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The following are quotes about Protestantism, its beliefs, its origin, and its development.
Samuel Clarke, d. 1729
The use of punctuation has changed greatly since 1719. I have left Samuel Clarke's punctuation and spelling unchanged. It will cause no difficulty in reading.
I choose rather (saith [Dr. Wake] in the name of every Christian) to regulate my faith by what God hath delivered than by what man hath defined—Comment on Ch. Catech. p. 21. (The Scripture-Doctrine of the Trinity. [London] 1719. p. viii-ix. Parentheses and reference original, brackets mine.)
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As in matters of speculation and philosophical inquiry, the only judge of what iright or wrong, is reason and experience ; so in matters either of humane testimony or divine Revelation, the only certain rule of truth is the testimony or the Revelation.(The Scripture-Doctrine of the Trinity. [London] 1719. p.v)
The Christian Revelation is the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles ... For the right apprehending of which Doctrine, men are .... sincerely to make use of their best understanding ; and, in order thereunto, to take in all the helps they can find, either from living instructors or ancient writers ; but this, only as a means to assist and clear up their own understanding, not to over-rule it. ... The only rule of Fath therefore to every Christian is the Doctrine of Christ ; and that Doctrine, as applied to him by his own understanding. In which matter, to preserve his understanding from erring, he is obliged indeed, at his utmost peril, to lay aside all vice and all prejudice, and to make use of the best assistances he can procure.(The Scripture-Doctrine of the Trinity. [London] 1719. p.v-vi)
... therefore the Books of Scripture are to us now not only the rule, but the whole and only rule of truth in matters of Religion.(The Scripture-Doctrine of the Trinity. [London] 1719. p.vi)
Nevertheless, through the whole Scripture is the rule of truth ; and whatever is ther delivered is infallibly true ; yet because there is contained in those writings great variety of things, and many occasional doctrines and decisions of controversies, which though all equally true, yet are not all equally necessary to be known and understood by all Christians of all capacitites ; therefore the Church from the beginning has out of the Scripture selected those plain fundamental doctrines, which were there delivered as the terms or conditions of Salvation, of necessity to be known and understood by all Christians whatsoever. And these, all persons were taught in their Baptismal Creeds. (The Scripture-Doctrine of the Trinity. [London] 1719. p.vi-vii)
For, matters of speculation indeed, of philosophy, or art ; things of human invention, experience or disquisition ; improve generally from small beginnings, to greater and greater certainty, and arrive at perfection by degrees ; but matters of Revelation and divine testimony, are on the contrary complete at first ; and Christian Religion, was most perfect at the beginning ... In the days of the Apostles therefore, christianity (sic) was perfect. (The Scripture-Doctrine of the Trinity. [London] 1719. p.vi-vii)
I will produce the deliberate judgment of a very learned man, and a great asserter of the church's authority, conterning the matter I am now speak of ; I mean Mr. Hooker, in his deservedly admired Book of Ecclesiastical Polity ... That the authority of man should prevail with men either against or above reason, is no part of our belief. Companies of learned men, though they be never so great and reverend, are to yield unto reason ... And this he delivers, not only as his own particular judgment, but that which he apprhended to be the judgment of the Church of England.(The Scripture-Doctrine of the Trinity. [London] 1719. p.vii-ix)
John Fletcher, d. 1785
The Reformers ... protested three things in general:
- That right reason has an important place in matters of faith.
- That all matters of faith may and must be decided by Scripture understood reasonably and consistently with the context. And
- That antiquity and fathers, traditions and councils, canons and the Church, lose their authority when they depart from sober reason and plain Scripture. These three protests are the very ground of our religion, when it is distinguished from popery. They who stand to them deserve, in my humble opinion, the title of true Protestants; they are, at least, the only persons to whom this epistle is inscribed.
(2013).The Works of Reverend John Fletcher: Volume 2. Kindle. Graceworks Multimedia. Loc. 111.
Christian History Institute
It was partly because of Anabaptism that Protestant churches adopted the confirmation service, and baptismal registers (the boon of genealogists) came into being. (Christian History Institute. (2016). The Anabaptists: Did You Know?. Originally published in Christian History. 1985, 5. Retrieved May 4, 2015. Italics in original.)
A 16th century man who did not drink to excess, curse, or abuse his workmen or family could be suspected of being an Anabaptist and thus persecuted. (Christian History Institute. (2016). The Anabaptists: Did You Know?. Originally published in Christian History. 1985, 5. Retrieved May 4, 2015. Italics in original.)
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