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govern your faith and practice by its doctrines and laws. May you carefully keep in mind this promise, and perform it faithfully. To this end, you are diligently and honestly to search the scriptures. These contain every thing necessary to eternal salvation; and from these you may obtain all that information which is requisite to improve your understanding and confirm your faith. Above all, you are carefully to obey the precepts of the gospel, and to cultivate that purity of heart and affections, which all its laws, ordinances, and doctrines are designed to promote.
Having the fear of God before your eyes, be you now exhorted to discharge, with fidelity and exactness the duty you have now acknowledged. To the due observance of it may God incline your heart; and may he bless you with success, for your improvement in christian knowledge, and holiness of life, for the honour of religion, and the glory of his holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
END OF BAPTISM OF THOSE OF
First the Banns of those who are to be married, may be published in the Church three several Sundays or Holydays, in this manner;
I PUBLISH the Banns of marriage between M. of and N. of—. If any of know cause or just impediment why these two persons should not be joined together in matrimony, ye are to declare it. This is the first [second or third] time of asking.
When the Persons to be married are assembled with their Friends, the Minister shall say,
DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in matrimony; which is an honourable estate, institut
ed of God in the time of man's innocency; which estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of St Paul to be honourable among all men; and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, or taken in hand, lightly or unadvicedly; but reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God.
And also, speaking to the
Persons who are to be married he shall say,
IREQUIRE and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment, when the se
crets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully united in matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are joined together otherwise than God's word doth allow, are not joined together by God, neither is their matrimony lawful.
If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Minister say unto the Man,
M. WILT thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance, in the estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
The Man shall answer,
Then shall the Minister say unto the Woman;
N. WILT thou have this man to thy wedded
husband, to live together after God's ordinance, in the estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
The Woman shall answer,
Then shall the Minister say,
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?
Then the Minister, receiving the Woman, at her Father's or Friend's hands, shall cause the Man with his right hand, to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as followeth;
I, M. take thee, N. to my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance, and the laws of the land.
Then shall the Woman likewise say after the Minister;
I, N. take thee, M. to my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance and the laws of the land.
Then shall they loose their hands, and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring, putting it upon the fourth finger of her left hand. And the Man holding the Ring there, and taught by the Minister, shall say,
WITH this ring I thee wed; with all my worldly goods I thee endow; and to thee only do I promise to keep myself, so long as we both shall live. Amen.
Then the minister shall say,
Let us pray.
O ETERNAL God, creator and preserver of all mankind, giver of all spiritual grace, the author
of everlasting life; send thy blessing upon these thy servants, whom we bless in thy name. Enable them to perform the covenant which they have now made in thy presence. May they seriously attend to the duties of the new relation in which they stand to each other; that it may not be to them a state of temptation and sorrow, but of holiness and comfort; may they live together in peace and love; and wilt thou, the God of peace and love, be always with them, and lead them in the paths of innocence and virtue to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Minister speak unto the People.
FORASMUCH as M. and N. have consented together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have engaged and pledged themselves to each other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving a ring, and by joining hands; I pronounce that they be Man and Wife; and those
whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
Then shall he add this BLESSING.
THE Lord God Al
keep you; the Lord mer
Then shall the Minister mighty bless, preserve, and
Let us pray.
O MERCIFUL God and heavenly Father, who art the guide, the support and the felicity of all who put their trust in thee; we beseech thee to bless these thy servants, and give them grace to fear and serve thee all the days of their life. May their hearts be united in the closest bonds of love and purity; may they be blessings and comforts to one another, sharers of each other's joys, consolers of each other's sorrows, and helpers to one another in all the changes and chances of the world; and grant that they may so faithfully discharge the duties which belong to the condition into which they have entered, that they, and all who may be committed to their care, may meet together in that world of perfect felicity which thou hast revealed to us by Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
cifully with his favour look upon you, and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace; that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.
EXHORTATION to the Par
ties after marriage; to be read or omitted at the discretion of the Minister.
IT will become you to consider seriously the sacred and important engagement into which ye have now entered. Marriage is the union of one man with one woman for their joint happiness, and for the pious education of children, where God gives them; and by the original appointment of God, confirmed by our Saviour (Gen. ii. 24. Matt. xix. 4, 5, 6.), this union is to be perpetual, to be dissolved only by death. It was intended by the benevolent