Westminster Confession of Faith (with Scripture proofs), 1647
Chapter I. Of the holy Scripture,
Chapter II. Of God, and of the Holy Trinity,
Chapter III. Of God's Eternal Decree,
Chapter IV. Of Creation,
Chapter V. Of Providence,
Chapter VI. Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment thereof,
Chapter VII. Of God's Covenant with Man,
Chapter VIII. Of Christ the Mediator,
Chapter IX. Of Free Will,
Chapter X. Of Effectual Calling,
Chapter XI. Of Justification,
Chapter XII. Of Adoption,
Chapter XIII. Of Sanctification,
Chapter XIV. Of Saving Faith,
Chapter XV. Of Repentance Unto Life,
Chapter XVI. Of Good Works,
Chapter XVII. Of The Perseverance of the Saints,
Chapter XVIII. Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation,
Chapter XIX. Of the Law of God,
Chapter XX. Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience,
Chapter XXI. Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath-day,
Chapter XXII. Of Lawful Oaths and Vows,
Chapter XXIII. Of the Civil Magistrate,
Chapter XXIV. Of Marriage and Divorce,
Chapter XXV. Of the Church,
Chapter XXVI. Of the Communion of the Saints,
Chapter XXVII. Of the Sacraments,
Chapter XXVIII. Of Baptism,
Chapter XXIX. Of the Lord's Supper,
Chapter XXX. Of Church Censures,
Chapter XXXI. Of Synods and Councils,
Chapter XXXII. Of the State of Man After Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead,
Chapter XXXIII. Of the Last Judgment
Of the Holy Scripture
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
inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and
of His will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the
Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal; Himself, and to
declare; that His will unto His Church; 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: which maketh the
Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God's revealing
His will unto His people being now ceased.
Rom. ii. 14, 15; Rom. i. 19, 20; Ps. xlx, 1, 2, 3; Rom. i. 32, with chap.
1 Cor. i. 21; 1 Cor. ii. 13, 14; Heb. i. 1; Prov. xxii. 19, 20, 21; Luke
i. 3, 4; Rom. xv. 4; Matt. iv. 4, 7, 10; Isa. viii. 19, 20; 2 Tim. iii.
15; 2 Peter i. 19;
Heb. i. 1, 2.
II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now
contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:
Of the Old Testament:
Genesis I Kings Ecclesiastes Amos
Exodus II Kings Song of Solomon Obadiah
Leviticus I Chronicles Isaiah Jonah
Numbers II Chronicles Jeremiah Micah
Deuteronomy Ezra Lamentations Nahum
Joshua Nehemiah Ezekiel Habakkuk
Judges Esther Daniel Zephaniah
Ruth Job Hosea Haggai
I Samuel Psalms Joel Zechariah
II Samuel Proverbs Malachi
Of the New Testament:
Matthew I Corinthians I Timothy I Peter
Mark II Corinthians II Timothy II Peter
Luke Galatians Titus I John
John Ephesians Philemon II John
Acts of Philippians Epistle to III John
the Apostles Colossians the Hebrews Jude
Epistle to I Thessalonians Epistle of Book of the
the Romans II Thessalonians James Revelation
Luke xvi. 29, 31; Eph. ii. 20; Rev. xxii. 18, 19; 2 Tim. iii. 16.
III. 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.
Luke xxiv. 27, 44; Rom. iii. 2; 2 Peter i. 21.
IV. 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.
2 Peter i. 19, 21; 2 Tim. iii. 16; 1 John v. 9; 1 Thess. ii. 13.
V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to a high
and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness 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 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.
1 Tim. iii. 15; 1 John ii. 20, 27; John xvi. 13, 14; 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11,
12; Isa. lix. 21.
VI. 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. Nevertheless we acknowledge the inward
illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding
of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances
concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human
actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and
Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are
always to be observed.
2 Tim. iii. 15 ,16, 17; Gal. i. 8, 9; 2 Thess. ii. 2; John vi. 45; 1 Cor.
ii. 9 to 12; 1 Cor. xi. 13, 14; 1 Cor. xiv. 26. 40.
VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike
clear unto all: 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
2 Pet. iii. 16; Psalm cxix. 105, 130.
VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language 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; so as, in all controversies of religion,
the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues
are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest
in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search
them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every
nation unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in
all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience
and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.
Matt. v. 18; Isa. viii. 20; Acts xv. 15; John v. 39, 46; 1 Cor. xiv. 6,
9, 11, 12, 24, 27, 28; Col. iii. 16; Rom. xv. 4.
IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture
itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full
sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one) it must be searched
and known by other places that speak more clearly.
2 Pet. i. 20, 21; Acts xv. 15, 16.
X. 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.
Matt. xxii..29, 31; Eph. ii. 20 with Acts xxviii. 25.
Of God, and of the Holy Trinity
There is but one only, living, and true God: who is infinite in being and
perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions,
immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most
holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel
of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving,
gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving
iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek
Him; and withal, most just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin,
and who will by no means clear the guilty.
Deut. vi. 4; 1 Cor. viii. 4, 6; 1 Thess. 1. 9; Jer. x. 10; Job xi. 7, 8,
9; Job xxvi. 14; John iv. 24; 1 Tim. i. 17; Deut. iv. 15, 16; John iv. 24,
with Luke xxiv, 39; Acts xiv. 11, 15; James i. 17; Mal. iii. 6; 1 Kings
viii. 27; Jer. xxiii. 23, 24; Ps. xc. 2; 1 Tim. i. 17; Ps. cxlv. 3; Gen.
xvii. 1; Rev. iv. 8; Rom. xvi, 27; Isa. vi. 3; Rev. iv. 8; Ps. cxv. 3; Exod.
iii. 14; Eph. i. 11; Prov. xvi. 4; Rom. xi. 36; 1 John iv. 8, 16; Exod.
xxxiv. 6, 7; Heb. xi. 6; Neh. ix. 32, 33; Ps. v. 5, 6; Nah. i. 2, 3; Exod.
II. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself;
and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of
any creatures which He hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, 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;
and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or
upon them whatsoever Himself pleaseth. In His sight all things are open
and manifest; His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon
the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain. He is most
holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. To
Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship,
service or obedience He is pleased to require of them.
John v. 26; Acts vii. 2; Ps. cxix. 68; 1 Tim. vi. 15; Rom. ix. 5; Acts xvii.
24, 25; Job xxii. 2, 3; Rom. xi. 36; Rev. iv. 11; 1 Tim. vi. 15; Dan. iv.
25, 35; Heb. iv. 13; Rom. xi. 33, 34; Ps. cxlvii. 5; Acts xv. 18; Ezek.
xi. 5; Ps. cxlv. 17; Rom. vii. 12; Rev. v. 12, 13, 14.
III. 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.
The Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding: the Son is eternally
begotten of the Father: the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father
and the Son.
1 John v. 7; Matt. iii. 16, 17; Matt. xxviii. 19; 2 Cor. xiii. 14; John
i. 14, 18; John xv. 26; Gal. iv. 6.
Of God's Eternal Decree
God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own
will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so,
as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to
the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes
taken away, but rather established.
Eph. i. 11; Rom. xi. 33; Heb. vi. 17; Rom. ix. 15, 18; James i. 13, 17;
1 John i. 5; Acts ii. 23; Matt. xvii. 12; Acts iv. 27, 28; John xix. 11;
Prov. xvi. 33.
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed
conditions, yet hath He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future,
or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
Acts xv. 18; 1 Sam. xxiii. 11, 12; Matt. xi. 21, 23; Rom. ix. 11, 13, 16,
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men
and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained
to everlasting death.
1 Tim. v. 21; Matt. xxv. 41; Rom. ix. 22, 23; Eph. i. 5, 6; Prov. xvi. 4.
IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated and fore-ordained, are particularly
and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite,
that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
2 Tim. ii. 19; John xiii. 18.
V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation
of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and
the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath. chosen, in Christ,
unto everlasting glory, 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:
and all to the praise of His glorious grace.
Eph. i. 4, 9, 11; Rom. viii. 30; 2 Tim. i. 9; 1 Thess. v. 9; Rom. ix. 11,
13, 16; Eph. i. 4, 9; Eph. i. 6, 12.
VI. 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.
Wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,
are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due
season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through
faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually
called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.
1 Pet. i. 2; Eph. i. 4, 5; Eph. ii. 10, 2 Thess. i.. 13; 1 Thess. v. 9,
10; Titus ii. 14; Rom. viii. :30; Eph. i. 5; 2 Thess. ii. 13; 1 Pet. i.
5; John xvii. 9; Rom. viii. 28 to the end; John vi. 64, 65; John x. 26;
John viii. 47; 1 John ii. 19.
VII. 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 dishonour and wrath, for their sin, to the praise
of His glorious justice.
Matt. xi. 25, 26; Rom. ix. 17, 18, 21, 22; 2 Tim. ii. 19, 20; Jude ver.
4; 1 Pet. ii. 8.
VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled
with special prudence and care, 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. So shall
this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God,
and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely
obey the Gospel.
Rom. ix. 20; Rom. xi. 33; Deut. xxix. 29; 2 Pet. i. 10, Eph. i. 6; Rom.
xi. 33; Rom. xi. 5, 6, 20; 2 Pet. i. 10; Rom. viii. 33; Luke x. 20.
It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of
the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, 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.
Heb. i. 2; John i. 2, 3; Gen. i. 2; Job xxvi. 13; Job xxxiii. 4; Rom. i.
20; Jer. x. 12; Ps. civ. 24; Ps. xxxiii. 5, 6; Gen. i. chap.; Heb. xi. 3;
Col. i. 16; Acts xvii. 24.
II. After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female,
with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness,
and true holiness, after His own image; having the law of God written in
their hearts, and power to fulfil it: and yet under a possibility of transgressing,
being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change.
Beside this law written 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, and had dominion over the creatures.
Gen. i. 27; Gen. ii. 7 with Eccles. xii. 7 & Luke xxiii. 43 & Matt.
x. 28; Gen i. 26; Col. iii. 10; Eph. iv. 24; Rom. ii. l4, 15, Eccles. vii.
Gen. iii. 6; Gen. ii. 17; Gen. iii. 8, 9, 10, 11, 23; Gen. i. 26, 28.
God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern
all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least,
by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible fore-knowledge,
and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the
glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness and mercy.
Heb. i. 3, Dan. iv. 34, 35; Ps. cxxxv. 6; Acts xvii. 25, 26, 28; Job xxxviii
to xli chapters; Matt. x. 29, 30, 31; Prov. xv. 3; Ps. civ. 24; Ps. cxlv.
17; Acts xv. 18; Ps. xciv. 8, 9, 10, 11; Eph. i. 11. Ps. xxxiii. 10, 11;
Isa. lxiii. 14; Eph. iii. 10; Rom. ix. 17; Gen. xlv. 7; Ps. cxlv. 7.
II. Although, in relation to the fore-knowledge and decree of God, the first
Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly: yet, by the same
providence, He ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second
causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
Acts ii. 23; Gen. viii. 22; Jer. xxxi. 35; Exod. xxi. 13 with Deut. xix.
5; 1 Kings xxii. 28, 34; Isa. x. 6, 7.
III. God in His ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to
work without, above, and against them at His pleasure.
Acts xxvii. 31, 44; Isa. lv. 10,11; Hos. ii. 21, 22; Hos. i. 7; Matt. iv.
4; Job xxxiv. 20; Rom. iv. 19, 20, 21; 2 Kings vi. 6; Dan. iii. 27.
IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness 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; and that not by
a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful
bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in. a manifold dispensation,
to His own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only
from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous,
neither is, nor can be, the author or approver of sin.
Rom. xi. 32, 33, 34; 2 Sam. xxiv 1 with 1 Chron. xxi. l; 1 Kings xxii. 22,
23; 1 Chron. x. 4,13,14; 2 Sam. xvi. 10; Acts ii. 23; Acts iv. 27, 28; Acts
xiv. 16; Ps. lxxvi. 10; 2 Kings xix. 28; Gen. 1. 20; Isa. x. 6, 7, 12; James
i. 13,14,17; 1 John ii. 16; Ps. 1. 21.
V. 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 deceitfulness of their
hearts, that they may be humbled; and, to raise them to a more close and
constant dependence for their support upon Himself, and to make them more
watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just
and holy ends.
2 Chron. xxxii. 25, 26, 31; 2 Sam. xxiv. 1; 2 Cor. xii. 7, 8, 9; Ps. lxxiii
throughout; Ps. lxxvii. 1 to 12; Mark xiv. 66 to the end, with John xxi.
15, 16, 17.
VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge,
for former sins doth blind and harden, from them He not only withholdeth
His grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings,
and wrought upon in their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts
which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes
occasions of sin; and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations
of the world, and the power of Satan: whereby it comes to pass that they
harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening
Rom. i. 24, 26, 28; Rom. xi. 7, 8; Deut. xxix. 4; Matt. xiii. 12; Matt.
xxv. 29; Deut. ii. 30; 2 Kings viii. 12, 13; Ps. 1xxxi. 11, 12; 2 Thess.
ii. 10, 11, 12, Exod. vii. 3 with Exod. viii. 15, 32; 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16;
Isa. viii. 14; 1 Pet. ii. 7, 8; Isa. vi. 9, 10 with Acts xxviii. 26, 27.
VII. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so
after a most special manner it taketh care of His Church, and disposeth
all things to the good thereof.
1 Tim. iv. 10; Amos ix. 8, 9; Rom. viii. 28; Isa. xliii. 3, 4, 5, 14.
Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof
Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan,
sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according
to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to
His own glory.
Gen. iii. 13; 2 Cor. xi. 3; Rom. xi. 32.
II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion
with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties
and parts of soul and body.
Gen. iii. 6, 7, 8; Eccles. vii. 29; Rom. iii. 23; Gen. ii. 17; Eph. ii.
1; Titus i. 15; Gen. vi. 5; Jer. xvii. 9; Rom. iii. 10 to 19.
III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed,
and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity
descending from them by ordinary generation.
Gen. i. 27, 28 and Gen. ii. 16, 17 and Acts xvii. 26 with Rom. v. 12, 15,
16, 17, 18, 19 and 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22, 49; Ps. li. 5; Gen. v. 3; Job xiv.
4; Job xv. 14.
IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled,
and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed
all actual transgressions.
Rom. v. 6; Rom. viii. 7; Rom. vii. 18; Col. i. 21; Gen. vi. 5; Gen. viii.
21; Rom. iii. 10, 11, 12; James i. 14, 15; Eph. ii. 2, 3; Matt. xv. 19.
V. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that
are regenerated; and although it be, through Christ, pardoned and mortified,
yet both itself and all the motions thereof are truly and properly sin.
1 John i. 8, 10; Rom. vii. 14, 17, 18, 23; James iii. 2; Prov. xx. 9; Eccles.
vii. 20; Rom. vii. 5, 7, 8, 25; Gal. v. 17.
VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous
law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt
upon the sinner; whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse
of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal,
1 John iii. 4; Rom. ii. 15; Rom. iii. 9, 19; Ephes. ii. 3; Gal. iii. 10;
Rom. vi. 23; Ephes. iv. 18; Rom. viii. 20; Lam. iii. 39; Matt. xxv. 41;
2 Thess. i. 9.
Of God's Covenant with Man
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 blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary
condescension on God's part, which He hath been pleased to express by way
Isa. xl. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; Job ix. 32, 33; 1 Sam. ii. 25; Ps. cxiii. 5,
6; Ps. c. 2, 3; Job xxii. 2, 3; Job xxxv. 7, 8; Luke xvii. 10; Acts xvii.
II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life
was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect
and personal obedience.
Gal. iii. 12; Rom. x. 5; Rom. v. 12 to 20; Gen. ii. 17; Gal. iii. 10.
III. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant,
the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace;
wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ,
requiring of them faith in Him that they may be saved, and promising to
give unto all those that are ordained unto life His Holy Spirit, to make
them willing and able to believe.
Gal. iii. 21; Rom. viii. 3; Rom. iii. 20, 21; Gen. iii. 15; Isa. xlii. 6;
Mark xvi. 15, 16; John iii. 16; Rom. x. 6, 9; Gal. iii. 11; Ezek. xxxvi.
26, 27; John vi. 44, 45.
IV. 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
Heb ix 15,16,17; Heb. vii. 22; Luke xxii. 20; 1 Cor. xi. 25.
V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and
in the time of the gospel: under the law, it was administered by promises,
prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types
and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying
Christ to come: which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through
the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith
in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal
salvation; and is called, the Old Testament.
2 Cor. iii. 6, 7, 8, 9; Heb. viii., ix., x. chapters; Rom. iv. 11; Col.
ii. 11, 12; 1 Cor. v. 7; 1 Cor. x. 1, 2, 3, 4; Heb. xi. 13; John viii. 56;
Gal. iii. 7, 8, 9, 14.
VI. Under the gospel, when Christ, the substance, 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: which,
though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less
outward glory; yet, in them, it is held forth in more fulness, evidence,
and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called
the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing
in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.
Col. ii. 17; Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25; Heb. xii. 22 to
28; Jer. xxxi. 33, 34; Matt. xxviii. 19; Eph. ii. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19; Luke
xxii. 20; Gal. iii. 14, 16; Rom. iii. 21, 22, 23, 30; Ps. xxxii. 1 with
Rom. iv. 3, 6, 16, 17, 23, 24; Heb. xiii. 8; Acts xv. 11.
Of Christ the Mediator
It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus,
His only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man; the Prophet,
Priest, and King, the Head and Saviour of His Church, the Heir of all things,
and Judge of the world: unto whom He did from all eternity give a people,
to be His seed, and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified,
Isa. xlii. 1; 1 Pet. i. 19, 20; John iii. 16; 1 Tim. ii. 5; Acts iii. 22;
Heb. v. 5, 6; Ps. ii. 6; Luke i. 33; Eph. v. 23; Heb. i. 2; Acts xvii. 31;
John xvii. 6; Ps. xxii. 30; Isa. liii. 10; 1 Tim. ii. 6; Isa. lv. 4, 5;
1 Cor. i. 30.
II. The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal
God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fulness of
time was come, take upon Him man's nature, with all the essential properties
and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the
power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance.
So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood,
were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition,
or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the
only Mediator between God and man.
John i. 1, 14; 1 John v. 20; Phil. ii. 6; Gal. iv. 4; Heb. ii. 14, 16,17;
Heb. iv. 15; Luke i. 27, 31, 35; Gal. iv. 4; Luke i. 35; Col. ii. 9; Rom.
ix. 5; 1 Pet. iii. 18; 1 Tim. iii. 16; Rom. i. 3, 4; 1 Tim. ii. 5.
III. The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, was
sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, having in Him
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father
that all fulness should dwell; to the end that, being holy, harmless, undefiled,
and full of grace and truth, He might be thoroughly furnished to execute
the office of a Mediator and Surety. Which office He took not unto Himself,
but was thereunto called by His Father, who put all power and judgment into
His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same.
Ps. xlv. 7; John iii. 34; Col. ii. 3; Col. i. 19; Heb. vii. 26; John i.
14; Acts x. 38; Heb. xii. 24; Heb. vii. 22; Heb. v. 4, 5; John v. 22, 27;
Matt. xxviii. 18; Acts ii. 36.
IV. This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake; which that
He might discharge, He was made under the law, and did perfectly fulfil
it, endured most grievous torments immediately in His soul, and most painful
sufferings in His body; was crucified, and died; was buried, and remained
under the power of death; yet saw no corruption. On the third day He arose
from the dead, with the same body in which He suffered, with which also
he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of His Father,
making intercession, and shall return to judge men and angels at the end
of the world.
Ps. xl. 7, 8 with Heb. x. 5 to 10; John x. 18; Phil. ii. 8; Gal. iv. 4;
Matt. iii. 15; Matt. v. 17; Matt. xxvi. 37, 38; Luke xxii. 44; Matt. xxvii.
46; Matt. xxvi., xxvii. chapters; Phil. ii. 8; Acts ii. 23, 24, 27; Acts
xiii. 37; Rom. vi. 9; 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4; John xx. 25, 27; Mark xvi. 19; Rom.
viii. 34; Heb. ix. 24; Heb. vii. 25; Rom. xiv. 9, 10; Acts i. 11; Acts x.
42; Matt. xiii. 40, 41, 42; Jude, ver. 6; 2 Pet. ii. 4.
V. The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience, and sacrifice of Himself, which
He, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied
the justice of His Father; and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an
everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the
Father hath given unto Him.
Rom. v. 19; Heb. ix. 14, 16; Heb. x. 14; Eph. v. 2; Rom. iii. 25, 26;
Dan. ix. 24, 26; Col. i. 19, 20; Eph. i. 11, 14; John xvii. 2; Heb. ix.
VI. 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 for ever.
Gal. iv. 4, 5; Gen. iii. 15; Rev. xiii. 8; Heb. xiii. 8.
VII. Christ, in the work of mediation, acteth according to both natures,
by each nature doing that which is proper to itself: 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.
Heb. ix. 14; 1 Pet. iii. 18; Acts xx. 28; John iii. 13; 1 John iii. 16.
VIII. To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, He doth certainly
and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for
them, and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation,
effectually persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey, and governing
their hearts by His Word and Spirit, 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.
John vi. 37, 39; John x. 15, 16; 1 John ii. 1, 2; Rom. viii. 34; John xv.
13, 15; Eph. i. 7, 8, 9; John xvii. 6; John xiv. 26; Heb. xii. 2; 2 Cor.
iv. 13; Rom. viii. 9, 14; Rom. xv. 18, 19; John xvii. 17; Ps. cx. l; 1 Cor.
xv. 25, 26; Mal. iv. 2, 3; Col. ii. 15.
Of Free Will
God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither
forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined to good or evil.
Matt. xvii. 12; James i. 14; Deut. xxx. 19.
II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to
do that which was good, and well pleasing to God; but yet mutably, so that
he might fall from it.
Eccl. vii. 29; Gen. i. 26; Gen. ii. 16, 17; Gen. iii. 6.
III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability
of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation: so as, a natural man,
being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by
his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.
Rom. v. 6; Rom. viii. 7; John xv. 5; Rom. iii. 10, 12; Eph. ii. 1, 5; Col.
ii. 13; John vi. 44, 65; Eph. ii. 2, 3, 4, 5; 1 Cor. ii. 14; Titus iii.
3, 4, 5.
IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace,
He freeth him from his natural bondage under sin; and, by His grace alone,
enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet
so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly,
nor only, will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.
Col. i. 13; John viii. 34. 36; Phil. ii. 13; Rom. vi. 18, 22; Gal. v. 17;
Rom. vii. 15, 18, 19, 21, 23.
V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone, in
the state of glory only.
Eph. iv. 13; Heb. xii. 23; 1 John iii. 2; Jude. ver. 24.
Of Effectual Calling
All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased
in His appointed and accepted time effectually to call, by His Word and
Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature,
to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually
and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of
stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and
by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually
drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made
willing by His grace.
Rom. viii. 30; Rom. xi. 7; Eph. i. 10, 11; 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14; 2 Cor. iii.
3, 6; Rom. viii. 2; Eph. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; 2 Tim. i. 9, 10; Acts xxvi.
18; 1 Cor. ii. 10, 12; Eph. i. 17, 18; Ezek. xxxvi. 26; Ezek. xi. 19; Phil.
ii. 13; Deut. xxx. 6; Ezek. xxxvi. 27; Eph. i. 19; John vi. 44, 45; Cant.
i. 4; Ps. cx. 3; John vi. 37; Rom. vi. 16, 17, 18.
II. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from
anything at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until
being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to
answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.
2 Tim. i. 9; Tit. iii. 4, 5; Eph. ii. 4, 5, 8. 9; Rom. ix. 11, 1 Cor. ii.
14; Rom. viii. 7; Eph. ii. 5, John vi. 37; Ezek. xxxvi. 27; John v. 25.
III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ
through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth: so
also, are all other elect persons who are uncapable of being outwardly called
by the ministry of the Word.
Luke xviii. 15, 16, and Acts ii. 38, 39 and John iii. 3, 5 and 1 John v.
12 and Rom. viii. 9 compared; John iii. 8; 1 John v. 12; Acts iv. 12.
IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of
the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never
truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: 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 law of that religion they do profess. And, to assert and
maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.
Matt. xxii. 14; Matt. vii. 22; Matt. xiii. 20, 21; Heb. vi. 4, 5; John vi.
64, 65, 66; John viii. 24; Acts iv. 12; John xiv. 6; Eph. ii. 12; John iv.
22; John xvii. 3; 2 John ver. 9, 10, 11; 1 Cor. xvi 22; Gal. i. 6, 7, 8.
Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth: not by infusing
righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, 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 imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ
unto them, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith;
which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God.
Rom. viii. 30; Rom. iii. 24; Rom. iv. 5, 6, 7, 8; 2 Cor. v. 19, 21; Rom.
iii. 22, 24, 25, 27, 28; Tit. iii. 5, 7; Eph. i. 7; Jer. xxiii. 6; 1 Cor.
i. 30, 31; Rom. v. 17, 18. 19; Acts x. 43; Gal. ii. 16; Phil. iii. 9; Acts
xiii. 38, 39; Eph. ii. 7, 8.
II. Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is
the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person
justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is
no dead faith, but worketh by love.
John i. 12; Rom. iii. 28; Rom. v. 1; James. ii. 17, 22, 26; Gal. v. 6.
III. 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. Yet, inasmuch as He
was given by the Father for them; and His obedience and satisfaction accepted
in their stead; and both freely, not for anything in them; their justification
is only of free grace; that both the exact justice, and rich grace of God,
might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
Rom. v. 8, 9, 10, 19; 1 Tim. ii. 5, 6; Heb. x. 10, 14; Dan. ix. 24, 26;
Isa. liii. 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12; Rom. viii. 32; 2 Cor. v. 21; Matt. iii.
17; Eph. v. 2; Rom. iii. 24; Eph. i. 7; Rom. iii. 26; Eph. ii. 7.
IV. God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, and Christ
did, in the fulness of time, die for their sins, and rise again for their
justification: nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit
doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them.
Gal. iii. 8; 1 Pet. i. 2, 19, 20, Rom. viii. 30; Gal. iv. 4; 1 Tim. ii.
6; Rom. iv. 25; Col. i. 21, 22; Gal. ii. 16; Tit. iii. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
V. God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified; and,
although they can never fall from the state of justification; yet 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.
Matt. vi. 12; 1 John i. 7, 9: 1 John ii. 1, 2; Luke xxii. 32; John x. 28;
Heb. x. 14; Ps. lxxxix. 31, 32, 33; Ps. li. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; Ps. xxxii
5; Matt. xxvi. 75; 1 Cor. xi. 30, 32; Luke i. 20.
VI. The justification of believers under the old testament was, in all these
respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the
Gal. iii. 9, 13, 14; Rom. iv. 22, 23, 24; Heb. xiii. 8.
All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth, in and for His only Son Jesus
Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption: by which they are taken
into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children
of God, have His name put upon them, receive the spirit of adoption, have
access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry, Abba, Father,
are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him as by a father;
yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption, and inherit the
promises, as heirs of everlasting salvation.
Eph. i. 5; Gal. iv. 4, 5; Rom. viii. 17, John i. 12; Jer. xiv. 9; 2 Cor.
vi. 18; Rev. iii. 12; Rom. viii. 15, Eph. iii. 12; Rom. v. 2, Gal. iv. 6;
Ps. ciii. 13; Prov. xiv. 26; Matt. vi. 30, 32; 1 Peter v. 7; Heb. xii. 6;
Lam. iii. 31; Eph. iv. 30; Heb. vi. 12; 1 Pet. i. 3, 4; Heb. i. 14.
They who are 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, by His Word and Spirit
dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and
the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and
they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the
practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
1 Cor. vi. 11; Acts xx. 32; Phil. iii. 10; Rom. vi. 5, 6; John xvii. 17;
Eph. v. 26; 2 Thess. ii. 13; Rom. vi. 6, 14; Gal. v. 24; Rom viii. 13; Col.
i. 11; Eph. iii. 16, 17, 18, 19; 2 Cor. vii. 1; Heb. xii. 14.
II. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; yet imperfect in
this life, there abiding still some remnants of corruption in every part:
whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against
the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
1 Thess. v. 23; 1 John i. 10; Rom. vii. 18, 23; Phil. iii. 12; Gal. v. 17;
1 Peter ii. 11.
III. In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much
prevail; yet through the continual supply of strength from the sanctifying
Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome; and so, the saints
grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Rom. vii. 23; Rom. vi. 14; 1 John v. 4; Eph. iv. 15, 16; 2 Pet. iii. 18;
2 Cor. iii. 18; 2 Cor. vii. 1.
Of Saving Faith
The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving
of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts; and
is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word: by which also, and by
the administration of the sacraments, and prayer, it is increased and strengthened.
Heb. x. 39; 2 Cor. iv. 13; Eph. i. 17,18, 19; Eph. ii. 8; Rom. x. 14, 17;
1 Pet. ii. 2; Acts xx. 32; Rom. iv. 11; Luke xvii. 5; Rom. i. 16, 17.
II. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed
in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaking therein; and acteth
differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth;
yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing
the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come. But the principal
acts of saving faith are accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone
for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant
John iv. 42; I Thess. ii. 13; 1 John v. 10; Acts xxiv. 14; Rom. xvi. 26;
Isa. lxvi. 2; Heb. xi. 13; 1 Tim. iv. 8; John i. 12; Acts xvi. 31; Gal.
ii. 20; Acts xv. 11.
III. This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and
many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory; growing up in many
to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is both the author
and finisher of our faith.
Heb. v. 13, 14; Rom. iv. 19, 20; Matt. vi. 30; Matt. viii. 10; Luke xxii.
31, 32; Eph. vi. 16; 1 John v. 4, 5; Heb. vi. 11, 12; Heb. x. 22; Col. ii.
2; Heb xii. 2.
Of Repentance Unto Life
Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to
be preached by every minister of the Gospel, as well as that of faith in
Zech. xii. 10; Acts xi. 18; Luke xxiv. 47; Mark i. 5; Acts xx. 21.
II. By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the danger,
but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the
holy nature and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of His mercy
in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as
to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with Him
in all the ways of His commandments.
Ezek. xviii. 30, 31; Ezek. xxxvi. 31; Isa. xxx. 22; Ps. li. 4; Jer. xxxi.
18, 19; Joel ii. 12, 13; Amos v. 15; Ps. cxix. 128; 2 Cor. vii. 11; Ps.
cxix. 6, 59, 106; Luke i. 6; 2 Kings xxiii. 25.
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for
sin or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God's free grace
in Christ; yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect
pardon without it.
Ezek. xxxvi. 31, 32; Ezek. xvi. 61. 62, 63; Hos. xiv. 2, 4; Rom. iii. 24;
Eph. l. 7; Luke xiii. 3, 5; Acts xvii. 30, 31.
IV. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation, so there is
no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.
Rom. vi. 23; Rom. v. 12; Matt. xii. 36; Isa lv. 7; Rom. viii. 1; Isa. i.
V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it
is every man's duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins, particularly.
Ps. xix. 13; Luke xix. 8; 1 Tim. i. 13, 15.
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God,
praying for the pardon thereof; upon which, and the forsaking of them, he
shall find mercy; so, he that scandalizeth his brother, or the Church of
Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession, and sorrow
for his sin to declare his repentance to those that are offended, who are
thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.
Ps. li. 4, 5, 7, 9, 14; Ps. xxxii. 5, 6; Prov. xxviii. 13; 1 John l. 9;
James v. 16; Luke xvii. 3, 4; Joshua vii. 19; Ps. li throughout; 2 Cor.
Of Good Works
Good works are only such as God hath commanded in His holy Word, and not
such as, without the warrant thereof, are devised by men, out of blind zeal,
or upon any pretence of good intention.
Micah vi. 8; Rom. xii. 2; Heb. xiii. 21; Matt. xv. 9; Isa. xxix. 13; 1 Pet.
i. 18; Rom. x. 2; John xvi. 2; 1 Sam. xv. 21, 22, 23.
II. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits
and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest
their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn
the profession of the Gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify
God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto; that,
having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.
James ii. 18, 22; Ps. cxvi. 12, 13; 1 Pet. ii. 9, 1 John ii. 3, 5; 2 Pet.
i. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, l0; 2 Cor. ix. 2; Matt. v. 16; Tit. ii. 5, 9, 10, 11,
12; 1 Tim. vi. l; 1 Pet. ii. 15; 1 Pet. ii. 12; Phil. i. 11; John xv. 8;
Eph. ii. 10; Rom. vi. 22.
III. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly
from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, besides
the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence
of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will and to do of His good pleasure:
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.
John xv. 4, 5; Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27; Phil. ii. 13; Phil. iv. 13; 2 Cor. iii.
5; Phil. ii. 12; Heb. vi. 11, l2; 2 Pet. i. 3, 5, 10, 11; Isa. lxiv. 7;
2 Tim. i. 6; Acts xxvi. 6, 7; Jude ver. 20, 21.
IV. 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 which in duty
they are bound to do.
Luke xvii. 10; Neh xiii. 22; Job ix. 2, 3; Gal. v. 17.
V. 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, but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty,
and are unprofitable servants; and because, as they are good, they proceed
from His Spirit; and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed
with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity
of God's judgment.
Rom. iii. 20; Rom. iv. 2, 4, 6; Eph. ii. 8, 9; Tit. iii. 5, 6, 7; Rom. viii.
18; Ps. xvi. 2; Job xxii. 2, 3; Job xxxv. 7, 8; Luke xvii. 10; Gal. v. 22,
23; Isa. lxiv. 6; Gal. v. l7; Rom. vii. 15, 18; Ps. cxliii. 2; Ps. cxxx.
VI. Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through
Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him, not as though they were
in this life wholly unblameable and unreprovable in God's sight; 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.
Eph. i. 6; 1 Pet. ii. 5; Exod. xxviii. 38, Gen iv. 4 with Heb. xi. 4; Job
ix. 20; Ps. cxliii. 2; Heb. xiii. 20, 21; 2 Cor. viii. 12; Heb. vi. 10,
Matt. xxv. 21, 23.
VII. 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: yet, because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith; nor
are done in a right manner according to the Word; nor to a right end, the
glory of God; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make
a man meet to receive grace from God. And yet, their neglect of them is
more sinful, and displeasing unto God.
2 Kings x. 30, 31; 1 Kings xxi. 27, 29; Phil. i. 15, 16, 18; Gen. iv. 5
with Heb. xi. 4, 6; 1 Cor. xiii. 3: Isa. i. l2; Matt. vi. 2, 5, l6: Hag.
ii 14; Tit. i. 15; Amos v. 21, 22; Hosea i. 4; Rom. ix. 16; Titus iii. 5;
Ps. xiv. 4: Ps. xxxvi. 3; Job xxi. 14, 15; Matt. xxv. 41, 42, 43, 45; Matt.
Of the Perseverance of the Saints
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 the end, and be eternally
Phil. i. 6; 2 Pet. i. 10; John x. 28, 29; 1 John iii. 9; I Pet. i. 5, 9.
II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will,
but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free
and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit
and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit, and of the
seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all
which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
2 Tim. ii. 18, 19; Jer. xxxi. 3; Heb. x. 10, 14; Heb. xiii. 20, 21; Heb.
ix. 12, 13, 14, 15; Rom viii. 33 to the end; John xvii. 11, 24; Luke xxii.
32; Heb. vii. 25; John xiv. 16 17; 1 John ii. 27; 1 John iii. 9; Jer. xxxii.
40; John x. 28; 2 Thess. iii. 3; 1 John ii. 19.
III. 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; and, for a time,
continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve His Holy
Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts,
have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded, hurt and scandalize
others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.
Matt. xxvi. 70, 72, 74; Ps. li. title and verse 14; Isa. lxiv. 5, 7, 9;
2 Sam. xi. 27; Eph. iv. 30; Ps. li. 8, 10, 12; Rev. ii. 4; Cant. v. 2, 3,
4, 6; Isa. lxiii. 17; Mark vi. 52; Mark xvi. 14; Ps. xxxii. 3, 4; Ps. li.
8; 2 Sam. xii. 14; Ps. lxxxix. 31, 32; 1 Cor. xi. 32.
Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves
with false hopes, and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God,
and estate of salvation; which hope of theirs shall perish: yet such as
truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring
to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly
assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope
of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed.
Job viii. 13, 14; Mic. iii. 11; Deut. xxix. 19; John viii. 41; Matt. vii.
22, 23; 1 John ii. 3; 1 John iii. 14, 18, 19, 21, 24; 1 John v. 13; Rom.
v. 2, 5.
II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded
upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon
the divine truth of the promises of salvation, the inward evidence of those
graces unto which these promises are made, the testimony of the Spirit of
adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God: which
Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day
Heb. vi. 11, 19; Heb. vi. 17, 18; 2 Pet. i. 4, 5, 10, 11; 1 John ii. 3;
1 John iii. 14; 2 Cor. i. 12; Rom. viii. 15, 16; Eph. i. 13, 14; Eph. iv.
30; 2 Cor. i. 21, 22.
III. 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: yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the
things which are freely given him of God, he may without extraordinary revelation,
in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto. And therefore it is
the duty of everyone to give all diligence to make his calling and election
sure; 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; so far
is it from inclining men to looseness.
1 John v. 13; Isa. l. 10; Mark ix. 24; Ps. lxxxviii throughout, Ps. lxxvii
to ver. 12; 1 Cor. ii. 12, 1 John iv. 13; Heb. vi. 11, 12; Eph. iii. 17,
18, 19; 2 Pet. i. 10; Rom. v. 1, 2, 5; Rom. xiv. 17; Rom. xv. 13; Eph. i.
3, 4; Ps. iv. 6, 7; Ps. cxix. 32; 1 John ii. 1, 2; Rom. vi. 1, 2; Tit. ii.
11, 12, 14; 2 Cor. vii. 1; Rom. viii. 1, 12; 1 John iii. 2, 3; Ps. cxxx.
4; 1 John i. 6, 7.
IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways
shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of
it, by falling into some special sin, which woundeth the conscience and
grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation, by God's withdrawing
the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk
in darkness and to have no light: 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; and by the which,
in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.
Cant. v. 2, 3, 6; Ps. li. 8, 12, 14; Eph. iv. 30, 31; Ps. lxxvii. 1 to 10;
Matt. xxvi. 69, 70, 71, 72; Ps. xxxi. 22; Ps. lxxxviii throughout; Isa.
l. 10; 1 John iii. 9; Luke xxii. 32; Job xiii. l5; Ps. lxxiii. l5; Ps. li.
8, 12; Isa. l. 10; Mic. vii. 7, 8. 9; Jer. xxxii. 40, Isa. liv. 7, 8, 9,
10; Ps. xxii. 1; Ps. Ixxxviii throughout.
Of the Law of God
God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and
all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised
life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it: and
endued him with power and ability to keep it.
Gen. i. 26, 27 with Gen. ii. 17; Rom. ii. 14. 15; Rom. x. 5; Rom. v. 12,
19; Gal. iii. 10, 12; Eccles. vii. 29; Job xxviii. 28.
II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness,
and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments,
and written in two tables: the four first commandments containing our duty
towards God; and the other six our duty to man.
James i. 25; James ii. 8, 10, 11, 12; Rom. xiii. 8, 9; Deut. v. 32; Deut.
x. 4; Ex. xxxiv. 1; Matt. xxii. 37, 38, 39, 40.
III. 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; and partly holding forth divers instructions
of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the
Heb. ix chapter; Heb. x. 1; Gal. lv. 1, 2, 3; Col. ii. 17; 1 Cor. v. 7;
2 Cor vi. 17; Jude ver. 23; Col. ii. 14, 16, 17; Dan. ix. 27; Eph. ii. 15,
IV. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which
expired together with the State of that people; not obliging any other now,
further than the general equity thereof may require.
Ex. xxi chap.; Ex. xxii. 1 to 29; Gen. xlix. 10 with 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14;
Matt. v. 17 with ver. 38, 39; 1 Cor. ix. 8, 9, 10.
V. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others,
to the obedience thereof; and that, not only in regard of the matter contained
in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave
it: neither doth Christ, in the Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen
Rom. xiii. 8, 9, 10; Eph. vi. 2; 1 John ii. 3, 4, 7, 8; James ii. 10, 11;
Matt. v. 17, 18, 19; James ii. 8; Rom. iii. 31.
VI. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works,
to be thereby justified or condemned; yet is it of great use to them, as
well as to others; in that, as a rule of life informing them of the will
of God, and their duty, it directs, and binds them to walk accordingly;
discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature, hearts, and lives;
so as, examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction
of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin; together with a clearer sight
of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of His obedience. It
is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in
that it forbids sin; and the 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. The
promises of it, in like manner, show them God's approbation of obedience,
and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof; although
not as due to them by the law, as a covenant of works. 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.
Rom. vi. 14; Gal ii. 16; Gal. iii. 13; Gal. iv. 4, 5; Acts xiii. 39; Rom.
viii. 1; Rom. vii. 12, 22, 25; Ps. cxix. 4, 5, 6; 1 Cor. vii. 19; Gal. v.
14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; Rom. vii. 7; Rom. iii. 20; James i. 23,
24, 25; Rom. vii. 9, 14, 24, Gal. iii. 24; Rom. vii. 24, 25; Rom. viii.
3, 4: James ii. 11; Ps. cxix. 101, 104, 128, Ezra ix. 13. 14; Ps. lxxxix.
30, 31, 32, 33, 34; Lev. xxvi. 1 to 14 with 2 Cor. vi. 16; Eph. vi. 2, 3;
1l with Matt. v. 5; Ps. xix. 11; Gal. ii. 16; Luke xvii. 10; Rom. vi. 12,
14; 1 Pet. iii. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 with Ps. xxxiv. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Heb.
xii. 28, 29.
VII. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace
of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; 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.
Gal. iii. 21; Ezek. xxxvi. 27; Heb. viii. 10 with Jer. xxxi. 33.
Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience
The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the Gospel consists
in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the
curse of the moral law; and, in their being delivered from this present
evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; from the evil of afflictions,
the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation;
as also, in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto
Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind. All
which were common also to believers under the law. But, under the new testament,
the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the
yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; and
in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications
of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake
Tit. ii. 14; 1 Thes i. 10; Gal. iii. 13; Gal. i. 4; Col. i. 13; Acts xxvi.
18; Rom. vi. 14; Rom. viii. 28; Ps. cxix. 71; 1 Cor. xv. 54, 55, 56, 57;
Rom. viii. l; Rom. v. 1, 2; Rom. viii. 14, 15; 1 John iv. 18; Gal. iii.
9, 14; Gal. iv. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7; Gal. v. l; Acts xv. 10, 11; Heb. iv. 14,
16; Heb. x. 19, 20, 21, 22; John vii. 38, 39; 2 Cor. iii. 13, 17, 18.
II. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the
doctrines and commandments of men, which are in any thing contrary to His
Word; or beside it, in matters of faith or worship. So that, to believe
such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray
true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and
an absolute and blind obedience is to destroy liberty of conscience, and
James iv. 12; Rom. xiv. 4; Acts iv. 19; Acts v. 29; 1 Cor. vii. 23; Matt.
xxiii. 8, 9, 10; 2 Cor. i. 24; Matt. xv. 9; Col. ii. 20, 22, 23; Gal. i.
10; Gal. ii. 4, 5; Gal. v. 1; Rom. x. 17; Rom. xiv. 23; Isa. viii. 20; Acts
xvii. 11; John iv. 22; Hos. v. 11; Rev. xiii. 12, 16, 17; Jer. viii. 9.
III. They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, do practice any sin,
or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty, which
is, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve
the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the
days of our life.
Gal. v. 13; 1 Pet. ii. 16; 2 Pet. ii. 19; John viii. 34; Luke i. 74, 75.
IV. 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 pretence 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. 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 erroneous 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 the censures
of the Church, (and by the power of the civil magistrate.)*
Matt. xii. 25; 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14 16; Rom. xiii. 1 to 8; Heb. xiii. 17; Rom.
i. 32 with 1 Cor. v. 1 5, l1, 13; 2 John ver. 10, 11 and 2 Thess. iii. 14,
and 1 Tim. vi. 3, 4 5, and Tit. i. 10, 11, 13, and Tit. iii. 10 with Matt.
xviii. 15, 16, 17; 1 Tim. i. 19, 20; Rev. ii. 2, 14, 15, 20; Rev. iii. 9;
Deut. xiii. 6 to 12; Rom. xiii. 3, 4 with 2 John ver. 10, 11; Ezra vii.
23, 25, 26, 27, 28; Rev. xvii. 12, 16, 17; Neh. xiii. 15, 17, 21, 22, 25,
30; 2 Kings xxiii. 5, 6, 9, 20, 21; 2 Chron. xxxiv. 33; 2 Chron. xv. 12,
13, 16; Dan. iii. 29; 1 Tim. ii. 2; Isa. xlix. 23; Zech. xiii. 2, 3.
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day
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. But the acceptable way of
worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His
own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations
and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation,
or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.
Rom. i. 20; Acts xvii. 24; Ps. cxix. 68; Jer. x. 7; Ps. xxxi. 23; Ps. xviii.
3; Rom. x. 12; Ps. Ixii. 8; Josh. xxiv. 14; Mark xii. 33; Deut. xii. 32;
Matt. xv. 9; Acts xvii. 25; Matt. iv. 9, 10; Deut. iv. 15 to 20; Exod. xx.
4, 5, 6; Col. ii. 23.
II. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;
and to Him alone; not to angels, saints, or any other creature: and since
the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but
of Christ alone.
Matt. iv. 10 with John v. 23 and 2 Cor. xiii. 14; Col. ii. 18; Rev xix.
10; Rom. i. 25; John xiv. 6; 1 Tim. ii. 5; Eph. ii. 18; Col. iii. 17.
III. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship,
is by God required of all men: and that it may be accepted, it is to be
made in the name of the Son, by the help of His Spirit, according to His
will, with understanding, reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and
perseverance; and, if vocal, in a known tongue.
Phil. iv. 6; Ps. lxv. 2; John xiv. 13,14; 1 Pet. ii. 5; Rom. viii. 26; 1
John v. 14; Ps. xlvii. 7; Eccles. v. 1, 2; Heb. xii. 28; Gen. xviii. 27;
James v. 16; James i. 6, 7; Mark xi. 24; Matt. vi 12, 14, 15; Col. iv. 2;
Eph. vi. 18; 1 Cor. xiv. 14.
IV. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living,
or that shall live hereafter: but not for the dead, nor for those of whom
it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.
1 John v. 14; 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2; John xvii. 20; 2 Sam. vii. 29; Ruth iv. 12;
2 Sam. xii. 21, 22, 23 with Luke xvi. 25, 26; Rev. xiv. 13; I John v. 16.
V. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear; the sound preaching and
conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding,
faith, and reverence; singing of psalms with grace in the heart; as also,
the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted
by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: beside
religious oaths, vows, solemn fastings, and thanksgivings, upon special
occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in
a holy and religious manner.
Acts xv. 21; Rev. i. 3: 2 Tim. iv. 2; James i. 22; Acts x. 33; Matt. xiii.
l9; Heb. iv. 2; Isa. lxvi. 2; Col. iii. 16; Eph. v. 19; James v. 13; Matt.
xxviii. 19; 1 Cor. xi 23 to 29; Acts ii. 42: Deut. vi. 13 with Neh. x. 29;
Isa. xix. 21 with Eccles. v. 4, 5; Joel ii. 12; Esther iv. 16; Matt. ix.
15; 1 Cor. vii. 5; Ps. cvii throughout; Esther ix. 22; Heb. xii. 28.
VI. 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: but God is to be worshipped
everywhere, in spirit and truth; as in private families daily, and in secret
each one by himself; so, more solemnly, in the public assemblies, which
are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God, by
His Word or providence, calleth thereunto.
John iv. 21; Mal. i. 11; 1 Tim. ii. 8; John iv. 23, 24; Jer. x. 25; Deut.
vi. 6, 7; Job i. 5; 2 Sam. vi. 18. 20; 1 Pet. iii. 7; Acts x. 2; Matt. vi.
11; Matt. vi. 6; Eph. vi. 18; Isa. lvi. 6, 7; Heb. x. 25; Prov. i. 20, 21,
24; Prov. viii. 34; Acts xiii. 42; Luke iv. 16; Acts ii. 42.
VII. 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 positive, 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: 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, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord's Day,
and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.
Exod. xx. 8, 10, 11; Isa. lvi. 2, 4, 6, 7; Gen. ii. 2, 3; 1 Cor. xvi. 1,
2; Acts xx. 7; Rev. i. 10; Exod. xx. 8, 10 with Matt. v. 17, 18.
VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due
preparing of their hearts. and ordering of their common affairs beforehand,
do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words,
and thoughts about their worldly employments, and recreations, but also
are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship,
and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
Exod. xx. 8; Exod. xvi. 23, 25, 26, 29, 30; Exod. xxxi. 15, 16, 17; Isa.
lviii. 13; Neh. xiii. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22; Isa. lviii. 13; Matt.
xii. 1 to 13.
Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, 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
Deut. x. 20; Exod. xx. 7; Lev. xix. 12; 2 Cor. i. 23; 2 Chron. vi. 22, 23.
II. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear; and therein
it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence. Therefore, to swear vainly
or rashly, by that glorious and dreadful Name; or, to swear at all by any
other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred. 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; so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority,
in such matters ought to be taken.
Deut. vi. 13; Exod. xx. 7; Jer. v. 7; Matt. v. 34, 37; James v. 12; Heb.
vi. 16; 2 Cor. i. 23; Isa. lxv. 16; 1 Kings viii. 31; Neh. xiii. 25, Ezra
III. Whosoever taketh an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of
so solemn an act; and therein to avouch nothing, but what he is fully persuaded
is the truth. 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. Yet is it a sin to refuse an oath touching anything
that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority.
Exod. xx. 7; Jer. iv. 2; Gen. xxiv. 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9; Num. v. 19, 21; Neh.
v. 12; Exod. xxii. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without
equivocation, or mental reservation. It cannot oblige to sin: but in anything
not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own
hurt. Nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics, or infidels.
Jer. iv. 2; Ps. xxiv. 4; 1 Sam. xxv. 22, 32, 33, 34; Ps. xv. 4; Ezek. xvii.
16, 18, 19; Josh. ix. 18, 19 with 2 Sam. xxi. 1.
V. A vow is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made
with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness.
Isa. xix. 21; Eccles. v. 4, 5, 6; Ps. lxi. 8; Ps. lxvi. 13, 14.
VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone: and, that it
may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith, and conscience
of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the obtaining
of what we want; whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties;
or to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto.
Ps. lxxvi. 11; Jer. xliv. 25, 26; Deut. xxiii. 21, 22, 23; Ps. l. 14; Gen.
xxviii. 20, 21, 22; 1 Sam. i. 11; Ps. lxvi. 13, 14; Ps. cxxxii. 2, 3, 4,
VII. 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.
In which respects, Popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed
poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher
perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian
may entangle himself.
Acts xxiii. 12, 14; Mark vi. 26; Num. xxx. 5, 8, 12, 13; Matt. xix. 11,
12; 1 Cor. vii. 2, 9; Eph. iv. 28; 1 Peter iv. 2; 1 Cor. vii. 23.
Of the Civil Magistrate
God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained 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 evil
Rom. xiii. 1, 2, 3, 4; 1 Peter ii. 13, 14.
II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate,
when called thereunto; in the managing whereof, as they ought especially
to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of
each commonwealth; so for that end, they may lawfully now, under the New
Testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion.
Prov. viii. 15, 16; Rom. xiii. 1, 2, 4; Ps. ii. 10, 11, 12; 1 Tim. ii. 2;
Ps. lxxxii. 3, 4; 2 Sam. xxiii. 3; 1 Pet. ii. 13; Luke iii. 14; Rom. xiii.
4; Matt. viii. 9, 10; Acts x. 1, 2; Rev. xvii. 14, 16.
III. (The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration
of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and
peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and
entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions
and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the
ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed. For the better
effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them,
and to provide, that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the
mind of God.)*
2 Chron. xxvi. 18 with Matt. xviii. 17 and Matt. xvi. 19; I Cor. xii. 29,
29; Eph. iv. 11, 12; 1 Cor. iv. 1. 2; Rom. x. 15; Heb. v. 4; Isa. xlix.
23; Ps. cxxii. 9; Ezra vii. 23, 25, 26, 27, 28; Lev. xxiv. 16; Deut. xiii.
5, 6, 12; 1 Kings xviii. 4; 1 Chron. xiii. 1 to 9; 2 Kings xxiii. 1 to 26;
2 Chron. xxxiv. 33; 2 Chron. xv. 12, 13; 2 Chron. xix. 8, 9, 10, 11; 2 Chron.
xxix and xxx; Matt. ii. 4, 5.
IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to honour their persons,
to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful commands, and to
be subject to their authority, for conscience' sake. Infidelity, or difference
in religion, doth not make void the magistrates' just and legal authority,
nor free the people from their due obedience to them: from which ecclesiastical
persons are not exempted; much less hath the Pope any power and jurisdiction
over 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 pretence whatsoever.
1 Tim. ii. 1, 2; 1 Pet. ii. 17; Rom. xiii. 6, 7; Rom. xiii. 5; Tit. iii.
1; 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14, 16; Rom. xiii. 1; 1 Kings ii. 35, Acts xxv. 9, 10,
11 ; 2 Pet. ii . 1, 10, 11 ; Jude ver. 8, 9, 10, 11 ; 2 Thess. ii. 4 ; Rev.
xiii. 15, 16. 17.
Of Marriage and Divorce
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.
Gen. ii. 24; Matt. xix. 5, 6; Prov. ii. 17.
II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the
increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy
seed; and for preventing of uncleanness.
Gen. ii. 18; Mal. ii. 15; 1 Cor. vii. 2, 9.
III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment
to give their consent. Yet is it the duty of Christians to marry only in
the Lord: and therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should
not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such
as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously
wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.
Heb. xiii. 4; 1 Tim. iv. 3; 1 Cor. vii. 36, 37, 38; Gen. xxiv. 57, 58; 1
Cor. vii. 39; Gen. xxxiv. 14; Exod. xxxiv. 16; Deut. vii. 3, 4; 1 Kings
xi. 4; Neh. xiii. 25, 26, 27; Mal. ii. 11, 12; 2 Cor. vi. 14.
IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity
forbidden in the Word; nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful
by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together
as man and wife. The man may not marry any of his wife's kindred nearer
in blood than he may of his own; nor the woman of her husband's kindred
nearer in blood than of her own.*
Lev. xviii chapter; 1 Cor. v. l; Amos ii. 7; Mark vi. 18; Lev. xviii. 24,
25, 26, 27, 28; Lev. xx. 19, 20, 21.
V. Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before
marriage, giveth just. occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract.
In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party
to sue out a divorce; and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the
offending party were dead.
Matt. i. 18, 19, 20; Matt. v. 31, 32; Matt. xix. 9; Rom. vii. 2, 3.
VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments
unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage; yet
nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied
by the Church or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the
bond of marriage; wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is
to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills
and discretion, in their own case.
Matt. xix. 8, 9; 1 Cor. vii. 15; Matt. xix. 6; Deut. xxiv. 1, 2, 3, 4.
Of the Church
The catholic or universal Church which is invisible, consists of the whole
number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one,
under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness
of Him that filleth all in all.
Eph. i. 10. 22, 23; Eph. v. 23, 27, 32; Col. i. 18.
II. 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; and of their children:
and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God,
out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.
1 Cor. i. 2; 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13; Ps. ii. 8; Rev. vii. 9; Rom. xv. 9, 10,
11, 12; 1 Cor. vii. 14; Acts ii. 39; Ezek. xvi. 20, 21; Rom. xi. 16; Gen.
iii. 15; Gen. xvii. 7; Matt. xiii. 47; Isa. ix. 7; Eph. ii. 19; Eph. iii.
15; Acts ii. 47.
III. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles,
and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in
this life, to the end of the world; and doth by His own presence and Spirit,
according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto.
1 Cor. xii. 28; Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13; Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; Isa. lix. 21.
IV. This catholic Church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible.
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 performed more or less purely in them.
Rom. xi. 3, 4; Rev. xii. 6, 14; Rev. ii. and iii; 1 Cor. v. 6, 7.
V. The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error;
and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues
of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth, to worship
God according to His will.
1 Cor. xiii. 12; Rev. ii. and iii; Matt. xiii. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,
47; Rev. xviii. 2; Rom. xi. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22; Matt. xvi. 18; Ps. lxxii.
17; Ps. cii. 28; Matt. xxviii. 19, 20.
VI. There is no other head of the Church, but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor
can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist,
that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself, in the Church.
against Christ and all that is called God.
Col. i. 18; Eph. i. 22; Matt. xxiii. 8, 9, 10; 2 Thess. ii. 3, 4, 8, 9;
Rev. xii. 6.
Of the Communion of Saints
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: and, being united to one another in love, they have communion
in each other's gifts and graces, 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.
1 John i. 3; Eph. iii. 16, 17, 18, 19; John i. 16; Eph. ii. 5, 6; Phil.
iii. 10; Rom. vi. 5. 6; 2 Tim. ii. 12; Eph. iv. 15, 16: 1 Cor. xii. 7; 1
Cor. iii. 21, 22, 23; Col. ii. 19; 1 Thess. v. 11, 14; Rom. i. 11, 12,14;
1 John iii. 16, 17, 18; Gal. vi. 10.
II. Saints by profession are bound to maintain a holy fellowship and communion
in the worship of God; and in performing such other spiritual services as
tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving 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 of the Lord Jesus.
Heb. x. 24, 25; Acts ii. 42, 46; Isa. ii. 3; 1 Cor. xi. 20; Acts ii. 44,
45; 1 John iii. 17; 2 Cor. viii and ix chapters; Acts xi. 29, 30.
III. 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.
Nor doth their communion one with another, as saints, take away, or infringe
the title or property which each man hath in his goods and possessions.
Col. i. 18, 19; 1 Cor. viii. 6; Isa. xlii. 8; 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16; Ps. xlv.
7, with Heb. i. 8, 9; Exod. xx. 15; Eph. iv. 28; Acts v. 4.
Of the Sacraments
Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately
instituted by God, to represent Christ and His benefits; and to confirm
our interest in Him; as also, to put a visible difference between those
that belong unto the Church, and the rest of the world; and solemnly to
engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word.
Rom. iv. 11; Gen. xvii. 7, 10; Matt. xxviii. 19; 1 Cor. xi. 23; 1 Cor x.
16; 1 Cor. xi. 25, 26; Gal. iii. 17; Rom. xv. 8; Exod. xii. 48; Gen xxxiv.
14; Rom. vi. 3, 4; 1 Cor. x. 16, 21.
II. There is in every sacrament a spiritual relation, or sacramental 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.
Gen. xvii. 10; Matt. xxvi. 27, 28; Tit. iii. 5.
III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used,
is not conferred by any power in them: neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament
depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth administer it: but upon
the work of the Spirit and the word of institution, which contains, together
with a precept authorizing the use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy
Rom. ii. 28, 29; 1 Pet. iii. 21; Matt. iii. 11; 1 Cor. xii. 13; Matt. xxvi.
27, 28; Matt. xxviii. 19, 20.
IV. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel;
that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may
be dispensed by any but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained.
Matt. xxviii. 19; 1 Cor. xi. 20, 23; 1 Cor. iv. l; Heb. v. 4.
V. 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.
1 Cor. x. 1, 2, 3, 4.
Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not
only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church;
but also, to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his
ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his
giving up unto God through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life. Which
sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church
until the end of the world.
Matt. xxviii. 19; 1 Cor. xii. 13; Rom. iv. 11 with Col. ii. 11. 12; Gal.
iii. 27; Rom. vi. 5; Tit. iii. 5; Mark i. 4; Rom. vi. 3, 4; Matt. xxviii.
II. 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, lawfully called thereunto.
Matt. iii. 11; John i. 33; Matt. xxviii. 19, 20.
III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism
is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person.
Heb. ix. 10, 19, 20, 21, 22; Acts ii. 41; Acts xvi. 33; Mark vii. 4.
IV. Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto
Christ, but also the infants of one or both believing parents, are to be
Mark xvi. 15, 16; Acts viii. 37, 38; Gen. xvii. 7, 9, 10 with Gal. iii.
9, 14 and Col. ii. 11, 12 and Acts ii. 38, 39 and Rom. iv. 11, 12; 1 Cor.
vii. 14; Matt. xxviii. 19; Mark x. 13, 14, 15, 16; Luke xviii. 15.
V. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance, yet
grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person
can be regenerated or saved without it; or, that all that are baptized are
Luke vii. 30 with Exod. iv. 24, 25, 26; Rom. iv. 11; Acts x. 2, 4, 22, 31,
45, 47; Acts viii. 13, 23.
VI. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it
is administered; yet notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance,
the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited 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.
John iii. 5, 8; Gal. iii. 27; Titus iii. 5; Eph. v. 25, 26; Acts ii. 38,
VII. The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person.
Titus iii. 5.
Of the Lord's Supper
Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein He was betrayed, instituted 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 perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice
of Himself in His death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers,
their spiritual nourishment and growth in Him, their further engagement
in and to all duties 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 mystical
1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25, 26; 1 Cor. x. 16, 17, 21; 1 Cor. xii. 13.
II. 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; but only
a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the
cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto
God for the same: 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.
Heb. ix. 22, 25, 26, 28; 1 Cor. xi. 24, 25, 26; Matt. xxvi. 26, 27; Heb.
vii. 23, 24, 27; Heb. x. 1l, 12, 14,18.
III. The Lord Jesus, hath, in this ordinance, appointed His ministers to
declare His word of institution to the people; to pray, and bless the elements
of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy
use; and to take and break the bread, to take the cup, and (they communicating
also themselves) to give both to the communicants; but to none who are not
then present in the congregation.
Matt. xxvi. 26, 27, 28 and Mark xiv. 22, 23, 24 and Luke xxii. 19, 20 with
1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25, 26; Acts xx. 7; 1 Cor. xi. 20.
IV. Private masses, or receiving this sacrament by a priest or any other
alone; as likewise, the denial of the cup to the people, worshipping 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.
1 Cor. x. 16; Mark xiv. 23; l Cor. xi. 25, 26, 27, 28, 29; Matt. xv. 9.
V. 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; albeit in substance and nature they
still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before.
Matt. xxvi. 26, 27, 28; 1 Cor. xi. 26, 27, 28; Matt. xxvi. 29.
VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and
wine into the substance of Christ's body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation)
by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture
alone, but even to common sense and reason; overthroweth the nature of the
sacrament, and hath been, and is the cause of manifold superstitions; yea,
of gross idolatries.
Acts iii. 21 with 1 Cor. xi. 24, 25, 26; Luke xxiv. 6, 39.
VII. Worthy receivers outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this
sacrament, 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.
1 Cor. xi. 28; 1 Cor. x. 16.
VIII. Although ignorant and wicked men receive the outward elements in this
sacrament: yet they receive not the thing signified 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, without great sin against Christ while they remain such,
partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto.
1 Cor. xi. 27, 28, 29; 2 Cor. vi. 14,15, 16; 1 Cor. v. 6, 7, 13; 2 Thess.
iii. 6, 14, 15; Matt. vii. 6.
Of Church Censures
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.
Isa. ix. 6, 7; 1 Tim. v. 17; 1 Thess. v. 12; Acts xx. 17, 28; Heb. xiii.
7, 17, 24; 1 Cor. xii. 28; Matt. xxviii. 18, 19, 20.
II. To these officers, the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed:
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.
Matt. xvi. 19; Matt. xviii. 17, 18; John xx. 21, 22, 23; 2 Cor. ii. 6, 7,
III. Church censures are necessary, for the reclaiming and gaining of offending
brethren, for deterring of others from the like offences, for purging out
of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honour
of Christ, and the holy profession of the Gospel, 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
1 Cor. v. chap.; 1 Tim. v. 20; Matt. vii. 6; 1 Tim. i. 20; 1 Cor. xi. 27
to the end, with Jude ver. 23.
IV. 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.
1 Thess. v. 12; 2 Thess. iii. 6, 14, 15; 1 Cor. v. 4, 5, 13; Matt. xviii.
17; Tit. iii. 10.
Of Synods and Councils
For the better government, and further edification of the Church, there
ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils.
Acts xv. 2, 4, 6.
II. (As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers, and other fit
persons, to consult and advise with, about matters of religion; so, if magistrates
be open enemies to the Church, the ministers of Christ of themselves, by
virtue of their office, or they, other fit persons, upon delegation from
their Churches, may meet together in such assemblies.)*
Isa. xlix. 23; 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2; 2 Chron. xix. 8, 9, 10, 11; 2 Chron. xxix.,
xxx. chaps.; Matt. ii. 4, 5; Prov. xi. 14; Acts xv. 2, 4, 22, 23, 25.
III. It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially to determine 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 maladministration, and authoritatively
to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to
the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission; not only
for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are
made, as being an ordinance of God appointed thereunto in His Word.
Acts xv. 15, 19, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31; Acts xvi. 4; Matt. xviii. 17, 18,
IV. All synods or councils, since the Apostles' times, whether general 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.
Eph. ii. 20; Acts xvii. 11; 1 Cor. ii. 5; 2 Cor. i. 24.
V. Synods and councils are to handle, or conclude, nothing, but that which
is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern
the commonwealth; unless by way of humble petition, in cases extraordinary;
or by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto
required by the civil magistrate.
Luke xii. 13, 14; John xviii. 36.
Of the State of Men after Death and the
The bodies of men, after death, return to dust and see corruption; but their
souls (which neither die nor sleep) having an immortal subsistence, immediately
return to God who gave them: 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. 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. Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the
Scripture acknowledgeth none.
Resurrection of the Dead
Gen. iii. 19; Acts xiii. 36; Luke xxiii. 43; Eccles. xii. 7; Heb. xii. 23;
2 Cor. v. 1, 6, 8; Phil. i. 23 with Acts iii. 21 and Eph. iv. 10; Luke xvi.
23, 24; Acts i. 25; Jude ver. 6. 7; 1 Pet. iii. 19.
II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed:
and all the dead shall be raised up, with the selfsame bodies and none other,
although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their
souls for ever.
1 Thess. iv. 17; 1 Cor. xv. 51, 52; Job xix. 26, 27; 1 Cor. xv. 42, 43,
III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to
dishonour; the bodies of the just, by His Spirit, unto honour; and be made
conformable to His own glorious body.
Acts xxiv. 15; John v. 28, 29; 1 Cor. xv. 43; Phil. iii. 21.
Of the Last Judgment
God hath appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world in righteousness,
by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father.
In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, 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.
Acts xvii. 31; John v. 22, 27; 1 Cor. vi. 3; Jude ver. 6; 2 Pet. ii. 4;
2 Cor. v. 10; Eccles. xii. 14; Rom. ii. 16; Rom. xiv. 10, 12; Matt. xii.
II. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the
glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice,
in the damnation of the reprobate who are wicked and disobedient. For then
shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of
joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but
the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall
be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
Matt. xxv. 31 to the end; Rom. ii. 5, 6; Rom. ix. 22, 23; Matt. xxv. 21;
Acts iii. 19; 2 Thess. i. 7, 8, 9, 10.
III. 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; 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.
2 Pet. iii. 11, 14; 2 Cor. v. 10, 11; 2 Thess. i. 5, 6, 7; Luke xxi. 27.
28; Rom. viii. 23, 24, 25; Matt. xxiv. 36, 42, 43, 44; Mark xiii. 35, 36.
37, Luke xii. 35, 36; Rev. xxii. 20.