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Confession of Faith Ratification Act 1690

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Chap. xvi. Of good works S


GOOD works are only such as God hath commanded in his Word and not such as without the warrant thereof are devysed by men out of blind zeal or upon pretence of good intention


THOSE good works done in obedience to Gods commandments are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith and by them believers manifest their thankfulness strengthen their assurance edify their brethren adorn the profession of the Gospell stop the mouths of the adversaries and glorify God whose workmanship they are created in Christ Jesus thereunto that having their fruit unto holiness they may have in the end eternall life


THEIR ability to do good works is not at all of themselves but wholly from the spirit of Christ And that they may be enabled thereunto besides the graces they have already received there is required an actuall influence of the same holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a speciall motion of the spirit but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them


THEY who in their obedience attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life are so far from being able to supererogate and to do more then God requires as that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do


WE cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin or eternall life at the hand of God by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come and the infinite distance that is between us and God whom by them we can neither profit nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins but when we have done all we can we have done but our duty and are unprofitable servants and because as they are good they proceed from his Spirit and as they are wrought by us they are defiled and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgement


YET notwithstanding the persons of believers being accepted through Christ their good works also are accepted in him not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreproveable in Gods sight but that he looking upon them in his Son is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections


WORKS done by unregenerate men although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands and of good use both to themselves and others yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith nor are done in a right manner according to the Word nor to a right end the glory of God they are therefore sinfull and cannot please God or make a man meet to receive grace from God and yet their neglect of them is more sinfull and displeasing unto God

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