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Words at length; so that the parallel Texts
To which are added,
The Chronology of Bishop U S HER,
Many more References than in any Edition of
With a Ta B L E of the Texts of Scripture which are
Containing the Four Gospels, and the Æs of the Apostles. _
By FRANC IS FOX, M. A.
Late Vicar of St. Mary's in Reading.
HAT the holy Scriptures are the Rule of Faiths the Measure and Standard hy which we are to try and judge of all Doctrines propounded to be believed by us, is a Truth universally acknowledged by all Protestants. Some Writers of the Church of Rome, to support the groundless" and usurped Authority of their Church over the Minds and Consciences of Men, have indeed denied this; but the Primitive Churchy and the ancient Ecclesiastical Writers, are as (i) unanimous in asserting this Truth, as the Protestants. It is likewise acknowledged, That the Scripture is its own best Interpreter, in all Instances where it reflects Light upon its self. I will add, That the diligent comparing of one place of Scripture with another, will often clear up an obscure and doubtful Text, and give greater Satisfaction to the Mind, than the Perusal of many critical Notes, and the (2) -voluminous Writings of Commentators.
(1) See this proved in A. Up. TMotsons Discourse concerning the Rule of faith, against Mr. Sergeant, &c. particularly Part 4. Sect. 2. See likewise Dr. Lloyd, the late Lord Bishop of Worcester, his Sermon on Act. 2.41. preached at Whitehall, Nov. 24. 1678. In which he gives a short, but faithful History, confirm'd by unquestionable Authorities, of the corrupt Doctrines brought into the Christian Faith by the Church of Rome. I do not remember, that this Sermon was ever so much as pretended to be answered by the Writers of that Communion.
(2) I remember a Saying of Erasmus, that when he first read the New Testament, with Fear and a good Mind, with a purpose to understand it, and obey it, he found it very useful and very pleasant: But when afterWards he fell on reading the vast Differences of Commentaries, then he understood it less than he did before, then he began not to understand it. Bp. Taylors Sermon before the University of Dublin, on John 7. 17,
Were Christians more generally sensible of their great
Need of Divine Assistance, in order to their attaining to a.
saving Knowledge of the Scriptures; did they by earnest Prayer
apply themselves to God through Jesus Christy for the Aids
of his holy Spirit, to enlighten their Minds, to purifie their
Hearts and Assertions, to fanctifie their Wills, to reprove them
for their failings, to teach them, and to lead them into all
Truth, and to set home the Scriptures on their Consciences^
they would questionless become wife unto Salvation, and
ready to every good Work. Did Christians spend more
Time in reading and comparing the sacred Writings, than in
searching after the different and disagreeing Opinions of
Expositors, I am perfwaded the Way to divine Knowledge
would be both easier, and shorter, and more satisfactory, the
Disputes among Christians fewer, and those which should
remain, would be managed with a Spirit of Meekness and
Love, the PraBice of Religion would become more universal,
and the World would feel the Benefit of the Religion our
Blessed Saviour taught Men, and be (i) convinced of its
To facilitate the comparing of one Place of Scripture with others, Parallel Texts have from Time to Time been collected and placed in the Margin of the Bible by learned Men. The first who seem to have done this, were the Translators oF
(i) Notwithstanding the many stfang and admirable Discourses to fcrove the Truth and Certainty of the Christian Religion, it is to be feared, that Infidelity spreads and gets ground apace. To fatisfie therefore in this important Point such as are willing to receive Satisfaffioni I will set down some Books, any of which, by the Blessing of God, are sufficient to convince a reasonable, unprejudiced, and uncorrupt Mind. Bp. Gastrel, Bp. Bradford, Dr.Clarke, their, and several other SermonSi at Mr. Boyle's Lecture. Dr. Hammond of the Reasonableness of the Christian Religion. Sir Charles WolfeleyBart, of the Reasonableness of ScriptureBelief. Grotius on the Truth of the Christian Religion, (particularly the Second and Third Books) translated both by Bp. Patrick and Dr. John Clarke. The Lively Oracles, by the Author of the Whole Duty of Man, Sect. 2, 3. Mr. Nelsons Discourses on the Festival of Easter, concerning the Resurrection of Christ, the Immortality of the Soul, and the Resur* rection of the Body; also his Discourses on Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun-Week of the Truth of the Christian Religion, in his Festivals and Fasts of the Church. A. Bp. Tiliotfins Sermons published by Dr. Barker, particularly the 5, 15, and 13 Vol. To omit many others, fee the; Short and eaiie Method with a Deist, and its Defence, in a Book intitled the Truth of Christianity demonstrated, both by Mr. Lifiie, who seems to have made an Abstract of Dr. AWtets Reflections on the Books of holy Scripture to establish the Troth of the Christian Religion ,