Church Order
 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
 Contents Partnumber
 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
 Article 1
 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
 Article 2
 The offices are of four kinds: of the Ministers of the Word, of the
 Professors of Theology, of the Elders, and of the Deacons.
 Article 3
 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.
 Article 4
 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.
 Article 5
 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.
 Article 6
 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.
 Article 7
 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
 extension work.
 Article 8
 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
 Article 9
 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.
 Article 10
 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
 Article 11
 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.
 Article 12
 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.
 Article 13
 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.
 Article 14
 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.
 Article 15
 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.
 Article 16
 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.
 Article 17
 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.
 Article 15
 The office of the Doctors or Professors of Theology is to expound the
 Holy Scriptures and to uphold sound doctrine against heresies and
 Article 19
 The Churches shall make efforts to obtain students of theology, which
 are to be supported by them.
 Article 20
 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.
 Article 21
 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 Catechism.
 Article 22
 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.
 Article 23
 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.
 Article 24
 The Deacons shall be chosen, approved, and installed in the same
 manner as was stated concerning the Elders.
 Article 25
 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.
 Article 26
 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.
 Article 27
 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.
 Article 28
 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
 Article 29
 Four things of ecclesiastical assemblies shall be maintained: the
 Consistory, the Classical Meetings, the Particular Synod, and the
 General or National Synod.
 Article 30
 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
 in common.
 Article 31
 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.
 Article 32
 The proceedings of all assemblies shall begin by calling upon the Name
 of God and be closed with thanksgiving.
 Article 33
 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.
 Article 34
 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.
 Article 35
 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.
 Article 36
 The Classis has the same jurisdiction over the Consistory as the
 Particular Synod has over the Classis and the General Synod over the
 Article 37
 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.)
 Article 38
 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.
 Article 39
 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.
 Article 40
 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
 Article 41
 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.
 Article 42
 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.
 Article 43
 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
 minor assemblies.
 Article 44
 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.
 Article 45
 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.
 Article 46
 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.
 Article 47
 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
 next Synod.
 Article 48
 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.
 Article 49
 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.
 Article 50
 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
 their Deputies.)
 Article 51
 (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
 Article 52
 (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
 Article 53
 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.
 Article 54
 Likewise the Schoolteachers shall subscribe to the aforesaid Articles
 or instead thereof to the Christian Catechism.
 Article 55
 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.
 Article 56
 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.
 Article 57
 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.
 Article 58
 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.
 Article 59
 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
 their Baptism.
 Article 60
 The names of those baptized, together with those of the parents and
 witnesses, and likewise the date of Baptism, shall be recorded.
 Article 61
 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.
 Article 62
 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.
 Article 63
 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.
 Article 64
 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).
 Article 65
 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.
 Article 66
 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.
 Article 67
 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.
 Article 68
 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.
 Article 69
 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.
 Article 70
 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
 this matter.
 Fourth Head - Of Censure and Ecclesiastical Admonition
 Article 71
 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.
 Article 72
 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.
 Article 73
 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.
 Article 74
 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.
 Article 75
 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.
 Article 76
 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.
 Article 77
 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.
 Article 78
 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.
 Article 79
 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
 the Classis.
 Article 80
 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.
 Article 81
 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.
 Article 82
 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.
 Article 83
 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.
 Article 84
 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.
 Article 85
 Foreign Churches whose usages regarding nonessentials differ from ours
 shall not be rejected.
 Article 86
 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