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CONFESSION OF FAITH,
CONSTITUTION AND RULES OF PRACTICE;
ADOPTED BY THE
CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN EAST HAVEN.
TO WHICH IS ADDED
A CATALOGUE OF THE
OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH,
FROM THE YEAR 1755, TO DECEMBER, 1833.
PRINTED BY HEZEKIAI HOWE & CO.
CONFESSION OF FAITH.
ARTICLE 1. We believe in one only living and true God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, who is a spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable, in his being power, knowledge, presence, wisdom, holiness, justice, goodness and truth, that it is the duty of all his intelligent creatures to worship him in sprit and in truth; that he created all things, that he preserves and governs all his creatures, and overrules all their actions for his own glory, and that in whatsoever comes to pass, he is accomplishing his eternal purposes, according to the counsel of his own will, in such a way that man is a free agent, and accountable for all his actions.
2. We believe, that God created man upright; that our first parents freely sinned and fell, and that all mankind, in a state of nature, and before regeneration by the spirit of God, are dead in trespasses and sins, and without any holi. ness and true love to God, and are justly exposed to all the miseries of this lise, and the pains of hell forever.
3. We believe, that God in his mercy has not left all mankind to perish forever; but out of his mere good pleasure, has from all eternity elected some to everlasting life; and that he has covenanted to deliver them from sin and misery, and to bring them into a state of salvation by a Redeemer.
4. We believe, that the only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is very God and very man, that taking upon him our nature, he suffered and died on the cross; then he arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where he ever liveth to make intercession for us; that he alone has made an atonement for sin; and that, without a special-interest in this atonement, there is no salvation.
5. We believe, that without a change of heart, wrought in the unregenerate, by the special agency of the Holy Spirit, who is very God, no one can be an heir of eternal life; and that the soul, which is once made a partaker of renewing and saving grace, will never be permitted so to fall away as finally to perish.
6. We believe, that adoption, repentance, justification, sanctification and perseverance, are not bestowed as the reward of any merit, in him who receives them ; but all flow from the free and sovereign gift and grace of God.
7. We believe, that there will be a general resurrection, of the righteous and the wicked ; and a general judgment, at which, all the righteous shall be admitted to everlasting happiness, and all the wicked sentenced to misery without end.
8. We believe, that the Lord's Supper and Baptism, are sacraments of the New Testament; and that baptism is to be administered to unbaptized adults, who profess their faith in Christ, and to the infant children of any, who are meinbers of the Church.
9. We believe, that the scriptures, of the Old and New Testament, are given by inspiration of God, and are the sufficient and only rule of faith and practice.
Thus in the presence of Almighty God, you solemnly profess and believe.
You do now, in the awful presence of the dread majesty of heaven and earth, before Angels and Men, with seriousness, and as you hope, in sincerity of soul, avouch the Lord Jehovah to be your sovereign Lord, and supreme good through Jesus Christ. And solemnly devote and give up yourself, by divine grace assisting you, in the most sacred ties, to observe all God's commandments, seeking his glory and walk in Christian fellowship, and in the performance of Christian duties, in all the ordinances of Christ to be enjoyed in his Church; and in this particular Church, so long as God in his providence shall continue you a member of it.
Thus in the presence of God, through grace assisting, you solemnly covenant and promise.
Then doth this Church also accept of you. And I declare you, a member of, and in full communion with, the Church of Christ. And this Church doth likewise promise, that in the strength of divine grace, we will walk towards you in all christian watchfulness and love.
The Church and Society of East Haven, having given Mr. Nicholas Street, a call, to settle with them as a Pastor, in the work of the Gospel ministry among them, and he accepting the call; the Church called a meeting of the brethren to discourse of Church Government, and of the manner in which they propose to be governed, which was held in East Haven, Sept. 3, 1755. And at said meeting, it was voted and agreed to, that SAYBROOK PLATFORM, should be the coNSTITUTION, by which they and their Pastor, would be governed, with this understanding it in the following respects.
Viz. 1. That no person be admitted a member of this Church, without the vote and consent of the major part of the brotherhood. 2. That no person be censured without the vote and consent of the major part of the brotherhood.
This voted in the affirmative, and signed by the Church's Committee, with the concurrence of Mr. Nicholas Street, called to be Pastor of said Church and people.
NICHOLAS STREET. Dec. 4, 1755. The Church voted that the Lord's Supper be administered once in two months; and that the fragments of the bread and wine be presented to the Minister after the Sacrament as his perquisites.
ARTICLES OF PRACTICE ADOPTED March 2, 1832.
1. Every person coming from a Church, not in Communion with this Church, in case of admission, shall be propounded and admitted in the usual way. And every person coming from other Churches, in order to be admitted as a member of this. Church, must furnish such evidence of good character and good standing in the Church to which he belonged, as shall be satisfactory to this Church.
2. Members of sister Churches in good standing may be admitted to occasional communion with this Church, one year. But after that term, they must produce a letter of