Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth
in order a declaration of those things which are most surely
believed among us. Lu 1:1
1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith
The 1689 Confession was originally signed by 37
Particular Baptist ministers of England and Wales representing over 100 churches.
Written at a time of both increased religious freedom and increased
Arminianism in England, it carefully expressed the views of these
churches with regard to God's Sovereignty and the correct mode and
subjects of Baptism.
The 1689 Confession was later adopted
in 1743 by the Philadelphia Baptist Association the first
Baptist Association in the American Colonies and renamed as the
Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith.
Chapter 3 Of God's Decrees, Chapter 5 Of Divine
Providence, Chapter 10 Effectual Calling ,Chapter 16 Of Good Works and
Chapter 17 Of the Perseverance of the Saints from the 1689 London
Confession are quoted verbatim in Benjamin Griffin's "History of the
Primitive Baptists of Mississippi", published 1853, pages 17-23.
Regarding the English Baptists who held to the 1689 Confession he
states, "They are in substance the same as those of the Primitive or
Old School Baptists of this day." page 16
The entire 1689 London Confession is quoted in C.B.
and Sylvester Hassell's "History of the Church of God, From the
Creation to A.D. 1885", in "Chapter XX History of
the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Association, and of the Primitive
Baptists of America."
In 1900 the 1689 Confession was confirmed once more
in "Those Things Most Surely Believed Among Us", "The Primitive
Baptist Confession of Faith of 1900 Fulton, Kentucky" by 51
ministers representing 335 churches, with footnotes added for
With its clear exposition upon the Sovereignty of God, the impact of
the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith upon both Primitive
Baptists and other Calvanistic churches has been unparalleled even
down to this present day.
The following is the the original 1689 London
Baptist Confession of Faith.
the ministers and messengers of, and concerned for, upwards of one
hundred baptized congregations in England and Wales (denying
Arminianism), being met together in London, from the third of the
seventh month to the eleventh of the same, 1689, to consider of some
things that might be for the glory of God and the good of these
congregations, have thought meet (for the satisfaction of all other
Christians that differ from us in the point of baptism) to recommend
to their perusal Confession of Our Faith, granted for and sold by
John Marshall, at the Bible in Grace-church-street, which Confession
we own as containing the doctrine of our faith and practice; and do
desire that the members of our churches respectively do furnish
Hanserd Knollys, Daniel Finch,
William Kiffin, John Ball,
John Harris, Edmond White,
William Collins, William Pritchard,
Hercules Collins, Paul Fruin,
Robert Steed, Richard Ring,
Leonard Harrison, John Tompkins,
George Barret, Toby Willes,
Isaac Lamb, John Carter,
Richard Adams, James Webb,
Benjamin Keath, Richard Sutton,
Andrew Gifford, Robert Knight,
Thomas Vaux, Edward Price,
Thomas Winnel, William Phipps,
James Hitt, William Hankins,
Richard Tidmarsh, Samuel Ewer,
William Facey, Edward Man,
Samuel Buttel, Charles Archer,
Courteous Reader: It is now many years since
divers of us (with other sober Christians then living, and walking
in the way of the Lord, that we profess) did conceive ourselves to
be under a necessity of publishing a Confession, of our Faith, for
the information and satisfaction of those that did not thoroughly
understand what our principles were, or had entertained prejudices
against our profession, by reason of the strange representation of
them by some men of note who had taken very wrong measures, and
accordingly led others into misapprehension of us and them. And this
was first put forth about the year 1643, in the name of seven
congregations then gathered in London; since which time divers
impressions thereof have been dispersed abroad, and our end proposed
in good measure answered, inasmuch as many (and some of those men
eminent both for piety and learning) were thereby satisfied that we
were no way guilty of those heterodoxies and fundamental errors
which had too frequently been charged upon us without ground or
occasion given on our part.
And forasmuch as that Confession is not now
commonly to be had, and also that many others have since embraced
the same truth which is owned therein, it was judged necessary by us
to join together in giving a testimony to the world of our firm
adhering to those wholesome principles by the publication of this
which is now in your hand. And forasmuch as our method and manner of
expressing our sentiments in this doth vary from the former
(although the substance of this matter is the same), we shall freely
impart to you the reason and occasion thereof. One thing that
greatly prevailed with us to undertake this work was (not only to
give a full account of ourselves to those Christians that differ
from us about the subject of baptism, but also) the profit that
might from thence arise unto those that have any account of our
labors in their instruction and establishment in the great truths of
the Gospel, in the clear understanding and steady belief of which
our comfortable walking with God, and fruitfulness before him in all
our ways, is most nearly concerned; and therefore we did conclude it
necessary to express ourselves the more fully and distinctly; and
also to fix on such a method as might be most comprehensive of those
things we designed to explain our sense and belief of; and finding
no defect in this regard in that fixed on by the Assembly, and,
after them by those of the congregational way, we did readily
conclude it best to retain the same order in our present Confession;
and also when we observed that those last mentioned did in their
Confessions (for reasons which seemed of weight both to themselves
and others) choose not only to express their mind in words
concurrent with the former in sense concerning all those articles
wherein they were agreed, but also for the most part without any
variation of the terms, we did in like manner conclude it best to
follow their example in making use of the very same words with them
both in these articles (which are very many) wherein our faith and
doctrine are the same with theirs; and this we did the more
abundantly to manifest our consent with both in all the fundamental
articles of the Christian religion, as also with many others whose
orthodox Confessions have been published to the world on the behalf
of the Protestant in diverse nations and cities. And also to
convince all that we have no itch to clog religion with new words,
but do readily acquiesce in that form of sound words which hath
been, in consent with the Holy Scriptures, used by others before us;
hereby declaring, before God, angels, and men, our hearty agreement
with them in that wholesome Protestant doctrine which, with so clear
evidence of Scriptures, they have asserted. Some things, indeed, are
in some places added, some terms omitted, and some few changed; but
these alterations are of that nature as that we need not doubt any
charge or suspicion of unsoundness in the faith from any of our
brethren upon the account of them.
In those things wherein we differ from others
we have expressed ourselves with all candor and plainness, that none
might entertain jealousy of aught secretly lodged in our breasts
that we would not the world should be acquainted with; yet we hope
we have also observed those rules of modesty and humility as will
render our freedom in this respect inoffensive, even to those whose
sentiments are different from ours.
We have also taken care to affix texts of
Scripture at the bottom, for the confirmation of each article in our
Confession; in which work we have studiously endeavored to select
such as are most clear and pertinent for the proof of what is
asserted by us; and our earnest desire is that all into whose hands
this may come would follow that (never enough commended) example of
the noble Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily that they might
find out whether the things preached to them were so or not.
There is one thing more which we sincerely
profess and earnestly desire credence in - viz., that contention is
most remote from our design in all that we have done in this matter;
and we hope that the liberty of an ingenuous unfolding our
principles and opening our hearts unto our brethren, with the
Scripture grounds of our faith and practice will by none of them be
either denied to us, or taken ill from us. Our whole design is
accomplished if we may have attained that justice as to be measured
in our principles and practice, and the judgment of both by others,
according to what we have now published, which the Lord (whose eyes
are as a flame of fire) knoweth to be the doctrine which with our
hearts we most firmly believe and sincerely endeavor to conform our
lives to. And O that, other contentions being laid asleep, the only
care and contention of all upon whom the name of our blessed
Redeemer is called might for the future be to walk humbly with their
God in the exercise of all love and meekness toward each other, to
perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord, each one endeavoring to
have his conversation such as becometh the gospel; and also,
suitable to his place and capacity, vigorously to promote in others
the practice of true religion and undefiled in the sight of God our
Father! And that in this backsliding day we might not spend our
breath in fruitless complaints of the evils of others, but may every
one begin at home, to reform in the first place our own hearts and
ways, and then to quicken all that we may have influence upon to the
same work, that if the will of God were so, none might deceive
themselves by resting in and trusting to a form of godliness without
the power of it, and inward experience of the efficacy of those
truths that are professed by them.
And verily there is one spring and cause of the
decay of religion in our day which we cannot but touch upon and
earnestly urge a redress of, and that is the neglect of the worship
of God in families by those to whom the charge and conduct of them
is committed. May not the gross ignorance and instability of many,
with the profaneness of others, be justly charged upon their parents
and masters, who have not trained them up in the way wherein they
ought to walk when they were young, but have neglected those
frequent and solemn commands which the Lord hath laid upon them, so
to catechise and instruct them that their tender years might be
seasoned with the knowledge of the truth of God as revealed in the
Scriptures; and also by their own omission of prayer and other
duties of religion of their families, together with the ill example
of their loose conversation, having, inured them first to a neglect
and the contempt of all piety and religion? We know this will not
excuse the blindness and wickedness of any, but certainly it will
fall heavy upon those that have been thus the occasion thereof; they
indeed die in their sins, but will not their blood be required of
those under whose care they were, who yet permitted them to go on
without warning - yea, led them into the paths of destruction? And
will not the diligence of Christians with respect to the discharge
of these duties in ages past rise up in judgment against and condemn
many of those who would be esteemed such now?
We shall conclude with our earnest prayer that
the God of all grace will pour out those measures of his Holy Spirit
upon us, that the profession of truth may be accompanied with the
sound belief and diligent practice of it by us, that his name may in
all things be glorified through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient,
certain and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith and
obedience, (1) although the light of nature and the works of
creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom and
power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not
sufficient to give that knowledge of God and His will which is
necessary unto salvation.(2) Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry
times anddivers manners to reveal Himself, and to declare that
His will unto His church; (3) 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 Scriptures to be
most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing His will unto
His people being now ceased.(4)
All of which are given by the inspiration of
God, to be the rule of faith and life.(5)
5. 2Ti 3:16.
3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not
being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the
Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God,
nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human
6. Lk 24:27,44; Ro 3:2.
4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for
which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of
any man or church, but wholly upon God(who is truth itself), the
author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the
Word of God.(7)
7. 2Pe 1:19-21; 2Ti 3:16; 2Th 2:13; 1Jn 5:9.
5. We may be moved and induced by the testimony
of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy
Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the
doctrine, and 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, and
many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections
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.(8)
8. Jn 16:13-14; 1Co 2:10-12, 1Jn 2:20,27.
6. The whole counsel of God concerning all
things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life,
is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy
Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by
new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.(9)
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,(10) 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.(11)
7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain
in themselves, nor alike clear unto all;(12) yet those things which
are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation, are
so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or
other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of
ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of
12. 2Pe 3:16.
13. Ps 19:7; 119:130.
8. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the
native language of the people of God of old),(14) 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 authentic; so as in all controversies of religion, the
church is finally to appeal to them.(15) But because these original
tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have a right
unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded in the fear
of God to read(16) and search them,(17) therefore they are to be
translated into the vulgar[ie. common] language of every nation unto
which they come,(18) that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in
all, they may worship of Him in an acceptable manner, and through
patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.(19)
14. Ro 3:2.
15. Isa 8:20.
16. Ac 15:15.
17. Jn 5:39.
18. 1Co 14:6,9,11-12,24,28.
19. Col 3:16.
9. The infallible rule of interpretation of
Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore when there is a
question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is
not manifold, but one), it must be searched by other places that
speak more clearly.(20)
20. 2Pe 1:20-21; Ac 15:15-16.
10. The supreme judge, by which all
controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of
councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private
spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest,
can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into
which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.(21)
1. The Lord our God is but one only living and
true God;(1) whose subsistence is in and of Himself,(2) infinite in
being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any
but Himself;(3) a most pure spirit,(4) invisible, without body,
parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light
which no man can approach unto;(5) who is immutable,(6) immense,(7)
eternal,(8) incomprehensible, almighty,(9) every way infinite, most
holy,(10) most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things
according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous
will(11) for His own glory; (12) most loving, gracious, merciful,
long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity,
transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek
Him,(13) and withal most just and terrible in His judgements,(14)
hating all sin,(15) and who will by no means clear the guilty.(16)
1. 1Co 8:4,6; Dt 6:4.
2. Jer 10:10; Isa 48:12.
3. Ex 3:14.
4. Jn 4:24.
5. 1Ti 1:17; Dt 4:15-16.
6. Mal 3:6.
7. 1Ki 8:27; Jer 23:23.
8. Ps 90:2.
9. Ge 17:1.
10. Isa 6:3.
11. Ps 115:3; Isa 46:10.
12. Pr 16:4; Ro 11:36.
13. Ex 34:6-7; Heb 11:6.
14. Ne 9:32-33.
15. Ps 5:5-6.
16 Ex 34:7; Na 1:2-3.
2. God, having all life,(17) glory,(18)
goodness,(19) blessedness, in and of Himself, is alone in and unto
Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creature which
He hath made, nor deriving any glory from them,(20) 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,(21) and He hath most sovereign dominion over all
creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever Himself
pleaseth;(22) in His sight all things are open and manifest,(23) His
knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the
creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent or uncertain:(24) He is
most holy in all His counsels, in all His works,(25) and in all His
commands; to Him is due from angels and men, whatsoever worship,(26)
service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and
whatever He is further pleased to require of them.
3. In this divine and infinite Being there are
three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit,
(27) of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole
divine essence, yet the essence undivided,(28) the Father is of
none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten
of the Father;(29) the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and
the Son;(30) all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God,
who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by
several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which
doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with
God, and comfortable dependence upon Him.
1. God hath decreed in Himself, from all
eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely
and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever come to pass;(1) yet so as
thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with
any therein;(2) nor is violence offered to the will of the creature,
nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away,
but rather established;(3) in which appears His wisdom in disposing
all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His
1. Isa 46:10; Eph 1:11; Heb 6:17; Ro 9:15,18.
2. Jas 1:13; 1Jn 1:5.
3. Ac 4:27-28; Jn 19:11.
4. Nu. 23:19; Eph. 1:3-5.
2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can
come to pass, upon all supposed conditions,(5) yet hath He not
decreed anything, because He foresaw it as future, or as that which
would come to pass upon such conditions.(6)
5. Ac 15:18.
6. Ro 9:11,13,16,18.
3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation
of His glory, some men and angels are predestined, or foreordained
to eternal life through Jesus Christ,(7) to the praise of His
glorious grace;(8) others being left to act in their sin to their
just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice.(9)
4. These angels and men thus predestined and
foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their
number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased
10. 2Ti 2:19; Jn 13:18.
5. Those of mankind that are predestined to
life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to
His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good
pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory,
out of His mere free grace and love,(11) without any other thing in
the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto.(12)
6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory,
so He hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will,
foreordained all the means thereunto;(13) wherefore they who are
elect, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,(14) are
effectually called unto faith in Christ, by His Spirit working in
due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,(15) and kept by His
power through faith unto salvation;(16) neither are any other
redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted,
sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.(17)
7. 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; (18) so shall this
doctrine afford matter of praise,(19) reverence, and admiration of
God, and of humility,(20) diligence, and abundant consolation to all
that sincerely obey the gospel.(21)
1. In the beginning it pleased God the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit,(1) for the manifestation of the glory of His
eternal power,(2) wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world,
and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space
of six days, and all very good.(3)
1. Jn 1:2-3; Heb 1:2; Job 26:13.
2. Ro 1:20.
3. Col 1:16; Ge 1:31.
2. After God hath made all other creatures, He
created man, male and female,(4) with reasonable and immortal
souls,(5) rendering them fit unto that life to God for which they
were created; being made after the image of God, in knowledge,
righteousness, and true holiness;(6) having the law of God written
in their hearts,(7) and power to fulfil it, and yet under a
possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own
will, which was subject to change.(8)
4. Ge 1:27.
5. Ge 2:7.
6. Ecc 7:29; Ge 1:26.
7. Ro 2:14-15.
8. Ge 3:6.
3. Besides the law written in their hearts,
they received a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good
and evil,(9) which whilst they kept, they were happy in their
communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures. (10)
1. God the good creator of all things, in His
infinite power and wisdom, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern
all His creatures and things,(1) from the greatest even to the
least,(2) by His most wise and holy providence, to the end for which
they were created, according unto His infallible foreknowledge, and
the free and immutable counsel of His own will; to the praise of the
glory of His wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness, and
1. Heb 1:3; Job 38:11; Isa 46:10-11; Ps 135:6.
2. Mt 10:29-31.
3. Eph 1:11.
2. Although in relation to the foreknowledge
and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass
immutably and infallibly;(4) so that there is not anything befalls
any by chance, or without His providence;(5) yet by the same
providence He ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of
second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.(6)
4. Ac 2:23.
5. Pr 16:33.
6. Ge 8:22.
3. God, in His ordinary providence maketh use
of means,(7) yet is free to work without,(8) above,(9) and against
them (10) at His pleasure.
7. Ac 27:31,44; Isa 55:10-11.
8. Hos 1:7.
9. Ro 4:19-21.
10. Da 3:27.
4. The Almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and
infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in His
providence, that His determinate counsel extendeth itself even to
the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of angels and
men;(11) and that not by a bare permission, which also He most
wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and governeth,(12)
in a manifold dispensation to His most holy ends;(13) yet so, as the
sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the creatures, and not
from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be
the author or approver of sin.(14)
5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God
doth oftentimes leave for a season His own children to manifold
temptations and the corruptions 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 other just and
So that whatsoever befalls any of His elect is
by His appointment, for His glory, and their good.(16)
15. 2Ch 32:25-26,31; 2Co 12:7-9.
16. Ro 8:28.
6. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom
God, as a righteous judge, for former sin doth blind and harden;(17)
from them He not only withholdeth His grace, whereby they might have
been enlightened in their understanding,and wrought upon their
hearts;(18) but sometimes also withdraweth the giftswhich they
had,(19) and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes
occasion of sin;(20) and withal, gives them over to their own lusts,
the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan,(21) whereby it
comes to pass that they harden themselves, under those means which
God useth forthe softening of others.(22)
7. As the providence of God doth in general
reach to all creatures, so after a more special manner it taketh
care of His church, and disposethof all things to the good thereof.
23. 1Ti 4:10; Am 9:8-9; Isa 43:3-5.
Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof
1. Although God created man upright and
perfect, and gave him a righteous law, which had been unto life had
he kept it, and threatened death upon the breach thereof,(1) yet he
did not long abide in this honour; Satan using the subtlety of the
serpent to subdue Eve, then by her seducing Adam, who, without any
compulsion, did willlfully transgress the law of their creation, and
the command given unto them, in eating the forbidden fruit,(2) which
God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel to permit,
having purposed to order it to His own glory.
1. Ge 2:16-17.
2. Ge 3:12-13; 2Co 11:3.
2. Our first parents, by this sin, fell from
their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them
whereby death came upon all;(3) all becoming dead in sin, (4) and
wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.(5)
3. Ro 3:23.
4. Ro 5:12-21.
5. Tit 1:15; Ge 6:5; Jer 17:9; Ro 3:10-19.
3. They being the root, and by God's
appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the
guilt of the sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all
their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation,(6)
being now conceived in sin,(7) and by nature children of wrath,(8)
the servants of sin, the subjects of death,(9) and all other
miseries, spiritual, temporal, an eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set
4. From this original corruption, whereby we
are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and
wholly inclined to all evil;(11) do proceed all actual
11. Ro 8:7; Col 1:21.
12. Jas 1:14-15; Mt 15:19.
5. The corruption of nature, during this life,
doth remain in those that are regenerated;(13) and although it be
through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and the
first motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.(14)
1. The distance between God and the creature is
so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto
Him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward
of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He
hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.(1)
1. Lk 17:10; Job 35:7-8.
2. Moreover, man having brought himself under
the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a
covenant of grace,(2) wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life
and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him, that
they may be saved;(3) and promising to give unto all those that are
ordained unto eternal life, His Holy Spirit, to make them willing
and able to believe.(4)
3. This covenant is revealed in the gospel;
first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the
woman, (5) and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery
thereof was completed in the New Testament;(6) and it is founded in
that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and
the Son about the redemption of the elect;(7) and it is alone by the
grace of this covenant that all of the posterity of fallen Adam that
ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being
now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on
which Adam stood in his state of innocency.(8)
5. Ge 3:15.
6. Heb 1:1.
7. 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2.
8. Heb 11:6,13; Ro 4:1-2; Ac 4:12; Jn 8:56.
1. It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to
choose an ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, according to
the covenant made between them both, to be the mediator between God
and man;(1) the Prophet,(2) Priest(3) and King;(4) head and Saviour
of His church,(5) the heir of all things,(6) and judge of the
world;(7) 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, and glorified.(8)
1. Isa 42:1; 1Pe 1:19-20.
2. Ac 3:22.
3. Heb 5:5-6.
4. Ps 2:6; Lk 1:33.
5. Eph 1:22-23.
6. Heb 1:2.
7. Ac 17:31.
8. Isa 53:10; Jn 17:6; Ro 8:30.
2. The Son of God, the second person in the
Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the
Father's glory, of one substance and equal with Him who made the
world, who upholdeth and governeth all things He hath made, did,
when the fulness of time was come, take upon Him man's nature, with
all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof,(9) yet
without sin;(10) being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of
the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her: and the power
of the Most High overshadowing her; and so was made of a woman of
the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David according to
the Scriptures;(11) so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures
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.(12)
3. The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus
united to the divine, in the person of the Son, was sanctified and
anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure,(13) having in Him all
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;(14) in whom it pleased the
Father that all fullness should dwell,(15) to the end that being
holy, harmless, undefiled,(16) and full of grace and truth,(17) He
might be throughly furnished to execute the office of a mediator and
surety;(18) which office He took not upon Himself, but was thereunto
called by His Father;(19) who also put all power and judgement in
His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same.(20)
13. Ps 45:7; Ac 10:38; Jn 3:34.
14. Col 2:3.
15. Col 1:19.
16. Heb 7:26.
17. Jn 1:14.
18. Heb 7:22.
19. Heb 5:5.
20. Jn 5:22,27; Mt 28:18; Ac 2:36.
4. This office the Lord Jesus did most
willingly undertake, (21) which that He might discharge He was made
under the law,(22) and did perfectly fulfil it, and underwent the
punishment due to us, which we should have borne and suffered,(23)
being made sin and a curse for us;(24) enduring most grievous
sorrows in His soul, and most painful sufferings in His body;(25)
was crucified, and died, and remaining in the state of the dead, yet
saw no corruption:(26) and on the third day He arose from the dead
(27) with the same body in which he suffered,(28) with which He also
ascended into heaven,(29) and there sitteth at the right hand of His
Father making intercession,(30) and shall return to judge men and
angels at the end of the world. (31)
21. Ps 40:7-8; Heb 10:5-10; Jn 10:18.
22. Gal 4:4; Mt 3:15.
23. Gal 3:13; Isa 53:6; 1Pe 3:18.
24. 2Co 5:21.
25. Mt 26:37-38; Lk 22:44; Mt 27:46.
26. Ac 13:37.
27. 1Co 15:3-4.
28. Jn 20:25,27.
29. Mk 16:19; Ac 1:9-11.
30. Ro 8:34; Heb 9:24.
31. Ac 10:42; Ro 14:9-10; Ac 1:11; 2Pe 2:4.
5. 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 God,(32)
procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in
the kingdom of heaven for all those whom the Father hath given unto
32. Heb 9:14; 10:14; Ro 3:25-26.
33. Jn 17:2; Heb 9:15.
6. Although the price of redemption was not
actually paid by Christ till after His incarnation, yet the virtue,
efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the elect in all
ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those
promises, types, and sacrifices wherein He was revealed, and
signified to be the seed which should bruise the serpent's head;(34)
and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,(35) being the
same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.(36)
34. 1Co 4:10; Heb 4:2; 1Pe 1:10-11.
35. Rev 13:8.
36. Heb 13:8.
7. 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.(37)
37. Jn 3:13; Ac 20:28.
8. To all those for whom Christ hat obtained
eternal redemption, He doth certainly and effectually apply and
communicate the same, making intercession for them;(38) uniting them
to Himself by His Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by the Word,
the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey,(39)
governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit,(40) and overcoming
all their enemies by His mighty power and wisdom,(41) in such manner
and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable
dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any
condition forseen in them to procure it. (42)
9. This office of mediator between God and man
is proper only to Christ, who is the prophet, priest, and king of
the church of God; and may not be either in whole, or any part
thereof, transferred from Him to any other.(43)
43. 1Ti 2:5.
10. This number and order of offices is
necessary; for in respect of our ignorance, we stand in need of His
prophetical office;(44) and in respect of our alienation from God,
and imperfection of the best of our services, we need His priestly
office to reconcile us and present us acceptable unto God;(45) and
in respect of our averseness and utter inability to return to God,
and for our rescue and security from our spiritual adversaries, we
need His kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, uphold, deliver,
and preserve us to His heavenly kingdom.(46)
44. Jn 1:18.
45. Col 1:21; Gal 5:17.
46. Jn 16:8; Ps 110:3; Lk 1:74-75.
1. God hath endued the will of man with that
natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither
forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or
1. Mt 17:12; Jas 1:14; Dt 30:19.
2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom
and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to
God,(2) but yet was unstable, so that he might fall from it. (3)
2. Ecc 7:29.
3. Ge 3:6.
3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath
wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying
salvation; (4) so as a natural man, being altogether averse from
that good, and dead in sin,(5) is not able by his own strength to
convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.(6)
4. When God converts a sinner, and translates
him into the state of grace, He freeth him from his natural bondage
under sin,(7) and by His grace alone enables him freely to will and
to do that which is spiritually good;(8) yet so as that by reason of
his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will,
that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.(9)
1. Those whom God hath predestined unto life,
He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to
call,(1) 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;(2) enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to
understand the things of God;(3) taking away their heart of stone,
and giving unto them a heart of flesh:(4) renewing their wills, and
by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and
effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ;(5) yet so as they come
most freely, being made willing by His grace.(6)
2. This effectual call is of God's free and
special grace alone, not from anything at all forseen in man, nor
from any power or agency in the creature,(7) being wholly passive
therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened
and renewed by the Holy Spirit;(8) he is thereby enabled to answer
this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and
that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the
3. Infants dying in infancy are regenerated and
saved by Christ through the Spirit;(10) who worketh when, and where,
and how He pleaseth;(11) so also are all elect persons, who are
incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
10. Jn 3:3,5-6.
11. Jn 3:8.
4. Others not elected, although they may be
called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common
operations of the Spirit,(12) yet not being effectually drawn by the
Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and
therefore cannot be saved:(13) much less can men that receive not
the Christian religion be saved, be they never so diligent to frame
their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that
religion they do profess.(14)
12. Mt 22:14; 13:20-21; Heb 6:4-5.
13. Jn 6:44-45,65; 1Jn 2:24-25.
14. Ac 4:12; Jn 4:22; 17:3.
1. Those whom God effectually calleth, He also
freely justifieth,(1) not by infusing righteousness into them, but
by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their
persons as righteous;(2) not for anything wrought in them, or done
by them, but for Christ's sake alone;(3) not by imputing faith
itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to
them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active
obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in His death for
their whole and sole righteousness,(4) they receiving and resting on
Him and His righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of
themselves; it is the gift of God.(5)
2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ
and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification;(6)
yet it is not alone in the person justified, but ever accompanied
with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by
6. Ro 3:28.
7. Gal 5:6; Jas 2:17,22,26.
3. Christ, by His obedience and death, did
fully discharge the debt of all those that are justified; and did,
by the sacrifice of Himself in the blood of His cross, undergoing in
their stead the penalty due unto them, make a proper, real, and full
satisfaction to God's justice in their behalf,(8); 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,(9) 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.(10)
8. Heb 10:14; 1Pe 1:18-19; Isa 53:5-6.
9. Ro 8:32; 2Co 5:21.
10. Ro 3:26; Eph 1:6-7; 2:7.
4. God did from all eternity decree to justify
all the elect, (11) and Christ did in the fullness of time die for
their sins, and rise again for their justification;(12)
nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy
Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them.(13)
11. Gal 3:8; 1Pe 1:2; 1Ti 2:6.
12. Ro 4:25.
13. Col 1:21-22; Tit 3:4-7.
5. God doth continue to forgive the sins of
those that are justified,(14) and although they can never fall from
the state of justification,(15) yet they may, by their sins, fall
under God's fatherly displeasure;(16) and in that condition they
have not usually the light of His countenance restored unto them,
until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and
renew their faith and repentance.(17)
1. All those that are justified, God
vouchsafed, in and for the sake of His only Son Jesus Christ, to
make partakers of the grace of adoption,(1) by which they are taken
into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of children
of God,(2) have His name put on them,(3) receive the spirit of
adoption,(4) have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are
enabled to cry Abba, Father,(5) are pitied,(6) protected,(7)
provided for,(8) and chastened by Him as by a Father,(9) yet never
cast off,(10) but sealed to the day of redemption,(11) and inherit
the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.(12)
1. Eph 1:5; Gal 4:4-5.
2. Jn 1:12; Ro 8:17.
3. 2Co 6:18; Rev 3:12.
4. Ro 8:15.
5. Gal 4:6; Eph 2:18.
6. Ps 103:13.
7. Pr 14:26.
8. 1Pe 5:7.
9. Heb 12:6.
10. Isa 54:8-9; La 3:31.
11. Eph 4:30.
12. Heb 1:14; 6:12.
1. They who are united to Christ, effectually
called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created
in them through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, are
also farther sanctified, really and personally(1) through the same
virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them;(2) the dominion of
the whole body of sin is destroyed,(3) and the several lusts thereof
are more and more weakened and mortified,(4) and they more and more
quickened and strengthened in all saving graces,(5) to the practice
of all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.(6)
1. Ac 20:32; Ro 6:5-6.
2. Jn 17:17; Eph 3:16-19; 1Th 5:21-23.
3. Ro 6:14.
4. Gal 5:24.
5. Col 1:11.
6. 2Co 7:1; Heb 12:14.
2. This sanctification is throughout the whole
man,(7) yet imperfect in this life; there abideth still some
remnants of corruption in every part,(8) when ariseth a continual
and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and
the Spirit against the flesh.(9)
3. In which war, although the remaining
corruption for a time may much prevail,(10) yet, through the
continual supply of strength from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ,
the regenerate part doth overcome;(11) and so the saints grow in
grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, pressing after an
heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands which
Christ as Head and King, in His Word hath prescribed to them.(12)
1. 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,(1) and is ordinarily wrought by
the ministry of the Word;(2) by which also, and by the
administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper, prayer, and other
means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.(3)
2. By this faith a Christian believeth to be
true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God
Himself,(4) and also apprehendeth an excellency therein above all
other writings and all things in the world,(5) as it bears forth the
glory of God in His attributes, the excellency of Christ in His
nature and offices, and the power and fullness of the Holy Spirit in
His workings and operations: and so is enabled to cast his soul upon
the truth thus believed;(6) and also acteth differently upon that
which each particular passage thereof containeth; yielding obedience
to the commands,(7) trembling at the threatenings,(8) and embracing
the promises of God for this life and that which is to come;(9) but
the principle acts of saving faith have immediate relation to
Christ, accepting, receiving, and resting upon Him alone for
justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the
covenant of grace.(10)
4. Ac 24:14.
5. Ps 19:7-10; 119:72.
6. 2Ti 1:12.
7. Jn 15:14.
8. Isa 66:2.
9. Heb 11:13.
10. Jn 1:12; Ac 16:31; Gal 2:20; Ac 15:11.
3. This faith, although it be different in
degrees, and may be weak or strong,(11) yet it is in the least
degree of it different in the kind or nature of it, as is all other
saving grace, from the faith and common grace of temporary
believers;(12) and therefore, though it may be many times assailed
and weakened, yet it gets the victory,(13) growing up in many to the
attainment of a full assurance through Christ,(14) who is both the
author and finisher of our faith. (15)
11. Heb 5:13-14; Mt 6:30; Ro 4:19-20.
12. 2Pe 1:1.
13. Eph 6:16; 1Jn 5:4-5.
14. Heb 6:11-12; Col 2:2.
15. Heb 12:2.
1. Such of the elect as are converted in riper
years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein
served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling
giveth them repentance unto life.(1)
1. Tit 3:2-5.
2. Whereas there is none that doth good and
sinneth not,(2) and the best of men may, through the power and
deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, with the
prevalency of temptation, fall in to great sins and provocations;
God hath, in the covenant of grace, mercifully provided that
believers so sinning and falling be renewed through repentance unto
2. Ecc 7:20.
3. Lk 22:31-32.
3. This saving repentance is an evangelical
grace,(4) whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible
of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, humble
himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and
self-abhorrency,(5) praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a
purpose and endeavour, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God
unto all well-pleasing in all things. (6)
4. As repentance is to be continued through the
whole course of our lives, upon the account of the body of death,
and the motions thereof, so it is every man's duty to repent of his
particular known sins particularly.(7)
7. Lk 19:8; 1Ti 1:13,15.
5. Such is the provision which God hath made
through Christ in the covenant of grace for the preservation of
believers unto salvation, that although there is no sin so small but
it deserves damnation,(8) yet there is no sin so great that it shall
bring damnation on them that repent,(9) which makes the constant
preaching of repentance necessary.
1. Good works are only such as God hath
commanded in His Holy Word,(1) and not such as without the warrant
thereof are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretence
of good intentions.(2)
1. Mic 6:8; Heb 13:21.
2. Mt 15:9; Isa 29:13.
2. These good works, done in obedience to God's
commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively
faith;(3) and by them believers manifest their thankfulness,(4)
strengthen their assurance,(5) edify their brethren, adorn the
profession of the gospel,(6) stop the mouths of the adversaries, and
glorify God,(7) whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus
thereunto,(8) that having their fruit unto holiness they may have
the end eternal life.(9)
3. Their ability to do good works is not all of
themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ;(10) and that they
may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already
received, there is necessary an actual influence of the same Holy
Spirit, to work in them to will and to do of His good pleasure;(11)
yet they are 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.(12)
10. Jn 15:4-5.
11. 2Co 3:5; Php 2:13.
12. Php 2:12; Heb 6:11-12; Isa 64:7.
4. They who in their obedience attain to the
greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from
being able to supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as
that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do.
13. Job 9:2-3; Gal 5:17; Lk 17:10.
5. We cannot by our best works merit pardon of
sin or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great
disproportion that is between them and the glory to come, and the
infinite distance that is between us and God, whom by them we can
neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins;(14) 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,(15) 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 punishment.(16)
14. Ro 3:20; Eph 2:8-9; Ro 4:6.
15. Gal 5:22-23.
16. Isa 64:6; Ps 143:2.
6. Yet notwithstanding the persons of believers
being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in
Him;(17) 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.(18)
17. Eph 1:6; 1Pe 2:5.
18. Mt 25:21,23; Heb 6:10.
7. Works done by unregenerate men, although for
the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of
good use both to themselves and others;(19) yet because they proceed
not from a heart purified by faith,(20) nor are done in a right
manner according to the Word,(21) nor to a right end, the glory of
God,(22) they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, nor make
a man meet to receive grace from God,(23) and yet their neglect of
them is more sinful and displeasing to God.(24)
19. 2Ki 10:30; 1Ki 21:27,29.
20. Ge 4:5; Heb 11:4,6.
21. 1Co 13:1.
22. Mt 6:2,5.
23. Am 5:21-22; Ro 9:16; Tit 3:5.
24. Job 21:14-15; Mt 25:41-43.
1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved,
effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and given the
precious faith of His elect unto, can neither totally nor finally
fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein
to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of
God are without repentance, whence He still begets and nourisheth in
them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the
Spirit unto immortality;(1) and tough many storms and floods arise
and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off
that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon;
notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the
sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be
clouded and obscured from them,(2) yet He is still the same, and
they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation,
where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being
engraven upon the palm of His hands, and their names having been
written in the book of life from all eternity.(3)
2. This perseverance of the saints depends not
upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of
election,(4) flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the
Father, upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus
Christ and union with Him,(5) the oath of God,(6) the abiding of His
Spirit, and the seed of God wthin them,(7) and the nature of the
covenant of grace;(8) from all which ariseth also the certainty and
4. Ro 8:30; 9:11,16.
5. Ro 5:9-10; Jn 14:19.
6. Heb 6:17-18.
7. 1Jn 3:9.
8. Jer 32:40.
3. And though they may, through the temptation
of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in
them, and the neglect of means of their preservation, fall into
grievous sins, and for a time continue therein,(9) whereby they
incur God's displeasure and grieve His Holy Spirit,(10) come to have
their graces and comforts impaired,(11) have their hearts hardened,
and their consciences wounded,(12) hurt and scandalize others, and
bring temporal judgements upon themselves,(13) yet shall they renew
their repentance and be preserved through faith in Christ Jesus to
Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation
1. Although temporary believers, and other
unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and
carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and state of
salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish;(1) 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, (2) which hope shall never
make them ashamed.(3)
2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and
probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible
assurance of faith(4) founded on the blood and righteousness of
Christ revealed in the Gospel;(5) and also upon the inward evidence
of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made,(6) and
on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our
spirits that we are the children of God;(7) and, as a fruit thereof,
keeping the heart both humble and holy.(8)
4. Heb 6:11,19.
5. Heb 6:17-18.
6. 2Pe 1:4-5,10-11.
7. Ro 8:15-16.
8. 1Jn 3:1-3.
3. This infallible assurance doth not so belong
to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and
conflict with many difficulties before he be a partaker of it; (9)
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 means, attain thereunto:(10) and therefore it is the
duty of every one 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 Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in
strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper
fruits of this assurance; (11)- so far is it from inclining men to
4. True believers may have the assurance of
their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as
by negligence in preserving of it,(13) by falling into some special
sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit;(14) by
some sudden or vehement temptation,(15) 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,(16) yet are they never
destitute of the seed of God(17) and life of faith,(18) 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,(19) and by the which, in the meantime,
they are preserved from utter despair.(20)
1. God gave to Adam a law of universal
obedience written in his heart, and a particular precept of not
eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil;(1) by
which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact,
and perpetual obedience;(2) promised life upon the fulfilling, and
threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power
and ability to keep it.(3)
1. Ge 1:27; Ecc 7:29.
2. Ro 10:5.
3. Gal 3:10,12.
2. The same law that was first written in the
heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after
the fall, (4) and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten
commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing
our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man.(5)
4. Ro 2:14-15.
5. Dt 10:4.
3. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God
was pleased to give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws,
containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship,
prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and
benefits;(6) and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral
duties,(7) all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the
time of reformation, are, by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only
law-giver, who was furnished with power from the Father for that end
abrogated and taken away.(8)
6. Heb 10:1; Col 2:17.
7. 1Co 5:7.
8. Col 2:14,16-17; Eph 2:14,16.
4. To them also He gave sundry judicial laws,
which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging
any now by virtue of that institution; their general equity only
being for modern use.(9)
9. 1Co 9:8-10.
5. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as
well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof,(10) 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; (11)
neither doth Christ in the Gospel any way dissolve, but much
strengthen this obligation.(12)
10. Ro 13:8-10; Jas 2:8,10-12.
11. Jas 2:10-11.
12. Mt 5:17-19; Ro 3:31.
6. Although true believers be not under the law
as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, (13)
yet it is of great use to them as well as to others, in that as a
rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their duty, it
directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the
sinful pollutions of their natures, hearts, and lives, so as
examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction
of, humiliation for, and hatred against, sin;(14) 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 threatening of it
serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in
this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse
and unallayed rigour thereof. These promises of it likewise shew
them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may
expect upon the performance thereof, though not as due to them by
the law as a covenant of works; so as 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.(15)
7. Neither are the aforementioned uses of the
law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with
it, (16) 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.(17)
16. Gal 3:21.
17. Eze 36:27.
Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof
1. The covenant of works being broken by sin,
and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the
promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling
the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance; (1) in this
promise the gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and
[is] therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of
1. Ge 3:15.
2. Rev 13:8.
2. This promise of Christ, and salvation by
Him, is revealed only by the Word of God;(3) neither do the works of
creation or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of
Christ, or of grace by Him, so much as in a general or obscure
way;(4) much less that men destitute of the revelation of Him by the
promise or gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith
3. The revelation of the gospel unto sinners,
made in divers times and by sundry parts, with the addition of
promises and precepts for the obedience required therein, as to the
nations and persons to whom it is granted, is merely of the
sovereign will and good pleasure of God;(6) not being annexed by
virtue of any promise to the due improvement of men's natural
abilities, by virtue of common light received without it, which none
ever did make, or can do so;(7) and therefore in all ages, the
preaching of the gospel has been granted unto persons and nations,
as to the extent or straitening of it, in great variety, according
to the counsel of the will of God.
6. Ps 147:20; Ac 16:7.
7. Ro 1:18-32.
4. Although the gospel be the only outward
means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and is, as such,
abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in
trespasses may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is
moreover necessary an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit
upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual
life;(8) without which no other means will effect their conversion
Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
1. The liberty which Christ hath purchased for
believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt
of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the rigour and curse of the
law,(1) and in their being delivered from this present evil
world,(2) bondage to Satan,(3) and dominion of sin,(4) from the evil
of afflictions,(5) the fear and sting of death, the victory of the
grave,(6) and everlasting damnation:(7) as also in their free access
to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish
fear,(8) but a child-like love and willing mind.(9)
All which were common also to believers under
the law for the substance of them,(10) but under the New Testament
the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from
the yoke of a 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 of.(11)
1. Gal 3:13.
2. Gal 1:4.
3. Ac 26:18.
4. Ro 8:3.
5. Ro 8:28.
6. 1Co 15:54-57.
7. 2Th 1:10.
8. Ro 8:15.
9. Lk 1:73-75; 1Jn 4:18.
10. Gal 3:9,14.
11. Jn 7:38-39; Heb 10:19-21.
2. God alone is Lord of the conscience,(12) and
hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which
are in any thing contrary to His Word, or not contained in it. (13)
So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of
conscience, it so betray true liberty of conscience,(14) and the
requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is
to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also.(15)
12. Jas 4:12; Ro 14:4.
13. Ac 4:19,29; 1Co 7:23; Mt 15:9.
14. Col 2:20,22-23.
15. 1Co 3:5; 2Co 1:24.
3. They who upon pretence of Christian liberty
do practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust, as they do thereby
pervert the main design of the grace of the gospel to their own
destruction,(16) so they wholly destroy the end of Christian
liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our
enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and
righteousness before Him, all the days of our lives.(17)
16. Ro 6:1-2.
17. Gal 5:13; 2Pe 2:18,21.
Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day
1. The light of nature shews that there is a
God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is just, good and
doth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised,
called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart and all the
soul, and with all the might.(1) But the acceptable way of
worshipping the true God, is instituted by Himself,(2) and so
limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped
according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions
of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not
prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.(3)
1. Jer 10:7; Mk 12:33.
2. Dt 12:32.
3. Ex 20:4-6.
2. Religious worship is to be given to God the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to Him alone;(4) not to angels,
saints, or any other creatures;(5) and since the fall, not without a
mediator,(6) nor in the mediation of any other but Christ alone.(7)
3. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one part of
natural worship, is by God required of all men.(8) But that it may
be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son,(9) by the help
of the Spirit,(10) according to His will;(11) with understanding,
reverence, humility, fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and
when with others , in a known tongue. (12)
4. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and
for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter;(13) but
not for the dead,(14) not for those of whom it may be known that
they have sinned the sin unto death.(15)
5. The reading of the Scriptures,(16)
preaching, and hearing the Word of God,(17) teaching and admonishing
one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with
grace in our hearts to the Lord;(18) as also the administration of
baptism,(19) and the Lord's supper,(20) are all parts of religious
worship of God, to be performed in obedience to Him, with
understanding, faith, reverence, and godly fear; moreover, solemn
humiliation, with fastings,(21) and thanksgivings, upon special
occasions, ought to be used in an holy and religious manner.(22)
16. 1Ti 4:13.
17. 2Ti 4:2; Lk 8:18.
18. Col 3:16; Eph 5:19.
19. Mt 28:19-20.
20. 1Co. 11:26.
21. Est 4:16; Joel 2:12.
22. Ex 15:1-19; Ps 107:1-43.
6. Neither prayer nor any other part of
religious worship, is now under the gospel, tied unto, or made more
acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which
it is directed; but God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and
in truth;(23) as in private families(24) daily,(25) and in secret
each one by himself;(26) so more solemnly in the public assemblies,
which are not carelessly nor wilfully to be neglected or forsaken,
when God by His word or providence calleth thereto.(27)
23. Jn 4:21; Mal 1:11; 1Ti 2:8.
24. Ac 10:2.
25. Mt 6:11; Ps 55:17.
26. Mt 6:6.
27. Heb 10:25; Ac 2:42.
7. As it is the law of nature, that in general
a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the
worship of God, so by His Word, in 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,(28) 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 is called
the Lord's Day: (29) and is to be continued to the end of the world
as a Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week
28. Ex 20:8.
29. 1Co 16:1-2; Ac 20:7; Rev 1:10.
8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord,
when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their
common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day,
from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly
employment and recreations,(30) but are also taken up the whole time
in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the
duties of necessity and mercy. (31)
1. A lawful oath is a part of religious
worship, wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and
judgment, solemnly calleth God to witness what he sweareth,(1) and
to judge him according to the truth or falseness thereof(2)
1. Ex 20:7; Dt 10:20; Jer 4:2.
2. 2Ch 6:22-23.
2. The name of God only is that by which men
ought to swear; and therein it is to be used, with all holy fear and
reverence; 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;(3) yet as in matter of weight and moment, for
confirmation of truth, and ending all strife, an oath is warranted
by the Word of God;(4) so a lawful oath being imposed by lawful
authority in such matters, ought to be taken.(5)
3. Mt 5:34,37; Jas 5:12.
4. Heb 6:16; 2Co 1:23.
5. Ne 13:25.
3. Whosoever taketh an oath warranted by the
Word of God, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an
act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he knoweth to be truth;
for that by rash, false, and vain oaths, the Lord is provoked, and
for them this land mourns.(6)
6. Lev 19:12; Jer 23:10.
4. An oath is to be taken in the plain and
common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental
7. Ps 24:4.
5. A vow, which is not to be made to any
creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all
religious care and faithfulness;(8) but popish monastical vows of
perpetual single life,(9) professed poverty,(10) and regular
obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that
they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may
1. 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 defence and
encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil
1. Ro 13:1-4.
2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and
execute the office of a magistrate when called thereunto; in the
management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain justice and
peace,(2) according to the wholesome laws of each kingdom and
commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now, under the New
Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions.(3)
2. 2Sa 23:3; Ps 82:3-4.
3. Lk 3:14.
3. Civil magistrates being set up by God for
the ends aforesaid; subjection, in all lawful things commanded by
them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but
for conscience' sake;(4) and we ought to make supplications and
prayers for kings and all that are in authority, that under them we
may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and
1. Marriage is to be between one man and one
woman; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife,
nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time.(1)
1. Ge 2:24; Mal 2:15; Mt 19:5-6.
2. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of
husband and wife,(2) for the increase of mankind with a legitimate
issue,(3) and for preventing uncleanness.(4)
2. Ge 2:18.
3. Ge 1:28.
4. 1Co 7:2,9.
3. It is lawful for all sorts of people to
marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent;(5) yet it
is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord;(6) and therefore
such as profess the true religion, should not marry with infidels,
or idolators; neither should such as are godly, be unequally yoked,
by marrying with such as are wicked in their life, or maintain
5. Heb 13:4; 1Ti 4:3.
6. 1Co 7:39.
7. Ne 13:25-27.
4. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees
of consanguinity or affinity, forbidden in the Word;(8) 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
1. The catholic or universal church, which
(with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace)
may be called invisible, consists of the whole 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.(1)
1. Heb 12:23; Col 1:18; Eph 1:10,22-23;
2. All persons throughout the world, professing
the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according
unto it, not destroying their own profession by any error everting
the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called
visible saints;(2) and of such ought all particular congregations to
2. 1Co 1:2; Ac 11:26.
3. Ro 1:7; Eph 1:20-22.
3. The purest churches under heaven are subject
to mixture and error;(4) and some have so degenerated as to become
no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan;(5) nevertheless
Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a kingdom in this world,
to the end thereof, of such as believe in Him, and make profession
of His name.(6)
4. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the
church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father all power for the
calling, institution, order, or government of the church, is
invested in a supreme and sovereign manner;(7) neither 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; whom the Lord
shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.(8)
7. Col 1:18; Mt 28:18-20; Eph 4:11-12.
8. 2Th 2:2-9.
5. In the execution of this power wherewith He
is so intrusted, the Lord Jesus calleth out of the world unto
Himself, through the ministry of His Word, by His Spirit, those that
are given unto Him by His Father,(9) that they may walk before Him
in all the ways of obedience, which He prescribeth to them in His
Word.(10) Those thus called, He commandeth to walk together in
particular societies, or churches, for their mutual edification, and
the due performance of that public worship, which He requireth of
them in the world.(11)
6. The members of these churches are saints by
calling, visibly manifesting and evidencing (in and by their
profession and walking) their obedience unto that call of
Christ;(12) and do willingly consent to walk together, according to
the appointment of Christ; giving up themselves to the Lord, and one
to another, by the will of God, in professed subjection to the
ordinances of the Gospel.(13)
7. To each of these churches thus gathered,
according to His mind declared in His Word, He hath given all that
power and authority, which is in any way needful for their carrying
on that order in worship and discipline, which He hath instituted
for them to observe; with commands and rules for the due and right
exerting, and executing of that power.(14)
14. Mt 18:17-18; 1Co 5:4-5; 5:13; 2Co 2:6-8.
8. A particular church, gathered and completely
organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and
members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set
apart by the church (so called and gathered), for the peculiar
administration of ordinances, and execution of power or duty, which
He entrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end
of the world, are bishops or elders, and deacons.(15)
15. Ac 20:17,28; Php 1:1.
9. The way appointed by Christ for the calling
of any person, fitted and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the office
of bishop or elder in a church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by
the common suffrage of the church itself;(16) and solemnly set apart
by fasting and prayer, with imposition of hands of the eldership of
the church, if there be any before constituted therein;(17) and of a
deacon that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by
prayer, and the like imposition of hands.(18)
16. Ac 14:23.
17. 1Ti 4:14.
18. Ac 6:3,5-6.
10. The work of pastors being constantly to
attend the service of Christ, in His churches, in the ministry of
the Word and prayer, with watching for their souls, as they that
must give an account to Him;(19) it is incumbent on the churches to
whom they minister, not only to give them all due respect, but also
to communicate to them of all their good things, according to their
ability,(20) so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being
themselves entangled in secular affairs;(21) and may also be capable
of exercising hospitality towards others;(22) and this is required
by the law of nature, and by the express order of our Lord Jesus,
who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel should live of
19. Ac 6:4; Heb 13:17.
20. 1Ti 5:17-18; Gal 6:6-7.
21. 2Ti 2:4.
22. 1Ti 3:2.
23. 1Co 9:6-14.
11. Although it be incumbent on the bishops or
pastors of the churches, to be instant in preaching the Word, by way
of office, yet the work of preaching the Word is not so peculiarly
confined to them but that others also gifted and fitted by the Holy
Spirit for it, and approved and called by the church, may and ought
to perform it.(24)
24. Ac 11:19-21; 1Pe 4:10-11.
12. As all believers are bound to join
themselves to particular churches, when and where they have
opportunity so to do; so all that are admitted unto the privileges
of a church, are also under the censures and government thereof,
according to the rule of Christ.(25)
25. 1Th 5:14; 2Th 3:6,14-15.
13. No church members, upon any offence taken
by them, having performed their duty required of them towards the
person they are offended at, ought to disturb any church-order, or
absent themselves from the assemblies of the church, or
administration of any ordinances, upon the account of such offence
at any of their fellow members, but to wait upon Christ, in the
further proceedings of the church. (26)
26. Mt 18:15-17; Eph 4:2-3.
14. As each church, and all the members of it,
are bound to pray continually for the good and prosperity of all the
churches of Christ,(27) in all places, and upon all occasions to
further every one within the bounds of their places and callings, in
the exercise of their gifts and graces, so the churches, when
planted by the providence of God, so as they may enjoy opportunity
and advantage for it, ought to hold communion among themselves, for
their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification.(28)
27. Eph 6:18; Ps 122:6.
28. Ro 16:1-2; 3Jn 8-10.
15. In cases of difficulties or differences,
either in point of doctrine or administration, wherein either the
churches in general are concerned, or any one church, in their
peace, union, and edification; or any member or members of any
church are injured, in or by any proceedings in censures not
agreeable to truth and order: it is according to the mind of Christ,
that many churches holding communion together, do, by their
messengers, meet to consider, and give their advice in or about that
matter in difference, to be reported to all the churches
concerned;(29) howbeit these messengers assembled, are not intrusted
with any church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction
over the churches themselves, to exercise any censures either over
any churches or persons; or to impose their determination on the
churches or officers.(30)
1. All saints that are united to Jesus Christ,
their head, by His Spirit, and faith, although they are not made
thereby one person with Him, have fellowship in His graces,
sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory;(1) and, being united to
one another in love, they have communion in each others gifts and
graces,(2) and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public
and private, in an orderly way, as do conduce to their mutual good,
both in the inward and outward man.(3)
2. Saints by profession are bound to maintain
an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in
performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual
edification;(4) as also in relieving each other in outward things
according to their several abilities, and necessities;(5) which
communion, according to the rule of the gospel, though especially to
be exercised by them, in the relation wherein they stand, whether in
families,(6) or churches,(7) yet, as God offereth opportunity, is to
be extended to all the household of faith, even all those who in
every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus; nevertheless their
communion one with another as saints, doth not take away or infringe
the title or propriety which each man hath in his goods and
4. Heb 10:24-25; 3:12-13.
5. Ac 11:29-30.
6. Eph 6:4.
7. 1Co 12:14-27.
8. Ac 5:4; Eph 4:28.
1. Baptism is an ordinance of the New
Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized,
a sign of his fellowship with Him, in His death and resurrection; of
his being engrafted into Him;(1) of remission of sins;(2) and of
giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in
newness of life.(3)
1. Ro 6:3-5; Col 2:12; Gal 3:27.
2. Mk 1:4; Ac 22:16.
3. Ro 6:4.
2. Those who do actually profess repentance
towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are
the only proper subjects of this ordinance.(4)
4. Mk 16:16; Ac 8:36-37; 2:41; 8:12; 18:8.
3. The outward element to be used in this
ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.(5)
5. Mt 28:19-20; Ac 8:38.
4. Immersion, or dipping of the person in
water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance.(6)
1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted
by Him the same night wherein He was betrayed, to be observed in His
churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance,
and shewing forth the sacrifice of Himself in His death,(1)
confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof,
their spiritual nourishment, and growth in Him, their further
engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to Him; and to be a
bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other.(2)
1. 1Co 11:23-26.
2. 1Co 10:16-17,21.
2. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up
to His Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of
sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering
up of Himself by Himself upon the cross, once for all;(3) and a
spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same.(4)
So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most
abominable, injurious to Christ's own sacrifice the alone
propitiation for all the sins of the elect.
3. Heb 9:25-26,28.
4. 1Co 11:24; Mt 26:26-27.
3. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance,
appointed His ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and
wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to 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.(5)
5. 1Co 11:23-26.
4. The denial of the cup to the people,
worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them
about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious
use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the
institution of Christ.(6)
6. Mt 26:26-28; 15:9; Ex 20:4-5.
5. The outward elements in this ordinance, duly
set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to Him
crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they
are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to
wit, the body and blood of Christ,(7) albeit, in substance and
nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they
7. 1Co 11:27.
8. 1Co 11:26-28.
6. That doctrine which maintains a change of
the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body
and blood, commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a
priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone,(9)
but even to common sense and reason, overthroweth the nature of the
ordinance, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold
superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.(10)
9. Ac 3:21; Lk 24:6,39.
10. 1Co 11:24-25.
7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the
visible elements in this ordinance, do them also inwardly by faith,
really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually
receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of His
death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or
carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that
ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward
11. 1Co 10:16; 11:23-26.
8. All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they
are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ, so are they unworthy of
the Lord's table, and cannot, without great sin against Him, while
they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted
thereunto;(12) yea, whosoever shall receive unworthily, are guilty
of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to
12. 2Co 6:14-15.
13. 1Co 11:29; Mt 7:6.
Of the State of Man After Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead
1. The bodies of men after death return to
dust, and see corruption(1) but their souls, which neither die nor
sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who
gave them.(2) The souls of the righteous being then made perfect in
holiness, are received into paradise, where they are with Christ,
and behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full
redemption of their bodies;(3) and the souls of the wicked are cast
into hell; where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved
to the judgment of the great day;(4) besides these two places, for
souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.
1. Ge 3:19; Ac 13:36.
2. Ecc 12:7.
3. Lk 23:43; 2Co 5:1,6,8; Php 1:23, Heb 12:23.
4. Jude 6-7; 1Pe 3:19; Lk 16:23-24.
2. At the last day, such of the saints as are
found alive, shall not sleep, but be changed;(5) and all the dead
shall be raised up with the selfsame bodies, and none other;(6)
although with different qualities, which shall be united again to
their souls for ever.(7)
1. God hath appointed a day wherein He will
judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ;(1) to whom all
power and judgment is given of the Father; in which day, not only
the apostate angels shall be judged,(2) but likewise all persons
that have lived upon the 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.(3)
2. The end of God's appointing this day, is for
the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal
salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the eternal damnation
of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient:(4) for then shall
the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of
joy and glory with everlasting rewards, in the presence of the Lord;
but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus
Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments, (5) and
punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the
Lord, and from the glory of His power.(6)
3. As Christ would have us to be certainly
persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all
men from sin,(7) and for the greater consolation of the godly in
their adversity,(8) so will He have the 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,(9) and may
ever be prepared to say, "Come Lord Jesus; come quickly".(10) Amen.