Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BS2096.A1 1701 .P3

C I The NewTeflament of our Lord and Saviour Jefits Chris. THO' it benot known when, or by whom, all theBooksof the New Tefta- ment, weregather'd and made up into one, nor when, or by whom, this Title was fee before them ; and tho' for a time fome Churches receiv'd not the Epifile to the Hebrews, nor that ofJamer, the zdofPeter, the zd and 3d of John, that of Jude, or the Revelations ; yet it hathneverthelefs fatisfaftory evi denceof-its truth, for this uncertainty and delay. I. For'; as long as we know it is all the Word ofthe Spirit ofGod, it fatisfieth our Faith, whetherall be bound up in one Book, or in many. And John the A- pofile living longafter all the refs, it is more than probable that none were recei- ved in his time but by his approbation and confent : and even in the days of the Apoftles they gave Teflimony to the Writingsofone another ; fo Peter doth of Paul's, and Jude tranfcribethmuch of 2. T.t. z. (telling us that even infpir'd Apofiles difdain'd not to -ufe and repeat each others Writings, without any guilt ofvain repetition or being Plagiaries.) Il. And that the few Books doubted ofby tome, were commonly afterwards receiv'd, tends more to the confirming thanthe fhaking ofour beliefof their Au- thority: certainty afterdoubt, is the molt conflrm'd certainty. It muff needs be fome timebefore all the Churches to whom the feveral Epifìles were written,could produce and communicate them by convincing proof to all the rest. And yetwe muff know, that theEpifiles toparticular Churches were lent to themas to Mem- bers oftheChurch UniverfaI, and they were oblig'd to communicate them to others: fo that we muff not take them as private Letters. III. Whoeverdill gave this Tits to thewhole Book, ( The New 1eflament, or Covenant, &c.) it's of no great moment to know : It was ÇThe New Teflamentj before it was fo entitled as one Volume; but the Church hath by continual own, ing this Title, fhew'd that they have receiv'd all thefe Books as God's Word and the whole New Teftament, and that no more are to he receiv'd as filch. Theword d}aStiam (ofWhich Grotius in his Prefacehath fpoken at large) figni- fieth indeed God's Statute-Law concerning Man's Duty and Salvation, or God's conflituted and'propos'd terms ofLife. And rho' ovroZoiwn more firifily fignifie ufually a mutual Covenant, this doth but im ply the confent ofMan to theLaw br Terms ofGod. It is the fame thing that is call.'d aLaw and a Covenant in feveral refpe&s. As God enaEls it, and promulgated it, before Man's confent, it is a Law, and a conditional Deed of Gift and Teftament, and an offer'd Covenant in feveral -re- fpeEts. When Man confenrs, it is a Law accepted, a Gift and Teftamentacceppted and a mutual aival Covenant. TheLaw hath its introduEtiveHifto: y andDa-trio, its Precepts,Prohibltions, Promifes and Threats ; and the Covenant bath the fame parts only denominated from mutual confent. But becaufe there are Lawsofmore orlefs rigour; and ofvarious femurs, it is the Law ofFaith or Grace which is the Covenant, Teftament, and Gofpel, which is nowbefre us denominated from the Donativeand Promiffory parts, tho' Precept and Threatning be included. IV. It is of great importance that we err not by givingtoo littleor coomuch to thefacred Scripeures,from both which exrreams manydangerous errors flow. r.On the left hand, thofe err that deny it to be God's Word, of infallible truth, intelligi- ble, andperfeff as to its properufe, without humane Supplements, written or oral, Doftrinal or Canon Laws: and thofe that deny it to have infallible afcertaining Evidences of its truth. Thef befriend Infidelity, Herefies,ProphanL'nefs,Church- Tyranny, leaving it to Clergy-men to make us a new Faith, newSacraments, and a newReligion at their pleafure; and to perfecute good Men, that dare not re. nounce