Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.4

Of Believing in fefus Chrift. 185 wills, which are properly fubjeft to divine S E x M. authority. Experience fheweth us that igno- VII. ranee and errors, or wrong judgments, fre- quently take their rife from inconfideration and prejudice ; and that a diligent attention, an impartial unprejudiced inquiry, would lead men to believe what for want of it they do not believe. It is not a blind credulity, a perfuafion taken up without juft and rea- fonable grounds, as merely upon tradition, the force of education, a confidence in the wifdom and authority of men, it is not, I fay, fuch a perfuafion which the fcripture commendeth under the name of faith, but that which is the refult of a careful exami- nation, or requireth and implieth good dif- pofitions; and thefe difpofitions, and that examination may very reafonably be enjoin- ed ; in them confifteth all the virtue of be- lieving. Let any man ferioufly think with himfelf, if there be any difference in the re- (pea (hewn to truth and falíhood when they are both embraced upon the fame grounds ; for example, what goodnefs there is in receiving the Bible any more than the Alchoran,' when either is received, not in confequence of honeft enquiry, or any im- mediate correfpondence with the good difpo- fitions of the heart, but only as the rule of religion