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Confession 1.4. 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)
(i) II Pet. 1:19, 21; II Tim. 3:16; I John 5:9; I Thess. 2:13.
SEE: The Authority of the Scripture (1) Scripture A Revelation from God (2) Scripture A Rule of Faith and Life (3) Scripture Received as the Word of God
Confession 1.5. We may be moved and induced by the
testimony of the Church to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.(k)
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.(l)
(k) I Tim. 3:15.
(l) I John 2:20, 27; John 16:13, 14; I Cor. 2:10, 11, 12; Isa. 59:21.
SEE: Persuasion of the Authority of the Scripture (1) Esteem for the Scripture (2) Evidences of the Authority of Scripture (3) Effectual Application of the Scripture to the Heart
Confession 1.6. 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:(n) and that 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.(o)
(m) II Tim. 3:15, 16, 17; Gal. 1:8, 9; II Thess. 2:2.
(n) John 6:45, I Cor. 2:9 to 12.
(o) I Cor. 11:13, 14; I Cor. 14:26, 40.
Confession 1.7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in 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 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.(q)
(p) II Pet. 3:16.
(q) Psalm 119:105, 130.
Confession 1.8. 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 the 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;(r) so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.(s) 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,(t) 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.(x)
(r) Matt. 5:18.
(s) Isa. 8:20; Acts 15:15; John 5:39, 46.
(t) John 5:39.
(u) I Cor. 14:6, 9, 11, 12, 24, 27, 28.
(w) Col. 3:16.
(x) Rom. 15:4.
Confession 1.9. 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) II Pet. 1:20, 21; Acts 15:15, 16.
Confession 1.10. The supreme judge by which 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 Spirit speaking in the Scripture.(z)
(z) Matt. 22:29, 31; Eph. 2:20 with Acts 28:25.