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W E S T M IN S T E R,
With the Adistance of
COMMISSION Ë R S
Church of Scotland,
AS A Part of the Covenanted Uniformity in Religion betwixt
the Churches of Christ in the Kingdoms of Scotland England and Ireland.
WITH An Act of the General Assembly, Anno 1655, Approving the Same. Ezek. xliii. 11. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, foew
them the form of the house, and the fashiun thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof; and write it in their sght, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
Printed in the Year M,DCCLV.
Alembly at Edinburgh, February 10, 1645. Sef. 16.
ACT of the General Asembly of the Kirk of Scotland, approving the
Propositions concerning Kirk-Government, and Ordination of Minifters.
HE general affembly being most desirous and folicitous not only
of the establishment and preservation of the form of kirk-governmeat in this kingdom, according to the Word of God, books of discipline, acts of general assemblies, and national covenant, but also of an uniformity in kirk-government betwixt thele kingdoms, now more Straitly and strongly united by the late folemn league and covenant: and conlidering, that as in former times there did, fo hereafter there may arise, through the nearness of contagion, manitold mischiefs to this kirk from a corrupt form of government in the kirk of England : like as, the precious opportunity of bringing the kitks of Christ in all the three king. doms to an uniformity in kirk government, being the happiness of the present times above the former; which may also, by the blessing of God, prove an effe&tual mean, and a good foundation to prepare for a safe and well grounded pacification, by removing the cause from which the present pressures and bloody wars did originally proceed: And now the affembly having thrice read, and diligently examined the propositions (hereunto annexed) concerning the officers, assemblies and government of the kirk, and concerning the ordination of ministers, brought unto us, as the results of the long and learned debates of the assembly of die vines fitting at Westminster, and of the treaty of uniformity with the commissioners of this kirk there residing; after mature deliberation, and after timeous calling upon and warning of all, who have any exceptions against the same, to make them known, that they might receive fa. tisfaction ; doth agree to and approve the propositions aforementioned, touching kirk.government, and ordination, and doth hereby authorize the commissioners of this assembly, who are to meet at Edinburgh, to agree to, and conclude in the name of this assembly, an uniformity betwixt the kirks in both kingdoms, in the aforementioned particulars, lo foon as the fame shall be ratified, without any substantial alteration, by an ordinance of the honourable houses of the parliament of England; which ratification Thall be timely intimate and made known by the commissioners of this kirk residing at London. Provided always that this act be no ways prejudicial to the further discussion and examination of that article which holds forth, that the doctor or teacher hath power of the administration of the sacraments as well as the pastor: as allo of the distinct rights, and interests of presbyteries and people, in the calling of ministers : but that it Mall be free to debate and discuss these poiats, as God shall be pleased to give further light.
тн Е C O N T E N T S.
O Τ Ε
Of the Church. Of the Oficers of the Church. Pastors. Oiñer Church. Governors. Decons. Of particular Congregations. of ihe Officers of a particular Congregation. Of the Ordinances in a particular Congrega'ion. of Church Government, and the several sorts of Asemblies for
the same.. Of the Power in common of all these Asemblies
. Of Congregational Asemblies, tbai is, The meeting of the Rule ing Officers of a particular Congregation, for the Government
thereof. Of Clasical Asemblies. Of Synodical Amblies. of Ordination of Ministers. Touching the doctrine of Ordination. Touching the power of Ordination. Concerning the Doctrinal part of the Ordination of Ministers. The Directory for the Ordination of Ministers.
Τ Η Ε
Agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster;
examined and approved, Anno 1645, by the General Afsembly of the Church of Scotland, &c.
The PRE FACE,
JESUS CHRIST, upon whose Shoulders the government is,
whose name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (a), of the increase of whose government and peace there shall be no end, who fuis upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establih it with judgment and justice,
from henceforth even for ever; having all power given unto him in heaven and in earth by the Father, who raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand, far above all principalities and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all: be being ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fulfil all things, received gifts for his church, and gave officers necessary for the edification of his church, and perfelling of his faints (b).
(a), Ifa. ix. 6, 7. (6), Mat. xxviii. 18.-20. Eph. i. 20—23. Compared with Eph. iv. 8, il and Pfal. Ixvüi, 18.
of the Church. HERE is one general church visible, held forth in the new testa
The ministry, oracles and ordinances of the new testament are given by Jesus Christ to the general church visible, for the gathering and perfecting of it in this lite, until his fecond coming b.
Particular visible bodies, members of the general church, are also held forth in the new :estament c. Particular churches in the primitive times, were made up of visible faints, viz of such as, being of age, professed faith in Christ, and obedience unto Christ, according to the rules of faith and life, taught by Christ and his apostles; and of their children d.
of ei Cor. xii, 12. For as the body truth in love may grow up unto him is one and hath many members, and in all things, which is the head, eall the members of that one body ven Chrift. v. 16. From whom the being many, are one body: so also whole body fitly joined together, and is Christ. v. 13. For by one Spirit 'compacted by that which every joint are we all baptized into one body, supplieth, according to the effectuwhether we be Jews or Gentiles, al working in the measure of every whether we be bond or free : and part, maketh increase of the body have been all made to drink into one unto the edifying of itself in love. Spirit. v. 28. and God hath fet fome o Gal. i. 21 afterwards I came in the church; first apostles, rencon into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; darily prophets, thirdly teachers; . 22.
V. 22. and was unknown by face after that miracles, then gifts of unto the churches of Julea, which healing, helps, governors, diverfi., were in Christ. Rev. i. 4. John to ties of tongues. Together with the the feven churches in Asia, Grace rest of the chapter,
be unto you, and peace from him bi Cor. xii. 28. See before. Eph. which is, and wbich was, and which iv.
4. There is one body, and one is to come, and from the seven spiSpirit, even as ye are called in one rits which are before his throne, v. hope of your calling: v. s. One 20. The mystery of the seven stars Lord, one faith, one baptism. Com- which thou sawelt in my right hand, pared with v. 10. He that descended and the seven golden candlesticks, is the fame also that ascended up far The seven stars are the angels of the above all heavens, that he might seven churches; and the seven cao. fill all things. v. 11. and he gave dlesticks which thou sawelt, are the some apolles, and some prophets, seven churches. Rev. ii. 1. Unto the and some evangelists, and some paf- angel of the church of Ephesus write, tors and teachers. v. 12. For the These things faith he that holdeth perfecting of the saints, for the work the seven Itars in his right-hand, of the ministry, for the edifying of who walketh in the midst of the sea the body of Christ. v. 13. Till we vee golden candlesticks. all come in the unity of the faith, d Ads ii. 38. Then Peter said unand of the knowledge of the son of to them, Repent and be baptized in God, unto a perfect man, upto the the name of Jesus Christ for the remeasure of the stature of the fulness million of fins, and ye shall receive of Christ. v. 15. But speaking the the gift of the Holy Ghost. v. 41.