Drawn up in the National Synod of (held in 1618 and 1619) and accepted
as a concord of ecclesiastic community by the Reformed Churches in the
First Head - Of the Offices
Second Head - Of the Ecclesiastical Assemblies
Third Head - Of the Doctrine, Sacraments, and Other Ceremonies
Fourth Head - Of Censure and Ecclesiastical Admonition
Formula of Subscription
For the maintenance of good order in the Church of Christ it is
necessary that there should be: offices; assemblies; supervision of
doctrine, sacraments, and ceremonies; and Christian discipline; of
which matters the following articles treat in due order.
First Head - Of the Offices
The offices are of four kinds: of the Ministers of the Word, of the
Professors of Theology, of the Elders, and of the Deacons.
No one, though he be a Professor of Theology. Elder, or Deacon, shall
be permitted to enter upon the ministry of the Word and the Sacraments
without having been lawfully called thereunto. And when any one acts
contrary thereto, and after being frequently admonished does not
desist, the Classis shall judge whether he is to be declared a
schismatic or is to be punished in some other way.
The lawful calling of those who have not previously been in office, in
cities as well as rural districts, consists:
First, in the Election, after previous fasting and prayer, by the
Consistory and Deacons, not without (proper correspondence with the
Christian magistrates of the respective districts, and) the knowledge
or advice of the Classis, where this had been customary up to now.
Secondly, in the Examination, both of doctrine and life, by the
Classis, in the presence of all, or some of the delegates of Synod.
Thirdly, in the Approbation and endorsement (by the magistrates and
then also) by the members of the Reformed Congregation of that city,
if, the name of the Minister having been announced in the churches
over a period of fourteen days, no objection arises.
Finally, in the public Ordination before the congregation, which
shall take place with appropriate stipulations and interrogations,
prayer and the laying on of the hands by the ordaining Minister and by
other Ministers, if more are present, in accordance with the Form for
this purpose. It is understood that the imposition of hands may take
place in the Classical assembly to the newly graduated Ministers,
being sent to the Churches under the Cross.
Ministers already in the ministry of the Word who are called to
another congregation, shall likewise be called in this manner,
(including aforesaid correspondence) in cities as well as rural
districts, by the Consistory and the Deacons, with the advice or
approval of the Classis, to whom the aforesaid Ministers called, shall
show good ecclesiastical testimonials of doctrine and life; (after
approval by the magistrate of the respective district and) after being
presented to the congregation over a period of fourteen days, as
before stated, they shall be installed after previous stipulations and
prayers. All due regard must also be given here to the things
previously mentioned with respect to proper right of presentation, or
any other right, in so far as it can be employed to edification,
without detriment to the Church of God and good Church Order; to which
(the Civil Authorities and) the Synods of the respective districts are
to give their careful attention, and make proper regulations, to the
welfare of the Churches.
No minister shall be at liberty to serve in any private manors,
institutions of mercy, or otherwise, unless he previously be admitted
in accordance with the preceding Articles; and he shall, no less than
others, be subject to the Church Order.
No one shall be called to the ministry of the Word without stationing
himself in a particular place, unless he be sent either to preach in
one place or another for the Churches under the Cross, or to do Church
No school teachers, artisans, or others who have not studied, shall be
admitted to the ministry, unless there is definite assurance of their
beings exceptionally gifted, godly, humble, modest, and possessed of
good sense and discretion, as well as gifts of public address. When
such persons present themselves for the ministry, the Classis shall
(if the Synod approve) first examine them, and, the examination being
satisfactory, permit them to preach in private for a certain length of
time, and then further deal with them as it shall deem edifying
Novices, priests, monks, and others who have left some sect, shall not
be admitted to the ministry in the Church, except with extreme caution
and circumspection, and after a definite period of probation.
A Minister, once lawfully called, may not leave the congregation which
unconditionally received him to accept a call elsewhere, without the
consent of the consistory and the deacons, (and those who previously
held the office of elder and deacon, together with the magistrate),
nor without the knowledge of the Classis; likewise no other church
shall be permitted to receive him until he has presented a legal
certificate of dismission from the church and the Classis where he
On the other hand, the Consistory, as representing the congregation,
shall also be bound to provide for the proper support of its
Ministers, and shall not dismiss them without the knowledge and
judgment of the Classis who, in the event of lack of support, shall
judge whether or not to remove aforesaid Ministers.
Inasmuch as a Minister of the Word, once lawfully called in conformity
to the above, is bound to the service of the Church for life, he is
not allowed to enter upon a secular vocation except for important and
weighty reasons, which shall be subject to the cognizance and judgment
of the Classis.
In the event that Ministers are rendered incapable of performing the
duties of their office due to age, sickness, or otherwise, they shall
nevertheless retain the honour and title of a Minister, and the church
which they have served shall honorably provide for them in their
needs, also for the widows and orphans of Ministers.
If any Minister, for the aforesaid or any other reason, is compelled
to discontinue his service for a time, which shall not take place
without the advice of the Consistory, he shall nevertheless at all
times be and remain subject to the call of the congregation.
No one shall be permitted, neglecting the ministry of his Church, or
being without a fixed charge, to preach indiscriminately without the
consent and authority of Synod or Classis. Likewise, no one shall be
permitted to preach or administer the Sacraments in another Church
without the consent of the Consistory.
The once of the Ministers is to continue in prayer and in the Ministry
of the Word, to dispense the Sacraments, to watch over their brethren,
the Elders and Deacons, as well as the Congregation, and finally with
the Elders, to exercise church discipline and to see to it that
everything is done decently and in good order.
Among Ministers of the Word, equality shall be maintained with respect
to the duties of their office and also in other matters as far as
possible, according to the judgment of the consistory, and, if
necessary, of the Classis; which equality shall be maintained in the
case of the Elders and Deacons.
The office of the Doctors or Professors of Theology is to expound the
Holy Scriptures and to uphold sound doctrine against heresies and
The Churches shall make efforts to obtain students of theology, which
are to be supported by them.
In the Churches having more capable Ministers the practice of
preparing some for the ministry of the Word by allowing them to speak
a word of edification shall be instituted, in conformity to the rule
in this matter, as specially prescribed by this Synod.
The consistories everywhere shall see to it that there are good school
teachers, not only to teach the children reading, writing, languages,
and the liberal arts, but also to instruct them in godliness and in
The Elders shall be chosen by the judgment of the Consistory and the
Deacons, so that every church shall be at liberty, according to its
circumstances, to present to the Congregation as many Elders as are
needed, that they may be installed with public prayers and
stipulations after being approved by and with the assent of the
congregation, unless any obstacle arise; - or twice the number of
Elders needed may be present, half of them to be chosen by the
congregation, and installed in office in the same manner, according to
the Form for this purpose.
The office of the Elders, in addition to what was said in Article 16
to be their duty in common with the Ministers of the Word, is to take
heed that the Ministers, together with their other Fellow-helpers and
the Deacons, faithfully discharge their office; - and, insofar as
circumstances of time and place permit, to do house visitation both
before and after the Lord's Supper for the edification of the
congregation, in order particularly to comfort and instruct the
members of the congregation, and also to exhort others in respect to
the Christian Religion.
The Deacons shall be chosen, approved, and installed in the same
manner as was stated concerning the Elders.
The office peculiar to the Deacons is diligently to collect alms and
other contributions of charity, and after mutual counsel, to
distribute the same faithfully and diligently to the poor, both to
residents and to strangers, as their needs may require it; to visit
and comfort those in distress, and to exercise care that the alms are
not misused; of which they shall render an account in Consistory, and
also (if anyone desires to be present) to the Congregation, at such a
time as the Consistory may see fit.
In places where there are Visitants to shut-ins or other Almoners, the
Deacons shall request them lo maintain proper correspondence with them
to the end that the alms may the better be distributed among those who
have the greatest need.
The Elders and Deacons shall serve two years, and every year half
their number shall retire and others shall be substituted, unless the
circumstances and the profit of any church require otherwise.
As it is the office of Christian Magistrate to promote holy Divine
Services in every way, to recommend them by their example to their
subjects, and to assist whenever necessary the Ministers, Elders, and
Deacons and to protect them by proper regulations, so it is the duty
of all Ministers, Elders, and Deacons diligently and sincerely to
impress upon the entire Congregation the obedience, love, and respect
which they owe the Magistrates; further, all Church Officers shall set
a good example to the Congregation, and seek to gain and retain the
good will of the Magistrates toward the Churches by means of proper
respect and correspondence, to the end that, each acting for the
mutual welfare, in the fear of the Lord, all suspicion and distrust
may be prevented, and true concord be maintained to the welfare of the
Second Head - Of the Ecclesiastical Assemblies
Four things of ecclesiastical assemblies shall be maintained: the
Consistory, the Classical Meetings, the Particular Synod, and the
General or National Synod.
In these assemblies ecclesiastical matters only shall be transacted
and that in an ecclesiastical manner. In major assemblies only each
matters shall be dealt with as could not be finished in minor
assemblies, or such as pertain to the churches of the major assembly
If anyone complain that he has been wronged by the decision of a minor
assembly, he shall have the right to appeal to a major ecclesiastical
assembly, and whatever may be agreed upon by a majority vote shall be
considered settled and binding, unless it be proved to conflict with
the Word of God or with the Articles formulated in this General Synod,
as long as they are not changed by another General Synod.
The proceedings of all assemblies shall begin by calling upon the Name
of God and be closed with thanksgiving.
Those who are delegated to the assemblies shall bring with them their
credentials and instructions, signed by those sending them, and they
only shall have a vote.
In all assemblies there shall be not only a president, but also a
clerk to keep a faithful record of that which deserves to be recorded.
The office of the president is to state and explain the business to be
transacted, to see to it that everyone observe due order in speaking,
to silence the captious and those who are vehement in speaking; and
properly to discipline them if they refuse to listen. Furthermore his
office shall cease when the assembly arises.
The Classis has the same jurisdiction over the Consistory as the
Particular Synod has over the Classis and the General Synod over the
In all churches there shall be a Consistory composed of the Ministers
of the Word and the Elders, who shall meet at least once a week. The
Minister of the Word, or the Ministers, if there be more than one, in
turn, shall preside and regulate the proceedings (And also the
Magistrates of the place respectively shall, if they desire to do so,
delegate one or two of their number, being members of the
Congregation, to the Consistory to listen to the matter under
discussion and to participate in the deliberation.)
In places where the Consistory is to be constituted for the first time
this shall not take place except with the advice of the Classis. And
whenever the number of Elders is very small, the Deacons may be added
to the Consistory.
In places where as yet there is no Consistory, the Classis shall in
the meantime take care of the work which would otherwise be performed
by the Consistory in accordance with this Church Order.
Likewise the Deacons shall meet every week to transact the business
pertaining to their office, calling upon the Name of God, whereunto
the Ministers shall take good heed and if necessary they shall be
The Classical meetings shall consist of neighbouring churches that
respectively delegate, with proper credentials, a Minister and an
Elder, to meet at such a time and place as was determined by the
previous Classical meeting, with the understanding that this be within
the next three months. In these meetings the Ministers shall preside
in rotation or the assembly shall choose one to preside; however, the
same Minister shall not be chosen twice in succession. Furthermore,
the president shall, among other things, ask each of them if
Consistory meetings are held in their churches; if church discipline
is exercised; if the poor and the schools are cared for; lastly, if
they need the judgment and help of the Classis for the proper
government of their Church. The Minister designated by the previous
Classis shall preach a brief sermon from the Word of God, of which the
others shall judge and point out if anything be lacking in it.
Finally, at the last meeting before the Particular Synod delegates
shall be chosen to attend said Synod.
When there are more Ministers than one in a church, all of them may
attend the Classis and have a vote, except in matters which
particularly concern their persons or churches.
At the close of the Classical and other major Assemblies, censure
shall be exercised over those who have done something worthy of
punishment in the meeting, or who have scorned the admonition of the
The Classis shall authorize a number of its Ministers, at least two of
the oldest, most experienced and competent ones, to visit all the
Churches once a year, in cities as well as in rural districts, and to
take heed whether the Ministers, Consistories, and School-teachers
faithfully perform the duties of their offices, adhere to sound
doctrine, observe in all things the adopted order, and properly
promote as much as lies in them, by word and deed, the edification of
the Congregation including the youth, to the end that they may in time
fraternally admonish those who have in anything been negligent, and
may by their advice and assistance help direct all things unto peace,
upbuilding, and neatest profit of the Churches and Schools. And each
Classis may continue these Visitors in service as long as it sees fit,
except where the Visitors themselves request to be released for
reasons of which the Classis shall judge.
It shall be the duty of the church in which the Classis, and likewise
the Particular or General Synod meets, to furnish the following
meeting with the minutes of the preceding.
Instructions concerning matters to be considered in major assemblies
shall not be written until the decisions of the previous Synod have
been read, in order that what was once decided be not again proposed
unless a revision be deemed necessary.
Every year, or if need be oftener, four or five or more neighbouring
Classes shall meet as a Particular Synod, to which each Classis shall
delegate two Ministers and two Elders. At the close of both, the
Particular and the General Synod, some church shall be empowered to
determine with the advice of the Classis the time and place of the
Each Synod shall be at liberty to solicit and hold correspondence with
its neighbouring Synod or Synods, in such manner as they shall judge
most conducive to general edification.
Each Synod shall delegate some to execute everything ordained by Synod
both as to what pertains to the High Authorities and to the respective
Classes resorting under it; and likewise to supervise together or in
smaller numbers all examinations of future Ministers. And furthermore,
in all other eventual difficulties they shall extend help to the
Classes in order that proper unity, order, and soundness of doctrine
may be maintained and established. They shall also keep proper record
of all their actions to report thereof to Synod, and if it be
demanded, give reasons. They shall also not be discharged from their
service before and until Synod itself discharges them.
The National Synod shall ordinarily be held every three years, unless
an urgent need arises to make it a shorter period. Two Ministers and
two Elders shall be sent from each Particular Synod (from both the
German and the Welsh speaking churches). Further, the church charged
with appointing the time and place of the General Synod shall convene
its Particular Synod if the General Synod is to be called within the
three years (and inform the nearest church speaking the other
language, which is to send four persons there) to determine jointly
the time and place. (When the church which has been appointed to
convene the General Synod is consulting with the Classis regarding the
time and place, it is to inform the High Authorities in due time, that
with their knowledge, if it be their pleasure also to send some to the
Classis, the matter be decided in the presence and with the advice of
(Whereas two languages are spoken in the Netherlands, it is deemed
proper that the churches of the German and the Welsh languages each
have their own Consistories, Classical Meetings, and Particular
(Notwithstanding, it is reso1ved that in the cities where before
mentioned Welsh churches are found, some Ministers and Elders from
both sides meet every month to maintain proper unit and correspondence
with each other and, as much as possible, assist one another with
advice as the need arises.)
Third Head - Of the Doctrine, Sacraments, and Other Ceremonies
The Ministers of the Word of God and likewise the Professors in
Theology shall subscribe to the Confession of Faith of the Netherlands
Churches (which is proper for the other Professors as well), and the
Ministers who refuse to do so shall de facto be suspended from their
office by the Consistory or Classis until they shall have declared
themselves fully in this matter, and if they obstinately persist in
refusing, they shall be deposed from their office.
Likewise the Schoolteachers shall subscribe to the aforesaid Articles
or instead thereof to the Christian Catechism.
No one of the Reformed Religion shall presume to have printed or
published in any other way any book or writing, treating of Religion,
prepared or translated by himself or by someone else, unless it is
previously looked over and approved by the Ministers of the Word of
his Classis, or by the Particular Synod, or by the Professors of
Theology of these provinces, but with the knowledge of his Classis.
The Covenant of God shall be sealed to the children of Christians by
Baptism as soon as the administration thereof is feasible, in the
public assembly when the Word of God is preached. But in those places
where sermons are preached less frequently, a certain day of the week
shall be set aside for the administration of Baptism in a special
service, not however, without the preaching of a sermon.
The Ministers shall do their best and put forth every effort to have
the father present his child for baptism. And in the Congregations
where Spons0rs or Witnesses are taken at Baptism beside the father
(which custom, not being objectional in itself, is not easily changed)
it is proper that such be taken who agree with the pure doctrine and
are pious in their conversation.
In baptizing both children and adults, the Ministers shall employ the
Forms pertaining to the institution and administration of Baptism
which have been drawn up respectively for this purpose.
Adults are incorporated through Baptism into the Christian Church and
are received as members of the Church, and are therefore obliged also
to partake of the Lord's Supper, which they shall promise to do at
The names of those baptized, together with those of the parents and
witnesses, and likewise the date of Baptism, shall be recorded.
None shall be admitted to the Lord's Supper except those who,
according to the usage of the Church to which they unite themselves,
have made Confession of Religion, besides being reputed to be of a
godly conversation, without which also those who come from other
Churches shall not be admitted.
Every Church shall administer the Lord's Supper in such a manner as it
shall judge most conducive to edification; provided, however, that the
outward ceremonies as prescribed in God's Word be not changed and all
superstition be avoided, and that at the conclusion of the sermon and
the usual prayers on the pulpit, the Form for the administration of
the Lord's Supper, together with the prayer for that purpose, shall be
read at the Table.
The Lordly Supper shall be administered once every two months,
wherever possible, and it will be edifying that it take place at
Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas where the circumstances of the Church
permit. However, in those places where the Church has not yet been
instituted, first of all Elders and Deacons shall be provided.
Whereas the Evening Prayer Meetings are found profitable in many
places, every Church shall govern their use in a manner they judge to
conduce most to their edification. However, in case they would desire
to discontinue them, this is not to be done without the judgment of
the Classis (and of the Authorities who favour the Reformed Religion).
If funeral sermons are not in use, they are not to be introduced, and
if they already have come to be accepted, diligence shall be exercised
to dispose of them by the most suitable means.
In times of war, pestilence, calamities, heavy persecution of the
Churches, and other general distresses, the Ministers of the Churches
shall request the Government to employ their authority and command
that public days of Fasting and Prayer be appointed and set aside.
The Churches shall observe, in addition to Sunday, also Christmas,
Easter, and Pentecost, with the following day, and whereas in most of
the cities and provinces of the Netherlands the day of Circumcision
and of Ascension of Christ are also observed, Ministers in every place
where this is not yet done shall take steps with the Government to
have them conform with the others.
The Ministers everywhere shall briefly explain on Sunday, ordinarily
in the afternoon sermon, the sum of Christian doctrine comprehended in
the Catechism which at present is accepted in the Netherland Churches,
so that it may be completed every year in accordance with the devision
of the Catechism itself made for that purpose.
In the Churches only the 150 Psalms of David, the Ten Commandments,
the Lord's Prayer, the Twelve Articles of Faith, the Song of Mary,
that of Zacharias, and that of Simon shall be sung. It is left to the
individual Churches whether or not to use the hymn "Oh God! who art
our Father." All other hymns are to be excluded from the Churches, and
in those places where some have already been introduced they are to be
removed by the most suitable means.
Whereas up to now various usages in regard to marriages are maintained
everywhere, and it nevertheless is proper that uniformity be exercised
in this matter, therefore the Churches shall adhere to the method
which they, in conformity to the Word of God and previous
ecclesiastical regulations have maintained up to now, until the High
Authorities (which are to be asked to do so at the earliest
opportunity) shall prepare a general Regulation with the advice of the
Ministers of the Churches, to which this Church Order refers itself in
Fourth Head - Of Censure and Ecclesiastical Admonition
As Christian discipline is of a spiritual nature, and exempts no one
from civil trial or punishment by the authorities, so also besides
civil punishment there is need of ecclesiastical censure, to reconcile
the sinner with the Church and with his neighbour, and to remove the
offense out of the Church of Christ.
In case anyone transgresses against the purity of doctrine or
godliness of conversation, as long as it is of a private character and
has not given public offense, the rule clearly prescribed by Christ in
Matthew 18 shall be followed.
Secret sins of which the sinner repent after being admonished by one
person in private or in the presence of two or three witnesses, shall
not be laid before the Consistory.
If anyone, having been admonished in love concerning a secret sin by
two or three persons, does not give heed, or otherwise has committed a
public sin, the matter shall be reported to the Consistory.
The reconciliation of all such sins as are of their nature of a public
character, or have become public because the admonition of the Church
was despised, shall take place, when definite signs of repentance are
evident, publicly, by the judgment of the Consistory; and in rural
districts or smaller towns having only one Minister, with the advice
of two neighbouring Churches, in such a form and manner as shall be
judged to be conducive to the edification of each Church.
Such as obstinately reject the admonition of the Consistory, and
likewise those who have committed a public or otherwise gross sin,
shall be suspended from the Lord's Supper. And if he, having been
suspended after repeated admonitions, shows no signs of repentance,
the Consistory shall at last proceed to the extreme remedy, namely,
excommunication, agreeably to the Form adopted for that purpose
according to the Word of God. But no one shall be excommunicated
except with previous advice of Classis.
Before proceeding to excommunication, the obstinacy of the sinner
shall be publicly made known to the Congregation, explaining the
offense, together with the diligence bestowed upon him in reproof,
suspension from the Lord's Supper, and manifold admonitions; and the
Congregation shall be exhorted to speak to him and to pray for him.
There shall be three such admonitions. In the first the name of the
sinner shall not be mentioned, that he be somewhat spared. In the
second, with the advice of the Classis, his name shall be mentioned.
In the third the Congregation shall be informed that, unless he
repent, he will be excluded from the fellowship of the Church, so that
his excommunication, in case he remains obstinate, may take place with
the tacit approbation of the Church. The interval between the
admonition shall be left to the discretion of the Consistory.
Whenever anyone who has been excommunicated desire to become
reconciled to the Church in the way of penitence, it shall be
announced to the Congregation, either before the administration of the
Lord's Supper or at some opportune time, in order that, in so far as
no one can mention anything against him to the contrary, at the next
Lord's Supper he may, with profession of his repentance be publicly
reinstated according to the Form for that purpose.
When Ministers of the Divine Word, Elders, or Deacons have committed
any public, gross sin, which is a disgrace to the Church, or worthy of
punishment by the Authorities, the Elders and Deacons shall
immediately, by preceding sentence of the Consistory of that Church
and the nearest adjoining Church, be deposed from their office, but
the Ministers shall be suspended. But whether or not they are to be
entirely deposed from their office shall be subject to the judgment of
Furthermore, among the gross sins which are worthy of being punished
with suspension or deposition from office, these are the principal
ones: false doctrine or heresy, public schism, public blasphemy,
simony, faithless desertion of office or intrusion upon that of
another, perjury, adultery, fornication, theft, acts of violence,
habitual drunkenness, brawling, filthy lucre; in short, all sins and
gross offenses as render the perpetrators infamous before the world,
and which in any private member of the Church would cause him to be
considered worthy of excommunication.
The Ministers of the Word, Elders, and Deacons shall exercise
Christian censure among themselves, and in a friendly spirit admonish
one another with regard to the discharge of their office.
To those who remove from the Congregation, a Certificate of Dismission
or testimony regarding their conversation shall be given them at the
discretion of the Consistory, under the seal of the Church, or where
there is no seal, signed by two.
Furthermore, the poor shall, when removing for sufficient reasons,
receive assistance from the Deacons at their discretion provided it be
noted on the reverse side of their Certificate of Dismission to places
to which they wish to go, and the assistance they have received.
No church shall in any way lord it over other Churches, no Minister
over other Ministers, no Elder or Deacon over other Elders or Deacons.
Foreign Churches whose usages regarding nonessentials differ from ours
shall not be rejected.
These Articles, relating to the lawful Order of the Churches, have
been so drafted and adopted by common convent, that they, if the
profit of the Churches demand otherwise, may and ought to be altered,
augmented, or diminished. However, no particular Congregation,
Classis, or Synod shall be at liberty to do so, but they shall show
all diligence in observing them, until it be otherwise ordained by the
General, or National Synod.
Thus done and resolved in the National Synod at Dordrecht,
May 28, 1619, in cognizance of us, the undersigned, and was signed.
Johannes Bogermannus, Synodi Praeses
Jacobus Rolandus, Assessor
Sebastianus Damman, Synodi Scriba
Festus Hommius, Synodi Scriba
Formula of Subscription
WE, the undersigned, Professors of The . . . Reformed Church,
Ministers of the Gospel, Elders and Deacons of The . . . Reformed
congregation of . . . of the Classis of . . . do hereby sincerely and
in good conscience before the Lord, declare by this, our subscription,
that we heartily believe and are persuaded that all the articles and
points of doctrine, contained in the Confession and Catechism of the
Reformed Churches, together with the explanation of some points of the
aforesaid doctrine, made by the National Synod of Dordrecht, 1618-'19,
do fully agree with the Word of God.
We promise therefore diligently to teach and faithfully to defend the
aforesaid doctrine, without either directly or indirectly
contradicting the same, by our public preaching or writing.
We declare, moreover, that we not only reject all errors that
militate against this doctrine and particularly those which were
condemned by the above mentioned Synod, but that we are disposed to
refute and contradict these, and to exert ourselves in keeping the
Church free from such errors. And if hereafter any difficulties or
different sentiments respecting the aforesaid doctrines should arise
in our minds, we promise that we will neither publicly nor privately
propose, teach, or defend the same, either by preaching or writing,
until we have first revealed such sentiments to the consistory,
Classis and Synod, that the same may be there examined, being ready
always cheerfully to submit to the judgment of the consistory, Classis
and Synod, under the penalty in case of refusal to be, by that very
fact, suspended from our office.
And further, if at any time the consistory, Classis or Synod, upon
sufficient grounds of suspicion and to preserve the uniformity and
purity of doctrine, may deem it proper to requite of us a further
explanation of our sentiments respecting any particular article of the
Confession of Faith, the Catechism, or the explanation of the National
Synod, we do hereby promise to be always willing and ready to comply
with such requisition, under the penalty above mentioned, reserving
for ourselves, however, the right of an appeal, whenever we shall
believe ourselves aggrieved by the sentence of the consistory, the
Classis or the Synod, and until a decision is made upon such an
appeal, we will acquiesce in the determination and judgment already
End of Church Order