Page images

great work of reformation in these kingdoms, wherein the Lord was pleased to make him eminently instrumental ;) and lest through the malice of some, and ignorance of others, the said pamphlet should gain belief among the weaker sort, they have thought fit to make known and declare, concerning the same, as followeth :

That after due search and trial, they do find that their worthy bro. ther Master Alexander Henderson did, from the time of his coming from London 10 Newcastle, till the last moment of bis departure out of this life, upon ali occasions manifest the constancy of his judgment touching the work of reformation in these kingdoms ; namely, in all his discourses and conferences with his Majesty, and with his brethren, who were employed with him in the same trust at lewcastle : ir his Jetters to the commissioners at London, and particularly in his last discourse to his Majesty, at his departing from Neweastle, being very weak, and greatly decayed in his natural strength. When he was come from Newcastle by sea to this kingdom, he was in such a weak, worn, and failed condition, as it was evident to all who saw him, that he was not able to frame any such declaration : for he was so spent, that he died within eight days after his arrival; and all that he was able to speak in that time, did clearly shew his judgment of, and affection to the work of reformation, and cause of God, to be every way the same then that it was in the beginning and progress thereof; as divers reverend brethren, who visited him, have declared to this assembly, and partieularly two brethren who constantly attended him from the time he came home, till his breath expired. A further testimony may be brought from a short confession of faith under his hand, found amongst his papers, which is expressed as his last words, wherein, among other mercies, he declareth himself most of all obliged to the care and goodness of God for calling him to believe the promises of the gospel, and for exalting him to be a preacher of them to others; and to be a willing, though a weak instrument in this great and wonderful work of reformation which he earnestly beseeched the Lord to bring to a happy conclu. sion. Other reasons may be added from the levity of the style and man. ifest absurdities contained in that paper. Upon consideration of all which, this assembly doth condemn the said pamphlet as forged, scandalous and false. And further declare the author and contriver of the same, to be void of charity and a good conscience, and A GROSS LIAR and calumniator, led by the spirit of the accuser of the brethren."

August 7, 1648. Ante meridiem. Sess, 31,

No. X. A CONFESSION of Faith of Seven Congregations, or

Churches of Christ in London, which are commonly but unjustly called Anabaptists; published for the Vindication of the Truth, and Information of the Ignorant ; likewise for the taking off those Aspersions, which are frequently, both in Pul pit and Print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed at London, Anno 16 16.

I. THE Lord our God is but one God, whose subsistence is in himself; whose essence cannot be coinprehended by any but himself; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto; who is in himself most holy, every way infinite, in greatness, wisdom, power, love; merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth : who giveth being, moving, and preservation to all creatures.

1 Cor. viii 6. Isa. xliv. 6, and xlvi. 9. Exod. iii. 14. 1 Tim. vi. 16. Isa, xliii. 15. Psalm exlvii. 5. Deut. xxxii. 3. Job xxxvi. 5. Jer. 1. 12. Exod. xxxiv. 6,7. Acts xvii. 28. Rom. xi. 36.

II. In this divine and infinite Being there is the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; each having the whole divine Essence, yet the Essence undivided; all infinite without any beginning, therefore but one God; who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties. 1 Cor. i. 3. John i. 1; and xv. 26. Exod. iii. 14. 1 Cor. viji. 6.

III. God hath decreed in himself, before the world was, concerning all things, whether necessary, accidental, or voluntary, with all the circumstances of them, to work, dispose, and bring about all things according to the counsel os? his own will, to his glory : (yet without being the author of sin, or having fellowship with any therein) in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, unchangeableness, power, and faithfulness in acci implishing his decree: and God hath, before the foundation of the world, fore-ordained some men to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to th' : praise and glory of his grace : leaving the rest in their sin to their ji ist condemnation, to the praise of his justice.

Isa. xlvi. 10. Fiph. i. 11. Rom. xi. 33 Psalm xxxiii, 15; cxv. 3; cxxxv. 6; and cxliv. 1 Sam. x. 9, 26. Prov xvi. 4, 33 ; and xxi. 6. Exod. xxi. 13. Isa. xiv. 7. Matt. vi. 28, 30. Col. i. 16, 17.Numb. xxiii. 19,-10. Rom. iii. 4. Jer. x. 10; xiv. 22. Eph. i. 4, 5. Jade 4, 6.


In the beginning God made all things very good; created man after his own image, filled with all meet perfection of nature, and free from all sin; but long he abode not in this honor; Satan using the subtlety of the serpent to seduce first Eve, then by her seducing Adam ; who, without any compulsion, in eating the forbidden fruit, transgressed the command of God, and fell, whereby death came upon all his posterity; who now are conceived in sin, and by nature the children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and other miseries in this world, and for ever, unless the Lord Jesus Christ set them free.

Gen. i. 1 ; and iii. 1, 4, 5. Col. i. 16. Isaiah xlv. 12. 1 Cor. iv. 45, 46.

Eccles. vii. 29. 2 Cor. xi. 3. 1 Timotby ii. 14. Gal. iii. 22. Romans v. 12 ; vi. 22; and xviii. 19. Eph. ii. 3.


God, in his infinite power and wisdom, doth dispose all things to the end for which they were created ; that neither good por evil befalls any by chance, or without his providence; and that whatsoever befalls ihe elect, is by his appointment, for his glory, and their good.

Job xxxviii. 11. Isaiah xlvi. 10, 11. Eccles. iii. 14. Mark x. 29, 30. Exodus xxi. 13. Proverbs xvi. 33. Romaps viii. 28.

VI. All the eleet, being loved of God with an everlasting love, are re-' deemed, quickened, and saved, not by themselves, nor their own works, lest any man should boast, but only and wholly by God, of his free grace and mercy, through Jesus Christ, who is made unto us by God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, and all in all, that he that rejoiceth, might rejoice in the Lord.

Jer. xxiii. 6, and xxxi. 2. Eph. i. 3,7; and ii. 8, 9. 1 Thess. v. 9. Acts xiii. 38. 2 Cor. v. 21. Jer. ix. 23, 24. 1 Cor. i. 30, 31.

VII. And this is life eternal, that we might know him the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. And on the contrary, the Lord will render vengeance, in flaming fire, to them that kuow not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ. John vi. 36 ; and xvii. 3. Heb. v. 9. 1 Thess. i. 8.

VIII. The role of this knowledge, faith, and obediences, concerning the worship of God, in which is contained the whole du ly of man, is (not men's laws or unwritten traditions, but) only the word of God con. tained in the holy scriptures; in which is plainly recorded whatsoever

is needful for us to know, believe, and practise ; which are the only rule of holiness and obedience for all saints, at all times, in all places to be observed. Col. ii. 23. Matt. xv. 9, 6.

John v. 39. 2 Tim. iii. 15, 16, 17. Isa, viii. 20. Gal. i. 8, 9. Aets iii. 22, 23.

IX. The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom Moses and the prophets wrote, the apostles preached, he is the Son of God, the brightness of his glory, &c. by whom he made the world; who upholdeth and governeth all things that he hath made ; who also when the fulness of time was come, was made of a woman, of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David ; to wit, of the virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her, the power of the most High overshadowing her; aud he was also tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Gen. iii. 15; xxii. 18; and xlix. 9, 10. Dan. vii. 13; and ix. 24, &c. Prov. viii. 23. John i. 1, 2, 3. Heb. i. 8; ii. 16; iv. 15; and vii. 14. Gal. iv. 4. Rev. v. 5. Rom. i. 3; and ix, 10. Matt. i. 16; Luke iii. 23, 26. Isa. liii, 3, 4, 5.

X. Jesus Christ is made the mediator of the new and everlasting covenant of grace between God and man, ever to be perfectly and fully the prophet, priest, and king of the church of God for evermore.

1 Tim. ii. 5. Heb. ix. 15. John xiv. 6. Isa. ix. 6, 7.


Unto this office he was appointed by God from everlasting; and in respect of his manhood, from the womb called, separated, and anointed most fully and abundantly with all gifts necessary, God baving without measure poured out his spirit upon him.

Prov. viii. 23. Isa. xi. 2, 3, 4,5; xlii. 6; xlix. 15; and lsi. 1, 2. Luke iv. 17, 22. John i. 14, 26; and iii. 34.

XII. Concerning his mediatorship, the scripture holds forth Christ's call to his office; for none takes this honor upon him, but he that is called of God as was Aaron, it being an action of God, whereby a special promise being made, he ordains his Son to this office ; which promise is, that Christ should be made a sacrifice for sin; that he should see his seed, and prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his liand; all of mere free and absolute grace towards God's elect, and without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.

Heb. v. 4, 5, 6. Isa. lii. 10, 11. John iii. 16. Rom. vüj. 32.

XIII. This office to be mediator, that is, to be prophet, priest, and king of the church of God, is so proper to Christ, that neither in whole, or any part thereof, can it be transferred from him to any other.

1 Tim. ii. 8. Heb. vii. 24. Dan. vii. 14. Acts iv. 12. Luke i. 33. John xiv. 6.

XIV. This office to which Christ is called, is threefold; a prophet, priest, and king: this number and order of offices is necessary, for in respect of our ignoranee, we stand in need of his prophetical office; and in respect of our great alienation from God, we need his priestly office to reconcile us; and in respect of our averseness and utter inability to return to God, we need his kingly office, to convince, subdue, draw, uphold and preserve us to his heavenly kingdom.

Deut. viji. 15. Acts iji. 22, 23; and xxvi. 18. Heb. iii. 3; and iv. 14, 15. Psalm ii. 6. 2 Cor. v. 20. Col. i. 21. John xvi. 8. Psalm CX. 3. Cant. i. 3. John vi. 44. Phil. iv. 18. 2 Tim. iv. 18.

XV. Concerning the prophecy of Christ, it is that whereby he hath re. vealed the will of God, whatsoever is needful for his servants to know 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 wis. dom and knowledge, who for ever continueth revealing the same truth of the gospel to his people.

John i. 18; xii. 49, 50; and xvii. 8. Matt. xxiii. 10, Deut. xviii. 15. Heb. iii. 1. Gal. iii. 1. 1 Cor. i. 24. Col. ii. 3. Mal. iii. 2,

XVI. That he might be a prophet every way complete, it was necessary he should be God, and also that he should be mau: 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 owa person to men.

John i. 18. Acts iii. 22. Deut. xviii. 15. Heb. i. 1. That Jesus Christ is God, is wonderful 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 vüi. 58. šte 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.

« PreviousContinue »