Swansey in New England. A true copy of the Holy Covenant the first founders of Swansey entered into at the first beginning, and all the members thereof for divers years.
Whereas, we poor creatures are, through the exceeding riches of God's infinite grace, mercifully snatched out of the kingdom of darkness, and by his infinite power translated into the kingdom of his dear Son, there to be partakers with all the saints of all those privileges which Christ by the shedding of his precious blood hath purchased for us, and that we do find our souls in some good measure wrought on by divine grace to desire to be conformable to Christ in all things, being also constrained by the matchless love and wonderful distinguishing mercies that we abundantly enjoy from his most free grace to serve him according to our utmost capacities, and that we also know that it is our most bounden duty to walk in visible communion with Christ and each other according to the prescript rule of his most Holy Word, and also that it is our undoubted right through Christ to enjoy all the privileges of Godís house which our souls for a long time panted after, and finding no other way at present by the all-working providence of our only wise God and gracious Father to us opened for the enjoying of the same, we do therefore, after often and solemn seeking to the Lord for help and direction in the fear of his holy name, and with hands lifted up to Him, the most High God, humble and freely offer up ourselves this day a living sacrifice unto Him, who is our God in covenant through Christ our Lord and only Saviour, to walk together according to his revealed Word in the visible gospel relation both to Christ, our only Head, and to each other as fellow-members and brethren of the same household of faith.
And we do humble pray that through his strength we will henceforth endeavor to perform all our respective duties towards God and each other, and to practice all the ordinances of Christ according to what is or shall be revealed to us in our respective place, to exercise, practice and submit to the government of Christ in this his church, viz.: further protesting against all rending or dividing principles or practices from any of the people of God as being most abominable and loathsome to our souls and utterly inconsistent with that Christian charity which declares men to be Christís disciples. Indeed, further declaring in that as union in Christ is the sole ground of our communion, each with other, so we are ready to accept of, receive to and hold communion with all such by judgment of charity we conceive to be fellow-members with us in our Head, Christ Jesus, though differing from us in such controversial points as are not absolutely and essentially necessary to salvation.
We also hope that though of ourselves we are altogether unworthy and unfit thus to offer up ourselves to God or to do Him a, or to expect any favor with, or mercy from Him, He will graciously accept of this our freewill offering in and through the merit and mediation of our dear Redeemer, and that he will employ and improve us in this service to his praise, to whom be all glory, honor, now and forever. Amen. ó =================
[Henry Melville King, Rev. John Myles and the Founding of the First Baptist Church in Massachusetts, 1905, pp. 52-55. -- jrd
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