The 1689 Baptist Confession
Closing Statement and Signatories
AN APPENDIX Whosoever reads, and impartially considers what we have in our forgoing confession declared, may readily perceive, That we do not only concenter with all other true Christians on the Word of God (revealed in the Scriptures of truth) as the foundation and rule of our faith and worship. But that we have also industriously endeavoured to manifest, That in the fundamental Articles of Christianity we mind the same things, and have therefore expressed our belief in the same words, that have on the like occasion been spoken by other societies of Christians before us. This we have done, That those who are desirous to know the principles of Religion which we hold and practise, may take an estimate from our selves (who jointly concur in this work) and may not be misguided, either by undue reports; or by the ignorance or errors of particular persons, who going under the same name with our selves, may give an occasion of scandalizing the truth we profess. And although we do differ from our brethren who are Paedobaptists; in the subject and administration of Baptisme, and such other circumstances as have a necessary dependence on our observance of that Ordinance, and do frequent our own assemblies for our mutual edification, and discharge of those duties, and services which we owe unto God, and in his fear to each other: yet we would not be from hence misconstrued, as if the discharge of our own consciences herein, did any wayes disoblige or alienate our affections, or conversation from any others that fear the Lord; but that we may and do as we have opportunity participate of the labors of those, whom God hath indued with abilities above our selves, and qualified, and called to the Ministry of the Word, earnestly desiring to approve our selves to be such, as follow after peace with holyness, and therefore we alwaies keep that blessed Irenicum, or healing Word of the Apostle before our eyes; if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you; nevertheless whereto we have already attained; let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing, Phil 3. v. 15, 16. Let it not therefore be judged of us (because much hath been written on this subject, and yet we continue this our practise different from others) that it is out of obstinacy, but rather as the truth is, that we do herein according to the best of our understandings worship God, out of a pure mind yielding obedience to his precept, in that method which we take to be most agreeable to the Scriptures of truth, and primitive practise. It would not become us to give any such intimation, as should carry a semblance that what we do in the service of God is with a doubting conscience, or with any such temper of mind that we do thus for the present, with a reservation that we will do otherwise hereafter upon more mature deliberation; nor have we any cause so to do, being fully perswaded, that what we do is agreeable to the will of God. Yet we do heartily propose this, that if any of the Servants of our Lord Jesus shall, in the Spirit of meekness, attempt to convince us of any mistake either in judgement or practise, we shall diligently ponder his arguments; and accompt him our chiefest friend that shall be an instrument to convert us from any error that is in our ways, for we cannot wittingly do any thing against the truth, but all things for the truth. And therefore we have indeavoured seriously to consider, what hath been already offered for our satisfaction in this point; and are loth to say any more lest we should be esteemed desirous of renewed contests thereabout: yet forasmuch as it may justly be expected that we shew some reason, why we cannot acquiesce in what hath been urged against us; we shall with as much brevity as may consist with plainness, endeavour to satisfie the expectation of those that shall peruse what we now publish in this matter also. 1. As to those Christians who consent with us, That Repentance from dead works, and Faith towards God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, is required in persons to be Baptized; and do therefore supply the defect of the (infant being uncapable of making confession of either) by others who do undertake these things for it. Although we do find by Church history that this hath been a very antient practise; yet considering, that the same Scripture which does caution us against censuring our brother, with whom we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, does also instruct us, That every one of us shall give an accompt of himself to God, and whatsoever is not of Faith is Sin. Rom. 14:4, 10, 12, 23. Therefore we cannot for our own parts be perswaded in our own minds, to build such a practise as this, upon an unwritten tradition: But do rather choose in all points of Faith and Worship, to have recourse to the holy Scriptures, for the information of our judgment, and regulation of our practise; being well assured that a conscientious attending thereto, is the best way to prevent, and rectifie our defects and errors. 2 Tim. 3. 16,17. And if any such case happen to be debated between Christians, which is not plainly determinable by the Scriptures, we think it safest to leave such things undecided until the second coming of our Lord Jesus; as they did in the Church of old, until there should arise a Priest with Urim and Thummim, that might certainly inform them of the mind of God thereabout, Ezra 2. 62, 63. 2. As for those our Christian brethren who do ground their arguments for Infants baptism, upon a presumed faederal Holiness, or Church-Membership, we conceive they are deficient in this, that albeit this Covenant-Holiness and Membership should be as is supposed, in reference unto the Infants of Believers; yet no command for Infant baptism does immediately and directly result from such a quality, or relation. All instituted Worship receives its sanction from the precept, and is to be thereby governed in all the necessary circumstances thereof. So it was in the Covenant that God made with Abraham and his Seed. The sign whereof was appropriated only to the Male, notwithstanding that the female seed as well as the Male were comprehended in the Covenant and part of the Church of God; neither was this sign to be affixed to any Male Infant till he was eight dayes old, albeit he was within the Covenant from the first moment of his life; nor could the danger of death, or any other supposed necessity, warrant the circumcising of him before the set time, nor was there any cause for it; the commination of being cut off from his people, being only upon the neglect, or contempt of the precept. Righteous Lot was nearly related to Abraham in the flesh, and contemporary with him, when this Covenant was made; yet inasmuch as he did not descend from his loynes, nor was of his houshold family (although he was of the same houshold of faith with Abraham) yet neither Lot himself nor any of his posterity (because of their descent from him) were signed with the signature of this Covenant that was made with Abraham and his seed. This may suffice to shew, that where there was both an expresse Covenant, and a sign thereof (such a Covenant as did separate the persons with whom it was made, and all their off-spring from all the rest of the world, as a people holy unto the Lord, and did constitute them the visible Church of God, (though not comprehensive of all the faithful in the world) yet the sign of this Covenant was not affixed to all the persons that were within this Covenant, nor to any of them till the prefixt season; nor to other faithful servants of God, that were not of descent from Abraham. And consequently that it depends purely upon the will of the Law-giver, to determine what shall be the sign of his Covenant, unto whom, at what season, and upon what terms, it shall be affixed. If our brethren do suppose baptism to be the seal of the Covenant which God makes with every beleiver (of which the Scriptures are altogether silent) it is not our concern to contend with them herein; yet we conceive the seal of that Covenant is the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ in the particular and individual persons in whom he resides, and nothing else, neither do they or we suppose that baptism is in any such manner substituted in the place of circumcision, as to have the same (and no other) latitude, extent, or terms, then circumcision had; for that was suited only for the Male children, baptism is an ordinance suited for every beleiver, whether male, or femal. That extended to all the males that were born in Abrahams house, or bought with his money, equally with the males that proceeded from his own loynes; but baptisme is not so far extended in any true Christian Church that we know of, as to be administred to all the poor infidel servants, that the members thereof purchase for their service, and introduce into their families; nor to the children born of them in their house. But we conceive the same parity of reasoning may hold for the ordinance of baptism as for that of circumcision; Exodus 12.49. viz. one law for the stranger, as for the home born: If any desire to be admitted to all the ordinances, and priviledges of Gods house, the door is open; upon the same terms that any one person was ever admitted to all, or any of those priviledges, that belong to the Christian Church; may all persons of right challenge the like admission. As for that text of Scripture, Rom. 4. 11. He received circumcision a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised; we conceive if the Apostles scope in that place be duly attended to, it will appear that no argument can be taken from thence to inforce Infant baptism; and forasmuch as we find a full and fair account of those words given by the learned Dr. Lighfoot (a man not to be suspected of partiality in this controversie) in his Hor. Hebrai, on the I Cor. 7. 19. p.42, 43. we shall transcribe his words at large, without any comment of our own upon them. Circumcision is nothing, if we respect the time, for now it was without use, that end of it being especially fulfilled; for which it had been instituted: this end the Apostle declares in these words, Rom. 4.11 . But I fear that by most translations they are not sufficiently suited to the end of circumcision, and the scope of the Apostle whilst something of their own is by them inserted. And after the Doctor hath represented diverse versions of the words agreeing for the most part in sense with that which we have in our Bibles he thus proceeds. Other versions are to the same purpose; as if circumcision was given to Abraham for a Seal of that Righteousness which he had being yet uncircumcised, which we will not deny to be in some sense true, but we believe that circumcision had chiefly a far different respect. Give me leave thus to render the words; And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the Righteousness of Faith, which was to be in the uncircumcision, Which was to be (I say) not which had been, not that which Abraham had whilst he was yet uncircumcised; but that which his uncircumcised seed should have, that is the Gentiles, who in time to come should imitate the faith of Abraham. Now consider well on what occasion circumcision was instituted unto Abraham, setting before thine eyes the history thereof, Gen. 17. This promise is first made unto him, Thou shalt be the Father of many Nations (in what sense the Apostle explaineth in that chapter) and then there is subjoined a double seal for the confirmation of the thing, to wit, the change of the name Abram into Abraham, and the institution of circumcision. v4. Behold as for me, my Covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be the Father of many Nations. Wherefore was his name called Abraham? for the sealing of this promise. Thou shalt be the Father of many Nations. And wherefore was circumcision instituted to him? For the sealing of the same promise. Thou shalt be the Father of many Nations. So that this is the sense of the Apostle; most agreeable to the institution of circumcision; he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the Righteousness of Faith which in time to come the uncircumcision (or the Gentiles) should have and obtain. Abraham had a twofold seed, natural, of the Jews; and faithful, of the believing Gentiles: his natural seed was signed with the sign of circumcision, first indeed for the distinguishing of them from all other Nations whilst they as yet were not the seed of Abraham, but especially for the memorial of the justification of the Gentiles by faith, when at length they should become his seed. Therefore circumcision was of right to cease, when the Gentiles were brought in to the faith, forasmuch as then it had obtained its last and chief end, & thenceforth circumcision is nothing. Thus far he, which we earnestly desire may be seriously weighed, for we plead not his authority, but the evidence of truth in his words. 3. Of whatsoever nature the holiness of the children mentioned, 1 Cor. 7. 12. be, yet they who do conclude that all such children (whether Infants or of riper years) have from hence an immediate right to baptism, do as we conceive put more into the conclusion, then will be found in the premisses. For although we do not determine positively concerning the Apostles scope in the holiness here mentioned, so as to say it is this, or that, and no other thing; Yet it is evident that the Apostle does by it determine not only the lawfulness but the expedience also of a beleivers cohabitation with an unbeliever, in the state of marriage. And we do think that although the Apostles asserting of the unbelieving yokefellow to be sanctified by the believer, should carry in it somewhat more then is in the bare marriage of two infidels, because although the marriage covenant have a divine sanction so as to make the wedlock of two unbelievers a lawful action, and their conjunction and cohabitation in that respect undefiled, yet there might be no ground to suppose from thence, that both or either of their persons are thereby sanctified; and the Apostle urges the cohabitation of a believer with an infidel in the state of wedlock from this ground that the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife; nevertheless here you have the influence of a believers faith ascending from an inferior to a superior relation; from the wife to the husband who is her head, before it can descend to their off-spring. And therefore we say, whatever be the nature or extent of the holiness here intended, we conceive it cannot convey to the children an immediate right to baptism; because it would then be of another nature, and of a larger extent, then the root, and original from whence it is derived, for it is clear by the Apostles argument that holiness cannot be derived to the child from the sanctity of one parent only, if either father or mother be (in the sense intended by the Apostle) unholy or unclean, so will the child be also, therefore for the production of an holy seed it is necessary that both the Parents be sanctified; and this the Apostle positively asserts in the first place to be done by the beleiving parent, although the other be an unbeliever; and then consequentially from thence argues, the holiness of their children. Hence it follows, that as the children have no other holiness then what they derive from both their Parents; so neither can they have any right by this holiness to any spiritual priviledge but such as both their Parents did also partake of: and therefore if the unbelieving Parent (though sanctified by the believing Parent) have not thereby a right to baptism, neither can we concieve, that there is any such priviledge, derived to the children by their birth-holiness. Besides if it had been the usual practice in the Apostles dayes for the father or mother that did beleive, to bring all their children with them to be baptised; then the holiness of the beleiving Corinthians children, would not at all have been in question when this Epistle was written; but might have been argued from their passing under that ordinance, which represented their new birth, although they had derived no holiness from their Parents, by their first birth; and would have layen as an exception against the Apostles inference, else were your Children unclean, &c. But of the sanctification of all the children of every beleiver by this ordinance, or any other way, then what is beforementioned, the Scripture is altogether silent. This may also be added; that if this birth holiness do qualifie all the children of every believer, for the ordinance of baptism; why not for all other ordinances? for the Lords Supper as was practiced for a long time together? for if recourse be had to what the Scriptures speak generally of this subject; it will be found, that the same qualities which do intitle any person to baptism, do so also for the participation of all the Ordinances, and priviledges of the house of God, that are common to all believers. Whosoever can and does interrogate his good Conscience towards God when he is baptised (as every one must do that makes it to himself a sign of Salvation) is capable of doing the same thing, in every other act of worship that he performs. 4. The arguments and inferences that are usually brought for, or against Infant baptism from those few instances which the Scriptures afford us of whole families being baptised; are only conjectural; and therefore cannot of themselves, be conclusive on either hand: yet in regard most that treat on this subject for Infant baptism, do (as they conceive) improve these instances to the advantage of their argument: we think it meet (in like manner as in the cases before mentioned so in this) to shew the invalidity of such inferences. Cornelius worshipped God with all his house, the Jaylor, and Crispus the chief ruler of the Synagogue, believed God with each of their houses. The houshold of Stephanus addicted themselves to the Ministry of the Saints: so that thus far Worshipping, and Believing runs parallel with Baptism. And if Lydia, had been a married person, when she believed, it is probable her husband would also have been named by the Apostle, as in like cases, inasmuch as he would have been not only a part, but the head of that baptised houshold. Who can assign any probable reason, why the Apostle should make mention of four or five housholds being baptised and no more? or why he does so often vary in the method of his salutations, Rom. 1. 6. sometimes mentioning only particular persons of great note, other times such, and the Church in their house? the Saints that were with them; and them belonging to Narcissus, who were in the Lord; thus saluting either whole families, or part of families, or only particular persons in families, considered as they were in the Lord, for if it had been an usual practise to baptize all children, with their parents; there were then many thousands of the Jews which believed, and a great number of the Gentiles, in most of the principle Cities in the World, and among so many thousands, it is more then probable there would have been some thousands of housholds baptised; why then should the Apostle in this respect signalize one family of the Jews and three or four of the Gentiles, as particular instances in a case that was common? whoever supposes that we do willfully debar our children, from the benefit of any promise, or priviledge, that of right belongs to the children of believing parents; they do entertain over severe thoughts of us: to be without natural affections is one of the characters of the worst of persons; in the worst of times. Wee do freely confesse our selves guilty before the Lord, in that we have not with more circumspection and diligence train'd up those that relate to us in the fear of the Lord; and do humbly and earnestly pray, that our omissions herein may be remitted, and that they may not redound to the prejudice of our selves, or any of ours: but with respect to that duty that is incumbent on us, we acknowledge our selves obliged by the precepts of God, to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, to teach them his fear, both by instruction and example; and should we set light by this precept, it would demonstrate that we are more vile then the unnatural Heathen, that like not to retain God in their knowledge, our baptism might then be justly accompted, as no baptism to us. There are many special promises that do incourage us as well as precepts, that do oblige us to the close pursuit of our duty herein: that God whom we serve, being jealous of his Worship, threatens the visiting of the Fathers transgression upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate him: yet does more abundantly extend his mercy, even to thousands (respecting the offspring and succeding generations) of them that love him, and keep his commands. When our Lord rebuked his disciples for prohibiting the access of little children that were brought to him, that he might pray over them, lay his hands upon them, and blesse them, does declare, that of such is the Kingdom of God. And the Apostle Peter in answer to their enquiry, that desired to know what they must do to be saved, does not only instruct them in the necessary duty of repentance and baptism; but does also thereto encourage them, by that promise which had reference both to them, and their children; if our Lord Jesus in the forementioned place, do not respect the qualities of children (as elsewhere) as to their meekness, humility, and sincerity, and the like; but intend also that those very persons and such like, appertain to the Kingdom of God, and if the Apostle Peter in mentioning the aforesaid promise, do respect not only the present and succeeding generations of those Jews, that heard him, (in which sense the same phrase doth occurre in Scripture) but also the immediate off-spring of his auditors; whether the promise relate to the gift of the Holy Spirit, or of eternal life, or any grace, or priviledge tending to the obtaining thereof; it is neither our concerne nor our interest to confine the mercies, and promises of God, to a more narrow, or lesse compasse then he is pleased gratiously to offer and intend them; nor to have a light esteem of them; but are obliged in duty to God, and affection to our children; to plead earnestly with God and use our utmost endeavours that both our selves, and our off-spring may be partakers of his Mercies and gracious Promises: yet we cannot from either of these texts collect a sufficient warrant for us to baptize our children before they are instructed in the principles of the Christian Religion. For as to the instance in little children, it seems by the disciples forbidding them, that they were brought upon some other account, not so frequent as Baptism must be supposed to have been, if from the beginning believers children had been admitted thereto: and no account is given whether their parents were baptised believers or not; and as to the instance of the Apostle; if the following words and practice, may be taken as an interpretation of the scope of that promise we cannot conceive it does refer to infant baptism, because the text does presently subjoyn; Then they that gladly received the word were baptised. That there were some believing children of believing parents in the Apostles dayes is evident from the Scriptures, even such as were then in ther fathers family, and under their parents tuition, and education; to whom the Apostle in several of his Epistles to the Churches, giveth commands to obey their parents in the Lord; and does allure their tender years to hearken to this precept, by reminding them that it is the first command with promise. And it is recorded by him for the praise of Timothy, and encouragement of parents betimes to instaruct, and children early to attend to godly instruction, that from a child, he had known the holy Scriptures. The Apostle John rejoyced greatly when he found of the children of the Elect Lady walking in the truth; and the children of her Elect Sister joyn with the Apostle in his salutation. But that this was not generally so, that all the children of believers were accounted for believers (as they would have been if they had been all baptised) may be collected from the character which the Apostle gives of persons fit to be chosen to Eldership in the Church which was not common to all believers; among others this is expressely one, viz. If there be any having believing, or faithful children, not accused of Riot or unruly; and we may from the Apostles writings on the same subject collect the reason of this qualification, viz. That in case the person designed for this office to teach and rule in the house of God, had children capable of it; there might be first a proof of his ability, industry, and successe in this work in his own family; and private capacity, before he was ordained to the exercise of this authority in the Church, in a publick capacity, as a Bishop in the house of God. These things we have mentioned as having a direct reference unto the controversie between our brethren and us; other things that are more abstruse and prolix, which are frequently introduced into this controversie, but do not necessarily concern it, we have purposely avoided; that the distance between us and our brethren may not be by us made more wide; for it is our duty, and concern so far as is possible for us (retaining a good conscience towards God) to seek a more entire agreement and reconciliation with them. We are not insenible that as to the order of Gods house, and entire communion therein there are some things wherein we (as well as others) are not at a full accord among our selves, as for instance; the known principle, and state of the consciences of diverse of us, that have agreed in this Confession is such; that we cannot hold Church-communion, with any other then Baptized- believers, and Churches constituted of such; yet some others of us have a greater liberty and freedom in our spirits that way; and therefore we have purposely omitted the mention of things of that nature, that we might concurre, in giving this evidence of our agreement, both among our selves, and with other good Christians, in those important articles of the Christian Religion, mainly insisted on by us: and this notwithstanding we all esteem it our chief concern, both among our selves, and all others that in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours, and love him in sincerity, to endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace; and in order thereunto, to exercise all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love. And we are perswaded if the same method were introduced into frequent practice between us and our Christian friends who agree with us in all the fundamental articles of the Christian faith (though they do not so in the subject and administration of baptism) it would soon beget a better understanding, and brotherly affection between us. In the beginning of the Christian Church, when the doctrine of the baptism of Christ was not universally understood, yet those that knew only the baptism of John, were the Disciples of the Lord Jesus; and Apollos an eminent Minister of the Gospel of Jesus. In the beginning of the reformation of the Christian Church, and recovery from that Egyptian darkness wherein our forefathers for many generations were held in bondage; upon recourse had to the Scriptures of truth, different apprehensions were conceived, which are to this time continued, concerning the practise of this Ordinance. Let not our zeal herein be misinterpreted: that God whom we serve is jealous of his worship. By his gracious providence the Law thereof, is continued amongst us; and we are forewarned by what hapned in the Church of the Jews, that it is necessary for every generation, and that frequently in every generation to consult the divine oracle, compare our worship with the rule, and take heed to what doctrines we receive and practise. If the ten commands exhibited in the popish Idolatrous service books had been received as the entire law of God, because they agree in number with his ten commands, and also in the substance of nine of them; the second Commandment forbidding Idolatry had been utterly lost. If Ezra and Nehemiah had not made a diligent search into the particular parts of Gods law, and his worship; the Feast of Tabernacles (which for many centuries of years, had not been duly observed, according to the institution, though it was retained in the general notion) would not have been kept in due order. So may it be now as to many things relating to the service of God, which do retain the names proper to them in their first institution, but yet through inadvertency (where there is no sinister design) may vary in their circumstances, from their first institution. And if by means of any antient defection, or of that general corruption of the service of God, and interruption of his true worship, and persecution of his servants by the Antichristian Bishop of Rome, for many generations; those who do consult the Word of God, cannot yet arrive at a full and mutual satisfaction among themselves, what was the practise of the primitive Christian Church, in some points relating to the Worship of God: yet inasmuch as these things are not of the essence of Christianity, but that we agree in the fundamental doctrines thereof, we do apprehend, there is sufficient ground to lay aside all bitterness and prejudice, and in the spirit of love and meekness to imbrace and own each other therein; leaving each other at liberty to perform such other services, (wherein we cannot concur) apart unto God, according to the best of our understanding. FINIS Subscribers to the Confession of Faith We the Ministers, and Messengers of, and concerned for upwards of, one hundred Baptised Churches, in England and Wales (denying Arminianism), being met together in London, from the third of the seventh month to the eleventh of the same, 1689, to consider of some things that might be for the glory of God, and the good of these congregations, have thought meet (for the satisfaction of all other Christians that differ from us in the point of Baptism) to recommend to their perusal the confession of our faith, which confession we own, as containing the doctrine of our faith and practice, and do desire that the members of our churches respectively do furnish themselves therewith. Hanserd Knollys Pastor William Kiffin " John Harris " William Collins " Hurcules Collins " Robert Steed " Leonard Harrison " George Barret " Isaac Lamb " Richard Adams Minister Benjamin Keach Pastor Broken Wharf London Devonshire-square " Joiner's Hall " Petty France " Wapping " Broken Wharf " Limehouse " Mile End Green " Pennington-street ' Shad Thames Southwark Horse-lie-down " Andrew Gifford " Thomas Vaux " Thomas Winnel " James Hitt Preacher Richard Tidmarsh Minister William Facey Pastor Samuel Buttall Minister Christopher Price " Daniel Finch " John Ball " Edmond White Pastor William Prichard " Paul Fruin Minister Richard Ring Pastor John Tomkins Minister Toby Willes Pastor John Carter James Webb Richard Sutton Pastor Robert Knight " Edward Price " William Phipps " William Hawkins " Samuel Ewer " Edward Man " Charles Archer " Bristol, Fryars Broadmead Taunton Dalwood Oxford City Reading Plymouth Abergavenny Kingsworth Tiverton Evershall Blaenau Warwick Southampton Abingdon Bridgewater Steventon Devizes Tring Stukeley Hereford City Exon Dimmock Hemstead Houndsditch Hock-Norton Som. & Glouc. " " Dorset Oxon Berks Devon Monmouth Herts Devon Bedford Monmouth Warwick Hants Berks Somerset Bedford Wilts Herts Bucks Hereford Devon Gloucester Herts London Oxon In the name of and on behalf of the whole assembly.
Ch. 32 - Of the Last Judgement
I. God hath appointed a Day wherein he will judge the world in Righteousness, by (a) Jesus Christ; to whom all power and judgement is given of the Father; in which Day not only the (b) Apostate Angels shall be judged; but likewise all persons that have lived upon the Earth, shall appear before the Tribunal of Christ; (c) to give an account of their Thoughts, Words, and Deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil. a Act. 17.31. Joh. 5.22. 27. b 1 Cor. 6 3. Jud. 6. c 2 Cor. 5.10. Eccles. 12 14. Mat. 12.36. Rom. 14.10.12. Mat. 25: 32. &c. II. The end of Gods appointing this Day, is for the manifestation of the glory of his Mercy, in the Eternal Salvation of the Elect; (d) and of his Justice in the Eternal damnation of the Reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient; for then shall the Righteous go into Everlasting Life, and receive that fulness of Joy, and Glory, with everlasting reward, in the presence (e) of the Lord: but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into Eternal torments, and (f) punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. d Rom, 9.22,23. e Mat. 25.21. 34. 2 Tim. 4.8. f Mat. 25.46. Mar. 9 48. 2 Thes. 1.7,8,9,10. III. As Christ would have us to be certainly perswaded that there shall be a Day of judgement, both (g) to deter all men from sin, and for the greater (h) consolation of the godly, in their adversity; so will he have that day unknown to Men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour, the (i) Lord will come; and may ever be prepared to say, (k) Come Lord Jesus, Come quickly, Amen. g 2 Cor. 5.10,11. h 2 Thes. 1.5,6,7. i Mar. 13.35,36,37 Luk. 13.35,36. [Note] k Rev. 22 20.
Ch. 31 - Of the State of Man after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
I. The Bodies of Men after Death return to dust, (a) and see corruption; but their Souls (which neither die nor sleep) having an immortal subsistence, immediately (b) return to God who gave them: the Souls of the Righteous being then made perfect in holyness, are received into paradise where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God, in light (c) and glory; waiting for the full Redemption of their Bodies; and the souls of the wicked, are cast into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved to (d) the judgement of the great day; besides these two places for Souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none. a Gen. 3.19. Act. 13.36. b Eccles. 12.7. c Luk. 23.43. 2 Cor. 5.1,6,8. Phil. 1.23 Heb. 12.23. d Jud. 6 7. 1 Pet. 3.19. Luk. 16.23,24. II. At the last day such of the Saints as are found alive shall not sleep but be (e) changed; and all the dead shall be raised up with the self same bodies, and (f) none other; although with different (g) qualities, which shall be united again to their Souls for ever. e 1 Cor. 15: 51,52. 1 Thes. 4.17. f Job 19.26,27. g 1 Cor. 15.42,43. III. The bodies of the unjust shall by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just by his spirit unto honour, (h) and be made conformable to his own glorious Body. h Act. 24.15. Joh. 5.28,29. Phil. 3.21
Ch. 30 - Of the Lord's Supper
I. The Supper of the Lord Jesus, was instituted by him, the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his Churches unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death (a) confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further ingagement in, and to, all duties which they owe unto him; (b) and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other. a 1 Cor. 11.23,24.25,26. b 1 Cor. 10.16,17.21. II. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sin of the quick or dead; but only a memorial of that (c) one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the crosse, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all (d) possible praise unto God for the same; so that the Popish sacrifice of the Mass (as they call it) is most abominable, injurious to Christs own only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the Elect. c Heb. 9.25,26.28. d 1 Cor. 11.24. Mat. 26.26,27. III. The Lord Jesus hath in this Ordinance, appointed his Ministers to Pray, and bless the Elements of Bread and Wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to an holy use, and to take and break the Bread; to take the Cup, (e) and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the Communicants. e 1 Cor. 11.23,24,25,26, &c IV. The denyal of the Cup to the people, worshiping the Elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, (f) are all contrary to the nature of this Ordinance, and to the institution of Christ. f Mat 26.26,27,28. Mat. 15.9. Exod. 20.4,5. V. The outward Elements in this Ordinance, duely set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truely, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit the (g) body and Blood of Christ; albeit in substance, and nature, they still remain truly, and only (h) Bread, and Wine, as they were before. g 1 Cor. 11.27. h 1 Cor. 11.26. & v.28. VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of Bread and Wine, into the substance of Christs body and blood (commonly called Transubstantiation) by consecration of a Priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture (i) alone, but even to common sense and reason; overthroweth the (k) nature of the ordinance, and hath been and is the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross Idolatries. i Act. 3.21. Luk. 24.6. & v.39. k 1 Cor. 11.24,25. VII. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible Elements in this Ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally, and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified (l) & all the benefits of his death: the Body and Blood of Christ, being then not corporally, or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of Believers, in that Ordinance, as the Elements themselves are to their outward senses. l 1 Cor. 10.16. ch. 11.23-26. VIII. All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion (m) with Christ; so are they unworthy of the Lords Table; and cannot without great sin against him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, (n) or be admitted thereunto: yea whosoever shall receive unworthily are guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgement to themselves. m 2 Cor: 6,14,15. n 1 Cor. 11.29. Mat. 7.6.
Ch. 29 - Of Baptism
I. Baptism is an Ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party Baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death, (c) and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of (d) remission of sins; and of his (e) giving up unto God through Jesus Christ to live and walk in newness of Life. c Rom. 6.3,4,5. Col. 2.12. Gal. 3.27. d Mar. 1.4. Act. 26.16. [Note] e Rom, 6.2,4. II. Those who do actually professe (f) repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience, to our Lord Jesus, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance. f Mar. 16.16. Act. 8.36,37. III. The outward element to be used in this ordinance (g) is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. g Mat 28.19,20. with Act. 8.38. IV. Immersion, or dipping of the person (h) in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance. h Mat. 3.16. Joh. 3 23.
Ch. 28 - Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
I. Baptism and the Lords Supper are ordinances of positive, and soveraign institution; appointed by the Lord Jesus the only Law-giver, to be continued in his Church (a) to the end of the world. a Mat. 28 19,20. 1 Cor. 11.26. II. These holy appointments are to be administred by those only, who are qualified and thereunto called according (b) to the commission of Christ. b Mat. 28.19. 1 Cor. 4.1.
Ch. 27 - Of the Communion of Saints
I. All Saints that are united to Jesus Christ their Head, by his Spirit, and Faith; although they are not made thereby one person with him, have (a) fellowship in his Graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory; and being united to one another in love, they (b) have communion in each others gifts, and graces; and are obliged to the performance of such duties, publick and private, in an orderly way, (c) as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. a 1 Joh. 1.3. Joh. 1.16. Phil. 3 10 Rom. 6.5 6. b Eph. 4.15.16. 1 Cor. 12.7. 1 Cor. 3 21,22,23. c 1 Thes. 5.11.14. Rom. 1.12. 1 Joh. 3.17.18. Gal 6.10. II. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services, (d) as tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving each other in (e) outward things according to their several abilities, and necessities; which communion according to the rule of the Gospel, though especially to be exercised by them, in the relations wherein they stand, whether in (f) families, or (g) Churches; yet as God offereth opportunity is to be extended to all the houshold of faith, even all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus; nevertheless their communion one with another as Saints, doth not take away or (h) infringe, the title or propriety, which each man hath in his goods and possessions. d Heb. 10 24,25. with ch. 3.12,13. e Act. 12.29.30. [Note] f Eph. 6.4. g 1 Cor. 12.14.-27. h Act. 5.4 Eph. 4.28
Ch. 26 - Of the Church
I. The Catholick or universal Church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit, and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole (a) number of the Elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. a Heb. 12.23. Col. 1.18. Eph. 1.10,22.23. & ch. 5.23,27,32. II. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the Gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ, according unto it; not destroying their own profession by any Errors everting the foundation, or unholyness of conversation, (b) are and may be called visible Saints; (c) and of such ought all particular Congregations to be constituted. b 1 Cor. 1 2. Act. 11.26. c Rom. 1.7. Eph. 1.20,21,22. III. The purest Churches under heaven are subject (d) to mixture, and error; and som have so degenerated as to become (e) no Churches of Christ, but Synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a (f) Kingdome in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his Name. d 1 Cor. 15. Rev. 2. & ch. 3. [Note] e Rev. 18.2. 2 Thes. 2.11,12. f Mat. 16.18. Ps. 72.17. & Ps. 102.28. Rev. 12.17. IV. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, in whom by the appointment of the Father, (g) all power for the calling, institution, order, or Government of the Church, is invested in a supream & soveraigne manner, neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is (h) that Antichrist, that Man of sin, and Son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. g Col. 1.18. Mat. 28.18,19.20. Eph. 4.11,12. h 2 Thes. 2.3-9. V. In the execution of this power wherewith he is so intrusted, the Lord Jesus calleth out of the World unto himself, through the Ministry of his word, by his Spirit, (i) those that are given unto him by his Father; that they may walk before him in all the (k) ways of obedience, which he prescribeth to them in his Word. Those thus called he commandeth to walk together in particular societies, or (l) Churches, for their mutual edification; and the due performance of that publick worship, which he requireth of them in the World. i Joh 10.16. CHAPTER 12,32. k Mat. 28.20. l Mat. 18.15-20. VI. The Members of these Churches are (m) Saints by calling, visibly manifesting and evidencing (in and by their profession and walking) their obedience unto that call of Christ; and do willingly consent to walk together according to the appointment of Christ, giving up themselves, to the Lord & one to another by the will of God, (n) in professed subjection to the Ordinances of the Gospel. m Rom. 1.7. 1 Cor. 1.2. n Act. 2.41,42. ch. 5.13.14. 2 Cor. 9.13. VII. To each of these Churches thus gathered, according to his mind, declared in his word, he hath given all that (o) power and authority, which is any way needfull, for their carrying on that order in worship, and discipline, which he hath instituted for them to observe; with commands, and rules, for the due and right exerting, and executing of that power. o Mat. 18.17,18. 1 Cor. 5.4,5. with v.13. 2 Cor. 2.6,7,8. VIII. A particular Church gathered, and compleatly Organized, according to the mind of Christ, consists of Officers, and Members; And the Officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the Church (so called and gathered) for the peculiar Administration of Ordinances, and Execution of Power, or Duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the World are (p) Bishops or Elders and Deacons. p Act. 20:17, with v.28. Phil. 1.1. IX. The way appointed by Christ for the Calling of any person, fitted, and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the Office of Bishop, or Elder, in a Church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by the common (q) suffrage of the Church it self; and Solemnly set apart by Fasting and Prayer, with imposition of hands of the (r) Eldership of the Church, if there be any before Constituted therein; And of a Deacon (s) that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by Prayer, and the like Imposition of hands. q Act. 14.23: See the original. r 1 Tim. 4.14. s Act. 126.96.36.199. X. The work of Pastors being constantly to attend the Service of Christ, in his Churches, in the Ministry of the Word, and Prayer, (t) with watching for their Souls, as they that must give an account to him; it is incumbent on the Churches to whom they Minister, not only to give them all due respect, (u) but also to communicate to them of all their good things according to their ability, so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being themselves (x) entangled in Secular Affairs; and may also be capable of exercising (y) Hospitality toward others; and this is required by the (z) Law of Nature, and by the Express order of our Lord Jesus, who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel. t Act. 6.4. Heb. 13.17: u 1 Tim. 5.17,18. Gal. 6.6,7. x 2 Tim. 2.4. y 1 Tim. 3.2. z 1 Cor. 9.6.-14. XI. Although it be incumbent on the Bishops or Pastors of the Churches to be instant in Preaching the Word, by way of Office; yet the work of Preaching the Word, is not so peculiarly confined to them; but that others also (a) gifted, and fitted by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved, and called by the Church, may and ought to perform it. a Act. 11.19,20,21. 1 Pet. 4.10.11. XII. As all Believers are bound to joyn themselves to particular Churches, when and where they have opportunity so to do; So all that are admitted unto the priviledges of a Church, are also (b) under the Censures and Government thereof, according to the Rule of Christ. b 1 Thes. 5.14. 2 Thes 3.6.14,15. XIII. No Church-members upon any offence taken by them, having performed their Duty required of them towards the person they are offended at, ought to disturb any Church order, or absent themselves from the Assemblies of the Church, or Administration of any Ordinances, upon the account of such offence at any of their fellow-members; but to wait upon Christ, (c) in the further proceeding of the Church. c Mat. 18.15.16,17. Eph. 4 2,3. XIV. As each Church, and all the Members of it are bound to (d) pray continually, for the good and prosperity of all the Churches of Christ, in all places; and upon all occasions to further it (every one within the bounds of their places, and callings, in the Exercise of their Gifts and Graces) so the Churches (when planted by the providence of God so as they may injoy opportunity and advantage for it) ought to hold (e) communion amongst themselves for their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification. d Eph. 6.18. Ps. 122.6. e Rom. 16.1,2. 3 Joh. 8,9,10. XV. In cases of difficulties or differences, either in point of Doctrine, or Administration; wherein either the Churches in general are concerned, or any one Church in their peace, union, and edification; or any member, or members, of any Church are injured, in or by any proceedings in censures not agreeable to truth, and order: it is according to the mind of Christ, that many Churches holding communion together, do by their messengers meet to consider, (f) and give their advice, in or about that matter in difference, to be reported to all the Churches concerned; howbeit these messengers assembled are not entrusted with any Church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction over the Churches themselves, to exercise any censures either over any Churches, or Persons: or (g) to impose their determination on the Churches, or Officers. f Act. 15.2,4,6. & 22,23.25. g 2 Cor. 1.24. 1 Joh. 4.1
Ch. 25 - Of Marriage
I. Marriage is to be between one Man and one Woman; (a) neither is it lawful for any man to have more then one Wife, nor for any Woman to have more then one Husband at the same time. a Gen. 2.24. Mal. 2 15. Mat. 19.5,6. II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help (b) of Husband and Wife, (c) for the increase of Man-kind, with a legitimate issue, and for (d) preventing of uncleanness. b Gen. 2.18. c Gen 1.28. d 1 Cor. 7 2,9. III. It is lawful for (e) all sorts of people to Marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent; yet it is the duty of Christians (f) to marry in the Lord, and therefore such as profess the true Religion, should not Marry with Infidels, (g) or Idolaters; neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are wicked, in their life, or maintain damnable Heresie. e Heb. 13,4. 1 Tim. 4,3. f 1 Cor. 7.39. g Neh. 13 25,26,27. IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity, (h) or Affinity forbidden in the word; nor can such incestuous Marriage ever be made lawful, by any law of Man or consent of parties, (i) so as those persons may live together as Man and Wife. h Levit. 18. i Mar. 6.18. 1 Cor. 5.1.
Ch. 24 - Of the Civil Magistrate
I. God the supream Lord, and King of all the World, hath ordained Civil (a) Magistrates to be under him, over the people for his own glory, and the publick good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the Sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers. a Rom. 13 1,2,3,4. II. It is lawful for Christians to Accept, and Execute the Office of a Magistrate when called thereunto; in the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain (b) Justice, and Peace, according to the wholsome Laws of each Kingdome, and Commonwealth: so for that end they may lawfully now under the New Testament (c) wage war upon just and necessary occasions. b 2 Sam. 23.3. Ps. 82.3,4. c Luk. 3.14. III. Civil Magistrates being set up by God, for the ends aforesaid; subjection in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yeilded by us, in the Lord; not only for wrath (d) but for Conscience sake; and we ought to make supplications and prayers for Kings, and all that are in Authority, (e) that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. d Rom. 13.5,6,7. 1 Pet. 2.17. e 1 Tim. 2.1,2.
Ch. 23 - Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
I. A lawful Oath is a part of religious worship, (a) wherein the person swearing in Truth, Righteousness, and Judgement, solemnly calleth God to witness what he sweareth; (b) and to judge him according to the Truth or falseness thereof. a Exo. 20 7. Deut. 10 20. Jer. 4.2. b 2 Cro. 6 22,23. II. The Name of God only is that by which men ought to swear; and therein it is to be used, with all Holy Fear and reverence, therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious, and dreadful name; or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful and to be (c) abhorred; yet as in matter of weight and moment for confirmation of truth, (d) and ending all strife, an Oath is warranted by the Word of God; so a lawful Oath being imposed, (e) by lawful Authority, in such matters, ought to be taken. c Mat. 5.34.37. Jam. 5.12 d Heb. 6.16. 2 Cor. 1.23. e Neh. 13.25. III. Whosoever taketh an Oath warranted by the Word of God, ought duely to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act; and therein to avouch nothing, but what he knoweth to be the truth; for that by rash, false, and vain Oaths the (f) Lord is provoked, and for them this Land mournes. f Levit. 19.12. Jer. 23.10. IV. An Oath is to be taken in the plain, and (g) common sense of the words; without equivocation, or mental reservation. g Ps. 24.4. V. A Vow which is not to be made to any Creature, but to God alone, (h) is to be made and performed with all Religious care, and faithfulness: But Popish Monastical Vows, (i) of perpetual single life, professed (k) poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious, (l) and sinful snares, in which no Christian may intangle himself. h Psal. 76.11. Gen. 28.20,21 22. i 1 Cor. 7.2.9. k Eph. 4.28. l Mat. 19.11.
Ch. 22 - Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
I. The light of Nature shews that there is a God, who hath Lordship, and Soveraigntye over all; is just, good, and doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the Heart, and all the Soul, (a) and with all the Might. But the acceptable way of Worshipping the true God, is (b) instituted by himself; and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be Worshipped according to the imaginations, and devices of Men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or (c) any other way, not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures. a Jer. 10.7. Mar. 12.33. b Deut. 12 32. c Exo 20.4,5,6. II. Religious Worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to him (d) alone; not to Angels, Saints, or any other (e) Creatures; and since the fall, not without a (f) Mediator, nor in the Mediation of any other but (g) Christ alone. d Mat. 4.9,10. Joh 6.23. Mat. 28.19. e Rom. 1.25. Col. 2.18. Revel. 19.10. f Joh. 14.6. g 1 Tim. 2.5. II. Prayer with thanksgiving, being one special part of natural worship, is by God required of (h) all men. But that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the (i) Name of the Son, by the help (k) of the Spirit, according to (l) his Will; with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others, in a (m) known tongue. h Psal. 95 1-7. Psal. 65.2. i Joh. 14.13,14. k Rom. 8.26. l 1 Joh. 5.14. m 1 Cor. 14.16,17. IV. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, (n) or that shall live hereafter; but not (o) for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned (p) the sin unto death. n 1 Tim. 2.1,2. 2 Sam. 7.29. o 2 Sam. 12.21,22.23. p 1 Joh. 5.16. V. The (q) reading of the Scriptures, Preaching, and (r) hearing the word of God, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual songs, singing with grace in our Hearts to (s) the Lord; as also the Administration (t) of Baptism, and (u) the Lords Supper are all parts of Religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience to him, with understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover solemn humiliation (x) with fastings; and thanksgiving upon (y) special occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner. q 1 Tim. 4.13. r 2 Tim. 4.2. Luk. 8.18. s Col. 3.16. Eph. 5.19 t Mat. 28, 19,20. u 1 Cor. 11 26. x Esth. 4.16. Joel. 2.12 y Exo. 15.1. &c. Ps. 107. VI. Neither Prayer, nor any other part of Religious worship, is now under the Gospel tied unto, or made more acceptable by, any place in which it is (z) performed, or towards which it is directed; but God is to be worshipped every where in Spirit, and in truth; as in (a) private families (b) daily, and (c) in secret each one by himself, so more solemnly in the publick Assemblies, which are not carelessely, nor wilfuly, to be (d) neglected, or forsaken, when God by his word, or providence calleth thereunto. z Joh. 4.21. Mal. 1.11. 1 Tim 2.8. a Act. 10.2. b Mat. 6.11. Ps. 55.17. c Mat. 6.6 d Heb. 10.25. Act. 2.42. VII. As it is of the Law of nature, that in general a proportion of time by Gods appointment, be set a part for the Worship of God; so by his Word in a positive-moral, and perpetual Commandement, binding all men, in all Ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a (e) Sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the World to the Resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week (f) which is called the Lords day; and is to be continued to the end of the World, as the Christian Sabbath; the observation of the last day of the week being abolished. e Exo. 20.8. f 1 Cor. 16.1,2. Act. 20.7. Rev. 1.10. VIII. The Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy (g) rest all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their worldly employment, and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the publick and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties (h) of necessity and mercy. g Isa. 58.13. Neh 13.15-23. h Mat. 12.1-13.
Ch. 21 - Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
I. The Liberty which Christ hath purchased for Believers under the Gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of Sin, the condemning wrath of God, the Rigour and (a) Curse of the Law; and in their being delivered from this present evil (b) World, Bondage to (c) Satan, and Dominion (d) of Sin; from the (e) Evil of Afflictions; the Fear, and Sting (f) of Death, the Victory of the Grave, and (g) Everlasting Damnation; as also in their (h) free access to God; and their yielding Obedience unto him not out of a slavish fear, (i) but a Child-like love, and willing mind. All which were common also to Believers under the Law (k) for the substance of them; but under the new Testament, the Liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the Ceremonial Law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; and in greater boldness of access to the Throne of Grace; and in fuller Communications of the (l) Free Spirit of God, then Believers under the Law did ordinarily partake of. a Gal. 3.13. b Gal. 1.4. c Act. 26.18. d Rom. 8.3. e Rom. 8.28. f 1 Cor. 15.54,55,56.57. g 2 Thes. 1.10. h Rom. 8.15. i Luk. 1.74,75. 1 Joh. 4 18. k Gal. 3,9:14. l Joh. 7.38,39. Heb. 10, 19,20,21. II. God alone is (m) Lord of the Conscience, and hath left it free from the Doctrines and Commandments of men, (n) which are in any thing contrary to his Word, or not contained in it. So that to Believe such Doctrines, or obey such Commands out of Conscience, (o) is to betray true liberty of Conscience; and the requiring of an (p) implicit Faith, and absolute and blind Obedience, is to destroy Liberty of Conscience, and Reason also. m Jam. 4.12, Rom. 14.4. n Act. 4.19 & 5.29. 1 Cor. 7.23. Mat. 15.9: o Col: 2.20 22,23: p 1 Cor. 3.5: 2 Cor. 1.24. III. They who upon pretence of Christian Liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinfull lust; as they do thereby pervert the main design of the Grace of the Gospel, (q) to their own Destruction; so they wholy destroy (r) the end of Christian Liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our Enemies we might serve the Lord without fear in Holiness, and Righteousness before him, all the days of our Life. q Rom. 6.1,2. r Gal. 5.13. 2 Pet. 2.18.-21.
Ch. 20 - Of the Gospel and the Extent of Grace thereof
I. The Covenant of Works being broken by Sin, and made unprofitable unto Life; God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, (a) the Seed of the Woman, as the means of calling the Elect, and begetting in them Faith and Repentance; in this Promise, the (b) Gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and therein Effectual, for the Conversion and Salvation of Sinners. a Gen. 3.15. b Rev. 13.8. II. This Promise of Christ, and Salvation by him, is revealed only by (c) the Word of God; neither do the Works of Creation, or Providence, with the light of Nature, (d) make discovery of Christ, or of Grace by him; so much as in a general, or obscure way; much less that men destitute of the Revelation of him by the Promise, or Gospel; (e) should be enabled thereby, to attain saving Faith, or Repentance. c Rom. 1.17. d Ro. 10.14,15,17. e Pro. 29.18. Isa. 25.7. with ch. 60.2,3. III. 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 meerly of the (f) Soveraign Will and good Pleasure of God; not being annexed by vertue of any Promise, to the due improvement of mens natural abilities, by vertue of Common light received, without it; which none ever did (g) make, or can so do: And therefore in all Ages the preaching of the Gospel hath been granted unto persons and Nations, as to the extent, or streightning of it, in great variety, according to the Councell of the Will of God. f Ps. 147,20. Act. 16.7. g Rom. 1.18, &c. IV. 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, Quickned or Regenerated; there is moreover necessary, an effectual, insuperable (h) work of the Holy Spirit, upon the whole Soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual Life; without which no other means will effect (i) their Conversion unto God. h Ps. 110.3. 1 Cor. 2.14. Eph. 1.19 20. i Joh. 6.44. 2 Cor. 4.4.6.
Ch. 19 - Of the Law of God
I. God gave to Adam a Law of universal obedience, (a) written in his Heart, and a particular precept of not eating the Fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; by which he bound him, and all his posterity to personal entire exact and perpetual (b) obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and (c) threatned death upon the breach of it; and indued him with power and ability to keep it. a Gen. 1.27. Eccl. 7.29. b Rom. 10 5. c Gal. 3.10.12, II. The same Law that was first written in the heart of man, (d) continued to be a perfect rule of Righteousness after the fall; & was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in (e) Ten Commandments and written in two Tables; the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man. d Rom. 2.14,15. e Deut. 10.4. III. Besides this Law commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel Ceremonial Laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, (f) prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions (g) of moral duties, all which Ceremonial Laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only Law-giver who was furnished with power from the Father, for that end, (h) abrogated and taken away. f Heb. 10.1. Col. 2.17. g 1 Cor. 5 7. h Col. 2.14,16,17 Eph. 2.14.16. IV. To them also he gave sundry judicial Laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by vertue of that institution; their general (i) equity onely, being of moral use. i 1 Cor. 9.8,9,10. V. The moral Law doth for ever bind all, (k) as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof, and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the (l) authority of God the Creator; who gave it: Neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, (m) but much strengthen this obligation. k Rom. 13 8,9,10. Jam. 2.8.10,11,12 l Jam. 2 10,11. m Mat. 5.17,18,19. Rom. 3.31. VI. Although true Believers be not under the Law, as a Covenant of Works, (n) to be thereby Justified or condemned; yet it is of great use to them as well as to others: in that, as a Rule of Life, informing them of the Will of God, and their Duty, it directs and binds them, to walk accordingly; (o) discovering also the sinfull pollutions of their Natures, Hearts and Lives; so as Examining themselves thereby, they may come to further Conviction of, Humiliation for, and Hatred against Sin; together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ and the perfection of his Obedience: It is likewise of use to the Regenerate to restrain their Corruptions, in that it forbids Sin; and the Threatnings of it serve to shew what even their Sins deserve; and what afflictions in this Life they may expect for them, although free'd from the Curse and unallayed Rigor thereof. The Promises of it likewise shew them Gods approbation of Obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by the Law as a Covenant of Works; so as mans doing Good and refraining from Evil, because the Law incourageth to the one and deterreth from the other, is no Evidence of his being (p) under the Law and not under Grace. n Rom. 6.14. Gal. 2.16. Rom. 8.1. cha. 10.4. o Rom. 3.20. CHAPTER 7.7. & c. p Rom. 6.12,13,14. 1 Pet. 3.8.-13. VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the Law (q) contrary to the Grace of the Gospel; but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of Christ subduing (r) and inabling the Will of man, to do that freely and chearfully, which the will of God revealed in the Law, requireth to be done. q Gal. 3.21. r Eze. 36.27.