Of the Election of Church-Officers.

      No man may take the honour of a Church-Officer unto himself, but he that was called of God, as was Aaron.
      2 Calling unto office is either Immediate, by Christ himself: such was the call of the Apostles, & Prophets: this manner of calling ended with them, as hath been said: or Mediate, by the church.
      3 It is meet, that before any be ordained or chosen officers, they should first be Tryed & proved; because hands are not suddenly to be laid apon any, & both Elders & Deacons must be of honest & good report.
      4 The things in respect of which they are to be Tryed, are those gifts & virtues which the Scripture requireth in men, that are to be elected into such places. viz, that Elders must be blameless, sober, apt to teach, & endued with such other qualifications as are layd downe, I Tim: 3 & 2. Tit: I, 6 to 9. Deacons to be fitted, as is directed, Acts. 6, 3. I Tim: 3. 8, to 11.
      5 Officers are to be called by such Churches, where unto they are to minister. of such moment is the preservation of this power, that the churches exercised it in the presence of the Apostles.
      6 A church being free cannot become subject to any, but by a free election; [11] Yet when such a people do chuse any to be over them in the Lord, then do they becom subject, & most willingly submit to their ministry in the Lord, whom they have so chosen.
      7 And if the church have powr to chuse their officers & ministers, then in case of manifest unworthyness, & delinquency they have powr also to depose them. For to open, & shut: to chuse & refuse; to constitute in office, & remove from office: are acts belonging unto the same powr.
      8 Wee judge it much conducing to the wel-being, & communion of churches, that where it may conveniently be done, neighbour- churches be advised withall, & their made use of in the triall of church-officers, in order their choyce.
      9 The choyce of such Church-officers belongeth not to the civil-magistrates, as such, or diocesan-bishops, or patrones: for of these or any such like, the Scripture is wholly silent, as having any power therin.


1. Heb 5, 4
2. Galat 1, I Acts 14. 23 cap 6.3
3. I Tim 5. 22 cap 7, 10 Acts 16. 2 cap 6. 3
4. Act 14. 23. c. 1. 23 c 6. 3. 4. 5.
5. Gal 5, 13
6. Hebr. 13, 17
7. Rom 16, 17
8. Cant. 8, 8, 9

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