube, Berlin 1830, Band i. p. 145, 2te Ausg.
 .Principal Cunningham's Works, Edin. 1863, vol. ii. pp. 9-20. Apollonius, Consideratio Quarund. Controv. etc., Lond. 1664, chap. iii. pp. 27-51; Engl. Transl., Lond. 1645, A Consideration, etc., chap. iii. pp. 24-43. Mastricht, Theologia Theoretico-Practica, lib. vii. cap. i.
[EXCERPTS FROM WILLIAM KIFFIN AND JOHN BUNYAN
CONCERNING I CORINTHIANS 12:13]
William Kiffin was writing against John Bunyan for his practice of open communion. Kiffin maintained that open communion was a new practice not only for the Baptist but also for other parties within the borders of Christianity. History clearly reveals that Bunyan’s practice was a novel occurrence, and that it was later popularized by Robert Hall.
John Bunyan wrote:
Now that baptism is essential to church communion, I prove from 1Co 12., where we shall find the apostle labouring to prevent an evil use that might be made of spiritual gifts, as thereby to be puffed up; and to think that such as wanted them, were not of the body, or to be esteemed members; he thereupon resolves, that whoever did confess Christ, and own him for his head, did it by the Spirit, (1Co 12:3,) though they might not have such a visible manifestation of it as others had, and therefore they ought to be owned as members, as appears, 1Co 12:23. And not only because they have called him Lord by the Spirit, but because they have by the guidance and direction of the same Spirit been baptized, 1Co 12:13, “For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body,” &c. I need not go about to confute that notion that some of late have had of this text, viz., that the baptism here spoken of is the baptism of the Spirit, because you have not owned and declared that notion as your judgment; but, on the contrary, all of you that I have ever conversed with have declared it to be understood of baptism with water, by the direction of the Spirit. If so, then it follows, that men and women are declared members of Christ's body by baptism, and cannot be by Scripture reputed and esteemed so without it; which farther appears from Ro 6:5, where men by baptism are said to be planted into “the likeness of his death;” and in Col 2:12 we are said to be buried with him by baptism: all which, together with the consent of all Christians, (some few in these latter times excepted,) do prove that baptism is necessary to the initiating persons into the church of Christ.
William Kiffin said:
Object. 4. Whereas some infer from 1Co 12:13. By one Spirit we are baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, Bond or Free, and have been all made to Drink into one Spirit, &c. That Baptism is the Inchurching Ordinance, the conclusion is impertinent, for not Water Baptism, but the Baptism of the Spirit is there meant.
Ans. That Baptism was of so constant and Universal use to the Enchurching of all sorts Ranks and Degrees, is fairly deduced from this Text, however excepted against, and that none were Inchurched without it, unless any man can find or name some persons that were neither Jews nor Gentiles, Bond nor Free, which denotes plainly, that all sorts were receiv'd by Baptism: the Jews though before Circumcised, yet were Baptized; the Gentiles, some times a People a far off were upon their believing by Baptism received. If free, as Masters, yet not admitted without it; If Bond, as Servants, yet by this Ordinance they were made equally of the same Church Priviledge by Baptism, Ga 3:1; 6:18,18.
And that Water Baptism is here meant is the Judgment of the most Learned Expositors: and the next words do make it Appear, We have been all made to Drink into one Spirit. By being baptized into one body and made to Drink into one Spirit. The Apostle shews the Communion which Believers have with the Holy Spirit in the Two Ordinanced, Baptism and the Lords Supper. For what else can be intended by Drinking into one Spirit, but the Saints Communion in the Spirit, in, and by the Supper [Drinking] by a Synecdoche being put both for Eating and Drinking: And if so, why must we not as well understand the First Ordinance in its proper Sense for Water Baptism in the former part, as the Later Ordinance, the Supper in the first part of the Text.
2. If the Baptism of the Spirit had been meant, then the being Baptised into one Body, and Drinking into one Spirit, must be one and the same thing, but surely Baptising and Drinking are no more the same, than the Body and the Spirit are the same, into which they are said respectively to be Baptised, and to Drink. But it is clear the Apostle hereby intends to mind those Corinthians, how that by means of the same Spirit working upon all their Hearts, they became Members of the same Body by Baptism, and that being of the Body, they came to have Communion in Spirit, or with the Spirit in the Supper.
It cannot be the Baptism of the Spirit, because the Spirit is here set forth by the Apostle, as the Agent or working Cause, and Baptism as the Effect; and it is ridiculous to make Cause and Effect the same thing. It is true the Scripture speaks elsewhere of a being Baptised with the Spirit, but when it doth so, it still declares either Jesus Christ, or God the Father as the Agent of Baptising with the Spirit, but never as making the Spirit both the Subject Matter wherewith, and the Agent whereby, men are Baptised in the same Baptism, see Mt 3:11; Mr 1:8; Lu 3:16; 24:49; Ac 11:4-5,16.
We find in Scripture that when God chargeth men for sin, he tells them, They did that which he commanded not, neither did it enter in his heart. Now that this was the order of Administration with respect to these Ordinances, viz. I. To Teach, then Baptise, and then Admit to Church-Communion, is else where fully Evidenc'd from Precept and Example, Mt 28:19; Ac 2:41. &c. And if that be the stated Method of God, and the Universal Practise of the Primitive Christians, we may Rationally infer that the contrary Practise is a Deviation form the Divine Rule, and a thing which God Commanded not.
The Apostle according to the Rule of Christ, first at Jerusalem, put this Commission in Execution, Lu 24:47. And did Act according to it, and certainly their punctual Conformity to it, ought to be taken by us as the Interpretation of this grand Precept, and their Example a sufficient Pattern for succeeding Christians; unless we will suppose them to depart from it as soon as they began to Act in pursuance of it, which supposition includes a very strange Uncharitableness, and a very unbecoming Opinion of these Holy men. For nothing can be more plain than that Addition to the Church (or Church-Fellowship) followed after Baptism, and did not go before it: and why men now find a greater good in their own way than in his, is not to be easily resolved. Baptism in those days did certainly precede Church-Enjoyments, for it was esteem'd (as it still ought to be) a means of implanting men into Christ, or the Body of Christ the Church, Ga 3:1; Ro 6:3. Now let it be considered what a Planting together imports; It must be certainly the first putting of Christians together, in order to their Growing together in Christ, and yet all this was done by Baptism: and may we not suppose Trees to grow together before they are Planted together, as this Spiritual Plantation of Christ, viz. the Church, or Society of Christians, who were, and should still be Planted together by Baptism, not into this or that Particular Church; but into that one Church of Christ, which is distributed into several parts and particular Societies. Hence Baptism is called one of the Principles or beginning Doctrines of Christ, and part of the Foundation, Heb 6:1-2. Now there is no House can stand without its Principle, or can be Erected without a Foundation. See 1Co 12:13 where we have an account of all being Baptised into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, Bond or Free, which comprehended all Ranks and Degrees of Christians, as is elsewhere demonstrated.
Kiffin quoted several writers throughout this work whereby 1Co 12:13 was given to show water baptism.
Even the Westminster Confession uses 1Co 12:13 in connection with water baptism. See Chapter XXVIII, Art. 1.
 From “An Exhortation To Peace And Unity,” as found in The Complete Works of John Bunyan, (Marshallton, DL: The National Foundation for Christian Education, 1968), Four Volumes in Three, Vol. IV, p. 396.
 From A Sober Discourse of RIGHT to Church-Communion. Wherein is proved by Scripture, the Example of the Primitive Times, and the Practice of all that have Professed the Christian Religion: That no Unbaptized person may be Regularly admitted to the Lords Supper, London, 1681, pp. 132-138.
[THE WORD BODY IN EPHESIANS 4 & 5]
CONCERNING Eph 4:4:
Did God give apostles to an invisible, or visible body? Did Christ ascend up on high to give prophets to a universal, or local body? Did the Lord of glory place the gift of evangelists in a national, or local body? Did Jesus place pastors and teachers in anything universal, invisible, national, or provincial, or did He put them in the “one body,” the local assembly? Who ever heard of someone pastoring or teaching in an invisible congregation? Who ever heard of teachers edifying an invisible, universal body? Therefore, “the body of Christ,” in Eph 4:12, and “the whole body” in Eph 4:16, is nothing more than the local assembly, the congregation of God.
Someone may object to this interpretation being given to the phrase “the whole body” in Eph 4:16. The objectors are quick to point out that “the whole body” implies more than a local body. I think not. Look at Ac 15:22. Here is the phrase “the whole church.” Does this phrase imply that there was not another congregation upon the earth at that time but the one assembled at Jerusalem? Of course not. There was the congregation at Antioch in Syria (Ac 13:1), the church at Antioch in Pisidia (Ac 13:14; 14:21-23), the church at Iconium (Ac 13:51; 14:21-23), the church at Lystra (Ac 14:6,21-23), the church at Derbe (Ac 14:20-23), and at many other places. The phrase “the whole church” in Ac 15:22, refers to nothing more than the entire membership of the congregation at Jerusalem (cf. Ro 16:23). In like manner, the phrase “the whole body” in Eph 4:16, refers to nothing more than all the members of the body or congregation at Ephesus. By way of application, it will apply to all the members of any body at any place. Therefore, there is only one body and when the word “whole” is added to the word “body,” the meaning or usage of the word “body” is not to be changed.
The body is to edify itself and this can only be done by connection; that is, the members of the body must come in contact with each other in order to edify or build up one another. Can a member edify or be of any benefit to another member if the two members never come in contact with each other in any way? Of course not. Therefore, universal, invisible members, if there is such a thing, cannot be of any benefit to the body of Christ, but local, visible members of a particular congregation can, and that body can and should edify or build up itself.
By this it is seen that the passages found in Eph 4 do not teach about a body being something universal, invisible, national, or provincial.
CONCERNING Eph 5:23-33.
Many people use these verses to assert that the body is composed of all for whom Christ died and shall be with Him in glory. If this is true, that body has not yet assembled, and, therefore, cannot be a body in the concrete form. When it does assemble, it will not be universal nor invisible, but it will be a local assembly. Though these verses may be used to teach this opinion, the term “body” would be used in the same sense as the term “church;” that is, in the generic or abstract form. However, I do not believe that this is the intent of Paul's lesson.
Paul is teaching the relationship of the husband and wife, and this is clearly seen by reading and studying this passage in the light of the context. While teaching this lesson, Paul is so descriptive of the wondrous union between Christ and the church that some people err in their interpretation of these verses.
As Paul stated earlier that there is only “one body,” so is it here. God's Word does not contradict itself. Peter said in 2Pe 1:20, “... that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” The interpretation must be such that all passages within God's Word must harmonize, and one passage of the Scriptures is not to be interpreted separate and apart from the rest. Therefore, Eph 4:4; 1Co 12:27; and, Eph 5:23-33, do not contradict each other.
Some may ask, “How can this be? Did not Christ die to save His people? Does it not say in Eph 5:23 that Christ ‘loved the church, and gave Himself for it’? How can the body and the church be limited to a congregation when Christ died for more than one congregation? and there are some (such as the Old Testament believers and others of N. T. times) who never held membership in any New Testament church, for whom Christ also died?”
By saying that Christ died for the church (His body) and by claiming that Christ shall present the church to Himself spotless and without blemish, does not mean, nor imply, that His death was limited only for this one thing. For instance, if I say, “Christ loved me and gave Himself for me; that He might sanctify and cleanse me with the washing of water by the Word; that He might present me to Himself a glorious person, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that I should be holy and without blemish;” am I saying that Christ did not die for others? No. I am only asserting the fact of Christ's death in reference to myself. This is all that Paul is saying in Eph 5, when speaking of the church and its connection with Christ. In Ac 20:28, Paul stated to the elders from the church at Ephesus that God purchased the church at Ephesus with His own blood: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock (at Ephesus), over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God (at Ephesus), which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Was Paul excluding the church at Corinth, or any other congregation, by this statement? No. He was only asserting the fact concerning the congregation at Ephesus. It is equally true that as Christ purchased the congregation at Ephesus with His own blood, He purchased any congregations which He established, or will establish. Note Ga 2:20 in this light. When Paul said that Christ loved him and gave Himself for him, Paul was not excluding others.
There are many things obtained by the death of Christ. His death saved us from: (1) our sins – in part now, and completely in the future; (2) this untoward generation; (3) this present evil world, or age; (4) the curse of the law; (5) the fear of death; and many other thing. (See Mt 1:21; Ac 2:40; Ga 1:4; 3:13; Heb 2:15.) When one of these truths is stated, the other things which He accomplished by His death are not excluded. By this, when someone says that Christ died for the church, he is not excluding other things which were accomplished by His death.
Therefore, the word “body,” as used in Eph 5:23-33, does not teach about a universal, invisible, provincial, or national body.
[THE WORD BODY IN COLOSSIANS]
The remaining five times which the word “body” is used with reference to the church is in the book of Colossians, a parallel epistle to the book of Ephesians. This book does not teach contrary to the previous usages of the word “body.”
In Col 1, the word “body” is found two times with reference to the church. The first place is in Col 1:18, and the second is in Col 1:24. Col 1:18 states, “... and he is the head of the body, the church .…” Many try to use this passage to support a universal, invisible body. A close study of this verse in context will not support such a position. The book of Colossians will stand alone if such a concept is taught within it because the previous usages of the word “body” do not suppose a universal, invisible body.
The surrounding context reveal that Paul is not teaching about the church. He is teaching about the excellencies of Christ Jesus. Paul ends Col 1:13 by speaking about Jesus, the Son of God. In verses fourteen through twenty, Paul enlarges on the glories, majesties, wonderments, virtues, and honors of Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul was not teaching about what the body was per se, he was teaching Christ's dominion over all things. One thing in particular over which Christ had dominion was the church. To make the body or church in verse eighteen consist of those for whom Christ redeemed and secured forgiveness of sins, as mentioned in verse fourteen, is to disregard common sense in interpreting the Scriptures, as well as violating the common rules of Bible interpretation.
An example of this may be seen by taking the term “all things” in verses sixteen, seventeen, and twenty, and make it mean the same thing. In fact, it would be more logical to do so because the word, or words, used is the same – “all things,” – whereas in verses fourteen and eighteen three different words would be used – the redeemed, “the body,” and “the church.”
CONCERNING Col 1:16-17,20.
In Col 1:16-17, Paul states that “all things were created” by Jesus Christ. In Col 1:20, Paul states that Christ reconciled “all things unto himself.” Only universalists, and other cults, would be so foolish to say that the term “all things” included the same thing in both places. It is true that every thing that has an existence was created and made by and for Jesus Christ, but every thing that was created and made by Jesus Christ is not, and has not been, and shall not be reconciled to Christ. Those who shall be in hell, both men and angels, have not been reconciled unto Christ. Therefore, the term “all things” cannot mean the same thing in both places. Likewise, because Paul mentioned the redeemed in verse fourteen and “the body” in verse eighteen, it does not mean that both words refer to the same thing.
Paul said that there is only “one body” in Eph 4:4. In 1Co 12:27, he stated that the “body” is a local congregation of people. And even if Paul had said that Christ was the head of every redeemed person, that could not be used to support a universal, invisible body. If the Bible is to be interpreted like that, then each and every man would have to make up an invisible, universal man according to 1Co 11:3. There it states that Christ is the head of every man. Who ever heard of anyone saying that all men are mystically joined together to make up a universal man. This is the same reasoning of those who endeavor to teach a universal, invisible body or church from such passages as these in Colossians.
Just as Christ is the head of every man, so is He the head of every body, or congregation. Though the headship is not in the same capacity, still Christ is the head.
In Col 1:24, Paul makes the statement that the body to which he is referring is the church. In Col 1:22, Paul refers to the body of Christ, and there it is not the church, but Christ's human body, or “the body of his flesh.” In Col 1:24, Paul mentions again the body of Christ. There he is referring to the church; therefore, Paul added the statement “which is the church” to distinguish it from the body in Col 1:22 above.
In Col 2:17,19, the term “body” is used again, and it refers to the church of God, the assembly of the saints. When studying this passage in connection with the book of Ephesians, it is seen that Paul is teaching essentially the same thing in both places. He is teaching that the body, or congregation, is to function as a complete whole or unit, and it is to perform in such a way so that it will be building up and strengthening itself. Paul is teaching that the worship service of God in the congregation is not to be a service of ordinances and commandments as under the law, and that worship unto God is not a service of neglecting the body – the human body, verse twenty-three. In verse seventeen, Paul may have used the word “body” as he did in verse twenty-three. However, in order not to neglect one instance of the use of the word “body” in reference to the church or congregation, I will submit that verse seventeen is referring to the church. In either case, Col 2:17,19, does not support a universal, invisible, national, or provincial body or church.
In Col 3:15, Paul is teaching unity within the body as he does in Ephesians. As previously stated, the two epistles of Ephesians and Colossians parallel each other, and Paul did not teach in Colossians contrary to what he wrote in Ephesians. All of the Scriptures of God's Word always comply with one another and never run counter to each other. Therefore, it is not necessary to go into detail again with regard to this passage. This passage will be understood by going back and studying Appendix C. DocChurch: DC.07 APPENDIX C
In conclusion, the word “body,” as used with reference to the church, is never used to refer to anything invisible, universal, national or provincial. However, it is used to designate a congregation, whether it be the one at Corinth, Ephesus, Colosse, or wherever there is a congregation of the Lord. In addition, the word “body” is used in common everyday English to designate such things as a company, band, party, society, association, corporation, and such like. It is not far-fetched to common usage to assert that the body of Christ is nothing but a congregation of people assembled together for the purpose of carrying out the commands which Christ gave it.
[CLASSIC USE OF EVKKLHSIA, AND PANHGYROS]
Ecclesia. Primary meaning. An organized assembly of citizens, regularly summoned, as opposed to other meetings.
Thucydides 2:22: – “Pericles, seeing them angry at the present state of things . . . did not call them to an assembly (ecclesia) or any other meeting.”
Demosthenes 378, 24: – “When after this the assembly (ecclesia) adjourned, they came together and planned . . . For the future still being uncertain, meetings and speeches of all sorts took place in the marketplace. They were afraid that an assembly (ecclesia) would be summoned suddenly, etc.” Compare the distinction here between a lawfully assembled business body and a mere gathering together of the people in unofficial capacity, with the town-clerk's statement in Ac 19:35,40.
Now some instances of particular ecclesia of the several Greek states –
Thucydides 1,87: – “Having said such things, he himself, since he was ephor, put the question to vote in the assembly (ecclesia) of the Spartans.”
Thucydides 1,139: – “And the Athenians having made a house (or called an assembly, ecclesia) freely exchanged their sentiments.”
Aristophanes Act 169: – “But I forbid you calling an assembly (ecclesia) for the Thracians about pay.”
Thucydides 6,8: – “And the Athenians having convened an assembly (ecclesia) . . . voted, etc.”
This historical reading concerning the business assemblies of the several petty but independent, self-governing Greek states, with their lawful conference, their free speech, their decision by vote, whether of Spartans, Thracians, Syracusans or Athenians, sounds much like the proceedings of particular and independent Baptist churches today.
Panegyros – A general, festive assembly of the people of all the Greek states.
Decret. ap. Demos: 526,16 – “Embassies to the festal assemblies (panegyros) in Greece.”
Plato, Hipp. 363: – “Going up to Olympia, the festal assemblies (panegyros) of the Greeks.”
Pindar: – “the general assembly (panegyros) in honor of Zeus (Jupiter).”
Isocrates 41 A: – “I often wondered at those who organized the general festivals (panegyros).”
Aeschylus Theb. 220: – “May this goodly, general company (panegyros) of gods never fail the city in my life time.”
Thucydides 5,50: – “And fear was produced in the general assembly (panegyros) that the Lacedaemonians would come in arms.” Upon this usage note how bright and discriminating the Greek mind.
This general assembly was not for war but peace. Let not the Spartans come to it with arms in their hands. It was not for business but pleasure – a time of peace, and joy and glory.
In the happy Greek conceit all the heavenly beings were supposed to be present. How felicitously does an inspired apostle adapt himself to the Greek use of the word, and glorify it by application to the final heavenly state. God the judge, not Zeus, is there. Myriads of angels, not Greek demi-gods and inferior deities, are there.
There is a general assembly in magnitude, multitude and constituency, transcendantly [sic.] above the poor limitations of a small Greek nation – this is made up of every tribe and tongue and kindred, Jew, Roman, Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond and free. Here warfare is over and rest has come. Here crowns are awarded, not of fading wreaths of time, but crowns of life, righteousness, joy and glory.
 From Ecclesia – The Church by B. H. Carroll, pp. 44-46.
 Ephor. A magistrate in various ancient Dorian states; esp., one of a body of five Spartan magistrates.” – Webster]
Including an Investigation of the
HISTORY OF BAPTISM IN ENGLAND
EARLIEST PERIOD TO WHICH IT CAN BE TRACED
TO THE CLOSE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
To which are Prefixed,
TESTIMONIES OF ANCIENT WRITERS
IN FAVOUR OF
EXTRACTED FROM DR. GILL'S PIECE ENTITLED,
“THE DIVINE RIGHT OF INFANT-BAPTISM EXAMINED AND DISPROVED.”
BY JOSEPH IVIMEY.
Printed for the Author:
And sold by
BURDITT, BUTTON, HAMILTON, BAYNES, AND GALE AND CURTIS, PATERNOSTER-ROW; WILLIAMS, STATIONER'-COURT, OTRIDGE, AND BAGSTER, STRAND; MILLER AND POPLE, CHANCERY LANE; AND GARDINER, PRINCES STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE.
The next year was a memorable one for England, and especially to the protestant dissenters, who were by the events which occurred, delivered from all the misery and oppression they had so long endured. On November the 5th, the Prince of Orange landed at Torbay; and in a very little time the body of the nation discovered their inclination so evidently, that the king lost both head and heart at once. The city of London was in confusion. Reports were spread that the Irish would cut all the throats of the protestants all over the nation in one and the same night, which awakened the fears of the people, and put them all night upon their guard. When this fright was over, the mob rose and pulled down the popish mass-houses, and burned the materials in the streets. Father Petre, with the priests and jesuits who had swarmed about the court, disappeared, and retired into foreign parts, and several of the king's arbitrary ministers absconded. Jefferies was taken at Wapping in a sailor's habit, and would have been torn in pieces by the mob, if he had not been conducted by a strong guard to the tower, where he died before he came to his trial. Soon after, the tyrant James being left almost alone, departed the kingdom, and fled to France. The throne was declared abdicated; and on February 13, 1688-9, William and Mary were proclaimed king and queen of England, to the joy of the nation.
One of the first measures of government was to pass the Act of Toleration, the Magna Charta of the Protestant /478 Dissenters, by which they were relieved from all pains and penalties for separating from the church of England. Thus a stable foundation was laid for the preservation of their liberties, and an effectual restraint imposed upon their enemies, who wished to destroy their privileges.
Liberty being thus afforded to all denominations of dissenters, the Baptists seem to have taken immediate steps to improve their privileges by enquiring into the state of the churches, and to have adopted means to promote their prosperity. To convene a general meeting of the Particular Baptist churches, a circular letter was sent, signed by some of the London ministers. The following is a copy of that sent to the church at Luppitt in Devonshire, the place where the present church at Upottery then met.
London, July 22, 1689.
“To the Church of Christ in Luppitt, kind Salutations.
“WE the elders and ministering brethren of the churches in and about London, being several times assembled together to consider of the present state of the baptized congregations, not only in this city, but also in the country, cannot but first of all adore the divine wisdom and goodness of Almighty God, in respect of his late most gracious providence, for our deliverance from that dismal dispensation, which threatened us from the continual and unwearied attempts and designs of the enemy of our sacred religion and civil liberties; by which means our sinking and drooping spirits are again revived, and our earnest hopes and long expectations raised, and afresh quickened, in respect of the more full and perfect deliverance of the church of God, and his more glorious appearance, for the accomplishing of those gracious promises and prophecies contained in the holy scripture relating to the latter days.
/479 “But, in the second place, we cannot but bewail the present condition our churches seem to be in; fearing that much of that former strength, life, and vigour, which attended us is much gone; and in many places the interest of our Lord Jesus Christ seems to be much neglected which is in our hands, and the congregations to languish, and our beauty to fade away (which thing, we have some ground to judge, you cannot but be sensible of as well as we); and from hence we have been put upon most mature and serious considerations of such things that may be the cause thereof, and amongst others are come to this result: That the great neglect of the present ministry is one thing, together with that general unconcernedness there generally seems to be, of giving fit and proper encouragement for the raising up and able and honourable ministry for the time to come; with many other things which, we hope, we are not left wholly in the dark about, which we find we are not in a capacity to prevent and cure (as instruments in the hand of God, and his blessing attending our christian endeavors) unless we can obtain a general meeting here in London of two principal brethren (of every church of the same faith with us) in every county respectively. We do therefore humbly entreat and beseech you, that you would be pleased to appoint two of your brethren – one of the ministry, and one principal brother of your congregation with his – as your messengers; and send them up to meet with the rest of the elders and brethren of the churches in London, on the 3rd of September nest; and then we hope we shall have that before us, and be also helped to consider such things that may much tend to the honour of God, and further the peace, well-being, establishment at present, as also the future comfort of the churches. We hope you will readily, notwith/480 standing the charge, comply with our pious and christian desire herein, and in the mean time to signify your intentions forthwith in a letter, which we would have you direct to our reverend and well beloved brethren, Mr. H. Knowles or Mr. W. Kiffin. This is all at present from us, your brethren and labourers in God's vineyard, who greet you well in our Lord Jesus Christ, and subscribe ourselves your servants in the gospel.
“WILLIAM KIFFIN, BENJAMIN KEACH,
HANSARD KNOLLYS, EDWARD MAN,
JOHN HARRIS, RICHARD ADAMS”
Brother Kiffin lives in White's alley, Little Moorfields.*
This letter was attended with considerable effect. The ministers, or messengers, of more than a hundred churches assembled at the time proposed. The meetings, which were continued for eight or nine days, were peculiarly solemn and interesting; and the business transacted was of real importance to the welfare and prosperity of the churches. The greatest order and unanimity was preserved, as they all appear to have been animated and governed by the apostolic injunction, “Let us therefore follow after the things that make for peace; and the things wherewith one may edify another.”
The transactions of this Assembly are related by themselves in a pamphlet entitled, The Narrative Of The Proceedings Of The General Assembly Of Divers Pastors, Messengers, And Ministering Brethren, Of The Baptized Churches, Met Together In London, From September 3–12, 1689, from divers /481 parts of England and Wales; owning the doctrine of personal election and final perseverance; sent from, and concerned for, more than one hundred congregations of the same faith with themselves.
The General Epistle for the Churches.
UNTO THE CHURCH OF GOD, MEETING IN ________ SEND GREETINGS.
Beloved in our Lord Jesus Christ!
IT doth not a little affect our souls, to see how ready you were to comply with that Christian and pious invitation you had, to send one or two worthy brethren, as your messengers, to meet with the rest of us in this great assembly; for which we return you our hearty thanks; hoping, that not only we, and the churches of the saints to whom we are related, at this present time will cause to bless, praise, and magnify the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort and consolation upon this account, but that the ages to come may have some grounds to rejoice and praise his holy name, through a divine blessing upon our consultations. Our endeavours in this assembly were chiefly to consider of the present state and condition of all the congregations respectively under our care and charge; and what might be the causes of the spiritual decay, and loss of strength, beauty, and glory, in our churches; and to see (if we might be helped by the Lord herein) what might be done to attain to a better and more prosperous state and condition.
And now, brethren, in the first place, with no little joy we declare unto you how good and gracious the Lord has been to us in uniting our hearts together in the spirit of love, and sweet concord in our debates, consultations, and resolves, /482 which are sent unto you; there being scarcely one brother who dissented from the assembly in the sentiments of his mind, in any one thing we have proposed to your serious considerations, either in respect of the cause of our witherings, or what we have fixed on as a means of recovery to a better state, if the Lord will.
And therefore, in the second place, be it known unto you, that we all see great cause to rejoice and bless God, that after so dismal an hour of sorrow and persecution, in which the enemy doubtless designed to break our churches to pieces, and not only us, but to make the whole Sion of God desolate, even so as she might become as a plowed field; the Lord was pleased to give such strength and power in the time of need, to bear up your souls in your testimony for Jesus Christ, that your spirits did not faint under your burdens in the time of your adversity; so that we hope we may say, in the words of the church of old, Though all this is come upon us, yet we have not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way. Though thou hast sorely broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death, Ps 44:17-18,19. Yet nevertheless we fear Christ may say, I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love, as he once charged the church of Ephesus, and may possibly most churches in England; it is therefore good to consider from whence we are fallen, and repent and do our first works, Re 2:5.
We are persuaded one chief cause of our decay is want of holy zeal for God, and the house of our God; few amongst us living up, we fear, to what they profess of God, nor answering the terms of that sacred covenant they have made with him; the power of godliness being greatly /483 decayed, and but little more than the form thereof remaining amongst us. The thoughts of which are enough to melt our spirits, and break our hearts to pieces, considering those most amazing providences of the ever blessed God under which we have been, and more especially now are exercised, and the many signal and most endearing obligations he is pleased to lay us under. The spirit of this world, we clearly discern, has got too, too much into the hearts of most Christians and members of our churches, all seeking their own, and none, or very few, the things of Jesus Christ; if, therefore, in this there be no reformation, the whole interest of the blessed Lord Jesus will still sink in our hands, and our churches will be left to languish, whilst the hands of poor ministers become as weak as water, and sorrow and grief seize upon their spirits.
Thirdly, We cannot but bewail that great evil, and neglect of duty in many churches concerning the ministry.
1. In that some, though they have brethren competently qualified for the office of pastors and deacons, yet omit that sacred ordinance of ordination, whereby they are rendered incapable of preaching and administering the ordinances of the gospel so regularly, and with that authority which otherwise they might do. Those who have failed herein, we desire would, in the fear of God, lay it to heart and reform.
2. In neglecting to make [due] gospel provision for their maintenance, according to their abilities; by which means many of them are so incumbered with worldly affairs, that they are not able to perform the duties of their holy calling, in preaching the gospel, and watching over their respective flocks.
Fourthly, We find cause to mourn, that the Lord's day is not more religiously and carefully observed, both in a con/484 stant attendance on the word of God in that church to which members do belong, and when the public worship is over, by a waiting on the Lord in family duties, and private devotion.
But because we have sent unto you the whole result of this great assembly particularly, we shall forbear to enlarge further upon these causes of our withering and decays.
One thing you will find we have had before us, and come to a resolve about, which we are persuaded will prove an exceeding great blessing and advantage to the interest of Jesus Christ in our hands; and if the Lord enlarge all our hearts, give a revival to the sinking spirits of the mourners in Sion, and to languishing churches too; which is that of a general or public stock or fund of money to be raised forthwith. First, by a free-will offering to the Lord: and secondly, by a subscription, every one declaring what he is willing to give, weekly, monthly, or quarterly to it.
And now, brethren, we must say, the Lord is about to try you in another way, than ever you have been tried to this day, because till now no such thing was settled amongst us, and so not propounded to you. It will be known now, whether you do love Jesus Christ, and his blessed interest, gospel and church, or no; whether you love him more than son or daughter. Oh that you would at this time shew your zeal for God, and let all men see the world is not so in your hearts, but that Jesus Christ hath much room there: 'Tis to be given towards God's holy temple, to build up his spiritual house, which hath a long time lain as waste. Remember how willingly the Lord's people offered upon this account formerly; 'tis some great as well as good thing the Lord, and we his poor and unworthy servants and ministers, do expect from you. God has wrought a great work for us; Oh let us make some suitable return of duty to him, and act like a /485 people called, loved, and saved by him. Shall so much be spent needlessly on your own ceiled houses, on costly attire and dresses, and delicious diet, when God's house lies almost waste? We are therefore become humble supplicants for our dear Master, and could entreat you on our bended knees, with tears in our eyes, to pity Sion, if it might but move your heart to Christians bounty and zeal for here and the Lord of Hosts. We fear God did let in the enemy upon us, to consume us, and waste our substance, because to this day we have withheld it from him, when his cause, gospel, and churches, called for more than ever yet you parted with; and that a blast has been upon our trades and estates, for our remissness in this matter. May we not say, Ye looked for much, and lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home the Lord did blow upon it! Why, because, saith God, of mine house that is waste, and ye run every one to his own house. Hag 1:9. But if now we reform our doings, and shew our zeal for Christ and his gospel, and love to him, and act as becomes a willing people professing his name, you will see you will be no losers by it; For I will, saith the Lord, open the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Mal 3:10. If the worth of souls, the honour of God, the good of the church, the glorious promulgation of the gospel in the nation, the credit of your profession, your own peace, and the weight of eternal glory be upon your spirits, we doubt not but you will give evidence of it at this time; and so shall you build the old waste places, and raise up the foundations of many generations, and be the repairers of the breaches, and restorers of paths to dwell in. Isa 58:12.
We, to these great and good ends, have thought upon and appointed a solemn day to fast and mourn before the Lord, /486 and to humble ourselves, and seek his face, that a blessing may attend all that we have done, and you with us may yet further do for his holy name's sake.
A general Fast appointed in all the Congregations on the 10th of October next, 1689, with all the causes and reasons thereof:
The main and principal evils to be bewailed and mourned over before the Lord on that day, are as follow:
First, Those many grievous backslidings, sins, and provocations, not only of the whole nation, but also of the Lord's own people, as considered in our public and private stations; particularly that great decay of first love, faith and zeal for the ways and worship of God; which hath been apparent, not only in our churches, but also in private families.
Secondly, That this declension and backsliding hath been, we fear, for a long series of time, and many sore judgments God has brought upon the nation; and a strange death of late come upon the Lord's faithful witnesses, besides divers painful labourers in Christ's vineyard called home, and but few raised up in their stead; little success in the ministry; storms of persecution having been raised upon us, a new war commenced by the beast, (through the divine permission of God, and hand of his justice,) to a total overcoming, to appearance, the witnesses of Christ in these isles; besides his more immediate strokes by plague and fire, &c. God blasting all essays used for deliverance, so that we were almost without hope; therefore, our sins that provoked the righteous and just God to bring all these evils upon us, we ought to bewail and mourn for before him. But withal not to forget his infinite goodness, who, when he saw that our power was gone, and that there was none shut up or left, that he should /487 thus appear for our help and deliverance, in a way unexpected and unthought of by us.
Thirdly, The things we should therefore in the next place pray and cry to the Lord for, are, that he would give us true, broken, and penitent hearts, for all our iniquities, and the sins of his people, and wash and cleanse away those great pollutions with which we have been defiled; and also pour forth more of his Spirit upon us, and open the mysteries of his word, that we may understand whereabouts we are, in respect of the latter time, and what he is doing, and know our work, and that a blessing may attend all the churches of his saints in these nations, and that greater light may break forth, and the glory of the Lord rise upon us, and that the word may not any more be as a miscarrying womb and dry breasts, but that in every place multitudes may be turned to the Lord, and that love and sweet concord may be found among all the Lord's people in these nations, that the great work begun therein so unexpectedly, may go on and be perfected to the praise of his own glory.
Likewise to put up earnest cries and supplications to the Lord for the lineal seed of Abraham, the poor Jews, that they may be called, and both Jews and Gentiles be made one sheepfold, under that one shepherd Jesus Christ.
These are some of the things we have though good to lay before you, and which we hope we shall be helped with you to spread before the Lord on that day, with whatsoever else you or we may be helped to consider of; hoping you will not forget your pastors and ministers in your prayers, and what we have been enabled to come to a resolve about, so that all may be succeeded with a glorious blessing from the Almighty; that the present churches, and those saints who shall come after us, may have cause to praise his holy name: /488 Which is the unfeigned prayer and desire of us, who subscribe ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
HANSARD KNOLLYS, RICHARD TIDMARSH,
WILLIAM KIFFIN, JAMES WEBB,
ANDREW GIFFORD, JOHN HARRIS,
ROBERT STEED, THOMAS WINNELL,
THOMAS VAUXE, JAMES HITT,
WILLIAM COLLINS, HERCULES COLLINS,
JOHN TOMKINS, RICHARD SUTTON,
TOBY WILLES ROBERT KNIGHT,
GEORGE BARRETTE, LEONARD HARRISON,
BENJAMIN KEACH, EDWARD PRICE,
DANIEL FINCH, WILLIAM PHIPS,
JOHN CARTER, WILLIAM FACEY,
SAMUEL BUTTALL, JOHN BALL,
ISAAC LAMB, WILLIAM HANKINS,
CHRISTOPHER PRICE, SAMUEL EWER,
ROBERT KEATE, PAUL FRUIN,
In the name and behalf of the whole assembly.
Memorand: 'Tis agreed to by us, that the next general assembly be held at London, on that day which is called Whitsun-Monday, 1690.
The Narrative of the Proceedings, &c.
Whereas we the Pastors and Elders of the several churches in and about London, did meet together, and seriously take into our consideration the particular states of the baptized churches among ourselves; and after a long persecution, finding the churches generally under great decays in the power of godliness, and defects of gifts for the ministry; /489 also, fearing that the same decays and defects might be among the churches of the same faith and profession throughout England and Wales, many of their ministers being deceased, many have ended their days in prison, many scattered by persecution to other parts, far distant from the churches to which they did belong: from a due sense of these things did, by a letter dated July 28, 1689, write to all the aforesaid churches throughout England and Wales, to send their messengers to a general meeting at London, the third of the seventh month, 1689. And being met together, the first day was spent in humbling ourselves before the Lord, and to seek of him a right way, to direct into the best means and method to repair our breaches, and to recover ourselves into our former order, beauty, and glory. In prosecution thereof, upon the fourth day of the same month, we, the Elders, ministring Brethren, and Messengers of the churches in and about London; and Elders, ministring Brethren, and Messengers of the several churches from several parts of England and Wales, hereafter mentioned; being again come together, after first solemnly seeking the Lord by prayer, did conclude upon these following preliminaries, and lay them down as the foundation of this our assembly, and rules for our proceedings; wherein all the messengers of the churches aforesaid, in city and country, as well for the satisfaction of every particular church, as also to prevent all mistakes, misapprehensions and inconveniencies that might arise in time to come concerning this general assembly, do solemnly and unanimously profess and declare:
1. That we disclaim all manner of superiority and superintendency over the churches, and that we have no authority or power to prescribe or impose any thing upon the faith or practice of any of the churches of Christ. Our whole in/490 tendment is to be helpers together of one another, by way of counsel and advice, in the right understanding of that perfect rule which our Lord Jesus, the Bishop of our souls hath already prescribed, and given to his churches in his word, and therefore do severally and jointly agree,
2. That in those things wherein one church differs from another church in their principles or practices, in point of communion, that we cannot, shall not impose upon any particular church therein, but leave every church to their own liberty to walk together as they have received from the Lord.
3. That if any particular offence doth arise betwixt one church and another, or betwixt one particular person and another, no offence shall be admitted to be debated among us, till the rule Christ hath given, in this matter, be first answered, and the consent of both parties had, or sufficiently endeavoured.
4. That whatever is determined by us in any case, shall not be binding on any one church, till the consent of that church be first had, and they conclude the same among themselves.
5. That all things we offer by way of counsel and advice, be proved out of the word of God, and the scriptures annexed.
6. That the breviates of this meeting be transcribed, and sent to every particular church with a letter.
7. That the messengers that come to this meeting, be recommended by a letter from the church to which they belong, and that none be admitted to speak in this assembly, unless by general consent.
The letters from several churches being read, the meeting was dismissed till next day, and concluded in prayer.
/491 September 5, 1689.
After solemn seeking the Lord, all the Elders, ministring Brethren, and Messengers aforesaid, considered, debated, and concluded, that a public fund or stock was necessary, and came to a resolve in these three questions: 1. How to raise it? 2. To what uses it should be disposed of? 3. How to secure it?
Q. 1. How or by what means this public fund or stock should be raised? Resolved,
1. That it should be raised by a free-will offering. That every person should communicate, for the uses hereafter mentioned, according to his ability, and as the Lord shall make him willing and enlarge his heart; and that the churches severally among themselves do order the collection of it with all convenient speed, that the ends proposed may be put into present practice.
2. That for the constant carrying it on, there be an annual collection made in the several churches, of a half-penny, penny, two-pence, three-pence, four-pence, six-pence per week, more or less, as every person shall be willing; and that every congregation do agree among themselves to collect it, either weekly, monthly, or quarterly, according to their own convenience; and that ministers be desired to shew a good example herein. Ex 35:4-5; 1Ch 29:14; Mal 3:10; Hag 1:9; 2Co 8:11-12.
3. That every particular church do appoint their deacons, or any other faithful brethren, to collect, and to acquaint the church with the sum collected, and remit it quarterly into the hands of such persons as are hereafter nominated and appointed to receive it at London; the first quarterly payment to be made on the 5th of December next.
4. That the persons appointed to receive all the aforesaid /492 collections, be our honoured and well-beloved brethren, whose names we have sent you in a printed paper by itself, all living in and about London; and when any of these aforesaid brethren die, then the major part of the survivors of them shall nominate and appoint another brother in his stead, to be confirmed or refused at the next general meeting of this assembly. And that the said nine brethren shall disburse it from time to time for the uses hereafter mentioned, according to the satisfaction they, or the major part of them, shall have from the information and testimony of any two churches in this assembly, or from the testimony of any particular association of churches in the country, or from the satisfaction they shall have by any other means whatsoever.
Q. 2. To what uses this fund or public stock shall be disposed of? Resolved,
1. To communicate thereof to those churches that are not able to maintain their own ministry, and that their ministers may be encouraged wholly to devote themselves to the great work of preaching the gospel.
2. To send ministers that are ordained, or at least solemnly called to preach, both in city and country, where the gospel hath, or hath not yet been preached, and to visit the churches; and these to be chosen out of the churches in London, or in the country, which ministers are to be approved of, and sent forth by two churches at the least, but more if it may be.
3. To assist those members that shall be found in any of the aforesaid churches that are disposed for study, have an inviting gift, and are sound in fundamentals, in attaining to the knowledge and understanding of the languages, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. These members to be represented to the nine brethren in London, by any two of the churches that belong to this assembly.
/493 Resolved, the money collected be returned, as is expressed in a printed paper before mentioned, to one of the nine brethren mentioned in the said paper.
Resolved and concluded, that every quarter of a year an account shall be taken by those nine brethren in London, nominated in the printed paper aforesaid, of all the receipts and disbursements belong to this aforesaid fund or stock; and an account signed by them, or the major part of them shall be transmitted to one church in every county, and from that church be communicated to all the rest of the churches aforesaid within the same county with all convenient speed. The first account to be made, and sent the 5th of January next.
Resolved, that what charges soever the said nine brethren are at in the service of this assembly, shall be discharged out of the aforesaid stock.
The question proposed from the several churches, debated, and resolved.
Q. Whether it be not expedient for churches that live near together, and consist of small numbers, and are not able to maintain their own ministry, to join together for the better and more comfortable support of their ministry, and better edification one of another.
A. Concluded in the affirmative.
Q. Whether it is not the duty of every church of Christ to maintain such ministers as are set apart by them, by allowing them a comfortable maintenance according to their ability?
A. Concluded in the affirmative, 1Co 9:9-14; Ga 6:6.
Q. Whether every church ought not to endeavour not only to provide themselves with an able ministry for the preaching /494 of the word, but also to set apart to office, and in a solemn manner ordain such as are duly qualified for the same?
A. Concluded in the affirmative. Ac 14:23; Tit 1:5.
Q. Whether baptized believers are not at liberty to hear any sober and pious men of the Independent and Presbyterian persuasions, when they have no opportunity to attend upon the preaching of the word in their own assembly, or have no other to preach unto them?
A. Concluded in the affirmative. Ac 18:24-25,26.
Q. Whether the continuing of gifted brethren many years upon trial for eldership, or any person for the office of a deacon, without ordaining them, although qualified for the same, be not an omission of an ordinance of God?
A. Concluded in the affirmative.
Q. What is the duty of church members when they are disposed to marry, with respect to their choice?
A. To observe the apostle's rule, to marry only in the Lord, 1Co 7:39.
Q. Whether when the church have agreed upon the keeping of one day, weekly, or monthly, besides the first day of the week to worship God, and perform the necessary services of the church, they may not charge such persons with evil that neglect such meetings, and lay them under reproof, unless such members can shew good cause for such their absence?
A. Concluded in the affirmative, Heb 10:25.
Q. What is to be done with those persons that will not communicate to the necessary expenses of the church whereof they are members, according to their ability?
A. Resolved, that upon clear proof, the persons so offending, as aforesaid, should be duly admonished; and if no reformation appears, the church ought to withdraw from them, Eph 5:5; Mt 25:42; 1Jo 3:17.
/495 Q. What is to be done with those persons that withdraw themselves from the fellowship of that particular church whereof they are members, and join themselves to the communion of the national church?
A. To use all due means to reclaim them by instruction and admonition; and if not thereby reclaimed, to reject them. Mt 18:17; Lu 9:62; Heb 10:38; Jude 25.
Resolved, that the like method to be taken with those that wholly forsake the fellowship of that congregation to which they have solemnly given up themselves.
Q. Whether believers were not actually reconciled to God, actually justified, and adopted, when Christ died?
A. That the reconciliation, justification, and adoption of believers, are infallibly secured by the gracious purpose of God, and merit of Jesus Christ. Yet none can be said to be actually reconciled, justified, or adopted, until they are really implanted into Jesus Christ by faith; and so by virtue of this their union with him, have these fundamental benefits actually conveyed unto them. And this, we conceive, is fully evidenced, because the scripture attributes all these benefits to faith as the instrumental cause of them, Ro 3:25,1,11; Ga 3:26. And gives such representation of the state of the elect before faith, as is altogether inconsistent with an actual right in them. Eph 2:1-2,3,12.
Q. Whether it be not necessary for the Elders, ministring Brethren, and Messengers of the churches to take into their serious consideration those excuses that are found among their members, men and women, with respect of their apparel?
A. In the affirmative – That it is a shame for men to wear long hair, or long perewigs, and especially ministers, 1 Cor. /496 xi. 14 (1Co 11:14). or strange apparel, Zep 1:8, That the Lord reproves the daughters of Zion, for the bravery, haughtiness, and pride of their attire, walking with stretched out necks, wanton eyes, mincing as they go, Isa 3:16. As if they affected tallness, as one observes upon their stretched-out necks; though some in these times seem, by their high dresses, to out-do them in that respect. The apostle Paul exhorts, in 1Ti 2:9-10 that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety: not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but with good works, as becometh women professing godliness. And 1Pe 3:3-4,5. Whose adorning let it not be the outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of great price: for after this (fashion, or) manner, in old time, the holy women who trusted in God adorned themselves. And therefore, we cannot but bewail it with much sorrow and grief of spirit, that those brethren and sisters, who have solemnly professed to deny themselves, Mt 16:24, and who are by profession obliged in duty not to conform to this world, Ro 12:2, should so much conform to the fashion of this world, and not reform themselves in those inclinations that their natures addicted them to in days of ignorance, 1Pe 1:14. From these considerations, we earnestly desire that men and women whose souls are committed to our charge, may be watched over in this matter, and that care be taken, and all just and due means used, for a reformation herein; and that such who are guilty of this crying sin of pride, that abounds in the churches as well as in the nation, may be reproved; especially considering what time and treasure is foolishly wasted in adorning the body, which would be better spent in a careful endeavour to /497 adorn the soul; and the charge laid out upon those superfluities, to relieve the necessities of the poor saints, and to promote the interest of Jesus Christ. [Note by JB: In that day women did not wear pants, tight dresses, mini-skirts, shorts (neither did men) see-through blouses, nor as a rule, low cut dresses.] And though we deny not but in some cases ornaments may be allowed, yet whatever ornaments in men or women are inconsistent with modesty, gravity, sobriety, and prove a scandal to religion, opening the mouths of the ungodly, ought to be cast off, being truly no ornaments to believers, but rather a defilement; and that those ministers and churches who do not endeavour after a reformation herein, are justly to be blamed.
Q. Whether it be not the duty of all Christians, and churches of Christ, religiously to observe the Lord's day, or first day of the week, in the worship and service of God, both in public and private?
A. It is concluded in the affirmative: – Because we find that day was set apart for the solemn worship of God, by our Lord Jesus, and his holy apostles, through the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
1st. Because it appears that the Son of God, who was manifested in the flesh, had authority to make a change of the solemn day of worship, being Lord of the Sabbath. Mt 12:8
2dly. It is manifested that our blessed Lord and Saviour arose on that day, as having completed and confirmed the work of our redemption, Mt 28:1; Lu 24:1; Joh 20:1. whereby he laid the foundation of the observation of that day.
3dly. Our Lord Jesus did then, on that day most plainly and solemnly appear to his disciples, teaching and instructing them, blessing them, and giving them their commission, breathing on them the Holy Ghost. Lu 24:13,27,36; Joh 20:19-23, – Moreover on the next first day of the /498 week, he appeared to them again, giving them a further in;fallible proof of his glorious resurrection; and then convinced the apostle Thomas, who was absent the first day before, but was now with them, Joh 20:26. Whereby it appears he sanctified and confirmed the religious observation of that day by his own example.
4thly. Our Lord and Saviour remained with his disciples forty days after his resurrection, speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, Ac 1:3. And we question not but he then gave command about the observation of this day.
5thly. For a further confirmation hereof, it appears that after his ascension, when his disciples or apostles, were assembled together solemnly with one accord, on the day of Pentecost, which by all computation, was the first day of the week: recorded, Ac 2:1-2. – He then poured out his Holy Spirit in a marvellous and an abundant measure upon them.
6thly. Accordingly, afterwards, we find this day was solemnly observed by the churches, as appears, Ac 20:7. where we have the churches assembling on that day plainly asserted, with the solemn duties then performed, which were preaching and breaking of bread; and all this recorded as their usual custom which could be from no other cause but divine and apostolic institution. And it is most remarkable, and worthy the most serious observation of all the Lord's people, that although the holy apostles, and others that were preachers of the gospel, took their opportunities to preach the word on the Jewish sabbath-day, and on other days of the week as they had convenient seasons afforded; yet we have no example of the churches then assembling together to celebrate all the ordinances of our Lord Jesus pe/499 culiar to them, but on the first day of the week; which manifest practice of theirs is evidently as plain a demonstration of its being a day set apart for religious worship, by the will and command of our Lord Jesus, as if it had been expressed in the plainest words. Forasmuch as they did nothing in those purest primitive times in the sacred worship of God, either as to time or form, but by a divine warrant from the holy apostles, who were instructed by our Lord Jesus, and were guided in all those affairs by his faithful and infallible Holy Spirit.
7thly. In like manner the solemn ordinance of collection for the necessities of the poor saints, was commanded to be performed on that day, 1Co 16:1-2. by an apostolic ordination; which without question, by reason of their observing that day for their holy assembling and worship, was then required.
Lastly. It is asserted by all the considerate and able expositors of the holy scriptures, that the denomination or title of Lord's day, mentioned Re 1:10. was attributed to the first day of the week, as the usual distinguishing name given to that solemn day by the Christians, or churches, in the primitive times; and as being a day to be spent wholly in the service and worship of the Lord, and not in our own worldly and secular affairs, which are lawful to be attended unto on other days of the week.
From all which, laid together and considered, we are convinced that it is our duty religiously to observe that holy day in the celebration of the worship of God.
Q. Whether the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit be not sufficient to the making and continuing of an honourable ministry in the churches?
A. Resolved in the affirmative, Eph 4:8-9; 1Co 12:7.
/500 Q. Whether it be not advantageous for our brethren now in the ministry, or that may be in the ministry, to attain to a competent knowledge of the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin tongues, that they may be the better capable of defending the truth against opposers?
A. Resolved in the affirmative.
Q. Whether an elder of one church may administer the ordinance in other churches of the same faith?
A. That an elder of one church may administer the ordinance of the Lord's supper to another of the same faith, being called so to do by the said church; though not as their pastor, but as a minister, necessity only being considered in this case.
We the Ministers and Messengers of, and concerned for, upwards of one hundred baptized congregations in England and Wales, denying Arminianism, being met together in London from the third of the seventh month to the eleventh of the same, 1689, to consider of some things that might be for the glory of God, and the good of these congregations; have thought meet, for the satisfaction of all other Christians that differ from us in the point of Baptism, to recommend to their perusal the confession of our faith, which we own, as containing the doctrine of our faith and practice; and do desire that the members of our churches respectively do furnish themselves therewith.
Moreover, this assembly do declare their approbation of a certain little book; lately recommended by divers elders dwelling in and about the city of London, entitled, The Ministers Maintenance Vindicated. And it is their request, that the said treatise be dispersed among all our respective congregations; and it is desired that some brethren of each church take care to dispose of the same accordingly.
/501 The elders and messengers of the assembly, in consequence of illiberal aspersions cast upon their connections, concluded the narrative of 1689, declaring their abhorrence of the late king's absolute and dispensing power, as well as their united and most hearty determination “to venture their all for the protestant religion, and the liberties of their native country:” “And we do,” say they, “with great thankfulness to God, acknowledge his special goodness to these nations, in raising up our present king William, to be a blessed instrument in his hand, to deliver us from popery and arbitrary power; and shall always, as in duty bound, pray that the Lord may continue him and his royal consort long to be a blessing to these kingdoms; and shall always be ready to the utmost of our ability, in our places, to join our hearts and hands, with the rest of our protestant brethren, for the preservation of ;the protestant religion, and the liberties of the nation.
“WILLIAM KIFFIN, ROBERT KEATE,
HANSARD KNOLLYS, RICHARD TIDMARSH,
ANDREW GIFFORD, JAMES WEBB,
ROBERT STEED, JOHN HARRIS,
THOMAS VAUXE, THOMAS WINNELL,
JOHN TOMKINS, JAMES HITT,
TOBY WELLS, EDWARD PRICE,
GEORGE BARRETTE, WILLIAM PHIPS
BENJAMIN KEACH, WILLIAM FAGEY,
SAMUEL BUTTALL, JOHN BALL,
ISAAC LAMB, WILLIAM HANKINS,
CHRISTOPHER PRICE, PAUL FRUIN.”
The persons appointed to receive all the collections made in the respective congregations for the general fund or public /502 stock, are our honoured and well-beloved brethren, Mr. William Kiffin, Mr. Robert Bristow, Mr. Morice King, Mr. John Leader, sen. Mr. Isaac Marlow, Mr. John Skinner, Mr. Richard Hallowell, Mr. John Collet, and Mr. Edward Harrison.
Resolved, That the money be remitted from the country, to our beloved brother Mr. Edward Harrison, (one of the nine brethren before mentioned,) living at the sign of the Hen and Chickens, in Cheapside, London; with another letter signifying the same, to our beloved brother Mr. Morice King, living at the sign of the Mermaid in Lawrence Lane, Silkman, another of the nine brethren aforesaid.
We, whose names are subscribed, testify, that the persons aforenamed were unanimously chosen by the whole Assembly, September 12, 1689.
HANSARD KNOLLYS, THOMAS WINNELL,
ROBERT STEED, RICHARD ADAMS,
WILLIAM COLLINS, WILLIAM PHIPS,
ANDREW GIFFORD, JOHN BALL,
THOMAS VAUXE, RICHARD RING,
JOHN HARRIS CHARLES ARCHER,
BENJAMIN KEACH, JAMES HITT,
GEORGE BARRETTE, HERCULES COLLINS,
SAMUEL BUTTALL, LEONARD HARRISON,
CHRISTOPHER PRICE, EDWARD PRICE,
WILLIAM PRITCHARD, WILLIAM FACEY,
WILLIAM HANKINS, PAUL FRUIN,
EDMOND WHITE, RICHARD SUTTON,
DANIEL FINCH, ROBERT KEATE,
JOHN TOMKINS, JOHN CARTER,
EDWARD MANN, ROBERT KNIGHT.
/503 To preserve all the conciseness which is possible, we print the list which was published in 1692, with that for this year. The reader is desired to remark that those churches distinguished by an asterisk are Welsh Churches.
AN Account of the several Baptized Churches in England and Wales, owning the Doctrine of Personal Election and Final Perseverance, that sent either their Ministers or Messengers, or otherwise communicated their state in our General Assembly at London, on the 3d and 4th, and so on to the 11th day of the 7th month, called September, 1689.
The list of September, 1689. The list of the 3d Month, 1692.
Churches. Ministers and Messengers
READING William Facey, pastor Jo. Ward, min.
Reyamire Griffin, mess.
Farringdon Richard Steed, min. Richard Steed, min.
William Mills, min. William Mills, min.
Abington Henry Forty, pastor
John Tomkins John Tomkins, min.
Wantage Robert Keate, min. Robert Keate, min.
Longworth John Man, preacher John Man, preacher
Steventon Step. Howtherne, past. Step Howtherne, past.
Evershall Edward White, past. Edmond White, pastor
Haddington Peter Tyler Peter Tyler
Stukely* Robert Knight, past. Robert Knight, pastor
Cambridge Thomas Cowlinge Thomas Cowlinge
Wisbich Wm. Ricks, preacher Wm. Rix, preacher
Looe Tho. Cowling, min. Thomas Cowling, min.
Bovey Tracey Clement Jackson, min. Clement Jackson, min.
Dartmouth Philip Cary, min. Philip Cary, min.
Exon Wm. Phipps, pastor Mr. Simpson, min.
Ladswell Samuel Hart, min. Samuel Hart, min.
Luppit Thomas Halwell Thomas Halwell
Plymouth _______ Holdenby, past. James Hitt, min.
Samuel Buttall, min. Samuel Buttal, min.
South Molton Thos. Stoneman, mess.
Tiverton John Ball Richard Tidmarsh, min.
Tristram Truvin, min.
Dorchester Thomas Cox, min. Thomas Cox, min.
/505 Dalwood James Hitt, preacher
Thos. Payne, preacher Thomas Payne, min.
Lyme Simon Orchard, min. Simon Orchard, min.
Muggleswick John Ward John Ward, min.
Henry Blackhead Henry Blackett, min.
Hadfield- Wm. Collins, pastor Wm. Collins, past.
Harlow Wm. Woodward, past. Wm. Woodward, past.
Colchester is mentioned in 1692. John Hammond, past.
Morton-in- John Goring, pastor John Greening, past.
marsh Anthony Freeman
Cirencester Giles Watkins, min. Giles Watkins, min.
Dimmock Wm. Hankins, past. Wm. Hankins, pastor
Nimpsfield Robert Williams Robert Williams
Tewkesbury Eleaz. Harringe, past. Eleazer Herringe, past.
Swansea* Lewis Thomas, pas. Lewis Thomas, past.
Hempstead Samuel Ewer, past. Samuel Ewer, past.
/506Kingsworth James Hardinge, min. James Hardinge, min.
Daniel Finch, min. Daniel Finch, min.
Theobalds Jos. Masters, past. Joseph Masters, past.
Tringe Richard Sutton, past. Richard Sutton, past.
Christ-Church Joseph Brown Joseph Brown
South Hampton Richard Ring, past. Richard Ring, past.
Whitchurch Richard Kent, mess. Richard Kent, min.
Stephen Kent, mess.
Hereford Edward Price, past. Edward Price, past.
Weston and Rich. Perkins, preach. Rich. Perkins, preach.
Sandwich Thos. Fecknam, past. Thos. Fecknam, pastor
Warrington ________ Loe, past. Thos. Loe, pastor
Kilbey Ilen, Coleman, past. Henry Coleman, min.
Broken Wharf Hansard Knollys, past
Robert Steed, past Robert Steed, past
Devonshire- Wm. Kiffin, past. William Kiffin, past.
Square Morris King Richard Adams, past.
Joyners Hall John Harris, past. Tobias Russel, min.
Samuel Boncal Thomas Mariet, min.
Houndsditch Edward Man, past. Edward Man, pastor
Petty France Wm. Collins, past. Wm. Collins, pastor
Thomas Harrison Thomas Harrison, min.
Lime-house Leon. Harrison, past. Leonard Harrison, past.
Mile-end George Barret, past. George Barret, pastor
Green Isaac Marloc
Culman Green Culman Green, not
inserted this year.
Penington Isaac Lambe, pastor
Street Humph. Burroughs Hum. Burroughs, mess.
Wapping Hercul. Collins, past. Hercules Collins, pastor
Horse-lie down Benj. Keach, pastor Benj. Keach, pastor
Mayes Pond Sumuel Mee, minister
Shad Thames Richard Adams, min.
Nath. Crabb Winchester House.
John Bernard Richard Baxter, min.
David Towler, min.
Abergavenny Chris. Price, min. Christoph. Price, min.
Blaenau* Wm. Prichard, past. William Prichard, past.
Llanwenarth* Francis Giles
Pulham Market Henry Bradshaw Henry Brett, pastor
Norwich _________ Austin, pastor Edward Austin, pastor
Thomas Flatman, min. Edward Williams, past.
Newcastle- Richard Pitts, pastor Richard Pitts, pastor
on-Tyne John Turner
Finstock John Carpenter, min. John Carpenter, min.
Hooknorton Charles Archer, pastor Charles Archer, pastor
Oxford city Richard Tidmarsh, min.
Neare, or Griffith Howel Griffith Howel
Rushacre* William Jones, pastor William Jones, pastor
Bath Haycomb Richard Gay, min. Richard Gay, minister
Bridgwater Tobias Wells, pastor Tobias Wells, pastor
Broadmead Tho. Vaux, pastor Thomas Vaux, pastor
Fryers Andrew Gifford, pastor Andrew Gifford, pastor
Chard Wm. Wilkins, min. Wm. Wilkins, min.
Charton Wm. Woodman Wm. Woodman
Froome Wm. Randalfe
Hallitraw John Andrews
Hatch Jeremiah Day Jeremiah Day
Kilmington Robert Cox, min. Robert Cox, minister
Taunton Thos. Winnell, pastor Thos. Whinnell, pastor
Wedmore George Stant, min. George Stant, minister
Wells Tim. Brooke, min. Timothy Brooke, min.
Yeoville and Thomas Miller, pastor Thomas Miller, pastor
Framingsham Thos. Mills, minister Thomas Mills, minister
Guildford John Ward
Richmond Hezekiah Brent, min.
John Scot, minister John Scot, minister
Aulcester John Willis John Willis, min.
John Higgins (Copy falsely Wills)
Warwick Paul Fruin, min. Benjamin Boyer, min.
Bradford John Flouret John Flouret
Devizes James Webb
Ecclestocke William Aldridge
Knoyle John Williams, past. John Williams, pastor
Malmesbury ________ Arch, past. _________ Arch, pastor
Porton Walter Pen
Southweeke Joseph Holton
Warminster John Werell, pastor
Westbury Roger Cator
Bromsgrove John Eccles, past. John Eccles, pastor
/511 Hearty thanks are returned to you for your great love and charity towards our poor brother, Richard Dorwood, upon the account of his loss by fire.”
This appendix is a selection from volume I of Joseph Ivimey's History of the English Baptists. It includes the title page and pages 477-511. Pages are noted with a /n, with the n being the page number. It outlines the proceedings of the meetings whereby the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith was written.
* Baptist Register for 1695, p. 260.
[THE INTRODUCTION FROM THE PAMPHLET
AS IT RELATES TO THE
WORK & OBLIGATION
Very few Bible students enjoy the high privilege and tremendous advantage of being able to work beneath the surface of an English translation in the added richness and accuracy of interpretation which is found in the text of the Greek New Testament. ... For instance, he is studying Eph 4:11-12, and he reads in the Authorized Version, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” He would never suspect that there are only four individuals mentioned in Eph 4:11. The student of the English Bible could never know that the words, “pastors” and “teachers,” are in a construction in the Greek text called Granville Sharp's rule which is stated as follows: “When two nouns are in the same case, connected by the word kai (and), the first noun having the definite article, the second noun without the article, the second noun refers to the same person or thing to which the first noun refers and is a further description of it.” Not knowing this rule, he would fail to see that Paul was only referring to one individual when he spoke of pastors and teachers. Thus, he would miss the important truth that God's ideal pastor is a teaching pastor, one who specializes in expository sermons, one whose ministry is a teaching ministry. He would fail to grasp the fact that God gives to every man whom He calls to be a pastor, a teaching gift which he is to develop by use. A knowledge of this would revolutionize the ministry of many pastors. Again, the student of the English Bible, not familiar with Latin, would not know that the word “pastor” is from a Latin word meaning “shepherd,” and not conversant with Greek, would be ignorant of the fact that the word in the Greek text was the Greek word for a shepherd. Thus, he would miss the practical illustration of the shepherd in the East who always leads his flock, never drives it. The story goes that a traveller in the East once saw a man driving a flock of sheep. He said to the man, “I thought that eastern shepherds always led their flocks, never drove them.” Replied the man, “Oh, I am not the shepherd. I am the butcher.” All of which means that the pastor who attempts to drive God's flock to the living of a holy life, only works havoc amongst this people, but the pastor who leads the people by a Christlike life, attains his purpose.
Again, the English reader studies verse twelve, and sees that the pastor has three responsibilities, to perfect the saints, to do the work of the ministry, and to edify the body of Christ. That means that the pastor does all the work in the local church, and his parishioners pay him for doing it, and sit back and do nothing. He could never know that the Greek New Testament has four different words which mean “perfect,” and that the particular word used here means “to equip someone in order that he might be able to perform a certain piece of work.” He would naturally think that the word “ministry” referred to the ordained minister, since the word is so used today. He would never suspect that the Greek word of which it is the translation refers to the rendering of service. Thus, he could never know that Paul's idea was, “He gave some, teaching pastors for the equipping of the saints for ministering work with a view to the building up of the body of Christ.”
But that clearer, more accurate translation and understanding of Paul's Greek here, would again revolutionize the ministry of a pastor. He would see that God called him to be a specialist. He was not to do all the work of the church, nor even a large part of it. He was to specialize in training the saints in the pews to engage in Christian service, and he would thus be multiplying himself and his efforts, and instead of being a superintendent of an old people's rest home, he would be nurturing a beehive of activity. He would begin to be in God's eyes, a successful pastor.
 This information is taken from the preface to The Pastoral Epistles in the Greek New Testament, by Kenneth S. Wuest, as found in the four volume edition of his Word Studies in the Greek New Testament. Permission to print this in the introduction of a pamphlet entitled “Preaching as it Relates to the Work & Obligation of the Pastor”, by Jimmy K. Barber, was granted by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 225 Jefferson, S. E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49502.