But least any man think, that by arguments, which us reason by a natural light to be found, without the singular grace of the Spirit this may be wrought in the minds of the wicked, as either to obey the truth, or to leave off to reproach it, first he must remember that the arguments or testimonies are of two sorts which shew the certainty of the Christian religion, and maintain the authority of the Scripture. For there is but one only testimony, which is appropriated unto them alone who are regenerated by the Spirit of Christ, and unto them alone is known, the force of which the testimony is so great, that it doth not only abundantly testify and seal in our minds the truth of the doctrine of the Prophets and Apostles, but it also forcibly inclineth and moveth our hearts to the embracing and following of it. Other testimonies whatsoever may be brought, they are understood indeed both of the godly and the wicked, and do compel their consciences to confess, that this religion rather than others is pleasing to God, and that it came from him. But unless that one other come also, which is know of the godly alone, these testimonies will never bring to pass that man shall embrace the truth, although it be known to them. The arguments which shew the truth and certainty of the Scripture are these.
- Purity and perfections of doctrine. For we have the pure and perfect doctrines of the Gospel, so also the Law. Now other sects have not both the tables of the Law perfect. The first many have in part. The second but in some part also, and stained with many lies.
- The Gospel itself. Because it yieldeth sure consolation to men’s consciences, shewing the only way of escaping sin and death. The nature of man was not created to destruction. Wherefore that doctrine, which sheweth delivery, without violating the justice of God, is undoubtedly true and certain.
- The antiquity of this doctrine. Because it is found to be most ancient, party by conference. For we confer this with other doctrines, we shall find it to be pure and most true, as delivered by God, from which men afterwards fell away. Other sects have sprung up at other times, and again have perished. This hath continued, though it hath been mightily expunged by her enemies. (Continued)
Zacharias Ursinus, The Sum of the Christian Religion: Wherein are debated and resolved the Questions of whatsoever points of moment, which have been or are controversed in Divinity. Translated into English by Henry Parrie, out of the last and best Latin Editions (Oxford: Printed at Joseph Barnes and are to be sold in Pauls Churchyard at the sign of the Tigers head, 1587), 20-21.