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Scriptures, to those who do not acknowledge it, I shall only suppose, that, by the providence of God, the book itself be so brought to them, as that they bé engaged to the consideration of it. This is the work of God's providence in the government of the world; and if it evidence not itself to their consciences, it is because they are blinded by the god of this world, which will be no plea for the refusal of it at the last day: and they who receive it not on this ground, will never receive it on any, as they ought.

The second sort of things that evidence themselves, are things of an effectual powerful operation of any kind.

kind. So doth fire by heat, the wind by its noise and force, salt by its taste, the sun by its light and heat; so do also moral principles that are effectually operative, Rom. ii. 14, 15. Men in whom they are, do manifest them by their working and efficacy. Whatever it be that hath an innate power in itself, that will effectually operate on a proper subject, is able to evidence itself, and its own nature and condition.

To manifest the right of the Scripture to be enrolled among things of this nature, yea, under God himself, who is known by his great power, and the effects of it, to have the pre-eminence, I shall only observe one or two things, the various improvement of which would take up more space than I have allotted to this discourse.

It is absolutely called “ the power of God;" and that to its proper end, in which lies the tendency of its efficacy in operation. It is " the power of God," Rom. i. 16. The “ word concerning the cross," that is, the Gospel, is the “ power of God;" and


faith, which is built on that word, without other helps or advantages, is said to stand in the power of God," 1 Cor. ii. 5. That is, effectually working by the word. It worketh “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power ;” its spiritual power gives a demonstration of it. Thus it comes not as a naked word, but “ in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance;" giving all manner of assurance and full persuasion of itself, even by its power and efficacy. Hence it is termed “ the rod of power," or strength, Psalm cx. 2. denoting both authority and efficacy. Surely that which is thus the power and authority of God, is able to make itself known

so to be.

It is not only said to be “ power," the

power," the power of God, in itself, but also “ able and powerful,” in respect of us.

“ Thou hast learned," saith Paul to Timothy, “ the sacred letters," (the written word,) 66 which are able to make thee wise unto salvation." They are powerful and effectual to that

It is “ the word that hath power in it to save," James i. 21. So Acts xx. 32. “I commend you to the able powerful word.” And, that we may know what kind of power it hath, the Apostle tells us that it is “ living and effectual,” and “ sharper than any twó-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It is designed of God, to declare the effectual working of his power. See Johu vi. 68, 69. Gal. ii. 8. By virtue of this power, it brought forth fruit in all the world, Col. i. 6. Without sword, without human wisdom or oratory, without any inducements or motives, but what were solely taken from itselfm-consisting in things that “ eye


had not seen, nor ear heard, nor could enter into the heart of man to conceive”-hath it exerted its power and efficacy, to the conquest of the world; causing men so to fall down before its divine authority, as immediately to renounce all that was dear to them in the world, and to undergo whatever was terrible and destructive to nature, in all its dearest concerns.

It hath been the work of many to insist on the particulars, wherein this power exerts itself; so that I shall not enlarge upon them. In general, they have this advantage, that, as they are all spiritual, so they have their seat and abode in the hearts and consciences of men, whereby they are not liable to any exception, as though they were pretended. Men cannot harden themselves in the rejection of the testimony they give, by sending for magicians to do the like; or by pretending that it is a common thing that is befallen those on whom the word puts

The seat and residence of these effects, is safe-guarded against all power and authority but that of God. Its diving into the hearts, consciences, and secret recesses of the minds of men ; its judging and sentencing of them in themselves; its convictions, terrors, and conquests of men ; its converting, building up, making wise, holy, obedient; its administering consolations in every condition, and the like effects of its power, are usually spoken to.

These are briefly the foundations of the answer to the inquiry, How know we that the Scripture is the word of God; how may others come to be as

forth its power.

sured thereof? The Scripture, we say, bears testimony to itself, that it is the word of God; that testimony is the witness of God himself, which, whoso doth not accept and believe, he doth what in him lies to make God a liar. To give us an infallible assurance that, in receiving this testimony, we are not imposed upon by cunningly-devised fables ; " the Scriptures” have that glory of light and power accompanying them, as wholly distinguishes them, by infallible signs and evidences, from all words and writings not divine ; conveying their truth and power into the souls and consciences of men with an infallible certainty. On this account

. are they received, by all that receive them as from God.


Of the testimony of the Spirit. Traditions.


BEFORE I proceed to the consideration of those other testimonies, which are as arguments drawn from those innate excellencies and properties of the word which I have insisted on, some other things, whose right understanding is of great importance, must be laid down and stated. Some of these refer to that testimony of the Spirit, which is usually and truly pleaded, as the great ascertaining principle, on account of which we receive the Scriptures to be the word of God.

That the Scripture be received as the word of God, there is required a twofold efficacy of the Spirit. The first respects the subject, or the mind of man, that assents to the authority of the Scripture. Now, concerning this work of the Spirit, by which we are enabled to believe the Scripture, on account of which we may say that we receive the Scripture to be the word of God, or upon the testimony of the Spirit, I shall a little inquire wherein it doth consist.

First, then It is not an outward or inward vocal testimony concerning the word, as the Papist would impose upon us to believe. We do not af. firm that the Spirit immediately saith to every individual believer—this book is, or contains, the word of God; we say not that the Spirit ever speaks to us of the word, but by the word.

Such an enthusiasm as they fancy is rarely questioned ; and where it is so, it is for the most part quickly discovered to be a delusion. We plead not for the usefulness, much less the necessity, of any such testimony. Yea, the principles we have laid down, resolving all faith into the public testimony of the Scriptures themselves, render all such private testimonies altogether needless.

Secondly—This testimony of the Spirit consists not in a persuasion that a man takes up, he knows not well how or why; only this he knows, he will not depose it though it cost him his life. But if a man should say, that he is persuaded that the Scripture is the word of God, and that he will die a thousand times to give testimony thereto; and not knowing any real ground of this persuasion, that

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