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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 mean 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 stedfast therein to the end, and so obtain eternal salvation.
“ After which, prayer shall be made that the blessing of God may follow His ordinance, for the conviction and reformation of the excommunicated person, and for the establishment of all true believers."
VINCE then it is God that 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,
RIGHTEOUS God and Merciful Father, we
bewail our sins before Thy high Majesty, and acknowledge that we have deserved the grief and sorrow caused unto us by the cutting off of this our late fellow-member; yea, we all deserve, shouldst Thou enter into judgment with us, by reason of our great transgressions, to be cut off and banished from Thy sight. 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 endeavour to please Thee. Grant us grace to avoid all pollution of the world, and those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, that we may not make ourselves partakers of their sins : and 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 the bosom of Thy Church is always 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 labour, with Christian admonitions and examples, to bring again this excommunicated person into the right way, together with all those who, through unbelief or dissoluteness of life, go astray.
Give Thy blessing to our admonition, that we may have reason to rejoice again in him for whom we now mourn: and that Thy holy Name may be praised, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath thus taught
us to pray :
Our Father, etc.
“When any one who hath been excommunicated shall be so affected with his state as to be brought to repentance, and to desire to be re-admitted to the privileges of the Church, the Session, having obtained sufficient evidence of his sincere penitence, shall, with the advice and concurrence of the Presbytery, restore him. In order to which, the Minister shall, on two Lord's days previous thereto, inform the congregation of the measures which have been taken with the excommunicated person, and of the resolution of the Session to receive him again to the coinmunion of the Church.
“On the day appointed for his restoration, when the other parts of divine service are ended, before pronouncing the blessing, the Minister sball call upon the excommunicated person, and propose to him, in the presence of the congregation, the following questions:
O you, from a deep sense of your great wicked
ness, freely confess your sin, in thus rebelling against God, and in refusing to hear His Church : and do you acknowledge that
have been in justice and mercy cut off from the communion of the saints ?
" Answer. I do.
“Do you now voluntarily profess your sincere repentance and deep contrition, for your sin and obstinacy: and do you humbly ask the forgiveness of God, and of His Church?
" Answer. I do.
“Do you sincerely promise, through Divine grace, to live in all humbleness of mind and circumspection ; and to endeavour to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, by having your conversation as becometh the Gospel ?
" Answer. I do.
“ Here the Minister shall give the penitent a suitable exhortation, addressing him in the bowels of brotherly love, encouraging and comforting him.”
E therefore assured in thy heart, my beloved
brother, that the Lord hath again received thee in mercy. Be diligent henceforth to guard thyself, that thou mayst not fall again into sin : love Christ, for many sins are forgiven thee.
“Then he shall pronounce the sentence of restoration, in the following words:
A. B., have been shut out from the communion of the faithful, but have now manifested such repentance as satisfies the Church : In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by His authority, I declare you absolved from the sentence formerly denounced against you; and I do receive you into the communion of the Church, that you may be a partaker of all the benefits of the Lord Jesus, to your eternal salvation.
“The whole shall be concluded with prayer.”
beloved Christians, receive this your brother with hearty affection; count him no longer as a stranger, but as a fellow-citizen with the saints, and of the household of God. And whereas we can have no good of ourselves, let us praise and magnify the Lord Almighty, and implore His mercy, saying,
GRACIOUS God and Father, we thank Thee
, through Jesus Christ our Lord, that Thou hast been pleased to give unto this our fellow-Christian repentance unto life, and unto us occasion to rejoice in his conversion. We beseech Thee, show him Thy mercy, that he
become more and more assured of the remission of his sins, and that he may receive from thence inexpressible joy and delight, to serve Thee. And whereas he hath heretofore by his sins offended many, grant that he may, by his conversion, edify