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Ratio discipline, or, The constitution of the Congregational Churches.

Author: Thomas C Upham; Congregational Churches in Massachusetts. Boston Synod, 1680.
Publisher: Portland, Shirley and Hyde, 1829.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Genre/Form: Annotations (Provenance)
Quarter bindings (Binding)
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Upham, Thomas Cogswell, 1799-1872.
Ratio discipline.
Portland, Shirley and Hyde, 1829
(OCoLC)656694534
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Thomas C Upham; Congregational Churches in Massachusetts. Boston Synod, 1680.
OCLC Number: 3519760
Notes: "Part second" (p. [253]-302, with special t.p.) has sub-title: Confession of faith, originally adopted by the Congregational churches in England, assembled at the Savoy in London, in 1658, and afterwards with some slight variations, approved and adopted by the American Congregational churches, in the Synod of ministers and delegates, assembled at Boston, in 1680.
"Congregational and Presbyterian heads of agreement": p. [303]-311.
Shoemaker 41350.
Description: 324 pages 18 cm
Contents: I. Origin of churches --
General nature of a church --
Reasons tending to the introduction of a church state --
Light of nature in reference to the subject --
Of an objection sometimes made --
Of man as a religious being --
Of man as a social being --
Social religious worship deduced from the light of nature --
Of the need of revelation --
Authority, etc. for a church state in the New Testament --
General internal constitution of a church --
Characteristics of a true church --
Concluding remarks, etc. --
II. Congregational churches --
Of the visible and invisible church --
No immutable form prescribed to the visible church --
Varieties of form and sects --
Foundation or authorities of the Congregational system --
Fundamental principles of the Congregationalists --
Remarks on the preceding general principles --
Facts on the origin of Congregational churches --
Of the name, independents, sometimes given --
Origin and import of the name, Congregationalists --
views of Congregationalists in respect to the primitive churches --
Of the churches immediately after the Apostolic age --
III. Gathering of churches --
Duty of Christians to enter into a church state --
Qualifications of church members --
Testimonies of Congregational writers on this subject --
Numbers requisite for a church gathering --
Of articles of belief --
Of the covenant and grounds of the same --
Covenants authorized by scripture --
Sentiments of the primitive and of foreign churches --
Method of proceeding; day of prayer, etc. --
Assistance from the neighboring churches --
Note: Forms of letter missive --
Of the public religious exercises --
Forms of church articles and covenants IV. Church officers --
Need of officers in the church shown from the light of nature --
Note: Writings, etc., of Mr. John Cotton --
Church officers recognized in the scriptures --
Number of officers in Congregational churches. Ruling elders --
Further remarks on the office of ruling elders --
Office of deacons --
Duties of deacons --
Further remarks on the duties of deacons --
Induction of deacons into office --
Office of minister or pastor --
Distinction of ministers or elders into teaching or pastoral --
Duties of minister --
Note: On the mode of preaching --
Duties of a pastor further considered --
Of committees of laymen for religious purposes --
Duties of the brotherhood --
V. Admission of members --
Of the character of those who are to be admitted --
Claims of right of such to admission --
Statements of personal religious experience --
Grounds or reasons of the foregoing practice --
Examination of persons coming from other churches --
Of admissions in reference to the right of voting --
Propounding and concluding ceremony of admitting --
VI. Choice and call of a pastor --
Of the internal or personal call of a minister --
External call or call from the church --
Church precedence in the call of a pastor, and grounds of it --
The precedence of the church in the pastoral call a natural right --
Founded also on scripture authority and example --
Necessary to the maintenance of purity in the ministry --
The church has no coercive power over the parish --
Grounds of the reference of the choice to the parish or society --
The concurrent action of the two a matter of agreement --
Of the support of the minister --
Form of the call or invitation VII. Ordination of the pastor --
Of the necessity and authority of ordination --
Of the meaning and comparative importance of ordination --
Remarks on the early practice of the churches --
Ordaining councils the representatives of the churches --
Note: Form of letter missive --
Reasons for calling the neighboring churches to the council --
Of the admission of lay-members or delegates sent --
Preparatory proceedings of the council --
Further proceedings of the council --
Ordaining prayer --
Import of the imposition of hands --
Of the object and manner of the charge --
Of giving the right hand of fellowship --
Spirit of the hand of fellowship and closing services --
Installation of a minister --
Accountability of delegates and ministers to the churches --
Of the members of a council substituting others in their stead --
Of inviting others to sit as members, who are not chosen by the churches --
VIII. Ordination of missionaries --
Occasions and need of missionary ordination --
Of ordaining for distant churches at the invitation of the same --
Ordination of missionaries to the heathen --
Certain early instances of missionary ordination --
This practice a security to the heathen themselves --
Its consistency with the church's right of election --
Historical facts illustrative of the practice --
Formation of the council --
Council's proceedings and religious exercises --
IX. Of church censures and excommunication --
Design or object of church censures --
Of suspension and excommunication when the offense is private --
Punishment of public and know offenses --
Note: On the duty of pastors in respect to public scandals --
Of the proper spirit or temper in dealing with offenders --
Treatment and right of the excommunicate --
Restoration of the offender on repentance --
Of immediate separation from corrupt or scandalous churches --
Of refusing to attend the sacrament and scandalous persons --
Forms of suspension, from Mather's discipline --
Form of excommunication, from the same X. Transference of relationship --
Nature and obligation of the church covenant --
The church to be consulted in cases of proposed removal --
Of sinful and of doubtful cases of departure --
Just or sufficient reasons of removal --
Persons dismissed are to receive letters of dismissal --
Of letters of recommendation without dismissing --
XI. Pastoral associations --
Origin of pastoral associations --
Objects of pastoral associations --
General or state associations --
Objects and religious exercises of general associations --
Relation of clerical associations to the rights of churches --
XII. Of licensing to preach --
Early views of the churches in respect to preachers --
Imperfect arrangements on this subject --
Associations authorized to license preachers --
Of the examination previous to licensing --
length of time for which licenses are granted --
Form of the license --
Of annulling or revoking licenses --
XIII. Removal of ministers --
Early Congregational views of ministerial removals --
Treatises or authorities on this subject --
1st class of cases, justifying a minister's removal --
2nd class of cases, authorized removal --
Other occasions, authorising a minister's departure --
Advice of a council necessary in the removal of a minister --
Testimonies in favor of the preceding principle --
Of the classing, and the nature of the council --
Proceedings of the dismissing council --
Recommendation of pastors regularly dismissed --
XIV. Disciplining and deposing of a minister --
Of the necessity of some means of discipling ministers --
The minister amenable to his church --
Evidence of such accountability from the scriptures --
Note: On the practice of the primitive churches --
Methods or process of disciplining a minister --
Further considerations on this subject --
Advice of council in the discipline of pastor --
Proceedings and results of the council --
Of the testimony adduced against a pastor --
Of the deposed minister's relation to the church --
Subordinate means of pastoral discipline --
Duty of neighboring churches in the case of neglecting discipline --
Further proceedings of such churches in the above case XV. Councils --
Acts of communion according to the Synod of 1662 --
Of the obligation of churches to seek advice --
Of the persons composing councils --
Ancient testimonies on this subject --
Of those who have the right of calling councils --
Ancient testimonies on this subject --
Of those who have the right of calling councils --
Obligation of the churches to regard letters missive --
Of the feelings with which councils should be summoned --
Principles on which councils are to decide --
Of the weight due to the advice of councils --
Advice of councils in matters merely prudential --
Advice in matters of conscience --
XVI. Mutual councils --
Occasions of calling mutual councils --
Practice in selecting the council and letter missive --
Mutual councils representative of all the churches --
Mutual councils are ultimate tribunals --
Consociated or permanent mutual councils --
Of the authority or powers of consociations --
historical remarks on consociations --
Objections to permanent or consociated councils --
Objections to councils, which are not permanent --
Of the progress and improvement of the Congregational system --
XVIII. Ex-parte councils --
Of the nature of ex-parte councils --
Circumstances that warrant an aggrieved person or persons in calling an ex-parte council --
Duty of the churches, summoned to an ex-parte council --
An ex-parte allowable only on the refusal of a mutual council --
Proceedings of ex-parte councils --
Further proceedings of the same --
Proceedings of the ex-parte council in relation to the church --
Object and necessity of ex-parte councils --
The necessity of them superseded by consociations XVIII. Synods --
Nature of synods and scripture grounds of the same --
Powers and authority of synods --
Of the members of synods and the calling of the same --
Historical notices of synods --
Note: On the authority of the Cambridge Platform --
Synodical decisions persuasive or advisory --
XIX. Discipline of whole churches --
Congregational churches may discipline each other --
Method of discipline laid down in the Platform --
Treatment of unoffending members in a corrupt church --
XX. Baptism --
Significancy and subjects of baptism --
Method of proceeding at baptisms --
Mode of applying water in baptism --
Administration of adult baptism --
Relation of adult baptism to church membership --
Of the agent or administrator in baptism --
Of the right of a minister to baptize abroad --
Administration of baptism in private --
Infant baptism --
Relation of baptized children to the church --
Of the baptism of adopted children --
Duties of particular churches to their baptized children --
XXI. Half-way covenant --
Members and engagements entered into --
Origin of the practice of half-way covenanting --
Further remarks on the same subject --
Early opposition to the system of half-way covenanting --
Doings of the synod of 1662 on this subject --
Views of the objectors to the synod's articles --
Prevalence, results, and abandonment of the system --
XXII. The Lord's Supper --
Origin and permanency of the Lord's Supper --
Qualifications of those to be admitted --
Admission to the Eucharist, compared with admission to baptism --
Mode of administering the Lord's supper --
Right of a pastor to administer it in other churches --
Frequency of this ordinance --
Duty of the church to those who refuse to attend the Lord's supper from private prejudices --
The sacrament administered to members of other sects XXIII. Church conferences --
Of conferences as compared with other religious bodies --
Objects of church conferences --
Early views of Congregationalists on conferences --
Cotton's plan or proposition for conferences --
Recent attempts to establish conferences --
Of the permanent regulations or constitutions of conferences --
Method of organizing conferences --
Meetings and religious exercises --
XXIV. Worship and religious customs --
No time sacred but the Sabbath --
Form and ceremonies of worship --
Of places of worship and dedications of the same --
Custom in respect to ministerial exchanges --
Days of fasting and prayer, and of thanksgiving --
Of private religious meetings --
Of the custom of renewing covenant --
Form of the renewal of covenant Part Second: Confession of faith --
Of the holy scripture --
Of God and of the Holy Trinity --
Of God's eternal decree --
Of creation --
Of providence --
Of the fall of man, of sin, and of punishment thereof --
Of God's covenant with man --
Of Christ the Mediator --
Of free will --
Of effectual calling --
Of justification --
Of adoption --
Of sanctification --
Of saving faith --
Of repentance unto life and salvation --
Of good works --
Of the perseverance of the saints --
Of the assurance of grace and salvation --
Of the law of God --
Of the gospel and of the extent of the grace thereof --
Of Christian liberty, and liberty of conscience --
Of religious worship and of the Sabbath day --
Of lawful oaths and vows --
Of the civil magistrate --
Of marriage --
Of the church --
Of the communion of saints --
Of the sacraments --
Of baptism --
Of the Lord's Supper --
Of the state of man after death, and of the resurrection of the dead --
Of the Last Judgment --
Appendix: --
I. Congregational and Presbyterian heads of agreement --
II. Saybrook Articles --
III. Legal rights of churches and parishes.

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