The first edition was
published in 1644 and, whereas the 1689 Baptist Confession is based
on the Westminster Confession of Faith, the 1644 Confession is of
purely Baptist origin. This second edition "corrected and enlarged" was
originally published in 1646.
Presented to the view of
all that feare God, to examine by the touchstone of the Word of
Truth: As likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are
frequently both in Pulpit and Print, (although unjustly) cast upon
To the Law and to the testimony, if they speake not according to
this Rule, it is because there is no light in them.
2 Cor. 1.9, 10
But wee had the sentence of death in our selves, that wee should
not trust in our selves, but in the living God which raiseth the
dead; who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver, in
whom wee trust that he will yet deliver.
The lifting up of the Name of the LORD Jesus in sincerity, the
poor despised Churches of God in London send greeting, with
prayers for their farther increase in the knowledge of CHRIST JESUS.
We question not but that it will seem strange to many men, that
such as we are frequently termed to be, lying under that calumny and
black brand of Heretics, and sowers of division as we do, should
presume to appear so publicly as now we have done: But yet
notwithstanding we may well say, to give answer to such, what David
said to his brother, when the Lord's battle was a fighting, 1 Sam.
29:30. Is there not a cause?
Surely, if ever people had cause to speak for the vindication of
the truth of Christ in their hands, we have, that being indeed the
main wheel at this time that sets us awork; for had anything by men
been transacted against our persons only, we could quietly have
sitten still, and committed our Cause to him who is a righteous
Judge, who will in the great day judge the secrets of all men's
hearts by Jesus Christ: But being it is not only us, but the truth
professed by us, we cannot, we dare not but speak; it is no strange
thing to any observing man, what sad charges are laid, not only by
the world, that know not God, but also by those that think
themselves much wronged, if they be not looked upon as the chief
Worthies of the Church of God, and Watchmen of the City: But it hath
fared with us from them, as from the poor Spouse seeking her
Beloved, Cant. 5:6, 7. They finding us out of that common roadway
themselves walk, have smote us and taken away our vail, that so we
may by them be recommended odious in the eyes of all that behold us,
and in the hearts of all that think upon us, which they have done
both in Pulpit and Print, charging us with holding Free-will,
Falling away from grace, denying Original sin, disclaiming of
Magistracy, denying to assist them either in persons or purse in any
of their lawful Commands, doing acts unseemly in the dispensing the
Ordinance of Baptism, not to be named amongst Christians: All which
Charges we disclaim as notoriously untrue, though by reason of these
calumnies cast upon us, many that fear God are discouraged and
forestalled in harboring a good thought, either of us or what we
profess; and many that know not God encouraged, if they can find the
place of our meeting, to get together in Clusters to stone us, as
looking upon us as a people holding such things, as that we are not
worthy to live: We have therefore for the clearing of the truth we
profess, that it may be at liberty, though we be in bonds, briefly
published a Confession of our Faith, as desiring all that fear God,
seriously to consider whether (if they compare what we here say and
confess in the presence of the Lord Jesus and his Saints) men have
not with their tongues in Pulpit, and pens in Print, both spoken and
written things that are contrary to truth; but we know our God in
his own time will clear our Cause, and lift up his Son to make him
the chief cornerstone, though he has been (or now should be)
rejected of Master Builders. And because it may be conceived, that
what is here published, may be but the Judgement of some one
particular Congregation, more refined than the rest; We do therefore
here subscribe it, some of each body in the name, and by the
appointment of seven Congregations, who though we be distinct in
respect of our particular bodies, for convenience sake, being as
many as can well meet together in one place, yet are all one in
Communion, holding Jesus Christ to be our head and Lord; under whose
government we desire alone to walk, in following the Lamb
wheresoever he goeth; and we believe the Lord will daily cause truth
more to appear in the hearts of his Saints, and make them ashamed of
their folly in the Land of their Nativity, that so they may with one
shoulder, more study to lift up the Name of the Lord Jesus, and
stand for his appointments and Laws; which is the desires and
prayers of the condemned Churches of Christ in London for all
Subscribed in the Names of seven Churches in London.
A confession of
faith of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London, which
are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the
vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise
for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in
pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno
The Lord our God
is but one God, whose subsistence is in Himself; whose essence
cannot be comprehended by any but himself, who only hath
immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto;
who is in Himself most holy, every way infinite, in greatness,
wisdom, power, love, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and
abundant in goodness and truth; who giveth being, moving, and
preservation to all creatures.
1 Cor. 8:6, Isa.
44:6, 46:9, Exod. 3:14, 1 Tim 6:16, Isa. 43:15; Ps. 147:5, Deut.
32:3; Job 36:5; Jer. 10:12, Exod. 34:6,7, Acts 17:28; Rom. 11:36.
In this divine and
infinite Being there is the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit;
each having the whole divine Essence, yet the Essence undivided; all
infinite without any beginning, therefore but one God; who is not to
be divided in nature, and being, but distinguished by several
peculiar relative properties.
1 Cor. 1:3; John
1:1, 15:26, Exod. 3:14; 1 Cor. 8:6
God had decreed in
Himself, before the world was, concerning all things, whether
necessary, accidental or voluntary, with all the circumstances of
them, to work, dispose, and bring about all things according to the
counsel of His own will, to His glory: (Yet without being the
[chargeable] author of sin, or having fellowship with any therein)
in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things,
unchangeableness, power, and faithfulness in accomplishing His
decree: And God hath before the foundation of the world,
foreordained some men to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to the
praise and glory of His grace; [having foreordained and] leaving the
rest in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His
Isa. 46:10; Eph.
1:11, Rom. 11:33, Ps. 115:3; 135:6, 33:15; 1 Sam. 10:9, 26, Prov.
21:6; Exod. 21:13; Prov. 16:33, Ps. 144, Isa. 45:7, Jer. 14:22,
Matt. 6:28, 30; Col. 1:16, 17; Num. 23:19, 20; Rom. 3:4; Jer. 10:10;
Eph. 1:4,5; Jude 4, 6; Prov. 16:4.
In the beginning
God made all things very good; created man after His own image,
filled with all meet perfection of nature, and free from all sin;
but long he abode not in this honor; Satan using the subtlety of the
serpent to seduce first Eve, then by her seducing Adam; who without
any compulsion, in eating the forbidden fruit, transgressed the
command of God, and fell, whereby death came upon all his posterity;
who now are conceived in sin, and by nature the children of wrath,
the servants of sin, the subject of death, and other miseries in
this world, and for ever, unless the Lord Jesus Christ set them
Gen. 1:1, Col.
1:16, Isa. 45:12, 1 Cor. 15:45, 46; Eccles. 7:29; Gen. 3:1,4,5; 2
Cor. 11:3, 1 Tim. 2:14; Gal. 3:22; Rom. 5:12, 18, 19, 6:22; Eph.
God in His
infinite power and wisdom, doth dispose all things to the end for
which they were created; that neither good nor evil befalls any by
chance, or without His providence; and that whatsoever befalls the
elect, is by His appointment, for His glory, and their good.
Job 38:11; Isa.
46:10,11, Eccles. 3:14, Mark 10:29,30; Exod. 21:13; Prov. 16:33,
All the elect
being loved of God with an everlasting love, are redeemed,
quickened, and saved, not by themselves, nor their own works, lest
any man should boast, but, only and wholly by God, of His own free
grace and mercy, through Jesus Christ, who is made unto us by God,
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, and all in
all, that he that rejoiceth, might rejoice in the Lord.
Jer. 31:2; Eph.
1:3, 7, 2:8,9; 1 Thess. 5:9, Acts 13:48; 2 Cor. 5:21; Jer. 9:23,24;
1 Cor. 1:30,31; Jer. 23:6.
And this is life
eternal, that we might know Him the only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom He hath sent. And on the contrary, the Lord will render
vengeance, in flaming fire, to them that know not God, and obey not
the gospel of Jesus Christ.
John 17:3; Heb.
5:9, 2 Thess. 1:8; John 6:36.
The rule of this
knowledge, faith, and obedience, concerning the worship of God, in
which is contained the whole duty of man, is (not men's laws, or
unwritten traditions, but) only the word of God contained [viz.,
written] in the holy Scriptures; in which is plainly recorded
whatsoever is needful for us to know, believe, and practice; which
are the only rule of holiness and obedience for all saints, at all
times, in all places to be observed.
Col. 2:23; Matt
15:6,9; John 5:39, 2 Tim. 3:15,16,17; Isa. 8:20; Gal. 1:8,9; Acts
The Lord Jesus
Christ, of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote, the Apostles preached,
He is the Son of God, the brightness of His glory, etc. by whom He
made the world; who upholdeth and governeth all things that He hath
made; who also when the fulness of time was come, was made of a
woman, of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David; to
wit, of the virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her, the
power of the most High overshadowing her; and He was also tempted as
we are, yet without sin.
Gen. 3:15, 22:18,
49:10; Dan. 7:13, 9:24, etc.; Prov. 8:23; John 1:1,2,3; Heb. 1:8;
Gal. 4:4; Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5; Gen. 49:9,10, Rom. 1:3, 9:10; Matt.
1:16; Luke 3:23,26; Heb. 2:16; Isa. 53:3,4,5; Heb. 4:15.
Jesus Christ is
made the mediator of the new and everlasting covenant of grace
between God and man, ever to be perfectly and fully the prophet,
priest, and king of the Church of God for evermore.
1 Tim. 2:5; Heb.
9:15; John 14:6; Isa. 9:6.7.
Unto this office
He was appointed by God from everlasting; and in respect of his
manhood, from the womb called, separated, and anointed most fully
and abundantly with all gifts necessary, God having without measure
poured out His Spirit upon Him.
Prov. 8:23; Isa.
42:6, 49:15; 11:2,3,4,5, 61:1,2; Luke 4:17, 22; John 1:14, 26, 3:34.
mediatorship, the Scripture holds forth Christ's call to His office;
for none takes this honor upon Him, but He that is called of God as
was Aaron, it being an action of God, whereby a special promise
being made, He ordains His Son to this office; which promise is,
that Christ should be made a sacrifice for sin; that He should see
His seed, and prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall
prosper in His hand; all of meer free and absolute grace towards
God's elect, and without any condition foreseen in them to procure
Heb. 5:4,5,6, Isa.
53:10,11; John 3:16; Rom. 8:32.
This office to be
mediator, that is, to be prophet, priest, and king of the Church of
God, is so proper to Christ, that neither in whole, or any part
thereof, it cannot be transferred from Him to any other.
1 Tim. 2:5; Heb.
7:24; Dan. 7:14; Acts 4:12; Luke 1:33; John 14:6.
This office to
which Christ is called, is threefold; a prophet, priest, and king:
This number and order of offices is necessary, for in respect of our
ignorance, we stand in need of His prophetical office; in respect of
our great alienation from God, we need His priestly office to
reconcile us; and in respect of our averseness and utter inability
to return to God, we need His kingly office, to convince, subdue,
draw, uphold and preserve us to His heavenly kingdom.
Deut. 18:15; Acts
3:22,23; Heb. 3:!, 4:14,15; Ps. 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:20; Acts 26:18; Col.
1:21; John 16:8, Ps. 110:3; Song of Sol. 1:3; John 6:44; Phil. 4:13;
2 Tim. 4:18.
prophecy of Christ, it is that whereby He hath revealed the will of
God, whatsoever is needful for His servants to know and obey; and
therefore He is called not only a prophet and doctor, and the
apostle of our profession, and the angel of the covenant, but also
the very wisdom of God, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom
and knowledge, who for ever continueth revealing the same truth of
the gospel to His people.
12:49,50; 17:8; Deut. 18:15; Matt. 23:10; Heb. 3:1; Mal. 3:1; 1 Cor.
1:24; Col. 2:3.
That He might be a
prophet every way complete, it was necessary He should be God, and
also that He should be man; For unless He had been God, He could
never have perfectly understood the will of God; and unless He had
been man, He could not suitably have unfolded it in His own person
John 1:18; Acts
3:22; Deut. 18:15; Heb. 1:1.
That Jesus Christ
is God is wonderfully and clearly expressed in the Scriptures. He is
called the mighty God, Isa. 9:6. That Word was God, John 1:1.
Christ, who is God over all, Rom 9:5. God manifested in the flesh, 1
Tim. 3:16. The same is very God, 1 John 5:20. He is the first, Rev.
1:8. He gives being to all things, and without Him was nothing made,
John 1:2. He forgiveth sins, Matt. 9:6. He is before Abraham, John
8:58. He was and is, and ever will be the same, Heb. 13:8. He is
always with His to the end of the world, Matt. 28:20. Which could
not be said of Jesus Christ, if He were not God. And to the Sone He
saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, Heb. 1:8, John 1:18.
Also, Christ is
not only perfectly God, but perfect man, made of a woman, Gal. 4:4.
Made of the seed of David, Rom 1:3. Coming out of the loins of
David, Acts 2:30. Of Jesse and Judah, Acts 13:23. In that the
children were partakers of flesh and blood He Himself likewise took
part with them, Heb. 2:14. He took not on Him the nature of angels,
but the seed of Abraham, verse 16. So that we are bone of His bone,
and flesh of His flesh, Eph. 5:30. So that He that sanctifieth, and
they that are sanctified are all of one, Heb.2:11. See Acts 3:22,
Deut. 18:15; Heb. 1:1.
priesthood, Christ having sanctified Himself, hath appeared once to
put away sin by that one offering of Himself a sacrifice for sin, by
which He hath fully finished and suffered all things God required
for the salvation of His elect, and removed all rites and shadows,
etc. and is now entered within the vail into the holy of holies,
which is the presence of God. Also, He makes His people a spiritual
house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifice
acceptable to God through Him. Neither doth the Father accept, nor
Christ offer to the Father, any other worship or worshippers.
John 17:19; Heb.
5:7,8,9,10,12; Rom. 5:19, Eph. 5:2; Col. 1:20; Eph. 2:14, etc.; Rom.
8:34; Heb. 9:24; 8:1; 1 Pet. 2:5; John 4:23,24.
was not legal or temporary, but according to the order of
Melchisedec, and is stable and perfect, not for a time, but forever,
which is suitable to Jesus Christ, as to Him that ever liveth.
Christ was the priest, sacrifice, and altar: He was a priest
according to both natures; He was a sacrifice according to His human
nature; whence in Scripture it is attributed to His body, to His
blood: Yet the effectualness of this sacrifice did depend upon His
divine nature; therefore it is called the blood of God. He was the
altar according to His divine nature, it belonging to the altar to
sanctify that which is offered upon it, and so it ought to be of
greater dignity than the sacrifice itself.
Heb. 7:16, etc.;
Heb. 5:6, 10:10; 1 Pet. 1:18,19; Col. 1:20, 22; Heb. 9:13; Acts
20:28; Heb. 9:14, 13:10,12,15; Matt. 23:17; John 17:19.
kingly office, Christ being risen from the dead, and ascended into
heaven, and having all power in heaven and earth, He doth
spiritually govern His church, and doth exercise His power over all,
angels and men, good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of
the elect, and to the overruling and destruction of His enemies. By
this kingly power He applieth the benefits, virtue, and fruits of
His prophecy and priesthood to His elect, subduing their sins,
preserving and strengthening them in all their conflicts against
Satan, the world, and the flesh, keeping their hearts in faith and
filial fear by His Spirit: By this His mighty power He ruleth the
vessels of wrath, using, limiting and restraining them, as it seems
good to His infinite wisdom.
1 Cor. 15:4; 1
Pet. 3:21,22; Matt. 28:18,19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:1, 5:30,31; John
19:36; Rom. 14:9; John 5:26,27; Rom. 5:6,7,8; 14:17; Gal. 5:22,23;
Mark 1:27; Heb. 1:14; John 16:15; Job 2:8; Rom. 1:21, [9:17-18];
Eph. 4:17,18; 2 Pet. 2.
This His kingly
power shall be more fully manifested when He shall come in glory to
reign among His saints, when He shall put down all rule and
authority under His feet, that the glory of the Father may be
perfectly manifested in His Son, and the glory of the Father and the
Son in all His members.
1 Cor. 15:24,28;
Heb. 9:28; 2 Thess. 1:9,10; 1 Thess. 4:15,16,17; John 17:21, 26.
Jesus Christ by
His death did purchase salvation for the elect that God gave unto
Him: These only have interest in Him, and fellowship with Him, for
whom He makes intercession to His Father in their behalf, and to
them alone doth God by His Spirit apply this redemption; as also the
free gift of eternal life is given to them, and none else.
Eph. 1:14; Heb.
5:9; Matt. 1:21; John 17:6; Heb. 7:25; 1 Cor. 2:12; Rom. 8:29,30; 1
John 5:12; John 15:35, 3:16.
Faith is the gift
of God, wrought in the hearts of the elect by the Spirit of God; by
which faith they come to know and believe the truth of the
Scriptures, and the excellency of them above all other writings, and
all things in the world, as they hold forth the glory of God in His
attributes, the execellency of Christ in His nature and offices, and
of the power and fulness of the Spirit in its [His] workings and
operations; and so are enabled to cast their souls upon His truth
Eph. 2:8; John
6:29, 4:10; Phil. 1:29; Gal. 5:22; John 17:17; Heb. 4:11,12; John
All those that
have this precious faith wrought in them by the Spirit, can never
finally nor totally fall away; seeing the gifts of God are without
repentance; so that 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; not
withstanding, through unbelief, and the temptations of Satan, the
sensible sight of this light and love, be clouded and overwhelmed
for a time; yet God 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 palms of
His hands, and their names having been written in the book of life
from all eternity.
John 13:10, 10:28,29; 1 Pet. 1:4,5,6; Isa. 49:13,14,15,16.
ordinarily begotten by the preaching of the gospel, or word of
Christ, without respect to any power or agency in the creature; but
it being wholly passive, and dead in trespasses and sins, doth
believe and is converted by no less power than that which raised
Christ from the dead.
Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor.
1:28; Rom. 9:16; Ezek. 16:16; Rom. 3:12, 1:16; Eph. 1:19, Col. 2:12.
The preaching of
the gospel to the conversion of sinners, is absolutely free; no way
requiring as absolutely necessary, any qualifications, preparations,
or terrors of the law, or preceding ministry of the law, but only
and alone the naked soul, a sinner and ungodly, to receive Christ
crucified, dead and buried, and risen again; who is made a prince
and a Savior for such sinners as through the gospel shall be brought
to believe on Him.
1:12; Isa. 55:1; John 7:37; 1 Tim. 1:15; Rom. 4:5, 5:8; Acts
5:30,31, 2:36, 1 Cor. 1:22,24.
The same power
that converts to faith in Christ, carrieth on the soul through all
duties, temptations, conflicts, sufferings; and whatsoever a
believer is, he is by grace, and is carried on in all obedience and
temptations by the same.
1 Pet. 1:5, 2 Cor.
12:9, 1 Cor. 15:10; Phil. 2:12, 13; John 15:5; Gal. 2:19,20.
All believers are
by Christ united to God; by which union, God is one with them, and
they are one with Him; and that all believers are the sons of God,
and joint heirs with Christ, to whom belong all the promises of this
life, and that which is to come.
1 Thess. 1:1; John
17:21, 20:17; Heb. 2:11, 1 John 4:16; Gal.
Those that have
union with Christ, are justified from all their sins by the blood of
Christ, which justification is a gracious and full acquittance of a
guilty sinner from all sin, by God, through the satisfaction that
Christ hath made by His death for all their sins, and this applied
(in manifestation of it) through faith.
1 John 1:7; Heb.
10:14, 9:26; 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 3:23; Acts 13:38,39; Rom. 5:1,
All believers are
a holy and sanctified people, and that sanctification is a spiritual
grace of the new covenant, and an effect of the love of God
manifested in the soul, whereby the believer presseth after a
heavenly and evangelical obedience to all the commands, which Christ
as head and king in His new covenant hath prescribed to them.
1 Cor. 12; 1 Pet.
2:9; Eph. 1:4; 1 John 4:16; Matt. 28:20.
through the knowledge of that justification of life given by the
Father and brought forth by the blood of Christ have as their great
privilege of that new covenant, peace with God, reconciliation,
whereby they that were afar off are made nigh by that blood, and
have peace passing all understanding; yea, joy in God through our
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received atonement.
2 Cor. 5:19; Rom.
5:9,10; Isa. 54:10; Eph. 2:13,14, 4:7; Rom. 5:10,11.
All believers in
the time of this life, are in a continual warfare and combat against
sin, self, the world, and the devil; and are liable to all manner of
afflictions, tribulations and persecutions, being predestined and
appointed thereunto, and whatsoever the saints possess or enjoy of
God spiritually, is by faith; and outward and temporal things are
lawfully enjoyed by a civil right by them who have no faith.
Rom. 7:23,24; Eph.
6:10,11, etc.; Heb. 2:9,10, 2 Tim. 3:12; Rom. 8:29; 1 Thess. 3:3;
Gal. 2:19,20; 2 Cor. 5:7; Deut. 2:5.
The only strength
by which the saints are enabled to encounter with all oppositions
and trials, is only by Jesus Christ, who is the captain of their
salvation, being made perfect through sufferings; who hath engaged
His faithfulness and strength to assist them in all their
afflictions, and to uphold them in all their temptations, and to
preserve them by His power to His everlasting kingdom.
John 16:33, 15:5;
Phil. 4:11, Heb. 2:9,10; 2 Tim. 4:18.
Jesus Christ hath
here on earth a [manifestation of His] spiritual kingdom, which is
His Church, whom He hath purchased and redeemed to Himself as a
peculiar inheritance; which Church is a company of visible saints,
called and separated from the world by the word and Spirit of God,
to the visible profession of faith of the gospel, being baptized
into that faith, and joined to the Lord, and each other, by mutual
agreement in the practical enjoyment of the ordinances commanded by
Christ their head and king.
Matt. 11:11; 2
Thess. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1; Rom. 1:7; Acts 19:8,9, 26:18; 2
Cor. 6:17; Rev. 18:4; Acts 2:37, 10:37; Rom. 10:10; Matt. 18:19,20;
Acts 2:42, 9:26; 1 Pet. 2:5.
To this Church He
hath made His promises, and giveth the signs of His covenant,
presence, acceptation, love, blessing and protection. Here are the
fountains and springs of His heavenly graces flowing forth to
refresh and strengthen them.
Matt. 28:18, etc.;
1 Cor. 11:24, 3:21; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rom. 9:4,5; Ps. 133:3; Rom. 3:7,10;
And all His
servants of all estates (are to acknowledge Him to be their prophet,
priest and king;) and called thither to be enrolled among His
household servants, to present their bodies and souls, and to bring
their gifts God hath given them, to be under His heavenly conduct
and government, to lead their lives in this walled sheepfold, and
watered garden, to have communion here with His saints, that they
may be assured that they are made meet to be partakers of their
inheritance in the kingdom of God; and to supply each others wants,
inward and outward; (and although each person hath a propriety in
his own estate, yet they are to supply each others wants, according
as their necessities shall require, that the name of Jesus Christ
may not be blasphemed through the necessity of any in the Church)
and also being come, they are here by Himself to be bestowed in
their several order, due place, peculiar use, being fitly compact
and knit together according to the effectual working of every part,
to the edifying of itself in love.
Isa. 4:3, 1 Cor. 12:6,7, etc.; Ezek. 20:37,40; Song of Sol. 4:12;
Eph. 2:19; Rom. 12:4,5,6; Col. 1:12, 2:5,6,19; Acts 20:32, 5:4,
2:44,45, 4:34,35; Luke 14:26; 1 Tim. 6:1; Eph. 4:16.
Being thus joined,
every [local] church hath power given them from Christ, for their
wellbeing, to choose among themselves meet persons for elders and
deacons, being qualified according to the word, as those which
Christ hath appointed in His testament, for the feeding, governing,
serving, and building up of His Church; and that none have any power
to impose on them either these or any other.
Acts 1:23,26, 6:3,
15:22,25; Rom. 12:7,8; 1 Tim. 3:2,6,7; 1 Cor. 12:8,28; Heb. 13:7,17;
1 Pet. 5:1,2,3,4:15.
That the ministers
lawfully called, as aforesaid, ought to continue in their calling
and place according to God's ordinance, and carefully to feed the
flock of God committed to them, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready
Heb. 5:4; John
10:3,4; Acts 20:28,29; Rom. 12:7,8; Heb. 13:7,17; 1 Pet. 5:1,2,3.
The ministers of
Christ ought to have whatsoever they shall need, supplied freely by
the church, that according to Christ's ordinance they that preach
the Gospel should live of the gospel by the law of Christ.
1 Cor. 9:7,14;
Gal. 6:8; Phil. 4:15,16; 2 Cor. 10:4; 1 Tim. 1:2; Ps. 110:3.
Baptism is an
ordinance of the New Testament, given by Christ, to be dispensed
upon persons professing faith, or that are made disciples; who upon
profession of faith, ought to be baptized, and after to partake of
the Lord's Supper.
John 4:1; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:37,38, 8:36,37, etc.
That the way and
manner of dispensing this ordinance, is dipping or plunging the body
under water; it being a sign, must answer the things signified,
which is, that interest the saints have in the death, burial, and
resurrection of Christ: And that as certainly as the body is buried
under water, and risen again, so certainly shall the bodies of the
saints be raised by the power of Christ, in the day of the
resurrection, to reign with Christ.
Matt. 3:16; Mark
15:9 reads (into Jordan) in Greek; John 3:23, Acts 8:38; Rev. 1:5,
7:14; Heb. 10:22; Rom. 6:3,4,5,6; 1 Cor. 15:28,29. The word
baptizo signifies to dip or plunge (yet so as convenient
garments be both upon the administrator and subject with all
designed by Christ to dispense baptism, the Scripture holds forth to
be a disciple; it being no where tied to a particular church
officer, or person extraordinarily sent the commission enjoining the
administration, being given to them as considered disciples, being
men able to preach the gospel.
Isa. 8:16; Eph.
2:7; Matt 28:19; John 4:2; Acts 20:7, 11:10; 1 Cor. 11:2, 10:16,17;
Rom. 16:2; Matt. 18:17.
likewise given power to His Church to receive in, and cast out, any
member that deserves it; and this power is given to every
congregation, and not to one particular person, either member or
officer, but in relation to the whole body, in reference to their
faith and fellowship.
Rom. 15:2; Matt.
18:17; 1 Cor. 5:4,11,14, 12:6, 2:3; 2 Cor. 2:6,7.
particular member of each church, how excellent, great, or learned
soever, is subject to this censure and judgment; and that the church
ought not without great care and tenderness, and due advice, but by
the rule of faith, to proceed against her members.
17:18; Acts 11:2,3; 1 Tim. 5:19, etc.; Col. 4:17; Acts 15:1,2,3.
Christ for the
keeping of this church in holy and orderly communion, placeth some
special men over the church; who by their office, are to govern,
oversee, visit, watch; so likewise for the better keeping thereof,
in all places by the members, He hath given authority, and laid duty
upon all to watch over one another.
Heb. 13:17,24; Matt. 24:45; 1 Thess. 5:2, 14; Jude 3,20; Heb.
10:34,35 [cf. 24,25], 12:15.
Also such to whom
God hath given gifts in the church, may and ought to prophecy [viz.,
teach] according to the proportion of faith, and to teach publicly
the word of God, for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of
1 Cor. 14:3, etc.;
Rom 12:6; 1 Pet. 4:10, 11; 1 Cor. 12:7; 1 Thess. 5:19, etc.
Thus being rightly
gathered, and continuing in the obedience of the gospel of Christ,
none are to separate for faults and corruptions (for as long as the
church consists of men subject to failings, there will be difference
in the true constituted church) until they have in due order, and
tenderness, sought redress thereof.
Rev. 2, 3; Acts
15:12; 1 Cor. 1:10; Heb. 10:25; Jude 19; Rev. 2:20,21,27; Acts
15:1,2; Rom. 14:1; 15:1,2,3.
And although the
particular congregations be distinct, and several bodies, every one
as a compact and knit city within itself; yet are they all to walk
by one rule of truth; so also they (by all means convenient) are to
have the counsel and help one of another, if necessity require it,
as members of one body, in the common faith, under Christ their
1 Cor. 4:17,
14:33,36, 16:1; Ps. 122:3; Eph. 2:12,19; Rev. 21; 1 Tim. 3:15,
6:13,14; 1 Cor. 4:17; Acts 15:2,3; Song of Sol. 8:8,9; 2 Cor. 8:1,4,
A civil magistracy
is an ordinance of God, set up by Him for the punishment of evil
doers, and for the praise of them that do well; and that in all
lawful things, commanded by them, subjection ought to be given by us
in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake; and that
we are 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.
Rom. 13:1,2, etc.;
1 Pet. 2:13,14; 1 Tim. 2:1,2,3.
magistracy of this kingdom we acknowledge to be the king and
parliament (now established) freely chosen by the kingdom, and that
we are to maintain and defend all civil laws and civil officers made
by them, which are for the good of the commonwealth. And we
acknowledge with thankfulness, that God hath made this present king
and parliament honorable in throwing down the prelatical hierarchy,
because of their tyranny and oppression over us, under which this
kingdom long groaned, for which we are ever engaged to bless God,
and honor them for the same. And concerning the worship of God;
there is but one lawgiver, which is able to save and destroy, James
4:12; which is Jesus Christ, who hath given laws and rules
sufficient in His word for His worship; and for any to make more,
were to charge Christ with want of wisdom, or faithfulness, or both,
in not making laws enough, or not good enough for His house: Surely
it is our wisdom, duty, and privilege, to observe Christ's laws
only, Ps 2:6,9,10,12. So it is the magistrates duty to tender the
liberty of mens' consciences, Eccles. 8:8 (which is the tenderest
thing unto all conscientious men, and most dear unto them, and
without which all other liberties will not be worth the naming, much
less enjoying) and to protect all under them from all wrong, injury,
oppression and molestation; so it is our duty not to be wanting in
nothing which is for their honor and comfort, and whatsoever is for
the wellbeing of the commonwealth wherein we live; it is our duty to
do, and we believe it to be our express duty, especially in matters
of religion, to be fully persuaded in our minds of the lawfulness of
what we do, as knowing whatsoever is not of faith is sin. And as we
cannot do anything contrary to our understandings and consciences,
so neither can we forebear the doing of that which our
understandings and consciences bind us to do. And if the magistrate
should require us to do otherwise, we are to yield our persons in a
passive way to their power, as the saints of old have done, James
5:4. And thrice happy shall he be, that shall lose his life for
witnessing (though but for the least tittle) of the truth of the
Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 5; Gal. 5.
But in case we
find not the magistrate [or governing authority] to favor us herein;
yet we dare not suspend our practice, because we believe we ought to
go in obedience to Christ, in professing the faith which was once
delivered to the saints, which faith is declared in the holy
Scriptures, and this our confession of faith a part of them, and
that we are to witness to the truth of the Old and New Testaments
unto the death, if necessity require, in the midst of all trials and
afflictions, as His saints of old have done; not accounting our
goods, lands, wives, children, fathers, mothers, brethren, sisters;
yea and our own lives dear unto us, so we may finish our course with
joy; remembering always, that we ought to obey God rather than men,
who will when we have finished our course, and kept the faith, give
us the crown of righteousness; to whom we must give an account of
all our actions, and no man being able to discharge us of the same.
4:19, 5:28,29, 20:23; 1 Thess. 3:3; Phil. 1:28,29; Dan. 3:16,17,
6:7,10,22,23; 1 Tim. 6:13,14; Rom. 12:1,8; 1 Cor. 14:37; Rev. 2:20;
2 Tim. 4:6,7,8; Rom. 14:10, 12; 2 Cor. 5:10; Ps. 49:7,50:22.
It is lawful for a
Christian to be a magistrate or civil officer; and also it is lawful
to take an oath, so it be in truth, and in judgment, and in
righteousness, for confirmation of truth, and ending of all strife;
and that by wrath and vain oaths the Lord is provoked and this land
10:1,2,35; Rom. 16:23; Deut. 6:13; Rom. 1:9; 2 Cor. 10,11; Jer. 4:2;
We are to give
unto all men whatsoever is their due, as their place, age, estate,
requires; and that we defraud no man of anything, but to do unto all
men, as we would they should do unto us.
1 Thess. 4:6; Rom.
13:5,6,7; Matt. 22:21; Titus 3; 1 Pet. 2:15,17, 5:5; Eph. 5:21,23,
etc. , 6:1,9; Titus 3:1,2,3.
There shall be a
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, and everyone
shall give an account of himself to God, that every one may receive
the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether
it be good or bad. Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12. [Matt. 25;
Thus we desire to
give unto Christ that which is His; and unto all lawful authority
that which is their due; and to owe nothing to any man but love; to
live quietly and peaceably, as it becometh saints, endeavoring in
all things to keep a good conscience, and to do unto every man (of
what judgment soever) as we would they should do unto us, that as
our practice is, so it may prove us to be a conscionable [viz.,
reasonable], quiet, and harmless people (no ways dangerous or
troublesome to human society) and to labor and work with our hands
that we may not be chargeable to any, but to give to him that
needeth, both friends and enemies, accounting it more excellent to
give than to receive. Also we confess, that we know but in part, and
that we are ignorant of many things which we desire and seek to
know; and if any shall do us that friendly part to show us from the
word of God that which we see not, we shall have cause to be
thankful to God and them; but if any man shall impose upon us
anything that we see not to be commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ,
we should in His strength rather embrace all reproaches and tortures
of men, to be stripped of all outward comforts, and if it were
possible, to die a thousand deaths, rather than to do anything
against the least tittle of the truth of God or against the light of
our own consciences. And if any shall call what we have said heresy,
then do we with the Apostle acknowledge, that after the way they
call heresy, worship we the God of our fathers, disclaiming all
heresies (rightly so called) because they are against Christ, and to
be steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in obedience to Christ,
as knowing our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord.
Arise, O God,
plead thine own cause; remember how the foolish man blasphemeth Thee
daily. O let not the oppressed return ashamed, but let the poor and
needy praise Thy name.
Come, Lord Jesus,