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Answ. I deny the consequence; because they confess they know not evidently the things which they affirm. So that though it be evident that they all believed the mysteries for which they died, yet are not the mysteries themselves evident; because that which I testify cannot be more evident to him that heareth, by my testimony, than it is to me; but these mysteries were obscure to the martyrs, therefore to us. But in the former case of the question, where so many witnesses have evidence of the thing attested, and their testiinony is evidently true, there the thing itself is evidently true to us.

To which I reply, that the latter is our very case, and his answer is not to the case that we have in hand; for the question should not be only of the martyrs, but of all the churches of the first age; and it should not be directly of the mysteries of faith, but of the miracles which they did or saw, which were matters of frequent public fact. Therefore, I say, 1. The martyrs had as full evidence, in the latter ages, that they received from their teachers and ancestors the records of christian doctrine and miracles both, as the witnesses which you mention have that they saw Rome; and, 2. The first churches had as good evidence that the Holy Ghost was extraordinarily given, and miracles wrought before their eyes, and strange languages spoken among them and by themselves, which they were never taught by man, as your witnesses are certain that they saw Rome. 3. And that these miracles, being the effects of God's power, are his own seal, which cannot be set to a lie, to lead the world into remediless delusion, this is a most evident consequent from the great principle, That there is a God; and that this God is merciful, just, wise, faithful, and the Ruler of the world. So that upon this philosopher's own grounds, it is clear that the first churches having evidence of the miracles, had thence evidence of the certainty of the doctrine; though the mysteries of that doctrine were not evident in itself; nor did these churches ever doubt of the truth of the miracles, much less profess that they had no evidence of them, as he saith they did of the mysteries, but contrarily, became churches by the cogency of that evidence.

In all this I have spoken nothing of those inherent evidences of its verity, which the christian doctrine containeth in itself; it being most evident that no good spirit would lie in the name of God, nor deceive the world by false pretending his authority : and that no evil spirit, either could do such miracles, without that commission, which the faithful and gracious Ruler of the

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world would never grant; or would, if he could, by such extraordinary means promote a doctrine that reproacheth and disgraceth him, and destroyeth his kingdom, and tendeth wholly to bring man back to God, and restore man to the purity of his holy image, and to a blessed communion with him that made him.

Nor do I, in all this, make much mention of that evidence, à posteriore, even the Holy Ghost within the believer himself, and the blessed effects of this doctrine upon his soul; though every believer hath this witness in himself, whereby he is confirmed in the faith; because this is an evidence which unbelievers have not in themselves, nor can well discern in others; and we speak of those that even an infidel may behold, as also because I have spoken of this heretofore, on 1 John v. 10–12.

Obj. 16. But why have we not miracles still, as well as they heretofore?

Answ. Having said enough to this before, I will only add the words of Austin, in answer of this question, wherewith he begins the aforesaid cap. viii. lib. 22. de Civit. Dei. " I might say, that

. before the world believed, miracles were necessary that he might believe. He that yet asketh for miracles, or wonders, that he may believe, is himself a wonder, who believeth not when the world believeth. But they speak this, that it might be thought that no such miracles were ever wrought. Whence, then, is Christ, as taken up into heaven in the flesh, every where

proclaimed with so great belief? Whence is it that in so learned times, which reject all impossibilities, the world did believe incredible things too miraculously, without any miracles? Will they say the things were credible, and therefore believed? Why, then, do they not themselves believe them? Our answer, therefore, in short, is this, Either an incredible thing which was not

en, was believed, because of other incredible things, which were done and seen; or else, certainly, a matter so credible that it needeth no miracles to evince it, doth convince these men of their great infidelity.” So far Austin.

And Ambrose answereth the same question thus, in cap. xii. p. ad Corinth : “At the first, miracles were necessary, that the foundations of faith might be firmly laid: but now they are not necessary, because the people draw each other to the faith, by their

, simple preaching, and the sight of their good works.” See, also, how Chrysostome answers the same objection, in Homil, xxxiii. in Matt.

CHRIST'S WITNESS

WITHIN US

THE

BELIEVER'S SPECIAL ADVANTAGE

AGAINST

TEMPTATIONS TO INFIDELITY.

“ But when the Comforter (or Advocate) is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father; the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."-John xv. 26, 27.

TO THE READER.

READER,

While the foregoing sermons on Gal, iii, 2. were in the press, I thought it not unmeet to peruse this sermon and annex it thereto, to make up the discourse more useful to true believers. I confess I did purposely handle this text more largely when I preached on it, with the Ilth and 12th verses, for the explication of another point; and this was but slightly touched on the by; yet because it is suitable to the rest, and seasonable for weaklings in these shaking times, I have chosen to annex it, in hope it may somewhat conduce to their establishment, whereto I desire of God that He will use and bless it.

CHRIST'S WITNESS, &c.

.

I JOHN v. 10.

He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in him

self. He that believeth not God, hath made him a liar ; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

Sect. I.

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The apostle having, in the fourth and fifth verses, extolled the grace of faith in Christ, from its successful victory over the world; doth proceed, in the following verses, to magnify it: 1. From the full and certain testimony, which doth animate and support it. 2. From the nature of its object and office. The first he doth in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th verses; the latter in the 11th, and 12th, and some following. In the 6th, 7th, and 8th verses, the witnesses are enumerated : in the 9th verse, the validity and unquestionable authority of the testimony is proved. In the 10th verse is declared, 1. The privilege of true believers, and the advantage which they have for further certainty : 2. The heinousness of the sin of infidelity.

Though it be the first part of the 10th verse which I am now to handle, yet, because we cannot so well understand what is meant by the witness' here, unless we look back to the precedent verses, let us briefly consider them.

In the 6th verse, the apostle, extolling the object of faith, the Lord Jesus Christ, declareth with what convincing evidence he showed himself unto the world : “ He came by water and blood, and it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” Whereupon he further enumerateth the glorious trinity of witnesses in heaven, and the trinity of witnesses on earth. (Verse 7, 8.) The extraordinary diversity of reading in these two verses, and the specious arguments brought for each of them, I purposely overpass, as not concerning much my intended business; but what these witnesses are I shall briefly inquire. 1. The Father, the Word, and the Spirit, are the

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