And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.—Acts 4.32.

[An Ordinance of the English Parliament for Ordination of Ministers pro Tempore.]
 
AN
O R D I N A N C E
OF THE
LORDS and COMMONS
ASSEMBLED
IN PARLIAMENT.

After Advice had with the Assembly of
D I V I N E S, for the Ordination of Mini-
sters pro Tempore, according to the Directory
for Ordination, and Rules for Examination,
therein expressed.


Die Mercurii, 2 Octob. 1644.
Ordered,   that   this   Ordinance   for   Ordination,   of   Ministers   pro
        Tempore, bee forthwith Printed.
H. Elsynge Cler. Parl. Dom, Com.

LONDON,
Printed  for  Ralph  Smith,  and  are  to  bee  sold  at
his shop, at the signe of the Bible in Corne-hill, neere
the Royall Exchange. 1644.


Die Mercurii 2 Octob. 1644.

ORDERED, that this Ordinance for Ordination of Ministers, pro Tempore, be forthwith Printed, and that it be sent to the Assembly of Divines to take care of the printing thereof; And that no man do print the same, but such as shall be thereunto appointed by the Assembly.

H. Elsynge, Cler. Parl. Dom. Com.

October 3.

ORDERED by the Assembly of Divines, That the Scribes of the Assembly take care of the Printing of this Ordinance.



We do appoint Ralph Smith to print this Ordinance,
Henry Robrough,
Adoniram Byfield.

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AN
ORDINANCE OF
THE
LORDS and COMMONS
Assembled in
P A R L I A M E N T:
FOR THE
Ordination of Ministers pro Tempore.
WHEREAS the word Presbyter, that is to say, Elder, and the word Bishop do in the Scriptures intend and signify one and the same Function, although the Title of Bishop hath been by corrupt custom {2} appropriated to one, and that unto him ascribed, and by him assumed, as in other things, so in the matter of Ordination, that was not meet. Which Ordination notwithstanding being performed by him a Presbyter joined with other Presbyters, we hold for substance to be valid, and not to be disclaimed by any that have received it. And that Presbyters so ordained being lawfully thereunto appointed and authorized, may ordain other Presbyters. And whereas it is also manifest by the word of God, That no man ought to take upon him the Office of a Minister until he be lawfully called and ordained thereunto; And that the work of Ordination, that is to say, An outward Solemn setting apart of Persons for the Office of the Ministry in the Church by Preaching Presbyters, is an Ordinance of Christ, and is to be performed with all due Care, Wisdom, Gravity, and Solemnity: It is Ordained by the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament, and by the Authority of the same (after advice had with the Assembly of Divines now convened {3} at Westminster) that during the present exigencies of the Armies, of the Navy, and of many Congregations destitute of able and faithful Ministers of the Gospel, and until a Government of the Church be formed up to the full power and Work of it, and the whole course of Ordination of Ministers in an ordinary way be set up and settled for all the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, These persons in the City of London, being Presbyters; Viz. Doctor Cornelius Burges, one of the Assessors of the Assembly, Dr. William Gouge, Mr. John Ley, Mr. George Walker, Mr. Edmund Calamy, Mr. Daniel Cawdry, Mr. Stanley Gower, Mr. John Conant, Mr. Humphrey Chambers, Members of the Assembly of Divines, Mr. Henry Robrough one of the Scribes of the Assembly, Mr. John Downham, Mr. Charles Off-spring, Mr. Richard Lee, Mr. Timothy Dod, Mr. James Cranford, Mr. Thomas Horton, Mr. Thomas Clenden, Mr. Arthur Jackson, Mr. Samuel Clerke, Mr. Emanuel Bourne, Mr. Foulke Bellers, Mr. Francis Roberts, Mr. Leonard Cooke, or any seven of {4} them being the whole number present, or any seven or more of them, being the major part of them that shall be present, may examine, approve, and ordain Presbyters according to the Directory for Ordination, and Rules for Examination hereafter expressed, that is to say;

First, That he that is to be Ordained, must address himself to the Ministers appointed to ordain, and bring with him a testimonial of his taking the Covenant of the three Kingdoms, of his diligence and proficiency in his Studies, what degrees he hath taken in the University, and what hath been the time of his abode there, and withal of his age, which is to be twenty-four years at the least; but especially of his life and conversation.

Secondly, the Ministers appointed to ordain shall proceed to inquire touching the grace of God in him; and whether he be of such holiness of life as is requisite in a Minister of the Gospel, and to examine him touching his Learning and sufficiency, and touching the evidence of his Calling to the {5} holy Ministry, and in particular, his fair and direct calling to that place, to which he is designed.
 

THE
RVLES for EXAMINATION
ARE THESE:
1. That the party Examined be dealt with in a Brotherly way, with mildness of spirit, and with special respect to the gravity, modesty, and quality of everyone.

2. He shall be examined touching his skill in the Original Tongues, and that Trial to be made by reading the Hebrew and Greek Testaments, and rendering some portions of them into Latin; And inquiry also shall be {6} made after his other Learning, and whether he hath skill in Logick and Philosophy.

3. What Authors in Divinity he hath read, and is best acquainted with, and trial shall be made of his knowledge in the chief Grounds of Religion, and of his ability to defend the Orthodox Doctrine contained in them against all unsound and erroneous opinions, especially those of the present age: Of his skill, In the sense and meaning of such places of Scripture as shall be proposed unto him, In cases of Conscience, and in the Chronology of Scripture, and of the Ecclesiastical History.

4. If he hath not before Preached in {7} public, with approbation of such as are able to judge, he shall, at a competent time assigned him, and before the Ministers appointed to Ordain, expound such a place of Scripture as shall be given him.

5. He shall in a competent time also frame a Discourse in Latin upon such a common place, or controversy in Divinity, as shall be assigned him, and exhibit to the Ministers appointed to ordain, such Theses as express the sum thereof, and maintain a Dispute upon them.

6. He shall Preach before the People, and the Ministers appointed to Ordain, or some of them. {8}

7. The proportion of his gifts, in relation to the place, unto which he is called, shall be considered.

8. Besides the Trial of his gifts in preaching he shall undergo an Examination in the Premises, two several days, or more, if the Ministers appointed to Ordain, shall judge it necessary.

Thirdly, After which he being approved, is to be sent to the Church, or other place where he is to serve, (if it may be done with safety, and conveniency) there to Preach three several days, and to converse with the people, that they may have trial of his gifts for their edification, and may have time and leisure to inquire into, and the better to know his life and conversation.

Fourthly, In the last of those three days {9} appointed for the making known of his gifts in Preaching, there shall be sent by the Ministers appointed to ordain (if it may be done with safety and conveniency) a public Instrument in writing, which shall publicly be read before the people, and after affixed to the Church door, to signify such a day, any member or members of the said Congregation, or any other person or persons whatsoever, or any of them may put in, with all Christian discretion, and meekness, what exceptions they have against him; and if upon the day appointed, there be no just exceptions against him, the Ministers appointed to ordain shall proceed to Ordination.

Fifthly, In the day appointed for Ordination, which is to be performed in that Church where he that is to be ordained is to serve, (if it may be done with safety and convenience) a Solemn Fast shall be kept by the Congregation, that they may more earnestly join in Prayer to God for a blessing upon the Person and Labours of this his Servant, solemnly to be set apart to the Office of {10} the Ministry for their good: The Ministers appointed to ordain, or seven of them shall come to the place, whereof one shall Preach to the people concerning the Office and Duty of the Ministers of Christ, and how the People ought to esteem him for the works sake.

Sixthly, After the Sermon ended, the Minister which hath Preached, shall in the face of the Congregation demand of him who is now to be Ordained concerning his Faith in Christ Jesus, and his persuasion of the Truth of the Reformed Religion, according to the Scriptures, his sincere intentions and ends, in desiring to enter into this calling, his resolution to be diligent in Prayer, Reading, Meditation, Preaching, Ministering the Sacraments, and doing all Ministerial duties towards his charge, his Zeal, and Faithfulness in maintaining the Truth of the Gospel, and unity of the Church against Error and Schism, his Care that himself and family may be unblameable, and examples to the Flock, and his Resolution to continue in his duty against all trouble and persecution. {11}

Seventhly, In all which having declared himself, professed his willingness, and promised his endeavours by the help of God; the Ministers appointed to ordain, shall solemnly set him apart to the Office and work of the Ministry, laying their hands on him, with a short Prayer or blessing to this effect.

Thankfully acknowledging the great Mercy of God in sending Jesus Christ for the Redemption of his people, and for his Ascension to the right hand of God the Father, and there pouring out his Spirit, and giving gifts to Men, Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets, Pastors, and Teachers, for the gathering and building up of his Church, and for fitting and inclining this man to this great Work, to beseech him to fill {12} him with his holy Spirit, whom in his name we [Here let them impose their hands on his head.] set apart to this holy Service, to fulfill the work of his Ministry in all things, that he may both save himself and the people committed to his charge.
Eighthly, This, or the like form of Prayer, or blessing being ended, let the Minister who preached, briefly exhort him to consider the greatness of his Office and Work, and danger of negligence both to himself and his people, the blessing which will accompany his faithfulness in this life, and that to come; and withal let him Exhort and Charge the people in the name of God, willingly to receive and acknowledge him as the Minister of Christ, and to maintain, encourage, and assist him in all the parts of his Office. And so by prayer commending both him and his Flock to the grace of God, after the singing of a Psalm, let the Assembly be dismissed with a blessing. {13}

9. Let such as are chosen or appointed for the Service of the Army, or Navy, or Colleges, or other Charge, be Ordained as abovesaid, in such Church, as the Ministers appointed to Ordain shall think fit; and such Alterations made by the Minister that Ordaineth, from the Exhortation last before prescribed, as the Circumstances of Place and Persons shall require.

And be it further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, and by the Authority aforesaid, that every Person formerly Ordained a Presbyter, according to the form of Ordination, which hath been held in the Church of England, and is to be removed to another Charge, do bring to the Ministers appointed to Ordain for that County where he is to be placed, a Testimonial of his Ordination, and of his Abilities and Conversation, whereupon his fitness for that place whither he is to be removed, shall be tried by his preaching there, and (if it shall be judged necessary) by a farther Examination, and so, without any new Ordination, he shall be admitted, if he be approved as fit for that place: And if any Person Ordained Minister in Scotland, or in any other Reformed Church, be designed to a Congregation in {14} England, he is to bring from that Church, to the Ministers appointed to Ordain for that County, where he is to be placed, a sufficient Testimonial of his Ordination, of his life and conversation while he lived with them, and of the Causes of his Removal; and to undergo such a Trial of his fitness and sufficiency, and to have the same Course held with him in other particulars, as is set down in the foregoing rule and Provision touching the Examination and admission of Persons formerly Ordained in England.

And it is further Ordained that Records be carefully kept by the Register to be nominated by the Ministers appointed to Ordain, of the Names of the Persons Ordained, with their Testimonial, the time and place of their Ordination, and of the Ministers who did Ordain them, and of the Charge to which they are appointed: And that no Money or Gift of what kind soever shall be received from the Person to be Ordained, or from any on his behalf, for Ordination or ought else belonging to it, by any of the Ministers appointed to Ordain, or any appertaining to any of them, upon what pretence soever, Except to the Register for the {15} Entry, Instruments, and Testimonials of his Ordination, which shall not exceed the sum of Ten Shillings for each Person Ordained.

And it is yet further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, that all Persons who shall be Ordained Presbyters according to this Directory, shall be forever reputed and taken to all intents and purposes for lawful and sufficiently authorized Ministers of the Church of England, and as Capable of any Ministerial employment in the Church, with the Rights and Profits belonging thereunto, as any other Presbyters whatsoever already Ordained, or hereafter to be Ordained; And that all Presbyters who are hereby appointed and authorized to Ordain, and shall (according to this present Directory) Ordain any Presbyters, are hereby declared to perform an acceptable Service to this Church and Kingdom, and shall have the Protection of both Houses of Parliament for their Indemnity.

Provided, That this Ordinance shall stand in force for twelve Months and no longer; Any thing in this Ordinance contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.


F I N I S.