[4, October, 1644.]
Names of Presbyters appointed to examine and ordain Presbyters.
Whereas the word Presbyter, that is to say, Elder, and the
word Bishop doe in the Scriptures intend and signifie one and
the same function, although the Title of Bishop hath beene by
corrupt custome 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 joyned
with other Presbyters, wee hold for substance to bee 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 untill hee bee lawfully called
and ordained thereunto"; And that the work of "Ordination,"
that is to say, "An outward Solemne 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 at Westminster) that during
the present exigencies of the Armies, of the Navy and of many
Congregations destitute of able and faithfull Ministers of the
Gospel, and untill a Government of the Church be formed up
to the full power and Worke of it, and the whole course of Ordination of Ministers in an ordinary way bsee et up and settled
for all the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
These persons in the City of London, being Presbyters; viz:
Dr. Cornelius Burges, one of the Assessors of the Assembly,
Dr. William Gouge, Mr. John Ley, Mr. George Walker, Mr.
Edward 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 Offspring, Mr.
Richard Lee, Mr. Timothy Dod, Mr. James Cranford, Mr. Thomas
Horton, Mr. Thomas Clendon, Mr. Arthur Jackson, Mr. Samuel
Clerke, Mr. Emanuel Bourne, Mr. Foulke Bellers, Mr. Francis
Roberts, Mr. Leonard Cooke, or any seven of them being the
whole number present, or any seven or more of them, being the
major part of them that shall bee present may examine, approve,
and ordaine Presbyters according to the Directory for Ordination,
and Rules for Examination hereafter expressed, that is to say
Directory for Ordination.
First. That hee that is to bee Ordained, must addresse himselfe to the Ministers appointed to ordaine, and bring with him
a testimoniall of his taking the Covenant of the three Kingdoms,
of his diligence and proficiency in his studies, what degrees hee
hath taken in the University, and what hath beene the time of
his abode there, and withall, of his age, which is to bee twentyfour years at the least: but especially of his life and conversation.
Secondly. The Ministers appointed to Ordaine shall proceed
to inquire touching the grace of God in him, and whether hee
bee of such holinesse 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 holy Ministry,
and in particular, his faire and direct calling to that place, to
which he is designed.
The Rules for Examination Are These.
Rules for Examination.
1. That the party examined bee dealt with in a Brotherly way,
with mildness of Spirit, and with special respect to the gravity,
modesty, and quality of every one.
2. Hee shail be examined touching his skill in the Originall
Tongues, and Tryall shall bee made by reading the Hebrew and
Greek Testaments, and rendering some portions of them into
Latine; And inquiry also shall bee made after his other Learning, and whether hee hath skill in Logick and Philosophy.
3. What Authours in Divinity hee hath read, and is best
acquainted with, and tryall shall be made of his knowledge in
the chiefe 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 bee proposed unto him, In cases of Conscience, and in the
Chrologie of Scripture, and of the Ecclesiastical History.
4. If hee hath not before Preached in publike, with approbation of such as are able to judge, hee shall, at a competent time
assigned him, and before the Ministers appointed to Ordaine,
expound such a place of Scripture as shall be given him.
5. Hee shall in a competent time also frame a Discourse in
Latin upon such a common place, or controversie in Divinity, as
shall bee assigned him, and Exhibite to the Ministers appointed
to ordaine, such Theses as expresse the summe thereof, and
maintain a Dispute upon them.
6. Hee shall Preach before the People, and the Ministers
appointed to Ordaine, or some of them.
7. The proportion of his gifts, in relation to the place, unto
which hee is called, shall be considered.
Besides the Tryall of his gifts in preaching he shall undergoe
an Examination in the Premises, two severall dayes or more, if
the Ministers appointed to Ordaine, shall judge it necessary.
Thirdly. After which, hee being approved, is to be sent to
the church, or other place where hee is to serve, (if it may bee
done with safety, and conveniency) there to preach three severall
days, and to converse with the people, that they may have tryall
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 dayes appointed for the
making known of his gifts in Preaching, there shall be sent by
the Ministers appointed to ordaine (if it may bee done with
safety and conveniency) a publique Instrument in writing, which
shall publiquely be read before the people, and after affixed to
the Church doore, to signifie 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 meeknesse, what exceptions they have against him; and
if, upon the day appointed, there be no just exceptions against him
the Ministers appointed to ordaine shall proceed to Ordination.
Fifthly. In the day appointed for Ordination, which is to be
performed in that Church where hee that is to bee ordained is
to serve (if it may be done with safety and convenience) a
Solemne Fast shall bee kept by the Congregation, that they may
more earnestly joine in "Prayer to God for a blessing upon the
Person and Labours of his Servant," solemnly to bee set apart to
the Office of the Ministry for their good: The Ministers
appointed to ordaine, 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 esteeme 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 "perswasion 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 "Ministeriall duties"
towards his charge, his Zeale, and Faithfullnesse, in maintaining
the "Truth of the Gospel, and the unity of the Church" against
"Error and Schisme," his care that himselfe and family may bee
unblameable, and examples to the flock, and his Resolution to
continue in his duty against all trouble and persecution.
* Here let them impose their hands on his head.
Seventhly. In all which having declared himselfe, professed
his willingnesse, and promised his endeavours by the help of
God; the Ministers appointed to ordaine, shall "solemnly set
him apart" to the Office and Work of the "Ministery, 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
powering out his Spirit, and giving Gifts to Men, Apostles,
Evangelists, Prophets, Pastours, and Teachers, for the gathering
and building up of his Church, and for fitting and inclining this
man to this greate Worke, to beseech him to fill him with his
holy Spirit, whom, in his name, wee* set apart to this holy
Service, to fulfill the worke of his Ministery in all things, that
hee may both save himselfe and the people committed to his
Eighthly. This, or the like forme of Prayer, or blessing being
ended, let the Minister who preached, briefly exhort him to
consider the greatnesse of his Office and Worke, the danger of
negligence both to himselfe and his people, the blessing which
will accompany his faithfulnesse in this life, and that to come;
and withall 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 maintaine, incourage, and assist him in all the
parts of his Office. And so by prayer commending both him
and his Flocke to the grace of God; after the singing of a
Psalme, let the Assembly bee dismissed with a blessing.
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 Ministera appointed to Ordaine
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.
Persons formerly ordained in Church of England.; Persons ordained in Scotland or other Reformed Church.
And be it further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons,
and by the Authoritie aforesaid, that every Person formerly
Ordained a Presbyter according to the forme of Ordination,
which hath beene helde in the Church of England, and is to be
removed to another Charge, doe bring to the Ministers appointed
to Ordaine for that County where he is to be placed, a Testimoniall of his Ordination, and of his abilities and Conversation,
whereupon his fitnesse for that place whither he is to be
removed, shall be tryed by his preaching there, and (if it shall
be judged necessary) by a further 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 England, he is to bring from that Church, to
the Ministers appointed to Ordaine for that Countie, where he is
to be placed, a sufficient Testimoniall of his Ordination, of his
life and conversation while he lived with them, and of the causes
of his Removall; and to undergoe such a Tryall of his fitnesse
and sufficiencie, and to have the same course held with him in
other particulars as is set downe in the foregoing Rule and
Provision touching the Examination and admission of Persons
formerly Ordained in England.
Registrar to keep records of persons ordained.; No Money or Gift to be received by Ordaining Ministers of Persons to be Ordained.; Fee to Registrar.
And it is further Ordained that Records be carefully kept by
the Register to be nominated by the Ministers appointed to
Ordaine, of the Names of the Persons Ordained, with their
Testimoniall, the time and place of their Ordination, and of the
Ministers who did Ordaine 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 behalfe for Ordination or aught else belonging to it,
by any of the Ministers appointed to Ordaine, or any appertaining to any of them, upon what pretence soever: Except to the
Register for the Entry, Instruments, and Testimonialls of his
Ordination, which shall not exceed the Summe of Ten Shillings
for each Person Ordained.
Persons thus ordained to be considered as lawful Ministers of Church of England.; Indemnity.
And it is yet further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, that
all Persons who shall be Ordained Presbyters according to this
Directorie, shall be for ever reputed and taken to all intents and
purposes for lawfully and sufficiently authorized Ministers of the
Church of England, and as Capeable of any Ministeriall imployment 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 Ordaine, and shall (according to this present Directory) Ordaine any Presbyters, are hereby
declared to performe an acceptable Service to this Church and
Kingdome, and shall have the protection of both Houses of
Parliament for their Indemnitie.
Ordinance to be in force for twelve months only.
Provided That this Ordinance shall stand in force for twelve
Moneths and no longer: Anything in this Ordinance conteyned
to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.