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supernatural Discovery, or ManifestaVolume tion, either immediately to our minds, XII.
and inward faculties; (for I do not so well understand the distinction 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 Senses, as by an external appearance to our bodily eyes, or by à voice and found to the sense
of hearing. But of this I have difSee Vol. cours’d in a former Sermon, * and
therefore shall add no more here.
s. Serm. 11.
II. For the several kinds of Di
vine Revelation; of this also I have See Vol. formerly * discours'd at large.
III. Whether a Perswasion of a Divine Revelation may properly be call’d Faith ? To this I aniwer, That according to the streight and narrow notion of Faith, which the Schools have fix'd, which is an alfent to any thing grounded upon the Testimony, and Authority of God revealing it, a Perswasion of a Divine Revelation cannot properly be calld Faith ; because it is irrational
to expect that a man should liave another Divine Revelation to alsure Sermon him, that this is a Divine Revelati- III. on: for then for the fame reason, I must expect another Divine Revelation to assure me of that, and so without end. But I have sufficiently shewn, 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 Testimony, or Authority. But according to the true and general notion of Faith, which is a perfmasion of the mind concerning, any thing, a perswalion of the mind concerning a Divine Re. velation, may as properly be callid Faith, as any thing else, if men will but grant, that a man may be so satisfied, concerning a Divine Revelation, as yerily to believe and be perswaded that it is fo.
IV. How we may come to be perswaded of a Divine Revelation, that it is fuch; or by what Arguments thiş Perfwalion is wrought in us? For answer to this, it will be requisite distinctly to consider,
First, The Persons to whom a DiXII. vine Revelation is immediately made,
what assurance theycan have of it.And,
Secondly, What assurance other perfons can have of it. I say, these are distinctly to be considerd, because there is a very different account to be given of them.
First, As to those persons, to whom the Revelation is immediately made, the question is, By what Arguments or Means they may come to be assured, that any Revelation, which they have, is really and truly such, and not a Delusion or Imposture. The Jewish Doctors tell
us, that some kind of Divine Revelations do not carry full assurance along with them, that they are Divine; such are Dreams and Visions, as they are distinguish'd from Prophecy : and as to that kind of Revelation, which they strictly call Prophecy, they give o feveral characteristical notes to distinguish true Divine Revelation from delusion; such as these;. that the spirit of delusion only works up
on the imagination, and the lower Faculties; the Divine Spirit of Pro
Sermon phecy upon the understanding and III. reasonable part of the 'Soul: that delusive Inspirations were accompanied with alienation of mind, which did discover it self either in Rage and Fury, or Melancholy; but the true Prophetical Spirit is always confistent with the use of reason and understanding. They distinguish them likewise by the manner of their seifing upon them; that in the beginning of Inspirations the Prophets used to have some apparition, or to hear some voice, either articulate in Words, or inarticulate by Thunder, or the sound of a Trumpet, which in the Revelations doth frequently precede St. John's Visions; and by these they were assured that they were Divine. And lastly; that a Divine Inspiration did always carry along with it a strong Evidence of its original, and that by the vigour and strength of its impression, they were fully assured and satisfied beyond all doubt and hesitation. Thus they. But all that I shall say by way of Answer to this Question, shall be in these two Propositions.
1. If we believe any such thing, XII.
as Divine Revelation, we cannot doubt but those who have it, are some way or other fully satisfied of it, The Reason is evident; because otherwise it would be in vain, and to no purpose, and could not poslibly attain its end. A Divine Revelation connot possibly signifie any thing, or in reason haye any effect upon a man, unless he be satisfied it is such : for so long as he does not know but that it is a delusion, he will not attend to it, or regard it. So that the distinction of the Jewish Doctors between Dreams, and Visions, and Prophecy, that this carries always, full assurance with it, the other
not, is vain and unreasonable.
2. The means whereby this assurance of a Divine Revelation is wrought, is most probably the evidence it carries along with it, whereby it did fully satisfie the person that had it of its Divine Original,
That God can accompany his own Revelations with such a clear and overpowering Light as shall disco