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Agrecd upon by the ASSEMBLY of Divines at Westminster: Examined and approved, Anno 1647, by the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the CHURCH OF SCOTLAND; and ratified by Acts of Parliament 1649 and 1690.


CHAP. I. Of the Holy Scripture.
LTHOUGH the light of nature, and the works of creation and

providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusablea; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvationb: therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church o ; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing ;

I. a Rom. ii. 14. For when the Gentiles, teacheth; comparing spiritual things with which have not the law, do by nature the spiritual. Ver. 14. But the natural man things contained in the law, these, having receiveth not the things of the Spirit of not the law, are a law unto themselves: God; for they are foolishness unto him ; Ver. 15. Which show the work of the law neither can he know them, because they written in their hearts, their conscience are spiritually discerned. also bearing witness, and their thoughts c Heb. i. 1. God, who at sundry times, the mean while accusing or else excusing and in divers manners, spake in time past one another. Rom. i. 19. Because that unto the fathers by the prophets. which may be known of God is manifest d Prov. xxii. 19. "That thy trust may be in them: for God hath showed it unto in the Lord, I have made known to thee them. Ver. 20. For the invisible things of this day, even to thee. Ver. 20. Have not him from the creation of the world are I written to thee excellent things in coun. clearly seen, being understood by the sels and knowledge; Ver. 2i. That I things that are made, even his eternal might make thee know the certainty of power and Godhead; so that they are the words of truth; that thou mightest without excuse. Psal. xix. 1. The heavens answer the words of truth to them that declare the glory of God; and the tirma- send unto thee? Luke i. 3. It seemed good ment showeth his handy-work. Ver. 2. to me also, having had perfect underDay unto day uttereth speech, and night standing of all things from the very first, unto night showeth knowledge. Ver. 3. to write unto thee in order, most excellent There is no speech nor language where Theophilus, Ver. 4. That thou mightest their voice is not heard. Rom. i. 32. Who, know the certainty of those things wherein knowing the judgment of God, that they thou hast been instructed. Rom. xv. 4. which commit such things are worthy of For whatsoever things were written aforedeath, not only do the same, but have time were written for our learning ; that pleasure in them that do them. With we, through patience and comfort of the Rom. ii. 1. Therefore thou art inexcusable, scriptures, might have hope. Mat. iv. 4. O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: But he answered and said, It is written, for wherein thou judgest another, thou Man shall not live by bread alone, but by condemnest thyself'; for thou that judgest every word that proceedeth out of the doest the same things.

mouth of God. Ver. 7. Jesus said unto bi Cor. i. 21. For after that, in the him, It is written again, Thou shalt not wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew tempt the Lord thy God. Ver. 10. Then not God, it pleased God by the foolishness saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, of preaching to save them that believe. Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt wor1 Cor. ii. 13. Which things also we speak, ship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt not in the words which man's wisdom thou serve. Isa.viii. 19. And when they shall !cacheth, but which the Holy Ghost say unto you, Seek unto them that have fa.

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which maketh the holy scripture to be most necessarye; those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased r.

II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the Books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these :


I, Samuel.
II. Samuel.

1. Kings.
II. Kings.
I. Chronicles.
II. Chronicles.

Ecclesiastes. Amos.
The Song of Obadiah.


Jeremiah. Nahum.
Lamentations. Habakkuk.






The Gospels ac- to the Romans. To Timothy I. cond Epistles

cording to Corinthians I. To Timothy II. of Peter. Matthew. Corinthians II. To Titus.

The first, second, Mark.

Galatians. To Philemon. and third EpisLuke.

Ephesians. The Epistle to tles of John. John.

Philippians. the IIebrews. The Epistle of The Acts of the Colossians. The Epistle of Jude. Apostles. Thessalonians I. James.

The Revelation, Paul's Epistles Thessalonians II. The first and se

All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life &

III. The Books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the scripture; and therefore

miliar spirits, and unto wizards that peep

II. g Luke xvi. 29. Abraham saith unto and that mutter : should not a people seek him, They have Moses and the prophets; unto their God? for the living to the dead? let them hear them. Ver. 31. And he said Ver. 20. To the law and to the testimony: unto him, If they hear not Moses and the if they spea's not according to this word, it prophets, neither will they be persuaded is because there is no light in them. though one rose from the dead. Eph. ii. 20.

e 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from a child And are built upon the foundation of the thou hast known the holy scriptures, apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himwhich are able to make thee wise unto self being the chief corner-stone. Rev. salvation through faith which is in Christ xxii. 18. For I testify unto every man that Jesus. 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more beareth the words of the prophecy of this sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do book, If any man shall add unto these well that ye take heed, as unto a light that things, God shall add unto him the plagues shineth in a dark place, until the day that are written in this book : Ver. 19. dawn, and the day-star arise in your And if any man shall take away from the hearts.

words of the book of this prophecy, God f Heb. i. 1. God, who at sundry times, shall take away his part out of the book and in divers manners, spake in time past of life, and out of the holy city, and froni unto the fathers by the prophets, Ver. 2. the things which are written in this book, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of inspiration of God, and is profitable for all things, by whom also he made the doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for

instruction in righteousness.

are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writingsh.

iv. The authority of the holy scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God, (who is truth itself,) the author thereof; and therefore it is to be received, because it is the word of God".

V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverend esteem of the holy scripture, and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole, (which is to give all glory to God,) the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the cntire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the word of God; yet notwithstanding our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts?

VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men m. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of

III. h Luke xxiv. 27. And beginning to behave thyself in the house of God, at Moses and all the prophets, he ex. which is the church of the living God, the pounded unto them in all the scriptures pillar and ground of the truth. the things concerning himself. Ver. 44. 11 John ii. 20. But ye have an unction And he said unto them, These are the from the Holy One, and ye know all things, words which I spake unto you, while I Ver. 27. But the anointing which ye have was yet with you, that all things must be received of him abideth in you; and ye fulfilled which were written in the law of need not that any man teach you: but as Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the the same anointing teacheth you of all Psalms, concerning me. Rom. iii. 2. Much things, and is truth, and is no lie, and Every way:chiefly, because that unto them

even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide were committed the oracles of God. 2 Pet. i. in him. John xvi. 13. Howbeit when he, 21. For the prophecy came not in old time the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide by the will of man; but holy men of God you into all truth: for he shall not speak spake as theywere moved bythe HolyGhost. of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear,

IV. i 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more that shall he speak: and he will show you sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do things to come. Ver. 14. He shall glorify well that ye take heed, as unto a light that me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, show it unto you. 1 Cor. ii. 10. But God and the day-star arise in your hearts. hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: Ver. 21. For the prophecy came not in old for the Spirit searchoth all things, yea, time by the will of man; but holy men of the deep things of God. Ver. il. For God spake as they were moved by ihe Holy what man knoweth the things of a man, Ghost. 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given save the spirit of man which is in him by inspiration of God, and is profitable for even so the things of God knoweth no man, doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for but the Spirit of God. Ver. 12. Now we instruction in righteousness. 1 John v. 9. have received, not the spirit of the world, If we receive the witness of men, the wit- but the Spirit which is of God; that we ness of God is greater: for this is the wit- might know the things that are freely given ness of God which he hath testified of his to us of God. Isa. lix. 21. As for me, this Son. 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this cause also is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; thank we God without ceasing, because, My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words when ye received the word of God which which I have put in thy mouth, shall not ye heard of us, ye received it not as the depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of God, which effectually worketh also in of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from you that believe.

henceforth and for ever. V. k 1 Tim. iii. 15. But if I tarry long, VI. m 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from a that thou mayest know how thou oughtest child thou hast known the holy seriptures,

the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word"; and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observedo.

VII. All things in scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all p; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinagy means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them 9.

VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew, (which was the native language of the people of God of old,) and the New Testament in Greek, (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations,) being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical"; so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto thems. But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come4, that the word of God dwell

which are able to make thee wise unto comely that a woman pray unto God uncov. salvation through faith which is in Christ ered?' Ver. 14. Doth not even nature itself Jesus. Ver. 16. All scripture is given by teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it inspiration of God, and is profitable for is a shame unto him? 1 Cor. xiv. 26. How doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for is it then, brethren?

when ye come together, instruction in righteousness; Ver. 17. every one of you hath a psalm, hath a That the man of God may be perfect, doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, throughly furnished unto all good works. hath an interpretation. Let all things bé Gal. i. 8. But though we, or an angel from done unto editying. Ver. 40. Let all things heaven, preach any other gospel unto you be done decently, and in order. than that which we have preached unto VII. P 2 Pet. iii. 16. As also in all his you, let him be accursed. Ver. 9. As we epistles, speaking in them of these things: said before, so say I now again, If any in which are some things hard to be underman preach any other gospel unto yoủ stood, which they that are unlearned and than that ye have received, let him be ac- unstable wrest, as they do also the other cursed. 2 Thes. ii. 2. That ye be not soon scriptures, unto their own destruction. shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by 9 Psal. cxix. 105. Thy word is a lamp unto spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from my feet, and a light unto my path. Ver. 130. us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it

ń John vi. 45. It is written in the pro- giveth understanding unto the simple. phets, And they shail be all taught of God. VIII. r Mat. v. 18. For verily I say unto Every man therefore that hath heard, and you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot hath learned of the Father, cometh unto or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the

1 Cor. ii. 9. But, as it is written, Eye law, till all be fulfilled. hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have & Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the entered into the heart of man, the things testimony: if they speak not according to which God hath prepared for them that this word, it is because there is no light in love him. Ver. 10. But God hath revealed them. Acts xv. 15. And to this agree the them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit words of the prophets; as it is written. searcheth all things, yea, the deep things John v. 39. Search the scriptures; for in of God. Ver. 11. For what man knoweth them ye think ye have eternal life: and the things of a man, save the spirit of man they are they which testify of me. Ver. 46. which is in him? even so the things of God For had ye believed Moses, ye would have knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. believed me: for he wrote of me. Ver. 12. Now we have received, not the 1 John v. 39. Search the scriptures; for spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is in them ye think ye have eternal life: and of God; that we might know the things they are they which testify of me.. that are freely given to us of God.

uRi Cor. xiv. 6. Now, brethren, if I come • 1 Cor. xi, 13. Judge in yourselves: is it unto you speaking with tongues, what


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