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whoever challengeth the first, may Volume with equal Reason claim the oXII. ther.
I shall only add this, that nothing hath been more pernicious to Christian Religion, than the vain pretence of men to greater assurance concerning things relating to it, than they can make good; the Mischief of which is this; that when discerna ing and inquisitive men find that men pretend to greater Matters than they can prove, this makes them doubt of all they say, and to call in question the Truth of Christianity it self. Whereas if men would be contented to speak justly of things, and pretend to no greater Assurance than they can bring Evidence for; considerate men would be apt to believe them. Every knowing Man being more ready to listen to a modelt Man, whose confidence bears a proportion to the Reasons and Ara guments he brings for what he says, than to a confident Pretender, who calls every weak saying a Demonftration. And indeed such men are but justly dealt withal, since the ex
perience of the World hath suffici- m ently taught us, that usually those Sermon who speak modestly of things are
IV. furnish'd with the best Arguments for their Assertions; and that those who have made the strongest Pretences to Infallibility in any thing, have the weakest reasons for what they have said ; of which this account may be given, that good Reasons and Arguments are requisite to beget in a man a rational assurance; but a strong conceit is sufficient to beget in men an opinion of Infallibility.
VI. What is the proper and genuin Effect of this Faith of a Divine Revelation ? I Answer : A Compliance with the Design and Intention of it.
VII. In what respect this may be called a Divine Faith? To this I Answer: Not only in respect of the Object of it, and the Argument whereby it is wrought, and the Effect of it: but likewise in respect of the Author and Efficient of it, which is the Divine Spirit. And here, if time would permit, I should speak
of the Testimony of the Spirit; not as Volume an Argument whereby a perswasion of XII.
a Divine Revelation, viz. That the Scriptures are the Word of God, is wrought ; but also as he is the Author and efficient Cause of it. I do most readily grant
great Influence that the Spirit of God hatli upon the minds of men in this work of Faith, as well as in every Spiritual Act : But it is to be enquired, how the Spirit of God may be said to work this Faith in us; whether by strengthning the Faculty; or by holding the mind intent upon the Argument, whereby this perswąsion is wrought; or discovering the Object; or removing the Impediments; or farthering and helping forward the efficacy of it upon our Hearts and Lives. But of this, God willing, in my next Discourse.
Of the Testimony of the Spirit
, to the Truth of the Gospel.
The Fifth Sermon on this Text.
HEB. XI. 6.
But without Faith it is impossible to
N discoursing of the Faith or Per
swasion of a Divine Revelation, I came to enquire, In what respects this may be call?d a Divine Faith. To which my Answer was, that it is a Divine Faith, not only with respect to the Object of it, and the Argument whereby it is wrought,
and the Effect of it: But likewise in Volume respect of the Author and Efficient of XII. it, which is the Divine Spirit. I
proceed therefore to consider the TeItimony of the Divine Spirit, not only as an Argument whereby a Perswasion of a Divine Revelation, viz. That the Scriptures are the Word of God, is wrought : But also as he is the Author and efficient Cause of it. The Scripture doth in a peculiar manner ascribe the belief of Divine Revelation, especially of the Revelation of the Gospel, to the Spirit of God. In this sense the Scripture faith, That no man can say, that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Spirit of God. And tho' every good perswasion that we have, be in some sort or other to be ascribed to God; yet I observe it to be the Phrase of the New Testament, to attribute the belief of the Gospel, in a more peculiar manner, to the Spirit of God. When any Man believes the Principles of Natural Religion, that there is a God, that the Soul 'is immortal, and that there are Rewards after this Life, as the Heathens did ; even this is from God, who hạth planted these Principles in our Na