John Owen: Two Short Catechisms

(minor style revisions by R. Scott Clark, March 2006)

Wherein the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ, are unfolded and explained.

To my Loving Neighbors and Christian Friends.

Brethren,

My heart’s desire and request unto God for you is, that you may be saved. I say the truth in Christ also, I lie not, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness, and continual sorrow in my heart, for them amongst you who, as yet, walk disorderly, and not as appropriate the Gospel, little laboring to acquaint themselves with the mystery of godliness; for many walk, of whom I have told you often weeping, and now tell you again with sorrow, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things. You know, brethren, how I have been amongst you, and in what manner, for these few years past, and how I have kept back nothing (to the utmost of the dispensation to me committed) that was profitable unto you; but have showed you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to all repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, with what sincerity this has been by me performed, with what issue and success by you received, God the righteous Judge will one day declare; for before him must both you and I appear, to give an account of the dispensation of the glorious Gospel amongst us; – in the meanwhile, the desire of my heart is, to be servant to the least of you in the work of the Lord; and that in any way which I can concede profitable unto you, – either in your persons or your families. Now, amongst my endeavors in this kind, after the ordinance of public preaching the Word, there is not, I conceive, any more needful (as all will grant that know the estate of this place, how taught of late days, how full of grossly ignorant persons) than catechizing; which has caused me to set aside some hours for the compiling of these following, which also I have procured to be printed, merely because the least part of the parish are able to read it in writing; – my intention in them being, principally, to hold out those necessary truths wherein you have been in my preaching more fully instructed. As they are, the use of them I shall briefly present unto you: –

1. The Lesser Catechism may be so learned of the younger sort, that they may be ready to answer to every question thereof.

2. The Greater will call to mind much of what has been taught you in public, especially concerning the Person and Offices of Jesus Christ.

3. Out of that you may have help to instruct your families in the Lesser, being so framed, for the most part, that a chapter of the one is spent in unfolding a question of the other.

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4. The texts of Scripture quoted are diligently to be sought out and pondered, that you may know indeed whether these things are so.

5. In reading the Word, you may have light into the meaning of many places, by considering what they are produced to confirm.

6. I have been sparing in the doctrine of the Sacraments, because I have already been so frequent in examinations about them.

7. The handling of moral duties I have wholly omitted, because, by God’s assistance, I intend for you a brief explication of the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, with some articles of the Creed, not unfolded in these, by themselves, by the way of question and answer.

Now, in all this, as the pains has been mine, so I pray that the benefit may be yours, and the praise His, to whom alone any good that is in this or any thing else is to be ascribed. Now, the God of heaven continue that peace, love, and amity, amongst ourselves, which hitherto has been unshaken, in these divided times, and grant that the scepter and kingdom of his Son may be gloriously advanced in your hearts, that the things which concern your peace may not be hidden from your eyes in this your day; Which is the daily prayer of Your servant in the work of the Lord,

J .O. From my Study,
September the last, [1645].

The Lesser Catechism

Q. Whence is all truth concerning God and ourselves to be learned?
Ans. From the holy Scripture, the Word of God. – Chapter 1 of the Greater Catechism.

Q. What do the Scriptures teach that God is?
A. An eternal, infinite, most holy Spirit, giving being to all things, and doing with them whatsoever he pleases. – Chap. 2.

Q. Is there but one God?
A. One only, in respect of his essence and being, but one in three distinct persons, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. – Chap. 3.

Q. What else is held forth in the Word concerning God, that we ought to know.?
A. His decrees, and his works. – Chap. 4.

Q. What are the decrees of God concerning us?
A. His eternal purposes, of saving some by Jesus Christ, for the praise of his glory, and of condemning others for their sins. – Chap. 5.

Q. What are the works of God?

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A. Acts or doings of his power, whereby he creates, sustains, and governs all things. – Chap. 6.

Q. What is required from us towards Almighty God?
A. Holy and spiritual obedience, according to his law given unto us – Chap. 7.

Q. Are we able to do this of ourselves?
A. No, in no wise, being by nature unto every good work reprobate. – Chap. 7.

Q. How came we into this estate, being at the first created in the image of God, in righteousness and innocence?
A. By the fall of our first parents, breaking the covenant of God, losing his grace, and deserving his curse. – Chap. 8.

Q. By what way may we be delivered from this miserable estate?
A. Only by Jesus Christ. – Chap. 9.

Q. What is Jesus Christ?
A. God and man united in one person, to be a mediator between God and man. – Chap 10.

Q. What is he unto us?
A. A King, a Priest, and a Prophet. – Chap. 11.

Q. Wherein does he exercise his kingly power towards us?
A. In converting us unto God by his Spirit, subduing us unto his obedience, and ruling in us by his grace. – Chap. 12.

Q. In what does the exercise of his priestly office for us chiefly consist?
A. In offering up himself an acceptable sacrifice on the cross, so satisfying the justice of God for our sins, removing his curse from our persons, and bringing us unto him. – Chap. 13.

Q. Wherein does Christ exercise his prophetical office towards us?
A. In revealing to our hearts, from the bosom of his Father, the way and truth whereby we must come unto him. – Chap. 13.

Q. In what condition does Jesus Christ exercise these offices?
A. He did in a low estate of humiliation on earth, but now in a glorious estate of exaltation in heaven. – Chap. 14.

Q. For whose sake does Christ perform all these?
A. Only for his elect. – Chap. 15.

Q. What is the church of Christ?
A. The universal company of God’s elect, called to the adoption of children. – Chap. 16.

Q. How come we to be members of this church?
A. By a lively faith. – Chap. 17.

Q. What is a lively faith?

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A. An assured resting of the soul upon God’s promises of mercy in Jesus Christ, for pardon of sins here and glory hereafter. – Chap. 18.

Q. How come we to have this faith?
A. By the effectual working of the Spirit of God in our hearts, freely calling us from the state of nature to the state of grace. – Chap. 18.

Q. Are we accounted righteous for our faith?
A. No, but only for the righteousness of Christ, freely imputed unto us, and laid hold of by faith. – Chap. 19.

Q. 1. Is there no more required of us but faith only?
A. Yes; repentance also, and holiness. – Chap. 20.

Q. 2. What is repentance?
A. A forsaking of all sin, with godly sorrow for what we have committed. – Chap. 20.

Q. 3. What is that holiness which is required of us?
A. Universal obedience to the will of God revealed unto us. – Chap. 20.

Q. What are the privileges of believers?
A. First, union with Christ; secondly, adoption of children; thirdly, communion of saints; fourthly, right to the seals of the new covenant; fifthly, Christian liberty; sixthly, resurrection of the body to life eternal. – Chap. 21.

Q. 1. What are the sacraments, or seals, of the new covenant?
A. Visible seals of God’s spiritual promises, made unto us in the blood of Jesus Christ. – Chap. 21.

Q. 2. Which be they?
A. Baptism and the Lord’s supper.

Q. What is baptism?
A. A holy ordinance, whereby, being sprinkled with water according to Christ’s institution, we are by his grace made children of God, and have the promises of the covenant sealed unto us. – Chap. 23.

Q. What is the Lord’s supper?
A. A holy ordinance of Christ, appointed to communicate unto believers his body and blood spiritually, being represented by bread and wine, blessed, broken, poured out, and received of them. – Chap. 24.

Q. Who have a right unto this sacrament?
A. They only who have an interest in Jesus Christ by faith. – Chap. 24.

Q. What is the communion of saints?
A. A holy conjunction between all God’s people, partakers of the same Spirit, and members of the same mystical body. -Chap. 25.

Q. What is the end of all this dispensation?

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A. The glory of God in our salvation. Glory be to God on high!

The Greater Catechism

CHAPTER 1: OF THE SCRIPTURE.

Q. 1. What is Christian religion?

Ans. The only way of knowing God aright, and living unto him.

John 14:5, 6, 17:3;
Acts 4:12. Colossians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 2:19, 20.

Q. 2. Whence is it to be learned?

A. From the holy Scripture only.

Isaiah 8:20; John 5:39.

Q. 3. What is the Scripture?

A. The books of the Old and New Testament, given by inspiration from God, containing all things necessary to be believed and done, that God may be worshipped and our souls saved.

Isaiah 8:20; Romans 3:2. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Revelation 22:19, 20 Psalm 19:7, 8; Jeremiah 7:13; John 20:31.

Q. 4. How know you them to be the word of God?

A. By the testimony of God’s Spirit working faith in my heart to close with that heavenly majesty, and clear divine truth, that shines in them.

Matthew 16:17; John

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16:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 2:20, 5:6. Luke 24:32; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19.

CHAPTER 2: OF GOD.

Q. 1. What do the Scriptures teach concerning God?

A. First, what he is, or his nature; secondly, what he does, or his works.

Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 45:6; Hebrews 1:1-3, 11:6.

Q. 2. What is God in himself?

A. An Eternal, infinite, etc. incomprehensible Spirit, giving being to all things, and doing with them whatsoever he pleases.

Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 1:8. 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 139:2-5, Exodus 33:20; 1 Timothy 6:16. Genesis 1:1; Psalm 115:3, 135:6; Isaiah 46:10; John 5:17;

Q. 3. Do we here know God as he is?

A. No, his glorious being is not of us, in this life, to be comprehended.

Exodus 33:23; 1 Corinthians 13:12.

Q. 4. Whereby is God chiefly made known unto us in the Word?

A. First, by his names; secondly, by his attributes or properties.

Exodus 3:14, 6:3; Psalm 83:18. Exodus 34:6,7; Matthew 5:48.

Q. 5. What are the names of God?

A. Glorious titles, which he has given himself, to hold forth his excellencies unto us, with some perfections whereby he will reveal himself.

Exodus 3:14, 15, 6:3, 34:6, 7; Genesis 17:1.

Q. 6. What are the attributes of God?

A. His infinite perfections in being and working.

Revelation 4:8-11.

Q. 7. What are the chief attributes of his being?

A. Eternity, infiniteness, Simplicity or purity, all-sufficiency, Perfection, immutability, life, will, and understanding.

Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 93:2; Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 1:11. 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 139:1-4, 8-10. Exodus 3:14. Genesis 17:1; Psalm 135:4-6. Job 11:7-9; Romans 11:33-36. Malachi 3:6; James 1:17. Judges 8:19; 1 Samuel 25:34; 2 Kings 3:14; Ezekiel 14:16; 16:48; Matthew 16:16; Acts 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:9. Daniel 4:35; Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:5, 11; James 1:18. Psalm 7:8, 139:2, 147:4; Jeremiah 11:20; Hebrews 4:13.

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Q. 8. What are the attributes which usually are ascribed to him in his works, or the acts of his will?

A. Goodness, power, justice, mercy, holiness, wisdom, and the like; which he delights to exercise towards his creatures, for the praise of his glory.

Psalm 119:68; Matthew 19:17. Exodus 15:11; Psalm 62:11; Revelation 19:1. Zephaniah 3:5; Psalm 11:7; Jeremiah 12:1; Romans 1:32. Psalm 130:7; Romans 9:15; Ephesians 2:4. Exodus 15:11; Joshua 24:19 Habakkuk 1:13; Revelation 4:8. Romans 11:33, 16:27.

CHAPTER 3: OF THE HOLY TRINITY.

Q. 1. Is there but one God to whom these properties do belong?

A. One only, in respect of his essence and being but one in three distinct persons, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 19:17; Ephesians 4:5, 6. Genesis 1:26; 1 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19.

Q. 2. What mean you by person?

A. A distinct manner of subsistence or being, distinguished from the other persons by its own properties.

John 5:17;  Hebrews 1:3.

Q. 3. What is the distinguishing property of the person of the Father? A. To be of himself only the fountain of the Godhead.

John 5:26, 27; Ephesians 1:3.

Q. 4. What is the property of the Son?

A. To be begotten of his Father from eternity.

Psalm 2:7; John 1:14, 3:16.

Q. 5. What of the Holy ghost?

A. To proceed from the Father and the Son.

John 14:17, 16:14, 15:26, 20:22.

Q. 6. Are these three one?

A. One every way, in nature, will, and essential properties, distinguished only in their personal manner of subsistence.

John 10:30; Romans 3:30. John 15:26; 1 John 5:7.

Q. 7. Can we conceive these things as they are in themselves?

A. Neither we nor yet the angels of heaven are at all able to dive into these secrets, as they are internally God; but in respect of the outward dispensation of themselves to us by creation, redemption, and sanctification, a knowledge may be attained of these things, saving and

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heavenly.

1 Timothy 6:16. Isaiah 6:2, 3. Colossians 1:11-14.

CHAPTER 4: OF THE WORKS OF GOD; AND, FIRST, OF THOSE THAT ARE INTERNAL AND IMMANENT.

Q. 1. What do the Scriptures teach concerning the works of God?

A. That they are of two sorts; first, internal, in his counsel, decrees, and purposes, towards his creatures; secondly, external, in his works over and about them, to the praise of his own glory.

Acts  15:18; Proverbs 16:4.

Q. 2. What are the decrees of God?

A. Eternal, unchangeable purposes of his will, concerning the being and well-being of his creatures.

Micah 5:2; Ephesians 3:9-11; Acts 15:18. Isaiah 14:24, 46:10; Romans 9:11; 2 Timothy 2:19.

Q. 3. Concerning which of his creatures chiefly are his decrees to be considered?

A. Angels and men, for whom other things were ordained.

1 Timothy 5:21; Jude 6.

Q. 4. What are the decrees of God concerning men?

A. Election and reprobation. Romans 9:11-13.

Q. 5. What is the decree of election?

A. The eternal, fire immutable purpose of God, whereby in Jesus Christ he chooseth unto himself whom he pleaseth out of whole mankind, determining to bestow upon them, for his sake, grace here, and everlasting happiness hereafter, for the praise of his glory, by way of mercy.

Ephesians 1:4;  Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29, 30. Matthew 11:26. 2 Timothy 2:19. Ephesians 1:4, 5; Matthew 22:14. Romans 9:18-21. John 6:37, 17:6, 9, 11, 24.

Q. 6. Doth any thing in us move the Lord thus to choose us from amongst others?

A. No, in no wise; we are in the same lump with others rejected when separated by his undeserved grace.

Romans 9:11, 12; Matthew 11:25; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Timothy 1:9.

Q. 7. What is the decree of reprobation?

A. The eternal purpose of God to suffer many to sin, leave them in their sin, and not giving them to Christ, to punish them for their sin.

Romans 9:11, 12, 21, 22; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 11:25, 26; 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 4.

CHAPTER 5: OF THE WORKS OF GOD THAT OUTWARDLY ARE OF HIM.

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Q. 1. What are the works of God that outwardly respect his creatures?

A. First, of creation; secondly, of actual providence.

Psalm 33:9; Hebrews 1:2, 3.

Q. 2. What is the work of creation?

A. An act or work of God’s almighty power, whereby of nothing, in six days, he created heaven, earth, and the sea, with all things in them contained.

Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Proverbs 16:4.

Q. 3. Wherefore did God make man?

A. For his own glory in his service and obedience.

Genesis 1:26, 27, 2:16, 17; Romans 9:23.

Q. 4. Was man able to yield the service and worship that God required of him?

A. Yea, to the uttermost, being created upright in the image of God, in purity, innocence, righteousness, and holiness.

Genesis 1:26; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10.

Q. 5. What was the rule whereby man was at first to be directed in his obedience?

A. The moral or eternal law of God, implanted in his nature and written in his heart by creation, being the tenor of the covenant between him, sacramentally typified by the tree of knowledge good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-17; Romans 2:14, 15; Ephesians 4:24.

Q. 6. Do we stand in the same covenant still, and have we the same power to yield obedience unto God?

A. No; the covenant was broken by the sin of Adam, with whom it was made, our nature corrupted, and all power to do good utterly lost.

Genesis 3:16-18; Galatians 3:10, 11, 21; Hebrews 7:19, 8:13. Job 14:4; Psalm 51:5. Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 13:23.

CHAPTER 6: OF GOD’S ACTUAL PROVIDENCE.

Q. 1. What is God’s actual providence?

A. The effectual working of his power, and almighty act of his will, whereby he sustaineth, governeth, and disposeth of all things, men and their actions, to the ends which he has ordained for them.

Exodus 4:11; Job 5:10-12, 9:5, 6; Psalm 147:4; Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 45:6, 7; John 5:17; Acts 17:28; Hebrews 1:3.

Q. 2. How is this providence exercised towards mankind?

A. Two ways; first, peculiarly towards his church, or elect, in their generations, for whom are all things; secondly, towards

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all in a general manner, yet with various and divers dispensations.

Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalm 17:8; Zechariah 2:8; Matthew 16:18, 19: 2, 29; 1 Peter 5:7. Genesis 9:5; Psalm 75:6, 7; Isaiah 45:6, 7; Matthew 5:45.

Q. 3. Wherein chiefly consists the outward providence of God towards his church?

A. In three things; — first, in causing and things to work together for their good; secondly, in ruling and disposing of kingdoms, nations, and persons, for their benefit; thirdly, in avenging them of their adversaries.

Matthew 6:31-33; Romans 8:28; 1 Timothy 6:17; 2 Peter 1:3. Psalm 105:14,15; Isaiah 44:28; Daniel 2:44; Romans 9:17. Isaiah 60:12; Zechariah 12:2-5; Luke 17:7; Revelation 17:14.

Q. 4. Does God rule also in and over the sinful actions of wicked men?

A. Yea, he willingly (according to his determinate counsel) suffereth them to be, for the manifestation of his glory, and by them effecteth his own righteous ends.

2 Samuel 12:11, 16:10; 1 Kings 11:31, 22:22; Job 1:21; Proverbs 22:14; Isaiah 10:6, 7; Ezekiel 21:19-21; Amos 7:17; Acts 4:27, 28; Romans 1:24, 9:22; 1 Peter 2:8; Revelation 17:17.

CHAPTER 7 OF THE LAW OF GOD.

Q. 1. Which is the law that God gave man at first to fulfill?

A. The same which was afterwards written with the finger of God in two tables of stone Mount Horeb, called the Ten Commandments.

Romans 2:14, 15.

Q. 2. Is the observation of this law still required of us?

A. Yes, to the uttermost tittle. Matthew 5:17; 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:31; James 2:8-10; Galatians 3.

Q. 3. Are we able of ourselves to perform it?

A. No, in no wise; the law is spiritual, but we are carnal.

1 Kings 8:46; Genesis 6:5; John 15:5; Romans 7:14, 8:7; 1 John 1:8.

Q. 4. Did, then, God give a law which could not be kept?

A. No; when God gave it, we had power to keep it; which since we have lost in Adam.

Genesis 1:26; Ephesians 4:19; Romans 5:12.

Q. 5. Whereto, then, does the law now serve?

A. For two general ends; first, to be a rule of our duty, or to discover to us the John Owen

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obedience of God required; secondly, lets drive us unto Christ.

Psalm 19:7-11; 1 Timothy 1:8, 9. Galatians 3:24.

Q. 6. How does the law drive us unto Christ?

A. Divers ways; as, first, by laying open unto us the utter disability of our nature to do any good; secondly, by charging the wrath and curse of God, due to sin, upon the conscience; thirdly, by bringing the whole soul under bondage to sin, death, Satan, and hell — so making us long and seek for a Savior.

Romans 7:7-9; Galatians 3:19. Romans 3:19, 20, 4:15,5:20; Galatians 3:10. Galatians 3:22; Hebrews 2:15.

CHAPTER 8: OF THE STATE OF CORRUPTED NATURE.

Q. 1. How came this weakness and disability upon us?

A. By the sin and shameful fall of our first parents.

Romans 5:12, 14.

Q. 2. Wherein did that hurt us, their posterity?

A. Divers ways; first, in that we were all guilty of the same breach of covenant with Adam, being all in him; secondly, our souls with his were deprived of that holiness, innocence, and righteousness wherein they were at first created; thirdly, pollution and defilement of nature came upon us; with, fourthly, an extreme disability of doing any thing that is wellpleasing unto God; by all which we are made obnoxious to the curse.

John 3:36; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:3. Genesis 3:10; Ephesians 4:23, 24; Colossians 3:10. Job 14:4; Psalm 51:7; John 3:6; Romans 3:13. Genesis 6:5; Ephesians 2:1; Jeremiah 6:16, 13:23; Romans 8:7. Genesis 3:17; Galatians 3:10.

Q. 3. Wherein does the curse of God consist?

A. In divers things; first, in the guilt of death, temporal and eternal; secondly, the loss of the grace and favor of God; thirdly, guilt and horror of conscience, despair and anguish here; with, fourthly, eternal damnation hereafter.

Genesis 2:17; Romans 1:18, 5:12, 17; Ephesians 2:3.  Genesis 3:24; Ezekiel 16:3-5; Ephesians 2:13. Genesis 3:10; Isaiah 48:22; Romans 3:9, 19, Galatians 3:22. Genesis 3:10,
13; John 3:36.

Q. 4. Are all men born in this estate?

A. Every one without exception.

Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:9-12; Ephesians 2:3.

Q. 5. And do they continue therein?

A. Of themselves they cannot otherwise do, Being able neither to know, nor will, nor do any thing that is spiritually good and

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pleasing unto God.

Acts 8:31, 16:14; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 5:8; John 1:5. Jeremiah 6:16, 13:23; Luke 4:18; Romans 6:16, 8:7. John 6:44; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

Q. 6. Have they, then, no way of themselves to escape the curse and wrath of God?

A. None at all; they can neither satisfy his justice, nor fulfill his law.

CHAPTER 9: OF THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST.

Q. 1. Shall all mankind, then, everlastingly perish?

A. No; God, of his free grace, has prepared a way to redeem and save his elect.

John 3:16; Isaiah 53:6.

Q. 2. What way was this?

A. By sending his own Son Jesus Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemning sin sinful flesh, condemning sin.

Romans 8:3.

Q. 3. Who is this you call his own Son?

A. The second person of the Trinity, coeternal and of the one Deity with his Father.

John 1:14; Romans 1:3; Galatians 4:4; 1 John 1:1.

Q. 4. How did God send him?

A. By causing him to be made flesh of a pure virgin, and to dwell among us, that he might be obedient unto death, the death of the cross.

Isaiah 50:6; John 1:14; Luke 1:35; Philippians 2:8; 1 Timothy 3:16.

CHAPTER 10: OF THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.

Q. 1. What does the Scripture teach us of Jesus Christ?

A. Chiefly two things first, his person, or what he is in himself; secondly, his offices, or what he is unto us.

Q. 2. What does it teach of his person?

A. That he is truly God, and perfect man, partaker of the natures of God and man in one person, between whom he is a Mediator.

John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14, 15; Ephesians 4:5; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 1:1.

Q. 3. How prove you Jesus Christ to be truly God?

A. Divers ways; first, by places of Scripture, speaking of the great God Jehovah in the Old Testament, applied to our Savior in the New; as,

Numb. 21:5, 6, in 1 Corinthians 10:9; Psalm 102:25-27, in Hebrews 1:10; Isaiah 6:2-4, in John

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12:40 ,41; Isaiah 8:13,14, in Luke 2:34, Romans 9:33; Isaiah 40:3, 4, in John 1:23; Isaiah 45:22, 23, in Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10, 11; Malachi 3:1, in Matthew 11:10.

Secondly, By the works of the Deity ascribed unto him; as, first, of creation,

John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 1:2;

secondly, of preservation in providence,

Hebrews 1:3; John 5:17; thirdly, miracles.

Thirdly, By the essential attributes of God being ascribed unto him; as, first, immensity, Matthew 28:20; John 14:23; Ephesians 3:17;

secondly, eternity, John 1:1; Revelation 1:11; Micah 5:2; thirdly, immutability, Hebrews 1:11, 12; fourthly, omniscience, John 21:17; Revelation 2:2 3; fifthly, majesty and glory equal to his Father, John 5:23; Revelation 5:13; Philippians 1:2, 2:6, 9, 10. Fourthly, By the names given unto him; as, first, of God expressly John 1:1, 20:28; Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Timothy 3:16; secondly, of the Son of God, John 1:18; Romans 8:3, etc.

Q. 4. Was it necessary that our Redeemer should be God?

A. Yes; that he might be able to save to the uttermost, and to satisfy the wrath of his Father, which no creature could perform.

Isaiah 43:25, 53:6; Daniel 9:17, 19.

Q. 5. How prove you that he was a perfect man?

A. First, By the prophecies that went before, that so he should be. Secondly, By the relation of their accomplishment. Thirdly, By the Scriptures assigning to him those things which are required to a perfect man; as, first, a body, secondly, a soul, and therein, first, a will, secondly, affections, thirdly, endowments, Fourthly, General infirmities of nature.

Genesis 2:15, 18:18. Matthew 1:1; Romans 1:4; Galatians 4:4. Luke 24:39; Hebrews 2:17, 10:5; 1 John 1:1; Matthew 26:38; Mark 14:34; Matthew 26:39; Mark 3:5; Luke 10:21; Luke 2:52. Matthew 4:2; John 4:6; Hebrews 2:18.

Q. 6. Wherefore was our Redeemer to be man?

A. That the nature which had offended might suffer, and make satisfaction, and so he might be every way a fit and sufficient Savior for men.

Hebrews 2:10-17.

CHAPTER 11: OF THE OFFICES OF CHRIST; AND, FIRST, OF HIS KINGLY.

Q. 1. How many are the offices of Jesus Christ?

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A. Three; first, of a King; secondly, of Priest; thirdly, of Prophet.

Psalm 2:6. Psalm 110:4. Deuteronomy 18:15.

Q. 2. Hath he these offices peculiar by nature?

A. No; he only received them for offended might suffer, and make satisfaction, and so he might be every way a fit and sufficient Savior for men. until the work of redemption be perfected.

Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:36, 10:42; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 15:27, 28; Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 3:2, 6, 2:7-9.

Q. 3. Wherein does the kingly office of Christ consist?

A. In a two-fold power; first, his power of ruling in and over his church; secondly, his power of subduing his enemies.

Psalm 110:3-7.

Q. 4. What is his ruling power in and over his people?

A. That supreme authority which, Christ’s subjects are all for their everlasting good, born rebels, and are he useth towards them, stubborn, until he make them whereof in general there be obedient by his Word and two acts; spirit. first, internal and spiritual, in converting their souls unto him, making them unto himself a willing, obedient, persevering people; secondly, eternal and ecclesiastical, in giving perfect laws and rules for their government, as gathered into holy societies under him.

Isaiah 53:12, 59:20, 21; Hebrews 8:10-12; Isaiah 61:1, 2; John 1:16, 12:32; Mark 1:15; Matthew 28:20; 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5. Matthew 16:19; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:8-14; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Revelation 22:18, 19.

Q. 5. How many are the acts of his kingly power towards his enemies?

A. Two also first, internal, by the mighty working of his Word, and the spirit of bondage upon their hearts, convincing, amazing, terrifying their consciences, hardening their spirits for ruin; Secondly, external, in judgements and vengeance, which ofttimes he beginneth in this life, and will continue unto eternity.

Psalm 110; John 6:46, 8:59; 9:41; 12:40; 2 Corinthians 10:4-6; 1 Corinthians 5:6; 1 Timothy 1:20. Mark 16:16; Luke 19:27; Acts 13:11; Revelation 17:14.

CHAPTER 12: OF CHRIST’S PRIESTLY OFFICE.

Q. 1. By what means did Jesus Christ undertake the office of an eternal priest?

A. By the decree, ordination, and will of God his Father, whereunto he yielded voluntary obedience; so that concerning

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this there was a compact and covenant between them.

Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:5, 6; 7:17,18. Isaiah 50:4-6; Hebrews 10:5- 10. Psalm 2:7, 8; Isaiah 53:8, 10-12; Philippians 2:7, 9; Hebrews 12:2; John 17:2, 4.

Q. 2. Wherein does his execration of this office consist?

A. In bringing his people unto God.

Hebrews 2:10, 4:16, 7:25.

Q. 3. What are the parts of it?

A. First, oblation; secondly, intercession.

Hebrews 9:14. Hebrews 7:25.

Q. 4. What is the oblation of Christ?

A. The offering up of himself secondly, intercession. an holy propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of all the elect throughout the world; as also, the presentation of himself for us in heaven, sprinkled with the blood of the covenant.

Isaiah 53:10,12; John 3:16, 11:51, 17:19; Hebrews 9:13, 14. Hebrews 9:24.

Q. 5. Whereby does this oblation do good unto us?

A. Divers ways; first, in that it satisfied the justice of God; secondly, it redeemed us from the power of sin, death, and hell; thirdly, it ratified the new covenant of grace; fourthly, it procured for us grace here, and glory hereafter; by all which means the peace and reconciliation between God and us is wrought.

Ephesians 2:14, 15.

Q. 6. How did the oblation of Christ satisfy God’s justice for our sin?

A. In that for us he underwent the punishment due to our sin.

Isaiah 53:4-6; John 10:11; Romans 3:25, 26, 4:25; 1 Corinthians15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Peter 2:24.

Q. 7. What was that punishment?

A. The wrath of God, the curse of the law, the pains of hell, due to sinners, in body and soul.

Genesis 2:17; Deuteronomy 27:15-26; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:3; John 3:36; Hebrews 2:14.

Q. 8. Did Christ undergo all these?

A. Yes; in respect of the greatness and extremity, not the eternity and continuance of those pains; for it was impossible he should be holden of death.

Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:33, 34; 15:34; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 5:7; Psalm 18:5.

Q. 9. How could the punishment of one satisfy for the offense of all?

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A. In that he was not a mere man only, but God also, of infinitely more value than all those who had offended.

Romans 5:9; Hebrews 9:26; 1 Peter 3:18.

Q. 10. How did the oblation of Christ redeem from death and hell?

A. First, by paying a ransom to God, the judge and lawgiver, who had condemned us; secondly, by overcoming and spoiling Satan, death, and the powers of hell, that detained us captives.

Matthew 20:28; John 6:51; Mark 10:45; Romans 3:25; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 10:9. John 5:24; Colossians 2:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Hebrews 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

Q. 11. What was the ransom that Christ paid for us?

A. His own precious blood.

Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:19.

Q. 12. How was the new covenant ratified in his blood?

A. By being accompanied with his death; for that, as all other testaments, was to be ratified by the death of the testator.

Genesis 22:18; Hebrews 9:16, 8:10-12.

Q. 13. What is this new covenant?

A. The gracious, free, immutable promise of God, made unto all his elect fallen in Adam, to give them Jesus Christ, and in him mercy, pardon, grace, and glory, with a re-stipulation of faith from them unto this promise, and new obedience.

Genesis 3:15; Jeremiah 31:31-34, 32:40; Hebrews 8:10-12. Galatians 3:8, 16; Genesis 12:3. Romans 8:32; Ephesians 1:3, 4. Mark 16:16; John 1:12, 10:27, 28.

Q. 14. How did Christ procure for us grace, faith, and glory?

A. By the way of purchase and merit; for the death of Christ deservedly procured of God that he should bless us with all spiritual blessings needful for our coming unto him.

Isaiah 53:11, 12; John 17:2; Acts 20:28; Romans 5:17, 18; Ephesians 2:15, 16, 1:4; Philippians 1:29; Titus 2:14; Revelation 1:5, 6.

Q. 15. What is the intercession of Christ?

A. His continual soliciting of God on our behalf, begun here in fervent prayers, continued in heaven by appearing as our advocate at the throne of grace.

Psalm 2:8; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24, 10:19-21; 1 John 2:1, 2; John 17. in heaven by appearing as our advocate at the throne of grace.

CHAPTER 13: OF CHRIST’S PROPHETICAL OFFICE.

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Q. 1. Wherein does the prophetical office of Christ consist?

A. In his embassage from God to man, revealing from the bosom of his Father the whole mystery of godliness, the way and truth whereby we must come unto God.

Matthew 5; John 1:18, 3:32, 9, 14, 14:5, 6, 17:8, 18:37.

Q. 2. Mow does he exercise this office towards us?

A. By making known the whole instrumentally, by the Word a saving and spiritual manner.

Deuteronomy 18:18; Isaiah 42:6; Hebrews 3:1.

Q. 3. By what means does he perform all this?

A. Divers; as, first, internally and of humiliation or abasement; secondly, of exaltation or glory. writing his law in our hearts; secondly, outwardly and instrumentally, by the Word preached.

Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; Hebrews 8:10. John 20:31; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:8-13; 2 Peter 1:21.

CHAPTER 14: OF THE TWO-FOLD ESTATE OF CHRIST.

Q. 1. In what estate or condition does Christ exercise these offices?

A. In a two-fold estate; first, of humiliation or abasement; secondly, of exaltation or glory.

Philippians 2:8-10.

Q. 2. Wherein consisteth the state of Christ’s humiliation?

A. In three things; first, in his incarnation, or being born of woman; secondly, this obedience, or fulfilling the whole law, moral and ceremonial; thirdly, in his passion, or enduring all sorts of miseries, even death itself.

Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Romans 1:3; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 2:9, 14. Matthew 3:15, 5:17; Luke 2:21; John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:19; 1 John 3:5. Isaiah 53:6; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Peter 2:21.

Q. 3. Wherein consists his exaltation?

A. In, first, his resurrection; secondly, ascension; thirdly, sitting at the right hand of God; — by all which he was declared to be the Son of God with power.

Matthew 28:18; Romans 1:4, 6:4; Ephesians 4:9; Philippians 2:9, 10; 1 Timothy 3:16.

CHAPTER 15: OF THE PERSONS TO WHOM THE BENEFITS OF CHRIST’S OFFICES DO BELONG.

Q. 1. Unto whom do the saving benefits of what Christ performeth, in the execution of his offices, belong?

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A. Only to his elect.

John 17:9; Isaiah 63:9; Hebrews 3:6, 10:21.

Q. 2. Died he for no other?

A. None, in respect of his Father’s eternal purpose, and his own intention of removing wrath from them, and procuring grace and glory for them.

Acts 20:28; Matthew 20:28, 26:28; Hebrews 9:28; John 11:51, 52; Isaiah 53:12; John 3:16, 10:11-13,15; Ephesians 5:25; Romans 8:32, 34; Galatians 3:13; John 6:37, 39; Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20.

Q. 3. What shall become of them for whom Christ died not?

A. Everlasting torments for their sins; their portion in their own place.

Mark 16:16; John 3:36; Matthew 25:41; Acts 1:25.

Q. 4. For whom does he make intercession?

A. Only for those who from eternity were given him by his Father.

John 17; Hebrews 7:24, 25.

CHAPTER 16: OF THE CHURCH.

Q. 1. How are the elect called, in respect of their obedience unto Christ, and union with him?

A. His church.

Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:32.

Q. 2. What is the church of Christ?

A. The whole company of God’s elect, called elect, called by the Word and Spirit, out of their natural condition, to the dignity of his children, and united unto Christ their head, by faith, in the bond of the Spirit.

Acts 2:47; 1 Timothy 5:21; Hebrews 12:22-24. Romans 1:5, 6, 9:11,24; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 2 Timothy 1:9. Acts 16:14; John 3:8; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 1 Peter 1:23; Hebrews 8:10. Ephesians 2:11-13; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 2:14, 15; 1 Peter 2:9. John 17:21; Ephesians 2:18-22.

Q. 3. Is this whole church always in the same state?

A. No; one part of it is militant, the other triumphant.

Q. 4. What is the church militant?

A. That portion of God’s elect which, in their generation, cleaveth unto Christ by faith, and fighteth against the world, flesh, and devil.

Ephesians 6:11, 12; Hebrews 11:13, 14, 12:1, 4.

Q. 5. What is the church triumphant?

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A. That portion of God’s people who, having fought their fight and kept the faith, are now in heaven, resting from their labors.

Ephesians 5:27; Revelation 3:21, 14:13.

Q. 6. Are not the church of the Jews before the birth of Christ, and the church of the Christians since, two churches?

A. No; essentially they are but one, differing only in some outward administrations.

Ephesians 2:11-16; 1 Corinthians 10:3; Galatians 4:26, 27; Hebrews 11:16, 26, 40.

Q. 7. Can this church be wholly overthrown on the earth?

A. No; unless the decree of God may be changed, and the promise of Christ fail.

Matthew 16:18, 28:20; John 14:16; John 17; 1 Timothy 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:19.

CHAPTER 17: OF FAITH.

Q. 1. By what means do we become actual members of this church of God?

A. By a lively justifying faith, of his Father the whole mystery of godliness, the way and truth whereby we must come unto God. Christ, the head thereof.

Acts 2:47, 13:48; Hebrews 11:6, 12:22,23, 4:2; Romans 5:1,2; Ephesians 2:13,14.

Q. 2. What is a justifying faith?

A. A gracious resting upon the free promises of God in Jesus Christ for mercy, with a firm persuasion of heart that God is a reconciled Father unto us in the Son of his love.

1 Timothy 1:16; Job 13:15, 9:25; Romans 4:5. Hebrews 4:16; Romans 8:38,39; Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:20,21.

Q. 3. Have all this faith?

A. None but the elect of God.

Titus 1:1; John 10:26; Matthew 13:11; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:30.

Q. 4. Do not, then, others believe that make profession?

A. Yes; with, first, historical faith, or a persuasion that the things written in the Word are true; secondly, temporary faith, which has some joy of the affections, upon unspiritual grounds, in the things believed.

James 2:19. Matthew 13:20; Mark 6:20; John 2:23,24; Acts 8:13.

CHAPTER 18: OF OUR VOCATION, OR GOD’S CALLING US.

Q. 1. How come we to have this saving faith?

A. It is freely bestowed upon us and wrought in us by the Spirit of God, in our vocation or calling.

John 6:29,44;

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Ephesians 2:8, 9; Philippians 1:29; 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

Q. 2. What is our vocation, or this calling of God?

A. The free, gracious act of Almighty God, whereby in Jesus Christ he calleth and translateth us from the state of nature, sin, wrath, and corruption, into the state of grace and union with Christ, by the mighty, effectual working of his preaching of the Word.

Colossians 1:12,13; 2 Timothy 1:9; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:26; Matthew 11:25, 26; John 1:13, 3:3, 8; Ephesians 1:19; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 4:7; James 1:18; 2 Peter 2:20; Acts 16:14.

Q. 3. What do we ourselves perform in this change, or work of our conversion?

A. Nothing at all, being merely church are outwardly called by the Word, none effectually but the elect. church are outwardly called by the Word, none effectually but the elect. in ourselves we have no ability to any thing that is spiritually good.

Matthew 7:18, 10:20 John 1:13, 15:5; 1 Corinthians 12:3, 2:5; 2 Corinthians 3:5; Ephesians 2:1, 8; Romans 8:26; Philippians 1:6.

Q. 4. Does God thus call all and every one?

A. All within the pale of the church are outwardly called by the Word, none effectually but the elect.

Matthew 22:14;  Romans 8:30.

CHAPTER 19: OF JUSTIFICATION.

Q. 1. Are we accounted righteous and saved for our faith, when we are thus freely called?

A. No, but merely by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ apprehended and applied by faith; for which alone the Lord accepts us as holy and righteous.

Isaiah 43:25; Romans 3:23-26, 4:5.

Q. 2. What, then, is our justification or righteousness before God?

A. The gracious, free act of imputation of the righteousness of Christ apprehended and applied by faith; for which alone the Lord accepts us as holy and righteous. righteousness of Christ to a believing sinner, and for that speaking peace unto his conscience, in the pardon of his sin, pronouncing him to be just and accepted before him.

Genesis 15:6; Acts 13:38, 39; Luke 18:14; Romans 3:24, 26, 28, 4:4-8; Galatians 2:16.

Q. 3. Are we not, then, righteous before God by our own works?

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A. No; for of themselves they can neither satisfy his justice, fulfill his law, nor endure his trial.

Psalm 130:3,4, 143:2; Isaiah 64:6; Luke 17:10.

CHAPTER 20: OF SANCTIFICATION.

Q. 1. Is there nothing, then, required of us but faith only?

A. Yes; repentance, and holiness or new obedience.

Acts 20:21; Matthew 3:2; Luke 13:3. 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Hebrews 12:14.

Q. 2. What is repentance?

A. Godly sorrow for every known sin committed against God, with a firm purpose of heart to cleave unto him for the to cleave unto him for the quickening of all graces, to walk before him in newness of life.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11; Acts 2:37; Psalm 51:17. Psalm 34:14; Isaiah 1:16, 17; Ezekiel 18:27, 28; Acts 14:15. Ephesians 4:21-24; Romans 6:12, 13, 18, 19, 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15.

Q. 3. Can we do this of ourselves?

A. No; it is a special gift and grace of God, which he bestoweth on whom he pleaseth

Leviticus 20:8; Deuteronomy  30:6; Ezekiel 11:19,20; 2 Timothy 2:25; Acts 11:18.

Q. 4. Wherein does the being of true repentance consist, without which it is not acceptable?

A. In its performance according to the Gospel rule, with faith and assured hope of divine mercy.

Psalm 51; 1 John 2:1,2; 2 Corinthians 7:10,11; Acts 2:38; Matthew 26:75.

Q. 5. What is that holiness which is required of us?

A. That universal, sincere obedience to the whole will of God, in our hearts, minds, wills, and actions, whereby we are in some measure made conformable to Christ, our head.

Psalm 119:9; 1 Samuel 15:22; John 14:15; Romans 6:19; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:12; 2 Peter 1:5-7; Isaiah 1:16,17. 1 Chronicles 28:9; Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37. Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 2:21; Colossians 3:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:11, 12.

Q. 6. Is this holiness or obedience in us perfect?

A. Yes, in respect of all the parts of it, but not in respect of the degrees wherein God requires it.

2 Kings 20:3; Job 1:1; Matthew 5:48; Luke 1:6; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12. Isaiah 64:6; Psalm 130:3; Exodus 28:38; Philippians 3:12.

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Q. 7. Will God accept of that obedience which falls so short of what he requireth?

A. Yes, from them whose persons he accepteth and justifieth freely in Jesus Christ

Romans 12:1; Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 13:16; 1 John 3:22; Ephesians 1:6.

Q. 8. What are the parts of this holiness?

A. Internal, in the quickening of all graces, purging act of all graces, purging act frequent prayers, alms, and all manner of righteousness.

Hebrews 9:14; Ephesians 3:16, 17; Romans 2:29, 6:12. Matthew 5:20; Romans 8:1,2; Ephesians 4:22, 23; Titus 2:12.

Q. 9. May not others perform these duties acceptably, as well as those that believe?

A. No; all their performances in this kind are but abominable sins before the Lord.

Proverbs 15:8; John 9:31; Titus 1:15; Hebrews 11:6.

CHAPTER 21: OF THE PRIVILEGES OF BELIEVERS.

Q. 1. What are the privileges of those that thus believe and repent?

A First, union with Christ; secondly, adoption of children; thirdly, Christian liberty; fourthly, a spiritual, holy right to the seals of the new covenant; fifthly, communion with all saints; sixthly, resurrection of the body unto life eternal.

Q. 2. What is our union with Christ?

A. An holy, spiritual conjunction unto him, as our head, husband, and foundation, whereby we are made partakers of the same Spirit with him, and derive all good things from him.

1 Corinthians 12:12; John 15:1, 2, 5-7, 17:23. Ephesians 4:15, 5:23; Colossians 1:18. 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 21:9. Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:4-7. Romans 8:9, 11; Galatians 4:6; Philippians 1:19. John 1:12, 16; Ephesians 1:3.

Q. 3. What is our adoption?

A. Our gracious reception into the family of God, as his children, and coheirs with Christ.

John 1:12; Romans 8:15, 17; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5.

Q. 4. How come we to know this?

A. By the especial working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, sealing unto us the promises of God, and raising up our souls to an assured expectation of the promised inheritance.

Romans 8:15, 17; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:1; Romans 8:19,23; Titus 2:13.

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Q. 5. What is our Christian liberty?

A. An holy and spiritual freedom from the slavery of sin, the bondage of death and hell, the curse of the law, Jewish ceremonies, and thraldom of conscience, purchased for us by Jesus Christ, and revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:1. John 8:32, 34, 36; Romans 6:17, 18; Isaiah 61:1; 1 John 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:21. Romans 8:15; Hebrews 2:15; 1 Corinthians 15:55, 57. Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 2:15, 16; Galatians 4:5; Romans 8:1. Acts 15:10,11; Galatians 3,4,5. 2 Corinthians 1:24; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 1 Peter 2:16. 1 Corinthians 2:12.

Q. 6. Are we, then, wholly freed from the moral law?

A. Yes, as a covenant, or as it has any thing in it bringing into bondage, — as the curse, power, dominion, and rigid exaction of obedience; but not as it is a rule of life and holiness.

Jeremiah 31:31-33; Romans 7:1-3, 6:14; Galatians 3:19,24; Romans 8:2; Galatians 5:18. Matthew 5:17; Romans 3:31, 7:13, 22, 25.

Q. 7. Are we not freed by Christ from the magistrate’s power and human authority?

A. No; being ordained of God, and commanding for him, we owe them act lawful obedience. Romans 13:1-4; 1 Timothy 2:1,2; 1 Peter 2:13-15.

CHAPTER 22: OF THE SACRAMENTS OF THE NEW COVENANT IN PARTICULAR, A HOLY RIGHT WHEREUNTO IS THE FOURTH PRIVILEGE OF BELIEVERS.

Q. 1. What are the seals of the New Testament?

A. Sacraments instituted of Christ to be visible seats and pledges, whereby God in him confirmeth the promises of the covenant to all believers, restipulating of them growth in faith and obedience.

Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Romans 4:11 1 Corinthians 10:2-4, 11:26-29.

Q. 2. How does God by these sacraments bestow grace upon us?

A. Not by any real essential conveying of spiritual grace by corporeal means, but by the way of promise, obsignation, and covenant, confirming the grace wrought in us by the Word and Spirit.

Hebrews 4:2; 1 Corinthians 10; Romans 4:11, 1:17; Mark 16:16; Ephesians 5:26. confirming the grace wrought in us by the Word and Spirit.

Q. 3. How do our sacraments differ from the sacraments of the Jews?

A. Accidentally only, in things concerning the outward matter and form, as their number, quality, clearness of signification, and the like, — not

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essentially, in the things signified, or grace confirmed.

1 Corinthians 10:1,2, 3, etc.; John 6:35; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11.

CHAPTER 23: OF BAPTISM.

Q. 1. Which are these sacraments?

A. Baptism and the Lord’s supper.

Q. 2. What is baptism?

A. An holy action, appointed of Christ, whereby being sprinkled with water in the name of the whole Trinity, by a lawful minister of the church, we are admitted into the family of God, and have the benefits of the blood of Christ confirmed unto us.

Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15, 16. Acts 2:41, 8:37. Acts 2:38,39; John 3:5; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 12:13.

Q. 3. To whom does this sacrament belong?

A. Unto all to whom the promise of the covenant is made; that is, to believers, and to their seed.

Acts 2:39; Genesis 17:11,12; Acts 16:15; Romans 4:10,11; 1 Corinthians 7:14.

Q. 4. How can baptism seal the pardon of all sins to us, all our personal sins following it?

A. Inasmuch as it is a seal of that promise which gives pardon of all to believers.

Acts 2:39; Romans 4:11, 12.

CHAPTER 24: OF THE LORD’S SUPPER.

Q. 1. What is the Lord’s supper?

A. An holy action instituted and appointed by Christ, to set forth his death, and communicate unto us spiritually his body and blood by faith, being represented by bread and wine, blessed by his word, and prayer, broken, poured out, and received of believers.

Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:25, 26. Mark 14:22-24; 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25; John 6:63. 1 Corinthians 11:23, 25. 1 Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:26. Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19.

Q. 2. When did Christ appoint this sacraments?

A. On the night wherein he was betrayed to suffer. 1 Corinthians 11:23.

Q. 3. Whence is the right lose of it to be learned?

A. From the word, practice, and actions of our Savior, at its institution.

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Q. 4. What were the actions of our Savior to be imitated by us?

A. First, blessing the elements by prayer; secondly, breaking the bread, and pouring out the wine; thirdly, distributing them to the receivers, sitting in a tablegesture.

Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:23, 24.

Q. 5. What were the words of Christ?

A. First, of command, — “ Take, eat;” secondly, of promise, — “ This is my body;” thirdly, of institution for perpetual use, — “ This do,” etc.

1 Corinthians 11:24-26.

Q. 6. Who are to be receivers of this sacrament?

A. Those only have a true right to the signs who by faith in have an holy interest in Christ, the thing signified.

1 Corinthians 11:27-29; John 6:63.

Q. 7. Do the elements remain bread and wine still, after the blessing of them?

A. Yes; all the spiritual change is wrought  by the faith of the receiver, not the words of the giver: to them that believe, they are the body and blood of Christ.

John 6:63; 1 Corinthians 10:4, 11:29.

CHAPTER 25: OF THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS, THE FIFTH PRIVILEGE OF BELIEVERS.

Q. 1. What is the communion of saints?

A. An holy conjunction between all God’s people, wrought by their participation of the same Spirit, whereby we are all made members of that one body whereof Christ is head.

Song of Solomon 6:9; Jeremiah 32:39; John 17:22; 1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:3-6, 13; 1 John 1:3, 6, 7.

Q. 2. Of what sort is this union?

A. First, spiritual and internal, in the enjoyment of the same Spirit and graces, — which is the union of the Hebrews church catholic; secondly, external and ecclesiastical, in the same outward ordinances, — which is the union of particular congregations.

1 Corinthians 12:12,13; Ephesians 2:16, 19-22; 1 Corinthians 10:17; John 17:11, 21, 22; John 10:16; 1:11. 1 Corinthians 1:10,11; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:27,28; Ephesians 4:11-13; Philippians 2:2; Colossians 3:15; 1 Peter 3:8.

CHAPTER 26: OF PARTICULAR CHURCHES.

Q. 1. What are particular churches?

A. Peculiar assemblies of professors in one place, under officers of Christ’s institution, enjoying the ordinances of

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God, and leading lives be seeming their holy calling.

Acts 11:26; 1 Corinthians 4:17, 11:22; 2 Corinthians 1:1. Acts 20:17,28, 14:23; 2 Corinthians 8:23; Hebrews13:17. 1 Corinthians 3:6; Revelation 2:1-3. 2 Thessalonians 3:5, 6,
11; Galatians 6:16; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:12.

Q. 2. What are the ordinary officers of such churches?

A. First, pastors or doctors, to teach and exhort; secondly, elders, to assist in rule and government; thirdly, deacons, to provide for the poor.

Romans 12:7, 8; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:28. Romans 12:8; 1 Timothy 5:17. Acts 6:2, 3.

Q. 3. What is required of these officers, especially the chiefest, or ministers?

A. That they be faithful in the ministry committed unto them; sedulous in dispensing the Word; watching for the good of the souls committed to them; going before them in an example of all godliness and holiness of life.

1 Corinthians 4:2; Acts 20:18-20. 2 Timothy 2:15, 4:1-5. Titus 1:13; 1 Timothy 4:15, 16. Titus 2:7; 1 Timothy 4:12; Matthew 5:16; Acts 24:16.

Q. 4. What is required in the people unto them?

A. Obedience to their message and ministry; honor and love to their persons; maintenance to them and their families. 2 Corinthians 5:20; Romans 6:17; Hebrews 13:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:14; Romans 16:19; 2 Corinthians 10:4-6. 1 Corinthians 4:1; Galatians 4:14; 1
Timothy 5:17,18. Luke 10:7; James 5:4; 1 Timothy 5:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 9:9-13.

CHAPTER 27: OF THE LAST PRIVILEGE OF BELIEVERS, BEING THE DOOR OF ENTRANCE INTO GLORY.

Q. 1. What is the resurrection of the flesh?

A. An act of the mighty power of God’s Holy Spirit, applying unto us the virtue of Christ’s resurrection, etc.; whereby, at the last day, he will raise our whole bodies from the dust, to be united again unto our souls in everlasting happiness.

Job 19:25-27; Psalm 16:9-11; Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:2,3; Daniel 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:16, Revelation 20:12, 13.

Q. 2. What is the end of this whole dispensation?

A. The glory of God in our eternal salvation.

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To Him be all glory and honor for evermore! Amen.

Beza’s Summa Totius Christianismi

Theodore Beza
Geneva, 1555
trans. William Whittingham (1575) revised by R. Scott Clark (2002).

The question of God’s eternal Predestination is not curious, or unprofitable, but of great importance, and very necessary in the Church of God.

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THE FIRST CHAPTER.

1. In De bono perseverantiæ (On the Good of Perseverance), Augustine, chapter 14, says, that they who opposed him as adversaries in this question, alleged that the doctrine of predestination hindered the preaching of God’s word, and caused it to be unprofitable. As if (he says) this doctrine had hindered the Apostle Paul to do his duty: who so oftentimes does commend unto us, and teach Predestination, and yet never ceases to preach the word of God. Also says moreover: As he that has received the gift, can better exhort and preach: so he that has received this gift, does hear the Preacher more obediently, and with greater reverence, etc. We do therefore exhort and preach, but they only which have ears to hear do hear us quietly, and to their comfort: and in those that have them not, this sentence is fulfilled, that hearing with their ears they do not hear, for they hear with the outward sense, but not with the inward consent. Now why some men have these ears, and others not, it is, because it is given to some to come, and to others not. Who knew God’s counsel? must that be denied which is plain and evident, because that cannot be known which is hid and secret? Again in the 15th chapter, I pray you (says he) if some under the shadow of predestination give themselves to slothful negligence, and as they are bent to flatter their flesh, so follow their own lusts, must we therefore judge, that this which is written of the foreknowledge of God is false? Now surely this is very handsome, and to the purpose, that we shall not speak that which by the Scripture is lawful to speak. Oh we fear (say you) lest he should be offended, which is not able to understand, and take it. And shall we not fear (say I) lest whiles we hold our tongue, he that is able to take the truth, be taken and snared with falsehood and error? Also in the 20th chapter of the same book he writes in this sort, If the Apostles, and Doctors of the church which came after them, did the one and the other, both teaching the eternal election of God purely and truly, and also retaining the faithful in godly life and manners: What moves our adversaries (seeing they are overcome with the manifest and invincible truth) to think they speak well, saying, although this doctrine of predestination be true, yet it ought not to be preached to the people? Nay, so much the rather it is good to be thoroughly preached, that he that has

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ears to hear, may hear. And who has them, but he that has received them of God, who promises to give them? And as for him that does receive it, let him refuse it if he will: so that he that does receive it, may take it, drink it, be sufficed, and have life. For as we must preach the fear of God to the end that God may be truly served: so must we preach predestination that he which has ears to hear may hear, and rejoice in God, not in himself, for the grace of God towards him.

2. This is the mind of that excellent doctor as touching this point, which notwithstanding binds us to two conditions: the one is, that we speak no farther herein than God’s word limits us: the other, that we set forth the same thing which the Scripture teaches, accordingly, and to edification. Wherefore we will briefly speak of both these parts: first of the doctrine itself, and next of the use and applying of the same.

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THE SECOND CHAPTER

Of the eternal counsel of God hidden in himself, which afterwards is known by the effects thereof.

1. GOD, whose judgments no man can comprehend, whose ways can not be found out, and whose will (1) ought to stop all men’s mouths (2), according to the determinate and unchangeable purpose of his will, by the virtue whereof all things are made (3), yea even those things which are evil and execrable (not in that they be wrought by his divine counsel, but forasmuch as they proceed of the prince of the air, and that spirit which works in the children (4) of disobedience) has determined (5) from before all beginning with himself, to create all things in their time, for his glory, and (6) namely men: whom he has made after two sorts, clean contrary one to the other. Whereof he makes the one sort (which it pleased him to choose by his secret will and purpose) partakers of his glory through his mercy (7), and these we call according to the word of God, the vessels of honor, the elect, the children of promise, and predestinate to salvation (8): and the others, whom likewise it pleased him to ordain to damnation (that he might show forth his wrath and power, to be glorified also in them) we do call the vessels of dishonor and wrath, the reprobate and cast off from all good works (9).

2. This election or predestination to everlasting life, being considered in the will of God (that is to say) this same determination, or purpose to elect, is the first fountain and chief original of the salvation of God’s children: neither is it thereon grounded, as some say, because God did foresee their faith, or good works: but only of his own good will (10,) whence afterwards the election, the faith, and the good works spring forth. Therefore, when the scripture will confirm the children of God in full and perfect hope, it does not stay in alleging the testimonies of the second causes, that is to say, in the fruits of faith, nor in the second causes themselves, as faith, and calling by the Gospel, neither yet sometimes in Christ himself, in whom notwithstanding we are, as in our head elected and adopted, but ascends higher, even unto that eternal purpose which God has determined only in himself (11.) 3. Likewise, when mention is made of the damnation of the reprobate, although the whole fault thereof be in themselves (12): yet notwithstanding, sometimes when need requires, the Scripture to make more manifest by this Chapter 2

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comparison the great power of God’s patience, and the riches of his glory towards the vessels of mercy (13), leads us unto this high secret, which by order is the first cause of their damnation, of which secret, no other cause is known to men, but only his just will, which we must with all reverence obey, as coming from him, who is only just, and can not by any means, nor of any man, in any sort be comprehended
(14). For we must put difference between the purpose or ordinance of reprobation, and reprobation itself. Because God would that the secret of this his purpose should be kept close from us: and again we have the causes or reprobation, and damnation, which depends thereof, expressed in God’s word, that is to say, corruption, lack of faith, and iniquity, which as they be necessary, so are they also voluntary in the vessels made to dishonor (15): like as on the other part when we describe orderly the causes of the salvation of the elect, we put difference between the purpose of electing, which God has determined in himself, and the election which is appointed in Christ in such sort, that this his purpose or ordinance, does not only go before election in the degree of causes, but also before all other things that follow the same. (16.)

4. The place and testimonies of the Scriptures, which are alleged in this treatise, and marked by numbers, it seemed good to place apart at the end of every Chapter, partly that being separate they might be better weighed and understood: and partly because they could not for the multitude thereof be contained in the margin of the book. And here we have compassed every number within these two lines ( ) to the intent they might the more easily be found out.

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Notes of the Second Chapter

(1) Rom. 11.33.
(2) Job 9.10-12; Rom 9.20.
(3) Eph. 1.9,11; Gen. 27.20; Exod.
21.13; John 22.13; Prov. 16.33; 20.24; 21.1; Isa. 14.27; 46.4,10; Jer. 10.23;
Dan. 4.32; Matt. 10.29; Gal. 1.4.
(4) Eph. 2.2.
(5) Gen. 45.8; 50.19,20; Exod. 4.21; 7.3; and 9.12; and 10.1,20,27; and 11.10; 14.4,8,17; Deut. 2.30; Josh.11.19,20; 1 Sam. 2.25; 2 Sam. 12.11; 16.11; and 24.1; 1 Kings 12.15; 22.22,23; 2 Kings 18.25; 2 Chron. 10.15; 11.4; 22.7; 25.20; Neh. 9.36,37; Job 1.12,21; 23.14; 34.30; 37.13; Psalm 105.25; Isa. 10.15; 54.16; 63.17; John 12.40; Acts 2.23; 4.28; Rom. 9.18,19; 11.32 with Gal 3.22; 1 Thes. 3.3
(6) Prov. 16.4.
(7) Isa. 43.7; Eph. 1.5,6; Rom. 9.23;
(8) Rom. 8.29,30; 9.8,21; 1 Cor. 2.7; Eph.1.4; 2 Thes. 2.13; 1 Pet. 1.2.
(9) Exod. 9.16; Prov. 16.4; Rom. 3.5; 9.22; Isa. 54:16.
(10) Deut. 4.37; 7.7,8; Josh. 24.2; Psalm 44.3; Ezek. 16.6,60; John 15.16,19; Acts 13:48; 22.14; Rom. 5.6; 9.11-16,18,23; 11.7,35; 1 Cor. 4.7; Eph.
1.4,5,11; 2.10; Col. 1.12; 2 Tim. 1.9.
(11) Matt. 25.34; John 6.40,45; Acts 13.48; Rom. 8.29,30; 9.8,11,12,16,23; 11.7; Eph. 1.4,5,9,11; 2 Tim. 2.19; 1 Cor. 2.7,10.
(12) Hos. 13.9; John 3.19.
(13) Rom. 9.23. (14) Exod. 9.16; Psalm 33.15; Prov. 16.4; Rom. 9.11,12,13, where he says not only that Esau was ordained to be hated before he did any evil (for in so saying he should not seem to exclude any thing but actual sin and incredulity) but says expressly, before he was born, whereby he excludes the original sin, and all that which might be considered in the person of Esau by his birth, from the cause of the hate. Therefore anon after, when he shows how the Reprobate murmur, and reply, he does not say, that they speak in this sort: Why does not God hate others alike, seeing they are also born in the same corruption that we be? The Apostle speaks no such words, but he says their reason is in this sort: who can resist his will? For hereof man’s reason gathers, that they are unjustly condemned. And yet Paul does not answer, that God would so, because he saw that they would be corrupt, and so consequently that the cause of his decree should be grounded on their corruption (which answer had been clear and resolute, if it had been true) but forasmuch as he says plainly, it so pleased God, and it was not in their power to change this his good pleasure, he bridles man’s wisdom, that it might reverence and wonder at God’s mysteries, as it is most just to do. And also encourages the Elect to honor the grace of God, which is declared and made famous by such a corruption. In this sort then the other places of the Scripture which conduct and lift us up to behold the sovereign will of God, which is the only rule of justice ought to be expounded. Isa. 54.16; 1 Sam. 2.25; John 6.44,45,64,65; 10.26; 12.39,40; 1 Pet. 2.8; and in divers other places. (15) 2 Thes. 2.10-12; Rom. 11.20; 2 Cor. 4.3,4; Heb. 12.17. (16) Rom. 8.30; Eph. 1.4,5.

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THE THIRD CHAPTER: HOW GOD PUTS INTO EXECUTION HIS ETERNAL COUNSEL TOWARDS THE ELECT AS WELL AS TO THE REPROBATE.

1. THE Lord God, that he might put in execution this eternal  counsel, to his glory, prepared a way according to his infinite wisdom, indifferent both to those that he would choose, and those also which he would refuse. For when he determined to show his infinite mercy in the salvation of the elect, and also his just judgment in the condemnation of the reprobate: it was necessary that he should shut up both under disobedience and sin, to show his mercy to all (1) those that believe (2): that is to say, to the elect: because faith is a gift of God which properly belongs unto them (3): and to the contrary to have just cause to condemn them, to whom it is not given to believe (4), nor to know God’s mysteries (5). Therefore God did this in such sort, and with such wisdom, that the whole fault of the reprobates’ damnation lies in themselves: and on the other side, all the glory and praise of the elects’ salvation belongs wholly in his only mercy. For he did not create man a sinner, for then he should have been (with reverent fear be it spoken, the author of sin, which afterwards he could not justly have punished) but rather he made him after his own image (6): to wit, in innocence, purity, and holiness (7): who notwithstanding without constraint of any, neither yet forced by any necessity of concupiscence as touching his will (which as yet was not made servant to sin) (8), willingly and of his own accord rebelled against God: binding by this means the whole nature of man to sin, and so consequently to the death of body and soul (9). Yet we must confess that this fall came not by chance or fortune, seeing his providence stretches forth itself even to the smallest things (10), neither can we say, that any thing happens, that God knows not, or cares not for, except we would fall into the opinion of the Epicureans, from which God preserve us, neither yet by any bare or idle permission or sufferance, which is separate from his will and sure determination. For seeing he has appointed the end, it is necessary also that he should appoint the causes which lead us to the same end, unless we affirm with the wicked Manicheans that this end happens at all adventures, or by means of causes ordained by some other God. Furthermore we cannot think that any thing happens contrary to God’s will, except we deny blasphemously that he is omnipotent and almighty, As Augustine notes plainly in his book De correptione   et gratia (On Corruption and Grace). Cap. 104. We conclude therefore that this fall of Adam did so.

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proceed of the motion of his will that notwithstanding it happened not without the will of God: whom it pleases by a marvelous and incomprehensible mean, that the thing which he does not allow (for as much as it is sin) should not happen without his will. And this is done, as we said before, that he might show the riches of his glory towards the vessels of mercy: and his wrath and power upon those vessels, which he has made to set forth his glory by their shame and confusion (12). For the final end of God’s counsel is neither the salvation of the elect, nor the damnation of the reprobate: but the setting forth of his own glory, in saving the one by his mercy, and condemning the other by his just judgment. Then to avoid all these blasphemies, unto which the infirmity of our wits does draw us, let us confess that the corruption of the principal work that God has made (which is man) is not happened by chance, nor without the will of him, who according to his incomprehensible wisdom, does make and govern all things to his glory. Albeit we must confess (in despite of man’s judgment, which was limited in the beginning within a certain compass, and after was miserably corrupted) that the whole fault of his damnation lies in man: forasmuch as between the secret and incomprehensible will of God, and that corruption of man’s nature, which is the very first occasion of the reprobates damnation, the will of the first man is a mean, which being created good, has willingly corrupted itself, and thereby opened the door to the just judgment of God, to condemn all those, to whom it does not please him to show mercy. And if they would yet object and cavil, saying, that they cannot resist the will of God (13), let us suffer them to their own destruction to plead against him, who will be able enough to defend his justice against their quarreling. Let us rather reverence that which passes the reach and compass of our wits, and turn our minds wholly to praise his mercy, who by his only grace has saved us, when we deserved the like punishment and damnation, and were no less sinners and wicked than they.

Notes of the third chapter.

(1) Rom. 11.32.
(2) Gal. 3.22.
(3) Acts 13.48; Eph. 2.8; 2 Thes. 3.2; Titus 1.1,2; Phil. 1.29; Gal. 5.22.
(4) Matt. 13.11.
(5) John 12.38,39.
(6) Gen. 3.
(7) Eph. 4.24.
(8) Rom. 5.12; 7.20.
(9) Rom. 5.12 etc.
(10) Matt. 10.29,30; Prov. 16.33.
(11) Rom. 9.21,22; 1 Pet. 2.8; Exod. 9.16; Prov. 16.4.
(12) Exod. 9.16; Prov.
16.4; Isa. 54.16; Rom. 9.11,12,13,17,18, etc.
(13) Rom. 9.13,19.

THE FOURTH CHAPTER: BY WHAT ORDER GOD PROCEEDS TO DECLARE AND AFTER A
SORT TO EXECUTE HIS ELECTION.

1. WHEN God had determined with himself the things before mentioned, he, by a more manifest order of causes, which notwithstanding was eternal (as all things are present to him) disposed orderly all the degrees, whereby he would bring his elect unto his kingdom. Forasmuch therefore as he is merciful, and yet could not forget his justice, before all other things it was necessary that a mediator should be appointed: by whom man might be perfectly restored, and that this should be done by the free mercy and grace which does appear in the salvation of his elect. But man, besides that he is so weak, that it is not possible for him to sustain the weight of God’s wrath, does also so much flatter himself in that his most miserable blindness, that he cannot perceive it (1): because he is wholly in bondage to sin (2): so that the law of God is to him as death (3), so far is he unable of himself to recover his liberty, or to satisfy the law of God in the very least jot. God therefore the most merciful father of the Elect, moderating in such sort his justice, with his infinite mercy, appointed his only son, who was the very same substance, and God eternal with him, that at the time determined, he should by the power of the holy (4) Ghost be made very man (5), to the end that both the natures being joined in Jesus Christ alone (6), first, all the corruption of man should be fully healed in one man (7), who should also accomplish all justice (8), and moreover should be able enough to sustain the judgment of God, and be a Priest sufficient and worthy of himself to appease the wrath of God his father, in dying as a just and innocent for them that were unjust and sinners, covering our disobedience, and purging all our sins which were laid upon him (9). And finally with one only offering and sacrifice of himself should sanctify all the elect, mortifying and burying sin in them by the partaking of his death and burial: and quickening them into newness of life by his resurrection (10): so that they should find more in him than they had lost in Adam (11). And to the intent this remedy should not be found and ordained in vain, the Lord God determined to give this his Son with all things appertaining to salvation (12), to them whom he had determined in himself to choose: and on the other side, to give them unto his son, that they being in him, and he in Chapter 4 13 them (13), might be consummate and made perfect in one, by these degrees that follow after, according as it pleased him to bring forth every one of his elect into this world. For first, when it pleases him to disclose that secret which he had purposed from before all beginning (14), at such time as men least look for it (15), as men are blinded and yet think they see most clear (16), when as in very deed death and damnation hangs over their head (17), he comes suddenly, and sets before their eyes, the great danger wherein they are, and that they might be touched more sharply and lively, he adds to the witness of their own conscience, being as it were asleep and dead, the preaching of his law (18), and the examples of his judgments, to strike them with the horror of their sins: nor that they should remain in that fear, but rather that beholding the great danger thereof, should fly to that only mediator Jesus Christ (19): in whom after the sharp preaching of the law, he sets forth the sweet grace of the Gospel, but yet with this condition, that they believe in him (20), who only can deliver them from condemnation (21) and give them right and title to the heavenly inheritance (22). Yet all these things were but vain if he should only set before men’s eyes these secrets by the external preaching of his word written and published in the church of God, which notwithstanding is the ordinary means whereby Jesus Christ is communicated to us (23): therefore as regarding his elect (24), unto the external preaching of his Word, he joins the inward working of his Holy Spirit, which does not restore (as the Papists imagine) the remnants or residue of free will (for what power soever of free will remains in us, serves to no other use but willingly to sin (25), to fly from God (26), to hate him (27), and so not to hear him (28), nor to believe in him (29), neither yet to acknowledge his gift (30), no not so much as to think a good thought (31): and finally to be children of wrath and malediction,) but to the contrary changes their hard hearts of stone into soft hearts of flesh (32), draws them (33), teaches them (34), lighten their eyes (35), and opens their sense (36), their heart, their ears, and understanding: first to make them to know (as we have said before) their own misery: and next, to plant in them the gift of faith, whereby they may perform that condition, which is joined to the preaching of the Gospel. And that stands in two points, the one, whereby we know Christ, in general, believing the story of Christ, and the Prophecies which are writ of him (37), which part of faith, as we shall declare in due place, is sometimes given to the reprobate. The other, which is proper, and only belongs to the elect, consists in applying

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Christ (who is universally and indifferently preached to all men) to ourselves, as ours: and that every man make himself sure of his election, which has been hid before all time in God’s secret (38), and afterwards revealed unto us, partly by inward testimony of our conscience through the holy ghost, joined to the external preaching of God’s word (39): and partly also by the virtue and power of the same spirit, who delivering the Elect from the servitude of sin (40), persuades and conducts them to will and work the things which please God. These then be the degrees, whereby it pleases God to create and form by his especial grace, that precious and peculiar gift of faith in his elect, to the intent that they may embrace their salvation in Jesus Christ. But because this faith in us is yet weak and only begun, to the end that we may not only persevere in it, but also profit (which thing is most necessary for all men to do) first according to the time that our adoption is revealed unto us, this faith is sealed in our hearts by the Sacrament of Baptism: and after every day more and more is confirmed and sealed in us by the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper: of which two Sacraments, the principal end is, that they be sure and effectual signs and pledges of the communion of the faithful with Christ (41) who is their wisdom, justice, sanctification, and redemption (42). For this occasion it is so oftentimes mentioned with Paul, that we being justified by faith, have peace with God (43): For whosoever has obtained the gift of true faith, has also by the same grace and liberality of God obtained the gift of perseverance (44). So that in all manner of temptations and afflictions, he doubts not to call upon God, with sure confidence to obtain his request (as far as it is expedient for him) knowing that he is of the number of God’s children, who can not fail him (45). Moreover he never swerves so from the right way, but at length by the benefit of God’s grace, he returns again: for although faith sometime seem in the Elect (as it were for a time) hid and buried, so that a man would think it were utterly quenched (46) (which God allows, that men might know their own weakness) yet it does never so far leave them, that the love of God and their neighbor, is altogether plucked out of their hearts. For no man is justified in Christ, who also is not sanctified in him (47), and framed to good works, which God prepared that we should walk therein (48). This is then the way whereby God by his mercy does prepare (to the full execution of his eternal counsel) them amongst his Elect, whom it pleases him to reserve, till they come to ripe age and discretion. As touching the other whom he calls into his kingdom so soon as they are born, or in their

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tender years, he uses a more short way. For seeing he does comprehend in that his free covenant, whereof Jesus Christ is the mediator (49), not only the faithful, but also their posterity (50), into a thousand generations (51), calling the same by express words, holy (52): there is no doubt but the children of the Saints, which appertain to election, (whom he only knows) he has given to his son, who will not cast them out (53).

Notes of the fourth chapter.

(1) John 9.41.
(2) Rom. 1.18; 7.14; 8.7; 1 Cor. 2.14; 2 Cor. 3.5; Eph. 2.3.
(3) Rom.
7.10
(4) Matt. 1.20; Luke 1.35.
(5) John 1.14; 1 John 1.1-3.
(6) Rom. 1.3,4; 2Cor. 5.19; Col. 2.9.
(7) Rom. 8.3.
(8) Matt. 3.15; 5.17,18; 1 Cor. 1.30.
(9) Isa. 53.4,5,7,11; Rom. 3.25; Acts 20.28; Col. 1.20; Rom. 5.19; 1 Pet. 2.24; 3.18; 2 Cor. 5.21.
(10) Rom. 6.3,4,5. etc. Col. 3.1; 2.12; John 17.19; Heb. 9.13; 10.14.
(11) Rom. 5.15,16,17,20.
(12) Rom. 8.32; John 3.16. (13) John 17.2,6,9,11,12,23.
(14) Gen. 3.15; 22.18; Rom. 3.25. and 16.25; 1 Cor. 2.7; Gal. 4.4; Eph. 1.9,10; Col. 1.26; 2 Tim. 1.9; Titus 1.2; 1 Pet. 1.20.
(15) Josh. 24.2; Ezek. 16.8,9; Isa. 65.1; Eph. 2.3,4,5,12; Rom. 5.10; 1 Pet. 2.10.
(16) John 9.41; John 3.19.
(17) Rom. 1.18,19; 2.15; Acts 14.17.
(18) Rom. 1.18,19; 2.15; Acts 14.17.
(19) Rom. 7.7; 1 Tim. 2.5; 2 Tim. 2.25,26; Acts 2.37,38; 1 John 2.1.
(20) John 1.12; 3.16; Rom. 1.16, and almost in every page of the whole Scripture.
(21) Rom. 8.1; 1 John 2.1.
(22) John 1.12, and 3.16; Rom. 1.16, and 5.1.
(23) Rom. 10.8,17; 2 Cor. 5.18,19; Jam. 1.18; 1 Pet. 1.25.
(24) Eph. 1.5,9; Col. 1.27.
(25) Rom. 6.19,20.
(26) Gen. 3.8; John 6.44,65.
(27) Rom. 5.10; 8.7.
(28) John 8.47.
(29) Isa. 53.1; John 12.39.
(30) Matt. 13.11; John 4.10; 3.3; 1 Cor. 2.14.
(31) 2 Cor. 3.5.
(32) Ezek. 11.19; 36.26; Psalm 51.12.
(33) John 6.44.
(34) John 6.45; 16.13; Psalm 119.33.
(35) Psalm 119.130; Eph. 1.17.
(36) Isa. 50.5; Psalm 10.17; 119.18,73,130; Col. 1.9. Jer. 31.18,19; 2 Tim. 2.25.
(37) Luke 24.45, Acts 16.14.
(38) 1 Cor. 2.10,11,12,16; Col. 1.26,27; Eph. 1.17-19; 1 John 3.24; 5.20.
(39) Rom. 8.15; Gal. 4.6.
(40) Rom. 8.14; 1 John 3.10,14; 4.14; Phil. 2.13; John 8.36; Rom. 6.18.
(41) Mark 16.16; Acts 2.38; Rom. 6.3,4; Gal. 3.27; Col. 2.12; Eph. 5.26; 1 Pet. 3.21; 1 Cor. 10.16; Rom. 4.11.
(42) 1 Cor. 1.30.
(43) Rom. 3.20-22; 4.2,5; 5.1; and in divers other places.
(44) and (45) Num. 23.19; Psalm 23.6; 27.1-3; Psalm 91 at large; Matt. 24.24; John 6.37; 17.15; 10.28,29; Rom. 5.2-5; 8.15,16,38,39; 1 Cor. 2.12,16; 2 Cor. 13.5; Eph. 1.9; Phil. 1.6; 1 Thes. 5.24; 2 Cor. 1.21; James 1.6; Heb. 4.16; 10.22; 1 John 4.17.
(46) So Moses, Aaron, David, Peter fell. 1 John 1.8.
(47) Rom. 6.1,2; and 1 John 3.9,10; 4.20; 2 Pet. 1.9.
(48) Eph. 2.10; 1.4.
(49) 1 Tim. 2.5; Heb. 9.15.
(50) Gen. 17.7.
(51) Exod. 20.6.
(52) 1 Cor. 7.14.
(53) John 6.37.

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THE FIFTH CHAPTER: AFTER WHAT SORT ALMIGHTY GOD DOES EXECUTE AND EFFECTUALLY DECLARE HIS COUNSEL TOUCHING REPROBATION.

1. BY these things whereof we have now spoken, it may easily appear how God makes them to go to their own place: (1) whom he created to that end that he might be glorified in their just condemnation. For as Christ the second heavenly Adam, is the foundation and very substance and effect of the Elect’s salvation: so also the first earthly Adam, because he fell, is the first author of the hate, and so consequently of the damnation of the reproved (2). For when God, moved with those causes which he only knows, had determined to create them to this end, to show forth in them his just wrath and power (3), likewise he did orderly dispose the causes and means, whereby it might come to pass that the whole cause of their damnation might be of themselves, as has been declared before in the third chapter. When man then was fallen willingly into that miserable estate whereof we have spoken in the chapter before, God who hates justly the Reprobate, because they are corrupt, in part of them he does execute his just wrath so soon as they are born (4): and towards the rest that be of age, whom he reserves to a more sharp judgment, he observes two ways clean contrary one to the other. For as concerning some, he shows them not so much favor, as once to hear of Jesus Christ, in whom only is salvation (5), but suffers them to walk in their own ways (6), and run headlong to their perdition. And as for the testimonies that God has left to them of his divinity (7), serve them to no other use but to make them without all excuse (8), and yet through their own default, seeing their ignorance and lack of capacity, is the just punishment of that corruption wherein they are born. And surely as touching that that they can attain unto in knowing God, by their light, or rather natural darkness (albeit they never failed in the way, but so continued) (9), yet were it not in no wise sufficient for their salvation. For it is

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necessary for us that shall be saved, that we know God, not only as God, but as our father in Christ (10): which mystery flesh and blood does not reveal (11), but the son himself, to them whom his father has given him (12). As concerning others, their fall is more terrible (13). For he causes them to hear by preaching the outward word of the Gospel (14), but because they are not of the number of the Elect, being called, they hear not (15), and forasmuch as they are not able to receive the spirit of truth (16), therefore they cannot believe, because it is not given unto them (17), wherefore when they are called to the feast, they refuse to come, so that the word of life is folly unto them, and an offence (18), and finally the savor of death to their destruction. (19.) There are yet others, whose hearts God opens to receive and believe the things that they hear, but this is with that general faith, whereby the Devils believe and tremble (20). To conclude, they which are most miserable of all, those climb a degree higher, that their fall might be more grievous, for they are raised so high by some gift of grace, that they are a little moved with some taste of the heavenly gift (21): so that for the time they seem to have received the seed, and to be planted in the Church of God (22), and also show the way of salvation to others (23). But this is plain that the spirit of adoption, which we have said to be only proper unto them which are never cast forth (24) but are written in the secret of God’s people (25), is never communicate unto them. For if they were of the Elect, they should remain still with the Elect (26). All these therefore (because of necessity, and yet willingly, as they which are under the slavery of sin (27)), return to their vomit (28) and fall away from faith (29) are plucked up by the roots, to be cast into the fire (30). I mean, they are forsaken of God (31), who according to his will (which no man can resist (32), and yet for all that because of their corruption and wickedness) (33), hardens them (34), makes their hearts fat, stops their ears, and blinds them (35): and to bring this to pass, he uses partly their own vile lusts, to which he has given them up to be ruled and led by (36), and partly the spirit of lies, who keeps them wrapped in his snares (37), by reason of their corruption, from which

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as out of a fountain, issues a continual flowing river of infidelity, ignorance, and iniquity: whereby it follows that [they] having as it were made shipwreck of their faith, can by no means escape the day, which is appointed for their destruction, that God may be glorified in their just condemnation (38).

Notes of the fifth chapter.

(1) Acts 1.25; Rom. 9.22; Matt. 25.41.
(2) Rom. 5.18; 1 Cor. 15.21, etc.
(3) Exod. 9.16; Rom. 9.17,22.
(4) Exod. 20.5; Eph. 2.3; Rom. 5.14.
(5) Matt. 1.21; Acts 4.12.
(6) Acts 14.16,17; 17.30; Rom. 1.24; Eph. 2.11.
(7) Rom. 1.19,20; Acts 14.17; 17.27.
(8) Rom. 1.20; John 15.22; Rom. 2.12.
(9) Rom. 1.21,22.
(10) John 17.3; 3.36.
(11) Matt. 11.27; 16.17. John 1.13; 3.5,6.
(12) Matt. 11.27.
(13) Luke 12.47.
(14) Matt. 22.14; Luke 13.34; 19.42.
(15) Jer. 7.27,28; Prov. 1.24.
(16) John 14.17.
(17) John 12.39,40; 2 Thes. 3.2; Matt. 13.11.
(18) 1 Cor. 1.18,23.
(19) 2 Cor. 2.15,16.
(20) James 2.19.
(21) Heb. 6.4.
(22) Acts 8.12; Matt. 13, and in many other places which we have above recited in the 2nd chapter.
(23) Acts 1.17.
(24) John 6.37.
(25) Ezek. 13.9; Rev. 22.18.
(26) 1 John 2.19.
(27) John 8.34; Rom. 5.12; 6.19,20; and 7.14; and 8.7.
(28) 2 Pet. 2.22.
(29) 1 Tim. 4.1.
(30) Matt. 15.13; John 15.2.
(31) Acts 14.16.
(32) Rom. 9.19.
(33) Rom. 1.27,28; 2 Thes. 2.9-11; John 3.19.
(34) Isa. 63.17; Exod. 4.21; Deut. 2.30, and in many other places above recited in the 2nd chapter.
(35) Isa. 6.10; Rom. 11.32.
(36) Exod. 8.32; Psalm 95.8; Acts 7.42; Rom. 1.26.
(37) 2 Kings 22.23; 2 Cor. 4.4; 2 Tim. 2.26;
(38) 1 Tim. 1.19; Prov. 16.4; Exod. 9.16; Rom. 9.21,22, etc.

Chapter 6

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THE SIXTH CHAPTER: OF THE LAST AND FULL EXECUTION AND ACCOMPLISHMENT OF GOD’S ETERNAL COUNSEL AS WELL TOWARDS THE ELECT AS THE REPROBATE.

1. FOR as much as God is justice itself, it is necessary that he should save the just, and condemn the unjust. Now they amongst men are only just, who being by faith joined to Christ (1), grafted (2), rooted in him (3), and made one body with him (4), are justified and sanctified in him, and by him: whereof it follows, that the glory to which they are predestined (5), to the glory of God (6), pertains to them as by a certain right or title. On the other part, they which remain in Adam’s pollution and death, are justly hated of God: and so condemned by him, not excepting so much as them which die before they sin, as Adam did (7). But both these manners of executing God’s judgments, as well in these as in the other which are elected are in three sorts: whereof we have already declared the first. For the elect in that same moment that they have received the gift of faith, have after a certain sort passed from death to life (8), whereof they have a sure pledge (9). But this their life is hid in Christ, till this corporal death make them to step a degree further, and that the soul being released out of the bands of the body, enter into the joy of the Lord (10). Finally, in the day appointed to judge the quick and the dead (11), when that which is corruptible and mortal shall be clad with incorruptibleness and immortality, and God shall be all in all things, then they shall see his majesty face to face, and shall fully enjoy that unspeakable comfort and joy, which before all beginning was prepared for them, which is also the reward that is due to the righteousness and holiness of Christ: who was given for their sins, and raised again from death for their justification: by whose virtue and spirit they have proceeded and gone forward from faith to faith, as shall manifestly appear by the whole course of their life, and good works (12). Whereas altogether contrary, the reprobate conceived, born, and brought up in sin, death, and wrath of God (13), when they depart out of this world, they fall into another gulf of destruction, and their

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souls are plunged in that endless pain (14), until the day come that their bodies and souls being joined again, they shall enter into everlasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels (15). Then by these two ways (which are clean contrary one to another) the last issue and end of God’s judgments shall set forth manifestly his glory to all men, forasmuch as in his elect he shall declare himself most just and most merciful. Most just, I say, for that he has punished with extreme rigor and severity the sins of his elect in the person of his son, neither did receive them into the fellowship of his glory, before he had fully and perfectly justified and sanctified them in his Son. And most merciful, for as much as he freely appointed with himself to elect them, and according as he had purposed, chose them freely in his son, by calling, justifying, and glorifying them, by means of that same faith which he had given them through the same grace and mercy. On the other side, touching the reprobate, their corruption and infidelity, with such fruits as come thereof, and testimony of their own conscience, shall so reprove and accuse them, that although they resist and kick against the prick: yet the most perfect justice of God shall be manifest and shine by all men’s confession in their just condemnation.

Notes of the sixth chapter.

(1) John 17.21.
(2) Rom. 6.5.
(3) Col. 2.7.
(4) 1 Cor. 10.16.
(5) Rom. 8.30; 1 Cor. 1.30; 2 Cor. 5.5; Rom. 9.23.
(6) Rom. 3.25,26.
(7) Rom. 5.14; Eph. 2.3; John 3.36.
(8) and (9) John 5.24; 2 Cor. 1.21,22; 5.5; 1 Cor. 1.6-8; Rom. 8.25; Eph. 1.13,14; in the same 2.6; Rom. 5.2.
(10) Luke 23.43; Matt. 22.31,32; Luke 16.22; Phil. 1.23.
(11) and (12) 2 Tim. 4.1; Acts 3.21; Rom. 8.21; 1 Cor. 15; 1 Cor. 13; Matt. 25.34; Rom. 4.25; 1.17.
(13) Rom. 5.12; 7.14; Eph. 2.3.
(14) Luke 16.2,23,24.
(15) Matt. 25.41.

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THE SEVENTH CHAPTER. AFTER WHAT SORT THIS DOCTRINE MAY BE PREACHED WITH MOST PROFIT.

1. SINCE we have now declared the effect of this doctrine: it remains also that we show what order we think best to be observed in preaching and applying the same to every particular man. Whereas many find this matter so sharp and strange, that they flee from it as from a dangerous rock: it is partly to be attributed to the malice and arrogance of men: and partly to the rashness and lack of discretion of them that teach it. And thirdly it is to be imputed to their ignorance which can not orderly apply the same to themselves, which faithfully and truly has been taught of others. Concerning them which sin of malice, it only pertains to God to amend them: which surely he has done always in his season, and likewise will do from time to time, to whom he has appointed to show mercy. But for others which remain obstinate in their sin and wickedness, there is no cause why we should be moved either for their number or authority, or dissemble God’s truth. And as touching the second sort, I have thought these things principally to be observed in preaching this mystery.

2. First as in all other things (1), so chiefly in this matter of predestination, they ought to take diligent heed, that instead of God’s pure and simple truth, they bring not forth vain and curious speculations or dreams (2): which thing they can not choose but do, which go about to compass and accord these secret judgments of God with man’s wisdom, and so do not only put difference between predestination and the purpose of God, which thing they must needs do, but separate the one from the other: for they either imagine a certain naked and idle permission, or else make a double purpose and counsel in God. From which errors they must needs fall into many and great absurdities. For sometimes they are constrained to divide those things which of themselves are joined most straitly: and sometimes they are compelled to invent a great sort of foolish and dark distinctions, wherein the further they

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occupy themselves and search, the wider they stray from the purpose, and so entangle their miserable brains, that they can find no way out. This then ought to be avoided with all careful diligence, chiefly in this matter which above all other ought purely and sincerely to be taught in the Church of God.

3. Moreover as much as is possible let them take heed (though sometimes for a more clear understanding of things a man may be bold godly and reverently to do) that no strange manner of speech, or not approvable by God’s word, be used: and also that such phrases and words which the Scriptures approve, be expounded fitly, lest otherwise any man should take occasion of offence, which as yet is rude and ignorant. Furthermore we must have good respect unto the hearers (3), wherein also we must make distinction between the malicious and the rude: and again between them which are willful ignorant, and those which are not capable through a simple and common ignorance. For to that further sort our Lord is accustomed to set forth plainly the judgment of God (4): but the other must be led by little and little to the knowledge of the truth (5). Likewise we must take heed that we have not so much respect to the weak, that they in the mean season which are apt to understand, be neglected, and not sufficiently taught: whereof we have notable examples in Paul, which declare to us the wisdom and circumspection which he observed in this matter, chiefly in the 9, 10, 11, 14, and 15th chapters of the Epistle to the Romans. Also, except some great cause hinder, that they begin at the lowest and most manifest causes, and so ascend up to the highest (as Paul in his Epistle to the Romans which is the right order and way to proceed in matters of divinity, from the law goes to remission of sins, and thence by steps he mounts till he come to the highest degree) or else let them consist in that point which is most agreeable to the text or matter which they have in hand, rather than to the contrary to begin at the very top of this mystery, and so come down to the foot. For the brightness of God’s majesty, suddenly presented to the eyes, does so dim and dazzle the sight, that afterwards, if they be not through long continuance accustomed to the same, they wear blind, when they should see other things.

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4. What then remains? That, whether they begin beneath and ascend upwards, or to the contrary, above, and come downward to the lowest degree, they take always heed, lest omitting that which ought to be in the midst, they leap from one extremity to another, as from the eternal purpose, to salvation, and much more from salvation to the eternal purpose: Likewise from God’s eternal counsel to damnation, or backward from damnation to his purpose: leaving the near and evident causes of God’s judgment. Except perchance they have to do with open blasphemers and condemners of God, who have need of nothing else, but the sharp pricks of God’s judgments: or else with men so trained and exercised in God’s word, that there be no suspicion of any offence. Finally, that they never so propound this doctrine, as if it should be applied to any one man particularly (6), although men must be used after divers sorts, some by gentleness, and some by sharpness, unless some Prophet (7) of God be admonished by some special revelation, which thing because it is out of course, and not usual, ought not lightly to be believed. When the ministers also visit the sick, or use familiar and private admonitions, it is their duty to lift up and comfort the afflicted conscience, with the testimony of their election, and again to wound and pierce the wicked and stubborn, with the fearful judgment of God: so that they keep a mean, refraining ever from that last sentence, which admits no exception nor condition. For this right and jurisdiction only pertains to God (8).

Notes of the seventh chapter.

(1) Matt. 28.20.
(2) 2 Tim. 2.23.
(3) 2 Tim. 2.15.
(4) Matt. 23, the whole chapter; John 8.44; 9.41; 10.26; Luke 20.46; Matt. 23.38.
(5) 1 Cor. 3.2; Rom. 14.1.
(6) John 8.33,34; Phil. 3.2; 1 Tim. 6.3,4.
(7) 2 Tim. 4.14; John 6.64,70.
(8) Matt. 12.38,39, with John 8.24.

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THE EIGHTH CHAPTER. HOW EVERY MAN MAY WITH PROFIT APPLY THIS  UNIVERSAL DOCTRINE TO HIMSELF.

1. IT is most evident, that they who teach that man’s salvation either in part or wholly depends and is grounded in works, destroy the foundation of the Gospel of God (1). And to the contrary, they that teach justification freely by faith, ground on a sure foundation, but so, that they build upon that eternal counsel of God, whereupon Christ himself (2), and the Apostle Paul following Christ’s steps, grounds his doctrine (3). For seeing perseverance in faith is requisite to salvation (4), to what purpose shall faith serve me except I be sure of the gift of perseverance? Nor we need not fear, lest this doctrine make us negligent, or dissolute: for this peace of conscience whereof we speak (5), ought to be distinct and separate from foolish security, and he that is the son of God, seeing he is moved and governed by the spirit of God, (6), will never through the consideration of God’s benefit take occasion of negligence, and dissolution. Then if by this doctrine we had but this one commodity, that we might learn to assure and confirm our faith against all brunts that might happen, it is manifest that they which speak against, and resist this article of religion, either through their wickedness, or else through ignorance, or some foolish blind zeal, which happens when men will measure God according to the capacity of their own wits, subvert and destroy the principal ground and foundation of our salvation. And in very deed though some (as I must confess) do it not purposely: yet do they open notwithstanding the door to all superstition and impiety. As for them, which nowadays maliciously oppose the truth, I beseech the Lord, even from the heart, either to turn their minds (if so be they pertain to the elect) or else to send them a most speedy destruction, that by their own example they may confirm and establish that doctrine, which so maliciously they resist. These other I will desire most instantly, and require them in the name of God, that they would better advise themselves what they do.

2. Now to touch briefly how this doctrine may be applied, let us mark that all the works of God, even the least of all, are such that man cannot judge of them, but in two sorts: that is, either when they are done, or else by foreseeing them to come to pass by the disposition of the second and manifest

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causes, whose effects have been diligently, and by long use observed, as men accustom in natural things to do: wherein, notwithstanding men are wonderfully blind. In this matter then, which is most obscure of all others, it is no marvel if man’s wit be driven into this strait, that it cannot otherwise understand but by this means, what is determined as touching himself in this secret counsel of God. But because these are most high mysteries [1 Cor. 2.7], and therefore stand in the observation of those causes which pass all natural things, we must needs seek further, and come to God’s word: which forasmuch as without all comparison, it is more certain than man’s conjectures: so it can best direct us herein, and assure us. 3. The Scripture then witnesses (7) that all those that God has, according to his counsel, predestinate, to be adopted his children through Jesus Christ, are also called in their time appointed, yea and so effectually, that they hear the voice of him that calls, and believe it (8): so that being justified and sanctified in Jesus Christ, they are also glorified. Will you then, whosoever you are, be assured of your predestination, and so, in order, of your salvation, which you look for, against all the assaults of Satan? Assured I say, not by doubtful conjectures, or our own fantasy, but by arguments and conclusions, no less true and certain (9), than if you were ascended into heaven, and had heard of God’s own mouth his eternal decree and purpose? Beware that you begin not at that most high degree: for so you should not be able to sustain the most shining light of God’s majesty. Begin therefore beneath at the lowest order, and when you shall hear the voice of God (10) sound in your ears, and in your heart, which calls you to Christ the only mediator, consider by little and little, and try diligently (11), if you are justified and sanctified in Christ through faith: for these two be the effects or fruits, whereby faith is known, which is their cause. As for this you shall partly know by the Spirit of adoption, who cries within you, Abba, father (12): and partly by the virtue and effect of the same Spirit, which is wrought in you. As if you fall, and so declare indeed that although sin dwells in you, yet it no more reigns in you (13): for is not the Holy Ghost he who causes us not to let slip the bridle, and give liberty willingly to our naughty and vile desires (14), as they are accustomed, whose eyes the prince of this world blinds (15), or else who moves us to pray when we are cold, and slothful? who stirs up in us those unspeakable groans (16)? who is he that when we have sinned (yea and sometimes willingly and wittingly) engenders in us an hate

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of the sin committed, and not for the fear of punishment which we have therefore deserved, but because we have offended our most merciful father (17)? Who is he, I say, who testifies unto us that our sighs are heard, and also moves us to call daily God, our God, and our Father, even at that time when we have trespassed against him (18)? Is it not that spirit, which is freely given to us as a gift, for a sure and certain pledge of our adoption (19)? Wherefore if we can gather by these effects, that we have faith, it follows that we are called and drawn effectually. And again, by this vocation, which we have declared properly to belong to the children of God; that is evidently proved which we took in hand to show, that is, forasmuch as we were predestinate by the eternal counsel and decree of God, (which he had determined in himself) to be adopted in his Son, therefore we were given to him, whereof the conclusion follows, that since by the most constant will of God (20), which only is grounded on itself, and depends on none other thing, we are predestinate, and no man can take us out of the hands of the Son: also seeing that to continue and persevere in the faith is necessary, it follows, I say, that the hope of our perseverance is certain, and so consequently our salvation: so that to doubt any more of it, is evil and wicked (21). So far then it is against reason to say, that this doctrine makes men negligent or dissolute, that to the contrary, this alone does open us the way, to search out and understand, by the power of the Holy Ghost, God’s deep secrets, as the apostle plainly teaches (22), to the end that when we know them (albeit we know them here in this world but after a sort (23), so that we must daily fight with the spiritual armor against distrust (24,) we may learn to behave ourselves not idly, but rather to persevere valiantly (25), to serve and honor God, to love him, to fear him, to call upon him, that daily more and more as says Peter, as much as in us lies, we may make our vocation and election certain (26). Moreover how shall he stand sure and constant against so many grievous temptations, both within and without, and against so many assaults of fortune (as the world does term it) that is not well resolved in this point which is most true? That is, that God according to his good will, does all things whatsoever they be, and what instruments and means soever he uses in working of the same, for the commodity of his elect (27). Of which number he is, that finds himself in this danger and trouble (28). As touching the other point, which concerns reprobation, because no man can call to mind the determinate purpose of election, but at the same instant the contrary will come to remembrance: (besides that in the holy Scripture these two are oftentimes

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joined together) it must needs be, that such as esteem this part curious or unprofitable, and therefore not to be talked of, do great injury to the Spirit of God. Therefore this part is to be weighed and considered, but with such modesty, that the height of God’s judgments may at all times bridle our curious fancies, in such sort that we do not apply it particularly to any man, nor to any certain company. For in this also it differs from election, because election (as has been said) is revealed to us by the Spirit of God within ourselves, not in others, whose hearts we can not know. And reprobation is ever hid from men, except it be disclosed by God, contrary to the common course of things. For who can tell, if God have determined to show mercy at the last hour of death, to him which has spent all his life past lewdly and wickedly (29)? But this trust [hope] ought not to encourage any man to maintain, and continue in his sin and ungodliness. For I speak of those things which we ought to consider in others, for the examples of such mercy of God are very rare, neither any man that is wise will promise to himself through a vain security and trust, that thing which is not in his own power (30.) It is therefore sufficient if we understand generally that there be vessels prepared to perdition (31): which, seeing God does not reveal unto us who they are, we ought both in example of life and prayer, diligently endeavor to win and recover to their salvation, yea even very such, of whom by seeing their horrible vices, we almost despise (32). And if we observe this order, we shall receive great fruit of this doctrine. For first by the knowledge hereof, we shall learn humbly to submit ourselves to the majesty of God, so that the more we shall fear and reverence him, the more we ought to labor to confirm in ourselves the testimony of our election in Christ (33). Furthermore when we shall diligently consider the difference, which through the mercy of God is between men, which are all alike subject to the same curse and malediction, it can not be, but we must acknowledge and embrace more earnestly the singular goodness of God, than if we did make this grace common to all men indifferently, or else referred the cause of the inequality of this grace to men (34). Besides this, when we know that faith is a special gift of God, shall we not receive it more willingly when it is offered, and be more careful to have the same to increase, than if we should imagine (as some do) that it is in every man’s power to turn and repent when he will, because (they say) the Lord would that all men should be saved, and will not the death of a sinner? Finally, when we see the doctrine of the Gospel not only despised of all the world, but also cruelly persecuted: and when we see so

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great falsehood and rebellion amongst men, what thing can better confirm and fortify us, than to be assured that nothing chances by fortune, that God knows his (35), and that they which commit these things (except God turn their hearts) are those which are predestined, not by chance, but by the sure and eternal counsel of God, to be as it were a glass, wherein the anger and power of God does appear? Truth it is, that these things can never be so commodiously and perfectly treated of, that man’s reason and wit cannot find out something to reply always to the contrary, yea and so kindles with desire of contradiction, that it is ready to bring an action against God, and to accuse and blame him as chief author of all things. But let the Devil roar and discontent himself, and the wicked kick and wince: yet their own conscience shall reprove and condemn them (36) when as ours, being confirmed in the truth, by the grace and mercy of our God, shall deliver and free us (37), in the day of Christ. To whom with the Father, and the holy Ghost, praise, glory, and honor be given for ever. So be it.

Notes of the eight chapter.

(1) Gal. 2.21; Rom. 11.6.
(2) John 6.44,45, and in divers places besides.
(3) Rom. 8.29,30; 9.10,11, and the whole chapter; 1 Cor. 2.10; Eph. 1.4,5,9; 2 Tim. 1.9; 1 Pet. 1.2, and in divers places besides.
(4) Matt. 10.22.
(5) Rom. 5.1,5; Matt. 5.12; 24.48.
(6) Rom. 8.14.
(7) Rom. 8.29,30; Eph. 1.4,5,9.
(8) John 10.27.
(9) Rom. 5.2; 8.38; 1 Cor. 2.10,11; 2 Tim. 1.7; 1 John 3.24.
(10) Psalm 95.7,8; John 10.27.
(11) 2 Cor. 13.5.
(12) Gal. 4.6; 1 John 3.24; 1 Cor. 2.10,11, and in divers other places which we have already alleged. (13) Rom. 6, almost through the whole chapter; 1 John 3.9. (14) Rom. 6.11,12; Eph. 4.29,30.
(15) 2 Cor. 4.4.
(16) Rom. 8.26.
(17) Rom. 7.24.
(18) Rom. 8.15,16.
(19) Rom. 8.27; Eph. 4.30; 1.13,14; 2 Cor. 1.22, and in other places oftentimes.
(20) Rom. 11.29; Heb. 6.17; 2 Tim. 2.19.
(21) Rom. 8.38; John 3.33; Rom. 4.20,21; 5.5; Eph. 3.12; Heb. 4.16; 1 Cor. 1.9; 1 Thes. 5.24; Heb. 10.22,23.
(22) 1 Cor. 2.10-12; Rom. 8.16; 1 John 3.24.
(23) 1 Cor. 13.9. (24) 1 Tim. 6.12; Gal. 5.17.
(25) Rom. 6.1; Heb. 10.23,24; James 3.17,18.
(26) 2 Pet. 1.10.
(27) Rom. 8.28,31, even to the very end of the chapter; Job 13.15; Rom. 5.3; James 1.2.
(28) Rom. 8.16,38,39.
(29) Luke 23.43.
(30) James 4.13-15; 2 Tim. 2.25; Luke 12.20.
(31) Rom. 9.21; 2 Tim. 2.20.
(32) Matt. 5.16; 1 Cor. 9.22; 1 Pet. 2.12.
(33) Phil. 2.12; 1 Pet. 1.17; Rom. 11.20.
(34) Rom. 9.23.
(35) 2 Tim. 2.18,19.
(36) Rom. 2.15.
(37) 1 Pet. 3.21.

The Decades of Heinrich Bullinger

Fifty Sermons Divided into Five Decades Containing the Chief and Principle Points of Christian Religion
(1587 English Translation)

Table of Contents Prepared by
Ryan Glomsrud M.A. (D.Phil. Cand., Pembroke College, Oxon)

Volume I

  1. The Preface (pp. 1-11)
  2. Of the Four General Synods or Councils (pp. 12-35)
  3. The First Decade of Sermons (pp. 36- 192)
    1. First Sermon: Of the Word of God; the cause of it; and how, and by whom, it was revealed to the world (36-57)
    2. Second Sermon: Of the Word of God; to whom, and to what end, it was revealed; also in what manner it is to be heard; and that it doth fully teach the whole doctrine of godliness (57-70)
    3. Third Sermon: Of the sense and right exposition of the word of God, and by what manner of means it may be expounded (70-81)
    4. Fourth Sermon: Of true faith; from whence it cometh; that it is an assured belief of the mind, whose only stay is upon God and his Word (81-97)
    5. Fifth Sermon: That there is one only true faith, and what the virtue thereof is (97-104)
    6. Sixth Sermon: That the faithful are justified by faith without the law and works (104-122)
    7. Seventh Sermon: Of the first articles of the Christian faith contained in the Apostles’ Creed (122-140)
    8. Eighth Sermon: Of the latter articles of the Christian faith contained in the Apostles’ Creed (140-157)
    9. Ninth Sermon: Of the latter articles of Christian faith contained in the Apostles’ Creed (157-180)
    10. Tenth Sermon: Of the love of God and Neighbor (180-192)
  4. The Second Decade of Sermons (pp. 193-435)
    1. First Sermon: Of laws, and of the law of nature, then of the laws of men (193-209)
    2. Second Sermon: Of God’s law, and of the two first commandments of the first table (209-237)
    3. Third Sermon: Of the third precept of the Ten Commandments, and of swearing (237-253)
    4. Fourth Sermon: Of the fourth precept of the first table, that is, of the order and keeping of the Sabbath-Day (253-267)
    5. Fifth Sermon: Of the first precept of the second table, which is in order the fifth of the Ten Commandments, touching upon honour due to the parents (267-298)
    6. Sixth Sermon: Of the second precept of the second table, which is in order the sixth of the Ten Commandments, thou shalt not kill: and of the magistrate (298-322)
    7. Seventh Sermon: Of the office of the magistrate, whether the care of religion appertain to him or no, and whether he may make laws and ordinances in cases of religions (323-344)
    8. Eighth Sermon: Of judgment, and the office of the judge; that Christians are not forbidden to judge; of revengement and punishment; whether it be lawful for a magistrate to kill the guilty; wherefore, when, how, and what the magistrate must punish; whether he may punish offenders in religion or no (345-369)
    9. Ninth Sermon: Of war; whether it be lawful for a magistrate to make war. What the Scripture teacheth touching war. Whether a Christian man may bear the office of a magistrate. And of the duty of subjects (370-393)
    10. Tenth Sermon: Of the third precept of the second table, which is in order the seventh of the Ten Commandments; thou shalt not commit adultery of wedlock; against all intemperance; of continency (393-435)

Volume II

  1. Dedication to Prince Edward VI, King of England and France (pp. 3-16)
  2. The Third Decade of Sermons (pp. 17-432)
    1. First Sermon: Of the fourth precept of the second table, which is in order the eighth of the Ten Commandments, thou shalt not steal. Of the owning and possessing of proper goods, and of the right and lawful getting of the same; against sundry kinds of theft (17-48)
    2. Second Sermon: Of the lawful use of earthly goods; that is, how we may rightly possess, and lawfully spend, the wealth that is rightly and justly gotten; of restitution, and alms-deeds (48-64)
    3. Third Sermon: Of the patient bearing and abiding of sundry calamities and miseries; and also of the hope and manifold consolation of the faithful (64-111)
    4. Fourth Sermon: Of the fifth and sixth precepts of the second table, which are in order the ninth and tenth of the Ten Commandments, that is, thou shalt not speak false witness against they neighbor; and, though shalt not covet they neighbor’s house, & c. (111-124)
    5. Fifth Sermon: Of the ceremonial law of God, but specifically of the priesthood, time, and place appointed for the ceremonies (125-167)
    6. Sixth Sermon: Of the sacraments of the Jews; of their sundry sorts of sacrifices, and certain other things pertaining to the ceremonial law (167-217)
    7. Seventh Sermon: Of the judicial laws of God (217-236)
    8. Eighth Sermon: Of the use or effect of the law of God, and of the fulfilling and abrogating of the same; of the likeness and difference of both the testaments and people, the Old and the New (236-300)
    9. Ninth Sermon: Of Christian liberty, and of offences. Of good works, and the reward thereof (300-357)
    10. Tenth Sermon: Of sin, and of the kinds thereof; to wit, of original and actual sin, and of sin against the Holy Ghost; and lastly, of the most sure and just punishment of sins (358-432)

Volume III

  1. The Fourth Decade of Sermons (pp. 1-114)
    1. First Sermon: Of the Gospel of the grace of God, who hath given his Son unto the world, and in Him all things necessary to salvation, that we, believing in Him, might obtain eternal life (1-55)
    2. Second Sermon: Of repentance, and the causes therefore; of confession, and remission of sins; of satisfaction and indulgences; of the old and new man; of the power or strength of men, and the order of things pertaining to repentance (55-114)
  2. Dedication to Edward VI, King of England and France (pp. 115-122)
  3. The Fourth Decade of Sermons CONTINUED (pp. 123-408)
    1. Third Sermon: Of God; of the true knowledge of God, and of the diverse ways how to know him; that God is one in substance and three in persons (123-173)
    2. Fourth Sermon: That God is the creator of all things, and governeth all things by his providence; where mention is also made of the goodwill of God to usward, and of predestination (173-194)
    3. Fifth Sermon: Of adoring or worshipping, of invocating or calling upon, and of serving the only, living, true, and everlasting God; also of true and false religion (194-238)
    4. Sixth Sermon: That the Son of God is unspeakably begotten of the Father; that He is consubstantial with the Father, and therefore true God. That the selfsame Son is true man; consubstantial with us; and therefore true God and Man, abiding in two unconfounded natures, and in one undivided Person (238-273)
    5. Seventh Sermon: Of Christ, King and Priest; of His only and everlasting kingdom and priesthood; and of the name of a Christian (273-297)
    6. Eighth Sermon: Of the Holy Ghost, the third person in the Trinity to be worshipped, and of His divine power (297-326)
    7. Ninth Sermon: Of good and evil spirits; that is, of the holy angels of God, and of devils or evil spirits; and of their operations (327-365)
    8. Tenth Sermon: Of the reasonable soul of man; and of his most certain salvation after the death of the his body (365-408)

Volume IV

  1. Biographical Notice of Henry Bullinger (pp. vii-xxxi)
  2. The Fifth Decade of Sermons (pp.3-526)
    1. First Sermon: Of the holy catholic church; what it is, how far it extendeth, by what marks it is known, from whence it springeth, how it is maintained and preserved, whether it may err. Also of the power and studies of the church (3-48)
    2. Second Sermon: That there is one catholic church; that without the church there is no light or salvation. Against schismatics. Wherefore we depart from the upstart church of Rome. That the church of God is the house, vineyard, and kingdom of God; and the body, sheepfold, and spouse of Christ; a mother and a virgin (49-92)
    3. Third Sermon: Of the ministry, and the ministries of God’s word; wherefore and for what end they are instituted of God. That the orders given by Christ unto the church in times past were equal. Whence and how the prerogative of ministries sprang, and of the supremacy of the bishop of Rome (93-127)
    4. Fourth Sermon: Of calling unto the ministry of the Word of God. What manner of men, and after what fashion, ministers of the Word must be ordained in the church. Of the keys of the church. What the office of them is that be ordained. Of the manner of teaching the church; and of the holy life of the pastors (128-163)
    5. Fifth Sermon: Of the form and manner how to pray to God; that is, of the calling on the name of the Lord; where also the Lord’s Prayer is expounded; and also singing, thanksgiving, and the force of prayer is entreated (163-226)
    6. Sixth Sermon: Of signs, and the manner of signs; of sacramental signs: what a sacrament is; of whom, for what causes, and how many sacraments were instituted of Christ for the Christian church; of what things they do consist; how these are consecrated; how the sign and the thing signified in the sacraments are either joined together or distinguished; and of the kind of speeches used in the sacraments (226-293)
    7. Seventh Sermon: That we must reason reverently of sacraments; that they do not give grace, neither have grace included in them. Again, what the virtue and lawful end and use of the sacraments is. That they profit not without faith; that they are not superfluous to the faithful; and that they do not depend upon the worthiness or unworthiness of the minister (293-351)
    8. Eighth Sermon: Of holy baptism; what it is; by whom, and when it was instituted, and that there is but one baptism of water. Of the baptism of fire. Of the rite or ceremony of baptism; how, of whom, and to whom it must be administered. Of baptism by midwives; and of infants dying without baptism. Of the baptism of infants. Against Anabaptism or re-baptizing; and of the power of efficacy of baptism (351-401)
    9. Ninth Sermon: Of the Lord’s holy supper; what it is, by whom, when, and for whom it was instituted; after what sort, when, and how oft it is to be celebrated, and of the ends thereof. Of the true meaning of the words of the super, “This is my body.” Of the presence of Christ in the supper. Of the true eating of Christ’s body. Of the worthy and unworthy eaters thereof: and how every man ought to prepare himself unto the Lord’s supper (401-478)
    10. Tenth Sermon: Of certain institutions of the church of God. Of schools. Of ecclesiastical goods, and the use and abuse of the same. Of churches and holy instruments of Christians. Of the admonition and correction of the ministers of the church, and of the whole church. Of matrimony. Of widows. Of virgins. Of monks. What the church of Christ determineth concerning the sick; and of funerals and burials (478-526)
  3. Appendix I: Dedication to the Marque of Dorset (pp. 528-545)
  4. Appendix II: Dedication to Masters Gualter, Simler, etc. (pp. 546-558)
  5. Index of Subjects and Persons (pp. 559-586)
  6. Index of Various Writers Quoted and Referred to (pp. 587-590)

Reformed Reading List

Revised December 2013

From time to time students ask what books must they have in their libraries before they leave seminary. This list contains my suggestions. This could be much longer, but it would be less useful. Since I teach historical theology, this list is weighted with those sorts of texts in no particular order.

  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 vol. trans. F. L. Battles, ed. J. T. McNeil (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960). In certain respects the Allen and Beveridge editions are to be preferred, but, for now, the Battles edition is the accepted scholarly English translation. This is only a starting place for Calvin studies. On any particular issue it is best to read Calvin’s commentaries, the Institutes (or perhaps the appropriate treatise) and the sermons in that order. In the commentary one finds Calvin’s exegetical method, in the Institutes, his dogmatic conclusions and in the sermons, his homiletical application to his congregation.
  • Michael S. Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011).
  • R. Scott Clark, Recovering the Reformed Confession: Our Theology, Piety, and Practice.
  • John W. Beardslee, ed., Reformed Dogmatics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965). This text contains translations of Turretin, Wollebius and Voetius. Turretin is available elsewhere, but this is the only place to find Voetius in English and the best place to find Wollebius in English. If you don’t know who Wollebius and Voetius are, then you need to read this book.
  • Meredith G. Kline, Treaty of the Great King (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1963) One of the most important Reformed theologians of the covenant in the modern period, Kline is a genuine heir of the traditions of Cocceius and Vos . This book is the gateway to the rest of his writings. It is brilliant, stimulating and edifying.
  • H. Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Baker, repr. 1984). This is a sort of Reformed Sentences. Until it is replaced, it is the standard English-language collection of Reformed theological opinion from the classic Reformed orthodox theologians from the middle of the 16th century through the early 18th century. Be aware that the organization of this work reflects Heppe’s ecumenical and theological interests as much or more than it does the sources he quotes.
  • Michael S. Horton, Covenant and Eschatology (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2002);
  • Lord and Servant: A Covenant Christology (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2005);
  • Covenant and Salvation: Union with Christ (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2007);This series, to be completed with one more volume, is one of the most important written by a contemporary Reformed author in a very long time. Horton carefully and thoughtfully engages the academy and sets forth a thoughtful plan for the future of orthodox Reformed dogmatics.
  • —People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology (Louisville: WJKP, 2008). An award winning volume laying out the connections between covenant theology and the biblical and Reformed doctrine of the visible church as location of the administration of the covenant of grace.
  • God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006).A simple, clear and comprehensive introduction to a Reformed approach to the historia salutis (history of salvation). Used in several Christian colleges, this is a great textbook for Christian education courses.
  • J. G. Machen, Christianity and Liberalism. (New York: MacMillan, 1923). When I read this book twenty years ago or so, it was as if Machen had written it yesterday. Nothing has changed fundamentally and Machen’s analysis is still dead-on. When Van Til urged “fortiter in re, suaviter in modo,” he was thinking of Machen. One hopes this work will whet your appetite for more.
  • R. Scott Clark, ed., Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry. (Phillipsburg: P&R 2007). It might seem a little self-serving to list this volume, and perhaps it is, but it’s one of a few volumes that directly addresses the historical, exegetical, theological, and pastoral aspects of the contemporary crisis in the doctrine of justification. This collection of essays by the faculty of Westminster Seminary California defends the biblical and confessional Reformed covenant theology.
  • D. G. Hart, The Lost Soul of American Protestantism (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002).This book makes the case as never before that there are two types of American Christianity, the confessional and non-confessional. Among the non-confessional there are varieties, including evangelical and liberal, but non-confessional Christianity belongs to a different genus than does confessional Christianity.
  • Edward Fisher, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, ed. Thomas Boston (Alberta, Canada: Still Waters, repr. 1991).That Thomas Boston thought this book was important enough to edit and reprint in his day, is a strong endorsement. The fact that this book is still controversial says volumes about the book and the state of Reformed theology today. If you are not sure what the difference is between Law and Gospel, this book will help. This is an outstanding modern edition. Highly recommended.
  • Martin Luther, Martin Luther on the Bondage of the Will. trans., O. R. Johnston, ed. J. I. Packer (Cambridge: J. Clarke, repr. 1973). Some today might be surprised to see Luther’s name on this list, but earlier Reformed theologians who read Luther would have been surprised to see him omitted. We have our differences with Luther, but on the doctrines of predestination and justification, he has always been one of our theologians.
  • Caspar Olevianus, A Firm Foundation, trans. Lyle D. Bierma, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995). An edifying introduction to classic Reformed covenant/federal theology written by one of the chief authors of the Heidelberg Catechism. Written in catechetical format, the translator and editor has correlated it to the Heidelberg Catechism. This is an excellent resource for those catechetical sermons or membership classes.
  • An Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, trans. Lyle Bierma (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010). The second volume in the Classic Reformed Theology series, this is a good introduction to the Reformed doctrines of covenant and kingdom and to the catholic faith summarized in the creed.
  • John Murray. Redemption Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955). An excellent introduction to the Reformed ordo salutis (order of the application of redemption by the Holy Spirit). At his best, Murray was a great transmitter of historic Reformed theology.
  • The Imputation of Adam’s Sin (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959). A brilliant exegetical defense of the doctrine of imputation and Reformed federalism.
  • Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology 3 vols. trans. G. M. Giger, ed. J. T. Dennison (Phlipsburg: P&R, 1992-1997). One of the greatest of the 17th-century Reformed dogmatic works, it has retained its influence through its use at old Princeton. These volumes put in your hands an excellent representative of high Reformed orthodoxy and polemical theology.
  • Cornelius Van Til, The Defense of the Faith (Philipsburg: P&R, 1955). The best and clearest comprehensive summary of Van Til’s approach to apologetics and theology.
  • — The New Modernism (Philipsburg: P&R, 1946).There is hardly a more politically incorrect book available today, but it is a must read for any serious student of Barth. One might quibble with Van Til’s rhetorical strategy, but his analysis of what Barth was actually saying still holds.
  • Theodore Beza, The Christian Faith, trans. James Clark (Lewes: Focus Christian Ministries Trust, 1992).This is Beza as he actually was. Needless to say, this is not the Beza of most of the secondary texts.
  • Herman Witsius, The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man, 2 vol. (Philipsburg: P&R, repr., 1990).Probably the single finest statement of Reformed federal/covenant theology.
  • Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism. trans. G. Willard (Philipsburg: P&R, repr. 1985).There are many commentaries on the Heidelberg Catechism, but this one was written by the man responsible writing most of the Catechism. Ursinus was appointed to defend the catechism which he did through these and other lectures.
  • Richard Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, 2nd editon 4 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003) This is the landmark introduction to classic Reformed theology. Anyone who wants to study Reformed theology seriously must read this work. It is the definitive introduction to Reformed orthodoxy in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985). Not only is the only reference of its kind, reading it is a theological education itself.
  • Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996). There is no question whether you should own and read Berkhof cover to cover. The only question is: which edition? The 1996 edn contains his long-neglected Introduction to Systematic Theology. This introduction makes this edn superior to all editions published without it.
  • Carl R. Trueman and R. Scott Clark, Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in Reassessment (Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1999). Without appearing to be self-serving, this is the only comprehensive collection of survey articles intended to introduce readers to the orthodox Protestant theologians and theologies in the Reformed and Lutheran traditions.
  • Kim Riddlebarger, A Case for Amillenialism. Expanded edition (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013). This is a terrific one-stop introduction to Amillennialism.
  • B. B. Warfield, Studies in Theology (New York: Oxford University Press). The inclusion of this title is arbitrary. Anything written by Warfield is worth having and reading, carefully.
  • Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos? (New York: HBJ, 1949). So far as I know, Sayers was not Reformed, but she was a master of the English language. She was also a very thoughtful lay-theologian. The dogma is the drama.
  • A. A. Hodge, Outlines of Theology (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, repr. 1991).Modestly titled but exceptionally useful orientation to the major issues and doctrines of Reformed theology.
  • B. Hagglund, History of Theology. trans. Gene L. Lund 3rd edn (St Louis: Concordia, 1968). A remarkably balanced and thoughtful yet accessible introduction to the history of theology.
  • Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology 3 vol. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, repr. 1982). The synopsis of the old Princeton theology. Don’t let the occasional Latin passages put you off this work.
  • Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948). The foremost practitioner of Reformed Biblical Theology of the late 19th and early 20th century. Vos took to hand a discipline dominated by pietism and liberals and made it habitable for confessional Reformed theology, without ever using it as a tool against Systematic Theology or the Reformed confessions.
  • Grace and Glory (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1994).
  • The Kingdom of God and the Church (New York, 1903).
  • The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Philipsburg: P&R, 1956).
  • Pauline Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1930).
  • Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation (Philipsburg: P&R, 1980).
  • The Self-Disclosure of Jesus (Grand Rapids, 1954).
  • H. Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics.
  • Peter Dathenus, The Pearl of Christian Comfort, trans. A. Blok (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 1997). An excellent example of the confessional Reformed piety of the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
  • Franciscus Junius, On True Theology, trans. David C. Noe (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2014).
  • Anonymous, To Diognetus in Michael. W. Holmes, ed. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Grand Rapidsl Baker Academic, 2007)