Agreement of the Settlers at Exeter in New Hampshire
THEY WERE BELIEVERS, COLONIAL NEW HAMPSHIRE
March 16, 1680
Whereas it hath pleased the Lord to moue the heart of our Dread Soveraigne Charles, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France & Ireland, to grant license & liberty to sundry of his subjects to plant themselves in the westerne partes of America: Wee, his loyall subjects, brethren of the church of Exeter, situate & lying upon Piscataquacke, wth other inhabitants there, considering wth ourselves the holy will of god and our owne necessity, that we should not live whout wholsome lawes & government amongst us, of wch we are altogether destitute; doe in the name of Christ & in the sight of God combine ourselves together, to erect & set up amongst us such government as shall be to our best discerning, agreeable to the will of god, professing ourselves subjects to our Sovereign Lord King Charles, according to the Libertys of our English Colony of the Massachusetts & binding ourselves solemnely by the grace & helpe of Christ & in his name & fear to submit ourselves to such godly & christian laws as are established in the realme of England to our best knowledge, & to all other such lawes wch shall upon good grounds, be made & inacted amongst us according to God, yt we may live quietly & peaceablely together, in all godliness and honesty.
Signed by John Whelewright and thirty-four others.
The Elders or Rulers Oath
You shall swear by the great and dreadful Name of the High God, Maker and Governor of Heaven and earth and by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of the Kings and rulers of the earth, that in his Name and fear you will rule and govern his people according to the righteous will of God, ministering justice and judgment on the workers of iniquite, and ministering due incouragement and countenance to well doers, protecting of the people so far as in you lieth, by the help of God from foreigne annoyance and inward desturbance, that they may live a quiet and peacabble life in all godliness and honesty. So God be helpful and gracious to you and yours in Christ Jesus.
The Oath of the People
We do swear by the Great and dreadful Name of the High God, Maker and Governor of heaven and earth, and by the Lord Jesus Christ, the King and Saviour of his people, that in his Name and fear, we will submit ourselves to be ruled and governed according to the will and word of God, and such wholsome laws and ordinances as shall be derived therefrom by our honored Rulers and the lawful assistants, with the consent of the people, and that we will be ready to assist them by the help of God, in the administration of justice and preservation of the peace, with our bodies and goods and best endeavors according to God. So God protect and save us and ours in Jesus Christ.
Source: Hammond, Isaac Weare (1831-1890)., Editor. Town Papers: Documents Relating to Towns in New Hampshire. Concord, N.H. : Parsons B. Cogswell, state printer (publisher), 1882. The copyright of these documents is held in the Public Domain. Formatted for the Internet © 2014 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.
They Were Believers is researched, compiled, and edited (with occasional commentary and explanatory notes) by Steve Farrell, Founder and Editor In Chief of The Moral Liberal. Copyright © 2012-2014 Steve Farrell.