THE CONFESSION OF FAITH
Chapter 1 Of the Holy Scripture
1. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable;a yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation.b Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his
a. Rom. 2:14–15. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. Rom. 1:19–20. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Ps. 19:1–4. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun. See Rom. 1:32–2:1.
b. John 17:3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 1 Cor. 1:21. For after that in the wis- dom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Cor. 2:13–14. ... which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
2 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 1
church;c and afterwards, for the better preserving and 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, to commit the same wholly unto writing:d which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;e those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.f
2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God writ- ten, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:
c. Heb. 1:1–2. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
d. Luke 1:3–4. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been in- structed. Rom. 15:4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Matt. 4:4, 7, 10. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.... Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.... Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Isa. 8:20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
e. 2 Tim. 3:15. ... and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Pet. 1:19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.
f. John 20:31. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. 1 Cor. 14:37. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 1 John 5:13. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 Cor. 10:11. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Heb. 1:1–2. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Heb. 2:2–4. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
CHAPTER 1
THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 3
Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua
Judges Ruth I Samuel II Samuel I Kings II Kings I Chronicles
The Gospels according to Matthew Mark
Luke John
The Acts of the Apostles
Paul’s Epistles to the Romans Corinthians I Corinthians II
Of the Old Testament:
II Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther
Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes The Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel
Of the New Testament:
Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians Thessalonians I Thessalonians II to Timothy I
to Timothy II to Titus to Philemon
The Epistle to the Hebrews
Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi
The Epistle of James The first and
second Epistles
of Peter The first, second,
and third Epistles
of John The Epistle of Jude
The Revelation of John
All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.g
g. Luke 16:29, 31. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the proph- ets; let them hear them.... And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 24:27, 44. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.... And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, con- cerning me. 2 Tim. 3:15–16. ... and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
4 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 1
3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.h
4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.i
5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.k And the heav- enliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, 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, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. John 5:46–47. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
h. Rev. 22:18–19. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Rom. 3:2. Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. 2 Pet. 1:21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
i. 2 Pet. 1:19–20. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scrip- ture is of any private interpretation. 2 Tim. 3:16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 1 John 5:9. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 1 Thess. 2:13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. Rev. 1:1–2. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
k. 1 Tim. 3:15. ... but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
CHAPTER 1 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 5
evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.l
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 Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.m Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit
l. 1 Cor. 2:9–10. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. Heb. 4:12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asun- der of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. John 10:35. If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken ... Isa. 55:11. So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accom- plish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. See Rom. 11:36. Ps. 19:7–11. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testi- mony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. See 2 Tim. 3:15. 1 Cor. 2:4–5. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Thess. 1:5. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assur- ance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 1 John 2:20, 27. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.... But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. See Isa. 59:21.
m. 2 Tim. 3:16–17. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profit- able for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Gal. 1:8–9. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 2 Thess. 2:2. ... that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
6 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 1
of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word:n and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the church, com- mon 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.o
7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:p 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 the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.q
n. John 6:45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 1 Cor. 2:12, 14–15. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.... But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. Eph. 1:18. ... the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. See 2 Cor. 4:6.
o. 1 Cor. 11:13–14. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 1 Cor. 14:26, 40. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revela- tion, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.... Let all things be done decently and in order.
p. 2 Pet. 3:16. ... as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
q. Ps. 119:105, 130. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.... The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. Deut. 29:29. The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deut. 30:10–14. If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those
CHAPTER 1 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 7
8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native lan- guage of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was 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 authentical;r so as, in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal unto them.s But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scrip- tures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them,t therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,u that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner;w and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.x
9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scrip- ture 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
in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
r. Matt. 5:18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Ps. 119:89. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
s. Isa. 8:20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Matt. 15:3, 6. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?... and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Acts 15:15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written ... See Luke 16:31.
t. John 5:39. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Rev. 1:3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. See 2 Tim. 3:14–15.
u. Matt. 28:19–20. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. See 1 Cor. 14:6; Mark 15:34.
w. Col. 3:16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. See Ex. 20:4–6; Matt. 15:7–9.
x. Rom. 15:4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
8 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 1
searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.y 10. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees 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 Scripture.z
Chapter 2 Of God, and of the Holy Trinity
1. There is but one only,a living, and true God,b who is infinite in being and perfection,c a most pure spirit,d invisible,e without body,
y. Acts 15:15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written ... John 5:46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. See 2 Pet. 1:20–21.
z. Matt. 22:29, 31. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.... But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying ... Acts 28:25. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers ... See 1 John 4:1–6.
a. Deut. 6:4. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD. 1 Cor. 8:4, 6. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.... But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. See Gal. 3:20.
b. 1 Thess. 1:9. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. Jer. 10:10. But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
c. Job 11:7–9. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. Job 26:14. Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand? See Ps. 139:6.
d. John 4:24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
e. 1 Tim. 1:17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. See John 1:18.
CHAPTER 2 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 9
parts,f or passions;g immutable,h immense,i eternal,k incom- prehensible,l almighty,m most wise,n most holy,o most free,p most absolute;q working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will,r for his own glory;s most
f. Deut. 4:15–16. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the simili- tude of any figure, the likeness of male or female. Cf. John 4:24 with Luke 24:39.
g. Acts 14:11, 15. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.... and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.
h. James 1:17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Mal. 3:6. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
i. 1 Kings 8:27. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? Jer. 23:23–24. Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off ? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
k. Ps. 90:2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. See 1 Tim. 1:17.
l. Ps. 145:3. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. See Rom. 11:34.
m. Gen. 17:1. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD ap- peared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. Rev. 4:8. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
n. Rom. 16:27. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
o. Isa. 6:3. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. See Rev. 4:8.
p. Ps. 115:3. But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. See Isa. 14:24.
q. Isa. 45:5–6. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. See Ex. 3:14.
r. Eph. 1:11. ... in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predesti- nated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
s. Prov. 16:4. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked
10 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 2
loving,t gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;u the rewarder of them that diligently seek him;w and withal, most just, and terrible in his judgments,x hating all sin,y and who will by no means clear the guilty.z
2. God hath all life,a glory,b goodness,c blessedness,d in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made,e nor deriving any glory
for the day of evil. Rom. 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. See Rev. 4:11.
t. 1 John 4:8. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. See 1 John 4:16; John 3:16.
u. Ex. 34:6–7. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
w. Heb. 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
x. Neh. 9:32–33. Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the ter- rible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly. See Heb. 10:28–31.
y. Rom. 1:18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodli- ness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Ps. 5:5–6. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. See Ps. 11:5.
z. Ex. 34:7a. ... keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgres- sion and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. See Nah. 1:2–3, 6.
a. Jer. 10:10. But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlast- ing king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. See John 5:26.
b. Acts 7:2. And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.
c. Ps. 119:68. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
d. 1 Tim. 6:15. ... which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. See Rom. 9:5.
e. Acts 17:24–25. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all
CHAPTER 2 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 11
from them,f but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things;g and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever himself pleaseth.h In his sight all things are open and manifest,i his knowl- edge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature,k so as nothing is to him contingent, or uncertain.l He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands.m To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience he is pleased to require of them.n
life, and breath, and all things. f. Luke 17:10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are
commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
g. Rom. 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
h. Rev. 4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Dan. 4:25, 35. That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.... and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? See 1 Tim. 6:15.
i. Heb. 4:13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
k. Rom. 11:33–34. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowl- edge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? Ps. 147:5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
l. Acts 15:18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Ezek. 11:5. And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.
m. Ps. 145:17. The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Rom. 7:12. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
n. Rev. 5:12–14. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and bless- ing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
12 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 2
3. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost:o the Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father;p the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.q
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 whatsoever comes to pass:a yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin,b nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or con- tingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.c
o. Matt. 3:16–17. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. 13:14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. See Eph. 2:18.
p. John 1:14, 18. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.... No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. See Heb. 1:2–3; Col. 1:15.
q. John 15:26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. Gal. 4:6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
a. Ps. 33:11. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Eph. 1:11. ... in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Heb. 6:17. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.
b. Ps. 5:4. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. James 1:13–14. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 1 John 1:5. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. See Hab. 1:13.
c. Acts 2:23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowl-
CHAPTER 3 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 13
2. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,d yet hath he not decreed anything be- cause he foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.e
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angelsf are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.g
edge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. Matt. 17:12. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Acts 4:27–28. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. John 19:11. Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. Prov. 16:33. The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
d. 1 Sam. 23:11–12. Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down. Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will delivertheeup.Matt.11:21, 23.Woeuntothee,Chorazin!woeuntothee,Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.... And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
e. Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18. ... (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) ... As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.... So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.... Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
f. 1 Tim. 5:21. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Jude 6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Matt. 25:31, 41. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.... Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
g. Eph. 1:5–6. ... having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Rom. 9:22–23. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with
14 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 3
4. These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.h
5. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, be- fore the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,i 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 thereunto;k and all to the praise of his glorious grace.l
much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory. Prov. 16:4. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
h. John 13:18. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. 2 Tim. 2:19. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. See John 10:14–16, 27–28; 17:2, 6, 9–12.
i. Eph. 1:4, 9, 11. ... according as he hath chosen us in him before the founda- tion of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.... having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself ... in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Rom. 8:28–30. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 2 Tim. 1:9. ... who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 1 Thess. 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
k. Rom. 9:11, 13, 15–16. ... (for the children being not yet born, neither hav- ing done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) ... As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.... For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Eph. 2:8–9. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. See Eph. 1:5, 9, 11.
l. Eph. 1:6, 12. ... to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made
CHAPTER 3 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 15
6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto.m Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,n are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,o and kept by his power, through faith, unto salvation.p Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanc- tified, and saved, but the elect only.q
us accepted in the beloved.... that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
m. 1 Pet. 1:2. ... elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Eph. 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 2 Thess. 2:13. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
n. 1 Thess. 5:9–10. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Titus 2:14. ... who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
o. Rom. 8:30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. See Eph. 1:5; 2 Thess. 2:13.
p. 1 Pet. 1:5. ... who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
q. John 10:14–15, 26. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.... But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. John 6:64–65. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. Rom. 8:28–39. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
16 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 3
7. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as he pleaseth, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.r
8. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,s that men, attending the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election.t So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, rever-
nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. See John 8:47; 17:9; 1 John 2:19.
r. Matt. 11:25–26. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and pru- dent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. Rom. 9:17–18, 21–22. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.... Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction. Jude 4. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemna- tion, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. 2:8. ... and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 2 Tim. 2:19–20. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
s. Rom. 9:20. Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Rom. 11:33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Deut. 29:29. The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
t. 2 Pet. 1:10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your call- ing and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. 1 Thess. 1:4–5.
CHAPTER 4 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 17
ence, and admiration of God;u and of humility, diligence, and abun- dant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.w
Chapter 4 Of Creation
1. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,a for the mani- festation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness,b in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.c
... knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
u. Eph. 1:6. ... to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. See Rom. 11:33.
w. Rom. 11:5–6, 20. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: other- wise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.... Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear. Rom. 8:33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Luke 10:20. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. See 2 Pet. 1:10.
a. Rom. 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 1 Cor. 8:6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Heb. 1:2. [God] hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. John 1:2–3. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Gen. 1:2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Job 33:4. The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
b. Rom. 1:20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Jer. 10:12. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heav- ens by his discretion. Ps. 104:24. O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Ps. 33:5. He loveth righteous- ness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
c. Gen. 1:1–31. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And
18 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 4
2. After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female,d with reasonable and immortal souls,e endued with knowl- edge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image;f having the law of God written in their hearts,g and power to fulfill it:h and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of
the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.... And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Ps. 33:6. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. Heb. 11:3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Col. 1:16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. Acts 17:24. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Ex. 20:11. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hal- lowed it.
d. Gen. 1:27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
e. Gen. 2:7. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Eccl. 12:7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Luke 23:43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Matt. 10:28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
f. Gen. 1:26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Col. 3:10. And [ye] have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Eph. 4:24. ... and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
g. Rom. 2:14–15. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.
h. Gen. 2:17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Eccl. 7:29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
CHAPTER 5 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 19
their own will, which was subject unto change.i Beside this law writ- ten in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God,k and had dominion over the creatures.l
Chapter 5 Of Providence
1. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,a direct, dis-
i. Gen. 3:6, 17. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.... And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
k. Gen. 2:17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen. 2:15– 3:24. And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.... And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.... And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.... And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.... Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken....
l. Gen. 1:28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. See Gen. 1:29–30; Ps. 8:6–8.
a. Neh. 9:6. Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. Ps. 145:14–16. The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them
20 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 5
pose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,b from the greatest even to the least,c by his most wise and holy providence,d according to his infallible foreknowledge,e and the free and immutable counsel
their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. Heb. 1:3. ... who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
b. Dan. 4:34–35. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Ps. 135:6. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. Acts 17:25–28. Neither is [God] worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Job 38–41. Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,... Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.... Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb.... Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death.... Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion.... Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder.... Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.... Canst thou draw out levia- than with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?...
c. Matt. 10:29–31. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. See Matt. 6:26–32.
d. Prov. 15:3. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. 2 Chron. 16:9. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. Ps. 104:24. O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Ps. 145:17. The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
e. Acts 15:18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Isa. 42:9. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Ezek. 11:5. And the Spirit of the
CHAPTER 5 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 21
of his own will,f to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.g
2. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the First Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;h yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.i
3. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,k yet is
LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. f. Eph. 1:11. ... in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predesti- nated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Ps. 33:10–11. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth
for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. g. Isa. 63:14. As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD
caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. Eph. 3:10. ... to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. Rom. 9:17. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Gen. 45:7. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Ps. 145:7. They shall abun- dantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
h. Acts 2:23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowl- edge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. See Isa. 14:24, 27.
i. Gen. 8:22. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Jer. 31:35. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name. Isa. 10:6–7. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. See Ex. 21:13 and Deut. 19:5; 1 Kings 22:28–34.
k. Acts 27:24, 31, 44b. ... saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.... Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.... And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land. Isa. 55:10–11. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in
22 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 5
free to work without,l above,m and against them, at his pleasure.n 4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite good- ness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;o and that not by a bare permission,p but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,q and otherwise ordering,
the thing whereto I sent it. l. Hos. 1:7. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them
by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Matt. 4:4. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Job 34:20. In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand.
m. Rom. 4:19–21. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had prom- ised, he was able also to perform.
n. 2 Kings 6:6. And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. Dan. 3:27. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellers, being gath- ered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
o. Isa. 45:7. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Rom. 11:32–34. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller? 2 Sam. 16:10. And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? Acts 2:23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. Acts 4:27–28. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy coun- sel determined before to be done. See 2 Sam. 24:1 and 1 Chron. 21:1; 1 Kings 22:22–23; 1 Chron. 10:4, 13–14.
p. John 12:40. He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 2 Thess. 2:11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.
q. Ps. 76:10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. 2 Kings 19:28. Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.
CHAPTER 5 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 23
and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;r yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the crea- ture, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.s
5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth 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 unto them the hidden strength of corruption and de- ceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;t 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
r. Gen. 50:20. But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Isa. 10:12. Where- fore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. See Isa. 10:6–7, 13–15.
s. James 1:13–14, 17. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.... Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 1 John 2:16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. Ps. 50:21. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
t. 2 Chron. 32:25–26, 31. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.... Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. Deut. 8:2–3, 5. And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.... Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Luke 22:31–32. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art con- verted, strengthen thy brethren. See 2 Sam. 24:1, 25.
24 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 5
of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.u 6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righ-
teous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,w from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been en- lightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;x but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,y and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin;z and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations
u. 2 Cor. 12:7–9. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abun- dance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. See Ps. 73:1–28; 77:1–12; Mark 14:66–72; John 21:15–19.
w. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.... For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.... And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. Rom. 11:7–8. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
x. Deut. 29:4. Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. Mark 4:11–12. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not per- ceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
y. Matt. 13:12. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Matt. 25:29. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. See Acts 13:10–11.
z. Gen. 4:8. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 2 Kings 8:12–13. And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Be- cause I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child. And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria. See Matt. 26:14–16.
CHAPTER 5 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 25
of the world, and the power of Satan,a whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.b
7. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all crea- tures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.c
a. Ps. 109:6. Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. Luke 22:3. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 2 Thess. 2:10–12. ... and with all deceivableness of unrigh- teousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
b. Ex. 8:15, 32. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.... And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. 2 Cor. 2:15–16. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? Isa. 8:14. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 1 Pet. 2:7–8. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. See Ex. 7:3; Isa. 6:9–10; Acts 28:26–27.
c. 1 Tim. 4:10. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. Amos 9:8–9. Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. Matt. 16:18. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Rom. 8:28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Isa. 43:3–5, 14. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west.... Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.
26 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 6
Chapter 6 Of the Fall of Man,
of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof
1. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit.a This their sin, God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, hav- ing purposed to order it to his own glory.b
2. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and com- munion with God,c and so became dead in sin,d and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body.e
a. Gen. 3:13. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 2 Cor. 11:3. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
b. See chapter 5, section 4.
c. Gen. 3:6–8. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. Rom. 3:23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
d. Gen. 2:17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Eph. 2:1–3. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. See Rom. 5:12.
e. Gen. 6:5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Jer. 17:9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Titus 1:15. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Rom. 3:10–19. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are
CHAPTER 6 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 27
3. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed;f and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.g
4. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indis- posed, disabled, and made opposite to all good,h and wholly inclined to all evil,i do proceed all actual transgressions.k
swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
f. Acts 17:26. And [God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. Rom. 5:12, 15–19. Wherefore, as by one man sin en- tered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (... But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteous- ness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 1 Cor. 15:21–22, 49. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.... And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
g. Ps. 51:5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. John 3:6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Gen. 5:3. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth. Job 15:14. What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
h. Rom. 5:6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 7:18. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. Rom. 8:7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Col. 1:21. And you, that were sometime alien- ated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.
i. Gen. 8:21. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. See Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3:10–12.
k. Matt. 15:19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries,
28 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 6
5. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated;l and although it be, through Christ, par- doned, and mortified; yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.m
6. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto,n doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner,o whereby he is bound over to the
fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. James 1:14–15. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Eph. 2:2–3. ... wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, ac- cording to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the chil- dren of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
l. Prov. 20:9. Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? Eccl. 7:20. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Rom. 7:14, 17–18, 21–23. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.... Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.... I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 1 John 1:8, 10. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.... If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
m. Rom. 7:7–8, 25. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.... I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Gal. 5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
n. 1 John 3:4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
o. Rom. 2:15. ... which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. Rom. 3:9, 19. What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.... Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
CHAPTER 7 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 29
wrath of God,p and curse of the law,q and so made subject to death,r with all miseries spiritual,s temporal,t and eternal.u
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 unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him as their bless- edness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which he hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.a
p. Eph. 2:3. ... among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
q. Gal. 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
r. Rom. 6:23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
s. Eph. 4:18. ... having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
t. Rom. 8:20. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Lam. 3:39. Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
u. Matt. 25:41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. 2 Thess. 1:9. ... who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
a. Isa. 40:13–17. Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counseller hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. Job 9:32–33. For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both. Ps. 113:5–6. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! Job 22:2–3. Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art
30 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 7
2. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works,b wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity,c upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.d
3. Man, by his fall, having made himself uncapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second,e commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life
righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? Job 35:7–8. If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? Thy wicked- ness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man. Luke 17:10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are com- manded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. Acts 17:24–25. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.
b. Gen. 2:16–17. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Hos. 6:7. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. Gal. 3:12. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
c. Gen. 3:22. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever ... Rom. 10:5. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. Rom. 5:12–14. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come....) ... See Rom. 5:15–20.
d. Gen. 2:17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gal. 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
e. Gal. 3:21. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Rom. 3:20–21. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. Rom. 8:3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, con- demned sin in the flesh. Gen. 3:15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. See Isa. 42:6.
CHAPTER 7 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 31
and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved,f and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.g
4. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in 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.h
5. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel:i under the law, it was administered
f. John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Rom. 10:6, 9. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) ... that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Rev. 22:17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
g. Acts 13:48. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. Ezek. 36:26–27. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. John 6:37, 44–45. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.... No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 1 Cor. 12:3. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
h. Heb. 9:15–17. And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
i. 2 Cor. 3:6–9. ... [God] hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the chil- dren of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his coun- tenance; which glory was to be done away: how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
32 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 7
by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come;k which were, for that time, suffi- cient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah,l by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the old testament.m
k. Heb. 8–10. Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.... For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.... But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.... For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.... For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacri- fices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.... Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be im- puted unto them also. Col. 2:11–12. ... in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 1 Cor. 5:7. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
l. 1 Cor. 10:1–4. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. Heb. 11:13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. John 8:56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
m. Gal. 3:7–9, 14. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall
CHAPTER 7 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 33
6. Under the gospel, when Christ, the substance,n was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper:o which, though fewer in number, and admin- istered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them,
it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy,p to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles;q and is called the new
all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abra- ham.... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Ps. 32:1–2, 5. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.... I ac- knowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
n. Col. 2:17. ... which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
o. 1 Cor. 1:21. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Matt. 28:19–20. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 1 Cor. 11:23–25. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testa- ment in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
p. Heb. 12:22–24. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 2 Cor. 3:9–11. For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Jer. 31:33–34. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
q. Luke 2:32. ... a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. Acts 10:34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. Eph. 2:15–19. ... having abolished in his flesh
34 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 7
testament.r There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.s
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
the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
r. Luke 22:20. Likewise also [he took] the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
s. Gal. 3:8–9, 14, 16. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abra- ham.... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.... Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Rom. 3:21–22, 30. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.... seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Rom. 4:3, 6–8. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.... Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. See Gen. 15:6. Ps. 32:1–2. Blessed is he whose transgression is for- given, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Rom. 4:16–17, 23–24. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (as it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.... Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. Heb. 4:2. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. See Rom. 10:6–10; 1 Cor. 10:3–4.
CHAPTER 8 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 35
God and man,a the Prophet,b Priest,c and King,d the Head and Savior of his church,e the Heir of all things,f and Judge of the world:g unto whom he did from all eternity give a people, to be his seed,h and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.i
a. Isa. 42:1. Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gen- tiles. 1 Pet. 1:19–20. But [ye were redeemed] with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 1 Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
b. Acts 3:20, 22. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.... For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things what- soever he shall say unto you. See Deut. 18:15.
c. Heb. 5:5–6. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
d. Ps. 2:6. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. Luke 1:33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. See Isa. 9:5–6; Acts 2:29–36; Col. 1:13.
e. Eph. 5:23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
f. Heb. 1:2. [God] hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
g. Acts 17:31. ... because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
h. John 17:6. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Ps. 22:30. A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. Isa. 53:10. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Eph. 1:4. ... according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
i. 1 Tim. 2:6. ... who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Isa. 55:4–5. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and com- mander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. 1 Cor. 1:30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctifica- tion, and redemption. Rom. 8:30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
36 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 8
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 fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature,k with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin;l being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance.m So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, com- position, or confusion.n Which person is very God, and very man, yet
k. John 1:1, 14. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 1 John 5:20. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Phil. 2:6. ... who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Gal. 4:4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
l. Phil. 2:7. ... but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Heb. 2:14, 16–17. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.... For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Heb. 4:15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
m. Luke 1:27, 31, 35. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.... And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.... And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Gal. 4:4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. See Matt. 1:18, 20–21.
n. Matt. 16:16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Col. 2:9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Rom. 9:5. ... whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. 1 Tim. 3:16. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, re- ceived up into glory.
CHAPTER 8 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 37
one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.o 3. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure,p having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;q in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell;r to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth,s he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a mediator, and surety.t Which office he took not unto himself, but was thereunto called by his Father,u who put all power and judgment into his hand, and gave
him commandment to execute the same.w 4. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake;x
o. Rom. 1:3–4. ... concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 1 Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
p. Ps. 45:7. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. John 3:34. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. See Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18; Heb. 1:8–9.
q. Col. 2:3. ... in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. r. Col. 1:19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. s. Heb. 7:26. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, unde-
filed, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. John 1:14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
t. Acts 10:38. ... how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Heb. 12:24. ... and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Heb. 7:22. ... by so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
u. Heb. 5:4–5. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
w. John 5:22, 27. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judg- ment unto the Son.... and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Matt. 28:18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Acts 2:36. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have cruci- fied, both Lord and Christ.
x. Ps. 40:7–8. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. See Heb. 10:5–10. John 4:34. Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. John 10:18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down
38 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 8
which that he might discharge, he was made under the law,y and did perfectly fulfill it;z endured most grievous torments immedi- ately in his soul,a and most painful sufferings in his body;b was crucified, and died,c was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption.d On the third day he arose from the
of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This com- mandment have I received of my Father. Phil. 2:8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
y. Gal. 4:4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
z. Matt. 3:15. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Matt. 5:17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Heb. 5:8–9. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
a. Matt. 26:37–38. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is ex- ceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. Luke 22:44. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Matt. 27:46. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
b. Matt. 26:67–68. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands. Matt. 27:27–50. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.... Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
c. Mark 15:24, 37. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.... And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. Phil. 2:8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
d. Matt. 27:60. ... and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. Acts 2:24, 27. ... whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.... because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Acts 13:29, 37. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.... But he, whom God raised again, saw no corrup- tion. Rom. 6:9. ... knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
CHAPTER 8 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 39
dead,e with the same body in which he suffered,f with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father,g making intercession,h and shall return, to judge men and angels, at the end of the world.i
5. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience, and sacrifice of him- self, which he, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of his Father;k and purchased, not only
e. 1 Cor. 15:3–4. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
f. Luke 24:39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. John 20:25, 27. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.... Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
g. Luke 24:50–51. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 1 Pet. 3:22. ... who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
h. Rom. 8:34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Heb. 7:25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. See Heb. 9:24.
i. Acts 1:11. ... which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. John 5:28–29. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Rom. 14:10b. ... for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Acts 10:42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. Matt. 13:40–42. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wail- ing and gnashing of teeth. Jude 6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. See 2 Pet. 2:4.
k. Rom. 5:19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Heb. 9:14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot
40 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 8
reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto him.l
6. Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof were communicated unto 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 which should bruise the serpent’s head; and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world; being yesterday and today the same, and forever.m
to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb. 10:14. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Eph. 5:2. ... and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. Rom. 3:25–26. ... whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righ- teousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
l. Dan. 9:24. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 2 Cor. 5:18. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. Col. 1:20. ... and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Eph. 1:11, 14. ... in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.... which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Heb. 9:12, 15. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.... And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. John 17:2. ... as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
m. Gal. 4:4–5. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Gen. 3:15. And I will put enmity be- tween thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 1 Cor. 10:4. And [our fathers] did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. Rev. 13:8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Heb. 13:8. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. See Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:15.
CHAPTER 8 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 41
7. Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both na- tures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself;n 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.o
8. To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, he doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same;p making intercession for them,q and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation;r effectually persuading them by his Spirit to believe and obey, and governing their hearts by his Word
n. John 10:17–18. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. 1 Pet. 3:18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. Heb. 1:3. ... who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. See Heb. 9:14.
o. Acts 20:28. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Luke 1:43. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? See Rom. 9:5.
p. John 6:37, 39. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.... And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. John 10:15–16, 27–28. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.... My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
q. 1 John 2:1. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Rom. 8:34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
r. John 15:15. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Eph. 1:9. ... having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself. John 17:6. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
42 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 8
and Spirit;s 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.t
Chapter 9 Of Free Will
1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, deter- mined to good, or evil.a
2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will
s. John 14:26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remem- brance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 2 Cor. 4:13. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak. Rom. 8:9, 14. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.... For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom. 15:18–19. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. John 17:17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
t. Ps. 110:1. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 1 Cor. 15:25–26. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Col. 2:15. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Luke 10:19. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
a. James 1:13–14. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Deut. 30:19. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. Isa. 7:11–12. Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. Matt. 17:12. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. John 5:40. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. James 4:7. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
CHAPTER 9 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 43
and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God;b but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it.c
3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation:d so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good,e and dead in sin,f is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.g
b. Eccl. 7:29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Gen. 1:26, 31. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.... And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Col. 3:10. And [ye] have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowl- edge after the image of him that created him.
c. Gen. 2:16–17. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen. 3:6, 17. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.... And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
d. Rom. 8:7–8. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. John 6:44, 65. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.... And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. John 15:5. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do noth- ing. Rom. 5:5. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
e. Rom. 3:9–10, 12, 23. What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.... They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.... For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
f. Eph. 2:1, 5. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.... Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) ... Col. 2:13. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
g. John 6:44, 65. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me
44 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 9
4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin;h and, by his grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;i yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corrup- tion, he doth not perfectly, nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.k
draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.... And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. John 3:3, 5–6. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Ex- cept a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.... Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 1 Cor. 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Titus 3:3–5. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regen- eration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
h. Col. 1:13. ... who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. John 8:34, 36. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.... If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Rom. 6:6–7. ... knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
i. Phil. 2:13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Rom. 6:14, 17–19, 22. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.... But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteous- ness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.... But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
k. Gal. 5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Rom. 7:14–25. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that
CHAPTER 10 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 45
5. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone, in the state of glory only.l
Chapter 10 Of Effectual Calling
1. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, he is pleased, in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call,a
do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. 1 John 1:8, 10. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.... If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
l. Heb. 12:23. ... to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. 1 John 3:2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. Jude 24. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy ... Rev. 21:27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
a. Acts 13:48. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. Rom. 8:28, 30. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.... Moreover whom he did pre- destinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Rom. 11:7. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Eph. 1:5, 11. ... having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.... in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. 2 Tim. 1:9–10. ... who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
46 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 10
by his Word and Spirit,b out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ;c enlight- ening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God,d taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart
b. 2 Thess. 2:13–14. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. James 1:18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 2 Cor. 3:3, 6. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.... who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 1 Cor. 2:12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
c. 2 Tim. 1:9–10. ... who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 1 Pet. 2:9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Rom. 8:2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Eph. 2:1–10. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in tres- passes and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
d. Acts 26:18. [I send thee] to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. 1 Cor. 2:10, 12. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.... Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Eph. 1:17–18. ... that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowl-
CHAPTER 10 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 47
of flesh;e renewing their wills, and, by his almighty power, determin- ing them to that which is good,f and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ:g yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.h
2. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not
edge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. 2 Cor. 4:6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
e. Ezek. 36:26. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
f. Ezek. 11:19. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh. Deut. 30:6. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. Ezek. 36:27. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. John 3:5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Titus 3:5. Not by works of righ- teousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. 1 Pet. 1:23. ... being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
g. John 6:44–45. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Acts 16:14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
h. Ps. 110:3. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. John 6:37. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Matt. 11:28. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Rev. 22:17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Rom. 6:16–18. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteous- ness. Eph. 2:8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Phil. 1:29. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.
48 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 10
from anything at all foreseen in man,i who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit,k he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.l
3. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,m who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth:n so also are all other elect persons who are uncapable of
i. 2 Tim. 1:9. ... who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. Eph. 2:8–9. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Rom. 9:11. ... (for the children being not yet born, neither hav- ing done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) ...
k. 1 Cor. 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritu- ally discerned. Rom. 8:7–9. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Titus 3:4–5. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
l. John 6:37. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Ezek. 36:27. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 1 John 5:1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. Cf. 1 John 3:9.
m. Gen. 17:7. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. Luke 18:15–16. And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Acts 2:39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. John 3:3, 5. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.... Jesus an- swered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1 John 5:12. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. See Luke 1:15.
n. John 3:8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
CHAPTER 10 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 49
being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.o 4. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the minis- try of the Word,p and may have some common operations of the Spirit,q yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved:r much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the laws of that religion they do profess.s And, to assert and maintain that they may,
o. John 16:7–8. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. 1 John 5:12. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
p. Matt. 13:14–15. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive. Acts 28:24. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. Cf. Acts 13:48. Matt. 22:14. For many are called, but few are chosen.
q. Matt. 13:20–21. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in him- self, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. Matt. 7:22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Heb. 6:4–5. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come ...
r. John 6:37, 64–66. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.... But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. John 8:44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the begin- ning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 13:18. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Cf. John 17:12.
s. Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 1 John 4:2–3. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it
50 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 10 is very pernicious, and to be detested.t
Chapter 11 Of Justification
1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth:a not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins,
should come; and even now already is it in the world. 2 John 9. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Eph. 2:12–13. ... that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. John 4:22. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. John 17:3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Rom. 10:13–17. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
t. 2 John 9–11. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 1 Cor. 16:22. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. Gal. 1:6–8. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
a. Rom. 8:30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Rom. 3:24. ... being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Rom. 5:15–16. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
CHAPTER 11 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 51
and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imput- ing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them,b they receiv- ing and resting on him and his righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.c
b. Rom. 4:5–8. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, say- ing, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reck- oned to Abraham for righteousness. 2 Cor. 5:19, 21. ... to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.... For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Rom. 3:22–28. ... even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boast- ing then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. There- fore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Titus 3:5, 7. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;... that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Eph. 1:7. ... in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Jer. 23:6. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. 1 Cor. 1:30–31. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. Rom. 5:17–19. ... (For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
c. John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Acts 10:43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive re- mission of sins. Acts 13:38–39. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren,
52 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 11
2. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and his righteous- ness, is the alone instrument of justification:d yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.e
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.f Yet, inas-
that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Phil. 3:9. ... and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Eph. 2:7–8. ... that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. John 6:44–45, 65. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.... And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. Phil. 1:29. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.
d.John3:18, 36.Hethatbelievethonhimisnotcondemned:buthethatbelieveth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begot- ten Son of God.... He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Rom. 3:28. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Rom. 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
e. James 2:17, 22, 26. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.... Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?... For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. Gal. 5:6. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
f. Mark 10:45. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Rom. 5:8–10, 18–19. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.... Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righ- teousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. 1 Tim. 2:5–6. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
CHAPTER 11 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 53
much as he was given by the Father for them;g and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead;h and both, freely, not for any- thing in them; their justification is only of free grace;i that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justifica- tion of sinners.k
Heb. 1:3. ... who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Heb. 10:10, 14. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.... For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Dan. 9:24, 26. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.... And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. See Isa. 52:13–53:12.
g. Rom. 8:32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
h. 2 Cor. 5:21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Eph. 5:2. ... and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. Phil. 2:6–9. ... who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. Isa. 53:10–11. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
i. Rom. 3:24. ... being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Eph. 1:7. ... in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
k. Rom. 3:26. ... to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Eph. 2:7. ... that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Zech. 9:9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Isa. 45:21. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
54 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 11
4. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect,l and Christ did, in the fullness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their justification:m nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.n
5. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified;o and, although they can never fall from the state of justification,p yet
l. Rom. 8:29–30. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many breth- ren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Gal. 3:8. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 1 Pet. 1:2, 19–20. ... elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.... But [ye were redeemed] with the pre- cious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
m. Gal. 4:4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. 1 Tim. 2:6. ... who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Rom. 4:25. ... who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
n. Eph. 2:3. ... among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Titus 3:3–7. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Gal. 2:16. ... knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Cf. Col. 1:21–22.
o. Matt. 6:12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 1 John 1:7, 9. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.... If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteous- ness. 1 John 2:1–2. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
p. Rom. 5:1–5. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace
CHAPTER 11 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 55
they may, by their sins, fall under God’s fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.q
6. The justification of believers under the old testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers
wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Rom. 8:30–39. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Heb. 10:14. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Cf. Luke 22:32; John 10:28.
q. Ps. 89:30–33. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkind- ness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. Ps. 51. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multi- tude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.... Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.... Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.... Ps. 32:5. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Matt. 26:75. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. Luke 1:20. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 1 Cor. 11:30, 32. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.... But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
56 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 11 under the new testament.r
Chapter 12 Of Adoption
1. All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption,a by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God,b have his name put upon them,c
r. Gal. 3:9, 13–14. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.... Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promiseoftheSpiritthroughfaith.Rom.4:6–8, 22–24.EvenasDavidalsodescribeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.... And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. Rom. 10:6–13. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Heb. 13:8. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
a. Eph. 1:5. ... having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. Gal. 4:4–5. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
b. Rom. 8:17. ... and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
c. Num. 6:24–26. The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: the LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the LORD lift up his countenance upon
CHAPTER 12 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 57
receive the Spirit of adoption,d have access to the throne of grace with boldness,e are enabled to cry, Abba, Father,f are pitied,g pro- tected,h provided for,i and chastened by him, as by a father:k yet never cast off,l but sealed to the day of redemption;m and inherit the promises,n as heirs of everlasting salvation.o
thee, and give thee peace. Jer. 14:9. Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not. Amos 9:12. ... that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Acts 15:17. ... that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 2 Cor. 6:18. ... and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Rev. 3:12. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
d. Rom. 8:15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
e. Eph. 3:12. ... in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. See Heb. 4:16.
f. Rom. 8:15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. See Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:16.
g. Ps. 103:13. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
h. Prov. 14:26. In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
i. Matt. 6:30, 32. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?... (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 1 Pet. 5:7. ... casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
k. Heb. 12:6. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
l. Lam. 3:31–32. For the Lord will not cast off for ever: but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. See Ps. 89:30–35.
m. Eph. 4:30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
n. Heb. 6:12. ... that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
o. 1 Pet. 1:3–4. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and unde- filed, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Heb. 1:14. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
58 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 13
Chapter 13 Of Sanctification
1. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection,a by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them:b the domin-
a. 1 Thess. 5:23–24. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 2 Thess. 2:13–14. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanc- tification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ezek. 36:22–28. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. Titus 3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Acts 20:32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Phil. 3:10. ... that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Rom. 6:5–6. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
b. John 17:17, 19. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.... And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Eph. 5:26. ... that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Rom. 8:13–14. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 2 Thess. 2:13. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
CHAPTER 13 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 59
ion of the whole body of sin is destroyed,c and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified;d and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces,e to the prac- tice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.f
2. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man;g yet im- perfect in this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part;h whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the
c. Rom. 6:6, 14. ... knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.... For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
d. Gal. 5:24. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affec- tions and lusts. Rom. 8:13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
e. Col. 1:10–11. ... that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strength- ened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. Eph. 3:16–19. ... that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
f. 2 Cor. 7:1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Col. 1:28. ... whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Col. 4:12. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fer- vently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Heb. 12:14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
g. 1 Thess. 5:23. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 12:1–2. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mer- cies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye trans- formed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
h. 1 John 1:8–10. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. Rom. 7:14–25. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.... For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.... O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of
60 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 13
flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.i 3. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail;k yet, through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome;l and so, the saints grow in grace,m perfecting holiness in the fear of
God.n
Chapter 14 Of Saving Faith
1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls,a is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their
this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Phil. 3:12. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may ap- prehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
i. Gal. 5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
k. Rom. 7:23. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
l. Rom. 6:14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 1 John 5:4. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Eph. 4:15– 16. ... but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. See Rom. 8:2.
m. 2 Pet. 3:18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Sav- iour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Cor. 3:18. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
n. 2 Cor. 7:1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
a. Titus 1:1. Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness. Heb. 10:39. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
CHAPTER 14 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 61
hearts,b and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word,c by which also, and by the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.d
b. 1 Cor. 12:3. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. John 3:5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Titus 3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. John 6:44–45, 65. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.... And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. Eph. 2:8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Phil. 1:29. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. 2 Pet. 1:1. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righ- teousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. See 1 Pet. 1:2.
c. Matt. 28:19–20. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Rom. 10:14, 17. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher.... So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 1 Cor. 1:21. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
d. 1 Pet. 2:2. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. Acts 20:32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Rom. 1:16–17. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. See Acts 2:38. 1 Cor. 10:16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 1 Cor. 11:23–29. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, un-
62 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 14
2. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking therein;e and acteth differently upon that which each particular pas- sage thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands,f trem- bling at the threatenings,g and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come.h But the principal acts of saving
worthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. Luke 17:5. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. Phil. 4:6–7. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
e. 2 Pet. 1:20–21. ... knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. John 4:42. And [they] said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. 1 Thess. 2:13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 John 5:9–10. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. Acts 24:14. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.
f. Ps. 119:10–11, 48, 97–98, 167–168. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.... My hands also will I lift up unto thy com- mandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.... O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.... My soul hath kept thy testimo- nies; and I love them exceedingly. I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee. John 14:15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.
g. Ezra 9:4. Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice. Isa. 66:2. For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Heb. 4:1. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
h. Heb. 11:13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 1 Tim. 4:8. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of
CHAPTER 14 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 63
faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone for justi- fication, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.i
3. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong;k may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory:l grow- ing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ,m
the life that now is, and of that which is to come. i. John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the
sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Acts 16:31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Gal. 2:20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Acts 15:11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. 2 Tim. 1:9–10. ... who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
k. Heb. 5:13–14. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righ- teousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Rom. 14:1–2. Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputa- tions. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Matt. 6:30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Rom. 4:19–20. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. Matt. 8:10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
l. Luke 22:31–32. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath de- sired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Eph. 6:16. ... above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 1 John 5:4–5. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
m. Heb. 6:11–12. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same dili- gence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb. 10:22. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Col. 2:2. ... that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.
64 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 14 who is both the author and finisher of our faith.n
Chapter 15 Of Repentance unto Life
1. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace,a the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.b
2. By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the dan- ger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature, and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehen- sion of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,c purposing and
n. Heb. 12:2. ... looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
a. Acts 11:18. When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. 2 Cor. 7:10. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. Zech. 12:10. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
b. Luke 24:47. ... and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Mark 1:15. ... and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Acts 20:21. ... testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
c. Ezek. 18:30–31. Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your trans- gressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezek. 36:31. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Isa. 30:22. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. Ps. 51:4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Jer. 31:18–19. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn
CHAPTER 15 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 65
endeavoring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.d 3. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof,e which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ;f yet it is of such necessity to all sinners, that
none may expect pardon without it.g
thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. Joel 2:12–13. There- fore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Amos 5:15. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Ps. 119:128. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. 2 Cor. 7:11. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 1 Thess. 1:9. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.
d. Ps. 119:6, 59, 106. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.... I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimo- nies.... I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. 2 Kings 23:25. And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. See Luke 1:6.
e. Ezek. 36:31–32. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your do- ings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Ezek. 16:61–63. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: that thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified to- ward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord GOD. Isa. 43:25. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
f. Hos. 14:2, 4. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.... I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. Rom. 3:24. ... being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Eph. 1:7. ... in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
g. Luke 13:3, 5. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise per- ish.... I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Mark 1:4. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the
66 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 15
4. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation;h so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.i
5. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repen- tance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavor to repent of his particu- lar sins, particularly.k
6. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof;l upon which, and the forsaking
remission of sins. Acts 17:30–31. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
h. Rom. 6:23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Gal. 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Matt. 12:36. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
i. Isa. 55:7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Rom. 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Isa. 1:16–18. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the op- pressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason to- gether, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
k. Ps. 19:13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Matt. 26:75. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. Luke 19:8. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 1 Tim. 1:13, 15. ... who was before a blas- phemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it igno- rantly in unbelief.... This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
l. Ps. 32:5–6. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Ps. 51:1–14. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving- kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgres- sions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I ac-
CHAPTER 16 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 67
of them, he shall find mercy;m so, he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public con- fession, and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended,n who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.o
Chapter 16 Of Good Works
1. Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy Word,a and not such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal, or upon any pretense of good intention.b
knowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.... Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.... Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
m. Prov. 28:13. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Isa. 55:7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
n. James 5:16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Luke 17:3–4. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Josh. 7:19. And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. See Matt. 18:15–18.
o. 2 Cor. 2:7–8. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Where- fore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. See Gal. 6:1–2.
a. Mic. 6:8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Rom. 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Heb. 13:21. ... make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
b. Matt. 15:9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the com- mandments of men. Isa. 29:13. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed
68 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 16
2. These good works, done in obedience to God’s command- ments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith:c and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,d strengthen their assurance,e edify their brethren,f adorn the profession of the gospel,g
their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men ... 1 Pet. 1:18. ... forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers. John 16:2. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. Rom. 10:2. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 1 Sam. 15:21–23. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacri- fices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubborn- ness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. Deut. 10:12–13. And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Col. 2:16–17, 20–23. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.... Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
c. James 2:18, 22. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.... Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
d. Ps. 116:12–14. What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. Col. 3:15–17. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and ad- monishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 1 Pet. 2:9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
e. 1 John 2:3, 5. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.... But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God per- fected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2 Pet. 1:5–10. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temper-
CHAPTER 16 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 69
stop the mouths of the adversaries,h and glorify God,i whose work- manship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto,k that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.l
3. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ.m And that they may be enabled
ance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness broth- erly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
f. 2 Cor. 9:2. For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. Matt. 5:16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 1 Tim. 4:12. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
g. Titus 2:5, 9–12. ... to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.... Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answer- ing again; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doc- trine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. 1 Tim. 6:1. Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
h. 1 Pet. 2:15. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
i. 1 Pet. 2:12. ... having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Phil. 1:11. ... being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. John 15:8. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
k. Eph. 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
l. Rom. 6:22. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
m. John 15:4–6. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. Rom. 8:4–14. ... that the righteousness of the law might be ful- filled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the
70 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 16
thereunto, beside the graces they have already received, there is re- quired an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will, and to do, of his good pleasure:n 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.o
4. They who, in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short of much
flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.... But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.... For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Ezek. 36:26–27. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
n. Phil. 2:13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil. 4:13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 2 Cor. 3:5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God. Eph. 3:16. ... that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.
o. Phil. 2:12. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Heb. 6:11–12. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 2 Pet. 1:3, 5, 10–11. ... according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.... And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.... Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Sav- iour Jesus Christ. Isa. 64:7. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 2 Tim. 1:6. Wherefore I put thee in remem- brance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. Acts 26:6–7. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Jude 20–21. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
CHAPTER 16 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 71
which in duty they are bound to do.p 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 the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins,q but when we have done all we
p. Luke 17:10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. Neh. 13:22. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the great- ness of thy mercy. Rom. 8:21–25. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Gal. 5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
q. Rom. 3:20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Rom. 4:2, 4, 6. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.... Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.... Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness with- out works. Eph. 2:8–9. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Titus 3:5– 7. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Rom. 8:18, 22–24. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.... For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? Ps. 16:2. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee. Job 22:2–3. Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself ? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect? Job 35:7–8. If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.
72 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 16
can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants:r and because, as they are good, they proceed from his Spirit;s and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weak- ness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment.t
6. Notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him;u not as though they were in this life wholly unblamable and unreprovable in God’s sight;w 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.x
r. Luke 17:10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
s. Rom. 8:13–14. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Gal. 5:22–23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
t. Isa. 64:6. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Gal. 5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Rom. 7:15, 18. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.... For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. Ps. 143:2. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Ps. 130:3. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
u. Eph. 1:6. ... to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 1 Pet. 2:5. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. See Ex. 28:38; Gen. 4:4; Heb. 11:4.
w. Job 9:20. If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Ps. 143:2. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. 1 John 1:8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
x. Heb. 13:20–21. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2 Cor. 8:12. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. Heb. 6:10. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his
CHAPTER 16 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 73
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:y yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith;z nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word;a nor to a right end, the glory of God,b they
name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Matt. 25:21, 23. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.... His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 1 Cor. 3:14. If any man’s work abide which he hath built there- upon, he shall receive a reward. 1 Cor. 4:5. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
y. 2 Kings 10:30–31. And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. 1 Kings 21:27, 29. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.... Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? be- cause he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house. Luke 6:32–34. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. Luke 18:2–7. ... saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? See Rom. 13:4.
z. Heb. 11:4, 6. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.... But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. See Gen. 4:3–5.
a. 1 Cor. 13:3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Isa. 1:12. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
b. Matt. 6:2, 5, 16. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a
74 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 16
are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God:c and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.d
Chapter 17 Of the Perseverance of the Saints
1. They, whom God hath 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 therein to
trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.... And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray stand- ing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.... Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 1 Cor. 10:31. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
c. Prov. 21:27. The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? Hag. 2:14. Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean. Titus 1:15. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Amos 5:21–22. I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Mark 7:6–7. He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Hos. 1:4. And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. Rom. 9:16. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Titus 3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regen- eration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
d. Ps. 14:4. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. Ps. 36:3. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. Matt. 25:41–45. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me
CHAPTER 17 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 75
the end, and be eternally saved.a 2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own
free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flow- ing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father;b upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ,c the
not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Matt. 23:23. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omit- ted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. See Rom. 1:21–32.
a. Phil. 1:6. ... being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. 1:10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. Rom. 8:28–30. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. John 10:28–29. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 5:18. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 1 Pet. 1:5, 9. ... who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.... receiving the end of your faith, even the salva- tion of your souls.
b. Ps. 89:3–4, 28–33. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.... My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their trans- gression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 2 Tim. 2:18–19. ... who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. Jer. 31:3. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving- kindness have I drawn thee.
c. Heb. 10:10, 14. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of
76 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 17
abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them,d and the nature of the covenant of grace:e from all which ariseth also the
the body of Jesus Christ once for all.... For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Heb. 13:20–21. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Heb. 9:12–15. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the re- demption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Rom. 8:33–39. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or naked- ness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. John 17:11, 24. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.... Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. Luke 22:32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Heb. 7:25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
d. John 14:16–17. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 1 John 2:27. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
e. Jer. 32:40. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Ps. 89:34–37. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the
CHAPTER 17 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 77
certainty and infallibility thereof.f 3. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and
of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins;g and, for a time, continue therein:h whereby they incur God’s
thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah. See Jer. 31:31–34.
f. John 6:38–40. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 10:28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 2 Thess. 3:3. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 1 John 2:19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have contin- ued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
g. Ex. 32:21. And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? Jonah 1:3, 10. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.... Then were the men exceed- ingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Ps. 51:14. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Matt. 26:70, 72, 74. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.... And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.... Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
h. 2 Sam. 12:9, 13. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.... And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Gal. 2:11– 14. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
78 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 17
displeasure,i and grieve his Holy Spirit,k come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts,l have their hearts hardened,m and their consciences wounded;n hurt and scandalize others,o and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.p
i. Num. 20:12. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye be- lieved me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. 2 Sam. 11:27. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD. Isa. 64:7, 9. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.... Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
k. Eph. 4:30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
l. Ps. 51:8, 10, 12. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.... Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.... Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Rev. 2:4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Matt. 26:75. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
m. Isa. 63:17. O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. n. Ps. 32:3–4. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. Ps. 51:8. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that
the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. o. Gen. 12:10–20. And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down
into Egypt to sojourn there.... And ... he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now ... it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.... The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.... And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me.... I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.... 2 Sam. 12:14. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. Gal. 2:13. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
p. Ps. 89:31–32. If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 1 Cor. 11:32. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
CHAPTER 18 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 79
Chapter 18 Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
1. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of be- ing in the favor of God, and estate of salvationa (which hope of theirs shall perishb): yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him in sincerity, endeavoring to walk in all good conscience before him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace,c and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.d
2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persua- sion grounded upon a fallible hope;e but an infallible assurance of
a. Mic. 3:11. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. Deut. 29:19. ... and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst. John 8:41. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
b. Amos 9:10. All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. Matt. 7:22–23. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
c. 1 John 5:13. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John 2:3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1 John 3:14, 18–19, 21, 24. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.... My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.... And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.... Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.... And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
d. Rom. 5:2, 5. ... by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.... And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
e. Heb. 6:11, 19. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same dili- gence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.... which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
80 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 18
faith founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation,f the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made,g the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God,h which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.i
3. This infallible assurance doth 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:k yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may,
f. Heb. 6:17–18. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two im- mutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
g. 2 Pet. 1:4–11. ... whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to tem- perance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 1 John 2:3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1 John 3:14. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 2 Cor. 1:12. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
h. Rom. 8:15–16. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
i. Eph. 1:13–14. ... in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Eph. 4:30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemp- tion. 2 Cor. 1:21–22. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
k. 1 John 5:13. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
CHAPTER 18 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 81
without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto.l And therefore it is the duty of everyone to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure,m that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance;n so far is it from inclining men to looseness.o
l. 1 Cor. 2:12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 John 4:13. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. Heb. 6:11–12. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Eph. 3:17–18. ... that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.
m. 2 Pet. 1:10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
n. Rom. 5:1–2, 5. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.... And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Rom. 14:17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Rom. 15:13. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Eph. 1:3–4. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Ps. 4:6–7. There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.... Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. Ps. 119:32. I will run the way of thy com- mandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
o. 1 John 2:1–2. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Rom. 6:1–2. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Titus 2:11–12, 14. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath ap- peared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.... who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 2 Cor. 7:1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Rom. 8:1, 12. There is therefore now no condemnation to them
82 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 18
4. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in pre- serving of it, by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temp- tation, by God’s withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suf- fering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light:p 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;q and by the which, in the meantime, they are supported from utter despair.r
which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.... There- fore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 1 John 3:2–3. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Ps. 130:4. But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 1 John 1:6–7. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
p. Ps. 51:8, 12, 14. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.... Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.... Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Eph. 4:30–31. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. Ps. 77:1–10. I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.... Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. Ps. 31:22. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. Cf. Matt. 26:69–72 and Luke 22:31–34.
q. 1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Luke 22:32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Ps. 51:8, 12. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.... Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. See Ps. 73:15.
r. Mic. 7:7–9. Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause,
CHAPTER 19 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 83
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 per- petual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.a
and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Jer. 32:40. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Isa. 54:7–14. For a small moment have I for- saken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.... For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.... In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. 2 Cor. 4:8–10. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
a. Gen. 1:26–27. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our like- ness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Gen. 2:17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Eph. 4:24. ... and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Rom. 2:14–15. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accus- ing or else excusing one another. Rom. 10:5. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. Rom. 5:12, 19. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned ... For as by one man’s disobe- dience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Gal. 3:10, 12. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.... And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Eccl. 7:29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
84 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 19
2. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righ- teousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables:b the first four com- mandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.c
b. James 1:25. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 2:8, 10–12. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.... For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. Rom. 3:19. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Rom. 13:8–9. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Deut. 5:32. Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Deut. 10:4. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten com- mandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me. Ex. 34:1. And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
c. Ex. 20:3–17. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth genera- tion of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false wit- ness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. Matt. 22:37–40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
CHAPTER 19 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 85
3. Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits;d and partly, hold- ing forth divers instructions of moral duties.e All which ceremonial
thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
d. Heb. 10:1. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. Gal. 4:1–3. Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. Col. 2:17. ... which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Heb. 9:1– 28. Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all.... Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of refor- mation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.... It was therefore neces- sary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us....
e. Lev. 19:9–10, 19, 23, 27. And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.... Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.... And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.... Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the
86 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 19
laws are now abrogated, under the new testament.f 4. To them also, as a body politic, he gave sundry judicial laws,
which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging
corners of thy beard. Deut. 24:19–21. When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it after- ward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. See 1 Cor. 5:7; 2 Cor. 6:17; Jude 23.
f. Col. 2:14, 16–17. ... blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Dan. 9:27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Eph. 2:15–16. ... having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. Heb. 9:10. ... which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reforma- tion. Acts 10:9–16. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: and he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Acts 11:2–10. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
CHAPTER 19 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 87
any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require.g 5. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof;h and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the
g. Ex. 21:1–23:19. Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.... He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.... And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.... If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.... If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.... And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.... Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.... Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.... And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.... Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.... The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk. Cf. Gen. 49:10 with 1 Pet. 2:13–14. 1 Cor. 9:8–10. Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
h. Rom. 13:8–10. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom. 3:31. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Rom. 7:25. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. 1 Cor. 9:21. [I became] to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. Gal. 5:14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Eph. 6:2–3. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 1 John 2:3–4, 7. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.... Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Cf. Rom. 3:20; Rom. 7:7–8 and 1 John 3:4 with Rom. 6:15.
88 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 19
Creator, who gave it.i Neither doth Christ, in the gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.k
6. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned;l yet is it of great use to
i. Deut. 6:4–5. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Ex. 20:11. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Rom. 3:19. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. James 2:8, 10–11. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well.... For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. Matt. 19:4–6. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Gen. 17:1. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
k. Matt. 5:17–19. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whoso- ever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Rom. 3:31. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. 1 Cor. 9:21. [I became] to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. Luke 16:17–18. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adul- tery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adul- tery.
l. Rom. 6:14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom.7:4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Gal. 2:16. ... knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Gal. 4:4–5. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive
CHAPTER 19 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 89
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;m discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives;n so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin,o
the adoption of sons. Acts 13:38–39. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Rom. 8:1, 33. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.... Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
m. Rom. 7:12, 22, 25. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.... For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.... I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Ps. 119:1–6. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were di- rected to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 1 Cor. 7:19. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Gal. 5:14–23. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunken- ness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek- ness, temperance: against such there is no law.
n. Rom. 7:7, 13. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.... Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. Rom. 3:20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
o. James 1:23–25. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. Rom. 7:9, 14, 24. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and
90 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 19
together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience.p It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin:q and the threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve; and what afflictions, in this life, they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law.r The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof:s although not as due to
I died.... For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.... O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
p. Gal. 3:24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Rom. 7:24–25. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Rom. 8:3–4. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
q. James 2:11–12. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. Ps. 119:101, 104, 128. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.... Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.... Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
r. Ezra 9:13–14. And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; should we again break thy com- mandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? Ps. 89:30–34. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
s. Ex. 19:5–6. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. Deut. 5:33. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess. Lev. 18:5. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD. Matt. 19:17. And he said
CHAPTER 19 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 91
them by the law as a covenant of works.t So as, a man’s doing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law; and, not under grace.u
unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Lev. 26:1–13. ... If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.... For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.... And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.... 2 Cor. 6:16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Eph. 6:2–3. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with prom- ise;) that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Ps. 19:11. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great re- ward. Ps. 37:11. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Matt. 5:5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
t. Gal. 2:16. ... knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Luke 17:10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
u. Rom. 6:12–15. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrigh- teousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 1 Pet. 3:8–12. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? With Ps. 34:12– 16. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do
92 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 19
7. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it;w 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, requireth to be done.x
Chapter 20 Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
1. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the con- demning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law;a and, in their
good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. Heb. 12:28–29. Wherefore we receiv- ing a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.
w. Rom. 3:31. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Gal. 3:21. Is the law then against the promises of God? God for- bid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Titus 2:11–14. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
x. Ezek. 36:27. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Heb. 8:10. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. With Jer. 31:33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Ps. 119:35, 47. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.... And I will delight myself in thy com- mandments, which I have loved. Rom. 7:22. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.
a. Titus 2:14. ... who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 1 Thess. 1:10. ... and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even
CHAPTER 20 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 93
being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin;b from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation;c as also, in their free access to God,d and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a childlike love and willing mind.e All which were common also to believers under the law.f But, under the new testa-
Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
b. Gal. 1:4. ... who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. Col. 1:13. ... who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Acts 26:18. [I send thee] to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive for- giveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Rom. 6:14. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
c. Rom. 8:28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Ps. 119:71. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. 2 Cor. 4:15–18. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light afflic- tion, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 1 Cor. 15:54–57. So when this corruptible shall have put on incor- ruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Rom. 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. See 1 Thess. 1:10.
d. Rom. 5:1–2. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
e. Rom. 8:14–15. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Gal. 4:6. And be- cause ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 1 John 4:18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
f. Gal. 3:8–9, 14. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the hea- then through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all
94 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 20
ment, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected;g and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace,h
nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abra- ham.... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Rom. 4:6–8. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righ- teousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 1 Cor. 10:3–4. And [our fathers] did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. Heb. 11:1–40. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.... By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.... By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inherit- ance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.... By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.... And these all, having ob- tained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
g. Gal. 4:1–7. Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Where- fore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Gal. 5:1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Acts 15:10–11. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
h. Heb. 4:14–16. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb. 10:19–22. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the
CHAPTER 20 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 95
and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believ- ers under the law did ordinarily partake of.i
2. God alone is Lord of the conscience,k and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in anything, contrary to his Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship.l So
veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
i. John 7:38–39. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Acts 2:17–18. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 2 Cor. 3:8, 13, 17–18. How shall not the minis- tration of the spirit be rather glorious?... And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.... Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. See Jer. 31:31–34.
k. James 4:12. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? Rom. 14:4, 10. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.... But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 1 Cor. 10:29. Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?
l. Acts 4:19. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. Acts 5:29. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 1 Cor. 7:22–23. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Matt. 15:1–6. Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the com- mandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy fa- ther and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Matt. 23:8–10. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
96 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 20
that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience:m and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to de- stroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.n
3. They who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, do practice any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian lib- erty, 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.o
2 Cor. 1:24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. Matt. 15:9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
m. Col. 2:20–23. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. Gal. 1:10. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Gal. 2:4–5. ... and that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. Gal. 4:9–10. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. Gal. 5:1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
n. Rom. 10:17. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Isa. 8:20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. John 4:22. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. Rev. 13:12, 16–17. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.... And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Jer. 8:9. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? 1 Pet. 3:15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
o. Gal. 5:13. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 1 Pet. 2:16. ... as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
CHAPTER 20 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 97
4. And because the powers which God hath ordained, and the liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, they who, upon pretense of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God.p 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 conversation), or to the power of godliness; or, such erro- neous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against, by
2 Pet. 2:19. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. Rom. 6:15. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. John 8:34. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. Luke 1:74–75. ... that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
p. 1 Pet. 2:13–14, 16. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.... as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Rom. 13:1–8. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Heb. 13:17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. 1 Thess. 5:12–13. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
98 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 20 the censures of the church.q
q. Rom. 1:32. ... who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 1 Cor. 5:1, 5, 11–13. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.... to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruc- tion of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.... But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 2 John 10–11. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 Thess. 3:6, 14. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.... And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 1 Tim. 6:3–4. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. Titus 1:10–11, 13–14. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circum- cision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.... This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Titus 3:10. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject. Rom. 16:17. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Matt. 18:15–17. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 1 Tim. 1:19–20. ... holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. Rev. 2:2, 14–15, 20. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.... But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.... Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to se- duce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
CHAPTER 21 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 99
Chapter 21 Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
1. The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is 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 with all the soul, and with all the might.a But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is
a. Rom. 1:20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Ps. 19:1–4a. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Ps. 50:6. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah. Ps. 97:6. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Ps. 145:9–12. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Acts 14:17. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. Ps. 104:1–35. Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.... Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.... He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.... O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.... The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works. He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke. I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.... Ps. 86:8–10. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Ps. 95:1–6. O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. Ps. 89:5–7. And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. Deut. 6:4–5. Hear, O Israel: The LORD
100 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 21
instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.b
our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
b. Deut. 12:32. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Matt. 15:9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Acts 17:23–25. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UN- KNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. Matt. 4:9–10. And [the devil] saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Deut. 4:15–20. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day. Ex. 20:4–6. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. John 4:23–24. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Col. 2:18–23. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment minis- tered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
CHAPTER 21 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 101
2. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to him alone;c not to angels, saints, or any other creature:d and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the me- diation of any other but of Christ alone.e
3. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship,f is by God required of all men:g and, that it may be
c. John 5:23. ... that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. 13:14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. Eph. 3:14. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rev. 5:11–14. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. Acts 10:25–26. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
d. Col. 2:18. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. Rev. 19:10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rom. 1:25. ... who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
e. John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 1 Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Col. 3:17. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
f. Phil. 4:6. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 1 Tim. 2:1. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men. Col. 4:2. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
g. Ps. 65:2. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Ps. 67:3. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. Ps. 96:7–8. Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
102 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 21
accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son,h by the help of his Spirit,i according to his will,k with understanding, reverence, humil- ity, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance;l and, if vocal, in a known tongue.m
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. Ps. 148:11–13. Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. Isa. 55:6–7. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
h. John 14:13–14. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 1 Pet. 2:5. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priest- hood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
i. Rom. 8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Eph. 6:18. ... praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and sup- plication for all saints.
k. 1 John 5:14. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.
l. Ps. 47:7. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understand- ing. Eccl. 5:1–2. Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. Heb. 12:28. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Gen. 18:27. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes. James 5:16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 1:6–7. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. Mark 11:24. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Matt. 6:12, 14–15. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.... For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heav- enly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Col. 4:2. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Eph. 6:18. ... praying always with all prayer and supplica- tion in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
m. 1 Cor. 14:14. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
CHAPTER 21 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 103
4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful;n and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter:o but not for the dead,p nor for those
n. 1 John 5:14, 16. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.... If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. John 15:7. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
o. 1 Tim. 2:1–2. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. John 17:20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. 2 Sam. 7:29. Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever. 2 Chron. 6:14–42. And said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy ser- vants, that walk before thee with all their hearts.... Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me.... Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.... Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name....
p. Luke 16:25–26. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Isa. 57:1–2. The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righ- teous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. Ps. 73:24. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 2 Cor. 5:8, 10. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.... For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Phil. 1:21–24. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. Rev. 14:13. And I heard a
104 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 21
of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.q 5. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear,r the sound preachings and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence,t singing of psalms with grace in the heart;u as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the
voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
q. 1 John 5:16. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
r. Luke 4:16–17. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written ... Acts 15:21. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. Col. 4:16. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 1 Thess. 5:27. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. Rev. 1:3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
s. 2 Tim. 4:2. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. Acts 5:42. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
t. James 1:22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Acts 10:33. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. Matt. 13:19. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. Heb. 4:2. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Isa. 66:2. For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
u. Col. 3:16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Eph. 5:19. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. James 5:13. Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 1 Cor. 14:15. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understand- ing also.
CHAPTER 21 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 105
ordinary religious worship of God:w beside religious oaths,x vows,y solemn fastings,z and thanksgivings upon special occasions,a which
w. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 1 Cor. 11:23–29. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
x. Deut. 6:13. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Neh. 10:29. They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes. 2 Cor. 1:23. Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
y. Ps. 116:14. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. Isa. 19:21. And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. Eccl. 5:4–5. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
z. Joel 2:12. Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. Est. 4:16. Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. Matt. 9:15. And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. Acts 14:23. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
a. Ex. 15:1–21. Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.... And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and
106 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 21
are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.b
6. Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is now, under the gospel, either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed:c but God is to be worshiped everywhere,d in spirit and truth;e as, in pri- vate familiesf daily,g and in secret, each one by himself;h so, more
with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. Ps. 107:1–43. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the re- deemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; and gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.... Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he deliv- ered them out of their distresses.... Oh that men would praise the LORD for his good- ness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.... Neh. 12:27–43. And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgiv- ings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusa- lem, and from the villages of Netophathi.... So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me.... Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off. Est. 9:20–22. And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, to stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, as the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
b. Heb. 12:28. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. c. John 4:21. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when
ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. d. Mal. 1:11. For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. 1 Tim. 2:8. I will therefore that men pray every
where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. e. John 4:23–24. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
f. Jer. 10:25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate. Deut. 6:6–7. And
CHAPTER 21 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 107
solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly or will- fully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by his Word or provi- dence, calleth thereunto.i
these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Job 1:5. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. 2 Sam. 6:18, 20. And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.... Then David returned to bless his household....
g. Matt. 6:11. Give us this day our daily bread. See Job 1:5.
h. Matt. 6:6, 16–18. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.... Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypo- crites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Neh. 1:4–11. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, and said, ... O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. Dan. 9:3–4a. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplication, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession....
i. Isa. 56:6–7. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offer- ings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. Heb. 10:25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Ps. 100:4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Ps. 122:1. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Ps. 84:1–12. How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.... For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.... O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. Luke 4:16. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. Acts 13:42, 44. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words
108 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 21
7. As it is 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 posi- tive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him:k 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,l which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s Day,m and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.n
might be preached to them the next sabbath.... And the next sabbath day came al- most the whole city together to hear the word of God. Acts 2:42. And they contin- ued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
k. Ex. 20:8–11. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the sev- enth day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Isa. 56:2–7. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Nei- ther let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Be- hold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from pollut- ing it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
l. Gen. 2:2–3. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. 1 Cor. 16:1–2. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. Acts 20:7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
m. Rev. 1:10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
n. Matt. 5:17–18. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:
CHAPTER 21 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 109
8. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common af- fairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employ- ments and recreations,o but also are taken up, the whole time, in the
I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Mark 2:27–28. And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. Rom. 13:8–10. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath ful- filled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. James 2:8–12. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scrip- ture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
o. Ex. 20:8. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Ex. 16:23–30. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day. Ex. 31:15–17. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. Isa. 58:13–14. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Neh. 13:15–22. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine
110 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 21
public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of ne- cessity and mercy.p
presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sab- bath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
p. Isa. 58:13–14. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Luke 4:16. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. Matt. 12:1– 13. At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: and, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Mark 3:1–5. And he entered again into the synagogue; and there
CHAPTER 22 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 111
Chapter 22 Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
1. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship,a wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth, or promiseth, and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he sweareth.b
2. 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.c There- fore, to swear vainly, or rashly, by that glorious and dreadful Name;
was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
a. Deut. 10:20. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. Isa. 45:23. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Rom. 14:11. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Phil. 2:10–11. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
b. Ex. 20:7. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Lev. 19:12. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Rom. 1:9. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. 2 Cor. 1:23. Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. 2 Cor. 11:31. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. Gal. 1:20. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 2 Chron. 6:22–23. If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.
c. Deut. 6:13. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Josh. 23:7. ... that ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them.
112 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 22
or, to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred.d 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;e so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken.f
3. Whosoever taketh an oath ought duly to consider the weighti- ness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth:g neither may any man bind himself by oath to anything but what is good and just, and what he believeth so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform.h
d. Ex. 20:7. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Jer. 5:7. How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. Matt. 5:33–37. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusa- lem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. James 5:12. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
e. Heb. 6:16. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 2 Cor. 1:23. Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. Isa. 65:16. ... that he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
f. 1 Kings 8:31. If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house ... Neh. 13:25. And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. Ezra 10:5. Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word. And they sware.
g. Ex. 20:7. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Lev. 19:12. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Jer. 4:2. And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. Hos. 10:4. They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a cov- enant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
h. Gen. 24:2–9. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that
CHAPTER 22 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 113
4. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation, or mental reservation.i It cannot oblige to sin; but in anything not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man’s own hurt.k Nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics, or infidels.l
ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.... And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. Neh. 5:12–13. Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did ac- cording to this promise. Eccl. 5:2, 5. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.... Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
i. Jer. 4:2. And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. Ps. 24:4. He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
k. 1 Sam. 25:22, 32–34. So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.... And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. Ps. 15:4. ... He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
l. Ezek. 17:16–19. As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head. Josh. 9:18–19. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 2 Sam. 21:1. Then there was a famine in the days of David
114 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 22
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.m
6. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone:n 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 our- selves to necessary duties; or, to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto.o
three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
m. Num. 30:2. If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. Isa. 19:21. And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. Eccl. 5:4–6. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? Ps. 61:8. So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows. Ps. 66:13–14. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
n. Ps. 50:14. Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High. Ps. 76:11. Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared. Ps. 116:14. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
o. Deut. 23:21–23. When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth. Gen. 28:20–22. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. 1 Sam. 1:11. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no rasor come upon his head. Ps. 66:13–14. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. Ps. 132:2–5. ... how he sware unto the LORD,
CHAPTER 22 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 115
7. No man may vow to do anything forbidden in the Word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance whereof he hath no promise of ability from God.p In which respects, popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedi- ence, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.q
and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
p. Acts 23:12–14. And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy. And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. Mark 6:26. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. Num. 30:5, 8, 12–13. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.... But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her.... But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.
q. Matt. 19:11–12. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. 1 Cor. 7:2, 9. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.... But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. Heb. 13:4. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Eph. 4:28. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 1 Thess. 4:11–12. ... and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we com- manded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. 1 Cor. 7:23. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
116 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 23
Chapter 23 Of the Civil Magistrate
1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath or- dained civil magistrates, to be, under him, over the people, for his own glory, and the public good: and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evildoers.a
2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto:b in the managing whereof, as they
a. Rom. 13:1–4. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 1 Pet. 2:13–14. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
b. Gen. 41:39–43. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. Neh. 12:26. These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe. Neh. 13:15– 31. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.... And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sab- bath day.... Dan. 2:48–49. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king. Prov. 8:15–16. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the
CHAPTER 23 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 117
ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth;c so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the new testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion.d
3. Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the adminis- tration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven;e or, in the least, interfere in matters of
earth. Rom. 13:1–4. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
c. Ps. 2:10–12. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. 1 Tim. 2:2. [Pray] for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Ps. 82:3–4. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 2 Sam. 23:3. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 1 Pet. 2:13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake....
d. Luke 3:14. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. Rom. 13:4. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Matt. 8:9–10. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Acts 10:1–2. There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
e. 2 Chron. 26:18. And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God. Matt. 18:17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Matt. 16:19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on
118 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 23
faith.f Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord, without giving the prefer- ence to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sa- cred functions, without violence or danger.g And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief.h It is the
earth shall be loosed in heaven. 1 Cor. 12:28–29. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Eph. 4:11–12. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 1 Cor. 4:1–2. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Rom. 10:15. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Heb. 5:4. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
f. John 18:36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Acts 5:29. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Eph. 4:11–12. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
g. Isa. 49:23. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nurs- ing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. Rom. 13:1–6. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Where- fore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
h. Ps. 105:15. ... saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
CHAPTER 23 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 119
duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suf- fered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.i
4. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates,k to honor their persons,l to pay them tribute or other dues,m to obey their lawful com- mands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience’ sake.n Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magis- trates’ just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to them:o from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted,p much less hath the pope any power and jurisdiction over
i. Rom. 13:4. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 1 Tim. 2:2. [Pray] for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
k. 1 Tim. 2:1–3. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, inter- cessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.
l. 1 Pet. 2:17. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
m. Matt. 22:21. They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. Rom. 13:6–7. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s minis- ters, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
n. Rom. 13:5. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. Titus 3:1. Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.
o. 1 Pet. 2:13–16. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
p. Rom. 13:1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Acts 25:9–11. But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me? Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong,
120 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 23
them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretense whatsoever.q
Chapter 24 Of Marriage and Divorce
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 for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.a
as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. 2 Pet. 2:1, 10–11. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.... But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. Jude 8–11. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise domin- ion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accu- sation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
q. Mark 10:42–44. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. Matt. 23:8–12. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 2 Tim. 2:24. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. 1 Pet. 5:3. ... neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
a. Gen. 2:24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Matt. 19:4–6. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no
CHAPTER 24 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 121
2. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,b for the increase of mankind with legitimate issue, and of the church with an holy seed;c and for preventing of uncleanness.d
3. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent.e Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord.f And therefore such as profess the true re- formed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idola- ters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marry- ing with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain
more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Rom. 7:3. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Prov. 2:17. ... which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
b. Gen. 2:18. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Eph. 5:28. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 1 Pet. 3:7. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
c. Gen. 1:28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 9:1. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruit- ful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. Mal. 2:15. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
d. 1 Cor. 7:2, 9. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.... But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
e. Heb. 13:4. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 1 Tim. 4:3. ... forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 1 Cor. 7:36–38. But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. Gen. 24:57–58. And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
f. 1 Cor. 7:39. The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
122 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 24
damnable heresies.g 4. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity
or affinity forbidden by the Word.h Nor can such incestuous mar- riages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.i
5. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being de- tected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract.k In the case of adultery after marriage, it is
g. Gen. 34:14. And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us. Ex. 34:16. And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. 2 Cor. 6:14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? See Deut. 7:3–4; 1 Kings 11:4; Neh. 13:25–27; Mal. 2:11–12.
h. Lev. 18:6–17, 24–30. None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness. The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.... Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God. Lev. 20:19. And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. 1 Cor. 5:1. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. Amos 2:7. ... that pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name.
i. Mark 6:18. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Lev. 18:24–28. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not com- mit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you....
k. Matt. 1:18–20. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. See Deut. 22:23–24.
CHAPTER 25 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 123
lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce:l and, after the di- vorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.m
6. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined to- gether in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such willful deser- tion as can no way be remedied by the church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage:n wherein, a pub- lic and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the per- sons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.o
Chapter 25 Of the Church
1. The catholic or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gath-
l. Matt. 5:31–32. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
m. Matt. 19:9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Rom. 7:2–3. For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
n. Matt. 19:8–9. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 1 Cor. 7:15. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. Matt. 19:6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
o. Deut. 24:1–4. When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorce- ment, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter
124 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 25
ered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.a
2. The visible church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;b and of their children:c and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus
husband die, which took her to be his wife; her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
a. Eph. 1:10, 22–23. ... that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.... and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Eph. 5:23, 27, 32. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.... that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.... This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Col. 1:18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preemi- nence.
b. 1 Cor. 1:2. ... unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1 Cor. 12:12–13. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Ps. 2:8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Rev. 7:9. After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. Rom. 15:9–12. ... and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
c. 1 Cor. 7:14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. Acts 2:39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Gen. 17:7–12. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
CHAPTER 25 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 125
Christ,d the house and family of God,e out of which there is no ordi- nary possibility of salvation.f
3. Unto this catholic visible church Christ hath given the minis- try, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and doth, by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto.g
And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the cov- enant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. Ezek. 16:20–21. Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? Rom. 11:16. For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. See Gal. 3:7, 9, 14; Rom. 4:12, 16, 24.
d. Matt. 13:47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. Isa. 9:7. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Luke 1:32–33. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Acts 2:30–36. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Col. 1:13. ... who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
e. Eph. 2:19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow- citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. Eph. 3:15. ... [the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,] of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.
f. Acts 2:47. [All that believed were] praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
g. 1 Cor. 12:28. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, govern- ments, diversities of tongues. Eph. 4:11–13. And he gave some, apostles; and some,
126 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 25
4. This catholic church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible.h And particular churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship per- formed more or less purely in them.i
prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Matt. 28:19–20. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Isa. 59:12. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them.
h. Rom. 11:3–5. ... Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Acts 9:31. Then had the churches rest through- out all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. Acts 2:41, 47. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.... [All that believed were] praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 18:8–10. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, be- lieved on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
i. Acts 2:41–42. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they contin- ued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 1 Cor. 5:6–7. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Rev. 2–3. Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write ... I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.... Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.... And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write ... I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich).... And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write ... I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doc- trine of Balaam.... And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write ... I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.... And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write ...
CHAPTER 25 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 127
5. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error;k and some have so degenerated, as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan.l Nevertheless, there shall be al- ways a church on earth, to worship God according to his will.m
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.... And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write ... I know thy works.... thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.... And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write ... I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot....
k. 1 Cor. 13:12. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. Rev. 2–3. See footnote i above. Matt. 13:24–30, 47. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then ap- peared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.... Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.
l. Matt. 23:37–39. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Rom. 11:18–22. Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his good- ness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
m. Matt. 16:18. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Ps. 45:16–17. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever. Ps. 72:17. His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Matt. 28:19–20. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 1 Cor. 15:51–52. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a
128 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 25
6. There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ.n Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof.o
Chapter 26 Of the 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:a and, being united to one another in
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Thess. 4:17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
n. Col. 1:18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Eph. 1:22. ... and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.
o. Matt. 23:8–10. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 1 Pet. 5:2–4. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
a. 1 John 1:3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Eph. 3:16–18. ... that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height. John 1:16. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. Eph. 2:5–6. Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit to- gether in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:10. ...that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conform- able unto his death. Rom. 6:5–6. For if we have been planted together in the like- ness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that hence- forth we should not serve sin. Rom. 8:17. ... and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 2 Tim. 2:12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.
CHAPTER 26 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 129
love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces,b and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.c
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;d as also in reliev- ing each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name
b. Eph. 4:15–16. ... but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 1 Cor. 12:7, 12. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.... For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 1 Cor. 3:21–23. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. Col. 2:19. ... and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
c. 1 Thess. 5:11, 14. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.... Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. Rom. 1:11–12, 14. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.... I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 1 John 3:16–18. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. Gal. 6:10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
d. Heb. 10:24–25. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day ap- proaching. Acts 2:42, 46. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.... And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Isa. 2:3. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 1 Cor. 11:20. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
130 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 26
of the Lord Jesus.e 3. This communion which the saints have with Christ, doth 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.f Nor doth their communion one with another, as saints, take away, or infringe the title or propriety which each man hath in his goods and possessions.g
e. 1 John 3:17. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 2 Cor. 8–9. Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; how that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.... Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowl- edge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.... For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abun- dance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality.... For the ad- ministration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men. Acts 11:29–30. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. See Acts 2:44–45.
f. Col. 1:18–19. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the begin- ning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. 1 Cor. 8:6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Ps. 45:6–7. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righ- teousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Heb. 1:6–9. And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. John 1:14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 20:17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
g. Ex. 20:15. Thou shalt not steal. Eph. 4:28. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Acts 5:4. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing
CHAPTER 27 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 131
Chapter 27 Of the Sacraments
1. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace,a immediately instituted by God,b to represent Christ, and his benefits; and to confirm our interest in him:c as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the church, and the rest of the world;d and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, accord- ing to his Word.e
in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
a. Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteous- ness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. Gen. 17:7, 10–11. And I will establish my covenant be- tween me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting cov- enant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.... This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
b. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 1 Cor. 11:23. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread.
c. Rom. 6:3–4. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col. 2:12. ... buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 1 Cor. 10:16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 1 Cor. 11:25–26. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Gal. 3:27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
d. Ex. 12:48. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. Gen. 34:14. And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us. 1 Cor. 10:21. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
e. Rom. 6:3–4. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus
132 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 27
2. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramen- tal union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.f
3. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither doth the effi- cacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it:g but upon the work of the Spirit,h and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.i
Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Gal. 3:27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 1 Pet. 3:21. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 10:16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? See 1 Cor. 5:7–8.
f. Gen. 17:10. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. Matt. 26:27–28. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 1 Cor. 10:16–18. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the commun- ion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
g. Rom. 2:28–29. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. 1 Pet. 3:21. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
h. 1 Cor. 12:13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
i. Matt. 26:26–28. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Luke 22:19–20. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Like- wise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood,
CHAPTER 28 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 133
4. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the gospel; that is to say, baptism, and the Supper of the Lord: nei- ther of which may be dispensed by any, but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.k
5. The sacraments of the old testament, in regard of the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the new.l
Chapter 28 Of Baptism
1. Baptism is a sacrament of the new testament, ordained by Jesus Christ,a not only for the solemn admission of the party bap-
which is shed for you. Matt. 28:19–20. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, bap- tizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teach- ing them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 1 Cor. 11:26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
k. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 1 Cor. 11:20, 23. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.... For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread. 1 Cor. 4:1. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Eph. 4:11–12. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evange- lists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
l. 1 Cor. 10:1–4. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncir- cumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. Col. 2:11–12. ... in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
a. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
134 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 28
tized into the visible church;b but also, to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace,c of his ingrafting into Christ,d of regeneration,e of remission of sins,f and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life.g Which sacrament is, by Christ’s own appointment, to be continued in his church until the end of the world.h
2. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the gospel, law- fully called thereunto.i
b. 1 Cor. 12:13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Gal. 3:27–28. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
c. Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteous- ness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. Col. 2:11–12. ... in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
d. Gal. 3:27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Rom. 6:5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.
e. John 3:5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Titus 3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
f. Mark 1:4. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 22:16. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
g. Rom. 6:3–4. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
h. Matt. 28:19–20. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
i. Acts 10:47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Acts 8:36, 38. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water;
CHAPTER 28 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 135
3. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.k
4. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ,l but also the infants of one, or both, believing parents, are to be baptized.m
what doth hinder me to be baptized?... And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
k. Heb. 9:10, 13, 19, 21. ... which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.... For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the un- clean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh ... For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people.... Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. Mark 7:2–4. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Luke 11:38. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
l. Acts 2:41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 8:12–13. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and won- dered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Acts 16:14–15. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which wor- shipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
m. Gen. 17:7–14. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.... This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the cov- enant betwixt me and you.... And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. Gal. 3:9, 14. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Col. 2:11–12. ... in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in
136 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 28
5. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance,n yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it;o or, that all
putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Acts 2:38–39. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Rom. 4:11–12. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteous- ness might be imputed unto them also: and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. Matt. 19:13. Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. Mark 10:13–16. And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. Luke 18:15–17. And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 1 Cor. 7:14. For the unbelieving husband is sancti- fied by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
n. Gen. 17:14. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my cov- enant. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. See Luke 7:30.
o. Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteous- ness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. Acts 10:2, 4, 22, 31, 45, 47. ... a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.... And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.... And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God,
CHAPTER 28 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 137
that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.p 6. The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time
wherein it is administered;q yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really ex- hibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in his appointed time.r
7. The sacrament of baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.s
and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.... And said, Corne- lius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.... And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.... Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
p. Acts 8:13, 23. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.... For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
q. John 3:5, 8. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.... The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
r. Rom. 6:3–6. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Gal. 3:27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 1 Pet. 3:21. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38, 41. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.... Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
s. Rom. 6:3–11. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we
138 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 29
Chapter 29 Of the Lord’s Supper
1. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, insti- tuted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord’s Supper, to be observed in his church, unto the end of the world, for the per- petual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death; the seal- ing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourish- ment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all du- ties which they owe unto him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mys- tical body.a
2. In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to his Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead;b but only a commemoration of that one offering up of himself,
be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
a. 1 Cor. 11:23–26. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 21. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.... Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. 1 Cor. 12:13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
b. Heb. 9:22, 25–26, 28. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.... Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.... So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb. 10:10– 14. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus
CHAPTER 29 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 139
by himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God, for the same:c so that the popish sacrifice of the Mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of his elect.d
3. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his minis- ters to declare his word of institution to the people; 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, and (they communicating also themselves) to give both to the communicants;e but to none who are not then present in the
Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
c. 1 Cor. 11:24–26. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Matt. 26:26–27. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it. Luke 22:19–20. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
d. Heb. 7:23–24, 27. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: but this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.... who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Heb. 10:11–12, 14, 18. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.... For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.... Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
e. Matt. 26:26–28. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mark 14:22–24. And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Luke 22:19–20. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after
140 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 29
congregation.f 4. Private Masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest, or any
other, alone;g as likewise, the denial of the cup to the people,h wor- shiping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about, for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ.i
5. The outward elements in this sacrament, duly set apart to the uses ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that, truly, yet sacramentally only, they are sometimes called by the name of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ;k
supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. 1 Cor. 10:16–17. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 1 Cor. 11:23–27. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whoso- ever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
f. Acts 20:7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came to- gether to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 1 Cor. 11:20. When ye come together there- fore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.
g. 1 Cor. 10:16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
h. Matt. 26:27–28. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mark 14:23. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 1 Cor. 11:25–29. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
i. Matt. 15:9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the com- mandments of men.
k. Matt. 26:26–28. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it,
CHAPTER 29 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 141
albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.l
6. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ’s body and blood (com- monly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to com- mon sense, and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions; yea, of gross idolatries.m
7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements, in this sacrament,n 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.o
8. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward ele- ments in this sacrament; yet, they receive not the thing signified
and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
l. 1 Cor. 11:26–28. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. Matt. 26:29. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
m. Acts 3:21. ... whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 1 Cor. 11:24–26. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Luke 24:6, 39. He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee.... Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
n. 1 Cor. 11:28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
o. 1 Cor. 10:16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? See 1 Cor. 10:3–4.
142 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 29
thereby; but, by their unworthy coming thereunto, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, to their own damnation. Wherefore, 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, with- out great sin against Christ, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries,p or be admitted thereunto.q
Chapter 30 Of Church Censures
1. The Lord Jesus, as King and Head of his church, hath therein appointed a government, in the hand of church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate.a
p. 1 Cor. 11:27–29. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 2 Cor. 6:14–16. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 1 Cor. 10:21. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
q. 1 Cor. 5:6–7, 13. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.... But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 2 Thess. 3:6, 14–15. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.... And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Matt. 7:6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
a. Isa. 9:6–7. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the govern- ment shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from hence- forth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Col. 1:18. And
CHAPTER 30 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 143
2. To these officers the keys of the kingdom of heaven are com- mitted; by virtue whereof, they have power, respectively, to retain, and remit sins; to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the Word, and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the gospel; and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require.b
3. Church censures are necessary, for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren, for deterring of others from the like offenses, for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honor of Christ, and the holy profession of the gos-
he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 1 Tim. 5:17. Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1 Thess. 5:12. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. Acts 20:17, 28.AndfromMiletushesenttoEphesus,andcalledtheeldersofthechurch.... Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Heb. 13:7, 17, 24. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.... Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit your- selves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.... Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Eph. 4:11–12. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 1 Cor. 12:28. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Matt. 28:18–20. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Fa- ther, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. John 18:36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
b. Matt. 16:19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matt. 18:17–18. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatso- ever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. John 20:21–23. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
144 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 30
pel, and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the church, if they should suffer his covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.c
4. For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the church are to proceed by admonition; suspension from the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for a season; and by excommunication from the church; according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the person.d
whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 2 Cor. 2:6–8. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
c. 1 Cor. 5:1–13. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.... For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?... But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 1 Tim. 5:20. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. Matt. 7:6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. 1 Tim. 1:20. Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blas- pheme. 1 Cor. 11:27–34. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.... Jude 23. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spot- ted by the flesh.
d. 1 Thess. 5:12. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. 2 Thess. 3:6, 14–15. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye with- draw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.... And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 1 Cor. 5:4–5, 13. ... in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our
CHAPTER 31 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 145
Chapter 31 Of Synods and Councils
1. For the better government, and further edification of the church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils:a and it belongeth to the overseers and other rulers of the particular churches, by virtue of their office, and the power which Christ hath given them for edification and not for destruction, to appoint such assemblies;b and to convene together in them, as often as they shall judge it expedient for the good of the church.c
2. It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially to determine
Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.... But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. Matt. 18:17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Titus 3:10. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.
a. Acts 15:2, 4, 6. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.... And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.... And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
b. Acts 15:1–35. And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.... But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.... Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: and they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.... It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul.... For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.... So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation....
c. Acts 15:1–35. See footnote b above. Acts 20:17. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
146 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 31
controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cases of malad- ministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which de- crees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only for their agree- ment with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in his Word.d
3. All synods or councils, since the apostles’ times, whether gen- eral or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.e
4. Synods and councils are to handle, or conclude nothing, but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil af- fairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble
d. Acts 15:15, 19, 24, 27–31. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written ... Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God.... Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.... We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep your- selves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. So when they were dismissed, they came to Anti- och: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. Acts 16:4. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were or- dained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. Matt. 18:17–20. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
e. Eph. 2:20. ... and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 1 Cor. 2:5. ... that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 2 Cor. 1:24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. Cf. Isa. 8:19–20; Matt. 15:9.
CHAPTER 32 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 147
petition in cases extraordinary; or, by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.f
Chapter 32 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:a but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them:b 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.c
f. Luke 12:13–14. And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? John 18:36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Matt. 22:21. They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
a. Gen. 3:19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Acts 13:36. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption.
b. Luke 23:43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Eccl. 12:7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
c. Heb. 12:23. ... to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. 2 Cor. 5:1, 6, 8. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.... Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.... We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Phil. 1:23. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. Acts 3:21. ... whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Eph. 4:10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. Rom. 8:23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
148 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 32
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.d Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.
2. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed:e and all the dead shall be raised up, with the selfsame bod- ies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever.f
3. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonor: the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honor;
d. Luke 16:23–24. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Acts 1:25. ... that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. Jude 6–7. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 1 Pet. 3:19. ... by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.
e. 1 Thess. 4:17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up to- gether with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Cor. 15:51–52. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
f. John 5:25–29. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Acts 24:15. And [I] have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. Job 19:26–27. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. Dan. 12:2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 1 Cor. 15:42–44. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
CHAPTER 33 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 149 and be made conformable to his own glorious body.g
Chapter 33 Of the Last Judgment
1. God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world, in righteousness, by Jesus Christ,a to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father.b In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged,c 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.d
g. Acts 24:15. And [I] have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. John 5:25– 29. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 1 Cor. 15:43. It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. Phil. 3:21. ... who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
a. Acts 17:31. ... because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
b. John 5:22, 27. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judg- ment unto the Son.... And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, be- cause he is the Son of man.
c. Jude 6. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 2 Pet. 2:4. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment ...
d. 2 Cor. 5:10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Eccl. 12:14. For God shall bring every work into judg- ment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Rom. 2:16. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Rom. 14:10, 12. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.... So
150 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH CHAPTER 33
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 fullness 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.e
then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Matt. 12:36–37. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
e. Matt. 25:31–46. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shep- herd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.... Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.... And these shall go away into everlasting pun- ishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Rom. 2:5–6. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revela- tion of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds. Rom. 9:22–23. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruc- tion: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory. Matt. 25:21. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Acts 3:19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. 2 Thess. 1:7–10. ... and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Mark 9:48. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
CHAPTER 33 THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 151
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:f 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.g
f. 2 Pet. 3:11, 14. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.... Where- fore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 2 Cor. 5:10–11. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 2 Thess. 1:5–7. Which is a mani- fest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. Luke 21:27–28. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Rom. 8:23–25. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
g. Matt. 24:36, 42–44. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.... Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suf- fered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Mark 13:35–37. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. Luke 12:35–36. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Rev. 22:20. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.