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From The Saints’ Apology (1644) a - Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents 
Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951).
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From The Saints’ Apology (1644)a
First, I conceive a visible ministering church under the Gospel to be a company of believers, joining themselves together in the name of Christ, for the enjoyment of such ordinances, and exercise of such spiritual government, as the Lord hath appointed for his worship and honour, and their mutual edification. * * *
I add ‘under the Gospel’ because the constitution under the Law was national, the officers, ordinances and places of worship, all fitted to such a frame, and typical; which under the Gospel was changed, as appeareth both by Christ’s institution (Matt. 18) and all the Apostles’ practice throughout in all places, who best understood our Saviour’s intention and meaning for the constitution of churches evangelical, being by him instructed and left authorized there[in].
Secondly, the matter of this church is a company of Saints, such whom as the Apostle, so the church that admits them or joins with them, ought to think it meet to judge of every one of them that Christ hath begun a good work in them and will finish it. The Apostles always style them Saints and faithful brethren, or the church of such a place, which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ, Saints by calling, sanctified in Christ Jesus, the church elected together with them, and such-like titles apply-able only unto men sanctified. That they ought to be such in profession, will not be denied; that they ought to be what they profess, is as evident. The power of the church, and the exercise of that power commanded by our Saviour, is for this end, that offences may be taken away, when men shall appear to be other than they make profession to be, and that they may be prevented, so far as man can judge, by keeping out false brethren, that they creep not in privily. The unruly are to be admonished, and if upon admonition they will not reform, Christ directeth what course shall be taken with them. And he who is to be cast out when he is known, ought not to be admitted could he be known to be other than a Saint by the church before he was received.
Thirdly, the form of such a visible church, I conceive to be the relation which by their mutual consent is raised between them for spiritual ends, by which it is that they have power of jurisdiction and may and ought to judge those that are within (1 Cor. 5. 12).
Which jurisdiction no man can lawfully be subjected unto but by his own agreement. The superiority of jurisdiction either in things spiritual or temporal (if it be not natural as the paternal) must be voluntarily subjected unto, or it is usurped and tyrannical. Therefore to raise this relation which gives a power of judging, there must be a voluntary submission of themselves one to another testified by some act, whether you will call it a covenant, or consent, or agreement between fit members for such ends.
This consent and agreement ought to be explicit [f]or the well-being, but not necessarily to the being, of a true church. For it may be implied by such constant and frequent acts of communion performed by a company of Saints joined together by cohabitation in towns and villages, as that the falling in of their spirits into this brotherly fellowship and communion in things spiritual is acted unto the true being of it; but for the want of the clear and full expression thereof among themselves, the relation it raises, the power it gives them one over another, the duty it obligeth them unto in the exercise of that power, is obscurely and little apprehended, and less practised. * * *
[300. (a)]The Saints Apologie, or a vindication of the churches (which indeavour after a pure communion) from the odious names of Brownists and Separatists, in a letter sent to an eminent divine of the Assembly. * * * London, Printed with order, by A. C. Anno MDCXLIV [May 15].