Full Transcript for the Minutes of the Proceedings of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the State of Virginia, 1833
Compiled by: Jennifer Downey, April 2011
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN SYNOD
State of Virginia;
CONVENED AT NEW-MARKET,
Shenandoah County, Va.
October 13, 14 & 15, 1833.
PRINTED AT THE REPUBLICAN OFFICE.
NEW-MARKET, Shenandoah Co. Va.
Friday, October 11, 1833.
On Friday the 11th of October, a number of the brethren of the Virginia Synod, met, agreeably to an appointment at New-Market. And at candlelight, the Rev. A. Babb preached from Heb. iv. 7.
Saturday, 9 o’clock, A. M. October 12.
On Saturday morning, the Rev. J. P. Cline preached in the German language, from Rev. ii. 1-7.
At 2 o’clock, P. M. the Rev. J. Hoover preached in the English language, from Rev. iii. 5.
And at candlelight, the Rev. J. Ulrich preached in the English language, from Rev. iii. 5.
Sunday, 9 o’clock, A. M. October 13.
On Sabbath morning, at half past 9 o’clock, A. M. the Rev. J. Ulrich preached in the German language, from Matt. xi. 28.
And at the same time, the Rev. Me. Scull preached in the Methodist Episcopal Church, from Dan. xii. 2.
At nine o’clock. A. M. the Rev. Mr. Cline preached in the English language, in the Lutheran Church, from Ps. xix. 7, after which, the sacrament of the Lord’s supper was administered to the clergymen composing the Synod, and to the members of the congregation.
At 3 o’clock, P. M. the Rev. J. Miller preached in the English language, from Matt. xiii. 44, 45, 46.
And at candlelight, the Rev. J. T. Tabler preached from ii. Kings, v. 12.
Monday, 9o’clock, A.M. October 14.
At 9 o’clock, the secretary, the Rev. Mr. Cline organized the Synod by singing an appropriate hymn, and by offering up a prayer to Almighty God. The president, ex-officio, having appointed a secretary, pro tempore, the names of the clergymen were called.
The following gentlemen answered to their names:-
Rev. J.P. Cline, – Smithsburg, Wash’n co. Md
“ J.P. Dagey, – Pendleton county, Va.
“ T. Miller, - Bottetourt county.
“ Wm. Scull, - Madison C. H.
“ A. Babb, - Staunton.
“ J. T. Tabler, - Frederick county.
“ S. Oswald, - New-Market.
“ J. Hoover, - Rock’ham co., (Cross Keys.)
“ J. Ulrich, - Woodstock.
The Rev. Messrs. N. Schmucker, D. J. Hauer, and Walter were absent.
The following gentlemen presented credentials of their appointment as lay delegates, and were received as members of the Synod.
Adam Keister, - Strasburg, Shenandoah co.
Jacob Hahn, - Shenandoah county.
Adam Wagoner, - Pandleton county.
Adam Wayland, - Madison C. H.
Michael Miller, - Botetourt county.
John Zirkle, - New-Market.
George Shue, - Augusta county.
George Arey, - Rockingham county.
An election of officers for the ensuing year being the next thing in order, the brethren were requested to prepare their tickets.
The votes having been taken, it appeared, that the Rev. J. P. Cline was elected president ; the Rev. Wm. Scull, secretary ; and the Rev. S. Oswald, treasurer.
The minutes of the last Synod, having been read, the president requested, that the papers, intended for the Synod, should be presented.
The papers having been presented, and arranged, committees were appointed to examine, and report on them.
Committee NO. 1. Consisted of Rev. T. Miller, Rev. J. Hoover, Messrs. George Shue, and Jacob Hahn.
“ “ No. 2. Consisted of Rev. J. T. Tabler, and Mr. Michael Miller.
“ “ No. 3. Consisted of Rev. S. Oswald, Rev. J. Ulrich, Rev. W. Scull, and Messrs. A. Keister, and J. Zirkle.
“ “ No. 4. Consisted of Rev. J. Hoover and Mr. G. Arey.
The Synod adjourned to meet again at 2 o’clock ; prayer by Rev. J. Hoover.
At 11 o’clock, A. M. the Rev. Wm. Scull preached from Luke xviii 1-7 ; and the Rev. Mr. Thornton, of the Presbyterian church, delivered a very fervent address.
After preaching, the Rev. J. P. Dagey, was, agreeably to a resolution of a former Synod, ordained.
Monday, 3 o’clock, P. M. Oct. 14.
The session of the Synod was opened by a prayer from the Rev. T. Miller.
The Synod being prepared for business, the committees were requested to make their reports.
Committee No. 1. reported :
That letter No. 1, is a communication from the Rev. Mr. Walter in which he states, that bodily indisposition has prevented him from attending the meeting of the Synod, and prays to be excused.
That letter, No. 2, is a communication from the members of Zion’s church, Bottetourt county, in which they express their cordial approbation of their present pastor, the Rev. Mr. Miller, and desire that he may be continued among them. They also request that the next meeting of the Synod, be held in their congregation.
That letter No. 3, is a communication from the Rev. B. Kurtz, editor of the Lutheran Observer, in which he expresses an earnest desire, that the Synod of Virginia, would take into consideration the wants of the church, relative to a religious paper. The committee recommends, that the letter from the Rev. B. Kurtz, be read before the Synod.
That letter No. 4, is a communication from the Rev. D. J. Hauer, in which he states, that he is unable to attend the meeting of the Synod, in consequence of unforeseen events ! and prays to be excused ! ! He sends his parochial report, and desires the Synod to meet next year in his congregation.
That letters No’s. 5 & 6, are communications from the congregations of the Rev. T. Miller, in which they state that the labors of their pastor are blessed, and the interest of the church promoted.
The report of the committee having been read, it was
Resolved, That the excuses of the Rev. Messrs. Walter and Hauer be sustained.
Resolved, That the ministers of this Synod, recommend the “Lutheran Observer,” to the patronage of their people, and that they individually exert themselves to increase the number of its subscribers.
Committee No. 2, reported :
That there is nothing in the minutes of the West Pennsylvania Synod, which relates to the Synod of Virginia, but an acknowledgement of its minutes.
The Synod is also informed, that there were seven copies of minutes of West Pennsylvania Synod, received.
Committee No. 3, which was appointed to draught a constitution for the Synod of Virginia, informed the president, that they were not prepared to report.
Committee No. 4, reported :
That they examined the treasurer’s account, and found it correct.
The committee reports also, that there are ninety dollars and fifty-three cents in the treasury.
The Rev. W. M. Atkinson, agent for the Bible Society of Virginia, having been introduced, received permission to address the Synod on the nature of his mission.
The agent informed the Synod of a resolution of the Virginia Bible Society, in which a promise is made, to raise twenty thousand dollars with a view to aid in supplying every destitute family in the world, if practicable, with a copy of the sacred scriptures.
The agent described also very happily the tendency of benevolent operations and pressed the duty of christians to aid in furnishing the world with the Bible.
The Rev. Mr. Atkinson, having finished his address, it was
Resolved, That this Synod highly approve of the christian and philanthropic views of the Bible Society of Virginia, and cordially recommend the people of their charge to co-operate with it, in carrying its benevolent designs into execution.
The Synod adjourned to meet at 8’oclock, A. M. : prayer by the Rev. Mr. Ulrich.
The Synod having adjourned, the Ministerium met, and resolved to ordain Messrs. J. T. Tabler and W. Scull.
At candlelight, the Rev. Mr. Atkinson addressed the congregation, and urged the pressing wants of the heathen, and the importance of a spirit of liberality amongst christians.
After the Rev. Mr. Atkinson had concluded his address, the president of the Synod pronounced a short discourse on the subject of ordination, and then the Ministerium, in accordance with a resolution, that had been passed, ordained the candidates, Messrs. Tabler and Scull.
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Tuesday, 9 o’clock, A. M. Oct 15.
The session of the Synod was opened by prayer from the Rev. Mr. Dagey
The brethren, having been requested to present the contributions they had collected for the Synod during the last year, the following sums were accordingly received :
Rev. N. Schmucker, - $5 00
“ D. J. Hauer, - 6 00
“ T. Miller, - 18 50
“ Wm. Scull, - 22 00
“A Babb, - 6 50
“ S. Oswald, - 10 11
“ J. Ulrich, - 8 00
Strasburg congregation, - 5 00
Upper Tract congregation, Pendleton co. – 1 50
Balance in the treasury, - 90 53
The following parochial reports, were presented to the Synod :
Cong’tions Bapt’d. Conf’d. Comm’ts. Burials S. S.
Rev. N.Schmucker, 2
“ D. J. Hauer, 1 86 45 218 22 1
“ J. P. Dagey, 3 44 5 65 11 1
“ T. Miller, 4 22 2 200 8
“ W. Scull, 1 24 10 70 4 2
“ J. T. Tabler, 3 14 125 3
“ S. Oswald, 4 6 300 4
“ A. Babb, 2 30 60 275 1
“ J. Hoover, 5 23 26 250 1
“ J. Ulrich, 4 28 23 170 6 1
29 277 171 1673 50 5
In addition to the congregations, that have been reported, there are about 15 congregations in Virginia, which are vacant,
A letter from the Rev. J. G. Morris was read, in which the Synod was informed, that the seal, which had been ordered for the Virginia Synod, was finished. Whereupon it was
Resolved, That the seal, which has been prepared for the Virginia Synod, be procured by the treasurer, and that, he is hereby authorized to pay the artist for it.
The subject of vacant congregations having been discussed, it was
Resolved, That the brethren, living in the neighborhood of destitute congregations, which are within the bounds of this Synod, appoint special conferences, during week days, for the purpose of edifying and keeping together our churches thus situated, until they can be regularly supplied.
A report from the vestry of the Strasburg congregation was read, in which, the Synod was desired to take some active measures to prevent Sabbath-breaking and intemperance.
A report also, spoke favourably of Sunday schools. Accordingly, it was
Resolved, That this Synod, highly approves of benevolent efforts of the members of the Strasburg congregation and recommends them to persevere in their laudable exertions.
The merits of the Sunday school system, having been discussed, it was
Resolved, That this Synod earnestly recommends the people of their charge, to co-operate with their ministers in the organization of Sunday schools, and that the Evangelical Lutheran catechism, if practicable, be introduced into them.
The difficulties and disturbances, arising from giving a general invitation at the sacrament of the Lord’s supper were stated, and discussed. –
After which it was
Resolved, That it be left to each church council to determine, whether they will have open communion or not.
The committee appointed to draught a constitution, informed the Synod, they were prepared to report. It was therefore
Resolved, That the constitution, as prepared by the committee, be read, and afterwards each article, be separately considered.
The Synod adjourned to meet at half past one o’clock : prayer by the Rev. Mr. Oswald.
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Tuesday, half past one o’clock, P. M. Oct 15.
The session of the Synod, was opened by prayer from the Rev. Mr. Scull.
The constitution was again considered, and adopted article by article, with some alterations and amendments.
The constitution having been adopted, it was
Resolved, That it should be printed in connection with the minutes of the Synod.
Resolved, That 300 copies of the minutes of the Synod be printed in the English, and 150 copies in the German language.
Resolved, That six copies of the minutes of this Synod, be sent to each Evangelical Lutheran Synod in the United States.
The business of the Synod being finished, the place of meeting for next year was considered.
Petitions were presented to the Synod from Woodstock, and from Loudoun, Bottetourt, and Madison counties, requesting that the next meeting of the Synod, might be held in their congregations.
An election, by ballot, having been held, it was decided, that the next annual meeting of the Synod should be held at Madison Court-house, on the second Sunday of October 1834.
The Synod then adjourned, and the president upon bended knees, returned thanks to God for his protection.
Love and harmony prevailed among the brethren. All seemed anxious to promote the kingdom of Christ. Unanimity of feeling and sentiment characterized the proceedings of the Synod. Some of the advantages of having been educated together, were realized. A good spirit animated the hearts of the brethren. A mutual interest was manifested and felt. – A brother’s prosperity excited joy; and his misfortune, grief. We met as brethren – we parted as brethren. And our united prayers ascend to the Great Head of the church, that he would watch over the infant Synod of Virginia.
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Session of the Ministerium.
Resolved, That the license of the candidates, Messrs. Babb, Oswald, Hoover and Ulrich, be renewed.
Resolved. That the Rev. T. Miller, receive the license of a pastor.
Resolved, That the candidates, Messrs. A. Babb, S. Oswald, J. Hoover and J. Ulrich, be ordained at the next annual meeting of the Synod.
WM. Scull, Secretary.
Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Virginia.
[As adopted at its session in New-Market, October, 15th, 1883.]
Sec. I. This synod shall be known by the name of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Virginia.
II. The object of this synod shall be to promote the interests of the church and preserve its purity.
III. This synod shall consist of ministers and licensed candidates, and an equal number of lay-delegates.
IV. The number of lay-votes can never exceed that of the ordained clergymen and licentiates : and if a lay-delegate be present from a district from which there is no minister present in the synod, he shall have a seat and the liberty of speech, but no vote.
V. It shall be the duty of this synod, to see that the rules of government and discipline prescribed in this formula, are observed by all the congregations and ministers within its bounds, to receive appeals from decisions of church-councils, and of committees when regularly brought before them, and review and reverse or confirm the decisions to which they refer ; to examine and decide on all charges against ministers and licentiates ; to attend to any business relating to their churches, which is regularly brought before them, to provide supplies for destitute congregations, and to devise and execute all suitable measures for the promotion of piety and the general prosperity of the church, not otherwise disposed of in this formula.
VI. To this end the synod and ministerium shall have power to cite any church-members within their bounds to appear before them ; and to endeavor to obtain other witnesses, when the case may require it.
VII. If any congregation, hitherto in connexion with this synod, shall refuse to observe its resolutions or the provisions of this formula, it shall be excluded from connexion with this synod during the time of its refusal.
VIII. Any congregation may become connected with this synod by ac-
ceding to the provisions of this formula, and making some annual contribution towards defraying its necessary expense. For this purpose an annual collection ought to be held in each congregation.
IX. At least one meeting of this synod shall be held every year, at such time and place as may be determined on.
X. No minister or licentiate shall be absent from the meeting of the synod without the most urgent necessity. In case of his absence, he shall, if possible, send to the synod a written apology, for his absence. Voluntary ministerial engagements shall not be regarded as a sufficient excuse. Any minister or licentiate violating the provisions of this section, shall be called to account by the president at the next meeting.
XI. These written apologies, as well as all other letters and papers intended for the synod or ministerium, ought to be addressed to the president.
XII. The minister of the place in which the synod is held, with the church council, shall endeavor to provide for the entertainment of the ministers, candidates and lay-delegates by christian friends.
XIII. All the members of the synod shall endeavor to assemble on the evening preceding the day appointed.
XVI. Divine worship shall be celebrated, during the meeting of the synod, as often as may be convenient, and consistent with the business of the Synod.
XV. Ministers in good standing in other synods, or in sister churches, who may happen to be present, or who appear as delegates from said bodies, may be received as advisory members, but cannot vote in any decisions of the Synod.
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OFFICERS OF THE SYNOD.
SEC. I. The officers of this synod shall be a president, secretary, and a treasurer, who are also officers of the ministerium, with the exception of the treasurer.
II. All these officers, shall be annually chosen by ballot, from among the ordained ministers regularly belonging to the synod, by a majority of the votes of the ministers, licentiates, and lay-delegates present. The same persons shall not be eligible for more than three successive years.
III. The president shall deliver a synodical discourse at the meeting of every synod : and he shall, in connexion with the pastor of the place, appoint the other individuals who are to preach during the session.
IV. He shall at the beginning of every synod, make a written report of all the official business transacted, and letters received by him since the last meeting, and of all the important events which have occurred relating to the synod, and may recommend for its consideration any measures, which he may deem necessary or calculated to promote the cause of God. This
report shall be laid on the table, and dealt with as with all other papers coming before the synod.
V. He shall preside at all the meetings of the synod and ministerium.
VI. The president has a right to take part in the discussion as well as any other member. When the house is equally divided on any question, he has the casting vote. In all other cases he has no suffrage, except when an election is made by ballot, and then he has not the casting vote.
VII. The president shall preserve order, not suffer more than one member to speak at a time, secure to each person liberty to speak without interruption from others, and shall prevent a speaker from deviating from the subject before the house.
VIII. The president shall take care that each subject be duly considered before a decision be made. He shall distinctly rehearse each motion, when no one has any further observations to offer, and take the votes of the house on the same.
IX. When the votes are called for, they are to be given simply by yea and nay, and no further observations are then admissible.
X. The president has the appointment of all committees which are not to be elected by ballot, or otherwise : and every motion for the formation of a committee shall specify in what way it is to be formed.
XI. It is an important part of his duty to give counsel to every member of the synod when he deems it expedient, and particularly to admonish and advise every erring brother. If accusation had been lodged against any member of this body, or if he had reason to believe that any minister or licentiate is living in any material violation of the rules of this formula, it shall be his duty to call upon the individual to relieve his character from said imputation, before the synod or ministerium.
XII. Should the president remove from the limits of this synod or depart this life, then the secretary shall succeed him, and discharge the duties of the president, until the next synod.
XIII. The secretary shall keep a faithful and accurate account of all the proceedings of the synod and ministerium ; carefully preserve all the papers, the seal, &c. of the synod subject to their direction, and shall do all the official writing of the synod not otherwise provided for.
XIV. He shall give notice (either by circular or in the public papers as the synod may direct), to each minister and licentiate belonging to the synod, of the time and place of the synodical meeting, at least six weeks previous to the time appointed.
XV. He is to keep a register of the names of all the ministers and licensed candidates, arranged according to their age in office, and also of the congregations whether vacant or not, connected with the synod.
XVI. If the accumulation of business should render it necessary, the president may appoint an assistant secretary, whose office shall expire at the close of the meeting of the synod.
XVII. If in the recess of the synod, the secretary should remove out of the bounds of this synod, or should depart this life, the president shall require the archives, the seal and all other property of the synod to be delivered to him, and shall retain the charge of them until the next session of the synod, when he shall appoint a secretary pro tem.
XVIII. Unless the archives are otherwise disposed of by the synod, they shall be in the charge and custody of the secretary. Any minister or delegate of a congregation connected with this synod shall have free access to them ; but no part of them shall be allowed to be taken away or destroyed.
XIX. The treasurer shall take charge of all the monies belonging to the synod, and shall keep them subject to its order. He shall keep, and present at each annual meeting, a detailed and faithful account of the state of the treasury.
XX. Should the treasurer, during the recess of the synod, remove out of the bounds of the synod, or be removed by death, the president shall have all the monies, certificates, bonds and documents belonging to the synod, delivered into his hands, and shall have the charge of them until the next synodical session.
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OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SYNOD.
I. It is the duty of every ordained minister, licentiate and lay-delegate of this synod, not only to observe the provisions of this constitution himself ; but also, as far as is in his power, see that it is obeyed by all connected with it.
ORDAINED MINISTERS AND LICENTIATES OR CANDIDATES.
II. No minister or licentiate shall interfere with the congregations of another, by preaching or performing other ministerial duties in them, except by his request or consent, if present ; nor in his absence, if he have reason to think that any evil would result to said church.
III. Any minister or licentiate in good standing, who removes from the bounds of this synod into those of another, shall, on application to the president, receive a certificate under his signature, of his honorable dismission ; and no minister or licentiate shall be received into this synod, without a formal and honorable dismission from the synod to which he formerly belonged.
IV. Every ordained minister has the right to leave his charge aud remove to another, whenever he believes it his duty to do so ; yet he must give the president notice of his intended removal.
V. A licensed candidate shall have liberty to visit vacant congregations, either upon receiving an invitation from them, or upon the advice of the Synod or president.
VI. After a licentiate has a stated charge he shall be restricted to it, and shall not resign it without the consent of the ministerium, or, in its recess, of the president.
VII. A licentiate has power to perform all the ministerial functions during the time specified in his license.
VIII. In addition to the obligations of ministers specified, it is the duty of licentiates particularly to devote all their leisure time to their personal improvement in knowledge and grace, to receive counsel from the president, and to apply to him for advice in cases of difficulty.
XI. Every licentiate must keep a general journal of his ministerial acts, which, with a few sermons of his own composition, he must deliver, or send annually for the inspection of the ministerium.
X. Each lay-delegate, entitled to a seat by this constitution, shall have equal rights with the ministers in all business belonging to the Synod ; that is, may take part in the debates, offer resolutions and vote on all synodical questions.
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ORDER OF BUSINESS.
It is recommended, that the transactions of the synod be conducted as follows :
I. At the time appointed for the meeting, the members present shall assemble, and if three ordained ministers and two lay-delegates be present, they shall constitute a quorum.
II. The president shall open the first session by a prayer, after the brethren have unitedly sung an hymn. And every session of the synod and ministerium shall be opened and closed with prayer. In the absence of the president, the first prayer shall be made by the secretary, and if he also be absent, by one of the elder ministers present.
III. After prayer the secretary shall call the names of all the ordained ministers and licentiates belonging to the synod, and note the absentees.
IV. The lay-delegates shall then exhibit the certificates of their appointment, and their names be registered by the secretary as members of the synod.
V. The president shall make his report as the last official act of his office and then inform the members, that
VI. The election of officers for the ensuing year is now to be attended to.
VII. Admission of delegates or ministers from other ecclesiastical bodies.
VIII. The minutes of the last synod may be read.
IX. All papers intended for the synod or ministerium are to be handed in, and verbal notice may be given of any important business intended to be brought before the synod.
X. The secretary shall then number the papers as arranged by the president, after which they shall be taken up and discussed before the whole house in numerical order, or be first referred to committees, as the house may direct. The reports of committees may be heard and acted on at any time, and the intervals filled up by the succeeding items.
XI. Each minister shall be called on by the secretary for the record of persons baptized and confirmed, as well as of the regular communing members belonging to his churches, as also of the number of schools, &c.
XII. The treasurer’s account shall be heard.
XIII. The number of vacant congregations shall be inquired into, and provision made for them.
XIV. Promiscuous business.
XV. Election of delegates to other ecclesiastical bodies.
XVI. Choice of the time and place for the next meeting of synod.
XVII. Dissolution of the synod, and annunciation of the time of the ministerial session.
XVIII. Should the president or secretary be absent at the proper time for opening a session, the members present may elect others pro tempore.
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PROCESS AGAINST A MINISTER.
I. As the honor and success of the gospel depend very much on the character of its ministers, this synod ought to guard, with the utmost care and impartiality, the conduct of its members.
II. All christians should be very cautious in giving credit or circulation to an ill report of any man, and especially of a minister of the gospel ; if any man knows a minister to be guilty of a private censurable fault, he should first warm him in private. If this proves fruitless, he should next make it known to the council of the church.
III. If accusation be lodged with the president within four months of the time of the next synodical meeting, he shall defer the matter to said meeting ; yet if the charge be one of drunkenness, lewdness, circulating fundamental errors in doctrine, or a higher crime, he shall immediately direct the accused to suspend all his ministerial duties until his case is decided. If such accusation is lodged with the president at an earlier date, he shall, if the charge be one of drunkenness, lewdness, circulating fundamental error in doctrine or higher crime, immediately give notice to three ordained ministers of the synod, to meet without delay at a suitable place, and institute a formal investigation of the case, according to the principle of this Formula.
IV. This committee shall have power to proceed and hold a fair and impartial investigation of the case, and to take all such measures as may be just and necessary to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused.
V. If the accused confess, and the matter be base and flagitious, such as drunkenness, lewdness, circulating fundamental error in doctrine, or a higher crime, however penitent he may be, he must immediately be suspended from the exercise of his office, and, if thought expedient, a time may be appointed for him publicly to confess to the congregation and the world his guilt and penitence.
VI. If a minister, accused of atrocious crimes, being duly notified, refuses to attend the investigation, he shall still be immediately suspended from office.
VII. If the accused deny the charge, and yet on examination of the evidence is found guilty, the committee shall nevertheless proceed to pass sentence on him.
VIII. The highest punishment which can be inflicted by a committee appointed as above specified, is suspension from clerical functions ; and this sentence is to be reported to the next meeting of the synod and remains in force until reversed by the synod or ministerium as the case may be.
IX. Any minister intending to appeal from the decision of a committee, shall give notice of it to his accusers within three weeks of the time when the decision was made ; that both parties may be prepared for a new trial.
X. If at any time, accusation be lodged with the president, of a less crime than those above specified, he shall take no other steps in the case than to write a letter to the accused and accusers, exhorting them to mutual forbearance and referring them to the next synod.
XI. If the accusation against a minister be made immediately to the synod, and the synod believe themselves in possession of all the evidence necessary to a just decision, the case may be immediately examined and sentence passed. But if the necessary evidence be not before them, and the crime be such as is above specified, they shall appoint a committee who shall proceed as above directed.
XII. If a minister be found guilty of drunkenness, fundamental heresy, lewdness or higher crimes, his sentence of suspension shall not be removed until after some time of penitent, humble and edifying conduct. And he cannot be restored by any other judicatory than the synod, or by the ministerium, if his case was one of fundamental heresy.
XIII. If the common report of a minister’s guilt of any of the charges above specified, be such as seriously to injure the cause of religion, and his own churches do not proceed against him, it shall be the duty of any other minister or layman, having obtained two other signatures of credible men, to report the case to the president.
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I. Vacant congregations, which cannot be immediately supplied with a minister, are advised to assemble on the Lords-day, to select some member of the church, of suitable capacities and character, to conduct the exercises, and engage in the worship of God.
II. It is also recommended, that at these meetings, a portion of the scriptures, of the prayers contained in the Liturgy, or some select sermon, such as are approved by the president of the synod, be read.
As the blessed Saviour left to his followers the command : “Go ye and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,*; This synod shall regard it as a sacred duty to adopt, from time to time, such measures as they may deem best calculated to execute this solemn injunction.
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*Matth. 28,19 20.
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ELECTION OF DELEGATES.
The election of delegates to other ecclesiastical bodies shall always be by ballot.
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I. The clergy shall then hold a meeting consisting exclusively of Scripture elders, that is, preachers,* for the purpose of attending to those duties which Christ and his apostles enjoined upon them alone, viz., examination, licensure and ordination of candidates for the ministry. This meeting is called the ministerium by which, in scripture, is meant ministers alone.
II. Licensed candidates may be present at the ministerial meeting, unless requested to withdraw, and may take part in the discussions, but have no vote.
III. The ministerium shall also be the proper body, by whom all charges of heresy against a minister, are to be examined and decided : as also all appeals from the decision of a church-council on a charge of heresy against a layman, or from the decision of a special conference on a similar charge against a minister.
IV. When ordained ministers of other religious denominations, make application for admission into connexion with this synod, the ministerium shall be the body to decide on the case.
V. A majority of two thirds of the ordained ministers shall be required, either for the licensure of an applicant as well as the renewal of his license, or the ordination of a licensed candidate, or the admission of an ordained minister of another denomination. But during the recess of the synod, applicants for licensure may be licensed by the president of the synod, which license shall extend only until the next meeting of the synod.
VI. No minister or licentiate, coming from a foreign country, shall be received as a member of this synod, until after a residence of two years in this country and unexceptionable deportment during that time. Excepting only, that if an ordained minister comes well recommended for piety and learning, by a consistorium, or a number of individuals, known to the
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*Acts xx, 17, 28.
ministerium as orthodox and evangelical, and if the ministerium believe that they can safely confide in the testimonials, they may receive him for twelve months, after which the vote for his permanent reception as a regular member shall be taken.
VII. All business not specifically entrusted to the ministerium in this formula, shall belong to the synod.
VIII. The order of business in the ministerium may be as follows :
1. After the session has been opened with prayer, the president shall communicate any business which he may have to report or propose.
2. The licentiates hand in their licenses, sermons, and journals, which ought if possible to be read by the licentiate before the whole body. If want of time renders this inconvenient, committees onght then to be appointed to examine and report on them.
3. Applicants for licensure are examined.
4. After the examination of the applicants and of the sermons and journals of licentiates, the applicants and licentiates may be desired to withdraw, and the question of their licensure and renewal of license or ordination, be discussed and decided.
5. The licensure and ordination may be performed either in the ministerium, or at an appointed hour, before a promiscuous assembly.
6. Promiscuous matters relative to ministerial business may then be attended to.
7. Some time shall then be spent in conversation on pastoral experience.
8. The session closed as directed ch. 4, #. 2.
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EXAMINATION AND LICENSURE OF CANDIDATES.
I. The examination shall be conducted by an examining committee of two or more ordained ministers, appointed for the purpose at the meeting of the previous year, or by a committee appointed at the time. As these examinations may be highly interesting and useful to the whole ministerium, and will be more faithfully performed if public, it is earnestly recommended that they be performed before the whole body.
II. After the examination by the committee is ended, every member of the ministerium has the right to ask the applicant any additional questions.
III. The examination shall embrace at least the following subjects : viz. Personal piety and the motives of the applicant for seeking the holy office, the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, the Evidences of Christianity, Natural and Revealed Theology, Church History, Pastoral Theology, the rules of Sermonizing, and Church Government.
IV. The ministerium, shall, in no case whatever, license an individual whom they do not believe to be hopefully pious. Nor shall any applicant, extraordinary cases excepted, be licensed, whom the ministerium do not find possessed of a competent acquaintance with the subjects named in # iii. the Hebrew language alone excepted.
V. The Ceremony of Licensure shall be performed as follows : viz. after an address from the president as prescribed in the Liturgy, he shall read the duties and privileges of licentiates in ch. 3, # vi.-# x. and then propose to him the following questions :
1. Do you believe the scriptures of the old and new testament to be the word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and practice?*
2. Do you believe that the fundamental doctrines of the word of God are taught in a manner substantially correct in the doctrinal articles of the Augsburg confession? +
3. Do you promise, by the aid of God, faithfully to perform all the duties enjoined on you in this formula, and to submit yourself to its rules of government and discipline, so long as you remain a member of a Lutheran synod? ++
VI. These questions being answered in the affirmative, the president offers up a suitable prayer, delivers him his license, and concludes with a short address as directed in the liturgy.
VII. All licenses shall extend to the time of the next annual meeting of the ministerium, and shall be renewed as a matter of course, whether the licentiate be present or not, unless satisfactory reasons are known to the ministerium, which render a renewal inexpedient. And if for any reason, no meeting be held at the appointed time, the licenses granted by said ministerium shall remain in force, until revoked at a subsequent meeting.
VIII. If a licentiate after some time of probation, does in the judgment of the ministerium, prove himself unqualified for the duties of the ministry, his license shall be withdrawn.
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I. Whenever the ministerium has decided that an individual shall be ordained, the ceremony may be performed, either at the time by the assembled ministerium, or if preferred, in the church by which he has been called, by a committee appointed for the purpose by the president.
II. The ceremony of ordination, wherever performed, shall be as follows : viz.
1. A sermon shall be preached by a person previously appointed, on the nature, duties and responsibilities of the ministerial office.
2. The president of the ministerium, or the chairman of the committee, shall then, after a short address, such as is contained in the liturgy, propose to the candidate the following questions :
1. Do you believe the scriptures of the old and new testament to be the word of God, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice?
2. Do you believe that the fundamental doctrines of the word of God, are
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*2 Tim. iii, Eph. ii, 20. + 2 Tim. i, 13. ++ 2 Pet. v, 5.
taught in a manner substantially correct, in the doctrinal articles of the Augsburg confession?
3. Do you promise, by the aid of God, faithfully to perform all the duties enjoined on you in this formula, and to submit yourself to its rules of government and discipline, so long as you remain a member of any Lutheran synod?
4. Do you believe that in seeking the ministerial office you are influenced by a sincere love to God your Saviour, and desire to promote his glory in the welfare of men.
5. Do you promise faithfully and zealously to preach the truths of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as contained in the holy scriptures?
3. The questions being answered in the affirmative, the candidate shall kneel down, when the president of presiding minister, shall ordain him after the apostolic example by prayer + and the laying on of the hands of the ministry ++ (in which the president may be assisted by the other officers of the synod.) The candidate shall then rise, and the officiating minister, and after him the ordained ministers present shall take him by the right hand and welcome him to take part in the ministry with them. # (The ceremonies may then be concluded by the benediction. But if the ordination be performed in a church to which he is called, the presiding minister shall proceed without any interruption with the ceremonies of installation.)
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I. He shall then propose to the minister just ordained, this question, viz. Are you willing to take charge of this congregation, and do you promise, by the grace of God, faithfully to discharge the duties of a christian pastor to them.
II. This question being answered in the affirmative, the president shall ask the congregation :
Do you desire to reccive – as the regular pastor of your church (or churches,) to which you have given him a call? And do you promise faithfully to discharge towards him the duties, which a christian congregation owe to their pastor?
These questions being answered in the affirmative. The presiding minister shall solemnly pronounce the individual installed to be the regular pastor of said charge ; and conclude with the benediction.
III. If a minister already ordained, is to be installed, the ceremony of installation shall be preceded by a sermon on the relation between a minister and the people of his charge, or on some other suitable subject, by a person previously appointed. The minister shall then be formally instal-
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+ Acts xiii, 2. 3. ++ 1 Tim. iv, 14. # Acts i, 25.
led, according to # I. II. after which, a charge may be delivered by a minister previously appointed, to the pastor and his people on their respective duties, and the whole be closed with the benediction.
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I. This constitution shall not be altered or amended but by the concurrence of three-fourths of the ministers present at any synod, provided two-thirds of all the ministers constituting the synod be present, otherwise votes for amendment must be unanimous.
II. The synod may adopt such additional bye-laws and regulations in accordance with the spirit of this constitution, as may be necessary for carrying its provisions into effect.