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Τ THE FORM
“When any member has been adjudged to be cut off from the communion of the Church, it is proper that the sentence be publicly pronounced against him.
“The Minister shall give the church or congregation a short narrative of the several steps which have been taken with respect to their offending brother, and inform them that it has been found necessary to cut him off from the communion; and shall in the presence of the church or congregation pronounce this sentence, in the following, or like form, viz.:
“He shall begin by showing the authority of the Church to cast out unworthy members, from Matt. xviii. 15–18; 1 Cor. v. 1-5; and shall briefly explain the nature, use, and consequences of this censure; warning the people to avoid all unnecessary intercourse with him who is cast out.”
UR Lord Jesus Christ, the King and Lawgiver of
the Church, hath commanded, that if a brother trespass against us, we go and tell him his fault between us and him alone : and if he will not hear
us, that we then take with us one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established; and if he shall neglect to hear them, that we tell it to the church; and if he neglect to
hear the Church, that he be to us as a heathen man, and a publican. We are also directed, that we keep not company,
man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner ; with such an one no not to eat. And that we withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. According to these laws of Christ, we have admonished this offending brother, who hath greatly sinned against God, and grieved and injured the Church; we have earnestly prayed, and patiently waited for his repentance : but we have not prevailed. For after all, he continueth impenitent, and will not be persuaded to confess and forsake his sin.
“Then shall the Minister say:
THEREAS A. B. hath been, by sufficient proof,
convicted of [here state the offence), and, after much admonition and prayer, obstinately refuseth to hear the Church, and hath manifested no evidence of repentance : Therefore, in the Name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pronounce him to be excluded from the communion of the Church.”
Further, we exhort you, beloved brethren, to keep