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they may be deceived themselves. As also to take hysterical, or melancholy delirations or conceptions for the revelations of the Spirit of God, and so to father falsehood upon God.
Quest, Clxv. May one be saved who believeth that the Scripture hath any mistake or error, and believeth it not all?Answ. The chief part of the answer to this must be fetched from what is said before about fundamentals. 1. No man can be saved who believeth not that God is no liar, and that all his Word is true; because indeed he believeth not that there is a God1.
2. No man can be saved who believeth not the points that are essential to true godliness; nor any man that heareth the Word, who believeth not all essential to Christianity, or the Christian covenant and religion. 3. A man may be saved who believeth not some books of Scripture, (as Jude, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Revelations,) to be canonical, or the Word of God; so he heartily believe the rest, or the essentials. 4. He that thinketh that the prophets, sacred historians, evangelists, and apostles, were guided to an infallible delivery and recording of all the great, substantial, necessary points of the Gospel, but not to an infallibility in every byeexpression, phrase, citation, or circumstance, doth disadvantage his own faith as to all the rest; but yet may be saved, if he believe the substance with a sound and practical belief m.
Quest, Clxvi. Who be they that give too little to the Scripture, and who too much; and what is the danger of each extreme? Answ. 1. It is not easy to enumerate all the errors on either extreme; but only to give some instances of each. 1. They give too little to the Scripture who deny it to be indited by inspiration of the infallible Spirit of God, and to be wholly true. 2. And they that detract from some parts or books of it while they believe the rest. 3. And they that think it is not given as a law of God, and as a rule of faith and life. 4. And they that think it is not an universal law and rule for all the world, but for some parts only (supposing the predication of it). 5. And they that think it an imperfect law and rule, which must be made up with the supplement of traditions or revelations. 6. And they that think it was adapted only to the time it was written in, and not to our's, as not foreseeing what would be. 7. And they that think it is culpably defective in method. 8. And they that think it culpably defective in phrase, aptness, or elegancy of style. 9. And they that think that it containeth not all that was necessary or fit for universal determination, of that kind of things which it doth at all universally determine of; as e. g. that it made two sacraments, but not all of that kind that are fit to be made, but hath left men to invent and make more of the same nature and use. 10. And those that think that it is fitted only to the learned, or only to the unlearned, only to princes, or only to subjects, 8tc. 11. And those that think that it is but for a time, and then by alteration to be perfected as Moses's law was. 12. And those that think that the pope, princes, or prelates, or any men may change or alter it". II. Those give too much (in bulk, but too little in virtue) to Scripture, 1. Who would set them up instead of the whole law and light of nature, as excluding this as useless where the Scripture is. 2. And they that feign it to be instead of all grammars, logic, philosophy, and all other arts and sciences, and to be a perfect, particular rule for every ruler, lawyer, physician, mariner, architect, husbandman, and tradesman, to do his work by. 3. And they that feign it to be fully sufficient to all men to prove its own authority and truth, without the subsidiary use of that church-history and tradition which tellethus the supposed matters of fact, and must help us to know what books are canonical and what not; and without historical evidence, that these are the true books which the prophets
1 Rev. vi. 10. xix. 9.11. xxi. 5. xxii. 6. 1 John ii. 8. v. 20. 2 Cor. i. 18. 1 Cor. xv. 1—3, &c.
»> Mark xvi. 16. Rom. x. 12, 13. John iii. 16,18. 1 John iv. t, 3.
VOL. V. O O
° James iv. 12. Isa. xxxiii. 22. Rev. xxii. 18, 19. Matt. xxviii. 2O. Ih. viii. 16. 20. Ptal. xit. 7, 8. cxix. 130. Prov. xiv. 20. It. viii. 5. Dcut.xii.S2.
and apostles wrote, and the miracles and providences which have attested them °. 4. And those that think that it is sufficient for its own promulgation, or the people's instruction, without the ministry of man to preserve, deliver, translate, expound, and preach it to the people. 5. And those that think it sufficient to sanctify men, without the concourse of the Spirit's illumination, vivification and inward operation to that endP.
6. And they that say that no man can be saved by the knowledge, belief, love, and practice of all the substantial parts of Christianity brought to him by tradition, parents, or preachers, who tell him nothing of the Scriptures, but deliver him the doctrines as attested by miracles and the Spirit without any notice of the book. 7. And those that say that Scripture alone must be made use of as to all the history of Scripture times, and that it is unlawful to make use of any other historians, (as Josephus and such others). 8. And they that say, no other books of divinity but Scripture are useful, yea or lawful to be read of Christians; or at least in the church. 9. And they that say that the Scriptures are so Divine, not only in matter, but in method and style, as that there is nothing of human (inculpable) imperfection or weakness in them. 10. And those that say that the logical method, and the phrase is as perfect as God was able to make them. 11. And they that say that all passages in Scripture, historically related, are moral truths; and so make the devil's words to Eve, of Job, to Christ, &c., to be all true. 12. And they that say that all passages in the Scripture were equally obligatory to all other places and ages, as to those that first received them, (as the kiss of peace, the veils of women, washing feet, anointing the sick, deaconnesses, &c.).
13. And they that make Scripture so perfect a rule to our belief, that nothing is to be taken for certain, that • 1 John i. 1—3. 3 John It. Ilcb. ii. 3,4. John ii. 14. Ephes. iv. 8—iii. T John vi, 63. Rom. viii. 9. 1 John iii. 14. John iii.5, 6.
cometh to us any other way, (as natural knowledge, or historical). 14. And those that think men may not translate the Scripture, turn the psalms into metre, tune them, divide the Scripture into chapters and verses, &c.,as being derogatory alterations of the perfect Word. 15. And those that think it so perfect a particular rule of all the circumstances, modes, adjuncts, and external expressions of and in God's worship, as that no such may be invented or added by man, that is not there prescribed; as time, place, vesture, gesture, utensils, methods, words, and many other things mentioned before q. 16. And those that Jewishly feign a multitude of unproved mysteries to lie in the letters, order, numbers, and proper names in Scripture, (though I deny not that there is much mystery which we little observe). 17. They that say that the Scripture is all so plain, that there are no obscure or difficult passages in them, which men are in danger of wresting to their own destruction. 18. And they that say that all in the Scripture is so necessary to salvation (even the darkest prophecies), that they cannot be saved that understand them not all: or at least endeavour not studiously and particularly to understand themr. 19. And they that say that every book and text must of necessity to salvation be believed to be canonical and true. 20. And those that say that God hath so preserved the Scripture, as that there are no various readings and doubtful texts thereupon', and that no written or printed copies have been corrupted, (when Dr. Heylin tells us, that the king's printer printed the seventh commandment, 'Thou shalt commit adultery.') All these err in overdoing. III. The dangers of the former detracting from the Scripture are these, 1. It injureth the Spirit who is the author of the Scriptures. 2. It strikethat the foundation of our faith, by weakening the records which are left us to believe; and emboldeneth men to sin, by diminishing the authority of i 1 Cor. xiv. 33.40. t6. 'Heb. v. 10— II.
• 01' which sec Lud. Cupcllus C'rit. Sacr.
God's law; and weakeneth our hopes, by weakening the promises. 3. It shaketh the universal government of Christ, by shaking the authority or perfection of the laws by which he governeth. 4. It maketh way for human usurpations, and traditions, as supplements to the Holy Scriptures; and leaveth men to contrive to amend God's Word and worship, and make co-ordinate laws and doctrines of their own. 5. It hindereth the conviction and conversion of sinners, and hardeneth them in unbelief, by questioning or weakening the means that should convince and turn them. 6. It is a tempting men to the cursed adding to God's Word. IV. The dangers of overdoing here are these; 1. It leadeth to downright infidelity; for when men find that the Scripture is imperfect or wanting in that which they fancy to be part of its perfection, and to be really insufficient, e. g. to teach men physics, logic, medicine, languages, &c., they will be apt to say, 'It is not of God, because it hath not that which it pretends to have.' 2. God is made the author of defects and imperfections. 3. The Scripture is exposed to the scorn and confutation of infidels. 4. Papists are assisted in proving its imperfection. But I must stop, having spoke to this point before in Quest. 35. and partly Quest. 30. 31. 33. more at large.
Quest, Clxvii. How far do good men now preach and pray by the Spirit?Answ. 1. Not by such inspiration of new matter from God as the prophets and apostles had which indited the Scriptures. 2. Not so as to exclude the exercise of reason, memory, or diligence: which must be as much and more than about any common things. 3. Not so as to exclude the use and need of Scripture, ministry, sermons, books, conference, examples, use, or other means and helps. But 1. The Spirit indited that doctrine and Scripture which is our rule for prayer and for preaching. 2. The Spirit's miracles and works in and by the