committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs

 

Propositions and Conclusions concerning True Christian Religion

containing a Confession of Faith of certain English people, living at Amsterdam.


1. We believe that there is a God (Heb. Xi. 6) against all Epicures and Atheists, which either say in their hearts or utter with their mouths that there is no God (Psalms xiv. 1; Isaiah xxii. 13).

2. That this God is one in number (I Cor. viii. 4,6) against the Pagans of any other that hold a plurality of gods.

3. That God is incomprehensible and ineffiable, in regard of His substance or essence that is God's essence can neither be comprehended in the mind, nor uttered by the words of men or angels (Exod. iii. 13-15, and xxxiii. 18-21).

4. That the creatures and Holy Scriptures do not intend to teach us what God is in substance or essence, but what He is in effect and property (Rom. i. 19:22; Exod. xxxiii. 23)

5. That these terms, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, do not teach God's substance, but only the hinder parts of God; that which may be known of God (Rom. i.; Exod. xxxiii.)

6. That God may be known by His titles, properties, effects, imprinted and expressed in the creatures, and Scriptures (John xvii. 3).

7. That to understand and conceive of God in the mind is not the saving knowledge of God, but to be like to God in His effects and properties; to be made conformable to His divine and heavenly attributes. That is true saving knowledge of God (2 Cor. iii. 18; Matt. v. 48; 2 Peter i. 4), whereunto we ought to give diligience.

8. That this God manifested in Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Matt. iii. 16, 17) is most merciful, most mighty, most holy, most just, most wise, most true, most glorious, eternal and infinite (Exod. xxxiv. 6,7; Psalms XC. 2 and cii. 27)

9. That God before the foundation of the world did foresee and determine the issue and event of all His works (Acts. XV. 18), and that actually in time He worketh all things by His providence, according to the good pleasure of His will (Eph. i. ll), and therefore we abhor the opinion of them that avouch that all things happen by fortune or chance (Acts iv. 27,28; Matt. x. 29,30).

10. That God is not the author or worker of sin (Psa. v. 4; James i. 13), but that God only did foresee and determine what evil the free will of men and angels would do; but He gave no influence, instinct, motion or inclination to the least sin.

11. That God in the beginning created the world viz., the heavens, and the earth and all things that are therein (Gen. i; Acts xvii. 24). So that the things that are seen, were not of things which did appear (Heb. xi. 3).

12. That God created man to blessedness, according to His image, in an estate of innocency, free without corruption of sin (Gen. i. 27; ii. 17, 25); He created them male and female (to wite) one man and one woman (Gen. i. 27); He framed man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into Him the breath of life, so the man was a living soul (Gen. ii. 7; I Cor. xv.45). But the woman He made of a rib, taken out of the side of the man (Gen. ii. 21, 22). That God blessed them, and commanded them to increase, and multiply, and to fill the earth, and to rule over it and all creatures therein (Gen. i. 28, ix. 1,2; Psal. viii.6)

13. That therefore marriage is an estate honourable amongst all men, and the bed undefiled: viz. betwixt one man and one woman (Heb. xiii.4; I Cor. vii.2) but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

14. That God created man with freedom of will, so that he had ability to choose the good and eschew the evil, or to choose the evil and refuse the good, and that this freedom of will was a natural faculty or power, created by God in the soul of man (Gen. ii. 16, 17; iii. 6,7; Eccles. vii.29)

15. That Adam sinning was not moved or inclined thereto by God, or by any decree of God but that he fell from his innocency and died the death alone, by the temptation of Satan, his free will assenting thereunto freely (Gen. iii. 6)

16. That the same day that Adam sinned, he died the death (Gen. ii. 17), for the reward of sin is death (Rom. vi. 23), and this is that which the Apostle saith, dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. ii. 1), which is loss of innocency, of the peace of conscience and comfortable presence of God. (Gen. iii. 7,ll).

17. That Adam being fallen did not lose any natural power or faculty which God created in his soul, for the work of the devil, which is (sin), cannot abolish God's works or creatures: and therefore being fallen he still retained freedom of will (Gen. iii. 23, 24)

18. That orginal sin is an idle term, and that there is no such thing as men intend by the word (Ezek. xviii. 20), because God threatened death only to Adam (Gen. ii.17) not to his posterity, and because God created the soul (Heb. xii.9)

19. That if original sin might have been passed from Adam to his posterity, Christ's death, which was effectual before Cain and Abel's birth, He being the lamb slain from the beginning of the world, stopped the issue and passage thereof (Rev. xiii. 8).

20. That infants are conceived and born in innocency without sin, and that so dying are undoubtedly saved, and that this is to be understood of all infants under Heaven (Gen. v. 2, i. 27 compared with I. Cor. xv. 49), for where there is no law there is no transgression, sin is not imputed while there is no law. (Rom. iv. 15 and v. 13), but the law was not given to infants, but to them that could understand (Rom. v. 13; Matt. xiii. 9; Neh. viii.3).

21. That all actual sinners bear the image of the first Adam, in his innocency, fall, and restitution in the offer of grace (I Cor. xv. 49), and so pass under these three conditions, or threefold estate.

22. That Adam being fallen God did not hate him, but loved him still, and sought his good (Gen. iii. 8-15), neither doth he hate any man that falleth with Adam, but that He loveth mankind, and from His love sent His only begotten Son into the world, to save that which was lost, and to seek the sheep that went astray (John iii. 16).

23. That God never forsaketh the creature till there be no remedy, neither doth He cast away His innocent creature from all eternity; but casteth away men irrecoverable in sin (Isa. v. 4; Ezek. xviii. 23, 32, and xxxiii. 11; Luke xiii. 6,9).

24. That as there is in all the creatures a natural inclination to their young ones, to do them good, so there is in the Lord toward man; for every spark of goodness in the creature is infinitely good in God (Rom. i. 20; Psaa. xix 4; Rom. x. 18).

25. That as no man begetteth his child to the gallows, nor no potter maketh a pot to break it; so God doth not create or predestinate any man to destruction (Ezek. xxxiii. ; Gen. i. 27; I Cor. xv. 49; Gen. v. 3).

26. That God before the foundation of the world hath determined the way of life and salvation to consist in Christ, and that he hath foreseen who would follow it (Eph. i. 5; 2 Tim. i. 9), and on the contrary hath determined the way of perdition to consist in infidelity, and in impenitency, and that he hath foreseen who would follow after it (Jude 4th verse).

27. That as God created all men according to His image, so hath He redeemed all that fall by actual sin, to the same end; and that God in His redemption hath not swerved from His mercy, which He manifested in His creation (John i. 3,16; 2 Cor. v. 19; I Tim. ii. 5,6; Ezek. xxxiii. 11).

28. That Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and that God in His love to His enemies did send Him (John iii. 16); that Christ died for His enemies (Rom. v. 10); that He bought them that deny Him (2 Peter ii. 1), thereby teaching us to love our enemies (Matt. v. 44,45).

29. That Christ Jesus after His baptism by a voice out of heaven from the Father, and by the anointing of the Holy Ghost, which appeared upon His head in the form of a dove, is appointed the prophet of the church,1 whom all men must hear (Matt. iii.; Heb. iii. 1.2); and that both by His doctrine and life, which He led here in the earth, by all His doings and sufferings, He hath declared and published, as the only prophet and lawgiver of His Church, the way of peace and life, the glad tidings of the Gospel (Acts. iii. 23, 24).

30. That Christ Jesus is the brightness of the glory and the engraven form of the Father's substance, supporting all things by His mighty power (Heb. i. 3); and that he is become the mediator of the New Testament (to wit) the King, Priest, and Prophet of the Church, and that the faithful through Him are thus made spiritual Kings, Priests, and Prophets (Rev. i. 6; I John ii. 20; Rev. xix, 10).

31. That Jesus Christ is He which in the beginning did lay the foundation of the heavens and earth which shall perish (Heb. i. 10; Psalms cii. 26); that he is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, He is the wisdom of God, which was begotten from everlasting before all creatures (Micah v. 2; Prov. vii.24; Luke xi. 49); He was in the form of God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God, yet He took to Him the shape of a servant, the Word became flesh (John i. 14), wonderfully by the power of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary; He was of the seed of David according to the flesh, 1 (Phil ii.7; Heb. 10; Rom i. 3) and that He made Himself of no reputation, humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death of the cross, redeeming us from our vain conversation, not with silver or gold but with the precious blood of Himself, as of a lamb without spot and undefiled ( Pet. i. 18, 19).

32. That although the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood, offered up unto God His Father upon the cross, be a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour, and that God in Him is well pleased, yet it doth not reconcile God unto us, which did never hate us, not was our enemy, but reconcileth us unto God (2 Cor. v. 19), and slayeth the enmity and hatred, which is in us against God (Eph. ii. 14, 17; Rom. i. 30).

33. That Christ was delivered to death for our sins (Rom. iv. 25), and that by His death we have the remission of our sins (Eph. ii. 7), for He cancelled the hand-writing of ordinances, the hatred, the law of commandments in ordinances (Eph. ii. 15; Coloss. ii. 14) which was against us (Deut. xxxi. 26); He spoiled principalities and powers, made a shew of them openly, and triumphed over them on the cross (Coloss. ii.15); by death He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil (Heb. ii. 14).

34. That the enemies of our salvation, which Christ vanquished on His cross, are the gates of hell, the power of darkness, Satan, sin, death, the grave, the curse or condemnation, wicked men, and persecutors (Eph. vi. 12; I Cor. xv. 26, 54, 57; Matt xvi. 18; Rev. xx. 10, 14, 15), which enemies we must overcome no otherwise than Christ hath done (John xxi. 22; I Peter ii. 21; Rev. xiv. 4).

35. That the efficacy of Christ's death is only derived to them, which do mortify their sins, which are grafted with Him to the similitude of His death (Rom. vi. 3-6), which are circumcised with circumcision made without hands, by putting off the sinful body of the flesh, through the circumcision which Christ worketh (Coloss. ii.II) who is the minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers (Rom. xv. 8 compared with Deut. xxx. 6)

36. That there are three which bear witness in the earth, the spirit, water and blood, and these three are on in testimony, witnessing that Christ truly died (I John v. 8) for He gave up the ghost (John xix. 30); and out of His side pierced with a spear came water and blood (verse 34, 35), the cover of the heart being pierced, where there is water contained.

37. That every mortified person hath this witness in himself (I John v. 10), for the spirit blood, and water of sin is gone, that is the life of sin with the nourishment and cherishment thereof (I Peter. iv. I; Rom. vi. 7; I John iii. 6).

38. That Christ Jesus being truly dead was also buried (John xix. 39, 42), and that He lay in the grave the whole Sabbath of the Jews; but in the grave He saw no corruption (Psalms xvi. 10; Acts ii. 31)

39. That all mortified persons are also buried with Christ, by the baptism with is into His death (Rom. vi. 4; Colos. ii. 12); keeping their Sabbath with Christ in the grave (that is) resting from their own works as God did from His (Heb. iv. 10), waiting there in hope for a resurrection (Psalm. xvi. 9).

40. That Christ Jesus early in the morning, the first day of the week, rose again after His death and burial (Matt. xxvii. 6) for our justification (Rom. iv. 25), being mightily declared to be the Son of God, by the spirit of sanctification, in the resurrections from the dead (Rom. i. 4).

41. That these that are grafted with Christ to the similitude of His death and burial shall also be to the similitude of His resurrection (Rom. vi. 4, 5); for He doth quicken or give life unto them, together with Himself (Coloss. ii. 13; Eph. ii. 5,6); for that is their salvation, and it is by grace (Eph. ii. 5; I John v. 11, 12, 13; Titus iii. 5, 6, 7).

42. That this quickening or reviving of Christ, this laver of regeneration, this renewing of the Holy Ghost, is our justification and salvation (Titus iii. 6, 7). This is that pure river of water of life clear as crystal, which proceedeth out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb (Rev. xxii. 1); which also floweth out of the belly of him that believeth in Christ (John vii. 38); this is those precious promises whereby we are made partakers of the divine nature, by flying the corruptions that are in the world through lust (2 Peter i. 4); this is the fruit of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God; this is the white stone wherein there is a name written, which no man knoweth, save he that receiveth it. This is the morning star, this is the new name, the name of God, the name of the City of God; the new Jerusalem which descendeth from God out of heaven; this is the hidden manna, that white clothing, eye salve and gold, and that heavenly supper which Christ promiseth to them that overcome (Rev. ii. 7, 17, 18, and ii. 5, 12, 18, 20).

43. That there are three which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one in testimony, witnessing the resurrection of Christ. The Father saith, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee (Acts xiii. 33-35). The Son testifieth of His own resurrection being forty days with His disciples (Acts. i. 3). The Holy Ghost testifieth the same, whom Christ sent to His disciples upon the day of Pentecost (Acts ii.).

44. That every person that is regenerate and risen again with Christ hath these three aforesaid witnesses in himself (I John v. 10); for Christ doth dwell in his heart by faith (Eph. iii.17); and the Father dwelleth with the Son (John xiv. 23); and the Holy Ghost likewise (I Cor. iii. 16); and that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost is with them (2 Cor. xiii. 13).

45. That Christ, having forty days after His resurrection conversed with His disciples (Acts i. 3), ascended locally into the heavens (Acts i. 9), which must contain Him unto the time that all things be restored (Acts iii. 21).

That they which are risen with Christ, ascend up spiritually with Him, seeking those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, and that they set their affections on heavenly things, and not on earthly things. (Col. ii. 1-5).

46. That Christ, now being received into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God (Mark xvi. 9), having led captivity captive, and given gifts unto men (Eph. iv. 8); that God hath now highly exalted Him, and given Him a name above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, in earth and under the earth (Phil ii. 9.10), that he hath obtained all power both in heaven and in earth (Matt. xxvii. 18), and hath made all things subject under His feet, and hath appointed Him over all things to be the head to the church, that is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all things (Eph. i. 22-23).

47. That the regenerate do sit together with Christ Jesus in heavenly places (Eph. ii. 6), that they sit with Him in His throne as He sitteth with the Father in His throne (Rev. iii. 21), that they have power over nations, and rule them with a rod of iron, and as a potter's vessel they are broken in pieces (Rev. ii. 26, 27); and that, sitting on twelve thrones they do judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. xix. 28), which spiritually is to put all their enemies in subjection under their feet, so that the evil one doth not touch them (I John v. 18), nor the gates of hell prevail against them (Matt. xvi. 28), and that they are become pillars in the house of God, and go no more out (Rev. iii. 12).

48. That Christ Jesus being exalted at the right hand of God the Father, far above all principalities and powers, might, and domination, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in the world to come (Eph. i. 21), hath received of His Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, which He also shed forth upon His disciples on the Day of Pentecost (Acts. ii. 33).

49. That Christ Jesus, in His resurrection, ascension, and exaltation, is more and rather Lord and Christ, Saviour, anointed, and King, than in His humiliation, sufferings and death (Acts ii. 36; Phil. ii. 7, 11), for the end is more excellent than the efficacy of His death in the mortification and remission of sins.

50. That the knowledge of Christ according to the flesh is of small profit (2 Cor. v. 16, 17), and the knowledge of Christ's genealogy and history is no other but that which the Devil hath as well if not better than any man living; but the kn owledge of Christ according to the spirit is effectual to salvation, which is spiritually to be grafted to the similitude of Christ's birth, life,, miracles, doings, sufferings, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and exaltation (Rom. vi. 3, 6).

51. That Christ Jesus, according to the flesh and history in His doings and suffering, is a great mystery, and divine sacrament of Himself, and of His ministry in the spirit, and of those spiritual things which He worketh in those which are to be heirs of salvation (Rom. vi. 3, 6; Eph. ii. 5, 6), and that spiritually He performeth all those miracles in the regenerate which He wrought in His flesh; He healeth their leprosy, bloody issue, blindness, dumbness, deafness, lameness, palsy, fever, He casteth out the devils and unclean spirits, He raiseth the dead, rebuketh the winds and the sea, and it is calm; He feedeth thousands with the barley loaves and fishes (Matt. viii. 16, 17, compared with Isaiah liii. 4, John vi. 26, 27).

52. That the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father and the Son (John xiv. 26, and xvi. 7); that He is the eternal spirit, whereby Christ offered himself without spot to God (Heb. ix. 14); that He is that other comforter, which Christ asketh, obtaineth in the regenerate (I Cor. iii. 16), which leadeth them into all truth (John xvi. 13), He is that annointing which teacheth them all things, and that they have no need that any man teach them, but as the samee anointing teacheth ( I John ii. 20, 27).

53. That although there be divers gifts of the Spirit yet there is but one Spirit, which distributeth to every one as He will (I Cor. xii. 4, ll; Eph. iv. 4), that the outward gifts of the spirit which the Holy Ghost poureth forth upon the Day of Pentecost upon the disciples, in tongues and prophecy, and gifts, and healing, and miracles, which is called the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire (Acts i. 5), were only a figure of and an hand leading to better things, even the most proper gifts of the spirit of sanctification, which is the new creture; which is the one baptism (Eph. iv. 4, compared with Acts. ii. 33, 38, and with Luke x. 17, 20).

54. That John Baptist and Christ are two persons, their ministries are two ministries several, and their baptisms are two baptisms, distinct the one from the other (John i. 20; Acts xiii. 25; Acts i. 4, 5; Matt. iii. II).

55. That John taught the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, baptizing with water to amendment of life (Matt iii. II), thus preparing a way for Christ and His baptism (Luke iii. 3, 6), by bringing men to repentance and faith in the Messias, whom he pointed out with the finger (saying), behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world (John i. 31, 29; Act xix. 4).

56. That Christ is stronger, and hath a more excellent office and ministry than John (Matt. iii. II); that He baptizeth with the Holy Ghost and fire; that He cometh and walketh in the way which John hath prepared; and that the new creature followeth repentance (Luke iii. 6).

57. That repentance and faith in the Messias are the conditions to be performed on our behalf, for the obtaining of the promises (Acts ii. 38; John i. 12); that the circumcision of the heart, mortification and the promises which are made to the aforesaid conditions (Deut. xxx. 6; Acts ii. 38; Gal. iii. 14; 2 Peter i. 4, 5 ), which promises are all yea and Amen in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. i. 20), and that in the regenerate (Gal. iii. 16).

58. That repentance and faith are wrought in the hearts of men by the preaching of the word, outwardly in the Scriptures and creatures, the grace of God preventing us by the motions and instinct of the spirit, which a man hath power to receive or reject (Matt. xxiii. 37; Acts vii. 51; Acts vi. 10; Rom. x. 14, 18); that our justification before God consisteth not in the performance of the conditions which God requireth of us, but in the partaking of the promises, the possessing of Christ, remission of sins, and the new creature.

59. That God the Father, of His own good will doth beget us by the word of truth (James i. 18), which is an immortal seed (I Peter i. 23), not the doctrine of repentance and faith which many be lost (Luke viii. 13); and that God the Father, in our regeneration, neither needeth nor useth the help of any creature, but that the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost immediately worketh that work in the soul, where the free will of men can do nothing (John i. 13).

60. That such as have not attained the new creature have need of the scriptures, creatures and ordinances of the Church, to instruct them, to comfort them, to stir them up the better to perform the condition of repentance to the remission of sins (2 Peter i. 19; I Cor. xi. 26; Eph. iv. 12-23).

61. That the new creature which is begotten of God needeth not the outward scriptures, creatures, or ordinances of the chuirch, to support or help them (I Cor. xiii. 10, 12; I Joh ii. 27; I Cor. i. 15, 16; Rev. xxi. 23), seeing that he hath three witnesses in himself, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; which are better than all scriptures, or creatures whatsoever.

62. That as Christ who was above the law notwithstanding was made under the law, for our cause: so the regenerate in love to others can and will do no other, than use the outward things of the church for the gaining and supporting of others: and so the outward church and ordinances are always necessary, for all sorts of persons whatsoever (Matt. iii. 15; xxviii. 19,20; I Cor. viii. 9).

63. That the new creature although he be above the law and scriptures, yet he can do nothing against the law or scriptures, but rather all his doings shall serve to the confirming and establishing of the law (Rom. iii. 31). Therefore he can neither lie, nor steal, nor commit adulter, nor kill, nor hate any man, or do any other fleshly action, and therefore all fleshly libertinism is contrary to regeneration, detestable, and damnable (John viii. 34, Rom. vi. 15, 16, 18; 2 Pet. ii. 18, 19; I John v. 18).

64. That the outward church visible, consists of penitent persons only, and of such as believing in Christ bring forth fruits worthy amendment of life (I Tim. vi. 3, 5; 2 Tim. iii. l, 5; Actrs xix. 4).

65. That the visible church is a mystical figure outwardly of the true, spiritual invisible church, which consisteth of the spirits of just and perfect men only, taht is of the regenerate (Rev. i. 20, compared with Rev. xxi. 2, 23, 27).

66. That repentance is the change of the mind from evil to that which is good (Matt. iii. 2), a sorrow for sin committed, with a humble heart for the same; and a resolution to amend for the time to come; with an unfeigned endeavour there (2 Cor. vii. 8. II; Isaiah i. 16, 17; Jer. xxxi. 18,19).

67. That when we have done all that we can we are unprofitable servants, and all our righteousness is as a stained cloth (Luke xvii. 20). and that we can only suppress and lop off the brances of sins, but the root of sin we cannot pluck up out of our hearts (Jer. iv. 4, compared with Deut. xxx. 6,8).

68. That faith is a knowledge in the mind of the doctrine of the law and gospel contained in the prophetical and apostolical scriptures of the Old and New Testament, accompanying repentance; with an assurance that God, through Christ, will perform the condition of our unfeigned repentance, and amendment of life (Rom. x. 13, 14, 15; Acts v. 30-32, and Acts ii. 38, 39; Heb. xi. I; Mark i. 15).

69. That all penitent and faithful Christians are brethren in the communion of the outward church, wheresoever they live, by what name soever they are known, which in truth and zeal follow repentance and faith, though compassed with never so many ignorances and infirmities; and we salute them all with a holy kiss, being heartily grived that we which follow after one faith, and one spirit, on Lord, and one God, one body, and one baptism, should be rent into so many sects and schisms; and that only for matters of less moment.

70. That the outward baptism of water is to be administered only upon such penitent and faithful persons as are (aforesaid), and not upon innocent infants, or whicked persons (Matt. iii. 2, 3, compared with Matt. xxviii. 19, 20 and John iv. I).

71. That in Baptism to the penitent person, and believer, there is presented, and figured, the spiritual baptism of Christ, (that is) the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire: the baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ: even the promised of the Spirit, which he shall assuredly be made partaker of, if he continue to the end (Gal. iii. 14; Matt. iii. II; I Cor. xii. 13; Rom. vi. 3, 6; Col. ii. 10).

72. That in the outward supper which only baptized persons must partake, there is presented and figured, before the eys of the penitent and faithful, that spiritual supper, which Christ maketh of His flesh and blood which is crucified and shed for the remission of sins (as the bread is broken and the wine poured forth), and which is eaten and drunken (as is the bread and wine bodily) only by those which are flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone: in the communion of the same spirit (I Cor. xii. 13; Rev. iii. 20, compared with I Cor. xi. 23, 26; John vi. 53, 58).

73. That the outward baptism and supper do not confer and convey grace and regeneration to the participants or communicants; but as the word preached, they serve only to support and stir up the repentance and faith of the communicants till Christ come, till the day dawn, and the day-star arise in their hearts (I Cor. xi. 26; 2 Peter i. 19; I Cor. i. 5-8).

74. That the sacraments have the same use that the word hath; that they are a visible word, and that they teach to the eye of them that understand as the word teacheth the ears of them that have ears to hear (Prov. xx. 12), and therefore as the word appertaineth not to infants, no more do the sacraments.

75. That the preaching of the word, and ministry of the sacraments, representeth the ministry of Christ in the spirit; who teacheth, baptizeth, and feedeth the regenerate, by the Holy Spirit inwardly and invisibly.

76. That Christ hath set in His outward church two sorts of ministers: viz., some who are called pastors, teachers or elders, who administer in the word and sacraments, and others who are called deacons, men and women: whose ministry is, to serve tables and wash the saints' feet (Acts vi. 2-4; Phil. i. I; I Tim. iii. 2, 3, 8, II, and chapt. v).

77. That the seperating of the impenitent, from the outward communion of the Church, is a giure of the eternal rejection and reprobation of them that persist impenitent in sin (Rev. xxi. 27, with Rev. iii. 12).

78. That none are to be separated from the outward communion of the Church but such as forsake repentance, which deny the power of Godliness (2 Tim. iii. 5), (and namely that sufficient admonition go before, according to the rule (Matt. xviii. 15-18),) and that none are to be rejected for ignorance or errors, or infirmities so long as they retain repentance and faith in Christ (Rom. xiv., and I Thess. v. 14; Rom. xvi. 17, 18), but they are to be instructed with meekness; and the strong are to bear the infirmities of the weak; and that we are to support one another through love.

79. That a man may speak a word against the Son, and be pardoned, (that is) a man may err in the knowledge of Christ's History, and in matters of the outward church, and be forgiven, doing it in an ignorant zeal; but he that speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost (that is) that after illumination forsaketh repentance and faith in Christ, persecuting them, trampling under foot the blookd of the covenant; returning with the dog to the vomit; that such shall never be pardoned, neither in this world, nor in the world to come (Mattt. xii. 31, 32, compared with Hebrews vi. 4, and chap. x. 26-29; 2 Peter. ii, 20, 22).

80. That persons separated from the communion of the church, are to be accounted as heathens and publicans (Matt xviii. 17), and that they are so far to be shunned, as they may pollute: not withstanding being ready to instruct them, and to relieve them in their wants; seeking by all lawful means to win them; considering that excommunication is only for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (I Cor. v. 5, II; Matt. xi. 19; Luke xv. 1,2).

81. That there is no succession in the outward church, but that all the succession is from heaven, and that the new creature only hath the thing signified, and substance, whereof the outward church and ordinances are shadows (Col. ii. 16, 17), and therefore he alone hath power, and knoweth right, how to administer in the outward church, for the benefit of others (John vi. 45); yet God is not the God of confusion but of order, and therefore we are in the outward church to draw as near the first institution as may be, in all things (I Cor. xiv. 33); therefore it is not lawful for every brother to administer the word and sacraments (Eph. iv. 11, 12, compared with I cCor. xii. 4, 5, 6, 28, 29, 29).

82. That Christ hath set in his outward church the vocation of master and servant, parents and children, husband and wife (Eph. v. 22-25, chap. vi. 1, 4, 5, 9), and hath commanded every soul to be subject to the higher poewrs (Rom. xiii. I), not because of wrther only,k but for conscience' sake (verse 5) that we are to give them their duty, as tribute and custom, honour and fear, not speaking evil of them that are in authority (Jude, verse 8), but praying and giving thanks for them (I Tim. ii. 1, 2), for that is acceptable in the sight of God, even our Saviour.

83. That the office of the magistrate, is a disposition or permissive ordinance of God for the good of mankind: that one man like the brute beats devour not another (Rom. xiii), and that justice and civility may be preserved among men: and that a magistrate may so please God in his calling, in doing that which is righteous and just in the eys of the Lord, that he may bring an outward blessing upon himself, his posterity and subjects (2 Kings, x. 30,31).

84. That the magistrate is not by virtue of his office to meddle with religion, or matters of conscience, to force and compel men to this or that form of religion or doctrine; but to leave Christian relgiion free, to every man's conscience, and to handle only civil transgressions (Rom. xiii), injuries and wrongs of man against man, in murder, adultery, theft, ect., for Christ only is the king, and lawgiver of the church and conscience (James iv. 12).

85. That if the magistrate will follow Christ, and be His disciple, he msut deny himself, take up his corss, and follow Christ; he must love his enemies and not kill them, he must pry for them, and not punish them, he must feed them and give them drink, not imprison them, banish them, dismember them, and spoil their goods; he must suffer persectuion and afflication with Christ, and be slandered, reviled, blasphemed, scouraged, buffeted, spit upon, imprisoned and killed with Christ; and that by the authority of magistrates, which things he cannot possibly do, and retain the revenge of the sword.

86. That the Disciples of Christ, the members of the outward church, are to judge all their causes of difference among themselves, and they are not to go to law before the magistrates (I Cor. vi. 1. 7), and that all their differences must be ended by (yea) and (nay) without an oath (Matt. v. 33-37); James v. 12).

87. That the Disciples of Christ, the members of the outward church, may not marry any of the profane, or wicked, godless people of the world, but that every one is to marry in the Lord (I Cor. vii. 39), every man one only wife and every woman one only husband (I Cor. vii. 2).

88. That parents are bound to bring up their children in instruction and information of the Lord (Eph. vi. 4), and that they are to provide for their family: otherwise they deny the faith, and are worse than infidels (I Tim. v. 8).

89. That notwithstanding if the Lord shall give a man any special calling, as Simon, and Andrew, James, and John, then they must leave all, father, ship nets, wife, children, yea, and life also to follow Christ (Luke xiv. 26; Matt. iv. 18-20.

90. That in the necessities of the church, and poor brethren, all things are to be common (Acts iv. 32), yea and that one church is to administer to another in time of need (Gal. ii. 10: Acts xi. 30; 2 Cor. viii, and chap. ix.).

91. That all the bodies of all men that are dead, shall be the power of Christ, be raised up, out of his own proper seed, as corn out of the seed rotting in the earth (I Cor. xv.)

92. That these which live in the last day shall not die, but shall be changed in a moment; in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet ( Cor. xv. 52), for the trump shall blow, and the dead shall be raised up incorruptible, and we shall be changed, not in substance but in qualities; for the bodies shall rise in honour, in power, in incorruption, and spiritual; being sown in dishonour, in weakness, in corruption, and natural (I Cor. xv. 42, 44).

93. That the bodies, being raised up, shall be joined to the souls, whereto formerly they were united; which till that time were preserved in the hands of the Lord (Rev. vi. 9, Job xix. 25-27).

94. That it is appointed to all men that they shall once die, and then cometh the judgment (Heb. ix. 27), and that the change of them that live on the earth at the last day, shall be as it were a death unto them (I Cor. xv. 52; I Thes. iv. 15-17).

95. That there shall be a general and universal day of judgement, when everyone shall receive according to the things that are done in the flesh, whether they be good or evil (2 Cor. v. 10; Acts xvii. 31).

96. That of that day and hour knoweth no man; no, not the Angels in heaven, neither the Son Himself, but the Father only (Mark xiii. 32).

97. That Christ Jesus that man, shall be judge in that day (Acts xvii. 31), that she shall come in the clouds with glory; and all His holy angels with Him (Matt. xxv.), with a shout, and with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God (I Thes. iv. 16), and He shall sit upon the throne of His glory; and all nations shall be gathered before Him, and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats, setting the sheep on His right hand and the goats on the left (Matt. xxv.).

98. That the king shall say to the sheep, the regenerate, which are on His right hand, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world;" and it shall be performed accordingly (Matt. xxv.).

99. That the king shall say to them on His left hand, the goats, the wicked ones, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels," and it shall be accomplished accordinly (Matt. xxv.).

100. That after the judgment ended and accomplished, and the last enemy, that is death, being put under the feet of Christ, then the Son Himself shall deliver up the kingdom into the hands of the Father, and shall be subject unto Him, that subdued all things unto Him, that God may be all in all (I Cor. xv. 24-28).

Home  Documents  Confessions

Share This Page Using:
 
 
The Reformed Reader Home Page 


Copyright 1999, The Reformed Reader, All Rights Reserved