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these men as the servants of God. Count the Elders that rule well, worthy of double honor. Give yourselves willingly to their inspection and government. Provide the Deacons with good means to assist the indigent. Be charitable, ye rich; give liberally, and contribute willingly. And, ye poor, be poor in spirit, and deport yourself respectfully towards your benefactors. Be thankful to them, and avoid murmuring. Follow Christ, for the food of your souls, but not for bread. Let him that stole, (or hath been burthensome to his neighbor,) steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Each of you, doing these things in your respective callings, shall receive of the Lord, the reward of righteousness. But since we are unable of ourselves, let us call upon the name of the Lord, saying :
O LORD God and Heavenly Father, we thank Thee that it hath pleased Thee, for the better edification of Thy Church, to ordain in it, besides the Ministers of the Word, rulers and assistants, by whom Thy Church may be preserved in peace and prosperity, and the indigent assisted; and that Thou hast at present granted us in this place, men who are of good testimony, and we hope, endowed with Thy Spirit. We beseech Thee, replenish them more and more with such gifts as may be necessary for them in their ministrations; with the gifts of
wisdom, courage, discretion, and benevolence; to the end that every one, may, in his respective office, acquit himself as is becoming; the Elders, in taking diligent heed unto the doctrine and conversation, in keeping out the wolves from the sheepfold of Thy beloved Son, and in admonishing and reproving disorderly persons: in like manner, the Deacons, in carefully receiving, and liberally and prudently distributing the alms to the poor, and in comforting them with Thy Holy Word. Give grace both to the Elders and Deacons, that they may persevere in their faithful labor, and never become weary by reason of any trouble, pain, or persecution of the world. Grant, also, especially Thy divine grace to this people, over whom they are placed, that they may willingly submit themselves to the good exhortations of the Elders, counting them worthy of honor for their works' sake. Give also unto the rich liberal hearts towards the poor, and to the poor, grateful hearts towards those who help and serve them; to the end that every one acquitting himself of his duty, Thy Holy Name may thereby be magnified, and the kingdom of Thy Son Jesus Christ, enlarged, in whose Name we conclude our prayers :
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN,
HALLOWED BE THY NAME: THY KINGDOM COME: Thy WILL BE DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN: GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD: AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS: AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL: FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOR EVER. AMEN.
OFFICE FOR THE INSTALLATION
OF A MINISTER.
The sermon and usual prayers being ended, the Minister presiding shall say:
BELOVED BRETHREN : it is known unto you
that at three separate times, has been published to you the name of our brother, here present, to learn whether any person had aught to allege concerning his doctrine or life, why he might not be installed Minister of this church : And whereas no lawful objection has been presented, we shall, therefore, in the Name of the Lord, proceed to his installation.
For His own glory in the salvation of men, it hat! pleased our Lord Jesus Christ to institute various offices in His Church. Accordingly, it is declared in Holy Scripture, that our ascended Lord hath given “some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Of these, in the present condition of the Church, the pastoral office is the first both in dignity and
responsibility. It is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ.
It belongs to the Office of a Minister of Christ to present the worship of the people to God; to read the Holy Scriptures in the public service; to feed the flock committed to his charge with the pure Gospel of Christ; to administer the Holy Sacraments agreeably to the institution of Christ; to maintain Christian discipline; to comfort them that are afflicted in mind, body, or estate ; to reclaim the erring, having compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; to teach, direct, counsel as a father, the children; and thus, in all vigilant and faithful service to make full proof of his ministry.
In the discharge of these holy functions, he is entitled to the respect, gratitude, love, and obedience of the people of his charge. It is incumbent on them by the will and command of Him that sent him, to receive him as the ambassador of Christ. By a suitable maintenance to enable him to provide things honest in the sight of all men; to keep him free of distracting care; to guard jealously his reputation; to wait on his ministry with reverence and affection; to help him by generous sympathy, and faithful fellow-working and earnest prayer; to submit to his guidance; to further his work, and to be followers of tim as he is of Christ; as the holy Apostle enjoins :
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief;" and again, “ We beseech you to know them which labor among you and are over you in the Lord, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake."
To the end, then, beloved Brother and fellow-Min: ister of Christ, that it may appear that thou art willing to take the oversight of this flock of God to which He has called thee in His holy providence we demand of thee, in the presence of God and these witnesses :
1. Dost tliou believe the books of the Old and New Testament to be the only Word of God and the perfect doctrine unto salvation, and dost thou reject all doctrines repugnant thereto?
2. Dost thou promise faithfully to discharge thine office according to the same doctrine, and to adorn it with a godly life ; also to submit thyself, in case thou shouldst become delinquent either in life or doctrine, to ecclesiastical admonition, according to the public ordinance of the churches ?
3. Wilt thou with the help of God, fulfil all the duty of a faithful Minister of Christ to this Church, preaching the Word of God in sincerity administering the Holy Sacraments in purity; main. taining proper discipline in the house of God; and using thy whole endeavor to promote the denominational work and welfare of the Reformed Church in America ?