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keeping thereof, in all places by the members, he hath given authority, and laid duty upon all to watch over one another*.

XLV. 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.

XLVI. Thus, being rightly gathered, and continuing in the obedience of the gospel of Christ, none are to separate for faults and corruptions, (for as long as the church consists of men subject to failings, there will be difference in the true constituted church) until they have in due order and tenderness sought redress thereof ‡.

XLVII. 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 §.

XLVIII. A civil magistracy is an ordinance of God, set up by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well; and that in all lawful things, commanded by them, subjection ought to be given by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but for conscience' sake; and that we are to make supplications and prayers for kings, and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and able life, in all godliness and honesty .


The supreme magistracy of this kingdom we acknowledge to be the king and parliament (now established) freely chosen by the kingdom, and that we are to maintain and defend all civil laws and civil officers made by them, which are for the good of the commonwealth. And we acknowledge with thankfulness, that God hath made this present king and parliament honourable in throwing down the prelatical hierarchy, because of their tyranny and oppression over us, under which this kingdom long groaned, for which we are ever engaged to bless God, and honour them for the same. And concerning the worship of God; there is but one lawgiver, which is able to save and destroy, James iv. 12, which is Jesus Christ, who hath given laws and rules sufficient in his word for his worship; and for any to make more, were to charge Christ with want of wisdom, or faithfulness, or both, in not making laws enough, or not good enough for his house: surely it is our wisdom, duty, and privilege, to observe Christ's laws only, Psalm ii. 6. 9, 10. 12. So it is the magistrates' duty to tender the liberty of men's consciences. Eccles. viii. 8. (which is the tenderest thing to all conscientious men, and most dear unto them, and without which all other liberties will not be worth the naming, much less enjoying), and to protect all under them from all wrong, injury, oppression, and molestation; so it is our duty not to be wanting in any thing which is for their honour and

* Acts xx. 27, 23. Heb. xiii. 17. 24. Matt. xxiv. 45. 1 Thess. v. 2. 14. Jude 3. 20. Heb. x. 34, 35; and xii. 15.

+1 Cor. xiv. 3, &c. Rom. xii. 6. 1 Pet. iv. 10, 11. 1 Cor. xii. 7. 1 Thess. v. 19, &c. Rev. ii. and iii. Acts xv. 12. 1 Cor. i. 10. Heb. x. 25. Jude 19. Rev. ii. 20, 21.

27. Acts xv. 1, 2. Rom. xiv. 1; and xv. 1—3.

§ 1 Cor. iv. 17; xiv. 33. 36; and xvi. 1. Psalm exxii. 3. Eph. ii. 12. 19. Rev. xxi.

1 Tim. iii. 15; vi. 13, 14. 1 Cor. iv. 17. Acts xv. 2, 3. Cant. viii. 8, 9. 2 Cor. viii, 1. 4; and xiii. 14.

Rom. xiii. 1, 2, &c. 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14. 1 Tim. ii. 1-3.

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comfort, and whatsoever is for the well-being of the commonwealth wherein we live ; it is our duty to do, and we believe it to be our express duty, especially in matters of religion, to be fully persuaded in our minds of the lawfulness of what we do, as knowing whatsoever is not of faith is sin. And as we cannot do any thing contrary to our understandings and consciences, so neither can we forbear the doing of that which our understandings and consciences bind us to do. And if the magistrates should require us to do otherwise, we are to yield our persons in a passive way to their power, as the saints of old have done, James v. 4. And thrice happy shall he be, that shall lose his life for witnessing (though but for the least tittle) of the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. v., Gal. v.

XLIX. 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 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 to 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 *.

L. 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 +.

LI. We are to give unto all men whatsoever is their due, as their place, age, estate, requires; and that we defraud no man of any thing, but to do unto all men as we would they should do unto us‡.

LII. 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 §.


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,

Acts ii. 40, 41; iv. 19; v. 28, 29; and xx. 23. 1 Thess. iii. 3. Phil. i. 28, 29. Dan. iii. 16, 17; and vi. 7. 10. 22, 23. 1 Tim. vi. 13, 14. Rom. xii. 1. 8. 1 Cor. xiv. 37. Rev. ii. 20. 2 Tim. iv. 6-8. Rom. xiv. 10, 12. 2 Cor. v. 10. Psal. xlix. 7; and 1. 22. + Acts viii. 38; and x. 1. 2. 35. Rom. xvi. 23. Deut. vi. 13. Rom. i. 9. 2 Cor. x. 11. Jer. iv. 2. Heb. vi. 16.

Matt. xxii. 21. Titus iii. 1 Pet. ii. 15. 17; and Titus iii. 1-3.

1 Thess. iv. 6. Rom. xiii. 5-7. v. 5. Eph. v. 21. 23; and vi. 1. 9. § Acts xxiv. 15. 1 Cor. v. 10. Rom. xiv. 12.

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 shew 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 any thing that we see not to be commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ, we should in his strength rather embrace all reproaches and tortures of men, to be stripped of all outward comforts, and if it were possible, to die a thousand deaths, rather than to do any thing against the least tittle of the truth of God, or against the light of our own consciences. And if any shall call what we have said heresy, then do we with the apostle acknowledge, that after the way they call heresy, worship we the God of our fathers, disclaiming all heresies, rightly so called, because they are against Christ, and to be steadfast and 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 ashamed, but let the poor and needy praise thy name.

Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.

No. XII.



Concerning the true Foundation of Knowledge.

SEEING the height of all happiness is placed in the true knowledge of God, (this is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hath sent +): the true and right understanding of this foundation and ground of knowledge, is that which is most necessary to be known and believed in the first place.


Concerning immediate Revelation.

Seeing no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son revealeth him; ‡ and seeing the revelation of the Son is in and by the Spirit; therefore the testimony of the Spirit is that alone by which the true knowledge of God hath been, is, and can be, only revealed; who as, by the moving of his own Spirit, he converted the chaos of this world into that wonderful order wherein it was in the beginning, and created man a living soul, to rule and govern it, so by the revelation of the same Spirit he hath manifested himself all along

* Psalm lxxiv. 21, 22.

↑ John xvii. 3.

Matt. xi. 27.

unto the sons of men, both patriarchs, prophets, and apostles; which revelations of God by the Spirit, whether by outward voices and appearances, dreams, or inward objective manifestations in the heart, were of old the formal object of their faith, and remain yet so to be; since the object of the saints' faith is the same in all ages, though set forth under divers administrations. Moreover, these divine inward revelations, which we make absolutely necessary for the building up of true faith, neither do nor can contradict the outward testimony of the Scriptures, or right and sound reason. Yet from hence it will not follow, that these divine revelations are to be subjected to the examination either of the outward testimony of the Scriptures, or of the natural reason of man, as to a more noble or certain rule or touchstone; for this divine revelation, and inward illumination, is that which is evident and clear of itself, forcing, by its own evidence and clearness, the well-disposed understanding to assent, irresistibly moving the same thereunto; even as the common principles of natural truths move and incline the mind to a natural assent; as that the whole is greater than its parts; that two contradictory sayings cannot be both true, nor both false: which is also manifest according to our adversaries' principle; who (supposing the possibility of inward divine revelations) will nevertheless confess with us, that neither Scripture nor sound reason will contradict it and yet it will not follow, according to them, that the Scripture, or sound reason, should be subjected to the examination of the divine revelations in the heart.


Concerning the Scriptures.

From these revelations of the Spirit of God to the saints, have proceeded the Scriptures of truth, which contain, 1. A faithful historical account of the actings of God's people in divers ages, with many singular and remarkable providences attending them. 2. A prophetical account of several things, whereof some are already past, and some yet to come. 3. A full and ample account of all the chief principles of the doctrine of Christ, held forth in divers precious declarations, exhortations, and sentences, which, by the moving of God's Spirit, were at several times, and upon sundry occasions, spoken and written unto some churches and their pastors: nevertheless, because they are only a declaration of the Fountain, and not the Fountain itself, therefore they are not to be esteemed the principal ground of all truth and knowledge, nor yet the adequate primary rule of faith and manners. Nevertheless, as that which giveth a true and faithful testimony of the first foundation, they are and may be esteemed a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit, from which they have all their excellency and certainty: for as by the inward testimony of the Spirit we do alone truly know them, so they testify, that the Spirit is that guide by which the saints are led into all truth; therefore, according to the Scriptures, the Spirit is the first and principal leader. And seeing we do therefore receive and believe the Scriptures, because they proceeded from the Spirit; therefore also the Spirit is more originally and principally the rule, according to that received maxim in the schools, "Propter quod

John xvi. 13; Rom vii. 14.

unumquodque est tale, illud ipsum est magis tale" Englished thus : That for which a thing is such, that thing itself is more such.


Concerning the Condition of Man in the Fall.

All Adam's posterity (or mankind *), both Jews and Gentiles, as to the first Adam or earthly man, is fallen, degenerated, and dead, deprived of the sensation or feeling of this inward testimony or seed of God; and is subject unto the power, nature, and seed, of the serpent, which he sows in men's hearts, while they abide in this natural and corrupted state; from whence it comes, that not their words and deeds only, but all their imaginations, are evil perpetually in the sight of God, as proceeding from this depraved and wicked seed. Man therefore, as he is in this state, can know nothing aright; yea, his thoughts and conceptions concerning God and things spiritual, until he be disjoined from this evil seed, and united to the divine light, are unprofitable both to himself and others. Hence are rejected, the Socinian and Pelagian errors, in exalting a natural light; as also those of the Papists, and most Protestants, who affirm, that man, without the true grace of God, may be a true minister of the gospel. Nevertheless, this seed is not imputed to infants, until by transgression they actually join themselves therewith: for "they are by nature the children of wrath, who walk according to the power of the prince of the air t'


Concerning the Universal Redemption by Christ, and also the Saving and Spiritual Light, wherewith every Man is enlightened.


God, out of his infinite love, who delighteth not in the death of a sinner, but that all should live and be saved, hath so loved the world, that he hath given his only Son a light, that whosoever believeth in him should be saved; who enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world, and maketh manifest all things that are reprovable, and teacheth all temperance, righteousness, and godliness; and this light enlighteneth the hearts of all in a day §, in order to salvation, if not resisted. Nor is it less universal than the seed of sin, being the purchase of his death, who " tasted death for every man : for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive ||."


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According to which principle, or hypothesis, all the objections against the universality of Christ's death are easily solved; neither is it needful to recur to the ministry of angels, and those other miraculous means, which, they say, God makes use of to manifest the doctrine and history of Christ's passion unto such who (living in those places of

Rom. v. 12. 15.

† Eph. ii. 1.

Ezek. xviii. 23. Isa, xlix. 6. John iii. 16; and i. 9. Titus ii. 11. Eph. v. 13.

Heb. ii. 9.

§ Pro tempore, for a time.

1 Cor. xv. 22.

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