Imatges de pÓgina
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such as distinguished Jews and Gentiles, which latter were greatly strangers to a future state; and though they were common to Jews and Christians, yet the believing Hebrews were not to rest in the knowledge they had of these, as enjoyed under the former dispensation; birt to go on to perfection; and to press forward towards a greater share of knowledge of them and of other more sublime doctrines; since life and immortality were brought to life by Christ in a clearer and brighter manner through the gospel. But all that I mean by this is, that the principal doctrines of faith under the Jewish dispensation are reduced to a system, though to be improved and perfected under the gospel dispensation. Those article's were but few; though Gregory observes, that according to the increase of times, the knowledge of saints increased, and the nearer they were to the coming of the Saviour, the more fully they perceived the mysteries of salvation: and so the articles in the formulas and symbols of the first Christians were but few, suitable to the times in which they lived, and as opposite to the errors then broached; and which were increased by new errors that sprung up, which made an increase of articles necessary; otherwise the same articles of faith were believed by the ancients as by the later posterity, as Aquinas concludes: "Articles of faith, says he, have increased by succession of times, not indeed as to the substance, but as to the explanation and express profession of them; for what are explicitly and under a greater number believed by posterity, all the same were believed by the fathers before them, implicitly under a lesser number." It is easy to observe, that the first summaries of faith recorded by the most ancient writers went no farther than the doctrine of the Trinity, or what concerns the three Divine Persons; the doctrines of the heretics of the first ages being opposed to one or other of them : but when other heresies sprung up and other false doctrines were taught, it became necessary to add new articles, both to explain, defend, and secure truth, and to distinguish those who were sound in the faith of the gospel, from those that

were not.

Mention is made in the New Testament of a form of doctrine delivered, and a form of sound words that had been heard and was to be held fast, and of a proportion or analogy of faith, according to which ministers were to prophesy or preach; the first of these is spoken of in Romt. vi. 17. Eut ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine, &c. which is not to be understood of the Scriptures or written word delivered unto them; but of the gospel and the doctrines of it preached by the apostle in the ministry of the word to the Romans, which they had yielded the obedience of faith unto, and which was rumos, a type or pattern, as the word is rendered Heb. viii. 5. and an example, 1 Tim. iv. 12. according to which they were to conform their faith and practice; and which in the next place referred to, 2 Tim. i. 13. is called vorwσs, translated a pattern, 1 Ep. i. 16. a form exactly expressed, always to be had in view, to be attended to, and followed; and a delineation, such as a picture or the outlines of a portrait given by painters to their learners, always to be looked unto and imitated; and such a form the apostle proposed to Timothy, carefully to respect and give information of to others as a rule of faithr

Homil, 16. in Ezek. apud Aquin.

Summa Theolog. Sec, sec. qu. I. artic. 7.

INTRODUCTION.

and practice; which cannot be understood of the Scriptures, though of what is agreeable to them; since it is what Timothy had heard of the apostle, either in his private conversation, or in his public ministry, even a sett of gospel-doctrines collected out of the Scriptures and confirmed by them, reduced into a system; and thus the apostle himself reduces his ministry to these two heads, repentance towards God, and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts xx. 21. And a rich summary and glorious compendium and chain of gospel-truths does he deliver, Rom. viii. 30 worthy, as a form and pattern, to gospel-ministers to attend unto, and according to it to regulate their ministrations. Once more, the apostle speaks of a proportion or an analogy of faith, Rom. xii. 6. Whether prophesy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; by which faith Calvin, on the text observes, are meant the first axioms of religion, to which whatsoever doctrines is not found to answer is convicted of falshood. And so Piscator, upon the words; according to the analogy of faith, that is, so as that the interpretation of Scripture we bring is analogous to the articles of faith, that is, agreeing with them and consenting to them, and not repugnant: and Paræus on the text is more express; "analogy, he says, is not the same as measure (ver. 3.) for measure is of one thing measured, but analogy is between two things that are analogous; but the apostle seems to describe something more, namely, to prescribe a rule by which all prophesying is to be directed; therefore by faith others understand the rule of Scripture and the axioms of faith such as are comprehended in the symbol of the apostolic faith (or the apostle's creed) which have in them a manifest truth from the Scriptures. Analogy is the evident harmony of faith and consent of the heads (or articles) of faith, to which whatever agrees is true, and whatever disagrees is false and adulterate. This is the rule of all prophesying (or preaching ;) therefore, according to the rule of the sacred Scripture and the apostle's creed, all interpretations, disputations, questions and opinions in the church, are to be examined, that they may be conformable thereunto." And though what is now called the apostles creed might not be composed by them, nor so early as their time; yet the substance of it was agreeable to their doctrine, and therefore called theirs; and there was a regula fidei, a rule of faith, very near it in words, received, embraced, and professed very early in the Christian church; which Tertullian gives in these words, "the rule of faith is truly one, solely immoveable and irreformable (not to be corrected and mended) namely, of believing in the only God Almighty, the maker of the world, and in his son Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, raised from the dead on the third day, received into heaven, sitting now at the right hand of the Father, who will come to judge the quick and dead by or at the resurrection of the dead." And such a sett of principles these, as, or what are similar to them and accord with the word of God, may be called the analogy of faith. And a late

< Calvin on the passage has these words, "the apostle seems to me to command Timothy that he be tena cious of the doctrine he had learned, not only as to the substance, but as to the figure of the oration, (or form of speech or sett of words used) for UTOTUTWσis, the word used, is a lively expression of things as if presented to the eye; Paul knew how easy is a lapse or deflection from the pure doctrine, and therefore solicitously cautioned Timothy not to decline from the form of teaching he had received."

De virgin. veland. c. I. vid. præscript. hæret, c. 13.

Salvation of Men, 306. Of the Covenant of Grace, 313. Of the Part which the Father takes in the Covenant, 321, Of the Part which Christ has taken in the Covenant, 331. Of Christ as the Covenant-head of the Elect, 333. Of Christ as the Mediator of the Covenant, 336. Of Christ as the Surety of the Covenant, 347 Of Christ as the Testator of the Covenant, 353. Of the Concern the Spirit has in the Covenant, 357. Properties of the Covenant of Grace, 361. Of the Complacency and Delight of Deity in himself, 367.

BOOK III.

Of Creation in general, 375. Creation of Angels, 384. Creation of Man, 393, Providence of God, 406. Confirmation of the Elect Angels, 444. Fall of the Non-elect Angels, 445. Of Man in a State of Innocence, 450. Of the Law given to Adam, and the Covenant with him in a State of Innocence, 454. Of the Sin and Fall of Man, 461. Of the Nature, Aggravation, and Effects of the Sin and Fall of Man, 468. Of the Imputation of Adam's Sin to his Posterity, 473. Of the corruption of Human Nature, 481. Of Actual Sins and Transgressions, 491. Of the Punishment of Sin, 497,

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INTRODUCTION.

PREFIXED TO THE FIRST EDITION.

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[AVING completed an exposition of the whole bible, the Books both of the

best next to engage in for the further instruction of the people under my care; and my thoughts led me to enter upon a scheme of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity, first the former and then the latter; the one being the foundation of the other, and both having a close connexion with each other. Doctrine has an influence upon practice, especially evangelical doctrine, spiritually understood, affectionately embraced, and powerfully and feelingly experienced; so true is what the apostle asserts, that the grace of God, that is, the doctrine of the grace of God, that bringeth salvation, the good news, the glad tidings of salvation by Christ, which is peculiar to gospel doctrine, bath appeared to all men, Gentiles as well as Jews, in the external ministry of the word; teaching us, to whom it comes with power and efficacy in the demonstration of the Spirit, that denying ungodliness and worllly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Where there is not the doctrine of faith, the obedience of faith cannot be expected. Where there is not the doctrine of the gospel, and men have not learned Christ, they live for the most part as if there was no God in the world, and give themselves up to work all sin with greedi

And on the other hand, doctrine without practice, or a mere theory and speculative knowledge of things, unless reduced to practice, is of no avail; such are only vainly puffed up in their fleshly minds, profess to know God in word, but in works deny him, have a form of godliness without the power of it, a name to live but are dead. Doctrine and practice should go together; and in order both to know and do the will of God, instruction in doctrine and practice is necessary; and the one being first taught will lead on to the other, This method of instruction, the apostle Paul has pointed out to us in some of his epistles, especially in the epistle to the Ephesians; in which he first treats of election, predestination, adoption, ac、 ceptance in Christ, redemption and pardon of sin, regeneration and other doctrines of grace, and of the privileges of the saints under the gospel-dispensation; and then inforces the several duties incumbent on them as men and Christians, respecting them in their several stations, in thẹ church, in their families, and in the world. So the apostle instructed Timothy, first to teach the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus, the doctrine that is according to godliness and productive of it, and then to exhort and press men to the duties of religion from evangelical motives and principles. And he also enjoined Titus to affirm the doctrines of the gospel with constancy and certainty, to this end, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.

And now having finished my scheme of Doctrinal Divinity, at the importunity of my friends I have been prevailed upon to publish it

Systematical Divinity, I am sensible, is now become very unpopular. Formulas and articles of faith, creeds, confessions, catechisms, and summaries of divine truths, are greatly decried in our age; and yet, what art or science soever but has been reduced to a system? physic, metaphysic, logic, rhetoric, &c. Philosophy in general has had its several systems; not to take notice of the various sects and systems of philosophy in ancient times; in the last age, the Cartesian system of philosophy greatly obtained, as the Newtonian system now does. Astronomy in particular has been considered as a system: sometimes called the system of the universe, and sometimes the solar, or planetary system: the first that is known is what was brought by Pythagoras into Greece and Italy, and from him called the Pythagorean system; and which was followed by many of the first and ancient philosophers, though for many years it lay neglected; but has been of late ages revived, and now much in vogue: the next is the Ptolemaic system, advanced by Ptolemy; which places the earth in the center of the universe; and makes the heavens, with the sun, moon, and stars, to revolve about it; and which was universally embraced for many hundreds of years, till the Pythagorean system was revived by Copernicus, two or three hundred years ago, called, from him, the Copernican system. In short, medicine, jurisprudence, or law, and every art and science, are reduced to a system or. body; which is no other than an assemblage or composition of the several doctrines or parts of a science; and why fhould divinity, the most noble science, be without a system? Evangelical truths are spread and scattered about in the sacred Scriptures; and to gather them together, and dispose of them in a regular, orderly method, surely cannot be disagreeable; but must be useful, for the more clear and perspicuous understanding them, for the better retaining them in memory, and to shew the connection, harmony, and agreement of them. Accordingly we find that Christian writers, in ancient times, attempted something of this nature; as the several formulas of faith, symbols or creeds, made in the first three or four centuries of Christianity; the Stromata of Ciemens of Alexandria; the four books of Principles, by Origen; the divine Institutions of Lactantius; the large Catechism of Gregory Nyssene; the Theology of Gregory Nazianzen; the Exposition of the Apostles Symbol, by Ruffinus; and the Enchiridion of Austin, with many others that followed: and since the Reformation, we have had bodies or systems of divinity, and confessions of faith, better digested, and drawn up with greater accuracy and consistence; and which have been very serviceable to lead men into the knowledge of evangelical doctrine, and confirm them in it; as well as to shew the agreement and harmony of sound divines and churches, in the more principal parts of it: and even those who now cry out against systems, confessions, and creeds, their predecessors had those of their own; Arius had his creed; and the Socinians have their catechism, the Racovian catechism; and the Remonstrants have published their confession of faith; not to take notice of the several bodies of divinity published by Episcopius, Limborch, Curcellæus, and others. The Jews, in imitation of the Christians, have reduced their theology to certain heads or articles of faith; the chief, if not the first that took this method, was the famous Maimonides, who comprised their religious tenets in thirteen articles; after him R. Joseph Albo reduced them to three classes, the existence of God, the law of Moses, and the doctrine of rewards and punish

ments.

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