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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 21 : The Ordination and Installation of Ministers

Paragraph 9 :

21-9. Questions for Installation*
In the installation of an ordained minister, the following questions are to be substituted for those addressed to a candidate for ordination, namely:
1. Are you now willing to take charge of this congregation as their pastor, agreeable to your declaration in accepting its 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 the Church?
3. Do you solemnly promise that, by the assistance of the grace of God, you will endeavor 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 of Christ, agreeable to your ordination engagements?

*For assistant minister, substitute the word 'serve' for 'take charge of', and add the word 'assistant' before 'pastor'.

[Historical Summary : The key difference with the current PCA text is the addition of the footnoted instruction regarding the assistant minister. Otherwise the current PCA text is essentially that of the 1867 PCUS draft, making allowances for spelling and capitalization. Also, reflecting contemporary language, we now have "agreeable" instead of "agreeably". No similar paragraph appears in PCUSA 1789.]

Background and Comparison :
1. PCA 1973, 22-9, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 141
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 22-9, Proposed text, p. 31

3. PCUS 1933, XXIV, §140
4. PCUS 1925, XXIV, §140
Questions for Installation
In the installation of an ordained Minister, the following questions are to be substituted for those addressed to a candidate for ordination, namely:
1. Are you now willing to take charge of this congregation as their Pastor, agreeably to your declaration in accepting its 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 the Church?
3. Do you solemnly promise that, by the assistance of the grace of God, you will endeavor 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 of Christ, agreeably to your ordination engagements?


PCUS 1879, VI-5-10

In the installation of an ordained Minister, the following questions are to be substituted for those addressed to a candidate for ordination, viz.:
1. Are you now willing to take charge of this congregation as their Pastor, agreeably to your declaration at accepting its 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 the Church?
3. Do you solemnly promise that, by the assistance of the grace of God, you will endeavor 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 of Christ, agreeably to your ordination engagements?


PCUS 1869 draft, VI-5-10
When an ordained Minister has accepted a call to the pastoral charge of a Congregation, he shall be installed by the Presbytery, or
by its commission appointed for the purpose, according to the above directions, except that everything relating to ordination is to be omitted, and the following questions are to be substituted for those addressed to the candidate, viz:
1. Are you now willing to take charge of this Congregation as their Pastor, agreeably to your declaration at accepting its 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 the 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 of Christ, agreeably to your ordination engagements?

PCUS 1867 draft, VI-5-10
When an ordained minister has accepted a call to the pastoral charge of a congregation, he shall be installed by the presbytery, or by its commission appointed for the purpose, according to the above directions, except that everything relating to ordination is to be omitted, and the following questions are to be substituted for those addressed to the candidate, viz:
1. Are you now willing to take charge of this congregation as their pastor, agreeably to your declaration at accepting its 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 the church?
3. Do you solemnly promise that, by the assistance of the grace of God, you will endeavor 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 of Christ, agreeably to your ordination engagements?

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, p. 151-152) on VI-5-10:
125. X.--In the installation of an ordained Minister, the following questions are to be substituted for those addressed to a candidate for ordination, viz.:
1. Are you now willing to take charge of this congregation as their Pastor, agreeably to your declaration at accepting its call?
This is identical with the first part of question 8 in paragraph 119.
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 the Church?
This is a particular application of the principle of question 5 in 119.
3. Do you solemnly promise that, by the assistance of the grace of God, you will endeavor 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 of Christ, agreeably to your ordination engagements?

This is substantially the same as question 7 in 119, with a reiteration of all the ordinary obligations.



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11
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15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
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§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
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52
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54
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63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]