In the Presbyterial Government every Congregation hath a voyce, by the Pastors and Elders thereof, and so is governed by a power intrinsicall to itself, which cannot in its own nature be tyrannicall. Though there is no power in the world so just, but by abuse may prove tyrannicall.
To illustrate this by a simile. The Presbyterial Government is like the Government of the City by the Common-councell, wherein there are Common-Councell-men sent from every Ward, to judg and determine of matters, that concern the good of the whole City; which certainly in its own nature, cannot be prejudiciall to the severall Wards, but every helpful and commodious; whereas the Prelatical-Government, was just as if the City should be governed by a High-Commission chosen of Forreiners; and the Independent-Government is just as if every Ward should undertake to govern itself, divided from one another, and not at all to be under the power and authority of the Common-councell.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Presbyterian Church Government: A Simile
London Provincial Assembly, A Vindication of the Presbyterial Government and Ministry Together (1650), pp. 24-25: