Chapter II:21: The Principal Subject Matter of Scripture

A consideration of the Object or Argument of the Scriptures now follows, and of the Mode in which that is delivered in Scripture.

The Argument of Scripture is true Religion, which is the Right Manner of coming to know and of worshipping/serving God for the salvation of man as sinner and the glory of God, as we shall see in Chapter III.  Now, that this is delivered in the Scripture both dogmatically, and habitually, as our AUTHOR says in his Compendio, is proven by these passages:  1.  Psalm 19:7, in which there is discussion of the Scripture as converting to the Worship of God and instilling true wisdom, which is found in the Knowledge of God.  2.  John 5:39, in which the Scriptures are presented as relating the way of arriving at eternal life, which is true Religion, specifically through the testimony which they gave concerning Christ, the knowledge and faith of whom is principally required in true Religion.  3.  2 Timothy 3:15-17:  in which it is asserted of the Scriptures that they are able σοφίσαι εἰς σωτηρίαν, to make wise unto salvation, which is the scope/goal of Religion; now, the means tending to this are faith upon Christ Jesus, the knowledge of God, and the practice of all good works, whither Scripture leads man by means of διδασκαλίαν/teaching, ἔλεγχον/elenctics, παιδείαν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ, training in righteousness, rendering the man of God ἐξηρτισμένον, thoroughly furnished, for every good work.

And to this principal Argument of Scripture are to be referred and subordinated all the other things that are delivered in the Scriptures, α. Things Natural, for in these the manifold glory of God, worthy to be known and worshipped, shines forth, as was already seen in § 13 of Chapter I, and to this are able to be directed the most pious Contemplationes Mundi of the Most Distinguished NIEUWENTYT, and similar works.  β. Things Historical, which according to the manifold works of God unfold the things allotted to the Church.  γ. Things Chronological, from which the fullness of the times is able to be learned.  δ. Things Topographical, which set up the successive seats of the Church for our contemplation, and together with Things Chronological are the lights and eyes of Sacred History, and contribute much to the confirmation of the same.  ε. Likewise Things Genealogical, which relate the succession of the holy people in the promise land, and prove from ancestry that Jesus of Nazareth is the true Messiah.  And whatever least things thus have their uses, or perhaps formerly also had more:  and, if perhaps not all things related in the Scriptures are equally necessary, the goodness of God is to be acknowledged, which desired to consult not only our necessity, but also our abundance and delight.

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