« AnteriorContinuar »
CONFESSION Of FAITH.
CHAP. I. Of the Holy Scripture.
ALTHOUGH 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 inexcusable a; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvations. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers
1. a 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. Ij. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another, Rom. i. 19. Because that which may be known of God, is manifested in them; for God hath ihewn it unto them. v. 20. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that arc made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Psal. xix. 1. Thq heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament fheweth his handy-work. ■
2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night fheweth knowledge, 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 such 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 inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgelt; for wherein thou judged another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost the same things.
b 1 Cor. i. 21. For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Cor. ii. , 13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wiidom teacheth, but which the holy Ghost teacheth,comparing spiritual things with spiritual, v. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things-of the Spirit of God; for Ihej; are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because £hey M tspiritually discerned.,-" *
manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto the chijrcht; 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 writings: which maketh the holy scripture to be rnost necessary^; those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people, being now ceased/.
II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the word of" God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and ^Jew Testament, which are these:
t Heb. I. i. God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake jn time pall unto the fathers by the prophets.
d Prov. xzii. j 9. That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee, v. 20. Have not I \vritten to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge ; v. 21. that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of fxuthf that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that fend unto thee ? Luke i. 3. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding os all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, v. 4. that thou mightst know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed, Rom. xy. 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Matth. iv. 4. But he answered and said, It is written, Man fhalhaot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of^God. v. 7. Jesus said pnto him, Itisj^rittcn again, Thou shalt not temptTtfie Lord thy God.
v. 10. Then faith Jesus unto him. Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou slialt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Isa. viii. 19. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God ? for the living to the dead ■
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
4 1 Tim, iii. Ij. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that ihineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day>-star a« rife in your hearts.
/Heb. i. 1. God', who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets: v. 2. hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son whom he hath appointed heir of all things,, by whom also he made the world.
The Go/pels accord-
The Acts of the A
postles. Paul's Epistles to the
Romans. Corinthians I.
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 or the scripture; &nd therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings
IV. The authority of the holy scripture, for which it ought Co 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, tp an high and reverend esteem of the holy scripture Jt} and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent .of all the paFts,
Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given day-star arise in your hearts, v. 21. by inspiration of God, and is profi- For the prophecy came not in old -table for doctrine, for reproof, for time by the will of man, but holy •correction, for instruction in righte- men of God spake as they were moouihcis, f ved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Tim. iii.
III. b Luke xxiv. 27. And begin- 16. All scripture is given by inspiring at Moses, and all the prophets, ration of God, and is profitable for lie expounded unto them in all the doctrine, for reproof, for correctiscripturcs the things concerning on, for instruction in righteousness, himself, y. 44. And he said unto 1 John-v. 9. If we receive die witthem, These are the words whicft I ness of men, the witness of God is spake unto you, while I was yet with greater: for this is the witness of you, diat all things must be fulfil- God, which he hath testified of his Jed which were written in the law Son. 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this cause of Moses, and in the prophets, and also thank we God without ceasing, In the Psalms concerning me. Rom. because when ye received the word iii. 2. Much every way: chiefly be- of God, which ye heard of us, ye cause unto them were committed received it not as the word of men, the oracles of God. 2 Pet. i. 21. For but as it is in truth, the word of the prophecy caiue not in old time God, which effectually worketh alby the will of man, but holy men of sp in you that believe,.
Cod spake as they were moved by V. k 1 Tim. iii. 15. But if I tarthe Holy Ghost. ry long, that thou mayest know how
IV. i 2 Pet. i. 9. We have also a thou oughtest to behave thyself in. more sure word of prophecy, where- the house of God, which is the unto ye do well that ye take heed,, church of the living God, the pilas unto a light thatlhineth in a dark jar and ground of the truth, place, until the day dawn, and tf^e . 11 Jolm the scope of the whole, (which is to give.all glory to God) ihe full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation,, 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 persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the holy Spiric, 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 maybe deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men«. Nevertheless, we
/ 1 John ii. 20. But ye have an spirit which is of God; that we unction from the Holy One, and ye might know the things that are know all things, v. 27. But the a- freely given to us of God. Isaiah nointing which ye have received of lix. 21. As for me, this is my covehim abideth in you, and ye need not nant with them, faith the Lord, My that any man teach you: But as the Spirit that is upon thee, and my fame anointing teacheth you of all words which I have put in thy things, and is truth, and is no lie: mouth, shall not depart out of thy and even as it hath taught you, ye mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy shall abide in him. John xvi. 13. seed, nor out of the mouth of thy Howbeit, when the Spirit of truth seed's feed, faith the. Lord, from is come, he will guide you into all henceforth and for ever, truth: for he shall not speak of him- . VL m 2 Tim. iii. if. And that fell", but whatsoever he shall hear, from a child thou hait known the that shall he speak; andhewillihew holy scriptures, which are able to you things to come. v. 14. He shall make thee wife unto salvation, thro' glorify me: for he shall receive of faith which is in Chrilt Jesus, v. 16.
and shall shew it unto you. All scripture is given by in'piration j Cor. ii. 10. But God hath reveal- of God, and is profitable for doced them unto us by his Spirit, for trine, for reproof, for correction, for the Spirit fearcheth all things, yea, instruction in righljoumess. v. 17. the deep things of God. v. 11. For That the man of CoJ may be perwhat man knoweth the things of 3 sect, thoroughly furnUhed unto all man, saye the spirit os man which good works. Gal. i. £,. But though is in him? even so the things of God we, or an angel from heaven, preach knoweth no man, but the Spirit of any other gospel unto you, than that God. v. 12. Now we have received, which we have preached unto you, pot the spirit of the world, but the let him be accuiied. v. 9. As we said • - be