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fity of immediate Revelation in order to a faving Christian Faith; every Perfon of ordinary underftanding cannot but perceive.
Wherefore 'tis not neceffary for me to affign that particular way of teaching, whereby Men are here faid to be taught by God. Becaufe if Men may be taught of God otherwife than by immediate Revelation, 'tis plain that this Text will by no means prove what our Adverfaries affert. Now God is frequently faid in the holy Scriptures to do thofe things, which he does, not immediately, but by imploying, directing, affifting and bleffing fecond caufes. Thus God faies to the Ifraelites, I will drive them (viz. the Canaanites) out from before thee, Exod. 23.30. that is, I will enable thee to drive them out. For in the very next verfe he faies, I will deliver the inhabitants of the Land into your hand, and thou shalt drive them out from before thee. Thus alfo God faies to the fame People, Seven daies fhalt thou eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, Exod. 34. 18. tho' this Commandment was one of thofe Statutes, which God did not deliver immediately to them, but which he had spoken unto them by the hand of Mofes, Lev. 10. 11. Again, God is reprefented as the giver of health, wealth; &c. when he does not beftow them without the mediation of fecond causes; but only furnishes Men with opportunities and means of getting them, and caufes them to fucceed in their honeft endeavors after them. But inftances of this kind are number lefs.
Now God does in like manner teach Men, not only when he discovers Truths to them by immediate Revelation, as he taught Mofes the Law; but also when he ufes the Miniftry of one Man in teaching another, as he taught the Ifraelites the D 3
Law by Mofes; and alfo by diverfe other Methods. For by what Method foever God caufes Men to learn a Truth, by that Method does he moft certainly teach it them, And accordingly God fometimes teaches by Signs and Wonders; that is, he causes Men to learn a Truth by thofe means. Thus he taught the Jews, that Mofes was his Prophet, and our Savior the Christ, by enabling Mofes and our Savior to prove their Miffion by Miracles, which was God's own Teftimony concerning them. Thus alfo he teaches Men by bleffing their endevors to learn. In this fenfe holy David frequently prays to God to teach him his Statutes: And God has promifed, that he will teach the Meek and Humble, viz. by bleffing them in the ftudy of his Precepts. Thus alfo God teaches Men repentance by vifiting them with Perfonal Calamities, by inflicting Judgments upon others before their Eyes, &c.
Since then the Text faies no more, than that Men fhall be taught of God; and we are not particularly inform'd, whether they fhall be taught of God by immediate Revelation, or by the mediation of fecond caufes, which is a method of teaching quite different from that of immediate Revela tion; therefore our Adverfaries can by no means conclude from this Text, that Men fhall be taught the Truths of the Gofpel by immediate Revelation. Because, if they are taught of God by any method whatfoever, the words of the Text are ftrictly true and our Adverfaries must not pretend to determine them to that method which they contend for, without giving (what I am perfwaded they will never find, I mean) a good reafon for fuch a determination.
I must add, that thofe Perfons who are here faid to be taught of God, are not all fuch Perfons in general as had the opportunity and means of being taught of God vouchfafed to them; but fuch only as improved the opportunity, and fuffered the means to work fo effectually upon them, that they heartily embraced the Doctrine, and became obedient to it. For our Savior declares, that All fuch as have heard and learned of the Father, and confequently (as I have already fhewn) all fuch as are here faid to be taught of God, do come unto him, or believe on him, and become his Difciples. Now we know that all the Jews in general, tho' they did not be come Chrift's Difciples, had the fame opportunity and means of being taught of God, vouchfafed to them, which thofe who believed on Chrift enjoyed. And confequently, all the Jews in general were taught of God, as certainly as thofe Jews in particular that became Chrift's Difciples; if fuch as had the opportunity and means of being taught of God vouchfafed to them, be thofe who are faid to be taught by God. And yet all the Jews ingene ral cannot be here meant; becaufe all fuch as are here faid to be taught of God, did become Chrift's Difciples. And therefore thofe only are here faid to be taught of God, who were not only in God's intention and endevor, but alfo in the event, actually taught, because they improved the opportunity, and fuffered the means to work fo effectually upon them, that they heartily embraced the Doctrine, and became obedient to it.
13. St. Paul faies to the Theffalonians, Astouching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you; for ye your felves are taught of God to love one another, 1 Theff, 4. 9. From whence our Adverfaries endevor to prove, as from the Text laft explained, the D 4
God taught the Theffalonians to love one another by immediate Revelation. But to this I answer, that God taught the Thessalonians to love one another, not by immediate Revelation, of which there is not the leaft hint or mention, but by the Miniftry of St. Paul, who planted the Gospel amongst them, Acts 17.1. and who faies exprefly, that they had received of him how they ought to walk and to please God, I Theff. 4. 1. and that he had given them Commandments by the Lord Jefus, v. 2. fo that the Apoftle did without all doubt instruct them in the great duty of brotherly Love, which is the principal part of Chriftianity, and the most noble and excellent branch of our holy Religion.
If it be objected, that St. Paul having taught them their duty, as has been already proved, it follows, that if their being taught of God was their being taught of God by the Miniftry of St. Paul, then they were taught of God their whole duty, and not that particular branch only of brotherly Love: whereas the Apoftle makes a difference by faying, they were taught of God to love one another, and confequently they were not taught of God the other parts of Chriftianity; I fay, if this be objected, I answer, that the reafon of St. Paul's expreffing himself after this manner, will beft appear, if we confider the Circumftances in which he
St. Paul came to Theffalonica, and planted the Gofpel there, Acts 17. 1. Here he preached only three Weeks. For the place he preached in, was the Synagogue of the Jews, where he reasoned with them three fabbath daies, v. 2. This, because he converted many, v. 4. caufed an uproar, v. 5. fo that St. Paul and Silas were immediately fent away to Berea, v. 10. and afterwards Timothy came thither to
them, v. 14. But because the malice of the Jews perfecuted them alfo at Berea, v. 13. therefore fome brethren Conducted St. Paul to Athens, v. 15. and returned with a command from St. Paul to Silas and Timothy, to come to Athens to him with all Speed, v. 15.
Upon this Meffage Timothy went to Athens, but Silas notwithstanding ftaid at Berea. This appears by comparing 1 Theff. 3. 1, 2. and Acts 18 1, 5. For 'tis exprefly faid, that Silas and Timothy came to St. Paul to Corinth, Acts 18. 5. whither St. Paul was come, after he left Athens, v. 1. and yet St. Paul faies exprefly, that he fent Timothy to Theffalonica from Athens, 1 Theff. 3.1, 2. Wherefore Timothy did certainly come to St. Paul, whilft he was at Athens, and then return from him to the Disciples at Thef falonica.
And that Silas ftaid at Berea in the mean while; may fairly be concluded thus. Timothy came from Berea to Athens to St. Paul, as has been already fhewn. And when Timothy left St. Paul, the Apostle exprefly declares, that he was left at Athens alone, 1 Theff. 3.1. And confequently Silas was not with him at Athens. And the next news we hear of Silas, after we left him at Berea, is, that he came with Timothy to Corinth, and there met St. Paul, Acts 18. 5. and the Text faies, that when he came to Corinth, he came from Macedonia. Wherefore, St. Paul leaving Athens, when Timothy was gone from thence to Theffalonica, came to Corinth, Acts 18. 1. and then Timothy returns from Theffalanica, and coming thro' Berea, (which is another City of Macedonia, and lies in the road to Corinth) there met with Silas; and fo Silas and Timethy went both together to Corinth to St. Paul,