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Vol.il.cion, the Fountains of Life and Truth.

This being clear, what remains to be prov'd is, the Apostles and Evangelists were commission'd, impower'd, and qualified by God to publish this Gospel, and this is very evident from the Arguments I have mention'it. Let us consider the Character of the Doctrine, and the Men who taught it ; How could ignorant and unletter'd Men devise such Mysteries as should be worthy of the Majesty of God, and suitable to the great Ends and Interest of Mankind, and establish them

upon

such Grounds, that all sober and impartial Men should see abundant Reason to embrace them, and none of the learned of the World should yet be able to baffle or confute them? How fhould these be able to contrive a Scheme of Religion so exactly consonant in Reality, both to the Old Testament and the Reason of Mankind; tho' so opposite in appearance to both, as Ju. daism and Philosophy then stood, that the Gospel was a stumbling block to the few, and folly to the Gentiles ? How should they clothe the Mysteries they caught in such intelligible and proper Language, and this even at

first thought, that neither time nor Vol. II. Learning has ever been able to Improve it, or discover any thing in it that needs to be Reformed or Corrected. Nay, when Men of Parts and Learning have, in the Explanation of these Mysteries, deviated from the Phrase of Scripture, they have rather embroiled and

perplext themselves and others, than added either Strength or Light to the Truths of the Gospel. In a word ; How should a handful of poor ignorant People start up on a sudden, in a World full of Darkness and Wickedness, and carry humane Reason to such a height, that all the Measures of Right or Wrong, of Good and Evil, Tould for ever after be decided by their Writings; and Wisdom and Folly, Truth and Faldhood estimated by a Conformity to them,or Deviation from them. Never was any Writing so apt to enlighten, move, and affect the Mind of Man, and Man when he is chorowly influenced by it, becomes as like God as he is capable of being while he is in the Body.

From the Consideration of the DoTrine it self, let us pass on to Preditions and Miracles by which it was

confirm'd :

Vol II confirm'd : It would be a great Work

to run through the Correspondency of
the New Testament with the Old in this
one particular of Prophesies; I will only
tell you, that the Incarnation and Birth,
the Preaching and Works, the Sufferings
and Resurrection, together with the
Ascension and Glory of our Lord, the
Descent of the Holy Spirit, and the Suc-
cess of all together, were foretold in
the Old Testament, and accomplished
in the New. And these were Things
of that Nature, that none but God
could foretel, none but God could
accomplish.

As to Miracles, they are Works
which infinitely transcend the Wit or
Force of Man ; 'tis very plain that he
could not ; and without debating the
Power of Hell, I have before prov'd,
that the Devil would not work any
such thing for the Confirmation of the
Gospel.. Now that Miracles were fre-
quently and openly wrought for this
purpose by Christ and his Apostles, is
à Fact that has in it all the Notoriety
imaginable, the Enemies of the Cross,
the Jew and Gentile, never denied it;
the Devil himself confest it, by con-
fronting 'true Miracles with false ones,

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and hereby labouring to defeat and Vol. II. elude the force of them. Nay, the very Success of the Gospel abundantly proves this : When did ever the Dir. course of any Philosopher, like St. Peter's convert Three thousand at a time? No strength of Reason, no force of Eloquence, could have so triumph'd over the Reason of Mankind, and so easily dispoffest them by whole shoals, at a time of their Prejudices and Er. rours, of their Lusts and Passions, as the Gospel did, unless it had been backt and inforc'd, as that was by the Demonstration of the Spirit and of Power.

To conclude this Argument, If that one single Miracle, the Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead, on which the whole Gospel turns, be plain and indisputable, we can doubt of nothing elre. And what can be better attested than this : And we, says St. Peter, Atts 5. 32. are Witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Ghost whom God hath given them that obey him. Is not the Testimony of the Spirit sufficient ? or can any honest or impartial Man doubt whether the Spirit did thus bear witness to the Resurrection of Christ ? Was the Effusion of the Holy Ghost

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Vol. II. at Pentecost a thing done in a Cor

ner ? Does not St. Paul in all his E-
pistles sent to be publish'd and read in
all the Churches, treat frequently of
the Use and End of miraculous Gifts,
and prescribe Rules for the Exercise
of them in their Afsemblies ? Does
he not Appeal to the miraculous Pow.
er of the Spirit in himself, as to the
Seal of his Commission, and in them
all, as the Proof of the Divinity of
the Gospel Dispensation ? With what
Sense, with what Front could any Man
have done this, had there been then in
the Churches no such thing as Miracu-
lous Gifts ?

Having said thus much of the Testi-
mony of the Holy Spirit, I need say
the less of the Testimony of Man; I
will only put you in mind, that when
the Apostles bore witness to the Re-
surrection, they Attested nothing but
what they had seen with their Eyes,
and handled with their Hands : They
were Men who were bright Examples
of the Doctrine they taught, living
Proofs of its Divine Power and Ener-
gy: Their Lives shew'd plainly, that
they neither had, nor could have any
design but to advance the Glory of

God,

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