Rev. Zechariah Walker - In His Own Handwriting
In the handwiring of Rev. Zechariah Walker.
[Records of the First Congregational Church in Woodbury, Connecticut, v. 1-4, 1670-1920
film #6182, Family History Library, Salt Lake City)
A record of ye proceedings, & affaires of ye 2d chh at Stratford, from its first beginning. By me Zechariah Walker.
After great indeavours for an union wth ye former chh, & much patience therein, wn long experience had too plainly evidenced yr irremoveable resolution, to oppose an union wth us, though nothing had appeared of any such great distance in or apprehensions as might be inconsistent yrwith: All hope of success in such indeavours being at length taken away, we thought ourselves bound to seek after ye injoynt of ye ordinances of God in a distinct society, finding ye door shut agst or attaining it any other way: we did yrfore first more privately, (by reason of ye great opposition wrwth we were attended) set apart a day of solemn humiliation, wrin to seek unto God for guidance, & assistance, & (a considerable part yrof being spent in prayer, & preaching) in ye close of ye day we did publickly read over ye confession of faith extracted out of ye scriptures by ye assembly of divines at Westminster, wch being publickly owned, & professedly assented unto by us, we did enter into a solemn covenant yrby giving up orselves & ours unto ye lord, & ingaging orselves one to another to walk together in chh society in attending ye ordinances, & institutions of cht. Afterwards or way being more cleared we made or application unto neighbouring churches for yr approbation of or chh standing (ye consent of ye court being sufficiently implied in yr confirmation of ye ancient aggrement betwixt party, & party in Stratford, & by other acts of yrs relating to us.) And having attained ye approbation ye chhes of Fairfield, Killinworth, & ye new chh at Windsor, we did solemnly renew or said covenant the first of May, 1670. The covenant thus entered into by us, & renewed as is abovesd was as followeth,
“We whose names are herunto subscribed, being (by ye all-disposing providence of God, who determines ye bound of mens habitations) cast into cohabitation on wth another, and being sesible of or duty unto God, & one to another, & of or liableness to be forgetfull, & neglective of ye one, and ye other, do hereby (for ye further incitent of orselves unto duty in either respect) solemnly give up orselves & ours unto ye lord, engaging orselves by his assisting grace to walk before him, in ye religious observance of his revealed will, as far as it is or shall bee made known unto us. We do also in ye presence of God solemnly ingage orselves each to other, to walk together in church-society according to ye rules of ye gospell, jointly attending all ye holy ordinances of God, as far as it shall please him to make way thereunto, and give opportunity yrof: and walking on wth another in brotherly love, & chtain watchfullness for or mutual edification, & furtherance in ye way to salvation. And jointly submitting orselves, & ours to ye goverment of cht in his church, in ye hand of such church governours, or officers as shall be set over us according to gospell institution. The good lord make us faithfull in covenant with him & one wth another to walk as becomes a people near unto himself, accept of or offering up of orselves, & ours unto him, & establish both us and ym to be a people unto himself in his abundant mercy through cht jesus, who is or only mediator in whom alone we expect acceptance, justification and salvation: to him be glory & praise through all ages, Amen.
“The names of ye person yt subscribed this covenant, & again publickly owned it, May 5th, viz: ye day of my ordination, were as followeth.
Samuel Sherman, senr,
Joseph Judson, senr,
John Hurd, senr,
Samuel Sherman, junr,
John Thompson, junr,
“Persons since added.
“On ye 5th of May, 1670, I was ordained pastor of ye 2d chh: at Stratford. The ministers present were mr Wakeman, mr Haines, mr John Woodbridge, mr Benjamin Woodbridge. mr John Woodbridge was ye leading person, mr Benjamin Woodbridge was assistant in ye work of ordination”