A Christian Directory (Part 3 of 4) Christian Ecclesiastics
Richard Baxter
A Christian Directory (Part 3 of 4) Christian Ecclesiastics
Table of Contents
Tit. 1. Directions for the Right Making such Vows and Covenants.
Tit. 2. Directions against Perjury and Perfidiousness: Land for keeping Vows and Oaths.
More near and particular Directions against Error.
Quest. I. How to know which is the true church, among all pretenders, that a christian's conscience may be quiet in his relation and communion.
Quest. II. Whether we must esteem the church of Rome a true church? And in what sense some divines affirm it, and some deny it.
Quest. III. Whether we must take the Romish clergy for true ministers of Christ? And whether their baptism and ordination be nullities?
Quest. IV. Whether it be necessary to believe that the pope is the antichrist?
Quest. V. Whether we must hold that a papist may be saved?
Quest. VI. Whether those that are in the church of Rome, are bound to separate from it? And whether it be lawful to go to their mass or other worship?
Quest. VII. Whether the true calling of the minister by ordination or election, &c. be necessary to the essence of the church?
Quest. VIII. Whether sincere faith and godliness be necessary to the being of the ministry? And whether it be lawful to hear a wicked man, or take the sacrament from him, or take him for a minister?
Quest. IX. Whether the people are bound to receive or consent to an ungodly, intolerable, heretical pastor, yea, or one far less fit and worthy than a competitor, if the magistrate command it, or the bishop impose him?
Quest. X. What if the magistrate command the people to receive one pastor, and the bishops or ordainers another, which of them must be obeyed?
Quest. XI. Whether an uninterrupted succession either of right ordination or of conveyance by jurisdiction, be necessary to the being of the ministry, or of a true church?
Quest. XII. Whether there be, or ever was, such a thing in the world, as one catholic church, constituted by any head besides or under Christ?
Quest. XIII. Whether there be such a thing as a visible catholic church? And what it is?
Quest. XIV. What is it that maketh a visible member of the universal church? And who are to be accounted such?
Quest. XV. Whether besides the profession of christianity, either testimony or evidence of conversion, or practical godliness, be necessary to prove a man a member of the universal visible church?
Quest. XVI. What is necessary to a man's reception into membership in a particular church, over and above this foresaid title? whether any other trials, or covenant, or what?
Quest. XVII. Wherein doth the ministerial office essentially consist?
Quest. XVIII. Whether the people's choice or consent is necessary to the office of a minister in his first work, as he is to convert infidels, and baptize them? And whether this be a work of office? And what call is necessary to it?
Quest. XIX. Wherein consistent the power and nature of ordination? And to whom doth it belong? And is it an act of jurisdiction? And is imposition of hands necessary in it?
Quest. XX. Is ordination necessary to make a man a pastor of a particular church as such? And is he to be made a general minister and a particular church elder or pastor at once, and by one ordination?
Quest. XXI. May a man be oft or twice ordained?
Quest. XXII. How many ordainers are necessary to the validity of ordination by God's institution? whether one or more?
Quest. XXIII. What if one bishop ordain a minister, and three, or many, or all the rest protest against it, and declare him no minister, or degrade him; is he to be received as a true minister or not?
Quest. XXIV. Hath one bishop power by divine right to ordain, degrade, or govern, or excommunicate, or absolve, in another's diocess or church, either by his consent, or against it? And doth a minister that officiateth in another's church, act as a pastor, and their pastor, or as a private man? And doth the ministerial office cease when a man removeth from his flock?
Quest. XXV. Whether canons be laws? and pastors have a legislative power?
Quest. XXVI. Whether church canons, or pastors' directive determinations of matters pertinent to their office, do bind the conscience? and what accidents will disoblige the people? you may gather before in the same case about magistrates' laws, in the political directions: as also by an impartial transferring the case to the precepts of parents and schoolmasters to children; without respect to their power of the rod (or supposing that they had none such).
Quest. XXVII. What are Christ's appointed means of the unity and concord of the universal church, and consequently of its preservation, if there be no human universal head and governor of it upon earth? And if Christ have instituted none such, whether prudence and the law of nature oblige not the church to set up and maintain a universal ecclesiastical monarchy or aristocracy; seeing that which is every man's work, is as no man's, and omitted by all?
Quest. XXVIII. Who is the judge of controversies in the church? 1. About the exposition of the Scripture, and doctrinal points in themselves: 2. About either heresies or wicked practices, as they are charged on the persons who are accused of them; that is, 1. Antecedently to our practice, by way of regulation; 2. Or consequently, by judicial sentence (and execution) on offenders.
Quest. XXIX. Whether a parent's power over his children, or a pastor or many pastors or bishops over the same children, as parts of their flock, be greater, or more obliging in matters of religion and public worship?
Quest. XXX. May an office teacher or pastor be at once in a stated relation of a pastor and a disciple to some other pastor?
Quest. XXXI. Who hath the power of making church canons?
Quest. XXXII. Doth baptism as such enter the baptized into the universal church, or into a particular church, or both? And is baptism the particular church covenant as such?
Quest. XXXIII. Whether infants should be baptized, I have answered long ago in a treatise on that subject. Also what infants should be baptized? and who have right to sacraments? and whether hypocrites are univocally or equivocally christians and church members? I have resolved in my "Disput. of Right to Sacraments."
Quest. XXXIV. Whether an unbaptized person who yet maketh a public profession of christianity, be a member of the visible church? And so of the infants of believers unbaptized.
Quest. XXXV. Is it certain by the word of God that all infants baptized, and dying before actual sin, are undoubtedly saved; or what infants may we say so of?
Quest. XXXVI. What is meant by this speech, that believers and their seed are in the covenant of God; which giveth them right to baptism?
Quest. XXXVII. Are believers' children certainly in covenant before their baptism, and thereby in a state of salvation? or not till they are baptized?
Quest. XXXVIII. Is infants' title to baptism and the covenant benefits given them by God in his promise, upon any proper moral condition, or only upon the condition of their natural relation, that they be the seed of the faithful?
Quest. XXXIX. What is the true meaning of sponsors, patrimi, or godfathers as we call them? And is it lawful to make use of them?
Quest. XL. On whose account or right is it that the infant hath title to baptism and its benefits? Is it on the parents', ancestors', sponsors', the church's, the minister's, the magistrate's, or his own?
Quest. XLI. Are they really baptized who are baptized according to the English liturgy and canons, where the parent seemeth excluded, and those to consent for the infant who have no power to do it?
Quest. XLII. But the great question is, How the Holy Ghost is given to infants in baptism? And whether all the children of true christians have inward sanctifying grace? or whether they can be said to be justified, and to be in a state of salvation, that are not inherently sanctified? And whether any fall from this infant state of salvation?
Quest. XLIII. Is the right of the baptized (infants or adult) to the sanctifying operations of the Holy Ghost, now absolute, or suspended on further conditions? And are the parents' further duties for their children such conditions of their children's reception of the actual assistances of the Spirit? Or are children's own actions such conditions? And may apostate parents forfeit the covenant benefits to their baptized infants or not?
Quest. XLIV. Doth baptism always oblige us at the present, and give grace at the present? And is the grace which is not given till long after, given by baptism: or an effect of baptism?
Quest. XLV. What is a proper violation of our baptismal covenant?
Quest. XLVI. May not baptism in some cases be repeated? And when?
Quest. XLVII. Is baptism by laymen or women lawful in cases of necessity? Or are they nullities, and the person to be re-baptized.
Quest. XLVIII. May anabaptists, that have no other error, be permitted in church communion?
Quest. XLIX. May one offer his child to be baptized, with the sign of the cross, or the use of chrism, the white garment, milk and honey, or exorcism, as among the Lutherans, who taketh these to be unlawful things?
Quest. L. Whence came the ancient universal custom of anointing at baptism, and putting on a white garment, and tasting milk and honey? And whether they are lawful to us?
Quest. LI. Whether it be necessary that they that are baptized in infancy, do solemnly at age renew and own their baptismal covenant, before they have right to the state and privileges of adult members? And if they do not, whether they are to be numbered with christians or apostates?
Quest. LII. Whether the universal church consist only of particular churches and their members?
Quest. LIII. Must the pastor first call the church, and aggregate them to himself, or the church first congregate themselves, and then choose the pastor?
Quest. LIV. Wherein doth a particular church of Christ's institution differ from a consociation of many churches?
Quest. LV. Whether a particular church may consist of more assemblies than one? or must needs meet all in one place?
Quest. LVI. Is any form of church government of divine institution?
Quest. LVII. Whether any forms of churches, and church government, or any new church officers, may lawfully be invented and made by man?
Quest. LVIII. Whether any part of the proper pastoral or episcopal power may be given or deputed to a layman, or to one of any other office, or the proper work may be performed by such?
Quest. LIX. May a layman preach or expound the Scriptures? Or what of this is proper to the pastor's office?
Quest. LX. What is the true sense of the distinction of pastoral power, in foro interiore et exteriore, rightly used?
Quest. LXI. In what sense is it true that some say, that the magistrate only hath the external government of the church, and the pastors the internal?
Quest. LXII. Is the trial, judgment, or consent of the laity necessary to the admittance of a member into the universal or particular church?
Quest. LXIII. What power have the people in church censures and excommunication?
Quest. LXIV. What is the people's remedy in case of the pastor's mal-administration?
Quest. LXV. May one be a pastor or a member of a particular church, who liveth so far from it, as to be uncapable of personal communion with them?
Quest. LXVI. If a man be injuriously suspended or excommunicated by the pastor or people, which way shall he have remedy?
Quest. LXVII. Doth presence always make us guilty of the errors or faults of the pastor in God's worship, or of the church? Or in what cases are we guilty?
Quest. LXVIII. Is it lawful to communicate in the sacrament with wicked men?
Quest. LXIX. Have all the members of the church right to the Lord's table? And is suspension lawful?
Quest. LXX. Is there any such thing in the church, as a rank or classis, or species of church members at age, who are not to be admitted to the Lord's table, but only to hearing the word and prayer, between infant members, and adult confirmed ones?
Quest. LXXI. Whether a form of prayer be lawful?
Quest. LXXII. Are forms of prayer or preaching in the church lawful?
Quest. LXXIII. Are public forms of man's devising or composing lawful?
Quest. LXXIV. Is it lawful to impose forms on the congregation or the people in public worship?
Quest. LXXV. Is it lawful to use forms composed by man, and imposed not only on the people, but on the pastors of the churches?
Quest. LXXVI. Doth not the calling of a minister so consist in the exercise of his own ministerial gifts, that he may not officiate without them, nor make use of other men's gifts instead of them?
Quest. Is it lawful to read a prayer in the church?
Quest. LXXVII. Is it lawful to pray in the church without a prescribed or premeditated form of words?
Quest. LXXVIII. Whether are set forms of words, or free praying without them, the better way? And what are the commodities and incommodities of each way?
Quest. LXXIX. Is it lawful to forbear the preaching of some truths, upon man's prohibition, that I may have liberty to preach the rest; yea, and to promise beforehand to forbear them? Or to do it for the church's peace?
Quest. LXXX. May or must a minister silenced, or forbid to preach the gospel, go on still to preach it, against the law?
Quest. LXXXI. May we lawfully keep the Lord's day as a fast?
Quest. LXXXII. How should the Lord's day be spent in the main?
Quest. LXXXIII. May the people bear a vocal part in worship, or do any more than say, Amen?
Quest. LXXXIV. Is it not a sin for our clerks to make themselves the mouth of the people, who are no ordained ministers of Christ?
Quest. LXXXV. Are repetitions of the same words in church prayers, lawful?
Quest. LXXXVI. Is it lawful to bow at the naming of Jesus?
Quest. LXXXVII. Is it lawful to stand up at the gospel as we are appointed?
Quest. LXXXVIII. Is it lawful to kneel when the decalogue is read?
Quest. LXXXIX. What gestures are fittest in all the public worship?
Quest. XC. What if the pastor and church cannot agree about singing psalms, or what version or translation to use, or time or place of meeting, &c.?
Quest. XCI. What if the pastor excommunicate a man, and the people will not forbear his communion, as thinking him unjustly excommunicated?
Quest. XCII. May a whole church, or the greater part, be excommunicated?
Quest. XCIII. What if a church have two pastors, and one excommunicate a man, and the other absolve him, what shall the church and the dissenter do?
Quest. XCIV. For what sins may a man be denied communion, or excommunicated? Whether for impenitence in every little sin; or for great sin without impenitence?
Quest. XCV. Must the pastors examine the people before the sacrament?
Quest. XCVI. Is the sacrament of the Lord's supper a converting ordinance?
Quest. XCVII. Must no man come to the sacrament, that is uncertain or doubtful of the sincerity of his faith and repentance?
Quest. XCVIII. Is it lawful or a duty to join oblations to the sacrament, and how?
Quest. XCIX. How many sacraments are there appointed by Christ?
Quest. C. How far is it lawful, needful, or unlawful for a man to afflict himself by external penances for sin?
Quest. CI. Is it lawful to observe stated times of fasting imposed by others, without extraordinary occasions? And particularly Lent?
Quest. CII. May we continue in a church, where some one ordinance of Christ is wanting, as discipline, prayer, preaching, or sacraments, though we have all the rest?
Quest. CIII. Must the pastors remove from one church to another whenever the magistrate commandeth us, though the bishop contradict it, and the church consent not to dismiss us; and so of other cases of disagreement?
Quest. CIV. Is a pastor obliged to his flock for life? Or is it lawful so to oblige himself? And may he remove without their consent? And so also of a church member, the same questions are put.
Quest. CV. When many men pretend at once to be the true pastors of a particular church against each other's title, through differences between the magistrates, the ordainers, and the flocks, what should the people do, and whom should they adhere to?
Quest. CVI. To whom doth it belong to reform a corrupted church? to the magistrates, pastors, or people?
Quest. CVII. Who is to call synods? princes, pastors, or people?
Quest. CVIII. To whom doth it belong to appoint days and assemblies for public humiliation and thanksgiving?
Quest. CIX. May we omit church assemblies on the Lord's day, if the magistrate forbid them?
Quest. CX. Must we obey the magistrate if he only forbid us worshipping God in such a place, or country, or in such numbers, or the like?
Quest. CXI. Must subjects or servants forbear weekly lectures, reading, or such helps, above the Lord's day's worship, if princes or masters do command it?
Quest. CXII. Whether religious worship may be given to a creature? and what?
Quest. CXIII. What images, and what use of images, is lawful or unlawful?
Quest. CXIV. Whether stage-plays, where the virtuous and vicious are personated, be lawful?
Quest. CXV. Is it ever unlawful to use the known symbols and badges of idolatry?
Quest. CXVI. Is it unlawful to use the badge or symbol of any error or sect in the worship of God?
Quest. CXVII. Are all indifferent things made unlawful to us, which shall be abused to idolatrous worship?
Quest. CXVIII. May we use the names of week days which idolatry honoured their idols with; as Sunday, Monday, Saturday, and the rest? And so the months?
Quest. CXIX. Is it lawful to pray secretly when we come first into the church, especially when the church is otherwise employed?
Quest. CXX. May a preacher kneel down in the pulpit, and use his private prayers when he is in the assembly?
Quest. CXXI. May a minister pray publicly in his own name singly, for himself or others? or only in the church's name, as their mouth to God?
Quest. CXXII. May the name, priests, sacrifice, and altars, be lawfully now used instead of, Christ's ministers, worship, and the holy table?
Quest. CXXIII. May the communion table be turned altar-wise, and railed in? And is it lawful to come up to the rails to communicate?
Quest. CXXIV. Is it lawful to use David's psalms in our assemblies?
Quest. CXXV. May psalms be used as prayers, and praises, and thanksgivings, or only as instructive? even the reading as well as the singing of them?
Quest. CXXVI. Are our church tunes lawful, being of man's invention?
Quest. CXXVII. Is church music by organs or such instruments, lawful?[375]
Quest. CXXVIII. Is the Lord's day a sabbath, and so to be called and kept, and that of divine institution? And is the seventh-day sabbath abrogated? &c.
Quest. CXXIX. Is it lawful to appoint human holy days, and observe them?
Quest. CXXX. How far are the holy Scriptures a law and perfect rule to us?
Quest. CXXXI. What additions or human inventions in or about religion, not commanded in Scripture, are lawful or unlawful?
Quest. CXXXII. Is it unlawful to obey in all those cases, where it is unlawful to impose and command? Or in what cases? And how far pastors must be believed and obeyed?
Quest. CXXXIII. What are the additions or inventions of men which are not forbidden by the word of God (whether by rulers or by private men invented)?
Quest. CXXXIV. What are the mischiefs of unlawful additions in religion?
Quest. CXXXV. What are the mischiefs of men's error on the other extreme, who pretend that Scripture is a rule where it is not, and deny the foresaid lawful things, on pretence that Scripture is a perfect rule (say some, for all things)?
Quest. CXXXVI. How shall we know what parts of Scripture precept or example were intended for universal, constant obligations, and what were but for the time and persons that they were then directed to?
Quest. CXXXVII. How much of the Scripture is necessary to salvation, to be believed, and understood?
Quest. CXXXVIII. How may we know the fundamentals, essentials, or what parts are necessary to salvation? And is the papists' way allowable that (some of them) deny that distinction, and make the difference to be only in the degrees of men's opportunities of knowledge?
Quest. CXXXIX. What is the use and authority of the creed? And is it of the apostles' framing or not? And is it the word of God or not?
Quest. CXL. What is the use of catechisms?
Quest. CXLI. Could any of us have known by the Scriptures alone the essentials of religion from the rest, if tradition had not given them to us in the creed, as from apostolical collection?
Quest. CXLII. What is the best method of a true catechism or sum of theology?
Quest. CXLIII. What is the use of various church confessions or articles of faith?
Quest. CXLIV. May not the subscribing of the whole Scriptures serve turn for all the aforesaid ends without creeds, catechisms, or confessions?
Quest. CXLV. May not a man be saved that believeth all the essentials of religion, as coming to him by verbal tradition, and not as contained in the holy Scriptures, which perhaps he never knew?
Quest. CXLVI. Is the Scripture fit for all christians to read, being so obscure?
Quest. CXLVII. How far is tradition and men's words and ministry to be used or trusted in, in the exercise of faith?
Quest. CXLVIII. How know we the true canon of Scripture from apocrypha?
Quest. CXLIX. Is the public reading of the Scripture the proper work of a minister? or may a layman ordinarily do it? or another officer?
Quest. CL. Is it lawful to read the apocrypha, or any good books besides the Scriptures, to the church? As homilies, &c.?
Quest. CLI. May church assemblies be held where there is no minister? Or what public worship may be so performed by laymen? (As among infidels, or papists, where persecution hath killed, imprisoned, or expelled the ministers.)
Quest. CLII. Is it lawful to subscribe or profess full assent and consent to any religious books besides the Scripture, seeing all are fallible?
Quest. CLIII. May we lawfully swear obedience in all things lawful and honest, either to usurpers, or to our lawful pastors?
Quest. CLIV. Must all our preaching be upon a text of Scripture?
Quest. CLV. Is not the law of Moses abrogated, and the whole Old Testament out of date, and therefore not to be read publicly and preached on?
Quest. CLVI. Must we believe that Moses's law did ever bind other nations; or that any other parts of the Scripture bound them, or belong to them? or that the Jews were all God's visible church on earth?
Quest. CLVII. Must we think accordingly of the christian churches now, that they are only advanced above the rest of the world as the Jews were, but not the only people that are saved?
Quest. CLVIII. Should not christians take up with Scripture wisdom only, without studying philosophy and other heathens' human learning?
Quest. CLIX. If we think that Scripture and the law of nature do in any point contradict each other, which may be the standard by which the other must be tried?
Quest. CLX. May we not look that God should yet give us more revelations of his will, than there are already made in Scripture?
Quest. CLXI. Is not a third rule of the Holy Ghost, or perfecter kingdom of love, to be expected, as different from the reign of the Creator and Redeemer?
Quest. CLXII. May we not look for miracles hereafter?
Quest. CLXIII. Is the Scripture to be tried by the Spirit, or the Spirit by the Scripture, and which of them is to be preferred?
Quest. CLXIV. How is a pretended prophet, or revelation, to be tried?
Quest. CLXV. May one be saved who believeth that the Scripture hath any mistake or error, and believeth it not all?
Quest. CLXVI. Who be they that give too little to the Scripture, and who too much; and what is the danger of each extreme?
Quest. CLXVII. How far do good men now preach and pray by the Spirit?
Quest. CLXVIII. Are not our own reasons, studies, memory, strivings, books, forms, methods, and ministry, needless, yea, a hurtful quenching or preventing of the Spirit, and setting up our own, instead of the Spirit's operation?
Quest. CLXIX. How doth the Holy Ghost set bishops over the churches?
Quest. CLXX. Are temples, fonts, utensils, church lands, much more the ministers, holy? And what reverence is due to them as holy?
Quest. CLXXI. What is sacrilege, and what not?
Quest. CLXXII. Are all religious and private meetings, forbidden by rulers, unlawful conventicles? Or are any such necessary?
Quest. CLXXIII. What particular directions for order of studies, and books, should be observed by young students?
Quest. CLXXIV. What books, especially of theology, should one choose, who for want of money or time can read but few?
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