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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Cause and Manner of Its Adoption

By The Saybrook Platform

[Assented to by the United Ministers of Connecticut in 1708. The Heads of Agreement. 1710.]

OUR difficulties having been of a long time troublesome, for the healing our wounds a more explicate asserting the rules of government sufficiently provided in the holy word hath been thought highly expedient—Wherefore,

The Honorable, the General Assembly of this Colony, out of a tender regard to the welfare of the Churches within the limits of their government, were pleased to appoint the several elders of each county, with messengers from their Churches, to meet in council; in which they should endeavor to agree in some general rules conformable to the Word of God for a method of discipline to be practised in our Churches. These several councils having met and drawn up some rules for Church government, did by their delegates meet and constitute one General Assembly of the Churches of this colony, at Saybrook, September 9th, 1708. Who, after a full consent and agreement unto the Confession of Faith assented unto by the Synod of Boston, did, being studious of keeping “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” Eph. iv. 3, agree that the Heads of Agreement assented to by the united brethren formerly called Presbyterian and Congregational in England, be observed by the Churches throughout this colony; which are herewith published: and, after consideration of the several draughts of the county councils, did, with a Christian condescension and fraternal amicableness, unanimously agree to the Articles for the Administration of Church Discipline now offered to public view, all which being presented were allowed of and established by the General Assembly of this colony, as by their acts appears…. The aforesaid articles consist in two heads, The one holding forth the power of particular Churches in the management of Discipline confirmed by scriptures annexed.

The other serves to preserve, promote, or recover the peace and edification of the Churches by the means of a consociation of the Elders and Churches, or of an association of the Elders.