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CONFESSION Of FAITH.
Agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster: Examined and approved, Anno 1647, by the General AsSembly of the Church of SCOTLAND; And ratified by Act of Parliament 1749.
Chap. I. Of the Holy Scripture.
ALTHOUGH the light of nature, and thetworks of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, 'wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable «/. yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and 0/his will, which is necessary unto solutions; Therefore it
pleased pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto the church c; and afterward, 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 flesti, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto. Writing d: which maketh the holy scripture to be most necessary e; those former ways qf God's revealing his will unto his people, beipg now ceased/.
I. a Rom. ii. 141 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 onto themselves: v. if. Which shew the works 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 (hewn it uoto them. v. 20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, Leing understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; se that they are without excuse. Psal. xix. 1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament stieweth bis handy-work, v. . 2. Day unto day uitereth speech, and
night unto night stieweth knowledge, v. 3. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Rom. i. 3.3. 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 judgest ; for wherein thou judged another thou condemnest thjself; for thou that judgest dost the same things.
6 1 Cor. i. 21. For after that, in thewisdom os God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe, r Cor. ii. 13.' Which things also wespeak,not in the words which man's wildom teachernf but which the holy Ghost teacheth> 3 , com.
IL Under the name of Holy Scripture, qr the word of God
writwritten, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:
comparing spiritual things with spiritual, v. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can lie knew them, because they are spiritually discerned.
c Heb. i. 1. God who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake io time pad unto the fathers by the prophets.
d Prov. xxii. 19. That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee, v. 20. Have pot 1 written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge ; v. a 1. 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? Luke i 3. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order.most excellent Theophilus. v. 4., That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. Horn. xv. 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for out learning; that we thro' patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Matth. iv. 4. But he answered and said. It is written. Mao (hall not live by bread §Jo,nc, but by every word that pu<
ceedeth out of the mouth of God. v, 7. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, thou (halt not tempt the Lord thy God. v. 10. Then faith Jesus to him, Get thee hence Satan: for it is written, Thou shah worship the Lord thy (Jod, and him only (halt thou serve. Isa. viii. 19 And when they (hall say unto you, Seek unto, them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and thaf mutter; mould not a people seek un to their God for the living to the dead! v. 20. To the law and to the testimony : if they (peak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
e 3 Tim iii. 15. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which areable tomake dieewiso unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus, 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more sure word ospro« phecy, wheteuntoye do well that ye take heed, asunto alight that (hineth. in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.
/"Heb. i. 1. God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake ia time past unto the fathers by the prophets, v. i\ Hath in these last days spoken unto u$ by his son whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by wh*>m also \\* made the world.
Of the Old Testament.
All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life
g Luke xri, 29. Abrahalm faith un- from the deadj Eph : ii: 20. And are to him, they have Moses and the pro- built upon the foundation of the apophets, let them hear them. v. 31. sties and prophets, Jesus Christ him.And he said unto him, if they hear self being thechief corner stone. Rev. not Moses and the prophets, neither xxii: i8:f or 1 testify umo every man pili they be persuaded, tho' one rose B 4 that
III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings h.
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 i.
'V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church, to an high and reverend esteem of the holy scripture i, and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine,
IV. / 2 Pet. i. 9. We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that (hineth in. a dark, place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts, v. 21, Forthcprophccy came not in oldtime by the will of man, but holy men of GoHspake as they were moved by the HolyGhost, 2Tim.iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 1 John v. 9. If we rective the witness of men, the witnesses Gcd.is greater: for this is the witness of God, which he hath testi6ed of his Son. 1 Thess. ii. 13. Kur this cause also thank we God without ceaflng.beca'ise when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of mea.but as it is in trnlh, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
V, i I'Tim. iii. If. But ifltarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtestto behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth,
that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man (hall add unto these things, God (hall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. v. 19. And if any man (hall take awayfrom the wordsof thebook ofthis prophecy, God (hall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the filings which are written in this book. 2Tim. iii. I 6. All scripture is given by inspiration pf God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof.for correction, for instruction, in righteousness.
III. h Luke xxiv. 27. And begin, ning at Moses, and all the prophet?, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. v. 44. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Rom. iii. 2. Much every way: chiefly because unto them were committed the oracles of God. * Pet. i. 21. For the prophecy camenot in old tinje by the will of men, but holy men of God spakeas they wee? moved by the holy <|host.
trine, the majesty of the stile, 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 fust persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the holy Spirit, bearing wirnefs by and with the word iB our hearts /.
VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either exprefly 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
/x John u. 10. But ye have an uric- God. Isa. lix. 21. As forme, this is tion from the holy One, and ye know ray covenant with them, f»ith the all things, v. 27. But the anointing Lord, My Spirit that is »pon thee, ■which ye have received of him abid- and my words which I have put in eth in you, and ye need not that any thy mouth, shall not depart out of man teach you: But as the fame a- thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of nointing teacheth you of all things, thy feed, nor out of the mouth of and is truth, and is no lie; and even as thy seed's feed, faith the Lord, from it hath taught you, ye mall abide in henceforth and for ever. him.Johnxvi.i3. Howbcit.when the VI. m 2 Tiin. iii. ic. And that Spirit of truth is come, he will guide from a child thou hast known the you into all truth : for he shall not holy scriptures, which are able to speak of himself, but whatsoever he make thee wise unto salvation, thro' shall hear, that shall he speak: andhe faith which is in Christ Jesus, v. j 6. will shew you things to come. v. j4.' All scripture is given by inspiration He shall glorify me: for he shall re- of God, and is profitable for doctrine, ceive of mine, and shall shew it unto for reproof, for correction, for inyon. 1 Cor. ii. 10. But God hath re- llruction in righteousness, v. 17. veaJedthernuntousby his Spirit : for That the man of God may be perthe Spirit searcheth all things, yea, sect, throughly furniihed unto all the deep things of God. v. 1 r. For good works. Gal. i. 8. But though what man knoweth the things of a we, or an angel from heaven, preach nan /ave the spirit os man which is in any other gospel unto you, than that him? even so the things osGod know- which we have preached unto you, e-.h no man, but the spirit of God, v. let him be accursed, v. 9. As we said 12. Now we have received, not the before, so say 1 now again; If any spirit of the world, but the spirit man preach any other gospel unto which is of God; that wemight know you, than that ye have received, let lie things that are freely given us of him be accursed. 2 Thess. ii. 2. That