Charles Drillincourt, 1658, on Scripture’s Self-Interpretation

Papist: That the Word of God contained in the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments, is not the rule of all Verity, since you yourself confess that you hold many things which are not found in the Divine Books.

Protestant: You have already made this objection, and I think I have sufficiently answered it, but seeing it pleaseth you so much, I will (to satisfy you) examine it once more. To demonstrate the vanity of your argument, I take notice, that you cut off the essential words of the Article. For it is thus, that the Word of God contained in the Canonical books of the Old and New Testament, is the rule of all verity, containing all that is necessary to the service of God and our salvation. But it is clearer than the sun, that the Word of God must regulate all sorts of truths; and that all that of which it makes not mention, is false and a lie. A man must be more than distracted of his wits, who should have such a foolish and extravagant thought. There are many things of which we are assured by the senses; some things we learn by histories, which have been written from age to age and some things we know by the report of others, and by our own experiences.

In fine. There is a multitude of things, whereof the Word of God makes no mention at all, either explicitly, or implicitly. Therefore, we say in the Fifth Article of our Confession of Faith, That the Word of God is the rule of all truth, we understand it of every Gospel truth, and of the very truth which concerns the Faith, and is necessary to Salvation. As the same Article clearly explains it, by adding immediately after that, it contains all that is necessary to the service of God, and our Salvation.

Moreover, (as I have already observed) you must carefully distinguish betwixt the rule and the thing regulated thereby. The rule is the Word of God, and the thing regulated, is the Doctrine of our Salvation and the service of God. All that is squared by this rule; all that is contained in this Divinely inspired Scripture, or may be drawn thence by evident and necessary consequence, we embrace in with the entire Obedience of Faith. On the contrary, we reject whatsoever is not squared by this rule, whatsoever is contrary to, or that no conformity or agreement with the Word of God. And we value it not at all, how fair a show soever it may have of piety and devotion….

Whatsoever is necessary to salvation, clearly and expressly in the holy Scripture. If there be any thing of this nature, which is less clear in one place, it is sufficiently explained in another. And Scripture is interpreted by Scripture itself. God hath provided for our salvation in such sort, and hath disposed his Oracles with such admirable wisdom, that not only the precepts of faith and piety, but also those of Regeneration and Holiness of life are clear and easy to understand.

Charles Drillincourt, The Protestant’s Self-Defense or a Discourse Between a Papist and Protestant wherein the disagreement of the Popish Religion, and the agreement of the Protestant with Scripture, is plainly proved to the meanest capacity, 2 Edition, (London: Printed for Tho. Parkhurst, at the Bible and Three Crowns near Mercers-Chappel, at the lower end of Cheapside, 1685.), 159-161.

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: