The original covenant is a remarkable paper, toned with deep piety and a broad and comprehensive spirit of Christian fellowship.
SWANSEY IN NEW ENGLAND.—A true coppy of the Holy Covenant the first founders of Swansey Entred into at the first beginning and all the members thereof for Divers years.
Whereas we Poor Creatures are through the exceeding Riches of Gods Infinite Grace Mercyfully snatched out of the Kingdom of darkness and by his Infinite Power translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son, there to be partakers with all Saints of all those Priviledges which Christ by the Shedding of his Pretious Blood hath purchased for us, and that we do find our Souls in Some good Measure wrought on by Divine Grace to desire to be Conformable to Christ in all things, being also constrained by the matchless love and wonderfull Distinguishing Mercies that we Abundantly Injoy from his most free grace to Serve him according to our utmost capacitys, and that we also know that it is our most bounden Duty to Walk in Visible Communion with Christ and Each other according to the Prescript Rule of his most holy word, and also that it is our undoubted Right through Christ to Injoy all the Priviledges of Gods House which our souls have for a long time panted after. And finding no other way at Present by the all-working Providence of our only wise God and gracious Father to us opened for the Injoyment of the same. We do therefore after often and Solemn Seeking to the Lord for Help and direction in the fear of his holy Name, and with hands lifted up to him the most High God, Humbly and freely offer up ourselves this day a Living Sacrifice unto him who is our God in Covenant through Christ our Lord and only Savior to walk together according to his revealed word in the Visible Gospel Relation both to Christ our only head, and to each other as fellow-members and Brethren and of the Same Household faith. And we do Humbly praye that that through his Strength we will henceforth Endeavor to Perform all our Respective Duties towards God and each other and to practice all the ordinances of Christ according to what is or shall be revealed to us in our Respective Places to exercise Practice and Submit to the Government of Christ in this his Church! viz. furthur Protesting against all Rending or Dividing Principles or Practices from any of the People of God as being most abominable and loathsome to our souls and utterly inconsistent with that Christian Charity which declare men to be Christ’s Disciples. Indeed further declaring in that as Union in Christ is the sole ground of our Communion, each with other, So we are ready to accept of, Receive too and hold Communion with all such as by a judgment of Charity we conceive to be fellow-members with us in our head Christ Jesus tho Differing from us in Such Controversial Points as are not absolutely and essencially necessary