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lified, both for life and ministerial abilities, according to the rules of the Apostle ci
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 Minister for a particular congregation, if they of that congregation can shew just cause of exception against him e. • 10. Preaching presbyters orderly affociated, either in cities or neighbouring villages, are those to whom the imposition of hands doth appertain, for those congregations within their bounds respectively f.
11. In extraordinary cases, fomething extraordinary may be done, until a settled order may be had, yet keeping as near as possible may be to the rule g.
12. There is at this time (as we humbly conceive) an extraordinary occasion for a way of ordination for the present supply of Ministers,
c See before in letter 0.
ced, and all the people, that God d See before in letter r.
had prepared the people; for the e See before in letter f.
thing was done suddenly. 2 Chron. fi Tim. iv. 14 Neglect not the
For the King had taken gift that is in thee, which was given counsel, and his princes, and all thee by prophecy, with the laying on the congregation in Jerusalem, to of the hands of the presbytery. keep the paffover in the second
§ 2. Chron. xxix 34. But the month. v. 3. For they could not priests were too few, so that they keep it at that time, because the could not slay all the burnt-offer- priests had not sanctified themselves ings : wherefore their brethren the fufficiently, neither had the people Levites did help them till the work gathered themselves together to je was ended, and until the other rusalem. v. 4. And the thing pleased priests had fanctified themselves : for the King and all the congregation. the Levites were more upright in V. 5. So they establithed a decree, heart, to sanctify themselves, than to make proclamation throughout the priests. v. 35. And also the all Israel, from Beer sheba even to burnt-offerings were in abundance, Dan; that they should come to keep with the fat of the peace-offerings, the paffover unto the Lord God of and the drink-offerings for every Israel at Jerusalem : for they had burnt-offering. So the service of not done it of a long time in such the house of the Lord was set in a sort as it was written. order. v. 36. And Hezekiah rejoi
The Directory for the Ordination of Minifters.
T 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 folemnity; 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, most address limfelf to the prefbytery, 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.
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 such holiness of life as is requisite in a Minister of the gospel; and to examine himn touching his learning and sufficiency, and touching the evidences of his calling to the holy ministry; and, in particular, his fair and direct calling to that place.
The Rules for Examination are thefe : “ . That the party examined be dealt withal in a brotherly way,
with mildness of fpirit, and with special respect to the gra« vity, modesty and quality of every one.
2. He shall be examined touching his skill in the original tongues, and his trial to be made by reading the Hebrew and “ Greek Teftaments, and rendering some portion of some into “ Latin; and if he be defective in them, inquiry shall be made
more strictly after his other learning, and whether he hath skill « in logic and philosophy,
“ 3. What authors in divinity he hath read, and is best acquaint6 ed with ; and trial shall 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, « especially these of the present age; of his skill in the sense and “ meaning of sach places of Scripture as shall be propofed unto him, « in cases of conscience, and in the chronology of the Scripture, and « the ecclefiaftical hiftory.
" 4. If he hath not before preached in public with approbation of « such as are able to judge, he shall, at a competent 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 controversy in divinity as
* fhall be assigned to him, and exhibit to the Presbytery such theses
as express the sumn thereof, and maintain a dispute upon them.
“ 6. He shall preach before the people, the Presbytery, or 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.
“ 8. Beside thue trial of his gifts in preaching, he shall undergo an " examination in the premisles two several days, and rore, if the “ Presbytery shall judge it necessary.
9. And as for him that hạth formerly been ordained a minister, " and is to be removed to another charge, he shall bring a testimo* nial of his ordination, and of his abilities and conversation, where
upon his fitness for that place shall be tried by his preaching there, “ and (if it shall be judge: neceffary) 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 public intimation in writing, which shall be publicly read before the people, and after affixed to the church-door, to fignify, that such a day a competent number of the members of that congregation, nominated by themselves, shall appear before the Preibytery, to give their consent and approbation to fuch 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 ordinationi.
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 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 servant 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 fake.
6. After the sermon 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 Christ Jesus, and his persuasion of the truth of the reformed religion, according to the Scripture; his fincere intentions and ends in desiring to enter into this calling; his diligence in praying, reading, meditation, preaching, ministering the facraments, diseipline, and doing all ministerial duties towards his charge; his zeal and faithfulness in maintaining the truth of the gospel, and
unity of the church, against error and schisin; his care that himself and his family may be unblameable, and examples to the flock; his willingness and humility in meekness of spirit, to submit unto the admonitions of his brethren, and discipline of the church; and his resolution to continue in his duty against all trouble and persecution.
7. In all which having declared himself, professed his willingness, and promised his endeavours, by the help of God; the Minister like wise Thall demand of the people, concerning their willingness to receive and acknowledge him as the Minister of Christ; and to obey and submit unto him, as having rule over them in the Lord; and to maintain, encourage, and affilt him in all the parts of his office.
8. Which being mutually promifed by the people, the Presbytery, or the Ministers sent from them for ordination, shall folemnly set him apart to the office and work of the Ministry, by laying their hands on him, which is to be accompanied with a short prayer or blessing, to this effect :
“ Thankfully acknowledging the great mercy of God, in sending “ Jesus Christ for the redemption of his people; and for his ascen. ~ sion to the right hand of God the Father, and thence pouring out “ his Spirit, and giving gifts to men, Apostles, Evangelists, Pro
phets, Pastors, 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 Ministry in all things, that he nay
both fave “ himself, and his people committed to his charge.”
9. This or the like form of prayer and blessing being ended, let the Minister who preached, briefly exhort him to conlider 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, accord. ing to their folemn promise made before. And so by prayer com. mending both him and his flock to the grace of God, after singing of a pfalm, let the Assembly be difinifted 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. II. And in case any person already ordained Minister in Scotland, or in any other reformed church, be designed to another congregao tion in England, he is to bring from that church to the Presbytery here, within which that congregation is, a fufficient testimonial of his ordination, of his life and conversation while he lived with them, and of the causes of his removal; and to undergo fuch a trial of his fitness and sufficiency, and to have the same course held with him in
* Here let them impofe hands on his heada
other particulars, as is set down in the rule immediately going before, touching examination and admiflion.
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 foever thall be received from the person to be ordained, or from any on his behalf, for ordi. nation, 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 concerns the extraordinary way, requisite to be now practised, folloreth.
1. 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 ininister 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 fent unto them, for such a folemn 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 fome, who being fet 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 cases, until, by God's blefling, 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 aflociated, may ordain Ministers for the city and the vicinity, keeping as near to the ordinary rules forementioned as poslibly they may; and let this affociation be for no other intent or purpose, but only for the work of ordination.
2. Let the like afsociation be made by the fame 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 aflociated 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 desire the help of such Ministers so affociated, for the better furnishing of them with such a person as by them fhall be judged fit for the service of that church and people.
F IN IS