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Who redeemeth thy life from destruction ; who crowneth thee with loying kindness and tender mer. cies.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy,
He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy towards them that fear him.
As far as the East is from the West, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
Who hath not spared his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, and given us all things with him. Therefore God commendeth therewith his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us; much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through bim : for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son: much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Therefore shall my mouth and heart shew forth the praise of the Lord from this time forth for evermore. Amen.
Let every one say with an attentive heart, O
ALMIGHTY, merciful God and Father, we render thee most
humble and hearty thanks, that thou hast of thy infinite mercy, given us thine only begotten Son, for a Mediator and a sacrifice for our sins, and to be our meat and drink unto life eternal, and that thou givest us a lively faith, whereby we are made partakers of such of thy benefits-thou hast also been pleased, that thy beloved Son Jesus Christ should institute and ordain his holy supper for the confirmation of the same. Grant, we beseech thee, O faithful God and Father, that through the operation of thy holy Spirit, the commemoration of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, may tend to the daily increase of our faith and saving fellowship with him, through lesus Christ tay Son, in whose name we conclude our prayers, saying, Our Father, &c.
ELOVED in the Lord Jesus Christ; it is known
unto you, that we have several times, and by several methods declared unto you the great sin committed, and the heinous offence given by our fellow member N. to the end that he, by your christian admonitions, and prayers to God, might be brought to repentance, and so be freed from the bonds of the devil, (by whom he is held captive) and recovered by the will of the Lord. But we cannot conceal from you, with great sorrow, that no one has as yet appeared before us, who hath in the least given us to understand, that he by the frequent admonitions given him, (as well in private as before witnesses, and in the presence of many) is come to any remorse for his sins, or hath shewn the least tokens of true repentance. Since shen he daily aggravates his sin (which in itself is not small) hy his stubbornness, and since we have signified unto you the last time, that in case he did not repent, after such patience shewn him by the church, we should be under the disagreeable necessity of being further grieved for him, and come to the last remedy ; wherefore we at this present are necessitated to proceed to this excommunication according to the command and charge given us by God in his holy word; to the end that he may hereby be made (if possible) ashamed of his sins, and likewise that we may not by this rotten and as yet incurable member, put the whole body of the church in danger, and that God's name may not be blasphemed.
Therefore we the ministers and rulers of the church of God being here assembled in the name and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, declare before you all, that for the afo said reasons we have excommunicated, and by these do excommunicate N. from the church of God, and from fellowship with Christ, and the holy sacraments, and from all the spiritual blessings and benefits which God promiseth to and bestows upon his church, so long as he obstinately and impenitently persists in his sins, and is therefore to be accounted by you as an heathen man, and a publican, according to the command of Christ, Mat. xviii. who saith, that whatsoever his ministers shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven.
Further, we exhort you beloved Christians, to keep no company with him, that he may be ashamed : yet count him not as an enemy, but at all times admonish him as you would a brother. In the mean time let every one take warning by this and such like examples, to fear the Lord and diligently take heed unto himself, If he thinketh he standeth, lest he fall; but having true fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, together with all faithful christians, remain stedfast therein to the end, and so obtain eternal salvation. You have seen, beloved brethren and sisters, in what manner this our excommunicated brother hath begun to fall, and by degrees is come to ruin; observe therefore, how subtle satan is, to bring man to destruction, and to withdraw him from all salutary means of salvation; guard then, against the least beginnings of evil, and laying aside, according to the exhortation of the apostle, every weight and the sin which does so easily beset us, let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; be sober, watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. To day if you will hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts, but work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; and every one repent of his sins, lest our God humble us again, and
should be obliged to bewail some one of you : but that you may with one accord, living in all godliness, be our own crown and joy in the Lord.
Since it is God who worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure, let us call upon his holy name with confession of our sins, saying,
our sins before thy high majesty, and acknowledge that we have deserved the grief and sorrow caused unto us by the cutting off of this our late fellow member; yea we all deserve, shouldst thou enter into judgment with us, by reason of our great transgressions, to be cut off and banished from thy presence. But, O Lord thou art merciful unto us for Christ's sake, forgive us our trespasses, for we heartily repent of them, and daily work in our hearts a greater measure of sorrow for them; that we may, fearing thy judgments, which thou executest against the stiff-necked, endeavour to please thee : grant us to avoid all pollution of the world, and those who are cut off from the communion of the church, that. we may not make ourselves partakers of their sins; and that he who is excommunicated may become ashamed of his sins: and since thou desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he may repent and live, and the bosom of thy church is always open for those who turn away from their wickedness, we therefore humbly beseech thee, to kindle in our hearts a pious zeal, that we may labour, with good christian admonitions and examples, to bring again this excommunicated person into the right way, together with all those who through unbelief or dissoluteness of life go astray.
Give thy blessing to our admonitions, that we may have reason thereby to rejoice again in him, for whom we must now mourn : and that thy holy name may be praised, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath thus taught us to pray. Our Father, &c.
OF RE-ADMITTING EXCOMMUNICATED PERSONS INTO
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
ELOVED in the Lord, it is known unto you, that
some time ago our fellow member N. was cut off from the church of Christ : we cannot now conceal from you, that he by the above-mentioned remedy, as also by means of good admonitions and your christian prayers, is come so far that he is ashamed of his sins, praying us to be re-admitted into the communion of the church.
Since we then by virtue of the command of God, are in duty bound to receive such persons with joy, and it being necessary that good order should be used therein, we therefore give you to understand hereby, that we purpose to loose again the aforementioned excommunicated person from the bond of excommunication, the next time (by the grace of God) we celebrate the supper of the Lord, and receive him again into the communion of the church ; except any one of you in the mean time, shall shew just cause why this ought not to be done, of which you must give notice to us in due time. In the mean time, let every one thank the Lord, for the mercy shewn this poor sinner, heseeching him, to perfect his work in him to bis eternal salvation. Amen. (Afterward, if no impediment be alleged, the Minister shall proceed
to the re admission of the excommunicated sinner, in the following mapner:]
Beloved christians, we have the last time informed you of the repentance of our fellow member N. to the end that he mght with your knowledge be again received into the church of Christ: and whereas no one has alleged any thing why his re-admission ought not to take place, we therefore at present purpose to proceed to the same.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mat. chap. xviii. having confirmed the sentence of his church, in the excommuni