« VorigeDoorgaan »
of GOD; which were to deny the Scriptures “ Truth, thé Faith of the Antients, the Doctrine of
the Reformers, and Right Reafon.
I shall close these Remarks with the Advice of our learned Apologist, “ For my part, as I have never
a whit the lower Eteem of the R. Barclay's Apo “ bleffed Teftimony of the Holy Scripa dog%, p. 62. « tures ; : nor do the lefs respect any
« folid Tradition that is answerable, « and according to TRUTH; neither at all de" spise Reason, that noble and excellent Faculty of “ the Mind, because wicked Men have abused the # Name of them to cover their Wickedness, and des
ceive the Simple : So I would not have any reject
or diffide the Certainty of that unerring Spirit * which GOD hath given his Children, as that « which can alone guide them into all TRUTH, " because some have fallly pretended to it,
QUERY IV, Whether the promised Afiftance of
the Holy Spirit, to true Chriftians in ali (a) Ages, be for the Revealing nere Truths
and Duties, not contained in the Holy Scriptures, or for enabling them to believe and obey $hose already revealed? If they afërt the former, then Query, Whether
this be not parallel to the Popish Dou (6) Erine of Oral Traditions ? And by
what Rale fball we distinguish Divine Inspirations from Diaboliçal Delufions ?
And how fall such as pretend to Divine Infpiration, for the Discovery of such new
Truths or Duties, convince others of it, (c) since they have no Miracles, nor extram ordinary Gifts for their Credentials, as the Apoftles had?
If the latter be true, then where is the need or uso of that immediate obje&tive Revelation
they so confidently pretend to ? And (d) : bow plainly do their unwarrantable Pre
tences to it derogate from the Sufficiency and Fulness of the Holy Scriptures, as if they were not by the ordinary subjective Illumination of the Holy Spirit able to make us wife to Salvation, and throughly furnished for every good Work? See 2 Tim. iii. 15 16, 17.
HIS Section brings a Dilemma to cut us
down, whether we turn to the Right or Left: Howbeit, to blunt both Edges of this Logical Weapon, I answer in one Syllable, BOTH; and denying his Consequences, thall consider, first, what kind of Revelation we own, and what we disclaim, and ditinguish Duties into general and particular; next, prove the Possibility and Necessity of Revelation; thirdly, how a Man may distinguish between true and false Revelations; lastly, show that there is now no Necessity of new and outward Miracles : And of cach, with all pollible Brevity and Perspicuity.
First, of the Revelation we Own, and
what we Disclaim. The Revelation we own, is the Discovery and Illumination of the Light and Spirit of GOD, relating to those Things that properly and immediately concern the daily Information and Satisfadion of our Souls in the Way of our Duty to GOD and our Neighbour.
We renounce all fantastical and whimsical Intoxications, or any Pretence to the Revelation of new Matter, Gospel Faith or Doctrine, in Opposition to, or Different from that which our SAVIOUR, His. holy Prophets and Apostles taught, and is recorded in the Scriptures of TRUTH.
Truths and Duties also are diftinguished into Unim versal and General, which concern and oblige all and every Man, or Singular and Particular, which concern only some particular Persons: For instance," To
do unto all Men as we would have them Matth. 7. 12.
to do to us; To do Good, and communiHeb. 13. 16,
cate according to Ability, are universal
and general Truths and Duties obligatory on all; but to preach the Gospel, and oversee the
Flock, are fingular and particular Di Acts 13. 2.
tics of such whom the Holy Ghost bath Rom. 1. 1.
Separated, constituted and appointed for
such Services. Having premised thefe Things, I now proceed to answer the Query more fully and expresly: As to universal and general Truths and Duties, we believe the promised Assistance of the Holy Spirit to true Christians in all Ages, (I suppose he means since the first Ages of Christianity) is to enable them to believe and obey such Duties already revealed in the Holy Scriptures,
As to fingular and particular Truths and Duties, and Services, we believe the promised Assistance of the Holy Spirit, to true Christians, is for the revealing such New Truths and Duties, not contain'd in so many Syllables in the Holy Scriptures; and also to enable them to believe and obey such Revelations : If it were not so, I would ask the Querift, in what part of Holy Scripture I shall find À B. or 7. B. by Name, appointed to preach the Gospel ; and if A. B. ory. B. come by their Ministry, neither of these Ways, are they not such as run, and GOD never sent, and therefore do not profit the People, Jer, 23, 32.
We neither urge nor pretend the Necessity of an immediate Revelation of any other general TRUTH or general Duty, than what is already revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Howbeit, the Holy Ghost is not to be limited, but when he manifests a particular Duty' to any particular Person, they stand bound to come up
e up in the Practice of it: Thus we hold not the Revelation of New Things to All; though to Some the Holy. Spirit may shew them Things to come, as to that pious Primate Uper, and many others, for the Secrets of the LORD are with them that fear Him: But what we desire tenaciously to adhere 'to and obey, is the renewed Revelation of the Eternal Way of TRUTH, which is the Life, Virtue, Condition, and very Soul of the Gospel and New Covenant, opposed by None, but such as the GOD of this World has blinded.
This then is directly contrary to the Oral Tradition of the Papift, which teacheth not only Things not commanded, but plainly forbidden, as Purgatory, Prayers to the Saints, Pilgrimages, &c. But we reject not only all Things forbid, but even pretend to the Revelation of no general Truth, or general Duty that is not contain'd in Holy Scripture.'
Next, To prove the Polsibility and Necef
sity of this Revelation. We cannot apprehend how any Christian can think immediate Revelation is sealed, and at the same time believe the Promise of CHRIST, Matth. xxviii. 20. That he would be with them to the End of the World: After what manner, is more fully explained in John xiv. 16. 17. By his blefled Spirit of Truth, which dwelleth with you, and Dall be in you. How this blessed Spirit should abide with Chriftians for ever, dwell with them, and be in them, and not immediately inspire them, if they be subject thereunto, I confess, is beyond my Comprehension; for there can be nothing more immediate, than that which abideth and dwelleth with, and is in us: And Pris very evident from the Scripture Texts in this, and the former Section, that the Primitive Christians, witnessed the fulfilling of this blessed Promise, particularly at Yerusalem; and in the Course of their Ministry, that they had the same Experience, iş clear from the Asts of the Apostles and Tenor of the Epistles, writ by the Assistance of the same Holy Spi. git, That it is not ceased. I should think the positive and plain Words, FOR EVER, should put the Matter paft all doubt, with those who believe and acknowledge the Authority of the Holy Scripture, We are therefore fully persuaded, that Divine immediate Revelation, is to continue as the common Pria pilege of all True Chriftians for ever, in proportion to their several Conditions, and the Service required of them; and the least Portion thereof, is the same in kind, tho' not in degree : And that this is the only, most true, certain, and unmoveable Foundatiun of all CHRISTIAN FAITH, I thus prove; That