E'lders. n.s. [from elder.]
- Persons whose age gives them a claim to credit and reverence.
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father, and the younger men as brethren. 1 Tim. v. 1.
Our elders say,
The barren, touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their steril curse. Shakespeare's Julius Cæsar.
Among the Lacedæmonians, the chief magistrates, as they were, so they are called, elder men. Raleigh's H. of the World.
The blushing youth their virtuous awe disclose,
And from their seats the reverend elders rose. Sandys.
Says the goose, if it will be no better, e'en carry your head as your elders have done before ye. L'Estrange.
I lose my patience, and I own it too,
Where works are censur'd, not as bad, but new;
While, if our elders break all reason's laws,
Those fools demand not pardon, but applause. Pope.
- Those who are older than others.
At the board, and in private, it very well becometh children's innocency to pray, and their elders to say amen. Hooker.
- [Among the Jews.] Rulers of the people.
- [In the New Testament.] Ecclesiasticks.
- [Among presbyterians.] Laymen introduced into the kirk-polity in sessions, presbyteries, synods and assemblies.
Flea-bitten synod, an assembly brew'd
Of clerks and elders ana; like the rude
Chaos of presbytry, where laymen ride
With the tame woolpack clergy by their side. Cleaveland.