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THE

COALHEAVER’S CONFESSION,

I

BELIEVE that every man, who is enlightened to see the fellowship of the gospel mystery, and to receive it in the love of it; who is blessed with enlargement of heart, access to God and freedom with him in prayer; is delivered from the yoke and bondage of Moses's law in every sense of the words: he is free born, a son of the free woman, made free by the son of God; is a free citizen of Mount Zion; has a granted right to all the privileges of it, and is an heir of God's eternal kingdom. God the Father appointed his Son to proclaim liberty to him; the Son has made him free; the Spirit of the Lord is in him, and there is liberty. The truth has made him free, and he is free indeed; and free he must remain unless he abuse his liberty, or suffer blind guides to entangle him again with the yoke of bondage.

I believe that every one that looketh into this perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, is a sanctified hearer of the gospel, and an evangelical doer of the work of faith, being blessed in his deed: and whosoever sends this free man to the binding law of Moses, as his only rule of life, sends him to the only place to which he can send him to have him cursed in his deed; for “ as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.”

I believe that, whatsoever is the saint's only rule of life, the saint is under that rule; subject to that rule, he must be obedient to that rule, walk by that rule, work by that rule, and live by that rule. And if the law of Moses be that rule, the saint is under the law; subject to the law; his obedience is the obedience of the law; he walks in the letter of the law; his works are the works of the law; and he that does these things contained in the law, shall live in them. And, if this be true, the ministers of the letter are right: Moses's disciples, and all the ministers of circumcision who opposed the gospel, were the only orthodox men; and, consequently, all the apostle's charges against them were groundless and unjust.

I believe that the gospel furnishes the believer with every thing he wants, and with his only and all-sufficient rule of life also; or else he could not, with propriety, be said to be under grace, subject to the gospel, obedient to the faith, a walker in newness of life, a worker of righteousness by faith, and one who lives by the faith of the Son of God.

I believe that a true servant of the Lord is called a minister of the Spirit, a minister of Christ, a preacher of the gospel, an ambassador of peace, a steward of grace, and an evangelist; and that

every one who enforces the necessity and sufficiency of the Spirit, that makes Christ Jesus the Lord all in all, as Paul did, preaches the gospel in all its branches, and makes full proof of it; that enforces peace, between God and conscience, by faith in a Saviour's blood; holds forth the word of life, as a good steward of the manifold grace of God; and who leads people unto Christ Jesus, enforces union with him, liberty in him by the Spirit, a close walk with him, heavenlymindedness, and joy and peace in believing; are the persons who have a right to the above titles, and none else.

I believe that the reason of so many persons making shipwreck of their confession of faith, and apostatising from their profession of it, is because they had no other bond to hold them to it but the bondage of the law, nor any other rule to walk by but the commandments. Had the bond of everlasting love got hold of them, and Paul's gospel rule of eternal life been given them, I believe it would have been otherwise.

I believe that love is the strongest cord of the law of the Spirit of life; and that natural love is the strongest tie of the law of nature. The former keeps Christ and the church together; the latter keeps kings and subjects, fathers and families, together. Where the former is wanting, apostasy is certain; where the latter is wanting, the kingdom and the house will soon be divided,

I believe these words, “To have and to hold,

from this day forward, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death us do part,' are as binding a law as letters can make, and a rule to be observed by every married couple as long as they live; nor can the woman be loosed from that law till her husband be dead; then, but not till then, is she free.

I believe that no couple fulfil this covenant engagement, or live up to this rule, but those who, in heart, sincerely love one another; for if love works no ill to a neighbour, it can work none to a wife or husband, who are the nearest, and ought to be the dearest, of all neighbours.

I believe the only reason of so many divorces in the world, unfaithfulness, inconstancy, and treacherous elopements, among married people, is because they have no other yoke than the letter of their covenant, no binding ties to keep them within bounds, but that; no rule to live or walk by but the law of marriage, which is too weak, through the lust of the flesh, to make some men constant; and too weak, through the same, to keep some wives either chaste or frugal.

I believe that, where there are the strong ties of mutual affection, my lady will never abandon her lord, nor yield to the intrigues or artifice of the worst of thieves; it is for want of this that his grace's eye is not satisfied with his duchess, and for the same reason my lady is as rottenness in her lord's bones, Prov. xii. 4.

I believe that those who make the law of Moses

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