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of the grounds of religion, and of his ability to defend the orthodox doctrine contained in them, against all unsound and erroneous opinions, especially those of the present age; of his skill in the sense and meaning of such places of Scripture 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 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 shall be assigned bim, and exhibit to the presbytery 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 ministry 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 the trial of his gifts in preaching, he shall undergò an examination in the premises two several days, and more, if the presbytery shall 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 (if it shall be judged necessary) by a farther 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 inquire 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 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 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 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 persuasion of the truth of the reformed religion according to the Scripture; his sincere intentions and ends in desiring to enter into this calling; his diligence in prayer, reading, meditation, preaching, ministering the sacramentsf discipline, 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 schism; his care that himself and his family may be unblamable, 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 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 assist, 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 blessing, 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 inclining this man to this great work ;* to'entreat 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 exhort him, to consider of the greatness of his office and work, the danger of negligence both to himself and his people, thè 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, according to their solemn promise made beforé; and so by prayer commending both him and his flock to the grace of God, after singing of a psalm, let the assembly be dismissed 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,
11. And in case any person already ordained minister in Scotland, or in any other reformed church, be designed to another congregation in England, he is to bring from that church to the presbytery here, within which that congregation is, a sufficient testimonial of his ordination, of his life and conversation while he lived with them, and of the cause's of his removal; and to undergo such a trial of his fitness and sufficiency, and to have the same course held with him in other particulars, as is set down in the rule immediately going before, touching examination and admission.
* Here let them impose hands on his head.
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 nioney or gift of what kind soever shall be received from the person to be ordained, or from any on bis behalf, for ordination, or aught else belonging to it, by any of the presbytery, or any appertaining to any of them, upon what pretence soever. Thus far of ordinary rules, and course of ordination in the
ordinary way; that which concerns the extraordinary way, requisite to be now practised, followeth.
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 minister at all; and where (by reason of the public troubles) the people cannot either themselves inquire, and find out one who may be a faithful minister for them, or have any with safety sent unto them, for such a solemn 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 some, who being set apart themselves for the work of the ministry, have power to join in the setting a part others who are found fit and worthy. In those cases, until, by God's blessing, 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 associated, may ordain ministers for the city and the vicinity, keeping as near to the ordinary rules forementioned as possibly they may; and let this association be for no other intent or purpose
but only for the work of ordination.
2. Let the like association be made by the same 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 associ. ated 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 associated, for the better furnishing of them with such a person, as by them shall be judged fit for the service of that church and people.
THE CONTENTS OF THE FORM OF PRESBYTERIAL
particular congregation, for the government thereof.
The Assembly's Declaration of the Falsehood and Forgery of
a lying scandalous Pamphlet, put forth under the Name of their Reverend Brother Master Alexander Henderson, after his Death.
The general assembly of this kirk having seen a printed paper, entitled, “ The Declaration of Mr. Alexander Henderson, principal minister of the word of God at Edinburgh,