Page images



[ocr errors]

η λέΓονα

disiy, cv dla

1. 1. c.8.


, ut

nes, & re


the Object of all belief in Credibility, it will clearly follow, that diver-
sity of Credibility in the Object, will proportionably cause a distinction of
Ajent in the Understanding, and consequently a leveral kind of Faith,
which we have supposed to be nothing else but such an Ajent.

Now the Credibility of Objects, by which they appear fit to be believed,
is distinguishable according to the diversities of its foundation, that is, ac-
cording to the different Authority of the Testimony on which it depends.
For we having no other certain means of assuring our selves of the truth,
and consequently no other motives of our Assent in matters of mere Belief,
than the Testimony upon which we believe ; if there be any fundamental
distinction in the Authority of the Testimony, it will cause the like diffe-
rence in the Assent, which must needs bear a proportion to the Authority

of the Testimony, as being originally and essentially founded upon it. * Tạ $ =giay τινα φαίνεται, tovarom nou is therefore necessary next to consider, in what the Authority of a Testii difovia wi- mony consisteth, and so to descend to the several kinds of Testimonies sousuls turo



several Authorities. θος φαίνεται, και The strength and validity of every Testimony must bcar proportion with süres në upa: the * Authority of the Testifier ; and the Authority of the Testifier is founded Aristot. Rhet. upon his Ability and Integrity: his Ability in the knowledge of

that which * Testimoni- he delivereth and assertech ; his Integrity in delivering and asserting acsunt genera? cum quam cording to his knowledge. For two several ways he which relateth or Divinum & testifieth any thing may deceive us ; one, by being ignorant of the truth, humanum.. and so upon that ignorance mistaking, he may think that to be true which oracula, ut

is not so, and confequently deliver that for truth, which in it self is falle, auspicia

, ut and so deceive himself and us; or if he be not ignorant, yer if he be difvaticinatio honest or unfaithful, that which he knows to be false he may propound ijonfa facer- and assert to be a truth, and so, though himself be not deceived, he

may dotun, aru- deceive us. And by cach of these ways, for want either of Ability or spicuin, con

Integrity in the Testifier, whoso grounds his Affent unto any thing as a Humanum, truth, upon the testimony of another, may equally be deceived. quod fpecta

But whosoever is so able as certainly to know the truth of that which ritate, & ex he delivereth, and so faithful as to deliver nothing but what and as he voluntate, & knoweth, he, as he is not deceived, so deceiveth no inan. So far therefore aut libera aut as any person testifying appeareth to be knowing of the thing he testifies, expreffa ; in and to be faithful in the relation of what he knows, so far his testimony

is acceptable, so far that which he testifieth is properly Credible. And scripta, pacta, promita, ju- thus the Authority of every Testifier or Relater is grounded upon thele fata, quæfita

. two foundations, his Ability and Integrity.

Now there is in this case, fo far as it concerns our present design, † a dou# Non dicant ble Testimony : the Testimony of man to man, relying upon humane Authonon credimus rity, and the Testimony of God to man, founded upon divine Authority :

: quia non vi

which two kinds of Testimony are respective grounds of two kinds of Creniam fi hæc dibility, Humane and Divine ; and consequently there is a two-fold Faith dica face con distinguish’d by this double Object, a Humane and a Divine Faith.

Humane Faith is an Asent unto any thing Credible merely upon the Parentes fuos. Testimony of man.

Such is the belief we have of the words and affectiDe fide rerum invisib.

ons one of another. And upon this kind of Faith we proceed in the oramonst the dinary affairs of our life ; according to the Opinion we have of the ability works of st. and fidelity of him which relates or asserts any thing we believe or disbelieve.

. Aimy S e' deis By this a friend assureth himself of the affection of his friend : by this the od wo?! | Son acknowledgeth his Father, and upon this is his obedience wrought. εγένε7ο. 'Αλλ' w rozul

By virtue of this Humane Faith it is that we doubt not at all of those Travies, Tro

things which we never saw, by reason of their distance from us, either by 54ο μν.

time or place. Who doubts whether there be such a Country as Italy, or apud S:c6. such a City as Constantinople, though he never pass’dany of our four Seas?


jcctorum :

tur ex autho

ex oratione

quo iniunt

Cicero, Orat.

dimus; quo

tur fateri incertos fibi cffe




years. There

rap. I.

μαθών οίόν τε

un oud geau

Catech. V.

[ocr errors]


Who questions now whether there were such a Man as Alexander in the East, or Cafar in the West ? and yet the latest of these hath been beyond the possibility of the knowledge of man these sixteen hundred is no * Science taught without original belief, there are no t Letters learnt * Y706áreg without preceding faith. There is no Justice executed, no Commerce Maltos entren

κ κρη

πις τ έπισηmaintained, no Business prosecuted without this ; # all secular affairs are wens zisis.

η . transacted, all great atchievements are attempted, all hopes, desires and Theodor. Theinclinations are preserved by this Humane Faith grounded upon the Te-7

6:; as tà

Η και τα stimony of man.

πρώτα στοιχεία In which case we all by casie experience may observe the nature, gene

, ration and progress of Belief. For in any thing which belongeth to more uzlich zuerst than ordinary knowledge, we believe not him whom we think to be igno- sounóta. ibid


Η πάντα τα εν rant, nor do we assent the more for his assertion, though never fo confi

τω κόσμω τεdently delivered: but if we have a strong opinion of the knowledge and apše, rj tal skill of any person, what he affirmeth within the compass of his know-wpřánão

Terwy o erexana ledge, that we readily affent unto ; and while we have no other ground oía; en wat ishin but his affirmation, this Assent is properly Belief. Whereas, if it be any text)Cyril. matter of concernment in which the interest of him that relateth or affir

Orig. cont. meth any thing to us is considerable, there it is not the skill or knowledge Celum, lib. 1. of the Relater which will satisfie us, except we have as strong an opinion of Euf, de prep.

Evang. l. 1 his fidelity and integrity : but if we think him fo just and honest

, that he has no design upon us, nor will affirm any thing contrary to his knowledge for Arnob

, adrer. any gain or advantage, then we readily assent unto his affirmations; and this Asent is our Belief. Seeing then our

Belief relies upon the ability

and . integrity of the Relater, and being the knowledge of all men is imperfect, and the hearts of all men are deceitful

, and so their integrity to be fufpected, there can be no infallible universal ground of Humane Faith.

But what fatisfaction we cannot find in the the testimony of man, we may Rom. 3... receive in the testimony of God, * If we receive the witnes of man, the Quâm indig witnes of God is greater. Yea, let God be true, the ground of our num, nt huDivine, and every man a liar, the ground of our Humane Faith.

As for the other Member of the Division, we may now plainly perceive credamus. that it is thus to be defined ; Divine Faith is an Assent unto something decoraculis as Credible upon the Testimony of God. This Asent is the highest kind damus ! s. of Faith, because the object hath the highest Credibility, because grounded Ambrof.

Abraham c. 3: upon the Testimony of God, which is infallible. Balaam could tell Balak thus much, - God is not a man, that he should lye ; and a better Prophet dozáriegu, confirm' the fame truth to Saul, The strength of Israel will not Zye ; már any of eva

θρωπίνων πίand because he will not, because he cannot, he is the strength of Israel,

σεως της 7ημείων

c'rrives, udao even my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.

2oy 156ÚGY For first, God is of infinite knowledge and wisdom, as Hannah hath Comission T

91; Orig. ad taught us, bthe Lord is a God of knowledge, or rather, if our Language Cell

. l. 1. will bear it, of knowledges, which are so plural, or rather infinite in their “Num. 23.19. plurality, that the Pfalmift hath said, Of his understanding there is no pfal. 18. 2. number. He knoweth therefore all things, neither can any truth be hid 01 Sam. 2. 3. from his knowledge, who is essentially truth, and essentially knowledge, and, as so, the cause of all other truth and knowledge. Thus the under-Lxx. Odos


γνώσεων κύstanding of God is infinite in respect of † comprehension, and not so only, ale but of certainty also and evidence. Some things we are said to know * Psal

. 147.5. which are but obscurely known, we see them but as in a Glass or through in the Histo a Cloud : But d God is light, and in him is no darkness at all : he feeth

Cujus without any obscurity, and whatsoever is propounded to his understanding entix limpia is most clear and evident ; e neither is there any Creature that is not mani- citer multi

plex, & uniformiter multiformis, incomprchcnfibili comprehcnfione omnia incomprehenfibilia comprehendit. S. Auguftir, de Civit. Dei, lib. 12. cap. 18. di John 1. 5.


[ocr errors]

I John 5.9

moniis de alio


Πώς δ' εκ ευ


[ocr errors]

I Sam. 15.29.



אל דעות יהור

[ocr errors]


למכינתו אין

c Heb. 4. 1 j.

[ocr errors]

καθ' ημάς πάν


contra Cel

sus ego di


Civ.Dei. 1. 22.

c. 25:




fest in his fight; but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.' Wherefore being all things are within the compass of his knowledge, being all things which are so, are most clear and evident unto him, being the knowledge he hath of them is most certain and infallible, it inevitably followeth that he cannot be deceiv'd in any thing.

Secondly, The justice of God is equal to his knowledge, nor is bis * Dext. 32.4. holiness inferior to his wisdom: a God of truth, * faith Mofes, and with: 1 Δώα και out iniquity, juft and right is he. From which internal, essential and in.

finite rectitude, goodness and holiness, followeth an impossibility to deτα ο Θεός άπες Suvié polp@, es clare or deliver that for truth which he knoweth not to be true. For if it O:05 eivuu, sy be against that finite purity and integrity which is required of man, to lye, ulceros cives, como moment and therefore sinful, then must we conceive it absolutely inconsistent with sisu). Orig. that transcendent purity and infinite integrity which is essential unto God.

Although therefore the power of God be infinite, though he can do all things; . # si velint in- yet we may fafely fay, without any t prejudice to his omnipotency, that he venire quod I cannot speak that for truth which he knoweth to be otherwise. For the non poteft, perfections of his will are as necessarily infinite as those of his understanding : habent pror- neither can he be unholy or unjust more than he can be ignorant or unwile. cain, mentiri "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful, he cannot deny himself. non poteft. Which words of the Apostle, though properly belonging to the promises S. Auguft

. de of God, yet are as true in respect of his assertions ; neither should he more

deny himself in violating his fidelity, than in contradicting his veracity: * 2 Tim. 2. 13. 'Tis true, that God willing more abundantly to shew unto the Heirs of . Heb. 6. 17, Promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath ; that

by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lye, we might have a strong consolation : but 'tis as true, that all this confirmation is only for our consolation ; otherwise it is as impossible for God to lye, with

! c Heb. 6. 13. out an oath, as with one ; for being he can fwear by no greater, he swear

eth only by himself, and fo the strength even of the Oath of God relieth upon the veracity of God. Wherefore being God, as God is of infinite

rectitude, goodness and holiness, being it is manifestly repugnant to his Ut fit om- purity, and inconsistent with his integrity, to deliver any thing contrary mori non po- to his knowledge, it clearly followeth that he cannot deceive any man.

. It is therefore most infallibly certain, that God being infinitely wise, poteft, men* be deceived; being infinitely good, cannot deceive : and

upon telt . Auguft

. these two immovable pillars Itandeth the Authority of the Testimony of God. de symb. ad For since we cannot doubt of the witness of any one, but by questioning his + Deus facere ability, as one who may be ignorant of that which he affirmeth, and to fraudem nef- deceived; or by excepting against his integrity, as one who may

affirm cit, pati

non that which he knoweth to be false, and so have a purpose to deceive us : fol. Serm.62. where there is no place for either of these exceptions, there can be no Authoritas doubt of the truth of the Testimony. But where there is an intrinsical in intrinfeca y repugnancy, of being deceived in the understanding, and of deceiving in repugnantia the will, as there certainly is in the understanding and will of God, there deceptionis leur fallitatis can be no place for either of those exceptions, and consequently there can be quàm habet no doubt of the truth of that which God testifieth. And whosoever thinketh divinum judi- any thing comes from hini, and assenteth not unto it, must necessarily deny intrinseca recium, eine him to be wise or holy: He that believeth not God, said the Apostle, bath

made him a liar. That truth then which is testified by God, hath a Di. actis volun-, vine Credibility: and an asent unto it as fo credible, is Divine Faith. In imperan

which the material Object is the Doctrine which God delivereth, the for: nium extrin- mal Object is that Credibility founded on the * Authority of the deliverer.

And this I conceive the true nature of Divine Faith in general. judicio interno; quæ per terminos positivos actùs intellectus infallibiliter veri, & actus voluntatis intrinfecè & necessario recti, poterit explicari. Francis. de Ovied. Tract. de fide. Contr. 2. pun.2.

di John 5.10. eft auctoritas cui crediinus; divina est doctrina quam fequimur. Leo, Corm. ;. in Nativ.



[ocr errors]

nium potens,

[ocr errors]

telt, falli non


tiri non po


Dei consistit

[ocr errors]


tis teftimo

fecum non

* Divina


Now being the Credibility of all which we believe is founded upon the Testimony of God, we can never be sufficiently instructed in the notion of Faith, till we first understand how this testimony is given to thofe truths which we now believe. To this end it will be necessary to give notice that the Testimony of God is not given unto truths before questioned or debated; nor are they such things as are first propounded and doubted of by man, and then resolv'd and confirm’d by interposing the authority of God: but he is then said to witness when he doth propound, and his Teftimony is given by way of Revelation, which is nothing else but the de: livery or speech of God unto his creatures. And therefore upon a diversity of delivery must follow a difference, though not of Faith itself, yer of the means and manner of Assent.

Wherefore it will be farther necessary to observe, that Divine Revelation is of two kinds, either immediate, or mediate. An immediate Revelation is that by which God delivereth himself to man by himself, without the intervention of man. A mediate Revelation is the conveyance of the counsel of A

* God unto man by man. By the first he spake unto the Prophets; by the fe-elt auditus & cond in the Prophets, and by them unto us. Being then there is this diffe- locutid, fcilirence between the fevealing of God unto the Prophets and to others, being feite exterior

corporathe Faith both of Prophets, and others, relieth wholly upon Divine Reve- lis, & interior lation, the * difference of the manner of Āsent in these several kinds of Belie- ac fpiritualis ; vers will be very observable for the explanation of the nature of our Faith. ità duplex eft

fides,una quz oritur in cordibus fidelium per auditum exteriorem, cùm fcil. Deus per aliquos homines aliis credenda proponit; & ifta eft fides quæ nobis five communi ftatui fidelium convenit, ex eo quod adhæremus revelationibus Prophetis & Apoftolis factis: alia eft quæ oritur in aliquibus per spiritualem locutionem, quâ Deus aliquibus per internam inlpirationem credenda revelat, nullo hominis ministerio utens; ficut eft fides Apoftolorum & Prophetarum, qui ab ipfo Deo per intrinsecam illuminationem sunt de credendis instructi. Francis. Ferrariensis in Thom.cont. Gent.cap.40. Those then to whom God did immediately speak himself

, or by an Angel. Heb. 11.7. representing God, and so being in his stead, and bearing his name, (of which* llises zenI I lhall need here to make no distinction) those Persons, I say, to whom Meluates, God did fo reveal himself, did by virtue of the fame Revelation, perceive, comes from the know, and assure themselves, that he which fpake to them was God; fo original Xegów, that at the same time they clearly understood both what was delivered, and appropriated

by the Greeks by whom: otherwise we cannot imagine that Abraham would have slain his to an Oracle, Son, or have been commended for such a resolution, had he not been most or Answer giassured that it was God who by an immediate Revelation of his will clearly 0.6s xat:

ven by God, ó commanded it. Thus a by faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen »9gwna as yet, moved with fear, prepared an Ark, to the saving of his house : Marlo.2;


Moscopulus which * warning of God was a clear Revelation of God's determination to bija?.22.14 drown the world, of his will to save him and his family, and of his commandi Sam. 3. 21. for that end to build an Ark. 'And this Noah fo received from God, as that he

knew it to be an Oracle of God, and was as well assured of the Author as informed of the Command. Thus the judgments hanging over Judah were revealed in the ears of b Isaiah by the Lord of Hofts. Thus the Lord re- xúese drovealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh: at first indeed he knew him not; that

κάλυψε το ω

τίον Σαμαήλ, is, when the Lord spake, he knew it not to be the voice of God, Now Sa- 1 Sam.9.15 muel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him; but after that he knew him, and was assured that it was He which spake unto him, the Scripture teaching us that the fears of Sa- veivis doneda muel were revealed, and the word of God revealed, and *God himselfre- nuptive ava vealed to him. By all which we can understand no lefs, than that Samuel 15 põua zuebat was fo illuminated in his Prophecies, that he fully understood the words or things themselves which were delivered, and as certainly knew that the de- 4x nint liverer was God: so Samuel the Seer, fo the rest of those Prophets believed those truths revealed to them by such a faith as was a firm affent unto an


xéer urey's object credible upon the immediate Testimony of God.

Bett 1 Sam. 3:28:


which word


di Sam. 3.7.

זיהוה גלה את און שסואר

[ocr errors]

+ טרם יגלה אליו דבר יהוה

I Sam. 3.7.

* נגלה


Exod. 4. I.

Exod. 4. 16.

But those faithful people to whom the Prophets {pake, believed the same truth, and upon the testimony of the same God, delivered unto them not by God, but by those Prophets, whose words they therefore assented unto as certain truths, because they were assured that what the Prophets spake was immediately revealed to them by God himself, without which assurance no faith could be expected from them. When God appeared unto Mofes in a flame of fire out of the midst of a Bush, and there immediately revealed to him first himself, láying, I am the God of thy Fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and then his will to bring the children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt, Mofes clearly believed God both in the Revelation of himself and of his will

, and was fully satisfied that the Ifraelites thould be delivered, because he was assured it was God who

promised their deliverance : yet notwithstanding still he doubted whether the Ifraelites would believe the same truth, when it should be delivered to them, nar immediately by God, but by Moses, And Mofes answered and faid, But behold they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. Which words of his first suppole, that if they had heard the voice of God, as he had, they would have allented to the truth upon a testimony Divine; and then as rationally affirm, that it was improbable they should believe, except they were assured it was God who promised, or think that God had promised by Mofes, only because Mofes faid so. Which rational Objection was clearly taken away, when God endued Mofes with power of evident and undoubted miracles ; for then the Rod which he carried in his hand was as infallible a sign to the Ifraelites, that God had appeared unto him, as the flaming Bush was to himself; and therefore they which saw in his hand God's Omnipotency, could not suspect

in his Tongue God's Veracity; insomuch as when Aaron became to Moses Evd. 4. 30, instead of a Mouth, and Moses to Aaron instead of God, Aaron spake all

the words which the Lord had spoken unto Mofes, and did the signs in the fight of the people, and the people believed. For being persuaded by a lively and active presence of Omnipotency that God had appeared unto Mofes, and what was delivered to them by him came to him from God, and being fufficiently assured out of the very sense and notion of a Deity, that what

a soever God should speak, must of necessity be true, they presently assented, Exod. 14. 31. and believed the Lord, and his Servant Mofes; Mojës, as the immediate

propounder, God, as the original revealer: they believed Moses that God had revealed it, and they believed the Promise, because God had revealed it. So that the Faith both of Moses and the Ifraelites was grounded upon the fame Testimony or revelation of God, and differed only in the proposition or application of the Testimony; Mofes receiving it immediately from God himlelf, the Ifraelites mediately by the ministry of Mofes.

In the like manner the succeeding Prophets were the instruments of Di vine Revelation, which they first believed as revealed to them, and then the people as revealed by them: for what they delivered was not the testimony of man, but the testimony of God delivered by man. he who spake by the mouth of his holy Prophets which have been since

the world began : the mouth, the instrument, the articulation was theirs; 2 sam. 23. 2. but the words were God's. The Spirit of the Lord Spake by me, faith I King. 8.53. David, and his word was in my tongue. It was the word of the Lord, I King. 14. 18. which he spake by the hand of Moses, and by the hand of his servant

Ahijab the Prophet. The band the general instrument of man, the mouth the particular instrument of speech, both attributed to the Prophets as

merely instrumental in their prophecies. The words which Balaam's Ass Numb.22.28. fpake were as much the Ass's words, as those which Balaam spake were Niumb. 23. 5. his; for the Lord opened the mouth of the Ass, and the Lord put a word

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

It was

[ocr errors]

Luke 1.70.

« PreviousContinue »