Imatges de pÓgina

Sect. II. Every congregation shall ele&t persons

to the office of ruling elder, and to Mode of electing ruling El- the office of deacon, or either of them, ders, &c.

in the mode most approved, and in use in that congregation'. But in all cases, the persons elected, must be male communicating members in that church, in which they are to exercise their office, Sect. III. When any person shall have been

elected to either of these offices, and How to be or dained. shall have declared his willingness to

accept thereof, he shall be set apart in the following manner,

Sect. IV. After fermon, the minister shall required of Ej. propose to him, in the presence of ders and Dea- the congregation, the following quef

tions : viz.


1. Do you believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, to be the word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice ?

2. Do you sincerely receive and adopt, the confession of faith of this church, as containing the fystem of doctrine taught in the holy fcriptures ?

3. Do you approve of the government and discipline of the presbyterian church, as exercised in these United States ?

you accept the office of ruling elder for deacon as the case may be] in this congrega

4. Do

a i Cor, 14. 40. Let all things be done decently and in


tion, and promise faithfully to perform all the duties thereof ? After having answered these questions in the

affirmative, he shall be set apart, by To be fet

prayer, to the office of elder (or deaPrayer. con as the case may be ;] and the minister shall give him, and the congregation, an exhortation suited to the occasion.

apart by

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Of licensing Candidates, or Probationers, to preach the Gospel. Sect. I. THE holy scriptures require


that some trial be previously Presbyteries had of those who are to be ordainought to License ed to the ministry of the gospel, Probationers.

that this facred office may not be degraded, by being committed to weak or unworthy mena, and that the churches may have an opportunity to form a better judgment respecting the talents of those by whom they are to be instructed and governed. For this purpose presbyteries shall licence probationers, to preach the gospel ; that after a competent trial of their talents, and

b Acts 6. 5, 6.

a I Tim. 3. 6. Not a novice. 2 Tim. 2. 2. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same

M m


receiving from the churches a good report, they may, in due time, ordain them to the paltorai officeb. Sect. II. It is proper and requisite, that can

didates, applying to the presbytery Tefiimonials to to be licensed to preach the gospel, be produced by Candidates ap produce fatisfactory teftimonials of plying to be Li- their good moral character, and of censed.

their being regular members of some particular church. And it is the duty of the presbytery, for their fatisfaction with regard to the real piety of such candidates, to examine them respecting their experimental acquaintance with religion, and the motives which influence them to defire the sacred office. And it is recommended, that the candidate be also required to produce a diploma, of bachelor or matter of arts, from some college or university : or at leaft authentic testimonials of his having gone through a regular course of learning. Sect. III. Because it is highly reproachful

to religion, and dangerous to the Trials in order church,

to intrust the holy minito Lincense.

ftry to weak and ignorant men, the

commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others allo.

b i Tim. 3. %. 3 John 12. mc Rom. 2. 21.

Thou, therefore, who teacheft another, teacheft thou not thyself? &c. in connection with letter a. re

d See letters a and b.

presbytery fball try each candidate, as to his knowledge of the Latin language; and of the original languages in which the holy scriptures were written. They shall examine him, on the arts and sciences; on theology, natural and revealed; and on ecclefiaftical history. And in order 10 make trial of his talents to explain and vindicate, and practically to enforce the doctrines of the gospel, the prefbytery shall require of him, an -exegefis on some common head of divinity; a

presbyterial exercise; a lecture or explication of a portion of feripture; and a popular sermon, or other similar exercises, to be held, at several fucceflive sessions, till they fall have obtained fatisfaction, as to his piety, literature and apt'ness to teach in the churches'. Sect. IV. That the most effectual measures

may be taken, to guard against the The Study of admillion of insufficient men into the Divinity must continue at least sacred office, it is recommended, two Years be

that fore License.

no candidate, except in extraordinary cases, be licensed; unless,

after his having completed the usual course of academical studies, he thall have studied divinity at least two years, under some approved divine, or professor of theology.

ei Tim. 3. 2.- Ipt to seach. See also the foregoing quo tations. f See letter a.

Sect. y. Before the presbytery Engagements proceed to license the candidate, the Probationers, moderator shall require of him the before License: following engagements: viz.

1. Do you believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, to be the word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice ?

2. Do you fincerely receive and adopt the confession of faith of this church, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the holy scriptures ?

3. Do you promise to study the peace, unity, and purity of the church?

4. Do you promise to submit yourself, in the Lord, to the government of this presbytery, or of any other presbytery in the bounds of which

you may be ?

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Sect. VI. The candidate having answered

these questions in the affirmative, Manner of licensing

and the moderator having offered

up a prayer suitable to the occasion, he hall address himself to the candidate, to the following purpose: “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by that authority which he hath given to his church for its edification, we do license you to preach the gospel, wherever God in his providence may call you: and for this purpose, may the blessing of God rest upon you, and the Spirit of Christ fill your heart.

Amen." And record shall be made of the licensure, in the following form: viz.

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