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be long and glorious, with royal resolutions, a violably to maintain the toleration.
Deus enim hae Otia fecit.
Undoubtedly if the same had been the liberty of those times, our fathers would have been far from exchanging a most pleasant land (dulce 80lum patria) for a vast and howling wilderness; since for the enjoyment of so desirable liberty, a considerable number of learned, worthy, and pious persons, were, by a divine impulse and extraordinary concurrence of dis positions, engaged to adventure their lives families, and estates, upon the vast ocean, following the Lord into a wil derness, a land then not sown ;* wherein innume rable difficulties staring them in the face, were outbid by heroick resolution, magnanimity and confidence in the Lord lone. Our Fathers trusted in the Lord and were delivered, they trusted in him and were not confounded.t It was their care to be with the Lord. and their indul gence, that the Lord was with them, to a won der, preserving, supporting, protecting, and animating them; dispatching and destroying the pagan natives by extraordinary sickness and mortality, that there might be room for his people to serve the Lord our God in § It was the glory of our fathers, that they heartily professed
+ II Chron.
* Jer. ii. 2. † Psal xxi. 4,5. xv. 2.Psal. lxxx. 8, 9.
the only rule of their religion, from the very first, to be the Holy Scripture, according where unto, so far as they were persuaded, upon dili gent enquiry, solicitous search, and faithful prayer conformed, was their faith, their wor ship, together with the whole administration of the house of Christ, and their manners, allowance being given to human failures and imperfections.
That which they were most solicitous about, and wherein their liberty had been restrained, respected the worship of God, and the Government of the Church of Christ, according to his own appointment, their faith and profession of religion being the same which was generally received in all the reformed churches of Europe, and in substance the Assembly's Confession, as shall be shewn anon.
It cannot be denied, that the usage of the Christian Church, whose faith wholly rested upon the word of God respecting Confessions of Faith, is very ancient, and that which is universally acknowledged to be most so, and of universal acceptance and consent, is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, a symbol, sign, or badge of. the christian religion, called the Apostles, not because they composed it, for then it must have been received into the canon of the Holy Bible', but because the matter of it agreeth with the doctrine, and is taken out of the writings of the Apostles. Conseqent hereunto, as the necessity of the Church for the correcting, condem
ing, and suppressing of heresy and error requi red, have been emitted ancient and famous Confessions of Faith, composed and agreed upon by Oecumenical Councils, e. g. of Nice against Arius, of Constantinople against Macedonius, of Ephesus, against Nestorius, of Calcedon, against Eutyches. And when the light of reformation broke forth to the dispersing of popish darkness, the reformed nations agreed upon Confessions of Faith, famous in the world, and of especial service to theirs and standing ages. And among those of latter times, published in our nation most worthy of repute and acceptance, we take to be the Confession of Faith, composed by the reverend Assembly of Divines convened at Westminster, with that of the Savoy, in the substance, and in expressions for the most part the same; the former* profes sedly assented and attested to, by the Fathers of our country, by unanimous vote of the synod of Elders and Messengers of the churches met at tambridge, the last of the 6th month, 1648, The latter owned and consented to by the Eiders and Messengers of the churches assembled at Boston. May 12th, 1680. The same, we doubt not to profess, to have been the constant faith of the churches in this Colony, from the first foundation of them. And that it may ap pear to the christian world, that our churches do not maintain differing opinions in the doctrine
* See the Preface to the Platform of Church Discipline.
of religion, nor are desirous, for any reason, to conceal the faith we are persuaded of the elders and Messengers of the Churches in this colony of Connecticut, in New England, by virtue of the appointment and encouragement ofthe honourable the General Assembly, convened by delegation at Saybrook, September 9th. 1708, unanimously agreed, that the Confession of Faith, owned and consented unto by the elders and messengers of the churches assembled at Boston, in New England, May 12th. 1680, being the second session of that Synod, be recommended to the honourable General Assembly of this Colony at their next session. for their publick testimony thereto, as the faith of the churches of this colony; which confession, together with the heads of Union, and articles for the administration of Church Government herewith emitted, were presented unto, and approved and established by the said General Assembly, at New-Haven, on the 14th of October, 1708.
This Confession of Faith, we offer as our firm persuasion, well and fully grounded upon the Holy Scripture, and commend the same unto all, and particularly to the people of our Colony, to be examined, accepted, and constantly maintained. We do not assume to ourselves, that any thing be taken upon trust from us, but commend to our people these following Counsels.
I. That you be immoveably and unchangeably agreed in the only sufficient, and invariable rule
of religion, which is the Holy Scripture, the fixed Canon uncapable of addition or diminution. You ought to accout nothing ancient, that will not stand by this rule,† nor any thing new that will. Do not hold yourselves bound to unscriptural rites in religion, wherein custom it. self doth many times misguide. Believe it to be the honour of Religion to resign and captivate our wisdom and faith to Revelation.
II. That You be determined by this Rule in the whole of Religion. That your Faith be right and Divine, the Word of God must be the foundation of it, and the authority of the word the reason of it. You may believe the most important articles of Faith, with no more than a human faith; And this is evermore the cause, when the principle Faith is resolved into, is any other than the holy Scripture. For an orthodox christian to resolve his Faith, into education instruction and the persuasion of others is not an higher reason, than a Papist, Mahometan, or Pagan can produce for his religion.
Pay also unto God the worship, that will bear the trial of and receive establishment by this rule. Have always in readiness a divine warrant for all the worship you perform to God. Believe that worship is accepted and that only, which is directed unto and commanded, and
*Isa. viii. 20. †Rev. xxi. 18, 19. Jer vi. 16. Mat. xix. 8, or xliv. 17. Mat. xi. 27. 1 John v. 9. Lke x. 26.