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ture, (which their most learned Authors of fate have in genuously confessed,) but here is another Circle: The Papists have Circulum in Circulo
. For they profeffe a man cannot know the Church, but by the Spirit, nor the Spirit but by the Church. That a man cannot know the Spirit, por dhe mind of che Spirit, nor diftinguish it from talfe and counterfeit ones, but by the Church, is their great principle : He cannot know it (fay they) by the Scripture, unlife be read it with the Churches spectacles; Revelation they do not pretend to, therefore this is known only by the Church, (to whom the discerning of Spirits belongs,) and by ochers onely from the Churches authority, and infallible testimony. Buc that is a clear calc: the only doubt lies about the other branch , viz. That a man (according to their principles) cannot know che Church but by the Spirit: and that you shall have under the hands of their great Matters. Stapleton's words are these : This secret testimony is altogether neceffargebat a man may believe the Churches judgment and teftimony a. bour the approbation of the Scriptures, neither will Faith follow without this inward testimony of the Spirit of God, alshough the. Church atteft , commend, publish, approve the Scripture a thousand times over (a)So Canus tels us, that Humane authority, and other motives, are not fufficient inducements to belicve, but there is moreover a necessity of an inward efficient cause, s. e. the special help of God moving us to believe (b). What can be more plain ? let them an
(aj Arcanım koc teflimonium neceßarium proifus eft, ut quis Eco clefiá tellimonia ac judicia circa Scripturarum approbationem credat,neq; ablque boc interno Divini Spiritis teftimonio,etiamsi millies Ecclefia aztestetur, commcndet, promulgat, approbet Scripturas, fides confequctur. Defenf. coaira wbitak.Ib.3.c.),
(b) Statuendum est authoritatem humanam & incitamenta omnia illa prædiéta , live 'alia quacunque adhibita ab eo qui proponit fidem, non elle sufficientes caufas nd credendum, ut credere tenemur ; fed præterea opus el interiori caufa efficiente, s.c. Dei fpeciali auxilio moventis ad crew dendum. Loc. Theol.lib.2.cap.8,
* wer chemselves, and that will serve our turn. Either
they must leave themselves in the Circle, or help us out, el fam sumus ergo pares. And it is unreasonable, that chey by Thould urge chat as a peculiar inconvenience of our Relo, e lution of Faith, to which their own is no leffe obnoxious.
6.11. 2. Ic is false , that we have no other way to ait prove che Scripture to be the word of God, but the Spin
rics internal Testimony. They cannot be ignorant, chat we have diverse arguments of another nature, and independent upon thae Testimony of the Spirit, by which the aucherity of Scripture is folidly proved. And Papifts as well as Procestants have substantially defended the cause of che Scriptures against Pagans and Acheifts.Either those arguments are solid, rational, and convincing, or chey are not : if chey say, they are not; then be it known to all men by cheie presents, chac the Affertors of Popery are t. e Betrayers of Christianity : If they be, then is the Scripture proved ocher wayes, chen by the Spirits tefti. mony. How can our Adversaries vindicate themselves, either from shamefuil Ignorance, if they do not know, or abominable malice, if they wittingly bely us, that we have no argument to prove the Scripture, but the Teltimony of the Spirit. What, are those glorious miracles, by wbich the Scripture was sealed and propagated now become no argumenc? Is the Transcendency of the Matter,and Majelty of the Style, and admirable Power of the Word of none effect, to prove che Scriptures Divinity ?, Are not the patience of Martyrs, che concur ing testimony of Jewes and Heachens to the truth of Scripture-relations, the verity of predictions, and the like, as folid argliments now, as they were in the Primitive cimes, when the Fathers confounded the learnedest Pagans by these and fuch like arguments? If they be, (as they must affirm, untele they will corn perfect Pagans, as they are in the half way to 10 already,, then their Affertion is falle, That
we cannot prove the Divinity of the Scripture, but by che Spirits Testimony; and the Circle, which they impute to us, is indeed in their own Brain, and their Argument is the fruit of their Vertigo.
S 12. 3. Here is no Circle, because, although the Spirit and Scripture do mucually prove one another, yet they do it in diverso genere, in diverse waies, and several capacities : but a Circle is, when a man proceeds ab e dem ad idem eodem modo cognitum,when a mans knowledg proceeds from the same thing to the same thing in che fame way, Buc in this case, though the thing be the same , yet the way of knowledg varies, and that breaks cbe Circle. The Scripture proves the Spirit , per modum ubjectie argumenti, objectively, and by way of argument, by suggesting such truths to me, from which I may collect the epithert of the Spirit, and prove its Divinity. But the Spirit proves, or racher approves the Scripture, per modum scauf& effective cu instrumenti', as a Divine inftrument infuled into the soul, whereby I am enabled to apprehend fuch verities as are contained in the Scripture. The Papists indeed cannot get out of their Circle of Church and Scripture, because each of them is the argument by which they prove the other : the argument,nay the only argument (say they) for which I believe the Scripture, is the auchority of the Church testifyiug ir : and che
argument for which they believe the Church, is the authority of the Scripture. And here the Circle is so grofle and evident, that it is acknowledged by diverfe of their own late learned Authors. Holden confefleth in expresse terms, that they who resolve their faith in this manner, (and so do almost all the learned Papists in the world) de unavoidably fall into a Circle(a). So che lace Answer
(a) in Circulum hunc inevitabiliter illabuntur, do in orbem taro pilimi faltantes . Holder de resolut.fidei lib.c.9.
drer of Bishop Lawd confesseth, it is a visious Circle so a prote Scripture from the Churches Tradition, and the Chure
ches Tradition from Scripture (a), ( as they generally do,
some few Excentrical spirits excepced:) nor can he get e out of it, but by returning to that Vomit, which bis tor
mer Masters had discharged themselves from, viz. cQ si prove Infallibility by miracles, and the motives of credi.
bilicy. But in our case it is quite otherwise, for the Spirit works at inftrumentum, by way of Inftrumcnt; the Scripture,ut argumentum, by way of Argument. It were an abfurd aspersion to call this a Circle , if any man Mould fay: I believe the Sun co be bigger then che Earth,
because my reason cels me it is so, and I believe my reaį fon faith crue, becaufe Mathematical arguments convince eine me it must needs be fo. That which frees this discourse
from the Circle, is, that the Mathematicas prove it,ut ara gumentum, Reason proves it ut inftrumentum : and the fame may be laid in the present case. I shall farcber illuftrate this by a fimilitude or two : It is here, as when a man, through the infirmicy of bis eye, apprehends a thing to be lesse chen ic is. There are three wayes, whereby this man may be convinced of his error :
1. By arguments taken from the thing it felf. 2. By bringing ihe object nearer to the eye, (which was at too great a distance) whereby it appears in its due proportion. 3. By euring the infirmicy of the eye. Thus the Physician, that removes the dislemper of the eye, and restores it to its mative strengch and vigor, may be said to convince him. Now to apply this.' The Spirit of God doth not convince a man of the Divinity of the Scriptures the first way, as a Philosopher, but the last way, as a Physician ; nor by an elucidation of the object by arguments, buc by the elevas
(2) Laud's Labyrinth, chap., 5,
tion of the faculcy, or by anointing the eyes with eyesalve, and curirg its infirmity. To which the second may be added, viz. That the Spirit of God brings his word, and the characters of its Divinity impressed upon it, neai rer unco us ; and writes in the heart according to Gods promise to chat purpose , and so we see the obje& better, by reason of its approximation to us. Or as it is with a Philosopher, whea he reads a book, writen in the defence of some position , (as suppose the doctrine of the circulation of the Bloud,) poflibly his mind may be difcomposed, and his Braines by reason of fome peccant humor much distemper'd, and in this case he reads the book, but is not at all fatisfied by it: afterwards, Phyfical means are applyed, whereby the brain is restored to its nacive constitution, and purged from those distempers, whereby ic was clouded : now he returns to the book again, and reads it over anew, and yields himself captive to the opinion. You see here is no change of the old arguments, nor any addition of new ones; onely the impediments which were in the faculty, or the organ, are removed. Just so it is in the matter now in controversie: The Spirit of God doch not prove the Scripture to me by arguments, which I never had before , buc by the illumination of my mind to apprehend the arguments, which I did 1100 apprehend be ore. It is with men, as it was with Hagar, Gen 21. chere was a Well of water, buc The saw it not, till God opendid her eyes, verf. 19. There is a self-evidencing light in the Scriptures, only the Spirit of God cures that blindness of mind, whereby the Devil hindred the world from discerning it. Thus the Spiric coavinced the Jewes of the Truth of the Gospelby removing the vaile, which was upon cheir hearts in che reading of Moses, 2 Cor. 3.15,16, And so God convinced his elect among the Heathens, not by discovering any more arguments co them, then he did to the reprobates among