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be allowed to prove God the Author of the Gospel. And, when our Saviour styled the Wonders that he performed, the Works that the Tat her had given him tofni/h, he plainly appealed to the Power of the Creator as manifested in the Works that bore witness to him: For, if any one else could have done the same Works, there would have been no Reason for calling them the Works of the Father, nor would there have been any Room for the Inference which our Saviour draws from it, The Father himself •which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me, John v. 37.
There is a Question commonly aiked upon this Occasion, to which it may be proper to give an Answer: That is, How we know that these Miracles did not proceed from an evil Power, since we have Instances, as some think, of Miracles so wrought? The Answer is, We know this the same Way that any Man knows the Works of Nature to proceed from a good Being: For how do you know that the Creator of the World was a good Being? If you answer, that the Maker of Mankind, the Author of Nature, must of necessity be a good and holy Being, because he has woven into the Nature of
Man the Love of Virtue and Hatred of Vice, and given him distinct Notions of Good and Evil, by which Reason unerringly concludes the Author of this Nature and these Principles to be himself good and holy; I answer the same for the Gospel of Christ: The Love of Virtue, and Hatred of Vice,, is as inseparable from the Gospel of Christ, as from the Reason of Man; and the Gospel of Christ more distinctly*teaches to know and acknowledge the Holiness and Goodness of God, than Reason, or the Works of Nature, can do: And therefore those who acknowledge the Author of Nature to be a good Being, have much more Reason to acknowledge the Author of the Christian Miracles to be a good Being. But then we are told this is arguing in a Circle; proving the Doctrines first by Miracles, and then the Miracles again by the Doctrines. But this is a great Mistake, and it lies in this; That Men do not distinguish between the Doctrines we prove by Miracles, and the Doctrines by which we try Miracles; for they are not the same Doctrines. God never wrought Miracles to prove the Difference between Good and Evil: And I suppose, if any Man were a-iked how he proves Temperance or Chastity
to to be Duties, Murder or Adultery to be Sins, he would not recur to Miracles for an Argument. These and the like Duties arc enforced in the Gospel, but were always Truths and Duties before our Saviour's Coming: And we are in possession of them without the Help of Miracles or kevelation. And these are the Doctrines by which we try the Miracles..
But the Doctrines which are to be proved by Miracles are the new revealed Doctrines of Christianity, which were neither known or knowable to the Reason of Man: Such are the Doctrines of Salvation and Redemption by Christ, of Sanctification and Regeneration by the Spirit of God: And who ever yet brought these Doctrines to prove the Truth Or divine Original of she Miracles?
I shall only add, that what has been said it concerns those chiefly to consider, who hold fast and admire the Principles of Natural Religion, but despise or overlook the Proofs of Christianity. If they will but consider the Tendency of their own Principles, they are not far from the Kingdom of God: For the same Reasons, that oblige them to believe in God, oblige them to believe in Christ also. And, as we have one God the Father of all, 2 so so should we have one Faith, and one Lord, even Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of us all. And let them .take heed, that, having been made Partakers of so much Grace,, to the Acknowledgment of the one true God, they fall not the more irrecoverably under Condemnation, by obstinately refusing to acknowledge his only and eternal Son, Jesus Christ, the righteous. ,