Sunday, August 30, 2009

Indian Covenanting Confession

The Westminster Confession of Faith was not printed in America until 1723 (B.B. Warfield, "The Printing of the Westminster Confession" in The Westminster Assembly And Its Work, p. 353). But "possibly the first Confession of Faith printed in America" is John Eliot's Indian Covenanting Confession, a confession of faith and covenant written by John Eliot in the Massachusetts Indian Language (sometime between 1669 and 1690) and published later with an English translation, the text of which is rendered below in slightly modernized spelling (John Small, ed., John Eliot, The Indian Primer; or, The Way of Training Up of Our Indian Youth in the Good Knowledge of God. 1669. To Which is Prefixed The Indian Covenanting Confession (1880), p. xlvi).

The Indian Covenanting Confession

I Believe with my Heart and Confess with my Mouth. Rom. 10.10.

1. There is but one, only, living and true God. Deut. 6.4. Jer. 10.10. But He is Father, Son, holy Spirit. Matt. 28.19. 1 John 5.7.

2. In the Beginning God made Heaven and Earth very Good. Gen. 1.1, 31.

3. He made Adam to rule this Lower world. Gen. 1.26, 27.

4. Adam quickly sinned, and was punished. Gen. 3.

5. Adam conveyed to us his sin, and also his guilt and punishment. Rom. 5.12.

6. For this cause, we are all born in sin, Psal. 51.5.

7. Our sin is twofold.

1. Original sin. Rom. 3.10.

2. Actual sin, Matt. 15.19.

8. By these we deserve Damnation in Hell forever. Rom. 6.23.

9. I believe we shall all rise again to Judgment at the last day. 1. Cor. 15.

1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Psa. 2.6, 7. He became a ma, and is both God and man in one person. Heb. 2.16, 17.

2. Jesus Christ hath Three offices, Priest, Prophet, King. Heb. 7.1-3. Acts 3.32. Isa. 33.22.

3. Jesus Christ obeyed perfectly for us, He paid his Death for us when He died for us, and hereby He deserved pardon for all our sins. Rev. 1.5. Matt. 3.15.

4. Now by the Gospel New-Covenant Jesus Christ calleth us all to repent, and believingly to turn unto God. Acts 17.30.

5. For these causes, we that dwell in this Town called ------------ are gladly willing to bind ourselves to God, to Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, so long as we live. And also to bind ourselves to each other, to meet together every Sabbath day (when it may be done) to do all our Sabbath day Services, prayers &c., according to the word of God, the holy Spirit of God helping us.

By this gospel covenant, we do give ourselves and our Children to Jesus Christ, to walk with Him in Church order so long as we live.

O Lord Jesus Christ, by thy Pardoning free grace and mercy Graciously receive us.


We compel not any, but meekly say to all let us join together to do all this.

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