The books of the Scripture are therefore called Canonical, because as they have had their Prime and Sovereign Authority from God Himself, by whose divine will and inspiration they were first written, and by whose blessed Providence they have been since preserved and delivered over to posterity, so have they been likewise received, and in all times acknowledged by his Church to be the Infallible Rule of our Faith, and the Perfect Square of our actions in all things that are anyway needful for our eternal Salvation.
Other books, what honor soever they have heretofore had in the Church, or what is there still continued to them; yet if they cannot show all these marks and characters upon them, 1. That they are of Supreme and Divine Authority; 2. That they were written by men specially acted and inspired for that purpose by the Spirit of God; 3. That they were by the same men and the same Authority delivered over for such to all posterity; 4. That they have been received for such by he Church of God in all ages; and 5. That all men are both to regulate their Faith, and to measure their Actions by them, as by the undoubted witnesses of God’s infallible Truth, and Ordinances declared in them.
Dr. Cosin, A Scholastic History of the Canon of Holy Scripture or the Certain and Indubitable Books thereof, as they are received in the Church of England (London: Printed by E. Tyler and R. Holt for Robert Pawlett, at the Sign of the Bible in Chanecry-Lane, near Fleet-street, 1672), 1-2
John Cosin (1594 -1672) English hymnwriter and Anglican cleric who became Master of Peterhouse College Cambridge, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University in 1660 and Bishop of Durham.