صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

break it, and give it unto you (there the minister, who is also hime • self to conmusicate, is to break the bread, and give it to the cons• municant; Take ye, eat ye : This is the body of Christ which is broken for you; Do this in remembrance of him.'

In like manner the minister is to take the cup and say, in these expressions (or other the like, used by Christ or the apostle upon the fame occasion :)

• According to the institution, command, and example of our • Lord Jesus Christ, I take this cup, and give it unto you, (Here he

giveth it to the communicants) This cap is the New Testament in the blood of Christ, which is foed for the remission of the fins of many : Drink ye all of it.'

After all have communicated, the minister may, in a few words, put them in mind,

• Of the grace of God, in Jesus Christ, held forth in this facrament, • and exhort them to' walk worthy of it.'

The minister is to give folemn thanks to God, • For his rich mercy, and invaluable goodoels, vouchlafed to them • in that facrament; and to in treat for pardon for the defects of the

whole service, and for the gracious assistance of his good Spirit, ' whereby they may be enabled to walk in the strength of that grace, • as becometh those who have received so great pledges of Galvation.'

The collection for the poor, is so to be ordered, that no part of the public worship be thereby hindered.

of the Sanctification of the Lord's Day. He Lord's Day ought to be fo remembered before hand, as that

and so timely and seasonably laid aside, as they may not be impediments to the due fanctifying of the day when it comes.

The whole day is to be celebrated as holy to the Lord, both in public and private, as being the Christian fabbath. To which cod, it is requisite, that there be a holy cessation, or resting all that day, from all unnecessary labours; and an abstaining, not only from all sports and pastimes, but also from all worldly words and thoughts.

That the diet on that day be to ordered, as that neither servants be unnecessarily detained fro:n the public worship of God, nor any other person hindered from the fanctifying that day.

That there be private preparations of every person and family, by prayer for themselves, and for God's allistance of the minister, and for a blefling upon his ministry; and by such other holy exercises, as may further dispose them to a more comfortable communion with God in his public ordinances,

[blocks in formation]

That all the people meet so timely for public worship, that the whole congregation may be present at the begioning, and with one heart folemnly join together in all parts of the public worship, and pot depart till after the blessing.

That what time is vacant, between, or after the folemn meetings of the congregation in publlic, be spent in reading, meditation, repetition of fermons; especially by calling their families to an account of what they have heard, and catechising of them, holy conferences

, prayer for a blessing upon the public ordinances, finging of psalms, visiting the fick, relieving the poor, and such like duties of piety, charity, and mercy, accounting the fabbath a delight.

The Solemnization of Marriage. Lthough marriage be no facrament, nor peculiar to the church of common-wealth ; yet, because such as marry are to marry in the Lord, anu have special need of instruction, direction and exhortation, from the word of God, at their entering into such a new condition; and the blessing of God upon them therein ; we judge it expedient, that marriage be folemnized by a lawful minister of the word, that he may accordingly counsel them, and pray for a blessing upon them.

Muriage is to be betwixt one man and one woman only : and ther, such as are not within the degrees of confanguinity or affinity prohibited by the word of God; and the parties are to be of years of di:cretion, fit to make their own choice, or, upon good grounds, to give their mutual consent.

Before the folemnizing of marriage between any persons, their pur. pose of marriage shall be published by the minister three several fabbath-days, in the congregation, at the place or places of their most usual and conftant abode, respectively. And of this publication, the minister who is to join them in marriage shall have sufficient testimooy, before he proceed to folemnize the marriage.

Before that publication of such their purpole (if the parties be un der age) the consent of the parents, or others under whose power they are (in case the parents be dead) is to be made known to the church-officers of that congregation, to be recorded.

The like is to be observed in the proceedings of all others, although of age, whose parents are living, for their first marriage.

And, in after-marriages of either of thofe parties, they shall be exforted not to contract marriage without firit acquainting their parents with it (if with conveniency it may be done) endeavouring to obtain their consent.

Parents ought not to force their children to marry without their he consent, nor deny their own content without just cause.

After

After the purpose or contract of marriage hath been tbus published, the marriage is not long to be deferred. Therefore the minister, having had convenient warning, and nothing been objected to hinder it, is publickly to folemnize it in the place appointed by authority for public worship, before a competent number of credible witnesses, at some convenient hour of the day, at any time of the year, except on a day of public humiliation. And we advise that it be not on the Lord's day.

And, because all relations are sanctified by the word and prayer, the minister is to pray for a blessing upon them to this effect;

• Acknowledging our fins, whereby we have made ourselves less than • the least of all the mercies of God and provoked him to imbitter all

our comforts, earnestly, in the name of Christ, to intreat the Lord • (whose presence and favour is the happiness of every condition, and

sweeteos every relation) to be their portion, and to own and accept • them in Christ, who are now to be joined in the honourable estate of • marriage, the covenant of their God: And that, as he hath brought • them together by his providence, he would fanctify them by his Spi• rit, giviog them a frame of heart, fit for their new estate ; enriching ' them with all graces whereby they may perform the duties, enjoy the • comforts, undergo the cares, and relift the temptations which accom. pany that condition, as becometh Christians.'

The prager being ended, it is convenient that the minister do briefly declare unto them, out of the scripture.

· The institution, use, and ends of marriage, with the conjugal duties, ' which, in all faithfulness, they are to perform each other : exhorting

them to study the holy word of God, that they may learn to live by ' faith, and to be content in the midst of all marriage cares and troubles,

fanctifying God's name, in a thankful, fober, and holy use of all conju

gal comforts; praying much with and for one another : watching o'ver, and provoking each other to love and good works: and to live to

gether as the heirs of the grace of life.'

After solemn charging of the persons to be married, before the great God who searcheth all hearts, and to whom they must give a lirict account at the last day, that if either of them know any cause, by precontract, or otherwile; why they inay not lawfully proceed to marriage, that they now discover it; The minister (if po impediment be acknow. ledged) Thall cause first the man take the woman by the right-hand, fay. ing these words.

I N. do take thee N. to be my married wife, and do, in the prefence of God, and before this congregation, promise and covenant to be a loving and faithful husband unto thee, until God fall separate us by death.

Then the woman shall take the man by the right-hand, and say these words.

IN

li 4

I N, do take thee N, to be my married husband, and I do, in the presence of God, and before this congregation, promise and covenant is be a loving, faithful ana obedient wise unto thee, until God sball separate us by deatle.

Then, without any further ceremony, the mioister fhall in the face of the congregation, pronounce them to be husband and wife, according to God's ordinance ; and so conclude the action with prayer to this effect;

· That the Lord would be pleased to accompany his own ordinance • with his blessing, beleeching him to enrich the persons now married,

as with other pledges of his love, to particularly with the comforts • and fruits of marriage, to the praise of his abundant mercy, in and • through Christ Jetus.'

A register is to be carefully kept, wherein the names of the parties so married, with the time of their mariage, are forthwith to be fairly recorded in a book provided for that purpose, for the perutal of all whom it may concern.

Concerning Visitation of the Sick.

I ,

Tis the duty of the minister not only to teach the people commit

monish, exhort reprove and comfort them, upon all seasonable occa. sions, so far as his time, strength, and personal safety will permit.

He is to admouilh them, in time of health, to prepare for death; and, for that purpose, they are often to copfer with their minister, about the estate of their souls, and, in times of sickness, to defire his advice and help, timely and seasonably, before their strength and understanding fail them.

Times of sickness and affliction are special opportunities put into his hand by God, to minister a word in féalon to weary souls; because then the consciences of men are, or should be, more awakened to bethink themselves of their spiritual estate for eternity; and Satan alto takes advactage then, to load them more with fore and heavy temptations: therefore the minister, being sent for, and repairing to the fick, is to apply himself with all tenderness and love, to adminifter some piritual good to his foul, to this effect.

He may, from the consideration of the present fickness, instruct him out of fcripture, that diseases come not by chance, or by distempers of body only, but by the wise and orderly guidance of the good band of God, to every particular person smitten by them. And that, whether it be laid upon him out of displeature for fin, for his correction and ameodent, or for trial and exercise of his graces, or for other special and excellent ends, all his sufferings Mall turn to his profit, and work together for his good, if he fincerely labour to make a fanctifed

use

use of God's visitation, neither depiling his chastening, nor waxing weary of his correction.

If he fufpect him of ignorance, he shall examine him in the principles of religion, especially touching repentance and faith; and, as he feeth caule, inftruét him in the natura, ule, excellency and Decesity of those giaces; as alfo touching the covenant of grace; and Christ the Son of God, the mediator of it, and, concerning remission of lios by faith in him

He mall exhort the sick person to examine himself, to search and try his tormer ways, and his eltate towards God.

And if the sick per top shall declare any sc: uple, doubt or temptation that are upon him, instructions and relolucions shall be given to fatisty and sertle him.

If it appear that he hath not a due sense of his fios, endeavours ought to be used to convince him of his fins, of the guilt and defert of them ; of the filth and pollution, which the foul contracts by them; and of the curse of the law, and wrath of God, due to them : that he may be truly affected with, and humbled for them : and withal make known the danger of deferring repentance, and of neglecting falvation at any time offered; to awaken his conscience, and rouze him

up out of a flupid and secure condition, to apprehend the justice and wrath of God, before whom pone can stand, but he that, loft in himself, lageth hold upon Christ by faith.

If he have endeavoured to walk in the ways of holiness, and to serve God in uprightness, although not wi hout many failings and infirmi. ties; or it his fpirit be broken with the sense of fin, or cast down through want of the lense of God's favour; then it will be fit to raise him up, by setting before him the freeness and fuloess of God's grace, the fufficiency of righteoulness in Christ, the gracious offers in the gospel, that all who repent, and believe with all their heart in God's mercy through Christ, renouncing their own righteousness, fhall have life and falvation in him; it may be also useful to Mew him, that death hath in it no fpiritual evil to be feared by those that are in Christ, beCause fin, the sting of death is taken away by Christ, who hath delivered all that are his, from the bondage of the fear of death, triumphed over the grave, given us victory, is himself entered into glory, to prepare a place for his people: fo that neither life nor death fhall be able to separate them from God's love in Christ, in whom such are fure, though now they must be laid in the dust, to obtain a joyful and glorious resurrection to eternal life.

Advice alto may be given, as to beware of an ill-grounded persuaSion on mercy, or on the goodnets of his condition for heaven, fo to di claim all merit in himself, and to cast himself wholly upon God for mercy, in the sole merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, who hath ea. gaged himself never to caft off them, who in truth and fincerity come unto him. Cure also must be taken, that the sick person be po: cast

clown

« السابقةمتابعة »