Part II662

    [1663] A further account of matters in & relating to the church at Plymouth from the yeare 1667: untill 1697, inclusively.

    It being desired in page 59:664 in the conclusion of the Eclesiaticall History of this church, by that Godly Brother, Mr Nathaniel Morton, that Elders & Bretheren suceeding would be carefull to commit to writing what might occurre in their day for the Glory of God & good of after times, these following Pages665 shall truly & faithfully upon certaine knowledge declare what was transacted in this chh666 for the space of about thirty yeares soe far as may be Judged meet for edification.

    Mr Morton in his foregoing Narrative truly declares, that after the departure of that blessed Man of God Mr Reyner from them whom he had faithfully served667 for the space of about eighteen yeares in the office of a Teacher, & the chh remaining sundry yeares destitute of a Teaching Elder looking up to God constantly in ordinary & extraordinary prayer to send in a sutable supply for their soules, in which time sundry desireable ministers spent some time successively in preaching the word of God to them, but divine providence favoured not the setlement of any one of them, It pleased God soe to dispose668 in September669 1666, that the church gave a call to Mr John Cotton to come & preach to them, who by reason of his then engagement to another people, could not at present accept of that call, but the chh continuing destitute of setled ministry, they did in the yeare following in July, renew their former call to him, to which He gave his consent & accordingly removed himself & family to Plymouth, where they arrived on November, 30: 1667: 1667:


    engraved for the colonial socety of massachusetts

    There were then resident in the Place forty seven chh-membe[rs]: in full communion, besides divers that were removed to other places, who upon the setlement of the ministry were called upon by the Elders to take their dismissions respectively to the severall ches where their setled abode was, this chh declaring it to be the duty of christians to be under the watch of those ches where they live, this motion was readily complyed with by all concerned.


    Now inasmuch as the death of saints is pretious in the eyes of God, & God hath said, the Righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance an account shall be given of the deaths of such espetially who were of good esteem in the chh of God:

    The first breach God made in the chh within the time above said was the death of Gabriel Fallowell, aged above 80 yeares, a very pretious, lively christian, one who maintained much communion with God day & night, he dyed, December, 28: 1667.670

    In 1668: two members were admitted into the chh: & all that was transacted in the chh in this yeare was their discourse & conclusion to671 renew their call of Mr Cotton & to declare to him their purpose to establish him in office in the spring, the Lord disposing all ourhearts to unite therein.


    on the first of march dyed, John Dunham, the godly & well esteemed Deacon of the chh, one of 80 yeares old.


    In this April dyed blessed Mr Reyner then Pastor of the chh at Dover672

    The chh appointed, April, 7: 1669: & kept it as a day of Fasting & Prayer, wherein to beg Gods prescence to be with them in directing to & in the choice of their Teaching officer.

    Immediately after which the church voted to set apart a day to elect & ordaine Mr Cotton to be their Pastor, & agreed that June, 30: should be the day, which was attended, He being dismissed from Boston old673 church & Joyned to this674 chh some weekes before;

    The ches present at this ordination (by the desire of this chh) by the[ir] Elders & messengers were Barnstable, Marshfeild, Weymouth & Duxbu[ry:] Elder Thomas Cushman gave the charge & the aged mr [2] John Howland was appointed by the chh to Joyne in imposition of hands; the Reverend mr Walley made a solemne Prayer before ordination & the Revd Mr Torrey gave the right hand of fellowship in the Name of the ches, after.

    The Ruling Elder with the Pastor made it their first spetiall worke together to passe through the whole towne from675 family to family to enquire into the state of soules & according as they found the frames either of the children of the chh or others, soe they applyed counsells, admonitions, exhortations & incouragements, which service was attended with a blessing, for in divers with whom God had begun his work, it prevailed to stirre them up to lay hold of the covenant, & others were awakened more seriously to attend upon the meanes of grace & to minde the concernments of their soules, & practice family-prayer more constantly, the work of God seemed in those dayes to have a considerable reviving.

    The chh having not then a Deacon, the Elders called upon them to choose some to that office; Accordingly, after a chh-meeting in Private some being Nominated, every brother speaking his minde man by man, on August, 1: Robert Finney & Ephraim Morton were chosen Deacons in the publick Assembly on the Sabbath, & then ordained by the Elders.

    In January, the chh agreed to begin monethly church-meetings for conference, which were constantly attended for many yeares, & much good attended that exercise; Also in November, began the Catechizing of the children by the Pastor, (the Elder also accompanying him therein constantly) once a fortnight, the males at one time & the females at the other: the catechisme then used was Mr Perkins.

    The members admitted to full Communion in this yeare were twenty & seven; the practice was for men676 orally to make confession of faith & a declaration of their experiences of a worke of grace in the prescence of the whole congregation, having bin examined & heard before by the Elders in private & then stood propounded in publick for 2 or 3 weekes ordinarily; & the relations of the woemen being written in private from their mouths, were read in publick by the Pastor & the Elders gave Testimony that their knowledge was competent, this was the ordinary way of Admission of members at their first entrance, but if any members came from other places & had letters of Dismission they were accepted by us upon that Testimoniall & nothing further required of them.

    The Lords supper was administred 4 times in this yeare, the first of which was on August, 29:

    The children Baptised this yeare, 48:

    It pleased God heavily to afflict this chh & people by the Death of Capt Thomas Southworth, of whom Honourable mention is made in the foregoing Narrative, & that most deservedly; He was a great Pillar in this chh, & in the dayes of blessed mr Reyner, after the death of Elder Brewster (whose Name is here very677 pretious & ever will be soe) [3] when the chh had agitations about the choice of a Ruling Elder, this Mr Southworth was Judged by many of the chh a very sutable man for that place, yet it was wisely foreseen by Govr Bradford that the necessity of the Commonwealth would doubtlesse call for the improvement of his Talent in the magistracy, & soe it prooved, for immediately upon the death of that Honourable Govr,he was chosen a magistrate & soe continued to his death, There were other Bretheren that did exercise their gifts for ædification of the chh in the vacancy of the ministry, yet such was the desireablenesse & excelling of his Gifts & graces that for divers yeares together he was expetially singled out by the chh to carry on the publick worship, one part of the Sabbath, Elder Cushman ordinarily spending the forenoone & Mr Southworth678 the afternoone; His Death was on December 8: (about 53 yeares old) after a moneths sicknesse; His death was much lamented & is to this day, he was loved & feared & of such a conversation as commanded both. The chh kept a day of prayer for his life, Dec. 1: but his time was come to dye.

    In 1670 fourteen members were admitted into the chh, 39 children were baptized, & the Lords supper was 8 times.


    In the spring the chh set apart & observed a day of Thanksgiving for the setlement of Gods ordinances after soe long a vacancy, & the good successe of the Gospel amongst the[m.]

    A child of this chh who had bin here baptized, removing to Swanzey was rebaptized by the Pastor there, which the chh being informed of, did unanimously declare it to be matter of offence, & sent letters to those concerned in that action to signify that such a practice would be a barre to our Eclesiasticall communion & desired they would doe soe noe more.

    Some persons, a brother & 2 sisters that had formerly walked with this chh being now removed & not owning their chh-relation, the chh agreed & it was openly declared by the Elder in the name of the chh, that wee esteemed them noe longer to be members of us.

    In this yeare, 70: mr Richard Bourne of Sandwich sent to the chh for messengers to take notice of the fitnesse of sundry Indians to gather into a chh at Mashpau, the Pastor, Elder & Secretary Morton were sent thither, Elders & messengers of many other ches were there also, the Indians after confessions etc were gathered into a chh, Mr Bourne chosen & ordained their Pastor, all the ches present approoveing thereoff. old mr Eliot & our Pastor laid on hands.679

    In 1671 seventeen members were admitted, 25 children baptized, the Lords supper was 10 times.


    Some viz. a brother & sister having sold liquors to the Indians were Admonished, & also a child of the chh for morall scandall, this chh ever practising discipline to the chh-seed when adult.

    In 1672, six members were admitted, 13 children Baptized, the Lords supper was 8 times.


    on February, 24: dyed Mr John Howland in his eightieth yeare, he was a good old disciple, & had bin sometime a magistrate here, a plaine-hearted christian

    In 1673; was a very awfull frowne of God upon this chh & colony in the death of mr Thomas Prince the Governour in the 73d yeare of his Age: when this colony was in a hazardous condition upon the death of Govr Bradford, the lott was cast upon mr Princ[e] [4] to be his successour, God made him a repairer of breaches & a meanes to setle those shakings that were then threatning, he was excellently qualifyed for the office of a Governour, he had a countenance full of majesty & therein as well as otherwise was a Terrour to evill doers, he was very amiable & pleasant in his whole conversation & highly esteemed of the saints & acknowledged by all; In the time of his sicknesse the chh sought God by Fasting & Prayer, but God would not be intreated any longer to spare him, but he dyed on March, 29: & was honourably interred, April, 8:


    Six more chh-members dyed in this yeare.680

    The Lords supper in this yeare was seven times, but one member admitted, 14 children baptized.

    In 1674: the Lords supper was 11 times, one member admitted, 17 children baptized:


    Discipline viz Admonition was administred to a chh-child for sin & two681 in full communion upon confession of what was offensive were forgiven without any censure.

    In March, 1675: the church of Eastham sent to our chh for messengers to be with them at their ordination of Mr Samuel Treat to be their Pastor, the chh sent the Pastor, Elder & Deacon Finney, who attended that service, March, 17:


    Lords supper was six times; 8 children were baptized.

    Warr with the Indians breaking forth, the chh set apart July, 21: to be kept as a day of Humiliation, Another on January, 5: Another, February, 2: because of war & sicknesse.

    In 1676: the Lords supper was six times, five members were admitted, 24 children were baptized.


    The war continuing & also sickness, the chh set apart April, 19: for fasting & prayer, & also May, 30: for the same grounds.

    The Generall Court in June, being sensible of the heavy hand of God upon the country in the continuance of war with the heathen appointed a day of Humiliation to be kept, 22 day of it & added thereto a solemne motion to all our ches to renew a covenant engagement to God for Reformation of all provoking evills. The chh attended that day of Prayer & then the Elders appointed a chh-meeting to be on June, 29: The church then all met; our chh meetings were ever begun & ended682 with prayer, (the Pastor ordinarily beginning & the Elder concluding therewith) After Prayer for Gods direction & blessing in soe solemne a matter, A church-covenant was read, & the chh voted that it should be left upon record as that which they did owne to be the substance of that Covenant which their Fathers entered into at the first gathering of the church, which was in these words following, [5]

    In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ & in obedience to his holy will & divine ordinances.

    Wee being by the most wise & good providence of God brought together in this place & desirous to unite our selves into one congregation or church under the Lord Jesus Christ our Head, that it may be in such sort as becometh all those whom He hath redeemed & sanctifyed to himselfe, wee doe hereby solemnly & religiously (as in his most holy prescence) avouch the Lord Jehovah the only true God to be our God & the God of ours & doe promise & binde ourselves to walke in all our wayes according to the Rule of the Gospel & in all sincere conformity to His holy ordinances & in mutuall love to & watchfullnesse over one another, depending wholy & only upon the Lord our God to enable us by his grace hereunto.

    Then serious Enquiry was made, in what particulars there might be found amongst us a violation of this holy covenant & any683 unanswerable walking thereunto?

    Then followed a Proposall, whether wee were all willing to renew our Covenant for Reformation?

    The Aged, godly Elder spake his minde particularly to these things, & then the Pastor (whom the Elder had before desired to draw up an Instrument sutable to the purpose) read a paper684 in which were mentioned, wherein our violations of covenant had bin & our Engagement for Reformation was contained, which the whole chh did well approove of, & concluded as soone as wee could conveniently to appoint a day of Humiliation wherein to attend Renewall of Covenant; Further, appointing July, 10: for all the children of the chh to come together before the Elders on that account, which they very readily & universally did at the time appointed; The Elders then asked them, 1: whether they did owne their interest in the covenant of their fathers? to which, they all freely answered in the Affirmative. 2: Whether they would indeavour to stirre up themselves in the use of all due meanes for obtaining the good & blessings of that covenant? then the Pastor read a Paper, containing many evils the guilt of which might be found amongst them & also their desires & promise of Reformation to be visibly manifested, they all manifested a compliance therewith, & the compleating of the matter was reserved till the day of Humiliation. The chh set apart July, 18: for this service; the morning was spent in prayer & preaching by the Pastor, whose Text was in Psal: 56:12:13: in the Afternoone the Elder began with Prayer & was large in it, then wee proceeded to a renewall of Covenant, first the Paper was read that concerned the members in full communion, in these words following. [6]

    Whereas the Holy & Righteous God hath many wayes in yeares lately past changed the course of his favourable dispensations towards us & manifested sad signes of his displeasure against us, wee desire to be deeply humbled in his sight under his mighty hand & to reflect upon our owne hearts & ways with serious Consideration, whereby wee see abundant cause to judge our selves as being guilty of many evills for which the Lord may Justly be provoked to avenge the quarrell of his Covenant upon us. In particular, Wee doe acknowledge wee have greatly lost our first love to & pretious esteem685 of the Gospel & ordinances of the Lord Jesus, which hath too evidently appeared, partly in our remisnesse in coming to ordinances, partly in our listlesse & sluggish attendance upon them, as also by our barrenesse & unfruitfullnesse under meanes of grace, neither have wee maintained & kept up the life & power of Godlynesse as wee ought to have done, wee have also polluted the Holy Sabbaths of the Lord our God, as other wayes, soe very much by impertinent communication thereupon, yea the loosnesse of our conversations soe unbecoming the Gospel of Christ is a Testimony against us that wee have backslidden from the Lord, wee have sadly mispent our pretious time & omitted our Duty to God & to our relations by frequenting such places & companyes not becoming christians to delight in, wee have too much allowed our selves in unbrotherly chidings & contendings one with another & have let the sun goe downe too often upon our wrath, wee have bin too unfaithfull in our words & promises & ingagements one unto another, having not considered one another to provoke to love & good workes, nor watched over the soules one of another, in faithfull reproofes for sin as ought to have bin & in the use of all other meanes for our mutuall ædification in faith & holinesse; Wee have also too much set our hearts upon the world & creature-comforts & vanities & have too much conformed to the world; wee have also bin too remisse in family-instruction & government, not minding the good of the soules of those committed to our charge as wee ought to have done; And although God hath greatly afflicted us for our many swervings from him, yet wee have not bin soe affected with his heavy hand as to reforme those evills for which he hath bin contending with us.

    For these & other evills that might be mentioned, wee desire to lye in the. dust before God & to abhorre our selves & unfeignedly to repent in his sight & humbly to acknowledge that God is Just & righteous in all the evills wee have bin visited with, yea that He hath punished us far lesse then our iniquities doe deserve; And wee doe in the presence of God & of his Holy Angels professe our sincere desires that these & all other evills in our hearts & lives may be reformed, And doe therefore renew an holy covenant with the Lord our God & one with another this day, hereby solemnly engaging our selves in the strength of divine grace (without which [7] wee can doe nothing) to put forth our utmost endeavors for a thorough Reformation of evill both in our selves & others in our severall capacities according to the relations that are upon us towards God & one unto another, & also to walke together before God in a professed subiection to all his holy ordinances according to the Rule of the Gospel & in Brotherly love & holy watchfullnesse to the mutuall succour & building up of one another in the faith & fellowship of the Lord Jesus.

    This being read, the church was called upon to manifest their consent thereunto by standing up, which all both Elders & Bretheren & sisters did.

    The Pastor then immediately spake to all the children of this chh (& also of any other ches that were living among us) & read a Paper unto them, which here followeth.

    Seeing the Providence of God is soe afflicting at this day, & the weight of Gods anger falls most heavily upon those of our generation, many young persons falling by the rage of the enemy & by the immediate hand of God in sicknesse, Wee have therefore great cause to Judge our selves as being guilty of many evills whereby wee have provoked the Lord God of our Fathers to write bitter things against us & make us possesse the iniquities of our youth, & doe owne that wee by our sins have had a deep hand in procuring these calamities & bringing downe the Judgments of God upon the land: In particular Wee have violated the holy covenant that God gratiously made with us in our parents, & was sealed to us in Baptisme, in that wee have not hearkned to the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ calling upon us according to the termes of the Gospel to embrace him as our only Lord & saviour, but have stood at a distance from the son of God & refused to give him our hearts & affections which He alone is most worthy of, thereby greiving & vexing his Holy spirit & provoking him to turne our enemy & fight against us; Wee have also bin guilty of many transgressions of the holy & righteous law of God, wee have not acknowledged the Lord God of our Fathers by walking in those good wayes wherein our fathers walked, wee are, though descended of a noble vine, yet become the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto God; wee have bin a proud generation, though wee are the sons & daughters of Zion, yet wee have bin haughty in spirit, in countenance, in garbe & fashion & have too much delighted to follow the vaine & sinfull customes of an evill world; wee have bin stubborne & rebellious against God & disobedient to our parents & too soone weary of the yoke of family-government which God hath set us under & ready to cast it off; wee have too much omitted & neglected to attend upon God in publick ordinances & have bin very dull & sloathfull & irreverent in the time of his worship & have profaned his holy Sabbaths by vaine & sinfull communication & many other wayes: [8] wee have bin unfaithfull to God & those he hath set over us, mispending much of our pretious time in idleness & sensuality;

    And sundry of us whom God hath made heads of families, wee have not had that care & conscience to sanctify the Name of God in the duties of family-worship as wee ought to have done, neither have wee bin diligent in instructing & training up our children in the knowledge & feare of God, nor set before them such examples of holinesse, sobriety & temperance as wee should have done, but have suffered the interest of religion which our fathers came into this wildernesse for, greatly to decline in our hands. For these & many other evills that might be mentioned, wee desire to judge our selves before the Lord that wee may not be Judged of him, & to acknowledge that He is righteous in all the evills He hath brought upon us, & that it would be Just with God for our walking unworthy of his grace to discovenant us & cast us off from being his people; yet wee doe desire this day that all the evils of our hearts & wayes may be reformed, & doe solemnly in the presence of God & of his holy Angels, owne our interest in the covenant of the Lord God of our Fathers, & doe acknowledge that wee are bound & ingaged to serve him & him alone, & doe therefore desire humbly to looke up unto him & to implore his spetiall grace & the Asistance of his Holy Spirit to enable us to endeavour a thorough reformation of all our personall & familyevills, & to cause us to walke stedfastly in that good old way wherein alone wee may finde rest unto our soules.

    This being read the Pastor called upon all the Adult children of the chh to manifest their consent thereunto, which they readily did all of them686 both males & females by standing up.

    These things are here recorded to be a standing witnesse that wee & our children have chosen the Lord to be our God.

    This was the transaction of this chh & all the ches in this colony of New Plymouth did in solemne687 manner about this time renew their covenant with God on a day of Humiliation, & it is never to be forgotten, how ready God was to heare the cry of his poore people in the day of trouble & save them, for immediately upon this motion from authority & the ches hearkning thereunto, God turned his hand against our Heathen-enemies & subdued them wonderfully, & within a moneth after our solemne day, the great Head of all the mischeife, Philip, was slaine, & the Governour & magistrates the week before his death sent an order to all our ches to keep August, 12: as a day of publick Thanksgiving688 for the beginning of revenge upon the enemy, & on that very day, soone after the publick worship was ended, his Head was brought into Plymouth in great triumph, he being slaine 2 or 3 dayes before, soe that in the day of our praises our eyes saw the salvation of God, a strong engagement to us to be carefull to pay our vowes made to the most High in the days of distre[ss.] [9]

    The chh set apart September, 14: for Humiliation on account of the great sicknesse & mortality in this towne & many other places & to intreat Gods perfecting the mercy in deliverance from the heathen.

    A child of the chh having fallen into sin & not manifesting Repentance but the contrary was cut off from his relation, which God blessed for good to his soule & he was afterward admitted into full communion with the chh:

    The chh appointed & kept January, 31: in Fasting & Prayer on689 the account of sicknesses & for other weighty causes.

    January, 28: the Sabbath before this Fast, the Elders desired the chh to stay after the publick worship was ended & told them, there were rumors as if some of the bretheren walked disorderly, in sitting too long together in publick houses & with vaine company & drinking, it was therefore propounded in order to the healing of that evill & unanimously consented to by the whole chh, that they would all take themselves bound in case they saw or heard of any such carriagein any of the chh for the future, to demand a reason of the party why he soe did, & that wee would satisfy the demands of each other in such a case, & if any did not give satisfying answers to such sober, christian demands, it should be accounted Just matter of offence; The elders also then propounded that due care might be taken of the children of the chh, that they may not transgresse in this kinde.

    Seven chh-members dyed this yeare, all sisters, one of them was aged Katherine Fallowell, the Relict of Gabriel, a very pretious saint, fourescore yeares old, a widow indeed.690

    In 1677: the Lords supper was 11 times, three members were admitted, 14 children were baptized.


    The chh set apart April, 26: to be kept as a day of Thanksgiving for peace, health, supplyes of corne & provision by contribution from Connecticott & from Dublin in Ireland.

    A Brother was laid under the highest censure, & upon his repentance was againe reconciled to the chh the yeare afte[r.]

    August, 8: the chh condescended soe far as to take in private the relation of Samuel Cutbert, & the Elder the ne[xt] Sabbath declaring some part of it in the publick congregation, he was admitted to full communion.

    At the same chh-meeting, it was agreed to renew the monethly chh-conference meetings, which by reason of the late wars had bin laid aside, that exercise began Aug. 30:

    In 1678: Lords supper was 9 times, one member was admitted,

    11 children baptized:


    A Brother dealt with for inordinate walking, did humble himselfe, & was rebuked & soe it was passed over.

    The chh set apart March, 27: as a day of Fasting & prayer for continuance of peace healing the small pox, & for sundry of our ministers that were languishing & for other mercies.

    September, 11: was kept on the same account, & also for saints under persecution, espetially then in Scotland, & that God would poure out a spirit of converting grace upon the rising generation. [10]

    The chh kept November, 6: a day of publick Thanksgiving, for continuance of our Gospel & civill liberties, for preserving this place from the small pox, for a good harvest & peace as to the heathen:

    A chh-child was at a private chh-meeting admonished for sin.

    Catechizing was againe begun, December 4: in the Assemblies Catechisme.

    Dec: 19: our brother Mr Samuel Fuller being called to preach at Midlebury did aske counsell of the chh, which motion they tooke into serious consideration till the next chh-meeting, which was on Jan: 16:691 & then the chh did unanimously advise & encourage him to attend preaching to them as oft as he could, but not yet to remove his family, but waite a while to see what further encouragement God might give for his more setled attendance upon that service there.

    A chh-child for evill words & carriages was then Admonished, who had formerly bin reprooved by the Elders more privately.

    January, 12: the Pastor desired all the chh-seed who were heads of families to come to his house on Jan: 19: which they generally did & He then gave them sundry questions for them each man severally to returne answers unto out of the scriptures; Hereby might be discerned what knowledge they had of Gods word; This Exercise was to be attended once in two moneths, & soe it was for divers yeares, not without a blessing & some good successe, for men of 30, 40, 50 yeares of age did attend & give their answers to those Divinity Questions in writing, then the Pastor having read all their answers, gave his owne to each Ques: & preached thereupon, the Elder always present & making the concluding prayer, & ordinarily many if not most of the chh were then present also.

    In 1679: the Lords supper was 9 times, five members were admitted, 19 children Baptized.


    April, 16: was appointed by the chh for Fasting & Prayer for the rising generation & other mercies.

    A sister publickly rebuked, humbling herselfe was pardoned, with solemn warning.

    The chh of Rehoboth sent to us for messengers to attend their ordination of mr Samuel Angier to be their Pastor, october, 15: the Pastor, Elder, mr Fuller & Bro: Thomas Cushman were chosen & did attend that service.

    The chh set apart February, 25: to be kept as a day of Thanks giving publickly for all the mercies of the yeare, spirituall & temporall.

    In 1680: Lords supper was 9 times, two members were admitted, children baptized:


    At a private chh-meeting, April 5: the chh voted that all the contribution of strangers should by the Deacons be given to the Pastor, & as a Testimony of their Love to him gave him six pounds & six shillings out of the Treasury of the chh: The chh gave twenty shillings out of Capt Willets legacy to the chh, to Elder Cushman.

    Two of our members who lived at Swanzey sent to us to desire their dismissions to the chh there, the chh met Nov: 18: & agreed the Elders should in their name returne answer in the Negative, because the bretheren of Swanzey renounced communion with us or soe much as to be present when wee administred Infant-Baptisme & did rebaptize our chh-seed.

    The chh of Duxbury sent to us to be present by our messengers at their ordination of mr Ichabod Wiswall to be their Pastor, on November, 24: the Pastor, Ruling Elder, Deacon Finney & Deac: Morton were chosen & then present.

    A chh-meeting was called by the Elders to be on February, 10: It was then moved to the chh by the Elder, that wee should doe well to set apart a day yea dayes for Humiliation for sundry weighty causes then named, the chh manifested their readynesse to comply therewith.

    At this meeting the Elders told the chh, a Brother earnestly desired the Psalmes might be read in publick worship, because else he was incapable of practising that ordinance; The matter was much agitated, the Elder propounded to the chh to speake man by man, whether they Judged reading the Psalmes in order to singing was lawfull & that they could rest in the practice of it? The issue of the meeting was, the chh desired the Pastor that he would in his publick Preaching hold [11] forth from scripture the Iawfullnesse & necessity of reading the Psalmes, which he exprest his willingnesse & purpose to doe, & till then the practise of reading might be692 deferred.

    In 1681: the Lords supper was 9 times, one member admitted, 20 children baptized.


    By reason of the death of the Honourable Governour, mr Josiah Winslow on December, 18: preceeding, the Deputy Govr & magistrates being met at court appointed a Fast to be kept while they were sitting, March, 4: in our meeting house, they being present it was attended & carryed on by Mr Shove praying & preaching in the forenoone, mr Arnold, mr Wiswall & the Pastor praying afternoone.

    A sister having sundry ill reports concerning her & also giving Just matter of offence to another sister of the chh, the Elders desired the chh after Lecture July, 13: to repaire to the Pastors house, where matters were discoursed upon, & not being issued the chh was desired that day fortnight at the conference meeting to attend that matter, the sabbath before which meeting the Pastor propounded to the chh in publick, that seeing the matter to be discoursed on the Wednesday following was weighty & some danger lest the peace of the chh might be interrupted in our agitations, that therefore as many of the chh as could, would come together on the meeting-day morning & spend some houres in prayer for divine guidance & helpe, that the peace & holinesse of the chh might be preserved.

    July, 27: many of the chh came together at the Pastors house in the morning, The Pastor & 4 bretheren prayed, then the conference-worke as at other times was attended, then the matters of offence were693 declared by the Person offended, & duly prooved, there was in this meeting a very gratious appearance of God in answer to our prayers, not one harsh word in any of the chh one to another but a sweet & pleasant agreement from first to last: The Issue was, the offending sister manifesting (then & doing more the sabbath after) sorrow for what was amisse, the whole matter was satisfyingly issued.

    Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from the painting attributed to Robert Walker

    September, 18: the Pastor from col: 3:16: in preaching showed the lawfullnesse & necessity of reading the Psalmes in the congregation in order to singing;

    october, 2: the Elders stayed the chh & desired to know their mindes, some of the bretheren rather desired the old custome of not reading might be continued, but the body of the chh declared for the lawfullnesse of reading & all would rest in the practice of it, Accordingly october, 9: the Elder began to read the Psalmes, & the Elder desiring the Pastor to expound the Psalme before singing, the Pastor did from that time constantly attend Exposition throughout the whole booke of Psalmes.

    December 1: the chh kept publickly as a day of Thanksgiving for all the mercies of the yeare.

    A brother formerly failing by intemperance was againe overtaken in the same kinde, he not attending the chh that Sabbath the Elders ordered him, he was appointed to come to a private chh-meeting, his expressions & behaviours were offensive to the chh then, soe they were the Sabbath after; He was then bidden to come the next Sabbath but he absented; The chh met in private & he not humbling himselfe, yet exercised patience towards him for 2 Sabbaths more, at the Sabbath when he was expected He came not to meeting & though sent for came not, for all which He was by the Elder in the name of the chh excommunicated, & within 2 years after upon his manifestation of repentance was reconciled to the chh:

    A chh-child was admonished for selling liquors to the Indians.

    The chh kept a publick Fast on Dec. 28: for persecuted saints in France

    A brother & sister were excommunicated for morall scandall & about a yeare after reconciled: The chh kept a Fast at the Pastors house to humble ourselves for outbreaking of sins among us, the Pastor prayed & preached, then Mr Fuller prayed in the forenoon; the Elder prayed & preached in the afternoone, then Secretary Morton prayed, & the Pastor concluded with prayer. [12]

    while the chh was together in this day of Prayer, it was propounded to the chh, that wee should put up a Petition to the next court of Assistants to suppresse soe much selling of strong drinke & lessen the number of ordinaryes etc694 the whole chh readily voted that the Petition prepared by the Elders & then read to them should be subscribed by the Elders in their Name & presented to the court, as the request of the chh for suppression of sensuality, which they did.

    In 1682: the Lords supper was ten times, nine members were admitted, 24 children baptized.


    A sister recommended to us from another chh, yet was not accepted to our communion, till some offence was removed betwixt her & a brother, which upon hearing by some Godly wise was comfortably issued, & she was accepted by the chh.

    In 1683: the Lords supper was 9 times, six695 members were admitted, sixteen children were baptized.


    Two chh-children were publickly admonished for sin. Also a child of the chh now living in another towne fallen into sinne the church agreed to send an Admonition to her which the Elders did in the name of the chh:

    July, 15: the Elders propounded to the chh for a day of Fasting & prayer with reference to the drought, but before the day was fixed God sent a plentifull raine, & the chh kept July, 26: as a day of publick Thanksgiving for soe seasonable a mercy.

    The chh of Barnstable sent to us for messengers to be present at the ordination of Mr Jonathan Russell to be their Pastor, on September, 19: because the Elder could not goe, the Pastor only & Capt Joseph Howland were sent & attended that service; the Pastor gave an account to the chh in publick of the carrying on of that affaire, & it was the constant practice in this chh, that their messengers to any other chh when returned gave an account of matters, though it is not often exprest in this Narrative.

    The chh kept october, 18: a Fast, on account of the troubles of Gods people in England, & blastings with meldews here & in severall places great drought & floods that destroyed much of the harvest.

    In 1684: the Lords supper was six times, two members were admitted, sixteen children baptized:


    Satan is always busy to make divisions in the ches, some differences fell out about this time in the chh, after some discourses wee agreed to call in helpe by way of councill from the ches of Taunton, Marshfeild, Duxbury, Bridgewater & Barnstable; the week before they came to us a day of Fasting & Prayer was kept at the Pastors house by the members of the chh. (though all could not then attend it) The councill met, March, 18: & saw with their eyes Gods blessing accompanying their endeavours to a gratious healing of his people & ending all matters of difference,

    The chh set apart May, 2: to humble ourselves for any error in the late day of temptation, the Pastor in the forenoone prayed & preached then mr Fuller prayed, in the afternoone the Elder prayed, Secretary Morton, Deacon Finney & Thomas Faunce: then letters were read from a chh-child to whom the chh had the yeare before sent an Admonition, manifesting her repentance, which the chh well accepted: Deacon Morton spake against the intemperance & long sitting at ordinaryes of some belonging to us, the Elders & bretheren gave their full Testimony against such irregularities with serious [13] warnings & desires that God would helpe us all to more care & watch-fullnesse in our whole conversation: The 122 Psalme was then sung, the Pastor concluded all with Prayer, this was a very comfortable day of peace & love with unity among us.

    June, 25: the Elder propounded to the chh, whether they would deale with offending chh-seed in private only? the answer of the bretheren generally was, that if the sin were publick they would continue their former practice in publick dealing for it.

    This chh never allowed the Blessing to be dispensed at the conclusion of the publick worship on a sacrament morning till after the Lords supper was administred, some without were dissatisfyed at it, the Elder therefore at this meeting desired the chh to expresse their mindes about it there appeared noe forwardnesse to alter the custom, & some bretheren scrupled the lawfullnesse of it, soe there was then noe further discourse of that matter; but some time after it was consented to & practised.

    A chh-child was publickly admonished for sin he then manifesting noe sense of it but too much of the contrary; but afterward God melted his heart & he became a profitable member of the chh:

    Letters from the chh at the North river in Scittuate were sent to us for696 messengers to be at the ordination of Mr Thomas Mighil whom they had chosen to be their Pastour; Elder Cushman & mr Joseph Bradford were sent with the Pastour & were present at that solemnity, october, 15:

    In 1685: the Lords supper was ten times, 13 children were baptized.


    May, 17: the Elders stayed the chh after the publick worship was ended & moved to sing Psal: 130: in another Translation, because in Mr Ainsworths Translation which wee sang, the tune was soe difficult few could follow it, the chh readily consented thereunto.

    June, 28: dyed our Brother, Mr Nathaniel Morton in the 73d year of his age, he was a sincere christian, very religiously tender & carefull in his observation of the sabbath day & of speaking truth, he had divers times spoken in publick to ædification in the absence of the minister & vacancy of the ministry; he took much paines to record the Dispensations of God as appeares in the former part of this book

    A chh-child was admonished for scandalous words. The chh kept November, 11, a publick Thanksgiving for this yeares mercies.

    In 1686: the Lords supper was 8 times, 14 members were admitted, 22 children baptized:


    A sister of the chh upon her confession of some failings the chh was satisfyed with her; A child of the chh related to her, to whom the Elder spake some serious words brake forth into Passion & spake evill words reflecting upon the chh, at which the chh was offended with him, but for some weighty cause suspended any prosecution of him for the present for that offence.

    Deacon Morton, November, 28: propounded to the chh the need of another Deacon, because old age with its sicknesses & infirmities had disenabled Deacon Finney from coming abroad or any further attendance upon that office, the Elders accepted the motion & desired the chh to ripen their thoughts for the next Sabbath; on December, 5: the church was stayed after publick worship; the Pastor prayed, then the Elders & bretheren man by man generally nominated for choice, the major part of the then voters were for Thomas Faunce [14] but divers of the bretheren being then absent the compleating of the Election was deferred till ther mindes also should be knowne.

    Dec: 19: the chh was detained, & those bretheren before absent or who had not voted were called upon to nominate their choice for a Deacon, which they did & the major part was for Tho: Faunce, It was then declared, that if any Brother had ought to object why he should not be established in the office of a Deacon, they had their liberty to speake, not one objecting, it appeared, the chh was very unanimous in this motion, the Pastor then signifyed, they would proceed to his ordination the next comfortable Sabbath.

    on December, 26: Bro: Thomas Faunce was ordained a Deacon of this church, the Pastor & Elder laid on hands, the Pastor then prayed & gave the charge & then the Elder prayed: His charge was given in these following words, which are inserted, because it may be of some use in like case in after times.

    Since the Lord & this his chh have chosen you our Brother T: F: to the office of a Deacon in his house, wee doe therefore in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the chh, whom God the Father hath established to be his King in Zion, ordaine & set you apart to that spetiall office & imployment of a Deacon in this chh of God, & as from the Lord wee charge you to use the office of a Deacon well, & that you give diligent heed to all those rules in the Holy Word of God which set before you the nature & bounds of this your office & worke; And in particular, the Lord requireth of you, that you receive the offerings of the chh & congregation, & that you therewith conscionably serve all the Tables of the chh, distributing the offerings made to the Lord with Gospel-simplicity, not only to the ministry of this chh, but also with cheerfullnesse showing mercy to697 the Lords poore among us as they may have need thereoff, according to what you are betrusted with all for such ends & purposes; Wee charge you in the Name of the Lord to be Faithfull herein, that you may stand in the great day of the appearing of the Lord Jesus, who will then before Angels and men call you to give an account of this your stewardship; And wee doe further from the Lord charge you, that you labour for the growth & exercise of all those graces that are requisite to furnish you with ability for a regular discharge of this weighty worke, which God now calles you unto, namely, wisedome, gravity, sincerity, freedome from guile, sobriety, spirituall & heavenly-mindednesse, not inordinately reaching after the things of the world, & that in your whole conversation you endeavour to be found blamelesse, exersising yourselfe alwayes to have a conscience void of offence towards God &698 man, providing for honest things not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men & that you rule your owne family well in the feare of God, & that you hold the mystery of the faith of the Gospel in a pure conscience; All which, if in the uprightness of your heart you labour in & for, you will then purchase unto your selfe [16] a good degree, & great boldnesse in the faith which is in Christ Jesus, which the Lord grant unto you for his mercies sake in Christ, who is our Lord & life, And for which great & gratious blessings let us further call upon the Holy Name of God.

    Much of this charge was given in the ordination of the 2 former Deacons, Bro: Finney & Bro: Ephraim Morton, August, 1:1669: but here are severall additions upon second thoughts.

    In 1687: the Lords supper was 9 times, five members were admitted, 23 children were baptized


    March, 30: the chh set apart for fasting & prayer, on account of last yeares drought, uncomfortable winter, Epidemicall coughs & colds, the small pox in some places, & for all the mercies of the yeare etc.

    The chh of Taunton sent letters to desire us to come to the ordination of mr Samuel Danforth to be their Pastor; the Elder could not goe, the church chose & sent Bro: George Bonum & Bro: Nathaniel Wood to attend the Pastor to that solemnity, who did soe, September, 21:

    The chh set apart october, 26: for a day of Thanksgiving for the mercies of the yeare, & for liberty to Gods people in O: E: by the Kings Proclamation. Deacon Finney dyed January, 7: being eighty yeares of age, a good old man.

    In 1688: the Lords supper was ten times, eleven members were admitted, 21 children were baptized.


    The chh set apart, March, 7: a day of Fasting & prayer, on account of the measles in the winter & for the mercies of the yeare, & for continuance of & Gods blessing upon the meanes of grace.

    A chh-child was admonished for sinne.

    The chh set apart May, 3: as a Fast because of great drought, great699 raine came that very day & after, soe ready is God to heare the prayers of his people.

    June, 17: the Elders stayed the chh after the publick worship was ended & propounded to them, that seeing divers men who offered themselves to chh-fellowship were bashfull & of low voices & therefore not able to speak in publick to the edification of the congregation, nor to the hearing of the whole chh who should be satisfyed before they vote for their Admission, it was expedient the bretheren should expresse what way they Judged best for helpe & satisfaction herein; the Elders & all the bretheren exprest themselves man by man & the generall conclusion of the body of the chh was, that those who could speak to hearing should soe doe in the whole congregation as formerly, but if the Elders Judged any man not capable thereof, they should call the chh together in private to heare such make their relations, but voting their Admission & covenanting with them should be deferred to be done in publick; sundry of the bretheren then desired that the Relations made by such might by the Elders be made knowne to the whole Congregation at their admission, as Judging it would be for the edification of others, which Proposall, though it was not opposed by any, yet was left undetermined, & as God directed in the particular cases, wee are to doe as should be Judged for the best.

    June, 21: a private Fast was kept by about 50 of the chh on short warning, on behalfe of some of our bretheren & neighbours who were that day before the Councill at Boston, though not for evill doing, but by reason of an ill instrument, exposed to trouble. [16]

    A child of the chh, living in another towne fallen into sin, the chh sent a letter of Admonition to her subscribed by the Elders in their Name.

    The chh set apart october, 30: to be a fast, on account of the Easterne war with the heathen broken forth, great sicknesse at Boston, the troubles that day of our bretheren & neighbours at Boston-court.

    In 1689:700 eleven times the Lords supper was administred, five members were admitted, & 27 children were baptized.


    March, 7: was kept as a day of publick Thanksgiving for all the mercies of the yeare701 past, & in spetiall for answers of prayer in Raine.

    The chh appointed & kept April, 10: a fast for the mercies of the yeare.

    A chh-child was admonished for sin.

    At a chh-meeting July, 3: a chh-child having sent a letter to the chh manifesting her Repentance for the Evill they had admonished her for, the letter was read & accepted.

    At702 that meeting, a sister have given offence to another of the chh in words & actions, was sent for to come before the chh, matter of fact was made evident, & she carrying her selfe offensively the chh declared their offence at her, & that they expected she should give satisfaction by Repentance & ordered her to withdraw. A chh-child who had offended was then sent for, but he told the messengers he would not come, he had not nothing to say to us, nor would have any thing to doe with us; the chh then sent two703 other bretheren to require him to attend the chh in publick assembly the next sabbath, but he came not, soe for his not hearing the chh added to his other offences, he was by the Elder in the name of the chh (who voted it should be soe) cutt off from his relation to the chh.

    The chh appointed & kept July, 30: as a day of Fasting & prayer, on the account of drought, great sicknesse, war Eastward etc.

    A Brother was dealt with & admonished for disorderly walking, who formerly had bin dealt with for like evills:

    The chh kept Feb: 12: a day of Fasting & prayer for a blessing on the Agents704 now in & going for O: E: to prevent spreading the small pox, & that God would put an end to the war with the Heathen, & that God would heale & spare the life of our aged Elder: God then restored him.

    Feb: 9: the Pastour propounded that some Brother might read the Psalmes in the Elders absence, the chh voted that one of the Deacons should doe it. Deac: Morton excused him selfe because aged, upon which Deac: Faunce was desired to doe it, who did attend that service till the Elder returned.

    This chh & people made a large contribution in the time of the first warrs for the reliefe of those impoverished at & about Rehoboth; The like they did also in these wars & sent it to the distressed Eastward; Also divers times for particular families whose houses were burnt, & for sundry persons brought low by sicknesse & long affliction; This may truly be left on record, That upon any motion from the Elders for a contribution on such accounts, there was a great readynesse in the people to hearken thereunto & give freely & abundantly, the Lord reward it.705

    In 1690: the Lord supper was ten times, two members were admitted, & 19 children were baptized.


    A brother being called before the chh for unsutable walking, the chh accepted his expressions of sorrow & forgave him.

    The sister above mentioned manifested her Repentance before the chh for her irregular actings & the chh forgave her.

    A child of the chh, living else where, had an Admonition sent her from the chh, as had bin to others in like case.

    The brother above-mentioned, upon his Repentance was forgiven.

    September, 24: was kept a Fast for the Canada-expedition. [17]

    In 1691: the Lords supper was ten times, seven members were admitted & 34 children were baptized:


    A chh-child made his relation in private at the Pastors house before the chh & was the same sabbath in publick admitted to full communion.

    The chh of Barnstable706 sent to our chh for messengers to asist in Councill in their troubles, but the season permitted not some who lived more remote to attend at the time appointed, the Pastor & Deacon Morton were chosen, but on that account went not.

    It pleased God to seize upon our good Elder, mr Thomas Cushman by sicknesse & in this yeare to take him from us, He was chosen & ordained Elder of this chh, April, 6: 1649: he was neere 43 yeares in his office, his sicknesse lasted about 11 weekes: he had bin a rich blessing to this chh scores of yeares. he was grave, sober, holy & temperate very studious & sollicitous for the peace & prosperity of the chh & to prevent & heale all breaches; He dyed, December, 11: neere the end of the 84th yeare of his life: December, 16: was kept as a day of Humiliation for his death, the Pastor prayed & preached, mr Arnold & the Pastors 2 sons asisted in prayer; much of Gods prescence went away from this chh when this blessed Pillar was removed.

    A liberall contribution was made that Fast day for the Elders widow as our acknowledgment of his great services to the chh whilst living.707

    A chh-child was publickly admonished for sin.

    seven members more dyed this yeare, some of them of the best.708

    December, 27: the Pastor propounded to the chh to choose meet persons to be present with him in the private examination of persons in order to chh-fellowship, the two Deacons & any other Brother whom the Pastor might see reason to call to the worke, the chh voted their acceptance of.

    Feb: 10: was kept as a day of Thanksgiving for the many mercies of this yeare.

    In 1692: the Lords supper was 11 times, 13 members were admitted & 31709 children were baptized.


    March, 16: the Pastor propounded to the chh to endeavour the worke of reformation in ourselves & families, & that the children of the chh should be more diligently watcht over, the chh voted to call all the Adult seed before them to apply sutable counsells & rebukes as there might be occasion;

    April, 3: publick notice was given hereoff that all concerned might prepare themselves accordingly.

    April, 24: the Pastor called the chh between the meetings to his house & moved them to renew a covenant for Reformation on the approaching day of Humiliation, & to quicken thereunto he read to them the record of what the Church had done in that kinde, 1676: as also two other papers, the one from the Elders of this Plymouth-Colony & the other from many Elders of Boston-Colony in which were counsells, exhortations & encouragements to a thorough Examination of our hearts & wayes & Reformation of heart & life, both which papers are here next written downe, concluding they may be of use to those that shall succeed in after-generations. [18] The letter from the Elders of this Colony to the severall ches therein:

    Bretheren & dearly beloved in our Lord Jesus,

    Wee acknowledge our selves to be under solemne & awfull bonds & obligations of Duty to God & to your selves, our Soveraigne Lord having placed us (how unworthy soever in our selves) as his watchmen, & therefore giving us in charge not to keep silence in a day of approaching danger & evill, but faithfully to admonish & give warning to all, that thereby impending wrath may be diverted, the soules of those committed to our charge may be preserved, & wee ourselves delivered from the guilt of the blood of soules; It being a duty incumbent not only upon us but upon every one to consider the words of the Lord & to regard the operation of his hands, wee cannot but minde ourselves & you, of the Lords walking towards us in the way of his Judgments, in particular, the sword of war is drawne in our land, it is now more than 3 yeares since the Heathen & Antichristian enemy hath been seeking & spilling the blood & consuming the habitations & estates of our country men in the Easterne parts of the country, which though remote from us, yet some of the bitter effects of it wee have felt & tasted, & verily the Holy God thereby saith, Except wee repent wee likewise shall perish; The Dreadfull Hand of God in blasting the designe against Canada, & the death of soe many hundreds occasioned thereby, & the great impoverishing of the country following thereupon is a very humbling stroak & not to be forgotten, Moreover those malignant feavors & burning agues (which God threatens to send upon his people for breaking his commandments) that have bin soe greivous & deadly among us, cry aloud in our eares, that God is very angry with us;

    And as to our selves (not to omit the hitherto unsetled & doubtfull state of the whole country) wee in this colony are brought exceeding low as to our civill Government, many openly casting off the yoke of subiection to our civill rulers, & there being noe strong rod for a scepter to rule, whereby wee are in great danger of being given into the hands of strangers to manage us at their pleasure, & soe of loosing the liberty of those most pretious enjoyments for the sake of which our blessed fathers followed God into this wildernesse:

    Upon these & many other affecting considerations that might be mentioned, wee the servants of God & of our Lord Jesus in the worke of the ministry, doe sincerely & affectionately commend710 to all the churches & people of God in this Colony, the serious meditation upon & laying to heart these things, And inasmuch as sinne is the procuring cause of all our troubles, our earnest desire & solemne Proposall is, that each church & congregation (as well as every particular person) would make diligent search into their owne hearts & wayes, & by the helpe & strength of God labour to the utmost for the finding out those provocations of Divine anger that are in the midst of us, & therein deale faithfully & impartially, as in the presence of the searcher of all our hearts (who hath knowne us above all the [19] families of the earth, & therefore will punish us for all our iniquities, if wee repent not) & that there be deep Humiliation for & unfeigned, pcenetentiall confession of all our guilt before the Lord, with a holy resolution & engagement by divine asistance to set upon & be thorough in the worke of Reformation, that magistrates & ministers & this whole people may be turned as one man unto the Lord, which if in good earnest wee engage in, who can tell but God will returne & yet leave a Blessing behind him, & revive his worke in the midst of us, & give us to rejoyce under the shadow of his wings as in the dayes of old, All which Grace the Lord grant to his poore people for his mercies sake in Jesus Christ;

    wee subscribe our selves,

    your friends & servants for Jesus sake

    Samuel Arnold

    John Cotton

    Ichabod Wiswall

    James keith

    Samuel Treat

    Jonathan Russell

    Jerimiah Cushing

    Samuel Danforth

    Samuel Angier


    This following was sent to us from the ministers subscribed.

    Cambridge, 6 d, 1 m, 1692:

    Whereas the most heavy & wasting Judgments of Heaven upon our distressed land, loudly call upon us, noe longer to delay the taking of some hitherto untaken steps towards the Reformation of our provoking evills & the recovery of practicall Religion in our hearts & lives; Among expedients in order hereunto, wee cannot but Recommend it as adviseable, That the severall churches, having in an instrument proper for that purpose, made a catalogue of such things as can indisputably be found amisse among them, doe with all seriousnesse & solemnity passe their votes, That they count such things to be very offensive Evills, & that renouncing all dependance on their owne strength to avoyd such evills, they humbly aske the helpe of the Divine Grace to asist them in watching against the said evills both in themselves & in one another; And that the Communicants doe often reflect upon these their Acknowledgments and Protestations as perpetuall monitors unto them, to prevent the miscarriages wherewith too many Professors are too easily overtaken.

    Voted, That Letters be written unto the Elders of the other Associations to represent unto them our desire of their concurrence with us in what they shall Judge practicable & profitable as to this matter.

    Charles Morton

    James Allen

    Joshua Moodey

    Samuel Wlllard

    Jabez Fox

    Nathaniel Gookin

    Cotton Mather

    Nehemiah Walter

    Jonathan Pierpont



    These papers being read, the chh agreed that on April, 27: they would attend that duty, & that the Adult male-children of about 20 yeares old & upwards should come to the Pastors house on the morrow, & the Females on the Fast day betweene the meetings to heare what was desired & expected of them, of which the Pastor gave them publick notice in the congregation that afternoone. Accordingly, April, 25: there was a very great & generall appearance of all the male-children711 of the chh (those very few absent being out of towne or necessarily hindred, not one refusing to owne his Covenant-relation to the chh) the Pastour spent neere 2 houres with them in prayers & solemn Exhortations, counsells & Admonitions to all sorts of them according to their particular circumstances & then read to them what they had many of them solemnly transacted before the Lord & his people, Anno, 1676: & asked them if they were now willing to acknowledge the Lord God of their Fathers, & in like manner on the approaching day of Prayer renew the Covenant for Reformation etc;

    This they universally consented unto; it was observed by divers of the chh then present that many were much affected at what was spoken, neither did they spend that training-day evening as formerly too many of them used to doe.

    April,712 27: the chh & congregation kept as a day of Fasting & Prayer; the morning was spent in Prayers & Preaching, between the meetings, the Female chh-children came to the Pastors house, a great assembly of them, the Pastor prayed with them, exhorted etc about an houre & did all as with the young men 2 dayes before, & with like successe & issue: The Text in the forenoone was, in713 Ezek: 9:3: for: part: in the Afternoone, Isa: 58:1:714 After which the Pastor stood up & having made some Preface grounded on Joshua, 24:15: etc he read those 2 Papers in the two pages immediately before this;715 And then called upon all the members of the chh in full communion & desired them all both bretheren & sisters to manifest their consent in renewall of Covenant by standing up all the time the Paper was reading, the whole chh reverently then stood up, the Pastor then read the Paper containing the confessions of our particular sins & engagements for Reformation, the Paper was the same that on the like occasion had bin improoved, 1676: (recorded here, Pag: 6: & 7:716) only some further addition there was in the matter of our confession which our present condition called for, namely, our breach of promise in not performing our vowes to God in that covenant before renewed, Pride, increase of sensuality, too much neglect in the education of our children, not duly catechizing them, not calling upon them to remember at sermons, suffering them to play on Sabbath-evenings: Then the chh sat downe; the Pastour proceeded, & called upon all the children of the chh to stand up, which they universally did, whilst He read a paper unto them, the same before used on like occasion (here recorded [21] pag: 7:8:717) only with some addition as in the other; the whole solemnity was concluded with prayer; It was observed that many of all sorts were much affected in the time of this solemne transaction, the Good Lord accept us in christ & enable us all by his Holy Spirit to performe our vowes & covenant-ingagements to him. Amen.

    Letters came from the chh of Barnstable, renewing their desires that wee would attend in councill with other ches on May, 18: the chh sent the Pastor & Deacon Faunce, who went at the time appointed.

    A sister, was admonished for sin, & the yeare after upon repentance, forgiven

    June, 19: the Pastor stayed the chh after meeting & propounded, that seeing many of the Psalmes in mr Ainsworths Translation which wee now sung, had such difficult tunes that none in the chh could sett, that the chh would consider of some way of Accomodation that wee might sing all the Psalmes, & left it to their consideration.

    August, 7, at the conclusion of the sacrament, the Pastor called upon the chh to expresse their Judgments about this motion; the vote was this, when the tunes are difficult in the Translation wee use, wee will sing the Psalmes now used in our neighbor-ches in the Bay; not one brother opposed this conclusion; the sabbath following, Aug: 14: wee began to sing the Psalmes in course according to the vote of the chh718

    September, 15: (some motion from some in Authority to the ministers inviting thereunto) the chh set apart & kept as a day of Fasting & prayer for the Army gone Eastward etc.

    A chh-child was Admonished for intemperance, & soone after another for like offence.

    Some of our chh & neighbours, living at a village in our Township, invited a Brother to carry on some worship among them on Sabbath dayes, which he did, not consulting the chh or Elder about it, Nov: 16: being sent to they were with the chh, & said they were sorry they had therein given offence to the chh, the chh then declared that they faulted not their soe meeting in short dayes & when the weather was unseasonable, but when seasons were comfortable for travelling they approved not their absenting from the publick worship with719 the chh.

    A chh-child, living out of towne, the chh sent an Admonition a pœintentiall answer was soone returned to the chh, upon which the chh forgave the offender.

    Another chh-child was Admonished for sinne.

    A motion was made by the Pastor, that some other might be appointed to read the Psalmes when Deac: Faunce was sick (as he then was Sep: 11:) the answer was, that the Pastor might call any of the chh whom he had then nominated or any other of the bretheren that might be Judged meet for that service.

    In 1693: The Lords supper was ten times, seven members were admitted, 29 children were baptized.


    April, 5: the chh set apart for a day of Thanksgiving, for the Preservation of King & Queen etc for our Gospel-mercies, health, harvest, destroying caterpillars last summer, saving ours in stormes checking the enemy at wells, returning Agents, & for that the Government over us is yet in the hands of saints. [22]

    The chh set apart & kept, May, 24: a Fast, wherein to humble our selves for sin, to seeke mercy for the Army & that God would restore peace & give the blessings of the yeare, mercy to O: E: successe to the King etc.

    The chh met, June: 11: in the Pastors house to take the relation of a man in order to chh-fellowship & accepted him according to their former vote.

    Leiftenant Ephraim Morton, the Deacon dyed, october, 7: about 70 yeares of age, He was not only serviceable to the chh in that office, but usually a Select man, & principally imployed in the civill & military services of the towne for many yeares.

    Two chh-children were together Admonished for sinne.

    At a chh-meeting Feb: 4: the chh voted to sing the spirituall songs in scripture as translated into meeter in our new Psalm-booke the chh was then desired to warne their children & servants not to depart the assembly before the Blessing, as also to acquaint them, that the ordinance of catechizing them should shortly be revived, the chh unanimously agreed hereunto.

    ☞ It was then propounded, whether Parents not in full communion might without offence hold up their children to Baptisme? some spake for it, some said it was an indifferent thing, but generally the bretheren seemed not free to admit of it, but to continue the practice in that matter as formerly.

    Letters came to us from the chh of Yarmouth to desire our presence & asistance at the ordination of mr John Cotton Junior to be their Pastor on November, 22: the chh chose to accompany their Pastor two bretheren, Thomas Clarke & Samuel Sturtevant, who then attended that service.

    In 1694: the Lords supper was ten times, foure members were 1694: admitted, & 37 children were baptized.


    March, 7: was a chh meeting, which the sabbath before the chh had notice of & were then desired to prepare their thoughts to nominate some bretheren to serve in the office of Elders & Deacons: The chh spake man by man & all but 2 or 3 of the bretheren nominated Deacon Faunce & Bro: Isaac Cushman for Elders; And then each brother was called upon to nominate 3 for Deacons; many of the chh being absent the compleating of the Nomination was deferred till the next sabbath, the bretheren before absent nominated those for Elders above named, & for Deacons, Nathaniel Wood was highest in Nomination, George Morton & Thomas Clarke were æquall in the votes:

    The Pastor on March, 25: stayed the chh & told them, he thought it best that the bretheren nominated for Elders should hence forward be accepted by him & improved with him in all actions that relate to the rule & government of the chh in a way of probation for a time with which the chh readily manifested their concurrence by a ready lifting up of their hands; accordingly the Pastor alwayes called those 2 bretheren to be with him in triall of persons that offered themselves to the fellowship of the chh, & in case of any offence, or to prepare any matter that was to be brought before the chh. [23] on this march, 25: the Pastor moved to know the mindes of the chh, whether they would have all the 3 that had most votes for Deacons or but 2 of them, many spake for 3 seeing 2 of them were æquall in votes, some thought 2 might suffice but would freely rest in the act of the chh whether it were for 2 or 3: the Pastor then put to vote, namely, If they did make choice of those 3 bretheren George Morton, Nathaniel Wood & Thomas Clarke to be Deacons of the chh they should manifest it by lifting up their hands, which they did very generally, & after the afternoon sermon the Pastor declared if any in the whole congregation had ought to say why the chh might not proceed to ordaine those 3 bretheren for Deacons, they had their liberty to speak, none at all obiecting, the 3 bretheren were called forth to give their answer to the call of the chh, who did all modestly & humbly expresse their sense of their owne unfitnesse for the worke, their desires of our prayers etc the Pastor then called for the vote of the chh that Deac: Faunce & Bro: Isaac Cushman might Joyne with him in laying on hands in their ordination, to which the chh consented by a silentiall vote, then the Pastor prayed & He with those 2 bretheren laid on hands upon these 3 severally one after another, ordaining them to the office of a Deacon, & then the Pastor only once gave them all together their charge in the same words, generally which were used in the ordination of Deac: Faunce (recorded here, pag: 14: 15:720) then againe the Pastor prayed, & wee concluded cheerfully singing, Psal: 133: & dismist the Assembly with a Blessing:

    It may be minded in all the 30 yeares which this Narrative gives an account of, the Elders called for the votes of the chh, sometimes by lifting up of hands, sometimes by silence, sometimes calling upon every brother one after another to speak his minde, sometimes when divers had particularly spoken, asking if the rest were soe minded, they in a more generall721 way assenting; any of these methods were attended as the Elders thought most expedient.

    Minde also that in all chh affaires when the Elders called for the Vote of the bretheren, they never called for a negative or contrary vote as Judging it would be as the using of axe or hammer in Temple-worke; only care was taken before the vote was called for in any case to gaine the consent of every brother, & in case any could not actually vote, yet they expressing, that they could rest in the act of the chh, it was satisfying, & this was a great preservative of the peace of the chh.722

    A chh-child was a second time laid under Admonition for intemperan[ce.]

    The chh was at that time informed that another chh-child had bin overtaken, but it was the first time & he had not that naturall capacity & understanding that other young men had but was defective therein, the chh, voted that the Pastor & the 2 bretheren nominated for Elders should admonish him in private & they would rest satisfyed therewith, this was accordingly done at the Pastors house:

    Notice being given of it, on May, 13: the Pastor began againe to catechise the children of the chh in the shorter catechisme of the Assembly of Divines, in the public meeting house between the morning & evening worship, the males one sabbath & the females another successively & then preached on each head of Divinity as they lye in order in that Catechisme; this course was constantly attended for more then 3 yeares, till August, 1697: from sabbath to sabbath, only on Sacrament dayes & in the short winter dayes & very unseasonable weather, there was a necessary omission thereoff. Many of the congregation did heare the sermons preached at the catechizing; & God strengthned & encouraged in the work723 [24]

    Our Brother Jonathan Dunham sent letters to the chh desiring our advice about gathering a chh at Edgartowne upon Martha’s Vineyard, where he was imployed in Teaching the word, these letters were read to the chh, April, 8, & left to their consideration. Apr: 22: the Pastor having prepared an answer, read it to the chh, they approved of it, & voted it should be subscribed by those 2 bretheren with the Pastour & sent in their724 name to Brother Dunham. Letters were sent to us from the bretheren of the vineyard & others who offered to joyne with them in that worke to desire us by our Pastor & messengers to be present & asist them to gather a chh & setle a Teaching officer, the chh agreed that either of the nominated Elders or of the Deacons or any other of the bretheren should accompany the Pastor in that service; the Pastor & mr Samuel Fuller went to the vineyard, the chh was gathered, mr Dunham was ordained Teacher, October, 11:

    A chh-child fallen into sin, living else where the chh sent her a letter of Admonition, the yeare after she sent a letter testifying her Repentance which the chh accepted.

    Letters from the chh of Rehoboth came to desire us to attend the ordination of mr Thomas Greenwood to be their Pastor on October, 24: the chh chose Bro: Thomas Cushman to goe along with the Pastor, they both went at the time.

    Letters from the chh at the North-river came to desire us to be with them at the ordination of mr Deodat Lawson to be their Pastor on November, 14: the chh chose Deac: Faunce & Bro: Elkanan Cushman to goe along with the Pastor to that solemnity, who did all attend that service.

    Letters came to us from the chh at Sandwich to desire us to asist them in the ordination of mr Rowland Cotton to be their Pastor on November, 28: the church chose our bretheren, Deacon Nathaniel Wood & John Nelson725 to accompany the Pastor thither, who did soe.

    Divers of our bretheren at midlebury sent letters to us to desire our Counsell in726 their gathering a chh & setling a Teaching officer with them, the chh tooke it into consideration & after some time manifested to them our consent to & approbation of their motion.

    Then those bretheren & those of other ches & some others who offered to Joyne with them sent letters to desire our Pastor with other bretheren to helpe them in carrying on that worke on December, 26: the chh chose Deac: Faunce, Deac: George Morton, Bro: Eliezer Church el & Bro: Ephraim Morton to accompany the Pastor thither on that occasion, & voted, that if God carryed on the worke, that wee dismisse our members, namely, five bretheren [25] & 4 sisters to be of that chh; the Pastor & those chh-messengers went at the time appointed, the chh was gathered, & then mr Samuel Fuller was chosen & ordained to be their Teacher.

    Five of our bretheren sent a letter to our chh to desire liberty to set up another meeting within the Township for publick worship because their habitations were soe remote from our place of worship that they could not without great difficulty come themselves & could not bring their families soe far, this was read & agitated at a private chh-meeting at the Pastors house January, 21: & at that time the chh were not willing to give approbation thereunto

    In 1695: the Lords supper was six times, six members were admitted & sixteen children were baptized.


    A chh-child living else where, having sinned, the chh sent her a letter of Admonition, the next yeare she sent letters to us to testify her repentance & the Pastor of that chh where she lived wrote a good Testimony of her, with desires that wee would dismisse her to them, they being satisfyed as to her meetnesse for full communion, the chh dismissed her & that chh received her.

    A chh-child made his Relation, March, 31: before the chh in the Pastors house of a worke of grace, the Pastor & bretheren present with him in his private examination testifyed to the chh the competency of his knowledge, with which the chh was satisfyed, & he was admitted in publick that day.

    A brother was admonished for some failings at a chh-meeting in private, a while after he submitted to the chh & was forgiven.

    At a chh-meeting727 June, 16: the matter of Elders being named, & then nominated, desired to give their answer, Bro: Faunce declined a present acceptance of the call from sense of his owne unfitnesse, Bro: Isaac Cushman desired further time of consideration; In which time our bretheren engaged in promoting a new society in our westerne præcincts, gave Bro: Cushman an earnest call to teach the word of God to them & desired our chh to consent thereto, Also in this time Mr Samuel Fuller, the Teacher of the chh at Midlebury a sincere Godly man whom wee had the last yeare dismissed to that service dyed August, 24: being about 66 yeares old a great losse to that place: immediately upon which that chh & towne sent letters to our chh to desire our consent that Bro: Isaac Cushman might be their Teacher, upon all which accounts the chh was called to meet on September, 1: which they did, & the Pastor acquainted them with those 2 calls our Brother had; the chh manifested generally their good respect to him & desires not to part with him,728 but that he should be an elder here in his blessed Fathers room, & desired him now to give his answer to that call, which accordingly he did: [26] That the729 Providence of God was mysterious, but he apprehended he should rather accept the call of this chh to be Elder here because it was first given him before the other two calls: the chh acted noe further in that matter at that time, only voted, That it would be noe offence but acceptable to them, if Bro: Cushman did improove his gifts in teaching at Midlebury or any other place where the orderly providence of God should call him; God soe disposed that He hearkned to the call of our Bretheren & neighbours of the New Society, where he now lives & constantly attends the worke of Preaching amongst them & is well accepted & acknowledged by them.

    In 1696: the Lords supper was administred nine times, two members were admitted & 26 children were Baptized.


    June, 7: the Pastor read a letter to the chh from 7 bretheren of the new society, desiring leave of us to be a distinct chh: which he left with the chh seriously to consider of: The chh was appointed to meet, June, 18: which was a day of public Thanksgiving appointed by authority, After the publick worship was ended the chh repaired to the Pastors house & concluded it necessary at present not to give a full answer to their motion;

    At that meeting it was moved; that divers of the chh had exprest their apprehensions, that it was inconvenient to use both the Psalmebookes, & therefore it was put to the vote in these words, If the chh see meet to leave it to the Pastor to fix upon the one of them to be used constantly, their silence should be taken for consent, & if any one Brother did obiect against it, He would not soe doe; there was an universall silence, not one obiecting, therefore from that time the new translation of the Psalmes was fixt upon & only sung, it being Judged most for ædification, because the former Translation had many difficult tunes that now wee could not sing.

    July, 26: at the conclusion of the sacrament, the Pastor called upon the chh, desiring them after the example of Abraham, Gen: 18:19: to command their children etc to attend more upon & not neglect the ordinance of publick catechizing, wherein of late there had bin some remisnesse, upon which followed a Reformation in that respect.

    It was then signified to the chh, that our bretheren of the new society were ready to attend the chh whenever they pleased to appoint a meeting for that end, the Pastor appointed the chh to meet on August, 19: at his house, which they did in the morning it being the Lecture day, before the Lecture, the Pastor & three of the bretheren spent the time in Prayer, after Lecture, there was a particular agitation of matters & the issue was satisfying & comfortable; The Bretheren of the new society professed their Judgments to be, that bretheren should have the advice & approbation of the chh whereto they belonged in setting up distinct worship by themselves & that they apprehended the chh had by some former act of theirs consented they should soe doe, the chh hereupon declared themselves satisfyed with those bretheren, as to their carrying on the worship of God by themselves, their habitations being soe remote from us & that Brother Cushman might without any offence to us continue to dispense the word to them, & that nothing heretofore passed betwixt us in word or action of any kinde should hinder our communion together in sealing ordinances as heretofore: The whole chh & our Bretheren concerned (for ought appeared) did every one of us expresse our consent hereunto by an universall lifting up [27] of our hands, & this was declared to be a finall issue of this matter & all differences that had thereby bin occasioned amongst us, & the chh voted that Deac: Faunce, D: Wood & D: Clarke should joyne with the Pastor in subscribing their hands to this conclusion written & voted, which they did &730 a copy thereoff soe subscribed was delivered to Bro: Isaac Cushman before they departed from the Pastors house; & as a Testimony of our Reconciliation one with another & mutuall forgivnesse of all past offences, Bro: Cushman himselfe & all our members of that society, both731 bretheren & sisters (that were capable) came together & sat downe with us at the Lords Table on August, 30: following: this chh-meeting Aug: 19: was concluded with prayer & Thankfullnesse to God for that issue with our bretheren.

    The chh set apart, September, 16: as a day of fasting & prayer for the Army abroad & that God would spare our Indian-harvest, God gratiously heard us in that respect & destroyed it not by frost among us as in the last yeare.

    Letters from the chh at Marshfeild came to the chh to desire the732 Pastor & some of the bretheren to attend & helpe them at the ordination of Mr Edward Thompson to be their Pastor on October, 14: the chh chose Deac: Faunce, Deac: Wood, Bro: Isaac Cushman, Bro: Eliezer Churchel & Bro: Shirtliffe to accompany the Pastor, who did all of them goe to that solemnity.

    The Pastor propounding it, the chh set apart & kept, November, 18: as a day of publick Thanksgiving, for Gods gratious hearing our prayers on the late Fast, Sep: 16: giving that harvest, our health, preserving our souldiers & many other mercies.

    Of the 178 members admitted in these 30 yeares, fifteen of them received Baptisme at their Admission.733

    In 1697: seven children were Baptized.


    At a chh-meeting at the Pastors house, March, 31: before Lecture, Brother Isaac Cushman desired on behalfe of himselfe & the bretheren of that society, that the chh would dismisse them to gather a chh among themselves, but He not expecting or desiring a present answer at that meeting, it was left to the consideration of the chh.

    April, 18: the Pastour propounded publickly to the chh to keep a day of Fasting & prayer, on account of the war, the Indians having lately killed & taken captive many at Haverhill, & that God would save from assaults of the enemy734 who (wee heard) were designing against us by sea & land; & because there was much scarcity of bread in many places, that God would supply their wants, blesse the seed time & harvest of this yeare, heale sicknesse now in the towne etc & left fixing the time to their consideration till the next Sabbath Before which came an order from the Leiftenant Governour & Councill to observe such a day on May, 13: therefore the chh appointed noe other time, but fixt upon & attended the service on that day:

    The aspect of providence from this time was such that made way for the Pastor & chh to part one from another without reflexion upon the chh his worke seeming now to be at an end; sundry chh-meetings wee had, one day of Fasting & prayer together in publick in which the 2 next neighbour-ministers were desired to asist in carrying on that worke who did soe & the bretheren after that kept some in one house, others in another, a day of prayer; the issue of all meetings & agitations was, a councill was called the chh from the ches of Weymouth, Duxbury, Bridgwater, Taunton & Barnstable, who met & Judged it best that the Pastor should cease his worke amongst them & the735 chh dismisse him with such expressions of their love & charity as the Rule called for; He having resigned his office, the chh & towne in October invited Mr Ephraim Litle to preach to them, which he accepted & is yet with them this May, 1698: & the Lord increase his gifts & graces that He may be a rich blessing to them: there are at this time of men in full communion 42, in both societies, & of woemen 75, besides 7 or 8 removed to other townes not dismist from us.

    The good Lord cover & wash away all our sins & imperfections in the blood of christ, & blesse this chh with peace & increase of grace & holinesse to all generations, Amen, Amen.

    In these 30 yeares past were observed amongst us, many dayes of Humiliation & Thanksgiving ordered by Authority, which are not here particularly made mention of: And many members upon removall were dismissed to other ches.736 [28]

    It being Judged profitable to keep in minde the usuall way of proceeding in the Examination of persons by the Elders, as to the competency of their knowledge rendring them meet for full communion, hereto is therefore added an account of the Questions ordinarily propounded to persons in private, when they also made declaration of their experiences of a worke of grace upon their soules; The Elders allowed & encouraged any person to declare his confession of faith in his owne way & method, but if any persons through bashfullnesse or defect of memory chose to be asked, such questions as these were usually737 put to them.

    Q: what doe you beleve concerning God? unity of Essence & Trinity of Persons & some of his Attributes were usually given in answer, as also his workes of Creation &738 Providence in both the Parts of it, preservation & gubernation.

    Q: what——concerning man? The state in which He was created, & his Apostacy & the Tempter to it, & the sin itselfe & the Effects of it in the curse on himselfe & posterity, inward & outward, here & for ever, were here spoken to.

    Q: what——concerning mans Recovery? by whom & how?

    Here the two739 Natures of christ were asserted, & the reason, why God & why man? Also his three offices & the worke of each office.

    Q:740 what are the benefits of Christ? Answer being made Justification, Adoption, & Sanctification with æternall glory, they were asked to give a description of those741 three spirituall benefits?

    Q: How doe wee come to be made partakers of Christ & his benefits? the Answer being, by Faith, it was asked, what is faith? what are the ordinary meanes to beget faith? & what, to increase it? Also, what is it that makes the word effectuall to beget & increase Faith?

    Q: How doth God prepare the hearts of sinners to beleive on Him? Answer being made, By working Repentance, Q: what is Repentance?

    Q: what is a church? Q: what officers hath Christ appointed in his chh?

    Q: what are the the ordinances of Gods house? Seales of the Covenant being named after others, Q: what is the proper end & use of Baptisme? Q: who are the subiects of Baptisme?

    Q: what is the Lords supper? Q: For what end was it instituted? what signifies the Breaking of the bread & the pouring out of the wine? Q: what is required to the worthy receiving of the Lords supper? Q: what is the matter of selfe-examination, here wee expected the sacramentall Graces should be specifyed.

    Q: How ought chh-members to carry it one towards another? The generall answer being, In brotherly love & holy watchfulnesse?

    Q: How ought christians to act towards each other in case of sin & offence, If private, then the Rule, Matt: 18:15:16:17: was minded & lookt for, & the duty of the chh towards repenting offenders exprest.

    Q: what doe you beleve concerning the state of man, at the end of, & after this life; Here death, resurrection, the day of Judgment, the Judge, the Persons to be Judged & for what, & the finall sentence pronounced upon the Elect & Reprobate, were spoken to, & the Execution of that sentence in Heaven & Hell.

    I know not in these 30 yeares, that any person examined in private by the Elders but they did in some degree give some satisfying answer to these things though some much more fully then others, & though some did not presently give a direct & proper answer to the Question, yet in further discourse about it, it usually appeared, they competently understood the thing. [29]

    Though wee did not limit our selves precisely to the same individuall words in covenanting with persons at their Admission to full communion, yet ever some of what followes was mentioned, & often all of it:

    After the person was received by the vote of the chh, which in case of Admission was alwayes by Lifting up of the Hands.

    The Elder, (whether Teaching or Ruling, ordinarily & most frequently it was the Ruling Elder) thus spake,

    The chh hath readily received you to their Communion, if it were a child of the chh admitted, the word was, you are this day to renew that covenant with God & his people which was sealed to you in Baptisme; if it were a person that was not a chh-child, then the expression was, you are now to enter into covenant with God & his people, & thus was it often expressed.

    The Covenant

    Since it hath pleased God to move the hearts of the Bretheren to give you the right hand of Fellowship, you doe in the presence of God, his holy Angels & this solemne assembly, this day avouch the Lord Jehovah the only living & the true God to be your God & doe give up your selfe to Him alone, acknowledging God the Father to be your Father & Soveraigne, & giving your selfe unto the Lord Jesus as your only Priest & Attonement, as your onely Prophet & Guide, as your onely King & Lawgiver, & to the Holy Spirit of God as your Sanctifyer & comforter; And you doe give up your selfe to this church of the Lord Jesus & doe solemnly promise by the helpe of his grace to walke with God & this his chh in wayes of holy communion & due subiection to all his holy ordinances according to his will revealed in his holy word.

    This you promise, the Party answering, yes, He proceeds, Then doe I promise to you in the name of this chh, That by the helpe of the same grace wee will walke towards you in brotherly love & holy watchfullnesse for our mutuall succour & ædification in the Lord Jesus.

    Then followed a concluding Prayer, often thus begun,

    Now the God of all Grace who keepes Covenant & mercy to a

    Thousand generations make us all faithfull herein to himselfe & one

    unto another for his Holy Names sake.

    with other Petitions742 sutable for the received & for the chh, as God directed his servants called thereunto743 [30]

    Att744 A Church Meeting on the 5th of October 1697 The Church Then Made Choyce of Thomas ffavnce to be Moderator in sd Church & to act and to ade in all Church affaires & transactions vntill it shall please God to settle an officer ouer them att sd Chh Meeting The Church taking into their Consideration theire pastors manifestation of his desires That the Chh would Release him of office bonds To them as alsoe the advise of the honowered Counsel being Mett at plymouth on the 28 of September 1697 vpon the Church of plymouths Request to helpe sd Church in Counsel & advice what god Caled them to doe vnder theire afflicted and distressed Condition with Refferance to the troubles yt happened with Refferance to their pastor Wherein sd Counsel declared that it was our duty to dismis him from office Relation to sd Chh vpon which at this Chh meeting The Chh Manifested theire Compliance with the pastors desire and the Counsells advice to sd Church & did order the above Named Thomas ffavnce to declare to the pastor in their Name745 Theire willingnes to Release him of that746 office Relation he stood in to them vpon which the pastor being desired to Come To them to the Meeting house: he Came to the Chh then there mett together & then the said favnce did declare to the pastor in the Name of the Chh That they did Release him of his pastorall office bonds To them and for the future luck at him as fully Released from haveing aney office Relation vnto them

    After This the Church sett apart a day of humiliation To humble Their soules befor god for their personal & Chh sins & to beg of god pity vnder their desolat Condition and that god would send a labourror into his harvest in this place; which god graciously answered by sending Mer Ephraim Little whose labours747 in the ministrey was to grat sattisfaction to all generaly both Chh and town and after a little Time gave him a Cal to settle in sd Town as the Minister of the Town and soe god provided for the poore Congregation very graciously That we were Not destitut of Ministerial help not a sabath for a yeare748 together Except one & this we have Cause to Magnify the holy Name of God for as alsoe That he hath kept the Chh in peace749 and hath Not suffered aney Contention amongst vs but There hath ben onenes of hart and affection in all Church transactions Though we were left as Sheepe that had noe shepard yet the god of our fathers & our god took the Care of vs ffor Euer praised be his holy Name [31]

    Our breatheren of the vper sosiaty sending to the Church that they would grant them liberty to Enter into Church Couenant amongst them selves: the Church vpon serious deliberation and consideration of their motion Returned them this answer that they were willing to doe aney thing for them that god Cald them to doe that mite tend to his glory and the progres of ye worke750 of his grace in their soules and that if they should be advised by 2 or 3 of the neigbouring Churchis to attend such a work: the Church then vpon Notice given then of the time fixed vpon by them to Imbody in Church Couenant that the Church then would apoint some one or More of the Church in their Name to signify their willingnes to grant them their dismision After which they haveing the Concorrance of severall Churches and a promis of theyr assistance in said work: our breatheren fixed on the 26th of october 1698 and sending to the Church for their helpe therein the Church Chose the deacons to attend them on the day apoynted and in theyr Name to signify that the Church diy frely Releas them from them to enter in to a distinct Church by them selves which the deacons some of them did attend but the day apointed being stormy and vncomfort[able] it was attended on october 27th and Then the Mesengers of the Chur[ch] did in the Churches Name signify to the Elders and mesengers of the Church then Mett that they did dismis those breatheren and sister[s] of the Church whoe were of that sosiety whoe had desired it and then they proceded to Enter in to a church Couenant amongst them selves And ordained Mer Isaac Cushman to be their teach[er]

    The breatheren dismissed were

    The sisters belonging To the Church dismised we[re]

    Mr Isaac Cushman

    Rebecca Cushman

    Stephen Bryant

    Persis Shaw

    Jonathan Shaw

    Anna Waterman

    Joseph dunham

    Abigail bryant

    John Waterman

    Elizabeth Cooke

    John Rickard

    Marsey Stirtevant

    Samuel Stirtevant

    Elizabeth king


    Mary Rickard


    Rebecca Rickard


    Suzanna Ransom


    Elizabeth Cannady751


    Plimouth October 18th 1698

    At a meeting of the Church of Ch: there appointed & attended for hearing wt Mer Cotton desired to offer to them in persuance of ye advise given to them by the Counsel there Conveined in September 29th 1697 as sattisfaction for those offences he was then Convicted of He Made752 a full and penetentiall Aknoledgment of those evels and desired forgivenes of god and the Church accordingly haveing Made his Confession to them they did Express & vote theire Ready and harty accepttance of his sattisfaction offered vnto them and theire ffull Reconsiliation vnto him as witnes our hands

    Thomas ffaunce

    Nath: Wood

    Tho: Clerke

    In the Name of the Church

    Plimouth October 18 1698

    At a meeting of the Church of Ch: there it was agreed and voted yt Whereas Mer Cotton has of late had an Invitation to Remoue from hence & preach the gospel to a people at Corolina this Ch do in persuance of the advise given them by the Counsell heree Conveined in September 29 1697 dismiss him vnto what the providence of god May orderly Call him vnto and that he May Joyne him self vnto such a Church of Cht as god shall give him opportunity for


    Thomas ffavnce

    Nath: Wood

    Thomas Clarke

    In the Name of the Church


    on the third of Aprill the Church Met and it was proposed to the Church whether they thought god did not Call vs to labour after the settlement of His ordenances by giveing Mer Little a Call to take office work on him that soe we Mite be in a capasity to Enjoy753 all the ordenance vpon which Motion the gratest part of the Church Expressed their grat forwardness to attend; only thought it our duty to set apart a day of Humilyation to beg pardon of god for those sins we were gilty of vnder former EnJoyments of gospell ordena[nce] which had provoked god to lay vs vnder such a frown as to tak his ordenances from vs the Church then fixed on Aprill 13th to be keept as a sollom day of humiliation which was attended and at the Close of sd Meeting the Church Appointed Aprill 25th 1699 for Meting which was attended and then the Church beng Mett did very Joyntly Expres them selves every Man then present which was the Major part of the Church being 25 bretheren754 that they were very desiros to Endeavour the settlement of the orden[ances] of Ch: amongst vs and did then Express their desires to Mer Ephraim Little to take the office worke vpon him which he took into Consideration and to Return an an answer to the Chu: in Convenent Time At sd Meeting it was thought needful by the Church for their more Comfortable Carriing on in Church affaires To make Choyce of an Elder to be helpefull to Mer Ep Litle in the gouern of the Ch if god should Incline his hart to take the office work vpon him; soe the Church proceeded in their Choyce and the Lot fell on Thomas ffavnce he being there present it being publickly declared where the Choyce ffell sd favnce tuck it into Consideration and Soe the Meeting was dismised

    on June 12th 1699 The Chh Mett, they haveing Received Mer Littles Answer of the Chhes Call to Take the office work vpon him, which was of acceptance of the worke of god in the office Relation Also at this Meeting The Chh being vrgent with Tho: ffavnce to give his answer to the Motion Made by the Chh to him as aboue expressed To be helpfull To Mer Little in the goverment of the Chh he also accepted of the Chhes Call vpon which it was thought Need full by the Chh that there there should be a day of fasting & prayer sett Apart Earnistly to Seke the gracious presence of god to be with them in the worke the Lord by his Chh had Cald them too, which sd Motion was made to the whole Congregation the time fixed on for the attendance of the duty was on the 5th of July which was attended by the Congregation Generally [34]

    The Chh Mett againe on the 17th of July 99 and sett appart October the 4755 99 to Elect & ordain Mer Ephraim Little to be their pastor & Thomas ffavnce to be their Elder & voted to send To 4 Chhes (viz) Weymouth Marshfeild duxburry & the Chh in the western precints of Plimouth for their assistance in the work on sd day which by the good hand of god to vs was Attended by severall of sd Chhes & the sd Mer Little was on sd day ordained pastor of the Chh to the sattisfaction both of Chh and Towne Generally but by Reason of some disApointments the Elder was not ordained on the day Afore Apointed756 but the sabbath following the pastor stayed the Chh & desired them to fix on A day for the ordaining of him whome they had Chosen to the office of an Elder, The Church fixed on the 25th of october: 99: & the next sabbath it was Mentioned by the pastor to the whole Congregation that the day befor Mentioned mite be kept as A day of humiliation which was Attended by the whole Congregation Generally, the757 pastor began758 with prayer & then Tavght out of the 2d of Revelations 4 & 5 verses A very sutable subject the Lord grant it May be as profitabel to vs: as such an Exhortation was sutable for vs that we May Rember Repent & doe Mer Isaac Cushman Concluded the forenoone Exercises with prayer the after part of the day was spent in prayer & the worke of ordainnation of the Elder before chosen by the Chh The worke was Carried on by the pastor & Mer Cushman Teacher of our Neighbour Chh Who759 did then ordaine Thomas ffavnce to the office of A Ruling Elder in sd Chh & soe the work of the day was Ended with singing the 122 ps: & the blesing760