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I. 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 they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation ;P therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers
I. a Psa. xix. 1-4. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handy-work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun. Rom. i. 32. Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Rom. ii. 1. Therefore thou art inexcusable, 0 man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. Rom. i. 19, 20. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. See Rom. ii. 14, 15.
+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, 14. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his Church ;c 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 writing:( which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;e those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. s
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 :
OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
c Heb. i. 1, 2. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.
d Luke i. 3, 4. It seemed good to me also, having had perfeet understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. Rom. XV. 1. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Matt. iv. 4, 7, 10. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.- Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.-Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan : for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to chis word, it is because there is no light in them.
e 2 Tim. iii. 15. 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 shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts.
s Heb. i. 1, 2. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 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 worlds.
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All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life. I
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."
II. 9 Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Rev. xxii. 18, 19. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall 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 Tim. iii. 16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Matt. xi. 27. Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
III. h Luke xxiv. 27, 44. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.-And he said unto them, These are the words which
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 reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture;k and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, 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 full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts. 2
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 that 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 spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
IV. i 2 Tim. 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 receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, 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 also in you that believe.
V. k 1 Tim. iii. 15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
11 John ii. 20, 27. But ye have an unetion from the Holy One, and ye know all things.-But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you : but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. John xvi.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide
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;n and 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,
you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak : and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 1 Cor. ii. 10-12. But God liath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
VI. m 2 Tim. iii. 15-17. 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. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Gal. i. 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 2 Thess. ii. 2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
n John vi. 45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10, 12. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.-Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.