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Church now; and that because extraordinary Revelation of Doctrine is ceased, and God hath bound us to the Scripture as the Test or Touchstone of Doctrine : T. viii. 20. ' To the law and to the
testimony: if they speak not according to this (word, it is because there is no light in them.' Neither will God ever give us another Rule : For the Scripture is a testamentary Word of God. Now, a Testament is the last Will of a dying Perfon. So the Scripture is Christ's Testament, confirmed by his Death : And as a Testament, it declares the last Will of God concerning Man's Salvation and Duty. Christ's Testament is twofold ; namely, the Old Testament, and the New Testament. The Books beginning with Genefis, and ending with Malachi, are Christ's Old Testament: Those beginning with Matthew, and ending with the Revelation, are Christ's New Testament. These two Testaments are one and the fame for Substance : For in both, Jesus Christ is the Testator ; eternal Life is the Legacy; Sinners of Mankind are the Legatees; and Faith in Jesus Christ is the way of claiming and obtaining the Legacy : 1 John v. 11. 12. • And this is the re
cord, that God hath given to us eternal life : and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life ; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life. Prov. viii. 4. Unto you, o men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of man.' But they differ in Circumstances; the new being more clear and full than the old one. Howbeit, neither the one nor the other can be savingly understood, without an inward Illumination of the Mind by the Spirit of Christ : 1 Cor. ii. 10. ' But
God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit : and
• for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. '
Quest. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
Ans. The Scriptures principally teach, what Man is to believe concerning God, and what Duty God requires of Man.
EXPLICATION. Principally to teach, is chiefly to teach. The Things that the Scriptures teach chiefly, are these two, Faith, and Obedience : 2 Tim. i. I
am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac,
Ang. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his Being, Wisdom,
Power, Holiness, Justice, Goodness, and : Truth. EXPLICATION.
AT No Creature cap fully comprehend what God is : Job xi. 7. 'Canst thou by searching find out God?
canst thufind out the Almighty unto Perfection?" But he has revealed to much of himself in the Scriptures, as is necessary for us to know. For his sort of Being, he is a Spirit: And a Spirit is an immaterial Substance, without Flesh or Bones. He hath not then a B dy nor any bodily Parts: Johniv. 24. God is a
Spirit.' Luke xxiv. 29. - Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and fee, for a spirit hath not filth and bones, as ye fee me
have.' Then Eyes, Ears, and such like bodily Parts ascribed to him in Scripture, are not to be understood properly :- But by them we are to un. deritand an infinite Perfection of those Powers, which those Members serve for in us. So the Eyes of God signify his infinite Power of discerning Objects, as by the Eye: His Ears fignify his infinite Power of discerning Voices, as by the Ear. Moreover, God cannot be seen with bodily Eyes; no not with the Eyes of gl rified Bodies in Heaven: Hence be is said to be invisible, and to dwell in the light which no man cun approach unto, whom ng man huth fren, nor can fee, 1 Tim. i. 17. and vi. 16. But God can be seen with the Eyes of the Mind, en. lightened with the Light of Grace here, and the Light of Glory in Heaven: Eph. i. 17. 18. ' That " the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of *glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom • and revelation in the knowledge of him': the
your understanding being enlightened ; that ye may know what is the hope of his call. ing, and what the riches of the glory of his in
heritance in the saints.' Finally, there is nothing which God is like unto : f. xl. 18. ' To whom ' then will ye liken God? or what likeness will
ye compare unto him?' So we may not form any Imagination of him in our Minds, as we can do of an absent Man. Now, there are other Spirits besides God: And these are Angels and the Souls of Men. But the Difference betwixt God and them, lies here, that God is an infinite, eternal, and un. changeable Spirit; and they are not so. The Attri. butes of God, or Perfections of the divine Nature, are of two Sorts ; incommunicable, and communicable. His incommunicable Attributes, whereof there is no Vestige in the Creature, are his Infnity, Eternity, and Unchangeableness
. God is infinite, in that he is whatsoever he is, without any Bounds or Measure : Job. xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto Perfection?' He is eternal, in that he is without Beginning and without End : Psal. xc. 2. Before the mountains
were brought forth, or ever thou hadft formed " the earth and the world: even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God?' He is uncharge. able, in that he is, and cannot but be always the fame, without any Alteration whatsoever : 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.' He is then said to repent, not in respect of the Affection of Repentance, but the Effect of it : Num. xxiii. 19. God is not a man, that he dould lye; neither the son of man,
- bodily ot to be e to un:
Powers, ce Eyes of Objects,
te Power Moreover, not with : Hence the licht
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16. But Mind, en
, and the
8. • That e Father of of wisdom him': the
that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he • not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not
make it good?" in that, without any Change of his own Nature, Mind, or Will, he changeth his Dispensations towards the Creatures, and makes Changes on them : Gen. vi. 7. “ And the Lord said,
I will destroy man, whom I have created, from
the face of the earth, both man and beast, and ! the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air: for 'it repenteth me that I have made them.' His communicable Attributes, whereof there are some Scantlings or faint Images in the Creature, are his Being, Wisdom, Power, Holiness, Justice, Goodness, and Truth. The Difference between these Perfections, as they are in God, and as they are in the Creature, lies here, That they are all infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in God, but in the Creature not so. The Being of God is that Perfection whereby he is, and is what he is : 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.' His Wisdom is that whereby he knows himself, and all Things else, with the Way how to dispofe of them to the best : Psal. cxlvii. 5. Great
is our Lord, and of great power : his understand
ing is infinite.' His Power is that whereby he can do all Things not inconlistent with his Nature : ! Jer. xxxii. 19. 'Ah, Lord God, behold, thou « haft made the heaven and the earth by thy great
power and stretched-out arm, and there is now!
thing too hard for thee. His Holiness is the perfect Purity of his Nature, whereby he de-lights in his own Purity, and in the Resemblance of it in the Creature : Hab. i. 1 3. "Thou art of