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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*.
XVI. 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 ment.
That Jesus Christ is God, is wonderfully clearly expressed in the Scriptures. He is called the mighty God, Isa. ix. 6. That Word was God, John i. 1. Christ, who is God over all, Rom. ix. 5. God manifested in the flesh, 1 Tim. iii. 16. The same is very God, John v. 20. He is the first, Rev. i. 8. He gives being to all things, and without him was nothing made, John i. 2. He forgiveth sins, Matt. ix. 6. He is before Abraham, John viii. 58. He was, and is, and ever will be the same, Heb. xiii. 8. He is always with his to the end of the world, Matt. xxviii. 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. i. 8. John i. 18.
Also, Christ is not only perfectly God, but perfect man, made of a woman, Gal. iv. 4. Made of the seed of David, Rom. i. 3. Coming out of the loins of David, Acts ii. 30. Of Jesse and Judah, Acts xiii. 23. In that the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he himself likewise took part with them, Heb. ii. 14. He took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, ver. 16. bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, Eph. v. 30. sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, are all of See Acts iii. 22. Deut. xviii. 15. Heb. i. 1.
So that we are So that he that one, Heb. ii. 11.
XVII. 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 ‡.
XVIII. This priesthood was not legal or temporary, but according to the order of Melchisedeck, 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
John i. 18; xii. 49, 50; and xvii. 8. 1. Gal. iii. 1. 1 Cor. i. 24. Col. ii. 3.
Matt. xxiii. 10. Deut. xviii. 15. Heb. iii.
† John i. 18. Acts iii. 22. Deut. xviii. 15.
John xvii. 19. Heb. v. 7-10. 12. Rom. v. 19. Eph. v. 2. Col. i. 20. Eph. ii.
14, &c. Rom. viii. 34.
Heb. i. 1.
which is offered upon it, and so it ought to be of greater dignity than the sacrifice itself*.
XIX. Concerning his kingly office, Christ being risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and having all power in heaven and earth, he doth spiritually govern his church, and doth exercise his power over all, angels and men, good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of the elect, and to the overruling and destruction of his enemies. By this kingly power he applieth the benefits, virtue, and fruits, of his prophecy and priesthood to his elect, subduing their sins, preserving and strengthening them in all their conflicts against Satan, the world, and the flesh, keeping their hearts in faith and filial fear by his Spirit: by this his mighty power he ruleth the vessels of wrath, using, limiting, and restraining them, as it seems good to his infinite wisdom.
XX. This his kingly power shall be more fully manifested when he shall come in glory to reign among his saints, when he shall put down all rule and authority under his feet, that the glory of the Father may be perfectly manifested in his Son, and the glory of the Father and the Son in all his members.
XXI. Jesus Christ by his death did purchase salvation for the elect that God gave unto him; these only have interest in him, and fellowship with him, for whom he makes intercession to his Father in their behalf, and to them alone doth God by his Spirit apply this redemption; as also the free gift of eternal life is given to them, and none else§.
XXII. Faith is the gift of God, wrought in the hearts of the elect by the Spirit of God; by which faith they come to know and believe the truth of the Scriptures, and the excellency of them above all other writings, and all things in the world, as they hold forth the glory of God in his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his nature and offices, and of the power and fulness of the Spirit in his workings and operations; and so are enabled to cast their souls upon this truth thus believed.
XXIII. All those that have this precious faith wrought in them by the Spirit, can never finally nor totally fall away; seeing the gifts of God are without repentance; so that he still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit, unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise, and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock, which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief, and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of this light and love be clouded and overwhelmed for a time; yet God is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the
*Heb. v. 6; vii. 16, &c.; ix. 13, 14; x. 10; and xiii. 10. 12. 15. 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. Col. i. 20. 22. Acts xx. 28. Matt. xxiii. 17. John xvii. 19.
+1 Cor. xv. 4. 1 Pet. iii. 21, 22. Matt. xxviii. 18, 19. Luke xxiv. 51. Acts i. 1; and v. 30, 31. John v. 26, 27; xix. 36; and xvi. 15. Rom. i. 21; v. 6–8; xiv. 9. 17; and xvii. 18. Gal. v. 22, 23. Mark i. 27. Heb. i. 14. Job ii. 8; and xvii. 18. Eph. iv. 17, 18. 2 Pet. ii.
1 Cor. xv. 24. 28. Heb. ix. 28. 1 Thess. iv. 15-17. 2 Thess. i. 9, 10. John
xii. 21. 26.
Eph. i. 14. Rom. viii. 29, 30. || Eph. ii. 8.
iv. 11, 12.
Heb. v. 19; and vii. 25. Matt. i. 21. John xvii. 6. 1 Cor. ii. 12.
Phil. i. 29.
Gal. v. Heb.
power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraved upon the palms of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity*.
XXIV. 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+.
XXV. 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 saviour for such sinners as through the gospel shall be brought to believe on him.
XXVI. 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§.
XXVII. 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||.
XXVIII. Those that have union with Christ, are justified from all their sins by the blood of Christ, which justification is a gracious and full acquittance of a guilty sinner from all sin, by God, through the satisfaction that Christ hath made by his death for all their sins, and this applied (in the manifestation of it) through faith ¶.
XXIX. All believers are a holy and sanctified people, and that sanctification is a spiritual grace of the new covenant, and an effect of the love of God manifested in the soul, whereby the believer presseth after a heavenly and evangelical obedience to all the commands which Christ, as head and king in his new covenant, hath prescribed to them**.
XXX. All believers, through the knowledge of that justification of life given by the Father, and brought forth by the blood of Christ, have, as their great privilege of that new covenant, peace with God, 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 tt.
Matt. vii. 24, 25. John xiii. 10; and x. 28, 29. 1 Pet. i. 4-6. Isa. xlix. 13-16.
+ Rom. x. 17. 1 Cor. i. 28. Rom. i. 16; iii. 12; and ix. 16. Ezek. xvi. 16. Eph. i. 19. Col. ii. 12.
XXXI. 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 lawfully enjoyed by a civil right by them who have no faith*.
XXXII. 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 †.
XXXIII. 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 t.
XXXIV. To this church he hath made his promises, and giveth the signs of his covenant, presence, acceptation, love, blessing, and protection. Here are the fountains and springs of his heavenly graces flowing forth to refresh and strengthen them §.
XXXV. 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 in the Church); and also being come, they are here by himself to be bestowed in their several order, due place, peculiar use, being fitly compact and knit together, according to the effectual working of every part, to the edifying of itself in love .
XXXVI. 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,
2 Tim. iv. 18. Eph. i. 1. Rom. i. 7. Acts ii. 37. 42; ix. 26;
* Rom. vi. 23, 24; and viii. 29. Eph. vi. 10, 11, &c. Heb. ii. 9, 10. 2 Tim. iii. 13. 1 Thess. iii. 3. Gal. ii. 19, 20. 2 Cor. v. 7. Deut. ii. 5. + John xv. 5; and xvi. 33. Phil. iv. 11. Heb. ii. 9, 10. Matt. xi. 11; xviii. 19, 20. 2 Thess. i. 1. 1 Cor. i. 2. Acts xix. 8, 9; and xxvi. 18. 2 Cor. vi. 17. Rev. xviii. 4. and x. 37. Rom. x. 10. 1 Pet. ii. 5. Matt. xxviii. 18, &c. Paalm cxxxiii. 3. Rom. iii. Acts ii. 41. 44, 45. 47. Cant. iv. 12. Eph. ii. 19. 34, 35; v. 4; and xx. 32.
1 Cor. iii. 21; and xi. 24. 2 Cor. vi. 18.
Rom. ix. 4, 5.
Isa. iv. 3. 1 Cor. xii. 6, 7, &c. Ezek. xx. 37. 40.
governing, serving, and building up, of his church: and that none have any power to impose on them either these or any other *.
XXXVII. 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 +.
XXXVIII. The ministers of Christ ought to have whatsoever they shall need, supplied freely by the church, that, according to Christ's ordinances, they that preach the gospel should live of the gospel by the law of Christ ‡.
XXXIX. 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 §.
XL. That the way and manner of the dispensing this ordinance, is dipping or plunging the body under water; it being a sign, must answer the things signified, which is, that interest the saints have in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ: and that as certainly as the body is buried under water, and risen again; so certainly shall the bodies of the saints be raised by the power of Christ, in the day of the resurrection, to reign with Christ .
The word baptizo signifies to dip or plunge (yet so as convenient garments be both upon the administrator and subject with all modesty.)
XLI. The person designed by Christ to dispense baptism, the Scripture holds forth to be a disciple; it being no where tied to a particular church-officer, or person extraordinarily sent, the commission enjoining the administration being given to them as considered disciples, being men able to preach the gospel .
XLII. Christ hath likewise given power to his church to receive in, and cast out, any member that deserves it; and this power is given to every congregation, and not to one particular person, either member or officer, but in relation to the whole body, in reference to their faith and fellowship **.
XLIII. 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 ++:
XLIV. 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
Acte i. 23. 26; vi. 3; and xv. 22. 25. Rom. xii. 7, 8. 1 Tim. iii. 2. 6, 7. 1 Cor. xii. 8. 28. Heb. xiii. 7. 17. 1 Pet. v. 1-3; and iv. 15.
+ Heb. v. 4. John x. 3, 4.
1 Pet. v. 1-3.
Acts xx. 28, 29. Rom. xii. 7, 8. Heb. xiii. 7. 17.
1 Cor. ix. 7. 14. Gal. vi. 8. Phil. iv. 15, 16. 2 Cor. x. 4. 1 Tim. i. 2.
Psalm cx. 3.
§ Matt. xxviii. 18, 19. John iv. 1. Mark xvi. 15, 16.
36, 37, &c.
Matt. iii. 6. 16.
Acts ii. 37, 38; and viii.
Mark xv. 9, reads [into Jordan] in Greek. viii. 38. Rev. i. 5; and vii. 14. Heb. x. 22. Rom. vi. 3-6. Isa. viii. 16. Eph. ii. 7. Matt. xxviii. 19. John iv. 2.
1 Cor. xi. 2; and x. 16, 17. Rom. xvi. 2. Matt. xviii. 17. ** Rom. xvi. 2. Matt. xviii. 17. 1 Cor. v. 4. 11. 13; xii. 6'; and ii. 3. 2 Cor. ii. 6, 7. ++ Matt. xviii. 16; and xvii. 18, Acts xi. 2, 3. 1 Tim. v. 19, &c. Col. iv. 17. Acts xv. 1-3.