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never was any Doubt in the Church of the Authority of those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, which we do understand in the Name of the Holy Scripture, that is, which we do receive and approve as Canonical Scripture, or the • infpir'd Word of God ?
I answer, That this part of the Article is mani. festly pennd in Opposition to the Papists, particularly with respect to their then late Determination at the Council of Trent, which in the Fourth Session thunders thus; Sacrosancta, Oecumenica,
ge neralis Tridentina Synodus, in Spiritu San&to legitime congregata, præfidentibus in ea eisdem tribus Apoftolicæ fedis Legatis, boc fibi perpetuo ante oculos proponens, ut sublatis erroribus, puritas ipsa Evangelii in Ecclesia conservetur : quod promillum ante per Prophetas in Scripturis sanctis, Dominus nofter Jesus Christus, Dei filius, proprio ore pris mum promulgavit : deinde per suos Apoftolos tanquam fontem omnis, by falutaris veritatis, & morum disciplina, omni creaturæ prædicari juffit : perspiciensque hanc veritatem, du disciplinam contineri in libris fcriptis, & fine scris pto
traditionibus, quæ ex ipsius Christi ore ab Apostolis accepte, aut ab ipfis Apostolis, Spiritu Sancto di£tante, quasi per manus traditæ, ad nos usque pervenerunt, orthodoxorum Patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros tam Veteris, quam Novi Testamenti, cum utriusque unus Deus fit auctor, neca non traditiones ipsas, tum ad fidem, tum ad mores. pertinentes, tanquam vel ore tenus à Christo, vel à Spiritu Sancto di&tatas, de continua successione in Ecclefia Catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu, ac reverentia suscia pit, do veneratur. Sacrorum vero librorum Indicem huic decreto adfcribendum censuit ; ne cui dubitatio suboriri possit, quinam fint, qui ab ipsa Synodo suscipiuntur. Sunt vero infrafcripti, Teftamenti Veteris, quinque Moysis, id eft, Genea
fis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium, Hofue,:dicum, Ruib, quatuor Regum, duo Paralipomenon, Esdre primus, & secundis, qui dicitur Nebemias, Tobias, Judith, Hefter, 105, Pfalterium Davidicum centum quinquaginta Psalmorum, Parabole, Ecclefiaftes, Canticum canticorum, Sapientia, Ecclefiafticas, Isaias, Hieremias "cum Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, duodecim Prophetæ minores, id eft, Osea,
Foel, Ames, Abdias, Foras, Michaas, Nahum, Abacuc, Sephonias, Aggaus, Zacharias, Malachias, duo Macbabæorum, primus é fecundus : Teftamenti Novi, quatuor Evangelia, secundum Matthaum, Marcum, Lacam, &
Foannem : A&tus Apoftolorum à Luca Evangelista confcripti : quatuordecim Epiftolæ Pauli Apostoli, ad Romanos, duæ ad Corinthios, ad Galatas, ad Ephesios, ad Philippenles, ad Coloffenses; due ad Thessalonicenses; duæ ad Timotheum, ad Titum, ad Philemonem, ad Hebræos: Petri Apostoli dua, Foannis tipoftoli tres, Jacobi Apostoli una, fuda Apostoli una, & Apocalypsis Foannis Apoftoli. Siquis autem libros ipsos integros cum omnibus suis parti, bus, prout in Ecclefia Catholica legi consueverunt, & in veteri vulgata Latina editione habentur, pro "Sacris & Canonicis non fufceperit ; & traditiones prædictas Sciens & prudens contempserit ; anathema fit. Omnes itaque intela ligant, quo ordine, & via ipsa Synodus, poft jactum fidei confeffionis fundamentum, fit progrefura; & quibus potifsimum teftimoniis ac præfidiis in confirmandis dogmatibus, & inftaurandis in Ecclefia moribus, fii ufura.
'Tis plain from the foregoing Decree, that the Council of Trent receives thole Books into the Canon, which we reject as Apocrypliai. Now the Reason of our rejecting them is, because they were not receiv'd as Cànonical by the Ancient Church; whereas the Ancient Church did unanimoudly receive those which we do now receive.
I do not say, that there never was a Man, especially amongst the Heretics, that doubred of, or even rejected, some of those that we receive. Nor do I say, that every Book which we receive, was from the Beginning "teceiv'd by every Church. But I say, that the main Body of Orthodox Chriftians did always receive those Books which we receive, when once they became acquainted with them, and had Opportunity of examining into their Authority. Now the far greater part of these Books were thus universally receiv'd in the First and Second Centuries, and others that were at first fuspected by some considerable Bodies of Christians, who were not as yet acquainted with them, were, after Examination made, receiv'd also by those very Bodies of Christians, and never after either rejected or even suspected by them,
When therefore the Article asserts, That there never was any Doubt in the Church of the Authority of those Books which we receive and approve às Canonical ; it must be understood in a limited Sense, not absolutely, but respectively. There have been Doubts concerning some of them ; but so few, so short, fo small, fo inconsiderable, that comparatively, or with respect to the Greatness of the Church's Excent, they are nothing, and none at all.
And in this the Papists, as well as our first Reformers, agreed." They well knew what-Surpicions had been entertain'd in some Churches for a time, concerning some Books which we receive, upon the Account before mention'd ; and what Doubts some particular Men have express'd E 3
in their Writings concerning them. And yet both our Reformers and the Pupifts did allow, that those Books which we admịt into the Canon, were never doubted of in the Church. But in what Sense? Why, they were never doubred of, when once known, by the Church in general, or even by any considerable Part of that diffusive Body. This therefore was infallibly the Meaning of the Compilers of our Article; and they must be understood in this Sense. Whaç is comparatively none, they must be suppos'd here to call none at all; as we often do in common Conversation, and in all sorts of Writings. And if this be the Sense of the Article (as it manifestly is) 'tis certainly a sound and a true one; as appears from what I have referr'd to touch ing the Canon of Holy Scripture.
In a Word then, our Church doth in this Proposition deliver the Reason, why she receives some, and rejects, others, of those Books which the Papists acknowledge for their Canon of Scripture. She receives those, whose Authority was (comparative, ly speaking) never doubted of; and the rejeas those, whole Authority never was acknowledged by her Prédecessors in the Faith.
The SEVENTH ARTICLE.
Of the Old Testament.
THE Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for
life is offer'd to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Media ator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be beard, which feign that the Old Fathers did look only for transitory Promises. Altho’ the Law given from God by Moses as touching Ceremonies and Kites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts i bereof ought of necessity to be receiv'd in any Commonwealth :
: get notwithstanding no Chriftian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are call's Moral.
This Article contains Six Propositions. 1. Christ is the only Mediator between God and
Man, being both God and Man. 2. Both in the Old and New Testament Ever
lasting Life is offer'd to Mankind by Christ. 3. The Old Testament is not contrary to the
New, viz. with respect to the Offer of Ever
lasting Life to Mankind by Christ. 4. They are not to be heard, who feign, that
the Old Fathers did look only for transitory
Promises." s. The Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, doth not bind Christian Men, nor ought the Civil Precepts thereof of Neceflity to be receiv'd in any Common Wealth.