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X. 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.
CHAP. II. Of God, and of the Holy Trinity.
HERE is but one only a living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spiritd, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immuagain the ruins thereof, and I will Almighty unto perfection? Ver. 8. It set it up.
X. z Matt. xxii. 29. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Ver. 31. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying. Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. With Acts xxviii. 25. And when they agreed not among theinselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers.
I. a Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord. 1 Cor. viii. 4. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. Ver. 6. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
b 1 Thess. i. 9. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God. Jer. x. 10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King.
e Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the
is as high as heaven, what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know? Ver. 9. The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. Job xxvi. 14. Lo, these are parts of his ways; but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
d John iv. 24. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.
e 1 Tim. i. 17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
f Deut. iv. 15. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves, (for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire,) Ver. 16. Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female. John iv. 24. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. With Luke xxiv. 39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
g Acts xiv. 11. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying, in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. Ver. 15. And saying, Sirs, why do ye these
table, immensei, eternal, incomprehensible', almighty m, most wise, most holy, most free P, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin";
things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.
b 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. Mal. iii. 6. For I am the Lord, I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
i 1 Kings viii. 27. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven, and heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee, how much less this house that I have builded? Jer. xxiii. 23. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off! Ver. 24. Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him? saith the Lord: do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.
k Ps. xc. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. 1 Tim. i. 17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
/ Psal. cxlv. 3. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
m Gen. xvii. 1. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the almighty God: walk before me, and be thou perfect. Rev. iv. 8. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
n Rom. xvi. 27. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
o Isa. vi. 3. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. Rev. iv. 8. [See letter m immediately foregoing.]
p Psal. cxv. 3. But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he pleaseth.
q 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.
r Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
s Prov. xvi. 4. The Lord hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
t 1 John iv. 8. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. Ver. 16. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.
u Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Ver. 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
the rewarder of them that diligently seek him ; and withal most just and terrible in his judgments; hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty 2.
II. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made e, not deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory, in, by, unto, and upon them: he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and mani
w Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
x Neh. ix. 32. Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. Ver. 33. Howbeit, thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly.
y Psal. v. 5. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Ver. 6. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
z Nah. i. 2. God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious: the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. Ver. 3. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind, and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Exod. xxxiv. 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the ini
quity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
II. a John v. 26. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.
b Acts vii. 2. And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.
c Psal. cxix. 68. Thou art good, and doest good, teach me thy statutes.
d 1 Tim. vi. 15. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Rom. ix. 5. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came; who is ove all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
e Acts xvii. 24. God, that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands: Ver. 25. Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.
f Job xxii. 2. Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Ver. 3. Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him that thou makest thy ways perfect?
g Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Rev. iv. 11. Thou art worthy, O
fest; his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands ". To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, he is pleased to require of them ".
III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally
Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. 1 Tim. vi. 15. [See letter dimmediately foregoing] Dan. iv. 25. That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field; and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. Ver. 35. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth accordto his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
i Heb. iv. 13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Rom. xi. 33. O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Ver. 34. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Psal. cxlvii. 5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
/ Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Ezek. xi. 5. And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak, Thus saith the Lord,
Thus have ye said, O house of Israel : for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.
m Psal. cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Rom. vii. 12. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
n Rev. v. 12. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Ver. 13. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Ver. 14. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
HI. o 1 John v. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. Matt. iii. 16. And
Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descend-> ing like a dove, and lighting upon him. Ver. 17. And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matt. xxviii. 19. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
begotten of the Father P; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son 4.
CHAP. III. Of God's eternal Decree.
G counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably or
OD from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy
dain whatsoever comes to pass a: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin b, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established c.
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come
Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. p John i. 14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Ver. 18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
q John xv. 26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. Gal iv. 6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
I. a Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Rom. xi. 33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Heb. vi. 17. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. Rom. ix. 15. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion, Ver. 18. There
fore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
b James i. 13. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. Ver. 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. 1 John i. 5. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
c Acts ii. 23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. Matt. xvii. 12. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed: likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Acts iv. 27. For of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, Ver. 28. For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. John xix. 11. Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. Prov. xvi. 33. The lot is