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by the light of Nature, as the ExiVolume flence of a God, the Immortality of XII. the Soul, and a Future State.
2. A perswasion of things Supernatural, and Reveald.
3. A Perswafion of Supernatural Revelation. These I design fully to handle. Thús I have prepar'd Materials for a large Discourse ; which tho' it be necessary, is, I am sensible, but too tedious, and yet possibly more tedious to me, than you.
my last Discourse I came to treat of a Religious and Divine Faith,
which, I told you, comprehends under it three things, which I now proceed to consider distinctly.
First, A Perswasion of the Principles of natural Religion, which are known by the light of Nature.
Volume Secondly, A Perswasion of things suXII.
pernatnral and reveald.
Thirdly, A Perswasion of supernatural Revelation.
First, A Perswasion of the Principles of natural Religion, such as the light of Nature could discover ; such are the Existence of God, the Immortality of the Soul, and a future State. The things to be enquired concerning this kind of Faith are these.
I. Whether this be truly and properly call?d Faith.
II. What are the Arguments whereby it is wrought.
III. Whether it admit of degrees or not, and what differences are observable in them.
IV. What are the proper and genuine Effects of it.
V. In what sense it may be said to Sermon be Divine Faith.
I. Whether it may truly and properly be call’d Faith, or not? If the general Notion of Faith which I have fix'd before, viz. that it is a Perswasion of the Mind concerning any thing, be a true Notion of Faith, then there is no doubt but this may as properly be call’d Faith, as any thing can be; because a man may be perswaded in his mind concerning these things, that there is a God, that our Souls are immortal, that there is another State after this Life.
But besides this, if the Scripture speaks properly, as we have reason to believe it does, especially when it treats professedly of any thing, as the Apostle ħere does, then this question is fully decided : for it is evident to any one that will but read this Verse, out of which I have taken my Text, that the Apostle doth here in this place speak of this kind of Faith, that is, a belief or perswasion of the Principles of
Natural Religion. For after the ApoVolume stie had said, that Without Faith it is XII. impossible to please God; he immediate
ly instanceth in the belief of the Principlcs of Natural Religion, as necessary to the pleasing of God, that is, to make a Man Religious. He that cometh to God, must believe that he is; there is the Existence of God, the first Principle of Natural Religion: and that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek kim; which implies the other two, the Immortality of the Soul, and a Future State; for if good Men shall be Rewarded, there must be a Subject capable of such Rewards, which brings in the Immortality of the Soul; and there must be a season for these Rewards, which because they are seldom bestow'd in this World, there must be a Season when they shall, which brings in a Future State after this Life. So that whoever denies that a perswasion of these Principles of Natural Religion may properly be called Faith, he quarrels with the Apostle, and does not correct me, but the Scriptures.