The first edition was published in 1644.
This second edition "corrected and enlarged" was originally published in 1646.
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 at London, Anno 1646.
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
1 Cor. 1:3; John 1:1, 15:26, Exod. 3:14; 1
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 justice.
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 free.
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. 2:3.
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, Rom. 8:28.
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
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
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 3:22,23.
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.
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.
Concerning His 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 it.
Heb. 5:4,5,6, Isa. 53:10,11; John 3:16;
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.
Concerning the 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.
John 1:18; 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 to men.
John 1:18; Acts 3:22; Deut. 18:15; Heb.
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.
Concerning His 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.
This priesthood 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
Concerning His 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
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 thus believed.
Eph. 2:8; John 6:29, 4:10; Phil. 1:29; Gal.
5:22; John 17:17; Heb. 4:11,12; John 6:63.
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.
Matt. 7:24,25; John 13:10, 10:28,29; 1 Pet.
1:4,5,6; Isa. 49:13,14,15,16.
Faith is 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.
[Note: The 2nd London Baptist Confession reverses this teaching, recognizing that the Law is God’s chosen method for breaking hard hearts and preparing sinners for the hope of the Gospel. -ZSB]
John 3:14,15, 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, 3:25,30.
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.
All believers 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; Ezek. 47:2.
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.
Acts. 2:41,47; 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
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.
Matt. 28:18,19; 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 modesty).
The person 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
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.
Christ hath 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.
And every 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.
Matt. 18:16, 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
Acts 20:27,28; 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
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 head.
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, 13:14.
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.
The supreme 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.
Acts 2:40,41, 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 mourns.
Acts 8:38, 10:1,2,35; Rom. 16:23; Deut.
6:13; Rom. 1:9; 2 Cor. 10,11; Jer. 4:2; Heb. 6:16.
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; Rev.
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.