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THE FORM

FOR ORDAINING

MINISTERS OF THE WORD OF GOD.

“The day appointed for Ordination being come, and the Presbytery convened, a member of the Presbytery previously appointed to that duty shall preach a sermon adapted to the occasion. The same, or another member appointed to preside, shall afterwards briefly recite from the pulpit, in the audience of the people, the proceedings of the Presbytery preparatory to this transaction : he shall point out the nature and importance of this ordinance, and endeavour to impress the audience with a proper sense of the solemnity of the transaction."

ADDRESS.

BELOVI

ELOVED brethren, attend to a short declaration

taken from the holy Scriptures, touching the Ministry of reconciliation and the pastoral office.

We are not to look for the origin of this office in human appointment, but in God, our heavenly Father, who, being willing to call and gather a Church from among the corrupt race of men into life eternal, doth, by a particular mark of His favour, use the ministry of men therein. Accordingly, our Lord Jesus Christ, shortly before His ascension to heaven, gave to His Apostles the commission, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: and lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Therefore St. Paul saith that the Lord Jesus Christ hath given "some, Apostles; and some, Prophets ;

Evangelists; and some, Pastors and Teachers: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ.”. Thus we see that the Pastoral office is an institution

and some,

of Christ.

In the Ministry, thus divinely appointed, there is no superiority of rank or diversity of order; but all are possessed of the same authority, dignity, and power : being equally clothed with the right of preaching the Gospel, of administering the Sacraments and discipline of Christ's house, and of ordaining others to. the same office.

What this holy office of Pastor enjoins, may easily be gathered from the very name itself: for, as it is the duty of the shepherd to feed, guide, protect, and rule the flock committed to his charge, so it is with regard to these spiritual shepherds who are set over the Church which God calleth unto salvation, and accounts as sheep of His pasture.

The pasture with which these sheep are fed is the Preaching of the Gospel, accompanied with prayer

and the administration of the holy Sacraments. The same Word of God is likewise the staff with which the flock is guided and ruled. Therefore the office of Pastors and Ministers of God's Word is

First. That they shall faithfully explain to their flocks the Word of the Lord, revealed by the writings of the Prophets and Apostles, and apply the same to the edification of the hearers : instructing, admonishing, comforting, and reproving according to every one's need, preaching repentance towards God, and reconciliation to Him through faith in Christ; and refuting from the holy Scriptures all schisms and heresies which are repugnant to the pure doctrine. All this is clearly signified to us in holy writ: for the Apostle Paul saith that these “labour in the word;" and elsewhere he teacheth that this must be done

according to the measure,” or rule, “ of faith.” He writes also that a Pastor must “rightly divide the Word of Truth.” In another place he proposes himself as a pattern to Pastors, declaring that he hath "publicly, and from house to house, taught and testified repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord

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Jesus Christ." But particularly we have a clear description of their office, where the Apostle thus speaketh : “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the Ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the Word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us : we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”'

So also concerning the refutation of false doctrine, the same Apostle saith, that a Minister must “hold fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”'

Secondly. It is the office of the Ministers publicly to call upon the Name of the Lord in behalf of the whole Congregation. For that which the Apostles say, “We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the Ministry of the Word,” is common to these Pastors with the Apostles : to which St. Paul alluding speaketh thus to Timothy: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and

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giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty; for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour."

Thirdly. Their office is to administer the Sacraments which the Lord hath instituted as seals of His grace. As is evident from the command given by Christ to the Apostles, and in them to all Pastors :

Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Likewise the Apostle, speaking of the institution of the Lord's Supper, saith, “ For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you."

Finally. It is the duty of the Ministers of the Word, together with the other Elders, to maintain the discipline of the Church ; and to govern it in such manner as the Lord hath ordained. For Christ having spoken of the Christian discipline, says to His Apostles: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” This is the reason why the Pastors are in Scripture called “Stewards of God,”! and “Bishops :" for they have the oversight of the house of God, to the end that every thing may be

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