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fied, both for life and ministerial abilities, according to the rules of the apostlec.
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 hew just cause of exception against hime.
10. Preaching presbyters orderly associated, either in cities or neighbouring villages, are those to whom the imposition of hands doth appertain, for those congregations within their bounds respectivelyf.
11. In extraordinary cases, something extraordinary may be done, until a fertled order may be had, yet keeping as near as possibly may be to the ruleg.
12. There is at this time (as we humbly conceive) an extraordinary occasion for a way of ordination for the present supply of ministers.
See before in letter g.
der. v. 36. And Hezekiah rejoiced, d See before in letter r.
and all the people, that God had See before in letter f.
prepared the people: for the thing f 1 Tim. iv. 14. Negle& not the was done suddenly. 2 Chron.xxx.2. gift that is in theę, which was gi. For the king had taken counsel, and ven thee by prophecy, with the lay- his princes, and all the congregatiing on of the hands of the presby. on in Jerusalem, to keep the passotery.
ver in the second month. v. 3. For § 2 Chron. xxix. 34. But the they could not keep it at that time, priests were too few, that they because the priests had not fanctificould not slay all the burnt-offer- ed themselves sufficiently, neither ings; wherefore their brethren the had the people gathered themselves Levites did help them till the work together to Jerusalem. v. 4. And was ended, and until the other the thing pleased the king, and all priests had fan&ified themselves; the congregation, v. 5. So they efor the Levites were more upright stablished a decree, to make proin heart to fanctify themselves, than clamation throughout all Israel the priests. v. 35. And also the from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that burnt-offerings were in abundance, they should come to keep the palowith the fat of the peace-offerings, ver unto the Lord God of Israel, and the drink-offerings for every at Jerusalem: for they had not burnt-offering. So the service of done it of a long time in such a fort the house of the Lord was set in or- as it was written.
The Directory for the Ordination of Ministers. IT by
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 solemnity: we humbly tender chese directions, as requisite to be observed.
First, He that is to be ordained, being either nominated by the people, or otherwise commended to the presbytery for any place, must address himself to the presbytery, and bring with him a testimonial of liis 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 ewenty 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 him touching his learn, ing and fufficiency, and touching the evidences of his calling to the holy ministry, and in particular his fair and direct cal. ling to that place.
The Rules for Examination are these; 1.' That the party examined be dealt withal in a brotherly way, with mildness of spirit, and with special respect to - the gravity, 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 He• brew and Greek Testaments, and rendering some portion of * some into Latin; and, if he be defective in them, enquiry * shall be made more strictly after his other learning, and whether he hath skill in logick and philosophy. 3. . What authors in divinity he hath read, and is best ac
•quainted with: and trial shall be made in his knowledge of • the grounds of religion, and of his ability to defend the or• thodox doctrine, contained in them, against all unsound and • erroneous opinions, especially these of the present age; of • his skill in the sense and meaning of such places of scrip• ture as shall be proposed unto him, in cases of conscience • and in the chronology of the scripture, and the ecclesiastical « history.
4. 'If he hath not before preached in publick with appro• bation of such as are able to judge, he shall at a competent • time afligned 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 dis• course in Latin, upon such a common place or controversy • in divinity as shall be assigned to him, and exhibite to the pres
bytery such theses as express the sum 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 relatioa to the place un" to which he is called shall be considered.
8. Beside the tryal of his gifts in preaching, he shall un• dergo an examination in the premisses two several days, and • more if the presbytery fhall judge it necessary.
9. ` And as for him that hath formerly been ordained a • minister, and is to be removed to another charge, he shall • bring a testimonial of his ordination, and of his abilities and • conversation, whereupon his fitness for that place shall be • tried by his preaching there, and (if it shall be judged ne* ceffary) by a further examination of him.'
Io 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
occafion 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 fent from the presbytery to the congregation, a publick intimation in writing which shall be publickly read before the people, and after affixed to the church door, to signify that such a day, a competent number of the members of that congregation, nominated by themselves, shall appear before the presbytery, to give their consent and approbation to such 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 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 solemn 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 fervant for their good. The presbytery shall come to the place, or at leait 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 du. ty of ministers of Christ, and how the people ought to receive them for their works sake.
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 perswasion 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, ministring the facraments, disci. pline, and doing all ministerial duties towards his charge; his zeal and faithfulness iņ maintaining the truth of the gospel,
and unity of the church, against error and schism; 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 againit all trouble and perfecution.
7. In all which having declared himself, professed' his wil. lingness, and promised his endeavours, by the help of God's the minister likewise shall 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 allist him in all the parts of his office.
8. Which being mutually promised by the people, the presbytery, or the ministers sent from them for ordination, shall solemnly 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 blesling, to this effect;
“Thankfully acknowledging the great mercy of God, in sending Jesus Christ for the redemption of his people; and • for his ascension to the right hand of God the Father, and • thence pouring out his Spirit, and 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 t: To intreat him ' to fit him with his holy Spirit, to give him (who in his name
we thus set apart to this holy service) to fulfil the work of • his ministry in all things, that he may both save 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 exhorc him to consider of the greatness of his office and work, the danger of negligence both to himself and his people, the blesling which
+ Here let them impose Hands on his Head.