Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Church now; and that because extraordinary Revelation of Doctrine is ceased, and God hath bound us to the Scripture as the Test or Touchstone of Doctrine : If. viii. 20. " To the law and to the • testimony: if they speak not according to this ' word, it is because there is no light in them.' Neither will God ever give us another Rule : For the Scripture is a testamentary Word of God. Now, a Testament is the last Will of a dying Perfon. So the Scripture is Christ's Testament, confirmed by his Death : And as a Testament, it declares the last Will of God concerning Man's Salvation and Duty. Christ's Testament is twofold; namely, the Old Testament, and the New Testament. The Books beginning with Genesis, and ending with Malachi, are Chrill's Old Testament: Those beginning with Matthew, and ending with the Revelation, are Christ's New Testament. These two Testaments are one and the fame for Substance : For in both, Jesus Christ is the Testator ; eternal Life is the Legacy ; Sinners of Mankind are the Legatees; and Faith in Jesus Christ is the way of claiming and obtaining the Legacy : 1 John v. 11. 12. And this is the re

cord, that God hath given to us eternal life : and 6 this life is in his Son. He, that hath the Son,

hath life ; and he that hath not the Son of God, " hath not life. Prov. viii. 4. Unto you, O

men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of man.' But they differ in Circumstances; the new being more clear and full than the old one. Howbeit, neither the one nor the other can be savingly understood, without an inward Illumination of the Mind by the Spirit of Christ : 1 Cor. ii. 10. ' But "God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit :

*for

und of

<

the

-his m. For -od. Peron: de. n's

ew is, cada. be is rs

. for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep
things of God.'

Quest. 3. What do the Scriptures
principally teach?

Ans. The Scriptures principally teach,
what Man is to believe concerning God,
and what Duty God requires of Man.

EXPLICATION.
Principally 10 teach, is chiefly to teach. The
Things that the Scriptures teach chiefly, are these
two, Faith, and Obedience : 2 Tim. i. 13. Hold

faft the form of sound words, which thou haft
heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ

Jesus.' The Faith which the Scriptures teach,
is, what Man is to believe concerning God: The
Obedience which the Scriptures teach, is, What
Duty God requires of Man. Nothing can be an
Article of Faith, necessary to be believed, nor a
Duty, necessary to be done, but what is taught in
the Scriptures. Howbeit, not only what is found
in Scripture in express Words, but also what a-
riseth therefrom, by necessary Consequence, is to
be reckoned taught therein: Matth. xxii. 32. 'I

am the God of Abraham, and the God of Ifaac,
and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of
the dead, but of the living.'

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Queft. 4. What is God?

Ans. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his Being, Wisdom,

Power,

!

A 3

Power, Holiness, Justice, Goodness, and Truth.

EXPLICATION. No Creature can fully comprehend what God is : Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God?

canst thu find out the Almighty unto Perfection?' But he has revealed to much of himself in the Scriptures, as is neceísary for us to know. For his sort of Being, he is a Spirit : And a Spirit is an immaterial Substance, without Fleh or Bones. He hath not then a Body nor any bodily Parts: Johniv. 24. God is a

Spirit.' Luke xxiv. 29. 'Behold my hands and my 5 feet, that it is I myself: handie me, and see, for a

spirit hath not fitfh and bones, as ye fee me

have. Then Eyes, Ears, and such like bodily Parts ascribed to him in Scripture, are not to be understood properly :- But by them we are to un. deritand an infinite Perfection of those Powers, which those Members serve for in us. So the Eyes of God fignify his infinite Power of discerning Objects, as by the Eye: His Ears signify his infinite Power of discerning Voices, as by the Ear. Moreover, God cannot be seen with bodily Eyes; no not with the Eyes of gl rified Bodies in Heaven: Hence be is said to be invisible, and to dwell in the light which no man cun approach unto, wkom ni man huth fren, nor can fee, 1 Tim. i. 17. and vi. 16. But God can be seen with the Eyes of the Mind, enlightened with the Light of Grace here, and the Light of Glory in Heaven : Eph. i. 17. 18. ' That • the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of * glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom + and revelation in the knowledge of him': the

eyes

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

cyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his call.

ing, and what the riches of the glory of his in• heritance in the saints. Finally, there is nothing which God is like: unto : f. xl. 18.' To whom " then will ye liken God? or what likeness will

ye compare unto him?' So we may not form any Imagination of him in our Minds, as we can do of an absent Man. Now, there are other Spirits besides God: And these are Angels and the Souls of Men. But the Difference betwixt God and them, lies here, that God is an infinite, eternal, and un. changeable Spirit; and they are not so. The Attri. butes of God, or Perfections of the divine Nature, are of two Sorts; incommunicable, and communicable. His incommunicable Attributes, whereof there is no Vestige in the Creature, are his Infinity, Eternity, and Unchangeableness. God is infinite, in that he is whatsoever he is, without any Bounds or Measure : Job. xi. 7. 'Canst thou by searching find out God?

canst thou find out the Almighty unto Perfection? He is eternal, in that he is without Beginning and without End : Psal. xc. 2. ' Before the mountains

were brought forth, or ever thou hadft formed the earth and the world: even from everlasting

to everlasting thou art God.' He is uncharge. able, in that he is, and cannot but be always the same, without any Alteration whatsoever : James i. 17. Every good gift, and every perfect gift is • from above, and cometh down from the Father

of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither • shadow of turning.' He is then said to repent, not in respect of the Affection of Repentance, but the Effect of it: Num. xxiii. 19.

God is not a man, that he dould lye; neither the son of man,

that

yes of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

jects, Tower over,

with Hence licht Lath

But , en. d the That Jer of (dom

; the

A 4

eyes

that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he
not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not

make it good?' in that, without any change of

his own Nature, Mind, or Will, he changeth his

Dispensations towards the Creatures, and makes

Changes on them : Gen. vi. 7. ' And the Lord said,

' I will destroy man, whom I have created, from

o the face of the earth, both man and beast, and

" the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air : for

• it repenterh me that I have made them.' His

communicable Attributes, whereof there are some

Scantlings or faint Images in the Creature, are

his Being, Wisdom, Power, Holiness, Justice, Good-

nefs, and Truth. The Difference between these

Perfections, as they are in God, and as they are in

the Creature, lies here, That they are all infinite,

eternal, and unchangeable in God, but in the Crea-

ture not ro. The Being of God is that Perfection

whereby he is, and is what he is : Exod. iii. 14.

• And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I

« AM: And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto

" the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto

« you.' His Wisdom is that whereby he knows

himself, and all Things else, with the Way how to

dispose of them to the best : Psal. cxlvii. 5. Great

' is our Lord, and of great power : his understand-

ing is infinite.' His Power is that whereby he

can do all Things not inconlistent with his Nature :

Ter. xxxii. 17. 'Ah, Lord God, behold, thou.
haft made the heaven and the earth by thy great
power and stretched-out arm, and there is noo'

thing too hard for, thee.' His Holiness is the
perfect Purity of his Nature, whereby he de-
-lights in his own Purity, and in the Resemblance
of it in the Creature : Hab. i. 13. Thou art of

. purcr

« FöregåendeFortsätt »