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AT GREENCASTLE, MAY 31, 1799.
THE Synod, having judicially ratified the Westminster Confession of Faith, and Catechisms Larger and Shorter, with a modification of the doctrine concerning the power of the civil magistrate in matters of religion; and having also ratified the Overture for the Government and Discipline of the Church, and the Directories for Worship, Public and Private, Do HEREBY DECLARE,
That they consider the said Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Form of Church-government, and Directories for Worship, as their FIXED TESTIMONY, by which their principles are to be tried; or as the Judicial expression of the sense in which they understand the Holy Scriptures in their relation to the Doctrine, Government, and Worship of the Christian Church: And it is their resolution to emit occasional testimonies, in particular acts, against errors and delusions.
Agreeably hereunto, the terms on which any person or persons shall be admitted as a member or members of this church, are, A profession of faith in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as the perfect and only rule of faith and practice; together with an approbation of the Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, Form of Church-government, and Directories for Worship, as therein received; a holy life and conversation, and subjection to the Order and Discipline of the Church.
They moreover declare the aforesaid Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms, together with the Government and Discipline of the Church, and the Directories for Public and Private Worship, to be the Constitution and Standards of the ASSOCIATE-REFORMED CHURCH, in all matters relating to Doctrine, Government, Discipline, and Worship: Provided that nothing in this declaration shall be construed to extend to the Appendices thereunto annexed, so as to comprise the same within the terms of communion. Of all which the Judicatories and members of the Church are required to take notice, that they may govern themselves accordingly.
By order of the Synod,
JOHN RIDDELL, Moderator.
ASSOCIATE-REFORMED SYNOD, MAY 31, 1799.
THE Westminster Confession of Faith, with the Catechisms Lar ger and Shorter, having been formerly received by this Synod, with a reservation for future discussion of the doctrine respecting the pow er of the civil magistrate in matters of religion; and the said doctrine being now modified in a manner more agreeable to the word of GOD, to the nature of the Christian Church, and to the principles of civil society, The Synod do explicitly receive the aforesaid Confession and Catechisms, with the doctrine concerning the civil magistrate, as now stated in the twentieth, twenty-third, and thirty-first chapters of the Confession, as the system of doctrine which is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, JESUS CHRIST himself being the chief corner-stone: And the Synod do hereby declare, that the aforesaid Confession and Catechisms, as herein received, contain the true and genuine doctrine of the ASSOCIATE-REFORMED CHURCH; and that no tenet contrary thereto, or to any part thereof, shall be countenanced in this Church.
By order of the Synod,
JOHN RIDDELL, Moderator.
EBENEZER DICKEY, Clerk, P. T.
CONFESSION OF FAITH
OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURE.
ALTHOUGH the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable ;a yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation : Therefore, it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption
I. a Rom. ii. 14, 15. For when the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. Rom. i. 19, 20. Because that which may be known of God, is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Psal. xix. 1 to 3. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 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 Rom. ii. 1. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost the same things.
b1 Cor. i. 21. For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Cor. ii. 13, 14. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
c Heb. i. 1. God-at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.