A Treatise of DIVINITY CONSISTING OF THREE BOOKES.

The First of which Handling the Scripture or Word of God, treateth of its Divine Authority, the Cano­nicall Bookes, the Authenticall Edition, and severall Versions; the End, Properties, and Interpretation of Scripture.

The Second handling God, sheweth that there is a God, and what he is, in his Essence and severall Attributes, and likewise the distinction of Persons in the Divine Essence.

The third handleth the three principall Workes of God, Decree, Creation, and Providence.

By EDWARD LEIGH Esq. Master of Arts, and one of the Members of the House of Commons.

2 Tim. 3. 16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is pro­fitable for doctrine, for reproofe, for correction, for instruction in righteousnesse.
John 7. 3. And this is life eternall, that they know thee the onely true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
Psalm 111. 2. The workes of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.

LONDON, Printed by E. Griffin for William Lee, and are to be sold at his shop at the Turkes-head in Fleetstreet, neere Ram-alley. 1646.

June 9. 1646.

I Have perused this excellent and learned Treatise of Divinity with much pleasure, profit, and satisfaction; and finding it to be very sound, judicious, and profitable, I doe allow it to be printed and published.

John Downhant.
[...]

TO The Right Honourable THE LORDS and COMMONS Assembled in PARLIAMENT.

Right Honourable,

I Intended the Dedication of this Treatise to the Parliament be­fore I had the happinesse to be a Member of so Honourable a Society. Who are so fit to Pa­tronize a worke concerning God, his word and workes, as the Parliament of England, and such a Parliaments, who have heard more of God and his will, and seene more of his wayes in lesse then a lustre of yeares, then many pre­cedent [Page] Parliaments have in severall Ages▪ Ar­duous and important matters concerning ChurchQuia de ad­visamento & [...]ssensu consilij nostri pro qui­busdam or dui [...]s & urgentibus negotijs, nos, Statum & d [...]fen­sionem Regni nostri Angliae & Ecclesiae con­cernentibus, [...]uoddam Par­liamentum no­strum apud Civitatem Westmonaste­rium tertio die Novemb [...]is proximo teneri ordinavimus. or State have been the daily Theme of your serious debates. Queen Elizabeth once in her progresse visiting the County of Suffolke, all the Justices of Peace in that County met her Majesty, having every one his Minister next to his body, which the Queen tooke speciall notice of, and thereup­on uttered this Speech, that She had often demanded of her privy Councell, why her County of Suffolke was better governed than any other County, and could never under­stand the reason thereof, but now She her selfe perceived the reason; it must needs be so (said Shee) where the word and the sword goe together.

You did Honourable worthies) neare the beginning of the Parliament, cause a Synode of Reverend and Able Divines to be called to advise you in Church-affaires. God hath sent unto you (as Jeremie speaketh) all his servants the Prophets, Jer. 7. 25. and 35. 15. choice men out of every County, (as you your selves were elected out of ma­ny) to be serviceable to you in the great [Page] worke of Reformation. You have had the benefit of their faithfull advise, of their fer­vent Prayers, and diligent labours. When did any Parliament enter into so solemne a League and Covenant to reforme themselves and Kingdome? when were there so many dayes of Humiliation kept so generally in England? when was there such a constant daily LectureThose Gen­tlemen of the House, and others that live neere Westmin­ster may heare 500 Sermons yearly at least, one every Morning, and foure every Sabbath. of worthy men in Westminster-Abbie before? In the Parliament held 5. E. 3. so many excellent lawes were made, as it was called bonum Parliamentum I hope as you are now in Prayers and Print stiled the Re­pairers of the breach, and restorers of paths to dwell in, so future Ages will honour you with the title of Optimum Parliamentum. When in the Councell of Constance, talke was Mini­stred touching the reformation of the Spiri­tualty, and some said quòd oporteat incipere à Minoritis, the reformation must begin at the Friers, no said the Emperour Sigismond, Foxe in his Booke of Mar­tyrs. Non à minoritis sed a Majoritis incipienda est reformatio, meaning the reformation ought first to begin with the Pope and Cardinals and Bishops, and so discend after to the inferiours. Some Em­perours [Page] were called Great for their good­nesse; religion makes a Nation or person honourable Rom. 9. 4. compared with 3. 2. That was a worthy Speech of a Germane di­vine writing to Oecolampadius, Veniat verbum domini, & submittemus, etiamsi nobis essent sexcenta colla: As Queene Elizabeth passed in Trium­phall State through the Streets of London af­ter her Coronation, when the Bible was pre­sented unto her at the little-Conduit in Cheape-side, Speeds Chro­nicle Chap. 24. p. 858. she received the same, with both her hands, and kissing it laid it to her breast, saying, that the same had ever beene her chiefest delight, and should be the rule by which She meant to frame her Government. You have likewise covenanted to reforme the Church accor­ding to the word of God, the best Rule both for a Personall and Ecclesiasticall Reforma­tion. There is a double generall subject of reformation. 1. Corrupt persons, 2. Cor­rupt things. You have cast out a scandalous Ministry; labour to settle (I beseech you) in all the three kingdoms Pious & able Preach­ers. Christ (the great Reformer of his Church Mal. 3. 2 Matth. 3. 12.) specially purgeth [Page] the Sonnes of Levi Mal. 3. 1. because he hath appointed them the office of purging others. secondly the ordinances of God must be both Pure and Perfect in a compleate Reformati­on. You have cast out a great deale of rub­bish; O that the House of God might be built. It was a blemish upon some of those reformations mentioned in Scripture, that the high places were not taken away, and that their reformation needed a further re­formation. God did much honour King Ed­ward a Childe, and Queene Elizabeth a wo­man in making them the beginners of a bles­sed reformation. O that the Lord would be pleased by you to perfect what they begun, that Christs government, worship, and disci­pline might be set up in the three Kingdoms. In the times of our troubles, peace and truth have beene joyned together in our Prayers and Capitulations; O let them never be se­parated, I will reveale unto them the abundance of peace and truth Jer. 33. 6. and the same Pro­phet Jer. 9. 3.complaines, that there were none valiant for truth in the earth. Buy the truth and sell it not saith Salomon, contend earnestly for the faith [Page] which was once delivered to the Saints. Jude. 3. v. Amicus Socrates, Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veri­tas. You have covenanted to extirpate heresies and whatsoever is contrary to sound doctrine. In your first Declaration, there is this memora­ble passage, It is farre from our purpose or desire, to let loose the golden reines of Dis­cipline and government in the Church, to leave private persons or particular congre­gations, to take up what forme of divine ser­vice they please; for we hold it requisite that there should be through-out the whole Realme a conformity to that order which the Lawes enjoyne according to the word of God. God hath done great things for you and by you, and therefore he expects great things from you. It was a noble resolution in our Josiah, Edward the 6th, when he was pressed by Bishop Ridly and others to tole­rate his Sister Masse in her owne Chapell, he would not (though importuned) yeeld there­to, saying, He should dishonour God in it; but being much pressed by them he burst into teares, and they thence concluded, that he had more divinity in his little finger then [Page] they in all their bodies; O that you would study to premote Gods glory, and be zealous for his truth, since you have had such expe­rience of his mercy, and likewise could not but perceive the evill of those dangerous er­rours, which were too much indulged by some of those whom you have cast out.

I shall now speake of the threefold Subject I handle in my Booke. 1. The Scripture, 2. God, 3. The Workes of God. It is report­ed of Charles the Great, that he set his Crown on the Bible,Ego ipse odi meos libros, & sape [...]pi [...]e [...]s interire, quòd [...]etuo ne morentur lectores, & ab­ducanta l [...]ctio­neipsius scriptu­rae, quae sola omnis sapientiae fon [...] est. Luthe­rus in [...]9 c. Genes. and Luther was so zealous to have the Scriptures read, that he professed, if he thought the reading of his Bookes would hinder the reading of the Scripture he would burne them all before he dyed. Alphonsus King of Spaine and Naples, read the Bible with Lira's glosse foureteen times over. The Em­perour Theodosius the second, wrote the New Testament out with his owne hand; many speake much of new light, but the Prophet Esay Esay 8. 20. saith To the Law, and to the Testimo­ny: if they speake not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Take heed of too much of that new light, which the world is [Page] now gazing upon;Jer. 6. 16. and 18. 15. so much new light is break­ing forth, that the old zeale is almost extinct by it, saith a MinisterMaster Buckley of the Gospell Cove­nant on Zach. 9. 11, p. 14. and 104. of New-England. The Familists say they are above Ordinances; when the body hath no need of nourishment, then (and not afore) will the soule have no need of Ordinances; we about Westminster have beene better instructed out of the 20. of Exodus 24. Some talke of Revelations and the Testimony of the Spirit. But now the Scripture is compleated, I must not expect any immediate Testimony of the Spirit. Lu­ther saith, if any Spirit should come and speak any thing to him that he brought not Scrip­ture for, he would spit in his face. The Scrip­ture is the best Cynosure to follow, it was Davids Counseller,The Schoole­men a [...]fi [...]me that t [...]ree things cannot be [...]efined. it is a perfect rule of a Perfect Reformation.

Secondly, all Christian States and Persons should labour for an experimentall practicall knowledge of God and Christ,1 God ob sum­mam formosita­tem. Phil. 3. 8. 10. the vision of God in Heaven shall make us perfectly Happye.2. Materia prima ab sum­mam informi­tatem. Quid Deus sit ipse tantum novit, 3. Sinne ob­summam defor­mitatem. what God is, God himselfe doth onely perfectly know. But he hath revealed him­selfe [Page] to us in his word and workes. That place in 34 of Exodus, 6. 7. verses is as full a descrip­tion of Gods Attributes, as any in all the Scripture, The Lord, the Lord God, mercifull, and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in good­nes & truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiv­ing iniquity, transgression & sin, & that will by no meanes clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the Fathers upon the children, and upon the childrens Children, unto the third and fourth generation. If God were more known, he would be more loved,Psal. 9 9. honou [...]ed, feared, trusted. The Hea­thens extolled the knowledge of a mans self, but Christians must chiefely study to know God.

This is a Noble Subject for a Christi­an Parliament and a Christian King­dome to exercise themselves in; O that you would all labour to know Gods excel­lencies, and to propagate the knowledge of him to the many darke Corners of the Land.

Thirdly, the workes of God are to be dili­gently observed by a Christian State. One observes that there is a five fold Declaration of the workes of God.Mr Carill on Psal. 1 18. 17. An Arthnieticall De­claration [Page] Psal. 40. 5. Secondly, a Logicall De­claration of the workes of God, when we shew the severall kinds of them; as the workes of Creation, the worke of Redemption, the worke of Providence; and distribute those into workes of mercy, or works of Justice. Thirdly, an Historicall Declaration, when we declare the persons acting, the places, the times the Counsels, the mannaging of the se­verall actions, the events and successes. Fourthly, a Rhetoricall Declaration. Fifth­ly, a Declaration purely Theologicall, or a practicall Declaration of the works of God.104. Psal. 24.

We should be lifted up by Gods manifold works to the Consideration of his unlimited greatnesse that is the first cause and author of them all; we can turne our eyes no way, but exceeding great multitudes of works wrought by God doe offer themselves to our view.

If we looke upward, downeward, on the right hand, on the left, into our selves and other things; our minds shall be encountred with diversity of rare Workes of Almighty God. These workes are all made with much wisdome Psal. 136. 5. and the serious consi­dering [Page] of Gods workes is a great part of the sanctifying of his name. Never had any Par­liament more reason to magnifie Gods good­nesse for his singular mercies. Oh that as ma­ny of your deliverances were got with suppli­cation, so they might be worne with thanke­fulnesse; and as you have been a Parliament of many Prayers, so may you be a Parliament of many prayses, which is the earnest desire of

Your Honours Devoted Servant, EDW. LEIGH.

To the Christian Reader.

REader, The number of bookes is without number, the Presses are daily oppressed with them. Yet (though the world abound with unprofitable, may perniciousI may say of some writers in these daies as Tully of the Philosophers, that there is nothing so ab­surd which is not m [...]intai­ned by some of them. Pam­phlets) there are many excellent subjects which are either not handled, or not suf­ficiently. There is a great variety in mens fancies as well as in their faces; and bookesLibri quasi liberi. (the fruit of mens brains) are as various as men themselves. Some books are to be tasted onely,Sir Francis Bacon in his Essayes. some chewed, and some swallowed. That saying of Stanchar the HeretickeRainoldus de lib. Apoc. tomo primo prae­lect. 4th. doth exceedingly please the Papists, Plus apud se valere unum Lombar­dum, quam centum Lutheros, ducentos Melanctho­nes, trecentos Bullingeros, quadringentos Martyres, quingentos Calvinos. That onePetrus Lom­bardus propter eminentem int [...]r Pontificios au­thoritarem ma­gister sententiarum nuncupatus est. Rainoldus de lib. Apoc. Petrus Lombardus, quem omnes The [...] ­l [...]gorum schola singulari quadam venerationis excellentia magistium sententiarum appellant, & in cujus Theologiae compendium innumerabilia disputationum volumina eruditissimi clariss [...]marum tot [...] Christiano orbe Academiarum Theologi celebrarunt. Sixtus Senensis Bibl. Sanct. lib. 4▪ Lumbard was more esteemed by him, then 100 Luthers, 200 Melancthons, 300 Bullingers, 400 Martyrs, 500 Calvins. Focanus contrarily, saith thus of the Schoolmen, that one Austin among the Ancients, and one Calvin (in his Institutions of Christian Religion) among the moderne Divines, will afford thee more solid Divinity, then all the School-Doctors [Page] of the Popish Church, with all their vaine dispu­tations, jejune distinctions, quodlibeticall questions, and foolish speculations, with which (saith he) Thomas, Scotus, Lombard, Bonaventure, Molina, Vasquez, Suarez, à Soto, Bellarmine, and other Doctors of the Romane Church are full, even ad nauseam. But the Bible is indeed the Booke of Bookes, it signifieth in the Greeke Tongue, A Booke in generall; and was sometimes taken so largely,So Scripture signifieth wri­ting in gene­rall, but by an excellency the Word of God. yet by an Antinomasie or excellency it is now taken for the Booke of the Holy Scripture, and is all one with Gods Booke. We told you before how much the Pa­pists magnified Peter Lumbard the father of the School­men, calling him the Master of the sentences, and pre­ferring him before hundreds of ours. The next School­man after him Alexander of Ales is called Doctor Ir­refragabilis Thomas Aquinas after him, Doctor Angelicus. John Scot the last, Doctor Subtilis. Yet a learned DoctorDe Prideaux Hinc Sementia­riorum, Quae­stionistarum, Quodlibetista­tum ingens tur­ba, qui pro solida Theologia spino­sas & rixosas disputationes in Christianorum scholas invexe­runt. of our owne saith of the Schoolmen, Scholastici vel hoc nomine non tanti sunt à nobis fa­ciendi, quia in Justificationis articulo vix quicquam tradiderunt solidi. The Papists themselves note twenty Articles, in which their great Master Lombard erred; so that that is ascribed to them, hic magister non tene­tur. But now Paul (the great Doctor of the Gentiles) of whom Chrysostome writes severall Homilies, is indeed an Angelicall, Subtill, Irrefragable Doctor. Austin desired three things:Revetendissimus Episcopus Vsserius De Christianarum Ecclesiarum successione & statu. c. 9. to have seen Christ in the flesh, Rome in its glory, and to have heard Paul preach. What he speakes is true as Gospell, and we can not apply to him what the Papists doe frequently to Peter Lumbard, hic magister non tenetur. We may exercise our judgement Solis Cano­nicis debetur fides, coeteris amnibus Judicium. Lutherus.upon the writings of men (there being few that write [Page] much and contradict not themselves) but we must be­lieve the Divinely inspired Writings.Lambert in his perambulation of Kent. Se▪ Speed in Wil­liam the Con­querour. p. 42. There is a Booke in the Law called Liber Judiciarius, or Doomesday-Booke, because (as Matthew Paris saith) it spared no man, but judged all men indifferently as the Lord in that great day will doe. The Bible is the true Liber judicia­rius, or Doomesday Booke. John 12, 48. The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. I shall now in a few words discover the usefulnesse of this threefold Treatise. Having been in these times of spoile unhappily plundered of my Bookes and Manuscripts, (which I esteemed as a precious treasure) recovering this twice with some others, I did resolve (for preventing any future dammages in that kind) to transcribe it faire for the Presse, which was the worke of a whole yeere. I know first the subject is very necessary for all Christians to search into, and I have perused all the best writers I could find, that I might handle it fully common-place wise, according to the excellency of the Theme. I have made use also of some Manuscrips of threeM. Pemble my learned Tutor, Master Wheattly my Reverend Pa­stor, M. Ball my worthy friend. worthy men, now with God, (whose memory I shall ever honour) for the compleating of the worke. I have gleaned a few obser­vations from some of the worthy Lecturers in Westmin­ster, from M. Ley of Budworth in his Lectures in the City, and from divers others of the Assembly, in their printed Sermons. This worke I conceive may be beneficiall for these purposes: Chiefly for setling and establishing of Christians in some maine principles of Divinity, viz. that there is a God, against the Atheists of these times; that the Scripture is the Word of God, against the Anti-Scripturists; that Christ is God, against all Arrians, Socinians, and other Heretickes [Page] ejusdem farinae, vel potius furfuris; that the so▪ [...] of man is immortall, against such who in these dai [...] deny the same. 2. For enabling a Christian to all d [...] ­ties, prayer, meditation, holy conference, catechizing his family. For example, suppose a Christian desire to instruct his family in the principles of Religion, and would make use of M. Bals Catechisme for that purpose (for I know not a better yet extant) he may by the helpe of this worke open the heads of Religion, from the beginning of that Booke to the Fall of man. I would there were the like out on the whole body of Divinity. But lest I trangresse the bounds of an Epistle, I commend the worke to Gods blessing, and desire thy benigne interpre­tation of my labours, still resting

Thy faithfull friend and hearty wel-wisher, EDWARD LEIGH

PROLEGOMENA.

HEBR. 6. 1.

THe Apostle chides the Hebrews in the former Chapter for their igno­rance and uncapablenesse of Divine mysteries from v. 11. to the end. He tels them they were dull of hea­ring, and that their ignorance was affected; they might for their time and means have been teachers, and yet now they must be taught; and (which is strange) the very principles of the word of God. Here in the beginning of this Chap­ter he earnestly exhorts them to encrease both in knowledge and obedience.

Leaving) The Apostle alludes to men running a race, they leave one place and goe on forward; we must leave the principles of Religion, that is, not sticke there, but passe on to a greater perfection. The Apostle hath reference to the Schooles of the Jewes where hee was trained up; there were two sorts of Schollers, 1. Punies or petties, 2. Profici­ents, Perfectists. Six principles are named, as so many heads and common places of the ancient Ca­techisme; not but that there were many other ne­ [...]ary principles; yet they might be reduced to [...]:

[...] Two maine duties, that is, 1. the doctrine [Page] of repentance from dead workes, that every man is dead in sinne by nature, and therefore had need to repent. 2 The doctrine of faith in God.

2 Two meanes. 1 The doctrine of Baptismes, by which in the plurall number he meanes both the Sacraments; and also the inward Baptisme of Christ, and that outward baptisme of John, that is to say, of the Minister, though someApostolus baptismorum meminit, qui [...] ad statos inter veteres baptis­mi dies alludit, Paschae nimi­rum & Pente­costes, ubi plu­res simul bapti­sari consueve­rant, vel quia de plurium baptismo simpliciter lo­quitur. Span­hemius. refer it to the set times of Baptisme. 2 The imposition or laying on of hands, that is by a trope or borrowed speech, the ministery of the Church upon the which hands were laid, not the Sacrament of Confirmation, as a Lapide expounds it.

3 Two benefits. Resurrection of the dead, that the same numericall body shall rise againe; and e­ternall judgement, so called metonymically, because in that judgement sentence shall be given concer­ning their eternall state either in weale or woe.

Not laying againe the foundation) Three things are required in a foundation. 1 That it be the first thing in the building. 2 That it beare up all the o­ther parts of the building 3 That it be firme and immoveable. Simply and absolutely in respect of all times, persons, and things, ChristDr Field of the Church, l. 5. c. 22. Esay 28. 16. 1 Cor. 3. 11. onely is the foundation upon which the spirituall building of the Church is raised. The first principles of heaven­ly doctrine are named here a foundation, because they are the first things which are knowne, before which nothing can be known, and because upon the knowledge of these things all other parts of heavenly knowledge doe depend. The Apostles are also the foundation of the Church,Quod est ab ipsis positum & praedicatum. Jun. ad Bellarm. cont. 3. l 3 c. 23. The Prophets [...] and Apostles are not fundamenta fundantia, but fundata, such foundations as themselves had a foundation, even the Lord Christ; the ground of a Christians faith is Thus saith the Lord, thus it is written. Ephes. 2. 20. [Page] Rev. 21. 14. in three respects. 1 Because they were the first which founded Churches, and converted unbelievers to the faith. 2 Because their doctrine which they received immediately from God by most undoubted revelation without mixture of errour or danger of being deceived, is the rule of faith to all after-commers. 3 Because they were Heads, Guides, and Pastors of the whole univer­sall Church.

The Proposition or Observation which ariseth from these words thus opened, may be this.

The Principles and Foundations of Christian Religi­on must be well laid.The Obser­vation. Or thus, Catechizing and instru­cting of the people in the principles of Religion is a ne­cessary duty to be used.

The Apostle illustrates this by a comparison, first from Schooles; secondly, from building, the foun­dation must be first laid.

The excellent definition of catechising which the Apostle here gives,Sermo qui [...]udes in Christo in­choat. yeelds us two good proofes of its necessity.

1 It is the doctrine of the beginning of Christ,Fundamenti vo­cabulum est me­taphoricum, ab aedificantibus sumtum, atque denotat illud to­tius structurae firmamentam in im [...] posi um, qu [...] sustentatur aedi­ficium quóque subd [...]cto corruit protinus, & in frusta dilabitur. by some rendred not unfitly for the sense which gives beginning in Christ.

2 It is a foundation which beares up all the buil­ding, (without this, preaching is to no purpose) which though it makes the least shew, yet it is of greatest use; it establisheth men, and keepes them firme from wavering.

3 This course is most agreeable, 1. To Art; all Arts proceed from principles. Physitians have their principles, Lawyers their maximes, Philosophers their chiefe sentences.Davenant. ad­hort. ad pac [...]m. Eccles. c. 2. 2 To nature, which first [Page] formes the vitall parts, then the more remote. 3. It is sutable to reason. Principles are, 1. easiest in themselves. 2. Facilitate other matters. 3. Are the most necessary doctrines of all the rest, they beare up all the rest. 4. Are of continuall and constant use; Prin [...]ipia sunt minima quantitate, maxima virtute.

4. Gods order and practise hath been still to lay principles; things might easily passe from one to another at first, they lived so long. Cains and Abels sacrificing is an evidence of catechising before the flood; there was no word written then, therefore it is like their fathers taught them. It was practised by Abraham, Gen. 18. 19. the fruit of which observe in his sonne, Gen 24. 63. and servant, Gen. 12. 26. God himselfe writes a Catechisme for the Jewes, descri­bing a short compendium of religion in the two au­thentique tables of the Law.1 Sam. 1. 25. Hannah delivered Sa­muel to Eli his instructor so soon as he was weaned. Jehoida taught the young King Jehoash; David and Bathsheba practised it, 2 Chron. 28. 8, 9. Psalm 34. 11. Prov. 4. 4. & 31. 1. and Salomon himselfe seeme to give that precept out of the experience of his owne most excellent education.Prov 2 [...] 6. See Prov. 6. 22. Prov. 31. 26. which is meant chiefly of in­structing her family. Teach a child the trade of his way, and when he is old he shall not depart from it; though himselfe scarce did so; and Eccles. 12. 23. he drawes all which he had said in his whole booke to two heads, Feare God, and keep his Commandements. Catechising was also practised by Christ and his A­postles, Luke 2. 46. Acts 22. 3. Heb. 6. 1, 2, 3. Christ at twelve yeeres old submitted himselfe to be cate­chised, Luke 1. 4. and allowed of Hosanna sung by children. He begins with regeneration to Nicode­mus, [Page] and he drew the whole Law into two heads,Matth. 3 8. & 4. 17. Marke 1. 15. Matth. 22. 37. John and Christ preacht Faith and Repentance, and the ApostlesActs 2. 5. 10. & 13. ch. and in their Epistles. after them. Theophi­lus was catechised Luke 1. 4. Apollos, Acts 18. 23. Timothy, 1 Tim. 3 15. 2 Tim. 2. 2. The Apostle Paul commends to Timothies custody a patterne of whol­some doctrine, which he cals [...], a word [...]orrowed from the ma­king of an im­pression by a stamp or seale. John 21. 15. Acts 20. 20. a form of doctrine, Rom. 6. 17. and the analogy of faith, Rom. 12. 6. This duty principally belongs to Ministers, their Office is set down under the name of catechising, Let him which is catechised make him that catechiseth partaker, Gal. 6. 6. Ministers must plant and beget as well as increase and build up, feed the Lambs as well as the Sheepe; they are compared to Nurses, wise Stewards, skil­full builders; it must be performed by houshol­ders also,Psalm 78. 5. 1 Tim. 1. 5. The practice of this duty is represented in the whole Booke, of the Proverbs. Ephes. 6. 4. God chargeth parents to per­forme this duty, Deut. 6. 6, 7. Rehearse them continu­ally, whet them upon thy children, often goe over the same thing as a knife doth the whetstone. They are bound to bring up their children in the nurture and information of the Lord; children were to be taught the meaning of the Passover, Exod. 12. 16. Ma­sters of Families also must instruct their servants which are ungrounded as children. Christ instructed his Apostles, he taught them how to pray, he being the Master of the family, and they his family, as appeareth, because he did eate the Passeover toge­ther with them; and the Law appoints that every family should celebrate that feast together. The reason why God specifieth not this point in the masters duty, is, because if it be performed by the father, it shall be needlesse, seeing it is done to the masters hand; but if the father neglect it, surely [Page] the master which succeeds in the fathers roome, and hath his authority, must see it done. For as a father in Israel was bound to see his owne sonne cir­cumcised, Gen. 17. 12, 13.so he was bound to see his servant cir­cumcised; and if to circumcise him, sure he must as well make him as his child to know what circum­cision meaned.Omnis Christi actio Christiani instructio. And what Christ did as a master of a family, that must every master of family doe, see­ing we must be followers of Christ every one in his place; therefore every one must instruct his ignorant servants in the truths of Religion.

The Jewes did use catechizing; Cyprian saith Optatus exercised it at Carthage, and Origen at Alex­andria, Clemens Alexandrinus had his paedagogus, La­ctantius and Calvin their Institutions, Athanasius his Synopsis, Austin his Euchiridion, his bookes de do­ctrina Christiana, and de catechizandis rudibus.

Catechizing is institutio viva voce, a kind of fami­liar conference.Prov. 26. 6. The Hebrew verbe Chanach signi­fieth to instruct or traine up even from childhood; and to initiate or dedicate, from which word holy Henoch Chanoc. Gen. 5. 18. had his name, importing nurture in the feare of God. [...] vox Graeca est, quam Latina Ecclesia prosua coepit usurpare. Martinius. Eusebius saith, one was set apart on pur­pose for this office in the Primitive Church, called the Catech st. Hinc Catechumini dicebantur qui Catechismum discebant, Catechistae qui Catechismum doc [...]bant. Dietericus. The Greeke word [...] signifieth to sound or resound as by an eccho, and is applied even by Heathen writers unto that kinde of teach­ing which is by word of mouth, sounding in the eare of him that is taught, and especially unto the teaching of the first rudiments of any science what­soever, It signifieth any kind of vocall instruction, Acts 21. 21, 24. viz. that whereby the principles of Christian doctrine are made known unto the hea­rers, [Page] as Luke 1. 4. instructed or catechized, Gal 6. 6. taught, or catechised. See Acts 18. 25. Rom. 2. 18. 1 Cor. 14. 19.

Catechizing is a plaine and easie instructing of the ignorant in the grounds of Religion,Catechizing what it is. Catechesis est elementaris in­stitutio Chri­stianae religio­nis viva docen­tis voce trad [...]ta, & à discentibus repetita. Al­tingius. or concerning the fundamentall principles, familiarly by questions and answers, and a spirituall applying the same for practice.

What ever the catechizing in the Primitive Church was in private, for the publique it seems not to have been Dialogue-wiseM. Pemble. by question and an­swer, but in a continued speech, with much plain­nesse and familiarnesse.

Catechizing differs from preaching; preaching is the dilating of one member of Religion into a just Treatise;M. Greenham. catechizing is a contracting of the whole into a summe; preaching is to all sorts, catechizing to the young and rude.

Catechizing is,It is to be per­formed either by the Mini­ster in pub­lique, or the Governours in private, or some able body in their place. 1. plaine; that none might excuse themselves; that the most illiterate might not say at the day of judgement, O Lord, thy waies were too hard for us. 2 That the manner of the teaching might be sutable to the hearers. 3 That no Gover­nours might pretend the difficulty of it. 2 Instru­cting, which implyeth that originall ignorance and blindnesse we were borne with. 3 It is such an in­structing which is by way of distilling things in a fa­miliar manner; our Saviour did not give the peo­ple whole Loaves, but distributed them by pieces. 4 Such an instructing as acquaints them with the meaning of things,Verba Scrip­turae non sunt verba legenda, sed vivenda, said Lu [...]er. and spiritually applyes the same for practice. It is not enough to say the Creed and Lords prayer, but to understand the sence and apply [Page] it to practice. 5 An instruction by way of question and answer, which is thereby made more plaine and familiar.

The exercise of catechizing hath been proved to be most ancient, and very necessary and usefull; and therefore it should be alwaies continued in the Church, 1 Because there will alwaies be found Babes which stand in need of Milke, not being able to beare strong meate. 2 Because as no building can stand without a foundation, and none can be expert in an Art except he learne the principles thereof: so none can have sound knowledge in Divinity, except he be trained up in the grounds thereof.

The best way to performe this exercise, is,

1 By short questions and answers, the Minister demanding the question, the people answering.

2 It must be done purely, [...] Cor. 2. 4.

3 Plainly, 2 Cor. 3. 2. Heb. 5. 11.

4 Soundly, Titus 2. 7.

5 Orderly.

6 Cheerfully and lovingly, 2 Tim. 2. 24. praising the forward, encouraging the willing, patiently bearing with all, admonishing such as are unruly. Amesius his Christianae eatechesios Sciagraphia is use­full this way, and Nowels catechisme in Latine; in English there are Bishop Vshers, Mr Baines, Master Cartwrights, Mr Balls Catechismes, and Mr Crookes Guide.

Here is a fault that both teachers and hearers must share betweene them;Consectaries of reproofe. Ministers doe not teach principles sufficiently, happy is that man which can say with Paul, I have kept backe nothing that was pro­fitable. [Page] 2 Those are to blame which will not be taught, children and servants which are stubborne and unwilling to be catechized; some say they are too old to learne; but are they too old to repent and be saved? some say they are past principles, they are not now to be grounded; but we may say with the Apostle, Whereas they ought to be teachers, they had need themselves to be taught. Such people rebell against their Minister or Master, whose duty it is to teach them, and God who com­mands it.

Let men be exhorted to practice this duty,2 Of Exhor­tation. Mi­nisters, Masters, Parents; Schoolmasters teach the A. B. C. and the Grammer, suffer little children to come unto me.

Consider, 1. thou broughtst thy children into the world blind and deformed. 2 Thou canst not else have comfort in thy children or servants; many are crost in their family for want of this, and many at the gallowes will cry out, if they had lived where they had been instructed, they had never died a dogges death. Greenham saith, thy children shall follow thee up and down in Hell, and cry against thee for not teaching them. He that will not provide for his family (saith Paul) is worse then an Infidell; and he that will not teach them is worse then a beast. The old NightingaleAr [...]stot. de historia anima­lium, l. 6. c. 6. teacheth the young to sing, and the old Eagle her young ones to fly. Chil­dren ill brought up were devoured by Beares, to teach parentsCaussins Holy Court eighth reason of his first book [...]., that since they have done lesse then Beares, who shape their whelpes by much licking and smoothing them (though Dr. Browne L 3. c. 6. of his Enquiries. deny this,) they therefore by beares were bereft of them. [Page] Prov. 22 6.It is good therefore to season our childrenNon minus placet Deo Ho­sanas pue [...]orum, quam Halleluiah virorum. The Holy Ghost hath composed some Psalms in Acrosticall verses according to the order of the Hebrew Alphabet (as 25, 34. 37, 119.) that parents might teach their children the first elements of Religion as well as learning. with wholsome truths betime; a vessell will long keepe the savour of that with which it is at first seasoned, and the devill will begin betime to sow his seed. Mr. Bolton upon his death-bead spake unto his chil­dren thus, I doe believe, saith he, there is never a one of you will dare to meet me at the Tribunall of Christ in an unregenerate condition.

It will be a great comfort to thee and benefit to them when they are instructed in the points of reli­gion; if thy children die, yet thou mayst have great hope of them, when thou hast acquainted them with the principall grounds of religion. The Papists in the preface to the catechisme of the Councell of Trent, confesse that all the ground we have got of them is by catechizing, and let us looke that we loose not our ground againe for want of it. Julian himselfe could not devise a readier meanes to banish Eusebius Eccles. hist. l. 10. c. 32.Christian Religion, then by pulling down the Schooles and places of educating children. Ege­sippus saith, that by vertue of catechizing there was never a Kingdome but received alteration in their heathenish religion within forty yeeres after Christs passion.

All ignorant persons though they be growne in yeeres must be willing to be instructed and catechi­sed. See M. Pembles Sermon of ignorance. Luke 1. 5.See Esay 27. 11. 2 Thess. 1. 8. Theophilus a No­ble man and of ripe yeeres was catechized, as the Greeke word shewes;Jerem. 10. 25. ignorance bringeth men to the very pit and gulph of destruction, Hos. 4. l. and v. 14. 1. Pet. 3. 15. Christians should be ready to give [Page] an answer to every man which doth aske them a reasonHeb. 5 13. One being examined, affirmed blind­ly that none had died or should die for him. Another, that the Sunne shining in the firmament was the Sonne of God that died for him. of the hope which is in them; the foun­dation is that which is first and surest laid, and hath an influence into all the building. The Scriptures are fundamentum quo, the fundamentall writings which declare the salvation of Chistians, John 5. 39. Christ fundamentum quod, the fundamentall meanes and cause which hath purchased and doth give it, John 4. 42. TheThe Papists make the Pope their personall foundation. person we must build on is Christ, 1 Cor. 3. 11. He is called the foundation of foundations, Esay 28. The doctrinall foundation is the written Word of God, which is not onely the object and matter of our faith, but the rule and reason of it. Hold Christ as your Rock, build on him, the Scrip­ture as your rule and the reason of your believing; this is generall, there are some particulars.

1 Some things are simply necessary;See D [...]. Field of the Church, l. 3. c. 4, and M. Rous his Catholique Charity, Chapters 10, & 11. It were a no­table worke for one to determine this, how much knowledge were required of all, 2. not abso­lutely necessary. Some make the foundation too narrow, some againe too wide; some say that if a man meane well and goe on according to the light he hath,Some dislike the beginning of the Ath [...] ­nasian Creed, Whosoever will be saved, &c. Fundamentalem articulum habendum sentio, qui ex voluntate De [...] revelantis ad salutem & aeter­nam beatitudinem consequendam est adeò scitu & creditu necessarius ut ex illius ignoratione, ac multo magis opp [...]gnatione, aet [...]rnae vitae amittendoe man [...]festum periculum incurratur. Davenant. de pace Ecclesiastica. About fundamentall points there may sometimes arise such disputes as are no way fundamentall. For instance, that God is one in Essence, and three in Persons, distinguished one from another; that the Sonne is begotten of the Father, that the ho [...]y Ghost is the Spirit of both Father and Sonne; that these three persons are coeternall and coequall, all these are recko­ned in the number of Fundamentals: but those School-nieities touching the manner of the Sonnes generation and the procession of the holy Ghost, are not likewise fundamentall and of equall necessity with the former. [...], Davenants opinion of the Fundamentall points of R [...] ­ligion. though he know not Christ, he shall be saved: others say, that all are bound to know di­stinctly the Articles of the Creed.

Fundamentall truths are all such points of do­ctrine [Page] which are so plainly delivered in Scripture,Certa semper sunt in pa [...]cis, saith Tertul­lian. Certaine and undoubted truths are not many, and they are such as may be delivered in a few words. that whosoever doth not know or follow them shall be damned, but he that doth know and follow these (though erring in other things) shall be saved.

These points (said a reverend Divine now with God) are twelve; three concerning God, three con­cerning man, three concerning the Redeemer, three concerning the meanes of attaining good by this Redeemer.

Concerning God.

1 There is one God which is an Infinite, Perfect, and Spirituall essence.

2 This one God is distinguished into three per­sons or manners of subsistence after an incompre­hensible way, which we believe but cannot perfectly understand. The Father begetting, the Sonne be­gotten, and the holy Ghost proceeding.

3 This one God, the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, is the maker, preserver, and governour of all things, by his wisdome, power, justice, provi­dence.

Concerning man.

1 That he was made by God of a visible body, and an immortall and spirituall soule, both so per­fect and good in their kinds [...], that he was perfectly able to have attained eternall life for himselfe, which was provided as a reward of his obedience.

2 That being thus made he yeelded to the temp­tations of the Devill and did voluntarily sinne a­gainst God in eating of the Tree forbidden, and so became a child of wrath and heire of cursing, an enemy to God, and slave to the devill, utterly un­able [Page] to escape eternall death, which was provided as a recompence of his disobedience.

3 That he doth propagate this his sinfulnesse and misery to all his posterity.

Concerning Christ.

1 That he is perfect God, and perfect man, the second Person in the Trinity, who tooke the nature of man from the Virgin Mary, and united it to him­selfe in one personall subsistence, by an incompre­hensible union.

2 That in mans nature he did die and suffer in his life and death, sufficient to satisfie Gods justice, which man had offended, and to deserve for man­kind remission of sinnes, and life everlasting; and that in the same nature he rose againe from the dead, and shall also raise up all men to receive judgement from him at the last day, according to their deeds.

3 That he is the onely sufficient and perfect Re­deemer, and no other merit must be added unto this, either in whole or part.

Lastly, concerning the meanes of applying the Redeemer, they are three.

1 That all men shall not be saved by Christ, but onely those that are brought to such a sight and fee­ling of their owne sinfulnesse and misery, that with sorrow of heart they doe bewaile their sinnes, and renouncing all merits of their owne, or any crea­ture, cast themselves upon the mercy of God, and the onely merits of Jesus Christ, which to doe is to repent and believe, and in this hope live holily all the remainder of their life.

2 That no man is able thus to see his sinnes by [Page] his owne power, renounce himselfe, and rest upon Christ, but God must worke it in whom he pleaseth by the cooperation of his Spirit regenerating and renewing them.

3 That for the working of this faith and repen­tance and direction of them in a holy life, he hath left in writing by the Prophets and Apostles infalli­bly guided to all truth by his Spirit, all things ne­cessary to be done or believed to salvation, and hath continued these writings to his people in all ages.

Observe those places Acts 15. 11. 1 Tim. 1. 15. Let a man hold this, that there was nothing but death in the world till Christ came, and that he is come to save horrible sinners, John 17. 3. Secondly, there is a practicall place,As there are in points of faith, funda­mentall Arti­cles, so there are in points of practice fun­damentall duties. M. Raynolds on 14 of Hos. 2, 3. Titus 3. 8. Let us 1. See our selves dead without Christ, and wholy trust in him. 2. Let us be exemplary in our lives and con­versations. There are other Fundamentals which are onely comparatively necessary, that is expected from one man which is not expected from another; and more from those that live in the Church. Have these six principles of the Apostle not onely in your heads, but hearts. 1. That a man is dead in him­selfe. 2. That his remedy lies out of himselfe. 3. Know the doctrine of the Sacraments. 4. The Word of God. 5. Have some apprehension of the life to come. 1. That there is a passage from death to life. 2. That there is a fixed and irrevokable estate after this life. Hold the doctrine of faith so, that Christ may live in you, and you be delivered up into that forme of doctrine, lay hold on life eternall.

[Page] Secondly, there are some particular principles. There is a naturall light and supernaturall. The light of nature teacheth some principles: That, you must doe as you would be done by, that no man hates his owne flesh, that one must provide for his family, that there is a God, and one God, that he is to be honou­red and reverenced above all.

2. Supernaturall, Let all our actions be done, 1. in love, 2. in humility, 3. in faith, 4. in God; this the Gospell teacheth.

Shew your selves Christians in power,Corrolaries. go beyond the Heathen in practising the good rules of nature. 1. Be carefull to make a wise choice of principles; one false principle admitted, will let in many errors; and erroneous principles will lead men into errone­ous practises.

2. Labour to act your principles, if you captivate the light, God wil put it out.

3. Be sure you worke according to your princi­ples; we pitty another in an errour when he follows his principles.

Here is an apology for those teachers which tread in Pauls steps, are carefull to lay the foundation well. It was the observation of our most judicious King JAMES, That the cause why so many fell to Po­pery, and other errours, was their ungroundednesse in points of Catechisme.

How many wanton opinions are broached in these daies? I wish I might not justly call them FundamentallHaeresis est pertinax defen­sis e [...]rorl [...] in fide, opinionem aliquam pugnan­tem cum funda­mento ejus ponen­tis. Voet. There are damnable heresies, 2 Pet. 2, 1. and errors that are capitall, not holding the head, Col▪ 2. [...]. errours. Some deny the Scriptures, some the Divinity of Christ, some the immortality of the soule.

[Page] Errours are eitherVide Altingii loc. commun. parte 2. 262. Non omnis error est haeresis sed illa tantum quae est contra fun­damentum aut in fundamento fidei, & perti­naciter defendi­tur. Voetius. [...]erem. 9. 5. contra against the founda­tion, which subvert the Foundation, as that of the Papists who deny the al-sufficiency of Christs once suffering.

2. Circa about the foundation, which pervert the Foundation, as the Lutherans opinion of the ubi­quity of Christs body.

3. Citra meerly without, these divert the founda­tion, as in the controversies of Church-government, whether it be Sociall or Solitary; this strikes not at the Foundation. Laurentius saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 3. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. speakes not of Hereticall Tea­chers, and those which erre in fundamentals, but of those which erre in lighter matters, because he saith of both, that they build upon one and the same Foundation, Christ.

We should contend for a known Fundamentall necessary truth, Jude 3. the common faith; not every opinion entertained on probable grounds.

It is a great question in Divinity

An Magistratui Christiano liceat capitales poenas de haereticis sumere.

Whether Heretickes are to be punished by the Christian Magistrate with death?

The Papists say,Bellarm. Tomo 2. l. 3. c. 21. Thomas Aquinas p [...]rt. 2. quaest. [...]decima, Ar­ticulo tertic. Haeretici qua Haeretici combu­rendi, That Hereticks for Heresie sake, though they doe not trouble the State, ought to be put to death.

Luther doth not approve of the capitall punish­ment of Heretickes, especially for the pernicious sequell of it among the Papists against the Prote­stants. He thinkes it better that they be banished. [Page] The present Lutherans hold the same almost con­cerning that question.Vide Gerhardi loc-commun de magistratu. Meisner doth distinguish be­tween haereticus simplex, and haereticus seditiosus ac blasphemus, these last he saith may be punished with capitall punishments.

The Socinians (being themselves the worst of Hereticks) would have no outward forcible restrai­ning of any errour, though never so grosse and per­nicious.

For the Protestants, heare what Zanchy saith, Omnes fere ex nostratibus hujus sunt senten [...]iae, quod ha [...]retici sint gladi puniendi. Zanchius tom [...] secund [...] Miscell­in Cap. de Ma­gistratu. Beza hath written a peculiar Tract de Haereticis a ma [...]istratu puniendis. Calvin also hath written aureum librum (as Beza cals it) of this very argument.A [...]tius hath written the H [...]story of Va­lmitius Gentilis put to death at Berne.

We doe deservedly condemne the cruelty of Turkes and Papists, which goe about by force alone to establish their superstitions. The Church of Rome and the Pope will judge what Heresie is,There was a Statute against Lollards in England, and Hugonots in France. and who is an Hereticke, and they appropriate to themselves the name of Catholiques, and all such as dissent from them must presently be pronounced here­tickes.

Because Heresie is not easily defined (as Austin saith▪ Haeretitus ego [...]tion, & tu mihi. and because faith should be perswaded not compelledSee the Statute 10. ot Q Eliz. c. t. We conceive that all faire means should be fir [...]t used to convince men of their errours and discover the danger of them; and that be termed Heresie which indeed is so; Therefore we will pre­mise some things concerning the nature and danger of Heresie, before we speake partcularly of the pu­nishment of heretickes.

[Page] Chillingworth thus defines Heresie:Propriè Hereti­ci vocantur qui ea pertinaciter: rejiciunt, quae in Satris, Scrip­turu docentur. Dav. de judice controver. It is (saith he) an obstinate defence of any errour against any ne­cessary▪ Article of the Christian faith. Two things must concurre (say some) to constitute an Hereticke. 1. Error in fide, 1 Tim. 1. 19. 2 Pertinacia, Titus 3. 10. Errare possum, Haereticus esse nolo. Haeresis est error pugnans cum fundamento religionis Christianae, isque pertinax. Al [...]ingius Tomo se­cundo Problem Theol. par [...]e 2. Prob. 14.

Dr Field Lib. 3. of the Church, c. 3. See Dr Pride­aux his sermon on [...] Co [...]. 11. 19. thus describes the nature of Heresie. Heresie is not every errour, but errour in matter of Faith; nor every errour in matter of Faith; (for neither Jewes nor Pagans are said to be Hereticks, though they erre most damnably in those things which every one that will be saved must believe; and with all the malice, fury and rage that can be imagined, impugne the Christian faith and verity) but it is the errour of such as by some kind of pro­fession have been Christians; so that onely such as by profession being Christians, depart from the truth of Christian Religion, are named Heretickes.

Secondly, for the danger of Heresie. Heresie is a fruit of the flesh,Errours are practicall or doctrinall onely, funda­mentall or circa-funda­mentall, or neither of the two. Gal. 5. 20 An Hereticke after the first and second admonition reject, Titus 3. 10. Heresie or false doctrine is in Scripture compared to* Leaven, and to a Gangrene, for the speading and infectious nature of it. The Heresie of Arrius See M. Clarkes Sermons on Matth. 8. 13. and M. Cranfords Haereseomachia on 2 Tim. 2. 17. was more dan­gerous to the Church then the Sword of all the per­secuting Emperours. We need not to aske whether he joyne obstinacy to his errour (saithb Dr Field) [Page] which erreth in those things which every one is bound particularly to believe, because such things doe essentially and directly concerne the matter of of our salvation, and he is without any further en­quiry to be pronounced an Hereticke, and the very errour it selfe is damnable; as if a man (saith he) shall deny Christ to be the Sonne of God, coessentiall, coequall, and coeternall with his Father; or that we have remission of sinnes by the effusion of his blood.

They therefore who first hold pestilent Heresies; and secondly,Cum agitaretur de ista quaestione (An morte mul­ctandi & co­gendi haeretici) in Synodo qua­dam Londini, & perrogarentur sin­gulorū sententiae, surrexit quidam senex Theologus, atque hoc pla­num esse asserit ex ipso Apostolo. Haereticum hominem post unam aut alteram admonitionem devita. De vita inquit, ergo manifestum est haereticos istos homines post unam aut alteram admonitionem è vita tol­lendos, Eras. Annotat. in Tit. 3. who when before they professed the Christian Religion, and held the truth, have yet made a defection from the same, to such Heresies; and thirdly, who labour to infect others; and fourth­ly, being convicted doe yet obstinately persevere in them, and in the manner before mentioned; such are and ought (say some worthy Protestants) to be punished by the Christian Magistrate with death.

They reason thus from the Office of the Magi­strate. Every Magistrate may and ought to punish offenders; and the more pernicious the offen­ders are, the more hainous ought the punishment to be.

That the Magistrate is both custos ac vindex utriusque tabulae, these two Scriptures doe plainly evince, For he is the Minister of God to thee for good: but if thou doe what is evill, be afraid, for he beareth not [Page] the sword in vain. for he is the Minister of God, a reven­ger, to execute wrath upon him that doth evil Rom. 13. 4. and 1 Tim. 2. 2. For Kings and all that are in Authori­ty, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all god­linesse and honesty. and are urged by Calvin, Beza, and divers others, to this very purpose. For if (saith Beza) the Magistrate have not power over Here­tickes, one of these two things must necessarily fol­low, either that Heretickes doe not doe ill; or, that what Paul speakes in generall must be restrained to a certaine kind of evill deeds,Rom. 13. 4. viz. to corporall sinnes.

From the 1 Tim. 2. 2. both Melancthon and Beza collect, that the Magistrate is constituted by God, not onely a preserver of the second Table, but also and especially of pure Religion and the externall Discipline of it, and so a punisher also of the offen­ces Magistrates in the Scrip­ture (in th [...] Hebrew) are called Masters of restraint. Qui non vetat peecare cum po­test jubet. Seneca.against it.

For the inforceing of this Argument from these two Scriptures, these reasons may be added:

1 The sinnes against the first Table (Caeter is pa­ribus) are greater then those against the second Table, and the Magistrate is more to respect the glory of God then the peace of the Common-wealth.

Heresies and corruptions in judgement are held by a Reverend DivineMr. Hilder­sham on Psalm [...]1. to be worse then corrup­tions in manners; his reason is taken out of Levit. 13. 44. one that was leprous in his head was utterly uncleane.

2. Errours and Heresies are called in Scripture Evill deeds, 2. Epist John 10, 11. and Heretickes Evill d [...]ers, Phil. 3. 2.

[Page] Divines generally hold,As all blasphe­mous Here­ticks, Levit. 24. 16. so seducing H [...]reticks are to be put to de [...]th. that such who erre blasphemously are to be put to death, such as Arrius and Servetus in France.

One saith the Divell will thinke he hath made a good bargaine, if he can get an universall liberty for removall of the Prelacy.The whole 13 Chapter of Deutr [...]nomy is spent about the seducing of false Pro­phets.

That which Jerome wrote to Augustine, Quod sig­num majoris gloriae est, omnes Haeretici te detestantur, may be applyed to those of our times, who have been Champions for the truth, such evill doers will maligne them;Are not Moses morall Lawes of perpetuall equity, and therefore to be observed in all ages? Is blasphemy more tolerable in the new Testamen [...]? Mr. Cotton on 16 of Rev. third Viall. We are not obliged (saith Beza) to the Judiciall Laws, as they were given by Moses to one people, yet so far we are bound to observe them, as they comprehend that generall equity which ought to prevaile every where. but if they mannage well so good a cause, it will beare them out.

THE ERRATA.

REader as men have their errors, so books have their errata. Though my publick occasions might be an apologie for me, yet I never bestowed more paines in correcting any booke then this; and after my correcting of the severall sheets, many faults have still passed▪ especially in the third Booke.

The litterall faults (where a letter is mistaken) the false inter­punctions, nor the joyning together in the margent things of a different nature, nor the mistaking of the figures in the first and third Booke, nor the misplacing of Scriptures, I shall not mention. Others that doe wrong the sence are chiefly these.

In the Text, Lib. 1. pag. 33. line 25. after 17. leave out Acts, p. 59. l. 30. vixit, p. 63. l. 21. Glasseus, p. 70. l. 6. never doubted of their being, p. 115. l. 2. sanctissimam, p. 117. l. 30. Gretzerus. 182, 183. wants the figure 4, 5.

Lib. 2. p. 21. l. ult. doth know, live and will, p. 30. l. 10. con­ceiving. p. 59. l. 20. 1 Themselves. 2 Stockes and stones, p. 96. l. 5. suis should be quis, p. 129. l. 5. same should be sonne.

Lib. 3. p. 10. l. 25, 26. not pro singulis generum, but pro generi­bus singulorum, p. 79. l. 20. [...], p▪ 80. l. 16. Deut. 32. 11. should be l. 11. after them, p. 85. l. 9. [...] Maleac, p. 119. l. 22. be­cause is wanting,▪ p. 121. however, should be Homer, p. 124. l. 18. soules.

In the Margent.

Lib. 1. p. 27. m. end, Tomo 1. p. 29. m. eos. 33. m. after ubi, put in Pontificis, and make Pontificis after Pontificii, 35. m. See M. Torshels, 49 end 4, Sepher Ketubim. 55 audiendam 56 exponen [...] 60 futura 63 later end enim. p. 101. m. put out exercit. l. 1. ib. m. end, m. 183. perpetua 164. m. put out in absterrere.

Lib. 2. p. 10. m. salis, 12 raise up, 14 verbum, Psal. 76. 8 8 82. ult. Z [...]p [...]erus.

Lib. 3. 51, m. Judaea, 73. m. non tam ad magnitudinem, 79 m. [...] 103. m. use the fourth should be fourthly, 120. m. Evangelici contra Pontificios.

In the Prolegomena it should be Valentinus Gentilis peccare.

THE FIRST BOOKE. Of the Scriptures.

CHAP. I.
Of Divinity in generall.

IN The Preface or introduction to divinity, six things are to be considered. 1. That there is Divinity. 2. What Divinity is. 3. How it is to be taught. 4. How it may be learnt. 5. Its opposites. 6. The excellency of Divine knowledge.

1. That there is Divinity, 1. That there is Divinity. that is, a revelation of Gods will made to men, is proved by these arguments.

1. From the naturall light of conscience,Rom. 1. 18 [...]19, 20. & 2▪ 14, 15. in which (we be­ing unwilling) many footsteps of Heavenly knowledge and the divine will are imprinted.

2. From the supernaturall light of grace; for we know that all Divine truths are fully revealed in Scripture.

[Page 2] 3. From the nature of God himselfe, who being the chiefest good, and therefore mostOmne bonum est sui diffusivū, ergo maximè bo­num est maxim [...] sui diffusivum. Vt se habet si­mile ad sim [...]le, ita se habet ma­gis ad magis. Locus topicus. diffusive of himselfe, must needs communicate the knowledge of himselfe to reasonable crea­tures for their salvation, Psal. 119. 68.

4. From the end of creation; for God hath therefore made reasonable creatures, that he might be acknowledged and celebrated by them both in this life, and that which is to come.

5. From common experience; for it was alwai [...]s acknow­ledged among all Nations, that there was some revelation of Gods will, which as their Divinity, was esteemed holy and venerable, whence arose their Oracles and Sacri [...]ces.

2. What Divinity is.2. What Divi­nity is.

The ambiguity of the Word is to be distinguished.

Theology or Divinity is twofold,Theology, if thou looke af­ter the etymo­logy of the word, is a speech of God: a [...]d he is com­monly called a Theologer or Divine who knoweth or professeth the knowledge of Divine things. Peter du Moulin. either first, Archetypall, or Divinity in God, of God himsel [...]e, by which God by one individuall and immutable act knowes himselfe in himselfe, and all other things out of himselfe, by himselfe. Or second, Ectypall, and communicated, expressed in us by divine reve­lation after the patterne and Idea which is i [...] God, and this is called Theologia de Deo, Divinity concerning God, which is, after to be defined. It is a question with the Schoolmen, whe­ther D [...]vinity be Theoreticall or Practicall, Vtraque sententia suos habet autores. But it seemes (saith Wendeline) rather to be practicall, 1. Because the Scripture, which is the fountaine of true Divinity, exhorts rather to practice then speculation. 1 Tim. 1. 5. 1 Cor. 8. 3. & 13. 2. JAmes 1. 22, 25. Rev. 22. 24. hence John so often exhorts to love in his first Epistle. 2. Be­cause the end of Divinity, to which we are directed by pra­cticall precepts, is the glorifying of God, and the eternall salvation of our soules and bodies, or blessed life, which are principally practicall. Wen [...]line meanes (I conceive) that the blessed life in Heaven is spent practically, which yet seems to be otherwise. Peter du Moulin in his Oration in the praise of Divinity, thus determines the matter: That part of Theology which treateth of God and his Nature, of his Simplicity, E­ternity, Infinitenesse, is altogether contemplative, for these [Page 3] things fall not within compasse of action; that part of it which handleth of our manners, and the well ordering of our lives, is meerely practique; for it is wholly referred unto action. Theology is more contemplative then practique, se [...]ing contemplation is the scope of action, for by good works we aspire unto the beatificall vision of God.

Theology amongst the Heathens did anciently signifie the doctrine touching the false worship of their Gods;L [...]tanius de ira Dei. but since it is applied as the word importeth, to signifie the doctrine revealing the true and perfect way which leadeth unto blessed­nesse.2. What Divi­nity is. It may briefly be defined, the knowledge of the truth which is according to godlinesse,Titus 1. 1. teaching how we ought to know and obey God,1 Tim. 6. 3. that we may attaine life everlasting and glorifie Gods Name:Col. 1. 5. or thus, Divinity is a doctrine revealed by God in his word, 2 Tim. 2. 18. which teacheth man how to know and worship God, Theologia est doctrina de deo ac rebus divinis. so that he may live well here and happily hereafter.

Divinity is the true wisdome of divine things, divinely revea­led to us to live well and blessedly, Divinity is the knowledge of God. or for our eternall salvation. It is disputed whether Theology be Sapience or Science. The genus of it is sapience, Theologia est scientia v [...]l sa­pienti [...] rerum divi­narum divi­nitus r [...]velata ad Dei gloriam & rationalium Creaturarum sa­lutem. Walaeus in loc Com­mun. or wisdome, which agreeth first with Scripture, 1 Cor. 2. 6, 7. Col. 1. 19. & 2. 3. Prov. 2. 3. Secondly, with reason; for 1. Wisdome is conversant about the highest things and most remote from sences, so Divinity is conversant about the sublimest mysteries of all. 2. Wisdome hath a most certaine knowledge, founded on most certaine principles; there can be no knowledge more certaine then that of faith, which is proper to Divinity.

The difference lurketh in the subject; wisdome or prudence is either morall or religious;De genere The­ologiae est quae­stio: quod idem ab omnibus non assignatur. all wisdome, whether morall and ethicall, politicall, or oeconomicall, is excluded in the defi­nition; and this wisdome is restrained to divine things, or all those offices of piety in which we are obliged by God to our neighbour.

The third thing in the definition is the manner of knowing,Nam illis arri­det scientia, aliis sapientia, aliis prudentia. Litem hanc dirimere nostri non est instituti: etsi verè scientem, verè [...], vere prudentem cum judicamus, qu [...] verus & sincerus est Theologus. Wende­li [...]s Christ. Theol. [...]. 1. c. 1. [Page 4] which in divinity is singular and different from all other arts viz. by Divine revelation.

The fourth and last thing in the definition is the end of Divinity, which is, 1. chiefest, the glory of God, 2. next, a good and blessed life, or eternall salvation, begun in this life by the communion of grace and holinesse, but perfected in the life to come by the fruition of glory. This end hath divers names in Scripture, it is called the knowledge of God, John 17. 3. partaking of the Divine nature▪ 2 Pet. 1. 4. Likenesse to God, 1 John 3. 2. Eternall salvation, the vision and fruition of God, as the chiefest good.

The next end of Divinity in respect of man is eternal life or salvation, of which there are two degrees, 1. more imperfect & begun in this life, which is called consolation, the chiefest joy and peace of conscience arising, 1. from a confidence of the pardon of sinnes and the punishments due to sinnes. 2. From the beginning of our sanctification and conformity with God, with a hope and taste of future perfection in both. 2. More perfect and consummate after this life, arising from a full fruition of God, when the soule and body shall be perfectly united with God.

3. How Divinity is to be taught.3. How Divi­nity is to be taught.

In the generall it is to be handled methodically. There is a great necessity of methode in Divinity, that being usefull both to enlighten the understanding with the clearnesse of truth, and to confirme the memory, that it may more faith­fully retaine things; therefore in Divinity there will be a speciall need of art and orderly disposall of precepts, because the mind is nowhere more ob [...]use in conceiving, nor the memory more weake in retaining. There is a different way of handling Divinity, according to the severall kinds of it. Di­vinity is threefold.

1. Succinct and briefe, when Divine truth is summarily explained and confirmed by reasons, and this Divinity is called Catecheticall, Systematicall.

2. Prolix and large, when Theologicall matters are hand­led particularly and fully by definitions, divisions, arguments [Page 5] and answers; this is called handling of Common places, Scholasticall and controversall Divinity.

3. Textuall; 1 Discenda est Theolegia impri­mis tex [...]u alu 2. Systematica seu d [...]gmatica, 3 e­len [...]tica & problematica Ve [...]tiu [...], Biblioth Theol. l. 1. c. 6. which consists in a diligent meditation of the holy Scriptures, the right understanding of which is the end of other instructions. This againe is twofold, either more Succinct and applied to the understanding of the learned, as commentaries of Divinity, or more diffuse and popular, ap­plied to the capacity and affections of the vulgar, as Preach­ing, which is called Patheticall Divinity, and is especially usefull to correct the manners of men and stir up their af­fections.

4. How Divinity is to be learned.How Divi­nity is to bee learned.

There is neede of a fowrefold minde to the study of it.

1. Of a godly and heavenly minde,Job 28. 1. 2. most ardent Prayers in our learning being frequently powred out to God,Mat. 7. 7. the fountaine of light and wisdome,John 20. 21. that dispelling the darknesse of ignorance and error he would deigne to illuminate our minds with the cleare knowledge of himselfe; we can not acquire Divine wisdome (as we doe the knowledge of other arts) by our owne labour and industry; it is a praise to learne humane arts of our selves, here we must be taught of God.

2. Of a sober minde that we may not be too curious in searching out the profound mys [...]eries of Religion, as about theHoc scrutari temeritas, cre­dere pietas, nosse vita, Beru. Deut. 29. 29. Rom. 12. 3. & 6, 7. 2 Tim. 2. 23 Mat. 11. 25. Trinity, predestination▪ we must be wise to sobriety, and not busie our selves about perplexed and unprofitable questi­ons, being content to know such things which are revealed to us for our salvation.

3. Of a s [...]udious and diligent minde; other arts are not wont to be gotten without labour; this being the Queene of arts▪ requires therefore much paines both for its2 Prov. 2. & 8. 4, 5. & 8. 17. 33. difficulty and excellency.

4 Of an honest and good minde, Luke 8 40. We must learne, 1. with a deniall of our wit and carnall reason, not measuring the unsearchable wisdome of God by our shallow capacities; 2 with deniall of our wicked affections, 1 Pet. 1. 2, 3. 3 with a firme purpose of obedience Joh. 7. 17. Psal. 50. 23. Prov. 28. 28.

[Page 6] 5. The things contrary to Diviniy, 5. The oppo­sites of Divini­ty. are

1. Heathenisme, being altogether ignorant of and refusing the true and saving knowledge of God.

2. Epicur [...]isme, scoffing at Divinity.

3. Heresie, depraving and corrupting Divinity.

6. The excellency of Divine knowledge or the study of Di­vinity appeareth in these particulars:6 The Ex­cellency of di­vinity.

1. In the subject matter of it, which is Divine, either in its own nature, as God and Christ,Paul cals it the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, Phil 3. 8. Ps. 40. 8. Christ is the princi­pall subject of the whole Bible, being the end of the Law, and the substance of the Gospel, M. Perkins. Quicquid est in suo genere singu­lare et eximium, id Divinum. Ps. 70, 7. 1 Joh. 5. 46. or in relation to him, as the Scripture, Sacraments. It is called the wis­dome of God Prov. 2. 10. & 3. 13. 1 Cor. 2. 6, 7. and that wisdome which is from above. Jam. 3. 17. If to know the nature of an Herbe, or the Sun and Stars be excellent, how much more to know the nature of God? Aristotle held it a great matter to know but a little concerning the first mover and Intelligen­ces. Paul desired to know nothing but Christ and him cruci­fied, 1 Cor. 2. 2.Agreeable to which is the French prove [...] Ministre nè doit scavoir que sa▪ Bible, a Mini­ster must know nothing but his Bible. That is, he professed no other knowledge.

Si Christum discis, satis est si caetera nescis;
Si Christum nescis, nihil est si caetera discis.

The Metaphysicks handle not things properly, divinely revealed, but that which the Philosophers by the light of na­ture judged to be Divine.

2. In the end; the principall and maine end of Divinity is the glory of God, that is, the celebration or setting forth of Gods infinite excellency; the secondary end is mans blessed­nesse, John 17. 3.

3. In the certainty of it; Gods Word is said to be sure, and like Gold seven times refined,Ps. 12. [...] there is no drosse of falsehood in it. The Academicks thought every thing so uncertaine that they doubted of all things.

4. In the cause of it; these truths are such as cannot be known, but by Gods revealing them to us; all Scripture was given by Divine inspiration; flesh and blood hath not revea­led this to thee;Mahomet would have had others be­lieve, that he learned the Doctrine of his Alcaron from the holy ghost, because he cau­sed a pigeon to come to his Eare. a humane light is enough to know other things.

5. In the holines of it, Psal. 19. 5. by them thy servant is forewarned, 1 Tim. 3. 15. the Word of God is able to make us [Page 7] wise to salvation and to furnish to every good worke. Christ makes this a cause of the errour and wickednesse in mans life, that they doe not reade and understand the Scrip­tures.

6. In the delight and sweetnesse of it. Job 23. chap. 12 verse, preferred the Word of God before his foode; David before thousands of Gold and Silver,Origen saith of the Devills, there is no greater tormēt to them, then to see men ad­dicted to the Scriptures. [...]um. [...]om. 27. in hoc eorum omnis sta [...]a est, in▪ hoc uruntur in­cendio. before the honey and the ho­ney combe, Psal. 19. 10. & 119. 103. and when he ceaseth to com­pare, he beginneth to admire; wonderfull are thy Testimonies. Archimedes tooke great delight in the Mathematicks, Austin refused to take delight in Tullies Hortensius, because the name of Jesus Christ was not there. Nomen Jesu non erat ibi.

7. In that the Devill and Hereticks oppose it; the Papists would not have the Bible translated, nor Divine service per­formed in the vulgar Tongue.

TWo things are to be considered in Divinity:

1. The rule of it, the Scripture or word of God.

2. The matter or parts of it concerning God and man.

Principium essendi in Divinity is God the first essence; prin­cipium cognoscendi the Scripture, by which we know God and all things concerning him. I shall handle both these princi­ples, but begin with the Scripture, as many Systematicall Writers do.

Of the Scripture.

It is necessary that the true Religion have a rule,Of the Scrip­ture. whereby it may be squared, else there could be no certainty in it, but there would be as many Religions as men. It appeares by the light of nature, the Heathen had known rules for their Rites, Ceremonies and services; the Turkes have their Alco­ran, the Jewes their Talmud, the Papists their Decrees, nei­ther can any thing be a duty which hath not a rule.

God revealed himselfe divers wayes to the Fathers, Heb. 1. The manner of revealing Gods will is threefold, according to our three instruments of conceiving, viz. Understanding, Phantasie, and senses; to the understanding God revealed his [Page 8] will by ingraving it in the heart with his owne finger, Jer. 31. 33. by Divine inspiration, 2 Pet. 1. 21. 2 Chron. 15. 1. Heb. 8. 11. I [...]hn 14. 26. and by intell [...]ctuall visions, Num. 12. 6. to the phantasie God revealed his will by imaginary visions to Prophets awake, and by dreames to Prophets asleepe, Gen. 40. 8. & 41. 8, 9. Acts 16. 10 & 10. 3. Num. 14. 4. to the senses God revealed his will, and that either by vision to the eye, or live­ly voyce to the Eare Gen. 3 9. & 4. 6. & 15. 4, 5. Exod. 20. 1, 2. & 3. 1, 2, 3 & 33. 17. And Lastly, by writing▪ This Revelation was, sometimes immediate by God himselfe after an unspeak­able manner, or by meanes, viz. Angels, Vrim & Thummim Prophets, Christ himselfe and his Apostles.

The Scrip­ture is called the word of God, Eph. 6 [...] Pet. 1. 15. The counsell of God, Acts 2 [...] ▪ 27. The Oracles of God R [...]m. 3. 2. The Law of G [...]d. Psal. 1. 2. The minde of God, Prov. 1. 23. The written word forthematter contained in it is called the word It is called word, because by it Gods wil is manifested and made known, even as a man maketh known his minde and wil by his words▪ It is also said to be the word of God, in regard 1. of the Author, which is God himselfe 2 Tim. 3. 16. 2. Of the matter, which is Gods will, Eph. [...] 93. Of the end wh [...] is Gods glory, Eph. 3. 10. 4. Of the efficacy, which is Gods Power, Rom. 1. 6. of God, Rom 9. 6. for the manner of Record the (So it is called the Bible, or Booke by an excellency, tis the onely Book As Scripture, John 10. 35. 2 Tim. 3. 16. 1 Pet. 2. 6. or Scrip­tures, Matthew 22. 29. John 5. 39. Romans 15. 4. 2. Pet. 3. 16. By an Antonomasie or an excellency of phrase,August. de civit. dei. l. 15. c. 23.) as the most worthy writings that ever saw the light; Sometimes with an Epithite, the holy Scriptures, Rom. 1. 2. 2 Tim. 3. 15. the S [...]riptures of the Prophets, Rom. 16. 26

Some thinke th [...]t Enoch the seventh from Al [...]m wrote. but Jude 6. 14. speak [...]th onely of his prophesying which might rather be by word of mouth then writing, because our Saviour citing Scripture ever gives the first place to Moses, and undertaking by the Scriptures to prove himselfe to be the Messiah, that he ought to suffer, began at Moses, Luke 24. 27. No doubt if there had beene any more ancient then Moses, our Saviour would have alleadged it, because all the Scripture that was before him, was to give testimony of him.

Of the authority of the Scripture.

The Author of the Scriptures was GodThe principall Author of all Scriptures is God the Father in his Son by the holy Ghost, Hos. 8. 12. 2 Pet. 1. himselfe, they came from him in a speciall and peculiar manner, commonly cal­led [Page 9] inspiration,God the Au­thour of the S [...]riptures. Inspiration wh [...]t it is. The Father hath revealed, the Sonne con­firmed, and the holy Ghost sealed them up in the hearts of the faith­full. which is an act of Gods Spirit immediately imprinting or infusing those notions into their braines, and those phrases and words by which the notions were uttered, 2 Tim. 4. 16. All Scripture is given by Divine inspiration, or by in­spiration of God, Prophesie came not of old time by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved, or carried by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1. 21. They did not write these things of their own heads, but the Spirit of God did move and worke them to it, and in it, 2 Sam. 23. 2. The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, that is, did immediately guide me, and tell me what matter to utter, and in what words. Stephen saith, they resisted the Holy Ghost when they did disobey the Scriptures.Acts 7. 50. 1 Cor. 11. 23. The Holy Ghost by the mouth of David, and the mouth of Esay spake Acts 1. 16. & 28. 25.

The Inscriptions of many Propheticall bookes and Epistles Apostolicall run thus,Exod. 4. 12. The word of the Lord which [...]ame to Hosea, Deut. 18. 18. Amos, 2 Cor. 13. 3. Joel, Paul, Peter, JAmes a servant of God, John 1. 56. and an Apostle of Christ. The proeme that is set before divers prophecies is this,Heb. 1. 1. Thus saith the Lord; and the Prophets inculcate that speech,Ezech. 12. 25, 28. the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it; Rom. 1. 2. because they would take off the thoughts of the people from their own persons,Esay 58. 14 [...] and lift them up to consideration of God the chiefe author.Evangelium dicitur sermo Christi 3 Col. 16. utroque respectu, & Au­thoris & mate­riae Davonan­ [...]ius.

It is all one to say the Scripture saith, Rom. 4. 3. & 10. 11. & 11. 2. Gal. 4. 30. 1 Tim. 5. 10. and God saith,Rainoldus in Apologia Th [...] ­sium de sacr [...] Script. & Eccles. Rom 9. 25. Heb. 4. 3. & 8. 5. & 13. 5. and the word Scripture is put for God speaking in the Scripture, the Scripture saith to Pharaoh, Rom. 9. 7. and the Scripture hath shut up all men under sinne, Galat. 3. 22. for which in another place God hath shut up, Rom. 11. 32.

All other disciplines were from God, and every truth (who­soever speaks it) is from the holy Ghost; but the Scripture in a singular manner is attributed to the Holy Ghost; he imme­diately dictated it to the holy men of God.

The efficient principall cause then of the Scripture was God; the ten Commandements (of which most of the rest is an exposition) were writen after a secret and unutterable man­ner by God himselfe, therefore they are called the writings of [Page 10] God, Tria concur­runt ut hoc dog­ma recipiam, Scripturam esse verbum Dei. Esse quos­dam libros [...]ano­nicos & divinos, atque [...]os ipsis­simos esse quos in manibus ha­bemus. Primum est Ecclesiae traditio, quae id affirmat, & ipsos libros mihi in manum tradit; secun­dum est ipsoruus librorum divina materia, tertium est interna Spiritus efficacia. Episc. Dav. de Ju­dic [...] Controvers. c. 6. Exod. 32. 16. Secondly, all the rest which was written (though men were the instruments) was done by his appoin­ment and assistance. Exo. 17. 14. Esay 8. 1. Jer. 30. 2. The Scripture is often attributed to the holy Ghost as the Author, and no men­tion is made of the Pen-men, Heb. 10, 15. The Prophets and Apostles were the Pen-men of the Scripture, whose calling, sen­ding, and inspiration was certainly divine; for whatsoever they taught the Church of God, or left in writing, they learned not before in the Schooles, 1 Cor. 2. 13.

The Divine authority of th [...] word may be defined,What the Di­vine authority of the Scrip­ture is. a certain dignity and excellency of the Scripture above all other sayings or writings whatsoever; whereby it is perfectlyFormale ob­jectum fidei ge­neraliter & absolutè con [...]ide­rawum est divina revelatio in tota sua amplitudine accep [...]a, seu divina author [...] ­tas cujuslibet doctrina à Deo revelatae, sive ea scripta sit, sive non scripta. At formale objectum fidei illius qua creduntur ea quae in Scriptura credenda proponuntur, est ipsius Scripturae divina & ca­ [...]nica authoritas. Baronius ad versus Turnebullum. true in word and sence; it deserves credit in all sayings, narrations of things past, present, and to come, threatnings and promises, and as superiour doth binde to obedience, if it either forbid or com­mand any thing. 1 Tim. 1. 15. 2 Pet. 1. 19. John 5. 39. Heb. 6. 18. Rom. 1. 5. 2 Cor. 10. 5, 6. & 13. 3. & 12. 12. Gal. 1. 1, 12, 13. though the things in mans judgement seem unlike or incredi­ble, or the Commandements hard and foolish to the carnall minde.

Hereticks have laboured to prove their corrupt and damna­ble opinions out of the Scripture, and have received some bookes, if not all as Divine. The Turkes at this day so esteem the five books of Moses, as they will kisse such patches of Pa­per as they finde having any part thereof written in the same. Aristaeus an Heathen, when he had determined to have dispu­ted against Scripture, confesseth that he was forbidden by God in a dreame. Plato is termed Moses Atticus, Moses speaking Greeke.

The holy Scripture in it sel [...]e is Divine and Authenticall, though no man in the world should so acknowledge it, as the [Page 11] Sunne in it selfe were light, though all the men in the world were blind, and could not or would not see it; but in respect of us it is Divine and Authenticall,The descripti­on of the Scrip­ture. when it is acknowledged and esteemed so to be.

The Scripture is the word of God, written by holy men as they were inspired2 Tim. 3. 6. Rom. 15. 5. Scriptura est verbum Dei e­jusdem voluntat [...] [...] Prophet [...], E­vangelistis & Apostolis in literas redactum, doctrinam de essentia & vo­luntate Dei perfectè ac per­spicuè exp [...]nens, ut ex eo homines erudiantur ad vitam aeterna [...]. Ger [...]. descript. Sac. loc. 1. Scriptura est e [...] ­pressio quaedam sapientiae Dei afflata è Sanct [...] Spiritu p [...]i [...] ho­minibus, de inde monumentis li­terisque consign­ata. Pet. Mart. loc. commun. l. 6▪ Scriptura est instrumentum di­vinum qu [...] do­ctrina salut [...]is à Deo per Prophetas & Evangelistas tanquam Dei actuarios in libris Canonicis veteris & novi Testamenti est tradita. Synop. pur. Theol. Scriptura est Instrumentum sacrum, quo doctrina divi­na [...]c salutaris à Deo per Prophetas, Apostolos & Evangelist [...] fideliter, perspicu [...] ac pl [...]è in [...] Testamenti est tradita. Wal [...]us l [...]c. [...]. by the holy Ghost,Rom. 1. 28. divinely containing all Divine truth necessary to salvation,2 Pet. 3. 15▪ 16. for the edification and instruction of Gods Church thereunto,2 Pet. 1. 20, 21. and for the glory of God.

That the Scriptures were from God, may appeare by reasons contained in or cleaving to the Scripture.

1. From the excellency of their matter, which is Heavenly, the divine and supernaturall matter contained in it. It telleth us of such things as doe farre exceed the reach of mans reason, and which it was impossible for any man to counterfeit and faine, and which being told are so correspondent to reason, that no man can see just cause to call them into question; as the doctrine of creation of all things in six daies; the doctrin of the fall of our first parents; the story of the delivering Is­rael out of Egypt, of the delivering of the Law and ten Com­mandements; the doctrine of the incarnation of Christ Jesus, of the resurrection of the dead, of the last judgement, of the life to come, and of the immortality of the soule; for though this last was taught also by Philosophers, yet it is so doubt­fully and unperfectly handled by them in comparison of the delivering thereof in Scripture, that it is apparent, it was another Spirit▪ which guided the teachers of it here, then they were guided withall. What Angell could ever have found out such an admirable temper and mixture of mercy and justice together, as the Gospel revealeth in the reconciliation of God with man? God in giving and establishing his law useth no o­ther preface but I am the Lord, Exod. 20. nor conclusion but I the Lord have spoken it; upon his absolute authority without other reasons to perswade, commanding what is to be done, though [Page 12] it be contrary to our natures; forbidding what is to be left undone, though pleasing to us; he promiseth things incom­prehensible, requiring faith; he relateth and teacheth things strange, above likelihood, above mans capacity; and yet will have them to be believed, to be understood. There is nothing in the Law against reason or common equity. A Jesuit reports in his History, that when his fellows came first to preach in the East-Indies, the Gentiles and Indies there hearing the ten Com­mandements did much commend the equity of them. See Sir Walter Raleighs History.

2. It teacheth the nature and excellency of God, and the works of God, more clearly and distinctly than any other writings, nay, then any without God could have contrived, viz. That there are three persons and one God; that God is infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, most holy; that he created all things, that he doth by a particular providence rule all things; that he observes all mens actions, and will call them to account, and give every man according to his works; that he alone is to be worshipped, and that he must be obeyed in his word above all creatures.

3. It requireth the most exact and perfect goodnesse that can be,Triplex ratio est, qua nobis in­ [...]tescat sacro­ [...]um librorum autoritas. such as no man could ever have conceited in his braine, and yet such as being taught and revealed, the conformity of it to right reason will enforce any well considering man to acknowledge it to be most true and needfull; for example, that a man must love God above all,Prima Ecclesiae testimonium, eos libros approban­tis, recipientis & commendan­tis. Secunda in­terna Spiritus Sancti perswas [...], eam ipsam auto­ritatem cordibus [...]stris insculpe [...] ­tis, [...] per­suademit, Tertia ipsorum librorum, ut ita dicam, genius: Summum gradum [...]btinet testimonium Spiritus, infimum vero Testimonium Ecclesiae, Chamierus de Canone. l. 1. 6. 1. and his neighbour as himselfe; that he must keepe his thoughts and cogitations free from all the least taint of sinne, that he must lay up his trea­sures in Heaven, not care for this life, and the things thereof, but all his study and labour must be to provide well for him­selfe against the future life; that he must not at all trust in himselfe, nor in any man, but onely in God; and that he must doe all he doth in Gods strength; that he can deserve nothing at Gods hand, but must looke for all of free favour through the merits and intercession of another.

[Page 13] 4. The end of the Scripture is Divine,John 7. 18. & 5. 41. & 8. 50, 54. All other wri­tings teach a man to place felicity at best in himselfe and in his own vertue. These lift up to God, and bid him pl [...]ce his feli­city in him. Philosophers set their owne names to the books which they wrote a­gainst v [...]ine­glory, and therein soug [...]t it themselves. There are lu­mina orationis in the Sermons of the Pro­phets which surpasse the e­loquence of all the Heathen. viz, the glory of God, shining in every syllable thereof, and the salvation of man, not temporall, but eternall. These writings lead a man wholy out of himselfe, and out of the whole world, & from and above all the creatures to the Creator alone, to give him the glory of all victories: therefore they are from him, and not from any creature; for he that is the Authour of any writing will surely have most respect of himselfe in that writing. The Scrip­tures manifest Gods glory alone, Jerem. 9. 23, 24. 1 Cor. 1. 31. ascribe infinitenesse of being and all perfections to him, Nehem. 9. 6. The doctrines, precepts, prohibitions, and narrations tend to the setting forth of his glory, and bring solid and eternall comfort and salvation to their soules which follow their di­rection. They make us wise unto salvation, 2 Tim. 3. 15, 23. shew the path of life Psal 16. 11. Guide our feet into the way of peace, Luke 1. 79. Christ, John 7. 18. proves that he came from God, because he sought not his own glory, but the glory of him that sent him.

5. Another reason is from the difference of these writings from all other whatsoever, in regard of their phrase and man­ner of writing. All other writings use perswasive and flouri­shing speeches, these command, and condemne all other Gods, all other religions, all other writings, and command these onely to be had in request and esteem, and acknowledged as the will of God, without adding or diminishing, requiring every conscience to be subject to them, and to prepare himself to obedience, without any further objecting or gainsaying, and to seeke no further then to them forAugustine was so delighted with the Ora­tory of Ambrose that he con­temned the Scripture as neither learned nor eloquent enough, yet afterward when he saw his own shallownesse, he admired the profundity of Gods holy Ora­cles, and held the stile of them very venerable. direction. Both the sim­plicity and Majesty of stile shew it to be from God; the wonderfull plainnesse and yet glorious Majesty; the simpli­city because it is plaine, in no wise deceitfull; and because it describes great matters in words familiar and obvious to the capacity of the Reader: the Majesty, since it teacheth so per­spicuously the chiefest mysteries of faith and divine revela­tion which are above humane capacity. Whether we read Da­vid, [Page 14] Esay, or others whoseLicet tam verba quam res amanuensibus suis Spiritus S. dictavit, attem­peravit tamen & se cujusque Ama [...]is stylo, & cuj [...]s que saeculi dia­lecto, unde alius est Jesaiae, al [...]us Amosi stilus, Alia Mosis, alia Jobi, alia Da­vidis, alia Ez­raei, Haggaei, Danielis, &c. Dial [...]ctus. Amama Anti-Barb. Bibl. l. 3. stile is more sweet, pleasant and rhetoricall; or Amos, Zachary, and Jeremy, whose stile is more rude, everywhere [...] the Majesty of the Spirit is apparent. There is an authority and Majesty in them above all other writings of other authors; the Scriptures command all both King and people, Jerem. 13. 18. 1 Sam. 12. ult. and bind the heart to its good abearing. Jerome could say, as oft as I read Paul, it se [...]mes to me that they are not words but thunders, which I heare. Junius reading the first Chapter of John was stricken with amazement by a kind of Divine and stupendious autho­rity, and so he was converted from Atheisme, as himselfe saith in his life. Johannes Isaac Hoc ego inge­nuè profiteor, caput illud 53. Esa. ad fidem Christianam m [...] adduxisse. Johan. Isaac contra Lindan. Austin heard a supernaturall voice, saying, Tolle lege, tolle lege. He first fell upon that place, Rom. 13. 12, 13. a Jew was converted by rea­ding the 53. of Esay. Our Saviour spake as one having autho­rity, not as the Scribes; So this booke speaks not as men; it sim­ply affirmes all things without proofe; other authors use many arguments to confirme the truth of what they say. Therefore Raimundus de Scriptura simpliciter absque probatione omnia dicit & affirmat; in aliis libris probantur omnia quae ibi dicuntur per rationes & argumentationes. Biblia affirmant Deum creasse coelum & terram: affirma [...] mundum habuisse principium & nihil probat, hoc significat illum qui l [...]quitur in Bibliis & dicit i [...]ta verba, esse tantae autoritatis, quod ei debet credi simplici verbo sine aliqua probatione, Rai [...]d, de [...]abund in Theol. naturali. Sabunda hence proves, that he who speaketh in the Bible is of that authority, that his bare word ought to be believed without any proofe, whereas Galene Atheistically urged it the otherMoses multum dicit, sed nihil probat. way. The Socinians reject all things in Religion which they cannot comprehend by reason. The Philosophers called the Christians by way of scorn credentes. Julian derided the Christian beliefe, because it had no other proofe then thus saith the Lord.

6. Another argument is taken from the experience of the truth of the predictions and prophesies thereof. For seeing it is generally confessed, that onely the Divine essence can cer­tainly foresee things contingent which are to come many ages after, and which depend upon no necessary cause in nature; therefore in what writings we meet with such things foretold and doe finde them fully and plainly acomplisht, these wri­tings [Page 15] we must confesse to have their birth from Heaven and from God. Now in the Scripture we have divers such predi­ctions. The two principall and clearest which are most obvious and evident, are, 1. the conversion of the Gentiles to the God of Israel by meanes of Christ. For that was foretold exceeding often, and plainly, in him shall the Gentiles trust, and he shall be a light to the Gentiles. Jacob lying on his death-bed said, the obedience of the Gentiles shall be to him; and David, all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God; and Esay, in him shall the Gentiles trust; and Malachy, my name shall be great to the ends of the earth. See Esay 49. 6. & 60. 3, 5. Scarce one of the Prophets but have spoken of the conversion of the Gentiles. Now we see the Gentiles turned from their Idols a great number of them, and embracing the God of the Jewes, and the Scriptures of the Jewes by means of Christ,Veritas vati [...]i­niorum. whom they see and acknow­ledge to be the Messias foretold to the Jewes. Againe, it was foretold that Christ should be a stone of offence to the Jewes, that they should reject him,Idoneum testi­monium divi­nitatis, veritas divinationis. Tertullianus. and so be rejected by God from be­ing a people; doe we not see that to be performed? The ac­complishment of these two maine prophesies so long before delivered to the world by the Pen-men of holy writ, shewes manifestly, that they were moved by the holy Ghost.

That promise Gen. 3. 15. was made 3948 yeeres before it was fulfilled,Cyrus was prophesied of 100 yeers be­fore he was borne. as S [...]aliger computes it. It was foretold of Christ, that they should cast lots about his Garments, and that his bones should not be broken. Looke upon this in the in­feriour causes, the souldiers that brake the other mens bones, and it seemes to be a very hap and chance;Esay 44. 28. Josias 300 be­fore his birth. 1 Kings 13. 2. yet there was a spe­ciall ordering of this in Gods providence.

The predictions of Satan were doubtfull andThe Oracles of the Gen­tiles needed Delio natatore, the swimmer Apollo to ex­pound them. The predictions of the Prophets differ much from the divellish prophesies of the Heathen. ambiguous, but these are distinct and plaine; Satans predictions are of things which might be gathered by conjecture, for the most part false, though Satan cover his lying by likelihoods; but these are aboue the reach of Angels, most true and certaine; their end was confirmation in sin and Idolatry.

[Page 16] 7. The Cōmandements are 1. most righteous and equall; 2. im­partiall, they bind all men, & all in men, the affections, thoughts & consciences, and that perpetually. Secondly, the Threatnings are generall, 1 in respect of persons. 2. In respect of things, Deut. 28. 59, 60. 3. The Promises are comprehensive, Levit. 26. and strange Exod. 34. 24. of eternall life, Marke 10. 29, 30.

8. Another reason may be taken from antiquityPrimum quod­qus [...]issimum Tertul. The Jewish Nation was the most an­cient of all, therefore the Scripture which was delivered to them. Cameron de verbo Dei. of the Scrip­ture; many wonder at the Pyramids of Egypt, being the most ancient structure in the world. The Bible containes a continued History from age to age, for the space of 4000 yeeres before Christ, even from the beginning. No writer of any humane story can be proved to be more ancient then Ezra and Nehe­miah, who wrote about the yeere of the world 3500. Amongst the Grecians (some say) Homer is the most ancient author that is extant, who lived long after Troy was taken, for that was the subject of his Poem. Now those times were not neere so ancient as those in which the Scripture was written. Homer was after Moses Between Or­pheus his wri­tings, which was the Hea­thens ancien­test Poet, and Moses, are at least 500 yeers B. Andrews. Moses antiquis­simus & fidelis­simus Historicus. E [...]penius. 600 and odde yeeres, saith Peter du Moulin. That which the Egyptians brag of their antiquity is fabu­lous; by their account they were 6000 yeares before the cre­ation, unlesse they account a month for a yeere, and then it maketh nothing against this argument.

History is an usefull and delightfull kind of instruction. Among Histories none are comparable to the Histories of sa­cred Scripture: and that in their antiquity, rarity, variety, bre­vity, perspieuity, harmony, and verity. Dr Gouge on Exod. 13. 13. that song of Moses Exod. 15. was the first song that ever was in the world.M. Burroughs on Hosea. Heb. 4. 12. Orpheus, Musaeus, and Linus, the most ancient of the Poets were 500 yeeres after this time.

9. The power and efficacy of the Scripture upon the soules See the pow­erfull wo [...]king of it in Pharaoh Foelix, those in Acts 2. 37.of men sheweth it to be of God; and the wonderfull al­teration that it makes in a man for God, when he doth en­tertaine and believe it in his heart, it makes him more then a man in power to oppose, resist, and fight against his own cor­ruptions; it brings him into a wonderfull familiarity and ac­quaintance with God. It puts such a life and strength into him, and that for Gods sake and his truth he can suffer all the [Page 17] hardest things in the world without almost complaining, yea with exceeding and wonderfull rejoycing. The holy Ghost by meanes of this word workes powerfully,Non movent, non persuadent sacrae literae, sed cogunt, agitant, vim inferunt. Legis rudia ver­ba & agrestia, sed viva, sed animata, stam­mea, aculeata, ad imum spiri­tum penetran­tia hominem to­tum, potestate Mirabili trans­formantia. Picu [...] mirandula [...] Hermolaum Barbarum. so changing and reforming a man, that he [...]ndes himselfe transformed and renewed thereby. 1. It overmasters the soule. 2. It sepa­rates the heart from lusts, and the world 3. Alters and chan­geth the customes of men. 4. It keeps the heart up under the guilt of sinnes against all the power of the divell.

It quickneth the dull Psal. 119. 93, 107. comforteth the fee­ble, Rom. 15. 4. giveth light to the simple, Psal. 119. 7. convin­ceth the obstina [...]e, 1 Cor. 12. 3. & 14. 24. reproveth errors, rebuketh vices, 2 Tim 3. 16. is a discerner of the thoughts, 1 Cor. 14. 24, 25. and aweth the conscience, JAmes 4. 12.

10. If there be a God, he ought to be worshipped; and he cannot be worshipped, unlesse he manifest himselfe to us, which he hath done in theVid [...] Kidem [...] ­cium de Scripto Dei verbo, l. 2. c. 16. Scripture.

11. The candour and sincerity of the Pen-men or Amanu­ensesThey did as it were tran­scribere animas, publish their own faults. D. Preston. They dispraise all mankind, abase man and make him the v [...]lest of all creatures ex­cept the divels 1 Tim. 1. 13. Revel. 22. 8., respecting Gods glory onely, and not their owne; and in setting down not onely the sinnes of others, but their own slips and infirmities, doth testifie that they were guided by the holy Ghost. Moses shewes his disobedience, Num. 11. 11. Jonah his murmuring, Jon. 1. 4. Jeremy his fretting, Jer. 20. 14. David shames himselfe in his preface to the 51 Psalme. Saint Marke wrote the Gospell out of Peters mouth, and yet the deniall of Peter is more expresly laid down by the Evangelist St. Marke then any other; and Paul sets down with his owne Pen his owne faults in a sharper manner then any other. Mat­thew Matth. 9. 9. The Writers of the Scrip­tures wrote them when the world bare greatest hatred against them, and yet never any durst writ [...] a book against Moses in his time, or against the Gospell in these daies.the Evangelist tels us of Matthew the Publican. The Pen­men of holy Scripture were holy men; called, sent, inspired by the Spirit, which had denied the world with the lusts and affections thereof, and were wholly consumed with zeale for the glory of God, and salvation of men. 2 Pet. 3. 15. 2 Tim 3. 16. Matth. 16. 17. Gal. 2. 11, 12. Ephes. 2. 3, 5. They learned not of men what they wrote; Moses, David, Amos, were heards­men; Jeremy was almost a child; Peter, JAmes, and John, were [Page 18] in their ships; other Apostles were unlearned before their cal­ling Acts 4. 13.Acts 4. 13. Moses learned of the Egyptians, and Daniel of the Chaldeans humane Arts and Sciences,Dan. 2. but they could not learne of them the knowledge of the true God, they them­selves being ignorant and grosse Idolaters.Exod. 5. 2. Neither could they erre in that which they delivered,Levit. 18. 3. for by them the Spirit of Christ,Ezek. 8. and Christ himselfe did speake, 1 Pet. 1. 11. 2 Pet. 1. 21. Acts 28. 25. 2 Cor. 13 3. In th [...]ir owne judgement the most holy did erre, as 1 San 16. 1 and Nathan, 2 Sam. 6. which er­rour is truly related in the Scripture, but when they spake according to the guidance of the Spirit which did ever assist them in the penning of the Scripture, they couldSolis Canoni­cis debetur fides Cateris onmibus judicium. Luthe­rus. not erre. I have learned (saith Austin to Jerome) to give this honour onely to the Canonicall bookes, firmely to believe that no authour of them erred in writing; from all others he expected proofe from Scripture, or reason.

12. The wonderfull consent, singular harmony and agree­ment Incredibilis quaedam & planè divina conspiratio, at­que concordi [...] tot virorum, qui diversis locis, temporibus, lin­guis, occasionibus sacra volumina conscripserunt, ut non tam ipsi Scriptores di­versi, quam unius scriptoris diversi calami fuisse vi­deantur. Bellar. Tom [...]. 10. de verb [...] dei l. 1. c. 2.of the Scriptures shewes that they came not from men but from God, John 5. 46. each part sweetly agreeth with it selfe, and with another, and with the whole, Acts 26. 22. & 11. 17. Luke 24 27. John 5. 46. Matth. 4. 4. what was fore­told in the old is fulfilled in the new Testament. If there seem any contrariety either in numbring of yeeres, circumstance of time and place, or point of doctrine, the fault is in our ap­prehension and ignorance, not in the thing it selfe, and by a right interpretation may easily be cleared. See Dr. Willet on Gen. 24. 38.

These considerations strengthen this argument.

1. The length of time in which this writing continued, from Moses untill John, to whom was shewed the last authen­ticall revelation, which prevents all conceits of forgery, since they were not written in one nor yet in many ages.

2. The multitude of books that were written, and of writers that were imployed in the service.This is one of 36 [...] places, or as others reckon 370 which are cited out of the old Testament, in the new, Dr. Prid. on Acts 23. 5.

3. That difference of place inEzechiel prophetane in Babylone concordat [...] Jeremia prophetante in Judaea. See Hals passion serm. which they were writ­ten, [Page 19] which hinders the writers conferring together.

Two other arguments may evince this truth, that the Scrip­tures were from God.

1. Miracles both of

1. Confirmation,Numb. 11. 9. & 20. 10. which the Lord shewed by Moses, Exod. 19. 16. & 24. 18. & 34. 29. the Prophets, 1 Kings 7. 24. Christ himselfe and the Apostles for the confirmation of their do­ctrine, Marke [...]6. 20.such as the devill was not able to resemble in shew.John 3. 2. & 2. 23. & 10. 37. The raising of the dead, the standing still or going backe of the Sunne,Acts 5. 12. the dividing of the Sea, and the Rivers; the making of the barren fruitfull.John 5. 36. My works testifie of me, saith Christ, and believe the workes which I doe, if you will not believe me.

2. Preservation of the bookes of the Scripture [...] the fury of many wicked Tyrants which sought to suppresse and extinguish them,Many of the Bibles were taken from Christians and burnt in those cruell persecutions under Diocle­sian and Maxi­minianus his Collegue. but could not. As God caused it to be writ­ten for the good of his people, so by divine providence he hath preserved the same whole and entire. Here we have three arguments in one, 1. The hatredVeritas odium parit. of the Devill and his wic­ked instruments against the Scripture more then any other booke. Antiochus burnt it and made a Law that whosoever had this booke should die the death; yet secondly, it was preser­ved maugre his fury and the rage of Dioclesian, Julian, Deut. 31. 24. and other evill Tyrants.Jerem. 36. 27, 28. & ult. Thirdly, the miserable end of Julian, An­tiochus Epiphanes, Herod, Nero, Domitian, and Dioclesian, and other persecutors of this doctrine. The bookes of Salomon, which he wrote of naturall philosophy and other knowledge, Tertullian said, that Gospell must needs be good wich Nero persecu­ted.the profitablest bookes that ever were, the Canon excepted, are perished,Cartwright in his preface to the confutation of the Rhem. Annot. on the new Testament. but those alone which pertaine to godlinesse have been safely kept to posterity; which is the rather to be observed, since many more in the world affect the knowledge of naturall things then godlinesse:A precious Gospell, that was purchased by the blood of Christ, and sealed with the blood of Martyrs. and yet though carefull of keeping them they have not been able to preserve them from perpetuall forgetfulnesse; whereas on the other side these holy writings hated of the most part and carelesly regarded Many delivered the Bible to the Emperour to be burned whence the name of Proditores & Traditores Bibliorum.of a number, have notwithstanding as full a remem­brance [Page 20] as they had the first day the Lord gave them unto the Church. The Roman Empire for 300 yeeres set it selfe to per­secute and extirpate this new doctrine; and in all these trou­bles the Church grew and increased mighily Acts 12. 1. Herod killed JAmes with the sword,Sanguis marty­rum semen Ec­clesiae. yet v. 24. the word grew and multiplied.Facundi sunt martyrum cine­res.

The miracles wrought in the confirmation of Scripture differ much from the wonders wrought by the false Pro­phets, People by see­ing the suffe­rings of the Martyrs came more to looke into and un­derstand that profession then formerly, which made them patiently endure such torments.Antichrist, and Satan himselfe Matth. 24. 24. 2 Thes. 2. 11. Apoc. 13. 13, 14. they are neither in number nor great­nesse comparable to these. 1. They differ in substance, Divine miracles are above and against the force of nature, as dividing of the red Sea, the standing still of the Sunne; the others seem wonderfullThey are miranda non miracula. to those which are ignorant of the cause of them, but are not true miracles, simply above the ordinary course of nature, but effected by the art and power of Satan or his in­struments by naturall causes though unknown to men, and many times they are but vaine delusions. 2. They differ in the end, those true miracles were wrought by the finger of God, for the promoting of his glory, and mans salvations. these to seale up falshood and destroy men confirmed in idolatry and heathenisme, 2 Thess. 2. 9. Those were not done in a corner or secretly,A marvell or wonder is na­ture mightily improved; a miracle is na­ture totally cross'd if not contradicted. but openly in the presence of great multitudes, There were six hundred thousand wit­nesses of the Seas rising up in walles. Deut. 4. 3. See Matth. 27 45.nay in the sight of the whole world; by the evidence of which an unknown doctrine before contrary to the nature and affe­ctions of men was believed. Bainham said in the midst of the fire, Ye Papists, behold ye looke for miracles, and here now ye may see a miracle: for in this fire I feele no more paine, then if I were in a bed of down, but it is to me as sweet as a bed of Roses. The miraclesSee D. Willet on Exod. 7. 9. what a miracle is, and how true and false miracles differ: and D. Prideaux on Psal. 9. 16. the distinction be­tween miracles, signes, prodigies, and Portenta out of Aquinas. done by our Saviour Christ and his A­postles, receved testimony of their most venemous and bitterest enemies they had.

  • 2. The Testimony
  • 1. Of the Church and Saints of God in all ages.
  • [Page 21] 2. Of those which were out of the Church.
  • 1. Of the Church
    • Both ancient and Judaicall,
    • and the present Christian Church.
  • 2. Of the members of the Church.

1. The Church of the Jewes professed the doctrine and received the bookes of the old Testament,To which te­stimony these things give weight. and testified of them that they were Divine; which invincible constancy remaineth still in the Jewes of these daies,1. To them were commit­ted the Oracles of God, Rom. 3. 1. who (though they be bitter enemies to the Christian Religion) doe stiffely maintaine and preserve the Canon of the old Testament pure, and uncorrupt, even in those places which do evidently confirme the truth of Christian Religion.2. They have constantly pro­fessed the truth in great mise­ry, whereas by the onely deni­ing thereof they might have been partakers both of liberty and rule.

2. The Christian Church hath also most faithfully preser­ved the old Canon received from the Jewes,3. Notwithstanding the higk Priests and others persecuted the Prophets, while they lived, they yet received their wri­tings as Propheticall and Divine. and now delive­red by the Apostles as a depositum and holy pledge of the Di­vine Vide Cr [...]ii observat. in novum Testamentum, cap. 15.will.

2. Of the members of the Church, the constant testimony which so many worthy Martyrs by their blood have given to the truth, Rev. 6. 9.

Foure thines are to be considered in this argument.

1. The number which suffered for the same is numberlesse,In the two Dominions of France and the 17 Provinces, within the space of little more then fi [...]ē yeeres under Charles the ninth of France, and Philip the second of Spaine, two hundred thou­sand suffered as Martyrs. many millions; that none can imagine it to arise from pride, weaknesse, or discontent. More Christians were slaine (as hath been observed) under the ten bloody persecutions, then Pas­ [...]hall Lambs were offered up under the State of the old Te­stament.See Foxes martyrologie, Meteran­us de rebus Belgicis, and Fullers profane state, of the Duke of Alvap. 440.

2. The quality and condition of them which suffered; no­ble and base, learned andA martyran­swered Bishop Bonn [...]r, My Lord I can not dispute, but I can die for the truth. John Jones said, when he had a cap wherein were many painted devils with the title Haeresi [...]cha, Shall I grudge to weare this paper cap for Christ, who were a Crown of Thorns for me? unlearned, rich, poore, old, yong, [Page 22] men, women, children, those which were tender and dainty; all these could not suffer out of vain-glory, that stubbornly they might defend the opinion which they had taken up.

3. The torments used were usuall, unusuall, speedy, slow, some hewed in pieces, burnt with slow fire, cast in to Lyons, given to be devoured by the teeth of wild beasts, some beheaded, some drowned, some stoned with stones.

4. All this they endured constantly,Videtis punctio­nes, sed non unctiones You see their suf­ferings, but not their re­joycings. Om­nis Christ anus mortis contemp­tor. Photinus. patiently, with great joy, even a chearful heart, & merry countenance, singing Psalms in the midst of the fire, so that the madnesse of the enemy was overcome by the patienceIn the pri­mitive times they were wont to call martyrdome by the name of Corona martyrii, the Crown of martye­dome; and Stephen the Protomaryr had his name in Greek from a Crown. Erant [...] [...]rquen­tibus fortiores. Cyprian. of them which did suffer. Luther reports of the Martyr St. Agatha, as she went to prisons and tortures, she said, she went to banquets and nuptials. That martyr Hawkes lift up his hands above his head and clapt them together, when he was in the fire, as if he had been in a tri­umph. So that their testimony was not onely humane, God enabling them so stoutly to die for the truth, Phil. 1. 29.

Maytyrs of other sects differ from the martyrs of the true Church. 1. They were fewer. 2. They suffered not with joy of conscience, which the godly martyrs did. 3. They were punished for theirNon poena sed caus [...] facit mar­tyrem. errours discovered; the martyrs were bur­ned for having any part of the Bible, and the Bible sometime with them; where the Inquisition raignes it is death to have any part of the Bible in the vulgar tongue.

The Gentiles also which were out of the pale of the Church, did give testimony to sundry stories and examples in the Bible. Suetonius and Tacitus speakes of the miracles of Christ, Pliny Lib. 2. c. 25. Meminerunt Mosis & Dide­tus Siculus & Strabo, & Pli­nius, Ta [...]itus qu [...]que, & pos [...] eos Dio [...]ysius Longinus de for [...]is sublimitare. Jamnia aatem & mambris qui in Aegypto Mosi restiterunt praeter Talmun [...]ieos Plinim & Apulrius, Gr [...]e. de veris. relig. Christ.of the miracles of Moses, and of the wise mens Star; Macro­bius of the slaughtering of the Infants, Josepbus of the death of Herod, the Poets of the flood, Plutarke of the Dove which Noah sent out. Josephus (a Jew) saith in his time there was [Page 23] a monument of the pillar of Salt into which Lots wife was turned. Of Sodomes destruction speaketh Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Galene in his booke of simples. Pliny, Solinus, Polyst. hist. Tacitus lib. ult. Mela, acknowledging that the remainders of Gods wrath are still to be seen there, as the dead lake, the fruite faire to the eye, but falling to cinders and smoake in the hand.

The Oracles of the Sybillae were in greatest account among the Heathen; and held as true of all men;Credite me vo­bis folium reci­tare Sybillae. Bish. Andrews in his large exposition on the 10 Com­mandements. and if those be they which weVide Spanhem. Dub. porte se­cunda Dub. 34. S [...]ct 6, 7. have, there is nothing which can more plain­ly set forth the birth of Christ, his life and death.Exerci [...]. 1. ad A [...]nal Bar. Esay 8. 20. Psalm 19. The Authors often testifie that they speake not of themselves, or by any humane instinct, but from Gods command and the Spirit in­spiring. Causabon makes it apparent that those prophesies of Sybil were coun­terfeited pieces, and at first entertained by such as delighted in seeing the Christian Religion strengthned with forreine proofes.

Heretickes also prove the Scripture to be divine, for they quote that; and therefore Luther cals the Bible Librum Here­ticorum. Experience teacheth, that all heresies either began or increased from the misunderstanding of Scripture.

Thirdly, the Scripture it selfe doth give testimony to it selfe, that it is divine; it is called a light, Psal. 119. 105. because it discovers it selfe; the testimony, and the testimony of the Lord: because it beares witnesse to it selfe. The Prophets give testi­mony of Moses, Mal. 4. 4. the new Testament of the Old, 2 Pet. 1. 19, 20. Peter gives testimony of Pauls Epistles, 2 Pet. 3. 15. and Paul witnesseth that all Scripture was given of God,Christ com­mends Moses, the Prophets, and Psalmes, by which names are meant all the bookes belon­ging to the Canon of the Hebrews. 2 Tim. 3. 16. which must be meant of all Scripture even of the new Testament, that being the last Epistle which Paul wrote, as appeares, Chap. 4. v. 16.

Fourthly, none of all these arguments can undoubtedly perswade the heart certitudine fidei, that the holy Scripture, or any doctrine contained in it is the word of God, till we be taught it of God, till the holyThe holy Ghost inwardly witnesseth in the hearts of the faithfull that the Scriptures are the Word of God, 1 John 2. 20, 27. 1 Cor. 2. 10, 11, 12. & 12. 3. John 16. 23. & 14. 26. Esay 51. 16. Esay 59. 21. Rom. 8. 10. Spirit of God have inward­ly certified and assured us of it. This is called the Sealing [Page 24] of the Spirit of God, Ephes. 1. 13. by this the Scripture is im­printed in our hearts as the signe of the Seale in the Wax. Other arguments may convince, but this is absolutely neces­sary; this is alsufficient to perswade certainly, Matth. 11. 25. The Holy Ghost is the authour of light, by which we under­stand the Scripture, and the perswader of the heart, by which we believe the things therein to be truly divine, 1 John 5. 6. It is the Spirit that beareth witnesse, because the Spirit, (i. metony­mically the doctrine delivered by the Spirit) is truth. So to prove that there is a God, reasons may be brought from nature and the testimony of the Church, but no man can believe it savingly, but by the Holy Ghost.

It is hard to carry the matter even between the Socinians reason, and the Famalists spirit. Socinians wil have nothing but reason, no infused habits, & so they destroy the testimony of the spirit; the Familists wil have nothing but Spirit they rest wholy in an immediate private spirit,1 John 3. 8. There are three that bear witnesse in earth, blood) that is, justification by the blood of Christ, & water) i. Sanctification by his grace, and the Spirit (say some) witnesseth in these,1 John 2. 20. But ye have an unction from the holy one, and ye know all things. That is, ye have received from Christ the Holy Ghost the Comforter, and he hath taught and instructed you in all things which are necessary to the salvation of your soules, for you to know and be instructed in, see V. 27. The testimony is made up by arguing, whosoever believeth, and is sanctified shall be saved. So the antiquity, efficacy, and Majesty of the Scripture, the fidelity of the Penmen, and its wonderfull pre­servation, prove it to be the word of God. The Spirit of God witnesseth, that this word which hath these remarkable ad­vantages above all other writings, is the word of God. The Spirit doth neither witnesse concerning my salvation, nor that the Scripture is the word of God immediately but ulti­mately. Because I am a believer, and my faith is sound, it assu­reth me that I am in the state of salvation, and so he maketh use of the excellencies in the word to irradiate my understan­ding. We are commanded to trie the Spirits; true joy is first heard out of the word before it be fealt, Psal. 51. 8. Spirituall [Page 25] joy is an affection proper to spirituall life,Fides Christiana non acquiritur sed in sunditur. that life is by faith, and faith commeth by hearing, Job 33. 22. See John 16. 14.

Some question whether every part and parcell of the Scrip­ture be divinely inspired as those places,Leviculum est quod objiciunt qui contra sen­tiunt, Si omnis Scriptura Divi­nitus sit inspi­rata, sequiuurum inde etiam Gra [...]corum & Gemilium Scripturas esse divinitus inspiratas [...]nam ut buon resp [...]det Theop [...]y lactus, oportebat eos novi [...]e quod Paulus ante dixerat sacras literas nosti. Rive [...]. Isag. ad Script. Sac., Touch him, and he will curse thee to thy face; curse God and die, and that Psal. 14. 1. Some answer thusAliud sanè Prophetas hoc vel illud scripsisse, aliud verò scrips [...]e ut Prophetas. Sp [...]n [...]emi [...]s., these places are historically inspired, not dogmatically.

Another question is, whether preaching be not divinely in­spired, as well as the word written.

The Preaching of the Prophets and Apostles was divinely inspired; but the preaching of our Ministers, no further then it agrees with the word.

Some say the Scriptures are but a device of mans braine, to give assistance to Magistrates in civill government.

Nothing is more repugnant to prudence and policy. What policy was it in the Old Testament to appoint circumcision? to cut a poore child as soon as he came into the world. Two and twenty thousand Oxen were spent at the dedication of one Altar; to sacrifice so many Oxen and Sheep, such usefull creatures? Christ chose silly illiterate men to propagate the Nothing crosseth hu­mane wisdom more then the Scripture.Gospell.

This serves for information of our judgement, and assures us of divers truths.

1. That the Scriptures are for themselves worthy to be be­lieved, Authoritas sine [...] Scrip­turae.they have authority in and of themselves (not borrow­ed from any persons in the world) by which they binde the consciences of all men to receive them with faith and obedi­ence, Illud authenti­cum dicitur, quod sibi sufficit, quod se commen­dat, sustines, pro­bat, & ex se fidem ac autho­ritatem habet, Whitakerus.for their Authors sake alone and the divine truth which shines in them, though they should not be commended unto men by any authority of any creature. Such as is the authority of the Authour of any writing; such is the authority of the writing it selfe; for all the strength of the testimony depends upon the excellency of the person which gives the testimony; [Page 26] now God is the authour of these writings, Thus saith the Lord; therefore such authority as he hath, such must they have, a supreme, highest authority, which borroweth from none, and is subject to none. So this acknowledgement of their originall teacheth that we must not believe them for the authority sake of any man or men, for Gods word can borrow no authority from men, John 5. 34. I receive not testimony from man, saith Christ; that is, need no mans testimony. As the first good­nesse is to be loved for it selfe, so is the first truth to be belie­ved for it selfe, saith Aquinas. And as Christ by himselfe could demonstrate that he was the Messias, so the Word by it selfe can prove,Every prin­ciple is known by it selfe. The Scripture is the primum credendum, the first thing to be believed; we must believe it for it selfe, and all other things for their confor­mity with it. that it is the Word of God.

We affirme that the Scriptures are known to be of God by themselves; the Papists maintaine that we cannot be certaine of the Scriptures divinity by any other argument, then the testimony of the Church,Eccius reck­ons this a­mong hereti­call assertions. major est Scrip­turae▪ quam Ec­clesiae authori­tas. which (say they) doth infallibly propound unto us, what is to be believed, what is not to be believed; and Hermanus saith, that the Scripture is no more worth then Aesops Fables, without the testimony of the Church. As in other Sciences there are alwaies some principles per se nota & indemonstrabilia, whence other things are proved, so in Divinity all conclusions in point of beliefe and practice are proved by the Scripture. The Scriptures prove themselves by their own naturall light,Nisi Deus hominibus placuerit non erit Deus said Tertul. in Apol. if God please not man, he shall not be God: as truly and certainly as God is God, so truly is the Scripture the Scripture. manifesting their divine originall whence they are, and their right meaning, how they must be understood. They are like light (primum visibile) which maketh all other things manifest, and it selfe too by it own proper qualities.

1. The Church rather depends on the Scripture which is an object not principle of Divinity; the Church ought to be sub­ject to Christ, Ephes. 5. 24. the Scripture is the word of Christ, Col. 3. 16.

2. All the words of the Scripture are words of truth, Dan. 10. 21. some words of the Church are words of error, Esay. 1. 21, 24. & 3. 8, 9. & 5. 13. But the authority of him that speaks [Page 27] alwaies truth is greater then of him who sometimes lies:Spiritus sanctu [...] Spiritus verita­tis, loquitur sem­per in Scriptura; in Ecclesia verò quandoque spiri­tu [...] [...] Thes [...]. 3. l. 11. ergo, the authority of the Scripture is greater then that of the Church. Goodnesse it selfe cannot deceive, wisdome it selfe cannot be deceived; God is both, Titus 1. 2. The voice of the Scripture is the voiceSee Chamiers sixth booke de Canone; divers Chap [...]r [...] ▪ and M. Pembles [...] Vindic [...]agra [...]i [...]. p. 207, to 22 [...]. of God, 2 Tim. 3. 16. but the voice of the Church is the voice of men, Acts 14. 14. & 15. 17. & 17. 30.

3. Faith and a firme consolation in temptations ought to relie on a sure, that is; a divine foundation, for every humane testimony is uncertaine.

4. In vaine shall we dispute against the wicked concerning Religion and divine truth, if we shall say it comes from God, because we affirme so.

5. This is proved by Scriptures, John 5. 34, 35. Christ in his humiliation did not receive the testimony of John, much lesse will he receive the testimony of others now he is glorified, John 5, 34, 35, 36. 1 Cor. 2. 4, 5. 1 John 5. 9.

6. The authority proving is greater, more certaine, and more knowne, then the conclusion proved by the [...]ame. Autoritde probans is greater then probata. The Papists to prove the autho­rity of the Church flie to the ScripturesSuperst [...]us mihi [...]eb [...]r vide­tur oprum qu [...]ade [...] sollicite illud quoad nos in [...]uisiver [...] quia [...]e cogitari quidem▪ protest [...] corum libre­rum autorilos, nisi quoad [...] Cham.. For I demand whence doe we understand that the Church erres not in deli­vering the Canon of the Scripture, they answer it is governed by the Holy Ghost, and therefore cannot erre in its decrees. But how appeares it, that it is so governed alwaies? they an­swer, God hath promised it, and then they alleage thoseMatth. 28. 20 & 18. 20. John 15. 26. & 16. 13. places to prove it.

Ob. The Church is ancienter then the Scripture, because it was before Moses; ergo, it hath greater authority.

Sol. 1. The Prophets, and John Baptist were ancienter then Christ, yet not of greater authority.

2. Consider the word, 1. quoad formale Scriptura est velipsa scriptio, & literarum per lineas certas; victura: vel ipse doctrina per [...] Scripturas significata, & in iis literis conienta: Scriptione fatemur Ecclesiam esse antiquiorem, sed negamus esse antiquiorem ea doctrina, quae significatur eascriptione. Chamier, Tom. 19. l. 1. c. 22. externum, as written Fuit Scriptura ante M [...]sen materialiter non formaliter.and clothed with words, so the Church was before the Scrip­ture, 2. quoad formale internum; the matter and sence or mea­ning: so the Scripture was more ancient than the Church, be­cause [Page 28] the Church is gathered and governed by it, 1 Pet. 1. 23. John 17. 20. JAmes 1. 18. Semen semper sobole illa cujus est semen, antiquius esse necesse est. In the thing it selfe, the being and sub­stance of the word was before the Church, although in this circumstance and manner of being it was after.

Ob. 2. Non erederem Evangelio,Quibus le [...]is verbis adeo ex­ultan [...], quasi re­perissent id quod pueri in fabase reperisse [...]lami­tant: tamsue confidenter, ae si ad plenum vict [...] ­riac fructum sola [...]riump [...]i gloria deesset. Chamie­rus. nisi me commoveret Ecclesiae Catholicae authoritas, saith Augustine.

Sol. These words (saith Whitaker) are so well known to the Papists that one can hardly exchange three words with them, but they will produce them. It is true indeed, that we may at the first be much moved to receive and hearken to the Scriptures, because the Church gives testimony of them, as the woman of Samaria by her speeches of Christ was a meanes of moving the Samaritans to believe, but when the men of Sa­maria had heard Christ himselfe speake, they believed in him more for his own words then the womans, John 4. 39, 41. In which sence those words of Austin (so frequently quoted by the Papists) are to be interpreted. Austin spake this of him­selfe being a ManicheeSo Musculus, Calvin, Peter Martyr, and Whitaker ex­pound those words; observe the composi­tion of the word is signi­fieth to more with other things.; when he was a Manichee he was first moved by the authority of the Church to believe the Gospell. His meaning is, that he had never believed the Gospell, if the authority of the Church had not been an introduction unto him, not that his faith rested upon it as a finall stay, but that it caused him so farre to respect the word of the Gospell to listen unto it, and with a kind of acquisite and humane faith to believe it, that he was thereby fittedG [...]rson saith, be taketh the Church for the Primitive Church, and that Assembly which saw and heard Christ. to a better illumina­tion, by force whereof he might more certainly believe it to be of God. But that the testimony of one Father. in one place, in a matter of such consequence, should be of that force, it is strange.

We deny not the ministery of the Church as an externall meanes to move us to imbrace the word of God, but we deny the authority of the Church to be the principallEcclesia non habet magisteri­um supra scrip­turas sed mini­sterium circa Scripturas. meanes. When we call the Scriptures Canonicall, we call them not so passively, because they are received into the Canon by men, and accepted of; but actively, because they prescribe a Canon and rule to us.

[Page 29] The office of the Church in respect of the Scripture stands in foure things.

1. To distinguish Canonicall Scripture from that which is not Canonicall;There are two causes why the Apocripha are cast out of the canon, 1. Ex­ternall, the au­thority of the Church de­creeing, and the quality of the Authours. 2. Internall, the stile, the fabulous and wicked things. Chamier. although the determination of the Church be not the onely or chiefest cause why the Apocrypha are re­jected.

2. To be a faithfull keeper of those books which are inspi­red by God, like a notary which keepeth publique writings.

3. To publish, declare and teach the truth, as a cryer with a loud voyce ought to pronounce the Kings edicts, but to pretermit, adde, or alter nothing, Matth. 28. 19, 20. Acts 8. 35. 1 Tim. 3. 15. This Church here is not that Church which the Papists make to be the Judge of controversies, neither the Church representative, which is a generall Councell; nor the Church virtuall, which they imagine to be theEcclesiae, idest, Romano ponti­fici vel soli, vel cum Conoilio magisterium tri­buunt summum, adeo ut solennis sit apud eas for­mula, indicet magister fidei. Amesius. Pope; but the Church EssentiallD. Chalonero credo Ecclesi­am Catholi­cam. Ecclesia dicitur Fundamentum met aphoricè & imptopriè, fundamentum secundarium.: the congregation of all faithfull belie­vers, the House of God, as he calleth it. The Apostle here speaks of a pillar, not more Architectonico, understanding by it some essentiall piece of the building, but more forensi, such a post orRivet and D. Preston. De sensu horum verborum vide Ca [...]ronis myro [...]ecium, & Colla [...]ionem Rainoldi cum [...]art [...], c. 8. p. 557. pillar on which Tables and Proclamations use to hang. In old time the Gentiles used to write their Lawes in Tables, and so hang them upon pillars of stone, that the peo­ple might read them, as Proclamations are nailed to posts in market Towns. The Apostle describing the Church, likeneth it to one of these pillars, whose use was to shew what hung thereon. It is pillar, not because it holds up, An allusion (saith Bedell) to the bases and pillars that held up the veile or curtains in the Tabernacle. but holds forth the truth.

4. To interpret the Scripture by the Scripture. Since many things in Scripture are doubtfull, and hard to be understood without an Interpreter, Acts 8. 31. it doth belong to the Church to expound the same, to interpret and give the sence, Nehem. 8. 8, 9. Luke 24. 27. provided that this exposition be by the Scriptures.

[Page 30] Some of the Papists say that the Church may condere artiou­los fidei & facere canonicum quo ad nos, That distin­ction of autho­ritative in [...] se but not quoad nos is absut'd, because the authority the Scripture hath is for and be­cause of us. and though they talke of Councels and Fathers, yet all is as the Pope concludes.

The testimony and tradition of the Church, especially the Primitive Church, is necessary to know that the Gospell of Matthew is divine Scripture by an historicall and acquired faith, to know this by a divineDr. White of the Church. The Spirit wit­nesseth, the Scripture to witnesseth, & the Church sub-witnesseth. and infured faith, (besides the authority of the Church) the matter, character and con­tents of every booke, and comparing of it with other Scrip­tures doe serve as an inward cause to produce the said infused faith.

Ob. We are sent to the Church to determine all controversies 1 Cor. 11. 16.

Sol. Controversies are either dogmaticall, concerning faith; or rituall, concerning true order; the proposition is about these, not the first.

Secondly, from this fundamentall truth, that the Scripture is immediately from God, (the basis indeed of all religion, 1 Cor. 15.) the wickednesse of the Church of Rome is farther to be condemned, which will not suffer the Scriptures to be read in their Churches but in an unknowneVt olim Caligu­la, occlusis omni­bus horreis, publicam populo ine­diam & famem, ita illi obturatis omnibus fonti­bus verbi Dei, sitim populo mi­serabilem indux­erant. Illi homi­minibus famem, ut ait Amos Propheta, sitim­que attulerunt: non famem panis non sitim aquae [...] sed audiendi verbi Dei. Iuel­lus in Apologia Eccles. Ang. tongue, nor in private by the common people without speciall leave and cer­taine cautions from their superiours. Of old they would not suffer them to be read at all, of late they are forced to give licences to some, and they teach them, that they should not make the Scripture judge of the doctrine and practice of the Church, but the doctrine and practise of the Church must be the interpreter and judge of the meaning of the Scripture; that is, they must take the Scripture to meane none otherwise (whatsoever it seem to say) then what is agreeable to that which the Pope doth teach and practice. There cannot be a surer signe of a bad cause, then that it feares to be tried by the writings which it selfe cannot deny to be written by God, for correction, for reproofe, for instruction, in righte­ousnesse. Some Papists are more modest herein, as Bellarmine, [Page 31] l. 2. de verbo Dei. c. 15. Catholica Ecclesia statuit, ne passim omnibus concedatur Scripturae lectio; some more rigid, as Huntly and Hosiua.

The PapistsScripturae ob­scuriores sum, quam ut possint a Laicis intel­ligi Bellarm. & Rh [...]mist. prefat. in nov. Test & annotat. in Acts 8. 31. & in 1 Cor. 14. object the obscursity of Scriptures, as an argu­ment to hinder lay-men from reading them, and account it a matter of profanation to allow men, women, and chil­dren, and all promiscuously the use of the vulgar translation, and thinke they will rather be hurt then benefited by them, taking occasion of erring from them. Hosius urgeth that give not holy things to dogs. cast not Pearles before Swine, to prove the people must be barred from reading of the Scriptures. It is Pope Innocents glosse, a beast might not touch the mount, a lay-man might not meddle with Scripture. Lindan saith, nihil noxae in­ferretur in Ecclesiam salv [...] traditionis fundamento, Populus non solum non cape­ret fructum ex Scripturis, sed etiam caperet detrimentum, acciperet n. facilissim [...] oc­casionem erran­di. Bellarm, de verbo Dei, l. 2. c. 15., if there were no Bible; and another, Scriptura citius faciet Haereticum Luthe­rarum, quam Catholicum. Because we will have all proved by Scripture, and make that the compleat rule for what we be­lieve or doe in all Theologicall matters, they call us Scriptu­rarios, Scripturemen, and atram entarios Theologos; and so to carry or read a Bible is matter ofSi populus [...]udis audiret, lingua sua vul­gari legi ex Canticis canti­corum: Oscu­letur me os­lulo oris sui. Et: Laeva ejus sub capite meo, & dextera illius amplexabitur me. Et illud oseae: vade & sac tibi [...]ilios fornicationum. Necum adulterium Davidis, incestum Thamar, mendacia Judit [...], & quemadmodum Joseph fratres suos inebriavit. Sara, Lea & Rachel doderunt ancill [...]s viris suis in concubinas, & multa alia eorum, quae in Scripturis magna cum laude commemorantur, vel provoca­retur ad hujusmodi▪ imitanda vel contemneret sanctos Patriarc [...]s ut olim Manic [...]aei, vel putarent mendacia esse in Scripturis. Bellarm. de verbo Dei, l. 2. c. 15. Audivi ab homine fide digno, cum in Anglia [...] Ministro Calvinista in templo legeretur lingua vulgari capitulum 25 Ecclesiastic [...]: ubi multa dicuntur de malitia mulierum; surrexisse foeminam quandam, atque dixisse. Istud ne est ver­bum Dei? immo potius verbum Diaboli est. Bellarm. ibid. Hujus historiae fides omnis penes sit [...]onum illum virum [...] quo Bellarminus eam accepit Whitakerus. scoffe; we may stile them in Tertullians phrase Scripturarum Lucifugae & Traditionaries.

Saint Gregory (who is blessed in their Church) exhorteth a lay-man to the serious study of the Scriptures, that thereby he might learne the will of God, alledging that the Scripture is the Epistle of God unto his creature. Quid est autem Scrip­tura sacra, nisi Epistola omnipotentis Dei ad Creaturam? Greg. lib. 4. epist. 40. ad Theodorum medicum. Proving further, that obscurity of Scripture is so frothy an argument for perswading [Page 32] any devout Christian not to read them, that it should rather incite them to greater diligence therein; and therefore he ele­gantly compares the Scripture to a River, wherein (saith he) there are as well shallow fords for Lambs to wade in, as depths and gulphs wherein the Elephant may swim.

Chrysostome held it a thing necessary for all men daily to read the Scriptures, Audite quaeso saeculares, comparate vobis Biblia animae pharmaca.

Saint Jerome did exhort divers women thereto, and com­mended them for exercising themselves therein, he writes to Laeta and Gaudentia, and shewes them how they should bring up their daughters. Scripturas sacras tenebat memoriter. Hieron. de Paula in Epitaphio. The Apostle would not have commen­ded this in Timothy, 2 Tim. 3. 15. that from his childhood he knew the holy Scriptures, nor noted it to the praise of his grand-mother and mother, that they had trained him up so, if he had not known that the holy Scriptures are so plaine that even a child may be able to understand them. What may we judge of the other easier bookes, when the holy Ghost would have the Revelation, the obscurest booke of all the Scripture to be read Revel. 1. 3. The people tooke occasion of erring and blaspheming from the humiliation of Christ, many abuse prea­ching and the Sacraments.

2. By this reason the Latine Bibles should not be suffered to be read publiquely, because many understanding Latine from the reading of them may take occasion of erring. There is a greater reason to be had of Gods elect which are edified by reading of the Scripture, then of those who wrest them; Peter by this reason stirred up the faithfull to read the Scriptures with greater devotion, 2 Pet. 3, 14, 15, 16, 17.

3. This is common both to the Ecclesiasticall persons and Laity, to take occasion of erring, and blaspheming from the Scripture. If we peruse the Histories of times past, we shall finde that learned and Ecclesiasticall men, did oftner fall into heresies and blasphenies from misunderstanding and wresting the Scriptures, then any of the common sort of people, who were often also by the learned drawn into heresie. The Papists [Page 33] are not afraid the people should be corrupted by reading their legends, and lying fables, by their Images, which doe naturally teach Idolatry.

Ob. The Papists further object, that the Hebrews did not permit young men to reade part of Genesis, Canticles, Ezekiel.

Sol. First, we must know the reading of those Scriptures non ablat am hominibus, sed dilatam fuisse, was not taken away from them,Davenantius determinat. 39. but delayed onely.

Secondly, this tradition concerning the age of men did drive away as well the Ecclesiasticke as the lay persons.

Notwithstanding all this that hath been objected by the Papists, we hold that the Scriptures ought to be translated into the vulgar and mother tongues of each nation, and that all V [...]rstius in his answer to Bellarmine joyns these two together, the promiscu­ous reading of the Scripture, and the tur­ning of it in linguas verna­cul [...].men ought to read them and meditate diligently in them, and that for these reasons.

1. From the Commandement and will of God revealed in Scripture; he hath commanded all that live in the Church to studyDaven. determ. quaest. 39. & in c. 3. epist. ad Coloss v. 16. Ingra [...]as esse Ecclesiae Roma­nae editiones vernaculas inde apparet, quod in illis lo [...]is ubi maxime obtinen [...] maximi placita, u [...] in Hispania, non procurant Pontificis homi­nes tales editiones, & ab aliis procuratas ferro & flammis prosequuntur. Amesius Bellarm. e [...]erv. c. 3. See Col. 4. 16. & 1 Thess. 5. 27. 2 John 13. 14. the Scriptures, and read them, Deut. 11. 18, 19. John 5. 3. He speaks not to the Scribes and Pharisees, but to the peo­ple in generall, they must try all things.

2. From Gods intention, which commanded it to be writ­ten for that end that it might be obvious to all, John 20. 31. Rom. 15. 4.

3. Those are commended which did read the Scripture, as the Eunuch, 8 Acts 22. the Bereans, Acts 17. Acts 11. and dis­praised which neglected it, as the Israelites Hos. 8. 12. they are pronounced blessed who diligently meditate in the Scrip­tures, Psal. 1. 2. How unlike to Peter, 2 Pet. 1. 19. are those which pretend to be his Successors.

4. From the fact of the Apostles, who as they publiquely preached the mysteries of salvation to the people; so also in their Epistles they commended the whole doctrine of salvation to be read by them. The Epistles of the Romanes, Corinthians, Galathians, Ephesians were written to the people, therefore to be read by them. One Epistle of John was written to Gaius a [Page 34] layman, another to the elect Lady. Timothy from the Cradle was versed in the Scripture.

5. From the profit and necessity of this study; men are il­lightned and converted by reading of the Scriptures Psal. 19. 8, 9 they are directed by them as most faithfull counsellers in in all their waies,Scripturae scrip­tae sunt ut inde petamus illumi­nationem mentis quo ad credenda, directionem vitae quoad agenda. Psal. 1. 19. 24. they are armedQuod omnes tangit, ab om­nibus tractari debet. by them against the fiery darts of Satan, Ephes. 6. 16. One seeing a youth reade the Scriptures, said, it was never well since such were permitted to turne over the Bible; but he answered him in the Psalmists words, Psal. 119. 9.

6. From the unanimous consent of all the Fathers, Chry­sostome and Jerome especially, who exhort the people to the private reading of the Scriptures, and testifie that the Scriptures were publiquely read in their Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, not in an unknown tongue, but in a tongue understood by the peo­ple Whitaker. contr. 1. quae. 2. c. 14. makes mention of very ancient English tran­slations, and Turretin [...] of old French tran­slations. vide Estium ad 2 Tim. 3. 15.. It was decreed by the Councell of Nice, that no Chri­stian should be without a Bible in his house. And the Jewes at this day suffer no house amongst them to be without the Bible. Christ and his Apostles teaching and disputing before the people, appeale to the Law and the Prophets, without the name of the Author, Booke, or Chapter, because they knew the Bible text to be familiar to the Israelites. In an unknowne tougue they cannot profit the people, ergo they ought to be translated into a tongue known to the peopleThe word of God was writ­ten by the Pro­phets and A­postles linguis ve [...]naculis, viz. to the Hebrews in Hebrew, to the Greekes in Greek., 1 Cor. 14.Vide Caseta­num in 1 Cor: 14 the Apostle in divers verses treateth of this subject, V. 6, 7, 19. He saith, all things ought to be done in the Church for the edi­fying of the people, that no man should speak in an unknown tongue, without an interpreter; and saith, that he had rather speak five words & be understood, then 10000 words in an un­known tongue. Those arguments before urged for the peoples reading of the Scripture, prove this also; for they cannot reade them in every Nation unlesse they be translated into a Tongue they understand. Christ and his Apostles taught the people the Scripture in their motherVernaculum teste Vall [...]leg. l. 1. c. 5. dicitur, quod est domi nost [...]e vel in [...]ra patria natum, ut lingua vernacula, quae vulgo dicitur lingu [...] mater [...]a. dictum à verna qui est s [...]rvus ex ancilla, domi nostrae natus. Ebraeis ergo lingua Ebraea fuit vernacula, Graecis Graeca, Latinis Latina. Hoc [...], vel Gr [...]a par [...] vel Latina Lingua sunt vernaculae. Rivetu [...] Isag. ad [...], Script: Tongue. In the next age after [Page 35] the Apostles (saith Gratius l. 3. de veritate Relig. Christ.) the new Testament was translated into divers vulgar Tongues, the Syriacke, Arabicke, Aethiopicke, and Latine; which version [...] are yet extant, and differ not mainly from the Greek.

In the elder & purer times, the Scriptures were translated into innumerable, yea into all Tongues usuall amongst men. See Gregories preface to the notes on passages of Scripture. The plain and usu­all words, the phrase and manner of speech most frequented, the comparisons and similitudes in Scripture most familiar, taken out of the shops and fields, from husbandry and houswifery, from the flockProv. 8. 9. By a man of understanding he meaneth every one that is godly, as by the foole the wicked. 3. Consectary. and the herd, shew that the Scriptures were written for the capacity and understanding of the unlearned, John 5. 39. a speciall place; if it be indicative, it shewes the customeVtinam om­nes saceremus illud quod Scrip­tum est, scruta­mini Scripturas. Origenes. of the Jewes; if imperative, it shewes what they ought to doe.

Many amongst us are to be blamed for not having the Scripture in their houses, and for not reading it constantly in the same as they ought to doe, or else they reade it as other bookes, not with such respect to it as the greatnesse of its Authour deserveth; I meane with a desire and purpose to be­lieve and obey all that they finde there, which must needs be the duty of those that confesse these writings come from God. We should receive it with reverence, believe it with confidence, exercise our selves in it with diligence and delight, practice it with obedience.

Reading the Scripture is a rehearsing out of the booke such things as are there written barely without any interpretation.The Chur­ches of Africk had this cu­stome, as Au­gustin sheweth, first they read a lesson out of the Prophets, then out of the Epistles and Gospell, with a Psalm be­tween. Acts 17. 11. It is to be done publikelySee M. T [...]g­bels womans glory, Ch. 11. about womens reading of the Scripture., as it was in the Synagogues of the Jewes who had the reading of the Law and Prophets amongst them, the Prophets were read in their eares every day, saith Paul, and after the lecture of the Law and the Prophets, in another place. We honour God more by a publique then a private reading of it. 2. Privately the godly Jewes of Berea did search the Scrip­tures, and the King is commanded to read in the Law.

Some good Divines hold that the Scriptures barely read (though preaching be not joyned with it) may be the instru­ment of regeneration, since the doctrine of the Gospell is [Page 36] called the ministration of the Spirit, Psal. 19. the law of the Lord converteth the soule, it is so when not preached; but the word of God is made effectuall by the Spirit, more often, more ordinarily to beget a new life in the preaching (that is, the in­terpreting and applying of it) then in the bare reading, 1 Tim. 4. 13. Matth. 28. 29. Christs custome was (as we may collect out of Luke 4. where one instance is recorded to make us conceive his ordinary practice) when he had read, to interpret the Scripture, and often to apply it.

Let us all learn constantly to exercise our selves in the wri­tings of God,Christus Scrip­turas scrutari jubet, vel potius Judaeu hoc testi­monii perhibet, quod illas scru­tentur. John 5. 39. Zeppe [...]us. which if we strive to doe in a right manner, we shall attaine true knowledge of the way to Heaven, and also grace and help to walke in that way. If the Lord should deny to any man the publique helps of preaching and conference, yet if that man should constantly reade the word, praying to God to teach him and guide him by it, and strive to follow it in his life, he should finde out the truth, and attaine saving grace, the word would illighten and convert; but if God afford publique preaching and interpretation, we must use that too as a principall ordinance.

Let us all readeScripturam sacram [...] legendo Cara vocant & Micra, quod in ea legenda, cog­noscenda, operae non parum ac temporis ponen­dum sit. Ideo praecipiunt, ut homo annos aeta­tis suae dividat in tres [...]pares, quarum tertiam lectionioni tribu­at sacrarum lite­rarum. D [...]usius. Ebraic. quaest. [...]4. the Scripture.

1. With hearty prayers to God to direct us, and open the sence of it to us, Psal. 119. 18. JAmes 1. 5, 17. and with a reso­lution to put in practice that which we learne, Jam. 1. 25. Matth. 7. 24. and we shall finde the word read Gods power to our edification and salvation. Onely a Spirituall understan­ding can discerne an excellency in the Scripture. Nunquam Pauli mentem intelliges, nisi prius Pauli spiritum imbiberis.

2. Diligently, attend unto reading, 1 Tim. 4. 13, 15. John 5. 39. Search the Scriptures, whether the Greeke word be a metaphor from hunting dogges, or from diggers in mines, both import diligence. It was a solemne speech used in holy actions, hoc age. The passions of the Martyrs may be read when their anniver­sarie daies are celebrated. Whence the name of Legends. Chamier.

3. Orderly, that we may be better acquained with the whole body of the Scriptures. We should reade on in Chronicles and [Page 37] Ezra, M. Pemble of the Persian Monarchy. and other places wherein are nothing but names and Genealogies, to shew our obedience to God in reading over all his sacred word, and we shall after reape profit by that we un­derstand not for the present; though it will be convenient to begin with the new Testament as more plain, before we reade the old.

4. With faith,V [...]rbum Scrip­tum est objectum fidei adaequatum, primum funda­mentum. à quo capit initium, & ultimum illud in quod resolvitur. Amesius de Cir­cul [...] Pontificio. Prima veritas est fidei obje­ctum formale quo; & Deus ipse sive absolute, sive in Christo, est ejusdem ob­jectum formale quod. Id ib. Heb. 4. 2. The word of God consisteth of foure parts: 1. History, 2. Commandements, 3. Promises, 4. Threats. All truths taught in the History of the Scripture ought to be believed. As that the world was made of nothing, onely by the word of God, Heb. 11. 3. and that the bodies of men howsoever they died, shall rise againe at the last day, Job 19. 26. 2 All precepts, Genes. 22. 6. Abraham went doing that commandement though strange. 3 All promi­ses, as that God could give Abraham when he was 100 yeeres old, a seed and posterity which should be as innume­rable as the Stars in the Firmament, Genes. 15. 5. and that by Sarah an old and barren woman, Gen. 17. 16. Abraham and Sarah believed it, Rom. 4. 20, 21. Heb. 11. 11. 4. Threat­nings, as that Gen. 6. 13. 17. though unlikely, Noab believed it, 2 Pet. 2. 5. because God had said it, Heb. 11. 7. and that Jonah 3. 4. the people of Nineveh believed, v. 5. In narrando gravitas, in imperando authoritas, in promittendo liberalitas, in minando severitas. Spanhemius or at. de officio Theologi.

5. Constantly. Cyprian was so much delighted with the rea­ding of Tertullian, that he read something in him every day, and called him his Master,Divinas Scri­pturas sapius lege, i [...]ò nun­quam de mani­bus tuis sacra lectio dep [...]natur Hieron. ad Ne­potian. de vita Cleric [...]rum. Da Magistrum. Let Gods com­mand, the examples of the godly, and our owne benefit quic­ken us to a frequent reading of the holy Scriptures. Mr Bifield hath a Kalender, shewing what number of Chapters are to be read every day, that so the whole Bible may be read over in the yeere. The number of Chapters while you are reading the old Testament, is for the most part three a day, and when you come to the new Testament it is but twoBifields di­rections for private reading the Scriptures, See Practice of piety, p. 314.; sometimes where the matter is Historicall or Typicall, or the Chapters short, he hath set down a greater number. The Martyrs would sit up all night in reading and hearing.

[Page 38] After we have read and understood the Scripture, we must 1. give thanks to God for the right understanding of it, and pray him to imprint the true knowledge of it in our hearts, that it may not fall out. 2. We must meditate in the word of God now understood, and so fix it in our minds. One de­fines meditation thus: It is an actionPsal. 1. [...]. What medita­tion is. See M. Fenner on 1 Hag. 5. A young Di­sciple asking an old Rabbi, whether he might not have time to learne the Greeke Tongue, he said, if hee would doe it neither by night nor by day, he might, because by night and day he was to study the Law. 1 Psalm 2. of the soule calling things to mind or remembrance, and discoursing of them, that they might be the better understood, retained, affected, and possessed. It is as it were every mans preaching to himselfe, and is a setting ones selfe seriously to consider in his mind, and apply to his owne soule some necessary truth of Gods word, till the mind be informed, and the heart affected, as the nature thereof requires, and is the wholesomest and usefullest of all exercises of piety. This is to ingrast the word into ones soule, to give the seed much earth; this is to bind it to the Tables of our heart, and to hide it in the furrows of our soules; this is to digest it, and make it our owne. 3. WeMeditatio est actus religionis seu exercitium spirituale, que Doum & res divinas intenta, experimentali, & affectu [...]sa cognitione recordamur, nobisque applica­mus. Voetius. must apply to our owne use whatsoever things we reade and understand, the pre­cepts and examples of the Law to instruct our life, the pro­mises and comforts of the Gospell to confirme our faith.

It serves for thankfulnesse,4 Consectary. 1. that now we have the Scripture, the world was a long time without it; it was the more wicked because they had no canon of Scripture. We are not like to erre by tradition, as former ages have done. 2. That we have so great a part of Scripture,Some gave five marks for a book. Fox. and in our vulgar tongue; the Martyrs would have given a load of Hay for a few Chapters of St JAmes or Paul in English. 3. That we have so great helps for the opening of the Scripture; so many excellent Exposi­tors; compare Mollerus on the Psalmes, with Austin. As the latter thoughts are usually the more advised, Quo junioros [...] perspicaciores. Salmeron. so the latter Interpre­ters are generally the quicker sighted.

All those are to be reproved which contemne or unreverent­ly handle the Scriptures.5 Consectary.

1. Atheists,Speculative and practicall Atheists. who impiously oppose the word of God, and all [Page 39] prophane wretches who live loosely and wickedly,It argued a prophane spirit in Politian, who said, that there was more in one of Pin­d [...]rs Odes then all Davids Psalmes. their doom is written in this book. Julian the Apostate said of Apollinarius his Booke, wherein he defended the Divine truth against the Gentiles, Vidi, legi, contempsi; I have seen them, I have read them, I have contemned them. To whom Basil replied, Vi­disti, legisti non intellexisti, si intellexisses; non contempsisses. Thou hast seen and read them, but not understood them; if thou hadst understood them, thou wouldst not have contemned them.

2. Papists, who 1. Set up Images and Pictures instead of the Scripture; the Scriptures (they say) may teach men errors, but may not Pictures?

2. Equall the Apocrypha, and unwritten verities, or rather vanities, with the sacred Scriptures.

3. Charge the Scriptures with insufficiency,lis, qui maxi­ma sibi Christia­norum, Catholi­corum nomen venditant, nihil tam solenne est, tamque vulga­tum, quam Scrip­turas calumnia [...]i Chamierus. and obscurity, allow it not to be a perfect rule.

4. Make it of no force to binde our consciences unlesse the Pope ratifie it.

5. Give the Pope power to dispense with things therein for­bidden, yea and with oathes and vowes, which no Scripture dispenseth withall.

6. Teach that the vulgar Latine is to be received as Au­thenticke.

7. Wrest and turn it which wayQuam verè di xerit olim Poly­dorus Virgilius, Dectores quo [...] ­dam Pontificias sacras literas, quo volunt, re­torquere, inst [...]t sutorum, quisor­dides pelles suis dentibus enten­dunt. they please, Esay 28. 16. Cardinall Bellarmine in praefat. l. de Summo Pontifice & Baronius, say, that by precious and corner stone in this place, the Pope of Rome, although lesse principally, is meant, who is a stum­bling stone to Hereticks, and a rocke of offence, but to Catho­licks a tried, precious corner stone; yet Peter 1. 2. 6. & 8. expoun­deth those words not of himselfe, but of Christ. Bellarmine from Matth. 21. Feed my Lambs and Sheep, would inferre the Popes universall dominion; Baronius from the Acts Pasco o [...]es meas, hoc est, re­gio more impera., kill and eate, Psal. 8. 6. under his feet, that is, say they, of the Pope of Rome; Sheep) i. Christians; Oxen) that is, Jewes and Here­ticks; Beasts of the field, i. Pagans; Fowles of the ayre, i. Angels. Fishes of the Sea, i. soules in Purgatory.

They have Tapers in their Churches in the day time, because [Page 40] Christ saith, I am the light of the world: or because they had such at midnight, Acts 20. 8. where Paul preached.

This is the great fault of the Schoole Divines,Thomas ex Ari­stotele, Patribus, Concil [...]is, & barbara Biblio­rum versione magnum illud Systema compi­lavit, cui titulū Summae fecit, Liber sententia­rum & Summa Thom [...], tanquam duo Testamenta, in pulpita in­troducti sunt. Amam [...]. that they handle Paul and Aristotle, Suae curiositati litantes potius, quam pietati; so that he is counted most learned amongst them who dares to seeke, and presumes to define most things out of the Scripture. What distinctions, orders, degrees and offices doe they make of Angels? what curious questions doe they raise? what use would there have been of sexes, if Adam had not sin'd, whether Christ should have been incarnate if there had been no sinne, and infinite such like.

The Schoole men perverting theCum Mose pugnant, cum Pro­phetis, cum A­postolis, cum Christo ipso, ac Deo Patre & Spiritu sancto, qui sacras lite­ras & oracula divina contem­nunt. Bellarm. de verbo Dei. l. 1. c. 2. Scriptures have propha­ned Divinity with Philosophy, or rather Sophistry, and yet are called Schoole Divines, Dr. Clerke. when they are neither Schollers in in truth nor Divines.

Behold two Swords Luke 22. 83. therefore the Pope hath two Swords; one Spirituall, another Temporall, 1 Cor. 2. 14. ergo, The Pope judgeth of all things, and is judged of none.

The Papils stile the Scripture Regulam Lesbiam, nasum ce­reum, Evangelium nigrum, Theologiam atramentariam. A Les­bian rule, a nose of wax, the black Gospell, inky Divinity.

Bishop Bonners Chaplaine called the Bible his little pretty Gods book,Dr. Rainolds against Hart. Giford and Raynolds said it contained somethings prophane and Apocryphall.

The Rebels in Ireland tooke the Bibles, threw them into the chanels,Dr. Jones his Remo strance. See Sir John Temple of the Irish Rebellion, p. 108. and cast them into the fire, and called it Hell fire, and wished they could serve all the rest so.

But I may say of the Gospell as the French Lady of the Crosse, Never dog barkt at the Crosse, but he ran mad.

Contrarationem nemo sabrius, contra Ecclesiam nemo pacificus, contra Scripturas nemo Christianus.

Thirdiy, The Brownists vainly and idlyNon debet Scriptura quacunque occasione detorqueri à genuino sensu. Imò quodammodo soelius est, citando detorquere: quta indicium est, nos tum Scripturis abuti ad arbitrium: & tanquam regulaus Lesbiam pro nostro commodo huc illuc detorquer [...]. Hoc verò cum semper verum est, tum maximè in disputatione: quantum enim illud crimen est, ut qui aliorum men­dacia refutare profitetur, ipse se ita gerat, ut falsarius appellari possit? Chamierus de Canone, lib. 8. c. 6. quote the Scrip­ture, [Page 41] filling their margents with many Texts of Scripture, but nothing to the purpose, and misapply it; they alledge those Texts of Esay 52. 51. and Rev. 18. 4. to draw men from all the assemblies of Gods people, whither any wicked men doe resort.

Fourthly, The Antinomians, or Antinomists, who cry down the Law of God, and call those that preach the law, Legall Preachers, and stand for Evangelicall grace; the Law is part of Canonicall Scripture, and hath something peculiar in it, being written with the finger of God, and delivered with Thunder and Lightning. See Mr Gatakers Treatise on 23 Numb. 21. and Mr Burgesse his Lectures on 1 Tim. 1. 8, 9.

Fifthly, Stage-players, who jest with Scriptures; Witches, and others, which use charmes, writing a piece of St Johns Gospell to cure a disease, or the like, are to be condemned for abusing the Scripture. Per v [...]es sacras (puta Evang. Johannis, orationem Dominicam frequenter cum Ave Maria recitatam, Symbolum Apo­stolicum, &c.) morbos curare magicum est. Voetius.

Sixthly, Printers, who print the Bible in bad Paper, a blind print, and corruptly, are likewise to be blamed.

Seventhly,Judaei Evange­lium dici vo­lunt, quasi [...] Aven Gilion, id est, mendaci­um, seu iniqui­tatem voluminis Gualtperius. the Heathens and Jewes. Tacitus cals the doctrine of the Gospell, Superstitionem quandam exitiabilem.

The moderne Jewes call Evangelium aven gilion, a volume of lies, word for word, the iniquity of the Volume; The blasphemous Jewes meane (I suppose) the volume of iniquity. Elias Levita in Thishi mentions this Etymologie or rather Pseudologie of the word; but P. Fagius abhorred to tran­slate it.1 Cor. 1. 22.

Scripture arguments are the chiefest to convince an unbelie­ver. 6 Consectary.Christ by divers arguments John 5. labours to convince the Jewes that he was the Messiah promised. 1. John bare witnesse of him, vers. 33. 2 His works bare witnesse of him, vers. 36. 3 The Father did beare witnesse of him, vers. 37. 4 He produceth the testimony of the Scriptures, v. 39. They are they which testifie of me. Will you not believe John, my mira­cles, my word from Heaven, then believe the written word. If we believe not the testimony of Scripture,It is a grada­tion. nothing will con­vince [Page 42] us,Luke 16. 31. though one rise from the dead; nor Christ himselfe, if hee were here in the flesh, and should preach unto us, John 5. ult.

The Lord in executing of his judgements commonly ob­serves proportion and retaliation. Antichrist is the greatest opposite to Gods Law and Word, he is called therefore [...] 2 Thess. 2. 8. the lawlesse one; He is without Law, above Law, against Law; he abuseth Scripture, takes upon him to judge, and interpret Scripture, therefore it shall be his ruine, 2 Thess. 2. 8. God shall destroy him with the Spirit of his mouth, idest, verbo suo. Beza. God hath consecrated the word to this pur­pose; the end of it is not onely to save, but destroy, being the savor of death to some; and it is a fit instrument for such a worke. Antichrists strength is in mens consciences; onely this will pierce thither, Heb. 4. 12. God useth the word for the destruction of Antichrist, these waies: 1. It discovers him, his doctrine, his errours. 2. It hardens him. 3. It condemneth him, and passeth sentence against him.

CHAP. III.
2. The Bookes of Scripture:

FRom the Divine flowes the Canonicall authority of the Scripture. The bookes of Scripture are called Canoni­call bookes (say some) from the word [...],Tum antiqui theologi, Basi­lius, Chrysosto­mus, Augustinus; tum recentiores, celeberrimi no­minis inter ad­versarios, Tho­mas Aquinas, Ferus, Andradius, aliique Scripturam Canonis nomine designant, aut designatam asserunt, tan­quam intellectus & voluntatis regulam ad cuncta, seu credenda, seu agenda, perfectissimam. Rain [...]l­dus, 1 Thess. which word is used 2 Cor. 10. 13. Phil. 3. 16. Gal. 6. 16. [...], marke the double emphasis, this notable Canon, because they were put into the Canon by the Universall Church & acknowledged to be divinely inspired by it, and also are made a perfect Canon or rule of all doctrine concerning religion, creden­dorum & agendorum, of faith and manners, of all things which [Page 43] are to be believed or done toward salvation. But Cameron thinks it is not termed Canonicall, because it is a rule, for that booke (saith he) is called Canonicall, which is put into the Catalogue (which the ancients called a Canon) of those writings which are esteemed Divine. Becanus saith,Scripturae dicuntur Ca­nonicae, quia quid nos crede­re, & quem­admodum vivere operteat, praescribunt, ut huc fidem omnem, vitamque nostram reseramus, quem­admodum lapicida aut architectus ad amuss [...]m & perpeudiculum opus suum exigit. Whitakerus de Script. Controver. primae quaestione prima. Cap. 2. Libri sacrae Scripturae Canonici dicuntur: qui [...] fidei morum que regulam continent. Woitakerus & Scharpius de sacra Scriptura. they are called Canonicall, both because they containe a rule which we ought to follow in faith and manners, and because they are put into the Catalogue of Divine bookes.

The conditions of a Canon are these:

1. It must containe truth, or be an expresse form and image of truth, which is in the divine mind.

2. It must be commanded, sanctified and confirmed by Di­vine authority, that it may be a Canon to us in the Church.

These bookes were sanctified, either commonly all of both Testaments by the testimony of the Spirit and Church, and Canon it selfe, or the books of the old Testament were speci­ally and singularly confirmed by word, signes and event, as the Pentateuch, but the Propheticall books and Hagiographa before their carrying into Babylon by extraordinary signe, the cloud and vaile in the Temple, 1 Kings 8. 10. Levit. 16. 2. and Gods answer by Ephod, Urim, and Thummim, Exod 28. 30. after their carrying away into Babylon by singular testimonies of events. The books of the new Testament are confirmed by the Sonne of God revealed in flesh, by his sayings and deeds, Heb. 1. 2. and by the powerfull ministery of the Apostles, by signes, vertues and miracles, Marke 16. 20.

There is a threefold Canon in the Church,Proprii Cano­nis dicti univocè due conditiones sunt insepara­biles quod veri­tatem divinam contineat divinitus materia & forma, & quod authoritate divins publica Ecclesia datus & sanctifica­tus, ut sit Canon sive regula ipsiu, atque hic verè divinus Canon. Jun. animadvers. in Bellarm. Divine, Ecclesia­sticall, and False.

The Divine Canon is that which properly and by itselfe is called the word of God, immediately inspired of God into the Prophets and Apostles.

[Page 44] This according to the divers times of the Church is di­stinguished into the old and new Testament, 2 Cor. 3. 6, 14. this is a common division of the sacred Bible among Christians, as in the version of Tremelius and Junius, Testamenti veteris & novi Biblia sacra; and the Geneva gives that title to their Bible, La Bible, qui est toute la Saincte Escriture du viel & novean Testament. Austin thinkes they are better called, Vetus & novum Instrumentum. Heinsius & Grotius, vetus & novum Foedus. vide Grotii Annotat. in libros Evangelii. A Covenant is an agree­ment between two; a Testament is the declaration of the will of one.

It is called in regard of the forme, convention and agree­ment betweene God and man, a Covenant; in regard of the manner of confirming it a Testament. For 1. in a Testament or last will the Testators mind is declared, so is the will of God in his word, therefore it is called a Testimony often, Psal. 19. & 119. l 2. Here is a Testator, Christ; a Legacy, eternall life; Heires, the elect; a writing, the Scripture; Seales, the Sacra­ments. 3. Because it is ratified by the death of Christ, Heb. 9. 16, 17.

The Bookes of the old Testament are the holy Scriptures given by God to the Church of the Jewes,Est mater Ec­clesia, & ubera ejus duo Testa­menta divinarū Scripturarum. Aug. tract. 3. in Epist. Joh. shewing them what to believe, and how God would be worshipped: The new Testament containeth the bookes which treate of salvation already exhibited, and Christ already come in the flesh.

All the bookes of the old Testament were written origi­nally Vt veterum librorum fides, de Hebraeis vs. luminibus exa­minanda est, ita novorum veritas Greci sermonis norn [...]am deside­rat. Augustinus.in Hebrew, because they were committed unto the He­brews, Rom. 3. 2. except what Daniel From the fourth verse of the second Chapter of Daniel to the end of the seventh Chapter; and from the eighth verse of the fourth Chapter of Esaras unto the end of the seventh, the Chaldee Dialect is used. and Ezra wrote in the Chaldee. The Jewish Church receiving them from God, kept them and delivered them to posterity. Many grave Authours hold, that the Hebrew was the first Tongue, and mother of all the rest; and it may probably be collected from the names of our first parents. It was called Hebrew (saith Erpenius) not from Heber of the posterity of Sem, as Josephus, Jerome, and others thinke, when it is manifest that he rather spake Chaldee then [Page 45] Hebrew, because Abraham the Patriarke which drew his ori­ginall from him was a Chaldean; but it was so called, saith Erpenius Erpenius o [...] at, de ling. Ebr. dignitate. Some say the Hebrewes were so called from Abrahams pas­sing over Eu­phrat [...]s. id. ib., (as all the Rabbines, Origen and others testifie) from the Hebrews, which people arose from Canaan. It is honoured with the title of the holy Tongue (saith the same Erpenius) because the most holy God spoke it to his Prophets, delivered his holy will written in it to the Church; and because it is very probable from the opinion of great men, that holy men shall use it with God hereafter in Heaven,Omnes libri Canonici v [...]teris Testamenti E­braic [...] scripti fuerunt. Dantele & Ezra sunt quedam partes Chaldaicae, nem­pè quae ab iis ex publicis An­nalibus & fastis regni desumptae fuerant, in quorum monar­chia tum vive bant, ut obsen­vavit doctissi­mus Iu [...]ius. vide Buxtorfium de Linguae Hebraeae origine, Antiquitate & Sanctitate. There are many Hebraismes also in the new Testament, many words and phrases rather used according to the manner of the Hebrews then the Greeks; by which it is mauifest that the same Spirit was the Authour of the old and new Testament. The know­ledge of the Hebrew much conduceth to the learning of those famous Orientall Tongues, the Chaldee, Syriacke, Arabicke, and Aethiopicke, by reason of the great affinity which they have with their mother.

The bookes of the old Testament may be divided severall waies; in respect of the stile, some were written in prose, some in verse: in respect of time, some were written before their being taken captives into Babylon, as Samuel, Esay, H [...]sea, and many others; some in the CaptivityAs Ezechiel; Daniel. Jerome hath followed this division of the Hebrewes., and some after, as Haggai, Za­chary, Malachy. The Hebrewes divide the Bible (ex instituto Esdrae) into three speciall parts: 1. The Law, the five Bookes of Moses. 2. The Prophets. 1. The former, Joshua, Judges, two bookes of Samuel. and two of the Kings. 2. The latter. 1. Greater, three. 2. Lesser, twelve.

3. The Hagiographa, for want of a more speciall name, by which title all the rest are understood, and they are elevenBoth the Chronicles, the Psalmes, Pro­verbs, Job, Ruth, Daniel, Eccle­siastes, Canticles, Lamentations, Hester, Ezra, and Nehemiah, counted for one booke.. Our Saviour himselfe mentions this most ancient distinction, Luke 24. 44. calling all the rest of the bookes (besides the Law and Prophets,) Psalmes. All the Scriptures of the old Testa­ment (in other places) are comprised in the Law and Prophets Matth. 5. 17. & 7. 12. & 11. 13. & 20. 40. Acts 13. 15. & 24. 14. & 26. 22. & 28. 23. Rom. 3. 21. or Moses and the Prophets, Luke 24. 27. & 16. 29. or in the Scriptures of the Prophets, Rom. [Page 46] 16. 26. or the Prophets alone, Luke 1. 70. & 24. 25, 27. Rom. 1. 2. Heb. 1. 1. the name Prophet being taken as it is given to every holy writer.

The Jewes, and the Ancient reckon 22Joseph. contra Appion l. 1. Euseb. l. 3. c. 10. Some of the Jewes reckon 24. See Sextus Senensis his Bib­lieth l. 1. sect. 2. Some 27. Bookes in the old Testament, according to the number of the Letters of the Al­phabet, for memory sake, Ruth being joyned with the Booke of Judges, and the Lamentations, being annexed to Jeremy their Author. Hebraeis sunt initiales & medianae literae 22, finales quinque. Quamobrem V. T. modo in 22. modo in 27. libros par­tiuntur.

All the bookes of both Testaments are 66. 39 of the old, and 27 of the new Testament. Some would have Hugo Car­dinall to be the first Authour of that division of the Bible into Chapters,Waliherus in efficina Biblioa p 237. which we now follow. No man put the verses in the Latine Bibles before Robert Stephen; As the Masso­rites reckoned all the words and letters, so some Christi­ans all the verses of the Bible. and for the new Te­stament, he performed that first, beingHenric: Steph. Lect. in Cancordant. Graec. N. T. Grotius de Iure Belli. l. 1. c. 2. Rive [...]us, Isag. ad Script. sac. c. 29. holpen by no Booke, Greeke or Latine. Vide Croii observat. in novum Testam. c. 7.

This arithmeticall distinction of Chapters which we have in our Bibles was not from the first authours. Of which that is an evident token, that in all the quotations which are read in the new Testament out of the old; there is not found any men­tion of the Chapter, which would not have been altogether omitted, if all the Bibles had then been distinguished by Chapters, as ours,We are not too superstiti­ously to adhere to our late di­vision. See He­insius prolegom. ad exercit. Dr. Rainolds his Letter for the study of Divinity. distinguishing of the Bible into Chapters and Verses, much helpes the reader, but it sometimes obscures the sense. Dr Raynolds gives this counsell to young Students in the study of Divinity, that they first take their greatest tra­vell with the helpe of some learned interpreter in understan­ding St Johns Gospell, and the Epistle to the Romans, the sum of the new Testament, Esay the Prophet and the Psalmes of David, the summe of the old, and in the rest they shall doe well also, if in harder places they use the judgement of some godly writer, as Calvin and Peter Martyr who have written best on the most part of the old Testament.

The Bookes of the old Testament are: 1. Legall. 2. Histo­ricall. 3. Poeticall. 4. Propheticall.

1. Legall (which the Hebrews call from the chiefe part Torah [Page 47] Deut. 31. 9. & 33. 4. the Grecians from the number Pentateuch) the five Bookes of Moses: Pentatenchum [...] quinque volumi­n [...]bus dicitur: [...] [...]nim Graecis quinque [...] volu­men vocatur, Ifid. l. 6. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; all written by Moses, (as it is commonly agreed) except the last Chapter in the end of Deuteronomy, concerning his death, written by Joshua. In which five Bookes are descri­bed the things done in the Church from the beginning of the world to the death of Moses. In Judaica Ec­clesia, [...]tsi summa fuerit omnium librorum veteris Testamenti, dig­nitas & autori­tas, maxima tamen su [...]t quin­que librorum Mosis. Rivetus. The Sadduces (as some say) received no other Scripture but these five Bookes of Moses; therefore Christ, Matth. 23. 32. proves the resurrection of the dead, which they denied, out of the second Booke of Moses; but Scultetus saith, that they rejected not the Prophets, l. 1. ex­ercit. evang. c. 22.

Anciently it was not the custome of holy writers to adde Titles to what they had written, but either left their workes altogether without Titles, or the first words were Ti­tles, the Titles now in use, as Genesis, Exodus, were prefixed according to the arbitrement of men; and the like is to be thought of those before the historicall bookes of the new Te­stament, as Matthew, Marke Luke, John.

With the Hebrews the Titles of bookes are taken sometimes from the subject matter or argument,Spanhem Dub. Evangel. parte tertia Dab. 1. as in the bookes of Judges, Ruth, Kings, Proverbs, and others of that kinde; some­times from the Authors or amanuenses rather, as in the bookes of Joshua and the Prophets; sometimes from the initiall words with which the bookes begin, which Jerome followes. The Bookes of Moses are denominated from the initiall words.

  • [...] 1. in principie. i. e.
    Nomina h [...] ­rum quinque librorum ab Hebraeis sumuntur de primis verbis librorum, Graeci & Latini deno­minant hos libros à materia dequa agitur in princi­pl [...] librl. Bellar­minus.
    Genesis.
  • [...] 2. Haec nomina. h. e. Exodus.
  • [...] 3. & vocavit. h. e. Leviticus.
  • [...] 4. in deserto. i. e. Numeri.
  • [...] 5. verba. sive Deuteronomium.

These are subdivided againe intoSee my Epistle to my Hebrew Critica sacra, and Thorndike of Religious Assemblies, Chap. 6. p. 175, 176. 54 Sections, that the rea­ding of them may be finished in so many Sabbaths, which is signified Acts 15. 12.

Junius, Ainsworth, and Amama, with Calvin, Cornelius a [Page 48] Lapide, and Piscator have done well on the Pentateuch.

1. Genesis) in Hebrew Bereshith, the first word of the book, by the Septuagint it is called [...], which appellation the Latine Church retained, because it sets forth the first genera­tion of things, Ch. 2. v. 4. and of Adam, or mankind, Gen. 5. 1. It consists of 50 Chapters,2308 saith Six­tus Senensis. and containes a History of 2368 yeeres from the creation of the world, to the death of Joseph.

The best Expositors of this booke are Mercer, River, Pareus, Caelvin, Peter Martyr on 40 Chapters, Willet, Ainsworth.

Origen upon the Canticles, and Jerome Hieron. in prologo in Ezech. & Epist. jam. l. 1. Epist. 32. Eustocbio. Mer­cer. praefat, in Gen. & Cantic. Vossius in The­sibus de creatio­ne. Vide Estium ad Ezech. 40. v. 46. upon Ezekiel say, that the Hebrewes forbad those that had not attained to the age of the Priesthood, and judgement, viz. 30 yeeres, to reade in three bookes, for their profundity and difficulty; that is, the beginning of the world, which is contained in the three first Chapters of Genesis, the beginning and end of Ezekiel, since that treats of the Cherubins, and the Divine Majesty, this of the structure of the third Temple, and the Song of Songs, in which those things which ought to be understood of the Divine Authour, are easily through youthfull affection else­where drawne and wrested.

This booke of Genesis is not onely profitable, but very ne­cessary for doctrine; as Moses is the Prince, and as it were, Parent of Divines: so Genesis is the foundation and excellent compendium of all Divinity, propounding evidently the chiefe parts of it.

2 Exodus) The second booke of Moses is called in Hebrew Shemoth, in Greeke [...], which word the Latines have re­tained. It consists of 40 Chapters, and containes a History (say Junius and Tremelius) of 142 yeeres,146 saith Se­nensis. viz. from the death of Joseph even to the building of the Tabernacle.

The best Expositors of it are Rivet, Willet, Calvin, Ainsworth.

3 Leviticus) in Hebrew Vaiicra, Barbara Tur­carum gens h [...] ­die Mosis doctri­nam [...] comprehensam, non aliter quam divinam veneratur, adeo ut etiam chartarum laci­nias, quibus aliquid ejus foriè inscriptum sit, deosculetur. Pareus praefat. de libris Mosis. Evangelistae & Apostoli in nove Testamento, centies quinquagies & amplius in narrationibus & cencionibus suis Mosaic [...] Cononis authoritatem adducunt, ut suum cum Mose & Prophetis consensum comprobent. Id ib. in Greeke and Latine Levi­ticus, from the matter which it handleth, because it treats [Page 49] especially of the Leviticall Priesthood, and the Leviticall or Ceremoniall Lawes in it. It consists of 27 Chapters, and con­taines a History of one Moneth, viz. of the first, in the second yeere after their going out of Egypt.

The best Expositors of it are Calvin, Ainswarth, and Willet.

4 Numbers) in Hebrew Vaie dabber, in Greeke [...], in Latine Numeri, in English Numbers, because it begins with de­claring the number of the people, and because many numbe­rings are reckoned up in this booke. It containes a History of 38 yeeres, and consists of 36 Chapters.

The best Expositors of it are Calvin, Attersoll, Ainsworth.

5 Deuteronomy) in Hebrew Haddebarim, from the first words, in Greeke [...], which the Latine retaines, because it containes a second repetition of many necessary points of the Law. It consists of 34 Chapters, and containes a history of the two last moneths of the yeere. Some say concerning the 34 Ch. 10. that part of it was written by Ezra contemporary with Malachy.

The best Expositors of it are Calvin, Ainsworth, Wolphius Cornelius a Lapide.

2 Historicall.The Hebrewes divide the bookes into 4 Classes. The first is called Thorah that is, the law, contai­ning the five Bookes of Moses. The second Nebii [...]n R [...]sho­nim, the Books of the former P [...]phets, as Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings. The third Nebiius Acharouim, later Prophets, Esay, Jeremy, Ezekiel. And the lesser being 12. but one booke. A Sepher Ketubim the Hagiographall bookes.

  • 1. Before the Captivity, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings.
  • 2 After the Captivity, both the Chronicles Ezra, Ne­hemiah.

The sixth Booke in the old Testament is called Joshua, be­cause it containes a History of things done by Joshua the ser­vant of Moses, which he by the will of God put in writing, it being all written by him, except some of the last Chapter, where mention is made of his death, and thought to be writ­ten by Samuel. It consists of 24 Chapters and containes a Hi­story of 18 yeeres, viz. from the death of Moses even to the death of Joshua.

The best Expositors of it are Masius and Serarius for Papists, Drusius and Lavater of Protestants.

[Page 50] The seventh booke is called Shophetim, It was written, as tis likely, by divers Pro­phets, Matth. 2 ult. Vide Bezam Bucer. & Calvin. in loc. Judges, because it containes things done under the government of the 12 Judges. There is nothing certaine of the authour of this Booke, though some would have Samuel: but he rather collected and com­piled into one Volume what was written by many. It describes the state of the government of Israel from the death of Joshua even to the Priesthood ofPetrus Martyr in praefat. com. in lib. Judic. scribit, alios putare unum­quenque judi­cem suorum temporum res gestas conscripsisse, quae postea Samuel (eorum monimenta cum difiecta essent) in unum quoddam corpus seu volumen cocgerit. Eli. It consists of 21 [...]hapters, and containes a History of 299 yeeres, say some; of 300 at least, saith Spanhemius.

The best Expositors of it are Peter Martyr, Drusius, Lavater, Serrarius.

The eighth is Ruth, the authour of which booke is un­knowne; many thinke it was written by Samuel, who added this as a part or conclusion of the booke of Judges. It consists of foure Chapters, and is an History concerning the marriage and posterity of Ruth.

The best Expositors of it are Deusius, Wolphius, Lavater, Topsell.

The ninth in order are the two bookes of Samuel, The Authors of these Books of Samuel, are thought to be Samuel, Nathan, and Gad 1 Sa­muel of the first Booke to the 25 Chap­ter, where his death is rehea­sed, Nathan and Gad con­tinued it. 1▪ Chron. 29. 29. which containe in them an History of 120 y [...]eres. The first begin­ning an History of 80 yeeres, of 40 under Eli, 1 Sam. 4. 18. and of 40 under Samuel and Saul, Acts. 13. 21. and consists of 31 Chapters. The second Booke is a History of 40 yeeres, even from the death of Saul to the end of Davids Kingdome, and consists of 24 Chapters. These two Bookes in the Ori­ginall have two severall Titles:They are called the first and second of Kings by the Greeks and Latines. They containe a large History of things done by Kings, the History of Samuel being praeposed. The ordinary glosse saith, he wrote a good part of the first Booke. Scriptor h [...] ­rum librorum quatuor Hebraeorum eruditissimis creditur esse Jeremias. Sermonis forma non discrepat, Eum credibile est usum commentariis illis Nathanis & Gadis Prophetarum, quorum mentio 1 Paral. 29. 29. Grotius. The one is the first and se­cond of Kings. the other the first and second of Samuel. The former Title it hath received as it stands in relation to the two next Bookes, and in opposition to that of Judges; for as [Page 51] in that Story the Regiment of Judges was described in one Booke, so in this Story, of which these two are but one part, the Regiment of Kings is described: this is the reason of the first Title. The other likewise of the first and second of Samuel is given unto it, 1. Because there is very frequent mention made of Samuel therein, he being a principall subject of the first part thereof. 2. Because it continueth the narration so farre, till the infallible truth of Samuels principall Prophesie (which seemed to remaine in great doubtfulnesse, at least when he ended his daies) was fully accomplished in establishing the Kingdome upon the person and family of David the sonne of Jesse.

The best Expositors of both the Samuels, are Peter Martyr, Drusius; Willet also hath expounded them, but not so well as he hath other Bookes of Scripture.

The tenth is the two Bookes of the Kings, in Hebrew Melachim, Because they reckon the first and second of Samuel also a­mong those of the Kings. Esdras and Je­remiah are thought to be the authors of the Kings. is Greeke and Latine the third and fourth of the Kings, from the subject matter of them, because they relate the Acts of the Kings of Israel and Judah. This History was written by divers Prophets; but who digested it into one Volume is uncertaine; many ascribe it unto Esdras. The first Booke consists of 22 Chapters, and containes a History of 118 yeeres. The second Booke consists of 25 Chapters, and con­taines a History of 320 yeeres.

The best Expositors of both the Kings are Peter Martyr, and Gaspar Sanctius.

The eleventh Booke is the two Bookes of Chronicles, which is called Dibrei Hajamim, Munster ren­dred it, the bookes of An­nals, Libri prae­teritorum ap­pellantur ab Hieronymo▪ Ab E [...]dra scrip­tos hos duos li­bros constans semper fuit apud Hebrae [...]s fama: qui bos libros vocant verba dierum: id est, excerpta ex regum diur­nis. Grotius. verba dierum, because in them the deeds of the Kings of Israel are particularly described. The Greekes and Latines divide it into two; with the Greekes it is called liber [...] q. d. praetermissorum, because he sum­marily explaines somethings either omitted, or not fully de­scribed in the Pentateuch, the bookes of Joshua, Judges, Sa­muel, and the Kings. Of the Latines liber Chronicorum, q. d. Chronologicum; which appellation Luther retaines in the Dutch [Page 52] version of the Bible. There is nothing certaine of the authour of these Bookes, though Esdras be thought to be the authour. The first Booke consists of 29 Chapters, and containes a Hi­story of 2985 yeeres, viz. from the creation of the world even to the Kingdome of Salomon. The second consists of 32 Chap­ters, and describes a History from the beginning of the King­dome of Salomon, even to the returne out of the captivity of Babylon.

The best Expositor on both the Chronicles is Lavater.

Twelfthly,Ezra signifieth an helper, Ne­hemiah a com­forter. the two Bookes of Ezra, they are counted for one Volume with the Hebrewes; the Greekes and Latines de­vide them into two Bookes, and assigne the first to Ezra, the second to Nehemiah.

Ezra was so called from the Authour, which was a Scribe, most skild in the law of God, as appeares in the 7 Chap. 1, 6, & 11, verses.

The best Expositors of it are Junius and Wolphius. Nehemiah) It is called by the Latines the second Booke of Ezra, Nehemiah in English is a Comfort sent from God, to comfort his people in those troublesome times. because the History begun by Ezra is continued in it; but usually Nehemiah because it was written by him, and also because it containes the re-edifying of the City of Jerusalem, caused by Nehemiah. It consists of 13 Chapters, and containes a Hi [...]tory of 55 yeeres, viz. from the 20 yeere of Artaxerxes to the Kingdome of the last Darius.

The best Expositors of it are Wolphius and Pilkinton.

The next Booke is Esther, called in Hebrew the Volume of Esther. Nomen huic li­bro est à potiore persona. Marti­nius. Many of the Jewes thinke this Booke was written by Mordechai, which those words in the 9 Chap. v. 20. & 23. seem to favour.LXX huic hi­storiae somnium quoddam Mardo­chaei praemittunt quod non est in Hebraeo. Grotius. Drusius Animad. l. 2. c. 34. Isidore saith, Esdras is thought to have written Esther, but some say it was composed after by another; Moses Camius saith it was written by the men of the great Syna­gogue. Philo Judaeus saith, Joachim a Priest of the Hebrewes, sonne of the hight Priest, was the composer of it, and that he did it at the intreaty of Mordecai the Jew. It consists of ten Chapters, and containes a History of 10, or (as others will) of 20Martinius. yeeres, concerning the preservation of the Church of the Jewes in Persia by Hester.

[Page 53] Drusius, Serrarius and Merlin have done well on this Booke.

3. Poeticall.

Job, Psalmes, Grotius rec­kons the La­mentations a­mong the Poe­ticall bookes. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles; to which some adde the Lamentations. Those parts of Scripture wich set forth strongest affections, are composed in verse: as those holy flames of Spirituall love betweene Christ and his Spouse in the Canticles of Salomon. The triumphant joy of Deborah, after deliverance from Sisera's Army:Mr. Caryll on Job 3. v. 2. p. 334. of Moses and Miriam after the destruction of Pharaoh: the afflicting sorrowes of Hezekiah in his sicknesse; and the Lamentations of Jeremy for the captivity of the Jewes: The Booke of Psalmes is as it were a throng of all affections, Love, joy, sorrow, feare, hope, anger, zeale, every passion acting a part, and wound up in the highest st [...]ines by the Spirit of God, breathing Poeticall eloquence i [...]to the heavenly Prophet. So the Booke of I b, whose sub­j [...]ct is sorrow, hath a composure answerable to the matter. Pa [...]lion hath most scope in Verse, and is freest when tied up in numbers.

Job) There is great varieiy of judgement about the Authour and Penman of this Booke;Singula in eo verba plena sunt sensibus. H [...]eron. some say it was one of the Pro­phets, but they know not who; some ascribe it to Salomon, some to Elihu, Quis libri scrip­tor fuit incer­tum est, nec nisi levissim [...] con­jecturis nititur, quiequid. de ea dici potest B [...]za vid Grotium. many to Moses; Hugo Cardinall, Suidas, and Pineda conceive that Job himselfe was the authour of this book, and it is thus proved, because when any Booke is inscribed by the name of any person, and there appeares no urgent rea­son, wherefor it could not be written by him, such a person is to be thought the authour, and not the matter of the Booke, as is manifest in the Booke of Joshua and those of the greater and lesser Prophets▪ Waltherus in Offiecina Biblica & Ludov. de Tena Isag. ad totam Sac. Script. The Ap [...]stle, 1 Cor. 3. 19. proves it to be of divine authority. The Arabicall speeches with which it a­bounds, note that it was written by some man living neere Arabia, as Job did Neither doth it hinder, that Job Ch. 1. v. 1 [...]. A [...]te legem datomsto u [...]sse sa [...]s inde videtur constare, quod vir [...]b justitiam atque pietatem incompa­rabil [...], victimas, fi iorum nomine, toties obtulerit. Seldenus de jure naturali. Vide plura ibid. opud Clarissim [...]m, Selderum de jure naturali & Gentium l. 2. c. 7 Est li [...]er iste Jobi omnium Sacrorum librerum [...], ut qui n [...]n m [...]do Theologum, verum ettam Hebraeae, Chaldai [...]aeque linguae, Poetices, Dialectices, Rhetorices, Astr [...]omiae, Physices, denique bene peritum interpretem re­quirat, Beza in epist, ad exposit. Merc. speakes [Page 54] of himselfe in the third person, for Canonicall writers are wont to doe this out of modesty, Num. 12. 3. John 21. 24.

It is conceived to be the first piece of Scripture that was written, if Moses wrote it, it is probable that he wrote it be­fore the deliverance of the people of Israel out of Aegypt, while he was in Midian. The maine and principall subject of this booke is contained in 34 Psal 19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of all. We may divide the Booke into three parts, and so it sets forth:

1. Jobs happy condition, both in regard of externals, and internals, in the first five verses.

2. Jobs fall, his calamity, from that to the seventh verse of the 42 Chapter.

3. Jobs restitution, or restoring, from thence to the end.

Beza, Mercer, and Pineda, have well expounded it.

The Psalmes are called in the Hebrew Sepher Tehillim, Liber Psalmo­rum complectitur quicquid utile est in omnibus Scripturis: haec sacra poesis est elegantissima Legis Propheta­rumque Epitome sola brevitate & numero à re­liquis discre­pans, cum com­mune promtua­rium earum om­nium est, quae nobis necessaria sunt. Tremel & lun. a booke of divine praises, in Greeke [...], so called from a Mu [...] ­call instrument, which name the Latines have retained. It containes sacred Songs to be fitted for every condition both of the Church and members. It is called in the new Testament, the Booke of Psalmes, Luke 20. 42. & 24 44. Acts 1. 20. No bookes in the old Testament are oftner cited in the new, then Esay and the Psalmes; that 60 times, this 64.

They are in all 150, in Greeke 151. Austin and Chrysostome ascribe them all to David as the Authour, so doe Theophylact, Ludo vicus de Tena. Some thinke that after the Captivity Es­dras collected these Psalmes, dispersed here and there, into one Volume. There are ten Authors whose names are put in the Titles of the Psalmes, viz. David, Salomon, Moses, Asaph, Etham, Eman, Jeduthun, and the three sonnes of Corah. Odae istae Davidis dicuntur, quod is multas veteres collegerit, multas ipse Psallendi sciens, Opus omni laude majus, & uni­versae sapientiae divinae atque, hu­manae exiguum quidem, sed eo etiam nobilius, atque admirabilius compendium: ea sermonis elegantia, numerorum & harmoniae suavitate, sententiarum erudition [...] & gravitate, ut nihil majus dici possit. E [...]penius or at deling. Ebr. dignitate. addiderit, aut per homines idoneos addi fecerit. Grotius.

The Hebrewes divide the Psames into five Bookes or parts. [Page 55] The first Booke hath the first 41 Psalmes; the second 31, from 42 to 73; the third 17, from 73 to 90; the fourth 17, from 90 even to 107; the fifth 43, from the 107 to 150.

Vide Genebr. in Psal. 1. v. a. 1. Tituli sunt Psalmoeum claves, the Titles are Keys as it were of the Psalmes, saith Jerome.

The best Expositors on the Psalmes are Musculus, Mollerus, Muis, Calvin.

The Scripture is the choicest booke; the Psalmes the choy­cest piece of Scripture, and the 119 Psalme the choicest part of the Psalmes. Among 176 verses in that Psalme there are scarce foure or five at most wherein there is not some commendation of the word.

Proverbs) The booke of Proverbs is compared to a great heape of Gold rings, rich and orient severally, and every one shining with a distinstMr. Bolton on Prov. 18 14. Sententiae, ver­ba, sive dicta graviter & paueis concin­nata, quae in omnium anim [...] haerere, & inore versari debent, denique specu­lum esse totius vitae & admini­strationis nostrae. Junius. What speciall pretogatives this Book hath above the rest of Canonicall Bookes, see M Cawdrey on Prov. 29. 8. sence by it selfe: but other contexts of holy Writ, to Gold chaines, so enterwoven and linked toge­ther; that they must be illightned and receive mutuall illustra­tion one from another.

It consists of 31 Chapters; it was written by Saomon; saith Austin, 17 Ch. of his 20 booke de oivitate Dei; and Josephus in the 8th Booke and 2d Chapter of his Jewish Antiquities; and it is proved, 1 Kings 432. though there indeed it is said onely, he spake them, yet it is likely also he wrote them. Prov. 1. 1. they are called the Proverbs of Salomon. It is a Treatise of Chri­stian manners, touching piety toward God, and justice toward our neighbours.

The best Expositors on it, are Mercer, Cartwright, Dod, Lavater. Graece dieitur hic liber [...] nimirum Hebraeum [...] proprie comparationem significat, & quia ex comparationibus curtatis ple­rumque fiebaut Proverbia, inde coepit sumi in significatione [...]. Grotius.

Ecclesiastes) in HebrewQuòd in eum librum collectae sunt omnes lci­entiae: vet quòd sapientia Sal [...]nonis hic homines congreget ad ipsam audendiam. M [...]rtinius. The Proverb were Salo­mons Ethicks. Ecclesiastes his Physicks. Canticles his Met [...]physicks. Proverb [...]a Scripta sunt po­tissimum pro atate juvenil [...], Ecclesiastes pro virili, Conticum pro sen [...]li. Coheleth, the feminine hath respect either to wisdome or to the soule, the nobler part.

The Authour of this booke was Salomon, who either at his [Page 56] Table, or in his familiar conference propounded these do­ctrines to his Courtiers, as may be collected out of 1 Kings 10. 8. Many of the Hebrews say, that this Booke was written by Salomon to testifie his repentance of his ill led life.

It consists of twelve Chapters. The summe and scope of the whole Booke is explained in the last Chapter, viz that all things in the world are vaine; therefore that nothing is more profitable and necessary then to feare God and keepe his Com­mandements. The principall parts of it are two: The first con­cerning the vanity of humane matters and studies in the world, the latter of the stability and profit of godlinesse and the feare of God.

The best Expositors on it are Mercer, Cartwright, Mr Pemble, Granger.

Canticles are called in Hebrew Shirha Shirim, by the Latines Cantica Id est, summum & praestantiss [...] ­mum vide Gen. 9. 25. Est autem haec generalis totius libri inscriptio, libri argumen­tum scriptorem que expenens. Argumenium est epithalamium excell n [...]issimum sive connubiale Canticum, quo Schel [...]o decan­t [...]vit sacram illam augustissi­mam, & bea [...]is­simam despon­sationem con­junctionemque, Christi cum Ec­clesia. Junius. Cantieorum, The Song of Songs, that is, a most excel­lent Song, the Hebrews having no Superlatives. Salomon was the Authour of it, 1 Kings 4. 32. Many of the Ancients refer it to the spiritual marriage betweene Christ and the Church, or every faithfull soule. It consists of eight Chapters, and per­petuall Dialogues.

The Jewes had this Book in such reverence and account, that before thirty yeeres of age none would study it.

The best Expositors are Mercer, Brightman, Ainsworth, Dr Gouge.

This Booke which treats of that Spirituall and Heavenly fellowship the sanctified soule hath with Christ, cannot be throughly understood in the true life of it, but by those that are Sanctified.

4. Propheticall.

  • The
    • Greater Prophets 4.
    • Lesser Prophets 12.
      • Esay, Jeremy, Ezechiel, Daniel.
      • Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah,
      • Micah, Nahum Habbakuk, Zephany
      • Haggai, Zachary Malachy.

Grotius orders them thus: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah Jona, Esay, Micha, Nahum, Habbacuc, Zephany, Daniel, Jeremy, Ezechiel, Haggai, Zachary, Malachy.

[Page 57] They are called Propheticall Bookes, because they were written by Prophets, by Gods Commandement; Prophets were distinguished by the Temples, some were Prophetae priores, those of the first Temple; other Posteriores, of the latter Temple.

Esay) Is placed first, not because he is more Antient then all the rest; for some say that Jonah Learned men conclude from 2 King. 13. 15. that Jonah pro­phesied first of all the 16, Prophets. Doctor Hill in a Sermon on the Lord of Hoasts. and Amos were before him in time, others that Hosea was before him, for Isays beginning was in the dayes of Vzziah. Now Hosea was in the dayes of Jerobeam, and Jeroboam was before Vzziah. This Master Bur­rouhs saith is one reason, why though he intends to goe over the whole propheticall Bookes, yet he rather pitcheth upon Hosea first, because indeed he was the first Prophet, but Isay Jeshagneia, quasi dicas, Salua Domini vel dei, quòd prae caeteris plenus fit vivi­ficarum consola­tionum. Non tam Prophe [...]a dicendus fit, quam Evan­gelista. Hieron. praesat in Isai­am. Quicquid de physicis, Ethicis, Logicis, & quioquid de sanctarum scrip­turarum myste­riis potest humana lingua, & martalium Sensus accipere, complexus est summaprae cae­teris Prophetis venustate sermonis, & urbanae dicti [...]nis elegantiâ. Hieronymus.was rather set first for the Dignity of the Propheticall Ora­cles which he explaines, and because his prophesie is longer then all the rest. He is eloquent in his speech, being a Noble man therefore the translation can hardly expresse his elegancie. He brings so many and such evident Testimonies of the com­ing, incarnation, miracles, preaching, life, passion, death and resurrection of Christ, that he seemes rather to write a History of things past, then to prophesie of things to come, and one calls him the fifth Evangelist. Hence (saith Senensis) our Lord Jesus Christ made choice of this among all the Prophets, first of all to read publikely, and expound in the Synagogue of his own Country; and in the new Testament, he is oftner cited, then all the rest of the Prophets. He began to Prophe­sie in the yeare 3160 seven hundred yeares before Christ was borne, Vzziah the King of Judah yet reigning, and came to the last times of Hezekiah, Isay 1. 1. and 39. 3. therefore he was almost contemporary with Hosea, Ames, and Micha, and finished the course of his life under foure Kings of Judath, viz. Vzziah, Jathan, Achaz, and Hezehiab; The Hebrewes say he was of the Bloud Royall, and that he was sawed to death with a woodden Saw by Manasseth, an Idolatrous King, after he taught 60 yeares. His Prophesie consists of 66 Chapters.

The best Expositors of it are Calvin, Scultetus, Forerius, M [...]llerus.

[Page 58] Jeremie,) Lodov. de Tena. Jirmijah celsi­tudo, vel excel sus Domini, quo [...] m [...]gnalia dei animo mag­no atque forti docuerit. Or Ramah lah, the reject of the Lord, so he was in regard of his condi­tion. This Booke was alwayes esteemed as Canonicall, and written by Jeremie. He prophesied under Josiah, Jehoahaz, Joachim, and Zedekiah. His prophesie consists of 52. Chap­ters.

He prophesied partly in the Land of Judea, and partly in the Land of Egypt. In the Land of Judea he prophesied 41. yeares, and afterward 4. yeares in Egypt. See Jackson on Jer. 7. 16. p. 4. 5.

The best expositors of it are Bullinger, Polanus. Lamentations; It is called in Hebrew Echa, 1. quomodo, because it begins with this word; the Septuagint translate it [...] idest, lamentationes vel fletus for the Subject or matter of it. It containes sad and mourning complaints of the State of the Common-wealth of Israel, into which it fell after the death of Josiah; it consists of five Chapters.Jer. 14. [...] 7. and 31. 17. Jeremie is thought to be Author of it.

The best expositors of it are P. Martyr, Vdall.

Ezechiel) Jechezkel for­titudo sive robur Dei-Sty­lus ejus nec satis disertus; nec admodum rust [...] est, sed ex utr [...]que tem­peratus Senensis. signifieth the strength of God, or one strengthened hy God. He prophesied at the same time with Jeremy. Ezechiel in the City of Babylon; Jeremy at Jerusalem. It consists of 48. Chapters.

The best expositors of it are Junius, Polanus, and Villalpandas

This Prophesie is full of Majesty, obscurity, and difficulty. Calvin spent his last breath on this Prophet.

Daniel) Dèi judicium, adcujus exactam cognitionem necessaria est multiplex Chal­daeorum, Graecorum, & Latinorum historia. Hieronymus, Broughton on 1 Dan. 4 Danielem Hebraei Prophetis non adscribunt, non magis quam Davidem, non quòd nòn multa eximia praedixerint, sed quia vitae genus propheticum non sectabantur, sed alter rex e [...]rat. alter satrapa. In Graeco codice pracedunt Prophet [...] minores, sequuntur majores, & in his Dan [...]el. Grotius. He wrote his prophesie after the Captivity, Chap. 1. 21. and 10. 1. while the visions are generall, and not dan­gerous to the Jewes, Daniel writeth in the Syriacke tongue generall over the East, from Chap. 1. v. 4. to the 8. Chapter.

But when the oppressors are named, Medes and the Jewes plainly described to be the people, whom God defendeth, then in the 8. Chapter, and all after he writeth in Hebrew, and hath a Commandement to keepe close to the plaine exposition in Chapter 12. 4. Some reckon Daniel among the Prophets, but the [Page 59] Jewes place it among the Hagiographa. It consists of 12. Chapters, the six first of which containe matters Historicall, the six last Propheticall.

The best Expositors of it are Polanus, Junius, Willet, Brough­ton, Huit.

The Latines give the first place to the greater Prophets, the Greekes to the lesser, because there are many among them, very Antient. Gratius.

The 12. lesser Prophets are so called, because their writings are briefer then the foure first greater; the Hebrewes have them all in one Booke; the later Prophets spake more plainly, pre­cisely, and distinctly, touching the coming of the Messiah, then the former. Daneus, Gualter, Ribera, Tarnovius, and Drusius have done best on all the small Prophets; Mercer, and Livelie have done well on the five first of them. The Hebrewes thus place them. Hosea, Amos, Micha, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephanie, Haggai, Zecharie, Malachi.

Hosea) In the order of the 12. Pro­phets all give the chiefe place to Hosea, he Hebrewes make Joel the next to it, Amos the third Ob [...]di. the 4th Jonah the 5th Michab the 6th Nahum the 7th Hab. the 8th Zeph. the 9th Hag. the 10th Zach. the 11th Mal. the 12th But the Sep­tuag. Interpre­ters make Amos the next to Hoseah, Michah, the third, Joel the fourth, Obadiah the fifth, Jonah the sixth, the seventh Nahum, the eighth Habacuc, the ninth Zephany, the tenth, Hag. the ele­venth, Zach. the 12. Malachi, Drus. observ. S [...]c. 1. 5. c. 24. Is the first among them, whose Prophesie al­though it consist of more Chapters then Daniel, yet the other is more prolixe. Hosheang noteth Salvator Saviour, he is therefore so called, because he published Salvation to the house of Judah, and spake of the Saviour of the world, and was a Type of Christ our Saviour; He Prophesied before the Baby­lonish Captivity; in the time of King Jeroboam, under foure Kings of Judah, Vzziah, Iothan, Achaz, and Hezekiah, and was contemporary (as some say) with Jonah▪ 2 King. 14. 26. Isay Is. 1. 1. Amos 1. 1. and Micha. 1. 1. all which pro­phesied destruction to the Kingdome of Israel: It consists of 14 Chapters. The best Expositors of it are Zanchius, Treme­lius, Pareus, Rivet, & Livelie. Diu vixi Osee, & Prophetam egit, [...]ut volunt Hebraei, per annos 90 ita multos habuit Prophetas [...], ut Isaiam Ioelem, Amosum, Abdiam, Iouam, Michaeam, ut notat Hieronymus. Joel, he prophesied in the time of Hezeohia. it consists of three Chapters, which containe partly exhortati­on [Page 60] to repentance; and partly comfort to the penitent. Daneus, Pareus, Gnamosonus, because he is a vehement Prophet which denounceth a hard burden, that it, most grievous pu­nishment to the people for their impiety. Drusius, and Livelie are the best Expositors of it.

Amos) Of a Shepheard he was made a Prophet, 1 Chap. 1. v. and 7. 14. He was contemporary to Isay, and Hosea. He prophesied to the Kingdome of Israel or the ten Tribes, 1. 1. and 3. 1. and 4. 1. and 5. 1. He utters a few things concern­ing the Kingdome of Judah, 2. 4. and 6. 1. It consists of nine Chapters, Daneus, Pareus, Livelie, and Drusius are the best Interpreters of it; Doctor Benfield hath done well on two Chapters.

Obadiah Gnabadeiah servus dei, a Mi­nister of God. Jeremie 49 Chapter and Ezek 25. tooke many things out of this prophesie.) He was almost contemporary to Jeremy. It is but one Chapter. Doctor Rainolds hath well expounded this prophesie. The destruction of the Enemies of the Church is handled in the 16. first verses, the Salvation thereof by the Mi­nistery of Pastors in the five last.

Jonah Columba, quomodo dictus videtur a man­suetudine & fa­cilitate morum. Jonas ordine quintus numera­tur inter duodecim prophetas qui minores vocantur; tempore veò illis omnibus prior & antiquior fuit. ld 2. Regum. 14. 25. liquet, ex eo quod de pace & salute Israelitarum sub Jeroboamo fueuram vatici­n [...]tus est, antequam calamitosam eorum captivitatem denunciasset Oseas & Amos, cum Esaia. Ita­que temporis ratione eum primo loco collocari oportuit. Livelius in Annorat. in Jon. He prophesied in the time of Jeroboam, 2 King. 14. 25. Jerome proves by the authority of the Hebrewes that he was contemporary with Hosea and Amos. It consists of foure Chapters. Abbots, and King have both commented well in English on this prophesie.

Micah) Humiliatus sic dictus Propheta ab insigni & miranda humilitate. He prophesied in the times of Iotham, Achaz, and Hezechiah Kings of Judah, as appeares by the inscription, Ch. 1. v. 1. and was almost contemporary with Isay, with whom he agreeth in many things. He exceeds all the Prophets in this one thing, that he determines the place of Christs Birth 5. Chap. 2. v.

It consists of 7. Chapters. Daneus and Chythrae [...]s have done well on it.

[Page 61] Nahum Nomen He­braeum Nacum significat & paenitentiae Doctorem & consolatorem, quo utroque mu [...]ere is de­su [...]stus est, illo erga Ninevitas hoc [...]rga ludaeos. walther [...]s in of­ficira a Biblica.) It is probable that he lived before the Babylonish captivity, and was contemporary to Micha, but 90 yeares after Jonah. It consists of three Chapters, which containe both a prediction of the destruction of the Assyrians, Ch. 1. and also an Explication of the causes of it Chap. 2. and 3.

Daneus is the best Expositor of this Book: The Hebrews think that both Nahum, and Hibacuc wrote in the times of Manasseth. Both the order in which these bookes were Anciently placed, and the things themselves which are contained in their writ­ings doe intimate as much. Grotius.

Habacue, Luctator.

It is probable that he lived about Jeremies time, or a little before. It consists of three Chapters. Grineus and Daneus, have done well on him.

Zephanie Tsphaneiah, Secretarius vel Speculator Do­mini.) He prophesied in the times of Josiah King of Judah, and was contemporary to Jeremy. He prophesieth especially of the overthrow of the Kingdome of Judah. It consists of three Chapters. Daneus hath done well on this prophesie.

HaggaiHe ex­cites and earnestly exhor [...]s the people to the restoring of the Temple.) Chag signifieth a Feast in Hebrew, his name sig­nifieth Festivus & laetus, aut festum celebrans vel diligens, quòd templi Hierosolymitani aedificationem post Captivitatem maximè urserit.

He began to prophesie after the Babylonish captivity in the second yeare of Darius, King of Persia, Esd. 5. 1. Hag. 1. 1. Grineus and Daneus have done well on this.

Zacharie Zechareiah memoria Domi­ni, fortassis quia pe [...]ipsum Deus sui memoriam populo suo refri­care volaerit, & testarise ipsum quoque meminisse ejusdem, aut quia & ipse Domino charus extitit, & quasi in recen [...]i memoria.) He prophesied after the Babylonish captivity, and followed Haggai within two moneths; he handleth the same subject; it consists of 14. Chapters. His Booke is more large, and obscure then any of the 12. Prophets; Daneus hath done well on the whole and Master Pemble. on 9. Chapters.

Malachie) Nuncius seu Angelus meus Mal. 4. 4. 5. He was the last Prophet of the old Testament. See Grotius of him. [Page 62] Tertull. cals him the limit & land-marke of both Testaments, limes inter vetus & novum Testamentum. It consists of foure Chapters, Daneus, and Polanus, and Stocke have commented well on this Book.

So much concerning the severall Books of the old Testament

CHAP. IV.

THe new Canon is that which the Christian Church hath had written in Greek, from the time of Christ and his A­postles, and it summarily containes the word published by Christ, and his righteous acts.

The History of which is in the foure Bookes of the Evange­lists, the examples in the Acts of the Apostles, the exposition in the 21. Epistles, and lastly the prophesie in the Revelation.

All the Bookes of the new Testament, were written in GreekeLingua Graeca tunc temporis in orbe tertarum maxime erat communis, quam tamen ob Ebraismorum mixturam eruditi Hellenisticam, quod ea Judaei Hellenistae uterentur vocare a­mant Amama Antibarb. Bib. l. 1 C. 1.Qui dubi­tat slylum novi Testamenti esse Hellenisticum, is Scepticum mihi videtur agere in Philologia sacra, [...].e. dubitare de ea re quae no­tissima omnibus, qui stylum Lxx. Interpretum & Evangelistarum ac Apostolorum vel per transennam aspexerunt, ac cum stylo purè Graeco co [...]ulerunt Mayerus. vide Salmasium de Hellenistica. for divers reasons.

First, because that tongue in the time of Chist and his A­postles was the most excellent of all, among the Languages of the Gentiles.

Secondly, because it was then most Common, as Latine is now. Tullie shewes orat Walterus in officina Biblica. Graeca le­guntur in omi­nibus ferè genti­bus, Latina suis finibus exiguis sauè continentur. pro Archia poeta, how farre the Greeke Tongue spread.

Thirdly, because in this tongue all the Philosophie, and Sciences of the Gentiles were written. The Greeke tongue by the writing of Philosophers, Orators, Historians and Poets, was fraught with the best learning, which Heathenisme af­forded.

It came to passe by the singular providence of God, that this Testament was written in one tongue onely; for what Nation else would have yeelded to another, that the Scrip­tures [Page 63] in their tongue were authentique, and so the seeds of de­bate might have beene sowne amonst them. All almost agree in this,Rivet Isagog. ad Scrip. Sac. C. 8. that all the Bookes of the new Testament were written in the Greeke tongue; it is onely doubted concerning three of them, the Gospell of Matthew, Marke, and the Epistle to the Hebrewes, many affirm that the Gospell of Matthew, was written by Matthew in Hebrew or rather in Syriacke, the Language used by Hebrewes in the time of Christ and his Apostles; that the Epi [...]le to the Hebrews was written in Hebrew, & Mark in Latin.

It is certaine, that the Primitive Church from the first times, used the Gospell of Matthew written in GreekeMemorabilis est de lingua, qua evangelium Matthaei ab ipso conscriptum est, controversia. quidam enim Hebraeam, alii Gr [...]cam esse contendunt. Ac prior qui­dem sementia, si plurium aucto­rum c [...]nsensum specten [...], r [...]mas obtinet, sin verò rei verita­tem, [...]osterior ampl [...]ctenda, u [...] examen de, monstrabi [...]. Gomarus de E­vangelio Matthaei. Case­tanus initio suorum com­mentariorum [...] Evangelium Matibaei non fuisse scriptum Hebraicè argumento non impto ab interpretatione vocu [...] Hebraicarum, ut capite primo Emanuel, quod est si interpreteris, nobiscum Deus Matth. C. 27. 46. non poterat. N. He­braica iditio [...]ic interpretari. and counted it authenticall. If any one say that the Latine Edition of Marke, in the vulgar is not a version, but the first Copie, he may easily be refuted from the uniforme stile in it with other Latine Gospels, and it will appeare to any Reader, that the Gospell of Marke, which the Roman Church useth, is later then the Greeke, and that the Latine was made from it. For the Epistle to the Hebrewes, though many among the Antient, thought it was written in Hebrew, yet all agree that the Greek Edition was in use thence from the first times of the Church. Glassias saith Matthew wrote his Gospell first in Greek, for his stile agrees with Marke. Writers acknowledge that there is an Ancient Hebrew Copie of Matthew, but upon good ground deny that it is the originall truth, for besides that by; received Tradition, it is held otherwise, Matth. 1. 23. and other such like places doe evince it; for why should he writing in He­brew, interpret Hebrew words, to them which understand that Language? Hieron. in quatuor Evangelia, and Salmasius, hold that Matthew was written in Hebrew, Evangelium Matthaei Hebraicè ab auctore scriptum esse, nemo non veterum tradidit. He­braeum illud Syriacum esse, quod in usu tunc temporis in Judaea fuit, Hieronymus docet, qui Evangelium Matthaei scriptum fuisse testatur Chaldaic [...] Syroque Sermone. Salmas. de Hellenistica. Eras­mus, [Page 64] Cajetane, Calvin, Junius, Whitaker, Gomarus, Causabone, Gerhard, deny that Matthew was written in Hebrew. Chamier de Canone l. 12. c. 1. saith we have the new Testament in Greek; for although some contend that the Gospell of Matthew and the Epistle to the Hebrewes was written in Hebrew; yet (saith he) it is very uncertaine, and so propius falso. I thinke (saith Rivet In Exod. 24. v. 8.) that the Epistle to the Hebrewes was written in Greeke, a tongue then most common, and which was used by many Hebrewes, which were called Hellenists.

That Marke Sixtus Se­nensis saith Expr [...]sly that Marke wrote in Greeke Bibl. Sanct. l. 1. should be written in Latine originally is improbable; many of the reasons alleaged to prove that Mat­thew was not written in Hebrew are of force here also; the Jewes at that time of the writing of the new Testament did speake SyriackeLingua Syriaca Ser­vatori nostro, & Apostolis verna­cula suit. de dieu­v [...]de Whitakeri controversiam primam de Scriptur [...]s quae­stionis secundae Capite quinto. Cum legimus in Actibus Apostolo­rum P [...]ulum al­locu [...]um esse Ju­daeos cap. [...]1. 40. lingua Hebraea, intelligendum est de Hebraica lingua, quae tunc inusu erat apud Ju­daeos, id est Syriaca. Nam & Dominus noster ea usus est, ut apparet ex omibus locis Evangeliorum, in quibus aliquid prolocutus est lingua vernacula, Salmasi [...] de Hellenistica ad quartam quaestionem. and not Hebrew, which language is mixt consisting of Hebrew, and Chaldee; therefore (saith Whitaker) it is more probable that Matthew, and he which wrote the E­pistle to the Hebrewes wrote in Greek, because the Greeke tongue was not unknowne to the Jewes, which were Hellenists Act. 6. 1. and other Apostles wrote in Greeke which wrote pe­culiarly to the Jewes, as JAmes and Peter. Matthaeum Hebraicè scripsisse convenit inter antiquos. Citat Irenaeum, Origenem, A­thanasium, Epiphanium, Chrysostomum, Hieronymum, Vossius de genere Christi dissertat. Scripsit Haebraea lingua quiae praecipuè Judoeorum, quos viva voce hactenus docuisset, haberet rationem. Id. ibid. vide Grotium in libros Evangel. It was needfull that the Gospell should be written by many. First, for the certainty. Secondly, for the perfection of it.

Amongst all the Evangelists, there is a Generall agreement, and a speciall difference; they all agree in the maine scope and Subject, Christ; they differ in the speciall argument and order. All describe the life of Christ, some more largely, some more briefely, some more loftily, some more plainely, yet because [Page 65] all were inspired by the same Spirit, they all have equall au­thority. The difference of Evangelists in some smaller mat­ters proveth their consent in the greater to be the voyce of truth; for had they conspired all together to have deceived the world, they would in all things have more fully agreed.

The doctrine of the Covenant of grace is more plainly ex­pounded; the will of God, and way to salvation more plen­tifully set down in the new Testament, then ever it was in the daies of Moses or the Prophets; and in these bookes of the new Testament all things are so established as to continue to the end, so that we must not looke for any new revelation.

All these Bookes we receive as Canonicall, because they are divine for matter and forme, divinely inspired by God, san­ctified and given to the Church for their direction, written by the Apostles or Apostolicall men, sweetly consenting with other parts of holy Scripture, and with themselves; received alwaies by the greatest part of the Church of God. They were written after the death of Christ, by the direction of the holy Ghost; the Apostles by lively voyce first preached, because it was needfull that the doctrine of the Gospell should by their preaching, as also by signes and wonders be confirmed against the contradictions and cavils of the Jewes and Gentiles, and allowed by the assent of believers generally before it was com­mitted to writing, that we might be assured of the certainty of those things which were written.

These bookes are acknowledged Canonicall both by us and the Papists; so that touching this matter there is no contro­versie between us and them.

The EpistlesSunt sane in eo, quo nunc u­timur, volumine libri aliquor non ab initio pari­ter recepti, ut Petri altera, ea quae Jacobi est, & Judae, duae sub nomine Johannis presbyteri, Apocalypsts & ad Hebraeos epistola: sed ita tam [...]n ut à multis Ecclesiis s [...]tagniti. Grotius, lib. 3. de verit. Relig. Christ. p. 143. vide plura ibid. The Book of Esther and Canticles were doubted of by some▪ Vide Bellarminum de verbo Dei. l. 1. c. 17, 18, 19. doubted of by some for a while, were first, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of JAmes, the second E­pistle of Peter, the second and third Epistles of John, the Epi­stle of Jude, and the Revelation; of which I shall treate more when I come to handle the bookes of the new Testament particularly.

[Page 66] The story of the woman taken in adultery hath met with very much opposition.John 8. See Gregories preface to his notes upon some passages of Scripture. Crojus defendsVide Calvinum in loc. & Cha­mieri tomum pri­mum, l. 12. c. 7. the truth of it, Observat. in nov. Testam. c. 17. Vide Seldeni uxorem Ebraicam, c. 11.

The inscriptions and titles prefixed before the Epistles are no part of holy Scripture written by the Apostles, but added to the Epistles by some others.

The Subscriptions and Postscrips also of divers bookes are false,Saepe falsissimae sunt Epistolarum Paul [...]arum sub­scriptiones. Capellus. counterfeit, and erroneous; not written by the Apostles, but added afterward by the Scribes which copied out the E­pistles.

The subscriptionsVide Sculte­tum & Bezam. of the latter Epistle to Timothy, and also to Titus are supposititious; they are neither found in the Sy­riacke nor in all Greeke copies,Timothy is expresly by the Apostle called an Evange­list, 2 Tim. 4. 5. therefore Titus having the same charge in [...]rete as he had in Ephesus, they were both Evangelists. Cartw. on the Title of the Epistle to the Romans. See him also on the Title of the first Epistle to Timothy. nor yet in the vulgar Latin translation; these additions were made some 100 yeeres after the Apostles.

The Canonicall Bookes of the new Testament are either Historicall, Doctrinall, or Propheticall.

1. Historicall,We call them Historicall in which is con­tained an Hi­storicall natra­tion of things done: for al­though in them there be many things pertai­ning to do­ctrine, yet the chiefest thred and scope of the speech containeth a narration of an History done, hence they are called Historicall. containing matters of fact, the history of

1. Christ exhibited in the foure Evangelists or Gospels, as they are stiled by God himselfe, Marke 1. 1. Matthew, Marke, Luke, and John, so called because they containe a message of joy and gladnesse. They all treate of one subject, Christ Jesus incarnate; most true Historians, Luke 1. 2. John 21. 24.

2. His Apostles, in the Acts written by Luke, thirty yeeres after Christs ascention, so termed of the principall subject of the History, though the acts of others not Apostles, are there recorded.

Dogmaticall or Doctrinall, such as were written by the A­postles for the instruction of the Church of God in faith [Page 67] and manners, commonly called Epistles, and that by warrant of the Scriptures, 1 Thess. 5. 27. 2 Pet. 3. 1. 16. because they were sent to them who had already received and professed the Gos­pell of God. These are 21. written.

  • 1. By Paul
    • 1. To whole Churches,
      • To the
        • Romans,
        • Corinthians,
        • Galathians,
        • Ephesians,
        • Philippians,
        • Colossians,
        • Thessalonians.
      • 1. Gentiles,
      • 2. Jewes. To the Hebrews.
    • 2. To particular persons,
      • 1. Timothy.
      • 2. Titus.
      • 3. Philemon.
  • 2. JAmes, one.
  • 3. Peter, two.
  • 4. John, three.
  • 5. Jude, one.

3. Propheticall, wherein under certaine resemblances, the state of the Church of Christ till the end of the wolrd, from the time of John the Evangelist, is most truely and wonder­fully described, and receiveth its name Apoealyps of the Ar­gument.

Beza, Ex Lutheran [...] satis commendari nequit Harmonia à Chemnitio ad stuporem usque dexterrimè caep­ta, à Lysero fideliter continuata, & à Gerhardo dexteritate & fideluate pari consummata; ex Po [...]ificiis, Jansenius; ex Calvinianis Calvinus, Waltheri officina Biblic. Piscator, Calvin, Erasmus, have do [...]e well on all the new Testament. Of the Papists Jansenius hath done well on the harmony; of the Lutherans, Chemnitus and Gerhard; of the Protestants, Calvin. Maldonate & de Dieu, Cameron Sculte­tus and Grotius have done well likewise on the Evangelists.

[Page 68] Matthew and John were Apostle of the twelve; Marke and Luke Evangelists. Apostles is a name of office or dignity. It notes one sent from another with command; in speciall certain famous Ambassadours of Christ. The Evangelists accompanied the Apostles in preaching the Gospell.

Matthew) There was never any in the Church which doub­ted of its authority. Some say he wrote in Hebrew, but that is uncertaine, (as hath been already declared.) He interprets the Hebrew name Emanuel, Chap. 1. 23. and those words Chap. 27. v. 46. therefore it is likely he wrote not in Hebrew; for why should one that writeth in Hebrew interpret Hebrew words to such as understand Hebrew? and how came this authenticall Copy and Prototype to be lost? for it is not now extant. How ever, the Greeke edition is Authenticall, because it came forth when the Apostles were living, and was approved by them, which the Ancients confirme. Of the time when Matthew wrote, Authours agree not; Eusebius In Chronica: vide Seldenum de jure naturali, l. 7. c. 12. Lib. 2: c. 24. saith, that he wrote in the third yeere of Cajus Caesar; others say he wrote after Claudius. He wrote his Gospell in the fifteenth yeere after Christs ascention, saith Nicephorus; the 21, saithLib. 3. c. 1. Irenaeus; in the eighth yeere, saith Theophylact.

ItTertullian cals Matthew, fide­lissimum Evan­gelii commen­tatorem. De serie annorum, quibus scripti sunt libri novi Testamenti, satis est curiosum, animosè contendere. Tamen video apud veteres non esse unam candemque sententiaus. Chamierus. consists of 28 Chapters, in which the person of Christ, and his three Offices of Prophet, Priest and King, are described.

The best Expositors on it are Hilary, Musculus, Paraeus, Calvin.

Marke) He was the Disciple of Peter, and wrote his Gospell from him, in the fourth yeere of Claudius Caesar, say some. He wrote not in Latine (as Bellarmine saith) but in Greeke. Con­cerning the Archetypall Language in which the Gospels of Marke and Luke were written, see Mr Selden in Eutichii. orig.

It consists of 16 Chapters, in which Christs threefold Office is also explained.

The best Expositors on it are Calvin, Beza, Piscator, Maldonate, Jansenius.

[Page 69] Luke) He was for Countrey, of Antioch; for profession, a Physitian; there is mention made of him, Col. 4. 14. 2 Tim. 4. 11. Philem. 24. He was companion to Paul the Apostle in his travels, and in prison. He onely makes a Preface before his Gospell, that he may briefly shew the cause which induced him to write.

The best Expositors on it are Calvin, Beza, Piscator, Maldo­nate, Jansenius.

John) In Hebrew signifieth the grace of God;Vide Sixti Se­nensis Bibliothe­cam sanctam. Waltherns in [...]ffic in a Biblica. he soareth higher then the other Evangelists to our Saviours Divinity; & therefore (as Nazianzen among the Fathers) he is called the Di­vine, by an Excellency, because he hath so graphically & grave­ly described the divinity of the Sonne, and hath written also of things most divine and Theologicall.John in his Epistles was an Apostle, in his Apocalypse a Prophet, in his Gospell an Evangelist. He hath the Eagle for his Ensigne assigned him by the Ancients. He was called Pres­byter, by reason of his age, being the longest liver of all the Apostles. He wrote the last of all when he returned from the Isle Patmos; therefore there is something more in every Chap­ter of John then any other of the Evangelists. He alone descri­beth the admirable Sermon which our Saviour made at his last Supper,In his Gospell he writes more expresly then the rest, of the Deity of Christ, and in the Revelation of the coming of Antichrist. and his Prayer.

It consists of 21 Chapters, in which the person of Christ, consisting of the Divine and humane nature, is described.

In his Gospell is described: first, Christs person; in the first Chapter. 2. His Office; in the second Chapter, to the twelfth. 3. His death, from the twelfth to the end.

The best Expositors on him are Calvin, Beza, Piscator, Rol­lock, Tarnovius, Musculus.

Acts Acta Aposto­stolorum sunt Chronica quae­dam primae Ec­clesiae in novo Testamento. Sic dicuntur, quia res primis Ecclesi [...] Chri­stianae temporibus maximè ab Apostolis gestas deseribunt. Martinius in memoriali Bib­lico.) Luke in the proem of it makes mention of the Gos­pell written by him, that he might professe himselfe to be the Author of both. It consists of 28 Chapters. Luke calleth his History, the Acts of the Apostles, though it be specially of their sufferings; because even their passions were actions, they en­larged the Kingdome of Christ by their sufferings.

The best Expositors on it are Brentius, de Deiu, Calvin.

[Page 70] The 13 Epistles of Paul: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galathians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, and one to Philemon, the Primitive Church unanimously received into the Canon, and never doub­ted being of their Apostolicall. They have their name Epistles, à fornia Epistolari qua conscriptae sunt.

A Lapide, Estius, Grotius and Vorstius, have done well on all the Epistles, In St. Pauls Epistles this order is kept: those Epistles are set first, which were written to whole Chur­ches, and then those which were written to particular pe [...]sons. In both these sorts the com­p [...]ler of them seemeth mani­festly to have had respect of setting the E­pistles in order, according to their length. Imprimis Estius ex Pontificiis, saith V [...]etius.

The Epistles are for the most part written in this order: they have

1. An Inscription: wherein is the name of the writer, and of them to whom he writes, and his wish.

2. The matters of the Epistle, which are sometimes meerly religious, concerning certaine Articles of faith, or piety of life, or about the use of things indifferent; or else familiar things, witnessing their mutuall good will.

3. The conclusion: in which are exhortations, saluta­tions, wishes, or other familiar matters.

There are 21 Epistles; 14 written by Paul, and seven more written by Peter, John, JAmes, and Jude.

Concerning the time and place in which the severall Epistles were written, it is not easie to determine. I will premise some­thing about the order of the Epistles, before I speake of them particularly.

Some of Pauls Epistles were written before his imprison­ment; some in his bonds, both former and latter. Before his imprisonment,Cartw. the first of all that was written, were both the Epistles to Thessalonians; Ordo Epistola­rum Paulinarum respectu scriptio [...] alius est, q [...]am respectu position [...]s in Bibliis: Wal­therus in officina Biblic [...]. they were written from Corinth the 8th or 9th yeere of Claudius.

Titus was written by Paul in those two yeeres that he staied at Ephesus.

Galatians) At the end of the two yeeres that Paul was at E­phesus, the Epistle to the Galathians seemes to be written, 1 Cor. 16. 2. by which words the Apostle seems to intimate,Lud [...]vicus Ca­pellus historia Apostolica illu­strata. that this Epistle to the Galathians was written before that to the Co­rinthians.

[Page 71] Corinthians) Paul living two yeeres at Ephesus, in the 11th and 12th yeere of Claudius, the Corinthians wrote to him, 1 Cor 7. 1, and that by Stephanus, and Fortunatus, which they sent to him (Ch. 16, 17.) by whom Paul seemeth to have writ­ten backe the first Epistle to the Corinthians, Chap. 16. v. 15, & 18. for in that he exceedingly commends them of Corinth. It was not written from Philippi, (as the Greeke superscription hath it) but from Ephesus, as the Arabicke interpreter hath it; as is manifest, Chap. 16. v. 8.

The second Epi [...]ile to the Corinthians, and the first of Tim [...] ­thy strive for priority, & sub judice lis est. Both of them were written a little after Paul departed from Ephesus, and while he travelled to Macedonia, but it is not manifest which was the first.

First Epistle to Timothy) Some thinke that this Epistle was written by Paul in his bonds,Capellus ibid. but not rightly; for he makes no mention of his bonds in it. It is probable that it was written from Athens, as it is in the Arabicke subscription, when he came from Macedonia to Greece; and so it was written after the first Epistle to the Corinthians.

Romans) The Epistle to the Romans was written at Corinth, when Paul having spent three moneths in Greece,Acts 20, 2. sailed to Jerusalem, that there he might gather the collections of the Churches of Achaia, Asia, and Macedonia. This is manifest from Rom. 15. 2, 4.

These are the Epistles which seem to be written by Paul out of imprisonment;Capellus ubi. supra. the other were written in his bonds. Pauls bonds were twofold; former, and latter. One onely, viz. the latter to Timothy seems to be written in the latter bonds of Paul, a little before his Martyrdome; the others were written in his former bonds.

Epistle to the Philippians.) This seems to be the first of them all, which Paul wrote in his bonds. When Paul was captive at Rome, the Philippians being carefull for him, sent Epaphrodi­tus thither, who visited Paul in his bonds, and ministred to him necessary helpes for the preserving of his life, as appeares by the 2d chapter and 25 verse of that Epistle, and the 4th [Page 72] chapter, 10. and 18. verses. Paul sent him backe againe to the Philippians, and commends him to them, Chap. 11. 28. That the Epistle was written in his bonds, is manifest from the first Chap. v. 7, 13, 14. and from Rome, not Jerusalem, Chap. 4. vers. 22.

The Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Phi­lemon, were at the same time written from Rome, and sent by the same, viz. Tychicus and Onesimus. First, that the Epistle to the Colossians was written by Paul in his bonds, it is manifest from Chap. 4. v. 3, & 18. but it was sent by Tychicus and One­simus, Chap. 4. v. 7, 8, 9.

That to Philemon was written at the same time with that to the Colossians, Capelli historia Apostolica illu­strata. since he salutes Philemon in their name in whose he saluted the Colossians, viz. in the name of Epaphras, Aristar­chus, Marke, Luke, Demas, as is manifest by comparihg the fourth Chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians, v. 10, 12, 14. with the 22 & 24. of the Epistle to Philemon. For this and other reasons Capellus supposeth they were both written at the same time.

That the Epistle to the Ephesians was written also at the same time, it may be thus confirmed: 1. Because it was written by Paul in his bonds, viz. from Rome, as is manifest Chap. 3. vers. 1. & 4. 1. 2. It was sent by Tychicus, Chap. 6. 21, 22. by which also that to the Colossians was sent. That these three Epistles were written also by Paul in his former not latter bonds, it is hence manifest, because Phil. 1. 25. & 26. & 2. 24. also in the 22 verse of Philemon, Paul sheweth that he had a most certaine hope, that he should be freed shortly.

The Epistle to the Hebrews was written by Paul from Rome, toward the end of his former bonds. He expresly mentions his bonds, Chap. 10. 34. and sheweth that he hopes shortly to be set free, Chap. 13. v. 19.

The latter Epistle to Timothy was the last of all Pauls Epi­stles, written by him in his latter bonds, of which he writes Chap. 1. 8. & 2. 9. and from Rome, Chap. 1. v. 17. a little before his martyrdome, which he seems to intimate Chap. 4. v. 6, 7, 8.

Thus having by the [...]helpe of Capellus something cleared the order of Pauls Epistles for the time of their writing, I shall [Page 73] speake of them now according to the method wherein they are commonly disposed in our Bibles.

Romans) That Epistle is the first, not in time of writing, but in dignity, because of the majesty of the things it handleth, Justification and Predestination. It is rightly called Clavis Theologiae, or the epitome of Christian religion. It consists of 16 Chapters.

The best Expositors of it are Dr Selater on the first three chapters, and Pareus with Peter Martyr and P [...]r on the whole Voetius saith, Willetus est instar omnium.

First to the Corinthians.) The City of Corinth was a famous Me­tropolis in A­chaia, notable for wisdome; one of the se­ven wise men is celebrated for a Corin­thian. Tully calleth it Lumen Graeciae. How much authority the Epi­stle to the Romans hath in establishing controversies of faith. So much the first to the Corinths hath in establishing Ecclesia­sticall Discipline; therefore Antiquity hath placed it next the other. It consists likewise of 16 Chapters.

The best Expositors of it are Pareus, Peter Martyr, Morton, Dr Sclater.

The second to the Corinthians a) consists of 13 Chapters.

The best Expositors of it are Museulus and Dr S [...]later.

Galathians) St Jerome taketh the argument of the Epistle to the Galathians, to be the same with the argument of the Epistle to the Romans; wherein the Apostle proveth, that by the workes of the Law, whether ceremoniall or morall, no flesh can be justified before God; using the same words in both, Rom. 3. 20, 28. and Galat. 2. 16. It consists of six Chapters.

The best Expositors of it are Mr Perkins and Par [...]s.

Ephesians) Ephesus was a Mother-city in the lesser Asia, famous for idolatry, and the Temple of Diana, as theActs 1 [...]. & 20. 16, 17. Acts of the Apostles testifie, so given to all ryot that it banished Her­modore because he was an honest sober man; yet here God [...] 5. Ephes. 1 [...]. had his Church. It consists of six Chapters.

The best Expositor of it is Zanchi [...], Mr Baines hath done [Page 74] well on the first Chapter, and Dr Gouge on some part of it.

Philippians) The Apostle had planted a Church at Philippi, which was the Metropolis of M [...]cedonia, Acts 16. 12. In this Epistle he commends their godly study. It consists of foure Chapters.

Zanchy, and Dr Airie have done well on this booke.

Coloss [...]ans) Colosse was the chiefe City of Phrygia in lesser Asia; the Apostle directs this Epistle to the inhabitants of that City. It consists of foure Chapters.

Bishop Davenant, Bifield, and Elton, have done best on this Booke.

Thessalonians 2.) These were written to those which dwelt at Thessalonica;See Phil. 4. 16. it is a chiefe city in Macedonia, whither; how the Apostle came, we may see, Acts 17. The first Epistle con­sists of five Chapters, the second of three.

Zanchius and Dr S [...]later have done well on both these Epi­stles; Jackson and Bradshaw also on the second.

Timothy 2.A [...] honoro & [...] Deus, q. d. cul­tor Dei vel ho­norans Deum. Sic [...] verbo [...] mag­ni aestimo, in pretio habeo, ho­nor [...]. Pasor.) signifieth the honour of God, or precious to God. He honoured God, and was precious to him. The first Epistle consists of six Chapters.

Barlow hath done well on three of them, and Scultetus on the whole.

The second to Timothy) this consists of foure Chapters.

Scultetus hath done well on it, and Espensaeus on both those Epistles.

Titus) Titus, to whom this Epistle was written, was a faith­full Minister, and beloved friend of the Apostle, 2 Cor. 2. 13. & 7. 6. and 8. 23. Paul sent his Epistle to him out of Macedo­nia, which is of the same Subject with the first to Timothy. It consists of three Chapters.

Scultetus, Espencaeus and Dr Tailor have done best on this booke.

Philemon Plena roboris & lacertorum est tota epistola, & singulis ejus verbis [...]irifiea qu [...]dam argu­mentandi vis latet recondita. Scultetus.) he was the minister of the Church at Colosse V. 17. it is but one Chapter.

Scultetus and Dike have well interpreted it.

Hebrews) The Epistle to the Hebrews was rejected by some Heretickes, as Marcion aud Arius; it is now received as Cano­nicall, [Page 75] because it was inspired of God, doth in all things fully agree with all other parts of Propheticall and Apostolicall writings, and was received of the greatest part of the ancient Church, though upon weake and slender grounds the Latine church for a time did not receive the same.

Hierom in Catalogo scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum, after he hath recited all the Epistles of Paul, at length he commeth to this Epistle;Duplex dubi­tatio de hac E­pistola suit, un [...] de auctere, altera de authoritate ejus. Bellarm. l. 1. de verbo Deit c. 17. but the Epistle to the Hebrews (saith he) is not thought to be his, for the difference of the stile and speech, but either written by Barnabas, as Tertullian holds, or Luke the Evangelist, or Clement. Some ascribe it to Tertullian, saith Sixtus Senensis.

The diversity of the stile and inscription of this epistle, and manner of reasoning makes some doubt of the writer thereof; and also something in the epistle shewes that it was written not by Paul, Vide Drusium al titulum ad Hebraeos. as in the beginning of the second chapter, vers. 3. The doctrine of salvation is confirmed to us by them which heard it,De fide est, Epi­stolam ad Ho­braeos esse Scrip­turam Canoni­cam. Cornel. a Lap. which seemeth to agree with the profession of Luke in the beginning of his Gospell; whereas St Paul denieth Gal. 1. 12. that he received it of man. An ancient Greeke copy (whereof [...] speakes) leaves out the name of Paul in the Title,Dr. Fulke a­gainst Martin. Multo facilius dicere, quis isti [...]s Epistolae non sit author, quam quis sit author. Cameron, tomo tertio praelect, in Epist. ad Heb. ubi multis rationi­bus probare co­natur Paulum non suisse illius autorem. and also divers printed Bookes. Augustine speakes often of this epistle, as if it were of doubtfull authority, as you may see in his Euchirid. lib. 1. c. 8. and l. 10. de civitate Dei, cap. 5. Beza, Hemingius, Aretius, leave it in medio. Calvin and Marlorat deny that it was Pauls.

The reasons (saith Cartwright in his confutation of the Rhemists) moving us to esteeme it none of Pauls, are first, that his name is not prefixed, as in all the epistles undoubtedly knowne to be his. Another reason is, that this writer confesseth that he received the doctrine of the Gospell, not of Christ him­selfe, but of those which heard it of Christ, Heb. 2. 3. whereas Paul received his doctrine immediately from Christ, and heard it himselfe of Christ, and not of them that heard it from him.

To the first objection by Fulke it is easily answered, the di­versity of stile doth not prove that Paul was not the authour of this epistle; for as men have written divers things in divers [Page 76] stiles in respect of matter and persons to whom they wrote; as Tully his offices, orations, and epistles; so the Spirit of God could and might inspire one and the same man to pen in a different manner. 2. The other argument also against it be­ing Pauls, because his name is not prefixed, hath but little force in it. 1. If it be not Pauls because his name is not prefixed, then it is nones because no mans name is prefixed; so Jerome, and from him Beza and Bellarmine both thus answer. 2. The Authour of this epistle did con [...]eale his name, that thereby he might not offend the weake Jewes to whom he wrote, with whom he knew his name was hatefull. 3. Beza saith, he found Pauls name [...] suum invisum Hebraeit esse, [...] ad fi­dem jam con­versis, [...] quod ipse prae [...] legem [...]terem esse [...] cujus legis illi [...] Dei. c. 17. Vide Bezam in [...] illum, Epistol [...] [...] Apostoli ad He­bre [...]. added to this epistle in all ancient Greeke copies, one excepted. Other bookes have no name prefixed, as the first epistle of John hath not his name prefixed, and yet cer­tainly believed to be his.

For the last Objection, Beza answers that he reckons him­selfe among the hearers of the Apostles, to avoyd the envy of Apostleship, see 1 Pet. 4. 3.

All the Grecians, and many of the more famous of the An­cient Latines, as Austin, Ambrose, Gregory, and many moderne writers of note, as Beza, Bellarmine, Gerhard, Cap [...]llus, Mar­tinius, Walter, Cornelius a Lapide hold it was written by Paul, and for divers reasons. 1. The Authour of this Epistle com­mends a certaine famous Disciple Timothy, Chap. 13. v. 23. but none had such a one but Paul. 2. He remembers his bonds, Chap. 10. v. 34. which is a usuall thing with Paul, Phil. 1. 7. Col. 4. 18. 2 Tim. 2. 9. Philem. v. 9. & 10. 3. He hath many of the same axomes with Paul; compare Heb. 1. [...]. & 3. with Col. 1. 14, 15, 16, 17. Heb. 5. 12, & 13. with 1 Cor. 3. 1, & 2. and divers other places. Paul saith, by that signe his Epistles may be known and distinguished from others, viz. that subscrip­tion, the grace of our Lord, 2 Thes. 3. 18. which clause is found in the end of this Epistle, [...]. sunt in h [...]c epi­stola quae alibi apud Paulum to [...]i­dem penè verbis scribuntur. Beza. Chap. 13. 4. Pauls zeale for the sal­vation of the Hebrews, Rom. 9. 3. makes it propable that he would write unto them. Some thinke it may be gathered from that place, 2 Pet. 3. 15. Beza having alledged foure reasons urged by some why this Epistle [...] not be written by Paul▪ [Page 77] saith,Other bookes have no name praefixed, and yet they are certainly be­lieved to be Canonicall, as Job, Judges, Ruth, Chroni­cles. Opponitur his omnibus que scribuntur, 2 Pet. 3. 15. quae certe videntur hanc Epistolam velut intento digito m [...]nstrare.

Beza concludes the matter very modestly: let the judgements of men, saith he, be free; so we all agree in that, that this E­pistle was truely dictated by the holy Ghost, and preserved as a most precious treasure in the Church. Vide W [...]ltberi of­ficinam Biblicam, & Whitakeri controvers. 1. quest. jam de Script. cap. 16.

Some thinke (as I have touched it before) that this Epistle was originally written inEpistola Pauli ad Hebraeos He­braico, id est, s [...]rmone tunc in Syria usitato scripta suit, & ab alio versa, quem quidam Clementem fuisse volunt, alii al [...] ­um. Salm [...]sius de Helenistica. Hebrew, but the stile and phrase of this Epistle doe Graecam redolere eloquentiam, non Hebrae [...]m. 2. If it was written in Hebrew, the Hebraismes would appeare in the Greeke version, which yet are rarer here then in other Epistles. 3. The Scriptures of the old Testament are cited in it, not accor­ding to the Hebrew fountains, but according to the version of the Seventy. 4. The Apostle Ch. 7.Waltherus in officina Biblica & Bellarminus ubi supra. interprets the Hebrew name Melchisedech, King of righteousnesse; and Salem, peace; which he would not have done if he had written in Hebrew. Junius Jun. Paralel. l. 3. c. 9. p. 466. Vile Waltheri officinam Bibli­cam. in his paralels▪ holds it to be Pauls, and written in Greeke.

Ribera and Ludovieus a Te [...]a, two Papists, have written on this Epistle. Pareus and Dixon have done best on the whole Booke, and Mr Dearing on six Chapters. V [...]etius much com­mends G [...]marus. There is a good English Expositor on this Epistle lately put forth, called, the Expiation of a Sinner.

Those seven Epistles written by JAmes, Peter, John and Jude, have unfit Titles prefixed before them, in that they are called sometime Canonicall, specially of the Latine Church; and sometime Catholicke Epistolae a [...]o­rum Apostolorum Catholic [...] dicum­tur, quia gene­ratim ad omnes fideles & in om­nes quasi mundi partes missae sunt, & ista in­scriptione [...] [...] Rivetus in Ca­tholic [...] Orthodo [...]., chiefly of the Greeke Church: neither of which were given them by any Apostle, or Apostolicke writer. Yet though this title Catholicke cannot be defended, it may be excused and tolerated as a Title of distinction, to di­stinguish them from the other Epistles. Also they may have this Title Canonicall set before them, (as some bookes of the old Testament were termed Hagiographa by the Jewes) not because they were of greater authority then other holy wri­tings, [Page 78] but to shew that they ought to be esteemed of, and im­braced as Divine, howsoever in former times they were unjustly suspected. Vide Bezam.

The second inscription of Catholique is as unsit as the for­mer; therefore the Rhemists unjustly blame us for leaving out that Title in our English Bibles; for it is well knowne that that Title is not given by the Holy Ghost, but by the Scholiast who tooke it from Eusebius, Generall is a meere English term, & of no doubtfull signi [...]ication; Catholicke is both Greeke, and (by their saying) of double, and therefore doubtfull signification.

The Syriack interpter hath this inscription of these Epistles, (as Tremellius sheweth) Tres Epistolae trium Apostolorum, ante quorum oculos Dominus noster se transformavit, id est, Jacobi, Petri, & Johannis. For the Syrians doe not esteem the second of Peter, nor the second and third of John nor the Epistle of Jude Canonicall.

The Apostles JAmes, Peter, Hieron. Epist. Fam. John and Jude have publisht seven Epistles as mysticall as succinct; both short and long; short in words, long in sence and meaning.

JAmes) For the difference which seemes to be between Jam. 2. 21 22. and Rom. 4. 2. & 3. 28. most likely this booke was doubted of in ancient times, as Eusebius and Jerome witnesse. But yet then also publiquely allowed in many Churches, and ever since received in all,M. Pemble on Justification, Sect 6. c. 1. out of which for the same cause Luther and other of his followers since him, would againe re­ject it. Erasmus assents to Luther, and Mus [...]ulus agrees with them both in his Comment upon the fourth of the Romans; both they of the Romish, and we of the Reformed Church This may be see [...] in the har­mony of con­fessions. with one consent admit this Epistle for Canonicall. Vide Polani Syntagma.

I light upon an old Dutch Testament of Luthers Translation (saith W [...]itaker against Raynolds) with his preface, wherein he writeth that JAmes his Epistle is not so worthy as are the Epi­stles of St Peter and Paul, but in respect of them a strawen E­pistle; his censure I mislike, and himselfe (I thinke) after­wards, seeing these words in a latter edition are left out.

It is nowhere found in Luthers workes, that he called [Page 79] the Epistle of JAmes, inanem & stramineam. Edmund Campian was convicted of falshood about that in England, where when he had objected that, he could finde no such thing at any time in the Bookes heRiveti Jesuit a vapulans, c. 9. produced. Some in the preface of the German edition say that Luther wrote, that it cannot contend in dignity with the Epistles of Paul and Peter, but is strawie, if it be compared with them. Which judgement of Luther we approve not of, and it is hence manifest that it was disliked by him, because these words are found in no other edition from the yeere 1526. Luthers disciples now hold that it is Canonicall and Apostolicall;Waltherus in Officina Biblica. and they answer the argu­ments of those that are opposite thereto, as we may see in the exposition of that Article concerning the Scripture, by that most learned and diligent man John Gerard. Sect. 281. Waltherus also in o [...]ficina Bib­lica holds it Canonicall. Gravitatem ac zelum Apostolicum per omnia prae se fert. saith Walther.

We may reply against the Papists, who often object this opinion of Luthers, that Cajetan their CardinallRainoldus de lib. Apoc. tomo primo praelect. quarta. denieth the Epistle to the Hebrews to be Canonicall; yea (which is far worse) he affirmeth that the Authour thereof hath erred, not onely in words, but in the sence and meaning of the Scrip­tures. Vide etivm prae­lectionem ter­tiam. Nay, Cajetan (saith Whitaker) rejected JAmes, second of Peter, and second and third of John, and Jude.

It consists of five Chapters. Pareus and Laurentius have done best on it.

First of Peter) This Epistle is called in the Title Catholi­call, because it is not written to any one person, as that of Paul to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon; nor to any one particu­lar Church, as those of Paul to the Romans, Corint [...]s: but to the converted of the Jewes dispersed here and there, as appeares by the inscription. It consists of five Chapters.

Gerhard, Laurentius, Gomarus, and Dr Ames have expounded both these Epistles. Bifield hath interpreted part of the first Epistle.

Second of Peter) Some in the Primitive Church doubted of itsAs Eusebius and Jerome witnesse. authority, and the Syriack hath it not; but the Church generally allowed it, and many reasons may perswade that it is Apostolicall, and was written by Peter. 1. Because the [Page 80] Authour of It expresly calleth himselfe Simon Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ.Ch. 1. v. 1 [...], 13. He wrote it in his old age to confirme them in the doctrine which before he had taught them. 2. Its in­scription is to the same Jewes (that the former) viz. dispersed by the Romane Empire, and converted to Christ, whose Apo­stle Peter was. 3. It shewes an Apostolicall spirit. 4. Its stile and composition is agreeable to the former Epistle. 5. The Authour of this Epistle witnesseth, that he was a Spectator of the transfiguration in the mount; Chap. 1. v. 16. now Peter to­gether with JAmes and John were present with Christ. 6. He makes mention of the Former Epistle, Chap. 3. v. 1. 7. He cals Paul his deare brother, Chap. 3. v. 15. It consists of three Chapters.

First of John consists of five Chapters.

Second and third of John.) They were also in times past doubted of by some,Eusebius l. 2, 24. & 3. 21. as Erasmus, Cajetan: but there are good reasons to prove them Canonicall. 1. Their Authour cals him­selfe an Elder; so doth Peter, 1 Pet. 5. 1. by which name an Ec­clesiasticall office is often signified,Zanchy hath done well on the first Epi­stle, Calvin on all three. but here age rather; now it is manifest that John came to a greater age then the rest of the Apostles. 2. The salutation is plainly Apostolicall, Grace mercy and peace. 3. In sentences and words they agree with the first Epistle. 4. The Fathers alledge them for Johns, and reckon them among the Canonicall bookes.Irenaeus, Tertul­lian, Athanasius.

Each of these Epistles is but a Chapter.

Jude) This Epistle also in times past was questioned by some;Vide Euseb. l. 2. c. 23. l. 3. c. 22. Erasm. in Anno [...]. but that it is Apostolicall, first the inscription shews; the Author expresly cals him a servant of Christ, and brother of JAmes. 2. The matter, it agreeth both for words and sentences with the second of Peter; of which it containes as it were a briefe sum and recapitulation.It is reckoned among the Canonicall bookes, and cited by Atha­nasius, Tertul­lian, Cyprian, Origen, Jerome, under Judes name. John neither in his Epistles nor Revelation cals himselfe an Apostle. That the writer of the Epistle doth not call himselfe an Apostle is of no moment to infringe the authority thereof, for the judgement of the writer is free in that case; that Title was specially used by Paul and Peter; JAmes and John quit the same Title, yea Paul in his Epstles to the Philip­pians, [Page 81] Thessalonians and Philemon, doth not call himselfe an A­postle, and yet those Epistles were never doubted of. It is but one Chapter. Willet and Mr Perkins have done well upon it.

Revelation Vocatur iste liber Apocalyp­sis seu Revela­tionis, quia in eo continentur ea quae Deus revelavit Joan­ni & Joannes Ecclesiae. Ludov. de Tena.) It is called according to the Greeke Apocalyps, and according to the Latine Revelation; that is a discovery or manifestation of things which before were hidden and secret, for the common good of the Church.

Eusebius l. 3. c. 17. saith Domitian cast John the Evangelist into a fornace of scalding Oyle, but when he saw he came forth unhurt, he banished him into the Isle Pathmos, where he writ this Revelation.

This booke describeth the state of the Church from the time of John the last of the Apostles,Sextus Senensis idem ferè habet Bibliothecae Sanctae l. 7. Apocalypsis Johannis tot ha­bet sacramenta quot verba. untill Christs comming againe; and especially the proceedings, pride, and fall of Babylon, the great whore with all the Kingdomes of Antichrist. The holy Ghost therefore foreseeing what labour Satan and his instru­ments would take to weaken and impaire the credit and au­thority of this above all other Bookes (wherein he prevailed so far,Hieron. 2. epist. Fam. lib. 2. epist. 1. as some true Churches called the truth and authority of it into question) hath backed it with a number of confir­mations more then are in any other Booke of Scripture.

First,Nomen [...] teste [...] Hieronymo soli Scripturae est proprium & apud Ethuicos non usitatum, sonat revelatio­nem earum re­rum, quae prius, non quidem Deo, nobis autem occultae & minus manifestae fue­runt. the Authour of it, is set in the forefront or face of it, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chap. 1. vers. 1. who pro­fesseth himselfe to be the first and the last, vers. 11. so in the severall Epistles to the Churchs in severall stiles he chal­lengeth them to be his. Thus saith he 1. that holdeth the seven starres in his right hand. 2. He which is first and last, which was dead, and is alive. 3. Which hath the sharpe two edged Sword. 4. Which hath eyes like a flame of fire, and his feete like brasse. 5. Which hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven starres. 6. He who is holy and true, who hath the key of David. 7. He who is Amen, the faithfull and true witnesse, the beginning of the creatures of God.

Secondly,Peculiare est Johanni prae re­liquis librorum N. T. Scriptoribus Filium Dei vocare [...]. conser. Joh. 1. 1. & 14. jam verò ean­dem appellationem tribuit Filio Dei in hoc libro Apoc. 19. v. 13. Gerhardus Waltherus. the instrument or pen-man, his servant John the Evangelist, the Apostle, the Divine, who for the farther and [Page 82] more full authority of it, repeateth his name at least, thrice, saying, I John, Chap. 1. 9. & 21. 1, 2. & 22. 8. whereas in the Gospell he never maketh mention of his name; there he writes the history of Christ, here he writes of himself, and the Revela­tions declared to him.

Thirdly, in the last Chapter are five testimonies heaped to­gether, v. 5, 6, 7, 8. 1. Of the Angels. 2. Of God himselfe, the Lord of the holy Prophets. 3. Of Jesus Christ, behold I come shortly. 4. Of John, I John heard and saw all these things. 5. The protestation of Jesus Christ, vers. 18.

Fourthly, the matter of the Booke doth convince the autho­rity thereof, seeing everywhere the Divinity of a Propheticall spirit doth appeare; the words and sentences of other Prophets are there set downe;Vide Bezae Pro­legomena in A­pocalypsin. part of the Prophesies there delivered are in the sight of the world accomplished, by which the truth and authority of the whole is undoubtedly proved; there are ex­tant many excellent testimonies of Christ and his Divinity, and our redemption by Christ.

Fifthly, The most ancient Fathers, Greeke and Latine ascribe this Booke to John the Apostle. Theophylact, Origen, Chys [...]stome, Tertullian, Hilary, Austin, Ambrose, Irenaeus.

To deny then the truth of this booke is contra solem obloqui, to gainsay the shining of the Sunne it selfe.

The Chyliasts abuse many testimonies out of this Booke,Non illud recep­tum est quod ex verbis Apocal. c. 20. collige­runt Chiliastae. qui ab Ecclesi [...] expl [...]si sunt ut Haeretici, Sanctos nempe in terris cum Christo regnaturos anni [...] ­mille, R [...]inold. de lib. Apoc. tomo 2. but those places have been cleared long agoe by the learned, as bearing another sence. See Dr Raynolds conf. with Hart, Chap. 8. p. 406.

Calvin being demanded his opinion, what he thought of the Revelation, answered ingenuously,Mr. Selden of tithes, c. 1. & Bodin. Meth Hist. See Brought [...]n on Apoc. p. 244. Apocalypsin Johannis Commentationibus in [...]actam se relinquere sate­ [...] Lutherus, quod dubi [...] sit interpretationis & arcani sensus; in qua e [...]si periculum sui multi hacte­nus feceri [...]s, nihil corti tamen in [...]edium. protulisse. Zepherus. he knew not at all what so obscure a writer meant. Se penitus ignorare quid velit tam ob­scurus scriptor.

[Page 83] Cajetan at the end of his Exposition of Jude confesseth that he understands not the literall sence of the Revelation, and therefore exponat (saith he) cui Deus concesserit.

It consists of 22 Chapters;Mr Perkins on the first three Chapters. the best Expositors on it are Ri­bera, Brightman, Pareus, Cartwright, Dent, Forbes, Mode, Simonds.

1. The Scriptures written by Moses and the Prophe [...]s suffici­ently prove that Christ is the Messiah that was to come;Consectaries from the Books of Scripture. the old Testament may convince the Jewes (which deny the new Testament) of this truth, John 5. 39. They, that is, those parts of Scripture written by Moses and the Prophets;See Luke 1. 69, 70. Acts [...]. 1 [...]. & 10. 43. there were no other Scriptures then written. The 53 Chapter of Esay is a large history of his sufferings. We have also another Booke (or Testament) more clearely witnessing of Christ; the Gospel is the unsearchable riches of Christ, Ephes. 3. 8.

So much may suffice to have spoken concerning the Divine Canon; the Ecclesiasticall and false Canon follow.

CHAP. V.

SOme Hereticks utterly abolisht the Divine Canon, as the Swingfeldians and Libertines who contemned all Scrip­tures; Totum vetus Testamentum rejiciebant Ma­nichaei, tanquam a Deo malo profectum. Du [...]s n. i [...]i Deos [...] fingebant, quoru [...] un [...]s bonus, ma [...]s alter esset. Whitakerus de Scripturis. the Manichees, and Marcionites refused all the Bookes of the old Testament (as the Jewes doe those of the new) as if they had proceeded from the Divell.

Some diminish this Canon, as the Sadduces who (as Whi­taker and others hold) rejected all the other Prophets but Moses; some inlarge it as the Papists, who hold that divers o­ther Bookes called by us Aprcrypha (i. hidden) doe belong to the old Testament, and are of the same authority with the other before named; and they adde also their traditions and unwritten word, equalling it with the Scripture; both these are accursed, Rev. 22. 18.

But against the first we thus argue: whatsoever Scripture, 1. is divinely inspired, 2. Christ commandeth to search, 3. To [Page 84] which Christ and his Apostles appeale and confirme their do­ctrine by it, that is Canonicall and of equall authority with the new Testament. But the holy Scripture of the old Testa­ment is divinely inspired,Stephen Acts 7. 42. cites a Booke of the 12 lesser Pro­phets, and so confirmes the authority of them all, being in one volume. Luke 16. 19. Vide Whitakeri controver. 1. quaest. 3. cap. 3. pag. 210. 2 Tim. 3. 16. where he speakes even of the Bookes of the old Testament, as is gathered both from the universall all writing, viz. holy, in the 15 verse; and from the circumstance of time, because in the time of Timothies in­fancy little or nothing of the new Testament was published. 2. Christ speakes not to the Scribes and Pharisees, but to the people in generall, to search it John 5. 39. this famous elo­gium being added, that it gives testimony of him, and that we may finde eternall life in it. 3. Christ and his Apostles ap­peale to it, and confirme their doctrine by it, Luke 24. 27. Rom. 3. 21. Acts 10. 43. & 17. 11. & 20 43▪ & 26. 20. the new Te­stament gives testimony of the old, and Peter, 2 Pet. 1. 19. of Pauls Epistles.

The Ecclesiasticall Canon (which is also called the second Canon) followeth, to which these Bookes belong, Tobit, Ju­dith, first and second of the Machabees, Wisdome, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Additions toThe history of Susanna Dan. 13. and Bel, cap. 14. and the song of the three Children Dan. 3. Daniel and Hester; for these neither containe truth perfectly in themselves; nor are sanctified by God in the Church, that they may be a Canon of faith; and although abusively from custome they were called Canoni­call, yet properly in the Church they are distinguished from the Canonicall by the name of Apocryphall.

The false Canon is that which after the authority of the Apocrypha increased, was constituted by humane opinion; for the Papists as well as we reject for Apocryphall the third and fourth Booke of Esdras, Of the Apo­crypha or ob­scure writings now extant in Greek. the prayer of Manasses, the third and fourth of Machabees, as Thomas Aquinas, Sixtus Senensis, Bel­larmine, and so the Councell of Trent confesse, when they omit these and reckon up the whole Canon.

The state therefore of the controversie betwixt us and the Papists is,The Apocry­pha Books are either purer, as Syrach, Wisdome, Baruch, the first booke of Machabees, and the prayer of Manasses: or more im­pure, as the rest, Toby; Judith, the second of Machabees, the supplement of Hester and Daniel. whether those seven whole bookes with the Appen­dices, be Sacred, Divine, Canonicall. We doe not deny but [Page 85] many of these, especially Wisdome and Ecclesiasticus are very good and profitable, and to be preferred before all humane Tractates; but that they are properly and by an excellency Ca­nonicall, and of infallible truth, out of which firme arguments may be drawne, that we deny.

Those Bookes which the Jewes of old and the reformed Churches now reckon for truely Canonicall in the old Testa­ment, are received all even by our adversaries for Canonicall without any exception; 2. for the Canonicall Bookes of the new Testament there is no controversie between us, and so far we agree; but in the old Testament whole Bookes are reckoned by them for Canonicall which we hold Apocryphall.

The reason why these Bookes at first were added to holy writ,S [...]e Mr. Light­foot on Luke 1. 17. p. 5. & 6. Acts [...]. 1. & 9. 29. & 11. 20. Solebant pueri praeparari & ex­coli (ad audien­das sacras Scrip­turas) libris Sa­pientiae & Ec­clesiastici, quem­admodum qui purpurum volunt [...] prius lanam in­ficiunt, ut inquit Cicero. Rainold. de lib. Apoc. tomo 1. praelect. 1 [...]. was this, the Jewes in their later times, before and at the comming of Christ were of two sorts; some properly and for distinction sake named Hebrews, inhabiting Jerusalem and the holy Land; others were Hellenists, that is, the Jewes of the dispersion mingled with the Graecians. These had written sundry bookes in Greeke which they made use of, together with other parts of the old Testament, which they had in Greeke of the translation of the 70 when they now under­stood not the Hebrew; but the Hebrewes received onely the 22 Bookes before mentioned. Hence it came that the Jewes deli­vered a double Canon of Scripture to the Christian Church, the one pure, unquestioned and Divine, which is the Hebrew Canon; the other in Greeke adulterate, corrupted by the ad­dition of certaine bookes written in those times when God raised up no more Prophets among his people. Drus. praeterit. l. 5. Annotat. ad Act. Apost. c. 6. Jun. Animad. in Bell. cont. 1. l. 1. c. 4. & l. 2. c. 15. sect. 21. Tertul. in Apol. c. 19.

They are called Apocryphall (i. secret and hidden) not be­cause the names of the writers are unknowne (by that reason Judges and Ruth should be Apocryphall) but because they were not wont to be readChamierus de Canone l. 4. c. 2▪ Musculus, Wal­therus. openly in the Church of God as the Ca­nonicall bookes, but secretly and in private by private persons, or because their authority was obscure and doubtfull with the Ancient.

[Page 86] These bookes our Church rejecteth, as not written by Di­vine inspiration for these reasons.

All the Canonicall bookes of the old Testament were writ­ten by the Prophets;Because they were the Scrip­tures of the Pro­phets, Rom. 16. 26. a Propheti­call speech. 2 Pet. 1. 19, 20. Luke 1. 70. & 16. 39. & 24. 27, 44, 45. but none of these bookes were written by any of the Prophets, for

1. The last of the Prophets of the Jewes was Malachy, Mal. 4. 4, 5. between whom and John Baptist came no Prophet. Marke begins with the same words almost with which Malachy en­ded; a good argument to prove that the new Testament is next to the old. But these BookesThese bookes in question were neve [...] admitted into the Canon of the Jewes, they are not comprehended under Moses and the Prophets, as Josephus (contra Ap. l. 1.) Hierome in prol [...]go Gal. Origen▪ (in Psal. 1.) Eplphanius ( [...] pond. & mens) testifie, as Sixtus Senensis & Bellarm. confesse. were written by such who lived most of them after Malachy.

2. All the Prophets wrote in Hebrew, the language which the Jewes understood; but the Fathers affirme and Papists ac­knowledge that most of these bookes were written in Greeke; ergo, being not written by the Prophets they are not Cano­nicall. 2. All the bookes of the old Testament were commit­ted to the Jewes and safely kept by them, Rom. 3. 2. our Savi­our Christ which reproved the JewesEuseb. [...]ist. l. 3. c. 10. Aug. Epist. 3. & 59. for corrupting the sence of the Scripture, did yet never reprove them for rejecting those bookes which were divinely inspired, which sacriledge he would not have concealed; yea our Saviour sendeth us unto the Scriptures, as they received them, John. 5. 39. E [...]ras after the captivity is reported to have gathered all the Bookes of holy Scripture,Euseb. Eccles. hist. l. 5. c 8. and safely to lay them up. If the Jewes should have rejected or not received any bookes being Cano­nicall, Whitak. de Script. controv. 1. q. 1. c. 5, 6. they had grievously erred, which the Papists them­selves will not affirme. Yea there should have been some Ca­nonicall Bookes which no Church received; for besides the Church of the Jewes at that time there was none in the world. The Canonicall Bookes of the old Testament were divided into Moses, Luke 24, 44. the Prophets and Psalmes; with which agreeth the old distribution of the Hebrews, into the Law, Prophets, and Hagiographa.

[Page 87] 3, There are two waies to know a booke to be Canonicall; one by the testimony of some Prophet or Apostle: the other by the certaine testimony of them which did live when the booke was published,Aug. contr. Fau­stum. l. 33. c. 6. who did witnesse that the booke was written by some Prophet or Apostle. But these bookes are known to be Canonicall neither of these waies; they were re­jected by the Jewes,Bellarm. de verbe Dei, l. 1. c. 10. Josephus, Je­rome, Origen. who lived in the times when they were written; our Saviour Christ nor his Apostles never commend these Bookes unto us as endited by the Spirit. They are cited by Christ and his Apostles for the confirmation of their do­ctrine. All the Canonicall Bookes in generall, John 5. 39. & 10. 35. Rom. 16. 26. Luke 16. 29, 31. & Ch. 24. v. 25, 27, 44. The most of all in speciall, Genesis Matth. 19. 4, 5, 6. Exodus Matth. 5. 21, 27, 33, 38. Leviticus Gal. 3. 12. Numbers John 3. 14. Deuteronomy Acts 3. 22. Josh [...]a Heb. 11. 30, 31. Judges Heb. 11. 32. Ruth Matth. 1. 3. First of Samuel Matth. 12. 3. Second of Samuel Heb. 1. 5. First of Kings Matth. 12. 42. Se­cond of Kings Luke 4. 27. First of Chronicles Matth. 1. 3, 7, 10 13. Second of Chronicles Acts 7. 48. Ezra Matth. 1. 12, 13. Job 1 Co­rinth. 3. 19. Psalmes Acts 4. 25. Proverbs Heb. 12. 5, 6, 7. Esay Matth. 1. 23. Jeremy Heb. 10. 16, 17. Ezechiel Matth. 25. 35. Daniel Matth. 24. 25. All the lesser Prophets Acts 7. 42. & 15. 15, 16. Hosea Matth. 12. 7. Jo [...]l Acts 2. 12. Amos Acts 15. 16. Jonah Matth. 12. 40, 41. Micha Matth. 10. 35. Na [...]um Rom. 10. 15. Habacuc Rom. 1. 17. Haggai Heb. 12. 26. Zachary Matth. 21 5. Malachy Luke 1. 16, 17. These bookes were not cited by Christ and his Apostles for confirmation of their doctrine.

Ob. If they be not Canonicall, therefore because they are not cited; then Na [...]um and Zephany are not Canonicall. A­ratus, Menander, and Epimenides, prophane Poets are Canoni­call▪ because they are cited Acts 17. 28. 1 Cor. 15. 33. Titus 1. 12.

Sol. They are not therefore not Canonicall onely because they are not cited, but especially because they have not the characters of Divine Scripture. 2 Nahu [...] and Zephany are implicitely quoted, when the bookes of the Prophets are men­tioned Acts 7. 41. & 15. 15, 16. The Poets are not cited as Ca­nonicall, [Page 88] Du [...] genera cau­sarum sunt ob quas libri Apo­cryphi sunt à Canone rejecti; unum externum, alterum inter­num. Externae caus [...] sunt, au­toritas Ecclesie deceruentis, tum ipsorum autorum qualitas; quippe qui ej [...]smodi non fuerint ut fidem mererentur. In­terna sunt, quae ab ipsorum libro­rum examine di­ligenti desumun­tur, primum sly­lus, deinde res ipsae, nempe vel fabulosae vel im­piae. Chamierus de Canone, l. 7. but the Apostle applied himselfe to his hearers, who did much esteeme their authority. Some have well coucluded from Acts 10. 43. that the Apocrypha are not to be received as Canonicall Scripture because they testifie not of Christ.

4 Those bookes which containe manifest untruths cou­trary to the Word of God, and the books of holy Scripture, were not inspired of God; for as God is true, so is his word John 17. 17: sweetly agreeeng with it selfe, and every part with other; these bookes commend false things as true, and approve things evill as right. Judith chap: 9: v: 2: commends killing the Sichemites against Gen. 49. 6, 7. 2 Mac. 14. 42. Razis is commended for killing himselfe, the fact is not onely related but commended also in these words, nobly, manfully; and this commendation doth plainly shew that the Authour thereof was not inspiredHe craves pardon of his Reader, which is nor [...]tting for the holy Ghost. of God, when the Donatists out of this booke urged that it was lawfull for them to kill them­selves as Razis did. Augustine August contro­vers. 2. Epist. Gaudentii. c. 23. then was forced to acknow­ledge, that the authority of this booke was uncertaine and que­stionable, and proves it by the judgement of the Jewish Church, Christ, and the Christians. Manifest fables are told in some of them for true histories, as that ofb Toby, Judith, Bell, and the Dragon.

If any desire a particular con [...]utation of the severall Bookes of the Apocrypha, I commend to his reading that learned Trea­tise of Dr Raynolds de libris Apocryphis, who hath so exactly handled this subject, that to write of it after him were to write Iliads after Homer, or to draw a line after Apelles.

5. The most ancient Fathers, and Councels which lived the best and first 500 yeeres afterCartw. in his preface to the Confutation of the Remish Testament. Christ, rejected the same bookes which we doe. Jerome on Matth. 23. saith concerning a testimony cited out of the Apocrypha, Hoc quoniam ex Scrip­tura nihil habet authoritatis, eadem facilitate rejicitur, qua profer­tur. Because this hath no authority out of Scripture, it may as easily be rejected as it is offered.

[Page 89] All that the Papists object for these Bookes in the generall, is, that the third Councell at Carthage, the Florentine coun­cell and that of Trent doe approve the said Bookes to be Ca­nonicall, as also Augustine and Innocentius.

To which it may be answered,Est 2 ex Canon. fidei, morum [...] the Jewes re­jected the A­pocrypha à Canone fidei, the Church admits it into Canonem morum. They are given us to be read, Non eum cre­dendi necessitate, sed cum judican­di libertate. Austin. 1. That the Councell of Carthage was but a Provinciall Councell, and therefore it cannot binde the whole world. Moreover in that Councell there are divers things which the Papists will not endure; as in the 26 Canon, there is a decree that no Bishop shall be called chiefe or universall Bishop, no not the Bishop of Rome; how should the Papists binde us with the authority of that Councell with which they will not binde themselves? 2. The LatineJerome and Augustine. Fathers judged these bookes fit to be read for example of life and instruction of manners; but not for confirmation of faith, or establishing any doctrine. 3. These Bookes are not Proto Canonicall, truely and properly Canonicall, inspi­red by God, containing the immediate and unchangeable truth of God, sanctified by him, and given to the Church to be a perfect rule of sound doctrine and good life; but Deutero-canonicall or rather Ecclesiasticall, as they are stiled. In this sence Augustine and Innocentius are to be taken, when they reckon these Bookes among the Canonicall. 4. No Councell hath authority to define what Bookes are Canoni­call, what not, seeing Bookes truely Divine receive authority from God himselfe, and are to be esteemed of undoubted truth, although all the world should barke against them.

These two CouncelsFlorentinum & Tridenti­num concilium, ne mihi objece­ris, quibus ego nec teneri [...]ec urgeri volo: an­ [...]quiora, sani­or [...], sanctiora desidero. Whitak▪ contra Staplet. Florentinum confilium habitum est ante [...] 150. & Tridentinum aetate nostra, cujus habendi ea [...]ratio ac confilium suit, ut omnes Ecclesiae Papi­sticae errores [...]. Erant haec duo non legitima Christianorum concilia, sed Tyrannica Anti­christi conventicula ad oppugnandam Evangelii veritatem instituta. Whitakerm controvers. 1: q. 1. c. 4. de Scripturis. are of too late standing to oppose against the other ancient Councels, which reject these Bookes. The co [...]ncell of Trent was gathered and kept against all Civill and Ecclesiasticall right; neither was there any forme of justice observed in it. 1. It was not kept in a lawfull place; for where­as it was intended against the Protestants, and the Germans [Page 90] were the parties accused, it ought to have been kept in Ger­many, according to the request exhibited by the body of the States of Germany assembled at Noremberg; this equity was not observed,Re [...] extra pro­vinciam produ­ [...]ndus [...]n est; ibi n. causa agenda ubi cri­ [...] admissum est. the parties accused being called into Italy. 2. In that Councell matters were concluded, and the sentence passed, the adversary not being heard speake, nor so much as present; for the Protestants might not be admitted to hea­ring, neither could they obtaine to propound their opinion in the Councell, muchlesse to avouch it by lawfull reasoning. Sleidan fol. 29. and yet were condemned,See the Re­view of the Councell of Trent. l. 1. c. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. against divine and humane law; for they both forbid the condemning of any be­fore he have lawfull liberty granted him to plead for himselfe. 3. In that Councell the accuser and Judge were the same: for the Pope did accuse the Protestants of heresie, he did convo­cate the Coucell,Rex Christi [...]is­ [...]tus negabas [...]e habere hunc consessum (viz. conc. Trident.) pro [...]ecumenica & legitim [...] congregata Synodo, sed magis pro conventu privato. Thuanus Tom. 1. Hist. l. 2. pag. [...]0 [...]. he by his Delegates was President and Mo­derator in it, and so together was Accuser, Judge and Wit­nesse; whereas the reformation of the Pope was the thing in question.

Lastly, all Councels ought to be free; but in this, Prote­stants might not propound their cause, nor defend itSleidan l. 23., neither might any thing be proposed, but according to the mind of the Legates,This Coun­cell was not Generall, di­vers Kings and Nations pro­tested against it, viz. The King of Eng­land, and the French King, and would not send their Bishops and Ambassadors to it. B. Carlet [...]. or otherwise then they approved; no man had any voyce in the Councell but such as were sworne to the Pope. nothing was there determined which was not first concluded of at Rome by the Pope in the Colledge of Cardinals, and sent from Rome to Trent; whereupon this Proverbe arose, Spiritum Sanctum Roma p [...]r peram mitti Tridentum. The Holy Ghost came to Trent packt up in a Cloke-bag. We hope therefore since the Apocrypha are justly rejected out of the Canon, that here­after they will neither have the honour to be bound with our Bibles, nor read in our Churches.

The Apocrypha was never received by the Church of the Israelites, before Christ his comming; nor of the Apostolicke a [Page 91] and Primitive Church, for more then 300 yeeres after, as both Eusebius out of Origen, and the Councell of Laodicea Can. 59. confirmed afterward by the sixth generall councell of Con­stantinople sheweth for the Greeke Church,In Prologo Ga­leato l. 6. c. 18. and St Jerome for the Latine.

CHAP. VI.
Of the Authenticall edition of the Scripture.

NOw we must enquire which is the Authenticall edition of holy Scriptures, it being necessary that this heavenly truth committed to writing, should be delivered in some forme of words, and in some language which may be understood. Lawyers, from whom the use of the word AuthentiqueAuthenticū est quod ex se fidem sacit, sua autho­ritate nititur, ab iis de quorum authoritate con­stat comprobatur. To be authen­ticall is to have authority of it selfe. see­meth borrowed, doe call those instruments and writings au­thentique which have a certaine and just authority in them­selves.

A booke or writing is authentique either by divine or hu­mane institution; those are by Divine appointment and insti­tution authenticall which have from God sufficient and ab­solute authority to command and approve themselves worthy credit and faith, in as much as God himselfe doth approve thtm; by humane institution such writings are held authen­ticall which by the opinion and sentence of learned men in their severall professions may be esteemed worthy credit and beliefe for themselves, and for the truth in them.

There is a great diversity of editions of holy Scripture; all cannot be simply and perpetually authenticall, in of, and for themselves, without reference unto another, no more then many draughts of the same Lease or Deed, or copy of one par­don can be. Some amongst many are authentique, whence the others are transcribed; yea it cannot be that there should be many; but although there may be many counterpanes of the deed, yet there is but one or two principall Deeds: so, a­mongst [Page 92] this great variety of editions one or more ought to be as principall and authenticall.

Thrre is a question betwixt the Church of Rome and the reformed Churches about the authentique edition of Scrip­ture; they say, that the edition of the Bible in Hebrew and Greeke i [...] not authenticall, but rather the vulgar Latine. We hold, that the vulgar Latine is very corrupt and false; that the HebrewHebraels Grae­cisque textibus concedatur uti­litas maxima, laus maxima, exemptio de malignis corrup­telis absolutissi­ma: id vehemen­ter approbo. Morinus in epist. ad Dia [...]riben. for the old Testament, and the Greeke for the new is the sincere and authenticall writing of God; there­fore that all things are to be determined by them; and that the other versions are so far to be approved of, as they agree with these fountaines.

The Tridentine Councell thusLatina vetus vulgata editio in publicis lectionibus, disputationi­bus, praedica­tionibus & expositionibus pro authentica habeatur, & nemo illam rejicere quovis protextu au­deat, aut prae­sumat. Concil. Trident. Sess. 4. decreto 2do. Predigiosum certè decretum & cujus cordatiores Pontificios & tunc cum illud cud [...]retur pud [...]erit, & etiamnum dispudet. Amama Antibarb. Bibl. decreeth, that in all ser­mons, readings, disputations, controversies, the vulgar Latine Translation should be taken for authentique before the He­brew or Greeke, and that no man should presume upon any occasion to reject it, or to appeale from it. When the Coun­cell of Trent saith the vulgar Latine is authenticall, it com­pares it with other Latine Translations, not with the He­brew. Muis.

Andradius (the chiefest of the Divines at the Councell of Trent) thinketh that the Councell of Trent did not meane either to condemne the Hebrew truth (as he calleth it) or to acquit the Latine Translation from all errour, when they cal­led it Authenticall; but onely that the Latine hath no such errour by which any pestilent opinion in faith and manners may be gathered. This saith Rainolds against Hart. ch. 6. p. 202. & Chamier tomo 1. l. 12. c. 2.

The Rhemists in their preface to the new Testament, tran­slated by them, prolixly extoll this Latine edition, and con­tend that it is not onely far better than all the Latine versions, but then the Greeke it sele, which is the Prototype.

Before we come to defend our owne or disprove that opi­nion of the Papists, it is necessary first rightly and fully to state the question, and to premise some things concerning [Page 93] the severall versions and Translations of the Scripture.

We deny not that part of Daniel and Ezra which was writ­ten in the Chaldee dialect to be authenticall, because we know the Lord was pleased that in that language as well as the Hebrew some of his Divine truth should be originally written.

1. For the more credit of the stories, the Lord bringeth forth forraigne Nations and their Chronicles for witnesses, least any of them should doubt of the truth thereof.Junius. 2. The Lord would have some part of those stories come to the knowledge of the Heathen, and it was requisite that the Chal­deans should know the sinnes and impieties of that Nation,Nec obstat, quae­dam in Jeremia, Daniele, & Esra, idiomate Chaldaico con­signata esse, ea n. lingua ab He­braea inflexione saltem differt & ab eadem tanquam matre, nascitur, ac de­mum post capti­vitatem Babylo­nicam Judaeis [...] esse fa [...]i­l [...]a [...]is. Walibe­rus in officina Biblica. and the judgements that should befall to testifie unto all the truth of God; therefore in generall the alteration of the ter­rene States and Kingdomes is shadowed forth and published in the Chaldee tongue, that the Gentiles might take know­ledge thereof; but the particular Histories of the comming of the Messias, of his Office and Kingdome, and of the cala­mities and afflictions which should befall the people of God are set forth in the Hebrew tongue, as more especially concer­ning them. Likewise it pleased God for the better credit of the story, that the History of those things which were said and done in Chaldea should be written in the same Language wherein they were first spoken; and therefore the Epistles and rescrips of the Kings are delivered in the Chaldee speech, as taken out of their publique Acts andJun. in Dan. 7. & prolog. in Dan. Records; and that the History in Daniel set forth in the Chaldee speech gaining him respect with the Chaldeans, might stirre up the Jewes to re­ceive Daniel as a Prophet of God whom the Heathens admi­red. If there be any footsteps of the Chaldee and Arabique in Job as some learned say; we doe not exclude them from authentique authority; for we say the whole old Testament for the most part in Hebrew, and few parcels in Chaldee, are the authentique edition of the old Testament.

The Greeke copies of the new Testament are also from God immediately, the very dialect wherein those Prototypes were, which the Pens of the Evangelists and Apostles did [Page 94] write. For the Gospell of Matthew and the Epistle to the He­brews being written in Hebrew, and Marke in Latine, we have refuted that opinion already; the Greeke edition of those three Bookes, as well as of all the other of the new Testament is authenticall.

The versions of the Scripture are either the Chaldee and Greeke of the old Testament, the Syriacke and Arabicke of the new, the Latine, Italian, French, and English of both Te­staments.

All the versionsSingulae ver­ [...]nes habent fu [...] laudes, suas labes. Amama Antibarb. Bibl. l. 2. c. 1. Multo purior (inquit ipse Hieronymus) manat fontis unda, quam ftuit rivuli aqua. of the sacred Scripture have so far divine authority as they agree with the originall tongue; and to say that any Translation is pure and uncorrupt, and that the very fountaines are muddy, is both a foolish and impions blasphe­my. The tongue and dialect is but an accident, and as it were an argument of the Divine truth, which remains one and the same in all Idiomes; therefore the faith of the unlearned de­pends on God, not on men; although the Translations, by benefit of which they are brought to believe, be perfected by the labour of men. Gods providence and care of the Church is such that he would never let it be long destitute of a fit TranslationThe accurate inspection of the Hebrew Bible teacheth which Tran­slation hath most exactly exprest the meaning of the holy Ghost., which being publisht by learned men, and ap­proved of by the Church, how ever it failed in some things, yet following the truth constantly in the more principall and necessary things, might be sufficient to all for wholsome in­struction.

The versions differ often much among themselves; Arias Montanus differs much from Pagnin a learned Translator, and Vatablus from both; from all these Luther, and from him a­gaine the Vulgar. Osiander, LXX varie.

The Chaldee Edition of the old Testament is not a Tran­slation done word for word, but a Paraphrase, and so called; the Chaldee Paraphrase, by the JewsTargum Chal­daitè significat Interpretatio­nem, item Paraphrasin, quando non tam verba quam sensus ex alia lingua redditu [...]. significatio hujus vocis est generalis, ad omnes lingua [...] se extendens, sed tamen usus jam ob [...]inuit, ut per Targum [...] intelligatur solum Chald [...]ica Bibliorum v. Testamenti translatio. Helvicus de Chald. Paraph. Namine Targum non significatur semper Chaldaeus Paraphrastes, verum eo vocabula Interpretem in genere no­tant. Rainoldus de libris Apocryphis tomo 1. c. 82. Vide Schickardi Bechinath, &c. Targum, though some [Page 95] conceive that there is some kind of distinction (to speake ac­curately) between the Chaldee Paraphrase and Targum. Tar­gum being a generall word, signifying an Interpretation or Paraphrase, though it usually now by an excellency denoteth the Chaldee Paraphrase. There were three authors of it (as it is reported,) according to the threefold difference of the He­brew bookes.

Rabbi Achilam or Aquila, who is vulgarly called Onkelos upon the five bookes of Moses; Rabbi Jonathan the sonne of Vziel upon the former and later Prophets; Rabbi Joseph coecus (or as some will a certaine Anonymus) upon some of the Ha­giographa. Those Paraphrases of Onkelos and Jonathan are the ancienter and certioris fidei; that upon the Hagiographa is far later and lesse certaine, it being doubtfull both who was the authour, and in what age it was made. The common opi­nion concerning Onkelos and Jonathan is, that one wrote a little before Christ, the other a little after him. Capellus lib. 1. de punctorum Hebraieorum antiquitote cap. 1. Helvicus de Chaldai­cis Paraphrasibus [...]. 2.

These Paraphrases among the Jewes (saith Helvicus) sunt autoritatis plane aequalis ipsi Scripturae Hebraicae, neque [...] habent illis contradicere. Quorunt Paraphrasin nemo doctus non suspicit, saith Capellus of Onkelos and Jonathan.

The use of them is very great,Ea lis adhuc sub judice haret, Ebr [...]ne an Chalda [...] sit re­liquarum mater [...] & certe Chal­dai pro sua non le [...]ibus militant argumentis, Erpenius. 1 to illustrate the Hebrew Text by circumstances or a more full explication of it. 2. To con­firme the integrity of the Hebrew text, Gen. 3. 15. 3. In con­troversies against the Jewes, In controversiis Judaicis praecipuum robur obtinent, saith Helvicus Gen. 49. 10. The Chaldee Para­phrasts both of them most excellently expound the place, which themselves understood not: being like therein to Vir­gils Bees, which make Honey for others, and not themselves. First, Onkelos interpreteth it in this manner: A Magistrate ex­ercising authority of the house of Juda shall not depart, nor a Scribe of his posterity for ever, till Christ come, to whom the Kingdome pertaineth, and him shall the people obey. The Livelie in his Chronology of the Persian Monarchy. Chald [...]ica lingua in vet. Test. per­inde ut & Syra in nov [...], purior longè est, quàm ea quibus paraphra [...]es Chaldai [...]e conscripta sunt. Wal. [...]. other called the Interpreter of Jerusalem, thus: Kings of the [Page 96] house of Juda shall not faile, neither skilfull Law-teachers of his posterity, unto the time wherein the King Christ shall come: unto whom the Kingdome pertaineth, and all the King­domes of the Earth shall be subdued unto him.The Rabbins generally how­ever they in­terpret Siloh confesse it notes the Mes­siah. Joh. Isaac. l. 2. contra Lin­danum. If Christ came when authority was gone, and authority went away at Jeru­salems fall, needs must one comming of Christ be referred to the overthrow of that City. The Talmundici and latter Rab­bines, Rabbi Sal. Jarchi, Rabbi Dav. Kimchi expound it of the Messiah, as Buxtorf shews.

There are many profitable explications in that Paraphase on the Pentateuch, but it is too late to be of authentique au­thority; Rainoldus de lib. Apoc. and the other Chaldee Paraphrases (that excepted) are besprinkled with Jewish Fables and Thalmundique toyes. The third Paraphrase hath not expounded all the Hagiogra­phall Bookes. For there was never seen any Targum upon Chronicles, nor Daniel nor Ezra; peradventure because much of the Chronicles was expounded in the Bookes of the Kings, Helvicus. and a great part of Daniel and Ezra were written in Chaldee, that there was no need of a new Paraphase.

Onkelos his Paraphrase seldome merits that name, being in­deed commonly nothing but a rigid version.

Cudworths discourse concerning the notion of the Lords Supper. Chap 3.

The third Targum of the Pentateuch is named Jeroso­lymitanum, either from the City whence it came, or from the Tongue in which it was written. Schickardi Bechinath Happeros Schim.

The Greeke Translation of the old Testament.

There is a most ancient rare parchmentExtat in Bib­liotheca Sere­nissimi & Po­tentissimi Regis nagnae Britan­niae, alia ab ea quam habemus translatio Graeca & T. propedi [...]m edenda utisper amus. Voet. Biblioth. Theol. lib. 2. MS. copy of the Bible in Greeke in our Kings Library at St JAmes, sent to His Majesty that now is by Cyrillus then Patriarke of Alexandria. The Postscripts of the second Epistle to Timothy, and that to Titus in that Manuscript agree in the maine with the Syri­acke Testament.

The second to Timothy written from Laodicea; to Titus, written from Nicopolis.

[Page 97] There be diversGr [...]cae multae si erunt vers [...]nes Scripturarum à varijs authori­bus editae. Illa autem est omni­um sine contro­versia longè no­bilissima ac ce­leberrima, cujus septuaginta duo interpretes in Aegypto, Pto­lomaei Phila­delphi piae vo­luntati morem gerentes, autho­res extit [...]runt. Whitakerus. de Scripturis. Greek translations of the old Testament; that of all the rest is the most famous and Ancient, of which the Seventy-two Interpreters in Egypt (obeying King Ptolemeus Philadelphus his Commandement) were the Authors. It was made not a whole 100 yeares after the death of the Au­thor of Nehemiah, and 300 yeares also before Christ. They are said to be 72 Elders chosen out of every Tribe; they are commonly called seventy, although they were 72, as Bellarmine sheweth where he speakes of their edition, as the Centumviri which were 105. Ptolomeus Philadelphus the most learned of all the Ptolomies, had made a Library at Alexandria which he stor­ed with many thousands of Books, and understanding that the Divine Books of the Prophets full of all good Doctrine, were kept amongst the Jewes, written in their tongue, by the moti­on of Demetrius Phalerius the best Grammarian of that age, whom Ptolomy had appointed the Library-keeper, he requested of Eleazar the High Priest of the Jewes those Bookes,See Dr. Brown. Enquiries l. 6. c. 1. and In­terpreters then 72 Elders of all the Tribes of Israel were sent unto them. All the Latine translations of the Bible (except that of Jerome) were made from it.Rainoldus de lib. Apoc. The EvangelistsNon sequitur Apostoli usisunt ea editione: ergo est authentica five divina. Nam Paulus usus est etiam prophanorum libr [...]rum testimo­nij [...], qui tamen proptere à non sunt divini. Caete [...]um quia scrips [...]run [...] Graecè Apostoli, facilè usi sunt ea editione quae tumsola Graecis erat cognita. Chamier. fol­lowed the version of the Seventy in many things, which was in the hands of many, and of great authority amongst the Helle­nists, when they might doe it without much swerving from the sence of the Prophets, both to shew their Liberty; and that in things indifferent and of little consequence, they would not give occasion of cavill to the wicked, nor of scandall to the weake.

The 70 Interpreters doe manifestly swerve from the Hebrew truth in reckoning of yeares;versio 70. In multis discre­pat à fonte Heb [...]ae [...] prae­sert [...]m in Psal­mia. Ger [...]ardus 2 Pet. 2▪ 5. for Gen. 5. they say that Methu­selah was more then 167 yeares old, when he begat Lamech; so that of necessity, they make him live 14 yeares after the floud, which is false, for then were 9 soules saved contrary to Gen. 7.

[Page 98] The Syriacke translation of the New TestamentAmorem verso [...]la malu­mus gnera [...]e, quam [...] officina Biblica. Syriaca lingua quasi p [...]oles quae­dam est He­bra [...]cae & Chal­daicae lingua. Hebraei siqui­dem, qui usque ad captivitatem Babylonicam Hebraicè solum, id est, lingua sua loqui consueve­rant, cum ab­ducti essent in Babyl [...]nem, c [...] ­perunt oblivisci ling [...]am, propri­am, & addif [...]ere alienam, id est, Chaldaicam, quia tamen non perfectè eam pronunciare po­terant, & sem­per aliquid ex Hebraica retme­bant, factum est, ut lingua quaedam tertia nasceretur, Sy­riaca, dicta à regime. Bellarminas. M [...]dum in scribendo à dextra versus smistram in [...]r [...]tsum omnes Populi orienta­les sequuntur exceptis. comes next to be considered, it is Ancient, yet it is not certain who was the Author thereof, nor in what time it was made; though Chamier thinkes a little after Christs time, the greate elegan­cy and purity of speech, doth shew that it is Ancient. It is pro­bable that it was made about the beginning of the Christian Church, because the second of Peter, with the second and third of I [...]hn, Jude, the Revelation, are left out, which though they were written by inspiration, yet they were questioned by Ec­clesiasticall writers, because they were omitted by the Syriacke translator.

It is very profitable for the understanding of the Greeke Testament. It w [...]ll interprets those Greek words, Matth. 6. 10. [...] per panem indigentiae nostrae, and that word [...] 1 Cor. 16. 22. The Syriack hath 2 words Maran Atha, which signifie our Lord cometh. The Papists indeavour to establish their administration of the Lords Supper under one kind from the word [...] 1 Cor. 11. 20. but that word is generally used▪ for the whole action of the Sacrament, viz. the distribution of the Bread and Wine. The Syriacke so ren­ders it Comendentes vos & bibentes. Andreas Masius in his Syri­acke Grammar saith that the Syrians doe not write sinistr [...]r­sum toward the left hand, as the Hebrewes, nor dextrorsum to­ward the right hand, as the Greekes and Latines, but deorsum downward; which manner of writing (it is probable) was then observed by Christ, John 8.Aethiopibus qui à sinistra dextram versus scribunt Waltherw. 6. because at that time, the Jewes used the Syriacke tongue.

The New Testament in Syriacke is in Latine of Trostius his Edition, the Revelation was de Dieu's Edition, the later Epistle of Peter, and two Epistles of John, and that of Jude, are Pococks Edition.Piscator. Schol. in loc. & Waltherus in officina Biblica n [...]vi Testamenti Syram editionem magni faciunt omnes decti. Chamierus.

The Arabique translation.

It is uncertain by whom it was made or when; sure it is, they [Page 99] had the Scriptures in their own tongue; and it were to be wished that that tongue were more common, and better understood; that Religion might be spread amongst the Saracens,The Arabicke Testament was set out by Erpenius. which for the most part speake that language.

In the yeare 1592. the New Testament in Arabicke, was first divulged at Rome.

The Arabicke tongue (saith Walter) is thought to be a branch of the Chaldee and Syriacke proceeding from both,Erpenius saith the Arabicke is Ancienter then the Syri­a [...]ke. Waltherus in but that it exceeds them in 6. letters, there being 28. in the Arabicke tongue. It was in use Anciently with the Ishmalites and Haga­renes, who drew their originall from Abraham, and afterward would rather be called Saracens from Sara. It is now used through all Asia and Africa; Mahumed who descended from the Ishmaelitish Nation, wrote his wicked and blasphemous Al­ [...]oran in this tongue.

Erpenius officina Biblica. Orat 1. de Ling. Arab. dignitate. (who was excellently skil'd in this tongue) saith it is more necessary and excellent then either the Syriacke, Ae­thiopicke, Persian, or Turkish language; he extols it for its antiquity, largenesse, elegancie and profit.

The Arabians (saith he) have many more accurate for Geo­graphie then Ptol [...]mie; Avice [...]ma, and other famous Physitians have written in this tongue. He saith 32 thousand of Arabicke Bookes were to be had in one Library in Ma [...]itania.

Joseph Scaliger, Erpenl [...] Raphelengius, Isaac Casa [...]bone, Emmanuell Tremellius, orat. prima & se­cunda de Ling. Arab. dignitate. Mr. Cud­worth cals Mr. Selden the Glory of our Nation for orientall Learning. and Franciscus Junius, all learned men of speciall note much esteemed this tongue, and promoted the study of it, as their writings shew. Mercer who was most versed in the Hebrew and Chaldee tongues, in his old age a little before he died, thought to have travelled into the cast, only out of a desire learne the Arabicke tongue.

The Latine translations were so many that Augustine Qui ex Hebraea lingua Scripturas in Graecam verterum, numerari possunt. Latini autem nullo modo August. de doctrina Christiana l. 2. c. 11. saith, they could not be numbred.

That new version of Tremellius and Junius both, is best for the old Test and that of Erasmus and Be [...]a for the New Testa­ment. [Page 100] See in Chamiers first tome l. 12. c. 1. his censure of all 3.

There is a great use also of the Interlineary version put forth by Arias Montanus, for the finding out the sence, and genuine signification of all the Hebrew and Greek words.

Amongst many and divers Latine translations, there was one more common then the rest of the Old and New Te [...]ament, u­sually called the vulgar, because it was of vulgar use, and re­ceived by many. Who was the Author of this Edition, it is not manifest. Some say it was more Ancient, then that of Je­rome; Jerome wrote pureMaldon. ad Luc. 16. 1. & Eslius ad 1 Cor. 5. 6. & ad Ephel. 1. 10. Latine, being skilfull in the Latine tongue, but the vulgar trans [...]ation is barbarous in many places. Therefore Pagnine, Hieronymus Latinitaris auctor est non contemnendus, qui in omnibus scriptis sui [...] sermone utitur grammaticès pu [...]o. Quam barbara contra sit versio vulg. res ipsa loquitur. ut mirum sit Jesuitas elegan­tiae Latinae aliàs studiosissimos vulgatam illam translationem vel hoc nomine non improbasse. Waltherus in officina Biblica. Of the Au­thenticall Edi­tion of the Scripture. Maldonate, Es [...]ius, Sixtus Senensis, Bur­gensis, Valla, Lindon deny it to be Jeromes: that was translated from the Hebrew by the Greek, and not by Jerome, but by some uncertaine and unknown Authour saith Whitaker.

Bootius in the Index of his Sacred Animadversions, ascribes it to Jerome.

Vide Whitakerum de Scripturis Quoest. secund. controversiae.
Cap. Sexto. & Waltheri officinam Biblicam.

The Geneva translation for the French, and our last transla­tion for the English, and Deodate for the Italian are the best, which is now set out in English, Diodatus noster in eximia Bi­bliorum Italicorum versione, saith Spanbemius.

The question betwixt us and the Papists, now cometh to be considered, which of these Editions is authenticall, that is, which of it selfe hath credit and authority, being sufficient of it selfe to prove and commend it selfe, without the help of any other Edition, because it is the first exemplar or Copy of divine truth delivered from God by the Prophets and Apostles. This in respect of the old Testament is the Hebrew and in some Chapters of Daniel and Esra the Chaldee, and in respect of the New Testament is the Greeke, all other Editions are but of humane authority.

This proposition true in it selfe, is yet divers wayes opposed by the Papists, whose opinions may be set downe in three pro­positions.

1. That the Hebrew and Greeke Text are corrupt, and [Page 101] therefore notBellarm. l. 2. de verbo Dei c. 2. and Rhemists Pre­face before the new Testa­ment. Authenticall, for the fountaine is to be prefer­red before the streames if it come unto our hands uncorruptly. The Book of Moses Fatear equidem & à me dissentiet opinor, nemo, Apostolo­rum & Prophe­tarum [...] regulam esse & amussim ad quam versiones omnes exigendae sint. Morinus exercit. Bibl. la. exercit. l. 1. exercit. 1. c. 1. which by Gods Commandement was preserved in the Arke, and that very Gospell written by Mat­thew, those autographs (saith Morinus) are certainely the rule of all versions.

The second proposition is, that the 70. Translaters, were not so much Translaters as Prophets, who wrote by divine in­spiration, so that their translation had been authentique, if it had come to our hands purely and had not perished.

The third is, that the vulgar Translation is of authentique authority, and ought so to be received, neither may any man presume to reject it upon any pretence; they say it hangeth betweene the Hebrew and Greek as Christ did between the two Theeves.

To these 3. Propositions we oppose 3. which are most true, and shall prevaile.

1. The Hebrew of the old TestamentScriptura Hebraea in v. [...]. & Graeca in N. T. ab Hierony morectè vocan­tur fontes ve­ritatli. and the Greeke of the new is the authentique Edition, and the pure fountain of divine truth.

2. The 70. were not Prophets, but Translators.

3. The vulgar translation neither is authenticall nor perfect, neither ought it in any case so to be esteemed.

Reasons Proving that the Hebrew of the old Testament, and the Greeke of the New, are authenticall and pure.

To prove our first Proposition, these arguments may be brought.

The Hebrew of the old, and GreekIn Ecclesia Christiana nulla unquam fuit Editio authemi­ca, excepta He­braica veteris, & Graeca Novi Testamenti. Nam id opinor in ecclesia catholica dicendum est authenticum, quod apud omnes authoritatem in habet. Chamierus. of the New Testament, are the very Scriptures, which came immediately from God; the very particular, and individuall writings, both for Cha­racter and stile of Speech, yea, the dialect as well as the matter of them is immediately by inspiration from from above, and [Page 102] written by holy men, as they were moved by the holy spirit; what Edition therefore is worthy to be compared to this.

When we speake of the originall and authenticke Text of the Holy Scripture, that is not to be so understood as if we meant it of the Autographs written by the hand of Moses, or the other Prophets or Apostles, but onely of the originall * or the pri­mogeniall Text in that tongue, out of which divers versions Rivetus in Catholico ortho­doxo [...] Scripturae dupliciter intel ligitur; vel enim significat ipsam literarum pictu­ram & sic acci­pitur Exod. 32. 16. vel res ipsas, qua significan­tur per eas voces ut Matth. 22. 25. Aeque Biblia Sacra nuncupantur codices illi qui passim circumf [...]untur Latinè, Gallicè, Chal­daicè, Syriacè; ac qui Hebraicè & Graecè, etsi longè alij sint literarum ductus & syllabarum com­positiones. Chamierus de Canone l. 9. were derived according to the variety of tongues.

2. For a long time before the Birth of Chirst, the Hebrew was not only the alone authentique Copy, but the only Edition which was extant in the world. In the dayes of Moses, the Kings of Israel and the Prophets before the Captivity, what Edition of Scripture had the Church but the Hebrew? what did the Jewes read in their Synagognes, and in their solemne meetings, but onely this Hebrew Edition?

After the time of Christ, for the space of 600 yeeres, the He­brew Edition of the old Testament, and the Greeke of the new, were held Authentique, and no other.

3. If any thing be erroneous, doubtfull, lesse emphaticall, or improper, or if in the Articles of religion any doubt or difficulty arise, which cannot be decided out of translations; we must necessarily then have recourse to the Hebrew of the old, and the Greeke of the new Testament, as Augustine de doctrina Christiana l. 2. C. 11. Si translatio ab originali dissen­tit, ei linguae potius creden­dum est unde in aliam per inter­pretationem facta est transla­tio. Augustinus l. 15. de Civi­tate Dei c. 3. wit­nesseth, and Jerome in lib. Contra Helvidium.

Beliarmine grants that sometimes we must have recourse to the Hebrew & Greek fountaines, 1. When in the Latine Edition there be any errours of the Scribe. 2. When there are divers readings. 3. When there is any thing doubtfull in the words of sentence. 4. To understand the force and Energy of the word, because all things are more emphaticall in the originall.

4. If the authority of the authenticall Copies in Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek fall, then there is no pure Scripture in the Church of God, there is no high court of appeale where con­troversies [Page 103] [...]eronymus & coaevus ei Augustmus dif­fi. ulteribus in versionibus ob [...]r [...]is, jubent nos recurrere ad ipsos fontes. Er [...]en us. (ri [...]ing upon the diversity of translations, or other­wise) may be ended. The exhortation of having recourse unto the Law and to the Prophets, and of our Saviour Christ asking how it is written, and how readest thou, is now either of none effect, or not sufficient.

The Papists differ among themselves in this controversie Bellarm. lib. 2. de verbo Dei cap. 7. Morinus exercit, Bibl. l. 1. exer­cit 1. c. 2. 3. 4. about the corruption of the originals, some of them say that the Hebrew of the old, and the Greeke of the New Testa­ment is not generally corrupted, and yet is not so very pure a fountain, that whatsoever differs from it, is necessarily to be corrected by it.

OthersAs Canus l. 2. c. 13. de locis Theologi [...] is Lin­d [...]nus l. 1. c. 11. de optimo genere interpret. say that the Jewes in hatred of the Christian faith depraved and much corrupted the Hebrew Text of the Old Tes [...]ament. Which opinion as absurd is rejected by Bellarmine, and is easily refuted.

I shall first lay down some reasons against the grosser opinion, and also that of Bellarmines, before I come to answer the particular objections of the Papists.

1. Jerome and Origen thus argue, if the Jewes corrupted the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, then they did this before the coming of Christ or after it, not before his coming, for there was no cause why the Jewes should do it, and our Savi­our Christ would never have suffered so grosse a crime to have passed without due reproof, when he was not silent for lesser faults. On the contrary our Saviour sendeth us to the Scripture to learn the doctrine of salvation, Luke 16. 29. and proveth his doctrine out of Moses and the Prophets. Not after Christs coming, then the Testimonies cited [...] Christ, and his Apostles would have been expunged by them, and the speciall prophesies concerning Christ, But they are all extant. The Jewes have and yet still doe keep the holy TextNoriffimum est, nulla in resuisse Judeeos tam curiosos, pios & religiesè observantes, quam ut Biblia sua casta, pura, inviolata (que) co [...]servarent. Nam illud man­datum Dei, quod Deut. c 4. v. 2. legitur, non solum de quinque Moysis l [...]bris dictum esse imerpretantur, sed in universum de omnibus l [...]bris & verbis quae per Spiritum Sanctum Prophetae ludaeis Communica [...]unt, intelligunt. Insuper multis ab ipsis Judaeis san [...]i­tum est legibus, cum, qui aliquid in Biblii [...] mutit, pecsatum committere inexpiabrle. Quin & hoc ad jecerunti siquis velex ignoran [...] ìa, & impietat [...] unum vocabulum mutet, ne totus propter [...]t mundus pe­reat, & in [...] vertatur periculum esse. Ha [...] autem sententiae sue causas adduxerunt, quòd credant Deum Opt. Max. propter solam Scripturam sacram (quam ipsi opinionem var [...]is sodis probant) hunc mundum creasse. Johannes Isaacus contra Lindanum l. 2. p. 66. 67. 18. of Scripture most reli­giously [Page 104] & carefully, which may appeare, since (as Johannes Isaac contra Lind in. l. 2. a Learned Jew writeth) that there are above 200 arguments against the Jewes opinion, more evident and expresse in the Hebrew Text of the old Testament, then there be in the Latine translation. From the dayes of our Saviour Christ untill this time, the Jewes keep the Scripture with so great reverence (saith the same Isaac) ut jejunium indicunt si illa in terram ceciderit, they publish a Fast if it fall upon the ground. This Testimony of Isaac Levita is the more to be esteemed,Tu illos accede, & urge disputa­tione; ducenta ti­bi argumenta ex Biblijs contra illos supp [...]tunt, quae in textu Hebraeo clariora & dil [...]id [...]ora, quam ulla c [...]n­versione inveni­untur. Id. ib. p. 77 because he was Lindans own Master and professor of the Hebrew tongue in the university of Coolen, and hath writ­ten 3. Bookes in the defence of the Hebrew truth against the cavils of his Scholler. Arias M [...]ntanus for his rare skill of tongues and arts, was put in trust by King Philip to set forth the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, and Latine, wherein he hath re­proved that Treatise of Lindan, and disclosed his folly. Mu­is (who hath written a Commentary on the Psalmes) a great Hebrician and learned Papist hath written against Morinus a­bout this Subject. The most learned Papists, Senensis, Bannes, Lorinus, Pagnine, Brixianus, Valla, Andradius, and Bellarmine, hold,R Ben. Maimon saith, if in the copying of the Hebrew Bible, one letter wee written twice, or if one letter but touched another that Copy was not admitted into their Syna­gognes, but onely allow­able to be read in Schooles and private fami­lies. that the Jews did not maliciously corrupt the hebrew text.

Josephus l. 1. contra Appian (who lived after our Saviour) saith, that the Jewes did keep the holy Scripture with so great fidelity, that they would rather dye then change or alter any thing in it. Euseb. Eccles. Hist. l. 3. cap. 10. teacheth the same thing. The Stupendious diligence of the Massorites, in numbring of the words and Letters, with the variations of pointing and writing, l [...]st any place or suspicion should be given of falsifying it, seemes to be a good plea also against the Jewes wilfull depraving of Scripture: Paulo post Hieronymum confecta est massora, quam utilissimum thesaurum Arias appella [...] Chamierus.

If Origen, or Jerome (the two chiefest Hebricians among the Fathers) had had the least suspicion of this, they would never have bestowed so much time in the learning of this tongue, nor have taken such indefatigable paines, in translating the Bibles out of Hebrew. Yet Morinus would seeme to give answer to [Page 105] this, viz. that we might convince the Jewes out of their own Books. Jerome doth in a thousand places call it the Hebrew truth, & fontem limpidissimum, and preferres it before the translation of the Septuagint, and all other versions whatsoever. He cals the Hebrew in the old and Greek in the New Testament, fontes veritatis. Farther if the Jewes would have corrupted the Scripture they couldNon potuerum Judaei Scriptu­ras corrumpere. Augustinus ex exemplarium Bibliorum mul­titudine id pro­bat l. 15. de Ci­vitate Dei cap. 13. Absit (inqui­ens) ut prudent aliquis Judaeos cujustibet per­versitatis atque malitiae tantum potuisse credat in codicibus tam multis, & tam longè latèque dispersis. Potis­ [...]ima ratio à sin­gulari providen­tia divina dedu­citur▪ Glassius l. 1. Tract. 1. de textus Heb. in v. T. puritate. Sect. secunda, not, for the Books were dispersed throughout the whole world; how could the Jewes then being so farre dispersed themselves, con­ferre together, and corrupt them all with one consent? The Books were not onely in the hands of the Jewes, but of Christi­ans also and in their Custody; and they would never have suf­fered the Books of the old Testament, which are the foundati­on of faith and life to be corrupted. Adde, if the Jewes would have corrupted the Scripture, they would have corrupt­ed those places which make most against them, concerning Christs person, and office; as that prophesie, 9. of Dan. of the Messiahs coming before the destruction of Jerusalem, that Hag. 2. 9. which setteth out the glory of the second Temple, to be greater then the glory of the first, in regard of the presence of the Lord in it: that Gen. 49. 10. who is such a stranger in the Jewish controversies as to be Ignorant how stoutly and perti­naciously many of the Jewes deny, that by Shilo there is under­stood the Messias? but the threefold Paraphrase there hath ex­pressely added the word Messias, and stops the mouths of the Jewes, who must not deny their authority, so that they feare nothing more then toAmoma Antibarb. Bibl. l. 1. contest with those Christians, who read and understand the Chaldee Paraphrases, and interpretati­ons of the Rabbines. See Master Mede on that Text.

Psalme 2. 12. where the vulgar Latine hath apprehendite dis­ciplinam (quae lectio nihil magnificum de Christo praedicat) the He­brewes read osculamini filium, which is more forcibleIpse Bellar­minus fatetur, ex Textu Hebrae [...] Judaeos fortius constringi & vexari saepius pesse, quam ex versione Latina. to prove the mystery of Christs Kingdome, and celebrate his ample dominion over all.

That place 53. of Esay containes both the prophesie, and whole passion of Christ in it selfe. Yet what is wanting there [Page 106] in the Hebrew Text? is there a letter taken away or altered, to violate the sense of the mysteries? Isaac Levita l. 2. contra Lind. p. 82. saith that this Chapter converted him, that he read it over more then a thou­sand times, and compared it with many translations, and that more of the mystery of Christ is contained in it, than in any translation whatsoever.

He addeth further, that disputing with five Rabbines at Frankford, he urged this Chapter against them, and thereby brought them into those straights, and so stopped their mouths, that they could not reply to his arguments. We have the se­cond Psalme, the 21. the 110. and all others entire and com­plete, in which there are most manifestQuid illustri­us de Christi Messiae nostri diei potest ex­hibitione, quam istud Esa. 7. 14. Esa. 9. 6. Quid de passione ejus acerba & resurrectione gloriosa splendi­dius dici potest, quam quod in Esa. 53. cap. dicitur, i [...]em (que) in Psal. 22. Nec tamen cor­ruptelam vel hi [...], vel permul [...]is aliss Scripturae­locis ullam fuissé à Judaeis illatam deprehendere possi [...]mus. Gla­ssius Philol. Sac. prophesies concerning Christ.

There are many besides the Papists, who have stood for the uncorrupt truth of the fountaines and have defended the Jews faithfulnesse in preserving the Hebrew Copies, as Whitaker, Lubbertas, Junius, Ames, Rivet and others. But none hath performed more for the vindicating of particular places, which are either suspected, or openly charged of corruption by cer­tain Papists, then Salomon Glassius a most learned man, who in his Philologia sacra hath vindicated 72 places of the Old Testament, and 20. of the New.

All know that that place in the 7th of Esay a virgin shall con­ceive was constantly objected to the Jewes from the beginning, and yet they have left it untouched. Chamier de Canone. l. 12. c. 4, Objections of the Papist against the purity of the Hebrew Text in the old Testament.

Bellarmine L. [...]. de verbo Dei c. 2. onely produceth 5. places of Scripture, in which he indevours to prove not that the Hebrew text is cor­rupted by the labour or maliceAlijs occurrendum videtur, qui zelo quidem bono, sed nescio an secundum scientiam, omnino contendunt, Judaeos in odium Christianae fidei fludiosè depravasse & cor­rupisse multa loca Scripturarum. Bellarm. de verbo Dei l. 2. c. 2. of the Jewes, (that opini­on he evidently and solidly refutes) yet that it is not altoge­ther pure and perfect, but hath its errours brought in from the negligence of the Scribes, and Ignorance of the Rabbines.

[Page 107] Cotton saith the originals are miserably corrupted; and that there is a multitude almost incredible of depravations, and fal­sifications made by the Rabbines and Massorites.

But Bellarmine who was more learned than he, and from whom he hath stollen a great part of his Book against the Ge­nevah translations, doth sufficiently confute him.

Ob. Ps. 22. 16. There is no Christian, but he readeth [...] Caru they have pierced my hands and my feet, yet it is in the He­brew [...] Caari as a Lion.

Sol. This is the onely argumentNullum habet Lindanus argu­mentum, quod vel faciem qu [...] ­dam veritatis habeat prater hoc. Vt verita­tem sateamur, hoc vocabulum ab annis decem non parum nos tòrsit, maxi­mam (que) suspicio­nem praebuit, ut omnino cor­ruptum esse cre­deremus. Johan­nes Isaacus con­tra Lind. l. 2. p. 102. Ego profecto ausim praestare praeter locum Psalmi 22. in to [...]is Hebraeis Codicibus in­veniri nihil, quod optimam, Cohaerentem, P [...]am & Christianae fidei prorsus congruentem non habeat sententiam. Muis de Hebraicae editionis au­thoritate ad veritate. Voici l' unique lieu, en tout l' Hebrien, qui semble au [...]ir apparence de raison, pour faire penfer à une malicieuse entrepri [...]se de Juifs. Benedict. Turretin response à la Preface de Coton. which Lindon hath of a­ny shew, to prove that the Jewes have corrupted the H [...]brew Text saith Rainolds against Hart; Whitaker saith hoc unum posse ab illis probabile in fontibus Hebraicis corruptelae jundicium in­veniri. The same say John Isaac against Lindan, Muis against Morinus, Turretinus against Coton.

But it is easie (saith Whitaker) to vindicate this place from their calumnie. For first learned men witnesse, that Caru is read in many Hebrew Books. John Isaac, a Popish Jew in his second Book against Lindan witnesseth, that he saw such a Book. Hoc idem ego Johannes Isaac ipsa veritate & bona conscien­tia testari possum, quòd hujusmodi Psalterium apud avum meum viderim, ubi in textu scriptum erat. [...] & in margine [...] Et ita omnia olim exemplaria habuisse, haud dubite. Hinc itaque manifestum esse puto, cur septuaginta etalij transtulerint, foderunt. Siquidem illi non Keri sed Ketif sunt secuti. The Massorites say it was written Caru in many exact Copies. It is not therefore a corruption, but a divers reading in certain Copies by the mi­stake of the Scribes, as Bellarmine himself confesseth. Apparet (saith he) imprudenter quosdam, dum se Hebraeos oppugnare credunt, ecclesiam ipsam oppugnare. Si enim illae correctiones Scribarum sunt Hebraici textus corruptiones, sequitur apertè, vulgatam quoque edi­tionem esse corruptissimam: quam tanten nobis Ecclesia pro versione authentica tradidit. Bellarm. l. 2. de verbo Dei c. secundo.

[Page 108] Genebrard the Kings professor of Hebrew in Paris on the place concludes that the Jewes did not corrupt this word. Vide sil in loc.

The Chaldee Paraphrast hath joyned both readings together q. d. they have digged or pierced my hands and my Feet as a Lion is wont to dig with his Teeth. Varia lectio est in Biblijs Hebraeis in locis 848. Broughton de translat.

Morinus, a learned Papist hath writt n 9. exercitations on the Bible, and labours to prove from Beza, Amama, de Dieu and other Protestant writers, that there are many faults in the Hebrew and Greek Copies which we now have. Muis a Papist also hath answered him.

Ob. Psal. 19. 4.Vide Rivetum in Comment. & Glassium in Philol. Sac. The Caldee paraphrase agrees with the Hebrew. Profesto haec res, ut ingenuè fatear, me quo (que) aliquando torsit. Amussis, quae funiculo constat, non omnino voce caret, siquidem architecti & alij artifices, quan­do aliquid signare aut metiri volunt, dum amussem vel funiculum extendunt, & deinde m tiunt, sonum quendam edere Consueverunt. Isaacus Levita l. 3. contra Lindanum. Illa Coelorum linea, vel ut. Tremellias transtulit, delineatio, id est illa Machina, structuraque orbium Coelestium, quodammodo ad amussi [...] expolita, insinitam artificis Potentiam, sapientiamque praedicat Whitakerus The Hebrew Books have, in omnem terram exi­vit linea eorum, their line is gone forth through all the earth, but the Septuagint turn it [...]. Hierome, sonus eorum, their sound, and Saint Paul approved of this version, Rom. 10. 18.

Sol. Whitaker in his answer to this objection, follows Gene­brard in his Scholia upon the place, and Genebrard follows Beza on the 10. of the Rom. 18.

The Hebrew word (say they) truly signifieth a line, but the Septuagint Interpreters respected the sence, and the Apostle followed them. The scope of the Psalme is, that Gods people may see what documents are given unto them of God, where­by they may be brought, and led to the true, certain, and sa­ving knowledge of God, to the 7. verse; it sheweth how they were taught by the works of God, thence to the end; they were instructed by his word; the Apostle alledgeth this Psalme to prove that the Jewes might come to know God by his word, and thereby might have faith in Christ Jesus; the sense there­fore is not onely the delineation and constitution of things created, but also the word of God, and the doctrine of the Gospell, long since propounded to the Jewes, and so pro­pounded [Page 109] as they could not but heare, because it was published openly to all the whole world by the mystery of the holy Apo­stles out of the predictions of the Prophets. Paul interprets the comparison propounded by the Prophet and teacheth, that as certainly as the lines of heaven run forth into all the earth, so certainly in these last times, the doctrine of the Gospell came forth into all the earth by the Apostles preaching, and there­fore the Apostle did not rashly change the word of the Prophet, because the Hebrew Text in the Prophet was corrupt, but pur­posely in stead of delineation the Apostle put in sonus, having respect to the present accomplishment of the promise, whereby God had foretold, that all the Gentiles should be converted to the communion of the Gospell; and to this end he did fore­shew that he would give unto them preachers.

Coton urgeth 2 other places, to shew that the Hebrew Text is corrupted, 2 Matth 23. and 27. of Matthew.

Ob. 2 Matth. 23. He shall be called aOr he shall be called a flower or branch. Weemes. Esaiae undecimo, est in Hebraeo vox Ne [...]zer quae alludit ad Nazaraeum, imò est ab eadem radice; proinde poterit, si quis velit, eo referri; ant certè non erit versio sed allusio. Itaque melior eorum videtur sententia qui indicatum potius censent decimum tertium capu [...] Judicum, ubi praedicitur Samson futurus Nazaraeus: fuisse. enim Illum typum Christi nemo dubitat. Chamienus tomo 1o de Canone. l. 13. c. 8. Ex Esaia 11. 1. & Zach. 6. 12. Commodissimè videtur possè exponi Casaub. in exercitat. Nazarene is no where found, though the Evangelist say that it is written, therefore it followeth (saith he) that the Hebrew originall which we have is imperfect.

Sol. Saint Jerome saith that this place was objected to him a­b [...]ve a hundred times, and that he hath as often answered it, viz that if the Hebrew be imperfect having no such passage; then is also that of the Septuagint and the vulgar; so that the objection is not against the Hebrew, but against the Scrip­ture in what language soever it be. M [...]ldonat, after he had well weighed divers opinions, holds that of Jeromes for the most sure, which is to draw Nazarene from Netzer a branch, Esay 11. 1. Junius in his paralels; Piscator, Dr. Taylor, Master Dod goe the same way. Chrysostome and Theophylact, because they cannot undoe this knot, cut it, thus, saying that many of the Books of the Prophets are lost. Bucer thinketh that place Judg. 15. 5. is here noted, Samson being a Redeemer as he was a figure of Christ, and the Book of the Judges was composed by divers [Page 110] Prophets. Calvin▪ Marlorat, Beza Scultetus, and Master Per­kins seeme to incline to this opinion.

Our last large Annotations mention both these Interpreta­tions, but adhere rather to the former.

Ob. The second place urged by Cotton, to prove the corrup­tion of the Hebrew is 27. of Matthew v. Omnes Inter­pretes locum illum a Matth. citatum ad ea quae Scripsit Zacharias re [...]ulerunt, nec aliqui eorum de omisso aliquo Jeremiae prophetice libro cogitarum. Nisi quod unus est inter Jesuitus qui locum exist [...]mat ex duobus constatum, nempe ex Jeremiae cap. 32. & Zachar c. 11. & hoc. esse usitatum in Scriptura exemplis probat, ut cum verba & testimonia duorum sunt, aut altero omisso alterius tantum nomen exprimatur, aut totum testimonium, quasi unius tan­tum esset, significetur. Haec Jesuita Sanctius (in Zach. Cap. 11.) Hieronymo haec maximè placuit solutio, quam Baronius amplectitur, ut & Jansenius, Maldonatus, & Suarez, Matthaeum suo more tan­tum posuisse quod dictum est per Prophetam, ab aliquo autem in margine scriptum fuisse Jeremiam, quod postea scriptorum incogitantia intertextū irrepserit. Ad hoc facit, quod in Syra versione nomen pro­phetae omittitur. Rivetus in Catholico Orthodoxo. Citantur sub nomine Jeremiae, velquia Zacharias ea à Jeremia, cujus discipulus fuerat, acceperat, vel quia idem binominis fuit, praesertim, [...] utriusque nominis fit eadem significatio. Id. ibid. 9. The Evangelist cites Jeremie for that which is to be found onely in Zacharie.

Sol. Junius in his paralels and Doctor Taylor on the tempta­tion bring 6. answers to reconcile these places.

1. Some say it joynes together both, one place in Jeremy, Chap. 18. 1. 2, 3. and that of Zacharie; but there is little or no agreement between them. Secondly Some say, that it is not in Jeremies writings which are Canonicall, but in some A­procryphall writings of Jeremy which the Jewes had, and which Chrysostome confesseth he saw, wherein these words were; but it is not likely, that the holy Evangelist would leave a Ca­nonicall Text, and cite an Apocryphall, or give such credit to it, or seek to build our faith upon it; and by our rule, that Book should be Canonicall, which is cited by Christ or his Apostles. 3. Some say that Matthew forgat, and for Zachary put downe Jeremies; so Augustine, and Erasmus; but with more forgetfulnesse, for holy men wrote as they were moved by Gods Spirit. 4. Some thinke it the errour of heedlesse wri­ters, who might easily so erre; but all the oldest Copies, and the most Ancient Fathers have the name of Jeremy. 5. Some say that Zachariah being Instructed and trained up with Jeremy did deliver it by tradition from Jeremy, and so Jeremy spake it [Page 111] by Zachariah, which might be true, because it is said in the Text, as was spoken by Jeremy, not written. But sixthly, the most compendious and likely way of reconciling is this; that Zachary and Jeremy was the same man having 2 names, which was very usuall among the Jewes, as Salomon was called Je­didiah, Iehoiacim Jeconias and Coniah; Simon; Peter, Cephas, and Bariona; Matthew, Levi. So farre Junius, and Doctor Taylor. See Mr. Robert Baily on Zach. 3. 1. 2. p. 11. and last large Annotat.

The best of the Popish writers cannot deny,Jeremie and Zacharie differ not much in signification, one signifieth the commemo­tation of God, the other the exaltation of God. but that the name Jeremy the Prophet is put for Zachary, either through the negligence of the Scribes, or else it was inserted into the Text out of the Margent, the Evangelist saying no more, but that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Prophet, as both Ians [...]nius and Maldmate in loc. doe confesse.

1 Chamier distinguisheth of a twofold depravation, one of In­terpretation, herein we excuse not, nor defend the Jewes. Se­cond of the letter, herein they are to be patroniz'd against the Papists,Hic nodus ve­tustissimos quos­que interpretes torsit. Beza ln literarum compendūs facile potuit [...] in [...] mutari. Id ibid. Aliqui dicuut esse er­rorem calami et librarioram indili [...]eniet oscitan [...]erque exemplaria sibi proposita aut legentium aut ex­scribentium, ut si quis hîc [...] l gerit, id, est [...] pro [...] quam sememiam Syrus & Arabs videntur confirmare. Sed vetustas ipsa & consensus omnium exemplarint, quae jam olim ver­sata sunt in Patrum Orthodoxorum manibus, videtur nobis meritò hoc defensionis genus extorquere; quod etiam agnovit memoria sua Hieronymus. lun. in Paralel. Vide Sixti Senensis lib. Saxtum anno­tat. 131.who thorow their sides, strike at the very Scriptures, and labour to overthrow their authority.

The Hebrew Edition then (notwithstanding these and such like frivolous objections) is sincere and uncorrupt, and if any errours crept in through negligence or Ignorance of the Pen­nien, which Copyed out the Bookes, yet Bellarimine himselfe granteth they ar [...] of no great moment; in matters pertaining to saith and manners, (saith he) there is nothing wanting in the integrity of the Scriptures. Haud negare ausim, & tempo­rum injuria & descriptorum iucuria errata quadam & sphalmata in textum hebraum irrepsisse. Am [...]ma Antibarb. bibl. What rea­sons can the Jesuites alledge, why the Hebrew and the Greeke, [Page 112] which kept their integrity 400 yeares together after Christ, amidst as bitter Enemies as ever they had, as troublesome and tempestuous times as ever were since, should after in time of lesse danger, and greater quiet, loose not their beauty onely, but their Chastity also. And we marvell that the Jesuites are not afraid to suffer this blot to fall upon their Popish govern­ment; which boasteth and saith it is the pillar of truth, and yet hath had no better care to preserve the truth.

Objections of the Papists against the purity of the Greeke Text in the New Testament.

Ob. They instance in Rom. 12. 11. to be corrupt, the Greek hath serving the time [...] for serving the Lord [...].

Sol. Many of the ancient GreekThe Greeke Scholiast, Oecu­menius, so rea­de Chrysost. and Theophylact, and Basill. See Par in locum Franciscus Lucas restatur se sex Graeco [...] codites vidisse in quibus esset [...]. & Beza asserit ita legi in probatissimis quibusque [...] Arias Montanus, non tantùm in textu posuit [...], sed etiam in Apparatu nullam adnoravit lectionis varicta­tem, quo satis ostendit se nullos legisse codices Graecos, in quibus esset [...] alias non omissurus opi­nor, qui longe leviora collegit. Chamierus. Copies and Scholiasts have also [...] as Salmerond the Jesuite confesseth, serving the Lord, and it appeareth in the Syriacke translation: and who seeth not, that it might rather be an oversight of the writer taking one word for another, rather then a fault in the Text; and the cause of the mistake (saith Beza) was the short writing of the word [...], which was taken by some for [...] whereas they should have taken it for [...]. If we should admit the other reading, we must not understand the Apostle as if he command­ed us to be temporizaers, or to apply our selves to the corrupt customes and manners of the times; but to keep time in all our actions, and doe them in the fittest season, as Col. 4. 5. Ephes. 5. 16.

Ob. Erasmus the best translator of all the later (by the judge­ment of Beza) saith, that the Greek sometimes hath superstui­ties corruptly added to the Text of holy Scripture, as Matth. 6. The doxologie, for thine is the Kingdome, the power and the glory for ever and ever. He calleth these words trifles, rashly added to the Lords Prayer, and reprehends Valla for blaming the old vulgar Latine, because it hath them not. Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine doe expound the Lords Prayer, [Page 115] and yet make no mention of these words. Beza confesseth it to be magnificam illam quidem & sanctificam, a most high and holy forme of expression, sed irrepsisse in contextum, & quae in ve­tustissimis aliquot codicibus Graecis desit, See Mr. Gregory his Observations upon some passages of Scripture Ch. 38. it is not to be found in that vetustissimus codex by Beza to the university Library of Cambridge; that Copy perhaps was corrupted by the Here­tickes.

It is not presently trifles, whatsoever Erasmus or any other man shall reject out of the Greek Copy under that name, and yet they doe Erasmus wrong, to say that he called that part of the Lords Prayer trifles absolutely; for he stiles it so conditi­onally, if it be not part of the Ancient Text.

2. If Erasmus had understood that that passage had beene taken out of the Book of Chronicles written by the penne of the holy Ghost,Cartw. in his answer, to the Rhemists preface. he would no doubt have taken heed how he had called this conclusion of the Lords Prayer trifles, for it ap­peareth manifestly, that this sentence was borrowed from Da­vid, 1 Chron. 29. 11. with some Abridgement of the Prophets words.

3. That cannot be superstuous without the which we should not have had a perfect form of Prayer;Coronis precati­onis Dominicae Qua tuum est regnum, &c. Etsi in multis Graecis codici­bus & apud Syrum quoque interpretem re­peritur, tamen, Bezâ referente, in vetustissi [...]is aliquibus Graecis codicibus deest, & à nemine expenitur, praeterà vulgato & à Chrysostomo. Deest quoque in versione Arabica, nec in ullis Latinorum exemplaribus visitur: ut non immeritò Erasmus conjectet, ex solemni consuetudine à Graecis adjectam & postea in Textum ipsum fuisse translatam. Scultetus in locum. for since Prayer standeth as well in praising of God and thanksgiving, as in petitions and requests to be made unto him; it is evident that if this conclu­sion had beene wanting, there had wanted a forme of that Pray­er which standeth in praise and thanksgiving.

4. If to give a substantiall reason of that which goeth before be superfluous, then this conclusion may be so.

5. For confirmation of this reading, we may alleadge be­sides the consent of the Greek Copies, the Syrian interpretati­on which is very Ancient. Chrysostome, Theophylact, and Euthy­mius expound it. The Lords Prayer in Luke is perfect in re­spect of the Petitions, yet nothing hindereth but that in Mat­thew [Page 116] might be added the confirmation and conclusion; Mat­thew hath many other things in his Gospell, which Luke hath not.

Salmeron reproves Cajetan for calling this Multil [...]quium, since there is a notable confession of 4 properties of God, his Kingdome, Power, Glory, and Eternity.

I should now shew, that neither the translation of the Seven­ty, nor of the vulgar Latine are authenticall; but there are two questions of great moment, first to be discussed.

The first is, whether any Bookes of the Scripture be lost.

The second, whether the Scripture of the Old Testament was punctata from the beginning.

To the first question, that we may give a right answer; we must distinguish of the Bookes of Scripture, some were Histo­ricall, Ethicall, or Physicall,Spanhe [...] Dub. Evang. parte Tertia. Dub. 130. Codi­ces sacros in ex­cidio Hierosyli­mitano prorsus intercidisse commentum est, non veritas, Id. parte secunda. Dub. 89. That was too confidently spoken by Whi­taker, (though otherwise a worthy writer) Canonica quae­dam perijsse, credo esse. enminem qui dubitet. Psal. 111. 8. Cartw. in his answer to the Preface of the Rhem Test. Nego canonem, id est, numerum librorum sacro­rum, ex quo confectus est, unquam fuisse majorem, quam sit bodie. Chamier [...]. others Dogmaticall. The former might perish and fall away but not the latter. There­fore that common objection of divers Books mentioned in the Old Testament, whereof we finde none so intituled in the Canon thereof, is easily answered. Either they were Civill and common-wealth Stories, whether the Reader is referred if it like him to read the stories more at large, which the Pro­phets touched shortly; or else they are contained in the Books of the Kings, which are manifestly proved to be written by di­vers Prophets in their severall ages, wherein they prophesied. Salomons Books which he wrote of generall Philosophy fell a­way, but all the other Books of the Scripture do still remain. First, they are all of God, all whose works remain for ever, therefore the holy Scriptures being not onely his handy-work, but as it were the chief and Master-work of all other, must have a continuall endurance.

Secondly, they all are written generally for our instruction, and more particularly for admonition and warning, for com­fort and consolation, unlesse we will say that God may be de­ceived in his purpose and end wherefore he ordained them; it must needs be, that it must continue whatsoever hath been written in that respect.

[Page 117] Thirdly, if the Lord have kept unto us the whole Book of Leviticus, and (in it) the ceremonies (which are abolished, and whereof there is now no practice) because they have a ne­cessary and profitable use in the Church of God;Vide Alting. problem. Theol. partem prim. & 6. prob. Drufium de quae­sitis per Episto­lam Epist. 101. Sec B. Vsher [...] Bodie of Di­vinity p. 17. how much more is it to be esteemed, that his providence hath watched over other Books of the Scripture, which more properly belong unto our times?

Fourthly, let us heare the Scripture it self, witnessing of it own authority and durablenesse to all ages; Deut. 2 [...]. 29. Moses thus writeth of it; The secret and hidden things remain to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed to us and our Children for ever.Psal. 119. 152. David also professeth, that he knew long before, that the Lord had founded his testimonies for ever-more.Matth. 24. 35. But our Saviour Christs testimony is of all other most evident: Mat. 13. 32. That heaven and earth shall passe,Matth. 5. 18. but that his word cannot passe: And yet more vehement­ly,Luke 16. 17.that not one jot, or small letter, prickCui ignorata non scrupulosa tantùm sed & superstitiosa prorsus Judaeo­rum anxietas non in libris tantùm sed in apicib [...] librorum sacro­rum numeran­dis, conferendis, custodiendis? & tantum abest ut volumen sa­crum integrum interversum voluerint, ut contra profite an­tur totum mun­dum [...]uiturum in Tohu va Bohu antiquum, si vel una vox in Scriptura mutetur. Spanhem. Dub. Evang. parte secunda Dub. 89. or stop of his Law can passe untill all be fulfilled. Rom 15. 4. therefore none of those which were written for that end, are lost.

Origen in praefat. in Cant. Canticorum, Augustine l. 18. de civi­tate Dei. c. 38. thought it could not neither stand with the Divine providence, nor with the honour of the Church, that any Canonicall Books, and given for such to the Church, should be lost. Of this opinion are many worthy moderne Divines. Junius, Chamierus, Tomo. 1. L. 9. c. 5. Polanus, Wende­linus, Waltherus, Spanhemius, Cartwright, Gerardus in exegesi loci primi de Scriptura sacra. c. 6. Joh. Camero Tomo. 3. in Praelecti­onibus de verbo Dei. Cap. 15. Rivetus in Isagoge ad S. Script. c. 6. & in Summa Controversiarum Tom. 1. Tract. 1. Quaest. 1. Altingi us. But Chrysost. and Whitaker, also Bellarmine l. 4. de verbo Dei. c. 4. Gr [...]ther and Becanus hold that some Canonicall Books are lost. I rather subscribe to the judgement of the former Reve­rend Divines who held the contrary.

The second question is, whether the Scripture of the old [Page 118] Testament was punctata Spanhemius Dub. Evangel. parte Tertia. D [...]b. 129. from the beginning; or whether the Hebrew Text had Vowels, or points from the begin­ning as now it hath. Controversiam de punctorum anti­quitate vel novitate inter viros eruditos disceptatam non attingo. Sententia utraque suos habet assertores, & magni quidem nominis.

Cevalerius, Buxtorfius punctorum pa­tronus fortissi­mus Capellus. Buxtorsius, Marinus, Junius, and other very godly and learned men have defended the antiquity of the pricks, which to the Hebrews are in stead of Vowels, and say that the Bibles were punctata in our Saviour Christs time and that he approved of the same Matth. 5.Piscat. in. locum. Puncta ista Hebraica à Massorethia sunt excogitata, & textui sacro ad­dita cicra Christi annum 500. aut saltem post 400. Capellus de punctorum Heb. Antiq. l. 2. Amama disser­tat. de Jehov [...]. Vide Riveti Isagog. c. 8. 18. others hold that the invention of the pricks and the Mass [...]reth is to be ascribed to the Tiberian Massorites, who flourished about 500 yeares after Christs birth; this opinion divers learned men have defended with most weighty reasons, as Martinius in Technologia, Luther, Mercer, Scaliger, and Drusius, Calvin upon the 11. of Zacharie, Zuinglius in his Preface on Esay. Raynolds in his censure of the Apocryphall Books. But above all Capellus in his Book entitled Arcanum punctationis revelatum, hath so strongly con­firmed that opinion, and hath so solidly confuted the reasons which are commonly brought to the contrary, that he hath drawn some learned Divines to his opinion, which before did stiffely adhere to the contrary opinion, and left others very doubtfull: He hath well answered that place, Matth. 5. 18. l. 2. c. 14.

But (as Amana saith) if any will not be moved from the o­ther opinion,Altum in om­nium antiquo­rum Patrum Graecorum & Latinorum scriptis, de punctis silentium, ut ne minimus quidem apex de illa [...]piculis in ij [...] exflet. Capel. lue l. 1. c. 9. that the puncta were invented by the Prophets (which many godly Divines doe out of a good zeale stand for) suum Cuique liberum sit judicium.

Vide Fulleri Miscell Sac. l. 4. c. 4. Mercerum ad Gen. 16. 13. & Drusium ad difficuliora loca Genes. Buxtor fij dissertationem de Ebrae­orum literis. Our Saviour saith, Matth. 5. 18. that not one jot or prick of the Law shall perish, whereby it should appeare that [Page 119] the Law and the Prophets (for of both he speaketh immedi­ately B [...]shop Ushers Body of Divi­nity p. 13. before) had vowels & pricks: whereunto also belong all those places of Scripture, which testifie of the clearnesse, and certainty of the Scripture, which could not at all be now, if it lacked Vowels. Yet this is not B. Vshers judgement, as himselfe told me. Non est improbabile argumentum ex Matth. 5. v. 18.Christus eo loco procul dubiò respicit non ad puncta voca­lia & Accen­tus, qui tum nulli fuerunt; sed (uti rectè observat Hiero­nymus) ad fi­guram literarum, & ad cornicula illa, quibus literarum Capita in hodierna scriptura (quà in scribendo Legis volumine utuntur Judaei) armantur; hoc que duntaxat vult, se non venisse (quod de eo falsissimò Calumniabantur Judaei) ad eva­cuandam & abolendam Legem, ut contra potius venerit ad eam perf [...]ctissimè implendam. Capelli Dia­tribe de literis Ebr. Luc. 16. 17. ubi per [...] puncta & accentus com­modè intelligi posse docti opinantur: inter quos Broughthonius in Daniel p. 45. & Polanus Syntagm. lib. 1. cap. 37. quamvis argu­mento illi nolimus insistere. Voetius Tomo primo. disputat. de au­thoritate Scripturae.

Sine punctis legere (saith Drusius) paucis hodie Concessum. Serarius de Rabbinis saith, Elias Hutter a Lutherane writes thus, è mille Praedicantibus ne unum quidem esse, qui etiam punctatis­sina possit Hebraea legere, nedum absque punctis.

CHAP. VII.

NOw I proceed to shew that neither the translation of the Seventy, nor the vulgar Latine are anthenticall.

1. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, which is commonly ascribed to the Seventy Interpreters, is not Divine­ly In editione Graecâ Libro­rum Mosis, Psal­morum, & Pro­phetarum, nihil fermè est quod peregrinum non sonet, & quod Hebraicam non oleat loquendi rationem. Croij. observ. Augustius hanc versionem ait esse factam divina dispensatione, ea [...] (que) apud Ecclesias peritiores maximi fieri, cum tanta Spiritus Sancti praesentia interpretes adjuti esse dicantur in interpretando, ut omnium es unum fuerit. inspired.

The chiefe Pillars of the Primitive Church ranne into this [Page 120] errour, whence sprung many other errours. The Greek Fa­thers, who were generally unskilfull both in Hebrew and La­tine (some few excepted) were the lesse to be blamed here, since they made use of no other Editions, therefore they more con­fidently affirmed their own to be Authenticall. Augustine, Tertullian, and many of the Latine Fathers (whom divers Di­vines follow) ascribed too much to the Seventy Interpreters. Yet there was a controversie between Augustine and Jerome con­cerning their authority, as is evident by both their Epistles. Bellarmine Lib. 2. de verbo Dei cap. 6. is large in commending this version, saying, that it is most certain, that those Interpreters did very well translate the Scripture, and had the Holy Ghost peculiarly assisting them, least they should erre in any thing, so that they may seeme ra­ther to be Prophets then Interpreters. Gretzer bestoweth a Prophetique spirit upon them, because they did so agree and absolved their taske in so short a space of time, viz. in 72. Valido [...] [...] ­cho opus est, ut concoqui p [...]ssi [...] nar [...]atio de Lxx. cellulis, de consensu illo mi­ro, & de exigno temporis inter­vallo, quo totum opus confectum fertur. Span [...]. em Da [...]. Eva [...]g [...] parte 1 [...]. Dub. 22.dayes,

They are said to have been put a part in 72. celles, and to have all agreed in their translation, and the ruines thereof were (as is reported) shewed a long time after at Alexandria. But Hierome and many of the * Papists held this to be a Fable of the 72 celles, since neither Aristaeus, who was a chiefe man about King Ptolomie, that set the 70 Interpreters on work, nor Jos [...]phus (who was most desirous of the honour of his Nation) maketh any mention thereof. And as touching the Interpre­ters themselves, Jerome saith, Aliud est vatem agere, aliud Inter­pretem. It is one thing to be a Prophet, another to be an In­terpreter. And as for the translation, he saith, Germana illa & antiqua translatio corrupta & violata est.

That Ancient and true translationMas [...] praefat. ingraec. edit. Jos [...]ae & Bella [...]m. l. 2. de verbo Dei. c. 6. Distinguimus nos inter vers [...]nem Lxx. primaevam purio [...]em­que & inter posteriorem corruptam. Haec auctoritatis est [...]erexiguae, Illa autem meruit quidem quondam auctoritat [...]m aliquam [...] Waltherus in officina Biblica. of the Septuagint, is cor­rupted and violated, which (as Hierome saith) was agreeable to the Hebrew, but so is not the Greek Copy now extant, which is full of corruptions, and seemeth to be a mixt and confused translation of many.

[Page 121] If the Seventy, as well as the Hebrew had been authenticall, the Lord would have been carefull to have kept it pure and un­corrupt unto our dayes, as well as he hath done the Hebrew. There is indeed a Greek Edition extant, which goeth under the name of the 70. but W [...]itaker De Script-Controversiae primae quaest. Secunda c. ter­tio. Aut haec Graeca versio, quae ad nostra tempora per­venit, non illa est quam septu­aginta Judaici s [...]niotes ed [...]de-r [...]nt, aut est tam i [...]fi [...]è faedèque depravata, ut authoritatis perexiguae nun [...] sit. Nam ne ipse Hieronymus puram habuit translationem Grac [...]m sep­tuaginta interpretum. Illam enim, quam ha-buit, corru [...]tam vitiosamque esse, saepe in comment [...] ­ [...]iss conqueritur. Whi [...]akerus ibid. Vide Bezam in 17. Matth. v. 9. saith that the true Seventy is lost, and that this which we now have is mixt and miserably corrupted. Danda 70 Interpretibus venia, ut hominibus; juxta Jacobi sententiam multa peceamus omnes. Hieron ad Pam [...]ch. The Apostles and Evangelists writing in Greek, often followed the version of the Septuagint then common amongst the Grae­cians; and cited it sometimes where there is a most manifest difference from the Hebrew Text but yet they did not alwayes use that translation, which they would have done, if they had esteemed it Divine and Authenticall.

Spanhemius Dub Evangel. parte 1a. Dub. 23. and Amama An­tibarb. Bibl. l. 2. both thinke that conjecture of Heinsius (in his holy Aristarchus) very probable, viz. that the fable of the number, and consent of the Interpreters took its originall from the 24. of Ex [...]dus. Hence (saith Henisius there) with­out doubt the History concerning Ptolomie, hence those famous celles which Jerome scoffs at, Hence that invention, that none of all that number differed in their Interpreations.

Therefore since that version when pure was but a humane not Divine worke, and proceeded from Interpreters not Prophets, it couldbe neither Authenticall nor fide digna, any farther then it agreedGraeci ab He­br [...] saepe rece­dunt. Mercerus ad Job. 15. 32. Vide Drusium in Gen. 6. & Fulleri miscell. Sac. l. 2. c. 6. p. 201: Mendas in Chronologici [...] numerl [...] habes compl [...]s. See Dr. Willet on 47. of Gen. and Chamiers fi st tome de Canone l. 13. c. 8. 9. 10. Libri Mosis omnium sunt optimè translati: & Psalmi omnium deter [...]imè. Chamierus ib. c [...]. Psalmo primo [...] pestilentes pro ir­risoribus & [...] non resurgent impij in judicio: periculosa am­phibolia, ne forte videantur à resurrectione excludi impij; debuit autem verti, non consisten [...] in judicio, [...] quia condemu [...]tur. Chamierus ibid. with the Hebrew Text.

The Ancients themselves Commenting upon Scripture, used not the Septuagint Edition as authenticke, from which it would not have been then lawfull to depart; but rather often correct it, as Origen and Jerome from the Hebrew fountaines: which every one knoweth that is versed in their workes.

[Page 122] They are most bold in changing numbers without any rea­son, as Gen. 5. to Seth, Enos, Cainaan, Malaleel, they give each a 100 yeares beyond the Hebrew truth. In the 46 Chapter of Genesis for Seventy soules they say 75.

The Seventie read Prov. 8. 23 in the beginning God created me, for, in the beginning God possessed me, whether because they mi­stook the Hebrew word Chava for Cava, upon their likenesse in the Hebrew Characters, or their translation was at the first [...] possedit, possessed, and the Copies slipping in one letter, made it [...] creavit, created, as Bellarmine after Zanchie thinketh.

2. The vulgar Edition is not authenticall.

We are now come to shew, that the vulgar Latine Edition De vulgata la­tina translatione, vide Collationem Rain [...]l [...]i cum Harto c. 2. p. 23. & cap. 6 l. 201 202, & cap 8▪ p. 447. & Drusium in num. [...]. c. 8. &c. 96. Rivetus in Ca­tholico Or­thodoxo Wend [...]lin. in Christiana theo­logia. Gerh. loe prim. de Script. Sac. with lea [...]ned Papists hold that it was not Jeromes tra [...]sl [...]tion. Hebraici libri constanter legunt Hu, Gen. 3. Septuaginta habent [...], Chaldaica paraphrasis hanc lectionem confirmat, Denique quidam codices vulgatae editionis retinent ipse, quidam ipsum. Postremò pondus ipsum sententiae postulat, ut hoc de semine mulieri [...], non de muliere intelligam. Whitakerus. De Latina Editione longè animosissima Catholic [...] est & Papistis controversia. Chamierus tomo 1 [...]. l. 14. c. 1.is not authenticall, a thing of it self manifest, but yet to be proved by some arguments, because our Adversaries stand upon it. Our arguments are these.

1. It was not Divinely inspired in respect of matter, forme, speech, as the Hebrew of the Old Testament, and the Greek of the new were, but was translated by humane indeavour, and therefore it is against both religion and reason to say it is au­thenticall; a work of men cannot in perfection be equall with a work of God; for as Jerome saith aliud est esse vatem, aliud est esse Interpretem.

It is the office of an Interpreter, to translate the authenticall Scripture, not to make his translation authenticall; for both Jerome and every other Interpreter might erre, so did not the Prophets and Apostles; the Councell of Trent first decreed that this translation should be authenticall, before it many learned Papists themselves did disallow that translation, as Paulus Brugensis, Valla, Engubinus, Isidorus Clarius, Joban­nes Isaacus, Cajetan, Erasmus, Jacobus Faber, Ludovicus Vives, and divers others.

[Page 123] 2. The vulgar translation doth oft change the sentence of the Holy Ghost; yea, it doth dangerously and heretically de­prave the sense of holy Scripture, and translate senselesly many times, therefore it is not to be held authenticall. Gen. 3. 15. ipsa for ipse viz. Christ, or ipsum viz. semen, which place it seemeth was corrupted Idolatrously to extoll the praises of the Virgin Mary, and to prove her patronage and protection. This reading drew Bernard into this opinion, Maria abstulit op­probrium matris Evae, & patri pro matre satisfecit quod promittitur, Gen. 3. 15. ipsa conteret; & cui servanda est victoria nisi Mariae? Bern. See Bedels answer to Wadesworths Letters Ch. 6.

Hoc conteret, Tremel, & alij, that is that same seed, rather he, viz. that one person. Hieron. Ipse c [...]nteret caput tuunt, so the Sep­tuagint & our translation. Gen. 4. 13. Major est iniquitas mea quam ut veniam merear. a corrupt translation serving to countenance the errour touching merit de congruo. In the Hebrew there is nothing which hath the least signification of merit; it should be translated ut feram vel sustineam, vel remissionem consequar. Translatio ista potest tolerari, sumatur mereri pro consequi ut saepissi­mè olim apud veteres. Chamierus. Exod. 34. 29. v. The vul­gar hath videbant faciem Mosis cornutam, Ex voce He­braea potest e­mendari prava vulgi consuetu­do, qui duobus Cornibus ping [...]nt Mosen; rident igitur nos & execantur Ju­daei quotles mo­sen in templis cornuta facie depictum a piciunt, qua­si nos eum diabolum quendam, ut ipsi stuliè interpretantur, esse putemus, Sixtus Senensis Bibli [...]th Sanct. l. 5. annotat. 116. for radiantem which the Hebrew word signifieth; the Seventie translate it (the A­postle Paul approving of it, 2 Cor. 3. 7. 10.) was glorified. This interpretation of the vulgar is reprehended by Valla, Vatablus, Arius Montanus, Steuchus, Cajetan, Ferus, Oleaster, Thomas Aquinas and Bellarmine himself de ecclesia triumphante l. 2. c. 4. which is also confirmed by the Text it self, for the Scripture witnesseth, that the people could not behold the face of Moses for the brightnesse thereof, Exod. 34. 30. and therefore his whole face, not the highest part of his forehead, or his head was covered with a vaile 33. v. of that Chapter, 2 Cor. 3. 3.

Job. 5. 1. The vulgar Latine hath, voca ergo si est qui ti [...]i re­spondeat et ad aliquem sanctorum convertere, hence the Papists [Page 124] would prove invocation of Saints, whereas it should be tran­slated voca quaeso, seu voca jam an sit qui respondeat, & ad quemè Sanctis respicies? q.d. ad neminem. The vulgar makes it a sim­ple speech without any interrogation; the meaning of Eliphaz is, q.d. Go to I pray thee, call or bid any one appear or come, that by his consent approves of thy opinion, try whether any one is of thy mind, which acknowledgest not that great cala­mities are inflicted by God for great sinnes, to which of the Saints that ever have lived or yet doe live in the earth, wilt thou turne? by whose testimony thou shalt be helped in this thy complaint against God?

Psal. 2. 12. The vulgar hath Apprehendite disciplinam, [...] Graec. ap­prehend discipline or instruction, whereas in the Hebrew it is Osculamini filium, Invictum in hoc loco prout in Hebraeo ex­tat, contra Ju­daeos pro Deitate Christi argumen­tum suum esse agnoscunt Pon­tisicij. Amama Anti­ba [...]b. Bibl. l. 3. Pro [...]uldubio ex di [...]o illo erga Christum Dei filium [...] pro­fecta est illa Ebraei textus detorsis potius quam interpre­ [...]at [...]ringi enim vid [...]as Judaeos, cum audiunt, Messiam Dei esse filium. Maye [...] in Philologia Sacra Jilustre est vaticinium de Christo saedissim [...] obcuratum à Graeco & Lati [...] interprete à quibus neutra vox est ex pressa. Cham [...]r. de Canone. l. 13. c. 9. kisse the son. Thus an evident place a­gainst the Jewes for the second person in Trinity is obscured and overthrown, by the corrupt Latine Text. To say the sense is the same, is in vaine; for an Interpreter ought not to change the words, and then say he hath kept the sense; neither is the sense of the words the same; who will say to kisse the Sonne is the same with lay hold of discipline? We must needs embrace the doctrine of Christ, if we acknowledge him to be our Messiah, but hence it doth not follow that these 2 are the same, for then all things which agree, should be one & the same, which will not stand. The Chaldee Paraphrast favour­ing that reading, doth it to defend the errour of the denying the diety of the eternall Sonne of God.

Saepe Codices Hebraei magis Judaeos vexant quam Graeci, aut Latini. Certe in 2 Psal. Latini & Graeci habent: Apprehendite disciplinam, ne irascatur Dominus. ex quo nihil apertè contra Judae [...]s deduci potest: at in Hebraeo est [...] Osculamini Fi­lium ne irascatur, id est, reverentiam exhibete filio Dei ne ipse irascatur &c. qui locus est invictissimus contra Judaeos. Bellar­minus de verbo Dei. l. 2. c. 2.

Psalmi videntur data opera versi in contumeliam Latini Sermonis. Chamierus.

[Page 125] The vulgar Latine of the New Testament is no lesse corrupt­ed then of the old.

Matth. 6. 11.Supersubstanti [...] ­lem, 1. ad subst [...]ntiae nostrae Con­servationem necessarium. Em [...]n Sa. The English Papists at Rhemes (who translated the New Testament into English, not out of the Greek Text, but out of the vulgar Latine) read, give us to day our super-sub­stantiall bread, the Latine hath it panem super-substantialem for Quotidianum, daily bread. The Rhemists note upon the same is, by this bread so called here according to the Latine and Greek-word, we aske not onely all necessary sustenance for the body; but much more all spirituall food. viz. the blessed Sacrament it self, which is Christ the true bread that came down from heaven, and the bread of life to us that eate his Body. Our Saviour Christ which condemned vaine repetition, and by a forme of prayer provided against the same, is made here of the Jesuits to offend against his own rule: for that which is contained in the second Petition, they teach to be asked in the fourth. Secondly, they lodge in one Petition things of di­vers kinds, and farre removed in nature, spirituall and cor­poreall, heavenly and earthly; yea, the creature and the creator. Thirdly, hence it should follow, that he taught them ex­pressely to aske that which he had neither instituted, nor in­structed them of, and whereof his Disciples were utterly Ig­norant. Salomon, Omnes veteres laetini Scriptores panem quotidia­num leger [...]t, it [...]que iuc [...]utè quidam nostro tempore i [...] vulgata Edi­tione pro qu [...]ti­di [...]o supersub­stanti [...]lem posue­runt▪ quod Cor­poris Cib [...] quem à nobl [...] peti probavimus, minimè convenit. Maldonatus & Ja [...]enius id [...]m serè [...] harm. cap. 41. from whom our Saviour seemeth to have taken this Petition, confirmes that exposition of things tending to uphold this present life, Prov. 30. 8. Lechem Chukki the bread which is ordained for me. The Jesuites will never be able to justifie the old interpreter, which translateth one word the same both in syllables and signification, in one place Supersubstantiall, and in another, viz. in Luke Quotidianum or Daily against which interpretation of his, he hath all antiqui­ty before that translation, and some of the Papists themselves retained the words of Daily Bread.

Bellarmine. l. 1. de bonis operibus c. 6. preferres Quotidianum, and defends it against the other. Tostatus applyeth it to temporall things.

[Page 126] The Syriacke saith Panis indigentiae, vel sufficientiae nostrae.

Luke 1. 18.Their own Dictiona [...]ies and Doctors expound the Greek word [...] gratified or un­deservedly, ac­cepted, or whom Gods singular favour had made accepta­ble. Plena gratia for gratis dilecta as Chrysostome renders it, Haile Mary full of grace, for freely beloved. The word signifieth not any grace or vertue inherent in one, but such a grace or favour as one freely vouchsafeth and sheweth to another; the word retained by the Syriacke in this place is Taibutha, and signifieth happiness, blessednesse, goodnesse, bountifulnesse. Tremelius turneth it gratia which may and ought to be Englished favour, as the Greek word signifieth, and is expounded by the Angell, and the Virgin Mary themselves, the Angell adding in the same verse, the Lord is with [...], mean­ing by his speciall favour, and in v. 30. saying, she had found favour with God. The Virgin in her thankfull song magni­fying the mercy of God toward her, that he had so graciously looked on her in so meane estate, as to make her the Mother of her own Saviour, after so marvellous a manner.

They foolishly salute her, who is removed from them by in­finite space, and whom their Haile cannot profit, being in Heaven, as the salutation of the Angell did and might doe, whilst she was here in the vale of misery. Their Alchymie al­so is ridiculous, to make that a Prayer unto her, which was a Prayer for her, to make it daily, that served in that kinde, for one onely time: to make it without calling which the Angell durst not doe, unlesse he had beene sent.

Ephes. 5.Non habet ex hoc loco prudens l [...]ctor [...] Paulo, conjugium esse Sacramentum, non enim dicit Sacramentum sed mysteri­um hoc mag­num est▪ 32. Vulg. Sacramentum hoc magnum est, and the Rhe­mists, This is a great Sacrament for great mystery. Sacraments are mysteries, but all mysteries are not properly Sacraments. How can it be a Church Sacrament, which hath neither ele­ment, nor word of promise? Secondly, Sacraments are the peculiar and proper possession of the Church of Christ, how can that be a Sacrament which is (and lawfully may be used) out of the Church amongst the Turkes and Jewes, to whom the benefit of Matrimony cannot be denyed? The old Interpreter, Coless 1. 27. translateth the same word a mystery or secret.

Chemnitius reckons this place among those which the Papists [Page 127] abuse, not among the corrupted: forErasmus dicit [...] [...]n sit sacra­mentum o [...]im dubitatum erat à scholasticis, Certè ex hoc loco non possit effic [...]; nam parti­cula adver [...]a [...]i­va ego autem satis indicat hoc mysterium ad Christum & ec­clesiam pertinere, non ab maritum & uxorem. Marke 6. 8. Vide Salme­rovem & Rib [...] ­ram in loc. Sacrament is the same with the Ancient Latine Divines that [...] is with the Greeks. Chamier.

Heb. 11. 21 The vulgar hath, & Jacob adoravit fastigium virgae, the Rhemists adored the top of his rod. whereas the words are, he worshipped upon the top of his stasse, and not as they have falsely turned it; so also doth the Syrian Paraphrast read [...]t. The word [...] used else-where in the New Testament for a walking staffe, agreeth fitly unto Jacob, who being both old and sick, had need to stay himselfe thereupon, whilst he prais­ed God. Joseph was no King, aud therefore had no Scepter to fall down before. In the Hebrew, Gen. 47. for top we read head, which by a Metaphor, signifies the top, because the head is the end and highest part of man, and consequently of any thing else. And for staffe we now read in the Hebrew, bed; which fell out, because the word mittah, there extant, pricked with other Vowels signifies a staffe for in the Hebrew matteh is a staffe, and mitteh a bed. The Septuagint whom the Apostle followes, read it matteh and so translated it staffe, otherwise th [...]n w [...] now read it in the Hebrew Text. If we follow the Hebrew Text, as it is now extant, the sence will be, That Jacob, be­cause he could not raise his body out of his bed, therefore he bowed his head forward upon his beds head, and so worship­ped God.

Bez [...] speaking of the divers Latine translations of the New Testament onely,P [...]aefat, in nov. T [...]st. he saith of the v [...]lgar Latine, that he fol­loweth it for the most part, and preferreth it before all the rest, Maxim [...] ex parte, amplector & claeeris omnibus antepono. He speakes of the new Testament onely,Doctor Fulke against Martin. and of that Latine transla­tion of the new Testament, in comparison of all other Latine translations which were before him, as Erasmus, Castalion, and such like.

These plac [...]s may serve to shew that the vulgar Latine is cor­rupt,Vide Whitaker [...] Con [...]versi [...]m primam quaest. s [...]cundam c [...]p. 10 11. & 12. de Scripturis. no Book being entire or free fron errour. Isidore Clarius Brixianus (praef [...]t. in Biblia) a great learned man of their own affirmeth, that it hath 8000 places, in which the sense of the Holy Ghost is changed. Since the Councell of Trent 2 Popes [Page 128] have set forth this vulgar Edition diversly;Sixtinus Ama­ma ce [...]suram vulgatae versi­onis in P [...]nta­teucho caepit, t [...]lam pertex­turus nisi morte fuisset prae­ventus. Wal­therus in offici­na Billica. which of these shall be received as authenticall? How often doe the Papists leave the vulgar in all their controversies when it is for their advantage so to doe? it is a matter ordinary with them, and needlesse to be proved.

There is no Edition Ancienter then the Hebrew, if the La­tine have been used a 1000 yeares in the Church, the Hebrew hath been used almost 3000 yeares; the Chaldee, Arbicke, Sy­riacke, and Greeke Editions also have beene used above a 1000 yeares, and so should be authentique by the Papists argument.

Having spoken of the authority of the Scriptures, the Cano­nicall Books, and the Authenticall Editions; I now goe on to treate of the end of the Scripture, its adjuncts or properties fitted to that end, and the Interpretation of Scripture.

The end of the Scripture comes next to be considered, of this I have spoken somewhat afore, but shall now inlarge my selfe.

The end of the Scripture is considered, 1. In respect of GodGod in Christ, or God and Christ is the object of Christian reli­gion; without knowledge of Christ we can-not know God savingly, John 11. 27. In jury onely is God knowne. 2. In respect of us.

In respect of God, the end of the Scripture is a glorifying of him; by it we may learne to know, love and feare him, and so be blessed. The glory of God is the chiefe end of all things, Prov. 16. 4.

In respect of us, The end of the Scripture is,

1. Intermediate, temporall edification, which is fitly refer­red to 52 Tim. 3. 16. Rom▪ 15▪ 4. The word of God is profi­table 5 wayes. 1. For confir­mation of true Doctrine, or teaching men the truth. principall uses, the two first respect the mind, the o­ther three the heart, will and affection.

It is profitable for Doctrine, it serves to direct to all saving truth; nothing is to be received as a truth necessary to salvation, but what is proved out of Scripture. Where that hath not a tongue to speake, I must not have an eare to heare. Hoc quia de scrip [...]uris non habet autoritatem, eadem facilitate con­temuitur, qua probatur Hieron.

[Page 129] 2. Reproofe or Confutation, 2. Reproofe of errour. to refute all errours and hetero­doxe opinions in Divinity.Rectum est index sui & ob [...]iqui. By this sword of the Spirit, Christ vanquished Satan, Matth. 4. 4. 7. 10. by the Scripture he op­posed the Jewes, John. 5. 45. 46. 47. and 10. 34. by this he re­futed the Scribes and Pharisees,Quibus prin­cipijs veritas astruitur, iisdem princi­pijs falsic [...]s destruitur. Matth. 9. 13. and 12. 1. Luke 10. 25. 26. 27. Matth. 19. 34. and 21. 12. 13. the Sadducees, Matth. 22 29. By this Austin refuted the Pelagians, Irenaeus, the Valentinians; Tertullian the M [...]rcionites, Athanasius the Arrians.

In comitijs Vindelicorum,Tertullian c [...]ls the Scripture Macbaera contra haereses. cum episcopus Albertus aliquando le­geret Biblia (referente Luthero in Sermon. Convival.) & interro­gasset quidam è consiliarijs, quid libri hic [...]sset, nescio equidem (re­spondet) qualis sit liber, sed omnia quae in eo lego, nostrae religioni planè sunt contraria.

3. Correction of iniquity,3. Correction of ill behavi­ouur. setting streight that which is a­misse in manners and life.

4. Instruction to righteousnesse.4. Instruction in a good be­haviour. Instruunt Patriarchae etiam errantes. Basil saith, the Psalmes are a common Store house and Treasury of good Instruction. The Title of the 32▪ and some other Psalmes is Maschil, that is, a Psalme of instruction.

5. Comfort in all troubles,5. Consolation in troubles. Ro [...]. 15. 4. 119. Psal. [...]9. Vide Z [...]pper [...] A [...]tem hab [...]n [...]i & [...] conciones. l. 1. c. 3. p. 34, 35. Psal. 19. 8 and 119. 50. and 92. the Greek▪ word for Gospell signifieth glad-tidings. The Promises are the Christians best Cordials; as Gods Promises are the rule of what we must pray for in faith, so they are the ground of what we must expect in comfort.

2. Ultimate and chiefest, our Salvation and life Eternall, John 5. 39. and 20. 31. 2 Tim. 3. 15. It will shew us the right way of escaping hell and attaining Heaven. It will shew us what to beleeve and practise, for our present and eternall hap­pinesse.

This was Gods aime in causing the Scripture to be written, and we shall find it fully availeable and effectuall for the ends for which it was ordained by God.

CHAP. VIII.

THe properties of the Scripture fitted to that end.

The properties which the Scripture must have for the former end are these.

It is.

  • 1. Of Divine Authority.
  • 2. True and Certaine.
  • 3. The rule of faith and manners.
  • 4. Necessary.
  • 5. Pure and Holy.
  • 6. Sufficient and Perfect.
  • 7. Perspicuous and Plaine.

1. It is of Divine AuthorityDivina auto­ritas Scripturae est Infallibilis veritas in ver­bu & sensibus, ob quam omnes sidem e [...] & obe­dientiam deb [...]nt. Altingius. Exod. 32. 16. 2 Tim. 3. 16. 2 Pet. 1. 21. Heb. 11. 12 John 14. 26. and so greater then all excep­tion.

It is Divine.

1. In its efficient cause and Originall, which is God the Fa­ther dictating, in his Sonne declaring and publishing, by his holy Spirit confirming and sealing it in the hearts of the faith­full. He wrote the Decalogue immediately with his own finger, and Commanded the whole Systeme, and all the parts of Scripture, to be written by his servants the Prophets and Apo­stles, as the publike Actuaries and Pen-men thereof; therefore the authority of the Scripture is as great as that of the holy Ghost,Divina aucto­ritas suam trabis originem una ex parte, ex immediato Spiritus S. afflatu, & ex alter [...], ex sublimitate rerum qu [...] exponi [...]. Waltherus in officina Biblica. who did dictate both the matter and words: those speeches are frequent, the Lord said, and the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.

2. In the subject matter, which is truth according to godli­nesse, Heb. 4. 12.certaine, powerfull, of venerable antiquity, joyned with a sensible demonstration of the Spirit and Divine presence, [Page 131] and with many other things atte [...]ing its divine authority.

Whence it follows, that the authority of the Holy Scrip­tures is.

1. Infallible,Matth. 5. 18. Scriptura est [...] Fide digna, & pr [...]pterse cre­denda, quia [...] est, Divinitus in­spira [...]a. Hic illud Pythagoricum val [...]ta [...] We must take heed of beleev­ing Scripture to be the word of God, be­cause there is the greatest reason for it, but for its di­vine authority. Matth. 24. 35. which expresseth the minde and will of God, to whom truth is essentiall and necessary.

2. Supreame and Independent into which at last all faith is resolved, from whi [...]h it is not lawfull to appeale.

By which singular authority the Scripture is distinguished, both from all prophane and Sacred writings, and Paul ho­nours it with this Elogie, a faithfull saying and worthy of all ac­ceptation, 1 Tim. 1. 15. a more sure word, 2 Pet. 1. 19. the Comparative for the Superlative, in which there is no doubting and uncertainty, but all things firme.

As God is I [...]hovah of himself, so is his word autoritative of it selfe, and is true and to be obeyed, whether thou think it Scripture or no. There is no higher authority for thee to ap­peale to, it is above opinions of men, conscience, and there­fore it must determine all controversies.

2. It is trueThe materi­all parts of Scripture are true. Historicall narrations, all the Histories there related, are undoubt­edly true, that of the Creati­on, fall, of Christ. 2. Threa [...]en­ings, the eter­nall torments in hell are sure as if thou w [...]st already in them 3. Promises the Scripture cals them the sure mercies of David. 4. Predictions and Prophe­sies, in Daniel, Revelation, as the downfall of Antich [...]i [...]t▪ they speak therefore of things to come in the present tense, O note thereby the certainty of the accomplish [...]nt. E [...]ay 9. 6. Apoc. 18. 2 and certaine, verity is affirmed of the Scrip­tures primarily, internally, and by reason of it selfe, which is called the truth of the object; which is an ab [...]olute and most perfect agreement of all things delivered in the Scripture, with the first truth or divine will, of which the Scripture is a sym­bole and lively Image, so that all things are delivered in it as the Holy Ghost hath dictated, whence those honourable titles are given to it, the Scripture is called a sure word: 2 Pet. 1. 19. Psal. 19. 7. the Scripture of truth, Dan. 10. ult. words of truth, Eccles. 12. 10. Yea, truth it self, John 17. 17. having the God of truth for the Authour, Christ Jesus the truth for the wit­nesse, the Spirit of truth for the Composer of it, and it work­eth truth in the hearts of those which heare it, 2 Pet. 2. 2. The Apostle preferres the Scripture, before the Revelation made by Ang [...]ls, Gal. 1. 8. Christ commends the certainty of it above all other sorts of Revelation, 1 Pet. 1. 19. above information from the dead, Luke 16. 31.

[Page 132] The word of God is not onely true but eminently true, truth it selfe, prima veritas, and pura Ego in hajus­modi quo▪ um­li [...]et hominam scriptis libersum, qu [...]a solis Cano­nicis scripturis debeo sine ulla recusati [...]ne consensum. August de natu­ra & gratia. c. 6. The essentiall forme of the word is truth in forming the whole and every part, all Divine truth is there set down. veritas.

The Scripture hath a twofold truth.

1. Of assertion, it containeth no errour.

2. Of promise, there is no unfaithfulnesse in it.

The first truth referres to the matter which is signified, pro­perly called truth or verity.

The second referres to the intention of the Speaker, which is properly called veracite or fidelity, the latter is implyed, Psal. 19. thy Testimonies are sure, and so the sure mercies of David, the former is implyed, in that the word is purer then Gold 7 times refined.

There are two signes of truth in the Scripture.

1. The particularity of it▪ it names particulars in genealo­gies, dolosus versatur in generalibus.

2. Impartiality toward friends and their adversaries; the most holy men have their faults described, they give due com­mendation to their adversaries.

The truth of Scripture is. 1. More then any humane truth of sense or reason. 2. Above all naturall reason, as the do­ctrine of the Trinity, the incarnation of Christ, justification by faith in Christ. 3. A truth which evidenceth it self. 4. The standard of all truth, nothing is true in doctrin or worship which is not agreeable to this.

3. The Scripture is the rule of faith and manners. It is termed Canonicall generally by the Fathers of the word Ca­non, Scrip [...]ra Sancta appellatur Canonica, & totum [...]jus corpus Canon. Rationem nominis aut omnes, aut ferè omnes esse testantur, quia sit regula f [...]dei. Chami [...]rus. The Scripture is therefore called Cano [...]call, because it prescribes a [...]ule of our faith and life, Phil. 3 16. Gal. 6. 16. Tertullianus a [...]pellat Scripturam regulam veritatis. Augustinus de d [...]ctrina Christiana l. 2. c. 8. ait in Scripturis inveniri omnia quae continent fidem moresque vivendi.which signifieth a rule, because it containes a worthy rule of religion, faith and godliness [...], according whereunto the building of the house of God must be sitted.

These properties (saith Suarez) are required in a rule. 1. That it be known and easie, the Scripture is a light. 2. That it be first in its kind, and so the measure of all the rest. 3. It must be inflexible. 4. Universall.

[Page 133] 1. It is a perfect rule of faith and obedience and able to in­struct us sufficiently in all points of faith or doctrinals, which we are bound to beleeve, and all good duties or practicals, which we are bound to practise. Whatsoever is needfull to be­leeve or to doe to please God, and save our soules is to be found here; whatsoever is not here found, is not needfull to beleeve and practise for felicity.

Christ proveth the resurrection of the dead, being an article of our faith against the Sadduces, Matth. 22. 32. and the use of the Sabbath, being a rule of life against the Pharisees, by an inference made from the Scripture, Matth. 12. 7.

The Heads of the Creed and Decalogue, are plainely laid downe in Scripture, therefore there we have a perfect rule of faith and manners.

It is a rule.Advers. Hel. Vid. cap. 9. Sacra Scriptura regula credendi certiffima tu [...]issi­maque est. Bellarm. de verbo Dei l. 1. c. 2. 1. For faith. Jerome in his controversie with Helvidius saith, Credimus quia legimus, non credimus quia non legimus. We beleeve because we read, we doe not beleeve be­cause we doe not read. Christ often saith, have ye not read, is it not written, what is written in the Law? Luke 10. 26. faith and the word of God must run parallel. This we first beleeve, when we doeHoc pri­mum Credi­mus, cum cre­dimus, quod­nihil ultra cre­dere debemus See Mr. An­thony Burges on Marke 1. 2. 3 beleve (saith Tertullian) that we ought to beleeve nothing beyond Scripture. When we say all matters of do­ctrine and faith are contained in the Scripture, we understand as the Ancient Fathers did, not that all things are literally and verbally, contained in the Scripture, but that all are either ex­pressed therein, or by necessary consequence may be drawne from thence. All controversies about religion are to be de­cided by the Scripture, Deut. 12. 32. and 4. 2. Josh. 1. 7. Francis­cus de S [...]lis a Popish Bishop saith, the Gospell was honoured so much, that it was brought into the Councell, and set in the midst of them, and to determine matters of faith, as if Christ had been there.Deut. 5. 29. Esay 8. 20.

2. It is a perfect rule for our lives and practiseVerba Scrip­turae non sunt legenda sed vivenda. Doctrinae sanitas servatur confirmando verum, resellend [...] falsum, vitae sanctinionia sugendo malum, faciendo bonum. Satis habet Scriptura quo veritatem do­ceat, errorem redarguat, iniquitatem corriga [...], instituat ad justiria [...]. Nec haec uti [...]ter praestat solum [...]odo quoe sophistarum cavillatio, sed etiam sufficienter nempe ut perfectus sit homo &c. Rainoldus. Psal. 19. 11. [Page 134] and Psal. 119. 9. In the Scriptures there are delivered remedies against all vices, and meanes are there laid down for the attain­ing of all vertues. We must follow the Scriptures exactly, and not swerve to the right hand or left; a metaphore taken from a way or rule, saith Chamier; when Linacer a learned English man heard the beginning of the 5. of Matthew read, Blessed are the poore in spirit &c. he broke forth into these words, either these sayings are not Christs, or we are not Christians.

It is a perfect not a partiall and insufficient rule as the Pa­pi [...]s make it; as God is a perfect God, so his word is a perfect word if it be but a partiall rule then it doth not perfectly direct, and he that should perfectly doe the will of God revealed in Scripture, should not yet be perfect. Secondly, if the Scrip­ture be a partiall rule, then men are bound to be wise above that which is written, that is, above the Law and Gospell▪ Regula fidei debet esse adaequata fidei, aut regula non erit. Whitakerus.

1. All addition and detraction are forbidden to be made by any man to the word, Deut. 4. 2. and 12. 32. Deut. 5. 32. Gal. 1. 8.

2. The Scripture is said to be perfect, to beget heavenly and saving wisdome, Psal. 19. 8. 2 Tim. 3 15, 16, 17.

3. Men in the matter of faithDeut. 17. 18. Esay 8. 20. Luke 16. 29. Acts 24. 14. and Religion are sent to the Scripture onely.

2. The Scripture is an Infallible rule, Luke 1. 4. of which thou hast had a full assent. Regularectè definitur mensura infal­libilis quae nullam vel additionem vel detractionem patitur.

3. It is a [...]ust rule.

Lastly, It is an universall and perpetuall rule both in regard of time and person;Christians sh [...]ll be judged by that here­after John 12. 48. ever since the Scripture hath beene, it hath been the onely rule, in the old Testament, to the Law and the Testimony▪ in the new they confirmed all things by the old, it directs in every case.2 Thess. 1. 8. 2 To all persons, this is able to make a Minister, yea, a Councell, a Church wise to salvation; to re­forme a young man whose lusts are unbridled, 119. 9. to order a King, 17 Deut. Judaei do [...]em ex hoc loco [...] reg [...]m sua manu sibi legem describere, etiamsi al [...]is cum priva [...]us esset, descripsisset. Chamierus. 29. 30.

[Page 135] Ob. Faith was before the Scripture,Reg [...] fidei est quasi causa ex­emplari [...] fidei, quam vi [...]el [...]cet fides in omnibus sequi, & cui se conformare de­bet. therefore the Scripture is not the rule of faith.

Sol. The word of God is twofold. 1. Revealed, that pre­ceded faith. 2. Written, that did not.

Though it be a rule, yet fir [...]t, it doth not exclude other Mi­nisteriall helps, as Prayer, Preaching, the knowledge of the tongues and the Ministry of the Church, these are meanes to use the rule and subordinate to it,Formale ob­jectum fidei est causa objectiva fidei, s [...]u est principium propter quod formaliter & princip [...]liter credimus B [...] ­ron. contra Turnebu [...]. Nos discamus ex verbo non tantum sapere, sed etiam loqui. B [...]z [...] Epist. 7. David, Psal. 119, 133. de­s [...]es, that all h [...]s counsels, thoughts, manners, actions, might be directed ac­cording to Gods word. we need no more rules. Therefore it is a vaine and absurd question of the Papists, let a man be lockt up in a Study with a Bible, what good will he get by it if he cannot read?

2. There must be reason and judgement to make use of it and apply it; judge what I say saith Paul, 1 Cor. 10. 15.

The Scripture should rule our hearts thoughts and inward cogitations, our words and actions; we should pray, heare, receive the Sacrament according to the directions of it, buy, sell, cloath our selves and carry our selves toward all as that bids us, 2 Sam. 22. 23. the people of God wrote after this Copy, followed this rule. Psal. 119. 5. 59. 111. because they desired in all which they did to please God, (now God is pleased when his own will is done) and to glorifie him in their lives, and therefore they framed themselves according to his statutes. We cannot better expresse an high esteeme of God and his excellen­cies then by following him in all things Every one esteems that person most excellent to whom he gives up himself most to be ruled and ordered.

4. The Scripture is necessary.

In respect of the substance thereof it was alwayes necessary; in respect of the manner of revealing it is necessary since the time that it pleased God after that manner to deliver his word,The Scriptures contain. 1 A neecss [...]ry doctrine, viz. of the Law, and Gospell, Matth. 22. 37 John 13. 16. without which we cannot be save [...], Rom. 7. 7. it is, 2. Necessary in respect of the efficient cause Jude 3. 3. Of the Forme, Matth. 22. 19. 4. The end 20. John 31. and shall be to the worlds end▪ It is not then absolutely and simply necessary, that the word of God should be delivered to [Page 136] us in writing, but onely conditionally and upon supposition. God for a long time, for the space of 2400 yeares, unto the time of Moses did instruct his Church with an immediate living voyce, and had he pleased still to goe on in that way, there had beene no necessity of Scripture now more then in that age, there was a continuall presence of God with them, but now there is a perpetuall absence in that way; and the word of God was written.

1. For the brevity of mans life. See the 5. & the 11. Ch. of Gen. The Patriarks were long lived before, and after the Floud to the times of Moses; they lived some centuries of yeares; therefore af­terward the purity of the word could not fitly be preserved without writing. By writing we have the comfort of the holy word of God, which from writing receiveth his denomination, in being called Scripture: which is nothing else but writing Writing doth a larger good to a greater number and for a longer time then speaking 102 Psal. 19. vox audita perit, litera scripta manet. To shew how much a more faithfull keep­er record is then report, those few mi­racles of our Saviour which were written, are preserved and beleeved; those infinite­ly more that were not writ­ten, are all lost and vanished out of the me­mory of men..

2. That the Church might have a certaine and true rule and Canon, whereby it might judge of all questions, doubts and controversies of Religion, Luke 1. 4. Every mans opini­on else would have been a Bible, and every mans lust a Law.

3. That the faith of men in Christ which was to come, might the better be confirmed, when they should see that written be­fore their eyes which was done by the Mess [...]as, and see all things that were fore-told of him verified in the event.

4. That the purity of Gods worship might be preserved from corruption and the truth propagated among all Nations.

5. To take off excuses from men, that they did not know Rom. 10. 18. civill Lawes are written and published that offend­ers may be excusable.

The Pen-men had a command from God. 1. A publike and outward command, as Jeremie 30. 2. and 36. 2 Moses. Exod. 17. 14. and 34. 17. and John was commanded 12 times in the Reve­lation to write. Rev. 1. 11. and 2. 1. 8. 12. 18. and 3. Ch. 1. 7. and 14. and 14. 13. and 19. v. 9. & 21. 5. 2 an inward command by private inspiration and instinct, 2 Pet. 1. 21.

5. The Scripture is Pure and Holy, It commands all good, and forbids, reproves and condemnes all sinne andAmong the Turkes Poly­lygamy is lawfull, Theft was per­mitted among the Spartans. filthinesse; it restraines not onely from evill words and actions, but [Page 137] thoughts, glances. Those are frequent adjuncts of the word of God, holy, pure, and cleane, Psal. 12. 6. and 18. 31. and 119. 40 Prov. 30. 5. It is pure in its narrations, it speakes purely of things evill and uncleane.

It is termed holyLiterae sacrae di [...]untur [...] scripturae, ut non solùm [...] saecularibus & profan [...] literis, sed etiam [...] qui­buscunque, quae de sacris rebus agunt discernantur. Rom. 1. 2. and 2 Tim. 3. 15. 1. From its efficient principall cause, God who is the holy of holies, holi­nesse it selfe, Esay 6. 3. Dan. 9. 24. he is the author and inditer of it Luke 1. 67. 2 In regard of the instrumentall cause, the Pen-men of it were holy men 2 Pet. 1. 21. Prophets and Apo­stles. 3. From its matter, the holy will of God, A [...]t. 20. 27. the Scripture containes holy and Divine mysteries, holy pre­cepts of life, holy promises, Psal 105. 42. holy Histories. 4. From its end or effect, the holy Ghost by the reading and meditation of the Scripture sanctifieth us, John 17. 17. it sanctifieth likewise all the creatures to our use, so as we may use them with a good conscience, 1 Tim. 4. 5.

From the purityMahomet said his doctrine c [...]me from God, but the bla [...]phemy and villany therein con­tained, sheweth it came from Satan, whereas the purity and perfection of the doctrine contained in the Scripture sheweth that it is from above. Mahomet puts in some ingre­dients of the flesh, gives them liberty to revenge themselves, and to have as many wives as they would. of it, the Scripture is compared to a glasse, Jam. 1. 23. to fire, Jer. 23. 29. to light, Psal. 119. 105. The rea­son of it is, because God himselfe is pure, most pure, Psal. 92. ult. Hab 1. 13.

It is pure. 1. Formally in it selfe, there is no mixture of falshood or error, no corruption or unsoundnesse at all in it Prov. 8. 6. 7. 8. 2. Virtually so as to make others pure, John 15. 3. and 17. 17. Act. 20. 32. It begets grace, Jam. 1. 18. 1 Pet. 1. 23. and preserves and increaseth it, Act. 20. 32. Eph [...]s. 4. 11. 12.

The assertory part is pure; what it affirmes to be is; and what it d [...]nyes to be is not. Psal 19. 7. and 93. 5. Jam. 1. 18. 2 What it promiseth shall be performed, and what it threateneth shall be executed, Numb. 23. 19. 1 Sam. 2. 30. Zach. 1. 6. 3. What it commandeth is good, and what it forbiddeth is evill, Deut. 4. 8. Psal. 119. 108. and 19. 8. 9. Rom. 7. 12.

In other Bookes some truth is taught, some good commend­ed, some kinde or part of happinesse promised: But in the In­spired [Page 138] Oracles of God, all truth is taught, all goodnesse com­manded, Doctor [...] Pre­face to New-mans Concor­dance.all happinesse promised; nay, we may invert the words with Hugo de sancto victore, and say. Quicquid ibi doce­tur es [...] veritas, quicquid praecipitur bonitas, quicquid promittitur fe­licitas. All that is there taught is truth, all that is there commanded is goodnesse, all that is there promised is happinesse.

It is a wonderfull thing, that all the particulars, which the Canticles containe, being taken from marriage,The Gene­rall view of the Holy Scrip­tures. are handled so sincerely that no blemish or spot can be found therein.

Therefore the Scriptures should be preacht, read and heard with holySancta sanctè. affections, and should be reverently mentioned.

The [...]ewes in their Synagogues will not touch the Bible with unwashed hands, they kisse it as often as they open and shut it, they sit not on that seat where it is laid, and i [...] it fall on the ground,Mr. Gregory in his Preface to observati­ons upon some pass [...]ges of Scriptu [...]e. they fast for a whole day. The Turke writ [...]s upon the outside of his Alcoran. Let no man touch this Book, but he that is pure. I would none might meddle with ours (Alcor [...] signifieth but the Scripture, you need not be afraid of the word) but such as indeed are what other men doe but think themselv [...]s.

6. The Scripture is Perfect. Luke 16. 29. John 5. 39. Psal. 19. and 119. Augustinus affirmat, omniaquae continent fidem & mores, in illis inveniri, quae apertè posita sum in Scriptura Chrysosto­mus Manifesta iti­dem in divin [...] Scripturis esse perhibet, quae­cunque neces­saria. Tertullianus adorat Scripturae p [...]enitudinem, Et vae denunciat He [...]mogeni [...]i quid ijs quae scripta sunt vel de tra [...]at, vel adijciat. Rainoldus 1 Thesi Deut. 4. [...]. and 12. 32.

The perfection of the Scripture is considered 2 wayes.

1. In respect of the matter or the Bookes, in which the holy doctrine was written, all which (as many as were usefull to our salvation) have been kept inviolable in the Church, so that out of them one most perfect and absolute Canon of faith and life was made, and this may be called the Integrity of the Scrip­ture.

2. In respect of the forme, viz. of the sence or meaning of these Canonicall Books, or of Divine truth comprehended in them, which Books containe most fully and perfectly the whole truth necessary and sufficient for the salvation of the elect, and therefore the Scriptures are to be esteemed, a sole ad­equate, totall and perfect measure and rule both of faith and manners, and this is the sufficiency of the Scriptures, which is attributed to it in a twofold respect.

[Page 139] 1. Absolutely in it selfe,De Scripturae plenitudine & perfectione quid sentiat Maldo­na [...]us, vide ad Joan 7. 4. and that in a threefold considera­tion. 1. Of the Principle; for every principle, whether of a thing or of knowledge, ought to be the perfect, since demon­stration and true conclusions are not deduced from that which it imperfect, therefore it is necessary that the holy Scrip­ture being the first only immediate principle of all true doctrine should be most perfect.De Scripturae integritate vide Estium ad Galat. 3. 10. See Bp▪ Vshers Body of Divinity, p. 18. 19, 20, 21. 2 Tim. 3. 16. 17 John 15. 15. Acts 20. 27. Bene habet, ut iis quae sunt Scripta, contentus sis Hilary [...]

2. Of the Subject, for it hath all Essentiall parts, matter and forme, and integrall, Law and Gospell, and is wholy perfect, both

1. Absolutely, because for the substance, it eitheir expresse­ly or Analogically containes the doctrine, concerning Faith and Manners, which is communicable and profitable for us to know, which may be proved also by induction, that all ne­cessary opinions of Faith or precepts of life are to be found in the holy Scripture.

2. Relatively,In every age there was re­vealed that which was suf­ficient to sal­vation, and yet now no more then is suffici­ent; the Word it selfe is not now, but the revelation only is more perfect. because as it hath a perfection of the whole, so of the parts in the whole; that perfection is called essen­tiall, this quantitative. For all the Books are Sufficient with an essentiall perfection, although integrally they have not a sufficiency of the whole, but only their own, yet so that at distinct times every part sufficed for their times; but all the parts in the whole are but sufficient for us.

3. In its effect and operation it makes men perfect, 2 Tim 3. 16. 17. Rom. 15. 4. John 2. ult & 5. 39.

2. As opposed to unwritten Traditions, all which it ex­cludes by its sufficiency;The old Te­stament was sufficient for the Jewes, but both the new and old make but one com­pleate body for the Church now. Singuli libri sunt suffi­cientes suffi [...] ­cientia par [...]um ad quam ordina­tae sunt; [...] verò Scriptura est sufficiens essen­tiali sufficientia per Libros singu los fusa. Jun. Animad▪ in Bellarm. Con­trov. Primae, capite quar [...]. but we doe not understand by Tra­ditions generally a Doctrine delivered in Word and Writing; but specially a Doctrine not written by Prophets or Apostles, whether Dogmaticall, Historicall▪ or Ceremoniall; for a per­fect reason of the primary opinions belonging to Faith and Manners is delivered in Scripture; and those things which are out of, beside, or against the Scripture, doe not binde the Conscience. 2. Historicall, the Sayings and Deedes of Christ and the Apostles, are perfectly contained in the Scriptures, as [Page 140] many as su [...]fice us for our salvation, John 20. 30, 31. Those things which are delivered out of Scripture are to be esteemed mans writings, 3. Ceremoniall or secondary opinions con­cerning Ecclesiasticall Rites and Customes are for Essentialls, Substantials, and Fundam [...]ntals, generally contained in the Word of God; The accidentals, accessaries, and circumstanti­als are free and mutable. If Traditions agree with the Scrip­ture they are confirmed by it if they oppose it they are dispro­ved by it.

The perfection of the Scriptures is not,

First, Infinite and unlimited that is an incommunicable pro­perty of God; every thing which is from another as the effici­ente ause, is thereby limited both for the nature and qualities thereof.

Secondly,The Scrip­tures are a perfect Rule for matters of Faith, but not a perfect Re­gister for mat­ters of fact. M. Geres. Whitakerus de Script. c. Sexto. quaest. Sex [...]ae. Stapletons, & S [...]rrari [...] are more wary then some other Papists; we are abused (say they) when we are said to hold that the Scrip­ture is not perfect, for (say they) a thing is said to be imper­fect, not when it wants any perfection, but when it wants a perfection due, as a man is not imper­fect, if hee have not an Angels per­fection, because this is not due unto him; they say it is not a perfection due to the Scrip­tures, to teach us very thing necessary to salvation. we doe not understand such a perfection as con­taineth all and singular such things as at any time have beene by Divine inspiration revealed to holy men, and by them delivered to the Church of what sort soever they were; for all the Sermons of the Prophets, of Christ and his Apostles, are not set downe in so many words as they used in the speak­ing of them; for of twelve Apostles seven wrote nothing, which yet preached and did many things; neither are all the deeds of Christ and his Apostles written, for that is contra­dicted, John 20. 30. 31 & 21. 25. but we meane onely a Re­lative perfection which for some certaine ends sake a­greeth to the Scripture as to an instrument, according to which it perfectly comprehendeth all things which have beene, are or shall be necessary for the salvation of the Church.

Thirdly, the severall Bookes of Scripture are indeed perfect, for their own particular ends, purposes, & uses, for which they were intended of the Lord; but yet not any one Booke is sufficient to the common end; the whole Scripture is com­pleate in all the parts thereof, one speaking of that which a­nother doth wholy passe over in silence, one clearely deli­vering what was intricate in another. Paul speakes much of Justification, and Predestination, in the Epistle to [Page 141] the Romans nothing of the Eucharist, or Resurrection.

Fourthly, since God did reveale his will in writing, those writings which by Divine hand and providence were extant in the Church, were so sufficient for the Church in that Age, that it needed not Tradition, neither was it lawfull for any humane wight to adde thereto, or take therefrom; but when God did reveale more unto it, the former onely was not then sufficient without the latter.

Fifthly, the holy Scripture doth sufficiently containe and deliver all Doctrines which are necessary for us to eternall sal­vation, both in respect of Faith and good works,Perinde sunt ea quae ex Scriptu­ris colliguntu [...] atque ea quae scribuntur. Na­zianzen. and most of these it delivereth to us expressely and in so many words, and the rest by good and necessary consequence. The Baptisme of Infants, and the consubstantiality of the Father and of the Sonne, are not in those words expressed in Scripture, yet is the truth of both cleerely taught in Scripture, and by evi­dent proofe may thence be deduced; that Article of Christs descent into Hell, totidem verbis is not in the Scripture, yet it may be deduced thence, Acts 2. Wee shall now lay downe some propositions or Theoremes about the sufficiency of Scrip­ture.

1. In every Age of the Church,Catholici in perfectione Scripturae, Papistae [...]n im­perfectione, totius causae, id est, omnium controversia­rum de Religi­ [...]ne proram & puppim constitu [...]nt C [...]ani [...]rus [...]m. Prim [...] de canone lib. Octavo. c. primo. the Lord hath revealed so much supernaturall truth as was for that age necessary unto salvation, his wayes he made knowne to Moses, Psal. 103. 7. and his statutes to Israel, Deut. 4. 6. Psal. 147. 20. Heb. 1. 1. Therefore that is an erroneous opinion, that before the Law written men were saved by the Law of nature, and in the time of the Law by the Law of Moses, and since in the time of the Gospel by the Word of grace.

2. The substance of all things necessary to salvation, ever since the fall of Adam hath beene, and is one and the same, [Page 142] as the true Religion hath beene one and unchangeable.

1. The knowledge of God and Christ is the summe of all things nec [...]ssary to salvation, John 17. 3. Col. 2. 2. but this knowledge was ever necessary. Jer 9. 23. Acts 4. 12. the Fa­thers indeed saw Christ more obscurely and aenigmatically, we more clearely, distinctly and perspicuously, but yet they knew him and believed in him unto salvation as well as wee, John 8. 56.1 Cor. 10. [...], 2, 3.

2. The Covenant of grace which God made with man is an everlasting Covenant, therein the Lord hath revealed him­selfe to be one and unchangeable; as in nature so in will, Heb. 13. 8. Rom▪ 3. 29. shewing that as God is one in nature, truth and constancy, and that as well toward the Gentiles as toward the Jewes, so hee would justifie both the circumcision and uncircumcision, the Jew and the Gentile by one way of Religion; that is to say, through faith and belief in his Son Jesus Christ.

3. Christ and his Apostles professed and taught no new Religion, but the same which the Scriptures of the old Te­stament did before instruct, Mat [...]hew 5. 17 John 5. 39. Acts 10 43, Luke 24. 25, 26, 27, 44. 45. Acts 18 28. & 17. 7. & 26. 22. & 28. 23. Rom. 6. 26. Therefore the beleeving Jewes and the converted Gentiles are s [...]iled the children of faithfull Abra­ham being justified by Faith as Abraham was.Math. 8. 11. Lu 19. 9. Gal. 3. 7. 8. 29. Rom. 4 15, 16. Whence wee may conclude that before, under and after the Law since the fall of Adam, there was never but one true Catholick Religion, or way to Heaven and happinesse.

3 The Word of God being uttered in old time sundry ways, was at length made knowne by writing; the Lord stirring up and by his holy Spirit inspiring his servants, to write his Will and Pleasure.

4 So long as there was any truth in any Age, necessary to bee more fully and clearly knowne then was already revealed in the Bookes of Moses, it pleased God to stir up holy men whom he Divinely inspired, and sufficiently fur­nished to make the Truth knowne unto the Church; thus after Moses during the time of the Law, the Lord raised [Page 143] up Prophets, who opened the perfect way of life unto the Church of the old Testament more clearely, then it was before manifested in the Bookes of Moses, the time and Age of the Church requiring the same. The Church of the Jewes in the severall Ages thereof was sufficiently taught, and instructed in all things necessary to salvati­on by the writings of M [...]ses and the Prophets, which ap­peares.

1. In that our Saviour being asked of one what hee should doe that hee might inherite eternall life,Some Pa­pists say the Scriptures are not imperfect, because they send us to the Church which is the perfect Rule, and therefore they are perfect implicitè though not explicitè: but so I might say every rust­ick were a per­fect Rule of Faith, because he can shew me the Pope, who is the in­fallible judge. If the Scripture send to the Church to learne that which is not in the Scripture, by this sending shee confesseth her imperfecti­on. See Moulins buckler of faith p. 45. answered, what is written in the Law and Prophets, how Readest thou? Luke 10. 25, 26. and out of the Scripture hee declared him­selfe to be the Saviour of the World, foretold and promised, Matthew 21. 44. & 26. 31. Luke 4 21. & 24, 25, 26, 27, 44 John 3. 14.

2. The answer of Abraham to the Rich man, sending his friends to Moses and the Prophets, sheweth that they suf­ficed to instruct the faithfull Jewes in all things neces­sary to salvation, Luke 16. 29, 30. by them they might learne how to obtaine Life and escape Death, when hee saith, Let them heare them, he meaneth them onely, as that place is meant, Mat. 17. 5.

3. The Jewes themselves acknowledged the sufficiency of those writings, to leade them unto life and happinesse, John 5. 39.

5. The Prophets did expound the Law of God and speake more plainely, precisely and distinctly touching the comming of the Messias, then Moses did; but the last full and cleare Will of God touching the salvation of man was not manifested by them; that was together, and at once to be published and taught by the Messias, who also at his comming did establish that order in the Church of God, which was to continue therein for ever.

For 1. Christ was ordained of the Father to bee the great Doctor of his Church, a Prophet more excellent then the rest that were before him, both in respect of his Person, Office Manner of receiving his Doctrine, and the excellency of the Doctrin which he delivered.

[Page 144] 2. This was well knowne not onely among the Jewes,John 1. 18. and 3. 12. Esay 61. 1. 2. Heb. 1. 1 and 2. 3. Act. 1. 3. Matth. 11. 25. 27. but also among the Samaritanes, in so much that the woman of Samaria could say, I know when the Messias is come, he will tell us all things. John 4. 25.

3. The time wherein God spake unto us by his Sonne, is called the last dayes or the last time. Heb. 1. 2. 1 Pet. 1. 20. to note that we are not hereafter to expect or looke for any fuller or more cleare Revelation of Divine mysteries then that which was then delivered.

4. Christ is called a mediator of the New Testament or the new Covenant, Heb. 9. 15. because all things are established by him as they ought to continue for ever; for that which is old decayeth and is ready to vanish, but that which is new abideth, Heb. 8. 13.

5. It pleased the Lord in great wisdome to reveale the Co­venant of grace to the Church that she might not despaire; but obscurely at the first that she might earnestly long for the coming of that Messiah, who was to make known what he had heard and seene of the Father, which dispensation was needfull, that the grace of God might not be contemned, as haply it would have been, if God had fully revealed and made knowne his bounty unto man, before he had seen his misery, and the necessity thereof. Our Saviour Christ for substance of doctri [...]e necessary to salvation, taught nothing which was not before in some sort contained in the writings of Moses and the Prophets,Matth. 22. 32. John 5. 46. Luke 24. 44. 45. out of whom he confirmed his doctrine; but that which was in them more obscurely, Enigmatically and briefely, he explained more excellently, fully and cleerely; the Apostles proved their doctrine out of the Books of Moses and the Prophets, Act. 17. 11. and 26. 22. Luke 24. 27. Rom. 1. 2. Act. 28. 23.

6. All things necessary in that manner as we have spoken, were taught and inspired to the Apostles by our Saviour Christ, and there were no new inspirations after their times; nor are we to expect further hereafter, which we prove

1. By places of Scripture, John 14. 26. he that teacheth all things, omitteth nothing; Christ said all things to his Apostles as appeares, John 15. 15. and 17. 8. John 16. 13.

[Page 145] 2. By reasons drawne from thence, 1. The plentifull pouring forth of the spirit was deferred till the glorifying of Christ; he being glorified, it was no longer to be delayed; Christ being exalted on the right hand of God, obtained the Spirit promised, and that was not according to measure, and poured the same in such abundance, as it could be poured forth and received by men, so that was fulfilled which was foretold by Joel 2. 28. Act. 2. 33. John 3. 34. 35. Act. 2. 16 17. 2. The Scripture and the prophesies of the old Testament doe teach and declare that all Divine truth should fully and at once be manifested by the Messias who is the onely Prophet, High-Priest and King of his Church; there is no other Revelation pro­mised, none other needfull besides that which was made by him. Esay 11. 9. Act 3. 23. 24. Joel. 2. 23. Vide Mercerum in loc. there­fore the last inspiration was made to the Apostles and none o­ther to be expected. The doctrine of the Law and the Pro­phets did suffice to salvation; yet it did send the Fathers to ex­pect somewhat more perfect. 1 Pet. 1. 10 but to the preaching of the Gospell nothing is to be added, we are not sent to waite for any clearer vision.

3. So long as any truth needfull to be known, was unre­vealed or not plainly taught, the Lord did stirre up some Pro­phet or other, to teach the same unto the Church; therefore the Lord surcea [...]ng to speake since the publishing of the Go­spell of Jesus Christ, and the delivery of the same in writing, is unto us a manifest token, that the whole will of God is now brought to light, and that no new Revelation is to be expected.

Our 7th Proposition is, Christ and his Apostles were able to propound and teach by lively voyce, that doctrine which pertaines to perfection, John 1. 18. and 11. 11. 32. John 8. 26. and the Apostles perfectly taught all things which are or shall be necessary for the Church, Act. 20. 27. Gal. 1. 7. 8. 9. The doctrine of repentance, and remission of sinnes in the name of Christ, doth summarily containe all things necessarily to sal­vation, Act. 5. 31. and 11. 11. but this doctrine the Apostles preached, Act. 13. 38. 39. Luke 24. 47.

The word of God is not onely Milke for Babes, but strong [Page 146] Meat for men of ripe yeares, 1 Cor. 3. 1. 2. Heb. 5. 14. and 6. 1. 2. therefore it containeth not onely matter of preparation but of perfection.

Or 8th Proposition is, The sum and substance of that hea­venly doctrine which was taught by the Prophets and Apostles, was by them committed to writing; the Holy Ghost giving them a commandement, and guiding their hands therein, that they could not erre, so that the word preached and written by them is one in substance, both in respect of matter, which is the will and word of God, and inward forme, viz. the divine truth immediately inspired, though different in the externall forme and manner of delivery.

Our 9th Proposition is, that nothing is necessary to be known of Christians over and above that which is found in the old Testament, which is not clearly and evidently contained in the Bookes of the Apostles and Evangelists.

Our last Proposition is, that all things which have beene, are, or shall be necessary to the salvation of the Church to the end of the world, are perfectly contained in the writings of the Prophets and Apostles, long since divinely inspired, written and published, and now received by the Church of God, so that now no new Revelation or Tradition besideAdditio ad Scripturam fit tripliciter. 1. In quo addi­tum est contra­rium & est erroris. 20. In quo ad­ditum est diver­sum & est prae­sumptionis. 30. In quo ad­ditum est conso­num & est fide­lis instructionis. those inspi­red, published and comprehended in the Scripture are necessary for the salvation of the Church.

There are 3 opinions, 1. Of the Papists who altogether de­ny it. 2. Of the Socinians which would have all things ex­pressely contained in Scripture, and if it be not totidem verbis they reject it. 3. Of the Orthodoxe, who say it containes all things expressely or by consequence.

The expresse testimonies of Scripture, forbidding even An­gels to addeThat do­ctrine of reli­gion, to which God would have nothing added, and from which he would have nothing taken away, must needs be per­fect. Illud perfectum in [...]uo genere cui nihil in eo gene­re aut addi, aut diminui potest. Psal. 19. 8. the Heb [...]ew word signifieth that perfection cui nihil deest. any thing to those things which are commanded by the Lord, doe prove the perfection of the Scripture, Deut. 4. 5. 12. and 12. 32. and 30. 10. and 5. 12, 13, 14. and 28. 58. Josh. 1. 7, 8. Prov. 30. 5. wherefore the Apostle commands that no man presume above that which is written, 1. Cor. 4. 6. 2 Tim. 3. 15, 16. Divers reasons may be drawn from this fa­mous place to prove the perfection of the Scripture.

[Page 147] 1. The Apostle teacheth,2 King. 5. 8. 1 Tim. 6. 11. that the Scriptures are able to make a man wise to salvation: therefore there needeth no further counsell nor direction thereunto,Salus nostra Christus est, salutis via fides, viae [...]ux, Scrip­tu [...]a Raynold [...]s. [...] It is t [...]ken col­lectivè not distributivè. Si [...] non totam sed om­nem significaret, eo fort [...]us futu­rum argumen­tum nostrum: n [...]m si p [...]rtes singulae suffice­rem, tum multo magis omnes Chamierus. but out of the Scriptures.

2▪ The Scriptures are able to make the man of God, that is the Minister of the word, perfect and compleat unto every worke of his Ministery, whether it be by teaching true doctrine, or confuting false, by exhorting and setting forward to that which is good, or dehorting from that which is evill.

Paul would not have us thinke that all and every writing, viz. of Plato Aristotle is divinely inspired, for in the 15. v. he not onely useth the plurall number, calling them the holy * writings; thereby to note the word of God, and not one sen­tence or Booke, but all the sentences and Bookes of the Scrip­ture, and also useth the Article, which hath force of an uni­versall note, therefore the Greeke word the whole Scripture signifieth the whole altogether, and not every part severally in this place. 2. No one part of holy Scripture is able to make the Minister perfect, therefore it must needs be understood of the whole body of holy Scripture, wherein this sufficiency is to be found. The Ancient Fathers and other Divines, have from this place proved the perfection and sufficiency of the Scripture in all things necessary to salvation.

We doe not reason thus (as the Papists charge us) it is pro­fitable, therefore it is sufficient; but because 1. The Scripture is profitable for all theseNul'us Papista aptè & plenè huic argumento unquam respon­dit, aut respen­d [...]bit Whitake [...]us. ends (viz. to teach sound doctrine, to refute false opinions, to instruct in holy life, and correct ill manners) therefore it is sufficient;Is not the Scripture (said Hawkes the Martyr) sufficient for my salvation? yes, saith one of Bonners Chaplain [...]s, it is sufficient for our salvation, but not for our instruction. Hawkes answered, God send me the salvation and take you the instruction. Fox. Marty [...]ol. or it is profitable to all those functions of the Ministery, that a Minister of the Church may be perfect; therefore much [...]more for the people. Argumen­tum non nititur unica illa voce (utilis) sed toto sententiae camplexu. Chamierus. Hitherto of the perfection of the Scripture absolute­ly considered, now followes the sufficiency thereof in opposi­tion to unwritten traditions or verities, as the Papists speake.

[Page 148] Doctor Davenant premiseth these things for the better under­standing of the sufficiency of the Scripture.Episc. Dav. de Judice Con­trovers. c. 5.

1. We speake of the State of the Church (saith he) in which God hath ceased to speake to men by the Prophets or Apostles divinely inspired, and to lay open new Revelations to his Church.

2. We grant that the Apost [...]es living and preaching, and the Canon of the New Testament being not yet sealed, their Gospell delivered viva voce, was no lesse a rule of faith and worship, then the writings of Moses and the Prophets.

3. We doe not reject all the traditions of the Church; for we embrace certaine Historicall and Ceremoniall ones; but we deny that opinions of faith or precepts of worship can be con­firmed by unwritten traditions.

4. We call that an opinion of faith, to speake properly and strictly when a Proposition is revealed by God, which exceeds the capacity of nature, and is propounded to be beleeved, as necessary to be knowne to salvation. Fundamentall opinions are those which by a usuall and proper name are called Articles of faith.

5. What is not in respect of the matter an Article of saith, may be a Proposition to be beleeved with a Theologicall faith if you looke to the manner of revealing, as that the Sunne is a great light, the Moone a lesse, Gen. 1. 16. that Rachel was beautifull, Leah bleare-eyed.

The Papists doe not cease to accuse the Scripture of imper­fection Minima ve­ritatis particula in Scripturis continetur Charronaeus.and insufficiency, as not containing all things neces­sary to salvation. The Councell of Trent sess. 4. decret. 1. Saith that the truth and discipline is contained in libris scriptis & sine scripto traditionibus. The PapistsBellarm. de verbo Dei l. 4. c. 3▪ Rhemists anno­tat. [...]n John 21. [...]ect. 3. and annotat. in 2 Thess [...] 2. 16. and annotat [...] in Act. 15. sect. 3. and in Apoc. [...] sect. 1. generally divide the word of God into the word written and traditions. They affirme that there are many things belonging to Christian faith, which are neither contained in the Scriptures openly nor secretly. This opinion is maintained by the Papists, but it was not first in­vented by them. The Jewish Fathers did use the traditions of the Elders, and it hath been said of old, Marke 7. 5. Matth. 5. 21. for their errours and superstitions, yea, at length they af­firmed [Page 149] firmed that God gave to Moses in mount Sinai the Scripture and the Cabala, or a double Law, the one written, the other Ass [...]rimus in Scripturis non contineri ex­pressè totam do­ctrinam necessa­riam, sive de fide sive de morib [...]s & proi [...]de praeter verbum Dei scriptum requiri etiam verbum Dei non scrip­tum, idest, di­vinas & A­postolicas tradi­tiones. Bellarm. l quarto de ver­bo Dei non scripto. Omnes libros veter [...]s & novi. Testamenti, nec non traditiones ipsas tum ad fi­dem tum ad m [...] ­res pertinentes, tanquam vel ore tenus à Christo vel à Spiritu Sancto dictatas, & continua suc­cessione in ecclesia catholica conservatas part pieta [...]is affectu ac reverentia suscipit ac veneratur Tridentiva synodus. sess 4. Sect. 1.unwritten. The Tridentine Fathers session 4th doe com­mand Traditions to be received with the same reverend affecti­on and piety with which we embrace the Scripture; and because one Bishop in the Councell of Trent refused this, he was exclud­ed. In the meane space, they explaine not what those traditi­ons are which must be so regarded, none of them would ever give us a list and Catalogue of those Ordinances, which are to be defended by the authority of unwritten traditions, not of the word committed to writing; onely they affirme in generall, whatsoever they teach or doe, which is not in the Scripture, that it is to be put into the number of Traditions unwritten. The cause of it selfe is manifest, that at their pleasure they might thrust what they would upon the Church, under the name of Traditions. Vide Whitak. de Script. controviae quaest Sexta. c. 5. See also Moulins Buckler of Faith p. 51.

Lindan the Papist was not ashamed to say, that it had been bet­ter for the Church, if there had been no Scripture at all, but onely Traditions. For (saith he) we may doe well enough with Tra­ditions though we had no Scripture; but could not doe well enough with Scripture, though we had no Traditions.

Baldwin saith, a Testament may be either scriptum or nuncu­pativum, set downe in writing or uttered by word of mouth. But a nuncupative Testament, or Will made by word of mouth without writing, must be proved by solemne witnesses. The solemne witnesses of Christs Testament are the Prophets, and Apostles. Let Papists if they can, prove by them that part of the Testament of Christ is unwritten.

Because our AdversariesBellarmine hath a whole Book de verbo Dei n [...] spripto, of the word of God unwritten. doe contend for Traditions not written hotly and zealously, against the totall perfection of the Scripture, that they might thrust upon us many points (by their owne confession) not contained in Scripture; and usurpe to themselves irrefragable authority in the Church, it shall not [Page 150] be amisse largely to consider of this matter: And 1. to enquire of the signification of the words Greek and Latine, which are translated Tradition; and then to come to the matter which is controverted between us and the Papists.

The Greeke word signifying Tradition, [...], which in the new Testament is used only in these places Matth. 15. 2. 3. 6. Marke 7. 3. 5. 8. 9. 13. 1 Cor. 11. 2. Gal. 1. 14. Col. 2. 8. 2 Thess. 2. 15. and 3. 6. and in the vulgar Latine is rendred Traditio, Matth. 15. 2. 3. 6. Marke 7. 3. 5. 8. 9. 13. Gal. 1. 14. Col. 2. 6. 2 Thess. 2. 15. and 3. 6. and praecepta 1 Cor. 11. 2. Whereto the Rhemists translation (which seemeth to be but a bare translati­on of the vulgar Latine) doth wholly agree, using the word Tradition every where, excepting 1 Cor. 11. 2. where they use the word precepts, but set in the margent the word Tradition. Arias Montanus in his Interlineall translation doth render it traditio. Beza doth commonly expresse it by the word traditio. In the English Geneva Bible, we translate it by the word instru­ction, tradition, calling mens precepts traditions▪ the Apostles doctrine Ordinances, or instructions, not that we feared the word tradition, but because we would not have the simple de­ceived, as though the unwritten verities of the papists were there­by commended, or as though we had some honourable con­ceite of them; and what we did herein, the signification of the word doth give us free liberty to doe; in our last English Tran­slation we use the word tradition, as often as the vulgar Latine or the Rhemists have done; not that we were driven by feare or shame to alter what was done before, but because we would cut off all occasion of carping at our translation, though never so unjust.

First we contend not about the nameThe word originally may import any thing which is delivered howsoever ei­ther by word or writing. Thus what­soever we have received in the Scriptures, was first tradition as delivered by word, and still is tradition because it is deliver­ed in writing. But though the word in it selfe have this generall and indifferent significati­on of any thing that is delivered, yet in our disputation it is restrained to one onely manner of delivering by word and relation onely, and not by Scripture. We deny that either in the Law or Gospell there was any thing left unwritten which concerneth us to know, for attain­ing of true faith and righeteousnesse towards God. Abbot against Bishop. tradition, the word may lawfully be used, if the sense affixed thereto be lawfull. [Page 151] 2. All traditions unwritten are not simply condemned by us. 3. The Apostles delivered by lively voyce many obser­vations dispensable, and alterable, according to the cir­cumstances of time and persons, appertaining to order and comelinesse; onely we say that they were not of the sub­stance of Religion, that they were not generall concerning all Churches. 4. We receive the number and names of the au­thors of Books Divine and Canonicall, as delivered by tradi­tion; but the Divine truth of those Books is in it self clear and evident unto us, not depending on the Churches authority. The Books of Scripture have not their authority (quoad nos) from the approbation of the Church, but winne credit of them­selves, and yeeld sufficient satisfaction to all men of their di­vine truth, whence we judge the Church that receiveth them to be led by the Spirit of God; yet the number, authors, and integrity of the parts of those Books, we receive as delivered by tradition. 5. The continued practise of such things as are nei­ther expressely contained in Scripture, nor the example of such practise expressely there delivered, though the grounds, reasons, and cause of the necessity of such practise be there contained, and the benefit and good that foloweth of it, we receive upon tradition, though the thing it selfe we receive not for traditi­on. Of this sort is the Baptisme of Infants, which may be named a Tradition, because it is not expressely delivered in Scripture, that the Apostles did Baptize Infants, nor any ex­presse precept there found that they should so doe; yet is not this so received by bare and naked tradition, but that we finde the Scripture to deliver unto us the ground of it.I [...] Matth. 15.

Bellarmine and Maldonate Vide Whita­kerum de Script. c. 9. quaest. Sexta pag. 405. & 406. In his Book de verbo Dei standing for unwritten traditions as a part of the word of God, he will have Baptisme of In­fants to be one, but when he disputes for Baptisme of Infants against Anabaptists, then he heaps up Texts of Scripture. Mr. Blakes. Birth. priv. both doe confesse that the Bap­tisme of Infants may be proved by the Scripture; and therefore Maldonate concludes, nobis verò traditio non est. Bellarmine * (as Whitaker shewes) contradicts himselfe; for first he saith, that the Baptisme of Infants is an unwritten tradition, and after, that the Catholicks can prove Baptisme of Infants from the Scriptures.

[Page 152] To this head we may referre the observation of the Lords day, the precept whereof is not found in Scripture, though the practise be. And if for that cause any shall name it a Tra­dition, we will not contend about the word, if he grant with­all, that the example Apostolicall hath the force of a Law, as implying a common equity concerning us no lesse then it did them.

If any man shall call the summary comprehension of the chief heads of Christian doctrine contained in the Creed, Symbolum Apostolicum ex traditione est secundum formu­lam rationemque verborum; at secundum sub­stantiam est scriptura ipsissi­ma-lunius Ani­mad. in Bel­larm. controv. 1. l. 4. Negamus ullum esse in toto Sym­b [...]lo vel minimum articulum, qui non disertè constet, ac totidem penè dixerim verbis in Scriptura sancta: adeo ut merito dici possit opus tesellatum, utpote constans ex varijs locis hinc inde excerptis, atque in unum collatis, artificioseque compositis. Chamierus.commonly called the Apostles Creed, a tradition, we will not contend about it. For although every part thereof be con­tained in Scripture; yet the orderly connexion, & distinct expli­cation of those principall Articles gathered into an Epitome, wherein are implyed, and whence are inferred all conclusions Theologicall, is an Act humane, not divine, and in that sense may be called a Tradition. But let it be noted withall, that we admit it not to have that credit as now it hath, to be the rule of faith; for this is the priviledge of holy Scripture. The Creed it selfe was gathered out of Scripture, and is to be expounded by the Scripture; therefore it is not given to be a perfect Canon of faith and manners.

By Tradition is noted 1. Whatsoever is delivered by men divinely inspired and immediately called,2 Thess. 2. 15. Hoc fuit primum Pharisaeorum dogma, quòd negarunt omnia quae spectant ad religionem script [...] esse. Joseph. Antiq. l. 13. whether it be by live­ly voyce or by writing. 2. In speciall it notes the word of God committed to writing, 1 Cor. 15. 3. 3. It signifies rites ex­pressely contained in writing. Act. 6. 14. 4. It betokens that which is not committed to writing but onely delivered by live­ly voyce of the Apostles. 5. It signifieth that which is invent­ed and delivered by men not immediately called. In Scrip­ture Tradition is taken 1. in good part, for any rite or do­ctrine of God delivered to his Church either by word or writ­ing, whether it concern faith and good works, or the exter­nall government of the Church. 2 Thess. 2. 15. 1 Cor. 11. 15. & 23. [Page 153] 2. In ill part, it noteth the vaine idle and unwarrantable inventions of men, whether Doctrine or Rites, Matthew, 15. 3. Marke 7. 8, 9.

When the Fathers speake reverently of Traditions, by the word Tradition, either they understand the holy Scripture, which also is a Tradition, it is a Doctrine left unto us; Tradìtiones istae non Scrip­tae [...]harisaeorum nurquam in N. Test. dicuntur simpliciter & absolutè Traditiones, sed notantur semper aliquo el [...]gio, ut quum dicuntur. Traditiones seniorum, Traditiones humanae; siquando traditionis Vox ponitur simpli­citer, sumitur in bonam partem & ipsum Dei verbum Traditio est Cameron in Mat. 15.Or by Traditions, they understand observations touching Ecclesiastill policy D. Moulin.

Reasons confirming the sufficiency of Scripture against Popish traditions.

1. The whole Church is founded upon the Doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles;Ephes. 2. 20. Apoc. 21. 24. Ephes. 41. 4. which were not true if any doctrin was necessary to salvation not revealed by the Prophets and Apostles.

2. The Prophets,Christ taxeth the ignorance of Scripture, commends the knowledge of it, was carefull to fulfill the Scripture, did interprete it & gave ability to understand it. and Christ and his Apostles condemne Traditions, Esay 29. 13. Mathew 15. 3. 6. Col. 2. 8. There­fore they are not to be received; Christ opposeth the Com­mandement and Scriptures to Traditions, therefore he con­demnes Traditions not written.

If the Jewes might not adde to the Bookes of Moses, Deut. [...]. 2. & 12. ult. then much lesse may wee adde to the Canon of Scripture so much increased since.

3. Those things which proceede from the will of God onely, can be made knowne to us no other way but by the Revelation of the Scripture; all Articles of Faith and Pre­cepts of Manners, concerning substance of Religion pro­ceede from the Will of God onely, Mathew 16. 17. 1 Cor. 2. 9, 10, 11.

Locus est egregi [...]s, eoque nastri omnes utuntur, qui contra Papisti­cas Traditi [...]nes aliquid scr [...]bunt Whitakerus longè illustrissimus locus est. Chamierus Gal. 1. 8. As in this place, the Apostle would have no­thing received besides that which he Preached, so 1 Cor. 4. 6. He will have nothing admitted above or more then that which is written. See Act. 26. 22.

[Page 154] John 20. ult. whence it is manifest that all necessary things may be found in Scripture, since full and perfect Faith ari­seth from thence, which eternall salvation followeth.

Bellarmin saith, John speakes onely of the miracles of Christ, that hee wrote not all because those sufficed to perswade the World that Christ was the Sonne of God. Those words indeede in the 30 Verse are to be understood of Christs Miracles, but those in the 31. Verse rather are to be generally interpreted; for the History onely of the Miracles sufficeth not to obtaine Faith or Life.

The question betwixt the Papists and us is, de ipsa doctrina tradita, Nobis ad­versus Papistas non de quibusvi [...] traditionibus controversia est, sed duntaxat de traditionibus dogmatum: qui­bus continentur fides & mores, [...]oc est, de ipsa Doctrina. Chamierus l. 9. de Canone. c. 1. non de tradendi modo, touching the substance of the Doctrine delivered, not of the manner of delivering it, and of Doctrine delivered as the Word of God, not of Rites and Ceremonies. They maintaine that there bee doctrinall Traditions, or Traditions containing Articles of Faith, and substantiall matters of Divine worship and Religion, not found in the holy Scriptures, viz. Purga­tory, Invocation of Saints, Adoration of Images, Papall Monarchy.

Bellarmin, (and before himVir & ob ingenium la­boremve, & ob Episcopatus dignitatem in­ter Papistas non postremi nominis. Chamierus. vide Malodanat. ad Joan 16. 12. & Estium ad Rom. 16. 17. Peresius,) distinguisheth Traditions both from the authours and the matter.

From the Authours, into Divine, Apostolicall, and Eccle­siasticall.

From the matter into those which are concerning Faith, and concerning Manners, into perpetuall and temporall, uni­versall and particular, necessary and free.

Divine Traditions,Received from Christ himselfe teach­ing the Apostles. that is, Doctrines of Faith and of the worship and service of God, any of which we deny to be but what are comprised in the written Word of God.

Apostolike Traditions (say they) are such Ordinances as the Apostles prescribed for ceremony and usage in the [Page 155] Church, as the observation of the memoriall of the Nativity, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, the alteration of the se­venth day from the Jewes Sabbath, to the day of Christs Resur­rection.

Ecclesiasticall,Illud erat ex­plicandum, qu [...] discrimine istae. Traditiones tam multiplices gra­duque habendae sunt. Nullum discrimen fa­ciunt, fors [...]n ergo volunt, Ecclesiasticas etiam Traditi­ones parem cum divinis. Scripturis Au­thoritatem habere. ancient Customes which by de­grees through the Peoples consent obtained the force of a Law.

Traditions concerning Faith, as the perpetuall Virgi­nity of Mary the Mother of Christ, and that there are onely foure Gospels; of Manners, as the signe of the Crosse made in the forehead, Fasts and Feastings to be observed on cetaine dayes.

Perpetuall, which are to bee kept to the end of the World.

Temporall for a certaine time, as the observation of cer­taine legall Ceremonies, even to the [...]ull publishing of the Gospell.

Universall Traditions, which are delivered to the whole Church to be kept,Whitakerus de Scrip c. 3 quaest. 6. as the observation of Easter, Whitsontide and other great Feasts.

Particular, which is delivered to one or more Churches, as in the time of Austin fasting on the Sabbath day, which was kept only at Rome.

Necessary Traditions,Traditionum [...] perniciosa est, hac [...]emul aper [...]a. nihil est qu [...]d non i [...]de [...]umpat in Ecclesiam. Chamierus. which are delivered in the forme of a Precept, that Easter is to bee celebrated on the Lords Day.

Free, which are delivered in the forme of counsell, as sprink­ling of holy water.

Objection, The Scripture it not perfect with a perfection of parts, because many parts are either defective or ex­cessive

1. Some labour wi [...]h a defect,1 Chron. 1. 18. as Genesis 11. 12. a per­son is omitted in the Genealogy of Cainaan, which was the Sonne of Aph [...]xad,Luke 3. 36. but it is reckoned in Luke in Christs Genealogy, not in the old Testament, therefore there is a defect.

[Page 156] Sol. Luke reckons it according to the vulgar opinion of the Jewes,Eorum mihi videtur sententia sanior, qui ne­gant vel è Lxx, ve [...]à Luca nomen Cainani fuisse insertum, existima [...]tes potius aliunde irrepsisse post [...]vangelium à Lucà conscrip­tum, cujus suae conjecturae rati­ones habent non l [...]ves, in videre est apud Corne­liam â Lapide­in cap. 11. Geneseos. Ri­vet. Isag. ad Script. Sa [...]. c. 10. vide plu [...]a ibid. Junius in his paralels would have the fault to be in the Septuagint, whom Luke followed, not approving of their er­rour, but yeelding to the time, least the Gospell otherwise should have beene prejudic [...]d; but Bezas opinion is rather to be approved of, that this word is inserted from the Ignorance of those who undertooke to correct this Text, according to the translation of the Seventy Interpreters. For in an Ancient manuscript which Beza followed, this word Cainaan was not to be found, therefore he omitted it in his translation, and so hath our great English Bible.

Ob. There is something found in the Scripture against the Commandement of God, Deut. 4. 2. therefore there is excesse as well as defect; for many Bookes which we beleeve to be Ca­nonicall are added.

Sol. He doth not forbid adding by Gods Command, but from the will of man, for God himselfe added afterward.

The Papists arguments for Traditions answered.

Ob. Bellarmine saith,l. 4▪ de verbo Dei c quarto. Vix ullum vid [...] ­as de Traditio­nibus agentem, qui non hic magn [...] fastu immoretur. Religion was preserved for 2000 yeares from Adam to Moses onely by Tradition; therefore the Scrip­ture is not simply necessary.

Sol. By the like reason I might argue that Religion was long preserved not onely without the Pope of Rome, but also with­out Baptisme and the Lords Supper, with the like institutions; therefore they are not simply necessary; yet none of ours hold the Scriptures simply necessary.Chamierus. Secondly, it is false that Re­ligion was preserved all that while by ordinary Tradition one­ly; Disting [...]nda sunt & tempora & personae; non erant necessariae Scripturae ante legem ergo ne quidem post legem, non erant necessariae Apostolis, ergo ne nobis quidem, negatur consequentia Ratio est, quia aliter Israelitas doceri volui [...] post le­gem Deus, aliter a [...]te legem. Aliter Christus Evangelium voluit Apostolis revelari, aliter nobis praedicari Chamierus.for the living voyce of God sounded most perpetually in the Church, and the doctrine of Religion was conveighed successivly from the Father to the Sonne; which living voyce of God by little and little ceasing, writing afterward succeeded, and hath the same necessity now which Gods living voyce had before.

[Page 157] Ob. Whatsoever things are commended from Scripture are necessary, but so are Traditions, ergo they are necessary. Joh▪ 16. 12. I have yet many things to say unto you; but ye cannot beare them now; therefore (say they) the Lord spake many things which are not written.

Sol. 1. He saith not that he had many things to tell them,John [...]. 2 [...]. Jansenius affir­mat haec multa non fuisse diver­sa ab illis, quae hactenus docu­erat, sed illustri­orem illorum explica [...]ionem, & hue adducit illud appositè, quod habetur 1 Cor. 3. Chri­stus testatur sè discip [...]lis su [...]s omnia tradi­disse Joan. 15. 15 nihil ergo tacuit. which he had not taught them before, but which they were not now so well capable of: for it appeareth that he taught them that which they understood not, and therefore they need­ed to be further taught of them by the holy Ghost, which should not teach them any new thing that Christ had not taught, but onely make them understand that which they had beene taught of our Saviour Christ.

2. If the holy Ghost did teach them any thing which our Saviour Christ had not before spoke unto them of, yet that makes nothing for Traditions; seeing that which the holy spi­rit taught them, he taught them out of the Scriptures.

3. If the holy Ghost should have taught the Apostles some things, which neither Christ had told them of, nor the Scrip­tures had taught them, yet this is rather against the Papists. For that which the holy Ghost taught them, they undoubtedly left in record unto the Church, as being faithfull Stewards, and revealing the whole Counsell of God unto the people.

4. It hath been the practise of Hereticks (as Austine affirm­eth) at all times to cover their dreames and phantasies, with this sentence of our Saviour Christ. Lastly, if it be asked what were those grave and great mysteries, which the Apostles could not for their rudenesse beare; they are forsooth Oyle and Spit­tle in Baptisme; Candles light at noone dayes (which was not in the darker time of the Law) Baptizing of Bels, and such like gue-gaws as the grossest and carnallest men are fittest to receive.

Ob. 2 Thess. 2. 15. Therefore Brethren, stand fast, and hold the Traditions which ye have been taught,Hic locus omni­ [...] celeb [...]rimus est; Papistisque nostris inter pri­mos in delic [...]js. Chamierus. whether by word, or our Epistle. From these words (say our Adversaries) it appeares that all things were not written & nullum Papistae in Scripturis locum probabiliorem inveniunt, saith Whitaker.

The Hereticks (say the Rhemists on this place) purposely, [Page 158] guilefully, and of ill conscience refraine in their translations, from the Ecclesiasticall and most usuall word Tradition, ever­more when it is taken in good part, though it expresse most ex­actly the signification of the Greeke word; but when it [...]ound­eth in their fond fantasie again [...] the Traditions of the Church (as indeed in true sense it never doth) there they use it most gladly. Here therefore and in the like pl [...]ces, that the reader may not so easily like of Traditions unwritten, here commend­ed by the Apostle, they translate [...], [...]onstitutions, Ordinances, and what they can invent else, to hide the truth from the Rimple or unwarry Reader, whose translations have none other end, but to be guile such by art and conveighance.

Thus farre the Rhemists.

Paul taught the Thessalonians some things by word of mouth, which he taught them not in his two Epistles which he wrote unto them; therefore he taught some doctrines which he wrote not, as if that Paul wrote no more Epistles then these two; whereby that which he taught not them in writing unto them, he taught them by writing unto others. Secondly, how fol­loweth this argument? Paul wrote not all the doctrines of God unto the Thessalonians, therefore they are not all written in the Propheticall and Evangelicall writings:2 Tim. 3. 15▪ 16. whereas it is plainly testified,Luke 16. 29. 31. that the Old Testament containeth a perfect rule of the doctrine of salvation; the new being written for a Declaration of the fulfilling and further clearing of that in the Old Testament.Act. 17. 3. Thirdly, it appeareth manifestly in the Acts, what was the summe of that which Paul taught the Thessaloni­ans by word of mouth.What the tr [...] ­dition was he preached is expressed. For there it is witnessed, that Paul taught out of the Scriptures, that it behoved Christ to suffer and rise againe from the dead,2 Thess. 3. 6. and that Jesus was Christ; this teaching then by word is there limited to the Scriptures of the Law and Prophets. Neither ought it to seeme strange; that this was the summe of all which the Apostle taught at Thessalo­nica, 1 Cor. 2. 2: where he tarried so small a while, when amongst the Co­rinthians (where he remained longest of any place, and conse­quently taught most) he sheweth that he taught nothing but Christ and him crucified.

[Page 159] Fourthly, the Apostle himself, in this very place, calling (verse 14.) whatsoever he taught by word, or wrote by the name of the Gospell, doth declare evidently, that he taught no­thing but that which is contained in Scripture, seeing the A­postle defineth the Gospell which he preached, to be that which is contained in the Scriptures.

Fifthly,Doctor [...]ulke against Mar [...]a in his Preface. That the Thessalonians had some part of Christian doctrine, delivered by word of mouth: that is, by the Apostles preaching at such time as he did write unto them, and some part by his Epistles, the Text enforceth us to grant. But that the Church at this day, or ever since the Testament was written, had any Tradition by word of mouth necessary to salvation, which was not contained in the Old and New Testament, we will never grant. The PapistsPapistae maximi, qui u [...]quam fue [...]irt, Traditionarij Chamierus. doe com­monly abuse the name of Tradition, which signi [...]ieth pro­perly a delivery, or a thing delivered for such a matter as is delivered onely by word of mouth, and so received from hand to hand, that is, never put in writing, but hath his credit without the Holy Scripture of God, as the Jewes had their Cabala, and the Scribes and the Pharisees their Traditions besides the Law of God. For the justifying of our translation, it is true, that we alter according to the circumstances of the place, especially considering that the word Tradition, which of it selfe is indifferent, as well to that which is written as to that which is not written, hath been of us and them, appro­priated to note forth onely unwritten constitutions, there­fore we must needs avoide in such places as this, the word Traditions, (though our last translation useth it) where the simple might be deceived, to thinke that the Holy Ghost did over commend any such to the Church, which he would not have committed to writing in the holy Scriptures, and in stead of the word so commonly taken (although it doe not necessa­rily signifie any such matter) we doe use such words as doe tru­ly expresse the Apostles meaning, and the Greeke word doth al­so signifie;Syrus interpre [...] habet praecepta sive mand [...]ta. therefore we use these words Ordinances, or Instru­ctions, Institutions, or the doctrine delivered, all which being of one or neere sence, the Greek word [...] doth signifie, [Page 160] and the same doth Tradition signifie if it be rightly understood.

Ob. 1 Tim. 6. 20. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust.

By the name of pledge (saith Bellarmine) not the Scripture, but the treasure of unwritten doctrine is understood. Deposi­tum (say the Rhemisis) is the whole doctrine of Christianity, being taught by the Apostles, and delivered their successors.

Sol. Though other learned men interprete this pledge or gage to be the gift of the holy Ghost;Cartw. Annotat. on the Rhem. Test. yet we willingly ac­knowledge that it is to be understood of the doctrine of Christi­anity, as that which hath best ground both by circumstance of this, and conferrence of other places. Whence we inferre, that the doctrine of truth is not the Churches d [...]crees, but the Lords; given to the Church to keepe onely, wherewith the title of a pledge cannot stand, unlesse one may lay to pledge a thing in his own hands, since in Popery the Church her selfe maketh the doctrine, which her selfe taketh to pledge: Herein they handle it like a pledge, that they lock it up fast, where the people of God, for whose use it is given to be kept, can­not come unto it.

What had become of the Law of God, if others had not been more faithfull keepers of it then the Priests, to whom the principall Copy thereof, written with the singer of God him­selfe, was committed?

There are some points of faith not contained in Scripture,Hic Achilles est Papistarum, mag no fastu oftentatus ab omnibus & sin­gul [...] qui ver­santur in hac co [...]oversia. Chamierus de Canone. l. 9. c. 8. neither in the Old nor New Testament; therefore it is not per­fect. In the old Testament, no doubt but the females had some remedy, whereby they might be purged from originall sin as well as the males; circumcision was instituted only for the males the Scripture mentions not what was instituted for the females.

In the new Testament, the perpetuall virginity of Mary the mother of Christ.

Two things are considered in circumcisionCicumcisio faeminarum continetur sub illa masculorum. Signum in soli [...] masculis erat, pro utrisque tamen faciebat, si sinem & usum ejus spectes. 1. Signum. 2. Res signata, or the end and use of the signe.

Sol. The thing signified or efficacie of the outward signe of [Page 161] circumcision, was common both to Males and Females; the very institution of circumcision teacheth that; for it was a signe of the Covenant, the Covenant belonged to all which were of the seed of Abraham, if they renounced it not.

Although there were no decision of the other point out of the Scripture,Mariae perpe­tua virginitas non est fidei a [...]ticul [...]s, ideò libenter ample­ctimur eam sententiam quae jam ab initio in­ter Christianos videtur inva­luisse, ut virgo fu [...]rit, hoc est, pura à coitu viri non tantum in toto Christi generationis mysterio, quod sanè ut credamus necesse est, sed etiam toto de­inceps vitae tempore. Ch [...]mierus de canone l. 9. c. 9. yet would it not thence [...]ollow which the Je­suits pretend, that some necessary point of Christianity want­ed the ground of holy Scripture, it being sufficient for us to know, that she was a Virgin when our Saviour Christ was borne of her, as the Prophets did foretell. Yet (as Chamier saith well) we beleeve that she continued a Virgin all her life time, for in those things (saith he) which are not properly de fide, we hold the authority of the Church is great, if it contra­dict not Scripture, or produce no other absurdity. Vide Rive­ti Apologiam pro virgine Maria▪ l. 1. c. 15.

Helvidius would gather from those words, 1 Matth. 25. untill, and first borne, that Mary afterQuam perti­nac [...]r ludebat Helvid [...]us in prim [...]genito Mariae & fra­tribus Christi [...] ut negaret per­petuam virgini­tatem. Chamierus. had Children by her husband: The word till doth not import so much. See Gen. 8. 7. and 28. 15. 1 Sam. 15. 35. 2 Sam. 6. 23. Matth. 28. 20. He is called the first borne in Scripture, which first opens the wombe, whether other follow or no.

7. The Scripture is plaine and Perspicuous.

The Perspicuity of the Scripture, is a cleare and evident ma­nifestation of the truth delivered in it.

It is PerspicuousAugustinus di­cit, nihil ad sidem necessarium obscurè in Scripturis doceri, quin idem [...]pertioribus locis ali [...] ex­ [...]ice [...]ur. both in respect of it selfe and us.

1. In respect of it selfe, as appeares.

1. In the things delivered, which although they seeme ob­scure for their Ma [...]esty and dignity, yet they carry the light of truth before them,Verbum Dei co [...]latum cum lace, anal [...]gia mult [...]plex; Lucis est d spellere te­nebras, omnia manifestare, ali [...] lucere no [...] sibi; luce nihil pu [...]ius, illu­strius, gratius, utilius, faecun­dius, cae [...]stis ejus o [...]ig [...], odio hab [...]tur, saeped malis, est b [...]num Commune plu­rium, penetrat sordes sine inqui­namento. Spanhemius Dab. Evangel. parte t [...]rtia Dub. 94. Scriptura se [...] prof [...]etur tum formaliter tum effectivè, lumi [...]sam & illuminantem. I. l. ibid. Esay 59. 21. Jer. 32 40. and 31 31. therefore the Scripture is frequently termed a light Psal. 19. 8. and 119. 105. Deut. 30. 11. Prov. 6. 2. 2 Pet. 1. 19. 2 Cor. 4. 3. 4. 6. the Scripture is a most bright light. [Page 162] There are 2 things in Gods revealed will, verbum rei, the word, and res verbi, the mystery. The Scriptures are hard if we looke to the mystery, but not if wee looke to the word; as for exam­ple, the Scripture teacheth that there is one God in three per­sons, the words are plaine and easie; every man understands them; but the mystery contained in those words passeth the reach of man; we may well discerne these things to be so, though we cannot fully conceive how these should be so.

2. In the manner of delivering or kind of stile, which is fitted to the things and persons; shewing the greatest simplicity both in words, either proper or figurative; and in the cleare sence and mos [...] perspicuous propriety of signification, viz. that one which is called literall and Grammaticall.

2. In respect of us, because the Scripture is to us the principle, meanes and in [...]rument of faith; every Principle ought to be by it selfe, and in its own nature knowne and most Intelligible, and there being 3 degrees of faith, knowledge, assent, and full assurance, these cannot consist without the perspicuity of the Scripture; the divine promises also of writing the Law in our heart, and concerning the spreading abroad, and cleare light of the Gospell, should be to no purpose, if the Scriptures should not [...]e plaine in things necessary to salvation.

All difficultyDifficultas aut à rerum ip­sarum natura est, quae percipiun­tur, aut ab ipsis percipientibus, aut ab ijs quae intercurrunt media, Re [...] quae percipi [...]ntur na­tura sua intellectu difficiles sunt aut per obs [...]uritatem, ut res, futurae, aut per majestatem ipsarum, ut mysterium S. Trinitatis. Sic quid Sol [...] clarius? quid difficilius aspectu? nam heb [...]scit acies [...] nostrorum vi r [...]liorum [...]llius. A perciprientibus difficultatem esse quis sanus neget, nam res quae sunt Spiritus homo naturalis non pot [...]st capere A [...]edijs quae Deus ipse ecclesiae obtulit, id est, à Scriptura, negamus difficultatem esse. lunius. in understanding the Scripture ariseth not from the obscurity of it, but from the weaknesse of our under­standing, corrupted by naturall ignorance, or blinded by di­vine punishment and c [...]rse; therefore it no more followes from thence, that the Scripture cannot be an infallible and onely rule of faith and life, (because some obscure things are found in it, not understood of all) then that the Bookes of Euclide are not perfect elements of Geometry, because there are some abstruse theoremes in them, which every vulgar Geometrician [Page 163] can not demonstrate, or that Aristotles Organon is not a perfect Systeme of Logicke, because a fresh Sophister understands not all its subtilties. More distinctly we say that the Scriptures are plaine, and obscure in a threefold respect.

1. They are plaine and easie to be understood by all men in Fundamentals, and the Speciall points necessary to salvation, as the Decalogue, the Apostles Creed, the Lords Prayer, and the like; unlesse by those whose minds the God of this world hath blinded; if they be obscure in some lesse principall and circum­stantiall matters, there is need of interpretation, that the meaning may be more clearely unfolded.

2. A difference of persons is to be considered, either more generally, or more specially.

1. More generally,The funda­mentals in Scripture are plaine to the Elect, who are all taught, of God so much as is ne­cessary for their salvation John 6. 45. the least as well as the g [...]eatest. as they are elect and regenerate, or re­probate and unregenerate; to those the Scripture is plaine and pe picuous; to whom alone it is destinated, and whose minds the Holy Ghost will inlighten by the Scripture. John 7. 17. Rom. 12. 2. 1 Cor. 12. 15. Psal. 19. 7. Matth. 11. 5. and 25. 25. Psal. 9. 10. 12. 13. 14. Yet the flesh and unregenerate part in them puts in impediments, but that Ignorance is removed at last. Luke 8. 10 The reprobates continue involved in perpetuall darknesse and blinded with Ignorance, hypocrisie, covetous­nesse, pride and contempt of divine learning, even seeing they see not Psal. 36. 3. Esay 29 9. Jer. 5. 21. Esay 6. 9. 2 Cor. 3. 14. there is a vaile over their hearts, 2 Cor. 4. 3. 4. which is the cause why is so many ages under the Papacy, the Scriptures were not understood, because they preferred a lye before the love of the truth. 2 Thess. 10. whose Ignorance is a deserved punishment of that contempt which they shewed to the Scriptures and their authority.

2. More specially, the persons are distinguished according to the diversity

1. Of Conditions of life and vocations; for so, many places of Scripture are hard to this sort of men, which are more easie to another, neither is it required that all things be understood of all men; the knowledge of more places is necessary in a Minister, then in a Trades-man and Husband-man, yet it is [Page 164] an [...] Rule to every one in his Vocation.

2. Of capacities and wits, for every one hath his measure of gifts; so among Ministers, some understan [...] the Word more obscurely, some more plainly, yet it is to all a perfect rule according to the measure of Gifts.

3 Of times, all things are not equally obscure or perspi­cuous to all ages, many things are better understood now then in times past; as the prophesies and predictions of Christ and the times of the Gospell, so in the Mysteries of the Re­velation the exposition rather of moderne Interpreters then Fathers is to be received; because in our times not theirs, there is an accomplishment of those Prophesies, and many things were more clearely knowne by them in those dayes, the Ceremonies, and Types of Moses his Law were better per­ceived by the Jewes then us.

God the Author of the Scripture could speak perspicuously;In the first times of the Church, there were no com­mentaries upon the Scriptures, the Fathers read them without, and yet then the Scriptu [...]es were nnderstood. Origen (who lived 200 years after Christ) was the first that wrote any Commentary upon Scripture. The pure Text of Scripture was ever read to the people, and never any Commentaries, and yet was understood by them. Apoc. 1. 3.for he is wisdom it selfe; and He would speake so because he caused the Scripture to be written to instruct us to our eter­nall salvation, Rom. 15. 4. and he commands us to seek in the Scripture eternall life.

We do not account the prophecy of Esay touching Christ, which the Eunuch read, to be a dark and obsure prediction; but wee know it was cleare and plaine enough, though the Eunuch a raw Proselyte understood not the meaning of it.

The Fathers proved their opinions out of the Scriptures, therefore the Scriptures are more clear then the writings and commentaries of the Fathers.

To every one which readeth (with humility and invocati­on of God) the Booke of the Apooalypse, the obscurest Solet obscuri­tas lectores ab­sterreve: quo mo­do ajunt olim quendam dixisse Authorem obscur [...]m à se rem [...]ventem. Tu non vis intelligi­neque ego te intelligere.and hardest Booke to understand of all other, blessednesse is promised, which when it cannot be [...]all to any that un­derstandeth [Page 165] nothing, it is manifest that the promise of blessednesse includeth a warrant of understanding of it, so much as is necessary to salvation.

We affirme that many placesEspecially in Genesis, Job, Canticles, Ezeck. Daniel, and the Revelation. In regard of the manner of writing, there are many ob­struse phrases in Scriptures, as divers He­braismes, which pe [...]haps we [...]e familiar to the Jewes, but are obscure to us. in the Scripture are very obscure, and that either from the obscurity of the things, as in the Prophesies of future things, the event must interprete them, as Daniels Prophecies of the foure Monar­chies were in times past very darke, but easier since when all things were fulfilled; so the comming of Anti­christ in the new Testament, drew the Fathers into divers opinions; so even yet there are many things obscure in the Revelation The [...]0 Chap. especialy Camierus de Canone l. 15. c. 4. which are not accomplished. So those things which are spoken of the Messiah in the old Testament are either not understood, or not fully without the new Testament. Sometimes the ambiguity of words breedes a difficulty, as I and the Fathers are one, the Arrians understood it of a union of will, as when Christ prayed John 17. that the Disciples might be one. Hitherto may be referred those places which are to be understood allegorically, as the Can­ticles, the first Chapter of Ezechiel. 3. Some places are ob­scure from the ignorance of ancient Rites and Customes, as that place,Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, have their nodos, and the Scriptures have their [...], 2 Pet. 3. 16. in them are darke sayings Psalme 78. 2. Riddles, Ezek, 17. 2. Parables, M [...]t. 13. 35. Mysteri [...]s, Mat. 4. 13. Mr. Greenhill. That is a very difficult place, 1. Cor. 3. 15. See Laurentius, Augustin saith thisis one of the places of which Peter speaketh, 2 Pet. 3. 16. and that Heb. 6. 4. 1 Pet. 3. 19. the last, Luther saith, is one of the obscurest places in the new Testament. Vide Tarnovium in exercitat. Bib. & Cameronis Myroth Evang. 1 Cor. 15. 29.See Laurentius and D. Featly on the place, in the last large, Annotations on the Bible. of Baptizing for the dead is diversly explained by interpreters, both old and new. There are six interpretations of it in Bellarmine l. 1. de purgatorio c. 8. Am­brose saith Paul had a respect to that custome of some who Baptized the living for the dead. Piscator & Bucane say the custome of the ancient Church is noted here, who Baptized Christians at the Graves, that so it might be a symbole of their beliefe and confession of the Resurrection of the Dead; Tarnovius proves that that rite was not in use in the Apostles time; Calvin interprets it of those who were Baptized, when they were ready to die; but Beza thinkes by Baptizing is un­derstood [Page 166] the [...] of washing the bodies before the Buriall. Andreas Hyperius sheweth in a peculiar tract what various opinions there are about this place Voetius hath written a tract de insolubilibus Scripturae, Estius, and Dr. Hall on the hard places, of Scripture Divers rea [...]ons may be rendred, why God would have many things in the Scripture obscure and dif­ficult.

1. To make us deligent both in Prayer to him,Augustinus de Doctrina Chri­stina. lib. 2. c. Sexto. Ita Scriptu [...]as dicit a Deo tempera­tas, ut locis ap [...]ti [...]ribus fa [...]i [...] fasti [...]ia de [...]er ge [...]e [...]tur. Idem Augustinus ait, nos aper [...]s Scripturae locis pas [...]i, obscuris exer [...]eri. to open to us the meaning of the Scriptures, and likewise in Read­ing, Meditating, Searching and Comparing the Scrip­tures.

2. To remove disdaine from us; we quickly slight those things that are easily.

3. That we might more prize Heavenly truths gotten with much labour.

4. To tame our arrogance and reprove our ignorance, John 16. 12.

5. God would not have the holy Mysteries of his Word prostituted to Dogs and Swine; therefore many a simple godly man understands more here then the great Rabbies.

6. That order might be kept in the Church, some to be Hearers, some Teachers and Expounders, by whose dili­gent search, and travell, the harder places may be opened to the people.

Heare the Lamb may wade, and the Elephant may swim, saith Gregory. The Scriptures have hoth milk for Babes and strong meate for men, saith Austin.

It is a note of a learned Interpreter, that the benefit of know­ing the prophecies concerning the Church,Apo [...]. 5. 1. 4, 65. M. Burroughs on [...]6 of Isaiah v. 10. Christ before hee was slain had it not so as Hee had after his death; it was the purchase of the Blood of Christ to have those things opened.

We doe no [...] therefore hold, that the Scripture is every where so plaine and evident,Bellarm. l. 3. de verbo Dei c. 1. that it needs no interpration, as our adversaries do slander us, and here they fight with their own shadow. We confesse, that the Lord in the Scrip­tures hath tempered hard and easie things together. But this we affirm against the Papists: first that all points of Faith [Page 167] necessary to salvation, and weigh [...]y matters p [...]rtaining to Religion are plainely set forth in the Scriptures. 2. That the Scriptures may with great profit and to good edification be read of the simple and unlearned, notwithstanding the hard­nesse of some places, which in time also using the meanes they may come to the understanding of.

Therefore I migh save that labour in answering the Ar­guments of our adversaries, since they are of no force against us, not indeed touch our cause, proving only that some places in the Scripture are difficult which we deny not; But I shall first take off their answers whereby they would evade the strength of our reasons for the perspicuity of the Scripture, and then refute their own Objections.

First,Psal. 19. 9. & 119. 115. 2 Pet. 1. 19. when we urge divers places to prove the Scripture to be a light the use of which is to dispell darknesse, which it would not if it selfe were obscure.

Bellarmine answereth, that those places are not to be un­derstood of all the Scripture, but only of the Commande­ments: and that these also are called a light, not because they are easily understood (although that be true) but be­cause being understood and known they direct a man in working, 2. If it be understood of all the Scriptures, they are called light not because they are easily understood, but because they illustrate the minde when they are understood. But the Apostle Peter speakes not only of the precepts of the Decalogue, but of all the Scripture of the old Testament: which if it be light, much more shall the Scripture of the new Testament, and therefore the whole body of Scriptures which the Christians now have, shall be light.

Secondly, that place 119. Psal. 130, doth not speake of the precepts alone, of thy words by which is signified the whole Genebra [...]dus testatur aliqu [...]s de tota Scriptura locum interpre­tari, nec l [...]quitur de nostris, sed aut suis, aut an­tiquis, Hierony­mus quidem a partè est [...]jus opinionis, & Lyranus, & alii [...]ulti. Whitakerus.Scripture; in the 19 Psalme, David speaketh of the word of God in generall, which he ador [...]eth with many titles, the Law or Doctrine of the Lord, the Testimony of the Lord, the Statutes of the Lord, the Precepts of the Lord, the Feare of the Lord, it is so called metonymically because it teacheth us the Feare and Reverence of the Lord, hee saith this [Page 168] Doctrine is perfect, converts the soule, and makes wise the simple, therefore he understands the whole Scripture the mistresse of true and perfect wisdome. Secondly, it is called a light because it hath light i [...] it selfe, and because it il [...]ight­neth others unlesse they be quite blind or willingly turn away their eyes from this light.

Thirdly, if the Commandements bee easy, the rest of the Scriptures is likewise as the Prophets and Historicall Books, being but commentaries and expositions of the De­calogue.

That evasion of the Papists will not serve their turnes, that the Scripture is a light in it selfe, but not quoad nos (as if the Scripture were a light under the bushell) for that the Scripture is light effective as well as formaliter, appeares by the addition, giving understanding to the simple. It was a smart an­swer,M. Durant. which a witty and learned Minister of the reformed Church of Paris gave to a Lady of suspected chastity, and now revolted;Dr. Halls peace­maker, sect. 15. when she pretended the hardnesse of the Scrip­ture; why, said he Madam, what can be more plaine then Thou shall not commit adultery?

The Scriptures and reasons answered which the Papists being for the obscurity of the Scripture.

2 Pet. 3. 16. Peter saith there, Ob. that in the Epistles of Paul there are [...] some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they doe also the other Scriptures unto their own destruction.

First,Sol. Peter re [...]traineth the difficulty of Pauls writings to that point himselfe presently wrote of, touching the end of the World; therefore it is unreasonable that for one hard point in the Epistles the people should be debarred the reading of all the rest.

Secondly, even in that point he affirmeth that some things only are hard, and not all.

Thirdly, the understanding of the Scriptures d [...]pendeth not principally on the sharpenesse of mens wits, or their learning, but on the Spirit of God which is given to the simple that humbly seek it by Prayer; therefore though the whole [Page 169] Scripture were hard to be understood, yet that is no good cause to bereave the people of God from reading of his word.

Fourthly, Peter assigning the true cause of errour and abuse of the Scripture, to be the unstability and unlearnednesse of such as deale with them, cannot thereby be understood to speake that of the body of the Church and of the people.

Laurentius in his Book intitled, S. Apostolus [...], hoc est, explieatio locorum difficilium in Epistolis Paulinis, reckons up 40 hard places in Pauls Epistles.

Rom. 1. 19. 20. 28. and 2. 12. 13, 14, 15. and 4, 5. and 5, 6. 12, 13, 14 15. 20. and 7. 9. 14. and 8. 3. 4. 19, 20, 21, 22. and 9. 3. 11. 12. 13. 18. and 11. 25, 26. 1 Cor. 2. 15. 1 Cor. 3. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. 1 Cor. 4. 9. and 5. 11. and 6. 2, 3. 1 Cor. 7. 1. 7. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. 1 Cor. 11. 7. 10. and 15. 29. 51. 2 Cor. 2. 15, 16. and 3. 6. 15, 16. Galat. 1. 8. and 2. 14. and 3. 10. 1 Thess. 4. 15, 16, 17. 1 Tim. 1. 9. Heb. 6. 4, 5, 6. and 10. 26.

They say the Scriptures are difficult also in the manner of writing as well as in the matter,8 Act. 31. for which they alleage Psal. 119. 18. the Evnuch, and Luke 24. 45. also the divers expositi­ons of old and New writers.

The first place is directly against them: for teaching that it is the gift of Gods Holy Spirit obtained by Prayer to under­stand the Scripture, the Spirit through Prayer, being as well obtained by the simple as learned sort, yea, rather by them then the others, it followeth that the reading of them belongeth to the simple as well as unto the learned.

The like answer serveth for the place of Luke 24. 45. for by that abuse of the place, they may wring the reading of the Scriptures from all men▪ even Ministers or the word command­ed to attend the reading of them, since they of whom they say that they understood not the Scriptures, were Ministers of the word, and that in the highest and most excellent degree of Ministery in the world, which was the Apos [...]leship. The cause o [...] want of understanding then was this, the Spirit of God was not given because Christ was not glorified, which can have now no place▪ Besides that, in saying they understood not the Scriptures concerning the suffering and glory of Christ, it [Page 170] must needs be understood comparatively that they did not cleerly▪ paricularly, and sufficiently know them. For that place in the 8th of the Acts, it is to be understood comparative­ly, viz. that a man faithfull and already gained to the truth, as this Eunuch was, cannot understand the Scriptures by the bare reading of them, so well and throughly as when he hath one to expound them. The Lord which helped the indeavor of the Eunuch searching the Scriptures by sending of Philip, will never suffer those which seek him in carefull reading of his word, to goe away ashamed without finding that which they seeke for, in directing unto him some lawfull & sufficient ministery to instruct him by. The mystery of the Gospell then (indeed) fulfilled, remained notwithstanding unpublished to the world by the Apostles, which is now by their preaching and writings laid open and made more manifest. The Eunuch which professed that he could not understand the Scripture without an Interpreter, did notwithstanding busie himselfe in reading of it.

The multitude of CommentariesThere was a time when the Scriptures were read without Com­mentaries, and there was a time when they were hardly under­stood with Commen­taries Dr. Ames. was not so necessary (be­cause the Scripture might have beene understood without them) although they deserve singular respect amongst all those that are desirous to understand the Scripture, who write learn­ed and elaborate expositions on the Scripture.

That was a witty speech of Maldonates on Luke 2. 34. Nescio an facilior hic locus fuisset si nemo eum exposuisset.

Secondly, These Commentaries are publisht, that the Scrip­tures may better and more easiely be understood.

3. The Papists confesse that the Articles of the Apostles Creed being necessary for all, are easie; Yet there are many commentaries of the Ancients upon the Creed, as Ruffinus, Augustine, Cyrill, Chrysostome, Chrysologus; and of Papists also.

Some Scriptures are hard for the matter which they handle,Cartwrights Letter to Mr. Hildersham, for the Study of Divinity. as are the Books of Daniel, Ezechiel, Zachary; or throng of much matter in few words, as are in the Old Testament the Poeticall Books, wherein no doubt the verse hath caused some [Page 171] cloud, and amongst them the Proverbs from the tenth Chapter, and the Prophesie of Hosea.

CHAP. IX.
Of the Interpretation of Scripture.

THisThe inter­pretation of the Scripture is necessary in the Church of God. 1 because it is com­manded by Christ John 5. 39. 1 Cor. 4. 1. 39. 2. It is commended to the faith­full by the Ho­ly Ghost. 1 Thess. 5. 19. 20. 3. I [...] con­duceth much to the edifica­tion of the Church. 1 Cor. 14. 3. 4▪ It was used by Christ and his Apostles Luke 4. 16. and 24. 27. Marke 4. 34. question divides it selfe into 3 parts.

First, concerning the divers senses of the Scripture.

Secondly, to whom the chiefe authority to expound Scrip­ture is committed.

Thirdly, what meanes must be used in the interpretation of Scripture.

1. Of the divers senses of Scripture.

The Interpretation of Scripture is 2 fold.

One of the words, which is called version or Translation, this hath been handled already.

2. Of things which is called explication, the finding out of the meaning of any place, which is more Theologicall the other being rather Grammaticall. And this signification of the thing they commonly call the sence Nehem. 8. 9. Interpret­ing Scripture is 1. Ancient, Nehem. 8. 8. 2. Honourable, Marke 4. 34.

The Scripture hath often two senses, one of which the latter Divines call Literall, Grammaticall, or Historicall, another mysticall or Spirituall.

The sense of the Scripture is that which God the Author of the Scripture inGlassius Phil. Sac. l. a parte 1a Tract. 1, Literalis and by the Scriptures gives to men to know and understand. The right expounding of Scripture consists in 2 things. 1. In giving the right sense. 2. In a right ap­plication of the same 1. Cor. 14. 3.

The Literall sense is thatsensus est is, que [...] Sp. Sanctus autor Scripture intendit. Chamierus. R [...]inoldus de lib. Apoc. Est ille literalis sensus qui proximè per ipsa verba sive propria sive figurata sunt, sign ficatur, velut Glassius, quem intendit proximè Spiritus Sanctus. Am [...]ma. which the letter it selfe, or the [Page 172] words taken in their genuine signification carry. And be­cause the genuine signification of the words is that, in which the Author useth them, whether speaking properly or figura­tively, therefore the literall sense is subdivided into plaine and simple, and figurative, which ariseth from the words translat­ed from their naturall signification into another, as where Christ saith 10. John 16. I have other sheep which are not of this fold; whereby he understandeth other people besides the Jewes.

The mysticall of spirituallSensus secun­darius, diver­sus à liter [...]li, si­mili [...] tamen. Chamier. Not the Letter but the right sense and meaning of the Scripture is Gods word. John 19. sense is that in which the thing exprest in the literall sense signifieth another thing in a myste­ry, for the shadowing out of which it was used by God. The waters of the Floud, with which the Arke was upheld signified Baptisme, by which the Church is saved under the new Cove­nant, as the Apostle teacheth 1 Pet. 3. 21. that History Exo­dus 12. it is a Passeover unto the Lord, is spoken figuratively, the other words properly. The mysticall sense is, the bones of Christ were no more broken then of the Paschall Lambe, which did signifie Christ.

The Papists say the literall sense is that which is gathered immediatly out of the words,Litera gesta docet; quid cre [...]as; allegoria Moralis quid agas, quo tendas anagogia. the spirituall which hath another reference then to that which the words doe properly signifie. The last they subdivide into Allegoricall, Tropologicall, Ana­gogicall, they say that the Scripture beside the literall sense, may have these also.

The Allegoricall sense, is when the words of the Scripture besides the plaine historicall and literall meaning, signifie some­thing in the new Testament, which belongs to Christ or the Church, as Gal. 4. besides the truth of the story of the bond and free-woman, Saint Paul applyeth it unto the two Testa­ments.

Tropologicall when the words and deeds are referred to sig­nifie something which belongs to manners; as Paul 1 Cor. 9 teacheth from that place, Deut. 25. thou shalt not muzle the mouth of the Oxe that treadeth out the Corne; that things necessary are to be allowed to Pastors.

Anagogigall, when words or deeds are referred to signifie [Page 173] eternall life as Psal. 94. I sware unto them they shauld not enter in­to my rest, this is litterally understood of the rest in Can [...]an, but applied by Paul 4 Heb to life eternall.

Becanus In Manuali Controvers. c. 1. de Script. quaest. 3. saith, as there are 3 Theologicall vertues, Faith, Hope and Charity, so there are 3 mysticall sences. The allego­ricall answers to faith, the Anagogicall to hope, the Morall to Charity. Jerome (saith he) excelled in the literall sense, Ambrose in the Allegoricall, Augustine in the Anagogicall, Gregory in the Morall.

The Papists erre three wayes in this Subject.

1. In that description, which they make of the literall sense.

2. In that they hold there are divers literall sences of one place.

3. In their division of the mysticall sense into Allegoricall, Tropologicall, Anagogicall.

First, that is false which Bellarmine saith, Literalis sensus est quem verba immediatè prae se ferunt. What then shall the literall sense of those words be Psal. 91. 13. Let them shew the Lion which Christ did tread o [...], and what shall be the literall sense of those places, Esay 11. 6, 7, 8. and 65. ult. And what literall sense shall those words of Christ have, Matth 5. 29. Origen Origenes sio Paradi [...]n ter­ [...]strem allego rizat, ut historiae au [...]erat verita­tem, dum pro arbori [...]us An­gelos, prost [...] mi­nibus vi [...]utes Caelestes [...], & ru [...]icas pelliceas Adae & Evae, corpora humana inter­pretatur. Bellarminus ex Hieronymo. Concedit Bellarminus ex solo literall sensu pe [...]i posse argumenta efficacia. To prove any matter of faith, or manner no sense must be taken, but the literall sense. Aquinas.(though otherwise he allegorized much) interpreted that place according to the letter, but foolishly. That therefore is rather the literall sen [...]e which ariseth from the words, whether properly or figuratively taken; as for ex­ample, this is the literall sense of those words, the Seed of the woman shall breake the Serpents head, viz. Christ shall over come Satan and subdue all his force and power, although the Devill neither be a Serpent nor hath a head.

2. We hold that there is but one true proper and genuine sense of Scripture viz. the literall or Grammaticall, whether it arise from the words properly taken, or figuratively under­stood, or both. For that there should be divers literall sences of one and the same place, is against the truth, the Text Chamierus tomo 1 [...] de Scripturae sensu l. 15. c. 3.and reason.

[Page 174] 1. The truth, because of one and an Individuall thing there is one constant truth and not various; verum & unum conver­tuntur.

2. The Text, because it draweth away from its one true sense.

3. And lastly reason, because this is the chiefest reason in ex­plaining the Text, that the true literall sense of it may be found out.

The literall sense then can be but one in one place, though a man may draw sundry consequencesConfundunt Pontificij sen­sum scripturae cum applicatio­ne s [...]nsu, & ac­commodatione ejus ad usus A­postolicos. 2 Tim. 3 16. dum vel cum literali & my­stico sensus alios i [...]trodu­cunt, vel mysti­cum subdividunt in all [...]goricum, tropologicum, & anagogicum, & totidem di­versos sensus in Scriptura dari contendunt, confundendo heterogen [...], sensum & ap­plicationem sensus▪ Sp [...]n­hem, Dub. Evang▪ parte. tertia. Dub. 66. à contrarijs, à similibus.

3. We doe not altogether reject the third, for we hold there are Allegories, Anagogies and Tropologies in the Scriptures, yet these are not many and divers senses of the Scripture; but divers collections from one sense, or divers applications and accommodations of one sense Besides the Tropologies and A­nagogies are unfitly opposed to an Allegory, since they are certaine kindes of it.

Haec nominum curiosa distinctio, ex Scholarum potius morosi­uscula diligentia, quam ex ulla eorum vocabulorum necessitate, Itaque Salmero agnoscit esse quid novum, & à p [...]sterioribus patribus tr [...]di­tum. Chamierus tomo de Sensu Literali & mystico. l. 15. C. 1. Galat. 4. the Apostle saith not that there is a double sense; but that it may be Allegorically applied, which is Historically set downe. There is then but one sense of the place; part whereof consisteth in the Story, part in the Allegory: So that the whole sense is contained in them both.

So for the second example of the Tropologicall: there is not a twofold sense of that place, but one generall sense, that as the mouth of the Oxe was not to be muzled, so the Minister of the Gospell must be provided for. Likewise of the Anago­gicall kinde: it is not one sense to understand the rest of C [...]na­an, another the Kindome of God: but there is one whole sense, that as they for their Idolatry were deprived of the Land of promise, so we should take heed least by our disobedience we lose the hope of the Kingdome of heaven. So we conclude that those are not divers sences, but one sense diversly applyed.

The literall sense is the onely sense of the place, because out [Page 175] of that sense only may an argument strongly be framed: where­fore seeing Allegories and Tropes doe no:Theologia Sym­bolica non est argumentativa. This is good reasoning, the Oxes mouth muh not be muxled, ergo the Mini­ster must be maintained, because it is part of the sense. conclude, they are not the sences of the place; and Allegories devised beside the sense prove not, though they may illustrate. It is manifest that is alwayes the sense of the holy Ghost, which is drawne from the very words. But we are not so certaine concerning any mysticall sense, unlesse when the holy Ghost himselfe teacheth us; as for example, it is written 11. Hosea 1. Out of E­gypt have I called my Sonne and Exod. 12. 46. Ye shall not breake a bone of him. It is evident that the first place is understood of the people of Israel, the latter of the Paschall Lamb. Who durst have applyed those things to Christ,The Fathers were too much addicted to Allegories. Jerome some­times went out of the way, through a like­ing of Allego­ries, as a great reader and fol­lower of Ori­gen, who handled the Scriptures too licentiously. Rainolds against H [...]rt▪ Sess. 4. unlesse the Holy Ghost had first done it, and declared his minde and meaning to us? viz. that sonne in the first place doth not onely signifie the people of Israel, but Christ also, and by bone in the latter place, not onely the bone of that Lambe but of Christ also is under­stood.

Secondly, To whom the chiefe authority to expound Scrip­ture is committed.

It was decreed in the Councell of Trent, that Scripture should be expounded, as the Church expoundeth it, and according to the common and unanimous consent of the Fathers. If the Fathers agree not, the matter is referred to a generall Coun­cell: if there it be not determined, we must have recourse to the Pope and his Cardinals.

We say also that the Church is the interpreter of Scripture, and that this gift of interpreting resides onely in the Church, but we deny that it belongs to certaine men, or is tyed to a certaine place or succession of men.

The Ministry of judgementJudicium est triplex. 1 Direction [...], quale habet Minister. 2 lurisdiction [...] quale habet ecclesia. 3 Discretionis quale habet privatus ut Act. 17. 10. Dr. Prid. There is Ju­dex Supremus, and judex Ministerial [...]s, visibilis but not supremus, and judicium practic [...] discreti­on [...] which is left to every one. B. Downam. the Lord hath given to his Church 1 Cor. 2. 15. and 10. 15. 1 John 4. 1. Act. 15, 16 2 Cor. 14. 29. 31. 32. but the Soveraignty of judgement he hath reserved to himselfe.

[Page 176] The Holy Ghost is the Judge, and the Scripture is the sen­tence or definitive decree.

We acknowledge no publike Judge except the Scripture, and the holy Ghost teaching us in the Scripture. He that made the Law should interpret the same 1 Cor. 1. 12. 1 John. 2. 27.

Arguments brought by the Papists for their opinion.

Ob. 1. They object that place, Exod. 18. 13. 26.

Sol. Moses was a Prophet indued with singular wisdome,Primo Non se­quitur à lege ad Evangelium. Secundo non se­quitur [...] Mose ad Episcopum Romanum qui hic non eundem lorum tenet inter Christianos, quem Moses inter Judaeos. Chamierus. a­dorned by God with extraordinary gifts, sent immediately by him and commended by divine Testimonies to the people, the Pope is not so. He had chiefest authority from God over all the Israelites; but the Pope hath not so over all Christians. Moses his authority was extraordinary, no man succeeded in his place; I [...]shua was a Captaine onely, or Judge in Civill things. Aaron onely a Priest to administer in things sacred, But Moses exercised both functions.

Ob. 2. They urge that place, Deut. 17. 9.

Sol. Here the Civill Magistrate and the Judge are joyned to­gether, as v. 12. If it will follow hence that the Pope must be Supreme Judge in all Ecclesiasticall matters, the Emperour ought to be as well in Civill. 2. The Pope doth not hold the same place among Christians, that the High-Priest did a­mong the Jewes. For he was the chiefest, having all the rest of the Priests subject to him; but the Pope is one amongst all, having Collegues, many Bishops as at first, or a few Patriarkes as after.

Ob. 3. Eccles. 12. 11. If the chiefe Pastor in the Old Testa­ment had such authority, much more the chiefe Priest in the New.

Sol. This one pastorHieronymus in locum a [...]t: Etsi plures ver­bum Dei doce­ant, unus tamen est illius doctrinae author, nempe Deus; ubi Manichaeos refellit, qui unum statuerunt authorem veteris Testament, alterum verò novi. Alij Spiritum volunt esse hunc unum Pastorem, ut Vatab [...]us, Alij Christum ut Mercerus; Papam nulli, praeterquam [...]nsulsi Papistae, Whitake [...]us. In­terpretes omnes de Deo expo [...]uerunt, cum veteres tum recentes, etiam Papistae, Chami [...]ru [...]. signifieth neither the High Priest in the old Law, nor the Pope in the New; but Jesus Christ the High Shepheard for our soules.

[Page 177] Ob. Matth. 16. 19. Christ saith to Peter, to the [...] will I give the Keyes of the Kingdome of Heaven; therefore the Pope hath authority to expound Scripture.

Sol. First, by the Keyes here is meant Commission to preach the Gospell; not authority of interpreting the Scriptures. When the Gospell is preached, the Kingdome of heaven is o­pened to the beleevers, and shut to the unbeleevers.

2. That authority of the Keyes was not committed to Peter onely, but to the other Apostles also, Matth. 28. 18. 19.

There is a twofold judgement, 1. Of discretion, 1 Cor. 10. 15. 2. Of authority, as the Parllament judgeth Capitall crimes. If the Papists understand the word Judge to [...]ignifie Discerning (as when we judge of meates by the taste)▪ every faithfull person ought to pray unto God for grace to judge, to discerne, and to know the true sense of the Scripture. But if by judging, they understand to pronounce decrees, definitive and infallible judgements, touching the sence of the Scriptures, thereby to bind other mens consciences; there is no man in the world that hath that power. See Moulin [...] Buckler of Faith. We have a more compendious way, to come to the understanding of the Scripture. It were too long when we doubt of any place, to stay till we have the generall consent of the Pastors of the Church, or to expect a generall counsell or to goe up to Rome. But the word of God is amongst us; the Scriptures themselves, and the Spirit of God opening our hearts, doe teach us how to understand them. And yet we say not (as the Papists falsely charge us) that we allow every private mans interpretation of Scripture, refusing the judgement of the Pastors of the ChurchCap significast▪ de Elect. Review of the Councell of Trent. l. c. 8. p. 45. Panoruitan saith,Deum atque homines testa­mur, cum pluri­ma nobis in Pa­pis [...]o displice­ant, [...]um hoc omnino intole­randum videri, quod Scripturas quilibet apud eas doc [...]or culas, ita sibi in manum [...]radi [...]as arbitre­tur ut eas sursum de [...]rsum versare queat, quid libet inde con [...]ecturus suo arbitrio; suo, in quam arbi­tri [...], suo marte, quidlibet exco­gitans & com­m [...]ntans. Ita enim even [...]t, ut qui maximè prae se ferant detestari privatum spiri­tum, ij hu [...]c ipsi indulgeant omnium maxima. the opinion of one godly man ought to be preferred before the Popes, if it be grounded upon better authority of the Old and New Testa­ment. 2 Pet. 1. 20. No prophesie of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. Enimverò quis docuit prophetiam illam ex Psalmo 72. adorabunt [...]um omnes reges terrae, omnes gentes servient ei, impletam ess [...] L [...]o [...]e. [...]eci [...]o. Chamietus tomo 10 de Sc [...]pturae interpretati­one l. 16. c. 1o. vide Cameronem ad 2 Pet. 1. 20. Matth. 23. 8▪ 9. 10. Stapleton saith, interpretation is private, ei­ther ratione personae when the man is private, or ratione medij [Page 178] when it is not taken out of the context and circumstances, or ratione finis when it is for a false end. Now private interpre­tation in regard of the person, if it be publike in regard of the meanes, is not forbidden; for it is lawfull for one man with Scripture toti resistere mundo, saith the Glosse of the Canon-Law; the meaning of this place is, that the Prophets were no Interpreters or Messengers of their own minds but Gods. The Catholickes hold (saith Chamier) meaning still by that Title the Protestants) that the Scripture is to be interpreted by pri­vate labour and industry, viz. of Augustine, Jerome, Chrysostome, but not in a private sense, that is in a sense arising from the braine of the Interpreter.

It is true (saith Cartwright against the Rhemists) that the Scriptures cannot be expounded of every private Spirit, nor (which is more) of any private spirit, nor yet of all private spirits together; but onely of those which are inspired of God, viz. the Prophets and Apostles, which are here opposed unto private Interpretation. And therefore it is evident that the exposition of the Scripture, ought not to be fetched from Ec­clesiasticall either Fathers or Councels, which speake not by in­spiration, but from the Scriptures themselves; what he mean­eth, he declareth in the next verse, where he sheweth the reason of his saying▪ namely, that it must be interpreted as it was written; and by as high authority. Seeing therefore it was first spoken by holy men, which spake as they were led by the holy Spirit, and were inspired of God, it followeth, that it must be interpreted by the same authority. The interpretation there­fore that is brought but of the Apostles and Prophets, is not private, although it be avowed by one man onely. On the o­ther side that interpretation which is not brought from thence, although it have the allowance of whole Generall Counsels, is but private.

This is a principall meaning of our Saviour Christ, when he willeth that we should call no man father or Master in the earth,Matth. 17. 5. that is, in matter of doctrine, we should depend upon the au­thority of no man, nor of all men in the earth, but onely up­on Christ and upon God.

[Page 179] Our reasons by which we prove, that the chiefest judgement and authority of interpreting Scriptures is to be given not to the Church,Soli scripturae vel spiritui in scriptura loquen­ti competunt re­quisita summi Iu­dic [...] (que) tria sunt 1o ut certo scia­mus, veram esse sententiam, quam pronunciat. 2. Vt ab illo ad alium judicem non liceat pro­v [...]care. 3. Vt nullo partium [...] ducatur▪ Wendelinus in Prolegom. Christ. Theol. c. 3. but to the Scriptures themselves and the Holy Ghost.

1. That which onely hath power to beget faith, that onely hath the chiefest authority of interpreting Scripture, and of determining all controversies concerning faith and religion; but the Scriptures onely, and the Holy Ghost have this force, Rom. 10. 17. the Holy Ghost onely can infuse saving faith in­to our hearts, which is called by the Schoolemen infusa fides. The faith which we have from the Church is acquired, and suf­ficeth not to a certaine perswasion.

2. The Scriptures cannot be interpreted but by the same Spirit wherewith they were written;Cathedr [...]m [...]in c [...]lo habet qui [...] corda doce [...] Aug. Luke 10 21. 22 Jer. 31. 33, 34. Convenit inter nos & adver­sarios, Scrip­turas intelligide­be [...]e [...]o spiritu quo [...]actae sunt, id est, Spiritu Sancto. Bellarm. l. 3 [...] de verbo dei. c. 3. 11. Dr. Rain. against Hart. that spirit is found no where but in the Scripture; whosoever have promises from God to understand the Scripture may interpret it, but so have all the faithfull.

3. Christ himselfe makes the Scripture a Judge, John 12. 48. and still appealed to it.

4. Although the Fathers were men indued of God with ex­cellent gifts, and brought no small light to understanding of the Scriptures: yet learned men in our dayes may give a right sense of sundry places thereof which the Fathers saw not, yea, against the which perhaps they consent.

Hath any man living read all the Fathers? nay, have all the men living read them? nay, can they shew them? can they get them? I had almost said can they nameThe number of Ancient Fathers (whose workes are yet extant) who lived within Six and Seven hundred yeares, after Christ are recorded to have beene about 200. Bishop Mor [...]on of the Masse l. 7. c 6. them.

In the exposition of those words Tu es Petrus, & supra hanc petram almost every one of the Fathers, at least the most part of them, and the best expound it of Peters faith: yet the Papists understand it non de fide sed de persona Petri. Here they dis-agree themselves from the Fathers, John 10. 16. by the title of one Shepheard, Augustine, Chrysostome, Jerome, Cyrill, Theodoret, The­ophylact, [Page 180] Euthimius, Rupertus, The Fathers wrote some things [...] to confute the ad­versaries with whom they had to deale, and in these they erre sometimes; some things. [...], to praise the Saints of God, and stirre up others to their vertue wherein they overlash. Rainolds against Hart. Cyprian and other Fathers agree that Christ is there designed; but Stapleton saith the Pope is there meant.

In the division of the Law, they goe cleane contrary to the greatest part of the Fathers: For they divide the Commande­ments as we doe, but the Papists make the two first one, and the tenth two. 2. They have no Father to countenance them in this, but Augustine.

There were no writings of the Fathers for a time, many of them wrote 400 yeares after Christ, but some 500 and 600 yeares after Christ; what rule had they before that time of in­terpreting Scriptures.

The Fathers were given too much to allegorizing, Cajetane therefore in the Preface of his Commentaries upon the Books of Moses saith, that the exposition of the Scripture is not tied by God to the sense of the Fathers; therefore he admonisheth his readers not to take it ill if he somtime dissent from the stream of the Fathers.

4. The doctrine of the Church must be examined by the Scriptures, Act. 17. 11. If Pauls doctrine, much more may the decrees of the Pope, Church, Councels be examined by the Scriptures.

5. The interpretation of the Scripture is a gift freely given by God, for the edification of the Church, Rom. 12. 6. 1 Cor. 12. 10. therefore it is not tied to a certaine kinde of men, but common to the faithfull.

6. The faithfull are commanded diligently to try and exa­mine every doctrine 1 Thess. 5. 21. 1 John 4. 1. which cannot be altogether done without interpretation.

3. What meanes must be used in the interpretation of Scrip­ture.Of the meanes to finde out the true sence of the Scrip­ture.

The end of the Scripture (we heard) was to direct the Church to all saving truth.

The meanes to be used for the attaining of that end, by the Minister, is diligent Study and humble Prayer; by the people attentive reading,Orationi lectio, lectioni succedat oratio. hearing, Prayer and meditating.

First, the teachers must Pray earnestly to God for his spirit [Page 181] to inlighten them, Matth. 7. 7. 8, 9. Rom. 15. The Scriptures are understood by that spirit that dictated them.

Secondly, The Pastors and teachers of the Church, must di­ligently and painefully study the Scriptures, giving themselves to read, [...] compare place with placeAct. 9. 22. There must be a comparing of obscure Places with such as are more evi­dent Gen. 11. 35 with Gal 3. 16. of like with like, Exod. 12. and 1 Cor. 11. 24. unlike with unlike John 6. 53. with Deut. 5. [...]3. John 5. 39. search the Scrip­tures, it is a metaphore taken from such as search for Gold and Silver Oare in the earth, who will search and sift and breake every clod to finde out the Gold. Salomon useth the same me­taphore, Prov. 2. 4. and to this diligence in searching doth the Apostle exhort Timothy 1 Tim. 4. 13. This diligence is of­ten exprest in Scripture in the old Testament, by the phrase of meditating in the word, Josh. 1. 8. Psal. 1. 2.

Thirdly, they must labour for a competent knowledge in the originall tongues the Hebrew andContra ignota [...]igna magnum est remedium linguarum cog­nitio, & Latinae quidem linguae homines duabus alijs ad scriptu­ra [...]um cognitio­nem opus habent. Hebraica & Graeca Augustinus. 2 Tim. 2. 15. Tit. 1. 9. Aug. de doctrina Christiana l 2. Greek, in which the Scripture was written, that so they may consult with the He­brew Text in the old, and the Greeke in the new Testament; and see with their owne, not anothers eyes.

4. They should likewise be expert in all the liberall Arts, especially in Grammer, Logicke, Rhetoricke, generall Philo­sophy, and History. All the TreasuresDr. Fea [...]ely in a [...] Psal. [...]. 10. Logicke teacheth the Preacher to Analize and divide his Text. [...] teacheth to collect true and proper Doctrines from it, assisteth him in confuting of Haeresies, and in re­solving all questions. of wisedome and knowledge are hid in the Scriptures, the treasures of natu­rall Philosophy in Genesis, of Morall Philosophie in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Ecclesiastes, of the Politicks in the Judici­als of Moses, and the Proverbs of Solomon, of Poetry in the Psalms, of History in the Books of Chronicles, Judges and Kings; the Mathematickes in the dimensions of the Arke, of the Tem­ple, of the Metaphysicks in the Books of the Prophets and A­pocalyps.

5. They must consider.

1. The severall words. 2. The Phrases.

[Page 182] In the severall words, they must consider.

1. Whether the word be taken properly or tropically, and that they may the better understand the words, an inspection,

1. Of Lexicons Lexicon Chaldaicum, talmudicum, & rabbinicum opus immensi laboris atque fructus, & incomparabi­li multorum annorum, indu­stria patri [...] atque filij Johan. Bux­torfij elabora­tum. Bootius. is needfull, some of which observed the order of the Alphabet, but so as they distinguished betweene the roots and the Derivatives, as Pagnine hath done for the He­brew, and Stephanus for the Greek.

The best Lexicons▪ for understanding the Hebrew Text, are, Buxtorfe, Avenarius, Forster, Schindler, Mercer on Pagnine, and Brixianus his arca Noae; for the Greeke are Stephanus, Budaeus, Sca­pula; my owne two (I hope) may be usefull for understand­ing both Testaments.

2. Of Concordances Concordantiae Bibliorum he­braicae, editae à Joh. Buxtor [...]io juniore, magni patris Majore filio. Arnoldus. Boatius. Henrici, Stephani maxi­mae & absolu­tissimae Concordantiae, some much extoll Buxtorfe for the He­brew, Kirchers is a very usefull one both for the Hebrew and the Septuagint, Stephanus for the Greeke is the best. Cottons Concordance (as it is now inlarged by Newman,) is esteemed the best for the English.

See Dr. Featlies, and Dr. Gouges Prefaces to it commending it, and shewing the use of Concordances in generall.

They must,

1. Consider the Text exactly in it selfe, the Grammer of it must be sifted, the nature of every word by it self and the alte­ration it admits in diversity of construction. 2. The Rheto­ricke, whether any word leaving the proper signification re­ceiveth a borrowed. 3. Above all the Logicke, as to know what he proveth and by what. 2. Compare paralell places and obscurer with plainer. To interprete that place, this is my body, This Bread is my body, 1. the commu­nion of my body. The Prophets explaine the Books of Moses, and the New Testa­ment inter­pretes the Old. make use of that other, The Bread which we breake, is the Communion of the body of Christ, because both places are not onely concerning the Eucharist, but also one and the same kind.

3. Make use of Paraphrases and versions among which the Chaldee and the Septuagint for the Old Testament, the Syri­acke and the Arabicke for the new excell.

For the knowledge of the phrase, they must proceed the same way; and to understand the better both the words and phrases, they must diligently consider of the scope and circum­stances of the place, as the coherence of that which went before [Page 183] with that which followes after, and of the matter whereof it doth intreat.

All expositions ought to agree with the Analogie of faith, Analogia fi [...]ei nihil aliud est, quam constans & propetua semen [...]ia Scripturae, in apertis & minim [...] obs [...]uris Scripturae locis: quales sunt arti­culi fidei in Sym­bolo, quaeque continentur in oratione Domi­nica, in Deca­log [...]. Whitakerus. Rainoldus de lib. Apoc. Plura Rabbinis debemus, nos prae [...]ertim qui accuratum istud interpre­tandi genus sectamur, quam quisquam existi­met. Drus. observ. Sac. l. 15. c. 6. Rom. 12. 6.

Analogie is eitherof faith comprehended in the Doctrine of the Creed L. P. Command. Sac. and gathered out of evi­dent places of Scripture, or of the Text, by the coherence of antecedentia & consequentia, by the propriety of the phrase.

6. The Jewish expositors, the Ancient Fathers, and other Interpreters Ancient and Moderne Popish and Protestant, are usefull for the right understanding of the Scripture, if they be read with judgement.

Not many but a few, and those the best commentaries are to be consulted with, of the Hebrew Interpretes and Rabbins? two were most learned R. David Kimbi and Rabbi Aben Ezra, saith Dr. Rainolds.

The pure Masters of the Hebrewes (saith Mayerus in Philo­logia Sacra) are specially Maymonides, Rabbi David Kimchi, wise Aben Ezra, Rabbi Salomon Jarchi, although the last two much favour Talmudicall dreames.

The Cabalists and many of the Rabbines are very fabulous, and men in a burning fever cannot dreame of things more ri­diculous, then some of the Rabbines have seriously written and taught, saithCensura in exercitat. 4. Morini c. 80. Doctissimus Hebraeorum Grammaticus idemque interp [...]es Kimchius. Fuller Miscell. l. 5. c. 8. vide l. 2. c. 3. & l. 3. c. 12. & l 4. c. 18. David Kimchius è cujus Grammatica & Lexico sive radicum libro tanquam ex equo Trojano prodiit, quicquid Grammaticarum & Lexicorum Hebraicorum ubi­que videmus. Morinus l. 1. exerci [...]. 6. c. 4. Ebraeorum Interpretum Coryphaeus Kimchi Amama Antib. Bibl. Aben. Esra. meritò audit sapientissimus ebraeorum. Mayerus in Philo. Sac. Muis against Morinus. Vide Spanhem Dub. Evangel. parte tertia. Dub. 21. & Dub 129. Glass. Philol. Sac l. 2. partem primam. Tract. 1. Thalmud liber fabulosissimus. Chamier.

Abarbanel hath done well of the greatest part of the Old Testa­ment. Scriptor famosissimus, saith Buxtorfe of him in Decalogo. Yet he was unknowne (it seemes) to Mercer and Drusius, for neither of them mention him.

The Jewes say of Rabbi Moses Ben-Maymon, that from Moses to Moses, there arose not such a Moses. He was the first of [Page 184] the Rabbines that ceased to doat. Maimonides antiquus & celeber­rimus inter Judaeos Scriptor. Capellus de Literis Ebr. Mr. Gre­gory stiles him the very learned Maimon.

The Church of God is much beholding to the Hebrew Rab­bines, Quid fuerint Vrim & Thu­mmim, ne Rab­binorum quid [...]m Principes jam diuscire potue­runt. Chamierus. See Bu [...]h. on 3. of Hos. 4.being great helps unto us for understanding holy Scrip­ture in many places, as well of the New Testament as the Old.

2. The Fathers, Doctores scil. probati antiquae ecclesiae qui scrip­tis suis fidem illustrarunt, as Voetius speakes.

For the Fathers, Jerome among the Latines, and Origen among the Greekes were learned in the Hebrew saith Chamier.

Jerome Dexter [...]imus ille literarum sacrarum inter­pres. Glassius. Hieronymus solus inter Patres [...]uit doctus Hebraeas literas, quas quia reliqui ig­norabant, saepe in v. Testamen­to explicando lapsi sum Tar­nov. exercit. Bib. was the chiefest among them, for skill in the He­brew, Chaldee, Greeke, Latine tongue and the most diligent searcher of the Jewish affaires,Capellus arcano puncta­tionis revelato. he spared no labour, cost, nor time, that he might attaine to skill in that tongue. He made use of the Jewes for that purpose, and the skilfullest amongst them. Whose labour he purchased with a great deale of Mo­ney, this he often witnesseth of himselfe, 5 times saith Mo­rinus he made use of them.

That one labour of his deserveth eternall praise, that he tran­slated the Scripture out of the Hebrew, into Latine.

That was a most laboriousOpus laborio­sum & divinum, maximo ecclesiae damno amissum, cujus operis jacturam deplorare possumus, compensare nunquam possumus. Whitaketus, worke of Origens in gathering together divers Editions of Scripture. 1. The Greeke of Aquila Symmachus, the Septuagint and Theodosion into one Volume distinguisht by 4 Columnes, called Tetrapla, to which he after added 2 more, one in Hebrew, the other in Greeke Characters, and called it his Hexapla; at last he joyned two other Editions, and then called it Octapla; by them one might have compared the severall Greeke Editions together, and with the Hebrew Text.

It was said of him, Vbi benè nemo melius, Vbi malè nemo pejus.

Quod attinet ad. Originem, mea certè nihil interest, quid ille sen­serit: quem scio Theologum fuisse audaciorem, quamVide Whitak. de authoritate, Script. l. 2. c. 1. saniorem. Chamierus.

Salmasius, Whitaker, Sixtus Senensis and others say Origen [Page 185] Inter antiquos ecclesiastic [...]s auctores Graeci generis non tan­tum primus, sed, fe [...]è [...]olus Hebraicè [...]uit doctissimus. Salmasius de m [...] ­do usurarum. Autor non purus, ut vix unquam nominari possit in rebus fidei absque praefa­tione. Chamierus. was skilfull in the Hebrew. He wrote so many Books, that Jerome saith, Quis nostrum tanta potest legere, quanta ille conscripsit?

Vir tantae fuit eruditionis & in genij, ut ei parem doctissima Grae­cia faelicissim [...]rum ingeniorum parens, nunquam habuerit. Sixtus Senensis Bibliothecae sanctae l. quarto.

He saith much more there in his commendation. Tantum in scripturas divinas habuerit studium, ut etiam. Haebraeam linguam con­tra aetatis gentisque suae naturam edisceret. Hieronymus de viris illu­stribus.

Austen Magnus Augustinus ingenio, eru­ditione, sanctitate, zelo, quae res tantam. illi meri [...] au­thoritatem con­cilia [...]m, ut nemosit ami­quorum qui in [...] nostris a [...] Pontificijs pluris aestimetur aut aestimari debeat. Rainoldes de libris Apo­criph [...]omo pràe. [...]9. Augustinus habitus Theo­logorum veterum: acutiss [...]imus, ne­que immerito I [...]. Graeco [...]um dis [...]ertissimus Chrysostomus. Fullerus. See a [...]reat commendation of T [...]rtullian in Jack en [...]raging tempest p. 8. Vir prof [...]cto acris ac vehemeniis ingenij, multa latino [...] scripsi [...], sed stylo elaborato ac duro, & propter [...] vocum novitatom obscuro. Sixtus Senensis. for the Latine Church, and Golden-mouth'd Chryso­sostome for the Greek Church, were most famous. He is abridged by Theophylact. A Father so Ancient, so learned, so godly, so skilfull in the Scriptures saith Rainolds of Chrys [...]stome, Austen for disputations, Jerome for the tongues, Gregory for Morals.

Augustine,

Vir supra omnes, qui ante eum & post eum huc usque fuerunt mortales, admirabili ingenij acumine praeditus, omnibus liberalibus disciplinis instructus, Divinis scripturis longè omnium eruditissi­mus, & in earum explanatione ultra, quam dici queat, incompara­bili subtilitate sublimis, omnes Latinae ecclesiae scriptores scribendi labore, & lucubrationum multitudine superavit. Sixtus Senensis Bi­blioth. Sanct. lib. quarto.

Subtilissimus Pat [...]um Augustinus Dr. Prideaux lectione quarta.

Gregory Nazianzene for his excellencie in divine knowledge was sirnamed the Divine.

Irenaeus (saith Capellus) was almost the ancientest of all the Fathers whose genuine writings are extant. He was Polycarpus his Disciple.

Tertullian was one of the Latine Fathers most Ancient, and very neere the Apostles, flourishing in the raigne of Severus the Emperour, about 200 yeares after Christs Birth, and not past one hundred after the death of John the Evangelist. Jerome be­ing urged with his authority, said De Tertulliano nihil aliud respond [...]o, quamecclesiae hominem illum non fuisse.

[Page 186] In Graecia celebres agnosco Patres, Clementem, Athanasium, Cy­rillum, & Damascenum. Montacutius Analect. Eccles. exercit. 1. Sect. 6.

Cyprian the Martyr was of great authority amongst all for his holinesse of life. He was so diligent a reader of Tertullian, that he intermitted no day,Da Magistrum, Augustmus Copiosus est, Hieronymus suc­cinctus: Lactantius Ci­ceronem imita­tur, Tertullia­nus obscuritatem amat: Chry­sostomus ornatus & apertus est, Nazianze [...]us pressus & acutus Whitakerus de Scripturis. but would call to have his Master (meaning Tertullian) given him. Doctor Hall cals Lactantius the Christian Cicero Jerome cals him eloquentiae Tullianae Flievium. Epist. ad Paul. tom. 1. and Mr. Selden de Dis Syris cals him Politis­simum Patrum.

Sententious Tertullian, grave Cyprian, resolute Hierome, * flow­ing Chrysostome, divine Ambrose, devout Bernard, heavenly Augustine. Bish. Hals 4th Decade of Epist. Epist. third. One saith, he that looks upon the Fathers works would think they did nothing but write, he that looks on their devotions would thinke they did nothing but pray, he that lookes on their learning would think they did nothing but read.

Bernard was a worthy man in the corrupt age in which he lived, but Bernardus non vidit omnia say the Papists.

Bernardum non admitto, ut pote recentiorem, & longè post con­firmatam Romani Pontificis tyrannidem, scribentem ex more & er­rore sui temporis. Chamierus de Canone l. 3. c. 3. &c. 5.

Dand [...] venia bonis illis & sanctis patribus qui ignorantia lin­guarum multae saepe aliena à germana scriptura senserunt,Mercerus in Gen. v. 16. pia alio­quin attulerunt.

3. For Protestant Interpreters.

Calvin Ex Scriptura ipsa Calvinu ita scripturam interpretatus est, ut inter aequos rerum judices, doctissimi interpretis nomen jure meritus fit. Rivetus in Ca­tholico Ortho­d [...]xo. is not onely commended by our own writers, but by the very Papists. See Watson in his Quodlibets.

I would content my selfe among the new writers with Mr. Calvin, who performeth best of all other that which he of him­selfe professeth, that a man in reading his expositions reapeth this benefit, that for the shortnesse he useth, he departeth not farre from the Text it selfe. Cartw. letter to Mr. Hildersham.

Piscator hath done well in his Scholia on all the Bible. He follows Junius for the Old Testament, and Beza for the New, and in his Aphorismes he follows Calvins Institutions.

[Page 187] Bucer Quo ne [...] aetate sua solidi­or & nervosior Theologus Whitakerus in conci [...]ne ultima. also was an excellent Divine. He hath written a twofold Exposition on all the Psalmes, one more large and Pa­raphrasticall, the other briefer and ad verbum.

Francis Junius Incomparabilis illa editio Tre­mellian [...], opera & cura doctis­simi Theologi Francisci I [...]ni [...] ­elucubrata & expolita plur. i [...] busque Scholi [...] locupletatae. Fulle 1 miscel. Sac. l. 2. c. 1. Vide Boo [...]ij cen­suram in Indice Au [...]orum. Ani­madversionibus Sacr [...] praefixo. In novo Testa­mento laboravit Erasmus Roter [...] ­damus non inu­tiliter, cum vertend [...], tum paraphrasi ex­plicando, tum annotando. Chamierus de Canone l. 12. c. 1. the very Oracle of Textuall and Scholasti­call Divinity, as Dr. Hall cals him, Epist. 7. Deead. 1.

Vatablus his Annotations upon the Old Testament, and Be­zas on the New are commended by Zanchie in his Miscellanies: But Arnoldus Boot in his Jndex Autorum before his Animadversi­ones Sacrae, saith Robert Stephens, and not Vatablus was the Au­thour of those Scholia which are in Vatablus his Bible.

Quid hac phrasi denotetur, optimè exposuit D. Beza suis in no­vum Testamentum nunquam satis laudatis notis. Constantin L' Empereur in Dan. c. 2 v. 8.

See more of him in Zanchies Epistles.

Amania, Paulus Fagius, Drusius, Ludovicus Capellus, Livelie, Cameron, Ludovi [...]us de Dieu, have beene Great lights, and by their skill in the tongues, have excellently interpreted Scripture.

Peter Martyr, Lavater, Musculus, Zanchie, Pareus, Rollock, Ri­vet are sound Expositors.

Ex omnibus antiquis & recentioribus medullam variarum inter­pretationum, & circa eos disceptationem collegit Willetus in hexaplis ad Genesin, Exodum, Leviticum, Danielem, Epistolam ad Ro­manos (in libros Samuelis sibi dissimilis est, & compendio atque alia plane methodo commentatur) optandum esset telam illam à Willeto tam faeliciter c [...]ptam, eadem methodo in reliquos Scripturae libros per­t [...]xi. Voet. Biblioth. Theol. l. 1. c. 14.

4. For Popish Expositors.

Aquinas Papa Innocen­tus primum l [...] ­cum tribuit Thomae post scripturas, & [...]e [...]i [...]ò, nam melius de Papatu meruit quam omnes Patres-Rainoldus B. Mortons App [...]ale. l. 2. c. [...]. Sect. [...]2. Papistarum Homerus Thomas Aquinas Rainold. de lib. Apoc. is esteemed by the Papists as the Oracle of the Romish Schoole,Rainolds against Hart. Thomas Aquinas adhuc infans chartam versans, imo comedens significabat quam studiosus foret adultior factus. Cornel a L [...]pide in Gen. 25. 22. whom for his profound learning and search into the mysteries of all Divinity they sirnamed Angelicall.

He was the first thorow Papist of name that ever wrote, and with his rare gifts of wit, learning and industry did set out Popery * most.

Maximo & altissimo ingenio vir, cui ad plenam absolutamque [Page 188] totius tam divinae, quam humanae eruditionis gloriam solus defuit linguarum & eloquentiae usus, quem aeruditi istius saeculi, ut pote sub­limioribus studijs intenti, neglexere. Sixtus Senensis. vide plara ibid.

Luther on 9 of Genesis chiefely commends Lyra for follow­ing the literall sense. Nicolaus Lyranus, vir tanta tamque pura, vera & germana sacrae Scripturae scientia praeditus ut in illa expo­nend [...] nullum habeat illius temporis parem. Rainoldus de lib. A­poc. tom [...] 1. praelect. 21.

Ex antiquioribus tanquam universales & communes commenta­tores habiti fuerunt Lyrasnus & Glossa. Voetius in Biblioth. Theol. Jansenius eruditus & moderatusSpanhem. dub. Evang. parte [...]ecunda. Dub. 34. vide ibid. Dub. 5. p. 132. 133. Interpres.

Cajetane went over all the Scripture,Chamierus. saving the Canticles and Prophets, which dying he left begun, and the Revelation, quam de industria attingere noluit.

He was both a learned & moderate Papist, as Chamier and Whi­taker both shew. He was chiefely intent on the literall sense Cardinalis Cajetanus omnes Epistolas novi Testamenti & Actorum li­brum recensuit ad veritatem▪ Graec [...]m & annotationibus illustravit, intra spatium circiter decem mensium, Chamierus tomo 1 [...] de Ca­none l. 13. c 4. Vir meo judicio quamvi [...] Papi­sta, tamen can­didus plurimum­que distans abea pertinacia, quam in reliquis de­plorare cogimur. Idem de Canone. l. 12. c. 1. Vide Whitakerum de Scripturis pag 16, 17 & 196. Andradius mentione Caje­tani facta su [...] ­jungit, omnes illum aetatis suae longe superasse.and that according to the Hebrew truth, of which tongue he had little knowledge, but had by him those that were skil'd in the Hebrew, who would interprete ad verbum not onely exact­ly, but superstitiously, and often absurdly, which often drew the like expositions from the Cardinall.

There are now 5 Papi [...]s joyned together in severall Volumes on the whole Scripture, Immanuell Sa, Estius, Gagneius, Tirinus, and Menochius, the last of which Grotius commends in his Pre­face to his Annotations on the Old Testament. Estius doth ex­cellently on all the Epistles.

Maldonate doth well on the Evangelists, but was a most su­percilious writer; and no marvell, since he was for his Coun­try a Spaniard and his profession a Jesuite.

Masius Andraeas Masnes. Papista quidem, at sanior & dexterrimus scripturae Sacrosanctae interpres. Glassius onomat. hath written learnedly on Joshua.

Quanta vir ille linguae Graecae sed preaesertim Hebrae [...]cae, Rabbini­cae, & Syriacae cognitione fuerit imbutus, nemini docto opinor incog­nitum. Morinus l. 1. exercitat. 9. c. 6. and exercit. 1. c. 4. Andreaeas Masius linguae Hebraicae & Syriacae peritissimus, atque in lectione Rabbinica egregiè exeroitatus.

The Popish Postils are the burden of many Camels (as Lip­sius speakes of the Bookes of the Law) and are fitly s [...]iled by [Page 189] godly Divines pigrorum pulvinaria. Vide Zepperi Artem Habendi & Audiendi conciones, sacras. l. 1. c. 4 p. 38 39. &c.

Ministers to all the meanes formerly mentioned for the in­terpreting of Scripture, must adde a conscionable practise of what they know, and must in all humblenesse of minde seeke the peoples edification.

The meanes to be used by the people, to understand the Scrip­ture and find out the sence and meaning of it.

1. If they be learned, they may make use of most of the for­mer meanes prescribed to Ministers.

2. Such as are unskilfull, and know not how to make use of those meanes, are

1. Diligently to read the Scripture, in which are to be con­sidered.

1. Antecedent preparation that they come to the read­ing and studie of the Scriptures with PrayersPater quidem dixit se orand [...] magis, quam s [...]udendo ac le­gendo, in cog­nitione Scriptu­rarum profecisse [...] and greatest re­verence relying on the Divine promises, for the inlightening of their minds by the Holy Ghost. The Scripture may well be called the Revelation of Christ. Rev. 1. 1. See Rev. 5. 5.

2. The adjuncts of reading, which are,

1. Chiefest attention in reading, and a pious disposition and spirituall frame of the heart,Prov. 4. 13. that they may not understand onely but cordially affect what they understand

2. Application of all things to the Examination, Cor­rection,John 7. 17. and amendment of their own lives,

3. Diligent Meditation.

4. Conferring of it with others,Deu [...]. 6. 6. 7. and Catechizing.

2 They ought to have recourse to those that are more skilfull then themselves, and to consult with the best Commentaries and Expositions of the Scripture, and read them judiciously.

We teach of our Meanes, that they all together, doe make a perfect way whereby we may finde the right sense of the Scripture.Praxis ecclesiae P [...]at. um con­sentiens inter­pretatio.

Our Adversaries prescribe this method and course to be taken in expounding of Scripture, which consists in 4 rules:Conciliorum praescripta & decreta, Regula fidei. The ge­nerall practise of the Church, the Consonant interpretation of the Fathers, the decrees of generall Councels; lastly, the rule of [Page 190] faith consisting partly of the Scriptures, partly of traditions unwritten.

In all these meanes the Pope is implicitely understood, for the rule of faith is that which the Pope approves: the practise of the Church is that which the Pope observes, the interpreta­tion of the Fathers is that which the Pope follows, the deter­mination of Councels, what the Pope confirmes; so that the Pope must interprete all Scripture. But divers reasons may be alleaged to shew that the true interpretation of Scripture is not to be sought for from the Popes of Rome.

1. Because the Popes of Rome have frequently and grossely erred in interpreting of Scripture, as in the 8th of the Ro­manes 8. v. those that are in the flesh cannot please God; that is those that are married, said Siricius the Pope. Innocent so ex­pounded those words John 6. unlesse you eate the flesh of the Sonne of man and drinke his bloud you shall have no life in you, that he thence concluded, that there is no salvation without receiving the Eucharist, and that it is to be given to Infants. Pope Bo­niface interpreted Luke 22. 38. of the temporall and spirituall sword delivered to the Pope.

2. Because the Popes of Rome Inter Pontifi­ces Roman [...]s multi fuerunt scelerati, ex quo­rum improb [...] vita plus redijt ad Christianos scandali, quam ex [...]orum autori­tate adificatio­nis. Non potuit vit humani in­genij, non fremere, cum le­genti Pontificum Romanorum vi­ta [...]t [...]t occurre­rent monstra scelerum. Chamierus. de Canone l. 3. c. 6. Vide plura ibid. Absit ut unius homuncio­nis, & quidem Infirmissiimi, arbitrio stare credamus vel eadere verita­tem Dei. Chamierus. ibid. c. 7. doe differ among themselves in Interpreting of Scripture, as Matth. 16. 18. Some Pop [...] say rightly that by the Rock Christ or the confession of faith given by Peter concerning Christ is meant, others interprete it of the person of Peter the Apostle, others expound it to be the Ro­mane Seat or Chaire.

3. Because many of the Popes of Rome have not onely erred but been grosse & wicked Hereticks. Liberius the Pope about the yeare 350 was an Arrian and subscribed to the unjust condem­nation of Athanasius, and afterward as an obstinate Hereticke was deposed. Honorius the first was a Monothelite, he held that Christ had but one will and so but one nature, and for this heresie was condemned in 3. Generall Councels. Some Popes were Atheists, as Leo the tenth who called the Gospell fabulam de Christo.

One cals the Pope that great Heteroclite in religion; ano­ther saith, The Pope is the worst of Cardinals, who are the worst of Priests, who are the worst of Papists, who are the worst of Christians.

[Page 191] For Counc [...]ls.

Gregory the Pope did reverence the 4 first generall Councels, as the 4 Evangelists.

But if these foure generall Councels be of equall authority with the foure Evangelists, the Popes authority (as Papists say) being above the authority of the Councels, it followeth, that his authority is greater then the Evangelists; then which what can be more blasphemously spoken?

We say the true interpretation of Scripture is not to be sought from generall Councels.

1. Because even universall Councels have erred; the Chalce­donian Councell,Plus creden­dum est simplici laico scripturam proferent [...], quam toti simul Conci­lio. Panormita­nus▪ one of the 4 so much magnified by Pope Gregory in rashly preferring the Constantinopolitane Church before that of Alexandria, and Antioch. Those that condemned Christ were then the universall visible Church Matth 26. 65. John 11. 47. See Act. 4. 18.

2. Generall councels have beene opposite one to another, that of Constance to the other of Basill; whereof one setteth downe that Councels could erre and so also the Pope, and that a Councell was above the Pope; the other affirmeth the quite contrary.

3. There were no Generall Councels after the Apostles for 300 yeares till the first Councell of Nice, when yet the Church had the true sence of the Scriptures.

4. The generall Councels interpreted Scripture by Scrip­ture as Athanasius and Ambrose teach concerning the first Councell of Nice.

5. Because they cannot be so easily celebrated to declare any doubtfull sense of Scripture. They have expounded but few places of Scripture, neither is it likely the Pope will assemble them to expound the rest.

The Papists say, that the Scripture ought to be expounded by the rule of faith, and therefore not by Scripture onely. But the rule of faith and Scripture is all one.

As the Scriptures are not of man, but of the Spirit; so their interpretation is not by man, but of the Spirit likewise.

Let Councels, Fathers,Mr. Greenhill on third of Ezek. v. 14. p. 316. Churches, give their sense of the [Page 192] Scripture, it's private, if it be not the sense and interpretation of the Spirit. Let a private man give the true sense of the Scripture it's not private, [...]. because it's Divine; the sense of the Holy Ghost, and private, in 2 Pet. 1. 20. is not opposed to publike, but to Divine; and the words are to be read, no Scripture is of a mans own interpretation; Analysis 1. Grammatica quae proprias. that is, private, contrary to Divine.

The word is interpreted aright by declaring 1. The order,2. Rhetorica quae tropicas dictiones excu­tit. 2. The summne or scope 3. The sense of the words, which is done by framing a Rhetoricall and Logicall Analysis of the Text. In giving the sense, three Rules are of principall use, and necessity to be observed.3. Logica quae scopum, q [...]ae antecedentium & consequen­tium seriem, pr [...] ­bationumque vim indicat.

1. The literall and largest sense of any words in Scripture must not be imbraced farther, when our cleaving thereunto would breed some dis-agreement and contrariety between the present Scripture and some other Text or place, else shall we change the Scripture into a Nose of wax.

2. In case of such appearing dis-agreement the Holy Ghost leads us by the hand to seek out some distinction,Altingius. restriction, li­mitation or figure for the reconcilement thereof, and one of these will always fit the purpose; for Gods word must al­wayes bring perfect truth, it cannot fight against it selfe.

3. Such figurative sense, limitation, restriction or distincti­on must be sought out, as the word of God affordeth either in the present place or some other, and chiefely those that seeme to differ with the present Text, being duly compared together.

The end of the first Booke.

THE SECOND BOOKE▪

CHAPTER. 1.
OF GOD.

HAving handled the Scripture, which is principi­um Cognoscendi, in Divinity, I now proceed to Treate of GodIllum Graeci [...] vocant, Latini post eos, & abijs Deum dix [...]re: Galli, I [...]ali, Hispani, mut [...]to à Latini [...] nomine, Dieu, Dio, Dios, appellant. Germani, An­gli, Belgae Go [...]t, vel God [...]um nuncupant, who is principium essendi. or thus, the Scripture is the rule of Divinity, God and his workes, are the matter or parts of Di­vinity.

This Doctrine is,

1. Necessary,

1. Because man was made for that end; that he might rightly acknowledge and worshipAct. 17. 27. Rom. 1. 20. 21. God, love and ho­nour him.

2. It is the end of all divine Revelation John 5. 39.

3. To be Ignorant of God is a great misery; being alienated from the life of God,Ephes. 4. 18. through the Ignorance that is in them.

2. Profitable,

[Page 2] Our welfare and happinesse consists in the knowledge of God Jer. 9. 23. John 17. 3. the knowledge of God in the life to come, is called the Beatificall vision.

3. Difficult,There is no equall propor­tion, between the facultie, and the object.

God being infinite, and our understanding finite; betwixt which two there is no proportion; who knowes the things of God, save the spirit of God? A created understanding, can no more comprehend God;Deum dignè aestimamus dum inaessimabilem dicimus. Cy­prian. De Deo etiam dicere vera periculo­sum est. Ruffin. in exposit. Symb. then a Viall-glasse can containe the waters of the Sea. His wisdome is unsearchable, Rom. 11. Job. 11. 7. and 26. 13. Euclide answered very fitly to one asking many things concerning the Gods: Coetera quidem nescio, illud scio, quod odêre curiosos. Simonides being injoyned by Hiero, to tell him what was God, required a dayes time to be given him, before he answered; and at the end of that, two; when they were expired, foure, still doubling his time for inquiry; till at the last being by Hiero, Things that excell in Scrip­ture phrase usually are said to be things of God, Psal. 36. 6. and 80. 10. John. 3▪ 3. asked a reason of his delayes, he told him plainely that by how much the more he thought of God, by so much the more he apprehended the impossibility of declar­ing what he was. We know God per viam eminentiae, negationis, causationis.

1. All perfections which we apprehend, must be ascribed unto God, and that after a more excellent manner, then can be apprehended; as that he is in himselfe, by himselfe and of himselfe: that he is one, true, good, and holy.

2. We must remove from him all imperfections whatsoever; he is Simple, Eternall, Infinite, Unchangeable.

3. He is the Supream cause of all.

There is a threefold knowledge of God.

1. An implanted knowledge which is in every mans consci­ence, a naturall ingraffed principle about God, O anima na­turaliter Christiana! said Tertullian.

2. An acquired knowledge by the Creatures, Psal. 19. 1. That is the great Booke, in evey page whereof we may behold the Diety. Praesentemque refert quaelibet herba Deum.

3. Revealed knowledge of faith, spoken of Heb. 11. 6. and this is onely sufficient to Salvation.

The Heathens had the knowledge of God in a confused man­ner, [Page 3] Rom. 1. 19. 21. and 2. 14. a practicall knowledge 15. v. which shew the worke of the Law written in their hearts, not the gracious writing promised in the Covenant; the light of na­ture is not sufficient to bring manSome u [...]g [...] this, what Moses was to▪ the Jewes Christ in the new Testa­ment, that was Philosophie to the Hea­thens; enough to save them. Erasmus had much adoe to forbeare say­ing, Sancte Socrates, ora pro nobis, But omnis doctrina Phi­losophorum [...]ine Capite quia Deum igno­rabant, Lactantius, & extra ecclesiam nulla salus. See Matth. 4. 16. 2 Cor. 4. 3. and Doctor Prideaux, in his eighth L [...]ure de Salute Ethnicorum. To beleeve there is a God is the foundation of all Religion▪ Caput est primum Divine legis, ipsum Deum n [...]sse. Loctamius. It is a question, whether [...]man by the light of nature may know that there is a God. Though this be denied by the Socinians, yet those Scriptures, Rom. 1. 19. and Psal. 19. heg. seeme to prove it. to Salvation; onely in Judah is God known, 76. Psal. 1. 2. and 147. 19. See I [...]hn 14. 6. and 11. 27. Ephes. 2. 11. 12. The Heathen might know Gods nature and attributes, that he was the Creator of the world, that by his providence he did preserve and rule all things, but they could not by the most industrious use of all natures helpes, attaine unto any the least knowledge of God as he is mans Redeemer in Christ; they knew not the truth as it is Jesus Ephes. 4. 21.

In God we will consider.

  • 1. His Nature.
  • 2. His workes.

In his nature, two things are considerable.

  • 1. That he is.
  • 2. What he is?

That God is, is the most manifest, cleare, evident, ungain­sayable truth in the world. It is the first verity, and the prin­cipall verity; from which all other truth hath its originall; and it is the foundation of all true goodnesse and religion truly to beleeve it; so saith the Author to the Hebrewes, He that cometh to God, to doe him any Service, or to receive any benefit from him, must beleeve, that is, be firmely and un­doubtedly perswaded, that God is.

By a God we meane an essence bett [...] [...]hen all other things, & before all other things; & of whom another things are, such a first essence is God, and such an essence there must needs be; nei­ther is any thing of absolute necessity but this one thing; even the divine essence.

Reasons to confirme this, that there is a God are taken from authority or Testimony and reason.

[Page 4] The Testimonies are,

  • 1. Of God himselfe.
  • 2. The Creature.
  • 1. Generall of all men.
  • 2. Particular of each mans conscience.

Reasons may be drawne from two chiefe places, viz. the ef­ffects and the contrary.

The effects are either,There are two kinds of De­monstrations or proofes.

1. Ordinary,1. A demon­strating of the effects by their causes, which is a proof [...] priori. Prin­ciples cannot be demonstrat­ed à causa and [...] priori, be­cause they have no supe­riour cause. and those. 1 Naturall, both Generall, the making and preserving of the world; and Speciall, the framing, or maintaining of each man, or other like crea­ture in the world.

2. Civill the upholding and altering the States of Kingdomes,A demon­strating of causes by their effects: which is a proofe drawne à posteriori. So principles may be demonstrated. All principles being Prima, and Notissima of themselves are thereby made indemonstrable. and particular Countryes.

2. Extraordinary, miracles.

Arguments from the contrary are two,

1. The Being of the Devils.

2. The slightnesse of the reasons brought to disprove this truth or to shew the Contrary.

Though no man can prove à causa, why there should be a God, yet every man may Collect ab effectu, that there is a God: by that wisdome, which we see to have been in the making; that Order, in the Governing; and that Goodnesse, in the pre­serving and maintaining of the world. All which prove as effectually, that there needs must be a God, as either warming or burning, that the fire must needs be hot.

That there is a God is proved.Quad sit D [...]us

  • 1. By Testimony.
  • 2. By R [...]on.

1. By the Testimony of GodThe weigh­tiest Testimony that can be brought to prove there is a God, is to produce the Testimony of God speaking in his own word. None other in the world can have equall authority, John 8. 13. 14. Yet this Testimony is not allowed by the Atheists. For as they deny that there is a God, so they deny likewise that the Scripture is his word. Atheomastix l. 1. c. 2. Nulla gens tam effera ac barbara qvae non cognoscat esse Deum. Cicero de natura Deorum. Epicurum ip­sum, quem nihil pudendum pudet, tamen Deum negare pudet. Mornaeus. himselfe; he that testifieth of [Page 5] himselfe, either by word or writing, is. God hath written a Booke to us, in which he affirmes of himselfe that he is; every page almost, and line of Scripture point to God. He begins his Booke with himselfe, saying, In the beginning God made heaven and earth. He concludes this Book with himself, saying, if any man shall take ought from this prophesie, God shall take away his part out of the Booke of life. In every particular prophesie, he testifieth the same thing, saying, thus saith the Lord.

2. By the generall Testimony of all men, by the universall and constant consent of all Nations in the world, Rom. 2. 15. It is called a Law written in their hearts; all publikely confesse and professe their beleef of God; we never read nor heard of any so barbarous & uncivill which acknowledged not a deitie. There is no History which sheweth the manners of any people, but sheweth also their Religion. All Common-wealths had alwayes some thing, which they worshipt, and called in their Language God; this principle is written by God himselfe in the Table of every mans soule. That which is written in the hearts of all men, which with one mouth all acknowledge, must needs be a truth, seing it is the voice of reason it selfe.

Munster in his Cosmographie, and Ortelius in his Theatrum Orbis, have delivered unto us not onely a Cosmographicall description of all Countries, but also a Tropographicall de­scription of their manners, yet neither of them hath noted any Nation to be without all Religion,Inveniuntur qui si [...]e rege, sine lege vi­vunt, qui sub diò degunt, qui nudi serarum instar sylvas oberrant, avia querunt & ob­via depascuntur. Qui religion [...] specie, qui sacris, qui numinis sensu planè carerent, nulli inventi sunt, nulli et [...]am­num inveniuntur. Morneus de veritate Christianae relig. C. 1. A Iove principium musae. none to be profest in A­theisme. Idolatry it selfe (as Calvin observes in his Institutions) is a sufficient Testimony of a Dietie; men will rather have false God then none, and worship any thing then nothing.

Porrum & Caepe nefâs violare ac frangere morsu.

O sanctas gentes, quibus haec nascuntur in hortis Numina— Invenal, Satyr. 15. Pythagoras, Plato, and all the Poets began their workes with Gods name.

[Page 6] 3. By the particular Testimony of each mans conscience. ConscienceThe most pregnant and undeniable p [...]oofe of the God-head with the Hea­then, was the voyce of con­science. The Scripture sheweth, that the wicked were much terrified in their consci­ences, after the commit­ting of hainous sinnes, R [...]m. 2. 15. Is [...]y. 57. 20. 21. Marke 6. 14. 16. So doth com­mon experi­e [...]ce teach, in Murtherers, Theeves, and the like. Marke 9. 44. Act. 16. 25. Act. 12. 6. Psal. 3. 6. and 46. 1. 2. Si fractus illabatur orbis impavidum ferient ruinae. Horat. proclaimes a Law in every heart, and denounceth a punishment for the breach of Gods Law. Conscience is a naturall ability of discerning the condition and State of our Actions, whether good or bad; and that not alone in respect of men; but of some other thing above men; for when one hath done things unlawfull, though such as no man can ac­cuse us of, because no man doth know; yet then he is accused and tormented, then he hath some thing in him, threatning, arraigning, accusing, and terrifying; a Deputy of God, sit­ting within him, and controlling him; a man must therefore confesse, there is a higher power to whom that conscience of his is an Office, and a Supreame Judge. That which the conscience of every man beareth witnesse unto, is sure a truth; for that is a thousand witnesses. The feares of an ill consci­ence, the joy and security of a good conscience, prove this, that there is a God, a revenger of sinnes, and a rewarder of vertues. Nero having killed his Mother Agrippin [...], confessed that he was often troubled with her Ghost. Caligula at the least thunder and lightening would cover his head, and hide himselfe under his bed; whence Statius saith—Primus in orbe Deos fecit Timor. On the contrary, Paul and Sylas could sing; and Peter could sleepe securely in Prison; David could triumphantly rejoyce in God in the greatest dangers, 1 Sam. 30. 6. Austin cals peace of conscience the Soules Paradise; and Salomon a continuall Feast, Prov. 15. 15.—Hic murus abe­neus esto Nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa.

2. Divers reasons may be brought to prove that there is a God, from the effects and the contrary.

  • 1. From his effects,
    • Ordinary.
    • Extraordinary.
  • 1. Ordinary,
    • Naturall,
    • Civill,

1. Naturall,

1. Generall, the Creation and preservation of the world

[Page 7] 1. Creation,Every effect hath its cause, whatsoever is wrought or done, is wrought or done by some thing, which hath ability and fitnesse to produce such an effect; seeing nothing can doe no­thing, and what hath not sufficiency to produce such and such ef­fects, cannot produce them. or making all things,

The world must needs be eternall, or must be made by it selfe, or by some thing which was before it selfe, and therefore also was farre better then it selfe. But it could not make it selfe; for what maketh▪ worketh; what worketh, is; but what is made, is not till it be made: Now no­thing can be, and not be at the same time; for both the parts of a contradiction can never be true together. Nei­ther could it be eternall; for a thing compounded of parts, must needs have those parts united together by some other thing beside it selfe, and above it selfe; and if they be compounded wisely, artif [...]cially, strongly, and excel­lently, by some wise, strong, and excellent worker, see­ing it is inimaginable how each of these parts being not reasonable, should come together of themselves; there­fore sure there was some worker, which did so handsome­ly dispose and order them; and this worker must needs have a being,Of whom there be workes and effects, he is; of God there be workes and effects; there­fore there is a God. before he could so worke; and therefore also before the conjunction of them; and so things in such sort made by composition of parts, could not be eter­nall; for that neither hath, nor can have any thing before it; therefore it must needs be made by some thing which was capable of being from Eternity. What is E­ternall, is of it selfe; what is of it selfe is God; the world is not God; because the parts of it are corruptible, therefore it is not eternall;As God is to be felt sensi­bly, in every mans consci­ence, so is he to be seene vi­sibly in the Creation of the world, and of all things therein contained▪ Man the best of the creatures here below was not able to raise up such a Roofe as the Heavens, nor such a floore as the earth. D [...]cter Preston, Job. 12. 9. Serviunt omnia omnibus, uni omnia. Mundi Creatio est Dei Scriptura, cuius [...]ria sunt f [...]lia Caelum, terra, mare. and what is Finite in quanti­ty, cannot be infinite in continuance. It could not be made by any creature in it; for the part cannot possibly make the whole; because it is of farre lesse vertue then the whole, and because it hath its being in and of the whole; wherefore it must needs be made by some thing better then it selfe, which is no part of it selfe; and that is no other [Page 8] then God; so the making of the world proves a God. What Created the world, is, and is better then the world; and before the world, and above all creatures in the world. God Created the world. When we see the glo­rious frame of Heaven and earth; the excellency, magni­tude, and multitude of naturall things; the beautifull or­der and harmony; so great variety; we cannot but con­clude that there is a God, who made and ordereth all these things.

2. The Preservation and continuance of the world in that Order which we see,The preserving and ordering of the world, and humane societies in it; the planting, and defending of the Church. A number of wheeles in a Clocke, doe worke toge­ther, to strike at set times, not any one of them, know­ing the inten­tion of the other; there­fore they are ordered and kept in order by the care of some wise person; which knowes the distance and frame of each and of the whole. An Army of men could not meet together at one time, and in one place, to fight for, or against one City, if the wisdome of one Ge­nerall did not Command over all. A number of Letters cannot all fall orderly together, to make perfect sence without some Composer. Protogenes by the smallnesse of a line, drawn in a Table, knew Apelles, the chiefest Artificer. He that sees but the shape and [...]ffigies of a man, presently thinkes of a Painter. maketh it manifest, that there is a God which preserveth and ordereth it. For either it must be preserved, ruled, and ordered by it selfe, or by some more excellent thing then it selfe; not by it selfe; for what could not make it selfe, cannot of it selfe keepe and uphold it selfe, seeing no lesse power is required to its continuation then to its constitution; for it could not continue, if each of the parts did not so worke as to helpe and uphold the other in some respect or other. Now these severall parts could not so worke for one Common end, if they were not guided thereto by some common and understanding guide which were acquainted with, and had power over each of them; therefore it hath one ruler and upholder. That which is effected by the constant, orderly, and subordinate working of innumerable particulars for one common end, whereof no one of them hath any knowledge or acquain­tance, must needs be wrought by some common Ruler, and Governour which knowes the motion and working of each, and rules all, and each to that end in their severall motions. What upholds the world; is; but God upholds the world; therefore he is.

[Page 9] 1. This is Aquinas his reason, naturall bodies which want knowledge, worke for a certaine end, because they frequent­ly worke after the same manner; therefore there must be a minde understanding, and governing all things, and dire­cting them to that speciall and chiefe end. The whole world doth aptly conspire together for the attaining of one end, the good and benefit of man. All creatures incline to their proper operations, the stone downe-ward, the fire upward; the seasons of the yeare constantly follow each other.

2. Particular, the framing and maintaining of each crea­ture in the world; the Heavens and Man especially; these two were most artificially made, as the Scripture shewes. The Psalmist cals the heavens, the worke of Gods Fingers, Psal.. 8. 4. because they were made with greatest ease, and with exquisite Art, Heb. 11. 10. whose builder ( [...] Arti­fex) is God, speaking of the Heavens.

Psal. 139. 14, I am fearefully and wonderfully made, 15. v. curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the Earth. The Hebrew word is very Emphaticall; it signifieth Embroyder­ed, or wrought with a needle, that is cunningly wrought with Nerves, Veines, Arteries. Galen upon the contempla­tion of the admirable workmanship in the body of man, breaketh out into an Hymne, in the praise of him that madeHic compono canticum, in Creatoris nostri laudem. Si Humani corporla admirabilem constructionem intus extraque conspicimus, & ut omnia ibi etiam mi­nima suos usus habeant, nullo studio nulla industria parentum, arte vero tanta, ut philosophorum ac medi­corum praestantissimi nunquam eam satis possint admirari. Grotius. The Sunne is moved by another, by whom he is tyed unto such a str [...]ct and unalterable motion, that Astronomers can surely tell (unto the very minute) all the Ecclipses▪ that shall ever fall out, so long as the world it selfe shall last. him.

1. The Creation of the Heavens proves, that there is a God.

The largenesse, roundnesse, purenesse, solidnesse, the conti­nuall and constant motion of the heavens; doth excellently declare the glory of God. The very name of Astronomy [Page 10] (whose object is the motion of the heavenly Orbes and Stars) in exact signification importeth that the Starres observe a Law in their motion:Psal. 148. 6. which Law is given unto them onely by God himselfe, who is their true Law-giver.

Suidas affirmeth, that even Abraham himselfe was first occasi­oned, to seek after God by considering the motion of the Stars; for he being by nation a Chaldean (who, as Aristotle observeth, are naturally given to that kinde of contemplation) and ob­serving in their motion, a wonderfull order and variety, and yet no lesse a constancie, he presently collected that these strange revolutions were directed and guided by some God.

2 The Creation of man proves this truth, that there is a God.

1. A man may reason from his owne framing in the wombe, and preserving in the world. Man is framed in the wombe, by some most noble, wise, and excellent workman. The Pa­rents frame him not there, for they know nothing of his fram­ing, neither when, nor how, he was so formed; therefore some more excellent thing then a man did frame him there, and doth daily, and hourely, frame other men; and that is a wise worker, which is a like wise, and potent in all places of the world at all times, seeing there is something more excellent then man which hath set downe this Order for producing of men, and so a God.

2. The Nobility and Excellency of the soule, sheweth plainely, that it is of Divine Originall;The Hea­thens called the Soule of man divinae particulam aurae, a parcell of the Divine essence; but that speech must be taken [...]um grano satis. it being Spirituall and Incorporeall, could not but proceed from that which is Incorporeall. The effect cannot be toto genere better then the cause. Divers workes are done by man, arts invented, Zach. 12. 1.

3. The being and preservation of each particular man. Each particular man in the world, may reason from his owne being thus; either there must be an infinite number of men, or else there must be a first man, which was the beginning of all men; but an infinite number of particular men is not possible; seeing there can be no infinite number at all; for every number be­gins with an unity, and is capable of being made greater by the [Page 11] addition of an unity: therefore there cannot be an infinite number of particular men. Therefore we must come to some first man; and that first man could not make himselfe, nor be made by any inferiour thing to it selfe; therefore it must be made by some thing more excellent then it selfe. viz. One infi­nite thing, from which all particulars had their Originall.

4. God is manifested in the consciences of men, as was touched before.

  • 1. By the Ministery of the word, by which he powerfully worketh on their consciences.
  • 2. By the inward Checks of conscience after finne com­mitted.
    • 1. In the godly, 1 Sam. 24. 5. and 2. Sam. 24. 10.
    • 2. In the wicked, Matth. 27. 3. 4. 5.

2. Civill.Civill Eff [...]cts. Politiae & Le­ges probant mentemesse di­vinam intelli­gentem, illas hominibus tum m [...]nstratem tum conervan­tem, ne Diabo­li & impiorum­odio & machi­nationibus disso­lutae corruant; Deus enim est Deus ordinis

States and Kingdomes consist, and the Governed by a few Magistrates and Rulers. There are innumerable more men, that wish and desire the overthrow, and ruine of the State, then that would live under Government, and be subject to Order.

This effect must have some cause, either the wisedome, and goodnesse of the governed, or of the Governours, or of some higher cause then they both. Now it cannot be attributed to the wisedome of the Governours; as being often times foolish, and men of meane understanding, at the best such as cannot prevent the conspiracies of those under them. Nor yet doth it arise from the goodnesse of the persons governed, most of which most times are wicked, and unwilling to come under government, therefore it must be of God; that is, a common Superiour which holds all in awe.

2. Extraordinary, Miracles.

There is a work of Miracles,Miraculous Effects. for all stories both of Scripture, and other Countries, doe agree in relating divers Miracles. Now the worker of a Miracle, is he that can lift Nature off the Hinges as it were, and set it on againe as seemeth best to himselfe; and therefore is above the course of nature, and the Commander of the course of nature,Exodus 15. 11. 72. Psal. 18. and 136. 4. and so is the Author of all things under himselfe, under nothing; and that is none but [Page 12] God.Isay 41. 23. The certaine and plaine predictions of things future long afore, whose events could by no wit of man, be either gathered from their causes,A Miracle is a worke of infi­nite strength, or omnipo­tency; surpassing the whole power of created nature, as to turne water into wine, to multi­plie seven loaves, to the feeding and satisfying of 4000 men, to give the use of sight to one borne blind, to arise up a man indeed dead, to cure a leprosie with the word. or conjectured from their signes. Miracles are wrought beyond, and above the course of nature; therefore some supreame Power must work them.

Secondly, Arguments may be drawn from the contrary, to prove that there is a God.

Reasons,

From the contrary are two.

1. From the being of Devils.

There is a Devill, an Enemy to God, which sets himselfe against God; and desires, and strives, and prevailes in many places, to be worshiped as God; therefore it must needs be, there is a God, to whom the Service and honour is due, of be­ing confessed, and adored as God; which these doe unduly af­fect and seeke.The Bride­ling of wicked Spirits and men. Againe the Devill is a Creature for strength, wisdome, nimblenesse, able to destroy all man-kinde quickly; and out of his Malice and Fury, very willing to doe it. Yet he cannot doe it, it is not done; of this restraint there is some cause, therefore there must be something, which over-com­mands, and over-rules him, and that can be no other then a God; that is, something of Higher Power, and in wisedom farre beyond him. Now there are Devils, it is apparent by the horrible temptations, which are cast into the hearts of men; quite against and beyond their naturall inclinations, as Blasphemous Suggestions, and as appeareth by the practises of conjurers and witches, who practise with the Devill; and of those Countreys, which worship him instead of God, and as a God, being beguiled by him.

2. From the sleightnesse of the reasons brought to disprove this truth, or to shew the Contrary.

The reasons produced to shew there is no God are fond and weake; and what is opposed alone by weake and false rea­sons is a truth.

[Page 13] 1. If there were a God, some man should see him, and sen­sibly converse with him.

This is a brutish reason, what cannot be seene is not, then man hath no soule; God is above sense; more excellent then to be discerned by so poor, weak, and low a thing as sense is.

2. God daily makes himselfe, after a sort visible to men by his workes.

2 If there were a God, he would not suffer wicked men to prosper, and oppose better men then themselves; nor himselfe to be so blasphemed as he is.

Those things that to us seeme most unjust and unfit; if we could see the whole tenour of things from the beginning to the ending, would appeare just and wise.

3 All Divine Religion (say the Atheists) is nothing else but an humane invention,The Atheists third objecti­on, that Reli­gion is but an humane in­vention. artificially excogitated to keep men in awe; and the Scriptures are but the device of mans braine, to give assistance to Magistrates in Civill government.

This objection strikes at the root and heart of all Religion, & opposeth two many Principles at once; 1. that there is a God. 2. That the Scripture is the word of God, which, though it be but a meer idle fiction; yet it prevailed too much with some learned men; Tullie, and Seneca, were the chiefest Patrons of that conceit, that Religion is no better then an humane invention.

1. Religion is almost as Ancient as man;Gen. 4. 3. 4. when there were but three men in the universall world, we read that two of them offered up their sacrifices unto God.

2. The universality of Religion declareth that it is not a humane invention,Gen. 3. 3. but a Divine impression; yea, and a Divi­nity-Lesson, of Gods own heavenly teaching. Lactantius ac­compteth Religion to be the most proper and essentiall dif­ference between a man and a Beast.

3. The perpetuity of Religion proveth also that it was planted by God.Matth. 15. 13.

For the second part of the objection about the Scriptures, I answer.

Nothing is more repugnant to Prudence and Policy.

What Policy was it in the old Testament, to appoint cir­cumcision, [Page 14] to cut a poor Child, as soon as he comes into the world?2 Chron. 7. 5. two and twenty thousand Oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand Sheep were spent by Salomon, at the dedica­tion of one Altar. To slaughter so many Oxen and Sheep (such usefull creatures) was enough to bring a Famine.

They were to give away the seventh part of their time to God.

Christ was not the Sonne of the Emperour Augustus, to commend him to the Grandees of the world; but the supposed Son of a poor Carpenter; a Starre leads the Wise Men to a Stable, though that shined gloriously without, yet there was nothing within, but what was base, and contemptible.

Christ fell on the Pharisees, the great Doctors, 23. of Mat­thew, called them fooles, and blind, and threatened them with Hell; he cryed down the Ceremoniall Law, the Ministry which had beene practised di [...]rs hundred years; the Jewes were naturally tenacious of their Customes Christ chose silly unlearned men to propagate the Gospell.

Nothing crosseth humane wisdome more then the whole Scripture from the beginning to the end.

Martin Fotherby He sp [...]nds his whole second Booke about this reason. The Greekes insinuate, that all Arts come from God; in making Minerva, the daughter of Jupiter: and to have had her generation in his Divine braine. As God the Son is called [...]; so Grammer, Logicke, Rhetoricke, carry upon them the same name. There is [...] verbam, that is Grammer▪ [...] Ratio, that is Logick; [...] oratio, and that is Rhetoricke. Bishop of Salisbury (who wrote Atheo­mastix) addes another reason, to prove that there is a God, and it is taken from the grounds of Arts: There is no Art (saith he) neither liberall nor illiberall, but it cometh from God, and leadeth to God.

1. From Metaphysicks he urgeth, that the bounding of all naturall bodies, is the work of God; to be unlimited and boundlesse, is onely the Prerogative of the Maker of all things. Every finite body being thus limited, must needs have those bounds prescribed unto it, by some other thing, and not by it selfe. For every thing by nature, seeking to inlarge it selfe, as far as it is able, if it had the setting of its owne bounds it, [Page 15] would set none at all; but would be as infinite, as God him­selfe is, who hath the setting of limits unto all things; who could circumscribe all things within their limits, but onely God Himselfe: who is both the Maker and Ruler of all things? Psal. 33. 7. Job 38. 11.

2. From Philosophy;All second causes, depend on the first, and we cannot pro­ceed in Infinitū ▪ every thing that is, must needs have a cause, and nothing can be the cause of it selfe, and among all the causes, there can be but one first, and principall cause; which is the true cause of all the rest, and of all those effects which proceede from all of them: then the first cause can be nothing else but God: for what can that be, which giveth being unto all things, but only God?

All motion depends on some mover,Quicquid mo­vetur, ab alio movetur. Some derive Deus from [...] feare, because the feare of him is planted in the very natures, and consciences of all reasonable Creatures, others a dando; in English God, quasi Good; his daily mercies and blessings shew that there is a God, Act. 14 17, the motion of sublu­nary things depends on the motion of the Heavens, and their motion must needs be caused by some supreame first mover. Therefore we must necessarily come at last to some first mover, which is moved of no other, and that is God.

Others adde these reasons to prove that there is a God.The Heathens lift up their eyes and hands to Hea­ven in any sud­daine distresse. Psal. 9. 16.

1. The heroick motions and prosperous successe of some famous men in undertaking and acting those things which ex­ceede the common capacity of humane nature; the gifts of minde in Aristotle, Achilles, Alexander.

2. The hainous punishments inflicted on particular men, Familes and Kingdomes for great offences, some of which were wonderfully brought to execution, when by their power and subtilty they thought they could escape the Magistrates Sword.

If we speake of Atheists strictly and properly,The pure A­theist (accord­ing to the pro­priety of that name) is hee, which gene­rally and con­stantly denyeth all Deity, and beleeveth as he saith. The stou [...]est Atheist that ever lived, can not reso­lutely and con­stantly believe there is no God. meaning such as have simply denied all Deity and denied it constantly, Tullies sentence is most true, that there was never any such Creature in the World as simply and constantly to deny God. The name of an Atheist in this sense, is nomen [...]ciosunt; a name without a thing. It wee speake of Atheists in a larger sense, [Page 16] for such as have openly (though not constantly) denied the Divinity, of such professed Atheists, there have not beene past two or three. If wee speake of Atheists in the largest sense, meaning such as denied Gods providence, justice, goodnesse, though they have done it but weakely, rather upon some so­daine passion, then any setled resolution, their number hath scarcely amounted to a score, I meane of such open Atheists, as have made any publike profession of their Atheisme, though but even in these secondary points.

Those Atheists that denied a God, spake what they wish­ed rather then what they thought; or else they opposed the Heathenish Gods, or to shew theirDiagorus made a very eloquent Oration, that there was no God; but the people comming to him applauded him, saying that in his Oration he had almost perswaded them, but he did so [...]l [...]quently that they thought hee was the God, wit; Diagoras (the chiefest of them) didMorn [...]eus cap. 1. de verit. Relig. p. 16. Potius Gentilium Deos ridere, quam Deum negare: Hee rather derided false Gods, then denied the true; that hee was not a meere Atheist, appeareth, in that hee thus began his Poeme, Quod a numine summ [...] reguntur omnia.

The Athenians also condemned Protagoras for an Atheist: yet not for denying God, but for seeming to doubt of him: Because in the beginning of his Booke hee propounded this Probleme: De diis quidem statuere nequeo; neque an sint, nec ne: For this the Athenians banished him, and decreed, that his Bookes should be publikely burned. Theodoras (who for his no­table prophanesse was surnamed Atheos) though at the first he was noted ofWhen he wanted fire he tooke one of Hercules wooden I­mages and made a fire of it, saying, go to Hercules, thou shalt now go through thy thirteenth labour. Atheisme, yet at the last hee fell into Auto­theisme, professing himselfe a God, as Laertius reporteth; though carrying God in the name, hee was an Atheist in his o­pinion saith Fuller in his prophane state of this Theodorus. A Pope dying said, now I shall bee resolved of three things, 1. Whether there be a God, 2. Whether the soule be immortall, 3. Whether there be an Heaven and Hell.

Some indirectly deny God by denying his providence as Epicurus, Psal. 14. 1. & 53. 15. who denied not Gods Essence, but onely his Pro­vidence. [Page 17] He granted that there was a God,So Genebrard and Muis ex­pound that, 14. Ps. of indirect Atheists, who deny Gods Providence. Heb. 11. 6. though he thought him to be such an one as did neither evill nor good. But God sitteth not idle in Heaven, regarding nothing that is done upon the Earth (as the Epicure conceiteth). He is a most observing God, and will reward or punish men according to their actions.

1. This serves to blame and condemne the miserable cor­ruption of our evill hearts,It is not only innatum, sed etiam in animo insculptum esse Deos Cic l. 2. de natura Deorum: which are so farre overrun with Atheisme; though this be the very first Truth which God hath ingraven into the soule of a man, that there is a God, yet we weakely hold this conclusion; for all sinne may and must be resolved into the ignorance of God and Atheisme; wee should be humbled for our thoughts of Atheisme, for saying in our hearts that there is no God;No Atheists almost can be named, neither in the holy Scriptures, nor in Ecclesi [...]stical Histori [...]s, nor in Heathen writings, which came not unto some fearfull end, See Atheo­mastix. l. 1. chap. 15. the Devill in judgement never was an Atheist, we should take notice of and bewaile this foule vice. Though the Atheist did never so carefully, or cunningly dissemble it, yet he could not but inwardly know, that there was a God.

2. We should oppose this Atheisme and labour to grow more and more in the knowledge of God, and to strengthen our Faith in this principle that God is; meditate and ponder of his Works, and be perfect in those Lessons which the com­mon Booke of nature teacheth, pray to God to cleare the eye of our minde, and to imprint a right knowledge of him­selfe in us; The Papist is a make-God, and the Atheist is a mock-God, The Papist deludeth his conscience, and the A­theist derideth his [...]onscience; Popery comforteth the flesh, and Atheisme suppresseth the spirit.

As the Heathen Emperours tooke upon them the TitleSo Domitian, Dominus Deus noster, sic fieri jubet. Suetonius. edictam Domini Deique nostri. Martiall More Caligula, Dominum se, Deumque vocarit coegit. Aurelius Victor. of God, so doth the Pope Dominus Deus noster Papa. His De­crees and Canons are called Oracles; Oracle signifieth the answer of God, Rom. 3 2. & 11. 4. And his decretall Epistles are equalled to the Canonicall Epistles.

[Page 18] Deale with thy heart as Junius his Father dealt with him: he seeing his sonne was Atheisticall, he laid a Bible in every Rome, that his son could looke in no Rome, but behold a Bible haunted him, upbraiding him, wilt thou not reade me Atheist? wilt thou not reade me? And so at last he read it, and was converted from his Atheisme. The often medi­tating in the Scriptures will (through Gods blessing) settle us in these two great Principles, 1. That there is a God. 2. the Scripture is the Word of God; That God which made Heaven and earth is the onely true God; we must believe that this God which we reade of in Scripture is the onely true Psal. 48. 14.God; so it is not enough to believe there is a Scripture, but thatEsay 40. 5. 8. the Scripture of the old and new Testament is the Word of God.

CHAP. II.
What God is.

IN him consider,
Quid su [...].
First, his Nature.
Secondly, his Workes.
In his Nature two things are considerable:
First, his Essence.
Secondly, the distinction of persons in that essence.
1. Of Gods Essence.

God is an Infinite Essence which is of Himselfe, and gives being to all other things.

Some things have their being wholly in another, as acci­dents, whitenes in the Wall, Wisdome in the minde, 2. Some things have a being by themselves not inhering in another, as substances, which are of two kindes, 1 Bodily substances which have dimensions, length, bredth and thicknesse, posses­sing a place by commensuration of parts, 2. Spirituall, freed from dimensions and from all circumscription of place; God is not an accident, that is the most weake and imperfect being, nearest to a not being, and most easily reduced into no­thing, [Page 19] as if the Grasse and Flower fade, then the colour and fashion of it commeth soon to nothing. God is not in any other thing, but all things are in him.

God is a Spirit, a being voyd of all dimensions, circum­scriptions and divisiblenesse of parts. Other Spirits are com­pounded of substance and accidents at least, and exist in a place by limitation of Essence by which they are here and not there; but God is an Essence altogether simple and immateriall, ut­terly free from all manner of composition any way, in whom are no qualities nor any limitation of essence. Hee is a Spiri­tuall, Simple, and Immateriall essence. His essence is substan­tiall, an essence which hath a being in it selfe not in another, simply and wholly immateriall (Hee is one most pure and meere Act) but incomprehensible,Job. 11. 7, 8. & 26. 14. goes quite beyond our knowledge, so that wee cannot comprehend his essence, nor know it as it is. He only perfectly knowes himselfe, but he may be known in some sort.

  • 1. By his Names.
  • 2. By his Attributes.

The word God is attributed.

First, properly to him who is essentially God, Esay 42. 8. 1 Cor. 8. 6. and either personally, commonly, without a de­termination of a certaine Person, John 4. 24. Or singularly to some one person by a Synecdoche John 3. 16. Acts 20. 28. 1 Tim. 3. 16.

Secondly, improperly to those which by nature are not God▪ 1 Cor. 8. 5. Gal. 4. 8. and that name is given to these, either from Gods ordination, for the dignity and excellency of their office as to Angels, Psal. 8. 6. to Magistrates, Psal. 82. 6. to Moses, Ex. 4. 16. or from their owne unjust usurpation, as to the Devill, who is called the God of the World, 2 Cor. 4. 9. or from the erroneous perswasion of men, as to Idoles, 1 Cor. 8. 4, 5.

For the ten Hebrew names of God (having handled them in another place) I shall say but little of them here.In the Epistle to my Hebrew Critica Sacra, and in the Booke it selfe. The name, Jehovah, Jah, Ehejeb signifie Gods Perfect, Absolute and simple being of and by himselfe, 2. Such a being as giveth be­ing to other things and upon whom they depend, 3. Such [Page 20] a God as is true and constant in his promises,judaei in legendis et scribedi [...] n [...]mi nibus, Dei [...]ppidò quam superstiti­osi sunt, inter­pretantur tert [...] praeceptum, no­men lehovae non esse prenuncian­dum, & librum in quo integrè scriptum est, nudis manibus non esse con­trectandum. Of those two Greeke names, See my Greeke Critica Sacra. As ready to make good whatsoever he hath spoken. His names El, Elohim, Schad­dai, Adonai signifie a God all-sufficient in himselfe, strong and powerfull, able to blesse, protect, and punish.

The Jewes in Pronouncing or writing the Names of God were reverent even to superstition. D. Fulk against Martin.

In the new Testament Gods most frequent Names are [...] and [...] God and Lord.

He is also called the Father of lights. JAmes. 1. 17.

The essentiall names of God are, 1. Proper,Jehovab, Jah Ehich, Exod. 13. 19. which agree to no Creature not Analogically. 2. Common which are applied to others, but agree to God principally by way of excellency, as God, King, and good.

The Name of God is used five wayes in Scripture:

First, essentially for God himselfe, Esay 30. 27.

Secondly, for the power and efficacy which comes from God, Ps. 118. 10, 11, 12.

Thirdly, for the command and authority of God, 1 Sam. 17. 45.

Fourthly, passively for those actions whereby he is acknow­ledged by us, Mat. 18. 19. that is nothing but worshiping and calling upon the Father, Sonne and Holy Ghost, for assistance.

Lastly for that Word whereby he is distinguished from crea­tures, and by which we are to have our thoughts directed a­bout him.

2. God may be known by his Attributes and essentiall pro­perties, of which some shew what he is in himselfe, 2. What he is to us.

They are called Attributes.Vocantur At­tributa quia ea sibi attribait Deus nostra causâ Zanchius de Attributis l. 2. c. 11. because they are rather said to be attributed to God (that we might by them better conceive what he is) then to be in him. They are that one most pure God diversly apprehended, and the same with the Divine es­sence; but for the weaknesse of our capacity they are diversly distinguished. They are called properties, because they are [Page 21] peculiar to his Majesty,Attributum est Divinae simpli­cissimae essentiae pro diversa agendi ratione diversa, & vera habitudo & conceptio nobis expressa. and are so in him, as they are not in any Creature.

Some doe distinguish of Gods Attributes and Properties.M. Stock on Gods Attri­butes. Attributes are those which belong to the Essence, and Proper­ties to the Persons themselves.

A propertyProprietates Divinae naturae, seu essentiae, sunt Attributa Dei essentialia, quibus essentiae Divinae veritas ac Majestas nobis innot [...]scit, & abaliis distinguiturs Wendelinus. in God is an essentiall Attribute in him, whereby his nature is knowne in it selfe, and is distinguished from all other things.

Some Rules are to bee observed in attributing these to God.

First,These Attri­butes differ not among them­selves, nor from the Divine essence Esay 43. 25. For my selfe, not for my Mercy; to teach us that his Mercy is himselfe, and not different from his Essence, as it is with us. they are all essentiall to God; for in him is no acci­dent at all; whatsoever is in God the same is God. All these are also one in him; his Mercy is his Justice, and his Justice is his Mercy, and each are his essence, onely they differ in our apprehension.

Secondly, they are all absolute properties in God, and so distinguished from those respective properties whereby every person in the Trinity hath his own subsistence.

Thirdly, they are all equall to all the three Persons, and a­like affirmed of all. The Father Eternall, most Holy, Al­mighty, mercifull; so is the Sonne and Holy Ghost.

Fourthly,God is so light that in him there is no darknesse at all. 1 John 1. 5. these Attributes are altogether in God alone, and that in the highest degree and measure, yea above all degree and measure; they are eternall and infinite in him. Hee alone is good, Mat. 19. 17. and only wise, Rom. 16. 27. And Kings of Kings, 1 Tim. 6. 15. They are affirmed of him, both in the concrete and abstract;John 8. 12. 1 John 1. 5. & 4. 16. Hee is not onely wise and good, but wisdome and goodnesse it selfe, Life and Justice it selfe.

Fifthly, they are all actually and operatively in God. He doth and will; his holinesse makes us holy.

[Page 22] 6. All these are in God objectively and finally; our holi­nesse lookes upon his holinesse, as the face in the looking-glasse on the man, whose representation it is; and our holi­nesse ends in his.

7. The attributes of God are everlasting,Psal. 105. 8. constant and un­changeable, for ever in him,Jam. 1. 17. at one time, as well as another.

This may minister comfort to Gods people;Psal. 136. 1. and 100. 5. Gods attributes are not mutable accidents, but his very essence, his love and mercy are like himselfe,Psal. 117. 2. infinite,Num. 23. 10. immutable, and eternall.

2. We should imitate God, and strive to be immutably good and holy as he is, Levit. 11. 44. Matth. 5. 48.

These attributes are diversly divided.

1. They are Affirmative, and Negative, as Good, Just, Invi­sible, Immortall, Incorporeall.

Proper and Figurative; as God is good, wise; members and humane affections are also attributed to him.

Absolute and Relative, without any relation to the crea­tures; as when God is said to be Immense, Eternall; he is like­wise said to be a Creator, King, Judge.

Some describe God, as he is in himselfe; he is an essence Spirituall, Invisible, most Simple, Infinite, Immutable, and Immortall. Some as he is to us, he is omnipotent, most good, just, wise and true.

Some declare Gods own sufficiency;Proprietates Dei sunt primi vel secundi generis. Primi generis proprietates sunt, quae ita Deo competunt, ut earum contrariae, omni in sint creaturae. Cujus [...]odi sunt independentia, simplicitas, immutabilitas, immensitas, aeternitas Secundi generis sunt, quae ita Deo competunt, ut earum expressae imagines in creaturis reperiantur. Wendelinus Christian. Theol. l. 1. C. 1. so he is said to be Al­mighty, infinite, perfect, unchangeable, eternall; others his ef­ficiency, as the working of his power, justice, and goodnesse over the creatures; so he is said to be patient, just, mercifull.

Some are incommunicable and agree to God alone; as when he is said to be eternall, infinite. Others are communi­cable in a sort with the creatures, as when he is said to be wise, good.

Those two kind of properties, which are said to be in [Page 23] God, differ from those properties, which are given to men and Angels.

In God they are infinite, unchangeable, and perfect, even the Divine essence it selfe; and therefore indeed all one and the same; but in men and Angels they are finite, changeable, and imperfect, meere qualities, divers, they receiving them by par­ticipation onely, not being such of themselves by nature.

It is hard to observe an accurate methode in the enumerati­on of the Attributes. Zanchie, Doctor Preston, and Mr. Storke have handled some few of them, none (that I know) hath written fully of them all.

CHAP. III.

GOd in respect of his nature is a Spirit; that is, a substance, or essence altogether incorporeall. This the Scripture expressely witnesseth, John 4. 24. 2 Cor. 3. 17.

An understanding Spirit is either created or uncreated.

Created Spirit, as the soule of man or an Angell, Psal. 104. 4. 1 Cor. 6. ult. uncreated, God.

Whatsoever is affirmed of God,God is called a Spirit. 1. Ne­gatively, be­cause he is not a body. 2. Analogically, or by a certaine likenesse, because there are many per­fections in Spi­ritu [...]Il sub­st [...]nces, which doe more sha­dow forth the Divine nature, then any bodi­ly [...]ng can. Doctor Ammes. Theol. which is also communica­ble to the creatures, the same must be understood by a kinde of excellencie and singularity above the rest. Angels are Spirits, & the soules of men are spirits, but God is a spirit by a kind of ex­cellency or singularity above all spirits, the God of spirits, Num 16▪ 22. the Father of spirits, Heb. 12. 9. the Authour of spirits, and indeed the spirit of spirits.

The word spirit in Greek [...], in Hebrew Ruach, is used chiefely of God, and secondarily of the creatures▪ when it is used of God, it is used either properly or metonymically; pro­perly, and so first essentially, then it signifieth the God­head absolutely as I [...]hn 4. 24. or more restrictively the divine nature of Christ, Heb. 9. 14. 1 Pet. 3. 18. secondly, per­sonally for the third person in the Trinity, commonly called the Holy spirit or Ghost, 1 Cor. 2. 11. I [...] the word be taken me­tonymically, [Page 24] it signifieth sometimes the effects of grace, either the common graces of Gods spirit, propheticall, 1 Sam. 10. 6. 10. miraculous, or the sanctifying graces, Ephes. 5. 13.

Reasons.

1. God is a spirit,God is of a pure and spi­rituall nature. because a spirit is the best, highest and purest nature; God being the most excellent and highest na­ture, must needs be a spirit too.

2. God is a most simple and noble being,To be a spirit implies, 1. Invisibility. 2. Efficacie, and activity, Ezek. 1. 20. therefore must needs be incorporeall; Angels and Souls have a composition in them; their essence and faculties are distinguished; they are compounded of Subject and Accidents, their nature and qua­lities or graces; but Gods holinesse is his nature.

3 God is insensible,3. Simplicitie. therefore a Spirit. Spirits are not subject to senses,God is invisi­ble, 14. Luke 39. Col. 1. 15 John 1. 18. John 1. 18.

This confutes 1.Consectaries Tertullian lib. ad­ver, Prax. & de anima, Rom. 1. 23. Anthro­pomorphites, a sort of He­reticks so cal­led because they miscon­ceived, that God had a bodily shape like man. who held God to be Corpo­reall, then he should consist of matter and forme.

2. The Anthropomorphites who ascribed to God the parts and members of a man; they alleage that place, Gen. 1. 27. But some thinke the soule is the onely subject and seat, in which the Image of God is placed; grant that it was in the body likewise, it being capable of immortality, yet a man was not said to be made after the Image of God in respect of his corporall figure, but in respect of knowledge, righteousnesse and holinesse, Ephes. 4. 23. Col. 3. 10. not in respect of his sub­stance, but qualities.

Ob. God is said to have members, face hands, eyes, in some pla­ces of Scripture,Psal. 34. 16.and yet in others he is said not to be a body but a Spirit;Zach. 4. 10. and consequently to have no hands nor eyes.

Sol. The word hand and eye is taken figuratively,Quod de Deo dicitur [...] intel­ligi debet [...]. Dextra Dei significat potentiam & majestatem Dei: oculi & aures Omniscientiam. The Scripture referring eyes to God, by them intends. 1. His knowledge, and notice of things, Prov. 15. 3. 2. His care, Psal. 34. 15. 3. His direction, Psal. 42. 8. for the power of seeing and working, which are actions, that men per­forme with the hand and eye as an instrument; and so it is at­tributed [Page 25] to God, because he hath an ability of discerning, and doing infinitely more excellent then can be found in man. Sometimes againe, those words are taken properly for mem­bers of the body of some such forme, fashion, making; so they are not to be attributed unto God; who because he hath no body, cannot have an hand, an eye. A body is taken three wayes. 1. For every thing which is opposite to a fancy and no­tion, and so what ever hath a being, may be called a body; in this sence Tertullian attributes a body to God. 2. For that thing which hath some composition or change; so God onely is incorporeall. 3. More strictly for that which consists of mat­ter and forme, so Angels are incorporeall.

3. This shewes the unlawfulnesse then of painting the God­head; Cajetane disliked it. Bellarmine L. 2. de Imag. Sanct. C. 8. argues thus, Man is the Image of God, but man may be pictured, therefore the Image of God may be pictured.

Man is not the Image of God, but in the faculties of his soule which cannot be pictured; therefore the Image of God cannot be pictured. Although the whole man may be said Synec­dochically to be pictured; yet is not man called the Image of God in his whole, but in a part, which is his reasonable and in­visible soule,Consectaries from Gods be­ing a spirit, and invisi­ble. which cannot be pictured.

1. We must call upon God, and worship him with the Spi­rit; our Saviour Christ te [...]cheth us this practicall use, John 4. 24. Blesse the Lord O my soule, Psal. 103. whom I serve in the Spirit, Rom. 1. 9. saith Paul. The very Heathen made this inference, Si Deus est animus, Rom. 1. 20. sit pura mente colendus.

2. God though invisible in himselfe, may be knowne by things visible: He that seeth the Sonne, hath seene the Father, John 14. 9. We should praise God as for other excellencies, so for his invisibility, 1 Tim. 1. 17.

2. Learn to walk by faith, as seeing him who is invisible, Heb. 11. 27.

Matth. 5. 8 3. Labour for pure hearts, that we may see God hereafter.

Invisibile aliquid dicitur dupliciter, in­quit Cham. primò per se, & ipsa sui natur [...] ut Deus, ut Spi­ritus sunt invisi­biles. Secundi, per accidens; [...]um quid in se tale est quidem ut possitvideri: sed, al qua externa superveniente causa, fit invisibile ijs à quibus vel alias, potuit, vel etiam debuit videri: quo modo ijs, qui sunt ad Septen­trionem invisibiles sunt stellae ad Austrum, quo modo stellae quaedam minutissimae sunt invisibiles. 4. Here is comfort against invisible Enemies, we have the [Page 26] invisible God, and invisible Angels to help us.

3. God hath immediate power over thy Spirit, to humble and terrifie thee. He is the Father of Spirits, he cannot onely make thee poor, sick, but make thy conscience roare for sinne, it was God put that horrour into Cain, Judas, Spira's spirits. He is a Spirit, and so can deale with the Spirit.

2. Take heed of the sinnes of the heart and spirit, pride, un­beleefe, insincerity, 2 Cor. 7. 1. 1 Thess. 5. 23. such as not one­ly arise from, but are terminated in the spirit. These are first, most abhorred by God. He is a Spirit, and as he loveth spiri­tuall performances, so he hates spirituall iniquities, 6 Gen. He punisht the old world, because all the imaginations of the thoughts of their hearts were evill. 2. Most contrary to the Law of God, which is chiefely Spirituall. 3. Sinne is strongest in the spirit, as all evill in the fountaine, Matth. 15. 19. 4. Spirituall evill make us most like the Devils, who are Spiri­tuall wickednesses.The Divine essence, is sim­ple and altoge­ther uncom­pounded. All sinne is from Satan per modum servitu­tis, these per modum imaginis. God is most Simple, Ens Sim­plicissimum. Simplicity is a property of God, whereby he is voide of all composition, mixtion and division, being all es­sence; whatsoever is in God, is God. Simplenesse is the first property in God,Simplex proprie dicitur quod compositum ex diversis non est. which cannot in any sort agree to any creature.

This is proved that God is Simple, by removing from him, all kinds of composition, which are five.

  • 1. Of quantitative parts, as a body.
  • 2. Of essentiall parts, matter and forme, as a man consists of Soule and body.
  • 3. Of a genus and difference, as every species.
  • 4. Of subject and accidents, as a learned man, a white Wall.
  • 5. Of act and power, as the Spirits.

Every creature is subject to composition, and consequently to division.2 Cor. 12. 3. The Gospell and the wayes of it are not Simple, as Simplicity is opposed to the depth of wisedome (for therein is made knowne the manifold wise­dome of God; Ephes. 3. 10.) But as Simplicity is opposed to mixture. Every thing the more simple (in this sence) the more excellent. In Deo idem est esse & essentia, vivens & vita, quia Deus non vivit per aliud essentiae superadditum, sed vitam habet inscipso & est ipsa vita, vivit à scipso & per scipsum. All things which are Created, are made by joyn­ing together more things then one in one, and so they con­sist of divers things.

[Page 27] Some have a more grosse and palpable composition of parts, both essentiall and integrall, as a man of soule and body, and the body of flesh, bloud, bone, and such parts. The Spirits which have not so plaine a composition, are yet compound­ed of substance, and accidents sustained by that substance, and inherent in it; for the substance of an Angell and his facul­ties, and qualities are different things; his life is one thing, his reason another, his will another, his power, wisdome, nimblenesse, other things. So the soule of a man, and all Created things, are made up of many things conjoyned in one.

God is absolutely Simple, he is but one thing, and doth not consist of any parts; he hath no accidents; but himselfe, his es­sence, and attributes are all one thing, though by us diversly considered and understood. If he did consist of parts, there must be something before him, to put those parts together; and then he were not eternall, Isay 43. 10. he is one most pure and meere act. In God to be, to will, and to doe are the same, John 15. 26. compared with John 14. 6. and 1 John 1. 7. compar­ed with 1. of John 1. 5. where to have life, and be life; to be in the light, and be light, are the same. God is therefore called in the abstract light, life, love, truth, John 14▪ 6. 1 John 4. 8.

This is one reason why God is so perfect, because he is Eus Simplissimum. In every kinde a thing is so much perfect, by how much it is more Simple and pure. Whence the same He­brew [...]word signifieth both Simple and perfect.

2. No accidents are in God, when we affirme that God is good and gracious; we meane it not as when we say so of men; in men they are qualities, vertues, in God they are his essence.

1. We should be simple as Doves,Consectaries. of God sim­plenesse. Matth. 10. 16. Simplicitas Columbina, non asinina. Carthusian, Ephes. 6. 5. 2 Cor. 1. 12. It is called godly sincerity, which God worketh, and which is pleasing to him.Simplex quasi sine plicis. Sincerus, sine cera. See prov. 11. 20. Simplenesse and Simplicity of heart, is the maine thing inA great French paire is called Le bon Chr [...]stien, the good Christian, because (they say) it never rots at the core. 22. Matth. Christ opposeth a single eye and cor­rupt one, an Israelite in whom is no guile, is worth an ecc [...], a rare man: M [...]s. Elizabeth Juxton said, she had nothing to comfort her, but poore syncerity. Christianity, Ephes. 6. 5. Col. 3. 22.

[Page 28] 2. Here is matter of joy and comfort to the good; mercy and love are Gods essence, Isay 54. 8. and of feare and terrour, to the wicked because Gods anger and justice are his essence, and he is unchangeable.

God is Living.

He is often called the living God in opposition to dead I­dols;1 John 5. 20. 21. 115. Psal. 4. 5. turne from Idolls to serve the living God, Gen. 16. 14. and 24. 62. and 25. 11. Deut. 5. 26. Ruth. 3. 13. Judg. 8. 19. Isay 3. 10. Jer. 10. 10. Ezek. 3. 11. Dan. 4. 34. Math. 16. 76. Act. 14. 15.Psal. 42. 2. He is called life, 1 John. 5. 10. the fountaine of life,Rom. 9. 26. Psal. 36. 9. He hath his name in Greek from life;Graeci Deum vocant [...] â vivendo, quoniam solus verè vivit & omnia vivificat, ut meritò: sic ut vocatur [...] ita appellari possit [...]. He saith often of himselfe I live; as if he should say, I alone doe truly live, and he often addes for ever, Deut. 32. 40. The oath which the Fathers used, is most frequent, the Lord liveth, Jer. 5 2. and 12. 16. for they swore by him, who truly and alwayes lives. He himselfe sweares by nothing but by his life and holinesse, Jud. 8. 24. Ruth. 3. 3. This Oath is used 14. times in Ezekiel. Zeph. 2. 9. Jer. 46. 18. 22. 24. Isay 49. 18. Deut. 32. 40. Numb. 14. 21. 28. God is called the living God.

1. To distinguish him from the false Gods of the Gentiles, which were dead and sencelesse Stocks, Act. 17. 15.

2. To represent unto us, thevivere est esse actuosum in se, perse, singu­lari vi; unde & Latinis viv [...] à vi, ut Graecis [...] di­citur. Deut. 30. 20. active nature of God, he is all life.

3. To direct us to the Fountaine or Well of life, from whom all life is derived unto the creature by a threefold streame.

1. Nature, God is the authour of the life of nature, Gen. 2. 7. Act. 17. 28.

2. Grace, he is the authour of that life, John 1. 2. Ephes. 4. 18.

3. Glory, he is the authour of the life of glory, Rom. 2. 7.

A reasonable life (to which God resembleth his) is a power to performe variety of regular and limited actions, to a certain known end, and that out of choice and councell. Gods life is his power of working all things according as seemes good to himselfe after his owne Councell for his own glory; to say he liveth, is to say he doth perpetually worke.

Life in things bodily ariseth from the union of the body and the soule together; and in things that be not bodies but [Page 29] spirits, from the perfection of the matter and qualities of them.

Our owne life is a power, by which we are able to produce lively actions; Gods life is that power, whereby he is fit to worke or produce all sorts of actions, suitable to the perfect essence of his divine Majesty; Or it is that, whereby he know­eth, willeth and affecteth, and can doe all sort of actions, be­seeming his excellent nature.

Reasons. 1. From the effects of life, God understands, wils, loves, therefore he truly lives; for these are all the properties of livers, therefore Aristotle often concludes from this that.

Because God understands all things, that he lives a bles­sed life.

2 Those things live which move and stirre themselves; God doth all things by himselfe,Act. 17. 28. he is the first and perfectest cause of all; therefore he most properly lives, and that a most blessed life.

3. From his name Jehovah, he is Jehovah, who is by himselfe and most perfectly, and of whom all things are, which are and live;Gen. 2. 7. God lives be­cause life is originally in him, Psal. 36. 9 John 1. 4. in him was life. God therefore so lives, that he is the Authour of all life to all livers, and therefore he is called our life, Deut. 30. 20. John saith of Christ, in him was the Authour of life, and Act. 3. ye have killed the Author of life.

Amongst the creatures which are subject to our sense, there is a three fold kinde of life. Two more imperfect; the third more perfect.

The former is the life of vegetation or growth; by which things are able to doe what is requisite for the attaining and maintaining of their full strength and nature, and the pro­pagating of their kinde, according to their severall kinds.

The second is the life of sence, whereby things are inabled to discerne things hurtfull to them, and things good for them; to shune the one, and to seek the other.

These are imperfect kinds of life, because they are inherent after a sort in the bodies of things, accompanying a corporall being, which is the meanest being.

[Page 30] But thirdly,A man hath foure kindes of faculties in the exercise of which he liveth; and life in him is an ability to ex­ercise them. He hath un­derstanding, will, affecti­ons, and a power to move and wo [...]ke outwardly. The living God sees it fit to ascribe all th [...]se to him­selfe. there is a more worthy and noble kinde of life called reasonable, such as is seen in men and in Angels, which is an ability to proceed reasonably and understandingly in all actions, for the attaining of good and shunning of evils, fit for the welfare of the person indued with reason. Now we must not conceive in God any such imperfect thing as growth or sense, for he is a spirituall, a Simple and Immateriall essence; but his life is to be understood by the similitude of the life of reason, for he is a perfect understanding. To the being then of God adjoyn reasonablenesse in our concerning of him, and we conceive his life somewhat aright.

God life differs from the life of the creature.

1. His life is his nature; or essence, he is life it selfe, theirs the operation of their nature, he is life, they are but living.

2. His life is his own,Their life hath a cause, his none. he liveth of, and by, and in himself; their life is borrowed from him, in him we live and move, Act. 17. 25. 28. He is life, and the fountaine of life to all things.

3 His life is infinite, without beginning or ending; their life is finite, and had a beginning, and most of them shall have an end.

4. His life is entire altogether,His life con­sisteth in r [...]st, and he posses­seth all his life in one instant, our life is a fluxe and succession of parts. and Perfect, theirs imperfect, growing by addition of dayes to dayes. He liveth all at once, hath his whole life perfectly in himselfe, one infinite moment.

5. He liveth necessarily, they contingently, so as they might not live.

6. His life is immutable, theirs mutable and subject to ma­ny alterations.

1. This serves to blame those which carry themselves no o­therwise to God,Consectaries from Gods l [...]fe. then if he were a very dead Idoll, not fear­ing his threats, or seeking to obey him.

2. To exhort us all often, to revive in our selves, the me­mory [Page 31] and consideration of his life, by stirring up our selves, to feare his threats, respect his promises, obey his Commande­ments,Dan 6. 27. decline his displeasure, and seeke his favour. Let us serve,Heb. 9. 14, 15. feare, and trust in him, which liveth for evermore. Pro­voke not the Lord by your sinnes;Rev. 4. 9 10. for it is a fearefull thing, to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb. 10. 31.

3. Here is comfort to all the faithfull servants of this God, which desire to please him; for they have a King which liveth and hath lived for ever,Psal. 18. 46. a King eternall, immortall, invisible and onely wise; in his life they shall injoy life; though friends dye, God ever liveth. His life is the preserver, upholder, and comforter of your life. God living of himselfe, can blesse you with naturall, spirituall, and eternall life John 14. 19. Rom. 8. 10. 17. Men will give skinne for skinne, and all that they have for life. It is reported of one, that he offered to redeeme his life, thrice his weight in Silver, twice in Gold, once in Pearle. But we doe little for the living God, and communion with him in the life of grace, and for obtaining eternall life.

God is immortall and incorruptible, he liveth for ever in like perfection.

The Scripture confirmeth this.

1. Negatively, when it removes mortality, and corruption from God, Rom. 1. 23. 1 Tim. 1. 17. and 6. 16.

2. Affirmatively, when it giveth life to God, Gen. 16. 14. Deut. 5. 26. Jer. 2. 13.

The property of Gods life is, it is endlesse, incorruptible, Deut. 32. 40. Life is essentiall to God, he is life it selfe, but the life of other things is accidentall. His life is also effective, he gives life to all living creatures.

2. God is of himselfe eternall, of himselfe, and absolutely immortall, and incorruptible. He onely hath immortality, 1 Tim. 6. 16. Angels are not immortall in and of themselves, they have not originall, or absolute immortality; their im­mortality is dependent and derivative.

3. Because he is voyd of all composition, therefore he is free from corruption.

4. Because he is simply, and every way immutable.

[Page 32] 5 This is proved from the Nobility, and perfection of the Di­vine essence. Living bodies are more perfect then such as doe not live; but God is the most perfect, and noble being, John 5. 26.

6. Because he is blessed, therefore he is immortall, Ezek. 37. 14

1. This comforts all Gods people, who have the living God for their friend; who liveth for ever, and they shall live eternally with him; the life of God comforted Job. 19. 25. Let them trust in the living God. This should comfort us a­gainst spirituall weaknesse,John, v. 5. 21. and deadnesse, though we be dull, and dead in Prayer, God is life, and will quicken us.

2. We miserable men for sinne are all subject untoThe Latine word for men, is mortales. ipso vo cabulo suae con­ditionis admo­nentur. Erasmus in colloq. Psal. 17. 15. death, 2 Sam. 14. 14. Psal. 144. 4. Psal. 90. 6. Job. 14. 1. Job describes there the brevity, frailty, instability▪ and manifold miseries of this life; therefore let us place all our confidence and hope in God, who is immortall and incorruptible; our soule is im­mortall, and made for immortality, it is not satisfied with any thing, nor resteth but in God, who is immortall and incor­ruptible. A thing may be said immortall two wayes; first, Simpliciter, absolutè per se, suaque natura, so that there is no out­ward,Zanchius de immortalitate l. 2. C. 8. nor inward cause of mortality; so onely God. Second­ly, which in its owne nature may be deprived of life, yet ex voluntate Dei neither dyes, nor can dye; so the soule and An­gels are immortall.

CHAP. IV.

GOd is truly Infinite,Col. 3. 3. in his nature and essence, actually and simply, by himselfe, and absolutely he is Infinite. It is a vaine conceite,Exod. 40. 12. 15. 17. Psal. 145. 3. that there cannot be an infinite thing in Act.

He is not infinite

1. In corporall quantity and extension, but in essence and perfection.4

[Page 33] 2. Not privativè but negativè, he hath simply no end.

3. He is Infinite not according to the Etymon of the word, which respects an end only; for he is both without beginning and end; although the word be negative, yet we intend by it a positive attribute and perfection.

The Scripture demonstrates God to be Infinite.

1. Affirmatively, Psa. 143. 3.

2. Negatively, in the same place.

3. Comparatively, Job. 11. 8. Isay. 40. 12. 15. Dan. 4. 32.

2. reasons prove this.

1. From the perfection of God; whatsoever thing hath not an end of its perfection and vertue, that is truly and absolutely infinite. Infinitenesse is to be without bounds, to be unmea­surable, to exceede reason or capacity; it is opposed to Finite, which is to bound or limite, to define, to end, or conclude.

Infinite­nesse is that, whereby God cannot be li­mited, measu­red, or determined of any thing, being the first cause from whom, and the end wherefore all things were made. Infinitenesse is such a property in God, that he is not li­mited to any time, place, or particular nature and being; or it is that whereby God is free altogether from all limitation of time, place, or degrees.

He hath all good things in him in all fulnesse of perfection, a­bove all measure and degrees, yea above all conceiveable de­grees by us. He hath all wisdome and power, above all that all creatures can conceive and thinke; Ephes. 3. 20. that good­nesse which is in him is Infinite,All his properties are infinite. his love is infinite, his mercies are infinite, and so is his anger. That which is of it selfe cannot be limited by any thing. Every creature is limited and hath certaine bounds set to it by its causes, especially the efficient and the matter; but God is no way limited, he hath not any bounds of any kind, but is altogether infinite or boundlesse. Isay. 40. 12. 15. 17.

Every creature hath a threefold limitation.

1. Of kinds of being.

2. Of degrees of its being.

3. Of circumstances of its being.

[Page 34] First each thing is set in its owne ranke or order with other things, some being of one kind, some of another; some things are simple, some compounded, some corporeall, some incor­poreall, some things living, some things void of life, some things sensible, and some things senselesse; and so in the rest. The maker of all thingsNature triumpheth in nothing so much as in dis­similitude. hath as it were sorted them into divers kinds, for the greater beautifying of the whole, and demonstration of his wisdome in this varietie.

AgaineAll crea­tures have such a measure and degree, as the authour of them would communicate unto them. things of the same kinde and of other kinds too, differ in the degrees of being; some have lower some higher degrees of what they have, some a more lively life, some a quicker sense, some more power, some lesse, some greater de­grees of wisdome.

God is not limited to any kind of being, but hath in him­selfe all kinds of being, not subjectively but eminently. He Infinite power is that whereby God can doe more tben all crea­tures can doe, yea more then all creatures can conceive he can doe; infinite understanding by which he knowes more then all creatures doe know, or can conceive that he doth know.hath a being beyond all degree and measure, whence all his properties are Infinite, allsufficiency, omnipotency, omnisci­ence, infinite wisdome and truth, and all in him incomprehen­sible and infinite.

He is unlimited in regard of time or duration, and so is Eternall; in regard of place, and so is immense or omnipresent, in regard of degrees of all things that are in him, and so is per­fect. Infinite in stability, immutable in his power, omnipotent.

Gods infinitenesse makes all wonderfull, his mercies are in­finite, his love infinite, his goodnesse and excellencies infinite.

A thing may be said to be infinite, either absolutely and in the whole kind of being, so God, all good is in him formal­ly or eminently. 2. In some certaine kind only, as if there were infinite quantity, it were only infinite in the way of a body; it would not containe all other things in it.

From Gods Infinitenesse ariseth his All-sufficiency, he is enough for, himselfe and all things else, to make them happy and perfect in their severall kinds; his all-sufficiency is that whereby God is of himselfe all-sufficient for himselfe to make [Page 35] himselfe most blessed, and to satisfie all other things, and make them happy in their severall kinds; God hath therefore taken this name upon him,Gen. 17. and by the commemoration of it did comfort Abrah [...]m, and encourage him to be his ser­vant.

But Dr. Preston hath written so largely and well of this At­tribute,This one Attribute of Gods all-suffi­ciency, may answer all the scruples of a Christian. that I shall not need to say any more of it.

Object. The Angels and Saints see the Essence of God, therefore it is not infinite. Math. 18. 10. 1 Cor. 13. 12. 1 Joh. 3. 2.

Sol. 1. We must distinguish between vision and compre­hension, God is seen of the Angels and Saints; but not com­prehended.

2. The finite understanding knoweth God beatifically, not by the force of nature, but by a supernaturall illumination of the Holy Ghost and benefit of grace.

1. This is a terror to wicked men;Consectaries from Gods in­finitenesse. his anger and hatred are Infinite, therefore his anger is compared to all things terrible. 2. serves to reprove their folly who will loose God to get any pleasure or profit, infinite glory and happinesse for finite things.

2. Exhorts us not to pronounce rashly of his decrees and attributes, for this only can be comprehended of God that he cannot be comprehended; we must not measure Gods infinite power and wisdome by our shallow capacities: the endeavou­ring to measure the nature and decrees of God by our humane reason, hath been one maine cause of many desperate errors in the world; therefore Paul Rom. 11. silenceth high and in­quisitive disputes by this exclamation, Oh the depth of the wis­dome and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are his waies!

3. What is a sinfull mortall man in comparison of God,See Gen. 18. 17. Esay. 40. 15. 16. 17. therefore he should humble himselfe be­fore him and acknowledge his nothingnesse.Esay, 6. 2.

All the whole world compared to the Infinite God, is but as a point; let us therefore stand amazed at the consi­deration of this Infinitenesse, and say with David. Psalm. 8. 5. & 86. 8.

[Page 36] God is infi­nitely good, therefore de­serves all our love and obe­dience; the best Angell in heaven cannot love God according to his excellency; we should love him with a love, 1. of vnion, 2. com­placency, 3 friendship, 4. dependance. We should loue God intensively with our chiefest af­fection, and extensively above all things. He is an Infinite Ocean of all joy and happinesse, he is a continuall object of joy and delight to the Saints and Angels in Heaven, they are not weary of him; our infinite desires are fully satisfied with him alone that is Infinite.

This At­tribute of Gods being e­verywhere, is called Immen­sity, Omni­presence, or Vbiquitie. God is Immense or Omnipresent, Psal. 139. 7. 8. 9. 10. Josh. 2. 11. Job. 11. 8. Jer. 23. 23. 24. Immensity is taken 1. largely, so it is the same with Infinitenesse, signifying that God is neither measured by place nor time, nor by any other thing, but is in his owne nature and Essence Infinite and Im­mense. Immensum proprie est quod non possis metiri; 2. strictly, so it differs from Infinitenesse as the Species from the Genus, there being 2. kindes of Infinitenesse, Immensity and Eternity.

Immen­sitas est proprie­tas, Dei qua omnes essentia terminos excludit, vbique quoad essentiam simul in caelo & in terra, imo & extra caelum est: abs­que ulla tamen expansione vel multiplicatione. Wendelinus. Christ. Theol l. 1. c. 1. Immensity is such a property of God, by which he can not be measured nor circumscribed by any place, but fills all places without multiplying or extension of his essence.

He is neither shut up in any place, nor shut out from any place, but is immense, everywhere present; he is without place and above place, present everywhere, without any exten­sion of matter, but in an unspeakable manner.

He is above all, in all, and through all, Ephes. 4. 6. over all (men) by his power, in all (the Saints) by his Spirit; and through all (the world) by his providence.

God is every where by his essense, presence and power;

Enter, praesenter, Deus hic & vbique potenter.

1. By his Essence, because he filsThe Jew­ish Doctors call God, [...] that is, place, as containing all things, himselfe being not contained of any thing. all places and spaces with his Immensitie. 1 King. 8. 27. Isay, 66. 1. Acts. 17. 27.

2. By his presence.

[Page 37] 3. By his power and operation, because he workes all in all, 1 Cor. 12. 6.

This Immensity, and Omnipresence of the divine essence, is proved to be essentiall to God.

1. From Scripture, and that

1. Affirmatively, when he is said to be everywhere present. David proves it by a particular enumeration, of places, Heaven & the Grave, the farthest parts of the earth, yea all things, Psal. 139. 7. 8. 9. 10. He compares places most opposite to­gether, and shewing that God is present in them he under­stands, that he is present in the places between, Amos 9. 2. Iovis omnia plena.

2. Negatively, when he is denyed to be concluded and com­prehended in a certaine place, 1 King. 8. 27. 2 Chron. 2. 6. and 6. 18. Act. 7. 48. and 17. 24. 27.

3. Symbolically, Isay 66. 1. Act. 7. 49.

2. From Reasons.

1. From the Simplicity of the Divine essence, God is a pure act; therefore altogether indivisible, and therefore he is in eve­ry thing, and in every part of every thing, whole and undi­vided.

2. Whatsoever is in its essence infinite, that also is every where present, else it should be terminated in place. God is infinite in his essence, and being; therefore also of an infinite presence.

The Angels are in an ubi though not in a place properly in English we cannot so well distinguish these words. They are li­mitted, and confined to some space, an Angell cannot be at the same time, in hea­ven and earth. Each creature is limited by place, though spirits doe not fill up a place by commensuration of parts, yet they have a cer­taine compasse (as I may call it) beyond which their essence extendeth not, they are so here, that they are not there; so in heaven, that they are not the same time on earth. But God is altogether above place; he is omnipresent, not by any materiall extension, but after an incomprehensible and unexpressible manner. He is quite above all place, wholy without, and within all and every place; and that without all locall motion, or mutation of place. He is everywhere totally, and equally; he was as well in the Jewish Syna­gogues, [Page 38] as in the Temple of Jerusalem, or Holy of Ho­lies as well in earth or hell, as in the heavens in respect of his essence.

Gods being in every place, is not first by multiplication; there is not a multiplication of his being, as loaves were multiplyed, so that they held out to doe that which otherwise they could not; for then there should be many divine essences; nor second­ly by division, as if part of his nature, were in one part of the world, and part in another; but he is wholy wheresoever he is.

Nor thirdly by commixtion, as if he came into composition with any creature. He is not the aire or fire, but he is every where effectively with his essence and being, repletively he fils all places, heaven and earth. Yet he fils not up a place, as a body doth; but is present everywhere, by being without limitation of place; so that he coexists with every creature. Where any creature is, there is he more then the creature, and where no creature is, there is he too; all the sinnes that we commit, are done in his presence, and before his face, Isay 65. 3. Psal. 51. 4. as if a thiefe shold steale, the Judge looking on. We should set the Lord therefore alwayes before us, as David Psal. 16. 8. We should be comforted in troubles, and patient, Phil. 4. 5. a Child will not care so long as he is in his Fathers presence, Psal. 23. 4.

Ob. God is said to descend and ascend.God is said to descend and ascend two wayes.

Sol. This hinders not his being every where.

1. He is said to descend, as often as by any visible shape ob­jected, he testifyeth his presence, as Gen. 18. 21. Exod. 3. 8. when God withdrawes that presence, he is said to ascend, as Gen. 35. 13.

2. When God by the destruction of his Enemies,Cameron praelect. in Psal. 68. 19. and deli­verance of his owne, testifyeth of his Church that he is with it on earth, Isay 64. and the contrary, Psal. 68. 19.

Ob. If God be everywhere, how is he then said to dwell in heaven. Psal 2. 4.

Sol. In respect of his essence God is every where and in every thing as well as in heaven;Psal. 103. 49. and 115. 3. Matth. 6. 9. but he doth more manifest his [Page 39] glory,John 14. 2. wisedome, power and goodnesse, and bestowes his grace more liberally on his Angels,Act. [...]. 49. and Elect in heaven, then he doth here below.

Ob. How can God be said to depart from man, if he be every where.

Sol. He departs not in respect of his essence, but in respect of the manifestation of his presence.

The Schoolemen, say God is five wayes in the creatures.

1. In the humanity of Christ; by hypostaticall union.

2. In the Saints, by knowledge and love.

3. In the Church, by his essence and direction.

4. In heaven, by his Majesty and glory.

5. In Hell by his vindicative justice.

1. This may teach the godly to be sincere and upright;Consectaries from Gods Immensity, or Omnipre­sence, Job. 31. 14. be­cause they walke before God, Gen. 17. 1. he is present with them, understands their secret thoughts, and imaginations. Psal. 139. 7. 8. Jer. 23. 23. 24 This should curbe them from committing secret sinnes; and incourage them to perform private duties, Matth. 6. 6. approving themselves to their Fa­ther, who seeth in secret. Solitarinesse should not imbolden us to sinne, nor hinder us from well-doing. It was Josephs rea­son to his Mistresse, how can I doe this great evill? though they were alone, God was present.

Two religious men, took two contrary courses, with two lewd women; whom they were desirous to reclaime from their ill course of life; the one came to one of the women as desirous of her company, so it might be with all secrecy; and when she had brought him to a close roome, that none could prie into, then he told her, that all the bolts and barres which were, could not keepe God out. The other desired to accompany with the other woman openly in the street; which when shee rejected as a mad request, He told her, it was better to doe it in the eyes of a multitude, then of God.

2. This serves to confute the Lutherans, who hold Ubi­quity to be communicated to Christs body, and therefore they say his body is in the Sacrament, and every where else; because it is assumed by God, but this is false; for the reason of Gods [Page 40] omni-presence, is the infinitenesse of his nature, and therefore it can be no more communicated to the body of Christ then the Godhead can; for his humane nature might as well be eter­nall as everywhere. Christs body is a finite creature, and though it be glorified, yet is not deified. It is an incommuni­cable attribute of the Deity, to be in many places at one and the same time.

3. Let us esteeme God a greater good then any creature; friends are distant one from another; God is with us in our journies and families. He onely is the object of Prayer, for he is everywhere to heare thee; and so are not Angels. God him­selfe comforts his people, by promising his gracious presence, Gen. 46. 4. Exod. 3. 12. Josh. 1. 9. Isay 43. 1.

4. No man by wit, or policy, flight, or hiding himselfe, can escape the hand of God; for he is everywhere present, Amos 9. 1. 2.

5. This is a terrour to the secret devisers of wickednesse, their Plots are discovered.

God is Eternall.

EternityBoetius de­fines Eternity to be intermi­nabilis vitae tota simul & per­fecta possessio. l. 5. de [...]onsol. pros. 6. The Schoolemen define it to be duratio interminabilis, indi­visibilis & independens; interminabilis quia excludit terminum à quo & ad quem; indivisibilis quia excludit omnem successionem temporis; independens quìa excludit omnem imperfectionem & mutationem. Philosophi distinguunt inter aeternitatem, aevum, & tempus: & aeternitatem principio & fine carentem tribuunt soli Deo: Aevum solo. fine carens, or [...]aturis nunquam desituris: Tempus nec principio nec fine carens creaturis aliquando desituris. Wendelinus is a being without limitation of time: Time is the continuance of things past, present, and to come, all time hath a beginning, a vicissitude, and an end, or may have; but Gods essence is bounded by none of these hedges.

First, he is without beginning, he is before time, beyond time, behind time as it were, and above all circumscription of time. From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. He is what he is in one infinite moment of being, as I may speak. I am Alpha and Omega, Rev, 1. 8. In the beginning, God made all things; and he that made all things could not have a begin­ning himselfe. What hath no beginning, can have no succes­sion, [Page 41] nor end. We cannot properly say of God, that he hath been, or that he shall be, but he is. To him all things are pre­sent, though in themselves they have succession.

He is an everlasting King, everlastingly powerfull, and glo­rious; as the conclusion of the Lords Prayer sheweth.

He is called the King eternall, 1 Tim. 5. 17. and the eternall God, Rom. 16. 26. the maker of times, Heb. 1. 2. He inhabit­eth eternity, Isay 67. 15. God onely is properly, and abso­lutely eternall; Angel, and mens soules, are said to be eter­nall à posteriori, or à parte post, God à priori & à posteriori, ex parte ante & post, since he hath neither beginning, succession, nor end.

The Scripture confirmes this eternity of God divers wayes.

1. With a Simple and plaine asseveration, Gen. 21. 33. Isay 40. 28. and 57. 15. Dan. 6. 26. Rom. 16. 26.

2. By denying to him time and succession, Job. 36. 26. Isay 43. 10. Psal. 90. 5. 2 Pet. 3. 8.

3. By attributing to him eternall properties and operations; his mercy is said to endure for ever, Psal. 103. 17. and 136.

1. Eternall councell is attributed to him, Psal. 33. 11. Eternall Kingdom, Exodus 15. 18. Eternall power, Dan. 6. 26. eternall glory, 1 Pet. 5. 10. his dominion is an everlasting dominion, Dan. 7. 14. his righteousnesse is everlasting, Psal. 119. 142. and his truth.

4. By a metaphoricall description, dayes and yeares are at­tributed to him; but most distinct from our dayes and yeares, Job. 10. 5. Dan. 7. 9, 22. He is called the Ancient of dayes, Psal. 102. 28. thy yeares are not consumed.

1 Sam. 15. 29. He is called eternity it selfe; Christ is called the Father of eternity,Thou Lord remainest for ever, say the Scrptures often. Prov. 23. 25. He was said to be before the world, Psal. 90. 2. Ephes. 1. 4. Isay 9. 6. most emphatically, to signifie that he is eternity it selfe, and the Author of it. The French stile God in their Bibles l' Eternell, because he onely is perfect­ly eternall.

[Page 42] Reasons.

1. God is the best thing that is,Of necessity there must be a first cause, and therefore must be something without a beginning. therefore it must needs follow, that he is an eternall essence; for that which is eter­nall; is better then that which is not.

2. Else he should depend on some thing else, if he were not eternall; and then he were not God.

3. If he were not eternall, he must have a beginning; and then something else must give it him, and so be better then he.

4. God created all things, even time it selfe, Heb. 1. 2. He is therefore before all things, and without beginning, Rom. 1. 2. and whatsoever was before time, must needs be eternall.

5. He is the Author, and giver of eternall life to those that have it, therefore he must needs be eternall himselfe; for what­soever can give eternity, that is eternall.

Ob. If God were eternall; where was he before the world was? and what did he before he made all things;Vide Au­gustine Confess. l. 11. c. 12. and why did he make the world no sooner then a few thousand yeares since?

Sol. These are curiosities, but for answer, as he was of him­selfe, so was he in and with himselfe. He is that himselfe, to and in himselfe, which to us our being, time and place are found to be. 2. He injoyes himselfe, and his owne happinesse. 3. He made the world no sooner, because it did not please him.

The creature is limited by the circumstance of time, by which it hath its being measured out as it were by parcels, past, present, and to come; it had beginning, hath succession, and may have an end. The most glorious Angell, as well as a worme, is thus limited by time; once he was not, then he be­gan to be; that which is past is gone; and that which is to come is not yet, and he hath but a little time present. But Gods essence had no beginning, hath no succession, can have no end. We cannot say of it properly, it was or shall be, but alone it is;Gn [...]lam from Gnalam, be­cause the be­ginning and end of eter­nity lyeth hid. he hath his whole being at once; not some af­ter, some by parcels, one following another, Gen. 21. 13. and 23. 33. Psal. 90. 2. 24. Isay 57. 15. Eternity is the con­tinuall existence, and duration of the divine essence. The creatures being, is a fluxe or perpetuall flowing, from one mo­ment to another; God is a being above time, hath not his [Page 43] being measured by time, but is wholy eternall.

1. Gods love and election are also eternall,Consectaries from Gods eternity. and he will give eternall life to all beleevers. That which is eternall, is perfect at once, therefore he should be adored and obeyed, his counsell followed, old men are honoured for their wisedome. God saith to Job, where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth?

2. Let it be a foundation of comfort to us,Psal 48 13. 14. as Psal. 102. 12. though friends dye,Isay 46. 4. goods be taken away, God remaines for ever,H [...]b. 1. 12. 13. he failes not.

3. It must incourage the people of God to serve him, and do his will faithfully; for he will recompence it, what ever we hazard or loose, he liveth for ever to requite.

4. It is a terrour to the wicked;Zeux [...] the Painter, was exact and curious, be­cause he did pingere aeternitati. We are to pray, live, speake, and doe all for eternity. Crede, stude, vive aeternitati. Cornel à Lap. in Evangel. he shall be ever to make them everlastingly miserable; as heaven is an eternall Palace, so hell is an everlasting Prison.

5 We must carefully and earnestly seek him,Psal. 117. 2. and 146. 6. place our hap­pinesse in him that is everlasting; all other things are fleeting; if we get his favour once, we shall never loose it; he will be an everlasting friend, his truth and mercy remaines for ever.

6. Every one should resolve in his own thoughts and cove­nant with God,Precious a [...]e the serious thoughts of eternity; the treasures of eternity, are are opened in the times of Gospell 2 Tim. 1. 10 to spend but one halfe quarter of an houre eve­ry day, in meditating of eternity; renew these thoughts every day; this body of mine though fraile and mortall, it must live for ever; and this soule of mine, it must live eternally. E­ternall life is one of the principall Articles of our Creed, 1 Tim. 1. 16.

CHAP. V.

GOd is in himself, and in his own nature Immutable, Numb. 23. 19. 1 Sam. 15. 29.

[Page 44] Immutability, is that whereby any thing in its essence, ex­istence or operation is unchangeable Gods unchangeable­nesse is that, whereby God in his essence, properties, and de­crees is unchangeable.

The Scripture proves the Immutabilitie of God, both af­firmatively, Exod 3. 6. Psal. 102. 29. and negatively. Mal. 3. 16 Jam. 1. 17.

Immutability is twofold.

1. Independent and absolute, and that is onely in God.

2 Dependent and Comparative; this may belong to some creatures, which they have from God, but yet infinitly different.

1. God is unchangeable originally and of himselfe, these from him.

2. In the manner, God is in his essence Immutable, that and his being are all one, therefore he is both potentially and actu­ally so; the creatures are onely actually.

3. God is so from eternity, they onely from their first being.

All other things are subject to change and alteration; they may loose what they had, and attaine something which before they had not;Angels have an externall though no in­ternall muta­bility. even the Immortall Spirits are thus mutable; they may fall into sinne, be annihilated; but in God there is no change; he is what he is, alwayes the same, voyd of all mutati­on, corruption, alteration, and locall motion, Psal. 90 2. and 102. 26. 27. 1 Tim. 1. 17. Psal. 110. 4. Heb. 1. 11. and 6. 2.

A reasonable creature may be changed five wayes.

1. In respect of existence, if it exist sometimes, and some­times not.

2. In respect of place, if it be moved from one place to ano­ther.

3. In respect of accidents, if it be changed in quantity or quality.

4. In respect of the knowledge of the understanding, as if it now think that to be true, which before it judged to be false.

Geth. loc. com­mune. Marim [...]us de Deo. & Wen­delinus. Christ. 1 [...]el. l. 1. C. 1. 5. In respect of the purpose of will, if it now decree to doe something, which before it decreed not to doe.

[Page 45] God is not changed any of these wayes.

Not the first,Psal. 120. 27. 28. because he is eternall, neither beginning nor ever ceasing to exist.

Not the second, because he is present every where, not new­ly beginning to exist in any place.

Not the third, because God is a Simple Essence, and there is no accident in him.

Not the fourth, because he is omniscient, and cannot be de­ceived in his knowledge.

Not the fifth, because he changeth not his decrees, since he most wisely decrees all things▪ Heb 4. 13.

God is unchangeable every way.

1. In essence or being; he cannot be changed into another nature, neither can that nature which he hath, be corrupted and decay.

2. In essentiall properties; his mercy endureth for ever, he doth not love and after hate.

3. In his will and counsell; Psal. 33. 11. Rom. 11. 29. the counsell of the Lord shall stand, Prov. 19. 21.

4. In place, the Sunne runnes from one place to another, but God doth not remove from one place to another; but is al­wayes where he was, and shall be always; viz. in him­self.

5. In his word and promises,Matth. 5. 18. Isay 14. 24. 2 Cor. 1. 19. Rom. 4. 16.

Reasons.

1. From his perfection, all change is a kinde of imperfecti­on; there is indeed a change corruptive, and perfective; but the perfective alteration, supposeth the Subject to be imper­fect.

2. He is uncompounded, therefore altogether Immutable, a pure act.

3. He is truly and properly eternall, therefore Immutable; for he is truly eternall, who is alwayes the same, without be­ginning, change or end.

4. If God, should change, then either he must change for the better, and then he was not best and perfect before; or for the worse, and then he is not best now.

[Page 46] 5 If he should be changed, it must be from some other thing stronger then himselfe, and there is none such. Nothing with­out him can change him, because he is omnipotent, and no­thing within him, for there is no Ignorance in his minde, inconstancy in his will, nor impotency in his power.

Ob. God doth repent, Gen. 6. 6. 1 Sam. 15. 11 2 Sam. 24. 16. Psal. 135. 14. Jer. 26. 13. & 18. 8. to repent, imports a change.

Sol. God is not said properly to repent; but after the man­ner ofCum nos pae­nitet, destruimus quod fecimus. Sic Deus paeni­tuisse dicitur secundum simili­tudinem opera [...]i­onis in quamum hominem quem fecerat, per di­luvium à terrae facie delevit. Aquinas quaest. 19. Artic. 7. partis primae men, not affectivè but effectivè. God doth that which men use to doe when they repent, they forbeare to doe what they have done, and doe the contrary, change their actions; Gods repenting of the evill in those places, is a putting on a resolution not to do the evill he had threatened, or not to persist in doing that which he had begun to doe. There is a change in the creature, but no change in God either in respect of his nature or decree; therefore in other places it is said, he doth not repent; that is, not change or alter his minde. God wils Mutat facta, non mutat con­filia. August. Aliud est mu­tare voluntatem aliud velle mutationem Aquinas quaest. 19. Artic. Septimo partis primae.a change, but changeth not his will. The change is in us not God; as Houses and Trees seeme to move to them which are in a Ship, but the Ship moves and they stand firme, one may with the same will continuing immutable (saith Aquinas) will that now this thing be done, and after the contrary, but the will should be changed, if one began to will, what he willed not before.

Ob. God promiseth and threateneth some things which come not to passe.

Jer. 18. 8. and 26. 2. 3. Those threatenings and promises were not absolute but conditionall; and how soever the condition was uncertaine in respect of men, yet it was most certaine in respect of God. His promises are made with condition of faith and o­bedience, Deut. 28. 13. and his threatenings with an exception of conversion and repentance, Psal. 7. 12.

Ob. God is reconciled with men, with whom he was of­fended before.

Sol. The object is changed, God is still the same; as the Sun which was troublesome to sore eyes is pleasant to them being healed, the Sunne here is not changed but their eyes.

[Page 47] Ob. Why are Prayers or meanes, if God be Immutable? why doe I pray or heare?

Sol. God Immutably wils both the end and the meanes, and therefore as he wils thy pardon, so he wils thy prayer.

Ob. God created the world, and so Christ was incarnate and made man; now he that was made something, he was not before, or did make something he made not before, seemes to be changed. He is a man, he was not so once; he is a Creator, he was not so from eternity.

Sol. Christ did onely assume,Wenlelinus Christ. Theol. l. 1 c. 1. and take to himselfe an hu­mane nature, he was not changed into it. Creation is no­thing but Gods will from eternity, that the world should exist in time, so that the creature hath something now, which it had not before, but Gods will hath not.

God is not changed any way,C [...]osectaries from Gods Immutability though he change his actions according to his good pleasure.

1. This is terrible to wicked men, God is unchangeable which hath threatened to curse them, and bring destruction upon them;1 Sam. 15. 18. 19. they must change, or else there is no repealing of the curse. The wicked hope he will change, the godly feare he will change.

2. It comforts the godly, to whom he hath made many promises,Gods promises are faithfull and firme words. What good thing the Lord hath promised, what grace or priviledge (as Christi­ans) any ever received, or succour found, the same may the faithfull looke for. Numb. 23. 23. Heb. 13. 5. He is constant and will perform them. He told Adam, that the Seed of the woman should breake the Serpents head. He was long, but sure, for it was fulfilled at the last. His Covenant is everlasting, Isay. 55. 3. I am God and change not, therefore you are not consumed. Mal. we should labour for Gods love, it is a free hold, and like himselfe immutable; whom he loves once, he loves for ever: Gods people shall never fall from grace, never be wholly overcome of temptations.

3. We should imitate Gods Immutability in a gracious way,Gal. 6. 9. [...] Tim. 3. 14. 1 Cor. 15. ult. Queene Elizabeths word was Semper eadem. be constant in our love to God and men, in our promises and [Page 48] good purposes, as the Martyr said. Rawlins you left me, and Rawlins you finde me, we should pray for the establishment of our faith and patience.

4. We should admire the glorious nature of God; for what an Infinite Glorious God must he be, which hath had all that happinesse and glory from eternity; 2. worship the true God, because he is Immutable, and we shall be so hereafter, being made most like to him, Psal. 102. 27.

5. It confutes the Eutichians, and Ubiquitaries which held, that the God-head became flesh; can a Spirit be a body, and both visible and invisible?

CHAP. VI.

GOd is exceeding Great, Deut. 32. 3. 1 Kings 8. 42. 2. Sam. 7. 22. Psal. 95. 3. and 96. 4. and 99. 2. 3. and 145. 3. Tit. 2. 13. God is Great and greatly to be praised,Nihil magnum, nisi magnus Deus. and who is so Great as our God? He is Great.

1. In his nature and essence.

2. In his workes.

3 In his authority.

His name is Great. Jer. 10. 6. 11. Josh. 7. 9. his power is great, Psal. 147. 5. His Acts are great, Psal 111. 1. his judge­ments are great Exodus 7. 4. He is great in counsell, Jer. 32. 19. and mighty workes▪ Deut. 32. 4.

There is a double Greatnesse.Of Gods Perfection.

1. Of quantity or bulk, and that is an attribute of a body, by which it hath very large bodily dimensions, as a mountain is a great substance, the Sun a great body; and this cannot be found in God, who is not a body, but an Immateriall essence.

2. Of Perfection,Greatnesse is attributed to God metapho­rically and de­noteth an incomprehensible and unmeasurable largenesse of all excellencies. worth and vertue, and that is abundance of all excellencies and largenesse, of whatsoever makes to per­fection of being, and this is in God. He is so perfect every way [Page 49] that he stands in need of nothing. God is absolutely and sim­ply Perfect, because he hath all things which are to be desired for the chiefest felicity.

He is pefect 1. In the highest degree of perfection,The Apostle by an Hebrew pleonasme saith the same thing twice illustrating it by th [...] con­tr [...]y. simply without any respect or comparison, secondly he is perfect in all kindes 1. John 1. 5. John saith he is light in which there is no dark­nesse, that is Perfect and Pure without the least mixture of the contrary, the Authour and cause of all perfections in all the creatures, they are all in him, but more perfectly and in a per­fecter manner. God is most absolutely Perfect, Job. 22. 2. Psal. 16. 2. Matth. 5. 48. The words in Scripture,Reasons of Gods Perfecti­on attributed to God, which signifie this, are

1. Schaddai, 1. That which is the chiefest being and Indepen­dent is most Perfect. which is as much as one sufficient to help himselfe, or one that gives nourishment to all other things, and there­fore Gen. 17. 1. when God was to make a Covenant with A­braham, to leave all earthly things, and so trust in him onely, he brings this argument, that he was such a sufficient God.

2. Gomer. 2. That which is Infi­nite in essence can want no­thing. The verbe is used five times in the Psalmes;Psal. 7. 10. and 7. 6. 8, and 137. 9. Psal. 56. 3. and 11. 1. as much as Perfect from the effect, because God doth continually preserve to the end.

3. Tom. Job. 37. 16. It signifieth both Simple and Perfect.

4. Calil. à Col. omnis, 3. The more Simple a thing is, the more perfect, that in which all good things are.

God is perfect.

1. Essentially, he is Perfect, in and by himselfe, containing in him all perfections eminently,Rom. 12. 2. Matth. 5 48. He hath all needfull to a Deity.

2. Nothing is wanting to him;Perfect in the generall, is that to which nothing is wanting, therefore that is most Perfect, to which agreeth no im­perfection. he hath no need of any o­ther thing out of himselfe, Job. 22. 2. 3. Psal. 16. 2.

3. Originally, he is the cause of all perfection; what hast thou, which thou hast not received? Jam. 1. 17.

4. Operatively, all his workes are Perfect, Deut. 32. 4. A thing is Perfect.

[Page 50] 1. Negativè, which wanteth nothing which is due by nature to its integrity.

2. Privativè, which wanteth no perfection, and so God one­ly is Perfect.

2. God is Great in his workes,Little workes of nature and of provi­dence have a greatnesse in them, consi­dered, as done by God. Deut. 4. 36. Gods Perfecti­on stands in an Infinitenesse of goodnesse, Matth. 19. 17. wise­dome, Rom. 11. 33. power, Gen. 17. 1. perfect wisedome, goodnesse, righteousnesse, moderation, holinesse, truth, and whatsoever may possibly be required to grace and commend an action, that is found in the whole course and frame of Gods actions; the worke of Creation is a perfect worke; he made all things in unsearchable wisedome;2 Sam. 22. 31. All Gods workes are perfect, Gen. 1. 31. Alphansus was wont to say, if he had been of coun­cell with God▪ in the making of his works, he should have made some of them melius & ordinatius. Ezek. 36. 23. Job. 38 34 35. 37. no man could have found any want of any thing in the world, which might be reasonably desired; no man could have found there any evill thing worthy to be complained of. The worke of Providence is perfect, all things are carryed in perfection of wisedome, justice, and goodnesse. So is the work of Redemption like­wise Perfect. The perfectest measure of justice, wisdome, truth, power, that can be conceived of, doth shew it selfe forth in that work.

Reason.Isay 40. 12. Such as the work-man is,Elihu alleadg­eth Gods workes to Job, to shew his greatnesse, Job. 36. 27 28. 29. and 37. 1. [...] 7. such must the work be, a perfect Artists workmanship will resemble himselfe. The per­fection of God, is his incomprehensible fulnesse of all excel­lenci [...]s, He is absolutely and simply perfect.

Ob. Why doth God use the help of others?

Sol. Not out of need, as the Artificer his Instruments, so that he cannot work with them, but out of choyce and liber­ty, to honour them the more. Hence sometimes he will use no meanes at all, sometimes contrary meanes, to shew that they help not, and that we should not rely upon them.

Ob. Why is there sinne in the world, seeing God needs not any glory that comes to him by Christ, and by his m [...]rcy in pardoning of sinne? why doth he suffer it.

Sol. Because sinne is not so great an evill as Christ is a good, and therefore God would not have suffered sinne, if he could not have raised up to himself matter of honour; God makes an antidote of this poyson.

[Page 51] Ob. How comes it to passe, that God makes one thing bet­ter then he did at first? as in the creation, all things had not their perfection at first.

Sol. Those things were perfect ex parte operantis, he intended not they should have any farther perfection at that time; the essence of nothing can be made better then it is, because it con­sists in indivisibili. God makes not out graces perfect in us because he aymes at another end.

Gods Perfection hath all imperfections removed from it, 2 Tim. 2. 13. Titus. 1. 2. Jam. 1. 3. There be 6 imperfecti­ons found in every creature. 1. Contingency. 2. Dependance. 3. Limitation. 4. Composition. 5. Alteration. 6. Multi­plication.

Now God is free from all these. He is 1. a necessary essence. 2. Independent. 3. Unlimited. 4. Simple. 5. Unchange­able. 6. Wholly one. Three of these, viz. Gods Simplicity, unlimitednesse in respect of time and place, and unchangeable­nesse, I have handled already; I shall speak of the other three, when I have dispatched this attribute of Gods Greatnesse or Perfection.

3. God is Great in his Authority.

I have shewed already that he is Great in his nature and essence, and also in his workes; now his Greatnesse in Au­thority is to be considered.

He is a Great King,God is Great in his Authori­ty. He is King of Kings, the only Potentate. he hath Soveraign, absolute and unli­mited Authority over all things, they being all subject and subordinate to him; for at his will they were and are created. This is signified by the Title of the most High so frequently given him in Scripture. He is the High and lofty one Isay 57. 15.

1. In respect of place and dwelling,God is most High. The Greatnesse of Gods authority standeth in two things. 1. The universality of it, Gods authority reacheth to all things; the whole world, and all creatures in it are subject to his will and dispositng. 2. The absolutenesse of it; what he willeth must be done. he is in heaven, Eccles. 5. 2. above the clouds.

2. In respect of essence, he is High indeed, unexpressibly [Page 52] high, the high God, Gen. 14. 22. the Lord most High, Psal. 7. 17.

3. In respect of Attributes, he hath more wisedome, power, justice, mercy, then all creatures.

4. In respect of State and dominion; he is exalted in Au­thority, power, jurisdiction; he is above all, as Commander of all.

God hath supreme dominion and power over all creatures,Absolute Do­minion is a Power to use a thing as you please, for such ends as you thinke good. to order them as he pleaseth, Job. 9. 12. Jer. 16. 6. Isay 45. 9. Dan. 6. 26.

Dominion in the generall is two fold.

1. Of jurisdiction, whereby he ruleth all subject to him, as he pleaseth.

2. Of propriety, whereby he having a right to every creature, may order it as he pleaseth.

The first is implyed in that of JAmes, JAmes 4. 12. there is one Law-giver, who is able to save and to destroy. The second in that he is called the Lord of the Earth; and all the beasts of the field are said to be his.

Gods dominion is that absolute right and power, whereby he possesseth all things as his own, and disposeth of them as he pleaseth.

Reason. The supreame excellencie of his nature; whereby he is infinitely above, not onely those things which are actuall, but likewise possible.

Gods first dominion of jurisdiction hath these parts.

1. To Command.

2. To forbid, as Adam the eating of the Tree.

3 To permit, thus he suffers sinne to be, being Supreame Lord.

4. To punish, or reward.

Secondly, his dominion of propriety consists in these parti­culars.

1. That he can order every thing as he pleaseth for his ho­nour and glory,Rom. 9. 17. Psal. 8. 1. the strange punishments laid on Pharaoh, were for this, God raised him up to shew his glory.

2. He is bound to give none account of what he doth;Job. 9. 12. that is [Page 53] true of God,Rom. 9. 20. which the Papists attribute falsely to the Pope, none may say to him cur ita facis?

3. He can change and alter things as he pleaseth, Dan. 2. 21. as when he bid Ahraham kill his Sonne, and the Israelites take the Egyptians goods.

4. Can distribute his goods unequally to whom, and when he pleaseth, to one health, sicknesse to another.

The adjuncts of this dominion.

1. It is Independent; he hath this dominion of himselfe, as he is God of himselfe.

2. Universall; it comprehends all places, times; this king­dome is everlasting, God rules in heaven, earth, hell.

3. Full and Perfect, 1 Chron. 29. 11. 12. His dominion is infinitely greater then all others.

4. It extends to the soule and heart; God is called the Fa­ther of Spirits, the hearts of Kings are in his hand; he can terrifie the conscience.

We should first preferre God ab [...]ve all things:Consectaries from Gods, Greatnesse in his nature. the Greatest person in any society is set before the rest. The Sunne is re­spected above other Starres; the King above other persons; we should highly esteem his favour, 40. Isay 12. there is a lofty description of Gods Greatnesse. Secondly, We should per­forme all duties to him with the greatest care, diligence and reverence, and in the highest degree; love him greatly, feare him greatly, praise him with all our might, yeeld unto him a service proportionable to his incomprehensible greatnesse. Great is the Lord, Psal. 145. 3. and greatly to be praised in one Psalme, and to be feared in another. Thirdly, It is a terrour to all those to whom this Great God is an enemy; the wrath of a Great King is terrible, he must needs inflict great punishments on such as rebell against him. Fourthly, Here is great consolation to those to whom he is a friend and Father; he will do great things for their good, they shall have great happinesse.

We should choose the Lord to be our Portion,Corollaries of Gods perfection. for in him a­lone is true happinesse, and contendednesse to be found; in our wants, we should confidently goe to him for help; he being Perfect can supply them.

[Page 54] We should place all our confidence in God alone, expect all good things from him,Deut. 18. 13. since he is an inexhausted fountain of all good things;Matth. 5. 48. we should imitate him, be Perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Let Patience have her perfect worke, let us perfect holinesse in his feare. Those which would be excellent Orators propound to themselves Cicero and Demonsthenes to follow. Paul pressed on forward; la­bour first to be perfect in heart, Psal. 119. 80. then in your ways. This may serve also to comfort the godly against their weak­nesses;Psal. 18. 22. God will make his workes perfect. He that hath begun a good work in them will perfect it; they should be comforted therefore against all their imperfections to which they are subject in this life, and seek perfection from him. He will sup­ply all their wants, beare with them here, and make them perfect in the other life,1 Cor. 13. 10. 1 Cor. 15. 28. the understanding shall have perfect sight, the will perfect goodnesse, the heart perfect joy.

We should not mutter under any affliction; for he himself can­not doe better then he doth, he makes all things perfect. Eccles. every thing beautifull in its season, this is the most perfect State and Condition for thee, and so account it, God hath per­fect wisedom, power, love.

Let us not be puffed up with any thing we do to him; the Papists abound in this when they maintaine merit; for that supposeth some eminency, as if God needed their graces, obe­dience and service; but let us walk more humbly; say rather if I had no corruption in me, if I could do every duty required with as much purity as Angels; yet this would adde nothing to thee; thou art a perfect God, perfectly happy, though I were not at all.

Gods works are wonderfull great;Consectaries from Gods Great works. farre exceeding the power of all creatures, either to do the lik to them, or to stop & hinder them. Let all the men on earth lay their hands & heads together,There is a twofold greatnesse in the workes of God. 1. In the bulke or quantity of them, as the worke of Creation. 2. Of quality or vertue Gen. 1. 16. The moone is a great light, in re­gard of light and influence, excellency and usefulnesse to the world. let all Kings unite their counsells, and their forces; [Page 55] can they make an Earth-quake, a Whirle-wind? can they make the thunder to roare? can they cause the flashes of lightening to flame out? It is not a mortall worm to whom the course of nature will submit it self. And if God will that these effects be wrought, what can any man, all men do for the hindring thereof?

2. Gods works are unsearchable, and past finding out, Job. 5. 9. who can dive into the secrets of nature, and tell us the true reason of the winde, the Earth-quake, the Thunder, the raine, the Snow? We cannot dive into the bottom of Gods works, nor find them out by any Study or Wisedome.

3. We should so much the more honour, dread, and wonder at God, by how much we can lesse comprehend his works.

4. Let us learn often to contemplate God in his works; see his goodnesse, greatnesse, wisdome, power in them, and so we shall profit much in the knowledge of him.

The exaltation of God is a terrour to those who will needs be his Enemies,Consectaries▪ from Gods being most high. and slight and dis-esteem him, as the greatest part of men do. O how unhappy are they, that have so high and so great a person to be their Enemie, seeing they have no­thing to save themselves from his wrath.

2. We should labour to exalt him now, by striving to form and fix in our selves a most reverent esteem of him, and by ex­ercising in our selves this vertue of honouring God, often re­viving in our minds these thoughts, how high is God, and making them familiar with him; O how excellent is he that hath made and governes all! Why do I not esteem him more and more! The more we can lift up our hearts to exalt God, the more we shall grow in all holinesse and righteousnesse.

3. His friends and servants shall also be exalted at last; though for a time despised and set light by.

We should often and seriously consider of this great perfecti­on of Gods nature, authority, and works. The very Saints and Angels have a Negative imperfection, though not a pri­vative; they are not deprived of that which should be in them, but there are many perfections which they have not. God is simply and universally Perfect; and he onely hath all kind of perfection, according to his essence.

[Page 56] God is a Necessary Essence.

Contingency is found in the essence of every creature, it might not have been, as well as have been; it may not be, as well as be; there was a possibility of its not being; as there is a possibility of its not being; yea, there was an equall or greater possibility of its not being, then its being.

God is a necessary essence; it is absolutely necessary that he should be, and he cannot but be, and be as he is, and his actions upon himself are altogether and simply necessary; they must be as they be, and cannot but be so.

God is Independent Esay 44. 6. Rev. 1. 8. and 21. 6. and 22. 13. Rom. 11. 35. 36.

Every Creature as a Creature,Independentia est proprietas Dei, qua quoad essen­tiam, subsisten­tiam & actiones à nulla alia de­pendet causa, cum a seipso sit, subsista & agat. Wen­delinus. is Dependent, and hangs up­on some other thing then it self, and owes its being and con­tinuance to another, Nehem. 9. 6. It hath causes of its being, from which, of which, by which, and for which it is; and further then these causes did, and do contribute to its being, it cannot be. The Angels have an efficient cause and end, and they do as much stand indebted to God for their being and continuance as the poorest worm; and would no more have been without God, nor continue to be then the silliest gnat; but God is altogether independent of himself,John 1. 3. Act. 17. 25. Ab indepen­dentia Dei non differt suffici­entia. qua ipse in se & à se sibi & nobis sat habet, nulla­que re indiget: cum omnia alia uti à Deo depen­dent, it [...] sibi ip­sis minimè sufficiant. Proprietatem hanc indigitat nomen Dei Schaddai. by himself, for him­self; he hath no causes, but is to himself instead of all causes.

He is what he is, without any help from any other thing; as himself shewes in his name, I am that I am.

There are many things which have a beginning from some other thing; there must be something therefore that is of it self, or else we should wander infinitely, a selfe-essence, and sub­sistence. Gods being is neither ab alio, ex alio, per aliud, nor propter aliud.

We should acknowledge God to be a necessary and Inde­pendent essence.

3. God is wholly one Deut. 6. 4. Gal. 3. 20. 1 Tim. 2. 5. Hos. 13. 4. Mal. 2. 10.Gen. 17. 1. & 35. v. 11. Wendelinus. All creatures are subject to multiplication; there may be many of them and are many; many Angels, men, [Page 57] starres,Psal. 18. 32. and 86. 10. and so in the rest. Not one of them is singular and one­ly one so; but one might conceive that there should be more; for he that made one of them,Deut. 4. 35. 39. and 32. 39. can make another and another, and as many as he pleaseth;Psal. 18. 31. 45. but God is simply one, singular, and sole essence;Isay 44. 68. there neither is, nor can be more then one God,Ephes. 4, 5, 6. because he is ths first and best essence;1 Pet. 2. 9. and there can be but one first,Marke 12. 2. 19 32. and one best. He is Infinite, and there cannot be but one Infinite because either one of them should include the other,1 Cor. 8. 5. and so the included must needs be finite, or not extend to the other,John 17. 3. and so it self not be Infinite.

There was a first man,2 Sam. 2. 2. and a first in every kind of creature, but not any absolute first save God:Isay 42. 36. and 44. 1. and 45. 5. and 21. and 48. 11. 12. one Eternall, and one In­comprehensible, saith Athanasius in his Creed.

There can be but one chiefe Good, which we desire for it self,Hinc disces (Cinquit Plato Epist. 13. ad Dionysium) scribam ego seriò nec ne. Cum seriò, ordior Epistolam ab uno Deo, cum secùs, à pluribus. and all other things for it, say the Morall Philosophers; and this must needs be God, for no Infinite good can be con­ceived but He.

Some places of Scripture, simply deny other Gods; and o­thers exclude all but this one God; Though there be Gods many, In respect of some excellent Majesty, and glory above others, Angels are called [...]o [...]s 1 Heb. 6. and Ps 97. 7. and Magistrates, Ps 82 6. in respe [...]t of usurpation, the Devill, 2 Cor. 4. 4. 1 Cor. 8 5. 6. Primò Omnis multifudo revocanda est ad unitatem. Cum igitur in mund [...] multae sint Creaturae, revocari eos oportet ad unum primum Creatorem. Secundò Res omnes sunt per aliud, ergo reducendae crint ad unum per se. and Lords many; that is, that are so called, and reputed by men, who deceive themselves in their own imaginations; yet to us (in the Church) there is but one God, Zach. 14. 9. after Christ shall come, the Gentiles with the Jewes shall all wor­ship one and the same true God.

That which is perfect in the highest degree can be but one; because that one must contain all perfections; that which is omnipotent can be but one; if one can do all things; what need is there of many Gods; If there were more Gods then one, we might and ought to do service to more then one, to acknow­ledge them, praise and love them, and be at least in mind ready to obey them, if they should command us any thing, and [Page 58] we might lawfully seek to them for what we need, and give thanks to them,Matth. 4. 10. We must love him onely, have one heart for one object. for what we received. But the Lord professeth himself to be a jealous God, and cannot endure any Copartner in worship. The Romans refused Christ, because they would have had their Gods with him, and he would be worshipped alone without them.

He is one God.

Not numerically,Unity here noteth not number but ra­ther a deniall of multitude; for unity as it denotes number, leaves also a place for a second and third, at least in apprehension and conceite; though there [...]e but one Sunne, yet we may conceive of a hundred. Deus est monar­cha mundi, rex unicus esto. Homerus. Essentia Dei unica est unitate absolutissima, non generis, speciei, Subjecti, Accidentis, causae, consensus, sed numeri quae unitas est restrictissim [...] vide Cornelium à Lapide in Deut. 6. 4. Atheomastix l. 2. c. 9. as one is a beginning of number (for that is a quantity) but transcendently as Ens and unum are counted onely one, solely and alone God; there cannot be two Infinites in essence, for then one should not have all the other hath in it; God is Infinite, for of his Greatnesse there is no end.

Secondly, others would be imperfect or superfluous, he be­ing Infinite and Perfect.

Thirdly, From his absolute Lordship, and dominion over all; he is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. My God (said Luther to the Pope) will make your God know, that you are too weak for him; if there were two Gods, there would be a strife between them (as between Caesar and Pompey) who should be the Greater and chiefest of all. God may be said in a speciall manner to be one, two severall wayes.

1. For the purity and simplicity of his substance, which is not compounded with any thing else. For that is most truly and properly one, which is nothing but it self, and hath no other thing mixed with it. God is so pure and simple an es­sence, that he is not compounded so much as of parts.

2. From his singularity, because there are no more Gods, but one, God is not onely one, but he is also the onely one. He is such a one as hath no Copartners in worship.Deut. 6. 4. Both which Titles are expresly ascribed unto God in the Scriptures:Isay 43. 10. Both that he is one, He is God, and there is none else, Deut. 4. 35 and 32. [...]9. and that he is the onely one. God is not only unus but also unicus, or to use Saint Bernards word, unissimus. If that word may be used, he is of all things, the onest. Socrates, and [Page 59] Plato in their definition of God, ascribe to him unity, with particular respect unto his singularity.

Pythogoras his advice to his Schollers was to search the unity.

There is a threefold unity;Doctor Rainolds, against Hart. first, of persons in one nature, so there is one God, Deut. 6. 4. The second, of natures in one person, so there is one Christ. 1 Cor. 8. 6. Thirdly, of sun­dry natures and persons in one quality; so there is one Church Cant. 6. 8. The Socinians reject these three unions, because they so farre transcend reason,Consectaries from Gods unity. and they receive not those things, which their reason cannot comprehend.

The more we content our selves with God onely,Christians should be one in affection, as God is one in essence, the hap­pier we are; he is the onely Infinite riches, wisdom, goodnesse; how happy are they that have him in quo omnia? spend all thy paines in getting him.

2. If he be your enemy,Mal. 2. 10. there is none else to rescue you; he is God,John 17. 21. and there is none else; he will destroy, and none shall be able to deliver out of his hands.Ephes. 4. 3. to 7. Act. 4. 32.

3. It shewes the wickednesse of those, which set up other Gods, besides the true God. The Epicure makes his belly, and the covetous man Gold his God; themselves of Stocks and Stones; this is a great dishonour to him, the Papists worship the Crosse, invocate Saints and Angels, make a God of the Pope.

The Heathens were guilty of Polytheisme,The Gen­tiles although they were Po­lytheists, yet are called Atheists, Ephes. 2. 12. not worship­ping him which is the onely true God, they worshipped none, Gal. 4. 8. they wor­shipped many Gods: they had their Dij majorum, and minorum gentium. Hesiod reckons up thirtyAug. l. 4. de Civitate Dei & Varr [...] lib. 1. de rebus divin [...]a. thousand Gods; the Ma­nichees said there were two Gods, the Thritheites that there were three.

This is the very first of all Gods Commandements, thou shalt have no other Gods before me. If there were more, for us not to acknowledge, adore, and honour them, were a wrong and act of in justice against them; so the first and foundation of all the rest of the Commandements, should be a most Injurious, and unlawfull Command; and therefore we must either con­ceive of him, which gave that Commandement, as a most en­vious, vaineglorious, arrogant and self-seeking God, that could not endure, that other Gods perhaps his equals should [Page 60] enjoy their due glory and homage, (which were most absurd, and blasphemous) or else we must needs confesse that which is the truth, that he forbade us to make any other, because there is no other,Cum praeter unum Israeli [...] Deum inscrip­tura aliorum quoque Deorum fit nentiò, vel fictitij intelli­guntur Dij: quales gentilium fuerunt vel im­propriè dicti Dis, quales sunt summi Magistratus, qui Dei in hisce terris vices ge­runt. Psal. 82. v. 6. Wendelinus. Apollinis o­raculum apud Porphyrium legi­tur, quo ait caeteros Deos aereos esse spiritus, colendum autem unum Hebraeorum Deum; cui dicto siparent Apollinis cultores jam tales esse desinunt: si non parent, suum Deum mendacij accusant. Grotius. and he would not have us misplace our devotion and service, by tendring it to that which is not God.

If there be many Gods, then either they must all be Subor­dinate, one being Superiour; or else Coordinate each being equall to other. If one be inferiour to another, that which is at the Command of another, or exceeded by another, is not god; if coordinate and equall, then one of them may crosse another; or many may hinder one, and what can be hindred in its working is not God.

If there be more Gods, they cannot be eternall; for an eternall being admits not of multiplicity; for that is eternall which is simply first; and that which is simply first hath nothing of as long as continuance asVariety is the pleasure of nature, but unity is the businesse of nature-Holiday. it self.

God united heaven and earth, and made them one world the Sea and the Land, and made them one Globe; soule and body, and made them one man; Jewes and Gentiles, and made them one Church; Adam and Eve, and made them one flesh, nay, God and man, and made them one Christ.

CHAP. VII.

THe next Attribute in God is his understanding; which is the DivineMatth. 11. 27. 1 Cor. 2. 10. * essence, understanding, and knowing all things alwayes, and by one act. It is called also Sci­ence, knowledge, and omniscience. God knowes all things, because first he knew himselfIn homine dif­ferunt intelle­ctus tanquam facultas, scientia tan­quam habitus intellectus, cognitio tanquam actio a facultate per habitum proficiscens. In Deo omnia sunt unum, & tantùm nostro concipiendi modo distinguuntur. directly in himself, by him­self, [Page 61] and primarily as a most perfect object; which knowledge in God, is of absolute necessity (for he could not exist without the knowledge of himselfe) and infinite apprehending an In­finite object, 147. Psal. 5.

Secondly, because he knows the creatures allSee 21. of John 17. Heb. 4. 13. and singu­lar De singu­laribus, qualia sum, hic angelus hic homo, haec planta, olim multi Philo­sophi dubita­ru [...]t an Deus haec nesset. Sed manifesta veti­tas est. Creavit enim Deus sin­gularia; judicia sua exercet cicra singularia; reddit cuique secundum opera sua, suppu­tat numerum stellarum, & nominibus suis singula [...] vocat Psal. 47. v. 4. vide Psal. 56. 9. & Matth. 10. 30. Pertinet huc totus Psalmus 147. Wendelinus. Simul & semel uno actu & uno ictu. viz. all things which have been, are, or shall be, might have been, and may be; not onely the substances, but all the ac­cidents of creatures, not onely things necessary, but also con­tingent, all good things by himselfe, and all evils by the op­posite good; and that infallibly without errour.

For the manner of divine knowledge, God knowes all things by his essence, not by species abstracted from the things; for so things should be before the divine knowledge, on which yet they depend. God doth not understand by discoursing from a known thing to that which is unknown, in a doubtfull and successive reasoning; but by looking on them, and by one most simple Individuall and eternall act Comprehending all things. He apprehends by one act of his understanding, and by himself simple things without species, compound without compositi­on and division, syllogismes and consequences without dis­course; lastly, he most perfectly understands all the multitude of things without distraction, and distance both locall and temporall, without distinction of former and later, past or future, according to the beginning, progresse, and end, pos­sessing all things together and alwayes present; which with us are revolved in time, Dan. 2. 21. 22. 1 Cor. 3. 19, 20. 44. Isay 7. Rom. 11. 33. Heb. 4. 13. Psal. 94. 9. 10. 11.

The Scripture proves Gods omniscience.

1. Affirmatively or positively, Job. 28. 24. 1 Sam. 2. 3. he is called by Hanna in her Song,Psal. 139. l. 2, 3 4. 6. 12. a God of knowledge, 1 Sam. 16. 7. 1 King 8. 39. Psal. 94. 11. He knows from eternity,Act. 15. 18. 1 John 3. 20. by one simple act, before all time, before there was a world; se­condly, certainly; he cannot be deceived.

2. Negatively, Job. 42. 2. Psal. 139. 45. Heb. 4. 13.

3. Metaphorically and Figuratively, for when eyes and [Page 62] eares be given to God, his omniscience is signified, 2 Chron. 16. 9. Psal. 11. 7. when he is called light, 1 John 1. 5.

2. It is proved by reason.

1. By way of negation, ignorance is a defect, and imper­fection; but God is most Perfect, therefore all Ignorance is to be removed from him.

2. By way of causality; God governs all things in the whole universe and directs to convenient ends even those things which are destitute of all knowledge and reason. There­fore he foreknows and sees all things; all creatures are Gods works, and an artificer knows his work; the Prophet knew what was in Gebezis heart, God revealing it to him. God made the heart; shall not he know it?

3. By way of eminency. God hath made creatures intelli­gent and full of knowledge, viz. Angels and men; therefore he knows and understands in a farre more perfect and eminent manner, Psal. 94. 10.

He knows.

1. The substantiall natures of all other things; as of An­gels, Men, Beasts, Plants, Gen. 1. He saw all things which he had made, Matth. 6. He is said to take care of Sparrows, which could not be without knowledge.

2. Their accidentals, as actions, and passions with the cir­cumstances of them.Psal. 33. 14. 15. & 94. 11. & 73 9. per totum. Prov. 15. 11. Psal. 139. [...]. God is totus ocnlus quia omnia videt. Aug. Hence he is said to know the hearts, and try the reines of men; and there is nothing hid from him, Matth. 6. The Father which seeth in secret.

3. He knows things which are to come, not as if they were to come; for to him all things are present. God makes this an argument of his Divinity, when he bids them see, if their Gen­tile Gods can tell what is to come. He doth not onely know what things naturally shall be, but likewise what is possible.

By his Prophets, he hath often foretold future things.

4. He is privy to all our actions, Psal. 119. 168. Job. 34. 21. 22. 2. knowes our words, 2 King 6. 12. Psal. 139. 4. Matth. 12. 36. 3. He knowes our thoughts,It was said of Christ, he knoweth what is in man. Prov. 15. 11. Job. 42. 2. 4. 1 Sam. 16. 7. Psal. 94. 11. God is [...] he sees and knowes the heart, Gen. 6. 5. Psal. 90. 8. and Rom. 8. 27 [Page 63] Apoc. 2. 23. He made the heart, and will judge men for their thoughts, he gives lawes to the heart, saying thou shalt not Covet thy neighbours house; else God were not infinite in knowledge if he knew not the heart.

Our understanding differs from Gods, many wayes.

1. We have our knowledge from others, from him; he his from himselfe. He understands by himselfe without any help; man needs many helpers, his sences, fancie and intellgible species.

2. In extent; we know but some things, he all, generall and particular.

3. Our knowledge is simply finite, but Gods infinite.

4. We understand things by species or Images, abstracted from them, he by his essence.

5. We understand things successively one after another, with paines of discourse, proceeding from an unknown thing to a known, or from a lesse known to a more known: but God knows all things together, and by one most simple, immutable, and eternall act of understanding.

6. He knows himself,He is prìmus intelligens and prímum intelli­gibile. and all other things perfectly, all things past, present and to come, open, secret, certain, contin­gent, that which shall be, which shall be never be; we cannot shew the causes nor properties of an Herbe, and understand onely those things which are, or at least have been, and we know doubtingly.

There is in God (say the Schoolmen) scientia visionis, a knowledge of all future things; 2. Simplicis intelligentiae, a most perfect knowledge of all, and the severall things, which may be done.

1. This is a terrour to the wicked, who is Ignorant of God, 2. Thess. 1 8. The Study of the knowledge of God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, is the highest, noblest, the most soule per­fecting and exalting knowledge that can be; all other know­ledge without this will nothing advantage us.

2. It is necessary for us to be ruled by him, who is so full of knowledge, and to beleeve all which he saith by way of relat­ing, promising, threatning.

[Page 64] 3. This may comfort Gods people,Against worldlynesse. 6. Matth. 30. 32. my witnesse is in heaven, said Job. if they know not how to expresse themselves in Prayer, God knows their groanes.

To Gods understanding are referred his Wisedome, or Pru­dence, and Prescience.

The wisdome or Prudence and counsell of God,Great in coun­cello Jer. 32 19. Rom. 11. 33. Job 9. 4. The wisdome of God is sometime taken personal­ly, and so the Sonne of God is called wis­dom, Prov. 8. 1. sometime Essentially which is com­mon to all the persons in the Trinity. by which God rightly perceives the best reason of all things which are do [...]e. Hence it is that all things are joyned, and knit together in a most perfect harmony, and beautifull order, so that they well agree, both amongst themselves and with God.

God is wisdom it selfe, Prov. 8.

His wisdome is.

1. Infinite, Psal. 136. 5. and unsearchable Job. 11. 7.

2. Essentiall to himselfe. He is the onely wise God, Rom. 16. 27. 1 Tim. 1. 17.

3. He is perfectly, originally, unchangeably wise Isay 40. 13.

4. The fountain of all wisdom; was there such wisdome in Adam, to give names to things according to their natures? and in Salomon to discourse of all things? and is there not much more in God?

WisdomeWisdome is a vertue of right under­standing things to be known and making right use of th [...]t knowledge to the ordering of himselfe and his acti­ons for the best. is an ability to fit all things to their ends. He that worketh for a worthy and good end, and fitteth every thing unto it, worketh wisely. God doth 4 Actions to all his [...]reatures as Creatures, viz.

1. He made them. 2. Sustaineth them. 3. Actuateth them. 4. Guideth and disposeth them all wisely; aiming at a noble end, viz. his own glory, content and satisfaction.

He hath set also to each of them speciall ends, to which they serve in nature, and that end is the mutuall preservation one of another, and common beautifying of the whole workeman­ship, in subordination to that high end of his glory; and so he hath fitted each thing for that particular end he made it; and all for the universall end, to which he intended all. The Sunne was made to distinguish day and night and the severall seasons, it is most fit for that end, it is most fit for the end in its quantity, quality, motion, and all that pertain to it. God made Grasse for the food of Beasts, it is fit for that end; so in the rest.

[Page 65] Wisdome hath two principall acts, fore-sight, and fore-cast, by which a man can beforehand see what will be after to make his use of it; 2. disposing and ordering things, by taking the fittest meanes and opportunities to attain his own good and right ends. This vertue is Infinitely in God, for he doth fore-see all thiings eternally; and in time disposeth of them most fitly, by the fittest meanes and opportunities for the best that can be, to his own glory, which is the highest end that he can and should ayme at; for to that which is the best of all things, must all things else be referred; therefore God is the onely wise God. Gods knowledge differs from his wisdome, in our apprehension thus. His knowledge is conceived as the meer apprehension of every object, but his wisdome is conceived as that whereby he doth order and dispose all things. His knowledge is conceived as an act; his wisdome as an habit or inward principle; not that it is so, but onely we apprehend it in this manner.

Gods wisdom is seene in these particulars.

1. In making of this great world, 1 Cor. 1. 21. all things therein are disposed in the best order, place, time, by the wisest Architect.Prov. 3. 19, 20. Eccles. 3. 11. Pro. 12. 12. 13. 16. How doth David in the Psalmes, admire the won­derfull power and wisdome of God, in making of the world Psal. 136. 5. and 104. per totum. Much wisdome and art is seene in the Sunne, Starrs, creeping things; Salomon in all his glory was not comparable to one of the lilies; for that is native and imbred, his adventitious.

2. In particular, in making of man, the little world, David is much affected with this Psal. 139. 14. 15.

3. In the order which is in these things, God hath made every thing beautifull in his season, saith Salomon. He is cal­led the God of order,Gen. 1. 31. Psal. 19. The heavens are said to have a line, which is likewise called their voyce, because God by this exact order and art, which he shewed in making of them, doth plainly declare to all the world, his glory and power.

4. In that nothing is defective or superfluous.

5. In contrivi [...]g things by contrary meanes. He brings a­bout contrary ends, by contrary meanes; by death he brought [Page 66] life to beleevers, by Ignominy and shame the greatest glory. By terrours for sinne, he brings the greatest comfort, and leads men by hell to heaven.

6. By catching those which are wise in their own craftinesse, Psal. 59. Job. 9. 4.

7. In finding out a way to save man by Christ,1 Cor. 2. 7. Ephes. 1. 8. Ephes 3. 10. [...] wisdome in many curious passages, 1 Pet. 1. 12. the very Angels desire to prie into this mystery; and indeed here was so much wisdome, that if the understanding of all men and Angels had been put together, they could not have devised a possible way for mans salvation.

8. In the Church, in the Oracles of Scripture, exceeding all sharpnesse of humane wit, in the originall, progresse, change, and migration of the Church,Ephes. 3. 10. and other mysteries of the Go­spell,Rom. 11. 33. the profound and immense wisdom of Gods councels shines.Matth. 11. 25.

9. In the particular passages of his Providence to his Chil­dren, about their outward condition; in taking David from the sheep-fold to be a King; but how much misery did he under­goe before he was setled? So to Jacob, Abraham and Paul; in doing them good by their sinnes, making them wary.

10. In Heaven, in which the Councels, acts, decrees, and promises of God (all obscurity being removed) shall be most clearly unfolded.

Dost thou want wisdome, go to this fountain, Jam. 1. 5. Psal. 94. 10. all the wisdome of men and Angels comes from him.Dan. 2▪ The godly have a most wise teacher, Job. 36. 22.

2. Take heed of trusting in thy own crafty wisdome, 1 Cor 3. 18.

3. Gods wisdom cals for our feare; the people feared Salo­mon for his wisdom; and praise, Rom. 16. 27.

4. The order and variety of things ariseth not from nature, but the Divine working.

5. We should be content with the portion which God gives us, that weather which he sends, those troubles he brings on us; since he is wisest, and knowes best what is fittest for us, and when is the best time to help us.

[Page 67] 6. Admire that in the works of God which we understand not▪ Gods wisdome is unsearchable, and his Counsell like un­to the great depth.

7. Be constant and diligent in reading, and pondering upon the Scriptures; they will make you wise to Salvation, to which adde Prayer and Practise.Act. 2. 23.

Gods Prescience or fore-knowledge is that, whereby God fore-knew all future things necessarily, certainly, immutably, and from everlasting. Neither fore-knowledgeIt is called Prescience, not in respect of God but men. Gen. 18. 1. and 15. 16. Praescientia Dei est cognoscitiva, non causativa. Act. 2. 23. Rom. 8. 29. 1 Pet. 1. 2. nor remem­brance are properly in God, all things both past, and to come, being present before him.

Although Gods prescience bring not a nec [...]ssity upon events, yet it is necessary for all things to happen so as God hath fore­told, because God so fore-knows, as he hath decreed and wil'd it shall be; but his decree gives existence.

So much for Gods understanding; his will follows; by which GodVoluntas, qua Deus seip­sum vult per se, & extra se om­nia propter se, seu suam gloriam. Wendelinus. Job. 9. 12. Psal. 115 3. and 135. 7. Dan. 4. 25. Exod. 33. 19. Rom. 19. 18. 21. 2 Cor. 12. 11▪ God created all things, be­cause he would, he redeemed us of his good pleasure, sheweth mercy to whom he will shew mercy. God is 1. most Perfect. 2. Truly blessed, therefore most free. freely immutably, and efficaciously wils and approves of Good and that onely, both the chiefest and first, viz. himself and his own glory, as the end: and also the Secon­dary, inferiour and subordinate good, viz. that of the creature, asfarre as it hath an Image of that chiefest good, and tends as a meane to that ultimate end. God wills, 1. Most freely; for as liberty is essentiall to every will; so it is chiefely proper to the Divine, because it is a will especially; yet God wils good necessarily with a necessity of Immutability, but not with a necessity of coaction; for he is necessarily and naturally Good, and that which he once willed, he always wils immutably and yet freely; 2. God wils efficaciously; for no man resisteth, nor can resist his will, Dan. 4. 32. Rom. 9. 19. voluntas Dcisemper impletur aut de nobis aut à Deo in nobis Augustine.

Will is taken.

1. For a faculty or power of the soule whereby we will; so we say there are these faculties in the soule, the understanding and the will.

[Page 68] 2. For the act of willing called volitio.

3 The object or thing willed, so John 6. this is the will of my Father, that is, that which he willeth and hath decreed. So we say, it is the Princes will, that is, that which the Prince will [...]th.

But Gods will is his essenceThe Scrip­ture often ascribes a will to God, Isay 46. 10. Rom 9. 19. John 6. 39. The will of God is an es­sentiall proper­ty whereby the Lord approveth that which is good and dis-proveth the contrary, Matth. 19. 17. Jam. 1. 17. Psal. 5. 4. whereby he freely willeth good, and nilleth evill; or it is a faculty whereby God chooseth all and onely good, and refuseth all and onely evill.

The will of God is.

1. Most holy Rom. 12. 2. Psal. 119. 137. the rule of justice, Lam. 3. 37. Ephes. 1. 11. Deut. 29. 29. Isay 8. 20.

2. Eternall, Rom. 9. 11.

3. Unchangeable, Mal. 3. 6. Rom. 11. 1.

The will of God is one and the same; but it isEvery di­stinction of Gods will, must be framed ex parte volito­rum. non ex parte volentis Doctor Jackson. S [...]e Doctor Prideaux his Sermon on 2 Chron. 32. 24. p. 17. distinguish­ed 1. In respect of the object into voluntatem bene plac [...] ti & placiti. God wils good things, and good effects with the will of his good pleasure, approving them first of all, and by h [...]mselfe, he intends their end and meanes, Ephes. 1. 5. but evill and evill effects as they are evill, he nils, disapproves and dislikes. Yet he voluntarily permits evill, and as there is a good end of it, he wils it with the will of his pleasure, for it is good that there should be evill. Psal. 81. 12. Act. 14. 16. 1 Cor. 10. 5. 2. In respect of application to the creature, into 1. Absolute, when God willeth and concludeth any thing concerning us with­ont any condition in us.Miro & ineffabili modo not fit praeter ejus voluntatem. quod etiam con­tra ejus fit vo­luntatem, quia non [...]eret si non si [...]eret, nec uti­que [...], sed volent. Nec si [...]eret bonus fieri malè, nisi omnip [...]tens etiam de malo facere p [...]ssit [...] August. Enchir. ad Laurent. c. 100. 2. Conditionall, when he wils some condition being put in us; so God would have all men saved on this condition if they can beleeve. The first of these is by another name called voluntas beneplaciti, the last voluntas signi.

Gods will is 1. Secret, that whereby he hath absolutely, and freely determined with himself what he will doe, permit, or hinder.

[Page 69] 2. Revealed,Psal. 115. 3. Ephes. 1. 11. Rom 9 18. called the will o [...] God, con­cerning us. that whereby God hath manifested what he would have beleeved, done or left undone by his reasonable creatures, Marke, 3. 35. 1 Thess. 4. 3. That distinction of Gods will into beneplaciti & signi differs little from this. Signi is the same with revealed, beneplacitum is the decree properly so called, which may be either hidden or manifest.

It serves first to comfort us in adversities; God is a most free agent, therefore he is not bound to second causes, so as he can­not help without them, Psal. 115. 3.

2. To exhort us to sobriety in our judgement of Gods works.Rom. 9. 20. 21. 22. He is a most free agent, therefore we should not rash­ly exact of him a reason of his deeds.

2. We should labour first to know Gods will; so did Eli. 1 Sam. 3. 17.

2. Our wils should be pliable to the will of God, we should be carefull; 1. To doe his willPsal. 110. Deut. 16. 14. cheerfully,Psal. 119. speedily,Psal. 51. 8. a Rev. 2. 4. Levit. 10. 3. Jo [...]. 1. 21. Psal. 39. 19. Psal 119. 6. Prov. 30. 6. sin­cerely, constantly; a Christian makes God in Christ his portion that is his faith, and the word of God his rule, that is his obedience.

3. Be patient under the hand of God in all afflictions, for no­thing can befall us but that which is the good pleasure of our heavenly Father.2 Sam 6. 7. and 7. 7.

3. We should not depart from the word of God, but make that the warrant of all our actions; for there is nothing sinne but what God forbiddeth; and nothing acceptable, but what he commandeth. A man may with a good will, will that which God nils; as if a good Sonne desireAug. Ench. ad [...]aur. c. 101. his Fathers life whom God would have dye, & one may will with an ill will, that which God wils with a good will, as if an ill Sonne should desire his Fathers death, which God also wils.

4. Prie not into the Lords secretsDeut. 19. 29. R [...]m. 9. 20. Eccles. 7. 15. 16., they belong not unto thee, but be wise unto sobriety.

5. We should be afraid to sinne against God, who can pu­nish how he will, when he will, and where he will; God wils seriously the conversion of all men, by the preaching of the word, voluntate approbitionis, by way of allowance,Master Pem­ble, vin [...]licie gratiae p 108. 109. Apostolus 1 Tim. 2. 4. non intelligit si [...]gulos homines, [...] quos [...]is [...]omi [...]es, hoc est, om [...]l [...] genr [...] [...], genera singul [...]rum, non singul [...] generum. but not [Page 70] voluntate effectionis & intentionis, not effectually, by way of full intention to worke it in them. It is one thing to approve of an end as good, another thing to will it with a purpose of using all meanes to effect it. Gods Commandements and ex­hortations, shew what he approves and wils, to be done as good; but his promises or threatenings shew what he intendeth effe­ctually to bring to passe.

Under Gods will are comprehended affections, which are attributed to God, and are divers motions of his will accord­ing to the diversity of Objects. Yet they are not suddain and vehement perturbations of GodGod pleaseth to ascribe to himselfe our humane af­fections, not because he hath any per­turbation or passion or troublesome stirring, and working with­in, as we have; but because he hath an apt­nesse to pro­duce such effects, as we out of those passions doe accustome to produce, but without any man­ner of those weaknesses or distempers, which accompany us in such actions. as they are in man, rising and falling as occasion serves, but constant, fixed, tranquill, and eternall Acts and inclinations of the will, according to the different nature of things, either contrary or agreable to it. There are in man some habituall and perpetuall affections as love and hatred; much more hath the Eternall will of God E­ternall affections, whiles it moves it selfe to the objects, with­out alteration, impression and passion. God is so farre affe­cted toward particulars, as they agree or disagree with the u­niversall and immutable notions, and Ideas of good existing in God from eternity; so God hates evill, and loves good, both in the abstract and universall Idaea, and also in the concrete in particular subject as farre as it agrees with the Generall.

CHAP. VIII.

THe Affections, which the Scripture attributes to God, are.

1. Love which is an actIt is an attri­bute, whereby God loveth himselfe above all, and others for himself. of the Divine will, moving it self both to the most excellent good in it self, and to that excelling in the reasonable creature, approving it, delighting in it, and doing goodAmor Dei est, quo se oblectat in eo quod approbat, eique bene vult, & [...]ibi unit. Wendelinus. God is first af­fected toward himselfe, and his owne glory. to it, John 6. 16. 35. Rom. 5. 8. In which definition 2 Things are to be noted.

[Page 71] 1. The object of Gods love.

2. The effect or manner of Gods love.

The primary object of Gods love is himself, for he taketh great pleasure in himself, and is the Author of greatest felicity and delight to himselfe. The Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, love one another mutually, Matth. 3. 17. and 17. 5. John 3. 33. 35. and 5. 20. and 10. 17. and 15. 9. and 17. 24. The Secondary object of Gods love is the reasonable creature An­gels and men.John 14. 23. Ezek. 33. 11. Amor Divinus est For though he approve of the goodnesse of o­ther things; yet he hath chosen that especially, to prosecute with his chiefest love,1. Naturall [...] quo Deus neces­sario amat seipsum. for these reasons.

1. For the excellency and beauty of the reasonable creature, when it is adorned with its due holinesse.

2. Because between this onely and God,2. Voluntatius. there can be a mu­tuall reciprocation of love,1. universalis, quo omnes crea­turas aliquo mo­do Deus diligit. Amare enim est velle alicui bonum Matth. 5. 45. since it onely hath a sense, and ac­knowledgement of Gods goodnesse.

3. Because God bestowes Eternity on that which he loves; but the other creatures besides the rationall shall perish.

Gods love to Christ is the foundation of his love to us, Matth. 3. 17. Ephes. 1. 6.

God loves all creatures with a Generall love, Matth. 5. 44. 45. as they are the work of his hands;2. Speciall [...], quo deus inaequaliter amat has & il­las creaturas, respectu boni inaequalis, quod ijs vult; sic magis diligit creaturas rationales, & inter illas electos, & Christum. Wendelinus. but he doth delight in some especially, whom he hath chosen in his Sonne, John 3. 16. Ephes. 1. 6.

2. The effect or manner of Gods love is, that God makes the person happy whom he loves.1 John 4. 16. John 3. 35. Rom. 5. 8. Mal. 1. 2. For he doth amply reward that joy aud delight which he takes in the holinesse and obe­dience of the Elect, while he pours plentifully▪ upon them all gifts, both of grace and glory.

This love of God to the Elect is 1. Free,1 John 4. 10. 19. Hos. 15. 5. He was moved with nothing but his own goodnesse.

2. Sure, firme, and unchangeable, Rom. 5. 8. 10. 1 John 4. 10. John 13. 1. and 31. 3. Infinite and Eternall,Jer. 31. 3. which shall never alter John 3. 16.

[Page 72] 3. Effectuall, as is declared both by his temporall and eternall blessings, 1 John 3 1.

4. Great and ardent,Rom. 8. 1. 2. and 5. 5. I [...]hn 3. 16. and 15. 13. Rom. 5. 6. 7. God bestowes pledges of his love and favour upon them whom he hath chosen, and sometimes he sheds the sence of his love abroad in their hearts.

We must love God Appreciativè love him above all things,God is the onely immedi­ate and proper object of love Psal. 103. 1. Beatus qui amat te, amicum in te & inimi­cum propter te. August. and in all, Psal. 73. 24. Math. 10. 37. Intensivè and intellectivè withall our might and strength. Affectu & effectu love him for himselfe, and all things for the Lords sake. We should ex­presse our love to him by our care in keeping his Commande­ments. 1 John 2. 3. John 14. 25. and 15. 10. and earnest desire of his presence, Psal. 4. 2. 2.

2. Our love should be conformed to Gods, in loving the Saints, 16. Psal. 3. Gal. 6. 10. and Christ above all, desiring to be united to him, 1 Cor. 5. 44. 1 Pet. 1. 8.

3. We should admire the love of God, 1 John 3. 1. For the surenesse, greatnesse, and continuance of it, it passeth our knowledge, Ephes. 3. 19. He hath given his Sonne for a price, his Spirit for a pledge, and reserves himselfe for a reward.

That Tantus so great a God should love tantillos so little crea­tures as we before we were, Rom. 9. 11. tales when we were Enemies, Rom. 5. 10. tantum so much.

Means to [...]ove God. 1. Begge this love much of God in Prayer.Master Bradford when others were merry at Table, fell a weeping, be­cause he could not get his dull heart to love God.

2. Study much to know him, his nature, attributes, excellen­cies. 3. Labour to injoy communion with him. 4. Morti­fie other loves contrary to this, inordinate selfe-love and love of the world, 1 I [...]hn 2. 15.

There are many promises made to the love of God. 1. Of Tem­porall blessings, Psal. 91. 14. Rom. 8. 28. 2. Spirituall, all the comforts of the Gospell, 1 Cor. 2. 9. 3. of heavenly and E­ternall blessings, Jam. 1. 12. and 2. 5.

1. God is maximè amabilis, he is truly lovely 2. Consider the great benefits we receive from him, 116. Psal. 12. 3. He desires us to love him, Deut. 10. 4. Mark. 12. 33. 4. this affection onely and joy abide for ever, 1. Cor. 13. 20. ult.

The second affection in God, contrary to love, is Hatred, [Page 73] which is an actGods hatred is that where­by he is ready to that which we doe when we hate, even to separate a thing from himselfe. Ezek. 33. 11. Rom. 9, 14. Psal. 45. 7. & 5. 6: Esay 1. 14. of the Divine will, declining, disproving and punishing of evill, prevailing and reigning in the reasonable creature.

In which definition three things are to be noted.

1. The object of Gods hatred.

2. The cause and condition of the object hated.

3. The effect of Gods hatred.

1. The object of Gods hatred is the reasonable creature,Hatred is of things contrary to us, as God hates sinne, being contra­ry to his▪ 1 Nature, 2 Law. 3 Hononr. Psal, 45. 8. for that onely sins. He hateth iniquity, Psal. 71. 59. Prov. 11. 1. and the creature which obstinately and stubbornly persisteth in evill, so that he doth rejoyce in the calamity and destruction thereof, Psal. 11. 5. & 5. 6. Prov. 16. 5.

2. The cause and condition of the object hated, is sinne; for which God abhors the delinquent creature; onely the reaso­nable creature hath left his station, and defiled himselfe with the filth of sinne; all the rest of the creatures, whether brute beasts or insensible creatures, persist in the state of goodnesse wherein they were created, although perhaps not in the same degree of perfection and excellency for mans sinne. But al­though God cannot hate the creature unlesse as sinfull: yet not every degree of sinne, but a high measure of it, makes the per­son hated. It is true that God abhors the least sin, yet he doth not abhor the persons of the godly, in which are the re­liques of sinne, as he doth those of the wicked in whom sinne raignes.

3. The effect of Gods hatred is to punish the person whom he hates, whom when once it is rejected by God troopes of evill doe invade, God both permitting and commanding; and this actuall hatred or outward manner of manifesting it may not unfitly be referred to the Divine justice. Hatred in God is a vertue, and fruit of his justice, and not a vicious passion.

1. We should hate sinne (for God hateth it) and that with the greatest hatred,Prov. 6. 16. even as hell it selfe, Rom. 12. 9. sinne is the [Page 74] first,Hatred in a reasonable creature is a motion of the will, whereby it flieth from that which it apprehends to be evill and opposeth it. It ariseth from a disconformi­ty of the ob­ject. principall and most immediate object of hatred. Paul mentioning divers evils saith, God forbid, I hate vaine thoughts, saith David. Our affections must be conformable to Gods. He hateth nothing simply but sinne, and sinners for sinnes sake. 2. Sinne is as most injurious to God, so most hurtfull to man; therefore it is in it selfe most hatefull. The ground of hatred of any thing is the contrariety of it to our welfare, as we hate wild, fierce, and raging beasts, for their mischie­vousnesse, a Toade and Serpents for their poysonfulnesse, which is a strong enemy to life and health. Sinne is the most mischievous and harmfull thing in the world. Just hatred is generall of whole kinds, as we hate all Serpents, so we should all sinnes.

Meanes to hate [...]inne.

1. Pray to God, that his Spirit may rule and order our affe­ctions,There is a twofold ha­tred, [...] Odium abominationis, a flying onely from a thing. 2. Odium inimi­citiae, whereby I pursue what is evill. and set the same against evill.

2. Exercise our selves in meditating of the infinite torments of hell, which sinne deserveth, and the fearefull threats de­nounced against it in the Word of God of all sorts of evils.

3. We should labour to get out of our naturall estate, for the unregenerate man hates God, Psal. 81. 15. Rom. 1. 30. Christ John 7. 7. and good men, eo nomine, as Cain did Abell, 1 John 3. 10, 12. they hate Gods waies and Ordinances, 1 Prov. 22. 29. This hatred is,As much of our originall corruption is found in his affection as any. 1. Causelesse, Psal. 69. 44. 2 Intire, without any mixture of love. 3. Violent, Psal. 55. 3. 4. Irreconcileable, Gen. 3. 15.

CHAP. IX.

OTher affections which are given to God metaphorically, and by an Anthropopathy, are 1. angerAnger is gi­ven to God, Non secundum turbationis affectum, sed secundum ul [...]ionis effectum, say the Schoolmen. Gods wrath is his re­venging justice; which justice of God, as it simply burns against sinne, the Scripture cals his anger: when it doth most fiercely sparkle out, it is called his wrath; the same justice when it pronounceth sentence is called his judgement; when it is brought into execution, it is called his vengeance. M. Marshall on 2 King. 23. 26. and its contrary, [Page 75] complacency or gentlenesse, which are improperly in God, for he is neither pleased nor displeased; neither can a sudden either perturbation or tranquillity agree to God▪ but by these the actions of God are declared, which are such as those of offended and pleased men are wont to be, viz. God by an e­ternall and constant act of his will approves obedience and the purity of the creature, and witnesseth that by some signe of his favour, but abhorres the iniquity and sinne of the same creature, and shewes the same by inflicting a punishment not lesse severe but farre more just then men are wont to doe when they are hot with anger, Exod. 32. 10. Now therefore, let me alone, that my wrath may wa [...] hot against them, and that I may consume them, and I will make of thee a great Nation.

Gods Anger is an excellency of his owne essence, by which it is so displeased with sinne, as it is inclined to punish the sinner; or a setled and unchangeable resolution to punish sin­ners according to their sinnes.

God is greatly moved to anger against all impenitent sin­ners,Gods anger signifieth three things. 1 The eternall decree, whereby God hath purposed in himselfe to take vengeance upon all evill doers, John 3. 36. Rom. 1. 18. 2 His mena­cings or threat­nings, Psal. 6. 1. Jonah 3. 9. Hos. 11. 9. 3 It is put for the effects of his anger, for punishment and revenge, Rom. 3. 5. Matth. 3. 7. Ephes. 5. 6. Dr. Benfields Sermon 10, on Heb. [...]0. 30. especially the unjust enemies of his people, Rom. 1. 18. & 2. 8, 9. 1 Cor. 10. 22. Ephes. 5. 6. & Col. 3. 6. Deut. 32. 21. Psal. 106. 40. because such wrong God; He cannot be hurt, for that were a weaknesse; but he may be wronged, for that is no weaknesse, but a fruit of excellency, seeing nothing is more subject to be wronged then an excellent thing or person: for wrong is any behaviour to a person not sutable to his worth. And the more worthy a person is, the more easie it is to carry ones selfe unseemlily.

Sinne wrongs God:

1. In his authority; when a just and righteous Governour hath made just and right Lawes: then it is a wrong to his au­thority, a denying and opposing of it, to neglect, dis-regard, and infringe those Lawes. Sinne is a transgressing of Gods Law, and impenitent sinne, doing it in a very wilfull manner, with a kind of carelessenesse, and bold disrespect of the Law-maker. [Page 76] God should not have shewed himselfe wise, just, good, carefull of mankinde, that is to say, of his owne worke, if he had not made his Law; for it is a rule tending to guide man to order his life most fitly for that which was the maine end of it, the glory of his maker, and that which was the subordi­nate end of it, his own welfare.

2. It wrongs him in his honour, name, and dignity; it is a denying of his perfect wisdome and justice.

3. In his goods, abusing them.

4. In his person, sinne being offensive to the purity of his holy person.

Lastly, the opposing of Gods people wrongs him, in those that are neerest him.

The properties of Gods anger:

1. It is terrible;See Nehem. 9. 32. Heb. 10. 27. Revel. 6. 16, 17. See those words Zag­nam, Zagnath, & Charad in my Hebrew Critica. he is called Bagnall Chemath, the Lord of anger, Nahum. 1. 5. His wrath is infinite like himselfe. If we consider it, 1. in regard of its intention, for God is called a consuming fire, Heb. 12. 29. it pierceth the soule, and the inmost part of the Spirit. 2. In respect of its extension, it compre­hends in it all kinds of evill, Corporeall, Spirituall,To this be­longs the Ca­talogue of curses repeated Deut. 21. & Levit. 26. in life, death, after death; it reacheth to Kingdomes, as well as to particular persons or families; to the posterity, as well as to the present generation. 3. In respect of duration, it continu­eth to all eternity, John 3. 36. it is unquenchable fire.

2. Irresistible; compared to a whirlwinde.

God is most wise,God is infinit­ly just, a perfect hater of sin. of great and perfect unsterstanding. He is slow to anger, never moved till there be great cause; therefore he holds out in his anger. Great persons inflict great punish­ments on those with whom they are displeased.

Ob. Fury is not in me, Esay 27. 4.

Sol. Take furyThe word Chamah in the the originall is rendred excan­descentia, bur­ning or fiery wrath, which the last Translation fitly cals fury. for unjust, undue and excessive anger, which riseth too soon, worketh too strong, and continueth too long; so it is not in God; but a discreet and well advised motion a­gainst any offender, by which one is moved to punish him ac­cording to his offence; anger so taken is in him.

[Page 77] Anger, wrath, and rage,Dr Burges on Psal. 76. 10. (or fury) are sometimes promis­cuously put one for another, and sometimes distinguished. Anger is a boyling of the blood about the heart, causing a commotion of the spirits that are neere. Wrath is the mani­festation of that inward distemper by lookes, gestures, or acti­ons, tending to revenge; but rage is the extremity of both the former, Prov. 27. 4.

This may humble and astonish impenitent sinners,Consectaries from Gods anger. Hos. 8. 5. Psal. 90. 11. We must quench Gods wrath as men doe fire at the first, by casting in water and taking away the fewell; by repentance and reformation; poure out water, 1 Sam. 7. 8. Jerem. 4. 14. Psal. 6. 8. Pray earnestly to him, Zeph. 3. 3. Moses by prayer turned away Gods hot anger from Aaron and Israel.

2. Let us take heed of sinning, and so provoking God to anger; and let us be angry with all sin, as he is. He is angry sometimes at the best people, Israel, his peculiar treasure, Judges 2. Numb. 11. 2 At the best of his people, with Moses, Aaron and Miriam, Mi [...]. 6. 4. Exod. 4. 14. 3 At the best of their performances,Deut. 9. 9. their prayers, Psal. 80. 4.

Gods Meeknesse or Clemency is a property in him whereby he doth so moderate his anger, that it doth not exceed, yea it doth not match the hainousnesse of the offence; or it is a property, whereby the Lord in judgement remembreth mercy,Psal. 103. 10. not laying such grievous punishments, or of so long continuance upon his creatures, as their sinnes deserve, no not when he doth correct them, 2 Sam. 7. 14. Jer. 3. 5. Joel 2. 13. Jon. 3. 9, 10.

Queen Elizabeth said,God comman­deth meeknesse in his word; Christ pattern­eth it in his life and death, the holy Spirit produceth it in our hearts. next the Scripture she knew no Booke did her so much good as Seneca de Clementia. Her clemency was such, that her brother King Edward was wont commonly to call her His sweet sister Temperance.

Magistrates and Ministers, and all Christians should labour for this grace they should be slow to anger, and moderate wrath. Magistrates should rule, and Ministers instruct in meek­nesse. No vertue is so generally commended, 1 Tim. 6. 11. Titus 3. 2. JAmes 3. 17, 18.Matth. 5. 5. Humblenesse of mind and meeknesse of spirit are often in Scripture set downe together, Ephes. 4. 2. Coloss. 3. 2.

[Page 78] God takes to himselfe also Griefe and Joy. Gods griefe is his aptnesse to be displeased with a thing, as a man is with that which grieves him. Joy is the excellency of his nature, by which he is well pleased with other things.

So God attributes to himselfe desire and detestation, hope and feare. Desire is that whereby he useth fit meanes to effect any thing; Detestation is that whereby he useth fit and due meanes to prevent any thing.

God is said to expect or hope for that which he hath used due meanes to effect,Much what the same with desir [...] and de­testation. and therefore requireth that it should be. To feare what he hath used due meanes to prevent, and so will order the meanes that it may not be.

CHAP. X.

SO much concerning the affections attributed to God, his vertues follow; which, as they have their seate in man, in the will and affections: so it is not inconvenient for methods sake to referre them to the same in God. Gods vertuesVertues in men are certain ex­cellent and confirmed ha­bits, by which they are made apt and prompt to use their fa­culties well and orderly. are his essence considered, as it alwaies worketh orderly, fitly, and agreeable to perfect reason. They are not things differing from his essence as in us, but we must conceive of them accor­ding to our capacity, and handle them distinctly.

By vertues we understand first in generall the idea of vertue, or the chiefest morall perfection, by which God is in himselfe absolutely the best, and in respect of which all the vertues of Angels and men are onely slender shadowes and representati­ons. For God is Summum bonum the chiefest good and most perfect goodnesse, both metaphysically and morally; so that his nature and will is the first rule of goodnesse and rectitude,Luke 18. 19. with which as farre as things agree,Matth. 19. 17. so farre they are, and are called good. 2. He is the cause of all goodnesse in the crea­tures, which have so much goodnesse as God works and keeps in them.

[Page 79] Gods Goodnesse is an essentiall property whereby he is infi­nitely and of himselfe good,Exod 33 19. Psal 34 8, 9. & 73. 1. & 117. 2. Rom. 2. 4. and the authour and cause of all goodnesse in the creature.

GoodnesseBonum est id quod omnes ap­petunt. Aristotle seu quod natura sua appetibile est. Goodnesse is a property of things by which they are fit to pro­duce actions requisite for their owne and the common welfare. David seemeth to give us this description of Gods good­nesse, Psalm 119. 68. Bonitas Dei est, qua Deus in se maximè perfe­ct [...] & appetibilis, o [...]niumque extra se appetibilium & bonorum causa est. Wendeli [...]us. Good­nesse is the fitnesse of every thing for its owne end, and for the actions which for that [...]nd it ought to performe. Whatsoever thing is excellent in the creatures, is much more in God, Ja [...] 1. 17. is the perfection of thiugs for which they are desirable; good and appetible are convertible; what is good, is to be desired. God is to be desired of all, he is the chiefest good. The properties of which are these:

1. It is propter se amabile, to be desired for it selfe; so onely God.

2. It is able to satisfie the soule, and that satisfaction which it gives is perpetuall. In God there is both satiety and stabi­lity; satisfaction of the appetite and continuance of that sa­tisfaction.

2. God is causally good, worketh all goodnesse in the crea­ture, and doth good to them, Psal. 33. 5.

3. Eminently and absolutely good, the onely good. There is a goodnesse in the creature, its nature is good, but goodnesse is not its nature; so there is none good but God, viz. essenti­ally, originally.

Our Saviour Matth. 19. 17. reproved one for calling him good. Not that he is not so essentially, but because he think­ing him to be no more then a Prophet, did yet call him so. God is onely good essentially, independently; comparatively to God the creature is not good; as a drop is no water compa­red to the Ocean.

The Scripture proveth Gods goodnesse,

1. Affirmatively, when it affirmeth that God is good, and commends his goodnesse.Psal. 25. 8.

2. Negatively, when it denieth that there is any evill in him. Psal. 92. 16. Deut. 32. 4.

3. Symbolically, when it celebrateth the riches of his goodnsse, Rom. 2. 4.

4. Effectively, when it affirmes that all the workes of God [Page 80] are good,There are na­turally, the good Heavens, the good Sun, and Moone, good Food, and Rayment. Spiritually, good Angels and Men, be­cause there is a good God. Gen. 1. 31. It was said of every thing particularly when it was made, The Lord saw that it was good; and in the conclusion of the whole creation, God saw all his workes that they were good, yea, very good; that is, commodious for the comfort of man, and all other creatures. He made all things good, therefore he is good himselfe. This may be proved by the godnesse which still remaines in the creatures; each crea­ture hath yet remaining in him a power and fitnesse to doe much good, and bring much comfort to man, as daily expe­rience proves; therefore he that notwithstanding the rebel­lion of man hath continued yet much good in the world, is surely good; the beasts doe good to their young, man to his children; this power they received from God.

5. God is to be loved, honoured, praised, and served by man, therefore he is good; or else he were not worthy this respect from the creature.

The goodnesse of God is either considered ad intra and absolutely, or else ad extra and respectively. For the first, God in himselfe is good. This appeares:

1. In reckoning up all the kinds of good things that are, for there is 1. Bonum utile, the profitable good; now how happy must they needs be who have him which can command all things; if thou hast him thou hast all things else in him. 2. There is bonum jucundum, Psal 34. taste and see how sweet he is, at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore. 3. Bonum [...]onestum, he is the holy God, the authour of all holinesse, and the exem­plar of it.

2. This goodnesse of his cannot be increased, it being his essence, it cannot be made better; for God hath in him not onely all the actuall, but all the possible goodnesse that is in the creatures; any creature still may be better; thy riches, ho­nours, comforts may be better; but thy God cannot be a better God; therefore we should infinitely affect him more then all creatures.

3. It is independent goodnesse, he is omnis boni bonum; hence he is said to be onely good, that is, essentially and im­mutably.

[Page 81] 4▪ It is essentiall; the essence and goodnesse of the creatures is different; goodnesse in the Angels the perfectest creatures is a superadded quality to them, they may be good; but ille bono suo bonus est. He is good with his owne goodnesse, he can not be God if he be not good.

5. It is illimited goodnesse, infinite, without all bounds, above all that can be conceived; he being essentially so, and not limited to this or that being, neither is his goodnesse.

6. It is immixed goodnesse, 1 John 1. 5. He is light, and there is no darknesse in him, not the least evill of sin.

7. It is the sampler and forme of all goodnesse in the crea­tures so far a thing is good as it doth resemble him.

All the good of a creature is in God alwaies.

1. Eminently, as you consider it in its kind, without imper­fection.

2. Efficiently, as he is the Authour and cause of all the good the creature hath.

3. Exemplarily, as he is the rule and patterne of all good­nesse.

4. Finally, as he is the chiefest good of all creatures, so that all terminate their desires in him.

Secondly, God is good respectively, in what he doth to the creatures, that appeareth in the good things bestowed upon them. He gives to all liberally, especially the rationall, creatures, as Men and Angels partake of his goodnesse, being made capable of enjoying him for ever.James 1. 2. In the evill he keepes of from the elect; as he will withhold no good thing, so he will let no evill befall them.

Ob. God is infinitely good (say the Arminians) therefore he can not but naturally will good to the creature.

Sol. It doth not follow; for out of his goodnesse he made the world, his goodnesse freely communicated, not out of necessity, then it will follow that he naturally made the world. 2. God is infinitely just; therefore he also naturally wils the perdition of all sinners, which they will not admit. 3. He is infinitely good in himselfe,R [...]etor sortis▪ not therefore so to his creatures, for so he should will all good to them, and actually commu­nicate [Page 82] it, and so should save all. Notwithstanding Gods good­nesse of nature he suffered man to fall;Bonitas D [...]i erga creaturas est merè volun­taria atque ar­bi [...]ria, nisi quum est aliquid in creatura quod referat Dei ima­ginem qua san­ctus est. but yet he was so good that he would not have suffered it, unlesse he could have shewed as much goodnesse to man another way; and indeed Christ is a greater good to us by faith, then Adams innocency could have been: but yet since that evill is come into the world, how many calamities might befall thee, did not Gods goodnesse prevent it? that the earth swallowes thee not up tis Gods goodnesse. The goodnesse of God is so great, that no creature should suffer punishment,Fieri non potest ut creaturam suam non [...]met in qua re fulgere videt imaginem suam, at cum aliquid est in creatura ab illa imagine abhorrens & ei repugnans, tum sa­pientia moderatur bonitatem. Cameron praelect. in Manh. 16. 20. but that the justice of God doth require the same, or else some greater good may be drawn from thence. Ezek. 33. 11.

Ob. How doth it agree with Gods goodnesse, that it is said Psalm 18. 27. With the froward he will shew himselfe froward?

Sol. In the generall, the meaning is, onely that Gods judgements shall agree with mens manners, and David shewes not how God is in himselfe, but relatively how he is to us.

We should 1. love God because of his goodnesse,Consectaries from Gods goodnesse. Two things make men happy in Hea­ven, 1. Because they w [...]ll, no­thing but what is good. for it is the proper object of love. That which is the chiefe good ought to be the principall object of all the powers of our soules. God is the principall good. O that we could account him so, and accordingly carry our selves toward him.

2. Imitate him, be good as he is good, be like our Heaven­ly father, good to all, Rom. 12. 9. cleave to that which is good, we should still be doing or receiving of good.

3 Gods goodnesse will support his children in their calami­ties,2. They enjoy what they will. Nehem. 1. 7. and arme them against poverty, and the feare of death it selfe. I doe not feare to die (said Ambrose) because we have a good Lord.G [...]lat. 5. 22. Paul cals it the riches of Gods goodnesse, Rom. [...]. 4. and maketh this use of it, that it should lead us to repentance, to con­sider, 1. What we were originally, good, the Creator being so, the creature must needs be; and [...] what we are now, unlike him. Nec pudet vivere nec piget [...]ori, quia bonum habemus Dominum.

[Page 83] We are much to be blamed for sleighting, despising,Esay 5. 25. or neg­lecting him the fountaine of all goodnesse. Man is a most loathsome creature, that hateth, and foolish that sleighteth this chiefe good.

Here is a use of thankfulnsse to Gods people, which enjoy the goodnesse of God in part here in the creature,Luke 6. 36. and shall hereafter immediately and fully. God is good to all in bestow­ing upon them gifts of nature, of body or of mind; but he is especially good to some, whom he hath chosen to life e­ternall.

We may see the great evill of sinne; nothing is so opposite to this attribute of Gods goodnesse as sinne; the Divels are not evill as creatures, but as sinfull.

CHAP. XI.

SO much in generall of Gods vertues. Secondly, in speciall, the vertues which imply not imperfection in the reasonable creature, are attributed to God. The principall of which are

1. Bounty or Graciousnesse, Gods bounty. God is like a most liberall housholder, which takes order that no­thing in his house or about it shall want that which is necessary, fur­ther then the fault is in it selfe. by which God shewes favour to the creatures freely, and that either commonly or specially; 1. Commonly, when he exerciseth beneficence and liberality toward all creatures, powring upon them plentifully all goods of nature, body, mind and fortune, so that there is nothing which tasteth not of the inexhausted fountaine of his blessings and goodnesse. Matth. 5. 44, 45. Psal. 36. 5, 6. Gods bounty is a will in him to bestow store of comfortable and beneficiall things on the creature in his kind. This bounty he shewed to all things in the creation, even to all Spirits, all men and all creatures, and doth in great part shew still, for he opens his hand and filleth every living thing with his bounty, he gives all things richly to enjoy.He gives more then we aske, and before we aske. Vb [...]rior gratia quam pre­catio.

2. Specially toward the Church, by which he bestoweth eternall life on certaine men fallen by sinne, and redeemed in Christ, Titus 2. 11. & 3. 4. As this is exercised toward the whole [Page 84] Church, so in a speciall manner toward some members of it, as toward Enoch, 2 Chron. [...]0. 7. Moses, Jacob, David, Paul, and especially Abraham, Esay 41 8 James 2. 23. who is therefore often called the Friend of God; he made with him and his seed a perpetuall league of friend­ship, and he constantly kept his Lawes and Statutes, John 15. 14, 15.

Gods Graciousnesse is an essentiall property, whereby he is in and of himselfe most gracious and amiable, Psal. 145. 8. God is onely gracious in and of himselfe, and whatsoever is amiable and gracious, is so from him.

Gods Graciousnesse is thatGratia est, qua Deus in seipso est ama­ [...]il [...]s, sua [...]que creaturae favet & benefacit, unde hoc respectu gratia Dei est favor quo creaturas suas & inprimis hemi [...]es prosequi­tur. Wendelinus. whereby he is truely amiable in himselfe, and freely bountifull unto his creatures, cherishing them tenderly without any desert of theirs, Psal. 86. 15. & 111. 5. Gen. 43. 29.

God is gracious to all, Psal. 145. 8, 9, 10. but especially to such whom he doth respect in his wel-beloved Sonne, Jesus Christ. Exod. 33. 19. Es [...]y 30. 19. Luke 1. 30. Gen. 6. 8. 1 Cor. 15. 10. Gods free favour is the cau [...]e of our salvation, and of all the meanes tending thereunto, Rom. 3. 24. & 5. 15, 16. Ephes. 1. 5, 6. & 2. 4. Rom. 9. 16. Titus 3. 5. Heb 4. 16. Rom. 6. 23. 1 Cor. 12. 4, 9. The gospell sets forth the freenesse, fulnesse, and the powerfulnesse of Gods grace to his Church, therefore it is called the Gospe [...] of the grace of God, Acts 20. 24.

Gods Graciousnesse is firme and unchangeable, so that those which are once beloved, can never be rejected, or utterly cast off, Psal. 77. 10.

God bestoweth, 1. Good things. 2. Freely. 3. Plentifully. Psal. 111. 4. 4. In a speciall manner He is gracious toward the godly.

Love is 1. grounded often on something which may deserve it; the graceDr. Jackson▪ of Gods At­tributes, l. 1. c. 14. of God is that love of his which is altogether free 2. Grace is such a kind of love as flows from a superi­our to an inferiour; love may be in inferiours toward their superiours▪

We should be also liberall in our services toward God, in our prayers and good works.

[Page 85] We should desire and strive to obtaine the grace and favour of God.Consectaries of Gods graci­ousnesse. David often calleth on God to cause his face to shine upon him, and to lift up the light of his countenance upon him. The holy Patriarkes often desired to finde grace in the eyes of the Lord. It is better then life to him that hath it; it is the most satisfying content in the world, to have the soule firmely setled in the apprehension of Gods goodnesse to him in Christ. It will comfort and stablish the soule in the want of all outward things, in the very houre of death. 2. It is attain­able: those that seeke Gods face shall finde him.

Meanes of purchasing Gods favour.

1. Take notice that your sinnes have worthily deprived you of his favour, and presse these thoughts upon you till you feele your misery; meditate on the law, to shew you your cursednesse.

2. Consider of the gracious promises of the Gospell, and see the grace of God in Christ. His grace was exce [...]ding abun­dant, saith the Apostle.

3. Confesse and bewaile your sins, with a full purpose of a­mendment, and cry to God for grace in Christ.

This staies our hearts when we apprehend our owne unwor­thinesse;Psalm 103. 8 9. God is gracious and shewes mercy to the undeserving,1 Pet. 5. 16. the ill deserving. 2. We should acknowledge that all grace in us doth come from him the fountaine of grace,Nehe. 9. 17, 31. and we should go boldly to the Throne of grace,Rom. 5. 20, 21. and beg grace of him for our selves and others, Heb 4. 16. Paul in all his Epistles saith, grace be unto you. We should take heed of encouraging our selves in s [...]nne, because God is gracious; this is to turn Gods grace into w