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taken with the excommunicated person, and of the resolution of the session to receive him again to the communion of the church.
On the day appointed for his restoration, when the other parts of divine service are ended, before pronouncing the blessing, the minister shall call upon the excommunicated person, and propose to him, in the presence of the congregation, the following questions:
“Do you from a deep sense of your great “ wickedness, freely confess your sin, in thus “rebelling against God, and in refusing to hear “his church, and do you acknowledge that you “have been in justice and mercy cut off from “the communion of the saints? Answer, I do. “Do you now voluntarily profess your sincere "repentance and deep contrition, for your sin “and obstinacy: and do you humbly ask “forgiveness of God, and of his church? An
swer, I do. Do you sincerely promise, through “divine grace, to live in all humbleness of mind “and circumspection; and to endeavour to " adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, by “having your conversation as becometh the “gospel ? Answer, I do."
Here the minister shall give the penitent a suitable exhortation, addressing him in the bowels of brotherly love, encouraging and comforting him. Then he shall pronounce the sentence of restoration, in the following words:
“Whereas you A. B., have been shut out “from the communion of the faithful, but have
“now manifested such repentance as satisfies “ the church: in the name of the Lord Jesus “ Christ, and by his authority, I declare you " absolved from the sentence of excommunica6 tion formerly denounced against you; and I “ do receive you into the communion of the “church, that you may be a partaker of all the “ benefits of the Lord Jesus, to your eternal 66 salvation.
The whole shall be concluded with prayer, and the people dismissed with the usual blessing.
OF THE SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE,
I. MARRIAGE is not a sacrament; nor peculiar to the church of Christ. It is
that every commonwealth, 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 affinity 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 sufficiently 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 certified with respect to the parties applying to them, that no just objections lie against their marriage.
VII. Marriage must always be performed before a competent number of witnesses; 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, the 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 following or like words:
“You, the man, declare in the presence of “God, that you do not know any reason, by “precontract or otherwise, 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 6 of God, that you do not know any reason, by “precontract or otherwise, 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 declar“ing a man shall forsake his father and mother, “and cleave unto his wife; and that marriage 6 is honourable in all; that he hath appointed
various duties, which are incumbent upon " those who enter into this relation ; such as, & “high esteem and mutual love for one another ;
bearing with each other's infirmities and " weaknesses, to which human nature is sub“ject in its present lapsed state ; to encourage “ each other under the various ills of life; to “comfort one another in sickness; in honesty “and industry to provide for each other's tem“poral support; to pray for and encourage one “another in the things which pertain to God, " and to their immortal souls; and to live to
gether as the heirs 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 hold “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 promise, and covenant in the pre
sence of God and these witnesses, that you “ will be unto him a loving, faithful, and obe