(Liturgy, Reformed Churches, Part 7)

Form for the Installation of Professors of Theology 
Beloved brethren, it is known unto you that our brother in the 
holy ministry, , has been called by our last Synod to the 
important office of professor of theology at our Theological 
Seminary. To our joy he has accepted this call and we are now 
assembled to install him in office. For which purpose we 
request thee, brother , to arise and to listen to that 
which belongs to this office, and is placed by the Lord and the 
Church in thy charge. 
  Since our God, who is rich in mercy, has chosen in his great 
love a Church unto himself for the inheritance of eternal life, 
and will gather this Church through his Spirit and Word to the 
fellowship of his Son, in the unity of true faith, and to the 
increase of the knowledge of his will, so it pleases him to 
call men by his Holy Spirit, who as ministers of the Word are 
to preach the glad tidings of salvation among those who already 
belong to the Church and among those outside, who are yet 
without the knowledge of God's ways. 
  The first messengers of peace in the days of the New 
Testament were immediately taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, and 
were by him personally trained and sent. After the outpouring 
of the Holy Spirit he gave them great diversities of 
extraordinary gifts and knowledge of the mysteries of salvation 
of sinners and the up building of saints. Because these 
extraordinary methods, however, lasted only as long as the Lord 
judged them to be necessary for the founding of his Church 
among the nations, the necessity was soon felt of training 
youths and men for the holy ministry under the ordinary 
dispensation of the Spirit by the regular methods of education. 
And this especially in virtue of what Paul wrote in 2 Tim. 2:2, 
"And the things which thou hast heard from me among many 
witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be 
able to teach others also." The Apostle here points to what he 
had himself done and what he required of his disciple Timothy. 
  In obedience to this apostolic direction this training was 
originally done by learned and capable overseers of the Church. 
Later the schools of Alexandria, Antioch, and other important 
cities were especially engaged in this work. And when towards 
the end of the middle ages and in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries universities arose in various places, theology was 
not incorporated merely as a faculty with other faculties, but 
usually recognized as Queen of Sciences. This was the more 
easily done because the Church. both Roman Catholic and 
Protestant, exercised authority over or concerned itself with 
  As long as a university is founded on the basis of Holy 
Scripture, accepts the confession of a certain denomination, 
and this denomination has part control in the appointing of 
professors of theology, it cannot be disapproved of that future 
ministers of the Word should receive their education at such an 
  Since, however, Paul in Rom. 3:2 expressly declares that the 
Church of the Old Dispensation, and therefore also the Church 
of the New Dispensation, was given the special prerogative that 
to her were intrusted the oracles of God, it follows therefore 
that the Church has a divine mission to proclaim the word of 
God, to collect from the Word of God her standards of faith, to 
study theology according to these words, and further to advance 
what is in direct connection with this study. 
  Conscious of this calling our Church has also established a 
Theological School and called the reverend brother  to 
devote his talents to this School. 
  In behalf of our Church the Curators charge thee, esteemed 
brother, with the task of instructing and establishing in the 
knowledge of God's Word the students who hope once to minister 
in his Church. Expound to them the mysteries of the faith; 
caution them in regard to the errors and heresies of the old, 
but especially of the new day; seek to explain how they not 
alone as teachers are to instruct but also as pastors are to 
shepherd the flock of the Lord. Assist in maintaining order and 
discipline among the disciples, that our Seminary may continue 
to enjoy the respect, the support, the appreciation, the love 
and the prayer of the Church. Be a good example to the 
students, that they may not only profit from thy learning, but 
also find in thee a living illustration of the power and 
practice of true godliness. 
  Be engaged in all of this according to the measure of the 
gifts God gave thee, in dependence on the Lord's help and the 
light of the Holy Spirit. 
  And that it may now publicly appear that thou, highly 
esteemed brother, art thus disposed, thou art to answer the 
following questions: 
First. I ask thee, dost thou feel in thy heart that thou art 
lawfully called of God's Church and therefore of God himself to 
this office? 
Secondly. Dost thou believe the books of the Old and New 
Testament to be the only Word of God? Dost thou reject all 
doctrine repugnant thereto, and dost thou accept the doctrinal 
standards of this Christian Church as the truest expression of 
the doctrine of salvation? 
Thirdly. Dost thou promise faithfully to discharge thy office 
according to the same doctrine above described, and to adorn it 
with a godly life? 
Fourthly. Dost thou promise to submit thyself, in case thou 
shouldest become delinquent, either in life or doctrine, to the 
ordinance of the Church, and if necessary, to Church 
Answer: Yes, with all my heart. 
Form or Ordination of Missionaries 
Beloved in our Lord and Saviour and all here present. It is 
known to you that our brother , called by the ... as 
missionary minister of the Word among the Heathen (Dispersed), 
(and recently examined by the Classis of ...) is now to be 
publicly ordained (installed) as missionary. We, therefore, 
request thee, beloved brother , to arise and to attend to 
a short declaration touching the office of missionary ministers 
of the Word. 
  Since our God, according to his infinite mercy, has chosen a 
Church unto everlasting life, and gathers it by his blessed 
gospel, out of every nation, and of all tribes and peoples and 
tongues, unto the fellowship of his Son, in unity of the true 
faith, therefore our risen Saviour has ordained an office and 
has called men, to carry the message of salvation to all 
peoples, commanding his apostles, and in them all lawful 
ministers of the Word: "Go ye into all the world, and preach 
the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15. For he that ascended 
far above all the heavens, that he might fulfill all things, 
gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some 
evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting 
of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building 
up of the body of Christ. And the Apostles, responding to this, 
went forth into the world declaring the whole counsel of God, 
particularly repentance, and remission of sins, through faith 
in Jesus Christ, testifying: "for God so loved the world, that 
He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him 
should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16. "But all 
things are of God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, 
and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation: to wit, that 
God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not 
reckoning unto them their trespasses; and has committed unto us 
the word of reconciliation. We are ambassadors, therefore, on 
behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we 
beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God." 2 
Cor. 5. 
  Without this word of reconciliation, faith in Christ and 
consequently salvation, is and remains forever impossible, for 
Holy Scripture says, Acts 4:12: "And in none other is there 
salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, 
that is given among men, wherein we must be saved"; and 
elsewhere: Rom. 10:14, 15, 17: "How shall they believe in him 
of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a 
preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? So 
then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." 
  Although all ministers of the Word have in common, that to 
them is committed the preaching of the Gospel, the 
administration of the Sacraments, the government of the Church, 
and the maintenance of christian discipline, yea, all, that, 
according to the Word of God belongs to the office of pastor 
and teacher: and although from the difference of field of 
labour no difference is resulting, concerning office, authority 
or dignity, since all possess the same mission, the same office 
and the same authority, yet not withstanding this, it is 
necessary that some labour in the congregations already 
established, while others are called and sent to preach the 
Gospel to those without, in order to bring them to Christ. And 
let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called by the 
Church of God and consequently by God himself and whereunto 
each has received gifts, until it pleases the Lord to lead him 
along a lawful way to a different field of labour. 
Unto the Heathen 
That unto the Heathen also these glad tidings must be brought 
appears plainly from Matt. 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach 
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of 
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all 
things whatsoever I have commanded you." 
  The same was revealed to Peter by showing him as it were a 
great sheet let down by four corners upon the earth, wherein 
were all manner of beasts, and thereupon commanding him to go 
down to the Gentile Cornelius, saying: "Arise, and get thee 
down, and go with them, nothing doubting; for I have sent 
them," Acts 10:20. Likewise he spoke to Paul in a vision in the 
temple: "Depart: for I will send thee forth far hence unto the 
Gentiles." Acts 22:21. 
  This divine charge was also carried out by the church of 
Antioch, when they, after fasting and prayer, laid their hands 
upon Barnabas and Saul and sent them away to preach the gospel 
also unto the Gentiles, Acts 13. And when they on their first 
missionary journey had arrived at Antioch in Pisidia they 
testified to the contradicting Jews: "Lo, we turn to the 
Gentiles. For so has the Lord commanded us, saying: I have set 
thee for a light of the Gentiles; that thou shouldest be for 
salvation unto the uttermost part of the earth." 
  And besides all this it is evident that the work of missions 
is the task of the Church since the Lord Jesus himself calls 
his Church the salt of the earth, and says: "Ye are the light 
of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men 
light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand." 
Matt. 5. 
Unto the Dispersed 
That unto the Dispersed also these glad tidings must be brought 
is plainly inferred from what God says in Ezekiel 34:11-16: 
"For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I myself, even I, will 
search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As a shepherd 
seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep 
that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I 
will deliver them out of all places whither they have been 
scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out 
from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will 
bring them into their own land; and I will feed them upon the 
mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the 
inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good 
pasture, and upon the mountains of the height of Israel shall 
their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold, and on 
fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I 
myself will feed my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, 
saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and will 
bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that 
which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick. I 
will feed them in judgment." 
  That the Lord does this by means of his servants, is clearly 
shown by the way wherein God, in the same chapter, rebukes the 
unfaithful shepherds: "Neither have ye brought again that which 
was driven away," and expresses his holy indignation because: 
"My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every 
high hill: yea, my sheep were scattered upon all the face of 
the earth; and there was none that did search or seek after 
them." Ezek. 34:4, 6. 
  The same also follows from the fact that Jesus who Himself 
was sent "to the lost sheep of the House of Israel," calls the 
Church the salt of the earth, while besides all this, the 
example of the Apostle Paul teaches us plainly that it is our 
high calling to bring the bread of life to our dispersed 
brethren after the flesh everywhere, and therefore certainly 
first of all in our own country, to gather them, if possible, 
as congregations of our Lord. 
And since thou, beloved brother, are now called and are now 
being sent to labour among the Heathen (Dispersed), thou are to 
consider which important duties, are thereby devolving upon 
  In the first place thou are to bring to their attention by 
all fit and lawful means, the glad tidings that Jesus Christ 
has come into the world to save sinners. All thine actions, thy 
speaking and thy silence, yea, all thine influence is to 
cooperate to recommend the gospel of Christ. Let thy 
conversation be without covetousness; abhor that which is evil; 
cleave to that which is good, that thou mayest be able to say 
with the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 9: 19, 22, 27: "For though I was 
free from all men I brought myself under bondage to all, that I 
might gain the more. ... I am become all things to all men, 
that I may by all means save some. I buffet my body, and bring 
it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached 
to others, I myself should be rejected." 
  Secondly, thou are holden, if it pleases Gods to make thy 
work fruitful unto the gathering of a church, to administer the 
Sacrament of Holy Baptism according to the institution of the 
Lord and the requirement of the covenant. 
  Furthermore, thou are called wherever it is necessary and 
possible to ordain elders and deacons even as Paul charged 
Titus, chapter 1:5, saying; "For this cause left I thee in 
Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were 
wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee 
charge." But lay hands hastily on no man. 
  Moreover, there is committed unto thee, as minister of Christ 
and steward of the mysteries of God, the administering of the 
Holy Supper of the Lord according to the institution of Christ. 
  Besides this, there is commended unto thee the maintaining of 
christian discipline in the midst of the congregation, by 
faithful use of the keys of the Kingdom, as our Lord Jesus has 
spoken: "Go, show him his fault, between thee and him alone," 
etc. And afterwards: "Verily I say unto you, what things soever 
ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven." 
  And finally, beloved brother, be a faithful servant of Jesus 
Christ, and a careful shepherd of the flock. "Preach the Word, 
be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, 
with all longsuffering and teaching, ... be an example to them 
that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in 
purity." ... "Give heed to reading, to exhortations, to 
teaching. Neglect not the gift that is in thee." ... "Be 
diligent in these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy 
progress may be manifest unto all. Take heed to thyself, and to 
thy teaching. Continue in these things; for in doing this thou 
shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee." (2 Tim. 4:2 
and 1 Tim. 4:12b, 16.) 
And that now everyone present may hear, beloved brother, that 
thou art willing, and ready to undertake the ministry of the 
Word among the Heathen (Dispersed), thou art requested to 
answer sincerely the following questions: 
First. I ask thee whether thou feelest in thy heart that thou 
art lawfully called of God's Church and therefore of God 
himself, to this holy ministry? 
Secondly. Whether thou dost believe the books of the Old and 
New Testament to be the only Word of God, and the perfect 
doctrine unto salvation, and dost reject all doctrines 
repugnant thereto? 
Thirdly. Whether thou dost promise faithfully to discharge 
thine office, according to the same doctrine as above 
described, and to adorn it with a godly life; also, to submit 
thyself, in case thou should become delinquent either in life 
or doctrine, to ecclesiastical admonition, according to the 
public ordinance of the churches? 
  Answer: Yes; truly, with all my heart. 
Then the Minister, who demanded those questions of him, while 
he and other Ministers who are present, shall lay their hands 
on his head, shall say: 
  "Go then, beloved brother, and teach all nations, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. God our heavenly Father, who has called thee to his holy 
ministry, enlighten thee with his Holy Spirit, strengthen thee 
with his hand and so govern thee in thy ministry, that thou 
mayest do gently and fruitfully walk therein, to the glory of 
his Name, and the propagation of the Kingdom of his Son Jesus 
Christ." Amen.

Liturgy of the Reformed Churches

(continued in part 8...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-05: litur-07.txt