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Thou hast also been pleased, that Thy Beloved Son Jesus Christ should institute and ordain His Holy Supper for the confirmation of the same. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Faithful God and Father, that through the operation of Thy Holy Spirit, the commemoration of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ may tend to the daily increase of our faith, and of our saving fellowship with Him: Through Jesus Christ Thy Son, in whose Name we conclude our prayers, saying:
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME: THY KINGDOM COME: THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN: GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD : AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS : AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL: FOR TUINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOR EVER. AMEN
BELOVED in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is know. unto you, that we have several times, and by several methods declared unto you the great sin com. mitted, and the heinous offence given by our fellow member N., to the end that he, by your Christian admonition, and prayers to God, might be brought to repentance, and so be freed from the bonds of the devil by whom he is held captive, and be recovered by the will of the Lord. But we cannot conceal from you, with great sorrow, that no one has as yet appeared before us, who hath in the least given us to understand that he, by the frequent admonitions given him, as well in private, as before witnesses, and in the presence of many, is come to any remorse for his sins, or hath shown the least token of true repentance. Since then by his stubbornness, he daily aggravates his sin, which in itself is not small, and since we lately signified unto you that in case he did not repent, after such patience shown him by the Church, we should be under the disagrecable necessity of being further grieved for him, and should come to the last remedy: we at this present are necessitated to proceed to this excommunication, according to the command and charge given us by God in his Holy Word; to the end that he may hereby be made, if possible, ashamed of his sins ; and likewise that we may not, by this rotten, and as yet incurable member, put the whole body of the Church in danger, and that God's Name may not be blasphemed.
Therefore, we, the Ministers and rulers of the Church of God, being here assembled; in the name and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, declare before you all, that for the aforesaid reasons we have excommunicated, and by these do excommunicate N. from the Church of God, and from the fellowship of Christ and of the Holy Sacraments, and from all the spiritual blessings and benefits, which God promises to and bestows upon His Church, so long as he obstinately and impenitently persists in his sins; and he is therefore to be accounted by you as a heathen man and a publican, according to the command of Christ, who saith that whatsoever His ministers shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven.
Further, we exhort you, beloved Christians, to keep no company with him, that he may be ashamed; yet count him not as an enemy, but at all times admonish him as you would a brother. In the
n.ean time let every one take warning by this and such like examples, to fear the Lord, and diligently take heed unto himself, if he thinketh he standeth, lest he fall; but having true fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, together with all faithful Christians, remain steadfast therein to the end, and so to obtain eternal salvation! You have seen, beloved brethren and sisters, in what manner this our excomunicated brother has begun to fall, and by degrees is come to ruin; observe, therefore, how subtle Satan is, to bring man to destruction, and to withdraw him from all salutary means of salvation. Guard, then, against the least beginnings of evil, “ and laying aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. Be sober; watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. To-day, if you will hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts, but work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;" and let every one repent of his sins, that our God may not humble us again, and we be obliged to bewail some one of you ; but that you, living with one accord in all godliness, may be our crown and joy in the Lord.
Since it is God who worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure, let us call upon His Holy Name with confession of our sins, saying:
O RIGHTEOUS God and Merciful Father, we bewail our sins before Thy High Majesty, and acknowledge that we have deserved the grief and sorrow caused us by the cutting off of this our late fellow member; yea, shouldst Thou enter into judgment with us, we all deserve, by reason of our great transgressions, to be cut off and banished from Thy presence. But, O Lord, Thou art merciful unto us for Christ's sake; forgive us our trespasses, for we heartily repent of them, and daily work in our hearts a greater measure of sorrow for them; that we, fearing Thy judgments which Thou executest against the stiff-necked, may endeavor to please Thee. Help us to avoid all pollution of the world, and of those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, that we may not make ourselves partakers of their sins; and grant that he, who is excommunicated, may become ashamed of his sins. And since Thou desirest not the death of a sinner. but that he may repent and live, and since the bosom of Thy Church is alway open for those, who turn away from their wickedness; we, therefore, humbly beseech Thee, to kindle in our hearts a pious zeal, that we may labor, with Christian admonitions and examples, to bring again this excommunicated person into the right way, together with all those who, through unbelief or dissoluteness os life, go astray.
Give Thy blessing to our admonitions, that we may have reason thereby to rejoice again in hinc.