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i f these Miracles were recorded for Volume this end, that men might believe, then
a credible History or Relation that such Miracles were done, is sufficient to assure us that such Miracles were wrought; and upon this assurance we may build our Faith: otherwise it had been in vain to have recorded these Miracles to this end.
Fifthly, That weare not now a-days destitute of a sufficient ground of Faith; because we have these Writings credibly conveyed to us, which contain the Doctrine of the Gospel, and the Relation of the Miracles written for the confirmation of it.
Sixthly, That men now a-days, those to whom the Gospel comes, are under an Obligation to believe; or which is all one, that now a-days men may be guilty of such a fin as unbelief: for now a-days we may have sufficient grounds of Faith.
Seventhly, That to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, is truly and properly Christian Faith. This is the description which is here given of it, that it is a believing, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
VII. Eighthly, That to believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, is truly and properly fan&tifying, and justify: ing, and saving Faith, by this Faith we have life. These things were written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through his Name.
These Observations are all virtually contained in the words. The greatest part of them I shall very lightly pass over, and speak but briefly to them, because I intend mainly to insist upon the two laft; in the handling of which, I shall open to you the Nature of Christian Faith, and shew you, that the Faith, which is here described, is that which is truly and properly justifying and saving.
First, tliat Writing is the way which the Wisdom of God hath pitched upon, as the standing way of conveying the Knowledge of the Gospel
M to the world. This is matter of fact, Volume and for the proof of it we have the X11. evidence of the thing. The Gospel
de facto was written, and this Writing is conveyed down to us, and is the Instrument wich God hath in all Ages since the Apostles times, that is, since the Eye and Ear Witnesses of the Miracles of Christ and his Doctrine ceased, made use of to conViy to the World the Knowledge of the Gofpel. And here it were proper to frew what advantage this way of conveyance of the Gospel hath a
bove Oral tradition : but that I have See the already done * in some former discourteregoing fes where I shewcd at large, that this tbis Vol. way of conveyance is a more uni
versal and diffusive, a more certain and liable to less imposture and fal, sification, a more equal and uniform, and a more humane way of conveyance than Oral Tradition; so that I shall not insist longer upon this.. . . ! :
Secondly, That all things necessary to be believed by Christians in order to Salvation, are' contained in
the Written Gospel: or else how could St. John in reason fay, that "ermon these things were written, to this end,
VII. that men might believe and be saved; if these things be not sufficient to this end? which certanly they are not, if any thing necessary to be believed in order to Salvation be left out. The Papists being urged with this Text, to prove the sufficiency of the written Word, in opposition to those Traditional Doctrines which they pretend to be necessary over and besides the written Word, tell us, that St. John doth not here speak of the Doctrine of Christ; but only of his Miracles; These were written to confirm our Faith of the Messias ; but the Doctrine of Christ was not all written, but left to the Apostles to be deliver'd by mouth to their successors, and so down to poiterity. But I have shewn before, that the necessary Doctrines of the Gospel, as well as the Miracles, are comprehended in these things which St. John says were written. Besides that it will be very hard for any man to devise a convenient reason, why Miracles, as well as Doctrines, might
n ot have been left to the Apostles, Volume to have been Traditionally deliver'd XII. down to posterity without writing.
For Doctrines may as well be committed to writing, as Relations of Miracles : and Miracles may be with as much ease, and certainty, and convenience in all respects, delivered down to pofterity by an Oral Tradition, as Doctrines may.
Thirdly, That the Miracles related in the Gospel, are a proper and sufficient means to bring men to christian Faith. That they are fo, it is a good sign, that God did work them to this end, and afterward commit them to writing for this very reason, that the knowledge of them might be conveyed to pofterity, and there might still remain in the World a proper and sufficient Argument to perswade men to believe; and we may well imagine, that God would not do any thing, but what is very proper and fufficient for its end. Now that Miracles were wrought by the Divine Power purposely to this end, and that they are in reason a very fnfficient attestation to a Per