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Then the Minister shall, from the pulpit, cxhort the ordained Minister, and
the congregation, in the following manner :
servant in Christ, unto yourself and to all the flock,
“ And you likewise, beloved christians, receive this your minister in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such in reputation: Remember that God himself through þim speakėth unto and beseecheth you. Receive the word, which he, according to the scripture, shall preach unto you, not as the word of man, but (as it is in truth) the word of God. Let the feet of those, that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things, be beautiful and pleasant. unto you. Obey them that have the rule over you, and, submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief : for that is unprofitable for if you do these things, it shall come to pass, that the peace of God shall enter into your houses, and that
you who receive this man in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward, and through his preaching, believing in Christ, shall through Christ inherit life eternal.”
Since no man is of himself fit for any of these things, let us call upon God with thanksgiving:
istry of men, to gather a church to thyself unto life eternal, from amongst the lost children of inen: we bless thee for so graciously providing the church in this place with a faithful minister, we beseech thee to qualify him daily more and more by the holy spirit, for the ministry to which thou
hast ordained and called him: enlighten his understanding to comprehend thy holy word, and give him utterance, that he may boldly open his mouth, to make known and dispense the mysteries of the gospel. Endue him with wisdom and valour, to rule the people aright over which he is set, and to preserve them in christian peace, to the end that thy church under his administration and by his good example, may increase in number ayd in virtue, Grant him courage to bear the difficulties and troubles which he inay meet with in his ministry, that being strengthened by the comfort of thy spirit, he may remain stedfast to the end, and be received with all faithful servants into the joy of his master, Give thy grace also to this people and church, that they may becomingly deport themselves towards this their minister; that they may acknowledge him to be sent of thee; that they may receive his doctrine with all reverence, and submit themselves to his exhortations, To the end that they may, by his word, believing in Christ, be made partakers of eternal life. Hear us, O Father, through thy beloved Son, who hath thus taught us to pray-OUR FATHER, &c.
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RATELY, THIS FORM SHALL BE USED AS OCCASION REQUIRES.
here present, who are chosen to the office of elders and deacons in this church, to the end that we might know whether any person had aught to allege, why they should pot be ordained in their respective offices; and whereas no one hath appeared before us, who hath alleged any thing lawful against them, we shall therefore at present, in the name of the Lord, proceed to their ordination.
But first, you, who are to be ordained, and all those who are here present, shall attend to a short declaration from the word of God concerning the institution and the office of elders and deacons : of the elders is to be observed, that the word elder or eldest (which is taken out of the old testament, and signifieth a person who is placed in an honourable office of government over others) is applied to Two sorts of persons who minister in the church of Jesus Christ: for the apostle saith, " the elders that rule well, shall be counted worthy of dduble honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” Hence is evident that there were two sorts of elders in the Apostolic church, the former whereof did labour in the word and doctrine, and the latter did not. The first were the ministers of the "Word and pastors, who preached the gospel and administered the sacraments; but the others, who did not labour in the word, and still did serve in the church, bore & particular office, namely, they had the oversight of the
church, and ruled the same with the ministers of the word: for Paul, Rom. chap. 12. having spoke of the ministry of the word, and also of the office of distribution or deaconship, speaketh afterwards particularly of this office, saying: "he that ruleth, let him do it with diligence:" likewise, in another place, he counts government among the gifts and offices which God hath instituted in the church : 1 Cor. 12. Thus we see that these sorts of ministers are added to the others who preach the gospel, to aid and assist them, as in the old testament the common Levites were to the priests in the service of the tabernacle, in those things which they could not perform alone: notwithstanding the offices always remained distinct one from the other. Moreover it is proper that such men should be joined to the ministers of the word in the government of the church, to the end, that thereby all tyranny and lording may be kept out of the church of God, which may sooner creep in, when the goveroment is placed in the hands of one alone, or of a very few. And thus the ministers of the word, together with the elders, form a body or assembly, being as a council of the church, representing the whole church; to which Christ alludes when he saith, * Tell the church"_which can in no wise be understood of all and every member of the church in particular, but very properly of those who govern the church, out of which they are chosen.
Therefore, in the first place, the office of the elders is, together with the ministers of the word, to take the oversight of the church, which is committed to them, and diligently to look, whether every one properly deports himsell in his confession and conversation; to admonish those, who behave themselves disorderly, and to prevent, as much as possible, the sacraments from being profaned : also to act (according to the christian discipline) against the impenitent, and to receive the penitent again into the bosom of the church, as doth not only appear from the ahovementioned saying of Christ, but also from many other places of holy writ, as i Cor. chap. 5. and 2 Cor. chap. 2. that these things are not alone intrusted to one or two persons, but to many who are ordained thereto.
Secondly. Since the apostle enjoineth, that all things shall be done decently and in order, amongst christians, and that no other persons ought to serve in the church of Christ, but those who are lawfully called, according to the christian ordinance, therefore it is also the duty of the elders to
pay regard to it, and in all occurrences, which relate to the welfare and good order of the church, to be assistant with their good counsel and advice, to the ministers of the word, yea, also to serve all christians with advice and consolation.
Thirdly. It is also their duty particularly to have regard unto the doctrine and conversation of the ministers of the word, to the end that all things may be directed to the edification of the church; and that no strange doctrine be taught, according to that which we read, Acts 20, where the apostle exhorteth to watch diligently against the wolves, which might come into the sheep-fold of Christ ; for the performance of which, the elders are in duty bound diligently to search the word of God, and continually to be meilitating on the mysteries of faith.
Concerning the Deacons ; of the origin and institution of their office we may read, Acts, 6. where we find that the apostles themselves did in the beginning serve the poor, “ At whose feet was brought the price of the things that were sold: and distribution was made unto every man, according as he had need,
But afterwards, when & murmuring arose, because the widows of the Grecians were neglected in the daily ministration :" men were chosen (by the advice of the apostles) who should make the service of the poor their peculiar business, to the end that, the apostles might continually give themselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the woril. And this has been continued from that time forward in the church, as appears from Rom. 12. Where the apostle, speaking of this office, saith,“ he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity." And 1 Cor. 12. 28, speaking of helps, he means those, who are appointed in the church to help and assist the poor and indigent in time of need; from which passages we may
easily gather, what the deacon's office is, namely, that they in the first place collect and preserve with the greatest fidelity and diligence, the alıns and goods which are given to the poor: yea, to do their utmost endeavours, that many good means be procured for the relief of the poor.
The second part of their office consists in distribution, wherein are not only required discretion and prudence to bestow the alıns only on objects of charity, but also cheerfulness and simplicity to assist the poor with compassion and hearty affection: as the apostle requires, Rom. chap. 12. and 2 Cor. chap. 9. For which end it is very beneficial, that they do not only administer relief to the poor an!
indigent with external gifts, but also with comfortable words from scripture.
To the end therefore, beloved brethren, N. N. that every one may hear, that you are willing to take your respective offices upon you, ye shall answer to the following questions.
And in the first place I ask you, both elders and deacons, whether ye do not feel in your hearts, that ye are lawfully called of God's church, and consequently of God himself, to these your respective holy offices ?
Secondly. Whether ye believe the books of the old and new testament to be the only word of God, and the perfect doctrine of salvation, and do reject all doctrines repugnant thereto ?
Thirdly. Whether ye promise, agreeably to said doctrine, faithfully, according to your ability, to discharge your respective offices, as they are here described : ye elders in the government of the church together with the ministers of the word : and ye deacons in the ministration to
the poor ? Do ye also jointly promise to walk in all godliin ness, and to submit yourselves, in case ye should become i remiss in your duty, to the admonitions of the chnrch ?Upon which they shall answer. Yes.
Then the Minister shall say, The Almighty God and Father, replenish you all with .: his grace, that ye may faithfully and fruitfully discharge Evin your respective offices. Amen. tan The Minister shall further exhort them, and the whole congregation, in the
following manner : Therefore, ye elders, be diligent in the government of it be the church, which is committed to you, and the ministers of te of the word. Be also, as watchmen over the house and mapacity of God, faithful to admonish and to caution every one ths against his ruin. Take heed that purity of doctrine and at ik godliness of life he maintained in the church of God. And, tire ye deacons, be diligent in collecting the alms, prudent and ai ma cheerful in the distribution of the same: assist the oppress
ed, provide for the true widows and orphans, show libei utrality unto all men, but especially to the household of
ce to faith.
Be ye all with one accord faithful in your offices, and n; hold the mystery of the faith in a pire conscience, being
eh good examples unto all the people. In so doing you bene will purchase to yourselves a good degree, and great boldness