Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

Mind of Man, which is naturally
Volume prepofseft with contrary Notions,

should, whilst it retains its own Na-
ture, admit of such as do clearly and
immediately contradict them. For if
these be natural Notions, That there is
a God, that he must be Wise and Just,
and Good and Powerful, and ought
to be honoured and loved by his
Creatures; the mind of man cannot
possibly admit of any contrary Per-
Iwasions and Impressions : for the for-
mer Perswasions being natural to us,
will always remain while our Na-
ture remains; and if any Perswasions
contrary to these could be wrought
upon our Minds, they would fignifie
nothing, but would mutually destroy
one another. For if any Man that is
perswaded that God is Good, (as eve-
ry Man is, that is perswaded he is at
all) could, during the perswasion, be
likewife of a contrary Perswasion,
that he is not Good; this latter Per-
fwasion would signifie nothing: for he
is not perswaded that God is not
Good, whilst he retains this Perswa-
fion that he is Good.

[ocr errors]


Thirdly, Supposing the thing revealed Sermon do not contradict the essential Notions III, of our Minds, no good and holy man hath reason to doubt of any thing, whether it be a Revelation from God or not, of which he hath a clear and vigorous perception, and full satisfaetion in his own Mind that it is such. For if a man may have reason to doubt of any thing, whereof he hath a clear perception, then no man can be certain of any thing. Now that there is such a thing as Certainty, is now supposed, and not to be proved. I say, a good and holy man can have no reason to doubt : for a wicked man (I grant) may, by a sinful rejection of, and disobedience to the Truth, fo far provoke God, as to give him up to strong delusions to believe lies; and he may be as consident of a Lie, as any good man is of the Truth.

And as this is not unjust from God in reference to wicked men, so is it no prejudice to the assurance which good men may have concerning a Divine Revelation.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Fourthly, A good and holy man reflectXII.

ing upon this Assurance and Perswafion that he hath, may be able to give himself a reasonable account of it, and satissie himself that it is not a stubborn belief and an obstinate conceit of things without any ground or reason. A good man is secretly and within himself perswaded, that God hath revealed to him such a thing; reflecting upon this perswasion, he finds that it is a Foreign Impression, and doth not spring from his own Mind: Now he believing that there is a God, who can, and probably doth commụnicate and reveal himself to the Minds of good men; and being withal satisfied that his Goodness is such, that he will not suffer good men, who do heartily and sincerely desire to know his Will, to be under a necefsity of Delusion, (which they unavoidably are, if they may then be deceived, when they have the greatest assurance, and clearest fatisfaction that such a thing is revealed to them of God;) from hence he reasonably concludes, That he ought not to question the matter any farther. I

might instance in the Revelation made
to Abraham, concerning the facrificing Sermon
of his Son, which hath the greatest III.
difficulty in it of any case I know of:
But of that I have elsewhere discour-
sed at large. * Thus much for the * See vol. 1.

Serm. 2.


Secondly, What assurance can other Persons, who have not the Revelation immediately made to them, have of a Divine Revelation? To this I shall Answer by these Propositions.

1. That there are some means whereby a man may be assured of another's Revelation that it is Divine. For,

(1.) Otherwise it would signifię nothing, but only to the Person that immediately had it; which would make void the chief end of most Ręvelations, which are seldom made to particular Persons for their own fakęs only, but for the most part, on purpose that they may be made known to others, which could not effectually be done, unless there be some means whereby men may be assured of Re velations made to another.

(2) None


Volume (2.) None could be guilty of UnXII. belief but those who had immediate

Revelation made to them. For no man is guilty of Unbelief that is not obliged to believe: but no man can be under an Obligation to believe any thing, who hath not sufficient means whereby he may be assured that such a thing is true.

The private assurance and såtisfaction of another concerning a Revelation made to him, can signifie, nothing at all to me, to assure me of it. For what satisfaction is it to me, that another may fay, he hath a Revelation, unless I have some means

to be assured that what he says is ; true? For if I must believe every Spi

rit, that is every man that says he is inspired, I lie open to all possible Impostures and Delusions, and must believe every one that either foolishly conceits, or falsely pretends that he hath a Revelation: for both the conceited and pretended Enthusiast will say they have Revelations, with as much confidence as those who are truly and divinely inspired: and to


« AnteriorContinuar »