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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, 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. I
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.*
* Acts ii. 41. 44, 45. 47. Isa. iv. S. 1 Cor. xii. 6, 7, &c. Ezek. xx. 37. 40. Cant. iv. 12. Eph. ii. 19. Rom. xii. 4-6. Col. i. 12; and ii. 5, 6. 19. Acts iv. 34, 35; v. 4; and xx. 32. Luke xiv. 26. 1 Tim. vi. 1. Eph. iv. 16.
† Acts 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. xiij. 7. 17. 1 Pel. v. 1-3; and iv. 15.
# Heb. v. 4. John X. 3, 4. Acts xx. 28, 29. Rom. xii. 7. 8. Heb. xiii. 7. 17. 1 Pet. v. 1–3.
$ 1 Cor. ix. 7. 14. Gal. vi. 8. Phil. iv. 15, 16. 2 Cor. x. 4. 1 Tim.i. 2. Psalm cx. 3.
U Malt. xxviii. 18, 19. John iv. 1. Mark xvi. 15, 16. Acts ii. 37, 38; and viii. 36, 37, &c.
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. I
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 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
* Matt. iii. 6. 16. Mark xv. 9, reads [into Jordan] in Greek. John iii. 23. Acts viii. 38. Rev. j. 5; and vii. 14. Heb. x. 22. Rom. vi. 3—6. 1 Cor. xv. 28, 29.
+ Isa. viii. 16. Eph. ii. 7. Matt. xxviii. 19. John iv. 2. Acts xx. 7; and xi. 10. 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. ij. 6,7.
ý Matt. xviii. 16; and xvii. 18. Acts xi. 2, 3. 1 Tim. v. 19, &c. . Col. iv. 17. Acts xv. 1-3.
|| Acts xx. 27, 28. 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, dic,
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.t
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 peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. I 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
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.
Rev. ij. and iij. Acts xv. 12. 1 Cor. i. 10. Heh. 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 cxxii. 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.
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 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
* Acts ii. 40, 41; iv. 19; v. 28, 29; and xx. 23. 1 Thess. jii. 3. Phil. i. 23, 29. Dan. jjj. 16, 17; and vi. 7. 10. 92, 23. 1 Tim. vi. 13, 14. Rom. xii, 1. 8. 1 Cor. xiv. 37. Res. ï. 20. 2 Tim. iv. 6-8. Rom. xiv. 10. 12. 2 Cor. v. 10. Psalm xlix. 7; and I. 22.
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 upto 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. I
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, 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 re: proaches 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
* 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.
+ 1 Thess. iv. 6. Rom. xiii. 5—7. Matt. xxii. 21. Titus iii. 1 Pet. ii. 15. 17; and v. 5. Eph. v. 21. 23; and vi. 1. 9. Titus ii, 1–3.
# Acls xxiv. 15. 1 Cor. v. 10. Rom. xiv. 12.