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ter the sacraments, and that after the preaching of the word, and not in any other place than in the public assemblies of the church.
Of Baptism. Women only may not offer unto baptism those that are to be baptized, but the father, if it may be, or in his name some other. They which present unto baptism, ought to be persuaded not to give those that are baptized the names of God, or of Christ, or of angels, or of holy offices, as of Baptist, Evangelist, &c. nor such as savour of paganism or Popery; but chiefly such whereof there are examples in the Holy Scriptures, in the names of those who are reported in them to have been godly and virtuous.
Of the Communion. Let the time of celebrating the communion be made known eight days before, that the congregation may prepare themselves, and that the elders may do their duty in going to and visiting whom they ought.
Of signifying their Names that are to communicate. Let them which before have not been received to the Lord's table, when they first desire to come to it, give their names to the minister seven days before the communion, that care of inquiring of them may be committed to the elders; that if there be any cause of hinderance, there may be stay made betime; but if there be no such thing, let them proceed (where need may be) to the examining of their faith, before the communion. Let this whole treatise of discipline be read in the consistory; and let the ministers, elders, and deacons, be censured one after another; yet so that the minister concerning doctrine be censured of ministers only. -- Let them only be admitted to the communion, that have made confession of their faith, and submitted themselves to the discipline; unless they shall bring letters testimonial of good credit from some other place, or shall approve themselves by some other sufficient testimony.
Children are not to be admitted to the communion before they be of the age of fourteen years, except the consistory shall otherwise determine.
On the sabbath-day next before the communion, let mention be made in the sermon of the examination, whereunto the apostle exhorteth, and of the peace that is by faith ; in the day of the communion, let there be speech of the doctrine of the sacraments, and especially of the Lord's supper.
Of Fasting Let the day of fasting be published by the pastor according to the advice of the consistory, either for supplication, for turning away of calamities present, or for petition of some special grace. Let the sermons upon the same day, before and after noon (as on the Lord's day), be such as may be fit for the present occasion.
The espousals being done in due order, let them not be dissolved, though both parties should consent. Let the marriage be solemnized within two months after. Before the marriage let the promise be published three several sabbath-days; but first, let the parties espoused, with their parents or governors, desire the publishing thereof, of the minister and two elders at the least, that they may be de
manded of those things that are needful; and let them require to see the instrument of the covenant of the marriage, or at least sufficient testimony of the espousals. Marriage may be solemnized and blessed upon any ordinary day of public prayer, saving upon a day of fast.
Of Schools. Let children be instructed in schools, both in other learning, and especially in the catechism, that they may repeat it by heart, and understand it: when they are so instructed, let them be brought to the Lord's supper, after they have been examined by the minister, and allowed by him.
Of Students of Divinity, and their Exercises. In every church where it may conveniently be done, care is to be had that some poor scholars, studious of divinity, being fit for theological exercises, and especially for expounding of Holy Scripture, may, by the liberality of the godly rich, be taught and trained up to preach.
Let that exposition, as often as it shall be convenient to be had, be in the presence at least of one minister, by whose presence they may be kept in order, and in the same sort (as touching the manner of preaching) that public sermons are made; which being ended, let the other students (he being put apart that was speaker) note wherein he hath failed in any of those things that are to be performed by him that preacheth publicly, as is set down before: of whose opinion let the minister that is present, and is moderator of their exercise, judge and admonish the speaker as he shall think meet.
Of Elders. Let the elders know every particular house and person of the church, that they may inform the minister of the condition of every one, and the deacons of the sick and poor, that they may take care to provide for them : they are not to be perpetual; neither yet easily to be changed.
Of Consistories. In the consistory the most voices are to be yielded unto. In it only ecclesiastical things are to be handled. Of them, first they are to be dealt with such as belong to the common
direction of the public assembly, in the order of liturgy, or divine service, sermon, prayers, sacraments, marriages, and burials. Then with such also as pertain to the oversight of every one, and their particular deeds. Farther, they are to cause such things as shall be thought meet, to be registered and written in a book. They are also to cause to be written in another book, the names of them that are baptized, with the names of their parents and sureties: likewise of the communicants. Farther also are to be noted, their names that are married, that die, and to whom letters testimonial are given.
Of the Censures.
None is to be complained of unto the consistory, unless first the matter being uttered with silencing the parties' names, if it seem meet so to be done by the judgment of the consistory.
In private and less faults, the precept of Christ, Matt. xviii. is to be kept.
Greater and public offences are to be handled by the consistory. Farther, public offences are to be esteemed, first, Such as are done openly before all, or whomsoever, the whole church knowing of it. Secondly, Such as be done in a public place, albeit few know it. Thirdly, That are made such by pertinacy and contempt. Fourthly, That for the heinousness of the offence are to be punished with some grievous civil punishment.
They that are to be excommunicated, being in public charge in the church, are to be deposed also from their charges. They also are to be discharged that are unfit for the ministry, by reason of their ignorance, or of some incurable disease; or by any other such cause, are disabled to perform their ministry: but in the rooms of such as are disabled by means of sickness or age, let another be placed without the reproach of him that is discharged; and farther, so as the reverence of the ministry may remain unto him, and he may be provided for, liberally and in good order.
When there is question concerning a heretic complained of to the consistory, straight let two or three neighbour ministers be called, men godly and learned, and free from that suspicion, by whose opinion he may be suspended, till such time as the conference may take knowledge of his cause.
The obstinate, after admonition by the consistory, though the fault have not been so great, are to be suspended from the communion; and if they continue in their obstinacy, this shall be the order to proceed to their excommunication. Three several sabbath-days after the sermon, publicly let be declared the offence committed by the offender. The first sabbath let not the offender's name be published: the second let it be declared, and withal a certain day of the week named, to be kept for that cause in fasting and prayer: the third let warning be given of his excommunicating to follow the next sabbath after, except there may be shewed some sufficient cause to the contrary: so upon the fourth sabbath-day, let the sentence of excommunication be pronounced against him, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
He that hath committed great offences, opprobrious to the church, and to be grievously punished by the magistrate's authority; albeit he profess his repentance in words, yet for the trial thereof, and to take away the offence, let him for a time be kept from the communion; which how often and how long it is to be done, let the consistory, according to their discretion, determine; after which, if the party repent, he is brotherly to be received again, but not until he have openly professed his repentance before the church, by consent whereof he should have been excommunicated.
If the ministers of any public charge of the church commit any such thing, they are to be deposed from their charge.
Of the Assemblies of the Church.
Particular churches are to communicate one with another, by common meetings and resorts: in them only ecclesiastical matters are to be handled, and of those, only such as pertain to the churches of that resort; concerning other churches, unless they be desired, they are to determine nothing farther than to refer such matters to their next common and great meeting.
Let the order of proceeding in them be this: first, let the survey be taken of those that are present, and the names of those that are absent, and should be there, be noted, that they may give a reason at their next meeting of their absence, or be censured by the judgment of the assembly. Next, let the acts of the last assembly of that kind be read,