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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1846,
By B. PERKINS & Co.,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
ZX 7231 .R4
Congregational Ministers and Churches
REVEREND AND BELOVED,
Our having been chosen as part of a Committee of seven, and afterwards as a Sub-committee, was the occasion of our writing what we here call a Report, which in this manner we now address to you. We have been aware, that we could not, in any of the ordinary methods, make the Report to more than a small proportion of ministers, and to only a few of the great multitude of church members. We have therefore concluded, with the advice of many of our brethren, and we trust with the approbation of all, to make use of the printing press, for the purpose of presenting our Report to the whole body of Congregational ministers and churches in Massachusetts, and to those in other States, so far as they may be disposed to receive it. But in all this, we have acted with the full understanding, that we have no more authority or right in the matter, than any other individuals. The fact of our being a Committee, we regard as only the
occasion of our presenting the subject to the consideration of our brethren. Other men might have undertaken such a work, and have accomplished more than we have. But who would have been likely to do it, without some such movement as has influenced us? In this publication, it is our wish to be regarded as individual ministers. All the use we make of our appointment as a Committee, is, that we undertake the business without embarrassment, and proceed in it without the consciousness of any impropriety.
With fraternal love and confidence, we submit the result of our humble efforts to your disposal. In behalf of the Sub-committee,
LEONARD WOODS, Chairman.
Of the form of church government: and that it is one,
immutable, and prescribed in the word,
Of the nature of the catholic church in general, and in
special of a particular visible church,
Of the matter of the visible church, both in respect of
Of the form of a visible' church, and of church covenant,
Of the first subject of church power; or, to whom church
Of the officers of the church, and especially of pastors
Of ordination, and imposition of hands,
Of the power of the church and its presbytery,