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doth use to cause, he hath much reason to be confident of it, and none to deny it. 2. There may be a certainty that all conjunctly do not counterfeit, when you have no certainty of any single individual. As I can be sure that all the mothers in the world do not counterfeit love to their children, though I cannot be certain of it in any individual.

Object. But it is not all Christians, nor most, that are thus holy. Answ. It is all that are Christians in deed and truth. Christ is so far from owning any other, that he will condemn them the more for abusing his name to the covering of their sins. All are not Christians who have the name of Christians. In all professions, the vulgar rabble of the ignorant and ungodly do use to join with the party that is uppermost, and seem to be of the religion which is most for their worldly ends, be it right or wrong, when indeed they are of none at all. Hypocrites are no true Christians, but the persons that Christ is most displeased with. Judge but by his precepts and example, and you will see who they are that are Christians indeed.h

Object. But what if the preaching or writings of a minister do convert and sanctify men, it doth not follow that they are saviours of the world.

Answ. Whatever they do, they do it as the ministers and messengers of Christ, by his doctrine, and not by any of their own by his commission, and in his name, and by his power or Spirit. Therefore, it witnesseth to his truth and honour, who is indeed the Saviour, which they never affirmed of themselves.

Object. What, if Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, the Japonian Bonzii, the Indian Bramenes, &c., do bring any souls to a holy state, as it is likely they did, it will not follow that they were all saviours of the world.

Answ. 1. They have but an imperfect doctrine, and consequently make on the minds of men but a lame, defective change; and that change but upon few, and that but for a few ages, and then another sect succeedeth them: so that they have no such attestation and approbation of God, as Christ hath in the renovation of so many thousands all abroad the world, and that for so many ages together. 2. They did not affirm themselves to be the sons of God, and the saviours of the world; if they had,

Siquis hominem qui sanctus non est, sanctum esse crediderit, et Dei cum junxerit societati, Christum violat cujus membra sumus-Omnes credentes Christi corpus efficimur. Qui in Christi corpore errat et labetur dicens membrum ejus esse sanctum cum non sit, vel nou sanctus cum sit, vide quali crimine obnoxius fiat.-Hieron, in Phil.

God would not have annexed such a testimony to their word as he doth to Christ's. 3. The mercy of God is over all his works. He hath compassion upon all nations, and setteth up some candles, where the sun is not yet risen. The light and law of nature are his, as well as the light and law of supernatural revelation: and, accordingly, he hath his instruments for the communication of them to the rude and ignorant part of the world. All the truth which any philosopher teacheth, is God's truth and it is no wonder if a God of so much goodness do bless his own truth, according to its nature and proportion, whoever be the messenger of it. Whether the success of philosophy be ever the true sanctification and salvation of any souls, is a thing that I meddle not with; it belongeth not to us, and therefore is not revealed to us. But it is visible in the Gospel, that all that part of practical doctrine which the philosophers taught, is contained in the doctrine of Christ, as a part in the whole and, therefore, the impress and effect is more full and perfect, as the doctrine; and the impress and effect of the philosophers' doctrine, can be no better than the cause, which is partial and defective, and mixed with much corruption and untruth. All that is good in the philosophers is in the doctrine of Christ but they had abundance of false opinions and idolatries to corrupt it, when Christianity hath nothing but clean and pure. So that, as no philosopher affirmed himself to be the saviour, so his doctrine was not attested by the plenary and common effect of regeneration, as Christ's was: but as they were but the ministers of the God of nature, so they had but an answerable help from God, who could not be supposed (however had they wrought miracles) to have attested more than themselves asserted, or laid claim to.i

i The Grecians, Romans, and Mahometans take the murder of many thousands in unjust wars, to be glorious, aud yet punish the murder of single persons. Their renown was got by the most transcendent, unjust, and most inhuman cruelties. Their Alexanders and Cæsars were renowned murderers and thieves. Aristotle and Cicero make revenge a laudable thing, and the omission of it a dishonour. Of the cruel, murderous sport of their gladiators; the killing of their servants when they were angry; their streams of blood, wherewith Rome almost in every age had flowed, by those civil wars which pride and unjust usurpations had produced, &c., it is needless to tell any that have read their histories. Even Cato could lend his wife to his neighbour; and the Mahometans may have many, and put them away again. And many other such sensualities are the temperature of their religion, which was hatched in war, and maintained by it, and even constituted of war and carnality, added to some precepts of honesty borrowed from Christianity, and from the more honest heathens.

Object. But Mahomet ventured on a higher arrogation and pretence; and yet if his doctrine sanctify men, it will not justify

his pretences.

Answ. 1. It is not proved that his doctrine doth truly sanctify any. 2. The effect which it hath can be but lame, defective, and mixed with much vanity and error, as his doctrine is: for the effect cannot excel the cause. 3. That part of his doctrine which is good, and doth good, is not his own, but part of Christ's, from whom he borrowed it, and to whom the good effects are to be ascribed. 4. Mahomet never pretended to be the son of God, and saviour of the world, but only to be a prophet: therefore, his cause is much like that of the philosophers forementioned, saving that he giveth a fuller testimony to Christ. 5. If Mahomet had proved his word, by antecedent prophecies, promises, and types, through many ages; and by inherent purity, and by concomitant miracles, and by such wonderful, subsequent communications of renewing, sanctifying grace by the Spirit of God, so ordinary in the world, we should all have had reason to believe his word: but if he pretend only to be a prophet, and give us none of all these proofs, but a foppish, ridiculous bundle of nonsense, full of carnal doctrines, mixed with holy truth, which he had from Christ, we must judge accordingly of his authority and word, notwithstanding God may make use of that common truth, to produce an answerable degree of goodness, among those that hear and know no better.

These objections may be further answered anon, amongst the rest and thus much shall here suffice of the great and cogent evidences of the truth of the christian faith.

CHAP. VII.

Of the subservient Proofs and Means, by which the forementioned Evidences are brought to our certain Knowledge.

THE witness of the Spirit in the four ways of evidence already opened, is proved to be sure, and cogent, if first it be proved to be true, that indeed such a witness to Jesus Christ, hath been given to the world. The argument is undeniable, when the minor is proved: he, whose word is attested by God, by many thousand years' predictions, by the inherent image of God upon

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the frame of his doctrine, by multitudes of uncontrolled miracles and by the success of his doctrine, to the true regeneration of a great part of the world, is certainly to be believed: but such is Jesus Christ. Ergo.-I have been hitherto for the most part proving the major proposition, and now come to the minor as to the several branches.

Sect. 1. I. The prophetical testimony of the Spirit is yet legible, in the promises, prophecies, and types, and main design of the Old Testament.

Sect. 2. The books of Holy Scripture where all these are found, are certain, uncorrupted records thereof, preserved by the unquestioned tradition and care, and to this day attested by the general confession of the Jews, who are the bitterest enemies of Christianity.

There are no men of reason that I have heard of, that deny the books of Moses, and the Psalms, and the prophets, &c., to be indeed those that went under those titles from the beginning: and that there can be no considerable corruption in them which might much concern their testimony to Christ, the comparing of all the copies, and the versions, yet extant, will evince, together with the testimony of all sorts of enemies, and the moral impossibility of their corruption. But I will not stand to prove that which no sober adversary doth deny. To these books the Christians did appeal, and to these the Jews profess to stand.

Sect. 3. II. The constitutive, inherent image of God upon the Gospel of Christ, iş also still visible in the books themselves, and needeth no other proof than a capable reader, as afore described.

Sect. 4. The preaching and writings of the ministers of Christ, do serve to illustrate this, and help men to discern it; but add nothing to the inherent perfection of the Gospel, for matter, or for method.

Sect. 5. III. The testimony of the age of miracles afore described, can be known naturally no way but by sight or other senses to those present, and by report or history to those absent.

Sect. 6. The apostles, and many thousand others, saw the miracles wrought by Christ, and needed no other proof of them than their senses.

The many thousands who at twice were fed by miracle, were witnesses of that. The multitude were witnesses of his healing the blind, the lame, the paralytic, the demoniac, &c. The pharisees themselves made the strictest search into the cure of the man born blind, (John ix.,) and the raising of Lazarus from

the dead, and many more. His miracles were few of them hid, but openly done before the world.k

Sect. 7. The apostles, and many hundreds more, were witnesses of Christ's own resurrection, and needed no other proof but their sense.

At divers times he appeared to them, together and apart, and yielded to Thomas's unbelief so far, as to call him to put his finger in his side, and see the print of the nails. He instructed them concerning the kingdom of God for forty days. (Acts i.) He gave them their commission. (Mark xvi.; Matt. xxviii.; John xxi.) He expostulated with Peter, and engaged him to feed his lambs. He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once. And, lastly, appeared after his ascension to Paul and to John that wrote the Revelations.

Sect. 8.The apostles also were eye-witnesses of his ascension. (Acts i.)

What he had foretold them they saw him fulfil.

Sect. 9. All these eye-witnesses were not themselves deluded in thinking they saw those things which indeed they did not see. For, 1. They were persons of competent understanding, as their writings show; and, therefore, not like children that might be cheated with palpable deceits. 2. They were many; the twelve apostles and seventy disciples, and all the rest; besides many thousands of the common people that only wondered at him, but followed him not. One or two may be easier deceived than such multitudes. 3. The matters of fact were done near them, where they were present, and not far off. 4. They were done in the open light, and not in a corner, or in the dark. 5. They were done many times over, and not once or twice only. 6. The nature of the things was such, as a juggling, deluding of the senses could not serve for so common a deceit as when the persons that were born blind, the lame, the paralytic, &c., were seen to be perfectly healed, and so of the rest. 7. They were persons who followed Christ, and were still with him, or very often; and, therefore, if they had been once deceived, they could not be so always. 8. And vigilant, subtle enemies were about them, that would have helped them to have detected a deceit. 9. Yea, the twelve apostles and

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* Miracula ubicunque fiunt, vix á tota civitate feruntur, &c. Nam plerumque fiunt ignorantibus cæteris, maxime si magna fit civitas; at quando alibi aliisque narrantur, tanta ea commendat autoritas, ut sine difficultate vel dubitatione credantur.-Aug. de Civit. Dei, 22.

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