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but that the Scriptures are the Word Volume of God, have the same Degree of XII. Perswalion concerning the matters

contained in them; and that no Man doubts whether what God says is true, ariseth from the fix'd and conftant Notion which men universally have of God, that he is infallible and true. Therefore we find, Matt. 21. 25. when our Saviour puts the Dilemma to the Pharisees, concerning the Baptism of John, Whether it were from heaven, or of men? that they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we Mall say, from heaven; he will say una to us, Why did ye not then believe him? Which kind of reasoning imports thus much, that it is universally acknowledged, that no Man can in reason make the least doubt of that which he believes to be from God. Therefore a Man would wonder what Betanus the Jesuit meant, unless it were to abuse the Prophets and Apostles, when he says, Tom. 3. of his SchoolDivinity, that the Prophets and Apostles had evedentiam revelationis, non autem evidentiam primæ veritatis : tametfi enim evidenter cognofcerent Deum esse, qui ipsis revelabat mysteria '

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fidei, non tamen evidenter cognoscebant Deum esse Jummè veracem, qui nec

Sermon

II. falli potuit, nec fallere ; that is, “Tho " it was sufficiently evident to the “Prophets and Apostles, that those “ Revelations which they had were « from God; yet it was not evi“dent to them, that Divine Re“velations are true: for tho they “did evidently know that there was “a God, who revealed to them “the mysteries of Faith; yet they did

not evidently know that God was “infallible and true, who could nei“ther deceive, nor be deceived. By which he doth not only make the Prophets and Apostles Ideots, and destitute of one of the most common notions of human Nature, which is, that God is infallible and true; but he doth likewise make all Divine Revelation : useless, and to no purpose. For to what purpose is it for a Man to be satisfied that God reveals such a thing to hiin; if he be in the mean time unsatisfied, whether what God reveals is true? for no man that is unsatisfied, whether what God reveals be true, can upon any tolerable ground of reason yield a firm assent to a Divine Re

velation.

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velation. But 'tis pity to spend time Volume in confuting any thing which confutes XII. it self by its own ablurdity, and its

direct contradiction to the common
notions of human Nature. I proceed
therefore.

Supposing any Man be unsatis-
fied, and do make any doubt whe-
ther these Books call’d the Holy
Scriptures, or any of them, be the
Word of God, that is, a Divine Re-
velation; proportionably to the de-
gree of his doubting concerning the
Divine Authority of the Scriptures,
there will be an abatement of his
Faith, as to the things contained
in them: for he that believes
a thing mcerly upon the Credit or
Testimony of such a Person; so
much reason as he hath to doubt,
whether such a Person did speak, or
testifie such a thing ; so much rea-
fon he hath to doubt whether the thing
be true.

And upon this account I think it is, that the Scripture speaks of Degrees of Faith, of growing and increasing in Faith, of a strong Faith, that is,

such

such a Faith, as was either wholly, or in a great measure free from doubting; Sermon and of a weak Faith, that is, such a

II. Faith, as had a great mixture of doubting; by which we are not to understand, that they doubted of the Truth of any thing of which they were Satisfied by a Divine revelation; but that they doubted whether such things were Divine revelations, or not. So that the great doubt of the Disciples was, whether Christ were the true Messias, and really the Son of God : for so far as they were satisfied of that, they could not doubt of any thing he said.

IV. What are the

proper

and

genuin Effects of this Faith? The

proper and genuin Effects of the Belief of the Scriptures in general, is the Conformity of our Hearts and Lives to what we believe; that is, to be such Persons, and to live such Lives as it becomes those, who do heartily believe, and are really perswaded of the truth of the Scriptures. And if this be a constant and abiding peswasion, it will produce this Effect; but with more or less difficulty, according to the disposition of the Subject, and the weakness or strength

of

of contrary habits and inclinations. Volume More particularly the Effects of this XII. Faith are according to the Nature of

the matter believed. If it be a History or relation of things past, or Prophecy of things to come; it hathanEffect upon men to far as the History or Prophecy doth concern them. If it be a doctrine; it hath the Effect which the particular nature and tendency of such a Doctrine requires. For instance, the doctrine of Gods goodness is apt to inflame us with Love to him; of his Power and Justice, with a fear and awe of him. This Doctrine,thatChrist is the Saviour of the World, the proper Effect of it, is to make men rely upon him for Salvation; and so of the rest. If it be a Precept; the proper Effect of it, is obedience : and hence it is that unbelief and disobedience are frequently put for one another in Scripture; and disobedience is opposed to Faith, 1 Pet. 2. 7. Unto you therefore which believe, he his precious: but unto them which be disobedient,&c.where the disobedient are opposed to them that believe. And so likewise those who neglect any.duty of of Religion, and do any thing notoriously unworthy of their Profession, are said to

deny

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