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make it ruths in which
in his Natural state, without the gracious Influences of God's holy Spirit, be now supposed to be so much blinded, that it cannot perceive the Evidence of those Truths which 7efus Christ has revealed; and consequently there is now supposed a Necessity of the Grace and immediate Power of God, to cure the Natural Blindness of his Understanding, and make it capable of perceiving the Evidence of Chriftian Truths : yet that immediate operation of God upon Man, which is now supposed necessary to remove the Natural Blindness of his Understanding, and make him capable of perceiving the Evidence of Christian Truths, is not an immediate Revelation of Christian Truths to his Understanding; but only a gracious removal of those impediments, which wou'd not have suffer'd his Understanding to perceive the Evidence of those Truths, when reveald to him, whether mediately or immediately. So that this operation of God upon Man, which is now supposed necessary in order to a Christian Faith, does not affect the manner of the Revelation of those Truths, the belief of which is a Christian Faith : but it affe&s the faculty, wherewith alone we can believe those Truths, after what manner soever they be reveal'd.
However, if any person be resolved to call that immediate operation upon our Minds, whereby the Holy Spirit is now supposed to enable us to perceive the Evidence of Christian Truths, when revealed to us either mediately or immediately, an ime mediate Revelation of Christian Truths; I answer, that tho'it were granted, that this supposed immediate operation were an immediate Revelation; yet 'tis not that immediate Revelation which our Adversaries contend for. This appears from Mr. Bar
clay, who (a) opposes those persons who fay, that the Spirit does now lead and influence the Saints, by enlightning their Understandings to understand and bea lieve the Truth, but not by presenting it to the Mind by way of Object. And then he endeavors by di. verse Arguments to prove and establish the Neceffity of that immediate Revelation which the Ouakers mean, yiz. theiSpirits not only helping us to discern Truths already delivered, but presenting those Truths to our Minds.
Thus then it appears, that altho' it be granted, that no Man can have a Christian Faith without the Grace and immediate power of God; yet, since that immediate operation of God upon Man, without which ’tis now supposed, that a Christian Faith cannot be wrought in him, is not what our Ade versaries themselves do understand by an immediate Revelation of Christian Truths to his understanding; therefore it can't be said, that the nature of a Chri. stian Faith does necessarily suppofe (because it cannot be wrought without) immediate Revelation. And therefore a Man may be endued with a Christian Faith, or believe those things which Jesus Christ has reveald, without immediate Revelation.
2. I must now prove, that a saving Christian Faith, or such a belief of those things which Jesus Christ has reveal'd, as is neceffary in order to Salvation, may be had without immediate Revelation. ...
For that which makes a Christian Faith saving, or such as is necessary in order to Salvation, is its working by Love, or fruitfulness in Good Works; and consequently, that Christian Faith which is accompanied with Obedience to the Laws of Christ, is a saving Christian Faith. Because Obedience to
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ation of Chring understand what our as
(4) Apol. prop. 2. P. 285, &c.
the the Laws of Christ is that very working by Love, or fruitfulness in Good Works, wliich makes a Christian Faith saving.
Now that a Christian Faith may be accompanied with Obedience to the Laws of Christ, it is ne. cessary, 1. That the Will do chuse, 2. That the executive Powers do perform, Obedience to the Laws of Christ. Which choice and performance of Obedience to the Laws of Christ are to be ascrib'd to the gracious A llistance of Almighty God, who by the blessed Influence of his Holy Spirit worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure, Phil. 2.18. and accordingly, the Eftablish'd Church of England declares in her Liturgy, that it is. God, (b) from whom all holy defires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; that (c) he by his special grace preventing us doth put into our minds good desires ; that (d) he alone can order the unruly wills and af. fections of sinful men; that (e) thro' the Weakness of our Mortal Nature we can do no good thing without him; that (f) the frailty of Man without him cannot but fall, &c. and therefore she prares him (8) to stir up the wills of his faithful people, and (h) make us continually to be given to all good works, that (i) we may love the thing which he commandeth, and defire that which he doth promise, and thar (k) we plenteonfly bringing forth the fruit of good Works may of him be plenteonfly rewarded; with many other Expressions of the like Nature..
:16) 2d. Collect at Evening Prayer. (c) Collect for Easter. (d) Collect for the 4th. Sunday after Easter. (e) Collect for the ist. Sunday after Trinity. if) Collect for the 15th. Sunday after Trinity. (g) Collect for the 25th. Sunday after Trinity.. (h) Collect for the 17th. Sunday after Trinity. (i) Collect for the 4th. Sunday after Easter. (k) Collect for the 25th. Sunday after Trinity,
From hence then it appears very plainly, that if a man may have any Christian Faith at all without immediate Revelation, then he may have a faving Christian Faith without immediate Revelation. Bea cause that which makes a Christian Faith saving, is not any new or different Revelation ; but the Grace of God enabling a man to will and act conformably to that Revelation which he has already enjoy'd, whether it were mediate or immediate. So that, that which distinguishes a faving Christian Faith from such a Christian Faith as is not savinger is not the manner of the Revelation, but that Grace which follows after it.' And consequently a faving Christian Faith may be built upon either immediate or mediate Revelation; because the Grace of God may follow after either of them. And if a saving Christian Faith may be built upon either Sort of Revelation ; then it is manifeft, that a man may have a faving Christian Faith, or such a belief of those things which Jesus Christ has reveald, as is necessary in order to Salvation, without immediate Revelation. "
Thus then have I shewn, that there is no neces. sity of immediate Revelation in order to a Saving Christian Faith, arising from the Nature of a saving Christian Faith, either as it is a Christian Faith in general, or as 'tis a Saving Christian Faith in particular.” And since there is no necessity of immediate Revelation in order to a faving Christian Faith, ari. sing from the Nature of a saving Christian Faith, either of these waies; therefore there is no necesa fity at all of immediate Revelation in order to a Saving Christian Faith, arising from the Nature of a Saving Christian Faith.'
CHAP. III. That there is no necessity of immediate Re
velation in order to a saving Christian · Faith, arising from the Will of God...
II. | Must now shew, that there is no necessity of
1 immediate Revelation in order to a saving Christian Faith, arising from the Will of God; That is, God has not resolved, and so disposed Matters, that a faving Christian Faith shall be alwaies built upon immediate Revelation. This I shall make ap. pear in the following manner.
'Tis very plain, that if God has resolved and so disposed Matters, that a faving Christian Faith shall be alwaies built upon immediate Revelation; then either, I. he has resolved and so disposed Matters, that a Man Thall not have any Chriftian Faith at all (whether saving or not saving) without an imme.. diate Revelation of those Truths, the belief of which is a Christian Faith: or, 2. he has refolved and fo disposed Matters, that tho' a Man might believe those things which Jesus Christ has revealed, or have a Christian Faith, without immediate Revelation; yet he shall not Savingly believe those things which Yesus Christ has revealed, or have a faving Christian Faith, without immediate Revelation. Whereas I shall shew, that God has not resolved and so disposed Matters, as that a saving Christian Faith shall be alwaies built upon immediate Revelation upon either of these accounts; either as 'tis a Christian Faith in general, or as 'tis a Saving Christian
Faith in o in general, counts; eitherte Revelatio