Our second remark is, that the office is of divine appointment, not merely in the sense in which the civil powers are ordained of God, but in the sense that ministers derive their authority from Christ, and not from the people.
More Quotes from Charles Hodge:The functions of these elders, therefore, determine the power of the people; for a representative is one chosen by others to do in their name what they are entitled to do in their own persons; or rather to exercise the powers which radically inhere in those for whom they act.
That the apostolic office is temporary, is a plain historical fact.
The office of presbyters is a permanent one.
So too, in forming a constitution, or in enacting rules of procedure, or making canons, the people do not merely passively assent, but actively cooperate. They have, in all these matters, the same authority as the clergy.
As the Church is the aggregate of believers, there is an intimate analogy between the experience of the individual believer, and of the Church as a whole.
Ruling elders are declared to be the representatives of the people.
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