DECLARATION OF FAITH
REMAINING AT AMSTERDAM IN HOLLAND.
Heb. II. 6.
Without Faith it is impossible to please GOD. Heb. II.
Whatsoever is not off Faith is sin.
Prynted . 1611.
To Al The Humble mynded which love the truth in simplicitie Grace and peace.
A DECLARATION, ETC. WEE BELEEVE AND CONFESSE
That there are THREE which beare record in heaven, the FATHER, the WORD, and the SPIRIT; and these THREE are one GOD, in all equalitie, I Jno. 5.7; Phil. 2.5, 6. By whome all thinges are created and preserved in Heaven and in Earth. Gen. I Chap.
That this GOD in the begining created al things off nothinge, Gen. I. I. and made man off the dust off the earth, Chap. 2.7, in his owne ymage, Chap. 1.27, in righteousnes and true Holmes. Ephes. 4.24: yet being tempted, fel by disobedience. Chap. 3.1-7. Through whose disobedience, all men sinned. Rom. 5.12-19. His sinn being imputed vnto all; and so death went over all men.
That by the promised seed off the woman, IESVS CHRIST, [and by] his obedience, al are made righteous. Rom. 5.19. Al are made alive, 1 Cor. 15.22. His righteousness being imputed vnto all.
That notwithstanding this Men are by nature the Children off wrath, Ephes. 2.3. borne in iniquitie and in sin conceived. Psal. 51.5. Wise to all evill, but to good they have no knowledg. Jer. 4.22. The natural man perceiveth not the thinges off the Spirit off God. I Cor. 2.14. And therefore man is not restored vnto his former estate, but that as man, in his estate off innocency, haveing in himself all disposition vnto good, & no disposition vnto evill, yet being tempted might yeild, or might resist: even so now being fallen, and haveing all disposition vnto evil, and no disposition or will vnto anie good, yet GOD giveing grace, man may receave grace, or my reject grace, according to that saying; Deut. 30.19. I call Heaven and Earth to record. This day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: Therefore chusc life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
That GOD before the Foundation off the World hath Predestinated that all that beleeve in him shall-be saved, Ephes. 1.4, 12; Mark 16.16. and al that beleeve not shalbee damned. Mark 16.16. all which he knewe before. Rom. 8.29. And this is the Election and reprobacion spoken of in the Scripturs, concerning salvacion, and condemnacion, and not that GOD hath Predestinated men to bee wicked, and so to bee damned, but that men being wicked shallbee damned, for GOD would have all men saved, and come to the knowledg off the truth, 1 Tim. 2.4. and would have no man to perish, but would have all men come to repentance. 2 Pet. 3.9. and willeth not the death of him that deith. Ezec. 18.32. And therefore GOD is the author off no mens comdemnacion, according to the saieing off the Prophet. Osę. 13. Thy distruction o Israel, is off thy selfe, but thy helpe is off mee.
That man is justified onely by the righteousness off CHRIST, apprehended by faith, Roman. 3.28. Gal. 2.16. yet faith without works is dead. Jam. 2.17.
That men may fall away from the grace off GOD, Heb. 12.15. and from the truth, which they have received & acknowledged, Chap. 10.26. after they have taisted off the heavenly gift, and were made pertakers off the HOLY GHOST, and have taisted off the good word off GOD, & off the powers off the world to come. Chap. 6.4, 5. And after they have escaped from the filthines off the World, may bee taugled againe therein & overcome. 2 Pet. 2.20. That a righteous man may forsake his righteousnes and perish Ezec. 18.24, 26. And therefore let no man presume to thinke that because he hath, or had once grace, therefore he shall alwaies have grace: But let all men have assurance, that if they continew vnto the end, they shalbee saved: Let no man then presume; but let all worke Qut their salvacion with feare and trembling.
That IESVS CHRIST, the Sonne off GOD the second Person, or subsistance in the Trinity, in the Fumes off time was manifested in the Flesh, being the seed off David, and off the Isralits, according to the Flesh. Roman. 1.3 and 8.5. the Sonne off Marie the Virgine, made of hir substance, Gal. 4.4. By the power off the HOLIE GHOST overshadowing hir, Luk. 1.35. and being thus true Man was like vnto us in all thing, sin onely excepted. Heb. 4.15. being one person in two distinct natures, TRVE GOD, and TRVE MAN.
That IESVS CHRIST is Mediator off the New Testament betweene GOD and Man, 1 Tim. 2.5, haveing all power in Heaven and in Earth given vnto him. Mat. 28.18. Being the onely KING, Luke 1.33, PREIST, Heb. 7.24, and PROPHET, Act. 3.22. Off his church, he also being the onely Law-giver, hath in his Testament set downe an absolute, and perfect rule off direction, for all persons, at all times, to bee observed; Which no Prince, nor anie whosoever, may add to, or diminish from as they will avoid the fearefull judgments denounced against them that shal so do. Revel. 22.18, 19.
That the church off CHRIST is a compainy off faithful people 1 Cor. 1.2. Eph. i.r. seperated from the world by the word & Spirit off GOD. 2 Cor. 6, 17. being kint vnto the LORD, & one vnto another, by Baptisme. 1 Cor. 12.13. Vpon their owne confession of the faith. Act. 8.37. and sinnes. Mat. 3.6.
That though in respect off CHRIST, the Church bee one, Ephes. 4.4. yet it consisteth off divers particuler congregacions, even SO manie as there shallbee in the World, every off which congregacion, though they be but two or three, have CHRIST given them, with all the meanes off their salvacion. Mat. 18.20. Roman. 8.32. I. Corin. 3.22. Are the Bodie off CHRIST. i. Cor. 12.27. and a whole Church. 1. Cor. 14.23. And therefore may, and ought, when they are come together, to Pray, Prophecie, breake bread, and administer in all the holy ordinances, although as yet they have no Officers, or that their Officers should bee in Prison, sick, or by anie other meanes hindered from the Church. 1: Pet. 4.10 & 2.5.
That as one congregacion hath CHRIST, so hath all, 2. Cor. 10.7. And that the Word off GOD cometh not out from anie one, neither to anie one congregacion in particuler. 1. Cor. 14.36. But vnto everie particuler Church, as it doth vnto al the world. Coll. 1.5. 6. And therefore no church ought to cballeng anie prerogative over anie other.
That everie Church is to receive in all their members by Baptisme vpon the Confession off their faith and sinnes wrought by the preaching off the Gospel, according to the primitive Institucion. Mat. 28.19. And practice, Act. 2.41. And therefore Churches constituted after anie other manner, or off anie other persons are not according to CHRISTS Testament.
That Baptisme or washing with Water, is the outward manifestacion off dieing vnto sinn, and walkeing in newnes off life. Roman. 6.2, 3, 4. And therefore in no wise apperteyneth to infants.
That the LORDS Supper is the outward manifestacion off the Spiritual communion betwene CHRIST and the faithful mutuallie. 1. Cor. 10.16, 17. to declare his death vntil he come. 1 Cor. 11.26.
That the members off everie Church or Congregacion ought to knowe one another, that so they may performe all the duties off love one towards another both to soule and bodie. Mat. 18.15. 1 Thes. 5.14. I Cor. 12.25. And especiallie the Elders ought to knowe the whole flock, whereoff the HOLIE GHOST hath made them overseers. Acts 20.28; i Pet. 5.2, 3. And therefore a Church ought not to consist off such a multitude as cannot have particuler knowledg one off another.
That Brethren impenitent in one sin after the admonition off the Church, are to bee excluded the comunion off the Sainets. Mat. 18.17. 1 Cor. 5.4, 13. & therfore not the comitting off sin doth cut off anie from the Church, but refusing to heare the Church to reformacion.
That Excomniunicants in respect of civil societie are not to bee avoided, 2. Thess. 3.15. Mat. 18.17.
That everie Church ought (according to the example off CHRISTS Disciples and primitive Churches) vpon everie first day off the weeke, being the LORDS day, to assemble together to pray Prophecie, praise GOD, and breake Bread, and performe all other partes off Spirituall communion for the worship off GOD, their owne mutuall edificacion, and the preservacion off true Religion, & pietie in the church Jo 20.19. Act. 2.42 and 20.7, I. Cor. 16.2. and that ought not to labor in their callings according to the equitie off the moral law, which CHRIST came not to abolish, but to fulfill. Exod. 20.8, &c.
That the Officers off everie Church or congregation are either Elders, who by their office do especially feed the flock concerning their soules, Act. 20.28, Pet. 5.2, 3. or Deacons Men, and Women who by their office releave the necessities off the poore and impotent brethren concerning their bodies, Acts. 6.1-4.
That these Officers are to bee chosen when there are persons qualified according to the rules in Christs Testament, 1. Tim. 3.2-7. Tit. 1.6-9. Act. 6.3. 4. By Election and approbacion off that Church or congregacion whereoff they are members, Act. 6.3. 4 and 14.23, with Fasting, Prayer, and Laying on off hands, Act. 13.3. and 14.23. And there being but one rule for Elders, therefore but one sort off Elders.
That the Officers off everie Church or congregacion are tied by Office onely to that particuler congregacion whereoff they are chosen, Act. 14.23, and 20.17. Tit. 1.5. And therefore they cannot challeng by office anie aucthoritie in anie other congregation whatsoever except they would have an Apostleship.
That the scriptures off the Old and New Testament are written for our instruction, 2. Tim. 3.16 & that wee ought to search them for they testifie off CHRIST, Io. 5:39. And therefore to bee vsed withall reverence, as conteyning the Holie Word off GOD, which onelie is our direction in al thinges whatsoever.
That Magistracie is a Holie ordinance off GOD, that every soule ought to bee subject to it not for feare onelie, but for conscience sake. Magistraets are the ministers off GOD for our wealth, they beare not the sword for nought. They are the ministers off GOD to take vengance on them that doe evil, Rom. 13. Chap. That it is a fearefull sin to speake evill off them that are in dignitie, and to dispise Government. 2. Pet. 2.10. Wee ought to pay tribute, custome and all other duties. That wee are to pray for the, for GOD would have them saved and come to the knowledg off his truth. 1 Tim. 2.1. 4. And therefore they may bee members off the Church off CHRIST, reteining their Magistracie, for no Holie Ordinance off GOD debarreth anie from being a member off CHRISTS Church. They beare the sword off GOD,which sword in all Lawful administracions is to bee defended and supported by the servants off GOD that are vnder their Gaverment with their lyves and al that they have according as in the first Institucion off that Holie Ordinance. And whosoever holds otherwise must hold, (if they vnderstand themselves) that they are the ministers of the devill, and therefore not to bee praied for nor approved in anie off their administracions,seing all things they do (as punishing offenders and defending their countries, state, and persons by the sword) is vnlawful.
That it is Lawful in a just cause for the deciding off strife to take an oath by the Name off the Lord. Heb. 6.16. 2. Cor. 1.23. Phil. 1.8.
That the dead shall rise againe, and the liveingh being changed in a moment,haveing the same bodies in substance though divers in qualities. 1. Cor. 15. 52 and 38. Job 19. 15-28. Luk 24.30,
That after the resurrection all men shall appeare before the judgment seat off CHRIST to bee judged according to their workes, that the Godlie shall enioy life Eternall, the wickeed being condemned shallbee tormented everlastinglie in Hell. Mat. 25.46.
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