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Volume First, The Perfons to whom a DiXII. vine Revelation is immediately made, what affurance theycan have of it.And,

Secondly, What affurance other perfons can have of it. I fay, thefe are diftinctly to be confider'd, because there is a very different account to be given of them.

Firft, As to thofe perfons, to whom the Revelation is immediately made, the queftion is, By what Arguments or Means they may come to be affured, that any Revelation, which they have, is really and truly fuch, and not a Delufion or Impofture. The Jewish Doctors tell us, that fome kind of Divine Revelati ons do not carry full affurance along with them, that they are Divine; fuch are Dreams and Visions, as they are diftinguish'd from Prophecy and as to that kind of Revelation, which they strictly call Prophecy, they give feveral characteristical notes to diftinguish true Divine Revelation from delufion; fuch as thefe; that the spirit of delusion only works up


on the imagination, and the lower Faculties; the Divine Spirit of Prophecy upon the understanding and reasonable part of the Soul: that delufive Inspirations were accompanied with alienation of mind, which did discover it felf either in Rage and Fury, or Melancholy; but the true Prophetical Spirit is always confiftent with the use of reason and understanding. They diftinguish them likewife by the manner of their feifing upon them; that in the beginning of Infpirations the Prophets used to have fome apparition, or to hear fome voice, either articulate in Words, or inarticulate by Thunder, or the found of a Trumpet, which in the Revelations doth frequently precede St. John's Vifions; and by thefe they were affured that they were Divine. And laftly; that a Divine Inspiration did always carry along with it a strong Evidence of its original, and that by the vigour and ftrength of its impreffion, they were fully affured and fatisfied beyond all doubt and hesitation. Thus they. But all that I fhall fay by way of Answer to this Question, fhall be in these two Propofitions. F3


1. If



1. If we believe any fuch thing, as Divine Revelation, we cannot doubt but thofe who have it, are forne way or other fully fatisfied of it. The Reafon is evident; because otherw.fe it would be in vain, and to no purpose, and could not poffibly betain its pr. A Divine Revelation

poffibly fignifie any thing, realon have any effect upon a , unless he be fatisfied it is fuch: for fo long as he does not know but that it is a delufion, he will not attend to it, on regard it. So that the diftinction of the Jewish Doctors between Dreams, and Vifions, and Prophecy, that this carries always full affurance with it, the other not, is vain and unreasonable.

2. The means whereby this affurance of a Divine Revelation is wrought, is moft probably the evidence it carries along with it, whereby it did fully fatisfie the perfon that had it of its Divine Original. That God can accompany his own Revelations with fuch a clear and overpowering Light as fhall difco

ver to us the Divinity of them, and fatisfie us beyond all doubt and Sermon fcruple, I think no man can doubt, III. that confiders the vast Power and Influence which he must needs have over our Understandings, who made them, and knows the frame of them: And if this be granted, it is not neceffary to explain the particular way, how it is done, it being a thing not to be expreft in words, but to be felt and experienced. So that the Argument, whereby this perfwafion of a Divine Revelation is wrought in thofe that have it, is inward Experience of the full Satisfaction and Affurance, which they find to be fupernaturally wrought in them, that is, of which they can give no account from themfelves. And this is not a stubborn belief, and an obitinate conceit of a thing but a good man, who is infpired, when he reflects upon himfelf, and this affurance which he finds in himself, he can give a rational account of it to himfelf. Thus he finds that it is a foreign impreffion, and doth not fpring from himfelf, nor hath its rife from thence; therefore


he afcribes it to fome Spirit without Volume himself; and he believes that there XII. is a God that can communicate himself to the minds and fpirits of men; and that his Goodness is fuch, that he will not fuffer them to be under a neceffity of delufion, which they muft be, if when they have the highest affurance and fatisfaction, that fuch a thing is a Divine Revelation, they may be deceived. And then likewife he confiders the matter of the Revelation, which if it do not contradict any effential and neceffary fundamental notion of his understanding, he thinks himself bound to entertain it upon this affurance.

I fay, good men may give themfelves this rational fatisfaction: for


grant a wicked man, that rejects and difobeys the Truth of God, may fo provoke him, as to give him up to strong delufions, to believe lies; and he may be as confident of a Lie, as a good man is of Truth. But as this is not unjuft from God in reference to the Perfons, fo it is no prejudice to the affurance which good men may have of Divine Revelation,


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