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ence adore the righteous judgements of God which are hid from us, contenting ourselves that we are disciples of Christ, to learn only those things which he has revealed to us in his word, without trans. grelling these limits. This doctrine affords us unspeakable consolation since we are taught thereby, that nothing can befal as by chance, but by the di. rection of our most gracious and heavenly Father; who watches over us with a paternal care, keeping all creatures so under his power, that not a hair of our head (for they are all numbered) 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 Epicurians who say that God regards nothing but leaves all things to chance,
XIV. Of the creation, and fall of man, and his in capacity 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 koly, capable in all things to will, agreeable to the will of God. But being in honour, he understood it not, neither know his excellency, but wilfully subjected himself to sin, and consequently to death,
tures tealhe darkned darka
and the curse, giving ear to the words of the de. vil. For the commandment of life which he had received, he transgressed ; and by fin seperated himself from God, who was his true life, having corrupted his whole nature ; whereby he made himself liable to corporal and spiritual death. And being thus become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all bis 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, aud the darkness comprehended it not : Where St. John calleth men darkness. Therefore we reject all what is taught repugnant to this, concerning the free will of man, since man is but a Nave to fin; and has nothing of hiinself, unless it is given him from heaven. For who may pre. sume to boast, that he of himself can do any good, since Christ faith, no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw him? Who will glory in his own will, who understands that to be carnally 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 thought, since he knows that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but that our fufficiency is of God! And therefore what the apostle
faith ought juftly to be held sure and firm, that
- We believe that thro' the disobedience of Adam, original sin is extended to all mankind ; which is a corruption of the whole nature, and an hereditary disease, wherewith infanıs themselves are infected even in their mothers womb, and which produceth in man all sorts of fin, being in him as a root thereof; and therefore is so vile and abominable in the right of God, that it is sufficient to condemn all mankind. Nor is it by any means abolifhed or done away by baptism; since sin always issues forth from this woeful fource, as water from a fountain ; notwithstanding 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 fin, but that a sense of this corruption should make believers often to high, desiring to be delivered from this body of death. Wherefore we reject the error of the Pelagians, who-assert that lin proceeds only from imitation.
Of eternal Election.
We believe, that all the posterity of Adam, being thus fallen, into perdition and ruin, by the fin of our first parents, that God then did manifest himself fuel as he is ; that is to say. merciful and juring Mere ciful, since he delivers and preserves from this perdition all whom he in his eternal and unchangeable council of mere goodness bath elected in Christ Jea fus our Lord, without any respect to their works, Juft 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 bad thas thrown himself 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 bim that he would give his Son, who Mould be made of a woman to bruise the head of the ferpent and make him happy.
XVIII. Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. We confess therefore that God did fulfil the promisc which he made to the fathers, by the mouth of bis 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 fervant and becante lik: xnto man, really assuming the true human nature, with all its infirmities, fin excepted, being conceived in the wo:nb of ihe. blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Ghoft, without the means of man. And did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a truc human soul, that he might be a real man. For fince the soul was loft as well as the body, it was necessary that he Thould take borb upon him to save both. Therefore we confess (in opposition to the herely of the anabaptists, who deny that Christ affuincd human flesh of his mother) that Christ is become a partaker of the Aesh and blood of the chile dron : tha: be is a fruit of the loins of David afier the fielh ; made of the seed of David according to the Aeth, a fruit of the womb of the Virgin Mary : inade of a woman ; 'a branch of David ; a shoot of the root of Jelle ; 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 seed of Abraham, and became like unto his brethren in all things, fin excepted; so that in truth he is our Im. inanuel, that is to say God with us.