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whether or no the spirits speak as the scriptures do; and

then how can the new revelations be received 2 4. The spirits revelations are either a complete or partial

rule. If our complete rule, then the scriptures are useless

which is blasphemous, and contrary to all those commands

that requires us to give attendance to reading, searching, &c. of them. If they be a partial rule only, then they either teach according to the scripture, or not. If according to it, then it is no new revelation, but what the scripture already affords us. If not, it is because there is no light in them Is. viii. 20. There is one scripture that we must more narrowly inquire into, both because it is abused by the adversaries in this point, and affords us an argument for our doctrine, The passage is 2. Pet. i. 19. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.” Enthusiasts here, by the day star arising in the heart, understand some extraordinary revelation and light which God sets up in the

soul, which when it is set up, the person is to take heed to

the written word no longer. But, (1.) Whither would these men drive us? They tell us, that all men have a light within them, according to which they must walk; and , this is the spirit within us; yet must we still expect a new light to turn us off from the scriptures; (2) The apostle here prefers plainly the word of prophecy unto an immediate voice from heaven, and that in the very same thing wherein they both agree: how much more preferable is the scripture to new revelations 2 (3.) This supposes, that the apostles and believers in those days had not this light ; for they say, ‘We have a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed.” This being so, we envy not the Quakers their light, which the apostles and these Christians were strangers to. Some by the day dawning and the day-star arising understand the more clear dispensation which they suppose is to come in the latter days. Others understand by it the sight of God and Christ in glory, till which time the scriptures must be made use of, but no longer. Others understand this as spoken to the believing Jews in reference to the pro

phets of the Old Testament, to which they did well to take heed, till their gospel light should shine more clear. Some say, that the word until is not to be taken exclusively of the time following that dawning of the day, and day star arising; and thereby understand simply more clear light arising after some darkness, which the people of God may be in for a time; till which light arising they are to take heed to the scriptures; not that they are then to give over taking heed to them. Laying aside that which relates to a more clear dispensation yet to come, because it supposes that then the scriptures must be laid aside, which is very contrary to the scripture, for the Spirit shall never in this life justle out the word, but his office is to teach, not new things unwritten, but whatever Christ spoke to his disciples: ‘He shall bring all things to your remembrance, (says he), whatsoever I have said unto you, John xiv. 26.: Laying aside that, it is hard to determine which of the rest is indeed the true meaning of the apostle. Only it seems to bid fairest for the apostle's sense, to say, that he speaks of the more clear knowledge of Christ which the believers at that time were afterwards to have, till which time they did well to take heed to the prophetical word, as it is in the Greek; that is, to the doctrine of the prophets who prophesied of Christ; not that they were then to lay by the use of the prophets but that then they would be of less use to them than before, when they should attain to a more clear gospel-light; as the candle is of less use when the day, dawns than it was before, though it be still useful. And I think it abundantly plain, that the word of prophecy is not here to be understood generally of the whole scripture, as the other interpretations seem to take it, but particularly of the doctrine of the prophets concerning Christ and the gospel, as appears from the phrase, the prophetic word, and the first verse of the following chapter,where he speaks of false prophets that were among the people of the Jews. So by the day-star I understand Christ himself, who is called the morning star, Rev. xxii. 16. It is true it is here Pharphoros, but there oster ornithes : but, for ought I know, the first of these is apar legomenon; and though the words be different, the sense is the same, one thing gets but different names. And Christ is called the day-star or morning-star, which we know are both one thing; because, (1.) As the morning-star is the most emiVol. I. G

ment among the stars, and most lucid, as appears by its shining when the appearance of the sun makes the rest disappear; so there is none like Christ among the sons, Cant. ii. 3. o As the day-star puts an end to the dark night, so doth Christ's arising in the soul put an end to the night of spiritual darkness. Never was the sight of the day-star so refreshful to the weary traveller in the night, as Christ's appearance in and to the soul; only the apostle calls him here rather the day-star than the sun, because he is speaking of his appearance in this life, whereas the full knowledge of him is deferred till his second coming, So the day-dawning is easily understood. And this is expected to rise notabsolutely, but comparatively in respect of degrees of fuller manifestation, as he promises to those that continue in his word, and are his disciples indeed, that they shall know the truth, viz. more fully, John viii. 31, 32. And that passage, Hos. vi. 3. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord : his going forth is prepared as the morning, doth excellently serve to shew us this truth. So there he hath respect to this further manifestation of Christ which they were afterwards to have : but they are not then to give over the prophetic word; for, as was before noticed, the word until is not always exclusive of the following time, as Psal. cx. 1. 2 Sam. vi. ult. Now, if the writings of the prophets be more sure than a voice from heaven, and Christians are commended for taking heed to the same; and when the day-star ariseth in the heart, it shews only the same thing more clearly. What place is there left for new revelations against or besides the scriptures : Secondly, The Papists set the church upon the tribunal : but what that church is, they do not agree among themselves, whether it be the pope, or a council, or both together. However, they assert that there is in the church a visible and infallible judge of controversies in religion. This we deny, and far more that the pope, or a council approved by him, is such a judge. For. 1. The scripture makes no mention of any such judge, in any of the places where the officers of the church are reckoned up, as Rom. xii. 7.8. 1 Cor. xii. 28. Eph. iv. 11. nor any where else. And though negative theology, as they say, is not argumentative, yet that cannot have place here, unless

we deny the perfection of the scripture, which we have proved already. A positive institution is requisite here. 2. Our faith must not lean upon the testimony or authority of man, 1 Cor. vii. 23. ‘Be not the servants of men,” not bodily but spiritually; 2 Cor. i. 24, ‘Not that we have dominion over your faith; where the apostle declines, in his own name, and in the name of his fellows, the being of such a judge. But our faith leans on the word of God, Eph. ii. 20. “And are built on the foundation of the prophets,’ &c. 3. The doctrine of the church should be examined by the scriptures, Acts xvii. 1 1. ‘These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” Now he whose sentence is to be examined by another, cannot be the supreme judge of controversies. See Isa. viii. 20. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this world, it is because there is no light in them.” 4. Neither pope nor council, conjunctly nor severally, have such properties as are requisite to constitute a supreme judge in controversies of religion; they have no infallibility, or testimony thereof; yea, they have many ways deceived and been deceived. We may appeal from them, as being bound to the scriptures, as well as others. And the church, be what it will, must not be judge in its own CauSe. 5. Lastly, Here is a controversy in religion, Who is the supreme judge of controversy in religion ? Who must decide this, or be supreme judge here? The church cannot, neither pope nor council so decide it in their own favour. That were absurd. Wherefore the Papists themselves are obliged to make another judge of this controversy; and if so, why not of all 2 Thirdly, The Socinians set up reason to be the supreme judge of controversies in religion, to whose determination we ought to stand, and therein to acquiesce. There is no doubt but we have much use for reason in matters of religion; as, (1.) To perceive and understand the things revealed in the scripture, Matth. xiii. 51. (2.) To collate them one with another, Acts xvii. 11. (3.) To explain the same, Neh. viii. 8. (4.) To argue from the scriptures, Matth, ,

xxi. ult. (5.) To vindicate the truths from objections, Rom. ix. 19, 20. That it is not the judge nor the rule, that is, that reason ought not to be admitted of itself, and according to its principles, to determine controversies of religion, is what we assert. To illustrate this by an example, the scripture says, These three are one ; we say we plainly perceive the scripture says so; and therefore, though our reason cannot comprehend, we will believe it, because it is plain the scripture says so. They say, they cannot believe that there are three persons in the Godhead, and not three gods, because reason is against it; and therefore finding the thing unagreeable to reason, though it were in ever so plain words found in the scripture, they will not believe (as they pretend) it means as the words sound, but will fasten another meaning on the words though never so far fetched. And that it may not be thought that this is the same way that the orthodox go too, in explaining scriptures that are understood figuratively, I shall give an example of that too. The scripture says, Christ is a vine, a door, the bread is his body, &c. We know indeed that this is contrary to reason if expounded literally: but that is not the prime reason why we reject the literal meaning, and on which we build our faith as to the true meaning, as the case is with the Socinians, but because it agrees not with other scriptures to understand it so; which testify that Christ is God and man. Now, that reason is not the supreme judge of controversies in religion, is proved by the following arguments. 1. Reason in an unregenerate man is blind in the matters of God, 1 Cor. ii. 14. ‘The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned; Eph. iv. 17. 18. Eph. v. 8. Ercept. This only respects reason not illustrated by divine revelation. Ans. By that illustration of reason by divine revelation, they understand either subjective or objective illustration. If they understand it of subjective illustration, they quit that article of their religion, wherein they believe that the mind of man is capable of itself, without the illumination of the Spirit, to attain sufficient knowledge of the mind of God revealed in the scripture. If of objective illustration, by the mere revelation of these truths, then it is false that they assert: For the apostle opposes here the natural man to the

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