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of the Testimony of the Spirit; not as Volume an Argument whereby a perswafion of XII.
a Divine Revelation, viz. That the Scriptures are the Word of God, is wrought ; but also as he is the Author and efficient Cause of it. I do most readily grant the great Influence that the Spirit of God hath upon the minds of men in this work of Faith, as well as in every Spiritual Aệt: But it is to be enquired, how the Spirit of God may be faid to work this Faith in us; whether by strengthning the Faculty; or by holding the mind intent upon the Argument, whereby this perswąsion is wrought; or discovering the Object; or removing the Impediments; or farthering and helping forward the efficacy of it upon our Hearts and Lives. But of this, God willing, in my next Discourse.
Of the Testimony of the Spirit
, to the Truth of the Gospel.
The Fifth Sermon on this Text.
HEB. XI. 6.
But without Faith it is impossible to
N discoursing of the Faith or Per
fwasion of a Divine Revelation, I came to enquire, In what respects this may be call'da Divine Faith. To which my Anfwer was, that it is ą Divine Faith, not only with respect to the Object of it, and the Argument whereby it is wrought,
and the Effect of it: But likewise in Volume respect of the Author and Efficient of XII.
it, which is the Divine Spirit. I proceed therefore to consider the Te, stimony of the Divine Spirit, not on, ly as an Argument whereby a Per. fwasion of a Divine Revelation, viz. That the Scriptures are the Word of God, is wrought : But also as he is the Author and efficient Cause of it. The Scripture doth in a peculiar manner ascribe the belief of Divine Revelation, especially of the Revelation of the Gospel, to the Spirit of God. In this sense the Scripture faith, That no man can say, that Jesus is the Christ, but by the Spirit of God. And tho' every good perswasion that we have, be in some sort or other to be ascribed to God; yet I observe it to be the Phrase of the New Testament, to attribute the belief of the Gospel, in a more peculiar manner, to the Spirit of God. When any Mán believes the Principles of Natural Religion, that there is a God, that the Soul is immortal, "and that there are Rewards after this Life, as the Heathens did even this is from God, who hatli planted these Principles in our Na
tures; or, which comes all to one, hath given us such Faculties, by the Sermor Use and Improvement of which, we
V. may come to the knowledge of these Principles : but it is not usual in the phrase of Scripture, to attribute this Natural Knowledge in such a peculiar manner to the Spirit of God.
When any man believes the maca , ters of Divine Revelation, for Instance, the Doctrines contained in the Gospel; this Faith is to be attributed to the Spirit of God; but not as immediately perswading us of the truth of these Doctrines, but by perswading us, that the Gospel which contains these Truths, is a Divine Revelation; or which is all one, that the Lord Jesus Christ, who delivered these Doctrines to the World, was a Divine Person, and came from God: and if we once firmly believe and entertain this, that Jesus was the Meffias, and sent from God to acquaint the World with his Mind and Will ; we can make no doubt of the truth of any thing which he hath delivered So that the Faith which the Scripture doch in a peculiar manner attribute to
the Spirit of God, is this perswaston, Volume that Jesus is the Christ; that is, that XII. he was the true Messias, and sent
So that the Question is: How the Spirit of God doth concur to the begetting of this Faith or Perswafion? Or why this Faith is in such a peculiar manner attributed to the Spirit of God?
I answer upon these two Accounts.
First, In respect of the outward evidence which the Spirit of God gives us to perswade us to believe.
Secondly, In respect of the inward efficacy and operation of the Spirit of God upon the Minds of Men in believing.
First, In respect of the outward evidence, which the Spirit of God gives uş to perswade us to believe. And if this be not that which Divines mean by the testimony of the Spirit in this matter, yet I think it is that which may most properly be so called. Now