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FOR the better government and further edification of the Church there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called Synods or Councills
AS Magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers and other fit persons to consult and advise with about matters of religion so if Magistrates be open enemies to the Church the ministers of Christ of themselves by virtue of their office or they with other fit persons upon delegation from their Churches may meet together in such assemblies
IT belongeth to Synods and Councills ministerially to determine controversies of faith and cases of conscience to set down rules and directions for better ordering of the publick 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
ALL Synods or Councills since the Apostles times whether generall or particular may err and many have erred therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith or practise but to be used as an help in both
SYNODS and councills are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is ecclesiasticall 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
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