.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Preface to the Book of Church Order

I. King and Head
of the Church
II. Preliminary Principles
III. The Constitution Defined

Section 2 : The Preliminary Principles
Paragraph 3 : Of Discipline

3. That our blessed Saviour, for the edification of the visible church, which is his body, hath appointed officers, not only to preach the gospel, and administer the sacraments, but also to exercise discipline, for the preservation both of truth and duty; and that it is incumbent upon these officers, and upon the whole church, in whose name they act, to censure or cast out the erroneous and scandalous, observing, in all cases, the rules contained in the Word of God.

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, page 128
That our blessed Saviour, for the edification of the visible church, which is his body, hath appointed officers, not only to preach the gospel, and administer the sacraments, but also to exercise discipline, for the preservation both of truth and duty; and that it is incumbent upon these officers, and upon the whole church, in whose name they act, to censure or cast out the erroneous and scandalous, observing, in all cases, the rules contained in the Word of God.

Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text, Preface, Preliminary Principles, paragraph 2
That our blessed Saviour, for the edification of the visible church, which is his body, hath appointed officers, not only to preach the gospel, and administer the sacraments, but also to exercise discipline, for the preservation both of truth and duty; and that it is incumbent upon these officers, and upon the whole church, in whose name they act, to censure or cast out the erroneous and scandalous, observing, in all cases, the rules contained in the Word of God.

PCUS 1879
PCUS 1869 draft
and
PCUS 1867 draft
[we have not located printed editions of the PCUS Constitution which include the Preliminary Principles. Reportedly the first edition, printed in 1861, did include the Principles, but we have been unable to locate subsequent editions with this material included.]



Commentary :
Hodge, J. Aspinwall, What Is Presbyterian Law? (Philadelphia, 1882, pp. 24-25) :
III. What is the third principle?
"The our blessed Saviour, for the edification of the visible Church, which is his body, hath appointed officers, not only to preach the gospel and administer the sacraments, but also to exercise discipline for the preservation both of truth and duty."
What duties have the officers?
Those which were appointed by Christ--viz. "to preach the gospel," "administer the sacraments" and "exercise discipline." "It is incumbent upon these officers and upon the whole Church, in whose name they act, to censure or cast out the erroneous and scandalous ; observing, in all cases, the rules contained in the word of God." Their authority is therefore only declarative, announcing what Christ has revealed, and applying his law according to his direction.

 



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]