01.00 1689 London Baptist Confession
02.00 1644 London Baptist Confession
03.00 1646 London Baptist Confession
04.00 Appendex 1646 London Baptist Confession
05.00 1655 Midland Confession of Faith
06.00 Waldenses Confession of 1120
07.00 Waldenses Confession of 1544
08.00 Waldenses Articles From Acts & Monuments Of Foxe, Vol 3
09.00 John Bunyan Confession
10.00 Apostle's Creed
11.00 Schleitheim Confession
12.00 Somerset Confession Of Faith
13.00 John Spilsbury and His Confession
14.00 1853 New Hampshire Confession of Faith
15.00 1742 Philadelphia Confession of Faith
16.00 Addendum Added To Confessions
17.00 1833 New Hampshire Confession of Faith
18.00 1757 Declaration Of The Faith And Practice
01.01 Chapter 1 Of the Holy Scriptures
01.02 Chapter 2 Of God and of the Holy Trinity
01.02 Chapter 2 Of God and of the Holy Trinity
01.04 Chapter 4 Of Creation
01.05 Chapter 5 Of Divine Providence
01.06 Chapter 6 Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof
01.07 Chapter 7 Of God's Covenant
01.08 Chapter 8 Of Christ the Mediator
01.09 Chapter 9 Of Free Will
01.10 Chapter 10 Of Effectual Calling
01.11 Chapter 11 Of Justification
01.12 Chapter 12 Of Adoption
01.13 Chapter 13 Of Sanctification
01.14 Chapter 14 Of Saving Faith
01.15 Chapter 15 Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation
01.16 Chapter 16 Of Good Works
1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience, (1) 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 are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and His will which is necessary unto salvation.(2) Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His church; (3) and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.(4)
1. 2Ti 3:15-17; Isa 8:20; Lu 16:29,31; Eph 2:20
2. Ro 1:19-21; 2:14-15; Ps 19:1-3
3. Heb 1:1
4. Pr 22:19-21; Ro 15:4; 2Pe 1:19-20
2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:
Of the Old Testament
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Of the New Testament
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation
All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.(5)
5. 2Ti 3:16
3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings.(6)
6. Lu 24:27,44; Ro 3:2
4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God(who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.(7)
7. 2Pe 1:19-21; 2Ti 3:16; 2Th 2:13; 1Jo 5:9
5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole(which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion 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.(8)
8. Joh 16:13-14; 1Co 2:10-12; 1Jo 2:20,27
6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.(9) Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word,(10) and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government 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 always to be observed.(11)
9. 2Ti 3:15-17; Ga 1:8-9
10. Joh 6:45; 1Co 2:9-12
11. 1Co 11:13-14; 14:26,40
7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all;(12) 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 ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them.(13)
12. 2Pe 3:16
13. Ps 19:7; 119:130
8. The Old Testament in Hebrew(which was the native language of the people of God of old),(14) 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 authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them.(15) But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read(16) and search them,(17) therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar[ie. common] language of every nation unto which they come,(18) that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship of Him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.(19)
14. Ro 3:2
15. Isa 8:20
16. Ac 15:15
17. Joh 5:39
18. 1Co 14:6,9,11-12,24,28
19. Col 3:16
9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture(which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched by other places that speak more clearly.(20)
20. 2Pe 1:20-21; Ac 15:15-16
10. The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.(21)
21. Mt 22:29,31-32; Eph 2:20; Ac 28:23
1. The Lord our God is but one only living and true God;(1) whose subsistence is in and of Himself,(2) infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but Himself;(3) a most pure spirit,(4) invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto;(5) who is immutable,(6) immense,(7) eternal,(8) incomprehensible, almighty,(9) every way infinite, most holy,(10) most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will(11) for His own glory; (12) most loving, gracious, merciful, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,(13) and withal most just and terrible in His judgements, (14) hating all sin,(15) and who will by no means clear the guilty.(16)
1. 1Co 8:4,6; De 6:4
2. Jer 10:10; Isa 48:12
3. Ex 3:14
4. Joh 4:24
5. 1Ti 1:17; De 4:15-16
6. Mal 3:6
7. 1Ki 8:27; Jer 23:23
8. Ps 90:2
9. Ge 17:1
10. Isa 6:3
11. Ps 115:3; Isa 46:10
12. Pr 16:4; Ro 11:36
13. Ex 34:6-7; Heb 11:6
14. Ne 9:32-33
15. Ps 5:5-6
16 Ex 34:7; Na 1:2-3
2. God, having all life,(17) glory,(18) goodness,(19) blessedness, in and of Himself, 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,(20) but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things,(21) and He hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever Himself pleaseth;(22) in His sight all things are open and manifest,(23) His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent or uncertain:(24) He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works,(25) and in all His commands; to Him is due from angels and men, whatsoever worship,(26) service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and whatever He is further pleased to require of them.
17. Joh 5:26
18. Ps 148:13
19. Ps 119:68
20. Job 22:2-3
21. Ro 11:34-36
22. Da 4:25,34-35
23. Heb 4:13
24. Eze 11:5; Ac 15:18
25. Ps 145:17
26. Re 5:12-14
3. In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, (27) of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided,(28) the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father;(29) the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son;(30) all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence upon Him.
27. 1Jo 5:7; Mt 28:19; 2Co 13:14
28. Ex 3:14; Joh 14:11; 1Co 8:6
29. Joh 1:14,18
30. Joh 15:26; Ga 4:6
1. God hath decreed in Himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever come to pass;(1) yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein;(2) nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established;(3) in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree.(4)
1. Isa 46:10; Eph 1:11; Heb 6:17; Ro 9:15,18
2. Jas 1:13; 1Jo 1:5
3. Ac 4:27-28; Joh 19:11
4. Nu 23:19; Eph 1:3-5
2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions,(5) yet hath He not decreed anything, because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.(6)
5. Ac 15:18
6. Ro 9:11,13,16,18
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ,(7) to the praise of His glorious grace;(8) others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice.(9)
7. 1Ti 5:21; Mt 25:34
8. Eph 1:5-6
9. Ro 9:22-23; Jude 25
4. These angels and men thus predestined and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.(10)
10. 2Ti 2:19; Joh 13:18
5. Those of mankind that are predestined to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love,(11) without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto.(12)
11. Eph 1:4,9,11; Ro 8:30; 2Ti 1:9; 1Th 5:9
12. Ro 9:13,16; Eph 2:5,12
6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so He hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto;(13) wherefore they who are elect, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,(14) are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,(15) and kept by His power through faith unto salvation;(16) neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.(17)
13. 1Pe 1:2; 2Th 2:13
14. 1Th 5:9-10
15. Ro 8:30; 2Th 2:13
16. 1Pe 1:5
17. Joh 10:26; 17:9; 6:64
7. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be 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; (18) so shall this doctrine afford matter of praise,(19) reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility,(20) diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.(21)
18. 1Th 1:4-5; 2Pe 1:10
19. Eph 1:6; Ro 11:33
20. Ro 11:5-6,20
21. Lu 10:20
1. In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,(1) for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power,(2) wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good.(3)
1. Joh 1:2-3; Heb 1:2; Job 26:13
2. Ro 1:20
3. Col 1:16; Ge 1:31
2. After God hath made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, (4) with reasonable and immortal souls, (5) rendering them fit unto that life to God for which they were created; being made after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness; (6) having the law of God written in their hearts, (7) 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. (8)
4. Ge 1:27
5. Ge 2:7
6. Ec 7:29; Ge 1:26
7. Ro 2:14-15
8. Ge 3:6
3. Besides the law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, (9) which whilst they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures. (10)
9. Ge 2:17
10. Ge 1:26,28
1. God the good creator of all things, in His infinite power and wisdom, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all His creatures and things, (1) from the greatest even to the least, (2) by His most wise and holy providence, to the end for which they were created, according unto His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will; to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and mercy. (3)
1. Heb 1:3; Job 38:11; Isa 46:10-11; Ps 135:6
2. Mt 10:29-31
3. Eph 1:11
2. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; (4) so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without His providence; (5) yet by the same providence He ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. (6)
4. Ac 2:23
5. Pr 16:33
6. Ge 8:22
3. God, in His ordinary providence maketh use of means, (7) yet is free to work without, (8) above, (9) and against them (10) at His pleasure.
7. Ac 27:31,44; Isa 55:10-11
8. Ho 1:7
9. Ro 4:19-21
10. Da 3:27
4. The Almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in His providence, that His determinate counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of angels and men; (11) and that not by a bare permission, which also He most wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and governeth, (12) in a manifold dispensation to His most holy ends; (13) yet so, as the sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the creatures, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin. (14)
11. Ro 11:32-34; 2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:1
12. 2Ki 19:28; Ps 76:10
13. Ge 1:20; Isa 10:6-7,12
14. Ps 50:21; 1Jo 2:16
5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season His own children to manifold temptations and the corruptions 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 be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself; and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for other just and holyends.(15) So that whatsoever befalls any of His elect is by His appointment, for His glory, and their good. (16)
15. 2Ch 32:25-26,31; 2Co 12:7-9
16. Ro 8:28
6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous judge, for former sin doth blind and harden; (17) from them He not only withholdeth His grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understanding, and wrought upon their hearts;(18) but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,(19) and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; (20) and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, (21) whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, under those means which God useth for the softening of others. (22)
17. Ro 1:24-26,28; 11:7-8
18. De 29:4
19. Mt 13:12
20. De 2:30; 2Ki 8:12-13
21. Ps 81:11-12; 2Th 2:10-12
22. Ex 8:15,32; Isa 6:9-10; 1Pe 2:7-8
7. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a more special manner it taketh care of His church, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof. (23)
23. 1Ti 4:10; Am 9:8-9; Isa 43:3-5
1. Although God created man upright and perfect, and gave him a righteous law, which had been unto life had he kept it, and threatened death upon the breach thereof, (1) yet he did not long abide in this honour; Satan using the subtlety of the serpent to subdue Eve, then by her seducing Adam, who, without any compulsion, did willlfully transgress the law of their creation, and the command given unto them, in eating the forbidden fruit, (2) which God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.
1. Ge 2:16-17
2. Ge 3:12-13; 2Co 11:3
2. Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them whereby death came upon all; (3) all becoming dead in sin, (4) and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. (5)
3. Ro 3:23
4. Ro 5:12-21
5. Tit 1:15; Ge 6:5; Jer 17:9; Ro 3:10-19
3. They being the root, and by God's appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation, (6)
being now conceived in sin, (7) and by nature children of wrath, (8) the servants of sin, the subjects of death, (9) and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, an eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free. (10)
6. Ro 5:12-19; 1Co 15:21-22,45,49
7. Ps 51:5; Job 14:4
8. Eph 2:3
9. Ro 6:20; 5:12
10. Heb 2:14-15; 1Th 1:10
4. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil; (11) do proceed all actual transgressions. (12)
11. Ro 8:7; Col 1:21
12. Jas 1:14-15; Mt 15:19
5. The corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain
in those that are regenerated;(13) and although it be
through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself,
and the first motions thereof, are truly and properly
13. Ro 7:18,23; Ec 7:20; 1Jo 1:8
14. Ro 7:23-25; Ga 5:17
1. 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 attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He hath been pleased to express by way of covenant. (1)
1. Lu 17:10; Job 35:7-8
2. Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, (2) wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved; (3) and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe. (4)
2. Ge 2:17; Ga 3:10; Ro 3:20-21
3. Ro 8:3; Mr 16:15-16; Joh 3:16
4. Eze 36:26-27; Joh 6:44-45; Ps 110:3
3. This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, (5) and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament; (6) and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect;(7) and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all of the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency.(8)
5. Ge 3:15
6. Heb 1:1
7. 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2
8. Heb 11:6,13; Ro 4:1-2; Ac 4:12; Joh 8:56
1. It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose an ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them both, to be the mediator between God and man; (1) the Prophet, (2) Priest (3) and King; (4) head and Saviour of His church, (5) the heir of all things, (6) and judge of the world; (7) 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. (8)
1. Isa 42:1; 1Pe 1:19-20
2. Ac 3:22
3. Heb 5:5-6
4. Ps 2:6
5. Eph 1:22-23
6. Heb 1:2
7. Ac 17:31
8. Isa 53:10; Joh 17:6; Ro 8:30
2. The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the Father's glory, of one substance and equal with Him who made the world, who upholdeth and governeth all things He hath made, did, when the fulness of time was come, take upon Him man's nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, (9) yet without sin; (10) being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her: and the power of the Most High overshadowing her; and so was made of a woman of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David according to the Scriptures; (11) so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures 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. (12)
9. Joh 1:14; Ga 4:4
10. Ro 8:3; Heb 2:14,16-17; 4:15
11. Mt 1:22-23; Lu 1:27,31,35
12. Ro 9:5; 1Ti 2:5
3. The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, in the person of the Son, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure, (13) having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; (14) in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, (15) to the end that being holy, harmless, undefiled, (16) and full of grace and truth, (17) He might be throughly furnished to execute the office of a mediator and surety; (18) which office He took not upon Himself, but was thereunto called by His Father; (19) who also put all power and judgement in His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same. (20)
13. Ps 45:7; Ac 10:38; Joh 3:34
14. Col 2:3
15. Col 1:19
16. Heb 7:26
17. Joh 1:14
18. Heb 7:22
19. Heb 5:5
20. Joh 5:22,27; Mt 28:18; Ac 2:36
4. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake, (21) which that He might discharge He was made under the law, (22) and did perfectly fulfil it, and underwent the punishment due to us, which we should have borne and suffered, (23) being made sin and a curse for us; (24) enduring most grievous sorrows in His soul, and most painful sufferings in His body; (25) was crucified, and died, and remaining in the state of the dead, yet saw no corruption: (26) and on the third day He arose from the dead (27) with the same body in which he suffered, (28) with which He also ascended into heaven, (29) and there sitteth at the right hand of His Father making intercession, (30) and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world. (31)
21. Ps 40:7-8; Heb 10:5-10; Joh 10:18
22. Ga 4:4; Mt 3:15
23. Ga 3:13; Isa 53:6; 1Pe 3:18
24. 2Co 5:21
25. Mt 26:37-38; Lu 22:44; Mt 27:46
26. Ac 13:37
27. 1Co 15:3-4
28. Joh 20:25,27
29. Mr 16:19; Ac 1:9-11
30. Ro 8:34; Heb 9:24
31. Ac 10:42; Ro 14:9-10; Ac 1:11; 2Pe 2:4
5. 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 God, (32) procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him. (33)
32. Heb 9:14; 10:14; Ro 3:25-26
33. Joh 17:2; Heb 9:15
6. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after His incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices wherein He was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent's head; (34) and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, (35) being the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. (36)
34. 1Co 4:10; Heb 4:2; 1Pe 1:10-11
35. Re 13:8
36. Heb 13:8
7. Christ, in the work of mediation, acteth according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; 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. (37)
37. Joh 3:13; Ac 20:28
8. To all those for whom Christ hat obtained eternal redemption, He doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them; (38) uniting them to Himself by His Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, (39) governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit, (40) and overcoming all their enemies by His mighty power and wisdom, (41) in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition forseen in them to procure it. (42)
38. Joh 6:37; 10:15-16; 17:9; Ro 5:10
39. Joh 17:6; Eph 1:9; 1Jo 5:20
40. Ro 8:9,14
41. Ps 110:1; 1Co 15:25-26
42. Joh 3:8; Eph 1:8
9. This office of mediator between God and man is proper only to Christ, who is the prophet, priest, and king of the church of God; and may not be either in whole, or any part thereof, transferred from Him to any other. (43)
43. 1Ti 2:5
10. This number and order of offices is necessary; for in respect of our ignorance, we stand in need of His prophetical office; (44) and in respect of our alienation from God, and imperfection of the best of our services, we need His priestly office to reconcile us and present us acceptable unto God; (45) and in respect of our averseness and utter inability to return to God, and for our rescue and security from our spiritual adversaries, we need His kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, uphold, deliver, and preserve us to His heavenly kingdom. (46)
44. Joh 1:18
45. Col 1:21; Ga 5:17
46. Joh 16:8; Ps 110:3; Lu 1:74-75
1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil. (1)
1. Mt 17:12; Jas 1:14; De 30:19
2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, (2) but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it. (3)
2. Ec 7:29
3. Ge 3:6
3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; (4) so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, (5) is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto. (6)
4. Ro 5:6; 8:7
5. Eph 2:1,5
6. Tit 3:3-5; Joh 6:44
4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He freeth him from his natural bondage under sin, (7) and by His grace alone enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;(8) yet so as that by reason of his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will, that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil. (9)
7. Col 1:13; Joh 8:36
8. Php 2:13
9. Ro 7:15,18-19,21,23
5. This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only. (10)
10. Eph 4:13
1. Those whom God hath predestined unto life, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, (1) 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; (2) enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; (3) taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh: (4) renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; (5) yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace. (6)
1. Ro 8:30; 11:7; Eph 1:10-11; 2Th 2:13-14
2. Eph 2:1-6
3. Ac 26:18; Eph 1:17-18
4. Eze 36:26
5. De 30:6; Eze 36:27; Eph 1:19
6. Ps 110:3
2. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all forseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, (7) being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; (8) he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead. (9)
7. 2Ti 1:9; Eph 2:8
8. 1Co 2:14; Eph 2:5; Joh 5:25
9. Eph 1:19-20
3. Infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; (10) who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth; (11) so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
10. Joh 3:3,5-6
11. Joh 3:8
4. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, (12) yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: (13) much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess. (14)
12. Mt 22:14; 13:20-21; Heb 6:4-5
13. Joh 6:44-45,65; 1Jo 2:24-25
14. Ac 4:12; Joh 4:22; 17:3
1. Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth, (1) not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; (2) not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; (3) not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in His death for their whole and sole righteousness, (4) they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God. (5)
1. Ro 3:24; 8:30
2. Ro 4:5-8; Eph 1:7
3. 1Co 1:30-31; Ro 5:17-19
4. Php 3:8-9; Eph 2:8-10
5. Joh 1:12; Ro 5:17
2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; (6) yet it is not alone in the person justified, but ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love. (7)
6. Ro 3:28
7. Ga 5:6; Jas 2:17,22,26
3. Christ, by His obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of Himself in the blood of His cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in their behalf, (8); yet inasmuch as He was given by the Father for them, and His obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, (9) 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. (10)
8. Heb 10:14; 1Pe 1:18-19; Isa 53:5-6
9. Ro 8:32; 2Co 5:21
10. Ro 3:26; Eph 1:6-7; 2:7
4. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect, (11) and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification; (12) nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them. (13)
11. Ga 3:8; 1Pe 1:2; 1Ti 2:6
12. Ro 4:25
13. Col 1:21-22; Tit 3:4-7
5. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified, (14) and although they can never fall from the state of justification, (15) yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure; (16) and in that condition they have not usually the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance. (17)
14. Mt 6:12; 1Jo 1:7,9
15. Joh 10:28
16. Ps 89:31-33
17. Ps 32:5; 51; Mt 26:75
6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament. (18)
18. Ga 3:9; Ro 4:22-24
1. All those that are justified, God vouchsafed, in and for the sake of His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption, (1) by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of children of God, (2) have His name put on them, (3) receive the spirit of adoption, (4) have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry Abba, Father, (5) are pitied, (6) protected, (7) provided for, (8) and chastened by Him as by a Father, (9) yet never cast off, (10) but sealed to the day of redemption, (11) and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation. (12)
1. Eph 1:5; Ga 4:4-5
2. Joh 1:12; Ro 8:17
2Co 6:18; Re 3:12; 4:1
5. Ga 4:6; Eph 2:18
6. Ps 103:13
7. Pr 14:26
8. 1Pe 5:7
9. Heb 12:6
10. Isa 54:8-9; La 3:31
11. Eph 4:30
12. Heb 1:14; 6:12
1. They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally (1) through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; (2) the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, (3) and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, (4) and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, (5) to the practice of all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (6)
1. Ac 20:32; Ro 6:5-6
2. Joh 17:17; Eph 3:16-19; 1Th 5:21-23
3. Ro 6:14
4. Ga 5:24
5. Col 1:11
6. 2Co 7:1; Heb 12:14
2. This sanctification is throughout the whole man, (7) yet imperfect in this life; there abideth still some remnants of corruption in every part, (8) when ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. (9)
7. 1Th 5:23
8. Ro 7:18,23
9. Ga 5:17; 1Pe 2:11
3. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much prevail, (10) yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; (11) and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ as Head and King, in His Word hath prescribed to them. (12)
10. Ro 7:23
11. Ro 6:14
12. Eph 4:15-16; 2Co 3:18; 7:1
1. 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, (1) and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; (2) by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened. (3)
1. 2Co 4:13; Eph 2:8
2. Ro 10:14,17
3. Lu 17:5; 1Pe 2:2; Ac 20:32
2. By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God Himself, (4) and also apprehendeth an excellency therein above all other writings and all things in the world, (5) as it bears forth the glory of God in His attributes, the excellency of Christ in His nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in His workings and operations: and so is enabled to cast his soul upon the truth thus believed; (6) and also acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, (7) trembling at the threatenings, (8) and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come; (9) but the principle acts of saving faith have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace. (10)
4. Ac 24:14
5. Ps 19:7-10; 119:72
6. 2Ti 1:12
7. Joh 15:14
8. Isa 66:2
9. Heb 11:13
10. Joh 1:12; Ac 16:31; Ga 2:20; Ac 15:11
3. This faith, although it be different in degrees, and may be weak or strong, (11) yet it is in the least degree of it different in the kind or nature of it, as is all other saving grace, from the faith and common grace of temporary believers; (12) and therefore, though it may be many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory, (13) growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, (14) who is both the author and finisher of our faith. (15)
11. Heb 5:13-14; Mt 6:30; Ro 4:19-20
12. 2Pe 1:1
13. Eph 6:16; 1Jo 5:4-5
14. Heb 6:11-12; Col 2:2
15. Heb 12:2
1. Such of the elect as are converted in riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life. (1)
1. Tit 3:2-5
2. Whereas there is none that doth good and sinneth not, (2) and the best of men may, through the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall in to great sins and provocations; God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto salvation. (3)
2. Ec 7:20
3. Lu 22:31-32
3. This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, (4) whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency, (5) praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavour, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things. (6)
4. Zec 12:10; Ac 11:18
5. Eze 36:31; 2Co 7:11
6. Ps 119:6,128
4. As repentance is to be continued through the whole course of our lives, upon the account of the body of death, and the motions thereof, so it is every man's duty to repent of his particular known sins particularly. (7)
7. Lu 19:8; 1Ti 1:13,15
5. Such is the provision which God hath made through Christ in the covenant of grace for the preservation of believers unto salvation, that although there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation, (8) yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation on them that repent, (9) which makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary.
8. Ro 6:23
9. Isa 1:16-18; 55:7
1. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in His Holy Word, (1) and not such as without the warrant thereof are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intentions. (2)
1. Mic 6:8; Heb 13:21
2. Mt 15:9; Isa 29:13
2. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith; (3) and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, (4) strengthen their assurance, (5) edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, (6) stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, (7) whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, (8) that having their fruit unto holiness they may have the end eternal life. (9)
3. Jas 2:18,22
4. Ps 116:12-13
5. 1Jo 2:3,5; 2Pe 1:5-11
6. Mt 5:16
7. 1Ti 6:1; 1Pe 2:15; Php 1:11
8. Eph 2:10
9. Ro 6:22
3. Their ability to do good works is not all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ; (10) and that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is necessary an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will and to do of His good pleasure; (11) yet they are 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 diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them. (12)
10. Joh 15:4-5
11. 2Co 3:5; Php 2:13
12. Php 2:12; Heb 6:11-12; Isa 64:7
4. 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 fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do. (13)
13. Job 9:2-3; Ga 5:17; Lu 17:10
5. 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 come, and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins; (14) 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, (15) 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 God's punishment. (16)
14. Ro 3:20; Eph 2:8-9; Ro 4:6
15. Ga 5:22-23
16. Isa 64:6; Ps 143:2
6. Yet notwithstanding the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him; (17) not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreprovable in God's sight, but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. (18)
17. Eph 1:6; 1Pe 2:5
18. Mt 25:21,23; Heb 6:10
7. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; (19) yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith,(20) nor are done in a right manner according to the Word, (21) nor to a right end, the glory of God, (22) they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, nor make a man meet to receive grace from God, (23) and yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing to God. (24)
19. 2Ki 10:30; 1Ki 21:27,29
20. Ge 4:5; Heb 11:4,6
21. 1Co 13:1
22. Mt 6:2,5
23. Am 5:21-22; Ro 9:16; Tit 3:5
24. Job 21:14-15; Mt 25:41-43
1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and given the precious faith of His elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence He still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; (1) and tough many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, (2) yet He is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palm of His hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity. (3)
1. Joh 10:28-29; Php 1:6; 2Ti 2:19; 1Jo 2:19
2. Ps 89:31-32; 1Co 11:32
3. Mal 3:6
2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, (4) flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father, upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ and union with Him, (5) the oath of God, (6) the abiding of His Spirit, and the seed of God wthin them, (7) and the nature of the covenant of grace; (8) from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
4. Ro 8:30; 9:11,16
5. Ro 5:9-10; Joh 14:19
6. Heb 6:17-18
7. 1Jo 3:9
8. Jer 32:40
3. And though they may, through the temptation of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins, and for a time continue therein, (9) whereby they incur God's displeasure and grieve His Holy Spirit, (10) come to have their graces and comforts impaired, (11) have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, (12) hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgements upon themselves, (13) yet shall they renew their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to the end. (14)
9. Mt 26:70,72,74
10. Isa 64:5,9; Eph 4:30
11. Ps 51:10,12
12. Ps 32:3-4
13. 2Sa 12:14
14. Lu 22:32,61-62
1. Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish; (1) 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 rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, (2) which hope shall never make them ashamed. (3)
1. Job 8:13-14; Mt 7:22-23
2. 1Jo 2:3; 3:14,18-19,21,24; 5:13
3. Ro 5:2,5
2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith (4) founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel; (5) and also upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made, (6) and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God; (7) and, as a fruit thereof, keeping the heart both humble and holy. (8)
4. Heb 6:11,19
5. Heb 6:17-18
6. 2Pe 1:4-5,10-11
7. Ro 8:15-16
8. 1Jo 3:1-3
3. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be a partaker of it; (9) 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 means, attain thereunto: (10) 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 Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; (11)- so far is it from inclining men to looseness. (12)
9. Isa 50:10; Ps 88; 77:1-12
10. 1Jo 4:13; Heb 6:11-12
11. Ro 5:1-2,5; 14:17; Ps 119:32
12. Ro 6:1-2; Tit 2:11-12,14
4. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it, (13) by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; (14) by some sudden or vehement temptation, (15) by God's withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light, (16) yet are they never destitute of the seed of God (17) and life of faith, (18) 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, (19) and by the which, in the meantime, they are preserved from utter despair. (20)
13. #SS 5:2-3,6|
14. Ps 51:8,12,14
15. Ps 116:11; 77:7-8; 31:22
16. Ps 30:7
17. 1Jo 3:9
18. Lu 22:32
19. Ps 42:5,11
20. La 3:26-31
1. God gave to Adam a law of universal obedience written in his heart, and a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; (1) by which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; (2) promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it. (3)
1. Ge 1:27; Ec 7:29
2. Ro 10:5
3. Ga 3:10,12
2. The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall, (4) and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man. (5)
4. Ro 2:14-15
5. De 10:4
3. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; (6) and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties, (7) all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are, by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only law-giver, who was furnished with power from the Father for that end abrogated and taken away. (8)
6. Heb 10:1; Col 2:17
7. 1Co 5:7
8. Col 2:14,16-17; Eph 2:14,16
4. To them also He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by virtue of that institution; their general equity only being for modern use. (9)
9. 1Co 9:8-10
5. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, (10) 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; (11) neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation. (12)
10. Ro 13:8-10; Jas 2:8,10-12
11. Jas 2:10-11
12. Mt 5:17-19; Ro 3:31
6. Although true believers be not under the law as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, (13) 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 natures, hearts, and lives, so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against, sin; (14) 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 threatening of it serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse and unallayed rigour thereof. These promises of it likewise shew them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works; so as man's 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. (15)
13. Ro 6:14; Ga 2:16; Ro 8:1; 10:4
14. Ro 3:20; 7:7-25
15. Ro 6:12-14; 1Pe 3:8-13
7. Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, (16) 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. (17)
16. Ga 3:21
17. Eze 36:27
1. The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance; (1) in this promise the gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and [is] therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners. (2)
1. Ge 3:15
2. Re 13:8
2. This promise of Christ, and salvation by Him, is revealed only by the Word of God; (3) neither do the works of creation or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or of grace by Him, so much as in a general or obscure way; (4) much less that men destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise or gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance. (5)
3. Ro 1:17
4. Ro 10:14-15,17
5. Pr 29:18; Isa 25:7; 60:2-3
3. The revelation of the gospel unto sinners, made in divers times and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises and precepts for the obedience required therein, as to the nations and persons to whom it is granted, is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure of God; (6) not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of men's natural abilities, by virtue of common light received without it, which none ever did make, or can do so; (7) and therefore in all ages, the preaching of the gospel has been granted unto persons and nations, as to the extent or straitening of it, in great variety, according to the counsel of the will of God.
6. Ps 147:20; Ac 16:7
7. Ro 1:18-32
4. Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trespasses may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual life; (8) without which no other means will effect their conversion unto God. (9)
8. Ps 110:3; 1Co 2:14; Eph 1:19-20
9. Joh 6:44; 2Co 4:4,6
1. 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 rigour and curse of the law, (1) and in their being delivered from this present evil world, (2) bondage to Satan, (3) and dominion of sin,(4) from the evil of afflictions, (5) the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, (6) and everlasting damnation: (7) as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, (8) but a child-like love and willing mind. (9) All which were common also to believers under the law for the substance of them, (10) but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of a ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of. (11)
1. Ga 3:13
2. Ga 1:4
3. Ac 26:18
4. Ro 8:3
5. Ro 8:28
6. 1Co 15:54-57
7. 2Th 1:10
8. Ro 8:15
9. Lu 1:73-75; 1Jo 4:18
10. Ga 3:9,14
11. Joh 7:38-39; Heb 10:19-21
2. God alone is Lord of the conscience, (12) and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to His Word, or not contained in it. (13) So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, it so betray true liberty of conscience, (14) and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also. (15)
12. Jas 4:12; Ro 14:4
13. Ac 4:19,29; 1Co 7:23; Mt 15:9
14. Col 2:20,22-23
15. 1Co 3:5; 2Co 1:24
3. They who upon pretence of Christian liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust, as they do thereby pervert the main design of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, (16) so they wholly destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our lives. (17)
16. Ro 6:1-2
17. Ga 5:13; 2Pe 2:18,21
1. The light of nature shews that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, 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 all the soul, and with all the might. (1) But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by Himself, (2)and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures. (3)
1. Jer 10:7; Mr 12:33
2. De 12:32
3. Ex 20:4-6
2. Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to Him alone; (4) not to angels, saints, or any other creatures; (5) and since the fall, not without a mediator, (6) nor in the mediation of any other but Christ alone. (7)
4. Mt 4:9-10; Joh 6:23; Mt 28:19
5. Ro 1:25; Col 2:18; Re 19:10
6. Joh 14:6
7. 1Ti 2:5
3. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of natural worship, is by God required of all men. (8) But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, (9) by the help of the Spirit, (10) according to His will; (11) with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others , in a known tongue. (12)
8. Ps 95:1-7; 65:2
9. Joh 14:13-14
10. Ro 8:26
11. 1Jo 5:14
12. 1Co 14:16-17
4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter; (13) but not for the dead, (14) not for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death. (15)
13. 1Ti 2:1-2; 2Sa 7:29
14. 2Sa 12:21-23
15. 1Jo 5:16
5. The reading of the Scriptures, (16) preaching, and hearing the Word of God, (17) teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord; (18) as also the administration of baptism,(19) and the Lord's supper, (20) are all parts of religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to Him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover, solemn humiliation, with fastings, (21) and thanksgivings, upon special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner. (22)
16. 1Ti 4:13
17. 2Ti 4:2; Lu 8:18
18. Col 3:16; Eph 5:19
19. Mt 28:19-20
20. 1Co 11:26
21. Es 4:16; Joe 2:12
22. Ex 15:1-19; Ps 107
6. Neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship, is now under the gospel, tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth; (23) as in private families (24) daily, (25) and in secret each one by himself; (26) so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly nor wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God by His word or providence calleth thereto. (27)
23. Joh 4:21; Mal 1:11; 1Ti 2:8
24. Ac 10:2
25. Mt 6:11; Ps 55:17
26. Mt 6:6
27. Heb 10:25; Ac 2:42
7. As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by His Word, in 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, (28) 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 is called the Lord's Day: (29) and is to be continued to the end of the world as a Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.
28. Ex 20:8
29. 1Co 16:1-2; Ac 20:7; Re 1:10
8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, (30) but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. (31)
30. Isa 58:13; Ne 13:15-22
31. Mt 12:1-13
1. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgment, solemnly calleth God to witness what he sweareth, (1) and to judge him according to the truth or falseness thereof (2)
1. Ex 20:7; De 10:20; Jer 4:2
2. 2Ch 6:22-23
2. 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 sinful, and to be abhorred; (3) yet as in matter of weight and moment, for confirmation of truth, and ending all strife, an oath is warranted by the Word of God; (4) so a lawful oath being imposed by lawful authority in such matters, ought to be taken. (5)
3. Mt 5:34,37; Jas 5:12
4. Heb 6:16; 2Co 1:23
5. Ne 13:25
3. Whosoever taketh an oath warranted by the Word of God, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he knoweth to be truth; for that by rash, false, and vain oaths, the Lord is provoked, and for them this land mourns. (6)
6. Le 19:12; Jer 23:10
4. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation. (7)
7. Ps 24:4
5. A vow, which is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all religious care and faithfulness; (8) but popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, (9) professed poverty, (10) and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself. (11)
8. Ps 76:11; Ge 28:20-22
9. 1Co 7:2,9
10. Eph 4:28
11. Mt 19:11
1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under Him, over the people, for His own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers. (1)
1. Ro 13:1-4
2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called thereunto; in the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain justice and peace, (2) according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom and commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions. (3)
2. 2Sa 23:3; Ps 82:3-4
3. Lu 3:14
3. Civil magistrates being set up by God for the ends aforesaid; subjection, in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience' sake; (4) and we ought to make supplications and prayers for kings and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. (5)
4. Ro 13:5-7; 1Pe 2:17
5. 1Ti 2:1-2
1. Marriage is to be 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. (1)
1. Ge 2:24; Mal 2:15; Mt 19:5-6
2. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, (2) for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, (3) and for preventing uncleanness. (4)
2. Ge 2:18
3. Ge 1:28
4. 1Co 7:2,9
3. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent; (5) yet it is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord; (6) and therefore such as profess the true religion, should not marry with infidels, or idolators; neither should such as are godly, be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresy. (7)
5. Heb 13:4; 1Ti 4:3
6. 1Co 7:39
7. Ne 13:25-27
4. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity, forbidden in the Word; (8) nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful, by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife. (9)
8. Le 18
9. Mr 6:18; 1Co 5:1
1. The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called 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. (1)
1. Heb 12:23; Col 1:18; Eph 1:10,22-23; 5:23,27,32
2. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints; (2) and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted. (3)
2. 1Co 1:2; Ac 11:26
3. Ro 1:7; Eph 1:20-22
3. The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error; (4) and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan; (5) nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a kingdom in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in Him, and make profession of His name. (6)
4. 1Co 5; Re 2; 3
5. Re 18:2; 2Th 2:11-12
6. Mt 16:18; Ps 72:17; 102:28; Re 12:17
4. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father all power for the calling, institution, order, or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; (7) neither 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; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. (8)
7. Col 1:18; Mt 28:18-20; Eph 4:11-12
8. 2Th 2:2-9
5. In the execution of this power wherewith He is so intrusted, the Lord Jesus calleth out of the world unto Himself, through the ministry of His Word, by His Spirit, those that are given unto Him by His Father, (9) that they may walk before Him in all the ways of obedience, which He prescribeth to them in His Word. (10) Those thus called, He commandeth to walk together in particular societies, or churches, for their mutual edification, and the due performance of that public worship, which He requireth of them in the world. (11)
9. Joh 10:16; 12:32
10. Mt 28:20
11. Mt 18:15-20
6. The members of these churches are saints by calling, visibly manifesting and evidencing(in and by their profession and walking) their obedience unto that call of Christ; (12) and do willingly consent to walk together, according to the appointment of Christ; giving up themselves to the Lord, and one to another, by the will of God, in professed subjection to the ordinances of the Gospel. (13)
12. Ro 1:7; 1Co 1:2
13. Ac 2:41-42; 5:13-14; 2Co 9:13
7. To each of these churches thus gathered, according to His mind declared in His Word, He hath given all that power and authority, which is in any way needful for their carrying on that order in worship and discipline, which He hath instituted for them to observe; with commands and rules for the due and right exerting, and executing of that power. (14)
14. Mt 18:17-18; 1Co 5:4-5,13; 2Co 2:6-8
8. A particular church, gathered and completely organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church (so called and gathered), for the peculiar administration of ordinances, and execution of power or duty, which He entrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the world, are bishops or elders, and deacons. (15)
15. Ac 20:17,28; Php 1:1
9. The way appointed by Christ for the calling of any person, fitted and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the office of bishop or elder in a church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by the common suffrage of the church itself; (16) and solemnly set apart by fasting and prayer, with imposition of hands of the eldership of the church, if there be any before constituted therein; (17) and of a deacon that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by prayer, and the like imposition of hands. (18)
16. Ac 14:23
17. 1Ti 4:14
18. Ac 6:3,5-6
10. The work of pastors being constantly to attend the service of Christ, in His churches, in the ministry of the Word and prayer, with watching for their souls, as they that must give an account to Him; (19) it is incumbent on the churches to whom they minister, not only to give them all due respect, but also to communicate to them of all their good things, according to their ability, (20) so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being themselves entangled in secular affairs; (21) and may also be capable of exercising hospitality towards others; (22) and this is required by the law of nature, and by the express order of our Lord Jesus, who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. (23)
19. Ac 6:4; Heb 13:17
20. 1Ti 5:17-18; Ga 6:6-7
21. 2Ti 2:4
22. 1Ti 3:2
23. 1Co 9:6-14
11. Although it be incumbent on the bishops or pastors of the churches, to be instant in preaching the Word, by way of office, yet the work of preaching the Word is not so peculiarly confined to them but that others also gifted and fitted by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved and called by the church, may and ought to perform it. (24)
24. Ac 11:19-21; 1Pe 4:10-11
12. As all believers are bound to join themselves to particular churches, when and where they have opportunity so to do; so all that are admitted unto the privileges of a church, are also under the censures and government thereof, according to the rule of Christ. (25)
25. 1Th 5:14; 2Th 3:6,14-15
13. No church members, upon any offence taken by them, having performed their duty required of them towards the person they are offended at, ought to disturb any church-order, or absent themselves from the assemblies of the church, or administration of any ordinances, upon the account of such offence at any of their fellow members, but to wait upon Christ, in the further proceedings of the church. (26)
26. Mt 18:15-17; Eph 4:2-3
14. As each church, and all the members of it, are bound to pray continually for the good and prosperity of all the churches of Christ, (27) in all places, and upon all occasions to further every one within the bounds of their places and callings, in the exercise of their gifts and graces, so the churches, when planted by the providence of God, so as they may enjoy opportunity and advantage for it, ought to hold communion among themselves, for their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification. (28)
27. Eph 6:18; Ps 122:6
28. Ro 16:1-2; 3Jo 14
15. In cases of difficulties or differences, either in point of doctrine or administration, wherein either the churches in general are concerned, or any one church, in their peace, union, and edification; or any member or members of any church are injured, in or by any proceedings in censures not agreeable to truth and order: it is according to the mind of Christ, that many churches holding communion together, do, by their messengers, meet to consider, and give their advice in or about that matter in difference, to be reported to all the churches concerned; (29) howbeit these messengers assembled, are not intrusted with any church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction over the churches themselves, to exercise any censures either over any churches or persons; or to impose their determination on the churches or officers. (30)
29. Ac 15:2,4,6,22-23,25
30. 2Co 1:24; 1Jo 4:1
1. All saints that are united to Jesus Christ, their head, by His Spirit, and faith, although they are not made thereby one person with Him, have fellowship in His graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory; (1) and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each others gifts and graces, (2) and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, in an orderly way, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. (3)
1. 1Jo 1:3; Joh 1:16; Php 3:10; Ro 6:5-6
2. Eph 4:15-16; 1Co 12:7; 3:21-23
3. 1Th 5:11,14; Ro 1:12; 1Jo 3:17-18; Ga 6:10
2. 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; (4) as also in relieving each other in outward things according to their several abilities, and necessities; (5) which communion, according to the rule of the gospel, though especially to be exercised by them, in the relation wherein they stand, whether in families, (6) or churches, (7) yet, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended to all the household of faith, even all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus; nevertheless their communion one with another as saints, doth not take away or infringe the title or propriety which each man hath in his goods and possessions. (8)
4. Heb 10:24-25; 3:12-13
5. Ac 11:29-30
6. Eph 6:4
7. 1Co 12:14-27
8. Ac 5:4; Eph 4:28
1. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only lawgiver, to be continued in His church to the end of the world. (1)
1. Mt 28:19-20; 1Co 11:26
2. These holy appointments are to be administered by those only who are qualified and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ. (2)
2. Mt 28:19; 1Co 4:1
1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with Him, in His death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into Him; (1) of remission of sins; (2) and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life. (3)
1. Ro 6:3-5; Col 2:12; Ga 3:27
2. Mr 1:4; Ac 22:16
3. Ro 6:4
2. Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance. (4)
4. Mr 16:16; Ac 8:36-37; 2:41; 8:12; 18:8
3. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (5)
5. Mt 28:19-20; Ac 8:38
4. Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance. (6)
6. Mt 3:16; Joh 3:23
1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by Him the same night wherein He was betrayed, to be observed in His churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of Himself in His death,(1) confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in Him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to Him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other. (2)
1. 1Co 11:23-26
2. 1Co 10:16-17,21
2. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to His Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of Himself by Himself upon the cross, once for all; (3) and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same. (4) So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ's own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.
3. Heb 9:25-26,28
4. 1Co 11:24; Mt 26:26-27
3. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed His ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy use, and to take and break the bread; to take the cup, and, they communicating also themselves, to give both to the communicants. (5)
5. 1Co 11:23-26
4. The denial of the cup to the people, worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ. (6)
6. Mt 26:26-28; 15:9; Ex 20:4-5
5. The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to Him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ, (7) albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before. (8)
7. 1Co 11:27
8. 1Co 11:26-28
6. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood, commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone, (9) but even to common sense and reason, overthroweth the nature of the ordinance, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries. (10)
9. Ac 3:21; Lu 24:6,39
10. 1Co 11:24-25
7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do them also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of His death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses. (11)
11. 1Co 10:16; 11:23-26
8. All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table, and cannot, without great sin against Him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto; (12) yea, whosoever shall receive unworthily, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to themselves. (13)
12. 2Co 6:14-15
13. 1Co 11:29; Mt 7:6
1. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption (1) but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. (2) The souls of the righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; (3) and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day; (4) besides these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.
1. Ge 3:19; Ac 13:36
2. Ec 12:7
3. Lu 23:43; 2Co 5:1,6,8; Php 1:23; Heb 12:23
4. Jude 25; 1Pe 3:19; Lu 16:23-24
2. At the last day, such of the saints as are found alive, shall not sleep, but be changed; (5) and all the dead shall be raised up with the selfsame bodies, and none other; (6) although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their souls for ever. (7)
5. 1Co 15:51-52; 1Th 4:17
6. Job 19:26-27
7. 1Co 15:42-43
3. 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 conformable to His own glorious body. (8)
8. Ac 24:15; Joh 5:28-29; Php 3:21
1. God hath appointed a day wherein He will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ; (1) to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father; in which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, (2) 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. (3)
1. Ac 17:31; Joh 5:22,27
2. 1Co 6:3; Jude 25
3. 2Co 5:10; Ec 12:14; Mt 12:36; Ro 14:10,12; Mt 25:32-46
2. 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 eternal damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient: (4) for then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments, (5) and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power. (6)
4. Ro 9:22-23
5. Mt 25:21,34; 2Ti 4:8
6. Mt 25:46; Mr 9:48; 2Th 1:7-10
3. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, (7) and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity, (8) so will He have the 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, (9) and may ever be prepared to say, "Come Lord Jesus; come quickly". (10) Amen.
7. 2Co 5:10-11
8. 2Th 1:5-7
9. Mr 13:35-37; Lu 12:35-40
10. Re 22:20
A CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London, which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.
Ac 24:14-15; 4:20; Joh 18:23; Mt 5:11-12; 19:29
I. That God as He is in Himself, cannot be comprehended of any but himself, 1 dwelling in that inaccessible light, that no eye can attain unto, whom never man saw, nor can see; that there is but 2 one God, one Christ, one Spirit, one Faith, one Baptism; 3 one rule of holiness and obedience for all Saints, at all times, in all places to be observed.
1) 1Ti 6:16
2) 1Ti 2:5; Eph 4:4-6; 1Co 12:4-6,13; Joh 14
3) 1Ti 6:3,13-14; Ga 1:8-9; 2Ti 3:15
II. That God is 1 of Himself, that is, neither from another, nor of another, nor by another, nor for another: 2 But is a Spirit, who as his being is of Himself, so He gives 3 being, moving, and preservation to all other things, being in Himself eternal, most holy, every way infinite in 4 greatness, wisdom, power, justice, goodness, truth, etc. In this Godhead, there is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; being every on of them one and the same God; and therefore not divided, but distinguished one from another by their several properties; the 5 Father being from Himself, the 6 Son of the Father from everlasting, the 7 Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son.
1) Isa 43:11; 46:9
2) Joh 4:24
3) Ex 3:14
4) Ro 11:36; Ac 17:28
5) 1Co 8:6
6) Pr 8:22-23
7) Joh 15:16; Ga 4:6
III. That God has 1 decreed in Himself from everlasting touching all things, effectually to work and dispose them 2 according to the counsel of His own will, to the glory of His name; in which decree appears His wisdom, constancy, truth, and faithfulness; 3 Wisdom is that whereby He contrives all things; 4 Constancy is that whereby the decree of God remains always immutable; 5 Truth is that whereby He declares that alone which He has decreed, and though His sayings may seem to sound sometimes another thing, yet the sense of them does always agree with the decree; 6 Faithfulness is that whereby He effects that He has decreed, as He has decreed. And touching His creature man, 7 God had in Christ before the foundation of the world, according to the good pleasure of His will, foreordained some men to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of His grace, 8 leaving the rest in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His justice.
1) Isa 46:10
2) Eph 1:11
3) Col 2:3
4) Nu 23:19-20
5) Jer 10:10; Ro 3:4
6) Isa 44:10
7) Eph 1:3-7; 2Ti 1:9; Ac 13:48; Ro 8:29-30
8) Jude 25,25; Ro 9:11-13; Pr 16:4
IV. 1 In the beginning God made all things very good, created man after His own 2 image and likeness, filling him with all perfection of all natural excellency and uprightness, free from all sin. 3 But long he abode not in this honor, but by the 4 subtlety of the Serpent, which Satan used as his instrument, himself with his angels having sinned before and not 5 kept their first estate, but left their own habitation; first 6 Eve, then Adam being seduced did wittingly and willingly fall into disobedience and transgression of the Commandment of their great Creator, for the which death came upon all, and reigned over all, so that all since the Fall are conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity, and so by nature children of wrath, and servants of sin, subjects of 7 death, and all other calamities due to sin in this world and for ever, being considered in the state of nature, without relation to Christ.
1) Ge 1; Col 1:16; Heb 11:3; Isa 45:12
2) Ge 1:26; 1Co 15:45-46; Ec 7:29
3) Ps 49:20
4) Ge 3:1,4-5; 2Co 11:3
5) 2Pe 2:4; Jude 25; Joh 8:44
6) Ge 3:1-2,6; 1Ti 2:14; Ec 7:29; Ga 3:29
7) Ro 5:12,18-19; 6:23; Eph 2:3
V. All mankind being thus fallen, and become altogether dead in sins and trespasses, and subject to the eternal wrath of the great God by transgression; yet the elect, which God has 1 loved with an everlasting love, are 2 redeemed, quickened, and saved, not by themselves, neither by their own works, lest any man should boast himself, but wholly and only by God of 3 His free grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that as it is written he that rejoices, let him rejoice in the Lord.
1) Jer 31:2
2) Ge 3:15; Eph 1:3,7; 2:4,9; 1Th 5:9; Ac 13:38
3) 1Co 5:13; Jer 9:23-24
VI. 1 This therefore is life eternal, to know the only true God, and whom He has sent Jesus Christ. 2 And on the contrary, the Lord will render vengeance in flaming fire to them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1) Joh 17:3; Heb 5:9; Jer 23:5-6
2) 2Th 1:8; Joh 3:36
VII. The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship and service of God, and all other Christian duties, is not mans inventions, opinions, devices, laws, constitutions, or traditions unwritten whatsoever, but only the word of God contained in the Canonical Scriptures.
Joh 5:39; 2Ti 3:15-17; Col 4:18,18; Mt 15:9
VIII. In this written Word God has plainly revealed whatsoever He has thought needful for us to know, believe, and acknowledge, touching the nature and office of Christ, in whom all the promises are Yea and Amen to the praise of God.
Ac 3:22-23; Heb 1:1-2; 2Ti 3:15-17; 2Co 1:20
IX. Touching the Lord Jesus, of whom 1 Moses and the Prophets wrote, and whom the Apostles preached, is the 2 Son of God the Father, the brightness of His glory, the ingrave form of His being, God with Him and with His Holy Spirit, by whom He made the world, by whom He upholds and governs all the works He has made, who also 3 when the fullness of time was come was, was made man of a 4 woman, of the Tribe of 5 Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David, to wit, of Mary that blessed Virgin, by the Holy Spirit coming upon her, and the power of the most High overshadowing her, and was also in 6 all things like unto us, sin only excepted.
1) Ge 3:15; 22:18; 49:10; Da 7:13; 9:24-26
2) Pr 8:23; Joh 1:1-3; Col 1:1,15-17
3) Ga 4:4
4) Heb 7:14; Re 5:5 with Ge 49:9-10
5) Ro 1:3; 9:5; Mt 1:16; Lu 3:23,26; Heb 2:16
6) Isa 53:3-5; Php 2:8
X. Touching His office, 1 Jesus Christ only is made the Mediator of the New Covenant, even the everlasting covenant of grace between God and man, to 2 be perfectly and fully the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church of God for evermore.
1) 2Ti 2:15; Heb 9:15; Joh 14:6
2) Heb 1:2; 3:1-2; 7:24; Ac 5:31
XI. Unto this office He was fore-ordained from everlasting, by the 1 authority of the Father, and in respect of His manhood, from the womb called and separated, and 2 anointed also most fully and abundantly with all gifts necessary, God having without measure poured the Spirit upon Him.
1) Pr 8:23; Isa 42:6; 49:1,5
2) Isa 11:2-5; 61:1-3 with Lu 4:17,22; Joh 1:14,16; 3:34
XII. In this call the Scripture hold forth two special things considerable; first, the call to the office; secondly the office its self. First, that 1 none takes this honor but he that is called of God, as was Aaron, so also Christ, it being an action especially of God the Father, whereby a special covenant being made, He ordains His Son to this office: which Covenant is, that 2 Christ should be made a sacrifice for sin, that He shall see His seed, and prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand; which calling therefore contains in it self 3 choosing, 4 for-ordaining, 5 sending. choosing respects the end, foreordaining the means, sending the execution it self, 6 all of mere grace, without any condition fore-seen wither in men, on in Christ Himself.
1) Heb 5:4-6
2) Isa 53:10
3) Isa 42:13
5) Joh 3:17; 9:27; 10:36
6) Joh 8:32
XIII. So that this office to be Mediator, that is, to be Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church of God, is so proper to Christ, as neither in the whole, not in any part thereof, it can be transferred from Him to any other.
1Ti 2:15; Heb 7:24; Da 5:14; Ac 4:12; Lu 1:23; Joh 14:6
XIV. This office it self to which Christ was called, is three fold, of 1 a Prophet, of 2 Priest, and of 3 King: this number and order of offices is showed; first by mens necessities grievously laboring 4 under ignorance, by reason whereof they stand in infinite necessity of the Prophetical office of Christ to relieve them. Secondly, 5 alienation from God, wherein they stand in need of the Priestly office to reconcile them. Thirdly, our 6 utter disability to return to Him, by which they stand in need of the power of Christ in His Kingly office to assist and govern them.
1) De 18:15 with Ac 3:22-23
2) Ps 110:3; Heb 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:6
3) Ps 2:6
4) Ac 26:18; Col 1:3
5) Col 1:21; Eph 2:12
6) Song 1:3; Joh 6:44
XV. Touching the Prophesy of Christ, it is that whereby He has 1 perfectly revealed the whole will of God out of the bosom of the Father, that is needful for His servants to know, believe, and obey; and therefore is called not only a Prophet and a 2 Doctor, and the 3 Apostle of our profession, and the 4 Angel of the Covenant; but also the very 5 wisdom of God, and the 6 treasures of wisdom and understanding.
1) Joh 1:18; 12:49-50; 15; 17:8; De 18:15
2) Mt 23:10
3) Heb 3:1
4) Mal 3:1
5) 1Co 1:24
6) Col 2:3
XVI. That He might be such a Prophet as thereby to every way complete, it was necessary that He should be 1 God, and withall also that He should be man; for unless He had been God, He could have never perfectly understood the will of God, 2 neither had He have been able to reveal it throughout all ages; and unless He had been man, He could not fitly have unfolded it in His 3 own person to man.
1) Joh 1:18; 3:13
2) 1Co 2:11,16
3) Ac 3:22 with De 18:15; Heb 1:1
XVII. Touching His Priesthood, Christ 1 being consecrated, has appeared once to put away sin by the offering and sacrifice of Himself, and to this end has fully performed and suffered all those things by which God, through the blood of that His Cross in an acceptable sacrifice, might reconcile His elect only; 2 and having broken down the partition wall, and therewith finished and removed all the rites, shadows, and ceremonies, is now entered within the vail, into the Holy of Holiest, that is, to the very Heavens, and presence of God, where He for ever lives and sits at the right hand of Majesty, appearing before the face of His Father to make intercession for such as come to the Throne of Grace by that new and living way; and not that only, but 3 makes His people a spiritual House, an holy Priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God through Him; neither does the Father accept, or Christ offer to the Father any other worship or worshipers.
1) Joh 17:19; Heb 5:7-9; 9:26; Ro 5:19; Eph 5:12; Col 1:20
2) Eph 2:14-16; Ro 8:34
3) 1Pe 2:5; Joh 4:23-24
XVIII. This Priesthood was not legal, or temporary, but according to the order 1 of Melchisedec; 2 not by a carnal commandment, but by the power of endless life; 3 not by an order that is weak and lame, but stable and perfect, not for a 4 time, but for ever, admitting no successor, but perpetual and proper to Christ, and of Him that ever lives. Christ Himself was the Priest, Sacrifice and Alter: He was 5 Priest, according to both natures, He was a sacrifice most properly according to His human nature: 6 where in Scripture it is wont to be attributed to His body, to His blood; yet the chief force whereby this sacrifice was made effectual, did depend upon His 7 divine nature, namely, that the Son of God did offer Himself for us: He was the alter properly according to His divine nature, it belonging to the 8 Alter to sacrifice that which is offered upon it, and so it ought to be of greater dignity then the Sacrifice itself.
1) Heb 7:17
2) Heb 7:16
3) Heb 7:18-21
4) Heb 7:24-25
5) Heb 5:6
6) Heb 10:10; 1Pe 1:18-19; Col 1:20-21; Isa 53:10; Mt 20:28
7) Ac 20:28; Ro 8:3
8) Heb 9:14; 13:10,12,15; Mt 23:17; Joh 17:19
XIX. Touching His Kingdom, 1 Christ being risen from the dead, ascended into Heaven, sat on the right hand of God the Father, having all power in Heaven and earth, given unto Him, He does spiritually govern His Church, exercising His power 2 over all angels and men, good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of the elect, to the over-ruling and destruction of His enemies, which are reprobates, 3 communicating and applying the benefits, virtue, and fruit of His Prophecy and Priesthood to His elect, namely, to the subduing and taking away of their sins, to their justification and adoption of Sons, regeneration, sanctification, preservation and strengthening in all their conflicts against Satan, the World, the Flesh, and the temptations of them, continually dwelling in, governing and keeping their hearts in faith and filial fear by His Spirit, which having 4 given it, He never takes it away from them, but by it still begets and nourishes in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all heavenly light in the soul unto immortality, notwithstanding through our own unbelief, and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of this light and love be clouded and overwhelmed for the time. 5 And on the contrary, ruling in the world over His enemies, Satan, and all the vessels of wrath, limiting, using, restraining them by His mighty power, as seems good in His divine wisdom and justice to the execution of His determinate counsel, delivering them up to a reprobate mind, to be kept through their own deserts, in darkness and sensuality unto judgment.
1) 1Co 15:4; 1Pe 3:21-22; Mt 28:18-20; Lu 24:51; Ac 1:11; 5:30-31; Joh 19:36; Ro 14:17
2) Mr 1:27; Heb 1:14; Joh 16:7,15
3) Joh 5:26-27; Ro 5:5-7; 14:17; Ga 5:22-23; Joh 1:4,13
4)Joh 13:1; 10:28-29; 14:16-17; Ro 11:29; Ps 51:10-11; Job 33:29-30; 2Co 12:7,9
5) Job 1; 1:2; Ro 1:21; 2:4-6; 9:17-18; 2Pe 2
XX. This Kingdom shall be then fully perfected when He shall the second time come in glory to reign among His saints, and to be admired of all them which do believe, when He shall put down all rule and authority under His feet, that the glory of the Father my be full and perfectly manifested in His Son, and the glory of the Father and the Son in all His members.
1Co 15:24,28; Heb 9:28; 2Th 1:9-10; 1Th 4:15-17; Joh 17:21,26
XXI. That Christ Jesus by His death did bring fourth salvation and reconciliation only for the 1 elect, which were those which 2 God the Father gave Him; and that the Gospel which is to be preached to all men as the ground of faith, is, that 3 Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the ever blessed God, filled with the perfection of all heavenly and spiritual excellencies, and that salvation is only and alone to be had through the believing in His name.
1) Joh 15:13; Ro 8:32-34; 5:11; 3:25
2) Job 17:2 with Joh 6:37
3) Mt 16:16; Lu 2:26; Joh 6:9; 7:3; 20:31; 1Jo 5:11
XXII. That faith is the 1 gift of God wrought in the hearts of the elect by the Spirit of God, whereby they come to see, know, and believe the truth of the 2 Scriptures, and not only so, but the excellency of them above all other writing and things in the world, as they hold forth the glory of God in His attributes, the excellency of Christ in His nature and offices, and the power of the fullness of the Spirit in His workings and operations; and thereupon are enabled to cast the weight of their souls upon this truth thus believed.
1) Eph 2:8; Joh 6:29; 4:10; Php 1:29; Ga 5:22
2) Joh 17:17; Heb 4:11-12; Joh 6:63
XXIII. Those that have this precious faith wrought in them by the Spirit, can never finally nor totally fall away; and though many storms and floods do arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon, but shall be kept by the power of God to salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being formerly engraven upon the palms of God's hands.
Mt 7:24-25; Joh 13:1; 1Pe 1:4-6; Isa 49:13-16
XXIV. That faith is ordinarily 1 begot by the preaching of the Gospel, or word of Christ, without respect to2 any power or capacity in the creature, but it is wholly 3 passive, being dead in sins and trespasses, does believe, and is converted by no less power, 4 then that which raised Christ from the dead.
1) Ro 10:17; 1Co 1:21
2) Ro 9:16
3) Ro 2:1-2; Eze 16:6; Ro 3:12
4) Ro 1:16; Eph 1:19; Col 2:12
XXV. That the tenders of the Gospel to the conversion of sinners, 1 is absolutely free, no way requiring, as absolutely necessary, any qualifications, preparations, terrors of the Law, or preceding ministry of the Law, but only and alone the naked soul, as a 2 sinner and ungodly to receive Christ, as Christ, as crucified, dead, and buried, and risen again, being made 3 a Prince and a Savior for such sinners.
1) Joh 3:14-15; 1:12; Isa 55:1; Joh 7:37
2) 1Ti 1:15; Ro 4:5; 5:8
3) Ac 5:30-31; 2:36; 1Co 1:22-24
XXVI. That the same power that converts to faith in Christ, the same power carries on the 1 soul still through all duties, temptations, conflicts, sufferings, and continually what ever a Christian is, he is by 2 grace, and by a constant renewed 3 operation from God, without which he cannot perform any duty to God, or undergo any temptations from Satan, the world, or men.
1) 1Pe 1:5; 2Co 12:9
2) 1Co 15:10
3) Php 2:12-13; Joh 15:5; Ga 2:19-20
XXVII. That God the Father, and Son, and Spirit, is one with 1 all believers, in their 2 fullness, in 3 relations, 4 as head and members, 5 as house and inhabitants, as 6 husband and wife, one with Him, as 7 light and love, and one with Him in His inheritance, and in all His 8 glory; and that all believers by virtue of this union and oneness with God, are the adopted sons of God, and heirs of Christ, co-heirs and joint heirs with Him of the inheritance of all the promises of this life, and that which is to come.
1) 1Th 1:1; Joh 14:10,20; 17:21
2) Col 2:9-10; 1:19; Joh 1:17
3) Joh 20:17; Heb 2:11
4) Col 1:18; Eph 5:30
5) Eph 2:22; 1Co 3:16-17
6) Isa 16:5; 2Co 11:3
7) Ga 3:26
8) Joh 17:24
XXVIII. That those which have union with Christ, are justified from all their sins, past, 1 present, and to come, by the blood of Christ; which justification we conceive to be a gracious and free 2 acquittance of a guilty, sinful creature, from all sin by God, through the satisfaction that Christ has made by His death; and this applied in the manifestation of it through faith.
1) Joh 1:7; Heb 10:14; 9:26; 2Co 5:19; Ro 3:23
2) Ac 13:38-39; Ro 5:1; 3:25,30
XXIX. That all believers are a holy and 1 sanctified people, and that sanctification is a spiritual grace of the 2 New Covenant, and effect of the 3 love of God, manifested to the soul, whereby the believer is in 4 truth and reality separated, both in soul and body, from all sin and dead works, through the 5 blood of the everlasting Covenant, whereby he also presents after a heavenly and evangelical perfection, in obedience to all the commands, 6 which Christ as Head and King in this New Covenant has prescribed to him.
1) 1Co 1:1; 1Pe 2:9
2) Eph 1:4
3) 1Jo 4:16
4) Eph 4:24
5) Php 3:15
6) Mt 28:20
XXX. All believers through the knowledge of 1 that justification of life given by the Father, and brought forth by the blood of Christ, have this as their great privilege of that New 2 Covenant, peace with God, and reconciliation, whereby they that were afar off, were brought nigh by 3 that blood, and have (as the Scripture speaks) peace 4 passing all understanding, yes, joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by 5 whom we have received the Atonement.
1) 2Co 5:19
2) Isa 54:10; 26:12
3) Eph 2:13-14
4) Php 4:7
5) Ro 5:10-11
XXXI. That all believers in the time of this life, are in a continual warfare, combat, and opposition against sin, self, the world, and the Devil, and liable to all manner of afflictions, tribulations, and persecutions, and so shall continue until Christ comes in His Kingdom, being predestined and appointed there unto; and whatsoever the saints, any of them do possess or enjoy of God in this life, is only by faith.
Eph 6:10-13; 2Co 10:3; Re 2:9-10
XXXII. That the only strength by which the saints are enabled to encounter with all opposition, and to overcome all afflictions, temptations, persecutions, and trails, is only by Jesus Christ, who is the Captain of their salvation, being made perfect through sufferings, who has engaged His strength to assist them in all their afflictions, and to uphold them under all their temptations, and to preserve them by His power to His everlasting Kingdom.
Joh 16:33; Heb 2:9-10; Joh 15:5
XXXIII. That Christ has here on earth a spiritual Kingdom, which is the Church, which He has purchased and redeemed to Himself, as a particular inheritance: which Church, as it is visible to us, is a company of visible 1 saints, 2 called and separated from the world, by the Word and the 3 Spirit of God, to the visible profession of the faith of the Gospel, being baptized into the faith, and joined to the Lord, and each other, by mutual agreement, in the practical enjoyment of the 4 ordinances, commanded by Christ their head and King.
1) 1Co 1:1; Eph 1:1
2) Ro 1:1; Ac 26:18; 1Th 1:9; 2Co 6:17; Re 18:18
3) Ac 2:37 with Ac 10:37
4) Ro 10:10; Ac 2:42; 20:21; Mt 18:19-20; 1Pe 2:5
XXXIV. To this Church He has 1 made His promises, and given the signs of His Covenant, presence, love, blessing, and protection: here are the fountains and springs of His heavenly grace continually flowing forth; 2 thither ought all men to come, of all estates, that acknowledge Him to be their Prophet, Priest, and King, to be enrolled amongst His household servants, to under His heavenly conduct and government, to lead their lives in His walled sheepfold, and watered garden, to have communion here with the saints, that they may be made to be partakers of their inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
1) Mt 28:18-20; 2Co 6:18
Isa 8:16; 1Ti 3:15; 4:16; 6:3,5; Ac 2:41,47; Song 4:12; Ga 6:10; Eph 2:19
XXXV. And all His servants are called thither, to present their bodies and souls, and to bring their gifts God has given them; so being come, they are here by Himself bestowed in their several order, peculiar place, due use, being fitly compact and knit together, according to the effectual working of every part, to the edification of itself in love.
1Co 12:6-7,12,18; Ro 12:4-6; 1Pe 4:10; Eph 4:16; Col 2:5-6,19; 1Co 12:12ff
XXXVI. That being thus joined, every Church has 1 power given them from Christ for their better well-being, to choose to themselves fitting persons into the office of 2 Pastors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons, being qualified according to the Word, as those which Christ has appointed in His Testament, for the feeding, governing, serving, and building up of His Church, and that none other have to power to impose them, either these or any other.
1) Ac 1:2; 6:3; 15:22,25; 1Co 16:3
2) Ro 12:7-8; 16:1; 1Co 12:8,28; 1Ti 3 chapt.; Heb 13:7; 1Pe 5:1-3
XXXVII. That the Ministers aforesaid, lawfully called by the Church, where they are to administer, ought to continue is their calling, according to God's ordinance, and carefully to feed the flock of Christ committed to them, nor for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.
Heb 5:4; Ac 4:23; 1Ti 4:14; Joh 10:3-4; Ac 20:28; Ro 12:7-8; Heb 13:7,17
XXXVIII. That the due maintenance of the officers aforesaid, should be the free and voluntary communication of the Church, that according to Christ's ordinance, they that preach the Gospel, should live on the Gospel and not by constraint to be compelled from the people by a forced law.
1Co 9:7,14; Ga 6:6; 1Th 5:13; 1Ti 5:17-18; Php 4:15-16
XXXIX. That Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, given by Christ, to be dispensed only upon persons professing faith, or that are Disciples, or taught, who upon a profession of faith, ought to be baptized (Added later: "...and after to partake of the Lord's Supper.")
Ac 2:37-38; 8:36-38; 18:8
XL. The way and manner of the 1 dispensing of this ordinance the Scripture holds out to be dipping or plunging the whole body under water: it being a sign, must answer the thing signified, which are these: first, the 2 washing the whole soul in the blood of Christ; secondly, that interest the saints have in 3 death, burial, and resurrection (of Christ) ; thirdly, together with a 4 confirmation of out faith, that as certainly as the body is buried under water, and rises again, so certainly shall the bodies of the saints by raised by the power of Christ, in the day of the resurrection, to reign with Christ.
1) Mt 3:16; Joh 3:23; Ac 8:38
2) Re 1:5; 7:14; Heb 10:22
3) Ro 6:3-5
4) 1Co 15:28-29
XLI. The persons designed by Christ, to dispense this ordinance, the Scriptures hold forth to a preaching Disciple, it being no where tied to a particular church, officer, or person extraordinarily sent, the commission enjoining the administration, being given to them under no other consideration, but as considered Disciples.
Isa 8:16; Mt 28:16-19; Joh 4:1-2; Ac 20:7; Mt 26:26
The First London Baptist Confession of Faith
The first edition was published in 1644. This second edition "corrected and enlarged" was originally published in 1646.
A confession of faith of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London, which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.
The Lord our God is but one God, whose subsistence is in Himself; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but himself, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto; who is in Himself most holy, every way infinite, in greatness, wisdom, power, love, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; who giveth being, moving, and preservation to all creatures.
1Co 8:6; Isa 44:6; 46:9; Ex 3:14; 1Ti 6:16; Isa 43:15; Ps 147:5; De 32:3; Job 36:5; Jer 10:12; Ex 34:6-7; Ac 17:28; Ro 11:36.
In this divine and infinite Being there is the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; each having the whole divine Essence, yet the Essence undivided; all infinite without any beginning, therefore but one God; who is not to be divided in nature, and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties.
1Co 1:3; Joh 1:1; 15:26; Ex 3:14; 1Co 8:6
God had decreed in Himself, before the world was, concerning all things, whether necessary, accidental or voluntary, with all the circumstances of them, to work, dispose, and bring about all things according to the counsel of His own will, to His glory: (Yet without being the [chargeable] author of sin, or having fellowship with any therein) in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, unchangeableness, power, and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree: And God hath before the foundation of the world, foreordained some men to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of His grace; [having foreordained and] leaving the rest in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His justice.
Isa 46:10; Eph 1:11; Ro 11:33; Ps 115:3; 135:6; 33:15; 1Sa 10:9,26; Pr 21:6; Ex 21:13; Pr 16:33; Ps 144; Isa 45:7; Jer 14:22; Mt 6:28,30; Col 1:16-17; Nu 23:19-20; Ro 3:4; Jer 10:10; Eph 1:4-5; Jude 4,6; Pr 16:4.
In the beginning God made all things very good; created man after His own image, filled with all meet perfection of nature, and free from all sin; but long he abode not in this honor; Satan using the subtlety of the serpent to seduce first Eve, then by her seducing Adam; who without any compulsion, in eating the forbidden fruit, transgressed the command of God, and fell, whereby death came upon all his posterity; who now are conceived in sin, and by nature the children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subject of death, and other miseries in this world, and for ever, unless the Lord Jesus Christ set them free.
Ge 1:1; Col 1:16; Isa 45:12; 1Co 15:45-46; Ec 7:29; Ge 3:1,4-5; 2Co 11:3; 1Ti 2:14; Ga 3:22; Ro 5:12,18-19; 6:22; Eph 2:3.
God in His infinite power and wisdom, doth dispose all things to the end for which they were created; that neither good nor evil befalls any by chance, or without His providence; and that whatsoever befalls the elect, is by His appointment, for His glory, and their good.
Job 38:11; Isa 46:10-11; Ec 3:14; Mr 10:29-30; Ex 21:13; Pr 16:33; Ro 8:28.
All the elect being loved of God with an everlasting love, are redeemed, quickened, and saved, not by themselves, nor their own works, lest any man should boast, but, only and wholly by God, of His own free grace and mercy, through Jesus Christ, who is made unto us by God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, and all in all, that he that rejoiceth, might rejoice in the Lord.
Jer 31:2; Eph 1:3,7; 2:8-9; 1Th 5:9; Ac 13:48; 2Co 5:21; Jer 9:23-24; 1Co 1:30-31; Jer 23:6.
And this is life eternal, that we might know Him the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. And on the contrary, the Lord will render vengeance, in flaming fire, to them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Joh 17:3; Heb 5:9; 2Th 1:8; Joh 6:36.
The rule of this knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship of God, in which is contained the whole duty of man, is (not men's laws, or unwritten traditions, but) only the word of God contained [viz., written] in the holy Scriptures; in which is plainly recorded whatsoever is needful for us to know, believe, and practice; which are the only rule of holiness and obedience for all saints, at all times, in all places to be observed.
Col 2:23; Mt 15:6,9; Joh 5:39; 2Ti 3:15-16,17; Isa 8:20; Ga 1:8-9; Ac 3:22-23.
The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote, the Apostles preached, He is the Son of God, the brightness of His glory, etc. by whom He made the world; who upholdeth and governeth all things that He hath made; who also when the fulness of time was come, was made of a woman, of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David; to wit, of the virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her, the power of the most High overshadowing her; and He was also tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Ge 3:15; 22:18; 49:10; Da 7:13; 9:24, etc.; Pr 8:23; Joh 1:1-2,3; Heb 1:8; Ga 4:4; Heb 7:14; Re 5:5; Ge 49:9-10; Ro 1:3; 9:10; Mt 1:16; Lu 3:23,26; Heb 2:16; Isa 53:3-4,5; Heb 4:15.
Jesus Christ is made the mediator of the new and everlasting covenant of grace between God and man, ever to be perfectly and fully the prophet, priest, and king of the Church of God for evermore.
1Ti 2:5; Heb 9:15; Joh 14:6; Isa 9:6-7.
Unto this office He was appointed by God from everlasting; and in respect of his manhood, from the womb called, separated, and anointed most fully and abundantly with all gifts necessary, God having without measure poured out His Spirit upon Him.
Pr 8:23; Isa 42:6; 49:15; 11:2-3,4-5; 61:1-2; Lu 4:17,22; Joh 1:14,26; 3:34.
Concerning His mediatorship, the Scripture holds forth Christ's call to His office; for none takes this honor upon Him, but He that is called of God as was Aaron, it being an action of God, whereby a special promise being made, He ordains His Son to this office; which promise is, that Christ should be made a sacrifice for sin; that He should see His seed, and prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand; all of mere free and absolute grace towards God's elect, and without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.
Heb 5:4-5,6; Isa 53:10-11; Joh 3:16; Ro 8:32.
This office to be mediator, that is, to be prophet, priest, and king of the Church of God, is so proper to Christ, that neither in whole, or any part thereof, it cannot be transferred from Him to any other.
1Ti 2:5; Heb 7:24; Da 7:14; Ac 4:12; Lu 1:33; Joh 14:6.
This office to which Christ is called, is threefold; a prophet, priest, and king: This number and order of offices is necessary, for in respect of our ignorance, we stand in need of His prophetical office; in respect of our great alienation from God, we need His priestly office to reconcile us; and in respect of our averseness and utter inability to return to God, we need His kingly office, to convince, subdue, draw, uphold and preserve us to His heavenly kingdom.
De 18:15; Ac 3:22-23; Heb 3:1; 4:14-15; Ps 2:6; 2Co 5:20; Ac 26:18; Col 1:21; Joh 16:8; Ps 110:3; Song 1:3; Joh 6:44; Php 4:13; 2Ti 4:18.
Concerning the prophecy of Christ, it is that whereby He hath revealed the will of God, whatsoever is needful for His servants to know and obey; and therefore He is called not only a prophet and doctor, and the apostle of our profession, and the angel of the covenant, but also the very wisdom of God, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, who for ever continueth revealing the same truth of the gospel to His people.
Joh 1:18; 12:49-50; 17:8; De 18:15; Mt 23:10; Heb 3:1; Mal 3:1; 1Co 1:24; Col 2:3.
That He might be a prophet every way complete, it was necessary He should be God, and also that He should be man; For unless He had been God, He could never have perfectly understood the will of God; and unless He had been man, He could not suitably have unfolded it in His own person to men.
Joh 1:18; Ac 3:22; De 18:15; Heb 1:1.
Concerning His priesthood, Christ having sanctified Himself, hath appeared once to put away sin by that one offering of Himself a sacrifice for sin, by which He hath fully finished and suffered all things God required for the salvation of His elect, and removed all rites and shadows, etc. and is now entered within the vail into the holy of holies, which is the presence of God. Also, He makes His people a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God through Him. Neither doth the Father accept, nor Christ offer to the Father, any other worship or worshippers.
Joh 17:19; Heb 5:7-8,9-10,12; Ro 5:19; Eph 5:2; Col 1:20; Eph 2:14, etc.; Ro 8:34; Heb 9:24; 8:1; 1Pe 2:5; Joh 4:23-24.
This priesthood was not legal or temporary, but according to the order of Melchisedec, and is stable and perfect, not for a time, but forever, which is suitable to Jesus Christ, as to Him that ever liveth. Christ was the priest, sacrifice, and altar: He was a priest according to both natures; He was a sacrifice according to His human nature; whence in Scripture it is attributed to His body, to His blood: Yet the effectualness of this sacrifice did depend upon His divine nature; therefore it is called the blood of God. He was the altar according to His divine nature, it belonging to the altar to sanctify that which is offered upon it, and so it ought to be of greater dignity than the sacrifice itself.
Heb 7:16, etc.; Heb 5:6; 10:10; 1Pe 1:18-19; Col 1:20,22; Heb 9:13; Ac 20:28; Heb 9:14; 13:10,12,15; Mt 23:17; Joh 17:19.
Concerning His kingly office, Christ being risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and having all power in heaven and earth, He doth spiritually govern His church, and doth exercise His power over all, angels and men, good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of the elect, and to the overruling and destruction of His enemies. By this kingly power He applieth the benefits, virtue, and fruits of His prophecy and priesthood to His elect, subduing their sins, preserving and strengthening them in all their conflicts against Satan, the world, and the flesh, keeping their hearts in faith and filial fear by His Spirit: By this His mighty power He ruleth the vessels of wrath, using, limiting and restraining them, as it seems good to His infinite wisdom.
1Co 15:4; 1Pe 3:21-22; Mt 28:18-19; Lu 24:51; Ac 1:1; 5:30-31; Joh 19:36; Ro 14:9; Joh 5:26-27; Ro 5:6-7,8; 14:17; Ga 5:22-23; Mr 1:27; Heb 1:14; Joh 16:15; Job 2:8; Ro 1:21, [Ro 9:17-18]; Eph 4:17-18; 2Pe 2.
This His kingly power shall be more fully manifested when He shall come in glory to reign among His saints, when He shall put down all rule and authority under His feet, that the glory of the Father may be perfectly manifested in His Son, and the glory of the Father and the Son in all His members.
1Co 15:24,28; Heb 9:28; 2Th 1:9-10; 1Th 4:15-16,17; Joh 17:21,26.
Jesus Christ by His death did purchase salvation for the elect that God gave unto Him: These only have interest in Him, and fellowship with Him, for whom He makes intercession to His Father in their behalf, and to them alone doth God by His Spirit apply this redemption; as also the free gift of eternal life is given to them, and none else.
Eph 1:14; Heb 5:9; Mt 1:21; Joh 17:6; Heb 7:25; 1Co 2:12; Ro 8:29-30; 1Jo 5:12; Joh 15:3-5; 3:16.
Faith is the gift of God, wrought in the hearts of the elect by the Spirit of God; by which faith they come to know and believe the truth of the Scriptures, and the excellency of them above all other writings, and all things in the world, as they hold forth the glory of God in His attributes, the execellency of Christ in His nature and offices, and of the power and fulness of the Spirit in its [His] workings and operations; and so are enabled to cast their souls upon His truth thus believed.
Eph 2:8; Joh 6:29; 4:10; Php 1:29; Ga 5:22; Joh 17:17; Heb 4:11-12; Joh 6:63.
All those that have this precious faith wrought in them by the Spirit, can never finally nor totally fall away; seeing the gifts of God are without repentance; so that He still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise, and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock, which by faith they are fastened upon; not withstanding, through unbelief, and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of this light and love, be clouded and overwhelmed for a time; yet God is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraven upon the palms of His hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity.
Mt 7:24-25; Joh 13:10; 10:28-29; 1Pe 1:4-5,6; Isa 49:13-14,15-16.
Faith is ordinarily begotten by the preaching of the gospel, or word of Christ, without respect to any power or agency in the creature; but it being wholly passive, and dead in trespasses and sins, doth believe and is converted by no less power than that which raised Christ from the dead.
Ro 10:17; 1Co 1:28; Ro 9:16; Eze 16:16; Ro 3:12; 1:16; Eph 1:19; Col 2:12.
The preaching of the gospel to the conversion of sinners, is absolutely free; no way requiring as absolutely necessary, any qualifications, preparations, or terrors of the law, or preceding ministry of the law, but only and alone the naked soul, a sinner and ungodly, to receive Christ crucified, dead and buried, and risen again; who is made a prince and a Savior for such sinners as through the gospel shall be brought to believe on Him.
Joh 3:14-15; 1:12; Isa 55:1; Joh 7:37; 1Ti 1:15; Ro 4:5; 5:8; Ac 5:30-31; 2:36; 1Co 1:22,24.
The same power that converts to faith in Christ, carrieth on the soul through all duties, temptations, conflicts, sufferings; and whatsoever a believer is, he is by grace, and is carried on in all obedience and temptations by the same.
1Pe 1:5; 2Co 12:9; 1Co 15:10; Php 2:12-13; Joh 15:5; Ga 2:19-20.
All believers are by Christ united to God; by which union, God is one with them, and they are one with Him; and that all believers are the sons of God, and joint heirs with Christ, to whom belong all the promises of this life, and that which is to come.
1Th 1:1; Joh 17:21; 20:17; Heb 2:11; 1Jo 4:16; Ga 2:19-20.
Those that have union with Christ, are justified from all their sins by the blood of Christ, which justification is a gracious and full acquittance of a guilty sinner from all sin, by God, through the satisfaction that Christ hath made by His death for all their sins, and this applied (in manifestation of it) through faith.
1Jo 1:7; Heb 10:14; 9:26; 2Co 5:19; Ro 3:23; Ac 13:38-39; Ro 5:1; 3:25,30.
All believers are a holy and sanctified people, and that sanctification is a spiritual grace of the new covenant, and an effect of the love of God manifested in the soul, whereby the believer presseth after a heavenly and evangelical obedience to all the commands, which Christ as head and king in His new covenant hath prescribed to them.
1Co 12; 1Pe 2:9; Eph 1:4; 1Jo 4:16; Mt 28:20.
All believers through the knowledge of that justification of life given by the Father and brought forth by the blood of Christ have as their great privilege of that new covenant, peace with God, reconciliation, whereby they that were afar off are made nigh by that blood, and have peace passing all understanding; yea, joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received atonement.
2Co 5:19; Ro 5:9-10; Isa 54:10; Eph 2:13-14; 4:7; Ro 5:10-11.
All believers in the time of this life, are in a continual warfare and combat against sin, self, the world, and the devil; and are liable to all manner of afflictions, tribulations and persecutions, being predestined and appointed thereunto, and whatsoever the saints possess or enjoy of God spiritually, is by faith; and outward and temporal things are lawfully enjoyed by a civil right by them who have no faith.
Ro 7:23-24; Eph 6:10-11, etc.; Heb 2:9-10; 2Ti 3:12; Ro 8:29; 1Th 3:3; Ga 2:19-20; 2Co 5:7; De 2:5.
The only strength by which the saints are enabled to encounter with all oppositions and trials, is only by Jesus Christ, who is the captain of their salvation, being made perfect through sufferings; who hath engaged His faithfulness and strength to assist them in all their afflictions, and to uphold them in all their temptations, and to preserve them by His power to His everlasting kingdom.
Joh 16:33; 15:5; Php 4:11; Heb 2:9-10; 2Ti 4:18.
Jesus Christ hath here on earth a [manifestation of His] spiritual kingdom, which is His Church, whom He hath purchased and redeemed to Himself as a peculiar inheritance; which Church is a company of visible saints, called and separated from the world by the word and Spirit of God, to the visible profession of faith of the gospel, being baptized into that faith, and joined to the Lord, and each other, by mutual agreement in the practical enjoyment of the ordinances commanded by Christ their head and king.
Mt 11:11; 2Th 1:1; 1Co 1:2; Eph 1:1; Ro 1:7; Ac 19:8-9; 26:18; 2Co 6:17; Re 18:4; Ac 2:37; 10:37; Ro 10:10; Mt 18:19-20; Ac 2:42,26; 1Pe 2:5.
To this Church He hath made His promises, and giveth the signs of His covenant, presence, acceptation, love, blessing and protection. Here are the fountains and springs of His heavenly graces flowing forth to refresh and strengthen them.
Mt 28:18, etc.; 1Co 11:24; 3:21; 2Co 6:18; Ro 9:4-5; Ps 133:3; Ro 3:7,10; Eze 47:2.
And all His servants of all estates (are to acknowledge Him to be their prophet, priest and king;) and called thither to be enrolled among His household servants, to present their bodies and souls, and to bring their gifts God hath given them, to be under His heavenly conduct and government, to lead their lives in this walled sheepfold, and watered garden, to have communion here with His saints, that they may be assured that they are made meet to be partakers of their inheritance in the kingdom of God; and to supply each others wants, inward and outward; (and although each person hath a propriety in his own estate, yet they are to supply each others wants, according as their necessities shall require, that the name of Jesus Christ may not be blasphemed through the necessity of any in the Church) and also being come, they are here by Himself to be bestowed in their several order, due place, peculiar use, being fitly compact and knit together according to the effectual working of every part, to the edifying of itself in love.
Ac 2:41,47; Isa 4:3; 1Co 12:6-7, etc.; Eze 20:37,40; Song 4:12; Eph 2:19; Ro 12:4-5,6; Col 1:12; 2:5-6,19; Ac 20:32; 5:4; 2:44-45; 4:34-35; Lu 14:26; 1Ti 6:1; Eph 4:16.
Being thus joined, every [local] church hath power given them from Christ, for their wellbeing, to choose among themselves meet persons for elders and deacons, being qualified according to the word, as those which Christ hath appointed in His testament, for the feeding, governing, serving, and building up of His Church; and that none have any power to impose on them either these or any other.
Ac 1:23,26; 6:3; 15:22,25; Ro 12:7-8; 1Ti 3:2,6-7; 1Co 12:8,28; Heb 13:7,17; 1Pe 5:1-2,3; 4:15.
That the ministers lawfully called, as aforesaid, ought to continue in their calling and place according to God's ordinance, and carefully to feed the flock of God committed to them, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.
Heb 5:4; Joh 10:3-4; Ac 20:28-29; Ro 12:7-8; Heb 13:7,17; 1Pe 5:1-2,3.
The ministers of Christ ought to have whatsoever they shall need, supplied freely by the church, that according to Christ's ordinance they that preach the Gospel should live of the gospel by the law of Christ.
1Co 9:7,14; Ga 6:8; Php 4:15-16; 2Co 10:4; 1Ti 1:2; Ps 110:3.
Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, given by Christ, to be dispensed upon persons professing faith, or that are made disciples; who upon profession of faith, ought to be baptized, and after to partake of the Lord's Supper.
Mt 28:18-19; Joh 4:1; Mr 16:15-16; Ac 2:37-38; 8:36-37, etc.
That the way and manner of dispensing this ordinance, is dipping or plunging the body under water; it being a sign, must answer the things signified, which is, that interest the saints have in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ: And that as certainly as the body is buried under water, and risen again, so certainly shall the bodies of the saints be raised by the power of Christ, in the day of the resurrection, to reign with Christ.
Mt 3:16; Mr 1:5-9 reads (into Jordan) in Greek; Joh 3:23; Ac 8:38; Re 1:5; 7:14; Heb 10:22; Ro 6:3-4,5-6; 1Co 15:28-29. The word baptizo signifies to dip or plunge (yet so as convenient garments be both upon the administrator and subject with all modesty).
The person designed by Christ to dispense baptism, the Scripture holds forth to be a disciple; it being no where tied to a particular church officer, or person extraordinarily sent the commission enjoining the administration, being given to them as considered disciples, being men able to preach the gospel.
Isa 8:16; Eph 2:7; Mt 28:19; Joh 4:2; Ac 20:7; 11:10; 1Co 11:2; 10:16-17; Ro 16:2; Mt 18:17.
Christ hath likewise given power to His Church to receive in, and cast out, any member that deserves it; and this power is given to every congregation, and not to one particular person, either member or officer, but in relation to the whole body, in reference to their faith and fellowship.
Ro 15:2; Mt 18:17; 1Co 5:4,11,13; 12:6; 2:3; 2Co 2:6-7.
And every particular member of each church, how excellent, great, or learned soever, is subject to this censure and judgment; and that the church ought not without great care and tenderness, and due advice, but by the rule of faith, to proceed against her members.
Mt 18:16,18; Ac 11:2-3; 1Ti 5:19, etc.; Col 4:17; Ac 15:1-2,3.
Christ for the keeping of this church in holy and orderly communion, placeth some special men over the church; who by their office, are to govern, oversee, visit, watch; so likewise for the better keeping thereof, in all places by the members, He hath given authority, and laid duty upon all to watch over one another.
Ac 20:27-28; Heb 13:17,24; Mt 24:45; 1Th 5:2,14; Jude 3,20; Heb 10:34-35 [cf. Heb 12:24-25], Heb 12:15.
Also such to whom God hath given gifts in the church, may and ought to prophecy [viz., teach] according to the proportion of faith, and to teach publicly the word of God, for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the church.
1Co 14:3, etc.; Ro 12:6; 1Pe 4:10-11; 1Co 12:7; 1Th 5:19, etc.
Thus being rightly gathered, and continuing in the obedience of the gospel of Christ, none are to separate for faults and corruptions (for as long as the church consists of men subject to failings, there will be difference in the true constituted church) until they have in due order, and tenderness, sought redress thereof.
Re 2; 2:3; Ac 15:12; 1Co 1:10; Heb 10:25; Jude 19; Re 2:20-21,27; Ac 15:1-2; Ro 14:1; 15:1-2,3.
And although the particular congregations be distinct, and several bodies, every one as a compact and knit city within itself; yet are they all to walk by one rule of truth; so also they (by all means convenient) are to have the counsel and help one of another, if necessity require it, as members of one body, in the common faith, under Christ their head.
1Co 4:17; 14:33,36; 16:1; Ps 122:3; Eph 2:12,19; Re 21; 1Ti 3:15; 6:13-14; 1Co 4:17; Ac 15:2-3; Song 8:8-9; 2Co 8:1,4; 13:14.
A civil magistracy is an ordinance of God, set up by Him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well; and that in all lawful things, commanded by them, subjection ought to be given by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake; and that we are to make supplications and prayers for kings, and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.
Ro 13:1-2, etc.; 1Pe 2:13-14; 1Ti 2:1-2,3.
The supreme magistracy of this kingdom we acknowledge to be the king and parliament (now established) freely chosen by the kingdom, and that we are to maintain and defend all civil laws and civil officers made by them, which are for the good of the commonwealth. And we acknowledge with thankfulness, that God hath made this present king and parliament honorable in throwing down the prelatical hierarchy, because of their tyranny and oppression over us, under which this kingdom long groaned, for which we are ever engaged to bless God, and honor them for the same. And concerning the worship of God; there is but one lawgiver, which is able to save and destroy, Jas 4:12; which is Jesus Christ, who hath given laws and rules sufficient in His word for His worship; and for any to make more, were to charge Christ with want of wisdom, or faithfulness, or both, in not making laws enough, or not good enough for His house: Surely it is our wisdom, duty, and privilege, to observe Christ's laws only, Ps 2:6,9-10,12. So it is the magistrates duty to tender the liberty of mens' consciences, Ec 8:8 (which is the tenderest thing unto all conscientious men, and most dear unto them, and without which all other liberties will not be worth the naming, much less enjoying) and to protect all under them from all wrong, injury, oppression and molestation; so it is our duty not to be wanting in nothing which is for their honor and comfort, and whatsoever is for the wellbeing of the commonwealth wherein we live; it is our duty to do, and we believe it to be our express duty, especially in matters of religion, to be fully persuaded in our minds of the lawfulness of what we do, as knowing whatsoever is not of faith is sin. And as we cannot do anything contrary to our understandings and consciences, so neither can we forebear the doing of that which our understandings and consciences bind us to do. And if the magistrate should require us to do otherwise, we are to yield our persons in a passive way to their power, as the saints of old have done, Jas 5:4. And thrice happy shall he be, that shall lose his life for witnessing (though but for the least tittle) of the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1Pe 5; Ga 5.
But in case we find not the magistrate [or governing authority] to favor us herein; yet we dare not suspend our practice, because we believe we ought to go in obedience to Christ, in professing the faith which was once delivered to the saints, which faith is declared in the holy Scriptures, and this our confession of faith a part of them, and that we are to witness to the truth of the Old and New Testaments unto the death, if necessity require, in the midst of all trials and afflictions, as His saints of old have done; not accounting our goods, lands, wives, children, fathers, mothers, brethren, sisters; yea and our own lives dear unto us, so we may finish our course with joy; remembering always, that we ought to obey God rather than men, who will when we have finished our course, and kept the faith, give us the crown of righteousness; to whom we must give an account of all our actions, and no man being able to discharge us of the same.
Ac 2:40-41; 4:19; 5:28-29; 20:23; 1Th 3:3; Php 1:28-29; Da 3:16-17; 6:7,10,22-23; 1Ti 6:13-14; Ro 12:1,8; 1Co 14:37; Re 2:20; 2Ti 4:6-7,8; Ro 14:10,12; 2Co 5:10; Ps 49:7,20.
It is lawful for a Christian to be a magistrate or civil officer; and also it is lawful to take an oath, so it be in truth, and in judgment, and in righteousness, for confirmation of truth, and ending of all strife; and that by wrath and vain oaths the Lord is provoked and this land mourns.
Ac 8:38,1-2,35; Ro 16:23; De 6:13; Ro 1:9; 2Co 10; 10:11; Jer 4:2; Heb 6:16.
We are to give unto all men whatsoever is their due, as their place, age, estate, requires; and that we defraud no man of anything, but to do unto all men, as we would they should do unto us.
1Th 4:6; Ro 13:5-6,7; Mt 22:21; Tit 3; 1Pe 2:15,17; 5:5; Eph 5:21,23, etc. , Eph 6:1,9; Tit 3:1-2,3.
There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, and everyone shall give an account of himself to God, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Ac 24:15; 1Co 5:10; Ro 14:12. [Mt 25; Re 22:11-12,13-14,15.]
Thus we desire to give unto Christ that which is His; and unto all lawful authority that which is their due; and to owe nothing to any man but love; to live quietly and peaceably, as it becometh saints, endeavoring in all things to keep a good conscience, and to do unto every man (of what judgment soever) as we would they should do unto us, that as our practice is, so it may prove us to be a conscionable [viz., reasonable], quiet, and harmless people (no ways dangerous or troublesome to human society) and to labor and work with our hands that we may not be chargeable to any, but to give to him that needeth, both friends and enemies, accounting it more excellent to give than to receive. Also we confess, that we know but in part, and that we are ignorant of many things which we desire and seek to know; and if any shall do us that friendly part to show us from the word of God that which we see not, we shall have cause to be thankful to God and them; but if any man shall impose upon us anything that we see not to be commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ, we should in His strength rather embrace all reproaches and tortures of men, to be stripped of all outward comforts, and if it were possible, to die a thousand deaths, rather than to do anything against the least tittle of the truth of God or against the light of our own consciences. And if any shall call what we have said heresy, then do we with the Apostle acknowledge, that after the way they call heresy, worship we the God of our fathers, disclaiming all heresies (rightly so called) because they are against Christ, and to be steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in obedience to Christ, as knowing our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord.
An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith
A More Full Declaration of the Faith and Judgment of Baptized Believers
Occasioned by the Inquiry of Some Wo-affected and Godly Persons in the Country.
Written by Benjamin Cox
a Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Published for the further clearing of Truth, and discovery of their mistake who have imagined a dissent in fundamentals when there is none.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
LONDON, Printed in the year 1646.
DECLARATlON of the FAlTH and JUDGMENT of Baptized Believers:
"Be ready always." saith the Apostle Peter, "to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear," 1Pe 3:15. It is therefore our duty in meekness and love to give an answer to those godly persons, which desire to be fully informed of our judgment concerning religion and the ways of our God: To those therefore that have expressed a desire to be so informed, I thus answer.
In a book lately reprinted, entitled, A Confession of Faith of Several Congregations or Churches of Christ in London, etc. is a plain and sincere expression of our judgment in the things therein spoken of, in 52 Articles: And if our judgment touching some particulars, wherein we seem, or are supposed, to dissent from some others, do not appear clearly enough in that confession, I hope that same shall somewhat more clearly appear in this ensuing Appendix.
We believe that the punishment due to Adam for his first rebellion, and due to all men for their sin in Adam, and for all their sins against the law, was not a lying of the whole person of man in the dust, or grave, eternally without life or sense; for then the punishment of man that sinned, should not have differed from the punishment to the brute beast that sinned not. But the punishment due to man, as aforesaid, was "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish," and that eternal: And consequently the redemption which we have by Christ from the curse of the law, is a redemption from eternal misery and torment: this we learn from these places of Scripture compared together, Ro 2:9; Jude 25; Ga 3:13.
IIWe believe that the eternity of the punishment of the vessels of wrath, is an absolute eternity, knowing no end; as well as the eternity of the life of the saints, #Matt.25:46|. This we maintain against those that affirm that all men shall be saved at the last.
Although all the power of the creature to act be from the Creator, and there is a providence of God always extended to every creature, and to every action of the creature; yet we judge that the final corruption of the creature, and the sinfulness of the creature's action, is from the creature, and not from God: and that it is a great sin to say that God is the author of sin, Ec 7:29; Hab 1:13; Jas 1:14-15; 1Co 14:33; 1Jo 2:16.
As touching that place which is here objected against us, viz., Am 3:6, "Shall there be evil in a city, etc.." we conceive that it is either to be rendered according to the last translation in the margin, "Shall there be evil in a city, and shall not the Lord do somewhat?" or else that it is to be understood only of the evil of punishment, and not of the evil of sin.
We teach that they only do, or can believe in Jesus Christ, to whom it is given to believe in Him by a special, gracious and powerful work of His Spirit: And that this is (and shall be) given to the elect in the time appointed of God for their effectual calling; and to none but the elect, Joh 6:65; Php 1:29; Jer 31:33-34; Eze 36:26; Ro 8:29-30; Joh 10:26. This we hold against those that do maintain a freewill and sufficient ability in a man to believe; and do deny election.
VWe affirm, that as Jesus Christ never intended to give remission of sins and eternal life unto any but His sheep (Joh 10:15,2; Eph 5:25-26,27; Re 5:9); so these sheep only have their sins washed away in the blood of Christ: The vessels of wrath, as they are none of Christ's sheep, nor ever believe in Him, so they have not the blood of Christ sprinkled upon them, neither are partakers of Him: And therefore have all their sins remaining upon them, and are not saved by Christ from any of them under any consideration whatsoever; but must lie under the intolerable burden of them eternally. The truth of this appears unto us by the light of these Scriptures compared together. Heb 12:24; 1Pe 1:2; Heb 3:14; Mt 7:23; Eph 5:6; 1Ti 1:9; Joh 8:24.
Though some of our opponents do affirm. that by this doctrine we leave no Gospel to be preached to sinners for their conversion; yet through the goodness of God we know and preach to sinners this precious Gospel: "God so loved the world, (that is, has been so loving to mankind) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him. should not perish, but have everlasting life," Joh 3:16; and this faithful saying, worthy of all acceptation, "That Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." 1Ti 1:15, viz., all those sinners (how vile and grievous soever) not only which already do, but also which hereafter shall believe on Him to everlasting, 1Ti 1:16, and that "to Christ all the Prophets give witness, that through His name, whosoever believes in Him shall receive remission of sins," Ac 10:43. And this is called "The word of the Gospel." Ac 15:7. This is the Gospel which Christ and His Apostles preached, which we have received, and by which we have been converted, unto Christ. And we desire to mind what Paul saith in Ga 1:9. "lf any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
Though we confess that no man doth attain unto faith by his own good will; Joh 1:13, yet we judge and know that the Spirit of God doth not compel a man to believe against his will, but doth powerfully and sweetly create in a man a new heart, and so make him to believe and obey willingly, Eze 36:26-27; Ps 110:3. God thus working in us both to will and to do, of His good pleasure, Php 2:13.
Though all our workings for life be in vain, irregular, and not accepted of God,(Jesus Christ being our life, who is freely given to us of God) yet we believe and know that being made partakers of Jesus Christ, we do, and shall, and must, through Him, and walking in Him, bring forth the fruit of good works, serving God (in true obedience, and love, and thankfulness unto Him) in holiness and righteousness, being "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which He hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Eph 2:10; Lu 1:74-75.
Though we that believe in Christ, be not under the law, but under grace, Ro 6:14; yet we know that we are not lawless, or left to live without a rule; "not without law to God, but under law to Christ," 1Co 9:21. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a law, or commanding rule unto us; whereby, and in obedience whereunto, we are taught to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Tit 2:11-12; the directions of Christ in His evangelical word guiding us unto, and in this sober, righteous, and godly walking, 1Ti 1:10-11.
Though we be not now sent to the law as it was in the hand of Moses, to be commanded thereby, yet Christ in His Gospel teacheth and commandeth us to walk in the same way of righteousness and holiness that God by Moses did command the lsraelites to walk in, all the commandments of the Second Table being still delivered unto us by Christ, and all the commandments of the First Table also (as touching the life and spirit of them) in this epitome or brief sum, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, etc.," Mt 22:37-38,39-40; Ro 13:8-9,10.
Though no sin be imputed to those that believe in Christ, nor any sins do totally or fully reign over them, or in them, yet in them "the flesh lusteth against the spirit," Ga 5:17; and "in many things they all offend," Jas 3:2, where the Apostle speaks of offenses that one believer may take notice of in another. Thus "there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." Ec 7:20, and "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us," 1Jo 1:8.
Though there be no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, yet they are taught, and that effectually, to be ashamed of their sins. Ro 6:21, and to be sorry for them after a godly sort, 2Co 7:9-10,11. Yea to loath themselves for them, Eze 36:31. Because that sin is an evil and a filthy thing, and in its own nature tends to the provoking and dishonouring of God, being disobedience against God, and a thing which the most holy God declares Himself to loath and abhor; so that nothing but the blood of Christ could purge us from our sins, and reconcile us to God, whom by sin we had offended. Therefore the saints both are, and must be grieved, and must judge them selves, because they have sinned against their holy and glorious God, and merciful and loving Father, 1Co 11:31
Though nothing be hid from God, and God imputeth not iniquity to any believer, yet ought we to confess our sins unto God, and to beseech Him to deal with us according to His own promise; viz.. to be still gracious and merciful unto us though we have sinned against Him, not being wroth with us, nor rebuking us, nor ceasing to do good unto us because we have sinned, Isa 54:9; Heb 8:12; Da 9:18-19,20; Ps 32:5,7; Eze 36:37; Jas 5:1. Thus according to Christ's direction, we pray unto God to forgive us our sins, Lu 11:4; yet still we are to look upon God as our Father, Lu 11:2; and consequently upon ourselves as His children; and so not short of justification, or under wrath, but washed in Christ's blood from all our sins. In such confession and petitions we show obedience to God, and do also exercise faith towards God, and repentance or godly sorrow for sin by which we see and confess that we for our parts have deserved wrath.
Though they which are once really engrafted into Christ shall certainly "be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation," 1Pe 1:5; yet ought they to "beware, lest being led away with the error of the wicked they fall from their own steadfastness." 2Pe 3:17. They ought therefore to seek continual support from God. Yea they ought to seek at God's hand (in prayer, and in the right use and study of His Word, and in the right use of His ordinances) not only continuance, but also growth in grace, 2Pe 3:18. First, because this is God's command. Secondly, because God who will establish them, will do it in this way; viz.. giving them grace to be obedient to this His command, and blessing them in this obedience.
As we mind that our whole salvation is given unto us of the Father by Jesus Christ, and for His sake; so we likewise mind, that the Father's giving Jesus Christ for us, and to us, and so saving us in Him, and for His sake, is the acting and manifesting of that free love of His towards us, which was in Himself from all eternity. Joh 17:23; Eph 1:4-5.
Although a true believer, whether baptized, or unbaptized, be in the state of salvation, and shall certainly be saved: Yet in obedience to the command of Christ every believer ought to desire baptism, and to yield himself to be baptized according to the rule of Christ in His word: And where this obedience is in faith performed, there Christ makes this His ordinance a means of unspeakable benefit to the believing soul, Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ro 6:3-4; 1Pe 3:21. And a true believer that here sees the command of Christ lying upon him, cannot allow himself in disobedience thereunto, Ac 24:16.
Believers baptized ought to agree and join together in a constant profession of the same doctrine of the Gospel, and in professed obedience thereunto, and also in fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Ac 2:42. And a company of baptized believers so agreeing and joining together, are a church or congregation of Christ. Ac 2:47.
As the preaching of the Gospel, both for the conversion of sinners, and the edifying of those that are converted; so also the right use of baptism, and of the Lord's Supper, ought to be till the end of the world, Mt 28:19-20; 1Co 11:26.
A disciple gifted and enabled by the Spirit of Christ to preach the Gospel, and stirred up to this service by the same Spirit, bringing home to his soul the command of Christ in His word for the doing of this work, is a man authorized and sent by Christ to preach the Gospel, see Lu 19:12, etc., Mr 16:15, and Mt 28:19 compared with Ac 8:4; Php 1:14-15; Joh 17; 20 . And those gifted disciples which thus preach Jesus Christ who came in the flesh, are to be looked upon as men sent and given of the Lord. 1Jo 4:2; Ro 10:15; Eph 4:11-12,13. And they which are converted from unbelief and false worship, and so brought into church fellowship by such preachers according to the will of Christ, are a seal of their ministry, 1Co 9:2. And such preachers of the Gospel may not only lawfully administer baptism unto believers, and guide the action of the church in the use of the Supper, (Mt 28:19; Ac 8:5-12; 1Co 10:16) but may also call upon the churches, and advise them to choose fit men for officers, and may settle such officers so chosen by a church, in the places or offices (of elder or deacon) to which they are chosen by imposition of hands and prayer. Ac 6:3-6; 14:23; Tit 1:5.
Though a believer's right to the use of the Lord's Supper doth immediately flow from Jesus Christ apprehended and received by faith, yet in as much as all things ought to be done not only decently, but also in order, 1Co 14:40; and the Word holds forth this order, that disciples should be baptized, Mt 28:19; Ac 2:38, and then be taught to observe all things (that is to say. all other things) that Christ commanded the Apostles, Mt 28:20, and accordingly the Apostles first baptized disciples, and then admitted them to the use of the Supper, Ac 2:41-42; we therefore do not admit any in the use of the Supper, nor communicate with any in the use of this ordinance, but disciples having once been Scripturally baptized, less we should have fellowship with them in their doing contrary to order.
Although we know that in some things we are yet very dark, and in all things as yet we know but in part, and do therefore wait upon God for further light, yet we believe that we ought in our practice to obey, and serve, and glorify God in the use of that light which He hath given us; and not neglect the good using of that light which God hath already given us, under pretense of waiting for more, 1Co 13:9; Ac 18:25.
As Christ doth not teach, nor allow that we should be without natural affection, or unsociable (see Ro 1:31); so our being made partakers of Christ, doth not discharge us from the duties of our relations. Believing servants must perform the duties of servants toward their masters though unbelieving, 1Ti 6:1. So believing children must perform the duties of children toward their parents, Col 3:20; believing wives, the duties of wives toward their husbands, 1Pe 3:1; and believing subjects must be subject to principalities and powers, and obey magistrates. Ro 13:1. etc.; Tit 3:1; 1Pe 2:13-14,15. But still they must remember that their fear toward God must not be taught by the precept of men, Isa 29:13; that these ought to obey God rather than men, Ac 5:29; and that the submission that must be given to men, must be given to them for the Lord's sake. 1Pe 2:14. Thus I conclude with the Apostle's words (in 2Ti 2:7) a little varied, but not misapplied. "Consider what we teach: and the Lord give you understanding in all things."
Various Churches of the Midlands in England
1st. We believe and profess, that there is only one true God, who is our God, who is eternal, almighty, unchangeable, infinite, and incomprehensible; who is a Spirit, having His being in Himself, and giveth being to all creatures; He doth what He will, in heaven and earth; working all things according to the counsel of His own will.
2nd. That this infinite Being is set forth to be the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three agree in one. 1Jo 5:7.
3rd. We profess and believe the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testament, to be the word and revealed mind of God, which are able to make men wise unto Salvation, through faith and love which is in Christ Jesus; and that they are given by inspiration of God, serving to furnish the man of God for every good work; and by them we are (in the strength of Christ) to try all things whatsoever are brought to us, under the pretence of truth. 2Ti 3:15-17; Isa 8:20.
4th. That though Adam was created righteous, yet he fell through the temptations of Satan; and his fall overthrew, not only himself, but his posterity, making them sinners by his disobedience; so that we are by nature children of wrath, and defiled from the womb, being shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin. Ps 51:5; Ro 5:12-15.
5th. That God elected and chose, in His Eternal counsel, some persons to life and salvation, before the foundation of the world, whom accordingly He doth and will effectually call, and whom He doth so call, He will certainly keep by His power, through faith to salvation. Ac 13:48; Eph 1:2-4; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2, etc.
6th. That election was free in God, of His own pleasure, and not at all for, or with reference to , any foreseen works of faith in the creature, as the motive thereunto. Eph 1:4; Ro 11:5-6.
7th. That Jesus Christ was, in the fulness of time, manifested in the flesh; being born of a woman; being perfectly righteous, gave himself for the elect to redeem them to God by his blood. Joh 10:15; Eph 5:25-27; Re 5:9.
8th. That all men until they be quickened by Christ are dead in trespasses -- Eph 2:1; and therefore have no power of themselves to believe savingly -- Joh 15:5. But faith is the free gift of God, and the mighty work of God in the soul, even like the rising of Christ from the dead -- Eph 1:19. Therefore consent not with those who hold that God hath given power to all men to believe to salvation.
9th. That Christ is the only true King, Priest, and Prophet of the Church. Ac 2:22-23; Heb 4:14, etc; Heb 8:1, etc.
10th. That every man is justified by Christ -- Ro 8:33; 1Co 6:11; apprehended by faith; and that no man is justified in the sight of God partly by Christ and partly by works. Ro 3:20,28,30; Ga 5:4.
11th. That Jesus of Nazareth, of whom the scriptures of the Old Testament prophesied, is the true Messiah and Saviour of men; and that He died on the cross, was buried, rose again in the same body in which He suffered and ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high, and appeareth in the presence of God, making intercession for us.
12th That all those who have faith wrought in their hearts by the power of God, according to his good pleasure, should be careful to maintain good works, and to abound in them, acting from principles of true faith and unfeigned love, looking to God's glory as their main end. Tit 3:8; Heb 11:6; 1Co 6:10 and 1Co 6:20.
13th. That those who profess faith in Christ, and make the same appear by their fruits, are the proper subjects of Baptism. Mt 28:18-19.
14th. That this baptizing is not by sprinkling, but dipping of the persons in the water, representing the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Ro 6:3-4; Col 2:12; Ac 8:38-39.
15th. That persons so baptized ought, by free consent, to walk together, as God shall give opportunity in distinct churches, or assemblies of Zion, continuing in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers, as fellow-men caring for one another, according to the will of God. All these ordinances of Christ are enjoined in His Church, being to be observed till his Second Coming, which we all ought diligently to wait for.
16th. That at the time appointed of the Lord, the dead bodies of all men, just and unjust, shall rise again out of their graves, that all may receive according to what they have done in their bodies, be it good or evil.
Waldensian Confessions of Faith
(Reproduced from Jone's Church History)
Waldenses Confession of 1120 & 1544 & Articles
06.00 Waldenses Confession of 1120
07.00 Waldenses Confession of 1544
08.00 Waldenses Articles
1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles' creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.
2. We believe that there is one God - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)
4. The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.
5. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself.
6. That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born - a time when iniquity everywhere abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in ourselves, for all were sinners, but that He, who is true, might display His grace and mercy towards us.
7. That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness - our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and rose again for their justification.
8. And we also firmly believe, that there is no other mediator, or advocate with God the Father, but Jesus Christ. And as to the Virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full of grace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.
9. We also believe, that, after this life, there are but two places - one for those that are saved, the other for the damned, which [two] we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of Antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.
10. Moreover, we have ever regarded all the inventions of men [in the affairs of religion] as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days and vigils of saints, and what is called holy-water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all, the masses.
11. We hold in abhorrence all human inventions, as proceeding from Antichrist, which produce distress (Alluding probably to the voluntary penances and mortification imposed by the Catholics on themselves), and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.
12 We consider the Sacraments as signs of holy things, or as the visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding which, we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.
13. We acknowledge no sacraments [as of divine appointment] but baptism and the Lord's supper.
14. We honour the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment.
(Reproduced from Jone's Church History) Waldenses Confession of 1120 & 1544 & Articles 06.00 Waldenses Confession of 1120 07.00 Waldenses Confession of 1544 Confess: 07.01 Confess: 07.02 Confess: 07.03 Confess: 07.04 Confess: 07.05 Confess: 07.06 Confess: 07.07 Confess: 07.08 Confess: 07.09 Confess: 07.10 Confess: 07.11 Confess: 07.12 08.00 Waldenses Articles From Acts & Monuments Of Foxe, Vol 3
Waldensian Confessions of Faith
(Reproduced from Jone's Church History)
Waldenses Confession of 1120 & 1544 & Articles
06.00 Waldenses Confession of 1120
07.00 Waldenses Confession of 1544
08.00 Waldenses Articles From Acts & Monuments Of Foxe, Vol 3
1. We believe that there is but one God, who is a Spirit - the Creator of all things - the Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all; who is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth - upon whom we are continually dependent, and to whom we ascribe praise for our life, food, raiment, health, sickness, prosperity, and adversity. We love him as the source of all goodness; and reverence him as that sublime being, who searches the reins and trieth the hearts of the children of men.
2. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son and image of the Father - that in Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells, and that by Him alone we know the Father. He is our Mediator and advocate; nor is there any other name given under heaven by which we can be saved. In His name alone we call upon the Father, using no other prayers than those contained in the Holy Scriptures, or such as are in substance agreeable thereunto.
3. We believe in the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, proceeding from the Father, and from the Son; by whose inspiration we are taught to pray; being by Him renewed in the spirit of our minds; who creates us anew unto good works, and from whom we receive the knowledge of the truth.
4. We believe that there is one holy church, comprising the whole assembly of the elect and faithful, that have existed from the beginning of the world, or that shall be to the end thereof. Of this church the Lord Jesus Christ is the head - it is governed by His word and guided by the Holy Spirit. In the church it behooves all Christians to have fellowship. For her He [Christ] prays incessantly, and His prayer for it is most acceptable to God, without which indeed their could be no salvation.
5. We hold that the ministers of the church ought to be unblameable both in life and doctrine; and if found otherwise, that they ought to be deposed from their office, and others substituted in their stead; and that no person ought to presume to take that honour unto himself but he who is called of God as was Aaron - that the duties of such are to feed the flock of God, not for filthy lucre's sake, or as having dominion over God's heritage, but as being examples to the flock, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, and in chastity.
6. We acknowledge, that kings, princes, and governors, are the appointed and established ministers of God, whom we are bound to obey [in all lawful and civil concerns]. For they bear the sword for the defence of the innocent, and the punishment of evil doers; for which reason we are bound to honour and pay them tribute. From this power and authority, no man can exempt himself as is manifest from the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who voluntarily paid tribute, not taking upon himself any jurisdiction of temporal power.
7. We believe that in the ordinance of baptism the water is the visible and external sign, which represents to as that which, by virtue of God's invisible operation, is within us - namely, the renovation of our minds, and the mortification of our members through [the faith of] Jesus Christ. And by this ordinance we are received into the holy congregation of God's people, previously professing and declaring our faith and change of life.
8. We hold that the Lord's supper is a commemoration of, and thanksgiving for, the benefits which we have received by His sufferings and death - and that it is to be received in faith and love - examining ourselves, that so we may eat of that bread and drink of that cup, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures.
9. We maintain that marriage was instituted of God. That it is holy and honourable, and ought to be forbidded to none, provided there be no obstacle from the divine word.
10. We contend, that all those in whom the fear of God dwells, will thereby be led to please him, and to abound in the good works [of the gospel] which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them - which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, sobriety, and the other good works enforced in the Holy Scriptures.
11. On the other hand, we confess that we consider it to be our duty to beware of false teachers, whose object is to divert the minds of men from the true worship of God, and to lead them to place their confidence in the creature, as well as to depart from the good works of the gospel, and to regard the inventions of men.
12. We take the Old and the New Testament for the rule of our life, and we agree with the general confession of faith contained in [what is usually termed] the apostles' creed.
Articles Of The Waldenses
From Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, Volume 3
Whereupon came first their name, that they were called ‘Waldenses,’ or ‘Pauperes de Lugduno,’ not because they would have all things common amongst them, or that they, professing any wilful poverty, would imitate to live as the apostles did, as Sylvius did falsely belie them, but because they, being thrust out both of country and goods, were compelled to live poorly, whether they would or no. And thus much touching the first occasion and beginning of these men, and of the restoring and maintaining the true doctrine of Christ's gospel, against the proud proceedings of popish errors. Now concerning their articles, which I find in order and in number to be these:
The Articles of the Waldenses
06.00 Waldenses Confession of 1120
07.00 Waldenses Confession of 1544
08.00 Waldenses Articles From Acts & Monuments Of Foxe, Vol 3
I. Only the holy Scripture is to be believed in matters pertaining to salvation, and no man or man's writing besides.
II. All things which are necessary to salvation are contained in holy Scripture; and therefore nothing is to be admitted in religion, but only what is commanded in the word of God.
III. There is one only Mediator; the saints are in no wise to be made mediators, or to be invocated.
IV. There is no purgatory; but all men are either through Christ justified to life eternal, or, not believing in him, go away to everlasting destruction and, besides these two, there is no third or fourth place.
V. There be but two sacraments, baptism and the communion.
VI. All masses, namely, such as be sung for the dead, are wicked, and ought to be abrogate.
VII. All human traditions ought to be rejected, at least not to be reputed as necessary to salvation; and therefore this singing and chanting in the chancel is to be left off: constrained and prefixed fasts bound to days and times, superfluous holidays, difference of meats, such variety of degrees and orders of priests, monks, and nuns, so many sundry benedictions and hallowing of creatures, vows, pilgrimages, and all the rabblement of rites and ceremonies brought in by man, ought to be abolished.
VIII. The asserted supremacy of the pope above all churches, and especially his usurped power above all governments, in other words the jurisdiction of both the swords, is to be utterly denied; neither are any degrees to be received in the church, but only the degrees of priests, deacons, and bishops.
IX. The communion under both kinds is godly and necessary, being ordained and enjoined by Christ.
X. The church of Rome is the very Babylon spoken of in the Apocalypse; and the pope is the fountain of all errors, and the very antichrist.
XI. The pope's pardons and indulgences they reject .
XII. The marriage of priests they hold to be godly, and also necessary in the church.
XIII. Such as hear the word of God, and have a right faith, they hold to be the right church of Christ; and that to this church the keys of the church are given to drive away wolves, and to institute true pastors of Christ, who should preach the word and minister the sacraments.
These be the most principal articles of the Waldenses, albeit some there be that add more to them; some, again, divide the same into more parts: but these be the principal, to which the rest be reduced.
I. HIS CONFESSION OF FAITH, AND REASON OF HIS PRACTICE;
II. DIFFERENCES ABOUT WATER BAPTISM NO BAR TO COMMUNION; AND
III. PEACEABLE PRINCIPLES AND TRUE 
[1. It is much to be regretted that these books, in common with all Mr. Bunyan's Works, were grossly corrupted in the text in all the editions published since 1737,--'poor peace indeed,' was changed to 'pure peace indeed'; 'here is Rome enough,' meaning popery enough, was altered to 'here is room enough'; 'Baptist,' was printed 'Papist,' &c., &c.: all the typographical errors have now been carefully corrected by Bunyan's editions.]
ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR [George Offor].
Reader, these are extraordinary productions that will well repay an attentive perusal. It is the confession of faith of a Christian who had suffered nearly twelve years' imprisonment, under persecution for conscience sake. Shut up with his Bible, you have here the result of a prayerful study of those holy oracles. It produced a difference in practice from his fellow Christians of ALL denominations, the reasons for which are added to this confession; with a defence of his principles and practice, proving them to be peaceable and true. In all this an unlettered man displays the acumen of a thoroughly educated polemical theologian. The author was driven to these publications to defend himself from the slanders which were showered down upon him, by all parties, for nearly eighteen years, and by the attempts which were made to take away his members, injure the peace of his congregation, and alienate him from the church to which he was tenderly attached. His first inquiry is, Who are to be admitted to the Lord's table; and his reply is, Those whom God has received: they have become his children, and are entitled to sit at their Father's table: such only as have examined themselves, and by their conduct lead the church to hope that they have passed from death unto life. The practice of those who admit ungodly persons because they have submitted to some outward ceremonies, he severely condemns. The mixture of the church and the world he deems to be spiritual adultery, the prolific source of sin, and one of the causes of the deluge. The Lord's table is scripturally fenced around: 'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers'; 'what communion hath light with darkness; Christ with Belial; the temple of God with idols? be ye separate, touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you.' 'Receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God, not to doubtful disputations.' 'Withdraw from them that walk disorderly, working not; but busy bodies; unless with quietness they work and eat their own bread. If any are proud, doting about questions and strifes of words, evil surmisings, perverse disputings, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw.' Bunyan rests all upon the word,--the characters are described who are to be excluded from the Lord's table; but in no instance is it upon record that any one was excluded because he had not been baptized in water. And who will dare to make any addition to holy writ?
The practice of making the mode in which water baptism was administered a term of communion, existed among the Independents long before Bunyan's time. Crosby, in his History of the Baptists, makes some long extracts from a book entitled, 'The sin and danger of admitting Anabaptists to continue in the congregational churches, and the inconsistency of such a practice with the principles of both.' In America, Cotton and the Independents severely persecuted their Baptist brethren, even to deportation. As the Baptists increased in numbers, they refused to admit any to the Lord's table, even to occasional communion, who had not been baptized in water upon a profession of faith: in fact, the difference between those who consider baptism to be a relative duty to be performed by parents in having their infants sprinkled, and those who deem it a personal duty to be immersed in water, as a public putting on of Christ, is so great, as to require the utmost powers of charity to preserve peace. Thus it was in the primitive churches, where great differences prevailed even as to the duty of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles; the keeping of days probably extending to the Jewish sabbath, and to the abstaining from certain meats, with other ordinances of the Jewish law.
Bunyan saw all the difficulties of this question: he was satisfied that baptism is a personal duty, in respect to which every individual must be satisfied in his own mind, and over which no church had any control; and that the only inquiry as to the fitness of a candidate for church fellowship should be, whether the regenerating powers of the Holy Ghost had baptized the spirit of the proposed member into newness of life. This is the only livery by which a Christian can be known. Bunyan very justly condemns the idea of water baptism being either the Christian's livery or his marriage to the Saviour.
We do well, in our examinations into this subject, to note carefully the various applications of the word baptize, and not always attach the use of water to the term. There is a being baptized in a cloud, and in the sea, to protect God's Israel from their deadly foes; a baptism in sufferings; a baptism in water unto repentance; a baptism in fire, or the Holy Ghost; a baptism into the doctrine of the Trinity (Mt 28:19). Bunyan had no doubt upon this subject; he deemed water baptism an important personal duty; and that a death to sin, and resurrection to newness of life--a different tint, or dye, given to the character--was best figured by immersion in water: still he left it to every individual to be satisfied in his own mind as to this outward sign of the invisible grace. 'Strange,' he says, 'take two Christians equal on all points but this; nay, let one go far beyond the other for grace and holiness; yet this circumstance of water shall drown and sweep away all his excellencies; not counting him worthy of that reception that with hand and heart shall be given to a novice in religion, because he consents to water.'
For these catholic principles he was most roughly handled. Deune, in a pamphlet in the Editor's possession, called him a devil; and likened him to Timri, who slew his master. The most learned of the Baptist ministers entered upon the controversy. They invited him to a grand religious tournament, where he would have stood one against a legion. A great meeting was appointed, in London, for a public disputation--as was common among the puritans--and in which the poor country mechanic was to be overwhelmed with scholastic learning and violence; but Bunyan wisely avoided a collision which could have answered no valuable purpose, and which bid fair to excite angry feelings. He had appealed to the press as the calmest and best mode of controversy; and to that mode of appeal he adhered. Three learned men undertook the cause against Bunyan: these were, D'Anvers, W. Kiffin, and T. Paul. When these lettered, able, and distinguished disputants published their joint answer, it contained much scurrilous abuse. Their brother, Bunyan, was in prison, and they visited him with gall and wormwood. He closes his reply with these remarkable words, 'Thine to serve thee, Christians, so long as I can look out at those eyes that have had so much dirt thrown at them by many.'
The late Mr. Robert Hall, in his controversy upon this subject with Mr. Kinghorn, in which--having demolished Kinghorn's castle in a few pages--he, in order to make a book, amused the public by kicking the ruins about, thus adverts to these treatises: 'The most virulent reproaches were cast upon the admirable Bunyan, during his own time, for presuming to break the yoke; and whoever impartially examines the spirit of Mr. Booth's Apology, will perceive that its venerable author regards him, together with his successors, much in the light of rebels and insurgents, or, to use the mildest terms, as contumacious despisers of legitimate authority.' 
[2. Reply to Kinghorn. 1818, p. xii.]
We cannot have a more decided proof of Bunyan's great powers, and of his being much in advance of his times, than by the opinions of which he was the Christian pioneer having spread so extensively through the Baptist denomination. In this his predictions were fully verified. It is surprising that pious dissenters should ever have made uniformity in outward ceremonies of more importance than inward holiness, as a term of communion. Such sentiments naturally attach to state churches; and ought to be found only with those bodies which exist merely for political purposes, and for it are rewarded with earthly power, pomp, and wealth. I close these observations by quoting the words of Bunyan's learned antagonists, published within a few years of this controversy, and during his lifetime. his sentiments appear to have had a hallowed effect even upon their minds, and produced an apology for their conduct. It is in the appendix to the Baptist confession of faith, republished in 1677: 'We would not be misconstrued, as if the discharge of our consciences did any way disoblige or alienate our affections or conversations from any others that fear the Lord: earnestly desiring to approve ourselves to be such as follow after peace with holiness. We continue our practice, not out of obstinacy, but we do therein according to the best of our understandings, in that method which we take to be most agreeable to the scriptures. The christening of infants, we find by church history, to have been a very ancient practice; still we leave every one to give an account of himself to God. And if in any case debates between Christians are not plainly determinable by the scriptures, we leave it to the second coming of Christ.' In 1689, the year after Bunyan's death, this appendix was omitted from the Baptist confession of faith.
May the time soon arrive when water shall not quench love, but when all the churches militant shall form one army, with one object,--that of extending the Redeemer's kingdom.--GEO. OFFOR.
SHEWING, BY DIVERSE ARGUMENTS, THAT THOUGH I DARE NOT COMMUNICATE WITH THE OPENLY PROFANE, YET I CAN WITH THOSE VISIBLE SAINTS THAT DIFFER ABOUT WATER-BAPTISM. WHEREIN IS ALSO DISCOURSED, WHETHER THAT BE THE ENTERING ORDINANCE INTO FELLOWSHIP, OR NO.
'I believed, therefore have I spoken.'-- Ps 116:10
TO THE READER.
I marvel not that both you and others do think my long imprisonment strange, (or rather strangely of me for the sake of that) for verily I should also have done it myself, had not the Holy Ghost long since forbidden me (1Pe 4:12; 1Jo 3:13). Nay, verily, that notwithstanding, had the adversary but fastened the supposition of guilt upon me, my long trials might by this time have put it beyond dispute; for I have not hitherto been so sordid, as to stand to a doctrine right or wrong; much less when so weighty an argument as above eleven years' imprisonment, is continually dogging of me to weigh and pause, and pause again, the grounds and foundation of those principles, for which I thus have suffered;  but having not only at my trial asserted them, but also since, even all this tedious tract of time, in cool blood, a thousand times, by the word of God, examined them, and found them good; I cannot, I dare not now revolt or deny the same, on pain of eternal damnation.
[3. King Charles the 2nd, about a year after this time, pardoned near five hundred Quakers, who had been languishing in prison for not attending the church service. Upon this Mr. Bunyan, and his fellow prisoners at Bedford, petitioned for liberty, and at a court of privy council at Whitehall, the 17th May, 1672, present, the King and twenty-four of his councillors, the following minute was made:--'Whereas, by order of the Board of the 8th instant, the humble petition of John Penn, John Bunyan, John Dunn, Thomas Haynes, Simon Haynes, and George Parr, prisoners in the goale of Bedford, convicted upon several statutes for not conforming to the rights and ceremonyes of the church of England, and for being at unlawful meetings, was referred to the Sheriff of the county of Bedford, who was required to certify this Board whether the said persons were committed for the crimes in the said petition mentioned, AND FOR NO OTHER; which he having accordingly done, by his certificate dated the 11th instant. It was thereupon, this day, ordered by his Ma(tie) in council, That the said petition and certificate be (and are herewith) sent to his Ma(tie's) Attorney General, who is authorized, and required, to insert them into the general pardon to be passed for the Quakers.' This fully confirms what Bunyan says as to the cause of his long and dangerous imprisonment. It was for being absent from the state church and worshipping God according to His will, as expressed in the Bible. See Introduction to Pilgrim's Progress, Hansard Knollys edition.]
And that my principles and practice may be open to the view and judgment of all men, though they stand and fall to none but the word of God alone, I have in this small treatise presented to this generation, 'A Confession of my Faith, and a Reason of my Practice in the Worship of God'; by which, although it be brief, candid Christians may, I hope, without a violation to faith or love, judge [that] I may have the root of the matter found in me.
Neither have I in this relation abusively presented my reader, with other doctrines or practices, than what I held, professed, and preached when apprehended, and cast in prison. Nor did I then or now retain a doctrine besides, or which is not thereon grounded. The subject I should have preached upon, even then when the constable came, was, 'Dost thou believe on the Son of God?' From whence I intended to shew, the absolute need of faith in Jesus Christ; and that it was also a thing of the highest concern for men to inquire into, and to ask their own hearts whether they had it or no.
Faith and holiness are my professed principles, with an endeavour, so far as in me lieth, to be at peace with all men. What shall I say, let mine enemies themselves be judges, if anything in these following doctrines, or if ought that any man hath heard me preach, doth [savour], or hath according to the true intent of my words, savoured either of heresy or rebellion. I say again, let they themselves be judges, if ought they find in my writing or preaching, doth render me worthy of almost twelve years' imprisonment, or one that deserveth to be hanged, or banished for ever, according to their tremendous sentence. Indeed my principles are such, as lead me to a denial to communicate in the things of the kingdom of Christ, with the ungodly and openly profane; neither can I in or by the superstitious inventions of this world, consent that my soul should be governed in any of my approaches to God, because commanded to the contrary, and commended for so refusing. Wherefore excepting this one thing, for which I ought not to be rebuked; I shall, I trust, in despite of slander and falsehood, discover myself at all times a peaceable and an obedient subject. But if nothing will do, unless I make of my conscience a continual butchery, and slaughter-shop, unless putting out my own eyes, I commit me to the blind to lead me, as I doubt is desired by some, I have determined, the Almighty God being my help and shield, yet to suffer, if frail life might continue so long, even till the moss shall grow on mine eyebrows, rather than thus to violate my faith and principles. 'Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon, which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?' (Jer 18:14). 'Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods?' (Jer 2:11). 'For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever' (Micah 4:5).
Touching my practice as to communion with visible saints, although not baptized with water; I say it is my present judgment so to do, and am willing to render a farther reason thereof, shall I see the leading hand of God thereto.
Thine in bonds for the gospel,
'Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil-doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.'-- 1Pe 3:15-16.
1. I believe, that there is but one only true God, and there is none other but he. 'To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things' (1Co 8:6). 'And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God' &c. (Joh 17:3, see also Mr 12:32; Ac 17:24).
2. I believe, that this God is almighty, eternal, invisible, incomprehensible, &c. 'I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect' (Ge 17:1). 'The eternal God is thy refuge' (De 33:27). 'Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever' (1Ti 1:17, see also Job 11:7; Ro 11:33).
3. I believe, that this God is unspeakably perfect in all his attributes of power, wisdom, justice, truth, holiness, mercy, love, &c. his power is said to be eternal (Ro 1:20), his understanding and wisdom infinite (Ps 147:5); he is called the just Lord in opposition to all things (Zep 3:5). He is said to be truth itself and the God thereof (2Th 2:10; De 32:4). There is none holy as the Lord. 'God is love.' 'Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?' (Job 11:7).
4. I believe, that in the Godhead, there are three persons or subsistances. 'There are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost' (1Jo 5:7, see also Ge 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8).
5. I believe, that these three are in nature, essence, and eternity, equally one. 'These three are one' (1Jo 5:7).
6. I believe, [that] there is 'a world to come' (Heb 2:5; 6:5).
7. I believe, that there shall be 'a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust' (Ac 24:15). 'Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt' (Da 12:2). 'Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation' (Joh 5:28).
8. I believe, that they that 'shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection' (Lu 20:34-36, see also Joh 10:27-29; Re 7:16; 20:6).
9. I believe, that those that die impenitent, shall be tormented with the devil and his angels, and shall be cast with them into 'the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone' (Re 21:8). 'Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched' (Mr 9:43,48, see also Mt 25:41,46; Joh 5:29).
10. I believe, that because God is naturally holy and just, even, as he is good and merciful; therefore, all having sinned, none can be saved, without the means of a redeemer. 'Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom' (Job 33:24). 'We have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins' (Col 1:14). For which 'without shedding of blood, is no remission' (Heb 9:22).
11. I believe that Jesus Christ our Lord himself is the redeemer. 'They remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer' (Ps 78:35). 'Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot' (1Pe 1:18-19).
12. I believe, that the great reason why the Lord, the second person in the Godhead, did clothe himself with our flesh and blood, was that he might be capable of obtaining the redemption, that before the world, was intended for us. 'Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; [mark] that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage' (Heb 2:14-15). 'When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law' (Ga 4:4-5). 'Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, and that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted' (Heb 2:17-18). 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through [faith in] Jesus Christ' (Ga 3:13-14).
13. I believe, that the time when he clothed himself with our flesh, was in the days of the reign of Caesar Augustus; then, I say, and not till then, was the Word 'made flesh,' or clothed with our nature (Joh 1:14; 1Ti 3:16). 'And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered' (Lu 2:1,4-6). This child was he of whom godly Simeon was told by the Holy Ghost, when he said, That he should not see death until he had seen the Lord's Christ (vv Lu 2:25-27).
14. I believe, therefore, that this very child, as afore is testified, is both God and man; the Christ of the living God. 'And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds - keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger' (Lu 2:7-12). Again, 'But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him; - saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us' (Mt 1:21-22).
15. I believe, therefore, that the righteousness, and redemption, by which we that believe, stand just before God, as saved from the curse of the law, is the righteousness, and redemption, that consists in the personal acts and performances of this child Jesus; this God-man the Lord's Christ: it consisteth, I say, in his personal fulfilling the law for us, to the utmost requirement of the justice of God. 'Think not [saith he] that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil' (Mt 5:17). By which means he became 'the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth' (Ro 10:4). 'For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh' (Ro 8:3). So finishing transgressions, and making an end of sins, and making reconciliation for iniquity, He brought in everlasting righteousness (1Jo 3:8; 2Ti 1:9; Heb 10:5-10; Da 9:24).
16. I believe, that for the completing of this work, he was always sinless (Heb 4:15); did always the things that pleased God's justice (Joh 8:29), that every one of his acts, both of doing and suffering, and rising again from the dead, was really and infinitely perfect, being done by him as God-man (Heb 7:26-28): wherefore his acts before he died, are called, 'the righteousness of God' (Ro 3:21-22), his blood, 'the blood of God' (Ac 20:28), and 'hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us' (1Jo 3:16). The Godhead which gave virtue to all the acts of the human nature, was then in perfect union with it, when he hanged upon the cross for our sins (Ac 10:36; Joh 20:28; Ro 1:4).
17. I believe then, that the righteousness that saveth the sinner from the wrath to come, is properly and personally Christ's, and ours but as we have union with him; God by grace imputing it to us. 'Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith' (Php 3:8-9). 'But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption' (1Co 1:30). 'For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him' (2Co 5:21) ['IN the LORD have I righteousness and strength' (Isa 45:24).]
18. I believe, that God, as the reward of Christ's undertakings for us, hath exalted him to his own right-hand, as our mediator, and given him a name above every name; and hath made him Lord of all, and judge of quick and dead: and all this that we who believe might take courage to believe, and hope in God (Eph 1:17-22). 'And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself - unto death, even the death of the cross, [where he died for our sins]. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him; and given him a name - above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father' (Php 2:8-11). 'And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead' (Ac 10:42; 17:31). 'Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God' (1Pe 1:19-21).
19. I believe, that being at the right hand of God in heaven, he doth there effectually exercise the offices of his excellent priesthood, and mediatorship, presenting himself continually before God, in the righteousness which is accomplished for us, when he was in the world. For by the efficacy of his blood, he not only went into the holy place, but being there, and having by it obtained eternal redemption for us; now, as receiving the worth and merit thereof from the Father; doth bestow upon us grace, repentance, faith, and the remission of sins: yea he also received for us, the Holy Ghost to be sent unto us, to ascertain  us of our adoption and glory: 'For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest' (Heb 8:4). 'Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession' (Heb 4:14). 'For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus' (1Ti 2:5). For 'by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. - For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us' (Heb 9:12,24). 'Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear' (Ac 2:23; 5:31). 
[4.'To ascertain us,' in the 17th century,meant 'to make us confident,' 'to assure us.' 'It ascertaining me that I am one of God's children.'--Hammond. Ed.]
[5. Eternal blessings on our Emmanuel, who faithfully performed His promise of sending the Comforter to unlock the mysteries of the kingdom of grace, and guide us into all truth: without His powerful aid we can neither know or perform any thing to a good or saving purpose.--Mason.]
20. I believe, that being there, he shall so continue till the restitution of all things, and then he shall come again in glory, and shall sit in judgment upon all flesh. And I believe, that according to his sentence so shall their judgment be. 'Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, - spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began' (Ac 3:19-21). For 'this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heave' (Ac 1:11). 'For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God'; &c. (1Th 4:16). 'When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal' (Mt 25:31-33,41,46). For 'the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat' (2Pe 3:10-12).
21. I believe that when he comes, his saints shall have a reward of grace, for all their work and labour of love which they showed to his name in the world. 'And every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour' (1Co 3:8). 'And then shall every man have praise of God' (1Co 4:5). 'And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be' (Re 22:12). 'Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord' (1Co 15:58). 'Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ' (Col 3:24).
How Christ is made ours; or by what means this or that man, hath that benefit by him, as to stand just before God now, and in the day of judgment.
1. I believe, we being sinful creatures in ourselves, that no good thing done by us, can procure of God the imputation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But that the imputation thereof is an act of grace, a free gift without our deserving. 'Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus' (Ro 3:24,17). 'Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus' (2Ti 1:9).
2. I believe also, That the power of imputing righteousness resideth only in God by Christ: 1. Sin being the transgression of the law. 2. The soul that hath sinned being his creature, and the righteousness also his, and his only. 'Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin' (Ro 4:6-8). Hence therefore it is said again, That men 'shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness' (Ps 145:7). 'For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy' (Ro 9:15-16).
3. I believe, that the offer of this righteousness, as tendered in the gospel, is to be received by faith; we still in the very act of receiving it, judging ourselves sinners in ourselves. 'Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ' (Ro 7:24-25). 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved' (Ac 16:31). The gospel is preached in all nations for the obedience of faith. 'Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, [a sacrifice to appease the displeasure of God] through faith in his blood. To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God; to declare I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth on Jesus' (Ro 3:24-26). 'Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses' (Ac 13:38-39).
4. I believe, that this faith, as it respecteth the imputation of this righteousness, for justification before God, doth put forth itself in such acts, as purely respect the offer of a gift. It receiveth, accepteth of, embraceth, or trusteth to it. 'As many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name' (Joh 1:12). 'This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief' (1Ti 1:15; Heb 11:13). 'In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise' (Eph 1:13). I believe therefore, that as to my justification from the curse of the law, I am, as I stand in myself, ungodly, to receive, accept of, embrace, and trust to the righteousness, that is already provided by, and wrapt up in the personal doings and sufferings of Christ; it being faith in that, and that only, that can justify a sinner in the sight of God. 
[6. The gracious soul believes in Christ for justification, from a sense of utter inability to obtain justification by works. This is effected by the power of the Holy Spirit, the glorifier of Jesus.--Mason.]
5. I believe, that the faith that so doth, is not to be found with any but those, in whom the Spirit of God by mighty power doth work it: all others being fearful and incredulous, dare not venture their souls and eternity upon it. And hence it is called the faith that is wrought by the exceeding great and mighty power of God; the faith of the operation of God. And hence it is that others are said to be fearful, and so unbelieving. These with other ungodly sinners must have their part in the lake of fire (Eph 1:18-19; Col 2:12; Eph 2:8; Php 1:19; Re 21:8).
6. I believe, that this faith is effectually wrought in none, but those which before the world were appointed unto glory. 'And as many as were ordained unto eternal life believed' (Ac 13:48). 'That he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory' (Ro 9:23). 'We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God; - knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God' (1Th 1:2-4). But of the rest he saith, 'ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep, as I said' (Joh 10:26), which latter words relate to the 16th verse, which respecteth the election of God.
'Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and I should heal them' (Joh 12:39-40).
1. I believe that election is free and permanent, being founded in grace, and the unchangeable will of God. 'Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more of grace: otherwise work is no more work' (Ro 11:5-6). 'Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his' (2Ti 2:19). 'In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will' (Eph 1:11).
2. I believe, that this decree, choice or election, was before the foundation of the world; and so before the elect themselves, had being in themselves: For 'God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were' (Ro 4:17), stays not for the being of things, to determine his eternal purpose by; but having all things present to him, in his wisdom, he made his choice before the world was (Eph 1:4; 2Ti 1:9).
3. I believe, that the decree of election is so far off from making works in us foreseen, the ground or cause of the choice: that it containeth in the bowels of it, not only the persons, but the graces that accompany their salvation. And hence it is, that it is said; we are predestinated 'to be conformed to the image of his Son' (Ro 8:29); not because we are, but 'that we SHOULD be holy and without blame before him in love' (Eph 1:4). 'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them' (Eph 2:10). He blessed us according as he chose us in Christ. And hence it is again that the salvation and calling of which we are now made partakers, is no other than what was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; according to his eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Eph 3:8-11; 2Ti 1:9; Ro 8:29).
4. I believe that Christ Jesus is he in whom the elect are always considered, and that without him there is neither election, grace, nor salvation. 'Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace: wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. - That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even in him' (Eph 1:5-7,10). 'Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved' (Ac 4:12).
5. I believe, that there is not any impediment attending the election of God, that can hinder their conversion, and eternal salvation. 'Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? - Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?' &c. (Ro 8:30-35). 'What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded' (Ro 11:7). 'For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts: though their land was filled with sin, against the holy one of Israel' (Jer 51:5). When Ananias made intercession against Saul, saying, 'Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.' What said God unto him? 'Go thy way, for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel' (Ac 9:12,15).
6. I believe that no man can know his election, but by his calling. The vessels of mercy, which God afore prepared unto glory, do thus claim a share therein: 'Even us, [say they,] whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Hosea; I will call them my people, which were not my people, and her beloved, which was not beloved' (Ro 9:24-25).
7. I believe therefore, that election doth not forestal or prevent the means which are of God appointed to bring us to Christ, to grace and glory; but rather putteth a necessity upon the use and effect thereof; because they are chosen to be brought to heaven that way: that is, by the faith of Jesus Christ, which is the end of effectual calling. 'Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure' (2Pe 1:10; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:12).
I believe, that to effectual calling, the Holy Ghost must accompany the word of the gospel, and that with mighty power: I mean that calling, which of God is made to be the fruit of electing love. 'Knowing,' saith Paul to the Thessalonians, 'brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance,' &c. (1Th 1:4-5). Otherwise men will not, cannot, hear and turn. Samuel was called four times, before he knew the voice of him that spake from heaven (1Sa 3). It is said of them in Hosea, That as the prophets called them so they went from them; and instead of turning to them, 'sacrificed to Baalim, and burned incense to graven images' (Ho 11:2). The reason is, because men by nature are not only dead in sins, but enemies in their minds by reason of wicked works: the call then is, 'Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light' (Eph 5:14). Understand, therefore, that effectual calling is like that word of Christ that raised Lazarus from the dead; a word attended with an arm that was omnipotent. 'Lazarus, come forth' (Joh 11:43). It was a word to the dead; but not only so: it was a word for the dead; a word that raised him from the dead; a word that outwent all opposition; and that brought him forth of the grave, though bound hand and foot therein (Ga 1:15). And hence it is, that calling is sometimes expressed by quickening (Eph 2:1-2), awakening, illuminating, or bringing them forth of darkness to light, that amazeth and astonisheth them (Heb 10:32; Ac 9:6). For as it is a strange thing for a man that lay long dead, or never saw the light with his eyes, to be raised out of the grave, or to be made to see that which he could not so much as once think of before, so it is with effectual calling. Hence it is that Paul, when called, stood 'trembling and was astonished': and that Peter saith, 'he hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light' (1Pe 2:9; Eph 4:24; Ac 9:6). In effectual calling the voice of God is heard, and the gates of heaven are opened:  when God called Abraham, he appeared to him in glory. That of Ananias to Saul is experienced but by few. 'The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, [saith he,] that thou shouldest know his will, and see that just one, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth' (Ac 22:14). True, Saul's call was out of the ordinary way, but yet as to the matter, and truth of the work, it was no other than all the chosen have,
[7. Effectual calling is evidenced by the soul's love to God, in his dear Son; a superior delight in Him, as a reconciled Father, cleaving to Him, His ways, and people; and longing for the full fruition and final enjoyment of Him in glory.--Mason.]
(1.) An effectual awakening about the evil of sin; and especially of unbelief (Joh 16:9). And therefore when the Lord God called Adam, he also made unto him an effectual discovery of sin; insomuch that he stript him of all his righteousness (Ge 3). Thus he also served the gaoler (Ac 16:29-30). Yea it is such an awakening, as by it, he sees he was without Christ, without hope, and a stranger to the commonwealth of Israel, 'and without God in the world' (Eph 2:12). Oh the dread and amazement that the guilt of sin brings with it, when it is revealed by the God of heaven; and like to it is the sight of mercy, when it pleaseth God, who calleth us by his grace, to reveal his Son in us.
(2.) In effectual calling there is great awakenings about the world to come, and the glory of unseen things; the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment; the salvation that God hath prepared for them that love him; with the blessedness that will attend us, and be upon us, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, are great things in the soul that is under the awakening calls of God. And hence we are said to be called to glory (1Th 2:12). 'To the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ' (2Th 2:14).
(3.) In effectual calling there is also a sanctifying virtue; and hence we are said to be called with an holy calling (1Th 4:7), with an 'heavenly calling' (Heb 3:1). Called to glory and virtue. 'But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light' (1Pe 2:9). Yea, effectual calling hath annexed to it, as its inseparable companion, the promise of thorough sanctification. 'Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it' (1Th 5:24).
I believe, that effectual calling doth therefore produce, 1. FAITH; and therefore it is said, that 'faith cometh by hearing' (Ro 10:17); by hearing the word that calleth us 'unto the grace of Christ' (Ga 1:6). For by the word that calleth us, is Jesus Christ held forth to us; and offered to be our righteousness; and therefore the apostle saith again, that God hath called us 'unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ' (1Co 1:9); that is, to be made partakers of the riches of grace, and the righteousness that is in him. 2. It produceth hope. It giveth a ground to hope; and therefore hope is said to be the hope of our calling (Eph 1:18). And again, 'Even as ye are called in one hope of your calling' (Eph 4:4). Now the godly wise know, whoso misseth of effectual calling, misseth of eternal life; because God justifieth none but them whom he calleth; and glorifies none but those whom he justifies: and therefore it is that Peter said before, 'Make your calling, and [so] your election sure': make it sure, that is, prove your calling right, by the word of God. For whoso staggereth at the certainty of his calling, cannot comfortably hope for a share in eternal life. 'Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. My soul fainteth for thy salvation, but I hope in thy word' (Ps 119:49,81). 3. It produceth repentance; for when a man hath heaven and hell before his eyes (as he will have if he be under the power of effectual calling) or when a man hath a revelation of the mercy and justice of God, with an heart-drawing invitation to lay hold on the tender forgiveness of sins; and being made also to behold the goodly beauty of holiness; it must needs be, that repentance appears, and puts forth itself, unto self-revenging acts, for all its wickedness which in the days of ignorance it delighted in. And hence is that saying, 'I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance' (Mr 2:17). For the effecting of which, the preaching of the word of the kingdom, is most proper: 'Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand' (Mt 4:17).
Repentance is a turning the heart to God in Christ: a turning of it from sin, and the devil, and darkness; to the goodness, and grace, and holiness that is in him. Wherefore, they that of old are said to repent, are said to loath and abhor themselves, for all their abominations. 'I abhor myself,' [said Job,] 'and repent in dust and ashes' (Job 42:6, see also Eze 6:9,14,14,6,14).
Godly repentance doth not only affect the soul with the loathsome nature of sin that is past; but filleth the heart with godly hatred of sins that yet may come. When Moses feared that through his being overburthened with the care of the children of Israel, some unruly or sinful passions might show themselves in him, what saith he? 'Kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight, and let me not see my wretchedness' (Nu 11:15). See also how that which Paul calleth godly repentance, wrought in the upright Corinthians, 'Behold, ' [saith he,] this self same thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter (2Co 7:11).
It [effectual calling] produceth also love: wherefore Paul, when he had put the church in remembrance that they were called of God, adds, That concerning brotherly love, they had no need that he should write unto them (1Th 4:9). As who should say, If God be so kind to us, to forgive us our sins, to save our souls, and to give us the kingdom of heaven; let these be motives beyond all other to provoke us to love again. Farther, if we that are thus beloved of God, are made members of one man's body, all partakers of his grace, clothed all, with his glorious righteousness, and are together appointed to be the children of the next world; why should we not love one another? 'Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another' (1Jo 4:11). And truly so we shall, if the true grace of God be upon us; because we also see them to be the called of Jesus. Travellers, that are of the same country, love and take pleasure one in another, when they meet in a strange land.  Why, we sojourn here in a strange country, with them that are heirs together with us of the promised kingdom and glory (Heb 11:9). Now, as I said, this holy love worketh by love: mark, love in God and Christ when discovered, constraineth us to love [one another] (2Co 5:14).
[8. How great is the delight of meeting in a foreign country, after a long absence from home, with one who speaks your own language and sympathizes with your national feelings. How much more strong are those enjoyments arising from the communion of saints, while travelling through an enemy's country, with difficult duties to perform,--animated by a kindred spirit, and seeking the same eternal home.--Ed.]
The name, therefore, and word, and truth of God in Christ, together with the sincerity of grace, of faith, and holiness in us, are the delightful objects of this love (Ps 119:47,127,132,159,11,36,6). For it embraceth with delight and complacency, but as it discerneth the image of God, and of Christ in the soul, his presence in the ministry, and a suitableness in our worship to the word and mind of Christ (Ps 26:8,4,1-4; 1Th 5:13; Php 1:3-7; Eph 4:32).
Love also hath a blessed faculty, and heavenly, in bearing and suffering afflictions, putting up wrongs, overlooking the infirmities of the brethren, and in serving in all Christian offices the necessities of the saints. 'Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth' (1Co 13:4-8, also 1Pe 4:8; Ga 5:13). In a word, it designeth a holy conversation in this world; that God, and Christ, and the word of Christ, 'may be glorified thereby' (2Co 11:10-12; 1Pe 1:12,16).
Of the Scriptures.
Touching which word of God I thus believe and confess, 1. That all the holy scriptures are the words of God. 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God' (2Ti 3:16). For the prophecy [of the scripture] came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2Pe 1:21). 2. I believe that the holy scriptures, of themselves, without the addition of human inventions, are able to make the man of God perfect in all things; and 'thoroughly to furnish him unto all good works.' They are able 'to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus' (2Ti 3:15). And to instruct thee in all other things, that either respect the worship of God, or thy walking before all men (2Ti 3:17; 2Pe 1:19-21). 3. I believe the great end why God committed the scriptures to writing was; that we might be instructed to Christ, taught how to believe (1Jo 5:13), [and be] encouraged to patience and hope, for the grace that is to be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ (Joh 20:31; Ro 15:4). Also that we might understand what is sin, and how to avoid the commission thereof. 'Concerning the works of men [said David] by the word of thy lips, I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer' (Ps 17:4). 'Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way' (Ps 119:104). 'Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee' (Ps 119:11). 4. I believe that they cannot be broken, but will certainly be fulfilled in all the prophecies, threatenings, and promises, either to the salvation or damnation of men. They are like that flying roll, that will go over all the earth to cut off and curse (Zec 5:2-4). In them is contained also the blessing, they preach to us also the way of salvation (Ga 3:8). 'Beware, therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish:  for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you' (Ac 13:40-41, see also Joh 10:35,37-41,17-19). 5. I believe that Jesus Christ, by the word of the scriptures, will judge all men at the day of doom; for that is the book of the law of the Lord, according to Paul's gospel (Joh 12:44-50; Ro 2:16). 6. I believe, that this God 'made the world and all things [that are] therein' (Ac 17:24), for 'in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is' (Ex 20:11). Also, that after the time of the making thereof, he disposed of it to the children of men, with a reserve thereof for the children of God, that should in all ages be born thereunto. 'When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel' (De 32:8), for as he 'made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, [so he] hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation' (Ac 17:26).
[9. The despising and disregarding the Holy Scriptures, rejecting Jesus and the way of salvation by Him, especially after having attained to the knowledge and conviction of the truth of it by the gospel, is the unpardonable sin, and renders men obdurate and impenitent.--Mason]
I believe, that magistracy is God's ordinance, which he hath appointed for the government of the whole world; and that it is a judgment of God, to be without those ministers of God, which he hath ordained to put wickedness to shame (Jg 18:7). 'Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou not then be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing' (Ro 13:2-6). Many are the mercies we receive, by a well qualified magistrate, and if any shall at any time be otherwise inclined, let us shew our Christianity in a patient suffering, for well doing, what it shall please God to inflict by them. 
[10. How strongly must have been the principle of humble submission to the will of God implanted and rooted in Bunyan's mind. He writes this peaceful advice from his dungeon, after twelve years' cruel imprisonment for his love and obedience to the Saviour. It requires a holy flame of Divine love to enable us to take the spoiling of our goods joyfully; but how much more strongly must this principle pervade the heart to enable us to suffer the loss of liberty, deprived of the society of a much loved wife and family, and in daily fear of an ignominious death! We cannot sufficiently admire the grace of God in the sufferer, nor abhor the tyranny under which he suffered.--Ed.]
A REASON OF MY PRACTICE IN WORSHIP.
Having thus made confession of my faith, I now come to shew you my practice in worship, with the reasons thereof. The which I shall have occasion to touch, under two distinct heads.
I. With whom I dare not hold communion.
II. With whom I dare.
Only, first, note, that by the word communion, I mean fellowship in the things of the kingdom of Christ, or that which is commonly called church communion, the communion of saints. For in civil affairs, and in things of this world that are honest, I am not altogether tied up from the fornicators thereof (1Co 5:9-10); wherefore in my following discourse understand me in the first sense:--Now, then,
FIRST, I dare not have communion with them that profess not faith and holiness; or that are not visible saints by calling: but note, that by this assertion, I meddle not with the elect; but as he is a visible saint by calling; neither do I exclude the secret hypocrite, if he be hid from me by visible saintship. Wherefore I dare not have communion with men from a single supposition, that they may be elect, neither dare I exclude the other from a single supposing that he may be a secret hypocrite. I meddle not here with these things; I only exclude him that is not a visible saint. Now he that is visibly or openly profane, cannot be then a visible saint; for he that is a visible saint must profess faith, and repentance, and consequently holiness of life: and with none else dare I communicate.
First, Because God himself hath so strictly put the difference, both by word and deed; for from the beginning, he did not only put a difference between the seed of the woman and the children of the wicked (Ge 3:15), only the instinct of grace and change of the mind is his own, but did cast out from his presence the father of all the ungodly, even cursed Cain, when he shewed himself openly profane, and banished him to go into the land of the runnagate, or vagabond, where from God's face, and so the privileges of the communion of saints, he was ever after hid (Ge 4:8-16).
Besides, when after this, through the policy of Satan, the children of Cain, and the seed of Seth, did commix themselves in worship, and by that means had corrupted the way of God: what followed, but first, God judged it wickedness, raised up Noah to preach against it, and after that, because they would not be reclaimed, he brought the flood upon the whole world of these ungodly; and saved only Noah alive, and his because he had kept himself righteous (Ge 6:1-13) . Here I could enlarge abundantly, and add many more instances of a like nature, but I am here only for a touch upon things.
[11. This idea is found in other of Bunyan's Works. Certainly the mixture of saints and sinners in a national church established for worldly purposes, must engender hypocrisy and pride, intolerance and persecution. Such leaders in Satan's army were calculated mightily to assist, if they were not the original cause, of the overspreading of sin which called forth the flood to wash away.--Ed.]
Second, Because it is so often commanded in the scriptures, That all the congregation should be holy. 'I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy' (Le 11:44). 'Ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy' (Le 19:2). 'Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God' (Le 20:7; 1Pe 1:15-16). Besides, 1. The gates of the temple were to be shut against all other. 'Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in' (Isa 26:2). 'This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter' (Ps 118:20). 'Thus saith the Lord God: No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel' (Eze 44:9). 2. Because the things of worship are holy; 'Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord' (Isa 52:11). 3. Because all the limits and bounds of communion are holy. 'This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain, the whole limit thereof - shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house' (Eze 43:12) .
[12. Bishop Hall describes a Christian indeed as 'having white hands and a clean soul, fit to lodge God in; all the rooms whereof are set apart for his holiness.'--Ed]
Third, I dare not have communion with them; because the example of New Testament churches before us, have been a community of visible saints. Paul, to the Romans, writes thus: 'To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints' (Le 1:7). And to the rest of the churches thus: 'Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus; called to be saints' (1Co 1:2). 'To the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus' (Eph 1:1). 'To all the saints which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons' (Php 1:1). 'To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse' (Col 1:2). 'To the church of the Thessalonians, which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ,' &c. (1Th 1:1).Thus you see under what denomination those persons went of old, who were counted worthy to be members of a visible church of Christ. Besides, the members of such churches go under such characters as these.
(1.) 'The called of Christ Jesus' (Ro 1:6). (2.) Men that have drank into the Spirit of Jesus Christ (1Co 12:13). (3.) Persons in whom was God the Father (Eph 4:6). (4.) They were all made partakers of the joy of the gospel (Php 1:7). (5.) Persons that were circumcised inwardly (Col 2:11). (6.) Persons that turned from idols to serve the living and true God (1Th 1:9). (7.) Those that were the body of Christ, and members in particular, that is, those that were visibly such; because they made profession of faith, of holiness, of repentance, of love to Christ, and of self-denial, at their receiving into fellowship.
Fourth, I dare not hold communion with the open profane.
(1.) Because it is promised to the church, that she shall dwell by herself; that is, as she is a church, and spiritual; Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations (Nu 23:9). (2.) Because this is their privilege. 'But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light' (1Pe 2:9-10). (3.) Because this is the fruit of the death of Christ, 'who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works' (Tit 2:14). (4.) Because this is the commandment: 'Save yourselves from this untoward generation' (Ac 2:40). (5.) Because with such it is not possible we should have true and spiritual communion. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, - saith the Lord Almighty (2Co 6:14-18).
Fifth, I dare not hold communion with the open profane. Because
(1.) This would be ploughing with an ox, and an ass together (De 22:10): heavenly persons suit best for communion in heavenly matters. (2.) It subjecteth not the nature of our discipline, which is not forced, but free,  in a professed subjection to the will and commandment of Christ: others being excluded by God's own prohibition (Le 1:3; Ro 6:17; 2Co 8:12,7,13,5). Paul also, when he exhorteth Timothy to follow after righteousness, faith, charity, peace, &c., (which are the bowels of church communion,) he saith, do it 'with them that call on the Lord, out of a pure heart' (2Ti 2:22).
[13. Submission to the disciples of a Christian church must be voluntary, and not by the constraint of force or hypocrisy. In Christ's church ALL must be free, and not a mixture of free-men and the slaves of sin.--Ed.]
Sixth, In a word, to hold communion with the open profane, is most pernicious and destructive. (1.) 'Twas the wicked multitude that fell a lusting, and that tempted Christ in the desert (Nu 11:4). (2.) It was the profane heathen, of whom Israel learned to worship idols. They 'were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And served their idols; which were a snare unto them' (Ps 106:35-36). (3.) It is the mingled people that God hath threatened to plague with those deadly punishments of his, with which he hath threatened to punish Babylon itself; saying, When a sword is upon her liars, her mighty, her chariots, and treasures; a sword also shall be upon the mingled people that are in the midst of her.
And no marvel: for, (1.) Mixed communion polluteth the ordinances of God. Say to the rebels, saith the Lord God, 'Let it suffice you of all your abominations, in that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant, because of all your abominations' (Eze 44:6-7). (2.) It violateth he law. 'Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: [how] They have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean' (Eze 20:26). (3.) It profaneth the holiness of God. 'Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god' (Mal 2:11). (4.) It defileth the truly gracious. 'Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?' (1Co 5:6). Look diligently therefore, 'lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled' (Heb 12:15).
Lastly, To conclude, it provoketh God to punish with severe judgments: And therefore heed well. (1.) As I said before, The drowning of the whole world was occasioned by the sons of God commixing themselves with the daughters of men; and the corruption of worship that followed thereupon (Ge 6; 6:7). (2.) He sent a plague upon the children of Israel, for joining themselves unto the people of Moab; and for following their abominations in worship (Nu 25:1-5; Jos 22:17): and let no man think, that now I have altered the state of the question: for it is all one with the church to communicate with the profane; and to sacrifice and offer their gifts to the devil (De 32:16-19; Ps 106:36-40) : the reason is, because such have by their sin forsaken the protection of heaven, and are given up to their own heart-lusts; and left to be overcome of the wicked, to whom they have joined themselves (De 12; 12:1-6). join not yourselves, said God, to the wicked, neither in religion nor marriages; 'For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly' (De 7:5). 'Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him who was beloved of his God' (Ne 13:26). Hear how Paul handleth the point; 'But I say, that the things which the Gentiles [or openly profane] sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: Ye cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?' (1Co 10:20-22). I conclude, that therefore it is an evil, and a dangerous thing to hold church communion with the openly profane and ungodly. It polluteth his ordinances: it violateth his law: it profaneth his holiness: it defileth his people; and provoketh the Lord to severe and terrible judgments.
[14. What faithfulness and plain dealing is here. If any church communicates with the profane it is offering sacrifice to the devil.--Ed.]
Object. But we can prove in all ages [that] there have been the open profane in the church of God.
Ans. In many ages indeed it hath been so: but mark, they appeared not such, when first they were received unto communion (Ex 12:48), neither were they with God's liking, as such, to be retained among them, but in order to their admonition, repentance and amendment of life: of which, if they failed, God presently threatened the church; and either cut them off from the church, as he did the idolators, fornicators, murmurers, tempters, sabbath breakers; with Korah, Dathan, Achan, and others (2Co 6; 1Co 5; Ex 32:25; Nu 25:1-9,5-6,18,16,18; Jos 7; 2Ki 17; Eze 22; 22:23) or else cut off them with the church and all, as he served the ten tribes at one time, and the two tribes at another. 'My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations' (Ho 9:17). I might here greatly enlarge, but I intend brevity; yet let me tell you, that when Nehemiah understood by the book of the law of the Lord, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God: 'They separated from Israel all the mixed multitude' (Ne 13:1-3). Many have pleaded for the profane, that they should abide in the church of God; but such hath not considered, that God's wrath at all times hath with great indignation been shewed against such offenders and their conceits. Indeed they like not for to plead for them under that notion, but rather as Korah, and his company: 'All the congregation are holy every one of them' (Nu 16:3). But it maketh no matter by what name they are called; if by their deeds they shew themselves openly wicked: for names and notions sanctify not the heart and nature; they make not virtues of vice, neither can it save such advocates from the heavy curse both of God and men (Pr 17:15,24). 'The righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands' (Eze 23:45).
SECOND, Thus have I shewed you with whom I dare not have communion: and now to shew you with whom I dare. But in order thereto, I desire you
First, To take notice; That touching shadowish, or figurative ordinances; I believe that Christ hath ordained but two in his church, viz., Water baptism and the supper of the Lord: both which are of excellent use to the church in this world; they being to us representations of the death and resurrection of Christ; and are, as God shall make them, helps to our faith therein. But I count them not the fundamentals of our Christianity, nor grounds or rule to communion with saints: servants they are, and our mystical ministers, to teach and instruct us in the most weighty matters of the kingdom of God: I therefore here declare my reverent esteem of them; yet dare not remove them, as some do, from the place and end, where by God they are set and appointed; nor ascribe unto them more than they were ordered to have in their first and primitive institution. It is possible to commit idolatry even with God's own appointments: but I pass this, and come to the thing propounded.
Second, then, I dare have communion, church communion, with those that are visible saints by calling: with those that, by the word of the gospel, have been brought over to faith and holiness: and it maketh no matter to me, what their life was heretofore, if they now be 'washed,' if they be 'sanctified,' if they be 'justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God' (1Co 6:11). Now in order to the discovery of this faith and holiness, and so to fellowship in church communion: I hold it requisite that a faithful relation be made thereof by the party thus to be received; yea, if need be, by witnesses also, for the satisfaction of the church, that she may receive in faith and judgment, such as best shall suit her holy profession (Ac 9:26-28; 1Co 16:10; 2Co 8:23). Observe it; these texts do respect extraordinary officers; and yet see, that in order to their reception by the church, there was made to them a faithful relation of the faith and holiness of those very persons; for no man may intrude himself upon, or thrust himself upon, or thrust himself into a church of Christ; without the church have first the knowledge and liking of the person to be received: if otherwise, there is a door opened for all the heretics in the world; yea, for devils also if they appear in human shapes. But Paul shows you the manner of receiving, by pleading (after some disgrace thrown upon him by the false apostles) for his own admission of his companions: 'Receive us, [saith he,] we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man; we have defrauded no man' (2Co 7:2). And so concerning Timothy: 'If Timotheus come, [saith he,] see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do' (1Co 16:10). Also, when Paul supposed that Titus might be suspected by some; see how he pleads for him: If 'any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellow-helper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ' (2Co 8:23). Phebe also, when she was to be received by the church at Rome; see how he speaketh in her behalf: 'I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is sat Cenchrea: that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also' (Ro 16:1-2). Yea, when the apostles and brethren sent their epistles from Jerusalem to Antioch; under what characters do those go, that were the messengers to them? 'It seemed good unto [the Holy Ghost and to] us, - to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,' &c. (Ac 15:25-27). Now though the occasions upon which these commendations were written were not simply, or only, in order to church relation, but also for other causes; yet because the persons concerned were of the churches to be received as faithful, and such who would partake of church privileges with them, they have, therefore, their faith and faithfulness related to the churches, as those that were particularly embodied there. Besides Timothy and Titus being extraordinary officers, stood as members and officers in every church where they were received. Likewise Barnabas and Saul, Judas and Silas, abode as members and officers where they were sent. It was requisite, therefore, that the letters of recommendation should be in substance the same with that relation that ought to be made to the church, by or for the person that is to be embodied there. But to return, I DARE HAVE COMMUNION, CHURCH COMMUNION, WITH THOSE THAT ARE VISIBLE SAINTS BY CALLING.
Quest.But by what rule would you receive them into fellowship with yourselves?
Ans. Even by a discovery of their faith and holiness, and their declaration of willingness to subject themselves to the laws and government of Christ in his church.
Quest. But do you not count that by water baptism, and not otherwise, that being the initiating and entering ordinance; they ought to be received into fellowship?
Ans. No; But tarry, and take my sense with my word. For herein lies the mistake, To think that because in time past baptism was administered upon conversion, that therefore it is the initiating and entering ordinance into church communion: when by the word no such thing is testified of it. Besides, that it is not so will be manifest, if we consider the nature and power of such an ordinance.
That ordinance then, that is, the initiating or entering ordinance [as before] doth give to them that partake thereof a right to, and a being of, membership with that particular church by which it is administered. I say, a right to, and a being of, membership, without the addition of another church act. This is evident by the law of circumcision, which was the initiating law of old; for by the administration of that very ordinance, the partaker thereof was forthwith a member of that congregation, without the addition of another church act (Ge 17). This is declared in its first institution, and therefore it is called the token of the covenant. The token or sign of righteousness, of Abraham's faith, and of the visible membership of those that joined themselves to the church with him; the very inlet into church communion that gave a being of membership among them. And thus Moses himself expounds it; 'every man's servant, that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall eat' of the passover (Ex 12:44), without the addition of another church act, to empower him thereunto; his circumcision hath already given him a being there, and so a right to, and privilege in church relation: 'A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof, [because not circumcised]. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; [For then he is one of the church] and he shall be as one born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof' (Ex 12:48). Neither could any other thing, according to the law of circumcision, give the devoutest person that breathed a being of membership with them. 'He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: - and the uncircumcised man child, whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people' (Ge 17:13-14). Note then, that that which is the initiating ordinance admitteth none into church communion but these that first partake thereof. The angel sought to kill Moses himself, for attempting to make his child a member without it (Ex 4:24-26). Note again, that as it admitteth of none to membership without it; so as I said, the very act of circumcising them, without the addition of another church act, gave them a being of membership with that very church, by whom they were circumcised. But none of this can be said of baptism. First, there is none debarred or threatened to be cut off from the church, if they be not first baptized. Secondly, Neither doth it give to the person baptized a being of membership with this or that church, by whose members he hath been baptized. John gathered no particular church, yet was he the first and great baptizer with water; he preached Christ to come, and baptized with the baptism of repentance, and left his disciples to be gathered by him (Ac 19:3-5). 'And unto him shall the gathering of the people be' (Ge 49:10). Besides, after Christ's ascension, Philip baptized the eunuch, but made him by that no member of any particular church,. We only read, that Philip was caught away from him, and that the eunuch saw him no more, but went on his way rejoicing to his master and country of Ethiopia (Ac 8:35-40). Neither was Cornelius made a member of the church at Jerusalem, by his being baptized at Peter's command at Cesarea (Ac 10-Ac 11). Neither were they that were converted at Antioch, by them that were scattered from the church at Jerusalem, by their baptism, if they were baptized [in water] at all, joined to the church at Jerusalem (Ac 11:19). No, they were after gathered and embodied among themselves by other church acts (Ac 16). What shall I say? into what particular church was Lydia baptized by Paul, or those first converts at Philippi? Yea even in the second of the Acts, baptizing and adding to the church appear to be acts distinct: but if baptism were the initiating ordinance, then was he that was baptized made a member; made a member of a particular church, by the very act of water baptism. Neither ought any by God's ordinance to have baptized any, but with respect to the admitting them by that act to a being of membership in this particular church. For if it be the initiating ordinance, it entereth them into the church: What church? Into a visible church. Now there is no church visible but that which is particular; the universal being utterly invisible, and known to none but God. The person then that is baptized stands by that a member of no church at all, neither of the visible, nor yet of the invisible. A visible saint he is, but not made so by baptism; for he must be a visible saint before, else he ought not to be baptized (Ac 8:37,17,33).
Take it again; Baptism [in water] makes thee no member of the church, neither particular nor universal: neither doth it make thee a visible saint: It therefore gives thee neither right to nor being of membership at all.
Quest. But why then were they baptized?
Ans. That their own faith by that figure might be strengthened in the death and resurrection of Christ. And that themselves might see, that they have professed themselves dead, and buried, and risen with him to newness of life (Col 2:12; Ro 6:4). It did not seal to the church that they were so (their satisfaction as to that arose from better arguments) but taught the party himself that he ought so to be. Farther, it confirmed to his own conscience the forgiveness of sins, if by unfeigned faith he laid hold upon Jesus Christ (Ga 3:26; 1Co 15:29; Ac 2:38,16; 1Pe 3:21). Now then, if baptism be not the initiating ordinance, we must seek for entering some other way, by some other appointment of Christ, unless we will say that without rule, without order, and without an appointment of Christ, we may enter into his visible kingdom. The church under the law had its initiating and entering ordinance: it must not therefore be, unless we should think that Moses was more punctual and exact than Christ, but that also our Lord hath his entering appointment. Now that which by Christ is made the door of entrance into the church, by that we may doubtless enter; and seeing baptism is not that ordinance, we ought not to seek to enter thereby, but may with good conscience enter without it.
Quest. But by what rule then would you gather persons into church communion?
Ans.Even by that rule by which they are discovered to the church to be visible saints; and willing to be gathered into their body and fellowship. By that word of God therefore, by which their faith, experience and conversation, being examined, is found good; by that the church should receive them into fellowship with them. Mark; not as they practice things that are circumstantial, but as their faith is commended by a word of faith, and their conversation by a moral precept. Wherefore that is observable, that after Paul had declared himself sound of faith, he falls down to the body of the law: 'Receive us, [saith he,] we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.' He saith not, I am baptized, but I have wronged no man, &c. (2Co 7:2, see also 2Co 5:18-21). And if churches after the confession of faith made more use of the ten commandments, to judge of the fitness of persons by; they might not exceed by this seeming strictness, Christian tenderness towards them they receive to communion.
I will say therefore, that by the word of faith, and of good works, moral duties gospelized, we ought to judge of the fitness of members by, by which we ought also to receive them to fellowship: For he that in these things proveth sound, he hath the antitype of circumcision, which was before the entering ordinance. 'For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, - whose praise is not of men, but of God' (Ro 2:28-29; Php 3:1-4). Now a confession of this by word and life, makes this inward circumcision visible; when you know him therefore to be thus circumcised, you ought to admit him to the Lord's passover: he, if any, hath a share not only in church communion, but a visible right to the kingdom of heaven. Again, 'For the kingdom of God, [or our service to Christ] is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God, and approved of men' (Ro 14:17-18; De 28:47). By which word Righteousness, he meaneth as James doth, the royal law, the perfect law, which is the moral precept evangelized, or delivered to us by the hand of Christ (Joh 2:9). The law was given twice on Sinai: the last time it was given with a proclamation of grace and mercy of God, and of the pardon of sins going before (Ex 19; 19:1-10). The second giving is here intended; for so it cometh after faith, which first receiveth the proclamation of forgiveness; hence we are said to do this righteousness in the joy and peace of the Holy Ghost. Now he that in these things serveth Christ, is accepted of God, and approved of men. For who is he that can justly find fault with him, that fulfilleth the royal law from a principle of faith and love. 'If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well'; ye are approved of men. Again, he that hath loved another hath fulfilled the law, for love is the fulfilling of the law. He then that serveth Christ according to the royal law, from faith and love going before, he is a fit person for church communion; God accepteth him, men approve him. Now that the royal law is the moral precept, read the place (Joh 2:8-12). It is also called the law of liberty, because the bondage is taken away by forgiveness going before; and this is it by which we are judged, as is said, meet or unmeet for church communion, &c.
Therefore I say, the rule by which we receive church-members, it is the word of the faith of Christ, and of the moral precept evangelized, as I said before, I am 'under the law to Christ,' saith Paul (1Co 9:21). So when he forbiddeth us communion with men, they be such as are destitute of the faith of Christ, and live in the transgression of a moral precept: 'I have written unto you, [saith he,] not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such an one no not to eat' (1Co 5:11). He saith not, if any man be not baptized [in water], have not hands laid on him, or join with the unbaptized, these are fictious, scriptureless notions. 'For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law' (Ro 13:9-10). The word of faith, and the moral precept, is that which Paul enjoins the Galatians and Philippians, still avoiding outward circumstances: hence therefore when he had to the Galatians treated of faith, he falls point blank upon moral duties. 'For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God' (Ga 6:15-16). As many as walk according to this rule: What rule? The rule by which men are proved new creatures: The word of faith, and the moral precept. Wherefore Paul exhorteth the Ephesians not to walk, 'as other Gentiles, in the vanity of their mind'; seeing they had received Christ, and had 'heard him, and had been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus.' That they would put off the old man; what is that? Why, 'the former conversation,' which is 'corrupt according to the deceitful lusts'; lying, anger, sin, giving place to the devil, corrupt communication, all bitterness, wrath, clamour, evil-speaking, with all malice. And that they would 'put on the new man.' What is that? That which is 'created in righteousness and true holiness'; a being 'renewed in the spirit' of their mind, and a putting away all these things (Eph 4). 'For in Christ Jesus'; these words are put in, on purpose to shew us the nature of New Testament administrations, and how they differ from the old. In Moses an outward conformity to an outward and carnal ordinance, was sufficient to give (they subjecting themselves thereto) a being of membership with the Jews; but in Christ Jesus it is not so; of Abraham's flesh was the national Jewish congregation; but it is Abraham's faith that makes New Testament churches: They that are of faith, are the children of faithful Abraham. They that are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham (Ga 3:7-9). So then the seed being now spiritual, the rule must needs be spiritual also, viz. The word of faith and holiness. This is the gospel concision knife, sharper than any two-edged sword; and that by which New Testament saints are circumcised in heart, ears, and lips. 'For in Christ Jesus,' [is] no outward and circumstantial thing, but the new creature; none are subjects of the visible kingdom of Christ but visible saints by calling: now that which manifesteth a person to be a visible saint, must be conformity to the word of faith and holiness. 'And they that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts' (Ga 5:24). Hearken how delightfully Paul handleth the point: The new creatures are the Israel of God. The new creature hath a rule by himself to walk by; and as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. Paul to the Philippians commandeth as much; where treating of his own practice in the doctrine of faith and holiness, requireth them to walk by the same rule, to mind the same thing. I desire to be found in Christ, saith he, I reach forward toward the things that are before; my conversation is in heaven, and flatly opposite to them whose God is their belly, who glory in their shame, and who mind earthly things. Brethren, saith he, 'be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so' (Php 3:17). Mark them; for what? For persons that are to be received into fellowship, and the choicest communion of saints. And indeed this is the safest way to judge of the meetness of persons by: for take away the confession of faith and holiness; and what can distinguish a Christian from a Turk? He that indeed receiveth faith, and that squareth his life by the royal, perfect, moral precept; and that walketh therein, in the joy and peace of the Holy Ghost, no man can reject him; he cannot be a man if he object against him; not a man in Christ; not a man in understanding. 'The law is not made for a righteous man'; neither to debar him the communion of saints if he desire it, nor to cast him out if he were in. 'But for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust' (1Ti 1:9-11). Paul also, when he would leave an everlasting conviction upon the Ephesians, concerning his faith and holiness, treating first of the sufficiency of Christ's blood, and the grace of God to save us; he adds, 'I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel,' he bringeth them to the moral precept, to prove the sincerity of his good conversation by (Ac 20:33). And when men have juggled what they can, and made never such a prattle about religion; yet if their greatest excellency, as to the visibility of their saintship, lieth in an outward conformity to an outward circumstance in religion, their profession is not worth two mites. 'Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof' (Ro 13:13-14). And it is observable, that after the apostle had in the 9th and 10th verses of this chapter told us, that the moral precept is the rule of a good conversation, and exhorted us to make no provision for the flesh; he adds, these things provided, we may receive any that believe in Christ Jesus unto communion with us; how weak soever and dark in circumstantials; and chiefly designs the proof thereof in the remaining part of his epistle. For he that is of sound faith, and of conversation honest in the world; no man, however he may fail in circumstantials, may lightly reproach or vilify him. And indeed such persons are the honour of Christian congregations. Indeed he is prejudiced, for want of light in these things about which he is dark, as of baptism, or the like; but seeing that is not the initiating ordinance, or the visible character of a saint; yea, seeing it maketh no breach in a good and holy life: nor intrencheth upon any man's right but his own; and seeing his faith may be effectual without it, and his life approved by the worst of his enemies; why should his friends, while he keeps the law, dishonour God by breaking of the same? 'Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge' (Jas 4:11). He that is judged, must needs fail somewhere in the apprehension of him that judgeth him, else why is he judged. But he must fail in substance, for then he is worthy to be judged (1Co 5:12). His failure is then in a circumstance, for which he ought not to be judged.
Object. But notwithstanding all that you have said, water baptism ought to go before the church-membership; shew me one in all the New Testament, that was received into fellowship without it.
Ans. 1. That water baptism hath formerly gone first is granted: but that it ought of necessity so to do, I never saw proof. 2. None ever received it without light going before, unless they did play the hypocrite: and besides no marvel though in the primitive times it was so generally practised first, for the unconverted themselves know, it belonged to the disciples of Jesus Christ (Joh 1:24-27). Yet that all that were received into fellowship were even then baptized first, would strain a weak man's wit to prove it, if arguments were closely made upon these three texts of holy scripture (1Co 1:14-16; Ga 3:27; Ro 6:3). But I pass them, and say, If you can shew me the Christian, that in the primitive times remained dark about it, I will shew you the Christian that was received without it. But should I grant more than can be proved, viz. That baptism was the initiating ordinance; and that it once did, as circumcision of old, give a being of membership to the partakers; yea set the case that men were forbidden then to enter into fellowship without it: yet the case may so be, that these things notwithstanding, men might be received into fellowship without it. All these things intailed to circumcision; that was the initiating ordinance; that gave being of membership; that was it without which it was positively commanded none should be received into fellowship (Jos 5). Yet for all this more than six hundred thousand were received into the church without it, yea received, and also retained there, and that by Moses and Joshua, even those to whom the land was promised, when the uncircumcised were cut off. But why then were they not circumcised? Doubtless there was a reason; either they wanted time, or opportunity, or instruments, or something. But they could not render a bigger reason than this, I have no light therein: which is the cause at this day that many a faithful man denieth to take up the ordinance of baptism: but I say whatever the hindrance was, it mattereth not; our brethren have a manifest one, an invincible one, one that all the men on earth, nor angels in heaven can remove: For it is God that createth light; and for them to do it without light would but prove them unfaithful to themselves, and make them sinners against God; 'For whatsoever is not of faith is sin' (Ro 14:23). If therefore Moses and Joshua thought fit to communicate with six hundred thousand uncircumcised persons; when by the law not one such ought to have been received among them; why may not I have communion, the closest communion with visible saints as afore described, although they want light in, and so cannot submit to that, which of God was never made the wall of division betwixt us. I shall therefore hold communion with such.
First, Because the true visible saint hath already [been] subjected to that which is better; even to the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ; by which he stands just before God; he also hath made the most exact and strict rule under heaven, that whereby he squares his life before men. He hath like precious faith with the best of saints, and a conversation according to light received, becoming the gospel of Christ. He is therefore to be received, received I say, not by THY light, not for that in circumstances he jumpeth with thy opinion; but according to his own faith which he ought to keep to himself before God. 'Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other; for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience' (1Co 10:29). Some indeed do object, that what the apostles wrote, they wrote to gathered churches, and so to such as were baptized. And therefore the arguments that are in the epistles about things circumstantial, respect not the case in hand. But I will tell such, that as to the first part of their objection, they are utterly under a mistake. The first to the Corinthians, the epistle of James, both them of Peter, and the first epistle of John, were expressly written to all the godly, as well as particular churches. Again; if water baptism, as the circumstances with which the churches were pestered of old, trouble their peace, wound the consciences of the godly, dismember and break their fellowship; it is, although an ordinance, for the present to be prudently shunned; for the edification of the church, as I shall shew anon, is to be preferred before it.
Second, and observe it; 'One Spirit, - one hope, - one Lord, one faith, one baptism [not of water, for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body] one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all' (Eph 4:1-6). This is a sufficient rule for us to hold communion by, and also to endeavour the maintaining that communion, and to keep it in unity, within the bond of peace against all attempts whatsoever (1Co 12:16).
Third, I am bold therefore to have communion with such (Heb 6:1-2). Because they also have the doctrine of baptism: I say the doctrine of them. For here you must note, I distinguish between the doctrine and practice of water baptism; The doctrine being that which by the outward sign is presented to us, or which by the outward circumstance of the act is preached to the believer: viz. THE DEATH OF CHRIST; MY DEATH WITH CHRIST; also his resurrection from the dead, and mine with him to newness of life. This is the doctrine which baptism preacheth, or that which by the outward action is signified to the believing receiver. Now I say, he that believeth in Jesus Christ hath richer and better than that [of baptism in water], viz. is dead to sin, and that lives to God by him, he hath the HEART, POWER and DOCTRINE of baptism: all then that he wanteth, is but the sign, the shadow, or the outward circumstances thereof. Nor yet is THAT despised but forborne for want of light. The best of baptisms he hath; he is baptized by that one Spirit; he hath the heart of water baptism, he wanteth only the outward shew, which if he had would not prove him a truly visible saint; it would not tell me he had grace in his heart. It is no characteristical note to another, of my sonship with God. Indeed it is a sign to the person baptized, and an help to his own faith. He should know by that circumstance, that he hath received remission of sins; if his faith be as true, as his being baptized is felt by him. But if for want of light, he partake not of that sign, his faith can see it in other things, exceeding great and precious promises. Yea, as I also have hinted already, if he appear not a brother before, he appeareth not a brother by that: And those that shall content themselves to make that the note of visible church-membership; I doubt make things not much better, the note of their sonship with God.
Fourth, I am bold to hold communion with visible saints as afore [described]; because God hath communion with them; whose examples in the case, we are straitly commanded to follow. 'Receive ye one another as Christ also received us [saith Paul,] to the glory of God' (Ro 15:1-7). Yea, though they be saints of opinions contrary to you; though it goeth against the mind of them that are strong. 'We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves' (Ro 15:1). What infirmities? Those that are natural are incident to all, they are infirmities then that are sinful, that cause a man, for want of light, to err in circumstantials; And the reason upon which he grounds this admonition is, that 'Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell on me.' You say, to have communion with such weak brethren, reproacheth your opinions, and practice. Grant it, your dulness and deadness, and imperfections also reproach the holiness of God; if you say no, for Christ hath borne our sins; the answer is still the same, Their sins also are fallen upon Christ; he then that hath taken away thy sins from before the throne of God; hath taken away their shortness in conformity to an outward circumstance in religion. Both your infirmities are fallen upon Christ; yea, if notwithstanding thy great sins, thou standest by Christ complete before the throne of God; why may not thy brother, notwithstanding his little ones, stand complete before thee in the church.
Vain man! think not by the straitness of thine order, in outward and bodily conformity, to outward and shadowish circumstances, that thy peace is maintained with God, for peace with God is by faith in the blood of his cross; who hath borne the reproaches of you both. Wherefore he that hath communion with God for Christ's sake, is as good and as worthy of the communion of saints as thyself. He erreth in A CIRCUMSTANCE, thou errest in A SUBSTANCE; who must bear these errors? Upon whom must these reproaches fall? (Php 1:10). Some of the things of God that are excellent, have not been approved by some of the saints: What then? must these for this be cast out of the church? No, these reproaches by which the wisdom of heaven is reproached have fallen upon me, saith Christ. But to return; GOD HATH RECEIVED HIM, Christ hath received him, therefore do you receive him. There is more solidity in this argument, than if all the churches of God had received him. This receiving then, because it is set as an example to the church, is such as must needs be visible to them; and is best described by that word which discovereth the visible saint. Whoso, therefore, you can by the word, judge a visible saint, one that walketh with God; you may judge by the selfsame word that God hath received him. Now him that God receiveth and holdeth communion with, him you should receive and hold communion with. Will any say we cannot believe that God hath received any but such as are baptized [in water]? I will not suppose a brother so stupefied; and therefore to that I will not answer.
Receive him 'TO THE GLORY OF GOD.' To the glory of God, is put in on purpose, to show what dishonour they bring to God, who despise to have communion with them; who yet they know have communion with God. For how doth this man, or that church, glorify God, or count the wisdom and holiness of heaven beyond them, when they refuse communion with them, concerning whom, they are by the word convinced, that they have communion with God. 'Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded one towards another according to Christ Jesus' (Ro 15:5). By this word patience, Paul insinuateth how many imperfections, the choicest Christians do mingle their best performances with. And by this of consolation, how readily God overlooks, passeth by them, and comforteth you notwithstanding. Now that this mind should be in Christians one to another, is manifest; because Paul prays that it might be so. But this is an heavenly gift, and therefore must be fetched from thence. But let the patience of God, and the willingness of Christ, to bear the reproaches of the weak; and the consolations that they have in God, notwithstanding, moderate your passions, and put you upon prayer, to be minded like Jesus Christ.
Fifth, Because a failure in such a circumstance as water, doth not unchristian us. This must needs be granted, not only from what was said before; but for that thousands of thousands that could not consent thereto as we have, more gloriously than we are like to do, acquitted themselves and their christianity before men, and are now with the innumerable company of angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. What is said of eating, or the contrary, may as to this be said of water baptism. Neither if I be baptized, am I the better, neither if I be not, am I the worse: not the better before God: not the worse before men: still meaning as Paul doth, provided I walk according to my light with God: otherwise it is false; for if a man that seeth it to be his duty shall despisingly neglect it; or if he that hath no faith therein shall foolishly take it up; both these are for this the worse, being convicted in themselves for transgressors. He therefore that doth it according to his light, doth well, and he that doth it not, or dare not do it for want of light, doth not ill; for he approveth his heart to be sincere with God; he dare not do any thing but by light in the word. If therefore he be not by grace a partaker of light, in that circumstance which thou professest; yet he is a partaker of that liberty and mercy by which thou standest. He hath liberty to call God father, as thou: and to believe he shall be saved by Jesus: his faith, as thine, hath purified his heart: he is tender of the glory of God as thou art: and can claim by grace an interest in heaven; which thou must not do because of water: ye are both then Christians before God and men without it: he that can, let him preach to himself by that: he that cannot, let him preach to himself by the promises; but yet let us rejoice in God together: let us exalt his name together. Indeed the baptized can thank God for that, for which another cannot; but may not he that is unbaptized thank God for that which the baptized cannot? Wouldest thou be content that I should judge thee, because thou canst not for my light give thanks with me? why then should he judge me, for that I cannot give thanks with him for his? 'Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way' (Ro 14:13). And seeing the things wherein we exceed each other, are such as neither make nor mar Christianity; let us love one another and walk together by that glorious rule above specified, leaving each other in all such circumstances to our own master, to our own faith. 'Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand' (Ro 14:4).
Sixth, I am therefore for holding communion thus, because the edification of souls in the faith and holiness of the gospel, is of greater concernment than an agreement in outward things; I say, it is of greater concernment with us, and of far more profit to our brother; than our agreeing in, or contesting for the business of water baptism (Joh 16:13; 1Co 14:26; 2Co 10:8,18; Eph 4:12; 2Ti 3:17; 1Co 8:1,1-4). That the edification of the soul, is of the greatest concern, is out of measure evident because heaven and eternal happiness are so immediately concerned therein. Besides, this is that for which Christ died, for which the Holy Ghost was given, yea for which the scriptures and the gifts of all the godly are given to the church; yea, and if gifts are not bent to this very work, the persons are said to be proud or uncharitable that have them; and stand but for cyphers or worse among the churches of God. Farther, edification is that that cherisheth all grace, and maketh the Christians quick and lively, and maketh sin lean and dwindling, and filleth the mouth with thanksgiving to God. But to contest with gracious men, with men that walk with God; to shut such out of the churches; because they will not sin against their souls, rendereth thee uncharitable (Ro 14:15,20). Thou seekest to destroy the word of God; thou begettest contentions, janglings, murmurings, and evil surmisings, thou ministerest occasion for whisperings, backbitings, slanders and the like, rather than godly edifying; contrary to the whole current of the scriptures and peace of all communities. Let us therefore leave off these contentions, 'and follow after the things that make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another' (Ro 14:19). And know that the edification of the church of God dependeth not upon, neither is tied to this or that circumstance. Especially when there are in the hearts of the godly, different persuasions about it; then it becometh them in the wisdom of God, to take more care for their peace and unity; than to widen or make large their uncomfortable differences.
[16. How strange that pious men should have been prone to punish their fellows for non-conformity in an outward sign. They themselves were suffering inconceivable miseries under acts of uniformity in rites and ceremonies. How applicable to the framers of such acts of parliament are our Lord's words, 'Woe unto you, pharisees, who whiten and garnish the outside of a sepulchre, while within it is full of uncleanness, hypocrisy, and iniquity' (Mt 23).--Ed.]
Although Aaron transgressed the law, because he ate not the sin-offering of the people; yet seeing he could not do it with satisfaction to his own conscience, Moses was content that he left it undone (Le 10:16-20). Joshua was so zealous against Eldad and Medad, for prophesying in the camp, without first going to the Lord to the door of the tabernacle, as they were commanded, that he desired Moses to forbid them (Nu 11:27-28). But Moses calls his zeal envy, and prays to God for more such prophets; knowing that although they failed in a circumstance, they were right in that which was better. The edification of the people in the camp was that which pleased Moses.
In Hezekiah's time, though the people came to the passover in an undue manner, and 'did eat it otherwise than it was written'; yet the wise king would not forbid them, but rather admitted it, knowing that their edification was of greater concern, than to hold them to a circumstance or two (2Ch 30:13-27). Yea, God himself did like the wisdom of the king, and healed, that is, forgave, the people at the prayer of Hezekiah. And observe it, notwithstanding this disorder, as to circumstances, the feast was kept with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord; yea, there was not the like joy in Jerusalem from the time of Solomon unto that same time. What shall we say, all things must give place to the profit of the people of God. Yea, sometimes laws themselves, for their outward preservation, much more for godly edifying. When Christ's disciples plucked the ears of corn on the sabbath, no doubt for very hunger, and were rebuked by the Pharisees for it, as for that which was unlawful; how did their Lord succour them? By excusing them, and rebuking their adversaries. 'Have ye not read,' said he, 'what David did when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shew bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profaned the sabbath, and are blameless?' (Mt 12:1-5). Why blameless? because they did it in order to the edification of the people. If laws and ordinances of old have been broken, and the breach of them borne with, when yet the observance of outward things was more strictly commanded than now, when the profit and edification of the people came in competition, how much more may not we have communion, church communion, where no law is transgressed thereby.
Seventh, Therefore I am for holding communion thus, because love, which above all things we are commanded to put on, is of much more worth than to break about baptism; Love is also more discovered when it receiveth for the sake of Christ and grace, than when it refuseth for want of water: and observe it, as I have also said before, this exhortation to love is grounded upon the putting on of the new creature; which new creature hath swallowed up all distinctions, that have before been common among the churches. As I am a Jew, you are a Greek; I am circumcised, you are not: I am free, you are bound. Because Christ was all in all these, 'Put on therefore,' saith he, 'as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering,' that is, with reference to the infirmities of the weak, 'forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye: and above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness' (Col 3:12-14). Which forbearing and forgiving respecteth not only private and personal injuries, but also errors in judgment about inclinations and distinctions tending to divisions, and separating upon the grounds laid down in verse 11 which how little soever they now seem to us, who are beyond them, were strong, and of weight to them who in that day were entangled with them. Some saints then were not free to preach to any but the Jews: denying the word of life to the Gentiles, and contending with them who preferred it to them: which was a greater error than this of baptism (Ac 11:1-19). But what should we do with such kind of saints? Why love them still, forgive them, bear with them, and maintain church communion with them. Why? because they are new creatures, because they are Christ's: for this swallows up all distinctions. Farther, because they are elect and beloved of God. Divisions and distinctions are of shorter date than election; let not them therefore that are but momentary, and hatched in darkness, break that bond that is from everlasting. It is love, not baptism, that discovereth us to the world to be Christ's disciples. It is love, that is the undoubted character of our interest in, and sonship with God: I mean when we love as saints, and desire communion with others, because they have fellowship one with another, in their fellowship with God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ (1Jo 1:3). And now though the truth and sincerity of our love to God, be then discovered when we keep his commandments, in love to his name; yet we should remember again, that the two head and chief commandments, are faith in Jesus, and love to the brethren (1Jo 3:23). So then he that pretendeth to love, and yet seeks not the profit of his brother in chief; he loveth, but they are his own opinions and froward notions (Jas 4:11; Ro 14:21). 'Love is the fulfilling of the law'; but he fulfils it not who judgeth and setteth at nought his brother; that stumbleth, offendeth, and maketh weak his brother; and all for the sake of a circumstance, that to which he cannot consent, except he sin against his own soul, or Papist like, live by an implicit faith.  Love therefore is sometimes more seen and showed, in forbearing to urge and press what we know, than in publishing and imposing. 'I could not,' (saith Paul, love would not let me) 'speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able' (1Co 3:1-2). The apostle considered not only the knowledge that he had in the mysteries of Christ; but the temper, the growth, and strength of the churches, and accordingly kept back, or communicated to them, what might be for their profit (Ac 20:18-20). So Christ, 'I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now' (Joh 16:12). It may be some will count these old and threadbare texts; but such must know, that the word of the Lord must stand for ever (Isa 40:8). And I should dare to say to such, if the best of thy new shifts, be to slight, and abuse old scriptures; it shews thou art more fond of thy unwarrantable opinion, than swift to hear, and ready to yield to the authority that is infallible.
[17. 'An implicit faith'; faith in things without inquiry, or in things not expressed.--Ed.]
But to conclude this, when we attempt to force our brother beyond his light, or to break his heart with grief; to thrust him beyond his faith, or to bar him from his privilege: how can we say, I love? What shall I say? To have fellowship one with another for the sake of an outward circumstance, or to make that the door to fellowship which God hath not; yea to make that the including, excluding charter; the bounds, bar, and rule of communion; when by the word of the everlasting testament there is no warrant for it; to speak charitably, if it be not for want of love, it is for want of knowledge in the mysteries of the kingdom of Christ. Strange! take two Christians equal in all points but this, nay, let one go beyond the other far, for grace and holiness; yet this circumstance of water shall drown and sweep away all his excellencies, not counting him worthy of that reception, that with hand and heart shall be given to a novice in religion, because he consents to water.
Eighth. But for God's people to divide into parties, or to shut each other from church communion; though from greater points, and upon higher pretences, than this of water baptism; hath heretofore been counted carnal, and the actors herein babyish Christians. Paul and Apollos, Cephas and Christ, were doubtless higher things than those about which we contend: yet when they made divisions for them; how sharply are they rebuked? Are ye not CARNAL, CARNAL, CARNAL? For whereas there are among you, envyings, strife, divisions, or factions: 'are ye not carnal' (1Co 1:11-12,1-4). While one saith, I am of Paul, and another I am of Apollos, are ye not carnal? See therefore from whence arise all they endeavours, zeal, and labour, to accomplish divisions among the godly: let Paul or Cephas, or Christ himself, be the burthen of thy song, yet the heart from whence they flow is carnal; and thy actions, discoveries of childishness. But, doubtless when these contentions were among the Corinthians, and one man was vilified, that another might be promoted; a lift with a carnal brother, was thought great wisdom to widen the breach. But why should HE be rebuked, that said he was for Christ? Because he was for him in opposition to his holy apostles. Hence he saith, 'Is Christ divided,' or separate from his servants? Note therefore that these divisions are deserted by the persons the divisions were made about; neither Paul, nor Apollos, nor Cephas, nor Christ is here. Let the cry be never so loud, Christ, order, the rule, the command, or the like; carnality is but the bottom, and they are but babes that do it; their zeal is but a puff (1Co 4:6). And observe it, the great division at Corinth, was helped forward by water baptism: this the apostle intimates by, 'Were ye baptized in the name of Paul?' Ah, brethren! Carnal Christians with outward circumstances, will, if they be let alone, make sad work in the churches of Christ, against the spiritual growth of the same. But 'I thank God,' saith Paul, 'that I baptized none of you,' &c. Not but that it was then an ordinance of God, but they abused it, in making parties thereby. 'I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius, - and the household of Stephanus': men of note among the brethren, men of good judgment, and reverenced by the rest; they can tell you I intended not to make a party to myself thereby. 'Besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.' By this negligent relating, who were baptized by him; he showeth that he made no such matter of baptism, as some in these days do; nay, that he made no matter at all thereof, with respect to church communion; for if he did not heed who himself had baptized; he much less heeded, who were baptized by others; but if baptism had been the initiating, or entering ordinance, and so appointed of God; no doubt he had made more conscience thereof, than so lightly to pass it over. 'For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.' The gospel then may be effectually preached, and yet baptism neither administered nor mentioned. The gospel being good tidings to sinners, upon the account of free grace through Christ; but baptism with things of like nature, are duties enjoined such a people who received the gospel before. I speak not this, because I would teach men to break the least of the commandments of God; but to persuade my brethren of the baptized way, not to hold too much thereupon, not to make it an essential of the gospel of Christ, nor yet of communion of saints.
'He sent me not to baptize': these words are spoken with holy indignation against them that abuse this ordinance of Christ. So when he speaketh of the ministers themselves, which also they had abused; in his speaking, he as it were trampleth upon them, as if they were nothing at all. 'Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos?' 'He that planteth is not any thing, neither is he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase' (1Co 3:5,7). Yet for all this, the ministers and their ministry are a glorious appointment of God in the world. Baptism also is a holy ordinance, but when Satan abuseth it, and wrencheth it out of its place; making that which was ordained of God for the edification of believers, the only weapon to break in pieces the love, the unity, the concord of saints; then What is baptism? then neither is baptism anything. And this is no new doctrine; for God by the mouth of his prophets of old, cried out against his own institutions, when abused by his people: 'To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me,' saith the LORD: 'I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hands, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations, incense is an abomination to me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with it; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me, I am weary to bear them' (Isa 1:11-14). And yet all these were his own appointments. But why then did he thus abhor them? Because they retained the evil of their doings, and used them as they did other of his appointments, viz., 'For strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness' (Isa 58:4). But to exclude Christians from church communion and to debar them their heaven-born privileges, for the want of that which yet God never made a wall of division between us.
(1.) This looks too like a spirit of persecution (Job 19:28). (2.) It respecteth more a form, than the spirit and power of godliness (2Ti 3:5). (3.) This is to make laws, where God hath made none, and to be wise above what is written, contrary to God's word, and our own principles. (4.) It is a directing of the Spirit of God. (5.) It bindeth all men's faith and light to mine opinion. (6.) It taketh away the children's bread. (7.) It withholdeth from them the increase of faith. (8.) It tendeth to harden the hearts of the wicked. (9.) It tendeth to make wicked the hearts of weak Christians. (10.) It setteth open a door to all temptations. (11.) It tempteth the devil to fall upon those that are alone, and have none to help them. (12.) It is the nursery of all vain janglings, back-bitings, and strangeness among the Christians. (13.) It occasioneth the world to reproach us. (14.) It holdeth staggering consciences, in doubt of the right way of the Lord. (15.) It giveth occasion to many to turn aside to most dangerous heresies. (16.) It abuseth the holy scriptures; It wresteth God's ordinances out of their place. (17.) It is a prop to antichrist. (18.) Shall I add, Is it not that which greatly prevailed to bring down these judgments, which at present we feel and groan under; I will dare to say, it was  a cause thereof.
[18. 'These judgments we feel and groan under.' So frightful were the persecutions of the dissenters by the church in 1670, that the narrative says, 'The town [of Bedford] was so thin of people, and the shops shut down, that it seemed like a place visited with the pest, where usually is written upon the door, "Lord, have mercy upon us."' Had the dissenters been united, the church would not have dared to exercise such barbarities--men and women in jails--some hanged for not going to church--all their goods swept away, and their children perishing.--Ed.]
[19. The printer had inserted 'the cause'; Bunyan's manuscript was 'a cause.' See marginal note, in his Differences in Judgment.--Ed.]
Tenth, and lastly, Bear with one word farther. What greater contempt can be thrown upon the saints than for their brethren to cast them off, or to debar them church communion? Think you not that the world may groundly say, Some great iniquity lies hid in the skirts of your brethren; when in truth the transgression is yet your own? But I say, what can the church do more to the sinners or open profane? Civil commerce you will have with the worst, and what more have you with these? Perhaps you will say we can pray and preach with these; and hold them Christians, saints, and godly. Well, but let me ask you one word farther: Do you believe, that of very conscience they cannot consent, as you, to that of water baptism? And that if they had light therein, they would as willingly do it as you? Why then, as I have shewed you, our refusal to hold communion with them is without a ground from the word of God. But can you commit your soul to their ministry, and join with them in prayer; and yet not count them meet for other gospel privileges? I wold know by what scripture you do it? Perhaps you will say, I commit not my soul to their ministry, only hear them occasionally for trial. If this be all the respect thou hast for them and their ministry, thou mayest have as much for the worst that pisseth against the wall. But if thou canst hear them as God's ministers, and sit under their ministry as God's ordinance; then shew me where God hath such a gospel ministry, as that the persons ministering may not, though desiring it, be admitted with you to the closest communion of saints. But if thou sittest under their ministry for fleshly politic ends, thou hearest the word like an atheist, and art thyself, while thou judgest thy brother, in the practice of the worst of men. But I say, where do you find this piece-meal communion with men that profess faith and holiness as you, and separation from the world. If you object, that my principles lead me to have communion with all; I answer with all as afore described; if they will have communion with me.
Object. Then you may have communion with the members of antichrist.
Ans. If there be a visible saint yet remaining in that church; let him come to us, and we will have communion with him.
Quest. What, though he yet stand a member of that sinful number, and profess himself one of them.
Ans. You suppose an impossibility; for it cannot be that, at the same time, a man should visibly stand a member of two bodies diametrically opposite one to another. Wherefore it must be supposed, that he who professeth himself a member of a church of Christ, must forthwith, nay before, forsake the antichristian one. The which if he refuseth to do, it is evident he doth not sincerely desire to have fellowship with the saints.
[Quest.] But he saith he cannot see that that company to which you stand opposite, and conclude antichristian, is indeed the antichristian church.
[Ans.] If so, he cannot desire to join with another, if he know them to be professedly and directly opposite. I hold therefore to what I said at first; That if there be any saints in the antichristian church, my heart, and the door of our congregation is open to receive them, into closest fellowship with us.
Object. But how if they yet retain some antichristian principles.
Ans. If they be such as eat out the bowels of a church, so soon as they are detected he must either be kept out, while out, or cast out, if in: for it must be the prudence of every community to preserve its own unity with peace and truth: the which the churches of Christ may do; and yet as I have shewed already, receive such persons as differ upon the point of water baptism. For the doing or not doing of that neither maketh nor marreth the bowels or foundation of church communion.
Object. But this is receiving for opinion sake; as before you said of us.
Ans . No; we receive him for the sake of Christ, and grace, and for our mutual edification in the faith; and that we respect not opinions, I mean in lesser matters, 'tis evident; for things wherein we differ are no breach of communion among us; we let every man have his own faith in such things to himself before God.
I NOW COME TO A SHORT APPLICATION.
I. Keep a strict separation, I pray you, from communion with the open profane; and let not man use his liberty in church relation as an occasion to the flesh; but in love serve one another. 'Looking diligently - lest any root of bitterness - [any poisonful herb (De 29:18)] spring up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled' (Heb 12:15). And let those that before were reasons for my separation, be motives to you to maintain the like: and remember that when men have said what they can for a sinful mixture in the worship of God; the arm of the Lord is made bare against it.
II. In the midst of your zeal for the Lord, remember that the visible saint is his; and is privileged in all those spiritual things that you have in the word and live in the practice of, and that he is to partake thereof, according to his light therein. Quarrel not with him about things that are circumstantial; but receive him in the Lord, as becometh saints: if he will not have communion with you, the neglect is his, not yours. But saith the open profane, why cannot we be reckoned saints also? We have been christened, we go to church, we take the communion.  Poor people! This will not do; for so long as in life and conversation you appear to be open profane, we cannot, unless we sin, receive you into our fellowship: for by your ungodly lives you shew that you know not Christ; and while you are such by the word, you are reputed but beasts: now then judge yourselves, if it be not a strange community that consisteth of men and beasts: let beasts be with the beasts, you know yourselves do so; you receive not your horse nor your hog to your table, you put them in a room by themselves. Besides I have shewed you before, that for many reasons we cannot have communion with you.
[20. This is a much more extensive evil than many would credit. I have met with these very expressions not only among the poor but the rich. It is an awful delusion.--Ed.]
(1.) The church of God must be holy (Le 11:44,2,7; 1Pe 1:15-16; Isa 26:2; Ps 118:20; Eze 43:12,9; Isa 52:11).
(2.) The example of the churches of Christ before, hath been a community of visible saints (Ro 1:7; 1Co 1:2; Eph 1:1; Col 1:2; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1-5). Poor carnal man, there are many other reasons urged in this little book, that shew why we cannot have communion with thee: not that we refuse of pride or stoutness, or because we scorn you as men. No, we pity you, and pray to God for you; and could, if you were converted, with joy receive you to fellowship with us: Did you never read in Daniel, That iron is not mixed with miry clay? (Da 2:43). No more can the saints with you, in the worship of God, and fellowship of the gospel, When those you read of in the fourth of Ezra, attempted to join in temple work with the children of the captivity; what said the children of Judah? 'Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel,' &c (Eze 4:3).
I return now to those that are visible saints by calling, that stand at a distance one from another, upon the accounts before specified: Brethren; CLOSE; CLOSE; be one, as the Father in Christ is one.
1. This is the way to convince the world that you are Christ's, and the subjects of one Lord; whereas the contrary makes them doubt it (Joh 13:34-35,23). 2. This is the way to increase love; that grace so much desired by some, and so little enjoyed by others (2Co 7:15). 3. This is the way to savour and taste the Spirit of God in each other's experience; for which if you find it in truth you cannot but bless, if you be saints, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Th 1:2-4). 4. This is the way to increase knowledge, or to see more in the word of God: for that may be known by two; that is not seen by one (Isa 52:8). 5. This is the way to remove secret jealousies and murmurings one against the other: yea this is the way to prevent much sin, and greatly to frustrate that design of hell (Pr 6:16-19). 6. This is the way to bring them out of the world into fellowship that now stand off from our gospel privileges, for the sake of our vain janglings. 7. This is the way to make antichrist shake, totter, and tremble (Isa 11:13-14). 8. This is the way to leave Babylon as an habitation for devils only; and to make it a hold for foul spirits, and a cage only for every unclean and hateful bird. 9. This is the way to hasten the work of Christ's kingdom in the world; and to forward his coming to the eternal judgment. 10. And this is the way to obtain much of that, WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, when you stand before his face. [In the words of Paul] 'I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in a few words' (Heb 13:22).
The Apostle's Creed
A statement of the basics of the faith.
This is representative of what is known as the Apostle's Creed
The Apostles' Creed was not claimed to have been written by the Biblical Disciples. The earliest version found is A.D. 215. Some representations of the creed, based on where they were used, are referred to as The Old Roman Creed, while others are sixth-century Galician version. The basics of the various regions are essentially the same except as noted.
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, [Some representations have "God Almighty"]
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell. 
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic  church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
1. "Descended into hell" does not refer to literally going down into the bowels of hell itself to be subject to the devil (which is the position of many heretical and charismatic preachers today). Rather, it is a poetic way of stating that Christ truly and assuredly died on the cross. Some representations of the creed delete this entire phrase.
2. The word "catholic" refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Seven Articles of Schleitheim
Canton Schaffhausen, Switzerland,
February 24, 1527
The Roman Church and Protestants alike killed and harassed the harmless Brethren. So severely did the established churches persecute the Anabaptists that their leadership had to be constantly replaced as one after another was martyred. In 1527, the Swiss Brethren met under the leadership of Michael Sattler. He drafted them a confession of faith now known as the Schleitheim Confession (It was called the Brotherly Agreement of Some Children of God). The Brethren accepted it without a dissenting vote on this day, February 24, 1527. A few months later, Sattler, too, was martyred.
In the early 1500's, surviving as bands of outlaws in Switzerland, Moravia and the Netherlands, the Anabaptist groups had little opportunity to coordinate their evangelistic efforts or to give united expression to their beliefs. On one important occasion, however, in 1527 they did attempt to agree upon a common basis of fellowship at Schleitheim on today's Swiss-German border, near Schaffhausen. There the Anabaptists met in the first "synod" of the Protestant Reformation. The "Brotherly Union" adopted at Schleithein proved to be a highly significant document. We call it the Schleitheim Confession. During the next decade, most Anabaptists in all parts of Europe came to agree with the beliefs it laid down.
First among these convictions was what the Anabaptists called "discipleship". The Christian's relationship with Jesus Christ must go beyond inner experience and acceptance of doctrines. It must involve a daily walk with God, in which Christ's teaching and example shape a transformed style of life.
A second Anabaptist principle, the principle of love, grew logically out of the first. They would neither go to war, defend themselves against their persecutors, nor take part in coercion by the state. They also expressed this love ethic in their communities by mutual aid and redistribution of wealth.
The third Anabaptist principle is what we have come to call the "congregational" view of church authority, toward which Luther and Zwingli inclined in their earliest reforming years. All members were to be believers baptized voluntarily upon confession of personal faith in Christ. Each believer was both a priest to his fellow believers and a missionary to unbelievers. Decision making rested with the entire body.
A fourth major conviction was the insistence upon the separation of church and state. The church is distinct from society, even if society claims to be Christian.
The Schleitheim Confession
printed by Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc.,
Sixth Printing, 1985
Adopted by a Swiss Brethren Conference, February 24, 1527
Brotherly Union of a Number of Children of God concerning Seven Articles
The articles which we discussed and on which we were of one mind are these:
Confess: 11.01 Baptism
Confess: 11.02 The Ban (Excommunication)
Confess: 11.03 Breaking of Bread
Confess: 11.04 Separation from the Abomination
Confess: 11.05 Pastors in the Church
Confess: 11.06 The Sword
Confess: 11.07 The Oath
I. Observe concerning baptism: Baptism shall be given to all those who have learned repentance and amendment of life, and who believe truly that their sins are taken away by Christ, and to all those who walk in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and wish to be buried with Him in death, so that they may be resurrected with Him and to all those who with this significance request it (baptism) of us and demand it for themselves. This excludes all infant baptism, the highest and chief abomination of the Pope. In this you have the foundation and testimony of the apostles. Mt 28, Mr 16, Ac 2, Ac 8, Ac 16, Ac 19. This we wish to hold simply, yet firmly and with assurance.
II. We are agreed as follows on the ban: The ban shall be employed with all those who have given themselves to the Lord, to walk in His commandments, and with all those who are baptized into the one body of Christ and who are called brethren or sisters, and yet who slip sometimes and fall into error and sin, being inadvertently overtaken. The same shall be admonished twice in secret and the third time openly disciplined or banned according to the command of Christ. Mt 18. But this shall be done according to the regulation of the Spirit (Mt 5) before the breaking of bread, so that we may break and eat one bread, with one mind and in one love, and may drink of one cup.
III. In the breaking of bread we are of one mind and are agreed (as follows): All those who wish to break one bread in remembrance of the broken body of Christ, and all who wish to drink of one drink as a remembrance of the shed blood of Christ, shall be united beforehand by baptism in one body of Christ which is the church of God and whose Head is Christ. For as Paul points out, we cannot at the same time drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of the devil. That is, all those who have fellowship with the dead works of darkness have no part in the light. Therefore all who follow the devil and the world have no part with those who are called unto God out of the world. All who lie in evil have no part in the good.
IV. We are agreed (as follows) on separation: A separation shall be made from the evil and from the wickedness which the devil planted in the world; in this manner, simply that we shall not have fellowship with them (the wicked) and not run with them in the multitude of their abominations. This is the way it is: Since all who do not walk in the obedience of faith, and have not united themselves with God so that they wish to do His will, are a great abomination before God, it is not possible for anything to grow or issue from them except abominable things. For truly all creatures are in but two classes, good and bad, believing and unbelieving, darkness and light, the world and those who (have come) out of the world, God's temple and idols, Christ and Belial; and none can have part with the other.
To us then the command of the Lord is clear when He calls upon us to be separate from the evil and thus He will be our God and we shall be His sons and daughters.
He further admonishes us to withdraw from Babylon and earthly Egypt that we may not be partakers of the pain and suffering which the Lord will bring upon them.
From this we should learn that everything which is not united with our God and Christ cannot be other than an abomination which we should shun and flee from. By this is meant all Catholic and Protestant works and church services, meetings and church attendance, drinking houses, civic affairs, the oaths sworn in unbelief and other things of that kind, which are highly regarded by the world and yet are carried on in flat contradiction to the command of God, in accordance with all the unrighteousness which is in the world. From all these things we shall be separated and have no part with them for they are nothing but an abomination, and they are the cause of our being hated before our Christ Jesus, Who has set us free from the slavery of the flesh and fitted us for the service of God through the Spirit Whom He has given us.
Therefore there will also unquestionably fall from us the unchristian, devilish weapons of force - such as sword, armor and the like, and all their use (either) for friends or against one's enemies - by virtue of the Word of Christ. Resist not (him that is) evil.
V. We are agreed as follows on pastors in the church of God: The pastor in the church of God shall, as Paul has prescribed, be one who out-and-out has a good report of those who are outside the faith. This office shall be to read, to admonish and teach, to warn, to discipline, to ban in the church, to lead out in prayer for the advancement of all the brethren and sisters, to lift up the bread when it is to be broken, and in all things to see to the care of the body of Christ, in order that it may be built up and developed, and the mouth of the slanderer be stopped.
This one moreover shall be supported of the church which has chosen him, wherein he may be in need, so that he who serves the Gospel may live of the Gospel as the Lord has ordained. But if a pastor should do something requiring discipline, he shall not be dealt with except (on the testimony of) two or three witnesses. And when they sin they shall be disciplined before all in order that the others may fear.
But should it happen that through the cross this pastor should be banished or led to the Lord (through martyrdom) another shall be ordained in his place in the same hour so that God's little flock and people may not be destroyed.
VI. We are agreed as follows concerning the sword: The sword is ordained of God outside the perfection of Christ. It punishes and puts to death the wicked, and guards and protects the good. In the Law the sword was ordained for the punishment of the wicked and for their death, and the same (sword) is (now) ordained to be used by the worldly magistrates.
In the perfection of Christ, however, only the ban is used for a warning and for the excommunication of the one who has sinned, without putting the flesh to death - simply the warning and the command to sin no more.
Now it will be asked by many who do not recognize (this as) the will of Christ for us, whether a Christian may or should employ the sword against the wicked for the defense and protection of the good, or for the sake of love.
Our reply is unanimously as follows: Christ teaches and commands us to learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly in heart and so shall we find rest to our souls. Also Christ says to the heathenish woman who was taken in adultery, not that one should stone her according to the Law of His Father (and yet He says, As the Father has commanded me, thus I do), but in mercy and forgiveness and warning, to sin no more. Such (an attitude) we also ought to take completely according to the rule of the ban.
Secondly, it will be asked concerning the sword, whether a Christian shall pass sentence in worldly disputes and strife such as unbelievers have with one another. This is our united answer. Christ did not wish to decide or pass judgment between brother and brother in the case of the inheritance, but refused to do so. Therefore we should do likewise.
Thirdly, it will be asked concerning the sword, Shall one be a magistrate if one should be chosen as such? The answer is as follows: They wished to make Christ king, but He fled and did not view it as the arrangement of His Father. Thus shall we do as He did, and follow Him, and so shall we not walk in darkness. For He Himself says, He who wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. Also, He Himself forbids the (employment of) the force of the sword saying, The worldly princes lord it over them, etc., but not so shall it be with you. Further, Paul says, Whom God did foreknow He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, etc. Also Peter says, Christ has suffered (not ruled) and left us an example, that ye should follow His steps.
Finally it will be observed that it is not appropriate for a Christian to serve as a magistrate because of these points: The government magistracy is according to the flesh, but the Christian's is according to the Spirit; their houses and dwelling remain in this world, but the Christian's are in heaven; their citizenship is in this world, but the Christian's citizenship is in heaven; the weapons of their conflict and war are carnal and against the flesh only, but the Christian's weapons are spiritual, against the fortification of the devil. The worldlings are armed with steel and iron, but the Christians are armed with the armor of God, with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God. In brief, as in the mind of God toward us, so shall the mind of the members of the body of Christ be through Him in all things, that there may be no schism in the body through which it would be destroyed. For every kingdom divided against itself will be destroyed. Now since Christ is as it is written of Him, His members must also be the same, that His body may remain complete and united to its own advancement and upbuilding.
VII. We are agreed as follows concerning the oath: The oath is a confirmation among those who are quarreling or making promises. In the Law it is commanded to be performed in God's Name, but only in truth, not falsely. Christ, who teaches the perfection of the Law, prohibits all swearing to His (followers), whether true or false - neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by Jerusalem, nor by our head - and that for the reason He shortly thereafter gives, For you are not able to make one hair white or black. So you see it is for this reason that all swearing is forbidden: we cannot fulfill that which we promise when we swear, for we cannot change (even) the very least thing on us.
Now there are some who do not give credence to the simple command of God, but object with this question: Well now, did not God swear to Abraham by Himself (since He was God) when He promised him that He would be with him and that He would be his God if he would keep His commandments, - why then should I not also swear when I promise to someone? Answer: Hear what the Scripture says: God, since He wished more abundantly to show unto the heirs the immutability of His counsel, inserted an oath, that by two immutable things (in which it is impossible for God to lie) we might have a strong consolation. Observe the meaning of this Scripture: What God forbids you to do, He has power to do, for everything is possible for Him. God swore an oath to Abraham, says the Scripture, so that He might show that His counsel is immutable. That is, no one can withstand nor thwart His will; therefore He can keep His oath. But we can do nothing, as is said above by Christ, to keep or perform (our oaths): therefore we shall not swear at all (nichts schweren).
Then others further say as follows: It is not forbidden of God to swear in the New Testament, when it is actually commanded in the Old, but it is forbidden only to swear by heaven, earth, Jerusalem and our head. Answer: Hear the Scripture, He who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by Him who sitteth thereon. Observe: it is forbidden to swear by heaven, which is only the throne of God: how much more is it forbidden (to swear) by God Himself! Ye fools and blind, which is greater, the throne or Him that sitteth thereon?
Further some say, Because evil is now (in the world, and) because man needs God for (the establishment of) the truth, so did the apostles Peter and Paul also swear. Answer: Peter and Paul only testify of that which God promised to Abraham with the oath. They themselves promise nothing, as the example indicates clearly. Testifying and swearing are two different things. For when a person swears he is in the first place promising future things, as Christ was promised to Abraham. Whom we a long time afterwards received. But when a person bears testimony he is testifying about the present, whether it is good or evil, as Simeon spoke to Mary about Christ and testified, Behold this (child) is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against.
Christ also taught us along the same line when He said, Let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. He says, Your speech or word shall be yea and nay. (However) when one does not wish to understand, he remains closed to the meaning. Christ is simply Yea and Nay, and all those who seek Him simply will understand His Word. Amen.
A CONFESSION OF THE FAITH OF SEVERAL CHURCHES OF CHRIST
In the County of Somerset, and of some Churches in the Counties neer adjacent.
Sanctifie the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready alwaies to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, which is in heaven.
To the Law and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to this rule it is because there is no light in them.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of minde, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
London, Printed by Henry Hills, and are to be sold by Thomas Brewster, at the three Bibles at the West end of Pauls, 1656.
A CONFESSION of the FAITH of several congregations of Christ in the county of Somerset, and some churches in the counties near adjacent. Printed at London, Anno 1656.
WE believe that there is but one God (1Co 8:6.), who is immortal, eternal, invisible, only wise (1Ti 1:17.), holy (Le 11:44.), almighty (Ge 17:1.) infinite (1Ki 8:27; Isa 40:28; Ps 147:5); a Spirit (Joh 4:24.), glorious in holiness (Ex 15:11), just, merciful, gracious, long-suffering, abundant in mercy and truth (Ex 34:6-7.), faithful in all things (De 7:9.).
THAT this God, who is so in himself, did according to his own will in time, create all things, by, and for Jesus Christ (Heb 1:2; Col 1:16; Joh 2:3); who is the word of God (Joh 1:1) and upholds all things by the word of his power (Heb 1:3.).
THAT God made man after his own image (Ge 1:27), in an estate of uprightness and human perfection (Ec 7:29.),
THAT God gave Adam a just law, requiring obedience under the penalty of death (Ge 2:17), which law he brake, and brought himself and his posterity under the guilt and judgment denounced (Ge 3:6; Ro 5:12,17-18,19.).
MAN being in this undone estate, God did in the riches of his mercy hold forth Christ in a promise (Ge 3:15.).
THAT in process of time God gave forth his laws by the hand of Moses (Ex 20; Joh 1:17), to fallen man (Ga 3:19), not for justification to eternal life (Ga 3:17; Ro 3:20.), but that all might appear guilty before the Lord by it (Ro 3:19; 5:20).
THAT out of this condition none of the sons of Adam were able to deliver themselves (Ro 8:3; Eph 2:1,5; Ro 5:6.).
THAT God continued and renewed the manifestation of his grace and mercy in Christ after the first promise made (Ge 3), in other promises (Ge 22:18 with Ge 12:3; Ga 3:16.); and in types, as the passover (Ex 12:8 and ver. Ex 12:13 with 1Co 5:7.), and the brazen serpent (Nu 21:9 compared with Joh 3:14); with the ministry and ministration of Moses and Aaron, the sacrifices, &c. being all figures of Christ (Heb 7:8 and Chap. Heb 9.); and in prophesies (as Isa 9:6; 11:1-2; 53:6 compared with 1Pe 2:24; 1Co 15:3.).
THAT God in his son did freely, without respect to any work done, or to be done by them as a moving cause, elect and choose some to himself before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3-4; 2Ti 1:9.), whom he in time hath, doth, and will call, justify, sanctify and glorify (Ro 8:29-30).
THAT those that were thus elected and chosen in Christ were by nature (before conversion) children of wrath even as others (Eph 2:3; Ro 3:9.).
THAT those that are chosen of God, called and justified, shall never finally fall from him, but being born from above are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (Joh 6:39; 10:28; 11:26; 1Pe 1:5; Ps 89:30-31,32-33,34; 1Jo 3:9; Joh 14:19; Heb 12:2; Jer 31:3; Joh 10:29; Ps 37:28; Jer 32:40; Ro 8:39; 1Co 1:8-9; Ro 8:30; Ps 48:14.).
THAT when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman (Ga 4:4-5.) according to the promises and prophesies of the scriptures; who was conceived in the womb of Mary the virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, (Lu 1:35; Mt 1:20.), and by her born in Bethlehem (Mt 2:11; Lu 2:6-7.).
WE believe that Jesus Christ is truly God (Isa 9:6; Heb 1:8; Ro 9:5.) and truly man, of the seed of David (1Ti 2:5; Ac 13:23; Ro 1:3.).
THAT after he came to be about thirty years of age, being baptized, he manifested himself to be the Son of God (Lu 3:21,23 with Joh 2:7,11.), the promised Messiah, by doing such works both in his life and in his death which were proper unto, and could be done by none but the Son of God, the true Messiah (Joh 1:49; 6:9, &c.).
THAT this man Christ Jesus suffered death under Pilate, at the request of the Jews (Lu 23:24.), bearing the sins of his people on his own body on the cross (1Pe 2:24), according to the will of God (Isa 53:6), being made sin for us, (2Co 5:11) and so was also made a curse for us (Ga 3:13-14; 1Pe 3:18.), that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2Co 5:11), and by his death upon the cross, he hath obtained eternal redemption and deliverance for his church. (Col 1:14; Eph 1:7; Ac 20:28; Heb 9:12; 1Pe 1:18-19.).
THAT this same Jesus having thus suffered death for our sins, was buried (Mt 27:59-60.), and was also raised by the power of God (Eph 1:19.) the third day according to the scriptures (1Co 15:3-4.), for our justification (Ro 4:25.).
THAT after he had been seen forty days upon the earth, manifesting himself to his disciples (Ac 1:3.), he ascended into the heavens (Ac 1:9-10,11; Heb 4:14.), and is set on the right hand of the throne of God (Heb 8:1; 1:3.), whom the heavens must receive until the time of the Restitution of all things. (Ac 3:21.).
THAT the Father having thus exalted him, and given him a name above every name (Php 2:9.), and hath made him who is mediator (1Ti 2:5), priest (Heb 10:21; 8:1), prophet (Ac 3:22.), and king to his people (Ps 2:6; Re 15:3.). As he is our priest, so is he our peace and reconciliation (Eph 2:14-15; Ro 5:9-10.), and being entered into the holy place, even heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God (Heb 9:24.), making continual intercession for us (Heb 7:24-25.), he is become our advocate (1Jo 2:1.) by whom we have boldness and access unto the throne of grace with acceptance (Heb 10:19; Eph 3:12; Heb 4:16.). As he is our prophet, so he hath given us the scriptures, the Old and New Testament, as a rule and direction unto us both for faith and practice (Joh 5:39; 1Pe 1:10-11,12; 2Ti 3:16; 1Pe 1:20-21; Eph 2:20; 1Co 14:37; Tit 1:2-3.); and that he hath sent, doth and will (according to his promise) send his Holy Spirit the Comforter, by whom he leadeth us into all truth (Joh 14:26; 16:13.); and by his continual presence with us, and in us (Joh 14:16-17.), teaching, opening and revealing the mysteries of the kingdom, and will of God unto us (1Co 2:10-11,12-13; Re 2:29; 5:5.), giving gifts in his church for the work of the ministry, and edifying the body of Christ (Eph 4:8,12; 1Co 12:4-5,6.), that through the powerful teachings of the Lord, by his Spirit in his church, they might grow up in him (Eph 4:15.), be conformed to his will (Eze 36:27; 1Pe 1:2.), and sing praises unto his name (Heb 2:12; 1Co 14:15.). And as he is our prophet, and king, lord, and law-giver (Isa 33:22; 55:4.), Prince of life (Ac 3:15.), Prince of peace (Isa 9:6.), Master of his people (Mt 23:8.), Head of his church (Col 1:18.), the Almighty (Re 1:8.), so he hath given rules unto us, by the which he ruleth over us (Lu 6:46; Joh 10:16; 1Jo 2:4; Joh 14:15; Mt 28:20.), and ruleth over all things for his church (Eph 1:22; Re 19:16.) and by the power of love ruleth by his Spirit in us (2Co 5:14; 1Jo 2:5.), making us (in a measure) both able and willing to honour him (Php 4:3; Heb 13:21; Eph 6:10; Php 2:13), and bow before him (Ps 95:6; 110:3; Re 4:10-11.), submitting ourselves to him alone in all his commands with joy (Joh 15:14; Re 14:4; 7:15; Ps 119:2,47; Re 15:3-4.).
THAT the Spirit is administred by or through the word of faith preached (Ga 3:2) which word was first declared by the Lord himself, and was confirmed by them that heard him (Heb 2:3.), which word is called the gospel of God's grace (Ac 20:24.), the word of reconciliation (2Co 5:19.), the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17.), the weapon of a Christian (2Co 10:4.); a faithful (Re 22:6.), quick, powerful (Heb 4:12.), plain (Pr 8:9.), comfortable (Ro 15:4.), pure (Ps 12:6.), right, true (Ps 33:4.), sound (Tit 2:8.), and wholesome word (1Ti 6:3.).
THAT this spirit of Christ, being administer'd by the word of faith, worketh in us faith in Christ (Joh 3:5; 1Pe 1:22; Ac 16:14; Ga 5:22.) by virtue of which we come to receive our sonship (Joh 1:12; Ga 3:26.), and is further administer'd unto us through faith in the promises of God (Eph 1:13; Ac 2:38-39; 1:4.), waiting on him in those ways and means that he hath appointed in his word (Joh 14:15-16,17; Lu 11:9,13.), this faith being the ground of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1.).
THAT justification is God's accounting and declaring that man justified from the guilt and condemnation of all his sin, who hath received Jesus Christ and doth believe in him (in truth and power) according to the record given of him by God in scripture (Ro 4:5; 1Jo 5:10-11; Joh 3:36.).
THAT justification from the guilt and condemnation of sin is only obtained through faith in that man Jesus Christ, crucified at Jerusalem, and by God raised from the dead (Ro 5:1,9; Ac 13:38-39; Ro 4:25; 10:9.). And that those who bring in any other way of justification, do therein make void, and acquit themselves of having any interest in the gospel and grace of Christ (Ga 2:21; 5:4.).
THAT this faith being wrought in truth and power, it doth not only interest us in our justification, sonship, and glory, but it produceth as effects and fruits, a conformity, in a measure, to the Lord Jesus, in his will, graces and virtues (Ro 5:3-4; 1Jo 3:23-24; 2Pe 1:5-6,7; Ga 5:6; Ac 26:18; 1Th 1:3.).
THAT it is the duty of every man and woman, that have repented from dead works, and have faith towards God, to be baptized (Ac 2:38; 8:12,37-38.), that is, dipped or buried under the water (Ro 6:3-4; Col 2:12.), in the name of our Lord Jesus (Ac 8:16.), or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19.), therein to signify and represent a washing away of sin (Ac 22:16.), and their death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Ro 6:5; Col 2:12.), and being thus planted in the visible church or body of Christ (1Co 12:3.), who are a company of men and women separated out of the world by the preaching of the gospel (Ac 2:41; 2Co 6:17.), do walk together in communion in all the commandments of Jesus (Ac 2:42.), wherein God is glorified and their souls comforted (2Th 1:11-12; 2Co 1:4.).
THAT we believe some of those commandments further to be as followeth.
1. CONSTANCY in prayer (Col 2:23,23.).
2. BREAKING of bread (1Co 11:23-24.).
3. GIVING of thanks (Eph 5:20.).
4. WATCHING over one another (Heb 12:15.).
5. CARING one for another (1Co 12:25) by visiting one another, especially in sickness and temptations (Mt 25:36.).
6. EXHORTING one another (Heb 3:13.).
7. DISCOVERING to each other, and bearing one another's burdens (Ga 6:2.).
8. LOVING one another (Heb 13:1.).
9. REPROVING when need is one another (Mt 18:15.).
10. SUBMITTING one to another in the Lord (1Pe 5:5.).
11. ADMINISTERING one to another according to the gift received, whether it be in spirituals, or temporals (1Pe 4:10.).
12. THE offender to seek reconciliation, as well as the offended (Mt 5:23-24.).
13. LOVE our enemies and persecutors, and pray for them (Mt 5:23-24).
14. EVERY one to work if he be able, and none to be idle (2Th 3:10-11,12).
15. THE women in the church to learn in silence, and in all subjection (1Ti 2:11; 1Co 14:37.).
16. PRIVATE admonition to a brother offending another; and if not prevailing, to take one or two more; if he hear not them, then to tell it to the church; and if he hear not them, to be accounted as an heathen and publican (Mt 18:15.).
17. PUBLICK rebuke to publick offenders (1Ti 5:20.).
18. THE brethren in ministring forth their gifts, ought to do it decently and in order, one by one, that all may learn and all may be comforted (1Co 14:31,40.).
19. A SPECIAL care to assemble together, that their duty to God, and the church may not be neglected (Heb 10:24-25.).
20. AND all things in the church, done in the name and power of the head, the Lord Christ Jesus (Col 3:7.).
21. THAT in admitting of members into the church of Christ, it is the duty of the church, and ministers whom it concerns, in faithfulness to God, that they be careful they receive none but such as do make forth evident demonstration of the new birth, and the work of faith with power (Joh 3:3; Mt 3:8-9; Ac 8:37; Eze 44:6-7; Ac 2:38; 2Co 9:14; Ps 26:4-5; 101:7.).
THAT those that truly repent, and believe, and are baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, are in a fit capacity to exercise faith, in full assurance to receive a greater measure of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit (Ac 2:38-39; Eph 1:13.).
XXVIII. (Sic Original)
THAT it is the duty of the members of Christ in the order of the gospel, tho' in several congregations and assemblies (being one in the head) if occasion be, to communicate each to other, in things spiritual, and things temporal (Ro 15:26; Ac 11:29; 15:22; 11:22.).
THAT the Lord Christ Jesus being the foundation and corner stone of the gospel church whereon his apostles built (Eph 2:20; Heb 2:3), He gave them power and abilities to propagate, to plant, to rule and order (Mt 28:19-20; Lu 10:16), for the benefit of that his body, by which ministry he did shew forth the exceeding riches of his grace, by his kindness towards it in the ages to come (Eph 2:7), which is according to his promise (Mt 28:20.)
THAT this foundation and ministration aforesaid, is a sure guide, rule and direction, in the darkest time of the anti-christian apostacy, or spiritual Babylonish captivity, to direct, inform, and restore us in our just freedom and liberty, to the right worship and order belonging to the church of Jesus Christ (1Ti 3:14-15; 2Ti 3:15-16,17; Joh 17:20; Isa 59:21; Re 2:24; Isa 40:21; Re 2:5; 1Co 14:37; Re 1:3; 2Th 3:14; Re 2:11; 1Pe 1:25; 1Jo 4:6; 2Pe 1:15-16; Isa 58:11-12; 2Pe 3:2; Isa 8:20.).
THAT the church of Jesus Christ with its ministry may from among themselves, make choice of such members, as are fitly gifted and qualified by Christ, and approve and ordain such by fasting, prayer, and laying on of hands (Ac 13:3; 14:23.), for the performance of the several duties, whereunto they are called (Ac 20:28; Ro 12:6-7,8; 2Ti 4:2; Ac 6:3.).
THAT such a ministry labouring in the word and doctrine, have a power to receive a livelihood of their brethren, whose duty it is to provide a comfortable subsistance for them, if they be able, to whom for Christ's sake they are servants (1Co 9:4,7; 1Ti 5:17-18.). Yet it is commendable in cases of necessity, for them, for example sake, and that they may be able to support the weak, to labour and work with their hands (Ac 20:24-25.).
THAT the authority of Christ in an orderly ministry in his church, is to be submitted unto (Heb 13:17; 2Th 3:14.).
THAT as it is an ordinance of Christ, so it is the duty of his church in his authority, to send forth such brethren as are fitly gifted and qualified through the Spirit of Christ to preach the gospel to the world (Ac 13:1-2,3; 11:22; 8:14.).
THAT it is the duty of us believing Gentiles, not to be ignorant of that blindness that yet lieth on Israel, that none of us may boast (Ro 11:25.), but to have bowels of love and compassion to them, praying for them (Ro 10:1.), expecting their calling, and so much the rather, because their conversion will be to us life from the dead (Ro 2:15.).
THAT it is the will of the Lord, and it is given to the saints not only to believe in him, but to suffer for his name (Joh 16:13; Php 1:26.) and so to pass through many tribulations into the kingdom of God (Ac 14:22; 2Ti 3:12; 2:12.).
THAT the angels of the Lord are ministring spirits, sent forth for the good of those that shall be the heirs of salvation (Heb 1:14; Ps 91:11-12; Ac 27:23; Lu 22:43.).
THAT the wicked angels (Ps 78:49.) kept not their first estate in which they were created (Jude 25.), the prince of whom is called the devil (Mt 8:28.), and the great dragon, and the old serpent, and satan (Re 12:9.), and the accuser of our brethren (Re 12:10.), and the prince of this world (Joh 14:30.), and a prince that ruleth in the air; a spirit working in the children of disobedience (Eph 2:2.), and our adversary (1Pe 5:8.), whose children the wicked are (Mt 13:39; Joh 8:44.) To him we ought not to give place (Eph 4:27.), whose power Christ hath overcome for us (Heb 2:14.), and for him and his angels everlasting fire is prepared (Mt 25:41.).
THAT it is our assured expectation, grounded upon promises, that the Lord Jesus Christ shall the second time appear without sin unto salvation, unto his people, to raise and change the vile bodies of all his saints, to fashion them like unto his glorious body, and so to reign with him, and judge over all nations on the earth in power and glory (Php 3:20-21; Heb 9:28; Ac 3:19-20,21; Mt 19:28; Re 2:26-27; 1Co 6:2; Ps 72:8,11; Da 7:27; Zec 14:9; Ps 2:8-9; Jer 23:5-6; Eze 21:26-27; Isa 32:1; Re 11:15; Ps 82:8; Re 5:9.).
THAT there is a day appointed, when the Lord shall raise the unjust as well as the righteous, and judge them all in righteousness (Joh 5:28-29; Ac 24:15,), but every man in his own order (1Co 15:23; 1Th 4:16.), taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose punishment will be everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord (2Th 1:7-8,9-10; Jude 25,25; Re 20:11-12,13-14.).
THAT there is a place into which the Lord will gather all his elect, to enjoy him for ever, usually in scripture called heaven (2Co 5:1; Joh 14:2-3.).
THAT there is a place into which the Lord will cast the devil, his angels and wicked men, to be tormented for ever, from his presence and the glory of his power, usually in scripture called hell (Mr 9:43-44,45; Ps 9:17; Mt 25:41; 10:28; 23:33; Lu 10:15; 16:23.).
THAT it is both the duty and privilege of the church of Christ (till his coming again) in their fellowship together in the ordinances of Christ, to enjoy, prize, and press after, fellowship through and in the Spirit with the Lord, and each with other (Ac 2:42; 1Co 11:26; Eph 2:21-22; 4:3-4,5-6; 1Co 12:13; Eph 3:9; Col 2:2), which we believe to be attained through the exercise of faith in the death, resurrection, and life of Christ (2Co 5:14-15,16; Col 2:12; Php 3:9-10,11; 1Pe 2:5.).
THAT the ministry of civil justice (being for the praise of them that do well, and punishment of evildoers) is an ordinance of God, and that it is the duty of the saints to be subject thereunto not only for fear, but for conscience sake (Ro 13:1-2,3-4,5; 1Pe 2:13-14.) and that for such, prayers and supplications are to be made by the saints (1Ti 2:1-2.).
THAT nothing doth come to pass by fortune or chance, but all things are disposed by the hand of God, and all for good to his people (Ge 45:5; 50:20; Ro 8:28; Eph 1:11; Job 14:5; Isa 4:5-6.).
AND that a church so believing, and so walking, though despised, and of low esteem, is no less in the account of her Lord and King, than though
BLACK, yet comely, Song 1:5.
FAIREST, without spot Song 4:7.
PRECIOUS, Isa 43:4.
BEAUTIFUL, Song 7:1.
HOLY, without blemish, Eph 5:27.
PLEASANT, Song 1:15.
WHOSE soul loveth Christ, Song 1:7.
RUNNERS after Christ, Song 1:4.
HONOURABLE, Isa 43:4.
THE desire of Christ, Song 7:10.
COM PLEAT in Christ, Col 2:10.
LOVERS of the Father, Joh 16:27.
THE blessed of the Father, Mt 25:34.
KEPT by the Lord, 1Pe 1:5; Isa 27:3.
GRAVEN on the palms of his hands, Isa 49:16.
TENDER to the Lord as the apple of his eye, Zec 2:8.
TAUGHT of the Lord, Isa 54:13.
ONE that hath obtained mercy, 1Pe 2; 5:14.
ONE that hath a redemption, Eph 1:7.
THE gates of hell shall not prevail against it, Mt 16:18.
IN that church be glory unto God by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages world without end. Amen. Eph 2:21.
John Spilsbury and His Confession
The personal confession of ten articles Spilsbury submitted for the "Godly reader to judge, what difference there is between him and me, in the main, that men should be so incensed against me, as to seek my life, as some have done." Spilsbury wanted to disarm those who cast "reproachful clamors. upon all without exception, that seem to be of my judgment about baptism" by declaring "a word of my faith, what I believe and hold to be truth, and desire to practice the same." One year later, Spilsbury would join with the other Particular Baptist churches in London in publishing and signing the First London Confession.
1. I do believe that there is only one God, who is distinguished in 3 persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; yet but one in nature, or essence, without divisions, and incommunicable, who made the world, and all things therein, by the word of his power, & governs them by his wise providence.
2. I believe that God made man in his own Image, an upright and perfect creature, consisting of soul and body: which body God framed of the earth, and breathed into the same the breath of life, and man became a living soul. To whom God gave a law, upon his keeping of which depends all his happiness, and upon the contrary attended his misery, which took effect; for he breaking that law, he fell under the curse, and wrath of God lay upon him and all his posterity. By which fall man lost the knowledge of God, and utterly disabled himself of all ability ever to recover the same again.
3. I believe God out of the counsel of his will, did, before he made the world, elect and choose some certain number of his foreseen fallen creatures, and appointed them to eternal life in his Son, for the glory of his grace: which number so elected shall be saved, come to glory, & the rest left in sin to glorify his justice.
4. I believe that God in the fullness of his own time, did send his son, the 2d. person, who in the womb of the virgin Mary, assumed mans nature, and in the same he suffered death upon the cross, only as he was man, to satisfy his Fathers justice, for the sins of his elect, & that he lay 3 days and 3 nights in his grave, from whence he arose the third day by the power of his Godhead, for the justification of all for whose sins he died, and that in the same body Christ died, he arose from the death, and afterwards ascended into heaven, the place of glory, where he was before, and there to remain until he comes at the last day to judge the world in righteousness.
5. I believe that God of his grace, in his own time, effectually calls such as shall be saved to the knowledge of the truth, who is said, of his own will to beget us by the word of truth: in which work of grace, nature is as passive, as a child in the parents begetting of it; and so God by His Spirit works faith in the hearts of all such to believe in Christ, and his righteousness, only for justification. And thus they are made righteous before God in Christ, and so conformable to the will of God the Father through the Son; and also made holy through the work of regeneration, and the holy Spirit of grace dwelling in them; yet all such have still, as long as they live here in the flesh, remaining in them, an old man, that original corruption, the flesh that wars against the spirit, which hinders them in their obedience both to God and to man, and many times draws them to that which is evil, and contrary to their intentions; yet all of them shall through Christ overcome, and safely be brought to glory at last.
6. I believe the holy Scriptures to be the word of God, and have the only authority to bind the conscience to the obedience of all therein contained, and are the all sufficient rule, by the Spirit of God to guide a man in all his obedience both to God and man.
7. As for the absence of original sin, and power in the will to receive and refuse grace and salvation being generally offered by the Gospel, and Christ dying for all persons universally, to take away sin that stood between them and salvation, and so laid down his life for a ransom for all without exception, and for such as have been one in God's love, so as approved of by him in Christ for salvation, and in the Covenant of Grace, and for such to fall so as to be damned eternally, and all of the like nature, I do believe is a doctrine from beneath, and not from above, and the teachers of it from Satan, and not from God, and to be rejected as such that oppose Christ and his Gospel.
8. I do believe the resurrection of the dead, that all shall rise and come to judgment, and every one give account of himself to God, and receive according to the things done in their bodies, whether they be good or bad; therefore no conscience ought to be forced in the matters of Religion, because no man can bear out another in his account to God, if in case he should cause him to sin.
9. I do believe the powers that are, as the civil Magistrates, and so, are of God, to whom God hath committed the Sword of justice, for the punishing of evil doers, and for the good of such as do well, in which respect they ought to be honored, obeyed, and assisted by all men, and of Christians especially, and that out of conscience to God, whose ordinance and ministers they are, and bear not the sword in vain, Ro 13; 1Pe 2; Tit 3.
10. And lastly, I do believe that there is an holy and blessed communion of Saints, that God of his grace calls such as belong to life by election, unto the fellowship of his Son by the Gospel, of which matter, God by his word and Spirit joins them together in his Covenant of grace, and so constitutes his Church, as I have before showed: And as God hath thus built for himself an holy habitation of such pure matter, and also after so holy a manner, even so hath he provided a way of preservation and safety for the same; as Isa 26:1. We have a strong City, salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks: which City is said to have a wall both great and high, and built upon twelve foundations; great, that none shall break through, and high, that none shall overtop or get over, and strong in the foundation, that nothing shall shake it, and God hath said, that he will be a wall of fire round about, and the glory in the midst of it, and that he will keep it, and watch over it by night and by day, that nothing shall hurt it; and as God hath built himself a house after his own mind, and is a guard to the same; even so he is also said to beautify the same with salvation, and to make the place of his feet glorious, and that he will lay all her stones with fair colors, and her foundations with Sapphires, and her windows of Agars, and her gates of Carbuncles, and all her boarders of pleasant stones, and all her children taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of her children. And as Christ does thus signify unto us the nature of his church both in respect of her matter, her form, her grace, and comely order in him her head; even so he holds forth his love to her, and delight in her, by these and the like expressions of comfort and solace. The Lord hath chosen Zion, &c. Ps 132:13-14; Eph 2:21-22; Ps 87:2-3; Ga 4:26,31; Isa 2:2; 62:1,12; Eze 48:35; Re 21:12,14; Zec 2:5; Isa 26:3; 4:6,6,6; Re 21:11,18,21; Song 4:7; Ps 45:13.
Declaration of Faith
1. Of the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; (1) that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, (2) and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; (3) that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; (4) and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, (5) and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. (6)
1. 2Ti 3:16-17; 2Pe 1:21; 1Sa 23:2; Ac 1:16; 3:21; Joh 10:35; Lu 16:29-31; Ps 119:11; Ro 3:1-2
2. Of the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; (7) inexpressibly glorious in holiness, (8) and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; (9) that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; (10) equal in every divine perfection, (11) and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (12)
7. Joh 4:24; Ps 147:5; 83:18; Heb 3:4; Ro 1:20; Jer 10:10
8. Ex 15:11; Isa 6:3; 1Pe 1:15-16; Re 4:6-8
9. Mr 12:30; Re 4:11; Mt 10:37; Jer 2:12-13
10. Mt 28:19; Joh 15:26; 1Co 12:4-6; 1Jo 5:7
11. Joh 10:30; 5:17; 14:23; 17:5,10; Ac 5:3-4; 1Co 2:10-11; Php 2:5-6
12. Eph 2:18; 2Co 13:14; Re 1:4-5; comp. Re 1:2,7
3. Of the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; (13) but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; (14) in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, (15) not by constraint, but choice; (16) being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, (17) without defense or excuse. (18)
13. Ge 1:27,31; Ec 7:29; Ac 16:26; Ge 2:16
14. Ge 3:6-24; Ro 5:12
15. Ro 5:19; Joh 3:6; Ps 51:5; Ro 5:15-19; 8:7
16. Isa 53:6; Ge 6:12; Ro 3:9-18
17. Eph 2:1-3; Ro 1:18,32; 2:1-16; Ga 3:10; Mt 20:15
18. Eze 18:19-20; Ro 1:20; 3:19; Ga 3:22
4. Of the Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, (19) through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; (20) who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; (21) honored the divine law by his personal obedience, (22) and by his death made a full
atonement for our sins; (23) that having risen from the death, he is now enthroned in heaven; (24) and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all- sufficient Saviour. (25)
19. Eph 2:5; Mt 18:11; 1Jo 4:10; 1Co 3:5-7; Ac 15:11
20. Joh 3:16; 1:1-14; Heb 4:14; 12:24
21. Php 2:6-7; Heb 2:9,14; 2Co 5:21
22. Isa 42:21; Php 2:8; Ga 4:4-5; Ro 3:21
23. Isa 53:4-5; Mt 20:28; Ro 4:25; 3:21-26; 1Jo 4:10; 2:2; 1Co 15:1-3; Heb 9:13-15
24. Heb 1:8,3; 8:1; Col 3:1-4
25. Heb 7:25; Col 2:9; Heb 2:18; 7:26; Ps 89:19; 14
5. Of Justification
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ (26) secures to such as believe in him is Justification; (27) that Justification includes the pardon of sin, (28) and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; (29) that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood; (30) by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; (31) that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity. (32)
26. Joh 1:16; Eph 3:8
27. Ac 13:39; Isa 3:11-12; Ro 8:1
28. Ro 5:9; Zec 13:1; Mt 9:6; Ac 10:43
29. Ro 5:17; Tit 3:5-6; 1Pe 3:7; 1Jo 2:25; Ro 5:21
30. Ro 4:4-5; 5:21; 6:23; Php 3:7-9
31. Ro 5:19; 3:24-26; 4:23-25; 1Jo 2:12
32. Ro 5:1-3,11; 1Co 1:30-31; Mt 6:33; 1Ti 4:8
6. Of the Freeness of Salvation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; (33) that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; (34) and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; (35) which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. (36)
33. Isa 55:1; Re 22:17; Lu 14:17
34. Ro 16:26; Mr 1:15; Ro 1:15-17
35. Joh 5:40; Mt 23:37; Ro 9:32; Pr 1:24; Ac 13:46
36. Joh 3:19; Mt 11:20; Lu 19:27; 2Th 1:8
7. Of Grace in Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; (37) that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; (38) that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, (39) so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; (40) and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life. (41)
37. Joh 3:3,6-7; 1Co 1:14; Re 8:7-9; 21:27
8. Of Repentance and Faith
We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; (42) whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, (43) we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; (44) at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour. (45)
42. Mr 1:15; Ac 11:18; Eph 2:8; 1Jo 5:1
43. Joh 16:8; Ac 2:37-38; 16:30-31
44. Lu 18:13; 15:18-21; Jas 4:7-10; 2Co 7:11; Ro 10:12-13; Ps 51
45. Ro 10:9-11; Ac 3:22-23:1; Heb 4:14; Ps 2:6; Heb 1:8; 8:13; 2Ti 1:12
9. Of God's Purpose of Grace
We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; (46) that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; (47) that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable; (48) that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; (49) that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; (50) that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel; (51) that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; (52) and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence. (53)
46. 2Ti 1:8-9; Eph 1:3-14; 1Pe 1:1-2; Ro 11:5-6; Joh 15:15; 1Jo 4:19; Ho 12:9
47. 2Th 2:13-14; Ac 13:48; Joh 10:16; Mt 20:16; Ac 15:14
48. Ex 33:18-19; Mt 20:15; Eph 1:11; Ro 9:23-16:27; Jer 31:3; Ro 11:28-29; Jas 1:17-18; 2Ti 1:9; Ro 11:32-36
49. 1Co 4:7; 1:26-31; Ro 3:27; 4:16; Col 3:12; 1Co 3:5-7; 15:10; 1Pe 5:10; Ac 1:24; 1Th 2:13; 1Pe 2:9; Lu 18:7; Joh 15:16; Eph 1:16; 1Th 2:12
50. 2Ti 2:10; 1Co 9:22; Ro 8:28-30; Joh 6:37-40; 2Pe 1:10
51. 1Th 1:4-10
52. Ro 8:28-30; Isa 42:16; Ro 11:29
53. 2Pe 1:10-11; Php 3:12; Heb 6:11
10. Of Sanctification
We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; (54) that it is a progressive work; (55) that it is begun in regeneration; (56) and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means-especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. (57)
54. 1Th 4:3; 5:23; 2Co 7:1; 13:9; Eph 1:4
55. Pr 4:18; 2Co 3:18; Heb 6:1; 2Pe 1:5-8; Php 3:12-16
56. Joh 2:25; Ro 8:5; Joh 3:6; Php 1:9-11; Eph 1:13-14
57. Php 2:12-13; Eph 4:11-12; 1Pe 2:2; 2Pe 3:18; 2Co 13:5; Lu 11:35; 9:23; Mt 26:41; Eph 6:18; 4:30
11. Of the Perseverance of Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; (58) that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; (59) that a special Providence watches over their welfare; (60) and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (61)
58. Joh 8:31; 1Jo 2:27-28; 3:9; 5:18
59. 1Jo 2:19; Joh 13:18; Mt 13:20-21; Joh 6:66-69; Job 17:9
60. Ro 8:28; Mt 6:30-33; Jer 32:40; Ps 121:3; 91:11-12
61. Php 1:6; 2:12-13; Jude 25; Heb 1:14; 2Ki 6:16; Heb 13:5; 1Jo 4:4
12. Of the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel
We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; (62) that it is holy, just, and good; (63) and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; (64) to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church. (65)
62. Ro 3:31; Mt 5:17; Lu 16:17; Ro 3:20; 4:15
13. Of a Gospel Church
We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, (66) associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; (67) observing the ordinances of Christ; (68) governed by his laws, (69) and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word;(70) that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons, (71) whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
66. 1Co 1:1-13; Mt 18:17; Ac 5:11; 8:1; 11:30; 1Co 4:17; 14:23; 3Jo 14; 1Ti 3:5
67. Ac 2:41-42; 2Co 8:5; Ac 2:47; 1Co 5:12-13
68. 1Co 11:2; 2Th 3:6; Ro 16:17-20; 1Co 11:23; Mt 18:15-20; 1Co 5:6; 2Co 2:7; 1Co 4:17
69. Mt 28:20; Joh 14:15; 15:12; 1Jo 4:21; Joh 14:21; 1Th 5:28; 2Jo 13; Ga 6:2; all the Epistles
70. Eph 4:7; 1Co 14:12; Php 1:27; 1Co 12:14
71. Php 1:1; Ac 14:23; 15:22; 1Ti 3; Tit 1
14. Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, (72) into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; (73) to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; (74) that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord's Supper, (75) in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Jesus (76) preceded always by solemn self-examination. (77)
72. Ac 8:36-39; Mt 3:5-6; Joh 3:22-23; 4:1-2; Mt 28:19; Mr 16:16; Ac 2:38; 8:12; 16:32-34; 18:8
73. Mt 28:19; Ac 10:47-48; Ga 3:27-28
74. Ro 6:4; Col 2:12; 1Pe 3:20-21; Ac 22:16
75. Ac 2:41-42; Mt 28:19-20; Acts and Epistles
76. 1Co 11:26; Mt 26:26-29; Mr 14:22-25; Lu 22:14-20
77. 1Co 11:28; 5:1,8; 10:3-32; 11:17-32; Joh 6:26-71
15. Of the Christian Sabbath
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath; (78) and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, (79) by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations; (80) by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private (81) and public; (82) and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God. (83)
78. Ac 20:7; Ge 2:3; Col 2:16-17; Mr 2:27; Joh 20:19; 1Co 16:1-2
79. Ex 20:8; Re 1:10; Ps 118:24
80. Isa 58:13-14; 56:2-8
81. Ps 119:15
82. Heb 10:24-25; Ac 11:26; 13:44; Le 19:30; Ex 40:38; Lu 4:16; Ac 17:2-3; Ps 26:8; 87:3
83. Heb 4:3-11
16. Of Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; (84) and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; (85) except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (86) who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. (87)
84. Ro 13:1-7; De 16:18; 1Sa 23:3; Ex 18:23; Jer 30:21
85. Mt 22:21; Tit 3:1; 1Pe 2:13; 1Ti 2:1-8
86. Ac 5:29; Mt 10:28; Da 3:15-18; 6:7-10; Ac 4:18-20
87. Mt 23:10; Ro 14:4; Re 19:16; Ps 72:11; 2; Ro 14:9-13
17. Of the Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; (88) that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; (89) while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; (90) and this distinction holds among men both in and after death. (91)
88. Mal 3:18; Pr 12:26; Isa 5:20; Ge 18:23; Jer 15:19; Ac 10:34-35; Ro 6:16
89. Ro 1:17; 7:6; 1Jo 2:29; 3:7; Ro 6:18,22; 1Co 11:32; Pr 11:31; 1Pe 4:17-18
90. 1Jo 5:19; Ga 3:10; Joh 3:36; Isa 57:21; Ps 10:4; Isa 55:6-7
91. Pr 14:32; Lu 16:25; Joh 8:21-24; Pr 10:24; Lu 12:4-5; 9:23-26; Joh 12:25-26; Ec 3:17; Mt 7:13-14
18. Of the World to Come
We believe that the end of the world is approaching; (92) that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, (93) and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; (94) that a solemn separation will then take place; (95) that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; (96) and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness. (97)
92. 1Pe 4:7; 1Co 7:29-31; Heb 1:10-12; Mt 24:35; 1Jo 2:17; Mt 28:20; 13:39-40; 2Pe 3:3-13
93. Ac 1:11; Re 1:7; Heb 9:28; Ac 3:21; 1Th 4:13-18; 5:1-11
94. Ac 24:15; 1Co 15:12-58; Lu 14:14; Da 12:2; Joh 5:28-29; 6:40; 11:25-26; 2Ti 1:10; Ac 10:42
95. Mt 13:49,37-43; 24:30-31; 25:31-33
96. Mt 25:35-41; Re 22:11; 1Co 6:9-10; Mr 9:43-48; 2Pe 2:9; Jude 25; Php 3:19; Ro 6:23; 2Co 5:10-11; Joh 4:36; 2Co 4:18
97. Ro 3:5-6; 2Th 1:6-12; Heb 6:1-2; 1Co 4:5; Ac 17:31; Ro 2:2-16; Re 20:11-12; 1Jo 2:2
The Philadelphia Confession is identical to the Second London Confession of Faith (1689), except that chapters 23 and 31 have been added (with other chapters appropriately renumbered). This confession was first issued by the Philadelphia Association in 1742.
Of the Holy Scriptures
1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, 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 are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.
(2Ti 3:15-17; Isa 8:20; Lu 16:29,31; Eph 2:20; Ro 1:19-21,14-15; Ps 19:1-3; Heb 1:1; Pr 22:19-21; Ro 15:4; 2Pe 1:19-20)
2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:
OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomen, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations,Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah, Malachi
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul's Epistle to the Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation
All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.
3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings.
(Lu 24:27,44; Ro 3:2)
4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.
(2Pe 1:19-21; 2Ti 3:16; 2Th 2:13; 1Jo 5:9)
5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion 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.
(Joh 16:13-14; 1Co 2:10-12; 1Jo 2:20,27)
6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word, and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government 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 always to be observed.
(2Ti 3:15-17; Ga 1:8-9; Joh 6:45; 1Co 2:9-12; 11:13-14; 14:26,40)
7. 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 ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them.
(2Pe 3:16; Ps 19:7; 119:130)
8. 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 authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal to them. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, 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.
(Ro 3:2; Isa 8:20; Ac 15:15; Joh 5:39; 1Co 14:6,9,11-12,24,28; Col 3:16)
9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched by other places that speak more clearly.
( 2Pe 1:20-21; Ac 15:15-16)
10. The supreme judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.
(Mt 22:29,31-32; Eph 2:20; Ac 28:23)
Of God and of the Holy Trinity
1. The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, 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 judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
(1Co 8:4,6; De 6:4; Jer 10:10; Isa 48:12; Ex 3:14; Joh 4:24; 1Ti 1:17; De 4:15-16; Mal 3:6; 1Ki 8:27; Jer 23:23; Ps 90:2; Ge 17:1; Isa 6:3; Ps 115:3; Isa 46:10; Pr 16:4; Ro 11:36; Ex 34:6-7; Heb 11:6; Ne 9:32-33; Ps 5:5-6; Ex 34:7; Na 1:2-3)
2. God, having all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself, 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 being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, and he hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, 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, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and whatever he is further pleased to require of them.
(Joh 5:26; Ps 148:13; 119:68; Job 22:2-3; Ro 11:34-36; Da 4:25,34-35; Heb 4:13; Eze 11:5; Ac 15:18; Ps 145:17; Re 5:12-14)
3. In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided: the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son; all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him.
(1Jo 5:7; Mt 28:19; 2Co 13:14; Ex 3:14; Joh 14:11; 1Co 8:6; Joh 1:14,18; 15:26; Ga 4:6)
Of God's Decree
1. God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken way, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.
(Isa 46:10; Eph 1:11; Heb 6:17; Ro 9:15,18; Jas 1:13; 1Jo 1:5; Ac 4:27-28; Joh 19:11; Nu 23:19; Eph 1:3-5)
2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions, yet hath he not decreed anything, because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
(Ac 15:18; Ro 9:11,13,16,18)
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.
(1Ti 5:21; Mt 25:34; Eph 1:5-6; Ro 9:22-23; Jude 25)
4. These angels and men thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
(2Ti 2:19; Joh 13:18)
5. Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving him thereunto.
(Eph 1:4,9,11; Ro 8:30; 2Ti 1:9; 1Th 5:9; Ro 9:13,16; Eph 2:5,12)
6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the 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 are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.
(1Pe 1:2; 2Th 2:13; 1Th 5:9-10; Ro 8:30; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:5; Joh 10:26,9,42)
7. The doctrine of the high mystery of predestination is to be 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 consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.
(1Th 1:4-5; 2Pe 1:10; Eph 1:6; Ro 11:33,5-6,20; Lu 10:20)
1. In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good.
(Joh 1:2-3; Heb 1:2; Job 26:13; Ro 1:20; Col 1:16; Ge 1:31)
2. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, rendering them fit unto that life to God for which they were created; being made after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness; 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.
(Ge 1:27; 2:7; Ec 7:29; Ge 1; 26; Ro 2:14-15; Ge 3:6)
3. Besides the law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which whilst they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.
(Ge 2:17; 1:26,28)
Of Divine Providence
1. God the good Creator of all things, in his infinite power and wisdom doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, to the end for the which they were created, according unto his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will; to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and mercy.
(Heb 1:3; Job 38:11; Isa 46:10-11; Ps 135:6; Mt 10:29-31; Eph 1; 6:24)
2. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
(Ac 2:23; Pr 16:33; Ge 8:22)
3. God, in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at his pleasure.
(Ac 27:31,44; Isa 55:10-11; Ho 1:7; Ro 4:19-21; Da 3:27)
4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that his determinate counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, which also he most wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and governeth, in a manifold dispensation to his most holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the creatures, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.
(Ro 11:32-34; 2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:1; 2Ki 19:28; Ps 76; 10; Ge 1:20; Isa 10:6-7,12; Ps 1; 21; 1Jo 2:16)
5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruptions 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 be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself; and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for other just and holy ends. So that whatsoever befalls any of his elect is by his appointment, for his glory, and their good.
(2Ch 32:25-26,31; 2Co 12:7-9; Ro 8:28)
6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as the righteous judge, for former sin doth blind and harden; from them he not only withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understanding, and wrought upon their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion 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, under those means which God useth for the softening of others.
(Ro 1; 16:27,27,27,27; De 29:4; Mt 13:12; De 2:30; 2Ki 8:12-13; Ps 81:11-12; 2Th 2:10-12; Ex 8:15,32; Isa 6:9-10; 1Pe 2:7-8)
7. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a more special manner it taketh care of his church, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof.
(1Ti 4:10; Am 9:8-9; Isa 43:3-5)
Of the Fall of Man, Of Sin, And of the Punishment Thereof
1. Although God created man upright and perfect, and gave him a righteous law, which had been unto life had he kept it, and threatened death upon the breach thereof, yet he did not long abide in this honour; Satan using the subtlety of the serpent to subdue Eve, then by her seducing Adam, who, without any compulsion, did willfully transgress the law of their creation, and the command given unto them, in eating the forbidden fruit, which God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.
(Ge 2:16-17; 3:12-13; 2Co 11:3)
2. Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them whereby death came upon all: all becoming dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.
(Ro 3:23; 5:12 ,etc; Tit 1:15; Ge 6:5; Jer 17:9; Ro 3:10-19)
3. They being the root, and by God's appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation, being now conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free.
(Ro 5:12-19; 1Co 15:21-22,45,49; Ps 51:5; Job 14:4; Eph 2:3; Ro 6:20,12; Heb 2:14-15; 1Th 1:10)
4. 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.
(Ro 8:7; Col 1:21; Jas 1:14-15; Mt 15:19)
5. The corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and the first motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.
(Ro 7:18,23; Ec 7:20; 1Jo 1:8; Ro 7:23-25; Ga 5:17)
Of God's Covenant
1. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.
(Lu 17:10; Job 35:7-8)
2. Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.
(Ge 2:17; Ga 3:10; Ro 3:20-21; 8:3; Mr 16:15-16; Joh 3:16; Eze 36:26-27; Joh 6:44-45; Ps 110:3)
3. This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament; and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect; and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency.
(Ge 3:15; Heb 1:1; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2; Heb 11:6,13; Ro 4:1-2, &c.; Ac 4:12; Joh 8:56)
Of Christ the Mediator
1. It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them both, to be the mediator between God and man; the prophet, priest, and king; head and saviour of the 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.
(Isa 42:1; 1Pe 1:19-20; Ac 3:22; Heb 5:5-6; Ps 2:6; Lu 1:33; Eph 1:22-23; Heb 1:2; Ac 17:31; Isa 53:10; Joh 17:6; Ro 8:30)
2. The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the Father's glory, of one substance and equal with him who made the world, who upholdeth and governeth all things he hath made, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her: and the power of the Most High overshadowing her; and so was made of a woman of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David according to the Scriptures; so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures 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.
(Joh 1:14; Ga 4; 4; Ro 8:3; Heb 2:14,16-17,15; Mt 1:22-23; Lu 1:27,31,35; Ro 9:5; 1Ti 2:5)
3. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, in the person of the Son, 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 fullness should dwell, to the end that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of mediator and surety; which office he took not upon himself, but was thereunto called by his Father; who also put all power and judgment in his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same.
(Ps 45:7; Ac 10:38; Joh 3:34; Col 2:3; 1:19; Heb 7:26; Joh 1:14; Heb 7:22; 5:5; Joh 5:22,27; Mt 28:18; Ac 2:36)
4. 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, and underwent the punishment due to us, which we should have borne and suffered, being made sin and a curse for us; enduring most grievous sorrows in his soul, and most painful sufferings in his body; was crucified, and died, and remained in the state of the dead, yet saw no corruption: on the third day he arose from the dead with the same body in which he suffered, with which he also ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father making intercession, and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world.
(Ps 40:7-8; Heb 10:5-10; Joh 10:18; Ga 4:4; Mt 3:15; Ga 3:13; Isa 53:6; 1Pe 3:18; 2Co 5:21; Mt 26:37-38; Lu 22:44; Mt 27:46; Ac 13:37; 1Co 15:3-4; Joh 20:25,27; Mr 16:19; Ac 1:9-11; Ro 8:34; Heb 9:24; Ac 10:42; Ro 14:9-10; Ac 1:11; 2Pe 2:4)
5. 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 God, procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him.
(Heb 9:14,14; Ro 3:25-26; Joh 17:2; Heb 9:15)
6. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all ages, successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent's head; and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the same yesterday, and to- day and for ever.
(1Co 4:10; Heb 4:2; 1Pe 1:10-11; Re 13:8; Heb 13:8)
7. Christ, in the work of mediation, acteth according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; 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.
(Joh 3:13; Ac 20:28)
8. To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them; uniting them to himself by his Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by his Word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, governing their hearts by his Word and Spirit, and 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; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.
(Joh 6:37,15-16,9; Ro 5:10; Joh 17:6; Eph 1:9; 1Jo 5:20; Ro 8:9,14; Ps 110:1; 1Co 15:25-26; Joh 3:8; Eph 1:8)
9. This office of mediator between God and man is proper only to Christ, who is the prophet, priest, and king of the church of God; and may not be either in whole, or any part thereof, transferred from him to any other.
10. This number and order of offices is necessary; for in respect of our ignorance, we stand in need of his prophetical office; and in respect of our alienation from God, and imperfection of the best of our services, we need his priestly office to reconcile us and present us acceptable unto God; and in respect to our averseness and utter inability to return to God, and for our rescue and security from our spiritual adversaries, we need his kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, uphold, deliver, and preserve us to his heavenly kingdom.
(Joh 1:18; Col 1:21; Ga 5:17; Joh 16:8; Ps 110:3; Lu 1:74-75)
Of Free Will
1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil.
(Mt 17:12; Jas 1:14; De 30:19)
2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it.
(Ec 7:29; Ge 3:6)
3. 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.
(Ro 5:6-7; Eph 2:1,5; Tit 3:3-5; Joh 6:44)
4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth 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 corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will, that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.
(Col 1:13; Joh 8:36; Php 2:13; Ro 7:15,18-19,21,23)
5. This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only.
Of Effectual Calling
1. Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, 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; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving 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 Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.
(Ro 8:30,7; Eph 1:10-11; 2Th 2:13-14; Eph 2:1-6; Ac 26:18; Eph 1:17-18; Eze 36:26; De 30:6; Eze 36:27; Eph 1:19; Ps 110:3; Song 1:4)
2. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.
(2Ti 1:9; Eph 2:8; 1Co 2:14; Eph 2:5; Joh 5:25; Eph 1:19-20)
3. Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
4. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved; be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.
(Mt 22:14,20-21; Heb 6:4-5; Joh 6:44-45,65; 1Jo 2:24-25; Ac 4:12; Joh 4:22,3)
1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in his death for their whole and sole righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.
(Ro 3:24,30; 4:5-8; Eph 1:7; 1Co 1:30-31; Ro 5:17-19; Php 3:8-9; Eph 2:8-10; Joh 1:12; Ro 5:17)
2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.
(Ro 3:28; Ga 5:6; Jas 2:17,22,26)
3. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did, by the sacrifice of himself in the blood of his cross, undergoing in their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in their behalf; yet, inasmuch as he was given