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buman agency,

feet in the present constitution of things ; because, as thus it is, so thus it will be, and thus it must be, with regard to the Deity, seeing otherwise such a Constitution could not have taken place at all. That man is an agent, is of God; that any individual is a good or a bad agent, by his making a good or a bad use of his agency, this is wholly of bimself; that man is thus at liberty to make a good or a bad use of his

agency, and was intended fo to be, is as much of God, as that he is what he is, viz. an agent. So that

with what it is produttive of, is no blemish, no defeEt in the present constitution of things; for tho'God did not intend that man should do evil, yet he did intend that man should be at liberty so to do ; which liberty, surely, is not, will not be restrained by any thing that is supernatural. And as we can have no previous ground to presume or expect that there is, or will be a divine revelation, until it has appeared and proved itself to be such ; so, consequently, we can be under no previous obligation to seek after it.

Non-entity, or what is not, surely, can lay us under no obligation ; but divine revelation is not, with regard to us, until it has appeared and

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prove it;

proved itself to be fo; and therefore, antecedent to such proof, we can be under no obligation with regard to it. Indeed, when a revelation that affumes a divine character comes home to our door, and offers itself to our consideration, then curiosity, and that natural thirst after knowledge which takes

man,
these
may

excite our attention; and as the revelation may possibly be what it is pretended to be, and as such we may possibly be interested in it; so these

may excite our concern to try and

but otherwise, I think, we can be under no obligation with regard to it. And, indeed, were the case otherwise, mankind would be involved in the utmost perplexity; because if one man, by assuming the character of being a promulger of divine revelation, does, by such assumption, lay me under an obligation to seek after him, in order to hear and attend to what he has to offer to me, in that behalf; then every other person who assumes such a character, if the report of him comes to my hearing, lays me under the like obligation, wherever the promulger is, and wherever the place of my

abode may be ; which must of necessity involve me in great perplexity. Suppose my refi

dence

dence to be in London, where it is reported that one man is promulging a divine revelation in York, that another is performing the like work in Cornwall, and that a third is acting the same part in Ireland; with respect to each of which reports, I could not be certain of the contrary; and suppofing 1 am obliged to seek after, anů attend to such revelations to which a divine character is annexed by the promulgers, then I muit be obliged to seek after, and attend to them all ; because one has as much and as just a demand upon me as either of the other two ; and all of them must have as just a title to my attention as any other pretension of this kind ; and this, surely, must involve me in a most unreasonable perplexity. For as those pretensions to a divine character may not be well grounded in one, or another, or all of these, of which I cannot be a judge 'till each of them is examined, together with the evidences offered to support that character ; fo, with respect to these revelations, one may be more extensive and contain more divine truths than another, of which I cannot be a judge till I have compared them, and this would lay me under an obligation (supposing an obligation

ace to be in London, where it is reported t one man is promulging a divine revelan in York, that another is performing the e work in Cornwall, and that a third is ang the same

part in Ireland; with respect ach of which reports, I could not be cer7 of the contrary; and supposing I am aged to seek after, and attend to such clations to which a divine character is exed by the promulgers, then I must be iged to seek after, and attend to them ; because one has as much and as just a and upon me as either of the other two ;

all of them must have as just a title my attention as any other pretension of

kind; and this, surely, must involve in a most unreasonable perplexity. For chose pretensions to a divine character I not be well grounded in one, or ano, or all of these, of which I cannot be idge 'till each of them is examined, toer with the evidences offered to support character ; fo, with respect to these

The Author's Farewel. in the case, which, surely, there is none attend' ufon, and try them all, and would be a redious, burthensome and pensive thing to me, supposing it to co within the compass of my power, wh

. cannot be the case of the bulk of people; and, perhaps, at last, after had run this wild-goose-chace, it mig yield me neither benefit nor fatisfa&ti but leave me to take the like dance afo the next pretender of this kind, who wou lay me under the like obligation.

If it should be said, that our attendan on and attention to revelations that affum a divine character are not required to evei pretence of this kind, but only to fuch have miraculous power annexed to them, back and support them; and when that the case, then our attendance on the miracle worker, and our attention to what he hi to reveal to us, are both demanded and ex peated. To this it may be answered, tha if the power of working miracles, and th power or trust of promulging divine revela tions, are so necessarily connected in nature that one cannot be without the other these are always united in fact, so that on does never take place without the other

then

fations, one may be more extenhve and ain more divine truths than another, hich I cannot be a judge till I have ared them, and this would lay me unan obligation (supposing an obligation

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then, there might be some colour for what is here urged ; but if neither of these is the case, then what is urged comes to nought. That miraculous power and the privilege or trust of promulging divine revelation are necessarily connected in nature, I think, is not pretended, the contrary being most obvious; and therefore, the only question is, whether these are always united in fact ? the contrary to which likewise appears, if the facts of this kind, that are upon record, do determine the point; and which, surely, will not be disputed, at least by our found Christian believers. Thus 2 Kings v. 14. Naaman the Syrian was cured of a leprosy, which cure, I apprehend, has always been considered to be miraculous, both by Jews and Christians, and yet the promulgation of divine revelation was not joined with it ; of which the case is the same in many other instances : And, on the other side, St. John the Baptist, tho'a publisher of such divine revelation as was of publick or general concern, who is represented not to have come a whit behind any prophet or publisher of divine truth, Luke vii. 28. and yet wrought no miracle, John

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