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III. It belongeth to Synods and Councils, minifterially to determine Controverfies of Faith, and Cafes of Confcience; to fet down Rules and Directions for the better ordering of the publick Worfhip of God, and Government of his Church; to receive Complaints in Cafes of Mal-administration, and authoritatively to determine the fame: Which Decrees and Determinations, if confonant to the Word of God, are to be received with Reverence and Submiffion; not only for their Agreement with the Word, but also for the Power whereby they are made, as being an Ordinance of God appointed there unto in his Word d.
d Acts 15. 15, 19, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. Acts 16.4. Mat. 18. 17, 18, 19, 20.
IV. All Synods and Councils, fince the Apoftles Times whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred: Therefore they are not to be made the Rule of Faith or Practice, but to be used as an Help in both e.
e Eph. 2. 20. Acts 17. 11. 1 Cor. 2. 5. 2 Cor. 1. 24.
V. Synods and Councils are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is Ecclefiaftical; and are not to intermeddle with Civil Affairs, which concern the Common-wealth, unless by way of humble Petition, in Cafes extraordinary, or by way of Advice, for Satisfaction of Confcience, if they be thereunto required by the Civil Magiftrate f.
f Luke 12. 13, 14. John 18. 36.
CHA P. XXXII.
Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Refurrec tion of the Dead.
He Bodies of Men, after Death, return to Dust, and fee Corruption a; but their Souls (which neither die nor fleep) having an immortal Subfiftence, immediately return to God who gave them b: The Souls of
a Gen. 3. 19. Acts 23.36. 6 Luke 23. 43. Ecclef
the Righteous, being then made perfect in Holiness, are received into the highest Heavens, where they behold the Face of God in Light and Glory, waiting for the full Redemption of their Bodies c: And the Souls of the Wicked are caft into Hell, where they remain in Torments and utter Darkness, referved to the Judgment of the great Day d Befide these two Places for Souls feparated from their Bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth
c Heb. 12. 23. 2 Cor. 5. 1, 6, 8. Phil. 1. 23. with Acts 3. 21. & Eph. 4. 10. d Luke 16. 23, 24. As I 25. Jude v. 6, 7. 1 Pet. 3. 19.
II. At the last Day, fuch as are found alive, shall not die, but be changed e; and all the Dead shall be raised up with the felf-fame Bodies, and none other, although with different Qualities, which shall be united again to their Souls for ever f.
e 1 Theff. 4. 17. 1 Cor. 15. 51, 52. f Job 19. 26, 27. I Cor. 15. 42, 43, 44.
III. The Bodies of the Unjuft fhall, by the Power of Chrift, be raised to Dishonour: The Bodies of the Just, by his Spirit, unto Honour; and be made conformable to his own glorious Body g.
g Acts 24. 15. John 5. 28, 29. 1 Cor. 15. 42, 43, 44. Phil. 3. 21.
Of the last Judgment.
OD hath appointed a Day wherein he will judge I the World in Righteoufnefs, by Jefus Chrift a, to whom all Power and Judgment is given of the Father b. In which Day, not only the apoftate Angels fhall be judged c, but likewife all Perfons that have lived upon Earth fhall appear before the Tribunal of X 2
a Acts 17. 31. b John 5. 22, 27. c 1 Cor. 6. 3. Jude v. 6. 2 Pet. 2. 4.
Chrift, to give an Account of their Thoughts, Words and Deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the Body, whether Good or Evil d.
d2 Cor. 5. 10. Eccl. 12. 14. Rom. 2. 16. Rom. 14. 10, 12. Mat. 12. 36, 37.
II. The End of God's appointing this Day is for the Manifeftation of the Glory of his Mercy, in the eternal Salvation of the Elect; and of his Justice, in the Dam nation of the Reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then fhall the Righteous go into everlasting Life, and receive that Fulnefs of Joy and Refreshing which fhall come from the Prefence of the Lord: But the Wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gofpel of Jefus Chrift, fhall be caft into eternal Torments, and be punished with everlafting Destruction from the Prefence of the Lord, and from the Glory of his Power e.
e Mat. 25.31, to the End. Rom. 2. 5, 6. Rom. 9. 22, 23. Mat. 25. 21, Acts 3. 19. 2 Theff. 1. 7 to 10.
III. As Chrift would have us to be certainly perfwaded that there shall be a Day of Judgment, both to deter all Men from Sin, and for the greater Confolation of the Godly in their Adverfity f; fo will he have, that Day unknown to Men, that they may shake off all carnal Security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what Hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to fay, Come Lord Jefus, come quickly, Amen g.
f 2 Pet. 3. 11, 14. 2 Cor. 5. 10, 11. 2 Theff. 1. 5, 6, 7. Luke 21. 27, 28. Rom. 8. 23, 24, 25. g Mat. 24. 36, 42, 43, 44. Mark 13. 35, 36, 37. Luke 12, 35, 36. Rev. 22. 20.
Agreed upon by the
Affembly of Divines at WEST MINSTER,
Affiftance of Commiffioners from the Church of SCOTLAND,
A Part of the Covenanted Uniformity in Religion betwixt the Churches of Chrift in the Three Kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland.
An ACT of the General Affembly of the Church of SCOTLAND, Anno 1648, approving the fame; and ratified and approved by Act of Parliament 1649.
With Proofs from the Scripture.
ACT approving the Larger Catechifm.
Affembly at Edinburgh, July 2, 1648. Seff.10.
He General Affembly having exactly examined, and ferioufly confidered the Larger Catechifm, agreed upon by the Affembly of Divines fitting at Westminster, with Affiftance of Commiffioners from this Kirk, Copies thereof being printed, and fent to Prefbyteries, for the more exact Trial thereof, and publick Intimation being frequently made in this Affembly, that every one that had any Doubts or Objections upon it, might put them in; do find, upon due Examination thereof, that the faid Catechifm is agreeable to the Word of God; and in nothing contrary to the received Doctrine, Worship, Difcipline and Government of this Kirk, a neceffary Part of the intended Uniformity in Religion, and a rich Treasure for increafing Knowledge among the People of God: And therefore the Affembly, as they bless the Lord that fo excellent a Catechism is prepared, fo they approve the fame as a Part of Uniformity; agreeing, for their Part, that it be a common Catechifm for the three Kingdoms, and a Directory for Catechifing fuch as have made fome Proficiency in the Knowledge of the Grounds of Religion.