- All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth in and for his only
Son Jesus Christ to make partakers of the grace of adoption, by which
they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges
of the children of God, have his name put upon them, receive the Spirit
of adoption; have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are
enabled to cry, Abba Father; are pitied, protected, provided for, and
chastened by him as by a father; yet never cast off, but sealed to the
day of redemption, and inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting
- They that are united to Christ, effectually called and regenerated,
having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, through the virtue
of Christ's death and resurrection, are also further sanctified really
and personally through the same virtue, by his Word and Spirit dwelling
in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed and the
several lusts thereof are more and more weakened, and mortified, and
they more and more quickened, and strengthened in all saving graces, to
the practice of all true holiness, without which no man shall see the
- This sanctification is throughout in the whole man, yet
imperfect in this life; there abideth still some remnants of corruption
in every part; whence ariseth a continual and irreconcilable war, the
flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
- In which war, although the remaining corruption for a time may
much prevail, yet through the continual supply of strength froin the
sanctifying Spirit of Christ, the regenerate part doth overcome, and so
the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Of Saving Faith
- The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the
saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their
hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word; by which
also, and by the administration of the seals, prayer, and other means,
it is increased and strengthened.
- By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is
revealed in the Word, for the authority of God himself speaking
therein, and acteth differently upon that which each particular passage
thereof containeth; yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at
the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and
that which is to come. But the principal acts of saving faith are,
accepting, receiving, and resting upon Christ alone, for justification,
sanctification, and eternal life, by virtue of the covenant of grace.
- This faith, although it be different in degrees, and may be
weak or strong yet it is in the least degree of it different in the
kind or nature of it (as is all other saving grace) from the faith and
common grace of temporary believers; and therefore, though it may be
many times assailed and weakened, yet it gets the victory, growing up
in many to the attainment of a full assurance through Christ, who is
both the author and finisher of our faith.
Of Repentance unto Life and Salvation
- Such of the elect as are converted at riper years, having sometime
lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and
pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto
- Whereas there is none that doth good, and sinneth not, and the
best of men may through the power and deceitfulness of their
corruptions dwelling in them, with the prevalency of temptation, fall
into great sins and provocations; God hath in the covenant of grace
mercifully provided, that believers so sinning and falling, be renewed
through repentance unto salvation.
- This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a
person being by the Holy Ghost made sensible of the manifold evils of
his sin, doth by faith in Christ humble himself for it with godly
sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, praying for pardon and
strength of grace, with a purpose, and endeavour by supplies of the
Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things.
- As repentance is to be continued through the whole course of
our lives, upon the account of the body of death, and the motions
thereof; so it is every man's duty to repent of his particular known
- Such is the provision which God hath made through Christ in
the covenant of grace, for the preservation of believers unto
salvation, that although there is no sin so small, but it deserves
damnation; yet there is no sin so great, that it shall bring damnation
on them who truly repent; which makes the constant preaching of
Of Good Works
- Good works are only such as God hath commanded in his holy Word,
and not such as without the warrant thereof are devised by men out of
blind zeal, or upon pretence of good intentions.
- These good works done in obedience to God's commandments, are
the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith; and by them
believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance,
edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the gospel, stop the
mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God, whose workmanship they are,
created in Christ Jesus thereunto; that having their fruit unto
holiness, they may have the end, eternal life.
- Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves,
but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled
thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is
required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to
will and to do of his good pleasure; yet are they not hereupon to grow
negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a
pecial motion of the Spirit; but they-ought to be diligent in stirring
up the grace of God that is in them.
- They who in their obedience attain to the greatest height
which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to
supererogate, and to do more than God requires, as that they fall short
of much which in duty they are bound to do.
- We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal
life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is
between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is
between us and God, whom by them we can neither profit, nor satisfy for
the debt of our former sins; but when we have done all we can, we have
done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants; and because, as they
are good, they proceed from the Spirit, and as they are wrought by us,
they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that
they cannot endure the severity of God's judgment.
- Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted
through Christ, their good works also are accepted in him; not as
though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in
God's sight; but that he looking upon them in his Son is pleased to
accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many
weaknesses and imperfections.
- Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of
them they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to
themselves and to others: yet because they proceed not from a heart
purified by faith; nor are done in a right manner, according to the
Word; nor to a right end, the glory of God; they are therefore sinful,
and cannot please God, nor make a man meet to receive grace from God;
and yet their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing unto God.
Of The Perseverance of The Saints
- They whom God bath accepted in his Beloved, effeGtually called and
sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away
from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the
end, and be eternally saved.
- This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own
free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election; from
the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of
the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, and union with him; the
oath of God; the abiding of his Spirit; and of the seed of God within
them; and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth
also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
- And though they may, through the temptation of Satan, and of
the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the
neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins;
and for a time continue therein, whereby they incur God's displeasure,
and grieve his Holy Spirit; come to have their graces and comforts
impaired; have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded;
hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon
themselves; yet they are and shall be kept by the power of God through
faith unto salvation.
Of The Assurance of Grace and Salvation
- Although temporary believers and other unregenerate men may vainly
deceive themselves with false hopes, and carnal presumptions of being
in the favour of God, and state of salvation, which hope of theirs
shall perish; yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love him
in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before him,
may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of
grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope
shall never make them ashamed.
- This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable
persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope; but an infallible assurance
of faith, founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ, revealed in
the gospel, and also upon the inward evidence of those graces unto
which promises are made, and on the immediate witness of the Spirit,
testifying our adoption, and as a fruit thereof, leaving the heart more
humble and holy.
- This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of
faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many
difficulties before he be partaker of it; yet being enabled by the
Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may,
without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means
attain thereunto. And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all
diligence to make his calling and election sure; that thereby his heart
may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and
thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of
obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance; so far is it from
inclining men to looseness.
- True believers may have the assurance of their salvation
divers ways shaken, diminished and intermitted; as by negligence in
preserving of it; by falling into some special sin, which woundeth the
conscience, and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement
temptation; by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance;
suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness, and to have no
light; yet are they neither utterly destitute of that seed of God, and
life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of
heart and conscience of duty, out of which by the operation of the
Spirit this assurance may in due time be revived, and by the which in
the meantime they are supported from utter despair.
Of The Law of God
- God gave to Adam a law of universal obedience written in his heart,
and a particular precept of not eating the fruit of the tree of
knowledge of good and evil, as a covenant of works, by which he bound
him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact and perpetual
obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon
the breach of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it.
- This law, so written in the heart, continued to be a perfect
rule of righteousness after the fall of man; and was delivered by God
upon mount Sinai in ten commandments, and written in two tables; the
four first commandments containing our duty towards God, and the other
six our duty to man.
- Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to
give to the people of Israel ceremonial laws, containing several
typical ordinances; partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces,
actions, sufferings and benefits, and partly holding forth divers
instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws being appointed
only to the time of reformation, are by Jesus Christ the true Messiah
and only lawgiver, who was furnished with power from the Father for
that end, abrogated and taken away.
- To them also he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired
together with the state of that people, not obliging any now by virtue
of that institution, their general equity only being still of moral use.
- The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified
persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in
regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the
authority of God the Creator, who gave it: neither doth Christ in the
gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.
- Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of
works, to be thereby justified or condemned; yet it is of great use to
them as well as to others, in that, as a rule of life, informing them
of the will of God, and their duty, it directs and binds them to walk
accordingly; discovering also the sinful pollutions of their nature,
hearts and lives; so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to
further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin;
together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the
perfection of his obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate,
to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin; and the
threatenings of it serve to show what even their sins deserve, and what
afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from
the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it in like
manner show them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings
they may expect upon the performance thereof, although not as due to
them by the law, as a covenant of works; so as a mans doing good, and
refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the one, and
deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law,
and not under grace.
- Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the
grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; the Spirit of
Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and
cheerfully, which the will of God revealed in the law required to be
Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof
- The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable
unto life, God was pleased to give unto the elect the promise of
Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling them, and
begetting in them faith and repentance: in this promise the gospel, as
to the substance of it, was revealed, and was therein effectual for the
conversion and salvation of sinners.
- This promise of Christ, and salvation by him, is revealed only
in and by the Word of God; neither do the works of creation or
providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or of
grace by him, so much as in a general or obscure way; much less that
men destitute of the revelation of him by the promise or gospel, should
be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.
- The revelation of the gospel unto sinners, made in divers
times, and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises and precepts
for the obedience required therein, as to the nations and persons to
whom it is granted, is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure
of God, not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due
improvement of men's natural abilities, by virtue of common light
received without it, which none ever did make or can so do. And
therefore in all ages the preaching of the gospel hath been granted
unto persons and nations, as to the extent or straitening of it, in
great variety, according to the counsel of the will of God.
- Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing
Christ and saving grace, and is as such abundantly sufficient
thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trespasses, may be born again,
quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary an effectual,
irresistible work of the Holy Ghost upon the whole soul, for the
producing in them a new spiritual life, without which no other means
are sufficient for their conversion unto God.
Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience
[See a comparison to the Westminster Confession]
- The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the
gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning
wrath of God, the rigour and curse of the law; and in their being
delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion
of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the
victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also in their free
access to God, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of
slavish fear, hut a childlike love and willing mind. All which were
common also to believers under the law, for the substance of them; but
under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged
in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, the whole legal
administration of the covenant of grace, to which the Jewish church was
subjected; and in oreater boldness of access to the throne of grace,
and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers
under the law did ordinarily partake of.
- God alone is lord of the conscience, and hath left it free
from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing
contrary to his Word, or not contained in it; so that to believe such
doctrines, or to obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray
true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, and
an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience,
and reason also.
- They who upon pretence of Christian liberty do practise any
sin, or cherish any lust, as they do thereby pervert the main design of
the grace of the gospel to their own destruction; so they wholly
destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered
out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath-Day
- The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship
and sovereignty over all, is just, good, and doth good unto all, and is
therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and
served with all the heart, and all the soul, and with all the might.
But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by
himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be
worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the
suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other
way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.
- Religious worship is to be given to God the Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost, and to him alone; not to angels, saints, or any other
creatures; and since the fall, not without a Mediator, nor in the
mediation of any other but of Christ alone.
- Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of natural
worship, is by God required of all men; but that it may be accepted, it
is to be made in the name of the Son by the help of his Spirit,
according to his will, with understanding, reverence, humility,
fervency, faith, love, and perseverance; and when with others in a
known tongue. [and, if vocal, in a known tongue. _WCF]
- Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of
men living, or that shall live hereafter; but not for the dead, nor for
those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.
- The reading of the Scriptures, preaching, and hearing the Word
of God, singing of psalms; as also the administration of baptism and
the Lord's Supper, are all parts of religious worship of God, to be
performed in obedience unto God with understanding, faith, reverence,
and godly fear. Solemn humiliations, with fastings and thanksgivings
upon special occasions, are in their several times and seasons to be
used in a holy and religious manner.
- Neither prayer, nor any other part of religious worship, is
now under the gospel either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any
place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed; but
God is to be worshipped everywhere in spirit and in truth, as in
private families daily, and in secret each one by himself, so more
solemnly in the public assemblies, which are not carelessly nor
wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God by his Word or
providence calleth thereunto.
- As it is of the law of nature, that in general a proportion of
time by God's appointment be set apart for the worship of God; so by
his Word in a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all
men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a
Sabbath to be kept holy unto him; which from the beginning of the world
to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and from
the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week,
which in Scripture is called the Lord's Day, and is to be continued to
the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the
last day of the week being abolished.
- This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men after a
due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs
beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own
works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and
recreations; but also are taken up the whole time in the public and
private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and