[Note: Not all Particular Baptists of the 17th Century agreed with the use of Church Covenants]
"We who desire to walk together in the fear of the Lord, do, through the assistance of His Holy Spirit, profess our deep and serious humiliation for all our transgressions.
And we do solemnly, in the presence of God and of each other, in the sense of our own unworthiness, give up ourselves to the Lord in a church state, according to the apostolic constitution, that He may be our God, and we may be His people, through the everlasting covenant of His free grace, in which alone we hope to be accepted by Him, through His blessed Son Jesus Christ, whom we take to be our High Priest, to justify and sanctify us, and our Prophet to teach us; and to be subject to Him as our Law-giver, and the King of Saints; and to conform to all His holy laws and ordinances, for our growth, establishment, and consolation; that we may be as a holy spouse unto Him, and serve Him in our generation, and wait for His second appearance, as our glorious Bridegroom.
Being fully satisfied in the way of church-communion, and the truth of grace in some good measure upon one another's spirits, we do solemnly join ourselves together in a holy union and fellowship, humbly submitting to the discipline of the Gospel, and all holy duties required of a people in such a spiritual relation.
1. We do promise and engage to walk in all holiness, godliness, humility, and brotherly love, as much as in us lieth to render our communion delightful to God, comfortable to ourselves, and lovely to the rest of the Lord's people.
2. We do promise to watch over each other's conversations, and not to suffer sin upon one another, so far as God shall discover it to us, or any of us; and to stir up one another to love and good works; to warn, rebuke, and admonish one another with meekness, according to the rules left to us of Christ in that behalf.
3. We do promise in a special manner to pray for one another, and for the glory and increase of this church, and for the presence of God in it, and the pouring forth of His Spirit on it, and His protection over it to His glory.
4. We do promise to bear one another's burdens, to cleave to one another, and to have a fellow-feeling with one another, in all conditions both outward and inward, as God in His providence shall cast any of us into.
5. We do promise to bear with one another's weaknesses, failings, and infirmities, with much tenderness, not discovering them to any without the Church, nor any within, unless according to Christ's rule, and the order of the Gospel provided in that case.
6. We do promise to strive together for the truth of the Gospel and purity of God's ways and ordinances, to avoid causes, and causers of division, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [Ephesians 4:3].
7. We do promise to meet together on Lord's-days, and at other times, as the Lord shall give us opportunities, to serve and glorify God in the way of His worship, to edify one another, and to contrive the good of His church.
8. We do promise according to our ability (or as God shall bless us with the good things of this world) to communicate to our pastor or minister, God having ordained that they that preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. (And now can anything lay a greater obligation upon the conscience than this covenant, what then is the sin of such who violate it?)
These and all other Gospel duties we humbly submit unto, promising and purposing to perform, not in our own strength, being conscious of our own weakness, but in the power and strength of the blessed God, Whose we are, and Whom we desire to serve. To Whom be glory now and for evermore. Amen."
The Reformed Reader Home Page
Copyright 1999, The Reformed Reader, All Rights Reserved