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And have they not at these Seasons, in the
most serious manner imaginable, made Vows
and Resolutions to live a Holy Christian
Life? And yet we see they continue ftill Un-
reformed, still they are the fame Sensual, Care-
less, Unchristian Livers that ever they were.
I appeal to the Consciences of Men, whether
this be not true; and why should we think it
would fare otherwise with us; if God should
send one from the Dead to reclaim us? That
very Miracle would not convince our Un-
derstandings more than they have been con-
vinced already; and, therefore, why should
we think it would work more upon our
Wills ?
* The Sum of all this Discourse,' is this ;
That how prevailing foever we may iman
gine such an Experiment, as the Rich Man
here offers to Abraham for the Conversion of
his Brethren, would be upon us; yet a Sen. -
sual Man, that was unwilling to give up him-
self to the Conduct of Religion, might easie
ly find out Ways to avoid the Force that it
ought to have upon his Mind; Nay, more
easily, perhaps, than he hath hitherto refifted
the Motives of the Gofpel. And, therefore,
we may certainly conclude with Abraham in
the Text, that they that bear not Mofes and
the Prophets; or, to put it into our own Lan-
guage, they that hear not Christ and his
Apostles, neither, in all probability, would
they be perfuaded, though one rose from the
Dead.':,::;.;; Serisi Soni

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Nothing now remains, but that I draw two or three Inferences, from what liath been said, and so conclude., i ri!

In the First Place, From what I have difcoursed, upon this Argument, we may discover the Infinite Wisdom of God, in the pitching upon that Method he hath done for the bringing Men to Vertue and Happiness; namely, by the Standing Revelations of Mofes and the Prophets, and of Christ and his Apostles: For we may perceive this Method is every Way : more accommodated for that End, than if God should be every Day working Miracles for the reclaiming particular Persons. . As it is more fuitable to the other Methods of God's Providence; to the way that he hath chosen for the Government of the World, (which is by the settled - Standing Laws of Motion, leaving Natural Causes to produce their Natural Effects, and not interposing his Omnipotency, but upon especial extraordinary Occasions::-) So also, as, we have seen, is it much more effe&ual for the convincing Mens Understandings, and the working upon their Wills, than the other Method of Private Mi

racles and Revelations would be. • We have seen how many Ways the Force

of an Argument drawn from one's Appearance from the Dead may be evaded : But now none of these Pretences, can be made against the Evidence of a Publick Revelation, fo at. tested, and confirmed, and conveyed down to us, as that of Christianity is. And besides,



it there are many Arguments to be drawn from

fuch a Revelation, to shew the Credibility of | it, which are altogether wanting to such a e Private Miracle as we speak of.. . Ne . Secondly, We may learn from hence, what in little need there is of any new modern Mirame icles for the confirming to us any Doctrine of point Christianity, which was long ago, in all the

Articles of it, so well attested by the Illustrimous Miracle of Christ and his Apostles.

And more especially we may learn from hence, what little Credit is to be given to those Miracles that are wrought, or pretended to be wrought, for the Proof of such Doc trines, as are really contrary to that Revelation of our Lord, as it is delivered in the Holy Scriptures...

We are sure that Mofes and the Prophets, 1 Christ and his Apostles, taught nothing but

the Truth of God, he having fo publickly and so convincingly set his Seal to all their Doctrines. And we are sure likewise, that the Scripture contains nothing in it, but what was taught by them, and consequently must be the Truth of God also. And, therefore, if any Do&rine or Article of Religion be at any Time recommended to our Belief, that doth not agree with these Holy Writings, or doth contradict them either directly, or by plain unavoidable Consequence; we may be equally sure, that that Doctrine cannot be true, nor is to be received by us, though we are told of never so many private Miracles that have been wrought for the Confirmation of it.

Our , Our Rule in these Cases is, To the Law and He to the Testimony; To the publick and undoubt- apu ed Oracles of God, in the old and New Testa sita ment. Whatever Doctrine can be proved out Word of them, we are bound to embrace it without a new Miracle. "On the other side, What Eu ever Doctrine is inconsistent with them, we niust reject it, though an Angel from Hear ven, or one from the Dead should come and preach it to us. 1. Thirdly, From hence we see the Vanity and Unreasonableness of those Men, that, not content with the Ordinary Means of Grace, are always wishing for Extraordinaries. There are a great many of us, that will be saved by Methods of our own chusing, otherwise we will not be saved at all. As it was in St. Paul's Time, the Fews they required a Sign; the Greeks, they were for Wisdom and Philo kelias fophy; and, perhaps, a Third Sort of Men las were for another kind of Means of Conviction: So it is among us.

Here is one Man would have a particular Miracle wrought for his Conversion. If he could see a Spirit or a Ghoft, he would be lieve there was another World. If God would fend an Angel from Heaven to preach to him, he thinks he should become a New Man. : : - Here is another would believe the Gospel, if every Point of it could be demonstrated by Reafon, and a clear and plain Account be given of all the Mysteries of it : But till thal be done, he is of the Religion of the Philosophers. .' .';


Here is another Man waits for immediate dok Impulses and Inspirations. The ordinary Ti Assistances of the Spirit, that accompany the. ed Word and Sacraments, will not do his Busivite ness.

But let us not deceive ourselves. All these Le Imaginations are vain and foolish. If God ni should grant us our several Desires; and give m one of us a Sign, another of us a Demonftration,

another of us a powerful Conviction upon our

Minds, from his Holy Spirit, and that in an gia extraordinary Way; yet it is still very doubt

ful, whether, for all this, the Business of our
Conversion wonld be effected.. .

None was more confident than the Rich Man in the Parable, that if to the Testimony es of Moses and the Prophets, was super-added a

New Miracle, his Brethren would certainly be
persuaded : But yet, you see, our Saviour af-
firms the direct contrary.

Oh, let us all close with the standing Publick Methods which God hath established in the Church, for the bringing us to Vertue and Eternal Happiness, and not be hankering after new and fanciful Ways of our own chusing. Most certainly, the Ordinary Means of Grace are sufficient for the Salvation of all our Souls, and will be effectual to that End, if we be not wanting to ourselves. And if any Extraordinaries be at any Time needful, God, without doubt, will supply us with them alfo.

Fourthly and Lastly, From what hath been
Taid, we see the horrible Guilt, and the utter

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