The Duties of Deacons

“The deacon is a distinct officer from the elder. It is a defect and fault in some congregations that they put no difference betwixt these two, but so confounds and mingles them together as if they were both one, either appointing none for the office of deacon, but leaving that charge also upon the elders, or else giving the deacons the same power and employment with the elders. It is true, whatsoever the deacon may do by virtue of his office, that same may be done by an elder, as whatsoever is done by an elder may be done by a minister; because the higher and more eminent offices in the church doth include the powers of the lower. It is also true, that the deacons may assist in judgment with the minister and elders, and be helping to them in these things that concern the oversight of the congregation, by information and advice. Yet it is necessary that congregations should so far regard the ordinance, and reverence the wisdom of God, in appointing these officers, as to have both elders and deacons, and to preserve them distinct in their actings and operations, not giving to the deacon, or suffering him to assume the elder’s office.”

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