June 5: #5 of Ten Reasons for Being a Presbyterian

d'AubigneJH“The great thing in the Church is CHRIST, the blood of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, the presence of Christ among us. The great thing is Christ, but there is also advantage in a certain government of the Church of Christ. I am a Presbyterian, not only of situation, but of conviction and choice. Our Presbyterian way is the good middle way between Episcopacy on the one side, and Congregationalism on the other. We combine the two great principles that must be maintained in the Church—Order and Liberty; the order of government, and the liberty of the people.”—Merle d’ Aubigne.



5. I AM A PRESBYTERIAN—because I know of no Church that so secures the rights and privileges of the Christian people. The people, that is, the members of the Church, choose their pastor, their elders, and deacons. Those only can be chosen and called to the pastoral charge of our congregations who have been educated under the superintendence of some Presbytery, and been admitted, after examination and trials, as probationers of the Church; all means being used to provide a well qualified and suitable ministry for the supply of our Church.

The people also manage all ecclesiastical affairs; and they do so in the only wise and practicable way among large bodies of men—by representative government. If all the members of the Church are alike rulers, to whom are these Divine precepts addressed, “Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves” (Heb. xiii. 17); and, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor”?—(1 Tim. v. 17).

In those Congregational Churches which act without representation, matters of business continually occur which cannot without inconvenience, and cases of discipline which cannot without impropriety, be discussed before a public Meeting; and for the most part the conducting of affairs by the whole Church is only nominal; a few individuals having the real authority and management. Now what is elsewhere done by “committees” and “managers” is done in the Presbyterian Churches by an authorized and responsible court, the Church Session, composed of the minister and elders chosen by the people, transacting affairs in their behalf.



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