BV597 W547 v1

56 The tnffstutión .and Government yezehel, that called herfelf a Prophetefs, to teach and fe- duce the People óf'G;od. If falfe Doarine be continued to be preached- in a Church, the Church muft be account- able for it ; which yet they fhould not be, if it were not their Duty to flop the Mouths of fuch Preachers. 3. An Elder is a Brother as well as an Elder; he was a Member before he was an Elder, and then he was a Bro- ther. Now his being chofen into the Relation of an Elder, doth not deft roy the Relation of Brotherhood, but every Brother is to be dealt with by the Church. If thy Brother trefpafs againfi thee, tell it unto the Church, Matt. xviii. 1 J. And the Church muff receive it, when it is brought by two or three Witnefles, 1 rim. v. 19. And when the Church hath received it, either he mutt hear the Church, or be reje&ed. q.. If the Church have not Power to deal with an Elder, then is the Elder in a worfe Condition than the meanefl Member in the Congregation, as being denied that which is a Means to reform and recover a Perfon that hath been guilty of Mifcarriages, a Means made nfe of for the Re- covery of the meanefl Member in the Church ; and the Church is utterly uncapable of being freed from a fcandal- pus Miniflry, and each Member liable to contra. relative Guilt, by holding Communion with him : for if the Church have not Power to deal with him, there is none that have; that is, there is none that have a Power to ini a Cenfure on him for hisMifcarriages orMifdemeanors in the Church. I grant, if his Offence be againfi the Civil Law, or fo far as it is againfl that, the Civil Law may take hold of him, and the Magiflrate may punifh him, according to the Nature of his Offence. But this doth not untie his Re- lation to the Church, he is an Elder fill,, I would here offer a few Things for Refolution. (1,) Whether an Elder be a Brother in the Gofpel or not. I think no Man is fit to be an Elder that is not a Bro- ther : and if he be a Brother, then he is to be dealt with by the Church, Mat. xviii. 15, 16. Secondly, I would query, What Power is appointed by the Word to deal with an El- der in Cafe of Offence, if the Church to which he relates way coot do it a Elders of other Churches cannot dolt: