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Heb. xi. 7.
unto man by man. By the first he spake unto the prophets; by the second in the prophets, and by them unto us. Being then there is this difference between the revealing of God unto the prophets and to others, being the faith both of prophets and others relieth wholly upon divine Revelation, the difference of the manner of assent in these several kinds of believers will be very observable for the explanation of the nature of our faith.
Those then to whom God did immediately speak himself, or by an angel representing God, and so being in his stead, and bearing his name (of which I shall need here to make no distinction), those persons, I say, to whom God did so reveal himself, did, by virtue of the same Revelation, perceive, know, and assure themselves, that he which spake to them was God; so that at the same time they clearly understood both what was delivered, and by whom: otherwise we cannot imagine that Abraham would have slain his son, or have been commended for such a resolution, had he not been most assured that it was God who by an immediate Revelation of his will clearly commanded it. Thus by faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark, to the saving of his house : which warning of God was a clear Revelation of God's determination to drown the world, of his will to save him and his family, and of his command for that end to build an ark. And this Noah so received from God, as that he knew it to be an oracle of God, and was as well assured of the author as informed of the command. Thus
the judgements hanging over Judah were revealed in the Tsai. xxii. 14. ears of Isaiah by the Lord of hosts. Thus the Lord revealed
himself to Samuel in Shiloh : at first indeed he knew him
1.Sicut duplex est auditus et revelat, nullo hominis ministerio locutio, scilicet exterior sive corpo utens; sicut est fides Apostolorum ralis, et interior ac spiritualis ; ita et Prophetarum, qui ab ipso Deo per duplex est fides, una quæ oritur in intrinsecam illuminationem sunt de cordibus fidelium per auditum ex credendis instructi. Francisc. Ferteriorem, cum scilicet Deus per ali rariensis in Thom. cont. Gent. [lib. iii.] quos homines aliis credenda proponit; et ista est fides, quæ nobis sive com 2 πίστει χρηματισθείς, which word muni statui fidelium convenit, ex eo comes from the original Xpáw, approquod adhæremus revelationibus Pro priated by the Greeks to an oracle, phetis et Apostolis factis :.. alia est or answer given by God: ο μεν θεός quæ oritur in aliquibus per spiritu χρή, ο δε άνθρωπος μαντεύεται. Mosalem locutionem, qua Deus aliquibus chopulus, 'Ovou. 'ATTIK. v. xpń. per internam inspirationem credenda
1 Sam. iii. 21,
not; that is, when the Lord spake, he knew it not to be the voice of God: Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord ; 1 Sam. lii. 7. neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him; but after that he knew him and was assured that it was he which spake unto him, the scripture teaching us that the ears' of Samuel were revealed, and the word? of God revealed, and God himself revealed to him. By all which we can understand no less, than that Samuel was so illuminated in his prophecies, that he fully understood the words or things themselves which were delivered, and as certainly knew that the deliverer was God : so Samuel the seer, so the rest of the prophets believed those truths revealed to them by such a faith as was a firm assent unto an object credible upon
the immediate testimony of God. 8 But those faithful people to whom the prophets spake
believed the same truth, and upon the testimony of the same God, delivered unto them not by God, but by those prophets, whose words they therefore assented unto as certain truths, because they were assured that what the prophets spake was immediately revealed to them by God himself, without which assurance no faith could be expected from them. When God appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a Exod. til. 2 bush, and there immediately revealed to him first himself, saying, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, Exod. ii. 6. the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and then his will to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, Moses clearly believed God both in the revelation of himself and of his will, and was fully satisfied that the Israelites should be delivered, because he was assured it was God who promised their deliverance: yet notwithstanding still he doubted whether the Israelites would believe the same truth, when it should be delivered to them, not immediately by God, but by Moses; And Moses answered and said, But Exod. Iv. 1. behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. Which words of his first suppose, that if they had heard the voice of God, as he had, they would have assented to the truth upon a testimony divine; and then as rationally affirm i
αποκαλυφθήναι αυτώ ρήμα Κυρίου, , απεκάλυψε το ωτίον Σαμουήλ, 1 Sam. 1 Sam. iii. 7. ix. 15.
ar piv Kúpos ir pos Eapovńa, 1 Sam. iii. 21.
Kvpios יהוה גלה את און שמואל 1
drekaAvg0n נגלה יהוה אל שמואל 3
טרם יגלו אליו יגי יהוה
that it was improbable they should believe, except they were assured it was God who promised, or think that God had promised by Moses, only because Moses said so. Which rational objection was clearly taken away, when God endued Moses with power of evident and undoubted miracles; for then the rod which he carried in his hand was as infallible a sign to the Israelites, that God had appeared unto him, as the flaming bush was to himself; and therefore they who saw in his hand God's omnipotency, could not suspect in his tongue
God's veracity; insomuch as when Aaron became to Moses Exod. Iv. 16. instead of a mouth, and Moses to Aaron instead of God, Exod. iv. 80, Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto
Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people, and the people believed. For being persuaded by a lively and active presence of omnipotency that God had appeared unto Moses, and what was delivered to them by him came to him from God, and being sufficiently assured out of the very sense and
notion of a Deity, that whatsoever God should speak, must Exod. xiv. 31. of necessity be true, they presently assented, and believed the
Lord and his servant Moses ; Moses, as the immediate propounder; God, as the original revealer: they believed Moses that God had revealed it, and they believed the promise, because God had revealed it. So that the faith both of Moses and the Israelites was grounded upon the same testimony or revelation of God, and differed only in the proposition or application of the testimony; Moses receiving it immediately from God himself, the Israelites mediately by the ministry of Moses.
In the like manner the succeeding prophets were the instruments of Divine Revelation, which they first believed as revealed to them, and then the people as revealed by them: for what they delivered was not the testimony of man, but the testimony of God delivered by man. It was he who spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been
since the world began; the mouth, the instrument, the articu2 Sam, xxii. lation was theirs; but the words were God's. The Spirit of
the Lord spake by me, (saith David), and his word was in my 1 Kings viii. tongue. It was the word of the Lord, which he spake by the Kings xiv. hand of Moses, and by the hand of his servant Ahijah the
prophet. The hand the general instrument of man, the mouth the particular instrument of speech, both attributed to the
Luke i 70.
prophets as merely instrumental in their prophecies. The words which Balaam's ass spake were as much the ass's words,
as those which Balaam spake were his; for the Lord opened Num. xxii. 9 the mouth of the ass, and the Lord put a word in Balaam's Num. xxiii
mouth; and not only so, but a bridle with that word, only Num. xxii. the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. The prophets, as they did not frame the notions or conceptions themselves of those truths which they delivered from God, so did they not loosen their own tongues of their own instinct, or upon their own motion, but as moved, impelled, and acted by God. So we may, in correspondence to the antecedent and subsequent words, interpret those words of St Peter, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private inter- 2 Pct. 1. 20. pretation : that is, that no prophecy which is written did so proceed from the prophet which spake or wrote it, that he of himself, or by his own instinct, did open his mouth to prophesy; but that all prophetical revelations came from God alone, and that whosoever first delivered them was antecedently inspired by him, as it followeth, for the prophecy came 2 Pet. L. 21. not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. That therefore which they delivered was the Word, the Revelation of God; which they assented unto, as to a certain and infallible truth, credible upon the immediate testimony of God, and to which the rest of the believers assented upon the same testimony of God mediately delivered by the hands of the prophets.
Thus, God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, Ileb. I. 1. spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, and by so speaking propounded the object of faith both to the prophets and the fathers, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Heb. 1. 2 Son, and by so speaking hath enlarged the object of faith to us by him, by which means it comes to be the faith of Jesus. Rev. xiv. 12. Thus the only-begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, John I, 18. the express image of his person, he in whom it pleased the Col. i. 18. Father that all fulness should dwell, he in whom dwelleth all col. 1. 9. the fulness of the Godhead bodily, revealed the will of God to the apostles; who being assured that he knew all things, and John xvi. 80. convinced that he came forth from God, gave a full and clear assent unto those things which he delivered, and grounded their faith upon his words, as upon the immediate testimony
1 ιδίας επιλύσεως.
John xvii. 8. of God. I have given unto them (saith Christ unto his
Father) the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. Beside
this delivery of these words by Christ to the apostles, they John xvi. 18. received the promise of the Spirit of truth, which should guide John xiv. 26. them into all truth, and teach them all things, and bring all
things into their remembrance whatsoever Christ had said unto them. So clearly, so fully, so constantly, were they furnished with divine Illuminations, and Revelations from God, upon
which they grounded their own faith; that each of them 2 Tim. i. 12 might well make that profession of St Paul, I know whom I
have believed. Thus the faith of the apostles, as of Moses and the prophets, was grounded upon the immediate Revelations of God.
But those believers to whom the apostles preached, and whom they converted to the faith, believed the same truths which were revealed to the apostles, though they were not so revealed to them as they were unto the apostles, that is, immediately from God. But as the Israelites believed those truths which Moses spake to come from God, being convinced by the constant supply of miracles wrought by the rod which he carried in his hand: so the blessed apostles, being so plentifully endued from above with the power of miracles, gave sufficient testimony that it was God which spake by their mouths, who so evidently wrought by their hands. They which heard St Peter call a lame man unto his legs, speak a dead man alive, and strike a living man to death with his tongue, as he did Ananias and Sapphira, might easily be persuaded that it was God who spake by his mouth, and conclude that where they found him in his omnipotency, they might well expect him in his veracity. These were the per- 10 sons for whom our Saviour next to the apostles prayed,
because by a way next to that of the apostles they believed. John xvii. 20. Neither pray I for these alone, (saith Christ), but for them also
who shall believe on me through their word. Thus the apostles believed on Christ through his own word, and the primitive Christians believed on the same Christ through the apostles' word: and this distinction our Saviour himself hath clearly made; not that the word of the apostles was really distinct from the word of Christ, but only it was called theirs, because