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distinction of visible objects, so is our reason to spiritual, the
instrument of judging, but not alone : but as reason helps
our eyes, so does revelation inform our reason ; and we have



r Ethic, lib. i. c. 7. The words quoted by Bp. Taylor seem to be a fiee
paraphrase of the original: see Wilkinson's edition, p. 22._(J. R. P.)



90 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

no law till by revelation, or some specific communication of
his pleasure, God hath declared and made a law.

Now all the law of God s which we call natural, is rea-
son, that is, so agreeable to natural and congenite reason,
that the law is, in the matter of it, written in our hearts be-
fore it is made to be a law. " Lex est naturae vis, et ratio
prudentis juris atque injurise regulae:" so Cicero.' But though
all the law of nature be reason, yet whatsoever is reason, is
not presently a law of nature. And therefore that I may
return to the instances we are discoursing of, it follows not
that although Abel, and Cain, and Enoch, did do some actions
of religion by the dictate of natural reason, that therefore
they did it by the law of nature : for every good act that any
man can do, is agreeable to right reason, but every act we
do is not by a law ; as appears in all the instances I have
given in the explication and commentaries on these two last
rules. Secondly, on the other side it is not true, that we
may do it in religion, whatsoever we are prompted to by
natural reason. For although natural reason teaches us that
God is to be loved, and God is to be worshipped, that is, it
tells us he is our supreme, we his creatures and his servants;
we had our being from him, and we still depend upon him,
and he is the end of all who is the beginning of all, and
therefore whatsoever came from him must also tend to him ;
and whosoever made every thing, must needs make every
thing for himself, for he being the fountain of perfection,
nothing could be good but what is from, and for, and by, and
to, that fountain, and therefore that every thing must, in its

Lex Dei mentem nostram incendens, earn ad se pertrahit, conscientiamque
nostrum vellicat, quse et ipsa mentis nostrae lex dicitur. Damascen. lib. iv. c. 23.
de Fide. Ubi Clicbtovseus sic exponit, lex mentis nostrae est ipsa naturalis ratio
Dei legem hnbens sibi inditam, impressamque et insitam, qua bunum a malo in.
terno lumine dijudicamus. S. Hieronymus, epist.151. ad Algasi. q. 8,hanc legem
appellat legem intelligentiae, quam ignorat pueritia, ne scit infantia, tune autem
venit et praecipit, quando incipit intelligentia. B. Maximus, torn. v. Biblioth.
centur. v. c. 13. Lex nature est ratio naturalis, quae captivum tenet sensum ad
delendam vim irrationalem. Hoc dixit imperfecte, quia ratio naturalis, tantum
est materia legis naturalis. Rectius S. Augustinus, lib. ii. de Sermone Domini
in Monte, Nullam anirnara esse qua ratiocinari possit, in cujus conscientia non
loquatur Deus : quis enim legem naturalem in cordibus hominum scribit nisi
Deus? boc scilicet iunuens non rutionem solam, sed Deum loquentem ex prin-
cipiis nostrae rationis sanxisse legem. Idem dixit explicatius, lib. xxii. cont.
Faust, c. 27. legem teternam esse Divinam rationem vel roluntatem ordinem natu.
ralem conservari jubentem, perturbari vetantem.

1 De Legibu3, i. 6. Wagner, p. 27.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 91

way, honour and serve and glorify him : now I say, although
all this is taught us by natural reason, by this reason we are
taught that God must be worshipped; yet that cannot tell us
how God will be worshipped. Natural reason can tell us
what is our obligation, because it can discourse of our nature
and production, our relation and minority ; but natural rea-
son cannot tell us by what instances God will be pleased with
us, or prevailed with to do us new benefits ; because no na-
tural reason can inform us of the will of God, till himself
hath declared that will. Natural reason tells us we are to
obey God ; but natural reason cannot tell us in what positive
commandments God will be obeyed, till he declares what he
will command us to do and observe. So though by nature
we are taught that we must worship God, yet by what sig-
nifications of duty, and by what actions of religion, this is to
be done, depends upon such a cause as nothing but itself can
manifest and publish.

29. And this is apparent in the religion of the old world,
the religion of sacrifices and consumptive oblations ; which
it is certain themselves did not choose by natural reason, but
they were taught and enjoined by God: for that it is no part
of a natural religion to kill beasts, and offer to God wine and
fat, is evident by the nature of the things themselves, the
cause of their institution, and the matter of fact, that is, the
evidence that they came in by positive constitution. For
' blood' was anciently the ' sanction* of laws and covenants,
' Sanctio a sanguine' say the grammarians; because the sanc-
tion of establishment of laws was it which bound the life of
man to the law, and therefore when the law was broken, the
life or the blood was forfeited; but then as in covenants, in
which sometimes the wilder people did drink blood, the
gentler and more civil did drink wine, the blood of the grape;
so in the forfeiture of laws they also gave the blood of beasts
in exchange for their own. .Now that this was less than what
was due is certain, and therefore it must suppose remission
and grace, a favourable and a gracious acceptation ; which
because it is voluntary and arbitrary in God, less than his
due, arid more than our merit, no natural reason can teach
us to appease God with sacrifices. It is indeed agreeable to
reason that blood should be poured forth, when the life is to
be paid, because the blood is the life; but that one life
should redeem another, that the blood of a beast should be



92 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

taken in exchange for the life of a man, that no reason natu-
rally can teach us. " Ego vero destinavi cum vobis in altari
ad expiationem faciendam pro animis vestris : natn sanguis
est, qui pro anima expiationem facit," said God by Moses :
" The life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to
you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls : for
it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."
According to which are those \vords of St. Paul, " Without
shedding of blood there is no remission ;" meaning, that in
the law, all expiation of sins was by sacrifices, to which Christ
by the sacrifice of himself put a period. But all this religion
of sacrifices was, I say, by God's appointment ; " Ego vero
destinavi," so said God; " I have designed or decreed it:"
but that this was no part of a law of nature, or of prime
essential reason, appears in this, 1. Because God confined it
among the Jews to the family of Aaron, and that only in the
land of their own inheritance, the land of promise ; which
could no more be done in a natural religion than the sun
can be confined to a village-chapel. 2. Because God did
express oftentimes that he took no delight in sacrifices of
beasts; as appears in Psalms xl. 1. li., and Isa. i., Jer. vii.,
Hosea, vi., Micah, vi. 3. Because he tells us, in opposition
to sacrifices and external rites, what that is which is the
natural and essential religion in which he does delight ; the
" sacrifice of prayer and thanksgiving, a broken and contrite
heart;" that ' we should walk in the way he hath appointed;'
that ' we should do justice and judgment, and walk humbly
with our God :' ' he desires mercy and not sacrifice, and the
knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings.' 4. Because
Gabriel the archangel foretold" that the Messias should
make the daily sacrifice to cease. 5. Because for above six-
teen hundred years God hath suffered that nation, to whom
he gave the law of sacrifices, to be without temple, or priest,
or altar, and therefore without sacrifice.

30. But then if we inquire why God gave the law of
sacrifices, and was so long pleased with it ; the reasons are
evident and confessed. 1. Sacrifices were types of that
great oblation which was made upon the altar of the cross.
2. It was an expiation which was next in kind to the real
forfeiture of our own lives : it was blood for blood, a life for
life, a less for a greater ; it was that which might make us

Dan. is.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 93

confess God's severity against sin, though not feel it; it was
enough to make us hate the sin, but not to sink under it; it
was sufficient for a fine, but so as to preserve the stake ; it
was a manuduction to the great sacrifice, but suppletory of
the great loss and forfeiture; it was enough to glorify God,
and by it to save ourselves ; it was insufficient in itself, but
accepted in the great sacrifice ; it was enough in shadow,
when the substance was so certainly to succeed. 3. It was
given the Jews oxug <rif?6{jt,tvoi, xai ucr6 xXo/oS u.y/Jiij,ivoi, rrj$
vbX&'so-j TACCI-T;; h.arufft, as the author x of the ' Apostolical Con-
stitution' affirms, that "being laden with the expense of
sacrifices to one God, they might not be greedy upon the
same terms to run after many :" and therefore the same author
affirms, " before their golden calf, and other idolatries, sacri-
fices were not commanded to the Jews, but persuaded only ;"
recommended, and left unto their liberty. By which we are
at last brought to this truth; that it was taught by God to
Adam, and by him taught, to his posterity, that they should
in their several manners worship God by giving to him some-
thing of all that he had given us ; and therefore something
of our time, and something of our goods : and as that was
to be spent in praises and celebration of his name, so these
were to be given in consumptive offerings : y but the manner
and the measure were left to choice, and taught by superadded
reasons and positive laws : and in this sense are those words
to be understood, which above I cited out of Justin Martyr
and St. Chrysostoin. To this purpose Aquinas cites the
gloss upon the second of the Colossians, saying, " Ante tern-
pus legis justos per interiorem instinctum instructos fuisse
de inodo colendi Deum, quos alii sequebantur; postmodum
vero exterioribus prseceptis circa hoc homines fuisse instruc-
tos, quae praeterire pestiferum est ; Before the law, the right-
eous had a certain instinct by which they were taught how
to worship God, to wit, in the actions of internal religion ; but
afterward they were instructed by outward precepts." That
is, the natural religion consisting in prayers and praises, in
submitting our understandings and subjecting our wills, in
these things the wise patriarchs were instructed by right rea-
son and the natural duty of men to God : but as for all ex-
ternal religions, in these things they had a teacher and a

* Lib. vi. c. 18. y Numb. vii.



94 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

guide ; of these things they were to do nothing of their own
heads. In whatsoever is from within, there can be no will-
worship, for all that the soul can do is God's right ; and
no act of faith or hope in God, no charity, no degree of
charity, or confidence, or desire to please him, can be super-
stitious. But because in outward actions there may be inde-
cent expressions or unapt ministries, or instances not relative
to a law of God or a counsel evangelical, there may be irre-
gularity and obliquity, or direct excess, or imprudent expres-
sions, therefore they needed masters and teachers, but their
great teacher was God. " Deum docuisse Adam cultum Di-
vinum, quo ejus benevolentiam recuperaret, quam per pecca-
tum transgressionis amiserat ; ipsumque docuisse filios suos
dare Deo decimas et primitias," said Hugo de St. Victore:
" God taught Adam how to worship him, and by what means
to recover his favour, from which he by transgression fell :"
the same is affirmed by St. Athanasius, z but that which
he adds, that " Adam taught his children to give first-fruits
and tenths," I know not upon what authority he affirms it.
Indeed Josephus 3 seems to say something against it; 'o Qsb$
8s ravri} paXXov qdtrai TJJ dvffiq ro?g avrofj,a,roi$ KO.I Kara tp-Jdiv,
ytydeiv r//iw,,KO, dXX.' ou TO?S xa,r e-xivoiav avQouvou v't.tovzx.rou,
Kara. f3iav netpuxoffi, " God is not pleased so much in oblation of
such things which the greediness and violence of man forces
from the earth, such as are corn and fruits; but is more
pleased with that which comes of itself naturally and easily,
such as are cattle and sheep." And therefore he supposes
God rejected Cain and accepted Abel, because Cain brought
fruits which were procured by labour and tillage ; but Abel
offered sheep, which came by the easy methods and pleasing
ministries of nature. It is certain Josephus said not true, and
had no warrant for his affirmative : but that which his discourse
does morally intimate, is very right, that the things of man's
invention please not God; but that which comes from him,
we must give him again, and serve him by what he hath given
us, and our religion must be of such things as come to us
from God : it must be obedience or compliance ; it must be
something of mere love, or something of love mingled with
obedience : it is certain it was so in the instance of Abel.

I In Epist de Perfidia Eusebii; et libro super illud, Omnia mibi tradita sunt.

II Antiq. Jud. lib. i. c. 3.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 95

31. And this appears in those words of St. Paul, 6 " By
faith Abel offered sacrifice :" it was not therefore done by
choice of his own head ; but ' by the obedience of faith,'
which supposes revelation and the command or declaration
of the will of God. And, concerning this, in the traditions
and writings of the easterlies, we find this story : " In the
beginningof mankind, when Eve, for the peoplingof the world,
was by God so blessed in the production of children, that she
always had twins before the birth of Seth, and the twins were
ever male and female, that they might interchangeably marry,
* ne gens sit unius setatis populus virorum, lest mankind
should expire in one generation ;' Adam, being taught by
God, did not allow the twins to marry, oSs n ^ <pv<f'$ &(*
ry ysvsaei fariDTws xal 8issus, ' whom nature herself by their
divided birth had separated and divided ;' but appointed that
Cain should marry the twin-sister of Abel, and Abel should
marry Azron the twin-sister of Cain : but Cain thought his
own twin-sister the more beautiful, and resolved to marry her.
Adam therefore wished them to inquire of God by sacrifice ;
which they did : and because Cain's sacrifice was rejected,
and his hopes made void, and his desire not consented to,
he killed his brother Abel : whose twin-sister after fell to
the portion of Seth, who had none of his own." Upon this
occasion sacrifices were first offered. Now whether God
taught the religion of it first to Adam, or immediately to
Cain and Abel, yet it is certain from the apostle (upon whom
we may rely, though upon the tradition of the easterlings we
may not) that Abel did his religion from the principle of
faith ; and therefore that manner of worshipping God did not
consist only in manners, but in supernatural mystery ; that
is, all external forms of worshipping are no parts of moral
duty, but depend upon Divine institution and Divine accept-
ance : and although any external rite that is founded upon
a natural rule of virtue, may be accepted into religion, when
that virtue is a law ; yet nothing must be presented to God
but what himself hath chosen some way or other. " Super-
stitio est quando traditioni humanae religionis nomen appli-
catur," said the gloss : c " When any tradition or invention
of man is called religion, the proper name of it is supersti-
tion ;" that is, when any thing is brought into religion and

b Heb. xi. c In Coloas. ii.



96 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

is itself made to be a worship of God, it is a will-worship in
the criminal sense. " Hanc video sapientissimorum fuisse sen-
tentiam, legem neque hominum ingeniis excogitatam, nee sci-
tum aliquod esse populorum, sed aeternum quiddam, quod uni-
versum mundum regeret, imperandi prohibendique sapientia.
Ita principem legem illam et ultimam, mentem esse dicebant,
omnia ratione aut cogentis aut vetantis Dei," said Cicero ; d
" Neither the wit of man, nor the consent of the people, is a
competent warranty for any prime law ; for law is an eternal
thing, fit to govern the world, it is the wisdom of God com-
manding or forbidding." Reason, indeed, is the aptness, the
disposition, the capacity and matter, of the eternal law : but
the life and form of it are the command of God. " Every plant
which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted
up." Some plants arise from seed, some from slips and suck-
ers, some are grafted, and some inoculated ; and all these
will grow, and bring forth pleasing fruit ; but if it grows wild,
that is, of its own accord, the fruit is fit for nothing, and the
tree is fit for burning.



RULE XIV.

The Christian Law, both of Faith and Manners, is fully con-
tained in the Holy Scriptures ; and from thence only can
the Conscience have Divine Warrant and Authority.

1 . OF the perfection and fulness of the Christian law I have
already given accounts ; but where this law is recorded, and
that the Holy Scriptures are the perfect and only digest of it,
is the matter of the present rule, which is of great use in the
rule of conscience ; because if we know not where our rule is
to be found, and if there can be several tables of the law
pretended, our obedience must be by chance or our own
choice, that is, it cannot be obedience, which must be volun-
tary in the submission, and therefore cannot be chance ; and
it must be determined by the superior, and therefore cannot
be our own antecedent choice, but what is chosen for us.

2. That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testa-
ment do contain the whole will and law of God, is affirmed

d De Legibus, ii. 3.' Wagner, p. 48. Vide Plato. 10. de Leg.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 97

by the primitive fathers, and by all the reformed churches ;
that the Scriptures are not a perfect rule of faith and man-
ners, but that tradition is to be added to make it a full repo-
sitory of the Divine will, is affirmed by the Church of Rome.
For the establishing of the truth in this great rule and direc-
tory of conscience, I shall first shew, as matter of fact, that
the Church of God, in all the first and best ages, when tra-
dition could be more certain, and assent to it might be more
reasonable, did, nevertheless, take the Holy Scriptures for
their only rule of faith and manners. 2. Next, I shall shew
what use there was of traditions. 3. That the topic of tra-
ditions, after the consignation of the canon of Scripture,
was not only of little use in any thing, but false in many
things, and therefore unsafe in all questions; and as the
world grew older, traditions grew more uncertain, and the
argument from tradition was intolerably worse.

3. (1.) That the first ages of the Church did appeal to
Scripture in all their questions, I appeal to these testimo-
nies. St. Clemens 8 of Alexandria hath these excellent words :
Ou a.



ei oux aoKt povov
rb do^av; dXXa viffTuffaffSai dsT rb Xs^d'iv' ou rqv

/j,agrvgiav, dXXa rjj rou Kug/ou (puvji tfiffro-jfttOa
$ ffaffuv utfobiifyuv s%tyy\juriga, /iaXXov 8s f)

ovtia ruy-^anf "It is not fit that we should
simply attend to the affirmatives of men, for our nay may
be as good as their yea. But if the thing be matter of
faith, and not of opinion only, let us not stay for a testimony
of man, but confirm our question by the word of God ;
which is the most certain of all, or is indeed rather the only
demonstration." Now that there may be no starting-hole
from these words of the saint, I only add this, that it is plain,
from the whole order of his discourse, that he speaks only of
the word of God written. For the words before are these :
" Do they take away all demonstration, or do they affirm
that there is any ? I suppose they will grant there is some ;
unless they have lost their senses. But if there be any
demonstration, it is necessary that we make inquiry, xai I*
TUV avruv <yott,$wv exf^avddvuv afodsixrixus, ' and from the
Scriptures to learn demonstratively." 1 And a little after he

Clem. Alex. Stromat. 7.
VOL. XIII. H



98 OF THE INTERPRETATION AND OBLIGATION

adds, " They that employ their time about the best things,
never give over their searching after truth, xoh av rr t v axofaifyv
ax avruv Xaftufft ruv yga<pZ>v, ' until from the Scriptures
they have got a demonstration.'" He speaks against the
Gnostics, who pretended to secret traditions from I know
not who : against them he advises Christians, Ka.rayr^aaa.1
ra?s ygap%, airofai%eis svi&reTv, "to wax old in the Scrip-
tures, thence to seek for demonstrations," and by that rule
to frame our lives.

4. St. Basil, in his Ethics : aa As? xav ftpa, 3) T^ay/ia
XitirovaQai ry ftagrvgiq. rJjg SioKvfjffrov 7gap?J, f'S xhijgopogiav
f&tv TUV ayaSuv, evrpo^^v ds run wovqouv' " Whatsoever is
done or said, ought to be confirmed by the testimony of
the divinely inspired Scripture ; both for the full persuasion
of the good, as also for the condemnation of the evil:" vav
fifta 7j vguyfAtt,, that is, ' every thing' that belongs to faith and
manners, not every indifferent thing, but * every thing ' of
duty; not every thing of a man, but 'every thing' of a
Christian ; not things of natural life, but of the supernatural.
Which sense of his words clearly excludes the necessity of
tradition, and yet intends not to exclude either liberty, or
human laws, or the conduct of prudence.

5. To the like purpose is that of Origen : b " Debemus ergo
ad testimonium verborum, quse proferimus in doctrina, pro-
ferre sensum Scripturee, quasi confirmantem quern exponirnus
sensum ; We ought to bring Scripture for the confirmation
of our exposition :" which words of his are very considerable
to those who are earnest for our admittance of traditive inter-
pretation of Scriptures. Concerning which, in passing by
(because it will be nothing to the main inquiry, which is not
how Scripture is to be understood, but whether, being rightly
understood, it be a sufficient rule of faith and manners), I
shall give this account : that besides there are (I mean in
matters of faith, not in matters ritual and of government) no
such traditive commentaries ; there being no greater variety
and difference amongst the ancient and modern writers com-
monly and respectively in any thing in their expositions
of Scripture ; nowhere so great liberty, nowhere so little
agreement : besides this, I say, that they are in comment-
aries of Scriptures to be looked upon as so many single

Definit 26. b In Matt, tract. 5.



OF THE LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST. 99

persons, because there was no public authentic commentary
any where, no assemblies in order to any such expositions,
no tradition pretended for the sense of controverted places ;
but they used right reason, the analogy of faith, the sense
of the words, and the notice of the originals, and so they
expounded certainly or probably, according as it happened,
according to that of St. Athanasius : bb " Sunt vero etiam
multi sanctorum magistrorum libri, in quos si quis incurrat,
assequetur quodammodo Scripturarum interpretationem ;
There are many books of the holy doctors, upon which if
one chance to light, he may in some measure attain to th e
interpretation of the Scriptures." But when they (according
to Origen's way here described) confirmed an exposition of
one place by the doctrine of another, then, and then only,
they thought they had the a^odn^ig ygapix.fi, " the Scripture
demonstration," and a matter of faith and of necessary belief;
and that this was the duty of the Christian doctors, Origen c
does expressly affirm: "Afterward, as Paul's custom is, he
would verify from the Holy Scriptures what he had said ;
so also, giving an example to the doctors of the Church,
that what they speak to the people should not be of their
own sense, but confirmed by Divine testimonies : for if he,
such and so great an apostle, did not suppose his own
authority sufficient warrant to his sayings, unless he make it
appear that what he says is written in the law and the pro-
phets, how much more ought we little ones observe this,
that we do not bring forth ours, but the sentences of the
Holy Spirit," viz. from Scripture. For that was the practice
of St. Paul, whom he in this place, for that very thing, pro-



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