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of God and his Son Jesus, which is eternal life, before he can have spiritual wisdom to discern and detect the deceiver. If, then, by perverting the gracious provision of the gospel in refusing to submit to the righteousness of God, the sinner finally grieves the Spirit of God, to depart from him, he becomes doubly and eternally reprobated; or like the chemist's mineral, which will not coin into pure metal, or the potter's clay, which marred upon the wheel. But if the creature fall into this deplorable situation, he was not bound by any revealed or secret decree of God to do so: it is his own fault. For God declares in his Word that Christ died for the whole world; that he offers pardon to all; that the Spirit operates on all; confirming by an oath that he has no pleasure in the death of sinners. Every invitation of the gospel either promises or implies aid by the Divine Spirit. The plan of the Bible is grace and duty. God calls (grace); sinners hearken diligently (duty); God reproves (grace); sinners turn (duty); God pours out his Spirit (grace); sinners resist not the light, but improve it (duty); God makes known his Word, or reveals the plan of salvation (grace); God invites (grace); wicked men, forsake your ways (duty), your thoughts (duty), and turn to the Lord (duty), and God will have mercy on you (grace), and God will abundantly pardon (grace).'
In Chap. IX., Of Free Will, the first three and the fifth sections are retained with an addition at the close of Sect. 3, without Divine aid.' In the fourth section the last words, 'but [the sinner] doth also will that which is evil,' are omitted.
In Chap. X., Of Effectual Calling, the fourth section is omitted, and the third section concerning infant salvation is liberalized and made to embrace all infants as follows:
CUMBERLAND CONFESSION, CHAP. X.
WESTMINSTER CONFESSION, CHAP. X.
III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved
III. All infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit,' who worketh by Christ through the Spirit,' who when, and where, and how he worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth. So also are all other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called
pleaseth; so also are others who have never had the exercise of reason, and who are incapable of being outwardly called by the minis- by the ministry of the Word.3 try of the Word.
In Chap. XI., Of Justification, Sect. 1, 'Those whom God effectually calleth,' is changed into 'Those whom God calleth (and who obey the call). In Sect. 4, 'God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect, is changed into 'God, before the foundation of the world, determined to justify all true believers.'
'Luke xviii. 15, 16; Acts ii. 38, 39. 2 John iii. 8.
Luke xviii. 15, 16; Acts ii. 38, 39; John iii. 3, 5; 1 John v. 12; Rom. viii. 9.
2 John iii. 8.
31 John v. 12; Acts iv. 12.
7. Que les bonnes œuvres ne sont pas necessaires au salut.
8. Que nous rejettons absolument la Confession des pechés, et la Penitence.
9. Qu'il faut rejetter les Jûnes, et autres mortifications de la chair, pour vivre dans la dissolution.
10. Que chacun peut expliquer l'Ecriture Sainte comme il luy plait, et selon les inspirations de son esprit particulier.
11. Que l'Église peut de tout defaillir, et
12. Que le Baptéme n'est d'aucune necessité. 13. Que dans le Sacrement de l'Eucharistie, nous n'avons aucune reelle communion avec Jesus Christ, mais seulement en figure.
14. Qu'on n'est pas obligé d'obeïr aux Magistrats, Rois, Princes, etc.
15. Parce que nous n'invoquons pas la Sainte Vierge, et les hommes déja glorifiés, on nous accuse de les mépriser, au lieu que nous les publions bienheureus, dignes, et de loüange, et d'imitation, et tenons sur tout la Sainte Vierge Bienheureuse entre toutes les Fem
Or tous ces Chefs qui nous sont ainsi malicieusement imputés, bien loin de les croire ou enseigner parmi nous, que nous les tenons pour heretiques et damnables, et denonçons de tout
nôtre cœur anatheme contre quiconque les voudroit soutenir.
6. That good works are not necessary to salvation;
7. That we entirely reject confession of sins and repentance;
8. That fasting and other mortifications of the flesh must be rejected, in order to lead a dissolute life;
9. That any one may explain the Holy Scripture as he pleases, and according to the fanciful suggestions of his own mind;
10. That the Church can entirely fail and be destroyed;
11. That baptism is not necessary;
12. That in the sacrament of the eucharist we have no communion with Christ in fact, but in a figure only;
13. That obedience is not due to magistrates, kings, princes, etc.;
14. That we despise, because we do not invoke, the most holy Virgin and glorified saints; while in fact we pronounce them blessed and worthy both of praise and imitation, and hold above all the holy Virgin Mary to be blessed amongst women.'
All these articles maliciously imputed to us, far from believing or teaching them, we hold to be heretical and damnable, and we denounce from all our heart every one who would maintain them.
time therein; yet now, since life and immortality are brought clearer
and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into griev
to light by the gospel,2 and espe- ous sins;' and for a time continue cially since the effusion of the Holy therein:2 whereby they incur God's Ghost on the day of Pentecost,3 displeasure, and grieve his Holy we may not expect the true Chris- Spirit; come to be deprived of tian to fall into such gross sins.' some measure of their graces and Nevertheless they may, through the comforts; have their hearts hardtemptations of Satan, the world, ened, and their consciences woundand the flesh, the neglect of the ed; hurt and scandalize others, means of grace, fall into sin, and and bring temporal judgments incur God's displeasure, and grieve upon themselves.9 his Holy Spirit;5 come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, and have their consciences wounded; but the real Christian can never rest satisfied therein.*
*NOTE. To this section the following note is attached in the official edition:
'This doctrine, although it is certainly supported by incontestable proof from the Word of God, as well as by the reason and nature of the union between Christ and his people, yet, like all other truths, has been and may be perverted. The idea of eternal justification and consequent perseverance is unscriptural: the way perseverance is insisted on by some preachers in connection with the preceding parts of their sermons is certainly dangerous. Example: First preach a superficial experience, then make a great many more allowances for weakness and wickedness, stumbling, straying, etc., than God's Word admits, then press perseverance, and you have the formalist or hypocrite confirmed.
'On the other hand, press the doctrines of final apostasy, if the creature does not so and so, making the perseverance of the creature depend chiefly upon his doings: you raise in the mind of the unregenerate professor the fear of hell, as a high excitement to duty; confirm him in his legality; prepare his mind, indirectly at least, to give glory to himself for his perseverance; settle him down in a self-confident and deplorable situation. What God's Word VOL. III.-D D D
hath joined together, let not his ministers put asunder; but first let them give a clear, definite description of the new birth, and then let them press the doctrine of heart and practical holiness as the sure consequence ("For by their fruit ye shall know them"), and daily evidences (not the cause) of that gracious state which will insure their final perseverance.
'Then this true and comfortable doctrine will not be perverted, neither will it have a tendency to licentiousness in him "whom the love of Christ constraineth," or the real Christian: no, he serves and desires to serve God with more zeal, and from pure evangelical principles, still laying the foundation in his own mind, and cherishing the principle of ascribing all the glory to God for his conversion, his perseverance, and his final and complete redemption.'
THE AUBURN DECLARATION. A.D. 1837.
[The AUBURN DECLARATION, SO called from the place of its adoption, belongs to the history of American Presbyterianism, and although it never aspired to the dignity of an authoritative Confession of Faith, it may claim a place here for its intrinsic value and importance before and after the disruption. It originated during the conflict which preceded the division of the Presbyterian Church into Old and New School, A.D. 1837, and was prepared by the Rev. BAXTER DICKINSON, D.D. (d. 1876). It had been charged, on one side, that sixteen errors, involving considerable departures from true Calvinism and the Westminster standards, had become current in that Church. (They are printed in the Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review for 1876, pp. 7, 8.) In answer to this charge, the New School party were led to embody their belief on these points in a corresponding series of 'True Doctrines,' which were incorporated in their Protest, as presented to the General Assembly of 1837. These doctrinal statements were subsequently considered and adopted by an important representative convention at Auburn, New York, Aug., 1837, as expressing their matured views, and those of the churches and ministry represented by them, on the several topics involved. The Declaration thus adopted became, not indeed a creed, but an authoritative explanation of the interpretation given to the Westminster Symbols by the leading minds in the New School Church, as organized in 1838. It was in 1868 indorsed by the General Assembly (O. S.) as containing 'all the fundamentals of the Calvinistic Creed,' and this indorsement was one among the most effectual steps in bringing about the reunion of the two Churches in 1870. The document is rather a disavowal of imputed error than an exposition of revealed truth, and must be understood from the anthropological and soteriological controversies of that period of division now happily gone by.
Both the ERRORS and the TRUE DOCTRINES may be found in the Minutes of the Assembly for 1837; also, in the New Digest, pp. 227-230. See also Art. on The Auburn Declaration by Prof. E. D. MORRIS, D.D., of Lane Seminary, in the Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review, Jan. 1876, pp. 5–40.
The original document is deposited in the library of Lane Theol. Sem., Cincinnati, O. The text here given is an accurate copy from it, and was kindly furnished for this work by the Rev. E. D. MORRIS, D.D. The headings in brackets have been supplied by the editor.]
[PERMISSION OF SIN.]
1. God permitted the introduction of sin, not because he was unable to prevent it consistently with the moral freedom of his creatures, but for wise and benevolent reasons which he has not revealed.
2. Election to eternal life is not founded on a foresight of faith and obedience, but is a sovereign act of God's mercy, whereby, according to the counsel of his own will, he has chosen some to salvation: yet so as thereby neither is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established;' nor does this gracious purpose ever take effect independently of faith and a holy life.
[FALL OF ADAM.]
3. By a divine constitution Adam was so the head and representative of the race that, as a consequence of his transgression, all mankind became morally corrupt, and liable to death, temporal and eternal.