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Í. . The Church of Cbrift batb also been a great sufferer from the Immoralities & disorderly walking of tboje tbat are related to Her, whose Leaven hath fometimes hazarded the whole Jump. I Cor. 5. 6. Whose unseemly Practises have given advantage to Enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and to question the Truth of our holy Religion, & tbe fincerity of the Profesors tbereof.. These must be acknowledged to be Spots and Blemishes. 2 Pec. 2. 13. The Wisdom of our Law giver King and Judge, who alone barb theOriginal foveraignty of giving be-, ing to, and laying ibe Foundations of thelburch, and wbose only is the Legislative power therein, bath given fucb ample Rights and Priviledges to tbe Churcle and fuck Excellent Rules for its Government, as are Inviting to Strangers, like a City set on a Hill, Mat. 5. 14. And barb lodged the Executive power in approved bands, that tboje w bo love i be Cburcb may be in peace, and Her Enemies may find Her Terrible as an Army with Banners, and that Sbe migbt yield Seasonable edification to ibofe that walk Regularly witbin Her limits, and be able to Dif. cbarge Her self of Impenitent and Incorrigible Offenders. Many of the forementioned mifcbiefs bave to our forrow offliated tbe Cburcbes within this Government, and by degrees we bave fallen under mucb decay. Wbereupon our diffi'culties have been of a long time trouble fome,
for tbe bealing cur Wounds, a more Explicade alerting ibe Rules of Government suficiently provided in the Holy Word barb been ikouglas bighly expedient. Wberefore,
Tbe Honourable, the General Alsembly of this. Colony out of a Terder regard to the welfare of the Churches witbin ibe limits of sbeir Government, were pleajed to appoint the feveral Elders of each County witb Millengers from theirChurches to meet in Council, in wbicb obey thould endeavour to agree in fome General Rules Conformable 10 the Word of God fora met bod of Difcipiine so be prallised in cur Cburcbes. These several Councils baving met and drawn up fome Rules of Cburcb Government aid by ibiir Delegates meet and corfirute one General Affembly of the Cburcbes of Ibis Colony ar Say Brook, Sept. gth., 1708. Wbo after a full content and Agreement unto the Conflion of Faith Alenied unto by 1 be Synod of Bofton ; Did being Studicus of keeping the Unity of the Spint in the Bund of peace, Eph. 4. 2. Agree ibat ibe Heads of Agreement Allented to by the United Brethren formerly called Presbyterian and Congregational, in England, be observed by the Ckurches throughout this Colony, wbicb are ber with Published, and after Corsider alion of the several draug bts of the County Councils, did wisba Cbriftiani Condescention, and Fraterszal Ami
My; tho it , accepia our people
cubleness Unanimously Agree to the Articles for the Administration of Cburcb Discipline now of. fered to Publick View,ail wbicbbeing presented, were allowid of and Etablifbed by the General Asembly of tbis Colony, as by ibeir Aks appears for the better fatisfaction of our people, we bave. andertaken a tolk, acceptable we truift unto many; tho it escape not tbe Exceptions of fome, in fubjoyning Scriptures for Confirmation of be Heads of Agreement, which we bave not seen added ibereunto. The afarefaid Articles consist in Two Heads, The one holding forch the power of particular Churches in the Management of Discipline confirmed by Scriptures annexed, · The other, serves to prefcrve promote or recover the Peace & Edification of the Churches by the meaos of a Consociation of the Elders, and Churches or of an Affociation of Elders: Borbe which we are agreed bave Countenance from tbe Scriptures and the Propofitions in Answer to the Second Question given by the Synod met a: Bofton 1662. In both wbich baving reSpeal to tbe Divine Precepts of Fraternal Union, and that Principle universally acknowledged, Quod cangit omnes dehet tractari abomnibus. Tbc Scriptures are added for the Illustration of tbe substance of the above mentioned Articles, yet with an Apprehension, tbas there may be alteran tions made & furibor Candescentions agreed up
As we bave laboured in this affair to approve 'our felves unto God, so we are cbeerful with bumble Prayer for bis Blefing to recommend the Heads of Agreement with the subsequent Articles unto the acceptance and observation of our People, boping iill it please the Lord to send forth further light and iruil in these more ControverJal Matters, this Merbod may be a bleffed means of our better Unanimity and succes in our Lord's Work for the Garbering and Edifying of the Body of Christ, for which we befpeak the Çoxcuring Prayers of all that fear the LORD.
Heads ***************** Heads of Agreement Al
lented to by the United Ministers formerly called Presbyterian & Congregational. :
of Churches and Church Members:
W E acknowledge our Lord Jesus Chrift V to have one Catbolick Churcb, or Kinga
dom, comprehending all that are united to him, whether in Heaven or Earth. And do conceive the whole Multitude of ViGble Believers, and their Infant Seed (commonly call'd the Catbolick Visible Cburcb) to belong to, Christ's Spiritual Kingdom in this World. But for the Norjon of a Casbolick Vifible Churcb here, as it fignifies it's having been collected into any formed Society, under a visible com- . mon Head on Earth, whether one person sing.') ly or many Collectively, we with che rest of Proteftants, unanimously disclaim it. Epb.