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in his hand, and say, in these expressions, (or other the like, used by Christ or his apostle upon this occasion :)
"According to the holy institution, command, and example of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, I take this bread, "and, having given thanks, break it, and give it unto you ; (there the minister, who is also himself to communicate, "is to break the bread, and give it to the communicants ;) "Take ye, eat ye; this is the body of Christ which is broken "for you: do this in remembrance of him."
In like manner the minister is to take the cup, and say, in these expressions, (or other the like, used by Christ or the apostle upon the same occasion :)
According to the institution, command, and example " of our Lord Jesus Christ, I take this cup, and give it unto you: (here he giveth it to the communicants;) This cup " is the new testament in the blood of Christ, which is shed "for the remission of the sins of many drink ye all of it." After all have communicated, the minister may, in a few words, put them in mind,
"Of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, held forth in this "sacrament, and exhort them to walk worthy of it." The minister is to give solemn thanks to God,
"For his rich mercy, and invaluable goodness, vouchsafed to them in that sacrament; and to entreat for pardon for the defects of the whole service, and for the "gracious assistance of his good Spirit, whereby they may "be enabled to walk in the strength of that grace, as becometh those who have received so great pledges of sal❝vation."
The collection for the poor is so to be ordered, that no part of the public worship be thereby hindered.
Of the Sanctification of the Lord's Day. ·
HE Lord's day ought to be so remembered before-hand, as that all worldly business of our ordinary callings may be so ordered, and so timely and seasonably laid aside, as they may not be impediments to the due sanctifying of the day when it comes.
The whole day is to be celebrated as holy to the Lord, both in publick and private, as being the Christian sabbath. To which end, it is requisite, that there be a holy cessation
or resting all that day from all unnecessary labours; and an abstaining, not only from all sports and pastimes, but also from all worldly words and thoughts.
That the diet on that day be so ordered, as that neither servants be unnecessarily detained from the publick worship of God, nor any other person hindered from the sanctifying that day.
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 by such other holy exercises, as may further dispose them to a more comfortable communion with God in his publick ordinances.
That all the people meet so timely for publick worship, that the whole congregation may be present at the beginning, and with one heart solemnly join together in all parts. of the publick worship, and not depart till after the blessing.
That what time is vacant, between or after the solemn meetings of the congregation in publick, be spent in reading, meditation, repetition of sermons ; especially by calling their families to an account of what they have heard, and catechising of them, holy conferences, prayer for a blessing upon the publick ordinances, singing of psalms, visiting the sick, relieving the poor, and such like duties of piety, cha rity, and mercy, accounting the sabbath a delight.
The Solemnization of Marriage.
LTHOUGH 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.. And of this publication the minister who is to join them in marriage shall have sufficient testimony, before he proceed 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 congrega tion, to be recorded.
The like is to be observed in the proceedings of all others, although of age, whose parents are living, for their first marriage.
And, in after marriages of either of those parties, they 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.
Parents ought not to force their children to marry without their free consent, nor deny their own consent without just
After the purpose or contract of marriage hath been thus 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 humiliation. 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"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 "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 "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 they may 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 obedient 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 conclude the action with prayer to this effect :
"That the Lord would be pleased to accompany his "own ordinance with his blessing, beseeching him to en"rich the persons now married, as with other pledges of "his love, so particularly with the comforts and fruits of "marriage, to the praise of his abundant mercy, in and "through Christ Jesus."
A register is to be carefully kept, wherein the names of the parties so married, with the time of their marriage, are forthwith to be fairly recorded in a book, provided for that purpose, for the perusal of all whom it may concern.
Concerning Visitation of the Sick.
Tis the duty of the minister not only to teach the people committed to his charge in publick, but privately; and particularly to admonish, exhort, reprove, and comfort them, upon all seasonable occasions, so far as his time, strength, and personal safety, will permit.
He is to admonish them, in time of health, to prepare for death; and, for that purpose, they are often to confer with 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 put into his hand by God to minister a word in season to weary souls because then the consciences of men are or should be more awakened to bethink themselves of their spiritual estate for eternity; and Satan also takes advantage then to load them more with sore and heavy temptations: 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, and