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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 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 observed.°
any man teach you: but as the same you than that which we have preachanointing teacheth you of all things, ed unto you, let him be accursed. and is truth, and is no lie, and even Ver. 9. As we said before, so say I as it hath taught you, ye shall abide now again, If any man preach any in him. John xvi. 13. Howbeit when other gospel unto you than that ye he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will have received, let him be accursed. guide you into all truth: for he shall 2 Thess. ii. 2.' That ye be not soon not speak of himself: but whatsoever shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither he shall hear, that shall he speak: and by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter he will show you things to come. Ver. as from us, as that the day of Christ 14. He shall glorify me; for he shall is at hand. receive of mine, and shall show it unton John vi. 45. It is written in the you. 1 Cor. ii. 10. But God hath re- prophets, And they shall be all taught vealed them unto us by his Spirit: for of God. 'Every man therefore that the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, hath heard, and hath learned of the the deep things of God. Ver. 11. For Father, cometh unto me. 1 Cor. ii. 9. what man knoweth the things of a But, as it is written, Eye hath not man, save the spirit of man which is seen, nor ear heard, neither have enin him ? even so the things of God tered into the heart of man, the things knoweth no man, but the Spirit of which God hath prepared for them God. Ver. 12. Now we have received, that love him. Ver. 1). But God hath not the spirit of the world, but the revealed them unto us by his Spirit: Spirit which is of God; that we might for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, know the things that are freely given the deep things of God. Ver. 11. For to us of God. Isa. lix. 21. As for me, what man knoweth the things of a this is my covenant with them, saith man, save the spirit of man which is the Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, in him ? even so the things of God and my words which I have put in thy knoweth no man, but the Spirit of mouth, shall not depart out of thy God. Ver. 12. Now we have received, mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy not the spirit of the world, but the seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's Spirit which is of God; that we might seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth know the things that are freely given and for ever.
to us of God. VI. m 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from ° 1 Cor. xi. 13. Judge in yourselves : a child thou hast known the holy scrip- is it comely that a woman pray unto tures, which are able to make thee wise God uncovered ? Ver. 14. Doth not unto salvation through faith which is even nature itself teach you, that, if in Christ Jesus. Ver. 16. All scrip- a man have long hair, it is a shame ture is given by inspiration of God, unto him ? 1 Cor. xiv. 26. How is it and is profitable for doctrine, for re- then, brethren? when ye come toproof, for correction, for instruction gether, every one of you hath a psalm, in righteousness; Ver. 17. That the hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath man of God may be perfect, throughly a revelation, hath an interpretation. furnished unto all good works. Gal. Let all things be done unto edifying. i. 8. But though we, or an angel from Ver. 40. Let all things be done deheaven, preach any other gospel unto cently, and in order.
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 ordinary 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 them. 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,u that the word of God dwelling 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
VII. P 2 Peter iii. 16. As also in all by knowledge, or by prophesying, or his epistles, speaking in them of these by doctrine? Ver. 9. So likewise ye, things: in which are some things hard except ye utter by the tongue words to be understood, which they that are easy to be understood, how shall it be unlearned and unstable wrest, as they known what is spoken ? for ye shall do also the other scriptures, unto their speak into the air. Ver. 11. Thereown destruction.
fore if I know not the meaning of the 9 Ps. cxix. 105. Thy word is a lamp voice, I shall be unto him that speakunto eet, and a light unto my path. eth a barbarian, and he that speaketh Ver. 130. The entrance of thy words shall be a barbarian unto me. Ver. 12. giveth light; it giveth understanding Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zeaunto the simple.
lous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may VIII. r Matt. v. 18. For verily I say excel to the edifying of the church. unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, Ver. 24. But if all prophesy, and there one jot or one tittle shall in no wise come in one that believeth not, or one pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. unlearned, he is convinced of all, he
s Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the is judged of all : Ver. 27. If any man testimony: if they speak not accord- speak in an unknown tongue, let it ing to this word, it is because there is be by two, or at the most by three, no light in them. Acts xv. 15. And and that by course: and let one in to this agree the words of the prophets; terpret. Ver. 28. But if there be no as it is written. John v. 39. Search interpreter, let him keep silence in the scriptures; for in them ye think the church; and let him speak to him. ye have eternal life: and they are they self, and to God. which testify of me. Ver. 46. For w Col. iii. 16. Let the word of Christ had ye believed Moses, ye would have dwell in you richly in all wisdom; believed me: for he wrote of me. teaching and admonishing oneanother
t John v. 39. Search the scriptures; in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual for in them ye think ye have eternal songs, singing with grace in your life: and they are they which testify hearts to the Lord. of me.
* Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things u 1 Cor. xiv. 6. Now, brethren, if I were written aforetime were written come unto you speaking with tongues, for our learning; that we, through pawhat shall I profit you, except I shalí tience and comfort of the scriptures, speak to you either by revelation, or might have hope.
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 writers, 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 scripture.*
CHAP. II.—Of God, and of the Holy Trinity.
I. THERE is but one onlya living and true God, who is infinite in being
I and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, IX. y 2 Pet. i. 20. Knowing this show of us what manner of entering first, that no prophecy of the scrip- in we had unto you, and how ye turn. ture is of any private interpretation. ed to God from idols, to serve the liyVer. 21. For the prophecy came not ing and true God. Jer. x. 10. But in old time by the will of man; but the Lord is the true God, he is the liv. holy men of God spake as they were ing God, and an everlasting King. moved by the Holy Ghost. Acts xv. Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching 15. And to this agree the words of the find out God ? canst thou find out the prophets; as it is written, Ver. 16. Almighty unto perfection ? Ver. 8. After this I will return, and will build It is as high as heaven; what canst again the tabernacle of David, which thou do? deeper than hell; what canst is fallen down; and I will build again thou know ? Ver. 9. The measure the ruins thereof, and I will set it up. thereof is longer than the earth, and
X. z Matt. xxii. 29. Jesus answered broader than the sea. Job xxvi. 14. and said unto them, Ye do err, not Lo, these are parts of his ways; but knowing the scriptures, nor the power how little a portion is heard of him ? of God. Ver. 31. But as touching the but the thunder of his power who can resurrection of the dead, have ye not understand ? read that which was spoken unto you a John iv. 24. God is a Spirit: and by God, saying. Eph. ii. 20. And are they that worship him must worship built upon the foundation of the apos- him in spirit and in truth. tles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself e1 Tim. i. 17. Now, unto the king being the chief corner-stone. With eternal, immortal, invisible, the only Acts xxviii. 25. And when they agreed wise God, be honour and glory for not among themselves, they departed, ever and ever. Amen. after that Paul had spoken one word, Deut. iv. 15. Take ye therefore Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias good heed unto yourselves, (for ye saw the prophet unto our fathers. no manner of similitude on the day
I. a Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel; The that the Lord spake unto you in Hor. Lord our God is one Lord. 1 Cor. viii. eb out of the midst of the fire,) Ver. 4. As concerning therefore the eating 16. Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and of those things that are offered in make you a graven image, the simili. sacrifice unto idols, we know that an tude of any figure, the likeness of male idol is nothing in the world, and that or female. John iv. 24. God is a Spirit:
none other God but one. Ver. and they that worship him must wor6. But to us there is but one God, the ship him in spirit and in truth. With Father, of whom are all things, and we Luke xxiv. 39. Behold my hands and in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by my feet, that it is I myself: handle whom are all things, and we by him. me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh
bi Thess. i. 9. For they themselves and bones, as ye see me have.
or passions,& immutable,h immense,i eternal, incomprehensible,' almighty, most wise," most holy, most free, most 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 diligently seek him;"
8 Acts xiv. 11. And when the people mighty, which was, and is, and is to saw what Paul had done, they lifted come. up their voices, saying in the speech Rom. xvi. 27. To God only wise, of Lycaonia, The gods are come down be glory through Jesus Christ for to us in the likeness of men. Ver. 15. ever. Amen. And saying, Sirs, why do ye these Isa. vi. 3. And one cried unto an. things ? We also are men of like other, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the passions with you, and preach unto Lord of hosts : the whole earth is full you, that ye should turn from these of his glory. Rev. iv. 8. (See letter m vanities unto the living God, which immediately foregoing.) made heaven, and earth, and the sea, PPs. cxv. 3. But our God is in the and all things that are therein. heavens; he hath done whatsoever he
h James i. 17. Every good gift and hath pleased. every perfect gift is from above, and 9 Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto cometh down from the Father of lights, Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he with whom is no variableness, neither said, Thus shalt thou say unto the shadow of turning. Mal. iii. 6. For children of Israel, I AM hath sent me I am the Lord, I change not; there- unto you. fore ye sons of Jacob are not consum. r Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have ed.
obtained an inheritance, being prei1 Kings viii. 27. But will God in- destinated according to the purpose deed dwell on the earth ? Behold, the of him who worketh all things after heaven, and heaven of heavens. can. the counsel of his own will. not contain thee; how much less this Prov. xvi. 4. The Lord hath made house that I have builded! Jer. xxiii. all things for himself; yea, even the 23. Am I a God at hand, saith the wicked for the day of evil. Rom. xi. Lord, and not a God afar off ? Ver. 36. For of him, and through him, and 24. Can any hide himself in secret to him, are all things : to whom be places that I shall not see him ? saith glory for ever. Amen. the Lord: do not I fill heaven and ti John iv. 8. He that loveth not, earth ? saith the Lord.
knoweth not God; for God is love. * Ps. xc. 2. Before the mountains Ver. 16. And we have known and bewere brought forth, or ever thou lieved the love that God hath to us. hadst formed the earth and the world, God is love; and he that dwelleth even from everlasting to everlast- in love, dwelleth in God, and God in ing, thou art God. 1 Tim. i. 17. him. Now, unto the King eternal, im. u Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord mortal, invisible, the only wise God, passed by before him, and proclaimed, be honour and glory for ever and The Lord, The Lord God, merciful ever. Amen.
and gracious, long-suffering, and aPs. cxlv. 3. Great is the Lord, bundant in goodness and truth. Ver. and greatly to be praised; and his 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgreatness is unsearchable.
giving iniquity, and transgression, m Gen. xvii. 1. And when Abram and sin, and that will by no means was ninety years old and nine, the clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity Lord appeared to Abram, and said of the fathers upon the children, and unto him, I am the Almighty God: upon the children's children, unto the walk before me, and be thou perfect. third and to the fourth generation. Rev. iv. 8. And the four beasts had Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it each of them si
six wings about him: is impossible to please him : for he and they were full of eyes within that cometh to God must believe that and ing, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Al. them that diligently seek him.
ond that he is a rewarder of
and withal most just and terrible in his judgments;t hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.2
II. God hath all life,a glory, goodness, blessedness,d 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;s and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth.h In his sight all things are open and manifest;i his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as
* Neh. ix. 32. Now therefore, our Lord of lords. Rom. ix. 5. Whose are God, the great, the mighty, and the the fathers, and of whom, as concern. terrible God, who keepest covenant ing the flesh, Christ came, who is over and mercy, let not all the trouble all, God blessed for ever. Amen. seem little before thee that hath come é Acts xvii. 24. God, that made the upon us, on our kings, on our princes, world, and all things therein, seeing and on our priests, and on our pro- that he is Lord of heaven and earth, phets, and on our fathers, and on all dwelleth not in temples made with thy people, since the time of the kings hands; Ver. 25. Neither is worshipped of Assyria unto this day. Ver. 33. with men's hands, as though he needed Howbeit thou art just in all that is any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, brought upon us; for thou hast done and breath, and all things. right, but we have done wickedly. Jobxxii. 2. Can a man be profitable
y Ps. v.5. The foolish shall not stand unto God, as he that is wise may be in thy sight: thou hatest all workers profitable unto himself ? Ver. 3. Is it of iniquity. Ver. 6. Thou shalt destroy any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou them that speak leasing: the Lord will art righteous ? or is it gain to him,
bloody and deceitful man. that thou makest thy ways perfect ? ? Nah. i. 2. God is jealous, and the Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, him, and to him, are all things: to whom and is furious; the Lord will take be glory for ever. Amen. vengeance on his adversaries, and he 6 Rev. iv. 11. Thou art worthy, O reserveth wrath for his enemies. Ver. Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and 3. The Lord is slow to anger, and great power: for thou hast created all things, in power, and will not at all acquit the and for thy pleasure they are and were wicked: the Lord hath his way in the created. i Tim. vi. 15. (See letter dimwhirlwind and in the storm, and the mediately foregoing.] Dan. iv. 25. That clouds are the dust of his feet. Exod. they shall drive thee from men, and xxxiv. 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, thy dwelling shall be with tl forgiving iniquity, and transgression, of the field, and they shall make thee and sin, and that will by no means clear to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the thee with the dew of heaven, and seven fathers upon the children, and upon times skall pass over thee, till thou the children's children, unto the third know that the most High ruleth in the and to the fourth generation.
kingdom of men, and givethit to whomII. a John v. 26. For as the Father soever he will. Ver. 35. And all the inhath life in himself, so hath he given habitants of the earth are reputed as to the Son to have life in himself. nothing: and he doeth according to his
b Actsvii. 2. And he said, Men, breth. will in the army of heaven, and among ren, and fathers, hearken; the God of the inhabitants of the earth; and none glory appeared unto our father Abra- can stay his hand, or say unto him, ham, when he was in Mesopotamia, be. What doest thou ?' fore he dwelt in Charran.
i Heb. iv. 13. Neither is there any c Ps. cxix. 68. Thou art good, and creature that is not manifest in his doest good : teach me thy statutes. sight: but all things are naked andi
di Tim. vi. 15. Which in his times opened unto the eyes of him with he shall show, who is the blessed and whom we have to do. only Potentaté, the King of kings, and Rom. xi. 33. O the depth of the