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things commended here in this Parable to our faith are things future, it may be unreasonable to expect an ocular demonstration of them. All cherefore that they require is sufficient evidence, or such a testimony as is credible. This they pretend is yet wanting, and one from the dead, might it be obtained, would satisfy them, and nothing less will do ir.
How little reason we have to believe, that such a Teftimony as this would win belief among this incredulous fort of People, we shall see hereafter, when we come to Abraham's Answer. In the mean time let us take into our consideration a few things, which being well weighed, let us resolve to choose as wisely as we can for our selves, and as reason directs us to do in other ca. ses; and I am confident it will appear, that we need no more testifying to the truth, than already we have; nor can, with reason, demand it.
First, Let us consider what was before said, That the things propounded to our faith, are things of the weightiest moment, whereof we cannot, with any safety, be ignorant, and the belief or disbelief whereof are of eternal Concernment. All comes to this, What shall become of us when we die ? For die we must, and if there be any thing after death, for, or against, which we are whilst we live to prepare our selves, nathing can more concern us than to understand it. If it should please God that we die this Night, can we be unconcern'd, whether we thall be happy, or iniserable, in Joy or in Torment to morrow, or whether we shall be insensible of any thing for ever? Can any thing in the World now so much concern us, as to be informed what we shall be eternally when we go hence.
Secondly, for using things arermina nature In are wech
own, and this but He us, or od alonway in
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. Secondly, That as greatly as we are concern'd to und-rstand this, yet, seeing ic is a ching to come, and wholly in God's ordering, we cannot
possibly understand it any other way than by · Divine Revelation. For God alone can tell us what he will do with us, or what he hath prepar'd for us; none but He can reveal unto us things to come, and things which depend altogether on his own Will and Determination. Yet,
Thirdly, Such is the nature of God, and the nature of Man too, that when both are well conlidered, it appears very agreeable to both, and therefore is most probable, even tho' we had never had any such Revelation of it as now we have, that there shall be Rewards and Punishments for Men after Death, which they shall receive accordingly as they did behave themselves in this world. And therefore this hath been the general belief of Mankind, as was said before.
Lastly, Seeing then we have now in our Hands a Book, which is said to be written by those, who spake as they were inspir'd by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth; and therefore God hath made known to us all that, which may make us wise unto Salvation, ibro' Faith, which is Chrift JESUS; and seeing that most things herein reveald unto us are such as appear agreeable to our own natural Sentiments of Good and Evil; and this Revelation harh been so well confirm'd and attested to, that wheresoever it has come, the most learned and civiliz'd parts of the World have been convinc'd of the Truth of it; and the best Men have rather chosen to die, than to part with it. I would fain now know why this should not be enough to persuade any rational Man to believe, what if it be true, and he believe it noe, he must certainly be tormented for evermore; and what tho' it were false, could do him no more hurt by his believing it, than the loss of some few brutish Pleasures for a very short Life on Earth amounts to. I hope every one will have the wit to judge it better for him, apd a much wiser course to secure himself, and be safe at least from torments to all eternity; than to be merry only for a few days in this World, when after all his utmost care and endeavours, he cannot assure himself he shall be so any one day of his short Life. What need then can there be of fending one from the Dead to testifie unto reasonable Men, that it is best for them to take as much care of, and to provide as well for themselves, as 'tis possible for them to do? And may we nor all do this, by living as we suppose we should Live, had we such a Dead Man's Testimony? Yea, are we nor Fools if we do ir not? Must one come from the Dead, to teach us fo‘much wisdom as to do the best we can for our own safety ? But of this Testimony of one from the dead, we lball hear again anon e're we have done with Abraham's Answer to this Request. Which let us now consider. " I than en
Abraham said unto him, They have Mofes,
and the Prophets, let them hear them.
THe only proper means to bring Men out of
1 all danger of Hell, and inco the sure way to Heaven, is to hearken to, and obey the Word of God. The Rich-man in Hell would have had LaKATUS sent to convince his Brethren by his Teftimony. Bu Abrabiam would not be persuaded to take that course. They have, ( faith he) ocher means to make use of for their Conviction, such as God hath thought good to give them ; they bave Moses and the Prophets. These have already by God's order, and in his Name, teftified unto them. If thy Brethren be not convinced, it is becaule they will not bear them. Whatever want of Evidence thou mayst pretend, or they complain of, it is without cause. They have Mofes, that is, the Law which God by Moses gave them, with such Demonstrations of the Divine Presence and Authority, as never any Law besides was given. They have the Prophets, that is, the Books and Doctrine of those holy Men, whom God from time to time, as there was occasion either of Encouragement, Correction, Warning, or better 10 formation, sent into the World, with Authority to interpret that Law, and resolve all Doubts a.
bout it. These are Witnesses beyond all Excepcion ; Men, who by the holiness of their Lives, by their Courage and Patience, by many wonderful Works, and by the manifest truth of their Predi&tions, have left you all without excuse. They have all that God, who best knows what's fit for Men, hath, in much Wisdom and Goodness. provided for their Convi&tion and Conversion. And Men must not expect, that God should be at their command, and minister just as they would have him to their Humours and Phant' fies. It is enough, that He hath graciously provided for all their Needs. They need no more to convince them, than what they have in the holy Scriptures of Moses and the Prophets, let them but hear, and like Men of Sense and Reason, consider what they hear from God by them, and they will be asham'd to call for one from the Dead to reftify unto them."
In this part of Abraham's Answer we may learn thus much.
First, That the Scriptures of the Old Testament, are confirm'd by the Testimony of those of the New one. If therefore we can find sufficient reason to believe the Scripture of the New Testament to have Divine Authority, we have also the same reason to believe as much of the Scripture of the Old Testament. Nay, we cannot belieye the New, and disbelieve the Old, because the New bears witness of the Old. The Writings of the Evangelists and Apostles testify of the Writings of Moses and the Prophets. vehementer
It is true, indeed, that the Scriptures of the Old Testament are in many things out of date to us Cbristians, and, indeed, to all the World; but still they contain, never the less for that, Divine Truth. And tho they do not now oblige Men