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Of Justification and Faith.
34. WE are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, applied by faith, and not for our own works or merits. And this righteousness, which we so receive of God's mercy and Christ's merits, embraced by faith, is taken, accepted, and allowed of God, for our perfect and full justification.
s3. Although this justification be free unto us, yet it eometh not so freely unto us, that there is no ranson paid therefore at all. God shewed his merey in delivering us from our former captivity, without requiring any ransom to be paid, or amends to be made on our parts, which thing by us had been impossible to be done. And whereas all the world was not able of themselves to pay any part towards their ranson, it pleased our heavenly Father, of his infinite mercy, without any desert of ours, to provide for us the unost precious merits of his own Son. whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied; so that Christ is now the righteousness of all them that truly believe in him: he for them paid their ransom by his death; he for them fulfilled the law in his life; that now in him, and by him, every true christian man may be called a fulfiller of the law; for as much as that which our infirmity was not able to effect, Christ’s justice hath performed; and thus the justice and mercy of God do embrace each other, the grace of God not shutting out the justice of God in the matter of our justification, but only shutting out the justice of man (that is to say, the justice of our own works) from being any cause of deserving our justification.
36. When we say, that we are justified by faith only, we do not mean, that the said justifying faith is alone in man without true repentance, hope, charity, and the fear of God; (for such a faith is dead and cannot justify ;) neither do we mean, that this our act to believe in Christ, or this our faith in Christ, which is within us, doth of itself justify us, or deserve our justification unto us, (for that were to account ourselves to be justified by the virtue or dignity of something that is within ourselves;) but the true understanding and meaning thereof is, that although we hear God’s word, and believe it; although we have faith, hope, charity, repentance, and the fear of God within us, and add never so many good works thereunto, yet we must renounce the merit of all our said virtues, of faith, hope, eharity, and all our other virtues and good deeds, which we either have done, shall do, or can do, as things that be far too weak and imperfect, and insufficient, to deserve remission of our sins and our justification; and therefore we must trust only in God’s merey, and the merits of his most dearly beloved Son, our only Redeemer, Savior and Justifier, Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, because faith doth directly send us to Christ for our justification, and that by faith, given us of God, we embrace the promise of God’s merey, and the remission of our sins, (which thing none other of our virtues or works properly doth) therefore the scripture useth to say, that faith without works, and the an
tient fathers of the church to the same purpose, that only faith doth justify us.
37. By justifying faith we understand not only the common belief of the articles of the christian religion, and a persuasion of the truth of God’s word in general, but also a particular application of the gracious promises of the gospel to the comfort of our own souls, whereby we lay hold on Christ with all his benefits, having an earnest trust and confidence in God, that he will be merciful unto us for his only Son’s sake.
a 7°WI. “So that a true believer may be certain, by the assurance of faith, of the forgiveness of his sins, and of his everlasting salvation by Christ.”
38. Pro*W. “A true lively justifying faith, and the sanctifying spirit of God, is not extinguished, nor vanisheth away in the regenerate, either finally or totally.”
of Sanctification and Good Works.
89. ALL that are justified are likewise sanctified, their faith being always accompanied with true repentance and good works.
40. Repentance is a gift of God, whereby a godly sorrow is wrought in the heart of the faithful for offending God, their merciful Father, by their former transgressions, together with a constant resolution for the time to come to cleave unto God, and to lead a new life
41. Albeit that good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot make satisfaction for our sins, and endure the severity of God’s judgment; yet are they pleasing to God and aeeepted of him in Christ, and do spring from a true and lively faith, which by them is to be discerned as a tree by the fruit.
42. The works which God would have his people to walk in, are such as he hath commanded in his holy scripture, and not such works as men have devised out of their own brain, of a blind zeal and devotion, without the warrant of the word of God.
48. The regenerate eannot fulfil the law of God perfectly in this life, for in many things we offend all; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is met in us.
44. Not every heinous sin willingly committed after baptism, is sin against the Holy Ghost and unpardonable; and therefore to such as fall into sin after baptism, place for repentance is not to be denied.
45. Voluntary works, besides over and above God’s commandments, which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety; for by them men do declare, that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake than of bounden duty is required.
Wol. W. 39
of the Service of God.
46. OUR duty towards God is to believe in him, to fear him, and to love him with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our soul, and with all our strength; to worship him, and to give him thanks, to put our whole trust in him, to eall upon him, to honor his holy name and his word, and to serve him truly all the days of our life.
47. In all our necessities we ought to have recourse unto God by prayer, assuring ourselves, that whatsoever we ask of the Father in the name of his Son (our only Mediator and Intercessor) Christ Jesus, and according to his will, he will undoubtedly grant it.
48. We ought to prepare our hearts before we pray, and understand the things that we ask when we pray, that both our hearts and voices may together sound in the ears of God’s majesty.
49. When Almighty God smiteth us with affliction, or some great ealamity hangeth overus, or any other weighty cause so requireth, it is our duty to humble ourselves in fasting, to bewail our sins with a sorrowful heart, and to addict ourselves to earnest prayer, that it might please God to turn his wrath from us, er supply us with such graces as we greatly stand in need of.
so. Fasting is a withholding of meat, drink, and all natural food, with other outward delights, from the body, for the determined time of fasting. “As for those abstinences which are appointed by public order of our state, for eating of fish, and forbearing of flesh at certain times and days appointed, they are no ways meant to be religious fasts, nor intended for the maintenance of any superstition in the choice of meats, but are grounded merely upon politic considerations, for
provision of things tending to the better preservation of the commonwealth.”
51. We must not fast with this persuasion of mind, that our fasting ean bring us to heaven, or ascribe outward holiness to the work wrought; for God alloweth not our fast for the work's sake (which of itself is a thing merely indifferent) but chiefly respecteth the heart, how it is affected therein; it is therefore requisite, that first before all thiugs we cleanse our hearts from sin, and then direct our fast to such ends as God will allow to be good; that the flesh may thereby be chastised, the spirit may be more fervent in prayer, and that our fastins may be a testimony of our humble submission to God’s majesty, when we acknowledge our sins unto him, and are inwardly touched
with sorrowfulness of heart, bewailing the same in the affliction of our bodies.
52. All worship devised by man's fantasy, besides or contrary to the seriptures (as wandering on pilgrimages, setting up of candles, stations, and jubiles, pharisaieal sects, and feigned religions, praying upon beads, and such-like superstition) hath not only no promise of reward in seripture, but contrariwise threatenings and maledictions.
58. All manner of expressing God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, in an outward form, is utterly unlawful; and also all other images devised or made by man to the use of religion.
54. All religious worship ought to be given to God alone, from whom all . health, and grace, ought to be both asked and looked for, as from the very Author and Giver of the same, and from none other.
55. The name of God is to be used with all reverence and holy respect, and therefore all vain and rash swearing is utterly to be condemned; yet notwithstanding, upon lawful occasions, an oath may be given and taken, according to the word of God, justice, judgment, and truth.
56. The first day of the week, which is the Lord's day, is wholly to he dedicated to the service of God, and therefore we are bound therein to rest from our common and daily business, and to bestow that lei. sure upon holy exercises, both public and private.
Of the Civil Magistrate.
57. THE king's majesty under God hath the sovereign and chief power, within his realms and dominions, over all manner of persons, of what estate, either ecclesiastical or civil, soever they be, so as no other foreign power hath or ought to have any superiority over them.
58. We do profess, that the supreme government of all estates within the said realms and dominions, in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as temporal, doth of right appertain to the king's highness. Neither do we give unto him hereby the administration of the word and sac. raments, or the power of the keys, but that prerogative only which we see to have been always given unto all godly princes in i. seripture by God himself: that is, that he should contain all estates and degrees committed to his charge by God, whether they be ecclesiasticall or civil, within their duty, and restrain the stubborn and evil. doers with the power of the civil sword.
59. The pope neither of himself, nor by any authority of the church or see of Rome, or by any other means with any other, hath any power or authority to depose the king, or dispose of any of his kingdoms or dominions, or to authorize any other prince to invade or annoy him, or his countries, or to discharge any of his subjects of their allegiance and obedience to his majesty, or to give license or leave to any .#. to bear arms, raise tumult, or to offer any violence or hurt to his royal person, state, or government, or to any of his subjects within his onajesty's dominions,
60. That princes which be excommunicated or deprived by the pope may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or any other whatsoever, is impious doctrine.
61. The laws of the realm may punish christian men with death for heinous and grievous offences.
62. It is lawful for christian men, at the commandment of the magistrate, to bear arms, and to serve injust wars.
Of our Duty towards our Meighbors.
63. OUR duty towards our neighbors, is to love them as ourselves, and to do to all men as we would they should do to us; to honor and obey our superiors, to preserve the safety of men's persons, as also their chastity. Goods, and good names; to bear no malice nor hatred in our hearts; to keep our bodies in temperance, soberness and chastity; to be true and just in all our doings; not to covet other men's goods,
but labor truly to get our own living, and te do our duty in that estate.
of life unto which it pleaseth God to call us.
64. For the preservatian of the chastity of men's persons, wedlock is commanded unto all men that stand in need thereof. Neither is there any prohibition by the word of God but that the ministers of the church may enter into the state of matrimony, they being no where commanded by God’s law, either to vow the state of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore it is lawful also for them, as well as for all other christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.
65. The riches and goods of christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as eertain anabaptists falsely affirm ; notwithstanding every man ought of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
66. Faith given is to be kept, even with heretics and infidels.
67. The popish doctrine of equivocation and mental reservation is most ungodly, and tendeth plainly to the subversion of all human society.
of the Church and outward.Ministry of the Gospel.
68. THERE is but one catholic church, (out of which there is no salvation) containing the universal company of all the saints that ever were, are, or shall be, gathered together in one body, under one head, Christ Jesus; part whereof is already in heaven triumphant, part as yet, militant here upon earth. And because this chureh consisteth of all those, and those alone, which are elected by God unto salvation, and regenerated by the power of his spirit, the number of whom is known only unto God himself, therefore it is called the catholic or universal, and the invisible church.