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The Gospel Call. The call of the gospel is co-extensive with the atonement to all men, both by the word and the strivings of the Spirit; so that salvation is rendered equally possible to all; and if any fail of eternal life, the fault is wholly their own.
Repentance. The repentance which the gospel requires includes a deep conviction, a penitential sorrow, au open confession, a decided hatred and an entire forsaking of all sin. This repentance God has enjoined on all men; and without it in this life the sinner must perish eternally.
Faith. Saving faith is an assent of the mind to the fundamental truths of revelation; an acceptance of the gospel, through the influence of the Holy Spirit; and a firm confidence and trust in Christ. The fruit of faith is obedience to the gospel. The power to believe is the gift of God; but believing is an act of the creature, which is required as a condition of pardon, and without which the sinner can not obtain salvation. All men are required to believe in Christ; and those who yield obedience to this requirement become the children of God by faith.
Regeneration. As man is a fallen and sinful being, he must be regenerated in order to obtain salvation. This change is an instantaneous renewal of the heart by the Holy Spirit, whereby the penitent sinner receives new life, becomes a child of God, and disposed to serve him. This is called in Scripture being born again, born of the Spirit, being quickened, passing from death unto life, and a partaking of the divine nature.
Justification and Sanctification. 1. JUSTIFICATION.—Personal justification implies that the person justified has been guilty before God; and in consideration of the atonement of Christ, accepted by faith, the sinner is pardoned aud absolved from the guilt of sin, and restored to the divine favor. Though Christ's atonement is the foundation of the sinner's redemption, yet without repentance and faith it can never give him justification and peace with God.
2. SANCTIFICATION is a work of God's grace, by which the soul is cleansed from all sin, and wholly consecrated to Christ. It commences at regeneration, and the Christian can and should abide in this state to the end of life, constantly growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Perseverance of the Saints. There are strong grounds to hope that the truly regenerate will persevere unto the end and be saved, through the power of divine grace which is pledged for their support; but their future obedience and final salvation are neither determined nor certain ; since, through infirmity and manifold temptations, they are in danger of falling; and they ought therefore to watch and pray, lest they make shiproreck of faith, and be lost.
The Sabbath. This is one day in seven, which, from the creation of the world, God has set apart for sacred rest and holy service. Under the former dispensation, the seventh day of the week, as commemorative of the work of creation, was set apart for the Sabbath. Under the gospel, the first day of the week, in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, and by authority of the apostles, is observed as the Christian Sabbath. On this day all men are required to refrain from secular labor, and devote themselves to the worship and service of God.
The Church. A CHRISTIAN CHURCH is an organized body of believers in Christ, who statedly assemble to worship God, and sustain the ordinances of the gospel agreeably to his Word. In a more general sense it is the whole body of Christians throughout the world, and only the regenerate are real members. Believers are admitted to a particular church, on giving evidence of faith, and receiving baptism and the hand of fellowship
The Gospel Ministry. 1. QUALIFICATIONS OF MINISTERS.—They must possess good natural and acquired abilities, deep and ardent piety, be specially called of God to the work, and ordained by the laying on of hands.
2. DUTIES OF MINISTERS.—These are, to preach the Word, administer the ordinances of the gospel, visit their people, and otherwise perform the work of faithful pastors.
Ordinances of the Gospel. 1. CHRISTIAN BAPTISM. This is the immersion of believers in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in which are represented the burial and resurrection of Christ, the death of Christians to the world, the washing of their souls from the pollution of sin, their rising to newness of life, their engagement to serve God, and their resurrection at the last day.
2. THE LORD's SUPPER.This is a commemoration of the death of Christ for our sins, in the use of bread, which he made the emblem of his broken body, and the cup, the emblem of his shed blood; and by it the believer expresses his love for Christ, his faith and hope in him, and pledges to him perpetual fidelity.
It is the privilege and duty of all who have spiritual union with Christ thus to commemorate his death; and no man has a right to forbid these tokens to the least of his disciples.'
*[This last clause commits the Free-will Baptists to the principle and practice of open communion.-Ed.]
Death and the Intermediate State. 1. DEATH.—As a result of sin, all mankind are subject to the death of the body
2. THE INTERMEDIATE STATE.-The soul does not die with the body; but immediately after death enters into a conscious state of happiness or misery, according to the moral character here possessed.
Second Coming of Christ. The Lord Jesus, who ascended on high and sits at the right hand of God, will come again to close the gospel dispensation, glorify his saints, and judge the world.
The Scriptures teach the resurrection of the bodies of all men at the last day, each in its own order; they that have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.
The General Judgment and Future Retributions. 1. THE GENERAL JUDGMENT.—There will be a general judgment, when time and man's probation will close forever. Then all men will be judged according to their works.
2. FUTURE RETRIBUTIONS.—Immediately after the general judgment, the righteous will enter into eternal life, and the wicked will go into a state of endless punishment.
THE CONFESSION OF THE WALDENSES. A.D. 1655.
[This Confession belongs to the Calvinistic family, and is in part au abridgment of the Gallican Consession of 1659. It is still in furce, or at least highly prized among the Waldenses in Italy. The occasion which called it forth entitles it to special consideration. It was prepared and issued in 1656, together with an appeal to Protestant nations, in consequence of one of the most cruel persecutions which Romish bigotry could inspire. For no other crime but their simple, time-honored faith, the Waldenses in Piedmont were betrayed, outraged, mutilated, massacred, driven into exile, and utterly impoverished by the confiscation of their property and the burning of their villages. (See the frightful pictures of sufferings in the second vol. uf Leger, an eye-witness.) The report of these barbarous atrocities roused the indignation of the Christian world. Oliver Cromwell, then Lord Protector of England, ordered a day of humiliation and fasting, sent Sir Samuel Morland as a special commissioner to the Duke of Savoy (Charles Emanuel II.), opened a subscription with £2000 from his private purse, and brought Protestant governments to a sense of their duty, and Roman sovereiguş (even the proud bigot Louis XIV.) to a sense of shame. The dispatches were written by his foreign secretary, the great Puritan poet, in classical Latin and in the lofty spirit of his immortal sonnet, composed at that time,
Avenge, 0 Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold.' Cromwell died too soon to finish this voble work of intervention in behalf of humanity and religious liberty. Of the more than £38,000 then raised by public subscription in England alone for the poor Waldenses, only £22,000 reached them; the remaining £16,333 Charles II. unscrupulously wasted on his private pleasures under the pretext, worthy of a Stuart, that he was not bound by any of the engagements of an usarper and tyrant, nor responsible for his debts.' A fit illustration of the spirit of the Restoration.
The Confession was probably composed by JEAN LEGER, who was at that time the Moderator of the churches in Piedmont, and became afterwards their historian (d. in exile, 'un martyr sans sang,' as pastor at Leyden, about 1684); although he does not say so, and inserts the Confession simply with the remark, “la derniere confession de leur Foy qu'ils publierent après leurs massacres de l'an 1655' (Vol. I. p. 112). It was brought to Euglaud by Morland, together with many valuable MSS., which he received from pastors Antoine and Leger, and deposited in the University library at Cambridge, in Aug., 1658.
The French text is found in LEGKR, Histoire des Eglises Vaudoises (Leyde, 1669, 2 vols. fol.), Vol. I. pp. 112-116 (where the Athanasiau Creed is added in Vaudois and French, as a part of their creed taught to the children); in C. U. Haun, Geschichte der Ketzer im Mittelalter, Vol. II. pp. 668-673; BEUT (Pastor of La Tour), Livre de Famille (Geneva, 1830). A Latin text, together with an English version, is given in PEYRAN, An Histor. Defence of the Waldenses or Vaudois, with Introd, and Appendixes by Ti. Sims (Lond. 1826), pp. 445-456, from the MSS. of Peyran, the Moderator of the Wald. Churches in 1819. The English text alone is printed in Dr. E. HENDERSON's The Vaudois (London, 1845), pp. 251-259, and in William Hazlitt's translation of Dr. Alexis Muston, The Israel of the Alps : a History of the Persecutions of the Waldenses (London, 1852), pp. 300_306. I have taken the French original from Leger, with the old spelling. The English translation of Hazlitt is very imperfect, and has been corrected.
The older Confessions of the Waldenses, published by Perrin, Leger (Vol. I.), and Hahn (Vol. II. p. 647 sqq.), are partly of doubtful origin, and have merely historical interest. See Vol. I. pp. 568 sqq.)
BRIÈVE CONFESSION DE FOY DES A BRIEF CONFESSION OF FAITH OF
ÉGLISES REFORMÉES DE PIÉMONT. THE REFORMED CHURCHES OF
Publiée avec leur Manifeste à l'occasion des effroy- Published with their Manifesto on the occasion of ables massacres de l'an 1655.
the frightful massacres of the year 1655. Parce que nous avons apris que nos Ad Having understood that our adversaries, versaires ne se contentans pas de nous avoir not contented to have most cruelly persepersecutés, et lépoüillés de tous nos biens, cuted us, and robbed us of all our goods pour nous rendre tant plus odieus, ront en- and estates, have yet an intention to render
semans beaucoup de faus bruits, qui us odions to the world by spreading abroad tendent non seulement à fletrir nos per- many false reports, and so not only to de