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Of the liberty and duty of gifted uncalled Christians in the exercise of divers acts of God’s worship.
And thus have I declared what I conceive concerning extraordinary calling to the public teaching of the word, in what cases only it useth to take place; whence I conclude, that whosoever pretends unto it, not warranted by an evidence of one of those three ways that God taketh in such proceedings, is but a pretender, an impostor, and ought, accordingly, to be rejected of all God’s people. In other cases, not to disuse what outward ordinary occasion, from them who are intrusted by commission from God with that power, doth confer upon persons so called, we must needs grant it a negative voice in the admission of any to the public preaching of the gospel. If they come not in at that door, they do climb over the wall, if they make any entrance at all. It remains, then, to shut up all, that it be declared what private Christians, living in a pure, orthodox, well-ordered church, may do, and how far they may interest themselves in holy, soul-concerning affairs, both in respect of their own particular and of their brethren in the midst of whom they live; in which determination, because it concerneth men of low degree, and those that comparatively may be said to be unlearned, I shall labour to express the conceivings of my mind in as familiar, plain observations as I can. Only, thus much I desire may be premised, that the principles and rules of that church government from which, in the following assertions, I desire not to wander are of that kind (to which I do, and always, in my poor judgment, have adhered, since, by God’s assistance, I had engaged myself to the study of his word) which commonly are called presbyterial or synodical, in opposition to prelatical or diocesan on the one side, and that which is commonly called independent or congregational on the other.
First, then, a diligent searching of the Scriptures, with fervent prayers to Almighty God for the taking away that veil of ignorance which by nature is before their eyes, that they may come to a saving knowledge in and a right understanding of them, is not only lawful and convenient for all men professing the name of Christ, but also absolutely necessary; because commanded, yea indeed commanded, because the end so to be attained is absolutely necessary to salvation. To confirm this I need not multiply precepts out of the Old or New Testament, (such as that of Isa. viii. 20, “To the law and to the testimony;” and that of John v. 39, “Search the Scriptures,”) which are innumerable; nor yet heap up motives unto it, such as are 40the description of the heavenly country whither we are going, in them contained, John xiv. 2; 2 Cor. v. 1; Rev. xxii. 1, etc.; the way by which we are to travel, laid down John v. 39, xiv. 5, 6; Jesus Christ, whom we must labour to be like, painted out, Gal. iii. 1; and the back parts of God discovered, Deut. xxix. 29. By them only true spiritual wisdom is conveyed to our souls, Jer. viii. 9, whereby we may become even wiser than our teachers, Ps. cxix. 99; in them all comfort and consolation is to be had in the time of danger and trouble, Ps. cxix. 54, 71, 72; in brief, the knowledge of Christ, which is “life eternal,” John xvii. 3; yea, all that can be said in this kind comes infinitely short of those treasures of wisdom, riches, and goodness which are contained in them: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple,” Ps. xix. 7. But this duty of the people is clear and confessed, the objections of the Papists against it being, for the most part, so many blasphemies against the holy word of God. They accuse it of difficulty, which God affirms to “make wise the simple;” of obscurity, which “openeth the eyes of the blind;” to be a dead letter, a nose of wax, which is “quick and powerful, piercing to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit;” to be weak and insufficient, which “is able to make the man of God perfect” and “wise unto salvation.” Yea, that word which the apostle affirmeth to be “profitable for reproof” is not in any thing more full than in reproving of this blasphemy.
Secondly, They may not only (as before) search the Scriptures, but also examine and try by them the doctrine that publicly is taught unto them. The people of God must not be like “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive,” Eph. iv. 14. All is not presently gospel that is spoken in the pulpit; it is not long since that altar-worship, Arminianism, Popery, superstition, etc., were freely preached in this kingdom. Now, what shall the people of God do in such a case? Yield to every breath, to every puff of false doctrine? or rather try it by the word of God, and if it be not agreeable thereunto, cast it out like salt that hath lost its savour? Must not the people take care that they be not seduced? Must they not “beware of false prophets, which come unto them in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves?” And how shall they do this? what way remains but a trying their doctrine by the rule? In these evil days wherein we live, I hear many daily complaining that there is such difference and contrariety among preachers, they know not what to do nor scarce what to believe. My answer is, Do but your own duty, and this trouble is at an end. Is there any contrariety in the book of God? Pin not your 41faith upon men’s opinions; the Bible is the touchstone. That there is such diversity amongst teachers is their fault, who should think all the same thing; but that this is so troublesome to you is your own fault, for neglecting your duty of trying all things by the word. Alas! you are in a miserable condition, if you have all this while relied on the authority of men in heavenly things. He that builds his faith upon preachers, though they preach nothing but truth, and he pretend to believe it, hath indeed no faith at all, but a wavering opinion, built upon a rotten foundation. Whatever, then, is taught you, you must go with it “to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isa. viii. 20. Yea, the Bereans are highly extolled for searching whether the doctrine concerning our Saviour preached by St Paul were so or no, Acts xvii. 11; agreeably to the precept of the same preacher, 1 Thess. v. 21, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good;” as also to that of St John, 1 Epist. iv. 1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Prophets, then, must be tried before they be trusted. Now, the reason of this holds still. There are many false teachers abroad in the world; wherefore try every one, try his spirit, his spiritual gift of teaching, and that by the word of God. And here you have a clear rule laid down how you may extricate yourselves from the former perplexity. Nay, St Paul himself, speaking to understanding Christians, requires them to judge of it: 1 Cor. x. 15, “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.” Hence are those cautions that the people should look that none do seduce them, Matt. xxiv. 4; to which end they must have their souls “exercised” in the word of God, “to discern both good and evil,” Heb. v. 14. Thus, also, in one place Christ biddeth his followers hear the Pharisees, and do what they should command, because they sat in Moses’ chair, Matt. xxiii. 2, 3; and yet in another place gives them a caution to beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees, Matt. xvi. 12. It remaineth, then, that the people are bound to hear those who possess the place of teaching in the church, but withal they must beware that it contain nothing of the old leaven; to which end they must try it by the word of God; when, as St Paul prayeth for the Philippians, “their love may abound yet more and more in knowledge, and all judgment, that they may approve things that are excellent,” Phil. i. 9, 10. Unless ministers will answer for all those souls they shall mislead, and excuse them before God at the day of trial, they ought not to debar them from trying their doctrine. Now this they cannot do; for “if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit” of destruction. And here I might have just occasion of complaint:— 1. Of the superstitious pride of the late clergy of 42this land, who could not endure to have their doctrine tried by their auditors, crying to poor men, with the Pharisees, John ix. 34, “‘Ye were altogether born in sins, and do ye teach us?’ A pretty world it is like to be, when the sheep will needs teach their pastors!” Nothing would serve them but a blind submission to the loose dictates of their cobweb homilies. He saw farther, sure, in the darkness of Popery, who contended that a whole general council ought to give place to a simple layman urging Scripture or speaking reason. Now, surely this is very far from that gentleness, meekness, and aptness to teach, which St Paul requireth in a man of God, a minister of the gospel. 2. The negligence of the people, also, might here come under a just reproof, who have not laboured to discern the voice of the hireling from that of the true shepherd, but have promiscuously followed the new-fangledness and heretical errors of every time-serving starver of souls. Whence proceedeth all that misery the land now groaneth under, but that we have had a people willing to be led by a corrupted clergy, freely drinking in the poison wherewith they are tainted? “The prophets prophesied falsely, the priests bare rule by their means, the people loved to have it so; but what shall we now do in the end thereof?” Who could ever have thought that the people of England would have yielded a willing ear to so many popish errors, and an obedient shoulder to such a heavy burden of superstitions, as in a few years were instilled into them, and laid upon them voluntarily, by their own sinful neglect, ensnaring their consciences by the omission of this duty we insist upon, of examining by the word what is taught unto them?3434 “Vos facite quod scriptum est, ut uno dicente, omnes examinent, me ergo dicente quod sentio, vos discernite et examinate.” — Orig, in Josh. Hom. xxi. But this is no place for complaints. And this is a second thing which the people, distinct from their pastors, may do for their own edification. Now, whether they do this privately, every one apart, or by assembling more together, is altogether indifferent. And that this was observed by private Christians in the primitive times is very apparent.
Come we, in the third place, to what either their duty binds them to, or otherwise by the word they are allowed to do, in sacred performances having reference to others. Look, then, in general upon those things we find them tied unto by virtue of special precept, such as are, to warn the unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, 1 Thess. v. 14; to admonish and reprove offending brethren, Matt. xviii. 15; to instruct the ignorant, John iv. 29, Acts xviii. 26; to exhort the negligent, Heb. iii. 13, x. 24, 25; to comfort the afflicted, 1 Thess. v. 11; to restore him that falleth, Gal. vi. 1; to visit the sick, Matt. xxv. 36, 40; to reconcile those that are at variance, Matt. v. 9; to contend for the faith, Jude 3, 1 Pet. iii. 15; 43to pray for the sinner not unto death,1 John v. 16; to edify one another in their most holy faith, Jude 20; to speak to themselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, Eph. v. 19; to be ready to answer every man in giving account of their faith, Col. iv. 6; to mark them that make divisions, Rom. xvi. 17; with innumerable others to the like purpose. It remaineth for them to consider, secondly, in particular, what course they may take, beyond private conference between man and man, by indiction of time or place for the fulfilling of what, by these precepts and the like, is of them required. To which I answer, —
First, lawful things must be done lawfully. If any unlawful circumstance attend the performance of a lawful action, it vitiates the whole work; for “bonum oritur ex integris.” For instance, to reprove an offender is a Christian duty, but for a private man to do it in the public congregation whilst the minister is preaching, were, instead of a good act, a foul crime, being a notorious disturbance of church decency and order.
Secondly, That for a public, formal, ministerial teaching, two things are required in the teacher:— first, Gifts from God; secondly, Authority from the church (I speak now of ordinary cases). He that wants either is no true pastor. For the first, God sends none upon an employment but whom he fits with gifts for it, 1. Not one command in the Scripture made to teachers; 2. Not one rule for their direction; 3. Not one promise to their endeavours; 4. Not any end of their employment; 5. Not one encouragement to their duty; 6. Not one reproof for their negligence; 7. Not the least intimation of their reward, — but cuts off ungifted, idle pastors from any true interest in the calling. And for the others, that want authority from the church, neither ought they to undertake any formal act properly belonging to the ministry, such as is solemn teaching of the word; for, — 1. They are none of Christ’s officers, Eph. iv. 11. 2. They are expressly forbidden it, Jer. xxiii. 21; Heb. v. 4. 3. The blessing on the word is promised only to sent teachers, Rom. x. 14, 15. 4. If to be gifted be to be called, then, — (1.) Every one might undertake so much in sacred duties as he fancies himself to be able to perform; (2.) Children (as they report of Athanasius3535 Eusebius, Ruf.) might baptize; (3.) Every common Christian might administer the communion. But endless are the arguments that might be multiplied against this fancy. In a word, if our Saviour Christ be the God of order, he hath left his church to no such confusion.
Thirdly, That to appoint time and place for the doing of that which God hath appointed indefinitely to be done in time and place, rather commends than vitiates the duty. So did Job’s friends in the duty of 44comforting the afflicted; they made an appointment together to come and comfort him, Job ii. 11; and so did they, Zech. viii. 21; and so did David, Ps. cxix. 62.
Fourthly, There is much difference between opening or interpreting the word, and applying the word upon the advantage of such an approved interpretation; as also between an authoritative act, or doing a thing by virtue of special office, and a charitable act, or doing a thing out of a motion of Christian love.
Fifthly, It may be observed concerning gifts, —
1. That the gifts and graces of God’s Spirit are of two sorts, some being bestowed for the sanctification of God’s people, some for the edification of his church; some of a private allay, looking primarily inwards to the saving of his soul on whom they are bestowed (though in their fruits also they have a relation and habitude to others), other some aiming at the commonwealth or profit of the whole church as such. Of the first sort are those mentioned Gal. v. 22, 23, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,” etc., with all other graces that are necessary to make the man of God perfect in all holiness and the fear of the Lord; the other are those χαρίσματα πνευματικά, spiritual gifts of teaching, praying, prophesying, mentioned 1 Cor. xiv., and in other places.
2. That all these gifts, coming down from the Father of lights, are given by the same Spirit, “dividing to every man severally as he will,” 1 Cor. xii. 11. He is not tied, in the bestowing of his gifts, to any sort, estate, calling, or condition of men; but worketh them freely, as it pleaseth him, in whom he will. The Spirit them mentioned is that God which “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” Eph. i. 11; they are neither deserved by our goodness nor obtained by our endeavours.
3. That the end why God bestoweth these gifts on any is merely that, within the bounds of their own calling (in which they are circumscribed, 1 Cor. i. 26), they should use them to his glory and the edification of his church; for “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal,” 1 Cor. xii. 7. Christ gives none of his talents to be bound up in napkins, but expects his own with increase.3636 Eccles. xii. 9.
And from these considerations it is easily discernible both what the people of God, distinct from their pastors, in a well-ordered church, may do in this kind whereof we treat, and how. In general, then, I assert, —
That, for the improving of knowledge, the increasing of Christian charity, for the furtherance of a strict and holy communion of that spiritual love and amity which ought to be amongst the brethren, they may of their own accord assemble together, to consider one 45another, to provoke unto love and good works, to stir up the gifts that are in them, yielding and receiving mutual consolation by the fruits of their most holy faith.
Now, because there be many Uzzahs amongst us, who have an itching desire to be fingering of the ark, thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to think, and, like the ambitious sons of Levi, taking too much upon them, it will not be amiss to give two cautions, deducted from the former rules:—
First, That they do not, under a pretence of Christian liberty and freedom of conscience, cast away all brotherly amity, and cut themselves off from the communion of the church. Christ hath not purchased a liberty for any to rend his body. They will prove at length to be no duties of piety which break the sacred bonds of charity.
Men ought not, under a pretence of congregating themselves to serve their God, separate from their brethren, neglecting the public assemblies; as was the manner of some rebuked by the apostle, Heb. x. 25. There be peculiar blessings and transcendant privileges annexed to public assemblies, which accompany not private men to their recesses. The sharp-edged sword becomes more keen when set on by a skillful master of the assemblies; and when the water of the word flows there, the Spirit of God moves upon the face thereof, to make it effectual in our hearts. “What! despise ye the church of God?” 1 Cor. xi. 22.
Secondly, As the ministry, so also ought the ministers to have that regard, respect, and obedience, which is due to their labours in that sacred calling. Would we could not too frequently see more puffed up with the conceit of their own gifts, into a contempt of the most learned and pious pastors! — these are “spots in your feasts of charity, clouds without water, carried about of winds.” It must, doubtless, be an evil root that bringeth forth such bitter fruit. Wherefore, let not our brethren fall into this condemnation, lest there be an evil report raised by them that are without; but “remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God,” Heb. xiii. 7. There is no greater evidence of the heavenly improvement you make by your recesses than that you obey them that are guides unto you, and submit yourselves: for “they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you,” verse 17. Let not them who despise a faithful, painful minister in public, flatter themselves with hope of a blessing on their endeavours in private. Let them pretend what they will, they have not an equal respect unto all God’s ordinances. Wherefore, that the coming together in this sort may be for the better, and not for the worse, observe these things:—
Now, for what gifts (that are, as before, freely bestowed) whose 46exercise is permitted unto such men so assembled; I mean in a private family, or two or three met ὁμοθυμαδόν, in one.
And first we may name the gift of prayer, whose exercise must not be exempted from such assemblies, if any be granted. These are the times wherein the Spirit of grace and of supplications is promised to be poured out upon the Jerusalem of God, Zech. xii. 10. Now, God having bestowed the gift and requiring the duty, his people ought not to be hindered in the performance of it. Are all those precepts to pray, in the Scriptures, only for our closets? When the church was in distress for the imprisonment of Peter, there was a meeting at the house of Mary, the mother of John, Acts xii. 12. “Many were gathered together praying,” saith the text; — a sufficient warrant for the people of God in like cases. The churches are in no less distress now than at that time; and in some congregations the ministers are so oppressed that publicly they dare not, in others so corrupted that they will not, pray for the prosperity of Jerusalem. Now, truly, it were a disconsolate thing for any one of God’s servants to say, “During all these straits, I never joined with any of God’s children in the pouring out of my prayer in the behalf of his church:” neither can I see how this can possibly be prevented but by the former means; to which add the counsel of St Paul, “Speaking to themselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts unto the Lord,” Eph. v. 19.
Secondly, They may exercise the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in the ways of the Lord; comforting, strengthening, and encouraging each other with the same consolations and promises which, by the benefit of the public ministry, they have received from the word. Thus, in time of distress, the prophet Malachi tells us that “they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and heard,” etc., chap. iii. 16; — comforting, as it appears, one another in the promises of God made unto his church, against the flourishing of the wicked and overflowing of ungodliness, the persecution of tyrants and impurity of transgressors.
Thirdly, They may make use of “the tongue of the learned” (if given unto them) to “speak a word in season to him that is weary,” Isa. l. 4; for being commanded to “confess their faults one to another,” James v. 16, they have power also to apply to them that are penitent the promises of mercy. We should never be commanded to open our wounds to them who have no balm to pour into them; he shall have cold comfort who seeks for counsel from a dumb man. So that in this, and the like cases, they may apply unto and instruct one another in the word of God; doing it as a charitable duty, and not as out of necessary function, even as Aquila and Priscilla expounded unto Apollos the word of God more perfectly than he knew 47it before, Acts xviii. 24–26. In sum, and not to enlarge this discourse with any more particulars, the people of God are allowed all quiet and peaceable means, whereby they may help each other forward in the knowledge of godliness and the way towards heaven.
Now, for the close of this discourse, I will remove some objections that I have heard godly men, and men not unlearned, lay against it, out of a zeal (not unlike that of Joshua for Moses’ sake) [for] the constitute pastor’s sake; to whom, though I might briefly answer, with Moses, “‘Would God all the Lord’s people were prophets!’ — I heartily wish that every one of them had such a plentiful measure of spiritual endowments that they might become wise unto salvation, above many of their teachers;” in which vote I make no doubt but every one will concur with me who has the least experimental knowledge what a burden upon the shoulders, what a grief unto the soul of a minister knowing and desiring to discharge his duty, is an ignorant congregation (of which, thanks to our prelates, pluralists, non-residents, homilies, service-book, and ceremonies, we have too many in this kingdom; the many, also, of our ministers in this church taking for their directory the laws and penalties of men, informing what they should not do if they would avoid their punishment, and not the precepts of God, what they should as their duty do if they meant to please him, and knowing there was no statute whereon they might be sued for (pardon the expression) the dilapidation of souls: so their own houses were ceiled, they cared not at all though the church of God lay waste); — I say, though I might thus answer, with opening my desire for the increasing of knowledge among the people, of which I take this to be an effectual means, yet I will give brief answers to the several objections:—
Objection 1. “Then this seems to favour all allowance of licentious conventicles, which in all places the laws have condemned, and learned men in all ages have abhorred, as the seminaries of faction and schism in the church of God.”
Ans. That (under correction) I conceive the law layeth hold of none, as peccant in such a kind, but only those who have pre-declared themselves to be opposers of the worship of God in the public assemblies of that church wherein they live. Now, the patronage of any such I before rejected. Neither do I conceive that they ought at all to be allowed the benefit of private meetings who wilfully abstain from the public congregations, so long as the true worship of God is held forth in them. Yea, how averse I have ever been from that kind of confused licentiousness in any church, I have some while since declared, in an answer (drawn up for my own and private friends’ satisfaction) to the arguments of the Remonstrants in their Apology, and replies to Vedelius, with other treatises, for such a 48“liberty of prophesying,” as they term it, If, then, the law account only such assemblies to be conventicles wherein the assemblers contemn and despise the service of God in public, I have not spoken one word in favour of them. And for that canon which was mounted against them, whether intentionally, in the first institution of it, it was moulded and framed against Anabaptists or no, I cannot tell; but this I am sure, that in the discharge of it, it did execution oftentimes upon such as had Christ’s precept and promise to warrant their assembling, Matt. xviii. 19, 20. Not to contend about words, would to God that which is good might not be persecuted under odious appellations, and called evil when it is otherwise; so to expose it to the tyrannical oppression of the enemies of the gospel! The thing itself, rightly understood, can scarce be condemned of any who envies not the salvation of souls. They that would banish the gospel from our houses would not much care if it were gone from our hearts; from our houses, I say, for it is all one whether these duties be performed in one family or a collection of more. Some one is bigger than ten others; shall their assembling to perform what is lawful for that one be condemned for a conventicle? Where is the law for that? or what is there in all this more than God required of his ancient people, as I showed before? Or must a master of a family cease praying in his family, and instructing his children and servants in the ways of the Lord, for fear of being counted a preacher in a tub? Things were scarcely carried with an equal hand for the kingdom of Christ, when orders came forth on the one side to give liberty to the profane multitude to assemble themselves at heathenish sports, with bestial exclamations, on the Lord’s own day; and on the other, to punish them who durst gather themselves together for prayer or the singing of psalms But I hope, through God’s blessing, we shall be for ever quit of all such ecclesiastical discipline as must be exercised according to the interest of idle drones, whom it concerneth to see that there be none to try or examine their doctrine, or of superstitious innovators, who desire to obtrude their fancies upon the unwary people. Whence comes it that we have such an innumerable multitude of ignorant, stupid souls, unacquainted with the very principles of religion, but from the discountenancing of these means of increasing knowledge by men who would not labour to do it themselves? O that we could see the many swearers, and drunkards, and Sabbath-breakers, etc., in this nation, guilty only of this crime! Would the kingdom were so happy, the church so holy!
Obj. 2. “Men are apt to pride themselves in their gifts, and flatter themselves in their performances, so that let them approach as nigh as the tabernacle, and you shall quickly have them encroaching 49upon the priest’s office also, and, by an overweening of their own endeavours, create themselves pastors in separate congregations.
Ans. It cannot be but offences will come, so long as there is malice in Satan and corruption in men. There is no doubt but there is danger of some such thing; but hereof the liberty mentioned is not the cause, but an accidental occasion only, no way blamable. Gifts must not be condemned because they may be abused. God-fearing men will remember Korah, knowing, as one says well, that “Uzzah had better ventured the falling than the fingering of the ark.” They that truly love their souls will not suffer themselves to be carried away by false conceit, so far as to help to overthrow the very constitution of any church by confusion, or the flourishing of it by ignorance; both which would certainly follow such courses. Knowledge if alone puffeth up, but joined to charity it edifieth.
Obj. 3. “But may not this be a means for men to vent and broach their own private fancies unto others? to foment and cherish errors in one another? to give false interpretations of the word, there being no way to prevent it?”
Ans. For interpreting of the word I speak not, but applying of it, being rightly interpreted. And for the rest, would to God the complaints were not true of those things that have for divers years in this church been done publicly and outwardly according to order! But, that no inconvenience arise from hence, the care rests on them to whom the dispensation of the word is committed, whose sedulous endeavour to reprove and convince all unsound doctrine, not agreeing to the form of wholesome words, is the sovereign and only remedy to cure, or means to prevent, this evil. For the close of all, we may observe that those who are most offended and afraid lest others should encroach upon their callings are, for the most part, such as have almost deserted it themselves, neglecting their own employment, when they are the busiest of mortals in things of this world. To conclude, then, for what I have delivered in this particular, I conceive that I have the judgment and practice of the whole church of Scotland, agreeable to the word of God, for my warrant. Witness the act of their assembly at Edinburgh, anno 1641, wherewith the learned Rutherford concludes his defence of their discipline, with whose words I will shut up this discourse: “Our assembly, also, commandeth godly conference at all occasional meetings, or as God’s providence shall dispose, as the word of God commandeth, providing none invade the pastor’s office, to preach the word, who are not called thereunto by God and his church.”
Τῷ Θεῷ ἀριστομεγίστῳ δόξα.
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