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OR THE

CONSTITUTION

OF THE

CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES,

EXAMINED AND DEDUCED FROM EARLY CONGREGATIONAL WRITERS,
AND OTHER ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITIES,

AND FROM USAGE.

BY THOMAS C. UPHAM.
Pastor of the Congregational Church in Rochester, N. H., and

subsequently Professor in Bowdoin College.

Second Bdition.

PORTLAND:

WILLIAM HYDE..... EXCHANGE STREET.

1844.

Entered aecording to Act of Congress, in the district

Clerk's office, State of Maine.

PRESS OF J. GRIFFIX, BRUNSWICK.

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U627 PREFACE.

18444 'fhere is an account of the Order and government of the Reformed churches of Bohemia, written by Commenius, and which bears the title of Ratio DISCIPLINE FRATRUM BoHEMORUM. In imitation of that work, the treatise of the celebrated Cotton Mather, on the Government and Order of the Congregational churches, is entitled Ratio DISCIPLINÆ FRATRUM Nov-ANGLORUM. As this treatise of Mather has ever been the subject of frequent reference and of great authority, it was thought advisable to retain the name of R&tio Disciplinæ, although the literal import of the words fallo short of the extent of subjects, embraced in the present work.

A concise treatise on Congregational Order and Faith has been long needed. The subject, in its full extent, is not embraced in any one of the ancient treatises which have been written upon it, but must be gathered from all. Those works are now scarce; they are written, for the most part, in an antiquated style ; and are not unfrequently perplexed with propositions and discussions, which have never been sanctioned by the Usage of the churches. The writer has endeavored to extract from them, according to the best of his judgment, the admitted principles and order of the Sect; hoping, that what has been written, may be of some service to the cause of religion, notwithstanding its defects. It would have been greatly pleasing to me, if some other person of greater experience in ecclesiastical transactions had inade the attempt ; but I have been painfully taught by the necessities of my own situation as well as by the testimony of others, that the subject has already been neglected too long. A sense of duty, therefore, led me to the undertaking, although it was engaged in with reluctance; and having done what I could. I leave it, with sincere desires for their welfare, to the candid consideration of the churches.

THOMAS C. UPHAM,
Brunswick, Maine, April, 1844.

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