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A CONFESSION OF FAITH,
I BELIEVE that nothing is without beginning but God; no nature, no matter, no spirit, but one only and the same God. That God as he is eternally almighty, only wise, only good, in his nature, so he is eternally Father, Son, and Spirit, in persons.
I believe that God is so holy, pure, and jealous, as it is impossible for him to be pleased in any creature, though2 the work of his own hands ; So that neither Angel, Man, nor World, could stand, or can stand, one moment in his eyes, without beholding the same in the face of a Mediator; And therefore that before him with whom all things are present, the Lamb of God was slain before all worlds; without which eternal counsel of his, it was impossible for him to have descended to any work of creation ; but he 3 should have enjoyed the blessed and individual society of three persons in Godhead only for ever.
1 A Confession of the Faith, written by the Right Honourable Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, &c. R.
2 So R. The old MS. has “through." 8 So R. The MSS. omit “be.”
But that out of his eternal and infinite goodness and love purposing to become a Creator, and to communicate with 1 his creatures, he ordained in his eternal counsel, that one person of the Godhead should in time 2 be united to one nature and to one particular of his creatures: that so in the person of the Mediator the true ladder might be fixed, whereby God might descend to his creatures, and his creatures might ascend to God : so that God, by the reconcilement of the Mediator, turning his countenance towards his creatures, (though not in the same light 3 and degree,) made way unto the dispensation of his most holy and secret will; whereby some of his creatures might stand and keep their state, others might possibly fall and be restored, and others might fall, and not be restored in their state,4 but yet remain in being, though under wrath and corruption : all in the virtue of 5 the Mediator; which is the great mystery and perfite 6 centre of all God's ways with his creatures, and unto which all his other works and wonders do but serve and refer.
That he chose (according to his good pleasure) Man to be that creature, to whose nature the person of the eternal Son of God should be united ; and amongst the generations of men, elected a small flock, in whom (by the participation of himself) he purposed to express the riches of his glory; all the ministration of angels, damnation of devils and reprobate, and universal administration of all creatures, and dispensation of all
1 to. R.
2 R. omits “in time." 3 though not in equal light. R. The MS. 6828. has “though not in the same height ;” which is perhaps right. In 4263. the word is illegible from damp. 4 estate. R.
5 with respect to. R. 6 perfect. R.