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presently enabled to do the like in one kind and degree or other. The same extraordinary gift of the Spirit fell upon the common multitude of believers, by the laying on of the apostles' hands; so that Simon Magus would fain have bought that power with


And when men witnessed Christ's miracles, and wrought the like themselves; and those that believed them had and did the like, either healing, tongues, prophecy, or some wonder, it was, sure, an infallible way of testifying.

16. When wrangling hereties quarrelled with the apostles, and would draw away disciples to themselves, by disparaging them, they still appealed to the miracles wrought by these disciples themselves, or in their sight; as Gal. iii. 1, 2, 3, 5. And as Christ, when the Jews said he did all by Beelzebub, when he cast out devils, asked them, “ By whom do your children.cast them out?” Which, had it been false, would have turned all the people from them. 17. Their adversaries were so far from writing any

confutation of their testimony, that they confessed the miracles, and had no shift, but either to blaspheme the Holy Ghost, and say that they were done by the devil, or elsé, by persecution and violence, to oppress

them. As if the devil were master of the world, and could remedilessly deceive it against God's will ; or God himself would send or suffer a full course of miracles remedilessly to deceive the world, which is to make God like the devil : or, as if the devil were so good, as by miracles to promote so holy, and amiable, and just a doctrine, as that of Christianity, to make men wise, and, good, and just, and kill their sin. So that this blasphemy of the Holy Ghost makes Satan to be God, or God to be Satan.

18. All the cruelty, powers, learning, and policy of their adversaries was not able to stop the progress of this testimony, much less to prevail against it.

III. It is then most certain, that the first witnesses were not deceived by Christ, nor believers after deceived by them. The next question is, whether we be not deceived by a false historical tradition of these things? Had we seen them all ourselves, we must needs have believed; but at this distance we know not what misreports may intervene. What evesight and hearing was to them, that tradition is to us. Now the question is, is it certainly the very same fact and doctrine which they received, and which we receive ?

And here, let it be premised, that there is no other way of

assurance, than that which God hath afforded us,

that the reason of man could have desired.

1. If we would see God, and heaven, and hell, this is not a way suitable to the state of probationers that live in flesh on earth. Angels live by vision, and fruition of glory; and brutes, by sensé, on sensible things; but reasonable travellers must live by reason, and by believing certain revelation.

2. If God will send his Son from heaven to ascertain us, and we will believe no more than we see ourselves, then Christ must dwell on earth, to the end of the world, and he must be in all places of the earth at once, that all may see; and he must die and rise again before all men in all ages; and how mad añ expectation is this !

3. Or if all that deliver us the history must work miracles before our eyes, or else we will not believe them, it is still most absurd. Will you not believe that the laws of the land are genuine, or that ever there were such kings as made them, unless he that tells it you work miracles? Shall not children believe their parents, or scholars their tutors, unless they work miracles?

3, I must premise that there are three sorts of tradition, I. Such as depends on the common wit and honesty of mankind. And this is very much to be suspected, wickedness, folly, and lying being grown so' common in the world.

II. Such as depends on the extraordinary skill and honesty of some proved mén. And this deserveth much belief; but it is an uncertain human faith.

III. Such as depends on natural necessity, and cannot possibly be false. We have both these last to ascertain us of the gospel history.

This resteth on a distinction of the acts of man's will: some of them are mutably free ; and these give to certainty: some of them are naturally and immutably necessary, and man can do no otherwise; and these give even natural, infallible certainty. Sach are to love one's self, to love felicity, to hate torment and misery, &c., and to know that which is fully manifest to our sound senses, &c.

When men of contrary interests and temper all confess the truth of known things, about which their interests stand cross, it is a physical evidence of truth.

On this account, men's agreement about natural notices is infallible.

It seems strange that all the world, from Adam's time, are agreed which is the first, second, and third, &c., day of the week, and not a day lost till now. It could be no otherwise, because, being a thing of natural interest and notice, if any kingdom had lost a day by oversleeping, or had agreed to falsify it, all the rest of the world would have shamed them.

Thus all Grecians, Latins, Englishmen, &c., agree about the sense of words; for if some would pervert them, the rest would detect it.

Thus we are certain that the statutes of the land are not counterfeit. For men of cross interests hold their lands and lives by them: and if some did counterfeit them, the rest would, by interest, be bound to detect it.

Arg. 1. There can be no effect without an adequate cause; but in nature there is no cause that can make all men agree to assert a known falsehood, or deny a known truth, against all their known interest; therefore there can be no such effect.

Arg. 2. A necessary cause will necessarily effect; but where men's known interest obligeth them to agree of a known truth, this is a necessary cause of certain credibility; therefore it hath a necessary effect. You know who were your parents, and when and where

you were born, &c., by such tradition in a lower degree. This dependeth not on pretended authority, nor on mere honesty; but on natural necessity.

Having premised this, I come to prove, that we have such tradition of physical, infallible evidence, that the faith of the present church, in the essentials, is the same which the first churches received infallibly from the apostles.

1. The world knoweth, that ever since Christ's ascension, all that believed in him were baptised, as all Abraham's covenanting seed were circumcised. And what is baptism, but a profession of belief in Jesus Christ, as dead, risen, and glorified; and a devoting ourselves in covenant to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? All that ever were Christians by solemn vow professed this same faith ; and this is such a tradition of Chris-. tianity as human generations, down from Adam, are of the same huinanity in the world.

2. They that were baptised were catechised first; in which the three articles of baptism were opened to them; of which Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension were part; and this hath been an undeniable tradition of the same faith.

3. The sum of the christian faith was, from the beginning, drawn up in certain articles called the creed, which expounded the three baptismal articles; and all churches on earth had the same in sense, and most in words; and all at age that were baptised, professed this creed; which is as full a tradition of the same belief in Christ's birth, death, and resurrection, ascension, and glory, as speaking is a tradition of the same human nature.

4. Before Christ's ascension, he instituted the office of the sacred ministry, which friends and foes confess hath continued ever since. And what is this ministry, but an office of publishing the gospel of Christ, his life, death, miracles, resurrection, grace, &c. What else have they done in all ages in the world? so that the office is an undeniable tradition.

5. Christ and his apostles instituted the weekly celebration of the remembrance of his resurrection on the Lord's days : friends and foes confess the history, that the first day of the week hath been kept for such memorial ever since, through all the Christian part of the world, which proveth the uninterrupted belief of Christ's resurrection, as a notorious, practical tradition.

6. Christ and his apostles, ever since his resurrection, instituted solemn assemblies of Christians to be held on those days, and at other times; once a week was the least through the Christian world : and what did they meet for, but to preach, hear, and profess the same christian faith?

7. It was the constant custom of Christians in their assemblies, and their houses, to sing hymns of praise to Jesus Christ, in remembrance of his resurrection, &c. Pliny tells Trajan that this was the practice by which Christians were known by their persecutors : which is a practical tradition.

8. Jesus Christ instituted, and all Christians to this day have constantly used, the sacrament of Christ's sacrifice, called the eucharist ; to keep in remembrance his death till he come, and profess their belief that he is our life. And as the constant celebration of the passover, with all its ceremonies, was a most certain tradition of the Egyptians' plagues, and Israelites' deliverance, more than a bare written history would be, so hath the Lord's supper been, of the uninterrupted belief of the history of our redemption by Christ.

9. The church hath, from the beginning, had a constant discipline, by which it hath kept itself separate from heretics, who have denied any essential article of this faith, which is a sure tradition of the saine belief.

10. None question but Christians have, from the beginning, been persecuted for this same faith, and in persecution made confession of it: persecutors and confessors, then, are both the witnesses of the continuancé.

Il. Whenever heretics or enemies have written against Christians, their apologies and defences show that it was this säme faith which they owned.

12. Most of the adverse heretics owned the same matters of fact.

13. The Jews were long before in possession of the books of the Old Testament, which bear their testimony to Christ.

14. The books of the New Testament have, by certain tradition, been delivered down to this present day, which contain the matters of fact and doctrine, the essentials, integrals, and accidents of the faith.

15. No enemies have written any thing against the matter of fact, of

any moment. 16. Yea, the Jews, and other bitterest enemies, confess much of the miracles of Christ.

17. Martyrs have cheerfully forsaken life and all in confessing it.

18. God, by his wonderful providence, hath maintained it.

19. The devil, and all the wicked of the world, are the greatest enemies to it.

20. The Holy Ghost hath still blessed it, to work the same holy and heavenly nature and life, in all sincere and serious believers.

Quesť. This proveth infallibly the tradition of the same faith in the essentials : but how prove you that the same holy Scripture is delivered as uncorrupted ?

Answ. All the Bible is not brought down so unchanged as are the essentials of our religion : when there were no Bibles but what scriveners wrote, no wonder if over-sight left few copies without some of their slips. There are hundreds of various readings in the New Testament, and of many no man can be certain which is true : but none of them are such as make any difference in the articles of our faith or practice, nor on which any point of doctrine or fact dependeth.

And the words are necessary but for the matter which they do record.

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