« PreviousContinue »
and his congregation as before directed, shall proceed to hear and issue the cause. agree to the translation, they shall release him from his present charge; and having given him proper 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 no 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 call ?
2. Do you conscientiously believe and declare, as far as you know your own heart, that in taking upon you this charge, you are influenced 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 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 congre
gation. 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 to 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 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.
WHEN vacancies become so numerous in any presbytery that they cannot be supplied with the frequent administration of the word and ordinances, it shall be proper for such presbytery, or any vacant congregation within their bounds, with the leave of the presbytery, to apply to any other presbytery, or to any synod, or to the General Assembly, for such assistance as they can afford. And, when any presbytery shall send any of their ministers or probationers to distant vacancies, the missionary shall be ready to produce his credentials to the presbytery or presbyteries, through the bounds of which he may pass, or at least to a committee thereof, and obtain their approbation. And the General Assembly may, of their own knowledge, send missions to any part to plant churches, or to supply vacancies: and, for this purpose, may direct any presbytery to ordain evangelists, or ministers without relation to particular churches: provided always, that such missions be made with the consent of the
parties appointed; and that the judicatory sending them, make the necessary provision for their support and reward in the performance of this service.
1. It is equally necessary in the judicatories of the church, as in other assemblies that there should be a moderator or president; that the business may be conducted with order and despatch.
II. The moderator is to be considered as possessing, by delegation from the whole body, all authority necessary for the preservation of order; for convening and adjourning the judicatory; and directing its operations according to the rules of the church. He is to propose to the judicatory every subject of deliberation that comes before them.
He may propose what appears to him the most regular and speedy way of bringing any business to issue. He shall prevent the members from interrupting each other; and require them, in speaking, always to address the chair. He shall prevent a speaker from deviating from the subject; and from using personal reflections. He shall silence those who refuse to obey order. He shall prevent members who attempt to leave the judicatory without leave obtained from