« 前へ次へ »
profitable and comfortable they be in all cases and parts of our life? In adversity, in prosperity, in life, and in death, they are our especial comfort. If we must fight, they are a sword; if we hunger, they are meat; if we thirst, they are drink; if we have no dwelling-place, they are a house; if we be naked, they are a garment; if we be in darkness, they be light unto our going. They are comfortable to kings, to subjects ; to old men, to young men ; to man and to wife; to father and to child ; to master and to servant; to captain and to soldier ; to preacher and people ; to the learned, and to the unlearned ; to the wise, and to the simple. They are comfortable in peace, in war; in heaviness, in joy ; in health and sickness; in abundance, in poverty ; in the daytime, in the night season; in the town, in the wilderness ; in company, and when thou art alone. For they teach faith, hope, patience, charity, sobriety, humility, righteousness, and all godliness. They teach us to live, and they teach us to die.
Therefore hath Paul said well, The whole Scripture is profitable :d it is full of great comfort; it maketh the man of God absolute and perfect unto all good works ;e perfect in faith, perfect in hope, perfect in the love of God and of his neighbour; perfect in his life, and perfect in his death. So great, so large and ample, and heavenly, is the profit which we do reap by the word of God.
Now it followeth, that we consider how necessary and needful it is for us to be guided by the word of God, in the whole trade of our life.
The word of God is that unto our souls, which our soul is unto our body. As the body dieth when the soul departeth, so the soul of man dieth, when it hath not the knowledge of God. 6. Man liveth not by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of GOD.' “ Behold,” saith God, “I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD ;"5 their tongue shall wither, their heart shall starve, they
m 2 Tim. ii. 16.
e 2 Tim. iii. 17.
shall die of hunger ; they shall wander from sea to sea; and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”
They shall stumble at noon-day, as in the night; they shall grope for the wall like the blind, and truth shall fall in their streets."i
For how shall they be saved, unless they call on the name of the LORD? “How shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed ? how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher ? and how shall they preach, except they be sent ?!? Chrysostom therefore
“ Neither can it be—I say it cannot be, that any man shall attain to salvation, except he be always occupied in spiritual reading.” The wise man saith, “Where there is no prophecy, the people decay :") when the Scriptures are not opened—when there is none that can edify, and exhort, and comfort the people by the word of God—they must needs perish; for they know not the way in which they should walk ; they know not whom to honour, nor upon whose name they should call; they know neither what to believe, nor what to do. “Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure ;"m and they that are wilful and ignorant, and the children of darkness, go down into it. They become thrall and captives unto Satan ; their heart is bound up; they understand nothing ; their ears are stopped up, they can hear nothing; their eyes are shut up, they can see nothing ;" they are carried away as a prey into hell, because they have not the knowledge of God."
So doth CHRIST tell the Sadducees, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God."Thus he teacheth, that error is the child of ignorance : The cause why you are so deceived, is because you know not the Scriptures; you have hated the light, and loved darkness ;' you have neither known the Father nor me.'' He that knoweth not the truth of God, knoweth not God.
h Amos viii, 12. i Isa, lix, 10. 14. * Rom. x, 13, 14.
* [Such was the reading of Prov. xxix. 18, in the old translation, from which JEWELL quotes : relying on that translation, he considers
prophecy' as applying to the revealed word of God. The present version - Where there is no vision, the people perish- -seems to require that the declaration should be limited to immediate revelation.] m Isa. v, 14. Isą. vi. 9, 10,
• Ps, ix, 17. p Matt. xxii, 29.
Herein, in this case, there is no plea of ignorance. Ignorance will not excuse us. CHRYSOSTOM saith, " Thou wilt say, 'I have not heard the Scriptures.' This is no excuse, but a sin."s Again he saith,
This is the working of the devil's inspiration ; he would not suffer us to see the treasure, lest we should get the riches ; therefore he counselJeth us, that it utterly availeth us nothing to hear the laws of God, lest that upon the hearing he may see our doing follow.” GREGORY saith, “Whoso know not the things that pertain unto the LORD, be not known of the LORD:", ORIGEN also giveth reason of this practice of Satan : "Unto the devils it is a torment above all kinds of torment, and a pain above all pains, if they see any man reading the word of God, and with fervent study searching the knowledge of God's law, and the mysteries and secrets of the Scriptures. Herein standeth all the flame of the devils ; in this fire they are tormented, for they are seized' and possessed of all them that remain in ignorance."
Carneades, a philosopher, was wont to say of his master and reader* Chrysippus, . If it had not been for Chrysippus, I never had been any body; he was my master and teacher; he made me learned ; whatsoever I have, I have it of him.' How much better may we use the like words of the Scripture, and say, “Unless it were for the word of God, our wisdom were nothing, and our knowledge were nothing. Whatsoever we have, we have it by the word. Without it our prayer were no prayer; without it our sacraments were no sacraments; our faith were no faith; our conscience were no conscience; our Church were no Church.'
9 John iü. 19, 20.
r. John xvi. 3. CHRYSOST. Hom. 17 ad Heb, * Id. Hom. 2 in Math.
“Qui ea, quæ sunt Domini, nesciunt, a Domino nesciuntur.' GREG. Mag. in Pastoral. Lib. I. c. i.
[The term is here used in its legal signification—seized of a thing it having it actually in possession.]
W ORIG. Hom, 27 in Num. * [Lecturer.
away the light of the sun, and what remaineth but darkness? Heaven and earth are darkened: no man can see his way, or discern the things about him. Even so, if the word of God be taken away, what remaineth, but miserable confusion and deadly ignorance?
When the Philistines had shorn the hairs of Samson, they fell upon him, took him, bound bim, and plucked out his eyes; they danced about him, and made scorn and games of him. We are Samson ; the strength of our hairs is the knowledge of the will of God; it is laid up in our heads, in the highest and principal part of us; if that be shorn off—if we be kept from hearing, reading, and understanding of the word of God—then will error, superstition, and all wickedness, get the upper hand, and fall upon us, and bind us, and pluck out our eyes, and make scorn of us, and utterly destroy us.
When the people of Jerusalem were besieged, and wanted food to eat, they fed on rats and mice, and many unwholesome and filthy things. A woman was driven for want of meat to do a cruel part upon her own child; she took her own babe, which was the fruit of her own body, killed it, cut it in pieces, dressed it, and fed upon it-a loathsome meat, especially for a mother, to eat her own child! But she was driven to it by extremity and hunger; it was so cruel a thing to lack wherewith life might be preserved.-Even so fared it with us and our fathers, after it pleased God to take away his Gospel, and to send a famine of hearing the word of the LORD. We were driven to eat those things which were loathsome and horrible to behold; we were driven to feed upon our own children, even the fantasies and vanities of our own heart. There was no substance in them, they could not feed us.?
In this case were the children of Israel, when they grew weary of the word of God, and left the ordinances set down unto them. God had no pleasure in them
» Judg. xvi.
» [JEWELL refers to the absurd legends which in the guise of books of devotion, and even as a principal part of public worship, had excluded the Scriptures from common use, and even yet continue to usurp their placę, in the Church of Rome. See White's Evidence against Catholicism, p. 166--202, Am. ed.)
prayers and sacrifice were not accepted. “The
moons and Sabbaths,” saith the LORD, “the calling of assemblies I cannot away with.”. “Who hath required this at your hand ?!'a—In such case were the Scribes and Pharisees, when they forsook to be guided by the word of God, and took away the key of knowledge; they fed upon their own devices, they neglected the commandments and will of God, and followed their own traditions ; therefore ChrisT reproved them : “Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Therefore if we seek to know the sacraments of the Church, what they are ; if we would be instructed in the sacrament of baptism, or in the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ; if we would learn to know our Creator, and to put the difference between the Creator and a creature; if we desire to know what this présent life is, and what is that life which is to come ; if we would believe in God, and call upon the name of God, and do worship unto God; if we would be settled in perfect zeal and true knowledge ; if we would have an upright conscience towards God; if we would know which is the true Church of God; it is very needful that we hear the word of God. There is no other word that teacheth us unto salvation.e
Now it remaineth we speak of the delectation and pleasure which the word of God giveth.
“The word of God is full of sad [serious] and grave counsel; full of the knowledge of God, of examples of virtues, and of correction of vices, of the end of this life, and of the life to come. These are the contents of the word of God. These things,' say you, s are great and weighty of themselves, there is no vanity or pleasure in them.'
They are great and weighty, I grant: and because they are so weighty, they be the more worthy, that we
a Isa. i. 13. 12.
ç Matt. xv. 3,
b Luke xi. 52.