The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689
Of the Holy Scriptures
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 and in divers 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)
1. 2Ti 3:15-17; Isa 8:20; Lk 16:29,31; Eph 2:20.
2. Ro 1:19-21; 2:14-15; Ps 19:1-3.
3. Heb 1:1.
4. Pr 22:19-21; Ro 15:4; 2Pe 1:19-20.
2. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now
contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:Of the Old Testament
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth,
1Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1Chronicles,
2Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms,
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah,
Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum,
Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
Of the New Testament
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts,
Romans, 1Corinthians, 2Corinthians,
Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians,
1Timothy, 2Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1Peter, 2Peter, 1John,
2John, 3John, Jude, Revelation
All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and
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
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)
9. 2Ti 3:15-17; Gal 1:8-9.
10. Jn 6:45; 1Co 2:9-12.
11. 1Co 11:13-14; 14:26,40.
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 them. (13)
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
[i.e. 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)
21. Mt 22:29,31-32; Eph 2:20; Ac 28:23.
Of God and of the Holy Trinity
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
1. 1Co 8:4,6; Deut 6:4.
2. Jer 10:10; Isa 48:12.
3. Ex 3:14.
4. Jn 4:24.
5. 1Ti 1:17; Deut 4:15-16.
6. Mal 3:6.
7. 1Ki 8:27; Jer 23:23.
8. Ps 90:2.
9. Gen 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. Neh 9:32-33.
15. Ps 5:5-6.
16 Ex 34:7; Nah 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.
17. Jn 5:26.
18. Ps 148:13.
19. Ps 119:68.
20. Job 22:2-3.
21. Ro 11:34-36.
22. Dan 4:25,34-35.
23. Heb 4:13.
24. Eze 11:5; Ac 15:18.
25. Ps 145:17.
26. Rev 5:12-14.
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.
27. 1Jn 5:7; Mt 28:19; 2Co 13:14.
28. Ex 3:14; Jn 14:11; 1Co 8:6.
29. Jn 1:14,18.
30. Jn 15:26; Gal 4:6.
Of God's Decree
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 decree.(4)
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. Num. 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)
7. 1Ti 5:21; Mt 25:34.
8. Eph 1:5-6.
9. Ro 9:22-23; Jude 4.
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 or diminished.(10)
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)
11. Eph 1:4,9,11; Ro 8:30; 2Ti 1:9; 1Thes 5:9.
12. Ro 9:13,16; Eph 2:5,12.
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
13. 1Pe 1:2; 2Th 2:13.
14. 1Thes 5:9-10.
15. Ro 8:30; 2Th 2:13.
16. 1Pe 1:5.
17. Jn 10:26; 17:9; 6:64.
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)
18. 1Thes 1:4-5; 2Pe 1:10.
19. Eph 1:6; Ro 11:33.
20. Ro. 11:5-6,20.
21. Lk 10:20.
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. Eccl 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
9. Ge 2:17.
10. Ge 1:26,28.
Of Divine Providence
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 mercy.(3)
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. Dan 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)
11. Ro 11:32-34; 2Sa 24:1; 1Ch 21:1.
12. 2Ki 19:28; Ps 76:10.
13. Ge 1:20; Isa 10:6-7,12.
14. Ps 50:21; 1Jn 2:16.
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 holy ends.(15)
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 gifts which
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 for the softening
17. Ro 1:24-26,28; 11:7-8.
18. Deut 29:4.
19. Mt 13:12.
20. Deut 2:30; 2Kn 8:12-13.
21. Ps 81:11-12; 2Th 2:10-12.
22. Ex 8:15,32; Isa 6:9-10; 1Pe 2:7-8.
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 disposeth of all things to
the good thereof.(23)
23. 1Ti 4:10; Am 9:8-9; Isa
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 willfully 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
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 them free.(10)
6. Ro 5:12-19; 1Co 15:21-22,45,49.
7. Ps 51:5; Job 14:4.
8. Eph 2:3.
9. Ro 6:20; 5:12.
10. Heb 2:14-15; 1Thes 1:10.
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 transgressions.(12)
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)
13. Ro 7:18,23; Eccl 7:20; 1Jn 1:8.
14. Ro 7:23-25; Gal 5:17.
Of God's Covenant
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
2. Ge 2:17; Gal.3:10; Ro 3:20-21.
3. Ro 8:3; Mk 16:15-16; Jn 3:16.
4. Eze 36:26-27; Jn 6:44-45; Ps 110:3.
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
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.
Of Christ the Mediator
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)
9. Jn 1:14; Gal 4:4.
10. Ro 8:3; Heb 2:14,16-17; 4:15.
11. Mt 1:22-23; Lk 1:27,31,35.
12. Ro 9:5; 1Ti 2:5.
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 thoroughly
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
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.
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
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
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 foreseen in them to procure it.(42)
38. Jn 6:37; 10:15-16; 17:9; Ro 5:10.
39. Jn 17:6; Eph 1:9; 1Jn 5:20.
40. Ro 8:9,14.
41. Ps 110:1; 1Co 15:25-26.
42. Jn 3:8; Eph 1:8.
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
44. Jn 1:18.
45. Col 1:21; Gal 5:17.
46. Jn 16:8; Ps 110:3; Lk 1:74-75.
Of Free Will
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 evil.(1)
1. Mt 17:12; Jas 1:14; Deut 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. Eccl 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. Ro 5:6; 8:7.
5. Eph 2:1,5.
6. Tit 3:3-5; Jn 6:44.
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)
7. Col 1:13; Jn 8:36.
8. Phil 2:13.
9. Ro 7:15,18-19,21,23.
5. This will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the
state of glory only.(10)
10. Eph 4:13.
Of Effectual Calling
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)
1. Ro 8:30; 11:7; Eph 1:10-11, 2Th 2:13-14.
2. Eph 2:1-6.
3. Ac 26:18; Eph 1:17-18.
4. Eze 36:26.
5. Dt 30:6; Eze 36:27; Eph 1:19.
6. Ps 110:3; SS 1:4.
2. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from
anything at all foreseen 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 dead.(9)
7. 2Ti 1:9; Eph 2:8.
8. 1Co 2:14; Eph 2:5; Jn 5:25.
9. Eph 1:19-20.
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
(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
1. Ro 3:24; 8:30.
2. Ro 4:5-8; Eph 1:7.
3. 1Co 1:30-31; Ro 5:17-19.
4. Phil 3:8-9; Eph 2:8-10.
5. Jn 1:12; Ro 5:17.
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 love.(7)
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
14. Mt 6:12; 1Jn 1:7,9.
15. Jn 10:28.
16. Ps 89:31-33.
17. Ps 32:5; Ps 51:1-19; Mt 26:75.
6. The justification of believers under the Old Testament was, in all these
respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the New
18. Gal 3:9; Ro 4:22-24.
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
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
1. Ac 20:32; Ro 6:5-6.
2. Jn 17:17; Eph 3:16-19; 1Thes 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)
7. 1Th 5:23.
8. Ro 7:18,23.
9. Gal 5:17; 1Pe 2:11.
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)
10. Ro 7:23.
11. Ro 6:14.
12. Eph 4:15-16; 2Co 3:18; 7:1.
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 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
1. 2Co 4:13; Eph 2:8.
2. Ro 10:14,17.
3. Lk 17:5; 1Pe 2:2; Ac 20:32.
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
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.
Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation
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 salvation.(3)
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
4. Zec 12:10; Ac 11:18.
5. Eze 36:31; 2Co 7:11.
6. Ps 119:6,128.
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.
8. Ro 6:23.
9. Isa 1:16-18; 55:7.
Of Good Works
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. Jas 2:18,22.
4. Ps 116:12-13.
5. 1Jn 2:3,5; 2Pe 1:5-11.
6. Mt 5:16.
7. 1Ti 6:1; 1Pe 2:15; Php 1:11.
8. Eph 2:10.
9. Ro 6:22.
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
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.
Of The 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, 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)
1. Jn 10:28-29; Php 1:6; 2Ti 2:19; 1Jn 2:19.
2. Ps 89:31-32; 1Co 11:32.
3. Mal 3:6.
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 within 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 the end.(14)
9. Mt 26:70,72,74.
10. Isa 64:5,9; Eph 4:30.
11. Ps 51:10,12.
12. Ps 32:3-4.
13. 2Sa 12:14.
14. Lk 22:32,61-62.
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
1. Job 8:13-14; Mt 7:22-23.
2. 1Jn 2:3; 3:14,18-19,21,24; 5:13.
3. Ro 5:2,5.
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 looseness.(12)
9. Isa 50:10; Ps 88:1-18; Ps 77:1-12.
10. 1Jn 4:13; Heb 6:11-12.
11. Ro 5:1-2,5; 14:17; Ps 119:32.
12. Ro 6:1-2; Tit 2:11-12,14.
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)
13. SS 5:2-3,6.
14. Ps 51:8,12,14.
15. Ps 116:11; 77:7-8; 31:22.
16. Ps 30:7.
17. 1Jn 3:9.
18. Lk 22:32.
19. Ps 42:5,11.
20. La 3:26-31.
Of the Law of God
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
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)
13. Ro 6:14; Gal 2:16; Ro 8:1; 10:4.
14. Ro 3:20; 7:7-25.
15. Ro 6:12-14; 1Pe 3:8-13.
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 sinners.(2)
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 or
3. Ro 1:17.
4. Ro 10:14-15,17.
5. Pr 29:18; Isa 25:7; 60:2-3.
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 unto God.(9)
8. Ps 110:3; 1Co 2:14; Eph 1:19-20.
9. Jn 6:44; 2Co. 4:4,6.
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
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
4. Mt 4:9-10; Jn 6:23; Mt 28:19.
5. Ro 1:25; Col 2:18; Rev 19:10.
6. Jn 14:6.
7. 1Ti 2:5.
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)
8. Ps 95:1-7; 65:2.
9. Jn 14:13-14.
10. Ro 8:26.
11. 1Jn 5:14.
12. 1Co 14:16-17.
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)
13. 1Ti 2:1-2; 2Sa 7:29.
14. 2Sa 12:21-23.
15. 1Jn 5:16.
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 willfully 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 being abolished.
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)
30. Isa 58:13; Ne 13:15-22.
31. Mt 12:1-13.
Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
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 reservation.(7)
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 entangle himself.(11)
8. Ps 76:11; Ge 28:20-22.
9. 1Co 7:2,9.
10. Eph 4:28.
11. Mt 19:11.
Of the Civil Magistrate
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 doers.(1)
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 honesty.(5)
4. Ro 13:5-7; 1Pe 2:17.
5. 1Ti 2:1-2.
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
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 damnable heresy.(7)
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 wife.(9)
8. Lev 18:1-30.
9. Mk 6:18; 1Co 5:1.
Of the Church
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; 5:23,27,32.
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 be constituted.(3)
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. 1Co 5:1-13; Rev 2:1-29; 3:1-22.
5. Rev 18:2; 2Th 2:11-12.
6. Mt 16:18; Ps 72:17; 102:28; Rev 12:17.
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
7. Col 1:18; Mt 28:18-20; Eph 4:11-12.
8. 2Th 2:2-9.
A note on this paragraph
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)
9. Jn 10:16; 12:32.
10. Mt 28:20.
11. Mt 18:15-20.
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)
12. Ro 1 :7; 1Co 1:2.
13. Ac 2:41-42; 5:13-14; 2Co 9:13.
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; Phil 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 the Gospel.(23)
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
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)
29. Ac 15:2,4,6,22-23,25.
30. 2Co 1:24; 1Jn 4:1.
Of the Communion of Saints
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)
1. 1Jn 1:3; Jn 1:16; Php 3:10; Ro 6:5-6.
2. Eph 4:15-16; 1Co 12:7; 3:21-23.
3. 1Th 5:11,14; Ro 1:12; 1Jn 3:17-18; Gal 6:10.
2. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion
in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend
to their mutual edification;(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
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.
Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
1. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are
ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus,
the only lawgiver, to be continued in His church to the end of the world.(1)
1. Mt 28:19-20; 1Co 11:26.
2. These holy appointments are to be administered by those only who are
qualified and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ.(2)
2. Mt 28:19; 1Co 4:1.
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
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)
6. Mt 3:16, Jn 3:23.
Of the Lord's Supper
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 were before.(8)
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 senses.(11)
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 themselves.(13)
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)
5. 1Co 15:51-52; 1Th 4:17.
6. Job 19:26-27.
7. 1Co 15:42-43.
3. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to
dishonour; the bodies of the just, by His Spirit, unto honour, and be made
conformable to His own glorious body.(8)
8. Ac 24:15; Jn 5:28-29; Php 3:21.
Of the Last Judgment
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)
1. Ac 17:31; Jn 5:22, 27.
2. 1Co 6:3; Jude 6.
3. 2Co 5:10; Ecc 12:14; Mt 12:36; Ro 14:10,12; Mt 25:32-46.
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)
4. Ro 9:22-23.
5. Mt 25:21,34; 2Ti 4:8.
6. Mt 25:46; Mk 9:48; 2Th 1:7-10.
3. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day
of judgment, both to deter all men from sin,(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.
7. 2Co 5:10-11.
8. 2Th 1:5-7.
9. Mk 13:35-37; Lk 12:35-40.
10. Rev 22:20.
Signatories to the Confession of Faith
We the Ministers, and Messengers of, and concerned for upwards
of, one hundred Baptized Churches, 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, 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
Hansard Knollys, Pastor, Broken Wharf, London
William Kiffin, Pastor, Devonshire-square, London
John Harris, Pastor, Joiner's Hall, London
William Collins, Pastor, Petty France, London
Hurcules Collins, Pastor, Wapping, London
Robert Steed, Pastor, Broken Wharf, London
Leonard Harrison, Pastor, Limehouse, London
George Barret, Pastor, Mile End Green, London
Isaac Lamb, Pastor, Pennington-street, London
Richard Adams, Minister, Shad Thames, Southwark
Benjamin Keach, Pastor, Horse-lie-down, Southwark
Andrew Gifford, Pastor, Bristol, Fryars Som. &Glouc.
Thomas Vaux, Pastor, Broadmead, Fryars Som. & Glouc.
Thomas Winnel, Pastor, Taunton, Fryars Som. & Glouc.
James Hitt, Preacher, Dalwood, Dorset
Richard Tidmarsh, Minister, Oxford City, Oxon
William Facey, Pastor, Reading, Berks
Samuel Buttall, Minister, Plymouth, Devon
Christopher Price, Minister Abergavenny, Monmouth
Daniel Finch, Minister, Kingsworth, Herts
John Ball, Minister, Tiverton, Devon
Edmond White, Pastor, Evershall, Bedford
William Prichard, Pastor, Blaenau, Monmouth
Paul Fruin, Minister, Warwick, Warwick
Richard Ring, Pastor, Southampton, Hants
John Tomkins, Minister, Abingdon, Berks
Toby Willes, Pastor, Bridgewater, Somerset
John Carter, Pastor, Steventon, Bedford
James Webb, Pastor, Devizes, Wilts
Richard Sutton, Pastor, Tring, Herts
Robert Knight, Pastor, Stukeley, Bucks
Edward Price, Pastor, Hereford City, Hereford
William Phipps, Pastor, Exon, Devon
William Hawkins, Pastor, Dimmock, Gloucester
Samuel Ewer, Pastor, Hemstead, Herts
Edward Man, Pastor, Houndsditch, London
Charles Archer, Pastor, Hock-Norton, Oxon
In the name of and on behalf of the whole assembly.
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