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knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation ; for the prophecy came not old 'time by the will of man, but holy men of God Ipake as they were moved by the Holy Ghot. Ifai. viii. 20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. I Pet. iv. II. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God. Pfalm cxix. 72. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. Ver. 97. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalm cxxxviii. 2. Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy
By the word canonical is meant whatever respects, or is confirmed by, the laws of the church; and here it particularly refers to the decisions of the councils in the first and purest ages of christianity concerning the holy scriptures; in which times the inspired writings were collected into one volume. The scriptures of the Old Testament had indeed been published in one volume long before by the Jews; but the scriptures of the New were then added to them.
We could enter minutely into the proofs of the divine authority of each book, both of the Old and New Testament, and into an account of the times in which they were written, and the per; fons by whom : but it would require a treatise of itself, to do justice to so extensive a subject.
VI. Of the Old Testament.
for both in the Old and New Testament, everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man.
Wherefore, they are not to be heard, who feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Mofes, as touching ceremonies and rites, doth not bind christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity to be received in any commonwealth ; yet, noto withilanding, no chriflian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the comniandments, which are called moral.
N O T E S. (1) Luke xxiv. 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he [Chrift] expounded unto them, in all the feriptures, the
things concerning himself. John v. 39. Search the firiptures [of the Old Testament, which alone were then in being] for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they, which tuftify of
(2) Job xix. 25–27. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though, after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh thall I fee God; whom I shall fee for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. Pfalm xvii. 15. As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisficd when I awake with thy likeness. (3) Matt. xxii. 40. On these two commandments (the love of God, and love of man] hang all the law and the prophets. Matt. vii. 12. All things, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even fo to them; for this is the law and the propbets.
VII. Of Original or Birth Sin.
RIGINAL fin standeth not in the following of
Adam (as the Pelagians do vainiy talk) but it is the corruption of the nature of every man, that natural, ly is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.
N o T E S.
Gen. vi. 5. God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth; and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Jer. xvii. 9. The heart is dereitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Pfaim xiv. 3. They are all gone afide; they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Psalm liii. 3. Every one of them is gone back; they are a togeeher become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Rom. iii. 10. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not
Psalm li. 5. Behold, I was skapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceire nie. Eph. ii. 1 ---3. And you hath he quickened, who were dead ir treff afses and fins: wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of difcbedience; among whom also we all had our conversation, in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh ard of the mind; and were, ly nature, the children of wruib, even as others. · Mark vii. 27--23.
From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blafphemy, pride, foolishness : all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
VIII. Of Free-Will.
HE condition of man after the fall of Adam is
his own natural strength and works to faith, and calling upon God: Wherefore, we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
NO TE S..
(1) 2 Cor. iii. 5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves, but our fufficiency is of God. Eph. ii. 5. Even when we were dead in fins (God) hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are ye faved.) Ver. 8, 9. By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourfelves, it is the gift of God: not of works, leit any man should boast. (2) John xv. 5. Without me [Christ] ye can do nothing. Phil. ii. 12, 13. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do, of his good pleasure.
IX. Of the justification of Man.
E are accounted righteous before God, only
for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deserving :- Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome. doctrine, and very full of comfort.
N o T E S.
(1) Rom. iii. 24--26. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jefus ; whom God hath fet forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to de
clare his righteousness for the remiffion of fins that are past, through the forbearance of God: to declare, I say, at this time, Dis righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Rom. v. 18. Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation ; even fo, by the righteoufnefs of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Rom. x. 4. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Gal. ii. 16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we inight be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law ; for by the works of the law shall no fitfh be justified. (2) Pfalm xxxii. 1. Blessed is he whofe transgrellion is forgiven, whose fin is covered. Rom. v. I. Being juftified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Chrift,
X. Of Good-Works.
LTHOUGH good works, which are the fruits
of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our ains, and endure the feverity of God's judga ment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Chrift, and spring out of a true and lively faith, infomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known, as a tree discerned by its fruit.
(1) Gal. v. 6. In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcifion, but faith which worketh by love. Janes ii. 22. Seest thou how faith wrought with his (Abrahanı's] works; and by works was faith made perfect. Ver. 26. As the body without the spirit is dead, fo faith without works is dead allo. (2) Feb. xii. 16. To do good and to communicate, forget not; for with such facrifices God is well pleafed. James i. 27. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, To visit the fatherless and widows, in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. Tit. iii. 8. This is a. faithful faying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly,, that they which have believed in God, might be careful to mainet tain goo! cuoris,
XI. Of Works of Supererogation.
OLUNTARY works, besides over and above
God's commandments, which they call works of supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy, and impiety. For by them men do declare, That they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his fake than of bounden duty'is required: Whereas Christ saith plainly, When ỳe have done all that is commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants.
N O T E S.
Job xxii, 2, 3. Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous ? Or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect? I Cor. iv. 7. Who maketh thee to differ from another? And what haft thou, which thou didik not receive ? Now, if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadît not received it? Tit. iii. 5. Not by works of righteoufness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
XII. Of Sin after Justification. NOT OT every sin willingly committed after justifica
, pardonable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after justification : After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into fin, and, by the grace
of God, rise again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, who fay they can: no more fin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.