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before God, holy and good works indeed, and do please God no less than prayers, fastings, and alms-deeds. For so the apostle has taught in his epistles, especially in those to Timothy and Titus. And with the same apostle we account the doctrine of such as forbid marriage, or do openly dispraise or secretly discredit it as not holy or clean, among the 'doctrines of demons' (1 Tim. iv. 1).
And we do detest unclean single life, licentious lusts, and fornications, both open and secret, and the continency of dissembling hypocrites, when they are, of all men, most incontinent. All these God will judge. We do not disallow riches, nor contemn rich men, if they be godly and use their riches well; but we reprove the sect of the Apostolicals, etc.
The magistracy, of what sort soever it be, is ordained of God himself, for the peace and quietness of mankind; and so that he should have the chief place in the world. If the magistrate be an adversary to the Church, he may hinder and disturb it very much; but if he be a friend and a member of the Church, he is a most useful and excellent member thereof; he may profit it very much, and finally may help and further it very excellently.
The chief duty of the civil magistrate is to procure and maintain peace and public tranquillity: which, doubtless, he shall never do more happily than when he shall be truly seasoned with the fear of God and true religion—namely, when he shall, after the example of the most holy kings and princes of the people of the Lord, advance the preaching of the truth, and the pure and sincere faith, and shall root out lies and all superstition, with all impiety and idolatry, and shall defend the Church of God. For indeed we teach that the care of religion does chiefly appertain to the holy magistrate.
Let him, therefore, hold the Word of God in his hands, and look that nothing be taught contrary thereunto. In like manner, let him govern the people, committed to him of God, with good laws, made according to the Word of God in his hands, and look that nothing be taught contrary thereunto. Let him hold them in discipline and in duty and in obedience. Let him exercise judgment by judging uprightly let him not respect any man's person, or receive bribes. Let
him protect widows, fatherless children, and those that be afflicted, against wrong; let him repress, yea, and cut off, such as are unjust, whether in deceit or by violence. For he hath not received the sword of God in vain' (Rom. xiii. 4). Therefore let him draw forth this sword of God against all malefactors, seditious persons, thieves, murderers, oppressors, blasphemers, perjured persons, and all those whom God has commanded him to punish or even to execute. Let him suppress stubborn heretics (who are heretics indeed), who cease not to blaspheme the majesty of God, and to trouble the Church, yea, and finally to destroy it.
And if it be necessary to preserve the safety of the people by war, let him do it in the name of God; provided he have first sought peace by all means possible, and can save his subjects in no way but by war. And while the magistrate does these things in faith, he serves God with those works which are good, and shall receive a blessing from the Lord.
We condemn the Anabaptists, who, as they deny that a Christian man should bear the office of a magistrate, deny also that any man can justly be put to death by the magistrate, or that the magistrate may make war, or that oaths should be administered by the magistrate, and such like things.
For as God will work the safety of his people by the magistrate, whom it is given to be, as it were, a father of the world, so all subjects are commanded to acknowledge this benefit of God in the magistrate. Therefore let them honor and reverence the magistrate as the minister of God; let them love him, favor him, and pray for him as their father; and let them obey all his just and equal commandments. Finally, let them pay all customs and tributes, and all other duties of the like sort, faithfully and willingly. And if the common safety of the country and justice require it, and the magistrate do of necessity make war, let them even lay down their life, and spend their blood for the common safety and defense of the magistrate; and that in the name of God, willingly, valiantly, and cheerfully. For he that opposes himself against the magistrate does provoke the wrath of God against him.
We condemn, therefore, all contemners of magistrates, rebels, enemies of the commonwealth, seditious villains, and, in a word, all such
as do either openly or closely refuse to perform those duties which they owe.
The Conclusion.-We beseech God, our most merciful Father in heaven, that he will bless the rulers of the people, and us, and his whole people, through Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Saviour; to whom be praise and glory and thanksgiving, both now and forever. Amen.
THE AMERICAN CONGREGATIONAL CREED OF 1883.
[The following Statement of Doctrine and Confession of Faith was agreed upon in the year 1883 by leading divines of the Congregational churches in the United States, as a modern substitute for older Congregational Confessions, printed in this volume, pp. 707-737. The text, together with the historical introduction, was kindly furnished to me by the Rev. Dr. Henry Martyn DEXTER, of Boston, who is one of the framers and signers of this important document, and well known as an authority in all that pertains to the history and literature of Congregationalism.-ED.]
To the fourth session of the National Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States, convened at St. Louis, Mo., 11-15 November, 1880, were presented memorials from the Congregational Association of Ohio, the General Congregational Conference of Minnesota, and the Central South Conference of Tennessee, asking that body to take measures for the restatement of the doctrines held by the Congregational Churches which in it are associated and represented. An able argument, to the same effect, was presented to the Council by the Rev. Prof. H. Mead, D.D., of Oberlin, O., in an elaborate paper. The Council, after discussion [Minutes, p. 24], passed the following resolutions, viz. :
Resolved, That the paper on Creeds be printed, and receive the thoughtful consideration of the churches.
Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed, who shall, as soon as practicable after the adjournment of the Council, select from among the members of our churches, in different parts of our land, twenty-five men of piety and ability, well versed in the truths of the Bible, and representing different shades of thought among us, who may be willing to confer and act together as a Commission to prepare in the form of a Creed or Catechism, or both, a simple, clear, and comprehensive exposition of the truths of the Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God, for the instruction and edification of our churches.
Resolved, That this committee of seven take pains to secure the willing co-operation of the men selected; that the Commission be left, without specific instructions from this body, to adopt their own methods of proceeding, and to take time as they may find necessary to perfect their work; and that the result of their labors, when complete, be reported-not to this Council, but to the churches and to the world through the public press-to carry such weight of authority as the character of the Commission and the intrinsic merit of their exposition of truth may command.
The committee of seven were accordingly appointed as follows, viz. :
Rev. C. D. Barrows, Mass. ;
Rev. A. L. Chapin, D.D., Wis. ;
Rev. S. R. Dennen, D.D., Conn.;
Rev. F. P. Woodbury, Ill.;
Hon. J. E. Sargent, LL.D., N. H.
The Commission, as finally constituted through the labors of this committee, comprised the following members (with power to fill vacancies), viz. :
Rev. Julius H. Seelye, D.D., Mass. ;
Rev. William S. Karr, D.D., Conn.;
Rev. James H. Fairchild, D.D.,
Rev. Edward P. Goodwin, D.D., Ill. ;
Rev. George Mooar, D.D., Cal.
This Commission assembled, 27-28 September, 1881, at Syracuse, N. Y.; nineteen of the twenty-five being present. Prof. Samuel Harris, D.D., sent in his resignation, and Rev. Joseph G. Johnson, D.D., of Rutland, Vermont, was chosen in his stead. After extended and prayerful deliberation on the general subject committed to them, the Commission appointed a committee of nine to prepare a creed-formula for consideration by the body. This was done, and submitted in print to each member of the Commission some weeks previous to its second session. This was held in New York City 1-2 November, 1882, at which time the form presented received most careful revision. It was then put into type again, and again sent out for critical examination. At the third and last session of the Commission, in New York City, 19-20 December, 1883, at which more than twenty were present, either in person or by written vote and suggestion, a final revision was unanimously adopted and ordered to be printed and forwarded to each member to receive-should he be prepared to sign it—his signature. It was thus signed by two-and-twenty members; Rev. E. P. Goodwin, D.D., who had attended but the first session, and Drs. Alden and Karr, who were absent from the last, withholding their names.
As thus published "to the churches and to the world through the public press," the result of their labors is as follows, viz. :
STATEMENT OF DOCTRINE.
I. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who is of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made;
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who is sent from the Father and Son,* and who together with the Father and Son is worshipped and glorified.
II. We believe that the Providence of God, by which He executes His eternal purposes in the government of the world, is in and over all events; yet so that the freedom and responsibility of man are not impaired, and sin is the act of the creature alone.
III. We believe that man was made in the image of God, that he might know, love, and obey God, and enjoy Him forever; that our first parents by disobedience fell under the righteous condemnation of God; and that all men are so alienated from God that there is no salvation
*[In this abridgment of the Nicene Creed, the framers skillfully avoid the Filioque controversy by substituting sent for proceeds. The Greek Church teaches the single (eternal) procession of the Spirit "from the Father," the Latin Church, the double procession “from the Father and the Son," but both agree in the double (temporal) mission of the Spirit from the Father and the Son. See Vol. II. pp. 57-61.-ED.]