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not doubt of the witness of any one, but by questioning his abis lity, as one who may be ignorant of that which he affirmeth, and so deceived; or by excepting against his integrity, as one who may affirm that which he knoweth to be false, and so have a purpose to deceive us : where there is no place for either of these exceptions, there can be no doubt of the truth of the tes, timony. But where there is an intrinsical * repugnancy of being deceived in the understanding, and of deceiving in the will, as there certainly is in the understanding and will of God, there can be no place for either of those exceptions, and consequently there can be no doubt of the truth of that which God testifieth. And whosoever thinketh any thing comes from him, and assenteth not unto it, must necessarily deny him to be wise or holy: “He that believeth not God (saith the apostle), hath made him a liar.” (1 John v. 10.) That truth then which is testified by God, hath a divine credibility: and an assent unto it, as so credible, is divine fuith. In which the material object is the doctrine which God delivereth, the formal object is that credibility founded on the authority of the deliverer. And this I conceive the true nature of divine faith in general.
Now being the credibility of all which we believe is founded upon the testimony of God, we can never be sufficiently instructed in the notion of faith, till we first understand how this testimony is given to those truths which we now believe. To this end it will be necessary to give notice that the testimony of God is not given unto truths before questioned or debated; nor are they such things as are first propounded and doubted of by man, and then resolved and confirmed by interposing the authority of God: but he is then said to witness when he doth propound, and his testimony is given by way of Revelation, which is nothing else but the delivery or speech of God unto his creatures. And therefore upon a diversity of delivery must follow a difference, though not of faith itself, yet of the means and manner of assent.
Wherefore it will be farther necessary to observe, that divine Revelation is of two kinds, either immediate, or mediate. An immediate Revelation is that by which God delivereth himself to man by himself, without the intervention of man. A mediate Revelation is the conveyance of the counsel of God unto man by man. By the first he spake unto the prophets; by the second in the prophets, and by them unto us. Being then there is this difference between the revealing of God unto the prophets and to others, being the faith both
• Auctoritas Dei consistit in in- actus voluntatis intrinsece et necestrinseca repugnantia deceptionis seu sario recti, poterit explicari.? Franfalsitatis, quam habet divinum judi- cisc. de Ovied. Tract. de Fide, Contr. cium, et in intrinseca repugnantia ac- ii. punc. 2. tus voluntatis imperantis testimonium † • Divina est' auctoritas, cui crediextrinsecum non consentiens judicio mus: divina est doctrina, quam seinterno; quæ per terminos positivos quimur.' Leo, Serm. 7. in Nativ. actus intellectus infallibiliter veri, et
of prophets and others relieth wholly upon divine Revelation, the *difference of the manner of assent in these several kinds of believers will be very observable for the explanation of the nature of our faith.
Those then to whom God did immediately speak himself, orby an angel representing God, and so being in his stead, and bearing his name (of which I shall need here to make no distinction), those persons, I say, to whom God did so reveal himself, did, by virtue of the same Revelation, perceive, know, and assure themselves, that he who spake to them was God; so that at the same time they clearly understood both what was delivered, and by whom: otherwise we cannot imagine that Abraham would have slain his son, or have been commended for such a resolution, had he not been most assured that it was God who by an immediate Revelation of his will clearly commanded it. Thus “ by faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark, to the saving of his house :” (Heb. xi. 7.) which † warning of God was a clear Revelation of God's determination to drown the world, of his will to save him and his family, and of his command for that end to build an ark. And this Noah so received from God, as that he knew it to be an oracle of God, and was as well assured of the author as informed of the command. Thus the judgments hanging over Judah were revealed in the ears of Isaiah “by the Lord of hosts." (Isa. xxii. 14.) Thus“ the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh :" (1 Sam.iii. 21.) at first indeed he knew him not; that is, when the Lord spake, he knew it not to be the voice of God: * Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord ; neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him;" (1 Sam. iii. 7.) but after that he knew him and was assured that it was He who spake unto him, the Scripture teaching us that the fears of Samuel were revealed, and the word of God revealed, and God || himself revealed to him. By all which we can understand no less, than that Samúel was so illuminated in his
*"Sicut duplex est auditus et locu- illuminationem sunt de credendis in'tio, scilicet exterior sive corporalis, structi.': Francisc. Ferrariensis in et interior ac spiritualis; ita duplex Thom. cont. Gent. c. 40. est fides, una quæ oritur in cordibus Illoral xonuariobɛis, which word fidelium per auditum exteriorem, comes from the original xpów, approcum' scil. Deus per aliquos homines priated by the Greeks to an oracle, or aliis credenda proponit; et ista est answer given by God: o uèv Okos xps, fides, quæ nobis sive communi statui o dè äv@pwncos Mavreteral. Moschopu'fidelium convenit, ex eo quod adbæ- ?us, 'Ovou. 'ATTIK. v. xoşíw.
' -Apostolis factis : alia est quæ oritur Kúpios återá vye tò óriov Sapound, in aliquibus per' spiritualem locutio- 1 Sam.ix. 15.
6 טרם יגלה אליו. דבר יהוה -nem
-nam inspirationem credenda revelat, πρίν ή αποκαλυφθήναι αυτο ρήμα Κυ» -nullo hominis ministerio utens; sicut plov,, 1 Sam. ji. 7. est fides Apostolorum et Propbetą. rum, qui ab ipso Deo per intrinsecam pon Kúpios apòs Sanovra, 1 Sam.jii. 21.
-dresaA5 נגלה יהוה אל שמואל ו :
phecies, that he fully understood the words or things themselves which were delivered, and as certainly knew that the deliverer was God: so Samuel the Seer, so the rest of those prophets believed those truths revealed to them by such a faith as was a firm assent unto an object credible upon
the immediate testimony of God.
But those faithful people to whom the prophets spake, believed the same truth, and upon the testimony of the same God, delivered unto them not by God, but by those prophets, whose words they therefore assented unto as certain truths, because they were assured that what the prophets spake was immediately revealed to them by God himself, without which assurance no faith could be expected from them. When God appeared unto Moses “ in a flame of fire out of the midst of a busb,” (Exod. iii, 2.) and there immediately revealed to him first himself, saying, “I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” and then his will to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, Moses clearly believed God both in the revelation of himself and of his will, and was fully satisfied that the Israelites should be delivered, because he was assured it was God who promised their deliverance: yet notwithstanding still he doubted whether the Israelites would believe the same truth, when it should be delivered to them, not immediately by God, but by Moses; “And Moses answered and said, But behold, , they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.” (Exod. iv. 1.) Which words of his first suppose, that if they had heard the voice of God, as he had, they would have assented to the truth upon a testimony Divine; and then as rationally affirm, that it was improbable they should believe, except they were assured it was God who promised, or think that God had promised by Moses, only because Moses said so. Which rational objection was clearly taken away, when God endued Moses with power of evident and undoubted miracles; for then the rod which he carried in his hand was as infallible a sign to the Israelites, that God had appeared unto him, as the flaming bush was to himself; and therefore they who saw in his hand God's omnipotency, could not suspect in his tongue God's veracity; insomuch as when Aaron became to Moses “instead of a mouth,”and Moses to Aaron "instead of God," (Exod. iv. 16.) “ Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people, and the people believed.”. (Exod. iv. 30, 31.) For being persuaded by a lively and active presence of omnipotency that God had appeared unto Moses, and what was delivered to them by bim came to him from God, and being sufficiently assured out of the very sense and notion of a Deity, that whatsoever God should speak, must of necessity be true, they presently assented, “and believed the Lord and his ser
yant Moses;” (Exod. xiv. 31.) Moses, as the immediate propounder; God, as the original revealer: they believed Moses that God had revealed it, and they believed the promise, be cause God had revealed it. So that the faith both of Moses and the Israelites was grounded upon the same testimony or revelation of God, and differed only in the proposition or ap: plication of the testimony; Moses receiving it immediately from God himself, the Israelites mediately by the ministry of Moses.
In the like manner the succeeding prophets were the instruments of Divine Revelation, which they first believed as revealed to them, and then the people as revealed by them : for what they delivered was not the testimony of man, but the tes, timony of God delivered by man. It was "he who spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began;" (Luke i. 70.) the mouth, the instrument, the articulation, was theirs; but the words were God's. • The Spirit of the Lord spake by me (saith David), and his word was in my tongue.” (2 Sam. xxiii. 2.) It was the word of the Lord, which he spake" by the hand of Moses,” (1 Kings viii. 53.) and“ by the hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet.” (1 Kings xiv. 18.) The hand the general instrument of man, the mouth the particular instrument of speech, both attributed to the prophets as merely instrumental in their prophecies. The words which Balaam's ass spake were as much the ass's words, as those which Balaam spake were his; for “the Lord opened the mouth of the ass,” (Numb. xxii. 28.) and “the Lord put a word in Balaam's mouth;” (Numb. xxiii. 5.) and not only so, but a bridle with that word, “ only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak.” (Numb, xxii. 35.) The prophets as they did not frame the notions or conceptions themselves of those truths which they delivered from God, so did they not loosen their own tongues of their own instinct, or upon their own motion, but as moved, impelled, and acted by God. So we may, in correspondence to the antecedent and subsequent words, interpret those words of St. Peter, that“no prophecy of the Scripture is of any* private interpretation :” (2 Pet. i. 20.) that is, that no prophecy which is written did so proceed from the prophet who spake or wrote it, that he of himself, or by his own instinct, did open his mouth to prophesy; but that all prophetical revelations came from God alone, and that whosoever first delivered them was antecedently inspired by him, as it followeth,“ for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet. i. 21.) That therefore which they delivered was the Word, the Revelation of God; which they assented unto, as to a certain and infallible truth, credible upon the immediate testimony of God, and to which the rest of the believers as
* 'Idias é dúoews.
sented upon the same testimony of God immediately delivered by the hands of the prophets.
Thus “ God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in times past onto the fathers by the prophets,” (Heb. i. 1.) and by so speaking propounded the object of faith both to the prophets and the fathers,“ bath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,” (Heb. i. 2.) and by so speaking hath enlarged the object of faith to us by him, by which means it comes to be “the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. xiv. 12.) Thus the " only-begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father," (John i. 18.)“ the express image of his person,” (Heb. i. 3.) he “in whom it pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell,” (Col. i. 19.) he“ in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” (Col. ii. 9.) revealed the will of God to the apostles; who being "assured that he knew all things," and convinced that he “ came forth from God,” (John xvi. 30.) gave a full and clear assent unto those things which he delivered, and grounded their faith upon his words, as upon the immediate testimony of God. “I have given unto them (saith Christ unto his Father the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” (John xvii. 8.) Besides this delivery of these words by Christ to the apostles, they received the promise of the “Spirit of trath, who should guide them into all truth," (John xvi. 13.) and “teach them all things, and bring all things into their remembrance whatsoever Christ hath said unto them.” (Johni xiv. 26.) So clearly, so fully, so constantly, were they für: nished with divine Illuminations, and Revelations from God; upon which they grounded their own faith; that each of them might well make that profession of St. Paul, “I know whom I have believed.” (2 Tim. i. 12.) Thus the faith of the apostles, as of Moses and the prophets, was grounded upon the immediate Revelations of God.
But those believers to whom the apostles preached, and whom they converted to their faith, believed the same truths which were revealed to the apostles, though they were not so revealed to them as they were unto the apostles, that is, immediately from God. But as the Israelites believed those truths wbich Moses spake to come from God, being convinced by the constant supply of miracles wrought by the rod which he carried in his hand: so the blessed apostles, being so plentifully endued from above with the power of miracles, gave sufficient testimony that it was God who spake by their mouths, who so evidently wrought by their hands. They who heard St. Peter call a lame man unto his legs, speak a dead man alive, and strike a living man to death with his tongue, as he did Ananias and Sapphira, might easily be persuaded that it was God who spake by his mouth, and conelude that where they found him in his omnipotency, they might well ex