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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 ACTS OF PARLIAMENT 1649 and 1690.
CHAP. I.-Of the Holy Scripture.
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 :b therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his Church; 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 ;d which maketh the holy
I. a Rom. ii. 14. For when the Gen- demnest thyself; for thou that judgest tiles, which have not the law, do by doest the same things. nature the things contained in the b 1 Cor. i. 21. For after that, in the law, these, having not the law, are a wisdom of God, the world by wisdom law unto themselves: Ver. 15. Which knew not God,'it pleased God by the show the work of the law written in foolishness of preaching to save then their hearts, their conscience also bear- that believe. 1 Cor. Ü. 13. Which ing witness, and their thoughts the things also we speak, not in the words mean while accusing or else excusing which man's wisdom teacheth, but one another. Rom. i. 19. Because that which the Holy Ghost teacheth; com-' which may be known of God is mani- paring spiritual things with spiritual. fest in them: for God hath showed it Ver. 14. But the natural man receiv. unto them. Ver. 20. For the invisi- eth not the things of the Spirit of God: ble things of him from the creation of for they are foolishness unto him; the world are clearly seen, being un- neither can he know them, because derstood by the things that are made, they
are spiritually discerned. even his eternal power and Godhead; o Heb. i. 1. God, who at sundry so that they are without excuse. Ps. times, and in divers manners, spake xix. 1. The heavens declare the glory in time past unto the fathers by the of God; and the firmament showeth prophets. his handy-work. Ver. 2. Day unto a Prov. xxii. 19. That thy trust may day uttereth speech, and night unto be in the Lord, I have made known to night showeth knowledge. Ver. 3. thee this day, even to thee. Ver. 20. There is no speech nor language where Have not I written to thee excellent their voice is not heard. Rom. i. 32. things in counsels and knowledge; Who, knowing the judgment of God, Ver. 21. That I might make the that they which commit such things know the certainty of the words of are worthy of death, not only do the truth; that thou mightest answer the same, but have pleasure in them that words of truth to them that send unto do them. With Rom. ii. 1. Therefore thee? Luke i. 3. It seemed good to me thou art inexcusable, O man, whoso- also, having had perfect understand... ever thou art that judgest: for where- ing of all things from the very first, in thou judgest another, thou con- to write unto thee in order, most ex
scripture to be most necessary;o 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 New Testaments, which are these :
OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
I. Chronicles. Songs. Jonah.
Nehemiah. Lamentations. Habakkuk.
Zechariah. II. Samuel. Proverbs. Joel.
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. The Gospels ac- Paul's Epistles Thessalonians II.)The first and se
cording to to the Romans. To Timothy I. cond Epistles Matthew. Corinthians I. To Timothy II, of Peter. Mark.
Corinthians II. To Titus. The first, second, Luke.
Galatians. To Philemon. and third EpisJohn. Ephesians. The Epistle to
tles of John. The Acts of the Philippians. the Hebrews. The Epistle of Apostles. Colossians. The Epistle of Jude. Thessalonians I.
James. The Revelation. All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.s cellent Theophilus, Ver. 4. That thou Ver. 20. To the law and to the testi. mightest know the certainty of those mony: if they speak not according to things wherein thou hast been in this word, it is because there is no structed. Rom. xv. 4. For whatso- light in them. ever things were written aforetimo * 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from a were written for our learning; that child thou hast known the holy scripwe, through patience and comfort of tures, which are able to make thee wise the scriptures, might have hope. Matt. unto salvation through faith which is iv. 4. But he answered and said, It is in Christ Jesus. 2 Pet. i. 19. We have written, Man shall not live by bread also a more sure word of prophecy; alone, but by every word that pro- whereunto ye do well that ye tako ceedeth out of the mouth of God. heed, as unto a light that shineth in Ver. 7. Jesus said unto him, It is a dark place, until the day dawn, and written again, Thou shalt not tempt the day-star arise in your hearts. the Lord thy God. Ver. 10. Then " Heb. i: 1. God, who at sundry saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, times, and in divers manners, spake Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt in time past unto the fathers by the worship the Lord thy God, and him prophets, Ver. 2. Hath in these last only shalt thou serve. Isa. viii. 19. And days spoken unto us by his Son, whom when they shall say unto you, Seek he hath appointed heir of all things, unto them that have familiar spirits, by whom also he made the worlds. and unto wizards that peep and that II. 8 Luke xvi. 29. Abraham saith mutter: should not a people seek unto unto him, They have Moses and the their God, for the living to the dead ? prophets; let them hear them. Ver.
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
approved, or made use of, than other human writings.b
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.
V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverend esteem of the holy scripture, 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.! 31. And he said unto him, If they bear but holy men of God spake as they not Moses and the prophets, neither were moved by the Holy Ghost. will they be persuaded though one IV. 12 Pet. i. 19. We have also a rose from the dead. Eph. ii. 20. And more sure word of prophecy; whereare built upon the foundation of the unto ye do well that ye take heed, as apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ unto a light that shineth in a dark himself being the chief corner-stone. place, until the day dawn, and the day. Rev. xxii. 18. For I testify unto every star arise in your hearts. Ver. 21. man that heareth the words of the For the prophecy came not in old time prophecy of this book, If any man shall by the will of man; but holy men of add unto these things, God shall add God spake as they were moved by the unto him the plagues that are written Holy Ghost. 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripin this book: Ver. 19. And if any man ture is given by inspiration of God, shall take away from the words of the and is profitable for doctrine, for rebook of this prophecy, God shall take proof, for correction, for instruction away his part out of the book of life, in righteousness. 1 John v. 9. If we and out of the holy city, and from the receive the witness of men, the witthings which are written in this book. ness of God is greater: for this is the 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given witness of God which he hath testified by inspiration of God, and is profit- of his Son. 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this able for doctrine, for reproof, for cor. cause also thank we God without ceasrection, for instruction in righteous- ing, because, when ye received the
word of God which ye heard of us, ye III. Luke xxiv. 27. And begin. received it not as the word of men, ning at Moses and all the prophets, he but (as it is in truth) the word of expounded unto them in all the scrip- God, which effectually worketh also tures the things concerning himself. in you that believe. Ver. 44. And he said unto them, These V. ki Tim. ii. 15. But if I tarry are the words which I spake unto you, long, that thou mayest know how thou while I was yet with you, that all oughtest to behave thyself in the house things must be fulfilled which were of God, which is the church of the liv. written in the law of Moses, and in ing God, the pillar and ground of the the Prophets, and in the Psalms, con- truth. cerning me. Rom. iii. 2. Much every 11 John ii. 20. But ye have an uncway: chiefly, because that unto them tion from the Holy One, and ye know were committed the oracles of God. all things. Ver. 27. But the anoint2 Pet. i. 21. For tho prophecy came ing which ye have received of him not in old time by the will of man; abideth in you; and yo need not that
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;" and that 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, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed.° any man teach you: but as the same you than that which we have prenchanointing teacheth you of all things, ed unto you, let him be accursed. and is truth, and is no lie, and even Ver. 9. As we said before, so say I as it hath taught you, ye shall abide now again, If any man preach any in him. John xvi. 13. Howbeit when other gospel unto you than that ye he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will have received, let him be accursed. guide you into all truth: for he shall 2 Thess. ii. 2. That ye be not soon not speak of himself; but whatsoever shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither he shall hear, that shall he speak: and by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter he will show you things to come. Ver. as from us, as that the day of Christ 14. He shall glorify me; for he shall is at hand. receive of mine, and shall show it unto a John vi. 45. It is written in the you. 1 Cor. ii. 10. But God hath re- prophets, And they shall be all taught vealed them unto us by his Spirit: for of God. Every man therefore that the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, hath heard, and hath learned of the the deep things of God. Ver. 11. For Father, cometh unto me. 1 Cor. ii. 9. what man knoweth the things of a But, as it is written, Eye hath not man, save the spirit of man which is seen, nor ear heard, neither have enin him? even so the things of God tered into the heart of man, the things knoweth no man, but the Spirit of which God hath prepared for them God. Ver. 12. Now we have received, that love him. Ver. 10. But God hath not the spirit of the world, but the revealed them unto us by his Spirit: Spirit which is of God; that we might for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, know the things that are freely given the deep things of God. Ver. 11. For to us of God. Isa. lix. 21. As for me, what man knoweth the things of a this
is my covenant with them, saith man, save the spirit of man which is the Lord;"My Spirit that is upon thee, in him? even so the things of God and my words which I have put in thy knoweth no man, but the Spirit of mouth, shall not depart out of thy God. Ver. 12. Now we have received, mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy not the spirit of the world, but the seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's Spirit which is of God; that we might seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth know the things that are freely given and for ever.
to us of God. VI. m 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from °1 Cor. xi. 13. Judge in yourselves: a child thou hast known the holy scrip- is it comely that a woman pray unto tures, which are able to make thee wise God uncovered ? Ver. 14. Doth not unto salvation through faith which is even nature itself teach you, that, if in Christ Jesus. Ver. 16. All scrip- a man have long hair, it is a shame ture is given by inspiration of God, unto him? 1 Cor. xiv. 26. How is it and is profitable for doctrine, for re- then, brethren? when ye come toproof, for correction, for instruction gether, every one of you hath a psalm, in righteousness; Ver. 17. That the hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath man of God may be perfect, throughly a revelation, hath an interpretation. furnished unto all good works. Gal. Let all things be done unto edifying. į. 8. But though we, or an angel from Ver. 40. Let all things be done de. heaven, preach any other gospel unto cently, and in order.