The Scottish Confession of Faith
with Scripture Proofs from the Geneva Bible
Chapter 1: Of God
Chapter 2: Of the Creation of Man
Chapter 3: Of Original Sin
Chapter 4: Of the Revelation of the Promise
Chapter 5: The Continunace, Increase, and Preservation of the Kirk
Chapter 6: Of the Incarnation of Christ Jesus
Chapter 7: Why It Behoved the Mediator to be Very God and Very Man
Chapter 8: Election
Chapter 9: Christ's Death, Passion, Burial, etc.
Chapter 10: Resurrection
Chapter 11: Ascension
Chapter 12: Faith in the Holy Ghost
Chapter 13: The Cause of Good Works
Chapter 14: What Works are Reputed Good Before God
Chapter 15: The Perfection of the Law and Imperfection of Man
Chapter 16: Of the Kirk
Chapter 17: The Immortality of the Souls
Chapter 18: Of the Notes by Which the True Church is Discerned from the False and Who Shall be Judge of the Doctrine
Chapter 19: The Authority of the Scriptures
Chapter 20: Of General Councils, of Their Power, Authority, and Causes of Their Convention
Chapter 21: Of the Sacraments
Chapter 22: Of the Right Administration of the Sacraments
Chapter 23: To Whom the Sacraments Appertain
Chapter 24: Of the Civil Magistrate
Chapter 25: The Gifts Freely Given to the Kirk
In 1559, John Knox returned to his homeland, marking a new effort in the battle to reform Scotland. Throughout the nation, Protestants joined together in a solemn covenant, pledging their lives and fortunes for the cause of Christ.
The Queen Regent, Mary of Guise, was a hardened Papist, and she opposed all endeavours to reform Scotland. The Queen Regent died in 1560, and the Scottish Parliament convened in Edinburgh in August, to address many issues confronting the restless nation.
In the History of the Reformation in Scotland, Knox gives a record of the drama which unfolded. A supplication was laid before the Parliament by the Protestant nobility, decrying the corruptions of Roman Catholicism, and seeking the abolition of Popery. The petition of the Protestants exclaimed, "We offer ourselves to prove, that in all the [rabble of the clergy] there is not one lawful minister, if God's word, the practice of the apostles, and their own ancient laws shall judge of lawful election. We further offer ourselves to prove them all thieves and murderers: yea, rebels and traitors to the lawful authority of empires, kings, and princes; and therefore unworthy to be suffered in any reformed commonwealth."1
In response, the Parliament directed the Protestant noblemen and ministers to draw up "in plain and several heads, the sum of that doctrine which they would maintain, and would desire that present Parliament to establish as wholesome, true, and only necessary to be believed and received within that realm."2
Over the next four days, the Scottish Confession was drafted by six ministers: John Winram, John Spottiswoode, John Willock, John Douglas, John Row, and John Knox. On 17 August 1560, the document was read twice, article by article, before the Parliament; and the Protestant ministers stood ready to defend the cause of truth, in the event that any article of belief was assailed.
When the vote was taken, the Confession was ratified, with only a few dissenting voices, who "yet for their dissenting could produce no better reason but, 'We will believe as our fathers believed.' The bishops (papistical, we mean), spake nothing."3
The Scottish Confession of 1560 is a lively testimony to the truth. The Church of Scotland approved the Westminster Standards over 80 years later; but the ratification of the Westminster Standards was in no way a repudiation of the previous testimony of the Church. Rather, the combined documents present a united testimony respecting the doctrinal landmarks of the Protestant Reformation. And since the latter standards are among the offspring of the former Confession, all persons of the Reformed faith should find it profitable to study the Scottish Confession of 1560.
Footnotes for Publisher's Introduction
1. John Knox, History of the Reformation in Scotland, in Knox's Works (Edinburgh, 1895), Vol. 2, p. 91.
2. John Knox, History, in Works, Vol. 2, p. 92.
3. John Knox, History, in Works, Vol. 2, p. 121-22, 28.
The Scottish Confession of Faith
And these glad tidings of the kingdom shall be preached through the whole world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.
The Estates of Scotland, with the inhabitants of the same, professing Christ Jesus' holy evangel: to their natural countrymen, and unto all other realms and nations, professing the same Lord Jesus with them, wish grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, with the spirit of righteous judgment, for salutation, etc.
Long have we thirsted, dear brethren, to have notified unto the world the sum of that doctrine which we profess, and for the which we have sustained infamy and danger. But such has been the rage of Satan against us, and against Christ Jesus' eternal verity lately born amongst us, that to this day no time has been granted unto us to clear our consciences, as most gladly we would have done. For how we have been tossed a whole year past, the most part of Europe (as we suppose) does understand. But seeing that of the infinite goodness of our God (who never suffers his afflicted utterly to be confounded), above expectation, we have obtained some rest and liberty, we could not but set forth this brief and plain confession of such doctrine as is proponed unto us, and as we believe and profess; partly for satisfaction of our brethren, whose hearts, we doubt not, have been and yet are wounded by the despiteful railing of such as yet have not learned to speak well; and partly for stopping of the mouths of impudent blasphemers, who boldly damn that which they have neither heard, nor yet understand.
Not that we judge that the cankered malice of such is able to be cured by this our simple confession. No, we know that the sweet savour of the evangel is, and shall be, death unto the sons of perdition. But we have chief respect to our weak and infirm brethren, to whom we would communicate the bottom of our hearts, lest that they be troubled or carried away by diversity of rumors, which Satan spreads contrary against us, to the defeating of this our most godly enterprise; protesting that, if any man will note in this our confession any article or sentence repugning to God's holy word, that it would please him of his gentleness, and for Christian charity's sake, to admonish us of the same in writing; and we, of our honour and fidelity, do promise unto him satisfaction from the mouth of God (that is, from his holy scriptures), or else reformation of that which he shall prove to be amiss. For God we take to record in our consciences, that from our hearts we abhor all sects of heresy, and all teachers of erroneous doctrine; and that, with all humility, we embrace the purity of Christ's evangel, which is the only food of our souls; and therefore so precious unto us, that we are determined to suffer the extremity of worldly danger, rather than that we will suffer ourselves to be defrauded of the same. For hereof we are most certainly persuaded, that whosoever denies Christ Jesus, or is ashamed of him in presence of men, shall be denied before the Father, and before his holy angels. And therefore, by the assistance of the mighty Spirit of the same our Lord Jesus, we firmly purpose to abide to the end, in the confession of this our faith, as by articles follows.
We confess and acknowledge one only God, to whom only we must cleave, whom only we must serve, whom only we must worship, and in whom only we must put our trust:a who is eternal, infinite, immeasurable, incomprehensible, omnipotent, invisible;b one in substance, and yet distinct in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;c by whom we confess and believe all things in heaven and in earth, as well visible as invisible, to have been created, to be retained in their being, and to be ruled and guided by his inscrutable Providence, to such end as his eternal wisdom, goodness, and justice has appointed them, to the manifestation of his own glory.d
a. Deut. 6:4. Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is Lord only. 1 Cor. 8:6. Yet unto us there is but one God, which is the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Deut. 4:35. Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know, that the Lord he is God, and that there is none but he alone. Isa. 44:5-6. One shall say, I am the Lord's: another shall be called by the name of Jacob: and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and name himself by the name of Israel. Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel and his redeemer, the Lord of hosts, I am the first, and I am the last, and without me is there no God.
b. 1 Tim. 1:17. Now unto the King everlasting, immortal, invisible, unto God only wise, be honour and glory for ever and ever, Amen. 1 Kings 8:27. Is it true indeed that God will dwell on the earth? Behold, the heavens and the heavens of heavens are not able to contain thee: how much more unable is this house that I have built? 2 Chron. 6:18. Is it true indeed that God will dwell with man on earth? Behold, the heavens, and the heavens of heavens are not able to contain thee: how much more unable is this house, which I have built? Ps. 139:7-8. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I lie down in hell, thou are there. Gen. 17:1. When Abram was ninety year old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am God all sufficient. Walk before me, and be thou upright. 1 Tim. 6:15-16. Which in due time he shall show, that is blessed and prince only, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, and dwelleth in the light that none can attain unto, whom never man saw, neither can see, unto whom be honour and power everlasting, Amen. Ex. 3:14-15. And God answered Moses, I Am that I Am. Also he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. And God spake further unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all ages.
c. Matt. 28:19. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. 1 John 5:7. For there are three, which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
d. Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Heb. 11:3. Through faith we understand that the world was ordained by the word of God, so that the things which we see, are not made of things, which did appear. Acts 17:28. For in him we live, and move, and have our being, as also certain of your own poets have said, For we are also his generation. Prov. 16:4. The Lord hath made all things for his own sake: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Of the Creation of Man
We confess and acknowledge this our God to have created man (to wit, our first father Adam) to his own image and similitude, to whom he gave wisdom, lordship, justice, free will, and clear knowledge of himself; so that in the whole nature of man there could be noted no imperfection:a from which honour and perfection man and woman did both fall; the woman being deceived by the serpent, and man obeying the voice of the woman: both conspiring against the Sovereign Majesty of God, who in expressed words had before threatened death, if they presumed to eat of the forbidden tree.b
a. Gen. 1:26-28. Furthermore God said, Let us make man in our image according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the beasts, and over all the earth, and over everything that creepeth and moveth on the earth. Thus God created man in his image: in the image of God created he him: he created them male and female. And God blessed them, and God said to them, Bring forth fruit and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven, and over every beast that moveth upon the earth. Col. 3:10. And have put on the new, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Eph. 4:24. And put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
b. Gen. 3:6. So the woman (seeing that the tree was good for meat, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and tree to be desired to get knowledge) took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat. Genesis 2:17. But as touching the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for whensoever thou eastest thereof, thou shalt die the death.
Of Original Sin
By which transgression, commonly called Original Sin, was the image of God utterly defaced in man; and he and his posterity of nature became enemies to God, slaves to Satan, and servants to sin;a insomuch that death everlasting has had, and shall have, power and dominion over all that have not been, are not, or shall not be regenerated from above: which regeneration is wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost, working in the hearts of the elect of God an assured faith in the promise of God, revealed to us in his word; by which faith we apprehend Christ Jesus, with the graces and benefits promised in him.b
a. Ps. 51:5. Behold, I was born in iniquity, and in sin hath my mother conceived me. Rom. 5:10. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Rom. 7:5. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, had force in our members, to bring forth fruit unto death. 2 Tim. 2:26. And that they may come to amendment out of the snare of the devil, which are taken of him at his will. Eph. 2:1-3. And you hath he quickened, that were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein, in time past ye walked, according to the course of this world, and after the prince that ruleth in the air, even the spirit, that now worketh in the children of disobedience, among whom we also had our conversation in time past, in the lusts of our flesh, in fulfilling the will of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, as well as others.
b. Rom. 5:14, 21. But death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them also that sinned not after the like manner of the transgression of Adam, which was the figure of him that was to come.... that as sin had reigned unto death, so might grace also reign by righteousness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 6:23. For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. John 3:5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Rom. 5:1. Then being justified by faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:29. For unto you it is given for Christ, that not only ye should believe in him, but also suffer for his sake.
Of the Revelation of the Promise
For this we constantly believe: that God, after the fearful and horrible defection of man from his obedience, did seek Adam again, call upon him,a rebuke his sin, convict him of the same, and in the end made unto him a most joyful promise: to wit, that the seed of the woman should break down the serpent's headb -- that is, he should destroy the works of the Devil. Which promise, as it was repeated and made more clear from time to time, so was it embraced with joy, and most constantly received of all the faithful, from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to David, and so forth to the incarnation of Christ Jesus: all (we mean the faithful fathers) under the law did see the joyful days of Christ Jesus, and did rejoice.c
a. Gen. 3:9. But the Lord God called to the man, and said unto him, Where art thou?
b. Gen. 3:15. I will also put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. He shall break thine head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
c. Gen. 12:3. I will also bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 15:5-6. Moreover he brought him forth and said, Look up now unto heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And Abram believed the Lord, and he counted that to him for righteousness. 2 Sam. 7:14. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and if he sin, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the plagues of the children of men. Isa. 7:14. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel. Isa. 9:6. For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given: and the government is upon his shoulder, and he shall call his name Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Hag. 2:6. According to the word that I covenanted with you, when ye came out of Egypt: so my Spirit shall remain among you, fear ye not. John 8:56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad.
The Continuance, Increase, and
Preservation of the Kirk
We most constantly believe that God preserved, instructed, multiplied, honoured, decored, and from death called to life his kirk in all ages, from Adam, till the coming of Christ Jesus in the flesh.a For Abraham he called from his father's country; him he instructed; his seed he multiplied;b the same he marvelously preserved, and more marvelously delivered from the bondage and tyranny of Pharaoh;c to them he gave his laws, constitutions, and ceremonies; them he possessed in the land of Canaan;d to them, after Judges and after Saul, he gave David to be king,e to whom he made promise, that of the fruit of his loins should one sit for ever upon his regal seat.f To this same people, from time to time, he sent prophets to reduce them to the right way of their God,g from the which often times they declined by idolatry. And albeit for their stubborn contempt of justice, he was compelled to give them in the hands of their enemies,h as before was threatened by the mouth of Moses,i insomuch that the holy city was destroyed, the temple burnt with fire,k and the whole land left desolate the space of seventy years;l yet of mercy did he reduce them again to Jerusalem, where the city and temple were reedified, and they, against all temptations and assaults of Satan, did abide till the Messiah came, according to the promise.m
a. Ezek. 6:6-14. In all your dwelling places the cities shall be desolate, and the high places shall be laid waste, so that your altars shall be made waste and desolate, and your idols shall be broken, and cease, and your images shall be cut in pieces, and your works shall be abolished. And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Yet I will leave a remnant, that you may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries. And they that escape of you, shall remember me among the nations, where they shall be in captivity, because I am grieved for their whorish hearts, which have departed from me, and for their eyes, which have gone a whoring after their idols, and they shall be displeased in themselves for the evils, which they have committed in all their abominations....
b. Gen. 12:1. For the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, for from thy father's house to the land that I will show thee. Genesis 13:1. Then Abram went up from Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him toward the South.
c. Ex. 1, etc. [throughout].
d. Josh. 1:3. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, have I given you, as I said unto Moses. Josh. 23:4. Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance according to your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have destroyed, even unto the great sea westward.
e. 1 Sam. 10:1. Then Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Hath not the Lord anointed thee to be governor over his inheritance? 1 Sam. 16:13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon David, from that day forward: then Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
f. 2 Sam. 7:12. And when thy days be fulfilled, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy body, and will establish his kingdom.
g. 2 Kings 17:13-19. Notwithstanding the Lord testified to Israel, and to Judah by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law, which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Nevertheless they would not obey, but hardened their necks, like to the necks of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. And they refused his statutes and his covenant, that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies (wherewith he witnessed unto them) and they followed vanity, and became vain, and followed the heathen that were round about them: concerning whom, the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them. Finally they left the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and used witchcraft and enchantments, yea, sold themselves, to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to anger him. Therefore the Lord was exceeding wroth with Israel, and put them out of his sight, and none was left but the tribe of Judah only. Yet Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked according to the fashion of Israel, which they used.
h. 2 Kings 24:3-4. Surely by the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, that he might put them out of his sight for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did, and for the innocent blood that he shed, (for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood) therefore the Lord would not pardon it.
i. Deut. 28:36, 48. The Lord shall bring thee and thy king (which thou shalt set over thee) unto a nation, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, and there thou shalt serve other gods: even wood and stone.... Therefore thou shalt serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send upon thee, in hunger and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in need of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck until he have destroyed thee.
k. 2 Kings 25. And in the ninth year of his reign, the tenth month and tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babel came, he, and all his host against Jerusalem, and pitched against it round about it....
l. Dan. 9:2. Even in the first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the Lord had spoken unto Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem.
m. Jer. 30 [throughout]. The word, that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: for I will restore them unto the land, that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.... Ezra 1, etc. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia (that the word of the Lord, spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah, might be accomplished), the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, and he made a proclamation through all his kingdom, and also by writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he hath commanded me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is he among you of all his people with whom his God is? Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel: he is the God, which is in Jerusalem.... Hag. 1:14. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel a prince of Judah, and the spirit of Jehoshua the son of Jehozadak the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people, and they came, and did the work in the house of the Lord. Hag. 2:7-9. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land: and I will move all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. Zech. 3:8. Hear now, O Jehoshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are monstrous persons: but behold, I will bring forth the Branch my servant.
Of the Incarnation of Christ Jesus
When the fulness of time came, God sent his Sona -- his Eternal Wisdom, the substance of his own glory, in this world -- who took the nature of manhood of the substance of woman: to wit, of a virgin, and that by operation of the Holy Ghost.b And so was born the just seed of David, the angel of the great counsel of God; the very Messiah promised, whom we confess and acknowledge Immanuel; very God and very man, two perfect natures united and joined in one person.c By which our confession we damn the damnable and pestilent heresies of Arius, Marcion, Eutyches, Nestorius, and such others as either deny the eternity of his Godhead, or the verity of his human nature, either confound them, either yet divide them.
a. Gal. 4:4. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, and made under the law.
b. Luke 1:31. For lo, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bear a son, and shall call his name Jesus. Matt. 1:18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was thus, When as his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matt. 2:1. When Jesus was then born at Bethlehem in Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Rom. 1:3. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord (which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh....). John 1:45. Philip found Nathanael, and said unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses did write in the law, and the prophets, Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph. Matt. 1:23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which is by interpretation, God with us.
c. 1 Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, which is the man Christ Jesus.
Why It Behoved the Mediator to be
Very God and Very Man
We acknowledge and confess that this most wondrous conjunction betwixt the Godhead and the manhood in Christ Jesus did proceed from the eternal and immutable decree of God, whence also our salvation springs and depends.a
a. Eph. 1:3-6. Blessed be God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly things in Christ, as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love: who hath predestinated us, to be adopted through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his grace, wherewith he hath made us accepted in his beloved.
For that same Eternal God and Father, who of mere grace elected us in Christ Jesus his Son, before the foundation of the world was laid,a appointed him to be our Head,b our Brother,c our Pastor, and great Bishop of our souls.d But because that the enmity betwixt the justice of God and our sins was such that no flesh by itself could or might have attained unto God,e it behoved that the Son of God should descend unto us, and take himself a body of our body, flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bones, and so become the perfect Mediator betwixt God and man;f giving power to so many as believe in him to be the sons of God,g as himself does witness: I pass up to my Father and unto your Father, to my God, and unto your God.h By which most holy fraternity, whatsoever we have lost in Adam is restored to us again.i And for this cause are we not afraid to call God our Father,k not so much that [because] he has created us (which we have common with the reprobate),l as for that he has given to us his only Son to be our brother,m and given unto us grace to acknowledge and embrace him for our only Mediator, as before is said.
It behoved further the Messiah and Redeemer to be very God and very Man, because he was to underlie the punishment due for our transgressions, and to present himself in the presence of his Father's judgments, as in our person, to suffer for our transgression and disobedience,n by death, to overcome him that was author of death. But because the only Godhead could not suffer death,o neither yet could the only manhead overcome the same, he joined both together in one person, that the imbecility [weakness] of the one should suffer, and be subject to death (which we had deserved), and the infinite and invincible power of the other (to wit, of the Godhead) should triumph and purchase to us life, liberty, and perpetual victory.p And so we confess, and most undoubtedly believe.
a. Eph. 1:11. In whom also we are chosen when we were predestinated according to the purpose of him, which worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Matt. 25:34. Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father: inherit ye the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world.
b. Eph. 1:22-23. And hath made all things subject under his feet, and hath appointed him over all things to be head to the church, which is his body, even the fulness of him that filleth all in all things.
c. Heb. 2:7-8, 11-12. Thou madest him a little inferior to the angels: thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and hast set him above the works of thine hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. And in that he hath put all things in subjection under him, he left nothing that should not be subject unto him. But we see not all things subdued unto him.... For he that sanctifieth, and they which are sanctified, are all of one: wherefore he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the church will I sing praises to thee. Ps. 22:22. I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee....
d. Heb. 13:20. The God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. 1 Pet. 2:24. Who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we being delivered from sin, should live in righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Pet. 5:4. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive an incorruptible crown of glory.
e. Ps. 130:3. If thou, O Lord, straitly markest iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Ps.143:2. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall none that liveth, be justified.
f. 1 Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, which is the man Christ Jesus.
g. John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them he gave power to be the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name.
h. John 20:17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and to your Father, and to my God, and your God.
i. Rom. 5:17-19. For if by the offence of one, death reigned through one, much more shall they which receive the abundance of grace, and of the gift or righteousness, reign in life through one, that is Jesus Christ. Likewise then as by the offence of one the fault came on all men to condemnation, so by the justifying of one the benefit abounded toward all men to the justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many also be made righteous.
k. Rom. 8:15. For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage to fear again: but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father. Gal. 4:5-6. That he might redeem them which were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of the sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, which crieth, Abba, Father.
l. Acts 17:26. And hath made of one blood all mankind, to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath assigned the times which were ordained before, and the bounds of their habitation.
m. Heb. 2:11-12. For he that sanctifieth, and they which are sanctified, are all of one: wherefore he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the church will I sing praises to thee.
n. 1 Pet. 3:18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, and was put to death concerning the flesh, but was quickened in the spirit. Isa. 53:8. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall grow speedily: thy righteousness shall go before thee, and the glory of the Lord shall embrace thee.
o. Acts 2:24. Whom God hath raised up, and loosed the sorrows of death, because it was impossible that he should be holden of it.
p. John 1:2. The same was in the beginning with God. Acts 20:28. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, whereof the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 1Tim. 3:16. And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, which is, God manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up in glory. John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he hath given his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Christ's Death, Passion, Burial, etc.
[We confess] That our Lord Jesus Christ offered himself a voluntary sacrifice unto his Father for us;a that he suffered contradiction of sinners; that he was wounded and plagued for our transgressions;b that he, being the clean and innocent Lamb of God,c was damned in the presence of an earthly judge,d that we should be absolved before the tribunal seat of our God;e that he suffered not only the cruel death of the cross (which was accursed by the sentence of God),f but also that he suffered for a season the wrath of his Father,g which sinners had deserved. But yet we avow, that he remained the only and well-beloved and blessed Son of his Father, even in the midst of his anguish and torment, which he suffered in body and soul, to make the full satisfaction for the sins of the people.h After the which, we confess and avow, that there remains no other sacrifice for sin:i which if any affirm, we nothing doubt to avow that they are blasphemers against Christ's death, and the everlasting purgation and satisfaction purchased to us by the same.
a. Heb. 10:1-12. For the law having the shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which they offer year by year continually, sanctify the comers thereto. For would they not then have ceased to have been offered, because that the offerers once purged, should have had no more conscience of sin? But in those sacrifices there is remembrance again of sins every year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not: but a body hast thou ordained me. In burnt offerings, and sin offerings thou hast no pleasure. Then I said, Lo, I come (in the beginning of the book it is written of me) that I should do thy will, O God. Above, when he said, Sacrifice and offering, and burnt offerings, and sin offerings thou wouldest not have, neither hadst pleasure therein (which are offered by the law) then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God, he taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified, even by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once made. And every priest appeareth daily ministering, and oft times offereth one manner of offering, which can never take away sins: but this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, sitteth for ever at the right hand of God.
b. Isa. 53:5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was broken for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. Heb. 12:3. Consider therefore him that endured such speaking against sinners, lest ye should be wearied and faint in your minds.
c. John 1:29. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
d. Matt.27:11, 26. And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest it.... Thus let he Barabbas loose unto them, and scourged Jesus, and delivered him to be crucified. Mark 15 [throughout]. And anon in the dawning, the high priests held a counsel with the elders, and the scribes, and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and led him away, and delivered him to Pilate.... Luke 23 throughout. Then the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate....
e. Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, when he was made a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on tree).
f. Deut. 21:23. His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt bury him the same day: for the curse of God is on him that is hanged. Defile not therefore thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee to inherit.
g. Matt. 26:38-39. The said Jesus unto them, My soul is very heavy even unto the death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. So he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
h. 2 Cor. 5:21. For he made him to be sin for us, which knew no sin, that we should be made the righteousness of God in him.
i. Heb. 9:12. Neither by the blood of goats and calves: but by his own blood entered he in once unto the holy place, and obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb. 10:14. For with one offering hath he consecrated for ever them that are sanctified.
We undoubtedly believe that, insomuch as it was impossible that the dolours of death should retain in bondage the Author of life;a that our Lord Jesus Christ crucified, dead, and buried, who descended into hell, did rise again for our justification,b and destroying him who was the author of death, brought life again to us that were subject to death and to the bondage of the same.c We know that his resurrection was confirmed by the testimony of his very enemies;d by the resurrection of the dead, whose sepulchres did open, and they did arise and appear to many within the city of Jerusalem.e It was also confirmed by the testimony of angels,f and by the senses and judgments of his apostles, and of others, who had conversation, and did eat and drink with him after his resurrection.g
a. Acts 2:24. Whom God hath raised up, and loosed the sorrows of death, because it was impossible that he should be holden of it.
b. Acts 3:26. First unto you hath God raised up his Son Jesus Christ, and him he hath sent to bless you, in turning everyone of you from your iniquities. Rom. 6:5, 9. For if we be grafted with him to the similitude of his death, even so shall we be to the similitude of his resurrection.... knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him. Rom. 4:25. Who was delivered to death for our sins, and is risen again for our justification.
c. Heb. 2:14-15. Forasmuch then as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part with them, that he might destroy through death, him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and that he might deliver all them, which for fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
d. Matt. 28:4. And for fear of him, the keepers were astonished, and became as dead men.
e. Matt. 27:52-53. And the graves did open themselves, and many bodies of the saints which slept, arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
f. Matt. 28:5-6. But the angel answered, and said to the women, Fear ye not: for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified: he is not here, for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord was laid.
g. John 20:27. After, said he to Thomas, Put thy finger here, and see mine hands, and put forth thine hand, and put it into my side, and be not faithless, but faithful. John 21:7,12-13. Therefore said the disciple whom Jesus loved, unto Peter, It is the Lord. When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he gird his coat to him (for he was naked) and cast himself into the sea.... Jesus said unto them, Come, and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou, seeing they knew that he was the Lord. Jesus then came and took bread, and gave them, and fish likewise. Luke 24:41-43. And while they believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, and he took it, and did eat before them.
We nothing doubt but that the selfsame body, which was born of the virgin, was crucified, dead, and buried, and which did rise again, did ascend into the heavens, for the accomplishment of all things;a where, in our names, and for our comfort he has received all power in heaven and in earth,b where he sits at the right hand of the Father inaugurated in his kingdom, Advocate and only Mediator for us:c which glory, honour, and prerogative he alone amongst the brethren shall possess, till that all his enemies be made his footstool,d as that we undoubtedly believe they shall be in the final judgment; to the execution whereof we certainly believe that the same our Lord Jesus shall visibly return, as that he was seen to ascend.e And then we firmly believe, that the time of refreshing and restitution of all things shall come,f insomuch that those that from the beginning have suffered violence, injury, and wrong for righteousness' sake, shall inherit that blessed immortality promised from the beginning.g
But contrariwise, the stubborn, disobedient, cruel oppressors, filthy persons, idolaters, and all sorts of unfaithful shall be cast in the dungeon of utter darkness, where their worm shall not die, neither yet their fire shall be extinguished.h The remembrance of which day, and of the judgment to be executed in the same, is not only to us a bridle, whereby our carnal lusts are refrained; but also such inestimable comfort, that neither may the threatening of worldly princes, neither yet the fear of temporal death and present danger, move us to renounce and forsake that blessed society, which we, the members, have with our Head and only Mediator Christ Jesus:i whom we confess and avow to be the Messiah promised, the only Head of his kirk, our just Lawgiver, our only High Priest, Advocate, and Mediator.k In which honours and offices, if man or angel presume to intrude themselves, we utterly detest and abhor them, as blasphemous to our Sovereign and Supreme Governor, Christ Jesus.
a. Mark 16:9. And when Jesus was risen again, in the morrow (which was the first day of the week) he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. Matt. 28:6. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord was laid. Luke 24:51. And it came to pass, that as he blessed them, he departed from them, and was carried up into heaven. Acts 1:9. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up: for a cloud took him up out of their sight.
b. Matt. 28:18. And Jesus came, and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven, and in earth.
c. 1 John 2:1. My babes, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not: and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Just. 1 Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, which is the man Christ Jesus.
d. Ps. 110:1. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Matt. 22:44. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit on my right hand, til I make thine enemies thy footstool. Mark 12:36. For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, til I make thine enemies thy footstool. Luke 20:42-43. And David himself saith in the book of the Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand, til I shall make thine enemies thy footstool.
e. Acts 1:8. But ye shall receive power of the Holy Ghost, when he shall come on you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
f. Acts 3:19. Amend your lives therefore, and turn, that your sins may be put away, when the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
g. Matt.25:34. Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father: inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world. 2Thess. 1:4-8. So that we ourselves rejoice of you in the churches of God, because of your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye suffer, which is a token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for the which ye also suffer. For it is a righteous thing with God, to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you which are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall show himself from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto them, that do not know God, and which obey not unto the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
h. Rev. 21:27. And there shall enter into it none unclean thing, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or lies: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. Isa. 66:24. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. Matt. 25:41. Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels. Mark 9:44, 46,48. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire never goeth out. Matt. 22:13. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot: take him away, and cast him into utter darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
i. 2 Pet. 3:11. Seeing therefore that all these things must be dissolved, what manner persons ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness...? 2 Cor. 5:9-11. Wherefore also we covet, that both dwelling at home, and removing from home, we may be acceptable to him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every man may receive the things which are done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evil. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men, and we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also that we are made manifest in your consciences. Luke 21:27-28. And then shall they see the Son of Man come in a cloud, with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads: for your redemption draweth near. John 14:1, etc. And he said to his disciples, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me....
k. Isa. 7:14. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel. Eph. 1:22. And hath made all things subject under his feet, and hath appointed him over all things to be the head to the church. Col. 1:18. And he is the head of the body of the church: he is the beginning, and the first born of the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. Heb. 9:11,15. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and a more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this building.... And for this cause is he the Mediator of the new testament, that through death which was for the redemption of the transgressions that were in the former testament, they which were called, might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Heb. 10:21. And seeing we have an high priest, which is over the house of God. 1 John 2:1. My babes, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not: and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Just. 1 Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, which is the man Christ Jesus.
Faith in the Holy Ghost
This our faith, and the assurance of the same, proceeds not from flesh and blood, that is to say, from no natural powers within us, but is the inspiration of the Holy Ghost:a whom we confess God, equal with the Father and with the Son;b who sanctifies us, and brings us in all verity by his own operation; without whom we should remain for ever enemies to God, and ignorant of his Son, Christ Jesus. For of nature we are so dead, so blind and so perverse, that neither can we feel when we are pricked, see the light when it shines, nor assent to the will of God when it is revealed, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus quicken that which is dead, remove the darkness from our minds, and bow our stubborn hearts to the obedience of his blessed will.c And so, as we confess that God the Father created us when we were not;d as his Son, our Lord Jesus redeemed us when we were enemies to him;e so also do we confess that the Holy Ghost does sanctify and regenerate us, without all respect of any merit proceeding from us, be it before or be it after our regeneration.f To speak this one thing yet in more plain words: as we willingly spoil ourselves of all honour and glory of our own creation and redemption,g so do we also of our regeneration and sanctification; for of ourselves we are not sufficient to think one good thought; but he who has begun the good work in us, is only he that continues us in the same,h to the praise and glory of his undeserved grace.i
a. Matt. 16:17. And Jesus answered, and said to him, Blessed art thou, Simon, the son of Jonas: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. John 14:26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, which I have told you. John 15:26. But when the Comforter shall come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth of the Father, he shall testify of me. John 16:13. Howbeit, when he is come which is the Spirit of truth, he will lead you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, shall he speak, and he will show you the things to come.
b. Acts 5:3-4. Then said Peter, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart, that thou shouldest lie unto the Holy Ghost, and keep away part of the price of the possession? Whiles it remained, appertained it not unto thee? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
c. Col. 2:13. And ye which were dead in sins, and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, forgiving you all your trespasses. Eph. 2:1. And you hath he quickened, that were dead in trespasses and sins. John 9:39. And Jesus said, I am come unto judgment into this world, that they which see not, might see: and that they which see, might be made blind. Rev. 3:17. For thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not how thou art wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Matt. 17:17. Then Jesus answered, and said, O generation, faithfuless, and crooked, how long now shall I be with you! How long now shall I suffer you! bring him hither to me. Mark 9:19. Then he answered him, and said, O faithless generation, how long now shall I be with you! How long now shall I suffer you! Bring him unto me. Luke 9:41. Then Jesus answered, and said, O generation faithless, and crooked, how long now shall I be with you, and suffer you! Bring thy son hither. John 6:63. It is the Spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, are spirit and life. Micah 7:8. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: though I fall, I shall arise: when I shall sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. 1 Kings 8:57-58. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers, that he forsake us not, neither leave us, that he may bow our hearts unto him, that we may walk in all his ways, and keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his laws, which he commanded our fathers.
d. Ps. 100:3. Know ye that even the Lord is God: he hath made us, and not we ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
e. Rom. 5:10. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
f. John 3:5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say unto thee, except that a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Titus 3:5. Not by the works of righteousness, which we had done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of the new birth, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Rom. 5:8. But God setteth out his love toward us, seeing that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
g. Phil. 3:7. But the things which were vantage unto me, the same I counted loss for Christ's sake.
h. Phil 1:6. And I am persuaded of this same thing that he that hath begun this good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 3:5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think anything, as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.
i. Eph. 1:6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherewith he hath made us accepted in his beloved.
The Cause of Good Works
So that the cause of good works we confess to be, not our free will, but the Spirit of the Lord Jesus who, dwelling in our hearts by true faith, brings forth such good works as God has prepared for us to walk into. For this we most boldly affirm, that blasphemy it is to say that Christ Jesus abides in the hearts of such as in whom there is no spirit of sanctification.a And therefore we fear not to affirm that murderers, oppressors, cruel persecutors, adulterers, whoremongers, filthy persons, idolaters, drunkards, thieves, and all workers of iniquity, have neither true faith, neither any portion of the spirit of sanctification, which proceeds from the Lord Jesus, so long as obstinately they continue in their wickedness.
For how soon that ever the Spirit of the Lord Jesus (which God's elect children receive by true faith) takes possession in the heart of any man, so soon does he regenerate and renew the same man; so that he begins to hate that which before he loved, and begins to love that which before he hated. And from thence comes that continual battle which is betwixt the flesh and the spirit in God's children; while the flesh and natural man (according to their own corruption) lust for things pleasing and delectable unto the self, grudge in adversity, are lifted up in prosperity, and at every moment are prone and ready to offend the Majesty of God.b But the Spirit of God, which gives witnessing to our spirit, that we are the sons of God,c makes us to resist filthy pleasures, and to groan in God's presence for deliverance from this bondage of corruption;d and finally, to triumph over sin that it reign not in our mortal bodies.e
This battle have not the carnal men, being destitute of God's Spirit; but they do follow and obey sin with greediness, and without repentance, even as the devil and their corrupt lusts do prick them. But the sons of God (as before is said) do fight against sin, do sob and mourn, when they perceive themselves tempted to iniquity; and if they fall, they rise again with earnest and unfeigned repentance.f And these things they do not by their own power, but the power of the Lord Jesus, without whom they were able to do nothing.g
a. Eph. 2:10. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained, that we should walk in them. Phil 2:13. For it is God which worketh in you, both the will and the deed, even of his good pleasure. John 15:5. I am the vine: ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me can you do nothing. Rom. 8:9. Now ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, because the Spirit of God dwelleth in you: but if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, the same is not his.
b. Rom. 7:15-25 throughout. For I allow not that which I do: for what I would, that do I not: but what I hate, that I do.... Gal. 5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit lusteth against the flesh: and these are contrary one to the other, so that ye cannot do the same things that ye would.
c. Rom. 8:16. The same Spirit beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God.
d. Rom. 7:24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death! Rom. 8:22. For we know that every creature groaneth with us also, and travaileth in pain together unto this present.
e. Rom. 6:12. Let not sin reign therefore in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
f. 2 Tim. 2:26. And that they may come to amendment out of the snare of the devil, which are taken of him at his will.
g. John 15:5. I am the vine: ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me can you do nothing.
What Works are Reputed Good before God
We confess and acknowledge that God has given to man his holy law, in which not only are forbidden all such works as displease and offend his godly Majesty, but also are commanded all such as please him, and as he has promised to reward.a And these works are of two sorts: the one are done to the honour of God, the other to the profit of our neighbours; and both have the revealed will of God for their assurance.
To have one God; to worship and honour him; to call upon him in all our troubles; to reverence his holy name; to hear his word; to believe the same; to communicate with his holy sacraments, are the works of the first table.b To honour father, mother, princes, rulers, and superior powers; to love them, to support them, yea, to obey their charges (not repugning to the commandment of God); to save the lives of innocents; to repress tyranny; to defend the oppressed; to keep our bodies clean and holy; to live in sobriety and temperance; to deal justly with all men, both in word and in deed; and, finally, to repress all appetite of our neighbour's hurt,c are the good works of the second table, which are most pleasing and acceptable unto God, as those works that are commanded by himself.
The contrary whereof is sin most odious, which always displeases him, and provokes him to anger: as, not to call upon him alone, when we have need; not to hear his word with reverence; to contemn and despise it; to have or to worship idols; to maintain and defend idolatry; lightly to esteem the reverent name of God; to profane, abuse, or contemn the sacraments of Christ Jesus; to disobey or resist any that God has placed in authority (while they pass not over the bounds of their office);d to murder, or to consent thereto; to bear hatred, or to suffer innocent blood to be shed if we may gainstand it;e and, finally, the transgressing of any other commandment in the first or second table, we confess and affirm to be sin,f by the which God's anger and displeasure are kindled against the proud and unthankful world. So that good works we affirm to be these only that are done in faith,g at God's commandment,h who in his law has expressed what be the things that please him. And evil works, we affirm not only those that expressedly are done against God's commandment,i but those also that, in matters of religion and worshipping of God, have no other assurance but the invention and opinion of man: which God from the beginning has ever rejected, as by the prophet Isaiah,k and by our master Christ Jesus, we are taught in these words: In vain do they worship me, teaching the doctrines and precepts of men.l
a. Ex. 20:3, etc.. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.... Deut. 5:6, etc. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before my face.... Deut. 4:8. And what nation is so great, that hath ordinances and laws so righteous, as all this law, which I set before you this day?
b. Luke 10:27-28. And he answered and said, Thou shalt love thy Lord God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy thought, and thy neighbour as thyself. Then he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. Micah 6:8. He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: surely to do justly, and to love mercy, and to humble thyself, to walk with thy God.
c. Eph. 6:1,7. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.... with good will serving the Lord, and not men. Ezek. 22:1,etc. Moreover, the word of the Lord, came unto me, saying, Now thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge this bloody city? Wilt thou show her all her abominations?.... 1 Cor. 6:19-20. Know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, whom ye have of God? And ye are not your own. For ye are bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit: for they are God's. 1 Thess. 4:3-7. For this is the will of God even your sanctification, and that ye should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know, how to possess his vessel in holiness and honour, and not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man oppress or defraud his brother in any matter: for the Lord is avenger of all such things, as we also have told you before time and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. Jer. 22:3, etc. Thus saith the Lord, Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor, and vex not the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow: do no violence, nor shed innocent blood in this place.... Isa. 50:1, etc. Then saith the Lord, Where is that bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have cast off? Behold, for your iniquities are ye sold, and because of your transgressions is your mother forsaken....
d. Rom. 13:2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist, shall receive to themselves judgment.
e. Ezek. 22:13, etc. Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hands upon thy covetousness, that thou hast used, and upon the blood, which hath been in the midst of thee. Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall have to do with thee? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it. And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will cause thy filthiness to cease from thee. And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know, that I am the Lord....
f. 1 John 3:4. Whosoever committeth sin, trangresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
g. Rom. 14:23. For he that doubteth, is condemned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. Heb. 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him.
h. 1 Sam. 15:22. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as when the voice of the Lord is obeyed? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken is better than the fat of rams. 1 Cor. 10:31. Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
i. 1 John 3:4. Whosoever committeth sin, trangresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
k. Isa. 29:13. Therefore the Lord saith, Because this people come near unto me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me was taught by the precept of men....
l. Matt. 15:9 But in vain they worship me, teaching for doctrines, men's precepts. Mark 7:7. But they worship me in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
The Perfection of the Law and Imperfection of Man
The law of God we confess and acknowledge most just, most equal, most holy, and most perfect: commanding those things which, being wrought in perfection, were able to give life, and able to bring man to eternal felicity.a But our nature is so corrupt, so weak, and so imperfect, that we are never able to fulfill the works of the law in perfection.b Yea, If we say we have no sin (even after we are regenerate), we deceive ourselves, and the verity of God is not into us.c And therefore it behoved us to apprehend Christ Jesus, with his justice and satisfaction, who is the end and accomplishment of the law, by whom we are set at this liberty, that the curse and malediction of the law fall not upon us, albeit we fulfill not the same in all points.d For God the Father, beholding us in the body of his Son Christ Jesus, accepts our imperfect obedience, as it were perfect,e and covers our works, which are defiled with many spots,f with the justice of his Son.
We do not mean that we are set so at liberty, that we owe no obedience to the law (for that before we have plainly confessed). But this we affirm, that no man in earth (Christ Jesus only excepted) has given, gives, or shall give in work, that obedience to the law which the law requires. But when we have done all things, we must fall down and unfeignedly confess, that we are unprofitable servants.g And therefore whosoever boast themselves of the merits of their own works, or put their trust in the works of supererogation, boast themselves of that which is not, and put their trust in damnable idolatry.
a. Lev. 18:5. Ye shall keep therefore my statutes, and my judgments, which if a man do, he shall then live in them: I am the Lord. Gal. 3:12. And the law is not of faith: but the man that shall do these things, shall live in them. 1 Tim. 1:8. And we know, that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully. Rom. 7:12. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good. Ps. 19:7-9, 19:11. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom unto the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light unto the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, and endureth for ever: the judgments of the Lord are truth: they are righteous all together.... Moreover by them is thy servant made circumspect, and in keeping of them there is great reward.
b. Deut. 5:29. Oh that there were such an heart in them to fear me, and to keep all my commandments alway: that it might go well with them, and with their children for ever. Rom. 10:3. For they, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.
c. 1 Kings 8:46. If they sin against thee (for there is no man that sinneth not) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them unto the enemy, so that they carry them away prisoners unto the land of the enemies, either far or near.... 2 Chron. 6:36. If they sin against thee (for there is no man that sinneth not) and thou be angry with them and deliver them unto the enemies, and take them and carry them away captive unto a land far or near.... Prov. 20:9. Who can say, I have made mine heart clean, I am clean from sin? Eccl. 7:22. Surely there is no man just in the earth, that doeth good and sinneth not. 1 John 1:8. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and truth is not in us.
d. Rom. 10:4. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness unto everyone that believeth. Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, when he was made a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on tree). Deut. 27:26. Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law, to do them: and all the people shall say: So be it.
e. Phil 2:15. That ye may be blameless, and pure, and the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a naughty and crooked nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.
f. Isa. 64:6. But we have all been as an unclean thing and all our righteousness is as filthy clouts cloths, and we all do fade like a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away.
g. Luke 17:10. So likewise ye, when ye have done all those things, which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Of the Kirk
As we believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; so do we most constantly believe that from the beginning there has been, now is, and to the end of the world shall be, a kirk: that is to say, a company and multitude of men chosen of God, who rightly worship and embrace him, by true faith in Christ Jesus,a who is the only Head of the same kirk, which also is the body and spouse of Christ Jesus; which kirk is Catholic -- that is, universal -- because it contains the elect of all ages, all realms, nations, and tongues, be they of the Jews, or be they of the Gentiles; who have communion and society with God the Father, and with his Son Christ Jesus, through the sanctification of his Holy Spirit;b and therefore it is called the communion, not of profane persons, but of saints, who, as citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem,c have the fruition of the most inestimable benefits: to wit, of one God, one Lord Jesus, one faith, and of one baptism;d out of the which kirk there is neither life, nor eternal felicity. And therefore we utterly abhor the blasphemy of them that affirm that men which live according to equity and justice shall be saved, what religion that ever they have professed. For as without Christ Jesus there is neither life nor salvation,e so shall there none be participant thereof, but such as the Father has given unto his Son Christ Jesus, and those [that] in time come unto him,f avow his doctrine, and believe into him (we comprehend the children with the faithful parents).g This kirk is invisible, known only to God, who alone knows whom he has chosen,h and comprehends as well (as said is) the elect that are departed (commonly called the kirk triumphant), as those that yet live and fight against sin and Satan as shall live hereafter.i
a. Matt. 28:20. Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, until the end of the world, Amen. Eph. 1:4. As he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love.
b. Col. 1:18. And he is the head of the body of the church: he is the beginning, and the first born of the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. Eph. 5:23-24, etc. For the husband is the wife's head, even as Christ is the head of the church, and the same is the saviour of his body. Therefore as the church is in subjection to Christ, even so let wives be to their husbands in everything. Rev. 7:9. After these things I beheld, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with long white robes, and palms in their hands.
c. Eph. 2:19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners: but citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
d. Eph. 4:5. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
e. John 3:36. He that believeth in the Son, hath everlasting life, and he that obeyeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.
f. John 5:24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth in him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but hath passed form death unto life. John 6:37; 6:39. All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me: and him that cometh to me, I cast not away.... And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. John 6:65. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of my Father. 17:6. I have declared thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me, and they have kept thy word.
g. Acts 2:39. For the promise is made unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
h. 2 Tim. 2:19. But the foundation of God remaineth sure, and hath this seal, The Lord, knoweth who are his, and, Let every one that calleth on the name of the Christ, depart from iniquity. John 13:18. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but it is that the scripture might be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me, hath lift up his heal against me.
i. Eph. 1:10. That in the dispensation of the fulness of the times he might gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are in earth, even in Christ. Col. 1:20. And by him to reconcile all things unto him self, and to set at peace through the blood of his cross both the things in earth, and the things in heaven. Heb. 12:4. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
The Immortality of the Souls
The elect departed are in peace and rest from their labours:a not that they sleep and come to a certain oblivion (as some fantastics do affirm), but that they are delivered from all fear, all torment, and all temptation, to which we and all God's elect are subject in this life,b and therefore do bear the name of the kirk militant: as contrariwise, the reprobate and unfaithful departed, have anguish, torment, and pain, that cannot be expressed.c So that neither are the one nor the other in such sleep that they feel not joy or torment, as the parable of Christ Jesus in the sixteenth chapter of Luke,d his words to the thief,e and these words of the souls crying under the altar,f O Lord, thou that art righteous and just, how long shalt thou not revenge our blood upon them that dwell upon the earth! doth plainly testify.
a. Rev. 14:13. Then I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead, which hereafter die in the Lord. Even so saith the Spirit: for they rest from their labours, and their works follow them.
b. Isa. 25:8. He will destroy death for ever: and the Lord God will wipe away the tears form all faces, and the rebuke of his people will he take away out of all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. Rev. 7:14-17. And I said unto him, Lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they, which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their long robes and have made their long robes white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they in the presence of the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he that sitteth on the throne, will dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, neither any heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall govern them, and shall lead them unto the lively fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Rev. 21:4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, neither crying, neither shall there by any more pain: for the first things are passed.
c. Rev. 16:10-11. And the first angel poured out his vial upon the throne of the beast, and his kingdom waxed dark, and they gnawed their tongues for sorrow, and blasphemed the God of heaven for their pains, and for their sores, and repented not of their works. Isa. 66:24. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. Mark 9:44, 46, 48. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire never goeth out.
d. Luke 16:23-26. And being in hell in torments, he lift up his eyes, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy pleasures, and likewise Lazarus pains: now therefore is he comforted, and thou art tormented. Besides all this, between you and us there is a great gulf set, so that they which would go from hence to you, cannot, neither can they come from thence to us.
e. Luke 23:43. Then Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
f. Rev. 6:9-10. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them, that were killed for the word of God, and for the testimony which they maintained. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, Lord, holy and true! doest not thou judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Of the Notes by Which the True Kirk is
Discerned from the False and
Who Shall be Judge of the Doctrine
Because that Satan from the beginning has laboured to deck his pestilent synagogue with the title of the kirk of God, and has inflamed the hearts of cruel murderers to persecute, trouble, and molest the true kirk and members thereof -- as Cain did Abel;a Ishmael, Isaac;b Esau, Jacob;c and the whole priesthood of the Jews, Christ Jesus himself, and his apostles after him;d it is a thing most requisite that the true kirk be discerned from the filthy synagogue, by clear and perfect notes, lest we, being deceived, receive and embrace to our own condemnation the one for the other. The notes, signs, and assured tokens whereby the immaculate spouse of Christ Jesus is known from that horrible harlot, the kirk malignant; we affirm are neither antiquity, title usurped, lineal descent, place appointed, nor multitude of men approving an error -- for Cain in age and title was preferred to Abel and Seth;e Jerusalem had prerogative above all places of the earth,f where also were the priests lineally descended from Aaron; and greater multitude followed the scribes, Pharisees, and priests, than unfeignedly believed and approved Christ Jesus and his doctrine;g and yet, as we suppose, no man (of whole judgment) will grant that any of the forenamed were the kirk of God.
The notes, therefore, of the true kirk of God we believe, confess, and avow to be: first, the true preaching of the word of God, into the which God has revealed himself to us, as the writings of the prophets and apostles do declare; secondly, the right administration of the sacraments of Christ Jesus, which must be annexed unto the word and promise of God, to seal and confirm the same in our hearts;h last, ecclesiastical discipline uprightly ministered, as God's word prescribes, whereby vice is repressed, and virtue nourished.i Wheresoever then these former notes are seen, and of any time continue (be the number [of persons] never so few, about two or three) there, without all doubt, is the true kirk of Christ: who, according to his promise is in the midst of them:k not that universal kirk (of which we have before spoken) but particular; such as were in Corinth,l Galatia,m Ephesus,n and other places in which the ministry was planted by Paul, and were of himself named the kirks of God.
And such kirks we, the inhabitants of the realm of Scotland, professors of Christ Jesus, confess ourselves to have in our cities, towns, and places reformed; for the doctrine taught in our kirks is contained in the written word of God: to wit, in the books of the New and Old Testaments: in those books, we mean, which of the ancient have been reputed canonical, in the which we affirm that all things necessary to be believed for the salvation of mankind are sufficiently expressed.o The interpretation whereof, we confess, neither appertains to private nor public person, neither yet to any kirk for any preeminence or prerogative, personal or local, which one has above another; but appertains to the Spirit of God, by the which also the scripture was written.p
When controversy then happens, for the right understanding of any place or sentence of scripture, or for the reformation of any abuse within the kirk of God, we ought not so much to look what men before us have said or done, as unto that which the Holy Ghost uniformly speaks within the body of the scriptures, and unto that which Christ Jesus himself did, and commanded to be done.q For this is a thing universally granted, that the Spirit of God (which is the Spirit of unity) is in nothing contrary unto himself.r If then the interpretation, determination, or sentence of any doctor, kirk, or council, repugn to the plain word of God written in any other place of scripture, it is a thing most certain, that there is not the true understanding and meaning of the Holy Ghost, supposing that councils, realms, and nations have approved and received the same. For we dare not receive and admit any interpretation which directly repugns to any principal point of our faith, or to any other plain text of scripture, or yet unto the rule of charity.
a. Gen. 4:8. Then Cain spake to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
b. Gen. 21:9. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian (which she bore unto Abraham) mocking.
c. Gen. 27:41. Therefore Esau hated Jacob, because of the blessing, wherewith his father blessed him. And Esau thought in his mind, The days of mourning for my father will come shortly, then I will slay by brother Jacob.
d. Matt. 23:34. Wherefore behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, and of them ye shall kill and crucify: and of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city.... John 15:18-20,24. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also: if they have kept my word, they will also keep yours.... If I had not done works among them which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen, and have hated both me, and my Father. John 11:47,53. Then gathered the high priests, and the Pharisees a council, and said, What shall we do? For this man doeth many miracles.... Then from that day forth they consulted together, to put him to death. Acts 4:1-3. And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, taking it grievously that they taught the people, and preached in Jesus' name the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold, unto the next day: for it was now even tide. Acts 5:17, etc. Then the chief priest rose up, and all they that were with him (which was the sect of the Sadducees) and were full of indignation, and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison....
e. Gen. 4:1. Afterward the man knew Eve his wife, which conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have obtained a man by the Lord.
f. Ps. 48:2-3. Mount Zion, lying northward, is fair in situation: it is the joy of the whole earth, and the city of the great King. In the palaces thereof God is known for a refuge. Matt. 5:35. Nor yet by the earth: for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem: for it is the city of the great King.
g. John 12:42. Nevertheless even among the chief rulers many believed in him: but because of the Pharisees, they did not confess him, lest they should be cast out of the synagogue.
h. Eph. 2:20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. Acts 2:42. And they continued in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and the breaking of bread, and prayers. John 10:27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 18:37. Pilate then said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king: for this cause am I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth: everyone that is of the truth, heareth my voice. 1 Cor. 1:13. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Either were ye baptized into the name of Paul? Matt. 18:19-20. Again, verily, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree in earth upon anything, whatsoever they shall desire, it shall be given them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Mark 16:15-16. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that shall believe and be baptized, shall be saved: but he that will not believe, shall be damned. 1Cor. 11:24-26. And when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do ye in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as oft as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye show the Lord's death till he come. Rom. 4:11. After he received the sign of circumcision, as the seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, when he was uncircumcised, that he should be the father of all them that believe, not being circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also.
i. Matt. 18:15-18. Moreover, if thy brother trespass against thee go, and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast won thy brother. But if he hear thee not, take yet with thee one or two, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be confirmed. And if he will not vouchsafe to hear thee, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. 1 Cor. 5:4-5. When ye are gathered together, and my spirit, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that such one, I say, by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, be delivered unto Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
k. Matt. 18:19-20. Again, verily, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree in earth upon anything, whatsoever they shall desire, it shall be given them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
l. 1 Cor. 1:2. Unto the church of God which is at Corinthus, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all that call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both their Lord and ours. 2 Cor. 1:2. Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
m. Gal. 1:2. And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia.
n. Eph. 1:1. Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to the saints, which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus. Acts 16:9-10. Where a vision appeared to Paul in the night. There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we prepared to go into Macedonia, and help us. Acts 18:1, etc. After these things, Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinthus.... Acts 20:17, etc. Wherefore from Miletum, he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. Who when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all modesty, and with many tears, and temptations, which came unto me by the layings await of the Jews, and how I kept back nothing that was profitable, but have showed you, and taught you openly, and throughout every house, witnessing both to the Jews, and to the Grecians the repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ....
o. John 20:31. But these things are written that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that in believing ye might have life through his name. 2 Tim. 3:16-17. For the whole scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to improve, to correct and to instruct in righteousness, that the man of God may be absolute, being made perfect unto all good works.
p. 2 Pet. 1:20-21. So that he first know this, that no prophecy in the scripture is of any private motion. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
q. John 5:39. Search the scriptures: for in them ye think to have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.
r. Eph. 4:3-4. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your vocation.
The Authority of the Scriptures
As we believe and confess the scriptures of God sufficient to instruct and make the man of God perfect, so do we affirm and avow the authority of the same to be of God, and neither to depend on men nor angels.a We affirm, therefore, that such as allege the scripture to have no authority, but that which is received from the kirk, to be blasphemous against God, and injurious to the true kirk, which always hears and obeys the voice of her own Spouse and Pastor, but takes not upon her to be mistress over the same.b
a. 2 Tim. 3:16-17. For the whole scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to improve, to correct and to instruct in righteousness, that the man of God may be absolute, being made perfect unto all good works.
b. John 10:27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
Of General Councils, of Their Power, Authority,
and Causes of Their Convention
As we do not rashly damn that which godly men, assembled together in general councils, lawfully gathered, have proponed unto us; so without just examination dare we not receive whatsoever is obtruded unto men under the name of general councils. For plain it is, as they were men, so have some of them manifestly erred, and that in matters of great weight and importance.a So far then as the council proves the determination and commandment that it gives by the plain word of God, so far do we reverence and embrace the same. But if men, under the name of a council, pretend to forge unto us new articles of our faith, or to make constitutions repugning to the word of God, then utterly we must refuse the same as the doctrine of devils, which draws our souls from the voice of our only God to follow the doctrines and constitutions of men.b
The cause, then, why general councils convened, was neither to make any perpetual law (which God before had not made), nor yet to forge new articles of our belief, neither to give the word of God authority -- much less to make that to be his word, or yet the true interpretation of the same, which was not before by his holy will expressed in his word.c But the cause of councils (we mean of such as merit the name of councils), was partly for confutation of heresies, and for giving public confession of their faith to the posterity following: which both they did by the authority of God's written word, and not by any opinion or prerogative that they could not err, by reason of their general assembly. And this we judge to have been the chief cause of general councils. The other was for good policy and order to be constituted and observed in the kirk, in which (as in the house of God)d it becomes all things to be done decently and into order.e Not that we think that any policy, and one order in ceremonies can be appointed for all ages, times, and places: for as ceremonies (such as men have devised) are but temporal, so may and ought they to be changed, when they rather foster superstition than that they edify the kirk using the same.
a. Gal. 2:11-14. And when Peter was come to Antiochia, I withstood him to his face: for he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he ate with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him, insomuch that Barnabas was brought into their dissimulation also. But when I saw, that they went not the right way to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before all men, If ye being a Jew, livest as the Gentiles, and not like the Jews, why constrainest thou the Gentiles to do like the Jews?
b. 1 Tim. 4:1-3. Now the Spirit speaketh evidently, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, and shall give heed unto spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, which speak lies through hypocrisy, and have their consciences burned with an hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with giving of thanks of them which believe and know the truth. Col. 2:18-23. Let no man at his pleasure bear rule over you by humbleness of mind, and worshipping of angels, advancing himself in those things which he never saw, rashly puffed up with his fleshly mind, and holdeth not the head, whereof all the body furnished and knit together by joints and bands, increaseth with the increasing of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the ordinances of the world, why, as though ye lived in the world, are ye burdened with traditions? as, touch not, taste not, handle not. Which all perish with the using, and are after the commandments and doctrines of men. Which things have indeed a show of wisdom, in voluntary religion and humbleness of mind, and in not sparing the body: neither have they it in any estimation to satisfy the flesh.
c. Acts 15:1, etc. Then came down certain from Judea, and taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. And when there was great dissension, and disputation by Paul and Barnabas against them, they ordained that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question....
d. 1 Tim. 3:15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest yet know, how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. Heb. 3:2. Who was faithful to him that hath appointed him, even as Moses was in all his house.
e. 1 Cor. 14:40. Let all things be done honestly and by order.
Of the Sacraments
As the fathers under the law (besides the verity of the sacrifices) had two chief sacraments -- to wit, circumcision and the Passover, the despisers and contemners whereof were not reputed for God's peoplea -- so do we acknowledge and confess that we now, in the time of the evangel, have two sacraments only, instituted by the Lord Jesus, and commanded to be used of all those that will be reputed members of his body: to wit, baptism and the supper, or table of the Lord Jesus, called the communion of his body and blood.b And these sacraments (as well of the Old as of the New Testament) were instituted of God, not only to make a visible difference betwixt his people, and those that were without his league; but also to exercise the faith of his children and, by participation of the same sacraments, to seal in their hearts the assurance of his promise, and of that most blessed conjunction, union, and society, which the elect have with their head, Christ Jesus.
And thus we utterly damn the vanity of those that affirm sacraments to be nothing else but naked and bare signs. No, we assuredly believe that by baptism we are engrafted in Christ Jesus, to be made partakers of his justice, by the which our sins are covered and remitted; and also, that in the supper, rightly used, Christ Jesus is so joined with us, that he becomes the very nourishment and food of our souls.c Not that we imagine any transubstantiation of bread into Christ's natural body, and of wine in his natural blood (as the Papists have perniciously taught and damnably believed); but this union and conjunction which we have with the body and blood of Christ Jesus, in the right use of the sacraments, is wrought by operation of the Holy Ghost, who by true faith carries us above all things that are visible, carnal, and earthly, and makes us to feed upon the body and blood of Christ Jesus, which was once broken and shed for us, which now is in heaven, and appears in the presence of his Father for us.d And yet, notwithstanding the far distance of place which is betwixt his body now glorified in the heaven, and us now mortal in this earth, yet we most assuredly believe that the bread that we break is the communion of Christ's body, and the cup which we bless is the communion of his blood.e So that we confess, and undoubtedly believe, that the faithful, in the right use of the Lord's table, do so eat the body and drink the blood of the Lord Jesus, that he remains in them and they in him: yea, that they are so made flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones,f that as the Eternal Godhead has given to the flesh of Christ Jesus (which of its own condition and nature was mortal and corruptible)g life and immortality, so does Christ Jesus' flesh and blood eaten and drunken by us, give to us the same prerogatives. Which, albeit we confess are neither given unto us at that only time, neither yet by the proper power and virtue of the sacrament only; yet we affirm that the faithful, in the right use of the Lord's table, have such conjunction with Christ Jesus,h as the natural man cannot apprehend.
Yea, and further we affirm, that albeit the faithful, oppressed by negligence, and manly infirmity, do not profit so much as they would in the very instant action of the supper, yet shall it after bring fruit forth, as lively seed sown in good ground. For the Holy Spirit (which can never be divided from the right institution of the Lord Jesus) will not frustrate the faithful of the fruit of that mystical action; but all this, we say, comes by true faith, which apprehends Christ Jesus, who only makes this sacrament effectual unto us. And, therefore, whosoever slanders us, as that we affirm or believe sacraments to be only naked and bare signs, do injury unto us, and speak against the manifest truth.
But this liberally and frankly we must confess, that we make a distinction betwixt Christ Jesus, in his natural substance, and betwixt the elements in the sacramental signs; so that we will neither worship the signs in place of that which is signified by them; neither yet do we despise and interpret them as unprofitable and vain; but do use them with all reverence, examining ourselves diligently before that so we do, because we are assured by the mouth of the apostle, That such as eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, unworthily, are guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord Jesus.i
a. Gen. 17:10-11. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee, Let every man child among you be circumcised: that is, ye shall circumcise the foreskin of your flesh, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. Ex. 23:3, etc. Thou shalt not esteem a poor man in his cause.... Gen. 17:14. But the uncircumcised man child, in whose flesh the foreskin is not circumcised, even that person shall be cut off from his people, because he hath broken my covenant. Num. 9:13. But the man that is clean and is not in a journey, and is negligent to keep the Passover, the same person shall be cut off from his people: because he brought not the offering of the Lord in his due season, that man shall bear his sin.
b. Matt. 28:19. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Mark 16:15-16. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that shall believe and be baptized, shall be saved: but he that will not believe, shall be damned. Matt. 26:26-28. And as they did eat, Jesus took the bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. Also he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it them, saying, Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament, that is shed for many, for the remission of sins. Mark 14:22-24. And as they did eat, Jesus took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it and gave it to them, and said, Take, eat, this is my body. Also he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, gave it unto them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Luke 22:19-20. And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body, which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me. Likewise also after supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. 1 Cor. 11:23-26. For I have received of the Lord that which I also have delivered unto you, to wit, That the Lord Jesus in the night that he was betrayed, took bread. And when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do ye in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as oft as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye show the Lord's death till he come.
c. 1 Cor. 10:16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? Rom. 6:3-5. We are buried then with him by baptism into his death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. For it we be grafted with him to the similitude of his death, even so shall we be to the similitude of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Gal. 3:27. For all ye that are baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.
d. Mark 16:19. So after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God. Luke 24:51. And it came to pass, that as he blessed them, he departed from them, and was carried up into heaven. Acts 1:11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? This Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 3:21. Whom heaven must contain until the time that all things be restored, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
e. 1 Cor. 10:16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
f. Eph. 5:30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
g. Matt. 27:50. Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up the ghost. Mark 15:37. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. Luke 23:46. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and said, Father, into thine hands I commend my spirit. And when he thus had said, He gave up the ghost. John 19:30. Now when Jesus had received of the vinegar, he said, It is finished, and bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
h. John 6:51; 6:53-58. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.... Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whosoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, so live I by the Father, and he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is the bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers have eaten manna, and are dead. He that eateth of this bread, shall live forever.
i. 1 Cor. 11:27-29. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man therefore examine himself, and so let him eat of this bread, and drink of this cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh his own damnation, because he discerneth not the Lord's body.
Of the Right Administration of the Sacraments
That sacraments be rightly ministered, we judge two things requisite: the one, that they be ministered by lawful ministers, whom we affirm to be only they that are appointed to the preaching of the word, or into whose mouths God has put some sermon of exhortation, they being men lawfully chosen thereto by some kirk. The other, that they be ministered in such elements, and in such sort, as God has appointed; else, we affirm that they cease to be right sacraments of Christ Jesus.
And therefore it is that we flee the society of the Papistical kirk, in participation of their sacraments: first, because their ministers are no ministers of Christ Jesus; yea (which is more horrible) they suffer women, whom the Holy Ghost will not suffer to teach in the congregation, to baptize. And, secondly, because they have so adulterated both the one sacrament and the other with their own inventions, that no part of Christ's action abides in the original purity: for oil, salt, spittle, and suchlike in baptism, are but men's inventions. Adoration, veneration, bearing through streets and towns, and keeping of bread in boxes or buists chests, are profanation of Christ's sacraments, and no use of the same. For Christ Jesus said, Take, eat, etc. Do ye this in remembrance of me.a By which words and charge he sanctified bread and wine, to be the sacrament of his body and blood, to the end that the one should be eaten, and that all should drink of the other; and not that they should be kept to be worshipped, and honoured as God, as the blind Papists have done heretofore, who also committed sacrilege, stealing from the people the one part of the sacrament: to wit, the blessed cup.
Moreover, that the sacraments be rightly used, it is required that the end and cause why the sacraments were instituted be understood and observed, as well of the minister, as the receivers. For if the opinion be changed in the receiver, the right use ceases: which is most evident by the rejection of the sacrifices; as also if the teacher plainly teaches false doctrine, which were odious and abominable before God (albeit they were his own ordinances), because that wicked men use them to another end than God has ordained. The same affirm we of the sacraments in the Papistical kirk, in which we affirm the whole action of the Lord Jesus to be adulterated, as well in the external form, as in the end and opinion. What Christ Jesus did, and commanded to be done, is evident by the evangelists, and by Saint Paul. What the priest does at his altar we need not rehearse. The end and cause of Christ's institution, and why the selfsame should be used, is expressed in these words: Do this in remembrance of me. As oft as ye shall eat of this bread and drink of this cup, ye shall show forth, that is, extol, preach, magnify, and praise, the Lord's death till he come.b But to what end, and in what opinion, the priests say their Mass, let the words of the same, their own doctors and writings witness: to wit, that they, as mediators betwixt Christ and his kirk, do offer unto God the Father a sacrifice propitiatory for the sins of the quick and the dead. Which doctrine, as blasphemous to Christ Jesus, and making derogation to the sufficiency of his only sacrifice, once offered for purgation of all those that shall be sanctified,c we utterly abhor, detest, and renounce.
a. Matt. 26:26. And as they did eat, Jesus took the bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. Mark 14:22. And as they did eat, Jesus took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it and gave it to them: and they all drank of it. Luke 22:19. And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body, which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me. 1 Cor. 11:24. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do ye in remembrance of me.
b. 1 Cor. 11:24-26. And when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do ye in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as oft as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye show the Lord's death till he come.
c. Heb. 9:27-28. And as it is appointed unto men that they shall once die, and after that cometh the judgment, so Christ was once offered to take away the sins of man, and unto them that look for him, shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb. 10:14. For with one offering hath he consecrated for ever them that are sanctified.
To Whom the Sacraments Appertain
We confess and acknowledge that baptism appertains as well to the infants of the faithful, as unto those that be of age and discretion. And so we damn the error of the Anabaptists, who deny baptism to appertain to children before that they have faith and understanding.a But the supper of the Lord we confess to appertain to such only as be of the household of faith, and can try and examine themselves, as well in their faith, as in their duty towards their neighbors. Such as eat and drink at that holy table without faith, or being at dissension and division with their brethren, do eat unworthily:b and therefore it is, that in our kirks our ministers take public and particular examination of the knowledge and conversation of such as are to be admitted to the table of the Lord Jesus.
a. Col. 2:11-12. In whom also ye are circumcised with circumcision made without hands, by putting off the sinful body of the flesh, through the circumcision of Christ, in that ye are buried with him through baptism, in whom ye are also raised up together through the faith of the operation of God which raised him from the dead. Rom. 4:11. After he received the sign of circumcision, as the seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, when he was uncircumcised, that he should be the father of all them that believe, not being circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also. Gen. 17:10. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee, Let every man child among you be circumcised. Matt. 28:19. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
b. 1 Cor. 11:28-29. Let a man therefore examine himself, and so let him eat of this bread, and drink of this cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh his own damnation, because he discerneth not the Lord's body.
Of the Civil Magistrate
We confess and acknowledge empires, kingdoms, dominions, and cities to be distinguished and ordained by God: the powers and authorities in the same (be it of emperors in their empires, of kings in their realms, dukes and princes in their dominions, or of other magistrates in free cities) to be God's holy ordinance, ordained for manifestation of his own glory, and for the singular profit and commodity of mankind.a So that whosoever goes about to take away or to confound the whole state of civil policies, now long established; we affirm the same men not only to be enemies to mankind, but also wickedly to fight against God's expressed will.b
We further confess and acknowledge, that such persons as are placed in authority are to be loved, honoured, feared, and held in most reverent estimationc because they are the lieutenants of God, in whose sessions God himself does sit and judged (yea even the judges and princes themselves), to whom by God is given the sword, to the praise and defense of good men, and to revenge and punish all open malefactors.e Moreover, to kings, princes, rulers, and magistrates, we affirm that chiefly and most principally the conservation and purgation of the religion appertains; so that not only they are appointed for civil policy, but also for maintenance of the true religion, and for suppressing of idolatry and superstition whatsoever: as in David,f Jehoshaphat,g Hezekiah,h Josiah,i and others, highly commended for their zeal in that case, may be espied.
And therefore we confess and avow, that such as resist the supreme power (doing that thing which appertains to his charge), do resist God's ordinance, and therefore cannot be guiltless. And further, we affirm that whosoever denies unto them their aid, counsel and comfort, while the princes and rulers vigilantly travail in the execution of their office, that the same men deny their help, support and counsel to God, who, by the presence of his lieutenant, craves it of them.
a. Rom. 13:1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers: for there is no power but of God. Titus 3:1. Put them in remembrance that they be subject to the principalities and powers, and that they be obedient, and ready to every good work. 1 Pet. 2:13-14. Submit yourselves unto all manner ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be unto the king, as unto the superior, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent of him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well.
b. Rom. 13:2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist, shall receive to themselves judgment.
c. Rom. 13:7. Give to all men therefore their duty: tribute to whom ye owe tribute: custom, to whom custom: fear, to whom fear: honour, to whom ye owe honour. 1 Pet. 2:17. Honour all men: love brotherly fellowship: fear God: honour the king.
d. Ps. 82:1. God standeth in the assembly of gods: he judgeth among gods.
e. 1 Pet. 2:14. Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent of him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well.
f. 1 Chron. 22-26 [throughout]. And David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar for the burnt offering of Israel....
g. 2 Chron. 17:6, etc. And he lift up his heart unto the ways of the Lord, and he took away moreover the high places and the groves out of Judah.... 2 Chron. 19:8, etc. Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the families of Israel, for the judgment and cause of the Lord: and they returned to Jerusalem. And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord faithfully and with a perfect heart. And in every cause that shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and precept, statutes and judgments, ye shall judge them, and admonish them that they trespass not against the Lord, that wrath come not upon you and upon your brethren. Thus shall you do and trespass not. And behold, Amariah the priest shall be the chief over you in all matters of the Lord, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, a ruler of the house of Judah, shall be for all the king's affairs, and the Levites shall be officers before you. Be of courage, and do it, and the Lord shall be with the good....
h. 2 Chron. 29-31 [throughout]. Hezekiah began to reign, when he was five and twenty year old, and reigned nine and twenty year in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did uprightly in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. He opened the doors of the house of the Lord in the first year and in the first month of his reign, and repaired them....
i. 2 Chron. 34-35 [throughout]. Josiah was eight year old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty year. And he did uprightly in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of David his father, and bowed neither to the right hand nor to the left. And in the eighth year of his reign (when he was yet a child) he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah, and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and molten images. And they brake down in his sight the altars of Baalim, and he caused to cut down the images that were on high upon them: he brake also the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, and stamped them to powder, and strewed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them. Also he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem. And in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mauls they brake all round about. And when he had destroyed the altars and the groves, and had broken and stamped to powder the images, and had cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem....
The Gifts Freely Given to the Kirk
Albeit that the word of God truly preached, and the sacraments rightly ministered, and discipline executed according to the word of God, be the certain and infallible signs of the true kirk; yet do we not so mean that every particular person joined with such a company be an elect member of Christ Jesus.a For we acknowledge and confess, that darnel, cockle, and chaff may be sown, grow, and in great abundance lie in the midst of the wheat: that is, the reprobate may be joined in the society of the elect, and may externally use with them the benefits of the word and sacraments; but such being but temporal professors in mouth, but not in heart, do fall back and continue not to the end;b and therefore have they no fruit of Christ's death, resurrection, nor ascension.
But such as with heart unfeignedly believe, and with mouth boldly confess the Lord Jesus (as before we have said) shall most assuredly receive these gifts:c first, in this life, remission of sins, and that by only faith in Christ's blood, insomuch that, albeit sin remains and continually abides in these our mortal bodies, yet is it not imputed unto us, but is remitted and covered with Christ's justice.d Secondly, in the general judgment there shall be given to every man and woman resurrection of the flesh;e for the sea shall give her dead, the earth those that therein be enclosed; yea, the Eternal, our God, shall stretch out his hand upon the dust, and the dead shall arise incorruptible,f and that in the substance of the selfsame flesh that every man now bears,g to receive according to their works, glory or punishment.h For such as now delight in vanity, cruelty, filthiness, superstition, or idolatry, shall be adjudged to the fire unquenchable, in which they shall be tormented for ever, as well in their own bodies, as in their souls, which now they give to serve the devil in all abomination. But such as continue in well doing to the end, boldly professing the Lord Jesus, we constantly believe that they shall receive glory, honour, and immortality, to reign for ever in life everlasting with Christ Jesus,i to whose glorified body all his elect shall be made like,k when he shall appear again to judgment, and shall render up the kingdom to God his Father, who then shall be, and ever shall remain all in all things, God blessed for ever:l to whom, with the Son, and with the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and ever. Amen.
a. Matt. 13:24, etc. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man which sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, there came his enemy, and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way....
b. Matt. 13:20-21. And he that received seed in the stony ground, is he which heareth the word, and incontinently with joy receiveth it. Yet he hath no root in himself, and dureth but a season: for as soon as tribulation or persecution cometh because of the word, by and by he is offended.
c. Rom. 10:9, 13. For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved.... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.
d. Rom. 7. Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law) that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?.... 2 Cor. 5:21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, which knew no sin, that we should be made the righteousness of God in him.
e. John 5:28-29. Marvel not at this: for the hour shall come in the which all that are in the grave, shall hear his voice. And they shall come forth, that have done good, unto the resurrection of the life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of condemnation.
f. Rev. 20:13. And the sea gave up her dead, which were in her, and death and hell delivered up the dead, which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
g. Job 19:25-27. For I am sure, that my Redeemer liveth, and he shall stand the last on the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet shall I see God in my flesh. Whom I myself shall see, and mine eyes shall behold, and none other for me, though my reins are consumed within me.
h. Matt. 25:31-46. And when the Son of Man cometh in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats....
i. Rev. 14:10. The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, yea, of the pure wine, which is poured into the cup of his wrath, and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone before the holy angels, and before the Lamb. Rom. 2:6-10. Who will reward every man according to his works: that is, to them which by continuance in well doing seek glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious and disobey the truth, and obey unrighteousness, shall be indignation and wrath. Tribulation and anguish shall be upon the soul of every man that doeth evil: of the Jew first, and also of the Grecian. But to every man that doeth good, shall be glory, and honour, and peace, to the Jew first, and also to the Grecian.
k. Phil. 3:21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
l. 1 Cor. 15:24,28. Then shall be the end, when he hath delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he hath put down all rule, and all authority and power.... And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son himself be subject unto him, that did subdue all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Arise, O Lord, and let thy enemies be confounded: Let them flee from thy presence that hate thy godly name: Give thy servants strength to speak thy word in boldness; and let all nations cleave to thy true knowledge.a
So be it.
a. Num. 10:35. And when the ark went forward, Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee, flee before thee. Ps. 68:1. God will arise, and his enemies shall be scattered: they also that hate him, shall flee before him. Acts 4:29. And now, O Lord, behold their threatenings, and grant unto thy servants with all boldness to speak thy word.
Copyright © 1992, 1998 by Presbyterian Heritage Publications
This electronic version, Copyright © 2007 by Protestant Heritage Press
Used by permission.
The text of the Scottish Confession of 1560 is based upon the London edition of 1560, in conjunction with the printed edition in John Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland, published in Knox's Works (edited by David Laing; Edinburgh: James Thin, 1895), vol. 2, pp. 93-120. The scripture proofs in these early editions referred only to books and chapter numbers in the Bible, since verse divisions were not yet in general use. In order to ascertain the appropriate versification of the scripture proofs, the following additional sources were consulted: David Calderwood's True History of the Church of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1708); and Philip Schaff's Creeds of Christendom (1931 ed.), vol. 3, pp. 437-79. The text has been edited to bring it into greater conformity with contemporary spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The scripture citations are from the Geneva Bible of 1560, with modernized spelling and capitalization.