Communion of churches, or, The divine management of gospel-churches by the ordinance of councils constituted in order according to the Scriptures as also the way of bringing all Christian parishes to be particular Reforming Congregationall Churches, humbly proposed as ... a means of uniting those two holy and eminent parties the Presbyterians and the Congregationals ...
Eliot, John, 1604-1690.
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CHAP. VII. Concerning the way to bring every Christian Pa∣rishional Congregation to be an explicite Re∣forming Congregational Church.

I. EVery Parishional Congregation, who solemnly renoun∣cing all their sins and evils, both personal and •…c∣clesiastical, shall willingly (by what wayes, means, or motives soever thereunto induced) submit themselves and their chil∣dren to the Government of Christ, in Gospel-Order; and particularly to be guided in the common concernments of Re∣ligion, by the holy advice of the forenamed Orders of Coun∣cils; and do (by their pious and prudent counsel and concur∣rence) orderly elect all Officers, both Elders and Deacons, a∣mong themselves, and promise for themselves and their house∣holds, to walk in the Christian exercise of all Gods Ordi∣nances, according to Rule, in the Faith and Order of the Gospel: That Parish, or so many of them as shall herein con∣curre. is to be owned a particular Reforming Congregational Church; and is to be received into the Communion of the Churches in this Order of Government. They delivering this act of theirs in writing, unto that first Council with whom they associate, there to be recorded.

II. It may, by the good blessing of God, greatly promote Rel•…gion, and the Reformation of particular Churches, if such of the godly Gentry of the Land, who are not in Civil Autho∣rity, would please to do that honour to Christ, to subject themselves to his service, in accepting of the Offices of Ru∣ling Elders and Deacons, in the •…urches of Jesus Christ. It would much strengthen the hands of Church-government, and be no small honour to themselves; and they will hereby render themselves great in the Kingdome of Heaven.

III. By the Ordinance o•…〈◊〉 prudentl•… exercised, both publickly in the Church, and in private houses, all t•… Church are to be trained up unto a competency of know∣ledge in Jesus Christ.

IV. Special •…are is to be had in the training up of Youth in the good knowledge of God, made manifest to the Church by their publick account, answer, or confession thereof; a•…d unto an explicite acknowledgement of Christ, with sub∣•… and engagement of themselves unto the C•…urch, Page  36 wherein they give up themselves and their children unto God, to be ruled by Religion, in the Faith and Order of the Gospel. Which done, their Children are to be baptized.

V. Upon the due evidence of some hopeful reall work and change of heart by Faith and Repentance, duely manifested to the Church, whereby the persons concerned may be in Charity conceived able to examine themselves, & •…o discern the Lords body in the Sacrament, and spiritually to judge of a spiritual cause, such ought, by the Church, to be received unto Communion in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and such Males unto Voting in the Church; because ordinarily, such as are able to discern Christ in the Sacrament, are also able spiritually to discern of a spiritual cause, and thereby ca∣pable to Vote, in such cases wherein the Fraternity is called to Voting in the Church.