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11. This law so written in the heart, continued to be a perfeet rule of righteousness after the fall of man, and was delivered by God on mount Sinai in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first commandments containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man.
III. Beside this law commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings and benefits, and partly holding forth divers intructions of moral duties: all which ceremonial laws being appointed only to the time of reformation, are by Jesus Christ the true Messiah and only law.giver, who was furnished with power from the Father for that end, abrogated and taken away.
IV. To them also he gave sundry judicial laws, which expired togeth. er with the state of that people, not obliging any now by virtue of that institution, their general equity only being still of moral use.
V. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the creator, who gave it: neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.
VI. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned, yet it is of great use to them as well as to others, in that, as a rule of life, informing them of the will of God, and their duty, and directs and binds them to walk accordingly, discovering also the sinsul pollutions of their nature hearts and lives, so as examining themselves thereby, they may come to further conviction of, humiliation for, and hatred against sin, together with a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and the perfection of his obedience. It is likewise of use to the regenerate, to restrain their corruptions, in that it forbids sin, and the threatnings of it serve to shew what even their sins deserve, and what afflictions in this life they may expect for them, although freed from the curse thereof threatened in the law. The promises of it in like manner shew them God's approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof, although not as due to them by the law, as a covenant of works; so as a man's do. ing good, and refraining from evil, because the law encourageth to the
one, and deterreth from the other, is no evidence of his being under the law, and not under grace.
VII. Neither are the fore-mentioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it, the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully, which the will of God revealed in the law required to be done.
CH A P. XX
Of the Gospel, and of the extent of the Grace thereof.
THL covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give unto the elect the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling them, and begetting in them Faith and repentance: In this promise, the gosepel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and was therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.
II. This promise of Christ and salvation by him, is revealed only in and by the word of God; neither do the works of creation or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or of grace by him, so much as in a general or obscure way; much less that men destitute of the revelation of him by the promise or gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving Faith or repentance.
III. The revelation of the gospel unto sinners made in divers times, and by sundry parts, with the addition of promises and precepts for the obedience required therein, as to the nations and persons to whom it is granted, is merely of the sovereign will and good pleasure of God, not being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of 'men's natural abilities, by virtue of common light received without it, which none ever did make, or can so do: And therefore in all ages the preaching of the gospel hath been granted unto persons and nations, as to the extent or straitning of it, in great variety, according to the coun*set of the will of God.
IV. Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trepasses, may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary an effectual, irresistible work of the holy Ghost upon the whole soul, for the producing ir
them a new spiritual life, without which no other means are sufficient for their conversion unto God.
CH A P. XXI.
Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience.
THE liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the rigor and curse of the law, and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to satan, and dominion of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind: all which were common also to believers under the law, for the substance of them, but under the NewTestament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, the whole legal administration of the covenant of grace to which the Jewish church was subjected, and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.
II. God alone is the Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it; so that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience, and the requiring of an implicit Faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.
III. They who upon pretence of Christian liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any lust, as they do thereby pervert the main design of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, so they wholly destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life,
CHA P. XXII.
Of Religious Worship, and of the Sabbath-day.
THE light of nature sheweth that there is a God, who hath Lordship and sovereignty over all, is just, good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served with all the heart, and all the soul, and with all the might: but the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of satan, under any visible representations, 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 creatures; 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 natural worship, is by God required of all men; but that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, by the help of his Spirit, according to his will, with understanding, reverence, humility, ferrency, faith, love, and perseverance: and when with others in a known tongue.
IV. Prayer is to be made for things lawful, and for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter, but not for the dead, nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death.
V. The reading of the scriptures, preaching and hearing of the word of God, singing of psalms, as also the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, are all parts of religious worship of God, to be performed in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, reverence and godly fear. Solemn humiliations with fastings, and thanksgiving upon special occasions, are in their several times and seasons to be used in an holy and religious manner.
VI. Neither prayer nor any other part of religious worship, is now under the gospel either tied unto, or made more acceptable by any place in which it is performed, or towards which it is directed: but God is to be worshiped every where in spirit and in truth, as in private families daily, and in secret each one by himself, so more solemniy in
the public assemblies, which are not carlessly nor wilfully to be neglected, or forsaken, when God by his word or providence calleth thereunto.
VII. As it is of the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time by God's appointment be set apart for the worship of God; so by his word in a positive, moral and perpetual commandment, binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath 10 be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week, and from the res. urrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which in scripture is called the Lord's day, and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week, being abolished.
VIII. This sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
Of Lawful Oaths and Vows.
A LAWFUL oath is a part of religious worship, wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness and judgment, solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth or promiseth, and to judge him according to The truth or falsehood of what he sweareth.
II. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fearand reverence; therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred: yet as in matters of weight and moment an oath is warranted by the word of God, under the New Testament, as well as under the old; so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority in such matters, ought to be taken.
III. Whosoever taketh an oath warranted by the word of God, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth: neither may