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VII. All things in scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all;P yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.9
VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew, (which was the native language of the people of God of old,) and the New Testament in Greek, (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations,) being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical;" so as in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them." But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,” that the word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner," and, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, may have hope.*
IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full
VII. P 2 Peter iii. 16. As also in all þy knowledge, or by prophesying, or his epistles, speaking in them of these by doctrine? Ver. 9. So likewise ye, Things: in which are some things hard except ye utter by the tongue words to be understood, which they that are easy to be understood, how shall it be unlearned and unstable wrest, as they known what is spoken ? for ye shall do also the other scriptures, unto their speak into the air. Ver. 11. Thereown destruction.
fore if I know not the meaning of the 9 Ps. cxix. 105. Thy word is a lamp voice, I shall be unto him that speakunto my feet, and a light unto my path. eth a barbarian, and he that speaketh Ver. 130. The entrance of thy words shall be a barbarian unto me. Ver. 12. giveth light; it giveth understanding Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zeaunto the simple.
lous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may VIII. ' Matt. v. 18. For verily I say excel to the edifying of the church. unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, Ver. 24. But if all prophesy, and there one jot or one tittle shall in no wisé come in one that believeth not, or one pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. unlearned, he is convinced of all, he
Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the is judged of all : Ver. 27. If any man testimony: if they speak not accord- speak in an unknown tongue, let it ing to this word, it is because there is be by two, or at the most by three, no light in them. Acts xv. 15. And and that by course; and let one in. to this agree the words of the prophets; terpret. Ver. 28. But if there be no as it is written. John v. 39. Search interpreter, let him keep silence in the scriptures; for in them ye think the church, and let him speak to him. ye have eternal life: and they are they self, and to God. which testify of me. Ver. 46. For w Col. iii. 16. Let the word of Christ had ye believed Moses, ye would have dwell in you richly in all wisdom; believed me: for he wrote of me. teaching and admonishing one another
* John v. 39. Search the scriptures; in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual for in them ye think ye have eternal songs, singing with grace in your life: and they are they which testify hearts to the Lord. of me.
I Rom. XV. 4. For whatsoever things u 1 Cor. xiv. 6. Now, brethren, if I were written aforetime were written come unto you speaking with tongues, for our learning; that we, through pawhat shall I profit you, except I shall tience and comfort of the scriptures, speak to you either by revelation, or might have hope.
sense of any scripture, (which is not manifold, but one,) it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly!!
X. The supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the scripture."
CHAP, II.- Of God, and of the Holy Trinity.
I. THERE is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being
and perfection, a most pure spirit, a invisible, without body, parts, IX. ! 2 Pet. 1. 20. Knowing this show of us what manner of entering first, that no prophecy of the scrip, in we had unto you, and how ye turn. ture is of any private interpretation. ed to God from idols, to serve the livVer. 21. For the prophecy came not ing and true God. Jer. x. 10. But in old time by the will of man; but the Lord is the true God, he is the livholy men of God spake as they were ing God, and an everlasting King. moved by the Holy Ghost. Acts xv. • Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching 15. And to this agree the words of the find out God I canst thou find out the prophets; as it is written, Ver. 16. Almighty unto perfection. Ver. 8. After this I will return, and will build . It is as high as heaven; what canst again the tabernacle of David, which thou do ? deeper than hell; what canst is fallen down; and I will build again thou know ? Ver. 9. The measure the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: thereof is longer than the earth, and
X. z Matt. xxii. 29. Jesus answered broader than the sea. Job xxvi. 14. and said unto them, Ye do err, not Lo, these are parts of his ways; but knowing the scriptures, nor the power how little a portion is heard of him ? of God. Ver. 31. But as touching the but the thunder of his power who can resurrection of the dead, have ye not understand! read that which was spoken unto you & John iv. 24. God is a Spirit: and by God, saying. Eph. ii. 20. And are they that worship him must worship built upon the
foundation of the apos- him in spirit and in truth. tles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself °1 Tim. i. 17. Now, unto the king being the chief corner-stone. With eternal, immortal, invisible, the only Acts
xxviii. 25. And when they agreed wise God, be honour and glory for not among themselves, they departed, ever and ever. Amen. after that Paul had spoken one word, Deut. iv. 15. Tako ye therefore Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias good heed unto yourselves, (for ye saw the prophet unto our fathers. no manner of similitude on the day
1. Deut. vi. 4. Hear, Israel; The that the Lord spake unto you in Hor. Lord our God is one Lord. 1 Cor. viii. eb out of the midst of the fire,) Ver. 4. As concerning therefore the eating 16. Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and of those things that are offered in make you a graven image, the simili. sacrifice unto idols, we know that an tude of any figure, the likeness of male idol is nothing in the world, and that or female. John iv. 24. God is a Spirit: there is none other God but one. Ver. and they that worship him must wor6. But to us there is but one God, the ship him in spirit and in truth. With Father, of whom are all things, and we Luke xxiv. 39. Behold my hands and in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by my feet, that it is I myself: handle whom are all things, and we by him. me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh
bi Thess. i. 9. For they themselves and bones, as yo see me bave.
or passions,& immutable, immense,' eternal, incomprehensible,' almighty, m most wise," most holy,' most free, P most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory;' most loving,' gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity. transgression, and sin;" the rewarder of them that diligently seek him;'
& Acts xiv. 11. And when the people mighty, which was, and is, and is to saw what Paul had done, they lifted come.” up their voices, saying in the speech Rom. xvi. 27. To God only wise, of Lycaonia, The gods are come down bo glory through Jesus Christ for to us in the likeness of men. Ver. 15. ever. Amen. And saying, Sirs, why do ye these Isa. vi. 3. And one cried unto an. things We also are men of like other, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the passions with you, and preach unto Lord of hosts : the whole earth is full you, that ye should turn from these of his glory. Rev. iv. 8. [See letter m vanities unto the living God, which immediately foregoing.) made heaven, and earth, and the sea, P Pg. CXV. 3. But our God is in the and all things that are therein. heavens; he hath done whatsoever be * James i. 17. Every good gift and hath pleased. every perfect gift is from above, and 9 Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto cometh down from the Father of lights, Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he with whom is no variableness, neither said, Thus shalt thou say unto the shadow of turning. Mal. iii. 6. For children of Israel, I AM hath sent me I am the Lord, I change not; thero- unto you. fore ye sons of Jacob are not consum. Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have ed.
obtained an inheritance, being pre11 Kings viii. 27. But will God in- destinated according to the purpose deed dwell on the earth ? Behold, the of him who worketh all things after heaven, and heaven of heavens, can. the counsel of his own will. not contain thee; how much less this Prov. xvi. 4. The Lord hath made house that I have builded! Jer. xxiii. all things for himself; yea, even the 23. Am I a God at hand, saith the wicked for the day of evil. Rom. xi. Lord, and not a God afar off ? Ver. 36. For of him, and through him, and 24. Can any hide himself in secret to him, are all things : to whom bo places that I shall not see him ? saith glory for ever. Amen. the Lord: do not I fill heaven and i John iv. 8. He that loveth not, earth ? saith the Lord.
knoweth not God; for God is love. * Ps. xc. 2. Before the mountains Ver. 16. And we have known and bewere brought forth, or ever thou lieved the love that God hath to us. hadst formed the earth and the world, God is love; and he that dwelleth even from everlasting to everlast- in love, dwelleth in God, and God in ing, thou art God. 1 Tim. i. 17. him. Now, unto the King eternal, im. u Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord mortal, invisible, the only wise God, passed by before him, and proclaimed, be honour and glory for ever and The Lord, The Lord God, merciful ever. Amen.
and gracious, long-suffering, and aPs. cxlv. 3. Great is the Lord, bundant in goodness and truth. Ver. and greatly to be praised; and his 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgreatness is unsearchable.
giving iniquity, and transgression, m Gen. xvii. 1. And when Abram and sin, and that will by no means was ninety years old and nine, the clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity Lord appeared to Abram, and said of the fathers upon the children, and unto him, I am the Almighty God; upon the children's children, unto the * walk before me, and be thou perfect. third and to the fourth generation. Rev. iv. 8. And the four beasts bad ~ Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it each of them six wings about him; is impossible to please him: for he and they were full of eyes within: that cometh to God must believe that and they rest not day and night, say. he is, and that he is a rewarder of ing, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Al them that diligently seek him.
and withal most just and terrible in his judgments;* hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty."
II. God hath all life,& glory, goodness, blessedness,a in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made,o not deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory, in, by, unto, and upon them: he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things;& and hath most sovereign dominion over
nem, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and manifest ;' his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as
* Neh. ix. 32. Now therefore, our Lord of lords. Rom. ix. 5. Whose are God, the great, the mighty, and the the fathers, and of whom, as concernterrible God, who keepest covenant ing the flesh, Christ came, who is over and mercy, let not all the trouble all, God blessed for ever. Amen. seem little before thee that hath come é Acts xvii. 24. God, that made the upon us, on our kings, on our princes, world, and all things therein, seeing and on our priests, and on our pro- that he is Lord of heaven and earth, phets, and on our fathers, and on all dwelleth not in temples made with thy people, since the time of the kings hands; Ver.25. Neither is worshipped of Assyria unto this day. Ver. 33. with men's hands, as though he needed Howbeit thou art just in all that is any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, brought upon us; for thou hast done and breath, and all things. right, but we have done wickedly. Jobxxii. 2. Can a man be profitable
y Ps. v. 5. The foolish shall not stand unto God, as he that is wise may be in thy sight: thou hatest all workers profitable unto himself? Ver. 3. Is it of iniquity. Ver. 6. Thou shalt destroy any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou them that speak leasing: the Lord will art righteous? or is it gain to him, abhor the bloody and deceitful man. that thou makest thy ways perfect ?
2. Nah. i. 2. God is jealous, and the &Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, him, and to him, are all things: to whom and is furious; the Lord will také be glory for ever. Amen. vengeance on his adversaries, and he 5 Rev. iv. 11. Thou art worthy, O reserveth wrath for his enemies. Ver. Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and 3. The Lord is slow to anger, and great power: for thou hast created all things, in power, and will not at all'acquit the and for thy pleasure they are and were wicked: the Lord hath his way in the created. i Tim. vi. 15. (See letter d imwhirlwind and in the storm, and the mediately foregoing.] Dan. iv. 25 That clouds are the dust of his feet. Exod. they shall drive thee from men, and xxxiv. 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, thy dwelling shall be with the beasts forgiving iniquity, and transgression of the field, and they shall make thee and sin, and that will byno means clear to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the thee with the dew of heaven, and seven fathers upon the children, and upon times shall pass over thee, till thou the children's children, unto the third know that the most High ruleth in the and to the fourth generation.
kingdom of men,
and givethit to whom. II, a John v. 26. For as the Father soever he will. Ver. 35. And all the inhath life in himself, so hath he given habitants of the earth are reputed as to the Son to have life in himself. nothing: and he doeth according to his
b Acts vii. 2. And he said, Men, breth- will in the army of heaven, and among ren, and fathers, hearken; the God of the inhabitants of the earth; and none glory appeared unto our father Abra- can stay his hand, or say unto him, ham, when he was in Mesopotamia, be. What doest thou? fore he dwelt in Charran.
Heb. iv. 13. Neither is there any © Ps. cxix. 68. Thou art good, and creature that is not manifest in his doest good : teach me thy statutes. sight: but all things are naked and
di Tim. vi. 15. Which in his times opened unto the eyes of him with he shall show, who is the blessed and whom we have to do. only Potentate, the King of kings, and * Rom. xi. 33. O the depth of the
nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, he is pleased to require of them."
III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.o The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father ;P the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.9
CHAP. III.-Of God's Eternal Decree.
riches both of the wisdom and know- straightway out of the water: and, lo, ledge of God! how unsearchable are the heavenswereopened unto him, and his judgments, and his ways past find. he saw the Spirit of God descending ing out! Ver. 34. For who hath known like a dove, and lighting upon him : the mind of the Lord ? or who hath Ver. 17. And lo a voice from heaven, been hiscounsellor ? Ps.cxlvii. 5. Great saying, This is my beloved Son, in is our Lord, and of great power: his whom
I am well pleased. Matt. xxviii. understanding is infinite.
19. Go ye therefore, and teach all na1 Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are tions, baptizing them in the name of all his works from the beginning of the the Father, and of the Son, and of the world. Ezek. xi. 5. And the Spirit of Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace the Lord fell upon me, and said unto of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love me, Speak; Thus saith the Lord, Thus of God, and the communion of the have ye said, 0 house of Israel: for I Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. know the things that come into your P Johni. 14. And the Word was made mind, every one of them.
flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we bem Ps.cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous held his glory, the glory as of the only inallhis ways, and holy in allhis
works. begotten of the Father,) full of grace Rom. vii. 12. Wherefore the lawisholy, and truth. Ver. 18. No man bath seen and the commandment holy, and just, God at any time; the only begotten and good.
Son, which is in the bosom of the * Rev. v. 12. Saying with a loud voice, Father, he hath declared him. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to 9 John xv. 26. But when the Com. receive
power, and riches, and wisdom, forter is come, whom I will send unto and strength, and honour, and glory, you from the Father, even the Spirit and blessing. Ver. 13. And every crea- of truth, which proceedeth from the ture which is in heaven, and on the Father, he shall testify of me. Gal. earth, and under the earth, and such iv. 6. And because ye are sons, God as are in the sea, and all that are in bath sent forth the Spirit of his Son them, heard I saying, Blessing, and into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. honour, and glory, and power, be unto I. * Eph. i. 11. 'In whom also we have him that
sitteth upon the throne, and obtained an inheritance, being predesunto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Ver. tinateď according to the purpose of 14. And the four beasts said, Amen. him who worketh all things after the And the four and twenty elders fell counsel of his own will. Rom. xi. 33. down and worshipped him that liveth 0 the depth of the riches both of the for ever and ever.
wisdom and knowledge of God! how III. o 1 Johny.7. For there are three unsearchable are his judgments, and that hear record in heaven, the Father, his ways past finding out! Heb. vi. the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and 17. Wherein God, willing more abunthese three are one. Matt. iii. 16. And dantly to show unto the heirs of proJesus, when he was baptized, went up mise the immutability of his counsel,