Faithful Shepherd 6A

Of the analysis and resolution of the text
The text read, the teacher is to resolve his Scripture, to lay it open to the hearers.
What is to be observed in the analysis
1. The author of the words.
2. The occasion thereof.
3. If a particular portion of Scripture or some chapter or verse of chapter then observe the coherence with that which goes before or follows after.
4. The scope or principal intention of the Holy Ghost in that place. From this scope the principal proposition arises – called by rhetoricians, the state and by lawyers the issue.
How to find out the scope of a place and to resolve the same Scripture
This is the chief thing to be laboured in and is to be found out by observing these circumstances – quis, quod, ubi, etc. That is, the person, the thing itself, the time, place, the means, the manner of doing and the end. By the person, time and place may be found the occasion. By the the thing, the matter handled. By the means, the arguments. By the manner, the method - how the arguments are laid down, which method is often cryptic and not natural. By the end, the scope and to the principal proposition, which may be brought to one of these three kinds – Demonstrative, Deliberative or Judicial.
Of dividing a text and the benefit from it
It is a hard thing to find the state of a whole book and to reduce it to one sentence or proposition because it is made up of different kinds. It is more easy with parts of a book or with a portion of Scripture.
Firstly, after the scope be found out, the text is to be divided into its several parts. By this we limit ourselves within bounds to keep ourselves from ranging. The hearer will better follow the matter and understand the meaning in the discourse. It helps the memory to carry away what is heard. Where order is lacking and without division there must needs be a disordered roving, running in and out, here now in the beginning, by and by in the ending. There is confusion, a mixture of things to be to be severed and a separation of things to be conjoined. The discourse is loose, tedious and uncertain, wandering, without stay or limitation.
How to divide particular verses
On the division of books and chapters it is not my purpose to speak because helps enough are to be had for this and are so common in all men's labours and commentaries that it is a needless labour to give any precepts herein.
I therefore here intend to speak of particular Scriptures, one or two verses for a text, and of the division, interpretation and gathering teachings out of them only. Some verses contain evident doctrines or propositions, such as Pr 29:18, Jn 3:36. There note the quality of it – general or special, affirmative or negative, necessary or contingent; the parts, the antecedent and consequent. Where such evident propositions be not found, first look out a totum, what in general to name it – such as a narration, a doctrine teaching something, an exhortation to do or a dehortation to desist; a command, a promise; a threat or rebuke; petition, wish, vow, curse; profession, declaration, a salutation, a counsel, comfort, prediction, praise, thanksgiving, dispraise, admonition, question, answer, mock or taunt, definition, description, accusation, prohibition, accusation, prohibition, detestation, denial or affirmation, etc. Then gather the parts by circumstances even as the words lie in order, if it may be, for the better help of the lower sort.
To find what to call it, which term or name contains the scope of the word may be found out from other Scriptures. So Mt 28:19 is called a commandment by St Paul; Gn 17:4 St Paul calls a promise (Ro 4:20); Psalm 32:1 is interpreted by St Paul (Ro 4:6). Again, we may know how to call it by the sense of the place, even if we do not find it interpreted elsewhere or by other means. By the verb, as in Mt 9:10 a charge given, Ro 12:1 an exhortation, Lk 14:29, 30 a mocking, Ro 9:14 detestation noted by may there be which verb shows the Apostles' detestation of that blasphemy. By nouns – Da 4:24 it is a counsel. By adverbs – Ps 119:5 a wish. By conjunctions though, although, etc, are used as signs. Unless is often 'observe this objection' or 'but less' as in 2 Co 1:24. By interjections, as in Ps 120:5 a complaint. In one verse there may be two or three generals, as in Gn 32:30, the first part a narration, the latter a thanksgiving. Whereupon in such cases according as the text will afford a general division it must first be made into diverse totums and each of them after into their branches by circumstances, as for example Ezekiel 18:30 (Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin).
Ezekiel 18:30
1. These words are by the prophet Ezekiel, whom the Lord raised up so as to comfort the godly and to show the wicked their sins and punishment for the same.
2. The wicked Jews had blasphemously accused the Lord of injustice and murmured against his chastisements.
3. This the prophet reproves them for and confutes their error and shows that God's ways are equal and just and theirs unjust and that not he but they are the cause of his judgements on them, which are justly inflicted.
4. Whereupon in these words the prophet concludes that for these their speeches they deserve punishment and should be punished unless they repented.
5. The verse contains three generals or totums and therefore must first be observed
1. A threatening of judgement
2. An exhortation
3. A promise, which both the sense and the verbs (I will judge, return, shall not be) do point out to us. Now if men please, they may by circumstances divide these into several parts, everyone again, and as the words lie in order – as thus
In the threat, note
1. The cause, in therefore.
2. What is threatened, judgement.
3. Who in general, the house of Israel and more particularly everyone.
4. The manner of judgement, justly according to his ways.
5. The person threatening, the Lord.
So likewise proceed in the exhortation and promise.

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