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APPENDIX:

THE SECOND HELVETIC CONFESSION

IN ENGLISH.

APPENDIX.

ENGLISH VERSION OF

THE SECOND HELVETIC CONFESSION, A.D. 1566.

(Comp. Vol. III. pp. 233-306.)

[In view of the full summary of this important Confession in Vol. I. 396-420, a translation was omitted in the previous editions of Vol. III. But as the volumes are now sold separately, it is herewith added in the third edition. Several chapters are taken, with slight changes, from the old English translation in The Harmony of Reformed Confessions, Cambridge, 1586 ; 2d ed. London, 1643; and again, ibid. 1842. The division of chapters into sections is conformed to the Latin te$t, pp. 233-306.]

CHAPTER 1.-OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURE BEING THE TRUE WORD OF GOD.

We believe and confess the Canonical Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles of both Testaments to be the true Word of God, and to have sufficient authority of themselves, not of men. For God himself spake to the fathers, prophets, apostles, and still speaks to us through the Holy Scriptures.

And in this Holy Scripture, the universal Church of Christ has all things fully expounded which belong to a saving faith, and also to the framing of a life acceptable to God; and in this respect it is expressly commanded of God that nothing be either put to or taken from the same (Deut. iv. 2; Rev. xxii. 18, 19).

We judge, therefore, that from these Scriptures are to be taken true wisdom and godliness, the reformation and government of churches; as also instruction in all duties of piety; and, to be short, the confirmation of doctrines, and the confutation of all errors, with all exhortations; according to that word of the Apostle, “ All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,' etc. (2 Tim. iii. 16, 17). Again, These things write I unto thee,' says the Apostle to Timothy, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, etc. (1 Tim. iii. 14, 15). Again, the selfsame Apostle to the Thessalonians: 'When,' says he, 'ye received the word of us, ye received not the word of men, but as it was indeed, the Word of God, etc. (1 Thess. ii. 13). For the Lord himself has

said in the Gospel,' It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of my Father speaketh in you;' therefore 'he, that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me' (Matt. x. 20; Luke x. 16; John xiii. 20).

Wherefore when this Word of God is now preached in the church by preachers lawfully called, we believe that the very Word of God is preached, and received of the faithful; and that neither any other Word of God is to be feigned, nor to be expected from heaven: and that now the Word itself which is preached is to be regarded, not the minister that preaches; who, although he be evil and a sinner, nevertheless the Word of God abides true and good.

Neither do we think that therefore the outward preaching is to be thought as fruitless because the instruction in true religion depends on the inward illumination of the Spirit, or because it is written ‘No man shall teach his neighbor; for all men shall know me' (Jer. xxxi. 34), and “He that watereth, or he that planteth, is nothing, but God that giveth the increase' (1 Cor. iii. 7). For albeit 'No man can come to Christ, unless he be drawn by the Heavenly Father' (John vi. 44), and be inwardly lightened by the Holy Spirit, yet we know undoubtedly that it is the will of God that his word should be preached even outwardly. God could indeed, by his Holy Spirit, or by the ministry of an angel, without the ministry of St. Peter, have taught Cornelins in the Acts; but, nevertheless, he refers him to Peter, of whom the angel speaking says, 'He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do' (Acts x. 6).

For he that illuininates inwardly by giving men the Holy Spirit, the self-same, by way of commandment, said unto his disciples,‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature' (Mark xvi. 15). And so Paul preached the Word outwardly to Lydia, a purpleseller among the Philippians; but the Lord inwardly opened the wonian's heart (Acts xvi. 14). And the same Paul, upon an elegant gradation fitly placed in the tenth chapter to the Romans, at last infers, • Therefore faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God' (Rom. x. 14–17).

We know, in the mean time, that God can illuminate whom and when he will, even without the external ministry, which is a thing appertaining to his power; but we speak of the usual way of instructing men, delivered unto us from God, both by commandment and examples.

We therefore detest all the heresies of Artemon, the Manichæans, the Valentinians, of Cerdon, and the Marcionites, who denied that the Scriptures proceeded from the Holy Spirit; or else received not, or interpolated and corrupted, some of them.

And yet we do not deny that certain books of the Old Testament were by the ancient authors called Apocryphal, and by others Ecclesiastical; to wit, such as they would have to be read in the churches, but not alleged to avonch or confirm the authority of faith by them. As also Augustine, in his De Civitate Dei, book xviii., chapter 38, makes mention that 'in the books of the Kings, the names and books of certain prophets are reckoned; but he adds that they are not in the canon, and that those books which we have suffice unto godliness.'

CHAPTER II.—OF INTERPRETING THE HOLY SCRIPTURES; AND OF FATHERS,

COUNCILS, AND TRADITIONS. The Apostle Peter has said that 'the Holy Scriptures are not of any private interpretation' (2 Pet. i. 20). Therefore we do not allow all kinds of exposition. Whereupon we do not acknowledge that which they call the meaning of the Church of Rome for the true and natural interpretation of the Scriptures; which, forsooth, the defenders of the Romish Church do strive to force all men simply to receive; but we acknowledge only that interpretation of Scriptures for orthodox and genuine which, being taken from the Scriptures themselves (that is, froin the spirit of that tongue in which they were written, they being also weighed according to the circumstances and expounded according to the proportion of places, either of like or of unlike, also of more and plainer), accords with the rule of faith and charity, and makes notably for God's glory and man's salvation.

Wherefore we do not despise the interpretations of the holy Greek and Latin fathers, nor reject their disputations and treatises as far as they agree with the Scriptures; but we do modestly dissent from them when they are found to set down things differing from, or altogether contrary to, the Scriptures. Neither do we think that we do them any wrong in this matter; seeing that they all, with one consent, will not

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