« AnteriorContinuar »
12. There is at this time (as we humbly conceive) an extraordinary occasion for a way of ordination for the present lupply of ministers.
The Directory for the Ordination of Ministers.
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 folemnity: we humbly tender thefe directions, as requisite to be observed,
First, He that is to be ordained, being either dominated by the people, or otherwiie commended to the presbytery for any place, must addrets himlelf to the presbytery, aod 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 chere; and withal of his age, which is to be twenty four years; but especially of his life and convertation.
2. Which being considered by the presbytery, they are to proceed to enquire touching the grace of God in him, and whether he be of fuch holiness of lite as is r(quired in a minister of the gospel ; and to examine him touching his learning and fufficiency, and touching the evidences of his calling to the holy ministry, and in particular his tair and direct calling to that place.
The Rules for examination are these; 1. • That the party examined be dealt withal ia a brotherly way, with mildaefs of spirit, and with special respect to the gravity, modesty, aßd quality of every one.
2. He shall be examined touching his skill in the original congues, ! and his triat to be made by reading the Hebrew and Greek Testaments. • and rendering some portion of some into Latin; and, if he be de• fective in them, enquiry shall be made more strictly after his other • learoing, and whether he has skill in Logic and Philosophy,
God had prepared the people : for rusalem. v. 4. and the thing pleas. the thing was done suddenly. 2 ed the king, and all the congrega. Chron. xxx. 2. For the king had tion. 5. so they established a taken counsel and his princes, and decree, make proclamation all the congregation in Jerusalem, throughout all Ifrael from Beer. to keep the paffover in the second fheba even to Dan, that they should month. y. 3. For they could not come to keep the passover unto the keep it at that time, because the Lord God of Israel, at Jerufalem : priests had not fanctified themselves for they had not done it of a long [i:ficiently, neither had the people time in such a sort as it was writer gathered themselves together to je ten,
• What authors in divinity he hath read, and is best acquainted · with : and trial shall be made in his knowledge of the grounds of re
ligion, and of his ability to defend the orthodox doctrine contained • in them, against all unfound and erroneous opinions, especially these
of the prelent age; of his skill in the sense and meaning of such places • of scripture as shall be proposed unto him, in cases of conscience and • in the chronology of she ici ipture, and the ecclesiastical history.
4. "If he hath not before preached in publick with approbation of • such as are able to judge, he shali at a competent time afligned him, • cxpound before the presbytery luch a portion of fcripture as shall be
5. • He shall also, within a competent time, frame a discourse in • Latio, upon luch a common place or controversy in divinity as shall s be assigned to him, and exhibit to the presbytery such theses as ex• preis the fum thereof, and maintain a dispute upon them.
6. He shall preachi before the people, the presbytery, or fome of o the ministers of the word appointed by them, being present.
7. . The proportion of his gifts in relation to the place upto which he is called shall be considered.
8. • Beside the trial of his gifts io preaching, he shall undergo an ex-mination in the premisses two several days, and more if the pref• bytery shall judge it necessary,
9. · And as for him that hath formerly been ordained a minister, and s is to be removed to another charge, he shall bring a testimonial of his
ordination, and of his abilities and observation, whereupon his fit• ness for that place shall be tried by his preaching there, and (if it • shall be judged necessary) by a turther examination of him.'
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 koow, his life and converfation.
4. In the last of these three days appointed for the trial of his gifts in preaching, there shall be fent from the presbytery to the congregation, a public intimation in writing which shall be publicly read be. fore the people, and after affixed to the church-door, to figoify that such a day, a competent number of the members of that congregation, nominated by themelves, shall appear before the presbytery, to give their content and approbation to such a man to be their minister: or other wile, to put in, with all Christian discretion and meeknels, what exceptions they have againtt him, and if, upon the day appointed, there be no juft exception against bim 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 folemn fast is to be kept by the congregation, that they may the more earnest
ly join in prayer for a blessing upon the ordioance of Christ, and the labours of his fervant for their good. The presbytery shall come to the place, or at leaft three or four ministers of the word thall be fent thither from the presbytery; of which one appointed by the presbytery, shall preach to the people, concerning the office and duty of mipiliers of Christ, and how the people ought to receive them for their work's lake.
6. After the fermon, the minister who hath preached, shall, in the face of the congregation, demand of him who is now to be ordained concerning his faith in Chrift Jefus, and his perfuafion of the truth of the reformed religion, according to the scripture; his sincere intentions and ends in defiring to enter into this calling ; his diligence in praying, reading, meditation, preaching, miniftering the facraments, dilcipline, and doing all ministerial duties towards his charge; his zeal and faithfulpels in maintaining the truth of the gospel, and unity of the church, against error and ichiim; his care that himtelf and his family may be unblameable, and examples to the flock; his willingnes and humility, in meekvels of spirit, to submit unto the admonitions of his brethren, and discipline of the church ; and his resolution to continue in his duty again it all trouble and perfecution 7. In all which having declared himlelt
, professed his willingness
, and promised his endeavours, by the help of God: the minister like wife Thall demand of the people, concerning their willingness to receive and acknowledge him as the minister of Chrift: and to obey, and submic unto him, as having rule over them in the Lord; and to maintaio, encourage and aflilt him in all the parts of his office.
8. Which being mutually promised by the people, the presbytery, or the ministers fent from them for ordination, shall folemnly let him apart to the ofice and work of the miniltry, by saying their hands on him, which is to be accompanied with a short prayer or blefling to this effect;
• Thankfully acknowledging the great mercy of God, in tending • Jesus Christ for the redemption of his people; and tor his afcention • to the right-hand of God the Father, and thence pouring out his Spi. • rit, ard giving gifts to men, apostles, evangelists prophets, pastors,
and teachers, for the gathering and building up of his church; and • for fitting and inclioing this man to this great work* : To intreat • him to fit him with his holy Spirit, to give him (who io his name we * thus set apart to this hoig service) to fulfil the work of his ministry ' in all things, that he may both tave himlell; and his people commit. • ted to his charge.'
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 faithfuloels in this life,' and that to come, and withal exhort the people to carry them. folres to him, as to their minister in the Lord, according to their fo.
Here let them impose hands on his head.
lens promise made before ; and to by prayer commending both him and his flock to the grace of God, atter singing of a plalm, der the affembly be dismissed with a bleffing.
10. If a minister be deligaed to a congregation, wbo 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 ditclaimed by any who have received it ; then, there being a cautions proceeding in matters of examination, let him be admitted without any acw ordination.
I. And in case any person already ordained minister in Scotland, or in any other reformed church, be defigned to another congregation in England he is to bring from that church to the prefbytery here, with in which that congregation is, a fufficient teftimonial of his ordination, of his life and conversation while he lived with them, and of the causes of his remuval; and to undergo fuch a trial of his fitness and fufficiency, and to have the same course held with him ia other particulars, 'as is let down in the rule immediately going before, touching examisation and admiffion.
12. That records be carefully kept in the feveral presbyteries, of the names of the persons ordained, with their testimonials, the time and place of their ordination, of the prelbyters who did impose hands upon them, and of the charge to which they are appointed.
13. That no money or gift of what kind foever shall be received from the person to be ordained, or from any on his behalf, for ordiDation, or ought else belonging to it, by any of the presbytery, or any appertaining to any of them, upon what pretence foever.
Thus far of ordinary Rules and Course of Ordination, in the ordinary
Way; that which comcerns the extraordinary Way, requifite to be now pra&tised, followeth,
1. In these present exigencies, while we cannot have any presbyte. ries 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 public troubles) the people cannot either themselves enquire, and find out one who may be a faithful minister for them, or have
any with safety feat unto them for such a folemn trial as was before mentioned in the ordinary rules ; elpecially when there can be no presbytery Dear upto them, to whom they may address themielves, or which may come or send to them a fit man to be ordained in that congregation, and for that people: and yet potwithstanding, it is requilite that minifters be ordained for them, by fome, who, being set apart themselves for the work of the ministry, have power to join in the serting apart others, who are found fit and worthy. lo those cases, voil, by God's bleffing, the aforesaid difficulties may be in some good
measure removed, let some godly ministers in or about the city of London be designed by public authority, who, being associated, may ordain ministers for the city and the vicinity, keeping as near to the ordinary rules forementioned, as pullibly 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 prelent 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 ot 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 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 defire the help of such ministers so associated, for the better furnishiog of them with such a person as by them shall be judged fit for the service of that church and people.