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nances administred, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.i
V. The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error;k and some have so degenerated, as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan.1 Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth, to worship God according to his will.m
VI. 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 man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God.
i (Rev. ii and iii. chapters throughout.) 1 Cor. v. 6, 7. Your glorifying is not good: know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For, even Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us.
V. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. For, now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (Rev. ii. and iii. chapters.) Mat. xiii. 2430. 47. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man, which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also, &c. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.
7 Rev. xviii. 2. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Rom. xi. 18 to 22. Boast not against the branches; but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: for, if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but towards thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
m Mat. xvi. 18. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Psal. lxxii. 17. His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Psal. cii. 28. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thec. Mat. xxviii. 19, 20. (See in letter g.)
VI. n Col. i. 18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. Eph. i. 22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the
o Mat. xxiii. 8, 9, 10. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your
OF COMMUNION OF SAINTS.
ALL saints that are united to Jesus Christ, their head, by his Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with him in his graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory a And being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other's gifts and graces,b and are obliged to Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 2 Thess. ii. 3, 4, 8, 9. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders. Rev. xiii. 6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
I. a 1 John i. 3. That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Eph. iii. 16 to 19. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strenghtened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. John i. 16. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. Eph. ii. 5, 6. Even when we were dead in sins hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved,) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Phil. iii. 10. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Rom. vi. 5, 6. For, if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 2 Tim. ii. 12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.
6 Eph. iv. 15, 16. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of
to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.c
II. Saints by profession, 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 ;d as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.e
every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 1 Cor. xii. 7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with all. 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22, 23. Therefore, let no man glory in men: for all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apɔlles, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come: all are yours; and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. Col. ii. 19. And not holding the head, from which all the body, by joints and bands having nourishment, ministered and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."
c 1 Thess. v. 11, 14. Wherefore, comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. Now, we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly; comfort the feeble-minded; support the weak; be patient toward all men. Rom. i. 11, 12, 14. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you, by the mutual faith both of you and me. I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise. 1 John iii. 16, 17, 18. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed, and in truth. Gal. vi. 10. As we have, therefore, opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
II. d Heb. x. 24, 25. And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one anot!er: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Acts ii. 42, 46. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Isa. ii. 3. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths ; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 1 Cor. xi. 20. When ye come together, therefore, into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper.
e Acts ii. 44, 45. And all that believed were together, and had all things common. And sold their possessions and goods, and parted
III. This communion which the saints have with Christ, doth not make them in any wise partakers of the substance of his Godhead, or to be equal with Christ, in any respect: either of which to affirm, is impious and blasphemous.f Nor doth their communion one with another, as saints, take away or infringe the title or property, which each man hath in his goods and possessions.g
OF THE SACRAMENTS.
SACRAMENTS are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by God,b to represent Christ them to all men, as every man had need. 1 John iii. 17. (See in letter c.) (2 Cor. viii. and ix. chapters.) Acts xi. 29, 30. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea. Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
III. ƒ Col. i. 18, 19. And he is the head of the body, the church : who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell. 1 Cor. viii. 6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Isa. xlii. 8. I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16. Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. Psal. xlv. 7. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore, God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. With Heb. i. 8, 9. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom: thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
g Exod. xx. 15. Thou shalt not steal. Eph. iv. 28. Let him that stole, steal no more but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Acts v. 4. While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but un o God.
I. a Rom. iv. 11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a scal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be impute unto
and his benefits; and to confirm our interest in him; as also to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the church, and the rest of the world ;d and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his word.e
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.f
them also. Gen. xvii. 7, 10. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant; to be a God unto thee, and to thy sced after thee. (See letter f in the following page.)
b Mat. xxviii. 19. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 1 Cor. xi. 23. For, I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.
c 1 Cor. x. 16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 1 Cor. xi. 25, 26. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Gal. iii. 27. For, as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Gal. iii. 17. And this I say, That the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
d Rom. xv. 8. Now, I say, that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers. Exod. xii. 48. And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. Gen. xxxiv. 14. And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised: for that were a reproach unto us.
e Rom. vi. 3, 4. Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 1 Cor. x. 16, 21. (See in letter c.) Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and of the table of devils.
II. f Gen. xvii. 10. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee: every man-child, among you, shall be circumcised. Mat. xxvi. 27, 28. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for, this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Tit. iii, 5. Not by works of righteousness,