Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/72

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to know, certainly, and in all cases, what God commands, or forbids us to do, but by the sentence of him or them that are constituted by the King to determine the sense of the Scripture, upon hearing of the particular case of conscience which is in question. And they that are so constituted are easily known in all Christian commonwealths, whether they be bishops, or ministers, or assemblies, that govern the Church under him or them that have the sovereign power.

B. Some doubts may be raised from this that you now say. For if men be to learn their duty from the sentence which other men shall give concerning the meaning of the Scriptures, and not from their own interpretation, I understand not to what end they were translated into English, and every man not only permitted, but also exhorted, to read them. For what could that produce, but diversity of opinion, and consequently (as man’s nature is) disputation, breach of charity, disobedience, and at last rebellion? Again, since the Scripture was allowed to be read in English, why are not the translations such as might make all that is read, understood even by mean capacities? Did not the Jews, such as could read, understand their law in the Jewish language, as well as we do our statute laws in English? And as for such places of the Scripture, as had nothing of the nature of a law, it was nothing to the duty of the Jews, whether they were understood or not, seeing nothing is punishable but the transgression of some law. The same question I may ask concerning the New Testament. For, I believe, that those men to whom the original language was natural, did understand sufficiently what commands and councils were given them by our Saviour and his apostles, and his immediate disciples. Again, how will you answer that question which was put by St. Peter and St. John (Acts iv. 19), when by Annas the high-priest, and others of the Council of Jerusalem, they were forbidden to teach any more in the name of Jesus: Whether is it right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than unto God?

A. The case is not the same. Peter and John had seen