Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

that they should have encouragement in their places, by our not grieving their spirits through our irregularities. We resolve to approve ourielves to the Lord in our particular callings; shunning idleness, as the bane of any state; nor will we deal hardly or oppreflingly with any, wherein we are the Lord's stewards. Promiii.ig-also, unto our best ability, to teach our children and servants the knowledge of God, and of his will, that they may serve him also; and all this not by any strength of our own, but by the Lord Christ; whose blood we delire may sprinkle this our covenant, made in his name*."

For T Y-s E v En years after this, a Synod met at Boston for the purpose of Covenant-rejiovation. The tenor whereof follows r"

"WE, who through the exceeding riches of the grace and patience of God, do continue to be a church of Christ, being now aflembled in the holy presence of God, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, after humble confeilion of our manifold breaches of covenant before the Lord our God, and earnest supplication of pardoning mercy through the blood of Christ, —after deep acknowledgment of our great uuworthiness to be owned to be thp Lord's cove

* Mather's history of New Ens-land, Book I. p. 18.

naiit

[ocr errors]

nant people; also, acknowledging our own inability to keep covenant with God, or to perform any spiritual duty, unless the Lord Jesus enable thereto by his Spirit dwelling in us: And being awfully sensible, that it is a dreadful thing for sinful dull: and ashes personally to transact with the infinitely glorious majesty of heaven and earth, we do, in humble confidence of his gracious aflistance and acceptance thro' Christ, each one of us for ourselves, and jointly as a Church of the living God, and one with another, in manner following:

We do "give up ourselves to that God whose name alone is Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the One only true and living God, and to our bleflcd Lord Jesus Christ, as our only blessed Saviour, Prophet, Priest, and King over our souls, and only mediator of the Covenant of Grace, promising (by the help of his Spirit and grace) to cleave unto God as our clues good, and to the Lord Jesus-Christ, by faith and gospel obedience,, as becoincth his covenant people for ever. We do also give our offspring unto God in Jesus Christ, avouching the Lord lo be our God, and the God of our children, and ourselves, with our children, to be his people; humbly adoring the grace of God, that we$ and our offspring with us, may be looked upon to be the Lord's.

We do also give up ourselves one to.another in the Lord, and according to the will of God;

freely

freely covenanting and binding ourselves to walk togetficr as a right ordered congregation and church of Christ, in all the Ways of his worship, according to the holy rules of the word of God; promising, in brotherly love, to watch over one another's fouls faithfully, and to submit ourselves unto the discipline and government of Christ in his Church, and duly to attend to all those ordinances which Christ hath instituted in his Church, and commanded to be'attended by his people, according to the. order of the Gospel and the degrees of communion unto which we have attained; not resting in measures attained, bitt pressing after all: And whereas the messengers of those Churches, who have met together in the name of Christ, to enquire into the reason of God's controversy with his people, have taken notice of many provoking evils, as the procuring causes of the judgments of God upon New England: So far as we, or any of us, have been guilty of provoking God by any sin therein discovered to us, we desire, from our hearts, to wail it before the Lord, and humbly to entreat for pardoning mercy, for the fake of the blood of the Everlasting Covenant: And as an expedient to the reformation of those evils, or whatever ehe has provoked the eyes of God's glory amongst us, We do freely engage and promise, .as in the presence of God,

First, That we will (Christ helping) endeavour, every one of us, to reform our heart

and and life, by seeking to mortify all our fins, and labouring- to walk more closely with God than ever yet we have done; and will continue to worship God in public, private, and secret; - and this without formality or hypocrisy: And more fully and faithfully than heretofore, to discharge all covenant-duties, one to another, in church-communion.

Secondly, To walk,before G^od in our houses with a perfect heart, and that we will uphold the worship of God continually therein, according as he, in his word, doth require; both in respect of prayer and reading the Scripture?, that so the word of God may dwell richly in Us: And we will do what in us lies to bring up our children for Christ, that they may be such as have the Lord's name put upon them, as, by 'a solemn dedication to God in Christ, ought to be: And will, therefore (as need shall be), catechise, exhort, and charge them to the fear of the Lord; and endeavour to set an holy example before them, and be much in prayer for their conversion and salvation.

Thirdly, To endeavour to be pure from the sins of the times; especially those sins which have been, by the late Synod, solemnly declared and evidenced to be the evils that have brought the judgments of God upon New England; and, in our places, to endeavour the suppreflion thereof, and bd careful

so

so to walk as that we may not give occasion to others to sin, or speak evil of our holy profession.

Now, that we may observe and keep this sacred covenant, and all the branches of it, inviolable for ever, we desire to deny ourselves, and to depend wholly upon the power of the Eternal Spirit of Grace, and on the free Mercy of Goth and Merit of Christ Jesus; and where we shall fail, there to wait upon the Lord Jesus Christ for pardon, acceptance, and healing, for his name's fake*."

Time

* Mather ut stipraj p* 95.'' ■ 'The Acknowledgment of Sins, mentioned in the foregoing bond, consisted of fourteen distinct parts. The duty of confessing the guilt of covenant-violation preceded that of covenant-renovation; and the manner of covenanting is de* scribed, by this historian, in the following terms: "In this Renewal of Covenant, there were some Churches, who, from 1 know not what objections, of there being no express warrant for it in the New Testament, and their doing it implicitly in every act of divine worship, and the imaginary danger of innovations, would not comply with the advice 0/ the Synod: But all the virgins were not so steepy; and very remarkable was the blessing os God upon the Churches which did'not so sleep. In short, many of the Churches having, on previous day^ of fasting and prayer, considered the expectations of God concerning them, they were willing, a new to declare their most explicit consent unto the Covenant of Grace, and most explicitly to engage unto a growing watchfulness in such duties of the covenant as were more peculiarly accommodated unto their present circumstances. They publicly devoted another day to fasting and prayer, whereat a vast confluence of other neighbours were usually present; and, on this day, the * 'Kkkk minister

« AnteriorContinuar »