« PreviousContinue »
Rev. James H. Fairchild, D.D., O. ; Rev. Edward P. Goodwin, D.D., III. ;
Rev, Constans L. Goodell, D.D., Mo.;
Rev. Richard Cordley, D.D., Kan.;
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. Jo. seph 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 that to Jesus Christ, the Head of this kingdom, Christians are directly responsible in faith and conduct; and that to Him all have immediate access without mediatorial or priestly intervention.
* [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.]
X. We believe that the Church of Christ, invisible and spiritual, comprises all true believers, whose duty it is to associate themselves in churches, for the maintenance of worship, for the promotion of spiritual growth and fellowship, and for the conversion of men; that these churches, under the guidance of the Holy Scriptures and in fellowship with one another, may determine-each for itself-their organization, statements of belief, and forms of worship; may appoint and set apart their own ministers; and should co-operate in the work which Christ has committed to them for the furtherance of the gospel throughout the world.
XI. We believe in the observance of the Lord's day as a day of holy rest and worship; in the ministry of the Word; and in the two sacraments, which Christ has appointed for His church: Baptism, to be administered to believers and their children, as the sign of cleansing from sin, of union to Christ, and of the impartation of the Holy Spirit; and the Lord's Supper as a symbol of His atoning death, a seal of its efficacy, and a means whereby He confirms and strengthens the spiritual union and communion of believers with Himself.
XII. We believe in the ultimate prevalence of the kingdom of Christ over all the earth ; in the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; in the resurrection of the dead; and in a final judgment, the issues of which are everlasting punishment and everlasting life.
The Commission also submit for the use of the churches in the admission of members, the following
CONFESSION OF FAITH: What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people. [Psa. cxvi. 12–14.]
Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father, which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny
Scotch (First), 437; Scotch (Second), 480 ;
Helvetic Confession, 211, 233.
Heresies and sects, 173.
Holy days, 201, 298.
489, 751, 766, 784, 807, 815; faith in the,
Immortality of the soul, 246, 459.
Imperfection of man, 456, 530.
Imputation of sin and righteousness, 778.
Union of England and Wales, 730; Boston Intermediate state, 756.
Justification, 10, 266, 407, 409, 494, 532, 626,
743, 754, 768, 773, 780, 793, 809, 818;
works before, 817.
Knowledge, true foundation of, 789.
Law and the Gospel, 126, 746.
Law, ceremonial, abolished, 412; perfection
of the, 456; the third use of the, 130.
eousness of, 114; saving, 630, 779. Liberty of conscience, 613, 719, 720, 748, 797.
Lord's Prayer, exposition of, 80, 351, 520,
Lord's Supper, 13, 29, 135, 181, 187, 225,
755, 797, 811, 823; both kinds in the, 29,
507, 811, 824; scope of the, 506.
Magistrates, 16, 203, 229, 307, 432, 474, 512,
536, 652, 720, 741, 797, 812, 826.
Essence, three in Person, 389; the Father, Marriage, 202, 230, 304, 655, 812, 826.
Meats, choice of, 298; distinction of, 42.
494, 534, 633, 809, 819; cause of, 452; 810, 822, 824; to the sick, 300.
Ministers, 206, 219, 221, 422; choice of, 221;
work of, 222.
Misery of man, 308.
Sabbath, 646; the Christian, 747, 754.
Sacraments, 223, 285, 328, 424, 467, 502, 541,
660, 810, 822; efficiency of, 503; right
administration of, 471; to whom they ap-
pertain, 474; use of, 15.
Salvation, way of, 743; freeness of, 744, 773,
Sanctification, 410, 534, 629, 745, 754.
Savoy Declaration, 708.
Saxon Visitation Articles, 181.
Scotch Confessions, 437, 480.
464, 742; difference between canonical and
apocryphal, 387; inspiration of, 384; intent
of, 212; interpretation of, 211, 239; sufficien-
} cy as only rule of faith, 387, 736; sufficien-
cy of, for salvation, 489, 767, 781, 808, 815.
Service of God, 227, 295, 534.
Sin, 247, 615, 777; after baptism, 496; after
cause of, 20, 217; hereditary, 778, 792.
Sins, remission of, 205.
Sonship of believers, 814.
State of the soul after death, 543, 670, 756.
Supererogation, wor!:s of, 809, 819.
Ten Commandments, exposition of, 74, 342,
519, 685, 868.
Testament, Old, 491,540, 601, 808,816; New,
Traditions of men, 212, 239 ; of the Church,
508; distinction of, 42.
Trinity, Holy, 240, 606, 781; faith in, 487,528,
807, 814; proof of the, 390.
Union Catechism, 831.
Visitation Articles of Saxony, 181.
Vows, lawful, 619.
Vows of purity, 202.