« ElőzőTovább »
down one thing from another, and so arriving at their knowledge with much pains and study.
2. The knowledge of these things delivered by the Scripture, is much more full and perfect, thau that knowledge which can be attained by the light of nature, as appears in these two respects : 1. Those things concerning God, that the light of nature doth in some measure discover, are more fully, completely, and elearly discovered by the light of the Scriptures. 2. The Scriptures do discover those things concerning God, and his works, and ourselves, that were never discovered, nor indeed discoverable, by the light of nature ; and as they are of greatest importance to be known, so being discovered by the Scriptures, they do wonderfully clear and satisfy the defects of the light of nature. As for instance, in both kinds ; the light of nature discovers that there is a God; but the manner of his subsistence in three persons, yet in unity of essence, is only learned by the Scriptures. The light of nature discovers that he is the first cause and preserver of all things; but the manner how all things were produced, and when, is only learned by the Scriptures. The light of nature tells us, that this God is to be worshipped and obeyed; but in what manner be is to be worshipped, and the particulars of his commands wherein he is to be obeyed, it discovers not, or at least very darkly: the Scripturės only shew us clearly the manner of his. worship, and the certain rule of our obedience. The light of nature shews us, that there is a great defection and disorder in our natures: but whence it did arise, or how it is to be helped, the Scripture only teacheth. The light of nature shews us that all sin is an offence against the purity, justice, and will of God, and therefore deserves his anger and displeasure ; but how the guilt of sin may be done away, and the favour of God again procured, is not within the reach of the light of nature to discover, but is only learned from the Scriptures. The light of nature teacheth that surely there is a reward for the righteous, and a punishment of the obstinate sinner; but how it shall be inflicted, and when, and how mankind shall be put into a capacity of receiving rewards and punishments by resurrection from the dead, the light of nature discovers not, or at least but darkly, and diffidently, and confusedly; the light of the Scriptures only discovers all plainly, clearly, and evidently. These and divers other truths are discovered in the Scriptures, which the light of nature, either not at all, or if at all, yet but darkly, pointeth at.
SIR MATTHEW HALE.
BELIEF is a certain persuasion of the truth of any thing, upon the credit and authority of another. Now if we be assured that whatsoever God saith, is most certainly true (as needs it must be, because truth is an essential attribute of God) and if we be persuaded surely, that these Scrip
tures are the Word of God, then of necessity we must believe whatsoever almighty God in the Scriptures reveals : and this is belief. So that the very same truth that may be known by reason or observation, may likewise be believed as revealed in the Word of God: though many things are to be believed, because revealed in the Scriptures, which cannot be fully demonstrated by reason. Thus, though it be partly evident to reason that God made the world, and so is the object of our knowledge; yet the same truth, as revealed in the Scriptures, is to be believed, and so is the object of our faith. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, Heb. xi. 3; that is, we do acknowledge and subscribe unto it as true, because God in the Scriptures, which are his word, hath revealed and discovered it unto us.
SIR MATTHEW HALE.
STUDY the Scriptures; therein are contained the words of eternal life; they have God for their author, salvation for their end, and truth without any mixture of error for their matter.
THE English translation of the Bible is the best translation in the world, and renders the sense of the original best, taking in for the English translation, the Bishops' Bible, as well as King James's. The translation in King James's time took an excellent way. That part of the Bible was given to him who was most excellent in such a tongue (as the Apocrypha to Andrew Downs) and then they met together, and one read the translation, the rest holding in their hands some Bible either of the learned tongues, or French, Spanish, Italian, &c. if they found any fault, they spoke; if not, he read on.
THERE is no book so translated as the Bible for the purpose. If I translate a French book into English, I turu it into English phrase, not into French English. (Il fait froid) I say, 'tis cold, not, it makes cold ; but the Bible is rather translated into English words than into English phrase. The Hebraisms are kept, and the phrase of that language is kept: as for example, He uncovered her shame, which is well enough, so long as scholars have to do with it; but when it comes among the common people, what jeer do they inake of it!
HENRY VIII. made a law, that all men might read the Scriptures, except servants; but no woman, except ladies and gentlewomen, who had leisure and might ask somebody the meaning. The law was repealed in Edward the Sixth's days.
LAYMEN have best interpreted the hard places in the Bible, such as Johannes Picus, Scaliger, Grotius, Salmasius, Heinsius, &c.
IN interpreting the Scripture, many do as if a man should see one have ten pounds, which he reckoned by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, meaning four was but four units, &c. and that he had in all but ten pounds; the other that sees him, takes not the figures together as he doth, but picks here and there, and thereupon reports, that he hath five pounds in one bag, and six pounds in another bag, and nine pounds in another bag, &c. when, as in truth, he hath but ten pounds in all. So we pick out a text here and there, to make it serve our turn; whereas, if we take it altogether, what went before and what followed after, we should find it meant no such thing.
WHEN you meet with several readings of the text, take heed you admit nothing against the tenets of your church; but do as if you was a going over a bridge, be sure you hold fast by the rail, and then you may dance here and there as you please; be sure you keep to what is settled, and then you may flourish upon your various lections.