Page images




CHAP. I. Of the Holy Scripture.

LTHOUGH the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do fo far manifeft the goodnefs, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcufable a; yet are they not fufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is neceffary unto falvation b. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at fundry times, and in divers

I. Rom. ii. 14. For 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: v. 15. Which fhew the work of the law written in their hearts, their confcience alfo bearing witnefs, and their thoughts the mean while accufing or elfe excufing one another, Rom. i. 19. Becaufe that which may be known of God, is manifefted in them; for God hath fhewn it unto them. v. 20. For the invifible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly feen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; fo that they are without excufe. Pfal. xix. 1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament fheweth his handy-work. v. 2. Day unto day uttereth fpeech, and night unto night fheweth know. ledge. v. 3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not,


heard. Rom. i. 32. Who knowing the judgment of God, (that they which commit fuch things are worthy of death) not only do the fame, but have pleasure in them that do them. With Rom. ii. 1. Therefore thou art inexcufable, O man, whofoever thou art that judgeft; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgeft doft the fame things.

b1 Cor. i. 21. For after that, in the wifdom of God, the world by wifdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolifhnefs of preaching to fave them that believe. 1 Cor. ii. 13. Which things alfo we fpeak, not in the words which man's wifdom teacheth, but which the holy Ghoft teacheth, comparing fpiritual things with fpiritual. v. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolifhnefs unto him: neither can he know them, because they ar efpiritually difcerned."

B 3.


Chap. I. manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto the church c; and afterwards, for the better preferving and propagating of the truth, and for the more fure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the fame wholly unto writing d: which maketh the holy fcripture to be moft neceffary e; thofe former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people, being now ceafed f.

II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:

c Heb. i. 1. God who at fundry times, and in divers manners, fpake in time paft unto the fathers by the prophets.

d Prov. xxii. 19. That thy truft may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. v. 20. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counfels and knowledge; v. 21. that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that fend unto thee? Lukei. 3. It seemed good to me alfo, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, moft excellent Theophilus, v. 4. that thou mightst know the certainty of those things, wherein thou haft been inftructed, Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; that we through patience and comfort of the fcriptures might have hope. Matth. iv. 4. But he anfwered and faid, It is written, Man fhall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. v. 7. Jefus faid into him, It is written again, Thou halt not tempt the Lord thy God.


v. 10. Then faith Jefus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou fhalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only fhalt thou ferve. Ifa. viii. 19. And when they fhall fay unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar fpirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter; fhould not a people feek unto their God? for the living to the dead? v 28. To the law and to the teftimony: if they fpeak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

2 Tim, iii. 15. And that from a child thou haft known the holy fcriptures, which are able to make thee wife unto falvation, through faith which is in Chrift Jefus. 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more fure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that thineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star a◄ rife in your hearts.

f Heb. i. 1. God, who at fundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time paft unto the fathers by the prophets: v. 2. hath in these laft days fpoken unto us by his Son whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom alfo he made the world. : Luke

[blocks in formation]

All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of

faith and lifeg.

g Luke xvi. 29. Abraham faith unto him, they have Mofes and the prophets, let them hear them. v. 31. And he faid unto him, If they hear not Mofes and the prophets, neither will they be perfuaded, though one rofe from the dead. Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jefus Chrift himself being the chief corner-ftone. Rev. xxii. 18. For I teftify unto eve

III. The

ry man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man fhall add unto these things, God fhall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. v. 19. And if any man fhall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God fhall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 2 B 4


III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine infpiration, are no part of the canon of the fcripture; and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made ufe of, than other human writings h.

IV. The authority of the holy fcripture, 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 i.

V. We may be moved and induced by the teftimony of the church, to an high and reverend efteem of the holy fcripturek, and the heavenlinefs of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the ftyle, the confent of all the parts,

Tim. iii, 16. All feripture is given by infpiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for inftruction in rightęoufncis,

III. b Luke xxiv, 27. And beginning at Mofes, and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the fcriptures the things concerning himself. v. 44. And he faid unto them, Thefe are the words which I fpake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Mofes, and in the prophets, and in the Pfalms concerning me. Rom. iii. 2. Much every way: chiefly becaufe unto them were committed the oracles of God. 2 Pet.i. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God fpake as they were moved by the Holy Ghoft.

IV. i 2 Pet. i. 9. We have alfo a more fure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the


day-star arife in your hearts. v. 21.
For the prophecy came not in old
time by the will of man, but holy
men of God fpake as they were mo-
ved by the Holy Gholt. 2 Tim. iii.
16. All fcripture is given by infpi-
ration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correcti-
on, for inftruction in righteoufnefs.
1 John v. 9. If we receive the wit-
nefs of men, the witnefs of God is
greater: for this is the witness of
God, which he hath testified of his
Son. 1 Theff. ii. 13. For this caufe
alfo thank we God without ceafing,
becaufe when ye received the word
of God, which ye heard of us, ye
received it not as the word of men,
but as it is in truth, the word of
God, which effectually worketh al-
fo in you that believe,

V. k 1 Tim. iii. 15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayeft know how thou oughteft to behave thyfelf in the houfe of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

11 John

25 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 falvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the intire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the word of God; yet notwithstanding our full perfuafion and affurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the holy Spirit, bearing witnefs by and with the word in our hearts.

VI. The whole counfel of God, concerning all things neceffary for his own glory, man's falvation, faith and life, is either exprefsly fet down in scripture, or by good and neceffary confequence may be deduced from fcripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of menm. Nevertheless, we acknow

1 1 John ii. 20. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. v. 27. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: But as the fame anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie: and even as it hath taught you, ye fhall abide in him. John xvi. 13. Howbeit, when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he fhall not fpeak of himfelf, but whatsoever he fhall hear, that fhall he fpeak; and he will fhew you things to come. v. 14. He fhall glorify me: for he fhall receive of mine, and fhall fhew it unto you. 1 Cor. ii. 10. But God hath reveal, ed them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit fearcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. v. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, faye the fpirit of man which is in him? even fo the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. v. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the

fpirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Ifaiah lix. 21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, faith the Lord, My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, fhall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy feed, nor out of the mouth of thy feed's feed, faith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

VI. m 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from a child thou hait known the holy fcriptures, which are able to make thee wife unto falvation, thro' faith which is in Chrift Jefus. v. 16. All fcripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for inftruction in righteoutnefs. v. 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Cal. i. 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other geipel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accuried. v. 9. As we faid


« PreviousContinue »