Page images



Agreed upon by the Affembly of Divines at Westminfler: Examined and approved, Anno 1647, by the GENERAL AsSEMBLY of the CHURCH of SCOTLAND; And ratified by Act of PARLIAMENT 1749.

CHAP. I. Of the Holy Scripture.

LTHOUGH the light of nature, and the works of cre

ation and providence, do fo far manifeft the goodness," wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcufable a; yet are they not fufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is neceffary unto falvation b: Therefore it pleased

1. a Rom, ii. 14. For when the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, thefe having not the law, are a law unto themselves: v. 15. Which fhew the works of the law written in their hearts, their confcience alfo bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accufing or elfe excufing one another. Rom. i. 19. Because that which may be known of God, is manifested in them; for God hath fhewn it unto them. v. 20. For the invifible things of him from the creation of the world, are clearly feen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; fo that they are without excufe. Pfal. xix. 1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament fheweth his bandy-work, v... 2. Day unto day uttereth fpeech, and

night unto night fheweth knowledge. V. 3. There is no fpeech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Rom. i, 32. Who knowing the judgment of God, (that they which commit fuch things are worthy of death) not only do the fame, but have pleafure in them that do them. With Rom. ii. 1. Therefore thou art inexcufable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgeft; for wherein thou judgeft another thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgeft doft the fame things.

[ocr errors]

b 1 Cor. i, 21. For after that, in thewifdom of God, the world by wifdom knew not God, it pleafed God by the foolishnefs of preaching to fave them that believe. r Cor. ii. 13. Which things also wefpeak,not in the words which man's wildom teacheth, but which the holy Ghoft teacheth

B 3


pleafed 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 preferving 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 fame wholly unto writing d: which maketh the holy fcripture to be moft neceffary e; thofe former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people, being now ceafed f.

II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the word of God

comparing fpiritual things with fpiritual. v. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually difcerned.

c Heb. i. 1. God who at fundry times, and in divers manners, fpake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.

d Prov. xxii. 19. That thy truft may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. v. 20. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counfels and knowledge; v. 21. That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that fend unto thee? Luke i 3. It feemed good to me alfo, having had perfect underftanding of all things from the very firft, to write unto thee in order,most excellent Theophilus. v. 4. That thou mighteft know the certainty of thofe things, wherein thou hast been inftructed. Rom. xv. 4. For whatfoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; that we thro' patience and comfort of the fcriptures might have hope. Matth, iv. 4. But he answered and faid, It is written, Man fhall not live by bread alone, but by every word that pro


ceedeth out of the mouth of God. v. 7. Jefus faid unto him, It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. v. 10. Then faith Jefus to him, Get thee hence Satan : for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou ferve. Ifa. viii, 19. And when they fhall fay unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar fpirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter; should not a people feek unto their God? for the living to the dead! v. 20. To the law and to the teftimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

ea Tim. iii. 15. And that from a child thou haft known the holy fcrip tures, which areable tomake theewife unto falvation, through faith which is in Chrift Jefus, 2 Pet. i. 19. We have alfo a more fure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that fhineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-ftar arife in your hearts.

Heb. i. 1. God, who at fundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time paft unto the fathers by the prophets, v. 2. Hath in these last days fpoken unto us by his fon whom he bath appointed heir of all things, by whom alfo he made the world. 8. Luka

written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Teftament, which are these:

[blocks in formation]

All which are given by infpiration of God, to be the rule of

faith and life g.

g Luke xvi. 29. Abraham faith unto him, they have Mofes and the prophets, let them hear them. v. 31. And he said unto him, if they hear not Mofes and the prophets, neither will they be perfuaded, tho' one rofe

III. The

from the dead Eph: ii: 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apoftles and prophets, Jefus Chrift himfelf being thechief corner ftone. Rev. xxii: 18: For 1 testify unto every man

B 4



The Confeffion of Faith.

III. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of Chap. I. divine infpiration, are no part of the canon of the fcripture; and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made ufe of, than other hu man writings h.

IV. The authority of the holy fcripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the teftimony 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.

[ocr errors]

V. We may be moved and induced by the teftimony of the church, to an high and reverend esteem of the holy fcripture k, and the heavenlinefs of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine,

that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God fhall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. v. 19. And if any man fhall take awayfrom the wordsof thebook ofthis prophecy, God fhall 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. 2Tim, iii. 16. All fcripture is given by infpiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correcti on, for instruction, in righteoufnefs. III. b Luke xxiv. 27. And begin. ning at Mofes, and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the fcriptures the things concerning him. felf. v. 44. And he said unto them, These are the words which I fpake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Mofes, and in the prophets, and in the Pfalms, concerning me. Rom. iii. 2. Much every way: chiefly becaufe unto them were committed the oracles of God, 2 Pet, i. 21. For the prophecy camenot in old time by the will of men, but holy men of God fpakeas they were moved by the holy hoft.

more fure word of prophecy, whereIV. i 2 Pet. i. 9. We have also a unto ye do well that ye take heed, as place, until the day dawn, and the unto a light that fhineth in a dark day-ftar arife in your hearts. v. 21. Fortheprophecy came not in oldtime by the will of man, but holy men of Godfpake as they were moved by the HolyGhoft, 2 Tim.iii. 16. All fcripture is given by infpiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for inftruction in righteoufnefs, 1 John v. 9. If we receive the witnefs of men, the witnefs of God,is greater: for this is the witnefs of God, which he hath teftified of his Son. I Theff. ii. 13. Far this caufe alfo thank we God without ceafing, because when word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received the ye received it not as the word of men,but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh alfo in you that believe,

long, that thou mayeft know how V. k Tim. iii. 15. But if I tarry thou oughteftto behave thyfelf in the houfe of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

/ 1 Joha

trine, the majefty of the ftile, the confent of all the parts, the fcope 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 perfuafion and affurance 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!.

VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things neceffary for his own glory, man's falvation, faith and life, is either exprefly fet down in fcripture, or by good and neceffary confequence may be deduced from fcripture: 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

1 John ii. 20. But ye have an unction from the holy One, and ye know all things. v. 27. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: But as the fame anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it hath taught you, ye fhall abide in him. John xvi. 13. Howbeit, when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he fhall not fpeak of himself, but whatfoever he shall hear, that shall he fpeak: and he will fhew you things to come. v. 14. He shall glorify me: for he fhall receive of mine, and fhall fhew it unto you. I Cor. ii. 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. v. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man,fave the fpirit of man which is in him? even fo the things of God know eth no man, but the fpirit of God, v. 12. Now we have received, not the fpirit of the world, but the fpirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given us of


God. Ifa, lix. 21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, faith the Lord, My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, fhall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy feed, nor out of the mouth of thy feed's feed, faith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

VI. m 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from a child thou haft known the holy fcriptures, which are able to make thee wife unto falvation, thro' faith which is in Chrift Jefus. v. 16. All fcripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for inftruction in righteoufnefs. v. 17. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Gal. i. 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gofpel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accurfed. v. 9. As we faid before, fo fay I now again; If any man preach any other gofpel unto you, than that ye have received, let him be accurfed. 2 Thess. ii, 2. That


« PreviousContinue »