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Father will give his holy Spirit unto them that ask it) and if the rising generation might be a praying, pious, devout, and regen. erate generation, there will not be such danger as now there is, of their easily giving away the precious legacy which their fathers, now beholding the face of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory, left unto them, or of their doting upon innovations fatal to the order of the gospel among us.
8. Now as aged Joseph said, I die, and God will surely visit you : even so, we the unworthy servants of the Lord, whose age bids us every day look for death and our call to that world, where to be is by far the best of all, do conclude with our prayers unto the Lord' for these holy churches, that he would surely visit them, and grant much of his gracious presence and spirit in the midst of them; and raise up from time to time those who may be happy instruments of bringing down the hearts of the parents into the children. The Lord bless these his churches, and keep them stedfast, both in the faith and in the order of the gospel, and be with them, as he was with their fathers, and never leave them nor forsake them.
HATour testimony to the old principles of New England may be the more distinctly apprehended, we recommend unto consideration three pages in the life of Mr. Jukn Cotton, written by his grandson, Mr. Cotton Mather, p. 33, 34, 35.
“Now that the world may know the first principles of New-Eng. land, it must be known that until the Platform of church discipline, published by a Synod in the year 1648, next unto the Bible, which was the professed, perpetual, and only directory of these churches, they had no platform of their church government, more exact than their famous John Cotton's well known book of the keys ; which book endeavours to lay out the just lines and bounds of all church power, and so defines the matter, that as in the state there is a dispersion of powers into several hands which are to concur into all acts of common concernment, from whence arises the healthy constitution of a commonwealth : in like sort, he assigns the powers in the church, unto several subjects, wherein the united light of scripture and of nature, have placed them with a very sat. isfactory distribution.
“ He asserts, that a presbyterated society of the faithful, hath within itself a complete power of self-reformation, or if you will of self-preservation; and may within itself, manage its own choices of officers, and censures of delinquents. Now a special statute law of our Lord having excepted women and children from enjoying any part of this power, he finds only elders and brethren to be the gunstitu.
ent members, who may act in such a sacred corporation; the elders:
Τ Η Ε
A N S W E R
ELDERS and other MESSENGERS of the Churches,
assembled at Boston, in the year 1662. To the QUESTIONS propounded to them by order of the
honorable General Court.
Question 1. WHO are the subjects of Baptism? Answer. The answer may be given in the following Propositions, briefly confirmed from the Scriptures.
1. They that according to scripture, are members of the visible church, are the subjects of baptism.
2. The members of the visible church according to scripture, are confederate visible believers, in particular churches, and their infant seed, i e. children in minority, whose next parents, one or both, are in covenant.
3. The infant-seed of confederate visible believers, are members of the same church with their parents, and when grown up, are personally under the watch, discipline and government of that church.
4. These adult persons, are not therefore to be admitted to full communion, merely because they are and continue members, without such further qualifications, as the word of God requireth thereunto.