to the septuple fullness of the Lord's Holy Spirit.9
Local Sessions of Presbyters meet under moderatorship of a Preaching Elder.10 Between such Sessions and the General Assembly — stand all the regional Presbyteries. Each of these latter is also named ‘Classis' or Kleesis (alias that which is convened from the called -out Church or Ek-klees-ia). For the meetings of those presbyterial ‘Classes' or ‘Regional Presbyteries’ are regularly called, in order to discharge the functions mentioned in our next section.
In many respects, the regional Presbytery is the most important of all presbyterial bodies. For it stands between the Elders-over-ten locally, and the Elders-overthousand provincially — and it very clearly links the former to the latter.11
Every regional Presbytery should manifest at least the following functions. A, training & ordaining and discipling & disciplining Preaching Elders for the Christian Church.12 B sending Ministers alias Missionaries into established Congregations and also creating new ones.13 C, hearing appeals from local Sessions of Elders.14 D, sending sufficient delegated representatives to the General Assembly.15 E
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administering the various decisions of the General Assembly.16 F, advising and also direction the local Sessions in matters of regional concern.17
The Westminster Assembly's Form of Presbvterial Church Government
This was an original Presbyterian Standard for all of the British Isles. It is yet, for very many Churches, even today. Here follow some of its wise words.
"The Scripture doth hold out a Presbytery in a church.18 A Presbytery consisteth of Ministers of the Word, and such other Publick Officers as are agreeable to and warranted by the Word of God to be Church-Governors — to join with the Ministers in the government of the Church.19 The Scripture doth hold forth that many particular Congregations may be under one presbyterial government…. That these many Congregations were one Church, and that they were under one presbyterial government, appeareth.20
"The Scripture doth hold out another sort of [General] Assemblies for the government of the Church, beside classical and congregational — all which we call Synodical.21 Pastors and Teachers and other Church-Governors (as also other fit persons when it shall be deemed expedi-ent) are Members of those Assembles which we call Synodical, where they have a lawful calling thereunto. Synodical Assemblies may lawfully be of several sorts — as provincial, national, and oecumenical. It is lawful and agreeable to the Word of God that there be a subordination of congregational, classical, provincial and national assemblies — for the government of the Church" of the Lord Jesus Christ, here and now, on Earth.
Ordination not by Congregations nor by Ministers but by Presbyteries "Ordination" explains Westminster, "is the act of a Presbytery…. The power of ordering the whole work of ordination, is in the whole Presbytery…. Whether these Congregations be fixed or not fixed… is indif-ferent as to the point of ordination22….
"It is very re-quisite that no single Congregation that can conveniently associate, do assume to itself all and sole power in ordination…. There is no ex-ample in Scripture that any single Congregation which might conveniently associate, did assume to itself all and sole power in ordination….
"There is in Scripture example of an ordination in a Presbytery over divers Congregations; as in the Church of Jerusalem, where were many Congrega-tions. These many Congregations were under one Presbytery, and this Presbytery did ordain. The Preaching Presbyters orderly associated either in cities or neighbouring villages, are those to whom the imposition of hands doth appertain for those Congregations within their bounds….
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