תמונות בעמוד
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nor a sparrow can fall to the ground, without the will of our
Father, in whom we do entirely trust, being persuaded, that
he so restrains the devil and all our enemies, that without
his will and permission, they cannot hurt us. And therefore
we reject that damnable error of the Epicureans, who say
that God regards nothing, but leaves all things to chance.
XIV. Of the creation and fall of Man, and his incapacity to

perform what is truly good.
We believe that God created man out of the dust of the
earth, and made and formed him after his own image and
likeness, good, righteous, and holy, capable in all things to
will, agreeably to the will of God. But being in honour, he
understood it not, neither knew his excellency, but wilfully
subjected himself to sin, and consequently to death, and the
curse, giving ear to the words of the devil. For the com.
mandment of life, which he had received, he transgressed:
and by sin separated himself from God, who was his true life,
having corrupted his whole nature; whereby he made him.
self liable to corporal and spiritual death. And being thus
become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all his ways, he hath
lost all his excellent gifts, which he had received from God,
and only retained a few remains thereof, which, however,
are sufficient to leave man without excuse; for all the light
which is in us is changed into darkness, as the scriptures
teach us, saying: The light shineth in darkness, and the dark-
ness comprehendeth it not: where St. John calleth men dark.

Therefore we reject all that is taught repugnant to
this, concerning the free will of man, since man is but a slave
to sin; and has nothing of himself, unless it is given him
from heaven. For who may presume to boast, that he of
himself can do any good, since Christ saith, no man can como
to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him? Who
will glory in his own will, who understands, that to be car.
nally minded, is enmity against God? Who can speak of his
knowledge, since the natural man receiveth not the things of
the spirit of God? In short, who dare suggest any thoughts,
since he knows that we are not sufficient of ourselves to
think any thing as of ourselves, but that our sufficiency is of
God? And therefore what the apostle saith ought justly to
be held sure and firm, that God worketh in us both to will and
to do of his good pleasure. For there is no will nor under
standing, conformable to the divine will and understanding,
but what Christ hath wrought in man: which he teaches us,
when hc saith, without me ye can do nothing.

XV. Of original Sin.
We believe that, through the disobedience of Adam, origi.
nal sin is extended to all mankind : which is a corruption of


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the whole nature, and an hereditary disease, wherewith in. fants themselves are infected even in their mother's womb, and which produceth in man all sorts of sin, being in him as a root thereof; and therefore is so vile and abominable in the sight of God, that it is sufficient to condemn all mankind. Nor is it by any means abolished or done away by baptism; since sin always issues forth from this woful source, as water from a fountain; potwithstanding it is not imputed to the children of God unto condemnation, but by his grace and mercy is forgiven them. Not that they should rest securely in sin, but that a sense of this corruption should make believers often to sigh, desiring to be delivered from this body of death. Wherefore we reject the error of the Pelagians, who assert that sin proceeds only from imitation

XVI. Of eternal Election. We believe that all the posterity of Adam, being thus fallen into perdition and ruin, by the sin of our first parents, God then did manifest himself such as he is; that is to say, mer. ciful and just: Merciful, since he delivers and preserves from this perdition all, whom he in his eternal and unchangeable council, of mere goodness hath elected in Christ Jesus our Lord, without any respect to their works : Just, in leaving others in the fall and perdition wherein they have involved themselves.

XVII. Of the recovery of fallen Man. We believe that our most gracious God, in his admirable wisdom and goodness, seeing that man had thus thrown him. self into temporal and spiritual death, and made himself wholly miserable, was pleased to seek and comfort him, when he trembling fled from his presence, promising him that he would give his Son, who should be made of a woman, to bruise the head of the serpent, and make him happy.

XVIII. Of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. We confess therefore that God did fulfil the promise, which he made to the fathers, by the mouth of his holy prophets, when he sent into the world, at the time appointed by him, his own, only begotten and eternal Son, “who took upon him the form of a servant, and became like unto man, really assuming the true human nature, with all its infirmities, sin excepted, being conceived in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Ghost, without the means of man.

And did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a true human soul, that he might be a real man. For since the soul was lost as well as the body, it was necessary that he should take both upon him, to save both.

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Therefore we confess (in opposition to the heresy of the Anahaptists, who deny that Christ assumed human flesh of his mother) that Christ is become a partaker of the flesh and blood of the children; that he is a fruit of the loins of David after the flesh; made of the seed of David according to the flesh; a fruit of the womb of the Virgin Mary, made of a woman; a branch of David; a shoot of the root of Jesse ; sprung from the tribe of Judah; descended from the Jews according to the flesh : of the seed of Abraham, since he took upon him the secd of Abraham, “and became like unto his brethren in all things sin excepted :" so that in truth he is our IMMANUEL, that is to say, God with us. XIX. Of the union and distinction of the two natures in the

person of Christ. We believe that by this conception, the person of the Son is inseparably united and connected with the human nature; so that there are not two Sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in one single person : yet, that each na. ture retains its own distinct properties. As then the divine nature hath always remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life, filling heaven and earth : so also hath the human nature not lost its properties, but remained a creature, having beginning of days, being a finite nature, and retaining all the properties of a real body: And though he hath by his resurrection given immortality to the same, ne. vertheless he hath not changed the reality of his human na. ture; for as much as our salvation and resurrection also depend on the reality of his body. But these two natures are so closely united in one person, that they were not separated even by his death. Therefore that, which, he when dying commended into the hands of his father, was a real human spirit, departing from his body : But in the mean time the divine nature always remained united with the human, even when he lay in the grave: And the Godhead did not cease to be in him, any more than it did when he was an infant, though it did not so clearly manifest itself for a while. Wherefore we confess, that he is very God; and VERY MAN; very God by his power to conquer death; and very man that he might die for us according to the infirmity of his flesh. XX. That God hath manifested his justice and mercy in Christ.

We believe that God, who is perfectly merciful and just, sent his Son to assume that nature, in which the disobedi. ence was committed, to make satisfaction in the same. and to bear the punishment of sin by his most bitter passion and death. God therefore manifested his justice against his Son, when he laid our iniquities upon him, and poured forth his

mercy and goodness on us, who were guilty and worthy of damnation, out of mere and perfect love, giving his Son unto death for us, and raising him for our justification, that through him we might obtain immortality and life eternal, XXI. Of the satisfaction of Christ, our only high priest, for us.

We believe that Jesus Christ is ordained with an oath to be an everlasting high priest, after the order of Melchisedec. Who hath presented himself in our behalf before his Father, to appease his wrath by his full satisfaction, by offering himself on the tree of the cross, and pouring out his precious blood to purge away our sins; as the prophet had foretold. For it is written," he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed: He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and numbered with the transgressors:" and condemned by Pontius Pilate as a malefactor, though he had first declared him innocent. Therefore," he restored that which he took not away, and suffered the just for the unjust,” as well in his body as soul, feeling the terrible punishment which our sins had merited; inso. much “that his sweat became like unto drops of blood fall. ing on the ground.” He called out, “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And hath suffered all this for the remission of our sins.-Wherefore we justly say with the Apostle Paul, “that we know nothing, but Jesus Christ, and him crucified; we count all things but loss and dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord:" in whose wounds we find all manner of consolation. Neither is it necessary to seek or invent any other means of being reconciled to God, than this only sacrifice, once offered, by which believers are made perfect for ever. This is also the reason why he was called by the angel of God, Jesus, that is to say, Saviour, because he should save his people from their sins.

XXII, of our justification through faith in Jesus Christ.

We believe that, to attain the true knowledge of this great mystery, the Holy Ghost kindleth in our hearts an upright faith, which embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, ap. propriates him, and seeks nothing more besides him. For it must needs follow, either that all things, which are requisite to our salvation, are not in Jesus Christ, or if all things are in him, that then those, who possess Jesus Christ through faith, have complete salvation in him.-Therefore, for any to assert, that Christ is not sufficient, but that something more is required besides him, would be too gross a blasphemy; for hence it would follow, that Christ was but half a Saviour. Therefore we justly say with Paul, that we are justified by faith alone, or by faith without works. However, to speak more clearly, we do not mean, that faith itself jus. tifies us, for it is only an instrument, with which we em. brace Christ our Righteousness. But Jesus Christ, imputing to us all nis merits, and so many holy works, which he hath done for us, and in our stead, is our Righteousness. And faith is an instrument, that keeps us in communion with him in all his benefits, which, when become ours, are more than sufficient to acquit us of our sins. XXIII. That our justification consists in the forgiveness of sin

and the imputation of Christ's righteousness. We believe that our salvation consists in the remission of our sins for Jesus Christ's sake, and that therein our righteousness before God is implied: as David and Paul teach us, declaring this to be the happiness of man, that God imputes righteousness to him without works. And the same apostle saith, that we are justified freely, by his grace, through the re. demption which is in Jesus Christ. And therefore we always hold fast this foundation, ascribing all the glory to God, hunıbling ourselves before him, and acknowledging ourselves to be such as we really are, without presuming to trust in any thing in ourselves, or in any merit of ours, relying and resting upon the obedience of Christ crucified alone, which becomes ours, when we believe in him : this is sufficient to cover all our iniquities, and to give us confidence, in approaching to God; freeing the conscience of fear, terror, and dread, without following the example of our first father, Ad. am, who, trembling, attempted to cover himself with fig. leaves.-And verily, if we should appear before God, relying on ourselves, or on any other creature, though ever so little, we should, alas! be consumed. And therefore every one must pray with David; O Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

XXIV. Of man's sanctification and good works. We believe that this true faith being wrought in man by the hearing of the word of God, and the operation of the Holy Ghost, doth regenerate and make him a new man, causing him to live a new life, and freeing him from the bon. dage of sin.-Therefore it is so far from being true, that this justifying faith makes men remiss in a pious and holy life, that on the contrary without it they would never do any thing out of love to God, but only out of self-love or fear of damnation. Therefore it is impossible that this oly faith can be unfruitful in man: for we do not speak of a vain faith, but of such a faith, which is called in scripture, a faith

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