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late, by the scripture, according to the analogy of faith, not only their sentiments, but also their language; and, to abstain from all those phrases which exceed the limits necessary to be observed in ascertaining the genuine sense of the holy scriptures; and may furnish insolent sophists with a just pretext for violently assailing, or even vilifying, the doctrine of the Reformed churches.
May Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who, seated at the Father's right hand, gives gifts to men, sanctify us in the truth, bring to the truth those who err; shut the mouths of the calumniators of sound doctrine, and endue the faithful ministers of his word with the Spirit of wisdom and discretion, that all their discourses may tend to the glory of God, and the edification of those who hear them. Amen.
That this is our faith and decision, we certify by subscribing our names.
Here follow the names, not only of the PRESIDENt, asSISTANT PRESIDENT, and SECRETARIES of the Synod, and of the PROFESSORS OF THEOLOGY in the Dutch Churches; but of all the MEMBERS who were deputed to the Synod, as the Representatives of their respective Churches; that is, of the Delegates from
THE ELECTORAL PALATI
LAND, AND OF ZUT
THE PROVINCE OF
THE REPUBLIC & CHURCH
THE REPUBLIC & CHURCH
THE DUCHY OF GELDER
THF STATE OF GRONIN-
THE FRENCH CHURCHES.
ESTABLISHED IN THE NATIONAL SYNOD,
HELD IN DORDRECHT,
YEARS 1618, AND 1619.
ESTABLISHED IN THE NATIONAL SYNOD, HELD IN DORDRECHT, IN THE YEARS 1618, AND 1619.
JOR the maintenance of good order in the Church of Christ, it is necessary there should be certain Offices and Assemblies, and a strict attention to Doctrines, Sacraments, and Usages, and Christian Discipline; of all which the following ecclesiastical ordinances particularly treat:
The Offices in the Church of Christ, are fourfold, viz.
1. The Office of Ministers of the Word. 2. The Office of Teachers of Theology.
3. The Office of Elders.
4. The Office of Deacons.
No person, although he be a teacher of Theology, Elder, or Deacon, shall be permitted to officiate in the ministry of the word, and sacraments, without being
thereunto lawfully called; and whenever any one offends herein, and shall persist after repeated admonitions, the Classis shall determine whether he shall be proceeded against as a schismatic, or punished in some other way.
A lanful call to persons heretofore not engaged in the ministry of the word, consists, 1st. In a free choice made by the Consistory and Deacons, after previous fasting and prayer, and advising with the Classis where it has been customary to apply to them for counsel. 2d. In an examination, or enquiry into the doctrine and morals of the person so elected, which shall be performed by the Classis, in the presence of the deputies of the Synod, or some of them. 3d. In the approbation of the members in full communion with the church to which he is called; for the obtaining of which, the name of such Minister shall be published in the church, three Sabbaths successively, that opportunity may be given for stating lawful objection, if any there be. 4th. In public ordination, in the presence of the congregation, according to the form adopted for that purpose, accompanied with suitable engagements, exhortations, prayers, and imposition of hands by the Minister who presides at the ordination, and such other Ministers as may be present. Provided however, that imposition of hands may be performed by the Classical assembly in the case of persons ordained as missionaries to form congregations in distant settlements, or to serve in churches that are under persecution.
With respect to those already engaged in the ministry, and who are called to another congregation, such call shall be made in manner before mentioned, by the Consistory and Deacons, with the advice or approba