Of the Nature of a DIVINE RIGHT in particular. How many ways a thing may be of DIVINE RIGHT. And first, of a DIVINE RIGHT by the true light of nature.
Thus we see in general what a divine right is: now in particular let us come to consider how many ways a thing may be said to be of divine right by scripture-warrant, keeping still our eye upon this subject of church government, at which all particulars are to be levelled for the clearing of it.
A thing may be said to be of divine right, or (which is the same for substance) of divine institution, divers ways. 1. By the true light of nature. 2. By obligatory scripture examples. 3. By divine approbation. 4. By divine acts. 5. By divine precepts or mandates. All may be reduced to these five heads, ascending by degrees from the lowest to the highest divine right.
I. By light of nature. That which is evident by, and consonant to the true light of nature, or natural reason, is to be accounted of divine right in matters of religion. Hence two things are to be made out by Scripture. 1. What is meant by the true light of nature. 2. How it may be proved, that what things in religion are evident by, or consonant to this true light of nature, are of divine right.
1. For the first, What is meant by the true light of nature, or natural reason? Thus conceive. The light of nature may be considered two ways. 1. As it was in man before the fall, and so it was that image and similitude of God, in which man was at first created, Gen. i. 26, 27, or at least part of that image; which image of God, and light of nature, was con-created with man, and was perfect: viz. so perfect as the sphere of humanity and state of innocency did require; there was no sinful darkness, crookedness, or imperfection in it; and whatsoever was evident by, or consonant to this pure and perfect light of nature, in respect either of theory or practice, was doubtless of divine right, because correspondent to that divine law of God’s image naturally engraved in Adam’s heart. But man being lapsed, this will not be now our question, as it is not our