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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 Gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and was therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.d
a Rom. 8:3; Gal. 3 : 12. b Gen. 3 : 15 ; Gal. 4: 4, 5; Rev. 13:3. • 1 Cor. 1 : 23, 24, 26; Jam. 1 : 18; Rom. 10 :8; Acts, 11:15, 18. d 1 Cor. 2: 2.
II. The promise of Christ, and salvation by him is revealed only in and by the word of God ;e 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 man destitute of the revelation of him by the promise, or Gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.s
e Matt. 11 : 27 ; 2 Tim. 1 : 10; Rom. 1 : 19, 20 ; Eph. 2:12 ; Rom. 16 : 25, 26 ; Eph. 3:9. 81 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 10 : 14, 15 ; Prov. 29 : 18.
III. The Revelation of the Gospel unto sinners, made at 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,h not
being annexed by virtue of any promise to the due improvement of man'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 straitening of it, in great variety, according to the counsel of the will of God.k
h Heb. 1:1, 2; Deut. 7:7, 8 ; Psal. 147 : 19, 20 ; Matt 21 : 43, and 11:25, 26. i John, 1 : 13, and 3 ; 6 ; Rom. 9 : 16 ; Phil. 2 : 13 ; John, 15:5; 1 Cor. 2 : 14 ; Rom. 8:7. k Amos, 3:2; Matt. 28 : 19, and 21 : 43 ; Eph. 1:11.
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 trespasses, 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 in them a new spiritual life, without which no other means are sufficient for their conversion unto God.'
1 Eph. 2:1, 5; Tit. 3 : 5; John, 16: 7 to 12 ; Acts, 16 : 14; Eph. 1 : 19, 20; 1 Thes. 5 : 23; John, 3:6; Gal. 2: 8; 1 Cor. 3:6, 7.
OF CHRISTIAN LIBERTY, AND LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE.
I. 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 and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation ;c 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 : e All which were common also to believers under the law, for the substance of them; f but under the New Testament, 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 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.
a Tit. 2 : 14 ; 1 Thes. 1:10; Gal. 3 : 13. b Gal. 1:4 Col. 1: 13; Acts, 26 : 18; Rom. 6: 14. c Rom. 8:28; Psal. 119 :71 ; 1 Cor. 15 : 54 to 57 ; Rom. 6:1. d Rom.
5:1, 2. Rom. 8 : 14, 15 ; 1 John, 4:18. Gal. 3:13, 14. 8 Gal. 4:1 to 7, and 5:1; Acts, 15 : 10, 11. h Heb. 4: 14, 16, and 10 : 19 to 22. i John, 7: 38, 39; 2 Cor. 13:
God alone is 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 ; m and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also."
k Jam. 4 : 12 ; Rom. 14 :4. 1 Acts, 4 :19, and 5:29; 1 Cor. 7 : 23; Matt. 23 : 8, 9, 10; 2 Cor. 1 : 24 ; Matt. 15:9; m Col. 2 : 10, 22, 23; Gal. 1 : 10, and 2 : 2, 4, 5, and 5:1. n Rom. 10:11, and 14 : 23 ; Isa. 8 : 20; Acts, 17:11 ; John, 4 : 22 ; Hosea, 5:11; Jer. 8:9.
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.
o Gal. 5: 13; 1 Pet. 2:16; 2 Pet. 2:19; John, 8: 34 Luke, 1 : 74 75.
OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP, AND OF THE SABBATH-DAY.
I. The light of nature showeth 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: a 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 Scriptures.
a Rom. 1:20; Acts, 17:24 ; Psal. 119 : 64 ; Jer. 10 : 7; Psal. 31 : 23, and 18:3; Rom. 10 : 12 ; Psal. 62:8; Josh. 24 : 14; Mark, 12 : 33. b Deut. 12 : 32 ; Matt. 15 : 9; Acts, 17 : 25; Matt. 4:9, 10; Deut. 4 : 15 to 20 ; Exod. 20 : 4, 5; Col. 2: 23..
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.