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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
An influence, idea, or motive acting upon the mind. We must be careful how we are guided by impulses in religion. "There are many, " as one observes, "who frequently feel singular impressions upon their minds, and are inclined to pay a very strict regard unto them. Yea, some carry this point so far, as to make it almost the only rule of their judgment, and will not determine any thing, until they find it in their hearts to do it, as their phrase is. Others take it for granted, that the divine mind is notified to them by sweet or powerful impressions of some passages of sacred writ. There are others who are determined by visionary manifestations, or by the impressions made in dreams, and the interpretations they put upon them. All these things being of the same general nature, may very justly be considered together; and it is a matter of doubt with many how far these things are to be regarded, or attended to by us; and how we may distinguish any divine impressions of this kind from the delusions of the tempter, or of our own evil hearts. But, whoever makes any of these things his rule and standard, he forsakes the divine word; and nothing tends more to make persons unhappy in themselves, unsteady in their conduct, or more dangerously deluded in their practice, than paying a random regard to these impulses, as notifications of the divine will."
See ENTHUSIASM, PROVIDENCE.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Impulse'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/i/impulse.html. 1802.