Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BS2096.A1 1701 .P3

Ch, i 8. Ofcleating St. Ma tthew. with a brother. Ch. I8, Nate, This Text which is thrift's Law of Church-discipline, is perverted divers ways, by feveral forts ofmiftakers. Some feign that it fpeakethnot of fins againft God, but of inju- ries a gainit men : and that by the Chureh is meant theCivil Judicature that then was, (in- ferior or fuperior Sanhedrim.) But r. it is evi- dent that it is to Christians or Disciples that thrift giveth this Law ; others received no Law from him. And it was how todeal with a Brother in order to repentance and falvation, as the foregoing verts thew. 2. thrift knew that the Sanhedrim werehis deadly enerries,and foretold that they would condemn him s and thereforenever made a Law to his Disciples to ufe them as their ordinary Judicature. a. He knewthat they would hate and perfecute his Di(èiples,and therefore never Pent them to them for right. 4. He came to abrogate MAPa's Law, and overthrow their Mofaick policy: And there- fore did not eftablilh it by this Law. 5. He could never mean that Chriftiansmutt take him for a Heathen, that heard not the Jews Coun- cil, when he foretold them how that Council would (courge them in their Synagogues, and calf out their names, and fay all manner ofevil Of them fallly. Nor did Chtift fet up a Chriftian Judicature ofMagiftrates, having the power of the (word inftead cf the Jewifh. For, r. Chrift himfelf refuted toufe fuch a power on earth. a. He forbad it his Difciplesthat ftrive for it. g. The Text fpeakethofno forcing power, but perfua- five, and of no penalty, but Alienation and Difowning. 4. The Apoftles didnever (et up any fuch coa&ive Civil Judicature, nor the Churchafter them for 3 ooyears and much more: which they would havedone, had Christ den- inended it. 5. But they letup fuch Eccicfra- ftiekJudicatures wherever they gathered Chur- ches ; which was their a&ual viable expofition ofthis Law of -Thrift. 6. It is not reftirutionor recovery of Lands, Goods, or Rights that is here mentioned as the end 3 but the Winning of a brother by repentance. 7. And what is more noted by Christ as anoffence or trefpali againft us, than fcandal. and dishonouring the Chriftf- on name and fociety, and grieving good men by finningagainft God. I chink thetè eviden- cesprove paft doubt, that it is the difciplineof Chriftian Churches Chrift here inftitutes by a ¡tending Law; for which he gave the power ofthe Keys. z. The Church is told and heard when the Rulersare told and heard, either before the whole Congregation, or that they may publitit it. The wholeCongregation is not to (peak and beheard, nor neceffarily to be told by the offended himfelf. But as the City is faid to Ra- ceme and to Execute any order from the King, when the Magi[lratea do their part in it, and the people. theirs, to leisa: ith the Church. 3. But how the tellingofone Lay.chancellor orCivilian, and hearing or not hearing him, and being Excommunicate by him concernsthis Law, I know not, no nor telling or not hear. icg one tingle Perlon that judges alone over many hundredChurches at a distance and with- out their notice. 4. This diftipline isof great moment, for the honour ofChrift andhis Church, that it be not as impure as the Infidel World, nor a Swine- fly inftead of a Society ofSaints : and that iç maybe known, that Chrift came not as decei- vers do, to gethimfelf a number offollowers as bad as other men, but to fan(.tific a peculiar people to God, zealous of good works, and torfaking the world, the fieus and the devil, and to keep Chriftians from the fnare and-the lltame of infeftiousand wickedAffociates: and to keep finunder open dilgrace. 5 . Yet ifPalors negle& this holy Di(cf- pline; the fin is theirs: It Both not necefiltate the innocent to forfake. the Church, unlefs their Do`.trine or Praflice.amount to a profeft rejection of tome elfèntiais of Chriftianity, or elle they force min to fin or own their fin. But they that can chufe better without more hurt than benefit, should prefer it before un- ditciplinedChurches. 18. Verily I fayunto you, What- foever ye (hall bind on earth, (hall he bound in heaven ; and whatfoever ye (hall loofe on earth, (hall be loofed in heaven r8. I tell you that my Church on earth is the Seminary or Suburbs of nay Church in heaven, and thole that you as my Minifters abfolve according to nay word, they being not deceitful, but true profefforsof faith and re- pentance, they :hall be absolved in heaven s And thofe that you bind over as impenitent to any judgment, being fuch indeed , (hall be condemned and (hut out of heaven : and I will own and confitm your judgment of men by the power I give you, if you-de, it ac- cording to any word. N. God giveth Parlors power to condemn and aft out none from heaven, nor to five any, but only fuch as condemn and call out thetefelves, or fuch as favethemlelves by faith, more than the Church can do. 19. Again, I fay unto you, that if two of you (hail agree on earth, as touching any thing that they (hall ask, it (hall be done for them ofmy Father which is in heaven. 19. And I tell you, that I may encourage you to concord, that if twoof you (muchmore, if all, or many,) (hall agree in your Prayers, bifci,line or Appeal to God, he will accept E a your