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lified, both for life and ministerial abilities, according to the rules of the Apostle c.
8. He is to be examined and approved by those by whom he is to be ordained d.
9. No man is to be ordained a Minifter for a particular congregation, if they of that congregation can fhew just cause of exception against him e.
10. Preaching presbyters orderly affociated, either in cities. or neighbouring villages, are thofe to whom the impofition of hands doth appertain, for those congregations within their bounds refpectively f.
11. In extraordinary cafes, fomething extraordinary may be done, until a fettled order may be had, yet keeping as near as poffible may be to the rule g.
12. There is at this time (as we humbly conceive) an extraordinary occafion for a way of ordination for the prefent fupply of Ministers.
See before in letter q. d See before in letter r. e See before in letters. fi Tim. iv. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the bands of the prefbytery.
g 2. Chron. xxix 34. But the priefts were too few, fo that they could not flay all the burnt-offerings wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them till the work was ended, and until the other priests had fanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart, to fanctify themfelves, than the priests. v. 35. And alfo the burnt-offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace-offerings, and the drink-offerings for every burnt-offering. So the fervice of the house of the Lord was fet in order. v. 36. And Hezekiah rejoi
ced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people; for the thing was done fuddenly. 2 Chron. XXX. 2. For the King had taken counfel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerufalem, to keep the paffover in the fecond month. v. 3. For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not fanctified themselves fufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to jerufalem. v. 4. And the thing pleased the King and all the congregation. . 5. So they established a decree, to make proclamation throughout all Ifrael, from Beer fheba even to Dan; that they should come to keep the paffover unto the Lord God of Ifrael at Jerufalem for they had not done it of a long time in fuch a fort as it was written.
The Directory for the Ordination of Minifters.
T being manifeft by the word of God, that no man ought to take upon him the office of a minister of the gofpel, 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 these directions as requifite to be observed.
1. He that is to be ordained, being either nominated by the people, or otherwife commended to the prefbytery for any place, must addrefs himself to the prefbytery, and bring with him a teftimonial of his taking the Covenant of the three kingdoms, of his diligence and proficiency in his ftudies; what degrees he hath taken in the univerfity, 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 converfation.
2. Which being confidered by the prefbytery, they are to proceed to enquire touching the grace of God in him, and whether he be of fuch holiness of life as is requifite in a Minifter of the gofpel; and to examine him touching his learning and fufficiency, and touching the evidences of his calling to the holy miniftry; and, in particular, his fair and direct calling to that place.
The RULES for Examination are thefe:
1. That the party examined be dealt withal in a brotherly "way, with mildnefs of fpirit, and with special respect to the gra"vity, modefty, and quality of every one.
"2. He fhall be examined touching his fkill in the original "tongues, and his trial to be made by reading the Hebrew and "Greek Teftaments, and rendering fome portion of fome into "Latin; and if he be defective in them, inquiry fhall be made "more ftrictly after his other learning, and whether he hath skill in logic and philofophy.
3. What authors in divinity he hath read, and is beft acquaint "ed with; and trial fhall be made in his knowledge of the grounds "of religion, and of his ability to defend the orthodox doctrine "contained in them, against all unfound and erroneous opinions, "efpecially thefe of the prefent age; of his fkill in the fenfe and "meaning of fach places of Scripture as fhall be propofed unto him, "in cafes of confcience, and in the chronology of the Scripture, and "the ecclefiaftical hiftory.
4. If he hath not before preached in public with approbation of «fuch as are able to judge, he fhall, at a competent time affigned "him, expound before the Prefbytery fuch a place of Scripture as "fhall be given him.
5. He fhall alfo, within a competent time, frame a discourse in "Latin, upon fuch a common-place or controverfy in divinity as
"fhall be affigned to him, and exhibit to the Prefbytery fuch thefes "as exprefs the fum thereof, and maintain a difpute upon them.
6. He fhall preach before the people, the Prefbytery, or fome "of the minifters of the word appointed by them, being prefent. "7. The proportion of his gifts in relation to the place unto "which he is called fhall be confidered.
"8. Beside the trial of his gifts in preaching, he shall undergo an "examination in the premiflès two feveral days, and more, if the "Presbytery fhall judge it neceffary.
9. And as for him that hath formerly been ordained a minifter, and is to be removed to another charge, he fhall bring a teftimo"nial of his ordination, and of his abilities and converfation, whereupon his fitness for that place fhall be tried by his preaching there, "and (if it fhall be judged neceffary) by a further examination of "him."
3. In all which he being approved, he is to be fent to the church where he is to serve, there to preach three feveral days, and to converfe with the people, that they may have trial of his gifts for their edification, and may have time and occafion to enquire into, and the better to know, his life and converfation.
4. In the last of these three days appointed for the trial of his gifts in preaching, there fhall be fent from the Prefbytery to the congregation, a public intimation in writing, which fhall be publicly read before the people, and after affixed to the church-door, to fignify, that fuch a day a competent number of the members of that congregation, nominated by themfelves, fhall appear before the Prefbytery, to give their confent and approbation to fuch a man to be their minifter; or otherwife, to put in, with all Chriftian diferetion and meeknefs, what exceptions they have against him: And if, upon the day appointed, there be no juft exception against him, but the people give their confent, then the Prefbytery fhall 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 ferve, a folemn fast shall be kept by the congregation, that they may the more earnestly join in prayer for a bleffing upon the ordinance of Chrift, and the labours of his fervant for their good. The Prefbytery fhall come to the place, or at least three or four Minifters of the word fhall be fent thither from the Prefbytery; of which one appointed by the Prefbytery, fhall preach to the people, concerning the office and duty of Ministers of Chrift, and how the people ought to receive them for their work's fake.
6. After the fermon the Minifter 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 fincere intentions and ends in defiring to enter into this calling; his diligence in praying, reading, meditation, preaching, miniftering the facraments, difcipline, and doing all minifterial duties towards his charge; his zeal and faithfulnefs in maintaining the truth of the gofpel, and unity
unity of the church, against error and schifin; his care that himfelf and his family may be unblameable, and examples to the flock; his willingness and humility in meeknefs of fpirit, to fubmit unto the admonitions of his brethren, and difcipline of the church; and his refolution to continue in his duty against all trouble and perfecution.
7. In all which having declared himself, profeffed his willingness, and promised his endeavours, by the help of God; the Minister like wife fhall demand of the people, concerning their willingness to receive and acknowledge him as the Minister of Chrift; and to obey and fubmit unto him, as having rule over them in the Lord; and to maintain, encourage, and affift him in all the parts of his office.
8. Which being mutually promifed by the people, the Prefbytery, or the Ministers fent from them for ordination, fhall folemnly fet him apart to the office and work of the Ministry, by laying their hands on him, which is to be accompanied with a fhort prayer or bleffing, to this effect:
"Thankfully acknowledging the great mercy of God, in fending "Jefus Chrift for the redemption of his people; and for his afcen"fion to the right hand of God the Father, and thence pouring out "his Spirit, and giving gifts to men, Apoftles, Evangelifts, Pro"phets, Paftors, and Teachers, for the gathering and building up "of his church; and for fitting and inclining this man to this great "work:* To intreat him to fit him with his holy Spirit, to give "him (who in his name we thus fet apart to this holy fervice) to "fulfil the work of his Miniftry in all things, that he may both fave "himfelf, and his people committed to his charge."
9. This or the like form of prayer and bleffing being ended, let the Minister who preached, briefly exhort him to confider of the greatness of his office and work, the danger of negligence both to himself and his people, the bleffing 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, according to their folemn promife made before. And fo by prayer com mending both him and his flock to the grace of God, after finging of a pfalm, let the Affembly be difiniffed with a bleffing.
10. If a Minister be defigned to a congregation, who hath been formerly ordained Prefbyter according to the form of ordination which hath been in the church of England, which we hold for fubftance to be valid, and not to be difclaimed by any who have received it; then, there being a cautious proceeding in matters of examination, let him be admitted without any new ordination. II. And in cafe any perfon already ordained Minifter in Scotland, any other reformed church, be defigned to another congrega tion in England, he is to bring from that church to the Prefbytery here, within which that congregation is, a fufficient teftimonial of his ordination, of his life and converfation while he lived with them, and of the caufes of his removal; and to undergo fuch a trial of his fitness and sufficiency, and to have the fame courfe held with him in * Here let them impofe hands on his head.
other particulars, as is fet down in the rule immediately going be fore, touching examination and admiffion.
12. That records be carefully kept in the feveral Presbyteries, of the names of the perfons ordained, with their teftimonials, the time and place of their ordination, of the Prefbyters who did impofe hands upon them, and of the charge to which they are appointed.
13. That no money or gift of what kind foever thall be received from the person to be ordained, or from any on his behalf, for ordination, or ought elfe 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 courfe of ordination, in the ordinary way; that which concerns the extraordinary way, requifite to be now practifed, followeth.
I. In these present exigencies, 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 reafon of the public troubles) the people cannot either themfelves enquire, and find out one who may be a faithful Minister for them, or have any with fafety fent unto them, for fuch a folemn trial as was before mentioned in the ordinary rules; especially when there can be no Prefbytery near unto them, to whom they may addrefs themselves, or which may come or fend to them a fit man to be ordained in that congregation, and for that people: And yet notwithstanding, it is requifite that Minifters be ordained for them, by fome, who being fet apart themselves for the work of the ministry, have power to join in the fetting apart others, who are found fit and worthy. In thofe cafes, until, by God's bleffing, the aforefaid difficulties may be in fome good meafure removed, let fome godly Minifters in or about the city of London be defigned by public autho rity, who, being affociated, may ordain Minifters for the city and the vicinity, keeping as near to the ordinary rules forementioned as poffibly they may; and let this affociation be for no other intent or purpose, but only for the work of ordination.
2. Let the like affociation be made by the fame authority in great towns, and the neighbouring parishes in the feveral counties, which are at the present quiet and undisturbed, to do the like for the parts adjacent.
3. Let fuch as are chofen, or appointed for the fervice of the armies or navy, be ordained, as aforefaid, by the aflociated Minifters of London, or fome others in the country.
4. Let them do the like, when any man fhall duly and lawfully be recommended to them for the miniftry of any congregation, who cannot enjoy liberty to have a trial of his parts and abilities, and defire the help of fuch Ministers so aflociated, for the better furnishing of them with fuch a perfon as by them fhall be judged fit for the fervice of that church and people.