To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken.—Jer. 6.10

Directorie for Election of Ministers.

[ 4 Aug. 1649. Antemeridiem Sess. 40. ]

[ General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. ]

WHen any Place of the Ministrie in a Congregation is vacant, it is Incumbent to the Presbyterie with all diligence to send one of their number to Preach to that Congregation, who in his doctrine is to represent to them the necessitie of providing the place with a qualified pastor, & to exhort them to fervent prayer & supplication to the Lord that he would send them a Pastor according to his own heart: As also he is to signifie that the Presbyterie out of their care of that Flock will send unto them Preachers, whom they may hear, & if they have a desire to hear any other, they will endeavour to procure them an hearing of that person or persones upon the sute of the Elders to the Presbyterie.

2. Within some competent time thereafter, the Presbyerie is again to send one or more of their number to the said vacant Congregation, on a certain day appoynted before for that effect, who are to conveen and hear sermon the foresaid day; which being ended, and Intimation being made by the Minister, that they are to goe about the Election of a pastor for that Congregation, the Session of the Congregation shall meet and proceed to the Election, the action being moderated by him that Preached; And if the people shall upon the intimation of the Person agreed upon by the Session acquiesce and consent to the said person, Then the matter being reported to the Presbyterie by Commissioners sent from the session, they are to proceed to the triall of the person thus Elected, And finding {21} him qualified, to admit him to the Ministry in the said Congregation.

3. But if it happen that the Major part of the Congregation dissent from the person agreed upon by the Session, In that case the matter shall be brought unto the Presbyterie, who shall Judge of the same; And if they doe not find their Dissent to be grounded on Causlesse prejudices, they are to appoynt a new Election in manner above specified.

4. But if a lesser party of the Session or Congregation shew their dissent from the Election without exceptions relevant and verefied to the Presbyterie, Notwithstanding thereof the Presbyterie shall go on to the trials and ordination of the person elected; yet all possible diligence and tendernesse must be used to bring all parties to an harmonious agreement.

5. It is to be understood that no person under the Censure of the Kirk because of any scandalous offence is to be admitted to have hand in the election of a Minister.

6. Where the Congregation is disaffected and Malignant, in that case the Presbyterie is to be provide them with a Minister.