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serve the Lord daily in simplicity and humility. For such are more apt for attending to heavenly things than they who are distracted with the private affairs of a family. But if, again, the gift be taken away, and they feel a continual burning, let them call to mind the words of the apostle, “It is better to marry than to burn’ (1 Cor. vii. 9).
For wedlock (which is the medicine of incontinency, and continency itself) was ordained by the Lord God himself, who blessed it most bountifully, and willed man and woman to cleave one to the other inseparably, and to live together in great concord (Gen. ii. 24; Matt. xiv. 5, 6). Whereupon we know the apostle said, 'Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled' (Heb. xiii. 4). And again, “If a virgin marry, she hath not sinned' (1 Cor. vii. 28). We therefore condemn polygamy, and those who condemn second marriages. We teach that marriages ought to be contracted lawfully, in the fear of the Lord, and not against the laws which forbid certain degrees to join in matrimony, lest the marriages should be incestuous. Let marriages be made with consent of the parents, or such as are instead of parents; and for that end especially for which the Lord ordained marriages. And let them be confirmed publicly in the Church, with prayer and blessing. Moreover, let them be kept holy, with peace, faithfulness, dutifulness, love, and purity of the persons coupled together. Therefore let them take heed of brawlings, debates, lusts, and adulteries. Let lawful judgments and holy judges be established in the Church, who may maintain marriages, and may repress all dishonesty and shamefulness, and before whom controversies in matrimony may be decided and ended.
Let children also be brought up by the parents in the fear of the Lord; and let parents provide for their children, remembering the saying of the apostle, ' He that provideth not for his own, hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel' (1 Tim. v. 8). But especially let them teach their children honest arts and occupations, whereby they may maintain themselves. Let them keep them from idleness, and plant in them a true confidence in God in all these things; lest they, through distrust, or overmuch careless security, or filthy coretousness, wax loose, and in the end coine to no good.
Now, it is most certain that those works which parents do in true faith, by the duties of marriage, and government of their families, are,
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.
CHAPTER XXX.—OF THE MAGISTRACY. The magistracy, cf 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
froin the guilt and power of sin except through God's redeeming grace.
IV. We believe that God would have all men return to Him; that to this end He has made Himself known, not only through the works of nature, the course of His providence, and the consciences of men, but also through supernatural revelations made especially to a chosen people, and above all, when the fulness of time was come, through Jesus Christ His Son.
V. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the record of God's revelation of Himself in the work of redemption; that they were written by men under the special guidance of the Holy Spirit; that they are able to make wise unto salvation; and that they constitute the authoritative standard by which religious teaching and human conduct are to be regulated and judged.
VI. We believe that the love of God to sinful men has found its highest expression in the redemptive work of His Son; who became man, uniting His divine nature with our human nature in one person; who was tempted like other men, yet without sin; who, by His humiliation, His holy obedience, His sufferings, His death on the cross, and His resurrection, became a perfect Redeemer; whose sacrifice of Himself for the sins of the world declares the righteousness of God, and is the sole and sufficient ground of forgiveness and of reconciliation with Hiin.
VII. We believe that Jesus Christ, after He had risen from the dead, ascended into heayen, where, as the one Mediator between God and man, He carries forward His work of saving men; that He sends the Holy Spirit to convict them of sin, and to lead them to repentance and faith; and that those who through renewing grace turn to righteonsness, and trust in Jesus Christ as their Redeemer, receive for His sake the forgiveness of their sins, and are made the children of God.
VIII. We believe that those who are thus regenerated and justified grow in sanctified character through fellowship with Christ, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and obedience to the truth; that a holy life is the fruit and evidence of saving faith; and that the believer's hope of continnance in such a life is in the preserving grace of God.
IX. We believe that Jesus Christ came to establish among men the kingdom of God, the reign of truth and love, righteousness and peace;
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.
Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father, which is in heaven. [Matt. x. 32, 33.]
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. [Rom. x. 10.]
Dearly beloved, called of God to be His children through Jesus Christ our Lord, you are here that, in the presence of God and His people, you may enter into the fellowship and communion of His Church. You do truly repent of your sins; you heartily receive Jesus Christ as your crucified Saviour and risen Lord; you consecrate yourselves unto God and your life to His service; you accept His Word as your law, and His Spirit as your Comforter and Guide; and, trusting in His Grace to confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, you promise to do God's holy will, and to walk with this Church in the truth and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accepting, according to the measure of your understanding of it, the system of Christian truth held by the churches of our faith and order, and by this Church into whose fellowship you now enter; you join with ancient saints, with the Church throughout the world, and with us, your fellow-believers, in humbly and heartily confessing your faith in the gospel, saying:
I BELIEVE in God the FATHER Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in JESUS CHRIST, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; the third day He rose from the dead ;* He ascended into heaven; and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
[Then should baptism be administered to those who liave not been baptized. Then should those rise who would unite with the Church by letter. To them the minister should say:]
* [The clause of the descent into Hades or the realm of departed spirits is omitted, probably from dislike of the misleading popular mistranslation Hell, and on the ground of its omission in the early Roman form of the Apostles' Creed. But the article contains the important truth of the universal bearing of Christ's work of redemption, and marks the transition from the state of his humiliation to the state of his exaltation. See Vol. II. p. 46, note 2.-Ev.]