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¶ Prayer for God's protection through the night following:
particular, we beseech thee to continue thy gracious protection to us this night. Defend us from all dangers and mischiefs, and from the fear of them; that we may enjoy such refreshing sleep as may fit us for the duties of the following day. Make us ever mindful of the time when we shall lie down in the dust; and grant us grace always to live in such a state, that we may never be afraid to die: so that, living and dying, we may be thine, through the merits and satisfaction of thy Son Christ Jesus, in whose name we offer up these our imperfect prayers. Amen.
HE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.
On Sundays and on other days, when it may be convenient, it will be proper to begin with a chapter, or part of a chapter, from the New Testament.
ARTICLES OF FAITH.
As declared by the Clergy and Laity of the Universalist Church of the United States of America, assembled in Convention at Winchester, in the State of New Hampshire, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and three:
ARTICLE I. We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest, and final destination of mankind.
ART. II. We believe that there is one God, whose nature is love; revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of grace; who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.
ART. III. We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected; and that believers ought to be careful to maintain order and practise good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men.
THE FORM AND MANNER OF ORDAINING
¶ When the day appointed for the Ordination is come, after Morning Prayer is ended, there shall be a Sermon or Exhortation appropriate to the occasion. Then the fact of the examination of the candidates according to the custom of the Church, and their being found worthy of Ordination, having been reported, the Minister thereunto appointed shall say unto the people
LOOD people, these are they whom we purpose, God willing, to re
examination, we find not to the contrary, but that they are lawfully called to their function and ministry, and that they are persons meet for the same. But yet if there be any of you, who knoweth any impediment or notable crime in any of them, for the which he ought not to be received into this holy ministry, let him come forth in the name of God, and show what the crime or impediment is.
¶ And if any crime or impediment shall be objected, the Ordination shall be deferred until such time as the accused shall be found clear. If not, then shall be said the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel, as followeth :
God, of all good things, who by Holy Spirit
hast appointed divers orders of ministers in the Church: mercifully behold these thy servants, now called to the office of the Minis try: and so replenish them with the truth of thy doctrine, and adorn them with innocency of life, that both by word and good example they may faithfully serve thee in this office, to the glory of thy Name, and the edification of thy Church, through our Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. Ephes. iv. 7.
The Gospel. St. Matt. ix. 36. St. John, x. 1.
¶ Then the Minister shall say unto them as followeth ;
YE have heard, brethren, as well in your private examination, as in
the exhortation which was now made to you, and in the holy lessons taken out of the Gospel, and the writings of the apostles, of what dignity, and of how great importance this office is, whereunto ve are called. And now again we exhort you, in the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that ye have in remembrance, into how high a dignity, and to how weighty an office and charge ye are called: that is to say, to be messengers, watchmen, and stewards of the Lord; to teach, and to premonish, to feed and to provide for the Lord's family; to seek for Christ's sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this naughty world, that they may be saved through Christ forever.
Have always therefore printed in your remembrance how great a treasure is committed to your charge. For they are the sheep of Christ, for whom he shed his blood. And if it shall happen that the church, or any member thereof, do take any hurt or hindrance by reason of your negligence, ye know the greatness of the fault, and also the punishment that will ensue. Wherefore consider with yourselves the end of the ministry; and see that ye never cease your labor, your care and diligence, until ye have done all that lieth in you, according to your bounden duty, to bring all such as are or shall be committed to your charge unto that agreement in the faith and knowledge of God, and to that ripeness and perfectness of age in Christ, that there be no place left among you, either for error in religion, or for viciousness in life.
Forasmuch then as your office is both of so great excellency, and of so great difficulty, ye see with how great care and study ye ought to apply yourselves, as well to show yourselves dutiful and thankful unto that Lord, who hath placed you in so high a dignity; as also to beware that neither you yourselves offend, nor be occasion that others offend. Howbeit, ye cannot have a mind and will thereto of yourselves; for that will and ability is given of God alone: therefore ye ought, and have need, to pray earnestly for his Holy Spirit. And seeing that ye cannot by any other means compass the doing of so weighty a work, pertaining to the salvation of man, but with doctrine and exhortation taken out of the Holy Scriptures, and with a life agreeable to the same; consider how studious ye ought to be in reading and learning the Scriptures, and in framing the manners both of yourselves, and of them that specially pertain unto you, according to the rule of the same Scriptures; and for this selfsame cause, how ye ought to forsake and set aside, as much as ye may, all worldly cares and studies.
We have good hope that ye have well weighed these things with yourselves, long before this time; and that ye have clearly determined, by God's grace, to give yourselves wholly to this office, whereunto it hath pleased God to call you: so that, as much as lieth in you, ye will apply yourselves wholly to this one thing, and draw all your cares aud studies this way; and that ye will continually pray to God the Father, by the mediation of our only Saviour Jesus Christ, for the heavenly assistance of the Holy Ghost; that, by daily reading and weighing the Scriptures, ye may wax riper and stronger in your ministry; and that ye may so endeavor yourselves, from time to time, to sanctify the lives of you and yours, and to fashion them after the rule and doctrine of
Christ, that ye may be wholesome and godly examples and patterns for the people to follow.
And now, that this present congregation of Christ may also understand your minds and wills in these things, and that this your promise may the more move you to do your duties; ye shall answer plainly to these things, which we, in the name of God, and of his Church, shall demand of you touching the same.
Do you think, in your heart, that you are truly called, according to
the will of our Jesus Christ, and according to the customs of this Church, to the work of the Ministry?
Answer. I think it.
RE you persuaded that the Holy Scriptures contain all doctrine re
quired as necessary for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined, out of the said Scriptures to instruct the people committed to your charge, and to teach nothing as necessary to eternal salvation, but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the Scripture?
Answer. I am so persuaded, and have so determined, by God's grace.
ILL you then give your faithful diligence always so to minister as the Lord hath commanded, so that you may teach the people committed to your charge with all diligence to keep and observe the same? Answer. I will so do, by the help of the Lord.
WILL you be ready, with all faithful diligence, to use both public and private monitions and exhortations, as well to the sick as to the whole, within your cures, as need shall require, and occasion shall be given ?
Answer. I will, the Lord being my helper.
ILL you be diligent in prayers, and in reading the holy Scriptures, and in such studies as help to the knowledge of the same, laying aside the study of the world and the flesh?
Answer. I will endeavor so to do, the Lord being my helper.
ILL you be diligent to frame and fashion your own selves, and your families, according to the doctrine of Christ; and to make
both yourselves and them, as much as in you lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ?
Answer. I will apply myself thereto, the Lord being my helper.
maintain and set forwards, as much as lieth in you,
quietness, peace, and love, among all Christian pecple, and especially among them that are or shall be committed to your charge? Answer. I will so do, the Lord being my helper.
Then shall the Minister standing up, say:
LMIGHTY God, who hath given you this will to do all these things; grant also unto you strength and power to perform the same; that he may accomplish his work which he hath begun in you: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then the Minister shall say:
ECEIVE the office and the work of a Minister of the Church of God, and be a faithful dispenser of his word and of his holy Sacraments, through the strength and merits of his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.
¶ Then a Hymn, Anthem, or Psalm may be sung:
¶ Then shall be said the following Benediction:
HE peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of Almighty God be amongst you, and remain with you always. Amen.
THE FORM OF INSTALLATION OF MINISTERS OVER PARISHES OR CHURCHES.
When the day of Installation is come, the officiating Minister, Candidate and People being seated in the Church, the Minister appointed shall read the Morning Service:
Psalm cxxii. Psalm cxxxii, Psalm cxxxiii.