The Rule of Faith. adopted by the Church of England, and by other classes of Protestants, is the written Word of God, or the Bible alone, according as it is understood by each particular person. That this is not the True Rule of Faith can be proved by two maxims, namely: The Rule of Faith appointed by Christ must be certain and unerring; that is to say, it must be one which is not liable to lead any rational and sincere inquirer into inconsistency or error. Secondly, this Rule must be universal; that is to say, it must be proportioned to the abilities and circumstances of all of mankind.
I begin by observing that if Christ had intended that all mankind should learn His religion from a Book, namely, the New Testament, He Himself would have written that Book, and would have enjoined the obligation of learning to read it: whereas, it does not appear that He wrote anything at all, unless perhaps the sins of the Pharisees with His finger upon the dust. (John 8:6). It does not even appear that He gave His Apostles any command to write the Gospel; though He emphatically commanded them to preach it (Matthew 10), and that to all the nations of the earth. (Matthew 28). In this ministry they spent all their lives preaching the religion of Christ in every country; everywhere establishing Churches, and commending their doctrine to faithful men who should be fit to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2). Only a part of them wrote anything; and what these did write, was, for the most part, addressed to particular persons or congregations, and on particular occasions. The Evangelists were moved by the Holy Spirit to write their particular Gospels; nevertheless there is nothing in the Gospels which indicates that any one of them, or all of them together, contain an entire, detailed, and clear exposition of the Religion of Jesus Christ. The Canonical Epistles show the particular occasions on which they are written, and thus prove that they are not to be considered as regular treatises on the Christian Religion.