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concluded with prayer to Almighty God, that he would follow this act of discipline with his blessing. In general, such censure should be inflicted in the presence of the judicatory only; but, if the judicatory think it expedient to rebuke the offender publicly, this solemn suspension may be in the presence of the church.

III. After a person has been thus suspended, the minisister and elders should frequently converse with him, as well as pray for him in private, that it would please God to give him repentance. And, particularly on days prepar. atory to the dispensing of the Lord's Supper, the prayer of the church should be offered up for those who have shut themselves out from this holy Communion.

IV. When the judicatory shall be satisfied as to the reality of the repentance of any suspended member, he shall be allowed to profess his repentance, and be restored to fellowship, in the presence of the session, or of the church.

V. When a suspended person has failed to manifest repentance for his offence, and has continued in obstinate impenitence not less than a year, it may become the duty of the judicatory to excommunicate him without further trial. The design of excommunication is to operate upon the offender as a means of reclaiming him, to deliver the Church from the scandal of his offence, and to inspire all with fear by the example of his pun ishment.

VI. When a judgment of excommunication is to be executed, with or without previous suspension, it is proper that the sentence be publicly pronounced against the offender.

The minister shall, therefore, at a regular meeting of the church, make a brief statement of the several steps which have been taken, with respect to the offender, announcing that it has been found necessary to excommunicate him.

He shall begin by showing (from Matt. xviii. 15, 16, 17 18; 1 Cor v. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) the power of the Church to cast out unworthy members, and shall briefly explain the nature, use, and consequences of this censure.

Then he shall pronounce the sentence in the following or like form, viz.:

Whereas A. B. hath been, by sufficient proof, convicted of [here insert the sin), and after much admonition and prayer refuseth to hear the Church, and hath manifested no evidence of repentance; therefore, in the ame, and by the authority, of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pra nounce him to be excluded from the communion of this Church."

After which, prayer shall be made for the conviction and reformation of the excommunicated person, and for the establishment of all true believers.

But the judicatory may omit the publication of the excommunication, when it judges that there is sufficieut reason for such omission.

VII. When an excommunicated person shall be so affected by his state as to be brought to repentance, and desires to be readmitted to the privileges of the Church, the session of the church which excommunicated him, having obtained, ana placed on record, sufficient evidence of his sincere repentance and deep contrition, shall proceed to restore him, recording, in explicit terms, che grounds on which such conclusion has been reachen

The sentence of restoration shall be pronounced by tno Minister, at a regular meeting of the church on the Lord's Day, in the following words :

“Whereas A. B. has been excluded from the commi. nion of the Church, but has now given satisfactory evidence of repentance; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his authority, I declare him absolved from the sentence of excommunication formerly pronounced against him; and I do restore him to the cominunion of the Church, that he may be a partaker of all the benefits of the Lord Jesus, to his eternal salvation.”

After which, he shall be commended to God in prayer, VIII. Censures, other than suspension from church privileges, or excommunication, shall be inflicted in such mode as the judicatory may direct.

CHAPTER XII.

OP TIE SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE.

I. MARRIAGE is not a Sacrament; nor peculiar to the church of Christ. It is proper that every commo

monwealth, for the good of society, make laws to regulate marriage; which all citizens are bound to obey.

II. Christians ought to marry in the Lord: therefore it is fit that their marriage be solemnized by a lawful minister; that special instruction may be given them, and suitable prayers made, when they enter into this relation.

III. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman only: and they are not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or aflinity prohibited by the word of God.

IV. The parties ought to be of such years of discretion as to be capable of making their own choice: and if they be under age, or live with their parents, the consent of the parents or others, under whose care they are, ought to be previously obtained, and well certified to the minister, before he proceeds to solemnize the marriage.

V. Parents ought neither to compel their children to marry contrary to their inclinations, nor deny their consent without just and important reasons.

VI. Marriage is of a public nature. The welfare of civil society, the happiness of families, and the credit of ' religion, are deeply interested in it. Therefore the purpose of marriage ought to be sufliciently published a proper time previously to the solemnization of it. It is enjoined on all ministers to be careful that, in this matter, they neither transgress the laws of God, nor the laws of the community: and that they may not destroy the

peace and comfort of families, they must be properly cer tified with respect to the parties applying to them, that no just objections lie against their marriage.

VII. Marriage must always be performed before a com: petent number of witnesse's; and at any time, except on a day of public humiliation. And we advise that it be not on the Lord's Day. And the minister is to give a certificate of the marriage when required.

VIII. When the parties present themselves for marriage, ihe minister is to desire, if there is any person present who knows any lawful reason why these persons may not be joined together in the marriage relation, that they will now make it known, or ever after hold their peace.

No objections being made, he is then severally to address himself to the parties to be married, in the follow ing or li!

words: You, the man, declare in the presence of God, that 'you do not know any reason, by precontract or other wise, why you may not lawfully marry this woman.”

Upon his declaring he does not, the minister shall address himself to the bride, in the same or similar terms.

You, the woman, declare in the presence of God, that 'you do not know any reason, by precontract or other “wise why you may not lawfully marry this man.”

Upon her declaring she does not, he is to begin with prayer for the presence and blessing of God.

The minister shall then proceed to give them some instruction from the scriptures, respecting the institution and duties of this state, showing

“ That God hath instituted marriage for the comfort "and happiness of mankind, in declaring a man shall “ forsake his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife; "and that marriage is honorable in all; that he hath ap“pointed various duties, which are incumbent upon those “who enter into this relation; such as, a high esteem and “mutual love for one another; bearing with each other's “infirmities and weaknesses, to which human nature in “subject in its present lapsed state; to encourage each “ other under the various ills of life; to comfort one an

other in sickness; in honesty and industry to provide for each other's temporal support; to pray for and encour

age one another in the things which pertain to God, and “to their immortal souls; and to live together as the heire “of the grace of life.”

Then the minister shall cause the bridegroom and bride to join their hands, and shall pronounce the marriage covenant, first to the man, in these words:

You take this woman, whom you Bhold by the hand, to “be your lawful and married wife; and you promise, and

covenant, in the presence of God and these witnesses, that you will be unto her a loving and faithful hus“band, until you shall be separated by death."

The bridegroom shall express his consent, by saying: “Yes, I do.”

Then the minister shall address himself to the woman, in these words:

You take this man, whom you hold by the hand, to “ be your lawful and married husband; and you prom“ise, and covenant in the presence of God and these witnesses, that you will be unto him a loving, faithful, and obedient wife, until you shall be separated by death.”

The bride shall express her consent, by saying, “Yes, I do.

Then the minister is to say, “I pronounce you husband and wife, according to the ordinance of God; whom therefore God hath joined "together let no man put asunder.”

After this the minister may exhort them in a few words, to the mutual discharge of their duty.

Then let him conclude with prayer suitable to the occasion.

Let the minister keep a proper register for the names of all persons whom he marries, and of the time of their marriage, for the perusal of all whom it may concern.

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