Imatges de pÓgina

1 It is here said that God stood. This is spoken after the maner of inen, for when hearing and seeing, and smelling, and touching, and tasting, which are our senses are attributed to God: when our parts of body, our eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, armes are given to him: our motions : as setting, standing, rising, going, striking and such like are spoken of God, know that these be figurative forms of speech, wherein the holy Ghost doth retein our weak capacities and under those forms of words,doth present to our understandings the unconceiveable operations of the most

high God.

And let us take heed that we do not conceive God in our thoughts like to man in the structure and composition of the body as the Anthropomorphites did.

For it is here understood by the standing of God, that when he brought the people to the promised land, there the progresse ended,he stood there where he brought them torest.

2 It is here said that he measured the earth, that is also a figurative manner of speaking, wherein that is charged upon : him, which was done by his direction and warrant.

3 He beheld and drove in funder the Nations.

God is all eye,and beholdeth all things, all ear and heareth all things; all hand,and maketh all things, and doth whatsoever he wil : all foot and standeth in all places : he is here faid to behold, which denoteth his provident care of his work, and he is said to drive in sunder the Nations, because he ordeined their expulsion, and he gave commission for the destruction of them, that he might give their land, according to his promise, to his own people.

4 Where he cals the mountains everlasting and the hils perpetuall, this is also a figure. For these be attributes onely belonging to God to be everlasting and perpetuall

, and it sheweth the stability and setlednesse thereof.

5 There is also another figure in the very name of mountains, for we must not literally understand that there was any violence offered to the mountains and hils, but thereby the strength and processe and setled estate of those nations that




dwelt in the land of Canaan, is signified, and so the scattering and bowing of these mountains, doth expresse the dispersion of those nations, or the bringing of theni under the yoake of subjection to the people of I/rael.

6 His wayes are everlasting, this is also figurative, for by the ways

of God are understood here the counsels and decrees of God, and his executions of his will, which are no fudden operatious, but proceed from everlasting wisedome.

And this is the wisedome of the Reader of holy Scripture, to observe, what is spoken literally, and what figuratively, else many errours and heresies may arise.

As even in this attribution of the parts and motions, and actions of the body of man to God, the Anthropomorphites

, not understanding the figure, did conceive God in body like to


The heresie of tranfubftantiation grew out of the mistake of those words, hoc eft corpus meum, this is my body, wherein the figure not observed, the Romanists do believe a reall transmutation of the bread into the body of Chrift: whereas that is to be understood only by facramentall representation, as as the facrament of Circumcision is called the covenant of God in the flesh, and the water of Baptisme, is called the laver of regeneration, being the sign and seal thereof.

You know that when Christ said to his Disciples; Beware Mat.16.16

of the leaven of the Pharises: they understood him not to speak figuratively, and faid; It is because we have taken ne bread.

So when he said, Destroy this Temple: the Jews understood him of the temple at ferusalem. The Scriptures of both Teltaments, are full of examples of figurative speaking.

The whole book of the song of Solomon, is a continued figure, and all the poeticall part of holy Scripture abound therewith.

The reasons why the wisedome of God hath thus expreft it self are :

I Because herein he would commend to us the use of that excellent science of the Rhetorick, which teacbeth the use of


figures, for there is no eloquence or oratory in all the wisedome of the world, comparable to the holy elccution of Scripture, the majesty whereof is such, that it convinceth the judgment of man, and maketh it to yield it to the breath of God:

2. Because this cripticall manner of speaking doth involve the secrets of Gods wifedome in some obscurity, to stirre up

and awake our diligence in the search, that we may be put to : it to study holy Scriptures, as Christ faith, Epsurăté, search; for easie things do soon cloy us and make us idle.

3. Because this difficulty, doth put us to our prayers, to beseech God to open to us the secrets of his wisdome.

4 This makes us fear God, because the secrets of the Lord are onely revealed to them that fear God.

5 This difficulty is so sweetned with the pleafant mixture of art, as it hath omne punétum in it, for it mingleth utile dulci. 6 It doth teach us to be fpirituall

, for the carnall man can: not perceive the things of God, because they are spiritually

discerned, and the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life: this Spirit he hath left to teach his Church, and to bring all things to our remembrance.

7 This obscurity doth call uponus to set apart fome time for the study and search of Scriptures, and we cannot employ our spare hours of leasure better then in this search, for here are the treasures of wisedome and knowledge, and these are able to make the man of God wise to falvation, perfett, then to throughly,perfect to all good works.

8 He hath distributed his graces in his Church accordingly, and hath ordained some to be teachers of others, whose | whole time is confecrated to the study of this book of Scri

pture, that they may be able to understand this word aright: divide it aright to their hearers.

Herein you have a great advantage, if you consider the goodnesle of God to you, for in one hour, you reap the harvest of our labours in many hours of our readings, of our inventions, judgments, search.

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These reasons I gather from Clemens Alexandrinus, St.
Augustine, and St. Gregory, and sume others.

This teacheth us that the worthie Minister of the Word must be no smatterer in those necessary arts and learning, which is helpfull to the study of Divinity, for want whereof many bunglers handle the Word of God too homelily, and instead of giving a constant light do only make a blaze, which yet like one of our night-walking fires devours' more admiration, than the full Moon that shines all night long.

Logick and Rhethorick, are two such neceffary and requisite parts in a Mimster, as without which, neither can the method of Scripture, nor the power of the arguments therein used, nor the clear interpretation of the words be given.

This teacheth the hearer and reader of the World, to put his strength to it, not to parrat the words of Scripture, but to study the sense thereof.

St. Origen saith that as man,so the whole Bible doth consist of a body and a soul, the body is the better, the sense is the soul of Scripture.

That is the spirituall Manna thar giveth strength to the weak, that is, the true Light that giveth understanding to the simple

Let not this discourage any zealous Christian from exercising himself in the reading and study of holy Scripture : because we do confesse, that the figurative forms used therein, do often make the Scripture obscure.

For we do also affirme, that figures do sometimes give light to our apprehension and make the mind of God better known to ds: as when Christ faith;

I am the good Shepheard: as David faid, The Lord is my Shep. heard: this doth make Christ better known to us in his carefull protection of us, and his watchfull keeping, and his plentifull feeding, and safe foulding of us, and in fuch like.

Now, because the Church of Rome, hach taken advantage of the obfcurity of the Scripture, to forbid the translation thereof, into the vernacle tongues of nations, and to prohibit lay



persons, or any other without speciall leave. Thus much I
dare affirm that holy Scripture are plain and easie in all dog-
maticall points, all the articles of faith are plainly set forth,
and the whole doctrine of godly life, and the way to salvation
is openly declared. So far our Church doth avouch, yet
withall we must consider, that there is a double plainnefíe of

I Rationall and Intellectuall, which apprehendeth the true
meaning of the words in Grammaticall construction, in
Logicali composition, and in Rhetoricall illustration, thus all
the dogmaticall part of Divinity is plain to a naturall man,
that is capable of these helps.
2. Spirituall and Metaphysicall

, which is, saving knowledge,
and is the work of the Holy Ghost in us, making us thereby
wise to falvation, this knowledg is both the daughter and mo-
ther of faith, for by faith we hear the word, elfe it would not
profit us, and by hearing commeth faith, else it were un-
fruitfull. rarii

Therefore I must indire many of the learned of the Church
of Rome offlander, who have given out in print, that we do
hold the whole body of Scripture so easie, both in the whole,
and in every part thereof, that any unlearned men & women
may read, and understand, all as they go, and that they need
no interpreter. This no fober man will affirm ; but that the
difficulty is not such as should deter us from the study thereof,
rather that it is such as invitech us thereto, that we affirme.

This ferveth us for caution;
1. Though the Scripture be full of figures, let us not make
figures where there are none, and ftrein plain and evident
Texts from their genuine and proper sense, to forreign and
far-fetcht mysteries, as the Papist doth often.

For when Peter faith, Ecce hic duo gladii, they understand the
double power of Peter and so of al Popes as his succesfours Ec-
clesiasticall and temporall; so on these words:
He made two great lights, the greater to rule the day, the less to rule
the night; that these two lights are the Pape to rule the day;
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