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SERMON III .
Of the Faith or Ferswasion of a
The third Sermon on this Text.
HEB. XI. 6.
But without Faith it is imposible to
Have observ'd that a Religious
and Divine Faith comprehends under it three things.
First, a Perswalion of the Principles of Natural Religion, which are known by the light of Nature.
Volume Secondly, A perswasion of things XII. Supernatural, and Reveald.
Thirdly, A Perswafion of Supernatural Revelation.
The two former of these I have consider’d, and now proceed to the
Third fort of Faith, which I call Divine, or Religious ; viz. a Perswasion concerning a Divine Revelation, that is such; which I distinguish from the former thus. The former is a Perfwasioni concerning the things which are revealed from God, that they are true: this is a Perswalion concerning the Revelation it self, that it is Divine and from God.
For the opening of this there are many things to be taken into consideration. .
I. What we understand by a Divine Revelation.
II. The several Kinds of it.
III. Whether a Perswasion con-Sermon cerning a Divine Revelation be pro- III. perly Faith.
IV. How we may come to be alsured of a Divine Revelation, or by what Arguments a Faith or Perswasion of a Divine Revelation is wrought
V. The Degrees of this Perswasion or Assurance.
VI. The Effects of it.
VII. In what sense it may be said to be a Divine Faith ; under which I shall speak something concerning the Testimony of the Spirit.
I. What we are to understand by a Divine Revelation. Answ. A Supernatural discovery, or manifestation of things to us. I say supernatural, because it may either be immediately by God, or by the mediation of Angels; as most, if not all of the Revelations of the Old Testament were; a
mfupernatural Discovery, or ManifestaVolume tion, either immediately to our minds, Xil.
and inward faculties; (for I do not so well understand the distinction between Understanding and Imagination, as to be careful to take notice of it;) or else mediately to our understandings, by the mediation of our outward Senses, as by an external appearance to our bodily eyes, or by à voice and found to the sense
of hearing. But of this I have dis• Sec Vol. cours’d in a former Sermon, * and
therefore shall add no more here.
S. Scrm, 1.
II. For the several kinds of Di
vine Revelation; of this also I have See Vol. formerly * discours'd at large. 5. Serm. 18.
III. Whether a Perswasion of a Divine Revelation may properly be call’d Faith ? To this I answer, That according to the streight and narrow notion of Faith, which the Schools have fix’d, which is an afsent to any thing grounded upon the Testimony, and Authority of God revealing it, a Perswasion of a Divine Revelation cannot properly be call’d Faith; because it is irrational
to expect that a man should have
Sermon another Divine Revelation to assure
III. him, that this is a Divine Revelation: for then for the same reason, I must expect another Divine Revelation to assure me of that, and so without end. But I have sufficiently shewn, that this is not the true notion of Faith in general, but only of a particular kind of Faith; viz. that which is wrought by the Argument, which we call Testimony, or Authority. But according to the true and general notion of Faith, which is a perfwasion of the mind concerning any thing, a perswasion of the mind concerning a Divine Revelation, may as properly be call’d Faith, as any thing else, if men will but grant, that a man may be so satisfied, concerning a Divine Revelation, as verily to believe and be perswaded that it is fo.
IV. How we may come to be perswaded of a Divine Revelation, that it is such'; or by what Arguments this Perswasion is wrought in us ? For answer to this, it will be requisite distinctly to consider,