Church-government and church-covenant discussed, in an answer of the elders of the severall churches in New-England to two and thirty questions, sent over to them by divers ministers in England, to declare their judgments therein. Together with an apologie of the said elders in New-England for church-covenant, sent over in answer to Master Bernard in the yeare 1639. As also in an answer to nine positions about church-government. And now published for the satisfaction of all who desire resolution in those points.
Mather, Richard, 1596-1669., Mather, Richard, 1596-1669. Apologie of the churches in New-England for church-covenant., Peters, Hugh, 1598-1660., Davenport, John, 1597-1670.

If any shall here reply, that change from conformity to the cerem∣nies*to worship God more purely is warranted by the Word, and there∣fore not blame-worthy, and that the same may be said of the case of Apollos, of the Corinthians, and Ephesians forementioned, and of Cart∣wright, and the rest in his times.

We answer, that this is true, and thereby it appears, that it is not* simply the changing a mans opinion or practise that can be count∣ed blame-worthy, or offensive, but changing without warrant of the Word; and therefore in point of Church-Covenant, the iss•• must not be whether we or others have formerly known and pra∣ctised it, but whether it have ground from Gods Word; For if it have (as we hope have been proved before in this discourse) then the observing of it, can be no cause of just offence unto others, not imputation of inconstancy to our selves, though in time past we had not had so much light as to discerne the necessitie and use thereof.

The good Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the Sanctuary: and grant unto all his Churches and servants▪ that their love may abound yet more and more in knowledge, and in all judgement, that they may discerne the things that differ▪ and approve the things that are excellent, and by his Spirit of truth be led forward into all truth, till Antichrist be utterly con∣sumed with the breath of his mouth, and the brightnesse of his coming, and the holy City new Jerusalem come down from God out of heaven, as a Bride adorned for her husband the Lambe, the Lord Jesus, to whom be all glory of affiance and service for ever.

Amen.