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The Ten Commandments .........

The Lord's Prayer ......

The Creed .........

402

403

404

IV. THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT.

405

I. Of Government..

405

1. Preliminary...

405

2. Of the Church

409

3. Of the Officers of the Church. ...... 411

4. Of Bishops or Pastors..........

412

5. Of Ruling Elders...... .....................

413

6. Of Deacons .....

414

7. Of Ordinances in a Particular Church. 415

8. Of Church Government, and the

several kinds of Judicatories ......... 417

9. Of the Church Session......

419

10. Of the Presbytery

422

11. Of the Synod.

427

12. Of the General Assembly

429

13. Of Electing and Ordaining Ruling

Elders and Deacons

432

14. Of Licensing Candidates or Proba-

tioners to Preach the Gospel.......... 435

15. Of the Election and Ordination of

Bishops or Pastors and Evangelists. 441

16. Of Translation, or Removing a Min-

ister from one Charge to Another.... 449

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.

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THE

CONFESSION OF FAITH.

CHAPTER I.

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 ; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation;b therefore it pleased the

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 show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile 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 showed 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 bis eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Psa. xix. 1-3. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. See Rom. i. 32, with Rom. ii. 1. • 1 Cor. i. 21. For after that in the wisdom of God,

Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church ;o 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 of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; o those former ways of God's re

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, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets

d Luke i. 3, 4. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed. Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning; that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope. Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Rev. xxii. 18.

e 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed,

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