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duced, as far as he knows his own heart, to seek the of-fice of the holy ministry from love to God, & a sincere desire to promote bis glory in the gospel of his Son,”—1 Cor. ii. 2. 2 Cor. iv. 5.
If he reply in the affirmative, he shall kneel down, vand “ the presiding bishop shall, by prayer, Acts xiii. 2, -3, and with the laying on of the hands of the presbyterý, 1 Tim. iv. 14, according to the apostolic example, solemnly ordain him to the lioly office of the gospel ministry. Prayer being ended, he shall rise from his knees, and ihe minister who presides shall first, and afterwards all the members in their order, take him by the right hand, saying in words to this purport, “We give you the right hand of fellowship, to take part of this ministry with us.” Gal. ii. 9, Acts i. 25. After which the minister presiding, or some other appointed for the purpose, shall give a solemn charge in the name of God, to the newly ordained bishop, 2 Tim. iv. 1, 2, and to the people, Mark v. 24, Heb. ii. 1, to persevere in the discharge of their mutual duties; and shall then by prayer recommend them both to the grace of God, and his holy keeping; and finally, after singing a psalm, shall dismiss the congregation with the usual blessing. And the presbytery shall duly record the transaction.
Q 7 What are the duties of ruling elders, and how are they to be ordained when elected by the congregation?
A “Ruling elders are properly the représentatives of the people, chosen by them for the purpose of exercising government and discipline, in conjunction with pastors or ministers, 1 Tim. v. 17, Rom. xii. 7, 8, Acts xv. 25. This office has been understood by a great part of the protestant reformed churches, to be designated, in the holy scriptures, by the title of governments; and of those who rule well, but do not labour in the word and sloctrine, 1 Cor. xii. 28. Having declared his willingness to accept the office, assented to the questions concerning the scriptures, the confession of faith, and the form of government as proposed to the minister to be ordained, "he shall be set apart by prayer to the office
of elder, and the minister shall give him and the congres gation an exhortation suited to the occasion.”
Q 8 What are the duties of Deacons of the church and how ordained?
A “The Scriptures clearly point out deacons as distinct officers in the church, Phil. i. 1, 1 Tim. iii. 8–15; whose business it is to take care of the poor, and to distribute among them the collections which may be raised for their use, Acts vi. 1, 2. "To them also may be properly comunitted the management of the temporal affairs of the church, Acts vi. 3, 5, 6.??-and they are inducted into office in the same way as ruling elders, Q. 9
Are any or all these officers temporary? A They are all for life, and cannot be divested of their office, except by suspension or deposition. A bishop may cease to be the pastor of a particular congregation, and an elder or deacon may cease to acts but they are still officers of the church.
Q. 10. How is a probationer or a minister to be settled over a particular congrégation?
A. When the people of a congregation appear to be prepared to elect a minister, notice of a meeting on some subsequent day shall be given from the pulpit on the sabbath; on the day appointed, and after the minister whose assistance has been obtained, shall have preached a sermon, he is to call for the votes of the electors of the cangregation, and if a Pastor is duty chosen, to make out a call to be sent to the Presbytery.If this call when regularly put into the hands of the Pastor, elected by vote of Presbytery, is aecepted by him a day for his ordination or installation is appointed on which and before he is installed, the congregation are to profess their readiness to receive him; promise to ree ceive the truth from his mouth with meekness and love, and to submit to him in the exercise of the government of the church. They are also required to engage to encourage and assist him “ while he is their pastor, and to continue to him a “competent worldly maintenance." When the pastoral relation between a mints
ter and people is to be dissolved, the parties shall be cited to appear before the Presbytery, (the congregation by their delegates,) and if, on hearing them, the Presbytery judges it expedient, they may by vote declare the relationship dissolved"
JUDICATORIES OF THE CHOBCU.
Qi What is the church session? À “The church session consists of the minister, of ministers, and elders of a particular congregation : 1 Cor. v. 4. of whom two Elders, if there be that nunber in the congregation, with the Minister, shall be a quorum to do business.
Q. 2. What are the duties of the church session?
“The church session is competent to the spiritual gov. ernment of the congregation Heb. xiii. 17. For which purpose, they have power to inquire into the knowledge and christian conduct of the members of that church; Ez. xxxiv. 4. to call before them the offenders and witnesses, being members of their own society, and to introduce witnesses from other societies or denominations, where it may be necessary, to bring the process to issue; and, when they can be procured to attend, to admonish to rebuke, to suspend, or exclude from the sacraments, those who are found to deserve the censures of the church 1 Thes. y. 12, 13. to concert the best measures for promoting the spiritual interests of the congregation, and to appoint delegates to the higher judicatories of the church." Acts xy. 2."
Q 3 What is a Presbytery?
A „A Presbytery consists of all the ministers, and one ruling elder from each congregation, within a certain district: and every congregation which has a pastor is entitled to be presented by an elder, if two Pastors, two Elders, but if two congregations be united by one Elder for the two."
Q4 What are the prerogatives ef Presbyteries?
A "The Presbytery hath cognizance of all things that regard the welfare of the particular churches within their bounds, which are not cognizable by the session. Acts xv. 5. They have also a power of recieving and issuing appeals from the sessions, and references, brought before them in an orderly manner Acts xviii. 24, 27. of examining and licensing candidates for the gospel miniistry; 1 Tim. iv. 14. of ordaining, settling, removing, or judging ministers; Acts xv. 28. of examining, and approving or censuring the records of the sessions; of resolving questions of doctrine or discipline, seriously and reasonably proposed; Acts xv. 10. of condemning erroneous opinions, that injure the purity or peace of the church; Acts xv. 22, 23, 24. for visiting particular churches, to enquire into their state, and redress the evils that may have arisen within them; Acts xx. 17. of uniting, or dividing congregations, at the request of the people; and of ordering whatever pertains to their spirtual coneerns of the churches inder their care.” Eph. vi. 18.
Q5 "Is there any scripture warrant for holding Presbyteries?
A The New Testament contains the pattern of a church regularly presbyterated: It holds forth several distinct worshipping assemblies as ONE CHURCH-hava ing ONE COMMON GOVERNMENT; and as a pattein to the whole christian church until the end of time."
Q 6 What is a Synod?
A, A Synod is a convention of Bishops and Elders within a larger district including several Presbyteries."
Q7 What are the duties and powers of a synod?
À “The Synod have power to admit and judge of appeals, regularly brought up from the presbyteries: to give their judgment on all references, and ecclesiastical cases, made to them; to review the presbytery books; to redress whatever hath been done by presbyteries con, trary to order; to take effectual care that presbyteries observe the constitutions of the church; to make such regulations for the benefit of their whole body, and of the presbyteries and churches under their care, as shall be
agreeable to the word of God, and not contradictory to the dicisions of the General Assembly; and to propose for their adoption, such measures as may be of common advantage to the whole church.”
Q8 What is the General Assembly?
À “The General Assembly is the highest judicatory of the church and consists of an equal delegation of Bishops and elders from each presbytery, at present in the fällowing proportion: viz. each presbytery, consisting of not more than 9 ministers shall send one minister and one elder; each presbytery, consisting of more than 9 ministers and not more than eighteen shall send two ministers and two elders; and in like proportion, for every nine ministers, in any presbytery: And these delegates, so appointed, shall bear the title of Commissioners to thá General Assembly.”
Q 9 What are its powers?
A “The Assembly shall receive and issue all appeals and references, which may be regularly brought before them from the inferior judicatories; they shall review the minutes and proceedings of every synod, to approve or censure them; they shall give their advice and instructions, in all other cases submitted to them; and they shall also constitute the bond of union, peace, correspondence, and mutual confidence, among all, our churches
To the Assembly also belongs the power of consulting, reasoning, and judging, in controversies respecting doctrine and discipline; of reproving, warning, or bearing testimony against error in doctrine, or immorality in practice, in any church, presbytery, or synod; of corresponding with foreign churches; of putting a stop to schismatical contentions, and disputations; and, in general, of recommending and attempting reformation of manners; and of promoting charity, truth and holiness, through all the church; and of erecting new sya nods when they judge it necessary."
Q 10. When an appeal is carried, to a higher judicatory is it necessary for all the witnesses in the case: to attend that judicatory?