1757 Declaration of the Faith and Practice of the Church in Carter Lane, Southwark
(based on the 1729 GOAT YARD DECLARATION OF FAITH) in 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 as 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; which is declared as follows.
1. We believe, That the Scriptures of the
Old and New Testament, are the Words of God, and the only rule of faith and
2. We believe, That there is but one only
living and true God; that there 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 properly God as the Father. These three
Divine Persons are distinguished from each other by peculiar relative
properties. The distinguishing character and relative property of the First
Person is begetting; He has begotten a Son of the same nature with Him, and Who
is the express image of His Person; and therefore is with great propriety called
the Father. The distinguishing character and relative property of the Second
Person is that He is begotten, and He is called the Only Begotten of the Father,
and His own proper Son; not a Son by creation as angels and men are, nor by
adoption as saints are, nor by office as civil magistrates are, but by nature,
by the Father's eternal generation of Him in the divine nature; and therefore He
is truly called the Son. The distinguishing character and relative property of
the third person is to be breathed by the Father and the Son, and to proceed
from Both, and is very properly called the Spirit or Breath of both. These three
distinct Divine Persons, we profess to reverence, serve and worship as the one
3. 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 behalf of those persons, with all their grace and glory,
were put into the hands of Christ, and made His care and charge.
4. We believe, That God created the first
man Adam, after His image, and in His likeness, an upright, holy, 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 to all his off-spring descending
from him by ordinary and natural generation; that they are by their first birth
carnal and unclean; averse to all that is good, incapable of doing any, and
prone to every sin; and are also by nature children of wrath and under 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.
5. We believe, That the Lord Jesus Christ,
being set up from everlasting as mediator of the covenant, and He having engaged
to be surety of His people did in the fullness 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 formed the spirit of man within Him, when He 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 He really
suffered and died as the substitute of His people, 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.
6. We believe, That the 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
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. We believe, That all those who are
chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sanctified by the Spirit, shall
certainly persevere, so that not one of them shall ever perish but shall have
10. We believe, That there shall be a
Resurrection of the dead, both the of the just and the unjust; and that Christ
will come a second time to judge both the quick and the dead; when He will take
vengeance on the wicked, and introduce His own people into His Kingdom and
Glory, where the shall be for ever with Him.
11. 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 admitted into the communion of the church, and to participate of
all the ordinances in it, who upon profession of their faith, have been baptised
by immersion, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
12. We 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, everyone ought to be left
to their liberty in using it.
Now all each of these doctrines and ordinances we look upon ourselves under the greatest obligation to embrace, maintain and defend; believing it is 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 the church, ought to be as becometh the Gospel of Christ, we judge it our incumbent duty, to walk in wisdom toward them that are without, to exercise a conscience void of offence toward 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 sympathise with each other in all conditions, both inward and outward, which God, in His providence, may bring us into; as also to bear with one another's weakness, 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 sound in 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. Isa.56;5
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