« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
should become remiss in your duty, to the admonitions of the church ?-Upon which they shall answer.
Yes. [Then the Minister shall say;] The Almighty God and Father, replenish you all with his grace, that ye may faithfully and fruitfully discharge your respective offices. Amen. [The Minister shall further exhort them, and the whole congregation,
in the following manner :) Therefore, ye elders be diligent in the government of the church, which is committed to you, and the ministers of the word. Be also as watchmen over the house and city of God, faithfully to admonish and to caution every one against his ruin. Take heed that purity of doctrine and godliness of life be maintained in the church of God. And ye deacons, be diligent in collecting the alms, prudent and cheerful in the distribution of the same : assist the oppressed, provide for the true widows and orphans, shew liberality unto all men, but epecially to the houshold of faith.
Be ye all with one accord faithful in your offices, and “hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience,” being good examples unto all the people. In so doing you will “purchase to yourselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus, and hereafter enter into the joy of your Lord.” On the other hand, beloved christians, receive these men as servants of God ; count the elders that rule well, worthy of double honour; give yourselves willingly to their inspection and government. Provide the deacons with good means to assist the indigent. Be charitable, ye rich, give liberally, and contribute willingly. And ye poor, be poor in spirit, and deport yourselves respectfully towards your benefactors; be thankful to them and avoid murmuring; follow Christ for the food of your souls, but not for bread. “ Let him that hath stolen (or who hath been burdensome to his neighbours) steal no inore; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the things which are good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Each of you doing these things in your respective callings, shall receive of the Lord “ the reward of righteousness.” But since we are unable of ourselves, let us call upon the name of the Lord, saying, O we
pleased thee, for the better edification of thy church, to ordain in 'it, besides the ministers of the word, rulers and assistants, by whom thy church may he preserved in peace and prosperity, and the indigent assisted ; and that thou hast at present granted us in this place, men who are of good testimony, and we hope endowed with tly Spirit. We beseech thee replenish them inore and more with such gifts as are necessary for them in their ministration : with the gifts of wisdom, courage, discretion, and benevolence, to the end that every one may in his respective office, acquit himself as is becoming; the elders in taking diligent heed unto the doctrine and conversation, in keeping out the wolves from the sheep-fold of thy beloved Son; and in admonishing and réproving disorderly persons. In like manner, the deacons in carefully receiving, and liberally and prudently distributing of the alıns to the poor, and in comforting them with thy holy word. Give grace both to the elders and deacons, that they may persevere in their faithful labour, and never become weary by reason of any trouble, pain, or persecution of the world. Grant also especially thy divine grace to this people, over whom they are placed, tut they may willingly submit themselves to the good exhortations of the elders, counting them worthy of honour for their work's sake: give also unto the rich, liheral hearts towards the poor, and to the poor, grateful hearts towards those - who help and serve them; to the end that every one acquitting self of his duty, thy holy name may thereby be magnified, and the kingdom of thy Son Jesus Christ, enlarged, in whose name we conclude our
FOR TIIE CONFIRMATION OF MARRIAGE, BEFORE THE
HEREAS married persons are generally, by rea
son of sin, subject to many troubles and affictions; to the end that you N. and N. (who desire to have your marriage bond publicly confirmed, here in the name of God, before this church) may also be ase sured in your hearts of the certain assistance of God, in your afflictions, hear therefore from the word of God, kow honourable the married state is, and that it is an institution of God, which is pleasing to him. Wherefore he also will (as he hath promised) bless and assist the married persons, and on the contrary judge and punish whoremongers and adulterers.
In the first place you are to know, that God our Father, (after he had created heaven and earth, and all that in them is) made man “ in his own image and likeness,” that he should have dominion over the beasts of the field, over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air. And after he had created man, he said, “It is not good that man should be alone, I will make hina an help meet for him.--And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father, and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” Therefore ye are not to doubt but that the married state is pleasing to the Lord, since he made unto Adam his wife, brought and gave her himself to him to be his wife; witnessing thereby that he doth yet as with his hand bring unto every man his wife. For this reason the Lord Jesus Christ did also highly honour it with his presence, gifts and miracles in Cana of Galilee, to shew thereby, that this holy state ought to be kept honourable by all, and that he will aid and assist the married persons even when they are least expecting it.
But that ye may live godly in this state, you must know the reasons wherefore God hath instituted the
The first reason is, that each faithfully assist the other in all things that belong to this life, and a better.
Secondly. That they bring up the children which they shall get, in the true knowledge and fear of God, to his glory, and their salvation.
Thirdly. That each of them avoiding all uncleanness and evil lusts, may live with a good and quiet conscience. For to avoid fornication, let every Man have his own Wife, and every Wife her own husband ; insomuch that all who are come to years, and have not the gift of continence, are bound by the command of God, to enter into the marriage state, with knowledge and consent of parents, or tutors and friends ; that so the temple of God, which is our body, may not be defiled; for, whosoever defileth the temple of God, him shall God destroy.
Next you are to know, how each is bound to behave respectively towards the other, according to the word of God.
First. You who are the bridegroom, shall know, that God hath set you to be the head of your wife, that you according to your ability, shall lead her with discretion; instructing, comforting, protecting her, as the head rules the body; yea, as Christ is the head, wisdom, consolation, and assistance to his church. Besides, you are to love your wife as your own body, as Christ hath loved, his church: you shall not be bitter against her, but dwell with the wife as the weaker vessel, considering that ye are joint heirs of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered ; and since it is God's command, that the man shall eat his bread in the sweat of his face, therefore you are to labour diligently and faithfully, in the calling wherein God hath set you, that you may maintain your houshold honestly, and likewise have something to give to the poor.
In like manner shall you, who are the bride, know how you are to carry yourself towards your husband, according to the word of God: you are to love your lawful husband, to honour and fear him, as also to be obedient unto him in all lawful things, as to your lord, as the body is obedient to the head, and the church to Christ. You shall not exercise any dominion over your husband, but be silent: for Adam was first created, and then Eve to be an help to Adam; and after the fall, God said to Eve, and in her to all women, your will shall be subject to your husband: you shall not resist this ordinance of God, but be obedient to the word of God, and follow the examples of godly women, who trusted in God, and were subject to their husbands; as Sarah was obedient to Abraham, calling him her lord: you shall also be an help to your husband in all good and lawful things, looking to your family, and walking in all honesty and virtue, without worldly pride, that you may give an example to others of modesty.
Wherefore you N. and you N. having now understood that God hath instituted marriage, and what he commands you therein ; are ye willing thus to behave yourselves in this holy state, as you here do confess before this christian assembly, and are desirous that you be confirmed in the same ?—Answer. Yes.
[Whereupon the Minister shall say,] I take you all, who are met here, to witness, that. there is brought no lawful impediment:
[Further to the married persons.] Since then it is fit that you be furthered in this your work, the Lord God confirm your purpose, which he hath given you; and your beginning be in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.