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Qs Ordination of Ministers.
considered, either the doctrine of ordination, or the
Rower of it.
Touching the Doctrine of Ordination.
No man ought to take upon him the office of a minister of the word without a lawful calling ".
'Ordination is always to be continued in the church".
Ordination is the solemn setting apart of a person to some
publick church office".
men of their own company to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas, surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren : Ver. 23. And wrote letters by them after this manner: The apostles, and elders, and brethren, send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia. l John iii. 27. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, ex, gept it be given him from heaven. Rom. x. 14. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed and how shall they believe in him of , whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher Ver. 15. And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of goo things Jer. xiv. 14. Then the Lor said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision, and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Heb. v. 4. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. m Tit. i. 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. , 1 Tim. v. 21. Icharge "hee before God, and the Lord Jesús
Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Ver. 22. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men'ssins: keep thyself pure. n Numb. viii. 10. And thou shalt bring the Levites before the Lord, and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites: Ver. 11. And Aaron shall offer the Levités be. fore the Lord, for an offering of the children of Israel; that they may execute the service of the i. Ver. 14. Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel : and the Levites shall be mine. Ver
• 19. And I have given the Levites as a
gift to Aaron, and to his sons, from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague amon
the children of Israel, when the .# ren of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary. Ver. 22. And after that went the ievites in to do their service in the tabernacle of the congregation, before Aaron, and before his sons: as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did they unto them. Acts vi. 3. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this
business. Ver. 5. And the saying It is agreeable to the word
Every minister of the word is to be ordained by imposition of hands, and prayer, with fasting, by those preaching
presbyters to whom it doth belong ".
of God, and very expedient,
that such as are to be ordained ministers, be designed to some particular church, or other ministerial charge P.
He that is to be ordained m
inister must be duly qualified,
both for life and ministerial abilities, according to the rules
of the apostle ".
. He is to be examined and approved by those by whom he
is to be ordained". No man is to be ordained a
pleased the whole multitude; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch : Ver, 6. Whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. o 1 Tim. v. 22. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins : keep thyself pure. Acts xiv. 23. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. Acts xiii. 3. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. p Acts xiv. 23. [See before.] Tit. ..." 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shot:ldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. Acts xx. 17. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. Ver. 28. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." q. 1 Tim. iii. 2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one vite, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach : Ver, 3. Not given to wine, no striker,
minister for a particular con*
not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient; not a brawler ; not covetous : Ver. 4. One that ruleth weil his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity: Ver. 5. (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take cale of the church of God?) Ver. 6. Not a novice, lest, being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Tit. i. 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. Vet. 6. If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having iaithful . children, not accused of riot, or unruly : Ver. 7. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; Ver. 8. But a lover of mospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Vet. 9, Holding fast the faithfiti word, as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to con
gregation, if they of that congregation can shew just cause of exception against him ". ^*
Touching the Power of Ordination.
RDINATION is the act of a presbytery'. The power of ordering the whole work of ordination is in the whole presbytery, which, when it is over more congregations than one, whether those congregations be fixed or not fixed, in regard of officers or members, it is indifferent as to the point of ordination". It is very requisite, that no single congregation, that can conveniently associate, do assume to itself all and sole power in ordination : 1. Because there is no example in scripture that any single congregation, which might conveniently associate, did assume to its; if all and sole power in ordination; neither is there any rule which may warrant such a practice. 2. Because there is in scripture example of an ordination in a presbytery over divers congregations ; as in the church of Jerusalem, where were many congregations: these many congregations were under one presbytery, and this presbytery did ordain. - - The 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 respectively.
Concerning the Doctrinal Part of Ordination of Ministers. 1. 0 man ought to take upon him the office of a minister of the word without a lawful calling ". 2. Ordination is always to be continued in the church ". 3. Ordination is the solemn setting apart of a person to some publick church office 3. 4. Every minister of the word is to be ordained by im
s 1 Tim. iii. 2. A bishop then must that is in thee, which was given thee be blameless, the husband of one wife, by prophecy, with the laying on of the vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, gi- hands of the presbytery. ven to hospitality, apt to teach. Tit, i, u 1 Tim. iv. 14. [See in letter t.] 7. For a bishop must be blameless, as w See before in letter l. the steward of God. a See before in letterm. * 1 Tim iv. 14 Neglect not the gift y See before in lettern.
position of hands, and prayer, with fasting, by those preaching presbyters to whom it doth belong *. 5. The power of ordering the whole work of ordination is in the whole presbytery, which, when it is over more congregations than one, whether those congregations be fixed or not fixed, in regard of officers or members, it is indif
ferent as to the point of ordination *. 6. It is agreeable to the word, and very expedient, that such as are to be ordained ministers, be designed to some particular church, or other ministerial charge". 7. He that is to be ordained minister, must be duly qualified, both for life and ministerial abilities, according to the
rules of the apostle *.
8. He is to be examined and approved by those by whom
he is to be ordained".
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 “.
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 respectively'.
11. In extraordinary cases, something extraordinary may be done, until a settled order may be had, yet keeping as near as possibly may be to the rule 8.
... a See before in letter o. a See before in letter u. * See before in letter p. c See before in letter Q. d See before in letter r. * See before in letter s. f 1 Tim. iv. 14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by Prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. & 2 Chron. xxix. 34. But the priests were too few, so that they could not soy all the burnt-offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves ; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. Ver. 35. And also the burnt-offerings were in abundance,
with the fat of the peace-offerings, and the drink-offerings for every burnt-of: fering. So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. Ver, 36. And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people; for the thing was done suddenly. 2 Chron. xxx. 2. For the king had to: ken counsel, and his princes, and
the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. Ver. 3. For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. Ver.4. And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. Ver. 5. So they established a decree, to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should conse to
* 12. There is at this time (as we humbly conceive) an extraordinary occasion for a way of ordination for the present supply of ministers.
The Directory for the Ordination of Ministers.
IT 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 solemnity, 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. must address himself to the presbytery, 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 him 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 these :
“(1.) That the party examined be dealt withal in a bre“therly way, with mildness of spirit, and with special re“spect to the gravity, modesty, and quality of every one.
“ (2.) He shall be examined touching his skill in the ori“ginal 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, en“quiry shall be made more strictly after his other learning, “ and whether he hath skill in logick and philosophy.
keep the passover unto the Lord God not done it of a long time in such a of Israel at Jerusalem; for they had sort as it was written.