Imágenes de páginas

or -what they Jhouldspeak, for it Jhall be g'rven unto you, says he, in the same Hour, what ye ought to say, for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghojl, or the Sprit os my Father, which speaketh in you. Now if Moss was inspired upon that particular Occasion, and the Apostles, in Cases that were but personal, when brought before Magistrates upon Account of their Religion, had Assistances extraordinary imparted to them (as whoever looks into their Defences must certainly acknowledge that they had) there is much more Reasons for the fame Gifts and Communications in Matters that were to be of general Use to the Church in all Ages. To the end therefore that we might have no doubt concerning the Doctrines, which the Aposties were to teach, we find our Saviour making them this farther Promise; ° T'he Comforter, which is the Holy Ghojl, whom the Father will fend in my Name, he shall teach you all Things, and bring all things to your Remembrance, whatsoever I havejaid unto you, i. e. whatever Doctrines I have commanded you to teach, these he will remind you of continually \ and whatever I have omitted teaching you, because you are not yet capgbie of receiving them, these he will


• Joh. xiv. 26.

instruct you in: For that this is the true Import of the Promise, we may learn from the ensuing Words ; P I have yet many Things to Jay unto you, but ye cannot bear them now; but when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he shall guide you into all Truth, and he shall pew you Things to come: And from hence we may be assured, i that all the Sermons and Discourses of our Lord to his Diseiples, recorded in the Evangelists, are faithfully delivered by his Apostles, as to the genuine Sense and Import of them, otherwise the Holy Ghost did not bring to their Remembrance all Things, •which he had said unto them; and that, whatever they taught in any of their Epistles addressed to the Christian Churches, they taught by the Guidance and Direction of the fame Spirit, otherwise he did not teach them all Things, nor guide them into all Truth. And from And indeed considering thatr the end the Na- of these Writings, was to be perpetual hnd ofd Monuments of the Doctrines of Jesus their Christ, and a standing Rule of Faith to WrU Christians in all Ages of the World, lngs' there was a certain Necessity (for fear that the Churches should fall into Error

at at any time) that their Authors should be directed and assisted, in the Composition of them, by lbme infallible Guide. And, accordingly we may observe, that (whatever Conceptions we may have of their Modesty) they are no where ashamed of making open Declarations of their being divinely Inspired. ForsI am a Miniver cf Christ, says St. <Pauly s

'Joh. xvi. i j, 13. 'Vid. Whitby's general Preface before St. Matthew. '_ Vid. Du tin's Hist, of the Cacon.

according to the Dispensation of God which is given to me to fulfil, (i. e. fully to Preach,) the Word of God', and, lfor this Cause thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it, not as the Word of Men, but, as it is in Truth, the Word of God; and therefore, u if any Man be a Prophet or Spiritual, let him acknowledge that the Things I •write unto you are the Commandment of the Lord.

And that this was the acknowledgement of Christians in all Ages from the Beginning, viz. that the Apostles, and other Penmen of the Books of the New Testament, were assisted in their Writing, as well as in their Preaching, by the Spirit of God, is evident from innumerable Passages in the earliest Fathers, and the constant* Practice of the Church,


sCoI. i. 25.' 'i Thess. ii. 1$. * 1 Cot. xiv. 35; ! Vid. JVbitby's general Preface,

in reading these Writings on the Lord's Day, for the Instruction of the People j in proving all their Doctrines, and confuting Hereticks from their Authority; and in esteeming such Persons, as deni-r ed their Inspiration, no better than Infidels: for what Wickedness is this, T fays an antient Author, either they believe not the Holy Scriptures to be divinely Inspired, and then they are Infidels; or they pretend to le -wiser than the Holy Gbojl, and then they are mad and pojftsfed?

Now if Persons so near the Times of the Apostles, that some of them either conversed with them, or were acquainted with their immediate Successors; if the Churches, which received these Writings from the very Hands of the Apostles, and kept still the Original ot Authentick Copies of them, did so unquestionably receive them as inspired Writings, and look upon them as the Rule and Pillar of their Faith; if they read them, together with those Writings of the Prophets, which on all Hands were acknowledged to be the Word of God, proved from them all the Doctrines of the Christian Faith, received them as the perfect Rule of Christian Duty, confuted all Heresies and erroneous Doctrines from them, and represented those as


I Vid. fVbitby's general Preface fag. 14.. ■

Infidels, -who questioned or denied their Inspiration from the Holy Ghost ; they doubtless were well assured that, as such, they were delivered to them by the Apostles and other sacred Penmen: and if this was Matter of Fact, what Reason have we, in these latter Ages, to call in Question what was universally acknowledged by those, who liv'd in the very Age, wherein the Books were ♦written, and sent to the Churches of


"We readily own indeed, that, in the E- Their vangelkal Writings, there is not that Ele- Stilch^d gance of Stile, or Accuracy of Method* ^dicawhich may be observed in some humane ted. Compositions; but then it ought to be considered, that, asz too great a Niceness about these Matters is an Argument of a little Genius, and an Employ, unbecoming the Dignity of the Spirit of God j so the Apostle has given us a very good Reason, why least of all it should have found a Place in such Scriptures, as were designed for the Rule of our Faith : a And I, Brethren* 'when I came to you, came not with Excellency of Speech, or of Wisdom, declaring unto you the 7'ejlimony of God; for I determined not to know any Thing among


1 Jenkins Reasonableness, Vol. 2. .'i Cor. ii.

« AnteriorContinuar »