Page images

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 scriptures, 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 entire 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

Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of

men m.

III. 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 shali 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 searcheth all things, yea, time by the will of man; but holy men of the deep things of God. Ver. 11. For God spake as they were moved by the 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 scriptures,

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 allP; 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.

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 come “, that the word of God dwell


which are able to make thee wise unto comely thata 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 be Gal. i. 8. But though we, or an angel from done unto edifying. 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 underinan preach any other gospel unto you 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 desti 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

n 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 8 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.

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


ing plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner", and, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, may have hope*

IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any scripture, (which is not manifold, but one,) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly%.

X. The supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writors, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the scripturer.

CHAP. II. Of God, and of the Holy Trinity. THERE is but one only a living and true God , who is infinite in T

being and perfection", a most pure spirit a, invisible e, without

shall I profit you, except I shall speak to said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing you either by revelation, or by knowledge, the scriptures, nor the power of God. or by prophesying, or by doctrine? Ver. 9. Ver. 31. But as touching the resurrection So likewise ye, xcept ye utter by the of the dead, have ye not read that which tongue words easy to be understood, how was spoken unto you by God, saying. shall it be known what is spoken ? for ye Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the founshall speak into the air. Ver. 11. There- dation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus fore if I know not the meaning of the Christ himself being the chief cornervoice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a stone.

With Acts xxviii. 25. And when barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be they agreed not among themselves, they a barbarian unto me. Ver. 12. Even so departed, after that Paul had spoken one ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spirit. word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias ual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the the prophet unto our fathers. edifying of the church. Ver. 24. But if all I. a Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel ; The prophesy, and there come in one that be. Lord our God is one Lord. 1 Cor. viii. 4. As lieveth not, or one unlearned, he is con- concerning therefore the eating of those vinced of all, he is judged of all. Ver. 27. things that are offered in sacrifice unto if any man speak in an unknown tongue, idols, we know that an idol is nothing in let it be by two, or at the most by three, the world, and that there is none other and that by course; and let one interpret. God but one. Ver. 6. But to us there is Ver. 28. But if there be no interpreter, let but one God, the Father, of whon are all him keep silence in the church; and let things, and we in him ; and one Lord Je. him speak to himself, and to God. sus Christ, by whom are all things, and

w Col. iii. 16. Let the word of Christ we by him. dwell in you richly in all wisdom;teaching b1 Thess. i. 9. For they themselves show and admonishing one another in psalms, of us what manner of entering in we had and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing unto you, and how ye turned to God from with grace in your hearts to the Lord. idols, to serve the living and true God.

Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things were Jer. x. 10. But the Lord is the true God, he written aforetime were written for our is the living God, and an everlasting learning; that we, through patience and King.. comfort of the scriptures, might have hope. c Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find

IX. y 2 Pet. i. 20. Knowing this first, out God ? canst thou find out the Almighty that no prophecy of the scripture is of any unto perfection ? Ver. 8. It is as high as private interpretation. Ver. 21. For the heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than prophecy came not in old time by the will hell; what canst thou know? Ver. 9. The of man; but holy men of God spake as measure thereof is longer than the earth, they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Acts and broader than the sea. Job xxvi. 14. Lo, xv. 15. And to this agree the words of the these are parts of his ways; but how little prophets; as it is written, Ver. 16. After a portion is heard of him but the thunder this I will return, and will build again the of his power who can understand ? tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; d John iv, 24. God is a Spirit: and they and I will build again the ruins thereof, that worship him must worship him in and I will set it up.

spirit and in truth. X. * Mat xxii. 29. Jesus answered and el Tim. i. 17. Now, unto the Kins


body, parts, or passions, immutable", immense', eternal", incomprehensible', almighty", most wisen, most holyo, most freep, inost absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will", for his own glory*; most loving , gracious, merciful,long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin"; the rewarder of them that dili. gently seek him"; and withal most just and terrible in his judgmentss; eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise about him; and they were full of eyes God, be honour and glory for ever and within: and they rest not day and night, Amen.

saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Al f Deut. iv. 15. Take ye therefore good heed mighty, which was, and is, and is to come. unto yourselves, (for ye saw no manner of n Rom. xvi. 27. To God only wise, be glory similitude on the day that the Lord spake through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the o Isa. vi. 3. And one cried unto another, fire,) Ver. 16. Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of and make you a graven image, the simili. hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. tude of any figure, the likeness of male or Rev. iv.8. [See lettermimmediatelyforegoing.] female. John iv. 24. God is a Spirit: and p Psal. cxv. 3. But our God is in the they that worship him must worship him heavens; he hath done whatsoever he in spirit and in truth. With Luke xxiv. hath pleased. 39. Behold my hands and my feet, that 9 Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto Moses, it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, me have.

I AM hath sent me unto you. & Acts xiv. 11. And when the people saw r Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have ob. what Paul had done, they lifted up their tained an inheritance, being predestinated voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, according to the purpose of him who The gods are come down to us in the worketh all things after the counsel of his likeness of men. Ver. 15. And saying, own will. Sirs, why do ye these things! We also are s Prov. xvi. 4. The Lord hath made all men of like passions with you, and preach things for himself; yea, even the wicked unto you, that ye should turn from these for the day of evil. Rom. xi. 36. For of vanities unto the living God, which made him, and through him, and to him, are all heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. things that are therein.

tl John iv. 8. He that loveth not, knowh James i. 17. Every good gift and every eth not God; for God is love. Ver. 16. And perfect gift is from above, and cometh we have known and believed the love that down from the Father of lights, with God hath to us. God is love ; and he that whom is no variableness, neither shadow dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God of turning. Mal. iii. 6. For I am the Lord, in him. I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob u Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord passed are not consumed.

by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, i 1 Kings viii. 27. But will God indeed The Lord God, merciful and gracious, dwell on the earth ? Behold, the heaven, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and heaven of heavens, cannot contain and truth, Ver. 7. Keeping mercy for thee; how much less this house that I have thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transbuilded! Jer. xxiii. 23. Am I a God at gression, and sin, and that will by no hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar means clear the guilty ; visiting the ini. off! Ver. 24. Can any hide himself in quity of the fathers upon the children, and secret places that I shall not see him? upon the children's children, unto the saith the Lord: do not I fill heaven and third and to the fourth generation. earth saith the Lord.

w Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it is im. k Psal. xc. 2. Before the mountains were possible to please him: for he that cometh brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed to God must believe that he is, and that he the earth and the world, even from ever- is a rewarder of them that diligently seek lasting to everlasting, thou art God. 1 Tim. him. 1. 17. Now,unto the King eternal, immortal, * Neh. ix. 32. Now therefore, our God, invisible, the only wise God, be honour the great, the mighty, and the terrible and glory for ever and ever. Amen. God,

who keepest covenant and mercy, let 1 Psal. cxlv. 3. Great is the Lord, and not all the trouble seem little before thee greatly to be praised ; and his greatness is that hath come upon us, on our kings, on unsearchable.

our princes, and on our priests, and on m Gen. xvii. 1. And when Abram was our prophets, and on our fathers, and on ninety years old and nine, the Lord all thy people, since the time of the kings appeared to Abram, and said unto him, of Assyria unto this day. Ver. 33. How. I am the Almighty God : walk before me, beit thou art just in all that is brought and be thou perfect. Rov. iv. 8. And the upon us ; for thou hast done right, but we fou“ hrasts had each of them six wings have done wickedly.


hating all sin', and who will by no means clear the guilty?

II. God hath all life a, glory \, goodness o, blessedness 4, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made e, not deriving any glory from them', but only manifesting his own glory, in, by, unto, and upon them: he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things 8; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth". In his sight all things are open and manifest'; his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature“, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain! llo is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands m To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, he is pleased to require of them ,

y Psal. v. 5. The foolish shall not stand & Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of him, and to him, are all things: to whorn iniquity. Ver. 6. Thou shalt destroy them be glory for ever. that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor h Rev. iv. 11. Thou art worthy, O Lord, the bloody and deceitful man.

to receive glory, and honour, and power: z Nah. i. 2. God is jealous, and the Lord for thou hast created all things, and for revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is thy pleasure they are and were created. 1 furious; the Lord will take vengeance on Tim. vi. 15. (See letter d immediately forehis adversaries, and he reserveth wrath going.) Dan. iv. 25. That they shall drive for his enemies. Ver. 3. The Lord is slow thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be to anger, and great in power, and will not with the beasts of the field, and they shall at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they way in the whirlwind and in the storm, shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and and the clouds are the dust of his feet. seven times shall pass over thee, till thou Exod. xxxiv. 7. Keeping mercy for thou- know that the most High ruleth in the sands, forgiving iniquity, and transgres. kingdom of men, and giveth it to whorrsion, and sin, and that will by no means soever he will. Ver. 35. And all the inclear the guilty ; visiting the iniquity of habitants of the earth are reputed as the fathers upon the children, and upon nothing: and he doeth according to his the children's children, unto the third and will in the army of heaven, and among to the fourth generation.

the inhabitants of the earth ; and none II. a John v. 26. For as the Father hath can stay his hand, or say unto him, What life in himself, so hath he given to the Son doest thou !

i Heb. iv. 13. Neither is there any creab Acts vii. 2. And he said, Men, brethren, ture that is not manifest in his sight: but and fathers, hcarken; The God of glory all things are naked and opened unto the appeared unto our father Abraham, when eyes of him with whom we have to do. he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt k Rom. xi. 33. O the depth of the riches

both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! c Psal. cxix. 68. Thou art good, and how unsearchable are his judgments, doest good : teach me thy statutes. and his ways past finding out! Ver. 34.

di Tim. vi. 15. Which in his times he For who hath known the mind of the shall show, who is the blessed and only Lord ? or who hath been his counsellor ? Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of Psal. cxlvii. 5. Great is our Lord, and of lords. Rom. ix. 5. Whose are the fathers, great power: his understanding is infinite. and of whom, as concerning the flesh, I Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are all Christ came, who is over all, God blessed his works from the beginning of the world.

Ezek. xi. 5. And the Spirit of the Lord fell e Acts xvii. 24. God, that made the world, upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus and all things therein, seeing that he is saith the Lord, Thus have ye said, 0 house Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in of Israel: for I know the things that come temples made with hands Ver. 25. Neither into your mind, every one of them. is worshipped with men's hands, as though m Psal. cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all all his ways, and holy in all his works. life, and breath, and all things.

Rom. vii. 12. Wherefure the law is holy, Job. xxi. 2. Can a man be profitable and the commandment holy, and just, and unto God, as he that is wise may be pro- good. fitable unto himself ? Ver. 3. Is it any plea- n Rev. v. 12. Saying with a loud voice, sure to the Almighty, that thou art rightę. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to ous ! or is it gain to him, that thou makest receive power, and riches, and wisdom, thy ways perfect ?

and strength, and honour, and glory, and

to have life in himself,

in Charran.

for ever.



« PreviousContinue »