The Philadelphia Confession, 1742
Of the Gospel, and of the Extent
of the Grace Thereof
The covenant of works being broken by
sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ,
the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and
repentance;1 in this promise, the Gospel, as to the substance
of it, was revealed, and therein effectual, for the conversion and salvation of sinners.2
This promise of Christ, and salvation
by Him, is revealed only by the Word of God;3 neither do the
works of creation, or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or
of grace by Him, so much as in a general or obscure way;4 much
less that men destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise, or gospel, should be
enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.5
The revelation of the gospel unto
sinners, made in divers times, and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises, and
precepts, for the obedience required therein, as to the nations, and persons, to whom it
is granted, is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure of God,6 not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due
improvement of men's natural abilities, by virtue of common light received without it;
which none ever did make, or can do so:7 and therefore in all
ages the preaching of the gospel has been granted unto persons and nations, as to the
extending or limiting of it, in great variety, according to the counsel of the will of
Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ, and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trespasses, may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary, an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit, upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual life;8 without which no other means will effect their conversion unto God.9
1. Ge 3:15.
2. Rev 13:8.
3. Ro 1:17.
4. Ro 10:14-15,17.
5. Pr 29:18; Isa 25:7; 60:2-3.
6. Ps 147:20; Ac 16:7.
7. Ro 1:18-32.
8. Ps 110:3; 1Co 2:14; Eph 1:19-20.
9. Jn 6:44; 2Co. 4:4,6.
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