Page images



Agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminfler : Examined and approved, Anno 1647, by the General AsSEMBLY of the Church of SCOTLAND; And ratified by A&t of ParliaMENT 1749.

CHAP. I. Of the Holy Scripture.


LTHOUGH the light of nature, and the works of cre

ation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable a; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation b: Therefore it


1. a Rom, ii. 14. For when the night unto night sheweth knowledge. Gentiles which have not the law, do v. 3. There is no speech nor lanby cature the things contained in the guage, where their voice is not heard. law, these having not the law, are a Rom. i. 32. Who knowing the judglaw unto themselves: v. 15. Which ment of God, (that they which comshew the works of the law written in : mit such things are worthy of death) their hearts, their conscience also not only do the same, but have pleabearing witness, and their thoughts fure in them that do them, witla the mean while accusing or else excuf. Rom. ii. 1. Therefore thou art inexing one another. Rom. i. 19. Because onsable, o man, whosoever thou art that which may be known of God, is that judgest ; for wherein thou judgmanifested in them; for God hath eit another thou condemnelt thyself; shewn it unto them. v. 20. For the for thou that judgest dost the same invisible things of him from the cre- things. ation of the world, are clearly seen, bi Cor. i, 21. For after that, in being understood by the things that thewisdom of God, the world by wifare made, even his eternal power and dom knew not God, it pleased God Godhead ; so that they are without by the foolishness of preaching to save excuse. Psal. xix, 1. The heavens them that believe. I Cor. ii. 13. declare the glory of God; and the fir- Which things also wespeak, not in the mament sheweth bis bandy-work, V. - words which man's wisdom teacheth, 2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and but which the holy Ghoft teacheth


B 3

pleased the Lord, at fundry 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 fure 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 unta writing d: which maketh the holy scripture to be moft necessary e; those former ways of God's revealing his will un: to his people, being now ceafed f. IL Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the word of God


[ocr errors]

comparing spiritual things with fpiri. ceedeth out of the mouth of God. v, tual. v. 14. But the natural man re. 7. Jesus said unto bim, It is written ceiveth not the things of the Spirit of again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord God; for tliey are foolishness unto thy God. y. 10. Then faith Jesus him: neither can he know them, be- to him, Get thee bence Satan : for it cause they are spiritually discerned. is written, Thou shalt worship the

c Heb. i. 1. God who at lundry Lord thy God, and him only shalt times, and in divers manners, spake in thou serve. Isa. vii, 19. And when time palt unto the fathers by the pro. they thall say unto you, Seek unta phets.

them that have familiar spirits, and d Prov. xxii. 19. That thy trust unto wizards that peep, and thaç may be in the Lord, I have made mutter; should not a people seek un. known to thee this day, even to thee. to their God? for the living to the V. 20. Have not I written to thee ex. dead! v. 20. To the law and to the cellent things in counsels and know- testimony: if they speak not accorledge; v.21. That I might make thee ding to this word, it is because there know the certainty of the words of is no light in them. truth; that thou mightest answer the en Tim. iii. 15. And that from a words of truth to them that send unto child thou hast known the holy scrip. thee? Luke i. 3. It seemed good to tures, which areable tomake theệwise me also, having had perfect under- unto salvation, through faith which standing of all things from the very is in Christ Jesus, 2 Pet. i. 19. We first, to write unto thee in order,most have also a more fure word of pro, excellent Theophilus. v. 4. Thae phecy, whereupto ye do well that ye thou mightest know the certainty of take heed, as unto a light thar fhineth those things, wherein thou haft been in a dark place, until the day dawn, inftructed. Rom. xv. 4. For what. and the day-ltar arise in your hearts. foever things were written aforetime, Heb. i. 1. God, who at fundry were written for our learning; that times, and in divers manners, spake we thro' patience and comfort of the in time past unto the fathers by the scriptures might have hope. March. prophets, v. 2. Hath in these lalt iv. 4. But he answered and said, It is days spoken unto us hy his fon whom written, Man shall not live by bread he bath appointed heir of all things, alone, but by every word that pru: by whom also he made the world.


& Luka written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:

[blocks in formation]

All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life g

III. The g Luke xvi. 29. Abraham faith un- from the dead Eph: ü: 20. And are to him, they have Moses and the pro- built upon the foundation of the apophets, let them hear them. v. 31. Atles and prophets, Jesus Christ himAnd he said unto him, if they hear self being thechief corner stone. Rev. not Moses and the prophets, neither xxii: 18:For I testify unto every man will they be perfuaded, thoone rose


B 4

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 k, and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doc


that heareth the words of the prophe- IV. i 2 Pet. i. 9. We have also a cy of this book, if any man fhall add more sure word of prophecy, whereunto these things, God shall add un- unto ye do well that ye take heed, as to him the plagues that are written in unto a light that shineth in a dark this book. v. 19. And if any man shall place, until the day dawn, and the take awayfrom the wordsof thebook day-star arise in your hearts, v. 21. ofthis prophecy, God Mall take away Fortheprophecy came not in oldtime his part out of the book of life, and by the will of man, but holy men of out of the holy city, and from the Godspake as they were moved by the things which are written in this book. HolyGhost, 2Tim.iii. 16. All scrip2 Tim, iii. 16. All fcripture is given by ture is given by inspiration of God, inspiration of God, and is profitable and is profitable for doctrine, for refor doctrine, for reproof, for correcti- proof, for correction, for instruction on, for instruction, in righteousness. in righteousness, 1 Joho v. 9. If we

III. b Luke xxiv. 27. And begin, receive the witness of men, the witning at Moses, and all the prophets, ness of God,is greater: for this is the he expounded unto them in all the witness of God, which he hath testiscriptures the things concerning him. fied of his Son. ! Theff. ii. 13. For self. v. 44. And he said unto them, this cause also thank we God without These are the words which I spake ceasing, because when ye received the unto you, while I was yet with you, word of God, which ye heard of us, that all things must be fulfilled which ye received it not as the word of were written in the law of Moses, men,but as it is in cruth, the word of and in the prophets, and in the God, which effectually worketh also Psalms, concerning me. Rom. iii. 2. in

you that believe, Much every way: chiefly because un- Vik i Tim. iii. 15. But if I tarry to them were committed the oracles long, that thou mayest know how of God, 2 Pet, i. 23. For the pro- thou oughtestto behave thyself in the phecycamenot in old time by the will house of God, which is the church of of men, but holy men of God spakeas the living God, the pillar and ground they were mored by the holy chost. of the trub.

1. Joha

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 falvation, 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 witnefs by and with the word in cur hearts 1.

VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either exprelly set down in scripture, or by good and neceffary con{equence 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


[ocr errors]

li John ö. 20. But ye have an unc- God. Ila, lix. 21. As for me, this is tion from the holy One, and ye know my covenant with them, saith the all things. v. 27. But the anointing Lord, My Spirit that is upon thee, which ye bave 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 Dointing teacheth you of all things, thy feed, nor out of the mouth of and is truth, and is no lie; and even as thy feed's seed, faith the Lord, froni it hach taught you, ye shall abide in henceforth and for ever. him. John xvi. 13. Howbeit, when the VI. m 2 Tiin. ii. 15. And that Spirit of tru:h 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: and he faith which is in Christ Jesus. v. 16. will fhew you things to come. v. 14. 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 thew it unto for reproof, for correction, for inyou. I Cor. ii. 10. But God hath re- Itruction in righteousness. v. 17. vealed them unto us by his Spirit : for That the man of God may


pero the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, fect, throughly furnished unto all the deep things of God. v. 11. For good works. Gal. i. 8. Bur though what man knoweth thc things of a wé, or an angel from heaven, preach man,Save the spirit of man which is in any other golpel unto you, than that him? even so the things of God know. which we have preached unto you, eth 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 I now again; If any

I spirit of the world, but the spirit man preach any other gospel unto which is of God; that wemight know you, ihan that ye have received, let the things that are freely given us of him be accurfed. 2 Theff. ii. 2. That


« PreviousContinue »