“In the first place, we do not deny that it appertains to the church to approve, acknowledge, receive, promulge, commend the scriptures to all its members; and we say that this testimony is true, and should be received by all. We do not,therefore, as the papists falsely say of us, refuse the testimony of the church, but embrace it. But we deny that we believe the scriptures solely on account of this commendation of them by the church. For we say that there is a more certain and illustrious testimony, whereby we are persuaded of the sacred character of these books, that is to say, the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit, without which the commendation of the church would have with us no weight or moment. The papists, therefore, are unjust to us, when they affirm that we reject and make no account of the authority of the church… But we deny that we believe the scriptures solely on account of this commendation of them by the church. The sum of our opinion is, that the scripture is ἀυτόπιστος [autopistos], that is, hath all its authority and credit from itself is to be acknowledged, is to be received, not only because the church hath so determined and commanded, but because it comes from God; and that we certainly know that it comes from God, not by the church, but by the Holy Ghost. Now by the church we understand not, as they do, the pastors, bishops, councils, pope; but the whole multitude of the faithful. For this whole multitude hath learned from the Holy Spirit that this scripture is sacred, that these books are divine. This persuasion the Holy Spirit hath sealed in the minds of all the faithful.
The state of the controversy, therefore, is this: whether we should believe that these scriptures which we now have are sacred and canonical merely on account of the church's testimony, or rather on account of the internal persuasion of the Holy Spirit; which, as it makes the scripture canonical and authentic in itself, makes it also to appear such to us, and without which the testimony of the church is dumb and inefficacious.”
-Disputation on Holy Scripture, William Whitaker (1588)