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The book of Wisdom,
The third book of Esdras,
Of the New Testament.
The First and Second Epis-
The Song of Solomon,
Jeremiah, his prophecy and
The twelve less prophets.
All which we acknowledge to be given by the inspiration of God, and in that regard to be of most certain credit and highest authority.
3. The other books, commonly called Apocryphal, did not proceed from such inspiration, and therefore are not of sufficient authority to establish any point of doctrine; but the church doth read them as books containing many worthy things for example of life and instruction of manners.
The Epistle of St. James,
The thrée Epistles of St.
The Revelation of St. John.
Such are these following:
Baruch, with the epistle of
The Song of the Three Chil-
Bel and the Dragon,
The Second book of Mac-
4. The Scriptures ought to be translated out of the original tongues into all languages, for the common use of all men. Neither is any person to be discouraged from reading the Bible in such a language as he doth understand, but seriously exhorted to read the same with great humility and reverence, as a special means to bring him to the true knowledge of God, and of his own duty.
5. Although there be some hard things in the Scripture (especially such as have proper relation to the times in which they were first uttered, and prophecies of things which were arterward to be fulfilled), yet all things necessary to be known unto everlasting salvation, are clearly delivered therein; and nothing of that kind is spoken under dark mysteries in one place, which is not in other places spoken more familiarly and plainly to the capacity both of learned and unlearned.
6. The Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation, and are able to instruct sufficiently in all points of faith that we are bound to believe, and all duties that we are bound to practise.
7. All and every the articles contained in the Nicene creed, the creed of Athanasius, and that which is commonly called the Apostles'
creed, ought firmly to be received and believed, for they may be proved by most certain warrant of Holy Scripture.
Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.
8. There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three persons of one and the same substance, po wer, and eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
9. The essence of the Father doth not beget the essence of the Son; but the person of the Father begetteth the person of the Son, by communicating his whole essence to the person begotten from eternity.
10. The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
Of God's eternal Decree and Predestination.
11. God from all eternity did, by his unchangeable counsel, ordain whatsoever in time should come to pass; yet so, as thereby no violence is offered to the wills of the reasonable creatures, and neither the liberty nor the contingency of the second cause is taken away, but established rather.
* 12. .. By the same eternal counsel God hath predestinated some unto life, and reprobated some unto death; of both which there is a certain number, known only to God, which can neither be increased nor diminished."
13. Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, he hath constantly decreed in his secret counsel, to deliver from curse and damnation, those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ unto everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour.
* II. 14. "The cause moving God to predestinate unto life, is not the foreseeing of faith, or of perseverance, or of good works, or of anything which is in the person predestinated, but only the good pleasure of God himself.”
For all things being ordained for the manifestation of his glory, and his glory being to appear, both in the works of his mercy and of his justice, it seemed good to his heavenly wisdom to choose out a certain number, towards whom he would extend his undeserved mercy, leaving the rest to be spectacles of his justice.
15. Such as are predestinated unto life be called according unto God's purpose (his spirit working in due season), and through grace they obey the calling; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they be made like the image of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works, and at length by God's mercy they attain to everlasting felicity.
* IV. "But such as are not predestinated to salvation, shall finally be condemned for their sins."
16. The godly consideration of predestination, and our election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members. and drawing up their minds to high and heavenly things, as well
because it doth greatly confirm and establish their faith of eternal sa.vation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God; and on the contrary side, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's predestination, is very dangerous.
17. We must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth unto us in Holy Scripture; and in our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.
Of the Creation and Government of all Things.
18. In the beginning of time, when no creature had any being, God by his word alone, in the space of six days, created all things; and afterward by his Providence doth continue, propagate, and order them, according to his own will.
19. The principal creatures are angels and men.
20. Of angels, some continued in that holy state wherein they were created, and are by God's grace for ever established therein; others fell from the same, and are reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
21. Man being at the beginning created according to the image of God (which consisted especially in the wisdom of his mind, and the true holiness of his free-will), had the covenant of the law ingrafted in his heart, whereby God did promise unto him everlasting life, upon condition that he performed entire and perfect obedience unto his commandments, according to that measure of strength wherewith he was endued in his creation, and threatened death unto him if he did not perform the same.
Of the Fall of Man, Original Sin, and the State of Man before
22. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death went over all men, forasmuch as all have sinned.
23. Original sin standeth not in the imitation of Adam (as the Pelagians dream), but is the fault and corruption of the nature of every person that naturally is engendered and propagated from Adam, whereby it cometh to pass, that man is deprived of original righteousness, and by nature is bent unto sin; and therefore in every personborn into the world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation.
24. This corruption of nature doth remain even in those that are regenerated, whereby the flesh always lusteth against the Spirit, and cannot be made subject to the law of God. And howsoever, for Christ's sake, there be no condemnation to such as are regenerate and do believe; yet doth the apostle acknowledge, that in itself this concupiscence hath the nature of sin.
* IX. 25. "The condition of man, after the fall of Adam, is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God."
Wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasing and acceptable unto God, without the grace of God preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
26. Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasing unto God, forasmuch as they spring not of
faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace (or, as the school authors say, to deserve grace of congruity); yea rather, for that they are not done in such sort that God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they are sinful.
27. All sins are not equal, but some far more heinous than others yet the very least is of its own nature mortal, and without God's mercy maketh the offender liable unto everlasting damnation.
28. God is not the author of sin: howbeit he doth not only permit, but also by his providence govern and order the same, guiding it in such sort by his infinite wisdom, as it turneth to the manifestation of his own glory, and to the good of his elect.
Of Christ, the Mediator of the Second Covenant.
29. The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the true and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were inseparably joined in one person, making one Christ, very God and very man.
30. Christ, in the truth of our nature, was made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted, from which he was clearly void, both in his life and in his nature. He came as a lamb without spot to take away the sins of the world, by the sacrifice of himself once made, and sin (as St. John saith) was not in him. He fulfilled the law for us perfectly; for our sakes he endured most grievous torments immediately in his soul, and most painful sufferings in his body. He was crucified, and died to reconcile his Father unto us; and to be a sacrifice not only for original guilt, but also for all our transgressions. He was buried, and descended into hell, and the third day rose from the dead, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father, until he return to judge all men at the last day.
Of the communicating of the Grace of Christ.
31. They are to be condemned that presume to say, that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law, and the light of nature; for Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ whereby men must be saved.
32. * VIII. «None can come unto Christ unless it be given unto him, and unless he draw him. And all men are not so drawn by the Father, that they may come unto the Son; [* VII.] neither is there such a sufficient measure of grace vouchsafed unto every man, whereby he is enabled to come unto everlasting life." 33. All God's elect are in their time inseparably united unto Christ, by the effectual and vital influence of the Holy Ghost, derived from him, as from the head, unto every true member of his mystical body. And being thus made one with Christ, they are truly regenerated, and made partakers of him and all his benefits.
Of Justification and Faith.
34. We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour 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.
35. Although this justification be free unto us, yet it cometh not so freely unto us, that there is no ransom paid therefore at all. God shewed his mercy 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 ransom, it pleased our heavenly Father, of his infinite mercy, without any desert of ours, to provide for us the most 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 forasmuch 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, charity, 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 mercy, and the merits of his most dearly beloved Son, our only Redeemer, Saviour 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 mercy 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 ancient 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. * VI. "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."