CHAP : XVI.
Synods orderly assembled, & rightly proceeding according to
the pattern, Acts. 15. we acknowledg as the ordinance of Christ:
(1) & though not absolutely
necessary to the being, yet many times, through the iniquity of
men, & perversness of times, necessary to the wel-being of
churches, for the establishment of truth, & peace therin.
2 Synods being spirituall & ecclesiasticall assemblyes, are therfore made up of spirituall & ecciesiasticall causes. The next efficient cause of them under Christ, is the powr of the churches, sending forth their Elders, [&] other messengers; who being mett together (2) in the name of Christ, are the matter of a Synod : & they in argueing, debating & determining matters of religion according to the word, & publishing the same to the churches whom it concerneth, doe put forth the proper & formall acts of a Synod; (3) to the convictio of errours, & heresyes, & the establishment of truth & peace in the Churches, which is the end of a Synod. (4)
3 Magistrates, have powr to call a Synod, by calling to the Churches to send forth (5)their Elders & other messengers, to counsel & assist them in matters of religion : but yett the constituting of a Synod, is a church act, & may be transacted by the churches, (6) even when civil magistrates may be enemyes to churches and to church assemblyes.
4 It belongeth unto Synods & counsels, to debate & determine controversies of faith, (7) & cases of consciece ; to cleare from the word holy directions for the holy worship of God, & good government of the church ; to beare witness against mal-administration (8) &  Corruption in doctrine or maners in any particular Church, & to give directions for the reformation therof: Not to exercise Church-censures in way of discipline, nor any other act of church-authority or jurisdiction: which that presidentiall Synnd did forbeare.
5 The Synods directions & determinations, so farr as consonant to the word of God, are to be received with reverence & submission; not only for their agreement therwith (which is the principall ground therof, & without which they bind not at all:) but also secondarily, for the powr (9) wherby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed therunto in his word.
6 Because it is difficult, if not impossible, for many churches to com altogether in one place, in all their mebers universally: therfore they may assemble by their delegates or messengers, as the church of Antioch went not all to Ierusalem, (10) but some select men for that purpose. Because none are or should be more fitt to know the state of the churches, nor to advise of wayes for the good therof then Elders; therfore it is fitt that in the choice of the messengers for such assemblies, they have special respect uto such. (11) Yet in as much as not only Paul & Barnabas, but certayn others also were sent to Ierusalem from Antioch. Acts. 15. & when they were come to Ierusalem, not only the Apostles & Elders, but other brethren also doe assemble, & meet. about the matter ; therfore Synods are to consist both of Elders, & other church-members, endued with gifts, & sent by the churches, not excluding the presence of any brethren in the churches.
1. Acts 15. 2. to 15.
2. Acts 15. ,2, 3 vers 6. vers 7 to 23
3. [Acts 15] vers 31.
Acts 16 4. 15.
5. 2 Chron 29. 4. 5. To 11.
6. Acts 15.
7. Acts 15. 1. 2. 6. 7. 1 Chro 15.13.
8. 2 Chron 29: 6,7. Acts 15.24 vers 28, 29.
9. Acts 15.
10. Acts 15. 2
11. Acts 15: 2 vers 22, 23