Lecture 12. On Scripture as the Record of Our Lord's Teaching

{290} OF the two lines of proof offered in behalf of the sixth Article, which I discussed in my last Lecture, the one implied that it declared a doctrine, the other a fact; the one spoke as if Holy Scripture must contain, the other as if it happened to contain, all necessary truth. Of these the former seems to me to come nearer to the real meaning of the Article, and also to the truth of the case, though the particular considerations commonly offered in argument are insufficient. Certainly, we cannot maintain the peculiar authority of the written word, on the ground of any antecedent necessity, that Revelation should be written, nor from the witness of Scripture itself, nor from the parallel of the Jewish Law; yet there are probabilities nevertheless, which recommend its special authority to our belief, even before going into the details of that historical testimony which I consider to be the proper evidence of it.

Let us see, then, what can be said on the primâ facie view of the subject, in behalf of the notion that Scripture is on principle, and not only by accident, the sole Canon of our faith.


First, the New Testament is called by the name of a testament or will. Indeed the very circumstance that {291} St. Paul calls the Gospel Revelation a Testament, and that Testaments are necessarily written, and that he parallels it to the Mosaic Testament, and that the Mosaic was written, prepares us to expect that the Gospel will be written also. And the name of Testament actually given to the sacred volume confirms this anticipation. It evidently is a mark of special honour; and it assigns a most significant purpose to the written Word, such as Tradition, however clearly Apostolical, cannot reach. Even granting Tradition and Scripture both to come from the Apostles, it does not therefore follow that their written Word was not, under God's over-ruling guidance, designed for a particular purpose, for which their Word unwritten was not designed.

Next, we learn from the testimony of the early Church, that Scripture and Scripture only is inspired. This explains how it may be called in an especial manner the Testament or Will of our Lord and Saviour. Scripture has a gift which Tradition has not; it is fixed, tangible, accessible, readily applicable, and besides all this perfectly true in all its parts and relations; in a word, it is a sacred text. Tradition does not convey to us any sacramental words, as they may be called, or sustained discourses, but ideas and things only. It gives us little or nothing which can be handled and argued from. We can argue only from a text; we can argue freely only from an inspired text. Thus Scripture is in itself specially fitted for that office which we assign it in our Article; to be a repository of manifold and various doctrine, a means of proof, a standard of appeal, an umpire and test between truth and falsehood in all emergencies. It thus becomes the nearest possible approach to the perpetual presence of the Apostles in the Church; whereas Tradition, being rather a collection of separate truths, facts, and usages, is wanting in applicability to the subtle questions and difficulties which {292} from time to time arise. A new heresy, for instance, would be refuted by Tradition negatively, on the very ground that it was new; but by Scripture positively, by the use of its text, and by suitable inferences from it.


Here, then, are two tokens that Scripture really is what we say it is. But now let us proceed to a third peculiarity, to which more time shall be devoted.

Scripture alone contains what remains to us of our Lord's teaching. If there be a portion of Revelation, sacred beyond other portions, distinct and remote in its nature from the rest, it must be the words and works of the Eternal Son Incarnate. He is the One Prophet of the Church, as He is the One Priest and King. His history is as far above any other possible revelation, as heaven is above earth; for in it we have literally the sight of Almighty God in His judgments, thoughts, attributes, and deeds, and His mode of dealing with us His creatures. Now this special revelation is in Scripture, and Scripture only; Tradition has no part in it.

To enter into the force of this remark, we should carefully consider the peculiar character of our Lord's recorded words and works when on earth. They will be found to come to us even professedly, as the declarations of a Lawgiver. In the Old Covenant, Almighty God first of all spoke the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai, and afterwards wrote them. So our Lord first spoke His own Gospel, both of promise and of precept, on the Mount, and His Evangelists have recorded it. Further, when He delivered it, He spoke by way of parallel to the Ten Commandments. And His style, moreover, corresponds to the authority which He assumes. It is of that solemn, measured, and severe character, which bears on the face of it tokens of its belonging to One who spake as none other {293} man could speak. The Beatitudes, with which His Sermon opens, are an instance of this incommunicable style, which befitted, as far as human words could befit, God Incarnate.

Nor is this style peculiar to the Sermon on the Mount. All through the Gospels it is discernible, distinct from any other part of Scripture, showing itself in solemn declarations, canons, sentences, or sayings, such as legislators propound, and scribes and lawyers comment on. Surely everything our Saviour did and said is characterized by mingled simplicity and mystery. His emblematical actions, His typical miracles, His parables, His replies, His censures, all are evidences of a legislature in germ, afterwards to be developed, a code of divine truth which was ever to be before men's eyes, to be the subject of investigation and interpretation, and the guide in controversy. "Verily, verily I say unto you,"—"But, I say unto you,"—are the tokens of a supreme Teacher and Prophet.


And thus the Fathers speak of His teaching. "His sayings," observes St. Justin, "were short and concise; for He was no rhetorician, but His word was the power of God." [Note 1] And St. Basil, in like manner: "Every deed, and every word of our Saviour Jesus Christ is a canon of piety and virtue. When then thou hearest word or deed of His, do not hear it as by the way, or after a simple and carnal manner, but enter into the depth of His contemplations, and become a communicant in truths mystically delivered to thee." St. Jerome tells us that St. John's disciples once asked him why he so often said, "My little children, love one another;" on which he replied, "Because it is a precept of the Lord's, and is enough, though it be {294} alone." And Cyprian, "Whereas the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, came to all men, and, gathering together learned and unlearned alike, did to every age and sex proclaim the precepts of salvation, He formed those precepts into a grand compendium, that the memory of His scholars might not be taxed by the heavenly teaching, but might promptly learn what for a simple faith was needed." [Note 2]

As instances in point, I would refer, first, to His discourse with Nicodemus. We can hardly conceive but He must have spoken during the Pharisee's visit much more than is told us in St. John's Gospel; but so much is preserved as bears that peculiar character which became a Divine Lawgiver, and was intended for perpetual use in the Church. It consists of concise and pregnant enunciations on which volumes of instructive comment might be written. Every verse is a canon of Divine Truth.

His discourse to the Jews in the fifth chapter of St. John's Gospel, is perhaps a still more striking instance.


Again, observe how the Evangelists heap His words together, though unconnected with each other, as if under a divine intimation, and with the consciousness that they were providing a code of doctrine and precept for the Church. Take for instance, at the end of the ninth chapter of St. Luke: "Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be the greatest; and Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by Him, and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in My name, receiveth Me; and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth Him that sent Me; for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with {295} us; and Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is for us. And when His disciples, James and John, saw "that the Samaritans did not receive Him, "they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did? But He turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; for the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives but to save them. And a certain man said unto Him, Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest; and Jesus said unto Him, Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head. And He said to another, Follow Me; and he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father; Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee, but let me first go bid them farewell which are at home at my house; and Jesus said unto him, No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God." Here are six solemn declarations made one after another, with little or no connexion.

The twenty-second chapter of St. Matthew would supply a similar series of sacred maxims; or again, the eighteenth,—in which the separate verses, though succeeding one the other with somewhat more of connexion, are yet complete each in itself, and very momentous.

No one can doubt, indeed, that as the narratives of His miracles are brought together in one as divine signs, so His sayings are accumulated as lessons.


Or take again the very commencement of His prophetical ministrations, and observe how His words run. He opens His mouth in accents of grace, and still they fall into short and expressive sentences. The first: "How is {296} it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" The second: "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh Us to fulfil all righteousness." The third: "Woman, what am I to thee? Mine hour is not yet come." The fourth: "Take these things hence: make not My Father's house a house of merchandise." The fifth: "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

The same peculiarity shows itself in His conflict with Satan. He strikes and overthrows him, as David slew the giant, with a sling and with a stone, with three words selected out of the Old Testament: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God." "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve."

In like manner, His utterances from time to time at His crucifixion even go by the name of His seven last words.

Again: His parables, and often His actions, as His washing His disciples' feet and paying the tribute, are instances of a similar peculiarity.


Now, let it be observed, I am not venturing to conjecture what our Lord's usual mode of conversation was; I am only speaking of it so far as it was of a public and formal character, intended for everlasting memory in the Church. But who else among the Prophets, from the beginning of the Bible to the end, thus speaks "in proverbs," to use His own account of His teaching? Whose incidental sayings but His are thus collected and preserved by the inspired writers [Note 3]? And thus, according to the text {297} which He Himself quotes, we do really live by every word which proceedeth from His mouth. Certainly this separates Him on the whole from other Prophets, whatever exceptions there may be to the general rule, or whatever resemblance St. James and St. John may bear to Him in their Epistles.

Such in character is our Lord's teaching, impressed with the signs of that sovereign dignity which we know belonged to Him; and, being such as it is, it surely indisposes us to look for it elsewhere than where we originally find it. For, as any one may see, it has not the character of diffuse and lavish communications; it is not so exuberant, various, or vague, as to lead us to expect portions of it scattered through the records of Antiquity. We have actual evidence from the Gospels themselves, that in the midst of His condescension, our Lord was sparing in His words and actions, and that every single deed or word was in one sense complete. To His own indeed, to those who lay upon His breast at supper, or conversed with Him for forty days, He might vouchsafe to tell much, whether in the way of prophecy, or interpretation of Scripture, or Church discipline; and the result, nay, perhaps portions of such instructions, may remain among us to this day. But I speak of the formal declarations of His word and will; to which the witness of His Apostles, derived from His private teaching, would be subordinate and as a comment; and these, I say, are not prodigally bestowed. He utters the same precept again and again, and repeats His miracles. The very manner, then, of His teaching, as recorded in Scripture, rather disinclines us than otherwise to expect portions of it out of Scripture; and in matter of fact it is not to be found elsewhere. Of this teaching, remarkable both from its Author and its style, Tradition contains no remains. The new Law is preserved by the four Evangelists alone. The force of this remark will be seen by considering {298} its exceptions. One solitary instance is furnished by a passage of the Book of Acts, where St. Paul preserves a sentence of our Lord's, which is omitted in the Gospels: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Two other precepts are preserved by Antiquity; the one by several early writers, "Be ye approved money-changers;" the other by St. Jerome, "Be ye never very glad, but when ye see your brother live in charity." [Note 4]


Here then is a broad line of distinction between the written and the unwritten word. Whatever be the treasures of the latter, it has not this pre-eminent gift, the custody of our Lord's teaching. I might, then, for argument's sake, even grant to Roman Catholics in the abstract all that they claim for Tradition as a vehicle of truth, and then challenge them to avail themselves of the allowance; in fact, to add to the sentences of the New Law, if they can. No; the Gospels remain the sole record of Him who spake as never man spake; and it is some kind of corroboration that they are so, that they confessedly contain so much as is really to be found in them. How is it, unless they are the formal record of the New Covenant, that they have in them all the rudiments of Christian {299} Truth as it has ever been received by all branches of the Church, by Roman Catholics as well as ourselves? Their containing so much is, as far as it goes, a presumption that they contain all; they seem to tend towards completeness. Roman Catholics, I suppose, allow that Baptism and the Eucharist are the especial ordinances of the New Law, and have a certain priority of rank over the other Sacraments. Now, if they ground this on their being expressly ordained in Scripture, they seem to confess that things prescribed therein are of more importance than what is derived through the medium of Tradition. If they do not, then it rests with them to account for this singular accident, viz., the coincidence of their being prescribed in Scripture, and their also being the chief ordinances of the Gospel. Certainly, coincidences such as this, lead to the surmise that Scripture is intended to be that which it is actually, the record of the greater matters of the Law of Christ. "Is not all that we know of the life and death of Jesus," asks Bishop Taylor, "set down in the writings of the New Testament? Is there any one miracle that ever Christ did the notice of which is conveyed to us by Tradition? Do we know anything that Christ did or said, but what is in Scripture? ... How is it possible that the Scriptures should not contain all things necessary to salvation, when of all the words of Christ, in which certainly all necessary things to salvation must needs be contained, or else they were never revealed, there is not any one saying, or miracle, or story of Christ, in anything that is material, preserved in any indubitable record, but in Scripture alone?" [Note 5]


In this passage, Bishop Taylor assumes that our Lord's teaching contains all things necessary to salvation; an opinion, which, in addition to the indirect evidence resulting {300} from the foregoing remarks, seems to be sanctioned by the concluding words of St. John. Let it be remembered, he wrote what may be considered a supplement to the three preceding Gospels. Surely, then, the inspired Apostle speaks in the following passages as if he were sealing up the records of his Saviour's life, and of the Christian Law, after selecting from the materials which the other Evangelists had passed over, such additions as were necessary for the strength and comfort of faith. Surely, the following passages taken together, tend to increase the improbability already pointed out, that our faith, as to greater matters, has been turned over to the information of Tradition, however well authenticated. "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name." "And he that saw it, bare record; and his record is true. And he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe." [Note 6] Here St. John, closing the record of our Lord's life, declares, that out of the numberless things which might be added to the former Gospels, he has added so much as is necessary for faith; and implies moreover, as if it were a principle, that in things supernatural proposed for our acceptance, the testimony of the original witnesses may be expected, and not such secondary information as mere Tradition at best must be accounted.

It will be replied, I suppose, that St. John is speaking of miracles, not of doctrines; as if we were not allowed to detect a great principle in the inspired {301} text, though conveyed in a form of expression arising out of the immediate events which led to his bequeathing it to us. For he surely uses language which generalizes his statement, and makes the particular case but one instance of what he really meant in fulness. When he says, "there were many other things which Jesus did," [Note 7] what else can he mean but simply, "much more might be told concerning Him when on earth," whether of His words or works being an irrelevant distinction? It is the more strange that such an exception should be taken, though it is taken, because all parties understand the principle of extending the meaning of texts, and apply it in many important cases. Both Protestants and Roman Catholics agree with us in understanding our Lord's "suffering little children to come unto Him," as a sanction for infant Baptism. There is nothing extravagant then in the notion of such an extended interpretation of the words before us; and in the particular instance it is sanctioned by the authority of St. Austin. He explains them as follows: "The Holy Evangelist testifies that the Lord Christ said and did many things which are not written. Those were selected for writing which appeared to be sufficient for the salvation of believers." [Note 8] St. Austin becomes in this passage a witness of our doctrine, as well as of our interpretation of the particular text.


I have said all this by way of refuting what is a favourite theme with the Roman controversialist, that the New Testament consists of merely accidental documents, and that our maintenance of its exclusive divinity is gratuitous and arbitrary. And to this I have replied, that {302} at least there is something in it peculiar and singular, viz. our Lord's teaching. However, to this representation, two objections will be made, which deserve attention; first, that it does not avail except by narrowing the Canon of Scripture within the limits of the Gospels, to the exclusion of the Old Testament and the Apostolic Epistles; next, that after all, the characteristic doctrines of Christianity are found in the Epistles, not in our Lord's teaching. These I shall consider together.


Now the fact is not as the latter objection represents it. The doctrines of our faith are really promulgated by Christ Himself. There is no truth which St. Paul or St. John declares, which He does not anticipate. Which of them all can He be said to omit? He names "the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;" He announces Himself as "the Only-begotten Son, given by the Father to the world, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life;" "the Son of Man, which is in heaven;" "having glory with the Father before the world was;" "giving His life a ransom instead of many;" and, after His resurrection, having "all power in heaven and earth." He declares that without a new birth of "water and the Spirit," there is no entrance into "the kingdom of heaven;" that except we "eat His flesh and drink His blood, there is no life in us." He prays that we may be all "one in Him, as He and His Father are one;" and He promises to "build His Church," and that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." If we had only the Gospels, we should have in them all the great doctrines of the Epistles, all the articles of the Creed; only, in consequence of our Saviour's peculiar style, as already described, His announcement of them is not assisted by the context. Every word of His is complete in {303} itself; in half a sentence He states a mysterious truth, and passes on. And it has ever been the fallacy of heretical interpretation to measure the depth of the text by the immediate context; as, for instance, in the discourse in the tenth chapter of St. John, which ends with, "I and My Father are One;"—words which mean far more than the context requires; and "who proceedeth from the Father," in chapter the fifteenth.


And this is one main reason, it would seem, why the Epistles are vouchsafed to us; not so much to increase the Revelation, as to serve as a comment upon it, as taught by our Lord; to bring out and fix His sacred sense, lest we should by any means miss it. That this was the office of the Apostles, and not that of preaching a new and additional revelation, is surely implied by our Lord when He promises them the gift of the Holy Ghost. For instance: "These things have I spoken unto you," He says, "being yet present with you; but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Again, after telling them they could not bear as yet to be told the whole Truth, and that the Holy Spirit would teach it them, (words, which do not imply that He had not Himself uttered it, only that He had not conveyed it home to their minds,) He proceeds: "He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you." [Note 9] Now whatever else these words mean, they seem to imply what the former {304} passage expresses literally, that the Comforter would use and explain Christ's own teaching; not begin anew, but merely develope it. That some deep and heavenly mystery is implied in the words, "whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak," I doubt not; yet it seems to relate also to what took place on earth. It is part of the condescension of the Persons of the Ever-blessed Trinity, that They vouchsafe to allow the adorable mysteries of heaven to be adumbrated in some inscrutable way on earth. The Eternal Son was subjected to a generation in time; He received the Spirit in time; and the Spirit proceeded from the Father to Him, and them from Both, in time. The texts which speak of what took place in eternity, are also fulfilled in the economy of redemption [Note 10]. And in like manner, I say, whatever else is meant by the words in question, this is meant also, that the Holy Ghost, as is expressly said in the corresponding passage, would bring Christ's words to their remembrance. The office of the Holy Ghost, then, lay in "glorifying" Christ; in opening the minds of the Apostles for their better remembering, understanding, and preaching of all that was their Lord's, of His person, His mission, His works, His trials, His sufferings, and among the rest, His words,—in exalting Him as the Prophet of the Church, as well as her Priest and King. In one of the clauses it is added, "He will show you things to come," and this will be found to complete the description of the inspiration which the Apostles received; viz., understanding in our Lord's words, and the gift of prophecy. Their writings are actually made up of these two, prophecy and doctrine.


The same general meaning comes within the scope of a later verse of the chapter last quoted. "These things {305} have I spoken unto you in proverbs; but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly," that is, in explicit words, "of the Father." [John xvi. 25.]

To the same purport is our Lord's parting charge, recorded by another Evangelist. "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to keep all things, whatsoever I have commanded you." [Matt. xxviii. 18, 19.] The revelation had been already made to the Apostles; it was like seed deposited in their hearts, which, under the influences of heavenly grace, would, in due season, germinate, and become "the power of God unto salvation" to all that believed.

A number of passages in the Gospels will occur to every inquirer, which take the same view of our Lord's teaching, viz., that it was not mere instruction conveyed in accidental words, but that it consisted of formal and precise sayings and actions afterwards to be opened and illustrated by the Apostles; some of these shall now be cited.

"These things understood not His disciples at the first: but, when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things unto Him."

He says to St. Peter, before washing his feet, "What I do, thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter."

When He had bidden them to keep the miracle of the Transfiguration secret till after His resurrection, "they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean."

At another time Christ says, "What I tell you in darkness, {306} that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops."


We have a remarkable instance of this gradual illumination in the way in which they learned that the Gentiles were to be called. After His resurrection, Christ enlightened them, we know, in many things; it is said expressly, "Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures." The sacred narrative continues: "and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Who would not have supposed that His words now at length came to their minds in their full meaning? but it was far otherwise; the Holy Ghost had not descended, and they were still ignorant of the calling of the Gentiles.

In the calling of Cornelius, however, the divine purposes were at length illustrated fully and finally; but it is very deserving of notice, that though the Holy Ghost was the gracious Agent in the revelation, as our Saviour had given them to expect, yet St. Peter, instead of regarding His guidance as a new and independent source of truth, promptly refers his increased insight into the Gospel to our Lord's teaching. "Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost." He perceived that that religion which was spirit and truth, could not be confined to place or nation.


Again; when the women came to the sepulchre, the Angels said to them, "He is not here, but is risen; {307} remember how He spake unto you when He was yet in Galilee."

Further; the last chapter of St. John's Gospel seems to supply a striking instance of the religious caution with which the Apostles treated His words, resisting wrong interpretations, but there stopping, contemplating them even in ignorance, rather than superseding them. "Then went this saying abroad among the brethren that that disciple should not die; yet Jesus said not unto him, he shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" To have our Lord's words was in their judgment the principal thing, to aim at comprehending them secondary, and not to be impatiently attempted.

In this connexion, I may notice as remarkable the sameness of expression under which the three Evangelists record our Lord's consecration of the Bread in the Holy Eucharist. All three use precisely the same words, "This is My body." They were, it would seem, more bent on recording our Lord's words than interpreting them. Were the notions now popular among us true, one Evangelist would have worded it, "This is a figure of My Body;" another, "This imparts the benefits of My Body;" and a third, "This is a pledge of receiving My Spirit." But the sacred writers seem to have understood that our Lord's words were too solemn to paraphrase. As a contrast to this, we find that Pilate's inscription on the cross is recorded by each Evangelist with some accidental variation [Note 11].


Enough has now been said to show, not only the peculiar prerogative of the Gospels, but the position also of the Apostolic Epistles in the revelation. They are on the {308} whole an inspired comment upon the Gospels, opening our Lord's meaning, and eliciting even from obscure or ordinary words and unpretending facts, high and heavenly truths. On the other hand, our Lord's teaching in the Gospels acts as a rule and key to the Epistles; it gives them their proportions, and adjusts their contents to their respective place and uses. So far from His teaching superseding theirs, as may at first sight be objected to the view under consideration, it rather recognizes and requires it. And, as to the Old Testament, far from being put aside on this view of the revelation, it is delivered to us on the same authority, under the seal of canonicity impressed upon it by Christ Himself. There is something beautiful in this appointment. Christ is the great Prophet of the Church, and His teaching is as truly her law, as His death and intercession are her life. In that teaching the whole canon centres, as for its proof, so for its harmonious adjustment. Christ recognizes the Law and the Prophets, and commissions the Apostles.


These then are some presumptions in favour of attributing a special sacredness to the New Testament over and above other sources of divine truth, however venerable. It is in very name Christ's Testament; it is an inspired text; and it contains the Canons of the New Law, dictated by Christ, commented on by His Apostles and by the Prophets beforehand. Though then, as the Romanists object, it be incomplete in form, it is not in matter; it has a hidden and beautiful design in it. Why we limit it to the particular books of which it is composed, will be seen in the next Lecture, in which, passing from antecedent presumptions, such as have here been discussed, I shall draw out the direct proof of the Article on which we are engaged.

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1. Apol. i. 14. Constit. Monast. i.
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2. Hieron. in Gal. vi. 10. Cyprian in Orat. Dom. 18.
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3. E.g. David's saying, recorded 2 Sam. xxiii. 17, is a similar instance, and xxiv. 14, 24.
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4. Acts xx. 35. Origen. t. 19. in Joan. viii. 20., Hieron. quoted in Taylor's Dissuasive. The [ginesthe] &c. is from an apocryphal work according to Ussher, Prol. in Ign. viii. 7. Val. in Eus. et Socr. Huet. Origen. Cotteler thinks it a marginal note on the Gospels; Const. Apost. ii. 36: and Suicer. Thesaur. ii. 1283, that it is taken from the parables in Matt. xxv. 25, Luke xix., 12. Jones on the Canon collects all the sayings attributed to Christ in the writings of the first four centuries, of which three alone deserve any notice, in addition to the above, viz. those in Justin Martyr, Dial. p. 267 (as Jones quotes it), in Iren. Hær. i. 20, and in Athenag. Leg. 32 fin., which last, if it were genuine, would remarkably illustrate Rom. xvi. 16; 1 Cor. xvi. 20; 2 Cor. xiii. 12; 1 Thess. v. 26; 1 Pet. v. 14. Vid. also Koerner. (de Serm. Christi [agraphois], Lips. 1776); he refers to instances in Bernab. 4 init. Clem, Ep. i. 23.
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5. Dissuasive, part ii. book i. § 2.
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6. John xxi. 25; xx. 30, 31; xix. 35.
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7. He has just recorded a saying of Christ's.
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8. August. Tract. in Joann. 49.
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9. John xiv. 25, 26; xvi. 13, 14. Vid. Cyr. Catech. xvi. 14, also Heb. ii. 1-4.
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10. E.g. Ps. ii. 7.
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11. John xii. 16; xiii. 7. Mark ix. 10. Matt. x. 27. Luke xxiv. 45-47. Acts xi. 16. Luke xxiv. 6. John xxi. 23 and Matt. xxvi. 26. Mark xiv. 22. Luke xxii. 19, also 1 Cor. xi. 24, with Matt. xxvii. 37. Mark xv. 26. Luke xxiii. 38. John xix. 19.
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