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of the Gospel is laid upon the Miracle, Volume of Christ's Resurrection from the XII. dead, which our Saviour mentions
as the only sign that should be given
up from us, must one be ordained to be á witness with us of his resurrection, Sermon So St. Peter in his Sermon, Aets 2. 32.
IV. Him hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. And to mention no more, Acts 10.38, 39, 40, 41. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Ghost and with Power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil: for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Hierufalem ; whom they few and banged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
2. What assurance of Miracles is sufficient to perswade men to believe the Revelation or Testimony, for the confirmation of which they are wrought. Of this assurance there are three degrees, all which do oblige men to believe the Divine Revelation for which they are wrought.
(1.) If we have the evidence of our own Senses for it, that is, if we see them wrought. This Evidence the Disciples of our Lord had, and the Jews, and therefore their unbelief was
inexcusable; and the Blaspheming Volume of the Spirit
, whereby they faw such XII. Miracles to be wrought, was the sin
against the Holy Ghost.
(2.) If we have the credible report of Eye-witnesses of those Miracles, who are credible Persons, and we have no reason to doubt of their Testimony ; that is, if we have the Reports of them immediately from the mouth of those who were Eye-witnesses of them. That this lays likewise an obligation on men to believe, appears by our Saviour's reproof of Thomas, who would not believe except he himself faw: but most exprefly from that Text, Mark 16. 14. He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
(3.) If the credible report of Eyewitnesses concerning such Miracles be conveyed to us in such a manner, and with so much evidence, as we have no reason to doubt of it. For why should we not believe a credible Report conveyed to us in such a manner, as we have no reason to question, but that it hath been faithfully conveyed and transmitted to us? St. John
thought this to be Assurance sufficient to induce belief, John 20. 31.
Sermon But these things were written; that je
IV. might believe, &c. And this is that Assurance which we, who live at this distance from the Age of Christ and his Apostles, have of the Miracles wrought in confirmation of the Gospel. I shall have occasion to enlarge upon these Heads hereafter.
3. What assurance Miracles give us, that the Scriptures are a Divine Revelation. And this contains four distinct Questions in it.
1. What assurance we have from hence, that the Doctrine contained in the Scripture is from God? To which the Answer is easie; Because these Miracles were wrought for the confirmation of this Doctrine.
2. The Question is, What Assufance the Miracles give us, that those persons who are said to be thePen-men of the several Books of Scripture, were really so? To this I Answer; None It all : for I do not know of any Mi. acle that was wrought to prove Mos wrote the Pentateuch, or that St. Matthew wrote the Gospel which goes nder his Name. But if the Question How then am I assured of this? H 2
I Answer, By credible and unconXII.
trould Report. It bears his Name, and hath always been received for his : and if this will not satisfie, I cannot prove it farther, it is too late now to prove it by any other Argument. St. Matthew is dead, and those who saw him write it, and those who received it from them; so that we cannot go to enquire of them in order to our satisfa
tion: but the best of it is that as it cannot now be proved at this distance, otherwise than by constant and uncontrould report ; lo no Man at this distance can have any reason to doubt of it; and fo long as no can have any reason to doubt of it; there can be no need of proving it, especially considering that it is by no means necessary to Salvation, to believe that St. Matthew wrote the History of the Gospel; but only to believe what he wrote.
3. The Question is, What afsurance Miracles give, that those persons who are said to be the Pen-men of the Books of Scripture were divinely inspired? The Miracles (under which I comprehend the Prediction of future Events) which Moses, and the Prophets, and the Apostles wrought, werd