Imatges de pÓgina

That there be private preparations of every person and family, by prayer for themselves, and for God's assistance

of the minister, and for a blessing upon his ministry; and 10 by such other holy exercises, as may further dispose them

to a more comfortable communion with God in his publick Ei ordinances.

That all the people meet so timely for publick worshir, that the whole congregation may be present at the begin. ning, and with one heart solemnly join together ir all parts of the publick worship, and not depart till after the blessing.

That what time is vacant, between or after the solemn dit meetings of the congregation in publick, be spent in read

ing, meditation, repetition of sermons; especially by calling

their families to an account of what they have heard, and prest catechising of them, holy conferences, prayer for a blessing

upon the publick ordinances, singing of psalms, visiting the boreley sick, relieving the poor, and such like duties of piety, cha

rity, and mercy, accounting the sabbath a delight.

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The Solemnization of Marriage. ALTHOUGH marriage be no sacrament, nor peculiar

to the church of God, but common to mankind, and of publick interest in every commonwealth; yet, because such as marry are to marry in the Lord, and have special need of instruction, direction, and exhortation, from the word of God, at their entering into such a new condition, and of the blessing of God upon them therein, we judge it expedient that marriage be solemnized by a lawful minister of the word, that he may accordingly counsel them, and pray for a blessing upon them.

Marriage is to be betwixt one man and one woman only; and they, such as are not within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity prohibited by the word of God; and the parties are to be of years of discretion, fit to make their own choice, or, upon good grounds, to give their mutual consent.

Before the solemnizing of marriage between any persons, their purpose of marriage shall be published by the minister three several sabbath-days, in the congregation, at the place or places of their most usual and constant abode, respectively


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Parents ought not to force their children to marry with "heirs of the

After the purpose or contract of marriage hath been thus they must give a 548 The Directory for the Publick Worship of God. And of this publication the minister who is to join them in marriage shall have sufficient testimony, before he proceed te dvies, enjoy the to solemnize the marriage.

Before that publication of such their purpose, (if the parties be under age,) the consent of the parents, or others under whose power they are, (in case the parents be dead,) is to be made known to the church officers of that congregation, to be recorded. The like is to be observed in the proceedings of all others

, kam cach to oth although of age, whose parents are living, for their first werd of God, thal marriage. shall be exhorted not to contract marriage without first acquainting their parents with it, (if with conveniency it may be done,) endeavouring to obtain their consent. out their free consent, nor deny their own consent without just cause. published, the marriage is not to be long deferred. Therefore the minister, having had convenient warning, and nothing been objected to hinder it, is publickly to solemnize it in the place appointed by authority for publick worship, before a competent number of credible witnesses, at some convenient hour of the day, at any time of the year, except on a day of publick hunniliation. And we advise that it be not on the Lord's day.

And because all relations are sanctified by the word and prayer, the minister is to pray for a blessing upon them, to this effect:

" Acknowledging our sins, whereby we have made our(6 selves less than the least of all the mercies of God, and “ provoked him to embitter all our comforts; earnestly, in “ the name of Christ, to entreat the Lord (whose presence 66 and favour is the happiness of every condition, and “ sweetens every relation) to be their portion, and to own « and accept them in Christ, who are now to be joined in " the honourable estate of marriage, the covenant of their ¢ God: and that, as he hath brought them together by his providence, he would sanctify them by his Spirit, giving

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66 them a new frame of heart fit for their new estate; en

riching them with all graces, whereby they may perform " the duties, enjoy the comforts, undergo the cares, and re“ sist the temptations which accompany that condition, as « becometh Christians."

The prayer being ended, it is convenient that the minister do briefly declare unto them, out of the scripture,

“ The institution, use, and ends of marriage, with the “conjugal duties, which, in all faithfulness, they are to per“ form each to other; exhorting them to study the holy “ word of God, that they may learn to live by faith, and to “ be content in the midst of all marriage cares and troubles,

sanctifying God's name, in a thankful, sober, and holy “ use of all conjugal comforts ; praying much with and for “ one another; watching over, and provoking each other “ to love and good works; and to live together as the “ heirs of the grace of life.”

After solemn charging of the persons to be married, before the great God, who searcheth all hearts, and to whom they must give a strict account at the last day, that if either of them know any cause, by precontract or otherwise, why

not lawfully proceed to marriage, that they now discover it; the minister (if no impediment be acknowledged) shall cause first the man to take the woman by the right hand, saying these words :

IN, do take thee N. to be my married wife, and do, in the presence of God, and before this congregation, promise and covenant to be a loving and faithful husband unto thee, until God shall separate us by death.

Then the woman shall take the man by the right hand, and say

these words: I N. do take thee N. to be my married husband, and I do, in the presence of God, and before this congregation, promise and covenant to be a loving, faithful, and obcdient wife unto thee, until God shall separate us by death,

Then, without any further ceremony, the minister shall, in the face of the congregation, pronounce them to be husband and wife, according to God's ordinance; and so con. clude the action with prayer to this effect :

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T is the duty of the minister not only to teach the people temptation that are death ; and, for that purpose, they are often to confer with and wrath of God!

He is to admonish them, in time of health, to prepare for the soul contracts ritual estate for eternity; and Satan also takes advantage send to serve Gol then to load them more with sore and heavy temptations bugs and infi

“ That the Lord would be pleased to accompany hisnik together for his “ own ordinance with his blessing, beseeching him to en"rich the persons now married, as with other pledges of stening

, nor waxi “ his love, so particularly with the comforts and fruits of “ marriage, to the praise of his abundant mercy, in and

de principles of reli “ through Christ Jesus."

A revister is to be carefully kept, wherein the names of excellency, and a the parties so married, with the time of their marriage, are the covenant of forthwith to be fairly recorded in a book, provided for that Madiator of it ; an purpose, for the perusal of all whom it may concern.

Concerning Visitation of the Sick. IT

committed to his charge in publiek, but privately ; and albe given to s particularly to aclmonish, exhort, reprove, and comfort them, upon all seasonable occasions, so far as his time, strength, and personal safety will permit. their minister about the estate of their souls; and, in times of sickness, to desire his advice and help, timely and seasonably, before their strength and understanding fail them.

Times of sickness and affliction are special opportunities Sup out of a put into his hand by God to minister a word in season to weary souls: because then the consciences of men are or shouli be more awakened to bethink themselves of their spi

: therefore the minister, being sent for, and repairing to the sick, is to apply himself, with all tenderness and love, to administer some spiritual good to his soul, to this effect.

He may, from the consideration of the present sickness, instruct him out of scripture, that diseases come not by chance, or by distempers of body only, but by the wise and orderly guidance of the good hand of God to every particular person smitten by them. And that, whether it be laid upon him out of displeasure for sin, for his correction and amendment

, or for trial and exercise of his graces, or for other special and excellent ends, all his sufferings shall turn to his profit,

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and its ed with and humbled for them : and withal make known

met 'work together for his good, if he sincerely labur to make

a sanctified use of God's visitation, neithe tespising his
chastening, nor waxing weary of his correction.

If he suspect him of ignorance, he shall examiné him in not the principles of religion, especially touching repentance

and faith ; and, as he seeth cause, instruct him in the nature, Le Luise, excellency, and necessity of those graces; as also touchprintering the covenant of grace; and Christ tlie Son of God, the del in Mediator of it; and concerning remission of sins by faith

in him.

He shall exhort the sick person to examine himself, to searcli and try luis former ways, and his estate towards God.

And if the sick person shall declare any scruple, doubt, or h the temptation that are upon him, instructions and resolutions meleki shall be given to satisfy and settle him.

If it appear that he hath not a due sense of his sins, endea-
vours ought to be used to convince him of his sins, of the
guilt and desert of them ; of the filth and pollution which
the soul contracts by them; and of the curse of the law,
and wrath of God, due to them; that he may be truly affect.
the danger of deferring repentance, and of neglecting salva-
tion at any time offered; to awaken his conscience, and rouse

out of a stupid and secure condition, to apprehend
the justice and wrath of God, before whom none can stand,
but he that, lost in himself, layeth hold upon Christ by faith,

If he hath endeavoured to walk in the ways of holiness, and to serve God in uprightness, although not without many failings and infirmities; or, if his spirit he broken with the sense of sin, or cast down through want of the sense of God's favour; then it will be fit to raise him up, by setting before him the freeness and fulness of God's grace, the sufficiency of righteousness in Christ, the gracious offers in the gospel, that all who repent, and believe with all their heart in God's mercy through Christ, renouncing their own righteousness, shall have life and salvation in him. It may be also useful to shew him, that death hath in it no spirituai evil to be feared by those that are in Christ, because sin, the sting of death, is taken away by Christ, who hath delivered all that are his from the bondage of the fear of death, triumphed over the grave, 27


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