A treatise of miscellany questions wherein many usefull questions and cases of conscience are discussed and resolved ...
Gillespie, George, 1613-1648., Gillespie, Patrick, 1617-1675.


That necessary consequences from the written word of God, do suf∣ficiently and strongly prove the consequent or conclusion, if Theo∣reticall, to be a certain divine truth which ought to be beleived, and if practicall, to be a necessary duty, which we are obleidged unto, jure Divino.

THis assertion must neither be so farre inlarged as to comprehend the erroneous reasonings and conse∣quences from Scripture which this or that man, or this or that Church, apprehend and believe to be strong and necessary consequences. I speak of what is, not of what is thought to be a necessary consequence, neither yet must it be so far c•…arctat and straitned, as the Arminians would have it, who admit of no proofes from Scripture, but either plaine explicit Texts, or such consequences as are nulli non obviae, as neither are nor can be contraverted by any man who is rationis compos. See there praef ante exam: cens: and their examen. cap: 25. pag. 283. By which principle, if imbraced, we must renounce many necessary truths which the reformed Churches hold against the Arians, Antitrinitarians, Socinians, Papists, because the consequences and arguments from Scrip∣ture brought to prove them, are not admitted as good by the adversaries.

This also I must in the second place premise, that the mean∣ing Page  239 of the assertion is not that humane reason drawing a con∣sequence from Scripture can be the ground of our belief or conscience. For although the consequence or argumentati∣on be drawn foorth by mens reasons, yet the consequent it self or conclusion is not believed nor embraced by the strength of reason, but because it is the truth and will of God, which Camero prael: tom: 1. p. 364. doth very well clear.

Ante omnia hoc tenendum est, aliud esse consequentiae rationem de∣prehendere, aliud ipsum consequens; nam ut monuimus supra saepe∣numero deprehenditur consequentiae ratio, cum nec comprehendatur antecedens nec deprehendatur consequens, tantum intelligitur hoc ex illo sequi. I am hoc constituto dicimus non esse sidei proprium sed ra∣tionis etiam despicere consequentiae rationem, dicimus tamen fidei esse proprium consequens credere Nec inde tamen sequitur sidem (quia consequens creditur) niti ratione, quia ratio non hic argumentum sed instrumentum est, quemadmodum 〈◊〉 sides dicitur esse ex auditu, auditus non est argumentum fidei, sed est instrumentum.

Thirdly let us here observe with Gerhard, a distinction be∣between* corrupt reason, and renewed or rectified reason: or between naturall reason arguing in divine things from naturall and carnall principalls, sense, experience and the like: and rea∣son captivated and subdued to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor: 10. 4, 5. judging of divine things not by humane but by divine rules, & standing to scriptural principals, how opposite so ever they may be to the wisedome of the flesh. Tis the latter not the former reason which will be convinced & satisfied with con∣sequences and conclusions drawn from Scripture, in things which concerne the glory of God, and matters spirituall or divine.

Fourthly, there are two sorts of consequences which Aquì∣nas prima part: quaest. 32. art. 1. 2um. distinguisheth. 1. Such as Page  240 make a sufficient and strong poof, or where the consequence is necessary and certaine, as for instance sayeth he, when reason is brought in naturall science to prove that the motion of the Heaven is ever of uniforme swiftnesse, not at one time slow∣er and another time swifter. 2. By way of agreablenesse or con∣veniency▪ as in Astrology (saith hee) thi reason is brought for the Excentricks or Epicycles, because by these being sup∣posed) the Phoenomena, or appa entia sensibila in the Coelestiall motions may be salved Which he thinks is no necessary proof, because their Phoenomena may be salved another way, and by making another supposition. Now the consequences from Scripture are likewise of two sorts, some necessary, strong, and certain, and of these I here speak in this assertion; others which are good consequences to prove a sutablenesse or agreablenes of this or that to Scripture, though another thing may be also proved to be agreable unto the same Scripture in the same or another place. This latter sort are in diverse things of very use. But for the present I speak of necessary consequences. I have now explained the assertion, I will next prove it by these arguments. First, from the example of Christ and his Apo∣stles, Christ proved against the Sadduces the Resurrection of the dead, from the Pentateuch, which was the only Scripture ac∣knowledged by them, as many think, though some others hold there is no warrant for thinking so, Mat. 22 31, 3. Luke 20. 37, 38. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the Bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, for he is not a God of the dead but of the living: for all live unto him.

Again, Ioh. 10. 34, 35, 36. Is it not written in your Law, I said ye are Gods. If hee called them gods unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent unto the world, thou plasphemest, because I said, I am the Sonne of God?

Page  241The Apostle Paul proved by consequence from Scripture Christs Resurrection, Act: 13. 33, 34. He hath raised up Iesus again, as it is also written in the second Psalme, thou art my Sonne this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to returne to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. His God head is proved, Heb: 1. 6. From these words, Let all the Angels of God worship him. Divine worship cannot be due, and may not be given to any that is not God.

2. Argum: Although Hooker in his Ecclesiasticall policy, and other Prelaticall writers did hold this difference be∣tween the old and new Testament, that Christ and his Apostles hath not descended into all particularities with us as Moses did with the Jews, yet upon examination it will be found that all the ordinances and holy things of the Christian Church are no lesse determined and contained in the new Testament, then the Ordinances in the Jewish Church were determined in the old, and that there were some necessary things left to be collected by necessary consequences, from the Law of Moses, as well as now from the new Testament, If we consult the Tal∣mud, we find there that the Law, Num: 15. 31. concerning the soul to be cut off, for despysing the word of the Lord is appli∣ed to those who denied necessary consequences from the Law, and (saith the Talmud) if a man would acknowledge the whole Law to be from Heaven, praeter istam collectionem amajori aut mi∣nori, istamve, à pari, is notatur illâ sententiâ quia verbum Domini aspernatus est, Exc. Gem ar. Senhedrin. cap: 11. sect. 38. So that here are two sorts of necessary consequences from the Law, one is a majori aut minori or if ye will, a fortiori: another a pari either of which being refused, the Law it self was despi∣sed, yea tis further to be observed with Mr. Selden in his Vxor Haebraica lib: 1. cap: 3. that the Karaei or Iudaei scripturarii who reject the additaments or traditions of the Talmudicall Ma∣sters, Page  242 and professe to adhere to the literall and simple sense of the Law, without adding to it, or diminishing from it, yet even they themselves do not require expresse words of Scripture for every Divine Institution; but what they hold to be commanded or forbidden by the law of God, such commandment or prohi∣bition they draw from the Law three wayes, either from the very words of the Scripture it self, or by argumentation from Scripture, or by the hereditary transmission of interpretations, which interpretations of Scripture formerly received, the fol∣lowing Generations were allowed after to correct and alter upon further discovery or better reason. The second way which was by argumentation, was by the principles of the Ka∣raei themselves of two sorts, a pari or a fortiori. Which agreeth with the passage of the Talmud before cited. And herein our writers agree with the Karaei, that all kinds of unlawfull and forbidden mariages are not expresly mentioned in the law, but diverse of them to be collected by consequence, that is, either by parity of reason, or by greater strength of reason: for instance, Levit▪ 18. 10. The nakednesse of thy Sons daughter, or of thy daughters daughter, even their nakednesse thou shalt not uncover: For theirs is thine own nakednesse. Hence the conse∣quence is drawn a pari. Therefore a man may not uncover the nakednesse of his great grand-child, or of her who is the daughter of his Sonnes daughter. For that also is his own nakednesse, being a discent in linea recta from himself. From the same Text, 'tis collected à fortiori, that much lesse a man may uncover the nakednesse of his own daughter, which yet is not expressely forbiden in the Law, but left to be thus col∣lected by necessary consequence from the very same Text, 'tis likewise a necessary consequence that a man may not unco∣ver the nakednesse of her who is daughter to his wives sonne, or to his wives daughter. For here the reason holds, 'tis his owne nakednesse, his wife and he being one flesh, which gives Page  243 ground to that generall receaved rule, that a man may not marry any of his wives blood, nearer than he may of his own, neither may a wife marry any of her husbands blood, nearer then she may of her owne. Again, Levit: 18. 14. Thou shalt not uncover the nakednesse of thy fathers brother, &c. Hence it followeth à pari, that a man may not uncover the nakednesse of his mothers brother, and by parity of reason (ever since that law was made,) 'tis also unlawfull for a woman to mar∣ry him who hath been husband to her father sister, or to her mothers sister, the nearnesse of blood being alike between Uncle and Neece, as between Ant and Nephew. Other in∣stances may be given, but these may suffice to prove that what doeth by necessary consequence follow from the law, must be understood to be commanded, or forbidden by God, as well as that which is expressely commanded or forbidden in the Text of Scripture.

3. Argument, If we say that necessary consequences from Scripture prove not a jus divinum, we say that which is incon∣sistent with the infinite wisdome of God, for although neces∣sary consequences may bee drawen from a mans word which do not agree with his minde and intention, and so men are oftentimes insnared by their words; yet (as Camero well noteth) God being infinitly wise, it were a blasphemous opi∣nion, to hold that any thing can bee drawne by a certaine and necessary consequence from his holy word, which is not his will. This were to make the onely wise God as foolish man, that cannot foresee all things which will follow from his words. Therefore wee must needs hold, 'tis the minde of God which necessary followeth from the word of God.

4. Argument, diverse other great absurdities must follow, if this truth be not admitted. How can it be proved that wo∣men may partake of the Sacrament of the Lords supper, un∣lesse wee prove it by necessary consequence from Scripture? Page  244 How can it bee proved that this or that Church, is a true Church, and the Ministery thereof, a true Ministery, and the Baptisme Ministered therein true Baptisme? Sure no expresse Scripture will prove it, but necessary consequence will. How shall this or that individuall beleever, collect from Scripture, that to him, even to him the Covenant of grace and the pro∣mises thereof belong? Will Scripture prove this otherwise, than by necessary consequence? How will it be proved from Scripture, that the late warre against the Popish and Prelati∣call party, in desence of our Religion and Liberties, was lawfull, that the solemne League and Covenant was an ac∣ceptable service to God? Necessary consequence from Scrip∣ture will prove all this; but expresse Scriptures will not. The like I say of fastings and thansgiving now and then, upon this or that occasion, God calls us to these dueties, and it is his will that we performe them, yet this cannot bee proved from Scripture, but by necessary consequences.

This fourth Argument will serve for the extension of the present assertion (which I now prove) to 'its just lati∣tude, that is, that Arguments from Scripture by necessary consequence, will not onely help to prove and strengthen such things which may bee otherwise proved from expresse and plain Scriptures, but will be good and sufficient to prove such things to be by the will and appointment of God, or as we commonly say, Iure divino which cannot be proved to be such, from any expresse Text of Scripture.

5. Argument, I shall here take notice of the concession of Theophilus Nicolaides, the Socinian in his Tractat, de Ecclesia & missione ministrorum, cap. 10. pag: 121. Although hee profes∣seth his dissent, both from the Reformed and Romane Chur∣ches thus far, that he doeth not beleeve things drawen by con∣sequence from Scripture to be equally necessary to salvation, as those things contained expressely in Scripture, yet he yeeld∣deth Page  245 the things drawne by consequence to be as certaine as the the other, quantumuis, saith he, aeque certa sint quae ex sacris li∣teris de ducuntur at{que} ea quae in illis expresse &〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉habentur. And generally it may be observed, that even they who most cry downe consequences from Scripture, and call for expresse Scriptures, do notwithstanding, when themselves come to prove from Scripture their particular Tenents, bring no o∣ther but consequentiall prooffs. So farre is wisdome justi∣fied, not onely of her Children, but even of her Enemies. Neither is it possible that any Socinian, Erastian, &c. can dis∣put from Scripture against a Christian, who receaveth and beleeveth the Scripture to be the word of God, but hee must needs take himself to consequentiall prooffs: for no Chri∣stian will deny what is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 literally and syllabically in Scrip∣ture, but all the controversies of Faith or Religion in the Christian world, were and are concerning the sense of Scrip∣ture, and consequences, drawne from Scripture.

6. Argument. If wee do not admit necessary consequences from Sripture to prove a jus divinum, wee shall deny to the great God that which is a priviledge of the little Gods or Magistrates. Take but one instance in our own age; When the Earle of Strafford was impeached for high treason, one of his defences was, that no Law of the Land had determined any of those particulars, which were proved against him to be high treason. Which defence of his was not confuted by any Law, which literally and syllabically made many of those particulars to be high treason, but by comparing together of severall Lawes, and severall matters of fact, and by drawing of necessary consequences from one thing to another, which made up against him a constructive treason. If there be a con∣structive or consequentiall jus humanum, there must be much more (for the considerations before mentioned) a con∣structive or consequentiall jus divinum.