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and his will, and partly by their ministry to be communicated unto the church. So was it granted unto Enoch the seventh from Adam, who thereon prophesied to the warning and instruction of others: Jude xiv. 15. And to Noah, who became thereby a "preacher of righteousness," 2 Pet. ii. 5. And to Abraham, who thereon commanded his children and household to keep the way of the Lord, Gen. xviii. 19. And other instances of the like kind may be given : Gen. iv. 26. chap. v. 28. And this course did God continue a long time, even from the first promise to the giving of the law, before any revelations were committed to writing, for the space of 2460 years. For so long a seafon did God enlighten the minds of men by fupernatural external immediate occasional revelations. Sundry things may be observed of this divine dispensation, As,

1. That it did sufficiently evidence itself to be from God, unto the minds of those unto whom it was granted, and theirs also unto whom these revelations were by them communicated. For during this season Satan used his utmost endeavours to poffefs the minds of men with his delusions under the pretence of divine supernatu. ral inspirations. For hereunto belongs the original of all his oracles, and enthusiasms among the nations of the world. There was therefore a divine power and efficacy attending all divine revelations ascertaining and infallibly assuring the minds of men of their being from God. For if it had not been so, men had never been able to secure themselves, that they were not imposed on by the crafty deceits of Satan, especially in such revelations as seemed to contain things contrary to their reason, as in the command given to Abraham for the sacrificing his son, Gen. xxii, 2. Wherefore these immediate revelations had not been a sufficient means to secure the faith and obedience of the church, if they had not carried along with them their own evidence that they were from God. Of what nature that evidence was, we shall afterwards enquire. For the

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present I shall only fay, that it was an evidence unto faith and not to sense; as is that also which we have now by the scripture. It is not like that which the sun gives of itself by its light, which there needs no exercise of reason to affure us of; for sense is irresistibly affected with it. But it is like the evidence which the heavens and the earth give of their being made and created of God, and thereby of his being and power. This they do undeniably and infallibly. Psal. xix. 1, 2. Rom. i. 19, 20, 21. Yet is it required hereunto, that men do use and exercise the best of their rational abilities in the confideration and contemplation of them. Where this is neglected, not, withstanding their open and visible evidence unto the contrary, men degenerate into Atheism. out these revelations of himfelf, as to require the exercise of the faith, conscience, obedience, and reason of them unto whom they were made, and therein they gave full assurance of their proceeding from him.

So he tells us that his word differeth from all other pretended revelations, as the wheat doth from the chaff, Jer. xxiii. 28. But yet it is our duty to try and sift the wheat from the chaff, or we may not evidently difcern the one from the other.

2. The things fo revealed were sufficient to guide and direct all persons in the knowledge of their duty to God, in all that was required of them in a way of faith or obedience. God from the beginning gave out the knowledge of his will toavurgas, by sundry parts and degrees; yet so that every age and season had light enough to guide them in the whole obedience required of them, and unto their edification therein. They had knowledge enough to enable them to offer sacrifices in faith, as did Abel; to walk with God, as did Enoch, and to teach their families the fear of the Lord, as did Abraham. The world perished not for want of fufficient revelation of the mind of God at any time. Indeed when we go to consider those. divine instructions which are upon record, that God

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granted unto them, we are scarcc able to discern how they were fufficiently enlightened in all that was necessary for them to believe and do. But they were unto them

as a light shining in a dark place.” Set up but a candle in a dark room, and it will sufficiently enlighten it, for men to attend their necessary occasions therein. But when the sun is risen and shineth in at all the windows, the light of the candle grows so dim and useless, that it seems strange that any could have advantage thereby. The Sun of Righteousness is now risen upon us, and immortality is brought to light by the gospel. If we look now on the revelations granted unto them of old, we may yet see there was light in them, which yields us little more advantage than the light of a candle in the sun. But unto them who lived before this Sun arose, they were a sufficient guide unto all duties of faith and obedience. For,

3. There was during this season a sufficient ministry, for the declaration of the revelations, which God made of himself and his will. There was the natural ministry of parents, who were obliged to instruct their children and families in the knowledge of the truth which they had received. And whereas this began in Adam, who first received the promise, and therewithal whatsoever was necessary unto faith and obedience; the knowledge of it could not be lost without the wilful neglect of parents in teaching, or of children and families in learning. And they had the extraordinary ministry of such as God entrusted new revelations withal, for the confirmation and enlargement of those before received, who were all of them preachers of righteousness unto the rest of mankind. And it may be manifested, that from the giving of the first promise, when diyine external revelations began to be the rule of faith and life unto the church, to the writing of the law; there was always alive one or other, who receiving divine revelations immediately, were a kind of infallible guides unto others. If it was ctherwise at any time, it was after the death of the patriarchs, before the call of Mofes, during which time all things went into darkness and confusion. For oral tradition alone would not preserve the truth of former revelations. But by whom these instructions were received, they had a sufficient outward means for their illumination, before any divine revelations were recorded by writing. Yet,

4. This way of instruction, as it was in itself imperfect, and liable to many disadvantages, so through the weakness, negligence, and wickedness of men, it proved insufficient to retain the knowledge of God in the world. For under this dispensation the generality of mankind fell into their great apostacy from God, and betook themselves unto the conduct and service of the devil; of the ways, means, and degrees whereof I have discoursed * elsewhere. Hereon God also regarded them not, but “ suffered all nations to walk in their own ways,” Acts xiv. 16. giving them up to their own hearts' lusts to “ walk in their own counsels,” as it is expreffed, Pfal. lxxxi. 12. And although this fell not out without the horrible wickedness and ingratitude of the world; yet there being then no certain standard of divine truth, whereunto they might repair, they brake off the calier from God through the imperfection of this dispenfation. If it shall be faid, that since the revelation of the will of God hath been committed into writing, men have apoftatized from the knowledge of God, as is evident in many nations of the world, which sometimes professed the gospel, but are now overrun with heathenism, Mahometism, and idolatry: I say, this hath not come to pass through any defect in the way and means of illumination, or the communication of the truth unto them; but God hath given them up to be destroyed for their wickedness and ingratitude, and unless “ we repent, we shall all likewise periMh," Rom. i. 18. 2 Theff. ii. 11, 12. Otherwise where the standard of the word is once fixed, there is a constant means of preserving divine revelations. Wherefore,

* De Natura Theologiæ, lib. 3.

Thirdly, God hath gathered up into the scripture all divine revelations given out by himself from the beginning of the world, and all that ever shall be fo to the end there. of, which are of general use unto the church, that it may be throughly instructed in the whole mind and will of God, and directed in all that worship of him, and obedience unto him, which is necessary to give us acceptance with him here, and to bring us unto the eternal enjoyment of him hereafter. For (1.) When God first committed the law to writing, with all those things which accompanied it, he obliged the church unto the use of it alone, without additions of any kind. Now this he would not have done, had he not expressed therein, that is the books of Mofes, all that was any way needful unto the faith and obedience of the church. For he did not only command them to attend with all diligence unto his word, as it was then written for their instruction and direction in faith and obedience, annexing all sorts of promises unto their fo doing, Deut vi. 6, 7. but also expressly forbids them, as was said, to add any thing thereunto, or to conjoin any thing therewith, Deut. iv. 2. chap xii. 32. which he would not have done, had he omitted other divine revelations, before given, that were any way neceffary unto the use of the church. As he added many new ones, so he gathered in all the old from the unfaithful repository of tradition, and fixed them in a writing given by divine inspiration. (2.) For all other divine revelations, which were given out to the church, for its use in general, under the Old Testament, they are all comprised in the following books thereof; nor was this, that I know of, ever questioned by any person pretending to fobriety; though some, who would be glad of any pretence against the integrity and perfection of the Scripture, have fruitlessly wrangled about the loss of some books, which they can never prove concerning any one, that was certainly of a divine original. (3.) The full revelation of the whole mind of God, whereunto nothing pretending thereunto is ever to be added, was committed unto, and

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