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traditions, all error of man must needs give place." THEOPHYLACT, writing upon these words in the Gospel by St. John, “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber,” m saith : “ He entereth not in by the door, that is, by the Scriptures : for he doth not use the Scri res nor the Prophets as witnesses. For indeed the Scriptures are the door by which we are brought to God, and they suffer not the wolves to come in : they keep off heretics, that we may be in safety ; and they teach us the reason of any thing, wherein we would be instructed: therefore he is a thief which entereth not into the sheepfold by the Scriptures. And by the Scriptures it appeareth he is a thief that climbeth up another way; that is, maketh himself another

way which was not known, nor beaten: such an one shall Antichrist be.”. What greater profit? —they bring us to God, teach us the truth, and give us reason of all things; they keep us in safety, suffer not wolves to devour us, keep off heretics, bewray [detect] a thief, and make known who is Antichrist.-Therefore, upon the Gospel by St. Luke, he expoundeth these words, “Let your lights be burning ;" • that is, “ Have not your being in the darkness, and be ye not void of judgment; but take unto you the light of God's word, which will teach you what things you should do, and what things you ought not to do.” p

And as the word of God is the light 10 direct us, and to bewray errors, so it is also the standard and beam to try the weights of truth and falsehood. CHRYSOSTOM, writing upon the twenty-fourth of Matthew, showeth it were impossible for a man to stay himself, and find out which is the true Church, but by the word of God. ** For it could not be tried by working of miracles, because the gift of working miracles is taken away ; and such false miracles as carry some show, are rather to be found among false Christians : nor yet by their conversation and life, because Christians live either as ill or worse than heretics. There can be no trial of true Christianity; and Christians which desire to know the truth, whereupon they may build their faith, have no other refuge, but to try and learn this by the Scriptures. For,” saith he,“ heretics have the counterfeit 9 and likeness of those things which are proper to CHRIST: they have churches; they have the Scriptures of God; they have baptism; they have the Lord's Supper; and all other things like the true Church: yea, they have CHRIST himself. He therefore that will know which is the true Church of CHRIST, how may he know it, but by the Scriptures? Therefore our LORD, knowing that there should be such confusion of things in the latter days, commandeth that Christians, which live in the profession of Christian faith, and are desirous to settle themselves upon a sure ground of faith, should go to no other thing, but to the Scriptures. Otherwise, if they had regard to other things, they should be offended and perish, and not understand which is the true Church.'

1 "Si ad divinæ traditionis caput et originem revertamur, cessat omnis error humanus.” CYPR. ad Pompeium. in John x. 1.

THEOPHYLACT. Comm. in Joan. . Luke xii. 35. P THEOPHYLACT. Comm. in Luc.

The master of a ship, when he is on the main sea, casteth his eye always upon the load-star [the pole-star), and so directeth and guideth his ways. Even so must we, which are passengers and strangers in this world, ever settle our eyes to behold the word of God: so shall no tempest over-blow us ; so shall we be guided without danger; so shall we safely arrive in the haven of our rest. The prophet David therefore saith, “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and seek him with the whole heart. Their faces shall not be ashamed, they shall not be confounded, which have respect unto his commandments." s • Blessed is the man, whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth exercise himself day and night." 66 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom unto the simple." u

This is the rule of our faith. Without this, our faith is but a fantasy, and no faith ; for "faith cometh by

4 [This word is here used in an obsolete sense, to signify the 'exact representation,'-literally 'the impression left by a seal or stamp.') 's Chrysost. in Op. Imperfect. Hom. 49. « Ps. cxix. 2. 6. t Ps, i. 2.

u Ps. xix. 7.

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hearing, and hearing by the word of God.", Therefore Christ saith, “Search the Scriptures; they are they that testify of me:"w there shall ye find testimony of my doctrine ; there shall ye know what is the will of my heavenly Father, and there shall ye receive the comfort for everlasting life. Again : “He that followeth me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.--If a man keep my word, he shall know the truth-he shall never see death.” Therefore Baruch saith, “ O Israel, we are blessed, for the things that are acceptable unto God are declared unto us :"y this is thy blessedness; herein hath God showed his favour unto thee; he hath revealed the secrets of his will unto thee, and hath put his word in thy mouth. “ He showed his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel : he hath not dealt so with every: nation, neither have they known his judgments.'

Therefore the prophet David teacheth us to pray unto God for the knowledge of his word.

* Show me thy ways, O LORD, and teach me thy paths :" b o take not thy holy Spirit from me;'

;" C " and incline my heart unto thy testimonies. Give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. Open mine eyes, that I may see the wonders of thy law.” And, “Lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death ;"e that I may discern between safety and danger, that I may know truth to be truth, and error to be error,

"a

Thus I have declared part of that profit which groweth to us by the word of God. But it doth not only direct our judgment in the trial of truth, but also doth graft in us a boldness and constancy in the defence of truth,

Solomon saith, “A fool changeth as the moon :"{ v Rom. x. 17.

w John v. 39. * John vñi. 12. 31.51. y Baruch iv. 4. [See Note 8, page 262.]

2 [So JEWELL, probably following an old version. The Prayer Book, (or Bishop's Bible,) and Authorized Version, read any.'}

a Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20.
• Ps. XXV. 4.
e Ps. li. 11.
4 Ps. cxix. 36. 73. 18.
e Ps. xiii, 3.

(JEWELL's memory deceived him, in making this quotation ; it is. not only from the Apocrypha, but from a book never attributed to. Solomon.-Ecelus. xxvii. 11.)

he is always unstable and inconstant; he knoweth not what to do, nor what to believe; he is sometimes full, and sometimes empty, and turneth and changeth as the moon; he buildeth and layeth his foundation upon the sand, therefore his house falleth to the ground ;5 he halteth on both sides, sometimes he worshippeth God, and sometimes he worshippeth Baal ;" he is neither hot nor cold ;i he ebbeth and floweth like the waves of the sea ;' he doubteth and staggereth, and resteth in nothing; he knoweth not the truth, he knoweth not that the Scriptures are the word of God, so he wandereth in the dark, and knoweth not the way in which he walketh ;' he hath no feeling, no heart, no understanding; he is unfaithful towards God, and keepeth no faith towards man; he is wavering in all his ways. And why? Because he knoweth not the will of God, nor hath the light of his word to guide his feet.

But a wise man is one and steadfast as the sun. He buildeth his house on a rock," and that rock is JESUS Christ,o the Son of God. Therefore his house is never shaken down : be the storm or tempest never so rough, yet it shall stand fast like mount Sion, because his trust is in the name of the LORD.P He knoweth that his name is written in the book of life ; he knoweth that he belongeth to the Lord's sheepfold, and that no man can take him away out of the Lord's hand.a

In this boldness David saith : “ Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”"And again,

56 The Lord is my light and my salvation ; whom shall I fear?”', And again : Except thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.". When Hezekiah heard the proud message of Sennacherib sent to him and his people by Rabshakeh, that they should not obey Hezekiah, nor trust in him when he said, “ The Lord will deliver you;” and, “Let not thy God deceive thee, in whom thou trustest;"-he went up into the house of the LORD, and prayed unto the LORD," to save him and his people out of their hands, • that all the kingdoms of the earth might know that he is God alone.” u-Even so the apostle, “ Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.” v And in this boldness our Saviour CHRIST settled himself to bear their reproaches, and to carry his cross. 6. Father, if thou be willing, take away this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” W-Thus they that are taught by the word of God to put their trust in the LORD, and are thereby rooted and settled in him, cannot be removed by any practice of Satan, but stand fast and continue for ever.

& Matt. vii. 26, 27.
k James i. 6.
” Matt, vii. 24, 25.
9 John x. 16. 27–29.

Ps. cxix. 92.

h 1 Kings xviii, 21.
1 John xii. 35.
o 1 Cor. x. 4. iii. 11.
r Ps. xxiii. 4.

i Rev. iii. 15, 16.
m James i. 8.
p Ps. cxxv. 1.
8 Ps. xxvii. 1.

Which shall more plainly appear, if we look back into the times of persecution, and behold the boldness and constancy of the saints of God. They were brought before magistrates, cast into prison, spoiled of their goods, cruelly murdered ; some were hanged upon gibbets, soine run through with swords, some torn with wild horses, some drowned in the water, and some burnt in the fire. They were hated of all men for the name of Christ; they were despised as the filth of the world, and dung of the earth; yet continued they faithful until death, therefore God gave them a crown of glory. When they were called before kings and princes, and others of authority, and commanded to forsake the truth they had learned, and the comfort which they took in the truth, they answered in this manner: 'O my gracious

Lord, I would fain do your commandment; I am your • subject; I have done faithful service with my body and • with my goods, but I cannot serve you against God. • He is King of kings, and Lord of lords; he is my Lord, • before whom I stand ; I have put my life in his hands ; • he hath forbidden me to do this thing which you • command, I cannot therefore do it. Judge uprightly • whether it be meet to obey you rather than God. My living, my wife, my children, and my life, are dear • unto me: I am a man like others, and have my affections: yet neither living, nor wife, nor children, nor my life, is so dear unto me as the glory of God. I am bụt a

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u 2 Kings xix. 9–19.
w Luke xxii. 42.

v Rom. xiv. 8.
x Heb. xi. 34-40.

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