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Also the government of Christ's Church within this Nation, agreeable to the word of God, and most conducive to the advancement of true piety and godliness, and the establishing of peace and tranquillity within this realm,—they, by these presents, ratify and establish the Confession of Faith now read in their presence, and voted and approven by them, as the public and avowed Confession of this Church, containing the sum and substance of the Doctrine of the Reformed Churches (which Confession of Faith is subjoined to this present Act,) as also they do establish, ratify, and confirm the Presbyterian Church Government and Discipline; that is to say, the Government of the Church by Kirk Sessions, Presbyteries, Provincial Synods, and General Assemblies, ratified and established by the 114 Act James VI., Pari. 12, Anno 1592, entitled Ratification of the Liberty of the Kirk, &c, and thereafter received by the general consent of this nation, to be the only Government of Christ's Church within this kingdom; reviving, renewing, and confirming the same in the whole heads thereof, except that part of it relating to Patronages, which is hereafter to be taken into consideration.












Approved by the General Assembly 1647, and ratified and established by Acts of Parliament 1649 and 1690, as the publick and avowed





Agreed upon by the Assemsly of Divines at Westminster: Examined and approved, Anno 1647, by the General Assemsly of the Church Of Scotland; and ratified by Acts of Parliament 1649 and 1690.

CHAP. I. 0fthe Holy Scripture.

ALTHOUGH the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable*; yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvationb: therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church0; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writingd;

I. a Rom. ii. 14. For when the Gentiles, teacheth ; comparing spiritual things with which have not the law, do by nature the spiritual. Ver. 14. But the natural man things contained in the law, these, having receiveth not the things of the Spirit of not the law, are a law unto themselves: God: for they are foolishness unto him; Ver. 15. Which show the work of the law neither ean he know them, beeause they written in their hearts, their conscience are spiritually discerned. also bearing witness, and their thoughts ,= Heb. i. 1. God, who at sundry times, the mean while accusing or else excusing and in divers manners, spake in time past one another. Rom. i. 19. Beeause that unto the fathers by the prophets. which may be known of God is manifest d Prov. xxii. 19. That thy trust may be in them: for God hath showed it unto in the Lord, I have made known to thee them. Ver. 20. For the invisible things of this day, even to thee. Ver. 20. Have not him from the creation of the world are I written to thee excellent things in counclearly seen, being understood by the sels and knowledge; Ver. 21. That I things that are made, even his eternal might make thee know the certainty of power and Godhead; so that they are the words of truth; that thou mightest without excuse. Psal.xix. 1. The heavens answer the words of truth to them that declare the glory of God; and the tirma- send unto thee? Luke i. 3. It seemed good ment showeth bis handy-work. Ver. 2. to me also, having had perfect underDay unto day uttereth speech, and night standing of all things from the very first, unto night showeth knowledge. Ver. 3. to write unto thee in order, most excellent There is no speech nor language where Theophilus, Ver. 4. That thou mightest their voice is not heard. Rom. i. 32. Who, know the certainty of those things wherein knowing the judgment of God, that they thou hast been instructed. Rom. xv. 4. which commit such things are worthy of For whatsoever things were written aforedoath. not only do the same, but have time were written for our learning; that

fdeasiire in them that do them. With we, through patience and comfort of the

torn. ii. 1. Therefore thou art inexcusable, scriptures, might have hope. Mat. iv. 4.

0 man, whosoever thou art that judgest: But he answered and said, It is written, for wherein thou judgest another, thou Man shall not live by bread alone, but by condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest every word that proccedeth out of the doest the same things. mouth of God. Ver. 7. Jesus said unto

b 1 Cor. i. 21. For after that, m the him, It is written again, Thou shalt not

wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew tempt the Lord thy God. Ver. 10. Then

not God, it pleased God by the foolishness saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence,

of preaching to save them that believe. Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt wor

1 Cor. ii. 13. Which things also we speak, ship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt not iu the words which man's wisdom thou serve. Isa.vlii.19. And when they snau ieacheth, but which the Holy Ghost say unto you, Seek unto them that nawia

which maketh the holy scripture to he most, necessary1*; those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people heing now ceased r.

II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the Books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these: ,

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All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life «.

III. The Books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the scripture; ana therefore

miliar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter : should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? Ver. 20. To the law and to the testimony: if they spea* not according: to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

e 2 Tim. iii. 15. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.

f Hcb. i. 1. God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Ver. 2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds,

II. g Luke xvi. 29. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. Ver. 31. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. Rev. xxii. 18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Ver. 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, ana is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

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