Discourses on Prophecy, in Which Are Considered Its Structure, Use and Inspiration: Being the Substance of Twelve Sermons, Preached in the Chapel of Lincoln's Inn, in the Lecture Founded by the Right Reverend William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester

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Excerpt from Discourses on Prophecy, in Which Are Considered Its Structure, Use and Inspiration: Being the Substance of Twelve Sermons, Preached in the Chapel of Lincoln's Inn, in the Lecture Founded by the Right Reverend William Warburton, Bishop of Gloucester

I. Of the previous Probability of a Divine Revelation. II. Of the Plan and Contents of the following Discourses.

Antecedently to a consideration of the proper Evidences of Revealed Religion, it cannot be said with any show of reason, that it is a thing improbable in itself that a divine Revelation should be made. Nothing that we know of the Attributes of God, or of His Moral Govern ment; nothing that we know of the Nature and Condition of Man, would make it appear unfit for God to bestow upon man an immediate communication of His Will. On the contrary, the most just and rational notions we can frame of the providential care of the Deity would lead us to consider it as entirely suitable to His Attributes and His Designs, that 'he should at times impart to His reasonable creatures, whose whole existence and destiny are dependent upon Him, supplies of knowledge and direction. And on the side of Man, it is too clear, on a sober review of his condition, that he is not so complete in his own natural resources as to be placed above the Benefit, or even the Need, of such supervening assistance.

And so it has been, that the common Belief of the world has borne witness to the intrinsic Probability of a Revelation. Supposed Revelations, or Traditions of them, there always have been; and often they have been such, as, having nothing of merit or excellence in their matter, nor any considerable inducement of evidence to recommend them, have yet obtained credit, and been received, solely.

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