Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books.

GENESIS,

Leviticus,
Numbers,
Deuteronomy,
Joshua,
Judges,
Ruth,
The First Book of Samuel,
The Second Book of Samuel,
The First Book of Kings,
The Second Book of Kings,
The First Book of Chronicles,
The Second Book of Chronicles.
The First Book of Esdras,
The Second Book of Esdras,
The Book of Esther,
The Book of Job,
The Psalms,
The Proverbs,
Ecclesiastes or Preacher,
Cantica, or Songs of Solomon,
Four Prophets, the greater,

Twelve Prophets, the less. And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life, and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine; such are these following:

The Third Book of Esdras,
The Fourth Book of Esdras,
The Book of Tobias,
The Book of Judith,
The rest of the Book of Esther,
The Book of Wisdom,
Jesus the Son of Sirach,
Baruch the Prophet,
The Song of the Three Children.

The Story of Susanna,
Of Bel and the Dragon,
The Prayer of Manasses,
The First Book of Maccabees,

The Second Book of Maccabees. All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them Canonical.

The First Book of Esdras.The Second Book of Esdras.]-No books, bearing these titles, are to be found in our present Bibles ; but they are the same with those now severally called Ezra and Nehemiah. By the Vulgate, they are called “The First and Second Books of Nehemiah.'

And the other Books.]--The books contained in the Second list are called Apocryphal ; meaning, doubtful or, unauthenticated, Books.

The Third Book of Esdras.--The Fourth Book of Esdras.]-Those are the First and Second Books of Esdras, as they appear in our present Apocrypha.

VII. Of the Old Testament. THE Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for, both in the Old

,

ORI

who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore, they are not to be heard, which féign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth ; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.

VIII. Of the Three Creeds. TH THE Three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius's Creed, and that

which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed ; for they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture.

IX. Of Original, or Birth, sin. RIGINAL Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the

Pelagians do vainly talk ;) but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is, of his own nature, inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and, therefore, in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. “And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek, phronema sarkos, which some do expound, the wisdom,-some, sensuality,-some, the affection,some, the desire, -of the flesh, is not subject to the law of God. And, although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostlè doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath, of itself, the nature of sin,

X. Of Free-Will. THE THE condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot

turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore, we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God, by Christ, preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.

XI. Of the Justification of Man.
TE are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our

Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings; wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.

XII. Of Good Works.
LBEIT that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow

W

A , ,

Without the grace of God, by Christ, preventing us.]—The two-fold meaning of the word prevent, rendering it liable to misconstruction, we repeat here the substance of a former note ;-that, to prevent not only means to hinder, but also to go before ; and the meaning of the word in this place is, “ without the grace of God, by Christ, going before, or leading us."

CH

severity of God's judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out, necessarily, of a true and lively Faith ; insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known, as a tree discerned by the fruit.

XIII. Of Works before Justification. VORKS done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his

spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the school-authors say) deserve grace of congruity : yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.

XIV. Of Works of Supererogation.

besides, without arrogancy and impiety : for, by them, men do declare, that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake, than of bounden duty is required : whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We are unprofitable servants.

XV. Of Christ alone without Sin. YHRIST in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all

things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void, both in his flesh, and in his spirit. He came to be the Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself once made, should take away the sins of the world; and sin, as Saint John saith, was not in him. · But all we the rest, although baptized, and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

XVI. Of Sin after Baptism. OT every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin

against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore, the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart - from grace given, and fall into sin; and, by the grace of God, we may arise again, and amend our lives. And, therefore, they are to be condemned, which say, they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.

XVII. 'Of Predestination and Election. REDESTINATION to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, constantly decreed by his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called, according to God's purpose, by his spirit working in

[ocr errors]

Voluntary works besides, over and above God's commandments, which they call works of supererogation, &c.]-Query-" Voluntary works, besides, or, over and above, God's commandments, &c. ?"

due season : they, through grace, obey the calling ; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption ; they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works; and, at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity

As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable, comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation, to be en joyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God, or curious and cara person, lacking the spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfal, whereby the devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, nes perilous than desperation.

Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture : and, in our doings, that Will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God. XVIII. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.

THEY, also, are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of nature. For holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.

XIX. Of the Church. T THE visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men,

in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.

As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred ; so, also, the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but, also, in matters of Faith.

XX. Of the Authority of the Church, THE Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies, and authoChurch to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of holy writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so, besides the same, ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of salvation.

XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils.
ENERAL Councils may not be gathered together without the

commandment and will of Princes. And when they be gathered

:

And the light of nature.]-In other words, by a fair and proper exercise of the ability, judgment, and opportunities, with which it has pleased nature, or rather, nature's God, to endow him.

together, (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the spirit and Word of God, they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore, things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture.

XXII. Of Purgatory. THE Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping

tion of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation. T is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same.

And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called to this work by men who have public authority, given unto them in the Congregation, to call and send Ministers into the Lord's vineyard. XXIV. Of speaking in the Congregation in such a tongue as the

people understandeth. IT T is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom

of the Primitive Church, to have public Prayer in the Church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understanded of the people.

XXV. Of the Sacraments. S ACRAMENTS ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of

Christian men’s profession, but rather, they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs, of grace, and God's good will towards us; by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our Faith in him.

There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel ; that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.

Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures ; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper; for that they have not any visible sign, or ceremony, ordained of God.

The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same they have a wholesome effect or operation : but they that receive them unworthily purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith. XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not

the effect of the Sacrament.

in the good, and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the minis

Of Purgatory.]-Supposed, by the Roman Catholics, to be an intermediate state between heaven and hell ; in which souls are purged by fire from less heinous sins, in order to prepare them for heaven.

But yet have not like nature of Sacraments.]-Possessing neither matter, form, nor institution.

« IndietroContinua »