Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

188 BAXTER'S DYING THOUGHTS. 17. Martyrs have cheerfully forsaken life and all in confess- ing it. 18. God, by his wonderful providence, bath maintained it. 19. The devil, and all the wicked of the world, are the greatest enemies to it. 20. The Holy Ghost bath, still blessed it, to work the same holy and heavenly nature and life, in all sincere and serious be- lievers. Quest. This proveth infallibly'the tradition of the same faith in the essentials ; but how prove you that the same Holy Scripture is delivered as uncorrupted ? Ans. All the Bible is not brought down so unchanged as are the essentials of our religion : when there were no Biblesbut what scriveners wrote, no wonder if oversight left few copies without some of their slips. There are hundreds of various readings in the New Testament, and of many no man Can be certain which is true ; but none of them are such as make any difference in the ar- ticles of our faith or practice, nor on which any point of doctrine or fact dependeth. And the words are necessary but for the matter which they do record. And 1. All ministers, and all churches, constantly used this same Scripture, publicly and privately, as the word of God, so that it could not be easily altered. 2. They all knew that a curse is pronounced against every one that addeth or diminisheth; which must needs possess ,them with fear of corrupting it. 3. They took it to be the charter of their own salvation. 4. The work of the ministers was to expound it, and preserve it against corrupters. 5. These ministers and churches were overmuch of the world, and could not agree together to corrupt it ; and ifsome did it, all the rest would soon detect it. 6. Heresies and quarrels were quickly to rise among them; so that cross interests and animosities would soon have fallenupon the corrupters. 7. Some heretics made some adding and corrupting attempts, which the church presently condemned 'and turned it to their shame. S. In all the disputations then managed, the same Scriptures were appealed to. 9. The translations intovarious languages show that the books were the same, without any momentous difference. 10. To this day, when sin and tyranny have torn the church into many factions, they all receive the same canonical Scriptures, ex-