一.为了教会更好的管理和更深的造就,应有通称为总会或议会的聚会(徒15:2,4,6)。特定教会的监督和其他治理者,凭借他们的职分,以及基督赋予他们的造就而不是毁灭的权力,有权任命这样的聚会。并在他们认为有利于教会利益的情况下,经常召集他们。

For the better government and further edification of the church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils: and it belongeth to the overseers and other rulers of the particular churches, by virtue of their office, and the power which Christ hath given them for edification and not for destruction, to appoint such assemblies; and to convene together in them, as often as they shall judge it expedient for the good of the church.

二.决定教义的争论和有关良心事项,制定法规以促进公共崇拜以及教会管理,接受失职的控诉,并行使权威予以裁决,此类职权皆属教会总会和议会;此类教令和裁决,如果符合圣经,我们便应当恭敬顺服,不仅因其符合圣经,而且因其制定者是遵照上帝的命令,秉有圣经所赋与的权威(徒15:15,19,24,27-31;16:4;太18:17-20)。

It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially, to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of His church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in His Word.

三.自从使徒时代以来,所有的教会总会或议会,无论是普通的,还是特别的,都有可能犯错误,而且有许多已经犯错;所以不可用这些会议所规定的,作为信仰与行为的准则,只可用来帮助二者(弗2:20;徒17:11;林前2:5;林后1:24)。

All synods or councils since the apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred; therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith or practice, but to be used as a help in both.

四.教会总会和议会,除了有关教会的事务以外,不可处理或决定其他任何事情;又不可干涉国政,除非是在特殊事件上,可以向公民政府请愿;或是为满足良心起见,公民政府有所咨询时,可以提出忠告(路12:13-14;约18:36)。

Synods and councils are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition in cases extraordinary; or by way of advice for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.