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before us: but the things that are in heaven, "who hath searched out. Wis. ix. 16. Our business is to acquiesce thankfully
sun, though it is as truly derived from it as a child from his father who begat him; that they were truly and really distlnit from each other, and yet so much one and the some as to be still inseperable. When we were informed, that this was what ivarm and cherifheth and invigorates us after an insensible manner; and that it is from thence we continue to have life, and motion and subsistence; that it can diffuse itself in an instant through a vast and immense expansion; that when our eyes were opened it would help to enlare our understanding, and marvellously recreate and delight us, by enabling us to distinguish things much more accurately, and after quite another manner than ever we did before; by discovering to us myriads of new and surprizing objects, with their different arrangements and proportions; and at such distances from us and each other, as could not now enter into our hearts to imagine. After all this, we mould remain as utterly void of any direil idea of light and its real nature as we did before; and the very best conception we could form of it from all this revelation, would amount to no more than an indirect, and substituted, and complex knowledge, collected from those ideas we were already stocked with by our four fenses, and the mind's various operations upon them; instead of ihatstmp/e idea
in the Divine discoveries, to comply with the conditions, and wait with patience and assurance for the accomplishment of the promises.
III. But what evidence, it may be asked, have we for the existence of those spiritual facts, which are but halfunveiled to us in the mysteries of religion! If there are mysteries in nature, we have the testimony of our senses for their real existence. But what evidence is there for things which lie so much out of the compass of our experience and observation?
I Answer with St. John, if we receive the testimony of merit the tejiimony of God is greater. Allow only, that mysteries are credible, that is, that general
we should have of it, had we a proper fense for its perception.
This serves in some measure to illustrate the case of us mortals in this condition of imperfection and infirmity we are now in. Brown's Div. Analogy, p. 20.
propositions may be admitted as truths, and applied to all the practical uses for which they are designed, without being clearly understood—and it is, as you saw before, our common method in life — allow but this, and then all the difficulties of the subject are at an end. The evidence for these things depends upon the general truth of Divine revelation. They come recommended to us by Divine testimony, by the authority of one, who cannot deceive, or be deceived. «« This carries with it assurance beyond "doubt, evidence beyond exception. "We may as well doubt of our being, "as we can whether any revelation from "God, be true."* In
* Mr. Hume, in his Essay upon Miracles, has endeavoured to subvert the foundation of christian faith, by an argument to the following purpose. The testimony of others is to be depended upon only in certain circumstances, and, is in no circumstances equal to the clear evidence of sense: we; have the evidence of sense that S the the course of nature is regular and uninterrupted, i. e. that there are no miracles: the stronger evidence always destroys the weaker: the accounts therefore of miracles and all events out of the ordinary course of nature are incredible.
In human matters, we may, if we please, believe or disbelieve: we may indulge a sceptical spirit in all its caprice and extravagance. We may, in the
exercise exercise of this sportive humour, make ourselves ridiculous, but do not necessarily contract guilt. The object may, perhaps, be a matter of indifference: we may not have leisure or inclination to weigh the evidences upon which its credibility
Whoever has a mind to see this artfully perplexed, ingenious Sophism, refuted in the most solid and elegant manner, may consult Dr. Adams' tract upon the subject.
It is sufficient for die satisfaction of most readers, to produce the sentiments of a much finer thinker and reasoner than Mr. Hume, I mean Mr. Locke.
"Though the common experience, seys he, and the ordinary course of things, have justly a mighty influence on the minds of men, to make them give or refuse credit to any thing proposed to their belief; yet there is one cafe wherein the strangeness of the fact lessens not the assent to a fair testimony given of it. For where such supernatural events are suitable to ends aimed at by him, who has the power to change the course of nature; there, under such circumstances, they may be the fitter to procure belief, by hotu much the more they are beyond, or contrary to ordinary observation. This is the proper cafe of miracles, which, well attested, do not only find
credit themselves, but give it also to other truths, which need such confirmation.
Besides those we have hitherto mentioned, there is one fort of propositions that challenge the highest degree of our assent upon bare testimony, whether the thing proposed, agree or disagree with common experience, and the ordinary course of things, or no. The reason whereof is, because the testimony is of such an one, as cannot deceive, nor be deceived, and that is of God himself. This carries with it assurance beyond doubt, evidence beyond exception. This is called by a particular name, revelation, and our assent to it, faith: which as absolutely determines our minds, and as perfectly excludes all wavering, as our knowledge itself; and we may as well doubt of our own being, as we can, .whether any revelation from God be true. So that faith is a settled and sure principle of assent and assurance, and leaves no manner of room for doubt and hesitation. Only we must be sure, that it be a Divine revelation, and that we understand it right; else we shall expose ourselves to all the extravagancy of enthusiasm, and all the error of wrong principles, if we have faith and assurance in what is not Divine revelation." Locke's Essay, b. 4. c. 16. S 2