Of Ordination, & Imposition of hands.

      CHurch-officers are not only to be chosen by the Church, but also to be ordeyned by Imposition of hands, & prayer. with which at ordination of Elders, fasting also is to be joyned.
      2 This ordination wee account nothing else, but the solemn putting of a man into his place & office in the Church wher-unto he had right before by election before by election like the installing of a magistrat in the commonwealth.

Ordination therefore is not to go before, but to follow election. The essence & substance of the outward calling of an ordinary officer in the Church doth not consist in his ordination, but in his voluntary & free election by the Church, & in his accepting that election. wher-upon is founded the relation between Pastor & flock, between such a minister, & such a people.
      Ordination doth not constitute an officer, nor give him the essentials of his office. The Apostles were elders, without Imposition of hands by men: Paul & Barnabas were officers, before that Imposition of hands. Acts. 13. 3. The posterity of Levi were Preists, & [12] Levits, before hands were laid on them by the Children of Israel.
      3 In such Churches where there are Elders, Imposition of hands in ordination is to be performed by those Elders.
      4 In such Churches where there are no Elders, Imposition of hands may be performed by some of the Brethren orderly chosen by the church therunto. For if the people may elect officers which is the greater, & wherin the substance of the Office consists, they may much more (occasion & need so requiring) impose hands in ordination, which is the less, & but the accomplishment of the other.
      5 Nevertheless in such Churches where there are no Elders, & the Church so desire, wee see not why Imposition of hands may not be performed by the Elders of other Churches. Ordinary officers laid hands upon the officers of many Churches: the presbytery of Ephesus layd hands upon Timothy an Evangelist. The presbytery at Antioch laid hands upon Paul & Barnabas.
      6 Church Officers, are officers to one church, even that particular, over which the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers. Insomuch as Elders are comanded to feed, not all flocks, but that flock which is comitted to their faith & trust, & dependeth upon them. Nor can costant residence at one cogregation, be necessary for a minister, no nor yet lawfull, if he be not a minister to one cogregation only, but to the church universall: because he may not attend one part only of the church, wherto he is a minister, but he is called to attend unto all the flock.
      7. Hee that is clearly loosed from his office-relation unto that church wherof he was a minister, canot be looked at as an officer, nor perform any act of Office in any other church, vnless he be again orderly called unto Office: which when it shall be, wee know nothing to hinder, but Imposition of hands also in his Ordination ought to be used towards him again. For so Paul the Apostle received Imposition of hands twice at least, from Ananias. Acts. 9. 17. & Acts. 13, 3.


1. Acts. 13, 3 cap. 14, 23 I Tim 5, 22
2. Num, 8, 10 Act. 6, 5, 6 cap 13, 2, 3
3. Acts. 6. 5. 6 cap 14. 23
4. I Tim 4 14 Acts 13. 3 I Tim 5. 22
5. Numb 8. 10
6. I Tim 4 14 Acts 13, 3
7. I Pet 5. 2 Acts 20. 28
8. Acts 20. 28

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