« AnteriorContinuar »
and unfeignedly Pray, may be long and Glow rious, with Rival Refolutions, Inviolably to inaintain che Toleration. ::
Deus cuin ---bec Oria fecii. Undoubtedly if the fame had been the Liberty of those Times, our Fathers would have been far from Exchanging a most pleafane Land (dulce folum paitie) for a vast and howling Wilderneta ; Since for the enjy nene of fo defirable Liberty a considerable number of Learned, Worthy and Pious Persons were by a Divine Impulse and Extraordinary concurrence of Dilpositions engaged 'o adventure their Lives Families and Efates upon the vast Ocean, * following the Lord into a Wilderness, a Land then not own : Wherein lanumerable difficulties staring them in the Face were outbid by Heroick Resolution, Magnanimity & confidence in the Lord alone. f Our Faibers trusted in ibe Lord and were delivered, they trufted in kim and were not confounded. It was their care to be with the Lord, and their indulgence, * That the Lord was with them, to a Wonder preserving iu purting protecting and animating them ; dilpatching and destroying the Pagan Natives by extraordinary Sickness and Mortality, that there mighe + beroom for his people to serve the Lord our God in. It was the Glory of our Fa
Ter.2.2. Pfal. 22.4,5
2 Chron. 15. 2. Pfal.80.8,9:
thers, that they heartily pro efied the oniy Rule of their Religion from the very first to be the Holy Scripture, according whereunto, so far as they were peilwaded upon diligent Inquiry, Solicitous search and faithful Prayer cunformed was their Faith, their Worship con gether with the whole Administration of the House of Christ, and their manners, allowance being given to humane Faifures and Impekfections.
That which they were most Solicitcus ao bout, and wherein their Liberty had been restrained, respected the Worlip of God and the Government of the Church of Christ according to his own appointment, their Faith: and Profession of Religion being the same, which was generally received in all the Relormed Churches of Europe, and in Substance the Assemblies Confeffion, as hall be shewn anon.
It cannot be denied, that the Usage of the Chriftian Church whose Faith wholly refied upon the Word of God respecting Confeffions of Faith is very Ancient and that which is universally, acknowledged to be most to, and of Universai acceptance and confert is commonly called the Apostles Creed, a Symbol figa or Badge of the Christian Religion, called ste Apostles, not because they composed it, for then it muft have been received into the Canon of the Holy Bible, but because the imat
ter of it agreeth with the Doctrine & is cakeri out of the Writings of the Apostles. Coniequent hereunto, as t're neceffity of the Church for the Correcting Condemning & Supprefling of Herefy & Error required, have been emitted Ancient and Famous Confeffions of Faith composed and agreed upon by Oecumentcal Coun. cils. e. g. Of Nice against Artius, of Constantinople against Macedonius, of Ephesu against Neftorius, of Calcedon againit Eutyches. And when the Light of Reformation broke forth to the disperfing of Popish darkness, the Reformed Nations agreed upon Confessions of Faith, famous in the World & ofelpécial service to theirs and standing Ages. ånd among those of latrer times Published in cur Nation most worthy ofRepute and Acceptance we take to be the Contefion of Faith, Composed by ite Reverend Allembly of Divines Convened ar Wejiminster, wich that of the Savoy, in the subitzace & in expressions for the most part the same: the former t proffsedly afsenttd & attested to, ty the Fathers of ourCountry by Unanimous Voie of the Synod of Elders & Messengers of the Churches met at Cambridge the last of the 61h.Montb 1648. The latter owned and consented to by the Elders and Melsengers of the Churches Allembled ac Bosion. May 12th. 1680. The fame we doubt not to profeís to have been the constant Faith of the
* See the Preface : He Puform of Church Discipline.
Churches in this Colony from the first Foundation of them. And that it may appear to the Christian World, that our Churches do not maintain differing Opinions in the Doctrine of Religion, nor are desirous for any reason to conceal the Faith we are perswaded of : The Elders and Messengers of the Churches in this Colony of Conneflicut in New England, by vertue of the Appointmene and Encouragement of the Honourable the General Allembly, Convened by Delegation at Suy Brouk, Sept. gth. 1708. Unanimously agreed, that theConteffion of faith owned and Confented unto hy the Elders and Messengers of the Churches Alit mbled at Bijion in New England May 12th. 1680. Being the fecond Sefion of That Synod be Recommended to the Honourable the General Affembly of this Colony at their next Session, for their Publick Teftimony thercto, as the Faith of the Churches of this Colony, which Confesion together with the Heads of Union and Articles for the Administracion of Church Government herewith emitied were Presented unto and approved and establifhed. by the said General Assembly at New Haven on the 14tb. of Otober 1708.
This Confession of Faith we offer as our firm Perswafion well and fully grounded upon the Holy Scripture, and Commend the same unto all and particularly to the people of our Colony to be examined accepted and con
 ftanely maiocained, We do not allume to ourselves, thac any thing be taken upon trust from us, but commend
to our people there following Counsels.
1. Tbai you be ammoveably and unchangeably agreed in obe only sufficient, and invariable Rule of Religion, which is the Holy Scripiure the fixed Canon, * uncapable of aadiliin or diminution. You ought to account nothing ancient, that will not stand by chis Rule,t nor any thing new that will. Do not hold your felves bound to Unscriptural Rites in Religion, wherein Custom ic self doth many times misguide. B-lieve it to be the honour of Rcligion to risigi aed captivate our Wisdom and Faith to Divine Revelation
II. That You be determined by this Rule in the wybole of Religion. I haiget Faill be rightond Divine, o be Wird of God must be the foundation of inandibe vutbori:yoj i be Wordi bereafoof it. + You may believe the mon limportant Articles of Faith, with no more than an Humane Faith And chis is evermore the cause, when the Principle Faith is resolved into, is any ojher than the holy Scripture. For an Orthodox Chrillian to resolve bis Faith, into Education loftruction and the peri wasion of others is not an higher reason, aban a Papil, Mabometan,or Pagan can produce for his Religion.
* 11. 8. 2.0. Rev. 21. 18,19. t fer 6, 16. Mat 19.8.
Mas, 11, 37. rJob 5.3. | Luk. 10 26.