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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 bath appointed in his testament, for the feeding, governing, serving, and building ap of his church : and that none have any power to impose on them either these or any other.
Acts i. 23, 26; vi. 3; and xv. 22, 25. Rom. xii.7, 8. 1 Tim. iii. 2, 6, 7. 1 Cor. xii. 8, 29. Heb. xiii. 7, 17. 1 Pet. v. 1, 2, 3; and iv. 15.
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 Hock of God committed to them, not for filthy lacre, but of a ready mind.
Heb. v, 4. John X. 3, 4. Aets xx. 28, 29. Rom. xii. 7, 8. Heb. xii. 7, 17. 1 Peter v. 1, 2, 3.
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.
1 Cor. it. 7, 14. Gal. vi. 8. Phil. iv. 15, 16. 2 Cor. x. 4 1 Tim. i. 2. Psalm cx. 3.
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 confession of faith, ought to be baptised, and after to partake of the Lord's Supper.
Matt. xxviii. 18, 19. John iv. 1. Mark xvi. 15, 16. Acts ii, 37, 38; and viii. 36, 37, &e.
XL. That the way and manner of the dispensing this ordinance, is dipping or planging 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.
Matt. iii. 6, 16. Mark xv. 9, reads [into Jordan) in Greek. John iii. 23. Acts yiii, 38. Rev. i. 6; and vii. 14. Heb. a. 22. Rom. vi. 3, 4, 5, 6. 1 Cor. xv. 28, 29.
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 Kolds 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.
Isaiah viii. 16. Eph. ii.7. Matt. xxviii. 19. John iv. 2. 7; and xi. 10. 1 Cor. xi. 2; and X. 16, 17. Romans xvi. 2. Matt. xviii. 17.
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
Rom. xvi. 2. Matt. xviii. 17. 1 Cor. v. 4, 11, 13; xii. 6; and ii. 3. 2 Cor. ii. 6, 7.
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.
Matt. xviii. 16; and xvii. 18. Acts xi. 2, 3. 1 Tim. v. 19, &ć. Col. iv. 17. Aets xv. 1, 2, 3.
XLIV. Christ, for the keeping of this church in holy and orderly commnnion, placeth some special men over the church; who, by their office, are to govern, oversee, visit, watch; so likewise for the better keeping thereof, in all places by the members, he hath gived authority, and laid duty upon all to watch over one another.
Acts xx. 27, 28. Heb. xiii. 17, 24. Matt. xxiv. 45. 1 Thess. Y, 2, 14. Jude 3, 20. Hebrews x. 34, 35; and xii. 15.
XLV. Also such to whom God hath given gifts in the church, may and ought to prophesy, aecording to the proportion of faith, and so to teach publicly the word of God, for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the church.
1 Cor. xiv. 3, &c. Romans xii. 6. 1 Peter iv. 10, 11, 1 Cor. xii. 7. 1 Thess. V. 19, &c.
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 subjeet to failings, there will be difference in the true constituted church) until they have is due order, and tenderness, sought redress thereof.
Rev. ii. and iii. Acts sv. 12. 1 Cor. i. 10. Heb. x. 25. Jude 19, Rev. ii. 20, 21, 27. Acts xv. 1, 2. Rom. xiv. 1; and wr. 1, , 3.
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 neces. sity require it, as members of ove body, in the common faith, under Christ their head.
1 Cor. iv. 17; xiv. 33, 36 ; and xvi. 1. Psalm cxxii. 3. Eph. ir 12, 19. Rev. xxi. 1 Tim. iii. 16; vi, 13, 14. 1 Cor. iv. 17. Aets XV. 2, 3. Cant. viii. 8, 9. 2 Cor. viii. 1,4; and xiii. 14.
XLVIII. A civil magistracy is an ordinance of God, set up by him for the pun ishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well, and that in all lawful things, commanded by them, subjeetion 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 peaceable lifc, in all godliness and honesty. Romans xiii. 1,
2, &c. 1 Peter. ii. 13, 14. 1 Timothy ii. 1, 2, 3. 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 honorable 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 honor them for the same. And conceroing the worship of God;
bere is but one lawgiver, which is able to save and destroy, James iv. 12, which is Jesus Christ, who hath given laws and rules suffieient 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, Eceles. viji. 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 honor and 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 daty, 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 con trary to our understandings and conseienees, 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 Peter F. Galatians v.
XLIX, But in case we find not the magistrate to favor us herein; yet we dare not suspend oor 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 gur 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 whoin we must give an account of all our actions, and no man being able to discharge us of the same.
Acts ii. 40, 41 ; iv. 19; v. 28, 29; and xx. 23. 1 Thess. ii. 3. Phil. j. 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, 7, 8. Romans xiv. 10, 12. 2 Cor. v. 10. Psalm xlix. 7; and I. 22.
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.
Acts viii. 38; and x. 1, 2, 35. Romans xvi. 23. Deut. vi. 13. Romans i. 9. 2 Cor. X. 11. Jeremiah iv. 2. Hebrews vi. 16.
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 anto all men as we would they should do unto us.
1 Thess. iv. 6. Rom. xiji. 5, 6, 7. Matt. xxii. 21. Titus iii. 1 Peter ii. 15, 17; and v. 5. Eph. v. 21, 23 ; and vi. 1,9. Titus iii. 1, 2, 8. Vol. V.
There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjnst, and every one shall give an account of himself to God, that every one inay receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Acts xxiv. 16. 1 Cor. y. 10. Rom. xiv. 12.
THE CONCLUSION. 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, endeavoring 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, quiet, and harmless people, (no ways dangerous or troublesome to human society) and to labor 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 aeknowledge, 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 stedfast and iminoveable, always abounding in obedience to Christ, as knowing our labor shall not be in yain in the Lord.
Psalm lxxiv. 21, 22. ARISE, O God, plead thine own cause ; remember how the foolish man blasphemeth thee daily. Olet not not the oppressed return ashamed, but let the poor and needy praise thy name.
Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.