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Leviathan

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CHAPTER XXXII.
OF THE PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN POLITIQUES


The Word Of God Delivered By Prophets Is The Main Principle

Of Christian Politiques
I have derived the Rights of Soveraigne Power, and the duty of Subjects hitherto, from the Principles of Nature only; such as Experience has found true, or Consent (concerning the use of words) has made so; that is to say, from the nature of Men, known to us by Experience, and from Definitions (of such words as are Essentiall to all Politicall reasoning) universally agreed on. But in that I am next to handle, which is the Nature and Rights of a CHRISTIAN COMMON-WEALTH, whereof there dependeth much upon Supernaturall Revelations of the Will of God; the ground of my Discourse must be, not only the Naturall Word of God, but also the Propheticall.

Neverthelesse, we are not to renounce our Senses, and Experience; nor (that which is the undoubted Word of God) our naturall Reason. For they are the talents which he hath put into our hands to negotiate, till the coming again of our blessed Saviour; and therefore not to be folded up in the Napkin of an Implicate Faith, but employed in the purchase of Justice, Peace, and true Religion, For though there be many things in Gods Word above Reason; that is to say, which cannot by naturall reason be either demonstrated, or confuted; yet there is nothing contrary to it; but when it seemeth so, the fault is either in our unskilfull Interpretation, or erroneous Ratiocination.

Therefore, when any thing therein written is too hard for our examination, wee are bidden to captivate our understanding to the Words; and not to labour in sifting out a Philosophicall truth by Logick, of such mysteries as are not comprehensible, nor fall under any rule of naturall science. For it is with the mysteries of our Religion, as with wholsome pills for the sick, which swallowed whole, have the vertue to cure; but chewed, are for the most part cast up again without effect.

What It Is To Captivate The Understanding
But by the Captivity of our Understanding, is not meant a Submission of the Intellectual faculty, to the Opinion of any other man; but of the Will to Obedience, where obedience is due. For Sense, Memory, Understanding, Reason, and Opinion are not in our power to change; but alwaies, and necessarily such, as the things we see, hear, and consider suggest unto us; and therefore are not effects of our Will, but our Will of them. We then Captivate our Understanding and Reason, when we forbear contradiction; when we so speak, as (by lawfull Authority) we are commanded; and when we live accordingly; which in sum, is Trust, and Faith reposed in him that speaketh, though the mind be incapable of any Notion at all from the words spoken.

How God Speaketh To Men
When God speaketh to man, it must be either immediately; or by mediation of another man, to whom he had formerly spoken by himself immediately. How God speaketh to a man immediately, may be understood by those well enough, to whom he hath so spoken; but how the same should be understood by another, is hard, if not impossible to know. For if a man pretend to me, that God hath spoken to him supernaturally, and immediately, and I make doubt of it, I cannot easily perceive what argument he can produce, to oblige me to beleeve it. It is true, that if he be my Soveraign, he may oblige me to obedience, so, as not by act or word to declare I beleeve him not; but not to think any otherwise then my reason perswades me. But if one that hath not such authority over me, shall pretend the same, there is nothing that exacteth either beleefe, or obedience.

For to say that God hath spoken to him in the Holy Scripture, is not to say God hath spoken to him immediately, but by mediation of the Prophets, or of the Apostles, or of the Church, in such manner as he speaks to all other Christian men. To say he hath spoken to him in a Dream, is no more than to say he dreamed that God spake to him; which is not of force to win beleef from any man, that knows dreams are for the most part naturall, and may proceed from former thoughts; and such dreams as that, from selfe conceit, and foolish arrogance, and false opinion of a mans own godlinesse, or other vertue, by which he thinks he hath merited the favour of extraordinary Revelation. To say he hath seen a Vision, or heard a Voice, is to say, that he hath dreamed between sleeping and waking: for in such manner a man doth many times naturally take his dream for a vision, as not having well observed his own slumbering. To say he speaks by supernaturall Inspiration, is to say he finds an ardent desire to speak, or some strong opinion of himself, for which he can alledge no naturall and sufficient reason. So that though God Almighty can speak to a man, by Dreams, Visions, Voice, and Inspiration; yet he obliges no man to beleeve he hath so done to him that pretends it; who (being a man), may erre, and (which is more) may lie.

By What Marks Prophets Are Known
How then can he, to whom God hath never revealed his Wil immediately (saving by the way of natural reason) know when he is to obey, or not to obey his Word, delivered by him, that sayes he is a Prophet? (1 Kings 22) Of 400 Prophets, of whom the K. of Israel asked counsel, concerning the warre he made against Ramoth Gilead, only Micaiah was a true one.(1 Kings 13) The Prophet that was sent to prophecy against the Altar set up by Jeroboam, though a true Prophet, and that by two miracles done in his presence appears to be a Prophet sent from God, was yet deceived by another old Prophet, that perswaded him as from the mouth of God, to eat and drink with him. If one Prophet deceive another, what certainty is there of knowing the will of God, by other way than that of Reason? To which I answer out of the Holy Scripture, that there be two marks, by which together, not asunder, a true Prophet is to be known. One is the doing of miracles; the other is the not teaching any other Religion than that which is already established. Asunder (I say) neither of these is sufficient. (Deut. 13 v. 1,2,3,4,5 ) “If a Prophet rise amongst you, or a Dreamer of dreams, and shall pretend the doing of a miracle, and the miracle come to passe; if he say, Let us follow strange Gods, which thou hast not known, thou shalt not hearken to him, &c. But that Prophet and Dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he hath spoken to you to Revolt from the Lord your God.” In which words two things are to be observed, First, that God wil not have miracles alone serve for arguments, to approve the Prophets calling; but (as it is in the third verse) for an experiment of the constancy of our adherence to himself. For the works of the Egyptian Sorcerers, though not so great as those of Moses, yet were great miracles. Secondly, that how great soever the miracle be, yet if it tend to stir up revolt against the King, or him that governeth by the Kings authority, he that doth such miracle, is not to be considered otherwise than as sent to make triall of their allegiance. For these words, “revolt from the Lord your God,” are in this place equivalent to “revolt from your King.” For they had made God their King by pact at the foot of Mount Sinai; who ruled them by Moses only; for he only spake with God, and from time to time declared Gods Commandements to the people. In like manner, after our Saviour Christ had made his Disciples acknowledge him for the Messiah, (that is to say, for Gods anointed, whom the nation of the Jews daily expected for their King, but refused when he came,) he omitted not to advertise them of the danger of miracles. “There shall arise,” (saith he) “false Christs, and false Prophets, and shall doe great wonders and miracles, even to the seducing (if it were possible) of the very Elect.” (Mat. 24. 24) By which it appears, that false Prophets may have the power of miracles; yet are wee not to take their doctrin for Gods Word. St. Paul says further to the Galatians, that “if himself, or an Angell from heaven preach another Gospel to them, than he had preached, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1. 8) That Gospel was, that Christ was King; so that all preaching against the power of the King received, in consequence to these words, is by St. Paul accursed. For his speech is addressed to those, who by his preaching had already received Jesus for the Christ, that is to say, for King of the Jews.

The Marks Of A Prophet In The Old Law, Miracles, And Doctrine Conformable To The Law
And as Miracles, without preaching that Doctrine which God hath established; so preaching the true Doctrine, without the doing of Miracles, is an unsufficient argument of immediate Revelation. For if a man that teacheth not false Doctrine, should pretend to bee a Prophet without shewing any Miracle, he is never the more to bee regarded for his pretence, as is evident by Deut. 18. v. 21, 22. “If thou say in thy heart, How shall we know that the Word (of the Prophet) is not that which the Lord hath spoken. When the Prophet shall have spoken in the name of the Lord, that which shall not come to passe, that’s the word which the Lord hath not spoken, but the Prophet has spoken it out of the pride of his own heart, fear him not.” But a man may here again ask, When the Prophet hath foretold a thing, how shal we know whether it will come to passe or not? For he may foretel it as a thing to arrive after a certain long time, longer then the time of mans life; or indefinitely, that it will come to passe one time or other: in which case this mark of a Prophet is unusefull; and therefore the miracles that oblige us to beleeve a Prophet, ought to be confirmed by an immediate, or a not long deferr’d event. So that it is manifest, that the teaching of the Religion which God hath established, and the showing of a present Miracle, joined together, were the only marks whereby the Scripture would have a true Prophet, that is to say immediate Revelation to be acknowledged; neither of them being singly sufficient to oblige any other man to regard what he saith.

Miracles Ceasing, Prophets Cease, The Scripture Supplies Their Place
Seeing therefore Miracles now cease, we have no sign left, whereby to acknowledge the pretended Revelations, or Inspirations of any private man; nor obligation to give ear to any Doctrine, farther than it is conformable to the Holy Scriptures, which since the time of our Saviour, supply the want of all other Prophecy; and from which, by wise and careful ratiocination, all rules and precepts necessary to the knowledge of our duty both to God and man, without Enthusiasme, or supernaturall Inspiration, may easily be deduced. And this Scripture is it, out of which I am to take the Principles of my Discourse, concerning the Rights of those that are the Supream Govenors on earth, of Christian Common-wealths; and of the duty of Christian Subjects towards their Soveraigns. And to that end, I shall speak in the next Chapter, or the Books, Writers, Scope and Authority of the Bible.


CHAPTER XXXIII.
OF THE NUMBER, ANTIQUITY, SCOPE, AUTHORITY, AND INTERPRETERS OF THE BOOKS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE


Of The Books Of Holy Scripture
By the Books of Holy SCRIPTURE, are understood those, which ought to be the Canon, that is to say, the Rules of Christian life. And because all Rules of life, which men are in conscience bound to observe, are Laws; the question of the Scripture, is the question of what is Law throughout all Christendome, both Naturall, and Civill. For though it be not determined in Scripture, what Laws every Christian King shall constitute in his own Dominions; yet it is determined what laws he shall not constitute. Seeing therefore I have already proved, that Soveraigns in their own Dominions are the sole Legislators; those Books only are Canonicall, that is, Law, in every nation, which are established for such by the Soveraign Authority. It is true, that God is the Soveraign of all Soveraigns; and therefore, when he speaks to any Subject, he ought to be obeyed, whatsoever any earthly Potentate command to the contrary. But the question is not of obedience to God, but of When, and What God hath said; which to Subjects that have no supernaturall revelation, cannot be known, but by that naturall reason, which guided them, for the obtaining of Peace and Justice, to obey the authority of their severall Common-wealths; that is to say, of their lawfull Soveraigns. According to this obligation, I can acknowledge no other Books of the Old Testament, to be Holy Scripture, but those which have been commanded to be acknowledged for such, by the Authority of the Church of England. What Books these are, is sufficiently known, without a Catalogue of them here; and they are the same that are acknowledged by St. Jerome, who holdeth the rest, namely, the Wisdome of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Judith, Tobias, the first and second of Maccabees, (though he had seen the first in Hebrew) and the third and fourth of Esdras, for Apocrypha. Of the Canonicall, Josephus a learned Jew, that wrote in the time of the Emperor Domitian, reckoneth Twenty Two, making the number agree with the Hebrew Alphabet. St. Jerome does the same, though they reckon them in different manner. For Josephus numbers Five Books of Moses, Thirteen of Prophets, that writ the History of their own times (which how it agrees with the Prophets writings contained in the Bible wee shall see hereafter), and Four of Hymnes and Morall Precepts. But St. Jerome reckons Five Books of Moses, Eight of Prophets, and Nine of other Holy writ, which he calls of Hagiographa. The Septuagint, who were 70. learned men of the Jews, sent for by Ptolemy King of Egypt, to translate the Jewish Law, out of the Hebrew into the Greek, have left us no other for holy Scripture in the Greek tongue, but the same that are received in the Church of England.

As for the Books of the New Testament, they are equally acknowledged for Canon by all Christian Churches, and by all sects of Christians, that admit any Books at all for Canonicall.

Their Antiquity
Who were the originall writers of the severall Books of Holy Scripture, has not been made evident by any sufficient testimony of other History, (which is the only proof of matter of fact); nor can be by any arguments of naturall Reason; for Reason serves only to convince the truth (not of fact, but) of consequence. The light therefore that must guide us in this question, must be that which is held out unto us from the Bookes themselves: And this light, though it show us not the writer of every book, yet it is not unusefull to give us knowledge of the time, wherein they were written.

The Pentateuch Not Written By Moses
And first, for the Pentateuch, it is not argument enough that they were written by Moses, because they are called the five Books of Moses; no more than these titles, The Book of Joshua, the Book of Judges, The Book of Ruth, and the Books of the Kings, are arguments sufficient to prove, that they were written by Joshua, by the Judges, by Ruth, and by the Kings. For in titles of Books, the subject is marked, as often as the writer. The History Of Livy, denotes the Writer; but the History Of Scanderbeg, is denominated from the subject. We read in the last Chapter of Deuteronomie, Ver. 6. concerning the sepulcher of Moses, “that no man knoweth of his sepulcher to this day,” that is, to the day wherein those words were written. It is therefore manifest, that those words were written after his interrement. For it were a strange interpretation, to say Moses spake of his own sepulcher (though by Prophecy), that it was not found to that day, wherein he was yet living. But it may perhaps be alledged, that the last Chapter only, not the whole Pentateuch, was written by some other man, but the rest not: Let us therefore consider that which we find in the Book of Genesis, Chap. 12. Ver. 6 “And Abraham passed through the land to the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh, and the Canaanite was then in the land;” which must needs bee the words of one that wrote when the Canaanite was not in the land; and consequently, not of Moses, who dyed before he came into it. Likewise Numbers 21. Ver. 14. the Writer citeth another more ancient Book, Entituled, The Book of the Warres of the Lord, wherein were registred the Acts of Moses, at the Red-sea, and at the brook of Arnon. It is therefore sufficiently evident, that the five Books of Moses were written after his time, though how long after it be not so manifest.

But though Moses did not compile those Books entirely, and in the form we have them; yet he wrote all that which hee is there said to have written: as for example, the Volume of the Law, which is contained, as it seemeth in the 11 of Deuteronomie, and the following Chapters to the 27. which was also commanded to be written on stones, in their entry into the land of Canaan. (Deut. 31. 9) And this did Moses himself write, and deliver to the Priests and Elders of Israel, to be read every seventh year to all Israel, at their assembling in the feast of Tabernacles. And this is that Law which God commanded, that their Kings (when they should have established that form of Government) should take a copy of from the Priests and Levites to lay in the side of the Arke; (Deut. 31. 26) and the same which having been lost, was long time after found again by Hilkiah, and sent to King Josias, who causing it to be read to the People, renewed the Covenant between God and them. (2 King. 22. 8 & 23. 1,2,3)

The Book of Joshua Written After His Time
That the Book of Joshua was also written long after the time of Joshua, may be gathered out of many places of the Book it self. Joshua had set up twelve stones in the middest of Jordan, for a monument of their passage; (Josh 4. 9) of which the Writer saith thus, “They are there unto this day;” (Josh 5. 9) for “unto this day”, is a phrase that signifieth a time past, beyond the memory of man. In like manner, upon the saying of the Lord, that he had rolled off from the people the Reproach of Egypt, the Writer saith, “The place is called Gilgal unto this day;” which to have said in the time of Joshua had been improper. So also the name of the Valley of Achor, from the trouble that Achan raised in the Camp, (Josh. 7. 26) the Writer saith, “remaineth unto this day;” which must needs bee therefore long after the time of Joshua. Arguments of this kind there be many other; as Josh. 8. 29. 13. 13. 14. 14. 15. 63.

The Booke Of Judges And Ruth Written Long After The Captivity
The same is manifest by like arguments of the Book of Judges, chap. 1. 21,26 6.24 10.4 15.19 17.6 and Ruth 1. 1. but especially Judg. 18. 30. where it is said, that Jonathan “and his sonnes were Priests to the Tribe of Dan, untill the day of the captivity of the land.”

The Like Of The Bookes Of Samuel
That the Books of Samuel were also written after his own time, there are the like arguments, 1 Sam. 5.5. 7.13,15. 27.6. & 30.25. where, after David had adjudged equall part of the spoiles, to them that guarded the Ammunition, with them that fought, the Writer saith, “He made it a Statute and an Ordinance to Israel to this day.” (2. Sam. 6.4.) Again, when David (displeased, that the Lord had slain Uzzah, for putting out his hand to sustain the Ark,) called the place Perez-Uzzah, the Writer saith, it is called so “to this day”: the time therefore of the writing of that Book, must be long after the time of the fact; that is, long after the time of David.

The Books Of The Kings, And The Chronicles
As for the two Books of the Kings, and the two books of the Chronicles, besides the places which mention such monuments, as the Writer saith, remained till his own days; such as are 1 Kings 9.13. 9.21. 10. 12. 12.19. 2 Kings 2.22. 8.22. 10.27. 14.7. 16.6. 17.23. 17.34. 17.41. 1 Chron. 4.41. 5.26. It is argument sufficient they were written after the captivity in Babylon, that the History of them is continued till that time. For the Facts Registred are alwaies more ancient than such Books as make mention of, and quote the Register; as these Books doe in divers places, referring the Reader to the Chronicles of the Kings of Juda, to the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, to the Books of the Prophet Samuel, or the Prophet Nathan, of the Prophet Ahijah; to the Vision of Jehdo, to the Books of the Prophet Serveiah, and of the Prophet Addo.

Ezra And Nehemiah
The Books of Esdras and Nehemiah were written certainly after their return from captivity; because their return, the re-edification of the walls and houses of Jerusalem, the renovation of the Covenant, and ordination of their policy are therein contained.

Esther
The History of Queen Esther is of the time of the Captivity; and therefore the Writer must have been of the same time, or after it.

Job
The Book of Job hath no mark in it of the time wherein it was written: and though it appear sufficiently (Exekiel 14.14, and James 5.11.) that he was no fained person; yet the Book it self seemeth not to be a History, but a Treatise concerning a question in ancient time much disputed, “why wicked men have often prospered in this world, and good men have been afflicted;” and it is the most probably, because from the beginning, to the third verse of the third chapter, where the complaint of Job beginneth, the Hebrew is (as St. Jerome testifies) in prose; and from thence to the sixt verse of the last chapter in Hexameter Verses; and the rest of that chapter again in prose. So that the dispute is all in verse; and the prose is added, but as a Preface in the beginning, and an Epilogue in the end. But Verse is no usuall stile of such, as either are themselves in great pain, as Job; or of such as come to comfort them, as his friends; but in Philosophy, especially morall Philosophy, in ancient time frequent.

The Psalter
The Psalmes were written the most part by David, for the use of the Quire. To these are added some songs of Moses, and other holy men; and some of them after the return from the Captivity; as the 137. and the 126. whereby it is manifest that the Psalter was compiled, and put into the form it now hath, after the return of the Jews from Babylon.

The Proverbs
The Proverbs, being a Collection of wise and godly Sayings, partly of Solomon, partly of Agur the son of Jakeh; and partly of the Mother of King Lemuel, cannot probably be thought to have been collected by Solomon, rather then by Agur, or the Mother of Lemues; and that, though the sentences be theirs, yet the collection or compiling them into this one Book, was the work of some other godly man, that lived after them all.

Ecclesiastes And The Canticles
The Books of Ecclesiastes and the Canticles have nothing that was not Solomons, except it be the Titles, or Inscriptions. For “The Words of the Preacher, the Son of David, King in Jerusalem;” and, “the Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s,” seem to have been made for distinctions sake, then, when the Books of Scripture were gathered into one body of the Law; to the end, that not the Doctrine only, but the Authors also might be extant.

The Prophets
Of the Prophets, the most ancient, are Sophoniah, Jonas, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Michaiah, who lived in the time of Amaziah, and Azariah, otherwise Ozias, Kings of Judah. But the Book of Jonas is not properly a Register of his Prophecy, (for that is contained in these few words, “Fourty dayes and Ninivy shall be destroyed,”) but a History or Narration of his frowardenesse and disputing Gods commandements; so that there is small probability he should be the Author, seeing he is the subject of it. But the Book of Amos is his Prophecy.

Jeremiah, Abdias, Nahum, and Habakkuk prophecyed in the time of Josiah.

Ezekiel, Daniel, Aggeus, and Zacharias, in the Captivity.

When Joel and Malachi prophecyed, is not evident by their Writings. But considering the Inscriptions, or Titles of their Books, it is manifest enough, that the whole Scripture of the Old Testament, was set forth in the form we have it, after the return of the Jews from their Captivity in Babylon, and before the time of Ptolemaeus Philadelphus, that caused it to bee translated into Greek by seventy men, which were sent him out of Judea for that purpose. And if the Books of Apocrypha (which are recommended to us by the Church, though not for Canonicall, yet for profitable Books for our instruction) may in this point be credited, the Scripture was set forth in the form wee have it in, by Esdras; as may appear by that which he himself saith, in the second book, chapt. 14. verse 21, 22, &c. where speaking to God, he saith thus, “Thy law is burnt; therefore no man knoweth the things which thou has done, or the works that are to begin. But if I have found Grace before thee, send down the holy Spirit into me, and I shall write all that hath been done in the world, since the beginning, which were written in thy Law, that men may find thy path, and that they which will live in the later days, may live.” And verse 45. “And it came to passe when the forty dayes were fulfilled, that the Highest spake, saying, ‘The first that thou hast written, publish openly, that the worthy and unworthy may read it; but keep the seventy last, that thou mayst deliver them onely to such as be wise among the people.’” And thus much concerning the time of the writing of the Bookes of the Old Testament.

The New Testament
The Writers of the New Testament lived all in lesse then an age after Christs Ascension, and had all of them seen our Saviour, or been his Disciples, except St. Paul, and St. Luke; and consequently whatsoever was written by them, is as ancient as the time of the Apostles. But the time wherein the Books of the New Testament were received, and acknowledged by the Church to be of their writing, is not altogether so ancient. For, as the Bookes of the Old Testament are derived to us, from no higher time then that of Esdras, who by the direction of Gods Spirit retrived them, when they were lost: Those of the New Testament, of which the copies were not many, nor could easily be all in any one private mans hand, cannot bee derived from a higher time, that that wherein the Governours of the Church collected, approved, and recommended them to us, as the writings of those Apostles and Disciples; under whose names they go. The first enumeration of all the Bookes, both of the Old, and New Testament, is in the Canons of the Apostles, supposed to be collected by Clement the first (after St. Peter) Bishop of Rome. But because that is but supposed, and by many questioned, the Councell of Laodicea is the first we know, that recommended the Bible to the then Christian Churches, for the Writings of the Prophets and Apostles: and this Councell was held in the 364. yeer after Christ. At which time, though ambition had so far prevailed on the great Doctors of the Church, as no more to esteem Emperours, though Christian, for the Shepherds of the people, but for Sheep; and Emperours not Christian, for Wolves; and endeavoured to passe their Doctrine, not for Counsell, and Information, as Preachers; but for Laws, as absolute Governours; and thought such frauds as tended to make the people the more obedient to Christian Doctrine, to be pious; yet I am perswaded they did not therefore falsifie the Scriptures, though the copies of the Books of the New Testament, were in the hands only of the Ecclesiasticks; because if they had had an intention so to doe, they would surely have made them more favorable to their power over Christian Princes, and Civill Soveraignty, than they are. I see not therefore any reason to doubt, but that the Old, and New Testament, as we have them now, are the true Registers of those things, which were done and said by the Prophets, and Apostles. And so perhaps are some of those Books which are called Apocrypha, if left out of the Canon, not for inconformity of Doctrine with the rest, but only because they are not found in the Hebrew. For after the conquest of Asia by Alexander the Great, there were few learned Jews, that were not perfect in the Greek tongue. For the seventy Interpreters that converted the Bible into Greek, were all of them Hebrews; and we have extant the works of Philo and Josephus both Jews, written by them eloquently in Greek. But it is not the Writer, but the authority of the Church, that maketh a Book Canonicall.

Their Scope
And although these Books were written by divers men, yet it is manifest the Writers were all indued with one and the same Spirit, in that they conspire to one and the same end, which is the setting forth of the Rights of the Kingdome of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. For the Book of Genesis, deriveth the Genealogy of Gods people, from the creation of the World, to the going into Egypt: the other four Books of Moses, contain the Election of God for their King, and the Laws which hee prescribed for their Government: The Books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and Samuel, to the time of Saul, describe the acts of Gods people, till the time they cast off Gods yoke, and called for a King, after the manner of their neighbour nations; The rest of the History of the Old Testament, derives the succession of the line of David, to the Captivity, out of which line was to spring the restorer of the Kingdome of God, even our blessed Saviour God the Son, whose coming was foretold in the Bookes of the Prophets, after whom the Evangelists writt his life, and actions, and his claim to the Kingdome, whilst he lived one earth: and lastly, the Acts, and Epistles of the Apostles, declare the coming of God, the Holy Ghost, and the Authority he left with them, and their successors, for the direction of the Jews, and for the invitation of the Gentiles. In summe, the Histories and the Prophecies of the old Testament, and the Gospels, and Epistles of the New Testament, have had one and the same scope, to convert men to the obedience of God; 1. in Moses, and the Priests; 2. in the man Christ; and 3. in the Apostles and the successors to Apostolicall power. For these three at several times did represent the person of God: Moses, and his successors the High Priests, and Kings of Judah, in the Old Testament: Christ himself, in the time he lived on earth: and the Apostles, and their successors, from the day of Pentecost (when the Holy Ghost descended on them) to this day.

The Question Of The Authority Of The Scriptures Stated.
It is a question much disputed between the divers sects of Christian Religion, From Whence The Scriptures Derive Their Authority; which question is also propounded sometimes in other terms, as, How Wee Know Them To Be The Word Of God, or, Why We Beleeve Them To Be So: and the difficulty of resolving it, ariseth chiefly from the impropernesse of the words wherein the question it self is couched. For it is beleeved on all hands, that the first and originall Author of them is God; and consequently the question disputed, is not that. Again, it is manifest, that none can know they are Gods Word, (though all true Christians beleeve it,) but those to whom God himself hath revealed it supernaturally; and therefore the question is not rightly moved, of our Knowledge of it. Lastly, when the question is propounded of our Beleefe; because some are moved to beleeve for one, and others for other reasons, there can be rendred no one generall answer for them all. The question truly stated is, By What Authority They Are Made Law.

Their Authority And Interpretation
As far as they differ not from the Laws of Nature, there is no doubt, but they are the Law of God, and carry their Authority with them, legible to all men that have the use of naturall reason: but this is no other Authority, then that of all other Morall Doctrine consonant to Reason; the Dictates whereof are Laws, not Made, but Eternall.

If they be made Law by God himselfe, they are of the nature of written Law, which are Laws to them only to whom God hath so sufficiently published them, as no man can excuse himself, by saying, he know not they were his.

He therefore, to whom God hath not supernaturally revealed, that they are his, nor that those that published them, were sent by him, is not obliged to obey them, by any Authority, but his, whose Commands have already the force of Laws; that is to say, by any other Authority, then that of the Common-wealth, residing in the Soveraign, who only has the Legislative power. Again, if it be not the Legislative Authority of the Common-wealth, that giveth them the force of Laws, it must bee some other Authority derived from God, either private, or publique: if private, it obliges onely him, to whom in particular God hath been pleased to reveale it. For if every man should be obliged, to take for Gods Law, what particular men, on pretence of private Inspiration, or Revelation, should obtrude upon him, (in such a number of men, that out of pride, and ignorance, take their own Dreams, and extravagant Fancies, and Madnesse, for testimonies of Gods Spirit; or out of ambition, pretend to such Divine testimonies, falsely, and contrary to their own consciences,) it were impossible that any Divine Law should be acknowledged. If publique, it is the Authority of the Common-wealth, or of the Church. But the Church, if it be one person, is the same thing with a Common-wealth of Christians; called a Common-wealth, because it consisteth of men united in one person, their Soveraign; and a Church, because it consisteth in Christian men, united in one Christian Soveraign. But if the Church be not one person, then it hath no authority at all; it can neither command, nor doe any action at all; nor is capable of having any power, or right to any thing; nor has any Will, Reason, nor Voice; for all these qualities are personall. Now if the whole number of Christians be not contained in one Common-wealth, they are not one person; nor is there an Universall Church that hath any authority over them; and therefore the Scriptures are not made Laws, by the Universall Church: or if it bee one Common-wealth, then all Christian Monarchs, and States are private persons, and subject to bee judged, deposed, and punished by an Universall Soveraigne of all Christendome. So that the question of the Authority of the Scriptures is reduced to this, “Whether Christian Kings, and the Soveraigne Assemblies in Christian Common-wealths, be absolute in their own Territories, immediately under God; or subject to one Vicar of Christ, constituted over the Universall Church; to bee judged, condemned, deposed, and put to death, as hee shall think expedient, or necessary for the common good.”

Which question cannot bee resolved, without a more particular consideration of the Kingdome of God; from whence also, wee are to judge of the Authority of Interpreting the Scripture. For, whosoever hath a lawfull power over any Writing, to make it Law, hath the power also to approve, or disapprove the interpretation of the same.


CHAPTER XXXIV.
OF THE SIGNIFICATION OF SPIRIT, ANGEL, AND INSPIRATION IN THE BOOKS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE


Body And Spirit How Taken In The Scripture
Seeing the foundation of all true Ratiocination, is the constant Signification of words; which in the Doctrine following, dependeth not (as in naturall science) on the Will of the Writer, nor (as in common conversation) on vulgar use, but on the sense they carry in the Scripture; It is necessary, before I proceed any further, to determine, out of the Bible, the meaning of such words, as by their ambiguity, may render what I am to inferre upon them, obscure, or disputable. I will begin with the words BODY, and SPIRIT, which in the language of the Schools are termed, Substances, Corporeall, and Incorporeall.

The Word Body, in the most generall acceptation, signifieth that which filleth, or occupyeth some certain room, or imagined place; and dependeth not on the imagination, but is a reall part of that we call the Universe. For the Universe, being the Aggregate of all Bodies, there is no reall part thereof that is not also Body; nor any thing properly a Body, that is not also part of (that Aggregate of all Bodies) the Universe. The same also, because Bodies are subject to change, that is to say, to variety of apparence to the sense of living creatures, is called Substance, that is to say, Subject, to various accidents, as sometimes to be Moved, sometimes to stand Still; and to seem to our senses sometimes Hot, sometimes Cold, sometimes of one Colour, Smel, Tast, or Sound, somtimes of another. And this diversity of Seeming, (produced by the diversity of the operation of bodies, on the organs of our sense) we attribute to alterations of the Bodies that operate, & call them Accidents of those Bodies. And according to this acceptation of the word, Substance and Body, signifie the same thing; and therefore Substance Incorporeall are words, which when they are joined together, destroy one another, as if a man should say, an Incorporeall Body.

But in the sense of common people, not all the Universe is called Body, but only such parts thereof as they can discern by the sense of Feeling, to resist their force, or by the sense of their Eyes, to hinder them from a farther prospect. Therefore in the common language of men, Aire, and Aeriall Substances, use not to be taken for Bodies, but (as often as men are sensible of their effects) are called Wind, or Breath, or (because the some are called in the Latine Spiritus) Spirits; as when they call that aeriall substance, which in the body of any living creature, gives it life and motion, Vitall and Animall Spirits. But for those Idols of the brain, which represent Bodies to us, where they are not, as in a Looking-glasse, in a Dream, or to a Distempered brain waking, they are (as the Apostle saith generally of all Idols) nothing; Nothing at all, I say, there where they seem to bee; and in the brain it self, nothing but tumult, proceeding either from the action of the objects, or from the disorderly agitation of the Organs of our Sense. And men, that are otherwise imployed, then to search into their causes, know not of themselves, what to call them; and may therefore easily be perswaded, by those whose knowledge they much reverence, some to call them Bodies, and think them made of aire compacted by a power supernaturall, because the sight judges them corporeall; and some to call them Spirits, because the sense of Touch discerneth nothing in the place where they appear, to resist their fingers: So that the proper signification of Spirit in common speech, is either a subtile, fluid, and invisible Body, or a Ghost, or other Idol or Phantasme of the Imagination. But for metaphoricall significations, there be many: for sometimes it is taken for Disposition or Inclination of the mind; as when for the disposition to controwl the sayings of other men, we say, A Spirit Contradiction; For A Disposition to Uncleannesse, An Unclean Spirit; for Perversenesse, A Froward Spirit; for Sullennesse, A Dumb Spirit, and for Inclination To Godlinesse, And Gods Service, the Spirit of God: sometimes for any eminent ability, or extraordinary passion, or disease of the mind, as when Great Wisdome is called the Spirit Of Wisdome; and Mad Men are said to be Possessed With A Spirit.

Other signification of Spirit I find no where any; and where none of these can satisfie the sense of that word in Scripture, the place falleth not under humane Understanding; and our Faith therein consisteth not in our Opinion, but in our Submission; as in all places where God is said to be a Spirit; or where by the Spirit of God, is meant God himselfe. For the nature of God is incomprehensible; that is to say, we understand nothing of What He Is, but only That He Is; and therefore the Attributes we give him, are not to tell one another, What He Is, Nor to signifie our opinion of his Nature, but our desire to honor him with such names as we conceive most honorable amongst our selves.

Spirit Of God Taken In The Scripture Sometimes For A Wind, Or Breath
Gen. 1. 2. “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters.” Here if by the Spirit of God be meant God himself, then is Motion attributed to God, and consequently Place, which are intelligible only of Bodies, and not of substances incorporeall; and so the place is above our understanding, that can conceive nothing moved that changes not place, or that has not dimension; and whatsoever has dimension, is Body. But the meaning of those words is best understood by the like place, Gen. 8. 1. Where when the earth was covered with Waters, as in the beginning, God intending to abate them, and again to discover the dry land, useth like words, “I will bring my Spirit upon the Earth, and the waters shall be diminished:” in which place by Spirit is understood a Wind, (that is an Aire or Spirit Moved,) which might be called (as in the former place) the Spirit of God, because it was Gods Work.

Secondly, For Extraordinary Gifts Of The Understanding
Gen. 41. 38. Pharaoh calleth the Wisdome of Joseph, the Spirit of God. For Joseph having advised him to look out a wise and discreet man, and to set him over the land of Egypt, he saith thus, “Can we find such a man as this is, in whom is the Spirit of God?” and Exod. 28.3. “Thou shalt speak (saith God) to all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the Spirit of Wisdome, to make Aaron Garments, to consecrate him.” Where extraordinary Understanding, though but in making Garments, as being the Gift of God, is called the Spirit of God. The same is found again, Exod. 31.3,4,5,6. and 35.31. And Isaiah 11.2,3. where the Prophet speaking of the Messiah, saith, “The Spirit of the Lord shall abide upon him, the Spirit of wisdome and understanding, the Spirit of counsell, and fortitude; and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord.” Where manifestly is meant, not so many Ghosts, but so many eminent Graces that God would give him.

Thirdly, For Extraordinary Affections
In the Book of Judges, an extraordinary Zeal, and Courage in the defence of Gods people, is called the Spirit of God; as when it excited Othoniel, Gideon, Jeptha, and Samson to deliver them from servitude, Judg. 3.10. 6.34. 11.29. 13.25. 14.6,19. And of Saul, upon the newes of the insolence of the Ammonites towards the men of Jabeth Gilead, it is said (1 Sam.11.6.) that “The Spirit of God came upon Saul, and his Anger (or, as it is in the Latine, His Fury) was kindled greatly.” Where it is not probable was meant a Ghost, but an extraordinary Zeal to punish the cruelty of the Ammonites. In like manner by the Spirit of God, that came upon Saul, when hee was amongst the Prophets that praised God in Songs, and Musick (1 Sam.19.20.) is to be understood, not a Ghost, but an unexpected and sudden Zeal to join with them in their devotions.

Fourthly, For The Gift Of Prediction By Dreams And Visions
The false Prophet Zedekiah, saith to Micaiah (1 Kings 22.24.) “Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak to thee?” Which cannot be understood of a Ghost; for Micaiah declared before the Kings of Israel and Judah, the event of the battle, as from a Vision, and not as from a Spirit, speaking in him.

In the same manner it appeareth, in the Books of the Prophets, that though they spake by the Spirit of God, that is to say, by a speciall grace of Prediction; yet their knowledge of the future, was not by a Ghost within them, but by some supernaturall Dream or Vision.

Fiftly, For Life
Gen. 2.7. It is said, “God made man of the dust of the Earth, and breathed into his nostrills (spiraculum vitae) the breath of life, and man was made a living soul.” There the Breath of Life inspired by God, signifies no more, but that God gave him life; And (Job 27.3.) “as long as the Spirit of God is in my nostrils;” is no more then to say, “as long as I live.” So in Ezek. 1.20. “the Spirit of life was in the wheels,” is equivalent to, “the wheels were alive.” And (Ezek. 2.30.) “the spirit entred into me, and set me on my feet,” that is, “I recovered my vitall strength;” not that any Ghost, or incorporeal substance entred into, and possessed his body.

Sixtly, For A Subordination To Authority
In the 11 chap. of Numbers. verse 17. “I will take (saith God) of the Spirit, which is upon thee, and will put it upon them, and they shall bear the burthen of the people with thee;” that is, upon the seventy Elders: whereupon two of the seventy are said to prophecy in the campe; of whom some complained, and Joshua desired Moses to forbid them; which Moses would not doe. Whereby it appears; that Joshua knew not they had received authority so to do, and prophecyed according to the mind of Moses, that is to say, by a Spirit, or Authority subordinate to his own.

In the like sense we read (Deut. 34.9.) that “Joshua was full of the Spirit of wisdome,” because Moses had laid his hands upon him: that is, because he was Ordained by Moses, to prosecute the work hee had himselfe begun, (namely, the bringing of Gods people into the promised land), but prevented by death, could not finish.

In the like sense it is said, (Rom. 8.9.) “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his:” not meaning thereby the Ghost of Christ, but a Submission to his Doctrine. As also (1 John 4.2.) “Hereby you shall know the Spirit of God; Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God;” by which is meant the Spirit of unfained Christianity, or Submission to that main Article of Christian faith, that Jesus is the Christ; which cannot be interpreted of a Ghost.

Likewise these words (Luke 4.1.) “And Jesus full of the Holy Ghost” (that is, as it is exprest, Mat. 4.1. and Mar. 1.12. “of the Holy Spirit”,) may be understood, for Zeal to doe the work for which hee was sent by God the Father: but to interpret it of a Ghost, is to say, that God himselfe (for so our Saviour was,) was filled with God; which is very unproper, and unsignificant. How we came to translate Spirits, by the word Ghosts, which signifieth nothing, neither in heaven, nor earth, but the Imaginary inhabitants of mans brain, I examine not: but this I say, the word Spirit in the text signifieth no such thing; but either properly a reall Substance, or Metaphorically, some extraordinary Ability of Affection of the Mind, or of the Body.

Seventhly, For Aeriall Bodies
The Disciples of Christ, seeing him walking upon the sea, (Mat. 14.26. and Marke 6.49.) supposed him to be a Spirit, meaning thereby an Aeriall Body, and not a Phantasme: for it is said, they all saw him; which cannot be understood of the delusions of the brain, (which are not common to many at once, as visible Bodies are; but singular, because of the differences of Fancies), but of Bodies only. In like manner, where he was taken for a Spirit, by the same Apostles (Luke 24.3,7.): So also (Acts 12.15) when St. Peter was delivered out of Prison, it would not be beleeved; but when the Maid said he was at the dore, they said it was his Angel; by which must be meant a corporeall substance, or we must say, the Disciples themselves did follow the common opinion of both Jews and Gentiles, that some such apparitions were not Imaginary, but Reall; and such as needed not the fancy of man for their Existence: These the Jews called Spirits, and Angels, Good or Bad; as the Greeks called the same by the name of Daemons. And some such apparitions may be reall, and substantiall; that is to say, subtile Bodies, which God can form by the same power, by which he formed all things, and make use of, as of Ministers, and Messengers (that is to say, Angels) to declare his will, and execute the same when he pleaseth, in extraordinary and supernaturall manner. But when hee hath so formed them they are Substances, endued with dimensions, and take up roome, and can be moved from place to place, which is peculiar to Bodies; and therefore are not Ghosts Incorporeall, that is to say, Ghosts that are in No Place; that is to say, that are No Where; that is to say, that seeming to be Somewhat, are Nothing. But if corporeall be taken in the most vulgar manner, for such Substances as are perceptible by our externall Senses; then is Substance Incorporeall, a thing not Imaginary, but Reall; namely, a thin Substance Invisible, but that hath the same dimensions that are in grosser Bodies.

Angel What
By the name of ANGEL, is signified generally, a Messenger; and most often, a Messenger of God: And by a Messenger of God, is signified, any thing that makes known his extraordinary Presence; that is to say, the extraordinary manifestation of his power, especially by a Dream, or Vision.

Concerning the creation of Angels, there is nothing delivered in the Scriptures. That they are Spirits, is often repeated: but by the name of Spirit, is signified both in Scripture, and vulgarly, both amongst Jews, and Gentiles, sometimes thin Bodies; as the Aire, the Wind, the Spirits Vitall, and Animall, of living creatures; and sometimes the Images that rise in the fancy in Dreams, and Visions; which are not reall Substances, but accidents of the brain; yet when God raiseth them supernaturally, to signifie his Will, they are not unproperly termed Gods Messengers, that is to say, his Angels.

And as the Gentiles did vulgarly conceive the Imagery of the brain, for things really subsistent without them, and not dependent on the fancy; and out of them framed their opinions of Daemons, Good and Evill; which because they seemed to subsist really, they called Substances; and because they could not feel them with their hands, Incorporeall: so also the Jews upon the same ground, without any thing in the Old Testament that constrained them thereunto, had generally an opinion, (except the sect of the Sadduces,) that those apparitions (which it pleased God sometimes to produce in the fancie of men, for his own service, and therefore called them his Angels) were substances, not dependent on the fancy, but permanent creatures of God; whereof those which they thought were good to them, they esteemed the Angels of God, and those they thought would hurt them, they called Evill Angels, or Evill Spirits; such as was the Spirit of Python, and the Spirits of Mad-men, of Lunatiques, and Epileptiques: For they esteemed such as were troubled with such diseases, Daemoniaques.

But if we consider the places of the Old Testament where Angels are mentioned, we shall find, that in most of them, there can nothing else be understood by the word Angel, but some image raised (supernaturally) in the fancy, to signifie the presence of God in the execution of some supernaturall work; and therefore in the rest, where their nature is not exprest, it may be understood in the same manner.

For we read Gen. 16. that the same apparition is called, not onely an Angel, but God; where that which (verse 7.) is called the Angel of the Lord, in the tenth verse, saith to Agar, “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly;” that is, speaketh in the person of God. Neither was this apparition a Fancy figured, but a Voice. By which it is manifest, that Angel signifieth there, nothing but God himself, that caused Agar supernaturally to apprehend a voice supernaturall, testifying Gods speciall presence there. Why therefore may not the Angels that appeared to Lot, and are called Gen. 19.13. Men; and to whom, though they were but two, Lot speaketh (ver. 18.) as but one, and that one, as God, (for the words are, “Lot said unto them, Oh not so my Lord”) be understood of images of men, supernaturally formed in the Fancy; as well as before by Angel was understood a fancyed Voice? When the Angel called to Abraham out of heaven, to stay his hand (Gen. 22.11.) from slaying Isaac, there was no Apparition, but a Voice; which neverthelesse was called properly enough a Messenger, or Angel of God, because it declared Gods will supernaturally, and saves the labour of supposing any permanent Ghosts. The Angels which Jacob saw on the Ladder of Heaven (Gen. 28.12.) were a Vision of his sleep; therefore onely Fancy, and a Dream; yet being supernaturall, and signs of Gods Speciall presence, those apparitions are not improperly called Angels. The same is to be understood (Gen.31.11.) where Jacob saith thus, “The Angel of the Lord appeared to mee in my sleep.” For an apparition made to a man in his sleep, is that which all men call a Dreame, whether such Dreame be naturall, or supernaturall: and that which there Jacob calleth an Angel, was God himselfe; for the same Angel saith (verse 13.) “I am the God of Bethel.”

Also (Exod.14.9.) the Angel that went before the Army of Israel to the Red Sea, and then came behind it, is (verse 19.) the Lord himself; and he appeared not in the form of a beautifull man, but in form (by day) of a Pillar Of Cloud and (by night) in form of a Pillar Of Fire; and yet this Pillar was all the apparition, and Angel promised to Moses (Exod. 14.9.) for the Armies guide: For this cloudy pillar, is said, to have descended, and stood at the dore of the Tabernacle, and to have talked with Moses.

There you see Motion, and Speech, which are commonly attributed to Angels, attributed to a Cloud, because the Cloud served as a sign of Gods presence; and was no lesse an Angel, then if it had had the form of a Man, or Child of never so great beauty; or Wings, as usually they are painted, for the false instruction of common people. For it is not the shape; but their use, that makes them Angels. But their use is to be significations of Gods presence in supernaturall operations; As when Moses (Exod. 33.14.) had desired God to goe along with the Campe, (as he had done alwaies before the making of the Golden Calfe,) God did not answer, “I will goe,” nor “I will send an Angel in my stead;” but thus, “my presence shall goe with thee.”

To mention all the places of the Old Testament where the name of Angel is found, would be too long. Therefore to comprehend them all at once, I say, there is no text in that part of the Old Testament, which the Church of England holdeth for Canonicall, from which we can conclude, there is, or hath been created, any permanent thing (understood by the name of Spirit or Angel,) that hath not quantity; and that may not be, by the understanding divided; that is to say, considered by parts; so as one part may bee in one place, and the next part in the next place to it; and, in summe, which is not (taking Body for that, which is some what, or some where) Corporeall; but in every place, the sense will bear the interpretation of Angel, for Messenger; as John Baptist is called an Angel, and Christ the Angel of the Covenant; and as (according to the same Analogy) the Dove, and the Fiery Tongues, in that they were signes of Gods speciall presence, might also be called Angels. Though we find in Daniel two names of Angels, Gabriel, and Michael; yet is cleer out of the text it selfe, (Dan. 12.1) that by Michael is meant Christ, not as an Angel, but as a Prince: and that Gabriel (as the like apparitions made to other holy men in their sleep) was nothing but a supernaturall phantasme, by which it seemed to Daniel, in his dream, that two Saints being in talke, one of them said to the other, “Gabriel, let us make this man understand his Vision:” For God needeth not, to distinguish his Celestiall servants by names, which are usefull onely to the short memories of Mortalls. Nor in the New Testament is there any place, out of which it can be proved, that Angels (except when they are put for such men, as God hath made the Messengers, and Ministers of his word, or works) are things permanent, and withall incorporeall. That they are permanent, may bee gathered from the words of our Saviour himselfe, (Mat. 25.41.) where he saith, it shall be said to the wicked in the last day, “Go ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels:” which place is manifest for the permanence of Evill Angels, (unlesse wee might think the name of Devill and his Angels may be understood of the Churches Adversaries and their Ministers;) but then it is repugnant to their Immateriality; because Everlasting fire is no punishment to impatible substances, such as are all things Incorporeall. Angels therefore are not thence proved to be Incorporeall. In like manner where St. Paul sayes (1 Cor. 6.3.) “Knew ye not that wee shall judge the Angels?” And (2 Pet. 2.4.) “For if God spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down into Hell.” And (Jude 1,6.) “And the Angels that kept not their first estate, but left their owne habitation, hee hath reserved in everlasting chaines under darknesse unto the Judgement of the last day;” though it prove the Permanence of Angelicall nature, it confirmeth also their Materiality. And (Mat. 22.30.) In the resurrection men doe neither marry, nor give in marriage, but are as the Angels of God in heaven:” but in the resurrection men shall be Permanent, and not Incorporeall; so therefore also are the Angels.

There be divers other places out of which may be drawn the like conclusion. To men that understand the signification of these words, Substance, and Incorporeall; as Incorporeall is taken not for subtile body, but for Not Body, they imply a contradiction: insomuch as to say, an Angel, or Spirit is (in that sense) an Incorporeall Substance, is to say in effect, there is no Angel nor Spirit at all. Considering therefore the signification of the word Angel in the Old Testament, and the nature of Dreams and Visions that happen to men by the ordinary way of Nature; I was enclined to this opinion, that Angels were nothing but supernaturall apparitions of the Fancy, raised by the speciall and extraordinary operation of God, thereby to make his presence and commandements known to mankind, and chiefly to his own people. But the many places of the New Testament, and our Saviours own words, and in such texts, wherein is no suspicion of corruption of the Scripture, have extorted from my feeble Reason, an acknowledgement, and beleef, that there be also Angels substantiall, and permanent. But to beleeve they be in no place, that is to say, no where, that is to say, nothing, as they (though indirectly) say, that will have them Incorporeall, cannot by Scripture bee evinced.

Inspiration What
On the signification of the word Spirit, dependeth that of the word INSPIRATION; which must either be taken properly; and then it is nothing but the blowing into a man some thin and subtile aire, or wind, in such manner as a man filleth a bladder with his breath; or if Spirits be not corporeal, but have their existence only in the fancy, it is nothing but the blowing in of a Phantasme; which is improper to say, and impossible; for Phantasmes are not, but only seem to be somewhat. That word therefore is used in the Scripture metaphorically onely: As (Gen. 2.7.) where it is said, that God Inspired into man the breath of life, no more is meant, then that God gave unto him vitall motion. For we are not to think that God made first a living breath, and then blew it into Adam after he was made, whether that breath were reall, or seeming; but only as it is (Acts 17.25.) “that he gave him life and breath;” that is, made him a living creature. And where it is said (2 Tim. 3.16.) “all Scripture is given by Inspiration from God,” speaking there of the Scripture of the Old Testament, it is an easie metaphor, to signifie, that God enclined the spirit or mind of those Writers, to write that which should be usefull, in teaching, reproving, correcting, and instructing men in the way of righteous living. But where St. Peter (2 Pet. 1.21.) saith, that “Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but the holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,” by the Holy Spirit, is meant the voice of God in a Dream, or Vision supernaturall, which is not Inspiration; Nor when our Saviour breathing on his Disciples, said, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” was that Breath the Spirit, but a sign of the spirituall graces he gave unto them. And though it be said of many, and of our Saviour himself, that he was full of the Holy Spirit; yet that Fulnesse is not to be understood for Infusion of the substance of God, but for accumulation of his gifts, such as are the gift of sanctity of life, of tongues, and the like, whether attained supernaturally, or by study and industry; for in all cases they are the gifts of God. So likewise where God sayes (Joel 2.28.) “I will powre out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your Sons and your Daughters shall prophecy, your Old men shall dream Dreams, and your Young men shall see Visions,” wee are not to understand it in the proper sense, as if his Spirit were like water, subject to effusion, or infusion; but as if God had promised to give them Propheticall Dreams, and Visions. For the proper use of the word Infused, in speaking of the graces of God, is an abuse of it; for those graces are Vertues, not Bodies to be carryed hither and thither, and to be powred into men, as into barrels.

In the same manner, to take Inspiration in the proper sense, or to say that Good Spirits entred into men to make them prophecy, or Evill Spirits into those that became Phrenetique, Lunatique, or Epileptique, is not to take the word in the sense of the Scripture; for the Spirit there is taken for the power of God, working by causes to us unknown. As also (Acts 2.2.) the wind, that is there said to fill the house wherein the Apostles were assembled on the day of Pentecost, is not to be understood for the Holy Spirit, which is the Deity it self; but for an Externall sign of Gods speciall working on their hearts, to effect in them the internall graces, and holy vertues hee thought requisite for the performance of their Apostleship.