These historical documents are provided for learning about the subject of credo- immersion ‘Baptism’ and are not intended to entirely represent Renewed Covenant Ministry’s entire practice of faith, for a complete answer please see documents:
For the whole of the document referred to as the
, please see the link below which will take you to another website entirely unrelated to renewedcovenantministy.com
1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (reformedreader.org)
As all the Reformed know, one of the most celebrated documents to proceed from the Reformation was
The Westminster Confession.
This document served as the unifying platform for the Churches that sprang from the United Kingdom shortly after the ‘Reformation of Religion’ and weakening of the Papacy.
It is from this document that nearly all that bear the title Reformed go for a basis of the most unifying foundational principles of biblical religion as it concerns the knowledge of GOD and His Word, the Holy Scriptures.
(The below link will take you to another website entirely unrelated to renewedcovenantministy.com )
The Westminster Confession – The Westminster Standard (thewestminsterstandard.org)
A TRVE CONFESSION
A TRUE CONFESSION, 1596
[xi] A1 TRVE CONFESSION OF THE FAITH, AND HVMBLE ACKNOVVLEDGMENT OE THE ALEGEANCE, vvhich vve hir Majesties Subjects, falsely called Brovvnists, doo hould tovvards God, and yeild to hir Majestie and all other that are ouer vs in the Lord. Set dovvn in Articles or Positions, for the better & more easie vnderstanding of those that shall read yt: And published for the cleering of our selues from those vnchristian slanders of heresie, schisme, pryde, obstinacie, disloyaltie, sedicion, &c. vvhich by our adversaries are in all places given out against vs.
Wee beleeue with our hearts & confes with our mouths.
That there is buta one God, one Christ, one Spirit, one Church, one truth, one Faith,b one Rule of obedience to all Christians, in all places.
aDeut. 6, 4. Has. 13, 4. Mark. 12, 29, 32. Eph. 4, 4. 5.6. I Cor. 12, 13. bRom. 16, 26. I Cor. 4, 17. & 16. I, Gal. 1,8. 9.
2 That God is a Spirit, whosed beeing is of himself, and giveth beeing, movitig, and preservation to all other things beeing himself eternall, most holy, every way infinit, in greatnes, vvisdome, povvre, goodnes, justice, truth, &c. And that in this Godhead there bee threeg distinct persons hcoeternall, coequall, & kco-essentiall, beeing every one of the & the same God, & therfore not divided but distinguished one from another by their severall & peculiar propertie: The 1Father of none, the Sonnem begotten of the Father from everlasting, the holy nGost proceding from the Father and the Sonne before all beginnings.
cJohn. 4, 24. dExod. 3, 14. Esa. 43, 10, II. eRom. II, 36. Act 17, 28. Gen. i. t I tim. I, 17. Reu. 4, 18. Esa. 6, 3. and 66. I. 2. Psal. 145, 3. 8. 9. 17. & 147. 5. Rom. 1, 20. g 1. Joh. 5, 7. Mat. 28, 19. Hag. 2,5. 6 Heb. 9, 14. hPro. 8, 22. Joh. 1. 1. Heb. 9, 14. iPhil. 2, 6. Joh. 5, 18. Eph. 4, 4. 5. 6. kJoh. 10, 30. 38. I Corint. 2, 11. 12. Heb. I, 3. l Joh. 5, 26. I Cor. 8, 6. mJoh. 1, 14. 18. & 3. 16. Mica. 5, 2. Psal. 2, 7. n Joh. 14, 26. & i. 16. Gal. 4, 16.
3 That Godo bath decreed in himself from everlasting touching all things, and the very least circumstances of every thing, effectually to vvork and dispose them according to the counsell of his ovvn vvill, to the prayse and glorie of his great name. And touching his cheefest Creatures that God hath inp Christq before the foundation of the world,r according to the good pleasure of his vvill,s ordeyned som men and Angells, to eternall lyfe to beet accomplished through Iesus Christ, to the vprayse of the glorie of his grace. And on thother hand hath likevvise w before of old accoraingx to his just purposey ordeined other both Angels and men, toe ternall condemna-[xii]tion, to beez accomplished through their own corruption to the& prayse of his iustice.
oEsa. 46, 10. Ro. 11, 34. 35. 36. Act. 15, 18. & 2, 22. Gen. 45, 5. 6. 7. 8. Mat. 10, 29, 30. and 20. 15. Eph. 1, 11. pEph. 1, 3. 4. 11. q ibid & mat. 25, 34. r Eph. 1, 5. Rom. 9, 11, 12, 13. Mal. 1, 2. 2, Tim. 1, 9. sAct. 13, 48. Eph. 1, 4. 5. 1.Tim. 5. 21. Mat. 25, 31. 34. t Ephes. 1, 5.7. 10. Col. 1, 14. 17. 18. 19. & 2. 10. Rom. 8. 19. 30. Rev. 19. 10. v eph. 1, 6 to 9, 11. w Jud. ver. 4. x Rom. 9, 11. 12. 15. 17. 18. with Mal. 1, 3. Exod. 9. 16. y Jud. ver. 4, & 6. ro 9, 22. Mat, 25, 41. z 2. Pet. 2, 12. 2. Cor. 4, 3. 4. 1 pet. 2, 8. joh. 3. 19. & Pro. 16, 4. rom. 2, 5. and 9. 22.
4 That in the ebeginning God made all things of nothing very good: and dcreated man after his own image and lykene, in righteousnes and holines of truth. Thate streight ways after by the subtiltie of the Serpent which Sathan vsed as his instrument’ himself with his Angells having sinned before and not kept their first estate, but justify their own habitation; first gEva, then Adam by hir meanes, did wittingly & willingly fall into disobedience & transgression of the commadement of God. For the which deathh reigned over all: yea eveni ouer infants also, which have not sinned, after the lyke maner of the transgression of Adam, that is, actually: Yet arek all since the fall of Adam begotten in his own likenes after his image, beeing conceyued and borne in iniquitie, and soo by nature the children of wrath and servants of sinne, and subject to death, and all other calamities due vnto sinne in this world and for euer.
cGen. r. Col. 1, 16. Esa. 45, 12. Heb. 11, 3. Revel. 4, 11. dGen. 1, 26. 27. Eph. 4, 24. Eccles. 7, 31. eGen. 3,1. 4. 5. 2. Cor. 11, 3. Joh. 8, 44. f2. Pet. 2, 4. Joh 8, 44. Jud. 6. gGenes. 3, 1. 2. 3. 6 1. Tim. 2, 14. Eccles. 7, 31. Gal. 3, 22. hRom. 5, 12. 18. 19. and 6. 23. with Gen. 2, 17. iRom. 5. 14. and 9, 11. kGen. 5, 3. Psal. 51, 5. Eph. 2, 3.
5 That all mankinde beeing thus fallen and become altogether dead in sinne, & subiect to the eternall vvrath of God both by originall and actuall corruption: The 1elect are redeemed, quickned, raysed vp and saued againe, not of themselues, neither by vvorks, lest anie man should bost himself; but vvholly and only by God of his free grace and mercy through faith in Christ Iesus,m vvho of God is made vnto vs vvisdome, & righteousnes, & sanctification, & redemption, that according as it is vvritten, Hee that reioyceth let him reioyce in the Lord.
1Gen. 3, 15. Eph. 2, 4. 5. Gen. 15. 6. with Rom. 4, 2. 3. 4. 5. and 3. 24. 25. 26. Joh. 3, 16. m 1. Cor. 1, 30. 31. Phil. 3, 8. 9. 10. 11. Jir. 23. 5. 6. and 9. 23. 24.
6 That this therfore only is lyfen eternall to knovv the only true God, & vvhom hee hath sent into the vvorld Iesus Crist. And that on the contrarie the Lord vvill reder vengeance in flaming fire vnto them that knovv not God, & vvhich obey not the Gospell of our Lord Iesus Christ.
nJoh. 17, 3. and 3 36. Jir. 31, 33. 34. o 2. Thes. 1, 8. Eph. 1, 6. joh. 3, 36.
7 That the rule of this knovvledge faith & obedience, Concerning the pvvorship & service of God & ‘all other christia dutyes, is not the ropinions, devises, lavves, or constitutions of men, but the vvritten vvord of the everlyving God, conteyned in the canonicall bookes of the old and nevv Testament.
p Exod. 10, 4. 5. 6. Deu. 4, 2. 5. 6. Gen. 6, 22. Exod. 39, 42. 43. 1. Chron. 28. 19. q Psal. 119. 105. r Esa. 29, 13. Mat. 15, 9. Joh. 5, 39. 2. Pet. 16, 19. 2. tim. 3, 16. 17.
8 That in this vvords Iesus Christ hath reveled vvatsoever his father thought needfull for vs to knovv, beleeue & obey as touching hist person & Offices, inv vvhom all the promises of God are yea, & in vvhom they are Amen to the prayse of God through vs.
s Deut. 18, 18. Joh. 1, 18. & 15, 15. & 4. 25. Act. 3. 22. t the whol Epistle to the Hebr. throughout, & 2. Cor. 1, 28.
[xiii] 9 That touching his person, the Lord Iesus, of vvhox Moses & the Prophets vvrote, & vvho the Apostles preached, is the yeverlasting Sonne of God, by eternall generation, the brightnes of his Fathers glorie, & the engrauen forme of his Person; coessentiall, coequall, & coeternall, god vvith him & vvith the holy Gost, by vvho hee hath made the vvorlds, by vvhom hee vphouldeth and governeth all the works hee hath made; vvho also vvhen thez fulnes of tyme vvas come, vvas made man of a vvoman, of athe Tribe of Zudah, of the bseed of Dauid & Abraham, to vvyt of Mary that blessed Virgin, by the holy Ghost comming vpon hir, & the povvre of the most high ouershadovving hir; & vvas alsoc in all things lyke vnto vs, sinne only excepted.
x Luk. 24, 44. Joh. 5, 46. Act. 10, 41. 43. y Pro. 8, 22, mica. 5, 2. Joh. 1, 1. 2. 3. Heb. 1. Collos. 1, 15. 16. 17. z Gal. 4, 4. Gen. 3, 15. a Heb. 7. 14. Revel. 5, 5. b Rom. 1, 3. Gen. 22, 18. Mat. 1. 1. etc. Luk. 3, 23 etc. Esa. 7, 14. Luk. 1. 26. 27. etc. Hebr. 2, 16. c Heb. 4. 15. Esa. 53, 3. 4. 9. Phil. 2, 7. 8.
10 That touching his Office, heed only is made the Mediator of the nevv Testament, even of the euerlasting Couenant of grace betvveen God & man, to bee perfectly & fully the eProphet, Priest & King of the Church of God for euermore.
d 1. Tim. 2, 5. Heb 9. 15. & 13. 20. Dan. 9 24. 25. e Deut. 18, 15. 18. Psal. 110. 4. Psal. 45, Esa. 9, 6. 7. Act. 5. 31. Esa. 55. 4. Heb. 7, 24. Luk. 1, 32, 33.
11 That heef vvas from euerlasting, by the lust & sufficient authoritie of the father, & in respect of his manhood from the womb, called & seperated heervrto, & anoynted also most fully & aboundantly vvith all necessarie gifts, as isg vvritten; God hath not measured out the Spirit vnto him.
f Pro. 8, 23. Esa. 42, 6. & 49. 1. 5. and 11, 2. 3. 4. 5. Act. 10. 38. g Joh. 3. 34.
12 That thish Office, to bee Mediator, that is, Prophet, Priest and King of the Church of God, is so proper to him, as neither in the whol, nor in anie part therof, it can be trasferred from him to anie other.
h 1. Tim. 2, 5. Heb. 7. 24. Dan. 7. 14. Act. 4, 12. Esa. 43, 11. Luk. 1, 33.
13 That touching hist Prophecie, Christ hath perfectly revealed out of the bozome of his father, the vvholl vvord & vvill of God, that is needfull for his seruants, either ioyntly or seuerally to knovv, beleeue & obey: That hee hath spoken & doth speake to his Church in his ovvnk ordinance, by his ovvn ministers and instruments only, and not by anie false1 ministrie at anie tyme.
i Deu. 18, 15. Act. 3, 22. 23. 24. Mat. 3, 17. Joh. 1. 18. & 17. 8. Eph. 1. 8. 9. 2. Tim. 3. 15. 16, 17. k Pro. 9, 3. Joh. 13; 20. Luk. 10. 16. Mat. 10. 40. 41. Deu. 33, 8. 10. 1 Mat. 7, 15. 16. & 24. 23. 24. 2. Pet. 2. 2. Tim. 4. 3. 4. Rom. 10, 14. 15. ier. 23, 21. 2. ioh. 10.
14 That toching hism Priesthood, beein consecrated, hee hath appeered once to put avvay sinne, by offring & sacrificing of himsell; and to this end hath fully performed aud suffred all those things, by which God through the blood of that his crosse, in an acceptable sacrifice, might bee reconciled to his elect; & havingn broke dovvn the partition vvall, & thervvith finished & remoued al those legal rites, shadovves, & ceremonies, is nowo entred vvithin the vayle into the holy of Holies to the very heauen, and prescnce of God, vvhere hee for euer lyueth, and sitteth at the right hand of Maiestie* appering before the face of his Father, to make intercession for [xiv] such as come vnto the Throne of grace by that nevv & living vvay; And not that only, but maketh his people ap spiritual1 hovvse, an holy Priesthood, to offer up spiritual1 sacrifices, acceptable to God through him. Neither doth the Father accept, or Christ offer anie other sacrifice, vvorship, or vvorshippers.
m Joh. 17, 19. Heb. 5, 7. 8. 9. & 91 [9. 26] i. Esa. 53, Ro. 5, 19. 1. Pet. 1, 2. Collos. 2, 20. Eph. 5, 2. n Eph. 2, 1. 4. 15. 16. Heb. 9, & 10. o Heb. 4, 24. 16. & g. 24. and 10. 19. 20. * Rom. 3, 34. p 1. Pet. 2, 5. Rev. 1, 5. 6. and 8. 3. 4. Rom. 12, 1. Mar. 9, 49. 50. Mal. 1, 14. Joh. 4 23. 24. Mat. 7, 6. 7. 8. Esa. 1, 12. etc.
15 That touchingq Kingdom, beeing risen, ascended, entred into glory, set at the right hand of God, al povvre in Heaven and earth giue vnto him; vvhich povvre heer novv exerciseth ouer all Angells and men, good and dad [bad], to the preservation and saluation of the elect, to the overruling and destruction of the reprobate;5 communicating and applying the benefits, virtue and frutes of his prophecy and Priesthood vnto his elect, namely to the remission, subduing, and takeing avvay of their sinnes, to their justification, adoption-of-sonnes, regeneration, sanctification, preservation & stregthning in all their spirituall conflicts against Sathan, the vvorld & the flesh &c. continually dvvelling in, governing & keeping their hearts in his tue [true] faith and fear by his holy spirit, vvhich havingt once give yt, hee never taketh avvay from them, but by yt still begetteth and nourisheth in them repentance, faith, loue, obedience, comfort, peace, ioy, hope, and all christian vertues, vnto immortallitie, notvvithstanding that yt be sometymes through sinne and tentation, interrupted, smothered, and as yt vvere overvvhelmed for the tyme. Againe on the contraryv ruling in the vvorld over his enimies, Sathan, and all the vessels of vvrath; limiting, vsing, restrayning them by his mightie povvre, as seemeth good in diuiue vvisdome and justice, to the execution of his determinate counsell, to vvit to their seduction, hardning & condemnation, delyvering them vp to a reprobate mynde, to bee kept in darcknes, sinne and sensuallitie vnto judgment.
q r. Cor. 15, 4. etc. 1. Pet. 3, 21. 22. Mat. 28, 18, 20. r Josh. 5, 14. Zech. 1, 8. etc. Mark 1, 27. Heb. 1. 14. a Eph. 5, 26, 27. Ro. 5, and 6. and 7. and 8. Chap. Rom. 14, 17. Gal. 5, 22. 23. 1. Joh. 4, 13. etc. t Psal. 51, 10. 11. 12. and 89. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. Job. 33, 29. 30. Esa. 54, 8. 9. 10. Joh. 13, 1. and 16. 31. 32, with Luc. 22, 31. 32. 40. 2. Cor. 22, 7. 8. 9. Eph. 6, 10. 11. etc. Rom. 11, 29. Gal. 5, 17. 22. 23. v Job. 1, 6. and 2. Chap. 1. King. 22. 19. Esa. 10, 5. 15. Rom. 9, 17. 18. Rom. 1, 21. and 2. 4. 5. 6. Eph. 4, 17. 18. 19. 2. Pet. 3, 3. 1.. Thess. 5, 3. 7. Esa. 57, 20. 22. 2. Pet. 2, the whol Chapter.
16 That this Kingdom shall bee then fully perfected vvhen hee shal thex second tyme come in glorie vvith his mightie Angells vnto iudgment, to abolish all rule, authoritie and povvre, to put all his enimies vnder his feet, to seperate and free all his chosen from them for ever, to punish the vvicked vvith everlasting perdition from his presence, to gather, ioyne, and carry the godly with himself into endlesse glory, and then to delyver, up the Kingdome to God, even the Father, that so the glorie of the father may bee full and perfect in the Sonne, the glorie of the Sonne in all his members, and God bee all in all.
x Dan. 12, 2. 3. Joh 5, 22. 28. 29. Mat. 25, 31. 1. Cor. 15. 24. Mat. 13, 41. 49. 2. Thes. 1, 9. 10. 1. Thes. 4, 17. Joh. 17, 22. 23. 1. Cor. 15, 28.
[xv] 17 That in the meane tyme, bisides his absolute rule in the world, Christ hath here in earth ay spirituall Kingdome and ?canonicall regiment in his Church ouer his servants, which Church hee hathz purchased and redeemed to himself, as a peculiar inheritance (notwithstandinga manie hypocrites do for the tyme lurk emongest the) bcalling and winning them by the powre of his word vnto the faith, seperating them from emongst vnbeleevers, from idolitrie, false worship, superstition, vanitie, dissolute lyfe, & works of darknes, &c; making them a royall Priesthood, an holy Nation, a people set at libertie to shew foorth the virtues of him that hath called them out of darknes into his meruelous light, dgathering and vniting them together as members of one body in his faith, loue and holy order, vnto all generall and mutuall dutyes, einstructing & governing them by such officers and lawes as hee hath prescribed in his word; by which Officers and lawes hee governeth his Church, and byf none other.
y Joh. 18. 36. Heb 3, 6. and 10. 21. 1. Tim. 3, 15. Zach. 4, 17. z Act. 20, 28. Tit. 2, 14. a Mat. 13, 47. and 22. 12. Luk. 13, 25. b Mar. 16, 15. 16. Col. 1, 21, 1. Cor. 6 11. Tit. 3, 3. 4. 5. c Esa. 52. 11, Elr. 6, 21. Act. 2, 40. 2. Cor. 6, 14. Act. 17, 3. 4. and 19. 9. 1.Pet. 2, 4. 5. 9. 25. d Esa. 60, 4. 8. PsaI. 110, 3. Act. 2 41. Eph. 4, 16. Col. 2, 5. 6. e Esa. 62, 6. Jer. 3, 15, Ezek. 34. Zech. 11, 8. Heb. 12, 28. 29. Mat. 28, 20. f Mat. 7, 15. and 24. 23. 24. 2. Tim. 4, 3. 4. Jer. 7, 30. 31. and 23. 21. Deu. 12, 32. Reu. 2, 2. & 22. 18. 19
18 That to thisi Church hee hath made the promises, and giuen the seales of his Covenant, presence, loue, blessing and protection:h Heere are the holy Oracles as in the side of the Arke, suerly kept & puerly taught. Heere arel all the fountaynes and springs of his grace continually replenished and flowing forth. Heere isk hee lyfted up to all Nations, hither heel inuiteth all men to his supper, his manage feast; hither oughtm all men of all estates and degrees that acknowledg him their Prophet, Priest and King to repayre, to been enrolled emongst his houshold seruants, to bee vnder his heauenly conduct and government, to leade their lyues in his walled sheepfold, & watered orchard, to haue communion heere with the Saincts, that they may bee made meet to bee partakers of their inheritace in the kingdome of God.
g Lev. 26, 11. 12. Mat. 28, 19. 20. Rom. 9, 4. Ezek. 48. 35, 2. Cor. 6. 18 h Esa. 8, 16. 1. tim. 3, 15. and 4. 16. & 6. 3. 5. 2. Tim. 1, 15. tit. 1, 9. Deu. 31. 26. 1 Psal. 46, 4. 5. Ezek. 47, 1. etc. Joh. 38, 39. k Isa. 11. 12. Joh. 3, 14. Isa. 49, 22. 1 Esa. 55. 1. Mat. 6, 33. & 22. 2. Pro. 9, 4. 5. Joh. 7, 37. m Deu. 12, 5. 11. Esa. 2, 2. 3. Zach. 14, 16. 17. 18. 19. n Esa. 44. 5. Psal. 87, 5. 6. Can. 4. 12. Gal. 6, 10. Col. 1, 12. 13. Eph. 2, 19.
19 That aso all his seruants and subiects are called hither, to present their bodyes and soules, and to bring the guyfts God hath given them; so beeing come, they are heer by himself bestowed in their severall order, peculiar place, due vse, beeing fitly compact and knit together by euery ioynt of help, according to the effectuall work in the measure of euery parte, vnto the edification of yt self in loue; whervnto whe heep ascended vp on high hee gaue guifts vnto men, [xvi] that hee might fill all these things, and bath distributed these guifts, vnto seuerall functions in his Church, hauing instituted and ratified toq contynue vnto the worlds end, only this publick ordinarie Ministerie of Pastors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons, Helpers to the instruction, government, and seruice of his Church.
o See the 18. Article before, and Exod. 25. 2. and 35. 5. 1 Cor. 12, 4. 5. 6. 7. 12. 18. Rom. 12. 4. 5. 6. 1. Pet. 4. 10. Eph. 4, 16. Colos. 2, 5. p Eph. 4, 8. 10. 11. 12. 13. Rom. 12, 7. 8. & 16. 1. 1. Cor. 12. 4. 5. 6. 7, 8. 11. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 28. 1. Tim. 3, & 5. 3. 9. 17. 21. Act. 6, 2. 3. & 14. 23. and 20. 27. 28. Phil. 1, 1. q Rev. 22, 18. 19. Mat. 28, 20. 1. Tim. 6, 13, 14.
20 That this ministerie is exactlyr described, distinguished, limited, concerning their office, their calling to their office, ther administration of their office, and their maintenance in their office, by most perfect and playne alawes in Gods word, which lawes it is not lawfull for these Ministers, or for the wholl Church wittinly to neglect, transgresse, or violate in anie parte; nor yet to receiue anie other lawes brought into the Church by anie person whatsoever.
r Pro. 8, 8. 9. heb. 3. 2. 6. the first Epistle to Timothy wholly. Act. 6, 3. 5. 6. & 14. 23. & 20, 17. etc. 1. pet. 5, 2. 3. 1. Cor. 5, 4. 5. 11. 12. 13. etc. and 9. 7. 9. 24. s Heb. 2. 3. and 3. 3. and 12. 25. etc. 2. Tim 3, 14.15. Gal. 1, 8. 9. 1 tim. 6, 13. 14. Deut. 12, 32. and 4. 2. Revel. 22, 18. 19.
21 Thatt none may vsurp or execute a ministerie but such as are rightly called by the Church whereof they stand ministers; and that such so called ought to gyve all diligence tov fulfill ther ministerie, to bee found faithful! and vnblamable in all things.
t Num. 16, 5. 40. & 18. 7. 2. Chron. 26. 18. Joh. 10. 1.2 and 3. 27. Heb. 5. 4. Act. 6, 3. 5. 6. & 14. 23. Tit. 1, 5. vAct. 2. 28. 1. cor. 4, 1. 2. Col. 4, 17. 1. Tim. 1, 18. 19. & 4. 12. and 5 21 & 6. 11. 12. 13. 14. 2. Tim. 1, 13. 14. and 3. 14. and 4. 5, 1. Pet. 5, 1. 2. 3. 4.
22 That this ministerie is alyke given to euery Christian congregation, with like povvre and commission to haue and enioy the same, as God offereth fit men and meanes, the same rules given to all for the election and execution therof in all places.
Mat. 28, 20. 1. cor 14, 33. 36. 1. Cor. 12, 4. 5. 6. 7. and 4. 17. and 16. 1. eph. 4, 10. 11. 12. 13. 1. cor. 3, 21. 22. 23. Mat. 18. 17. see Article 20.
23 That as every christian Congregationx hath povvre and commandement to elect and ordeine their ovvn ministerie according to the rules prescribed, andy whilest they shal faithfully execute their office, to haue them in superaboundant loue for their vvorke sake, to provide for them, to honour them and reuerence them, according to the dignitie of the office they execute. So have they alsoz povvre and cornmandement when anie such defalt, either in their lyfe, Doctrine, or administration breaketh out, as by the rule of the word debarreth them from, or depriv?h them of their ministerie, by due order to depose them from the ministerie they exercised; yea if the case so require, and they remayne obstinate and impenitent, orderly to cut them off by excommunication.
x Act. 6, 3. 5. 6. & 14. 23. 2. Cor. 8. 19. Act. 15. 2, 3. 22. 25. 1. Tim. 3, 10. and 4. 14, & 5. 22. Num. 8, 9. 10. y 1. Thes. 5, 12. 13. 1. Tim. 5, 3. 17. Heb. 13, 17. 1. cor. 9. Gal. 6. 6. z 1. Tim. 3, 10. and 5. 22. Rom. 16, 17. Phyl. 3, 2. 18. 19. 1. Tim. 6, 3. 5. Ezek. 44, 11. 13. Mat. 18, 17.
24 Thata Christ hath given this povvre to receiue in or to cut off anie member, to the vvholl body together of euery Christian Congregation, and not to anie one member aparte, or to moe members sequestred from the vvholl, or to anie other Congregation to doo it for the: yet thatb ech Congregation ought to vse the best help they can heer vnto, and the most meet member they haue to pronounce the same in their publick assembly.
aPsal. 122. 3. Act. 1, 47. Rom. 16, 2. Lev. 20, 4. 5. & 24. 14. Num. 5, 3. Deu. 13, 9. Mat. 18, 17. 1. Cor. 5, 4. 2. cor. 2, 6, 7. 8. b 1. Cor. 3, 21. 22. 23. Act. 15. 1. cor. 3, 4. 5. & 12. 20.
[xvii] 25 That euery member of ech Christian Congregation, hovv excellent, great, or learned soeuer, ought to be subiect to this censure & iudgment of Christ; Yet ought not the Church vvithout great care & due advise to procede against such publick persons.2
Lev. 4. Psal. 141, 5. and 2, 10. 11. 12. & 149. 8. 9. 1. Chro 26, 20. Act. 11, 2. 4. 1: Tim. 5, 19. 20. 21.
26 That for the okeeping of this Church in holy & orderly communion, as Christ hath placed some speciall men over the Church, who by their office are to governe, ouersec, visite, watch, &c. Sod lykevvise for the better keeping therof in all places, by all the members, hee hath giuen authoritie & layd duty vpon tho all to watch one ouer another.
cCant. 3, 3. Esa. 62, 6. Eze. 33. 2. Mat. 14, 45. Luk. 12, 42. Act. 20, 28. Heb. 13, 17. bMar. 13, 34, 37. Luk. 17, 3. 1. Thes. 5, 14. Gal. 6, 1. Jude. 3, 20. Hebr. 10, 24, 25. & 12. 15.
27 That vvhilest the Ministers and people thus remayne together in this holy order and christian communion, ech one endevoring to do the will of God in their calling, & thus to vvalke in the obedience of faith Christ hath promised to bee present with them, to blesse & defend them against all adverserie povvre, & that the gates of Hell shall not prevayle against them.
Deu. 28, 1. etc. Mat. 28, 20. Luk. 12, 35. 36. 37. 38. Mat. 16. 18. Zach. 2, 5. & 12, 2. 3. 4. Psal. 125, 2. & 132. 12. 13. etc.
28 But when & vvhere this holy order & diligent vvatch was intermitted, neglected, violated. Antichrist that man of sinne corrupted & altered the holy ordinances, offices, & administratios of the church brought in & erected a strange new forged ministerie, leitourgie and government & the Nations Xingdoms & inhabitants of the earth, were made drunken vvith this cup of fornications & abhominations, & all people enforced to receiue the Beasts marke and worship his image & so brought into confusion & babilonish bondage.
Rev. 9. & 13. & 17. & 18. 1. Thes. 2, 3. 4. 9. 10. 11. 12. psal. 74. Esa. 14. 13. 14. Dan. 7, 25 and 8. 10. 11. 12. & 11. 31. 1. Tim. 4, 1. 2. 1. joh. 2, 18. 22. & 4. 3.
29 That the present ministerie reteyned & vsed in Englad of Arch. bbb. Lobb.3 Deanes, Prebendaries, Canons, Peti-Canons, Arch-Deacons, Chancellors, Commissaries, Priests, Deacons, Parsons, Viccars Curats, Hireling rouing Preachers, Church-wardens, Parish-clerkes their Doctors, Proctors, & ivholl rable of those Courts with all from & vnder them set ouer these Cathedrall & Parishionall Assemblies in this confusion, are a strange & Anti-christian ministerie & offices; & are not that ministerie aboue named instituted in Christs Testament, or allovved in or ouer his Church.
Revel. 9, 3. etc. & 13. 15. 16. 17. & 18. 15. 17. compared with Rom. 12, 7. 8. Eph. 4, 11. 12. 1. Tim. 3. 15. & 5. 17. Compare this Art. with the 1. 7. 12. 13. 14. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 28. Articles aforesaid.
30 That their eOffices, Entrance, Administration and maintenance, with their fnames, titles, prvileges, & prerogatiues the povvre & rule they vsurp ouer and in these Ecclesiastical! assemblies ouer the wholl ministerie, wholl ministration and affaires therof, yea one ouer another by their making Priests, citing, suspending, silencing, deposing, absoluing, excommunicating, &c. Their confounding of Ecclesiasticall and Civile iurisdiction, causes & proceedings in ther persons, courts, [xviii] c?issions, Visitations, the rest of lesse rule, taking their ministerie from and exercising it vnder them by their gprescription and limitation, swearing Canonicall obedience vnto them, administring by their devised imposed, stinted popish Leiturgie, &c. are sufficient proofs of the former assertion, the perticulars therm beeing duly examined by and compared to the Rules of Christs Testament, or allovved in or ouer his Church.
e Ccompare with Articles 1, 7. 12. 13. 14. 19. etc. Rev. 9. 3, etc. & 18. 15. 17. Joh. 10, 1. Dan. 7, 8. 25. and 8. 10. 11. 12. 2 Tbes. 2. 3. 4. 8. 9. rev. 17, 4. 5. 16. f Luk. 22, 25. 26. Rev. 14. 11. & 17. 3. 4. 5. & 13. 15. 16. 17 1. Pet. 5, 3. with Joh. 3, 29. & with Rev. 2. 1. 1. King. 12. 27. zac. 11. 15. 16. g Rev. 13, 15. 16. 17. Esa. 29. 13. Mat. 7, 7. 8. Ga. 1, 10. etc. & 2, 4. 5. Col. 2, 20. 22. 23. Ezek. 8, 5. & 13. 9. 10. 11. 18. 19. Mica 2, 11. mal. 1, 8. 13. 14.
31 That these Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, remayning in confusion and bondage vnder this Antichristian Ministerie, Courts, Canons, worship, Ordinances. &c. without freedom or povvre to redresse anie enormitie, have not in this confusion and subiection, Christ their Prophet, Priest, and King, neither can bee in this estate, (whilest wee iudge them by the rules of Gods word) esteemed the true, orderly gathered, or costituted churches of Christ, wherof the faithfull ought to beecome or stand Members, or to haueh anie Spirituall communion vvith them in their publick vvorship and Administration.
Rev. 18, 2. 1. Cor. 14, 33. Jir. 15, 19. Mal. 1, 4. 6. 8. Hos. 4, 14. etc. Rom. 6, 16. 2. Pet 2, 19. compare with. Art. I. 7. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 17. 18. 19. 20. 24. 28. 29. 30. aforesaid. h Levit. 17, Hos. 4, 15, 1. Cor. 10. 18. 19. 20. 2. Cor. 6, 14. 15, 16. Rev, 18, 4. Cant. 1, 6. 7.
32 Thati by Gods Commandement all that will bee saued, must vvith speed come forth of this Antichristian estate,k leaving the suppression of it vnto the Magistrate to vvhom it belongeth.4 And that both all such as haue receyued or exercised anie of these false Offices or anie pretended function or Ministerie in or to this false and Antichristiafl constitution, are vvillingly in Gods feare, to giue ouer and leaue those vnlavvfull Offices, and no longer to minister in this maner to these Assemblies in this estate And that1 none also, of what sort or condition soever, doo giue anie part of their Goods, Lands, Money, or money vvorth to the maintenance of this false Ministerie and vvorship vpon anie Commandemeflt, or vnder anie colour vvhatsoeuer.
i Reu. 18, 4. Esa. 48, 20. and 52. 11. Jir. 50, 8. & 51. 6. 45. Zech. 2, 6. k 2. Chro. 15, and 27. 6. 2. King. 23, 5. etc. Rom. 13, 4. Mat. 22, 22. rev. 17, 16. 1 Zech. 13, 2. 4. 5. 6. Jir. 51, 26. Psal. 129, 59. 60. 128. Prov. 5, 20. Esa. 8, 11. 12. and 35. 8. Zach. 14, 21. Prov. 3, 9. 10. compared with Exod. 20. 4, 5. Judg. 17. 3. 4. 5. Ezek. 16. 17. 18. 19. 1. Cor. 10. 19. 20. 21. 22. compared with Heb. 13, 10. & with 2. Cor. 8. 3. 4. 5. 1. Tim. 5, 17.
33 That beeing come forth of this antichristian estate vnto the freedom and true profession of Christ, besides them instructing and [xix] vvell guyding of their ovvn Families, they areu vvillingly to ioyne together in christian communion and orderly couenant, and by confession of Faith and obedience of Christ, too vnite themselues into peculiar Congregatios; vvherin, as members of one body vvherof Christ is the only head, they are to vvorship and serue God according to his vvord, remembringp to keep holy the Lords day.
m Gen. 18. 19. Exod. 13, 8. 14. Pro. 31, 26. 27. Eph. 6, 4. Deut. 6, 7. Psal. 78, 3. 4 n Luk. 17, 37. Psal. 110, 3. Mat. 6, Esa. 44. 5. Act. 2, 41, 42. Jir. 50, 4. 5. Neh. 9, 38. Act. 2, 41. 42. o 1. Cor. 1, 2. and 12. 14. Rev. 1, 20 and 2. 1. 8. 11. 18. & 3. 1. 7. 14. Eph. 2, 19. Col. 2, 19. p Exod. 20, 8. Rev. 1, 10. Act. 20, 7. 1. Cor. 16, 2.
34 That such asq God hath giuen guiftes to enterpret the Scriptures, tryed in the exercise of Prophecie, giving attendance to studie and learning, may and ought by the appointment of the Congregation, to teach publickly the vvord, vntill the people bee meet or, and God manifest men vvith able guifts and fitnes to such Office or Offices as Christ hath appointed to the publick ministerie of his church; but rno Sacraments to bee administred vntill the Pastora or Teachers bee chosen and ordeyned into their Office.
q 1. Cor. 14, rom. 12. 6. 1. Cor. 12, 7. 1. Pet. 4, 10. Act. 13. 15. 1. Tbes. 5, 20. r Num. 16, 10. 39. 40. Rom. 12. 7. Heb. 5, 4. Joh. 1, 23. 25.
35 Thats vvheras ther shalbee a people fit, and men furnished with meet and necessarie guifts, they doo not only still continue the exercise of Prophecie aforesayd, but doo also vpon due tryall, proceed vnto choyce and ordination of Officiers for the minsterie and servise of the Church, according to the rule of Gods vvord; And that soe theyt hold on still to vvalke forward in the wayes of Christ for their mutuall edification and comfort, as it shall please God to giue knowledge and grace thervnto. And perticularly, thatv such as bee of the seed,5 or vnder the government of anie of the Church, bee euen in their infancie receiued to Baptisme, ond made pertakers of the signe of Gods Couenant made with the faithfull and their seed throvghout all Generations. And thatx all of the Church that are of yeeres, and able to examine themselues, doo communicate also in the Lords Supper both menyand vvomen, and inz both kindes bread and vvyne in whicha Elements, as also in the vvater of baptisme, euen after their are consecrate, there is neyther transubstantiation into, nor Consubstantiation with the bodye and bloode of Jesus Christ; vvhome bthe Heauens must conteyne; vntill the tyme [xx] that al things bee restored. cBut they are in the ordinance of God signes and seales of Gods euerlasting couenant, representing and offring to all the receiuers, but exhibiting only to the true beleevers the Lord Iesus Christ and all his benefits vnto righteousnes, sanctification and eternall lyfe, through faith in his name to the glorie and prayse of God.
a Lev. 8. Act. 6, 3. 5. 6. & 14. 21.. 22. 23. Tit. 1, 5. etc. 1. Cor. 12, 7. 8. 14. 15. 1. Tim. 3. t Col. 2, 5. 6. 7. 2. Thes. 2. 15. Jud. 3, etc. Mat. 28, 20. v Act. 2, 38, 39. 1. Cor. 7, 14. Rom. 11, 16, Gen. 17, 7. 22. 27. 1. cor. 10, 2. Psal. 22, 30. Exod. 12, 48. 49. Act. 16, 15. 33. 1. Cor. 1, 16. Mar. 10, 13, 14. 15. 16. Gal. 3, 29. x Mat. 26, 26. 27. 1. Cor. 11. 28. and 10. 3. 4. 16. 17. act. 2, 42, & 20. 7. 8. y Gal. 3, 28. Act. 2. 42. with 1. 1 4. 1. Cor. 12, 33. z Mat. 26, 26. 27. 1. Cor. 10, 3. 4. 16. & 11. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. a 1. Cor, 10, 16. 17. & 11. 23. 24. 25. 26. etc. Mat. 26, 26. 27. 29. & 15. 17. Joh. 12, 8. b Act, 3, 21. & 7. 56. c Gen. 17, 11. Rom. 4, 11. Exod. 12, 13. with Heb. 13, 20. d 1. Cor. 11, 26. 27. 28. 29. & 10. 3. 4. 5. Rom. 2. 28. 29. Act, 15. 9. Rom. 5, & 6. 7. & 8. Chapt.
36 That thuse beeing righly gathered, established, and still proceeding in christian communion & obedience of the Gospell of Christ, none is to seperate for falts and corruptions which may and so long as the Church consisteth of mortal1 men, will fall out & arise emong them, even in a true constituted Church, but by duef order to seeke redresse therof.
e Lev. 4. 13. etc. 2. Chro. 15, 9. 17. and 30. 18. 19. rev. 2, and 3. 1. Cor. 1. 10. Phil. 2, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. and 3. 15. 16. heb. 10. 25. ind [Jude] 19. f 2. Cor. 13. 1. 2. rev. 2. and 3. 1. Thes. 5. 14. 2. Thes. 3, 6. 14. Mat. 18, 17. 1. Cor. 5, 4. 5. Act. 15. 1. 2.
37 Thatg such as yet see not the truth, may heare the publik doctrine and prayers of the church, and with al meeknes are to bee sought by all meanes: Yet hnone who are growne in yeeres to bee received into their communion as members, but such as doo make confession of their faith, publickly desiring to bee receiued as members, and promising to walke in the obedience of Christ. Neither aniei Infants, but such as are the seed of the faithfull by one of the parents, or vnder their education and gouernment. And further not aniek from one Congregation to bee receiued members in another, without bringing certificate of their former estate and present purpose.
g 1. cor. 14, 24. 25. Psal. 18. 49. rom. 15, 9. 10. 1. Tim. 2, 4. 2. Tim. 2, 25. h 2. Cor. 6, 14. 15. 16. Ezra. 4, 3. Exod. 12, 43. Lev. 22. 25. Exod, 34. 12. Deu. 7, Esa. 44. 5. Act. 19, 18. i Exod. 20, 5. 6. 1. Cor. 7, 14. Gen. 17, 7. 12. 27. Exod. 12, 48. 49. Act. 16. 15, 33. k Act. 9, 26. 27. Rom. 16, 1. 2. 2. Cor. 3, 23. Col. 4, 10.
38 That though Congregations bee thus distinct and severall bodyes, every one as a compact Citie in it self, yet are they all to walke by one and the same rule, & by all meanes convenient to haue the counsell and help one of another in all needfull affayres of the Church, as members of one body in the common Faith, vnder Christ their head.
Look Articles 1. 22. 23. Psal. 122 3. Cant. 8. 8. 9. 1. cor. 4, 17. and 16. 1.
39 That it is the Office and duty of Princes and Magestrates, 1who by the ordinance of God are supreme Governers vnder him over all persons and causes within their Realmes and Dominions, tom suppress and root out by their authoritie all false ministeries, voluntarie Relligions and counterfeyt worship of God, to abolish and destroy the Idoll Temples, Images, Altares, Vestments, and all other monuments of Idolatrie and superstition and to take and convert to their own civile vses not only the benefit of all such idolitrous buyldings & monuments, but also the Revenues, Demeanes, Lordships, Possessions, Gleabes and maintenance of anie false ministeries and vnlawfull Ecclesiasticall functions whatsoever within their Dominions. [xxi] And on the other hands to establish & mayntein by their lawes every part of Gods word his pure Relligion and true. ministerie to cherish and protect all such as are carefull to worship God according to his word, and to leade a godly lyfe in all peace and loyalltie; yea to enforce al their Subiects whether Ecclesiasticall or civile, to do their dutyes to God and men, protecting & mainteyning the good, punishing and restreyning the evill according as God hath commanded, vvhose Lieuetenants they are heer on earth.
1 Rom. 13, 3. 4. 1. Pet. 2. 3, 14. 2. Chro. 19, 4. etc. and. 29. and 34. Chap. Judg. 17, 5. 6. Math. 22. 21. Tit. 3,1. m 2. King. 23, 5, etc. Psal. 110. Deu 12, 2. 3. with 17. 14. 18. 19. 20. 2 King. 10. 26. 27. 28. 2. Chro. 17, 6. Pro. 16, 12. and 25. 2. 3. 4. 5. Act. 19, 27. Rev. 17. 16. n Deut. 17. 14, 18. 19. 20. Josua 1, 7. 8. 2 Chro. 17, 4. 7. 8. 9. & 19. 4. etc. & 29. & 30. Dan. 6, 25. 26. Psal. 2, 10. 11. 12. & 72. 1. etc. Esa. 49, 23. Rev, 21. 24. Ezra. 7. 26.
40 That therfore theo protection & commandement of the Princes and Magistrats maketh it much more peaceable, thoughp no whit at all more lavvfull, to vvalke in the vvayes and ordinances of Iesus Christ vvhich hee bath commanded his church to keep vvithout spot and vnrebukeable vntill his appeering in the end of the vvorld. qAnd that in this behalf the brethren thus mynded and proceeding as is beforesaid, doo both contynually supplicate to God, and as they may, to their Princes and Gouernours that thus and vnder them they may leade a quiet and peaceable lyfe in all godlynes and honestie.
a Pro. 16, 15. Ezr. 5. aud 6. Act. 9, 31. 1. Tim. 2, 2. Dan. 6, 25. 26. Rev. 21, 24. p Act. 4, 18. 19. and 5. 28. 29. Dan. 6, 7. 8. 9. 10. 22. Luk. 21, 12. 13. Mat. 28, 20. 1. tim. 5, 21. and 6. 13. 14. q Psal. 72, 1. etc. 1 tim. 2, 2. 2 chro. 15, 1. 2. Hag. 1. 4. 14. and 2. 5.
41 That if God encline the Magistrates hearts to the allovvance & protection of them therm they accompt it a happie blessing of God who granteth such nourcing Fathers and nourcing Mothers to his Church, & be carefull to walke vvorthie so great a mercy of God in all thankfulnes and obedience.
Psal. 126, 1. etc. Esa. 49, 13. and 60 16. Psal. 72, 1. etc. Rom. 13, 3. 1 Tim. 2, 2. 3. 4.
42 That if God vvithold the Magistrates allovvance and furtherace heerin, theyr yet proceed together in christian couenant & communion thus to vvalke in the obedience of Christ eve through the middest of all tryalls and afiictions, not accompting their goods, Lands VVyves, Children, Fathers, Mothers, brethren, Sisters, no nor their ovvn lyues dear vnto the, so as they may finish their course with ioy, remembring alvvayes that wee sought to obey God rather the may, & groundingt vpon the commandement, commission and promise of our Saviour Christ, vvho as hee hath all povvre in heaue & in earth, so hath also promised if they keep his commandements vvhich hee hath giue without limitatio of tyme, place, Magistrates allovvance or disallowance, to bee with them vnto tbe end of the world and
Mat. 6, 9. etc. Luk. 11, 2. etc. compared with Mat. 14, 30. and 26. 39. 42. Act. 1. 24. 25. and 4. 24. etc. Rom. 8, 26. 27. Rev. 8, 3, 4. Eph. 6. 18, 19. Phyl. 4, 6. Heb. 11, 18. 19. 20. 21. Jude vers. 24, 25.
Now vnto him that is ahle [able] to keep vs that wee fall not, & to present us faltlesse before the presence of his glorie with joy; that is to God only wise our Sauiour, bee glory, & Majestic & dominion, & powre both now & for ever. Amen.
1 The Confession is printed in Roman, with the texts on the margin of the page. The writer has put the texts after each section for convenience, following in this the Latin edition of 1598.
2 An answer to the frequent question what would they do with a sovereign worthy of excommunication.
3 Lord bishops, the favorite Separatist designation for a diocesan bishop as distinguished from a New Testament bishop.
4 See ante, p. 46
5 I. e., Children of those who are members of the local church, thus in covenant relation with God.
A Short Confession of Faith, 1610
– Composed by the ‘Helwys party’.
Article 1. We believe, through the power and instruction of the Holy Scriptures that there is one only God, who is a Spirit, eternal, incomprehensible, infinite, aImighty, merciful, righteous, perfectly wise, only good, and only fountain of life and all goodness, the Creator of heaven and earth, things visible and invisible.
2. This only God in the Holy Scriptures is manifested and revealed in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, being three, and nevertheless but one God.
3. The Father is the original and the beginning of all things who bath begotten his Son from everlasting before all creation. That Son is the everlasting Word of the Father, and his wisdom. The Holy Ghost is his virtue, power, and might, proceeding from the Father and the Son. These three are not divided, nor separated in essence, nature, property, eternity, power, glory or excellency.
4. This only God hath created man good, according to his image and likeness, to a good and happy estate, and in him all men to the same blessed end. The first man was* fallen into sin and wrath and was again by God, through a sweet comfortable promise, restored and affirmed to everlasting life, with all those that were guilty through him so that none of his posterity (by reason of this institution) are guilty, sinful, or born in original sin.
5. Man being created good, and continuing in goodness, had the ability, the spirit of wickedness tempting him, freely to obey, assent, or reject the propounded evil: man being fallen and consisting (sic) in evil, had the ability, the T—himself moving freely to obey, assent or reject the propounded good; for as he through free power to the choice of evil, obeyed and affirmed that evil; so did he through free power to the choice of good, obey and reassent that propounded good. This last power or ability remaineth in all his posterity.
6. God bath before all time foreseen and foreknown all things, both good and evil, whether past, present, or to come. Now, as he is the only perfect goodness, and the very fountain of life itself, so is he the only author, original, and maker of such good things as are good, holy, pure, and of nature like unto him; but not of sin, or damnable uncleanness. He forbiddeth the evil, he forewarneth to obey evil, and threateneth the evil doer: he is the permitter and punisher. But evil men, through free choice of all sin and wickedness, together with the spirit of wickedness which ruleth in them, are the authors, Interlined. originals, and makers of all sin, and so worthy the punishment.
7. The causes and ground, therefore, of man’s destruction and damnation, are the man’s free choice of darkness or sin, and living therein. Destruction, therefore, cometh out of himself, but not from the good Creator. For being perfect goodness and love itself (following the nature of love and perfect goodness) he willeth the health, good, and happiness of his creatures; therefore hath he predestinated that none of them should be condemned, nor ordained, or will the sinner, or means whereby they should be brought to damnation: yea, much more (seeing he hath no delight in any man’s destruction, nor willing that any man perish, but that all men should be saved or blessed) hath he created them all to a happy end in Christ, hath foreseen and ordained in him a medicine of life for all their sins, and hath willed that all people or creatures, through the preaching of the gospel, should have these tidings published and declared unto them; now all they that with penitence and faithful hearts receive and embrace the gracious benefits of God, manifested in Christ, for the reconciliation of the world, they are and continue the elect which God hath ordained before the foundation of the world, to make partakers of his kingdom and glory. But they which despise and co~itemn this proffered grace of God, which love the darkness more than the light, persevere in inipenitence and unbelief, they make themselves unworthy of blessedness, and are rejected, excluded from the end whereto they were created and ordained in Christ, and shall not taste forever of the Supper of the Lord, to which they were invited.
8. The purpose which God, before the foundation of the world, had for the reconciliation of the world (which lie saw would fall into wrath and want of grace), he bath in the fulness of time accomplished; and for this purpose hath sent out of heaven his everlasting Word, or Son, for the fulfilling of the promises made unto the fathers and bath caused him to become flesh * . . in the womb of the holy virgin (called Mary) by his word, and power, and the working of the Holy Ghost. Not that the essence of God, the eternal Word, or any part thereof, is changed into a visible mortal flesh or man, ceasing to be Spirit, God, or God’s essence; but that he, the everlasting Son of God, continuing that he was before, namely, God or Spirit, became what he was not, that is, flesh or man; and he is one person true God and man, born of Mary, being visibly and invisibly, inwardly and outwardly, the true Son of the living God.
9. This Person, God and Man, the Son of the living God, is come into the world to save sinners, or to reconcile the sinful world to God the Father: therefore now acknowledge him to be the only Mediator, King, Priest and Prophet, Lawgiver and Teacher, which God hath promised to send into the world, whom we must trust, believe, and follow.
10. In him is fulfilled, and by him is taken away, an intolerable burden of the law of Moses, even all the shadows and figures; as, namely, the priesthood, temple, altar, sacrifice; also the kingly office, kingdom, sword, revenge appointed by the law, battle and whatsoever was a figure of his person or office, so thereof a shadow or representation.
11. And as the true promised Prophet he bath manifested and revealed unto us whatsoever God asketh or requireth of the people of the New Testament; for as God, by Moses and the other prophets. hath spoken and declared his will to the people of the Old Testament; so bath he in those last days, by his Prophet spoken unto us, and revealed unto us the mystery (concealed from the beginning of the world), and hath now manifested to us whatsoever yet remained to be manifested. He bath preached the promised glad tidings, appointed and ordained the sacraments, the offices and ministries, by God thereto destinated; and bath showed by doctrine and life, the law of Christians, a rule of their life, the path and way of everlasting life.
12. Moreover, as a High Priest and Mediator of the New Testament, after that he bath accomplished the will of his Father in the foresaid works, he bath finally given himself obediently (for the reconciliation of the sins of the world) to all outward suffering, and hath offered up himself in death upon the cross unto the Father, for a sweet savor and common oblation.
13. We acknowledge that the obedience of the Son of God, his suffering, dying, bloodshed, bitter passion, death, and only sacrifice upon the cross, is a perfect reconciliation and satisfaction for our sins and the sins of the world; so that men thereby are reconciled to God, are brought into power, and have a sure hope and certainty to the entrance into everlasting life.
14. Christ, our Prophet and Priest, being also the promised, only spiritual, heavenly King of the New Testament, hath erected, or built, a spiritual kingdom, and united a company of faithful, spiritual men; these persons bath he endowed with spiritual, kingly laws, after the nature of the heavenly kingdom, and bath established therein justice, righteousness, and the ministers thereof.
15. Having accomplished and performed here upon the earth, by dying the death, his office of the cross he was afterwards buried, thereby declaring that he was truly dead; the third day he rose again, and stood up from the dead, abolishing death, and testifying that he was Lord over death, and he could not possibly be detained by the hands of death, thereby comfortably assuring all the faithful of their resurrection and standing up from death.
16. Afterwards, forty days spent, he conversed amongst his disciples, and ofttimes showed himself unto them that there might no doubt be had concerning his resurrection; after that, being compassed by a cloud, he was carried up into heaven, and entered into his glory, leading captivity captive, and making a show of his enemies, hath gloriously triumphed over them, and is sat at the right hand of the Majesty of God, and is become a Lord, and Christ, glorified in body, advanced, lifted up, and crowned with praise and glory, and remaineth over Mount Sion a Priest, and King for everlasting.
17. The holy office of this glorified Priest, King, Lord and Christ, in the heavenly glorious being is to help, govern, and preserve, by his Holy Spirit, his holy church and people in the world, through the Storm, wind, and troubles of the sea; for, according to his priestly office, as an overseer or steward of the true tabernacle, is he our Intercessor, Advocate, and Mediator by the Father. He teacheth, comforteth, strengtheneth, and baptizeth us with the Holy Ghost, his heavenly gifts and fiery victims, and keepeth his spiritual supper with the faithful soul, making it partaker of the life giving food and drink of the soul, the fruit, virtue, and worth of his merits obtained upon the cross; the only and necessary good signified in the sacraments.
18. And according to his kingly office, in his heavenly* being he governeth the hearts of the faithful by his Holy Spirit and Word; he taketh them into his protection, he covereth them under the shadow of his wings, he armeth them with spiritual weapons for the spiritual warfare against all their enemies, namely, the Spirit of wickedness, under heaven, and whatsoever dependeth on them in this earth. He, their most Glorious, Almighty, Heavenly King, standeth by them, delivereth and freeth them from the hands of their enemies, giveth them victory and the winning of the field, and hath prepared for them a crown of righteousness in heaven. And they being the redeemed of the Lord, who dwell in the house of the Lord, upon the Mount Sion, do change their fleshly weapons, namely, their swords into shares, and their spears into scythes, do lift up no sword, neither bath nor consent to fleshly battle.
19. All these spiritual good things and beneficial, which Christ, by his merits, hath obtained for the saving of sinners, we do graciously enjoy through a true, living, working faith. Which faith is an assured understanding and knowledge of the heart, obtained out of the Word of God, concerning God, Christ, and other heavenly things which are necessary for us to know, and to believe to salvation, together with a hearty confidence in the only God, that he, as a gracious and heavenly Father, will give and bestow upon us, through Christ, and for his merits, whatsoever is helpful and profitable for body and soul for salvation.
20. Through such a faith we obtain true righteousness, forgiveness, absolution from sin through the bloodshed of Christ, and through righteousness, which through the Christ Jesus, by the co-operation of the Holy Ghost, is plentifully shed and poured into us, so that we truly are made, of evil men, good; of fleshly, spiritual; of covetous, liberal; of proud, humble; and through regeneration are made pure in heart, and the children of God.
21. Man being thus justified by faith, liveth and worketh by love (which the Holy Ghost sheddeth into the heart) in all good works, in the laws, precepts, ordinances given them by God through Christ; he praiseth and blesseth God, by a holy life, for every benefit, especially of the soul; and so are all such plants of the Lord trees of righteousness, who honor God through good works, and expect a blessed reward.
22. Such faithful, righteous people, scattered in several parts of the world, being the true congregations of God, or the Church of Christ, whom he saved, and for whom he gave himself, that he might sanctify them, ye whom he bath cleansed by the washing of water in the word of life: of all such is Jesus the Head, the Shepherd, the Leader, the Lord, the King, and Master. Now although among these there may be mingled a company of seeming holy ones, or hypocrites; yet, nevertheless, they are and remain only the righteous, true members of the body of Christ, according to the spirit and the truth, the heirs of the promises, truly saved from the hypocrites the dissemblers.
23. In this holy church bath God ordained the ministers of the Gospel, the doctrines of the holy Word, the use of the holy sacraments, the oversight of the poor, and the ministers of the same offices; furthermore, the exercise of brotherly admonition and correction, and, finally, the separating of the impenitent; which holy ordinances, contained in the Word of God, are to be administered according to the contents thereof.
24. And like as a body consisteth of divers parts, and every part hath its own proper work, seeing every part is not a hand, eye, or foot; so is it also the church of God:for although every believer is a member of the body of Christ, yet is not every one therefore a teacher, elder, or deacon, but only such as are orderly appointed to such offices. Therefore, also, the administration of the said offices or duties partaineth only to those who are ordained thereto, and not to every particular common person.
25. The vocation or election of the said officers is performed by the church, with fasting, and prayer to God; for God knoweth the heart; he is amongst the faithful who are gathered together in his name; and by his Holy Spirit doth so govern the minds and hearts of his people, that he by them bringeth to light and propoundeth whom he knoweth to be profitable to his church.
26. And although the election and vocation to the said offices is performed by the aforesaid means, yet, nevertheless, the investing into the said service is accomplished by the elders of the church through the laying on of hands.
27. The doctrine which by the foresaid ministers must be proposed to the people, is even the same which Christ brought out of heaven, which he, by word and work, that is, by doctrine and life, bath taught, which was preached by the apostles of Christ, by the commandment of Christ and the Spirit, which we find written (so much as is needful for us to salvation) in the Scripture of the New Testament, whereto we apply whatsoever we find in the canonical book of the Old Testament, which hath affinity and verity, which by doctrine of Christ and his apostles, and consent and agreement, with the government of his Spiritual Kingdom.
28. There are two sacraments appointed by Christ, in his holy church, the administration whereof he bath assigned to the ministry of teaching, namely, the Holy Baptism and the Holy Supper. These are outward visible handlings and tokens, setting before our eyes, on God’s side, the inward spiritual handling which God, through Christ, by the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, setteth forth the justification in the penitent faithful soul; and which, on our behalf, witnesseth our religion, experience, faith, and obedience, through the obtaining of a good conscience to the service of God.
29. The Holy Baptism is given unto these in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, which hear, believe, and with penitent heart receive the doctrines of the Holy Gospel. For such bath the Lord Jesus commanded to be baptized, and no unspeaking children.
30. The whole dealing in the outward visible baptism of water, setteth before the eyes, witnesseth and signifieth, the Lord Jesus doth inwardly baptize the repentant, faithful man, in the layer of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, washing the soul from all pollution and sin, by the virtue and merit of his bloodshed; and by the power and working of the Holy Ghost, the true, heavenly, spiritual, living Water, cleanseth the inward evil of the soul, and maketh it heavenly, spiritual, and living, in true righteousness or goodness. Therefore, the baptism of water Ieadeth us to Christ, to his holy office in glory and majesty; and admonisheth us not to hang only upon the outward, but with holy prayer to mount upward, and to beg of Christ the good thing signified.
31. The Holy Supper, according to the institution of Christ, is to be administered to the baptized; as the Lord Jesus bath commanded that whatsoever he hath appointed should be taught to be observed.
32. The whole dealing in the outward visible supper, setteth before the eye, witnesseth and signifyeth, that Christ’s body was broken upon the cross and his holy blood spilt for the remission of our sins. That the being glorified in his heavenly Being, is the alive-making bread, meat, and drink of our souls: it setteth before our eyes Christ’s office and ministry in glory and majesty, by holding his spiritual supper, which the believing soul, feeding and* . . the soul with spiritual food: it teacheth us by the outward handling to mount upwards with the heart in holy prayer, to beg at Christ’s hands the true signified food; and it admonisheth us of thankfulness to God, and of verity and love one with another.
33. The church discipline, or external censures, is also an outward handling among the believers, whereby the impenitent sinner, after Christian admonition and reproof, is severed, by reason of his sins, from the communion of the saints for his future good; and the wrath of God is denounced against him until the time of his contrition and reformation; and there is also, by this outward separation of the church, manifested what God before had judged and fore-handled, concerning this secret sinner, by reason of his sin. Therefore, first before the Lord, the prejudging and predetermining of the matter must pass* . . in respect of the sinner* . . and the after-judging and handling by the church. Therefore the church must carefully regard that none in the church be condemned with it, and be condemned in the Word of God.
34. The person separated from the church may not at all be admitted (so long as he proceedeth in sin) to the use of the holy supper or any other* . . handling, but he must be avoided therein, as also in all other things betokening the communion of saints or brotherhood. And as the rebellious life, conversation, or daily company of the godless and perverse, or anything with them, is dangerous and hurtful, and oftentimes promoteth scandal and slander to the godly, so must they withdraw themselves from the same rebels, avoiding them in all works and ends whereby their pure souls might be polluted and defiled: yet so that always the Word of God take place, and that nothing take place or be performed that is contrary to love, mercy, Christian discretion, promise, or any other like matter.
35. Worldly authority or magistry is a necessary ordinance of God, appointed and established for the preservation of the common estate, and of a good, natural, politic life, for the reward of the good and the punishing of the evil; we acknowledge ourselves obnoxious, and bound by the Word of God to fear, honor, and show obedience to the magistrates in all causes not contrary to the Word of the Lord. We are obliged to pray God Almighty for them, and to thank the Lord for good reasonable magistrates, and to yield unto them, without murmuring, beseeming tribute, toll and tax. This office of the worldly authority the Lord Jesus bath not ordained in his spiritual kingdom, the church of the New Testament, nor adjoined to the offices of his church. Neither bath he called his disciples or followers to be worldly kings, princes, potentates, or magistrates; neither bath he burdened or charged them to assume such offices, or to govern the world in such a worldly manner; much less bath he given a law to the members of his church which is agreeable to such office or government. Yea, rather they are called of him (whom they are commanded to obey by a voice heard from heaven) to the following of his unarmed and unweaponed life, and of his cross-bearing footsteps. In whom approved nothing less than a worldly government, power, and sword. This then considered (as also further, that upon the office of the worldly authority many other things depend, as wars* . . to hurt his enemies in body or good* . which evilly or not at all will fit or consort with the Christ, and the crucified life of the Christians), so hold we that it beseemeth not Christians to administer these offices; therefore we avoid such offices and administrations, notwithstanding by no means thereby willing to despise or condemn reasonable discreet magistrates, nor to place him in less estimation than he is described by the Holy Ghost, of Paul.
36. Christ, the King and Lawgiver of the New Testament, hath prohibited Christians the swearing of oaths therefore it is not permitted that the faithful of the New Testament should swear at all.
37. The married estate, or matrimony, hold we for an ordinance of God, which, according to the first institution, shall be observed. Every man shall have his one only wife, and every woman shall have her one only husband; those may not be separated but for adultery. We permit none of our communion to marry godless, unbelieving, fleshly persons out of the church; but we censure such (as other sinners) according to the disposition and desert of the cause.
38. Lastly, we believe and teach the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, as Paul (1 Cor. 15) soundly teacheth and witnesseth: The soul shall be united to the body, every one shall be presented before the judgment seat of Christ Jesus, to receive in his own body wages according to his works. And the righteous, whosoever hath lived holily, and through faith brought forth the works of love and mercy, shall enter into everlasting life with Christ Jesus, the Bridegroom of the Christian host. But the unsanctified, which have not known God, and have not obeyed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall go into everlasting fire. The Almighty, gracious, merciful God, preserve us from the punishment of the ungodly, and grant us grace and gifts helpful to a holy life, saving death, and joyful resurrection with all the righteous. Amen.
We subscribe to the truth of these Articles, desiring further information. [Forty-two names are attached to this document. We cannot decipher the whole, but the following are plain. A line is drawn through some of them. The * marks them. ? Uncertain.]
|*||John Smyth,||*||Matthew Pigott,|
|Hugh Broomhead,||Mary Smyth,|
|*||John Grindall,||Janus ——,,|
|*||Samuel Halton,||?||Margarett Staveley,|
|Thomas Piggott,||lsabella Thomson,|
|John Hardie,||*||Jane Argan,|
|*||Edward Hawkins,||Mary Dickens,|
|Thomas Jessopp,||Bettriss Dickens,|
|Robert Staveley,||Dorothe Hamand,|
|*||Alexander Fleming,||*||Elnh. Buywater,|
|John Arnfeld,||Ann Broomhead,|
|Hannah Piggott,||Alexander Parsons,|
|Thomas Solphin,||*||Joan Haughton,|
|Solomon Thomson,||*||Joane Brigge,|
|Alexander Hodgin,||Alexander Pigott,|
|Ursula Bywater,||Margaret Pigott,|
|Dorothea Oakland,||Alexander Armfield,|
|John ——,||Elnh. White,|
|Fylis ——,||Dorothe Thomson,|
|*||—— ——,||Margaret Morris.|
A Short Catechism about Baptism, by John Tombes, B.D. London: 1659
Heb_6:2 Of the Doctrine of Baptisms.
Luk_7:35 . But Wisdom is justified of all her Children.
To the Christian Reader.
Many are the things at this day charged on Anti-paedobaptists in their Doctrine and Practice, which have been proved to be unjustly imputed to them, by many large Treatises extant in print. For a more facile understanding of the truth than by reading larger Tracts, is this Compendium, in a manner of a catechism composed and published in this time, wherein others of different judgment, have thought fit to declare their way to the world, which is done, not because the disagreement in other things is either small, or of particular persons (whose cause is to be severed from that which is commonly held) and therefore requires not a distinct Confession or Declaration from that which is by others published.
Which I have thought necessary to be done because of the importance of restoring right baptism, the Doctrine of which is one article of the foundation of Christianity, Heb. 6.2. whereby we put on Christ, Gal. 6.27. united to his Members, Ephes. 4.5. conformed to Christ, Col. 2.12. Rom. 6.3,4,5. required with faith to salvation, Mark 16.26. with repentance to remission of sins, Acts 2.38. with express profession of the Baptized’s faith required, Acts 8.37. upon manifestation of conversion, Acts 10.47. Acts 11.17. as the duty of the Baptized, and not a meer Priviledge, Acts 22.16. most solemly administered in the Primitive times, with strict examination and greatest engagement of persons baptized, accounted the chief evidence of Christianity, of as much or more moment than the Lords Supper; insomuch that some conceived from Heb. 6.4. that falling away after it irreparable.
But the pretended Baptism of Infants, as now used slightly and profanely done, quite different from Christ’s Institution and the Apostles practise by Ministers and people in so wholy and carnal manner as that, it is upon and with gross untruths and perverting of holy Scripture, obtruded on unwary souls with a pretence of a Baptismal Vow, which is a meer fiction, and so many ill consequents both in Christian conversation and communion and church-constitution and Goverment, that were men sensible to their evil as they should be, they would tremble at such mockery of God, and abuse of so holy an Ordinance of God’s worship and men’s souls by it, and with such arrogant presumption in avowing such a manifest invention of men as God’s precept.
And to speak truth, if the History of this corruption were fully cleared, it would be found that the undue Ministration of this Ordinance was the inlet to the Antichristian darkness and tyranny which overspread and oppressed the Christian Churches. The aim of the composer of it is the manifestation of the truth, wherein doth he rejoyce, and desires thou mayest rejoyce with him. His motion is that of the Apostle, Phil. 3.15,16. As many of us be perfect let us be thus minded, and if ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless whereunto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
A Short Catechism about Baptism
1. Is Baptism with Water an Ordinance of Christ, to be continued by his Disciples till the end of the World?
Baptism with Water is an Ordinance of Christ, which is to be continued by his Disciples till the end of the World; as appears by his command, Mat. 28.19,20. Mark 16.15,16. it is to be joined with Preaching of the Gospel, and making Disciples, by Preaching, and teaching them to observe all that Christ commands; and so to be continued while these are to continue, which is proved to be till the end of the world, by Christs promise of his being with them till then, which were vain, if the things appointed were not to be done so long.
2. Is not the end of the world, as much as the end of the Age?
It appeas that Matthew means by the end of the World, the last time, or day, wherein there will be a separation of good and bad, the one to be burned with fire, and the other to shine as the Sun, in that in the places wherein Matthew, useth the self-same form of speech (to wit Mat. 13.39,40,49. Mat. 24.3.) he canot be understood to mean any other.
3. May not the baptizing in Mat.28.19. Mark 16.16 be understood of some other Baptism, than that of water?
The Baptism there, must needs be understood of Baptism by Water, sith Baptizing, where ever it is made of John Baptists, or the Disciples Act, which they did or were to do, is meant of Baptizing with Water, as John 4.1,2 and in many other places it appears; and the Apostles by their practise and command, Acts 2.38,41. Acts 10.47,48. shew that they so understood Christ’s appointment, Matt. 28.19. Mark 16.16.
4. May it not be meant of Baptizing by the Spirit, or afflictions?
It canot be so understood, sith Baptizing with the Spirit is no where ascribed to any other than Christ, Mat 3.11. Luke 3.16. Nor is baptism with the Spirit a duty for us to do, but a free gift of Christ; not common to all Disciples of Christ, but peculiar to some: and to appoint them the baptizing by affliction had been to make the Apostles persecutors.
5. Why did Paul then say, Christ sent him not to Baptize? 1 Cor. 1.16.
Not because he was not appointed at all to Baptize, for if so, he would not have Baptized those he did Baptize, 1 Cor. 1.14.16. etc. But because it was not the chief thing he was to do, as when the washing of Water is said not to save, 1 Pet. 3.21. because it is not the only, or principal means of saving.
6. What is the Baptizing appointed by Jesus Christ?
The Baptizing appointed by Jesus Christ, is the dipping of the Whole Body in water in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as is manifest from the term Baptizing, and the use of going into and coming up out of water, Mat. 3.16. Acts 8.38,39. the use of much water, John 3.23. The resembling, by the Baptism used, the burial and Resurrection of Christ, Rom. 6.4. Col. 2.12. and the testimonies of the Ancients of the first Ages.
7. May not the sprinkling or pouring water on the Face be the Baptism of Christ?
Neither the Scripture, nor any other antient author call sprinkling, or pouring water on the Face, Baptism, nor any use of it in the primitive times doth countenance it, and therefore such sprinkling or pouring water is not the Baptism which Christ appointed.
8. What is it to Baptize into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?
It is not to baptize only with the naming of those persons, but into the profession of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as our Master or Teacher, as appears by the words of Paul, 1 Cor. 1.13. Which shew that if the Corinthians had been baptized into the name of Paul, they had professed him to be their master.
9. Are they rightly Baptized, who are baptized into the name of Jesus Christ, though no other person be named?
They are, it being all one to Baptize into the name of Jesus Christ, and to baptize into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as appears by the precept, Acts 2.38. and practice, Acts 10.48. Acts 19.5. Though the expression of each person be convenient.
10. Are the persons to be baptized altogether passive in their Baptism?
No: For Baptism is their duty required of them as well as the Baptizer, Acts 2.38. and Paul is commanded to arise and be baptized, and wash away his sins calling on the name of the Lord, Acts 22.16.
11. Who are appointed to Baptize?
They who are appointed to preach the Gospel, Matth. 28.19. Mark 16.15,16.
12. Whom are they appointed to Baptize?
Those who repent of sin, believe in Christ Jesus, and are his Disciples, Matth. 28.19. Mark 16.16. Acts 2.38. Acts 8.37.
13. Were not Infants baptized, when whole households were baptized, Acts 16.15.33.?
No: For it appears not there were any infants in the houses, and the Texts shew they were not baptized, sith the word was spoken to all in the house, ver. 32. and all the house rejoyced believing God. ver 34. and elsewhere the whole house is said to do that which Infants could not do, Acts 18.8. Acts 10.2. 1 Cor. 16.15. compared with 1 Cor. 1.16. John 4.53.
14. Is not Christs speech and action to little Children, Matth. 19.14,15. Mark 10.14,15,16. Luke 18.16,17. a warrant to baptize infants?
No: but an Argument against it, sith Christ did neither baptize, nor appoint those little children to be baptized.
15. Why should not Infants be baptized, sith they were Circumcised?
The reason why Male Infants were to be Circumcised, was a particular Command of God to Abrahams house for special ends belonging to the time before Christ, which Baptism hath not, nor is there any Command to use Baptism according to the rule of Circumcision.
Did not Baptism come in the room of Circumcision, Col. 2.11,12. and so to be used as it was?
The Apostles words import not that our Baptism came in the room of the Jews Circumcision; there is no mention of any bodily Circumcision but Christ’s, which our baptism cannot be said to suceed to, as there it is made the cause of Spiritual Circumcision, without arrogating that to it which belongs to Christ alone, and Baptism is mentioned with faith, as the means whereby we are in Christ, and compleat in him.
16. May we be said to be compleat as the Jews without Infant Baptism?
Our compleatness is in that we have not Ordinances as the Jews had, but we are compleat in that we have all in Christ without them, Col. 2.8,9,10.
17. Have not our Children then less Priviledge than the Jews had?
No: For Circumcision was a priviledge only for a time, and comparitively to the estate of the Gentiles who knew not God; but of itself was a heavy yoke, Acts 15.10. Gal. 5.1,2,3.
18. Why did the Jews then so much contend for it, Acts 15.1,5.?
Because they too much esteemed the Law, and knew not their liberty by the Gospel.
19. Had it not been a discomfort to the believing Jews to have their Children unbaptized, and out of the Covenant?
The want of Baptism to Infants was never any grievance to Believers in the New Testament, nor were they thereby put out of the Covenant of Grace.
20. Was not the proper reason of Circumcising the Infants of the Jews the interest which they had in the Covenant to Abraham, Gen. 17.7. to be a God to him and to his seed?
The end of Circumcision was indeed to be a token of the whole Covenant made with Abraham, Gen. 17.4,5,6,7,8. not only the promise, ver. 7. But the formal proper distinguishing reason why some were to be Circumcised, and others not, was God’s Comand alone, not the interest in the Covenant; sith Ishmael who was not a Childe of promise, Gen. 17.20.21. Rom. 9.6,7,8,9. and those who were in Abrahams house, though not of his Seed, were Circumcised, but no Females, nor Males under eight days old.
21. Was not the Covenant with Abraham, Gen. 17. the Covenant of Grace?
It was, according to the hidden meaning of the Holy Ghost, the Evangelical Covenant, Gal. 3.16. But according to the open sense of the words, a Covenant of special benefits to Abrahams inheriting natural posterity, and therefore not a pure Gospel Covenant.
22. Are not Believers Children comprehended under the promise, to be a God to Abraham and his seed? Gen. 17.7.?
No: unless they become Abrahams seed according to Election of Grace by Faith.
23. Did Circumcision seal the Gospel Covenant? Rom. 4.11.
That text speaks not of any ones Circumcision but Abrahams, which sealed the righteousness of faith he had before Circumcision, and assured thereby righteousness to all, though uncircumcised, who should believe as he did.
24. Are not the Sacraments of the Christian Church in their nature, Seals of the Covenant of Grace?
The Scripture doth nowhere so call them, nor doth it mention this as their end and use.
25. Doth not Peter, Acts 2.38.39. exhort the Jews to baptize themselves and their Children, because the promise of Grace is to Believers and their Children?
Those he then spake to were not then Believers; and therefore the words, Acts 2.39. Cannot be understood of a promise to Believers and their Children as such, but the promise is to all, Fathers and Children as called of God; nor are any exhorted to Baptism without fore-going repentance: nor is the promise alledged as conferring right to Baptism, but as a motive to encourage them and hope for pardon, though they wished Christs blood to be on them and their Children. Matth. 27.25. In like sort as Joseph did, Gen. 50.19,20,21.
26. Are not the Children of Believers holy with Covenant-holiness, and so to be baptized, 1 Cor. 7.14.
There is nothing there ascribed to the faith of the Believer, but to the Marriage-relation, which was the only reason of their lawful living together, and of which alone it is true that all the Children of those Parents, whereof one is sanctified to the other, are holy, the rest unclean, that is, illegitimate.
27. Are not the Gentile-believers Children to be ingraffed by Baptism with their Parents, as the Jews Children were by Circumcision? Rom. 11.16,17.
The ingraffing there is by giving Faith according to Election; and therefore not meant of Parents and Children by an outward Ordinance into the visible Church.
28. Are there not Infants of Believers Disciples, by their Parents Faith to be Baptized? Mat. 28.19. Acts. 15.10.
No: For the Disciples there are only such as are made by Preaching the Gospel to them, nor are any termed Disciples, but those who have heard and learned: and the putting the yoke, Acts 15.10. was by teaching Brethren, ver. 1 and therefore the Disciples, ver. 10. not Infants.
29. Are not the Infants of believers visible members of the Christian Church, by a Law and Ordinance, by God’s promise, to be God to them and their seed, and precept to dedicate them to God, unrepealed?
There is no such Ordinance or Law extant in Scripture, or deducible from the Law of Nature, nor are Infants any where reckoned as visible members of the Christian Church in the New Testament.
30. Hath God not promised, Gen. 22.16,17,18. to make every believer a blessing, so as to cast ordinarily Elect Children on Elect Parents, and thereby warrant Infant-Baptism?
The promise doth not pertain to any believers seed but Abrahams, who are, Heb. 6.12,13,14, Gal. 3.8,9. Acts 3.25. expounded to be Christ and true believers only, who are to be baptiszed, not their Infants, till they themselves believe in their own persons.
31. Did not Christ appoint, Mat. 28.19. the Disciples to Baptize Children with Parents, as the Jews did Proselytes?
If the Jewish Baptism had been the pattern for Christians, the Apostles would have so practised, but their not so doing, shews they understood not it to be Christ’s mind.
32. Is not the Infant-baptism sufficient if it be avouched at age?
It is not a sufficient discharge of their obedience to Christ’s command, which requires each Person to be Baptized after his own Repentance and believing in Christ, Mark 16.16. Mat. 28. 19. Acts 2.38. Ephes. 4.5.
33. What is the chief end of Baptism?
To testifie the Repentance, Faith, Hope, Love, and Resolution of the Baptized to follow Christ, Gal. 3.27. Rom. 6.3,4. 1 Cor. 15.29. calling upon the Name of the Lord, Acts 22.16.
34. How came Infant-baptism to be common in the Christian Churches?
As Infant-communion came from mistake of John 6.53. So Infant-baptism began about the third Age of the Christian Church, from mistake of John 3.5. the opinion of its giving Grace, and the necessity of it to save the Infant dying from perishing, and after Augustin’s time became common, which before was not so frequent.
35. Is there any evil in it?
Infant-baptism tends much to harden People in presumption, as if they were Christians afore they know Christ, and hinders much the Reformation of Christian Churches, by filling them with ignorant and scandalous members, besides the great sin of profaning God’s Ordinance.
35. Have not all opposers of Infant-baptism, been wicked in the end?
Blessed be God, experience proves the contrary, though some here to fore proved seditious, and entertained great errors.
36. Is there any good by Baptizing Persons at Age, which might not be, though Infant-baptism were continued?
Yes, For thereby they would be solemnly engaged to adhere to Christ, which is a strong tye on the Consciences, when it is done by a Person understandingly, according to Christ’s mind, besides the assurance thereby of Union and Conformity to Christ, and Righteousness and life by him, Rom. 6.3,4. Gal. 3.26. 1 Pet. 3.21.
37. What are Christians to do when they are Baptized?
To associate together in Church-Communion, and to walk according to their engagement, in obedience to them, who are over them in the Lord.
38. Are Persons so joined to serarate from those they have joined to upon deficit in outward order and Ordinances, or variation from the Rule therein by Pastors or People?
No, Unless the evil be such in Faith, Worship, or Discipline, as is not consistent with Christianity, or the estate of a visible Church, or is intolerable oppression, maintained with obstinacy, after endeavours to cure them, to which end each member should keep and act in his station.