Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of Robert Barclay > Catechism and Confession of Faith > Chapter 2


Of the Rule and Guide of Christians, and of the Scriptures.

Question. Seeing it is by the Spirit that Christ reveals the Knowledge of God in things spiritual, is it by the Spirit that we must be led under the Gospel?

A. But ye are not in the Flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his [Rom. 8:9].

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God [Rom. 8:14].

Q. It is an Inward Principle then, that is to be the Guide and Rule of Christians?

A. But the Anointing, which ye have received of him, abideth in you; and ye need not that any man teach you, but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no Lye, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him [1 John 2:27].

But as touching Brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you; for ye your selves are taught of God to love one another [1 Thess. 4:9].

Q. I perceive by this, that it is by an inward Anointing and Rule that Christians are to be taught; Is this the very tenor of the new Covenant Dispensation?

A. For this is the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel, after those Days, saith the Lord, I will put my Laws into their Mind, and write them in their Hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a People: And they shall not teach every Man his Neighbour, and every Man his Brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the Least to the Greatest [Heb. 8:10-11].

And they shall all be taught of God [John 6:45].

Q. Did Christ then promise, that the Spirit should both abide with his Disciples, and be in them?

A. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the World cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you [John 14:16,17].

Q. For what End were the Scriptures written?

A. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our Learning, that we through Patience and Comfort of the Scriptures might have Hope [Rom. 15:4].

Q. For what are they profitable?

A. Thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation, through Faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness, that the Man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all Good Works [2 Tim. 3:15-17].

Q. Wherein consisteth the Excellency of the Scriptures?

A. Knowing this first, that no Prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private Interpretation; For the Prophecy came not in Old Time by the Will of Man, but Holy Men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost [2 Pet. 1:20-21].

Q. The Scriptures are then to be regarded, because they came from the Spirit, and they also testifie, that not they, but the Spirit is to lead into all Truth; In what respect doth Christ command to search them?

A. Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have Eternal Life; and they are they which testifie of me. [John 5:39]

Q. I perceive there was a Generation of old that greatly exalted the Scriptures, and yet would not believe, nor come to be guided by that the Scriptures directed to; How doth Christ bespeak such?

A. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is One that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust: For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me: But if ye believe not his Writings, how shall ye believe my Words? [John 5:45-47]

Q. What ought then such to be accounted of, notwithstanding of their Pretences of being ruled by the Scriptures?

A. In which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own Destruction [2 Pet. 3:16].

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