« PrécédentContinuer »
time to time, in a series of judgments, and in particular, the general drought in the summer past, together with the grevious disappointment of our military undertaking, the distresses, sickness, and mortality of our camp, cannot successfully be improved but by a self-humbling consideration of our ways, and a thorough repentance of all that is amiss.* So will the God of our fathers be our God, and he will be a wall of fire round about us, and the glory in the midst of us in this present, and all succeeding generations. Amen.
* Isa. 26 : 9; Gen. 43 : 23; Zech.2 :5.
A CONFESSION OF FAITH.
OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
I. ALTHOUGH the light of nature, and the works of creation and Providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable ;a yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation : Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his Church ;c and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly to writing;d which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;e those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people, now ceased.f
a Rom. 2:14, 15; Rom. 1:19, 20 ; Psal. 19: 1, 2, 3. Rom. 1 : 32 ; chap. 2:1. b 1 Cor. 1: 21; chap. 2: 13, 14. c Heb. 1, 1, 2. d Prov. 22 : 19, 20, 21 ;
Luke, 1, 3, 4; Rom. 15:4; Matt. 4: 4, 7, 10; Isa. 8 : 19, 20. e 2 Tim. 3:15 ; 2 Pet. 1 : 19. r Heb. 1:1, 2.
II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these :
Of the Old Testament. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.
Of The New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul's Epistle to the Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 to Timothy, 2 to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of James, the first and second Epistles of Peter, the first, second, and third Epistles of John, the Epistle of Jude, the Revelation.
All which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.
: Luke 16: 29, 31 ; Eph. 2: 20; Rev. 22 : 18, 19, 2 Tim. 3:16.
III. The books commonly called Apocrypha not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.
h Luke 24 : 27, 44 ; Rom. 3:2; 2 Pet. 1: 21.
IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God, (who is truth itself) the author thereof; and therefore it is to be received because it is the word of God.
i 2 Pet. 1: 19, 21; 2 Tim. 3: 16; 1 John; 5: 9; 1 Thes. 2: 13.
V. We may
be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church, to a high and reverend esteem of the Holy Scripture; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole, (which is to give all glory to God) the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the
word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts.?
ki Tim. 2 : 15. 1 1 John, 2 : 20, 27; John, 16:13, 14; 1 Cor. 2: 10, 11, 12; Isa. 59 : 21.
VI. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture; unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.m Nevertheless we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word ; and there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed."
m 2 Tim. 3 : 15, 16, 17; Gal. 1: 8,9; 2 Thes. 2 : 2, 15, n Jol.n 6 : 45; 1 Cor. 2 : 9, 10, 11, 12. o 1 Cor. 11: 13, 14, and chap. 14: 26, 40.
All things in Scripture are not alike plain in