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severe in the discharge of their mutual duties; and shall then, by prayer, recommend them both to the grace of God, and his holy keeping, and finally, after singing a psalm, shall dismiss the congregation with the usual blessing. And the presbytery shall duly record the transaction.
XV. As it is sometimes desirable and important that a candidate who has not received a call to be the pastor of a particular congregation, should, nevertheless, be ordained to the work of the gospel ministry, as an evangelist to preach the gospel, administer sealing ordinances, and organize churches, in frontier or destitute settlements; in this case, the last of the preceding questions shall be omitted, and the following used as a substitute :- viz.
Are you now willing to undertake the work of an evangelist; and do you promise to discharge the duties which may be incumbent on you in this character, as God shall give you strength ?
OF TRANSLATION, OR REMOVING A MINISTER
FROM ONE CHARGE TO ANOTHER.
I. No bishop shall be translated from one church to another, nor shall he receive any call for that purpose, but by the permission of the presbytery.
II. Any church, desiring to call a settled minister from his present charge, shall, by commissioners properly authorized, represent to the presbytery the ground on which they plead his removal. The presbytery, having maturely considered their plea, may, according as it appears more or less reasonable, either recommend to them to desist from prosecuting the call, or may order it to be delive red to the minister to whom it is directed. If the parties be not prepared to have the matter issued at that presbytery, a written citation shall be given to the minister and his congregation, to appear before the presbytery at their next meeting. This citation shall be read from the pulpit in that church, by a member of the presbytery appointed for that purpose, immediately after public worship; so that at least two Sabbaths shall intervene betwixt the citation and the meeting of the presbytery at which the cause of translation is to be considered. The presbytery being met, and having heard the parties, shall, upon the whole view of the case, either continue him in his former charge, or translate him, as they shall deem to be most for the peace and edification of the church; or refer the whole affair to the synod at their next meeting, for their advice and direction.
III. When the congregation calling any settled minister is within the limits of another presbytery, that congregation shall obtain leave from the presbytery to which they belong, to apply to the presbytery of which he is a member: and that presbytery, having cited him and his congregation as before directed, shall proceed to hear and issue the cause. If they agree to the translation, they shall release him from his present charge; and having given him pro per testimonials, shall require him to repair to that presbytery, within the bounds of which the congregation calling him lies, that the proper steps may be taken for his regular settlement in that congregation: and the presbytery to which the congregation belongs, having received an authenticated certificate of his release, under the hand of the clerk of that presbytery, shall proceed to install him in the congregation, as soon as convenient. Provided always, that nó bishop or pastor shall be translated without his own consent previously obtained.
IV. When any minister is to be settled in a congregation, the instalment, which consists in constituting a pastoral relation between him and the people of that particular church, may be performed either by the presbytery, or by a committee appointed for that purpose, as may appear most expedient: and the following order shall be observed therein:
V. A day shall be appointed for the instalment at such time as may appear most convenient, and due notice thereof given to the congregation.
VI. When the presbytery, or committee, shall be convened and constituted, on the day appointed, a sermon shall be delivered by some one of the members previously appointed thereto; immediately after which, the bishop who is to preside shall state to the congregation the design of their meeting, and briefly recite the proceedings of the presbytery relative thereto. And then, addressing himself to the minister to
be installed, shall propose to him the following or similar questions :
1. Are you now willing to take the charge of this congregation, as their pastor, agreeably to your declaration at accepting their cal!?
2. Do you conscientiously believe and de clare, as far as you know your own heart, tha in taking upon you this charge, you are influ enced by a sincere desire to promote the glory of God, and the good of his church?
3. Do you solemnly promise, that, by the assistance of the grace of God, you will endeavour faithfully to discharge all the duties of a pastor to this congregation, and will be careful to maintain a deportment in all respects becoming a minister of the gospel of Christ, agreeably to your ordination engagements ?
To all these having received satisfactory answers, he shall propose to the people the same or like questions as those directed under the head of ordination; which, having been also satisfactorily answered, by holding up the right hand in testimony of assent, he shall solemnly pronounce and declare the said minister to be regularly constituted the pastor of that congregation. A charge shall then be given to both parties, as directed in the case of ordination; and, after prayer, and singing a psalm adapted to the transaction, the congregation shall be dismissed with the usual benediction.
VII. It is highly becoming, that, after the solemnity of the instalment, the heads of families of that congregation who are then present, or at least the elders, and those appointed io take care of the temporal concerns of that church, should come forward to their pastor, and give him their right hand, in token of cordial reception and affectionate regard.
OF RESIGNING A PASTORAL CHARGE.
When any minister shall labour under such grievances in his congregation, as that he shall desire leave to resign his pastoral charge, the presbytery shall cite the congregation to appear, by their commissioners, at their next meeting, to show cause, if any they have, why the presbytery should not accept the resignation. If the congregation fail to appear, or if their reasons for retaining their
pastor be deemed by the presbytery insufficient, he shall have leave granted to resign his pastoral charge, of which due record shall be made; and that church shall be held to be vacant, till supplied again, in an orderly manner, with another minister and if any congregation shall desire to be released from their pastor, a similar process, mutatis mutandis, shall be observed.