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The extracts from the Ratio Disciplinæ, which are found in this Publication, are taken from an edition of the original work by Cotton Mather, published in Boston, A. D. 1726. The · Articles of Religion are an abridgement of the Confession of Faith adopted by the Elders and Messengers of the New England Churches in 1680, prepared by the Rev. John A. Albro, pastor of the Shepard Church, Cambridge, Mass.
The · Ecclesiastical Principles' are taken, for the most part, from the Cambridge Platform. A few sentences are added to Chapter 3, Section 2. For Chapter 17, see Dick's Theology, volume 2, Section 96.
For the Appendix, I am indebted to Deacon JAMES M. WHITON, Clerk of this Church. The sources from which other parts of the work are derived, are named, either in the Table of Contents, or in the body of the work itself.
The compiler of this volume has aimed to set forth the order and beauty of the house of God,—to connect the
most deeply solemn and interesting events of life with a few simple and enduring forms,—to exhibit a true history of the early beginnings of this Church, and, in a word, to impart all that information which is so desirable to those who connect themselves with any Society. It is hoped that the publication will not only be acceptable to those, under whose direction it has been prepared, but prove the means of promoting the true worship of God among their children, in their successive generations, by fostering in their hearts an enlightened attachment to the religion of their fathers, and binding the future to the past, by associations that shall grow more venerable and sacred with the lapse of years.
Boston, April, 1846.