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any man bind himself by oath to any thing, but what is good and just, and what he believeth so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform. Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being lawfully ima posed by authority.
IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation: It cannot oblige to sin, but in any thing not sinful being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own hurt; nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics or infidels.
V. A row, which is not to be inade to any creature, but God alone, is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness.
VI. Popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed pover. ty and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may intangle himself.
Of the Civil Mugistrate.
GOD the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people for his own glory and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.
II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto : In the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth, so for that end they may lawfully now under the New Testament wage war upon just and necessary Occasions.
III. They, who upon pretence of Christian liberty shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercises of it, resist the ordinance of God, and for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaing of such practices as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Chris.
tianity, whether concerning faith, worship or conversation, or to the i power of godliness, or such crroneous 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; yet in such differences about the doctrines of the gospel, or ways of the worship of God, as may befal men exercising a good conscience, manifesting it in their conversation, and holding the foundation, and duly observing the rules of peace and order, there is no warrant for the magistrate to abridge them of their liberty.
IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to honour their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful com. mands, and to be subject to their authority for conscience sake. Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrates just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to him: from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted, much less hath the Pope any power or jurrisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people, and least of all to deprive them of their dominions or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever.
Of Marriage. MARRIAGE is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wise, nor for any woman to have more than one hsuband at the same time.
II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the church with an holy seed, and for preventing of uncleapness.
III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with : judgment to give their consent. Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord, and therefore such as profess the true reformed religion, should not marry with Infidels, Papists, or other Idolaters: neither should such as are godly, be unequally yoked by marrying such as are wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresy.
IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden in the word, nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man, or consent of parties, 80 as those per. sons may live together as man and wife,
CHA P. XXVI.
Of the Church.
THE Catholic or Universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head thereof, and is the spouse, the body, the, fulness of him that filleth all in all,
Il. The whole body of men throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any errors everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, they and their children with them are, and may be called the visible Catholic church of Christ, although as such it is not intrusted with any officers to rule or govern over the whole body.
III. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error, and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of satan : nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a visible kingdom in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his name.
IV. There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ, nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that inan of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God, whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.
V. As the Lord in his care and love towards his church, hath in his infinite wise providence, exercised it with great variety in all ages for the good of them that love him, and his own glory ; so according to his promise, we expect that in the latter days, antichrist being destroyed, the Jews called, and the adversaries of the kingdom of his dear son broka. en, the churches of Christ being enlarged and edified, through a free and plentiful communication of light and grace, shall enjoy in this world a more quiet, peaceable and glorious condition, than they have enjoyed.
CHA P. XXVII.
of the communion of Saints.
ALL Saints that are united to Jesus Christ their head by his spirit and faith, although they are not made thereby one person with him,
havc fellowship in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection and glory : and being united to one another in love, they have communion in each others gifts and graces, and are obliged to the performance of such du. ties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.
11. All Saints are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification : as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities: which communion, though especially to be exercised by them in the relations wherein they stand, whether in families or churches, yet as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who in every place cal! upon the name of the Lord Jesus.
CHA P. XXVIII,
Of the Sacraments.
SACRAMENTS are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by Christ, to represent him and his henefits, and to confirm our interest in him, and solemnly to engage us to the serviee of God in Christ, according to his worů.
II. There is in every sacrament a spiritual relation, or sacramental union between the sign and the thing signified; whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.
III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them, neither doth the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that doth ad. minister it, but upon the work of the spirit, and the word of institution, which contains together with a precept authorizing thie use thereof, a promise of benefit to worthy receivers.
IV. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the gospel, that is to say baptism and the Lord's supper ; neither of which may be dispensed by any but by a minister of the word lawfully called.
V. The sacraments of the Old Testament, in regard of the spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were for substance the same with those of the New.
BAPTISM is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life; which ordinance is by Christ's own appointment to be continued in his church, until the end of the world.
II. The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost, by a minister of the gospel lawfully called thereunto.
III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary, but baptism is rightly administered by pouring or sprinkling water upon the person.
IV. Not only those that do actually profess Faith in, and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one or both believing parents are to be baptized, and those only.
V. Although it be a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance, yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed to it, as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it; or that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.
VI. The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time where. in it is administered, yet notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordi. nance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited and conferred by the holy Ghost to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God's own will in his appointed time.
VII. Baptism is but once to be administered to any person.
CHA P. XXX.
Of the Lord's Supper.
OUR Lord Jesus in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord's supper, to be observe ed in his churches to the end of the world, for the perpetual remem