Observe here, 1. The nature of that punishment which the holy apostle thought and adjudged, to be sufficient for the guilty person's sin; and that was excision, not destruction; excommunication, not death. The rejection of such a sinner from the communion of the church, by church-censure and discipline, was the punishment pronounced.
Observe, 2. By whom, and before, this punishment of excommunication was executed and inflicted, namely, by the officers and governors of the church, (who had and have the power of the keys,) in the presence and with the consent of the whole church.
In the primitive church, we have reason to believe, when any offender was to be excommunicated, the people were acquainted with the crime: the guilty person pleaded in their presence, they judged as your jurymen do of the matter of fact, they consented to the condemnation; but the sentence was not pronounced by them, but by the governors and officers of the church, before them and in their presence.
And as the church or body of the people consented to the offenders' rejection, so likewise to his re-admission to the communion of the church; but their actual admission was by the pastor and governor of the church, and not by the people.
Contrary to this primitive practice, is the modern practice of those who have snatched the keys out of the hands of the pastors, (where Christ placed them,) and put them into the hands of the people.