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lieve to be exclusively vested in the Spirit of God.
They say, moreover, that these tenets are neither new, nor peculiar to themselves as a Society. They were the doctrines of the primitive Fathers. They were the doctrines also of the Protestant Reformers. And though many at the present day consider that Scripture interpreted by reason is the religion of Protestants, yet it was the general belief of these reformers, that the teaching of the Holy Spirit was necessary to the spiritual understanding of the Scriptures, as well as to the spiritual establishment of their divine origin.
Luther observes, “ It is not human reason or wisdom, nor the law of God, but the work of divine Grace freely bestowed upon me, that teacheth me and showeth me the Gospel. And this gift of God I receive by Faith alone.
“ The Scriptures are not to be understood but by the same Spirit by which they were written.
“ No man sees one jot or tittle in the Scriptures, unless he has the Spirit of God. “ Profane men,” says Calvin, “ desire to
have it proved to them by reason, that Moses and the prophets spake from God. And to such I answer, that the testimony of the Spirit exceeds all reason. For as God alone is a sufficient witness of himself in his Word, so will his Word not find credit in the hearts of men, until it is sealed by the inward testimony of his Spirit.
It is therefore necessary that the same Spirit which spake by the mouth of the prophets enter into our hearts, to persuade us that they faithfully declared what was commanded them by God.
“ Again : Unless we have this assurance, which is better and more valid than any judgment of man, it will be in vain to go
, about to establish the authority of Scripture, either by arguments or the consent of the church: for, except this foundation be laid, namely, that the certainty of its divine authority depends entirely upon the testimony of the Spirit, it remains in perpetual suspense.
Again: The Spirit of God, from whom the doctrine of the Gospel proceeds, is the only true interpreter to open it to us.” “Divines," says the learned Owen," at the first reformation, did generally resolve our faith of the divine authority of the Scriptures into the testimony of the Holy Spirit;" in which belief he joins himself, by stating, that “it is the work of the Holy Spirit to enable us to believe the Scripture to be the work of God.” In another place he says,
“Our divines have long since laid it down, that the only public, authentic, and infallible interpreter of the holy Scriptures is the Author of them, from whose inspiration they receive all their truth, clearness, and authority. This author is the Holy Spirit.”
Archbishop Sandys, in one of his Sermons preached before Queen Elizabeth, has the following observations:
“The outward reading of the Word, without the inward working of the Spirit, is nothing. The precise Pharisees, and the learned Scribes, read the Scriptures over and over again, They not only read them in books, but wore them on their garments. They were not only taught, but were able themselves to teach others. But because this heavenly Teacher had not instructed them, their understanding was darkened, and their
knowledge was but vanity. They were ignorant altogether in that saving truth which the prophet David was so desirous to learn. The mysteries of salvation were so hard to be conceived by the very apostles of Christ Jesus, that he was forced many times to rebuke them for their dulness; which unless he had removed, by opening the eyes of their mind, they could never have attained to the knowledge of Salvation in Christ Jesus. The ears of that woman Lydia would have been as close shut against the preaching of Paul as any others, if the finger of God had not touched and opened her heart. As many as learn, they are taught of God.”
Archbishop Usher, in his Sum and Substance of the Christian Religion, observes, “ that it is required that we have the Spirit of God, as well to open our eyes to see the light, as to seal up fully in our hearts that truth which we see with our eyes.
For the same Holy Spirit that inspired the Scripture, inclineth the hearts of God's children to believe what is revealed in them; and inwardly assureth them, above all reasons and arguments, that these are the Scriptures of
God.” And further on in the same work
“ The Spirit of God alone is the certain interpreter of his Word written by his Spirit; for no man knoweth the things pertaining to God but the Spirit of God.”
Our great Milton also gives us a similar opinion in the following words, which are taken from his Paradise Lost:
But in their room-
Of the same mind was the learned bishop Taylor, as we collect from his sermon De Vià Intelligentiæ. “For although the Scrip
· tures,” says he, “ are written by the Spirit of God, yet they are written within and without. And besides the Light that shines upon the face of them, unless there be a Light shining within our hearts, unfolding the leaves, and interpreting the mysterious sense of the Spirit, convincing our consciences, and preaching to our hearts; to look