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times of the restitution of all things. To those who look for him he shall appear a second time without sin unto salvation. Then shall he change the body of our humiliation that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. He will take to himself his great power, and shall reign till he have put all enemies under his feet.
Of the Holy Ghost.
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.
It is the work of the Holy Ghost to reprove and convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; to take of the things of Christ and show them to men; to regenerate-making men willing, leading them to faith in Christ, and forming Christ in them the hope of glory; to strengthen them with might in their inner man, that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith; and to secure in them that walking in the ways of God which is called the Fruit of the Spirit. The true Church is thus called out of the world, and is builded together for an habitation of God, through the Spirit.
Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost: Holy Scripture is therefore the Word of God; not only does it contain the oracles of God, but it is itself the very oracles of God. And hence it containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, viz.:
Of the Old Testament:
The 1st Book of Samuel,
The 1st Book of Chronicles,
Acts of the Apostles,
Song of Solomon,
Lamentations of Jeremiah,
Of the New Testament:
1 [Books ?]
2d Corinthians, Galatians,
The Book' commonly called "The Apocrypha" is not a portion of God's Word, and is not therefore to be read in churches, nor to be used in establishing any doctrine.
Of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises; and although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, does not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth, yet notwithstanding, as a rule of right living, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.
Of Original or Birth Sin.
Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam, as the Pelagians do vainly talk; but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of
every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is wholly gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world it deserveth God's condemnation. Men are, as the Apostle speaks, 'by nature the children of wrath.' And this infection of nature doth remain—yea, in them that are regenerated. And although there is no condemnation for them that are in Christ Jesus, yet the Apostle doth confess that concupiscence or lust in such hath of itself the nature of sin.
Of Man's Condition by Nature.
The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he can not 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 pleasant and acceptable to God without the grace of God by Christ first inclining us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.
Of Works before Justification.
Works commonly called good before the grace of Christ and the inspiration of his Spirit, have not the nature of obedience to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to deserve or to receive grace.
Of Regeneration or the New Birth.
Regeneration is the creative act of the Holy Ghost, whereby he imparts to the soul a new spiritual life.
And whosoever believeth in Christ is born again, for, saith the Scripture, 'ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.'
The faith which brings justification is simply the reliance or dependence on Christ which accepts him as the sacrifice for our sins, and as our righteousness.
We may thus rely on Christ, either tremblingly or confidingly; but in either case it is saving faith. If, though tremblingly, we rely on him in his obedience for us unto death, instantly we come into union with him, and are justified. If, however, we confidingly rely on him, then have we the comfort of our justification. Simply by faith in Christ are we justified and saved.
Of the Justification of Man.
We are pardoned and accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith; and not for our own works or deservings. He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He bare our sins in his own body. It pleased our heavenly Father, of his infinite mercy, without any our desert or deserving, to provide for us the most precious sacrifice of Christ, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied. So that Christ is himself the righteousness of all them that truly do believe in him. He for them paid their ransom, by his death. He for them fulfilled the law, in his life. So that now in him, and by him, every true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of the law. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.
The repentance required by Scripture is a change of mind toward God, and is the effect of the conviction of sin, wrought by the Holy Ghost.
The unconverted man may have a sense of remorse, or of shame and self-reproach, and yet he may have neither a change of mind toward God nor any true sorrow; but when he accepts Christ as his Saviour, therein he manifests a change of mind, and is in possession of repentance unto life. The sinner comes to Christ through no labored process of repenting and sorrowing; but he comes to Christ and repentance both at once, by means of simply believing. And ever afterwards his repentance is deep and genuine in proportion as his faith is simple and childlike.
Of the Sonship of Believers.
Believers in Christ are born of God, through the regenerating power of his Spirit, and are partakers of the Divine nature; for if that which is born of the flesh is flesh,' so 'that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.'
And all who are thus born of God are sons of God, and joint heirs with Christ; and therefore, without distinction of name, brethren with Christ and with one another.
Of Good Works.
Good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out, necessarily, of a true and lively faith; insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit. They who truly believe will seek to do the will of God, and they who do not thus seek are not to be accounted true believers.
Of Works of Supererogation.
Voluntary works, besides, over, and above God's commandments, which they call works of supererogation, can not 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. Whereas Christ saith plainly: 'When ye have done all that are commanded to you,' say, We are unprofitable servants.'
Salvation only in Christ.
Holy Scripture doth set out unto us the name of Jesus Christ only, whereby men must be saved. His was a finished work and completely sufficient. Without any merit or deserving on our part he has secured
'[The Eng. Vers. reads: 'all those things which are commanded you' (Luke xvii. 10).—Ed.]