« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
the Comforter, which is the holy Ghost, whom the Fa. ther will send in my Name, he mall teach you
all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you, v. 26. And again, when he the Spirit of truth'is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he mall not speak of himself ; but whatsoever he mall hear, that shall be speak; and be will shew you things to come, John 16. 13. . But these words will not prove the Doctrine of our Adversaries. For, First, There are two promises contained in them, which all true Christians cannot lay claim to. 1. Our Saviour says, that the holy Ghost should bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever he had said unto them, John 14. 26. Now this promise could not be made to any Persons, but those whom our Blessed Lord had convers’d with and preach'd to, whilst he was upon earth. And consequently those Persons who never saw Christ in the flesh, cannot lay claim to it. 2. He says, that the holy Ghost should new them things to come, John 16. 13. and yet our Adversaries do very well know, that all true Christians cannot foretel future Events. Secondly, As for all the other promises contained in these Words, tho' it be granted that all true Chriftians can lay claim to them, yet I have already proved as to the greatest part of them, that they may be very well performed, altho' the Perfons to whom they are performed, do enjoy no immediate Revelation.
Those instances which have not been as yet considered, are that the holy Ghost shall, 1. Teach them all things ; 2. Guide them into all truth. By these Expreslions our Adversaries themselves must grant, that we are to understand his teaching us all things necessary to Salvation, and guiding us into all truth
necessary to Salvation. And this the Spirit may and does do, by those Holy Books which he dice tated to the Inspir'd Writers, and which he has caus'd to be dispers’d abroad for the Direction and Instruction of our Lords Disciples to the end of the World. So that these particulars here mention'd by our Savior, which can be claim'd by all true Chriftians in general, do not imply, or suppose the necessity of immediate Revelation.
CH A P. IV. What is meant by being Taught of God. 12. TSaiah speaking of the Gospel-State, faies,
Thy Children fall be all taught of the Lord, ch. 54. 13. And our Savior quotes those words to the Jews, saying, It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God, John 6. 45; from whence our Adversaries argue, that God teaches Christians the Truths of the Gospel by. immediate Revelation.
Now, before I return an Answer to this Ob. je&ion, 'tis necessary for me to observe, that the method which the Father us'd to convince the Jews, that Jesus was the Christ, never was by an immediate Revelation of that Truth to their Understandings; but, principally at least, by enabling our Lord to work Miracles, and thereby bearing witness that he was sent of God.
This will appear very plainly, if we consider, First, that our Lord and his Apostles do not so much as once upbraid the Jews for not believe ing that immediate Revelation, whereby the Father had declar'd even to themselves, that he was the Christ. And yet doubtless this could not but
have been done and mention'd, if the Father had ever declar'd that Truth to the Jews by imme. diate Revelation. Secondly, that our Savior and his Apostles do constantly appeal to his Miracles for the proof of his Mission. The works, faies our Lord, which the Father bath given me to finish, the fame works which I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself which bath sent me, hath (by enabling me to do these Works) born witness of me, John 5. 36, 37. The works that I do in my Fathers name, they bear witness of me, John 10. 5. 'Twas upon the account of his Miracles also, that St. John the Baptist inquir'd, whether he were the Chrift. For when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, be sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Matt. II. 2, 3: And Jesus bids his Disciples assure their Master of his being the Christ, by saying to them, Go and fhew John again those things, which ye do hear and fee. The blind receive their fight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf bear, the dead arc raised up, &c. v. 4, 5. And St. Peter proves to the Jews, that Jesus is the Messiah, by saying, Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approv'd of God among you, by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, &c. Ads 2. 22. Thirdly, that our Lord faies to the Jews, If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, tho'
believe not me, believe the works ; shat ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him, John 10. 37, 38. Nay, he saies, If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not bad fin, John 15. 24. So that the Jews had been excu
sable even in rejecting Christ, if his works had not been his Witness. Whereas, had the Father assured the Jews by an immediate Revelation vouchsafed to themselves, that Jesus was the Christ ; they could by no means have been excusable in their unbelief, even tho' Jesus had wrought no Miracles. Because the Father's attesting his Misfion by an immediate Revelation vouchsafed to themselves, had been, without any other evidence, an abundantly fufficient demonstration.
This being premised, I answer, that those Perfons who are here said to be taught of God, were not taught of God by immediate Revelation, but after a very different manner. This cannot be deny’d by those, who will impartially consider the whole verse. Our Lord faies, It is written in the prophets, and they Mall be all taught of God. Every man therefore, that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 'Tis to be observ'd here, that a Man's being taught of God in the Prophets phrase, is his having heard and learned of the Father in our Savior's phrase. For our Savior proves, that every Man, that hath heard and Icarped of the Father, comes to him; because the Prophet faies, And they mall be all taught of God. Whereas this Argument would not be conclusive, if those who have heard and learned of the Father, be not the same that are taught of God. And therefore being taught of God, and having heard and learned of the Father, denote one and the fame thing. And consequently, when we understand, what a Man's having heard and learned of the Father means; we shall also know what is meant by a Man's being taught Now, what a Man's having heard and learned
of the Father means, appears from the effect of it. Our Savior faies, Every Man that hath heard and learned of the Father, cometh unto : me. By which coming to Christ, we are to understand believing on him, and becoming his Disciple. And therefore believing on Christ, and being his Difciple, is the effect of a Man's having heard and learned of the Father. Now our Savior is there speaking to the Jews, with whom (as I have already shewn) he does not any where make use of immediate Revelation, as an Argument to persuade them to believe on him : but he generally appeals to his Miracles,as the proof of his Mission; and requires them to believe on him, upon the account of those mighty Works, which the Father enabled him to perform. And consequently, that having beard and learned of the Father, in consequence of which they would have believed on Christ, and become his Disciples, was not their being informed by immediate Revelation, that he was the Christ: but their being convinced of that Truth, principally at least, by the evidence of those Miracles, which the Father wrought by him.
And since being taught of God, and having heard and learned of the Father, do fignify one and the same thing; therefore their being tanght of God imports, not their being inform’d by immediate Re. velation that Jesus was the Christ; but their being convinced of that Truth some other way, and principally by the evidence of those Miracles which the Father wrought by him. And how widely different this way of God's teaching is from that way of God's teaching by immediate Revelation, which our Adversaries make necessary in order to a faving Chriftian Faith; and consequently, how impertinently this Text is afledged by our Adversaries to prove the