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XXX. Concerning the government of, and offices in the church. We believe, that this true church must be governed by that spiritual poliwy, which our Lord hath taught us in his word ; namely, that there must be ministers or pastors to preach the word of God, and to administer the sacra"ments; also elders and deacons, who, together with the pastors, form the council of the church : that by these means the true religion may be preserved, and the true doctrine every where propogated, likewise transgressors punished and restrained by spiritual means: also that the poor and distressed may he relieved and comforted, according to their necessities. By these means every thing will be carried on in the church with good order and decency, when faithfud men are chosen, according to the rule prescribed by St. Paul in his epistle to l'inothy.
XXXI. Of the ministers, elders, and deacons. We believe, that the ministers of God's word, and the elders and deacons, ought to be chosen to their respective offices by a lawful election by the church, with calling upon the name of the Lord, and in that order, which the word of God teacheth. Therefore every one must take heed, not to intrude himself by indecent means, but is bound to wait till it shall please God to call him ; that he may have testimony of his calling, and he certain and assured that it is of the Lord. As for the ministers of God's word, they have equally the same power and authority wheresoever they are, as they are all niinisters of Christ, the only universal Bishop, and the only head of the church. Moreover, that this holy ordinance of God may not be violated or slighted, we say that every one ought to esteem the ministers of God's word, and the elders of the church, very highly for their work's sake, and be at peace with them without murmuring, strise or contention, as much as possible.
XXXII. Of the order and discipline of the church. In the mean time we believe, though it is useful and beneficiad, that those, who are rulers of the church, institute and establish certain ordinances among themselves for maintaining the body of the church; yet they ought studiously to take care, that they do not depart from those things, which Christ, our only master, hath instituted. And therefore, we reject all human inventions, and all laws, which man would introduce into the worship of God, thereby to bind and compel the conscience, in any manner whatever. Therefore we admit only of that, which tends to nourish and preserve concord, and unity, and to keep all men in ohedience to God. For this purpose, excommunication or church discipline is requisite, with the several circumstances belonging to it, according to the word of God.
XXXIII. Of the sacraments. We believe, that our gracious God, on account of our weakness and infirmities, hath ordained the sacraments for us, thereby to seal unto us bis promises, and to be pledges of the good will add grace of God toward us, and also to nourish and strengthen our faith ; which he hath joined to the word of the gospel, the better to present to our senses, both that, which he signifies to us by his word, and that which he works inwardly in our liearts, thereby assuring and confirining in us the salvation which he imparts
For they are visible signs and seals of an inward and invisible thing, by means whereof, God worketh in us by the power of the Holy Ghost. Therefore the signs are not.in vain or insignificapt, so as to deceive us. For Jesus Christ is tlie true object presented by them, without whom they would be of no moment. Moreover, we are satisfied with the number of sacraments which Christ our Lord hath instituted, which are two only, namely, the sacrament of baptism, and the holy supper of our Lord Jesus Christ.
XXXIV. Of holy baptism. We believe and confess that Jesus Christ, who is the end of the law, hath made an eod, by the shedding of his blood, of all other sheddings of blood, which men could or would make as a propitiation or satisfaction for sin: and that he, having abolished circumcision, which was done with blood, liath instituted the sacrament of baptism instead thereof; by which we are received into the church of God, and separated from all other people and strange religions, that we may wholly belong to him, whose ensign and banner we bear: and which serves as a testimony to us, that he will forever be our gracious God and Father Therefore he has con manded all those, who sre his, to be baptixed with pure water, " in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Thereby signifying to us, that as water washeth away the filth of the body, when poured upon it, and is seen on the body of the baptized, when sprinkled upon him; so doth the blood of Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost, internally sprinkle the soul, cleanse it from its sins, and regenerate us from children of wrathi, unto children of God Not that this is effected by the external water, but by the sprinkling of the precious blood of the Son of God; who is our red sea, through which we must pass, to escape the tyranny of Pharaoh. that is, the devil, and to enter into the spiritual land of Canaan. Therefore the ministers, on their part, administer the sacrament, and that wluich is visible, but our lord giveth that which is signified hy the sacrament, namely, the gifts and mvisible grace; washing, cleansing and purging our souls of all blu and uurighteousness; renewing our hearts, and siling them with all comfort ; giving unto us a true assurance of his fatherly goodness; putting on us the new man, and putting off the old man with all liis deeds. Therefore we believe, that every man, who is earnestly studious of obtaining lite eternal, ought to be but once baptised with this only baptism, without ever repeating the same : since we cannot be horn twice. Neither doth this baptism only avail us, at the time when the water is poured upon us, and received by us, but also through the whole course of our life; therefore we detest the error of the anabaptists, who are not content with the one only baptism they have once received, and moreover condemn the haptism of the intants of believers, whom we believe ought to be baprised and sealed with the sign of the covenant, as the children in Israel formerly were circumcised, upon the same promises, which are made unto our children. And indeed Christ shed his blood no less for the washing of the children of the faithful, than for adult persons ; and therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of that, which Christ bath done for them; as the Lord commanded in the law, that they should be made partakers of the sacrament of Christ's suffering and death, shortly after they were horo, by offering for them a lamb, which was a sacrament of Jesus Christ. Moreover, what circumcision was to the Jews, that baptism is to nur children. And for this reason Paul calls baptism the circumcision of Christ.
XXXV. Of the holy supper of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe and conless, that our Saviour Jesus Christ did ordain and institute the sacrament of the holy supper, to nourish and support those whom he hath already regenerated and incorporated into his family, which is his church. Now those, who are regenerated, have in them a two-fold life, the one corporal and temporal, which they have from the first birth, and is common to all men : the other spiritual and heavenly, which is given them in their second birth, which is effected by the word of the gospel, in the communion of the body of Christ ; and this life is not common, but is peculiar to God's elect,
In like manner God hath given us, for the support of the bodily and earthly life, earthly and common bread, which is suhservient thereto, and is common to all mnen, even as life itself. But for the support of the spiritual and heavenly life, which believers have, he hath sent a living bread, which descended from heaven, namely, Jesus Christ,
who nourishes and strengthens the spiritual life of believers, when they ea: him, that is to say, when they apply and receive him by faith in the spirit. Christ, that he might represent unto us this spiritual and heavenly bread, hath instituted an earthly and visible bread, as a sacrament of his body, and wine as a sacrament of his blood, to testify by them unto us, that, as certainly as we receive and hold this sacrament in our hands, and eat and drink the game with our mouths, hy which our life is afterwards nourished, we also do as certainly receive by faith (which is the hand and mouth of our soul) the true body and blood of Christ our only Saviour in our souls, for the support of our spiritual life. Now, as it is certain and beyond all doubt, that Jesus Christ hath not enjoined to us the use of his sacraments in vain, so he worke in us all that he represents to us hy these holy signs, though the manner surpasses our undestapding, and cannot be comprehended by us, as the operations of the Holy Ghost are hidden and incomprehensible. In the mean time we err not, when we say, that what is eaten and drunk hy us is the proper and natural body, and the proper blood of Christ. But the manner of our partaking of the same, is not by the mouth, but by the spirit througla faith. Thus then, though Christ always sits at the right hand of his Father in the heavens, yet doth he not therefore cease to make us partakers of himself by faith. This feast is a spiritual table, at which Christ communicates himself with all his benefits to us, and gives us there to enjoy both himself, and the merits of his sufferings and death, nourishing, strengthening and comforting our poor comfortless souls, by the eating of his flesh, quickering and refreshing them by the drinking of his blood. Further, though the sacraments are condected with the thing signified, nevertheless both are not received by all men : the ungodly indeed receives the sacrament to his con
demnation, but he doth not receive the truth of the sacrament. As Judas Pea and Simon the sorcerer, both indeed received the sacrament, but not Christ,
- who was signified hy it, of whom believers only are made partakers. Lastpeoply, we receive this holy sacrament in the assembly of the people of God, my with humility and reverence, keeping up amongst us a holy remembrance of that the death of Christ our Saviour, with thanksgiving: making there consession
of our faith, and of the christian religion. Therefore no one ought to come Pet to this table, without having previously rightly examined binself; lest by me eating of this bread and drinking of this cup, he eat and driok judgment to Chim elf. In a word, we are excited by the use of this holy sacrament, to a na fer fervent love towards God, and our neighbour. Therefore we reject all eit od mixtures and damnable inventions, which men have added unto, and blenddin e ed with the sacraments, as profanations of them: and affirm that we ought irists to rest satisfied with the ordinance, whích Christ and his apostles have en a la taught us, and that we must speak of them in the same manner as they have mucisco spoken.
XXXVI. Of Magistrates. We believe that our gracious God, because of the depravity of mankind, s Cenik hath appointed kings, princes and magistrates, willing that the world should
id be governed by certain laws and policies; to the end that the dissoluteness
of men might be restrained, and all things carried on among them with good and me
order and decency. For this purpose he hath invested the magistracy with the sword, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the protection of them that do well. And their office is, not only to have regard unto, and
watch for the welfare of the civil state; but also that they protect the saIv, stic
cred ministry; and thus may remove and prevent all idolatry and false of the
worship; that the kingdom of antichrist may be thus destroyed, and the kingdom of Christ promoted. They must therefore countenance the preach
ing of the word of the gospel every where, that God may be honoured and wuchi
worshipped by every one, as he commands in his word. Moreover, it is
the hounden duty of every one, of what state, quality or condition soever = bave, be may be, to subject bimself to the magistrates; to pay tribute, to show
s for it
due honour and respect to them, and to obey them in all things which are not repugnant to the word of God; to supplicate for them in their prayers, that God may rule and guide them in all their ways, and that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Wherefore we detest the anabaptists and other seditious people, and in general all those, who reject the higher powers and magistrates, and would subvert justice, introduce a community of goods, and confound that decency and good order, which God hath established among men.
XXXVII. Of the last judgment, Finally we believe, according to the word of God, when the time appointed hy the Lord (which is unknown to all creatures) is come, and the number of the elect complete, that our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven, corporally and visibly, as he ascended, with great glory and majesty to declare himself judge of the quick and the dead; burning this old world with fire and fame, to cleanse it. And then all men will personally appear before this great judge, both men and women and children, that have been from the beginning of the world to the end thereof, being summoned by the voice of the archangel, and by the sound of the trumpet of God. For all the dead shall be raised out of the earth, and their souls joined and united with their proper bodies, in which they formerly lived. As for those, who shall then he living, they shall not die as the others, but be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and from corruptible, become incorruptible. Then the books (that is to say the consciences) shall be opened, and the dead judged according to what they shall have done in this world, whether it be good or evil. Nay, an men shall give an account of every idle word they have spoken, which the world only counts amusement and jest: and then the recrets and hypocrisy of men shall be disclosed and laid open before all. And therefore the cousideration of this judginent, is justly terrible and dreadful to the wicked and ungodly, but most desirable and comfortable to the righteous and the elect: because then their full deliverance shall be perfected, and there they shall receive the fruits of their labour and trollble, which they have horne. Their innocence shall be known to all, and they shall see the terrible vengeance which God shall execute on the wicked, who most cruelly persecuted, oppressed and tormented them in this world; and who shall be convicted by the testimony of their own consciences, and being immortal, shall be torinented in that everlasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and bis angels. But on the contrary the faithful and elect shall be crowned with glory and honour; and the Son of God will confess their names before God his Father, and his elect angels; all tears shall be wiped from their eyes; and their cause, which is now condemned by many judges and magistrates, as heretical and impious, will then he known to be the cause of the Son of God. And for a gracious reward, the Lord will cause them to possess such a glory, as never entered into the heart of man to conceive. Therefore we expect that great day with a most ardent desire, to the end that we inay fully enjoy the propises of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Rev. xxii. 20
OR, TIIE FORMS USED THENEIN.
III. Of the Exercise of Church Discipline. IV. Of the Ordination of
ing the Sick.
ourselves before thy high majesty, against which we have so often and grievously offended; and acknowledge, if thou shouldst enter into judgment with us, that we have deserved nothing hut eternal death: for besides that we all are by original sin, unclean in thy sight and children of wrath, conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity, whereby all manner of evil lusts, striving against thee and our neighbour, dwell within us; we have also indeed, frequently and without end, transgressed thy precepts, neglected what thou hast coinmanded us, and done what thou hast expressly forbidden us. We have strayed like sheep, and have greatly offended against thee, which we acknowledge, and are heartily sorry for ; nay we confess to our shame, and to the praise of thy mercy towards us, that our sins are more than the hairs of our head, and that we are indebted ten thousand talents, but not able to pay. Wherefore we are not worthy to be called thy children; nor to lift up our eyes toward Heaven, to pour out our prayers before thee. Nevertheless, O Lord God, and merciful Father, knowing that thou dost not desire the death of a sinner, but that he may turn from his wickedness and live; and that thy mercy is infinite, which thou showest unto those, who return to thee; we heartily call upon thee, trusting in our Mediator Jesus Christ, who is that Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, and we beseech thee, to commiserate our infirmity, forgiving us all our sins for Christ's sake. Wash us in the pure fountain of his blood, that we may become clean and white as snow. Cover our nakedness with his innocence and righteousness, for the glory of thy name's sake : clear our understanding of all blindness, and our hearts of all hardness and pride. Open the mouth of thy servant at present, and replenish lıim with thy wisdom and knowledge, that he may purely and confidently set forth thy word; prepare also our hearts, that we may bear, understand and keep the same : write thy laws (according to thy promise) in the tables of our hearts, and strengthen us to delight and walk in the same, to the praise and glory of thy name, and to the edification of thy church. O gracious Father, we ask for, and desire all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, who hath taught us thus to pray-OUR FATHER, &c.
A Prayer on the Lord's day, after sermon.
we : fess before thee, as the truth is, that we are not worthy to lift up our eyes towards Heaven, and to present our prayers before thee, if thou shouldst respect our merits and worthiness : for our consciences accuse us, and our sins bear witness against us; we also know, that thou art a righteous judge, punishing the sins of those, who transgress thy commandments. But, o Lord, since thou hast commanded us to call upon thee in all times of necessity, and hast of thine ineffable mercy promised to hear our prayers,