Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v2

APPENDIX. 183 dwell on earth, to the end of the world, and he must be in all places of the earth at once, that all may see ; and he must die and rise again before all men in all ages ; and how mad an expectation is this! 3. Or ifall that deliver us thehistorymust work miracles before our eyes, or else we will not believe them, it is still most absurd. Will you not believe that the laws of the land aregenuine, or that ever there were such kings as made them, unless he that tells it you work miracles? Shall not children believe their parents, or schol- ars their tutors, unless they work miracles ? 4. I must premise that there are three sorts of tradition, i. Such as depends on the Common wit and honesty of mankind. And this is very much to be suspected, wickedness, folly, and lying be- ing grown so common in the world. ii. Such as depends on the extraordinary skill and honesty of some proved men. And this deserveth much belief; but it is an uncertain human faith. iii. Such as depends on natural necessity, and cannot possibly be false. We have both these last to ascertainus of the gospel history. This resteth on a distinction of the acts of man's will : some of them are mutably free ; and these give no certainty : some of them are naturally and immutably necessary, and man can do no otherwise ; and these give even natural, infallible certainty. Such are to love one's self, to love felicity, to hate torment and misery, &c., and to know that which is fully manifest to our sound senses, &c. . When men of contrary interests and temper all confess the truth of known things about which their interests stand cross, it is a physical evidence of truth. On this account men's agreement about natural notices is infal- lible. It seems strange that all the world, fromAdam's time, are agreed which is the first, second, and third, &c. day of the week, andnot a day lost till now. It could be no otherwise, because, being a tmng of natural interest and notice, if any kingdom had lost a day by oversleeping, or liad agreed to falsify it, all the rest of the world would have shamed them. Thus all Grecians, Latins, Englishmen, &c., agree about the sense of words; for if some would pervert them, the rest would detect it. Thus we are certain that the statutes of the land are not coun- terfeit. For men of cross interest hold their lands and lives by them ; and if some did counterfeit them, the rest would, by interest, be bound to protect it. VOL. II. 24