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And this Affurance is fuch, as it Sermon is not in the power of any evil fpi- III. rit to convey to us, concerning a delufion; or if it be in his power, le is not permitted to do it to any who have not highly provoked God, by rejecting the Truth, to give them up to ftrong delufions, to believe lies : and that fuch perfons fhould be obnoxious to fuch delufions, as it is not unjust in reference to them, fo neither is it any prejudice to the Af furance which good men may have • of fuch Revelations, which are truly and really Divine.
But for the other ways of dif cerning true Revelation from falfe, which the Jews mention; as that the Spirit of God always works upon the Understanding, as well as the Imagination, and in confequence with the use of Reason and Underftanding, and gives fome fenfible notice of its feifing upon men, I think all these to be uncertain, if they be examined. And if the last which they mention, viz. this that I have infifted upon, be true, all the other
For Volume are fuperfluous. what need XII. any other Sign to affure a Man that that is a Divine Revelation, which carries along with it clear fateen and full aifurance that it is fuch?
So that it remains now, that we fix upon fome particular ways whereby the Perion, that hath a Divine Revelation, may be affured of it; and this I fhall do by these Propofi
First, That God can work in the Mind of Man a firm perfwafion of a thing,b y giving him a clear and vigorous perception of it; and if fo, then God can accompany his own Revelations with fuch a clear and overpowering Light as fhall difcover to us the Divinity of them, and fatisfie us thereof beyond all doubt and scruple. And this no Man can doubt of, that confiders the vast Power and Influence which God, who made the Soul of Man, and perfectly knows the frame of it, muft needs have upon the Mind and Understanding of Man.
Secondly, God never perfwades a Man Sermon of any thing that contradicts the Na- III. tural and Effential Notions of his Mind and Understanding. For this would be to destroy his own Workmanship, and to impofe that upon the Understanding of a Man, which whilst it retains its own Nature, and remains what it is, it cannot poffibly admit. For inftance, we cannot imagine that God can perfwade any Man that there is no God: for he that believes any thing as from God, must neceffarily believe there is a God; therefore it is impoffible that he can be perfwaded of this as from God, that there is no God; and that he is not Wife and Juft, and Good and Powerful; and that he is not to be honour'd and lov'd by all reasonable Creatures: because thefe do clearly and immediately contradict the moit effential and fundamental Notions of our Minds concerning God, and the respect which is due to him: not only because it is unworthy of God to go about to perfwade a Man of a Falfhood; but because it is impoffible in the nature of the thing, that the
Mind of Man, which is naturally Volume prepoffeft with contrary Notions, XII. thould, whilft it retains its own Nature, admit of fuch as do clearly and immediately contradict them. For if these be natural Notions, That there is a God, that he must be Wife and Juft, and Good and Powerful, and ought to be honoured and loved by his Creatures; the mind of man cannot poffibly admit of any contrary Perfwafions and Impreffions: for the former Perfwafions being natural to us, will always remain while our Nature remains; and if any Perfwafions contrary to these could be wrought upon our Minds, they would fignifie nothing, but would mutually destroy one another. For if any Man that is perfwaded that God is Good, (as every Man is, that is perfwaded he is at all) could, during the perfwafion, be likewife of a contrary Perfwafion, that he is not Good; this latter Perfwafion would fignifie nothing: for he is not perfwaded that God is not Good, whilft he retains this Perfwafion that he is Good.
Thirdly, Suppofing the thing revealed Sermon do not contradict the effential Notions III. of our Minds, no good and holy man hath reafon to doubt of any thing, whether it be a Revelation from God or not, of which he hath a clear and vigorous perception, and full fatisfaEtion in his own Mind that it is fuch. For if a man may have reafon to doubt of any thing, whereof he hath a clear perception, then no man can be certain of any thing. Now that there is fuch a thing as Certainty, is now fuppofed, and not to be proved. I fay, a good and holy man can have no reason to doubt: for a wicked man (I grant) may, by a finful rejection of, and difobedience to the Truth, fo far provoke God, as to give him up to Strong delufions to believe lies; and he may be as confident of a Lie, as any good man is of the Truth.
And as this is not unjust from God in reference to wicked men, fo is it no prejudice to the affurance which good men may have concerning a Divine Revelation.