Gisbertus Voetius on if of a single person can be the Church

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Seeking_Thy_Kingdom

Puritan Board Sophomore
Question: Whether the organized church can be preserved in one person and whether Adam, when he was alone in the world, was the church of God?

Answer: No. After all, it is said that one thing is a multitude: the church is a multitude and a crowd gathered together in one flock. This is evident from the fact that she is called in Holy Scripture a household, a kingdom, a people, a herd, and this is compared to a body, a building, a state. A Christian, for example, who is under Barbarians and unbelievers, or in a desert, or on some island, is completely out of touch with people (which, if I am not mistaken, has been the case for more than 30 years with a Dutch sailor who, after that lapse of time, returned again to his own), in his solitude serves God in spirit and in truth, not yet a church. Ask me whether he then belongs to the church or is one of her members, so I admit, as far as the invisible and mystical church is concerned, but as regards the organized church, I deny that he is a member if he has never been in a visible and factual community with any church; if one wants to call him a potential member, we have nothing against this, provided that he wishes with all his heart and has the information to do so. But this remains improper and entirely by analogy or agreement. If a person used to be in an ecclesiastical community, and now he is single (out of his own fault) and separated from any visible church that continues to have community, so much as is in his power, such a person could be called a member inwardly, and his community an inner or hidden person. And this also shows what our judgment must be about the Catholic, potential church of the popes, the pope alone, and about the potential church of a diocese who would exist in a bishop.

Gisbertus Voetius, Treatise on The Visible and Organized Church
 
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hammondjones

Puritan Board Sophomore
Angels are part of the Church and they were around already when Adam was created; there was the requisite multitude. I guess maybe I'm not understanding this 'organized' term.
 

Seeking_Thy_Kingdom

Puritan Board Sophomore
Question: Whether the church council can only be called the church?


Answer: Thus Beza judges with a view to Matth. 18 v. 17 and in this judgment the Form for the Confirmation of Elders in the Dutch Liturgy agrees with him; similarly Franciscus Junius in his work Ecclesiasticus, 2nd Book, 3rd Chapter. and further the Confirmation of the Government of the French Churches, written in the French language (by Antonius Zadeele) and published in her name against Fr. Morelles, Part 4, art. 2, 2nd part, page 174 and 195. Finally, after all others, Gerson Bucerus comes to defend this statement quoted in detail in his Treatise on the administration of the church, page. 3, 9, 83.

We regard this conception of the word church as incorrect, since the governing part is taken for the entire church (ie, for the rulers and the ruled together, and thus a part for the whole.) we once assumed, it would be easier to put all hierarchical and oligarchic statements on one side, that in that place is meant, immediately, directly and precisely the whole body of the church and not the church council as a brief summary of the church (epitome) (as Fr. Junius expresses himself in the above-cited place), or as her eye, ear and mouth, what danger or foolishness would lie in it? Yet it does not follow from this that we have an absolute and fully democratic church government as is rightly pointed out by Parker, who is in favor of this interpretation. Pastors have been appointed by the church so that, in the name of the church, they may be concerned with the matters of the church burdens in such a way that in and through them the church must be told to look after their interests, as man sees through the eye. However, it does not follow that every member of the body can say: I am the eye. See 1 Cor. 12, and compare this with Ephesis 4. Our Catechism may have wanted to indicate this or such a distinction in Question 85 by saying: of the church or those who are ordained of it by the church. A person speaks to a court or council as he does so to his chairman or mayor, even though he does not speak openly and immediately to all members of that college together and to each individually; so too a person speaks to the church, if he hands over the matter to the church council, to whom, following a commission from the church, the perusal of the affair is entrusted, and to whom only this is entrusted, until one arrives at the announcement and implementation of the judgment after the matter has been investigated.

Gisbertus Voetius, Treatise on The Visible and Organized Church
 
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