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Of the Faith or Ferfwafion of a
The third Sermon on this Text.
HEB. XI. 6.
But without Faith it is impoffible to pleafe God.
Ser non Ι
Have obferv'd that a Religious and Divine Faith comprehends under it three things.
Firft, a Perfwafion of the Principles of Natural Religion, which are known by the light of Nature.
Volume Secondly, A perfwafion of things XII. Supernatural, and Reveal'd.
Thirdly, A Perfwafion of Supernatural Revelation.
The two former of thefe I have confider'd, and now proceed to the
Third fort of Faith, which I call Divine, or Religious; viz. a Perfwafion concerning a Divine Revelation, that is fuch; which I distinguish from the former thus. The former is a Perfwafion concerning the things which are revealed from God, that they are true: this is a Perfwafion concerning the Revelation it self, that it is Divine and from God.
For the opening of this there are many things to be taken into confide
I. What we understand by a Divine Revelation.
II. The feveral Kinds of it.
III. Whether a Perfwafion con- Sermon cerning a Divine Revelation be pro- III. perly Faith.
IV. How we may come to be asfured of á Divine Revelation, or by what Arguments a Faith or Perfwafion of a Divine Revelation is wrought
V. The Degrees of this Perfwafion or Affurance.
VI. The Effects of it.
VII. In what sense it may be faid to be a Divine Faith; under which I shall speak fomething concerning the Testimony of the Spirit.
I. What we are to understand by a Divine Revelation. Anfw. A Supernatural discovery, or manifeftation of things to us. I fay fupernatural, because it may either be immediately by God, or by the mediation of Angels; as moft, if not all of the Revelations of the Old Teftament were; a fuperna
fupernatural Discovery, or ManifeftaVolume tion, either immediately to our minds, XII. and inward faculties; (for I do not fo well understand the diftinction between Understanding and Imagination, as to be careful to take notice of it;) or else mediately to our understandings, by the mediation of our outward Senfes, as by an external appearance to our bodily eyes, or by a voice and found to the fenfe of hearing. But of this I have difSee Vol. cours'd in a former Sermon, * and therefore fhall add no more here.
5. Serm. 11.
II. For the feveral kinds of Divine Revelation; of this also I have See Vol. formerly discours'd at large.
5. Serm. 11.
III. Whether a Perfwafion of a Divine Revelation may properly be call'd Faith? To this I antwer, That according to the ftreight and narrow notion of Faith, which the Schools have fix'd, which is an asfent to any thing grounded upon the Teftimony, and Authority of God revealing it, a Perfwafion of a Divine Revelation cannot properly be call'd Faith; because it is irrational
to expect that a man fhould have another Divine Revelation to affure him, that this is a Divine Revelation for then for the fame reafon, I must expect another Divine Revelation to affure me of that, and fo without end. But I have fufficiently fhewn, that this is not the true notion of Faith in general, but only of a particular kind of Faith; viz. that which is wrought by the Argument, which we call Teftimony, or Authority. But according to the true and general notion of Faith, which is a perfuafion of the mind concerning any thing, a perfwafion of the mind concerning a Divine Revelation, may as properly be call'd Faith, as any thing elfe, if men will but grant, that a man may be fo fatisfied, concerning a Divine Revelation, as verily to believe and be perfwaded that it is fo.
IV. How we may come to be perfwaded of a Divine Revelation, that it is fuch; or by what Arguments this Perfwafion is wrought in us? For anfwer to this, it will be requifite diftinctly to confider,