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God, angels and this assembly witness these solemn transactions and bear testiimony to your vows.
You profess a true repentance for sin and a cordial trust in Christ. You have made diligent inquiry by a study of the sacred Scriptures and by a careful examination of the heart to ascertain your qualifications to ättend the holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper. And it is in the fear of God and with a sincere desire to obey the precepts and honor the institutions of the gospel that. you request an admission into this church. [Vote of the Church is then taken.]
You are now members of this church of Christ purchased with the price of his blood. You do seriously, deliberately and forever, in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, give up yourselves in faith and love and holy obedience to God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost
accepting the Lord Jehovah to be your God, Jesus Christ to be your prophet and priest and king, and the Holy Ghost to be your sanctifier and comforter and guide. You promise by the aids of divine grace to come out from the world and be separate from its snares and pollutions, to receive in love the pure doctrines of the gospel, to walk in the statutes and ordinances of the Lord blameless, and to do honor to your high and holy vocation. You submit to the inspection and dicipline of this church.
You engage to sanctify the Lord's day, to read with diligence the word of God, and to worship him with reverence in the closet and in the family and in the congregation of his people.
This you promise and engage to do, with humble trust in the grace of God and with an affecting belief that your vows are recorded on high and will be reviewed in the day of final judgment.
[The members of the Church rise to acknowledge the reciprocal obligation of the Covenant.]
We then, the members of this church, do joyfully receive you into our holy communion and give thanks to God who has inclined your heart to fear his name. We promise to treat you with affection, to watch over you with tenderness, and to offer our prayers to the Great Head of the church that you may be enabled to fulfil this solemn covenant.
The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you: the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
The God of peace who brought again from the dead the Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ. The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. Now unto Him who is able to establish and keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Num. 6. 24. Heb. 13. 20, 21. I Pet. 5, 10, 11. Jude 24.
Aform of Covenant adopted at the organization of the Church in Dedham : Nov. 8th, 1638.
We, whose names are subscribed, having found by woful experience, the unsteadfastness of our hearts with God and proneness to go astray from his ways, for which we desire to abase and humble ourselves in his presence, and desiring to be joined forever to the Lord, and to cleave together in spiritual love and communion, according to his holy institutions, that we might enjoy in his name such holy helps as the Lord Jesus in wisdom and compassion hath ordained in his gospel for his people, thereby to let out himself unto them, and to build them up in faith and holiness, till he have prepared them for everlasting communion with himself:
We do therefore, in the name and presence of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, and before his people here assembled, solemnly enter into covenant with the Lord our God, professing and acknowledging the Lord Jesus, our blessed Redeemer, to be the only priest, prophet, and king of his church, and (through the help of his grace) his only merit we rest upon for our pardon and peace with the Father; his only teaching and righteous government, with all the blessed ordinances of his kingdom; we do embrace and submit unto in all things, as the only rule of our lives, renouncing all our own righteousness, with all the doctrines, devices, and commandments of men, not agreeing with his holy word; especially all the superstitious and tyrannous commands of Antichrist, and his adherents, wherein we have in any kind been entangled; professing and promising, through the help of his. rich and free grace, henceforth not to live unto ourselves, but unto the Lord Jesus, who hath bought us with his blood, avoiding carefully all such things as be offensive to his majesty, and dishonourable to our profession of his name, with all such dangerous temptations as our sinful hearts are wont to be drawn aside withal, in special, the inordinate cares of, and entanglements in, the affairs of this life: Promising and professing also, through the help of the Lord, to live together in this our holy fellowship, ac-, cording to the rule of love, in all holy watchfulness over each other, and faithful mutual helpfulness in the ways of God, for the spiritual and temporal comfort and good of one another in the Lord; and all to the setting forth of the praise of his rich grace in Christ, who hath called us in his abundant mercy to this holy fellowship with his Majesty and one with another.
A form of Covenant adopted May 23d, 1633, when the church solemnly renewed their Covenant. *
We, who through the exceeding riches of the grace and patience of God do yet continue members of this church, being now assembled in the holy
*On March 4th, 1742, with special fasting and prayer, the church solemn a ly renewed their covenant in this form of words,
presence of God and in the name of the Lord Jesus,-after humble confes. sion of our manifold breaches of Covenant before the Lord our God and earnest supplication for pardoning mercy through the blood of Christ, and due acknowledgment of our great unworthiness to be owned as the Lord's covenant-people,—also acknowledging our inability to keep covenant with God, or to perform any spiritual duty, unless the Lord Jesus enable us thereunto, by his spirit dwelling in us,-and being awfully sensible that it is a dreadful thing for sinful dust and ashes, personally to transact with the infinitely glorious Majesty of heaven and earth,-We do in humble confidence of his gracious assistance and acceptance through Christ, each of us for ourselves and jointly as a church of the living God, explicitly renew our covenant with God and one with another, in manner and form following: viz.
"We do in the name and presence of God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, "and before his people here assembled, solemnly enter into covenant with "the Lord our God,-professing and acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ 66 our beloved Redeemer, to be the only Priest, Prophet and King of his "church,-And (through the help of his grace) his merit only we rest upon "for our pardon and peace with the Father, his only teaching and right"eous government, with all the blessed ordinances of his kingdom, we do "embrace and submit to in all things, as the only rule of our lives,-re66 nouncing all our own righteousness, with all the doctrines, devices and commandments of men, not agreeing with his holy word, especially all "the superstitious and tyrannous commands of Anti-Christ and his adhe66 rents, wherein we have been in any kind entangled,—professing and 66 promising (through the help of his free and rich grace) henceforth not to "live to ourselves, but unto the Lord Jesus who hath bought us with his "blood,―avoiding all such things as be offensive to his Majesty and dis"honourable to our profession of his name, with all such dangerous temp"tations, as our sinful hearts are wont to be drawn aside withal,-in 66 special, the inordinate cares of and entanglements in the affairs of this "life,-promising and professing also by the help of the Lord to live to66 gether in this our holy fellowship, according to the rule of love in all holy "watchfulness over each other, and faithful mutual helpfulness in the ways "of God for the spiritual and temporal comfort and good one of another in "the Lord--and all to the setting forth the praise of his rich grace in "Christ, who hath called us in his abundant mercy to this holy fellowship
with his Majesty and one with another."
And whereas there are many evils grown too common in this land, so far as we or any of us have been guilty of them, we desire from our hearts to bewail it before the Lord and humbly to entreat for pardoning mercy, for the sake of the blood of the everlasting covenant-And as an expedient unto reformation of whatever evils have provoked the eyes of God's glory amongst us, we do subjoin to our Church Covenant a further engagement, whereby we do as in the presence of God promise
That we will (by the help of Christ) endeavor every one of us to reform his own heart and life, by seeking to mortify all our sins, and endeavoring to walk closely with God,-to uphold the power of godliness,-(to keep holy the Lord's day, and reverently and carefully to attend upon the dispensation of the word and ordinances of Christ, and all parts of his worship, whether public or private,) according as in the word of God, it is required of us to do.
We promise also, by the help of Christ, to walk before God in our houses with an upright heart, taking care that God be constantly called upon by prayer, and that the scriptures be frequently read in them, and that we ill endeavor to perform all duty required of us toward our children for