Chapter II:40: Scripture as Supreme Judge, not Enthusiastical Spirits

Negatively, א. an Enthusiastical Spirit ought not here to be set up as the Supreme and Infallible Judge, for the same reasons that were given above, § 30, 31, against this as a Principium of Faith.

Nevertheless, with this Enthusiastical Spirit our AUTHOR does not wish to be compared Zwingli’s nocturnal counselor.  This has regard to the narration of Zwingli in Coronide de Eucharistia, opera, part II, folio 249, where he narrates that, while he was working in Zurich that the Mass might be altogether abolished, it was objected against him by a certain Scribe, that all the examples that he had previously set forth to prove that this is is to be taken as this signifies, were parabolic; but that not one was adduced, in which was only a simple trope, which sort he imagined in the words of the Lord’s Supper:  that he responded, as indeed was the case, that in the explication of the parable, when Christ said, the seed is the Word of God,[1] there is a simple trope, in which it is manifestly ought to be taken as it signifies; and that all acquiesced to this response, so that the decree concerning the abolition of the Mass followed.  Nevertheless, while they continued to insist that examples be produced that were not conjoined with any parable, and time was running on, and he was still not able to recollect a clear passage of this sort; it happened that at night in a dream he was very distress in soul over this matter:  but behold, “ἀπὸ μηχανῆς, by some contrivance,” says he, “a counselor appeared to be present (whether he was black or white I remember nothing, for I recount a dream), who said, O sluggard, you shall certainly respond to him with what it written in Exodus 12, for it is the Passover, this is the passing over of the Lord:”  consult ECKHARDUS’ Fasciculum Controversiarum cum Calvino, chapter I, question VI, pages 26, 27.  And indeed, this particular Spirit does not occur as the authority ending the controversy that was agitated concerning the Lord’s Supper and the true interpretation of the sacramental words; but Zwingli, had already long since obtained a true understanding of this controversy from the Scripture itself, as the normative Judge and best Interpreter of itself, is only further confirmed in this his opinion, not by the authority of an Enthusiastical Spirit outside of Scripture, but from Scripture itself, which remained to him the Norm and supreme Judge in deciding the Question:  consult RIVET’S Exercitationem CXXIV in Genesis, opera, tome I, pages 478, 479; GERDES’ Introductionem in Historiam Reformationis, tome I, § 127, 128, pages 321-325; WITSIUS’ Miscellaneorum sacrorum, tome I, book I, chapter XXIV, § 27, pages 380, 381.  The Zwinglian interpretation of the words of Exodus 12:11 is defended against the Lutherans by WENDELIN[2] in his Exercitationibus theologicis lXXXVII, pages 1331-1333.

[1] Luke 8:11.

[2] Marcus Friedrich Wendelin (1584-1652) was a Reformed Theologian and educator.  He served as Rector at Zerbst from 1610 to 1652.

1 thought on “Chapter II:40: Scripture as Supreme Judge, not Enthusiastical Spirits

  1. Westminster Confession of Faith 1:6a: ‘The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.’

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