Josiah Morling,  Personal Confessions

A Declaration Of Faith

Declaration Of Faith Read By The Pastor Elect, Mr. Josiah Morling, High Wycombe, Buck.

I believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, in their entirety, are the real Word of God; that they are the full and perfect revelation of His mind, will, works, and ways; that holy men of God wrote them as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Ps 119:128; Is 8:20; Jn 5:39; Acts 17:11; Rom 15:4; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:19-21.)

I believe there is but one living and true God, who is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, independent, and immutable; that there are three co-equal and co-eternal Persons in the glorious God-head; Father, Word, and Holy Ghost, and that this glorious God, in the Trinity of His Persons, is the only rightful Object of worship. (Gen 1:26; Deut. 6:4,5; Is 6:3; Jn 10:36; Rom 9:5; 1 Cor 8:6; 2 Cor 3:17; 1 Jn 5:7,20.)

I believe that this Three-One God from everlasting decreed and irreversibly ordained whatsoever takes place in time; either efficaciously in bringing to pass all good, or permissively, in allowing and overruling all evil; that He, by His uncontrollable will and Almighty power, gave being to all created intelligences and all things that exist, and that He, by the same will and power, upholds and, by His providence, governs and directs all things for His own pleasure and eternal glory. (Prov 16:4; Is 46:10; Amos 3:6; Acts 2:23; 4:28; 15:18; 17:28; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 1:11.)

I believe that before the foundation of the world God did sovereignly, and uninfluenced by anything foreseen in the state of the object, choose and predestinated in and by Christ Jesus a certain but vast number of the human race to adoption, salvation, holiness, and everlasting happiness; that those who were so chosen and predestinated in Christ Jesus from eternity were indissolubly united to Him as members of the Head, and were regarded as one with Him, and were represented by Him. On this eternal union is founded God’s everlasting and immutable love to, of complacency and delight in, His people. (Is 43:4; Zeph 3:17; Rom 9:11; 1 Cor 12:27; Eph 1:4,5; 5:23-33; 1 Pet 1:2.)

I believe that the Sacred Three from everlasting entered into a covenant of grace, mercy, and peace, in favour of all the elect, whereby one of the Divine Persons was constituted the Surety and Mediator of His people, and assumed those offices by which the Lord Jesus Christ is made known in the Word of God; in this covenant all spiritual blessings were freely given and made eternally sure to the whole Church. This covenant can never be altered, broken, or disannulled. (2 Sam 23:5; Ps 89:3,19,28,34; Is 42:6; Heb 7:22; 8:10,13; 9:15; 12:24.)

I believe that Adam was the first man, and the father of all mankind; that he was created in the image of God, upright, holy, and innocent, and was constituted the federal head and representative of all his posterity; that the law he received was to him not merely a rule of action, but a covenant of works, perfect conformity to which was to him and his seed the condition of permanent happiness; on his disobedience was suspended the awful punishment of death. He having broken the law, his offense was so imputed to all his descendants, that they were reckoned and constituted sinners, and as from a corrupt fountain corrupt streams issue, so from their fallen head all mankind derive total depravity of nature, are prone to every sin, children of wrath, under sentence of condemnation to death, and are therefore totally destitute of all ability to do anything spiritually acceptable to God. (Gen 1:27; 2:17; 3:6; 6:5; Ps 14:1-3; 53:2,3; Ecc 7:29; Rom 3:9-23; 5:12; 8:7,8; 1 Cor 15:21,22; Eph 2:1-3.)

I believe that in the fullness of time, our Divine Surety and Almighty Saviour took on Him our nature, a real human body, and a real human soul, together and at once, and by his assumption became “Immanuel,” “God manifest in the flesh,” and in His complexity as God-man and Mediator, He fully obeyed the law for His people, and as their substitutionary sacrifice, suffered and died for their sins, so making perfect satisfaction to the law and justice of God: and having thus put away sin, He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven, where He ever liveth to make intercession for all those that the Father hath given Him. (Matt 1:23; Jn 1:14; 10:11-15; Acts 1:9-11; Rom 8:34; 1 Cor 15:20; Gal 4:4; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 7:25; 1 Pet 3:18.)

I believe that the atonement and redemption, which Christ effected by the shedding of His blood, is special, particular, complete, eternal—i.e., God only intended it for His people called the elect, His sheep, His portion, His jewels, His bride, &c. In other words, the atonement is co-extensive with the love of God and the Saviour’s representation, and that the efficiency of the atonement is co-extensive with its sufficiency; therefore the atonement and salvation are necessarily inseparably connected. (Deut 32:9; Is 53:8,11; Mal 3:17; Jn 10:15; Rom 5:8,10; 8:32-39; Eph 1:7; 5:23,27; Col 1:14,20-22; 1 Pet 1:18-21; Rev 1:5; 5:9.)

I believe that all who are predestinated to the adoption of children, and to be conformed to the image of God’s dear Son, and are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, are, in the day of His power, regenerated or made new creatures in Christ Jesus, not by the free-will or power of man, but by God the Holy Ghost by whose Almighty power they are effectually called from death into life, from darkness into light, from Satan to God, and from sin into holiness, and that repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ are the evidences of so being born again. (Ps 110:3; Jn 1:12,13; 3:3-9; 6:37; Rom 1:7; 8:29,30; 9:16; 10:9,10; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 1:5; 4:1; 2 Thess 1:11; 2 Tim 1:9; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Jn 3:14.)

I believe that all who are chosen of God and called by divine grace are justified, which justification is the sovereign and gracious act of God Himself, by imputing to them the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ independent, or without the consideration of any of their own works; that every one who believes in Jesus Christ is justified, and that the full, free, and eternal pardon of their sins, past, present, and to come, is through the meritorious sacrifice of Jesus Christ alone, and that they can never come into condemnation. (Is 53:11; Rom 3:25-28; 4:6; 5:16-21; 8:1,33,34; 10:4; Eph 1:7; Phil 3:9; Col 2:13; 1 Pet 2:24.)

I believe that the work of God in the hearts of His people, which is begun in the new birth and manifested in effectual calling, is maintained and carried on under the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. That sanctification is not the remolding of the natural or carnal mind, but is the work of the Spirit of God whereby believers are delivered from the dominion of sin, have the laws of God written in their hearts, and in the exercise of faith in the new covenant promises of God, the Person, work, and grace of the Redeemer, are enabled by their lives to glorify God and adore the doctrine of their Saviour. (Jer 31:33; Rom 6:1-23; 8:4; 2 Cor 3:3; Phil 1:6; 2:13; Tit 2:10,12; Heb 10:14,16; 1 Pet 3:15,16; 1 Jn 1:7-9.)

I believe that those who are effectually called by divine grace cannot finally fall away, but that their certain conservation, in a state of grace and in the favour of God, is secured to them by the eternal purposes of Jehovah and His immutable love, by the complete atonement and constant intercession of Christ, by the continual indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and by the absolute new covenant promises, and therefore they can never perish, but all be brought home to eternal glory. (Job 17:9; Ps 84:11; Is 45:17,25; Jn 6:39,40; 10:28,29; 14:19; Rom 8:26,27, 35-39; 1 Cor 3:16; Phil 1:6; 1 Pet 1:5; Jude 24.)

I believe that a Church of Christ, formed according to the New Testament, consists of a number of persons professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, being of the same mind, united together by mutual consent, for their common benefit and spiritual edification, worshipping God in the same place and observing such ordinances and discipline as Christ hath, in His Word, enjoined on His people; and that such a Church has a right to choose its own officers as pastors and deacons, and that all religious officers are subJect to none but Jesus Christ, the only Lord and Lawgiver in Zion. (Is 33:22; Acts 1:15; 2:1,41,42; 6:3,4; 2 Cor 8:5; 1 Tim 3:13,15.)

I believe that Jesus Christ has instituted two ordinances of a positive nature, and of perpetual obligation: First, Believers’ Baptism, which cannot be rightly administered but by immersion, or burying in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and regenerated persons, having faith in Christ, are the only proper subjects. Secondly, the Lord’s Supper; this is an ordinance to be observed in a Church state only, in which they commemorate His love to them in suffering and dying for their sins, and testify their love to Him, and communion with Him in His death, and their subjection to Him as their Lord, King, and Lawgiver, and that there is not the slightest authority in the Word of God for the admission of unbaptized persons into the Church, or to the Lord’s Table. (Is 33:22; Matt 26:26,27; 28:19,20; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:41; 8:12,38; 1 Cor 11:23-28.)

I believe that the preaching of the Gospel, prayer, and singing of Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, are ordained of God for the edifying of the Church, and the ingathering of His people. That the present dispensation of the Gospel will be continued till the end of time, when the number of God’s elect shall be fully accomplished. (Matt 24:14; 28:20; Lk 18:1; Acts 10:42; 12:12; Eph 3:8-10; 4:11,12; 5:19; 6:18; Col 3:16; 1 Tim 2:8.)

I believe that it is appointed unto men once to die; at death the souls of the righteous being absent from the body, are present with the Lord; those of the wicked pass into a place of torment. (Lk 16:22,23; 23:43; 2 Cor 5:6,8; Heb 9:27.)

I believe that, at the end of the present Gospel dispensation, there will be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the righteous, and the wicked, and then shall come the final judgment, when Christ shall be the universal Judge. The judgment being over, the redeemed, who shall be raised in the likeness of Jesus Christ, will be introduced into the kingdom of everlasting glory, prepared for them from the foundation of the world, where they shall shine forth as the sun; and the wicked, for their own sins, will be righteously sent into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. (Ps 17:15; Dan 12:2; Matt 13:40,43; 25:31-46; Jn 5:28,29; Acts 10:42; 24:15; 1 Cor 15; 1 Thess 1:7-10; 2 Tim 4:1; Rev 20:12,15.)

Earthen Vessel 1890

Josiah Morling (1843-?) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. He was minister of the gospel for several churches, including those meeting at Glemsford, Suffolk; “Zoar," Ipswich; New-street, St. Neots; Over, Cambs; “Zion" Chapel, High Wycombe.