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e Prophets and Apostles, to confirm their “ Doctrine, brought down to us by the un“ doubted Testimony and universal Tradition “ of the Church of CHRIST, -and sticks
not to affirm, that the Alcoran may vie “ Miracles and Traditions with the Scripture, “ p. 105. And that there is no more Reason to “ believe those, who have received that Tra“ dition, and plead they have it, before and “ against them, who profess they have no such “ Report deliver'd 'them from their Fore“ fathers, p. 108. Nor have we more Induce“ ment to give Credit to their Assertions, than " to a like Number of Men holding out a Tra“ dition utterly to the contrary, That is, why " we should believe the Testimony of the “ whole Christian Church, before the Testi« mony of Fews, Pagans, and Mahometans, “ to the contrary.”
The ingenious Author of Miscellanea facra, says, (c)" the Comparison between the State of “ Prophesy under the Old and New Testa“ ment, which he has made, to shew where“ in the superior Teaching of the Spirit did “ consist; will also shew wherein the Supe.“ riority of the Witness of the Spirit, to all “ other Testimonies given to CHRIST, did “ consist. Our Saviour went about working " Miracles, curing Diseases, and casting out “ Devils ; yet it might be said by Malice and “ Perverseness (perhaps by. mere Scepticism, “ in some given to doubt) that they did not
“ know the Power of Nature, and therefore “ could not judge of a Miracle ; that they " did not know what Secrets there might be “ for the speedy and instantaneous Cure of “ Diseases; and that they could not tell, .. whether those few were really dead, that “ were said to be raised. And the Blasphemy " against the Son went so far, as to say, that “ he cast out Devils by Beelzebub the Prince '" of Devils ; and, poffibly some th
Come thought, that “his Cures of Diseases, as well as his dispos“ seffing of Devils, was by Charms, and Spells, “ and magical Arts, used almost universally in
Medicine in that Age of the World. See “ AEts xix. 18, 19. And as for working Mi"racles, curing of Diseases, and casting out “ Devils, the heathen Priests and Exorcists
pretended to them; and many among the “Yews pretended to some of them. And our “ Saviour, as well as his Apostles, foretold, " that there should be false Christs, and false
Prophets; and that they should work such “ Signs and Wonders, as, if it were possible, “ would seduce the very Elect; and that Satan “ should come among those, who received “ not the Truth in the Love of it, with all “ Power, Signs, lying Wonders, Matt. xxiv. 24. " 2 I heff. ii. 8, 9, 10. Nay, even as to “ Christ's Resurrection, a wicked Imagi« nation might perhaps strain itself so far, as “ to find out some Cavils and Exceptions to “ it. But the Witness of the Spirit quite “ blunts and deadens all the working of the “ most active and sublimated Malice ; for is
" there “ there any secret Art, Trick, Slight, or “ Power ; or was any such Thing ever pre“ tended to, since the World began; by which “ the Knowledge of Things of the greatest “ Compass, Use, and Consequence, can be “infused into the Minds of vast Numbers of “ illiterate Men and Women in an Instant, " and the Power given to some of them to “ communicate some of those Gifts, but dif“ ferent ones, to all those Believers, to whom “ they came without Distinction ; by the lay“ ing on of their Hands? He adds, if all this “ Illumination, in the several Kinds and De
grees, in which it was communicated to vaft “ Multitudes, had nothing in it more than the “ Miracles wrought by our Saviour and his “ Apostles in his Life-time, and was of the
fame Rank and Class with them; yet inal“much as it was in many Instances of it, and “ in the great Numbers, to which it was com“municated, entirely new, (none of the Pro“phets, John the Baptist, or the Apostles in “ the Life-time of our Saviour, having ever had « it,) it was the more likely to produce much “ greater Effects than any of the other.” .
Mr. Green, therefore, in asserting Miracles to be the only Method for God to manifest his Wili, rejects the Doctrine of the Witness of the Spirit; and in building Christianity upon the Proof of the miraculous Facts contain'd in the Gospel in particular, quits the Notions of his great Predeceffor in the Ministry, Dr. Owen; who, as appears, argued against such Proof, as equally conclusive for all Religions, and made
the great Proof of the Truth of Christianity to lie in the self-evidencing Power and Light of the Scriptures themselves, and of the Witness of the in-dwelling Spirit within every Man.
But tho' I take the Way of Inspiration to be better than the Way of extraordinary Works, and can think of no better ; yet I would no more conclude, that That must be God's Way, if he thought fit, (I say, if God thought fit, for I know not (d) upon what Right we can demand to be told any Thing) to give Proof of his revealing his Will to Mankind, than I would conclude from God's giving to every Man Reason, that there is no Need of, nor can be, any other Way for God to communicate his Will to the World ; and, in particular, would not even conclude, that it was absurd to suppose, that God had left us to learn his Will among the infinite Sorts of those, who pretend to be Ministers of his Word, and Ambassadors from him. On the contrary, I would give every Sort of them a fair Hearing, as to the Proof of their Miffion or Embassy, how unpromising soever their obvious Figure, Marks, Livery, Appearances, and Pretences may be, of their being sent by the great God of Heaven and Earth.
Mr. Green having, as appears, proved nothing, and having supposed the very Thing he was to prove, proceeds to answer the (e) only Objection, which, as he says, lies against
his last Proposition, viz. “ That there are “ other Beings, besides God, superior unto “ us; and we cannot say what Power they “ may have of doing the Works we are “ speaking of; and consequently, we cannot “ tell, when they are the Works of God, and “ when the Works of these other Beings.” u
How he answers his own Objection, I shall. - now consider, and shew you, that he answers that Objection in such a Manner, as to evince, that Miracles, or extraordinary Works, are not a Proof of the Divinity of a Doctrine. And then I think nothing will appear less argumentative than his Propositions; which pretend only to assert the possibility of their being such Proof, and which really new that they cannot be Proofs. In answer to the Objection started by him, he allows, that Beings, inferior to God, can do extraordinary. Works. How then can we distinguish when God acts, or does extraordinary Works, and when other Beings do them? He says, God can give us a certain Criterion. But what is that Criterion, consistently with allowing that Beings, inferior to God, can do Miracles, or extraordinary Works? : ;
J. First, he says, the Works themselves furnish us with this Criterion, when, in a Contest between two Parties doing Miracles, one Party makes it appear, that the Power, by which he was acted, was superior to That of the other. Thus, he fays, in the Contest be tween Aaron and the Magicians of Egypt before PHAROAH and his Servants, both U 4