« PreviousContinue »
11. In extraordinary cases, something extraordinary may be done, until a settled order may be had, yet keeping as near as possibly may be to the rule 5. ;
12. There is at this time (as we humbly conceive) an extraordinary occasion for a way of ordination for the present supply of ministers.
The Directory for the Ordination of Ministers. IT being manifest by the word of God, that no man ought
to take upon him the office of a minister of the gospel, until he be lawfully called and ordained thereunto; and that the work of ordination is to be performed with all due care, wisdom, gravity, and solemnity, we humbly tender. these directions, as requisite to be observed.
1. He that is to be ordained, being either nominated by the people, or otherwise commended to the presbytery, for any place, must address himself to the presbytery, and bring with him a testimonial of his taking the Covenant of the three kingdoms; of his diligence and proficiency in his studies ; what degrees he hath taken in the university, and what hath been the time of his abode there, and withal of his age, which is to be twenty-four years; but especially of his life and conversation.
8 2 Chron. xxix. 34. But the priests For the king had taken counsel, and. were too few, so that they could not his princes, and all the congregation slay all the burnt offerings: where in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in fore their brethren the Levites did the second month. Ver. 3. For they help them till the work was ended, could not keep it at that time, beand until the other priests had sancti. cause the priests had not sanctified fied themselves; for the Levites were themselves sufficiently, neither had more upright in heart to sanctify the people gathered themselves togethemselves than the priests. Ver. 35.
ther to Jerusalem. Ver. 4. And the And also the burnt-offerings were in thing pleased the king and all the abundance; with the fat of the peace congregation. Ver. 5. So they estaofferings, and the drink-offerings for blished a decree, to make proclamaevery burnt-offering. So the service tion throughout all Israel, from Beerof the house of the Lord was set in sheba even to Dan, that they should order. Ver, 36. And Hezekiah re come to keep the passover unto the joiced, and all the people, that God Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem ; for had prepared the people; for the thing they had not done it of a long tinie was done suddenly. 2 Chron. XXX. 2. in such a sort as it was writtene
* shall bring a te! " lities and con place shall be t1 be judged nece
3. In all whicl the church wher several days, ani may have trial
4. In the last o
enquiry shall be made more strictly after his other learn- bis gifts in preack *. acquainted with; and trial shall be made in his knowledge to the church-do * of the grounds of religion, and of his ability to defend the maker of the orthodox doctrine contained in them against all unsound themselves, shal
s shall be proposed unto him, in cases of conscience, and in meekness, wha_
2. Which being considered by the presbytery, they are “ (8.) Beside th to proceed to enquire touching the grace of God in him, “ undergo an exay and whether he be of such holiness of life as is requisite " and more, if the in a minister of the gospel; and to examine him touching" (9.) And as fe his learning and sufficiency, and touching the evidences of " a minister, and his calling to the holy ministry; and, in particular, bis fair and direct calling to that place.
The Rules for Examination are these : “ (1.) That the party examined be dealt withal in a bro
therly way, with mildness of spirit, and with special re* spect to the gravity, modesty, and quality of every one.
*(2.) He shall be examined touching his skill in the ori“ginal tongues, and his trial to be made by reading the have time and of
Hebrew and Greek Testaments, and rendering some por-know, his life an - tion of some into Latin ; and if he be defective in them, "ing, and whether he hath skill in logick and philosophy, to the
(3.) What authors in divinity he hath read, and is best *s and erroneous opinions, especially these of the present age; " of his skill in the sense and meaningof such placesof scripture " as (thechronologyofthe scripture,andthe ecclesiastical history.
“(4.) If he hath not before preached in publick with ap" probation of such as are able to judge, he shall
, at a com** petent time assigned him, expound before the presbytery “ such a place of scripture as shall be given him.
“ (5.) He shall also, within a competent time, frame a « discourse in Latin, upon such a common-place or coll
. “ troversy in divinity as shall be assigned to him, and ex“hibit to the presbytery such theses as express the sum " thereof, and maintain a dispute upon them. “ (6.) He shall preach before the people, the presbytery,
some of the ministers of the word appointed by them, * being present.
(7.) The proportion of his gifts in relation to the place unto which he is called shall be considered.
congregat shall be publick!
consent and app or otherwise,
upon the day him, but the
shall proceed 5.
Upon th performed in to serve, a se that they ma ing upon the vant for thei or at least t thither from presbytery
and duty of to receive
" (8.) Beside
(8.) Beşide the trial of his gifts in preaching, he shall 6 undergo an examination in the premises two several days, " and more, if the presbytery shall judge it necessary.
(9.) And as for him that hath formerly been ordained “ a minister, and is to be removed to another charge, he « shall bring a testimonial of his ordination, and of his abi" lities and conversation, whereupon his fitness for that
place shall be tried by his preaching there, and (if it shall “ be judged necessary) by a further examination of him."
3. In all which he being approved, he is to be sent to the church where he is to serve, there to preach three several days, and to converse with the people, that they may have trial of his gifts for their edification, and may have time and occasion to enquire into, and the better to know, his life and conversation.
4. In the last of these three days appointed for the trial of his gifts in preaching, there shall be sent from the presbytery to the congregation, a publick intimation in writing, which shall be publickly read before the people, and after affixed to the church-door, to signify, that such a day a competent number of the members of that congregation, nominated by themselves, shall appear before the presbytery, to give their consent and approbation to such a man to be their minister; or otherwise, to put in, with all Christian discretion and meekness, what exceptions they have against him. And if, upon the day appointed, there be no just exception against him, but the people give their consent, then the presbytery shall proceed to ordination,
5. Upon the day appointed for ordination, which is to be performed in that church where he that is to be ordained is to serve, a solemn fast shall be kept by the congregation, that they may the more earnestly join in prayer for a blessing upon the ordinance of Christ, and the labours of his sera vant for their good. The presbytery shall come to the place, or at least three or four ministers of the word shall be sent thither from the presbytery; of which one appointed by the presbytery shall preach to the people concerning the office and duty of ministers of Christ, and how the people ought to receive them for their work's sake.
9. This or the like i
dager of negligence bo
prayer commending b
alised with a blessing
10. If a minister by
| be disclaimed by an being a cautious pr
of the gospel, and unity of the church, against error and God, after singing humility, in meekness of spirit, to submit unto the admoni-hal been formerly resolution to continue in his duty against all trouble and ., which we hold tions of his brethren, and discipline of the church; and his form of ordination w! ingness, and promised his endeavours, by the help of God; let him be admitted the minister likewise shall demand of the people concerning 11. And in case their willingness to receive and acknowledge him as the bestand, or in any companied with a short prayer or blessing, to this effect: immediately got
6. After the sermon, the minister who hath preached shall, in the face of the congregation, demand of him who maled
, let the minister is now to be ordained, concerning his faith in Christ Jesus
, somsider of the grea and his persuasion of the truth of the reformed religion, according to the scripture; his sincere intentions and ends in lesing which will desiring to enter into this calling; his diligence in praying, and that to come ; and reading, meditation, preaching, ministering the sacraments, demselves to him, ası discipline, and doing all ministerial duties towards his ording to their solemcharge ; his zeal and faithfulness in maintaining the truth schism; his care that himself and his family may be unblameable, and examples to the flock; his willingness and persecution.
7. In all which having declared himself, professed his will-
Thankfully acknowledging the great mercy of God in sending Jesus Christ for the redemption of his people ; " and for his ascension to the right hand of God the Father, “ and thence pouring out his Spirit, and giving gifts to
men, apostles, evangelists, prophets, pastors, and teachers; “ for the gathering and building up of his church; and for “ fitting and inclining this man to this great work*: ta en“ treat him to fit him with his Holy Spirit, to give him (who “ in his name we thus set apart to this holy service) to ful“ fil the work of his ministry in all things, that he may both “ save himself, and his people committed to his charge."
wether congregati duch to the press tion is, a sufficien and conversation causes of his ren finess and suffici with him in oth
12. That red byteries, of th testimonials, presbyters wh charge to w
13. That be received m his beha by any of
* Here let them impose hands on his head.
9. This or the like form of prayer and blessing being ended, let the minister who preached, briefly exhort him to consider of the greatness of his office and work, the danger of negligence both to himself and his people, the blessing which will accompany his faithfulness in this life, and that to come; and withal exhort the people to carry
themselves to him, as to their minister in the Lord, aci cording to their solemn promise made before. And so by
prayer commending both him and his flock to the grace of God, after singing of a psalm, let the assembly be dismissed with a blessing.
10. If a minister be designed to a congregation, who hath been formerly ordained presbyter according to the form of ordination which hath been in the church of England, which we hold for substance to be valid, and not to be disclaimed by any who have received it; then, there being a cautious proceeding in matters of examination, let him be admitted without any new ordination.
11. And in case any person already ordained minister in Scotland, or in any other reformed church, be designed to another congregation in England, he is to bring from that church to the presbytery here, within which that congregation is, a sufficient testimonial of his ordination, of his life and conversation while he lived with them, and of the causes of his removal; and to undergo such a trial of his fitness and sufficiency, and to have the same course held with him in other particulars, as is set down in the rule immediately going before, touching examination and admission.
12. That records be carefully kept in the several presbyteries, of the names of the persons ordained, with their testimonials, the time and place of their ordination, of the presbyters who did impose hands upon them, and of the charge to which they are appointed.
13. That no money or gift, of what kind soever, shall be received from the person to be ordained, or from any on his behalf, for ordination, or ought else belonging to it, by any of the presbytery, or any appertaining to any of them, upon what pretence soever.