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The Confession of Faith

Author(s): Anonymous

Text

THE

CONFESSION of FAITH.
CHAP. 1. Of the Holy Scripture.
ALthough the Light of Nature, and the Works of Creation and Providence,
do ſo far manifeſt the Goodneſs, Wiſdom, and Power of God,
as to leave Men inexcuſable; yet they are not ſufficient, to give that knowledge
of God, and of his Will, which is neceſſary unto Salvation. Therefore
it pleaſed the Lord at ſundry times, and in diverſe manners, to Reveal himſelf
and to declare that his Will unto his Church; and afterwards for the better preſerving,
and propagating of the Truth, and for the more ſure Eſtabliſhiment and comfort
of the Church, againſt the Corruptions of the fleſh, and the Malice of Satan
and of the World; to commit the ſame wholly unto Writing; which maketh the Holy
Scripture to be moſt neceſſary; thoſe former ways, of God's Revealing his Will unto
his people, being now ceaſed.
II. Under the Name of holy Scripture, or the Word of God Written, are now
contained all the Books of the Old and New Teſtament, which are theſe.
Of the old Teſtament.
Geneſis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
Samuel
IV. Samuel
I Kings
II. Kings
I. Chronicles
II. Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Eſther
Job
Pſalms
Proverbs
Eccleſiaſtes
The Song of Songs
lſaiah
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Hoſea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi
Of the New Teſtament
The Goſpel according
to Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
The Acts of the Apoſtles
Paul's Epiſtles to the
Romans
I. Corinthians
II. Corinthians
Galatians
Epheſians
Philippians
Coloſſians
i. Theſſalonians
ii. Theſſalonians
I. Timothy
II Timothy
Titus
Philemon
The Epiſtle to the Hebrews,

The Epiſtle of James
The firſt and ſecond Epiſtles
of Peter
The firſt, ſecond, and
third Epſtles of John
The Epiſtle of Jude
The Revelation of John
All which are given by inſpiration of God, to be the Rule of Faith and Life.
III. The Books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of Divine inſpiration,
are no part of the Canon of the Scripture; and therefore are of no Authority in
the Church of God, nor to be any otherwiſe approved or made uſe of, than other
humane Writings.
IV. The Authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and
obeyed, dependeth not upon the Teſtimony of any Man, or Church; but wholly
upon God, [who is Truth it ſelf] the Author thereof; and therefore it is to be
received, becauſe it is the Word of God.
V. We may be moved and induced by the Teſtimony of the Church, to an high
and reverend eſteem of the holy Scripture: And the heavenlineſs of the Matter, the
Efficacy of the Doctrine, the Majeſty of the Stile, the Conſent of all the Parts, the
Scope of the whole, [which is to give Glory to God,] the full Diſcovery it makes of
the only way of Mans Salvation, beſide the many other Excellencies, and the entire perfection
thereof, are Arguments, whereby it doth abundantly evidence it ſelf to be
the Word of God; yet notwithſtanding, our full perſwaſion and aſſurance of the
infallible truth, and Divine Authority thereof, is from the inward Work of the holy
Spirit, bearing Witneſs by and with the Word in our hearts.
VI. The whole Counſel of God, concerning all things neceſſary for his own Glory,
Mans Salvation, Faith and Life, is either expreſly ſet down in Scripture, or
by good and neceſſary conſequence, may be deduced from Scripture: unto which
nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new Revelations of the spirit, or
Traditions of Men; nevertheleſs, we acknowledge the inward Illumination of the
Spirit of God to be neceſſary for the living underſtanding of ſuch things, as are Revealed
in the Word: And that there are ſome Circumſtances concerning the Worſhip
of God, and Governent of the Church, common to human Actions and Societies,
which are to be ordered by the Light of Nature, and Chriſtian Prudence,
according to the general Rules of the Word, which are alwayes to be obſerved.
VII. All things in Scripture, are not alike plain in themſelves, nor alike clear unto
all: Yet thoſe things which are neceſſary to be known, believed, and obſerved for
Salvation, are ſo clearly propounded and opened in ſome place of Scripture or other,
that not only the Learned, but the Unlearned, in a due uſe of the ordinary means,
may attain to ſufficient underſtanding of them.
VIII. The Old Teſtament in Hebrew (which was the Native Language of the
people of God of old) and the New Teſtament in Greek, (which at the time of the
writing of it, was moſt generally known to the Nations) being immediately inſpired
by God, and by his ſingular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore
Authentical; ſo as in all Controverſies of Religion, the Church is finally to appeal
unto them. But, becauſe theſe Original Tongues are not known to all the people
of God, who have right unto, and intereſt in the Scripture, and are commanded in
the fear of God, to read and ſearch them; therefore they are to be Tranſlated into the
vulgar Language of every Nation unto which they come, that the Word of God
dwelling plentifully in all, they may Worſhip him in an acceptable manner, and
through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.
IX. The infallible Rule of Interpretation of Scripture, is the Scripture it ſelf: And
therefore, when there is a Queſtion about the true and full ſenfe of any Scripture
[which is not manifold, but one] it muſt be ſearched and known by other places
that ſpeak more clearly.
I.The Supream Judge, by whom all Controverſies of Religion are to be determined,
and all Decrees of Councils, Opinions of Ancient Writers, Doctrines of
Men, and privat Spirits, are to be examined, and in whoſe ſentence we are to reſt,
can be no other but the Holy Spirit, ſpeaking in the Scripture.
CHAP. II. Of God, and the Holy Trinity.
There is but one only, Living and True God: Who is infinite in Being and
Perfection, a moſt pure Spirit Inviſible, without body, parts, or paſſions,
Immutable, lmmenſe, Eternal, Incomprehenſible, Almighty, moſt Wiſe,
moſt Holy, moſt Free, moſt Abſolute; working all things according to the Counſel
of his own immutable and moſt Righteous Will, for his own Glory; moſt
Loving, Gracious, Merciful, Long-ſuffering, abundant in Goodneſs and Truth, forgiving
Iniquity, Tranſgreſſion and Sin; the Rewarder of them that diligently ſeek
him, and withal moſt Juſt and Terrible in his Judgements, hating all ſin, and who
will by no means clear the guilty.
II. GOD hath all Life, Glory, Goodneſs, Bleſſedneſs, in and of himſelf, and
is alone in, and unto himſelf All-ſufficient, not ſtanding in need of any Creature
which he hath made, nor deriving any Glory from them, but only manifeſting his
own Glory, in, by, unto, and upon them; He is the alone Fountain of all Beeing,
of Whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, and hath moſt Soveraign Dominion
over them,to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatſoever himſelf pleaſeth.
In his ſight all things are open and manifeſt, his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and
independent upon the Creature, ſo as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He
is moſt Holy in all his Counſels. in all his Works, and in all his Commands. To
him is due from Angels and Men, and every other Creature, whatſoever Worſhip,
Service or Obedience he is pleaſed to require of them.
III. In the Unity of the God-head, there be three Perſons, of one Subſtance,
Power, and Eternity; God the Father. God the Son, and God the Holy Ghoſt.
The Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; The Son is eternally
begotten of the Father; The Holy Ghoſt eternally proceeding from the Father and
the Son.
CHAP. III. Of Gods Eternal Decrees.
God from all Eternity did by the moſt Wiſe and Holy Counſel of his own Will,
Freely and unchangeably ordain whatſoever comes to paſs, yet ſo as thereby,
neither is God the Author of ſin, nor is violence offered to the will of the Creatures,
nor is the liberty or contingency of ſecond Cauſes taken away, but rather eſtabliſhed.
II. Although God knowes whatever may, or can come to paſs upon all ſuppoſed
conditions, yet hath he nor decreed any thing, becauſe he foreſaw it as future, or as
that which would come to paſs upon ſuch conditions.
III. By the Decree of God, for the manifeſtation of his Glory, ſome Men and Angels,
are predeſtinated unto everlaſting life, and others fore-ordained to everlaſting
death.
IV. Theſe Angels and Men thus predeſtinated and fore ordained, are particularly
and unchangeably deſigned, and their number is ſo certain and definite, that it cannot
be either increaſed or diminiſhed.
V. Thoſe of Mankind, that are predeſtinated unto Life. God, before the Foundation
of the World was laid, according to his Eternal and immutable Purpoſe,
and the ſecret Counſel and good Meaſure of his Will, hath choſen in Chriſt unto
everlaſtinig Glory, out of his meer free Grace and Love, without any foreſight of
Faiths, or good Works, or perſeverance in either of them, or any other thing in the
Creature, as conditions, or cauſes moving him thereunto, and all to the praiſe of
his Glorious Grace.
VI. As God hath appointed the Elect unto Glory, ſo hath he. by the Eternal
and moſt free purpoſe of his Will, fore-ordained all means thereunto. Wherefore
they who are Elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Chriſt, are Effectually
called unto Faith in Chriſt, by his Spirit working in due ſeaſon, are Juſtified,
Adopted. Sanctified, and kept by his power through Faith unto Salvation. Neither
any other redeemed by Chriſt, effectually Called, Juſtified, Adopted, Sanctified
and Saved, but the Elect only.
VII. The reſt of Mankind God was pleaſed, according to the unſearchable Counſel
of his own Will, whereby he extendeth, or withholdeth Mercy as he pleaſeth,
tor the Glory of his Soveraign Power over his Creatures, to paſs by, and to ordain
them to diſhonour and wrath for their ſins, to the praiſe oſ his Glorious Juſtice.
VII. The Doctrine of this high Myſtery of Predeſtination, is to he handled with
ſpecial prudence and care, that Men attending the Will of God revealed in his Word,
and yielding obedience thereunto, may from the certainty of their Effectual Vocation,
be aſſured of their Eternal Election. So ſhall this Doctrine afford matter of Praiſe,
Reverence, and Admiration of God, and of Humility, Diligence, and abundant
Conſolution to all that ſincerely obey the Goſpel.
CHAP. IV.
Of Creation.
IT pleaſed God the Father, Son and Holy Ghoſt for the Manifeſtation of the
Glory of his Eternal Power, Wiſdom, and Goodneſs, in the beginning. to Create
or make of nothing the World, and all things therein, whether viſible or inviſible,
in the ſpace of ſix days, and all very good.
II. After God had made all other Creatures, he Created Man, Male and Female,
with reaſonable and immortal Souls, endued with knowledge, Righteouſneſs, and
true Holineſs, after his own Image, having the Law of God written in their hearts,
and power to fulfil it, and yet under a poſſibility of tranſgreſſing, being left to the
liberty of their own Will, which was ſubject to change. Beſide this Law written in
their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the Tree of the knowledge of
Good and Evil, which whiles they kept, they were happy in their Communion
with God, and had dominion over the Creatures.
CHAP V. Of Providence.
GOD the Great Creator of all things, doth Uphold. Direct, Diſpoſe, and
Govern all Creatures, Actions and Things, from the greateſt even to the
leaſt, by his moſt wiſe and holy Providence, according to his infallible fore--
knowledge, and the free and immutable Counſel of his own Will, to the praiſe of
the Glory of his Wiſdom, Power, Juſtice, Goodneſs and Mercy.
II. Although, in relation to the fore-knowledge and Decree of God, the firſt cauſe,
all things come to paſs immutably, and infallibly, yet by the ſame Providence he
ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of ſecond Cauſes, either neceſſarily,
freely or contingently.
III. God in his ordinary Providence maketh uſe of means; yet is free to work
without, above and againſt them at his pleaſure.
IV. The Almighty power, unſearchable wiſdom, and infinite goodneſs of God, ſo far
manifeſt themſelves in his Providence, that it extendeth it ſelſ even to the firſt fall,
and all other ſins of Angels and Men, and that not by a bare permiſſion, but ſuch as
hath joyned with it a moſt wiſe and powerful bounding, and otherwiſe ordering and
governing of them, in a manifold diſpenſation, to his own holy ends: Yet ſo as
the ſinfulneſs thereof proceedeth only from the Creature, and not from God, who,
being moſt holy and Righteous, neither is, nor can be the Author or Approver of ſin.
V. The moſt wiſe, Righteous and Gracious God, doth oftentimes leave for a
ſeaſon his own Children to manifold Temptations, and the Corruption of their own
hearts, to chaſtiſe them for their former ſins, or to diſcover unto them the hidden
ſtrength of Corruption, and deceitfulneſs of their hearts, that they may he humbled,
and to raiſe them to a more cloſs and conſtant dependency for their ſuport upon himſelf,
and to make them more watchful againſt all future occaſions of ſin, and for
ſundry other Juſt and Holy ends.
VI. As for thoſe wicked and ungodly Men, whom God as a Righteous Judge for
former Sins doth blind and harden, from them He not only withholdeth His Grace
whereby they might have been enlightned in their Underſtandings, and wrought upon
their hearts, but ſometimes alſo withdraweth the Gifts which they had, and expoſeth
them to ſuch Objects as their corruptions makes occaſions of Sin, and withal
gives them over to their own Luſts, the Temptations of the world, and the power
of Satan, whereby it comes to paſs that they harden themſelves, even under theſe
means which God uſeth for the ſoftning of Others.
VII. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all Creatures, ſo after a
moſt ſpecial manner, it taketh care of His Church, and diſpoſeth all things to the-good
thereof.
CHAP. VI. Of the Fall of Adam, of Sin, and of the Puniſhment thereof.
Our firſt Parents, being ſeduced by the Subtility and Temptations of Satan, ſinned
in eating the forbidden fruit. This their Sin God was pleaſed, according to
His wiſe and holy Counſel to permit, having purpoſed to order it to His own Glory.
II. By this Sin they fell from their original Righteouſneſs & Communion with God,
and became dead in Sin, and wholly defiled in all the Facnlties and parts of Soul & Body.
III. They being the Root of all mankind, the guilt of their Sin was imputed, and
the ſame Death in Sin and corrupted Nature, conveyed to all their Poſterity, deſcending
from them by ordinary Generation.
IV From this original Corruption, whereby we are utterly indiſpoſed, diſabled,
and made oppoſite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual
Tranſgreſſions.
V. This Corruption of Nature, during this Life, doth remain in thoſe that are regenerated;
and although it be through Chriſt pardoned and mortified, yet both it
ſelſ, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly Sin.
VI. Every Sin, both Original and Actual, being a Tranſgreſſion of the Righteous
Law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth in its own nature bring guilt upon the
Sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and Curſe of the Law, and
ſo made ſubject to death, with all Miſeries, Spiritual, Temporal, and Eternal.
CHAP. VII. Of God's Covenant with Man.
THe diſtance between God and the Creature is ſo great, that although reaſonable
creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never
have any fruition of him, as their bleſſedneſs and Reward,but by ſome voluntary condeſcenſion
on Gods part, which He hath been pleaſed to expreſs by way of Covenant.
II. The firſt Covenant made with Man, was,a Covenant of Works. wherein Life was
promiſed to Adam, and in him to his poſterity, upon Condition of perfect and perſonal
Obedience.
III. Man by his Fall having made himſelf uncapable of Life by that Covenant, the
Lord was pleaſed to make a ſecond, commonly called the Covenant of Grace: Wherein
He freely offers unto Sinners Life and Salvation by Jeſus Chriſt, requireing of
them Faith in Him, that they may be ſaved, and promiſeing to give unto all thoſe
that are ordained unto Life His holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.
IV. This Covenant of Grace is frequently ſet forth in the Scripture, by the name
of a Teſtament, in reference to the death of Jeſus Chriſt the Teſtator, and to the everlaſting
Inheritance. with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.
V. This Covenant was differently adminiſtred in the time of the Law, and in the
time of the Goſpel, under the Law it was adminiſtred by Promiſes,Propheſies, Sacrifices,
Circumciſion, the Paſcal Lamb and other Types and Ordinances, delivered to the
people, of the Jews all fore ſignifying Chriſt to come, which were for that time
ſufficient and efficacious through the Operation of the Spirit, to inſtruct and build
up the Elect in Faith of the promiſed Meſſiah, by whom they had full Remiſſion of
ſins, and eternal Salvation: And is called, the Old Teſtament.
VI. Under the Goſpel, when Chriſt the Subſtance, was exhibited, the Ordinances
in which this Coverant is diſputed, are the Preaching of the Word and the Adminiſtration
of the Sacraments of Baptiſm, and the Lord's Supper, which though
fewer in number, and adminiſtred with more ſimplicity, and leſs outward glory;
yet in them it is held forth in more fulneſs, evidence, and ſpiritual efficacy, to all
Nations, both Jews and Gentiles, and is called the New Teſtament. There are not
therefore two Covenants of Grace, differing in Subſtance, but one and the ſame,
under various diſpenſations.
CHAP. VIII. Of Chriſt the Mediator.
IT pleaſed God in His eternal Purpoſe, to chooſe and ordain the Lord Jeſus His
only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and Man, the Prophet, Prieſt,
and King, the Head and Saviour of His Church, the Heir of all things, and Judge of
the World, unto whom He did from all eternity give a People, to be His Seed,
and to be by Him in time Redeemed, Called, Juſtified, Sanctified and Glorified.
I. The Son of God, the ſecond Perſon of the Trinity, being very and Eternal
God, of one Subſtance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fulneſs of time
was come, take upon Him Mans nature, with all the eſſential properties, and common
infirmities thereof, yet without Sin: Being conceived by the power of the Holy
Ghoſt, in the Womb of the Virgin Mary, of her Subſtance. So that two whole,
perfect and diſtinct Natures, the God-Head and the Man-Head, were inſeparably
joined together in one Perſon, without Converſion, Compoſition, or Confuſion.
Which Perſon is very God, and very Man, yet one Chriſt, the only Mediator between
God and Man.
The Lord Jeſus, in His humane Nature, thus united to the Divine, was ſanctified
and anointed with the Holy Spirit above meaſure, having in Him all the
Treaſures of Wiſdom and Knowledge, in Whom it pleaſed the Father that all fulneſs
should dwell: To the end, that being Holy, Harmleſs, and Undefiled, and full of
Grace and Truth, He might be throughly furniſhed to execute the Office of a Mediator
and Surety, which Office He took not upon Himſelf, but was thereunto called
by His Father, who put all Power and Judgment into His Hand, and gave Him
Commandment to execute the ſame.
IV. This Office the Lord Jeſus did moſt willingly undertake: Which that He
might diſcharge, He was made under the Law, and did perfectly fulfil it, endured
moſt grievous Torments, immediatly in His Soul, and moſt painful Sufferings in
His Body: Was crucified and died, was buried, and remained under the Power of
Death, yet ſaw no Corruption: On the third Day He aroſe from the Dead, with
the ſame Body in which He ſuffered, with which alſo He aſcended into Heaven, and
there ſitteth at the Right Hand of His Father, makeing Interceſſion, and ſhall return
to Judge Men and Angels, at the end of the world.
V. The Lord Jeſus, by His perfect Obedience, and ſacrifice of Himſelf, which
He through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully ſatiſfied the Juſtice
of His Father, and purchaſed not only Reconciliation. but an everlaſting inheritance
in the Kingdom of Heaven,for all thoſe whom the Father hath given unto him.
VI. Although the Work of Redemption was not actually wrought by Chriſt
after his Incarnation, yet the efficacy, and benefites thereof were communicated
unto the Elect in all ages ſucceſſively, from the beginning of the World, in and
by theſe Promiſes, Types, and ſacrifices, wherein he was revealed, and ſignified
to be the Seed of the Woman, which ſhould bruiſe the Serpents head: And the
Lamb ſlain front the beginning of the World: Being yeſterday, and to day the
ſame, and for ever.
VII. Chriſt in the work of Mediation acteth according to both Natures, by each
Nature doing that which is proper to it ſelf, yet by reaſon of the unity of the perſon,
that which is proper to one Nature, is ſometimes in Scripture attributed to the
Perſon denominated by the other Nature.
VIII. To all thoſe for whom Chriſt hath purchaſed Redemption, He doth certainly,
and effectually apply and communicate the ſame, making Interceſſion for them,
and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the Myſteries of Salvation, effectually
perſwading them by His Spirit, to believe, and obey, and governing their hearts by
his Word and Spirit, overcoming all their Enemies by his Almighty Power and Wiſdom,
in ſuch manner, and ways, as are moſt conſonant to his wonderful and Unſearchable
Diſpenſation.
CHAP. IX. Of Free Will.
GOD hath endued the Will of Man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced,
nor by any abſolute neceſſity of Nature determined to do good or evil.
II. Man in his hate of Innocency, had freedom, and power to will, and
to do that which was good and well-pleaſing to God, but yet mutably, ſo that he
might fall from it.
III. Man by his fall into a ſtate of ſin, hath wholly loſt all ability of will to any
ſpiritual Good accompanying Salvation: So as a natural man, being altogether averſe
from that Good, and dead in ſin, is not able by his own ſtrength, to convert
himſelf, or to prepare himſelf thereunto.
IV. When God converts a ſinner, and tranſlates him into the ſtate of grace; he freeeth
him from his natural bondage under ſin: And by his Grace alone, enables him
freely to will, and to do that which is ſpiritually good; yet ſo, as that by reaſon of
his remaining Corruption, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good,
but doth alſo will that which is evil.
VII. The will of Man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone, in the
ſtate of Glory only.
CHAP. X. Of effectual Calling.
ALL thoſe whom God hath predeſtinated unto Life, and thoſe only, he is pleaſed
in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by his word and
Spirit, out of that ſtate of ſin and death, in which they are by Nature, to
grace and ſalvation by Jeſus Chriſt, enlightning their Minds, ſpiritually and ſavingly
to underſtand the things of God: Taking away their heart of ſtone, and giveing
unto them a heart of Fleſh, renewing their Wills, and by his Almighty Power, determining
them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Chriſt; yet ſo as
they come moſt freely, being made willing by his Grace.
II. This effectual Call is of Gods free, and ſpecial Grace alone, not from any
thing at all foreſeen in man, who is altogether paſſive therein, untill being quickned
and renewed by the Holy ſpirit, he is thereby enabled to anſwer this Call, and
to embrace the Grace offered, and conveyed in it.
III. Elect Infants dying in their infancy, are regenerated, and ſaved by Chriſt,
through the spirit, who worketh when. and where, and how he pleaſeth. So alſo
are all other elect perſons who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the.Miniaſtry
of the Word.
IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the Miniſtry of
the Word, and may have ſome common Operations of the Spirit, yet
they never truly come unto Chriſt, and theretore cannot be ſaved: Much leſs can
Men, not profeſſing the Chriſtian Religion, be ſaved in any other way whatſoever,
be they never ſo diligent to frame their Lives according to the Light of Nature, and
the Law of that Religion they do profeſs: And to aſſert and maintain, that they
may, is very pernicious, and to be deteſted.
CHAP. Xl. Of Justification.
THoſe whom God effectually calleth, he alſo freely juſtifieth, not by infuſing
Righteouſneſs into them, but by pardoning their ſin, and by accounting
and accepting their perſons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them,
or done by them but for Chriſts ſake alone; nor by imputing Faith it ſelf, the Act of
Believing, or any other Evangelical Obedience to them, as their Righteouſneſs
but by imputing the Obedience and Satisfaction of Chriſt unto them, they receiving
and reſting on Him, and his Righteouſneſs by Faith: which Faith they have not of
themſelves, it is the Gift of God.
II. Faith, thus receiving and reſting on Chriſt and his Righteouſneſs, is the alone
inſtrument of Juſtification, yet it is not alone in the perfon juſtified, but it is ever
accompanied with all other ſaving Graces, and is no dead Faith, but worketh by
Love.
III. Chriſt, by his Obedience and Death, did fully diſcharge the Debt of all thoſe
that are thus juſtified, and did make a proper, real, and full Satisfaction to his Fathers
Justice in their behalf; Yet, in as much as he was given by the Father for them, and
his Obedience and Satisfaction accepted in their ſtead, and both freely, not for any
thing in them, their Juſtification is only of free grace, that both the exact Juſtice, and
rich Grace of God, might be glorified in the Juſtification of Sinners.
IV. God did from all Eternity. Decree to juſtified all the Elect, and Chriſt did in
the ſulneſs of time, die for their ſins, and riſe again for their Juſtification: Nevertheleſs
they are not juſtified, untill the Holy Spirit doth in due time, actually apply
Chriſt unto them.
V. God doth continue to forgive the ſins of all thoſe that are juſtified: And. although
they can never fall from the ſtate of Juſtification, yet, they may by their ſins
fall under God's Fatherly Diſpleaſure, and not have the Light of His Countenance
reſtored unto them, untill they humble themſelves, confeſs their ſins, beg pardon,
and renew their Faith and Repentance.
VI. The juſtification of Believers, under the Old Teftament, was, in all theſe reſpects,
one and the ſame with the juſtification of Believers under the New Teſtament.
CHAP. XII Of Adoption.
ALL thoſe that are juſtifed, God vouchſafeth in and for his only Son Jeſus
Chriſt, to make partakers of the Grace of Adoption: By which they are
taken into the number, and enjoy the Liberties and Priviledges of the Children
of God, have his Name put upon them, receive the Spirit of Adoption, have
acceſs to the Throne of Grace with Boldneſs, are enabled to cry, Abba, Father, are
pitied, protected, provided for, and chaſtned by him, as by a Father, yet never
caſt off, but ſealed to the day of Redemption, and inherit the Promiſes, as Heirs of
everlaſling Salvation.
CHAP XIII. Of Sanctification
THey who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new
ſpirit created in them, are further ſanctifed, really and perſonally, through
the vertue of Chriſt's Death and Reſurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling
in them: The dominion of the whole Body of ſin is deſtroyed, and the ſeveral
luſts thereof are more and more weakned and mortified: And they more and
more quickned, and ſtrengthened, in all ſaving Graces, to the practice of true Holineſs,
without which no Man ſall ſee the Lord.
II. This Sanctification is throughout, in the whole Man, yet imperfect in this life;
there abideth ſtill ſome remnants of Corruption in every part; whence ariſeth a continual,
and irreconcilable War; the fleſh luſting againſt the Spirit, and the Spirit againſt
the fleſh.
Ill. In which War àlthough the remaining Corruption, for a time, may much
prevail, yet through the continual ſupply of ſtrength from the ſanctifying Spirit of
Chriſt, the regenerat part doth overcome, and ſo the Saints grow in grace, perfecting
Holineſs in the fear of God.
CHAP. XIV. Of Saving Faith.
THE grace of Faith, whereby the Elect are enabled to believe, to the ſaving of
their Souls, is the Work of the Spirit of Chriſt in their hearts, and is ordinarly
wrought by the Miniſtry of the Word, by which alſo, and by the Adminiſtration
of the Sacraments, and Prayer, it is increaſed and ſtrengthned.
II. By this Faith, a Chriſtian believeth to be true, whatſoever is revealed in the
Word, from the Authority of God Himſelſ ſpeaking therein, and acteth differently
upon that which each particular paſſage thereof containeth; yeilding obedience to the
Commands, trembling at the Threatnings. and embracing the Promiſes of God for
this life, and that which is to come. But the principal acts of ſaving Faith are, Acediting,
Receiving, and Reſting upon Chriſt alone, for Juſtification, Sanctification,
and Eternal Life, by vertue of the Covenant of Grace.
III. This Faith is different in degrees, weak or ſtrong; may be often and many
ways aſſailed, and weakned, but gets the victory; growing up in many to the attainment
of a full aſſurance through Chriſt, who is both the Author and Finiſher
of our Faith.
CHAP. XV. Of Repentance unto Life.
Repentance unto Life, is an Evangelical Grace, the Doctrine whereof is to be
Preached by every Miniſter of the Goſpel, as well as that of Faith in Chriſt.
II. By it, a Sinner, out of the ſight and Senſe, not only of the danger, but alſo of
the filthineſs and odiouſneſs of his Sins, as contrary to the Holy Nature, and Righteous
Law of God; and, upon the apprehenſion of his Mercy in Chriſt, to ſuch as are
penitent, ſo grieves for, and hates its ſins, as to turn from them all unto God, purpoſing
and endeavouring to walk with him, and in all the ways of his Commandments.
III. Although Repentance be not to be reſted on as any ſatisfaction for ſin, or
any cauſe of the pardon thereof; which is the act of Gods free Grace in Chriſt; yet
it is of ſuch neceſſity to all ſinners, that none may expect pardon without it.
IV. As there is no ſin ſo ſmall, but it deſerves Damnation; ſo there is no ſin ſo
great, that it can bring Damnation upon thoſe who truly Repent.
V. Men ought not to content themſelves with a general Repentance, but it is
every Mans duty to endeavour to Repent of his particular ſins, particularly.
VI. As every Man is bound to make private Confeſſion of his ſins to God, praying
for the pardon thereof: Upon which, and the forſaking of them, he ſhall find
Mercy; ſo he that ſcandalizeth his Brother, or the Church of Chriſt, ought to be
willing by a private or publick confeſſion, and ſorrow for his ſin, to declare his
Repentance to thoſe that are offended, who are thereupon to be reconciled to him,
and in love to receive him.
CHAP. XVI. Of Good Works.
Good Works are only ſuch as God hath commanded in his Holy Word, and
not ſuch as, without the warrant thereof, are deviled by Men, out of blind
zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention.
II. Theſe good works, done in obedience to Gods Commandments, are the
fruits and evidences of a true and lively Faith; and by them Believers manifeſt their
thankfulneſs, ſtrengthen their aſſurance, edify their Brethren, adorn the profeſſion
of the Goſpel, ſtop the mouths of the adverſaries, and Glorify God, whole workmanſhip
they are, Created in Chriſt Jeſus thereunto, that having their fruit unto
Holineſs, they may have in the end eternal life.
III. Their ability, to do good works, is not at all of themſelves, but wholly
from the Spirit of Chriſt. And, that they may be enabled thereunto, beſides the
Graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the ſame
Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do, of his good pleaſure, Yet are they
not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty, unleſs
upon a ſpecial motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be deligent in ſtirring up the:
Grace of God that is in them.
IV. They who, in their obedience, attain to the greateſt height which is poſſible
in this life, are ſo far from being able to ſupererogate, and to do more than God requires,
as that they may fall ſhort of much, which in duty they are bound to do.
V. We cannot by our beſt works, merit pardon of ſin, or Eternal Life at the
Hand of God, by reaſon of the great diſproportion that is between them and the Glory
to coast, and the infinite diſtance that is between us and God. whom by them.
we can neither profite nor ſatisfy for the debt of our former ſins; but when we have
done all we can,we have done but our duty,and are unprofitable ſervants; And becauſe
as they are good, they proceed from his Spirit, and as they are wrought by us,
they are defiled, and mixed with ſo much weakneſs and imperfection, that they
cannot endure the ſeverity of Gods Judgement.
VI. Yet notwithſtanding, the Perſons of Believers being accepted through Chriſt,
their good works alſo are accepted in him, not as though they were in this Life
wholly unblameable and unreproveable in God's ſight: But that he, looking upon
them in his Son, is pleaſed to accept, and reward that which is ſincere, although
accompained with many weakneſſes and imperfections.
Vll. Works done by unregenerated Men, although, for the matter of them, they
may be things which God commands, and of good uſe both to themſelves, and
others: Yet, becauſe they proceed not from an heart purified by Faith; nor are
done in a right mariner according to the Word, nor to a right end, the Glory of
God, they are therefore ſinful, and cannot pleaſe God, or make a Man meet to
receive Grace from God, and yet their neglect of them is more ſinful, and difpleaſing
unto God.
CHAP. XVII. Of the Perſeverance of the Saints.
THey, whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called, and ſanctified
by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the ſtate of
Grace, but ſhall certainly preſevere therein to the end, and be eternally ſaved.
II. This Perſeverance of the Saints depends not upon their own free-will, but
upon the immutability of the Decree of Election, flowing from the free and unchangeable
Love of God the Father, upon the Efficacy of the Merit and interceſſion
of Jeſus Chriſt, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the Seed of God within them, and
the Nature of the Covenant of Grace; from all which ariſeth alſo the Certanity
and infallibility thereof.
Nevertheleſs, they may, through the Temptations of Satan, and of the
world, the prudency of Corruption remaining in them, arid the neglect of the
means of their Preſervation, fall into grievous Sins: and for a time, continue therein;
whereby they incur God's Diſpleaſure, and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to be
deprived of ſome meaſure of their Graces and Comforts, have their hearts hardned,
and their Conſciences wounded, hurt, and ſcandalize others, and bring temporal
Judgements upon themſelves.
CHAP. XVIII. Of the Aſſurance of Grace and Salvation.
Although Hypocrites and other unregenerate Men may vainly deceive themſelves
with falſe hopes, and carnal preſumptions of being in the Favour of
God, and eſtate of Salvation: Which hope of theirs ſhall periſh: Yet ſuch as truly
believe in the Lord Jeſus, and love him in Sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all
good Conſcience before him, may in this Life, be certainly aſſured, that they are
in the ſtate of Grace, and may rejoyce in the hope of the Glory of God, which hope
ſhall never make them aſhamed.
II. This certainly is not a bare conjectural and probable perſwaſion, grounded
upon a fallible hope, but an infallible aſſurance of Faith, founded upon the divine
truth of the Promiſes of Salvation, the inward evidence of thoſe Graces unto which
theſe promiſes are made, the Teſtimony of the Spirit of Adoption witneſſing
our Spirits, that we are the Children of God: Which Spirit is the Earneſt of our
inheritance, whereby we are ſealed to the day of Redemption.
III. This infallible Aſſurance, doth not ſo belong to the Eſſence of Faith, but that
true Believer may wait long, and conflict with many Difficulties, before he be partaker
of it: Yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely
given him of God, he may without extraordinary Revelation, in the right uſe of ordinary
means, attain thereunto. And therefore it is the duty of every one, to give all
diligence to make his Calling and Election ſure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged
in peace and joy in the Holy-Ghoſt, in love and thankfulneſs to God, and in
ſtrength and cheerfulneſs in the duties of Obedience, the proper fruits of this Aſſurance:
So far it is from inclining men to looſeneſs.
IV. True Believers may have the Aſſurance of their Salvation divers ways ſhaken,
diminiſhed, and intermitted; As by negligence in preſerving of it, by falling into
ſome ſpecial ſin, which woundeth the Conſcience, and grieveth the Spirit, by
ſome ſudden, or vehement temptation, by Gods withdrawing the Light of his
Countenance, and ſuffering even ſuch as fear him to walk in darkneſs, and to have no
Light: Yet are they never utterly deſtitute of that ſeed of God, and life of Faith,
that Love of Chriſt and the Brethren, that Sincerity of heart, and Conſcience of
duty, out of which, by the Operation of the Spirit, this Aſſurance may, in due
time, be revived, and by the which, in the mean time, they are ſupported from
utter Deſpair.
CHAP. XIX Of the Law of God.
GOD gave to Adam a Law, as a Covenant of Works, by which he bound him
and all his Poſterity to perſonal, entire, exact, and perpetual Obedience:
Promiſed Life upon the fulfilling, and threatned Death upon the Breach of it;
and endued him with power and ability to keep it.
II. This Law, after his Fall, continued to be a perrect rule of Righteouſneſs, and
ſuch as was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai in Ten Commandments, and written
in two Tables: The four firſt Commandments containing our Duty towards
God, and the other ſix, our duty to Man.
III. Beſide this Law, commonly called Moral, God was pleaſed to give the People
of Iſrael, as a Church under age, Ceremonial Laws, containing ſeveral typical
Ordinances, partly of Worſhip, prefiguring Chriſt, his Graces, Actions. Suffering,
and Benefits; and partly, holding forth divers Inſtructions of Moral duties. All
which Ceremonial Laws are now abrogated under the New Teſtament.
I. To them alſo as a body politick, he gave ſundry Judicial Laws, which expired
together with the ſtate of that people, not oblidging any other now, further than
the general equity thereof may require.
II. The Moral Law doth for ever bind all as well juſtified perſons as others, to
the Obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but
alſo in reſpect of the Authority of God the Creator, who gave it; neither doth
Chriſt in the Goſpel, any way diſſolve, but much ſtrengthen this Obligation.
VI. Although true Believers be not under the Law, as a Covenant of Works, to
be thereby juſtified, or condemned; yet it is of great uſe to them, as well as to others,
in that, as a rule of Life, informing them of the Will of God, and their duty;
it directs, and binds them to walk accordingly; diſcovering alſo the ſinful pollutions of
their nature, hearts and Lives: So as, examining themſelves thereby, they may
come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred againſt ſin, together
with a clearer ſight of the need they have of Chriſt, and the perfection of his Obedience.
It is likewiſe of uſe to the Regenerate, to reſtrain their Corruptions, in that
it forbids ſin: And the Threatnings of it ſerve to ſhew, what evil their ſins deſerve;
and what Afflictions, in this life, they may may expect for them, although freed
from the Curſe thereof threatned in the Law. The promiſes of it, in like manner,
ſhew God's Approbation of Obedience, and what Bleſſings they may expect upon
the performance thereof, although not as due to them by the Law, as a Covenant
of Works. So as a Mans doing good, and refraining from evil, becauſe the
Law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being
under the Law, and not under Grace.
VII. Neither are the forementioned uſes of the Law, contrary to the Grace of the
Goſpel, but do ſweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Chriſt ſubduing and enabling
the will of Man to do that freely, and cheerfully, which the Will of God revealed in
the Law, requireth to be done.
CHAP. XX. Of Chriſtian Liberty and Liberty of Confidence.
The Liberty which Chriſt hath purchaſed for Believers, under the Goſpel, conſiſts
in their freedom from the Guilt of ſin, the condemning wrath of God, the
curſe of the Moral Law; and in their being delivered from this preſent evil world, Bondage
to Satan, and Dominion of ſin, from the evil of Afflictions, the ſting of Death
the victory of the Grave, and everlaſting Damnation; As alſo, in their free acceſs
to God, and their yeilding obedience unto him, not out of ſlaviſh fear, but a
child like Love, and willing mind. All which, were common alſo to Believers under
the Law. But under the New Teſtament, the Liberty of Chriſtians is further
enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the Ceremonial Law, to which the Jewiſh
Church was ſubjected; And in greater Boldneſs of Acceſs to the throne of Grace,
and in fuller communication of the free Spirit of God, than Believers, under the Law,
did ordinarly partake of.
II. God alone is Lord of the Conſcience, and hath left it free from the Doctrines
and Commandments of men, which are in any thing contrary to his Word, or beſide
it, in Matters of Faith, or Worſhip. So that, to believe ſuch Doctrines, or to
obey ſuch Commands. out of Conſcience, is to betray true Liberty of Conſience,
and the requireing of an implicite Faith, and an abſolute and blind Obedience is to
deſtroy Liberty of Conſcience, and Reaſon alſo.
III. They who, upon pretence of Chriſtian Liberty, do practiſe any ſin, or cheriſh
any luſt, do thereby deſtroy the end of Chriſtian Liberty, which, is that being
delivered out of the Hands of our Enemies, we might ſerve the Lord without fear,
in Holineſs and Righteoutheſs before him, all the days of our life.
IV. And becauſe the powers which God hath ordained, and the Liberty which
Chriſt hath purchaſſed, are not intended by God, to deſtroy, but mutually to uphold
and preſerve one another, they who upon pretence of Chriſtian Liberty, ſhall oppoſe
any lawful power, or the lawful exerciſe of it, whether it be Civil or Eccleliaſtical,
reſiſt the Ordinance of God. And for their publiſhing of ſuch Opinions, or
maintaining of ſuch Practices, as are contrary to the light of Nature, or to the known
Principles of Chriſtianity, whether concerning Faith Worſhip, or Converſation,
to the Power of Godlineſs; Or ſuch erroneous Opinions or Practices as either in
their own nature, or in the manner of publiſhing or maintaining them, are deſtructive
to the external Peace and Order which Chriſt hath eſtabliſhed in the Church,
they may be lawfully called to account, and proceeded againſt by the Cenſures of
the Church, and by the power of the Civil Magiſtrat.
CHAP. XXI- Of Religious Worſhip And the Sabbath Day.
THe light of Nature ſheweth, that there is a GOD, who hath Lordſhip, and
Soveraignty over all, is Good, and doth Good unto all, and is therefore to
be Feared, Loved, Praiſed, Called upon, Truſted in, and Served with
all the Heart, and with all the Soul, and with all the Might. But the acceptable
way of Worſhiping the true God, is inſtituted by himſelf, and ſo limited by his own
revealed Will, that he may not be worſhiped according to the Imaginations and Devices
of Men, or the Suggeſtions of Satan, under any viſible Repreſentation, or any
other way not preſcribed in the Holy Scripture.
II. Religious Worſhip is to be given to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghoſt;
and to him alone, not to Angels, Saints, or any other Creature: And, ſince the Fall,
not without a Mediator, nor in the Mediation of any other, but of Chriſt alone.
Prayer with Thankſgiving, being one ſpecial part of Religious Worſhip, is by
God required of all Men; And that it may be accepted,it is to be made in the
Name of the Son, by the help of his Spirit, according to his Will with in underſtanding,
Reverence, Humility, Fervency, Faith, Love and Perſeverance; And if
vocal, in a known Tongue.
Prayer is to he made for things Lawful, and for all ſorts of Men liveing, or
that ſhall live hereafter; but not for the dead, nor for thoſe of whom it may be known,
that they have ſinned the ſin unto death.
V. The reading of the Scriptures with Godly fear, the ſound Preaching, and concionable
hearing of the Word in Obedience unto God, with underſtanding,
and Reverence, ſinging Pſalms with Grace in the Heart; As alſo the due Adminiſtration,
and worthy receiving of the Sacraments inſtituted by Chriſt, are all parts
of the ordinary Religious Worſhip of God: Beſide Religious Oaths, Vows, Solemn
Faſtings, and Thankſgiveings upon ſpecial Occaſions; which are in their ſeveral
times and ſeaſons to be uſed in an Holy and Religious manner.
VI. Neither Prayer, nor any other part of Religious Worſhip, is now under the
either tyed unto, or made more acceptable by, any place in which it is performed,
or towards which it is directed; but God is to be Worſhiped every is here,
its Spirit and in Truth, as in private Families daily, and in ſecret, each one by himſelſ
more ſolemnly, in the publick Aſſemblies, which arc not careleſly or wilfully
to be neglected, or forſaken when God by his Word or Providence calleth thereunto.

VII. As it is of the Law of Nature, that in general, a due proportion of time
be ſet apart for the Worſhip of God; ſo in his Word, by a poſitive, Moral, and perpetual
Commandment, binding all Men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed
One Day in Seven, for a Sabbath to be kept holy unto Him, which from the beginning
of the World to the Reſurrection of Chriſt was the laſt Day of the week; and
from the Reſurrection of Chriſt was changed into the firſt day of the Week, which
in Scripture, is called the LORD'S Day, and it is to be continued to the end of the
World, as the Chriſtian Sabbath.
VIII. This Sabbath is then kept Holy unto the Lord, when Men after a due preparation
of their Hearts, and ordering of their common Affairs before hand, do not
only obſerve a Holy Reſt, all the day from their own Works, Words and Thoughts
about their Wordly lmployments and Recreations, but alſo are taken up the whole
time, in the publick and private Exerciſes of his Worſhip, and its the duties of Neceſſity
and Mercy.
CHAP. XXII. Of Lawful Oaths and Vows.
A Lawful Oath is a part of Religious Worſhip, wherein upon juſt occaſions, the
perſon ſwearing ſolemnly, calleth God to Witneſs what he aſſerteth, or
promiſeth; And to judge him according to the Truth, or Falſhood of what he
ſweareth.
II. The Name of God only, is that by which Men ought to ſwear; And therein
it is to be uſed with all Holy Fear and Reverence: Therefore to ſwear vainly or
raſhly by that Glorious and Dreadful Name; Or, to ſwear at all, by any other thing,
is ſinſul, and to be abhorred: Yet, as in Matters of Weight and Moment, an Oath
is warranted by the Word of God under the New Teſtament, as well as under the
Old; So a lawful Oath, being impoſed by lawful Authority, in ſuch Matters
ought to be taken.
III. Whoſoever taketh an Oath, ought duly to conſider the weightineſs of ſo Solemn
an act, and therein to avouch nothing, but what he is fully perſwaded is the
Truth: Neither may any Man bind himſelf by Oath to any thing but what is good
and just,and what he beleiveth ſo to be, and what he is able and reſolved to perform:
Yet it is a in to refuſe an Oath, touching any thing that is good and juſt
being; impoſed by lawful Authority.
IV. An Oath is to be taken in the plain and common ſenſe of the Words, without
Equivocation, or Mental Reſervation, it cannot oblige to ſin; but in any thing
not ſinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a mans own hurt; nor
is it to be violated although made to Hereticks, or Infidels.
V. A Vow is of the like Nature with a Promiſſory Oath, and ought to be made
with the like Religious care, and to be performed with the like Faithfulneſs.
VI. It is not to be made to any Creature, but to God alone; and that it may be
accepted, it is to be made voluntarly, out of Faith, and Conſcience of Duty, in way
of thankfulneſs for Mercy received, or for the obtaining of what we want:
Whereby we more ſtrictly bind our ſelves to neceſſary duties, or to other things, ſo
far, and ſo long as they may fitly conduce thereunto.
VII. No Man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the Word of God, or
what would hinder any duty therein commanded; Or which is not in his power, and
for the performance whereof he hath no promiſe of Ability from God; in which
reſpects, Popiſh Monaſtical Vows of perpetual ſingle life, profeſſed poverty, and regular
obedience, are ſo far from being degrees of higher perfection that they are ſuperſtitious
and ſinſul Snares, in which no Chriſtian may intangle himſelf.
CHAP. XXIII. Of the Civil Magiſtrate.
GOD, the Supream Lord and King of all the World, hath ordained Civil Magiſtrates
to be under him, over the People, for his own Glory, and the publick
good: And to this end hath armed them with the power of the Sword for the
Defence and Encouragement of them that are good, and for the puniſhment of evil--
doers.
II. It is lawful for Chriſtians to accept and execute the Office of a Magiſtratee,
when called thereunto: In the manageing whereof, as they ought ſpecially to maintain
Piety, Juſtice and Peace, according to the wholſome Laws of each CommonWealth:
So for that end they may lawfully under the New Teſtament wage War,
upon juſt and neceſſary occaſions.
III. The Civil Magiſtrate may not aſſume to himſelf the admiration of the
Word and Sacraments, or the power of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; yet
he hath Authority, and it is his duty to take order, that Unity and Peace be preſerved
in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all Blaſphemies
and Hereſies be ſuppreſſed, all Corruptions and Abuſes in Worſhip and Diſcipline
prevented or reformed: And all the Ordinances of God duely ſettled, adminiſtred
and obſerved; for the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call Synods, to be
preſent at them, and to provide that whoſoever is tranſacted in them, be according
to the Mind of God.
IV. It is the duty of People to pray for Magiſtrates, to honour their Perſons, to
pay them Tribute and other Dues, to obey their lawful Commands and to be ſubject
to their Authority, for Conſcience ſake; Infidelity, or Difference in Religion,
doth not make void the Magiſtrats juſt and legal Authority, nor free the people from
their due Obedience to Him, from which Eccleſiaſtical perſons are not exempted,
much leſs hath the Pope any Power or Juriſdiction over them, in their Dominions,
or over any of their people; and leaſt of all to deprive them of their Dominions, or
Lives, if he ſhall judge them to be Hereticks, or upon any other pretence whatſoever.

CHAP. XXIV Of Marriage And Divorce.
MArriage is between one Man and one Woman: Neither is it lawful for any man
to have more than one Wife, nor for any Woman to have more than
one Husband, at the ſame time.
II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of Husband and Wife, for the increaſe
of Mankind with a legitimat iſſue, and of the Church with an holy Seed, and
for preventing of Uncleanneſs.
III. It is lawful for all ſorts of People to marry, who are able with Judgment to
give their Conſent; Yet it is the duty of Chriſtians to marry only in the Lord. And
therefore ſuch as profeſs the true reformed Religion, ſhould not marry with Infidels,
Papiſts, or other Idolaters: Neither ſhould ſuch as are Godly be unequally yoked,
by marrying with ſuch as are notoriouſly wicked in their Life, or maintain damnable
Hereſies.
IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of Conſanguinity, or Affinity,
Forbidden in the Word: Nor can any inceſtuous Marriages ever be made lawful
by any Law or Man, or conſent of Parties, ſo as thoſe perſons may live together as
Man and Wife. The Man may not marry any of his Wifes Kindred nearer in
blood, than he may of his own; nor the Woman of her Husbands Kindred, nearer
in blood, than of her own.
V. Adultery or Fornication, committed after a Contract, being detected before
Marriage, giveth juſt occaſion to the Innocent party to diſſolve that Contract. In the
caſe of Adultery after Marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to ſue out a Divorce;
And after the Divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.
VI. Although the Corruption of Man be ſuch as is apt to ſtudy Arguments, unduely
to put aſunder thoſe whom God hath joyned together in Marriage; yet, nothing
but Adultery, or ſuch wilful Deſertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or
Civil Magiſtrat, is cauſe ſufficient of diſſolving the Bond of Marriage, wherein a publick
or ordinary Courſe of proceeding is to be obſerved; and the perſons concerned in
it, not left to their own Wills, in their own caſe.
CHAP. XXV. Of the Church.
THE Catholick or Univerſal Church, which is inviſible, conſiſts of the whole
number of the Elect, that have been, are, or ſhall be gathered into one,
under Chriſt the head thereof, and is the Spouſe, the Body, the fulneſs of
Him, that filleth all in all.
II. The viſible Church, which is alſo Catholick or Univerſal, under the Goſpel,
(not confined to one Nation, as before under the Law) conſiſts of all thoſe throughout
the World, that profeſs the true Religion; together with her Children: And is
the Kingdom of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt, the Houſe and Family of God, out of which
there is no ordinary poſſibility of Salvation.
III. Unto this Catholick Viſible Church, Chriſt hath given the Miniſtry, Oracles,
and Ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the Saints in this life,
to the end of the World, and doth by his own preſence and Spirit, according to His
Promiſe, make them effectual thereunto.
IV. This Catholick Church hath been ſometimes more, ſometimes leſs viſible:
And particular Churches, which are Members thereof, are more or leſs pure, according
as the Doctrine of the Goſpel is taught and embraced, Ordinances adminiſtred,
and publick Worſhip performed more or leſs purely in them.
V. The pureſt Churches under Heaven are ſubject both to mixture and Errour,
and ſome have ſo degenerated, as to become no Churches of Chriſt, but Synagogues
of Satan. Nevertheleſs there ſhall be always a Church on Earth, to Worſhip God
according to His Will.
VI. There is no other Head of the Church, but the Lord Jeſus Chriſt: Nor can
the Pope of Rome, in any ſenſe be head thereof: but is that Antichriſt, that Man
of Sin, and ſon of Perdition, that exalteth himſelf in the Church againſt Chriſt, and
all that is called God.
CHAP. XXVI. Of the Communion of Saints.
ALL Saints, that are united to Jeſus Chriſt their Head, by his Spirit, and by
Faith, have fellowſhip with him in his Graces, Sufferings, Death, Reſurrection,
and Glory: And being united to one another in Love, they have
Communion in each others Gifts and Graces, and are obliged to the performance
of ſuch Duties, publick and private. as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the
inward and outward Man.
II. Saints by profeſſion are bound to maintain an holy Fellowſhip and Communion
in the Worſhip of God; And in performing ſuch other Spiritual Services, as
tend to their mutual Edification; as alſo, in relieving each other in outward things,
according to their ſeveral Abilities and Neceſſities; which Communion, as God
offereth opportunity. is to be extended to all thoſe, who in every place call upon
the Name of the Lord Jeſus.
III. This Communion, which the Saints have with Chriſt, doth not make them,
in any wayes, partakers of the Subſtance of His God-Head, or to be equal with
Chriſt in any reſpect: Either of which to affirm, is impious and blaſphemous: Nor
doth their Communion one with another, as Saints, take away, or infringe the Title,
or Propriety, which each Man hath in his Goods or Poſſeſſions.
CHAP. XXVII. Of the Sacraments.
Sacraments are holy Signs and Seals of the Covenant of Grace, immediatly intuited
by God to repreſent Chriſt and his Benefites, and to confirm our Intereſt in
Him; As alſo, to put a viſible difference between thoſe that belong unto the Church,
and the reſt of the World; and ſolemnly to engage them to the Service of God in
Chriſt, according to his Word.
II. There is in every Sacrament a Spiritual Relation, or Sacramental Union between
the Sign and the Thing ſignified; whence it comes to paſs, that the Names
and Effects of the one are attributed to the other.
III. The Grace which is exhibited, in or by the Sacraments rightly uſed, is not
conferred by any power in them; neither doth the efficacy of a Sacrament depend
upon the Piety, or intention of him that doth adminiſter it; but upon the Work of
the Spirit, and the Word of Inſtitution, which contains, together with a Precept,
authorizing the uſe thereof, a promiſe of Benefit to worthy Receivers.
IV. There be only two Sacraments ordained by Chriſt our Lord In the Goſpel,
that is to ſay, Baptiſm, and the Supper of the Lord: Neither of which
may be diſpenſed by any, but by a Miniſter of the Word lawfully ordained.
V. The Sacraments of the Old Teſtament, in regard of the Spiritual things thereby
ſignified, and exhibited, were for Subſtance, the ſame with thoſe of the New.
CHAP XXVIII. Of Baptiſm.
BAptiſm is a Sacrament of the New Teſtament, ordained by Jeſus Chriſt, not
only for the ſolemn Admiſſion of the Party Baptized into the Viſible
Church; but alſo, to be unto him a sign, and Seal of the Covenant of Grace, of his
ingrafting into Chriſt of Regeneration, of Remiſſion of Sins. and of his giving up
unto God through Jeſus Chriſt, to walk in newneſs of Life; which Sacrament is, by
Chriſts own Appointment, to be continued in his Church until the end of the
World
II The outward Element to be uſed in this Sacrament is Water, wherewith the
Party is to be Baptized, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghoſt, by a Miniſter of the Goſpel, lawfully called thereunto.
III. Dipping of the perſon in the Water, is not neceſſary: But Baptiſm is rightly
adminiſtred, by pouring, or ſprinkling Water upon the Perſon.
IV. Not only thoſe that do actually profeſs Faith in, and Obedience unto Chriſt,
but alſo the Infants of one, or both believing Parents, are to be Baptized.
V. Although it be a great ſin to contemn or neglect this Ordinance, yet Grace
and Salvation are not ſo inſeparably annexed unto it, as that no Perſon can be Regenerated
or Saved without it, or that all that are Baptized, are undoutedly Regenerated.

VI. The Efficacy of Baptiſm is not tyed to that Moment of time, wherein it is
adminſtred; yet notwithſtanding, by the Right uſe of this Ordinance, the Grace
promiſed, is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy
Ghoſt, to ſuch (whether of age, or Infants) as that Grace belongeth unto, according
to the Counſel of Gods own Will, in his appointed time.
VII. The Sacrament of Baptiſm is but once to be adminiſtred unto any perſon.
CHAP. XXIX. Of the Lords Supper.
Our Lord Jeſus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, inſtituted the Sacrament
of his Body and Blood, called the Lords Supper, to be obſerved in his
Church, unto the end of the World, for the perpetual Remembrance of the Sacrifice
of Himſelf, in His Death: The ſealing benefits thereof unto true Believers,
their Spiritual Nouriſhment and Growth in him, their further engagment in, and to
all Duties which they owe unto him: and to be a Bond and Pledge of their Communion
with Him, and with each other, as Members of his myſtical Body.
II. In this Sacrament, Chriſt is nor offered up to His Father; nor any real Sacrifice
made at all, for Remiſſion of Sins of the quick or dead, but only a Commemoration
of that one Offering up of Himſelf, by himſelf upon the Croſs once for all:
and a ſpiritual Oblation of all poſſible praiſe unto God, for the ſame: So that the
Popiſh Sacrifice of the Maſs, (as they call it ) is moſt abominably injurious to
Chriſts one, only Sacrifice, the alone Propitiation for all the ſins of the Elect.
III. The Lord Jeſus hath in this Ordinance, appointed his Miniſters to declare
his Word of Inſtitution to the people, to pray, and bleſs the Elements of Bread and
Wine, and thereby to ſet them apart from a common to an Holy Uſe; and to
Take and Break the Bread, to Take the Cup, and (they communicating alſo
themſelves) to give both to the Communicants; but to none who are not then
preſent in the Congregation.
IV. Privat Maſſes, or receiving this Sacrament by a Prieſt. or any other alone,
as likewiſe, the denyal of the Cup to the People, Worſhiping the Elements, the lifting
them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and the reſerving them for any
pretended Religious life, are all contrary to the nature of this Sacrament, and to
the lnſtitution of Chriſt.
V. The outward Elements in this Sacrament, duely ſet apart, to the uſes ordained
by Chriſt, have ſuch relation to Him crucified, as that truly, yet Sacramentally
only, they are ſometimes called by the Name of the things they repreſent, to
wit, the Body and Blood of Chriſt, albeit, in ſubſtance and nature, they ſtill remain
truly and only Bread and Wine, as they were before.
VI. That Doctrine which maintains a change of the ſubſtance of Bread and
Wine, into the ſubſtance of Chriſts Body and Blood (commonly called Tranſubſtantiation)
by Conſecration of a Prieſt, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to
Scripture alone, but even to common ſenſe and reaſon, overthroweth the Nature of
the Sacrament, and hath been, and is, the cauſe of manifold Superſtitions; yea of
groſs Idolatries.
VII. Worthy Receivers outwardly partaking of the viſible Elements, in this Sacrament,
do then alſo, inwardly by Faith, really, and indeed, yet not carnally,
and corporally, but ſpiritually receive and feed upon Chriſt crucified, ard all benefits
of his death: The Body and Blood of Chriſt being then. not corporally,
or carnally in, with, or under the Bread and Wine; yet, as really, but Spiritually,
preſent to the Faith of Believers in that Ordinance, as the Elements themſelves are
to their outward ſenſes.
VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward Elements, in this
Sacrament, yet, they receive not the thing ſignified thereby, but by their unworthy
coming thereunto, are guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord, to their own
damnation. Wherefore all ignorant and ungodly perſons, as they are unfit to enjoy
Communion with him, ſo they are unworthy of the Lords Table; and cannot without
great ſin againſt Chriſt, while they remain ſuch, partake of theſe Holy Myſteries,
or be admitted thereunto.
CHAP. XXX. Of Church-Cenſures.
THe Lord Jeſus, as King and Head of his Church, hath therein appointed a Government,
in the hand of Church-Officers, diſtinct from the Civil Magiſtrate.

II. To theſe Officers, the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are committed, by
vertue whereof, they have power, reſpectively, to retain and remit ſins; to ſhut
that Kingdom againſt the impenitent, both by the Word. and Cenfures; and to
open it unto penitent ſinners, by the Miniſtry of the Goſpel, and by abſolution from
Cenſures, as occaſion ſhall require.
III. Church-Cenſures are neceſſary for the reclaiming and gaining of offending
Brethren, for deterring of others from the like offences, for purging out of that
Leaven which might infect the whole Lump, for vindicating the Honour of
Chriſt, and the holy profeſſion of the Golpel, and for preventing the wrath of
God, which might juſtly fall upon the Church, if they ſhould ſuffer his Covenant
and the Seals thereof to be profaned, by notorious and obſtinat offenders.
IV. For the better attaining of theſe ends, the Officers of the Church are to proceed
by Admonition, Suſpenſion from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper for a ſeaſon:
And by Excommunication from the Church, according to the nature of the Crime,
and demerit of the perſon.
CHAP. XXXI. Of Synods and Councils.
FOr the better Government, and further Edification of the Church, there ought
to be ſuch Aſſemblies, as are commonly called Synods or Councils.
II. As Magiſtrats may lawfully call a Synod of Miniſters, and other fit perſons,
to Conſult and Adviſe with, about matters of Religion. So, if Magiſtrats be open
Enemies to the Church, the Miniſters of Chriſt, of themſelves by vertue of their
Office; or they, with other fit perſons, upon delegation from their Churches, may
meet together in ſuch Aſſemblies.
III. It belongeth to Synods and Councils, Miniſterially to determine Controverſies
of Faith, and Caſes of Conſcience, to let down Rules and Directions for the better
ordering of the publick Worſhip of God, and Government of his Church: to
receive complaints in caſes of Male adminiſtration and Authoritatively to determine
the ſame: which Decrees and Determinations, if conſonant to the word of
God, are to be received with Reverence and Submiſſion not only for their agreement
with the Word, but alſo for the power whereby they are made, as being an
Ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his Word.
IV. All Synods or Councils, ſince the Apoſtles times, whether General or Particular,
may Err; and many have Erred: Therefore they are not to be made the Rule
of Faith or Practice; but to be uſed as an help in both.
V. Synods and Councils are to Handle or Conclude nothing, but that which is
Ecceſiaſtical, and are not to intermeddle with Civil Affairs, which concern the
Common-Wealth, unleſs by way of humble Petition, in caſes extraordinary; or by
way of Advice, for ſatisfaction of Conſcience, it they be thereunto required by the
Civil Magiſtrate.
CHAP. XXXII Of the ſtate of Men after death, and of the Reſurection of the Dead.
THe Bodies of Men, after Death, return to duſt, and ſee Corruption; but their
Souls (which neither die, nor ſleep) having an Immortal Subſtance, immediatly
return to God, who gave them: The Souls of the Righteous, being then
made perfect in Holineſs, are received into the higheſt Heavens, where they behold
the Face of God in Light and Glory; waiting for the full Redemption of their
Bodies: And the Souls of the Wicked are caſt into Hell, where they remain in
Torments and utter Darkneſs, reſerved to the Judgement of the great Day. Beſides
theſe two places, for Souls ſeparated from their Bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth
none.
II. At the laſt Day, ſuch, as are found Alive, ſhall not die, but be changed; and
all the Dead ſhall be raiſed up, with the ſelf ſame Bodies, and none other; although
with different qualities, which ſhall be united again to their Souls for
ever.
III. The Bodies of the Unjuſt, ſhall by the power of Chriſt be raiſed to Diſhonour;
the Bodies of the Juſt by his Spirit, unto Honour; and be made comformable to
his own glorious Body.
CHAP. XXXIII. Of the Laſt Judgment.
GOD hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the World in Righteouſneſs,
by Jeſus Chriſt, to whom all Power, and Judgment is given of the Father; in
which day, not only the Apoſtate Angels ſhall be Judged; but likewiſe all Perſons
that have lived upon the Earth, ſhall appear before the Tribunal of Chriſt, to give
an account of their Thoughts Words, and Deeds; and to receive, according to what
they have done in the Body, whether Good or Evil.
II. The end of God's appointing this day, is, for the manifeſtation of the Glory
of his Mercy, in the eternal Salvation of the Elect; and of his Juſtice, in the damnation
of the Reprobate, who are Wicked and Diſobedient. For, then ſhall the
Righteous go into everlaſting Life, and receive that fulneſs of Joy and Refreſhing,
which ſhall come from the pretence of the Lord: but the Wicked, who know not
God, and obey not the Goſpel of Jeſus Chriſt, ſhall be caſt into eternal Torments,
and be puniſhed with everlaſting Deſtruction from the preſence of the Lord, and
from the Glory of his Power.
III As Chriſt would have us to be certainly perſwaded, that there ſhall be a Day
of Judgment, both to deterr all Men from ſin: And for the greater Conſolation
the Godly in their Adverſity; ſo will he have that day unknown to Men, that
They may ſhake off all carnal ſecurity, and be always watchful, becauſe they
know not at what Hour the Lord will come: And, may be ever prepared to ſay,
Come, Lord Jeſus, come quickly. AMEN.

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The Confession of Faith

Document Information

Document ID 660
Title The Confession of Faith
Year group 1700-1750
Genre Religious prose
Year of publication 1702
Place of publication Glasgow
Wordcount 12083

Author information: Anonymous

Author ID 439
Surname Anonymous