Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror

11. The Second Confession

Second Confession

Also drawn up at Amsterdam, on the 7th of October, 1630, called: Confession of Faith, and the principal articles of the Christian doctrine.

[Not divided into separate articles, except the articles of belief in God, and the manner of life in the church.]

We believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth, that there is one only, eternal, incomprehensible, spiritual Being, which, in Scripture, is called God; to whom alone is ascribed omnipotence, mercy, righteousness, perfection, wisdom, all goodness, and omniscience, and who is called a fountain of life, and the source of all good, the Creator of all things; and the Preserver of the same; who in the Old Testament bears various appellations—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God Schadai, the God Jehovah, the God of Israel, I am that I am, the Alpha and Omega, etc.; but who in the New Testament is called by three distinct names—God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, whom we confess to differ thus far, namely, that the Father, as far as He is Father, is another than the Son; and the Son, as far as He is Son, is another than the Father, and the Holy Ghost, as far as He is a true Holy Ghost, is another than the Father and the Son, and that they, although differing in name, are nevertheless in their divine nature and attributes, one only, undivided God, according to the testimony of the apostle: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” Rom. 10:9; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5,21; Rom. 3 :30; I Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:6; Gen. 21:33; Ps. 90:2; Isa. 49:28; Ps. 145:3; IV Esd. 8:21; Gen. 17:1; II Cor. 6:18; Ex. 34:6,7; Luke 6:36; Ps. 11:7; Col. 3; Lev. 19:2; Matt. 5 :48; I Tim. 1:2; Ps. 103:8; Matt. 19:17; Ps. 139; James 1:17; Gen. 1:1; Job 38 and 39; Ex. 3:6; 6:6; 5:1; Rev. 1:8; 22:13; Matt. 28:19; John 14:16; I John 5:7.

That this Holy God, by His great power and incomprehensible wisdom, created, in six days, out of nothing, heaven and earth, together with all things visible and invisible; and on the sixth day prepared man a body of the dust of the earth, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and thus made him a living soul, or man; that He exalted this man above all creatures, endowed him with wisdom, understanding and reason, and made him lord over all creatures; nay, above all this, created him in His divine image, in holiness and righteousness, for immortality, and placed him in the garden of Eden, where he might have been happy forever, yet requiring of him true obedience, saying: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” From this we see the free will of man. Gen. 1:6, 9,14,24; Jer. 32:17; Acts 17:24; Gen. 1:26,28; 2:7; Sir. 17:5; Wisd. 2:23; Gen. 2:8,9.

That man, through the subtlety of the serpent and the envy of the devil, was brought to disobey his Creator; whereby he, with all his posterity, fell into death and condemnation, and thus, from the most glorious, became the most miserable creature. Gen. 3:1; Wisd. 2:24; IV Esd. 7:48; Rom. 5:12; I Cor. 15:21.


That the Lord God, seeing the fall of His most glorious creature, and that he could neither through himself nor through any other creature be redeemed therefrom, showed that He was a gracious and merciful God, yea, the supreme or only goodness, in that He sought to reconcile unto Himself, out of pure grace and without any merit, man and all who had fallen in him. Ps. 49:8; Rev. 5:3; Ps. 33:5; Matt. 19:17; Rom. 5 :12; 3:24; II Cor. 5 :19.

But as the justice of God required, that the sin committed should not go unpunished, and as no creature could satisfy the former, he not only frequently promised man to send His only beloved Son as a Saviour, but prefigured it by various types. Gen. 3:15; 12:3,7; 16:18; 24:19; 7:14; 9:6; 11:10; 53; Jer. 23:5,6; 33:15; Dan. 7:13; 9:24; Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:23; Matt. 3:1; Ex. 12:3; 25:17; Num. 21:9; Deut. 30:15; Sir. 15:14.

That the Lord, after as well as before the fall, left man his free will to accept, through faith in the promised Saviour, the prollered grace of God, or to reject it, is evident not only from the send- ing out of His prophets, apostles, and disciples, but also from the kind invitation of His beloved Son; and this justly, in order that He, as a right- eous judge, might have just cause, on the last day, to punish the despisers with the pains of hell, and reward the obedient lambs with the joys of heaven. Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15 ; Acts 17:31; Matt. 11: 2S; 22:9; I Tim. 1:15; Tit. 2:11; II Thess. 1:8; Acts 3:46; Rom. 2:5; Bar. 3:29; John 3:16,36; I Thess. 1:6; Heb. 6:10.

That the Lord, being a true God, who does not repent of that which He has promised, when the time which He, in the secret counsels of His divine will, had determined was fulfilled, sent His only, own and true Son as a redeemer unto the world. I John 5:20; Deut. 7:8; Gal. 4:4.

And since there has been for many years, and still is daily, much disputation, concerning this birth of our Saviour, according to the flesh; therefore, we believe and confess, that it is a supernatural birth, which cannot be fathomed by human reason. Yet, we believe and confess, by virtue of the Scriptures, that the eternal, not spoken, but itself speaking, real Word, which was before the foundation of the world in great glory with the Father, was before Abraham, was in the beginning with God, and was itself God; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, and through which all things are created and have their being; that this same, real Word, in the fullness of the time, came forth from the Father, and descended from heaven into the lowest parts of the earth, and, according to the prophecy (Isa. 7), was (at Nazareth, that He might be called a Nazarene) conceived in the virgin body of Mary (who, although betrothed to Joseph of the house of David, yet was not known of him) by the power of the most high God, and the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and became flesh, remaining what He had been, namely, God and the Son of God, and becoming what He had not been, namely, man and the son of man; in this manner, that we confess that the child which Mary bore, and which was born at Bethlehem, grew up, and suffered on the cross, was outwardly and inwardly, visibly and invisibly, as He sojourned here, the only, own, and true Son of God, and the Redeemer of us all. John 1:1; 17 :5 ; 8:58; Micah 5:1; John 1:3; 16:28; Eph. 4:9; Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:31; Matt. 2:23; John 1:14; Rom. 9:5; Ps. 2:7; Matt. 3:17; Luke 2:6,40; Matt. 27; 17:5.

We believe and confess also, that He came to redeem us from the curse, and, therefore, became obedient unto the law, was circumcised on the eighth day, and named after the name announced by the angel before He was born, namely, Jesus, that He might make His holy name to agree with His holy work, namely, to save His people from their sins. Gal. 3:13; 4:5; Gen. 17:12; Gal. 4:4; Luke 2 :21; Matt. 1 :21; 18:11; Luke 19:10.

We also confess that He is our only true high Prophet, High Priest, and spiritual King, who, in His office as a prophet has proclaimed unto us God’s great, secret counsel of the eternal peace with God, through the holy Gospel, and, moreover, all that is necessary for us to the new life. Deut. 18:15; Ps. 110:4; Heb. 3:1; Jer. 33:15; Matt. 2:15; 13:35; Luke 10:5; John 3:3; Matt. 18:9.

Who, in His office as priest, has not only offered up on the cross a sacrifice for His believing lambs that will avail forever; but, after His glorious resurrection, has entered into the holy of holies, yea, the most holy, namely heaven, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood; by which He has obtained eternal redemption for all those who believe in Him, yea, sitteth on the right hand of God His heavenly Father, where, as a high priest, He pours out His holy prayers for the ignorance of His people, and obtains forgiveness for them. Eph. 5:2; Heb. 10:12; 9:12; Col. 3:1; Heb. 5 :2, 5.

Who, in His office as king, as a victorious prince has vanquished death, the devil, hell, and all our enemies, and has prepared a place for the members of His kingdom; ruling with the scepter of His word, and protecting those who put their trust in Him, helping them to triumph till they receive the everlasting kingdom at His hand. II Tim. 1:10; Heb. 2:14,15; John 14:2; Ps. 45: 6;Eccles. 29:25; II Cor. 2:14.

But since His kingdom was not of this world, He did not take possession of it by carnal weapons of iron or steel, but through suffering and fighting in the flesh; to which end He prepared Himself for temptation, tribulation and suffering, and took upon Him the cursed death of the cross, under Pontius Pilate; we confess, moreover, that this same Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified at Jerusalem, and tasted death on mount Calvary, with exclamation of His groaning Spirit, and amidst the convulsions of heaven and earth, was the only and own Son of God, and that we are reconciled unto God by the blood and death of His Son, who by Himself purged our sins. John 18 :36; Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:1; Matt. 16:21; Gal. 3:13; Deut. 21:23; I Tim. 6:13; Matt. 27; Luke 23; I John 3:16; Rom. 8:22; 5:10; Heb. 1:3.

Who, also, as a sign that He was really dead, was taken down from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea; who wrapped Him in a clean white cloth, and laid Him in a new hewn tomb, before which a great stone was rolled, and a guard placed. Matt. 27:57.

But, since it was impossible that He should be held by the hands of death, or that the Holy One should see corruption, therefore we believe and confess also, that by the glory of the Father, according to the predictions of the prophets, He was raised from the dead on the third day, amidst the convulsions of heaven and earth, and arose bodily; and that He certainly also confirmed His resurrection for forty days by words, signs, and miracles, that He taught, comforted, and admonished His disciples, and finally, on Mount Olivet, was received by a cloud, and in their sight ascended visibly unto heaven, and entered into the holy of holies, seating Himself, as a true high priest, mediator, and advocate between God and man, on the right hand of the Majesty on high, where He appears continually before His Father’s face to make intercession for His believers. Acts 2:24; Ps. 16:10; Rom. 6:4; Acts 13:34; Matt. 28:2; John 20:4; Luke 24:36; Acts 1:12; Heb. 9:12; I John 2:1; I Tim. 2:5; Rom. 8:34.

And since before His precious suffering He taught and comforted them, not to let their hearts be afraid; that when He should have ascended to heaven, He would send them another comforter, the Holy Ghost; therefore, we believe that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, blessed forever, was, as true God, also found true in this particular, and did send, ten days after His ascension, the Holy Ghost in visible form to, or upon, His apostles in Jerusalem; which Holy Ghost is a wisdom, strength, and power of God, that proceeds from the Father through the Son, and, no less than the Father and the Son, is with them an eternal, undivided God; also a teacher, leader and guide to all godfearing and consolation-seeking souls, showing them the way to and into the spiritual Canaan. John 14:1; 15:26; 16:7; Matt. 21:3; Rom. 9:5 ; John 5 :20; Acts 2:2; Luke 1:35 ; Acts 5:3; John 14:26.

We believe, also, that the Lord God chose, first the holy angels in heaven, then, two sanctified persons in Paradise, and finally, of all the various nations of the earth, a penitent and believing people for His people; which is not only called a general Christian church or congregation of God-fearing men; but which the Lord Christ has purchased with His precious blood, and washed and cleansed with the waters of the Holy Ghost, that He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. And since the same is so dear to Him, He would, for the prosperity and growth of His kingdom, not leave this holy church unprovided for; but provided her, not only before, but also after His ascension, with faith, love, hope, and other ordinances, and also with two special ministries, namely, the ministry of the holy Word, and the care for the poor, or the office of deacon; and appointed in it, some prophets, pastors, teachers, helpers and rulers, to provide by common counsel wisely for the church of God; and sent them out. Gen. 2:22; IV Esd. 5 :27; Acts 20:28; Eph. 5 :26; I Cor. 6:20; Luke 10:1; Eph. 4:11; I Cor. 12:28; Mark 16:15.

In like manner, the apostles also commanded their followers, to choose such men with fasting and prayer. First, they shall be examined, then let them minister; and the believer shall honor, love and obey these men. Acts 6:3; 16:2; I Tim. 3:10; I Thess. 5:13; Heb. 13:17; I Tim. 5:17, 18.

And, inasmuch as this church bears the figure of the true church in heaven, they practice here on earth, externally in the preaching of the Word, of baptism, the supper, and other Christian ordinances, and internally in the spirit, a true communion, here and also in heaven with God and all the sanctified of the Lord, after which, in the last day, the true reality will follow. Acts 4:32; Heb. 12:22.

Matters, whereby those who unite in this church, submit willingly and obediently to the customs, laws and ordinances, which the Lord Christ, as the chief Plead of His church, Eph. 5:32, and only Lawgiver of the New Testament, Matt. 28:20, has ordained in His church, and which are also taught and, in our weakness, practiced by us, viz.:

1. The Baptism of penitent and believing adults, which is an external evangelical act, in which the man who truly repents of his sins, who clothes his heart with faith in Christ, and thereby mortifies and buries his earthly members, and arises to a new, penitent life, is baptized by an unblamable minister ordained thereto, with common water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, for the remission of all his sins; and such a man, once baptized upon true repentance and scriptural faith, we do not baptize again. Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 8:14,34,36,37; 10:43; I Cor. 3:5; Rom. 6:4; Matt. 3:11; Acts 10; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 4:5; Heb. 6:2.

2. The holy Supper of the Lord, also called the Christian communion, which is to be held among believers only, not with consecrated, but with common bread and wine; not only in remembrance of the precious, holy, and bitter suffering and death, and the glorious resurrection of our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ, but also of the consolatory fruits thereby prepared for all believers; that they, by virtue of this, may not only be moved to sincerely deplore the bitter suffering and death of Jesus Christ, which He endured for the remission of their sins; but also to praise and bless the Lord, with an internal, spiritual thanksgiving, for the benefits which have sprung therefrom; and, also, to confirm their Christian, brotherly, and spiritual communion by a holy and godly life, to the praise of the Lord. Matt. 26:26; Luke 22:19; Acts 2:46; 20:7; Mark 14:22,23; John 6:51; I Cor. 10:16, 17; I Cor. 11:23,24.

3. Then follows the Washing of the Saints’ Feet; that is, when our fellow believers from distant places come to visit us, we wash their feet, according as opportunity offers, after the custom of the Old Testament, and the example of Christ; thereby declaring our humility toward God and our neighbor, with an humble prayer, that the Lord would strengthen us more and more in humility, and that, like as we have washed one another’s feet, He would be pleased to wash and cleanse our souls with His blood and the waters of the Holy Ghost, from every stain and impurity of sin, that we may appear pure and blameless before His Father. Gen. 18:4; John 13:5; I Tim. 5:10; Luke 22:26; Phil. 2:3.

4. Likewise, The Works of Love, which we divide into three parts: (1) That a believer is bound to bring his alms, according as the Lord has blessed him, to the deacons, that they may have wherewith to properly support the poor believers. (2) To visit, comfort, attend, and nurse, according to the nature of the case, the sick, imprisoned and sorrowing hearts. (3) When we see our fellow believers in oppressive household cares, bad circumstances, or with an insufficient income, to assist them with advice and in deed, and by giving them our custom in preference to a stranger. Matt. 6:1; Luke 12:33; 16:9; Acts 6:13; Matt. 25:35; Heb. 13:1-3.

5. As Marriage which was good and rightly instituted in Paradise, was afterwards abused through lust by the children of the first world and also through hardness of heart by the Jews, the great Lawgiver of the New Testament restored it according to its original ordinance, Matt. 19:4; and the apostle says, I Cor. 7:39: “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.” By this we understand that a believer is not at liberty to unite in marriage with an unbeliever; but only with one, who, with him, of one heavenly Father, of incorruptible seed, and thus of a spiritual generation, is born anew, heavenly and spiritual; for since they in baptism have offered up their members unto God, and have given them to the obedience of their Plead, Christ, they cannot take away these, their members from Christ, their Plead, and be yoked together with one who is un- regenerated. Gen. 2 :24; 6:1, 2 ; Deut. 24:1; Matt. 19 :8; I Pet. 1:23; John 3:15; Rom. 12:1; I Pet. 1:22; Eph. 5:23.

6. The Office of the Secular Authority we recognize as an ordinance of God, for the protection of the good, and the punishment of the wicked; we also recognize that we owe unto it honor, obedience, custom, taxes, and tribute, and that we should also pray for it; but we do not find that Paul mentions it among the offices of the church, nor that Christ taught His disciples such a thing, or called them to it; but, on the contrary, that He enjoined them to follow Him in His defenseless life and cross-bearing footsteps, prohibiting all revenge, not only that with arms, but also to return railing for railing, and, on the contrary, commanding to pray for one’s enemies, to do good unto them who do us evil; and much of a similar nature which is connected with the office of the magistracy; hence we are afraid to fill such offices in our Christian calling. Rom. 13:2,3; I Pet. 2:13; Acts 4:19; Matt. 22:17; Rom. 13:7; Tit. 3:1; Jer. 29:7; I Cor. 12:28; Matt. 20:25; Luke 22:25 ; John 8:12; 10:27; Heb. 12:2; I Pet. 2:21; Rom. 12:19; Matt. 5:44.

7. The Swearing of Oaths permitted in the Old Testament, and in which many abuses have crept, is prohibited by Christ and James, without any distinction; therefore it is not lawful for a Christian to swear the oath of blasphemy. Deut. 6:13; 10:20; Matt. 5:37; James 5:12.

8. But as in a good government ordinances without penalties lose their force the Lord also has not failed to place penalties to His ordinances; for Paul says: “Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear” (I Tim. 5:20). Christ also, in Matt. 18, has taught us to rebuke sinners. Paul teaches to purge out the old leaven, and to put away from among us those that are wicked; by which we understand the Christian Ban which is instituted for the shaming and conversion of the sinner, and for the purpose of keeping the church pure, lest a little leaven leaven the whole lump (I Cor. 5:6, 13; Deut. 13:5; II Thess. 3:14; Gal. 5:9), according to Matt. 16:19: “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven”; and Matt. 18:18: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” This disciple is used against those who have once been enlightened, and have received for truth the sound doctrine of Christ, but who afterwards fall into false doctrine and heresy. These, after they have been admonished once or twice, but still persist in their evil principles, shall, by Christian Separation, be avoided and shunned. Tit. 3:10. Further, it is also used against persons who are going astray in the gross works of the flesh, upon sufficient confession of such persons themselves, or upon the testimony of other commendable witnesses; for such the church must have, before she may proceed with the separation. Gal. 5 :21; Eph. 5:5; I Cor. 5:3; 6:9.

9. We understand that Marrying out of the Church is sinful, since it is contrary to the command of the Lord, and has at various times been reproved by the Lord and His prophets, through deeds as well as through words; and since it is a sin, arising either from a carnal, sensual life, or from a want of confidence in God, as though He would not provide him with a virtuous spouse; and is, moreover, committed with premeditation, for which reason it cannot be included in Gal. 6:1: “If a man be overtaken in a fault, . . . restore such an one in the spirit of meekness,” but much rather in Num. 15:30: “The soul that doeth aught presumptuously, . . . shall be cut off from among his people,” therefore many God-fearing men, who were assembled at different times, have understood, as also we understand, that marriage out of the church, with impenitents and unbelievers, is also to be punished with separation from the church, that they may the more earnestly seek repentance.

But as all sins are not equally great, and do not actually reserve separation without previous admonition, there is observed in the reproving of sin between brother and brother the rule in Matt. 18:15-18. And if any man is overtaken in a fault, then the rule Gal. 6:1 is followed.

Now, since we also understand that there can be no separation where no withdrawing is found, we confess also that we are in duty bound to admonish (I Thess. 3:15) the one separated, to reconcile himself to the church by true repentance; and if there is in him a willingness to reconcile himself, to make haste with the anointing or reinstating, and not to wait with those who have married out of the church, until he or she bring with him, or her, the spouse married out of the church. II Cor. 2:8. But if the good admonition should be heedlessly rejected, since the daily intercourse of the ungodly apostates is unedifying, polluting, offensive, and frequently hardens the sinner in his wicked life; we confess that the person separated, or punished with a ban, is to be avoided and shunned, even without the aforesaid admonition, immediately after the separation, in common, free, worldly transactions, as: In eating and drinking, buying and selling, and such like unnecessary matters; yet with this distinction, that it be done with such moderation and discretion that the Word of God may everywhere retain its place, and the higher laws and commandments of the Lord, by which the believer is bound to the separated one, be not broken, but that everywhere necessity, word, promise, love, benevolence, mercy, justice, and Christian discretion be observed. I Cor. 5:5; II Tim. 2:16-18; II Thess. 3:14; Tit. 3:10; Luke 6:36; II Pet. 1:6.

Likewise, if one man understand the passage respecting shunning, in I Cor. 5, in a higher, and another man, in a lower sense, both men being God-fearing in their life, they should, until further enlightenment, be borne with in love, without contention or disputing.

Whosoever seeks, in human weakness, to live according to these, the chief, as well as to other commandments, doctrines, and ordinances of the Lord (more explicitly defined in His holy Word), and thus to accomplish his pilgrimage on this earth, of him we believe that he will not only feel at his departure from earth a sure witness of his conscience, and have a glad hope; but at the resurrection of the dead will indeed find it to be so, that all his sins will be forgiven him through the holy merits and comforting intercession of Christ. Luke 24:47; Col. 1:14; Acts 13:38; I Tim. 2:5; I John 2:1; Rom. 8:34.

Finally, we believe also, that our Saviour Jesus Christ, forever blessed, shall visibly come again in the clouds, like as He ascended before; not so humble, lowly, and serving, as He appeared to the world in His holy incarnation; but glorious and magnificent, with the power and glory of all His angels; not to call the sinner to repentance, but to hold the last judgment; to which end He will not only sit upon the throne of His glory, but, as the natural sun in springtime draws forth from the earth, not only flowers, herbs and good fruits, but also nettles, thistles, and thorns, so also, the true Sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ, blessed forever, will then, with the sound of the trumpet call forth and cause to arise from the earth, all the great number of the dead who from the beginning of the world up to the present day have lived, died, and sown their bodies in the earth to corruption, and as the womb her fruit so shall the sea, hell, and death give up their dead; then shall the dead be covered with their own skin, and with their own eyes behold God, yea, be clothed with their own bodies, in or with which they have here served or despised the Lord. And after those who then will be still living, will have been changed to immortality in the twinkling of an eye, the general multitude of all mankind will be placed before the holy throne of God, where the books of conscience shall be opened, and also another book, which is the book of life; and the dead shall be judged according to that which is written in these books, that every one may receive in his own body, either good or evil, according to what they have done, or how they have lived here. Then will the Lord, as a righteous Judge, separate the believers from the ungodly, as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats; and will set the believers, as obedient lambs, on His right hand; but the unbelievers, as wicked, rebellious stinking goats, on His left hand. He will look upon the lambs with His loving eyes, and say to them in a voice sweet as the honey comb: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” But upon the goats His angry face shall be like the lightening, and His voice sound like the thunder, and He shall say to them: “De- part from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matt. 1:21; Acts 4:12; I Tim. 1:15; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:30; II Thess. 1:7; Matt. 25:31; 16:27; Acts 17:31; Jude 14; Dan. 7:9, 13; Mai. 4:2; I Thess. 4:16; Matt. 24:31 ; John 5:29; Dan. 12:2; I Cor. 15:42; IV Esd. 7:32; Rev. 20:13; Job 19:26; Rev. 1:7; II Cor. 5:10; Matt. 16:27; Rom. 2:6; I Cor. 15:51; Matt. 25:32; Ezek. 34:17; Matt. 25:33,34,41; IV Esd. 16:10; II Thess. 1:8; Luke 17:24.

And we also further confess that then the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be changed into blood, the star shall fall from heaven, and the earth and all that is therein shall be burned with fire; and then shall the irrevocable sentence of the Greatest King be executed. II Pet. 3:10; Rev. 6:12,13.

Then shall the ungodly, like sheep for the slaughter, be driven to hell, and be cast into the great bottomless pit, where there will be no lack of fuel. There they shall not be laid on beds of down, but on biting moths, and be covered with gnawing worms, and tormented with flaming fire, so that their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, but the torment of their pain shall ascend as the smoke of a fiery furnace, and it shall last forever and ever. But on the contrary, we confess, that the blessed of God shall be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and shall then be led by the Lord Christ, their spiritual bride-groom, into heaven, before the throne of God, where He shall deliver up again to the Father the kingdom and all power, that God may be all in all. Ps. 49:14; Isa. 30:33; 14:11; II Thess. 1:9; Mark 9:48;Isa. 66:24; Rev. 9:2; 14:11; I Thess. 4:17; Matt. 25:6; I Cor. 15:28.

Then shall the blessed of God be changed through the glory of God from glory to glory, their tears shall be wiped away; the crown of life, of glory, and of gladness, shall be placed on their heads; palms of victory shall be put in their hands, and they shall be adorned with the white robe of the righteousness of the saints. Thus shall they be joined to all the saints of God, and be led to the fountain of living waters, there to be refreshed for everlasting consolation; they shall be fed on the spiritual mount Zion, yea, shall follow the sweet Lamb, Jesus Christ, who has bought them with His blood and death, in the heavenly pleasure grounds, through contemplation of the holy God in His inestimable throne, the heavens in their beauty, and the angels in their joy. II Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:21; Isa. 25:8; Rev. 7:17; James 1:12; II Tim. 4:8; IV Esd. 2:43,46; Rev. 7:9; 19:8; Matt. 8:11; Rev. 7:17; 14:1,4; IV Esd. 8:21; Bar. 3:24.

Then shall the blessed of God abound in heavenly joy, so that with angelic tongues and heavenly voices they will begin to sing with all the saints of God the new song, giving unto Him who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, praise, honor, glory, and blessing, for ever and ever. Amen. Rev. 14:3; 7:10,12.

Thus done by us, the undersigned ministers, teachers, and ciders of the United Friesic and High German Churches, for ourselves, as well as in the name of our fellow brethren and ministers, and strangers assembled at these proceedings with, here at Amsterdam. October the 7th, 1730, new style, and was subscribed to by fourteen persons, heads of the churches, for themselves as well as in the name of the churches by whom they were sent.

Thieleman J. Van Braght (1625-1664) was an Anabaptist who is best known for writing a history of the Christian witness throughout the centuries entitled “The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660” (1660).

Thieleman J. Van Braght, Martyrs Mirror