Questions Propounded to the Assembly of Divines by the House of Commons, April ult. 1646, touching the Point of Jus Divinum in the matter of Church-Government.
Whereas it is Resolved by Both Houses, That all persons guilty of Notorious and Scandalous Offences shall be suspended from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, the House of Commons desires to be satisfied by the Assembly of Divines in these questions following:
Whether the Parochial and Congregational Elderships appointed by Ordinance of Parliament, or any other Congregational or Presbyterial Elderships are Jure Divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ? And whether any particular Church-Government be Jure Divino? And what that Government is?
Whether all the Members of the said Elderships, as Members thereof, or which of them are Jure Divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
Whether the superior Assemblies or Elderships, (Viz.) the Classical, Provincial and National; whether all, or any of them, and which of them are Jure Divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
Whether Appeals from Congregational Elderships to the Classical, Provincial and National Assemblies, or to any of them, and to which of them are Jure Divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ? And are their powers upon such Appeals Jure Divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
Whether Oecumenical Assemblies are Jure Divino? And whether there be Appeals from any of the former Assemblies to the said Oecumenical Jure Divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
Whether by the word of God, the power of Judging, and Declaring what are such Notorious and Scandalous Offences, for which persons guilty thereof are to be kept from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and of conventing before them, trying, and actual suspending from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper such Offenders accordingly, is either in the Congregational Eldership, or Presbytery, or in any other Eldership, Congregation or persons; and whether such powers are in them only, or any of them, and in which of them Jure Divino, and by the will and appointment of Jesus Christ?
Whether there be any certain and particular Rules expressed in the word of God to direct the Elderships or Presbyteries, Congregations or persons, or any of them, in the exercise and execution of the powers aforesaid, and what are those Rules?
Is there any thing contained in the word of God, that the Supreme Magistracy in a Christian State may not judge and determine what are the aforesaid Notorious and Scandalous Offences, and the manner of Suspension for the same; and in what particulars concerning the premises is the said Supreme Magistracy, by the word of God, excluded?
Whether the Provision of Commissioners to judge of Scandals not enumerated (as they are authorized by the Ordinance of Parliament) be contrary to that way of Government which Christ hath appointed in his Church? and wherein are they so contrary?
In answer to these particulars, the House of Commons desires of the Assembly of Divines, their proofs from Scripture, and to set down the several Texts of Scripture in the express words of the same: And it is Ordered, That every particular Minister of the Assembly of Divines, that is or shall be present at the Debate of any of these Questions, do upon every Resolution which shall be presented to this House concerning the same, subscribe his respective Name, either with the Affirmative or Negative as he gives his Vote; And that those that do Dissent from the major part shall set down their positive Opinions, with the express Texts of Scripture upon which their Opinions are grounded.