Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism

“What Is the Reason for Certainty in Christian Doctrine?” (Part 2)

Chytraeus now lists the confirming testimonies mentioned in the previous section. In both editions I am consulting, the numbering of the list stops partway through, though the list itself continues, so I will supply the missing numbers. The first four “testimonies” are miracles, experience, antiquity, and prophecy. Chytraeus’ assertion about the conviction of the truth of Scripture by means of the work of the Spirit is in accord with the Reformed view (e.g., Belgic Confession 5; WCF 1.4-5), and his discussion of the place of testimonia is as well (cf. WCF 1.5).

I. MIRACULA propria naturae divinae et omnipotentis, ut resuscitatio hominum mortuorum, repressus cursus solis, & similia, quibus sola doctrina christiana confirmata est.

II. Universalis experientia omnium piorum in quotidiana invocatione & exercitiis poenitentiae.

III. Antiquitas Doctrinae Moysis & Prophetarum.

[IV.] Vaticinia illustria & perspicua de rebus maximis, de voluntate Dei, de adventu Christi, de serie & mutationibus imperiorum, quae omnia sic evenerunt, ut praedicta sunt.

I. The miracles that belong properly to the divine and omnipotent nature, such as the reviving of the dead, the delaying of the sun’s journey, and similar things, by which Christian doctrine alone is confirmed.

II. The universal experience of all the pious in their daily invocation [of God] and exercises of repentance.

III. The antiquity of the doctrine of Moses and the Prophets.

[IV.] The famous and clear prophecies about the greatest things–about the will of God, the coming of Christ, the succession and changes of empires; all of which things happened just as they were predicted.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.