Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 6th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Historical Writings

Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms


The Puritan Confession

Chapter 1 - Of the Holy Scriptures

  1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience. (2Ti 3:15-17 Isa 8:20 Lu 16:29,31 Eph 2:20) Although the light of nature and the works of creation and providence show the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave man inexcusable; (Ro 2:14,15 1:19,20 Ps 19:1-3 Ro 1:32 2:1) yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will necessary to salvation. (1Co 1:21 2:13,14) Therefore it pleased the Lord at various times, and in different ways, to reveal himself, and to declare his will to his Church; (Heb 1:1) and afterward, for the better preserving and the propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, the Lord committed this revelation wholly to writing; (Pr 22:19-21 Lu 1:3,4 Ro 15:4 Mt 4:4,7,10 Isa 8:19,20) which makes the Holy Scriptures to be the most necessary, (2Ti 3:15 2Pe 1:19) since those former ways of God's revealing his will to his people have now ceased. (Heb 1:1,2 1Co 13:9,10 Pr 30:6 Re 22:18,19)
  2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the written Word of God; are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these.
    THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
    THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation
    All these books are given by inspiration of God, (Lu 16:29,31 Eph 2:20 Re 22:18,19 2Ti 3:16) to be the only rule of faith and life.
  3. The books commonly called Apocrypha not being of divine inspiration, are not part of the Canon (or rule) of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority to the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of, than other human writings. (Lu 24:27,44 Ro 3:2 2Pe 1:21)
  4. The authority of the Holy Scripture for which it ought to be believed depends not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author of it; therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God. (2Pe 1:19,21 2Ti 3:16 1Jo 5:9 2Th 2:13)
  5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church of God, to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; (1Ti 3:15) and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style and the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole, (which is to give all glory to God,) the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and its entire perfections, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet, notwithstanding; our full persuasion, and assurance of the infallible truth, and its divine authority, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts. (1Jo 2:20,27 Joh 16:13,14 1Co 2:10-12 Isa 59:21)
  6. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation faith, and life, is either expressly set down in the scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from the scripture: to which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. (2Ti 3:15-17 Ga 1:8,9 2Th 2:2) Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word; (Joh 6:45 1Co 2:9-12) and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed. (1Co 11:13,14 14:26,40)
  7. All things in scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear to all; (2Pe 3:16) yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them. (Ps 119:105,130)
  8. The Old Testament in Hebrew, (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek, (which was at the time of the writing of it most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentic; (Mt 5:18) so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal to them. (Isa 8:20 Ac 15:15 Joh 5:39,46) But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right to and interest in the scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, (Joh 5:39) therefore they are to be translated into the spoken language of every nation to which they come, (1Co 14:6,9,11,12,24,27,28)that the word of God dwelling plentifully in all, that they may worship him in an acceptable manner. (Col 3:16) and through patience and comfort of the scriptures, may have hope. (Ro 15:4)
  9. The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any scripture, (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly. (2Pe 1:20,21 Ac 15:15,16)
  10. The supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all degrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the scriptures. (Mt 22:29,31 Eph 2:20 Ac 28:25)

Chapter 2 - Of God, and of the Holy Trinity

  1. There is but one only (De 6:4 1Co 8:4,6) living and true God,(1Th 1:9 Jer 10:10) who is infinite in being and perfection, (Job 11:7,8,9 26:14) a most pure spirit, (Joh 4:24) invisible, (1Ti 1:17) without body, parts, (De 4:15,16 Joh 4:24 Lu 24:39) or passions, (Ac 14:11,15) immutable, (Jas 1:17 Mal 3:6) immense, (1Ki 8:27 Jer 23:23,24) eternal, (Ps 90:2 1Ti 1:17) incomprehensible, (Ps 145:3) almighty, (Ge 17:1 Re 4:8) most wise, (Ro 16:27) most holy, (Isa 6:3 Re 4:8) most free, (Ps 115:3) most absolute, (Ex 3:14) working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, (Eph 1:11) for his own glory; (Pr 16:4 Ro 11:36) most loving, (1Jo 4:8,16) gracious, merciful, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin; (Ex 34:6,7) the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; (Heb 11:6) and with most just and terrible in his judgments; (Ne 9:32,33) hating all sin, (Ps 5:5,6) and who will by no means clear the guilty. (Na 1:2,3 Ex 34:7)
  2. God has all life, (Joh 5:26) glory, (Ac 7:2) goodness, (Ps 119:68) blessedness, (1Ti 6:15) in and of himself; and is alone in and to himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any of his creatures which he has made, (Ac 17:24,25) not deriving any glory from them, (Job 22:2,3) but only manifesting his own glory, in by, to, and upon them: he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things; (Ro 11:36) and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatever he pleases. (Re 4:11 1Ti 6:15 Da 4:25,35) In his sight all things are open and manifest; (Heb 4:13) his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, (Ro 11:33,34 Ps 147:5) so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. (Ac 15:8 Eze 9:5) He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. (Ps 145:17 Ro 7:12) To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatever worship, service, or obedience, he is pleased to require of them. (Re 5:12,13,14)
  3. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (1Jo 5:7 Mt 3:16,17 28:19 2Co 13:14) The Father is of none neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; (Joh 1:14,18) the Holy Spirit eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. (Joh 15:26 Ga 4:6)

Chapter 3 - Of God's Eternal Decree

  1. God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatever comes to pass: (Eph 1:11 Ro 11:33 Heb 6:17 Ro 9:15,18) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, (Jas 1:13,17 1Jo 1:5) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (Ac 2:23 Mt 17:12 Ac 4:27,28 Joh 19:11 Pr 16:33)
  2. Although God knows whatever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions; (Ac 15:18 1Sa 23:11,12 Mt 11:21,23) yet he has not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions. (Ro 9:11,13,16,18)
  3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels (1Ti 5:21 Mt 25:41) are predestinated to everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death. (Ro 9:22,23 Eph 1:5,6 Pr 16:4)
  4. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished. (2Ti 2:19 Joh 13:18)
  5. Those of mankind that are predestinated to life, God before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, has chosen in Christ to everlasting glory, (Eph 1:4,9,11 Ro 8:30 2Ti 1:9 1Th 5:9) out of his mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him to it; (Ro 9:11,13,16 Eph 1:4,9) and all to the praise of his glorious grace. (Eph 1:6,12)
  6. As God has appointed the elect to glory, so he has, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means to it. (1Pe 1:2 Eph 1:4,5 Eph 2:10 2Th 2:13) Therefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ; (1Th 5:9,10 Tit 2:14) are effectually called to faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, (Ro 8:30 Eph 1:5 2Th 2:13) and kept by his power through faith to salvation. (1Pe 1:5) Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. (Joh 17:9 Ro 8:28 Joh 6:64,65 Joh 10:26 8:47 1Jo 2:19)
  7. The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extends or withholds mercy as he pleases, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice. (Mt 11:25,26 Ro 9:17,18,21,22 2Ti 2:19,20 Jude 1:4 1Pe 2:8)
  8. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, (Ro 9:20 11:33 De 29:29) that men attending the will of God revealed in his word, and yielding obedience to it, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. (2Pe 1:10) So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, (Eph 1:6 Ro 11:33) and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation, to all that sincerely obey the Gospel. (Ro 11:5,6,20 2Pe 1:10 Ro 8:33 Lu 10:20)

Chapter 4 - Of Creation

  1. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, (Heb 1:2 Joh 1:2,3 Ge 1:2 Job 26:13 33:4) for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, (Ro 1:20 Jer 10:12 Ps 104:24 33:5,6) in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things in it, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six normal consecutive days, and all very good. (Ge 1:1-31 Heb 11:3 Col 1:16 Ac 17:24 Ex 20:9,11)
  2. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, (Ge 1:27) with reasonable and immortal souls, (Ge 2:7 Ec 12:7 Lu 23:43 Mt 10:28) endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image, (Ge 1:26 Col 3:10 Eph 4:24) having the law of God written in their hearts, (Ro 2:14,15) and power to fulfil it; (Ec 7:29) and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change. (Ge 3:6 Ec 7:29) Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; (Ge 2:17 3:8-11,23) which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures. (Ge 1:26,28)

Chapter 5 - Of Providence

  1. God, the great Creator of all things, does uphold, (Heb 1:3) direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions and things, (Da 4:34,35 Ps 135:6 Ac 17:25,26,28 Job 38:1-41:34) from the greatest even to the least, (Mt 10:29-31) by his most wise and holy providence, (Pr 15:3 Ps 104:24 145:17) according to his infallible foreknowledge, (Ac 15:18 Ps 94:8-11) and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, (Eph 1:11 Ps 33:10,11) to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness and mercy. (Isa 63:14 Eph 3:10 Ro 9:17 Ge 45:7 Ps 145:7)
  2. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; (Ac 2:23) yet, by the same providence, he orders them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. (Ge 8:22 Jer 31:35 Ex 21:13 De 19:5 1Ki 22:28,34 Isa 10:6,7)
  3. God in his ordinary providence makes use of means (Ac 27:31,44 Isa 55:10,11 Ho 2:21,22) yet is free to work without, (Ho 1:7 Mt 4:4 Job 34:10) above, (Ro 4:19-21) and against them, (2Ki 6:6 Da 3:27) at his pleasure.
  4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, (Ro 11:32-34 2Sa 24:1 1Ch 21:1 1Ki 22:22,23) (1Ch 10:4,13,14 2Sa 16:10 Ac 2:23 4:27,28) and that not by a bare permission, (Ac 14:16) but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, (Ps 76:10 2Ki 19:28) and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends; (Ge 50:20 Isa 10:6,7,12) yet so as the sinfulness of it proceeds only from the creature, and not from God; who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin. (Jas 1:13,14,17 1Jo 2:16 Ps 50:21)
  5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God, does oftentimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover to them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; (2Ch 32:25,26,31 2Sa 24:1) and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for various other just and holy ends. (2Co 12:7,8,9 Ps 73:1-28 77:1,10,12 Mr 14:66-72 Joh 21:15) (Joh 21:16,17)
  6. As for those wicked and ungodly men, whom God as a righteous judge, for former sins, does blind and harden, (Ro 1:24,26,28 Ro 11:7,8) from them he not only withholds his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; (De 29:4) but sometimes also withdraws the gifts which they had, (Mt 13:12 25:29) and exposes them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; (De 2:30 2Ki 8:12,13) and moreover, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan: (Ps 81:11,12 2Th 2:10,11,12) whereby it comes to pass, that they harden themselves, even under those means which God uses for the softening of others. (Ex 7:3 8:15,32 2Co 2:15,16 Isa 8:14 1Pe 2:7,8 Isa 6:9,10) (Ac 28:26,27)
  7. As the providence of God does, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it takes care of his church, and disposes all things to good of it. (1Ti 4:10 Am 9:8,9 Ro 8:28 Isa 43:3,4,5,14)

Chapter 6 - Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of its Punishment

  1. Our first parents being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. (Ge 3:13 2Co 11:3) This their sin God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory. (Ro 11:32)
  2. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness, and communion with God, (Ge 3:6-8 Ec 7:29 Ro 3:23) and so became dead in sin, (Ge 2:17 Eph 2:1) and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. (Tit 1:15 Ge 6:5 Jer 17:9 Ro 3:10-18)
  3. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, (Ge 1:27,28 2:16,17 Ac 17:26 Ro 5:12,15-19 1Co 15:21,22,45,49) and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by ordinary generation. (Ps 51:5 Ge 5:3 Job 14:4 15:14)
  4. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed disabled, and made opposite to all good, (Ro 5:6 8:7 7:18 Col 1:21) and wholly inclined to all evil, (Ge 6:5 8:21 Ro 3:10-12) do proceed all actual transgressions. (Jas 1:14,15 Eph 2:2,3 Mt 15:19)
  5. This corruption of nature, during this life, does remain in those that are regenerated: (1Jo 1:8,10 Ro 7:14,17,18,23 Jas 3:2 Pr 20:9 Ec 7:20) and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all its motions, are truly and properly sin. (Ro 7:5,7,8,25 Ga 5:17)
  6. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary to it, (1Jo 3:4) does, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, (Ro 2:15 3:9,19) whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, (Eph 2:3) and curse of the law, (Ga 3:10) and so made subject to death, (Ro 6:23) with all miseries spiritual, (Eph 4:18) temporal, (Ro 8:20 La 3:39) and eternal. (Mt 25:41 2Th 1:9)

Chapter 7 - Of God's Covenant with Man

  1. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience to him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which he has been pleased to express by way of covenant. (Isa 40:13-17 Job 9:32,33 1Sa 2:25 Ps 113:5,6) (Ps 100:2,3 Job 22:2,3 35:7,8 Lu 17:10 Ac 17:24,25}
  2. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, (Ga 3:12) wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, (Ro 10:5 Ro 5:12-20) upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. (Ge 2:17 Ga 3:10)
  3. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, (Ga 3:21 Ro 8:3 Ro 3:20,21 Ge 3:15 Isa 42:6) commonly called the Covenant of Grace: whereby he freely offers to sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring faith in him, that they may be saved; (Mr 16:15,16 Joh 3:16 Ro 10:6,9 Ga 3:11) promising to give to all those that ordained to life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe. (Eze 36:26,27 Joh 6:44,45)
  4. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in the scripture by the name of a Testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed. (Heb 9:15-17 7:22 Lu 22:20 1Co 11:25)
  5. This covenant was administered differently in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel; (2Co 3:6-9) under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foreshadowing Christ to come, (Heb 8:1-10:39 Ro 4:11 Col 2:11,12 1Co 5:7) which were for that time sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, (1Co 10:1-4 Heb 11:13 Joh 8:56) by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament. (Ga 3:7-9,14)
  6. Under the gospel, when Christ the substance (Col 2:17) was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the word, and the administration of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, (Mt 28:19,20 1Co 11:23,24,25) which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity and less outward glory, yet in them it is held forth in more fulness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, (Heb 7:22-27 Jer 31:33,34) to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; (Mt 28:19 Eph 2:15-19) and is called the New Testament. (Lu 22:20) There are not therefore two covenants of grace differing in substance, but one and the same under various dispensations. (Ga 3:14,16 Ac 15:11 Ro 3:21-23,30 Ps 32:1) (Ro 4:3,6,16,17,23,24 Heb 13:8)

Chapter 8 - Of Christ the Mediator

  1. It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man; (Isa 42:1 1Pe 1:19,20 Joh 3:16 1Ti 2:5) the Prophet, (Ac 3:22) Priest, (Heb 5:5,6) King; (Ps 2:6 Lu 1:33) the Head and Saviour of his Church; (Eph 5:23) the Heir of all things; (Heb 1:2) and Judge of the world; (Ac 17:31) to whom he did from all eternity give a people to be his seed, (Joh 17:6 Ps 22:30 Isa 53:10) and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. (1Ti 2:6 Isa 55:4,5 1Co 1:30)
  2. The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fulness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, (Joh 1:1,14 1Jo 5:20 Php 2:6 Ga 4:4) with all the essential properties and its common infirmities, yet without sin; (Heb 2:14,16,17 4:15) being conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. (Lu 1:27,31,35 Ga 4:4) So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. (Lu 1:35 Col 2:9 Ro 9:5 1Pe 3:18 1Ti 3:16) Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. (Ro 1:3,4 1Ti 2:5)
  3. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure; (Ps 45:7 Joh 3:34) having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; (Col 2:3) in who it pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell: (Col 1:19) to the end, that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, (Heb 7:26 Joh 1:14) he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety. (Ac 10:38 Heb 12:24 Heb 7:22) Which office he took not to himself, but was called to it by his Father; (Heb 5:4,5) who put all power and judgment into his hand, and gave commandment to execute the same. (Joh 5:22,27 Mt 28:18 Ac 2:36)
  4. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake; (Ps 40:7,8 Heb 10:5-10 Joh 10:18 Php 2:8) which that he may discharge, he was made under the law, (Ga 4:4) and did perfectly fulfil it; (Mt 3:15 5:17) endured most grievous torments immediately in his soul, (Mt 26:37,38 Lu 22:44 Mt 27:46) and most painful sufferings in his body; (Mt 26:1-27:66) was crucified, and died; (Php 2:8) was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption. (Ac 2:23,24,27 13:37 Ro 6:9) On the third day he arose from the dead, (1Co 15:3-5) with the same body in which he suffered; (Joh 20:25,27) with which he ascended into heaven, and there sits at the right hand of his Father, (Mr 16:19) making intercession; (Ro 8:34 Heb 9:24 7:25 and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world. (Ro 14:9,10 Ac 1:11 10:42 Mt 13:40-42 Jude 1:6 2Pe 2:4)
  5. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up to God, has fully satisfied the justice of his Father; (Ro 5:19 Heb 9:14,16 10:14 Eph 5:2 Ro 3:25,26) and purchased not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father has given to him. (Da 9:24,26 Col 1:19,20 Eph 1:11,14 Joh 17:2 Heb 9:12,15)
  6. Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and its benefits, were communicated to the elect in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein he was revealed and signified to be the Seed of the woman, who should bruise the serpent's head, and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, being yesterday and today the same, and for ever. (Ga 4:4,5 Ge 3:15 Re 13:8 Heb 13:8)
  7. Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures; by each nature doing that which is proper to itself: (Heb 9:14 1Pe 3:18) yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature. (Ac 20:28 Joh 3:13 1Jo 3:16)
  8. To all those for whom Christ has purchased redemption, he does certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same; (Joh 6:37,39 10:15,16) making intercession for them; (1Jo 2:1,2 Ro 8:34) and revealing to them, in and by the word, the mysteries of salvation; (Joh 15:13,15 Eph 1:7-9 Joh 17:6) effectually persuading them by his Spirit to believe and obey; and governing their hearts by his word and Spirit; (Joh 14:16 Heb 12:2 2Co 4:13 Ro 8:9,14 15:18,19 Joh 17:17) overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation. (Ps 110:1 1Co 15:25,26 Mal 4:2,3 Col 2:15)

Chapter 9 - Of Free Will

  1. God has endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined, to good or evil. (Mt 17:12 Jas 1:14 De 30:19)
  2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well-pleasing to God; (Ec 7:29 Ge 1:26) but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it. (Ge 2:16,17 3:6)
  3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; (Ro 5:6 8:7 Joh 15:5) so as a natural man, being altogether opposed from that good, (Ro 3:10,12) and dead in sin (Eph 2:1,5 Col 2:13) is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself to it. (Joh 6:44,65 Eph 2:2-5 1Co 2:14 Tit 3:3-5)
  4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he frees him from his natural bondage under sin, (Col 1:13 Joh 8:34,36) and by his grace alone enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; (Php 2:13 Ro 6:18,22) yet so as that, by reason of his remaining corruption, he does not perfectly nor only will that which is good, but does also will that which is evil. (Ga 5:17 Ro 7:15,18,19,21,23)
  5. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only. (Eph 4:13 Heb 12:23 1Jo 3:2 Jude 1:24)

Chapter 10 - Of Effectual Calling

  1. All those whom God has predestinated to life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, (Ro 8:30 11:7 Eph 1:10,11) by his word and Spirit, (2Th 2:13,14 2Co 3:3,6) out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; (Ro 8:2 Eph 2:1-5 2Ti 1:9,10) enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; (Ac 26:18 1Co 2:10,12 Eph 1:17,18) taking away their heart of stone, and giving to them an heart of flesh; (Eze 36:26) renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good; (Eze 11:19 Php 2:13 De 30:6 Eze 36:27) and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; (Eph 1:19 Joh 6:44,45) yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace. (So 1:4 Ps 110:3 Joh 6:37 Ro 6:16-18)
  2. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man; (2Ti 1:9 Tit 3:4,5 Eph 2:4,5,8,9 Ro 9:11) who is altogether passive in it, until, being made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit, (1Co 2:14 Ro 8:7 Eph 2:5) he is enabled by it to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. (Joh 6:37 Eze 36:27 Joh 5:25)
  3. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, (Lu 18:15,16 Ac 2:38,39 Joh 3:3,5 1Jo 5:12 Ro 8:9) who works when, and where, and how he pleases. (Joh 3:8) So also are all other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word. (1Jo 5:12 Ac 4:12)
  4. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the word, (Mt 22:14) and may have some common operations of the Spirit (Mt 7:22 13:20,21 Heb 6:4,5) yet they never truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: (Joh 6:64-66 Joh 8:24) much less can men not professing the Christian religion be saved in any other way whatever, be they ever so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion they do profess; (Ac 4:12 Joh 14:6 Eph 2:12 Joh 4:22 17:3) and to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested. (2Jo 1:9-11 1Co 16:22 Ga 1:6-8)

Chapter 11 - Of Justification

  1. Those whom God effectually calls he also freely justifies; (Ro 8:30 3:24) not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous: not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone: not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience, to them as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ to them, (Ro 4:5-8 2Co 5:19,21 Ro 3:22,24,25,27,28 Tit 3:5,7 Eph 1:7) (Jer 23:6 1Co 1:30,31 Ro 5:17-19) they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith: which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God. (Ac 10:44 Ga 2:16 Php 3:9 Ac 13:38,39 Eph 2:7,8)
  2. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteousness, is alone the instrument of justification; (Joh 1:12 Ro 3:28 Ro 5:1) yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love. (Jas 2:17,22,26 Ga 5:6)
  3. Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in their behalf. (Ro 5:8-10,19 1Ti 2:5,6 Heb 10:10,14 Da 9:24,26 Isa 53:4-6,10-12) Yet, in as much as he was given by the Father for them, (Ro 8:32) and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, (2Co 5:21 Mt 3:17 Eph 5:2) and both freely, not for any thing in them, their justification is only of free grace; (Ro 3:24 Eph 1:7) that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. (Ro 3:26 Eph 2:7)
  4. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect; (Ga 3:8 1Pe 1:2,19,20 Ro 8:30) and Christ did, in the fulness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification: (Ga 4:4 1Ti 2:6 Ro 4:25) nevertheless they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit does in due time actually apply Christ to them. (Col 1:21,22 Ga 2:16 Tit 3:4-7)
  5. God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified: (Mt 6:12 1Jo 1:7,9 1Jo 2:1,2) and although they can never fall from the state of justification, (Lu 22:32 Joh 10:28 Heb 10:14) yet they may by their sins fall under God's fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of his countenance restored to them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance. (Ps 89:31-33 Ps 51:7-12 Ps 32:5 Mt 26:75 1Co 11:30,32 Lu 1:20)
  6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New Testament. (Ga 3:9,13,14 Ro 4:22-24 Heb 13:8)

Chapter 12 - Of Adoption

  1. All those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption: (Eph 1:5 Ga 4:4,5) by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God; (Ro 8:17 Joh 1:12) have his name put upon them, (Jer 14:9 2Co 6:18 Re 3:12) receive the Spirit of adoption, (Ro 8:15) have access to the throne of grace with boldness; (Eph 3:12 Ro 5:2) are enabled to cry, Abba, Father; (Ga 4:6) are pitied, (Ps 103:13) protected, (Pr 14:26) provided for, (Mt 6:30,32 1Pe 5:7) and chastened by him as a father; (Heb 12:6) yet never cast off, (La 3:31) but sealed to the day of redemption, (Eph 4:30) and inherit the promises, (Heb 6:12) as heirs of everlasting salvation. (1Pe 1:3,4 Heb 1:14)

Chapter 13 - Of Sanctification

  1. They who are effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are farther sanctified really and personally, through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, (1Co 6:11 Ac 20:32 Php 3:10 Ro 6:5,6) by his word and Spirit dwelling in them; (Joh 17:17 Eph 5:26 2Th 2:13) the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, (Ro 6:6,14) and its various lusts are more and more weakened and mortified, (Ga 5:24 Ro 8:13) and they are more and more made alive and strengthened in all saving graces, (Col 1:11 Eph 3:16-19) to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (2Co 7:1 Heb 12:14)
  2. This sanctification is throughout in the whole man, (1Th 5:23) yet imperfect in this life; there abides still some remnants of corruption in every part: (1Jo 1:10 Ro 7:18,23 Php 3:12) whence arises a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. (Ga 5:17 1Pe 2:11)
  3. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may often prevail, (Ro 7:23) yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part overcomes: (Ro 6:14 1Jo 5:4 Eph 4:15,16) and so the saints grow in grace, (2Pe 3:18 2Co 3:18) perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2Co 7:1)

Chapter 14 - Of Saving Faith

  1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, (Heb 10:39) is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, (2Co 4:13 Eph 1:17-19 2:8) and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the word: (Ro 10:14,17) by which also, and by the administration of the ordinances, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened. (1Pe 2:2 Ac 20:32 Ro 4:11 Lu 17:5 Ro 1:16-17)
  2. By this faith, a Christian believes to be true whatever is revealed in the word, for the authority of God himself speaking in it; (Joh 4:42 1Th 2:13 1Jo 5:10 Ac 24:14) and acts differently upon that which each particular passage of it contains; yielding obedience to the commands, (Ro 16:26) trembling at the threatenings, (Isa 66:2) and embracing the promises of God for this life and that which is to come. (Heb 11:13 1Ti 4:8) But the principal acts of saving faith are, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace. (Joh 1:12 Ac 16:31 Ga 2:20 Ac 15:11)
  3. This faith varies in degrees, weak or strong; (Heb 5:13,14 Ro 4:19,20 Mt 6:30 8:10) may be often and many ways assailed and weakened, but gets the victory; (Lu 22:31,32 Eph 6:16 1Jo 5:4,5) growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, (Heb 6:11,12 10:22 Col 2:2) who is both the author and finisher of our faith. (Heb 12:2)

Chapter 15 - Of Repentance To Life

  1. Repentance to life is an evangelical grace, (Zec 12:10 Ac 11:18) the doctrine of which is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ. (Lu 24:47 Mr 1:15 Ac 20:21)
  2. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn them all to God, (Eze 18:30,31 36:31 Isa 30:22 Ps 51:4 Jer 31:18,19 Joe 2:12) (Joe 2:13 Am 5:15 Ps 119:128 2Co 7:11) purposing and endeavouring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments. (Ps 119:6,59,106 Lu 1:6 2Ki 23:25)
  3. Although repentance is not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of its pardon, (Eze 36:31,32 16:61,62,63) which is the act of God's free grace in Christ; (Ho 14:2,4 Ro 3:24 Eph 1:7) yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it. (Lu 13:3,5 Ac 17:30,31)
  4. As there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation; (Ro 6:23 5:12 Mt 12:36) so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent. (Isa 55:7 Ro 8:1 Isa 1:16,18)
  5. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man's duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins particularly. (Ps 19:13 Lu 19:8 1Ti 1:13,15)
  6. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for his pardon; (Ps 51:4,5,7,9,14 32:5,6) upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy; (Pr 28:13 1Jo 1:9) so he that scandalises his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended; (Jas 5:16 Lu 17:3,4 Jos 7:19 Ps 51:1-19) who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him. (2Co 2:8)

Chapter 16 - Of Good Works

  1. Good works are only such as God has commanded in his holy word, (Mic 6:8 Ro 12:2 Heb 13:21) and not such as, without its warrant, are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence of good intention. (Mt 15:9 Isa 29:13 1Pe 1:18 Ro 10:2 Joh 16:2 1Sa 15:21,22,23)
  2. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and living faith: (Jas 2:18,22) and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, (Ps 116:12 ,13 1Pe 2:9) strengthen their assurance, (1Jo 2:3,5 2Pe 1:5-10) edify their brethren, (2Co 9:2 Mt 5:16) adorn the profession of the gospel, (Tit 2:5,9,10,11,12 1Ti 6:1) stop the mouths of the adversaries, (1Pe 2:15) and glorify God, (1Pe 2:12 Php 1:11 Joh 15:8) whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus to it; (Eph 2:10) that, having their fruit to holiness, they may have the end eternal life. (Ro 6:22)
  3. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the spirit of Christ. (Joh 15:4,5,6 Eze 36:26,27) And that they may be enabled to it, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure: (Php 2:13 Php 4:13 2Co 3:5) yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them. (Php 2:12 Heb 6:11,12 2Pe 1:3,5,10,11 Isa 64:7 2Ti 1:6) (Ac 26:6,7 Jude 1:20,21)
  4. They who in the obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to excel, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much in duty they are bound to do. (Lu 17:10 Ne 13:22 Job 9:2,3 Ga 5:17)
  5. We cannot, by our best works, merit pardon of sin, or eternal life, at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins; (Ro 3:20 4:2,4,6 Eph 2:8,9 Tit 3:5,6,7 Ro 8:18 Ps 16:2) (Job 22:2,3 35:7,8) but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants; (Lu 17:10) and because, as they are good, they proceed from the Spirit; (Ga 5:22,23) and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God's judgment. (Isa 64:6 Ga 5:17 Ro 7:15,18 Ps 143:2 130:3)
  6. Yet notwithstanding, the person of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him; (Eph 1:6 1Pe 2:5 Ex 28:38 Ge 4:4 Heb 11:4) not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in God's sight; (Job 9:20 Ps 143:2) but that he, looking upon them in his Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. (Heb 13:20,21 2Co 8:12 Heb 6:10 Mt 25:21,23)
  7. Works done by unregenerate men, although, for the matter of them, they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; (2Ki 10:30,31 1Ki 21:27,29 Php 1:15,16,18) yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith; (Ge 4:5 Heb 11:4,6) nor are done in a right manner, according to the word; (1Co 13:3 Isa 1:12) nor to a right end, the glory of God; (Mt 6:2,5,16) they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man acceptable to receive grace from God. (Hag 2:14 Tit 1:15 Am 5:21,22 Ho 1:4 Ro 9:16 Tit 3:5) And yet their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing to God. (Ps 14:4 36:3 Job 21:14,15 Mt 25:41,42,43,45 Mt 23:23)

Chapter 17 - Of the Perseverance of the Saints

  1. They who God has accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere in it to the end, and be eternally saved. (Php 1:6 2Pe 1:10 Joh 10:28,29 1Jo 3:9 1Pe 1:5,9)
  2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; (2Ti 2:18,19 Jer 31:3) upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Christ; (Heb 10:10,14 Heb 13:20,21 9:12,13,14,15 Ro 8:33-39 Joh 17:11,24) (Lu 22:32 Heb 7:25) the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them; (Joh 14:16,17 1Jo 2:27 3:9) and the nature of the covenant of grace: (Jer 32:40) from all which arises also its certainty and infallibility. (Joh 10:28 2Th 3:3 1Jo 2:19)
  3. Nevertheless they may, through the temptations of Satan and the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; (Mt 26:70,72,74) and for time continue in them: (Ps 51:1,14) whereby they incur God's displeasure, (Isa 64:5,7,9 2Sa 11:27) and grieve his Holy Spirit; (Eph 4:30) come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts; (Ps 51:8,10,12 Re 2:4 So 5:2-4,6) have their hearts hardened, (Isa 63:17 Mr 6:52 16:14) and their consciences wounded; (Ps 32:3,4 51:8) hurt and scandalise others, (2Sa 12:14) and bring temporal judgments upon themselves. (Ps 89:31,32 1Co 11:32)

Chapter 18 - Of Assurance of Grace and Salvation

  1. Although hypocrites, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in favour of God and estate of salvation; (Job 8:13,14 Mic 3:11 De 29:19 Joh 8:41) which hope of theirs shall perish (Mt 7:22,23) yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, (1Jo 2:3 3:14,18,19,21,24 5:13) and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God which hope shall never make them ashamed. (Ro 5:2,5)
  2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope; (Heb 6:11,19) but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation, (Heb 6:17,18) the inward evidence of those graces to which these promises are made, (2Pe 1:4,5,10,11 1Jo 2:3 3:14 2Co 1:12) the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God: (Ro 8:15,16) which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, by which we are sealed to the day of redemption. (Eph 1:13,14 Eph 4:30 2Co 1:21,22)
  3. This infallible assurance does not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it: (1Jo 5:13 Isa 1:10 Mr 9:24 Ps 88:1-18 77:1-12) yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means, attain to it. (1Co 2:12 1Jo 4:13 Heb 6:11,12 Eph 3:17,18,19) And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure; (2Pe 1:10) that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, (Ro 5:1,2,5 Ro 14:17 15:13 Eph 1:3,4 Ps 4:6,7 119:32) the proper fruits of this assurance: so far is it from inclining men to looseness. (1Jo 2:1,2 Ro 6:1,2 Tit 2:11,12,14 2Co 7:1 Ro 8:1,12) (1Jo 3:2,3 Ps 130:4 1Jo 1:6,7)
  4. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation in various ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it; by falling into some special sin, which wounds the conscience, and grieves the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation; by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness, and to have no light: (So 5:2,3,6 Ps 51:8,12,14 Eph 4:30,31 Ps 77:1-10) (Mt 26:69-72 Ps 31:22 Ps 88:1-18 Isa 1:10) yet are they never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived, (1Jo 3:9 Lu 22:32 Job 13:15 Ps 73:15 Ps 51:8,12 Isa 1:10) and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair. (Mic 7:7,8,9 Jer 32:40 Isa 54:7-10 Ps 22:1 Ps 88:1-18)

Chapter 19 - Of the Law of God

  1. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him, and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it. (Ge 1:26,27 2:17 Ro 2:14,15 Ro 10:5 5:12,19 Ga 3:10,12) (Ec 7:29 Job 28:28)
  2. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon mount Sinai in ten commandments, and written in two tables; (Jas 1:25 2:8,10-12 Ro 13:8-9 De 5:32 10:4 Ex 24:1) the first four commandments containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man. (Mt 22:37-40)
  3. 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, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; (Heb 9:1-28 10:1 Ga 4:1-3 Col 2:17) and partly holding forth various instructions of moral duties. (1Co 5:7 2Co 6:17 Jude 1:23) All of these ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament. (Col 2:14,16,17 Da 9:27 Eph 2:15,16)
  4. To them also, as a political body, he gave various judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other now, further than its general equity may require. (Ex 22:1-31 22:1-29 Ge 49:10) (1Pe 2:13,14 Mt 5:17,38,39 1Co 9:8,9,10)
  5. The moral law does for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to its obedience; (Ro 13:8,9 Eph 6:2 1Jo 2:3,4,7,8) and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God, the Creator, who gave it. (Jas 2:10,11) Neither does Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation. (Mt 5:17,18,19 Jas 2:8 Ro 3:31)
  6. Although true believers are not under the law as a covenant of works, to be by it justified or condemned; (Ro 6:14 Ga 2:16 3:13 4:4,5 Ac 13:39 Ro 8:1) yet is it 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; (Ro 7:12,22,25 Ps 119:4,5,6 1Co 7:19 Ga 5:14,16,18-23) discovering also the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives; (Ro 7:7 Ro 3:20) so as, examining themselves by it, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin; (Jas 1:23,24,25 Ro 7:9,14,24) together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience. (Ga 3:24 Ro 7:24,25 Ro 8:3,4) It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; (Jas 2:11 Ps 119:101,104,128) and the threatening of it serve to show what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from its curse threatened in the law. (Ezr 9:13,14 Ps 89:30-34) The promises of it, in like manner, show them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon its performance, (Le 26:1-14 2Co 6:16 Eph 6:2,3 Ps 37:11 Mt 5:5 Ps 19:11) although not as due to them by the law as a covenant of works: (Ga 2:16 Lu 17:10) so as a man's doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourages to the one, and deters from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law, and not under grace. (Ro 6:12,14 1Pe 3:8,9,10,11,12 Ps 34:12-16 Heb 12:28)
  7. Neither are the aforementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; (Ga 3:21) the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God revealed in the law requires to be done. (Eze 36:27 Heb 8:10 Jer 31:33)

Chapter 20 - Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience

  1. The Liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in there freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; (Tit 2:14 1Th 1:10 Ga 3:13) and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin, (Ga 1:4 Col 1:13 Ac 26:18 Ro 6:14) from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; (Ro 8:28 Ps 119:71 1Co 15:54-57 Ro 8:1) as also in their free access to God, (Ro 5:1-2) and their yielding obedience to him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love, and willing mind. (Ro 8:14-15 1Jo 4:18) All which were common also to believers under the law; (Ga 3:9,14) 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 Jews were subjected, (Ga 4:1-3, 6-7 Ga 5:1 Ac 15:10-11) and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace. (Heb 4:14,16 Heb 10:19-22) and in fuller communications of the Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of. (Joh 7:38-39 2Co 3:13,17-18)
  2. God alone is lord of the conscience, (Jas 4:12 Ro 14:4) and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or beside it, in matters of faith or worship. (Ac 4:19 5:29 1Co 7:23 Mt 23:8-10 2Co 1:24 Mt 15:9) So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commandments out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: (Col 2:20,22-23 Ga 1:10 Ga 2:4-5 Ga 5:1) and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also. (Ro 10:17 Ro 14:23 Isa 8:20 Ac 17:11 Joh 4:22 Ho 5:11) (Re 13:12,16-17 Jer 8:9)
  3. They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, do practise any sin, or cherish any lust, do by it destroy the end of Christian liberty; which is, that, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (Ga 5:13 1Pe 2:16 2Pe 2:19 Joh 8:34 Lu 1:74-75)
  4. And because the powers which God has ordained, and the liberty which Christ has purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another; they who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God. (Mt 12:25 1Pe 2:13,14,16 Ro 8:1-8 Heb 13:17) And for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity, whether concerning faith, worship, or deportment; or to the power of godliness; or such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to external peace and the order which Christ has established in the church; they may lawfully be called to account (Ro 1:32 1Co 5:1,5,11,13 2Jo 1:10,11 2Th 3:14 1Ti 6:3-5) (Tit 1:10,11,13 3:10 Mt 18:15-17 1Ti 1:19,20 Re 2:2,14,15,20 3:9) and proceeded against them by the censures of the church. (2Jo 1:10,11 2Th 3:14-15 Tit 3:10 Mt 18:15-17)

Chapter 21 - Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

  1. The light of nature shows that there is a God who has lordship and sovereignty over all; is good, and does good to all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. (Ro 1:20 Ac 17:24 Ps 119:68 Jer 10:7 Ps 31:23 18:3) (Ro 10:12 Ps 62:8 Jos 24:14 Mr 12:33) but the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is 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, of the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture. (De 12:32 Mt 15:9 Ac 17:25 Mt 4:9,10 De 15:1-20 Ex 20:4) (Ex 20:5,6 Col 2:23)
  2. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and to him alone: (Mt 4:10 Joh 5:23 2Co 13:14) not to angels, saints, or any other creature: (Col 2:18 Re 19:10 Ro 1:25) and since the fall, not without a Mediator; not in the mediation of any other but Christ alone. (Joh 14:6 1Ti 2:5 Eph 2:18 Col 3:17)
  3. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship, (Php 4:6) is by God required of all men; (Ps 65:2) and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, (Joh 14:13,14 1Pe 2:5) by the help of his Spirit, (Ro 8:26) according to his will (1Jo 5:14) with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; (Ps 47:7 Ec 5:1,2 Heb 12:28 Ge 18:27 Jas 5:16 1:6,7) (Mr 11:24 Mt 6:12,14,15 Col 4:2 Eph 6:18 and, if vocal, in a known language. (1Co 14:14)
  4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, (1Jo 5:14) and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter; (1Ti 2:1,2 Joh 17:20 2Sa 7:29 Ru 4:12) but not for the dead, (2Sa 12:21,22,23 Lu 16:25,26 Re 14:13) nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin to death. (1Jo 5:16)
  5. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear; (Ac 15:21 Re 1:3) the sound preaching, (2Ti 4:2) and conscious hearing of the word, in obedience to God, with understanding, faith, and reverence; (Jas 1:22 Ac 10:33 Mt 13:19 Heb 4:2 Isa 66:2) singing of psalms with grace in the heart; (Col 3:16 Eph 5:19 Jas 5:13) as also the due administration and worthy receiving of the ordinances instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: (Mt 28:19 1Co 11:23-29 Ac 2:42) besides religious oaths (De 6:13 Ne 10:29) and vows, (Isa 19:21 Ec 5:4,5) solemn fastings, (Joe 2:12 Es 4:16 Mt 9:15 1Co 7:5) and thanksgivings upon special occasions, (Ps 107:1-43 Es 9:22) which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in a holy and religious manner. (Heb 12:28)
  6. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is, now under the gospel, either tied into, or made more acceptable by, any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed; (Joh 4:21) but God is to be worshipped everywhere (Mal 1:11 1Ti 2:8) in spirit and truth; (Joh 4:23,24) as in private families (Jer 10:25 De 6:6,7 Job 1:5 2Sa 6:18,20 1Pe 3:7 Ac 10:2) daily, (Mt 6:11) and in secret each one by himself; (Mt 6:6 Eph 6:18) so more solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected or forsaken, when God, by his word or providence, calls to it. (Isa 56:6,7 Heb 10:25 Pr 1:20,21,24) (Pr 8:34 Ac 13:42 Lu 4:16 Ac 2:42)
  7. As it is of the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he has particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath, to be kept holy to him: (Ex 20:8,10,11 Isa 56:2,4,6,7) 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, (Ge 2:2,3 1Co 16:1,2 Ac 20:7) which in Scripture is called the Lord's Day, (Re 1:10) and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath. (Ex 20:8,10 Mt 5:17,18)
  8. This sabbath is then kept holy to the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs before hand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations; (Ex 20:8 16:23,25,26,29,30 31:15,16,17 Isa 58:13 Ne 13:15,16) (Ne 13:17-22) but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. (Isa 58:13 Mt 12:1-13)

Chapter 22 - Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

  1. A lawful oath is part of religious worship, (De 10:20) wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calls God to witness what he asserts or promises; and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he swears. (Ex 20:7 Le 19:12 2Co 1:23 2Ch 6:22,23)
  2. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence; (De 6:13) 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 abhorred. (Ex 20:7 Jer 5:7 Mt 5:34,37 Jas 5:12) Yet as, in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the word of God under the New Testament, as well as under the Old; (Heb 6:16 2Co 1:23 Isa 65:16) so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken. (1Ki 8:31 Ne 13:25 Ezr 10:5)
  3. Whoever takes an oath, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and in it to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth. (Ex 20:7 Jer 4:2) Neither may any man bind himself by oath to anything but what is good and just, and what he believes so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform.(Ge 24:2,3,5,6,8,9) Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching anything that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority. (Nu 5:19,21 Ne 5:12 Ex 22:7,8,9,10,11)
  4. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation. (Jer 4:2 Ps 24:4) It cannot oblige to sin; but in any thing not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own hurt; (1Sa 25:22,32,33,34 Ps 15:4) nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics or infidels. (Eze 17:16,18,19 Jos 9:18,19 2Sa 21:1)
  5. A vow is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness. (Isa 19:21 Ec 5:4-6 Ps 61:8 66:13,14)
  6. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone: (Ps 76:11 Jer 44:25,26) and that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith, and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the obtaining of what we want; whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties, or to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly lead to it. (De 23:21-23 Ps 50:14 Ge 28:20-22 1Sa 1:11 Ps 66:13,14) (Ps 132:2-5)
  7. No man may vow to do anything forbidden in the word of God, or what would hinder any duty commanded in it, or which is not in his power, and for the performance of which he has no promise of ability from God. (Ac 23:12,14 Mr 6:26 Nu 30:5,8,12,13) In which respects, monastic vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.(1Ti 4:3 Mt 19:11,12 1Co 7:2,9 Eph 4:28 1Pe 4:2 1Co 7:23)

Chapter 23 - Of the Civil Magistrate

  1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, has ordained civil magistrates to be under him over the people, for his own glory, and the public good; and to this end, has armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers. (Ro 13:1-4 1Pe 2:13,14)
  2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called to it: (Pr 8:15,16 Ro 13:1,2,4) in the managing of it, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth; (Ps 2:10-12 1Ti 2:2 Ps 82:3,4 2Sa 23:3 1Pe 2:13) so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions. (Lu 3:14 Ro 13:4 Mt 8:9,10 Ac 10:1,2 Re 17:14,16)
  3. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the word and ordinances, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven. (2Ch 26:18 Mt 18:17 16:19 1Co 12:28,29) (Eph 4:11,12 1Co 4:1,2 Ro 10:15 Heb 5:4)
  4. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, (1Ti 2:1,2) to honour their persons, (1Pe 2:17) to pay them tribute and other dues, (Ro 13:6,7) to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority for conscience' sake. (Ro 13:5 Tit 3:1) Infidelity, or difference in religion, does not make void the magistrate's just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to him: (1Pe 2:13,14,16) from which ecclesiastic persons are not exempted. (Ro 13:1 1Ki 2:35 Ac 25:9,10,11 2Pe 2:1,10,11 Jude 1:8-11)

Chapter 24 - Of Marriage

  1. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time. (Ge 2:24 Mt 19:5,6 Pr 2:17)
  2. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife; (Ge 2:18) for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the church with an holy seed; (Mal 2:15) and for preventing of uncleanness. (1Co 7:2,9)
  3. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry who are able with judgment to give their consent: (Heb 13:4 1Ti 4:3 1Co 7:36-38 Ge 24:57,58) yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord. (1Co 7:39) And therefore such as profess the true Christian religion should not marry with infidels, unbelievers or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies. (Ge 34:14 Ex 34:16 De 7:3,4 1Ki 11:4 Ne 13:25-27) (Mal 2:11,12 2Co 6:14)
  4. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden in the word; (Le 18:1-30 1Co 5:1 Am 2:7) nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man, or consent of parties, so as those person may live together as man and wife. (Mr 6:18 Le 18:24-28) The man may not marry any of his wife's kindred nearer in blood than he may of his own, nor the woman of her own. (Le 20:19-21)
  5. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, gives just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve the contract. (Mt 1:18-20) In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, (Mt 5:31,32) And, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead. (Mt 19:9 Ro 7:2,3)
  6. Although the corruption of man be such as apt to study arguments, unduly to put asunder those whom God has joined together in marriage; yet nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the church, is cause sufficient of disolving the bond of marriage: (Mt 19:8,9 Ro 7:2,3 1Co 7:15 Mt 19:6) wherein in public and orderly course of proceedings is to be observed, and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills and discretion in their case. (De 24:1-4)

Chapter 25 - Of the Church

  1. The church consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ its head; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that fills all in all. (Eph 1:10,22,23 5:23,27,32 Col 1:18)
  2. The visible church under the gospel, is not confined to one nation, as before under the law, and consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, (1Co 1:2 12:12,13 Ps 2:8 Re 7:9 Ro 15:9-12) and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, (Mt 13:47 Isa 9:7) the house and family of God, (Eph 2:19 3:15) out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. (Ac 2:47)
  3. To this visible church Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints in this life, to the end of the world; and does by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual to it. (1Co 12:28 Eph 4:11-13 Mt 28:19-20 Isa 59:21)
  4. This church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. (Ro 11:3,4 Re 12:6,14) And particular churches, which are its members, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them. (Re 2:1-3:22 1Co 5:6,7)
  5. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; (1Co 13:12 Re 2:1-3:22 Mt 13:24-30,47) and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. (Re 18:2 Ro 11:18-22) Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth to worship God according to his will. (Mt 16:18 Ps 72:17 102:28 Mt 28:19,20)
  6. There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ: (Col 1:18 Eph 1:22) nor can any man in any sense be its head. (Mt 23:8-10)

Chapter 26 - Of Communion of Saints

  1. All saints that are united to Jesus Christ their head by his Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with him in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory. (1Jo 1:3 Eph 3:16-19 Joh 1:16 Eph 2:5,6 Php 3:10 Ro 6:5,6) (2Ti 2:12) And being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other's gifts and graces; (Eph 4:15,16 1Co 12:7 3:21,22,23 Col 2:19) and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do lead to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. 1Th 5.11,14 Rom 1.11,12,14 1Jno 3.16,17,18 Gal 6.10)
  2. Saints, by profession, are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification; (Heb 10:24,25 Ac 2:42,46 Isa 2:3 1Co 11:10) as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their various abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offers opportunity, is to be extended to all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. (Ac 2:44-45 1Jo 3:17 2Co 8:1-9:15 Ac 11:29,30)
  3. This communion which the saints have with Christ does not make them in any wise partakers of the substance of his Godhead, or to be equal with Christ in any respect: either of which to affirm is impious and blasphemous. (Col 1:18,19 1Co 8:6 Isa 42:8 1Ti 6:15,16 Ps 45:7 Heb 1:8,9) Nor does their communion one with another, as saints, take away or infringe the title or property which each man has in his goods and possessions. (Ex 20:15 Eph 4:28 Ac 5:4)

Chapter 27 - Of the Ordinances

  1. Ordinances are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, (Ro 4:11 Ge 17:7,10) immediately instituted by God, (Mt 28:19 1Co 11:23) to represent Christ and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him; (1Co 10:16 1Co 11:25,26 Ga 3:27,17) as also to put a visible difference between those that belong to the church and the rest of the world; (Ro 15:8 Ex 12:48 Ge 34:14) and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his word. (Ro 6:3,4 1Co 10:16,21)
  2. The grace which is exhibited in or by the ordinances, rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither does the efficacy of an ordinance depend upon the piety or intention of him that administers it, (Ro 2:29,29 1Pe 3:21) but upon the work of the Spirit, (Mt 3:11 1Co 12:13) and the word of institution; which contains, together with a precept authorising its use, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers. (Mt 26:27,28 28:19,20)
  3. There are only two ordinances ordained by Christ our Lord in the gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord; to be administered by those only, who are qualified and called to it according to the commission of Christ. (Mt 28:19 1Co 11:20,23 1Co 4:1)

Chapter 28 - Of Baptism

  1. Baptism is a ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, (Mt 28:19) not only for the solemn admission of the party baptised into the visible church, (1Co 12:13) but also to be to him a sign of the covenant of grace, (Col 2:12) of his ingrafting into Christ, (Ga 3:27 Ro 6:5) of regeneration, (Tit 3:5) of remission of sins, (Mr 1:4) and of his giving up to God through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life: (Ro 6:3,4) which ordinance is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in his church until the end of the world. (Mat 28.19,20)
  2. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (Mt 3:1 Joh 1:33 Mt 18:19,20)
  3. Immersion, or dipping of the whole person under water is necessary for the proper administration of this ordinance, (Mt 3:16 Joh 3:23 Ac 8:38,39) and not by sprinkling or pouring of water, or dipping some part of the body, after the traditions of men. (Joh 4:1,2 Ac 8:38,39)
  4. Only those who actually profess faith in and obedience to Christ are to be baptized and none other. (Ac 2:38 Mt 3:6 Mr 16:16 Ac 8:12,37 10:47,48) The infants of such as are professing believers are not to be baptised, neither is the practice of infant dedication by their parents to be sanctioned, because there is neither command nor example in the Holy Scriptures for these practices.(Ex 23:13 Pr 30:6 Re 22:18,19)

Chapter 29 - Of the Lord's Supper

  1. Our Lord Jesus, in the night when he was betrayed, instituted the ordinance of his body and blood, called the Lord's Supper, to be observed in his church to the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death, (1Co 11:23-26) the sealing all its benefits to true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe to him, (1Co 10:16,17,21) and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his body. (1Co 12:13)
  2. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the living or dead; (Heb 9:22,25,26,28) but only a memorial of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise to God for the same; (1Co 11:24-26 Mt 26:26,27) so that Roman sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ's one and only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect. (Heb 7:23,24,27 Heb 10:11,12,14,18)
  3. The Lord Jesus has, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to declare his word of institution to the people, to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and by it to set them apart from a common to a holy use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants; (Mt 26:26,27 Mr 14:22-24 Lu 22:19,20 1Co 11:23-26) but to none who are not then present in the congregation. (Ac 20:7 1Co 11:20)
  4. The denial of the cup to the people, (Mr 14:23 1Co 11:25-29) worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ. (Mt 15:9)
  5. The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, yet figuratively only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ; (Mt 26:26-28) albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly only bread and wine, as they were before. (1Co 11:26-28 Mt 26:29)
  6. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of Christ's body and blood (commonly called Transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason; overthrows the nature of the ordinance; and has been and is the cause of manifold superstitions, yes, of gross idolatries. (Ac 3:21 1Co 11:24-26 Lu 24:6,39)
  7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, (1Co 11:28) do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses. (1Co 10:16)
  8. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this ordinance, yet they receive not the thing signified by it; but by their unworthy coming to it are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Therefore all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with him, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table, and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, (1Co 11:27-29 2Co 6:14-16) or be admitted to it. (1Co 5:6,7,13 2Th 3:6,14,15 Mt 7:6)

Chapter 30 - Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

  1. The bodies of men after death return to dust, and see corruption; (Ge 3:19 Ac 13:36) but their souls, (which neither die nor sleep,) having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. (Lu 23:43 Ec 12:7) The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; (Heb 12:23 2Co 5:1,6,8 Php 1:23 Ac 3:21 Eph 4:10) and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. (Lu 16:23,24 Ac 1:25 Jude 1:6,7 1Pe 3:19)
  2. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed: (1Th 4:17 1Co 15:51,52) and all the dead shall be raised up with the self-same bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their souls for ever. (Job 19:26,27 1Co 15:42,43,44)
  3. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, to honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious body. (Ac 24:15 Joh 5:28,29 1Co 15:43 Php 3:21)

Chapter 31 - Of the Last Judgment

  1. God has appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, (Ac 17:31) to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. (Joh 5:22,27) In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, (1Co 6:3 Jude 1:6 2Pe 2:4) but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, 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. (2Co 5:10 Ec 12:14 Ro 2:16 Ro 14:10,12 Mt 12:36,37)
  2. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy in the eternal salvation of the elect, and of his justice in the 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 refreshing which shall come from the presence 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 be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. (Mt 25:31-46 Ro 2:5,6 9:22,23 Mt 25:21 Ac 3:19 2Th 1:7-10)
  3. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity; (2Pe 3:11,14 2Co 5:10,11 2Th 1:5-7 Lu 21:7,28 Ro 8:23-25) 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 Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen. (Mt 24:36,42-44 Mr 13:35-37 Lu 12:35,36 Re 22:20)

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