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times by the church of Rome, maintain that
the use and intent of miracles was for the
introduction and establishment of Christianity;
and when that work was effected then mira-
cles ceased, and will never more be restored to
the Christian church ;

and
upon

this principle
they condemn all pretensions to miraculous
power since that time as delufon or impoßtion,
whatever attestation may be pretended to be
given to it. But then, this is a bare presump-
tion, without any argument or evidence to
support it. For if the original use and inten-
tion of miraculous power was to work con-
viction in unbelievers, then, whilst there are
any unbelievers, the use and intention of mi-
raculous power will remain; and consequent-
ly, the constant use of it may more naturally
be expected. And if an argument may be
drawn from the known moral perfections of
the Deity, which in some cases is admitted;
then I observe, that if the use and intent of
miraculous

power is to work conviction in unbelievers, and if unbelief takes place now as heretofore, then it seems to follow that miracles will take place now as heretofore; because God is the same kind being now as heretofore, and is not a whit altered; but miracles do not take place now to work the conviction of unbelievers, therefore they did not take place

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heretofore to answer that purpose. To say that God is not in justice obliged to be continually working miracles for the conviction of unbelievers, how true foever it may be, is not to the purpose; because the argument is not drawn from the justice, but from the goodness of God; the question is not what God, in strict justice, is obliged to do for his distressed and wretched creatures, which men in a state of unbelief are supposed to be ; but what his kindness and goodness will dispose him to do for their relief, as well at one time or place, as at another, seeing difference of time or place makes no alteration in him. And as some of the miracles pretended to be wrought in the church of Rome have been proved cheats, and others have the marks of incredibility upon them, though not proved to be impositions ; fo this has led some men, perhaps, not altogether unnaturally to conclude, that all pretensions of this kind in the church of Rome have been cheats, though some of these have been attested by men of honesty and integrity as aforesaid. But then, this seems to weaken the evidence arising from miracles in general, and renders the facts themselves to be very doubtful and uncertain. For if honesty and integrity in a voucher of the church of

Rome

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when by so doina
The Author's Farewel.

231
Rome, are not proper marks of a true testi-
mony, nor a proper security against impofi-
tion in that church ; then honesty and inte-
grity in a voucher are not proper marks of
a true testimony, nor a proper security a-

gainst imposition in any other church, or case 3

of like kind. If an honest upright man in
the church of Rome may act otherwise than an
honest upright man, (admitting such a way
of speaking ;) then why may not an honest
upright man, upon the same grounds, act
otherwise than an honest upright man, in any
other church, or cafe? and consequently,

how will the miracles wrought by Jesus Jos

Christ and his apostles be proved to be otherof

wise than impositions ? supposing them to
have been much better attested than at pre-
sent they appear to be. If it should be said,
that an honest upright man in the church of
Rome might from a religious principle act
otherwise than an honest upright man (tho'
it would not be otherwise in his estimation)
the church or cause of God, which with

him are the same thing, as he may conceive, al

in such a case, the means will be fan&tifica TY

by the end it is subservient to, and so may

give a falfe teftimony for the benefit of the of

church,

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an

church, without any consciousn fs of guilt, though he would not do it in any other case. The answer is,' that this may be the case of the members of any other church, as well as those of the church of Rome ; honest upright man may act otherwise than an honest upright man, (admitting such impropriety of language) upon the grounds before-mentioned, viz. when the cause of God and of that religious system he has imbibed (which with him is the same thing) can be served thereby; and this is not altogether unlikely to be the case among all religious profeffers, the finews of truth seem sometimes to be very much strained, in order to serve the religious cause in which men are engaged. If it should be said, that the church of Rome assumes a power of granting indulgencies and pardons, which other churches do not pretend to; and the members of the church of Rome being under the influence of these pretensions, it is easy to conceive that among

them an honest upright man may act otherwise than an honest upright man, may give a false testimony, when God's, that is, the church's cause, can be served thereby, he judging himself to be in a very safe state,

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as not being exposed to danger therefrom;
whereas other religious professors, were
they to act such a part, they would have
nothing to justify their conduct, nothing to
be a foundation of safety to themselves, but
must stand condemned in their own minds.
Answ. If a member of the church of Rome
knowingly and wittingly acts otherwise than
an honest upright man, because he confi-
ders himself to be out of danger, and as
running no risque thereby ; such a one has
no title to the character of an honest upright
man, but the reverse, and therefore, such
a one is quite out of the question. If an
honest upright man in the church of Rome
exceeds the bounds of truth, to serve God's
cause; he does not do this under the con-
fideration of it's being dishonest and bad
practice, but, on the contrary, 'he considers
fuch practice, in the case under considera-
tion, to be honest and good; and therefore,
does not stand in need either of indulgence
or pardon upon it's account, or for it's sake.
And if an honest upright Papist may exceed
the bounds of truth, upon the grounds be-
fore mentioned, and yet retain the charac-
ter of an honest upright man ; then why may
not an honest upright Protestant exceed the

bounds

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