Imatges de pàgina

children, who shall tell it to the generation to come, that they also may set their hope in the Lord. And that our little ones may know the covenant care and faithfulness of the God of Israel, under whose wings their forefathers came hither to dwell in safety. Let us attend to the words of David's dying charge to the rulers and people of Israel, 1 Chron. xxviii. 8. Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God; that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.”'


5. Let us charge our children and households to keep the right ways of the Lord, to do judgment and justice, and let us set them an example of it in our own holy, humble, thankful and obedient lives; that in so doing we may inherit the blessings, and avoid the threatenings recorded, Isaiah i. 19, 20. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword (of divine justice), for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

In a word. Let this day and the sacrifices of it, come up for a memorial before God, of our holy joy in him, of our hearty love, and humble gratitude, and of our steady and fixed resolutions, by the help of his grace, to walk worthy of the Lord unto all weil pleasing. And when we have eaten and are full, let us bless God for the good land which he hath given to us; and be careful that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, that we may do all to the glory of God.

To God, only wise, bountiful, and gracious, be all honor and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


It is thought proper, not so much for the gratification of the curious, as for the quickening of the serious, and adınonition of the unthoughtful, that the Covenant of Association, which the firs settlers this town entered into in their infant state ; and upon the signing of which they admitted others to incorporate with them, should be published, by way of appendix.

And also the solemn Covenant of God, which our fathers entered into when they gave themselves up to the glorious Jesus, to be his people in church communion. Here follows,

I. The Society Covenant in these terms, viz.

1. We whose names are hereunto subscribed, do in the fear and reverence of our almighty God, mutually and severally promise amongst ourselves and each to other, to profess and practice one faith, according to that most perfect rule, the foundation whereof is everlasting love.

2. That we shall by all means labor to keep off from us, all such as are contrary minded; and receive only such unto us, as be such, as may be probably of one heart with us; as that we either know, or may well and truly be informed to walk in a peaceable conversation with all meekness of spirit, for the edification of each other in the knowledge and faith of the Lord Jesus ; and the mutual encouragement unto all temporal comforts in all things; seeking the good of each other, out of all which may be derived true peace.

3. That if at any time difference shall arise between parties of our said town, that then such party and parties, shall presently refer all such difference unto some one, two, or three others of our said society, to be fully accorded and determined, without any further delay, if it possibly may be.

4. That every man that now, or any time hereafter, shall have lots in our said town, shall pay his share in all such rates of money and charges as shall be imposed upon him rateably in proportion with other men, as also become freely subject unto all such orders and constitutions, as shall be necessarily had or made, now or at any time hereafter from this day forward, as well for loving and comfortable sociely in our said town, as also for the prosperous and thriving condition of our said fellowship, especially respecting the fear of God, in which we desire to begin and continue, whatsoever we shall by his loving favor take in hand.

5. And for the better manifestation of our true resolation herein, every man so received, to subscribe hereunto his name, thereby obliging both himself, and his successors after him for ever as we have done.

This covenant is subscribed by one hundred and twenty-six.

This Association Compact, plainly shows, that the truth and ways of God, mutual assistance and brotherly love were things much regarded by the first settlers of this town; and sure I am, that they are worthy of the notice of their posterity.

Now follows

II. The Church Covenant, in these terms, viz.

“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 for ever 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, ull 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 Anti-christ, 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 dishonorable 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, 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 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.”

Nov. 8, 1638. N. B. In the time of the Rev. Mr. Adams, upon the 23d day of May 1683, the church solemnly renewed their covenant, and in the doing of it, they made some very necessary and weighty additions to the former.

The renewal of covenant is thus prefaced.

“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 presence, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, after humble confession 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 do 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 one 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.”

Then follows the form of covenant before written; to which is added the following paragraphs, viz.

“And whereas there are may evils that are grown too common in this land : so far as we or any of us have been guilty of any of them, we desire from our hearts to be wail 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 among us, we do subjoin unto our church covenant, a further engagement, whereby we do 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 will endeavor to perform all duties required of us towards our children, for their spiritual good, both by our example, instruction, and government, and prayers for them.

“We do further engage (the Lord helping of us) to endeavor that we may be pure from the sins of the times, such as neglect or profanation of the worship and institutions of Christ, Sabbath-breaking, vain and sinful company-keeping, misspending of time, excessive drinking, wanton and loose behavior, failing in truth, uncharitable and unrighteous censuring, sinful tale-bearing, corrupt communication, pride, covetousness, and the like; and in our places to endeavor the suppression of them. And that we will make conscience to walk so, as that we may not give occasion to others to sin, or to speak evil of our holy profession.

“Now that we may observe and keep this sacred covenant, and all the branches of it inviolable for ever, we desire to deny ourselves, and to depend wholly upon the eternal Spirit of grace, and upon the free mercy of God, and the merit of Jesus Christ, and when we shall fail, there to wait upon the Lord Jesus for pardon and for acceptance, and for healing, for his name sake.”

It is added,

“ This form of covenant being made openly in the congregation after sermon and prayers in the forenoon, the brethren of the church testified their consent thereto by lifting up the hands, and the sisters by arising up from their seats.”

And now (my dearly beloved brethren) let us remember the vows of God that are upon us : Let us often read over, and seriously reflect upon our covenant engagements : Let us humbly lament before God all that breach of covenant, which we are chargeable withal, and cry mightily for pardoning mercy through the blood of the everlasting covenant. And that the holy God would not avenge upon us the quarrel of his broken covenant. And, O that for the time to come we might have a more constant and steady regard to our covenant engagements, and walk worthy of the Lord unto all well pleasing. Unto which let this covenant (now in our hands, and that it was written on our hearts) be a constant and continual monitor.

Let not the Lord our God abhor us to destroy us, but remember the covenant of our ancestors.--Having entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of our fathers, with all our heart, and with all our soul; let us in the most solemn manner renew the bonds with which we have bound our souls, and like the men of Judah, rejoice at the oath: Having sworn with all our heart, let us seek God with our whole desire.

And let us be careful to bring our children under the wing of the covenant, and the bonds of the covenant, that we may plead covenant mercy for them, and have a covenant hope for our offspring.

And for our encouragement, let us remember, that “all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant, and his testimonies.—The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children: to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

“Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; he is their help and their shield. The Lord hath been mindful of us, he will bless us, he will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, he will bless them that fear the Lord, both small

– The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children, - You are the blessed of the Lord that made heaven and earth; the heaven, even the heavens are the Lord's, but the earth hath he given to the children of

“ We will bless the Lord, from this time forth and for evermore." AMEN.

and great


The duty of thanksgiving to God for favors recesbed, explained and urged.



DELIVERED NOV. 23, 1758,












« AnteriorContinua »