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Volume Fourthly,A good and holy man reflect.
XII.

ing upon this Assurance and Perswa-
sion that he hath, may be able to
give himself a reasonable account of it,
and fatisfie himself that it is not a
stubborn belief and an obstinate conceit of
things without any ground or reason
A good man is secretly and within
himself perswaded, that God hath
revealed to him such a thing; reflect-
ing upon this perfwasion, he finds
that it is a Foreign Impression, and
doth not spring from his own Mind:
Now he believing that there is a God,
who can, and probably doth com-
municate and reveal himself to the
Minds of good men; and being with-
al fatisfied that his Goodness is such,
that he will not suffer good men, who
do heartily and sincerely desire to
know his Will, to be under a necef-
sity of Delusion, (which they una-
voidably are, if they may then be de.
ceived, when they have the greatest
assurance, and clearest satisfaction
that such a thing is revealed to them
of God;) from hence he reasonably
concludes, That he ought not to que-
stion the matter any farther. I

might instance in the Revelation madem to Abraham, concerning the sacrificing Sermon of his Son, which hath the greatelt III. difficulty in it of any case I know of: But of that I have elsewhere discoursed at large. * Thus much for the «See vol. 1, Firft.

Serm. 2.

Secondly, What assurance can other Persons, who have not the Revelation immediately made to them, have of a' Divine Revelation? To this I shall Answer by these Propositions. : 1. That there are some means whereby a man may be assured of another's Revelation that it is Divine,

For,

(1.) Otherwise it would signifie nothing, but only to the Person that immediately had it, which would make void the chief end of most Revelations, which are feldom made to particular Persons for their own sakes only, but for the most part, on purpose that they may be made known to Others, which could not effe&tually be done, unless there be some means whereby men may be assured of Revelations made to another.

(2) None

Volume (2.) None could be guilty of Un-
XII

belief but those who had immediate
Revelation made to them. For no
man is guilty of Unbelief that is not
obliged to believe: but no man can
be under an Obligation to believe a-
ny thing, who hath not sufficient means
whereby, he may be assured that such
a thing is true.

2. The private assurance and fatisfaction of another concerning a Revelation made to him, can signifie nothing at all to me, to assure me of it. For what satisfaction is it to me, that another may fay, he hath a Revelation, unless I have some means to be assured that what he says is true? For if I must believe every Spirit, that is every man that says he is inspired, I lie open to all possible Impostures and Delusions, and must believe every one that either foolishly conceits, or falsely pretends that he hath a Revelation: for both the conceited and pretended Enthusiast will say they have Revelations, with as much confidence as those who are truly and divinely, inspired: and to

take

take every man's word in matters of such huge consequence and impor. Sermon tance, as Revelation from God ought III. to be presumed to be, would not be Faith, but Credulity, that is, an ungrounded Perswasion; which how severely God punish'd, you may see in that famous instance, King's 13. where the Prophet that was sent to Bethel, is upon his return torn in pieces by a Lion, because of his credulity and casié belief of a pretended Revelation. I confess this case is somewhat different from theirs who simply believe a pretended Revelation, as being complicated with some other aggravating Circumstances. For he had had an immediate Revelation from God, not to eat; nor drink at Bethel; nor to return the fame way that he came: upon his return an old Prophet meets him, and tells him that an Angel had appeared to him, and had bid him to bring him back, and to cause him to eat and drink; he believes him, and turns in with him. Now this was the Aggravation of his Incredulity, that when he himself had had an express Revelation from God; concern

ing

e ing which he was fatisfied, he hearkVolume ned to the pretended Revelation of XII.

another, concerning which he had no assurance, in contradi&tion to a Divine Revelation, which he knew to be fuch. Not but that the Command which God had given him was in its own Nature revocable, and God might have countermanded it by another immediate Revelation to him, or by an equivalent, that is, a Miracle wrought by the Prophet who pretended to countermand it from God. Unumquodque dissolvitur eo modo quo ligatur, the Obligation which was brought upon him by an immediate Revelation, could not be dissolved but by another immediate Revelation, or Evidence equivalent to it. However, this Instance serves in the general to my purpose, that a man may be faulty by Credulity as well as by Unbelief: and as a man ought not to disbelieve where there is sufficient Evidence; so nei. ther ought he to believe any thing without sufficient Grounds of Assurance. i.rs

3. That

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