« IndietroContinua »
nions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity, whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation; or to the power of godliness; or such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the church; they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against by the censures of the church, and by the power of the civil magistrate". *
are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well. Ver. 16. As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. [Rom. xiii. 1. to the 8th Verse.] Heb. xiii. 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account: that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.
q Rom. i. 32. Who knowing the judgment of God, (that they which commit such things are worthy of death,) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. With 1 Cor. v. 1. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much
as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. Ver. 5. to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Ver. 11. But now I have written unto you, not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. Ver. 13. But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. 2 John ver. 10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. Ver. 11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of
• The Associate, or Secession Church, has declared her mind on this article as follows: "We judge it necessary, in professing our adherence to the Westminster Confession, to declare, as our brethren in Scotland have done, our mind concerning the power of the civil magistrate in matters of religion, more particularly than that confession does.
"We do, therefore, assert, that, as the kingdom of Christ is spiritual, acknowledging no other laws, and no other rulers than what he has appointed in it, (a truth plainly and fully declared in the Westminster Confession :) so the civil magistrate has nothing to do with it as a magistrate. As a member of the Christian Church, he is bound to improve every opportu nity, which his high station, and extensive influence may give him, for promoting the faith of Christ, for opposing the enemies of this faith, for supporting and encouraging true godliness, and for discouraging whatever in principle and practice is contrary to it. But to accomplish these ends, it is not warrantable for him to use any kind of violence, either toward the life, the property, or the consciences of men. He ought not to punish any as heretics, or schismatics; nor ought he to grant any privileges to those whom he judges to be professors of the true religion, which may hurt others in their natural rights. This whole duty as a magistrate respects men-not as Christians, but as members of civil society. The appointed means for promoting the kingdom of Christ are all of a spiritual nature. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual and mighty," not through the force of human laws compelling men to that which they dislike; but through God," by his Almighty power and grace, making the obstinate and rebellious yield a cheerful submission to it.
"If any article in our Confession of Faith seem to give any other power to the civil magistrate, in matters of religion, than what we have now declared to be competent to him, we are to be considered as receiving it only in so far as it agrees with other articles of the same Confession, in which the spiritual nature of the church is asserted, and the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven denied to belong to the civil magistrate; and in so far as it agrees with this declaration of our principles."
Declaration and Testimony, Part I. sect. 15, & 16.-See the note on Chap. XXIII, sect. 3. of this Confession.
and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy scripture.
II. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to him alone : not to angels, saints, or any other creature: and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone *.
III. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship, is by God required of all men ; and,
b Deut. xii. 32. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Matt. xv. 9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Acts xvii. 25. Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. Matt. iv. 9. And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Ver. 10. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. [Deut. xv. to the 20th Verse.] Exod. xx. 4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth Ver. 5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: Ver. 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Col. ii. 23. Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will-worship and humility, and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
II. c Matt. iv. 10. [See before in let ter b] With John v. 23. That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not
the Father which hath sent him. And 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
d Col. ii. 18. Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. Rev. xix. 10. And I fell at his feet to worship him and he said unto me, See thou do it not; I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rom. i. 25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
e John xiv. 6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. 1 Tim. ii. 5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Eph ii. 18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father Col. iii 17. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
III. f Phil. iv. 6. Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.
8 Psal. lxv. 2. O thou that hear
CHAP. XXI. Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath-day.
HE light of nature sheweth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is good, and doeth
his evil deeds. And 2 Thess. iii. 14. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. And 1 Tim. vi. 3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; Ver. 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Ver. 5. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. And Tit. i. 10. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: Ver. 11. Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. Ver. 13. This witness is true: wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. And Tit. iii. 10. A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject. With Matt. xviii. 15. Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Ver. 16. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Ver. 17. And, if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he ne
glect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. 1 Tim. i. 19. Holding faith and a good conscience; which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck: Ver. 20. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan,
that they may learn not to blaspheme. Rev. ii. 2. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars. Ver. 14. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Ver. 15. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Ver. 20. Notwithstanding, 1 have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. Rev. iii. 9. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
r [Deut xiii. 6. to the 12th.] Rom. xiii. 3. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: Ver. 4. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. With 2 John, verses 10, 11. [See in letter q.] Ezra vii. 23. Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king_and his sons? Ver. 25. And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God that is in thine
good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, prais ed, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart,
hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. Ver. 26. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. Ver. 27. Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem: Ver. 28. And hath extended mercy unto me before the king and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes; and I was strengthened, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me. Rev. xvii. 12. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. Ver. 16. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. Ver. 17. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and to give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. Neh. xiii. 15. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath-day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. Ver. 17. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath-day? Ver. 21. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? If ye
do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. Ver. 22. And I commanded the Levites, that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath-day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy. Ver. 25. And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. Ver. 30. Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business. 2 Kings xxiii. 5. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burnt incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. Ver. 6. And he brought out the grove from the house of the Lord, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burnt it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. Ver. 9. Nevertheless, the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren. Ver. 20. And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burnt men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem. Ver. 21. And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the Lord your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 33. And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained