of Church Discipline
1. The business of deacons originally, in the church of Jerusalem, was very extensive, for the church consisted of thousands, and had all things common, Acts ii. 41?44. iv. 32. v. 14. But, through a change of circumstances in the church, their work is now brought to a less compass.
2. They are to take charge of the outward concerns of the church, particularly to serve tables, Acts vi. 2, 3. The Lord?s Table, I Cor. x. 21. that of the poor, and the minister?s table. They are therefore to see, that the members of the church contribute to all necessary uses, according to their abilities, I Cor. xvi. 2. 2 Cor. ix. 7.
3. Their qualifications are set down in Acts vi. 3. I Tim. iii. 8?13.
4. The manner of executing their office is with impartiality or simplicity, cheerfulness, compassion, tenderness, and faithfulness, Rom. xii. 8.
5. They are to be set in the office by ordination, much after the same manner as ministers, Acts vi. 3?6.
6. By the faithful discharge of their office, they purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith, I Tim. ii. 13.
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