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(Key to the Bible)

A Compendium of Scriptural Knowledge

By Adam Clarke, LLD



“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not . . . For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the LORD; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:1, 5).

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).


A Compendium of Scriptural Knowledge (Wesleyan):


1. There Is One God, who is self-existing, uncreated, infinitely wise, powerful, and good: who is present in every place; and fills the heavens, and earth, and all things. Now, as THIS ONE God is eternal, that is, without beginning or end, and is present everywhere, and fills all space, there can be only ONE such Being; for there cannot be two or more eternals, or two or more who are everywhere and fill all things. To suppose more than one supreme Source of infinite wisdom, power, and all perfections, is to assert that there is no supreme Being in existence. A plurality of eternal beings would resemble a plurality of universes, eternities, and infinite spaces; all which would be contradictory and absurd.

  • “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His Redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the First, and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no God; I know not any” (Isaiah 44:6–8).


2. This one infinite and eternal Being is a Spirit: i.e., he is not compounded, nor made up of parts; for then he would be nothing different from matter, which is totally void of intelligence and power. And hence he must be invisible; for a spirit cannot be seen by the eye of man: nor is there any thing in this principle contradictory to reason or experience. We all know that there is such a thing as the air we breathe, as the wind that whistles through the trees, fans and cools our bodies, and sometimes tears up mighty trees from their roots, overturns the strongest buildings, and agitates the vast ocean; but no man has ever seen this air or wind, though every one is sensible of its effects, and knows that it exists. Now it would be as absurd to deny the existence of God, because we cannot see him, as it would be to deny the existence of the air or wind, because we cannot see it. As to reason and sense, the wind is known to exist by the affects which it produces, though it cannot be seen; so God is known by his works; and a genuine Christian is as conscious that this divine Spirit works in, enlightens, and changed his heart, as he is that he breathes the air, and feels the action of the wind upon his body; and is either chilled, cooled, or refreshed, by its breezes.

  • “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth . . . The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 4:24, 3:8).


3. In this God there are found three persons, not distinctly or separately existing; but in one infinite unity; who are termed Father, Son, and Spirit; or God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; all existing in the one infinite and eternal God; neither being before or after the other, neither being greater or less than the other. These three divine persons are frequently termed among Christians, The Trinity.

  • “For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One” (1 John 5:7);

  • “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).


4. This God is the Creator, Governor, and Preserver of all things: all creatures, animate and inanimate, owe their being to him; and by him they are all supported.

  • “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3);

  • “Thou, even Thou, art LORD alone; Thou hast made heaven, the Heaven of heavens, with all their host, the Earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and Thou preservest them all; and the host of Heaven worshippeth Thee” (Nehemiah 9:6).


5. The works of creation show God to be infinitely powerful, wise, and good. His power is seen in the vastness or magnitude of his works; his Wisdom is seen in the skill and contrivance so evident in each, and in the whole; and his Goodness is seen in the end for which each has been formed: for he has made all intelligent and animate beings capable of happiness; and he has so contrived their bodies, minds, and different parts, as well as the things by which they are surrounded, that this happiness is, in general, within their reach.

  • “O LORD, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all: the Earth is full of Thy riches” (Psalm 104:24).


6. Man is one of the chief works of God. His soul was created in the image of God, i.e., in righteousness and true holiness: and his body was formed out of the dust of the ground. There was no imperfection in his body, a machine of the most complicate, curious, and difficult contrivance: and no sinfulness in his mind; for God, who is all perfection, could make nothing that is imperfect; and He who is infinitely holy could make nothing that is impure.

  • “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” (Genesis 1:27).


7. But from this state of perfection and purity man fell, by his disobeying the commandment of God; and so became liable to sickness, death, corruption, and dissolution in his body; and became ignorant, sinful, and vicious in his soul.

  • “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:3).


8. God, who is infinitely good, showed his mercy to fallen, sinful man by promising him a Savior who was to come in that time which God should see to be the most suitable.

  • “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).


9. This Saviour was no less a person than the Lord Jesus Christ, who in that suitable time was to take upon him the nature of man, by assuming a human body; which he subjected to death, that he might make a sacrifice and atonement for all those who were partakers of the same nature, i.e., for the Whole Human Race.

  • “And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21);

  • “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).


10. Jesus Christ, as man, could suffer and die; as God, he was incapable of either, but it was necessary that his human nature should suffer in order to make an atonement; and it was necessary that his Deity should be united with that humanity, in order to make its suffering of infinite value, that thereby a suitable atonement might be made for the sins of the world.

  • “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).


11. The law which God gave to men was given to human nature. That nature transgressed this law; on that nature, therefore, divine justice had a claim; and from it that justice had a right to demand satisfaction. To have destroyed that human nature existing at the time of the transgression in the first human pair only, would have been inconsistent with the innumerable purposes of divine justice, mercy, and providence; therefore God permitted them to live and propagate a posterity upon the earth: but in his infinite love he found out a Redeemer for this fallen nature. But this Christ or Redeemer took not upon him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, that is, human nature, that in the nature which sinned he might make the expiation required.

  • “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:16).


12. It was also necessary that this Redeemer should be infinitely divine and perfect; as the end of his great undertaking was not only to purchase pardon for a world of offenders, but to merit eternal happiness for mankind. Now an infinite happiness cannot be purchased by any price less than that which is infinite in value; and infinity of merit can only result from a nature that is infinitely divine or perfect.

  • “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17).


13. Accordingly we find that, about 4000 years after the creation, this Jesus Christ was born in Judea, of a virgin, whose name was Mary, in whose womb his human nature was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost; and about thirty-three years afterward, having wrought multitudes of miracles, the most astonishing and beneficent, and preached that heavenly doctrine called the gospel or good news, he gave up his life at Jerusalem as a sacrificial offering for the lives of all mankind. He was buried; rose again, by that divine power which could not suffer death, on the third day, according to his own predictions; and gave commission to his disciples, (holy men to whom he had taught the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,) to go into all the world, and preach his gospel to every creature; which they and their successors have done, and are doing: and by these means Christianity has been spread and established in the earth; and will finally prevail in every nation of the world according to his own most positive declarations.

  • “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD” (Luke 2:11);

  • “He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth” (Isaiah 53:9);

  • “Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6);

  • “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).


14. God has assured mankind that there is and can be no salvation but through Jesus Christ: that for the sake, and on the account, of his sacrificial sufferings and death he can forgive sins; and on no other account will he show mercy to any soul of man.

  • “In Whom we have Redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).


15. As all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and are consequently exposed to endless punishment, and no man can make an atonement for his own soul, God has commanded all who hear the gospel to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; that is, to believe on him as having died for them, and to believe that his sufferings and death are a sufficient sacrifice for their sins; and, consequently, to offer this sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ as a ransom price for their souls.

  • “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).


16. But it is not likely that any person will feel his need of Jesus Christ as his Savior, unless he feel that he is sinful, guilty, and cannot help himself: hence the Holy Scriptures require men to repent; that is, to turn from and be deeply sorry for their transgressions, to mourn and be distressed for having sinned against God, and to implore his mercy through Christ Jesus, by fervent and continued prayer.

  • “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the LORD” (Acts 3:19).


17. Scripture gives no hope to any man, that his sins can be blotted out, or his soul saved, by anything he can do, or has done, or by any sufferings through which he can possibly pass: every man, therefore, must come to God through Christ, to be saved by free grace and mere mercy alone.

  • “Being justified freely by His grace through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24);

  • “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).


18. When a sinner comes thus to God, with a broken and contrite heart, believing and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation, God freely pardons him; and he knows and feels that he is pardoned, because his darkness and distress are all taken away; and the Spirit of God bears witness with his spirit that he is a child of God: this God has promised; and, therefore, it is the privilege of every Christian to know that his sins are forgiven him for Christ’s sake: and of this fact there are thousands of living witnesses in the Christian church. Let it ever be remembered that genuine faith in Christ will ever be productive of good works; for this faith worketh by love, as the apostle says, and love to God always produces obedience to his holy laws.

  • “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5);

  • “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).


19. Pardon or forgiveness of sin implies that the mans guilt is taken away; and that he is no longer in danger of falling into endless punishment.

  • “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1);

  • “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).


20. Hence God promises his Holy Spirit to sanctify and cleanse the heart, so as utterly to destroy all pride, anger, self-will, peevishness, hatred, malice, and every thing contrary to his own holiness.

  • “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23);

  • “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:13);

  • “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My Statutes, and ye shall keep My Judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:25–27).


21. The work of pardon on the conscience is called Justification; the work of holiness in the heart is termed Sanctification: these two comprise the whole salvation of the soul in this world. He who is completely sanctified, or cleansed from all sin, and dies in this state, is fit for glory.

  • “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5).


22. Let it be therefore remembered, that Repentance must go before Justification; that Justification must go before Sanctification; and that Sanctification must go before Glorification. Consequently, he who does not repent and forsake sin can not be justified; he who is not justified cannot be sanctified, and he who is not sanctified cannot be glorified.


23. As the grace that produces any of these states may be lost through sin, or carelessness; hence the necessity that the true penitent should continue to watch and pray till he is justified that, when justified, he should continue to watch and pray, and deny himself, and take up his cross, till he is sanctified; and, when sanctified, he should continue the same course, believing, loving, and obeying, till he is glorified. As he will be in danger as long as he lives of falling from grace, so he should continue to watch and pray, believe, and maintain good works, as long as he breathes; for while thus employed, humbly trusting in the Lord Jesus, he cannot fall.

  • “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27);

  • “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error” (2 Peter 2:18);

  • “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38);

  • “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:37);

  • “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Peter 2:10).


24. Jesus Christ has ordained only two sacraments, or religions ceremonies: The first Baptism, by which we enter into his church; and the second the Lords Supper, often called the Sacrament, by which we continue members of his church. The former implies being dipped in, or sprinkled with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The water is an emblem of the cleansing and purifying influence of the Holy Spirit; and the whole of the act itself signifies a consecration of the person to the endless service and glory of the ever blessed Trinity, that is, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in whose name he has been baptized. The second or holy sacrament is an emblem of the sacrificial death of Christ; the Bread which is used signifying his Body that was crucified, and the Wine his Blood that was shed for the sins of the world. But the bread and wine are only emblems of this body and blood; not changed into that of our blessed Lord, as some have erroneously imagined. He, therefore, who receives the holy sacrament professes thereby that he expects salvation only through the incarnation, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

  • “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:26, 27, 28).


25. The body is mortal, and must die and mingle with the earth, out of which it was made: but it shall be raised again by the power of Christ, in what is called the Resurrection from the dead. But the soul is immortal, and can neither die nor perish; but in the resurrection the body and soul shall be again united, both of the just and of the unjust.

  • “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment” (Hebrews 9:27);

  • “Behold, I show you a Mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the Last Trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52);

  • “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the Resurrection of Life; and they that have done evil, unto the Resurrection of Damnation” (John 5:28, 29);

  • “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into Judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).


26. After the resurrection comes the general Judgment, in which God shall render unto every man according as his works have been: those who have lived and died in sin shall be sent into hell, and be thus for ever banished from God and the glory of His power: those who have here received the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and have been faithful unto death, shall be brought into the kingdom of glory, and be eternally with the Lord.

  • “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the Resurrection of Life; and they that have done evil, unto the Resurrection of Damnation” (John 5:29);

  • “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life” (Revelation 2:10).


27. In the interim, from death to the resurrection, all souls shall be in a state of conscious existence; the wicked having a foretaste of the misery that awaits them, and the good having a foretaste of the blessedness which is prepared for them. But neither can be supremely happy or wretched till the souls are joined to their respective bodies; otherwise a day of judgment would be rendered unnecessary: for as the works for which they shall be punished or rewarded were done in the body; so they must be joined to their bodies before they can be capable of bearing the due degree of punishment, or enjoying the fulness of eternal glory.

  • “Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).


28. Those who, at the day of judgment, are sentenced to punishment shall never escape from perdition; and those who are taken to glory shall never fall from it. Both states shall be eternal.

  • “These shall go away into Everlasting Punishment: but the righteous into Life Eternal” (Matthew 25:46).


29. The Bible, from whence the above principles are drawn, is a revelation from God himself; and declares his will relative to the salvation of men. The words contained in it were inspired by the Holy Spirit into the minds of faithful men, called Prophets and Seers in the Old Testament; and Evangelists and Apostles in the New. These all spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance.

  • “For the Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).


30. This Bible, or the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, are the only complete guide to everlasting blessedness: men may err, but the Scripture cannot; for it is the Word of God himself who can neither mistake, deceive, nor be deceived.

  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).


31. From this Word all doctrines must be derived and proved; and from it every man must learn his duty to God, to his neighbor, and to himself.

  • “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no Light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).


32. We have, therefore, three grand gifts, for which we should incessantly magnify God: First, His Son, Christ Jesus. Second, The influence of his Holy Spirit. And, Third, His blessed word.

  • “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10);

  • “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him” (Luke 11:13);

  • “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have Eternal Life: and they are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).


33. This word shows us that God is Love: that he hateth nothing that he hath made; that he is loving to every man, and is not willing that any should perish, but that all shall come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved.

  • “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16);

  • “The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9).


34. It shows us that Jesus Christ tasted death for every man, and that the whole human race may believe in him to the saving of their souls.

  • “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9);

  • “Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:6);

  • “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye” (Ezekiel 18:32);

  • “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).


35. It shows us that God sends his Holy Spirit into the hearts and consciences of all men, to convince them of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and that his light is to be found, even where his word has not yet been revealed.

  • “And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more” (John 16:8, 9, 10),

  • “When the Gentiles, which have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, these, having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves” (Romans 2:14).


36. On this ground the Bible informs us, God will judge the heathen who have never been favored with this divine revelation. Those who have acted conscientiously, according to the dictates of this heavenly light in their minds, shall not perish eternally; but have that measure of glory and happiness which is suited to their state; while those who have acted contrary to it shall be separated from God and happiness for ever.

  • “For as many as have sinned without Law shall also perish without Law: and as many as have sinned in the Law shall be judged by the Law” (Romans 2:12);

  • “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47, 48);

  • “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34).


37. By this light even the heathens are taught the general principles of right and wrong; of justice and injustice: not to injure each other: to be honest and just in their dealings; to abhor murder, cruelty, and oppression; and to be charitable and merciful according to their power.

  • “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9);

  • “When the Gentiles, which have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, these, having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves” (Romans 2:14).


38. Those who have been favored with divine revelation shall be judged according to that revelation. They have received much, and from them much shall be required; for the Bible assures us that those who have the gospel, and do not obey it, shall be punished with an everlasting separation from the presence of God, and the glory of his power, in that place of misery where their worm, the accusation and self-reproaches of a guilty conscience, shall never die; and their fire, the instrument of the torment, shall never be quenched.

  • “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the LORD, and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9);

  • “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44).


39. Thus we find that God will judge the heathen by the law which he has written in their minds; and he will judge the Jews by the law which he has given them by Moses and the prophets; and he will judge the Christians by the gospel of Jesus Christ, which he has given them by the evangelists and apostles; and he will judge the Mohammedans according to the opportunities they have had of knowing the gospel, and the obstinacy with which they have rejected it. And this will be an aggravation of the punishment of the Jews, Mohammedans, and other unbelievers, that the gospel which would have made them wise unto salvation, has been rejected by them; and they continue blasphemously to deny the Lord that bought them.


40. As the sacred Scriptures were mercifully given to man to promote his present as well as his eternal happiness; hence they contain directions for every state and condition of life: on husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, they enjoin mutual love, affection, obedience, and fidelity. To governors and the governed they prescribe their respective duties; kings and magistrates, as the representatives of God, they enjoin to use their authority for the protection and comfort of the people: the people they command to love, honor, obey, and pray for their secular rulers;, to submit to those laws which are formed for the peace, good order, and prosperity of the state; and to hold in abhorrence every thing that might tend to disturb the peace of the community. In a word, they require all men to love their neighbor, every human being, as themselves; and in all circumstances to do unto others as they would that others should do unto them.

  • “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the Law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12);

  • “And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side” (Luke 10:31);

  • “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the Oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto His glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” (Romans 3:1–7);

  • “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the LORD. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the LORD the Church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great Mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:21–33);

  • “Children, obey your parents in the LORD: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the First Commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the Earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the LORD, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the LORD, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in Heaven; neither is there respect of persons with Him” (Ephesians 6:1–9);

  • “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the LORD. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the LORD. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the LORD, and not unto men; knowing that of the LORD ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the LORD Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons” (Colossians 3:18–25);

  • “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour” (1 Timothy 2:1–3);

  • “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded” (Titus 2:1–6);

  • “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men” (Titus 3:1, 2);

  • “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the Word, they also may without the Word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:1–7);

  • “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:1–5).


41. From the foregoing principles we see that whatsoever is worthy of the infinite perfections of the One Eternal Being and whatsoever is calculated to produce the present and everlasting happiness of mankind, is taught in the Bible; and that these truths have never been fully nor clearly taught, and most of them not at all, in any system of religion which has been adopted by even the wisest of the heathen nations; that where this book of divine revelation has been received, there is found the greatest portion of wisdom and true greatness; and the largest share of political, domestic, and personal happiness; and that none in such nations are wretched, ignorant, or miserable, but those who do not obey its dictates.


42. As this religion positively commands its professors to love God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and their neighbor, any and every human being, as themselves, hence it is the duty of all Christian nations and people to exert themselves in every possible and reasonable way to send this glorious light of revelation to all the nations of mankind who have not yet received it; and while they continue to use that prayer which Jesus Christ has mercifully taught them, in which is contained this petition, Thy kingdom come, they should keep a constant eye on the condition of the heathen, and labor to send them that gospel so essential to their peace, their comfort, and their happiness.

  • “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15, 16).

  • “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the Everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the Earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him” (Revelation 14:6, 7).