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themselves, nor alike clear unto all ;P yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of the Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. 9 P2 Pet. 3:16. 9 Psal. 119: 105, 130; Heb. 2: 2.
VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew, (which was the native language of the people of God of old) and the New Testament in Greek, (which at the time of writing of it was most generally known to the nations) being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical ;7 so as in all controversies of religion the Church is finally to appeal to them.” But because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the scriptures, and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them,' therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, u that the word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, w and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope. *
r Matt. 5:18. s Isa. 8 : 20; Acts, 15 : 15; John, 5 : 39, 46. John, 5 : 39. u 1 Cor. 14:6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 27, 28. w Col. 3: 16. x Rom. 15 : 4.
IX. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture, is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one) it must be searched and known by other places, that speak more clearly. y
y 2 Pet. 1 : 20, 21 ; Acts, 15:15, 16.
X The Supreme Judge, by whom all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved. 2
z Matt. 22: 29, 31; Eph. 2 : 20 ; Acts, 28 : 25.
OF GOD, AND OF THE HOLY TRINITY.
I. THERE is but one only a living and true God; who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, d invisible, without body, parts, or passions, & immutable, immense, eternal,* incomprehensible, almighty, m most
wise, most holy, ° most free, P most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will," for his own glory, s most loving,' gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; u the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, w and withal, most just and terrible in his judgments, * hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
a Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8 : 4, 6. b 1 Thes. 1:9; Jer, 10 : 10. c Job, 1: 7, 8, 9, and 26 : 14. d John 4 : 24. ei Tim. 1:17. f Deut. 4:15, 16; John, 4: 24; Luke, 24: 39. & Acts, 14:11, 15. h James, 1:17 ; Mal. 3:6. il Kings, 8: 27; Jer. 23: 23, 24. k Rom. 1:20; 1 Tim. 1 : 17; Psal. 90: 2. 1 Psal. 145 : 3. m Gen. 17:1; Rev. 4: 8. n Rom. 16 : 27. o Isa. 6:3. p Psal. 115 : 3. 9 Exod. 3: 14. rEph. 1 : 11. s Rom. 11 : 36. t 1 John, 4:8, 16. u Exod. 34 : 6,7. w Heb. 11:6. Neh. 9;32, 33. y Psal. 6:5, 6. Z Exod. 34:7; Nah. 1 : 2, 3.
II. God hath all life, a glory, goodness, blessedness, 4 in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made, é nor deriving any glory from them,' but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; & and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth.h In his sight all things are open and manifest; i his knowledge is infi
nite, infallible, and independent upon the creature;k so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain." He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands.m To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, as creatures, they owe unto the Creator, and whatever he is further pleased to require of them. n
a John 5 : 26. b Acts, 7 : 2. c Psal. 119 ; 68. di Tim. 6: 15; Rom. 9: 5. e Acts, 17: 24, 25. f Job, 22 : 2, 3. g Rom. 11:36. h Rev. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6 : 15 ; Dan. 4; 25 31, 34, 35. i Heb. 4:13. k Rom. 11 : 33, 34 ; Psal. 147 : 5. 1 Acts, 15 : Ezek. 11:5. m Psal. 145:17; Rom. 7; 12. n Rev. 5 : 12, 13, 14.
: 18 ;
III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.° The Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the son is eternally begotten of the Father ;P the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. 9 Which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence upon him.
o 1 John, 5:7; Matt. 3:16, 17; chap. 28 : 19 ; 2 Cor. 13: 14. p John, 1 : 14, 18. John, 15: 26; Gal. 4:6; 2 Cor. 13 : 14.
OF GOD'S ETERNAL DECREES.
I. God from all Eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass ; & yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes
but rather established.
a Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:33; Heb. 6 : 17 ; Rom. 9 ; 15, 18. b James, 1 : 13, 14 ; 1 John, 1:5. c Acts, 2 : 23 ; chap. 4; 27, 28; Matt. 17: 12; John, 10:11; Prov. 16 : 33.
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions ; yet hath he not decreed any thing, because he foresaw it as future, or that which would come to pass upon such conditions.
& Acts, 15 : 18, 15, and 23 : 11, 12 ; Matt. 11 : 21, 23. e Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18.
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels' are predestined unto everlasting life, and others fore-ordained to everlasting death.s
fi Tim. 5:21; Matt. 25 : 41; Eph. 1:5, 6 Prov. 16:4. g Rom. 9:22, 23.