Thanks to our Brother In The Lord Elder Ron Pound for his labor of love in scanning this rare work.

"To God be The Glory"

 

 

 

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; LIKE WISE FOR THE TAKING OFF OF THOSE ASPERSIONS WHICH ARE FREQUENTLY BOTH IN PULPIT AND PRINT UNJUSTLY CAST UPON THEM.

    But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my Fathers, believing all things that are written in the Law and the Prophets, and have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of (the) dead both of the just and the unjust.  Acts 24: 14,15.

 For we cannot but speak the things that we have seen and heard.  Acts 4: 20.

 If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou me?   John 18: 23.

  THE SECOND IMPRESSION CORRECTED AND ENLARGED.

   PUBLISHED ACCORDING TO ORDER

    LONDON

  PRINTED BY MATT. SIMMOS,

AND ARE TO BE SOLD BY

JOHN HANCOCK IN POPES-HEAD ALLEY,

 1646

 TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE THE

 LORDS,  KNIGHTS, CITIZENS

 AND

 BURGESSES IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED.

 Right Honorable and most Noble Patriots,

                 In as much as there hath been a Book (Doctor Featley's Book dedicated to the Parliament.) lately presented unto you, in whose Dedicatory Epistle there are many heinous accusations unjustly and falsely laid against us, we conceived it necessary to make some declaration of our innocency, and (to that end) humbly to present unto your view this our  Confession of Faith. Here we unfainedly declare, what  in our hearts we judge, and what we teach, and according to this Rule we desire and endeavour, through the grace of God, to lead our lives. This Confession of our Faith we send forth to speak the  truth for us, and so to make our innocency to appeare; desiring that the same light may guide others also to the same way of truth and of obedience both to God and to the Magistrate, who is the Minister of God to us for good. We hope your Honours will permit us to speak with modesty in our just defence. And when any shall provoke you to lift up a hand against us, we desire you may seriously consider Gamaliel's counsel in Acts 5. We take no thought for ourselves, for the Lord our God is all-sufficient; but we desire and pray that you may do no thing against Christ, neither in His members, nor in His ordinances, that there may be no wrath upon you from the Lord, but that you knowing the innocent, and protecting them according to the will of God, may for the same be famous unto all generations, and the memorial of your names may be precious among the Saints till the coming of King Jesus.

   

 

(PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION)

 

To the judicious and impartial Reader.

 

COURTEOUS READER;

                 It is no wonder if it seem strange to thee, that  we  should publish a confession of our  faith,  who  are frequently termed to be heretics  and schismatics, and what not, though unjustly; neither is it any discouragement unto us, though this sect (as they call the Anabaptists) is  everywhere spoken  against, Acts xxviii.  22; and in that we are  charged (for Christ's name sake)  with the same things our Lord Jesus Christ  and His apostles were accused of.  It is a mercy, an honor, and a comfort unto us,  rejoice and be exceeding glad, for  great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. Matt. v. 11,12. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord; it is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his Lord.  If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Matt. x. 24,25. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you: if ye were of the world, the world would love her own, but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore, the world hateth you.  The servant is not greater than the Lord:  if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you, & c.  All these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me; yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  John xv. 18, 19, 20, 21; see Acts xxi. 28,  30, 31; and xiv. 22;  2 Tim. iii. 12; I Pet. iv. 13.

                 Our Lord Jesus was accused to be a seditious and mutinous fellow; Luke xxiii. 25.  Paul was called a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition, and a ringleader of the sect of Nazarenes,  Acts xxiv. 1,5,6,8; xviii. 13; saying, Away with such a fellow, for it is not fit he should live; saying,  This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.  And our Lord Jesus Christ was accused of perverting the people, and forbidding to give tribute to Ceaser;  and that He and His disciples did teach novelties, and brake the traditions of the elders.  Luke xxiii. 2,14; Matt. xv. 1-9. Christ was accused to have a devil, and to be mad; saying to the people, Why do ye hear him? John x. 20.  Paul was esteemed to be mad: also they said, What will   this babler say and that he taught a new doctrine, Acts xxvi. 24, 25; xvii.18,19. And Christ was accused to  speak blasphemy, and they all condemned him to be guilty of death, Mark xiv. 64.  So some are offended at us for meeting in houses to preach,  and would have us punished for it; notwithstanding, it was Christ's and His apostles' practice to do so, whose example we are to follow.  Christ taught upon a mountain,  and in a ship.  Paul preached from house to house. Also the church met together in an upper room, where Peter preached; and Paul preached, and converted Lydia by the river side;  the disciples met together in the night in an upper room;  Paul  preached two years in an hired house, and received all that came unto him.  Matt. v. 1, 2; and xiii. 2; Acts xx.20; i.13,15,16; ii.2; xvi. 13, 14; xx. 7,8,9; xxviii.  30,31.  If he had lived in these days and done so, it is to be feared some would have petitioned against him.  So some accuse us to be disturbers of the peace of the commonwealth; yet all that know us can testify for us, that we meet together and depart   in a  peaceable manner.  And from Acts xvii. 5,6,7, it will appear, what person they were that disturbed the public peace; it is fit such persons should be taken notice of and accordingly punished.

                 So we are blamed, because we frequent not their temples. We dare not trust in lying words, saying,  The temple of the Lord,  the temple of the  Lord, are these. We know the Most High dwelleth not in temples  made with hands; and that we are the temple of the living God; and that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost; and that Christ's church is not built with dead stones.  Acts vii. 48; xvii.24,25; I Cor. iii. 16; vi. 3, 19; I Pet. ii. 4,5; John iv. 20, &c.  And because there are but a few of us, some conceive  we are in an error, and that the least number should yield to the greater;  then it seems, if the number of the papists or atheists exceed the number of the protestants, they must forsake their religion.  God in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways; and there was but one true prophet to four hundred false. Acts xiv. 16; Exod. xxiii.2;  King xxii. 6,7, &c. After three years' preaching and working miracles by Christ, there was but a small number. Christ calls His, a little flock: the scripture declares the greatest number followed after the beast.  Acts i. 14, 15; Luke xii. 32; Matt. vii. 13, 14; Rev. xiii. 7, 16, 17. Also those that preach amongst us are esteemed, as the apostles were, to be unlearned and ignorant men.  Apollos was instructed more perfectly in the way of God by Aquila, a tradesman, and Priscilla his wife; Acts iv. 13; xviii. 1 ,2, 3, 26. But the scripture saith; As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. I Pet. iv.10, 11; see I Cor. xiv. 3, 26, 31. Also some say of us, that we be of several sects, and that we cannot agree among ourselves. Pilate and Herod agreed together to crucify  Christ; we dare not agree as the Jews did, that if any did confess that Jesus was the Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.  Luke xxiii. 12; John ix. 22; see I Cor. i.10,11.  The union Christ prayed for, we desire: for such an agreement as agreeth not with the truth, we may not agree unto;  therefore we desire it not. John xvii. 21;  Eph. iv.3-17. Yet the paedobaptists differ more among themselves than we do, and if this their reason have any strength in it, it is against themselves:  the several sects of paedobaptists be papists, Arians,  Nestorians, Pelagians, Donatists, Eutychians, Grecians, Lutherans, Arminians, Episcopalians, Nicolaites, Calvinists, Zuinglians, Hussites, and above twenty other several sects, which are all baptizers of infants: and notwithstanding, for other points, are all asunder, and have all rent one from another;  therefore we send them to follow the counsel of Christ.  Matt. vii. 3, 4, 5.

                 As the watchman dealt with the spouse of Christ, in her seeking her beloved, so they deal with us. Song iii. 2, 5; v. 7.  They finding us out of that common and broad way themselves walk in, they smite us, and take away our veil, and veil us with reproaches and  odious names: to incense all,  both good and bad, against us, that we may appear vile in the eyes and ears of all that behold us, or shall hear of us,  Acts xvi. 19.  Which they endeavor to do, both in pulpit and print, not fearing to charge us with holding free-will,   falling from grace, denying election, original sin, children's salvation, the Old Testament, and men's property  in their estates, and censuring all to be damned that are not of our judgment and practice; all which we disclaim, because they are untrue. And as for the other things where of we areaccused, we refer those who desire further satisfaction to the answers of them. (In a small treatise, entitled, Briefe Considerations on Dr. Featley's Book, entitled, The Dipper Dipt, by Samuel Richardson. (4 to. London, 1645.)  Yet by reason of the many accusations that are cast upon us, although they cannot prove the things where of we are accused, yet the generality of the people are incensed against us, and are encouraged, and set on by such, to seek out the peace of our meetings, which are the more private, not because they are private, but because we have not any more public places; but if any shall please to procure us more larger places to meet in, we are willing  to embrace them with thankfulness and joy, although no man should speak for us to   those in authority, from whom one word were enough to protect us from the violence we should be subject unto.  But as it was then,  Acts xvii. 5,6.7, so it is now; yet must we bear all the blame.  But our God will in His time clear our innocency, although now many stand looking upon us as a people (holding such things) not worthy to live, and are in danger by the rude multitude gathering together to stone us.  And had it been against our persons only, we would have held our peace, and committed our cause to God; but considering it is the truth that we profess that suffers, we may not, nor dare not be neuters in matters of so high a nature, but come in and speak to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

                 Therefore, to free ourselves and the truth we profess from such unjust aspersions, that it may be at liberty, though we be in bonds, we have published a brief confession of our faith (which we conceive most void of contention in these sad and troublesome times).  The thoughts of our hearts as in  the presence  of God we here declare, that it may appear to the consciences of them that fear God, what wrong we suffer from some who have ability to cast mists, and dark clouds, which overshadow the glory of the truth, and them that profess it. Jude, 14, 15.  And although they acknowledge with us that the truth is not fully discovered, yet they will tie all future discovery to a former light, and conceive they do well in so doing. But God will by His truth show their error, and exalt Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone, which the builders so much reject.  And lest this should be thought to be the judgment of some particular persons, this is done by the consent and appointment of seven congregations or churches in London, with the names of some of each of them  subscribed  in the behalf of  the whole.  And although we be distinct in our meetings, for convenience; yet are we one in faith, fellowship, and communion, holding Jesus Christ for our head and lawgiver, under whose rule and government we desire to walk, and to follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth, that when our Lord and King shall call us to account, we may be found ready and worthy to be received into our Master's joy.  Until which time we desire to spend these few days we have here to remain, to the glory of God, the honor of the gospel, the saints' comfort, and our country's good, to our own account at the great day when Christ shall come in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Thess. i. 8.

                 Subscribed by us in the behalf of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London.  And also by a French congregation of the same judgment.

 

THOMAS GUNNE,          THOMAS MUNDEN,

JOHN MABBIT,                GEORGE TIPPING,

 JOHN SPILSBERY,            WILLIAM KIFFEN,

SAMUEL RICHARDSON,   THOMAS PATIENT,

 PAUL HOBSON,           HANSERD KNOLLYS,

THOMAS  GOARE,             THOMAS HOLMS,

 BENJAMIN COCKES,      DENIS LE BARBIER,

THOMAS KILIKOP,   CHRISTOPH  LE DURET.

 

 

                                                              

                                                               A         

 

C O N F E S S I O N  O F  F A I T H

 

 .1.

 God and His Attributes.

                 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.

                 I Cor. 12:6; Isa. 44:6, chap. 46:9.Exod. 3:14.  I Tim. 6:16.  Isa. 43:15. Psal. 147:5.  Deut.32: 3. Job 36:5.  Jer. 10: 12.  Exod. 34: 6,7.Acts 17: 28. Rom. 11:36.

                                                                  

.2.

 

The Father,  The Word and  The Holy Spirit.

                 In this divine and infinite Being, there is the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided; all infinite, without any beginning, therefore but one God, Who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties.

                I Cor. 1:3.  John 1:1.  Chap. 15:26. Exod. 3:14.  I Cor. 8:6.

    

 . 3.

 God's Decrees, Including Election and Reprobation.

                 God hath 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 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; leaving the rest in their sin to their just condemnation,  to the praise of His justice.

                 Isa. 46.10; Ephes. 1:11; Rom. 11.33.  Psa.115:3; and 135:6.  Psa. 33:15; I Sam. 10: 9,26; Prov.21:1; Exod. 21:13; Pro. 16:33. Psa. 144; Isa. 45:7; Jer.14:22; Matt. 6:28-30; Col. 1:16,17; Num. 23:19, 10; Rom. 3:4; Jer. 10:10; Eph. 1:4,5; Jude 4,6; Pro. 16:4.

 

 .4.

 The Creation, the Fall of Man, the Fall of Satan and his Angels.

                 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 subtilty 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 subjects 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. I Cor. 15:45,46. Eccles. 7: 29; Gen. 3:1,4,5.  2 Cor. 11:3.   ITim. 2:14; Gal. 3:22. Rom. 5:12,18,19; chap. 6:2; Eph. 2:3.

    .5.

 God's Providence.

                 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 37:10-13. Isa. 56:10,11; Eccles. 3:14. Matt. 10:29-32; Exod. 21:13; Prov. 16:33. Rom. 8:28.

 

.6.

 God's Everlasting Love Toward His Elect Stated and  Explained.

                 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 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 rejoices might rejoice in the Lord.

                 Jer. 31:3. Ephes. 1:3-7; Ephes. 2:8,9; I Thess. 5:9. Acts 13:38;  2 Cor. 5:21; Jer. 9:23,24. I Cor. 1:30,31; Jer. 23:6.

 

 .7.

 

Knowing God and Jesus Christ is Eternal Life,

Damnation is not Knowing God and Jesus Christ.                                                                 

                 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 3:36.

.8.

 God's Revealed Word the only Rule of Faith and Obedience 

in His Worship.

                 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 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. 15:9,6.  John 5:39; 2 Tim.3:15,16,17; Isa. 8:20; Gal. 1:8,9; Acts 3:22,23.

                              .9.

 As God, the Lord Jesus Christ was also the Creator and is the Upholder of all, as Man He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived and died as a sinless being.

                 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, &c., 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; chap. 22:18, and 49:10; Dan. 7:13, and 9:24,25,26. Pro. 8:23, John 1:1,2,3;  Heb. 1:8. Gal.4:4.Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5, with Gen. 49:9,10; Rom. 1:3,and 9:5; Matt. 1:16, with Luke 3:23-26; Heb. 2:16;  Isa.53:3,4,5; Heb. 4:15.

                                                               

 

.10.

 Christ the Mediator of the New Covenant.

                 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.

                 I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 9:15; John 14:6.  Isa. 9:6,7.

 .11.

 Christ Appointed, Separated, and Anointed as Mediator

by God from all Eternity.

                 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, and 49:1, 6.  Isa. ll:2, 3, 4, 5, and 61:1, 2, with Luke 4:17, 22; John 1:14, 16, and 3:34.

.12.

 Christ's Office as Mediator Opened and Explained.

                 Concerning His Mediatorship, the Scripture holds forth Christ's call to His office: for none takes this honour 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 mere 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; Rom. 8:32.

 

  .13.

 His Office of Mediator Cannot be Transferred.

                 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, nor any part thereof, can it be transferred from Him to any other.

                 I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:24; Dan. 7:14; Acts 4:12; Luke 1:33; John 14:6.

 

 

.14.

 

Christ's Office as a Mediator is Three-Fold,

a Prophet, a Priest, and a King.

                 This office to which Christ is called, is threefold, as  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.  And 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, with Acts 3:22,23. Heb. 3:1, and 4:14,15.   Psal. 2:6.  2 Cor. 5:20; Acts 26:18.   Col. 1:21. John 16:8.  Psal. 110:3.  Cant. 1:4; John 6:44. Phil. 4:13.  2 Tim. 4:18.

                        

.15.

 Christ as the Prophet of God.                                                              

                 Concerning the prophecy of Christ, it is that  where  by  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, and 12:49,50, and 17:8; Deut. 18:15. (b) Matt. 23:10. Heb. 3:1. Mal. 3:1.  I Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3.

 

 .16.

 As the Prophet of God, Christ is both God and Man.

                 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, with Deut. 18:15; Heb. 1:1,2.

 

.17.

 Christ's Priesthood and Atonement Only  for His Elect.

                 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. &c. And is now entered within the veil into the Holy of Holies, which is the presence of God. Also He makes His people a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God through Him. Neither doth the Father accept, or 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, 15, 16;  Rom. 8:34;  Heb. 9:24, and 8:1; I Pet. 2:5; John 4:23,24.

 

.18.

 The Priesthood and Sacrifice of Christ Explained

in Both His Natures.

                 This priesthood was not legal or temporary, but according to the order of  Melchisedec, and is stable and perfect, not for a  time, but for ever, 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. 5:6; 7:17.  Heb. 7:16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25. Heb. 10:10.  I Pet. 1:18, 19; Col. 1:20,22.  Heb. 9:13;  Acts 20:28.  Heb. 9: 14, and  13:10, 12,15;  Matt. 23: 19; John 17:19.

The Deity of Christ Maintained

                 John 1:18; Acts 3:22 with Deut. 18:15; Heb. 1:1; That Jesus Christ is God is wonderful 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, I Tim. 3:16; The same is very God, I John 5:20; He is the first, Rev. 1:8; He gives being to all things, and without Him was nothing made, John 1:3; He forgives 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 Son He saith, Thy Throne, O God is for ever and ever, Heb. 1:8; John 1:18;  Acts 20:28;  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.

                                                      

.19.

 

Christ As A King over His Elect in their Effectual Calling, Conversion and Maintainance Stated, and His Power

in Governing all Creation Explained.

                 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 over-ruling and destruction of His enemies.  By this kingly power, He applies the benefits, virtues, and fruits of His prophecy and priesthood to His elect, subduing their sins, preserving and strengthening them in all their conflicts against Satan, the world, and the flesh, keeping their hearts in faith and filial fear by His Spirit: by this His mighty power He ruleth the vessels of wrath, using, limiting, and restraining them as it  seems good to His infinite wisdom.

 

                I Cor. 15:4; I Pet. 3:21,22; Matt. 28:18,19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:2, and 5:30,31; John 20:17; 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. 1:8;  2:6; Rom. 9:21,17,18; Eph. 4:7,8; 2 Pet. 2:9.

 

 

.20.

 

His Coming in Glory to Reign Among His Saints.

                 This His kingly power shall be more fully manifest  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.

                 I Cor. 15:24,28; Heb. 9:28: 2 Thess. 1:9,10; I Thess. 4:15,16,17; John 17:21, 26.

 

.21.

 Christ by His Death, Obtained Salvation only for God's Elect, and His Maintainance of Their Salvation by His Intercession

is Only for Them.

                 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 the behalf of, and unto 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; I Cor. 2:12; Rom. 8:29,30; I John 5:12; John 15:13; John 3:16.

                                                          

.22.

 

 God's Gift of Faith Stated and Explained in its Exercise Toward Jesus Christ as Lord, and Belief in and Obedience to God's Revealed or Written Word.

                 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 excellence of them above all other writings, and all things in the world, as they hold forth the glory of God in all His attributes, the excellency of Christ in His nature and offices, and of the power and  fulness of the Spirit in its workings and operations, and so are enabled to cast their souls upon this truth thus believed.

                 Eph. 2:8; John 6:29; and 4:10; Phil.1:29; Gal. 5:22; John 17:17; Heb. 4:11,12; John 6:63.

 

 

.23.

   

All True Believers are Kept unto Salvation Shown by their Eternal Union with God and Jesus Christ.

                 All those that have this precious faith wrought in them by the Spirit, can never finally nor totaly 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 into immortality; and though many storms and floods arise, and yet they shall never be able to take them off  that foundation and rock, which by faith they are fastened upon; not withstanding, though 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; John 10:28, 29; I Pet. 1:4,5, 6; Isa. 49:13-16.

   

.24.

 Faith Ordinarily Comes by Hearing, but is Wrought Wholly by God's Using His Resurrection Power.

                 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; I Cor. 1:21;  Rom. 9:16; Ezek. 16:6; Rom. 3:12; Rom. 1: 16; Eph. 1:19,20; Col. 2:12.

                                                                    

.25.

 The Preaching of Jesus Christ to Sinners, not the Law as a Preparing or Preceding Ministry is Effectual, under God,

for the Conversion of Sinners.

                 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 Saviour for such sinners as through the gospel shall be brought to believe on Him.

                 John 3:14, 15; and 1:12; Isa. 55:1; John 7: 37; I Tim. 1: 15; Rom. 4:5, and 5:8;  Acts 5:30, 31, and 2:36; I  Cor. 1:22, 24.

 

.26.

 

God's Grace Converts, Maintains and Completes a Believer.

                 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.

                 I Pet. 1:5; 2 Cor. 12:9;  I Cor. 15:10; Phil. 2:12,13; John 15:5; Gal. 2:19,20.

                                                                

.27.

 The Unity of the Holy Trinity shared by Believers through Jesus Christ, and their inheritance of all things in Christ.

 

                 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;  and 20:17; Heb. 2:11;  I John 4:16;  Gal. 2:19,20.

 

 

.28.

 

 All Believers  are  Justified, or Acquitted from Guilt, Through Christ's Satisfaction for their Sins.

                 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 through faith.

                 I John 1:7; Heb. 10:14; and 9:26; 2 Cor. 5:19: Rom.3:24; Acts 13:38, 39; Rom. 5:1, and 3:25,30.

 .29.

 

A Believer's Holiness and Sanctification is a Fruit of the

Everlasting Covenant as seen by their Evangelical

Obedience into Gospel Order.

                 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, where by 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. 1:2; I Pet. 2:9;  Eph. 1:4;  I John 4:16; Matt. 28:20.

 

.30.

 The Knowledge of Justification Brings Peace and Joy by

Christ's Blood of the New Covenant.

                 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 the new  covenant, peace with God and 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 the atonement.

                 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 5:1,9,10;  Isa. 54:10, and 26:12;  Eph. 2:12,13;  Phil. 4:7; Rom. 5:10,11.                                         

   .31.

 Believers are Predestinated to Earthly Woes and Warfare with Sin, Overcome only by Faith.

                 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  predestinated and appointed thereunto, and whatsoever the saints possess or enjoy of God spiritually, is by faith; and outward and temporal things are lawfuly enjoyed by a civil right by them who have no faith.

                 Rom. 7:23,24; Eph. 6:10,11,12,13; Heb. 2: 9,10; 2 Tim. 3:12; Rom. 8:29; I Thess. 3:3; Gal. 2:19,20; 2 Cor. 5:7;  Deut. 2:5.

.32.

 Jesus Christ, as the Alone Strength of His People,

is a Covenant Blessing.

                 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;  John 15:5; Phil. 4:11;  Heb. 2:9,10;  2 Tim. 4:18.

 

.33.

 

The Spiritual Kingdom of Christ on Earth is His Church which is a Visible Company of Saints Baptized and in Gospel Order.

                 Jesus Christ hath here on earth a 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 the faith of the gospel, being baptized into that faith, and joined to the Lord, and each to 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, and I Cor. 1:2;  Eph. 1:1;  Rom. 1:7; Acts 19:8,9; and 26:18; 2 Cor. 6:17; Rev. 18:4;  Acts 2:37, with 10:37;  Rom. 10:10; Matt. 28: 19, 20;  Acts 2:42;  Acts 9:26;  I Pet. 2:5.

 

.34.

 Christ's Promises, Signs, Presence and Blessings are Given

to this Church.

      To this church He hath made His promises, and given the signs of His covenant, presence, acceptation, love, blessings, and protection.  Here are the fountains and springs of his heavenly graces  flowing forth to  refresh and strengthen them.

                 Matt. 28:18,19,20;  I Cor. 11:24, and 3:21; 2 Cor. 6:18; Rom. 9:4-8; Gal. 3:8,9;  Rom. 8:35-39;   Ezek. 47:2.

   

.35.

   

The Duty of all Believers to Join Christ's Church and to Serve Him in It, Especially by Giving What is Needful to Others.

                 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 other's wants, inward and outward; (and although each person hath a  property in his own estate, yet  they are to supply each other's  wants, according as their necessities shall require, that the name of Jesus Christ may not be blasphemed through the necessity of any of the church);  and also being come, they are here, by Himself, to be bestowed in their several order, due place, peculiar use, being fitly compacted 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; Isa. 40:9; Rom. 12:1; I Cor. 12:6,7,12,18; Ezek. 20:40,37;  Can. 4:12; Eph. 2:19: Rom. 12:4, 4, 6; Col. 1:12, and 2:5,6,19; Acts 20:32;  Acts 4:4; Acts 2:44, 45, and 4:34, 35.  (Rom. 12:13; I John 3:17);  Eph. 4:16.

  

  .36.

 

The Choice of Ministers and Deacons Out from Among Themselves, Shows the Mind and Power of Christ.

                 Being thus joined, every church hath power given them from Christ, for their well-being, to choose among themselves meet persons for Elders and Deacons, being qualified according to the word, as those which Christ hath appointed in his Testament,  for the feeding,  governing, serving, and building up of His church, and  that none have any power  to  impose on them either these or any other.

                Acts 6:3, with 15:22, 25;  Rom. 12:7, 8;  I Tim. 3:2, 6, 7, 8; I Cor. 12:8, 28; Heb. 13:7, 17; I Pet. 5:1, 2, 3; I Pet. 4:15.

 

    

.37.

 

Duty of Ministers.

 

                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 mind.

                Heb. 5:4;  John 10:3,4;  Acts 20:28, 29; Rom. 12:7, 8;  Heb. 13:7, 17; I Pet. 5:1, 2,  3.

 

 .38.

 The Support of Ministers.

                 The ministers of Christ ought to have whatsoever they shall need supplied freely by the church; according to Christ's ordinance, that they that preach the gospel, should live of the gospel,  by the law of Christ.

                 I Cor. 9:7,14; Gal. 6:6; Phil. 4:15,16.

   

.39.

 Baptism is to be Administered to Believers Only Upon Their Profession of Faith, After Which They May Take

The Lord's Supper.

                 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; and 8:36,37,38, and 16.

                                                 

.40.

 

The Mode and Picture of Baptism.

                 That  the way and manner of  dispensing this ordinance, is dipping or plunging the body under water; it, being a sign, must answer the thing 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 resurrection, to reign with Christ.

                 Matt. 3:6,16; Mark 1:9, reads (into Jordan) in Greek; John 3:23; Acts 8:38;  Rev. 1:5; and 7:14, with Heb. 10:22; Rom. 6:3, 4 ,5, 6; I 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).

                                                         

.41.

 The Spiritual Qualifications for the Administrator of Baptism.

                 The person designed by Christ  to  dispense baptism,  the scripture holds forth to be a disciple; it being nowhere tied to a particular church officer, or person extraordinarily sent; the commission enjoying the administration, being given to them considered as disciples, being men able to preach the gospel.

                 Matt. 28:19; (Mark 16:15,16); John 4:2; (Acts 8:4, 5, 12, 38; Acts 10:48; 16:3, 15,29,33, and 18:1, 5, 8,  compared with I Cor. 1:16,17).

                             

.42.

 

 Power is Given to the Church by Christ to Receive In and

Cast Out Members.

                 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, neither member or officer, but in relation to the whole body,  in reference to their faith and fellowship.

                (Acts 9:26; 18:27); Rom. 16:2; (Rom. 14:1; 2 Cor. 7:2;  3 John 9,10); Matt. 18:17; I Cor. 5:4, 11, 12, 13, with 6:2, 3;  2 Cor. 2:6,7; (2 Thess. 3:6;  I Pet. 5:3;  2 John 10).

                                                                     

.43.

 Church Censures, Their Subjects and Procedures.

                 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; I Tim. 5:19; Col. 4:17; Acts 15:1,2,3.

 

                                      

.44.

 Pastoral and Mutual Oversight of Church Members.

                 Christ for the keeping of this church in holy and orderly communion, placeth some special men over the church, who by their office, are to govern, oversee, visit, watch;  so  likewise for the better keeping thereof, in all places, by the members, he hath given authority, and laid duty upon all to watch over one another.

                 Acts 20:17, 28; Heb. 13:17, 24; Matt. 24:45; I Thess. 5:12-14; Jude 3, 20; Heb. 10:34, 35, and 12:15.

                                                                      

.45.

 The Gifts of Christ in the Church, After Trial, Are to Preach Publicly and Before the Church.

   

                Also such to whom God hath given gifts in the church, may and ought to prophesy,   according to the proportion of faith,  and so to teach publicly the word of God, for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the church.

                 I Cor. 14:3, &c.; Rom. 12:6; I Pet. 4:10,11; I Cor. 12:7; I Thess. 5:19,20.

   

.46.

 No Saint is to Separate From a Duly Constituted Church Except After Due Procedure.

                 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  tendernes, sought redress thereof.

                    Rev. 2 and 3 chap.; Acts 15:1, 2; I Cor. 1:10; Heb. 10:25; Jude 19; Rev. 2:20, 21, 27; Rom. 14:1, and 15:1, 2, 3.

   

.47.

 A Separate Church Is A Compact and Knit City Within Itself, But It May Have a Relation with Other Churches.

                 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.

                  I Cor. 4:17; 14:33, 36; 16:1.   Psa. 122:3; Eph. 2:12, 19, with Rev. 21; I Tim. 3:15; I Cor. 4:17.   Acts 15:2, 3; Song of Sol. 8:8,9;  2 Cor. 8:1, 4, 13, 14.

 

.48.

 Civil Magistracy Is An Ordinance of God.

                 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's 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: 1-7; I Pet. 2:13,14; I Tim. 2:1, 2, 3.

 

.49.

 In Religion God Only is to be Obeyed, Though at The Sacrifice of All Things Including Life Itself.

                 But in case we find not the magistrate to favour us herein; yet we dare not suspend our practice, because we believe we ought to go on 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 Testament 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 2:23, 40, and 4:19; 5:28, 29, and 20:23; I Thess. 3:3; Phil. 1:28, 29; Dan. 3:16, 17, and 6: 7, 10, 22, 23.  I Tim. 6:13, 14, 15.  Rev. 2:10; 2 Tim. 4:6, 7, 8.   Rom. 14: 10, 12; 2 Cor. 5: 10; Psa. 49:7; Psa. 50:22.

.50.

 A Christian May be A Civil Magistrate and Take an Oath.

                 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 rash and vain oaths the Lord is provoked, and this land mourns.

     Acts 8:27-38, and 10:1, 2, 35, 44; Rom. 16:23; ) Deut. 6:13; Rom. 1:9; 2 Cor. 1:23; 11:31; Jer. 4:2; Heb. 6:16; Matt. 5:34-37; Jam. 5:12.

   

.51.

 

A Christian's Duty to Men.

                 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.

                 I Thess. 4:6; Rom. 13:5, 6, 7; Matt. 22: 21; I Pet. 2:15, 17, and 5:5; Eph. 5: 21, 23, and 6: 1-9; Tit. 3: 1, 2, 3.

                                                                    

.52.

 The Resurrection of the Just and Unjust.

                 There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, and every one 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;  2 Cor. 5:10;  Rom. 14:12.

 

 

 

 THE CONCLUSION.

                 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, endeavouring 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, quiet,  and harmless people (no ways dangerous or troublesome to human society),  and to labour 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 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 stript 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 stedfast and immoveable, always abounding in obedience to Christ, as knowing our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.

 


   Arise, O God, plead thine own cause. Remember how the foolish man blasphemeth thee daily.

         O let not the oppressed return, but let the poor and needy praise thy name.

 Psalm 74:21, 22.

 

Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.

 

AN   APPENDIX  TO

 A   CONFESSION OF FAITH

           OR

 A more full Declaration of the Faith and Judgment

 of Baptized Believers.

 Occasioned by the inquiry of some woe-affected

and godly persons in the Country.

 Written by BENJAMIN COX, a Preacher of the

          Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

 Published for the further clearing of Truth, and discovery

 of their mistake who have imagined a dissent in

   fundamentals where there is none.

  MATH. 10: 27, 28.

 

  What I tell you in Darkness, that speak you in light: and

what you hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house-tops.

 And fear not & c.

 LONDON

 Printed in the year 1646.

 A more full

 DECLARATION OF THE FAITH and JUDGEMENT

  of Baptized Believers

   

     Be ready always, saith the Apostle Peter, to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; I Pet. 3:15.  It is therefore our duty in meekness and love to give an answer to those godly persons, which desire to be fully informed of our judgment concerning Religion and the ways of our God:  To those therefore that have expressed a desire to be so  informed, I thus answer.

      In a book lately reprinted, entitled, A Confession of Faith of Seven Congregations or Churches of Christ in  London, &c. is a plain and sincere expression of our judgment in the things therein spoken of, in 52 Articles.  And if our udgment touching some particulars, wherein we seem, or are supposed, to dissent from some others, do not appear clearly enough in that confession, I hope the same shall somewhat more clearly appear in this  ensuing Appendix.

                                                       I.

      We belive that the punishment due to Adam for his first rebellion, and due to all men for their sin in Adam, and for all their sins against the Law, was not a lying of the whole person of man in the dust, or grave, eternally without life or sense; for then the punishment of man that sinned, should not have differed from the punishment of the brute beast that sinned not.  But the punishment due to man, as foresaid, was indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish; and that eternal: And consequently the Redemption which we have by Christ from the curse of the Law, is a Redemption from eternal misery and torment:  this we learn from these places of Scripture compared together; Rom. 2:8,9; Jude 7; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12.

                                                       2.

      We believe that the eternity of the punishment of the vessels of wrath, is an absolute eternity, knowing no end; as well as the eternity of the life of the Saints:  Mat. 25.46.   This we maintain against those that affirm that all men shall be saved at the last.

                                                      3.

                  Although all the power of  the creature to act be from the Creator,  and there is a providence of God always  extended to every creature, and to every action of the creature; yet we judge that the sinful corruption of the creature, and the sinfulness of the creature's action, is from the creature, and not from God: and that it is a greatsin to say that God is the author if sin:  Eccles. 7:29; Habak.  1:13;  James 1:13,14,15; I Cor. 14:33; I Jn. 2:16. As touching that place which is here objected against us, viz., Amos 3:6.  Shall there be evil in a City, &c.  We conceive that it is either to be rendered according to the last Translation in the margin, Shall there be evil in a City, and shall not the Lord do something? or else that it is to be understood only of the evil of punishment, and not of the evil of sin.

                                                        4.

      We teach that they only do, or   can believe in Jesus Christ, to whom it is given to believe in him by a special, gracious, and powerful work of his Spirit: and that this is(and shall be) given to the Elect in the time appointed of God for their effectual calling; and to none but the Elect: John. 6:64,65; Phil. 1:29; Jer.. 31:33,34; Ezek. 36:26; Rom. 8:29,30; John. 10:26.

                                                        5.

      We affirm, that as Jesus Christ never intended to give remission of sins and eternal life unto any but his sheep; (John. 10:15. John. 17:2; Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 5:9.) so these sheep only have their sins washed away in the blood of Christ. The vessels of wrath,  as they are none of Christ's sheep, never do believe in Him, so they have not the blood of Christ sprinkled upon them, neither are partakers of Him: and therefore have all their sins remaining upon them, and are not saved by Christ from any of them under any consideration whatsoever;  but must lie under the intolerable burden of them eternally.  The truth of this appears unto us by the light of these Scriptures compared together;  Heb.. 12:24; I Pet. 1:2; Heb. 3:14; Math. 7:23; Eph. 5:6; I Tim. 1:9; John.  8:24.

                                                         6.

      Though some of our opposers do affirm, that by this doctrine we leave no Gospel to be preached to sinners for their conversion; yet through the goodness of God we know and preach to sinners this precious Gospel; God so loved the World, (that is, hath been so loving to mankind) that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life; John. 3:16; and this faithful saying, worthy of all acceptation, That Jesus Christ came into the World to save sinners, I Tim. 1:15; viz., all those sinners (how vile and grievous soever) not only which already do, but also which hereafter shall believe on him to life everlasting, I Tim. 1:16; and that to Christ all the Prophets give witness, that through His name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins, Acts 15:7.  This is the Gospel which Christ and his Apostles preached, which we have received, and by which we have been converted unto Christ.  And we desire to mind what Paul saith in Gal. 1:9: "If any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be anathema."

                                                        7.

      Though we  confess that no man  doth attain unto faith by his own good will, John. 1:13, yet we judge and know that the Spirit of God doth not compel a man to believe against his will, but doth powerfully and sweetly create in a man a new heart, and so make him to believe and obey willingly; Ezek. 36:26; Psalm. 110:3;  God thus working in us both to will and to do, of his good pleasure; Phil.. 2:13.

                                                        8.

      Though all our workings for life be in vain, irregular, and not accepted of God, (Jesus Christ being our life, Who is freely given to us of God,) yet we believe and know that being made  partakers of Jesus Christ, we do, and shall, and must, through Him, and walking in Him, bring forth the fruit of good works, serving God (in true obedience, and love, and thankfulness unto Him) in holiness and righteousness, being His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which He hath before ordained that we should walk in them; Eph. 2:10; Luke 1:74,75.

                                                        9.

      Though we that believe in Christ,  be  not  under the law, but under grace; Rom. 6:14; yet we know that  we are not lawless, or left to  live   without a rule; not without law to God, but under law to Christ, I Cor. 9:21. The  Gospel of  Jesus  Christ is a law, or commanding rule unto us; whereby, and in obedience where unto,  we are taught to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present  world;   Titus 2: 11, 12;  the directions of    Christ in his Evangelical word guiding us  unto, and in this sober, righteous, and godly walking, I Tim.  1:10,11.

                                                      10.

      Though we be not now sent to the Law as it was in the hand of Moses, to be commanded thereby, yet Christ in His Gospel teacheth and commandeth us to walk in the same way of   righteousness and holiness that God by Moses did command the Israelites to walk in, all the Commandments of the second Table being still delivered unto us by Christ, and all the Commandments of the first Table also (as touching the life and spirit of them) in this epitome or brief sum, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, &c. Matt. 22: 37, 38, 39, 40..  Rom. 13:8, 9, 10.

                                                       11.

      Though no sin be imputed to those that believe in  Christ, nor any sin do totally or fully reign over them,  or  in them; yet in them the flesh lusteth against the spirit; Gal. 5:17; and in many things they all offend; James 3:2; where the Apostle speaks of offences that one believe may take notice of in another.  Thus there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not, Eccles. 7:20; and if  we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, I John. 1:8.

                                                       12.

      Though there be no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, yet are they taught, and that effectually, to be ashamed of their sins Rom. 6:21; and to be sorry for them after a godly sort, 2 Cor. 7:9, 10, 11; yea to loath themselves for them; Ezek. 36:31.  Because that sin is an evil and a filthy thing, and in its own nature tends to the provoking and dishonoring of God, being disobedience against God, and a thing which the most holy  GOD  declares   Himself to loath and abhor; so that nothing but the blood of Christ could  purge us from our sins, and reconcile us to God, Whom by sin we had offended.  Therefore, the Saints both are, and must be grieved, and must judge themselves, because they have sinned against their holy and glorious God, and merciful and loving Father, I Cor. 11:31.

                                                      13.

             Though nothing be hid from God, and God imputeth not iniquity to any believer, yet ought we to confess our sins unto God, and to beseech Him to deal with us according to His own promise; viz., to be still gracious and merciful unto us though we have sinned against Him, not being wroth with us, nor rebuking us, nor ceasing to do good unto us because we have sinned, Isa. 54:9; Heb.. 8:12; Dan. 9:18,19,20; Psalm. 32:5; Psalm. 25:7; Ezek.36:37; James 5:10. Thus according to Christ's directions, we pray unto God to forgive us our sins; Luke 11:4; yet still we are to look upon God as our Father; Luke 11:2; and consequently upon ourselves as His children; and so not short of justification, or under wrath, but washed in Christ's blood from all our sins.  In such  confession and petitions we show obedience to God, and do  also exercise   faith towards God, and repentance or  godly sorrow for sin by which we see and confess that we for our parts have deserved wrath.

                                           

14.

      Though they which are once really engrafted into Christ, shall certainly be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation; I Pet. 1:5; yet ought they to beware, lest being led away with the error of the wicked, they fall from their own steadfastness; 2 Pet. 3:17.  They ought therefore to seek continual support from God.  Yea they ought to seek at God's hand (in prayer, and in the right use and study of His Word, and in   the   right use of His Ordinances) not only continuance, but also growth in grace; 2 Pet. 3:18;  First, because this is God's Command.  Secondly, because God Who will establish them, will do it in this way; viz: giving them grace to be obedient to this His Command,  and blessing them in this obedience.

                                                       15.

      As we mind that our whole salvation is given unto us of the Father by Jesus Christ, and for His sake; so we likewise mind, that the Father's giving Jesus Christ for us, and to us, and so saving us in Him, and for His sake, is the acting and manifesting of that free love of His towards us, which was in Himself from all eternity, John 17:23; Eph. 1:4,5.

                                                       16.

      Although a true believer, whether baptized, or unbaptized, be in the state of salvation, and shall certainly be saved: yet in obedience to the Command of Christ every believer ought to desire Baptism, and to yield himself to be baptized according to the rule of Christ in His Word: And where this obedience is in faith performed, there Christ makes this His Ordinance a means of unspeakable benefit to the believing soul,  Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; I Pet. 3:21.  And a true believer that here sees the command of Christ lying upon him, cannot allow himself in disobedience thereunto, Acts 24:16.

                                                       17.

      Believers baptized ought to agree and join together in a constant profession of the same doctrine of the Gospel, and in professed obedience thereunto, and also in fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers, Acts 2:42.  And a company of baptized believers so agreeing and joining together, are a Church or Congregation of Christ,  Acts 2:47.

                                                        18.

      As the preaching of the Gospel, both for the conversion of sinners, and the edifying of those that are converted; so also the right use of baptism, and the Lord's Supper, ought to be till the end of the world, Matt. 28:19,20; I Cor. 11:26.

                                                        19.

      A disciple gifted and enabled by the spirit of Christ to preach the Gospel, and stirred up to this service by the same spirit, bringing home to his soul the command of Christ in his word for the doing of this work, is a man authorized and sent by Christ to preach the Gospel, see Luke 19:12, &c. Mark 16:15, and Matt. 28:19, compared with Acts 8:4, Phil. 1:14; 3 John 7.  And those gifted disciples which thus preach Jesus Christ Who came in the flesh, are to be looked upon as men sent and given of the Lord, I John 4:2; Romans 10:15; Eph. 4:11,12,13.  And they which are converted from unbelief and false-worship,  and so brought into Church-fellowship by which Preachers according to the will   of Christ, are a seal of their ministry, I Cor. 9:2.  And such preachers of the Gospel may not only lawfully administer Baptism unto believers, and guide the action of the Church in the use of the Supper, (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:5-12; I Cor. 10:16.) but may also call upon the Churches, and advise them to choose fit men for officers, and may settle such officers so chosen by a Church, in the places or offices to which they are chosen, by imposition of hands and prayer, Acts 6:3-6; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5

                                                          20.

      Though a believer's right to the use of the Lord's Supper do immediately flow from Jesus Christ apprehended and received by faith; yet in as much as all things ought to be done not only decently, but also in order; I Cor. 14:40, and the word holds forth this order, that disciples should be baptized, Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38, and then be taught to observe all things (that is to say, all other things) that Christ commanded the Apostles, Matt. 28:20, and accordingly the Apostles first baptized disciples, and then admitted them to the use of the Supper; Acts 2:41,42, we therefore do not admit any to the use of the Supper, nor communicate with any in the use of this ordinance,   but disciples baptized, lest we should have fellowship with them in their doing contrary to order.

                                                        21.

      Although we know that in  some   things we are yet very dark, and in all things as yet we know but in part, and do  therefore wait upon God for further light; yet we believe that we ought in our practice to obey, and serve, and glorify God in the use of that light which he hath  given us;  and not neglect the good using of that light which God hath already given  us,   under pretence of waiting for more, I Cor. 13:9, Acts 18:25.

                                                       22.

      As Christ doth not teach, nor allow that we should be without natural affection, or unsociable; (see Rom. 1:31.) so our being made partakers of Christ, doth not discharge us from the duties of our relations.  Believing servants must perform the duties of servants towards their masters though unbelieving;   I Tim. 6:1.  So believing children must perform the duties of children towards their parents; Col. 3:20, believing wives, the duties of wives towards their husbands; I Pet.3:1, and believing subjects must be subject to principalities and powers, and obey Magistrates, Rom 13:1, & c. Titus 3:1. I Pet. 2:13, 14, 15.  But still they must remember that their fear toward God must not be taught by the perception of men; Isaiah 29:13, that they ought to obey God rather then men;  Acts 5:29,  and that the submission that must be given to men, must be given to them for the Lord's sake, I Pet. 2:14.

       Thus I conclude with the Apostle's words (in 2 Tim. 2:7) a little varied, but not  misapplied; Consider what we teach: and the Lord give you understanding in all things.