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The immortality of the soul proved

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The immortality of the soul proved from,

The testimony of conscience.
The knowledge of God.
The noble faculties with which it is endued.
Its activity and wondrous fancies in sleep.
Innumerable passages of Scripture.

2. Moreover, there can be no question that man consists of a body and a soul; meaning by soul, an immortal though created essence, which is his nobler part. Sometimes he is called a spirit. But though the two terms, while they are used together differ in their meaning, still, when spirit is used by itself it is equivalent to soul, as when Solomon speaking of death says, that the spirit returns to God who gave it, (Ecclesiastes 12:7.) And Christ, in commending his spirit to the Father, and Stephen his to Christ, simply mean, that when the soul is freed from the prison-house of the body, God becomes its perpetual keeper. Those who imagine that the soul is called a spirit because it is a breath or energy divinely infused into bodies, but devoid of essence, err too grossly, as is shown both by the nature of the thing, and the whole tenor of Scripture. It is true, indeed, that men cleaving too much to the earth are dull of apprehension, nay, being alienated from the Father of Lights, are so immersed in darkness as to imagine that they will not survive the grave; still the light is not so completely quenched in darkness that all sense of immortality is lost. Conscience, which, distinguishing, between good and evil, responds to the judgment of God, is an undoubted sign of an immortal spirit. How could motion devoid of essence penetrate to the judgment-seat of God, and under a sense of guilt strike itself with terror? The body cannot be affected by any fear of spiritual punishment. This is competent only to the soul, which must therefore be endued with essence. Then the mere knowledge of a God sufficiently proves that souls which rise higher than the world must be immortal, it being impossible that any evanescent vigor could reach the very fountain of life. In fine, while the many noble faculties with which the human mind is endued proclaim that something divine is engraven on it, they are so many evidences of an immortal essence. For such sense as the lower animals possess goes not beyond the body, or at least not beyond the objects actually presented to it. But the swiftness with which the human mind glances from heaven to earth, scans the secrets of nature, and, after it has embraced all ages, with intellect and memory digests each in its proper order, and reads the future in the past, clearly demonstrates that there lurks in man a something separated from the body. We have intellect by which we are able to conceive of the invisible God and angels — a thing of which body is altogether incapable. We have ideas of rectitude, justice, and honesty — ideas which the bodily senses cannot reach. The seat of these ideas must therefore be a spirit. Nay, sleep itself, which stupefying the man, seems even to deprive him of life, is no obscure evidence of immortality; not only suggesting thoughts of things which never existed, but foreboding future events. I briefly touch on topics which even profane writers describe with a more splendid eloquence. For pious readers, a simple reference is sufficient. Were not the soul some kind of essence separated from the body, Scripture would not teach that we dwell in houses of clay, and at death remove from a tabernacle of flesh; that we put off that which is corruptible, in order that, at the last day, we may finally receive according to the deeds done in the body. These, and similar passages which everywhere occur, not only clearly distinguish the soul from the body, but by giving it the name of man, intimate that it is his principal part. Again, when Paul exhorts believers to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit, he shows that there are two parts in which the taint of sin resides. Peter, also, in calling Christ the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, would have spoken absurdly if there were no souls towards which he might discharge such an office. Nor would there be any ground for what he says concerning the eternal salvation of souls, or for his injunction to purify our souls, or for his assertion that fleshly lusts war against the soul; neither could the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews say, that pastors watch as those who must give an account for our souls, if souls were devoid of essence. To the same effect Paul calls God to witness upon his soul, which could not be brought to trial before God if incapable of suffering punishment. This is still more clearly expressed by our Savior, when he bids us fear him who, after he has killed the body, is able also to cast into hell fire. Again when the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews distinguishes the fathers of our flesh from God, who alone is the Father of our spirits, he could not have asserted the essence of the soul in clearer terms. Moreover, did not the soul, when freed from the fetters of the body, continue to exist, our Savior would not have represented the soul of Lazarus as enjoying blessedness in Abraham s bosom, while, on the contrary, that of Dives was suffering dreadful torments. Paul assures us of the same thing when he says, that so long as we are present in the body, we are absent from the Lord. Not to dwell on a matter as to which there is little obscurity, I will only add, that Luke mentions among the errors of the Sadducees that they believed neither angel nor spirit.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 15-Henry Beveridge Translation

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Confession statement 35

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XXXV. AND all His servants of all estates (are to acknowledge Him to be their prophet, priest, and king;) and called thither to be enrolled among His household servants, to present their bodies and souls, and to bring their gifts God hath given them, to be under His heavenly conduct and government, to lead their lives in this walled sheepfold, and watered garden, to have communion here with His saints, that they may be assured that they are made meet to be partakers of their inheritance in the kingdom of God; and to supply each others wants, inward and outward; (and although each person hath a propriety in his own estate, yet they are to supply each others wants, according as their necessities shall require, that the name of Jesus Christ may not be blasphemed through the necessity of any in the Church) and also being come, they are here by Himself to be bestowed in their several order, due place, peculiar use, being fitly compact and knit together according to the effectual working of every part, to the edifying of itself in love.

Acts 2:41,47; Isa.4:3; 1 Cor.12:6,7, etc.; Ezek.20:37,40; Song of Sol.4:12: Eph.2:19: Rom.12:4,5,6; Col.1:12, 2:5,6,19; Acts 20:32, 5:4, 2:44,45, 4:34.35; Luke 14:26; 1 Tim.6:1; Eph.4:16.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46 

Man bears a stamp of immortality; so that only a fool would deny God

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The powers and actions of the soul, a proof of its separate existence from the body. Proofs of the soul’s immortality. Objection that the whole world is quickened by one soul. Reply to the objection. Its impiety.

5. But my business at present is not with that stye: I wish rather to deal with those who, led away by absurd subtleties, are inclined, by giving an indirect turn to the frigid doctrine of Aristotle, to employ it for the purpose both of disproving the immortality of the soul, and robbing God of his rights. Under the pretext that the faculties of the soul are organized, they chain it to the body as if it were incapable of a separate existence, while they endeavor as much as in them lies, by pronouncing eulogiums on nature, to suppress the name of God. But there is no ground for maintaining that the powers of the soul are confined to the performance of bodily functions. What has the body to do with your measuring the heavens, counting the number of the stars, ascertaining their magnitudes, their relative distances, the rate at which they move, and the orbits which they describe? I deny not that Astronomy has its use; all I mean to show is, that these lofty investigations are not conducted by organized symmetry, but by the faculties of the soul itself apart altogether from the body. The single example I have given will suggest many others to the reader. The swift and versatile movements of the soul in glancing from heaven to earth, connecting the future with the past, retaining the remembrance of former years, nay, forming creations of its own — its skill, moreover, in making astonishing discoveries, and inventing so many wonderful arts, are sure indications of the agency of God in man. What shall we say of its activity when the body is asleep, its many revolving thoughts, its many useful suggestions, its many solid arguments, nay, its presentiment of things yet to come? What shall we say but that man bears about with him a stamp of immortality which can never be effaced? But how is it possible for man to be divine, and yet not acknowledge his Creator? Shall we, by means of a power of judging implanted in our breast, distinguish between justice and injustice, and yet there be no judge in heaven? Shall some remains of intelligence continue with us in sleep, and yet no God keep watch in heaven? Shall we be deemed the inventors of so many arts and useful properties that God may be defrauded of his praise, though experience tells us plainly enough, that whatever we possess is dispensed to us in unequal measures by another hand? The talk of certain persons concerning a secret inspiration quickening the whole world, is not only silly, but altogether profane. Such persons are delighted with the following celebrated passage of Virgil: —

 

Know, first, that heaven, and earth’s compacted frame,

And flowing waters, and the starry flame,

And both the radiant lights, one common soul

Inspires and feeds — and animates the whole.

This active mind, infused through all the space,

Unites and mingles with the mighty mass:

Hence, men and beasts the breath of life obtain,

And birds of air, and monsters of the main.

Th’ ethereal vigor is in all the same,

And every soul is filled with equal flame.

 

The meaning of all this is, that the world, which was made to display the glory of God, is its own creator. For the same poet has, in another place, adopted a view common to both Greeks and Latins: —

 

Hence to the bee some sages have assigned

A portion of the God, and heavenly mind;

For God goes forth, and spreads throughout the whole,

Heaven, earth, and sea, the universal soul;

Each, at its birth, from him all beings share,

Both man and brute, the breath of vital air;

To him return, and, loosed from earthly chain,

Fly whence they sprung, and rest in God again;

Spurn at the grave, and, fearless of decay,

Dwell in high heaven, art star th’ ethereal way.

 

Here we see how far that jejune speculation, of a universal mind animating and invigorating the world, is fitted to beget and foster piety in our minds. We have a still clearer proof of this in the profane verses which the licentious Lucretius has written as a deduction from the same principle. The plain object is to form an unsubstantial deity, and thereby banish the true God whom we ought to fear and worship. I admit, indeed that the expressions “Nature is God,” may be piously used, if dictated by a pious mind; but as it is inaccurate and harsh, (Nature being more properly the order which has been established by God,) in matters which are so very important, and in regard to which special reverence is due, it does harm to confound the Deity with the inferior operations of his hands.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 5-Henry Beveridge Translation 

Confession statement 27

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

XXVII ALL believers are by Christ united to God; by which union, God is one with them, and they are one with Him; and that all believers are the sons of God, and joint heirs with Christ, to whom belong all the promises of this life, and that which is to come.

1 Thess.1:1; John 17:21, 20:17; Heb.2:11; 1 John 4:16; Gal.2:19.20.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46

John Tombes

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

I am going to begin to blog a Catechism which was written in 1659 by an Anglican minister, who held primarily to Presbyterian views; with the exception of their views on infant baptism. It was herein, whereby he disagreed and wrote many treatises and papers against baptizing of infants. On top of his writings he also debated this subject with many a paedobaptist.

To give a brief introduction to John Tombes I will quote from wikisource. I understand that this information is provided by individuals, around the net, but seeing that it is hard to find concrete sources and seeing that what I have found seems to be in line with what is stated at wikisource, then I will use this internet source to provide my introduction.

 

TOMBES, JOHN (1603?-1676), baptist divine, was born of humble parentage at Bewdley, Worcestershire, in 1602 or 1603. He matriculated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, on 23 Jan. 1617-18, aged 15. His tutor was William Pemble [q. v.] Among his college friends was John Geree [q. v.] He graduated B.A. on 12 June 1621. After Pemble’s death he succeeded him in 1623 as catechism lecturer. His reputation as a tutor was considerable; among his pupils was John Wilkins [q. v.] He graduated M.A. on 16 April 1624, took orders, and quickly came into note as a preacher. From about 1624 to 1630 he was one of the lecturers of St. Martin Carfax. As early as 1627 he began to have doubts on the subject of infant baptism. Leaving the university in 1630, he was for a short time preacher at Worcester, but in November was instituted vicar of Leominster, Herefordshire, where his preaching was exceedingly popular, and won the admiration of so high an Anglican as John Scudamore, first viscount Scudamore [q. v.], who augmented the small income of his living. In June 1631 he commenced B.D. He left Leominster in 1643 (after February), having been appointed by Nathaniel Fiennes [q. v.] to supersede George Williamson as vicar of All Saints, Bristol. On the surrender of Bristol to the royalists (26 July), he removed to London (22 Sept.), where he became rector of St. Gabriel, Fenchurch, vacant by the sequestration of Ralph Cook, B.D. In church government his views were presbyterian. He laid his scruples on infant baptism before the Westminster assembly of divines, but got no satisfaction. Declining to baptise infants, he was removed from St. Gabriel’s early in 1645, but appointed (before May) master of the Temple, on condition of not preaching on baptism. He published on this topic ; for licensing one of his tracts, the parliamentary censor, John Bachiler, was attacked in the Westminster assembly (25 Dec. 1645) by William Gouge, D.D. [q. v.], and Stephen Marshall [q. v.] was appointed to answer the tract. As preacher at the Temple, Tombes directed his polemic against antinomianism. In 1646 he had an interview with Cromwell and gave him his books. His fellow-townsmen chose him to the perpetual curacy of Bewdley, then a chapelry in the parish of Ribbesford; his successor at the Temple, Richard Johnson, was approved by the Westminster assembly on 13 Oct. 1647.

At Bewdley Tombes organised a baptist church, which never exceeded twenty-two members (Baxter), of whom three became baptist preachers. He regularly attended Baxter’s Thursday lecture at Kidderminster, and tried to draw Baxter, as he had already drawn Thomas Blake [q. v.], into a written discussion. Baxter would engage with him only in an oral debate, which took place before a crowded audience at Bewdley chapel on 1 Jan. 1649-50, and lasted from nine in the morning till five at night. Wood affirms that ‘Tombes got the better of Baxter by far; ‘ Baxter himself says, ‘How mean soever my own abilities were, yet I had still the advantage of a good cause.’ The debate had the effect of causing Tombes to leave Bewdley, where he was succeeded in 1650 by Henry Oasland [q. v.] With Bewdley he had held for a time the rectory of Ross, Herefordshire; this he resigned on being appointed to the mastership of St. Catherine’s Hospital, Ledbury, Herefordshire.

After his encounter with Baxter, Tombes’s oral debates were numerous. In July 1652 he went to Oxford to dispute on baptism with Henry Savage, D.D. [q. v.] On the same topic he disputed at Abergavenny, on 5 Sept. 1653, with Henry Vaughan (1616?-1661?) and John Cragge. His pen was active against all opponents of his cause. He had not given up his claim to the vicarage of Leominster, and returned to it apparently in 1654, when he was appointed (20 March) one of Cromwell’s ‘triers.’ Preaching at Leominster against quakers (26 Dec. 1656), one of his parishioners, Blashfield, a bookseller, retorted, ‘ If there were no anabaptist, there would be no quaker.’ Against quakerism and popery he wrote tracts (1660), to which Baxter prefixed friendly letters.

At the Restoration Tombes came up to London, and wrote in favour of the royal supremacy in matters ecclesiastical as well as civil. Clarendon stood his friend. He conformed in a lay capacity, resigning his preferments and declining offers of promo- tion. After 1661 he lived chiefly at Salisbury, where his wife had property. Robert Sanderson (1587-1663) [q. v.], bishop of Lincoln, held him in esteem, as did a later occupant of the same see, Thomas Barlow [q. v.] Clarendon, in 1664, introduced him to Charles II, who accepted a copy of Tombes’s ‘Saints no Smiters.’ In July 1664 he was at Oxford, and offered to dispute in favour of his baptist views, but the challenge was not taken up. With Seth Ward [q. v.], bishop of Salisbury, he was on friendly terms. He communicated as an Anglican. Firmly holding his special tenet, he was always a courteous disputant, and a man of exceptional capacity and attainments.

He died at Salisbury on 22 May 1676, and was buried on 25 May in St. Edmund’s churchyard. He was a dapper little man, with a keen glance. By his first wife he had a son John, born at Leominster on 26 Nov. 1636. His second wife, whom he married about 1658, was Elizabeth, widow of Wolstan Abbot of Salisbury.

He published: 1. ‘Vae Scandalizantium; or a Treatise of Scandalizing,’ Oxford, 1641, 8vo; with title ‘Christ’s Commination against Scandalizers,’ 1641, 8vo (dedicated to Viscount Scudamore). 2. ‘Iehovah Iireh . . . two Sermons in the Citie of Bristoll . . . March 14, 1642, with a short Narration of that . . . Plot,’ 1643, 4to (8 May, dedicated to Fiennes). 3. ‘Fermentum Pharisseorvm, or … Wil-Worship,’ 1643, 4to (1 July). 4. ‘Anthropolatria,’ 1645, 4to (9 May). 5. ‘Two Treatises and an Appendix . . . concerning Infant Baptisme,’ 1645, 4to (16 Dec.; includes an ‘Examen’ of Marshall’s sermon on baptism). 6. ‘An Apology … for the Two Treatises,’ 1646, 4to; ‘Addition,’ 1652, 4to. 7. ‘An Anti-dote against the Venome of … Richard Baxter,’ 1650, 4to (31 May). 8. ‘Precursor . . . to a large view of … Infant Baptism,’ 1652, 4to. 9. ‘Joannis Tombes Beudleiensis Refutatio positionis Dris. Henrici Savage,’ 1652, 4to. 10. ‘Antipaedobaptism,’ 1652, 4to (28 Nov., dedicated to Cromwell); 2nd pt. 1654, 4to; 3rd pt. 1657, 4to (replies to twenty-three contemporary writers). 11. ‘A Publick Dispute . . . J. Cragge and H. Vaughan,’ 1654, 8vo. 12. ‘A Plea for Anti-Paedobaptists,’ 1654, 4to (26 May). 13. ‘Felo de Se. Or, Mr. Richard Baxter’s Self-destroying,’ 1659, 4to. 14. ‘A Short Catechism about Baptism,’ 1659, 8vo (14 May). 15. ‘True Old Light exalted above pretended New Light,’ 1660, 4to (against quakers; preface by Baxter). 16. ‘Serious Consideration of the Oath of . . .Supremacy ‘ [1660], 4to (22 Oct.) 17. ‘Romanism Discussed, or, An Answer to … H. T.,’ 1660 4to (30 Nov.; preface by Baxter; replies to Henry Turbervile’s ‘Manual of Controversies,’ Douay, 1654, 8vo). 18. ‘A Supplement to the Serious Consideration’ [1661], 4to (2 March). 19. ‘Sepher Sheba; or, The Oath Book,’ 1662, 4to. 20. ‘Saints no Smiters; or … the Doctrine … of … Fifth-Mon- archy-Men . . . damnable,’ 1664, 4to (dedicated to Clarendon). 21. ‘Theodulia, or Defence of Hearing . . . the present Ministers of England,’ 1667, 8vo (dedicated to Clarendon; licensed by the bishop of London’s chaplain). 22. ‘Emmanuel; or, God-Man,’ 1669, 8vo (against Socinians; licensed by the archbishop of Canterbury’s chaplain). 23. ‘A Reply to … Wills and … Blinman,’ 1675, 8vo. 24. ‘Animadversiones in librum Georgii Bullii,’ 1676, 8vo.

[Tombes’s Works; Anabaptists Anotamized (sic), 1654; Wood’s Athenae Oxon., ed. Bliss, iii. 1062 sq.; Wood’s Fasti, ed. Bliss, ii. 397, 415, 461; Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1696, i. 88,96; Calamy’s Account, 1713, pp. 353 sq.; Walker’s Sufferings of the Clergy, 1714, ii. 4, 36; Calamy’s Continuation, 1727, i. 521 sq.; Crosby’s Hist, of English Baptists, 1738, i. 278 sq.; Palmer’s Nonconformist’s Memorial, 1802, ii. 293 sq.; Ivimey’s Hist. of English Baptists, 1814, ii. 588 sq.; Neal’s Hist, of the Puritans, ed. Toulmin, 1822, iv. 440 sq.; Smith’s Bibliotheca Antiquakeriana, 1873, pp. 427 sq. ; Mitchell and Struthers’s Minutes of Westminster Assembly, 1874, pp. 172, 216; Foster’s Alumni Oxon. 1892, iv. 1492; information from the Rev. J. H. Charles, vicar of Leominster.]

Christ is the head of the Church—there is no other

October 26, 2012 2 comments

If Christ is the head of the church in the sense of sovereign or ruler, then it is impious to call anybody else the head of the church. Some claim to be the head of the church in the sense of vicegerent, or vicar. For example, the Pope claims to be the head of the church in that he is Christ’s vicar. The only vicar that Christ has is the Holy Spirit. When Jesus went up to heaven he did send a vicegerent to take his place; another Paraclete to abide with and to guide the church. It is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit for a mere man to claim to be the head of the church.

Spurgeon in his many volumes of sermons has one polemical volume. One of the sermons in that polemical volume is the most excoriating denunciation of the claim that the sovereign of England is head of the church that I have ever seen. He read a proclamation: “I, Victoria Regina, by the grace of God head of the church.” Then immediately following that he quoted Paul’s words: “I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority.” Everybody should read, particularly, that eighth volume of Spurgeon’s sermons. The greater part of Christendom today is under bondage to the thought that the Pope of Rome is the head of the church. They mean by that that he stands in the place of God, and that whatever he speaks, ex cathedra, is infallibly true, and that his authority is ultimate.

In 1870 the capstone was put on the papacy by the Vatican Council, in servile obedience to the Pope, proclaiming his infallibility as head of the church. The head of the church also carries with it the idea of authority, which is called the key of power. Christ is the head of the church. There is no other. We see on earth a body, but the head is above the clouds; we cannot see it. The head of the church is in heaven, the body here on the earth. It is a vital and fundamental article of the Christian faith that we should accept no head of the church of Jesus Christ except the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

B. H. Carroll Commenting on Ephesians 1:22-2:10

Chapter XXVII : Of the Communion of Saints

1. All Saints that are united to Jesus Christ their Head, by his Spirit, and Faith; although they are not made thereby one person with him, have (a) fellowship in his Graces, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory; and being united to one another in love, they (b) have communion in each others gifts, and graces; and are obliged to the performance of such duties, publick and private, in an orderly way, (c) as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.

a 1 Joh. 1.3. Joh. 1.16. Phil. 3 10 Rom. 6.5 6.

b Eph. 4.15.16. 1 Cor. 12.7. 1 Cor. 3 21,22,23.

c 1 Thes. 5.11.14. Rom. 1.12. 1 Joh. 3.17.18. Gal 6.10.

2. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services, (d) as tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving each other in (e) outward things according to their several abilities, and necessities; which communion according to the rule of the Gospel, though especially to be exercised by them, in the relations wherein they stand, whether in (f) families, or (g) Churches; yet as God offereth opportunity is to be extended to all the houshold of faith, even all those who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus; nevertheless their communion one with another as Saints, doth not take away or (h) infringe, the title or propriety, which each man hath in his goods and possessions.

d Heb. 10 24,25. with ch. 3.12,13.

e Act. 12.29.30. [It appears that the reference to Act_12:29, Act_12:30 in the original manuscript is an error (Act_12:29, Act_12:30 do not exist). Most modern editions cite Act_11:29, Act_11:30.]

f Eph. 6.4.

g 1 Cor. 12.14.-27.

h Act. 5.4 Eph. 4.28

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith