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The Works Of James Arminius Vol 2 by James Arminius


The chief magistrate is not correctly denominated political or secular, because those epithets are opposed to the ecclesiastical and spiritual power.2. In the hands and at the disposal of the chief magistrate is placed, under God, the supreme and sovereign power of caring and providing for his subjects, and of governing them, with respect to animal and spiritual life.3. The care of religion has been committed by God to the chief magistrate, more than to priests and to ecclesiastical persons.4. It is in the power of the magistrate to enact laws concerning civil and ecclesiastical polity, yet not unless those persons have been asked and consulted who are the best versed in spiritual matters, and who are peculiarly designed for teaching the church.5. It is the duty of the magistrate to preserve and defend the ecclesiastical ministry -- to appoint the ministers of God's word, after they have previously undergone a lawful examination before a presbytery -- to take care that they perform their duty -- to require an account of their ministry -- to admonish and incite those among them who are negligent -- to bestow rewards on those ministers who preside well over their flocks, and to remove such as are pertinaciously negligent, or who bring a scandal on the church.6. Also to invoke councils, whether general, national or provincial; by his own authority to preside as moderator of the assembly, either in person or through deputies suitable for discharging such an office.7. QUERY -- Is it useful to ecclesiastical conventions or assemblies, that those persons preside over them whose interest it is that matters of religion and church discipline should be transacted in this manner rather than in that? 8. For the discharge of these duties, the magistrate must understand those mysteries of religion which are absolutely necessary for the salvation of men; for in this part [of his high office] he cannot depend upon and confide in the conscience of another person.9. The Christian magistrate both presides in those ecclesiastical assemblies in which he is present, and pronounces a decisive and definitive sentence, or has the right of delivering a decisive and definitive sentence.
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