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THE PHILADELPHIA

CONFESSION OF FAITH
 

{This information is taken from the AGES Electronic Library and placed here for educational and edification purposes only}

CONTENTS

Publisher’s Preface

Prefatory Note, 1689 edition

Preface, 1720 edition

To The Judicious and Impartial Reader

1. Of The Holy Scriptures

2. Of God And Of The Holy Trinity

3. Of God’s Decrees

4. Of Creation

5. Of Divine Providence

6. Of The Fall Of Man, etc.

7. Of God’s Covenant

8. Of Christ The Mediator

9. Of Free Will

10. Of Effectual Calling

11. Of Justification

12. Of Adoption

13. Of Sanctification

14. Of Saving Faith

15. Of Repentance Unto Life And Salvation

16. Of Good Works

17. Of Perseverance of the Saints

18. Of The Assurance Of Grace And Salvation

19. Of The Law Of God

PUBLISHER’S PREFACE

 

“This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which

shall be created shall praise the Lord.” <19A218>Psalm 102:18

The Lord has blessed an innumerable company of believers in many

generations since the following confession was first formulated. Truly we have

cause to praise the Lord for His provision in this way.

It is very well known that the Westminster Confession of Faith is the mother

confession of the Old London Confession and its American form, The

Philadelphia Confession of Faith. Therefore we have thought that you would

like to have the relatively few differences set out in the footnotes. This, in

effect, gives you both the confessions in this one book. In addition we have

added the differences of the Savoy Confession of Faith.

In addition to these, we have also reprinted the original preface to the Old

London Confession, together with the appended remarks upon various

differences which existed at that time, and still do exist, between Baptists and

other groups of Christians. You should find particularly interesting the remarks

of Dr. Lightfoot, a well-known scholar among the paedobaptists, on the subject

of circumcision.

Last, we have added a catechism upon this famous old confession of faith, one

which we trust will be useful to you both in the training of your children and in

the teaching of your new converts. You will find the words in this catechism

are more easily understood than in some of the other catechisms. You will also

find that more of the statements of the Confession are covered in this

catechism. Then, too, at least one verse of scripture (in simplified language,

readily understandable even to children) follows each question and answer.

This should help both to carry conviction and to aid the memories of those who

are studying the questions and answers.

Now may God be merciful to us all, to give us both His will and the desire to

perform His will.
 

PREFATORY NOTE, 1689 EDITION

 

THE FOLLOWING NOTICE WAS PREFIXED TO MANY

COPIES OF THE EDITION OF 1689, AND TO ALL

SUBSEQUENT EDITIONS.

We, 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 the Confession of our Faith, printed for and sold by

Mr. John Harris, at the Harrow in the Poultry. Which Confession we own, as

containing the doctrine of our faith and practice; and do desire that the

members of our churches respectively do furnish themselves therewith.

Hanserd Knollys. 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 Tomkins.

George Barret. Toby Willes.

Isaac Lamb. John Carter.

Richard Adams. James Webb.

Benj. Keach. Richard Sutton.

Andrew Gifford. Robert Knight.

Tho. Vaux. Edward Price.

Tho. Winnel. William Phipps.

James Hitt. William Hawkins.

Richard Tidmarsh. Samuel Ewer.

William Facey. Edward Man.

Samuel Buttall. Charles Archer.

Christopher Price.

In the name and behalf of the whole assembly.
 

PREFACE, 1720 EDITION

(TO THE FIFTH EDITION, 1720,

WAS PREFIXED THE FOLLOWING:)

ADVERTISEMENT
 

This Confession of our Faith, together with the brief Instructions of the

Principles of Christian Religion, or the Catechisms, both with the proofs in the

margin, and also that with the words of the scriptures at length; with this

Confession, put forth by the ministers, elders, and brethren of above one

hundred congregations of Christians baptized on profession of their faith in

England and Wales, denying Arminianism, owning the doctrine of personal

election and final perseverance: having sold the property, right and title of the

printing thereof, to John Marshall, bookseller, at the Bible in Gracechurch

Street, by us, William Collins and Benjamin Keach, it is desired that all

persons desirous to promote such useful books, do apply themselves to him.
 

TO THE JUDICIOUS AND IMPARTIAL READER

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

misapprehensions 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 the 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 labours, 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 which 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 Confession (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 those articles (which are very many) wherein our faith and doctrine is 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 protestants in divers 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 candour 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 in the margin, for the

confirmation of each article in our Confession; in which work we have

studiously endeavoured 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 the liberty of an ingenuous unfolding

our principles and opening our hearts unto our brethren, with the scripturegrounds

on which our faith and practice leans, will by none of them be either

denied to us, or taken ill from us. Our whole design is accomplished if we may

obtain 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 endeavour to conform

our lives to. And oh! 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, and in the exercise of

all love and meekness towards each other, to perfect holiness in the fear of the

Lord, each one endeavouring 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. f1 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 in their families, together with the ill example of

their loose conversation, have inured them first to a neglect and then contempt

of all piety and religion. We know this will not excuse the blindness or

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 those 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.
 

CHAPTER 1 — OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

1. The holy scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible (<550315>2

Timothy 3:15, 16, 17; <230820>Isaiah 8:20; <421629>Luke 16:29, 31; <490220>Ephesians 2:20)

rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience; f2 although the (<450119>Romans

1:19, 20, 21, etc. <450214>Romans 2:14, 15; <191901>Psalm 19:1, 2, 3) light of nature and

the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom,

and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable, yet are they not sufficient to

give that knowledge of God and his will, which is necessary unto salvation.

Therefore it pleased the Lord at (<580101>Hebrews 1:1) sundry times and in divers

manners, to reveal himself, and to declare his will unto his church; and

afterward, for the better preserving and propagation 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 (<202219>Proverbs 22:19, 20, 21; <451504>Romans 15:4; <610119>2 Peter 1:19, 20)

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.

2. Under the name of holy scripture, or the word of God written, are now

contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these: —

OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1

Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra,

Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs,

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah,

Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s Epistles to the

Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians,

Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, to Titus,

to Philemon, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of James, the first and

second Epistles of Peter, the first, second, and third Epistles of John, the

Epistle of Jude, the Revelation. All which are given by the (<550316>2 Timothy

3:16) inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.

3. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of (<422427>Luke 24:27, 44;

<450302>Romans 3:2) 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 writings.

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

(<610119>2 Peter 1:19, 20, 21; <550316>2 Timothy 3:16; <530213>2 Thessalonians 2:13; <620509>1

John 5:9) God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be

received, because it is the word of God.

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 (<431613>John 16:13, 14; <460210>1 Corinthians 2:10, 11, 12; <620220>1

John 2:20, 27) 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.

6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things (<550315>2 Timothy 3:15, 16, 17;

<480108>Galatians 1:8, 9) 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.

Nevertheless we acknowledge the (<430645>John 6:45; <460209>1 Corinthians 2:9, 10, 11,

12) 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 (<461113>1

Corinthians 11:13, 14; <461426>1 Corinthians 14:26, 40) ordered by the light of

nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word,

which are always to be observed.

7. All things in scripture are not alike (<610316>2 Peter 3:16) plain in themselves,

nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known,

believed, and observed for salvation, are so (<191907>Psalm 19:7; <19B9130>Psalm

119:130) clearly propounded and opened in some place of scripture or other,

that not only the learned but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means,

may attain to a sufficient understanding of them.

8. The Old Testament in (<450302>Romans 3:2) 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 (<230820>Isaiah 8:20) authentic; so as in all

controversies of religion, the church is finally (<441515>Acts 15:15) to appeal unto

them. 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 (<430539>John 5:39) and search them, therefore they are to

be translated (<461406>1 Corinthians 14:6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 28) into the vulgar

language of every nation unto which they come, that the word of God dwelling

(<510316>Colossians 3:16) plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable

manner, and through patience and comfort of the scriptures may have hope.

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 (<610120>2 Peter

1:20, 21; <441515>Acts 15:15, 16) other places that speak more clearly.

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 (<402229>Matthew 22:29, 31, 32; <490220>Ephesians 2:20; <442823>Acts 28:23)

scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.
 

CHAPTER 2 — OF GOD AND OF THE HOLY

TRINITY

1. The Lord our God is but (<460804>1 Corinthians 8:4, 6; <050604>Deuteronomy 6:4) one

only living and true God; whose (<241010>Jeremiah 10:10; <234812>Isaiah 48:12)

subsistence is in and of himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose

essence cannot be (<020314>Exodus 3:14) comprehended by any but himself; a most

pure (<430424>John 4:24) Spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who

only hath (<540117>1 Timothy 1:17; <050415>Deuteronomy 4:15, 16) immortality,

dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, who is (<390306>Malachi

3:6) immutable, (<110827>1 Kings 8:27; <242323>Jeremiah 23:23) immense, (<199002>Psalm

90:2) eternal, incomprehensible, (<011701>Genesis 17:1) Almighty, every way

infinite, (<230603>Isaiah 6:3) most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute, f3

working all things according to the counsel of his own (<19B503>Psalm 115:3;

<234610>Isaiah 46:10) immutable and most righteous will for his (<201604>Proverbs 16:4;

<451136>Romans 11:36) own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering,

abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the

rewarder of them that diligently (<023406>Exodus 34:6, 7; <581106>Hebrews 11:6) seek

him, and withal most just (<160932>Nehemiah 9:32, 33) and terrible in his

judgments, hating (<190505>Psalm 5:5, 6) all sin, and who will by no means clear

the (<023407>Exodus 34:7; <340102>Nahum 1:2, 3) guilty.

2. God, having all (<430526>John 5:26) life, (<19E814>Psalm 148:14) glory, (<19B968>Psalm

119:68) goodness, blessedness, in and of himself, is alone in, and unto himself

all-sufficient, not (<182202>Job 22:2, 3) standing in need of any creature 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,

(<451134>Romans 11:34, 35, 36) of whom, through whom, and to whom are all

things, and he hath most sovereign (<270425>Daniel 4:25, 34, 35) dominion over all

creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth;

in his sight (<580413>Hebrews 4:13) all things are open and manifest, his knowledge

is (<261105>Ezekiel 11:5; <441518>Acts 15:18) 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 (<19E517>Psalm 145:17) all his works, and in all his commands;

to him is due (<660512>Revelation 5:12, 13, 14) from angels and men, whatsoever

worship, 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, (<620507>1 John 5:7;

<402819>Matthew 28:19; <471314>2 Corinthians 13:14) the Father, the Word (or Son),

and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity, f4 each having the whole

divine essence, yet the (<020314>Exodus 3:14; <431411>John 14:11; <460806>1 Corinthians 8:6)

essence undivided: the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the

Son is (<430114>John 1:14, 18) eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit

(<431526>John 15:26; <480406>Galatians 4:6) proceeding from the Father and the Son; all

infinite, f5 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 on him.
 

CHAPTER 3 — OF GOD’S DECREES

 

1. God hath (<234610>Isaiah 46:10; <490111>Ephesians 1:11; <580617>Hebrews 6:17;

<450915>Romans 9:15, 18) 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; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin

(<590113>James 1:13; <620105>1 John 1:5) nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is

violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency

of second causes taken away, but rather (<440427>Acts 4:27, 28; <431911>John 19:11)

established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power

and faithfulness (<042319>Numbers 23:19; <490103>Ephesians 1:3, 4, 5) in accomplishing

his decree.

2. Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all

(<441518>Acts 15:18) supposed conditions; yet hath he not decreed anything,

because he (<450911>Romans 9:11, 13, 16, 18) fore-saw it as future, or as that which

would come to pass upon such conditions.

3. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, (<540521>1 Timothy

5:21; <402541>Matthew 25:41) some men and angels are predestinated or

foreordained to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to the (<490105>Ephesians 1:5, 6)

praise of his glorious grace; others being left to act in their sin to their

(<450922>Romans 9:22, 23; <650104>Jude 1:4) just condemnation, to the praise of his

glorious justice. f6

4. These angels and men thus predestinated and fore-ordained, are particularly

and unchangeably designed; and their (<550219>2 Timothy 2:19; <431318>John 13:18)

number so certain, and definite, that it cannot be either increased or

diminished.

5. Those of mankind (<490104>Ephesians 1:4, 9, 11; <450830>Romans 8:30; <550109>2 Timothy

1:9; <520509>1 Thessalonians 5:9) that are predestinated to life, God, before the

foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable

purpose and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in

Christ unto everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love; (Romans

19:13, 16; <490205>Ephesians 2:5, 12) without any other thing in the creature as a

condition or cause moving him thereunto. f7

6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so he hath, by the eternal and

most free purpose of his will, fore-ordained (<600102>1 Peter 1:2; <530213>2

Thessalonians 2:13) all the means thereunto, wherefore they who are elected,

being fallen in Adam (<520509>1 Thessalonians 5:9, 10), are redeemed by Christ,

are effectually (<450830>Romans 8:30; <530213>2 Thessalonians 2:13) called unto faith in

Christ, by his Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,

and kept by his power through faith (<600105>1 Peter 1:5) unto salvation; neither are

any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted,

sanctified, and saved, but the elect (<431026>John 10:26; 17:9; 6:64) only.

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(<520104>1 Thessalonians 1:4, 5; <610110>2 Peter

1:10) eternal election; so shall this doctrine afford matter (<490106>Ephesians 1:6;

<451133>Romans 11:33) of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and

(<451105>Romans 11:5, 6, 20) of humility, diligence, and abundant (<421020>Luke 10:20)

consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel. f8
 

CHAPTER 4 — OF CREATION

 

1. In the beginning it pleased God the Father, (<430102>John 1:2, 3; <580102>Hebrews

1:2; <182613>Job 26:13) Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of

(<450120>Romans 1:20) his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create or make

f9 the world, and all things therein (<510116>Colossians 1:16; <010201>Genesis 2:1, 2),

whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good.

2. After God had made all other creatures, he created (<010127>Genesis 1:27) man,

male and female, with (<010207>Genesis 2:7) reasonable and immortal souls,

rendering them fit unto that life to God for which they were created; being

(<210729>Ecclesiastes 7:29; <010126>Genesis 1:26) made after the image of God, in

knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness; having the law of God

(<450214>Romans 2:14, 15) 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 (<010306>Genesis 3:6) subject to change.

3. Besides the law written in their hearts, they received (<010217>Genesis 2:17;

<010308>Genesis 3:8-10) a command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and

evil; which whilst they kept, they were happy in their communion with God,

and had dominion (<010126>Genesis 1:26, 28) over the creatures.
 

CHAPTER 5 — OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE

 

1. God, the good Creator of all things, in his infinite power and wisdom doth

(<580103>Hebrews 1:3; <183811>Job 38:11; <234610>Isaiah 46:10, 11; <19D506>Psalm 135:6) uphold,

f10 direct, dispose, and govern all creatures and things, from the greatest even to

the (<401029>Matthew 10:29-31) least, by his most wise and holy providence, to the

end for the which they were created, according unto his infallible

foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his (<490111>Ephesians 1:11)

own will; to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite

goodness, and mercy.

2. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first

Cause, all things come to pass (<440223>Acts 2:23) immutably and infallibly; so that

there is not any thing befalls any (<201633>Proverbs 16:33) by chance, or without

his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out

according to the nature of second causes, either (<010822>Genesis 8:22) necessarily,

freely, or contingently.

3. God in his ordinary providence (<442731>Acts 27:31, 44; <235510>Isaiah 55:10, 11)

maketh use of means; yet is free (<280107>Hosea 1:7) to work without, (<450419>Romans

4:19, 20, 21) above, and (<270327>Daniel 3:27) against them at his pleasure.

4. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so

far manifest themselves in his providence, that his determinate counsel

(<451132>Romans 11:32, 33, 34; <102401>2 Samuel 24:1; <132101>1 Chronicles 21:1)

extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions, f11 both of

angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, which also he most wisely

and powerfully (<121928>2 Kings 19:28; <197610>Psalm 76:10) boundeth, and otherwise

ordereth, and governeth, in a manifold dispensation to his most holy

(<015020>Genesis 50:20; <231006>Isaiah 10:6, 7, 12) ends; 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 (<195021>Psalm 50:21;

<620216>1 John 2:16) approver of sin.

5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth often-times leave for a

season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruption of their

own heart, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the

hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts that (<143225>2

Chronicles 32:25, 26, 31; <102401>2 Samuel 24:1; <471207>2 Corinthians 12:7-9) they

may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependance

for their support upon himself; and to make them more watchful against all

future occasions of sin, and for other just and holy ends.

So that whatsoever befalls any of his elect is by his appointment, for his glory

(<450828>Romans 8:28) and their good. f12

6. As for those wicked and ungodly men, whom God as a righteous judge, for

former sin doth (<450124>Romans 1:24, 26, 28; 11:7, 8) blind and harden; from

them he not only withholdeth his (<052904>Deuteronomy 29:4) grace, whereby they

might have been enlightened in their understanding and wrought upon in their

hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth (<401312>Matthew 13:12) the gifts which

they had, and exposeth them to such (<050230>Deuteronomy 2:30; <120812>2 Kings 8:12,

13) objects as their corruptions make occasion of sin; and withal (<198111>Psalm

81:11, 12; <530210>2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11, 12) gives them over to their own lusts,

the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, whereby it comes to pass

that they (<020815>Exodus 8:15, 32; <230609>Isaiah 6:9, 10; <600207>1 Peter 2:7, 8) harden

themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of

others.

7. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a

more special manner it taketh care of his (<540410>1 Timothy 4:10; <300908>Amos 9:8, 9;

<234303>Isaiah 43:3, 4, 5) church, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof.
 

CHAPTER 6 — 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 (<010216>Genesis 2:16, 17) and

threatened death upon the breach thereof, yet he did not long abide in this

honour (<010312>Genesis 3:12, 13; <471103>2 Corinthians 11:3); Satan using the subtlety

of the serpent to subdue Eve, then by her seducing Adam, who, without any

compulsion, did wilfully transgress the law of their creation and the command

given unto them, in eating the forbidden fruit, which God was pleased

according to his wise and holy counsel to permit, having purposed to order it to

his own glory. f13

2. Our first parents by this sin fell from their (<450323>Romans 3:23) original

righteousness and communion with God, and we in them, whereby death came

upon all (<450512>Romans 5:12, etc. ): all becoming dead in sin and wholly defiled

(<560115>Titus 1:15; <010605>Genesis 6:5; <241709>Jeremiah 17:9; <450310>Romans 3:10-19) in all

the faculties and parts of soul and body.

3. They being the (<450512>Romans 5:12-19; <461521>1 Corinthians 15:21, 22, 45, 49)

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, being now

(<195105>Psalm 51:5; <181404>Job 14:4) conceived in sin and by nature children

(<490203>Ephesians 2:3) of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects (<450620>Romans

6:20; <450512>Romans 5:12) of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and

eternal, unless the Lord Jesus (<580214>Hebrews 2:14; <520110>1 Thessalonians 1:10) set

them free. f14

4. From this original corruption, whereby we are (<450807>Romans 8:7;

<510121>Colossians 1:21) utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all

good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do (<590114>James 1:14, 15; <401519>Matthew

15:19) proceed all actual transgressions.

5. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth (<450718>Romans 7:18, 23;

<210720>Ecclesiastes 7:20; <620108>1 John 1:8) remain in those that are regenerated; and

although it be through Christ pardoned, and mortified, yet both itself, and the

first motions thereof, are truly and properly (<450724>Romans 7:24, 25;

<480517>Galatians 5:17) sin.
 

CHAPTER 8 — OF CHRIST THE MEDIATOR

1. It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus,

his only begotten Son, according to the covenant made between them both,

(<234201>Isaiah 42:1; <600119>1 Peter 1:19, 20) to be the mediator between God and

man; the (<440322>Acts 3:22) prophet, (<580505>Hebrews 5:5, 6) priest and (<190206>Psalm

2:6; <420133>Luke 1:33) king; head and Saviour of (<490123>Ephesians 1:23); the heir

(<580102>Hebrews 1:2) of all things, and judge (<441731>Acts 17:31) of the world: unto

whom he did from all eternity (<235310>Isaiah 53:10; <431706>John 17:6; <450830>Romans

8:30) give a people to be his seed, and to be by him in time redeemed, called,

justified, sanctified, and glorified.

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 (<430101>John 1:1,

14; <480404>Galatians 4:4) man’s nature, with all the essential properties and

common infirmities thereof, yet (<450803>Romans 8:3; <580214>Hebrews 2:14, 16, 17;

<580415>Hebrews 4:15) without sin; 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, (<420127>Luke 1:27, 31, 35) and so

was made of a woman, of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and

David, according to the scriptures; f18 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

(<450905>Romans 9:5; <540205>1 Timothy 2:5) Christ, the only mediator between God

and man.

3. The Lord Jesus, in his human nature thus united to the divine in the person

of the Son, was sanctified, and anointed (<194507>Psalm 45:7; <441038>Acts 10:38;

<430334>John 3:34) with the Holy Spirit, above measure; having in him

(<510203>Colossians 2:3) all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it

pleased the Father, that (<510119>Colossians 1:19) all fulness should dwell; to the

end, that being (<580726>Hebrews 7:26) holy, harmless, undefiled, and full (<430114>John

1:14) of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office

of a mediator and (<580722>Hebrews 7:22) surety; which office he took not upon

himself, but was thereunto (<580505>Hebrews 5:5) called by his Father, who also put

(<430522>John 5:22, 27; <402818>Matthew 28:18; <440236>Acts 2:36) all power and judgment

in his hand, and gave him commandment to execute the same.

4. This office the Lord Jesus did most (<194007>Psalm 40:7, 8; <581005>Hebrews 10:5-10;

<431018>John 10:18) willingly undertake, which that he might discharge he was

(<480404>Galatians 4:4; <400315>Matthew 3:15) made under the law, and did perfectly

fulfil it, and underwent the (<480313>Galatians 3:13; <235306>Isaiah 53:6; <600318>1 Peter

3:18) punishment due to us, which we should have borne and suffered, being

made (<470521>2 Corinthians 5:21) sin and a curse for us; enduring most grievous

sorrows f19 (<402637>Matthew 26:37, 38; <422244>Luke 22:44; <402746>Matthew 27:46) in his

soul, and most painful sufferings in his body; was crucified, and died, and

remained in the state of the dead, f20 yet saw no (<441337>Acts 13:37) corruption; on

the (<461503>1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) third day he arose from the dead, with the same

(<432025>John 20:25, 27) body in which he suffered; with which he also (<411619>Mark

16:19; <440109>Acts 1:9, 10, 11) ascended into heaven; and there sitteth at the right

hand of his Father, (<450834>Romans 8:34; <580924>Hebrews 9:24) making intercession;

and shall (<441042>Acts 10:42; <451409>Romans 14:9, 10; <440111>Acts 1:11) return to judge

men and angels, at the end of the world.

5. The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he

through the eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, hath (<580914>Hebrews 9:14;

<581014>Hebrews 10:14; <450325>Romans 3:25, 26) fully satisfied the justice of God,

procured reconciliation, and purchased an everlasting inheritance in the

kingdom of heaven (<431702>John 17:2; <580915>Hebrews 9:15) for all those whom the

Father hath given unto him.

6. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ f21 till after

his incarnation (<460410>1 Corinthians 4:10; <580402>Hebrews 4:2; <600110>1 Peter 1:10, 11),

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 of the woman, which should bruise the serpent’s head, and the Lamb

(<661308>Revelation 13:8) slain from the foundation of the world; being the same

(<581308>Hebrews 13:8) yesterday, and today, and for ever.

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 (<430313>John 3:13; <442028>Acts 20:28) denominated by the other nature.

8. To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, he doth

certainly and effectually (<430637>John 6:37; <431015>John 10:15, 16; <431709>John 17:9;

<450510>Romans 5:10) apply, and communicate the same, making intercession for

them; uniting them to himself by his Spirit, revealing unto them, and by the

word, the (<431706>John 17:6; <490109>Ephesians 1:9; <620520>1 John 5:20) mystery of

salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, governing their hearts

(<450809>Romans 8:9, 14) by his word and Spirit, and (<19B001>Psalm 110:1; <461525>1

Corinthians 15:25, 26) overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power

and wisdom; in such manner and ways as are most consonant to his wonderful

and (<430308>John 3:8; <490108>Ephesians 1:8) unsearchable dispensation; and all of free

and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them, to procure it. f22

9. This office of mediator between God and man, is proper (<540205>1 Timothy 2:5)

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.

10. This number and order of offices is necessary; for in respect of our

(<430118>John 1:18) ignorance, we stand in need of his prophetical office; and in

respect of our alienation from God (<510121>Colossians 1:21; <480517>Galatians 5:17)

and imperfection of the best of our services, we need his priestly office to

reconcile us, and present us acceptable unto God; 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 (<431608>John 16:8;

<19B003>Psalm 110:3; <420174>Luke 1:74, 75) to convince, subdue, draw, uphold,

deliver, and preserve us to his heavenly kingdom. f23
 

CHAPTER 9 — OF FREE WILL

1. God hath indued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of

acting upon choice, that it is (<401712>Matthew 17:12; <590114>James 1:14;

<053019>Deuteronomy 30:19) neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature

determined to do good or evil.

2. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that

(<210729>Ecclesiastes 7:29) which was good, and well-pleasing to God; but yet

(<010306>Genesis 3:6) was mutable, so that he might fall from it.

3. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost (<450506>Romans 5:6;

<450807>Romans 8:7) all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying

salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and

(<490201>Ephesians 2:1, 5) dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to (<560303>Titus

3:3, 4, 5; <430644>John 6:44) convert himself or to prepare himself thereunto.

4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace,

(<510113>Colossians 1:13; <430836>John 8:36) he freeth him from his natural bondage

under sin, and by his grace alone enables him (<503813>Philippians 2:13) freely to

will and to do that which is spiritually good; yet so as that, by reason of his

(<450715>Romans 7:15, 18, 19, 21, 23) remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly

nor only will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.

5. The will of man is made (<490413>Ephesians 4:13)perfectly and immutably free

to God alone in the state of glory only.
 

CHAPTER 10 — OF EFFECTUAL CALLING

1. Those whom God hath predestinated unto life he is pleased, in his appointed

and accepted time, effectually to call (<450830>Romans 8:30; <451107>Romans 11:7;

<490110>Ephesians 1:10, 11; <530213>2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14) by his word and Spirit,

out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and

salvation (<490101>Ephesians 1:1-6) by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds,

spiritually and savingly, to (<442618>Acts 26:18; <490117>Ephesians 1:17, 18) understand

the things of God; taking away their (<263626>Ezekiel 36:26) heart of stone, and

giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty

power determining them (<053006>Deuteronomy 30:6; <263627>Ezekiel 36:27;

<490119>Ephesians 1:19) to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to

Jesus Christ; yet so as they come (<19B003>Psalm 110:3; <220104>Song of Solomon 1:4)

most freely, being made willing by his grace.

2. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone (<550109>2 Timothy

1:9; <490208>Ephesians 2:8), not from anything at all fore-seen in man, nor from any

power or agency in the creature, co-working with his special grace (<460214>1

Corinthians 2:14; <490205>Ephesians 2:5; <430525>John 5:25), the creature being wholly

passive therein, 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, and that by no less (<490119>Ephesians 1:19, 20) power than that which raised up

Christ from the dead.

3. Elect infants dying in infancy, are (<430303>John 3:3, 5, 6) re-generated and

saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and

(<430308>John 3:8) how he pleaseth; so also are all other elect persons, who are

incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word.

4. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the word

(<402214>Matthew 22:14; 13:20, 21; <580604>Hebrews 6:4, 5) and may have some

common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father,

they neither will nor can truly (<430644>John 6:44, 45, 65; <620224>1 John 2:24, 25) come

to Christ, f24 and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not

the Christian religion (<440412>Acts 4:12; <430422>John 4:22; <431703>John 17:3) be saved; f25

be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature

and the law of that religion they do profess.
 

CHAPTER 11 — OF JUSTIFICATION

1. Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely (<450324>Romans 3:24; 8:30)

justifieth, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by (<450405>Romans 4:5, 6,

7, 8; <490107>Ephesians 1:7) pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting

their persons as (<460130>1 Corinthians 1:30, 31; <450517>Romans 5:17, 18, 19)

righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s

sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other

(<500308>Philippians 3:8, 9; <490208>Ephesians 2:8, 9, 10) 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, they (<430112>John 1:12; <450517>Romans 5:17) receiving, and resting on

him, and his righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it

is the gift of God.

2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ, and his righteousness, is the

(<450328>Romans 3:28) 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, (<480506>Galatians 5:6; <590217>James 2:17, 22, 26) but worketh by love.

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 (<581014>Hebrews 10:14; <600118>1 Peter 1:18, 19; <235305>Isaiah 53:5, 6) to

God’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

(<450832>Romans 8:32; <470521>2 Corinthians 5:21) 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 (<450326>Romans 3:26; <490106>Ephesians 1:6, 7; <490207>Ephesians

2:7) glorified in the justification of sinners.

4. God did from all eternity decree to (<480308>Galatians 3:8; <600102>1 Peter 1:2; <540206>1

Timothy 2:6) justify all the elect, and Christ did in the fullness of time die for

their sins, and rise (<450425>Romans 4:25) again for their justification; nevertheless

they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in due time

(<510121>Colossians 1:21, 22; <560304>Titus 3:4, 5, 6, 7) actually apply Christ unto them.

5. God doth continue to (<400612>Matthew 6:12; <620107>1 John 1:7, 9) forgive the sins

of those that are justified, and although they can never fall from the state of

(<431028>John 10:28) justification, yet they may by their sins fall under God’s

(<198931>Psalm 89:31, 32, 33) fatherly displeasure; and in that condition, they have

not usually the light of his countenance restored unto them, until they

(<193205>Psalm 32:5; <402675>Matthew 26:75) humble themselves, confess their sins,

beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.

6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament, was in all these

respects (<480309>Galatians 3:9; <450422>Romans 4:22, 23, 24) one and the same with

the justification of believers under the New Testament.
 

CHAPTER 12 — OF ADOPTION

All those that are justified, God vouchsafed in and for the sake of his only Son

Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace (<490105>Ephesians 1:5; <480404>Galatians

4:4, 5) of adoption; by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the

liberties, and (<430112>John 1:12; <450817>Romans 8:17) privileges of children of God;

have his (<470618>2 Corinthians 6:18; <660312>Revelation 3:12) name put upon them;

receive the (<450815>Romans 8:15) spirit of adoption; have access to the throne of

grace (<480406>Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 2:18) with boldness; are enabled to cry,

Abba, Father; are (<19A313>Psalm 103:13) pitied, (<201426>Proverbs 14:26) protected,

(<600507>1 Peter 5:7) provided for, and (<581206>Hebrews 12:6) chastened by him, as by

a father; yet never (<235408>Isaiah 54:8, 3; <250331>Lamentations 3:31) cast off, but

sealed (<490430>Ephesians 4:30) to the day of redemption, and inherit the promises

(<580114>Hebrews 1:14; <580612>Hebrews 6:12) as heirs of everlasting salvation.
 

CHAPTER 13 — OF SANCTIFICATION

 

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 (<442032>Acts 20:32; <450605>Romans 6:5, 6) further

sanctified, really, and personally, through the same virtue (<431717>John 17:17;

<490316>Ephesians 3:16, 17, 18, 19; <520521>1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22, 23), by his word

and Spirit dwelling in them; (<450614>Romans 6:14) the dominion of the whole

body of sin is destroyed, (<480524>Galatians 5:24) and the several lusts thereof are

more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened,

and (<510111>Colossians 1:11) strengthened in all saving graces, to the (<470701>2

Corinthians 7:1; <581214>Hebrews 12:14) practice of all true holiness, without

which no man shall see the Lord.

2. This sanctification is (<520523>1 Thessalonians 5:23) throughout the whole man,

yet imperfect (<450718>Romans 7:18, 23) in this life; there abideth still some

remnants of corruption in every part, whence ariseth a (<480517>Galatians 5:17;

<600211>1 Peter 2:11) continual, and irreconcilable war; the flesh lusting against the

spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.

3. In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may much

(<450723>Romans 7:23) prevail, yet, through the continual supply of strength, from

the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the (<450614>Romans 6:14) regenerate part doth

overcome; and so the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of

God, pressing after an (<490415>Ephesians 4:15, 16; <470318>2 Corinthians 3:18; <470701>2

Corinthians 7:1) heavenly life, in evangelical obedience to all the commands

which Christ, as head and king, in his word hath prescribed to them. f26
 

CHAPTER 14 — OF SAVING FAITH

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 (<470413>2 Corinthians 4:13;

<490208>Ephesians 2:8) in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of

the (<451014>Romans 10:14, 17) word; by which also, and by the administration of

baptism, and the Lord’s supper, prayer, f27 and other means appointed of God,

it is increased (<421705>Luke 17:5; <600202>1 Peter 2:2; <442032>Acts 20:32) and

strengthened.

2. By this faith, a Christian believeth to be true (<442414>Acts 24:14) whatsoever is

revealed in the word, for the authority of God himself; and also apprehendeth

an excellency therein (<191907>Psalm 19:7, 8, 9, 10; <19B972>Psalm 119:72) above all

other writings, and all things in the world; as it bears forth the glory of God in

his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his nature and offices, and the power

and fulness of the Holy Spirit in his workings and operations; and so is enabled

to (<550112>2 Timothy 1:12) cast his soul upon the truth thus believed; f28 and also

acteth differently upon that which each particular passage thereof containeth;

yielding obedience to the (<431514>John 15:14) commands, trembling at the

(<236602>Isaiah 66:2) threatenings, and embracing the (<581113>Hebrews 11:13)

promises of God, for this life and that which is to come. But the principal acts

of saving faith have immediate relation to Christ, accepting, receiving, and

resting upon (<430112>John 1:12; <441631>Acts 16:31; <480220>Galatians 2:20; <441511>Acts 15:11)

him alone, for justification, sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the

covenant of grace.

3. This faith, although it be different in degrees, and may be weak

(<580513>Hebrews 5:13, 14; <400630>Matthew 6:30; <450419>Romans 4:19, 20), or strong, 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 (<610101>2 Peter 1:1) and common grace of temporary

believers; and therefore, though it may be many times assailed and weakened,

yet it gets (<490616>Ephesians 6:16; <620504>1 John 5:4, 5) the victory, growing up in

many, to the attainment of a full (<580611>Hebrews 6:11, 12; <510202>Colossians 2:2)

assurance through Christ, who is both the author (<581202>Hebrews 12:2) and

finisher of our faith.
 

CHAPTER 15 — OF REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE AND

SALVATION

1. Such of the elect as are converted at riper years, having (<560302>Titus 3:2, 3, 4,

5) sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and

pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.

2. Whereas there is none that doth good, and sinneth (<210720>Ecclesiastes 7:20)

not, and the best of men may, through the power and deceitfulness of their

corruptions dwelling in them, and the prevalency of temptation, fall into great

sins and provocations, God hath in the covenant of grace mercifully provided

that believers so sinning and falling (<422231>Luke 22:31, 32) be renewed through

repentance unto salvation.

3. This saving repentance is an (<381210>Zechariah 12:10; <441118>Acts 11:18)

evangelical grace, 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

(<263631>Ezekiel 36:31; <470711>2 Corinthians 7:11) with godly sorrow, detestation of it,

and self-abhorrency; praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose

and endeavour by supplies of the Spirit to (<19B906>Psalm 119:6, 128) walk before

God unto all well-pleasing in all things.

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 (<421908>Luke 19:8; <540113>1 Timothy 1:13, 15) particular known

sins particularly.

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 (<450623>Romans 6:23) damnation, yet there is no sin

so great that it shall bring damnation on them that (<230116>Isaiah 1:16, 18;

<235507>Isaiah 55:7) repent; which makes the constant preaching of repentance

necessary.
 

CHAPTER 16 — OF GOOD WORKS

1. Good works are only such as God hath (<330608>Micah 6:8; <581321>Hebrews 13:21)

commanded in his holy word, and not such as without the warrant thereof are

devised by men, out of blind zeal (<401509>Matthew 15:9; <232913>Isaiah 29:13) or upon

any pretence of good intentions.

2. These good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the

fruits and evidences (<590218>James 2:18, 22) of a true and lively faith; and by them

believers manifest their (<19B612>Psalm 116:12, 13) thankfulness, strengthen their

(<620203>1 John 2:3, 5; <610105>2 Peter 1:5-11) assurance, edify their (<400516>Matthew 5:16)

brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the mouths of the

adversaries, and glorify (<540601>1 Timothy 6:1; <600215>1 Peter 2:15; <500111>Philippians

1:11) God, whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus

(<490210>Ephesians 2:10) thereunto, that having their fruit unto holiness, they may

have the end (<450622>Romans 6:22) eternal life.

3. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from

the Spirit (<431505>John 15:5, 6) of Christ; and that they may be enabled thereunto,

besides the graces they have already received, there is necessary an (<470305>2

Corinthians 3:5; <503813>Philippians 2:13) 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

(<503512>Philippians 2:12; <580611>Hebrews 6:11, 12; <236407>Isaiah 64:7) stirring up the

grace of God that is in them.

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 (<180902>Job 9:2, 3; <480517>Galatians 5:17; <421710>Luke 17:10) they fall

short of much which in duty they are bound to do.

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 (<450320>Romans 3:20;

<490208>Ephesians 2:8, 9; <450406>Romans 4:6) 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 (<480522>Galatians 5:22, 23) Spirit, and as

they are wrought by us they are defiled (<236406>Isaiah 64:6; <19E302>Psalm 143:2) and

mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the

severity of God’s judgment.

6. Yet, notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through

Christ, their good works also are accepted in (<490106>Ephesians 1:6; <600205>1 Peter

2:5) 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 (<402521>Matthew 25:21, 23;

<580610>Hebrews 6:10) sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and

imperfections.

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 (<121030>2

Kings 10:30; <112127>1 Kings 21:27, 29) others; yet because they proceed not from

a heart purified by (<010405>Genesis 4:5; <581104>Hebrews 11:4, 6) faith, nor are done in

a right manner according to the (<461301>1 Corinthians 13:1) word, nor to a right

end, the (<400602>Matthew 6:2, 5) glory of God, they are therefore sinful and cannot

please God, nor make a man meet to receive grace from (<300521>Amos 5:21, 22;

<450916>Romans 9:16; <560305>Titus 3:5) God; and yet their neglect of them is more

sinful and (<182114>Job 21:14, 15; <402541>Matthew 25:41, 42, 43) displeasing to God
 

CHAPTER 17 — OF PERSEVERANCE OF THE

SAINTS

 

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 (<431028>John 10:28, 29;

<500106>Philippians 1:6; <550219>2 Timothy 2:19; <620219>1 John 2:19); 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); and though 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 (<198931>Psalm 89:31, 32; <461132>1 Corinthians

11:32) them, yet he is still the same (<390306>Malachi 3:6), 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. f29

2. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but

upon the immutability of the decree of (<450830>Romans 8:30; <450911>Romans 9:11, 16)

election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon

the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ (<450509>Romans 5:9, 10;

<431419>John 14:19) and union with him, the (<580617>Hebrews 6:17, 18) oath of God,

the abiding of his Spirit, and the (<620309>1 John 3:9) seed of God within them, and

the nature of the (<243240>Jeremiah 32:40) covenant of grace; from all which ariseth

also the certainty and infallibility thereof.

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 the means of

their preservation, fall into grievous (<402670>Matthew 26:70, 72, 74) sins, and for a

time continue therein, whereby they incur (<236405>Isaiah 64:5, 9; <490430>Ephesians

4:30) God’s displeasure, and grieve his Holy Spirit, come to have their graces

and (<195110>Psalm 51:10, 12) comforts impaired, have their hearts hardened and

their consciences wounded, (<193203>Psalm 32:3, 4) hurt and scandalize others, and

bring temporal judgments (<101214>2 Samuel 12:14) upon themselves, yet they shall

renew their (<422232>Luke 22:32, 61, 62) repentance and be preserved, through faith

in Christ Jesus, to the end. f30
 

CHAPTER 18 — 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

favor of God, and (in a) state of salvation (<180813>Job 8:13, 14; <400722>Matthew 7:22,

23), 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 (<620203>1 John 2:3; 3:14, 18, 19,

21, 24; 5:13) 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 (<450502>Romans 5:2, 5)

ashamed.

2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded

upon (<580611>Hebrews 6:11, 19) a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of

faith, founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ (<580617>Hebrews 6:17, 18)

revealed in the gospel; and also upon the inward (<610104>2 Peter 1:4, 5, 10, 11)

evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made, and on

the testimony of the (<450815>Romans 8:15, 16) Spirit of adoption, witnessing with

our spirits that we are the children of God; and as a fruit thereof, keeping the

heart both (<620301>1 John 3:1, 2, 3) humble and holy.

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

(<230110>Isaiah 1:10; Psalm 88, <197701>Psalm 77:1-12) 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 means (<620413>1 John 4:13;

<580611>Hebrews 6:11, 12) 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 Spirit, in love and thankfulness

to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper

(<450501>Romans 5:1, 2; <451417>Romans 14:17; <19B932>Psalm 119:32) fruits of this

assurance; so far is it (<450601>Romans 6:1, 2; <560211>Titus 2:11, 12, 14) from inclining

men to looseness.

4. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways

shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as (<220502>Song of Solomon 5:2, 3, 6) by

negligence in preserving of it, by (<190208>Psalm 2:8, 12, 14) falling into some

special sin, which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit, by some

sudden or (<19B611>Psalm 116:11; 77:7, 8, 31:22) vehement temptation, or by

God’s withdrawing the (<193007>Psalm 30:7) light of his countenance, and suffering

even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light; yet are they

never destitute f31 of the (<620309>1 John 3:9) seed of God, and life (<422232>Luke 22:32)

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 (<194205>Psalm 42:5, 11) revived, and by the which in the mean

time they are (<250326>Lamentations 3:26-31) preserved from utter despair.
 

CHAPTER 19 — OF THE LAW OF GOD

 

1. God gave to Adam a law of universal obedience (<010127>Genesis 1:27;

<210729>Ecclesiastes 7:29) written in his heart, and a particular precept of not eating

the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; f32 by which he bound him

and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact and perpetual (<451005>Romans 10:5)

obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and (<480310>Galatians 3:10, 12)

threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability

to keep it.

2. The same law that was first written in the heart of man (<450214>Romans 2:14,

15) continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall, and was

delivered by God upon mount Sinai in (<051004>Deuteronomy 10:4)

commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty

towards God, and the other six our duty to man.

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, (<581001>Hebrews 10:1; <510217>Colossians 2:17) prefiguring Christ, his

graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers

instructions (<460507>1 Corinthians 5:7) of moral duties; all which ceremonial laws

being appointed only to the time of reformation, are, by Jesus Christ the true

Messiah and only lawgiver, who was furnished with power from the Father for

that end, abrogated (<510214>Colossians 2:14, 16, 17; <490214>Ephesians 2:14, 16) and

taken away.

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 (<460908>1 Corinthians 9:8, 9, 10) equity only being of moral use.

5. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well (<451308>Romans 13:8, 9, 10;

<590208>James 2:8, 10, 11, 12) 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 (<590210>James 2:10, 11) authority of God the Creator, who gave it; neither doth

Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen (<400517>Matthew 5:17,

18, 19; <450331>Romans 3:31) this obligation.

6. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works

(<450614>Romans 6:14; <480216>Galatians 2:16; <450801>Romans 8:1; <451004>Romans 10:4) to be

thereby justified or condemned, yet it is of great use to them, as well as to

others, in that as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God and their

duty, it directs and binds them to walk accordingly; discovering also the sinful

pollutions of their natures, hearts, and lives, so as examining themselves

(<450320>Romans 3:20; 7:7; etc.) 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 like-wise of

use to the unregenerate, 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

and the unallayed rigour thereof. The promises of it like-wise show 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

(<450612>Romans 6:12-14; <600308>1 Peter 3:8-13) under the law and not under grace.

7. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law (<480321>Galatians 3:21) contrary

to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, the Spirit of Christ

subduing (<263627>Ezekiel 36:27) and enabling the will of man to do that freely and

cheer-fully, which the will of God revealed in the law requireth to be done.