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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, according 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 cafe 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 immmediately 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.
1 3. That no money or gift of what kind soever fliall 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.
Thus T"hus far of ordinary Rules and Course of Ordination, in the ordinary IVay; that -which concerns the extraordinary JVety, requisite to be now practised, followeth.
1. In these present exigences, while we cannot have any presbyteries formed up to their whole power and work, and that many ministers are to be ordained for the service of the armies and navy, and to many congregations where there is no minister at all; and where (by reason of the publick troubles) the people cannot either themselves enquire, and find out one who may be a faithful minister for them, or have any with safety sent unto them, for such a solemn trial as was before mentioned in the ordinary rules; especially when there can be no presbytery near unto them, to whom they may address themselves, or which may come or send to them a fit man to be ordained in that congregation, and for that people: and yet notwithstanding, it is requisite that ministers be ordained for them, by some, who, being set apart themselves for the work of the ministry, have power to join in the setting apart others, who are found fit and worthy. In those cafes, until, by God's blessing, the aforesaid difficulties may be in some good measure removed, let some godly ministers in or about the city of London be designedly publick authority, who, being associated, may ordain ministers for the city and the vicinity, keeping as near to the ordinary rules forementioned, as possibly they may: and let this association be for no other intent or purpose, but only for the work of ordination.
2. Let the like association be made by the same authority in great towns, and the neighbouring parishes in the several counties, which are at the present quiet and undisturbed, to do the like for the parts adjacent.
3. Let such as are chosen, or appointed for the service of the armies or navy, be ordained, as aforesaid, by the associated ministers of London, or some others in the country.
4. Let them do the like, when any man shall duly and
law lawfully be recommended to them for the ministry of any congregation' who cannot enjoy liberty to have a trial of his parts and abilities, and desire the help of such ministers so associated, for the better furnishing of them with such a person as by them shall be judged sit for the service of that church and people.
APPROVED BY THE
Piety and Uniformity in Secret and Private Worship, and mutual Edification.
An Act of the General Assembly, Anno 164J, for observing the same.
Assembly at Edinburgh, Aug. 24. 1647. Sess. 1 o.
Act for observing the Directions of the General Assembly, for secret and private Worship, and mutual Edification, and censuring such as neglect Family-worship.
THE general Assembly, after mature deliberation, doth approve the following rules and directions, for cherishing piety, and preventing division and schism; and doth appoint ministers and ruling elders, in each congregation, to take special care that these directions be observed and followed; as likewise, that presbyteries and provincial Synods enquire and make trial, whether the said directions be duly observed in their bounds; and to reprove or censure (according to the quality of the offence) such as shall be sound to be reproveable or censurable therein. , And, to the end that these directions may not be rendered ineffectual and unprofitable among some, through- the usual neglect of the very sabstance of the duty of family-worship; the assembly doth further require and appoint ministers and ruling elders to make diligent search and enquiry, in the congregations committed to their charge respectively, whether there be among them any family or families, which use to neglect this necessary duty; and, if any such family be found, the head of the family is to be first admonished privately to amend his fault; and, in cafe of his continuing therein, he is to be gravely and sadly reproved by the session: after which reproof, if he be found still to neglect family-worship, let him be, for his obstinacy in such an offence, suspended and debarred from the Lord's supper, as being justly esteemed unworthy to communicate therein, till he amend.