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science; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his church; to receive complaints in cafes of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the fame: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for their agreement with the word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his word d.
IV. All synods or councils since the apostles tiines, whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred; therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith or practice, but to be used as an help in both e.
V. Synods and councils are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs, which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition, in cafes extraordinary; or by way of advice for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto reouircd by the civil magistrate f.
III. d Acts xv. 15. 19. 34. 27.
28, 29, 30, 31. (See in the Bible.) Acts. xvi. 4. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained ot the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. Matth.xviii. 17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican, v. 18.' Verily Ifay unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven, v. 19. Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, ;ls touching any thing that they (hall ask, it shall be done for them os my ]-'athcr which is in heaven, v. 20. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
IV. e Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. Acts xvii. 11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 1 Cor. ii. 5. That your faith should not stand in the wis, dom of men, but in the power of 'tUod. 2 Cor. i. 24. Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
V.yLuke xii. 13. And one of the company said unto him, Master speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. v. 14. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge, or a divider over you? John xviii. 36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom
CHAP. XXXII. Of the State ej Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead.
TH E bodies of men after death, return to dust and fee corruption a; but their fouls (which neither die nor sleep) having an immortal subsistence, immediatley return to God who gave them b. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies c; and the fouls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they Temain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day d. Besides these two places for fouls separated from the bodies, the scripture acknowledged! none;
of God, ah house not made witbl
d Luke xvi. 23; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and feeth Abraham afar off, and. Lazarus in his bosom, v. 24. And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that ..he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Acts
kingdom were of this world, ttien would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
I. a Gen. iii. 19. In the sweat of thy face (halt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for Out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return. Acts. xiii. 36. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God fell on steep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption.
b Luke xxiii. 43. And Jesus said Unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Ecch xii.- 7; Then (hall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (hall return unto God who gave it.
c Heb. xii. 23. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. 2 Cor. T. 1. For, we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building
II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed e: and all the. dead shall be raised up with the self-sa'me bodies, and none other, although with different qualities, which shall be united again to their fouls for ever f.
III. The bodies of the unjust shall, by the power of Christ, be raised to dishonour; the bodies of the just, by his Spirit, unto honour, and be made conformable to his own glorious body^.
CHAP. XXXIII. Of the last Judgment.
O D hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ a, to
whom whom all power and judgment is given of the Father b. In which day, not only the apostate angels mall be judged r, but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive according to whattheyhave done in the body,whethergoodorevil(/.
i- 2C. That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, fiom which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. Jude 6. And the angels which kept not their first eflate( but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. v. 7. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha.and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. I Pet. iii. 19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.
II. e 1 Thess. iv. 17. Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so (hall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Cor. xv. 51. Behold, I (hew you a mystery; we (hall not all sleep, but we (hail all be changed, j2. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, (for the trumpet (hall sound,) and the dead (hall be raised incorruptible, and we (hall be changed..-' /Job xix. 26. Aud though after
my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, v. 27. Whom 1 shall see for myself, and mine eyes (hall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. r Cor. xv. 42. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: v. 43. It is sown in dislionour.it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness.it is raised in power: v. 44. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
III. g Acts xxiv. Ij. And have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. John v. 28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves (hall hear his voice, v. 29. And (hall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 1 Cor. xv. 43. (See in letter s.) Phil. iii. 21. Who lhall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto bis glor ous body, according tc the working whereby
II- The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy in the eternal salvation of the elect, and of his justice in the damantion of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power e.
III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded
whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
I. a Acts xvii. 3 1. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained; thereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
b John v. 22. For the Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. v. 27. And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man
> c 1 Cor. vi. 3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels i how much more things that pertain to this life? Jude 6. (See letter d, chapter foregoing.) 2 Pet. ii. 4. For if God spared not the angels, that sinned, but cad them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.
d 2 Cor. v. 10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, accord
ing to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Eccl. xii. 14. For God (hall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Rom. ii. 16. In that day when God shall judge" the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. Rom. xiv. 10. But why dolt thou judge thy brother ? or why dost: thou set at nought thy brother? for we mall all stand before the judgment-seat os Christ, v. 12. So then every one of us (hall give account of himself to God. Matth.xii. 36. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men (hall speak, they (hall give account thereof in the day of judgment, v. 37. For by thy words thou flialt be justified, and by thy words thou (halt be condemned.
II. e (Matth. xxv. 31. to the end.) Rom. ii. 5. But after thy harduefs and impenitent heart, treaiurest up unto thyself wrath against the day os wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; v. 6. Who will render to every man wording that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin, and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity/: so will he have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come, and may be ever prepared to say, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen g. j
to his deeds. Rom. ix. 21. What if God, willing to (hew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction : v. 23. And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory I Matth xxv. 21. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I •will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Acts. iii. 19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
2Thess.i. 7 10.(SeeintheBibles
III./2 Pet. iii. 11. Seeing then that all these things (hall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? v« 14. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 2 Cor. v.io. (See in letter d.) v. n. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also, are made manifest in your consciences. 2 Thess. i. j. Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suf.er. v. 6. Seeing it is a righteous thing witli God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; ". , FIN
v. 7. And to you who are troubled, I rest with us, when the Lord Jesus; shall be revealed from heaven, with • his mighty angels. Luke xxi. 27. •' And then shall they see the son os man coming in a cloud with power and great glory, v. 28. And when' these things begin to come to pass, 1 then look up, and lift up your headsj! for your redemption draweth nigh.' I Rom.viii. 23. And not only they,but I ourselves also, which haye the first- J fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. v. 24. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen, is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? v. 2J. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
g Matth. xxiv. 36. 42, 43, 44. (See in the Bible.) Mark xiii. 3;. Watch ye therefore, (for ye know not when the master of the house cometh; at even, or at midnight, ur at the cock-crowing, or in the morning.) v. 36. Lest coming suddenly, he find you fleeping. v. 37. And what I say unto you, I lay unto all, Watch Luke xii. 35. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; v. 36. And ye yourselves' like unto men that wait for their lord, when he wili return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Rev. xxii. 20. He which testisieth these things, faith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come. Lord Jesus