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All which we acknowledge to be given by the inspiration of God, and in that regard to be of most certain credit and highest authority.
3. The other books, commonly called Apocryphal, did not proceed from such inspiration, and, therefore, are not of sufficient authority to establish any point of doctrine; but the church doth read them as books containing many worthy things for example of life and instruction of manners.
The book of Jesus, the Son of Sirach, The second book of Maccabees.
4. The Scriptures ought to be translated out of the original tongues into all languages, for the common use of all men. Neither is any person to be discouraged from reading the Bible in such a language as he doth understand, but seriously exhorted to read the same with great humility and reverence, as a special means to bring him to the true knowledge of God, and of his own duty.
5. Although there be some hard things in the Scripture, (especially such as have proper relation to the times in which they were first uttered, and prophecies of things which were afterward to be fulfilled), yet all things necessary to be known unto everlasting salvation, are clearly delivered therein; and nothing of that kind is spoken under dark mysteries in one place, which is not in other places spoken more familiarly and plainly, to the capacity both of learned and unlearned.
6. The Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary to salvation, and are able to instruct sufficiently in all points of faith that we are bound to believe, and all good duties that we are bound to practise.
7. All and every the articles contained in the Nicene creed, the creed of Athanasius, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' creed, ought firmly to be received and believed, for they may be proved by most certain warrant of Holy Scripture.
OF FAITH IN THE HOLY TRINITY.
8. There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all
things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three persons of one and the same substance, power, and eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
9. The essence of the Father doth not beget the essence of the Son; but the person of the Father begetteth the person of the Son, by communicating his whole essence to the person begotten from eternity.
10. The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
OF GOD'S ETERNAL DECREE AND PREDESTINATION.
11. God from all eternity did, by his unchangeable counsel, ordain whatsover in time should come to pass; yet so, as thereby no violence is offered to the wills of the reasonable creatures, and neither the liberty nor the contingency of the second cause is taken away, but established rather.
* 12. " By the same eternal counsel, God hath
destinated some unto life, and reprobated some unto death; of both which there is a certain number, known only to God, which can neither be increased nor diminished."
13. Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, he hath constantly decreed in his secret counsel, to deliver from curse and damnation, those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ unto everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour.
* II. 14. "The cause moving God to predestinate unto life, is not the foreseeing of faith, or of perseverance, or of good works, or of any thing which is in the person predestinated, but only the good pleasure of God himself."
For all things being ordained for the manifestation of his glory, and his glory being to appear, both in the works of his mercy and of his justice, it seemed good to his heavenly wisdom to choose out a certain number towards whom he would extend his undeserved mercy, leaving the rest to be spectacles of his justice.
15. Such as are predestinated unto life be called according unto God's purpose (his Spirit working in due season), and through grace they obey the calling; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works, and, at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.
* IV. “But such as are not predestinated to salvation, shall finally be condemned for their sins." 16. The godly consideration of predestination, and our election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their minds to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly confirm and establish their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God; and on the contrary side, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have
continually before their eyes the sentence of God's predestination is very dangerous.
17. We must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth unto us in Holy Scripture ; and in our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.
OF THE CREATION AND GOVERNMENT OF ALL THINGS.
18. In the beginning of time, when no creature had any being, God, by his word alone, in the space of six days, created all things; and afterward by his Providence, doth continue, propagate, and order them, according to his own will.
19. The principal creatures are angels and men.
20. Of angels, some continued in that holy state wherein they were created, and are, by God's grace, for ever established therein; others fell from the same, and are reserved in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
21. Man being at the beginning created according to the image of God (which consisted especially in the wisdom of his mind, and the true holiness of his free will), had the covenant of the law ingrafted in his heart, whereby God did promise unto him everlasting life, upon condition that he performed entire and perfect obedience unto his commandments, according to that measure of strength wherewith he was endued in his creation, and threatened death unto him if he did not perform the same.