The Church Covenant Renewed by the Members of the Church assembling in the Old Baptist Meeting Rushden January 1st 1839
We whose names are hereunto subscribed having as we hope through grace known by experience something of the Spirits work in its powerful operations in and upon our souls, quickening us who were dead in sin; enlightening our dark understanding, discovering to and convincing us of our lost and perishing state and condition by nature and practice. As also in applying and bringing home to our hearts and consciences the glad tidings of salvation. Working and making way for its reception in our hearts.
Making us willing in the day of His power to embrace salvation on His own terms which is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but in a way of sovereign grace.
Having also experienced under the influence of the same Spirit of Christ what it is to be refreshed and comforted by whom we have enjoyed times of refresh[ing] from the presence of the Lord; being made partakers of that joy the stranger intermeddleth not with and at times filled with joy and peace in believing even joy unspeakable and full of glory.
From an experience of these things we profess in the awful presence of God and his holy angels in the presence of professors and of the World that Christ is our Lord and Him only would we desire to serve.
Having as we hope first given our ownselves to the Lord we judge it our duty to be giving ourselves to each other by the will of God. Laying the foundation of our faith, hope & obedience in and upon the person, offices, Authority spirit and word of Christ: and through him and assitance from him; We do solemnly engage to bear our testimony against all Idolatry and superstition and all false ways and modes of worship that in any way infringe upon the Authority of Christ our King and Law giver, we also promise as receiving assistance from Christ our Head and Husband, to be maintaining the Pure doctrines of grace the truths as they be in Jesus. To be contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints and to bear a testimony against all loose and unsound professors by withdrawing from them. To be striving together for the peace of the Gospel. To be maintaining the faith and order of his house as revealed to us in the sacred Scriptures which is that more sure word to which we do well to take heed as unto a Light that shineth in a dark place.
We do also promise in these our Covenant engagements with Christ and with each other to be observing all the Laws and Ordinances, Forms and fashions of his house as he shall enable us. Especially these two great institutions. Baptism and the Supper of the Lord. With regard to the first, we hold and maintain it as an Ordinance peculiar to believers they and only those who believe with the heart and are capable of making confession thereof with the mouth and whose life and conversation is agreeable thereunto being according to Scripture the proper subjects of this ordinance. As to the mode or manner of administering this ordinance we believe it is by immersion, dipping or overwhelming the whole body in water being confirmed and supported in this our belief by the constant practice of the apostles and primitive followers of Christ in the first ages of Christianity.
We do also believe and profess that the end and design of this solemn ordinance is to represent the death, burial and resurrection of our dear Lord as also our death unto sin and resurrection unto newness of life. This is what we believe and promise to maintain respecting this ordinance.
We do also believe and maintain that this great (tho much despised) ordinance of Baptism is essentially requisite to Gospel order and Church fellowship For as the scripture said
How can two walk together except they be agreed. Therefore we judge it our duty to inform each other as the Lord shall enable us and to excite and stir up one another to a diligent and an impartial attention to the scriptures account of the subjects mode and end of this and every other ordinance and institution of Christ that being the infallible rule both of faith and practice by which we would endeavour to walk and act in all the affairs of the house of God.
We do also promise in these our covenant engagements with one another as receiving assistance and influence from Christ our head, to be walking uprightly in his house. To be discharging all relative duties in this, or any other relation we stand in whatsoever.
We also engage frequently to attend on the ministry of the word and the ordinances of the house of God unless hindered by sickness or any other lawful cause. To frequent Church Meetings. To consult together in order to manage the affairs of this house of God and to give advice in cases of difficulty. To open the doors of the Church for the reception of such who are according to the judgment of charity made or manifestively become the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Baptising and adding of members upon a confession of their faith and a walk and conversation agreeable thereunto professing their allegiance and subjection to Christ as their Lord and Law giver.
And also to advise, exhort, instruct, reprove, correct and admonish one another as occasion may require and to withdraw from such that walk disorderly and to deal with such according to the rules of Christ. Casting out offenders if need be suspending and excluding from our Communion and fellowship those who Obstinately refuse or neglect to hear the Admonitions of the Church, governing With Christ in his house to keep it clear.
So in the strength of Christ and As receiving assistance and influence from him, we do solemnly engage to be watching over such others souls in the Lord, to be walking together in love, endeavouring to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace being kindly affectioned and tender hearted one towards another being long-suffering, patient and forbearing one with another, covering each others infirmities with the mantle of love and to be bearing one anothers burden so fulfilling the law of Christ.
Thus we whose names are here unto subscribed have covenanted to be walking together in the fellowship of the gospel and to bear our testimony for God and Truth.
Will the Lord grant that we being of one accord and of one mind may live in love walking worthy of the Lord unto all wellpleasing in His sight, being fruitful in our good word and work increasing in the knowledge of God strengthened with all might according to his glorious power unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness.
Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages.
Here in thy courts I leave my vows
And thy rich grace record
Witness ye saints that hear me now
If I forsake the Lord
Signed by the members now in fellowship in the order in which their names were entered in the Church Book when first received into communion.
J Whittemore Pastor