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Waldensian Confessions of Faith (Reproduced from Jone’s Church History) Waldenses Confession of 1120

Waldensian Confessions of Faith
(Reproduced from Jone’s Church History)

Waldenses Confession of 1120

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.


Waldenses Confession of 1544

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.


 

The Schleitheim Confession of Faith Translated by J. C. Wenger

The Schleitheim Confession of Faith

Translated by J. C. Wenger

Adopted by a Swiss Brethren Conference, February 24, 1527

Editorial Note: The Seven Articles of Schleitheim were written with Michael Sattler of Stauffen, Germany, as the chief author, it is believed. Sattler was originally an officer in a Roman Catholic monastery. He early embraced the faith of the Swiss Brethren and served until his early martyrdom (May 1527) as an outstanding leader. Van Braght lists the nine charges on which Sattler was sentenced to death, together with Sattler’s reply. He also gives a brief account of his trial and a copy of a letter from „Brother Michael Sattler of Staufen” to „the Church of God at Horb” (1938 Martyrs’ Mirror, 416-420). In his farewell pastoral letter Sattler wrote, „Remember our assembly, and strictly follow that which was resolved on therein,” an undoubted reference to the Seven Articles and a hint as to his own leadership in the meeting.

The Schleitheim Confession was widely circulated. Ulrich Zwingli translated it into Latin and attempted to refute it already in 1527. It was in print in its original German form as early as 1533. John Calvin used a now-lost French translation of the Seven Articles in his refutation of Anabaptism published in 1544. By 1560 there was also a Dutch translation of the confession. The English translation in W. J. McGlothlin’s Baptist Confessions of Faith, Philadelphia, 1911, 3-9, was made from Zwingli’s Latin translation. For an excellent survey of known manuscript copies and printed editions of the Schleitheim Confession, see Robert Friedmann’s article in The Mennonite Quarterly Review, XVI, 2 (April, 1942), 82-87.

The Seven Articles are not at all a full statement of Christian doctrine. They were written in days of fierce persecution when there was little interest in or possibility of erecting a grand system of Christian theology. Sattler wished only to set up certain pillars of truth against the unsound teachings of that period. He seems in particular to be setting up a defense against the doctrines of some „false brethren” with antinomian tendencies.

Along with the writings of Conrad Grebel (very limited in extent) and Pilgram Marpeck (extensive, but not of the quality of the Dutch Menno Simons) the Schleitheim Confession is of great significance for the determination of the teaching of the first Swiss Brethren.

The following is my translation of the full text of the pastoral letter, apparently from „Brother Michael Sattler,” and which includes the Seven Articles of faith. For the German text used, see Walther Köhler: Brüderlich Vereinigung etzlicher Kinder Gottes sieben Artikel betreffend . . . (Flugschriften aus der ersten Jahren der Reformation, 2. Band, 3. Heft), Leipzig, 1908, 305-316, also Heinrich Böhmer: Urkunden zur Geschichte des Bauernkrieges und der Wiedertäufer, Bonn, 1910; second edition, 1921; reprint, Berlin, 1933, 27-35. The translation is somewhat free in places, particularly in the citation of Bible verses where the King James Version was followed unless the German text deviated too markedly. Here is the translation, reprinted from The Mennonite Quarterly Review, XIX, 4 (October, 1945), 247-253.

Note the words in brackets are inserted by the translator to clarify the text.The words in parentheses are a part of the original text. [J. C. W.]

 

BROTHERLY UNION OF A NUMBER OF CHILDREN OF GOD
CONCERNING SEVEN ARTICLES

May joy, peace and mercy from our Father through the atonement of the blood of Christ Jesus, together with the gifts of the Spirit–Who is sent from the Father to all believers for their strength and comfort and for their perseverance in all tribulation until the end, Amen–be to all those who love God, who are the children of light, and who are scattered everywhere as it has been ordained of God our Father, where they are with one mind assembled together in one God and Father of us all: Grace and peace of heart be with you all, Amen.

Beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord: First and supremely we are always concerned for your consolation and the assurance of your conscience (which was previously misled) so that you may not always remain foreigners to us and by right almost completely excluded, but that you may turn again to the true implanted members of Christ, who have been armed through patience and knowledge of themselves, and have therefore again been united with us in the strength of a godly Christian spirit and zeal for God.

It is also apparent with what cunning the devil has turned us aside, so that he might destroy and bring to an end the work of God which in mercy and grace has been partly begun in us. But Christ, the true Shepherd of our souls, Who has begun this in us, will certainly direct the same and teach [us] to His honor and our salvation, Amen.

Dear brethren and sisters, we who have been assembled in the Lord at Schleitheim on the Border, make known in points and articles to all who love God that as concerns us we are of one mind to abide in the Lord as God’s obedient children, [His] sons and daughters, we who have been and shall be separated from the world in everything, [and] completely at peace. To God alone be praise and glory without the contradiction of any brethren. In this we have perceived the oneness of the Spirit of our Father and of our common Christ with us. For the Lord is the Lord of peace and not of quarreling, as Paul points out. That you may understand in what articles this has been formulated you should observe and note [the following].

A very great offense has been introduced by certain false brethren among us, so that some have turned aside from the faith, in the way they intend to practice and observe the freedom of the Spirit and of Christ. But such have missed the truth and to their condemnation are given over to the lasciviousness and self-indulgence of the flesh. They think faith and love may do and permit everything, and nothing will harm them nor condemn them, since they are believers.

Observe, you who are God’s members in Christ Jesus, that faith in the Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ does not take such form. It does not produce and result in such things as these false brethren and sisters do and teach. Guard yourselves and be warned of such people, for they do not serve our Father, but their father, the devil.

But you are not that way. For they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. You understand me well and [know] the brethren whom we mean. Separate yourselves from them for they are preverted. Petition the Lord that they may have the knowledge which leads to repentance, and [pray] for us that we may have constancy to persevere in the way which we have espoused, for the honor of God and of Christ, His Son, Amen.

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The articles which we discussed and on which we were of one mind are these:
1. Baptism
2. The Ban [Excommunication]
3. Breaking of Bread
4. Separation from the Abomination
5. Pastors in the Church
6. The Sword
7. The Oath.

First. 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, Mk. 16, Acts 2, 8, 16, 19. This we wish to hold simply, yet firmly and with assurance.

Second. 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.

Third. 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 be partakers of the Lord’s table and the table of devils; 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.

Therefore it is and must be [thus]: Whoever has not been called by one God to one faith, to one baptism, to one Spirit, to one body, with all the children of God’s church, cannot be made [into] one bread with them, as indeed must be done if one is truly to break bread according to the command of Christ.

Fourth. 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 the 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 popish and antipopish works and church services, meetings and church attendance,* drinking houses, civic affairs, the commitments [made 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 unrighteouness 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.

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* This severe judgment on the state churches must be understood in the light of sixteenth century conditions. The state clergymen were in many cases careless and carnal men. All citizens in a given province were considered members of the state church because they had been made Christians („chrisened”) by infant baptism. Also, in 1527 Zurich had begun to use capital punishment on the Swiss Brethren, with the full approval of the state church leaders. Sattler himself was burned at the stake less than three months after the Schleitheim conference.

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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 I would like the records – by virtue of the word of Christ, Resist not [him that is] evil.

Fifth. 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.

Sixth. 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 defence 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), hut 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 Christians’ is according to the Spirit; their houses and dwelling remain in this world, but the Christians’ are in heaven; their citizenship is in this world, but the Christians’ citizenship is in heaven; the weapons of their conflict and war are carnal and against the flesh only, but the Christians’ 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 is the mind of Christ 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.

Seventh. 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 which 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 schitweren].

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.

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Dear brethren and sisters in the Lord: These are the articles of certain brethren who had heretofore been in error and who had failed to agree in the true understanding, so that many weaker consciences were perplexed, causing the Name of God to be greatly slandered. Therefore there has been a great need for us to become of one mind in the Lord, which has come to pass. To God be praise and glory!

>Now since you have so well understood the will of God which has been made known by us, it will be necessary for you to achieve perseveringly, without interruption, the known will of God. For you know well what the servant who sinned knowingly heard as his recompense.

Everything which you have unwittingly done and confessed as evil doing is forgiven you through the believing prayer which is offered by us in our meeting for all our shortcomings and guilt. [This state is yours] through the gracious forgiveness of God and through the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Keep watch on all who do not walk according to the simplicity of the divine truth which is stated in this letter from [the decisions of] our meeting, so that everyone among us will be governed by the rule of the ban and henceforth the entry of false brethren and sisters among us may be prevented.

Eliminate from you that which is evil and the Lord will be your God and you will be His sons and daughters.

Dear brethren, keep in mind what Paul admonishes Timothy when he says, The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people of His own, zealous of good works. Think on this and exercise yourselves therein and the God of peace will be with you.

May the Name of God be hallowed eternally and highly praised, Amen. May the Lord give you His peace, Amen.

The Acts of Schleitheim on the Border [Canton Schaffhausen, Switzerland], on Matthias’ [Day],* Anno MDXXVII.

 

 

The New Hampshire Confession of Faith

The New Hampshire Confession of Faith

This Confession was drawn up by the Rev. John Newton Brown, D. D., of New Hampshire about 1833, and was adopted by the New Hampshire Convention, and widely accepted by Baptists, especially in the Northern and Western States, as a clear and concise statement of their faith, in harmony with the doctrines of older confessions, but expressed in milder form. The text is taken from the Baptist Church Manual, published by the American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia.

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).
  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).
  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).
  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).
  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).
  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).
  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).
  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).
  9. f 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).
  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).
  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).
  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).
  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.
  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 Christ (76); preceded always by solemn self- examination (77).
  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).
  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).
  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). 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).
  18. Of the World to Come We believe that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, or principles of righteousness.

 

1. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Sam. 23:2; Acts 1:16; 3:21; John 10:35; Luke 16:29-31; Psa. 119:11; Rom. 3:1-2

2. 2 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; Acts 11:14; Rom. 1:16; Mark 16:16; John 5:38-39

3. Prov. 30:5-6; John 17:17; Rev. 22:18-19; Rom. 3:4

4. Rom. 2:12; John 12:47-48; 1 Cor. 4:3-4; Luke 10:10-16; 12:47-48

5. Phil. 3:16; Eph. 4:3-6; Phil. 2:1-2; 1 Cor. 1:10; 1 Pet. 4:11

6. 1 John 4:1; Isa. 8:20; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:6; Jude 3:5; Eph. 6:17; Psa. 119:59-60; Phil. 1:9-11

7. John 4:24; Psa. 147:5; 83:18; Heb. 3:4; Rom. 1:20; Jer. 10:10

8. Exod. 15:11; Isa. 6:3; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Rev. 4:6-8

9. Mark 12:30; Rev. 4:11; Matt. 10:37; Jer. 2:12-13

10. Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7

11. John 10:30; 5:17; 14:23; 17:5, 10; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Phil. 2:5-6

12. Eph. 2:18; 2 Cor. 13:14; Rev. 1:4-5; comp. 2, 7

13. Gen. 1:27, 31; Eccl. 7:29; Acts 16:26; Gen. 2:16

14. Gen. 3:6-24; Rom. 5:12

15. Rom. 5:19; John 3:6; Psa. 51:5; Rom. 5:15-19; 8:7

16. Isa. 53:6; Gen. 6:12; Rom. 3:9-18

17. Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:18, 32; 2:1-16; Gal. 3:10; Matt. 20:15

18. Ezek. 18:19-20; Rom. 1:20; 3:19; Gal. 3:22

19. Eph. 2:5; Matt. 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; Acts 15:11

20. John 3:16; 1:1-14; Heb. 4:14; 12:24

21. Phil. 2:6-7; Heb. 2:9, 14; 2 Cor. 5:21

22. Isa. 42:21; Phil. 2:8; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 3:21

23. Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 4:25; 3:21-26; 1 John 4:10; 2:2; 1 Cor. 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; Psa. 89:19; Psa. 14

26. John 1:16; Eph. 3:8

27. Acts 13:39; Isa. 3:11-12; Rom. 8:1

28. Rom. 5:9; Zech. 13:1; Matt. 9:6; Acts 10:43

29. Rom. 5:17; Titus 3:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 John 2:25; Rom. 5:21

30. Rom. 4:4-5; 5:21; 6:28; Phil. 3:7-9

31. Rom. 5:19; 3:24-26; 4:23-25; 1 John 2:12

32. Rom. 5:1-3, 11; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Matt. 6:33; 1 Tim. 4:8

33. Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Luke 14:17

34. Rom. 16:26; Mark 1:15; Rom. 1:15-17

35. John 5:40; Matt. 23:37; Rom. 9:32; Prov. 1:24; Acts 13:46

36. John 3:19; Matt. 11:20; Luke 19:27; 2 Thess. 1:8

37. John 3:3, 6-7; 1 Cor. 1:14; Rev. 8:7-9; 21:27

38. 2 Cor. 5:17; Ezek. 36:26; Deut. 30:6; Rom. 2:28-29; 5:5; 1 John 4:7

39. John 3:8; 1:13; James 1:16-18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Phil. 2:13

40. 1 Pet. 1:22-25; 1 John 5:1; Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:9-11

41. Eph. 5:9; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 3:14-21; Matt. 3:8-10; 7:20; 1 John 5:4, 18

42. Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8; 1 John 5:1

43. John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31

44. Luke 18:13; 15:18-21; James 4:7-10; 2 Cor. 7:11; Rom. 10:12-13; Psa. 51

45. Rom. 10:9-11; Acts 3:22-23: Heb. 4:14; Psa. 2:6; Heb. 1:8; 8:25; 2 Tim. 1:12

46. 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-14; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; Rom. 11:5-6; John 15:15; 1 John 4:19; Hos. 12:9

47. 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matt. 20:16; Acts 15:14

48. Exod. 33:18-19; Matt. 20:15; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 9:23-24: Jer. 31:3; Rom. 11:28-29; James 1:17-18; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 11:32-36

49. 1 Cor. 4:7; 1:26-31; Rom. 3:27; 4:16; Col. 3:12; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; 15:10; 1 Pet. 5:10; Acts 1:24; 1 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9; Luke 18:7; John 15:16; Eph. 1:16; 1 Thess. 2:12

50. 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Cor. 9:22; Rom. 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2 Pet. 1:10

51. 1 Thess. 1:4-10

52. Rom. 8:28-30; Isa. 42:16; Rom. 11:29

53. 2 Pet. 1:10-11; Phil. 3:12; Heb. 6:11

54. 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23; 2 Cor. 7:1; 13:9; Eph. 1:4

55. Prov. 4:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 6:1; 2 Pet. 1:5-8; Phil. 3:12-16

56. John 2:29; Rom. 8:5; John 3:6; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:13-14

57. Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 13:5; Luke 11:35; 9:23; Matt. 26:41; Eph. 6:18; 4:30

58. John 8:31; 1 John 2:27-28; 3:9; 5:18

59. 1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matt. 13:20-21; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9

60. Rom. 8:28; Matt. 6:30-33; Jer. 32:40; Psa. 121:3; 91:11-12

61. Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13; Jude 24-25; Heb. 1:14; 2 Kings 6:16; Heb. 13:5; 1 John 4:4

62. Rom. 3:31; Matt. 5:17; Luke 16:17; Rom. 3:20; 4:15

63. Rom. 7:12, 7, 14, 22; Gal. 3:21; Psa. 119

64. Rom. 8:7-8; Josh. 24:19; Jer. 13:23; John 6:44; 5:4465. Rom. 8:2, 4; 10:4; 1 Tim. 1:5; Heb. 8:10; Jude 20-21; Heb. 12:14; Matt. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 12:2866. 1 Cor. 1:1-13; Matt. 18:17; Acts 5:11; 8:1; 11:31; 1 Cor. 4:17; 14:23; 3 John 9; 1 Tim. 3:567. Acts 2:41-42; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 5:12-1368. 1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23; Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:6; 2 Cor. 2:7; 1 Cor. 4:1769. Matt. 28:20; John 14:15; 15:12; 1 John 4:21; John 14:21; 1 Thess. 4.2; 2 John 6; Gal. 6:2; all the Epistles70. Eph. 4:7; 1 Cor. 14:12; Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 12:14 71. Phil. 1:1; Acts 14:23; 15:22; 1 Tim. 3; Titus 172. Acts 8:36-39; Matt. 3:5-6; John 3:22-23; 4:1-2; Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:12; 16:32-34; 18:873. Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Gal. 3:27-2874. Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:20-21; Acts 22:1675. Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts and Epistles76. 1 Cor. 11:26; Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-2077. 1 Cor. 11:28; 5:1, 8; 10:3-32; 11:17-32; John 6:26-7178. Acts 20:7; Gen. 2:3; Col. 2:16-17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; 1 Cor. 16:1- 279. Exod. 20:8; Rev. 1:10; Psa. 118:2480. Isa. 58:13-14; 56:2-881. Psa. 119:1582. Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 11:26; 13:44; Lev. 19:30; Exod. 46:3; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2, 3; Psa. 26:8; 87:383. Heb. 4:3-1184. Rom. 13:1-7; Deut. 16:18; 1 Sam. 23:3; Exod. 18:23; Jer. 30:2185. Matt. 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13; 1 Tim. 2:1-886. Acts 5:29; Matt. 10:28; Dan. 3:15-18; 6:7-10; Acts 4:18-2087. Matt. 23:10; Rom. 14:4; Rev. 19:16; Psa. 72:11; Psa. 2; Rom. 14:9-1388. Mal. 3:18; Prov. 12:26; Isa. 5:20; Gen. 18:23; Jer. 15:19; Acts 10:34- 35; Rom. 6:1689. Rom. 1:17; 7:6; 1 John 2:29; 3:7; Rom. 6:18, 22; 1 Cor. 11:32; Prov. 11:31; 1 Pet. 4:17-1890. 1 John 5:19; Gal. 3:10; John 3:36; Isa. 57:21; Psa. 10:4; Isa 55:6-791. Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Prov. 10:24; Luke 12:4-5; 9:23- 26; John 12:25-26; Eccl. 3:17; Matt. 7:13-1492. 1 Pet. 4:7; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Heb. 1:10-12; Matt. 24:35; 1 John 2:17; Matt. 28:20; 13:39-40; 2 Pet. 3:3-1393. Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; Heb. 9:28; Acts 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:1-1194. Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 15:12-59; Luke 14:14; Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29; 6:40; 11:25-26; 2 Tim. 1:10; Acts 10:4295. Matt. 13:49, 37-43; 24:30-31; 25:31-3396. Matt. 25:35-41; Rev. 22:11; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Pet. 2:9; Jude 7; Phil. 3:19; Rom. 6:32; 2 Cor. 5:10-11; John 4:36; 2 Cor. 4:1897. Rom. 3:5-6; 2 Thess. 1:6-12; Heb. 6:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:5; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:2-16; Rev. 20:11-12; 1 John 2:28; 4:17

 

John Spilsbury and His Confession

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, Rom. 13, I Pet. 2, Tit. 3.

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. Pas. 132.13,14; Eph. 2:21,23. Pas. 87.2,3; Gal. 4:26,31. Isa. 2.2; Isa. 62. 1,12, Ezek. 48:35. Rev. 21. 12,14, Zech. 2.5, Isa. 26.3, Isa. 4. 11,12,13. Rev. 21. 11,18,21, Cant. 4.7, Psal. 45.13.

 

A TRVE CONFESSION

A TRVE CONFESSION

 

[xi] A1 TRVE CONFESSION OF THE FAITH, AND HVMBLE ACKNOVVLEDGMENT OE THE ALEGEANCE, vvhich vve hir Majesties Subjects, falsely called Brovvnists, doo hould tovvards God, and yeild to hir Majestie and all other that are ouer vs in the Lord. Set dovvn in Articles or Positions, for the better & more easie vnderstanding of those that shall read yt: And published for the cleering of our selues from those vnchristian slanders of heresie, schisme, pryde, obstinacie, disloyaltie, sedicion, &c. vvhich by our adversaries are in all places given out against vs.

Wee beleeue with our hearts & confes with our mouths.

That there is buta one God, one Christ, one Spirit, one Church, one truth, one Faith,b one Rule of obedience to all Christians, in all places.

aDeut. 6, 4. Has. 13, 4. Mark. 12, 29, 32. Eph. 4, 4. 5.6. I Cor. 12, 13. bRom. 16, 26. I Cor. 4, 17. & 16. I, Gal. 1,8. 9.

2 That God is a Spirit, whosed beeing is of himself, and giveth beeing, movitig, and preservation to all other things beeing himself eternall, most holy, every way infinit, in greatnes, vvisdome, povvre, goodnes, justice, truth, &c. And that in this Godhead there bee threeg distinct persons hcoeternall, coequall, & kco-essentiall, beeing every one of the & the same God, & therfore not divided but distinguished one from another by their severall & peculiar propertie: The 1Father of none, the Sonnem begotten of the Father from everlasting, the holy nGost proceding from the Father and the Sonne before all beginnings.

cJohn. 4, 24. dExod. 3, 14. Esa. 43, 10, II. eRom. II, 36. Act 17, 28. Gen. i. t I tim. I, 17. Reu. 4, 18. Esa. 6, 3. and 66. I. 2. Psal. 145, 3. 8. 9. 17. & 147. 5. Rom. 1, 20. g 1. Joh. 5, 7. Mat. 28, 19. Hag. 2,5. 6 Heb. 9, 14. hPro. 8, 22. Joh. 1. 1. Heb. 9, 14. iPhil. 2, 6. Joh. 5, 18. Eph. 4, 4. 5. 6. kJoh. 10, 30. 38. I Corint. 2, 11. 12. Heb. I, 3. l Joh. 5, 26. I Cor. 8, 6. mJoh. 1, 14. 18. & 3. 16. Mica. 5, 2. Psal. 2, 7. n Joh. 14, 26. & i. 16. Gal. 4, 16.

3 That Godo bath decreed in himself from everlasting touching all things, and the very least circumstances of every thing, effectually to vvork and dispose them according to the counsell of his ovvn vvill, to the prayse and glorie of his great name. And touching his cheefest Creatures that God hath inp Christq before the foundation of the world,r according to the good pleasure of his vvill,s ordeyned som men and Angells, to eternall lyfe to beet accomplished through Iesus Christ, to the vprayse of the glorie of his grace. And on thother hand hath likevvise w before of old accoraingx to his just purposey ordeined other both Angels and men, toe ternall condemna-[xii]tion, to beez accomplished through their own corruption to the& prayse of his iustice.

oEsa. 46, 10. Ro. 11, 34. 35. 36. Act. 15, 18. & 2, 22. Gen. 45, 5. 6. 7. 8. Mat. 10, 29, 30. and 20. 15. Eph. 1, 11. pEph. 1, 3. 4. 11. q ibid & mat. 25, 34. r Eph. 1, 5. Rom. 9, 11, 12, 13. Mal. 1, 2. 2, Tim. 1, 9. sAct. 13, 48. Eph. 1, 4. 5. 1.Tim. 5. 21. Mat. 25, 31. 34. t Ephes. 1, 5.7. 10. Col. 1, 14. 17. 18. 19. & 2. 10. Rom. 8. 19. 30. Rev. 19. 10. v eph. 1, 6 to 9, 11. w Jud. ver. 4. x Rom. 9, 11. 12. 15. 17. 18. with Mal. 1, 3. Exod. 9. 16. y Jud. ver. 4, & 6. ro 9, 22. Mat, 25, 41. z 2. Pet. 2, 12. 2. Cor. 4, 3. 4. 1 pet. 2, 8. joh. 3. 19. & Pro. 16, 4. rom. 2, 5. and 9. 22.

4 That in the ebeginning God made all things of nothing very good: and dcreated man after his own image and lykene, in righteousnes and holines of truth. Thate streight ways after by the subtiltie of the Serpent which Sathan vsed as his instrument’ himself with his Angells having sinned before and not kept their first estate, but justify their own habitation; first gEva, then Adam by hir meanes, did wittingly & willingly fall into disobedience & transgression of the commadement of God. For the which deathh reigned over all: yea eveni ouer infants also, which have not sinned, after the lyke maner of the transgression of Adam, that is, actually: Yet arek all since the fall of Adam begotten in his own likenes after his image, beeing conceyued and borne in iniquitie, and soo by nature the children of wrath and servants of sinne, and subject to death, and all other calamities due vnto sinne in this world and for euer.

cGen. r. Col. 1, 16. Esa. 45, 12. Heb. 11, 3. Revel. 4, 11. dGen. 1, 26. 27. Eph. 4, 24. Eccles. 7, 31. eGen. 3,1. 4. 5. 2. Cor. 11, 3. Joh. 8, 44. f2. Pet. 2, 4. Joh 8, 44. Jud. 6. gGenes. 3, 1. 2. 3. 6 1. Tim. 2, 14. Eccles. 7, 31. Gal. 3, 22. hRom. 5, 12. 18. 19. and 6. 23. with Gen. 2, 17. iRom. 5. 14. and 9, 11. kGen. 5, 3. Psal. 51, 5. Eph. 2, 3.

5 That all mankinde beeing thus fallen and become altogether dead in sinne, & subiect to the eternall vvrath of God both by originall and actuall corruption: The 1elect are redeemed, quickned, raysed vp and saued againe, not of themselues, neither by vvorks, lest anie man should bost himself; but vvholly and only by God of his free grace and mercy through faith in Christ Iesus,m vvho of God is made vnto vs vvisdome, & righteousnes, & sanctification, & redemption, that according as it is vvritten, Hee that reioyceth let him reioyce in the Lord.

1Gen. 3, 15. Eph. 2, 4. 5. Gen. 15. 6. with Rom. 4, 2. 3. 4. 5. and 3. 24. 25. 26. Joh. 3, 16. m 1. Cor. 1, 30. 31. Phil. 3, 8. 9. 10. 11. Jir. 23. 5. 6. and 9. 23. 24.

6 That this therfore only is lyfen eternall to knovv the only true God, & vvhom hee hath sent into the vvorld Iesus Crist. And that on the contrarie the Lord vvill reder vengeance in flaming fire vnto them that knovv not God, & vvhich obey not the Gospell of our Lord Iesus Christ.

nJoh. 17, 3. and 3 36. Jir. 31, 33. 34. o 2. Thes. 1, 8. Eph. 1, 6. joh. 3, 36.

7 That the rule of this knovvledge faith & obedience, Concerning the pvvorship & service of God & ‘all other christia dutyes, is not the ropinions, devises, lavves, or constitutions of men, but the vvritten vvord of the everlyving God, conteyned in the canonicall bookes of the old and nevv Testament.

p Exod. 10, 4. 5. 6. Deu. 4, 2. 5. 6. Gen. 6, 22. Exod. 39, 42. 43. 1. Chron. 28. 19. q Psal. 119. 105. r Esa. 29, 13. Mat. 15, 9. Joh. 5, 39. 2. Pet. 16, 19. 2. tim. 3, 16. 17.

8 That in this vvords Iesus Christ hath reveled vvatsoever his father thought needfull for vs to knovv, beleeue & obey as touching hist person & Offices, inv vvhom all the promises of God are yea, & in vvhom they are Amen to the prayse of God through vs.

s Deut. 18, 18. Joh. 1, 18. & 15, 15. & 4. 25. Act. 3. 22. t the whol Epistle to the Hebr. throughout, & 2. Cor. 1, 28.

[xiii] 9 That touching his person, the Lord Iesus, of vvhox Moses & the Prophets vvrote, & vvho the Apostles preached, is the yeverlasting Sonne of God, by eternall generation, the brightnes of his Fathers glorie, & the engrauen forme of his Person; coessentiall, coequall, & coeternall, god vvith him & vvith the holy Gost, by vvho hee hath made the vvorlds, by vvhom hee vphouldeth and governeth all the works hee hath made; vvho also vvhen thez fulnes of tyme vvas come, vvas made man of a vvoman, of athe Tribe of Zudah, of the bseed of Dauid & Abraham, to vvyt of Mary that blessed Virgin, by the holy Ghost comming vpon hir, & the povvre of the most high ouershadovving hir; & vvas alsoc in all things lyke vnto vs, sinne only excepted.

x Luk. 24, 44. Joh. 5, 46. Act. 10, 41. 43. y Pro. 8, 22, mica. 5, 2. Joh. 1, 1. 2. 3. Heb. 1. Collos. 1, 15. 16. 17. z Gal. 4, 4. Gen. 3, 15. a Heb. 7. 14. Revel. 5, 5. b Rom. 1, 3. Gen. 22, 18. Mat. 1. 1. etc. Luk. 3, 23 etc. Esa. 7, 14. Luk. 1. 26. 27. etc. Hebr. 2, 16. c Heb. 4. 15. Esa. 53, 3. 4. 9. Phil. 2, 7. 8.

10 That touching his Office, heed only is made the Mediator of the nevv Testament, even of the euerlasting Couenant of grace betvveen God & man, to bee perfectly & fully the eProphet, Priest & King of the Church of God for euermore.

d 1. Tim. 2, 5. Heb 9. 15. & 13. 20. Dan. 9 24. 25. e Deut. 18, 15. 18. Psal. 110. 4. Psal. 45, Esa. 9, 6. 7. Act. 5. 31. Esa. 55. 4. Heb. 7, 24. Luk. 1, 32, 33.

11 That heef vvas from euerlasting, by the lust & sufficient authoritie of the father, & in respect of his manhood from the womb, called & seperated heervrto, & anoynted also most fully & aboundantly vvith all necessarie gifts, as isg vvritten; God hath not measured out the Spirit vnto him.

f Pro. 8, 23. Esa. 42, 6. & 49. 1. 5. and 11, 2. 3. 4. 5. Act. 10. 38. g Joh. 3. 34.

12 That thish Office, to bee Mediator, that is, Prophet, Priest and King of the Church of God, is so proper to him, as neither in the whol, nor in anie part therof, it can be trasferred from him to anie other.

h 1. Tim. 2, 5. Heb. 7. 24. Dan. 7. 14. Act. 4, 12. Esa. 43, 11. Luk. 1, 33.

13 That touching hist Prophecie, Christ hath perfectly revealed out of the bozome of his father, the vvholl vvord & vvill of God, that is needfull for his seruants, either ioyntly or seuerally to knovv, beleeue & obey: That hee hath spoken & doth speake to his Church in his ovvnk ordinance, by his ovvn ministers and instruments only, and not by anie false1 ministrie at anie tyme.

i Deu. 18, 15. Act. 3, 22. 23. 24. Mat. 3, 17. Joh. 1. 18. & 17. 8. Eph. 1. 8. 9. 2. Tim. 3. 15. 16, 17. k Pro. 9, 3. Joh. 13; 20. Luk. 10. 16. Mat. 10. 40. 41. Deu. 33, 8. 10. 1 Mat. 7, 15. 16. & 24. 23. 24. 2. Pet. 2. 2. Tim. 4. 3. 4. Rom. 10, 14. 15. ier. 23, 21. 2. ioh. 10.

14 That toching hism Priesthood, beein consecrated, hee hath appeered once to put avvay sinne, by offring & sacrificing of himsell; and to this end hath fully performed aud suffred all those things, by which God through the blood of that his crosse, in an acceptable sacrifice, might bee reconciled to his elect; & havingn broke dovvn the partition vvall, & thervvith finished & remoued al those legal rites, shadovves, & ceremonies, is nowo entred vvithin the vayle into the holy of Holies to the very heauen, and prescnce of God, vvhere hee for euer lyueth, and sitteth at the right hand of Maiestie* appering before the face of his Father, to make intercession for [xiv] such as come vnto the Throne of grace by that nevv & living vvay; And not that only, but maketh his people ap spiritual1 hovvse, an holy Priesthood, to offer up spiritual1 sacrifices, acceptable to God through him. Neither doth the Father accept, or Christ offer anie other sacrifice, vvorship, or vvorshippers.

m Joh. 17, 19. Heb. 5, 7. 8. 9. & 91 [9. 26] i. Esa. 53, Ro. 5, 19. 1. Pet. 1, 2. Collos. 2, 20. Eph. 5, 2. n Eph. 2, 1. 4. 15. 16. Heb. 9, & 10. o Heb. 4, 24. 16. & g. 24. and 10. 19. 20. * Rom. 3, 34. p 1. Pet. 2, 5. Rev. 1, 5. 6. and 8. 3. 4. Rom. 12, 1. Mar. 9, 49. 50. Mal. 1, 14. Joh. 4 23. 24. Mat. 7, 6. 7. 8. Esa. 1, 12. etc.

15 That touchingq Kingdom, beeing risen, ascended, entred into glory, set at the right hand of God, al povvre in Heaven and earth giue vnto him; vvhich povvre heer novv exerciseth ouer all Angells and men, good and dad [bad], to the preservation and saluation of the elect, to the overruling and destruction of the reprobate;5 communicating and applying the benefits, virtue and frutes of his prophecy and Priesthood vnto his elect, namely to the remission, subduing, and takeing avvay of their sinnes, to their justification, adoption-of-sonnes, regeneration, sanctification, preservation & stregthning in all their spirituall conflicts against Sathan, the vvorld & the flesh &c. continually dvvelling in, governing & keeping their hearts in his tue [true] faith and fear by his holy spirit, vvhich havingt once give yt, hee never taketh avvay from them, but by yt still begetteth and nourisheth in them repentance, faith, loue, obedience, comfort, peace, ioy, hope, and all christian vertues, vnto immortallitie, notvvithstanding that yt be sometymes through sinne and tentation, interrupted, smothered, and as yt vvere overvvhelmed for the tyme. Againe on the contraryv ruling in the vvorld over his enimies, Sathan, and all the vessels of vvrath; limiting, vsing, restrayning them by his mightie povvre, as seemeth good in diuiue vvisdome and justice, to the execution of his determinate counsell, to vvit to their seduction, hardning & condemnation, delyvering them vp to a reprobate mynde, to bee kept in darcknes, sinne and sensuallitie vnto judgment.

q r. Cor. 15, 4. etc. 1. Pet. 3, 21. 22. Mat. 28, 18, 20. r Josh. 5, 14. Zech. 1, 8. etc. Mark 1, 27. Heb. 1. 14. a Eph. 5, 26, 27. Ro. 5, and 6. and 7. and 8. Chap. Rom. 14, 17. Gal. 5, 22. 23. 1. Joh. 4, 13. etc. t Psal. 51, 10. 11. 12. and 89. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. Job. 33, 29. 30. Esa. 54, 8. 9. 10. Joh. 13, 1. and 16. 31. 32, with Luc. 22, 31. 32. 40. 2. Cor. 22, 7. 8. 9. Eph. 6, 10. 11. etc. Rom. 11, 29. Gal. 5, 17. 22. 23. v Job. 1, 6. and 2. Chap. 1. King. 22. 19. Esa. 10, 5. 15. Rom. 9, 17. 18. Rom. 1, 21. and 2. 4. 5. 6. Eph. 4, 17. 18. 19. 2. Pet. 3, 3. 1.. Thess. 5, 3. 7. Esa. 57, 20. 22. 2. Pet. 2, the whol Chapter.

16 That this Kingdom shall bee then fully perfected vvhen hee shal thex second tyme come in glorie vvith his mightie Angells vnto iudgment, to abolish all rule, authoritie and povvre, to put all his enimies vnder his feet, to seperate and free all his chosen from them for ever, to punish the vvicked vvith everlasting perdition from his presence, to gather, ioyne, and carry the godly with himself into endlesse glory, and then to delyver, up the Kingdome to God, even the Father, that so the glorie of the father may bee full and perfect in the Sonne, the glorie of the Sonne in all his members, and God bee all in all.

x Dan. 12, 2. 3. Joh 5, 22. 28. 29. Mat. 25, 31. 1. Cor. 15. 24. Mat. 13, 41. 49. 2. Thes. 1, 9. 10. 1. Thes. 4, 17. Joh. 17, 22. 23. 1. Cor. 15, 28.

[xv] 17 That in the meane tyme, bisides his absolute rule in the world, Christ hath here in earth ay spirituall Kingdome and æ canonicall regiment in his Church ouer his servants, which Church hee hathz purchased and redeemed to himself, as a peculiar inheritance (notwithstandinga manie hypocrites do for the tyme lurk emongest the) bcalling and winning them by the powre of his word vnto the faith, seperating them from emongst vnbeleevers, from idolitrie, false worship, superstition, vanitie, dissolute lyfe, & works of darknes, &c; making them a royall Priesthood, an holy Nation, a people set at libertie to shew foorth the virtues of him that hath called them out of darknes into his meruelous light, dgathering and vniting them together as members of one body in his faith, loue and holy order, vnto all generall and mutuall dutyes, einstructing & governing them by such officers and lawes as hee hath prescribed in his word; by which Officers and lawes hee governeth his Church, and byf none other.

y Joh. 18. 36. Heb 3, 6. and 10. 21. 1. Tim. 3, 15. Zach. 4, 17. z Act. 20, 28. Tit. 2, 14. a Mat. 13, 47. and 22. 12. Luk. 13, 25. b Mar. 16, 15. 16. Col. 1, 21, 1. Cor. 6 11. Tit. 3, 3. 4. 5. c Esa. 52. 11, Elr. 6, 21. Act. 2, 40. 2. Cor. 6, 14. Act. 17, 3. 4. and 19. 9. 1.Pet. 2, 4. 5. 9. 25. d Esa. 60, 4. 8. PsaI. 110, 3. Act. 2 41. Eph. 4, 16. Col. 2, 5. 6. e Esa. 62, 6. Jer. 3, 15, Ezek. 34. Zech. 11, 8. Heb. 12, 28. 29. Mat. 28, 20. f Mat. 7, 15. and 24. 23. 24. 2. Tim. 4, 3. 4. Jer. 7, 30. 31. and 23. 21. Deu. 12, 32. Reu. 2, 2. & 22. 18. 19

18 That to thisi Church hee hath made the promises, and giuen the seales of his Covenant, presence, loue, blessing and protection:h Heere are the holy Oracles as in the side of the Arke, suerly kept & puerly taught. Heere arel all the fountaynes and springs of his grace continually replenished and flowing forth. Heere isk hee lyfted up to all Nations, hither heel inuiteth all men to his supper, his manage feast; hither oughtm all men of all estates and degrees that acknowledg him their Prophet, Priest and King to repayre, to been enrolled emongst his houshold seruants, to bee vnder his heauenly conduct and government, to leade their lyues in his walled sheepfold, & watered orchard, to haue communion heere with the Saincts, that they may bee made meet to bee partakers of their inheritace in the kingdome of God.

g Lev. 26, 11. 12. Mat. 28, 19. 20. Rom. 9, 4. Ezek. 48. 35, 2. Cor. 6. 18 h Esa. 8, 16. 1. tim. 3, 15. and 4. 16. & 6. 3. 5. 2. Tim. 1, 15. tit. 1, 9. Deu. 31. 26. 1 Psal. 46, 4. 5. Ezek. 47, 1. etc. Joh. 38, 39. k Isa. 11. 12. Joh. 3, 14. Isa. 49, 22. 1 Esa. 55. 1. Mat. 6, 33. & 22. 2. Pro. 9, 4. 5. Joh. 7, 37. m Deu. 12, 5. 11. Esa. 2, 2. 3. Zach. 14, 16. 17. 18. 19. n Esa. 44. 5. Psal. 87, 5. 6. Can. 4. 12. Gal. 6, 10. Col. 1, 12. 13. Eph. 2, 19.

19 That aso all his seruants and subiects are called hither, to present their bodyes and soules, and to bring the guyfts God hath given them; so beeing come, they are heer by himself bestowed in their severall order, peculiar place, due vse, beeing fitly compact and knit together by euery ioynt of help, according to the effectuall work in the measure of euery parte, vnto the edification of yt self in loue; whervnto whe heep ascended vp on high hee gaue guifts vnto men, [xvi] that hee might fill all these things, and bath distributed these guifts, vnto seuerall functions in his Church, hauing instituted and ratified toq contynue vnto the worlds end, only this publick ordinarie Ministerie of Pastors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons, Helpers to the instruction, government, and seruice of his Church.

o See the 18. Article before, and Exod. 25. 2. and 35. 5. 1 Cor. 12, 4. 5. 6. 7. 12. 18. Rom. 12. 4. 5. 6. 1. Pet. 4. 10. Eph. 4, 16. Colos. 2, 5. p Eph. 4, 8. 10. 11. 12. 13. Rom. 12, 7. 8. & 16. 1. 1. Cor. 12. 4. 5. 6. 7, 8. 11. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 28. 1. Tim. 3, & 5. 3. 9. 17. 21. Act. 6, 2. 3. & 14. 23. and 20. 27. 28. Phil. 1, 1. q Rev. 22, 18. 19. Mat. 28, 20. 1. Tim. 6, 13, 14.

20 That this ministerie is exactlyr described, distinguished, limited, concerning their office, their calling to their office, ther administration of their office, and their maintenance in their office, by most perfect and playne alawes in Gods word, which lawes it is not lawfull for these Ministers, or for the wholl Church wittinly to neglect, transgresse, or violate in anie parte; nor yet to receiue anie other lawes brought into the Church by anie person whatsoever.

r Pro. 8, 8. 9. heb. 3. 2. 6. the first Epistle to Timothy wholly. Act. 6, 3. 5. 6. & 14. 23. & 20, 17. etc. 1. pet. 5, 2. 3. 1. Cor. 5, 4. 5. 11. 12. 13. etc. and 9. 7. 9. 24. s Heb. 2. 3. and 3. 3. and 12. 25. etc. 2. Tim 3, 14.15. Gal. 1, 8. 9. 1 tim. 6, 13. 14. Deut. 12, 32. and 4. 2. Revel. 22, 18. 19.

21 Thatt none may vsurp or execute a ministerie but such as are rightly called by the Church whereof they stand ministers; and that such so called ought to gyve all diligence tov fulfill ther ministerie, to bee found faithful! and vnblamable in all things.

t Num. 16, 5. 40. & 18. 7. 2. Chron. 26. 18. Joh. 10. 1.2 and 3. 27. Heb. 5. 4. Act. 6, 3. 5. 6. & 14. 23. Tit. 1, 5. vAct. 2. 28. 1. cor. 4, 1. 2. Col. 4, 17. 1. Tim. 1, 18. 19. & 4. 12. and 5 21 & 6. 11. 12. 13. 14. 2. Tim. 1, 13. 14. and 3. 14. and 4. 5, 1. Pet. 5, 1. 2. 3. 4.

22 That this ministerie is alyke given to euery Christian congregation, with like povvre and commission to haue and enioy the same, as God offereth fit men and meanes, the same rules given to all for the election and execution therof in all places.

Mat. 28, 20. 1. cor 14, 33. 36. 1. Cor. 12, 4. 5. 6. 7. and 4. 17. and 16. 1. eph. 4, 10. 11. 12. 13. 1. cor. 3, 21. 22. 23. Mat. 18. 17. see Article 20.

23 That as every christian Congregationx hath povvre and commandement to elect and ordeine their ovvn ministerie according to the rules prescribed, andy whilest they shal faithfully execute their office, to haue them in superaboundant loue for their vvorke sake, to provide for them, to honour them and reuerence them, according to the dignitie of the office they execute. So have they alsoz povvre and cornmandement when anie such defalt, either in their lyfe, Doctrine, or administration breaketh out, as by the rule of the word debarreth them from, or deprivéth them of their ministerie, by due order to depose them from the ministerie they exercised; yea if the case so require, and they remayne obstinate and impenitent, orderly to cut them off by excommunication.

x Act. 6, 3. 5. 6. & 14. 23. 2. Cor. 8. 19. Act. 15. 2, 3. 22. 25. 1. Tim. 3, 10. and 4. 14, & 5. 22. Num. 8, 9. 10. y 1. Thes. 5, 12. 13. 1. Tim. 5, 3. 17. Heb. 13, 17. 1. cor. 9. Gal. 6. 6. z 1. Tim. 3, 10. and 5. 22. Rom. 16, 17. Phyl. 3, 2. 18. 19. 1. Tim. 6, 3. 5. Ezek. 44, 11. 13. Mat. 18, 17.

24 Thata Christ hath given this povvre to receiue in or to cut off anie member, to the vvholl body together of euery Christian Congregation, and not to anie one member aparte, or to moe members sequestred from the vvholl, or to anie other Congregation to doo it for the: yet thatb ech Congregation ought to vse the best help they can heer vnto, and the most meet member they haue to pronounce the same in their publick assembly.

aPsal. 122. 3. Act. 1, 47. Rom. 16, 2. Lev. 20, 4. 5. & 24. 14. Num. 5, 3. Deu. 13, 9. Mat. 18, 17. 1. Cor. 5, 4. 2. cor. 2, 6, 7. 8. b 1. Cor. 3, 21. 22. 23. Act. 15. 1. cor. 3, 4. 5. & 12. 20.

[xvii] 25 That euery member of ech Christian Congregation, hovv excellent, great, or learned soeuer, ought to be subiect to this censure & iudgment of Christ; Yet ought not the Church vvithout great care & due advise to procede against such publick persons.2

Lev. 4. Psal. 141, 5. and 2, 10. 11. 12. & 149. 8. 9. 1. Chro 26, 20. Act. 11, 2. 4. 1: Tim. 5, 19. 20. 21.

26 That for the okeeping of this Church in holy & orderly communion, as Christ hath placed some speciall men over the Church, who by their office are to governe, ouersec, visite, watch, &c. Sod lykevvise for the better keeping therof in all places, by all the members, hee hath giuen authoritie & layd duty vpon tho all to watch one ouer another.

cCant. 3, 3. Esa. 62, 6. Eze. 33. 2. Mat. 14, 45. Luk. 12, 42. Act. 20, 28. Heb. 13, 17. bMar. 13, 34, 37. Luk. 17, 3. 1. Thes. 5, 14. Gal. 6, 1. Jude. 3, 20. Hebr. 10, 24, 25. & 12. 15.

27 That vvhilest the Ministers and people thus remayne together in this holy order and christian communion, ech one endevoring to do the will of God in their calling, & thus to vvalke in the obedience of faith Christ hath promised to bee present with them, to blesse & defend them against all adverserie povvre, & that the gates of Hell shall not prevayle against them.

Deu. 28, 1. etc. Mat. 28, 20. Luk. 12, 35. 36. 37. 38. Mat. 16. 18. Zach. 2, 5. & 12, 2. 3. 4. Psal. 125, 2. & 132. 12. 13. etc.

28 But when & vvhere this holy order & diligent vvatch was intermitted, neglected, violated. Antichrist that man of sinne corrupted & altered the holy ordinances, offices, & administratios of the church brought in & erected a strange new forged ministerie, leitourgie and government & the Nations Xingdoms & inhabitants of the earth, were made drunken vvith this cup of fornications & abhominations, & all people enforced to receiue the Beasts marke and worship his image & so brought into confusion & babilonish bondage.

Rev. 9. & 13. & 17. & 18. 1. Thes. 2, 3. 4. 9. 10. 11. 12. psal. 74. Esa. 14. 13. 14. Dan. 7, 25 and 8. 10. 11. 12. & 11. 31. 1. Tim. 4, 1. 2. 1. joh. 2, 18. 22. & 4. 3.

29 That the present ministerie reteyned & vsed in Englad of Arch. bbb. Lobb.3 Deanes, Prebendaries, Canons, Peti-Canons, Arch-Deacons, Chancellors, Commissaries, Priests, Deacons, Parsons, Viccars Curats, Hireling rouing Preachers, Church-wardens, Parish-clerkes their Doctors, Proctors, & ivholl rable of those Courts with all from & vnder them set ouer these Cathedrall & Parishionall Assemblies in this confusion, are a strange & Anti-christian ministerie & offices; & are not that ministerie aboue named instituted in Christs Testament, or allovved in or ouer his Church.

Revel. 9, 3. etc. & 13. 15. 16. 17. & 18. 15. 17. compared with Rom. 12, 7. 8. Eph. 4, 11. 12. 1. Tim. 3. 15. & 5. 17. Compare this Art. with the 1. 7. 12. 13. 14. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 28. Articles aforesaid.

30 That their eOffices, Entrance, Administration and maintenance, with their fnames, titles, prvileges, & prerogatiues the povvre & rule they vsurp ouer and in these Ecclesiastical! assemblies ouer the wholl ministerie, wholl ministration and affaires therof, yea one ouer another by their making Priests, citing, suspending, silencing, deposing, absoluing, excommunicating, &c. Their confounding of Ecclesiasticall and Civile iurisdiction, causes & proceedings in ther persons, courts, [xviii] cömissions, Visitations, the rest of lesse rule, taking their ministerie from and exercising it vnder them by their gprescription and limitation, swearing Canonicall obedience vnto them, administring by their devised imposed, stinted popish Leiturgie, &c. are sufficient proofs of the former assertion, the perticulars therm beeing duly examined by and compared to the Rules of Christs Testament, or allovved in or ouer his Church.

e Ccompare with Articles 1, 7. 12. 13. 14. 19. etc. Rev. 9. 3, etc. & 18. 15. 17. Joh. 10, 1. Dan. 7, 8. 25. and 8. 10. 11. 12. 2 Tbes. 2. 3. 4. 8. 9. rev. 17, 4. 5. 16. f Luk. 22, 25. 26. Rev. 14. 11. & 17. 3. 4. 5. & 13. 15. 16. 17 1. Pet. 5, 3. with Joh. 3, 29. & with Rev. 2. 1. 1. King. 12. 27. zac. 11. 15. 16. g Rev. 13, 15. 16. 17. Esa. 29. 13. Mat. 7, 7. 8. Ga. 1, 10. etc. & 2, 4. 5. Col. 2, 20. 22. 23. Ezek. 8, 5. & 13. 9. 10. 11. 18. 19. Mica 2, 11. mal. 1, 8. 13. 14.

31 That these Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, remayning in confusion and bondage vnder this Antichristian Ministerie, Courts, Canons, worship, Ordinances. &c. without freedom or povvre to redresse anie enormitie, have not in this confusion and subiection, Christ their Prophet, Priest, and King, neither can bee in this estate, (whilest wee iudge them by the rules of Gods word) esteemed the true, orderly gathered, or costituted churches of Christ, wherof the faithfull ought to beecome or stand Members, or to haueh anie Spirituall communion vvith them in their publick vvorship and Administration.

Rev. 18, 2. 1. Cor. 14, 33. Jir. 15, 19. Mal. 1, 4. 6. 8. Hos. 4, 14. etc. Rom. 6, 16. 2. Pet 2, 19. compare with. Art. I. 7. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 17. 18. 19. 20. 24. 28. 29. 30. aforesaid. h Levit. 17, Hos. 4, 15, 1. Cor. 10. 18. 19. 20. 2. Cor. 6, 14. 15, 16. Rev, 18, 4. Cant. 1, 6. 7.

32 Thati by Gods Commandement all that will bee saued, must vvith speed come forth of this Antichristian estate,k leaving the suppression of it vnto the Magistrate to vvhom it belongeth.4 And that both all such as haue receyued or exercised anie of these false Offices or anie pretended function or Ministerie in or to this false and Antichristiafl constitution, are vvillingly in Gods feare, to giue ouer and leaue those vnlavvfull Offices, and no longer to minister in this maner to these Assemblies in this estate And that1 none also, of what sort or condition soever, doo giue anie part of their Goods, Lands, Money, or money vvorth to the maintenance of this false Ministerie and vvorship vpon anie Commandemeflt, or vnder anie colour vvhatsoeuer.

i Reu. 18, 4. Esa. 48, 20. and 52. 11. Jir. 50, 8. & 51. 6. 45. Zech. 2, 6. k 2. Chro. 15, and 27. 6. 2. King. 23, 5. etc. Rom. 13, 4. Mat. 22, 22. rev. 17, 16. 1 Zech. 13, 2. 4. 5. 6. Jir. 51, 26. Psal. 129, 59. 60. 128. Prov. 5, 20. Esa. 8, 11. 12. and 35. 8. Zach. 14, 21. Prov. 3, 9. 10. compared with Exod. 20. 4, 5. Judg. 17. 3. 4. 5. Ezek. 16. 17. 18. 19. 1. Cor. 10. 19. 20. 21. 22. compared with Heb. 13, 10. & with 2. Cor. 8. 3. 4. 5. 1. Tim. 5, 17.

33 That beeing come forth of this antichristian estate vnto the freedom and true profession of Christ, besides them instructing and [xix] vvell guyding of their ovvn Families, they areu vvillingly to ioyne together in christian communion and orderly couenant, and by confession of Faith and obedience of Christ, too vnite themselues into peculiar Congregatios; vvherin, as members of one body vvherof Christ is the only head, they are to vvorship and serue God according to his vvord, remembringp to keep holy the Lords day.

m Gen. 18. 19. Exod. 13, 8. 14. Pro. 31, 26. 27. Eph. 6, 4. Deut. 6, 7. Psal. 78, 3. 4 n Luk. 17, 37. Psal. 110, 3. Mat. 6, Esa. 44. 5. Act. 2, 41, 42. Jir. 50, 4. 5. Neh. 9, 38. Act. 2, 41. 42. o 1. Cor. 1, 2. and 12. 14. Rev. 1, 20 and 2. 1. 8. 11. 18. & 3. 1. 7. 14. Eph. 2, 19. Col. 2, 19. p Exod. 20, 8. Rev. 1, 10. Act. 20, 7. 1. Cor. 16, 2.

34 That such asq God hath giuen guiftes to enterpret the Scriptures, tryed in the exercise of Prophecie, giving attendance to studie and learning, may and ought by the appointment of the Congregation, to teach publickly the vvord, vntill the people bee meet or, and God manifest men vvith able guifts and fitnes to such Office or Offices as Christ hath appointed to the publick ministerie of his church; but rno Sacraments to bee administred vntill the Pastora or Teachers bee chosen and ordeyned into their Office.

q 1. Cor. 14, rom. 12. 6. 1. Cor. 12, 7. 1. Pet. 4, 10. Act. 13. 15. 1. Tbes. 5, 20. r Num. 16, 10. 39. 40. Rom. 12. 7. Heb. 5, 4. Joh. 1, 23. 25.

35 Thats vvheras ther shalbee a people fit, and men furnished with meet and necessarie guifts, they doo not only still continue the exercise of Prophecie aforesayd, but doo also vpon due tryall, proceed vnto choyce and ordination of Officiers for the minsterie and servise of the Church, according to the rule of Gods vvord; And that soe theyt hold on still to vvalke forward in the wayes of Christ for their mutuall edification and comfort, as it shall please God to giue knowledge and grace thervnto. And perticularly, thatv such as bee of the seed,5 or vnder the government of anie of the Church, bee euen in their infancie receiued to Baptisme, ond made pertakers of the signe of Gods Couenant made with the faithfull and their seed throvghout all Generations. And thatx all of the Church that are of yeeres, and able to examine themselues, doo communicate also in the Lords Supper both menyand vvomen, and inz both kindes bread and vvyne in whicha Elements, as also in the vvater of baptisme, euen after their are consecrate, there is neyther transubstantiation into, nor Consubstantiation with the bodye and bloode of Jesus Christ; vvhome bthe Heauens must conteyne; vntill the tyme [xx] that al things bee restored. cBut they are in the ordinance of God signes and seales of Gods euerlasting couenant, representing and offring to all the receiuers, but exhibiting only to the true beleevers the Lord Iesus Christ and all his benefits vnto righteousnes, sanctification and eternall lyfe, through faith in his name to the glorie and prayse of God.

a Lev. 8. Act. 6, 3. 5. 6. & 14. 21.. 22. 23. Tit. 1, 5. etc. 1. Cor. 12, 7. 8. 14. 15. 1. Tim. 3. t Col. 2, 5. 6. 7. 2. Thes. 2. 15. Jud. 3, etc. Mat. 28, 20. v Act. 2, 38, 39. 1. Cor. 7, 14. Rom. 11, 16, Gen. 17, 7. 22. 27. 1. cor. 10, 2. Psal. 22, 30. Exod. 12, 48. 49. Act. 16, 15. 33. 1. Cor. 1, 16. Mar. 10, 13, 14. 15. 16. Gal. 3, 29. x Mat. 26, 26. 27. 1. Cor. 11. 28. and 10. 3. 4. 16. 17. act. 2, 42, & 20. 7. 8. y Gal. 3, 28. Act. 2. 42. with 1. 1 4. 1. Cor. 12, 33. z Mat. 26, 26. 27. 1. Cor. 10, 3. 4. 16. & 11. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. a 1. Cor, 10, 16. 17. & 11. 23. 24. 25. 26. etc. Mat. 26, 26. 27. 29. & 15. 17. Joh. 12, 8. b Act, 3, 21. & 7. 56. c Gen. 17, 11. Rom. 4, 11. Exod. 12, 13. with Heb. 13, 20. d 1. Cor. 11, 26. 27. 28. 29. & 10. 3. 4. 5. Rom. 2. 28. 29. Act, 15. 9. Rom. 5, & 6. 7. & 8. Chapt.

36 That thuse beeing righly gathered, established, and still proceeding in christian communion & obedience of the Gospell of Christ, none is to seperate for falts and corruptions which may and so long as the Church consisteth of mortal1 men, will fall out & arise emong them, even in a true constituted Church, but by duef order to seeke redresse therof.

e Lev. 4. 13. etc. 2. Chro. 15, 9. 17. and 30. 18. 19. rev. 2, and 3. 1. Cor. 1. 10. Phil. 2, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. and 3. 15. 16. heb. 10. 25. ind [Jude] 19. f 2. Cor. 13. 1. 2. rev. 2. and 3. 1. Thes. 5. 14. 2. Thes. 3, 6. 14. Mat. 18, 17. 1. Cor. 5, 4. 5. Act. 15. 1. 2.

37 Thatg such as yet see not the truth, may heare the publik doctrine and prayers of the church, and with al meeknes are to bee sought by all meanes: Yet hnone who are growne in yeeres to bee received into their communion as members, but such as doo make confession of their faith, publickly desiring to bee receiued as members, and promising to walke in the obedience of Christ. Neither aniei Infants, but such as are the seed of the faithfull by one of the parents, or vnder their education and gouernment. And further not aniek from one Congregation to bee receiued members in another, without bringing certificate of their former estate and present purpose.

g 1. cor. 14, 24. 25. Psal. 18. 49. rom. 15, 9. 10. 1. Tim. 2, 4. 2. Tim. 2, 25. h 2. Cor. 6, 14. 15. 16. Ezra. 4, 3. Exod. 12, 43. Lev. 22. 25. Exod, 34. 12. Deu. 7, Esa. 44. 5. Act. 19, 18. i Exod. 20, 5. 6. 1. Cor. 7, 14. Gen. 17, 7. 12. 27. Exod. 12, 48. 49. Act. 16. 15, 33. k Act. 9, 26. 27. Rom. 16, 1. 2. 2. Cor. 3, 23. Col. 4, 10.

38 That though Congregations bee thus distinct and severall bodyes, every one as a compact Citie in it self, yet are they all to walke by one and the same rule, & by all meanes convenient to haue the counsell and help one of another in all needfull affayres of the Church, as members of one body in the common Faith, vnder Christ their head.

Look Articles 1. 22. 23. Psal. 122 3. Cant. 8. 8. 9. 1. cor. 4, 17. and 16. 1.

39 That it is the Office and duty of Princes and Magestrates, 1who by the ordinance of God are supreme Governers vnder him over all persons and causes within their Realmes and Dominions, tom suppress and root out by their authoritie all false ministeries, voluntarie Relligions and counterfeyt worship of God, to abolish and destroy the Idoll Temples, Images, Altares, Vestments, and all other monuments of Idolatrie and superstition and to take and convert to their own civile vses not only the benefit of all such idolitrous buyldings & monuments, but also the Revenues, Demeanes, Lordships, Possessions, Gleabes and maintenance of anie false ministeries and vnlawfull Ecclesiasticall functions whatsoever within their Dominions. [xxi] And on the other hands to establish & mayntein by their lawes every part of Gods word his pure Relligion and true. ministerie to cherish and protect all such as are carefull to worship God according to his word, and to leade a godly lyfe in all peace and loyalltie; yea to enforce al their Subiects whether Ecclesiasticall or civile, to do their dutyes to God and men, protecting & mainteyning the good, punishing and restreyning the evill according as God hath commanded, vvhose Lieuetenants they are heer on earth.

1 Rom. 13, 3. 4. 1. Pet. 2. 3, 14. 2. Chro. 19, 4. etc. and. 29. and 34. Chap. Judg. 17, 5. 6. Math. 22. 21. Tit. 3,1. m 2. King. 23, 5, etc. Psal. 110. Deu 12, 2. 3. with 17. 14. 18. 19. 20. 2 King. 10. 26. 27. 28. 2. Chro. 17, 6. Pro. 16, 12. and 25. 2. 3. 4. 5. Act. 19, 27. Rev. 17. 16. n Deut. 17. 14, 18. 19. 20. Josua 1, 7. 8. 2 Chro. 17, 4. 7. 8. 9. & 19. 4. etc. & 29. & 30. Dan. 6, 25. 26. Psal. 2, 10. 11. 12. & 72. 1. etc. Esa. 49, 23. Rev, 21. 24. Ezra. 7. 26.

40 That therfore theo protection & commandement of the Princes and Magistrats maketh it much more peaceable, thoughp no whit at all more lavvfull, to vvalke in the vvayes and ordinances of Iesus Christ vvhich hee bath commanded his church to keep vvithout spot and vnrebukeable vntill his appeering in the end of the vvorld. qAnd that in this behalf the brethren thus mynded and proceeding as is beforesaid, doo both contynually supplicate to God, and as they may, to their Princes and Gouernours that thus and vnder them they may leade a quiet and peaceable lyfe in all godlynes and honestie.

a Pro. 16, 15. Ezr. 5. aud 6. Act. 9, 31. 1. Tim. 2, 2. Dan. 6, 25. 26. Rev. 21, 24. p Act. 4, 18. 19. and 5. 28. 29. Dan. 6, 7. 8. 9. 10. 22. Luk. 21, 12. 13. Mat. 28, 20. 1. tim. 5, 21. and 6. 13. 14. q Psal. 72, 1. etc. 1 tim. 2, 2. 2 chro. 15, 1. 2. Hag. 1. 4. 14. and 2. 5.

41 That if God encline the Magistrates hearts to the allovvance & protection of them therm they accompt it a happie blessing of God who granteth such nourcing Fathers and nourcing Mothers to his Church, & be carefull to walke vvorthie so great a mercy of God in all thankfulnes and obedience.

Psal. 126, 1. etc. Esa. 49, 13. and 60 16. Psal. 72, 1. etc. Rom. 13, 3. 1 Tim. 2, 2. 3. 4.

42 That if God vvithold the Magistrates allovvance and furtherace heerin, theyr yet proceed together in christian couenant & communion thus to vvalke in the obedience of Christ eve through the middest of all tryalls and afiictions, not accompting their goods, Lands VVyves, Children, Fathers, Mothers, brethren, Sisters, no nor their ovvn lyues dear vnto the, so as they may finish their course with ioy, remembring alvvayes that wee sought to obey God rather the may, & groundingt vpon the commandement, commission and promise of our Saviour Christ, vvho as hee hath all povvre in heaue & in earth, so hath also promised if they keep his commandements vvhich hee hath giue without limitatio of tyme, place, Magistrates allovvance or disallowance, to bee with them vnto tbe end of the world and

Mat. 6, 9. etc. Luk. 11, 2. etc. compared with Mat. 14, 30. and 26. 39. 42. Act. 1. 24. 25. and 4. 24. etc. Rom. 8, 26. 27. Rev. 8, 3, 4. Eph. 6. 18, 19. Phyl. 4, 6. Heb. 11, 18. 19. 20. 21. Jude vers. 24, 25.

Now vnto him that is ahle [able] to keep vs that wee fall not, & to present us faltlesse before the presence of his glorie with joy; that is to God only wise our Sauiour, bee glory, & Majestic & dominion, & powre both now & for ever. Amen.

FOOTNOTES:

1 The Confession is printed in Roman, with the texts on the margin of the page. The writer has put the texts after each section for convenience, following in this the Latin edition of 1598.
2 An answer to the frequent question what would they do with a sovereign worthy of excommunication.
3 Lord bishops, the favorite Separatist designation for a diocesan bishop as distinguished from a New Testament bishop.
4 See ante, p. 46
5 I. e., Children of those who are menbers of the local church, thus in covenant relation with God.

 

 

A CONFESSION OF THE FAITH OF SEVERAL CHURCHES OF CHRIST

A CONFESSION OF THE FAITH

OF SEVERAL

CHURCHES OF CHRIST

 

In the County of Somerset, and of some Churches in the Counties neer adjacent.

I Peter iii. 15.

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.

Mattew x. 32.

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, which is in heaven.

Isaiah viii. 20.

To the Law and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to this rule it is because there is no light in them.

Acts xvii. II.

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. August 10.

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.

I.

WE believe that there is but one God (I Cor. 8:6.), who is immortal, eternal, invisible, only wise (I Tim. 1:17.), holy (Lev. 11:44.), almighty (Gen. 17:1.) infinite (I Kings 8:27; Isa. 40:28; Ps. 147:5); a Spirit (John 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 (Deut. 7:9.).

II.

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; John 2:3); who is the word of God (John 1:1) and upholds all things by the word of his power (Heb. 1:3.).

III.

THAT God made man after his own image (Gen. 1:27), in an estate of uprightness and human perfection (Eccles. 7:29.),

IV.

THAT God gave Adam a just law, requiring obedience under the penalty of death (Gen. 2:17), which law he brake, and brought himself and his posterity under the guilt and judgment denounced (Gen. 3:6; Rom. 5:12, 17, 18, 19.).

V.

MAN being in this undone estate, God did in the riches of his mercy hold forth Christ in a promise (Gen. 3:15.).

VI.

THAT in process of time God gave forth his laws by the hand of Moses (Exod. 20; John 1:17), to fallen man (Gal. 3:19), not for justification to eternal life (Gal. 3:17; Rom. 3:20.), but that all might appear guilty before the Lord by it (Rom. 3:19; 5:20).

VII.

THAT out of this condition none of the sons of Adam were able to deliver themselves (Rom. 8:3; Eph. 2:1, 5; Rom. 5:6.).

VIII.

THAT God continued and renewed the manifestation of his grace and mercy in Christ after the first promise made (Gen. 3), in other promises (Gen. 22:18 with Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:16.); and in types, as the passover (Exod. 12:8 and ver. 13 with I Cor. 5:7.), and the brazen serpent (Numb. 21:9 compared with John 3:14); with the ministry and ministration of Moses and Aaron, the sacrifices, &c. being all figures of Christ (Heb. 7:8 and Chap. 9.); and in prophesies (as Isa. 9:6; 11:1, 2; 53:6 compared with I Pet. 2:24; I Cor. 15:3.).

IX.

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; 2 Tim. 1:9.), whom he in time hath, doth, and will call, justify, sanctify and glorify (Rom. 8:29, 30).

X.

THAT those that were thus elected and chosen in Christ were by nature (before conversion) children of wrath even as others (Eph. 2:3; Rom. 3:9.).

XI.

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 (John 6:39; 10:28; 11:26; I Pet. 1:5; Ps. 89:30, 31, 32, 33, 34; I John 3:9; John 14:19; Heb. 12:2; Jer. 31:3; John 10:29; Ps. 37:28; Jer. 32:40; Rom. 8:39; I Cor. 1:8, 9; Rom. 8:30; Ps. 48:14.).

XII.

THAT when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman (Gal. 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, (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:20.), and by her born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:11; Luke 2:6, 7.).

XIII.

WE believe that Jesus Christ is truly God (Isa. 9:6; Heb. 1:8; Rom. 9:5.) and truly man, of the seed of David (I Tim. 2:5; Acts 13:23; Rom. 1:3.).

XIV.

THAT after he came to be about thirty years of age, being baptized, he manifested himself to be the Son of God (Luke 3:21, 23 with John 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 (John 1:49; 6:9, &c.).

XV.

THAT this man Christ Jesus suffered death under Pilate, at the request of the Jews (Luke 23:24.), bearing the sins of his people on his own body on the cross (I Pet. 2:24), according to the will of God (Isa. 53:6), being made sin for us, (2 Cor. 5:11) and so was also made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13, 14; I Pet. 3:18.), that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 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; Acts 20:28; Heb. 9:12; I Pet 1:18, 19.).

XVI.

THAT this same Jesus having thus suffered death for our sins, was buried (Matt. 27:59, 60.), and was also raised by the power of God (Eph. 1:19.) the third day according to the scriptures (I Cor. 15:3, 4.), for our justification (Rom.4:25.).

XVII.

THAT after he had been seen forty days upon the earth, manifesting himself to his disciples (Acts 1:3.), he ascended into the heavens (Acts 1:9, 10, 11; Heb. 4:14.), and is set on the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 8:1; Heb. 1:3.), whom the heavens must receive until the time of the Restitution of all things. (Acts 3:21.).

XVIII.

THAT the Father having thus exalted him, and given him a name above every name (Phil. 2:9.), and hath made him who is mediator (I Tim. 2:5), priest (Heb. 10:21; 8:1), prophet (Acts 3:22.), and king to his people (Ps. 2:6; Rev. 15:3.). As he is our priest, so is he our peace and reconciliation (Eph. 2:14, 15; Rom. 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 (I John 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 (John 5:39; I Pet. 1:10, 11, 12; 2 Tim. 3:16; I Pet. 1:20, 21; Eph. 2:20; I Cor. 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 (John 14:26; 16:13.); and by his continual presence with us, and in us (John 14:16, 17.), teaching, opening and revealing the mysteries of the kingdom, and will of God unto us (I Cor. 2:10, 11, 12, 13; Rev. 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; I Cor. 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 (Ezek. 36:27; I Pet. 1:2.), and sing praises unto his name (Heb. 2:12; I Cor. 14:15.). And as he is our prophet, and king, lord, and law-giver (Isa. 33:22; 55:4.), Prince of life (Acts 3:15.), Prince of peace (Isa. 9:6.), Master of his people (Matt. 23:8.), Head of his church (Col. 1:18.), the Almighty (Rev. 1:8.), so he hath given rules unto us, by the which he ruleth over us (Luke 6:46; John 10:16; I John 2:4; John 14:15; Matt. 28:20.), and ruleth over all things for his church (Eph. 1:22; Rev. 19:16.) and by the power of love ruleth by his Spirit in us (2 Cor. 5:14; I John 2:5.), making us (in a measure) both able and willing to honour him (Phil. 4:3; Heb. 13:21; Eph. 6:10; Phil. 2:13), and bow before him (Ps. 95:6; 110:3; Rev. 4: 10, 11.), submitting ourselves to him alone in all his commands with joy (John 15:14; Rev. 14:4; 7:15; Ps. 119:2, 47; Rev. 15:3, 4.).

XIX.

THAT the Spirit is administred by or through the word of faith preached (Gal. 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 (Acts 20:24.), the word of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19.), the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17.), the weapon of a Christian (2 Cor. 10:4.); a faithful (Rev. 22:6.), quick, powerful (Heb. 4:12.), plain (Prov. 8: 9.), comfortable (Rom. 15:4.), pure (Ps. 12:6.), right, true (Ps. 33:4.), sound (Tit. 2:8.), and wholesome word (I Tim. 6:3.).

XX.

THAT this spirit of Christ, being administer’d by the word of faith, worketh in us faith in Christ (John 3: 5; I Pet. 1:22 Acts 16:14; Gal. 5:22.) by virtue of which we come to receive our sonship (John 1:12; Gal. 3:26.), and is further administer’d unto us through faith in the promises of God (Eph. 1:13; Acts 2:38, 39; Acts 1:4.), waiting on him in those ways and means that he hath appointed in his word (John 14:15, 16, 17; Luke 11:9, 13.), this faith being the ground of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1.).

XXI.

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 (Rom. 4: 5; I John 5:10, 11; Joh. 3:36.).

XXII.

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 (Rom. 5:1, 9; Acts 13:38, 39; Rom. 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 (Gal. 2:21; 5:4.).

XXIII.

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 (Rom. 5:3, 4; I John 3:23, 24; 2 Pet. 1:5, 6, 7; Gal. 5:6; Acts 26:18; I Thess 1:3.).

XXIV.

THAT it is the duty of every man and woman, that have repented from dead works, and have faith towards God, to be baptized (Acts 2:38; 8:12, 37, 38.), that is, dipped or buried under the water (Rom. 6:3, 4; Col. 2:12.), in the name of our Lord Jesus (Acts 8:16.), or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19.), therein to signify and represent a washing away of sin (Acts 22:16.), and their death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Rom. 6:5; Col. 2:12.), and being thus planted in the visible church or body of Christ (I Cor. 12:3.), who are a company of men and women separated out of the world by the preaching of the gospel (Acts 2:41; 2 Cor. 6:17.), do walk together in communion in all the commandments of Jesus (Acts 2:42.), wherein God is glorified and their souls comforted (2 Thes. 1:11, 12:2 Cor. 1:4.).

XXV.

THAT we believe some of those commandments further to be as followeth.

  1. CONSTANCY in prayer (Col. 2:23, 24.).
  2. BREAKING of bread (I Cor. 11:23, 24.).
  3. GIVING of thanks (Eph. 5:20.).
  4. WATCHING over one another (Heb. 12:15.).
  5. CARING one for another (I Cor. 12:25) by visiting one another, especially in sickness and temptations (Matt. 25:36.).
  6. EXHORTING one another (Heb. 3:13.).
  7. DISCOVERING to each other, and bearing one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2.).
  8. LOVING one another (Heb. 13:1.).
  9. REPROVING when need is one another (Matt. 18:15.).
  10. SUBMITTING one to another in the Lord (I Pet. 5:5.).
  11. ADMINISTERING one to another according to the gift received, whether it be in spirituals, or temporals (I Pet. 4:10.).
  12. THE offender to seek reconciliation, as well as the offended (Matt. 5:23, 24.).
  13. LOVE our enemies and persecutors, and pray for them (Matt. 5:23, 24).
  14. EVERY one to work if he be able, and none to be idle (2 Thes. 3:10, 11, 12.)
  15. THE women in the church to learn in silence, and in all subjection (I Tim. 2:11; I Cor. 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 (Matt. 18:15.).
  17. PUBLICK rebuke to publick offenders (I Tim. 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 (I Cor. 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 (John 3:3; Matt. 3:8, 9; Acts 8:37; Ezek. 44:6, 7, Acts 2:38; 2 Cor. 9:14; Ps. 26:4, 5; 101:7.).

XXVI

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 (Acts 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 (Rom. 15:26; Acts 11:29; 15:22; 11:22.).

XXIX.

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 (Matt. 28:19, 20; Luke 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 (Matt. 28:20.)

XXX.

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 (I Tim. 3:14, 15; 2 Tim. 3:15, 16, 17; John 17:20; Isa. 59:21; Rev.2:24; Isa.40:21; Rev. 2:5; I Cor. 14:37; Rev. 1:3; 2 Thes. 3:14; Rev. 2: 11; I Pet. 1:25; I John 4:6; 2 Pet. 1:15, 16; Isa. 58: 11, 12; 2 Pet. 3:2; Isa. 8:20.).

XXXI.

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 (Acts 13: 3; 14:23.), for the performance of the several duties, whereunto they are called (Acts 20:28; Rom, 12:6,7, 8; 2 Tim. 4:2; Acts 6:3.).

XXXII

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 (I Cor. 9:4,7; I Tim. 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 (Acts 20: 24, 25.).

XXXIII.

THAT the authority of Christ in an orderly ministry in his church, is to be submitted unto (Heb. 13: 17; 2 Thes. 3: 14.).

XXXIV.

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 (Acts 13:1, 2, 3; 11:22; 8:14.).

XXXV.

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 (Rom. 11:25.), but to have bowels of love and compassion to them, praying for them (Rom. 10:1.), expecting their calling, and so much the rather, because their conversion will be to us life from the dead (Rom. II: 15.).

XXXVI.

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 (John 16:13; Phil. 1:26.) and so to pass through many tribulations into the kingdom of God (Acts 14: 22; 2 Tim. 3:12; 2:12.).

XXXVII.

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; Acts 27:23; Luke 22:43.).

XXXVIII.

THAT the wicked angels (Ps. 78: 49.) kept not their first estate in which they were created (Jude 6.), the prince of whom is called the devil (Matt. 8: 28.), and the great dragon, and the old serpent, and satan (Rev. 12:9.), and the accuser of our brethren (Rev. 12:10.), and the prince of this world (John 14:30.), and a prince that ruleth in the air; a spirit working in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2: 2.), and our adversary (I Pet. 5:8.), whose children the wicked are (Matt. 13:39; John 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 (Matt. 25:41.).

XXXIX.

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 (Phil. 3:20, 21; Heb. 9:28; Acts 3:19,20, 21; Matt. 19:28; Rev. 2:26, 27; I Cor. 6:2; Ps. 72:8, 11; Dan. 7:27; Zech. 14:9; PS. 2:8, 9; Jer. 23:5,6; Ezek. 21:26,27; Isa.32:1; Rev. 11:15; Ps. 82:8; Rev. 5:9, l0; 20:6.).

XL.

THAT there is a day appointed, when the Lord shall raise the unjust as well as the righteous, and judge them all in righteousness (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15,), but every man in his own order (I Cor. 15:23; I Thes. 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 (2 Thes. 1:7, 8, 9, 10; Jude 14, 15; Rev. 20:11, 12, 13, 14.).

XLI.

THAT there is a place into which the Lord will gather all his elect, to enjoy him for ever, usually in scripture called heaven (2 Cor. 5:1; John 14:2, 3.).

XLII.

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 (Mark 9:43, 44, 45; Ps. 9:17; Matt. 25:41; 10:28; 23:33; Luke 10:15; 16:23.).

XLIII.

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 (Acts 2:42; I Cor. 11:26; Eph. 2:21,22; Eph. 4:3,4, 5, 6; I Cor. 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 (2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 16; Col. 2:12; Phil. 3:9, 10, 11; I Pet. 2:5.).

XLIV.

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 (Rom. 13:1, 2, 3, 4, 5; I Pet. 2: 13, 14.) and that for such, prayers and supplications are to be made by the saints (I Tim. 2: 1, 2.).

XLV.

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 (Gen. 45:5; 50:20; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1:11; Job 14:5; Isa.4:5,7.).

XLVI

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, Cant. 1:5.
FAIREST, without spot3 Cant. 4:7.
PRECIOUS, Isa. 43:4.
BEAUTIFUL, Cant. 7:1.
HOLY, without blemish, Eph. 5:27.
PLEASANT, Cant. 1:15.
WHOSE soul loveth Christ, Cant. 1:7.
RUNNERS after Christ, Cant. 1:4.
HONOURABLE, Isa. 43:4.
THE desire of Christ, Cant. 7:10.
COM PLEAT in Christ, Col. 2:10.
LOVERS of the Father, John 16:27.
THE blessed of the Father, Matt. 25:34.
KEPT by the Lord, I Pet. 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, Zech. 2:8.
TAUGHT of the Lord, Isa. 54:13.
ONE that hath obtained mercy, I Pet. 2 10.
ONE that hath a redemption, Eph. 1:7.
THE gates of hell shall not prevail against it, Matt. 16:18.
IN that church be glory unto God by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages world without end. Amen. Eph. 2:21.

 

 

1729 Goat Yard Declaration of Faith

1729 Goat Yard Declaration of Faith

A Declaration of the Faith and Practice of the Church of

Christ at Horsely-down,

under the Pastoral Care of Mr. John Gill, &c.

Having been enabled, through divine grace, to give up ourselves to the Lord, and

likewise to one another by the will of God; we account it a duty incumbent upon

us to make a declaration of our faith and practice, to the honour of Christ, and

the glory of his name; knowing, that as with the heart man believeth unto

righteousness, so with the mouth confession is made unto salvation–our

declaration is as follows:

I. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of

God, and the only rule of faith and practice.

II. We believe that there is but one only living and true God; that there are three

Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, who are equal

in nature, power, and glory; and that the Son and the Holy Ghost are as truly and

as properly God as the Father.

III. We believe that, before the world began, God did elect a certain number of

men unto everlasting salvation, whom he did predestinate to the adoption of

children by Jesus Christ, of his own free grace, and according to the good

pleasure of his will: and that, in pursuance of this gracious design, he did contrive

and make a covenant of grace and peace with his Son Jesus Christ, on the behalf

of those persons, wherein a Saviour was appointed, and all spiritual blessings

provided for them; as also that their persons, with all their grace and glory, were

put into the hands of Christ, and made his care and charge.

IV. We believe that God created the first man, Adam, after his own image, and in

his likeness; an upright, holy, and innocent creature, capable of serving and

glorifying him; but, he sinning, all his posterity sinned in him, and came short of

the glory of God: the guilt of whose sin is imputed, and a corrupt nature derived,

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to all his offspring, descending from him by ordinary and natural generation: that

they are by their first birth carnal and unclean, averse to all that is good,

uncapable of doing any and prone to every sin; and are also by nature children of

wrath, and under a sentence of condemnation, and so are subject not only to a

corporal death, and involved in a moral one, commonly called spiritual, but are

also liable to an eternal death, as considered in the first Adam, fallen and sinners;

from all which there is no deliverance but by Christ, the second Adam.

V. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, being set up from everlasting as the

Mediator of the new covenant, and he, having engaged to be the surety of his

people, did, in the fulness of time, really assume human nature, and not before,

neither in whole nor in part; his human soul, being a creature, existed not from

eternity, but was created and formed in his body by him that forms the spirit of

man within him, when that was conceived in the womb of the virgin; and so his

human nature consists of a true body and a reasonable soul; both which, together,

and at once, the Son of God assumed into union with his divine Person, when

made of a woman, and not before; in which nature he really suffered and died as

their substitute, in their room and stead, whereby he made all that satisfaction for

their sins, which the law and justice of God could require, as well as made way

for all those blessings, which are needful for them both for time and eternity.

VI. We believe that that eternal redemption which Christ has obtained, by the

shedding of his blood, is special and particular, that is to say, that it was only

intentionally designed for the elect of God, and sheep of Christ, who only share

the special and peculiar blessings of it.

VII. We believe that the justification of God’s elect is only by the righteousness of

Christ imputed to them, without the consideration of any works of righteousness

done by them; and that the full and free pardon of all their sins and transgressions,

past, present, and to come, is only through the blood of Christ, according to the

riches of his grace.

VIII. We believe that the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification, and

faith, is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious,

and irresistible grace of God.

IX. We believe that all those who are chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son,

and sanctified by the Spirit, shall certainly and finally persevere, so that not one

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of them shall ever perish, but shall have everlasting life.

X. We believe that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and

unjust; and that Christ will come a second time to judge both quick and dead,

when he will take vengeance on the wicked, and introduce his own people into

his kingdom and glory, where they shall be for ever with him.

XI. We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of Christ, to be

continued until his second coming; and that the former is absolutely requisite to

the latter; that is to say, that those only are to be admitted into the communion of

the church, and to participate of all ordinances in it, who upon profession of their

faith, have been baptized by immersion, in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Ghost.

XII. We also believe that singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, vocally,

is an ordinance of the Gospel to be performed by believers; but that as to time,

place, and manner, every one ought to be left to their liberty in using it.

Now all, and each of these doctrines and ordinances, we look upon ourselves

under the greatest obligations to embrace, maintain, and defend; believing it to

be our duty to stand fast, in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the

faith of the Gospel.

And whereas we are very sensible, that our conversation, both in the world and in

the church, ought to be as becometh the Gospel of Christ, we judge it our

incumbent duty to walk in wisdom towards them that are without, to exercise a

conscience void of offence towards God and men, by living soberly, righteously,

and godly, in this present world.

And as to our regards to each other, in our church-communion, we esteem it our

duty to walk with each other in all humility and brotherly love: to watch over

each other’s conversation; to stir up one another to love and good works; not

forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as we have opportunity, to

worship God according to his revealed will; and, when the case requires, to

warn, rebuke, and admonish one another, according to the rules of the Gospel.

Moreover, we think ourselves obliged to sympathize with each other, in all

conditions, both inward and outward, which God, in his providence, may bring us

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into; as also to bear with one another’s weaknesses, failings, and infirmities, and

particularly to pray for one another, and that the Gospel and the ordinances

thereof might be blessed to the edification and comfort of each other’s souls, and

for the gathering in of others to Christ, besides those who are already

gathered–all which duties we desire to be found in the performance of, through

the gracious assistance of the Holy Spirit, whilst we both admire and adore the

grace which has given us a place and a name in God’s house, better than that of

sons and daughters.

 

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