"No man ought to take upon him the office of a Minister of the Word without a lawful calling23…. By the Word of God…no man ought to take upon him the office of a Minister of the Gospel, until he be lawfully called and ordained thereunto….
"Considered by the Presbytery, they are to proceed to enquire touching the grace of God in him, and whether he be of such holiness of life as is requisite in a Minister of the Gospel; and to examine him touching his learning and sufficiency, and touching the evidence of his calling to the Holy Ministry; and, in particular, his fair and direct calling to that place."24
"He shall be examined touching his skill in the original tongues, and his trial to be made by reading the Hebrew and Greek Testaments…. If he be defective in them, enquiry shall be made more strictly after his other learning, and whether he hath skill in logick and philosophy… [and] what authors in divinity he hath read….
"Trial shall be made in his knowledge of the grounds of religion, and of his ability to defend the orthodox doctrine…against all unsound and erroneous opinions, especially these of the present age; of his skill in the sense and meaning of such places of Scripture as shall be proposed unto him in cases of conscience and in the chronology of the Scripture and the ecclesiastical history.
"If he hath not before preached in publick with approbation of such as are able to judge, he shall at a competent time assigned [to] him expound be-fore the Presbytery such a place of Scripture as shall be given him."25
Biblical examples of General Assemblies and Presbyteries
Finally, here are some of the General Assemblies and their Presbyteries — as stated or implied in the Word of God In the Older Testament, we find local Sessions of Elders, regional Presbyteries, and the National Assembly of Israel.26
In the Newer Testament, we find the following. A The General Assembly of Palestine, with her Presbyteries of Judah & Samaria & Galilee.27 B The General Assembly of Syria, with her Presbyteries of Antioch & Phoenicia & Damascus.28 C The General Assembly of Cilicia –with her various Presbyteries of Galatia & Pamphylia & Cyprus etc.29 D, The General Assembly of Greece, with her Presbyteries of Corinth & Macedonia & Dalmatia.30 And E The General Assembly of Italy, with her Presbyteries of Puteoli and Rome etc.31
As the Westminster Form of Church-Government insists: "The Church of Jerusalem.. .consisted of more congregations than one.32 All those congregations were under one presbyterial government; because they were all one Church.33 The several congregations in Jerusalem being one Church, the Elders of that Church are mentioned together for acts of government34…. The Scripture doth hold forth that many congregations may be under one presbyterial government…by the instance of the Church of Ephesus."35
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To these above two Presbyteries, we ourselves would further add three more. First, the Presbytery of Corinth.36 Then second, the Presbytery of Rome with some five small Congregations.37 And third, the "model" Presbytery of Asia Minor, comprising precisely seven Congregations with the risen Lord of the Church Himself walking in the midst of that seven-pronged "candlestick."38
May Jehovah-Jesus Himself also today give His Presbyterian Church worldwide many bright Presbyteries like that seven-pronged golden candlestick! And may the several Congregations within each of His Presbyteries worldwide now see Him, our living Lord and Saviour, walking in their very midst in the bright and powerful presence of His sevenfold stream-like Spirit!39