Pope Benedict’s visit to UK a “mistake” – Paisley

THE pope should not be invited to the UK, former Northern Irish First Minister & Protestant preacher Ian Paisley has said.

Mr Paisley, who as Lord Bannside will take his seat in the Lords on Monday, claimed that the government was attempting to distance itself from the visit and suggested there was significance behind the fact that the Queen would meet the Roman Catholic leader “on Scottish soil”.

In an interview with the BBC World Service, Mr Paisley, who led opposition to Pope John Paul II crossing into Northern Ireland when he visited Dublin in 1979, said the papal visit in the autumn should not happen.

Asked about the visit, Mr Paisley said: “Well, I think it’s a mistake. I think he should not be invited to the country.

“But I don’t know how it has been done because they have had it all secret. Nobody knows who made the thing. You go and ask a question of any minister and he says he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.

“The Queen is only meeting them on Scottish soil, not on English soil.”

Mr Paisley also stood by his 1988 European parliament denunciation of the pope as “the anti-Christ”.

He said: “Well, it’s quite true. He does seek by his claims to replace Christ. And he puts himself in the place of Christ.”

Mr Paisley also attacked the Roman Catholic Church’s “very weak stand” in stopping child sex abuse in the church and punishing abusers.

“A person, like some of the priests we’ve had, destroying the lives of young people and then going out and saying, ‘I can forgive sins’ – it’s only right that be called what it is.

“That is anti-Christ in teaching and in doctrine.

“I believe that any man that destroys a child’s life, as we have seen scores of young people in this day and generation – and then the church having to wait until it’s uncovered – is an absolute disgrace.”

The preacher, who stepped down from the post of Northern Ireland first minister in 2008, said the pope should not have been invited for the four-day visit in September during which he will meet the queen at her official residence in Scotland.

It will be the first official papal visit to the country.

The queen is the supreme governor of the Church of England, the mother church of the Anglican Communion. Relations between the CoE and Vatican have been tense after Pope Benedict made an offer to disaffected Anglicans to convert.

Paisley also criticised the Catholic Church’s handling of the child abuse scandal in Ireland, accusing it of having failed to “take a strong stand.”

“I believe that any man that destroys a child’s life, as we have seen scores of young people in this day and generation — and then the church having to wait until it is uncovered — is an absolute disgrace.”

The Pope’s itinerary includes a reception with the Queen at Holyrood House in Edinburgh and open-air Masses in Glasgow, Birmingham and London.

He will also attend a celebration of Catholic education and a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury in London.
Protest march

Mr Paisley first attracted major public attention in 1963 when he organised a protest march against the decision to lower the union flag at Belfast City Hall to mark the death of Pope John.

Famed for his firebrand oratory, Mr Paisley was a founding member of the Free Presbyterian Church in Ireland in 1951.

In 1988, he caused anger among fellow MEPs when he interrupted an address by the late Pope John Paul II in Strasbourg.

Mr Paisley denounced the Pope as an “anti-Christ” before being bundled out of the chamber by some scandalised colleagues.

His evangelical theology heavily influenced his political views and throughout the Troubles, he denounced Catholicism and the papacy.

In March, the pope apologised to victims of abuse by Irish clergy following reports last year which said priests had abused children for decades in Catholic-run institutions, and that Church authorities had covered up cases in Dublin until the mid-1990s.

Hundreds of cases of sexual and physical abuse of youths by priests in recent decades have also come to light in Europe and the United States.

Various campaigners plan demonstrations during the pope’s visit, including author and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins who has said he will try to have the pope arrested to face questions over the scandal.
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5037
http://www.humanism.org.uk/news/view/518
Pro-gay activists are planning protests against his comments on the government’s Equality Bill, while secularists complain at the 8 million pound bill being picked up by the taxpayer.
http://www.protest-the-pope.org.uk/
(Writing by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Peter Griffiths)

Opposition to the papal visit by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland
http://www.orange-order.co.uk/chronicle/forum/viewtopic.php?id=21178

FREE Presbyterian church leaders have affirmed their determination to protest against Pope Benedict’s planned visit to the UK in September
http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/Protest-over-papal-visit.6344281.jp

Free Presbyterians in Scotland describe Pope state visit as “offensive”
http://news.scotsman.com/news/Pope39s-Scots-visit–condemned.6352400.jp

Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Statement On The Visit Of Pope Benedict XVI To The United Kingdom
http://www.grandorangelodge.co.uk/press/PressReleases-2010/100324-pope’s_visit_to_uk.htm
————

Presbyterian Moderator welcomes visit by Pope Benedict
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2010/07/presbyterian_moderator_welcome.html#postcomment
William Crawley | 12:19 UK time, Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Moderator of the Irish Presbyterian Church says he welcomes the state visit to the UK by Pope Benedict XVI and feels no sense of threat from it. Dr Norman Hamilton was speaking on today’s Sunday Sequence in response to Dr Ian Paisley’s claim that invitation to the Pope was “a mistake”.

Dr Hamilton, who leads Northern Ireland’s largest Protestant denomination, said: “Her Majesty certainly doesn’t think it was a mistake, otherwise she wouldn’t have invited him … I will accept Her Majesty’s judgment on this rather than Dr Paisley’s . . . Her Majesty will welcome the Pope and I am very content to go along with her welcome to the Pope to Scotland and England.”

When I asked the Moderator if he would accept an invitation to meet Pope Benedict during the state visit, he said he would have no difficulty meeting the Pope in a non-religious context. “If Her Majesty were to host a dinner at Holyrood, then as a loyal subject I wouldn’t think it proper to decline her invitation,” he said.

He continued, “As someone who is committed to Christ, I have no sense of threat or fear by the visit of any world leader to our country, whether he be a political or a faith leader or a cultural leader. I have to say I don’t feel undermined, I don’t feel diminished, I don’t feel undervalued by any visitor to these shores. No am I diminished or undervalued.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sundaysequence
http://www.presbyterianireland.org/
http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/


I believe Dr Paisley`s comment are based on the following:-

Westminster Confession of Faith
CHAPTER XXV

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.

II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.

III. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world; and doth by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto.

IV. This catholic Church hath been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular Churches which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.

V. 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, there shall be always a Church on earth, to worship God according to His will.

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.


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The position is the same as all the Reformers from Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, Knox etc most of whom were born and raised as Roman Catholics – all came to the theological conclusion that the Pope or atleast the position of Pope is anti Christ! That is not to say that anybody does not ahve the right and freedom to go where they like and do what they like within the law but neither does the `human right` you mention stop anyone protesting against someone or some organisation particulalrly if you believe that as evangelicals do that the Pope or Vatican doctrines are `fatal errors`involving eternity. The Church of Ireland 39 article and the Presbyterian Westminster confession of Faith and indeed the preamble of the king James Version of the bible all refer to the Pope as `that man of sin`! (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

A Great Cloud of Witnesses: “John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer; in the seventeenth century, Bunyan, the translators of the King James Bible and the men who published the Westminster and Baptist confessions of Faith; Sir Isaac Newton, [scientist and theologian] John Wesley, Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards; and more recently Spurgeon, Bishop J.C. Ryle and Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones; these men among countless others, all saw the office of the Papacy as the antichrist.” Taken from All Roads Lead to Rome, by Michael de Semlyen. Dorchestor House Publications, p. 205. 1991.

http://www.who-is-the-antichrist-today.com/

Based on prophetic studies, Martin Luther finally declared, “We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist.” (Aug. 18, 1520). Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, by LeRoy Froom. Vol. 2., pg. 121.

John Calvin (1509-1564) (Presbyterian): “Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt… I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thessalonians 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” Taken from Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin.

John Knox (1505-1572) (founder of Church of Scotland / Scotch Presbyterian): John Knox sought to counteract “that tyranny which the pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church.” As with Luther, he finally concluded that the Papacy was “the very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.” The Zurich Letters, by John Knox, pg. 199.

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) (Anglican): “Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.” (Referring to prophecies in Revelation and Daniel.) Works by Cranmer, Vol. 1, pp. 6-7.

Roger Williams (1603-1683) (First Baptist Pastor in America): Pastor Williams spoke of the Pope as “the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself…speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thessalonians 2).” The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 52.

The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647): “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.” Taken from Philip Schaff’s, The Creeds of Christendom, With a History and Critical Notes, III, p. 658, 659, ch. 25, sec. 6.

Cotton Mather (1663-1728) (Congregational Theologian): “The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvellously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvellous blindness upon them.” Taken from The Fall of Babylon by Cotton Mather in Froom’s book, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 3, pg. 113.

John Wesley (1703-1791) (Methodist): Speaking of the Papacy, John Wesley wrote, “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers… He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped…claiming the highest power, and highest honour…claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.” Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms, by John Wesley, pg. 110.

And John Bunyan author of Pilgrims Progress in the 1600`s whilst serving time in jail for preaching the Gospel wrote in said book:-

In this light, therefore, he came to the end of the valley. Now I saw in my dream, that at the end of this valley lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men, even of pilgrims that had gone this way formerly; and while I was musing what should be the reason, I espied a little before me a cave, where two giants, POPE and PAGAN, dwelt in old time; by whose power and tyranny the men whose bones, blood, and ashes, &c., lay there, were cruelly put to death. But by this place Christian went without much danger, whereat I somewhat wondered; but I have learnt since, that PAGAN has been dead many a day; and as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is, by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints, that he can now do little more than sit in his cave’s mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them.

In chapter 12 of Pilgrim’s Progress at vanity fair, Rome is described as the provider of “meaningless things” at the fair. Bunyan states the fair is run by the Devil.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith, in the Calvinist theological tradition. Although drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly, largely of the Church of England, it became and remains the ‘subordinate standard’ of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.

In 1643, the English Parliament called upon “learned, godly and judicious Divines”, to meet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline of the Church of England. Their meetings, over a period of five years, produced the confession of faith, as well as a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catechism. For more than three centuries, various churches around the world have adopted the confession and the catechisms as their standards of doctrine, subordinate to the Bible.

The Westminster Confession of Faith was modified and adopted by Congregationalists in England in the form of the Savoy Declaration (1658). Likewise, the Baptists of England modified the Savoy Declaration to produce the Second London Baptist Confession (1689). English Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists would together (with others) come to be known as Nonconformists, because they did not conform to the Act of Uniformity (1662) establishing the Church of England as the only legally-approved church, though they were in many ways united by their common confessions, built on the Westminster Confession.

Historical situation

During the English Civil War (1642-1649), the English Parliament raised armies in an alliance with the Covenanters who by then were the de facto government of Scotland, against the forces of the king, Charles I of England. The purpose of the Westminster Assembly, in which 121 Puritan clergymen participated, was to provide official documents for the reformation of the Church of England. The Church of Scotland had recently overthrown its bishops and adopted presbyterianism (see Bishops’ Wars). For this reason, as a condition for entering into the alliance with England, the Scottish Parliament formed the Solemn League and Covenant with the English Parliament, which meant that the Church of England would abandon episcopalianism and consistently adhere to Calvinistic standards of doctrine and worship. The Confession and Catechisms were produced in order to secure the help of the Scots against the king.

The Scottish Commissioners who were present at the Assembly were satisfied with the Confession of Faith, and in 1646, the document was sent to the English parliament to be ratified, and submitted to the General Assembly of the Scottish Kirk. The Church of Scotland adopted the document, without amendment, in 1647. In England, the House of Commons returned the document to the Assembly with the requirement to compile a list of proof texts from Scripture. After vigorous debate, the Confession was then in part adopted as the Articles of Christian Religion in 1648, by act of the English parliament, omitting some sections and chapters. The next year, the Scottish parliament ratified the Confession without amendment.

In 1660, the restoration of the British monarchy and of the Anglican episcopacy resulted in the nullification of these acts of the two parliaments. However, when William of Orange replaced the Roman Catholic King James II of England, he gave royal sanction to Scottish parliament’s ratification of the Confession, again without change, in 1690.

Contents

The confession is a systematic exposition of Calvinist orthodoxy (which neo-orthodox scholars refer to as “scholastic Calvinism”),[citation needed] influenced by Puritan and covenant theology.
It includes doctrines common to most of Christendom such as the Trinity and Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, and it contains doctrines specific to Protestantism such as sola scriptura and sola fide. Its more controversial features include double predestination (held alongside freedom of choice), the covenant of works with Adam, the Puritan doctrine that assurance of salvation is not a necessary consequence of faith, a minimalist conception of worship, and a strict sabbatarianism.

Even more controversially, it states that the Pope is the Antichrist, that the Roman Catholic mass is a form of idolatry, that the civil magistrates have divine authority to punish heresy, and rules out marriage with non-Christians. These formulations were repudiated by the various bodies which adopted the confession (for instance, the Church of Scotland, though its ministers are still free to adhere to the full confession and some do), but the confession remains part of the official doctrine of some other Presbyterian churches. For example, the Presbyterian Church of Australia holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith as its standard, subordinate to the Word of God, and read in the light of a declaratory statement.

Westminster Confession of Faith A.D. 1647 (with Scripture proofs) in English with a Latin translation from 1656 — from Philip Schaff’s The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 3, at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/creeds3.iv.xvii.ii.html

Westminster Confession of Faith, 1647

http://www.freepres.org/westminster.htm

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. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal; Himself, and to declare; that His will unto His Church; 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; those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.

Rom. ii. 14, 15; Rom. i. 19, 20; Ps. xlx, 1, 2, 3; Rom. i. 32, with chap. ii. 1. 
1 Cor. i. 21; 1 Cor. ii. 13, 14; Heb. i. 1; Prov. xxii. 19, 20, 21; Luke i. 3, 4; Rom. xv. 4; Matt. iv. 4, 7, 10; Isa. viii. 19, 20; 2 Tim. iii. 15; 2 Peter i. 19;
Heb. i. 1, 2.

II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:

Of the Old Testament:

Genesis I Kings Ecclesiastes Amos Exodus II Kings Song of Solomon Obadiah Leviticus I Chronicles Isaiah Jonah Numbers II Chronicles Jeremiah Micah Deuteronomy Ezra Lamentations Nahum Joshua Nehemiah Ezekiel Habakkuk Judges Esther Daniel Zephaniah Ruth Job Hosea Haggai I Samuel Psalms Joel Zechariah II Samuel Proverbs Malachi

Of the New Testament:

Matthew I Corinthians I Timothy I Peter Mark II Corinthians II Timothy II Peter Luke Galatians Titus I John John Ephesians Philemon II John Acts of Philippians Epistle to III John the Apostles Colossians the Hebrews Jude Epistle to I Thessalonians Epistle of Book of the the Romans II Thessalonians James Revelation

Luke xvi. 29, 31; Eph. ii. 20; Rev. xxii. 18, 19; 2 Tim. iii. 16.

III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.

Luke xxiv. 27, 44; Rom. iii. 2; 2 Peter i. 21.

IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.

2 Peter i. 19, 21; 2 Tim. iii. 16; 1 John v. 9; 1 Thess. ii. 13.

V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

1 Tim. iii. 15; 1 John ii. 20, 27; John xvi. 13, 14; 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11, 12; Isa. lix. 21.

VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.

2 Tim. iii. 15 ,16, 17; Gal. i. 8, 9; 2 Thess. ii. 2; John vi. 45; 1 Cor. ii. 9 to 12; 1 Cor. xi. 13, 14; 1 Cor. xiv. 26. 40.

VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

2 Pet. iii. 16; Psalm cxix. 105, 130.

VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by His singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.

Matt. v. 18; Isa. viii. 20; Acts xv. 15; John v. 39, 46; 1 Cor. xiv. 6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 27, 28; Col. iii. 16; Rom. xv. 4.

IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

2 Pet. i. 20, 21; Acts xv. 15, 16.

X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined; and in whose sentence we are to rest; can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

Matt. xxii..29, 31; Eph. ii. 20 with Acts xxviii. 25.

CHAPTER II

Of God, and of the Holy Trinity

There is but one only, living, and true God: who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.

Deut. vi. 4; 1 Cor. viii. 4, 6; 1 Thess. 1. 9; Jer. x. 10; Job xi. 7, 8, 9; Job xxvi. 14; John iv. 24; 1 Tim. i. 17; Deut. iv. 15, 16; John iv. 24, with Luke xxiv, 39; Acts xiv. 11, 15; James i. 17; Mal. iii. 6; 1 Kings viii. 27; Jer. xxiii. 23, 24; Ps. xc. 2; 1 Tim. i. 17; Ps. cxlv. 3; Gen. xvii. 1; Rev. iv. 8; Rom. xvi, 27; Isa. vi. 3; Rev. iv. 8; Ps. cxv. 3; Exod. iii. 14; Eph. i. 11; Prov. xvi. 4; Rom. xi. 36; 1 John iv. 8, 16; Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7; Heb. xi. 6; Neh. ix. 32, 33; Ps. v. 5, 6; Nah. i. 2, 3; Exod. xxxiv. 7.

II. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them: He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleaseth. In His sight all things are open and manifest; His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain. He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service or obedience He is pleased to require of them.

John v. 26; Acts vii. 2; Ps. cxix. 68; 1 Tim. vi. 15; Rom. ix. 5; Acts xvii. 24, 25; Job xxii. 2, 3; Rom. xi. 36; Rev. iv. 11; 1 Tim. vi. 15; Dan. iv. 25, 35; Heb. iv. 13; Rom. xi. 33, 34; Ps. cxlvii. 5; Acts xv. 18; Ezek. xi. 5; Ps. cxlv. 17; Rom. vii. 12; Rev. v. 12, 13, 14.

III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding: the Son is eternally begotten of the Father: the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.

1 John v. 7; Matt. iii. 16, 17; Matt. xxviii. 19; 2 Cor. xiii. 14; John i. 14, 18; John xv. 26; Gal. iv. 6.

CHAPTER III

Of God’s Eternal Decree

God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.

Eph. i. 11; Rom. xi. 33; Heb. vi. 17; Rom. ix. 15, 18; James i. 13, 17; 1 John i. 5; Acts ii. 23; Matt. xvii. 12; Acts iv. 27, 28; John xix. 11; Prov. xvi. 33.

II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, yet hath He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.

Acts xv. 18; 1 Sam. xxiii. 11, 12; Matt. xi. 21, 23; Rom. ix. 11, 13, 16, 18.

III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death.

1 Tim. v. 21; Matt. xxv. 41; Rom. ix. 22, 23; Eph. i. 5, 6; Prov. xvi. 4.

IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated and fore-ordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.

2 Tim. ii. 19; John xiii. 18.

V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath. chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto: and all to the praise of His glorious grace.

Eph. i. 4, 9, 11; Rom. viii. 30; 2 Tim. i. 9; 1 Thess. v. 9; Rom. ix. 11, 13, 16; Eph. i. 4, 9; Eph. i. 6, 12.

VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

1 Pet. i. 2; Eph. i. 4, 5; Eph. ii. 10, 2 Thess. i.. 13; 1 Thess. v. 9, 10; Titus ii. 14; Rom. viii. :30; Eph. i. 5; 2 Thess. ii. 13; 1 Pet. i. 5; John xvii. 9; Rom. viii. 28 to the end; John vi. 64, 65; John x. 26; John viii. 47; 1 John ii. 19.

VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath, for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

Matt. xi. 25, 26; Rom. ix. 17, 18, 21, 22; 2 Tim. ii. 19, 20; Jude ver. 4; 1 Pet. ii. 8.

VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.

Rom. ix. 20; Rom. xi. 33; Deut. xxix. 29; 2 Pet. i. 10, Eph. i. 6; Rom. xi. 33; Rom. xi. 5, 6, 20; 2 Pet. i. 10; Rom. viii. 33; Luke x. 20.

CHAPTER IV

Of Creation

It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.

Heb. i. 2; John i. 2, 3; Gen. i. 2; Job xxvi. 13; Job xxxiii. 4; Rom. i. 20; Jer. x. 12; Ps. civ. 24; Ps. xxxiii. 5, 6; Gen. i. chap.; Heb. xi. 3; Col. i. 16; Acts xvii. 24.

II. After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it: and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.

Gen. i. 27; Gen. ii. 7 with Eccles. xii. 7 & Luke xxiii. 43 & Matt. x. 28; Gen i. 26; Col. iii. 10; Eph. iv. 24; Rom. ii. l4, 15, Eccles. vii. 29;
Gen. iii. 6; Gen. ii. 17; Gen. iii. 8, 9, 10, 11, 23; Gen. i. 26, 28.

CHAPTER V

Of Providence

God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible fore-knowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness and mercy.

Heb. i. 3, Dan. iv. 34, 35; Ps. cxxxv. 6; Acts xvii. 25, 26, 28; Job xxxviii to xli chapters; Matt. x. 29, 30, 31; Prov. xv. 3; Ps. civ. 24; Ps. cxlv. 17; Acts xv. 18; Ps. xciv. 8, 9, 10, 11; Eph. i. 11. Ps. xxxiii. 10, 11; Isa. lxiii. 14; Eph. iii. 10; Rom. ix. 17; Gen. xlv. 7; Ps. cxlv. 7.

II. Although, in relation to the fore-knowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly: yet, by the same providence, He ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.

Acts ii. 23; Gen. viii. 22; Jer. xxxi. 35; Exod. xxi. 13 with Deut. xix. 5; 1 Kings xxii. 28, 34; Isa. x. 6, 7.

III. God in His ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at His pleasure.

Acts xxvii. 31, 44; Isa. lv. 10,11; Hos. ii. 21, 22; Hos. i. 7; Matt. iv. 4; Job xxxiv. 20; Rom. iv. 19, 20, 21; 2 Kings vi. 6; Dan. iii. 27.

IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in. a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is, nor can be, the author or approver of sin.

Rom. xi. 32, 33, 34; 2 Sam. xxiv 1 with 1 Chron. xxi. l; 1 Kings xxii. 22, 23; 1 Chron. x. 4,13,14; 2 Sam. xvi. 10; Acts ii. 23; Acts iv. 27, 28; Acts xiv. 16; Ps. lxxvi. 10; 2 Kings xix. 28; Gen. 1. 20; Isa. x. 6, 7, 12; James i. 13,14,17; 1 John ii. 16; Ps. 1. 21.

V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season His own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.

2 Chron. xxxii. 25, 26, 31; 2 Sam. xxiv. 1; 2 Cor. xii. 7, 8, 9; Ps. lxxiii throughout; Ps. lxxvii. 1 to 12; Mark xiv. 66 to the end, with John xxi. 15, 16, 17.

VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins doth blind and harden, from them He not only withholdeth His grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin; and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan: whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.

Rom. i. 24, 26, 28; Rom. xi. 7, 8; Deut. xxix. 4; Matt. xiii. 12; Matt. xxv. 29; Deut. ii. 30; 2 Kings viii. 12, 13; Ps. 1xxxi. 11, 12; 2 Thess. ii. 10, 11, 12, Exod. vii. 3 with Exod. viii. 15, 32; 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16; Isa. viii. 14; 1 Pet. ii. 7, 8; Isa. vi. 9, 10 with Acts xxviii. 26, 27.

VII. As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures, so after a most special manner it taketh care of His Church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.

1 Tim. iv. 10; Amos ix. 8, 9; Rom. viii. 28; Isa. xliii. 3, 4, 5, 14.

CHAPTER VI

Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof

Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptation of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.

Gen. iii. 13; 2 Cor. xi. 3; Rom. xi. 32.

II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.

Gen. iii. 6, 7, 8; Eccles. vii. 29; Rom. iii. 23; Gen. ii. 17; Eph. ii. 1; Titus i. 15; Gen. vi. 5; Jer. xvii. 9; Rom. iii. 10 to 19.

III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.

Gen. i. 27, 28 and Gen. ii. 16, 17 and Acts xvii. 26 with Rom. v. 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22, 49; Ps. li. 5; Gen. v. 3; Job xiv. 4; Job xv. 14.

IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.

Rom. v. 6; Rom. viii. 7; Rom. vii. 18; Col. i. 21; Gen. vi. 5; Gen. viii. 21; Rom. iii. 10, 11, 12; James i. 14, 15; Eph. ii. 2, 3; Matt. xv. 19.

V. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be, through Christ, pardoned and mortified, yet both itself and all the motions thereof are truly and properly sin.

1 John i. 8, 10; Rom. vii. 14, 17, 18, 23; James iii. 2; Prov. xx. 9; Eccles. vii. 20; Rom. vii. 5, 7, 8, 25; Gal. v. 17.

VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner; whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.

1 John iii. 4; Rom. ii. 15; Rom. iii. 9, 19; Ephes. ii. 3; Gal. iii. 10; Rom. vi. 23; Ephes. iv. 18; Rom. viii. 20; Lam. iii. 39; Matt. xxv. 41; 2 Thess. i. 9.

CHAPTER VII

Of God’s Covenant with Man

The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which He hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.

Isa. xl. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; Job ix. 32, 33; 1 Sam. ii. 25; Ps. cxiii. 5, 6; Ps. c. 2, 3; Job xxii. 2, 3; Job xxxv. 7, 8; Luke xvii. 10; Acts xvii. 24, 25.

II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.

Gal. iii. 12; Rom. x. 5; Rom. v. 12 to 20; Gen. ii. 17; Gal. iii. 10.

III. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.

Gal. iii. 21; Rom. viii. 3; Rom. iii. 20, 21; Gen. iii. 15; Isa. xlii. 6; Mark xvi. 15, 16; John iii. 16; Rom. x. 6, 9; Gal. iii. 11; Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27; John vi. 44, 45.

IV. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in Scripture by the name of a Testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.

Heb ix 15,16,17; Heb. vii. 22; Luke xxii. 20; 1 Cor. xi. 25.

V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel: under the law, it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying Christ to come: which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called, the Old Testament.

2 Cor. iii. 6, 7, 8, 9; Heb. viii., ix., x. chapters; Rom. iv. 11; Col. ii. 11, 12; 1 Cor. v. 7; 1 Cor. x. 1, 2, 3, 4; Heb. xi. 13; John viii. 56; Gal. iii. 7, 8, 9, 14.

VI. Under the gospel, when Christ, the substance, was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory; yet, in them, it is held forth in more fulness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.

Col. ii. 17; Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24, 25; Heb. xii. 22 to 28; Jer. xxxi. 33, 34; Matt. xxviii. 19; Eph. ii. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19; Luke xxii. 20; Gal. iii. 14, 16; Rom. iii. 21, 22, 23, 30; Ps. xxxii. 1 with Rom. iv. 3, 6, 16, 17, 23, 24; Heb. xiii. 8; Acts xv. 11.

CHAPTER VIII

Of Christ the Mediator

It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man; the Prophet, Priest, and King, the Head and Saviour of His Church, the Heir of all things, and Judge of the world: unto whom He did from all eternity give a people, to be His seed, and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.

Isa. xlii. 1; 1 Pet. i. 19, 20; John iii. 16; 1 Tim. ii. 5; Acts iii. 22; Heb. v. 5, 6; Ps. ii. 6; Luke i. 33; Eph. v. 23; Heb. i. 2; Acts xvii. 31; John xvii. 6; Ps. xxii. 30; Isa. liii. 10; 1 Tim. ii. 6; Isa. lv. 4, 5; 1 Cor. i. 30.

II. The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fulness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.

John i. 1, 14; 1 John v. 20; Phil. ii. 6; Gal. iv. 4; Heb. ii. 14, 16,17; Heb. iv. 15; Luke i. 27, 31, 35; Gal. iv. 4; Luke i. 35; Col. ii. 9; Rom. ix. 5; 1 Pet. iii. 18; 1 Tim. iii. 16; Rom. i. 3, 4; 1 Tim. ii. 5.

III. The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;

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