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Reason in these Operations ; but these Infusions not proceeding from any Reasoning in themselves, but from an external and supernatural Cause, it is by that Cause determined to the matter that is inspired.
Q. What do you mean by Visions ?
A. A Vision is the supernatural Representation of an Object to a Man when waking, as in a Glass which places the Visage before him; by which he has as clear a View of the Things thus repre
sented, as if they were the things themselves, and A&s xxii. not the Images and Appearances of them. Thus
St. Paul as clearly saw our Saviour by a Represen
tation or Vision when he was in a Trance in the Cor. xv. Temple, as he did when our Saviour actually and
visibly appeared to him at Mid-day, on the Way to Damascus. By this Means what Sight, Presence, and Knowledge is to us in Things sensible when we are awake, that Vision is to such as are in an Ecstacy. So that when the Name of Vision is given in Scripture to this Way of Revelation, it is not from any Use made of corporeal Sight, or that the Eye is entertained with corporeal Objects, but because of the Clearness and Evidence of what is represented, and by reason of the Conformity it therein bears to outward and corporeal Sense.
Q. What is Revelation by Dreams?
À. A Revelation by a Dream was the Representation of an Object made to a Man in his Sleep, and though it be as natural to a Man to dream as to sleep, yet in this Case the Dreamor Revelation was supernatural. For to dream of such Things then doing, or of such Things to come as are altogether independent upon the Body, nor by any Methods of Nature or presumptive Arts, to be known or forefeen, is supernatural. Thus to dream was natural to Pharaoh as to others, and his Dream of the seven fat and lean Kine might have passed under that Character; but by such a Dream to be made to under
stand, that there should be successively seven Years
Q. What do you mean by Prophecy?
A. The foretelling of Things to come, which might be communicated either by Vision or Dream ; for the Jews observe that Prophecy was always received one of these two Ways ; grounding their Opinion upon the Declaration of God himfelf: If there be a Pro- Numb.xii pbet among you, I the Lord will make myself known to bim in a Vision, and speak to him in a Dream. The Jewish Doctors farther tell us, that Prophecy was a clearer Revelation, and carried greater Assurance along with it than either a Vifion or a Dream, without Prophey; and that this was common to all the three, that there was something of Ecstacy or Transport of Mind in them.' Indeed, the primary Notion of a Prophet seems to lie in declaring and interpreting to the World the Mind of God which he receives by immediate Revelation; and hence it is that in Scripture the Patriarchs, as Abraham and others, are called Prophets, who were not so famous for any Predictions uttered by them, as for declaring the Mind of God from the frequent Revelations they received. For it is altogether accidental and extrinfical to the Nature of Prophecy what Time it has a respect to, whether past, present, or to come; but because future Contingencies are the farthestout of the Reach of human Understanding, therefore the foretelling of Things to come hath been chiefly looked upon as the main Note and Character of a Prophet, as being apprehended to be the strongest Evidence of the Truth of Divine Revelation.
Q. What was the Punishment of counterfeiting a prophetic Spirit under the Law
A. To deter Men from counterfeiting a prophetic Spirit, or from hearkening to such as did, God appointed that every such Pretender, upon legal
Conviction, should be put to Death. But the
speak in the Name of other Gods, shall surely die.
by a sufficient Testimony ; the Seducer being a Perxiii.6,10. son who fought by cunning Persuasions and plau
sible Arguments, to draw Men off from the Wor-
Q. W bat is Revelation by Oracle?
A. This was called Urim and Thurmim, which was a rendering Answers to Questions by the High Priest, placed before the Mercy-Seat, looking upon the Stones in the Breast-Plate; which how it was. done, is not agreed by those who have treated of this Matter.
Q. What is Revelation by a Voice ?
A. When the Matter of the Revelation was communicated immediately or occasionally by a Voice: The former of these was vouchsafed to Abraham, and above all to Moses, to whom God is said to have
Spoke Face to Face, as a Man speaketb to bis Friend. xxxin.n. The other, which was altogether occasional, was Gen. xxi. for some particular Direction, as to Hagarand others;
or for Testimony, or Confirmation, as was that menti-
Q. Wbat do you mean by the Bath-Col?
A. This was counted by the Jews the lowest De
gree of Revelation, which was called the Daughter Mor. Nev. of a Voice, or Echo, in relation to the Oracle of
Urim and Thummin, as some think; for whereas
Mat. iii. 17.
Vol. ii. p. 128, 129.
the Veil, this upon the ceasing of that Oracle, being supposed to come in its Place, might not unfitly or improperly be called a Daughter, or Succefíor of that Voice, which, the fezus pretend, continued among them from the Days of the Prophet Malachi to the Time of our Saviour, and which after a Sort they conceived was to supply the ceasing of Prophecy among them. But many learned Men have reduced those numberless Stories that occur Lightf. in the Writings of the Jewish Doctors concerning the Bath-Col, to these two Heads, that either they were sometimes mere Fables, invented to raise the Reputation of some Rabbi, or at other Times Magical and Diabolical Delusions.
Q. What do you mean by the Gradus Mofaicus ?
A. This the Jews esteemed the highest Degree of Revelation, to which Maimonides attributes these Characters: That God manifested himself to Moses when he was awake, though to other Prophets in Dreams and Visions : That the Influence was derived immediately from God himself, without the Mediation ofany Angelical Power, without any Fear, Amazement, or Fainting, which are incident to other Prophets; and that the Spirit of Prophecy rested upon him, so that he could make Use of it when he would. Thus much is certain, that the Num. xii. Revelation made to Moses had some singular Prero- 5,6,7gatives above those of other Prophets, as is plain from Scripture ; but that it was always by an immediate Communication from God, without the Mediation of Angels, seems not so agreeable to what
St. Stephen tells us, that The Late was given by Ads vii. ibe Disposition of Angels ; nor to what St. Paul af- 5.3 firms, That it was ordained by Angels, in the Hands of 19. a Mediator, which was Mofes.
Q. Are these Divine Revelations colleEted together, and bave we any authentic Instrument and Record of them?
A. Most of the forementioned Sorts and Degrees of Revelation, which God hath made of himself to the World, are collected together in the boly Scriptures; by which the Things revealed any of these Ways are transmitted to us, and therefore called the Word of God, as containing thofe Things which God, in several Ages, hath spoken to the World ; which are necessary to be known by Men in order to their eternal Happiness. And this being now the great Standard of Revelations from God, which is to continue to the End of the World, we are all concerned to establish ourselves in the Belief and Practice of what is contained in the holy Scriptures.
Q. What are the peculiar Characters of a Divine Revelation ?
A. The Proofs of a Divine Revelation vary according to the different Cases of those it doth concern: For they may relate either to the Person himfelf that is inspired, or to those that receive the Matter revealed immediately from the Persons inspired, or to those that live remote from the Age of the infpired Persons, as in the Case of all Christians fince the Times of our Saviour and his Apostles.
Q. How can the Person inspired be satisfied bimfelf of the Truth of fuch a Revelation ?
A. When God Almighty thinks fit to make a Revelation toany Man, to manifeft and discoverany Truth or Thing to him of which he was before ignorant ; is it not reasonable to think, but that he will fome Way or other satisfy the Person concerning the Reality of it ; for it cannot possibly signify any Thing, or have any Effect upon the Man, unless he be satisfied it is fuch'; and the Assurance of a divine Revelation, as to the Person himself, is most probably wrought by the great Evidence it carries with it of its Divine Original; for no Man can doubt, but that God, who made our Understandings, and knows the Frame of them, can accompany his 3