Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

SEAM. IILl INWARD WITNESS TO CHRISTIANITY. 41 of it, we shall find that every true christian has a suffici- ent argument and evidence to support his faith, without being able to prove the authority of any of the canoni- cal writings. He may hold 'fast his religion, and be as- sured that it is divine, though he cannot bring any-learn- ed proof that the book that contains it is divine too.; nay, though the book itself should ever happen to be lost, or destroyed And this will appear with open and easy conviction, by asking a few such questions as these Was not this same gospel preached with glorious suc- cess before the new testament was written? Were not the sesame doctrines of salvation by-Jesus Christ, pub- lished to the world by the ministry of the apostles, and made effectual to convert thousands, before they set themselves to commit these doctrines to writing? And had not every sincere believer, every true convert, this blessed witness in himself, that christianity was from God ? Eight or ten years had past away, 'after the as- cension of Christ, before any part of the NewTesta- ment was written, (as learned men conceive) and what unknown multitudes of christian converts were born again by the preaching of the word, and raised to a.di- vine and heavenly life, long ere this book was half finished or known, and that among heathens as well as Jews? And though the scriptures of the ,OldTestament might prepare the minds of some of these to receive the gospel; yet we have reason to 'believe, that great -ntim- bers, especially of the Gentile world, were convinced by miracles and tongues, and some, perhaps, by mere narratives and exhortations; and became holy believers; each of them the epistle of Christ written in the heart, and bearing about 'with them a noble and convincing proof that this religion was divine, and that without a written gospel, without epistles, and without a bible. Again, In the first ages of Christianity,. for :several hundred years together, how few among the common people were able to read? Howfew could get the pos- session or the use of a bible, when all sacred as well as profane books-must be copied by writing ? How few of the populace, in a large town or city, could obtain or could use any small partof scripture, before the..art of printing -made the word of God so common? And yet millions of them were regenerated, sanctified, and saved