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lieve the Scriptures to be the word of God ? the Answer is, upon the account of the Miracles and Prophecies, which concurring with all other circumstances requisite in a'Revelation, confirm the Truth of them. If it be asked, how we know that these Prophecies and Miracles are true and effectual, and not feigned, or insufficient; I answer, because we have them so related and attested, that considered barely, as matter of fact, they have all the credibility that any matter of Fac is capable of, and therefore may as safely be relied upon, as any thing which we do our selves fee, or hear. If it be further urged that for all this. I may be deceived, since all men are fallible, and no man is infallibly afilured that there is such a place as Rome, who never saw it ; though no man neither can any more doubt of it, than he can doubt whether there be such a place as London, who lives in it. I acknowledge that there is a bare possibility of being deceived in all humane evidence, but yet I deny that we can possibly be deceived in this case, because, though the evidence itselt be humane, yet the things which it concerns are of that Nature, that God would never fuffer the world to be thus long imposed upon in them, without all poflibility of finding out the Trutḥ. So that here we resolve our Faith into the di.
Miracles, by reason whereof the Eye-wit.
vine Authority, by reason of the same
nesses of them did refolve theirs into it, but they believed these Miracles as seen by themselves, and we believed them as seen, and witnessed by others, but both they and we believe them as the works of God himself.
*: establir It might have been alledged, if we had feen those Miracles that we might poffibly be deceived ; and so indeed we might, if We could not have securely relyed upon Gods Truth and Goodness, that they were designed by him to confirm the Doctrine, for the sake of which they were wrought, and we may with equal security rely upon the fame Truth and Goodness for the certainty of the History of them, as we could have done for the sufficiency of them to the purpose for which they were wrought, though they had been performed in our fight, since it is as impossible to find out any deceit in the account given of them, as it would have been for us to find any in the Miracles themselves at the time of their performance.
Humane Testimony is the conveyance and the means of delivering the Truths contained in the Holy Scriptures down to us ; and we, who could neither fee the Miracles nor hear the Doctrines at the first hand, have at this distance of time the
truth of them ascertained by a continued successive Testimony, till we arrive at such as were immediate witnefles of them. Now those that faw and heard all things which are delivered to us in the Scriptures, could not esteem their sences infalliile, but they notwithstanding believed our Saviour and his Disciples to be so, of whom yet their senses only could give them means of afsurance that they were infallible. They knew their senses might deceive them (or, that they might be mistaken concerning the objects of lence) but nevertheless they believed that our Saviour and the Apostles could not deceive them, upon this only ground, that their fences or their reason by deduction from sence told them fo. There was not one man of them
per: haps, but had often observed his senses misrepresent objects to him, and yet in this case upon the sole Testimony of their senses they grounded an infallible Faith : because, though their fences had misre. presented objects, yet it was in a wrong medium,, at an undue distance, or by reason of some indisposition of the sense it self, and still their sences, or rather their reason by the help of their sences discovered that their fences had led them into mistakes. But in the present case, when the Object was placed in open and frequent view, to the greatest advantage,
when it was publick and exposed to mul. titudes, when all agreed in the same opinion concerning it, and when the matter was of infinite importance, here they had reason to conclude, that the God, who framed their Sences, would not suffer them to be so hurtful to them, as they must needs have been, if they had been deceived by them. In like manger, in the Testimony, which defcends to us from former Ages, we see with other mens eyes, and hear with other mens ears; and though the Testimony Thayer often fail us, and is subject to a double inconveniency, through the incapacity and unfaithfulnels of witnesses, yet, as in the former case, so here, when all circumstances are weighed and considered, and after the utmost tryal, to reason can be found to with-hold our affent, but all things stand undisproved, and no just scruple appears, but only a bare possibility of being deceived; and this arising not from any defect, but that of humane nature itself, here Gods Good. ness and his Truth must needs interpose, to take away that only impediment, which otherwise must unavoidably hinder any thing from ever being known to be infallible.
The only certainty which we can have that our sences are true, is this, That God will not suffer them to be deceived, where
the disposition of the medium, and di. ftance of the Object, and all other circumstances are rightly qualified : bec ufe that would be inconsistent with his Attributes of Justice, Goodness and Truth, but it would be inconsistant with these Attributes, not upon the account of our Bo. dies ; for they would be provided for as well, though our sences were deluded; we should see, and hear, and taste just as we do now, though we were never fo emuch deceived in thefe sensations :'therefore the Truth, and Goodness, and Justice of God are engaged not to fuffer us to be deceived, in respect to to our Souls, hot in regard to our Bodies - and if we have no certainty that our sences do not deceive us, but because God would not fuffer such a cheat to be put upon us, as we are intelligent and rational Beingswe have the fame and much greater reafon to conclude, that he would not fuffet us to
lye under such a delusion in reference to our eternal Intérit. If God would not suffer our minds unavoidably to lye under a teinporal delofion of no great consequence,
have we not much more reafon to condade, that he would not suffer us unavbidably to be deceived by any means whatsoever, in referenee to our eternal Interest ? For in this cate, to be deceived is to be destroyed, and to suffere is a tbonland times worse, H h