THE NEW HAMPSHIRE CONFESSION (1833)
DECLARATION OF FAITH
I. Of the Scriptures. We believe [that] the Holy Bible was written by
men inspired, andis a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for
itsauthor, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error,for its matter;
that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall
remain to the end of the world, thetrue centre of Christian union, and the supreme
standard by which allhuman conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
II. Of the True God. [We believe] That there is one, and only one, living and trueGod, [an infinite, intelligent Spirit,] whose name is JEHOVAH, thyeMaker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious inholiness; [and] worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love;revealed under the personal and relative distinction of the Father, theSon, and the Holy Spirit; equal in every divine perfection, andexecuting distinct but harmonious offices in the great work ofredemption.
III. Of the Fall of Man. [We believe] That man was created in a state of holiness, underthe law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from thatholy and happy state; in consquence of which all mankind are nowsinners, not by constraint but choice, being by nature utterly void ofthat holiness required by the law of God, wholly given to thegratification of the world, of satan, and of their own sinful pasions, therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense orexcuse.
IV. Of The way of Salvation [We believe] That the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace;through the Mediatorial Offices of the Son of God, who [by theappointment of the Father, freely] took upon him our nature, yetwithout sin; honored the [divine] law by his personal obedience, and made atonement for ours sins by his death; being risen from the dead heis now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person thetenderest sympathies with divine perfections, [he] is every wayqualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all sufficentSaviour.
V. Of Justification. [We believe] That the great Gospel blessing which Christ of hisfulness bestows on such as believe in Him, is Justification ; That Justification consists in the pardon of sin and the promise of eternallife, on principles of righteousness; that is bestowed not in anyconsideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, butsolely through His own redemption and righteousness, [by virtue ofwhich faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God;]that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor withGod, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
VI. Of the Freeness of Salvation. [We believe] That the blessings of salvation are made free to all by theGospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial,[penitent,] and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of thegreatest sinner on earth except his own [inherent depravity and] voluntaryrefusal to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, which refusal will subject him toan aggravated condemnation.
VII. Of grace in Regeneration. [We believe] That in order to be saved, we must be regenerated or bornagain; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind;and is effected in a manner above our comprehension or calculation, by thepower of the Holy Spirit, [in connection with divine truth,] so as to secureour voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that its proper evidence is foundin the holy fruit which we bring forth to the glory of God.
VIII. Of Repentance and Faith. [This article added in1853.] We believe that repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and alsoinseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God;whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and ofthe way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition,confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartly receiving theLord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King, and relying on him alone asthe only and all sufficent Saviour.
IX. Of God's Purpose of Grace. [We believe] That Election is the gracious purpose of God, according towhich he [graciously] regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that beingperfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the meansin connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God'ssovereign goodness, being infinitely [free,] wise, holy and unchangeable; thatit utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, [love,] prayer, praise,trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourges theuse of means in the highest degree; that it is ascertained by its effects inall who [truely] believe the gospel; [that it] is the foundation of Christianassurence; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves, demands anddeserves our utmost diligence.
X. Of Sanctification. [Added in 1853.] We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to thewill of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressivework; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in thehearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealerand Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means-especially the Wordof God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.
XI. Of the Perseverance of Saints. [We believe] That such only are real believers as endure unto the end;that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark whichdistingushes them from mere professors; that a special Providence watches overtheir welfare; and [that] they are kept by the power of God through faith untosalvation.
XII. [of the] Harmony of the Law and the Gospel. [We believe] That the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule ofhis moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inabilitywhich the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arisesentirely from their love of sin; to deliver them from which, and to restorethem through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is one greatend of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishmentof the visible Church.
XIII. Of a Gospel Church. [We believe] That a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covernant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by his laws; andexercising the gifts, rights, and priviledges invested in them by his word;that its only proper officers are Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons, whosequalifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy andTitus.
XIV Of Baptism and the Loed's Supper. [We believe] That Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer inwater, in the name of the Father [and Son, and Spirit, to show forth in asolemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in a crucified, buried, and risenSaviour, with its purifing power; that it is prerequisite to the privileges ofa church relation; and to the Lord's Supper, in which the members of thechurch, by the [sacred] use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together thedying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.
XV. Of the Christian Sabbath. [We believe] That the first day of the week is the Lord's-Day, orChristian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, byabstaining from all secular labor and [sinful] recreations; by the devoutobservance of all means of grace, both private and public; and by preprationfor rest which remaineth for the people of God.
XVI. Of Civil Government. [We believe] That civil government is of divine appointment, for theinterests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to beprayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except [only] in thingsopposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of theconscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.
XVII Of the Righteous and the Wicked. [We believe] That there is a radical and essential difference between therighteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in thename of the Lord Jesus, and sancitified by the Spirit of our God, are truelyrighteous in his esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence andunbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinctionholds among men both in and after death. xviii. Of the World to Come. [We believe] That the end of this world is approching: that at the lastday, Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave tofinal retribution; that a solemn seperation will then take place; that thewicked will be adjudged to endles punishment, and the righteous to endlessjoy; and that the judgement will fix forever the final state of men in heavenand hell, on principles of righeousness.
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