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Saturday, August 19, 2017
Date Posted:

John Locke

Chapter 1: Showing what religion is, and how the knowledge of it is to be obtained through the Scriptures.

Locke’s Commonplace-Book to the Holy Bible
John Locke (1632-1704)

Excerpts from A Commonplace-Book to the Holy Bible or, The Scripture's Sufficiency Practically Demonstrated wherein the Substance of Scripture, respecting Doctrine, Worship, and Manners, is reduced to its proper heads: weighty cases are resolved, truths confirmed, and difficult texts illustrated and explained.

By the celebrated John Locke (1632-1704), author of the Essay on the Human Understanding, who died in 1704.

Locke’s Commonplace-Book to the Holy Bible


Showing what religion is, and how the knowledge of it is to be obtained through the Scriptures.

Under the name of RELIGION, is comprehended all that worship and service which is due from men to God; whatever we ought or are bound to do in obedience to him; whatever he will reward us for doing, or punish us for not doing.

In order, therefore, to worship and serve God as we ought to do, we must first believe that he is; that he hath given us laws and commandments to keep; that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him, and of such as do according to all that he hath commanded them; and that he taketh vengeance on them that obey him not.

And for the better understanding the nature and extent of our duty in all respects, together with the grounds and reasons of our obligations, it behooves us in the next place to inform ourselves, as truly and particularly as we can, who the Lord is whom we are to serve, what attributes and perfections belong to him, and what works he hath wrought; as also what manner of beings we ourselves are who are commanded to serve him, what capacities and inclinations we have, what state and condition we are in, and in what relation we stand to God.

After which it will be necessary for us to inquire how and in what manner God is to be worshipped, and what those laws and ordinances are which he hath commanded us to observe.

And then, for our greater encouragement to serve God in all such things as we shall find to be enjoined upon us, and to persevere in our obedience to him, it is requisite for us to know what happiness God hath prepared for them who love and obey him, and what misery he hath provided for such as transgress his commandments; how great, how certain, and of what continuance, both the joy and the terror of the Lord are.

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