PROOFS OF God's Being, AND OF The SCRIPTURES Divine Original.

With Twenty DIRECTIONS for the Profitable Reading of them.

Being the Sum of Several SERMONS, Desired by many Hearers.

By DANIEL BƲRGESS.

The Fool hath said in his Heart, There is no God, Ps. 14.1.

Ye err, not knowing the Scriptures, Mat. 22.29.

He shall read in the Law all the Days of his Life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, Deut. 17.19.

London, Printed for T. Parkhurst at the Bible and three Crowns in Cheapside. 1697.

To the most Honoured SOPHRONIA.

MADAM;

TO these small Fragments, I inscribe this proper Name of Yours. For which I have a great Example, and valuable Reasons.

My Example is John the Divine; who hath inscribed a short Collection of sacred Learning to an Elect Lady. And, my Reasons are these:

Your Ladiship hath been such a Reader, that you are become a Judg of Books; as a grave Antient speaks of a rare Lady in his Age. Neither is it questioned, but your religious Principle gives you a more than common Savour of my Divine Arguments. And, as confident I am, that Sophronia's Name will attract Readers; and her holy Prayers may fetch a Blessing from Heaven on their Reading!

[Page iv]Full well her Ladiship seeth the sore need. Our Age being one very fruitful of Religi­ons, and barren of what is truly Religi­ous. One that has been contending so long for bare Garbs and Dresses of Religion, that it has very little left it more than Dresses, Garbs, and Modes of Religion.

It is come to that pass, that Fools fear not to shoot their Bolts. And, they who say it not with their Lips, do say in their Lives, that, There is no God. Our The­ists be generally Atheists; and do shew plain­ly, that tho their Clamour be against Three Persons, their Wrath and Spite is against One God! Insomuch, that Nullitarians is a much more proper Name for them than Unitarians. Surely, Goats, whatever Milk they give, are Brutes. And, Panthers, tho they have wonderfully sweet Scents, are very ill Creatures. Some of our Deists are open-handed to the Poor; one of them espe­cially, with his own or other folks Money. And, as Faustus Socinus before him, he is complaisant and sweet even to such as de­test and oppose his Heresy. Joining himself in the Society for Reformation of Manners. But, scarcely is there one Snake of them, whose Poison is not seen through his best painted [Page v] Skin! Immoral Poison, I mean; and such Impurity, as speaks no good will to Deity. And, it is worthy to be remembred, what a great Man, who was in danger of being taken in their Pit, did put to Socinus himself, and his Followers. ‘If your Doc­trine be the Truth,Nullâ pietatis commendatione, &c. Scrupuli ab excellenti Viro propositi, inter Oper. Socini. how comes it to be so, that it is contended for by no Men of any good Name for Piety, any Praise for exemplary Life and Conversation? but the contrary they are, who set forth your Opinions.’

The Holy Scriptures are complemented a little; but not reverenced at all, by the Many. The Socinian prefers his Light of Reason; as the Quaker doth his Light within. Which is but the same Farthing-Candle, differently denominated. And, not a few bold Sparks say plainly, They are but of Men, and not from Heaven.

Surely, Sophronia, the Arch-Bishop of Mentz did long ago speak all their Hearts. At the Diet of Ausburg, in the Year 1530, lighting on a Bible, and reading a while in it, he very honestly professed, that he knew not well what Book it was, but he saw plainly that it made against the Papal way.

[Page vi]Miserable is the manner, in which our common Protestants do read the Sacred Scripture. There is no doubt, but the Transgression of it saith within Sophro­nia's Heart, There is no Fear of God before so irreverent Eyes! And, her La­diship will not blame me, for sending forth these Antidotes in days of such Contagion. If it be my fault that I send forth no more, that Fault shall as soon be mended as it is made to appear. Indeed St. Austin ad­viseth to much Writing in a time of much Corruption: that in the plenty of Books all Men may find what will best sute their different Palats. But whither runs my Pen?

MADAM; Ʋnder the most sensible Obligation of your very singular Favours, I am ever praying, that great may be your Reward in Hea­ven. And, in all Sincerity, I shall conti­nue to be
Your Ladiship's most Humble, and most Devoted Servant, DAN. BURGESS.

PROOFS of God's Being, and of the Scriptures Di­vine Origin. With DIRECTIONS for profitable Reading of the Scriptures.

CHAP. I.

The Arguments by which the Holy Ghost refresheth Souls, with the revived Sense of God's Being, are principally these.

Arg. 1 MY Conscience is as a thousand Witnesses to me, that there is a God. For, within me I have it sitting as an In­ferior Judg, and still acting in the Name of a Superior. Even a supreme one, and infinitely above all Mortal ones. When I do what is Evil, tho ever so secretly, and both without Mens Knowledg, and beyond their Power to Re­venge; this inward Judg puts me to Shame, [Page 8] and fills me with Fear. Telling me, there is an All-seeing Eye that observes me, and as just a Hand that will punish me, sooner or later. And, when I do what is good, tho it thunders, I am secure. Tho wild Men scoff, threaten, and even persecute me for it, yet I am easy. This inward Judg telling me, there is one above all, who will see that no­thing shall harm me while I follow that which is Good.

Whence, I wonder, rose this subordinate Judg, if there be no supreme One?

A. 2 The Ʋniversal Consent of all Nations witnesseth to me, that there is a God. As Con­science within me, so all the World before me, and round about me, does witness it. The Inhabitants of some Countries do wear no Clothes, and dwell in no Houses; but they do own some God, all of them. And alas, when, or where met they all, to conspire in this Creed? Or, what was it that moved them all to agree in it? In short;

If there be no God above the Heavens, what has kept alive the Notion of one, through all Ages?

A. 3 The Confession of his worst Enemies wit­nesseth to me, that there is a God. For, could ever any Atheist free himself from the Fear of a God? And, have not Cains, Balaams, Judasses, Neros, Julians, and the like, been made to see, feel, and confess God to be? It is true, Aelian observes, that usually the Vul­gar [Page 9] People were most deeply impressed with the Sense of a God; and that learned Men made so ill use of their Art and Subtlety, as to dispute themselves into Uncertainty. But, it's sure, their wicked Wits could never find a way to extinguish their tormenting Fears of an invisible God and Judg. And,

If there be no God, how came all Men to be thus afraid of one? And, his Enemies to confess him?

A. 4 The Beginning of this material World witnesses to me, there is a God. For, Testimony I have, that it was not from Eternity. Ari­stotle says, the Philosophers before his time were of opinion, that it had a Beginning. And, better Witnesses are not to seek. Rea­son also I have, which convinces me, that the World was not from Eternity; but was, at a certain time, made, as the Chaldeans, the Greeks, and Latin Poets, and Philosophers, held it to be. For, could it make it self? That is as impossible, as for a House to build it self. And, if it be supposed to have been from Eternity, why hear we of nothing that is six thousand Years old? How comes it about, that it is not yet inhabited, all of it? yea, and over­stock'd too. But, if it was ever made, there must needs be a Maker; that is, a God.

If there be no God, how came there to be a World? If no Builder, how came there to be so large a City?

A. 5 The excellent Contrivance of all things [Page 10] in this World, witnesseth to me that there is a God. For, there is not one Blot in the whole Volume of this Work. In the Heavens, on the Earth, in the Sea, we have nothing but Wonders of Wisdom. The Returns of Night and Day, of Winter and Summer; the Production of Minerals; the Growth of Plants; the Generation of Animals. And, the admirable Instinct by which they are all in­clined and enabled to preserve themselves and their Young. The apt Disposition of the several Parts in all Bodies, for their proper Ʋses. How astonishing are these, all? And, unto what Cause can they be ascribed?

If there be no infinitely wise God, from whence rose all this Exactness? From whence is this so God-like Work? Regular Work, and worthy of a God, whose Way is perfect?

A. 6 The Human Nature especially witnesseth to me, that there is a God. For, such a Son could never have been without such a Father. What a Body is Man's? Galen, a Man little inclined to Religion, was driven to acknow­ledg a Deity by his consideration of this Bo­dy. Of Parts, so numerous, various, beauti­ful, and durable. And, almost all the inter­nal ones unknown to the Fathers of our Flesh. And, as for the Soul, what is like it? What a Mind, what a Memory, what a Consci­ence, &c. has it? In a word; what a Princi­ple hath it, inclining it to seek well-being? What another Faculty, to judg of the Nature of things, [Page 11] fit to serve him, or to disserve him? And, another, to chuse and prosecute things according­ly? How like is the Human Spirit to the Fa­ther of Spirits? And, what is to be thought of the inexplicable Ʋnion betwixt our Soul and Body? Our thinking Spirit, and our shining Clay.

If there be no God, how came there to be such a thing as Man?

A. 7 The Continuance and the Quietness of the things of this World, witnesseth to me that there is a God. For, what is it that holds the Heavens above us, the Earth under us, the Life in us? Why are not all the Lamps of Hea­ven burnt out? Why is not the Earth, that hangs upon nothing, long ago fallen down? How is it that not one Species of Creature is yet lost? That of the vast Army of them, none do so mutiny as to destroy them that are most contrary to them? That the Fire doth not make the Air too thin for our Use; boil and consume the Water; scorch, and make a Brick of the Earth? That the Water doth not drown the Earth and all things on it? That the Earth doth not drink up the Water?

If there be not a God, and Lord of Hosts, how stands the World, and the Host of jar­ring Creatures keep their Ranks and Orders, so sweetly as we see?

A. 8 The Works of Providence concerning Mankind do witness to me, there is a God. Both the common ones, which accompany vertuous Actions, and vicious ones, with Rewards and [Page 12] Punishments. These make it plain, that there is a God that judgeth in the Earth. Yet highly reasonable it seems to me, that a Supreme Ruler and absolute Soveraign should some­times try his Servants by Hardships; and with long suffering, endure his Enemies to insult for a while. Insomuch, that the very Prosperity of Sinners, and Adversity of good Men, is also an Argument to me, that there is a God who governs all things. Again, the extraordinary Dispensations of Providence; in delivering of Josephs out of Prisons, and Daniels out of Lions Dens, and young Saints out of fiery Furnaces. And, in raining Fire from Heaven upon Sodomites, striking dead an Ananias and Saphira, smiting a swelling Herod with an Angel, and the like; these do proclaim aloud, that there is one in the Hea­vens who neither slumbers nor sleeps.

If there be no God, how is it that ordina­rily it goes well with the Righteous. And they who say there is no God, have their Sorrows multi­plied? How is it, that Wonders are wrought for Saints, and against Sinners?

A. 9 Miracles do witness unto me, that there is a God. For, can these be wrought, with­out a Power superior to any that Mortals can pretend unto?

If there be no Almighty God, how were ever the Dead raised? The Winds and Seas checked? The Sun made to stand still, and to go back?

[Page 13] A. 10 Prophecies Fulfilment witnesseth to me, that there is a God. For, who but an Omni­scient God can possibly foreknow such future things, as in their Circumstances are most con­tingent? But of such there have been many plain Predictions, at very many years distance; as the Heathen History, as well as Christian, doth attest. Thus Cicero of old did argue; there being such a thing as PROPHECY, there must needs be a Deity!

If there be no God, how came so many future things to be foretold?

A. 11 Particularly, the State of the Jewish Nation witnesseth to me that there is a God. If not, by what means hath it been with that People for sixteen hundred Years, as it was foretold? And, so as it never was with any People since the beginning of Time. Out of their Land they have been driven; particu­lar Place of abode, as a Nation, they have had none. Scattered over all the habitable World, they have been: And, scorned and hated in every place. Not mixed with other Nations, so as to be lost among them; but still kept up as a distinct People; kept as a standing Memorial to the World, of the Di­vine Wrath for their Rejection of the Salva­tion of God, and Consolation of Israel.

If there be no God, whose Wrath is it that is come upon the Jews to the uttermost?

A. 12 The being of such a Book in the World as that of the Scripture of Old and New Testa­ment, [Page 14] witnesseth to me that there is a God. For, if there be no God, who made that Book; which is as much more wonderful than Mens Books, as the Works of the Creation are more wonderful than Mens Works: I can as soon believe that a poor Carpenter raised the Roof of the Heavens, as that any Mortal ever endited the Holy Scriptures. The Design of them is too glorious, the Doctrine too sub­lime, the Precepts too wise and too impartial, the Threats too awful, the Promises too rich, for Creature to invent.

If there be no God, what Original hath that Godlike Word?

CHAP. II.

The Arguments by which the Holy Spirit doth confirm his Servants Minds in the Perswasion that the Scripture of Old and New Testament is the Word of God, are principally, these:

Arg. 1 ITS Antiquity commends it to me for God's Book. Novelty might occa­sion Jealousy. But reasonable it seems, that, pleasing to have a Book in the World, God should order his own Book to have the Ho­nour of being the first.

And, this his Book was▪ surely the First in [Page 15] the World; as the Jews, his People of old, were the first Nation. Homer's Writings, Chro­nologers make six hundred Years after Mo­ses; and Orpheus his Writings, five hundred.

A. 2 Its Penmens Sanctity doth commend it to me for God's Book. For, of unquestionable Holiness they were, all of them. Humbly they confess their own Faults; and imparti­ally tell the Faults of their dearest Friends. Powerfully they preach all manner of Holy Con­versation. Teaching, that of every idle Word there must be given an account one day. And, as they preached, they lived. A straiter Gate than the World's, they entred; and a narrower Way they walked in. Of many things lawful they denied themselves. And of the common Enjoyments of Mankind, many, were deprived. Bonds and Afflictions abiding them, for their Doctrine. Doctrine, which exposed them to nothing in the World, but Pains active and passive.

What then, beside the Spirit of God acting them, could possibly make them so to write? What, but the Holy Spirit kindling in them a Fire which they could not suppress? Ex­prest in that Saying, We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard!

A. 3 The vast Distance of these holy and har­monious Writers of the Scripture, doth commend it to me for God's Book. The Distance of them from one another, as to Place, and as to Time. For they were of distant Countries, [Page 16] many of them. And lived at very distant Ages. From the first Writing of Moses to the last of St. John, were about two thousand Years. Tho all their Writings seem to be drawn but by the different Pens of one and the same Writer.

Insomuch, that it's utterly impossible that they should have ever conspired together to deceive the World. Or should have wrote so harmoniously, but that they were acted all by the same Spirit of harmonious Truth and Goodness.

A. 4 The Miracles wherewith it has been con­firmed, do further commend it to me for God's Book. Moses wrought about seventy six. The Prophets in the time of the first Temple, wrought about an hundred and fifty. Our Saviour wrought innumerable. And, the Apostles an abundance. And such, that the most spiteful Enemies could never detect any the least Imposture in them, but were forced to confess the Evidence.

What then? Can any but God's Almighty Power work Miracles? Or, would that work them to confirm Cheats? If not, the Holy Scripture must be God's own Book.

A. 5 The Accomplishment of its Prophecies doth commend it to me for God's Book. From its first publishing, it hath ever been a Prognosti­cation of things to come. And, as the Events have shown, an infallible one. Yea, and an universal one. For, nothing good or bad be­fel,

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