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i nexcusable ; and the Blaspheming Volume of the Spirit, whereby they saw such XII. Miracles to be wrought, was the sin

against the Holy Ghost.

(2.) If we have the credible report of Eye-witnesses of those Miracles, who are credible Persons, and we have no reason to doubt of their Testimony; that is, if we have the Reports of them immediately from the mouth of those who were Eye-witnesses of them. That this lays likewise an obligation on men to believe, appears by our Saviour's reproof of Thomas, who would not believe except he himself law : but most exprelly from that Text, Mark 16. 14. He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

(3.) If the credible report of Eyewitnesses concerning such Miracles be conveyed to us in such a manner, and with so much evidence, as we have no reason to doubt of it. For why

fhould we not believe a credible Re- port conveyed to us in such a manner, as we have no reason to question, but that it hath been faithfully conveyed and transmitted to us ?' St. John

thought thought this to be Assurance fufficient to induce belief, Fohn 20. 31. Sermon But these things were written, that ye. IV. might believe, &c. , And this is that Afsurance which we, who live at this distance from the Age of Christ and his Apostles, have of the Miracles wrought in confirmation of the Gospel. I shall have occasion to enlarge upon these Heads hereafter.

3. What assurance Miracles give us, that the Scriptures are a Divine Revelation. And this contains four distinet Questions in it.

1. What assurance we have from hence, that the Doctrine contained in the Scripture is from God? To which the Antwer is easie; Because these Miracles were wrought for the confirmation of this Doctrine.

2. The Question is, What Assurance the Miracles give us, that those persons who are said to be the Pen-men of the several Books of Scripture, were really so? To this I Answer; None at all : for I do not know of any Miracle that was wrought to prove Mofes wrote the Pentateuch, or that St. Matthew wrote the Goipel which goes under his Name. But if the Question be, How then am I assured of this?

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XII.

f. I Answer, By credible and uncon

trould Report. It bears his Name,
and hath always been received for his :
and if this will not satisfie, I cannot
prove it farther, it is too late now to
prove it by any other Argument. St.
Matthew is dead, and those who saw
him write it, and thole who received
it from them ; so that we cannot go to
enquire of them in order to our satisfa-
&tion: but the beit of it is that as it can-
not now be proved at this distance,
otherwise than by constant and uncon-
trould report; lo no Man at this di-
stance can have any reason to doubt
of it; and so long as no man
can have any reason to doubt of
it; there can be no need of prov-
ing it, especially conlidering that it is
by no means neceísary to Salvation, to
believe that St. Matthew wrote the Hi-
story of the Gospel; but only to be-
lieve what he wrote

:
3. The Question is, What afsu-
rance Miracles give, that those persons
who are said to be the Pen-men of the
Books of Scripture were divinely in-
spired? The Miracles (under which I
comprehend the Prediction of future
Events) which Mofes, and the Pro-
phets, and the zipojiles wrought, were

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Testimonies from Heaven, that they were Divine Persons, and that what Sermon they said was to be credited, and con

IV. fequently if they gave out themfelves for such, that they were such. That the Pen-men of the New Testament were Persons endued with a miraculous Power, is plain, because they were most of them Apostles: and for the rest we have no reason to doubt of it; those extraordinary Gifts being so common in the Primitive times : however, so long as there is nothing in the rest, that is dissonant from, or contrary to what those wrote, of whose Inspirations we are assur’d, and these their Writings having always been receiv'd in the Church as of Divine Inspiration, which we may well presume was not rashly done, and without grounds, we have no reason to doubt as tó them: or if there were, so long as they contain nothing that is contrary to those who were unquestionably inspired, the matter is of no dangerous consequence. And as for the Pen-men of the Old Testament, we are assured that they were all inspired, by one in the New Testament, that was unquestionably fo;

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my St. Paul, who tells us, that all ScripVolume ture is of Divine Inspiration, meanXII. ing the Books of the Old Testament,

which were call’d by that Name xai Bogenr, or by way of Eminency.

But if any one enquire farther, How far the Pen-men ‘of Scripture were inspired in the writing of those Books? whether only so far as to be secur'd from mistake in the delivery of any Message or Doctrine from God, or in the relation of any History, or Matter of Fact; yet so, as they were left every man to his own Stile and manner of Expression? or that every thing they wrote, was immediately dictated to them, and that not only the Sense of it, but the very Words and Phrases by which they express things, and that they were 'meerly Instruments or Pen-men ; I shall not take upon me to determine; I shall only say this in general, that considering the End of this Inspiration, which was to inform the World certainly of the Mind and Will of God, it is neceffary for every man to believe that the inspired Pen-men of Scripture were so far assisted as was necessary to this

End;

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