OF THE WORD OF GOD, AND OF PROPHETS
Word What When there is mention of the Word of God, or of Man, it doth not signifie a part of Speech, such as Grammarians call a Nown, or a Verb, or any simple voice, without a contexture with other words to make it significative; but a perfect Speech or Discourse, whereby the speaker Affirmeth, Denieth, Commandeth, Promiseth, Threateneth, Wisheth, or Interrogateth. In which sense it is not Vocabulum, that signifies a Word; but Sermo, (in Greek Logos) that is some Speech, Discourse, or Saying.
The Words Spoken By God And Concerning God, Both Are Called Gods Word In Scripture Again, if we say the Word of God, or of Man, it may bee understood sometimes of the Speaker, (as the words that God hath spoken, or that a Man hath spoken): In which sense, when we say, the Gospel of St. Matthew, we understand St. Matthew to be the Writer of it: and sometimes of the Subject: In which sense, when we read in the Bible, “The words of the days of the Kings of Israel, or Judah,” ’tis meant, that the acts that were done in those days, were the Subject of those Words; And in the Greek, which (in the Scripture) retaineth many Hebraismes, by the Word of God is oftentimes meant, not that which is spoken by God, but concerning God, and his government; that is to say, the Doctrine of Religion: Insomuch, as it is all one, to say Logos Theou, and Theologia; which is, that Doctrine which wee usually call Divinity, as is manifest by the places following (Acts 13.46.) “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you, but seeing you put it from you, and judge your selves unworthy of everlasting life, loe, we turn to the Gentiles.” That which is here called the Word of god, was the Doctrine of Christian Religion; as it appears evidently by that which goes before. And (Acts 5.20.) where it is said to the Apostles by an Angel, “Go stand and speak in the Temple, all the Words of this life;” by the Words of this life, is meant, the Doctrine of the Gospel; as is evident by what they did in the Temple, and is expressed in the last verse of the same Chap. “Daily in the Temple, and in every house they ceased not to teach and preach Christ Jesus:” In which place it is manifest, that Jesus Christ was the subject of this Word of Life; or (which is all one) the subject of the Words of this Life Eternall, that our saviour offered them. So (Acts 15.7.) the Word of God, is called the Word of the Gospel, because it containeth the Doctrine of the Kingdome of Christ; and the same Word (Rom. 10.8,9.) is called the Word of Faith; that is, as is there expressed, the Doctrine of Christ come, and raised from the dead. Also (Mat. 13. 19.) “When any one heareth the Word of the Kingdome;” that is, the Doctrine of the Kingdome taught by Christ. Again, the same Word, is said (Acts 12. 24.) “to grow and to be multiplied;” which to understand of the Evangelicall Doctrine is easie, but of the Voice, or Speech of God, hard and strange. In the same sense the Doctrine of Devils, signifieth not the Words of any Devill, but the Doctrine of Heathen men concerning Daemons, and those Phantasms which they worshipped as Gods. (1 Tim. 4.1.)