George Gillespie on the kingship of Jesus Christ over the government of the Church

“For that, I shall desire you to consider that Jesus Christ is the only Head and King of his Church, that the government of his Church is a part of his Kingly office; that the government is committed into his hand, and the key of the house of David is laid upon his shoulders (Isa. 22:21-22); that the Father has set him as King upon his holy hill of Zion (Ps. 2:6), to reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:33). As therefore he has fully and faithfully exercised his Priestly office in making atonement for our sins by the sacrifice of himself, and still making intercession in heaven for us; and his Prophetical office in revealing the whole counsel of God, and teaching his people by his word and Spirit, what he would have them to do; so he has no less fully and faithfully executed his Kingly office and legislative power, in providing statutes and ordinances for all the necessities of his Church; and appointing by whom and after what manner he will have his house governed, what spiritual courts and judicatories he would have erected, how he would have them constituted, by what rules to proceed, how to censure offenses. It is an old observation – they are the best laws, which leave the least to the power of the judge to do as he list [will]. It were a bad administration of the supreme power in any kingdom, if no certain kinds of subordinate officers, nor no certain kind of government were appointed, but all this left to the liberty of every country and city. Now Jesus Christ is more wise, and provident, and faithful, in the government of his whole Church, than ever King or Parliament was in the government of an earthly kingdom; and has therefore appointed officers, courts, censures, and laws, for the right ordering thereof; and has not left these things to be determined by this or that state at their pleasure. I should wish you and all that are of your mind, to study better the Kingly office and royal prerogative of Jesus Christ.”

George Gillespie, A late dialogue between a civilian and a divine (London, 1644) in The anonymous writings of George Gillespie, p. 117-18.

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