Vindiciae legis, or, A vindication of the morall law and the covenants, from the errours of Papists, Arminians, Socinians, and more especially, Antinomians in XXX lectures, preached at Laurence-Jury, London
Burgess, Anthony, d. 1664.
Page  [unnumbered]

11o. Junii, 1646.

WE the President and Fellowes of Sion Colledge London, earnestly desire Ma∣ster Anthony Burgess to publish in print his elabo∣rate and judicious Lectures upon the Law and the Covenants against the Antinomian Errours of these times, which at our entreaty hee hath preached, (and for which wee give him most hearty thanks) that so as well the Kingdome, as this City, may have the benefit of those his learned labours.

Dated at Sion Colledge the 11th of June, 1646. at a generall meeting of the Ministers of London there.

Arthur Jackson

President, in the name and by the ap∣pointment of the rest.
Page  [unnumbered]

VINDICIAE LEGIS: OR, A Vindication of the MORALL LAW AND THE COVENANTS, From the Errours of Papists, Armi∣nians, Socinians, and more especially, Antinomians.

In XXX. LECTURES, preached at Laurence-Jury, London.

The second Edition corrected and augmented.

By Anthony Burgess, Preacher of Gods Word.


LONDON, Printed by James Young, for Thomas Underhill, at the Signe of the Bible in Wood-street. 1647.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

TO THE Truly pious and worthily honoured Lady, the Lady RUTH SCUDAMORE.

Honoured Madam,

I Have observed your Ladiship carefull in two things: to improve the duty commanded in the Law, and to imbrace the promise tendered in the Gospel; the former hath been a spurre to holinesse, the latter a curb to unbeliefe. The con∣sideration of this (together with the remembrance of those manifold favours which your Ladiship hath plenti∣fully vouchsafed to me and mine) hath provoked me to de∣dicate this Treatise unto you, which although it hath much controversall matter in it, yet it is not without many pra∣cticall Directions and Consolations. It hath been Gods goodnesse unto you, that although in these times of calami∣ties your portion hath been one of the afflictions in Paul'sPage  [unnumbered] Catalogue, without settled aboad; yet God hath lest your minde fixed and immoveable in the truth, being enabled to * magnifie Grace in the highest manner, out of the reall sense of your necessity and unworthinesse, yet to avoid An∣tinomianisme: and on the other side, to be punctuall and exact in the duties of mortification and holinesse; yet to take heed of Pharisaicall Popery. And indeed, this is the right sense, when we are so diligent in working out our salvation with feare and trembling, as if there were no grace to justifie; and yet so resting and beleeving in the grace of Christ, as if no good thing had been done by us.

Madam, goe on with the assistance of God, and account the things of grace more excellent then the things of parts; and while others rejoyce in opinions, and new no∣tions about faith and holinesse, doe you delight in the things themselves. The Lord keep his best wine for you in the later end of your age, and give you to see the fruit of your Prayers, a settled reformation in the Church, that so (when your time shall come) you may depart in peace, feeling much of the power and love of God living, and much more of them, dying.


this is the prayer of

your Ladiships humble servant in the Lord, Anthony Burgess.

Septemb. 21. 1646.

Page  [unnumbered]



IF the Father said true, that Books were*the fruit of the mind, as children are of the body, naturall affection must com∣pell me, (as she did for Moses) to provide some Ark for the safety of this Book, lest it perish: And I know no better way, then to give thee some account of the matter and method of it, if thou vouchsafe to peruse it.

For the matter of it, it is chiefly improved to main∣tain the dignitie and use of the Morall Law against late errours about it, and thereupon I have been forced to consult more with those books that are filled with such poyson, then to peruse those Authors that have main∣tained the truth; and I found the looking upon their Heterodoxies a speciall help to propagate and confirme the truth, as that Romane Painter curiously drew the picture of an Horse, by constant looking upon an Asse, avoiding whatsoever he saw ridiculous or deformed in him. I acknowledge this work above my strength, it being a subject not much handled by former writers, and so I could not be guilty of that fault, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: but I say, as Austin, Ego parvas vires habeo; sed Dei Verbum magnas habet; I have small strength, but the Word and Page  [unnumbered] Truth of God hath great power. None is more unwilling then my self to come in print; but, because he that writeth good Books, doth retia salutis expandere, spread the nets of salvation to catch some men in; and the good works of such will last as long as their Books live; I have hardened my selfe, and overcome mine owne temper, to publish to the world these conceptions of mine. I have not affected to appeare in this Book 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, about words and phrases, because it's controversall matter, and so fitter to be represented to the understanding in naked unaffected explications, then curiously adorned to please fancy: Yea, I have grudged at words, as being too long and cumbersome, desiring (if possible) to conveigh my sense in as briefe a manner as may be, lest any that comes to look for fruit, should finde the leaves too broad, and so cover it from sight. And this endeavouring of brevity will make the matter seeme too obscure and abrupt, till there be a fa∣miliar acquaintance with my way.

My method is after some generall discourses about the usefulnesse of the Law, more particularly to handle it as given to Adam, and afterwards as promulgated by Moses to the people of Israel; and herein I have taken in all the materiall questions that Papists, Arminians, So∣cinians, and more especially, Antinomians have started up. In all this I have endeavoured to give the Law its due, and the Gospel its due, remembring that of Luther, Qui soit inter Legem & Evangelium distinguere, gratias agat Deo, & sciat se esse Theologum; He that knoweth how to distinguish between Law and Gospel, let him give thanks to God, and know he is a Divine. It is the allegoricall interpretation of one Writer, that the great feasting and musick which was used at the re∣conciliation Page  [unnumbered] of the Father to his Prodigall son, did signi∣fie the sweet harmonie and agreement between Law and Gospel. If this were so, then some doe represent the elder brother, that grudge and murmure at this excellent accord. If any adversary shall assault this Book, I shall not be solicitous to answer it, because I endeavoured so to state the question, that at the same time truth might be maintained, and falshood demolished; I am prepa∣ring for thy view another Discourse about Justifi∣cation, which precious Doctrine hath also been much sowred by the leaven of Antinomian opinions.

Page  [unnumbered]


  • 1. IN what respects the Law may be said to be good. page 3. 4.
  • 2. Of what use the Law is to the ungodly. p. 8.
  • 3. Of what use the Law is to beleevers. p. 9.
  • 4. How many wayes the Law may be abused. p. 17.
  • 5. What are the consequences of trusting in the Law. p. 21.
  • 6. What is required to the essence of a godly man in reference to obe∣dience. p. 39.
  • 7. Wherein are good works necessary. p. 40. 41.
  • 8. Whether the Law have a directive regulating and informing power over a godly man. p. 55.
  • 9. How the Law is said to be written in mans heart. p. 60.
  • 10. Wherein the Law of Nature doth consist. p. 62.
  • 11. Of what use is the light of Nature. p. 68.
  • 12. Whether the light of Nature be sufficient to judge in matters of faith, or to prescribe divine worship. p. 73. 74.
  • 13. Whether a man can by the light of Nature, and by the considera∣tion of the creatures come to know there is a God. p. 76.
  • 14. Whether the Masterie of the Trinitie, and of the Incarnation of Christ can be found out as a truth by the light of Nature. p. 79.
  • 15. Whether the light of Nature be sufficient to salvation. p. 80.
  • 16. Whether that be true of the Papists, which hold, that the sacrifices the Patriarchs offered to God were by the meere light of Nature. p. 81.
  • 17. Whether originall sin can be found out by the meere light of Na∣ture, or whether it is onely a meere matter of faith, that we are thus polluted. p. 82.
  • 18. What is the meaning of that grand rule of Nature which our Sa∣viour repeateth, That which you would not have other men doe to you, doe not you to them. p. 82. 83.
  • 19. Whether the practice of the Apostles, making all their goods com∣mon, was according to the precept of Nature, and so binding all to such a practice. p. 83.
  • 20. What a man cannot doe by the power of Nature. p. 86. 87.
  • 21. Whether there are any antecedaneous works upon the heart before grace. p. 88.
  • Page  [unnumbered] 22. Whether a man by the power of nature be able to work any good thing. page 86. 87.
  • 23. Why God would give a positive law to Adam, beside the naturall law in his heart. p. 106.
  • 24. Whether the positive law to Adam would have obliged all his po∣sterity. p. 108.
  • 25. How the threatning was fulfilled upon him, when he did eat of the forbidden fruit. p. 109.
  • 26. Whether Adam was mortall before the eating of the forbidden fruit. p. 110.
  • 27. Whether upon this threatning, Thou shalt die, can be fixed that cursed opinion of the mortality of the whole man in soul as well as body. p. 111.
  • 28. Whether Image or Likenesse doe signifie the same thing. p. 114.
  • 29. Wherein doth this Image consist. p. 115.
  • 30. What are the properties of that righteousnesse and holinesse that was fixed in Adams heart. p. 119.
  • 31. Whether this righteousnesse was naturall to Adam, or no. p. 120.
  • 32. Whether justifying faith was then in Adam, or whether faith and repentance are now parts of that Image. p. 120.
  • 33. Whether the Image of God shall be restored to us in this life. p. 121.
  • 34. Whether God did enter into covenant with Adam. p. 122.
  • 35. How God can be said to covenant, or enter into a promise with man. p. 126.
  • 36. Why God will deale with man in a covenant way, rather then in a meere absolute supreme way. p. 127.
  • 37. Whether there can be any such distinction made of Adam while innocent, so as to be considered either in his naturalls or supernatu∣ralls. p. 132.
  • 38. Whether Christ did intervene in his help to Adam, so that he needed Christ in that estate. p. 133.
  • 39. Whether the tree of Life was a sacrament of Christ to Adam, or no. p. 136.
  • 40. Whether there was any revelation unto Adam of a Christ. p. 136.
  • 41. Whether the state of reparation be more excellent then that in in∣nocency. p. 137.
  • 42. Whether we may be now by Christ said to be more righteous then Adam. p. 138.
  • Page  [unnumbered] 43. Whether that which God requireth of us be greater then that de∣manded of Adam in the state of innocency. p. 138.
  • 44. Whether Adams immortality in the estate of innocency be not dif∣ferent from that which shall be in heaven. p. 139.
  • 45. What Law this delivered in Mount Sinai is, and what kinde of lawes there are, and why it's called the Morall Law. p. 147.
  • 46. Whether this Law repeated by Moses, be the same with the law of nature implanted in us. p. 148.
  • 47. Why God did then, and not sooner give this Law unto his people. p. 149.
  • 48. Whether this Law was not before in the Church of God. p. 150.
  • 49. Why God gave the Morall Law. p. 151.
  • 50. Whether the ten Commandements, as given by Moses, doe belong to, and bind us Christians, or no. p. 165.
  • 51. Whether Christ did adde any thing unto the Law. p. 177.
  • 52. Whether Christ did forbid all swearing. p. 185.
  • 53. Whether under the Gospel death or any capitall punishment may be inflicted for some offences. p. 188. 189.
  • 54. Whether the Law be an instrument of true sanctification. p. 195.
  • 55. Whether Christ have abrogated the Morall Law. p. 208.
  • 56. Whether the Law was a Covenant that God made with his people of Israel. p. 230.
  • 57. Whether the Law be a Covenant of grace. p. 232.
  • 58. Wherein the Law and Gospel doe oppose or differ from each other; under which is handled the false differences between the Law and Gospel made by Anabaptists, Papists, and Antinomians. p. 239.
  • 59. Why God appointed such various and different administrations. p. 256.
  • 60. Whether the Gospel preach repentance, or no. p. 260.
  • 61. Whether the Law command faith. p. 262.
  • 62. How Christ is the end of the Law. p. 266.
Page  1

VINDICIAE LEGIS: OR, The Vindication of the Law, called MORALL.


1 Tim. 1. 8, 9.
Knowing the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully.

THis Epistle to Timothy may be called, Paul's *Directory for the Church of God: and, in the first place, he enjoyneth Timothy, to preserve the Truth against all false teachers, as he himselfe doth in all his Epistles. Though he derived much hatred upon his person there∣by, yet this was his comfort and glory, as Hierome wrote to Austin, when he had vin∣dicated the Truth against Pelagians, Quod signum majoris gloriae est, omnes haeretici te detestantur: It is a signe of thy greater glory, that all heretiques hate thee. His injunction to Timothy begins, ver. 3. Charge them, not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Erasmus translates it, not to follow another doctrine, as if it did belong to the fol∣lowers: but the words afterwards [Teachers of the Law] doe plainly refute that. Now the word may be extended both to the Page  2matter (as some) to teach no other thing; or to the manner (as others) not to teach in another way: Not to teach nova, new things; no, nor yet novè, after a new manner. The rule is, Qui fingit nova verba, nova gignit dogmata: And it was Melancthons wish, that men did not onely teach the same things, but in iisdem verbis, in iisdem syllabis, in the same very words, and syllables.

The second part of injunction is higher then the former: Though they doe not teach other things, yet they must not spend their gifts in an uselesse way; as, to give heed to fables: This they apply to the Jewes, who had a world of fictions. So Tertullian of Valentinus, Multas introduxit fabulas; we see here the word fable in an ill sense: Therefore Grotius cannot be ex∣cused, who calleth our Saviours Parables fables, as that of the Prodigall who spent his portion, Haec sabula (saith he) nos de∣cet, quod omnes ortu sunt filii Dei, where both his words and mat∣ter are very offensive to the truth. It is true, we finde the Fa∣thers, Gregory Nazianzen, and others, use sometimes a fable in their Orations, to denote some morall matter; but such the Jewes did not use. As they must not give heed to fables, so nei∣ther to endlesse genealogies. We see a good use made of genealogies in the Scriptures, but here is reproved the sinfull use of them; as those Grammarians among the Heathens, that spent their time about Heeuba's mother, or Achilles pedegree, and what it was that the Syren's sung: and these he calls endlesse, because vaine curiosity is more unruly then the waves of the sea; it hath no limiting, Hitherto shalt thou goe, and no further. Al∣though some referre genealogy not so much to persons as things, for that the Jewes called genealogy, when one thing was fained to flow from, and, as it were, to be begotten of another; therefore (saith one) Paul, ver. 5. gives a short, but profitable genealogy, when he makes a good conscience to flow from a faith unfained. Now mark, the Apostle condemneth all these, because they doe not edifie. The shell-fish among the Jewes was accounted uncleane, because it had but a little meat, and a great deal of labour to get it: and this is true of all doctrines, which have no profit in them. The Apostle therefore tells us, what is the true use of the Law, the end of the precept. Scultetus, who Page  3 hath it out of Chrysostome, makes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not to be the law, but the ministry, or preaching; and so the Apostle useth the word, v. 3. But grant it be so, yet they all agree, he speaks of the Law strict∣ly taken afterwards. The Apostle therefore, reproving these false teachers, that did turn bread into stones, and fish into serpents, the good law into unprofitablenesse, lest this should be thought to traduce the law, he addeth, We know (as if that were without question to all.) So that there is a position, The Law is good, and a supposition, If a man use it lawfully; with a correcti∣on, The Law is not made to the righteous. As Austin said, It was hard to speak for free-will, and not to deny free-grace; or free-grace, and not to deny free-will: so it's hard to give the Law its due, and not to seeme to prejudice the Gospel; or the Gospel, and not to prejudice the Law: For, take but these two Verses, Videtur Apostolus pugnantia dicere, The Apostle seemeth to speake con∣tradictions, saith Martyr: For, seeing none can use the Law well, but a righteous man, how then is not the Law given to him? But this knot shall be untyed in its proper place. I shall at this time handle the first proposition, that is conditionall; only I might insist upon opening the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Law: For, I conceive, the neglect of the different use of this, doth breed many errours; for there is a law that we are to be Antinomians, or contrary to; and there is a law, that we must submit to: But of this I will speak in one particular caution.

Observ. 1. The Law of God is good, if a man use it lawfully.

Observ. 2. (which is implyed) that the Law of God may be used unlawfully.

The Law is good, 1. In respect of the matter of it therein con∣tained;* for, if you take the spirituall interpretation of it, you will finde all the matter exceeding good: to love God, to trust in him, &c. how good are they? Yea, there is no duty now re∣quired of us, but is contained there: Therefore Peter Martyr did well resemble the Decalogue to the ten Predicaments, that, as there is nothing hath a being in nature, but what may be re∣duced to one of those ten; so neither is there any Christian duty, but what is comprehended in one of these, that is, conse∣quentially, or reductively. And, if Tully durst say, that the law of the twelve Tables did exceed all the libraries of Philosophers, both in Page  4 weight of authority, and fruitfulnesse of matter, how much rather is this true of Gods Law? It's disputed, Whether justifying faith be commanded in the Law: here are different opinions; but when I handle this Question, Whether the Law of Moses, and that which was ingraffed in Adams heart in innocency, be all one, it will be proper to speak of that. Peter Martyr, handling the division of the ten Commandements, how the number should be made up, makes that, which is commonly called the Preface [I am the Lord thy God, which are words of a Covenant] to be the first Commandment: and if so, then must justifying faith be en∣joyned there. And thus did some of the Fathers, though those words are only enunciative, and not preceptive. But more de∣terminatively of this in its place.

2. In respect of the authority stamped upon it by God, whereby it be∣comes*a rule unto us. The former is agreed on by all: and I see few that dare openly deny the other; for, seeing the matter is intrinsecally and eternally good, it cannot but be commanded by God, though not to justifie, for that is separable from it. There are some things that are justa, because Deus vult; as in all positive things: and then there are other things just, and therefore God wills them, though even they are also just, because they are consonant to that eternall justice and goodnesse in himself: so that, indeed, it is so farre from being true, that the Law, which hath Gods authority stampt on it for a rule, and so is mandatum, should be abrogated, that it is impossible, nè per Deum quidem; for then God should deny his own justice and goodnesse: therefore we doe justly abhorre those blasphemous Questions among the School-men, An Deus possit mandare edium sui, &c. for it's impossible. Therefore we see, Matth. 5. that our Saviour is so farre from abrogating it, that he sheweth the spirituall extent of the mandatory power of the Law, farre beyond Pharisees expectation; and thus James urgeth the au∣thority of the Law-giver. The obligation by the Law is eter∣nall and immutable, insomuch that it doth absolutely imply a contradiction, that there should be in mans nature an holinesse or righteousnesse without a law or subjection to the command of God. Hence it is a dangerous opinion of some, who say, the holinesse of our natures is not commanded by the Law, but of Page  5 our actions, and so not originall sinne but onely actuall sinne shall be forbidden by the Decalogue.

3. It's good instrumentally, as used by Gods Spirit for good. It's * disputed by some, Whether the Law, and the preaching of it, is used as an instrument by the Spirit of God for conversion: But that will be an entire Question in it self; only thus much at this time. The Spirit of God doth use the Law, to quicken up the heart of a beleever unto his duty, Psal. 119. Thou hast quickened me by thy precepts. And so Psal. 19. The Law of the Lord enlightneth the simple, and by them thy servant is fore-warn'd of sinne. You will say, The word Law is taken largely there for all precepts and testimonies. It's true, but it's not exclusive of the precepts of the morall Law; for they were the chiefest; and indeed, the whole Word of God is an organ and instrument of Gods Spirit for instruction, reformation, and to make a man perfect to every good work. It's an unreasonable thing, to separate the Law from the Spirit of God, and then compare it with the Gospel; for, if you doe take the Gospel, even that Promise, Christ came to save sinners, without the Spirit, it worketh no more, yea, it's a dead letter as well as the Law: Therefore Cal∣vin well called Lex, corpus, and the Spirit, anima: now, accedat anima ad corpus, Let the soul be put into the body, and it's a li∣ving reasonable man: But now, as when we say, A man dis∣courses, A man understands, this is ratione animae, in respect of his soul, not corporis, of the body; so when we say, A man is quickened by the Law of God to obedience, this is not by reason of the Law, but of the Spirit of God: But of this anon.

4. It's good in respect of the sanction of it: for it's accompanied * with Promises, and that not only temporall, as Command. 5. but also spirituall, Command. 2. where God is said to pardon to many generations; and therefore the Law doth include Christ secon∣darily and occasionally, though not primarily, as hereafter shall be shewed. It's true, the righteousnesse of the Law, and that of the Gospel differ toto coelo; we must place one in suprema parte coeli, and the other in ima parte terrae, as Luther speakes to that ef∣fect: and it's one of the hardest taskes in all divinity, to give them their bounds, and then to cleare how the Apostle doth oppose them, and how not. We know it was the cursed errour Page  6 of the Manichees and Marcionites, that the Law was only car∣nall, and had only carnall promises; whereas it's evident, that the Fathers had the same faith for substance as we have. It's true, if we take Law and Gospel in this strict difference, as some Di∣vines doe, that all the Precepts, wheresoever they are, must be under the Law, and all the Promises be reduced to the Gospel, whether in Old or New Testament; in which sense Divines then say, Lex jubet, & Gratia juvat; the Law commands, and Grace helps; and, Lex imperat, the Law commands, and Fides impetrat, Faith obtaineth; then the Law can have no sanction by Promise: But where can this be shewed in Scripture? When we speake of the sanction of the Law by Promise, we take it as in the administration of it by Moses, which was Evangelicall; not as it was given to Adam, with a Promise of Eternall life upon perfect obedience: for the Apostle Paul's propositions, To him that worketh, the reward is reckoned of debt; and, the doers of the Law are justified, were never verificable, but in the state of innocency.

5. In respect of the acts of it. You may call them either acts* or ends, I shall, acts. And thus a law hath divers acts, 1. De∣clarative, to lay down what is the will of God: 2. To command obedience to this will declared: 3. Either to invite by Promises, or compell by threatnings: 4. To condemne the transgressors: and this use the Law is acknowledged by all to have against un∣godly and wicked men, and some of these cannot be denyed even to the godly. I wonder much at an Antinomian authour, that saith, *It cannot be a law, unlesse it also be a cursing law; for, be∣sides that the same authour doth acknowledge the morall Law to be a rule to the beleever, (and regula hath vim praecepti, as well as doctrinae) what will he say to the Law given to Adam, who as yet was righteous and innocent, and therefore could not be cursing or condemning of him? so the Angels were un∣der a law, else they could not have finned, yet it was not a cursing law. It's true, if we take cursing or condemning potentially, so a law is alwayes condemning: but for actuall cursing, that is not necessary, no not to a transgressour of the Law, that hath a surety in his roome.

6. In respect of the end of it. Rom. 16. 4. Christ is the end of the*Page  7Law. By reason of the different use of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, there are different conjectures; some make it no more then extremitas, or terminus; because the ceremoniall Law ended in Christ: Others make it finis complementi, the fulness of the Law is Christ: Others adde, finis intentionis, or scopi to it; so that by these the meaning is, The Law did intend Christ in all its ceremonialls and moralls, that, as there was not the least ceremony, which did not lead to Christ; so not the least iota or apex in the morall Law, but it did also aime at him. Therefore saith Calvin upon this place, Habemus insignem locum, quòd Lex omnibus suis parti∣bus in Christum respiciat; Imò quicquid Lex docet, quicquid praeci∣pit, quicquid promittit, Christum pro scopo habet: We have a noble place, proving, that the Law in all its parts did look to Christ; yea whatsoever the Law teacheth, commandeth, or promiseth, it hath Christ for its scope. What had it been for a Jew to pray to God, if Christ had not been in that prayer? to love God, if Christ had not been in that love? yet here is as great a difference between the Law and Gospel, as is between direction and exhibition, between a school-master and a father: he is an unwise childe, that will make a school-master his father. Whether this be a proper intention of the Law, you shall have hereafter.

7. In respect of the adjuncts of it, which the Scripture attributeth*to it: And it's observable, that even where the Apostle doth most urge against the Law, as if it were so farre from bettering men, that it makes them the worse; yet there he praiseth it, calling it good and spirituall. Now I see it called spirituall in a two-fold sense: 1. Effectivè, because it did, by Gods Spirit, quicken to spirituall life; even as the Apostle in the opposition calls himself carnall, because the power of corruption within, did work car∣nall and sinfull motions in him. But I shall expound it spirituall. 2. Formaliter, formally, because the nature and extent of it is spirituall: for it forbids the sins of the spirit, not only exter∣nall sins; it forbids thy spirit pride, thy spirit envie: Even as God is the father of spirits, so is the Law, the law of spirits. Hence it's compared by James to a glasse, which will shew the least spot in the face, and will not flatter, but if thou hast wrinkles and deformities there, they will be seen; so that there is no such way to bring Pharisaicall and Morall men out Page  8 of love with themselves, as to set this glasse before them.

8. In respect of the use of it: and that to the ungodly, and to the *beleever.

1. To the ungodly, it hath this use:

1. To restrain and limit sin: And, certainly, though it should * not reach to renovation and changing of mens hearts, yet here is a great deale of good, that it's an outward whip and scourge to men, whereby they are kept in honest discipline: and this made the Apostle say, The Law was added, because of transgressions. The people of Israel, by their being in the wildernesse, having forgotten God, and being prone to Idolatry, the Lord he added this Law, as a restraint upon them. Even as you see upon mad∣men, and those that are possessed with devils, we put heavie chaines and fetters, that they may doe no hurt; so the Lord laid the Law upon the people of Israel, to keep them in from impie∣tie. The Apostle useth a word, shut up as in a dungeon, but that is to another sense. It was Chrysostomes comparison: As a great man, suspecting his wife, appoints Eunuchs to look to her and keep her; so did God, being jealous over the Jewes, appoint these lawes.

2. To curse, and condemne: and in this respect, it poureth all * its fury upon the ungodly. The Law to the godly by Christ, is like a Serpent with a sting pulled out; but now to the wicked, the sting of sinne is the Law, and therefore the condition of that man, who is thus under it, is unspeakably miserable. The curse of it is the sore displeasure of God, and that for every breach of it; and, if men, that have broken onely mens lawes, be yet so much afraid, that they hide themselves, and keep close, when yet no man or Judge can damne them, or throw them into hell; what cause is there to feare that Law-giver, who is able to de∣stroy soul and body? Therefore consider, thou prophane man, are not thy oaths, are not thy lusts against Gods Law? You had better have all the men in the world your enemy, then the Law of God. It's a spirituall enemy; and therefore the terrours of it are spirituall, as well as the duties. Let not your lives be Antino∣mians, no more then opinions. Oh that I could confute this Antinomianisme also; such a mans life and conversation was against Gods Law, but now it's not.

Page  9 2. To Beleevers it hath this use: 1. To excite and quicken them*against all sinne and corruption: for, howsoever the Scripture saith, Against such there is no law, and, The Law is not made to the righteous; yet, because none of the godly are perfectly righteous, and there is none but may complain of his dull love, and his faint delight in holy things, therefore the Law of God, by commanding, doth quicken him. How short is this of that which God commands? not, that a man is to look for justi∣fication by this, or to make these in stead of a Christ to him; but for other ends. Hence Psal. 1. and Psal. 19. and 119. who can deny, that they belong to the godly now, as well as heretofore? Have not beleevers now, crookednesse, hypocrisie, luke-warm∣nesse? You know, not only the unruly colt, that is yet untamed; but the horse, that is broken, hath a bit and bridle also: and so, not only the ungodly, but even the godly, whose hearts have been much broken and tamed, doe yet need a bridle, Lest they should cast off the Spirit of God, that would govern them, Nè Spiritum sessorem excutiant. And, if men should be so peremptorie, as to say, they doe not need this; it's not because they doe not need it, (for they need it most) but because they do not feele it.

2. To enlighten and discover unto them daily more and more heart-sinne,*and soul-sinne. This use the Apostle speaketh of, Rom. 7. per totum: for, how should a man come to know the depth of ori∣ginall sinne, all the sinfull motions flowing from it, but by the Law? and therefore that is observed by Divines, the Apostle saith, he had not knowne sinne, but by the Law; intimating thereby, that the Law of nature was so obliterated and darkened, that it could not shew a man the least part of his wickednesse. Seneca, who had more light then others, yet he saith, It is thy errour, to think sins were born with thee, no, they afterwards came upon thee, Erras, si tecum vitia nasci putas; supervenerunt, ingesta sunt. And so Pelagius his assertion was, that, We are born as well without vice, as virtue, Tam sine vitio, quàm sine virtute nascimur. And you see all Popery, to this day, holds those motions of heart, not consented to, to be no sins, but necessary conditions, arising from our constitution, and such as Adam had in inno∣cency: Therefore the people of God see and are humbled for Page  10 that wickednesse, which others take no notice of. This will satisfie man, but not Gods Law.

3. To drive them out of all their own power and righteousnesse.* And this is another good consequence: for, when they see all to come short of the Law; that the earth is not more distant from heaven, then they from that righteousnesse, this makes them to goe out of all their prayers, and all their duties, as you see Paul, Rom. 7. he consented to the Law, and he delighted in it, but he could not reach to the righteousnesse of it; and there∣fore crieth out, Oh wretched man that I am! How apt are the ho∣liest to be proud and secure, as David, and Peter? even as the worms and wasps eat the sweetest apples and fruit; but this will keep thee low. How absurd then are they, that say, The preach∣ing of the Law is to make men trust in themselves, and to adhere to their own righteousnesse? for, there is no such way to see a mans beggery and guilt, as by shewing the strictnesse of the Law: For, what makes a Papist so self-confident, that his hope is partly in grace, and partly in merits, but because they hold they are able to keep the Law? God forbid, saith a Papist, that we should enjoy heaven as of meere almes to us; no, we have it by conquest: Whence is all this, but because they give not the Law its due?

4. Hereby to quicken them to an higher price and esteem of Christ,*and the benefits by him: So Paul, in that great agony of his, stri∣ving with his corruption (being like a living man tyed to a dead carkasse, his living faith to dead unbelief, his humility to loathsome pride) see what a conclusion he makes, I thank God, through Jesus Christ. It's true, many times the people of God, out of the sense of their sinne, are driven off from Christ; but this is not the Scriptures direction: That holds out riches in Christ for thy poverty, righteousnesse in Christ for thy guilt, peace in Christ for thy terrour. And in this consideration it is, that many times Luther hath such hyperbolicall speeches about the Law, and about sinne. All is spoken against a Christians opposing the Law to the Gospel, so, as if the discovering of the one, did quite drive from the other. And this is the reason, why Papists and formall Christians never heartily and ve∣hemently prize Christ, taking up every crumb that falls from Page  11 his table: they are Christs to themselves, and self-saviours. I deny not, but the preaching of Christ, and about grace, may also make us prize grace and Christ; but such is our corruption, that all is little enough. Let me adde these cautions:

1. It's of great consequence in what sense we use the Word [Law.] *

He that distinguisheth well, teacheth well. Now I observe a great neglect of this in the books written about these points; and, indeed, the reason why some can so hardly endure the word [Law] is, because they attend to the use of the word in English; or the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and Lex, as it is defined by Tully and Aristotle, which understand it a strict rule only of things to be done, and that by way of meere command. But now the He∣brew word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 doth comprehend more; for that doth not on∣ly signifie strictly what is to be done, but it denoteth largely any heavenly doctrine, whether it be promise, or precept: and hence it is, that the Apostle calleth it, The law of faith (which in some sense would be a contradiction, and in some places, where the word Law is used absolutely, it's much questioned, whether he mean the Law or the Gospel) and the reason why he calls it a law of faith, is not (as Chrysostome would have it) because here∣by he would sweeten the Gospel, and, for the words sake, make it more pleasing to them; but happily, in a meere Hebraisme, as signifying that in generall, which doth declare and teach the will of God.

The Hebrewes have a more strict word for precept, and that is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, yet some say this also sometimes signifieth a Promise, Psal. 133. 3. There the Lord commanded a blessing, i. e. promised; so John 12. 50. his commandement, i. e. his promise, is life everlasting: So then, if we would attend to the Hebrew words, it would not so trouble us, to heare that it is good. But yet the use of the word [Law] is very generall: sometimes it signifieth any part of*the Old Testament, John 10. It is said in the Law, Ye are gods. And that is in the Psalmes: Sometimes the Law and the Pro∣phets are made all the books of the Old Testament; sometimes the Law and the Psalmes are distinguished; sometimes it is used for the ceremoniall law only, Hebr. 10. 1. The Law having a shadow of things to come; sometimes it is used synecdochically, for some acts of the Law only; as Galat. 5. Against such there is no law: some∣times Page  12 it is used for that whole oiconomy, and peculiar dispensation of Gods worship unto the Jewes; in which sense it is said to be un∣till John, but grace and truth by Jesus Christ: sometimes it is used in the sense of the Jewes, as without Christ: And thus the Apostle generally in the Epistle to the Romans and Galatians. Indeed, this is a dispute between Papists and us, In what sense the Law is taken: for, the Papists would have it understood onely of the ceremoniall law. But we answer, that the beginning of the dispute, was about the observation of those legall ceremonies, as necessary to salvation: But the Apostle goeth from the hypothe∣sis to the thesis; and sheweth, that not only those ordinances, but no other works may be put in Christs roome: Therefore the Antinomian, before he speaks any thing against, or about the Law, he must shew in what sense the Apostle useth it: Some∣times it is taken strictly, for the five books of Moses; yea, it is thought of many, that book of the Law, so often mentioned in Scripture, which was kept with so much diligence, was onely that book called Deuteronomy: and commonly it is taken most strictly for the ten Commandements. Now, the different use of this word breeds all this obscurity, and the Apostle argueth against it in one sense, and pleadeth for it in another.

2. The Law must not be separated from the Spirit of God. The * Law is only light to the understanding, the Spirit of God must circumcise the heart to love it, and delight in it, otherwise that is true of Gods Law, which Aristotle, 2. Polit. cap. 2. said of all humane Lawes, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, it's not able of it self to make good and honest Citizens. This is a principle alwayes to be carried along with you: for, the whole Word of God is the instrument and organ of spirituall life, and the Law is part of this Word of God: This I proved before; nay, should the Morall Law be quite abolished, yet it would not be for this end, because the Spirit of God did not use it as an instrument of life; for, we see all sides grant, that circumcisi∣on and the sacraments are argued against by the Apostle, as be∣ing against our Salvation, and damnable in their own use now; yet in the old Testament, those sacraments of Circum∣cision, and the Paschall Lamb, were spirituall meanes of faith, as truly as Baptisme, and the Lords Supper are. It is true, there Page  13 is a difference in the degree of Gods grace by them; but not in the truth: and therefore our Divines do well consute the Papists, who hold those sacraments onely typicall of ours, and not to be really exhibitive of grace, as these are in the New Testament. Therefore, if the Apostles, arguing against the Morall Law, would prove it no instrument of Gods Spirit for our good, the same would hold also in Circumcision, and all those sacraments; and therefore at least for that time they must grant it a help to Christ and grace, as well as Circumcision was. If you say, Why then doth the Apostle argue against the works of the Morall Law? I answer, Because the Jewes rested in them without Christ: and, it is the fault of our people, they turn the Gospel into the Law; and we may say, Whosoever seeks to be saved by his Bap∣tisme, he falls off from Christ.

3. To doe a thing out of obedience to the Law, and yet by love and*delight, doe not oppose one another. About this I see a perpetuall mistake. To lead a man by the Law is slavish, it's servile, say they; a Beleever is carried by love, he needs no law: and I shall shew you, Chrysostome hath some such hyperbolicall expressions upon the words following, [The Law is not put for the righteous.] But this is very weak, to oppose the efficient cause and the rule toge∣ther; for, the Spirit of God worketh the heart to love and de∣light in that which he commandeth: Take an instance in Adam; While he stood, he did obey out of love, and yet because of the command also: so the Angels are ministring spirits, and do obey the commandments of God, (otherwise the Apostate An∣gels could not have sinned) and yet they are under a law, though doing all things in love. We may illustrate it by Moses his mother; You know, she was hired, and commanded by Pharaoh's daughter to nurse Moses, which was her own childe: now she did this out of love to Moses, her childe; yet did obey Pharaeh's daughters commandement upon her also: so concerning Christ, there was a commandement laid upon Christ, to fulfill the Law for us, yet he did it out of love.

It is disputed, Whether Christ had a command laid upon him by the Father strictly so called: and howsoever the Arrians, from the grant of this, did inferre Christs absolute inferiority to the Father; yet our Orthodox Divines doe conclude it, be∣cause Page  14 of the many places of Scripture which prove it, Act. 7. 37. John 14. 31. As my Father hath commanded me, so I you. John 15. 10. (If you keep my commandements, and abide in love, &c.) And, indeed, if it were not a commandement, it could not be called an obedience of Christ; for, that doth relate to a command: Now this I inferre hence, that, to doe a thing out of obedience to a command, because a command, doth not inferre want of love; although I grant, that the commandement was not laid upon Christ, as on us, either to direct him, or quicken him. Besides, all the people of God have divers relations, upon which their obedience lyeth; they are Gods servants, and that doth imply obedientiam servi, though not obedientiam servilem, the obedience of a servant, but not servile obedience.

Again, a Beleever may look to the reward, and yet have a spirit of love; how much rather look to the command of God? A godly man may have amorem mercedis, though not amorem mercenarium. If God in his Covenant make a Promise of reward, the eie unto that is suteable and agreeable unto the Covenant, and therefore cannot be blame-worthy. And, lastly, there is no godly man, but he hath in part some unwillingness to good things; and therefore needs the Law not only to direct, but to exhort and goad forward: Even, as I said, the tamed horse needeth a spur, as well as the unbroken colt.

4. Though Christ hath obeyed the Law fully, yet that doth not exempt*us from our obedience to it, for other ends then he did it. And, I think, that if the Antinomian did fully inform himself in this thing, there were an agreement: for, we all ought to be zealous against those Pharisaicall and Popish practices of setting up any thing in us, though wrought by the grace of God, as the matter of our ju∣stification. But herein they do not distinguish, or well argue: The works of the Law do not justifie, therefore they are needlesse, or not requisite: for (say they) if Christ hath fully obeyed the righteousnesse of the Law, and that is made ours; therefore it is not what ours is, but what Christs is. This would be a good consequence, if we were to obey the Law for the same end Christ did, but that is farre for us. I have heard indeed some doubt, whether the maintaining of Christs active obedience imputed to us, doth not necessarily imply Antinomianisme: but of that Page  15 more hereafter; onely let them lay a parallel with Christs passive obedience. He satisfied the curse and threatning of the Law, and thereby hath freed us from all punishment; yet the Beleevers have afflictions for other ends: so do we the works of Gods Law, for other ends then Christ did them.

A fifth caution or limitation shall be this, to distinguish between*a Beleever, and his personall acts: For, howsoever the Law doth not curse or condemne him, in regard of his state; yet those par∣ticular sins he commits, it condemnes them, and they are guilty of Gods wrath, though this guilt doth not redound upon the person: Therefore it is a very wilde comparison of * one, that a man under grace hath no more to doe with the Law, then an English-man hath with the lawes of Spain or Turkie: For, howsoever every Beleever be in a state of grace, so that his person is justified; yet, being but in part regenerated, so farre as his sins are committed, they are threatned and condemned in him, as well as in another: for there is a simple guilt of sin, and a guilt redundant upon the person.

6. That the Law is not therefore to be decryed, because we have no*power to keep the Law: For, so we have no power to obey the Go∣spel. It is an expression an Antinomian * useth, The Law (saith he) speaketh to thee, if troubled for sin, Doe this, and live; Now this is, as if a Judge should bid a malefactor, If you will not be hanged, take all England, and carry it upon your shoulders into the West Indies. What comfort were this? Now, doth not the Gospel, when it bids a man beleeve, speak as impossible a thing to a mans power? It's true, God doth not give such a measure of grace as is able to ful∣fill the Law, but we have faith enough evangelically to justifie us: But that is extraneous to this matter in hand. It followes therefore, that the Law, taken most strictly, and the Gospel, dif∣fer in other considerations then in this.

7. They doe not distinguish between that which is primarily and per * se in the Law, and that which is occasionally. It cannot be denied, but the Decalogue requireth primarily a perfect holiness, as all lawes require exactnesse; but yet it doth not exclude a Mediatour. The Law saith, Doe this and live; and it doth not say, None else shall doe this for thee: For, if so, then it had been injustice in God, to have given us a Christ. I therefore much wonder at one, who, in Page  16 his book, speaks thus, The Law doth not only deprive us of comfort, but it will let no body else speak a word of comfort, because it is a rigid keeper: and he confirmeth it by that place, Gal. 3. 23. But how short this is, appeareth, 1. Because what the Apostle calleth the Law here, he called the Scripture in generall before. 2. He speaketh it generally of all under that form of Moses his regiment, so that the Fathers should have no comfort by that means.

Use 1. Of instruction. How dangerous an errour it is, to deny * the Law: for, is it good? and, may it be used well? then take we heed of rejecting it. What? because it is not good for justification, is it in no sense else good? Is not gold good, because you cannot eat it, and feed on it, as you do on meat? Take the precept of the Gospel; yea, take the Gospel acts, as, To beleeve: this, as it is a work, doth not justifie: (Therefore that opinion which makes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉credere, to justifie, may as well take in other acts of obedience) But, because faith, as it is a work, doth not justifie, do you there∣fore reject beleeving? A man may abuse all the ordinances of the Gospel, as well as the Law. The man that thinks the very out∣ward work of Baptisme, the very outward work of receiving a Sacrament will justifie him, doth as much dishonour God, as a Jew, that thought circumcision, or the sacrifices did justifie him. You may quickly turn all the Gospel into the Law in that sense; you may as well say, What need I pray? what need I repent? it cannot justifie me, as to deny the Law, because it cannot.

Use 2. How vain a thing it is, to advance grace and Christ * oppositely to the Law: nay, they that destroy one, destroy also the other. Who prizeth the city of refuge so much, as the ma∣lefactour that is pursued by guilt? Who desireth the brasen Ser∣pent, but he that is stung? If Christ be the end of the Law, how is he contrary to it? And, if Christ and the Law could be under the Old Testament, why not under the New? It is true, to use the Law otherwise then God hath appointed, it's no marvell if it hurt us, if it poyson us; as those that kept the Manna otherwise then they should, it turned to wormes. But, if you use it so, as Christ is the dearer, and grace the more welcome to thee, then thou dost well. The law bids thee love God with all thine heart and soul; doth not this bid thee goe to Christ? Hast thou any strength to doe it? And what thou dost, being enabled by grace, Page  17 is that perfect? Vae etiam laudabili vitae ei, &c. said Austin, make therefore a right use of the Law, and then thou wilt set up Christ and grace in thine heart, as well as in thy mouth. Now thou holdst free-grace as an opinion, it may be; but then all within thee will acknowledge it.


1 Tim. 1. 8, 9.
Knowing the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully.

IN these words you have heard, 1. the position, [The Law is good:] 2. the supposition, If a man use it lawfully.

Now, this know in the generall, that this is no more deroga∣tive * to the Law, that it is such a good, which a man may use ill, bonum, quo aliquis malè uti potest, then God, or Christ, or the Gospel, or Free-grace are; for, all may turn this hony into gall: yea, an Antinomian may set up his preaching of grace, as a work more eminent, and so trust to that more then Christ. I doe acknowledge that of Chrysostome to be very good, speaking of the love of God in Christ, and raised up in admiration of it, Oh (saith he) I am like a man digging in a deep spring: I stand here, and the water riseth up upon me; and I stand there, and still the water riseth upon me: So it is in the love of Christ and the Gospel, the poore broken heart may finde unsearchable treasures there; but yet this must not be used to the prejudice of the Law neither. And take this, as a Prologus galeatus to all I shall say, That, be∣cause the Law may be used unlawfully, it is no more derogation, then to the Gospel: Wo be to the whole Land, for the abuse of the Gospel; is it not the matter of death to many? I shall shew the generall wayes of abusing the Law:

1. That in the Text, when men turn it unto unfruitfull and un∣profitable*disputes: and this the Apostle doth here mainly intend. Cui bono? must be the question made of any dispute about the Law: and therefore, if I should, in this exercise I have under∣taken, handle any frivolous or unprofitable disputes, this were Page  18 to use the Law unlawfully; and therefore let Ministers take heed that be not true of them, which one dreamed about the School-men, that he thought them all like a man eating an hard stone, when pure manchet was by. Besides, he preacheth the Law un∣profitably, not only that darkeneth it with obscure questions, but that doth not teach Christ by it: and I see not but that Mi∣nisters may be humbled, that they have pressed religious duties, but not so as to set up Christ; and hereby people have been con∣tent with duties and sacraments, though no Christ in them. But, as all the vessels were to be of pure gold in the Temple, so ought all our duties to be of pure and meere Christ for acceptation. Tertullian saith of Cerinthus, Legem proponit, ad excludendum Evangelium, he preacheth the Law, to exclude the Gospel; Therefore there may be such a legall preacher, as is justly to be reproved, the Apostle of the teachers in this Chapter, saith they will be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, teachers of the law, yet he rebuketh them, for they brought in many fables about it, as they feigned a dialogue between God and the Law before the world was made, and that God made the world for the Lawes sake.

2. When men look to carnall and worldly respects, in the handling*of it. This is also to use the Law unlawfully. And thus the Priests and the Jewes did, as thereby to make a living, and to have temporall blessings: And it is no wonder that the Law may be used so, seeing the doctrine of Christ is so abused. There are, as Nazianzen saith well, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Christ∣merchants, and Christ-hucksters, that hope, as Judas did, for car∣nall ends by Christ; Therefore so we are to handle Law and Gospel, not as thereby to make parties, or to get applause; but of a godly love and zeale to truth. It was an honest com∣plaint of a Popish writer, We (saith he) handle the Scripture (tantùm ut nos pascat, & vestiat) that we might only live, and be cloathed by it. And how doe we all fall short of Paul, as, Act. 20. where he was preaching night and day with great affections, and desired no mans gold or silver? how well might Chrysostome call him, Angelus terrestris, &, Cor Pauli est cor Christi?

3. When men would quite overthrow it, or deny it. Thus the Mar∣cionites * and Manichees of old, and others of late, though upon other grounds. Now the ground of their errour, are the many Page  19 places of Scripture that seeme to deny the Law; and, I doe ac∣knowledge, it is hard to get the true sense of those places with∣out diligence: and therefore Austin said well (as to that pur∣pose, if I mistake not) They are not so much the simple, as the negli∣gent, that are deceived herein: and, as Chrysostome saith, A friend that is acquainted with his friend, will get out the meaning of a letter or phrase, which another could not that is a stranger: so it is here in the Scripture. Now, two things let such consider: 1. That as there are places that seem to overthrow it, so there are also many places that doe confirme it; yea, the Apostle makes objections against himself, as if he did disanull it, and then answers with an absit, as if it were an horrid thing to doe so. 2. That they must take the Apostle in the particular sense he intends it. It is a good rule, Quaelibet res eâ capienda est parte, quâ capi debet: You doe not take a sword by the edge, but the handle; nor a vessell by the bo∣dy, but the eare: and so this doctrine of the Law, not in every part, but where the Apostle would have you take it.

4. When they doe ill interpret it. And herein all Popish Authors * are in an high degree to be reproved; for, they limit exceedingly the spirituall meaning thereof, even as the Pharisees understood it only of externall acts: and therefore our Saviour, Matth. 5. did not make new commands or counsells there (as Popish Expositors dreame) but did throw away all that earth, which the Philistims had tumbled into that spring. And this was so generall a mistake, that it was a great while ere Paul did under∣stand the strictnesse of it. This discovers a world of sin in a man, which he was ignorant of before. The Papists, they also use it unlawfully in that corrupt glosse, as if it might be kept so farre forth as it's obligatory. In a great part of it, they make it com∣monitory, and not obligatory; and the power of man they make to be the rule of his duty, whereas it is plaine by Scripture, that that measure of grace, which God giveth any man upon earth, is not answerable to the duty commanded there. It is true, Hierome said, It was blasphemy to say, God commanded any thing im∣possible: but in this sense impossible absolutely, so that man could never have fulfilled it.

5. When they doe oppose it to Christ. And this was the Jewes * fundamentall errour, and under this notion doth the Apostle Page  20 argue against it in his Epistles to the Romans and Galatians. And, howsoever they would have compounded Christ and the Law together, yet this composition was to make opposition. There can be no more two Suns in the firmament, then two things to justifie: Therefore the reconciliation of the Law and Christ cannot be, in matter of justification, by way of mixture; but yet one is antecedaneous and subordinate to the other, and is no more to be opposed, then the end to the meanes. Nor is it any wonder that the Law, through errour, may be opposed to Christ, seeing that Christ may be opposed to Christ; as, in Popery, Christ sanctifying is opposed to Christ justifying: for, when we charge them with derogating from Christ, in holding our graces doe justifie; Nay (say they) we set him up more then you, for, we hold, He doth make us holy, That this holinesse doth justifie. Thus, you see, Christ in his workes is opposed to Christ in his justifying. And here, by the way, you may see, that that only is the best way of advancing Christ or grace, which is in a Scripture way, and not what is possible for us to think, as the Papists doe.

6. When they look for justification by it: and this is a dangerous * and desperate errour; this is that which reigneth in Popery, this is that inbred canker-worm, that eateth in the hearts of all na∣turally. They know not a Gospel-righteousnesse, and for this end they reade the Law, they heare it preached onely, that they may be self-saviours: And, certainly, for this two-fold end, I may think, God suffers this Antinomian errour to grow; first, That Ministers may humble themselves, they have not set forth Christ and grace in all the glory of it. If Bernard said, he did not love to reade Tully, because he could not reade the Name of Christ there; how much rather may we say, that in many Sermons, in many a mans ministery, the drift and end of all his preaching is not, that Christ may be advanced. And in Christi∣ans, in Protestants, it is a farre greater sin then in Papists: for, it is well observed by Peter Martyr, that the Apostle doth deale more mildly in the Epistle to the Romans, then in the Epistle to the Galatians; and the reason is, because the Galatians were at first well instructed in the matter of justification, but afterwards did mixe other things with Christ, therefore he thunders against Page  21 them. I desire to know nothing, saith Paul, 1 Corinth. 2. but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And secondly, another end may be, to have these truths beaten out more: As, The deity of Christ, be∣cause of the Arrians; and, Grace in predestination and conver∣sion, by the Pelagians: so, The grace of justification, because not only of Papists, but Antinomians. And, certainly, these things were much pressed by Luther at first, as appeares in his Epistle to the Galatians: but, perceiving how this good doctrine was abu∣sed, he speaks in his Commentary on Genesis (which was one of his last workes) much against Antinomists: But yet, because generally people are fallen into a formality of truths, it's good to set up Christ. And the poison of this opinion will be seen in these things:

1. It overthroweth the nature of grace. And this holdeth against * the works of the Gospel, as well as those of the Law. Take no∣tice of this, that justification by works doth not only exclude the works of the Law, but all works of the Gospel, yea, and the works of grace also. Hence you see, the opposition is of works, and of grace. Here the Apostle makes an immediate opposition, whereas the Papist would say, Paul hath a non sequitur; for, datur tertium, workes of and by grace. But works doe therefore oppose grace, because the frequent acception of it in the Scripture is for the favour of God without us, not any thing in us. I will not deny but that the word [grace] is used for the effects of it, inherent holinesse wrought in us, as in that place, Grow in grace and knowledge; but yet commonly grace is used for the favour of God. And the ignorance of the use of the word in Scripture, makes them so extoll inherent holinesse, as if that were the grace which should save us. As (saith the Papist) a bird cannot fly without wings, the fish swimme without scales, the Sculler without his oare cannot get to the haven: so, without this grace, we cannot fly into heaven, and that as the meritorious cause. But this is ignorance of the word [grace] and so the troubles and unbelief of the godly heart, because it is not so holy as it would be, cometh from the mistake of the word [grace.] I shall an∣ticipate my self in another subject, if I should tell you how comprehensive this word is, implying no merit or causality on our part for acceptance, but the clean contrary; and therefore, Page  22 for God to deal with us in grace, is more then in love: for Adam, if he had continued righteous, he had been partaker of life; this had been the gift of God, but not by the grace of God, as it is strictly taken; for Adam was not in a contrary condi∣tion to life. I will not trouble you with Pareus his apprehensi∣on, that thinketh Adams righteousnesse could not be called grace, therefore reproveth Bellarmine for his title, De gratia pri∣mi hominis: neither will he acknowledge those habits of holi∣nesse in Christ to be called grace, because there was not a contra∣ry disposition in his nature to it, as it is in ours. And this also Cameron presseth, that, besides the indebitum which grace imply∣eth in every subject, there is also a demeritum of the contrary. Thus then justification is of grace, because thy holinesse doth not only not deserve this, but the clean contrary. Now what a cordiall may this be to the broken heart, exercised with its sinnes? How may the sick say, There I finde health? the poore say, There I finde riches? And as for the Papists, who say they set up grace, and they acknowledge grace; yet first it must be set down in what sense we take grace. It is not every man that talketh of grace, doth therefore set up Scripture-grace. Who knoweth not that the Pelagians set up grace? They determined, that whosoever did not a knowledge grace necessary to every good act all the day long let him be an anathema: and this faire colour did de∣ceive the Eastern Churches, that they did acquit him: But Au∣stine and others observed, that he did use the word grace, to de∣cline envie, gratiae vocabulo uti ad frangendam invidiam; even as the Papists do at this time: therefore if they say, Thy patience is grace, Thy hope is grace, and therefore by grace thou art sa∣ved; say, This is not the Gospel-grace, the Scripture-grace, by which sins are pardoned, and we saved.

2. It opposeth Christ in his fulnesse: It makes an halfe-Christ.* Thus the false Apostles made Christ void, and fell off from him. Neither will this serve, to say that the Apostle speakes of the ce∣remoniall law: for (as we told you) though the differences about the Jewish ceremonies, were the occasion of those divisions in the primitive times, yet the Apostle goeth from the hypothesis to the thesis, even to all works whatsoever, and therefore ex∣cludes Abrahams and Davids works from justification. Now Page  23 Christ would be no Christ if workes were our righteousnesse; because the righteousnesse by the faith of Christ is opposed to Pauls own righteousnesse, and this is called the righteousnesse of God: Yea, this is said to be made righteousnesse unto us, and he is called the Lord our righteousnesse; and howsoever Bellarmine would understand these phrases causally, as when God is called the Lord our salvation; yet we shall shew you it cannot be so, therefore if thy works justifie thee, what needs a Christ? Can thy graces be a Christ?

3. It destroyeth the true doctrine of Justification. I shall not * lanch into this Ocean at this time, only consider how the Scri∣pture speaks of it, as not infusing what is perfect, but forgiving what is imperfect; as in David, Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth no sin. I shall not at this time dis∣pute whether there be two parts of Justification, one positive, in respect of the term to which, called Imputation of Christs righte∣ousnesse; the other negative, in respect of the term from which, Not accounting sin. This later I only presse: Therefore, What is it to be justified? Not to have holinesse accepted of us, but our sins remitted: Justitia nostra, est indulgentia tua Domine. Now, what a comfortable plea is this for an humbled soul, O Lord, it is not the question, what good I have, but what evil thou wilt forget: It is not to finde righteous works in me, but to passe by the un∣righteousnesse in me? What can satisfie thy soul, if this will not do? Is not this (as I told you) with Chrysostome, to stand upon a spring rising higher and higher?

4. It quite overthroweth justifying faith: for when Christ and * grace is overthrowne, this also must fall to the ground. There are these three main concurrent causes to our justification: The grace of God as the efficient, Christ as the meritorious, and faith as the instrumentall; and although one of these causes be more excellent then the other (the efficient then the instrumentall) yet all are equally necessary to that effect of justification. That faith doth instrumentally justifie, I here take it for granted. As for the Antinomian, who holdeth it before faith, and thinketh the ar∣gument from Infants will plainly prove it, I shall shew the con∣trary in its due time: onely this is enough, that an instrumen∣tall particle is attributed to it, By faith in his bloud, and, By Page  24 faith in his Name, and, justified By faith. It is true, it's never said 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for faith, as if there were dignity or merit in it; but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Now to set up works is to oppose faith, as the Apostle argueth: therefore faith, as it is a work, is to be opposed to it self, as it's an instrument justifying.

5. It quite discourageth a broken-hearted sinner, taking away peace*with God, the effect of justification, and glorying in tribulations. If you consider Chapt. 5. of Rom. you will finde, that peace onely comes this way, yea and to glory in tribulations; for, ver. 1. being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Alas, what pati∣ence, what repentance, what pains and religious duties can pro∣cure thee peace with God? Can that which would damne, save? Can that which would work woe in thee, comfort thee? Vae etiam laudabili vitae erit, saith Austin, as you heard; Woe to the most worthy life that is, if it should be judged strictly by God. And then mark the object of this peace, Peace with God. Take a Pharisee, take a morall or a formall man, he may have a great deale of peace, because of his duties and good heart; yet, this is not a peace with God: so also for glorying in tribulations, how can this be? If all a mans glory were for himselfe, would not every affliction rather break him, saying, This is the fruit of my sinne?

6. It brings men into themselves. And this is very dangerous: * A man may not only exclude Christ from his soul by grosse sins, but by self-confidences; You are they which justifie your selves. And so the Jewes, they would not submit to their own righte∣ousnesse; see how afraid Paul is to be found in his own righte∣ousnesse. Beza puts an emphasis upon this word Found, imply∣ing, that Justice, and the Law, and so the wrath of God is pursu∣ing and seeking after man: Where is that man that offends God, and transgresseth his Law? Where is that man that doth not pray, or heare as he should doe? Now (saith Paul) I would not be found in mine own righteousnesse. And this made Luther say, Take heed, not only of thy sins, but also of thy good duties. Now, if this were all the wine that the Antinomian would drink in Christs cellar, if this were all the hony that he would have in Christs hive, none would contradict it: but we shall shew you the dan∣gerous inferences they make from hence, turning that which would be a rod, into a serpent.

Page  25 7. It overthroweth the doctrine of imputation, and reckoning righte∣ousnesse*to us: which is spoken of Rom. 4. and in other places. I know how this point is vexed divers wayes; but this is enough for us: If righteousnesse were in us, and properly ours, what need a righteousnesse be reckoned and imputed to us? The Papist maketh imputative, and putative, and imaginary all one. Who can say, A lame man (say they) goeth right, because he hath other mens shooes? Who can say, A deformed Thersites is a faire Ab∣salom, because of borrowed beauty? But these are easily refuted by Scripture, and we shall shew you Christs righteousnesse is as really ours, as if it were inherent. They differ not in reality, but in the manner of being ours. Now, here the Antinomian and Papist agree in the inferences they make from this doctrine; If Christs righteousnesse be ours, then there is no sin in us seen by God, then we are as righteous as Christ, argueth the Antinomian: and this absurdity the Papists would put on us.

8. It keeps a man in a slavish servile way in all his duties: For, * how must that man be needs tossed up and down, which hath no other ground of peace, then the works of grace? How is the humble heart soon made proud? how is the heavenly heart soon become earthly? Now, you may see the Scripture speaking much against doubting and feares; and, James 1. it is made the canker-worm, that devoureth all our duties: Therefore the Scripture doth name some words that doe oppose this Evangelicall temper of sons; as, Be not afraid, but beleeve; so, Why doubted ye? the word signifieth to be in bivio, that a man cannot tell which wayes to take to, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to be carried up and down, as meteors in the aire. Now, how can a man be bold by any thing that is his? By faith we have confidence and boldnesse: faith is confidence, and faith works confidence; but faith, whose object is Christ, not any thing of ours: it's made the first word also we can speak, when we are made sons, to cry, Abba, Father.

9. A man may as lawfully joyne Saints or Angels in his mediation*with Christ, as graces. Why is that doctrine of making Angels and Saints mediators and intercessors so odious, but because it joyneth Christ and others together in that great work? Dost not thou the like, when thou joynest thy love and grace with Christs obedience? The Papist saith, Let such and such an holy Saint save Page  26 me; and thou sayest, Let my holy love, let my holy repentance save me. What advantage then hast thou, if thou cryest down Saints, and then makest thy self one in a Popish way? Could therefore thy graces speak, they would say as the Angel to John that would worship him, Worship thou God, worship thou Christ, put thy trust in Christ; he hath only born our sins, so as to take them away: and therefore, as grosse Idolatry makes the works of God a god; so doth more subtle Idolatry make the works of Christ, a Christ.

10. It overthroweth the grace of hope. When faith is destroyed, * then also hope is. This grace of hope is the great support of a Christian: now, if it be placed in Christ, and the Promises, it is as firme as faith; therefore saith the Apostle of hope, Rom. 5. It makes not ashamed: but, if it were an hope in our selves, how often should we be confounded? That is good of Austine, Noli sperare de te, sed de Deo tuo; nam si speras de te, anima tua conturbatur ad te, quia nondum invenit unde sit secura de te: Do not hope in thy self, but God; for if so, thy soul will never finde ground for security. It's an ignorant distinction among Papists, that they may have a certainty of hope, but not of faith in mat∣ters of salvation: whereas they have both the like certainty, and differ onely thus: faith doth for the present receive the things promised, and hope keeps up the heart against all dif∣ficulties, till it come to enjoy them. Now, to have such an hope as the Papists define, Partly coming from Gods grace, and partly from our merits, Partim è gratia Dei, and partim à meritis nostris proveniens, must needs be destructive.

11. It taketh away the glory due to God in this great work of Justi∣fication.* If you have not meat or drink but by God, shall you have pardon of sin without him? Abraham beleeved, and gave God glory: We are apt to account beleeving no glory to God; but could we mortifie our corruptions more and more, could we exhaust and spend our selves, yet this is no more to give glory to God, then when we beleeve. Now, it is good to possesse Christians with this principle, To beleeve in Christ, is to give glory to Christ: we naturally would think, to go far on pilgrimages, to macerate our bodies, were likelier wayes for our Salvation; but this would be mans glory more then Gods glory: There∣fore Page  27 how did that wretched Monk, dying, blasphemously say, Redde mihi aeternam vitam, quam debes, Pay me eternall life, which thou owest?

12. It maketh sin, and the first Adam more and greater for con∣demnation,*then Christ for salvation. Now the Apostle, Rom. 5. makes the opposition, and sheweth, that the gift is far above the transgression: Therefore take thy sins in all the aggravations of them, there is not more in them to damne, then in Christ to save. Why should sin be an heavie sin, a great sin, and Christ not also a wonderfull saving Christ? When we say, The guilt of sin is infinite, that is, onely infinite objectivè; but now Christs merits and obedience are infinite meritoriè: they have from the dignity of the person an infinite worth in them; and therefore, as sin is exceeding sinfull, so let Christ be an exceeding Christ, and grace exceeding grace.

13. It overthroweth the true doctrine of sanctification: which de∣clareth * it to be inchoate, and imperfect; that our faith hath much unbelief in it, our best gold much drosse, our wine much water. It is true, both the Papists and the Antinomian agree in this errour, that because sin is covered, therefore there can be no sin seen in the godly; that the soul in this life is without spot and wrinkle: but they doe it upon different grounds; whereas Paul, Rom. 7. doth abundantly destroy that principle. How blasphemous is that direction of the Papists to men dying, who are to pray thus: O Lord, joyn my obedience with all the suffrings of Christ for me, Conjunge (Domine) obsequium meum cum omnibus quae Christus passus est pro me? And how absurd is that doctrine, Si bona opera sunt magis bona, quàm mala opera mala, fortiùs merentur vitam aeternam?

14. It taketh away the true doctrine of the Law, as if that were*possible to be kept: For, works could not justifie us, unlesse they were answerable to that righteousnesse which God commands; but Rom. 3. that which was impossible for the Law, Christ hath fulfilled in us.

15. It overthroweth the consideration of a man, while he is justi∣fied:* For, they look upon him as godly, but the Scripture as ungodly; Rom. 4. who justifieth the ungodly. Some by [ungodly,] meane any prophane man, whereas it is rather one that is Page  28 not perfectly godly; for Abraham is here made the ungodly person: I know, it is explained otherwise; but, certainly this is most genuine.

Use 1. Of Instruction. How uncharitably and falsly many men charge it generally upon our godly Ministers, that they are nothing but Justitiaries, and Legall Preachers? For, do not all sound and godly Ministers hold forth this Christ, this righte∣ousnesse, this way of justification? Do not all our Protestant authours maintain this truth, as that which discerneth us from Heathens, Jewes, Papists, and others in the world? May not these things be heard in our Sermons daily?

Use 2. It is not every kind of denying the Law, and setting up of Christ and Grace, is presently Antinomianisme. Luther, writing upon Genesis, handling that sin of Adam, in eating of the forbidden fruit, speaketh of a Fanatique, as he calls him, that denyed Adam could sinne, because the Law is not given to the righteous. Now, saith Bellarmine, this is an argument satis aptè deductum ex principiis Lutheranorum, because they deny the Law to a righteous man. Here you see he chargeth Antinomianisme upon Luther; but of these things more here∣after.

Use 3. To take heed of using the Law for our justification. It's an unwarranted way; you cannot finde comfort there: Therefore let Christ be made the matter of your righteousnesse and comfort more then he hath been. You know, the posts that were not sprinkled with bloud, were sure to be destroyed; and so are all those persons and duties, that have not Christ upon them. Christ is the propitiation, and the Hebrew word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, used for covering, and propitiating of sinne, is Genes. 6. used of the pitch or plaister, whereby the wood of the Ark was so fastened, that no water could get in: and it doth well resemble the atonement made by Christ, whereby we are so covered, that the waters of Gods wrath cannot enter upon us. And do not think, to beleeve in Christ, a contemptible and unlikely way; for, it is not, because of the dignitie of faith, but by Christ. You see the Hyssop (or whatsoever it was) which did sprinkle the bloud, was a contemptible herb, yet the instrument to represent great deliverance.

Page  29


1 TIM. 1. 8, 9.
Knowing the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully.

IT is my intent, after the cleare proofe of Justification by the grace of God, and not of works, to shew how corrupt the Antinomian is in his inferences hence-from; and, this being done, I shall shew you the necessity of holy and good works notwithstanding.

But before I come to handle some of their dangerous errours in this point, let me premise something, As,

1. How cautelous and wary the Ministers of God ought to be in this*matter, so to set forth grace, as not to give just exception to the popish caviller; and so to defend holy works, as not to give the Antinomian cause of insultation. While our Protestant authors were diligent in digging out that precious gold of justification by free-grace, out of the mine of the Scripture; see what Canons the Councell of Trent made against them, as Antinomian: Can. 19. If any man shall say, The ten Precepts belong nothing at all to Christians, let him be accursed, Decem praecepta nihil ad Christianos pertinere, anathema sit. Again, Can. 20. If any man shall hold, that a justi∣fied person is not bound to the observation of the Commande∣ments, but only to believe, let him be accursed. Si quis dixerit hominem justificatum non teneri ad observantiam mandatorum, sed tantùm ad credendum, anathema sit. Again, Can. 21. If any shall hold Christ Jesus to be given unto men, as a Redeemer in whom they are to trust, but not as a Law-giver, whom they are to obey, let him be accursed. Si quis dixerit Christum Jesum datum fuisse hominibus ut redemptorem cui fidant, non autem ut legislatorem cui obediant, anathema sit. You may gather by these their Canons, that we hold such opinions as, indeed, the Antinomian-doth: but our Writers answer, Here they grossely mistake us; and, if Page  30 this were all the controversie, we should quickly agree. It is no wonder then if it be so hard to preach free-grace, and not pro∣voke the Papist; or, on the other side, to preach good works of the Law, and not offend the Antinomian.

2. There have been dangerous assertions about good works, even by those that were no Antinomians, out of a great zeale for the grace of God against Papists. These indeed, for ought I can learn, did no wayes joyn with the Antinomians: but in this point there is too much affinity. There were rigid Lutherans called Flacians, who as they did goe too far, at least in their expressions, about originall corruption (for there are those that doe excuse them;) so also they went too high against good works: Therefore in stead of that position, maintained by the Orthodox, Good works are necessary to salvation, Bona opera sunt necessaria ad salutem; they held, Good works are pernicious to salvation, Bona opera sunt perniciosa ad salutem. The occasion of this divi∣sion was the book called, The Interim, which Charles the Empe∣rour would have brought into the Germane Churches. In that book was this passage, Good works are necessary to salvation: to which Melancthon and others assented (not understanding a necessity of merit, or efficiency, but of presence;) but Flacius Illyricus and his followers would not, taking many high expressions out of Luther (even as the Antinomians doe) for their ground. Hence also Zanchy, because in his writings he had such passages as these, No man grown up can be saved, unlesse he give himself to good works, and walk in them: One Hinckellman, a Lutheran, doth endeavour, by a troop of nine Arguments, to tread downe this assertion of Zanchy, which he calls Calviniana〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as a most manifest errour. Now, if all this were spoken to take men off from that generall secret sin of putting confidence in the good works we doe, it were more tolerable: in which sense we applaud that of Luther, Take heed not only of evil works, but of good, Cave non tantùm ab operibus malis, sed etiam à bonis; and that of another man, who said, he got more good by his sins, then his graces: But these speeches must be soundly understood. We also love that of Austin, All the Commands are accounted as if thou hadst done them, when what is not done, is forgiven, Omnia mandata tua facta deputantur, quando quicquid non fit, ignoscitur.

Page  31 3. That is the incommodious, yea and erroneous passages in Anti∣nomian Authors, were used for some reasons hereafter to be mentio∣ned, it were the more tolerable: but that seems not to be. There is more poison then can be concocted in them. But if this were their ground of many unsavory assertions among them, meerly their want of clear judgement to expresse themselves, so that they think more orthodoxly then they write; then they might be excused, as being in a logomachy: but with this proviso, as Austine said of them that used the word fatum in a good sense, Let them hold their opinion, but correct their expressions, Mentem teneant, sed linguam corrigant. Now, that there may be injudiciousnesse in them, as a cause in part of some of their erroneous passages, will appeare in that they frequently speake contradictions. This is a passage often, but very dangerous, that, Let a man be a wicked man, even as high as enmity it self can make a man, yet while he is thus wicked, and while he is no better, his sins are pardoned, and he justified. Yet now in other passages, Though a man be never so wicked, yet if he come to Christ, if he will take Christ, his sinnes are pardoned: now what a contradiction is here, To be wicked and, while he is wicked, and, while he is no better, and yet to take Christ, unlesse they hold that, to take Christ, or, to come to him, be no good thing at all? But happily more of their con∣tradictions hereafter. Their injudiciousnesse and weaknesse doth also appear, that when they have laid down such a truth as every godly Author hath, they have so many words about it, and doe so commend it, as if they had found a Philosophers Stone, or a Phenix; as if the Reader should presently cry out and say, Behold a greater then Solomon is here: and yet it is but that which every Writer almost hath. Again, their injudiciousnesse doth appeare, in that they minde only the promissory part of the Scripture, and doe stand very little upon the mandatory part. There are five or six places, such as, Christ came to save that which was lost, and, He hath laid on him the iniquities of us all, &c. these are over and over again: But you shall seldome or never have these places urged, Make your calling and election sure. Work out your salva∣tion with feare and trembling; whereas all Scripture is given for our use. Therefore, 1. If weaknesse were all the ground of this con∣troversie, the danger were not so great. Or, 2ly, If the end and Page  32 aime they had, were only to put men off from glorying in themselves, to deny the concurrence of works to the act of justification. If their desire were that men should not (as Michal) put an image in Davids roome, so neither that Christians should put their works in Christs stead, thus farre it might be excusable: but then their books, and their aimes cannot be reconciled. Or, If, 3ly, their maine drift was only to shew that good works follow a justified person, and that they doe not antecede; here would be no opposition: but they deny the presence of them in time. Or, 4ly, If the question were about preparatory works to justification and conversion; though (for my part) I think there are such, with those limitations that hereafter may be given to them: this also were not so hainous. Or fifthly, If the dispute were onely upon the space of time between a profane mans profanenesse, and his justification, or the quantity of his sorrow; these things were of another debate. I do acknowledge, that the Christian Religion was matter of offence to the Heathens, in that they taught, Though a man had never been so wicked, yet, if he did receive Christ, he should be pardoned; and how soon this may be done, it is as God pleaseth: but there is an alteration of the mans nature at that time also; and Chrysostome, indeed, hath such a passage upon that Scripture, The righteous shall live by faith, Rom. 1. by faith onely a man hath remission of sins; Now (saith he) this is a Paradox to humane reason, that he who was an adulterer, a murderer, should present∣ly be accounted righteous, if he doe beleeve in Christ: but this differs from the Antinomian assertion, as much as heaven from hell. So it's related in Ecclesiasticall history of Constantine the Great, that when he had killed many of his kindred, yea and was counselled also to murder his own son, repenting of these hainous crimes, askt Sopater the Philosopher, who succeeded Plotinus in teaching him, Whether there could be any expiation for those sins? The Philosopher said, No: afterwards he asked the Christian Bishops, and they said, I, if he would beleeve in Christ. This was feigned, to make our Religion odious. Or sixthly, If it were to shew, that there cannot be assurance before justi∣fication, or that to relye upon Christ for pardon, it is not necessary I should know whether I have truly repented, or no; This were also of another nature.

Page  33 Therefore let us see what prejudiciall inferences they gather from this doctrine of Justification. I know, the proper place of handling this will come, when we speak of that point; but yet, to give some antidote against their errours, I will name some few: as, 1. Denying them to be a way to heaven. Thus one ex∣presly * (Sect. 4. on Christ being a way, pag. 68.) It is a received con∣ceit among many persons, that our obedience is a way to heaven; though it be not causa, yet it's via ad regnum: Now this he la∣bours to confute. As for the speech it self, Divines have it out of Bernard, where, among other encomium's of good works, cal∣ling them Seeds of hope, incentives of love, signes of hidden Pre∣destination, and presages of future happinesse, Spei quaedam semi∣naria, charitatis incentiva, occultae Praedestinationis indicia, futurae felicitatis praesagia, he addeth this, The way to the Kingdome, not the cause of reigning, Via regni, non causa regnandi. Now it's true, that they are not a way in that sense that Christ is called a Way, no more then the spirituall life of a Christian is life in that sense Christ stileth himself Life; for, here he understands it of himself, as the causall and meritorious way: Therefore there are Articles added to every one, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and that which followeth makes it cleare, No man can come to the Father, but by me.

Object. Oh, but say they, our works are our businesse and im∣ployment, not our way.

Sol. I answer, when we call them a way, it's a metaphor, and such a metaphor, that the Scripture doth often delight in: Thus the wayes of God are said to be perfect, Deut. 32. that is, the works of the Lord; and thus, when it's applyed to men, if signifieth any religion, doctrine, manners, actions, or course of life, 2 Pet. 2. 2, 15, 21. So that good works are both our way, and imployment; for an imployment and way in this sense are all one. Thus Matth. 7. 17. Strait is the way that leadeth to life: What is this, but the work of grace and godlinesse? for, as for that exposition of the same author, to understand it of Christ, as if he were strait, because men do account him so, and therefore would adde works to him, this is to compell Scripture to go two miles with us, that would not go one; and then, by the opposition, not wickedness, but the devil himself would be the broad way.

Page  34 2. Denying the presence of them in the person justified. And truly, * this is so dangerous, that I know not how charity can excuse it: It is such a naevus, that ubera charitatis cannot tegere, cover it. For, thus saith the Authour expresly, speaking of that of Paul, Therefore we conclude, a man is justified without the deeds of the Law: Here (saith he) the Apostle doth not only exclude works from having any power operative to concurre in the laying iniquities upon Christ, but excludes all manner of works men can doe, to be pre∣sent and existent in persons, when God doth justifie them. And he in∣stanceth of a generall pardon for theeves and traitors: Now (saith he) one may take the pardon as well as another. And so speak∣ing upon that place [He hath received gifts for men, even for the rebellious.] he concludes, that therefore though a man doe rebell actually from time to time, and doe practise this rebellion; yet, though this person do thus, the hatefulnesse thereof is laid upon Christ: Is not this such a doctrine that must needs please an ungodly heart?

3. In the denying of gaining any thing by them, even any peace of heart, or losing it by them. Now this goeth contrary to Scripture. * Thus page 139. (the Antinomian saith) The businesse we are to do is this, that though there be sinnes committed, yet there is no peace bro∣ken, because the breach of peace is satisfied in Christ; there is a reparation of the damage before the damage it self be committed. And again, page 241. If God come to reckon with beleevers for sinne, either he must aske something of them, or not; If not, why are they troubled? If so, then God cannot bring a new reckoning. And in other places, If a man look to get any thing by his graces, he will have nothing but knocks. To answer these, it is true, if a man should look by any repentance or grace to have Heaven and pardon, as a cause or merit, this were to be ignorant of the imperfection of all our graces, and the glorious greatnesse of those mercies: What proportion hath our faith, or godly sorrow with the everlasting favour and good pleasure of God? But first, the Scripture useth severe and sharp threatnings even unto the godly, where they neglect to repent, or goe on in sin, Rom. 8. 13. If ye live after the flesh, you shall die: especially consi∣der that place, Hebr. 12. two last verses; the Apostle alludeth to that place, Deut. 4. and he saith, Our God (as well as the God Page  35 of the Jewes, who appeared in terrour) is a consuming fire: Now then, if the Scripture threatens thus to men living in sin, if they doe not, they may finde comfort. Secondly, Our holy duties, they have a promise of pardon, and eternall life, though not because of their worth, yet to their presence: and there∣fore may the godly rejoyce when they finde them in themselves. Lastly, their ground is still upon that false bottome, Be∣cause our sinnes are laid upon Christ. What then? they may be laid upon us in other respects, to heale us, to know how bitter a thing it is to sinne against God. God doth here, as Joseph with his brethren; he caused them to be bound, and to be put in gaoles, as if now they were to smart for their former impiety.

4. In denying them to be signes and testimonies of grace, or Christ*dwelling in us. And here, indeed, one would wonder to see how laborious an Author is to prove, that no inherent graces can be signes: and he selects three instances, Of universality of obedi∣ence, Of sincerity, and love to the brethren; concluding, that there are two evidences only; one revealing, which is the Spirit of God immediately; the other receiving, and that is faith. Now, in answering of this, we may shew briefly how many weak props this discourse leaneth upon:

1. In confounding the instrumentall evidencing with the effi∣cient; Not holy works (say they) but the Spirit: Here he doth oppose subordinates; Subordinata non sunt opponenda, sed componenda. As if a man should say, We see not by the beames, or reflection of the Sun, but the Sun. Certainly, every man is in darknesse, and, like Hagar, seeth not a fountaine, though neare her, till her eyes be opened. Thus it is in grace.

2. We say, that a Christian, in time of darknesse and tempta∣tion, is not to go by signes and marks, but obedientially to trust in God, as David calls upon his soul often; and the word is emphaticall, signifying such a relying or holding, as a man doth that is falling down into a pit irrecoverably.

3. His Arguments, against sincerity, and universality of obe∣dience, goe upon two false grounds: 1. That a man cannot distinguish himself from hypocrites; which is contrary to the Scriptures exhortation. 2. That there can be no assurance, but Page  36 upon a full and compleat work of godlinesse. All which are po∣pish arguments.

4. All those arguments will hold as strongly against faith; for, Are there not many beleevers for a season? Is there not a faith that indureth but for a while? May not then a man as soon know the sincerity of his heart, as the truth of his faith?

Now let us consider their grounds for this strange assertion, 1. Because, Roman. 4. it is said, that God justifieth the ungodly.* Now this hath a two-fold answer; 1. That which our Divines doe commonly give, that these words are not to be understood in sensu composito but diviso, and antecedenter: he that was ungod∣ly, is, being justified, made godly also, though that godlinesse doe not justifie him. Therefore they compare these passages with those of making the blinde to see, and deafe to heare; not that they did see while they were blind, but those that were blind doe now see: and this is true and good. But I shall, secondly, answer it, with some learned men, that ungodly there is meant of such, who are so in their nature considered, having not an absolute righteousnesse, yet at the same time beleevers, even as Abraham was; and faith of the ungodly man is accounted to him for righteousnesse: So then, the subject of justification is a sinner, yet a beleever. Now it's impossible that a man should be a beleever, and his heart not purified, Acts 15. for whole Christ is the object of his faith, who is received not onely to justifie, but to sanctifie. Hence Rom. 8. where the Apostle seem∣eth to make an exact order, he begins with Prescience, (that is approbative and complacentiall, n•• in a Popish or Arminian sense) then Predestination, then Calling, then Justification, then Glorification. I will not trouble you with the dispute, in which place Sanctification is meant. Now the Antinomian, he goeth upon that as true, which the Papist would calumniate us with, That a profane ungodly man, if beleeving, shall be justified: We say, this proposition supposeth an impossibility, that faith in Christ, or closing with him, can stand with those sins, because faith pu∣rifieth the heart; By faith Christ dwells in our hearts, Ephes. 3. Therefore those expressions of the Antinomians are very dange∣rous and unsound, and doe indeed confirme the Papists calum∣nies.

Page  37 Another place they much stand upon is Rom. 5. Christ dyed for us while we were enemies, while we were sinners: But, 1. if Christ dyed for us while we were enemies, why doe they say, That if a man be as great an enemy as enmity it selfe can make a man, if he be willing to take Christ, and to close with Christ, he shall be pardoned? (which, we say, is a contradiction.) For, how can an enemy to Christ, close with Christ? So that this would prove more then in some places they would seem to allow.

Besides, Christ dyed not only to justifie, but save us: now will they hence therefore inferre, that profane men, living so, and dying so, shall be saved? And indeed the grand principle, That Christ hath purchased and obtained all graces antecedently to us, in their sense, will as necessarily inferre, that a drunkard, abiding a drunkard, shall be saved, as well as justified.

But, thirdly, to answer that place, When it is said, that Christ dyed, and rose again for sinners, you must know, that this is the meritorious cause of our pardon and salvation; but, besides this cause, there are other causes instrumentall, that go to the whole work of Justification: Therefore some Divines, as they speak of a conversion passive and active, so also of a justification active and passive; and passive they call, when not onely the meritorious cause, but the instrument applying is also present, then the per∣son is justified. Now these speak of Christs death as an universall meritorious cause, without any application of Christs death un∣to this or that soule: Therefore still you must carry this along with you, that, to that grand mercy of justification, something is requisite as the efficient, viz. the grace of God; something as me∣ritorious, viz. Christs suffering; something as instrumentall, viz. faith; and one is as necessary as the other.

I will but mention one place more, and that is Psal. 68. 18. Thou hast received gifts even for the rebellious also, that the Lord God may dwell among them. Here they insist much upon this, yea for the rebellious; and saith the Author, pag. 411. Seeing God can∣not dwell where iniquity is, Christ received gifts for men, that the Lord God might dwell among the rebellious; and by this meanes, God can dwell with those persons that doe act the rebellion, because all the hate∣fulnesse of it is transacted from those persons upon the back of Christ. And, saith the same Author, pag. 412. The holy Ghost doth not say, Page  38 that the Lord takes rebellious persons and gifts, and prepares them, and then will come and dwell with them; but even then, while they are re∣bellious, without any stop, the Lord Christ hath received gifts for them, that the Lord God may dwell among them. Is not all this strange? Though the same Authour presse sanctification never so much in other places, yet certainly such principles as these overthrow it.

But as for this place, it will be the greatest adversary they have against them, if you consider the scope of it; for, there the Psalmist speaks of the fruit and power of Christs Ascension, as appeareth Ephes. 3. whereby gifts were given to men, that so even the most rebellious might be converted, and changed by this mi∣nistery; so that this is clean contrary: And besides, those words, with them, or among them, are not in the Hebrew; therefore some referre them to the rebellious, and make Jah in the Hebrew, and Elohim, in the Vocative case, even for the rebellious (O Lord God) to inhabit; as that of Esay, The Wolfe and the Lamb shall dwell together: Some referre it to Gods dwelling, yet doe not understand it of his dwelling with them, but of his dwelling, i. e. fixing the Arke after the enemies are subdued. But take our Edition to be the best (as it seemeth to be) yet it must be meant of rebels changed by his Spirit; for the Scripture useth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of Gods dwelling in men, but still con∣verted, Rom. 8. 11. Ephes. 3. 12. 2 Cor. 6. 16.


1 TIM. 1. 8, 9.
Knowing the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully.

HAving confuted some dangerous inferences, that the Anti∣nomian makes from that precious doctrine of Justification, I shall at this time answer only one question, Upon what grounds are the people of God to be zealous of good workes? for it's very hard to repent, to love, to be patient, or fruitfull, and not to doe them for this end, to justifie us: And, howsoever theologically, Page  39 and in the notion, we may make a great difference between holi∣nesse as a way or meanes, and as a cause or merit of salvation; yet practically the heart doth not use to distinguish so subtilely. Therefore, although I intend not to handle the whole doctrine of Sanctification or new obedience at this time; yet I should leave my discourse imperfect, if I did not informe you, how good works of the Law done by grace, and justification of the Gospel, may stand together.

First therefore take notice what we meane by good works. We take not good works strictly, for the works of charity or libera∣lity; nor for any externall actions of religion, which may be done where the heart is not cleansed; much lesse for the Popish good workes of supererogation: but for the graces of Gods Spirit in us, and the actions flowing from them: For, usually, with the Papists and Popish persons, good works are commonly called those superstitious and supererogant workes, which God never commanded: or, if God hath commanded them, they mean them as externall and sensible; such as, Coming to Church, and, Receiving of Sacraments; not internall and spirituall faith, and a contrite spirit, which are the soule of all duties: and if these be not there, the outward duties are like clothes upon a dead man, that cannot warme him, because there is no life within. Therefore much is required even to the essence of a godly work, though it be not perfect in degrees: As, 1. It must be commanded*by God. 2. It must be wrought in us by the Spirit of God. All the unregenerate mans actions, his prayers, and services are sinnes. 3. It must flow from an inward principle of grace, or a supernaturall being in the soule, whereby a man is a new creature. 4. The end must be Gods glory. That which the most refined man can doe, is but a glow-worm, not a starre: So that then onely is the work good, when, being answerable to the rule, it's from God, and through God, and to God.

2. That the Antinomian erreth two contrary wayes about good works: Sometimes they speak very erroneously and grosly about them. Thus Islebius Agricola, the first Antinomian that was (who afterwards joyned with others in making that wicked Book, called, The Interim) and his followers, deliver these Positions, That saying of Peter, Make your calling and election Page  40 sure, is dictum inutile, an unprofitable saying, and Peter did not understand Christian liberty. So again, As soon as thou once be∣ginnest to thinke, how men should live godlily and modestly, presently thou hast wandered from the Gospel. And again, The Law and works only belong to the Court of Rome. Then, on the other side, they lift them up so high, that, by reason of Christs righteous∣nesse imputed to us, they hold all our workes perfect, and so ap∣ply that place, Ephes. 1. Christs clensing his Church, so, as to be without spot or wrinkle, even pure in this life. They tell us not onely of a righteousnesse or justification by imputation, but also Saintship and holinesse by this obedience of Christ: And hence it is, that God seeth no sin in beleevers. This is a dange∣rous position: and, although they have Similies to illustrate, and distinctions to qualifie it; yet, when I speak of imputed righte∣ousnesse, there will be the proper place to shew the dangerous falshood of them.

3. You must, in the discourse you shall heare concerning the necessity of good works, carefully distinguish between these two Propositions: Good workes are necessary to beleevers, to justified persons, or to those that shall be saved; and this, Good works are neces∣sary to justification and salvation. Howsoever this later is true in some sense, yet, because the words carry as if holinesse had some effect immediately upon our justification and salvation, there∣fore I do wholly assent to those learned men, that think, in these two cases, we should not use such a Proposition: 1. When we deale with adversaries, especially Papists, in disputation; for then we ought to speak exactly: Therefore the Fathers would not use the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of the Virgin Mary, lest they should seem to yeeld to Nestorius, who denyed her to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The second case is in our sermons and exhortations to people; for, what common hearer is there, that, upon such a speech, doth not conceive that they are so necessary, as that they immediately work our justification? The former proposition holds them offices and duties in the persons justified; the other, as conditions effecting justification.

4. These good works ought to be done, or are necessary upon * these grounds: 1. They are the fruit and end of Christs death, Titus 2. 14. It's a full place: The Apostle there sheweth, that the Page  41 whole fruit and benefit of Christs redemption is lost by those that live not holily. There are two things in our sins: 1. The guilt, and that Christ doth redeem us from: 2. The filth, and that he doth purifie from: If Christ redeem thee from the guilt of thy lusts, hee will purifie thee from the noisomenesse of them. And mark a two-fold end of this purification, that we may be a peculiar people: This word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Hierome saith, he sought for among humane authours, and could not finde it: therefore some think the Seventy feigned this, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. It answers to the Hebrew word Segullah, and signifieth that which is precious and excel∣lent, got also with much labour: so that this holinesse, this re∣pentance of thine, it cost Christ deare. And the other effect is, zealous of good workes. The Greek Fathers observe, the Apostle doth not say followers, but zealous; that doth imply great ala∣crity and affection. And, lest men should think we should onely preach of Christ and grace; These things speak, (saith he) and ex∣hort: And Calvin thinketh the last words [Let no man despise thee] spoken to the people, because they are for the most part of delicate eares, and cannot abide plaine words of morti∣fication.

2. There is some kind of Analogicall relation between them and*heaven, comparatively with evill works. So those places, where it's said, If wee confesse our sins, he is not onely faithfull, but also just, to forgive us our iniquities: So 2 Tim. 4. 8. a Crowne of righteousnesse, which the righteous Judge, &c. These words doe not imply any condignity, or efficiency in the good things wee doe; but an or∣dinability of them to eternall life: so that evill and wicked workes, they cannot be ordained to everlasting life, but these may. Hence some Divines say, That though godlinesse be not meritorious, nor causall of salvation, yet it may be a motive: as they instance; If a King should give great preferment to one that should salute him in a morning, this salutation were neither meritorious, nor causall of that preferment, but a meer motive arising from the good pleasure of the King: And thus much they think that particle, for I was an hungry, doth imply. So that God, having appointed holinesse the way, and salvation the end, hence there ariseth a relation between one and the other.

Page  42 3. There is a promise made to them. 1 Tim. 4. 8. Godlinesse hath*the promises (as it is in the Originall;) because there are many promises scattered up and down in the Word of God: so that to every godly action thou doest, there is a promise of eternall life. And hereby, though God be not a debtor to thee, yet he is to himselfe, and to his owne faithfulnesse; Reddis debita, nulli debens, cryed Austine: so that the godly may say, Oh, Lord, it was free for thee before thou hadst promised, whether thou wouldst give me heaven or no; but now the word is out of thy mouth: not but that we deserve the contrary, onely the Lord is faithfull; therefore, saith David, I will mention thy righteous∣nesse, i. e. faithfulnesse, onely: and the Apostle, This is a faith∣full saying, and worthy of all acceptation. This made them labour, and suffer shame. If you aske, How then is not the Gospel a Covenant of workes? That in brief shall be answered after∣wards.

4. They are Testimonies whereby our election is made sure. 2 Pet. * 1. ver. 10. Make your calling and election sure. The Vulgar Trans∣lator interposeth those words [per bona opera,] and complaineth of Luther, as putting this out of the Text, because it made a∣gainst him, but it's no part of Scripture. Now observe the em∣phasis of the Apostle, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 first they must be very di∣ligent, and the rather (which is spoken ex abundanti) [to make their calling and election sure] What God doth in time, or what he hath decreed from eternity to us in love: [to make sure, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.] Estius and other Papists strive for firme, and not sure; and so indeed the word is sometimes used: but here the Apostle speaketh not of what it is in it selfe, but what it is to us, and the certainty thereof. And observe the Apostles motives for ma∣king our election sure; 1. Ye shall never faile: the word is used sometimes of grievous, and sometimes of lesser sins; but here hee meaneth such a failing, that a man shall not recover again. 2. An entrance shall be abundantly ministred into heaven. It's true, these are not testimonies without the Spirit of God.

5. They are a condition, without which a man cannot be saved. So that although a man cannot by the presence of them gather a * cause of his salvation; yet by the absence of them he may con∣clude his damnation: so that it is an inexcusable speech of the Page  43 Antinomian, Good works doe not profit us, nor bad hinder us; thus Islebius. Now the Scripture, how full is it to the contrary? Rom. 8. 13. If ye live after the flesh, ye shall dye. So, Except yee re∣pent, yee shall all likewise perish. Such places are so frequent, that it's a wonder an Antinomian can passe them all over, and al∣waies speak of those places which declare Gods grace to us, but not our duty to him. Without holinesse no man can see God: now, by the Antinomians argument, as a man may be justified while he is wicked, and doth abide so; so also he may be glorified and saved: for this is their principle, that, Christ hath purchased ju∣stification, glory, and salvation for us, even though sinners and enemies.

6. They are in their owne nature a defence against sinne and corru∣ption.* If we doe but consider the nature of these graces, though imperfect, yet that will pleade for the necessity of them. Eph. 6. 14, 16. There you have some graces a shield, and some a breast∣plate: now every souldier knoweth the necessity of these in time of war. It's true, the Apostle speaks of the might of the Lord, and prayer must be joyned to these; but yet the principall doth not oppose the instrumentall. Hence Rom. 13. they are called the weapons of the Light. It's Luthers observation, He doth not call the works of darknesse, the weapons of darknesse; but good works he doth call weapons, because we ought to use good works as weapons, quia bonis operibus debemus uti tanquam armis, to re∣sist Satan: and he calls them weapons of light, because they are from God, the fountaine of light; and because they are, accor∣ding to Scripture, the true light; although Drusius thinketh light is here used for victory, as Jud. 5. 31. Psal. 132. 17, 18. and so the word is used by Homer: and Marcellinus speaks of an an∣cient custome, when, at supper time, the children brought in the candles, they cryed, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

7. They are necessary by a naturall connexion with faith, and the*Spirit of God: Hence it's called faith which worketh by love. The Papist Lorinus thinketh we speak a contradiction, because some∣times wee say, faith only justifieth; sometimes, that unlesse our faith be working, it cannot justifie us: but here is no contradiction; for it's onely thus: Faith, which is a living faith, doth justifie, though not as it doth live; for faith hath two notable acts: Page  44 1. To apprehend and lay hold upon Christ, and thus it justifi∣eth. 2. To purifie and cleanse the heart, and to stirre up other graces, and thus it doth not: And thus Paul and James may be reconciled; for James brings that very passage to prove Abra∣ham was not justified by faith alone, which Paul brings to prove he was; because one intends to shew that his faith was a working faith; and the other, that that alone did concurre to justifie: and thus in this sense some learned men say, Good workes are necessary to preserve a man in the state of justification, although they doe not immediately concurre to that act: as in a man, al∣though his shoulders and breast do not concur immediatly to the act of seeing; yet if a mans eye and head were not knit to those parts, hee could not see: and so, though the fire doe not burne as it is light, yet it could not burn unlesse it were so; for it sup∣poseth then the subject would be destroyed. It's a saying of John Husse, Where good workes are not without, faith cannot be within, Ubi bona opera non apparent ad extra, ibi fides non est ad intra: Therefore, as Christ, while he remained the second Per∣son, was invisible, but when he was incarnated, then he became visible; so must thy faith be incarnated into works, and it must become flesh as it were.

8. They are necessary by debt and obligation: So that God by his * soveraignty might have commanded all obedience from man, though he should give him no reward of eternall life: Therefore Durand did well argue, that we cannot merit at Gods hand, be∣cause the more good wee are enabled to doe, wee are the more beholding to God. Hence it is, that we are his servants, Servus non est persona, sed res: and we are more servants to God, then the meerest slave can be to man; for, we have our being and power to work from him: And this obligation is so perpetuall and necessary, that no covenant of grace can abolish it; for, grace doth not destroy nature, gratia non destruit naturam.

9. By command of God. This is the will of God, your sanctificati∣on:* So that you may prove what is that good and acceptable will of God. And thus the Law of God still remaineth as a rule and di∣rectory: And thus Paul professed hee delighted in the Law of God in his inward man; and that place, Rom. 12. presseth our renovation, comparing us to a sacrifice, implying we are con∣secrated, Page  45 and set apart to him (a dog or a swine might not be offered to God:) And the word [Offer] doth imply our readi∣nesse and alacrity. He also addeth many epithets to the will of God, that so we may be moved to rejoyce in it. There is there∣fore no disputing or arguing against the will of God. If our Sa∣viour, Matth. 5. saith, He shall be least in the Kingdome of hea∣ven, that breaketh the least commandement; how much more inex∣cusable is the Antinomian, who teacheth the abolition of all of them?

10. They are necessary by way of comfort to our selves. And this * opposeth many Antinomian passages, who forbid us to take any peace by our holinesse. Now it's true, to take them so as to put confidence in them, to take comfort from them, as a cause, that cannot be; for, who can look upon any thing he doth with that boldnesse? It was a desperate speech of Panigarola a Papist (as Rivet relates) who called it folly to put confidence onely in Christs bloud. We know no godly man satisfieth his own heart in any thing he doth, much lesse can hee the will of God. Wee cannot at the same time say, Lord, forgive me, and, Pay me what thou owest; yet these good works, though imperfect, may be a great comfort unto us, as the testimony of Gods eternall love to us. Thus did Hezekiah, 2 Kings 20. 3. Hezekiah is not there a proud Pharisee, but a thankfull acknowledger of what is in him: and some consider, that this temptation might fall upon Hezekiah, that when he had laboured to demolish all those su∣perstitions, and now became dangerously sick that hee had not done well; therefore he comforts himselfe in his heart, that hee did those things with, not that he meant an absolute perfect heart, but a sincere, and comparatively perfect. Hence it's obser∣ved, the word I have walked, is in Hiphil, I have made my selfe to walke; implying the dulnesse, and sluggishnesse, and aversnesse he found in his heart to that duty: so that prayer being, as one calls it well, Speculum animi, the soules glasse, you may gather what was a comfort to him. Thus Paul, 2 Tim. 4. I have fought a good fight, &c. It is true, those words, A crown of Righteous∣nesse, The just Judge, and Render, doe not prove any merits in Paul, as the Papists plead; but yet Paul declareth this, to keep up his heart against all discouragements. We are not therefore to Page  46 take comfort from them, so as to rest in them; but so as to praise God thereby. It's a good way, nesciendo scire, that so wee may praise God for them; and, sciendo nescire, that so we may be hum∣ble in our selves.

11. They are necessary in respect of God, both in that hee is hereby*pleased, and also glorified. When we say, They are necessary in respect of God, we understand it declaratively, to set forth his glory; for, when God is said to be the end of all our actions and goodnesse, he is not finis indigentiae, an end that needs them; but finis assi∣milationis, an end that perfects those things, in making them like him: Now two waies they relate to God; 1. God is hereby pleased; so the Apostle, Hebr. 13. Hee is well pleased: So that as Leah, though blear eyed, yet, when shee was fruitfull in chil∣dren, said, Now my husband will love me; so may Faith say, Now God will love me, when it abounds in the fruits of righteous∣nesse; for, our godly actions please God, though imperfect; onely the ground is, because our persons were first reconciled with God. Secondly, they referre to God, so as to glorifie him; as his name is blasphemed, when we walke in all wickednesse. It's true, it's Gods grace to account of this as his glory, seeing it's so defective.

12. They are necessary in regard of others. Matth. 5. 17. Let your*light shine before men. Hee doth not there encourage vain-glory, but he propounds the true end of our visible holinesse; for god∣linesse, being light, it ought not to be under a bushell. Hence, both in the Tabernacle and Temple, the light was placed in the midst; and it ought to extend to others, that hereby they may glorifie God in heaven: As, when we see an excellent picture, we doe not praise that so much, as the Artificer who made it. Wee ought so to walk, that men should glorifie God, who hath made us so heavenly, so humble, so mortified. Hierome said of Austin, that he did diligere Christum habitantem in Augustino; so ought we to walk, that others may love Christ dwelling in us. 1 Pet. 3. 1. it's an exhortation to wives, so to walke, that their husbands may be won to the Lord. Thou prayest for thy husband in a car∣nall condition, thou wouldst have him go heare such a Minister, and such Sermons; see that thy life also may convert him. The Apostle by the phrase, without the word, meaneth the publique Page  47 preaching; so that the wives life may preach to him all the day: and that same phrase, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, doth imply, 1. the great price that every mans soule is worth; 2. the delight that they ought to take in converting of others, even the same that merchants doe in their trade.

13. Holinesse and godlinesse inherent is the end of our faith and ju∣stification:* and that is the meaning of our Divines, who say, Charity, or Love of God is the end of faith, because God hath appointed this way of justification by faith, till he hath brought us into eternall glory, and there we have perfect inherent holi∣nesse, though even then the glory and honour of all that shall be given to Christ. Now, indeed, it hath pleased God to take another way for our acceptation, then shall be hereafter; not but that God might, if he had pleased, have given us such a mea∣sure of grace inherent, whereby we might have obtained eternall life, being without sin, and conformable to his will: but this way hath pleased his wisdome, that so Christ and Grace may be exalted, and wee for our sins debased in our selves. Therefore good is that of Anselme, Terret me tota vita mea; namapparet mihi aut peccatum, aut tota sterilitas: My whole life terrifieth me, for I see nothing but sin, or barrennesse. Only this may make for the excellency of Sanctification, that therefore is Christ, and Grace, and Justification, and all, that at last we may be made perfectly holy.

Now some Divines have gone further, but I cannot goe along with them: As, 1. Those that doe give them causality and effici∣encie of our justification and salvation: And, if they should use the word Efficiency in a large sense, it might be true, but dange∣rous: but otherwise, to take Efficient strictly, they cannot; for so was the covenant of works at first. Adams obedience would not have meritoriously, but efficiently procured his happinesse. Hence, by the Apostle, faith is not included as works are rejected, for they are rejected as efficients of our salvation; but faith is included as the instrumentall and passive receiving of it.

2. Some learned men have said, Though good works doe not merit eternall life, for that is wholly purchased by Christs death; yet, say they, accidentall degrees of glory our godlinesse Page  48 may obtaine: but that is not safe; for, first, it's questioned by some, whether there be such degrees at all, or no; but grant it, yet even that must be of grace as well as others.

Lastly, some hold our temporall mercies to come to us by a covenant of workes, but not our spirituall: this also is hard; for, we may have these good things either by Christ, or else by the forbearance of God, who doth not take the advantage a∣gainst us for our sins.

I shall say no more of this, then by answering a main doubt.

Object. If good workes be still necessarily requisite, why then is not the covenant of grace still a covenant of works: not as at first in Adam, when they were to be perfect and entire; but by grace, pardoning the imperfection of them, in which sense the Arminians affirme it?

Answ. Although good workes be requisite in the man justi∣fied or saved, yet it's not a Covenant of workes, but faith: and the reason is, because faith only is the instrument that receiveth justification and eternall life; and good workes are to qualifie the subject beleeving, but not the instrument to receive the co∣venant: so that faith onely is the condition that doth receive the covenant, but yet that a man beleeve, is required the change of the whole man; and that faith onely hath such a receiving nature, shall be proved hereafter (God willing).

Use. Of exhortation, to take heed, you turne not the grace of God into licentiousnesse: suspect all doctrines that teach com∣fort, but not duty; labour indeed to be a spirituall Anatomist, dividing between having godlinesse, and trusting in it: but take heed of Separating Sanctification from Justification. Be not a Pharisee, nor yet a Publican: so that I shall exhort thee at this time, not against the Antinomianisme in thy judgement onely, but in thine heart also. As Luther said, Every man hath a Pope in his belly; so every man an Antinomian. Paul found his flesh rebelling against the Law of God, reconcile the Law and the Gospel, Justification and Holinesse. Follow holinesse as earnestly, as if thou hadst nothing to help thee but that; and yet rely upon Christs merits as fully, as if thou hadst no ho∣linesse at all. And what though thy intent be onely to set up Page  49 Christ and Grace, yet a corrupted opinion may soon corrupt a mans life; as rheume, falling from the head, doth putrefie the lungs, and other vitall parts.


1 Tim. 1. 9.
Knowing this, that the Law is not made for a righteous man.

WE are at this time to demolish one of the strongest holds that the Adversary hath: For, it may be supposed, that the eighth verse cannot be so much against them, as the ninth is for them: therefore Austin observeth well, The Apostle (saith he) joyning two things, as it were contrary, together, doth monere & movere, both admonish and provoke the Reader to finde out the true answer to this question, how both of them can be true. We must there∣fore say to these places, as Moses did to the two Israelites fight∣ing, Why fall you out, seeing you are brethren? Austin improveth the objection thus, If the Law be good, when used lawfully, and none but the righteous man can use it lawfully, how then should it not be but to him, who onely can make the true use of it? Therefore, for the better understanding of these words, let us consider, who they are that are said to know: and secondly, what is said to be knowne.

The subject knowing is here in this Verse in the singular number, in the Verse before in the plurall: it's therefore doubted, whether this be affirmed of the same persons or no. Some Expo∣sitors thinke those in the eighth, and these in the ninth, are the same, and that the Apostle doth change the number from the plurall to the singular; which is very frequent in Scripture: as, Galat. 6. 1. Others (as Salmeron) make a mysticall reason in the changing, Because (saith he) there are but few that know the Law is not made for the righteous, therefore he speaketh in the singular number. There is a second kind of Interpreters, and they do not make this spoken of the same, but understand this word, as a qualification of him that doth rightly use the Law: Thus, Page  50The Law is good, if a man use it lawfully; and he useth it lawfully, that knoweth it's not made for the righteous. Which of these interpretations you take is not much materiall: onely this is good to observe, that the Apostle, using these words, We know, and Knowing, doth imply, what understanding all Christians ought to have in the nature of the Law.

Secondly, let us consider, what Law he here speaks of. Some have understood it of the ceremoniall Law, because of Christs death that was to be abolished, and because all the ceremonies of the Law were convictions of sinnes, and hand-writings against those that used them: But this cannot be; for circumcision was commanded to Abraham a righteous man, and so to all the god∣ly under the Old Testament: and the persons, who are opposed to the righteous man, are such, who transgresse the Morall Law. Others, that do understand it of the Morall Law, apply it to the repetition and renovation of it by Moses: for, the Law being at first made to Adam upon his fall, wickednesse by degrees did arise to such an height, that the Law was added because of trans∣gressions, as Paul speaketh: But we may understand it of the Mo∣rall Law generally; onely take notice of this, that the Apostle doth not here undertake a theologicall handling of the use of the Law, (for that he doth in other places) but he brings it in as a generall sentence to be accommodated to his particular mean∣ing concerning the righteous man here. We must not interpret it of one absolutely righteous, but one that is so quoad conatum and desiderium; for the people of God are called righteous, because of the righteousnesse that is in them, although they be not justified by it. The Antinomian and Papist doe both concurre in this er∣rour, though upon different grounds, that our righteousness and works are perfect, and therefore do apply those places; A people without spot or wrinkle, &c. to the people of God in this life, and that not onely in justification, but in sanctification also. As (saith the Antinomian) in a dark dungeon, when the doore is opened, and the sun-light come in, though that be dark in it self, yet it is made all light by the sun: Or, As water in a red glasse, though that be not red, yet, by reason of the glasse, it lookes all red: so though we be filthy in our selves, yet all that God seeth in us looks as Christs, not onely in Justifi∣cation, but Sanctification. This is to be confuted hereafter.

Page  51 Thirdly, let us take notice how the Antinomian explaineth this place, and what he meanes by this Text. The old Antinomian, Islebius Agricola, states the question thus: Whether the Law be to a righteous man as a teacher, ruler, commander, and requirer of obedi∣ence actively: Or, Whether the righteous man doth indeed the works of the Law, but that is passivè; the Law is wrought by him, but the Law doth not work on him. So then, the question is not, Whether the things of the Law be done, (for they say the righteous man is active to the Law, and not that to him) but, Whether, when these things are done, they are done by a godly man, admonished, instructed, and commanded by the Law of God: And this they deny. As for the later Antinomian, he speaketh very uncertainly, and incon∣sistently: Sometimes he grants the Law is a Rule, but very hard∣ly and seldome; then presently kicketh all down again: For, saith he, it cannot be conceived that it should rule, but also it should reigne; and therefore think it impossible, that one act of the Law should be without the other. The damnatory power of the Law is inseparable from it: Can you put your conscience under the mandatory power, and yet keep it from the damnatory? (Assertion of Grace page 33. Again, the same Author, page 31.) If it be true that the Law cannot condemne, it is no more a Law, saith Luther. I say not that you have dealt as uncourteously with the Law, as did that King with Davids servants, who cut off their garments by the midst: but you have done worse, for even, Joab-like, under friendly words, you have destroyed the life and soule of the Law. You can as well take your Appendices from the Law, as you terme them, and yet let it remain a true Law; as you can take the brains and heart of a man, and yet leave him a man still. By this it appeareth, that if the Law doth not curse a man, neither can it command a man, according to their opinion. The same Author again, pag. 5. He dare not trust a beleever to walk without his keeper [the Law,] as if he judged no otherwise of him then of a ma∣lefactor in Newgate, who would kill and rob if his Jaylor were not with him: Thus they are onely kept within the compasse of the Law, but are not keepers of it. Yet, at another time, the same Author calls it a slander, to say, that they deny the Law. Now, who can re∣concile these contradictions? Nor is this shufling and uncer∣tainty any new thing; for the old and first Antinomian did ma∣ny Page  52 times promise amendment, and yet afterwards fell to his er∣rour again; after that he condemned his errour, and recanted his errour in a publike Auditory, and printed his revocation, yet, when Luther was dead, hee relapsed into that errour: so hard a thing it is to get poison out, when it's once swallowed downe.

In the fourth place we come to lay downe those things that may cleare the meaning of the Apostle: and first know, that hu∣mane Authors, who yet have acknowledged the help of precepts, doe speak thus much of a righteous man, onely to shew this, that he doth that which is righteous, for love of righteousnesse, not for feare of punishment: As Aquinas said of his love to God, Amo, quia amo; & amo, ut amem. Thus Seneca, Ad Legem esse bonum exiguum est: It's a poore small thing to be good onely according to the law. And so Aristotle, lib. 3. Polit. cap. 9. sheweth how a righteous man would be good, though there were no law; as they say of a Magistrate, he ought to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a living law. Thus Socrates said of the Civill Law, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 And Plato, Polit. 3. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, It is not fit to command or make lawes for those that are good. These Sayings are not altogether true, yet they have some kinde of truth in them. Hence it was that Antisthenes said, A wise man was not bound by any lawes: And Demonax told a Lawyer, that all their lawes would come to nothing; for good men did not need them, and wicked men would not be the better for them. And as the Heathens have said thus, so the Fathers: Hierome, What needs the Law say to a righteous man, Thou shalt not kill, to whom it's not permitted to be angry? Yet we see David, though a righteous man, needed this precept. But especially Chrysostome, even from these words, doth wonderfully hyperbolize, A righteous man needs not the Law, no not teaching or admonishing; yea, he disdaines to be warned by it, he doth not wait or stay to learn of it. As therefore a Musician or Gram∣marian, that hath these arts within him, scorns the Grammar, or to go to look to the rules; so doth a righteous man. Now these are but hyperbole's; for what godly man is there, that needs not the Word as a light, that needs it not as a goad? Indeed, in hea∣ven the godly shall not need the Law; no more shall they the Gospel, or the whole Word of God.

Page  53 2. There are three interpretations which come very neere one another, and all doe well help to the clearing of the Apostle. 1. Some learned men lay an emphasis in the word [Made]〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. It is not made to a godly man as a burden, he hath a love and a de∣light * in it; Lex est posita, sed non imposita: He doth not say, Justi non habent legem, aut sunt sine lege; sed non imminet eis tanquam flagellum, it's not like a whip to them. The wicked wish there were no Law, and cry out as he, Utinam hoc esset non peccare! The righteous man is rather in the Law, then under it. It's true, the word [〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉] in the generall doth signifie no more then to lye, or be, or is; therefore, in Athenaeus, Ulpianus was called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, because of his frequent questions, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; where such or such a word might be found: but yet sometimes it signifieth to be laid to a thing, as to destroy it; so Matth. 3. 10. The axe is laid to the root of the tree,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the originall, and so 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is for as much as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, posita for opposita, as we say positus obex. Now this is to be understood so farre forth as he is righteous, otherwise the things of God are many times a burden to a godly man. Let us not oppose then the works of the Law, and the works of the Spirit, Grace and Gospel; for the same actions are the works of the Law ratione objecti, in respect of the object; and the works of the Spirit ratione efficientis, in respect of the efficient. Indeed the Scripture opposeth Grace and Works, and Faith and Works, but in a clean other sense then the Antinomian, in time is to be shewed.

The second interpretation is of the damnatory and cursing part * of the Law: The Law is not made to the beleever so, as he should abide under the cursing, and condemning power of it: and in this sense we are frequently denied to be under the Law. It's true, the godly are under the desert of the curse of the Law, but not the actuall curse, and condemnation: Nor doth it therefore follow, that there is no Law, because it doth not curse; for it's a good rule in Divinity, à remotione actûs secundi in subjecto impediti, non valet argumentum ad remotionem actûs primi; from the removall of an act or operation, the argument doth not hold to the re∣moving of the thing it self: as it did not follow, The fire did not burn the three Worthies, therefore there was no fire; God Page  54 did hinder the act: And if that could be in naturall agents, which work naturally, how much rather in morall causes, such as the Law is of condemnation, which works according to the appointment of God? So then the Law is not to curse or con∣demne the righteous man.

The last interpretation is, that the Law was not made because of righteous men, but unrighteous. Had Adam continued in inno∣cency, * there had not been such a solemne declaration of Moses his Law; for it had been graven in their hearts: Therefore, though God gave a positive law to Adam, for the tryall of his obedi∣ence, and to shew his homage; yet he did not give the Morall Law to him by outward prescript, though it was given to him in another sense: and so the phrase shall be like that Proverb, E malis moribus bonae leges nascuntur, Good lawes arise from evil manners: And certainly lawes, in the restraining and changing power of them upon the lives of men, are not for such who are already holy, but those that need to be made holy; and so it may be like that of our Saviour in a sense which some explaine it in, I come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. By re∣pentance they meane conversion, and by the righteous, not Phari∣sees, but such as are already converted. Thus Tacitus Annal. 15. Usu probatum est leges egregias ex aliorum delictis gigni, &c. Nam culpa quam poena, tempore prior; emendari quam peccare posterius est; excellent Lawes are made, because of other mens delinquencies; The fault goeth before the punishment, and sinne before the amendment.

Now that these interpretations, much agreeing in one, may the better be assented to, consider some parallel places of Scri∣pture: Galat. 5. 23. speaking of the fruits of the spirit, Against such there is no law; The Law was not made to these, to con∣demne them, or accuse them: so that what is said of the actions and graces of the godly, may be applyed to the godly them∣selves. You may take another parallel, Rom. 13. 3. Rulers are not a terrour to good works, but to evil: Wouldst thou not be afraid of them? doe no evil. And thus the Apostle, to shew how the grace of love was wrought in the Thessalonians hearts, I need not (saith he) write to you to love, for you have been taught of God to Page  55 doe this: His very saying, I need not write, was a writing; so that these expressions doe hold forth no more, then that the godly, so farre as they are regenerate, doe delight in the Law of God, and it is not a terrour to them. And if because the godly have an ingenuous free spirit to doe what is good, he need not the Law directing or regulating; it would follow as well, he needed not the whole Scripture, he needed not the Gospel that calls upon him to beleeve, because faith is im∣planted in his heart. This rock cannot be avoided: And there∣fore upon this ground, because the godly are made holy in themselves, the Swencfeldians did deny the whole Scripture to be needfull to a man that hath the Spirit: And that which the Antinomian doth limit to the Law, It is a killing letter, they ap∣ply to the whole Scripture; and I cannot see how they can escape this argument. Hence Chrysostome that spake so hyperbo∣lically about the Law, speaks as high about the Scriptures them∣selves, We ought to have the Word of God engraven in our hearts so, that there should be no need of Scripture: And Austin speakes of some, that had attained to such holinesse that they lived without a Bible. Now who doth not see what a damnable and dangerous position this would be?

That the Law must needs have a directive, regulating, and in∣forming power over a godly man, will appeare in these two par∣ticulars:

1. We cannot discerne the true worship of God from superstition*and idolatry, but by the first and second Commandement. It is true, many places in Scripture speak against false worship, but to know when it is a false worship, the second Commandement is a speciall director. How do the orthodox Writers prove Images unlawfull? how do they prove that the setting up any part or meanes of worship which the Lord hath not commanded is unlawfull, but by the second Commandement? And, certain∣ly, the want of exact knowledge in the latitude of this Com∣mandement brought in all idolatry and superstition. And we shall shew you (God willing, in time) that the Decalogue is not onely Moses his ten Commandements, but it's Christs ten Commandements, and the Apostles ten Commandements as well as his.

Page  56 2. Another instance at this time is, in comparing the depth of*the Law, and the depth of our sinne together. There is a great deale more spirituall excellency and holinesse commanded in the Law of God, the Decalogue, then we can reach unto: Therefore we are to study into it more and more: Open mine eyes, that I may understand the wonderfull things of thy Law; thus David prayeth, though godly, and his eyes were in a great measure opened by the Spirit of God. And as there is a depth in the Law, so a depth in our originall and native sin: There is a great deale more filth in us, then we can or doe discover, Psal. 19. Who can understand his errours? Cleanse me from secret sins. Therefore, there being such a world of filth in thy carnall heart, what need is there of the spi∣rituall and holy Law, to make thee see thy self thus polluted and abominable? Certainly, a godly man groweth partly by disco∣vering that pride, that deadnesse, that filth in his soule he never thought of, or was acquainted with.

The practicall use that is to be made of this Scripture ex∣plained, is, to pray and labour for such a free heavenly heart, that the Law of God, and all the precepts of it may not be a terrour to you, but sweetnesse and delight. Oh how I love thy Law! cry∣eth David; he could not expresse it. And again, My soul break∣eth in the longing after thy judgements. In another place, he and Job do account of them above their necessary food; you do not hale and drag an hungry or thirsty man to his bread and water: I doe not speak this, but that it's lawfull to eye the reward, as Moses and Christ did; yea, and to fear God: for who can think that the Scripture, using these motives, would stirre up in us sinfull and unlawfull affections? but yet such ought to be the filiall and son-like affections to God and his will, that we ought to love and delight in his Commandements, because they are his; as the poore son loveth his father, though he hath no lord∣ship or rich inheritance to give him.

There is this difference between a free and violent motion: a free motion is that which is done for its own selfe sake; a vio∣lent is that which cometh from an outward principle, the pati∣ent helping it not forward at all: Let not, to pray, to beleeve, to love God, be violent motions in you. Where faith worketh by love, this maketh all duties relish, thsi overcometh all diffi∣culties. Page  57 The Lacedemonians, when they went to war, did sacri∣fice to Love, because love only could make hardship, and wounds, and death it selfe easie. Doe thou therefore pray, that the love of God may be shed abroad in thine heart; and consider these two things: 1. How the Law laid upon Christ to dye, and suffer for thee, was not a burthen or terrour to him. How doth he wit∣nesse this by crying out, With desire I have desired to drink of this cup? Think with thy self, If Christ had been as unwilling to die for me, as I to pray to him, to be patient, to be holy, what had become of my soule? If Christ therefore said of that Law, to be a Mediatour for thee, Lo, I come to doe thy will, O God, thy Law is within mine heart; how much rather ought this to be true of thee in any thing thou shalt doe for him? Thou hast not so much to part with for him, as he for thee. What is thy life and wealth to the glory of his God-head, which was laid aside for a while? And then secondly, consider how that men love lusts for lusts sake, they love the world because of the world. Now evill is not so much evill, as good is good; sin is not so much sin, as God is God, and Christ is Christ. If therefore a profane man, because of his carnall heart, can love his sin, though it cost him hell, because of the sweetnesse in it; shall not the godly heart love the things of God, because of the excellency in them? But these things may be more enlarged in another place.


ROM. 2. 14, 15.
For when the Gentiles which know not the law, do the things of the law by nature, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts.

BEfore I handle the other places of Scripture that are brought by the Antinomians against the Law, it is my intent, for better methods sake, and your more sound instruction, to handle Page  58 the whole Theology of the Law of God in the severall distribu∣tions of it, and that positively, controversally, and practically; and I shall begin first with the law of Nature, that God hath im∣printed in us, and consider of this two waies: 1. As it is a meere law; and secondly, As it was a covenant of works made with A∣dam: And then in time I shall speak of the Morall Law given Moses, which is the proper subject of these controversies.

The Text I have read is a golden Mine, and deserveth dili∣gent digging and searching into: Therefore, for the better understanding of these words, let us answer these Questions:

1. Who are meant by the Gentiles here? It is ordinarily known, * that the Jewes did call all those Gentiles that were not Jewes, by way of contempt; as the Greeks and Romans called all other nations Barbarians. Hence sometimes in the Scripture the word is applyed to wicked men, though Jewes: as, Psal. 2. Why doe the heathen rage? It may be interpreted of the Pharisees resisting Christ. Indeed, the Jewes will not confesse, that the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Gentes, is any where applyed to them: but this is very false, for Genes. 17. Abraham is there said to be the father of many nations, (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Gentes:) therefore they must either deny themselves to be Abraham's seed, or else acknowledge this word belonging to them. But generally it signifieth those that had not the Lawes of Moses, nor did live by them. Therefore Gal. 2. 14. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to live like a Gentile, is, not to observe the Lawes of Moses: and in this sense it is to be taken here; for the Apostles scope is to make good that great charge upon all mankinde, both Jew and Gentile, that naturally they are wholly in sin; and God, being no accepter of persons, will destroy the one as well as the other. And whereas it might be thought very hard to deale thus with the Gentile, because no law was delivered unto him, as unto the Jew, the Apostle answereth that Objection in this place. But grant it be understood of such Gentiles, then there is a greater Question whether it be meant of the Gentiles abiding so, or the Gentiles converted and turned beleevers; for, that the Apostle speaks of such, most of the Latine Interpreters, both ancient and modern, doe affirme: and so the Greek Father, Chrysostome, and Estius, a learned Papist, doe think there are so many arguments for it, that it's certaine. I confesse, they bring many probable Page  59 reasons; but I will not trouble you with them: this seemeth a strong argument against them, because the Apostle speaks of such who are without a law, and a law to themselves, which could not be true of Gentiles converted: we take the Apostle therefore to speak of Gentiles abiding so; but in this sense there is also a dangerous exposition and a sound one. The poysonous interpretation is of the Pelagians, who understand the law written in their hearts, in the same sense as it is used, Jerem. 33. even such a fulfilling of the law which will attaine to salvation; and this they hold the Heathens by the law and help of nature did sufficiently: But this is to overthrow the doctrine of Grace and Christ. Therefore the sound interpretation is of the Gentiles indeed, but yet to under∣stand the law written in their hearts, onely of those relicts of na∣turall reason and conscience, which was in the Heathens, as is to be proved anon.

The 2d. Question is easily answered, How they are said to be*without a law; to wit, without a written law, as the Jewes had; so that we may say, they had a law without a law; a law writ∣ten, but not declared.

The 3d. Question, In what sense they are said to doe the things of*the law, and that by nature. To doe the things of the law is not meant universally of all the Heathens, for the Apostle shewed how most of them lived in the Chapter before: nor secondly u∣niversally in regard of the matter contained in the law, but some externall acts, as Aristides and Socrates, with others. And here it's disputed, Whether a meere Heathen can doe any work morally good? But wee answer, No: for every action ought to have a supernaturall end, viz. the glory of God, which they did not aime at; therefore we do refuse that distinction of a morall good,* and theologicall, because every morall good ought to be theolo∣gicall: they may do that good matter of the law, though not well. And as for the manner how, by nature; those Interpreters that understand this Text of Gentiles beleevers, say, Nature is not here opposed to Grace, but to the law written by Moses; and therefore make it nature enabled by grace: but this is shewed to be improbable. By nature therefore we may understand that na∣turall * light of conscience, whereby they judged and performed Page  60 some externall acts, though these were done by the help of God.

The next Question is, How this Law is said to be written in their hearts? You must not, with Austine, compare this place with that gracious promise in Jeremy, of God writing his law in the hearts of his people. There is therefore a two-fold writing in the*hearts of men; the first, of knowledge and judgement, whereby they apprehend what is good and bad: the second is in the will and affections, by giving a propenfity and delight, with some measure of strength, to do this upon good grounds. This later is spoken of by the Prophet in the covenant of Grace, and the for∣mer is to be understood here, as will appeare, if you compare this with Chap. 1. 19.

The last Question is, How they declare this Law written in their*hearts? And that is first externally, two waies: 1. By making good and wholesome lawes to govern men by; and 2. By their practice, at least of some of them, according to those lawes: And secondly internally, by their consciences, in the comfort or feare they had there.

Observat. There is a law of Nature written in mens hearts. And if this be not abolished, but that a beleever is bound to follow the direction and obligation of it, how can the Antinomian think that the Morall Law, in respect of the mandatory power of it, ceaseth? Now, because I intend a methodicall Tractate of the severall kindes of Gods Law, you might expect I should say much about Lawes in generall; but because many have writ∣ten large Volumes, especially the School-men, and it cannot be denyed but that good rationall matter is delivered by them; yet, because it would not be so pertinent to my scope, I forbeare. I will not therefore examine the Etymology of the words that signifie a Law; whether Lex in the Latine come of legendo be∣cause it was written to be read (though that be not alwaies ne∣cessary;) or of ligando, because a law binds to obedience; or of deligendo, because it selects some precepts: nor concerning 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the Greek, whether it come of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is improbable; or of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, because it distributes to every one that which is right: neither the Hebrew word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which some make to Page  61 come of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to instruct and teach; others of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that signifieth a disposition, or compiling of things together as lawes use to be. In the next place, I will not trouble you with the defi∣nition of a law, whether it be an act, or habit, or the soul it selfe: onely this is good to take notice of, against a fundamen∣tall errour of the Antinomian, about a law in generall; for they conceive it impossible but that the damning act of a law must be where the commanding act of a law is, and this is fre∣quently urged (as I shewed the last time:) Therefore observe, that there are only two things goe to the essence of a law, (I speak not of externall causes) and that is, first, Direction, secondly, Ob∣ligation: 1. Direction, therefore a law is a rule; hence the law of God is compared to a light. And, Prov. 20. 27. there is a notable expression of the law of Nature, It's a candle of the Lord, searching the inwards of the belly. So it is observed, that the Chaldee word for a law, is as much as light. The second essentiall constitute of a law is, Obligation, for therein lyeth the essence of a sinne, that it breaketh this law, which supposeth the obligatory force of it. In the next place there are two Consequents of the Law which are ad bene esse, that the Law may be the better obeyed; and this indeed turneth the law into a covenant, which is another notion upon it, as afterwards is to be shewn. Now as for the sanction of the law by way of a promise, that is a meere free thing; God, by reason of that dominion which he had over man, might have commanded his obedience, and yet never have made a promise of eternall life unto him. And as for the other consequent act of the law, to curse, and punish, this is but an ac∣cidentall act, and not necessary to a law; for it cometh in upon supposition of trangression: and therefore, as we may say of a Magistrate, He was a just and compleat Magistrate for his time, though he put forth no punitive justice, if there be no malefa∣ctors offending; so it is about a law, a law is a compleat law ob∣lieging, though it do not actually curse: as in the confirmed Angels, it never had any more then obligatory, and mandatory acts upon them; for that they were under a law is plaine, because otherwise they could not have sinned, for where there is no law, there is no transgression. If therefore the Antinomian were recti∣fied * in this principle, which is very true and plain, he would Page  62 quickly be satisfied: but of this more in another place. But wee come to the particulars of the doctrine, the pressing of which will serve much against the Antinomian. Therefore, for the better understanding of this Law of Nature, consider these par∣ticulars:

1. The nature of it in which it doth consist, and that is in those common notions and maximes, which are ingraffed in all mens * hearts: and these are some of them speculative, that there is a God; and some practicall, that good is to be imbraced, and evill to be avoided: and therefore Aquinas saith well, that what prin∣ciples of Sciences are in things of demonstration, the same are these rules of nature in practicals: therefore we cannot give any reasons of them; but, as the Sun manifests it selfe by its owne light, so doe these. Hence Chrysostome observeth well, that God, forbid∣ding murder, and other sins, giveth no reason of it, because it's naturall: but, speaking of the seventh day, why that in particu∣lar was to be observed, he giveth a reason, because on the seventh day the Lord rested, not but that the seventh day is morall, (as some have denyed.) but because it's not morall naturall, onely morall positive, as the Learned shew.

2. The difference of its being in Adam and in us. This is neces∣sary * to observe; for it was perfectly implanted in Adams heart, but we have onely some fragments, and a meere shadow of it left in us. The whole Law of Nature, as it was perfectly instructing us the will of God, was then communicated to him: and how∣soever God, for good reasons hereafter to be mentioned, did give, besides that law of Nature, a positive law to try his obedi∣ence; yet the other cannot be denyed to be in him, seeing he was made after Gods image, in righteousnesse, and holinesse, and otherwise Adam had been destitute of the light of reason, and without a conscience. Therefore it's a most impudent thing in Socinus, to deny that Adam had any such law or precept, and that hee could not lye, or commit any other sin though hee would; for, it may not be doubted, but that if Adam had told a lye, or the like, it had been a sin, as well as to eate of the for∣bidden * fruit.

3. The naturall impression of it in us. We have it by nature; it's not a superadded work of God to put this into us. This asser∣tion Page  63 is much opposed by Flaccus Illyricus, who, out of his vehe∣ment desire to aggravate originall sin in us, and to shew how destitute we are of the image of God, doth labour to shew, that those common notions and dictates of conscience are infused de novo into us, and that wee have none of these by nature in us. And a godly man, in his Book of Temptations, holdeth the same opinion. Illyricus indeed hath many probable arguments for his opinion, but he goeth upon a false supposition, that the A∣postle his scope is, to compare a Gentile supposed onely to doe the Law, and not asserted to doe it, before a Jew who was an hearer of the Law, but not a doer of it: therefore, to debase the Jew, he saith, the Apostle speaketh conditionally, to this purpose, If an Heathen should keep the Law, though he be not cir∣cumcised, yet he would be preferred before you; not (saith he) that the Apostle meaneth assertively and positively that any such doe: and therefore presseth the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is a particle of the Sub∣junctive Mood, and is equivalent to 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, If the Gentiles, &c. But his supposition is false; for the Apostle's scope is, to shew that the Gentile hath no excuse if God condemne him, because hee hath a law in himselfe: as appeareth, verse 12. As for the other consideration of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, though Erasmus render it [cum fecerint;] yet that particle is applied to the Indicative Mood, as well as the Subjunctive. It cannot therefore be true, which hee saith, that the Apostle speaketh such great things of men by nature, that if they were true, it would necessarily justifie all Pelagia∣nisme. I shall not speak of his many arguments against naturall principles and knowledge of a God; for he doth in effect at last yeeld to it.

4. The extent of it. And here it's very hard to measure out the bounds of the law of Nature; for, some have judged that to be condemned by the law of Nature, which others have thought the law of Nature approveth: so true is that of Tertullian, Le∣gem Naturae opiniones suas vocant, They call their opinions the law of Nature. There are foure waies of bounding this law.

1. Some make it those generall things, wherein man and beast agree;* as, defence of it self, and desire of life: but by this meanes, that of naturall honesty and righteousnesse would be excluded; for, a beast is not capable of any sin, or obligation by a law. And Page  64 howsoever that be much disputed upon, Why God would have the beast killed that killed a man; yet, to omit the thoughts of many about it, that was not because a beast could be tyed by a law: but God, to shew the horridnesse of the fact, would have the very instrument punished.

2. Some bound it by the custome of Nations, that is, jus Gentium; but that is so diversified, that a sin with some was a vertue with others.

3. Some doe bind it by reason in every man: but this is very un∣certaine, and one mans reason is contrary to anothers, and one mans conscience is larger then anothers; even as it is with mea∣sures in divers countries, though they have the same name, as a bushell, &c. yet they are different in quantity, one is larger then another.

Lastly, Others bound it by the will of God, declared and manifested first to Noah in seven precepts, and afterwards to Moses in the ten Commandements: but these extend the law of Nature not onely to first principles, but conclusions also deduced from thence.

5. The obligation of it, when the law of Nature doth bind: And * that is from God the authour of it, God onely is under no law. Every beleever, though justified by Christ, is under the Morall Law of Moses, as also the law of Nature: but now this law of Nature doth not so properly bind, as it's mans reason or con∣science, as that it is the Vicegerent of God, or a command from him: and thus Cain by the law of Nature found a tye upon him not to sin, and guilt because he did sin in murdering his bro∣ther, although there was no Morall Law as yet given. It is true, indeed, our Divines doe well reprove the Papists, for calling all that time from Adam to Moses, a state, or law of Nature: and this the Papists doe, that therefore to offer sacrifice unto God may be proved from the law of Nature; whereas those sacrifices, being done in faith, had the word of God, otherwise we were bound still to offer Lambs or Kids to God, which they deny.

6. The perpetuity of this obligation. This Law can never be ab∣rogated. * And herein we may demand of the Antinomian, Whe∣ther the law of Nature doe bind a beleever, or no? Whether he be bound to obey the dictates of his naturall conscience? Sup∣pose a beleever hath his naturall conscience dictating to him, Page  65 This sin he may not doe; is he not obliged hereunto not onely from the matter (for that he grants,) but as it is a law and com∣mand of God implanted in his soule? I know there is a diffe∣rence between the law of Nature, and the ten Commandements, as may be shewed hereafter; but yet they agree in this, that they are a rule immutable, and of perpetuall obligation. Therefore think not, that because he dyed to free you from the curse of the Law, that therefore you are freed from the obedience unto the law naturall, or delivered by Moses. To deny this, is to deny that a beleever is bound to obey the sure dictates of a naturall conscience. I know we are not alwayes bound to follow what conscience suggests, for that is obscured and darkened; but I speak of those dictates which are naturally known.

Other particulars, as, The insufficiency of it to direct in worship, as also, to save men, I do put off, and make application of what hath been delivered.

Use 1. Of Instruction, against the Antinomian, who must needs overthrow the directive and obligative force of the law of Nature, as well as that of Moses; Doth not even Nature teach you (saith the Apostle?) Now if a man may not care for Moses teaching, need he care for Nature teaching? It is true (I told you) sometimes they grant the Law to be a rule, but then afterwards they speak such things as are absolutely inconsistent with it.

There were some (as Wendelinus reports) Swencfeldians, that held a man was never truly mortified, till he had put out all sense of conscience for sinne; if his conscience troubled him, that was his imperfection, he was not mortified enough. I should doe the Antinomians wrong, if I should say, they deli∣ver such things in their books; but let them consider, whether some of their Positions will not carry them neere such a dange∣rous rock: For, if the Law have nothing to doe with me in respect of the mandatory part of it, then if I be troubled for the breach of it, it is my weaknesse, because I am not enough in Christ.

Use 2. Of Reproofe, to those who live against this Law. Sins that are against the Law of Nature do most terrifie. How many Page  66 live in such sins that the law of Nature condemneth? Doth not Nature condemne lying, couzening in your trades, lusts, and uncleannesse? How many Trades-men are there that need not a Paul? Even Tully in his Book of Offices will condemne their ly∣ing, sophisticate wares, and unlawfull gain. It's much how farre they saw this way. Sinnes against naturall conscience are called Crying sinnes; and, though men have repented of them, yet how long is it ere faith can still their cry? Have not many Heathens been faithfull and just in their dealings? It's true, that man hath not godlinesse, who hath only naturall honesty; therefore there are many spirituall sinnes that he never humbleth himself for: as Paul saith, he knew not the motions of his heart to be sinne. Hence men are to be exhorted to get further light, and more tendernesse then a naturall conscience can ever attain unto. Never∣thelesse, if men so live, as if they had not this Law in their hearts, they are the more inexcusable: Are there not men who call them∣selves Christians, that yet the very Heathens will condemne at that great day?

Use 3. Why it is so hard to beleeve in the Lord Christ; be∣cause here is nothing of nature in it, it's all supernaturall. The Papists say, we make an easie way to heaven; for, let a man be never so great a sinner, yet if he doe but beleeve, all is well. Now the people of God, sensible of their sin, find nothing harder for, it's in the law of Nature they should not lye, or steale, but that they should beleeve in Christ for pardon, when labouring under their offences, here nature doth not help at all. I acknow∣ledge it's a dispute among Divines, Whether in that law implanted in Adams heart, there was not also a power to beleeve in Christ, when revealed? But of that hereafter; but the orthodox deny, that he had explicite justifying faith, for that was repugnant to the condition he was in. But the thing I intend is, to shew how supernaturall and hidden the way of beleeving is. No marvell therefore if it be made such a peculiar work of the Spirit, to convince of this sinne.

Page  67


ROM. 2. 14.
For when the Gentiles, which have not the Law, doe by na∣ture the things of the law, &c.

THe Doctrine already gathered from these words is, that, The Gentiles have a law of Nature written in their hearts: Which law doth consist partly in light and knowledge of speculative principles; and partly in practice and obedience to practicall principles. So then from hence we may consider, first, Of the light of Nature, and then secondly, Of the power of Nature; and from both these we may have profitable matter, and also may confute some dangerous errours, which have poisoned too ma∣ny. I shall begin therefore with the light of Nature, or Reason, and shall endeavour to shew the Necessity of it, and yet the Insufficiency of it: It is not such a starre that can lead us to Christ.

In the first place take notice, that this light of Nature may be considered in a three-fold respect:

First, As it's a relict or remnant of the image of God: for, howso∣ever * the image of God did primarily consist in righteousness and true holinesse; yet secondarily it did also comprehend the powers and faculties of the reasonable soule in the acts thereof: And this later part abideth. It is true, this light of Nature, com∣paratively to that of faith, is but as a glow-worme to the Sun; yet some light and irradiation it hath. God, when he made man, had so excellently wrought his owne image in him, that man could not fall, unlesse that were also destroyed; as they write of Phidias, who made Alexanders statue, yet had wrought his own picture so artificially in it, that none could break Alexanders sta∣tue, but he must also spoile Phidias his image, who was the ma∣ker of it: And thus it is in Adams fall, yet there remaineth some Page  68 light still, which the Apostle calleth (Rom. 1.) Truth; he vouch∣safeth that name to it, They detain the truth in unrighteousnesse. Now this moon-light or glimmering of Nature is of a three-fold use:

1. For societies and publike Common-wealths, whereby they have*made wholsome lawes. It's wonderfull to consider, how excellent the Heathens have been therein. Thus Chrysostome, speaking how the most excellent men need the counsell of others, instanceth in Jethro's advice to Moses, about choosing assistant officers: That great man Moses (saith he) who was so potent in words and workes, who was the friend of God, which commanded the creatures, was helped incounsell by Jethro his father-in-law, an obscure man, and a Barbarian: Although, to speak the truth, Jethro, when he gave this counsell, was not so, but had the knowledge of the true God.

2. This light of nature serveth for the instigation and provocation*of men to many good actions and duties towards God and man. Hence still observe that phrase, They detain: reason and naturall light is bound, as a prisoner, by the chaines of lusts and sinfull af∣fections; which thing Aristotle doth fully set forth in his in∣continent person, whom he describeth to have a right opinion in the generall about that which is good; yet, being too much affected to some particular pleasure or profit, by that meanes the better part is over-born: and therefore Aristotle saith, the better part of the minde did provoke to better things. This agreeth with that of Paul. And as they bound captivated practicall truths towards man, so they also imprisoned them about God. Plato had the knowledge of one God, yet he dared not to communi∣cate it to the vulgar: Therefore (saith he) Opificem universorum ne{que} invenire facile, ne{que} inventum in vulgus promulgare tutum: It was not easie to finde out the Maker of the world, nor yet safe to make known to the people him, when he was found out. Here for feare of the people, he detained this truth. And Austin hath a most excellent chapter, cap. 10. lib. 6. de Civit. to shew how Seneca kept the truth in unrighteousnesse: he speaks of a Book Seneca wrote (which now is lost) against Superstitions, where he doth most freely and boldly write against the practices of their wor∣ship; but, saith Austin, He had liberty in his writing, but not Page  69 in his life, Libertas affuit scribenti, non viventi. I will name some passages, because they are applicable to Popish Idolatry, as well as Paganish. They dedicate their gods in most base materialls, and call them gods, which if taking life, they should meet us on a sudden, we should judge them monsters. They doe things so unseemly grave men, so unworthy free-men, so unlike wise sound men, that no man would doubt but that they were mad, if there were but few of them, whereas now the multitude of those that are thus mad is a patronage to them; Immortales deos in materia vilissima & immobili dedicant—Numina vocant, quae si spiritu ac∣cepto subitò occurrerent, monstra haberentur—Faciunt tam indecor a honestis, tam indigna liberis, tam dissimillima sanis, ut nemo fuerit dubitaturus furere eos, si cum paucioribus furerent; nunc sanitatis patrocinium est insanientium turba. But Seneca, when he had spoken thus, and much more, in the scorn of those gods, what doth he resolve upon that his wise man shall doe in those times? Let him not religiously account of them in his minde, but feigne them in his outward acts, In animi religione non habeat, sed in actibus fingat. And again, All which things a wise man will observe, as com∣manded by Law, not as acceptable to God, Quae omnia sapiens ser vabit tanquam legibus jussa, non diis grata. And further, Istam ignobilem deorum turbam, quam longo aevo longa superstitio con∣gessit, sic adorabimus, ut meminerimus cultum ejus ad morem magis pertinere quam rem. Some say, Seneca was coetaneous with Paul, and that he had Paul's Epistles; might he not (if so) see him∣self described in this phrase, detaining the truth in unrighteousnesse? But how well doth Austin in the same place stigmatize him? He worshipped, what he reproved; did, what he argued against; adored, what he blamed; Colebat, quod reprehendebat; agebat, quod arguebat; quod culpabat, adorabat. And are there not many such Popish spirits, that know their superstitions and falshoods, yet, because of long custome, will not leave them? What else was the meaning of Domitianus Calderinus, when, speaking of going to Masse, he said, Eamus ad communem errorem? And so it was a speech of a disputing Sophister, Sic dico quando sum in scholis, sed, penes nos sit, aliter sentio. You see then by this, that naturall truth would encline to better actions, but it is suppressed. When I say, naturall light enclineth the heart to good, it is to be understood Page  70 by way of object meerly, shewing what is to be desired, not that we have any strength naturally to what is good. If you aske why truth, apprehended by naturall light, should be lesse efficacious to alter and new-mould the heart and life, then truth received by faith (for in the Scripture we reade of wonderfull conversions; and the Heathens have but one story that they much boast of, of one Palemon (if I mistake not) who was a great drunkard, and came to deride Socrates, while he was reading his discourse to his scholars, but was so changed by that lecture, that he left off his drunkennesse: This alteration was only in the skin, and not in the vitalls. What then should be the difference?) I answer, not that one truth in it selfe is stronger then another, but the difference is in medio, or instrumento, the instrument to receive this truth. When Nature receives a truth, it's but with a dimme eye, and a palsie-hand; but when we receive it by faith, that is accompanyed with the power and might of the holy Ghost. The influence of truth by naturall light, is like that of the Moon, waterish and weak, never able to ripen any thing; but that of faith is like the influence of the Sun, that doth heat, and soon bring to maturity.

3. The last use of this naturall light is, to make men inexcusable;* for, seeing they did not glorifie God according to their know∣ledge, for that they are justly condemned. This indeed is not the onely use of the light of Nature, as some say; but it is a main one, Rom. 1. 20. not that this is the end of God, in put∣ting these principles into us, but it falleth out by our sinfulness. But how are they inexcusable, if they could not glorifie God by nature, as they ought? Some answer, the Apostle speaks of ex∣cuse in regard of knowledge: but if you understand it of power, it is true; for by our fault we are unable, and none went so farre as naturally they were able. And thus Nature is considered in the first place.

Secondly, You may consider it as corrupted and obscured by sin:* And in this sense it's no help, but a desperate enemy to what is good: and the more reason this way, the more opposition to God: and thus it fell out with all the great naturall Luminists; they became vain in their reasonings, the more they enquired and searched, the further off they were from what is true, 1 Cor. 2. 14. Page  71The naturall man perceiveth not the things of God:〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is not a man carnall and grosse in sinne, but a souly man, one that doth excolere animam, such as Tully and Aristotle. Now the wiser these men were, the vainer they were. Chrysostome's comparison doth well agree with them: As if (saith he) a king should give much money to a servant that by it he should make his family more glo∣rious, and he goeth presently and spends all his money upon whores and bawds. Thus did the Heathens: As Austin wrote to a man of great parts, Ornari abs te Diabolus quaerit, The Divell seeks to be adorned by thee.

Hence Egypt, that is accounted the mother of Sciences, and Moses in regard of knowledge is preferred before the Egypti∣ans; yet that was the seat also of Idolaters: and so the Astro∣nomers, who lifted up themselves above others in their know∣ledge of heavenly things, brought in those monsters into heaven, and attributed worship to them, and in their worship of their gods they added many feasts and sports. Thus they invented an happinesse, which Austin calleth Scyllaeum bonum, consisting of humane and brutish parts. If you aske how this naturall light* cometh to be thus obscured; I answer, three waies: 1. By ill education. This is like the first concoction, or the first settling of the limbs of a man. Secondly, By long custome and degeneration. Hence some Nations have by their publike lawes allowed grosse sins lawfull; as some Nations have allowed robberies, some incest, some that all old men should be thrown down headlong a steep hill. Thirdly, By the just judgement of God; therefore three times in Rom. 1. God is said to give them up to sin.

Thirdly, You may speak of Nature as informed, and enlightened*by Gods Word: and while it's thus, you need not cast this Hagar out of doores. Let Scripture and the Word of God lay the foun∣dation stone, and then Reason may build upon it. It is Stella his comparison: It is with Faith and Reason, as with the mould that is at the root of the barren and fruitlesse tree; take the mould out, and throw in muck or other compost, and then put the mould in, it will much help the tree, which hindered it before. Thus, lay aside Reason at first, and then receive truths by Faith; and afterwards im∣prove them by Reason, and it will excellently help. Divine truths are not founded upon Reason, but Scripture; yet Reason Page  72 may bear them up: as you see the elme or wall bear up the vine, but the elme or wall doth not bring forth the fruit; onely the vine doth that. As long therefore as the light of Nature is not the rule, but ruled and squared by Gods Word, so long it cannot deceive us.

The second grand consideration is, That the light of Nature is*necessary in religious and morall things, though it be not sufficient. We speak of the light of Nature in the first consideration, as it is the residue of the glorious image of God put into us (for of the later, as it is informed by Scripture, it is no question.) Now this is absolutely necessary two wayes: 1. As a passive qualifica∣tion of the subject for faith; for, there cannot be faith in a stone, or in a beast, no more then there can be sin in them: Therefore Reason, or the light of Nature, makes man in a passive capacity fit for grace; although he hath no active ability for it: And, when he is compared to a stone, it is not in the former sense, but the later. And secondly, it's necessary by way of an instrument; for we cannot beleeve, unlesse we understand whether know∣ledge be an act ingredient into the essence of faith, or whether it be prerequisite: all hold there must be an act of the understand∣ing, one way or other, going to beleeve. Hence knowledge is put for faith, and Hebr. 11. By faith we understand. Thus it is necessa∣ry as an instrument.

3. There is nothing true in Divinity that doth crosse the truth of Nature, as it's the remnant of Gods image. This indeed is hard to * cleere in many points of Divinity; as in the doctrine of the Trinity, and the doctrine of Christs Incarnation, which seemeth paradoxall to Reason; of whom Tertullian, lib. 5. de carne Christi, cap. 5. thus, Natus est Dei Filius, non pudet, quia pudendum est; Mortuus est Dei Filius, prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum; Sepultus resurrexit, certum est, quia impossibile. Yet, seeing the Apostle calls the naturall knowledge of a man Truth, and all truth is from God, which wayes soever it come, there can therefore be no con∣tradiction between it. And hereupon our Divines doe, when they have confuted the Popish doctrine of Transubstantiation by Scripture, shew also, that for a body to be in two places, is against the principles of Nature. They indeed call for faith in this point: and Lapide, upon these words, Hoc est corpus meum,Page  73 saith, If Christ should aske me at the day of judgement, Why did you be∣leeve the bread to be the body of Christ? I will answer, This text, if I be deceived, These words have deceived me. But we must compare place with place, and Scripture with Scripture. As for the doctrine of the Trinity, though it be above Reason, and we cannot look into that mysterie, no more then an Owle can into the Sun beames, yet it is not against it.

4. The same object may be known by the light of Nature, and by*the light of Faith. This may easily be understood: I may know there is a God by the light of Nature; and I may beleeve it, be∣cause the Scripture saith so: so Hebr. 11. I may by faith under∣stand the Word was made, and by arguments know it was made; and this is called faith, by James. The divels beleeve, that is, they have an evident intuitive knowledge of God, and feel it by experience; not that they have faith, for that is a supernaturall gift wrought by God, and hath accompanying it pia affectio, to him that speaketh, as the first truth. Faith therefore, and the light of Nature go to the knowledge of the same thing different waies: faith doth, because of the testimony and divine revelation of God; the light of Nature doth, because of arguments in the thing it self by discourse. And faith is not a dianoeticall or dis∣cursive act of the understanding, but it's simple and apprehen∣sive.

5. Though Reason and the light of Nature be necessary, yet it is not*a Judge in matters of faith. The Lutheran seemeth to depresse Reason too much, and the Socinian exalteth it too high: They make it not onely an instrument, but a Judge; and thereupon they reject the greatest mysteries of Religion. I know some have endeavoured to shew, that Religio est summa ratio; and there are excellent men that have proved the truth of the Christian Reli∣gion by Reason: and certainly, if we can by Reason prove there is any Religion at all, we may by the same Reason prove that the Christian Religion is the true one. But who doth not see how uncertaine Reason is in comparison of Faith? I doe not therefore like that assertion of one, who affects to be a great Rationalist (it is Chillingworth) that saith, We therefore receive the Scriptures to be the Word of God, because we have the greatest Reason that this is the Word of God. But we must not confound the instru∣ment Page  74 and the Judge: holy truths, they are Scripture truths, though hammered out by Reason. As the Smith that takes golden plate, and beates it into what shape he pleaseth, his hammer doth not make it gold, but only gold of such a shape: And thus also Reason doth not make a truth divine, onely holds it forth, and declareth it in such a way.

6. It's altogether insufficient to prescribe or set down any worship of*God. Hence God doth so often forbid us to walk after our own imaginations, and to doe that which we shall choose. The Apostle calleth it Will-worship, when a mans Will is the meere cause of it. Now, it's true, men are more apt to admire this, as we see in the Pharisees and Papists; they dote upon their Traditions more then Gods Institutions. Hence Raymundus, a Papist, speaking of the Masse, It is (saith he) as full of mysteries, as the sea is full of drops of water, as the heaven hath Angels, as the firmament hath starres, and the earth little crummes of sand. But what saith our Saviour, Luk. 18. that which is highly esteemed before men, is abomination before God? That word, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is applyed to idols and false-worship. It's true indeed, even in worship, light of Nature and prudence is instrumentally required to order the Institutions of God; but as Reason may not make a new Article of Faith, so neither a new part of worship. Now Natures insufficiency is described in these three rea∣sonings:

1. To have all the worship of God sensible and pleasing to the eye. It * was well called by Parisiensis, a madnesse in some, who doubted not to say, The Church was better ruled by the inventions of men then by the Scriptures. The people of Israel would have sen∣sible gods, that they might see them: and certainly men doe as much delight in sensible pompous worship, as children do in gay babies; therefore the Prophet speaketh of their goodly images. But all this ariseth, because they are ignorant of spirituall wor∣ship, and cannot tell how to make spirituall advantage from God. It was well said by one, that A superstitious man is Gods flutterer, and not his friend; he is more officious then needs: and where a man is busie ubi non oportet, (said Tertullian) he is negligent ubi oportet. Such carnall sensible worshippers are well compared to those that, because they have no children, delight in birds and Page  75 dogs; so because they have no true graces of the Spirit of God, they delight in these imitations.

2. To appoint mediatours between us and God. This was the * great Argument of the Heathens; they thought themselves un∣worthy, and therefore appointed others to mediate between them and God; which Argument of the Heathens, some of the Fathers wrote against. But, doe not the Papists the same thing? Doe not they tell us, Petitioners at the Court doe not addresse themselves immediately to the Prince, but get Favourites to speak for them; so must we to God? And therefore Salmeron doth give some reasons why it's more piety and religion to pray to God and Saints together, then to God alone. But is not this to forget Christ our head, who is made neerer to us then Angels are? And, indeed, Angels are reconciled to us by Christ. If therefore we follow the light of Nature thus, we shall fall in∣to the ditch at last; and superstition is never more dangerous, then when it's coloured over with the specious colours of Ar∣guments.

3. To doe all by way of compensation, and satisfaction to God.* Upon this ground were all the sacrifices of the Heathens. And is not all this with Popery? Doe they not make all penall things compensative? If they pray, that is meritorious; if they fast, that is satisfactory. Hence ariseth that seeming not to spare the flesh, Col. 3. ult. and the Apostle saith, it hath a shew of wisdome. But the more like any actions are to worship and wisdome, and are not so, the more loathsome they are: as in an Ape, that which makes an Ape so much deformed and loathsome, is because it is so like a man, and is not a man.

Use. Of Instruction. What hath made the idolatry of the Church of Rome so like Paganish and Ethnicall idolatry? Even because they followed their light, the light of Nature and Rea∣son. Look over all their Paganish gods, and they have answerable saints. As the Heathens had their Ceres, and Bacchus, and Aesculapius; insomuch that Varro said, Discendum fuisset quâ de causâ quis{que} deorum avocandus esset, nè à Libero aqua, à Lympho vinum optaretur: so here, they have their St. Martin for the vineyard, Christopher for suddaine death, Nicholas for mariners, &c. And this was done at first, they say, to gain the Heathens; Page  76 but the contrary fell out. Let us then follow the light of Na∣ture no further then we ought; let her be an hand-maid, not a mistresse. And then we must take heed of going against her where she doth truly direct. Are there not many, not only unchristian, but also unnaturall actions? let us remember that.


ROM. 2. 14.
For the Gentiles, &c.

YOu have heard of two things considerable in the law of Nature; the knowledge or light of it, and the power or ability of it. We shall (God willing) at this time prosecute the doctrine of the former part, and the taske we have at this time is to answer some Questions about the light of Nature: for, as there are some who depresse it too much; so there are others advance it too high. The Philosophers called the Christians Credentes, by way of reproach, because they did not argue by reason, but receive upon trust: and there are some, who doe not indeed, with Abilardus, make faith [aestimatio] a fancy, yet they make it ratio. Let us see therefore what this light can doe, by way of answer to some Questions onely; not to answer all.

The first Question, Whether a man can by the light of Nature,*and by the consideration of the creatures, come to know there is a God? This is denyed by Socinians and others. Indeed Bellarmine char∣geth tenets to this effect upon Calvin, but that which the Prote∣stant Authours hold, is, that he may indeed have a knowledge that there is a God, but what this God is, whether he be one, and what his attributes are, they cannot so reach to. Nihil Deo no∣tius, nihil ignotius: otherwise, they say, there is no naturall A∣theist in opinion, though many in affections, desiring there were no God. As Tully argueth, let us take heed, how we bring this opinion into the world, that there is a God, lest hereby we bring a great slavery and feare upon our selves. Are there not Page  77 many Polititians have too much of this poison in their hearts? But of this more anon. Onely that there is such a knowledge naturall, appeareth by some places: as first, Rom. 1. 19. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, That which may be knowne of God: for there are some things, that by Nature could never be known, as the Trinity and Incarnation of Christ. Now this knowledge is by the book of the creatures. This whole universe may be called the lay-mens book; Rebus pro speculo utamur, we may see the power and wisdome of God in them. Tully hath a good comparison: As a man that seeth and readeth a book, and observeth how every letter is put toge∣ther to make an harmonious sense, must needs gather, that all those letters did not fall together by chance, but that there was a wise authour in the composing of them: so it's in the world, which is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, none can think such a sweet compagination of all the parts of it should come together meerly accidentally. It's said to be the speech of one Antony, much spoken of in Ecclesiasticall story, that he called the world a great volume, and the heaven, and water, and earth were the pages and leaves; the starres and living creatures were the letters in those pages: and how glorious a letter is the Sun, when Eudoxus said, he was made onely to behold it? The wayes and arguments by which Naturalists have proved this, have not been by demonstrations à priori, for that is impossible; but by the effects. As a man that cannot see the Sun in it self, it is so dazeling, doth look upon it in a bason of water: thus we who cannot know God in himself, know him in the creatures.

The second proof is from Psal. 19. compared with Rom. 10. where the Psalmist makes the creatures so many tongues speak∣ing a God, yea the Hebrew word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉eructat doth signifie the plenty and serenity, as also the fluid eloquence of the heavens; and this is quoted by the Apostle. And here two doubts are by the way to be removed: first, Whether that of Bellarmine and others be true, that the text is here corrupt: and, Whether the Psal∣mists meaning be not perverted. For the first; in the Hebrew it's there line, but the Apostle, following the Septuagint, renders it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as if they had read Colam for Cavam: But the Answer is, that the Septuagint regarded the sense, and, the Psalmist having spoken before of the words or speech of heaven, they therefore Page  78 interpret according to that sense: And by line, is meant the Structure and exact composing of all these things, which declareth the admirable wisdome of the Maker.

As for the later, it is indeed generally taken, as if the Apostle did speak this of the Apostles preaching the Gospel, which the Psalmist did of the heavens: insomuch that the Lutherans in∣terpret all the former part of the Psalme allegorically. Others think the Apostle alledgeth that place allusively, not by way of argument, as in that place of the Epistle to the Corinthians, where the Apostle applyeth the speech about Manna to matter of liberality. But Jansenius and Vasquez among the Papists, and Beza with others among the orthodox, think the Apostle keepeth to the literall meaning of the Psalmist; as if this should be the Apostles meaning, Israel hath heard, for God made known himself even to the very Heathens by the crea∣tures, how much more to the Jewes by the Prophets? Which way soever you take it, it proveth that God hath a schoole of Nature by his creatures, as well as a schoole of Grace by his Ministers.

The last proofe is from John 1. He is the true light, which en∣lightneth every man coming into the world: for so we think [〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉] doth referre to man, not light; though Socinus and Grotius plead much for it. Some indeed understand this of the light of Grace; but it will be more universally and necessarily true of the light of Reason, which is in infants radically, though not actually. I shall not here relate what unsound Positions an Antinomian Authour hath in a manuscript Sermon upon this place, because it is not pertinent. So then there is an implanted sense and feeling of a deity; which made Tertullian say, O anima naturaliter Christiana! and Cyprian, Summaest delicti nolle agnosce∣re, quem ignorare non potes. If you object, that the Scripture speaks of the Gentiles as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is to be understood of a di∣stinct and obedient knowledge of him. And as for some Atheists spoken of, that have expressedly professed it; what they did was partly in derision of the many gods, as Socrates, and another, who needing a fire, threw a statue of Hercules into the fire, say∣ing, Age Hercules, XIII. laborem subiturus adesto, obsonium nobis cocturus. Besides, they did this with their tongue more then their Page  79 heart, as appeareth by Diagoras, who when he had made a fa∣mous oration against a deity, the people came applauding him, and said, he had almost perswaded them, but only they thought, that if any were God, he was, for his eloquence sake: and then this wretch, like Herod, was content to be thought a god. We read Act. 17. 23. of an altar to the unknown god; But that is in this sense, Among the Heathens, it was uncertaine, which of their gods were appropriated to such or such offices: Hence when a plague was once at Athens, Epimenides brought sheepe, some whereof were black, others white, to Areopagus, and letting them goe from thence, whither they would, directed them to sa∣crifice (where they should lye down) 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to the proper God, and hence came their altars to an unknown God, because they knew not, which God to sacrifice to, for the remo∣ving of their calamities.

The second Question is, Whether the mystery of the Trinity, and*of the Incarnation of Christ, can be found out as a truth by the light of Nature? And here, certainly, we must answer negatively; for the Apostle, 2 Cor. 2. speaking of the mysteries of the Gospel, saith, It hath not entered into the heart of a man to conceive of them: which is to be understood, not onely of the blessed joy and peace of those truths, but also as they are truths; so that all these things are of meere supernaturall revelation. Hence we reade, that when, by reason of the Arrians, there was an hot dispute about these mysteries, there was a voice heard from hea∣ven, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, The fall of the wise men. I doe acknowledge, that Austin and others have sought the foot-steps or representa∣tions of the Trinity in the creatures; yea, Nierembergius a Je∣suit, De origine sacrae Scripturae, lib. 1. cap. 3. doth hold, that God did intend by the works of Creation, to declare the mysteries of graces; as by those artificiall things of the Ark, Tabernacle, and Temple, he intended spirituall mysteries: but this is false. But then they did first know and beleeve this doctrine by Scri∣pture, and then afterwards goe to represent it. Yet it must be confessed, that all these Similies have scarce one foot, much lesse foure, to run on. The School-men speak of the three things in every creature, Esse, posse, & Operari. But especially that is ta∣ken up about the soule, when it understandeth or knoweth, and Page  80 when it loveth: and the Son of God is represented by that Verbum mentis, and the holy Ghost by Amor. Now here is a mistake, for Christ is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Joh. 1. by John, imitating, the Chaldee, not in respect of any such scholasticall sense, but be∣cause he doth reveale and make knowne the will of God to us: so the union of the humane nature and the divine in one per∣son, though learned men give many Examples, yet none come up to the full resemblance: And indeed, if you could give the like instance, it were not wonderfull or singular. We conclude then, that the Scriptures are the onely ladder, whereby we climb up to these things, and our understandings are of such a little stature, that we must climb up into the tree of life (the Scriptures) to see Jesus.

The third Question concerning this naturall light is, Whe∣ther it be sufficient for salvation? For, there are some that hold, If * any man, of whatsoever Nation he be, worship God according to the light of Nature, and so serve him, he may be saved. Hence they have coined a distinction of a three-fold piety: Judaica, Christiana, and Ethnica. Therefore say they, What Moses was to the Jewes, and Christ to the Christians; the same is Philoso∣phy, or the knowledge of God by nature, to Heathens. But this opinion is derogatory to the Lord Christ; for onely by faith in his Name can we be saved, as the Scripture speaketh. And, cer∣tainly, if the Apostle argued that Christ died in vain, if workes were joyned to him; how much more if he be totally excluded? It is true, it seemeth a very hard thing to mans reason, that the greater part of the world, being Pagans and Heathens, with all their infants, should be excluded from heaven. Hence, because Vedelius, a learned man, did make it an aggravation of Gods grace to him, to chuse and call him, when so many thousand thousands of pagan-infants are damned: this speech, as being full of horridnesse, a scoffing Remonstrant takes, and sets it forth odiously in the Frontispice of his Book. But, though our Rea∣son is offended, yet we must judge according to the way of the Scripture; which makes Christ the onely way for salvation. If so be it could be proved, as Zwinglius held, that Christ did com∣municate himself to some Heathens, then it were another mat∣ter. I will not bring all the places they stand upon, that which Page  81 is mainely urged is Act. 10. of Cornelius; his prayers were ac∣cepted, and, saith Peter, Now I perceive, &c. But this proceedeth from a meere mistake; for Cornelius had the implicite know∣ledge and faith of Christ, and had received the doctrine of the Messias, though he was ignorant of Christ, that individuall Person. And as for that worshipping of him in every Nation, that is not to be understood of men abiding so, but whereas before it was limited to the Jewes, now God would receive all that should come to him, of what Nation soever.

There is a two-fold Unbelief: one Negative, and for this no Heathen is damned: He is not condemned because he doth not beleeve in Christ, but for his originall and actuall sinnes. Se∣condly, there is Positive Unbelief, which they only are guilty of, who live under the meanes of the Gospel.

The fourth Question is, Whether that be true of the Papists,*which hold, that the sacrifices the Patriarchs offered to God, were by the meere light of Nature: For so saith Lessius, Lex Naturae & ob∣stringit & suadet, &c. the Law of Nature both bindeth and dicta∣teth all to offer sacrifices to God; therefore they make it necessa∣ry that there should be a sacrifice now under the New Testament offered unto God: And upon this ground Lessius saith it is law∣full for the Indians to offer up sacrifices unto God, according to their way and custome. And, making this doubt to himself, How shall they doe for a Priest? He answereth, that as a common-wealth may appoint a Governour to rule over them, and to whom they will submit in all things; so may it appoint a Priest to officiate in all things for them. This is strange for a Papist to say, who doteth so much upon succession, as if where that is not, there could be no ministery. Now in this case he gives the people a power to make a Priest. But, howsoever it may be, by the light of Nature, that God is religiously to be worshipped; yet it must be onely instituted worship that can please him: And thus much Socrates an Heathen said, That God must onely be wor∣shipped in that way wherein he hath declared his will to be so. Seeing therefore Abel, and so others, offered in faith, and faith doth alwayes relate to some testimony and word, it is necessary to hold, that God did reveale to Adam his will, to be worship∣ped by those externall sacrifices, and the oblations of them. It is Page  82 true, almost all the Heathens offered sacrifices unto their gods, but this they did, as having it at first by hear-say from the peo∣ple of God; and also Satan is alwayes imitating of God in his in∣stitutions: And howsoever the destructive mutation or change of the thing (which is alwayes necessary to a sacrifice) doth argue, and is a signe of subjection and deepest humiliation; yet how should Nature prescribe, that the demonstration of our submis∣sion must be in such a kind or way?

The fifth Question is, Whether originall sin can be found out by*the meere light of Nature? Or, Whether it is onely a meere matter of faith that we are thus polluted? It is true, the learned Mornay la∣bours to prove by naturall reason our pollution, and sheweth how many of the ancient Platonists doe agree in this, That the soule is now vassalled to sense and affections, and that her wings are cut whereby she should soare up into heaven. And so Tully he saith, Cum primùm nascimur, in omni continuò pravitate versa∣mur; much like that of the Scripture, The Imagination of the thoughts of a mans heart is onely evil, and that continually: But Aristotle (of whom one said wickedly and falsly, that he was the same in Naturals, which Christ was in Supernaturals) he makes a man to be obrasa tabula, without sin or vertue; though indeed it doth incline ad meliora. Tully affirmeth also, that there are semina innata virtutum in us, onely we overcome them presently: Thus also Seneca, Erras, si tecum nasci vitia putas, supervenerunt, ingesta sunt, as I said before. Here we see the wisest of the Philo∣sophers speaking against it. Hence Julian, the Pelagian, heaped many sentences out of the chiefest Philosophers against any such corruption of nature. But Austine answered, It was not much matter what they said, seeing they were ignorant of these things. The truth is, by nature we may discover a great languishment and infirmity come upon us; but the true nature of this, and how it came about, can only be known by Scripture-light: Therefore the Apostle, Rom. 7. saith, he had not known lust to be sin, had not the Law said, Thou shalt not last.

The sixth Question is, What is the meaning of that grand rule of*Nature, which our Saviour also repeateth, That which you would not have other men doe to you, doe not you to them? Matth. 7. 12. It is reported of Alexander Severus, that he did much delight in Page  83 this saying, which he had from the Jewes or Christians: and our Saviour addeth this, that, This is the Law, and the Prophets; so that it is a great thing even for Christians to keep to this prin∣ciple. Men may pray, and exercise religious duties, and yet not doe this; therefore the Apostle addeth this to prayer, so that we may live as we pray, according to that good rule of the Platonist, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. How would this subdue all those proud, envious, censorious, and ini∣micitious carriages to one another? But now when we speake of doing that to another, which we would have done to our selves, it is to be understood of a right and well-regulated will, not corrupted or depraved.

The seventh Question is, Whether the practice of the Apostles,*making all their goods common, was according to the precept of Na∣ture, and so binding all to such a practice? For there have been, and still are those that hold this. But now, that communion of all things is not jure Naturae, appeareth, in that theft is a sin against the Morall Law; which could not be, if division of goods were not according to the law of Nature. Indeed, by Nature all things were common, but then it was Natures dictate to divide them; as Aristotle sheweth in many reasons against Plato. What would have been in innocency, if Adam had stood, whether a common right to all things, or a divided propriety, (I speak of goods) is hard to say. But as for the practice of the Church of Jerusalem, that was occasionall, and necessary, therefore not to be a ground for perpetuall command; for other Churches did it not, as appeareth by the almes that were gathered, nor was it laid necessarily upon all to sell what they had, as appeareth by Paul's speech to Ananias.

Use 1. If God be so angry with those that abuse naturall light, * how much rather then with such, who also abuse Gospel light? These doe not put light under a bushell, but under a dung-hill. There are many that are Solifugae, as Bats and Owles are. In one Chapter God is said three times to deliver them up, because they did not glorifie God according to Natures light; how much more then according to the Gospels light? Gravis est lux conscientiae, said Seneca, but gravior est lux Evangelii: The light of the Ministery and Word must needs be more troublesome to thy sinfull wayes.

Page  84Use 2. Of Examination, whether, even among Christians, may not be found men no better then Heathens. Now such are, 1. Ignorant people: how few have any knowledge of God? 2. Vio∣lent*adherers to former Idololatricall courses, taken up by fore-fathers. There is this difference between an Idolater and a true Beleever: The Beleever is like those creatures, that you can make nothing lye on their backs, unlesse it be fastened by some Scripture or reason; but the Heathen is like the Camell, that had a back for burdens on purpose: so that any idolatry he would bear, though it were not tyed on by arguments. 3. Such as are inordinately di∣stracted about the things of this world, Matth. 6. After these things doe the Heathens seek. Hast thou not much of an Heathen in thee? 4. Such as rage at Christ, and his reformation, Psal. 2. Why doe the Heathens rage?


ROM. 2. 14.
For the Gentiles doe by nature the things of the law.

WE have handled those things that concern the light and conduct of Nature: now we shall speak of that which belongs to the ability and power of Nature; for herein are two extreme errours: one of the Pelagian, Papist, and Arminian, with others, who lift up this power too high, The enemies of grace lurk under the praises of nature, Sub laudibus Naturae latent inimici gratiae; and the other of the Antinomians, who seem to deny all the preparatory works upon the heart of a man; holding, that Christ immediately communicateth himselfe to grosse sinners abiding so: and though they hold us passive at the first receiving of Christ, which all orthodox do; yet they expresse it in an un∣sound sense, comparing God unto a Physician, that doth violent∣ly open the sick mans throat, and poure down his physick whe∣ther he will or no; whereas God, though he doth convert fortiter, yet he doth it also suaviter. Now for the full clearing of our in∣ability to any good thing, we will lay down these Propositions:

Page  85 1. There is a naturall power of free-will left in us. Free-will is * not indeed a Scripture name, but meerly ecclesiasticall, and hath been so abused, that Calvin wished the very name of it were quite exploded: but if we speak of the quid sit, and not the quid possit, the being of it, and not the working of it, we must necessa∣rily acknowledge it. The neerest expression to the word Free-will, is that 1 Cor. 7. 37. having〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, power over his own will: but generally the Scripture useth the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is as much as we intend. There is in all men naturally that power, whereby, through the help of Reason, he chooseth this, and refuseth another-thing; only this must not be extended to the things of grace. Now to say what this Free-will is, is very hard: Perkins, following some Schoole-men, maketh it a mixed power of the Understanding and the Will; others a third reall distinct power from them: but it may pro∣bably be thought, that it is nothing but the will in electing or refusing such things; so that we call it the Will in those things it's necessarily carried out to, as to will what is good, and not sin as sin: and then Free-will, when it's carried out to those things that are not necessarily connexed with it: Even as in the Understanding, while the Understanding doth consider first Principles, it's called Intellectus; while Conclusions that are ga∣thered from them, it's called Ratio. Therefore our Adversaries do but calumniate us, when they say, we turn men into beasts; for we hold the Understanding going before, and the Will after: and this is more then a meere spontaneous inclination in things naturall. Therefore it is, that we do not bid the fire burn, or per∣swade an horse to goe, because there is not Understanding or Will in these things, as there is in a man.

2. This which is left in us is not able to performe naturall actions,*without the generall help of God. That which we have acknow∣ledged to be in a man naturally, must still be limited to his pro∣per sphere, to naturall, and civill actions, or some externally religious duties: but even then we must acknowledge a generall help, or assistance of God, without which we could not doe any naturall thing; so that place in the Acts, In him we live, and move, and have our being: by which we prove, that God doth not Page  86 onely give us the principles of being and moving, but we move in him, i. e. by him. Therefore Hierome did well reprove the Pe∣lagians, that thought, without the generall aide of God, a man might move his finger, or write, and speak. There have beem some who have thought, that all which God doth for us in our naturall actions, is onely to give the principles and power o actions; and then afterwards we need no further aide, then mee preservation of our being, no concourse or aide of God helping us in the action: Thus Durand of old, and one Dodo of late, who hath written a Book onely to that purpose: but the place abovesaid doth evidently convince it; and we see, that God did hinder the fire from burning the three Worthies, though he did preserve the fire at the same time in the power of burning, which could not be otherwise, then by denying his actuall aide to the working of the fire: For, to say that the reason was because of Gods doing something upon their bodies, were to make the mi∣racle there, where the Scripture doth not lay it. If you aske then, why this may not be called a speciall help of God, as well as that whereby we are inabled to beleeve, or repent; I answer, there is a great deal of difference:

1. Because this generall aide is necessary to wicked actions, in regard of their positive nature, as well as to good.

2. God doth this in the way of his Providence, as a Creatour, the other he doth in the way of Predestination, as a Father in Christ.

3. The other aide may be said to be due, as our Divines speak of originall righteousnesse, upon a supposition that a man is made a creature to do such actions; yet not properly a debt, but that for our sin we are deprived of it: but this speciall help of grace cannot be called so.

3. It is wholly unable to work any good thing. All this while we have considered the power of man but as in the lower region; * and if you doe consider him, in reference to good things, so he hath no power, or will, or free-will at all; but, as Austin said before Luther, it's servum arbitrium, a servant, and inslaved will to sin onely. Indeed we have not lost our understandings or our wills, but to know or will that which is good, is wholly lost: Page  87 Though we have not lost the will, yet we have the rectitude in that will, whereby we should encline to good. And this may be proved from many Arguments:

1. From all those places of Scripture which declare our estate * to be full of sin and corruption, and altogether wicked. Now, Doe men gather grapes of thornes, or figs of thistles? Hence the Fa∣ther compareth us well to the ship in a tempest, that is destitute of a Pilot: we are dashed continually upon rocks, though this speak of the negative onely, not the positive corruption.

2. All those places, which speak of grace, and conversion, and * regeneration, as the work of God. As for those places, where we are said to repent, and to turn unto God, in time we shall cleare; only these Texts prove, that all the good things we do, they are the works of the Lord: not that God beleeveth or re∣penteth in us, but he worketh those actions in us efficiently, which we doe formally and vitally.

3. All those places whereby glory and praise is to be given un∣to * God onely, and not unto our selves. What hast thou thou hast not received? We are to glory in nothing, because no good thing is ours. Therefore, we bring forth good things, as Sarahs dead womb brought forth a child; it was not a child of nature, but a child of the meere Promise: thus are all our graces. And, indeed, if we could either in whole or part work our own conversion, we might thank God, and our wils: But how absurd would this be, Lord, I thank thee for the turning of my heart, when I was willing to turn it?

4. It cannot prepare or dispose it self for the grace of justification*or sanctification. As it cannot immediately work any good thing, so neither can a naturall man dispose, or prepare himself for the great works of grace. There is no truth in such an assertion. Let man do what he can naturally, God will meet him graciously: and the reasons are plain:

1. Because no naturall thing is in it self an order or a dispo∣sition to a supernaturall thing; for they differ in their whole kind and nature. Hence it is, that we never read of any Heathens, that, by the improvement of a naturall light, had supernaturall vouchsafed unto them.

Page  88 2. Those places that speak of our totall corruption, inten∣sively onely evil, and extensively, all the thoughts of a man are evil, and protensively, continually, do sufficiently declare, that we can∣not prepare our selves to meet God.

3. If we could prepare, or dispose our selves to grace, then the greatest cause of glory would still be in a mans own self For, Why doth Peter repent, and not Judas? Because, may some say, he disposed and set himself to repent, and not Judas. But still here is the Question, Why did Peter set himself to repent and not Judas? Here it must be ultimately resolved either into the grace of God, or the will of man.

4. All those similitudes that the Scripture useth, do illustrate this thing. We are not said to be blind, or lame, but dead in sin: now did Lazarus prepare himself to rise? So it's called Rege∣neration. Can a man dispose himself to have life? I know these comparisons must not be extended too far; yet, the Scripture using such expressions to declare our utter inability, we may well presse those breasts of the Scripture so farre, and bring out no blood. The parched earth doth not dispose it self for the rain, nor doth the cold ice of it self thaw, which is the Fathers Similie.

Yet fifthly, We may hold truly some antecedaneous works upon the heart, before those graces be bestowed on us. This take to antidote * against the Antinomian, who speaks constantly of the soul ta∣king Christ, even while it's a grievous polluted soul; as if there were no polishing of this crooked timber and rough stone, but even taken out of the quarry, and so immediately put into the building. Those in the Acts that were pricked in heart, were yet bid to repent; and so they cried out, What shall we doe to be saved? The sick feeleth his burden before he cometh for ease, so that a grosse sinner is not immediately put out of his vile wayes into Christ; onely these limitations you must take:

1. That all these things, sight of sin, trembling for fear, confu∣sed desires, they are the works of Gods grace moving us, they do not come from our own naturall strength.

2. These are not absolutely necessary in every one. We know how Matthew and Lydia did follow Christ; and God saith, he was found of some that did not seek him. Paul was in a most cursed Page  89 indisposition when the Lord called him: but generally God takes this way.

3. These are not necessary antecedents, so as the grace of con∣version doth necessarily follow. Wee reade of Cain and Judas troubled for sin. These are a wildernesse that a man may dye in, and never goe into Canaan: There may be throes and pangs, when yet no childe, but wind is to be delivered. Hence a people that have been civill, have not been called: but Publicans and Harlots. The object of election is for the most part few for number, infirme for power, and sinfull for conversation: though in the godly these are needles that will draw in the threed, yet this state must not be called a third middle estate between rege∣nerate and unregenerate, as some feigne.

Lastly, none of these workings can be called so properly pre∣parations, or dispositions in themselves, but onely intentionally in God. Our Saviour looked on a young man, and loved him, and said, hee was not farre from the Kingdome of heaven: that is, the life hee lived was not farre from the Kingdome of heaven; yet this was no preparation in it selfe to it: nay, he may be fur∣ther off, as two high hills may be neer in the tops to one ano∣ther, but the bottomes some miles asunder. And this is so great a matter, that great sins are made by God a preparation to some mans conversion, which yet of themselves they could never be: As a childe, whose coat is a little dirty, hath it not presently washed; but when he falls wholly all over in the dirt, this may be the cause of the washing of it: so that they are preparations only so far as God intendeth them.

6. All determination to one doth not take away that naturall li∣berty.* This will further cleere the truth: for it may be thought strange, that there should be this freedome of will in a man, and yet thus determined to one sin onely; whereas it's plaine, a de∣termination to one kind of acts, good or evill, doth not take a∣way liberty. God can onely will that which is good, and so the Angels and Saints confirmed in happinesse; yet they doe this freely: and so the Divels will that which is wicked onely. It's true, some exclaime at such passages, but that is onely because they are prepossessed with a false opinion about liberty; for a determination to one may arise from perfection, as well as na∣turall Page  90 imperfection. It is from Gods absolute perfection that hee is determined to will onely good; and when Adam did will to sin against God, it did not arise from the liberty of his will, but his mutability. There is a naturall necessity, such which de∣termineth a thing to one; and that is imperfection: but a neces∣sity of immutability in that which is good, is a glorious perfe∣ction. The Learned speak of a three-fold liberty: 1. From mise∣ry, such as the Saints shall have in heaven. 2. From sin, to which * is opposed that freedome to righteousnesse, of which our Savi∣our speaketh, Then are yee free indeed, when the Son hath made you free; and of which Austine, Tunc est liberum, quando libera∣tum. 3. From naturall necessity, and thus also man, though hee be necessarily carried on to sin, yet it is not by a naturall neces∣sity, as beasts are, but there is Reason and Will in him when he doth thus transgresse: onely you must take notice, that this de∣termination of our Will onely to sin, is the losse of that per∣fection we had in Adam, and doth not arise from the primaeve constitution of the will, but by Adams fall, and so is meerly ac∣cidentall to it.

7. Nor doth it take away that willingnesse or delight in sin, which*we are inevitably carried out unto: For now, if man were carried out to sin against his will and his delight, then there might be some shew of pleading for him; but it is not so, he sinneth as willingly, and as electively in respect of his corrupt heart, as if there were no necessity brought upon him. Therefore that is good of Bernards, The necessity takes not away the willingnesse of it, nor the willingnesse of it the necessity. It's both an hand-maid, and so free, and, which is to be wondered, eo{que} magis ancilla, quò magis libera. Hence therefore no wicked or ungodly man can have any excuse for himselfe, to say the fates or necessity drove him: for, besides that by his fault he hath cast himselfe into this necessity, and so is, as if a man in debt, who was once able to pay, but by his wilfull prodigall courses hath spent all, should think to be excused because he cannot pay. Besides (I say, this just and full answer) this also is to be said, that no man sins constrainedly, but every one is carried on with that delight to sin, as if he were independent upon any providence, or predefinitive permissive de∣crees of God, or any such corrupt necessity within him. Hereby Page  91 he pitieth not himselfe, hee seeth not his undone estate, & nihil miserius misero non miserante scipsum. Hence it is, that a mans whole damnation is to be ascribed to himselfe. Wee ourselves have destroyed our owne soules, wee cannot cast it upon Gods decrees. And this is necessarily to be urged, because of that na∣turall corruption in us with Adam, to cast our sinne upon God.

8. A man may acknowledge grace and give much to it, and yet*not give the totall efficacy unto it. This is a maine particular to con∣sider; for Pelagius, and Arminius, and Papists, all doe acknow∣ledge grace. Pelagius, it's noted of him, that hee did foure times incrustate his opinion, and held grace in every one of them: Hee did gratiae vocabulo uti ad frangendum invidiam, as you heard be∣fore; yea, by this meanes hee deceived all the Easterne Churches, and they acquitted him when he said thus: If any man deny grace to be necessary to every good act wee doe, let him be an anathema. So Papists and Arminians, they all acknowledge grace, but not grace enough; Gratia non est gratia, nisi sit omni modo gratuita: As for example; First, they acknowledge grace to be onely as an universall help, which must be made effectuall by the particular will of man: so that grace is efficacious with them, not by any inward vertue of it self antecedaneous to, and independent upon the Will, but eventually only, because the will doth yeeld; and therefore Bellarmine compareth it to Sol & homo generant homi∣nem: one as the universall cause, the other as the particular cause. Thus grace and free-will produce a good action; grace as the generall cause, and free-will as the particular: but how dero∣gatory is this to grace? how can our actions be said to be the fruit of grace? For, If I should aske, Who is the father of such a man? it would be very hard to say, The Sun in the firma∣ment: so it would be as absurd to say, Grace regenerated and converted this man. Again, they make grace a partiall cause only; so that it stirreth up our naturall strength to work this or that good thing: and therefore we are synergists or co-workers with * God in the work of conversion; but this supposeth us not dead in sinne.

9. Men may naturally performe the outward act of a comman∣dement. Now though we be thus corrupt, yet for all that, men Page  92 by nature may doe that outward act which is commanded by God, or abstaine from the matter prohibited. Thus Alexander abstained from the Virgins hee took captives, which is so much related in stories, and many other famous instances of the Hea∣thens, though some indeed think they had a speciall helpe and aide from God to doe that: but here the Apostle in the Text is cleare, They doe by nature the things of the law. Some doe not like that dictinction, They may doe the substance of the work, but not the manner of a good worke, because they think the substance doth comprehend that indeed which makes a good work; howsoe∣ver, they agree that the externall act may be done. Thus Ahab hee externally humbled himselfe, and some think that Uriah, which Esay calls, The faithfull witnesse he took to him, to be the same with him that brought in the Altar of Damascus: so that, though he was an idolater, and an ungodly man, yet hee was re∣puted a faithfull man in his word. And certainly this is some∣thing, to make many men inexcusable. They may forbeare those acts of grosse impiety which they doe, supposing they have not customarily, or by the just judgement of God throwne them∣selves into the power of such sins; not that this will helpe to save them, onely their punishment will be lesse. Thus Fabricius and Camillus (saith Austin) will be lesse punished then Verres or Cataline, not because these were holy, but because they were lesse wicked, & minora vitia virtutes vocamus. I know it's a question, Whether a godly man can doe more good then he doth, or lesse evill then he doth: but this may be handled in the controversall part; we speak now of a wicked man, who can doe no good at all, unlesse in the externall act.

Yet 10. All that they doe is a sin before God. This is an anti∣dote * to the former: Whatsoever they have done, though for the matter glorious, yet they were but glorious sins; for,

1. They could not come from faith, or one reconciled with God: and the person must be first accepted before the action, Heb. 11. With∣out faith it's impossible to please God.

2. It could not come from a regenerate nature: and therefore the tree not being good, the fruit was also bad. It's not in Divinity, as in Morall Philosophy, where justa, & justè agendo fimus justi; but we have the esse or being first, and then the operari. It's a Page  93 question worth the disputing, Whether the grace of God works the act of beleeving and other graces in us first, and then by them we re∣ceive the habits. The Papists, and Arminians, and some others go that way; but it is not consonant to Scripture, as may be shewed hereafter.

3. They could not be good, if you regard the end: They could do * nothing for the glory of God. This made Theophylact say, Wee could not instance in one good Heatken; for, that which they did was for their vain-glory, & carnalis cupiditas non aliâ fauatur, one divell did but cast out another: and if they did intend some par∣ticular good end, as to relieve the miserable, to help the com∣monwealth, this was not enough; for the ultimate and chief end ought to be intended by them.

Lastly, There is no promise of God made to any thing a man doth,*that hath not faith. Ahab indeed, and Nebuchadnezzar had tem∣porall rewards, but in what sense, I shall shew in answering the Objections.

Use. To bewaile the wofull condition of man by nature. How is e∣very bird in the aire, and beast in the field in a better naturall condition then they are? This is worse then to be blind, to be lame; for our soules are all blind, lame, deafe, yea and dead in sin. What a sad thing is it, to be all the day and yeare long damning our soules? If we eat or drink, we sin; if we buy or sell, we sin. And consider, that sin is the greatest evill, and that onely which God loaths and abhorres. Let all thou doest there∣fore terrifie thee, and make thee to tremble; let this make thee cry for grace, as the poore, blind, and lame did, that they might be healed: And, because you doe not feele this, or are unwilling to be heard, therefore you are the more miserable; Nolunt phre∣netici ligari, & lethargici excitari.

Page  94


ROM. 2. 14.
For if the Gentiles doe by nature the things of the law, &c.

WE have already positively and plainly (so farre as wee conceived necessary) declared and proved the truth about the power and ability of a man by Nature to doe that which is good: now it remaineth we should antidote against those Ob∣jections that doe militate against this truth, and that indeed with much shew of reason; for never have men been more witty, then when they have undertaken to be the patrons of Nature. But Austin well called it vitreum acumen: the more it glitters, the easier it's broken. The Heathens are very obstinate in pro∣pugning mans power. Onely sluggards need Gods help, Ignavis opus est auxilio divino, saith Seneca the Tragedian; and so the other Seneca: It is the gist of the gods that we live, but our own doing that we live well, Deorum quidem munus esse quòd vivi∣mus, nostrum verò quòd bene sancte{que} vivimus: and that of Tully is very arrogant, lib. 3. de nat. deorum, Quia sibi quis{que} virtutem acquirit, neminem è sapientibus unquam de ea gratias Deo egisse: and (saith he) Wee are praised for our vertue; which could not be, if it were the gift of God, and not of our selves. But how different are the holy men in the Scripture, from these wise men of the world, who when they have been enabled by God to doe any good thing, have not taken the glory of it to themselves? And, as Joab did about Rabbah, when he had taken it, sent to David to come and take all the glory; so doe they say, Not I, but the grace of God, 1 Corinth. 15. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is to be un∣derstood, which was present with mee, not which did work*with mee.

Finst therefore they say, If so be we are not able to doe any thing towards our salvation, this is to turn men into stockes, and stones, or beasts, and so no difference between them and us. But we say, Al∣though Page  95 those similitudes the Scripture holds forth doe prove our inability for that which is good, yet they must not be made alike in all things. It's true, to convert men, is to make children unto Abraham out of stones; yet we must not think that is therefore an universall likenesse between men and stones: For first, consider this vast dissimilitude; In stones and beasts there is no passive capacity of grace, but in man there is. We say, there is a power for grace in a mans nature; and the Papists say, there is a power: only they say it's an active power, though re∣mote; we say, only a passive. There is a power to be converted to God, which is not in stones or beasts: they say, there is a power to convert or turn to God; here is a great difference.

Besides, wee may consider these degrees in the creatures: 1. There is an inclination to such an act, as in the fire to burne. 2. A spontaneous inclination to some acts accompanied with sense, and sensible apprehensions, as in beasts. 3. A willing in∣clination accompanied with reason or judgement, and this is in man: Now, because man is thus affected, therefore God in con∣verting, though he doth it by a potent work, yet by arguments, which we never use to horses, or brute beasts: and although man hath lost that rectitude in his will and mind, yet hee hath not lost the faculties themselves; therefore though he be theologi∣cally dead, yet hee is ethically alive, being to be wrought upon by arguments. Hence is that saying, To will is of nature, To will well of grace, To will ill of corrupt nature. Hence wee may grant those objections, that if a man had not this free-will (if you doe not extend it to good things) there could be no conversion or obedience; for grace doth not destroy, but perfect nature.

2. This putteth men upon speaking and preaching contradictions:* For so some have said, that the Calvinists; though they be Cal∣vinists in their Doctrines, yet they are Arminians in their Uses. And they say, How incongruous is it, to tell us we can doe no∣thing of our selves, and then to make this use, Therefore let us seek out for the grace of Christ? But to answer, 1. This contra∣diction may be cast as well upon Christ and Paul: Take Christ for an instance, John 6. in that Sermon, he bade the Jewes labour for that meat that perisheth not, and yet at the same time said, None can come unto mee, except my Father draw him. Might not the Ar∣minian Page  96 say, How can these two things stand together? So John 15. our Saviour telleth them, Without him they can doe nothing, and yet at the same time he exhorteth them, to abide in him, and keep his commandements: So Paul; take two instances from him, Rom. cap. 9. & cap. 11. The Apostle there sheweth, God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and that it is not of him that run∣neth or willeth, but of God that calleth; yet he bids them that stand take heed lest they fall: and, Be not high-minded, but feare. So Phil. 2. 12, 13. Work out your salvation with feare and trembling; for it's God that worketh in you both to will and to doe. This reason, in their sense, would quite overthrow the former. Nay (say they) it be∣ing attributed thus to God, and to man, it seemeth both doe it How this may be answered, wee shall see anon. But to make u speak contradictions, because we presse a duty, and yet acknow∣ledge Gods grace or gift to doe it, is to make a perpetuall dis∣cord between precepts and promises: For the same things which God commands us to doe, doth hee not also promise to doe for us, as, to circumcise our hearts, and, to walk in his commandements How much better is that of Austius, O man, in Gods precepts ac∣knowledge what thou oughtest to doe, in his promises acknowledge that thou canst not doe it? But 2. we may returne upon them, that their Sermons and Prayers are contradictions; they say, they can doe it, and then they pray God they may doe it: They say, the Will may receive the grace of God, and may obey God calling; and then they pray, God would make them obey his calling; as much as to say, O Lord, make me to obey if I will.

3. This evacuateth the whole nature of Gods precepts and com∣mands:* For, say they, Is not this to make God mock us, as if wee should bid the blind man see; or tell a dwarfe, if hee would touch the heavens with his singer, he should have so much mony? Now, to this many things are to be said: as, first, If these things were abso∣lutely and simply impossible, that which they say would be true; but a thing may be said to be impossible three waies:

1. Simply and universally, even to the power of God: and so all those things are, that imply a contradiction; and this impossi∣bility ariseth from the nature of the thing, not from any defect in God: Yea, wee may say with one, Potentissimè hoc Deus non potest.

Page  97 2. There may be a thing impossible in its kind; as for Adam to reach the heavens, for a man to work above naturall causes.

3. That which is possible in it self to such a subject, but becomes impossible accidentally through a mans fault. Now for a man to be commanded that, which through his own fault he becometh unable to do, is no illusion or cruelty. If a creditor require his debt of a bankrupt, who hath prodigally spent all, and made himself unable to pay, what unrighteousnesse is this? There∣fore they are but odious instances, of touching the skies, of bid∣ding blind men to see; for this Rule observe, Whatsoever is so impossible, that it is beyond a duty required, or power ever gi∣ven, extra officium debitum, and potentiam unquam datam, that indeed were absurd to presse upon men. Again consider, that the commands of God doe imply if any power, then more then they will acknowledge; for they suppose a man can doe all of himself without the grace of God, and therefore indeed the old Pelagian, and the new Socinian speak more conso∣nantly then these, that divide it between grace, and the power of man.

Lastly, The commands of God are for many other ends, as to con∣vince,*and humble, though they be not a measure or rule of our power. That place, Deut. 30. 11. is much urged by the adversary, where Moses seemeth to declare the easinesse of that command: and certainly it hath a very great shew; for, as for that answer, That Moses speaketh of the easinesse of knowing, and not fulfilling, Calvin doth not stand upon it; and indeed of our selves we are not able to know the Law of God. The answer then to this may be taken out of Rom. 10. 11. That howsoever Moses speaks of the Law, yet Paul interprets it of the Gospel. What then? Doth Paul pervert the scope of Moses? Some do almost say so; but the truth is, the Law (as is to be shewed against the generall mistake) if it was not in it self a covenant of grace, yet it was given Evangelically, and to Evangelicall purposes, which made the Apostle alledge that place: and therefore the Antinomian doth wholly mistake, in setting up the Law as some horrid Gor∣gon, or Medusa's head, as is to be shewed.

Page  98 4. How can God upbraid or reprove men for their transgressions,*if they could doe no other wayes? This also seemeth very strange, if men can do no otherwise. Is not this as ridiculous to threaten them, as that of Xerxes, who menaced the sea? I answer, No, be∣cause still whatsoever man offends in, it's properly his fault, and truly his sin; for whatsoever he sinneth in, he doth it voluntari∣ly, and with much delight; and is therefore the freer in sin, by how much the more he delights in it. And this Austin would diligently inculcate, that so no man might think to cast his faults upon God. There is no man forced to sinne, but he doth it with all his inclination and delight. How farre voluntari∣nesse is requisite to the nature of a sinne, at least actuall, though not to originall, is not now to be determined; for we all acknowledge, that this necessity of sinning in every man, doth not hinder the delight and willingnesse he hath in it at the same time.

Nor should this be thought so absurd, for even Aristotle saith, * that though men at first may choose, whether they will be wicked or no, yet if once habituated, they cannot but be evil: and yet for all that, this doth not excuse, but aggravate. If an Ethiopian can change his skin, saith the Prophet, then may you doe good, who have accustomed your selves to doe evil. The Oake, while it was a little plant, might be pulled up; but when it's grown into its full breadth and height, none can move it. Now if it be thus of an habit, how much more of originall sin, which is the deprava∣tion of the nature? And howsoever Austin was shye of calling it naturale malum, for fear of the Manichees; yet sometimes he would doe it. Well therefore doth the Scripture use those sharp reproofes and upbraidings, because there is no man a sinner or a damner of himself, but it is by his own fault: and withall, these serve to be a goad and a sharp thorn in the sinners side, whereby he is made restlesse in his sin.

5. To what purpose are exhortations and admonitions? Though * the other answers might serve for this, yet something may be specially answered here, which is, that though God work all our good in us, and for us, yet it is not upon us as stocks or stones; but he dealeth sutably to our natures, with arguments Page  99 and reasons: And if you say, To what purpose? Is it any more then if the Sun should shine, or a candle be held out to a blind man? Yes, because these exhortations and the word of God read or preached, are that instrument, by which God will work these things. Therefore you are not to look upon preaching, as a meere exhortation, but as a sanctified medium, or instrument, by which God worketh that he exhorteth unto. Sometimes indeed we read, that God hath sent his Prophets to exhort those, whom yet he knew would not hearken: Thus he sent Moses to bid Pharaoh let the people of Israel go, and thus the Prophets did preach, when they could not beleeve, because of the deafnesse and blindnesse upon them. But unto the godly these are operative meanes, and practicall, even as when God said, Let there be light, and there was light; or, when Christ said, Lazarus, come forth of the grave. And this by the way should keep you from despising the most plain ministery or preaching that is; for, a Sermon doth not work upon your hearts, as it is thus elegant, thus ad∣mirable, but as it is an instrument of God, appointed to such an end: Even as Austin said, The conduits of water, though one might be in the shape of an Angel, another of a beast, yet the water doth refresh as it is water, not as it comes from such a conduit; or the seed that is thrown into the ground fructifieth, even that which comes from a plain hand, as well as that which may have golden rings or jewels upon it: not but that the Minister is to improve his gifts, Qui dedit Petrum piscatorem, dedit Cyprianum rhetorem, but onely to shew whence the power of God is. Bonorum ingeniorum insignis est indoles, in verbis verum amare, non verba. Quid obest clavis lignea, quando ni∣hil aliud quaerimus, nisi patere clausum?

6. The Scripture makes conversion and repentance to be our acts,*as well as the effects of Gods grace. And this cannot be denyed but that we are the subject, who being acti▪ agimus, enabled by grace, do work; for, grace cannot be but in an intelligent subject: As before the Manna fell upon the ground, there fell a dew, which (say Interpreters) was preparatory to constringe and bind the earth, that it might receive the Manna; so doth reason and li∣berty qualifie the subject, that it is passively capable of grace: but when enabled by grace, it is made active also. These be places indeed have stuck much upon some, which hath made them de∣mand, Page  100 Why, if those Promises of God converting us do prove conversion to be his act, should not other places also, which bid us turn unto the Lord, prove that it is our Act? The answer is easie: none deny, but that to beleeve, and to turn unto God, are our acts; we cannot beleeve without the minde and will. That of Austin is strong and good, If, because it's said, Not of him that willeth and runneth, but of him that sheweth mercy, man is made a partiall cause with God, then we may as well say, Not in him that sheweth mercy, but in him that runneth and willeth.

But the Question is, Whether we can doe this of our selves, with grace? Or, Whether grace onely enable us to doe it? That distincti∣on of Bernards is very cleere: The heart of a man is the sub∣jectum in quo, but not à quo; the subject in which, not from which this grace proceedeth: Therefore you are not to conceive, when grace doth enable the mind and will to turn unto God, as if those motions of grace had such an impression upon the heart, as when the seal imprints a stamp upon the wax, or when wine is poured into the vessell, where the subject recipient doth not move, or stirre at all: Nor is it as when Balaam's Asse spake, or as when a stone is thrown into a place, nor as an enthusiasticall or arreptitious motion, as those that spake oracles, and under∣stood not; Nor as those that are possessed of Satan, which did many things, wherein the minde and will had no action at all: but the Spirit of God inclineth the Will and Affections to their proper object.

Nor is the Antinomians similitude sound, that (as you heard) makes God converting of a man, to be as when a Physician poureth down his potion into the sick-mans throat, whether he will or no: For it is most true, that the Will, in the illicite and im∣mediate acts of it, cannot be forced by any power whatsoever: It's impossible that a man should beleeve unwillingly; for to beleeve, requireth an act of the Will. The School-men dispute, Whether fear, or ignorance, or lust do not compell the will; and they do rightly conclude, that it cannot: Therefore, though a mans con∣version be resisted by the corrupt heart & will of a man, yet when it is overcome by the grace of God, it turneth willingly unto him. Therefore this argument, though it seem strange, yet we may say of it as he in another case, Hoc argumentum non venit à Dea Suada.

Page  101 7. Then men may sit still and never stirre, onely expecting when*grace shall come; for, if we have no power, why are men exhorted to come to Christ, and reade the Word? And indeed, this hath so wrought upon some, that they have not used any meanes at all, but expect Gods providence to be a supplyer of all, as Brentius (if I mistake not) relateth of an Anabaptist woman, who invited many to supper, and never provided any thing, expecting God would do it. Now this Question is built upon a falshood, as if a mans working were wholly excluded; whereas you are to know, that there are two kinds of holy things:

1. There are holy things that are internally and essentially so, and these we cannot doe without God, John 15. Without me ye can do nothing. Austin observes the emphasis; he doth not say, No hard thing, but nothing: and he doth not say Perficere, perfect; but Facere, you cannot doe it any way.

2. There are holy actions externally so, as to come to heare the Word preached, to reade and meditate upon the Word: experi∣ence teacheth, that men have a naturall power to this; witnesse those many Comments and learned Expositions, that men with∣out any grace have made upon the Scripture. Now it's true, to doe any of these holily is Gods act, The naturall man perceiveth not the things of God: and, God opened Lydia's heart. But yet God converteth in the use of these meanes. He will not ordinarily change the heart of any, that doth not wait at the gates of wis∣dome. Therefore God doth not work upon the heart, as the Ar∣tificer useth his instrument, but he commands to reade and hear; and this is the organ, or the meanes by which the Spirit of God will change his heart. Now indeed, when a man readeth or heareth any naturall or philosophicall truth, he is able by these 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, strength left in nature, to comprehend them, but he cannot in the same manner bring forth any thoughts or af∣fections of heart sutable unto those spirituall mysteries laid open before him. But now the patrons of Nature speak otherwise; they say it is, as if a man, almost spent by a disease, should re∣ceive physick, and so that physick doth repaire and increase strength, not infuse strength: Or, as a bird tyed by a string, that hath a power to flye, onely is outwardly hindered, so that they Page  102 suppose a latent power in Nature to be excited and stirred up by grace: we say, the power must be first infused.

8. If they thus necessarily sin, then they were not bound to pray, nor*to come to hear the Word of God preached; for then also they sin and no man is bound to sin. Now to this the answer is clear, that though a wicked man cannot but sinne in praying and hearing, yet he is bound to these things: and the reason is, because, that he sinneth in them, it is meerly accidentall, but the duty is a duty essenti∣ally in it self; and a man must not omit that which is per se re∣quisite, for that which is accidentally forbidden: so that his re∣solution should not be, not to pray, or to heare, but deponere peccatum, to lay down his sin, which corrupteth, leaveneth, and maketh sowre all he doth. Besides, there is lesse judgement to him that prayeth, then to him that prayeth not, although in some particular consideration his aggravation may be the greater.

9. The Scripture doth say, To him that hath, shall be given, *and, when God distributed his talents, it was to every one as he was able, Matth. 25. If we answer to this, that theologia symbolica non est argumentativa, that is denyed, and is now a-late questioned; although Austins and others comparisons about parables must needs be granted: which are, As in a picture there are linea∣ments and essentials of it, but, besides these, the shadowes and colours, which are for meer ornament; so in Parables: Or, as others, As in the musicall instrument, onely the strings touched make the noise or tune, yet they could not do so, unlesse fastened unto the wood; so onely the scope of the parable is that which is argumentative, though this principall have many accessaries joyned to it: And thus we may say of that passage, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that it's taken from the custome of men, and goeth to make up the parable. But let us consider it otherwise, and Theophylact referreth it dangerously to our preparations and dispositions. In the vessell (saith he) which I am to bring to God, he poureth in his gift: If I bring a little vessell, he giveth a little gift; if a great vessell, he giveth a great gift: But, seeing that under the name of these talents, be understood not onely dona sanctifican∣tia, but ministrantia, and the Apostle saith expresly, that the Spi∣rit Page  103 of God giveth these diversity of gifts, as he pleaseth, this wholly overthroweth that exposition. Therefore the Papists, Barradius and Maldonat, do confesse it makes onely ad ornatum, non ad rem per parabolam significatam; and that it's taken from the custome of men, who use indeed to look to the gifts of men, their prudence and fidelity: but we know by experience, God did not so. But if we make an argument of it, then this disposi∣tion or capacity must be either supernaturall, and then it's the gift of God; or if of naturall capacity, as sometimes to him that hath excellent parts, a prompt wit, an happy memory, God gi∣veth the habit of Divinity (for there is such a thing that is di∣stinct from the habit of faith) and a gift of interpreting Scripture, although that naturall dexterity be a gift of God also, but in another kind; and then God doth not tye or bind himself to this way: and therefore, if we should say, as some do, God gave the spirit of government to Moses, because by nature he was most prudent and meek; yet it's not universally so, because God gave to Saul a spirit of government from his own meere good will, without any respect to Saul. And how many men of parts have been so farre from being blest, because of these naturall en∣dowments, that they have turned their wedge of gold into an idoll, to worship it?

Use 1. To extoll the work of grace for the initiall, progres∣sive, and consummative work of conversion: for by all that hath been said, you have seen the weaknesse of nature, and the power of grace; the strength of our disease, and the necessity of a physician. How uncomfortable will it be when thou dyest, to commit thy soule to that grace, which thou hast disputed against? And be not content with giving something to it, unless thou give all to it; Grace that justifieth, Grace that sanctifieth, Grace that saveth.

Use 2. Not to abuse the doctrine of grace to idlenesse or negligence. You see how both these promises and precepts, grace and duties, may be reconciled. And as not to negligence, so not to curious disputes: doe not so trouble your selves about the doctrine of grace, that you feel not the power of grace in your hearts; and doe not so farre dispute about your naturall corrup∣tion, Page  104 and how deep you are in it, as not to labour to get out of it. Austin compareth this to one, who being fallen into a great pit, his friend asked him how he came in; Nay (saith he) rather seek how to get me out. And thus doe ye in these matters of sin, wherein you are wholly plunged.


GENES. 2. 17.
But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou mayest not eate; for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.

WE come now in order to the law God gave Adam; and this may be considered two wayes: First, as a Law, se∣condly, as a Covenant. We will handle it first in the former no∣tion. Now, because the law God gave Adam was partly natu∣rall, and partly positive, both which did goe to the making up of that covenant, I shall handle both those distinctly: and first, let us consider Gods positive law in the text, which is also called by Divines, a symbolicall precept, because the obedience unto it was a symbolum or outward testimony of our homage and ser∣vice to God. And the object of this command is not a thing good or bad in its own nature, but indifferent, and only evil be∣cause prohibited: So that in the words you have the object of this negative precept described two wayes; first, by that which is proper to it, the tree of knowledge of good and evil: secondly, by that which is accidentall to it, viz. death infallibly upon the eating of it. And that this commandement might be the better received, in the Verse before, God giveth a large commission to eate of any other tree besides this. When God made this world as a great house, he puts man into it as his tenant; and by this tryall of obedience, he must acknowledge his Land-lord. That Adam did eate in the state of innocency, and was hungry, doth appeare by this text; onely hunger was not in him, as it is in us, with paine and trouble. The difficulties must be handled in Page  105 the opening of the doctrine, which is, That God besides the na∣turall law engraven in Adams heart, did give a positive law, to try his obedience.

The doubts in explicating of this point are, 1. What is meant by the tree of knowledge of good and evill? And here, certainly, wee must take heed of being too curious, lest, as it was Adams sin, to eate of it; so it may be our curiosity to dive too farre into the knowledge of it. Now when I aske what is meant by it, I doe not understand what kind of fruit or tree it was, whether apple or fig, (that cannot be determined) but why it had that name. The Rabbins, who have as many foolish dreames about the Old Testament, as the Friars about the New, conceive Adam and Eve to be created without the use of reason, and that this tree was to accelerate it. And, indeed, the Socinians border upon this opinion, for they say, Adam and Eve were created very * simple, and weak in understanding; and, say they, it's impos∣sible to conceive, that if Adams soule were created so adorned with all knowledge and graces (as the firmament is bespangled with stars) how he should come to eate of the forbidden fruit, or to sin against God.

But both these are false. That he had perfect knowledge, ap∣peareth in his giving names to the creatures, and to Eve, so fit∣ting * and apt; and, Eph. 3. the image of God is said to have a re∣newed mind: and that though thus knowing, he did yet sin; and though thus holy, hee did yet fall; it was because hee was not perfectly confirmed, but mutable. Indeed Divines doe much la∣bour to expresse how his sin did begin, whether in the Will first, or in the Understanding; but that is impertinent to this matter. That which is the most received, both by Austin and others, is, that it was so called, not from any effect, but from the event, be∣cause it did indeed experimentally make to know good and e∣vill: and so it's usuall in Scripture to call that by a name, which it had afterward. Now though this be generally received, and cannot well be rejected, yet certainly it may be further said, that it was not called so by the meere event, but by the divine decree and appointment of God, as being given to be a boundary and limit to Adam, that hee should not desire to know more, or o∣therwise then God had appointed.

Page  106 2. Why God would give a positive law, besides that of the naturall*law in his heart. There are these reasons commonly given:

1. That hereby Gods dominion and power over man might be the more acknowledged: for to obey the naturall law, might be a ne∣cessary condition, and not an act of the Will: Even as the Hea∣thens doe abstaine from many sins, not because forbidden by God, but as dissonant to their naturall reason. And even among Christians there is a great deale of difference between good acti∣ons, that are done because God commands, and because of a na∣turall conscience. These two principles make the same actions to differ in their whole nature. Therefore God would try A∣dam by some positive law, that so the dominion and power which God had over him might be the more eminently held forth: and therefore Adam in this was not to consider the greatnesse or goodnesse of the matter, but the will of the commander.

2. Another reason, which floweth from the former, is, that*so Adams obedience might be the more tryed, and be manifested to be obedience. For, as Austine, speaking of himselfe in confessing his wickednesse, that though he had no need or temptation to sin, yet to be a sinner he delighted in that; Nulla alia causa malitiae, nisi mali∣tia: so on the contrary, it's an excellent aggravation of obedi∣ence, when there is nulla alia causa obedientiae, nisi obedientia; so that the forbearing to eate, was not from any sin in the action, but from the will of the law-giver. And Austine doth well ex∣plaine this: If a man (saith he) forbid another to touch such an herb, because it's poyson, this herb is contrary to a mans health, whether it be forbidden or no: Or if a man forbid a thing, because it will be an hinderance to him that forbiddeth; as to take away a mans mony, or goods, here it's forbidden, because it would be losse to him that forbid∣deth: but if a man forbids that which is neither of these waies hurtfull, therefore it's forbidden, because bonum obedientiae per se, & malum inobedientiae per se monstraretur.

And this is also further to be observed, that though the obe∣dience unto this positive law be far inferiour unto that of the morall law, because the object of one is inwardly good and the object of the other rather a profession of obedience, then obedi∣ence; yet the disobedience unto the positive law is no lesse hai∣nous Page  107 then that to the morall law, because hereby man doth professedly acknowledge he will not submit to God: Even as a vassall, that is to pay such homage a yeare, if he wilfully refuse it, doth yearly acknowledge his refractorinesse. Hence the Apo∣stle doth expresly call Adams sin disobedience, Rom. 5. not in a generall sense, as every sin is disobedience; but specifically it was (strictly taken) the sin of disobedience: he did by that act cast off the dominion and power that God had over him, as much as in him lay; and though pride and unbelief were in this sin, yet this was properly his sin.

3. Why God would make this law, seeing he fore-knew his fall, and*abuse of it. For such is the profane boldnesse of many men, that would have a reason of all Gods actions, whereas this is as * if the Owle would look into the Sun, or the Pigmee measure the Pyramides. Although this may be answered without that of Pauls, Who artthou, O man, &c. for God did not give him this law to make him fall; Adam had power to stand. Therefore the proper essentiall end of this commandement was to exercise A¦dams obedience. Hence there was no iniquity or unrighteous∣nesse in God. Bellarmine doth confesse, that God may doe that, which if man should doe, hee sinned: as, for instance, Man is bound to hinder him from sin that he knoweth would doe it, if it lay in his power; but God is not so tyed, both because hee hath the chiefe providence, it's fit he should let causes work ac∣cording to their nature; and therefore Adam, being created free, hee might sin, as well as not sin; as also because God can work evill things out of good; and lastly, because God, if hee should hinder all evill things, there would many good things be wanting to the world, for there is nothing which some doe not abuse. The English Divines in the Synod of Dort held, that God had a serious will of saving all men, but not an efficacious will of saving all: Thus differing from the Arminians on one side, and from some Protestant Authours on the other side; and their great instance of the possibility of a serious will and not efficacious, is this of Gods to Adam, seriously willing him to stand, and with all giving him ability to stand: yet it was not such an effi∣cacious will, as de facto did make him stand; for, no question, God could have confirmed the will of Adam in good, as well as Page  108 that of the Angels and the glorified Saints in heaven. But con∣cerning the truth of this their Assertion, we are to enquire in its time. But for the matter in hand, if by a serious will be meant a will of approbation and complacency, yea and efficiency in some sense, no question but God did seriously will his standing, when he gave that commandement. And howsoever Adam did fall, because he had not such help that would in the event make him stand, yet God did not withdraw or deny any help unto him, whereby he was enabled to obey God. To deny Adam that help, which should indeed make him stand, was no necessary re∣quisite at all on Gods part.

But secondly, that of Austins is good, God would not have suf∣fered sin to be, if he could not have wrought greater good then sin was evill: not that God needed sin to shew his glory; for he needed no glory from the creature: but it pleased him to permit sin, that so thereby the riches of his grace and goodnesse might be manifested unto the children of his love. And if Arminians will not be satisfied with these Scripture considerations, wee will say as Austine to the Hereticks, Illigarriant, nos credamus, Let them prate while we beleeve.

5. Whether this law would have obliged all posterity. And cer∣tainly * wee must conclude, that this positive command was uni∣versall, and that Adam is here taken collectively; for, although that Adam was the person to whom this command was given, yet it was not personall, but to Adam as an head, or common person: Hence Rom. 5. all are said to sin in him, for whether it be in him, or, in as much as all have sinned, it cometh to the same purpose; for how could all be said to have sinned, but be∣cause they were in him? And this is also further to be proved by the commination, In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt dye: now all the posterity of Adam dyeth hereby. Besides, the same reasons which prove a conveniency for a positive law, besides the naturall for Adam, doe also inferre for Adams posterity. It is true, some Divines that doe hold a positive law would have been, yet seem to be afraid to affirme fully, that the posterity of Adam would have been tryed with the very same comman∣dement of eating the forbidden fruit: but I see no cause of questioning it. Now all this will be further cleared, when wee Page  109 come to shew, that this is not meerly a law, but a covenant, and so by that meanes there is a communicating of Adams sinne unto his posterity. And, indeed, if God had not dealt in a co∣venant way in this thing, there could be no more reason, why Adams sinne should be made ours, then the sinnes of our im∣mediate parents are made ours. I know Peter Martyr (and he quoteth Bucer) is of a minde, that the sinnes of the immediate parents are made the sins of the posterity; and Austin inclineth much to that way: but this may serve to confute it, that the A∣postle, Rom. 5. doth still lay death upon one mans disobedience. Now, if our parents and ancestors were as full a cause as Adam was, why should the accusation be still laid upon him? But of this more hereafter.

6. How the threatning was fulfilled upon him, when he did eat of*the forbidden fruit. We need not run to the answer of some, that this was spoken onely by way of threatning, and not po∣sitively, as that sentence upon the Ninivites; for these con∣clude, therefore Adam died not, because of his repentance: but Adam did not immediately repent, and when he did, yet for all that he died. Others reade it thus, In the day thou eatest thereof, and then make the words absolute that follow, Thou shalt die: as if God had said, There is no day excepted from thy death, when thou shalt eate. But the common an∣swer is best, which takes to die, for to be in the state of death: and therefore Symmachus his translation is commended, which hath, Thou shalt be mortall; so that hereby is implyed a condi∣tion and a change of Adams state as soon as he should eate this forbidden fruit: And by death, we are not onely to meane that of the actuall dissolution of soule and body, but all diseases and paines, that are the harbingers of it. So that hereby Christians are to be raised higher, to be more Eagle-eyed then Philosophers: They spake of death and diseases, as tributes to be paid, they complained of Nature as a step-mother; but they were not able to see sin the cause of this. Yea, in this threatning we are to understand spirituall death, and eternall also. Indeed, it's made a question, Whether, if Adam had continued, be should have been translated into heaven, or confirmed onely in Paradise? but that Page  110 his death would have been more then temporall, appeareth fully by Rom. 5. Indeed, the things that concern heaven and hell, or the resurrection, are not so frequently and plainly mentioned in the Old Testament as in the New; yet there are sufficient places to convince, that the Promises and threatnings in the Old Te∣stament were not onely temporall, as some doe most erroneously maintain.

7. Whether Adam was mortall, before his eating of the forbidden*fruit. And this indeed is a very famous question; but I shall not be large in it. The orthodox they hold, that immortality was a priviledge of innocency, and that Adams body then onely be∣came mortall, when his soule was made sinfull. This is vehe∣mently opposed by Papists, and by Socinians: now they both agree, that man should not actually have dyed, but for sin; only they say, he was mortall, as the Socinians, or immortall, by a meere supernaturall gift of God▪ But a thing may be said to be immortall severall wayes, as the Learned observe: 1. From an ab∣solute * necessity, either inward or outward; in this sense God only is said to be immortall. 2. When there is no inward materiall cause of dissolution, though outwardly it may be destroyed; and thus are Angels, and the soules of men. 3. A thing may be said to be immortall by some speciall gift and appointment of God, as the bodies glorified: and, as some say, the heavens and maine parts of the world shall have only a qualitative alteration, not a substantiall abolition. 4. That is immortall, which hath no propensity to death, yet such a condition being put, it will die; and thus Adam was: therefore in some sense he may be said mortall, in another immortall: But because he is commonly cal∣led mortall that is obnoxious to death, therefore we say, Adam, before his sin, was immortall; and this is abundantly confirmed by this sentence of commination. And therefore though Adam would have eaten and drunk, though his body was elementary, and the originall of it dust, though he would have begotten children; yet none of these can prove him mortall, because the righteousnesse in his soule would have preserved the fit tempe∣rament of his body, especially having Gods Promise made to his obedience.

Page  111 8. Whether upon this threatning, Thou shalt die, can be fixed*that cursed opinion of the mortality of the whole man, in soul as well as body. Of all the errours that have risen up, there is none more horrid in nature, and more monstrous in falshood then this: so that if it could be true of any mans soul, that it was not an im∣materiall substance, but onely a quality of the temperament; it would be true of the Authour of that Book, which seemeth to have little sense and apprehension of the divine authority in the Scriptures concerning this matter. What an horrid falshood is it to call the doctrine of the immortall soul an hell-hatched doctrine? And what a contradiction also to call it hell-hatched, when yet he holdeth there is no hell? But certainly you would think, for a man to dare to broach such an opinion, he must have places of Scripture as visible as the Sun. But this Text is his Achilles, and all the rest shrowd under this, from which he frames his first and chiefest argument, thus:

What of Adam was immortall through innocency, was to be mor∣taliz'd by transgression:

But whole Adam was in innocency immortall:

Therefore all and every part, even whole man was lyable to death by sin. But what Logician doth not see a great deale more foisted into the Conclusion, then was in the Premises? Whole Adam was to be mortaliz'd, therefore all and every part. What a non sequi∣tur is here? That is true of the whole; as it is the whole, which is not true of every part. If I should say, Whole Christ dyed, (for death is of the concrete, the person) therefore all and every part of Christ died, therefore his divine nature died; this would be a strange inference: yet upon this fallacy is the frame of all his arguments built. Man is said to be mor∣tall, whole man dieth, therefore every part of man dieth. There is difference between totum and totalii as, the whole, and every part of that whole. It's true, death doth bring the compositum, the per∣son, to a non-entity, but not every part of that compositum to a non-entity.

Besides, that which was immortall, is mortalized, according to their natures, the soule dieth a spirituall and an eternall death. But see how the devill carries this man further, and Page  112 sets him upon the pinacle of errour, and bids him throw him∣self head-long; because he doth evidently say, that if the souls were destroyed as well as the bodies, then there would be no heaven nor hell as yet; he is bold, and confesseth there is none till the resurrection. Now if this be so, then how shall that be true, that the heaven must contain Christ till he come? This doth exceedingly puzzle him, but he takes the heaven for the place where the Sun is, and concludes peremptorily (as if he had been in the same also) that Christs glorified body is in the Sun: Without doubt (saith he, pag. 33.) he must be in the Sun; and (saith he, pag. 34.) The Sun may be called well the right hand of God, by which through Christ in him we live, and move, and have our being: and there speaketh nothing but darknesse about light, as that the Sun is the vaile, to keep off the light of Christs body from us, which otherwise would be so glorious, we could not see it and live. But how dare any man make this interpretation, The heavens must contain him, that is, he must be in the Sun, till he come to restitution of all things? The naming of these things is confutation enough, onely this I brought as in a passage meerly, to see what cause we have to pray to God to keep us from our selves, and our own presumptuous thoughts.

Use 1. Of Instruction, that a law may be made, even to a righ∣teous man, and that threatnings may be menaced to a man, who yet is not under the actuall curse and damning power of the Law.

Use 2. To see the goodnesse of God, that tryed Adam but with one positive precept. This should be a caution against mul∣titude of Church precepts: how did Austin complain of it, and Gerson in his time?

Use 3. How the devill doth still prevaile over us with this temptation of knowledge. There were Hereticks called Gnostici, and Ophitae. This desire to eate of the tree of knowledge, hath brought much ignorance and errour. I know there are many people so sottish and stupid, that the divell could never intice them with this temptation: They account it a trouble, even the knowledge of meere necessary things to salvation; but when Page  113 men desire to know above that which is written, this is a dange∣rous precepice.

Use 4. To take heed of our selves. If Adam, thus perfect, did faile in a command of tryall about so little a matter, take heed where you set gun-powder, seeing fire is in your heart. Com∣pare this of Adams with that of Abraham, what a vast diffe∣rence? Austin thanks God that the heart and temptation did not meet together.


GEN. 1. 26.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

YOu have heard of a two-fold law given to Adam: one by outward prescript, for tryall and exhortation of his obedi∣ence, the other by implantation, which was the Morall Law, and of that at this time.

When God had made all other things, then man, the imme∣diate and proxime end, was created; it being Gods goodnesse to make no living creature before he provided the food and nou∣rishment of it. And thus man, the last, but the choicest exter∣nall and visible piece of his workmanship, is created, but in a great difference from the former; for his creation is brought in by way of deliberation and advice, Let us make man: which words denote, 1. The excellency of the man to be made, 2. The Mysterie of the Trinitie is here implyed; for, howsoever the Jewes would have it, that he spoke to the Angels, or the inani∣mate creatures: or others, that the word is used in the Plurall Number for dignitie sake, as they shew examples in the Hebrew: yet we rather joyn with those that doe think it implyed, not indeed that this text of it self can prove a Trinity, for the Plu∣rall Number proveth no more three, then foure or two, but with other places that doe hold forth this doctrine more expresly: so that in the words you have the noble and great effect, Man;Page  114 the wise and powerfull efficient, God; the excellent and admi∣rable pattern or exemplar, After our image: God made man after his image, and so implanted it in him, that that image could not be destroyed, unlesse man destroyed himself; not that this image was his naturall substance and essence, but it was a concreated perfection in him. Now, for the opening of this truth, let us consider these particulars:

1. Whether image or likenesse doe signifie the same thing. For * the Papists, following the Fathers, make this difference: That image doth relate to the naturalls that man hath, his rationall soule with the naturall properties; and likenesse to the gratui∣talls or supernaturalls, which were bestowed upon him. Now the Orthodox, especially the Calvinists, though they deny not but that the soule of a man, with the faculties thereof, may be called the image of God, secondarily and remotely, (herein differing from the Lutherans, who will not acknowledge thus much) so that principally and chiefly it be placed in righ∣teousnesse and holinesse; yet they say, this cannot be gathered from the words, for these reasons: 1. Because verse 27. where there is the execution of this decree in the text, there onely like∣nesse is named, and Gen. 9. there is onely image named, and Gen. 5. Adam is said to beget Seth after his image and likenesse; where such a distinction cannot be made: and this is so cleare, that Pererius and Lapide doe confesse it. Nor is that any matter, because they are put down as two Substantives: for that is usuall with the Hebrewes, when the later is intended onely as an Adjective: so Jerem. 29. 11. To give you an end and expectation, that is, an expected end; so here, image and likenesse, that is, an image most like.

2. It's considerable in what an image doth consist. Now the * Learned, they speak of a four-fold image, or likenesse: 1. Where there is a likenesse in an absolute agreement in the same nature: and thus the Son of God is the expresse image of the Father. 2. By par∣ticipation of some universall nature: so a man and a beast are alike in their common nature of animality. 3. By proportion onely: as the Pilot of a ship, and the Governour in the Common-wealth are alike. 4. By agreement of order, when one thing is a pattern for Page  115 another to be made after it: and this is properly to be an image; for two things goe to the nature of an image: 1. Likenesse, and then 2. that this likenesse be made after another as a pattern. Thus one egge is like another, but not a pattern of another: so man was made like Angels, yet not after their image, as the Socini∣ans would have it. So that, to be made after the image of God, implieth a likenesse in us to God; and then, that this likenesse in us, is made after that pattern which is in God. And howso∣ever man is a body, and God a spirit; yet this image and like∣nesse may well be in other considerations. It was the opinion of Osiander, that therefore we are said to be made after the image of God, because we are made after the likenesse of that humane nature, which the second Person in Trinity was to assume: and this hath been preached alate as probable; but that may here∣after be confuted, when we come to handle that Question, Whether Christ, as a Mediatour, was knowne and considered of in the state of innocency?

3. Let us consider in what that image or likenesse doth consist.* Where, not standing upon the rationall soule of a man, which we call the remote image of God, in which sense, we are forbid to kill a man, or to curse a man, because he is made after the image of God; we may take notice of the severall perfections and qua∣lifications in Adams soul: As, 1. In his Understanding there was an exact knowledge of divine and naturall things: Of divine, because otherwise he could not have loved God, if he had not known him, nor could he be said to be made very good. Hence some make a three-fold light: 1. That of immediate knowledge, which Adam had. 2. The light of faith, which the regenerate have. 3. The light of glory, which the Saints in heaven have. Now how great is this perfection? Even Aristotle said, that a little knowledge, though conjecturall, about heavenly things, is to be preferred above much knowledge, though certain, about inferiour things. How glo∣rious must Adams estate be, when his Understanding was made thus perfect? And then for inferiour things; the creatures, his knowledge appeareth in the giving of Names to all the crea∣tures, and especially unto Eve. Adam indeed did not know all things, yea he might grow in experimentall knowledge; but all Page  116 things that were necessary for him, created to such an happy end, to know, those he did: but to know that he should fall, and that Christ would be a Mediatour, these things he could not, unlesse it were by revelation, which is not supposed to be made unto him. So, to know those things which were of ornament and beauty to his soul, cannot be denyed him. Thus was Adam created excellent in intellectuall abilities; for sapience, knowing God; for science, knowing the creatures; and for prudence, ex∣quisite in all things to be done.

2. His Will, which is the universall appetite of the whole man,*which is like the supreme orbe, that carrieth the inferiour with the power of it, this was wonderfully good, furnished with severall habits of goodnesse, as the firmament with stars: for in it was a propen∣sity to all good, Ephes. 4. 24. It's called righteousnesse and true ho∣linesse: and Eccl. 7. 29. God made man upright: His Will was not bad, or not good, that is, indifferent; but very good. The ima∣ginations of the thoughts of his heart were only good, and that continually. And certainly if David, Job. and others, who have this image restored in them but in part, doe yet delight in Gods will, how much more must Adam, who when he would doe good, found no evil present with him? He could not say as we must, Lord, I beleeve, help my unbelief: Lord, I love, help my want of love. He could not complain, as that man, Libenter bonus esse vellem, sed cogitationes meae non patiuntur.

Yet, though his Will was thus good, he needed help from God to be able to doe any good thing. I know there are some learned Divines, as Pareus, that doe deny the holinesse Adam had, or the help God gave Adam, to be truly and properly cal∣led grace; righteousnesse they will call it, and the gift of God, but not grace. Therefore Pareus reproveth Bellarmine for stiling his Book de gratia primi hominis: and his reason is, because the Scripture makes that onely grace which comes by Christ, and when the subject is in a contrary condition, as we are; but it was not so with Adam: but I cannot tell whether this be worth the while to dispute. This is certain, first, that Adam could not per∣severe or continue in obedience to God, without help from God. Nor secondly, was he confirmed in a state of goodnesse, as the Page  117 Angels are; yea, as every godly man now is through Christ: and therefore being mutable, we may well conceive a possibility of his falling, though made thus holy.

3. In his Affections. 1. These tempests and waves were under the*command of that holinesse: They were to Adam as wings to the bird, as wheels to the chariot; and he was not, as Actaeon; de∣voured of those that followed him, as it is with us: for, if you consider Affections in the rise of them, they did not move, or stirre, but when holinesse commanded them. This is proved, in that he was made right: Therefore there could not any Affection stirre or move irregularly; as it's said of Christ; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, he troubled himself. There were indeed Affections moving in Christ, and so in Adam; but they were as clean water moved in a clear glasse: but in us they are as water stirred in a muddy place, which casteth great defilement. Adam therefore, being made right, he could set his Affections, as the Artificer doth his clock, to make it strike when and what he will.

2. These Affections are subjected in regard of the continuance of them. When our Affection and Passions are raised, how hardly are they composed again? how are we angry, and sin? how doe we grieve, and sin? whereas in the state of innocency, they were so under the nurture of it, that, as we command our dogs to fetch and carry, and to lay down; so could Adam then do, bid come fetch such an object, and then bid it to lay down again.

3. In regard of the degrèes of them. We are so corrupted, that we cannot love, but we over-love; we cannot grieve, but we over-grieve: All our heat is presently feaverish; but it was then far otherwise. Now then by this righteousnesse you may perceive the glorious image that God put upon us, and apply it to us, who are banished not onely out of a place of Paradise, but out of all these inward abilities: and who can deplore our estate enough?

Thus was the Morall Law written in his heart: and what the command is for direction, that he was for conversation. And howsoever the Socinians deny this law written in his heart, yet acknowledging he had a conscience, which had dictates of that which was good and righteous, it amounts almost to as much. Page  118 Non is it any matter, though we reade not of any such outward law given to him: nor is it necessary to make such a Question, Whether the breach of the Morall Law would have undone Adam and his posterity, as well as the transgression of the positive law. For all must necessarily think, that the Morall Law implanted in his heart, and obedience thereunto, was the greatest part of Adams happinesse and holinesse. Although we told you, disobedience unto that positive precept, which was onely for tryall, might in some sense be judged more hainous, then disobedience to the Morall Law.

In the next place, the image of God did consist in a freedome from*all feare of misery and danger, even proportionably as God is without feare: And this happinesse is the consequent of his holinesse. And if it be true of the image of God repaired in us, that it is to make us serve him without fear all, the dayes of our life, how much more must it be verified of Adam in that estate? And if you demand how Adam could be without feare, seeing he knew he might fall, and so become miserable: the Answer is to be taken from that state wherein he was created; having no guilt within him, he could have no feare: Even as some learned men say, the godly shall remember their sins in heaven, yet without shame and sor∣row, because that glorified nature is not capable of it. And this is a reason why Eve was not a friend of the Serpent, thought it was used by the devill to speak.

Lastly, this image of God consisted in the dominion and soveraignty*he had over the other creatures. And this was rather a consequent of this image, then part of it; for when God had declared his will to make man after his image, then he also said he should rule over the rest. The Socinians indeed make this the onely ground or particular wherein this image doth consist, and there∣fore hold that the woman was not made after the image of God, because she was made in subordination to the man. But that is easily answered; for, although she was made in subjection to him, yet with dominion over the rest of the creatures. Now we might adde also, that in his body there was something of Gods image; as the impassibility of it, and the immortality: but these things do not come within my subject.

Page  119 We therefore come to shew the properties of this righteous∣nesse and holinesse that was thus fixed in Adams heart.

1. It's called originall, to difference it from actuall holinesse; as * we call it originall sin, to distinguish it from actuall: and there∣fore the Learned call it originall, partly in regard of it self, because it was the first righteousnesse; partly because of Adam, who had it as soon as he was created. As the Schools say of originall sin, Quàm primum originatur homo, originatur itidem peccatum; so we may of Adam in his righteousnesse, In ortu virtus, as the Father said, In ortu vitium est: and partly in regard of his posterity, for it should have been propagated to them.

2. Another property of this righteousnesse is, That it is uni∣versall,*comprehending the rectitude of all the parts and faculties of the soul: so that Adam was, for his soul, as Absalom is said to be comely for his body, from the head to the foot no blemish at all: so that this was not a perfection in one part onely, but all over; as our corruption makes us, as he said of the Martyr wounded in many places, totum vulnus.

3. It was harmonious: there was not onely rectitude in every * part, but a sweet correspondency one with the other; there was no rebellion or fight between the inferiour appetite and the un∣derstanding. Therefore some learned men say, This righteous∣nesse is not to be conceived as an aggregation of severall habits, but as an inward rectitude of all faculties: Even as the exact tem∣perament of the body is not from any superadded habit, but from the naturall constitution of the parts.

4. This righteousnesse and holinesse it was a perfection due to* Adam, supposing the end to which God made him. If God required obedience of Adam to keep the law, and happinesse thereupon, it was due not by way of merit, but condecency to Gods good∣nesse, to furnish him with abilities to performe it; as the soul of Adam was a due to him, supposing the end for which God made him. Indeed, now it's of grace to us, and in a far different consideration made ours, because we lost it. Lastly, this was to be a propagated righteousnesse; for, as it is to be proved here∣after, God did all this in a way of covenant with Adam, as a publike person: And howsoever every thing that Adam did per∣sonally Page  120 was not made ours, (we did not eate in his eating, nor drink in his drinking, we did not dresse the garden in his dres∣sing of it) yet that which he did federally, as one in convenant with God, that is made ours; so his sin and misery is made ours, then his righteousnesse and happinesse: As it is now, By one man sin entred into the world, and death by sin; so then it would have been by one man righteousnesse, and life by righteousnesse.

Questions to be made:

1. Whether this righteousnesse was naturall to Adam, or no? How∣soever * some have thought this a meere contention of words, and therefore if they were well explained, there would be no great difference; yet the Papists make this a foundation for other great errours: for, grant this righteousnesse to be supernaturall to Adam, as it is to us, then 1. it will follow, That all the moti∣ons rising in the Appetite against Reason, are from the constitu∣tion of our nature; and so no more sin, then hunger and thirst is. 2. That free-will is still in us, and that we have lost nothing but that which is meerly superadded to us. Or they compare this righteousnesse Adam had, sometimes to an Antidote, which preserves against the deadly effect of poyson: sometimes to a bridle, that rules the horse; so that they suppose mans nature would of it self rebell, but onely this was given to Adam to check it: sometimes to Sampsons haire, whereby he had superna∣turall strength, but when that was cut off, he had onely natu∣rall: So that by this doctrine, man, now fallen, should be weaker then he was, but not corrupted. Therefore we must necessarily conclude, that this righteousnesse was naturall to him; not in∣deed flowing from the principles of nature, for so it was of God, but it was a perfection sutable or connaturall to him; it was not above him, as it is now in us. As a blind man that was made to see, though the manner was supernaturall, yet to see was a natu∣rall perfection.

2. Whether justifying faith was then in Adam? Or, Whether faith*and repentance are now parts of that image? This is a dispute among Arminians, who plead Adam had not a power to beleeve in Christ, and therefore it's unjust in God to require faith of us, who never had power in Adam to doe it. The Answer is easie, Page  121 that Adam had power to beleeve, so farre as it did not imply an imperfection in the subject. It was a greater power then to be∣leeve in Christ, and therefore it was from the defect of an object that he could not doe it: as Adam had love in him, yet there could be no miserable objects in that state to shew his love.

As for that other Question, Whether repentance be part of the*image of God? Answ. So farre forth as it denoteth an imperfection in the subject, it cannot be the image of God; for we doe not re∣semble God in these things: yet as it floweth from a regenerated nature, so farre it is reductively the image of God.

3. Whether this shall be restored to us in this life again? How∣soever * we are said to be partakers of the divine nature, and to be renewed in the image of God; yet we shall not in this life have it fully repaired. God hath declared his will in this, and therefore are those stubs of sin and imperfection left in us, that we might be low in our selves, bewaile our losse, and long for that heaven, where the soule shall be made holy, and the body immortall: yet, for all this, we are to pray for the full abolition of sin in this life, because Gods will and our duty, to be holy as he is holy, is the ground of our prayer, and not his decree for to have such or such things done. Yea, this corruption is so farre rooted in us now, that it is not cleansed out of us by meere death, but by cinerifaction, consuming the body to ashes: for we know, Laza∣rus and others that died, being restored again to life, yet could not be thought to have the image of God perfectly, as they were obnoxious to sin and death.

Use 1. To humble our selves under this great losse. Consider what we were, and what we are, how holy once, how unholy now: and here who can but take up bitter mourning? Shall we lament, because we are banished from houses and habitations, be∣cause we have lost our estates, and comforts? and shall we not be affected here? This argueth us to be carnall more then spiri∣tuall: we have lost a father, a friend, and we wring our hands; we cry, We are undone: and though we have lost God and his image, all happinesse thereby, yet we lay it not to heart. Oh think what a glorious thing it was to enjoy God without any interruption; no proud heart, no earthly heart, no lazie heart to grapple with: see it in Paul, O wretched man that I am, &c. Page  122Basil compareth Paul to a man thrown off his horse, and dragg'd after him, and he cryeth out for help; so is Paul thrown down by his corruptions, and dragg'd after them.

Use 2. To magnifie the grace of God in Christ, which is more po∣tent to save us, then Adams sin can be to destroy us. This is of com∣fort to the godly, Rom. 5. the Apostle, on purpose, makes a com∣parison between them, and sheweth the preheminency of one to save, above the other to destroy. There is more in Christ to save, then in Adam to damne: Christs obedience is a greater good, then Adams sin is an evil: It's more honour to God, then this is or can be a dishonour. Let not then sin be great in thy thoughts, in thy conscience, in thy feares; and grace small and weak. As the time hath been, when thy heart hath felt the gall and worm∣wood of sin; so let it be to feel the power of Christ. As thy soul hath said, By one man sin; so let it say, By one man life.


GENES. 2. 17.
In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die.

I Have already handled this Text, as it containeth a law given to Adam by God, as a foveraigne Lord over him; now I shall re-assume this Text, and consider it as part of a Covenant, which God did enter into with Adam and his posterity; for these two things, a Law, and a Covenant, arise from different grounds: The Law is from God as supreme, and having absolute power, and so requiring subjection; the other ariseth from the love and goodnesse of God, whereby he doth sweeten and mollifie that power of his, and ingageth himself to reward that obedience, which were otherwise due, though God should never recom∣pence it. The words therefore being heretofore explained, and the Text eas'd of all difficulties, I observe this Doctrine, That God did*not only, as a Law-giver, injoys obedience unto Adam; but as a loving God, did also enter into covenant with him. And for the opening of this, you must take these Considerations:

Page  123 1. That this covenant with Adam in the state of innocency, is more*obscurely laid down, then the covenant of grace after the fall: for af∣terwards you have the expresse name of the Covenant, and the solemne entring into it by both parties; but this Covenant made with Adam, must only be gathered by deduction and consequence. This Text cometh the neerest to a Covenant, because here is the threatning expressed, and so by consequent some good thing promised to obedience. We are not therefore to be so rigid, as to call for expresse places, which doe name this Covenant; for that which is necessarily and immediately drawn from Scripture, is as truly Scripture, as that which is expresly contained in it. Now there are these grounds to prove God dealt in these com∣mandements by way of Covenant:

1. From the evil threatned, and the good promised. For, while * there is a meere command, so long it is a law onely; but when it is further confirmed by promises and threatnings, then it be∣comes a Covenant. And if that position be true of some, which maketh the tree of life a sacrament, then here was not onely nudum pactum, a meer covenant; but a seale also to confirme it. And certainly, being God was not bound to give Adam eternall life if he did obey, seeing he owed obedience to God under the title of a creature, it was of his meere goodnesse to become in∣gaged in a promise for this. I know it's a Question by some, Whether Adam, upon his obedience, should have been translated into heaven, or confirmed onely in that naturall life, which was marvellous happy? But either way would have been by meer promise of God, not by any naturall necessity. Life must be extended as farre as death; now the death threatned was not onely a bodily death, but death in hell: why therefore should not the life promised be a life in heaven?

In the second place, another argument to confirme that God * dealt in a Covenant with Adam is, in that his posterity becomes guilty of his sin, and so obnoxious unto the same punishment which was inflicted upon Adam in his own person. Now we must come to be thus in Adam, either by a naturall propagation, and then Adam should be no more to us then our parents, and our parents sins should be made ours as well as Adams; which is contrary to Page  124 the Apostle, Rom. 5. who chargeth it still upon one man. And besides, who can say, that the righteousnesse, holinesse and hap∣pinesse, which we should have been partakers of in Adams stand∣ing, could come by a naturall necessity, but onely by the meere covenant and agreement of God? Adams repentance might then have been imputed to us, as well as his sin.

Lastly, the Apostle Rom. 5. makes all men in Adam, as the godly are in Christ: now beleevers come to receive of Christ, not from a naturall necessity, because they have that humane na∣ture which Christ took upon him, (for so all should be saved) but by a federall agreement.

2. Let us consider in the next place, what a Covenant doth imply;*first in the word, then in the thing signified. For I should deal very imperfectly, if I did not speak something of the generall nature of it, though hereafter more may be spoken of. You may there∣fore take notice, that there are things among men, that doe in∣duce a publike obligation, that yet doe differ: A Law, a Cove∣nant, and a Testament. Now a Law and a Testament, they are ab∣solute, and doe not imply any consent of the party under them: As a Law requireth subjection, not attending unto, or expecting the consent of inferiours; and so a Testament, or a Will of man, is to bequeath such goods and legacies unto a man, not expecting a consent. Indeed sometimes such goods are bequeathed with a condition, and so a man may refuse whether he will be execu∣tor, or no; but this is accidentall to the nature of a Testament. But a Covenant, that differs from the two former, in that it doth require consent and agreement between two parties: and in Divinity, if it be between man entire and upright, it is called by some, A Covenant of friendship; if it be between God and man fallen, it is called, A Covenant of reconciliation. Hence in Covenants, that are not nuda pacta (meer Covenants) but are ac∣companied with some solemnities, there were stipulations added, which were done by Question and Answer: Doe you promise? I promise. Hence it is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and we call it Stipulation, from the Latine word, which comes from the Greek word, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is as much as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, because these words did make the Covenant valid. As for IsidorusPage  125 his etymology of stipulation, à frangendis stipulis, because, when they promised or entred into an agreement, they brake a stick be∣tween them, and then joyning it together, so made a promise, and every party kept a piece, as a tally, to maintain their agreement; this is rejected by the learned Salmasius.

But because a Covenant doth thus differ from a Testament, hence hath it troubled the Learned, why the Hebrew word, which signifieth a Covenant, should be translated by the Septua∣gint, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Testament; and so the New Testament useth it in this sense: for, if it be a Covenant, how can it be a Testament, which implyeth no consent? Let us answer first to the word, and then to the matter. Therefore is a Covenant called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Te∣stament, and not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (as Aquila translates it) because this word is of a large sense, coming from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to order and dispose: and when we say, the New or Old Testament, it is not to be taken so strictly, as we call a mans Will and Testament, though sometimes the Apostle doth, in reference to Christs death; but more largely, for Gods gracious ordering of such mercies and spirituall benefits to us, by the death of Christ: for the Co∣venant of grace implyeth Christs death, it being a Covenant of reconciliation. Now, because there is in the Covenant of grace something of a Covenant, and something of a Testament also, hence some do call it a Testament-Covenant, because it is of a mixt nature. The rise of the Hebrew word Berith is variously con∣jectured: some make it to come from a word that signifieth to eat, because of the sacrifices and feasts that were at a Covenant: some from a word that signifieth to cut, because then in the striking of the Covenant, there was a division of the beast that was killed: some from the word that signifieth to create, as also to order and dispose things by way of likenesse: some from a word that signifieth to be pure, and to choose, either because it's by agree∣ment, or because in Covenants they ought to deal without all fraud: but I stand not upon these things.

By this which hath been said it may appeare, that the Cove∣nant God made with Adam, though it be truly called a Cove∣nant; yet no wayes a Testament, because there did not intervene the death of any to procure this good for Adam. Now to all Page  126 this that hath been said, there must this caution be added, That a Covenant is not so properly said to be with God and man, as between man and man: for among them consent is requisite, and doth mutually concurre to make the Covenant valid: but neither in the Covenant of Nature or Grace is this consent anteceding the validity of the Covenant required in man. Therefore if you re∣gard the use of the word, and the application of it, it doth de∣note Gods decree, and will, or promise about things, whether about the irrationall creatures, or the reasonable: Such was Gods Covenant not to drown the world, and Gods Covenant with day and night; yea, Gods Covenant with Abraham did induce an obligation and tye upon Abraham to circumcise his childe. And thus it was with Adam, Gods Covenant did not depend properly upon his consent and acceptation, for he was bound to doe as God commanded, whether he would agree, or no.

That Adams consent was not necessary to make the Covenant valid, doth appeare, in that he was bound to accept what God did require. And it's indeed disputed, Whether Adam did so much as know (and if he did not know, he could not consent) that God did indent with him as a publike person, and so all his posterity in him; although it may truly be thought, that Adam did know this precept to be to him and his posterity: for hereby his sinne is made the more hainous, in undoing himself and all his; as also, by the knowledge of this, he would be the more thankfull unto God, that should propagate such great mercies to him and his, and also be made more vigilant against falling.

3. In the next place let us consider, how God can be said to cove∣nant,*or enter into a promise with man: for it may be thought an imperfection, and hereby God may seeme to lose his right, that he cannot doe what he will. But this may be easily answered; for, if God can give good things to man, he may also promise to give them: and therefore both to give, and to promise to give, are acts of liberality and dominion, and so not repugning to the majesty of God: Nor doth God by promising to give, lose his dominion, no more then he doth by giving. It is true, a pro∣mise Page  127 doth induce an obligation, and so in man it is with some imperfection; but in God it is not, because he doth not hereby become obliged to us, but to his own self: so that we have not a right of justice to the thing, because God hath promised it to us; but only God cannot deny himself nor his word, and there∣fore we are confident.

And so Aquinas well, Deus non est debitor, quia ad alia non ordinatur, sed omnia ad ipsum, God by covenanting and pro∣mising doth not become a debtor, because he is not to be ordered for other things, but all things for him. Hence is that saying of God, Reddit debita nulli debens, donat debita nihil pendens: And so again, Justus est, non quia reddit debitum, sed quia facit quod decet summè bonum: So that when God entreth into a covenant or promise, you must conceive of this sutably to his great majesty; you must not apprehend of it, as when two men agree that are equall, and therefore a debt of justice ariseth between them, and one may implead the other; but as a mercifull condescension on Gods part, to promise such things to us, that so we might be the more confirmed in our hope in him. Hence Durand and Ari∣minensis labour to prove, that Gods promises doe not induce an obligation, but denote the disposition of God to give, although their arguments exclude onely a debt of justice from God. Therefore although in the Covenant God makes with man, there is a compact of mutuall fidelity, yet there is not a recipro∣call, and equall right of covenanting, because of the inequality of the Covenanters; so that the whole disposition and ordering of the Covenant with such conditions is on Gods part, and not mans: Hence it's called Gods Covenant, and not mans.

4. Consider why God will deale with man in a covenant way ra∣ther then in a meere absolute supreme way. There may be these Reasons:

1. That God might hereby sweeten and indeare himself to us. For, * whereas he might require all obedience from us, and annihilate us at last, or at least not vouchsafe heaven and ever lasting hap∣pinesse; to shew how good and loving he is, he will reward that most bountifully, which is otherwise due to him: for God did not make man, because he needed him, but that there might be Page  128 objects to whom he would communicate his love. Thou needest not my goodnesse, or, that extendeth not to thee, saith David. It's Austins expression, The earth doth farre otherwise dry up, or swallow the water, thirsting for it, then the Sun beames, which also consume the water: the one doth it indigentiâ out of want; the other potentiâ, out of power and strength: so that Adam could not but have thankfull and loving thoughts of God, that would thus condescend.

2. Another Reason might be, to incite and incourage Adam the*more to obedience. For, howsoever there was no sin in Adam, or remisnesse: yet this might serve as a meanes to preserve him in his obedience to God. And here you may see, that to do a duty, because of a reward promised, is not a slavish and unlawfull thing; for did not God deale thus with Adam? If he would obey, he should live; but if not, then he must dye. Will you say, with the Antinomian, That this was an unlawfull thing, and this was to make Adam legall, and one that was not affected with the goodnesse of God to him? It is true, if a man obey God out of love to any thing more then God, or equally with God, this is unlawfull, according to that, Minus te amat, qui tecum (Domine) aliquid amat.

3. That hereby Adams obedience might be the more willing and free.* An absolute law might seeme to extort obedience, but a covenant and agreement makes it to appeare more free and willing, as if Adam would have obeyed, though there could have been no ob∣ligation upon him to doe it.

5. Consider that the nature of this Covenant was of works, and not*of faith. It was not said to Adam, Beleeve, and have life eternall; but, Obey, even perfect and entire obedience. It is true indeed, there was faith of adherence and dependance upon God in his promise and word, and this faith doth not imply any imperfecti∣on of the state of the subject as sinfull, (which justifying faith doth) for it was in Christ, who in his temptations and tryalls did trust in God. And what the Old Testament calls trusting, the New calls beleeving; yea, some say, that this kind of faith shall be in heaven, viz a dependance upon God for the continuance of that happinesse which they doe enjoy. This faith therefore Page  129Adam had, but in that Covenant it was considered as a gracious act and work of the soul, not as it is now, an organ or instrument to receive and apply Christ.

With us indeed there is justifying faith and repentance, which keeps up a Christians life; as the Naturalists say, the calor inna∣tus, and humidum radicale doe the naturall life: Faith is like the calor innatus and Repentance is like the humidum radicals; and, as the Philosopher saith, if the innate heat devoure too much the radicall moisture, or the radicall moisture too much the heat, there breed presently diseases: so it is with us, if beleeving make a man repent lesse, or repenting make a man beleeve the lesse, this turneth to a distemper.

Yet, though it were a Covenant of works, it cannot be said to be of merit. Adam though in innocency, could not merit that happinesse which God would bestow upon him: first, because the enjoying of God, in which Adams happinesse did consist, was such a good, as did farre exceed the power and ability of man. It's an infinite good, and all that is done by us is finite. And then in the next place, Because even then Adam was not able to obey any command of God, without the help of God. Though some will not call it grace, because they suppose that onely cometh by Christ; yet all they that are orthodox do acknowledge a necessity of Gods enabling Adam to that which was good, else he would have failed. Now then, if by the help of God Adam was strengthned to do the good he did, he was so farre from meriting thereby, that indeed he was the more obliged to God.

6. God, who entred into this Covenant with him, is to be considered*as already pleased, and a friend with him, not as a reconciled Father through Christ. Therefore here needed no Mediatour, nor com∣fort, because the soul could not be terrified with any sin. Here needed not one to be either medius, to take both natures; or Me∣diatour, to performe the offices of such an one. In this estate that speech of Luthers was true, which he denieth in ours, Dens est ab∣solute considerandus. Adam dealt with him as absolutely conside∣red, not relatively: with us, God without Christ is a consuming fire, and we are combustible matter, chaffe and straw: we are loath∣some to God, and God terrible to us; but Adam he was Deo Page  130 proximo amicus, & Paradisi colonus, as Tertullian, and therefore was in familiarity and communion with him.

But, although there was not that ordered administration and working of the three Persons in this Covenant of works, yet all these did work in it. Hence the second Person, though not as incarnated, or to be incarnated; yet he with the Father did cause all righteousnesse in Adam: and so the holy Ghost, he was the worker of holinesse in Adam, though not as the holy Spirit of Christ purchased by his death for his Church, yet as the third Person; so that it is an unlikely assertion which one maintains, That the Trinity was not revealed in this Covenant to Adam: so that this sheweth a vast difference between that Covenant in innocency, and this of grace. What ado is here for the troubled soul to have any good thoughts of God, to have any faith in him as reconciled? but then Adam had no fear, nor doubt about it.

7. This Covenant did suppose in Adam a power, being assisted by*God, to keep it; and therefore that which is now impossible to us, wa possible to him. And certainly, if there had been a necessity to sin, it would have been either from his nature, or from the devill: Not from his nature, for then he would have excused himself by this, when he endeavoured to clear himself. But Tertullian speak wittily, Nunquam figulo suo dixit, Non prudenter definxisti me, rudis admodum haereticus fuit, non obaudiit, non tamen blasphemavit, creatorem, lib. 2. ad Mar. cap. 2. Nor could any necessity arise from the devill, whose temptations cannot reach beyond a moral swasion. Therefore our Divines doe well argue, that if God did not work in our conversion beyond a morall swasion, he should no further cause a work good, then Satan doth evil.

Nor could this necessity be of God, who made him good and righteous: nor would God subtract his gifts from him before he sinned, seeing his fall was the cause of his defection, not Gods deserting of him the cause of his fall. Therefore, although God did not give Adam such an help, that de facto would hinder hi fall, yet he gave him so much, that might and ought to prevent it. And upon this ground it is, that we answer all those cavills, why God doth command of us that which is impossible for us to doe: for the things commanded are not impossible in them∣selves, Page  131 but, when required of Adam, he had power to keep them; but he sinned away that power from himself and us. Neither is God bound, as the Arminians fancy, to give every one power to beleeve and repent, because Adam in innocency had not ability to doe these; for he had them eminently and virtually, though not formally: But more of these things in the Cove∣nant of grace.

Use 1. To admire with thankfulnesse Gods way of dealing with us his creatures, that he condescends to a promise-way, to a covenant-way. There is no naturall or Morall necessity that God should doe thus. We are his, and he might require an obe∣dience, without any covenanting: but yet, to shew his love and goodnesse, he condescends to this way. Beloved, not onely we corrupted, and our duties, might be rejected; not onely we in our persons might be abashed, but had we all that innocency and pu∣rity which did once adorn our nature, yet even then were we un∣profitable to God, and it was Gods goodnesse to receive it, and to reward it. Was then eternall life and happinesse a meere gift of God to Adam for his obedience and love? what a free and meere gift then is salvation and eternall life to thee? If Adam were not to put any trust in his duties, if he could not challenge God for a reward; how then shall we relye upon our perfor∣mances, that are so full of sin?

Use 2. Further to admire Gods exceeding grace to us, that doth not hold us to this Covenant still. That was a Covenant which did admit of no repentance: though Adam and Eve had torn and rent their hearts out, yet there was no hope or way for them, till the Covenant of grace was revealed. Beloved, our condition might have been so, that no teares, no repentance could have helped us: the way to salvation might have been as impossible, as to the damned angels. To be under the Covenant of works, is as wofull, as the poore malefactour condemned to death by the Judge, according to the law, he falls then upon his knees, Good my lord spare me, it shall be a warning to me, I have a wife and small children, O spare me: But, saith the Judge, I cannot spare you, the Law condemnes you: So it is here, though man cry and roare, yet you cannot be spared, here is no promise or grace for you.

Page  132


GENES. 2. 17.
In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death.

HAving handled the Law of God both naturall and positive, which was given to Adam absolutely; as also relatively in the notion of a Covenant God made with Adam, I shall put a period to this discourse about the state of innocency, by hand∣ling severall Questions, which will conduce much to the infor∣mation of our judgement against the errours spread abroad at this time, as also to the inlivening and inflaming of our affecti∣ons practically.

These Questions therefore I shall endeavour to cleare:

1. Whether there can be any such distinction made of Adam, while innocent, so as to be considered either in his naturalls, or supernaturalls? For this is affirmed by some, that Adam may be considered in his meere naturalls, without the help of grace, and so he loveth God as his naturall utmost end, in that he is the preserver and authour of nature: or else in his supernaturalls, as God did be∣stow righteousnesse upon him, whereby he was inabled to enjoy God as his supernaturall end. And for this end is this errour maintained, that so man now born, may be made no worse then Adam in that condition at first: which errour, if admitted, would much eclipse all that glory which is attributed in Scripture to grace converting and healing of us. Therefore to this Question these things may be answered:

1. That it cannot be denied, but that in Adam such qualities * and actions may be considered, which did flow from him as a li∣ving creature, endued with a reasonable soul; so 1 Cor. 15. 45. there the first Adam is said to be made a living soul, that is, a living creature in his kinde, whereby he did provide and prepare those things for his nourishment and life that he needed: and this is Page  133 to have a naturall body, as the Apostle calls it. But we may not stay in the consideration of him as a man in an abstracted noti∣on, but as so created by God for that end, to be made happy. Therefore howsoever some learned speak of the animall state and spirituall estate of Adam, yet both must be acknowledged to be naturall to him.

2. In the next place, we doe not hold in such a manner his * righteousnesse and holinesse to be naturall to him, as that we deny every thing to Adam that was supernaturall; for, no que∣stion but the favour of God, which he did enjoy, may well be called supernaturall; so also that actuall help of God (say some,) which was to be continued to him: For howsoever the principle, and habit as it were of righteousnesse, was naturall to him; yet to have help from God to continue and persevere, was supernaturall. Even as you see the eye, though it hath a naturall power to see, yet there is a further requisite to the act of seeing, which is light, without which it could not be.

The second question is, Whether Christ did intervene in his help*to Adam, so that he needed Christ in that state? For here we see many learned and sound men differ: some say, that Christ, being onely a Mediatour of reconciliation, could no wayes be conside∣red in any respect to Adam; for God and he were friends: Others again make the grace of Christ universally necessary, even to Angels, and Adam; saying that proposition, [Without me ye can doe nothing,] is of everlasting truth, and did extend to Adam, not indeed by way of pardon or reconciliation, but by way of pre∣servation and conservation in the state of righteousnesse: Thus those excellent pillars in the Church of God, Calvin, Bucer, and Zanchy, with others. Now for the clearing of this truth, we must consider these particulars:

1. That it cannot be denyed, but that Christ, as the second Person of the Trinity, did create and make all things. This is to be diligently maintained against those cursed opinions that begin, even pub∣likely, to deny the Deity of Christ. Now there are three generall waies of proving Christ to be God: 1. In that the name Jehovah, and God, is applyed to him, without any such respect as to other creatures. 2. In that he hath the attributes of God, which are Omnipotency and Omnisciency, &c. 3. In that he doth the works Page  134 which God only can doe; such are, raising up from the dead by his own power, and creation: Now that Christ doth create and sustain all things, appeareth, John 1. Col. 1. and Hebr. 1. 3. so that it's impudent blasphemy which opposeth clear Scripture, to de∣tract this from Christ. Indeed, his creating of the world, doth not exclude the other Persons, onely he is included hereby.

2. What help the Angels had by Christ. Here I finde different thoughts, even of the judicious. That place Colos. 1. 20. To recon∣cile all things to himself by him, whether things in heaven or earth, is thought by some a firme place, to prove that the Angels needed Christ, even as a Mediatour: and Calvin upon the place brings two Reasons why the Angels need Christs mediation:

1. Because they were not without danger of falling, and therefore their confirmation was by Christ. But how can this be proved, that their confirmation came from Christ, and not from God, as a plentifull rewarder of their continued obedience? In∣deed, if that opinion of Salmerons were true, which holds it very probable, that the fallen Angels were not immediately con∣demned, but had a set space and time of repentance given them, this would with more colour have pleaded for Christs mediation; but that opinion cannot be made good out of the Scripture.

2. The second Reason of Calvin is, that the obedience of the * Angels was imperfect, or not so perfect, but that it needed par∣don; which he groundeth upon Job 4. 18. His Angels he charged with folly. This may be answered thus, That the obedience of the Angels may be said imperfect negatively, or comparative, in respect of God; it is not answerable to his greatnesse: but yet it is not imperfect privatively, as if it did want any perfection due to it, and so was to be pardoned. Therefore Eliphaz his expres∣sion tends onely to this, to shew the Greatnesse and Majestie of God, and that even Angels themselves are but darknesse to his glory. If you aske then, What shall be thought of the place Co∣los. 1. 20? I answer, This place compared with Ephes. 1. 10. [That he might gather together in one all things in Christ,] may well be laid together; for they speak the same thing. In the Epistle to the Colossians it's 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to reconcile; and that to the Ephesi∣ans,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which word some expound to be as much as to bring to its first beginning; and so it's explained by them, that Page  135 all things have suffered a defect from the beginning, and by Christ are to be restored to their former state: Others expound it of reducing all to one head, which is Christ: Others make it a me∣taphor, from those things which are largely set down, and then briefly capitulated, and summed up again; thus, say they, all that was prefigured by the sacrifices, is fulfilled in Christ: but we take the word in this sense, as it doth imply, to gather to∣gether those things which were scattered and divided; and so it doth excellently describe the ruine and confusion that is brought up∣on all by sin. But then here is the difficulty again, how the Angels can be said to be gathered, seeing they were never divi∣ded. To this some answer, that the All things here spoken in the text, are to be limited to men onely: so that the things in heaven, shall be the spirits of godly men already translated thither; and the things in earth, those men that are living. But suppose it be extended to Angels, yet will not this inferre their need of me∣diation by Christ, but onely some benefit to redound unto them by Christ; and that is certain: for, first, by Christ they have a knowledge of the mysteries of our salvation, as appeareth, Ephes. 3. 10. and secondly, hereby they have joy in the conversion of a sinner; and, lastly, Angels become hereby reconciled with man: and this seemeth to be the most proper and immediate sense of the place. So that I cannot see any ground for that asser∣tion, which saith, Because there is no proportion between a creature and the Creatour, therefore there must be a Mediatour. And if this hold true of the Angels, then it will also hold about Adam; for, there being no offence or breach made, there needed no Mediatour to interpose.

It's hard to say, Christ would have been incarnated, if Adam had*not sinned. All those, who hold the necessity of Christ to Adam and Angels, must also necessarily maintain, that, though Adam had not fallen, Christ would have been incarnated. Now when the Scripture nameth this to be the principall end of Christs coming into the world, to save that which is lost; unlesse this had been, we cannot suppose Christs coming into the flesh. Whether indeed Christ was not the first object in Gods decree and predestination, and then afterwards men, and then other things, is a far different question from this. As for Colos. 1. which Page  136 seemeth to speak of Christ as head of the Church, that he might have preheminency in all things, this doth not prove his incar∣nation, though no fall of Adam, but rather supposeth it.

3. Whether the tree of life was a sacrament of Christ to Adam, or*no? For this also is affirmed by some, that the tree of life was a sacrament given to Adam, which did represent Christ, from whom Adam was to receive his life. But upon the former grounds I doe deny, the tree of life to have any such sacramentall signification. It is true, I grant it to be a sacrament; for there is no good reason to the contrary, but that sacraments may be in the state of innocency; onely they did not signifie Christ. Why it was called a tree of life, is not the same way determined by all: some think, because it had a speciall quality and efficacy with it, to preserve Adam immortall; for, although he was so made, yet there were meanes appointed by God to preserve this state. But we will not conclude on this; only we say, It was a sacrament, not only to admonish Adam of his life received from God, but also of that happy life, which upon his obedience he was alwayes to enjoy. Hence Revel. 2. 7. happinesse is called eating of the tree of life, which is in the midst of Paradise. We do not in this exclude Adam from depending upon God for all things, or acknowledging him the sole authour of all his blisse: but onely there was not then that way of administration of good to us, as is now by Christ to man plunged into sin. And this must be said, that we must not curiously start questions about that state in innocency; for the Scripture, having related that there was such a state once, doth not tell us what would have been, upon supposition of his obedience.

4. And so we may answer that demand, Whether there was * any revelation unto Adam of a Christ? Now what might be done, we cannot say; but there is no solid ground to assert it: for, howsoever the Apostle indeed makes a mysterious applica∣tion of that speech of Adam unto Christ and his Church, to set forth their immediate union; yet it doth not follow, that Adam did then know any such mysterie. Indeed Zanchy saith, that Christ did in an humane shape appear, and put Adam and Eve together in that conjugall band; but we cannot affirme this from Scri∣pture. And by this also it doth appeare, that the Sabbath, as it Page  137 was figurative of Christ, had this consideration added unto it, as it was given to the Jewes afterward, and in that respect it was to be abolished. That opinion is very much forced, which makes those words of Gods blessing and sanctifying the Sabbath day, Gen. 1. to be by way of anticipation; and therefore would deny the command of the Sabbath to be given to Adam, saying, there was onely one positive law, which was that of not eating the forbidden fruit, that was delivered unto Adam. Now, though this be false, yet that consideration of the Sabbath, as it was figurative of Christ, was not then in the state of the innocency.

5. Another main question is, Whether this state of reparation*be more excellent then that in innocency. Now here we cannot say one is absolutely better then the other, only in some respects one is excelled by the other: As, the first estate of Adam did far ex∣ceed this in the rectitude it had, being altogether without any sin; for he was not created (as some would have it) in a neutrall estate doth plainly repugne that image of God, after which he is said to be created. Now what a blessed estate it is to have an heart not stained with fin, to have no blemish, nor spot in the soul, will appeare by Paul's bitter complaint, Who shall deliver me from this body of death? That estate also doth excell ours in the immortality and outward felicity he enjoyed; for our second Adam, Christ, howsoever he hath destroyed the works of sin and Satan, yet he hath not fully removed the scars which those sins have left upon us: Christ doing here, as those Emperours, who had taken their enemies prisoners and captives, but yet killed them not immediately, till the day of triumph came.

But on the other side, our condition is in one respect made * happier then Adams; which is the certainty of perseverance in the state of grace, if once translated into it. And this consideration Austin did much presse. We have indeed much sin with our grace, yet God will not let that spark of fire goe out: but Adam had much holinesse, and no sin; yet how quickly did he lose it? Not but that grace of it self is amissible as well as that of Adams, but because of the speciall promise and grace of God in Christ; therefore whom he loves, he will alwaies love.

Page  138 The next Question is, Whether we may be now by Christ said to*be more righteous then Adam? For so an Antinomian in his Trea∣tise of Justification, pag. 320. 321. quoteth places out of some Authours, as affirming this, that now by Christ we have a more perfect righteousnesse, then that of Angels, or was lost in Adam; and by this meanes labours to prove, that we are so holy, that God can see no sin in us. Now, to answer this, I deny not, but the orthodox sometimes have used such expressions, and upon this ground, because the righteousnesse of Christ as it was his, was of infinite value and consequence; and so as we are in a Me∣diatour, we are in a better and surer condition, then the Angels or Adam was: but they never used such expressions to the Anti∣nomian sense, as if hereby we were made not onely perfectly righteous, but also holy, and without sin. This opinion is at large to be refuted in the Treatise about Justification; only thus much take for an answer, That the doctrine, which holdeth the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, doth not necessarily in∣ferre, that therefore we have righteousnesse more excellent then Angels or Adam; for it is onely imputed to us for that righte∣ousnesse which we ought to have: it is not made ours in that largenesse or latitude as it was Christs, but as we needed it. Now God never required of us such an holinesse as the Angels have, or a greater righteousnesse then Adam had; and therefore it's a senslesse thing to imagine, that that should be made ours which we never needed, or ever were bound to have: so that those ex∣pressions of the orthodox must be understood in a sound sense.

7. Whether that which God requireth of us be greater, then that he*demanded of Adam in the state of innocency? For thus the Armini∣ans hold, that greater abilities are now required of a man to be∣leeve the Gospel, then were of Adam to fulfill the Law; partly, because the mysterie of the Gospel doth consist in meere revela∣tion, which the Law doth not; as also, because all the actions re∣quired by the Gospel do suppose a resurrection from that first fall. Now (say they) more is required to rise from a fall, then to prevent a fall. And all this they urge, to prove the necessity of universall grace given to all.

Now to answer this: First, I conclude (as before hath been proved) that the nature of justifying faith was in Adam, though Page  139 there was not such a particular object about which it may be ex∣ercised; for a thing may be for the nature of it, and yet not have such a name which it hath from a certain respect to some ob∣ject that now is not, or from some effects which it cannot now produce: So Mercy and Grace was in God for the nature of it alwaies, but as it hath respect to a miserable and wretched creature, that was not till the creature was made so. And so in Adam, there was the nature of love and pity, but yet in regard of some effects, which could not be exercised in that estate, his love could have no such name, as mercy or pity. Thus Adam for his faith, that faith which he did put forth in Gods Promise about eternall life, upon his obedience, was a justifying faith for the nature of it, but had not the denomination or respect of justi∣fying, because such an object was impossible in that condition. Hence that faith of dependency which Adam had, was the same in nature which justifying faith is. Therefore to the arguments proposed, we deny, that greater strength is required to rise, then to keep from falling; for the same things which would have preserved Adam from falling, as faith in the first place, the same also are required for a man to rise. And as Adam would have stood, as long as his faith in God stood, the devill labouring to shake that by his temptation; so Christ praying for Peter, a man fallen by Adam, doth especially pray, that his faith may not fail, because by that he was supported and strengthned.

Lastly, Whether Adams immortality in that estate, be not different*from that which shall be in heaven. Yes, it is very plain it is so; for he was so immortall, as that there was a possibility of morta∣lity, but it is not so with those that are glorified. Again, he was so immortall, as that he had a naturall body, which did need nourishment; but it is not so with those that are made happy. It is true, we have heretofore concluded, that Adam in his first estate was naturally immortall, for if death had been na∣turall, God had been the authour of death, and man would not have abhorred it. Neither did Christ dye simply because he was a man, but because he was a man made for us, who ought to dye because of our sin. Indeed, because Adam did eat and drink, and his body was a naturall body, therefore there was mortality in him in a remote power, but actuall mortality was hindered, by Page  140 reason of that glorious condition he was placed in; and there∣fore not actually to dye, but to be in a mortall state was threat∣ned as a punishment to him of all apostasie from God.

Use 1. Of Instruction. What comfort may be to the godly from Christ, though by nature all is lost. Who can heare with∣out trembling of this great losse? Righteousnesse and immor∣tality lost, God and his image lost. If thou lookest upon thy proud earthly sinfull heart, thou mayest say, It was not thus from the beginning: if upon thy sick, weak, and mortall body, It was not thus from the beginning. Now here is no way to keep up the heart, but by looking to Christ. Though thou hast lost the image of God, yet he is the expresse image of his Father. Though thou hast not perfect righteousnesse, he hath. Whatso∣ever thy losse and evil be by the first Adam, thy gain and good may be by the last Adam. Admire herein the mysteries of Gods grace and love. What may we not expect for temporalls, if needfull, when he is thus gracious in spiritualls? Are riches, subsistence, equall to Christ?

Use 2. Of Exhortation, not to rest in any estate, but that of restauration again. The word (as you heard) Ephes. 1. 10. to gather, doth imply that all mankind is like an house fallen down, lying in its rubbish and ruines. Let us not therefore stay in this condition: It's a condition of sinne, of wrath: Oh, much better never to have been born, then to be thus. How happy are all the irrationall creatures in their estate above us, if not repaired by Christ? And know, that to be restored again to this image of God, is a great and rare blessing, few partake of it. Holinesse must be as inwardly rooted and settled in thee, as ever sinne and corruption hath soaked into thee. Thou didst drink iniquity like water; doest thou now, as the Hart, pant after the water-brooks? The resurrection of the soul must be in this life. It was sinfull, proud; but it's raised an holy, humble soule.

Page  145


EXOD. 20. 1.
And God spake all these words, saying, &c.

HAving handled the Law given to Adam in innocency, both absolutely as it is a Law, and relatively as a Covenant; we now proceed to speak of that Law given by God, through the ministery of Moses, to the people of Israel; which is the great subject in controversie between the Antinomians and us. There were indeed Precepts and Laws given before Moses. Hence the Learned speak much of Noah's Precepts. The Talmudists say (as Cuneus relates) that these seven Precepts of Noah did con∣tain such an exact rule of righteousness, that whosoever did not know them, the Israelites were commanded to kill. But be∣cause these are impertinent to my scope, I pass them by. And in the handling of this Law of Moses, I will use my former me∣thod, considering the Law absolutely in it self, and then rela∣tively as a Covenant: for, as God (you have heard) hath suffe∣red other errours about the Deity of Christ, and the Trinity, and the grace of God, therefore to break forth, that the truth about them may be more cleared and manifested; so happily the Law will be more extolled in its dignity and excellency then ever, by those opinions which would overthrow it. The Text, upon which most of the matter I have to say, shall be grounded, are the words now read unto you, that are an in∣troduction to the Law, containing briefly,

1. The nature of the matter delivered, which is called Words;* so Deut 4. ten words: hence its called the Decalogue. Now the Hebrew word is used not for a word meerly, as we say, one word; for so the ten Commandments are more then ten words: but it signifieth a concise and brief sentence by way of command. Hence its translated sometimes by the Septuagint, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Page  146Deut. 17. 19. and sometimes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Psal. 118. 57. so in the New Testament, that which is called by Mark 7. 13. the word of God, is by Matthew named the commandment of God. So, Paul also, Gal. 5. 14. The whole Law is fulfilled in one word, that is, one brief sentence by way of command.

2. You have the note of universality, All these words, to shew, * that nothing may be added to them, or diminished: onely here is a difficulty, for Deut. 5. where these things are repeated again by Moses, there some things are transposed, and some words are changed. But this may be answered easily, that the Scripture doth frequently use a liberty in changing of words, when it re∣peateth the same thing, onely it doth not alter the sense. And happily this may be to confute that superstitious opinion of the Jews, who are ready to dream of miraculous mysteries in every letter.

3. There is the efficient cause of this in the Hebrew 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. This word is used in the plurall, as some of the Learned observe, defectively; and is to be supplied thus, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to denote the excellency of God, as they say the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is used for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for excellentissima fera. By the Sep∣tuagint its translated 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 because (saith a learned man) they interpreting this for the Grecians, and the wise men amongst them attributing the name 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to those that are called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, therefore they would use a word, to shew, that he who gave the Law, was Lord even over all those. Now God is here described to be the author of these Laws, that so the greater authority may be procured to them. Hence all Law-givers have endeavoured to perswade the people, that they had their Laws from God.

4. You have the manner of delivering them, God spake them,*saying: which is not to be understood, as if God were a body, and had organs of speaking; but only that he formed a voice in the air. Now here ariseth a great difficulty, because of Acts 7. where he that spake to Moses on Mount Sinai is called the An∣gel: This maketh the Papists and Grotius go upon a dangerous foundation, That God did not immediatly deliver the Law, but an Angel; who is therefore called God, and assumes unto him∣self the name Jehovah, because he did represent the person of Page  147 God. But this is confuted by the learned. I shall not preface any further, but raise this Doctrine, That God delivered a Law*to the people of Israel by the hand or ministry of Moses.

I shall (God willing) handle this point doctrinally in all the Theological considerations about the Law: and,

First, you must still remember, that the word Law may be used*in divers senses; and, before this or that be asserted of it, you must clear in what sense you speak of the Law. Not to trouble you again with the several acceptions of the word, which you must have alwaies in your eye, take notice at the present, of what a large or restrained signification the word Law is capable of: for we may either take the word Law for the whole dispensation and promulgation of the Commandments, Morall, Judiciall, and Ceremoniall: Or else more strictly, for that part which we call the Morall Law; yet with the preface and promises added to it: and in both these respects the Law was given as a Cove∣nant of grace (which is to be proved in due time:) Or else most strictly, for that which is meer mandative and preceptive, with∣out any promise at all: And in this sense, most of those asser∣tions which the Learned have concerning the difference between the Law and the Gospel, are to be understood; for, if you take (as for the most part they do) all the precepts and threatnings scattered up & down in the Scripture, to be properly the Law; and then all the gracious promises, wheresoever they are, to be the Gospel, then its no marvell if the Law have many hard ex∣pressions cast upon it. Now this shall be handled on purpose in a distinct question by it self, because I see many excellent men peremptory for this difference: but I much question, whether it will hold, or no.

2. What Law this delivered in Mount Sinai is, and what kindes*of laws there are, and why its called the Morall Law. It is plain by Exod. 20. & cap. 21. All the laws that the Jews had were then given to Moses to deliver unto the people, only that which we call the Morall Law, had the great preheminency, being twice written by God himself in tables of stone. Now the whole body of these laws is, according to the matter and ob∣ject, divided into Morall, Ceremoniall, and Judiciall. We will not meddle with the Queries that may be made about this divisi∣on. Page  148 We may, without any danger, receive it, and that Law which we are to treat upon is the Moral Law. And here it must be acknowledged, that the different use of the word Morall, hath bred many perplexities; yea, in whatsoever controversie it hath been used, it hath caused mistakes. The word Morall, or Morally, is used in the controversie of the Sabbath, in the que∣stion about converting grace; in the doctrine of the Sacraments, about their efficacy and causality; and so in this question, about a Law, what makes it morall. Now in this present doubt, how∣soever the word Moral beareth no such force in the notation of it, (it being as much as that which directeth and obligeth about manners, and so applicable even to the Judiciall and Ceremoniall: and these are in a sense commanded in the Mo∣ral Law, though they be not perpetuall) as to denote that which is perpetual and alwaies obliging; yet thus it is meant here, when we speak of a thing moral, as opposite to that, which is binding but for a time.

3. Whether this law repeated by Moses be the same with the Law*of nature implanted in us. And this is taken for granted by ma∣ny: but certainly there may be given many great differences between them: for,

First, if he speak of the Law of Nature implanted in Adam at * first, or as now degenerated, and almost defaced in us, whatso∣ever is by that law injoyned, doth reach unto all, and binde all, though there be no promulgation of such things unto them: But now the Moral Law in some things that are positive, and determined by the will of God meerly, did not binde all the na∣tions in the world: for, howsoever the command for the Sab∣bath day was perpetuall, yet it did not binde the Gentiles, who never heard of that determined time by God: so that there are more things expressed in that, then in the law of Nature.

Besides, in the second place, The Moral Law given by God * doth induce a new obligation from the command of it; so that though the matter of it, and of the law of nature agree in ma∣ny things, yet he that breaketh these Commandments now, doth sin more hainously then he that is an Heathen or Pagan; be∣cause by Gods command there cometh a further obligation and tye upon him.

Page  149 In the third place, in the Morall Law is required justifying * faith and repentance as is to be proved, when I come to speak of it as a Covenant; which could not be in the Law given to Adam: so the second Commandment requireth the particular worship of God, insomuch that all the Ceremoniall Law, yea our Sacraments are commanded in the second Commandment; it being of a very spirituall and comprehensive nature: so that although the Morall Law hath many things which are also con∣tained in the law of Nature, yet the Morall Law hath more particulars then can be in that. Hence you see the Apostle saith, he had not known lust to be sin, had not the Law said so, although he had the law of Nature to convince him of sin.

4. Why it was now added. The time when it was added ap∣peareth * by the 18. Chapter, to wit, when the people of Israel were in the Wilderness, and had now come to their twelfth sta∣tion in Mount Sinai. That reason which Philo giveth, because the Lawes of God are to be learnt in a Wilderness seeing there we cannot be hindred by the multitude, is no waies solid Two reasons there may be, why now, and not sooner or later, God gave this Law:

First, because the people of Israel coming out of Aegypt, had * defiled themselves with their waies: and we see, while they were in their journie in the Wilderness, what horrible gross impie∣ties they plunged themselves into: therefore God to restraine their impietie and idolatry, giveth them this Law, to repress all that insolency, so Rom 5. and Gal. 3. The Law came because of transgressions: Hence Theophilact observeth the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, It was added, signifieth that the Law was not primari∣ly, and for it's own sake given, as the promises were, but to restrain transgressions then over flowing: But,

Secondly, I conceive the great and proper reason why God at this time, rather then another, gave the Law, was, because now * they began to be a great people: they were to enter into Cana∣an, and to set up a Common wealth, and therefore God makes them lawes, for he was their King in a speciall manner; inso∣much that all their Lawes, even politicall, were divine: and therefore the Magistrates could not dispence in their lawes, as Page  150 now Governours may in their lawes of the Common-wealth, which are meerly so, because then they should dispensare de jure alieno, which is not lawfull. This therefore was the proper rea∣son, why God at this time set up the whole body of their Lawes, because they were now to grow into a Common-wealth. Hence Josephus calls the Common-wealth of the Jews 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a place where God was the Governour.

5. Whether this Law was not before in the Church of God. And * certainly, he that should think this Law was not in the Church of God before Moses his administration of it, should gratly erre. Murder was a sin before, as appeareth by Gods words to Cain; yea the very anger it selfe that goeth before murder: So all the outward worship of God, as when its said, Then began man to call upon the name of the Lord; so that the Church of God never was, nor ever shall be without this Law. And when we say, the Law was, before Moses, I do not meane only, that it was written in the hearts of men, but it was pub∣likely preached in the ministry that the Church did then enjoy, as appeareth by Noah's preaching to the old world, and Gods striving with men then by his word

So that we may say, the Decalogue is Adams, and Abrahams, and Noahs, and Christs, and the Apostles, as well as of Moses. Indeed there was speciall reason, as you heard, why at that time, there should be a speciall promulgation of it, and a solemn repetition; but yet the Law did perpetually sound in the Church, ever since it was a Church. And this consideration will make much to set forth the excellency of it, it being a perpetuall meanes and instrument which God hath used in his Church for information of duty, conviction of sin, and exhortation to all holiness: So that men who speak against the use of the Law, and the preaching of it, do oppose the universall way of the Church of God in the Old and New Testament.

6. The end why God gave this law to them. I spake before of the * end, why he gave it then; now I speak of the finall cause in ge∣nerall: and here I shall not speak of it in reference to Christ, or Justification, (that is to be thought on when we handle it as a Covenant) but only as it was an absolute rule or law. And here it will be a great errour, to think the promulgation of it had but one end, for there were many ends:

Page  151 1. Because much corruption had now seised upon mankind, * and the people of Israel had lived long without the publick wor∣ship and service of God, it was necessary to have this law enioy∣ned them, that they might see far more purity and holiness re∣quired of them, then otherwise they would be perswaded of.

2. By this meanes they would come to know sin, as the A∣postle * speakes, and so be deeply humbled in themselvs: the law of God being a cleare light to manifest those inward heart-sins and soul-lusts that crawl in us as so many toads, and serpents, which we could never discover before.

3. Hereby was shadowed forth the excellent and holy nature * of God, as also what purity was accepted by him, and how we should be holy, as he himselfe is holy; for the law is holy as God is holy: Its nothing but an expression & draught of that great purity which is in his nature; insomuch that its accounted the great wisedome of that people of Israel to have such lawes; and the very Nations themselves should admire at it. *

7. The great goodness and favour of God in delivering this law to them. And this comes fitly in the next place to consider of, that it was an infinite mercy of God to that people to give them this law. Hence Deut. 9. and in other places, how often doth God press them with this love of his, in giving them those com∣mandments? And that it was not for their sakes, or because of any merit in them, but because he loved them. So David, Psal. 147. he hath not done so to other Nations. Hosea also aggravates this mercy Hos. 8. 12. I have written unto him the great things of my Law 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉amplitudines legis meae, where the Prophet makes the Law a precious gift deposited in the Jews hands. And to this may be referred all the benifits that the Psalmist and Prophets do make to come by the law of God: insomuch that it is a very great ingratitude and un∣thankfulness unto God, when people cry down the Law, and the preaching of it. That which God speaks of as a great mercy to a people, they do reject.

Nor, because that God hath vouchsafed greater expressions of his love to us in these latter dayes, therefore may those former mercies be forgotten by us, seeing the Law doth belong unto us for those ends it was given to the Jews now under the Gospel, Page  152 (as is to be proved) as much as unto them. And therefore you cannot reade one commandment in the spirituall explication of it, (for the law is spirituall) but you have cause to bless God, saying, Lord, what are we, that thy will should be so clearly, and purely manifested to us, above what it is to Heathens, yea, and Papists, with many others? Therefore, beloved, it is not e∣nough for you to be no Antinomian, but you are to bless God, and praise him for it, that its read, and opened in our congre∣gations.

8. The perfection of this law, containing a perfect rule of all things*belonging to God or man. And here againe I shall not speak of it as a covenant, but meerly as its a rule of obedience. And thus, though it be short, yet its so perfect, that it containeth all that is to be done, or omitted by us. Insomuch that all the Prophets, and Apostles do but adde the explication of the Law, if it be not taken in too strict a sense. Hence is that commandment of not adding to it, or detracting from it. And in what sense the Apostle speakes against it, calling it the killing letter, & the mini∣stration of death working wrath, is to be shewed hereafter. When our Saviour, Mat. 5. gave those severall precepts, he did not adde them as new unto the Morall Law, but did vindicate that from the corrupt glosses and interpretations of the Pharisees, as is to be proved. Indeed it may seem hard to say that Christ, and justifying faith, & the doctrine of the Trinity, is included in this promulgation of the Law; but it is to be proved, that all these were then comprehended in the administration of it, though more obscurely. Nor wil this be to confound the Law and the Gospel, as some may think. This law therefore and rule of life which God gave the people of Israel, and to all us Christians in them, is so perfect and full, that there is nothing necessary to the duty and worship of God, which is not here commanded; nor no sin to be avoided, which is not here forbidden. And this made Peter Martyr (as you heard) compare it to the ten Predi∣caments.

Use. Of Admonition, to take heed how we vilifie or con∣temne this Law of God, either doctrinally, or practically. Do∣ctrinally, so the Marcionites, and the Manichees, and Basilides; whereof some have said, it was carnall, yea that it was from. Page  153 Devil, and that it was given to the Jews for their destruction because it's said to work wrath, and to be the instrument of death And those opinions and expressions of the Antinomians about it are very dangerous. What, shall we revile that which is Gods great mercy to a people? Because the Jews and Papists do abuse the Law, and the works of it to justification, shall it not there∣fore have its proper place and dignity? How sacred are the laws of a Common-wealth, which yet are made by men? But this is by the wise God.

Take heed therefore of such phrases, An Old-Testament-spi∣rit, and, His Sermon is nothing but an explication of the Law: For it ought much to rejoyce thee, to hear that pure and excellent image of Gods holiness opened. How mayest thou delight to have that purity enjoyned, which will make thee loath thy self, prize Christ and Grace more, and be a quick goad to all holiness? And if you say, Here is nothing of Christ all this while: I answer That is false, as is to be proved, if the Law be not taken very strictly: And besides, the Law and the Gospel are not to be severed, but they mutually put a fresh relish and taste upon each other. And shall no mercy be esteemed, but what is the Gospel? Thou art thankfull for temporall mercies, and yet they are not the Gospel; but this is a spiritual mercy.

Page  154


EXOD. 20. 1.
God spake these words, saying, &c.

I Have already begun the discourse about the Morall Law; and shall at this time consider those historical passages, which we meet with in the promulgation of it; that so the excellency of it may hereby be more known; for, whosoever shall diligently ob∣serve all the circumstances of the history of the Law, he shall finde, that God did put glory upon it: and howsoever the A∣postle, Hebr. 12. and 2 Corinth. 3. doth prefer the Gospel above this ministration of Moses; yet absolutely in it self, it was greatly honoured by God. In the general therefore, you may take notice, that therefore did God so solemnly, and with great majesty give the Law, that so the greater authority may thereby be*procured to it. Hence it is related of many Heathens, that they have feigned some familiarity with their gods, when they made their laws, that so the people might with greater awe and reve∣rence receive them: Thus Numa feigned his discourse with the goddess Aegaeria for his laws; and it's related of Pythagoras, that he had a tamed Eagle, which he would cause to come flying to him, to make people think his sentences were delivered from heaven to him. If laws of men might well be called by De∣mosthenes〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. how much rather this Law of God? It's but a conceit of Prospers, that Judaei were so called, because they received Jus Dei, the Law of God. Its further also to be ob∣served in the general, that God hath alwaies had apparitions sutable to the matter in hand. Thus he appeared in a burning bush to Mo∣ses, like an armed man to Josua; and with all signs of majesty, and a great God, being to deliver laws to the people that they might see how potent he was to be avenged for every breach.

Page  155 Again, in the next place, take also this generall Observati∣on, *That although the Judiciall and Ceremoniall lawes were given at the same time with the Morall Law, yet there is a difference be∣tween them. And this is to be taken notice of, lest any should think, what will this discourse make for the honour of the Mo∣rall Law, more then the other lawes? It's true, these three kinds of lawes agree in the common efficient cause, which was God; and in the minister, or mediator, which was Moses; in the subject, which was the people of Israel; and all and every one of them; as also in the common effects, of binding and obliging * them to obedience, and to punish the bold offenders against them. But herein the Morall Law is preheminent: 1. In that it is a foundation of the other lawes, and they are reduceable to it. 2. This was to abide alwaies, not the other. 3. This was im∣mediately writen by God, and commanded to be kept in the Ark, which the other were not.

Lastly observe, these two things in the generall, about the * time of the delivery of the Law: First, God did not give them his Law, till he had deeply humbled them; and it may be now, Christ will not settle his ordinance with us, till he hath brought us low: And secondly, Before they come unto the Land of promise, God setleth his worship and lawes. When he hath done this, then he bids them, Deut. 2. 1. Goe towards Canaan. This sheweth, A peo∣ple cannot have Canaan, till the things of God be setled.

But we come to the remarkable parts of the history of the * promulgation of this Law; and first, you may consider the great and dilligent preparation of the people to heare it. Exod. 19. for, first, They were to sanctifie themselves, and to wash their clothes. This indeed, was peculiar unto those times, yet God did hereby require the cleansing & sanctification of their hearts. The super∣stitious * imitating of this was among the Gentiles, who used to wash, that they may goe to sacrifice, Plaut in Aulul. Act, 3. scen. 6. yea, this superstition was brought into the Church, Chrysost. Hom. 52. in Mat. We see (saith he) this custome confirmed in many Churches, that many study diligently how they may come to Church with their hands washt and white garments: And, Tert. cap. 11. de Orat. Hae sunt verae mundiciae, non quas pleri{que} superstitiosè curant, ad omnem orationem etiam cum lavacro totius corporis aquam su∣mentesPage  156 This is true cleannes, and not that, which many superstious∣ly regard, washing their whole body in water, when they goe to pray. but this by the way, God did hereby fignifie what pu∣rity and holiness of heart should be in them to receive his Law.

The second thing requisite was, to set bounds, so that none*might touch the Mount. It's a violent perverting of Scripture which the popish Canons have, applying this a llegorically to a lay-man, if he reade, or medle with the Scripture; whereas not only a beast, but not the Priests themselves should touch this mountain: and hereby God would have men keep within their bounds, and not to be too curious. The Doctrine of the Trini∣ty, of Predestination, are such a mountain, that a man must keep at the bottome of it, and not climb up.

The third thing was, not to come at their wives. Some do re∣fer * this to those women that were legally polluted; but it may be well understood of their conjugall abstinency, not as a thing sinfull, but that hereby God would have them put off not only affections to all sinnes, but all lawfull things: so that this pre∣paration for three dayes, doth make much for the excellency of the Law, and sheweth how spirituall we should be in the recei∣ving of it,

2. The Declaration of Majesty and greatness upon the delivery*of it: For, although it must be granted, that this was an accom∣modated way to the Law, that did convince of sinne, and terrisie, (hence the Apostle, Heb. 12. 18, 19, &c. preferreth the ministra∣tion of the Gospel above it) yet this also was a true cause, why thundrings and terrours did accompany the promulgation of it, that so the people might be raised up to fear, and reverence of the Law-giver. Hence Rev. 4. 5. God is described in his Majestie sitting upon his throne, and lightnings with thunders procee∣ding from him. Now it's very probable, that these were raised by God in an extraordinary manner, to overcome the heart of the stoutest. And in this nature we are still to suppose the Law preached to us; for, howsoever all that terrour be past, yet the effect of it ought to abide upon every man, so far forth as cor∣ruption abideth in him: for, what man is there, whose pride, Page  157 lukewarmness, or any sinfull corruption needs not this awake∣ning?

It's said Exod. 19. 18. God descended upon the mount Sinai in a smoak of fire, and a cloud: all was to shew the incomprehensible Majesty of God, as also his terrour to wicked men; and in this respect the dispensation of the Gospel was of greater sweetness. Hence Gal 4. 24. the Apostle makes this mount Sinai to be Agar, generating to bondage. This I say, must be granted, if you speake comparatively with Gospel-dispensations; but yet the Psalmist speakes of this absolutely in it selfe, as a great mercy, Psal, 50. 2. Out of Sion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined; and the fire about him did signifie his glorious splendour, as also his power to overthrow his enemies, and consume them: so Psal 96. All the earth is bid to rejoyce at the Lords reigning, which is described by his solemne giving of the Law, which the Church is to rejoyce at; yea, ver. 7. it is applyed to Christ. Heb. 7. though the Apostle followes the Septuagint: so that if you take these things absolutely, they are lookt upon as mercies; yea, and apply∣ed to Christ. And it is made a wonderfull mercy to them that God did thus familiarly reveale himselfe to them, Deut. 4. 7. and Deut. 5. 4. yea learned men think, that Christ, the Son of God. did in the shape of a man deliver this Law to Moses, and speake familiarly with him; but especially see Deut. 33. 3. where the word loving signifies imbracing by way of protection in the bo∣some. The gifts of the holy Ghost were given with fiery tongues, and a mighty rushing wind, so that the Gospel is fire, as well as the Law.

3. Gods immediate writing of these with his own fingers in tables*of stone, Exod. 31. 18. Which honour was not vouchsafed to the other Lawes.

Now by the Finger of God, howsoever some of the Fathers have understood the holy Ghost; and, because the Finger is of the same essence with the body, infer the holy Ghost to be of the same nature with God: yet this conceit is not solid: although Luke 11. 20. that wich is called the finger of God, Matth. 12. 28. called the Spirit of God: We must therefore understand it of the power and operation of God, who caused those words to be writ∣ten there. The matter upon which this is writen, is said to be Page  158tables of stone. The Rabbins conceit, saying, that because it is said of stone in the singular number, that therefore it was but one table, which sometimes did appeare as one, sometimes as two, is not worth the confuting. That which is here to be conside∣red, and makes much to the dignity of the Law, is, that it was written by God, upon tables of stone, to shew the perpetuity, and stability of it.

And howsoever this of it selfe be not a demonstrative argu∣ment to establish the perpetuity of the Law against any Antino∣mian, yet it may prevaile with any reasonable man. Hence Law-givers, that have laboured the stability of their lawes, caused them to be ingraven in Brass, or a Marble: so Pliny, lib 3. ca. 9. speakes of brassie tables ad perpetuitatem monumentorum: & Pla∣to, as Rhodoginus reports, lib. 25. cap. 2. thought that Lawes should be written in tabulis cupressinis, quod futuras putabat aeterniores, quàm aereas. It is true, there is also a mysticall signification, which is not to be rejected, because the Apostle alludes to it that hereby was signified the hardness of the Jews heart, which could not easily receive that impression of the Law. Hence the excellency of the Gospel doth appear, in that it is by grace wrought in the hearts of men. But yet this is not so to be un∣derstood, as if God did not in the old Testament, even then write his Law in the hearts of men. Therefore that Promise of the Gospel mentioned by Jeremiah is not to be understood ex∣clusively, as if God did not at all write his Law in their hearts, but comparatively.

4. The sad breaking of this Law by the people of Israel. As the * Law given by God to Adam was immediately broken; so this Law given in such a powerfull manner to keep the Israelites in an holy fear, and reverence; yet how soon was it forgotten by them: For, upon Moses his delay, they presently fell into idolatry. Some think, they thought Moses was dead, and there∣fore they desired some visible god among them, as the Egyptians had: and because they worshiped Apis, an Oxe, hence they made a Calfe, wherein their wickedness was exceeding great (though, against the truth, some Rabbins excuse them from idolatry) be∣cause they did immediately upon the promulgation of the Law, when they had so solemnly promised obedience, fall into this Page  159 sin; and not only so, but worshipped it, and gave the glory of all the benefits they injoyed unto this: not as if they were so simple, as to think this a god, but to worship the true God by this. And this confuteth all those distinctions that Idolaters use, especially Papists, about their false worship. We are not to follow our own hearts, but the Word. As the childe in the womb liveth by fetching nourishment by the navell only from the mother, so doth the Church by fetching instruction and di∣rection from Christ.

5. The time of Moses his abode on the Mount. This also is ob∣servable * in the story; for hereby God did not only procure great ground of Authority for Moses among the people, but also unto the Law: And therefore, as some compare the time of giving the Law, with the effusion of the gifts of the holy Ghost in the Gospel, making the former to be the fiftieth day of their egresse out of Egypt, called Pentecost: so at the same time the holy Ghost was given to the Church: Thus also they com∣pare Moses forty dayes upon the Mount, with our Saviours forty days in the wilderness, when he was tempted. It was cer∣tainly a miraculous preservation of Moses, that he should be there so long, and neither eat, nor drink. But this example of Moses, with that of our Saviours, is very vainly, and unwar∣rantably brought for fasting in Lent.

6. Moses his zeal against this their idolatry, and breaking of the*Tables. When Moses came down, he saw how the people had transgressed the Law of God, which so moved him, that, in his zeal, he brake the Tables that were first made. This certainly was by the immediate ordering of God, to signifie, that this could not be a way of justification for them: and indeed, to hold that the Law can justifie, is so great an errour, that we are all Antinomians in this sense. One hath said, that the Law was like the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but the Gospel that is like the tree of life: yet this must be rightly understood; for God * useth the Law, as he doth his whole World, to beget and increase the life of grace in us, only this life is not that which can justifie us: and in this effect of the Law, to increase life, David doth often commend it.

Now some have attributed this to Moses, as a sin, accounting Page  160 it his impatiency and rashness to break the Tables. They ac∣knowledge it to be a good zeal for the main; onely they think here was some strange fire, as well as the fire of the Sanctuary. But although this excandescency of Moses was sudden, yet I see not, why it should be attributed as rashness in him to break the Tables; for he had brought those Tables as a sign of their Co∣venant stricken with God: but now, they having broken it by their Idolatry, it was very just to have the Tables broken in the eyes of the people, that so they might see how God was aliena∣ted from them: so that we think, he did it not with any sinfull perturbation of minde, but an holy zeal: God hereby also or∣dering, that they should understand, God would enter into a new Covenant with them; which made Austin cry out, O ira prophe∣tica, & animus non perturbatus, sed illuminatus! O anger pro∣pheticall, and a minde not disturbed, but inlightned.

7. Moses his petition unto God for his presence, and the manifesta∣tion*of Gods glory unto him, with Gods answer. Howsoever this doth not immediatly concern the promulgation of the Law, yet, because it's inserted before the reparation of the Tables again, and maketh for the honour which God put upon Moses, while he was setling the laws of Israel, we will give a touch at it. Cap. 33. ver. 12. Moses desireth Gods presence to be with him in con∣ducting of the people of Israel; and, as a sign, whereby he might be confirmed of his presence, he desireth to see Gods glory. It is hard to say, what was Moses his petition in this thing. I cannot be of their minde, who make this onely a vision, and nothing really acted: nor of theirs, who think that Moses desired to see the essence of God. I will not dispute that Question, Whether the bodily eyes of a man may be lifted up to that perfection, as to see God, Who is a spirit.

Nor can I think that they attain to the truth, who think by the glory of God, to be meant the reasons and grounds of Gods mercies, and in particular, his providence to the Israelites and by the back-parts, which Moses was allowed to see, the effects themselves of his mercy and providence, as if God intended to shew Moses his wonderful effects, but not the reasons of them.

Nor lastly, That Moses desired to see the humanity of Christ in glory, like that vision of transfiguration: therefore I judge Page  161 this most literall, that although it's said, ver. 11. that Moses spake with God face to face, which argueth familiarity, yet for all that, even then God was clothed as it were in a cloud interpo∣sing it self. Now Moses he desireth, that God would manifest himself in a more sensible, visible, and glorious way of an out∣ward shape; even as before he would have known Gods Name. Now God in part answereth him, and in part denieth him, shew∣ing such a glorious object, that yet he was not able to see, but where the light was lesse intense.

8. The reparation of the Tables again. And here is some diffe∣rence * between the former and the later Tables: The former, God provided both for the shape and the writing, as you heard; but here the forming or polishing of the Table is Moses his work, and the writing is Gods. The first is said expresly, Exod. 34. 1. Go, hew thee two Tables of stone like the former, and I will write upon these Tables. Here is the second expresly. So Deut. 10. 1, 2, 3. so that the writing of the Law on the second Tables, was as im¦mediately Gods work, as the former; but not the polishing or preparing of the Tables. Onely there is one place of Scrip∣ture, which troubleth the Learned much, that seemeth to oppose this, and to make the writing upon the second Table to be im∣mediately the act of Moses, and mediately onely of God, be∣cause he commanded and directed Moses to do so.

The place that seemeth to oppose this, is Exod. 34. 27, 28. I confesse, if we look into the coherence of these Texts, we shall finde some things difficult. But two things will help to clear it: first, that the things which Moses did write, were not the ten Commandments, but the severall precepts, that were by way of explication; and then the second thing is, that whereas the 28. verse seemeth to speak of the same subject, Moses; yet the two former predicates are to be attributed to him. viz. his staying with God fourty dayes and nights, and his neither eating nor drinking all that while: Then the third predicate is to be given to God, viz. writing upon the ten Commandments; for it's or∣dinary with the Hebrews, to refer the relative to some remote subject, and not the neerest; and this may untie that knot. There is this remarkable, that though the former Tables were Page  162 broken, yet now God enters into a Covenant of grace with them, as appeareth by proclaiming himself long-suffering, and gracious; but yet God causeth the ten Commandments to be written again for them, implying, that these may very well stand with a Covenant of grace, which opposeth the Antino∣mian.

9. The extraordinary glory that was upon Moses. This is a con∣siderable * passage; for the Apostle speaking of this, 2 Cor. 3. doth acknowledge the ministration of the Law to have a great deal of glory; but yet such as was to vanish. Where, by the way, take notice against the Antinomian, that the Apostle doth not there speak of the Law absolutely in it self, as if that were to be done away; but, the particular administration and dispen∣sation of it, that was no more to continue, which all grant. Now the Antinomian confounds the Law, with the administration of it. This glory and shining that was upon Moses, was (as it may seem probable) communicated unto him, when he beheld the glory of God. How long it continued, is not certain: that hath no probability of the Rabbins, who hold, it did conti∣nue all his life time. The Vulgar Translation makes it horned, Cornuta; hence the Painters pictured Moses with horns: but the word that signifieth an horne, is also for to glitter, and shine: as also those rayes of light might be cast forth from Moses his face like horns. This was so glorious, that he was forced to put a vail upon his face, when he spake to the people. Now the Text saith, Moses did not know his face shone. It's an ex∣cellent thing, when God puts a great deal of glory upon a man, and he doth not know it. Gregory applyeth this of Mo∣ses to Ministers, that, as Moses, because the people could not en∣dure the glorious light of his face, put a vail upon it, that so the people might converse with him: thus the Minister, whose parts and scholarship is far above the people, should put on a vail, by condescending to the people. But the Apostle maketh another mysticall meaning, wherein the hard things shall in * time (God willing) be opened.

10. The custody and preservation of the Law in the Ark. And this shall be the last Observation, that will tend to the excellen∣cy Page  163 of the Law. As this one was witten by the immediate hand of God, so was it only commanded to be preserved in the Ark. Now here is a great dispute in matter of History: for 1 Kin. 8. 9. it's expresly said, that in the Ark there was nothing save the tables of stone; but Hebr. 9. 4. there is joyned Aarons rod, and the pot of manna. Those that for this respect would reject the E∣pistle to the Hebrews, as of no authority, are too bold and in∣solent. Some think we cannot reconcile them; yet the Scripture is true, onely our understandings are weak. Some think, that at first God commanded those two to be laid with the tables of the Covenant; but when the Temple was built by Solomon, then all were laid aside by themselves: and therefore, say they, that the History of the Kings speaketh of it as a new thing. Some, as Piscator, make in to be as much as coram, before or hard by: and so they say, the pot and rod were by the Ark. But I shall close with that of Junius, who observes, that the relative is in the fe∣minine, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and so doth not relate to 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ark, the word immediatly going before; but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Tabernacle, In which taber∣nacle. And this is frequent in the Scripture to do so. And this, though it may be capable of some objection, yet doth excellent∣ly reconcile the truth of the history with Paul. Now how long these Tables of stone were kept, and what became of them at last, we have no certainty. This proveth the great glory God did put upon the Law above any thing else, which I intended in all these historicall observations.

Vse 1. Of Instruction. How willing God was to put marks * of glory and perpetuity upon the Law; and therefore we are to take heed of disparaging it. For, how necessary is it to have this Law promulged, if it were possible, as terribly in our con∣gregations, as it was on Mount Sinai? This would make the ve∣ry Antinomians finde the power of the Law, and be afraid to reject it. Certainly, as the Physitian doth not purge the bodies till he hath made them fluid, and prepared; so may not the Ministers of Christ apply grace, and the promises thereof, to men of E∣picurean or pharisaicall spirits, till they be humbled by the dis∣covery of sin, which is made by the Law. And I doubt it may fall out with an Antinomian, who accounts sin nothing in the Page  164 beleever, because of justification, as with one Dionysius a Stoick (as I take it) who held, that pain was nothing; but, being once sick, and tortured with the stone in the kidnies, cried out, that all that he had writ about pain was false; for now he found it was something: So it may fall out that a man, who hath writ, and preached, that God seeth no sin in a believer, may sometime or other be so awed and troubled by God, that he shall cry out, All that he preached about this, he now findes to be false. There∣fore let those that have disparaged, or despised it, see their sin, and give it its due dignity. They report of Stesichorus, that when in some words he had disparaged Helena's beauty, he was struck blinde; but afterwards when he praised her again, he obtained the use of seeing. It may be, because thou hast not set forth the due excellency of the Law, God hath taken away thy eye-sight, not to see the beauty of it; but begin with David to set forth the excellent benefits of it, and then thou mayest see more glory in it then ever.

An additionall LECTVRE.

GAL. 3. 19.
And it was ordained by Angels in the hand of a Mediator.

THe service and Ministery of the Angels about the promulgation of the Law, will much make to the honour of the Law; for we never read of Laws enacted by so sacred and August a Senate as the Moral Law was, where Jesus Christ accompanied with thousands of Angels, gave these precepts to the people of Israel: We read of three solemn services of the Angels; the first was, their singing at the Creation of the world, Job 38. 7. for by the morning stars, are meant the Angels: The second was at Christs birth, when they cried, Glory be to God, &c. and the third may be this in the promulgation of the Law. For the unfolding of the words, know that the Apostle in the former part of the Page  165 chapter, brings many arguments to prove, that we are not justified by the Law, and that the promise and eternall life could not come by it Now lest this discourse should seem derogatory to the Law, he doth here, as in other places upon the like occasion, make an objection: To what use then is the Law and v. 21. Is that Law against the promises? Which he answers with great indignation, God forbid; and to the former objection, he answereth in my Text, showing the end of the Law, that is, not the end of the Law absolutely in it self, but of the delivery at that time; it was added because of transgressions, to convince the proud and hypocriticall Iews of their wickedness, and thereby to seal that righteousness of Christ. He doth not here take all the manifold uses of the Law, but that which was accomodate to his present scope. This use he doth illu∣strate from the circumstance of duration; It was to be till the coming of Christ, whereby you see, that the Apostle meaneth not the Morall Law, as a rule of life (for that is eternall as is to be shewed) but the Regiment, or Mosaicall Administrations in the Ceremoniall part thereof: and there is nothing more or∣dinary with Paul, then to take the Law Synecdochically, for one part of the Law; which rule if observed, would Antidote against Antinomianisme: In the next place he commends this Law by a seasonable, and fit digression from a two-fold Ministerial cause, one proxime and immediate, the Angels; the o∣ther remote, by the hand of a Mediator: some indeed think this is added for the debasement of the Law, and to difference it from the Gospel, because the Law was given by Angels, but the Gospel immediatly by Christ: but I rather take it for a commendation, lest he should have been thought to have condemned it, for you know his adversaries charged this upon him, Act. 21. 21. That he spake against the Law: Now though the Apostle doth extoll the Gospel infinitely a∣bove the Law, yet he always gives the Law, those titles of commendation which are due to it; now in what sense the Law is said to be ordained by Angels, is hard to say. That you may the better understand this place, compare with it, Act. 7. v. 53. Who have received the Law by the disposition of Angels Heb. 2. 2. If the word spoken by Angels was stedfast, &c. Deut. 33. 2. The Lord came from Sinai with ten thousands of Saints, from his right hand went a fiery law for them: though this seemeth to refer to the people of Israel, rather then the Angels: But the Septuagint interpret it of Angels: In the Greek we have 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which is as much as command, sanction, and ordaining, as Rom. 13. 2. The ordinance of God; so then the sence of the places put together amounts to thus much, That Iesus Christ, Act 7. 38. Who is the Angel that spake to Moses in the mount, and the same which appeared to him in the bush, ver. 35 being accompanied with thousands of Angels, did from the midst of them, give Moses this law, and Jesus Christ is here called the Angel, because of his outward apparition like one. The Sanctuary did express this giving of the Law; for their God sate be∣tween the Cherubims, and from the midst of them uttered his Oracles, for Moses was commanded to build the Tabernacie, according to the pattern as he saw in the Mount, and that is the meaning of the Psal. 68. 8. The chariots of God are twenty thousand Angels, the Lord is in the mist of them, Sina is in he ho∣ly place: So a learned man, Deiu, interpreteth it; that is, God doth in the Sanctuary from the Cherubims, deliver his Oracles, as he did the Law on Page  166Mount Sinai from between Angels, and thus you have this fully explained. In the next place, you have the remote cause, by the hand of a Mediator. Some understand this of Moses, that he was the Mediator in giving the Law between God and the Iews, and so that Text, Deut. 5. 5. where Moses is said to stand between the Lord and them, may seem to confirm this interpretation; and Moses indeed may be said to be a Mediator typically, as the sacrifices were types of Christs blood, and as he is called, Act. 7. 35. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a Redeemer, though Beza, and our English Bible renders it a deliverer.

But many interpreters understand it of Christ, that he was the Mediator in the Law, and indeed the words following seem to approve of this; for saith the Apostle, a Mediator is not a Mediator of one, that is, of those that are one in consent, and accord, but of those that dissent; now Moses could not be truly and really a Mediator between God, and the people of Israel, when God was angry with them for their sins. Besides, the Law, as is to be shewed, is a Covenant of grace, and Christ onely can be the Mediator in such a Co∣venant by way of Office, because he only is Medius in his nature. Beza in∣deed brings Arguments against this interpretation, but they seem not strong enough to remove this sense given, neither doth this phrase, by the hand (which is an Hebraisme) denote alwaies ministery and inferiority, but sometimes power and strength, but more of this in the explication of the doctrine.

Obser. It was a great honour put upon the Law, in that it was delivered by Christ, accompanied with thousands of Angels: There was never any such glorious Senate, or Parliament, as this Assembly was, wherein the Law w•• enacted, Iesus Christ himself being the Speaker: and by how much the m••• glory God put upon it, the greater is the sin of those Doctrines, which do d¦rogate from it. Indeed though Christ gave the Law, yet the Apostle make the preheminency of the Gospel far above it, because Christ gave the Law one∣ly in the form of an Angel, but he gave the gospel when made man, whereby was manifested the glory not of Angels, but of the onely begotten Son of God. how carefull then should men be, lest they offend, or transgress that Law, which hath such sacred authority. It is a wonder to see how men are afraid to break mans Law, which yet cannot damn, but tremble not at all, in the of∣fending of that Law-giver, who is only able to save, or destroy. For the o∣pening of this consider: First, that Iesus Christ is the Angel that gave this Law, as the chief captain of all those Angels that did accompany him: For Act. 7. 35. It is the same that appeared to Moses in the bush, God the Father hath committed the whole Government and guidance of the redemption of that people of Israel into the hands of Christ: Hence Isa. 6. 3. 9. he is called the Angel of the Covenant, because he made that Covenant of the Law, with his people on mount Sinai: This is the Angel, that Exod. 33. 2. God said he would send before them to drive out the Nations of the land, and v 14. there he is called the face of God, or his presence which should go before them, and you have a no∣table place, Exod. 23. 20. I will send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place, which I have prepared: beware of him, provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him: by this it is clear, that it was Iesus Christ who was subservient to the Father, in this whole Page  167 work of Redemption out of Aegypt. Grotius in the explication of the Deca∣logue judgeth it a grievous errour, to hold that the second person in the Trinity was the Angel who gave this Law, and indeed all the Socinians deny this, be∣cause they say, Christ had no subsistency before his Incarnation: some Papists also think it to be a created Angel; but he must needs be God, because this Angel beginneth thus in the promulgation of the Law, I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Aegypt. Neither wil that serve for an answer, which Grotius saith, that the Angel cals himself the God that brought them out of Aegypt, because he is an Embassador, and speaks in the name of the Lord: for were not the Prophets Gods Embassadors, yet their language was, Thus saith the Lord, they never appropriated the name of Iehovah to them∣selves, whereas this Angel is called Iehovah, and 1 Cor. 10. 9. The Iews are said to tempt Christ, because he was the Angel that did deliver them by Moses.

It is disputed, whether, when any Angel appeared who was also God, that it was also the Son of God; so that in the Old Testament, the Father, and the Holy ghost never appeared, but the Son only; Austin thought it a question worth the deciding, when he spent a great part of his second book of the Tri∣nity in handling of it. Many of the ancient Fathers thought that it was the Son onely that appeared, so that all the apparitions which were to Adam, to Abraham, to Moses; the God that spake then, they understand to be the Son, and this was done they say, as a preludium to his Incarnation: But some of those Ancients give a dangerous, and false reason, which was, because they held, the Father only was invisible, and so apply unto the Father only that text, No man hath seen God at any time, so that they thought the Son might be seen, but not the Father, which passages, the Arrians did greedily catch at afterwards.

But this is certain, the second Person is no more visible, or mutable then the first; only it may be doubted, whether all those administrations and ap∣paritions which were by God in the Old Testament, were not by the second Person: indeed, in the New Testament, that voice from heaven, This is my welbelou Son, must needs be from the Father immediatly: It hath been very hard to know when the Angel that appeared hath been a created one, or in∣created, the Son of God. Tostatus gives this rule, when the things communi∣cated in Scripture, as done by an Angel, are of small consequence or be∣longing to one man, or a few men, then it is a created Angel; but if they be matters of great concernment, or belonging to many people, then it is by an increated Angel; he enumerates many examples, which are not to my pur∣pose, neither may we be curious in determining of the former question. Let the use of this be to take heed, how we cry down this Law, which God hath so honoured, either by Doctrines, or Practises. We may live down the Law, and we may preach down the Law, both which are a reproach to it; and the Law is of such a perpetuall, immutable obligation, that the very being of a sin is in this, that it is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a transgression of the Law, so that if there be no obligatory power of the Law, there can be no sin. If the Heathen thought politicall Laws, were the wals of a City, and it were no advantage to Page  168 have fortified wals, and prostrated laws; how much more is this true of Gods Commandments: Those three things which are required in a Law giver, au∣thority, wisdom, and holiness, were transcendently in God, therefore every sin hath disobedience in it, because it is against authority; folly in it, because it's against wisdom; and injustice in it, because against righteousness.

In the next place, it's worth the observing how Paul in this place, and so in his other Epistles is still carefull so to bound the doctrine of the Law and the Gospel, so as neither may incroach upon each other, from whence floweth this Doctrine.

That the Law ought so to be preached, as that it should not obscure the Gospel, and the Gospel so commended, as that there may be no destruction to the Law.

This was Pauls method in all his Epistles, which he diligently observed: Indeed, it hath been very hard so to give both their due, that either the prea∣cher, or the hearer, hath not thereby been inclined to make one prejudiciall to the other: Not but that the Gospel is to be preferred, and that in divers respects, but when it is so extolled that the Law is made useless, and unprofit∣able, this is to go beyond lawfull limits; and how difficult it hath been to hit the mark here, appeareth in that the Iews, Papists, Arminians, Socinians, and generally all Heretiques have advanced the Law, to the eclipsing of the Gos∣pel, and there have been few who have extolled the Gospel to the prejudice of the Law.

To proceed therefore regularly, we will shew when the Law is preached pre∣judicially to the Gospel, and when the Gospel to the Law.

In the first place, the Law is then stretched too far, when the works of it are pressed to justification, whether these works be the fruits of grace, or ante∣cedaneous to grace, it is not much difference to this point; and this is that dangerous doctrine of the Law, which the Apostle in his Epistle, doth so ve∣hemently withstand, and for which, he is not afraid to charge the teachers thereof, with apostacy from Christ, and such who make Christ, and all his suf∣ferings in vain. And this is indeed to be a legall Preacher, insomuch that it is an high calumny to charge Protestant Preachers, with the odious accusation of legall preachers; for he is not a legall preacher in the Scripture sence, which presseth the duty and works of the Law but that urgeth them for justification, and that righteousness which we must rely upon before the Tribunall of God: and thou mayst justly fear it is thy unsanctified & corrupt heart, which makes thee averss from the Law in the former sence.

2. The Law is used derogatory to the Gospel, when Christ is not indeed ex∣cluded from justification, but Christ and works are conjoyned together, and this is more sugred poison then the former: Now this was the doctrine of those false Apostles among the Galatians, they did not totally exclude him, but yet they did not make him all in all: but God doth not approve of such unequall yoking. It is equall impiety to preach no Christ, or an half and imperfect Christ; and therefore as those were cursed Doctrines which take away any of his natures, so also are those which diminish of his sufficiency. There is but one Mediator, and as God will not give his glory to another, so neither will Christ that of his Mediatorship to any other; so that, as God is jealous of his Page  169 honour, when men give it to fools, no less is Christ, when men give it to the works they do. And this makes the way of justifying Faith so difficult, be∣cause it is so inbred in mens hearts, to have something of their own, and so un∣willing are they to be beholding to Christ for all.

3. Then is the Law preached prejudicially to the Gospel, when it is made of it self instrumental to work grace. It cannot be denied, as is hereafter to be shewn, that the Law is used by God to begin and increase grace, but this cometh wholly by Christ. It is not of the Law it self, that this spirituall vertue is com∣municated to men. Even as when the woman touched the hem of Christs garment, It was not efficacy from the hem, but from Christ that wrought so wonderfully in her. It is one thing to say grace is given with the preaching of the Law, and another thing by the Law; so that the Gospel must be acknow∣ledged the onely fountain both of grace justifying, and sanctifying, for as in natural things, if no Sun did arise, every creature would lie dead, as it were in its own inability to do any thing there would be no naturall life, or growth; so if the Son of righteousness do not arise with healing, no Law, or Ordinance, could ever be beneficiall to us.

In the second place, the Gospel may be extolled to the ruin of the Law; and that first, when it is said to bring a liberty not only from the damnatory po∣wer, but also the obligatory power of it: How well would it be if the An∣tinomists, in all their Books and Sermons, while they set up grace and the Gospel, would make to themselves this objection with Paul, Do we then make void the Law? God forbid. Certainly if you take away the condemning power, and the commanding power of the Law, there will not so much remain of it, as did of Jezebels corps, when the dogs had gnawn it. Therefore stand fast indeed in the liberty of the Gospel, but study again, and again, whether that be Gospel-liberty, or prophane Licence that thou pleadest for: certainly, he that sets up the Gospel in a scripture way, and not a fancy-way, will go no fur∣ther then the bounds of the Scripture; do not use Gospel-grace as a cloak for thy more secure and loose walking. I tell thee, there is a great danger in those expressions, I have had enough of the Law; the time was, I dared not omit time of prayer: I was strict on the Sabbath day, and in all family duties, but now I understand my liberty better. Oh, know this is a Gospel of thy own making, Free-grace of thy own minting. I deny not, but that the people of God may by the Devil be kept among the Tombs, as that Demoniack was in sad thoughts, and slavish fears, which are opposite to the promise: I grant al∣so, that a Minister may as unseasonably press the Law upon some humbled Christians, as if the Samaritan had taken salt instead of oil, and poured it into the wounds of that man of Jericho. But for all this, the unskilfulness of the Physitian, may not derogate from the medicine; and as there is a time, when the Law may be unseasonably preached, so also there may be a time, when the promises should not be prest.

2. Then is the Gospel, or grace set up contrary to the Law, when Christians are wholly taken off from humiliation for sin, or from the threatnings that are in the Law. What a dangerous expression is that of an Antinomian, that the Law hath no more to do with a believer, then the law of Spain, or FrancePage  164 with an Englishman; There is nothing more ordinary, even in the New-Testament, then to awaken Believers with sad, and se∣vere threatenings. Take heed therefore, lest that condition, which thou so blessest thy self in, by Gospel light, be not worse, and more dangerous, then that wherein thou groanedst un∣der the Law. I speak not this, as if the people of God ought not to seek for a spirit of adoption, and to strive for an Evan∣gelicall temper, which certainly is most heavenly, and holy; but to take heed of temptations, and being drunk with this sweet wine. Let therefore from hence, both Ministers and people make an harmonious accord of the Law and Gospel in their practical observations. If on the Mount of transfiguration, Christ was in glory, and Moses in glory, and yet both together with∣out any opposition; so may the Law be a glorious Law, and the Gospel a glorious Gospel in thy use, and to thy apprehension.


EXOD. 20. 1.
And God spake all these words, saying, &c.

WE have already considered those historical Observati∣ons, which are in the delivery of the Law, and improved them to the dignity and excellency thereof. I now come to the handling of those Questions which make much to the clearing of the truths about ithat are now doubted of. And, first of all, it may be demanded, To what purpose is this discourse about the Law given by Moses? Are we Jews? Doth that belong to us? Hath not Christ abolished the Law? Is not Moses, with his Ministery, now at an end? It is therefore worth the inquiry, Whether the ten Commandments, as given by Moses, do belong to us Christians, or no?

And in the answering of this Question, I will lay down some Page  165 Propositions by way of Preface, and then bring arguments for the affirmative.

First therefore, Though it should be granted, that the Morall*Law, as given by Moses, doth not belong to us Christians; yet the doctrine of the Antinomians would not hold: for there are some learned and solid Divines, as Zanchy and Rivet; and many Pa¦pists, as Suarez and Medina, which hold the Law, as dilivered by Moses, not to belong to us, and yet are expresly against Anti∣nomists: for they say, that howsoever the Law doth not binde under that notion as Mosaicall; yet it binds, because it is con∣firmed by Christ: so that although the first obligation ceaseth, and we have nothing to do with Moses now; yet the second obligation, which cometh by Christ, is still upon us. And this is enough to overthrow the Antinomian, who pleadeth for the totall abrogation of the Law.

Thus, you see, that if this should be granted, yet the Law should be kept up in its full vigour and force as much as if it were continued by Moses. But I conceive that this position go∣eth upon a false ground, as if our Saviour, Matth. 5. did there take away the obligation by Moses, and put a new sanction up∣on it, by his own authority; as if he should have said, The Law shall no longer binde you as it is Moses his Law, but as it is mine. Now this seemeth to overthrow the whole scope of our Saviour, which is to shew, that he did not come to destroy the Law: And therefore he doth not take upon him to be a new Law-giver, but an Interpreter of the old Law by Moses. This I intend to handle, God willing, in that Question, Whether Christ hath appointed any new duties, that were not in the Law before, Only this seemeth to be very cleare, that our Saviour there doth but interpret the old law, and vindicate it from corrupt glosses, and not either make a new Law, or intend a new confirmation of the old Law.

Secondly, Consider in what sense we say, that the Law doth binde us in regard of Moses; And,

First, this may be understood reduplicatively, as if it did * bind, because of Moses; so that whatsoeveer is of Moses his mi∣nistery doth belong to us: and this is very false, and contrary Page  166 to the whole current of Scripture; for then the Ceremoniall Law would also binde us, because à quatenus ad omne valet consequen∣tia; so that you must not understand it in this sense.

Secondly, you may understand it thus, that Moses as a Pen∣man * of the Scripture, writing this down for the Church of God, did by this intend good to Christians in the New-Testa∣ment: and this cannot be well denyed by any, that do hold the Old-Testament doth belong to Christians; for why should not the books of Moses belong to us, as well as the books of the Prophets?

Thirdly, therefore we may understand it thus, that God, when he gave the ten Commandements by Moses to the people of Israel, though they were the present subject to whom he * spake; yet he did intend an obligation by these Laws, not on∣ly upon the Jewes, but also all other Nations that should be converted, and come to imbrace their Religion: And this is indeed the very proper state of the Question, not, Whether Moses was a Minister, or a Mediator to the Christians as well as the Jewes? (for that is clearly false) but, Whether, when he deliver∣ed the ten Commandements, he intended only the Jewes, and not all that should be converted hereafter? It is true, the people of Israel were the people to whom this Law was immediately promul∣ged; but yet the Question is, Whether others, as they came under the promulgation of it, were not bound to receive it as well as Jews? So that we must conceive of Moses as receiving the Morall Law for the Church of God perpetually; but the other Lawes in a peculiar and more appropriated way to the Jewes: For the Church of the Jewes may be considered in their proper pe∣culiar way, as wherein most of their ordinances were typicall, and so Moses, a typicall Mediator; or, Secondly, as an Acade∣my, or Schoole, or Library, wherein the true doctrine about God and his will was preserved, as also the interpretations of this given by the Prophets then living; and in this latter sense, * what they did, they did for us, as well as for the Jewes. And, that this may be the more cleared to you, you may consider the Morall Law to binde two wayes:

1. In regard of the matter, and so whatsoever in it is the Law Page  167 of Nature, doth oblige all: and thus, as the Law of Nature, it did binde the Jewes before the promulgation of it upon Mount * Sinai.

2. Or you may consider it secondly, to binde in regard of the preceptive authority, and command, which is put upon it; for when a Law is promulged by a Messenger, then there cometh a new obligation upon it: and therefore Moses a Minister, and * Servant of God, delivering this Law to them, did bring an obli∣gation upon the people.

Now the Question is, Whether this obligation was temporary or perpetuall? I incline to that opinion, which Pareus also doth, that it is perpetuall, and so doth Bellarmine and Vasquez

3. Howsoever Rivet seemeth to make no great matter in this Question, if so be that we hold the Law obligeth in regard of the matter, though we deny it binding in regard of the promulgation of it by Moses: howsoever (I say) he thinkes it a Logomachy and of no great consequence; yet certainly it is: For, although they professe themselves against the Antinomists, and do say, The Law still obligeth, because of Christs confirmation of it; yet the Antinomians do professe they do not differ here from them, but they say, the Law bindeth in regard of the matter, and as it is in the hand of Jesus Christ. It is true, this expression of theirs is contradicted by them, and necessarily it must be so: for Islebius, and the old Antinomians, with the latter also, do not only speake against the Law as binding by Moses; but the bona opera, the good works, which are the matter of the Law, as appeareth in their dangerous positions about good works, which heretofore. I have examined: but, truly, take the Antinomian in their former expressions, and I do not yet understand how those Orthodox Divines differ from them. And therefore if it can be made good without any forcing or constraining the Scripture, that God when he gave the ten Commandements (for I speak of the Morall Law only) by Moses, did intend an obligation per∣petuall of the Jewes, and all others converted to him, then will the Antinomian errour fall more clearly to the ground; only when I bring my Arguments for the affirmative, you must still remember in what sense the Question is stated, and that I speak Page  168 not of the whole latitude of the Ministery of Moses.

And, in the first place, I bring this Argument, (which much * prevaileth with me:) If so be the Ceremoniall Law, as given by Moses, had still obliged Christians, though there could be no obliga∣tion from the matter, had it not been revoked and abolished; then the Morall Law given by Moses must still oblige, though it did not binde in respect of the matter, unlesse we can shew where it is repeal∣ed. For the further clearing of this, you may consider, that this was the great Question, which did so much trouble the Church in her infancy, Whether Gentiles converted were bound to keep up the Ceremoniall Law? Whether they were bound to circumcise, and to use all those legall purifications? Now how are these Questions decided, but thus? That they were but the shadows, and Christ the fulnesse was come, and therefore they were to cease.

And thus for the Judiciall Laws, because they were given to them as a politick body, that polity ceasing, which was the principall, the accessory falls with it; so that the Ceremoniall Law, in the judgement of all, had still bound Christians, were there not speciall revocations of these commands, and were there not reasons for their expiration from the very nature of them. Now no such thing can be affirmed by the Morall Law; for the matter of that is perpetuall, and there are no places of Scripture that do abrogate it. And, if you say, that the Apostle in some places, speaking of the Law, seemeth to take in Morall, as well as Ceremoniall, I answer it thus: The question which was first started up and troubled the Church, was meerly about Ceremonies, as appeareth Act 15. and their opinion was, that by the usage of this Ceremoniall worship they were justified; either wholly excluding Christ, or joyning him together with the Ceremoniall Law. Now it's true, the Apostles, in demoli∣shing this errour, do ex abundanti shew, that not onely the works of the Ceremoniall Law, but neither of the Morall Law do justifie; but that benefit we have by Christ onely: Therefore the Apostles, when they bring in the Morall Law in the dispute, they do it in respect of justification, not obligation; for the maine Question was, Whether the Ceremoniall Law did still ob∣lige: and their additionall errour was, that if it did oblige, we Page  169 should still be justified by the performance of those acts; so that the Apostles do not joyn the Morall and Ceremoniall Law in the issue of obligation (for, though the Jewes would have held, they were not justified by them, yet they might not have practi∣sed them) but in regard of justification: and this is the first Ar∣gument.

The second Argument is from the Scripture, urging the Mo∣rall*Law upon Gentiles converted, as obliging of them, with the ground and reason of it; which is, that they were our fathers: so that the Jews and Christians beleeving are looked upon as one people. Now, that the Scripture urgeth the Morall Law up∣on Heathens converted, as a commandment heretofore deli∣vered, is plain When Paul writeth to the Romans, chap. 13. 8, 9. he telleth them, Love is the fulfilling of the Law; and thereup∣on reckons up the commandments which were given by Moses. Thus when he writeth to the Ephesians, that were not Jews, cap. 6. 2. he urgeth children to honour their father and mother, be∣cause it's the first Commandment with promise. Now this was wholly from Moses, and could be no other way: And this is further evident by James, chap. 2. 8, 10. in his Epistle, which is generall, and so to Gentiles converted, as well as to the Jews. Now mark those two expressions, v. 8. If you fulfill the royall Law, according to the Scriptures; that is, of Moses, where the second Table containeth our love to our neighbour: and then, v. 10. He that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill; where, you see, he makes the Argument not in the matter, but in the Author who was God by Moses to the people of Israel. And if you say, Why should these Commandments reach to them? I answer, because (as it is to be shewed in answering the objections against this truth) the Jews and we are looked upon as one people. Observe that place, 1 Cor. 10. The Apostle, writing to the Corinthians, saith, Our fathers were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and sea, &c. Now how could this be true of the Corinthians, but only because since they beleeved, they were looked upon as one?

The third Argument is from the obligation upon us to keep the*Sabbath day: This is a full Argument to me, that the Morall Law given by Moses doth binde us Christians; for, supposing Page  170 that opinion (which is abundantly proved by the Orthodox) that the Sabbath day is perpetuall, and that by vertue of the fourth Commandment, we cannot then but gather, that the Commandments, as given by Moses, do binde us: For here their distinction will not hold of binding ratione materiae, by reason of the matter; and ratione ministerii, by reason of the ministry: for the seventh day cannot binde from the matter of it, there being nothing in nature, why the seventh, rather then the fifth, should oblige; but only from the meer Command of God for that day: and yet it will not follow, that we are bound to keep the Jewish seventh day, as the Learned shew in that controversie.

Now then, those that deny the Law as given by Moses, must needs conclude, that we keep the Sabbath day at the best, but from the grounds of the New-Testament, and not from the fourth Command at all: And, howsoever it be no argument to build upon, yet all Churches have kept the morall Law with the Preface to it, and have it in their Catechismes, as supposing it to belong unto us.

And when those prophane opinions, and licentious do∣ctrines came up against the Sabbath Day; did not all learned and sound men look upon it as taking away one of the Com∣mandments? Therefore that distinction of theirs, The Morall Law bindes as the Law of Nature, but not as the Law of Moses, doth no wayes hold: for the Sabbath day cannot be from the Law of Nature, in regard of the determinate time, but hath its morality and perpetuity from the meere positive Command∣ment of God.

The fourth Argument from Reason, that it is very incongru∣ous*to have a temporary obligation upon a perpetuall duty. How probable can it be, that God, delivering the Law by Moses, should intend a temporary obligation only, when the matter is perpetualy; As if it had been thus ordered, You shall have no other gods but till Moses his time: You shall not murder or commit adultery but till his ministry lasteth, and then that obligation must cease, and a new obligation come upon you. Why should we conceive that, when the matter is necessary and perpetuall, God would alter and change the obligations? None can give a Page  171 probable reason for any such alteration. Indeed, that they should circumcise, or offer sacrifices till Moses ministry lasted onely, there is great reason to be given; & thus Austin well an∣swered Porphyrius, that objected God was worshipped other∣wayes in the Old-Testament then in the New: That is no mat∣ter, saith Austin, if that which be worshipped be the true object, though it be worshipped divers waves (when appointed by him) no more then when the same thing is pronounced in divers Languages.

The fifth Argument, If the Law by Moses do not binde us, then*the explication of it by the other Prophets doth not also belong unto us: For this you must know, that Moses in other places doth ex∣plane this Law; and Davids Psalmes, and Solomons Proverbs, as also the Prophesies of the Prophets, so farre as they are Mo∣rall, are nothing but explications of the Morall Law. Now what a wide doore will here be open to overthrow the Old-Te∣stament? If I bring that place Deut. 32. 46. [Set your hearts up∣on these words which I testifie to you this day, because it is your life, &c.] to urge Christians to keep the Commandments of the Lord, it may be replyed, What is that to us? we have nothing to do with Moses: The matter, indeed doth belong to us as it is in the New-Testament, but as it is there written, so we have no∣thing to do with it. And by this meanes all our Texts, and proofes, which are brought in our Sermons may be rejected. And therefore Dominicus à Soto (who is among the Papists for the negative) expresly saith, lib. 2. de Just. & jure, quaest. 5. Art. 4. that no place can be brought out of the books of the Old-Te∣stament, unto Christians, as in respect of the obliging force of it. This is plainly to overthrow the Old-Testament.

Now let us consider what are the chiefest Arguments which * they bring for the support of this opinion, that the Law, as gi∣ven by Moses, doth not binde Christians. And, first, they urge the Preface [I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of E∣gypt.] This doth not belonge to us, because we nor our fathers ever were in Egypt: &, say they further, The temporall Promise to keep the Law, doth not belong to us: therefore Ephes. chap. 6 2. when Paul urgeth that Commandment with Promise, he doth not keep to the Promise particularly, that thy life may be Page  172 long in the land the Lord thy God shall give thee; but speakes gene∣rally, first by adding something, that it may be well with thee, which was not in the first Promise; & then secondly, by detracting, saying only, that thou mayest live long upon the earth in ge∣nerall.

Now to the Preface some answer thus, That we may be said * literally to be in Egypt: and they goe upon this ground, that we are made one with the people of the Jewes; and they bring the eleventh of the Romanes to prove this, where the Gentiles are said to be graffed in, so that they become of the same stock. And it is plane, that the Beleevers are Abrahams seed; and then, by this interpretation, whatsoever mercy was vouchsafed unto them, we are to account it as ours. This cannot well be rejected, but yet I shall not pitch upon this. Others therefore they say, * That this bondage was typicall of our spirituall bondage; and the deliverance out of it was typicall, of our deliverance from Hell. But this is not so literall an interpretation as I desire, though I think it true. Therefore, in the third place, I shall answer, That there may be peculiar arguments that do be∣long * to the Jewes, why they should keep the Commandments, and there are genarall ones that belong to all. The generall ar∣guments are, I am the Lord thy God, this belongs to us; and then that peculiar argument may belong to them. And this is no new thing to have a perpetuall duty pressed upon a people, by some occasionall, or peculiar motive. Hence Jerem. 16. 14. 15. God saith there by the Prophet, that they shall no more say, The Lord that brought up out of the land of Egypt, but that brought up out of the land of the North. Where you see a speciall new ar∣gument may be brought for the generall duty. And as for the particular temporall Promise, I grant that did onely belong to them; but Ideny the consequence, that therefore the precept doth not: for the Scripture useth divers arguments to the obedience of the same Command. Davids Psalmes for the most part, and some of Paul's Epistles, as Philemon, &c. were written upon par∣ticular occasions, yet the matter of them doth still belong to us.

The secoud Argument is, that, If the Law did oblige us as * given by Moses, then it did the Gentiles, and Heathens also, Page  173 and so the Heathens were bound to those Commandements, as well as the Jewes: but that is not so; therefore Paul, Rom. 2. speaketh of the Gentiles without this Law, and as those that shall be judged without it.

Now this may be answered: It doth not follow that the * Law by Moses must presently binde the Gentiles, but when pro∣mulged and made known to them; as at this time, Infidels and Pagans are not bound to beleeve in Iesus Christ: but if the do∣ctrine of Christ were promulged to them, they were then bound. And I make no question but other Nations were then bound in the time of Moses his ministery, to enquire after the true God, and to worship him in the Jewish way, so far as they could. Thus we read of the Eunuch coming up to Jerusalem to worship And certainly, if a whole Nation had then been converted, either they must have worshipped God according to their own insti∣tution, or God would have revealed unto them some different way of worshipping him from the Jews, or else they were bound so far as they could (for the Ceremoniall worship bound them no otherwaies) to worship God in the Jewish way, then appointed by him. The Law then given by Moses did binde Gen∣tiles, as it was made known to them: Thus the stranger in the gates was to keep the Sabbath, though that be meant of a stran∣ger that had received their religion; yea, Nehem. 13. 19. Nehe∣miah would not suffer the Tyrians that were strangers, who did not submit to the Jewish Law, to pollute the Sabbath.

Now to all this that hath been said, you must take this limita∣tion, * That the Law given by Moses doth not belong to us in all the particulars of the administration of it. The giving of the Law in that terrible manner might be a peculiar thing belong∣ing to the Jewes, as becoming the dispensation of the Old Te∣stament; but yet the giving of the Law it self, in the obliging power of it, doth belong to us. We all acknowledge that the Old Testament had a peculiar administration from the New; it was fuller of terrour, and so did gender more to bondage then the New: Hence some say, that the Law was given on Mount Sinai; which it was so called from Seneh, a bramble bush (the bush God appeared in.) the Mountaine being full of bramble bushes, representing unto us the terrible and pricking power of the Law.

Page  174Use. To take heed of rejecting the Law, as given by Moses,* lest at the same time we reject the whole Old-Testament: for it is said of the Prophets, as well as the Law, that they are till John; and then why should they limit the Law to Moses his hands, more then others? Why should they not say, The Law, as by David, as by Isaiah, and Ieremiah, doth not binde? And if you say, they in other places speake of Christ; so doth Moses also, as our Saviour expresly saith. So that I see not how an Antinomian can follow his principle, but he must needs cast off the Old-Testament, except it be in what it is propheticall of Christ.


MATTH. 5. 21, 22.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, &c. But I say unto you, &c.

THe Law as you have heard, may be considered either abso∣lutely, as a Rule, or relatively, as a Covenant: We are handling of it in the first consideration, and have proved, that, as it was delivered by Moses, it doth belong to us Christians. I shall now handle the Perfection of it, and labour to shew, that Christ hath instituted no new duty which was not commanded before by the Law of Moses. And this Question will be very profitable, partly against the Antinomians, partly the Papists, and lastly the Socinians, as will appeare in the handling of it. That therefore I may the better come to my matter intended, take notice in the generall, that these words are part of Christs Sermon upon the Mount; so that as the Law was first given upon a Mount, so also it is explained and interpreted by Christ upon a Mount. And in this Sermon is observable; first, that Christ begins with the end of actions, Blessednesse; for so Morall Philosophy, which is practicall, doth also begin. Secondly, he describes the Subjects who shall be made partakers of this, and they are described by severall properties. In the Page  175 next place as some think ver. 13. he instructs the Apostles about their peculiar Office, Ye are salt (not honey, as one observeth) which is bitter to wounds: Ye are light, which is also offensive to sore eyes. In the next place he instructs the people (though some make this only spoken to the Disciples) and that first about the substance of the Precepts, what duties are to be done, against the false interpretations of the Pharisees and Scribes: and in the next Chapter he sheweth the end, Why we do the good things God requireth of us, and that is for the glory of God, which ought to consume all other ends, as the Sunne puts out the light of the fire: and the first substantiall duty of the Commandments which he instanceth in, is this in my text.

Now, before I raise the Doctrine, I must answer some Questi∣ons: as, First, aWhat is meant by these words, [It hath been said by themof old] For here is some difference. It is understood by some in the dative case, (thus) It hath been said to them of old: and hereby our Saviour would comprehend the Auditors, or Hear∣ers that have been heretofore. Others do understand it equiva∣lent unto 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as if 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 did answer the Ablative case among the Latines; and so it seemeth our Interpreters take it, and thus others that are Orthodox: but, truly, the opposition that seemeth to be in those words, [It hath been said to them of old: but I say unto you] makes me incline to the former way, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is in the dative case. It is also demanded, who are meant b by those of old, to what age that doth extend? Some referre it to those times only, that were between Esdras and Christ: but I rather think it is to be extended even unto Moses his time, for we see our Saviour instanceth in commands delivered then, and thus the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 generally (except Act 21. 16.) referreth to the times of Moses, or the Prophets.

Secondly, Whether those Precepts which are said to be heard of old,*be the Law and words of Moses, or the additions of corrupt glossers. And that most of them are the expresse words of Moses, it is plain; as Thou shalt not kill, or Commit adultery: but the doubt lyeth upon two places; The first is ver. 21. Shall be in danger of judgement. Here is, say some, a two-fold corruption: 1. By ad∣ding words, which are not in the Scripture; for they speake peremptorily, He shall dye: whereas these words seem to be ob∣scure Page  176 and doubtfull, He shall be brought before the judges to be tryed, whether he be guilty or no. The second corruption they conceive in the sense, and that is, as if the Pharisees did under∣stand the Commandment only to forbid actuall murder, but not murderous thoughts, affections, or intentions: And this last seemeth clearly to be the truth, as is to be shewed after∣wards: but for the former I do something doubt, because, though that addition be not exprest in so many words, yet there seemeth to be that which is equivalent; for, Numb. 35. 30. there we read, the murderer who was to be put to death, was to be tryed by witnesses, which argueth there were Judges to de∣termine the cause. The second particular, is that ver. 43. Thou shalt hate thy enemy: where some learned men observe a three-fold depravation: 1. An implyed one, as if a friend were only a neighbour: 2. A plain omission; for Lev. 19. it's added, as thy self, which is here omitted. 3. A plain addition of that which was not only not commanded or permitted, but expresly prohi∣bited, as Exod. 23. 4. Prov. 25. 21. And this may probably be thought an interpretation of the Scribes and Pharisees arguing on the contrary, that if we were to love our neighbours, then we were to hate our enemies; yet there are some who would make the sense of this in the Scripture; that is, in a limited sense to the Canaanites; for they think that because they were commanded to make no Covenant with them, but to destroy them, and not to pity them, therefore this is as much as to hate them: and thereupon, they understand the two fore quoted places, that speak of relieving of our enemies, to be only meant of enemies that were Jews their Country-men and not of stran∣gers. And the Jews thought they might kill any idolaters; Therefore Tacitus saith of them, there was misericordia in prom∣ptu apud suos, mercy to their own; but contra omnes alios hostile odium, hostile hatred against all others: yet this command of God to destroy those Nations, some understand not abso∣lutely but limitedly, if so be they did refuse the conditions of peace. I therefore incline to those, who think it a perverse addition of the Scribes and Pharisees, yet am not able to say the other is false.

3. Whether our Saviour do oppose himself here to others as a Page  177 Law-giver, or as an Interpreter, cleansing away the mud and filth from the fountain. And this indeed is worthy the disquisiti∣on: for this chapter hath been taken by the Manichees and Mar∣cionites of old, and by other erroneous persons of late, to countenance great errours; for some have said, that the Author of the Old-Testament, and the New Testament are contrary; some have said, that the New-Testament or the Gospel containeth more exact and spirituall duties then the Old: Hence they conclude, that many things were lawful then which are not now; and they instance in Magistracy, resisting of injuries, swearing, and loving of our enemies; and many counsels of perfection added. And this is a very necessary Question; for hereby will be laid open the excellency of the Law, when it shall be seen, that Jesus Christ (setting aside the positive precepts of Baptisme and the Lords Supper, &c.) commanded no new du∣ty, but all was a duty before, that is now.

Now, that our Saviour doth only interpret, and not adde new Laws, will appear,

1. From that protestation and solemn affirmation he makes, * before he cometh to instruct the hearers about their duties: Think not that I came to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. Now, although it be true, that Christ may be said to fulfill the Law di∣verse wayes: yet I think he speaks here most principally, for his doctrinall fulfilling it; for he opposeth teaching the Law, to breaking of the Law: and if this be so, then our Saviours in∣tent was, that he came not to teach them any new duty, to which they were not obliged before; onely he would better explicate the Law to them, that so they might be sensible of sin more then they were, and discover themselves to be fouler, and more abominable then ever they judged themselves. Thus Theo∣phylact, As a painter doth not destroy the old lineaments, only makes them more glorious and beautifull, so did Christ about the Law.

In the next place, Christ did not adde new duties, which were not commanded in the Law, because the Law is perfect, and they were bound not to adde to it, or detract from it: Therefore we are not to continue a more excellent way of duty, then that pre∣scribed there.

Page  176〈1 page duplicate〉Page  177〈1 page duplicate〉

Page  178 Indeed the Gospel doth infinitely exceed in regard of the re∣medy prescribed for afflicted sinners, and the glorious manifesta∣tion of his grace and goodnesse; but if we speak of holy and spirituall duties, there cannot be a more excellent way of ho∣linesse, this being an idea and representation of the glorious nature of God.

3. That nothing can be added to the Law, appeareth by that Commandment of loving God with all our heart and soul: Now there can be nothing greater then this; and this command is not only indicative of an end which we are to aime at, but also preceptive of all the means which tend thereunto.

And lastly, our Saviour saith not, Except your righteousnesse exceed that of Moses his Law, or which was delivered by him, but that of the Scribes and Pharisees; implying by that plainly, his intent was to detect and discover those formall and hypo∣criticall wayes which they pleased themselves in, when indeed they never understood the marrow, and excellency of the Law.

Question 4. What was the opinion received among the Pharisees*concerning the Commandments of God? That you may know the just ground our Saviour had thus to expound the Law, it will be manifest, if you consider the generall opinion received a∣mong the Jews about the sense of the Commandments; and that was, The Law did onely reach to the outward man, did on∣ly forbid outward acts, and that there was no sin before God in our hearts, though we delighted in, and purposed the out∣ward acts, if they were not outwardly committed. And this we may gather by Paul, that all the while he was bewitched with Pharisaicall principles, he did not understand inward lust to be sin: and as famous, as it is false, is that exposition brought by the Learned of Kimchy upon that Psalm 66. 18. If I regard ini∣quity in my heart, he will not hear: he makes this strange mean∣ing of it, If I regard iniquity onely in my heart, so that it break not forth into outward act, the Lord will not hear, that is, hear, so as to impute it, or account it a sin. And thus it is observed of Josephus, that he derideth Polybius the noble historian, because he attributed the death of Antiochus to sacriledge onely in his purpose and will, which he thought could not be; that a man, Page  179 having a purpose onely to sin, should be punished by God for it. But the Heathens did herein exceed the Pharisees, fecit quis{que} quantum voluit: its Seneca's saying. And, indeed, its no won∣der if the Pharisees did thus corrupt Scripture, for its a doctrine we all naturally incline unto, not to take notice, or ever be humbled for heart sins, if so be they break not out into acts. Oh, what an hell may thy heart be, when thy outward man is not defiled? Good is that passage, 2 Chron 22. 26. Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart. Certainly, as God, who is a spirit, doth most love spirit-graces; so he doth most abhor spirit-sins. The Schools do well observe, that outward sins are majoris infamiae, of greater reproach, but inward heart-sins are majois reatûs, of greater guilt, as we see in the devils. And from this corruption in our nature, ariseth that poisonous principle in Popery, which is also in all formall Protestants, That the commands of God do onely forbid the voluntary omission of outward acts, whereas our Saviours explication will finde every man to be a murderer, an adulterer, &c. Now our Saviours expli∣cations of the Law go upon those grounds which are observed by all sound Divines, viz. 1. That the Law is spirituall, and for. bids not onely the fruit and branches of sin, but even the root it self and fountain: And 2. that wheresoever any sin is for∣bidden, and in what latitude soever; the contrary good things are commanded, and in that proportionable latitude. This therefore considered, may make every man tremble and be afraid of his own heart, and with him to cry out, Gehenna sum Domine, I am a very hell it self. Let us not therefore be afraid of preaching the Law as we see Christ here doth, for this is the great engine to beat bown the formality, and Pharisaisme that is in people.

And thus I come to raise the Doctrine, which is, that The Law*of God is such a perfect rule of life, that Christ added no new precept or duty unto it: But even as the Prophets before did onely explicate the Law, when they pressed morall duties; so also Christ and the Apostles, when they urge men unto holy duties, they are the same commanded heretofore: I do not speak of Sacraments, or the outward positive worship, which is other∣wise then was in the Old-Testament (they had circumcision, and Page  180 we have Baptisme) but of the Morall duties required of us.

It is true, in the Old-Testament many things were expressed * more grosly and carnally, which the people for the most part understood carnally; yet the duties then commanded were as spirituall as now: There is onely a graduall difference in the manifestation of the duties, no specificall difference of the duties themselves. And that this may appeare the more to the dignity and excellency of the Law, I will instance in particulars:

First, The Law of God required the heart-worship and service. That this may be understood, take this for a generall rule, which is not denied by any: That when there are any Morall duties pressed in the Old-Testament, the Prophets do it, as explainers of the Law; they do but unfold and draw out that Arras which was folded together before. This being premised, then consider those places in the Old-Testament that call for the heart: Thus Pro. 3. 1 Let thine heart keep my commandements; So Pro. 23. 26. My sonne, give me thine heart: So that all the duties then performed, which were without the heart and inward man, were not regard∣ed: God required then heart-prayer, and heart humiliation. Its true, the people for the most part understood all carnally and grosly, thinking the outward duty commanded onely: and that is no marvell; for do not people, even in these times of the Gospel, look to the externall duty, not examining whether they pray or humble themselves according as the Word speaks of such duties? Thus David was very sensible of his heart-neglect, when he prayed, Unite my heart to feare thy Name: and are not the people of God still under the same temptations? They would pray, they would humble themselves; but oh how they want an heart! That is so divided and distracted, that if after any duty we should put that question to it, as God did to Satan, From whence commest thou? it would returne Satans answer, From compassing the earth.

2. It preferred duties of Mortification and Sanctification, before*religious outward duties. This you shall see frequently pressed and inculcated by the Prophets. Isaiah 1. how doth God ab∣horre there all their solemne duties, making them abominable even like carrion, and all because they did not wash them, and make them clean? So David saith, A broken and contrite Page  181 heart, it was more then any burnt offering now under the times of the Gospel. This is an high duty, and few reach unto it. Doth not the Apostle reprove the Corinthians for desiring gifts, rather then graces; and abilities of parts, rather then holi∣nesse? So that this is an excellent duty prescribed by Gods Law, that to be able to mortifie our affections, to have sanctified na∣tures, is more then to have Seraphicall knowledge, and Cheru∣binicall affections in any duty. Who then can be against the preaching of the Law, when it is such an excellent and pure rule, holding forth such precious holinesse? *

3. It required all our duies to be done,

1. In faith: for who can think, that when God required in the first Table having him for their God, that hereby was not com∣manded faith and trusting in him, as a God in Covenant, who would pardon sinne? How could the Jewes love God, or pray unto him acceptably, if they had not faith in him? Therefore the Law is to be considered most strictly, as it containeth no∣thing but precepts of things to be done in which sense, it is some∣times, though seldom, taken. And 2. more largely, as it had the Preface, and Promises added unto it: and so it did necessarily require justifying faith; for it cannot be conceived, that when God commanded the people of Israel by Moses, to worship him, and to acknowledge him as their God, but that his will was, they should beleeve on him as a Father: But more of this when we speak of the Law as a Covenant.

2. In love: and this is so much commanded by the Law, that Christ makes the summe of the Law to be in these two things; * love of God, and of our neighbour. Therefore I wonder at the Antinomian, who is so apt to oppose the doing of things in love, and doing of them by the Law together: for, doth not the Law of God command every duty to be in love, to pray in love to God? Yea, by the law we are to love God, be∣cause hee hath given Christ for us; for the Law commands us to love God for whatsoever benefits he bestoweth upon us: now, if we are to love him for temporall benefits, much more for spirituall.

It is true, the dispensation of the Law was in a terrible way, and did gender to bondage; but the doctrine of the Law, that Page  182 was for love, and the more any Jew did any thing in love to God, the more conformable he was to Gods Law.

4. It required such an heavenly heart, that we are to love God more then any thing else. It did not only require love to God, but also it commanded it in such a preheminency, as that none under * the times of the Gospel can do an higher duty, or expression of love than then was commanded; suppose a man be a Martyr, will lose his life for Gods cause, this is an obedience to the first Commandement. When our Saviour saith, He that loveth father or mother more then me, is not worthy of me; he commands no higher thing of any Christian, then every Jew was bound to do; hence Levi was so commended, because in executing of Ju∣stice, he knew not father or mother: and it must needs be so; for what can be more then all? and yet God requires all the minde, all the heart, all the strength; not that we are bound to love God in quantum est diligibilis, for God can only can love him∣self, but nihil supra, aequè, or contra.

5. It required spirituall motives for all our solemn addresses un∣to him. There are some men who look upon all the Jewes under * the Old Testament as so many bruit beasts, that did only minde earthly things: and that as children are allured by Apples and Nuts rather then by a great Inheritance; so they were only in∣vited to duties by carnall and temporall motives, not by any spirituall considerations. Now how false this is, appeareth by the Prophets generall complaints, that when they fasted, it was not to him, even to him; and so they howled, because of their miseries, but not becase God was offended: And thus David, though he had received the pardon of his sinne, yet how kind∣ly, and spiritually doth he mourn, Against thee, thee only have I sinned? Thus Micah 7. I will beare the indignation of the Lord, be∣cause I have sinned against him. What can be more spiri∣tuall?

6. It required joy and contentednesse in him more then in any*creature; yea, to the contempt of all creatures: & doth the Gospel-administration rise higher in any command? We judge those ve∣ry spirstuall expressions, Reioyce in the Lord alwayes; and, set your affections on things above; and, Our Conversation is in Hea∣ven: but doth not David go as high, when he saith, Whom Page  184 have I in heaven but thee, and none in earth in comparison of thee? Did not David preferre the Word of God above gold and ho∣ney? Did not his heart faint, and yern within him? What a sweet strain is that of him, when banished, he doth not wish for his kingdome, nor outward estate, but to see God in the beauties of holinesse? Therefore, howsoever the dispensation was not so cleare and manifest, yet those that were diligent and blessed by God, did arise to such excellent tempers.

7. Yea, it required all perfection. But what need I runne fur∣ther * in perfection, seeing it comanded all perfection? Perfecti∣on of the subject, the man ought to be in minde and soul and affections all over holy; Perfection in the object, there was no duty, or performance, but the Law requireth it; Perfection in degrees, it did require love without any defect, without any remissenesse at all: so that there cannot be a more excellent do∣ctrinall way of holinesse then the preaching of the Law.

8. God ••d work grace in us by this, as well as by the Gospel. I * a〈…〉 this particular, lest any should say, All this terrifieth the more, because it only commands, and doth not help: I answer, That God doth use the Law instrumentally, for to quicken up grace, & increase it in us, as David, Psal. 119. doth at large shew. It is true, the Law of it self cannot work grace; no more can the Gospell of it selfe work grace: only here is the difference, we cannot be justified by any works of the Law that we are inabled to do, only we are justified by Faith; not as it is a work, for so its commanded in the Law, but as an instrument applying Christ. Therefore Gods spirit doth graciously accompany us in the pressing of these duties; and hereby we become like a li∣ving Law: neither doth this exclude Christ, but advance him the more.

Use. Of Instruction, How necessary a duty it is for a Minister * of Iesus Christ to be diligent in preaching and explicating of the Law of God. We see Christ here, the first, and the longest Sermon that ever he preached, was to vindicate the Law, and to hood forth the excellency of it: and if we be legall Preachers in so doing, then Christ also is so to be accounted: And indeed some have not been affraid to speak so of Christ. But to speake the truth, the preaching of the Law is so necesstry, that you can Page  184 never be spirituall, heavenly, heart-Christians, unlesse these things be daily set before your eyes. Can the boy ever learn to write well, unlesse an exact Copy be laid before him? There∣fore you can never advance the Law too much, or heare of it too much, if so be it still be propounded as a Rule, as a Do∣ctrine. Indeed when it is made a ground for our Justification, then we turne the precious Manna into corrupt wormes. Therefore be so farre from condemning, or disputing against the Law, as that you would earnestly desire to have more and more of this excellent Rule laid downe before your eyes. How proud will be my best humility? How carnall will my best heavenly-mindednesse be, if so be that I go to this Rule? Where will formality, and customary duties appeare, if so be that we attend to this guide? Oh know, there is a great deale of unknowne sinfulness in thy heart, because the Law is unknown to thee.


MATTH. 5. 21, 22.
Ye have heard, it was said of old, &c.

BEcause my purpose is to set forth the dignity of the Morall Law, I shall therefore briefly demonstrate in this present Sermon, the falshood of that opinion, maintained by Papists, Anabaptists, and Socinians, That Christ came to give us more ex∣act precepts then Moses delivered to the Jewes, and therefore that Christ was not here an Interpreter, but a Reformer. It cannot be denyed, but this Sermon of our Saviours hath bred many thoughts of heart: for, because of these precepts here, not rightly understood, the Heathens took occasion to calumniate the Christian Religion, as that which could not stand with a Common-wealth: And the Ancient Fathers were much trou∣bled in answer to their objections; for when Julian and others did urge, that seeing by Christs commands we might not resist evill, but rather be prepared to receive more injuries, therefore Page  185 no Warre no Magistracy, no places of Judicature were lawfull: the Fathers in their answer did seeme to yeeld this, only they said, Here was a lawfull way, and a better way: To warre, or to take places of Justice were lawfull wayes; but yet to refuse these, and not to medle with them at all, was a more sublime, Christian way. And from this mistake came that erroneous opinion of Precepts and Councels. Besides, it's thought by the Learned, that some of the Ancient Fathers, being Philosophers before, did retaine much of that stoicall disposition in them, and so made Christs Precepts comply with their affections: But this I shall endeavour to prove, that there is no lawfull Morall way heretofore commanded by Moses to the Jewes, which doth not at this time also belong to Christians. Only let me pre∣mise thus much, That, howsoever the things questioned by the * Adversaries, are lawfull to Christians; yet there are few that rise up to the practise of them as Christ commanded. Certainly these places; Of not resisting evill, Of giving our cloak to him that would take away our coat, &c. though they do not exclude the office of a Magistrate, or our desire of him to aide us in our defence; yet they do forbid the frequent and common practise of most Christians; so that we may say, there are few states; and Kingdomes which do rise up to the practise of that pa∣tience, and christian meeknesse, which we see here commanded. inso much that kingdomes are more the kingdomes of the world then of Christ, and the lawes and practises of Common-wealths are such as sute more with humane states then with the lawes of Christ. But I come to the particulars.

And first, whereas it's granted to be lawfull by the Law of Moses to swear, now (say some) under the Gospel it's made absolutely unlawfull, under any pretence whatsoever, and (say they) here our Saviour forbids it absolutely, Swear not at all; and James, following this of our Saviour, doth the like. Hence their opinion is, that it is not only unlawfull, to swear falsely and vainly, but at all in any respect. And this (say they) is a perfection required of Christians above those of the Law. Nor is it any wonder that men of late have doubted of this, seeing the Learned shew, that some of the Fathers of old have thought it absolutely unlawfull for a Christian to swear. In Page  186Eusebius one Basilides, a Christian, being commanded to swear, replied, It was not lawfull for him, because he was a Christian: And Hierome saith, that to swear was permitted to the Jews, or infants, as to offer sacrifices unto God; yet I cannot see, but that they did swear also, although sometimes they speak as if they thought there were an absolute prohibition of it. Yet Athanasius made a solemn oath, to purge himself, when ac∣cused to the Emperour: and Tertullian saith, though the Chri∣stians refused to swear per genium Principis, because that they conceived it a devill, yet they did swear per salutem principis.

Some again have thought, that it is lawfull to swear, but then only in religious things, or in things that do concerh the safety of the Publique, but that it is not lawfull to swear in any thing of our own, or about any money matter: and Basil doth object to the Christians of his time, the Example of one Clinius a Pythagorean, who being fined a great summe of mo∣ney, and might have escaped it by an oath, yet chose rather to undergoe that dammage then to swear.

Some have thought it better, if in humane affairs, where promissory oaths use to be, there were only a naked promise, yet with as great a punishment upon the breaking of it, as if it were perjury, because men are for the most part more awed with fear of punishment then breaking an oath But, whatsoever the thoughts of men may be about limiting of swearing; yet it is lawfull in some cases to swear: neither is our Saviour so to be understood as universally forbidding.

First, because then he would have destroyed the Law, which yet he denyeth that he doth; for Deut. 6. to swear by God, is a command not indeed of a thing absolutely in it self, but oc∣casionally, as opportunity shall be: Therefore the word that signifieth To sweare in the Heb. is in the passive sense▪ implying that we are not voluntarily to choose to do so, but when ne∣cessity requireth it.

Secondly, again, Christ doth not absolutely prohibit it, be∣cause the use and end of an oath is perpetuall, which is to end controversies, Heb. 6. Therefore. Aquinas saith well, that, what first principles are in speculatives, to determine all conclusions, the same an oath is in practicalls, to end controversies.

Page  187 Thirdly, and lastly, we have the example of Paul swearing sometimes in his Epistle; so that our Saviour doth not altoge∣ther * forbid it, but he reproveth the Pharisees corrupt glosses, which were, 1. To think that if a man did not name God in his oath, though it were by other creatures, it was not perjury, if he did falsifie that oath. And how many come neer this, who think if they sweare by the creatures, so that God is not named, it's not such an hainous thing. The second corrupt interpreta∣tion was, They thought that Gods Name was not polluted, if so be they intended to make good their promise, though they did use the Name of God in their oathes, about unnecessary, and vain matters. Now this our Saviour forbids by his affirmative Direction, Let your yea, be yea, and nay, nay, what soever is more then this is of sinne. He speakes there of our ordinary & familiar discourse as private persons; not concerning a publike conside∣ration: even as afterwards, when he mentioneth the duty of not resisting evil, he forbids private revenge, and not publique justice. Although some understand this of our Saviours, and that of James, not of assertory oathes (for it's spoken by our Sa∣viour, in addition unto that, Thou shalt pay unto the Lord thy vows) but of promissory oaths; and so the meaning, is, Al∣though thou intend to performe or do such a thing, yet doe not sweare, because things are so uncertain, and many things may fall out: and this is very probable. Only if you understand it the former way, you must not take it so, as if an oath were such a lawfull thing, as that it is propter se appetendum; but only as physick is, which is sometimes necessary for another thing. Thus therefore having cleared, that our Saviour intendeth no higher thing then that was lawfull before, give me leave to reprove the common practise among men, who say they are Christians, about swearing. If you observe men in their discourse, in their trading, do they carry themselves so, as if Christ had said, Sweare not at all; and not rather, as if he said, Sweare alwayes and alto∣gether? Oh therefore that this common customary way of swearing, which doth so directly oppose Christ, were wholy laid aside! The very Heathens will condemne us herein, and among the Heathens, ex animisui sententià, was in stead of an oath. It seemeth this custome of swearing in discourse hath been Page  188 of old; for Chrysostome and Austin are very vehement against it in their Sermons. Now let us proceed.

There are some who from those words of our Saviour spo∣ken ver. 38, 39, 40, 41. do gather, that now under the Gospel it's not lawfull, 1. To put any man to death for any fault what∣soever. 2. That it's not lawfull to warre. 3. Not to go to law in any case, 4. Not to seek to a Magistrate for the defence of our selves; Therefore in these opinions they thinke they hold forth much of Christian meeknesse and patience: but be∣fore we come to the particulars, let us consider in what sense * it'a said, An eye for an eye, A tooth for a tooth. This kind of Law was an ancient one among other Nations: Aristotle cals it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. And we read of a double retaliation, one Pytha∣goricall, which was wicked and ungodly, holding that if a man did thieve from one, the same might thieve from him again: The other Mosaicall, which was good, and had justice in it. Onely the Question is, Whether this be literally to be understood, that it was lawfull for a man, who had his eye or tooth struck out by another, to desire of the Judge, that he, who did this violence, should also have his eye or tooth beaten out.

You may reade the Law Exod. 21. 23. and how it ought to be moderated by Judges, (private men not being left to revenge themselves) Deut. 19. 19. This Law was not given (as one wic∣kedly saith) to indulge the childish condition of the Jewes, as being apt to revenge, and therefore makes it an imperfect Law, (saying that many lawes of men were more perfect lawes) but it was given against private revenge, and the end was that justice might be done. Now some have said, this law was literally observed, and that a man who was wounded by another, hee himselfe was wounded againe. But I doe rather thinke that the command in the letter of it was not observed, but that a recom∣pence was made according to the judgment of the Judge for the * losse: and it would have been a very hard thing, if one man had wounded another, to inflict just such a wound, neither dee∣per nor broader, nor doing no more hurt upon the man who offered violence.

Wee therefore come to the Questions: And first concerning capitall punishments to be inflicted upon some offenders. There Page  189 are those that say, It doth not stand with the goodnesse and meeknesse of a Gospel-spirit to put any man to death for any crime whatsoever. But the falsenesse hereof doth appeare, 1. In that it's a command of God from the beginning, with a perpetu∣all reason added to it, that he who was guilty of murder, should be put to death; so that at least in this case there ought to be a capitall punishment. Now the command that God gave is Gen. 9. 6. Whatsoever sheddeth mans blood, by man shall his blood beshed, and there is the reason given of it, because the image of God, viz. in his soule, is in him To elude this, they say that this is not a command but a meere prediction: God doth here fore-tell (say they) what will befall the murderer, not what a Magi∣strate is bound to do. But that is a meere evasion; for why should God fore-tell this, but because it was a duty to be done? Therefore it's not said indefinitly, He that sheddeth mans blood, his blood shall be shed, but he addeth, by man it shall be shed. There∣fore, howsoever a great * Scholar saith, that those are deceived, who think capitall punishments are appointed by the Law of Nature, or any perpetuall Law of God; yet this place demon∣strateth the contrary: neither is it any matter that Plato would have reduced into his common-wealth the abrogation of capital punishments; or that the Romans for a while did use no heavier punishment, then deportation, or banishment; we must live by commands, and not by examples, especially humane. It's in∣stanced in Cain, who, though he killed his brother Abel, yet God did not destroy him. It must be granted, that, Gods indulgence to Cain was very great; for he doth not only spare his life, but sets a marke upon him to preserve him (what this was, they are most to be commended, who dare not determine it, because the Scri∣pture is silent in it.) and not only so, but he addeth a more se∣vere punishment to that man that shall kill Cain, then was due to the killing of any man. Although it may be thought God in suffering Cain to live, was not so much indulgent as severe, in suffering him to be an instance of his displeasure against him to all the world; As Psal. 59. 11. Slay them not (saith the Psal∣mist) lest my people forget: so that it is one thing, what God may do for speciall reasons; and another, what the common Law of Nature, and the perpetuall Law of God requireth.

Page  190 A second Argument for capitall punishents under the Go∣spel, * is from the Magistrates office, who, Rom. 13. is said, not to beare the sword in vaine: Now the sword, doth imply a power of life and death, and therefore Paul said, If I have done any thing worthy of death, implying there were some things that did de∣serve it.

Lastly, that to put to death men for faults, is not repugnant to the spirit of the Gospel, appeareth by the judgement upon Ananias and Sapphira. You cannot reade of a-more severe ex∣pression under the Law, then that was of the Gospel; so that as we are indeed to labour for the meeknes and patience of a Chri∣stian, yet we are not to forget zeale for Godsglory, and the pub∣lick good, it being cruelty to the good to spare the bad: and if we would pity such a man offending, we must much more pity the common-wealth.

That which is objected to this is, 1. The rebuke that our Sa∣viour * gave to his Disciples, when they would have had fire come downe from heaven: They are reproved upon this ground, be∣cause they knew not what spirit they were of. Now, say they, this spi∣rit is the spirit of the New Testament, which is opposed to the Spirit of Elias in the Old. The answer is obvious that Christ doth not there oppose the Spirit of the New Testament & the Old to∣gether, * but their spirit, and Elias his spirit. What Elias did, he was moved unto by the Spirit of God, not for any private revenge, but that the glory of God might be illustrated. Now this fire of theirs was rash and vindicative: It was not elementary fire, but culinary; nourished by low and unworthy considerations.

In the next place they urge the fact of our Saviour, John 8. to * the adulteresse; where he doth not proceed to the stoning of her, but rather freeth her.

The answer is, that Christ in his first coming was not as a * Judge, and therefore did not take upon him to medle in tempo∣rall punishments, only as a minister, he laboured to bring them unto repentance, both the woman, and the accusers.

And whereas againe it's objected, that this way of putting to death, is against charity and love of mens souls, because many * are put to death without any seeming repentance, which is pre∣sently to send them to Hell.

Page  191 The answer is, that all Magistrates, they are to take care for the * salvation of the melefactors soules, as much as in them lyeth; but if they doe perish in their sins, this ariseth not from justice done, which is rather to bring them in mind of their sins, and to hum∣ble them but it cometh from the frowardnesse, & obstinacy in their owne hearts. And in that, we see a Magistracy confirmed in the Gospel, we need not require an expresse command in the New Testament for the putting of some malefactors to death.

The third thing which they say was allowed in the Law, but forbid by Christ in the Gospel is Warre: And certainly we may reade in Antiquity, that the Christians did refuse warre, but * not universally; for there were Christian souldiers, only there were some peculiar causes, why in those times, the Christians might decline it; As, first, because in their military oath, there was a calling upon a heathen god, and their banners lif∣ted up * were polluted with idolatry. And secondly, because they should be forced sometimes to be instruments in accom∣plishing the Emperours Edicts against the Christians, which they would not do: Now if we bring places out of the Old-Testament for the lawfulnesse of warrs, they care not; for, say they, the laws of Nature, and of Moses are to be reformed by the Lawes of Christ, God indeed (say they) gave the Jewes in the Old-Testament leave to fight, because they had a temporall inheritance and possession given them which they could not keep but by force of armes: now under the New-Testament, God hath not done so to his people. Thus they say, but this is a shift, for we know Abraham, by a meere law of nature, went to war, and delivered his nephew Lot, being oppressed by enemies.

By that Warre is allowed by Christ, appeareth plainly by comparing 1. Tim. 2. 3. and Rom. 13. where the Apostle would have us pray for Magistrates, & supposeth, that while they are Magistrates, they may be Christians, and come to the faith; so that thereby we may live a quiet and godly life under them; now how can this be unlesse they draw their sword upon of∣fenders? And if they cannot in an ordinary legall way be brought to judgement, then by force of Armes.

The second knowne argument is from Luke. 3. where John Baptist counselleth the souldiers not to lay downe their office, Page  192 but to look to such duties as were necessary to them in that place; and, which is to be observed, these were mercenary souldiers, as it is thought, they were at that time. As for the Objections, they are taken from such considerations, as will be examined in the next particular; only the Orthodox that do hold war lawfull, they do acknowledge many rules necessary for the godly and holy managing of it: and it is an hard thing to have an holy camp; and this made Austin say, in regard of the concomitant evils of it, that Omne bellum etiam justum esse detestandum; yet not but he thought it necessary to have it used, when it concerned the glory of God, and the good of the publique.


MATTH. 5. 21, 22.
Ye have heard it hath been said by them of old, &c.

THere remain two Questions more to be decided in this businesse, concerning Christs interpretation of the Law of Moses: The one is about the lawfulnesse of repelling force by force: The other about applying our selves to the Magistrate, to defend us against the injury, and violence of others. Now, that I may not be tedious in the discussing of these, I will lay down fome few grounds that serve to the clearing of the truth herein, and so proceed to other matter, although (as you have heard) this tendeth much to the dignity and excellency of the Law.

First therefore take notice, that there is in all a cursed prone∣nesse to do things by way of revenge: Insomuch that there is not * one in a thousand that doth rise up in practise to this excellent way, and rule of patience. The Heathens, they thought to re∣venge our selves was lawfull: Thus Tully, It is the first office of Justice to hurt no body, unlesse first provoked by injury: O quam simplicem, veram{que} sententiam (saith Lactantius) duorum ver∣borm adjectione corrupit! But Seneca, he was against this, Im∣mane verbum est ultio; and, Qui ulsciscitur, excusatiùs peccat.Page  193 Now whatsoever the thoughts of men may be about the lawful∣nesse, it's certain, the practises of men are much contaminated this way. In State and Civil matters, in Church matters, what a revengefull spirit breatheth in men? This certainly cometh much short of our Saviours Directions. There is no injury or violence offered unto thee, but, in stead of revengefull affecti∣ons, there may be holy mortifying thoughts in thee: As when Sheba cursed David, see how that brought him to the sense of sinne, to look up unto God more then to the instrument. All defamations and reproaches may serve to make thy graces more splendent. As Plutarch observeth, the Gardener planteth his unsavory herbs, Garlike and Onyons neer his sweetest Roses, that so the smell thereof may be the more prized. That was an excellent temper of Calvin, when reviled by Luther, he said, Eti∣amsi Lutherus millies me diabolum vocet, ego tamen illum insig∣nem Domini servum agnosco. Although Luther call me a thou∣sand times a Divell, yet I acknowledge him, an eminent servant of God. Why is it, that there are such suspicions, heart-burnings, defamations of one another, hard speeches and censures, but be∣cause this lesson of Christ is not learned by us?

2. Consider this, that the primitive Christians have gone very farr in this Question, holding it unlawfull to defend a mans self*from another who would kill us, by killing of the Invader. Austin saith, he cannot tell how to defend those that do kill the inva∣der; and to this purpose others. It is maintained by some, that though indeed a man is not bound to be killed rather then to kill; yet if he do chuse the former rather then the latter, he doth a work full of charity, and worthy of admiration. Ano∣ther saith, these precepts of Christ were given to the Disciples, who were by their blood to increase the Church, and by their patience and humility to convert tyrants: but now modernis non congruit, nec locum habet hodie, esset enim ad detrimentum Ec∣clesiae; It doth not hold in these latter times, for that would be to the prejudice of the Church; A foolish as∣sertion. As these go too high, so the Jesuits in their cases, they go too low, and give too much roome to the revenge of man; for so it's determined by them, That a noble man, though he may save his life by flying, when invaded suddenly, Page  194 yet is not bound to fly, but may lawfully kill the invader, If he cannot otherwise preserve his life and honour together. But this is corrupt counsell, and opens a way to many murders upon a pretence of honour.

3. Take notice of this, That the Law of God in the Old-Testa∣ment, was as strict against revenge as any precept in the New-Testament,*and therefore nothing is now required of us, which was not then. Consider that place, Lev. 19. 16. Thou shalt not avenge, or beare any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy selfe: What can be clearer then this, to subdue those waves and tempests that do rise in our hearts? So Prov. 24. 29. Say not, I will do to him, as he hath done to me: I will render to the man, according to his work: here also re∣vengefull expressions & resolutions are forbidden; yea the rea∣son why we are forbidden to avenge our selves given by Paul, Rom. 12. 19. because vengeance belongs unto God, is that which was drawn from the Old-Testament. In stead therefore of disput∣ing, let us seriously set upon the practise of the duty, & the ra∣ther because it's sweeter then honey it selfe to our corrupt hearts; and at this time this sinne doth much rage every where.

Lastly, Our Saviour doth not here forbid a lawfull publique re∣venge,*but a private one. This distinction of publique and private revenge, being unknown to the Fathers in the primitive times, made them runne into very hard and incommodious expressi∣ons; some giving occasion hereby of that distinction of counsels and precepts: others, as Austin, making the revenge allowed in the Old-Testament to be peculiar to the dispensation of those times: Hence, when one Volusianus objected to him, that the Doctrine of Christ did not agree to the manners of a Common-wealth; he answereth by comparing the Precept of Christ with that of Caesars, That he used to forget nothing, but injuries. Now this doth not indeed speake according to the scope of our Saviour here, who is giving rules to private Christians, not to publique Magistrates. Now that there is such a distinction as this, appeareth plaine, thus; Paul, Rom. 12. 18. exhorteth Christians not to avenge themselves, because vengeance belongs to God; yet, Chap. 13. speaking of the Magi∣strate, ver. 4. he saith, He is the avenger to execute wrath upon him Page  195 that doth evil: so then there is revenge and a revenger, which is not God; nor yet our selves, but the Magistrate; yet the re∣venge that the Magistrate inflicteth may well be called the ven∣geance of God, because it's Gods appointment he should doe it. Thus Numb. 31. 3. Arme your selves, and avenge the Lord on the Midianites: so 2. Chron. 19. You execute the judgments of the Lord, and not of men; yet for all this, you must know that Ma∣gistrates may have revengefull affections in them, even when they execute justice; and so people, when they implore the Ma∣gistrates aid, it may not be out of zeale to justice & love to the publique good, but because of private affections, and carnall dis∣positions. And oh the blessednesse that would accrew to the Common-wealth, if all were carried in their severall places up∣on this publique ground!

Having therefore dispatched briefly these controversies, I come to another, wherein the Antinomian doth directly dero∣gate from the profitable effect & benefit of the Law. This there∣fore is an assertion which an ntinomian Authour maintain∣eth, that the Law is not an instrument of true sanctification, & that*the promise or the Gospel is the seed and doctrine of our new birth & for this he bringeth many arguments, and the judgments of di∣verse learned men, Assertion of grace, pag. 163. And it may not be denyed, but that many speeches might fall from some men, which might seem to comply with that opinion. I shall now labour to maintaine the positive part, viz. that the Law of God preached, may be blessed by him instrumentally to work the conver∣sion of men: and it is necessary to make this good; for, were the contrary true, it would be a Ministers duty in great part to lay aside the preaching of the Morall Law, as not instrumentall, or subservient to that maine end of the Ministery, which is the con∣version of soules. Nor can I yeeld to that, that the preaching of the Law works onely preparatorily, or some terrours about sinne, and can goe no further; but (I suppose) that Jesus Christ hath obtained of God by his death, that such efficacy and vertue should goe forth in the Ministry that whether it be by Law, or Gospell he preacheth, the soules of men may be healed, and converted thereupon: Onely two things must be pre∣mised;

Page  196 First, that the Law could never work to regeneration, were * it not for the Gospel-promise. Nemo potest implere legem, per legem, None can obey the Law, by the Law meerly. Had not God graciously promised to give a new heart through Christ, there had been no way to make any thing effectuall that we preach out of the Law; so that (for instance) while a Minister, preaching of any Commandement, doth thereby mould, and new frame the heart; all this benefit comes by Christ, who therefore died, and ascended into Heaven, that so the things we preach may be advantagious to our souls: so that there ne∣ver was in the Church of God meer pure Law, or meer pure Gospel. But they have been subservient to each other in the great work of conversion. The question is not then, whether converting grace, be ex lege, or vi legis, of, or by the power of the Law, but whether it may be cum lege, with the preaching of the Law. I know it's of great consequence to give an exact difference between the Law and the Gospel. It is well said of Luther, Qui scit inter Legem & Evangelium discernere, gratias agat Deo, & sciat se esse Theologum: but I shall not meddle with that now. This is that which I assert, That, as to the point of a mans conversion, God may make the opening of the Morall Law instrumentally to concur thereunto, onely this cometh by Christ.

The second thing which I premise is this, that howsoever the Law preached may be blest to conversion, yet the matter of it cannot*be the ground of our justification, or adoption: so that when a man doth repent, & turn unto God from his sins, he cannot have hope or consolation in any thing he doth, but it must be in the pro∣mise of the Gospel; so that the difference of the Law and Gospel lieth not in this, (as some do assigne) that one is the instrument of grace, and the other not; (for God useth both, as I shall shew) but in this, that the holinesse wrought in us by preaching of the Word of God, whether it be Law or gospel, doth not justifie us; but this favour is in an evangelicall manner, by forgiving whatsoever is irregular in us, and communicating Christ his righteousnesse to us. Therefore let us not confound the Law, or Gospel, nor yet make them so contrary in their natures and effects, that where one is, the other cannot be.

Page  197 To these two, there is also a third thing to be premised, and * that is, how the word of God in generall is a medium, or instru∣mentall to our conversion. For, the clearing of this well, must needs discover, that the Law of God, being part of Gods word, doth convert as well as the Gospel: and this must needs be the opinion of all sound Divines, whatsoever may fall from them at other times, as appeareth by their common answer to the Papists Question. If the Law, and the commands thereof be impossible, to what purpose then doth he command them? why doth he bid us turne to him when we cannot? Then we answer that these commandements are not onely informing of a duty, but they are practicall and operative means appointed by God, to work, at least in some degree, that which is com∣manded. Hence those commands are compared, by the Learn∣ed, to that command of our Saviour to Lazarus, that he should rise up and walk. It doth also further appeare, in those ends they assigne of Gods revealing the Law, viz. to make us see as in a glasse our Deformity, to be humbled before God; to be affrighted out of our selves, to seek for grace in Christ; now can the meer Law of it selfe do this; doth not grace work this in us by the preaching of the Law; and is not this the initiall grace of conversion? as Austin said, Tract. 12. in Johan: cumcaepe∣rit tibi displicere quod fecisti, inde incipiunt bona opera tua, quia accusas mala operatua: Initium operum bonorum, est confessio ma∣lorum: The beginning of good in us, is the accusation of that which is bad.

Therefore, for the clearing of this generall, take notice, 1. That the word of God as it is read, or preached, worketh no fur∣ther*then objectively to the conversion of a man, if considered in it self. Take it (I say) in it self, not animated by the Spirit of God, and the utmost effect it can reach unto, is to work onely as an object upon the Understanding. And in this sense it is that the Scripture is compared to a light. Now we know the Sun giveth light by way of an object, it doth not give a seeing eye to a blind man. It is a noble Queston in Divinity, Seeing re∣generation is attributed both to the word, and to Baptisme, how one worketh it differently from the other: Or, If both work it, why is not one superfluous? Now concerning the word preached, we may Page  198 more easily answer, then about the Sacraments, viz. that it works by way of an object upon the soul of a man: and were it not set home by the Spirit of God, this is the furthest worke it could obtaine. And this doth plainly appeare, in that the word of God doth only convert those who are able to heare and understand. And the word of God being thus of it selfe onely a directive and informative rule: hence it's compared to the Pilots Compasse, to Theseus his thred, leading us in the Circean gardens of this world: and therefore take away the Spirit of God, and we may say, the whole Scripture is a letter killing, yea that which we call the Gospel. Preach the promi∣ses of the Gospel a thousand times over, they convey no grace, if the spirit of God be not there effectually. Indeed, if the communicating of grace were inseparably annexed to the preaching of the Gospel, then that were of some consequence which is objected by the Antinomian. But sad experience sheweth, that notwithstanding the large promises of grace to overflow like a fountain; whereas in the Old Testament, it was by drops only, yet the greater part to whom the grace of God is offered, are not converted.

Therefore in the next place consider this, Whatsoever good ef∣fects,*or benefit is conveyed to the soul by the preaching of the Law, or the Gospel, it's efficiently from Gods Spirit: so that we must not take the Law without the Spirit of God; and then com∣pare it with the Gospel, having the Spirit of God, for that is une∣quall. And by the same reason, I may preferre the Law some∣times before the Gospel; for I may suppose a Minister, opening the duties of the Law, as Christ doth here in this Chapter, and the Spirit of God accompanying this, to change the heart of a man: and on the otherside, one preaching the Gospel, in the greatest glory of it, yet not accompanyed with Gods Spirit, there may not be the least degree of grace wrought in any hear∣er: Therefore I cannot well understand that, the Law indeed that sheweth us our duty, but the Gospel, that giveth us grace to do it; for, if you take the Gospel for the Promises preached, how many are there that heare these, that yet receive no benefit by them? and on the other side, if the Law, setting forth our du∣ty, be accompanyed with Gods Spirit, that may instrumentally Page  199 work in us an ability to our duty; and without the Spirit the Gospel cannot do it. It is true, if this were the meaning, that had there been only Law, there could never have been any grace vouchsafed, but it is by reason of Christ, and so the Promises of the Gospel, that any good is brought to the soules; and so the Law worketh as a medium to our Conversion by Christ. If, I say, this be the meaning, then it's true; but the obscure, and unclear expressing of this, giveth an occasion to the Antinomi∣an errour.

Now that the Scripture, as it is written, or preached, with∣out * the Spirit of God cannot convert us, is plain, partly be∣cause then the devils, and great men of parts, which do under∣stand the letter of the Scripture better then others, would be sooner converted; partly because the Scripture, so far as it's a word read, or preached, cannot reach to the heart, to alter and change that. Hence the Word of God, though it be compared to a sword, yet it's called a Sword of the Spirit, Ephes. 6. 17. Yet, although this be true, we must not fall into that extream errour of some, who therefore deny the necessity of the Scripture, and would have us wholly depend upon the Spirit of God, saying, The Scripture is a creature, and we must not give too much to a creature; for the Spirit is the efficient, and the Word is the subordinate, and these two must not be opposed, but composed one with the other. *

Now having cleared this generall. I bring these Arguments to prove the Law, and the preaching of it, the means of Con∣version.

1. That which is attributed to the whole word of God, as it is Gods word, ought not to be denyed to any part of it. Now this is made the property of the whole Word of God, to be the in∣strument of Conversion, 2 Tim. 3. 16. where you have the ma∣nifold effects of Gods word, To reprove, to correct, & to instruct in righteousness, that the man of God may be thorowly furnished to every good work. Now mark the universality of this, All Scripture, whether you take all collectively or distributively, it will not in∣validate this argument, because every part of Scripture hath it's partiall ability, and fitnesse for these effects here mentioned. Thus Math 13. the Word of God in generall is compared Page  200 to seed fown, that bringeth forth fruit: see also Heb. 4. 12.

2. The second Argument is taken from those places where the*Law is expresly named to be instrumentall in this great work. Not to name that place of Rom. 7. 14. where the Law is called spiri∣tuall, in this respect as well as in others, because it is that which works spiritually in us; as Paul was carnall, because he worked carnally: The places are cleare out of the 119. Psal. and Psal. 19. 7. The Law of God is perfect, converting the soul. It is true, some understand the converting of the soul, to be as much as the re∣viving of it, as if the soul were ready to swoune away through the troubles thereof; but then the Law doth revive them again, and comfort them: and according to this sense they take Law largely, as comprehending the Gospell; but it seemeth hard to expound that phrase in such a manner. That therefore which the Antinomian doth object against this place is, that the He∣brew word doth signifie largely any doctrine, and so may compre∣hend the whole Word of God. But this is easily answered: First, the same Hebrew word is commonly used for the Law, when it is strictly taken; and therefore this maketh more against them, that the word [Law] in the Hebrew notion doth not signifie such a commanding, terrifying and damning thing, but rather that which doth instruct and informe.

But, in the next place, grant that the Word hath such an ex∣tensive and comprehensive sense, yet it doth not exclude the Mo∣rall Law, but doth alwayes include. Can any man think, when David commends the Law of God, that he meaneth all the Word of God but the Morall Law, when indeed that was the greatest part of it at that time?

3. That opinion, which would make Christ not take an instrumen∣tall way for the conversion of men in his first Sermon, wherein he*was very large, that must not be asserted; but to hold that the prea∣ching of the Law is not a Medium to conversion, must needs be to say, that Christ did not take the neerest way to convert his hearers; for if you consider that Sermon, it's principally spent in the o∣pening of the Morall Law, and pressing the duties thereof: and how can we thinke, but that our Saviour judged this profitable and soul-saving matter? Nor can I see, why it should be said to be only the occasion, and not medium, if powerfully set home by Gods Spirit.

Page  201 4. If the Law of God have that objectively in it, that may work exceedingly upon the heart, when set home by Gods Spirit, then it may be used instrumentally as well as the Gospell; but it hath ob∣jectively such a nature in it: which doth appeare by Davids ap∣proving and delighting in Gods Law: by Paul. Rom. 7. who delighted in the Law of God. When therefore a Minister set∣teth forth the lovely purity and excellency of the matter of the Law, how it resembleth the nature of God, why may not the Spirit of God, in the exercise hereof, raise up the heart and af∣fections to be more and more in love with it? If the Heathen said of Vertue, that if it could be seen with corporall eyes, the beau∣ty thereof would ravish men: how much more may this be true of the purity and holinesse of the Law?

5. If the Ceremoniall Law, the Sacraments and Sacrifices were blessed by Gods Spirit, while they were commanded to be used for the strengthening and increase of grace, notwithstanding the deadly nature of them now; then the Morall Law may also be blessed by God for spirituall effects, seeing it standeth still in force.

Let the Use then of this be, by way of admonition, that in * stead of disputing about or against the Law, that we would pray to have the savory benefit and fruit of it in our souls. Urge God with that Promise of writing his Law in our heart: Be thou so farre from being an Antinomian, that thou hast thy heart and life full of this holy Law of God: Not that the mat∣ter of the Law can be the ground of thy Justification, but yet it is thy Sanctification. What is Regeneration, but the writing of the Morall Law in thy heart? This is that Image of God, which Adam was created in. Oh therefore that we could see more of this holy Law in the hearts and lives of men, that the Law of God might be in mens mindes inlightning them, in their wils and affections inflaming, and kindling of them.

Page  202


ROM. 3. 31.
Do we then make void the Law through faith? God for∣bid: But we rather establish the Law.

I Shall in the next place discusse that famous Question, about the abrogating of the Morall Law: only I must answer to some Objections that are made against the former position, That the Law may be used by God in the preaching of it to mans Conver∣sion, in the sense explained: which, if not attended unto, may make the assertion seem harsh, and incredible. But before I an∣swer the Objections, let us consider a great mistake of the Anti∣nomian author, Assert. of grace, pag. 171. where he makes the ve∣ry ground, why they are charged with Antinomianisme, to be, because they do not hold the Law to be used by God instru∣mentally for the conversion of men. Certainly this is a great mistake, for there are many learned men, who hold the work of the Law by the power of Gods Spirit to be no more then pre∣paratory; yet for all that, do peremptorily maintain the use and the obligation of the Law in respect of believers. There∣fore they are not in this respect condemned for that errour.

Another consideration that I will propound is this, *That the work of conversion is not wrought totally in a man without the Gospel: for, as I told you, now in the preaching of the Word there is not meere Law, nor meer Gospel, but they are to be composed and to be made helpfull to each other; and also, what∣soever benefit or effect we get in the hearing, preaching, or me∣ditating upon the Law of God, it is to be attributed unto the Convenant of grace in Christ. And therefore all these places, which attribute conversion and holinesse to the Gospel, do not at all make against my Assertion; for the Question is not, Whe∣ther Page  203 by the power of the Law we come to obey the Law; but, Whether grace may not use the Precepts, or Law preached, for the inflaming of our affections so in love with the things commanded, that we are thereby made more holy. And thus I interpret those Authors that deny the Law to be instrumentall to holinesse, that is, not animated by Gods Spirit, or seperated from it.

I come therefore to consider of those places which are brought against this truth delivered: I shall not take all, be∣cause one answer may serve for many, they being built upon the same ground.

And, first the state and Question is obscurely propounded by him; for thus he saith, [The promise, or the Gospel, and not the Law, is the seed or doctrine of our new birth.] Assert. of grace, pag. 163. Now here are Ambiguities; as first, the promise or Go∣spel, for by this he seemeth to decide a great Question, that whatsoever is a promise in the Scripture, that belongs to the Gospel; and whatsoever is not that, but a command or threatning, that be∣longs to the Law: whereas this needs a great discussion.

2. The state of the Question is not about the Gospel, or the Law, as they are both a doctrin in the Scripture: but about the Spirit of God, working by one or the other; and the not at∣tending to this, makes the argument so confounded.

3. He saith it's not the seed of the New birth; whereas con∣version or regeneration is made the writing of the Law in the heart: and Mat. 13. the Word of God in generall is compared to seed sowne, that brings forth different fruit; as was said be∣fore: but to let this passe.

The first instance that is brought, cometh from John 17. v. 17. *Sanctifie them through thy truth, thy Word is truth. Where, saith the Authour, to sanctifie, is to seperate any thing from a common use, and to consecrate it to God: and, applied here to man inclu∣deth two things; 1. Justification by the communication of Christs perfect holinesse, whereby the believer is presented holy and without blame to God. 2. An inward renewing, & change∣ing, purifying the heart and life by degrees, &c. pag. 165.

I answer. 1. The word sanctifie, when applied to men, doth * not only signifie justification, or renovation, but setting apart to some peculiar office and charge: and there are Learned men Page  204 who take this to be the meaning of Christs prayer here; That as the Priests and Levites, who were to enter into the sanctuary, did first wash their hands and feet, being also cloathed with goodly garments: so the Apostles are here prayed for by our Sa∣viour, that they may be fitted for their great charge. And thus Chrysostome: you have a parallel place Jer. 1. 5, Before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a Pro∣phet unto the Nations. And this exposition is confirmed by the manner 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉in truth (so they reade it, & mention not the particle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is not in some copies) so that they take it as an expression opposing the sanctification of the Priests, which was by legall types and shadowes. But that which doth especially confirme this exposition, seemeth to be the two verses follow∣ing, As thou hast sent me into the world, so have I also sent them into the world, and for their sakes I sanctifie my selfe, that they al∣so may be sanctified through the truth. Now sanctification as it comprehends justification and renovation, cannot be applied to Christ: but it must signifie the segregating and setting apart himselfe for the office of the Mediatour. Besides, if sanctification do here include justification, how, by the Antinomian princi∣ple, can our Saviour pray for the justification of those, who are already justified?

But in the next place, grant that interpretation, of sanctifica∣tion * for renovation, how doth this prove that the Law is not used instrumentally? For our Saviours argument is universall, thy word is truth. And may not this be affirmed of the Law, as well as the Gospel? Doth not David, speaking of the Law, call it pure, and cleane, that is true, having no falshood in it? Yea, it is thought probable by a learned man, that this speech of our Saviours is taken out of Psal. 119. 142. where are these words * expresly, Thy Law is the truth: Where the word Law cannot exclude the Morall Law, though it may include more.

The next instance is Tit. 2. ver. 11. 12. For the grace of God that*bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that de∣nying ungodlinesse, and wordly lusts, &c.

I answer, All this may be granted, and nothing makes against * this opinion: for none deny the Gospel, to be the instruments of holinesse: But is not here a contradiction? The Author Page  205 before made the Gospel and a Promise all one, whereas here it doth command holinesse and godlinesse. Is not this, with the Papists, to make the Gospel a new Law? Let him reconcile himselfe. In the next place, he doth ambiguously put into the argument, the word effectually which is not in the Text; for, although God doth by his grace in the Gospel effectually move those that are elected to Godlinesse; yet Scripture, and expe∣rience sheweth, that where the grace of the Gospel hath appea∣red, thus teaching men, yet all are not effectually turned unto holinesse from their wordly lusts.

Besides, the argument may be retorted upon him: What word teacheth to deny all ungodlinesse, that sanctifieth, instructeth, but the Law doth so, insomuch that the Psalmist saith, Psal. 119. A young man whose lusts are strongest, and temptations most violent, may be cleansed by attending thereunto: only you must alwayes take notice of the preheminency of the Gospel, above the Law; for the Law could never have any such good effect upon the heart of man, were it not for the gracious Pro∣mise by Christ: Therefore all the godly men in the Old Te∣stament, that received benefit by the Morall Law, in studying of it, and meditating upon it, did depend upon the Gospel, or the grace of God in Christ, as appeareth by David, praying so of∣ten, to be quickned by Gods Law. And here, by the way, let me take notice of a remarkable passage of Peter Martyr in his Comment on the 7. Chapter of the Epistle to the Rom. ver. 14. where, speaking of the great commendation the Psalmist gives the Law of God, that it converts the soul, (and we may adde those places, of inlightning the minde, that they cleanse a mans way, &c.) he maketh this Question, Whether the Law doth ever obtain such effects or no? And he answereth affirmatively, that it doth, but then when it's written not in tables, but in the hearts and bowels of men: so that he conceiveth the Spirit of God doth use the Law instrumentally, so that he writeth it in our hearts. And this is all we so contend for.

A third and last instance out of Scripture, in answering of * which all is answered, is from Gal. 3. 2. Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law; or by the hearing of faith? that is, of the Gospel, the doctrine of faith. In the opening of this text, we Page  206 must take heed of three errours: First, of those, who hold we * have faith first, before we have the Spirit; for how can we come to have faith? By our own reason and will? This were to make it no work of God. The Apostle therefore certainly speakes of the increase of the graces of the Spirit; for it is well observed by Peter Martyr, that in causes and effects, there is a kinde of circle, one increasing the other: As the clouds arise from the vapours, then these fall down again, & make vapours; only you must acknowledge one first cause, which had not it's being from the other, and this is the Spirit of God, which at first did work faith.

The second errour is of the Papists, that maketh this diffe∣rence * between the Law and the Gospel, That the same thing is called the Law, while it is without the Spirit; and when it hath the Spirit, it is called the Gospel; This is to confound the Law and Gospel, and bring in Justification by works.

The third is of the Socinian mentioned afterwards. These * rocks avoided, we come to consider the place: and first I may demand, Whether any under the Old-Testament were made partakers of Gods Spirit, or no? If they were, how came they by it? There can be no other way said, but that God did give his Spi∣rit in all those publique Ordinances unto the beleeving Israe∣lites; so that although they did in some measure obey the Law, yet they did it not by the power of the Law, but by the power of Grace.

Again, in the next place, (which hath alwaies much prevailed with me) did not the people of God receive the Grace of God offered in the Sacraments at that time? We constantly main∣tain against the Papists, that our Sacraments and theirs differ not for substance. Therefore in Circumcision and the Paschall Lamb, they were made partakers of Christ as well as we: yet the Apostle doth as much exclude Circumcision, and those Jewish Ordinances from Grace, as any thing else. Therefore that there may be no contradiction in Scripture, some other way is to be thought upon, about the exposition of these words. Some there are therefore that doe understand by the Spirit, the wonderfull and miraculous works of Gods Spirit: for this was reserved till the times of the Messias, and by these miracles his Page  207 Doctrine was confirmed to be from Heaven; and to this sense the fifth verse speaketh very expresly: and Beza doth confesse, that this is the principall scope of the Apostle, though he will not exclude the other gracious works of Gods Spirit: And if this should be the meaning, it were nothing to our pur∣pose.

Again, thus it may be explained, as by faith is meant the do∣ctrine of faith, so by the works of the Law, is to be understood the doctrine of the works of the Law, which the false Apostles taught, namely, that Christ was not enough to justification, un∣lesse the works of the Law were put in as a cause also. And if this should be the sense of the Text, then it was cleare, that the Galathians, were not made partakers of Gods Spirit, by the corrupt doctrine that was taught them alate by their seducers, but before, while they did receive the pure doctrine of Christ: and therefore it was their folly, having begun in the spirit, to end in the flesh. This may be a probable interpretation. But that which I shall stand upon, is this, The Jewes and false Apo∣stles they looked upon the Law as sufficient to save them with∣out Christ: consider Rom 2. 17, 18, 19. or when they went fur∣thest, they joyned Christ, and the observance of the Morall Law equally together for justification and salvation: whereas the Law separated from Christ, did nothing but accuse and con∣demne, not being able to help the soul at all. Therefore it was a vain thing in them, to hope for any such grace, or benefit as they did by it. So that the Apostles scope is, not absolutely to argue against the benefit of the Law, which David and Moses did so much commend, but against it in the sense, as the Jewes did commonly dote upon it, which was to have justification by it alone; or at the best, when they put the Law and Christ to∣gether. Now both these we disclaime, either that God doth use the Law for our justification; or that of it selfe, it is able to stirre up the least godly affection in us.

More places of Scripture are brought against this, but they will come in more fitly under the notion of the Law as a cove∣nant. Thus therefore I shall conclude this point, acknowledge∣ing that many learned and orthodox men speake otherwise, and that there is a difficulty in clearing every particular about this Page  208 Question: but as yet that which I have delivered, earrieth the more probability with me; and I will give one Text more, which I have not yet mentioned, and that is Act. 7. 38. where the Mo∣rall Law that Moses is said to receive, that he might give the Isrealites, is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the lively Oracles; that is, not ver∣ba vitae, but verba viva & vivificantia, so that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is as much as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, giving life: not that we could have life by vertue of any obedience to them; but when we by grace are inabled to obey them, God, out of his mercy, bestoweth eternall life. Let me also adde this, that I the rather incline to this opinion, be∣cause I see the Socinians, urging these places, or the like, where justification and faith is said to be by Christ, and the Gospel, that they wholly deny that any such thing as grace and justifi∣cation was under the Law, and wonder how any should be so blind as not to see, that these priviledges were revealed first by Christ in the Gospel under the new Covenant; whereas it is plain, that the Apostle instanceth in Abraham and David, (who lived under the Law as a schoole master,) for the same kinde of justification as ours is.

And thus I come to another Question, which is the proper and immediate ground of strife between the Antinomian and us, and from whence, they have their name; and that is, the abrogation of the Morall Law: And howsoever I have already delivered many things that do confirme the perpetuall obli∣gation of it; yet I did it not then so directly, and professedly, as now I shall; The Text (I have chosen) being a very fit foun∣dation to build such a structure upon. I will therefore open * the words and proceed as time shall suffer. The Apostle Paul, having laid down in verses preceding, the nature of justificati∣on, so exactly, that we may finde all the causes, efficient, meri∣torious, formall, instrumentall and finall described; as also the consequent of this truth, which is the excluding of all self-confidence and boasting in what we do; he draweth a con∣clusion or inference, ver, 26. And this conclusion is laid down first affirmatively and positively, [A man is justified by faith,] the Phrases 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, are all equiva∣lent with the Apostle: And then, to prevent all errours and cavils, he doth secondly lay it down exclusively without works.Page  209 And this proposition he doth extend to the Jews and Gen∣tiles also from the unity or onenesse of God; which is not to be understood of the unity of his Essence, but Will and Promise. Now when all this is asserted, he maketh an objection (which is usuall with him in this Epistle;) and he doth it for this end, to take away the calumny and reproach cast upon him by his ad∣versaries, as one that would destroy the Law. The objection then is this, (propounded by way of interrogation, to affect the more,) Do we make voyd the Law?〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; The Apostle used this word in this Chapter, ver. 3. and it fignifieth to make empty and voide, so that, The Law shall be of no use, or ope∣ration.

Now to this, the Apostle answereth negatively, by words of defiance and detestation, God forbid: So that by this expression you see how intolerable that doctrine ought to be unto the people of God, that would take away the Law. And the Apo∣stle doth not only defie this objection, but addeth, we establish the Law, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a Metaphor from those that do corroborate and make firm a pillar, or any such thing that was falling. It hath much troubled Interpreters, how Paul could say, he esta∣blished the Law, especially considering those many places in his Epistles which seem to abrogate it. Some understand it thus, That the righteousnesse of faith, hath it's witnesse from the Law and Prophets, as ver. 21. in this Chapter; so that in this sense they make the Law established, because that which was witnessed therein, doth now come to passe. Even as our Saviour said Moses did bear witnesse of him. But this interpretation doth not come up to the Apostles meaning. Those that limit this speech to the Ceremoniall Law, do easily interpret it thus: That the ceremonies and types were fulfilled in Christ; who, being the substance and body, they are all now fulfilled in him. But the Apostle comprehends the Morall Law under the word [Law.]

The Papists they make the Gospel a new Law, and they com∣pare it with the old Law having the Spirit, as two things diffe∣ring only gradually; so that they say, the old Law is establi∣shed by the new, as the childhood is established by elder age: which is not by abolition, but perfection.

Page  210 That which I see the Orthodox pitch upon, is, that the Law * is established three wayes by the Gospel.

First, whereas the Law did threaten death to every trans∣gressor, this is established in Christ, who satisfied the justice of God.

Secondly, in that the Law requireth perfect obedience, this is also fulfilled in Christ. Now this is a matter worth discussion, Whether the righteousnesse we are yet justified by, be the righteous∣ness of the Law.

For those learned men, that are against the imputation of Christs active obedience, they urge this argument, which seem∣eth to carry much strength with it: That if Christs active obedience be made ours, and we justified by that, then are we still justified by the works of the Law, and so the righteousnesse of faith and works is all one; faith in us, and works in Christ. If therefore active obedience be made ours, (as I conceive the truth to be in that doctrine) then we may easily see the Law is established.

Thirdly, but lastly, which I take to be the truth, and Austin heretofore interpreteth it so, the Law is established, because by the Gospel we obtain Grace in some measure, to fulfill the Law; so that we still keep the Law in the preceptive and informative part of it: and do obtain by faith in Christ, obedience in some degree to it; which obedience also, though it be not the Covenant of grace, yet is the way to Salvation.


ROM. 3. 31.
Do we then make void the Law?

THis Text is already explained; and there are two Obser∣vations * do naturally arise from it, as first, That it is an hard thing so to set up Christ & grace, as not thereby be thought to destroy the Law. Thus was Paul misunderstood by some; and so the Antinomians, not rightly understanding in what lati∣tude Page  211 the Orthodox in their disputations against Popery did oppose the Law to the Gospel, were thereby plunged into a dangerous errour. But on this point I will not insist. The se∣cond doctrine is that which I intend, namely, That the doctrine*of Christ and grace in the highest and fullest manner, doth not over∣throw, but establish the Law. And this doctrine will directly lead us to lay our hands on the chiefe pillars of that house, which the Antinomians have built. The Question then at this time to be discussed is, Whether the Law be abrogated or no by Christ, to the beleevers under the Gospel. And this Question I will answer by severall propositions that may conduce to the clear∣ing of the the truth: for it would seem, as if the Scripture held out contradictions in this point. In my Text it's denyed, that the Apostles do 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉make void the Law; yet 2 Cor. 3. 11. The Apostle speaking of the Law hath this passage, [If that which be done away,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉] where the word is expresly used, that yet here is denied: so Ephes. 2 14. Christ is described [〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉] that maketh voyd the hand-writing against us. And in that place the Apostle useth the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 when yet Mat. 5. he denied that he came 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉to dissolve the Law. Grave therefore and serious is Chemnitius his admonition, In all other things, generall words beget confusion, and obscurity; but in the do∣ctrine of the abrogation of the Law they are very dangerous, unless it be distinctly explained, how it is abrogated.

In the first place therefore consider, That about a Law there*are these affections (if I may call them so;) There is an Interpre∣tation, a dispensation, or relaxation: and these differ from an ab∣rogation; for the former do suppose the Law still standing in force, though mitigated; but Abrogation is then properly, when a Law is totally taken away. And this Abrogation ariseth some∣times from the expresse constitution at first, which did limit and prescribe the time of the lawes continuance: sometimes by an expresse revoking and repealing of it by that authority which made it: sometimes by adding to that repeale an expresse law commanding the contrary. Now it may be easily proved, that the Ceremoniall, and Judiciall lawes they are abrogated by ex∣presse repeale. The Judiciall Law 1 Pet. 2. 13. where they are commanded to be subject to every ordination of man: and this was Page  212 long foretold Genes. 49. 10. The Law-giver shall be taken from Ju∣dah. The Ceremoniall Law that is also expresly repealed Act. 15. and in other places: not that these were ill or that they did come from an ill author; but because the fulnesse and substance of them was now come, of whom the ceremonies were a shad∣ow. Yet still you must remember, that while they were com∣manded of God, they were the exercises of faith and piety, & God did dispense grace in the use of them; only they were beg∣garly and empty to such who trusted in them, & neglected Christ. Nor doth this assertion contradict that of the Apostle, Ephes. 2. 15. where he cals those ordinances enmity, and decrees against us: for those ceremonies may be considered two wayes; first as they were signes of Gods grace and favour: and secondly as they were demonstrative of a duty, which we were tyed unto, but could not performe, and in this sense all those purifications and cleansings were against us. Thus we see these lawes in every consideration made void; so that it is not now an indifferent thing to use them, though we would not put our trust in them, but sinfull. Hence I cannot see how that of Luther is true upon Gal. 2. who sath, He beleeveth, that if the Jewes beleeving had ob∣served the Law and Circumcision in that manner which the Apo∣stles permitted them, that Judaisme had yet stood, and that all the world should have received the ceremonies of the Jews.

In the second place, if we would speake exactly and proper∣ly; We cannot say, in any good sense, that the Morall Law is abroga∣ted*at all. It is true indeed, our learned Writers shew, that the Law in abrogated in respect of justification, condemnation, and rigour of obedience; all which I shall instance in afterwards: but if a man would speake rigidly, he cannot say, it is abroga∣ted Wee may say, it's mitigated, as to our persons, though Christ our surety did fully undergoe its: for if God had taken away the Law so, that man nor his surety had been under the curse of it, or should have obeyed it, then had it been properly abrogated: whereas now, seeing our surety was bound to sa∣tisfie it, and perfectly to obey it and we still obliged to con∣forme unto it, we cannot so properly in the generall say, it was abrogated. Therefore we may more properly say that there is a change and alteration in us towards the Law, then that the Page  213 Law is changed or abrogated. Hence observe, though the Apo∣stle denyeth that he doth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉make void the Law, yet he useth this expression Rom. 7. 6. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉we are freed or abrogated from the Law, rather then that is abrogated. Thus it is, if we would speake properly: yet, because the satis∣faction and obedience is by Christ, and not by us, we may say, that it is abrogated to us, so that we may not look for remission of sins, or justification by it. But you must still distinguish, when we speake of the Law, some parts of it from the whole: some parts of the Law may be abolished, and yet not the whole nature of it: for there is in the Law these parts; First the Com∣mands. * Secondly, the Promises of life to him that doth them; and thirdly, the threatnings of eternall wrath to him that faileth in the least. Now the Morall Law, though it be abrogated in re∣spect of the two later to a beleever, yet in respect of the former it doth still abide; yea, and will continue in Heaven it selfe. And we have already proved against the Antinomians, that one part of the Law may abide, when the other doth not. *

The third proposition,

Those that say the Law is abolished as it is foedus, but not as it is regula; say true. The Law may be considered as it is a Cove∣nant, or as it is an absolute Rule, requiring conformity unto it: Now it may be truly granted, that the Law is abolished in the former notion, though not in the later; only in expressing this Covenant there is difference among the Learned: some make the Law a Covenant of works, and upon that ground that it is abrogated: others call it a subservient covenant to the co∣venant of grace, and make it only occasionally, as it were, in∣troduced, to put more luster and splendour upon grace: Others call it a mixt covenant of works and grace; but that is hardly to be understood as possible, much lesse as true. I therefore think that opinion true, as shall be hereafter shewed, that the * Law given by Moses was a Covenant of grace; and that God did not. since man fallen, ever transact with him in any other Covenant, but that of grace: Though indeed this Covenant of grace did breake out more clearly, in succession of ages, accor∣ding to the wise dispensation of Gods good pleasure. So then the Law, as a Covenant, though of grace, is abrogated, because Page  214 though there be still the same essence of the former and later covenant, yet the administration of the former is altogether an∣tiquated. This fully appeareth in Heb. 7. 18, 19. and again, Heb. 8. 7, 8. whosoever therefore expects life and justification by the Law, he sets up the covenant of works again. Nor is it any advantage to say, these workes are the workes of grace, and wrought by Christs spirit; for still if we were justified by doing whatsoever the works were, yet it would be in such a way as Adam was, though with some difference. We therefore doe desire to lift up our voices, as vehemently as any Antinomian, against self Justiciaries, against pharisaicall, Popish, formall men, that say unto the good workes they doe, These are thy Christ, These are thy Jesus, oh my soul. In matter of Justifica∣tion, we would have all of Pauls Spirit, to know nothing but Christ crucified, to account all things dung and drosse We desire to bewaile, and abundantly to bewaile the little need and want that people feel of Christ in all their duties. We are troubled, that any can be quiet in their duties, and performan∣ces; and do not cry out, None but Christ, None but Christ. All this we pleade for, and preach; only we hold the Law as a rule still to walk by, though not a Covenant of works to be justified by.

4. The Antinomian distinction of the Law abolished as a Law,*but still abiding in respect of the matter of it, is a contradiction. This is a rock, that the adversary hath daily refuge unto. The Law (saith the Antinomian) in the matter of it, so farre as I know, was never denyed to be the rule, according to which a be∣leever is to walk and live: Therefore I take the contrary imputati∣on to be an impudent slander. Asser. of grace, pag. 170.

But to reply, if they hold the matter of the Law to be a rule, how can they shelter themselves from their own argument; for if the matter oblige then when a beleever walketh not ac∣cording to his duty, he sinneth, and, to sinne the curse is due: so that this evasion will no wayes helpe them, for still an obliga∣tion or bond lyeth upon them, which, if broken they are made obnoxious unto the Law, of God. Again, to say the matter of the Law bindeth, but yet not as a Law, is a meere contradiction; for what is a Law, but such an object held forth by the com∣mand Page  215 and will of a superiour? Then I demand whether [love to God] being the object, or matter held forth, have not also Gods will passing upon it that it should binde. According to the Antinomian assertion, it should be true, that love to God should binde us, because the matter it selfe is good; but nob e∣cause God willeth us to love him: Nay, they must necessarily deny the will of God obliging us in the Law to love him; for a law is nothing but the will of the Law-giver, that such things should be obeyed, or avoided. And if there were any colour for that distinction between the matter of the Law binding, and not the Law, it would only hold in that matter which is perpe∣tually and necessarily good; as. To love God, to honour pa∣rents: but in that matter which is only good by some positive divine institution; as, Keeping of the Lords Day, there we must say, that the Law binds, as a Law, and not meerly from the matter of the Law.

5. The Law is no more abrogated to a beleever under the Old-Testament,*then to one under the New. This assertion will much discover the falsenesse of the adversaries opinion: for they carry it, as if the Law were abrogated only to the beleevers under the Gospell. Now how can this ever be made good? for either they must deny that there were any beleevers under the Old-Testament; or, if there were, then they are freed from the Law as much as any now. Indeed if you take the Law for the whole administration of the Covenant in the Old Testament, we grant that it was pedagogicall, and more servile; so that a beleever under the Old-Testament, did not meet with such cleare and e∣vident dispensations of love as a beleever under the Gospel: yet in respect of justification and salvation, the Law was the same to them as to us, and to us as to them.

We do not deny but that the administration of the later covenant is farre more glorious then that of the former, and that we enjoy many priviledges which they did not then: but whatsoever is necessary and essentiall to justification or salvati∣on, they were made partakers of them, as well as we. The ordi∣nary resemblance of theirs, and our happinesse; is by those two, spoken of Numb. 13. 23. that bare upon the staffe the cluster of grapes from the land of Canaan, if then we speake of the Law Page  216 in regard of the essentiall parts of it, which are directing, com∣manding, threatning, promising life upon perfect obedience: These are either still equally in power, or else equally abrogated unto all beleevers, whether under the Old or New Testament. Let them therefore consider whether the arguments against belee∣vers subjection under the New Testament, be not also equally as strong against those that are under the Old. Therefore it is wild Divinity of an Antinomian (in Chap. 6. of the Honey-combe of free justification:) who makes three different estates of the Church: one under the Law, and another under John Baptist, and a third under the Gospel. Now he compareth these toge∣ther, and sheweth how we under the Gospel exceed those of the Law that were godly: and among other things, there are two notorious falshoods; as first, That God indeed saw sinne in the beleevers of the Old Testament, but not in those of the New. But how absurd and contradictory to the Author himself is this assertion? For was not that place which they so much urge [God seeth not iniquity in Jacob] spoken of the Church in the Old Testament? And besides, if the godly were then in Christ, doth it not necessarily follow by his principles, that God must see no sinne in them? This I bring, not as if there were any truth in that opinion of God his seeing no sinne in beleevers, whether of the Old, or New Testament; but only to manifest their absurd contradictions.

The second difference he makes is, That God seeing sinne in those of the Old Testament, did therefore punish them and afflict them for sinne but he doth not this under the Gospel. Hereupon he sheweth, how Moses for a word was strucken with death, and so Jonah, Uzzah, Eli: these had sudden punishments upon them. Hence also (saith he) came there terrible faimines upon them. Now who seeth not how weak and absurd these arguments are? For, doth not the Apostle 1 Cor. 11. speaking of those under the New Testament, that some were siok, and some did sleep, and that they were judged of the Lord? were not Ananias and Sap∣phira stricken dead immediately? Are there not famines, pesti∣lence, and the bloudy warre upon men under the Gospel? Be∣sides, these assertions are contradictions to themselves: for if their arguments from Gods Law, and from Christ prove the Page  217 quite taking away of sin, and the punishments of it; then it holdeth as firmly for all beleevers as for some.

6. The arguments of the Antinomian for the greater part, which*they urge do not only overthrow the use of it to beleevers, but also unbeleevers. This also is good to be attended unto; for the Apostle in many places, where he speaks of the Law as a Schoolmaster, and the continuance of it for a time, doth not speake comparatively of a beleever with an unbeleever, but of the state of the Gospel, and the state of the Old Testament: so that, as a wicked man may not circumcise, or take up the sa∣crifices, so neither may he use the Morall Law, as commonly the Jewes did, which was as distinct from Christ, and as if that of it self were able alone to save. Therefore I wonder why the Anti∣nomians bring many of their arguments to prove that a belee∣ver is freed from the Law; for, certainly, most of those places will inferre, that unbeleevers also under the New Testament are; for, the Apostle, for the most part, doth argue against that state of the Church and administrations that were used formerly; as in the 1 Cor. 3. when the Apostle makes the administration of the Law to be death, and of the Gospell life. Here he speaketh not of particular persons, but of the generall state under the Gospel: So in Gal. 2. and 3. Chapters he argueth against the whole dispensation of the Law, and makes it equally abrogated unto all. And it may probably be thought, that that famous ex∣pression of the Apostle [ye are not under the Law but under grace] is not only to be understood of every particular belee∣ver; but generally of the whole dispensation of the Gospell under the New Testament. *

7. We will grant, that to a beleever the Law is, as it were, abro∣gated, in these particulars:

1. In respect of Justification. Though, I say, mitigation might be properly here used, yet we will call it abrogation (with the * Orthodox) because to the godly it is in some sense so. And that which is most remarkable, and most comfortable, is, in re∣spect of justification; for now a beleever is not to expect ac∣ceptation at the throne of grace in himself, or any thing that he doth, but by relying on Christ. The Papists they say, this is the way to make men idle and lazy; doing in this matt er, as Page  218Saul did, who made a Law that none should eate of any thing, and so Jonathan must not taste of the honey. Saul indeed thought hereby to have the more enemies killed; but Jonathan told him, that if they had been suffered to eate more honey, they should have been more revived and inabled to destroy their ad∣versaries. Thus the Papists, they forbid us to eat of this honey, this precious comfort in Christ, as if thereby we should be hin∣dered in our pursuit against sinne, whereas indeed it is the only strength and power against them.

2. Condemnation and a curse. Thus still the condition of a be∣leever * is made unspeakably happy, Rom. 8. There is no condem∣nation: And, Christ became a curse for us: so that by this means the gracious soul hath daily matter of incouragement, arguing in prayer thus: O Lord, though my sins deserve a curse, yet Christ his obedience doth not: Though I might be better, yet Christ needeth not to be better: O Lord, though I have sinned away my own power to do good, yet not Christs power to save. Heb. 6. 18. you have a phrase there [flying for arefuge] doth excellently shew forth the nature of a godly man, who is pur∣sued by sin as a malefactor was for his murder, and he runneth to Christ for refuge: and so Beza understands that expression of the Apostle, Phil. 3. 9. [And be found in him,] which imply∣eth the justice of God searching out for him, but he is in Christ. Now when we say, he is freed from condemnation, that is to be understood actually, not potentially: There is matter of con∣demnation, though not condemnation it selfe.

3. Rigid obedience. This is another particular, wherein the * Orthodox declare the abrogation of the Law: but this must warily be understood; for christ hath not obtained at Gods hands by his death, that the Law should not oblige and tye us unto a perfect obedience: for this we maintain against Papists, that it's a sin in beleevers, they do not obey the Law of God to the utmost perfection of it: And therefore hold it impossible for a beleever to fulfill the Law: But yet we say, this mercy is obtained by Christ, that our obedience unto the Law, which is but inchoate and imperfect, is yet accepted of, in, and through Christ: for, if there were only the Law and no Christ, or grace: It is not any obedience, though sincere, unlesse perfect, would Page  219 be entertained by God: neither would any repentance or sor∣row be accepted of, but the Law strictly so taken, would deale as the judge to the malefactor, who being condemned by the Law, though he cry out in the anguish of his spirit, that he is grieved for what he hath done, yet the Law doth not pardon him.

4. It is not a terrour to the godly; nor are they slavishly compel∣led*to the obedience of it. And in this sense they are denied to be under the Law: But this also must be rightly understood; for there is in the godly an unregenerate or carnall part, as well as a regenerate and spirituall; See Rom. 7. 22, 25. with my minde I serve the Law of God, but with my flesh the Law of sin. Now al∣though it be true, that the Law, in the terrible compelling part of it, be not necessary to him so far as he is regenerate; yet, in regard he hath much flesh and corruption in him, therefore it is that the Scripture doth use threatnings as so many sharpe goads to provoke them in the waies of piety. But what godly man is there, whose spirit is so willing alwayes, that he doth not finde his flesh untoward and backward unto any holy duty? How many times do they need that Christ should draw them, and also that the Law should draw them? So that there is great use of preaching the Law even to beleevers still, as that which may instrumentally quicken and excite them to their duty. Qui dicit se amare legem, mentitur, & nescit quid dicit: Tàm e∣nim amamus legem, quàm homicida carcerem, said Luther: and this is true of us, so far as we are corrupt. He that saith he loveth the Law, lyeth, and knoweth not what he saith, for we love the Law, as a murtherer doth the Gaol.

5. It doth not work, or increase sin in them as in the wicked. The * Apostle, Rom. 7. 8. Complaineth of this bitter effect of the Law of God, that it made him the worse. The more spirituall and supernaturall that was, the more did his earnall and corrupt heart rage against it: so that the more the Law would damm up the torrent of sinfull lusts, the higher did they swell. Now, this sad issue was not to be ascribed to the Law but to Paul's corruption: As in the Dropsie it is not the water or beere, if frequently drunk, that is to be blamed for the increase of the disease, but the ill distemper in the body. Or as ChysolologusPage  220 explaineth it, Serm. 112. The greatnesse of the light doth not blind, and hebetate the eyes; for light was especially created of God for them; but it is the infirmitie and weaknesse of the eyes, which are not able to endure such clearnesse: so the Law which of it's selfe is holy and just, of fraile man requiring severe obedience, doth more and more overwhelme him: And in an∣other place Serm. 115. As the thorns that are by the Axe cut downe, do more and more sprout out; so do, corruptions, while cut off by the Law, because they remain fixed in the root of us. Now in the godly, because there is a new nature, and a princi∣ple of love and delight in the Law of God wrought in him, his corruption doth not increase and biggen by the Law, but is ra∣ther subdued and quelled: although sometimes, even in the godly, it may work such wofull effects: Thus Asa grew more enraged because reproved by the prophet for his wickednesse. And this also take notice of, that as the commandement of the Law, so also the promises of the Gospel, do only stirre up evill in the heart totally unsanctified.

6. It is abrogated in many accessaries, and circumstantials. Even * the Morall Law, considered in some particulars, is abrogated totally: as in the manner of writing, which was in tables of stone. We know the first tables were broken; and what became of the last, or how long they continued, none can tell: and this makes Paul use that opposition, 2 Cor. 3. 3. Not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart: Although this you must know, that the doctrine of the Gospel, as written with inke and paper, doth no more availe for any spirituall working, then the Law written in tables. Therefore the Apostle useth in that verse this phrase, [Not written with inke] as well as [Not in tables of stone.] And this is to be observed against the Antino∣mians, who to disparage the Law, may say, that was written in stones, what good can that do? May we not also say, she do∣ctrine * of the Gospel that is written in paper, and what can that do?

7. But the Law doth perpetually continue as a rule to them: Which may thus appeare:

1. From the different phrases that the Apostle useth concerning the Ceremoniall Law, which are no where applyed to the Morall Page  221 Law. And these Chemnitius doth diligently reckon up, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Ephes. 2. 14. So again, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Heb. 7. 12. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 antiquare, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, senescere, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 evanescere, Heb. 8. ult. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, abrogatio. Heb. 7. 18. Now, saith he, these words are not used of the Morall Law, that it is changed, or, waxeth old, or, is ab∣rogated; which do denote a mutation in the Law; but when it speaks of the Morall Law, it saith, We are dead to it, We are re∣deemed from the curse of it: Which Phrases do imply the change to be made in us, and not in the Law. If therefore the Antinomi∣ans could bring such places that would prove it were as unlawful for us to love the Lord, because the Morall Law commands it, as we can prove it unlawfull to circumcise, or to offer sacrifices; then they would see something for their purpose.

2. From the sanctification and holinesse that is required of the*beleever, which is nothing but conformity to the Law: so that, when we reade the Apostle speaking against the Law, yet that he did not meane this of the Law as a rule, and as obliging us to the obedience thereof, will easily appeare: For when the Apo∣stle, Gal. 5. 4. had vehemently informed them of their wofull condition who would be justified by the Law, yet ver. 13. and 14. pressing them not to use their liberty as an occasion to the flesh, he giveth this reason, For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy selfe. What doth the Apostle use contradictions in the same Chapter? Presse them to obey the Law, and yet reprove them for desiring to be under it? No certainly, but when they would seek justification by the Law, then he reproveth them: and when, on the other side, they would refuse obedience to the Law, then he admonisheth them to the contrary. As for their distinguishing between the matter of the Law, and the Law, we have already proved it to be a contradiction.

3. In that disobedience to it is still a sin in the beleever: For * there can be no sin, unlesse it be a transgression of a Law, as the Apostle John defineth sin. Now then, when David com∣mits adultery, when Peter denyeth Christ, are not these sins in them? If so, is not Davids sin a sin, because it is against such and such a Commandement? As for their evasion, it is a sin against the Law as in the hand of Christ, and so against the Page  222 love of Christ, and no otherwayes, this cannot hold; for then there should be no sinnes, but sinnes of unkindnesse, or unthank∣fulnesse. As this Law is in the hand of Christ; so murder is a sin of unkindnesse: but as it is against the Law simply in it self, so it is a sin of such kind as murder, and not of another kinde; so that the consideration of Christs love may indeed be a great motive to obey the commands of God, yet that doth not hinder the command it selfe from obliging and binding of us, as it is the will of the Law giver. But of this distinction more in it's place.

4. From the difference of the Morall Law, and the other lawes, in respect of the causes of abrogation. There can be very good rea∣sons * given, why the Ceremoniall Law should be abrogated, which can no wayes agree to the Morall: as,

First, The Ceremoniall Law had not for it's object that which is perpetuall, and in it self holinesse: To circumcise, and to offer sa∣crifice, these things were not in themselves holy and good, nor is the leaving of them a sin; whereas the matter of the Mo∣rall Law is perpetually good, and the not doing of it, is necessa∣rily a sin. I speak of that matter, which Divines call Morall naturall. Can we thinke that to the Apostle it was all one, whe∣ther a man was a murderer, adulterer, or chast and innocent; as it was whether a man was circumcised, or not circumcised? Tertullian said well, Lib. de Pud. Cap. 6. Operum juga rejecta sunt, non disciplinarum, libertas in christo non fecit innocentiae in∣juriam, manet lex tota pietatis, sanctitatis &c. The burthens of the Ceremoniall Law are removed, not the commands of holi∣nesse; liberty in Christ is not injurious to innocency.

Again, The Ceremoniall Law was typicall, and did shadow forth Christ to come. Now when he was come, there was no use of these ceremonies.

And, lastly, The Jewes and the Gentiles were to consociate into one body, and no difference be made between them. Now to effect this, it was necessary that partition-wall should be pulled down, for as long as that stood, they could not joyn in one.

Page  223


ROM. 3. 31.
Do we then make void the Law? yea, we establish it.

I Shall not stand upon any more arguments to prove the per∣petuall obligation of the Morall Law, because this is abun∣dantly maintained in that assertion already proved, that the Morall Law as given by Moses, doth still oblige us.

I come therefore to those places of Scripture which seeme to * hold forth the duration of the Morall Law for a prefixed time only; even as the ceremoniall Law doth. I shall select the most remarkable places, and, in answering of them, we shall see the other fully cleared. And I will begin with that, Luke 16. 16. The Law and the Prophets were untill John. It should therefore seeme, that the Law was to continue but untill Johns time. I will not herestand to dispute whether John Baptist was to be reckoned under the Old Testament, or the New; only take no∣tice that we cannot make a third different estate, wherein the Covenant of grace should be dispensed, as an Antinomian au∣thor doth: for our Saviour seemeth fully to conclude, that he did belong to the Old Testament; therefore he saith, The least in the kingdome of heaven is greater then he*: Although in this respect he was greater then any of the Prophets that went be∣fore him, that he did not prophesie of a Messias to come, but pointed with his hand to him who was already come. And, as for the text it selfe, none can prove that the Law was to be ab∣rogated when John Baptist came; for, least any should by that expression think so, our Saviour addeth, Heaven and earth shall sooner passe away, then that one title should fall to the ground. Therefore the meaning is, that the Law, in respect of the typicall Page  224 part of it, as it did shadow forth, and prefigure a Christ, so it was to cease. Therefore the Law and the Prophets are put to∣gether, as agreeing in one general thing, which is, to foretell of Christ, and to typifie him: And this will be clearer, if you com∣pare Matth 11. 13. with this of Luke, where it is thus set down, All the Prophets and the Law prophesied unto John: whereby it is cleare, that he speakes of the typicall part of the Law; yet not so, as if the Ceremonies were then immediatly to cease, only from that time they began to vanish.

The next place of Scripture, is that famous instance, so much urged in this controversie Rom. 6. 15. [For you are not under the Law, but under grace.] Now to open this, consider these things:

1. In what sense the Apostle argueth against the Law; and*what was the proper state of the Question in those dayes. And that appeareth Act. 1. 5. where you have a relation made of some beleeving Jewes that were of the sect of the Pharisees, who pressed the necessity of Circumcision: and so would joyn the mi∣stery of Moses and Christ together. Now it seemeth, though the Apostles in this councell had condemned that opinion, yet there were many that would still revive this errour; and there∣fore the Apostle in this Epistle to the Romans, and in that to the Galathians doth reprove this false doctrine, and labour much against it. Stapleton, and other papists, they think that the con∣troversie was only about the Ceremoniall Law; and this they do, to maintain their justification by the works of the Law; when wrought by grace. But, though it must be granted, that the doubts about keeping the Ceremoniall Law were the occa∣sion of that great difference, and the most principall thing in question; yet the Apostle, to set forth the fulnesse of grace, and Christ, doth extend his arguments and instances even to the Morall Law: for the Jewes did generally think, that the know∣ledge and observation of the Morall Law without Christ, was enough for their peace and comfort. That the Apostle argu∣eth against the Law in their abused sense of it, is plain, because when he speaks of it in it's own nature, he commends it, and ex∣tols it. The Jewes because they had the Law given them in such a Divine and glorious manner, attributing too much to them∣selves, Page  225 thought by the obedience to this alone, without Christ, to be justified, as appeareth Rom, 10. 1. Hence the Apostle speaketh against it in their sense, looking for Justification by it; as if a learned man confuting some Philosophers, which do hold that the second causes do work by their own proper strength, without any concourse of God; he must in his argu∣ments, suppose such a power of the second cause, which the ad∣versary pleadeth for in his minde, and in expressions sometimes, yet none can gather from that, therefore there is such a power in the second causes. And if they could perswade themselves, that the externall performing of the Ceremoniall Law was e∣nough to make them acceptable with God, though they lived in grosse disobedience to the Morall Law, (as Isai. 1. & alibi, it many times appeareth they did) how much more, when they lived a life externally conformable to the Morall Law; must they needs be secure of their favour with God? And in this sense it is, that the Apostle speaks seemingly derogatory to the Law, be∣cause they took it without Christ: Even as he calleth the cere∣monies beggerly elements, when yet we know, they were signes of an Evangelicall grace.

2. That the Apostle useth the word [Law] in divers senses, which hath been the occasion of so much difficulty in this point. Now in most of those places, where the Law seemeth to be abolished, it is taken in one of these two senses: Either, first synecdochi∣cally, the Law put for part of the Law: to wit, for that part * which actually condemneth, and accuseth; as when the Apostle saith, [Against such there, is no Law:] here he speaketh as if there were nothing in a Law but condemnation; whereas we may say, A Law is for a thing by way of direction and prescrip∣tion, as well as against a thing by accusation. Or, secondly, the word [Law] is put for the ministery of Moses, which dispensa∣tion was farre inferiour unto the ministery of the Gospel: And in this sense, the Apostle doth much use it in the Epistle to the Galathians, and in the Epistle to the Hebrewes. So that here is a continuall mistake, when the Antinomians heap place upon place, which seem to abolish the Law, and do not first declare what Law, and in what sense those places are to be expounded.

Page  226 3. Consider these Phrases, Of the Law, Without the Law,*Under the Law, and In the Law. Without the Law is two wayes: First, he is without the Law, that is, without the know∣ledge and understanding of it. Thus the Gentiles are without the Law: And secondly, Without the Law, that is, without the sense and experience of the accusing and terrifying power of the Law; and thus Paul, Rom. 7. said, when the Law came, he died. Now the godly, though they are denied to be under the Law, yet they are not said to be without the Law; for if the Morall Law were no more obliging beleevers now, then it was Heathens or Gentiles before they ever heard of it, both in respect of know∣ledge and observation of it, then might beleevers be said to be without the Law: and to this without the Law, is opposed, In the Law, Rom. 2. 12. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the vulgar In legem: Beza cum lege; It signifieth those that do enjoy the Law, and yet sinne against it. And much to this purpose is that Phrase Of the Law, Rom. 4. 14. which sometimes is as much as, Of the Circumcision, to wit, those that are initiated into the Ministery of Moses: but in other places it signifieth as much as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the opposite to it is, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as in this 4. of the Rom. and ver. 14 where the Apostle declaring that the promise made to Abraham was not of the Law, he cannot meane the Law of Moses, for all know, that was long after; but he meanes what's done in obe∣dience to the Morall Law so farre as it was then revealed. The Apostle useth also another phrase, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, By the Law; which is to be understood in this sense, by works done in conformity to the Law: and in this sense the Apostle urgeth, that righte∣ousnesse, or the promise, are not by the Law: But all the diffi∣culty in this controversie is about the phrase, Under the Law: Therefore take notice,

4. There is a voluntary being under the Law, as Christs was; and*there is to be under it in an ill sense. A voluntary and willing obe∣dience unto the Law, is acceptable: and thus the Apostle 1. Cor. 9. 20. the Apostle saith, he was made to some as under the Law, though there indeed he saith 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. but that is added because of the ceremoniall part of the Law. Therefore he cal∣leth himselfe excellently, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, though a godly man be not properly 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. yet he is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, And he addeth to Page  227 Christ, lest they should think that he spoke of the whole Law, the ceremoniall part of it which was abolished by Christ; so that a godly man in a well explained sense, may be said to be under the Law. Aquinas Comment. ad Cap. 6. v. 14. Hath this distinction, A man may be under the Law, or subjected to it, two wayes, First, willingly and readily, as Christ. Secondly, unwillingly & by way of compulsion, when not out of love but feare, men do obey the Law & this is sinful, in the former sense all beleevers may be said to be under the Law but yet, because the Apostle useth it for the most part in an ill sense, as here in the text, and in that place, tell me, ye that desire to be under the Law, (though Law there be used for the whole Ministery of Moses, and not of the Morall Law) let us consider in what sense this is denied to the Godly.

5. That Interpretation of some, though of solid Judge∣ment, * who make the phrase [Not to be under the Law] to be as much as, Not under the curse of the Law; or, Not obnoxi∣ous to the guilt by it, seemeth not to agree with the context. I know this is generally received as the sense of the place; and there is this argument urged for it, because the Apostle maketh an objection from hence; Shall we sinne because we are not under the Law, but under grace? Therefore it should seem that the Law is taken for the condemning power of it, and grace for pardoning and free Justification: but because the Apostle is here speaking of sanctification, both in this Chapter, and the Chapter following, I preferre *Beza's interpretation, which makes the being under the Law, to be the same in sense with, under sin; for the Apostle, speaking of himselfe as carnall, Chap. 7. saith, that the Law wrought in him all manner of evill: and this indeed is the work of the Law in every unregenerate man; so that the more the Law is applyed to him, the more doth his corruption break forth. Now then this is the Apostles argument, Let not sin reign in you, for now you are not under the Law stirring up sin, and pro∣voking it in you, but under grace; not justifying or pardoning, as properly and immediately meant here (though they were un∣der that also) but sanctifying and healing. And the Apostle maketh the objection following [What then, shall we sin, be∣cause Page  228 we are not under the Law?] because the phrase was am∣biguous,, and might be thought to have such a sense, as the Li∣bertines make it to have, to wit, to do every thing as we please without any controule by any Law: and in this explication, we shall see a sweet harmony in the context.

The third instance is Rom. 7. especially in the beginning of the Chapter: but the answer to the former Objection, will also cleare this, because the apostle continueth in the same matter, explaining what it is to be under the Law, by a similitude from a wife married to an husband, who is bound to him so long as he liveth, but when he dyeth, she is free. Now in the reddition of the similitude, there is some difference among Commenta∣tors: but I take it thus, Sin, which by the Law doth irritate and provoke our corruptions, that is the former husband the soul had, and lusts they are the children hereof; but when we are regenerated, then Christ becomes the husband of the godly soul: so that they are deceived who make the Morall Law the husband, but sin is properly the husband: And if you will say the Morall Law, you must understand it in this sense only, as it doth inflame the heart to all evil; therefore the Apostle (as is well observed by the Learned) doth not say, the Law is dead, but, we are dead; for indeed the Law is never so much alive as in the godly, who do constantly obey it, & live accordingly to it.

This will also serve for that place, Gal. 5. 18. If ye be led by the spirit, ye are not under the Law; That is, under the Law forcibly compelling.

Austin distinguisheth of four states of men; those who are Ante legem, and these commit sin without knowledge of it: Sub lege, and these commit it with some fighting, but are over∣come; Sub gratia, and these do fight and shall overcome: and Sub pace, these we may make to be those in heaven.

Page  229


DEUT. 4. 13.
And he declared unto you his Covenant, which he com∣manded you to performe, even ten Commandements, &c.

I Have already handled the Law as it is a Rule, and now come to consider of it as a Covenant, that so the whole Law may be fully understood. I shall not be long upon this, though the matter be large and difficult, though the subject be like the Land of Canaan, yet there are many Gyants, and great Objections in the way. I will rather handle it positively, then controversally; for I do not finde in any point of Divinity, learned men so con∣fused and perplexed (being like Abrahams Ram, hung in a bush of briars and brambles by the head) as here. That I may methodically proceed, observe the context of this verse, and the scope, Moses being to perswade the people of Israel to obedi∣ence * of the Law, useth severall forcible arguments.

As, ver. 1. The good and profitable issue thereof, which is to live and possesse the land, not as if this mercy were only temporall, but by this was represented eternall life in heaven.

A second argument is, from the perfection of it, that nothing may be added to it, or detracted from it.

The third argument is, from the great wisdome and understand∣ing they shall hold forth hereby to all other Nations, there being no people under the sun, that had such holy and perfect lawes as they had, and if that be true of Bernard, Sapiens est cui res sapi∣unt pro ut sunt, he is a wise man to whom things do taste and re∣lish as they are divine and holy things, as holy; earthly things, as earthly and fading; then certainly, by this Law of God, there was true wisdome prescribed. Other arguments Moses doth bring, as, The great authority God put upon the Law, The Page  230 great mercy in giving it to them rather then another Nation. And the verse I have read belongs to that argument which proveth the dignity and glorious authority of the Law, from the manner of delivering it: Which Law he declareth to us by the name and title of a Covenant. Now this take notice of, that the word Covenant (to omit other significations) is taken sometimes sy∣ecdochially, for part of the Covenant, as it is here in these words.

The Doctrine I will insist upon, is, That the Law was delivered*by God on Mount Sinai in a Covenant way: Or, The Law was a Covenant that God made with the people of Israel. This will ap∣peare in that it hath the name of a Covenant, and the reall pro∣perties of a Covenant.

1. The name of a Covenant. 2 King. 18. 12. Because they*obeyed not the voyce of the Lord their God, but transgressed his Co∣venant, and all that Moses, the servant of God, commanded.

Deut, 17. 2. If there be found any—that hath wrought wicked∣nesse—in transgressing the Covenant, which was the ten Com∣mandements, as appeareth ver. 3. And more expresly, 2 Chro. 6. 11. In it have I put the Arke wherein is the Covenant of the Lord, that he made with the children of Israel. Yea, if we would speake exactly and strictly, the books of Moses and the Pro∣phets cannot be so well called the Old Covenant, or Testament; as this doctrine that was then delivered on Mount Sinai, with all the administrations thereof; as appeareth. Heb 7. & chap. 8. Even as when the Apostle saith, 2 Cor. 3. 6. God hath made us able mi∣nisters of the New Testament, he doth not meane the writings, or books, but the Gospel, or Covenant of grace. Take but one place more, where the Law is called a Covenant, and that is Jer. 11. 2, 3, 4.

2. In the next place you may see the reall properties of a Co∣venant, * which are a mutuall consent and stipulation on both sides: See a full relation of this. Exod, 3: 24. from the 3. v. to the 9th. The Apostle relateth this history, Heb. 9. wherein lear∣ned Interpreters observe many difficulties: but I shall not med∣dle with them.

In the words quoted out of Exodus, you see these things which belong to a Covenant: First, there is God himselfe ex∣pressing Page  231 his consent and willingnesse to be their God, if they will keep such Commandements there and then delivered to them ver. 3. Secondly, you have the peoples full consent, and ready willingnesse to obey them, ver. 3. & ver. 7. Thirdly, be∣cause Covenants used to be written down for a memoriall unto posterity, therefore we see Moses writing the precepts down in a book. Fourthly, because Covenants used to be confirmed by some outward visible signes, especially by killing of beasts, and offering them in sacrifice, therefore we have this also done, and halfe of the blood was sprinkled on the Altar, to denote Gods entring into Covenant, and the people also were sprinck∣led with blood, to shew their voluntary covenanting. Thus we have reall covenanting when the Law is given.

So also you may see this in effect, Deut. 29. 10, 11, 12, 13. where it's expresly said, that they stood to enter into Covenant with God; that he may establish them to be a people unto himself, and that he may be a God unto them. Again, you have this clearly in Deut. 26. 17, 18. where it is said, Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walke in his wayes—And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people. So, that it's very plain, the Law was given as a Covenant; yea, the A∣postle cals it a Testament: for howsoever some have disliked that distinction of the Old and New Testament, especially as applied to the books & writings of the holy Pen-men of Scrip∣ture (thinking as Austin, they may be better called the Old and New Instruments, because they are authenticall, and confirmed by sufficient witnesses: As Tertullian cals the Bible, Nostra digesta, from the Lawyers; and others called it, Our Pandects, from them also) yet 1 Cor. 3. doth warrant such a distinction. Only the question is, how this Covenant can be called properly a Testament, because Christ died not twice, and there cannot be a Testament, without the death of a Testator. But the an∣swer is, that there was a typicall death of Christ in the sacrifi∣ces, and that was ground enough to make the Covenant to be * called a Testament.

Having proved it is a Covenant, all the difficulty remaineth in declaring what Covenant it is; for here is much difference of judgements, even with the Learned and Orthodox: and this Page  232 doth arise from the different places of the Scripture, which, al∣though they be not contrary one to another, yet the weaknesse of our understandings is many times overmastered by some pla∣ces: Some (as you have heard) make it a Covenant of workes, others a mixt Covenant, some a subservient Covenant; but I am perswaded to goe with those who hold it to be a Covenant of grace: and indeed, it is very easie to bring strong arguments for the affirmative; but then there will be some difficulty to an∣swer such places as are brought for the negative; and if the af∣firmative prove true, the dignity and excellency of the Law will appeare the more. Now, before I come to the argu∣ments, which induce me hereunto, consider in what sense it * may be explained, that it is a Covenant of grace.

Some explaine it thus, that it was indeed a Covenant of grace, but the Jewes, by their corrupt understanding, made it a Covenant of workes, and so opposed it unto Christ: and there∣fore, say they, the Apostle argueth against the Law, as making it to oppose the promises and grace: not that it did so, but only in regard of the Jewes corrupt minds, who made an opposition where there was none. This hath some truth in it, but it is not full.

Some make the Law to be a Covenant of grace, but very ob∣scurely; and therefore they hold the Gospel and the Law to be the same, differing only as the acorne while it is in the huske, and the oke when it's branched out into a tall tree. Now if this should be understood in a Popish sense, as if the righteous∣nesse of the Law and the Gospel were all one, in which sense the Papists speake of the old Law and the new, it would be very dangerous and directly thwarting the Scripture.

Some explain it thus: God (say they,) had a primary or ante∣cedent will in giving of the Law, or a secondary and conse∣quent: His primary will was to hold out perfect and exact righ∣teousnesse, against which the Apostle argueth, and proveth no man can be justified thereby: but then God knowing mans im∣potency and inability, did secondarily command repentance, and promiseth a gracious acceptance through Christ; and this may be very well received, if it be not vexed with ill interpre∣tations.

Page  233 But, lastly, this way I shall go: The Law (as to this purpose) may be considered more largely, as that whole doctrine delive∣red on Mount Sinai, with the preface and promises adjoyned, and all things that may be reduced to it; or more strictly, as it is an abstracted rule of righteousnesse, holding forth life upon no termes, but perfect obedience. Now take it in the former sense, it was a Covenant of grace; take it in the later sense, as abstracted from Moses his administration of it, and so it was not of grace, but workes.

This distinction will overthrow all the Objections against the negative. Nor may it be any wonder that the Apostle should consider the Law so differently, seeing there is nothing more or∣dinary with Paul in his Epistle, and that in these very contro∣versies, then to doe so: as for example, take this instance, Rom. 10. ver. 5, 6. where Paul describeth the righteousnesse of the Law from those words, Doe this and live, which is said to have re∣ference to Levit. 18. 5. but we find this in effect, Deut 30. v. 16. yet from this very Chapter the Apostle describeth the righte∣ousnesse which is by faith: And Beza doth acknowledg, that that which Moses speakes of the Law, Paul doth apply to the Gospel: Now how can this be reconciled, unlesse wee distinguish between the generall doctrine of Moses which was delivered unto the people in the circumstantiall administrations of it, and the particular doctrine about the Law, taken in a limited and abstracted consideration? Onely this take notice of, that although the Law were a Covenant of grace, yet the righteous∣nesse of works and faith differ as much as heaven and earth. But the Papists, they make this difference: The righteousnesse of the Law (saith Stapleton, Antid. in hunc locum) is that which we of our owne power have and doe by the knowledge and understanding of the Law: but the righteousnesse of faith, they make the righteous∣nesse of the Law, to which wee are enabled by grace through Christ: So that they compare not these two together, as two contraries, (in which sense Paul doth) but as an imperfect righteousnesse with a perfect. But we know, that the Apostle ex∣cludeth the workes of David & Abraham, that they did in obe∣dience to the Law, to which they were enabled by grace; so ne∣cessary is it in matter of justification and pardon to exclude all Page  234 workes, any thing that is ours; Tolle te à te, impedis te, said Au∣stine well. Nor doth it availe us, that this grace in us is from God, because the Apostle makes the opposition wholy between any thing that is ours, howsoever we come by it, and that of faith in Christ. Having thus explained the state of the Question, I come to the arguments to prove the affirmative: And thus I shall order them;

The first shall be taken from the relation of the Covenanters;*God on one part, and the Israelites on the other: God did not deale at this time, as absolutely considered, but as their God and Father. Hence God saith hee is their God; and when Christ quoteth the commanders, hee brings the preface, Heare O Israel, the Lord thy God is one. And, Rom. 9. 4. To the Israelites belong adoption, and the glory, and the covenants and the giving of the Law, and the pro∣mises. Now, unlesse this were a covenant of grace, how could God be their God, who were sinners? Thus also if you consi∣der the people of Israel into what relation they are taken, this will much confirme the point. Ezod. 19. 5, 6. If yee will obey my voice, you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me, and yee shall be un∣to me a kingdom of Priests, and an holy Nation: which is applied by Peter to the people of God under the Gospel. If therefore the Law had been a Covenant of works, how could such an a∣greement come betweene them?

2. If we consider the good things annexed unto this Covenant, it*must needs be a Covenant of grace: for there we have remission and pardon of sinne, whereas in the Covenant of workes, there is no way for repentance or pardon. In the second Command∣ment, God is described to be one shewing mercy unto thousands: and by shewing mercy is meant pardon, as appeareth by the con∣trary, visiting iniquity. Now doth the Law, strictly taken, receive any humbling & debasing of themselves? no, but curseth every one that doth not continue in all the things commanded, and that with a full and perfect obedience. Hence, Exod. 34. ver. 6, 7. God proclaimeth himselfe in manifold attributes of being gra∣cious, and long-suffering, keeping mercie for thousands, and forgi∣ving iniquity; and this he doth upon the renewing of the two Tables: whereas, if the people of Israel had been strictly held up Page  235 to the Law, as it required universall perfect obedience, with∣out any failing, they must also necessarily have despaired, and pe∣rished without any hope at all.

3. If we consider the duties commanded in the Law so generally taken, it must needs be a Covenant of grace: for what is the mean∣ing * of the first Commandment, but to have one God in Christ our God by faith? For if faith had not been on such tearmes commanded, it had been imposible for them to love God, or to pray unto God. Must not the meaning then be, to love, and delight in God, and to trust in him? But how can this be without faith through Christ? Hence some urge, that the end of the com∣mandment is love from faith unfeigned; but because Scultetus doth very probably, by commandment, understand there, The Apostles preaching and exhortation, (it being in the Greek 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the Apostle using the word in that Epistle in the same sense) I leave it. It's true there is no mention made of Christ, or faith in the first Commandment, but that is nothing, for love also is not mentioned: yet our Sa∣viour discovers it there, and so must faith and Christ be suppo∣sed there by necessary consequence. And can we think, that the people of Israel, though indeed they were too confident in themselves, yet when they took upon themselves to keep and observe the Law, that the meaning was, they would do it with∣out any spot or blemish by sinne, or without the grace of God for pardon, if they should at any time break the Law.

4. From the Ceremoniall Law. All Divines say, that this is re∣duced * to the Morall Law, so that Sacrifices were commanded by vertue of the second Commandment. Now we all know, that the Sacrifices were evangelicall, and did hold forth re∣mission of sinns through the blood of Christ: If therefore these were commanded by the Morall Law, there must necessarily be grace included, although indeed it was very obscure and dark. And it is to be observed, that the Apostle doth as much argue against circumcision, and even all the Ceremoniall Law, as the Morall; yea the first rise of the cōtroversie was from that: Now all must confesse, that circumcision and the sacri∣fices did not oppose Christ, or grace, but rather included them. Page  236 And this hath been alwaies a very strong argument to perswade me for the affirmative. It is true, the Jewes they rested upon these, and did not look to Christ; but so do our Christians in these times upon the Sacraments, and other duties.

5. This will appear from the visible seale to ratifie this Cove∣nant which you heard, was by sacrifices, and sprinkling the people*with blood: And this did signifie Christ, for Christ he also was the Mediatour of this Covenant, seeing that reconciliation can∣not possibly be made with a sinner, through the Mediation of a∣ny mortall man. When therefore Moses is called the Mediatour, it is to be understood typically, even as the sacrifices did wash away sin typically. And, indeed, if it had been a Covenant of works, there needed no Mediatour, either typicall, or real; some think Christ likewise was the Angell spoke of Act. 7. with whom Moses was in the wildernesse; and it is probable. Now if Christ was the Mediatour of the Law as a Covenant, the An∣tinomian distinction must fall to the ground, that makes the Law as in the hand of Moses, and not in the hand of Christ; whereas on Mount Sinai, the Law was in the hand of Christ.

6. If the Law were the same Covenant with that oath, which*God made to Isaac, then it must needs be a Covenant of grace: But we shall finde that God, when he gave this Law to them; makes it an argument of his love and grace to them; and therefore remembers what he had promised to Abraham, Deut. 7. 12. Wherefore it shall come to passe, if ye hearken to these judgements, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the Cove∣nant, & the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers. And, certainly, if the Law had been a Covenant of works, God had fully abro∣gated and broken his Covenant and Promise of grace which he made with Abraham and his seed. Therefore, when the Apo∣stle, Gal. 3. 18. opposeth the Law and the promise together, ma∣king the inheritance by one, & not the other; it is to be under∣stood according to the distinction before mentioned of the Law taken in a most strict and limited sense: for it is plain, that Mo∣ses in the administration of this Law, had regard to the Cove∣nant and Promise, yea made it the same with it. *

Now to all this, there are strong objections made from those Page  237 places of Scripture, where the Law and faith, or the promise, are so directly opposed, as Rom. 10. before quoted, so Gal. 3. 18. Rom 4. 14. so likewise from those places, where the Law is said to be the ministery of death, and to work wrath. Now to these places, I answer these things:

First, that if they should be rigidly, and universally true, then that doctrine of the Socinians would plainly prevaile, who from these places of Scripture do urge, that there was no grace, or faith, nor nothing of Christ, vouchsafed unto the Jewes; whereas they reade they had the Adoption, though the state was a state of bondage.

In the second place consider that as it is said of the Law, it worketh death, so the Gospel is said to be the savour of death, and men are said to have no sin, if Christ had not come; yea they are said to partake of more grievous judgements, who despised Christ, then those that despised the Law of Moses: so that this effect of the Law was meerly accidentall through our corruption: only here is the difference, God doth not vouchsafe any such grace, as whereby we can have justification in a strict legall way: but he doth whereby we may obtain it in an Evangelicall way.

Thirdly, consider that the Apostle speaketh these derogatory passages (as they may seem to be) as well of the Ceremoniall Law; yet all do acknowledge here was Christ and grace held forth.

Fourthly, much of these places is true in a respective sense, according to the interpretation of the Jew, who taking these without Christ, make it a killing letter, even as if we should the doctrine of the Gospel, without the grace of Christ. And, certainly, if any Jew, had stood up and said to Moses, Why do you say, you give us the doctrine of life; it's nothing but a kil∣ling letter, and the ministery of death, would he not have been judged a blasphemer against the Law of Moses? The Apostle therefore must understand it, as seperated, yea and opposed to Christ and his grace.

And lastly, we are still to retain that distinction of the Law in a more large sense, as delivered by Moses; and a more strict sense, as it consisteth in precepts, threatnings and promises upon a con∣dition impossible to us, which is, the fulfilling of the Law in a perfect manner.

Page  238


ROM. 3. 27.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay, but of faith.

THe Apostle delivered in the words before most compendi∣ously and fully the whole doctrine of justification in the * severall causes of it, from whence in this verse, he inferreth a conclusion against all boasting in a mans self; which he mana∣geth by short interrogations, that so he might the more subdue that selfe confidence in us: Where is boasting? saith he. This is to be applyed universally both to Jew and Gentile; but especi∣ally to the Jew, who gloried most herein. and Chrysostome makes this the reason why Christ deferred so long, & put off his coming in the flesh, viz. that our humane pride might be debased: for if at first he had come unto us, men would not have found such an absolute necessity of a Saviour. The second Question is, by what Law boasting is excluded; and this is answered, first negatively, not by the Law of works. Secondly positively, by the law of faith.

The Apostle, by the law of works, meaneth the doctrine of works, prescribing them as the condition of our justification and salvation; and he saith works, in the plurall number, be∣cause one or two good works, though perfectly done (if that were possible) would not satisfie the Law for our acceptation, unlesse there were a continuall and universall practise of them, both for parts and degrees: and he cals the doctrine of faith, the law of faith, either because (as Chrysostome saith) he would sweeten and indeare the Gospel to the Jewes, by giving it a name which they loved; or, as Beza, he speaks here mimeti∣cally, according to the sense of the Jewes, as when John. 6. he Page  239 calleth Faith a work, because the Jewes asked, What should they do? Now we have in the Scripture two lively comments upon both these parts of the Text. The Pharisee mentioning what he did, reckoning up his works, and never naming the grace of God, is a boaster by the Law of works, but the Publican, that looketh upon himselfe only as a sinner, and so judgeth himself, he excludeth all boasting by the law of faith.

The Papists they mean by works here in the Text, those * which go before faith, and they quote a good rule out of Gre∣gory, though to a foul errour, Non per opera venitur ad fidem, sed per fidem ad opera: We do not come by works to faith, but by faith to Works. But this glosse of theirs corrupts the text, because the Apostle in this controversie instanceth in Abraham, shewing how he had not wherewith to glory in himself, and therefore by beleeving gave glory to God. If you ask why works do im∣ply boasting, though we be enabled thereunto by the grace of God? The answer is ready, because we attribute justification to that work of grace within us, which yet is defective, that is, wholly to be given unto Christ. *

The doctrine I shall pursue out of these words, is, That al∣though the Law, given by God to the Israelites, was a Covenant of grace, yet in some sense the Law and Gospel do oppose and thwart one another, And this matter I undertake, because hereby the na∣ture of the Gospel and the Law will be much discovered. It is an errour, saith Calvin lib. 2. Instit. cap. 9. in those who do never o∣therwise compare the Gospel with the Law, then the merit of works with the free imputation of righteousness: and (saith he) this Anti∣thesis or opposition is not to be refused, because the Apostle doth ma∣ny times make them contrary, meaning by the Law that rule of life, whereby God doth require of us, that which is his own, given us no ground of hope, unlesse in every respect we keep the Law; but, saith he, quum de totâ lege agitur, when he speaks of the Law more large∣ly taken, he makes them to differ, only in respect of clearer manifesta∣tion: or, as, Pareus saith of the old and new Covenant, they * differ not essentially, but, as we say, the old and new Moon.

Therefore, before I come to shew the exact opposition, take notice of two things as a foundation: first, that the Law and the Gospel may be compared one with another, either in respect Page  240 of the grace God gave under the Old-Testament, & the New, and then they differ onely gradually; for they under the Law did enjoy grace and the Spirit of God, (though Socinians deny it) although indeed in respect of the Gospel, it may compara∣tively be said, no spirit, and, no grace; as when it is said, The ho∣ly Ghost was not yet given, because it was not so plentifully given: Or, secondly, the doctrine of the Law in the meere preceptive nature of it, may be compared with the doctrine of the Gospel, having the grace of God annexed unto it and going along with it. Now this is in some respects an unequall comparison; for if you take the doctrine or letter of the Gospel without the grace of God, that letter may be said to kill as well as the letter of the Law: only this is the reason, why we cannot say, The Spirit of God, or grace, or life is by the Law, because whatso∣ever spirituall good was vouchsafed to the Jewes, it is not of the Law, but of the grace of God, or the Gospel. Therefore, whensoever we compare Law and Gospel together, we must be sure to make the parallel equall, and to take them so opposite∣ly, that we may not give the one more advantage, or lesse, then the nature of it doth crave and desire.

In the second place therefore, in this controversie, still re∣member to carry along with you the different use of the word *[Law] as to this point; for if you take Law strictly, and yet make it a Covenant of grace, you confound the righteousnesse of works, and of faith together, as the Papists do: but if large¦ly, then there may be an happy reconciliation.

For the better opening of this, consider, that as the word *[Law] so the word [Gospel] may be taken largely, or strictly. We will not trouble you with the many significations of the word (or whether it be used any where of a sorrowfull message, as well as glad newes, as some say, in two places it is used, 1. Sam. 4. 17. 2 Sam. 1. 10. according to that rule of Mercers, Non in∣frequens esse, specialia verba interdum generaliter sumi.) It is enough to our purpose, that in the Scripture it is sometimes ta∣ken more largely, and sometimes more strictly: when it's taken largely, it signifieth the whole doctrine, that the Apostles were to preach, Mar. 16. 15. Preach the Gospel to every creature: & so Mar. 1. 1. The beginning of the Gospel, i. e. the doctrine & preach∣ing Page  241 of Christ. Or else it is taken most strictly, as when Luke 2. 10. Behold I bring you glad tydings, &c. In which strict sence it's called the Gospel of peace, and of the grace of God: So that you see, the word [Law] is taken differently, largely and strictly; thus also is the word [Gospel.] Now it's a great dispute, Whether the command of repentance belong unto the Gospel, or no? I finde the Lutherans, Antinomians, and Calvinists to speak differently: but of that, when we take the Law and Gospel in their most strict sense. Bellarmine bringeth it as an argument, that the Protestants do deny the necessity of good works, because they hold that the Gospel hath no precepts, or threatnings in it, lib. 4. de Justif. cap. 2. And he urgeth against them, that Cap. 1. ad Rom. where the wrath of God is said to be revealed from hea∣ven in the Gospel; but (as is to be shewed) he there doth mi∣stake the state of the controversie taking the word [Gospel] in a larger sense then they intended. Thus on the other side Islebius, the father of the Antinomians, he taught that repentance was not to be pressed from the Decalogue, but from the Gospel; & that, to preserve the purity of doctrine, we ought to resist all those who teach, the Gospel must not be preached but to those who are made contrite by the Law: whereas the right unfol∣ding of the word [Gospel] would make up quickly those breaches.

The Law therefore and the Gospel admitting of such a dif∣ferent acception, I shall first shew the opposition between the Law and the Gospel taken in their large sense and then in the li∣mited sense, And this is worth the while, because this is the foundation of all our comfort, if rightly understood. Now the Question in this larger sense is the same with the difference be∣tween the Old and New-Testament, or Covenant; wherein the Learned speak very differently, and, as to my apprehension, most confusedly. I shall not examine whether that be the rea∣son of calling it Old and New, which Austin Chemnitius, and others urge, because it presseth the old man & condemneth that; whereas the new incourageth and comforteth new: I rather take it to be so called, because the old was to cease and vanish away, being before the other in time. Now in my method I will lay down the false differences, and then name the true.

Page  242 The false differences are first of the Anabaptists and Soci∣nians, * who make all that lived under the Law to have nothing but temporall earthly blessings in their knowledge and affecti∣ons. And for this they are very resolute, granting indeed that Christ and eternall things were promised in the Old Testament but they were not enjoyed by any till the New Testament, whereupon they say, that grace and salvation was not till Christ came. And the places which the Antinomians bring for belee∣vers under the New Testament, they take rigidly and universal∣ly, as if there had been no eternall life, nor nothing of the Spi∣rit of God till Christ came. Hence they say, the Gospel began with Christ, and deny that the promise of a Christ, or Messias to come is ever called the Gospel, but the reall exhibition of him only. This is false; for, although this promise be sometimes called Act. 7. 17. Act. 13. 32. the promise made to the fathers, yet it is sometimes also called the Gospel, Rom. 1. 2. Rom. 10. 14, 15. And there are cleare places to confute this wicked errour, as the Apostle instancing in Abraham and David, for justification, and remission of sinnes, which were spirituall mercies; and that eternall life was not unknown to them, appeareth by our Savi∣ours injunction, commanding them to search the Scriptures, for in them they hope for eternall life, John 11. 39. Thus also they had hope and knowledge of a resurrection, as appeareth, Act. 24. 14. therefore our Saviour proved the resurrection out of a speech of Gods to Moses. And howsoever Mercer (as I take it) thinke that exposition probable about Jobs profession of his knowledge [That his Redeemer liveth, and that he shall see him at the last day] which make his meaning to be of Jobs perswasion of his restitution unto outward peace and health again; yet there are some passages, in his expression, that seem plainly to hold out the contrary. Though therefore we grant that that state, was the state of children, and so carried by sensible objects very much; yet there was under these temporall good things, spiritual held forth. Hence the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10. maketh the Jewes to have the same spirituall matter and benefit in their Sa∣craments * which we partake of.

In the next place, let us consider the false difference of the Pa∣pists; and they have the Socinians also agreeing with them in some things.

Page  243 First, they make this a great difference, that Christ, under the * New Testament, hath added more perfect Laws, and sound counsells then were before, as, Wilfull poverty, Vowed cha∣stity: and the Socinians, they labour to shew how Christ hath added to every precept of the Decalogue; and they begin with the first, that he hath added to it these things: 1. A command to prayer, whereas in the Old Testament, though Godly men did pray, yet (say they impudently) there was no command: and then Christ (say they) did not only command to pray, but gave a prescript form of prayer. The second thing added (say they) is to call upon Christ, as a Mediatour in our prayers, which they in the Old Testament did not. And thus they go on over all the Commandements, shewing what new things Christ hath added, Smal. refut. Thes. pag. 228. But I have already shewed that Christ never added any morall duty which was not com∣manded before.

The second difference of the Papists, is, to make the Law and * the Gospel capable of no opposite considerarion, no not in any strict sense, but to hold both a Covenant of works, and that the Fathers under the Old Testament, and those under the New, were both justified by fulfilling the Law of God. And herein lyeth that grosse errour, whereby Christ and grace are evacuated. But the falshood of this shall be evinced (God wil∣ling) when we speak of the Law and Gospelstrictly, which the Papists, upon a dangerous errour, call the Old Law, and the New.*

Lastly, the Papists make a third difference, that under the Old Testament, the Fathers that dyed went not immediatly to heaven; therefore (say they) we do not say, Saint Jeremiah, or, Saint Isaiah, but after Christs death then a way was opened for them and us: Hence is that saying, Sanguis Christi, est clavis Paradisi, The blood of Christ, is the key of paradise: but this is sufficiently confuted in the Popish controversies.

I come therefore to the Antinomian difference, and there I * finde such an one, that I am confident was never heard of before in the world; It is in the Honey-comb of Justification, pag. 117. God (saith he) saw sin in the beleevers of the Old Testament, but not in these of the New; And his Reason is, because the glory of free Page  244 Justification was not so much revealed, the vaile was not removed. What a weak reason is this? Did the lesse, or more revelati∣on of free Justification make God justifie the lesse freely? It had been a good argument to prove that the people of God in the Old Testament did not know this doctrine so clearly as those in the New, but that God should see the more or lesse, because of this, is a strange Consequence. The places of Scrip∣ture which he brings, Zech. 13. 1. Dan. 9. 14. would make more to the purpose of a Socinian, (that there is no pardon of sin, and eternall life but under the Gospel) rather then for the Antinomian: and one of his places he brings, Jer. 5. ver. 20. maketh the contrary true; for there God promiseth pardon of sin, not to the beleevers under the Gospel but to that residue of the Jews which God would bring back from captivity, as the context evidently sheweth: so the place Heb. 10. 17. how gros∣ly is it applyed unto the beleevers of the Gospel only? for, had not the Godly under the Old Testament the Law written in their hearts? and had they not the same cause to take away their sins (viz. Christs blood) as well as we under the Gospel?

His second reason is, God saw sin in them, because they were children, that had need of a rod; but he sees none in us, because full grown heirs. What a strange reason is this? for parents com∣monly see less sin in their children, while young, then when grown up: and their childishness doth more excuse them. And although children only have a rod for their faults, yet men grown up they have more terrible punishments. Hence the A∣postle threatens beleevers that despise Christ, with punishment above those that despised Moses.

His third Reason is, because they under the Law were under a School-master, therfore he seeth sin in them, but none in us, being no longer under a School-master. But here is no solidity in this Reason: for first, the chiefest work of a School-master is to teach and guide; and so they are said to be under the Law as a School-master, that so they may be prepared for Christ: and thus it is a good argument to Christians under the Gospel, that their lives should be fuller of wisdome and grown graces, then the Jewes; because they are not under a School-master as children: As if one should say to a young man, that is taken Page  245 from the Grammar school, and transplanted in the Universi∣ty, that he should take heed he doth not speak false Latine now, for he is not in a Grammar schoole now, but in an University. Thus you see, the chief notion of a School-master is to prepare and guide, his correcting is accidentall; yea, if we may believe Qintilian a master in this kinde, he is against the School-ma∣sters beating of boyes, as that which would make them of a ser∣vile disposition. But Solomon giveth better rules. Grant therefore that this is to be understood of knocks and blows which they had, what can we say under the Gospel, that we are children freed from the rod? Though we have not a Shool∣master, yet we have a father to correct us. Heb. 12. 5, 6, 7, 8. Do we not in that place finde a plain contradiction of this do∣ctrine? For the Apostle doth there alleadge a place of the Old Testament, to us now under the Gospel: And, certainly, affli∣ctions are as necessary to the godly now, as fire to the drossy vessell and filing to the rusty iron. As the scourging and beat∣ing of the garment with a stick, beateth out the mothes and the dust; so do troubles and adversities corruptions from the children of God.

The fourth reason why God saw sin in them, war, Because they were not made perfect according to the conscience, Heb. 9. 13, 14. Who would not think that the author were some Papist, or Socinians? for if the text prove any thing to his purpose, it will evince that the godly then were made partakers of no more then a legall bodily cleansing. But as for the place, that is miserably arrested; for the Apostle, his intent is to shew, that the godly then could not obtain righteousness by any of those sacrifices, and therefore the good they enjoyed was from Christ the true sacrifice: so that unless he will deny Christs blood to be effectuall and operative in the Old Testament, this reason must fall to the ground. Other reasons he brings, which are to the same purpose, and therefore may easily be overthrown; as, that God saw no sin in them, because their preachers did not open the kingdome of heaven, but he seeth none in us, because the least of our Ministers do bring us, into this Kingdome. Every-one may see the weakness here; for it supposeth that God did not so fully pardon and forgive, because the doctrine of these things Page  246 was not so clearly preached. If the Authors arguments had been, that Christ died not so fully for them, or that Christ his righteousness was not so fully imputed unto them, then there had been some probability. Thus you see this false difference also. I do not medle with that opinion, Of seeing sin in the be∣leevers, because it is not the proper place.

I find other differences between the Law and the Gospel, made by another Antinomian, and they are in a Sermon upon the two Covenants of grace, where the Authour, hauing truely asserted, that God did transact with the Jewes in a Covenant of*grace; yet he makes that Covenant, and this under the Gospel, to be two distinct Covenants: They are not (saith hee, pag. 45.) one and the same Covenant diversly administred, but they are two distinct Covenants: His arguments are, because they are called Old and New: But those names inforce no essentiall difference. The Commandment of love is called an old Commandment, and a new; yet it is the same for essence: so likewise the termes of a * good, and better, do imply no more then a graduall difference in their excellency. But that which I shall especially animad∣vert upon, is, the differences he giveth between these two Co∣venants of grace so really distinguished, as he supposeth, and in this matter, the Authour speaketh much error in a few lines.

The first difference assigned by him is in respect of remission of sinnes; but he goeth on other grounds then the Hony-combe* doth. They had not (saith he) a plenary remission of all sorts of sinnes: There were sacrifices for sinnes of ignorance, but notfor other sinnes that were done presumptuously: and if no sacrifices were ad∣mitted, then consequently no pardon obtained: but under the Gospel, Christs blood cleanseth from all sin, pag. 54. Now here is an heape of falshoods:

First, that all the legall sacrifices were only for sinnes of meer ignorance; (This is also an errour among Socinians) but Levit. 6. 2, 3. there is a sacrifice appointed for him that shall lye, and sweare falsly in detaining of his neighbours goods, and this could not be but a sinne of knowledge. This is also aboundant∣ly confirmed in Levit. 16. where the feast of expiation and atonement is made for all the sinnes of the people, ver. 16. He shall make an atonement, because of the uncleaness of the chil∣dren Page  247 of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sinnes. So ver. 21. He shall confess over the live goat all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sinnes. Thus ver. 30. that ye may be cleane from all your sinnes before the Lord; & ver. 34. This shall be an atonement for the children of Israel once a yeare for all their sinns. Thus you see the Scripture speakes plainly for all their sinnes; yet the Antinomian speakes as boldly, as if nothing were true; that there were sacrifices for some sorts of sinnes only. So that you are wisely to judge of such books, and not beleeve every confident expression. It's true the Apostle calls these sinnes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Heb. 9. 7. we trans∣late it errours; for the Apostle doth not meanesinnes, as appear∣eth Levit. 16. but therefore are all sinnes called, so because omnis malus ignorat: There being no sinne which doth not proceede from some errour in the practicall judgment? for although a man sin wilfully and advisedly, so that there is Nulla alia causa malitae nisi malitia, (as Austin speakes of some of his sinnes) yet there is even an errour in that mans conscience.

But in the second place, grant, that there were no legall sa∣crifices * appointed for some sins, (as indeed particular sacrifi∣ces were commonly for sins, either of ignorance, or if wil∣full, not of such an high and mortall guilt; particular (I say) for that feast of expiation was generall) yet there is no consequence in the world, that therefore there was no pardon to be sued out. How foolish then were David and Manasses, in suing out par∣don for their blood-guiltiness, if there were no such thing al∣lowed by God? How gross is this errour? If this doctrine were true, then most of those that are reckoned as godly in the Old Testament could have no pardon, because many of them did fall into such gross sins, for which there was no particular sacrifice appointed.

3. Again under the New Testament, is there not the sin * against the holy Ghost for which no pardon is promised? Not indeed but that Christs bloud is sufficient to take away the guilt of it? and Gods mercy is able to pardon it, and to give repen∣tance to those that have committed it; but he hath declared he will not.

Page  248But, saith the Author, under the Gospel it is said, the bloud of Christ cleanseth us from all sin. Now, if the Jews would have brought all their estates to have been admitted, to bring a sacri∣fice for such or such a sin, they could not have done it. I re∣ply what and if they could bring no sacrifice, could they not therefore have pardon? Why then doth God proclaime him∣self to them, a God gracious, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin? Why doth he, Isa. 1. call upon Ierusalem to repent of her whoredoms, murders, saying, If their sins were as scarlet, they should be made as white as snow. This errour is such a dead fly, that it is enough to spoile the Authors whole box of oint∣ment. Besides, was not that true ever since Adams fall, as well as under the Gospel [Christs blood cleansing from all sin] I can∣not see how any but a Socinian will deny it.

4. Another difference that the Author makes about remission * of sinnes to them, and us under the Gospel, is as strange, and false as the former: It is this, God did not give the grace of remission of sinnes to any under the old Covenant, but upon ante∣cedent conditions; they were to be at cost for sacrifices. (How doth this agree with his former reason, if he mean it universaly?) They were to confess their sinnes to the Priests, yea, in some cases to fast: but now under the Gospel there is no antecedent doing of any thing to the participation of the Covenant. But in this difference also there is much absurd falshood, and contradiction to himselfe: Con∣tradiction (I say) for he bringeth Ezech. 16. where God speaks to the Church, that while she was in her blood, he said to her, Live; therefore there was no antecedent condition. But what man of reason doth not see that God speaks there of the Church of the Iews, as appeareth through the whole Chapter? Therefore it makes strongly against the Author, that she had no preparations; so that other place, Isa. 65. 1. I am found of them that sought not for me; grant that it be a prophesie of the Gen∣tiles, yet was it not also true of the Iews, before God called them? Did the Iews first seek God, or God them? How often doth God tell them, that the good he did to them, was for his own names sake, and not any thing in them?

Again, if these things were required as antecedent qualifica∣tions in them for the remission of sins, then all those argum∣ments Page  249 will hold true upon them, which they would fasten, as injuries to Christ and grace, upon us. If (say they) we must re∣pent, and humble our selves, and so have pardon, this is to cast off Christ, this is to make an idoll of our owne righteousness, &c. It see∣meth the Jews under the Old Testament might do all these things without blame: A Iew might say, My services, my sa∣crifices, my prayers will do something to the remission of my sinnes: but a Christian may not. The Author urgeth also that place, While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God: but doth not this hold true of the Iews? Did they first make them∣selves friends with God? What is this but to hold the doctrine of free-will and works in the time of the Law; and the doctrine of grace under the new only? As for faith, whether that be a condition or not, I shall not here meddle: only this is plain, it was required of them under the old Covenant, in the same ma∣ner, as it is of us now.

A third difference made as to remission of sinnes, is this: Their remission of sinnes was gradatim, successively, drops by drops. If a * man had sinned, and offered sacrifice, then that sinne was par∣doned; but this did not extend to future ignorance, that was not pardoned till a new sacrifice. Therefore the Apostle saith, there was a remembrance of sinne; but Christ by one sacrifice once offered, hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. To this I answer, 1. That this difference grew upon this supposition, as if the sacri∣fice offered did by it's own vertue take away sinne. For, if we suppose (as we must) that Christ the true sacrifice was repre∣sented in every sacrifice, and all the vertue and benefit to come from Christs bloud, and not the bloud of the sacrifices, then could that take away all sinnes as well as some sinnes: unless the Author were a Socinian, denying the efficacy of Christs blood, at all, under the Old Testament, he can never expedite himselfe from this.

Again, this contradicts themselves; for the reason why they say, faith doth not justifie, but evidence and declare it only, is, because Gods love and free grace to justifie, is from all eternity, and therefore no sins past, or future, can hinder this. Now I ask, whether God did not justifie David, and the ungodly in those dayes from all eternity, (as they speak) and if he did, why Page  250 should not all their sins be remitted fully once, as well as the sins of beleevers under the Gospel? Certainly, the Apostle brings David for an instance of justification and remission of sins, as well under the New Testament, which doth suppose that we are justified, and have our sins pardoned in the like manner.

In the mean while, let me set one Antinomian to overthrow another, for one of that way brings many arguments to prove that we are justified, and so have all our sins done away before we beleeve. Now, if all sins are done away, then there is no suc∣cessive remission. Well then, you shall observe most of the argu∣ments hold for the beleevers under the old Testament, as well as New; for they are elected as well as we, God laid their sins, upon Christ as well as ours: if God love us to day, and hate us to morrow, let Arminians heare and wonder why they should be blamed that say, We may love God to day, and hate him to mor∣row. Now all these reasons will fall foul upon this Antino∣mian whose errour I confute, and he much necessarily hold, that the godly had but halfe pardons, yea, that they were loved one day, and hated the next.

Again, consider that the place of the Apostle urged by him for his errour, viz. Christ offering himselfe once for all, to perfect those that are sanctified, is of a perpetuall truth ever since Adams fall: and it was as efficacious to those before his death, as after; therefore he is called a Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, although the Socinians would pervert and wrest that place.

Lastly, I deny that even under the Gospel that all sins are forgiven to the justified person at once. He is indeed put into a state of justification, whereby no condemnation will fall upon him, yet his sins are not forgiven before they are committed and repented of. And for this purpose we pray for the daily pardon of them, which is not to be understood of the meer de∣claration or assurance of the pardon, but for the pardon it self. But this shall be on purpose spoken to in the matter of Iustifica∣tion. The forenamed Author hath some other differences, but they are confuted already for the substance of them.

Page  251


ROM. 3. 27.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay, but by the law of faith.

WE have confuted the false differences, and now come to lay down the true, between the Law and the Gospel, taken in a larger sense.

And, first, you must know that the difference is not essentiall,*or substantiall, but accidentall: so that the division of the Testa∣ment, or Covenant into the Old, and New, is not a division of the Genus into it's opposite Species; but of the subject, accord∣ing to it's severall accidentall administrations, both on Gods part, and on mans. It is true, the Lutheran Divines, they do ex∣presly oppose the Calvinists herein, maintaining the Covenant given by Moses, to be a Covenant of works, and so directly contrary to the Covenant of grace. Indeed, they acknowledge that the Fathers were justified by Christ, and had the same way of salvation with us; only they make that Covenant of Moses to be a superadded thing to the Promise, holding forth a conditi∣on of perfect righteousness unto the Iews, that they might be convinced of their own folly in their self-righteousness. But, I think, it is already cleared, that Moses his Covenant, was a Covenant of grace: & the right unfolding the word Law, and Gospel, doth easily take away that difference which seemeth to be among the Learned in this point; for, certainly, the god∣ly Iews did not rest in the Sacrifices, or Sacramenrs, but by faith did really enjoy Christ in them, as well as wee in ours. Christ was figured by the Mercy-seat: Now, as both the Cheru∣bims looked to that, so both the people of the Jews and Gen∣tiles did eye and look to Christ. For although Christ had not Page  252 assumed our flesh then, yet the fruit and benefit of his incarnati∣on was then communicated, because of the decree and promise of God, 1. Pet. 1. 20.

2. This difference is more particularly seen, in respect of the*degrees of perspicuity and clearness in the revelation of heavenly objects. Hence, 2 Pet. 1. 19. the light in the Old Testament is compared to the light in the night time; and that in the New, to the light of the sun in the day. The summ of all heavenly doctrine is reduced to these three heads: credenda, things to be beleeved: speranda, things to be hoped for: & facienda, things to be done.

Now, if you consider the objects of faith, or things to be be∣leeved, * they were more obscurely delivered to them: The do∣ctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation of Christ, and the Resur∣rection, these things were but in a dark manner delivered, yet, according to the measure of that light then held forth, they were bound to beleeve those things: so that, as Moses had a vail upon him, thus also his doctrine had; and, as the knowledge we have here is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in respect of that in heaven, so that in the Old Testament may be said to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in respect of that in the New.

As it is thus for the credenda, things to be beleeved, so it is al∣so * for the speranda, things hoped for. The opinion of the So∣cinians and others is very wicked, which makes them before Christ, only to hope in temporall good things, and the notion of the Papists observing that the Church under the New Testa∣ment is called Ecclesia, but never Synagoge; & the meeting of the Jews, called always Synagoge, but never Ecclesia, doth suppose that the Jews were gathered together as so many beasts, rather then called together as men. But this notion is judged false; and they instance Heb. 10. and James 2. where the Church of the Christians is called Synagoge; although Cameron, Praelect. de Ec∣cles. pag. 66. doth industriously labour to prove that the Apostles did purposely abstain from the word Synagoge in reference to Christians: but his reason is not that the Papists urge, for how∣soever the good things promised were for the most part tempo∣ral, and carnal, yet these figured spirituall and heavenly. It's Austins observation, shewing that the Jews should first be allu∣red Page  253 by temporal mercies, and afterwards the Christians by spi∣ritual: As, saith he, first that which is animal, and then that which is spiritual: The first man was of the earth, earthly; the second man was of heaven, heavenly: Thus we may say of the Jew and the Christian, That which was animal was first, and then that which is spiritual. Hence, Heb. 11. 16. Abraham and others are said to seek an heavenly country; so that although it be true which Austine (as I remember) said, though you look over the whole book of the Old Testament, yet you shall never find the kingdome of heaven mentioned there: yet we see David making God his portion, and professing that he hath nothing in heaven but him, which argueth, that they looked farther then meer out∣ward mercies. These good things promised to the Jews were figurative, so that as a man consisteth of a soul and body, thus also doth the promises; there is the kernel and the shell: but the Jews, for the most part, looked only to the outward. Hence Christ, when he opened those things to his Disciples, did like a kind father, that breaketh the shell, and giveth the kernel to his children.

In the third place, there are facienda, things to be done. Now * although it be true, (as I have proved) that Christ hath added no new command to the Law of Moses; and whatsoever is a sin now in moral things, was also then; yet the doctrine of these things was not so full, penetrating, and clear as now under the Gospel. There is a dangerous book, called, The Practicall Catechisme, that venteth much Socinian poyson, and in this par∣ticular, among other things, that Christ added to the Law, and perfected it, filled up some vacuities in it; Certainly, the Law of God being perfect, and to which nothing must be ad∣ded, cannot be said to have vacuities in it; and Christ is said to fill the Law, in respect of the Pharisees, who by their corrupt glosses had evacuated it. And one of his reasons, which he brings to prove his assertion, makes most against him, viz. Ex∣cept your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, &c. This maketh against him, because our Saviour doth not say. Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Law and the Prophets; (which he must have said, if his opi∣nion were true) but, of the Scribes and Pharisees, who had cor∣rupted Page  254 the text with their false glosses. I will not consider his other reasons; for they are so weak, that he seemeth to be afraid of them: And, certainly, it would be strange Divinity, to say, that a Jew might have lusted after a woman in his heart, and not have sinned; but now it would be sin in a Christian.

The second particular difference is in respect of the measure of grace. Hence the Scripture speakes, as if they had under the Old * Testament none at all, meerly because there was not such a plen∣tifull effusion of his Spirit upon them: not but that if we con∣sider some particular persons, they might have such degrees of grace, that few under the Gospel can be compared unto them, as Abraham and David; but this was not according to the ordi∣nary dispensation of his graces then: So that as one starre dif∣fereth from another in glory, thus did the Church of the Jewes, from that of Christians. They had drops, but we have the foun∣taine; they had glimmerings, but we have the sun it selfe. Now, as these are priviledges, so they are also great engagements for more eminent knowledge, and holiness then was in those dayes. But all that the Prophets reproved in their people, ignorance, selfe confidence, resting upon externall duties, &c. the same may we in our hearers *

3. Their condition was more servile. All things did press more to fear, and bondage, then now among us. Hence the Apo∣stle, Gal. 4. 30. compareth their condition to the sons of the bond∣woman. Hence Austine makes Timor, and Amor, the difference of the two Testaments; God met man sinning in the Law, as he did Adam, with terrour, charging sin upon him; but under the Gospel, as the father did the prodigall son, coming home to him. See Heb. 12. this difference considered by Paul, Yee are not come to Mount Sinai, &c. Only you must rightly under∣stand this. The Jewes had a two fold consideration; one, as being servile, and another of them, as sonnes, but under age: so that they were not wholly excluded from the Spirit of Ado∣ption: yea, the Apostle saith, That the Promises, and Adoption did belong unto thom; and David doth appropriate God unto himselfe as his God, in his prayer, which argued he had the Spirit of Adoption, inabling him to call, Abba, Father. Now, Page  255 as they were more obnoxious to an inward bondage, so they were under an outward bondage also, opposite unto which is that Christian liberty Paul speakes of, whereby the yoke of all those ceremonious burdens is taken off them; and Paul doth vehemently and fervidly dispute against those that would in∣troduce them.

In the asserting of this difference, one scruple is to be remo∣ved, which is this, How could the Jewes be said to be in more ser∣vitude then the Christians; meerly because of those ceremonies and sacrifices? for, seeing they were commanded by God, and had spirituall significations, they did thereby become helpes un∣to their faith, and were exercises of their piety. As under the Gospel none can say that the Sacraments are a burden, and tend to bondage, because they are visible signes: But rather God doth hereby condescend in his great love unto us for, as Chrysostome observeth, if wee had been incorporeall, God would not then have appointed visible Sacraments, (no more then he doth to Angels) but now consisting of soul and body, he doth institute some things in an accommodated way to helpe us, and to pro∣mote our faith.

But this may be answered, that although they were spirituall in signification, yet they being many, and requiring much bo∣dily labour, they could not be observed without much difficul∣ty: and therefore no priest, or Levite, that was spiritually mind∣ed, in those dayes, but would rather choose to exercise the mini∣stery under the Gospel, then to busie himself in the killing of beasts, and fleaing of them, which was their duty to do. There∣fore well did Austine observe the love of God in appointing for us Sacraments, fewer in number, easier in observation, and more cleare in signification. Again, those bodily exercises did rather fit those that were children, and were more convenient to that low condition, then unto the full age of the Church: and Sa∣craments, though they be an help, yet they suppose some imbe∣cillity in the subject: therefore in heaven there shall be none at all. Only take notice, that Popery, having introduced so ma∣ny ceremonious observations, and such a multitude of Church∣precepts, hath made the times of the Gospel to be the times of none-age again. This also discovereth that such are not spiri∣tuall, Page  256 that delight in ceremoniall wayes: and the more men fix their heart upon sensible observations, the less they partake of spirituall.

I will instance but in a fourth (because these differences are given by most that treate on this subject) and that shall be the * continuance and abode of it. The Law, in that Mosaicall ad∣ministration, was to indure but till Christ the fulness came; and then, as the scaffolds are pulled down when the house is built, so were all those externall ordinances to be abolished, when Christ himselfe came. A candle is superfluous when the sun appeareth. A School-master is not necessary to those that have obtained perfect knowledge. Milke is not comely for those who live on solid meat. The chaff preserves the corn, but when the corn is gathered, the chaff is thrown away. And when the fruit commeth, the flower falleth to the ground And in this sense the Apostle, Heb. 7. doth argue against it, saying, it could bring nothing to perfection, Neither could any of those purifications work any good and spiritual effect. It beho∣ved therefore that a Christ should be exhibited, which would work all those spirituall mercies for us, Hence had there been no farther proceeding, but we must alwaies have stayed in such offerings, and sacrifices, it had been impossible for ever that God should have been pleased with us. It is therefore in this re∣spect, that it was to be antiquated, and a better covenant to come in the room of it. The Apostle calleth those things, Heb. 10. a shadow: Now a shadow, that doth shew a man, but yet the shadow, that doth not live, or eate, or speak: so those sacri∣fices they shadowed out Christ, but yet they could not exhibite the reall benefits by Christ. As Elisha sent his servant with a staff to raise up the Shunamites son, but he could doe nothing; then cometh the Prophet himself, and raiseth him up: so it's here, Moses was like the Prophets servant, he went with a staff to raise up those dead in sin, but could not do it without Christ.

Here may be one Question made upon these things, and that is, Why God appointed such various and different administrations? This providence of God became a rock to the Marcionites, and Manichees, insomuch that they denyed the same God to be Au∣thor Page  257 of both the Testaments. To answer this; certainly God, if he pleased, could have as clearly revealed Christ, and poured out his pirit, giving eternall life as plentifully under the Law, as under the Gospel. But to aske why he did thus, would be as presumptuous and arrogant, as to aske, why he created the world no sooner. If the School-master teach the new beginner in another way, then he doth the proficient in study, no man doth blame his wisedom. As in the Paschall Lamb, they were to eate the flesh, but to throw away the bones; so in all matters of religion, those things that are revealed and profitable we may feed upon, and whatsoever is abstruse and difficult, we may let goe. Praestat per Deum nescire, quia ipse non revelaverit; quàm per hominem scire, quia ipse praesumpserit, Tert. de Anima. *

Now, to conclude, I come to give the difference between the Law strictly taken, as requiring exact and perfect obedience, promising eternall life upon no other termes: and the Gospel strictly taken, as a solemne promulgation of Christ, and his be∣nefits to a broken sinner.

And the first is this, The Law in some measure of it is made*knowne by naturall light, and so agreeable to a naturall conscience. I say in some measure; for there is much of the duty of the Law that is unknown to naturall consciences, yet the most externall and outward duties are knowne, and accordingly, as the truth of them is discerned by naturall light, so the will doth joyne with them as good to be done (though not in a godly way.) But it is otherwise with the Gospel, for the very truth of it must be wholy revealed by God, so that no naturall acumen in the world, could ever excogitate this wonderfull remedy, of justification and salvation by Christ. And as it is thus above knowledg, so the heart is more averse from this way.

And by this you may see, why it is such an hard thing to be∣leeve; why the people of God are so hardly perswaded, when loaden with guilt, to roule their soules upon Christ. The rea∣sorris, there is nothing in his natural conscience to further him in this duty. Press a man against murder, theft, adultery; here is naturall conscience joyning for this duty: but urge him to beleeve, this is altogether above nature. Hence it is also, that naturally we seek to be justified by the works we do; so that Page  258 to be justified by faith is another way, then corrupted nature in us, or right nature in Adam would have inclined unto, There∣fore let not the people of God be so discouraged in their ago∣nies and combats about their unbeliefe: Let them know, that a little degree of faith is of great consequence. And if he said, that Christi anity was perpetua naturae violentia, a perpetuall vio∣lence offered to nature, this is most sure in a matter of faith. We are as froward in rejecting of a promise, as stubborn in re∣fusing of a command.

The second difference is in the object matter: The Law holdeth*forth a perfect righteousness, and will not admit of any other; but the Gospel, that condescends, and brings pardon through Christ. And this is the maine difference, and in which they can never be made one. Now the Papists, Arminian, Socinian, and others do overthrow this grand and maine difference holding justificati∣on by works under some notion, or other: whereas the Apo∣stle maketh an immediate opposition, If of faith, then not of works. The Apostle doth not distinguish of works of nature, and works of grace, or works of grace perfect imperfect: but speak∣eth absolutely, & so doth also exclude that subtile opinion, of making faith to justifie as a work; for the Apostle, making an opposition between faith and works, must necessarily take faith under such a notion, as cannot be a work. And this truth is that which is the pillar of the Church of God, and that which differenceth us from Jews, Turks, Papists, and many Here∣ticks.

The third difference is from the manner of obtaining the good*thing promised: He that shall obtain eternall life by the Law, hath it of debt, and by way of justice, Rom. 4. 4. Not as if Adam in the state of innocency could have merited at Gods hands; or as if God became in strict justice a debtor; seeing Adam was behold∣ing to God for all: but in some sense it would have been so. Hence boasting would not then have been excluded: eternall life being the reward of those holy works, which he should have done, but now all is of grace, through Christ; our righteousness is meerly Gods indulgence: not the holiness that is in us, but the sinn pardoned makes us acceptable. So that the broken contrite heart can never sufficiently admire the grace and goodness of God in Page  259 the Gospel-way: And no marvell if so be that Paul is so fre∣quently ravished with the considerations thereof. This may well be caIled good newes, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 And if our hearts were spiri∣tually affected, we should say, How beautifull are the feet of those that bring these glad tydings?

The fourth difference is in respect of the subject: The Law, strict∣ly*taken, is only for those who have a perfect and holy nature: there∣fore it's a Covenant, (as you heard) of friendship, and not of re∣conciliation, so that there is no necessity of any Mediatour. In∣deed, there is good use of urging it to proud Pharisaicall men, to bring them out of love with themselves; to gross sinners, that their hearts might be broken, seeing the curses belong to them; yea, to the godly also, to teach them the faire copy they are to write after: but, in respect of justification by it, and eternall life, there is none can have that benefit but such who shall be found perfectly holy: It was not Moses, but the serpent that did heale; so it is not the Law, but Christ that can comfort bro∣ken hearts stung with sin. The Priest, and the Levite they pass by, not pitying of him. But now the Subject to whom the Gospel is given, is a broken hearted sinner, one that feeleth himselfe ready to be covered over with all confusion, one that lyeth wounded in conscience, crying for some oyle to be poured into his wounds. Oh! what miserable comforters then must all Popish and Socinian Doctors be, who will advise the sinfull tempted man to seek out works for the Law, which is as uncomfortable, as to bid a sick diseased man get some of the Philosophers stone, or to eat a piece of a Phoenix, and then, and not till then, he shall be in ease?

Lastly, The Law differeth in the forme of it from the Gospel: The*Law is conditionall, but the Gospel absolute. I find this Question a very troublesome one, Whether the Gospel be absolute or no? Whe∣ther Gospel be a doctrine of works? Whether it hath precepts, or thre∣atnings? Now the meaning of this Question is not, Whether the Gospel be so absolute that it requireth not faith as a condition: Or Whether it be so absolute, as that it excludeth all repentance and ho∣liness; he is an infant in Scripture that thinketh so: But, Whether the Gospel doth promise eternall life to a man for any dignity, inten∣tion, merit, work, or any disposition in us under any distinction or no∣tion Page  260 whatsoever; or only to faith apprehending Christ. Now the An∣swer is, that if we take the Gospel largly, for the doctrine of Christ and the Apostles, there is no question, but they pressed duty of mortification & sanctification, threatning those that do not so: but if you take the Gospel strictly, then it holdeth forth nothing but remission of sins through Christ, not requiring any other duty as a condition, or using any threatning words there∣unto. But then it may be demanded, To which is repentance reduced? Is it a duty of the Law, or a duty of the Gospel? Of the Law strictlytaken, it cannot be, because that admitteth none. Must it not therefore be of the Gospel? And I find in this par∣ticular, different either expressions or opinions, and generally the Lutheran Divines do oppose the Antinomians upon this very ground, that the Gospel is not a Sermon of repentance, nor doth exhort thereunto; but it must be had from the Law, which doth prepare them for Christ. I shall therefore, because this was the foundation of Antinomianisme, and it had it's rise from hence, handle the next day this Question, Whether the Gospel doth command repentance, or no. Or, Whether it be only from the Law.


ROM. 3. 27.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay, but by the Law of faith.

I Proceed to the handling of this Question, Whether the Gos∣spel preach repentance or no: seeing this made the great com∣motion at first between the Orthodox and Antinomians. I shall dispatch this in few words,

1. The word [Repentance,] is taken sometimes largely, and some∣times*strictly: when it is taken largely, it comprehends faith in it, and is the whole turnign unto God Rev. 2. 5. sometimes it is used strictly, for sorrow about sin, and so distinguished from faith. Thus, they repented not, that they might beleeve; and faith and repentance are put together, Now all the while a man hath Page  261 trouble and sorrow for sin, without faith, it is like the body without the soul; yea, it carrieth a man with Cain, and Judas, into the very pit of dispair; when a man seeth how much is a∣gainst him, and not how much is for him, it cannot but crush, and weigh him down to the ground. The tears of repentance are like those waters, very bitter, till Christ sweeten them.

2. Consider this, that the Law was never meerly and solely ad∣ministred, nor yet the Gospel, but they are twins, that are insepa∣rably*united in the Word and Ministery. Howsoever strictly ta∣ken, there is a vast gulf of opposition between each other; yet in their use they become exceeding subservient, and helpfull mutually. It is not good for the Law to be alone, nor yet the Gospel. Now the old Antinomians, they taught repentance by the Gospel only, that so the Law might be wholly excluded. thus they did not consider what usefull subserviencie they had to one another. The Law directeth, commandeth, and humbleth: The Gospel, that comforteth, refresheth, and supporteth. And it is a great wisedom in a Christian, when he hath an eye upon both. Many are cast down, because they only consider the per∣fection of the Law, and their inability thereunto: on the other side, some grow secure and loose, by attending to free-grace only. I do acknowledge, that free-grace will melt the heart in∣to kindness, and the fire will melt, as well as the hammer bat∣ter into pieces; but yet, even this cannot be done, without some use of the Law.

3. Therefore, being there is such a neer linck between both these*in their practicall use, we need not, with some learned men, make two Commandements of the Gospel only; to wit, the command to beleeve, and the other command to repent: neither need we, with others, make these commands Appendices to the Gospel. but conclude thus, that, seeing Faith and Repentance have something initial in them, and something consummative in them, therefore they are both wrought by Law and Gospel also: so that, as they say there is a legal repen∣tance and an evangelical; so we may say, there is a legal faith, which consists in believing of the threatnings, & the terrours of the Lord; and there is an evangelical faith, which is in applying of Christ in the Promises. So that legal faith, and repentance, may be called so initially; and when it is evangelical, it may Page  262 be said to be consummate. If therefore you aske, Whether Faith and Repentance be by the Law, or by the Gospel; I answer, It is by both and that these must not be seperated one from the other in the command of these duties.

Hence, fourthly, unbeliefe is a sin against the Law, as well as a∣gainst*the Gospel. Indeed the Gospel, that doth manifest, and de∣clare the object of justifying faith, but the Law condemneth him that doth not believe in him: therefore Moses and the Law is said to bear witness of Christ, and to accuse the Jews for refusing the Messias. The Law, that requireth belief in whatsoever God shall reveal: The Gospel that makes known Christ; and then the Law, is as it were, enlightened by the Gospel, doth fasten a command upon us to beleeve in Christ. This is true, if you take the Law strictly and seperately from Moses his administration of it: but if you take it largely, as it was delivered by Moses, then faith in Christ was immediately commanded there, though obscurely, because (as is proved) it was a Covenant of grace. You see then, that as in the transfi∣guration, there was Christ, and Moses together in glory; so likewise may the Law, and the Gospel be together in their glo∣ry; and it is through our folly, when we make them practically to hinder one another.

Though all this be true, yet if the Gospel be taken strictly, it * is not a doctrine of repentance, or holy works; but a meere gracious promise of Christ to the broken heart for sin; and doth comprehend no more then the glad tydings of a Saviour. It is true, learned men do sometimes speak otherwise, calling Faith and repentance the two Evangelicall commands, but then they use the word more largely, for the doctrine of Christ and the Apostles, but in a strict sense its only a promise of Christ, and his benefits: And in this sense we may say, the Gospel doth not terrifie, or accuse. Indeed there are wofull threatnings to him that rejecteth Christ; yea more severe then to him that re∣fused Moses, but this ariseth from the Law joyned in practicall use with the Gospel. And in this sense also it is said to be the savour of death unto many. This ariseth not from the nature of the Gospel, but from the Law, that is enlightened by the Go∣spel: so that he being already condemned by the Law, for not Page  263 beleeving in Christ, he needeth to be condemned again by the Gospel.

If you say, May not the sufferings of Christ make us to repent of sin, and all the love he shewed therein? Do not godly Mi∣nisters, to work people into an hatred of sin, tell them the price of blood is in every sin committed? Is it not said, that they shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn for their sins?

I answer, all this is true, but then these things work by way of an object, not as a command; and it is from the Law, that we should shew our selves kind unto him who loved us unto death; so that the object is indeed from the Gospel, but the command, to be affected with his death, because of his kindness therein manifested, doth arise from Gods Law: Let therefore those who say, that the preaching of the Gospel will humble men, and break their hearts for their sins, consider how that it is true, by the Gospel as an object, by the Law, as that which com∣mands such affections to those objects.

Let the use of this doctrine be, to direct Christians in their practicall improvement of Law and Gospel, without hin∣dring each other. There are many things in Christianity that the people of God make to oppose one another, when yet they would promote each other, if wisely ordered. Thus they make their joy and trembling, their faith, and repentance, their zeal and prudence, the Law and Gospel to thwart one another; whereas by spiritual wisdom they might unite them: take the Law for a goad, the Gospel for a cordial: from the one be in∣structed, from the other be supported: when thy heart is care∣less and dull, run thither to be excited; when thy soul is deject∣ed and fearfull, throw thy self into the armes of the Gospel. The Law hath a loveliness in it as well as the Gospel: the one is a pure character and Image of the holiness of God; the other is of the mercy and goodness of God; so that the consideration of either may wonderfully inflame thy affections and raise them up.

Page  264


ROM. 10. 4.
For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that beleeveth.

AS the Physitian, (saith Peter Martyr) who intends to give strong physick which may expell noxious humours in the diseased body, doth prepare the body first by some poti∣ons to make it fluid and fit for operation: so Paul, being sharp∣ly to accuse the Jews, and to drive them out of their selfe righ∣teousness, doth manifest his love to them, sugaring the bitter pill that they might swallow it with more delight, And this his love is manifested, partly by his expression [brethren,] partly by his affections and prayers [my hearts desire and prayer.] The occasion of this his affection is the zeale that they have for God, but in a wrong way: As the skillfull husbandman, that seeth a piece of ground full of weeds, and brambles, wisheth he had that ground, which by culture and tillage would be made very fruitfull. Amo unde amputem, said the Orator, I love the wit that needs some pruning. The luxuriancie is a signe of fertility.

This zeale was not a good zeale, partly because it wanted knowledge, and therefore was like Sampson without his eyes: * partly because it made them proud, which the Apostle fully ex∣presseth in two particulars: 1, They sought to establish their owne righteousness. They sought, this did imply their willfull pride and arrogancy, and to establish, which supposeth their righteous∣ness was weak and infirme, ready to fall to the ground: but they would set it up for all that, as the Philistims would their Dagon, though he was tumbled downe before the Ark. 2. The Apostle expresseth it signally, when he saith, They submitted not themselves to the righteousness of God; In the originall, They were Page  265 not submitted, in the passive signification, which still supposeth the great arrogancy that is in a man naturally, being unwilling to deny his owne righteousness, and to take Christ for all. This being so, take notice by the way of a foule errour of the Anti∣nomian, who denying assurance and comfort by signes of grace, laboureth to prove, that an unregenerate man may have univer∣sall obedience, and sincere obedience, bringing this instance of the Jews for sincere obedience.

But sincerity may be taken two waies: First, as it opposeth * gross hypocrisie, and so indeed the Jews zeale was not hypo∣criticall, because they did not goe against their conscience: or, Secondly, it may be taken as it opposeth the truth of grace, and so the Jews zeale was not a true gracious zeale for the reasons a∣bove named. Now my Text, that is given as a reason, why the Jews did look to their owne righteousness, & not that of Gods, because they neglected Christ, who is here said to be the end of the Law for righteousness. The word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 doth sometime sig∣nifie, *the extreme and last end of a thing: Thus Mark. 13. 7. The end is not yet; so those who are against the calling of the nation of the Jews, bring that place, 1 Thes. 2. ver. 16. Wrath is come upon them〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as if there were no mercy to be expected. But this may admit of another exposition. Sometimes the word is used for perfection and fullfilling of a thing, acording to the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Rom. 2. 27. Shall not uncircumcision,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉if it fullfill the Law? So James 2. 8. If you fullfill the royall Law. In this sense Aristotle called the soul 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉as that which did per∣fect: And the sacrifices before marriage, which was the consum∣mation of that neer bond, or because of the cost then bestow∣ed, were called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Erasmus takes it in this sense here, and doth translate it perfection: for which Beza doth reprove him, saying, he doth not remember that the word is so used any where. But that place, 1 Tim. 7. 5. The end of the commandment is charity, may seem to confirme this sense; for, certainly, that phrase is no more then that in another place, Love is〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the fulfill∣ing of the Law. Therefore I think, this is a great part of the meaning here, Christ is the end, that is, the perfection, the ful∣ness of the Law. Yet, I shall take in also the end of intention, or a scope, unto which the Law-giver aimed when he gave the Page  266 Law: and this will be shewed in the particulars; The doctrine is, That Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every beleever.

For the opening of this consider, 1. That an end may be ta∣ken either for that of consumption and abolition; or for that of perfection and confirming: Finis interficiens, and finis perficiens, as Austine called it. Now, in the former sense, Christ was the end of the Ceremoniall Law: the end abolishing; although that was also an end of perfection to them: and so some under∣stand it of the Ceremoniall Law, & the Prophesies: They all sha∣dowed out Christ, and ended in him. And this indeed is a truth, but it is not pertinent to the scope of the Apostle, who speaketh of such a Law, that the Jews expected righteousness by in the performing of it; which must be the Morall Law only.

Now, when we speak of the Morall Law, having Christ for the end of it, then in the second place that may be considered two wayes.

1. Either rigidly, and in an abstracted consideration from the ad∣ministration*of it, as it doth require perfect obedience, and condem∣ning those that have it not: now in this sense Christ cannot be the scope, or end of the Law, but it is meerly by accident, & oc∣casionall, that a soul abased and condemned by the Law doth seek out for a Christ: only you must know, that the Law even so taken doth not exclude a Christ. It requireth indeed a per∣fect righteousness of our own; yet if we bring the righteous∣ness of a surety, though this be not commanded by the Law, yet it is not against the Law, or excluded by it; otherwise it would have been unjustice in God to have accepted of Christ our surety for us.

2. Or else the Law may be taken in a more large way for the ad∣ministration of it by Moses, in all the particulars of it; and thus * Christ was intended directly, and not by accident; that is, God when he gave the Law to the people of Israel, did intend that the sense of their impossibility to keep it, and infinite danger accrewing thereby to them, should make them desire and seek out for Christ: which the Jews generally not understanding, or neglecting, did thereby, like Adam, go to make fig-leaves for their covering of their nakedness, their empty, externall obedience.

Page  267 According to this purpose Aquinas hath a good distinction about an end; That an end is two-fold: Either such, to which a thing doth naturally incline of it self: Or secondly, that which be∣cometh an end, by the meere appointment and ordination of some Agent. Now the end of the Law, to which naturally it incli∣neth, is eternall life to be obtained by a perfect righteousness in us; but the instituted and appointed end, which God the Lawgiver made in the promulgation of it, was the Lord Christ: So that, whatsoever the Law commanded, promised, or threat∣ned, it was to stir up the Israelites unto Christ. They were not to rest in those precepts or duties, but to go on to Christ; so that a beleever was not to take joy with any thing in the Law till he came to Christ, and when he had found him, he was to seek no further, but to abide there. Now this indeed was a ve∣ry difficult duty, because every man naturally would be his own Christ, and Saviour. And what is the reason, that under the Gospel belevers are still so hardly perswaded to rest only on Christ for righteousness, but because of that secret selfe depen∣dance, within them.

Having premised these things, I come to shew how Christ is * the end of the Law taken largely in the ministry of Moses. And in the first place, Christ was the scope and end of intention: God by giving so holy a Law requiring such perfect obedience, would thereby humble and debase the Israelites; so that there∣by they should the more earnestly fly unto Christ, even as the Israelite, stung by a serpent, would presently cast his eyes upon the brasen Serpent. It is true, Christ was more obscurely and darkly held forth there; yet not so, but that it was a duty to search out for Christ in all those administrations. And this you have fully set forth in that allegory which Paul maketh 2 Co∣rinth. 3. 7. I shall explain that place, because it may be wrested * by the Antinomian; as if, because that kinde of ministery which was by Moses, was to be done away and evacuated, therefore * the preaching of the Law was also to be abrogated: but that is far from the Apostles scope; for the Apostle his intent there is to shew the excellency of the ministery of the Gospel above that of the Law, and that in three respects.

Page  268 1. In regard one is the ministery of death and condemnation, the*other of life and righteousness Therefore the one is called Letter, and the other Spirit. Now this you must understand warily, taking the Law nakedly, and in it self, without the Spirit of God, and the Gospel with the Spirit; for, as Beza well obser∣veth, if you take the Gospel without Gods Spirit, that also is the ministration of death, because it is as impossible for us to beleeve, as it is to obey the Law by our own power: only life and spirit is attributed to the Gospel, and not to the Law; be∣cause Christ, who is the author of the Gospel is the fountain of life; and when any good is wrought by the Law, it cometh from the spirit of Christ.

The second excellency is in regard of continuance and duration. The ministery of Moses was to be made void and abolished; which * is to be understood of that Jewish pedagogy, not of every part of it; for the Morall, as given by Moses, doth still oblige us Christians, as hath been already proved: but the ministery of the Gospel is to abide alwaies; that is, there is no new mini¦stery to succeed that of the Gospel; although in heaven all shall cease.

The third difference is in regard of glory: God caused some mate∣riall glory to shine upon Moses, while he gave the Law, hereby to pro∣cure*the greater authority and majesty to the Law; but that glory which cometh by the Gospel is spirituall, and far more transcendent, bringing us at last into eternall glory. So that the former glory seemeth to be nothing in comparison of this: Even as the light of a candle or torch seemeth to be nothing (saith Theophylact) when the light of the Sun ariseth. Now the Apostle, handling these things doth occasionally open an allegory, which had not Paul by the Spirit of God found out, we neither could, or ought to haue done it. And the consideration of that, will serve much for my present matter. I know divers men have di∣vers thoughts about exposition of this place; so that there seemeth to be a vail upon the Text, as well as upon Moses his face: But I shall plainly understand it thus; Moses his face * shining when he was with God, and coming from him, doth signifie the glory and excellency of the Law, as in respect of Page  269 Gods counsells and intentions; for although the Law did seem to hold out nothing but temporall mercies, devoid of Christ and heaven, yet, as in respect of Gods intention, it was far o∣therwise. Now saith the Apostle, The Jews were not able to fix their eyes upon this glory; that is, the carnall Israelites did not be∣hold Christ in the ministery of Moses, because a vail is upon their hearts. The Apostle makes the vail upon Moses to be a type of the blindness and hardness of heart in the Israelite: so that, as the vail upon Moses covered the glory of his face, so the vail of blindness and stupidity, upon the heart of the Jews doth hinder them from the glory of the Law, which was Christ. And that this is so, doth appeare viz. where the Israelite is de∣nied to look stedfastly, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (the word in my Text) to the end of that ministery, which was to be abolished, and that end was Christ: so that this Text doth fully prove my intent, which is, that Christ was in some measure a glorious object in the ad∣ministration of the Law, but the vail upon the Israelites heart hindered the sight of it. Now (saith Paul) when it shall turn (as we translate, or rather when they shall turn, for the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is observed to be used alwayes of persons, and though the word be in the singular number in the originall, yet, according to the custome of Scripture, it may be understood plurally, because he speaks of a collective body:) When, saith the Text, this turn∣ing shall be, the vail shall be taken away: or rather, as Camero well observeth in the present tense, It is taken away: for you cannot conceive that the Jews shall be first turned unto God, and the vail afterwards to be taken away; but they both are together. I will give another instance, that Christ was the end of intenti∣on or aime in the dispensation of the Law, from Galat. 3. 23, 24. We were kept under the Law, till Faith came: Wherefore the Law was our School-master, to bring us unto Christ. In which words, not the Morall Law simply taken, but the whole dispensation of the Jews, is compared to the instruction of a School master. Now, as a School-master doth not only beat or correct, but teach also and direct: Thus the Law did not only severely curb and keep from sin, but did also teach Christ. Hence we are said to be kept under the Law; which although some make an expression from the strict keeping and watching which souldi∣ers Page  270 in a garrison use to make, yet a learned man makes it to de∣note the duty of a School master, as one who is to give an ac∣count of such committed to his charge: In which sense Cain said, Am I my brothers keeper? The Law then as a School-master did not only threaten and curse, or, like the Egyptian task∣masters, beat and strike, because the work was not done, but did shew where power and help was to be had, viz. from Christ only.

In the second place Christ is the end of perfection to the Law: for, * the end of the Law being to justifie, and to bring to eternall life, this could not be attained by our own power and industry; not by any defect of the Law, but by reason of our infirmity. Therefore Christ he hath brought about this intent of the Law, that we should be justified, and have life. If the end of humane laws be to make good and honest men, much rather is the end of the Morall Law appointed by God himself: But the Law is so far from making us good, as that it worketh in us all evill, which effect of the Law in himself the Apostle ac∣knowledgeth: so that as good food and nourishment received by a diseased stomack, doth increase the disease more, according to that rule, Corpora impura, quantò magis nutrias, deteriora red∣dis; thus it is in every man by nature: The Law, which is for holiness and life, becometh to cause sin and death. Christ therefore, that the Law may have its end, he taketh our nature upon him, that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us,

3. Christ is the end of perfection of the Law, in that the meere*knowledge of the Law, with the externall obedience only to it; was not availeable to any benefit. Therefore Christ vouchsafeth his ho∣ly spirit unto us, regenerating of us, whereby we come in part to obey the Law of God: So that the people of God have a righ∣teousness or holiness of works but it is imperfect, and so not enabling us to justification; and in this sense it is, that the peo∣ple of God are said to keep Gods commandements. So then, where∣as our condition was so by sin, that we were neither able non willing to obey the Law of God in the least degree, Christ doth give us grace, and cureth us so far, that we are said to walk in his Law. Now herein was the great mistake of the Jews, they Page  271 gloried and boasted of the Law, but how? Of the knowledge of it, and externall observation, without looking to Christ; and this was to glory in the shadow without the substance.

4. Christ is the end of perfection of the Law, in that his righte∣ousness*and obedience unto the Law, is made ours, and so in him, as our surety we fulfill the Law. I know this assertion hath many learned and godly adversaries, but as far as I can see yet, the Scripture seemeth to hold it forth, Rom. 5. There is a parallel made of the first Adam and his off spring, with Christ the se∣cond Adam and his seed; and the Apostle proveth, that we are made righteous by Christ, as sinners in him, which was partly by imputation, so, 2 Corinth. 5. ult. as Christ is made our sin by im∣putation, so we his righteousness. So Rom. 8. 3, 4. That which was impossible to the Law—God sent his Son that the righte∣ousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. I know there are answers made to these places, but the proper discussion of them will be in the handling of justification: only here is an obvious Objection, If the righte∣ousness*of Christ be made ours, so that we may be said to fulfill the Law, then we are still justified by a covenant of works, and so there is no new covenant of grace. I answer, Learned men, as Be∣za* and Perkins, have affirmed, that we obtaine eternall life ac∣cording to that rule, Doe this and live, because of Christs fulfill∣ing the Law as our surety; for the imputation of it doth not make it cease to be our real righteousness, though it be not our inherent righteousness. But I see not why we need grant the con∣sequence, [viz. Because Christs fulfilling of the Law is made ours therefore we have eternall life by the Law:] and the reason is, because this righteousness of Christs is not ours by working, but, by beleeving. Now the Law in that command, Do this and live, did require our personall working and righteousness; so that we cannot be said to have salvation by that rule, because it is not the righteousness which we in person have wrought: and this will fully appear, if you consider in the next place the subject to whom Christ is made righteousness, and that is to him that * beleeveth: he doth not say, to him that worketh, so that we have not eternall life by our Do this, but by beleeving, or resting upon Christ his Do this. And this phrase doth plainly exclude Sta∣pletons,Page  272 and other Papists observations on this place, as if the righteousness by faith, or of Christ, were the same in kinde with the righteousness of works, differing only gradually, as an in∣fant, and a grown man; for, if so, the Apostle would have said working, and not beleeving. It is a great skill in Divinity to amplifie this righteousness of faith without works, so as neither the Papist, or the Antinomian may incourage them∣selves thereby: but of that in some other place. As you take notice of the subject [Beleever] so the universality, every one, which doth take in both Jew and Gentile: Therefore the Jew could not, or ought not to think that those externall Rites and observations could bring them to a true righteousness.

Lastly, consider in the Text, for what end Christ is thus the * perfection of the Law; and that is for righteousness. The proper seat of handling this is in the doctrine of Justification, only let me briefly answer a Question made by some, Whether the righteousness of faith, or that we have by Christ, be the same in na∣ture with the righteousness of works and of the Law? Stapleton saith, They must needs be one, because the Law will direct to no other righteousness then that of its own. It it true, the Law strictly taken, will not properly and per se direct to any righte∣ousness, but that which the Law requireth; yet by accident, and indirectly it may: yea, as it was given by Moses, it did di∣rectly and properly intend Christ, though not primarily, as some think; but finding us unable to attain to its own righte∣ousness, did then lead us unto Christ: Yet these two righte∣ousnesses are divers, rather then contrary, (unless in respect of justification, and so indeed its impossible to be justified by both those waies) otherwise they are both together in the same sub∣ject, yea a righteousness of faith doth necessarily draw along with it in the same subject a righteousness of works, though it be imperfect and so insufficient to justifie.

Use. Is Christ the end of the Law for righteousness? Then * let the beleever bless and praise God for providing a righte∣ousness, and such a righteousness for him. How destitute and naked was thy condition? Had justice taken thee by the throat, and bid thee pay what thou owest, thou couldst not have re∣turned that answer, Let me alone, and I will pay thee all. Neither Page  273 Angels nor men could provide this righteousness for thee. Dost thou thank God for providing clothes for thy body, food for thy belly, an house for habitation? Oh, above all thanke him that he hath provided a righteousness for thy soul. Thou troubled soul because of sin, thou thinkest with thy selfe, Oh if I had no sin, if I were guilty of no corruption, how well were it! O ye glorious Angels and Saints, ye are happy, because ye have a righteousness! Why doest thou not consider, that God hath found out for thee, even for thee, in this world, a righte∣ousness, whereby thou art accepted of him?

Again consider it is such a righteousness that satisfieth and pleaseth God. Thy holiness cannot content him for justifica∣tion, but that of Christ can. As the light of the Stars and Moon cannot dispell totally the darkness of the night, only the light of the Sun can do that.


MAT 5. 17.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least comman∣dements, and shall teach men so, shall be called the least in the Kingdome of heaven.

OUr Saviour being to vindicate the Law from all corrupt * glosses of the Pharisees, he doth in the first place (as Chry∣sostome thinketh) remove the odium that might be cast upon him as if he did indeed destroy the Law; for it was then gene∣rally received, that only was Law, which the Pharisees decla∣red to be so. And this he doth, ver. 17. Think not that I am come to destroy the Law. The reason he giveth, is from the perpetuall nature of the Law: heaven and earth, the whole world shall sooner fall into pieces, then any tittle of that. And the Prophets are here joyned to the Law, not so much in regard of their pre∣dictions, as because they were Interpreters of the Law. The se∣cond reason is from that evill which shall befall him, that doth breake it, and here he nameth a two-fold Antinomianisme; one Page  274 in life and practise, the other in doctrine: That in practise is aggravated, though it be one of the least commandments. They are called least, either because the Pharisees thought them so, or else indeed, because all the commands of God were not con∣cerning duties of the same consequence. The other in doctrine is expressed in those words, And teach men so. I cannot consent to Beza's interpretation, making this teaching to be by exam∣ple and life, or else 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to be put for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, although, as if the meaning were, He that doth break in his practice my command∣ment, although he do teach them in doctrine. There is no necessity of offering such violence to the Text. But if we inter∣pret it of doctrinall breaking, it will very well agree with the Pharisees, who made void the commandements of God by the do∣ctrines of men. The evill that shall befall such, is in those words, [He shall be called the least in the Kingdome of heaven.] Called is put for is. or be; He shall be the least. By Kingdom of heaven,* some understand that Kingdome of glory in heaven; and by least, meane nullus, none: he shall not at all enter into the King∣dome of heaven.

Others by Kingdom of heaven do understand the Church of God, and so they express it, when there shall be a reformation in the Church, and truth should break forth, which was pre∣sently to come to pass, then those corrupt teachers, who would poyson men, should be discovered, and then they should be least, that is, of no account; even as it fell out to the Pharisees, though for a while they were highly esteemed among men. I forbeare to touch upon that Question hotly disputed with some, Whether our Saviour doe in this discourse meane only the*Morall Law, or the Ceremoniall also, as being not to my purpose. That it is meant cheifly of the Morall Law, appeareth by the in∣stances which Christ giveth. From the Text thus opened, I ob∣serve, That any doctrine, which teacheth tho abrogation or dissolution of the Law, is highly offensive unto God.

For the opening of this consider, that the doctrines of men may either directly, and with an open face overthrow the Law, as the Marcionites and Manichees did: or else interpretatively, and more covertly; and that is done three waies.

1. when they make not the Law of God to be so full and exensiue Page  275 in it's obligation, as indeed it is; and thus the Pharisees they made void the Law, when they affirmed outward acts to be only sins: and thus the Papists do in part when they make the Law no further to oblige, then it is possible for us to keep it. These do∣ctrines doe in tantum, though not in totum destroy the Law.

2. When men hold such principles, that will necessarily by way of*consequence inforce the abrogation of the Law. And thus, though some Antinomians do expresly and boldly assert the abolish∣ing of it, at least to beleevers; yet those that have more learning and wariness, do disclaime it, and account it a calumny: but even at the same time, while they do disclaime it (as it is to be shewed presently) they hold such assertions, as do necessarily inferr the abrogation of it.

3. The Law may be doctrinally dissolved, by pressing such duties*upon men, whereby they will be necessitated to breake the command∣ments of God. Thus when the Pharisees taught, that whatsoever vow was made concerning any gift, they were bound to do it, though thereby they were disinabled to honour their parents. And this is most remarkably seen in the Church of Rome, who, by the multitude and necessity of observation of their Church precepts and constitutions, make men to break the plain com∣mandments of God. Now I shall briefly instance generally a∣bout those errours that dissolve Gods Law, and then more par∣ticularly about the Antinomian doctrine.

The first Hereticks that opposed it, were the Marcionites and * Manichees, Marcion (whom Tertullian calls Mus potincus, be∣cause of his arroding and gnawing the Scripture, to make it serviceable to his errours; he, among other errours, broacheth this, That the old Law (as he calls it) was evill, and that it came from an evill god. To him in this opinion succeeded Manes, (who truly might be so called, because of his madness, al∣though his followers to take away that reproach, called him Mannichaeus, as much as one that poured forth Manna, as some affirme.) This mans errours, though they were very gross, yet so propagated, that it was two hundred yeares ere they were quieted. These and their followers all agreed in this, to reject this Law of God. There were also Hereticks called Anomi, (as it were sine lege) but their errour was, to think that they could by Page  276 their knowledge comprehend the divine nature: And they gave so∣much to this their faith, that they held, Whosoever should imy brace it, though he committed hainous and atrocious sins, yet thes should do him no hurt, Epiphan. lib. 3. Haeres. 36. But to let pas∣these, we may say, Popery is in a great part Antinomianisme. And Antichrist he is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that lawless One: for, is not their doctrine, that the Pope may dispense with the Laws of God, and that the Pope and Christ have the same Consistory, Antinomianisme? and in particular, we may instance in their taking away the second Commandement out of some Care∣chismes, because it forbiddeth the worshipping of Images. Hence Vasquez, one of their Goliahs, doth expresly maintain, that the second Commandement did belong only to the Jews, and so not obliging us Christians, thinking it impossible to answer our arguments against their Image-worship, if that be acknow∣ledged still in force.

Is there not also a generation of men, who do by doctrine deny the fourth Commandement? How many late books and practises have been for that opinion? But hath it not fallen out according to the later exposition of my Text, that they are the least in the Kingdome of heaven; men of little account now in the Church while reforming?

I might likewise speak of some Anabaptists, (for there are of that sect that disclaim the opinion) who overthrow the fifth Commandement by denying Magistracy lawfull for Christi∣ans.

But I will range no further: The Antinomians do more fall against this Text then any, in that they do not only by do∣ctrine teach the dis-obligation of the least commandement, but of all, even of the whole Law. This doth appeare true in the first Antinomians in Luthers time, of whom Islebius was the captain: he was a School-master, and also professor of Divi∣nity at Islebia. It seemeth he was a man like a reed shaken with every winde: for first he defended, with the Orthodox, the Saxon Confession of Faith; but afterwards was one of those that com∣piled the Book called the Interim. When Luther admonished him of his errour, he promised amendment, but for all that se∣cretly scattered his errour; which made Luther set forth pub∣likely Page  277 six solemn disputations against the Antinomians, that are to be seen in his works: which argueth the impudency of those that would make Luther on their side. By these disputa∣tions of Luthers he was convinced, and revoked his errour, pub∣lishing his recantation in print: yet when Luther was dead, this Euripus did fall into his old errour, and publikely defend∣ed it. Now how justly they might be called Antinomists, or, as Luther sometimes, Nomomachists, appeareth by these Propo∣sitions, which they publikely scattered about in their pa∣pers: as.

  • 1. That the Law is not Worthy to be called the word of God. *
  • 2. To heare the word of God, and so to live, is a consequence of the Law.
  • 3. Repentance is not to be taught out of the Decalogue, or any Law of Moses, but from the violation of the Son of God in the Gospel.
  • 4. We are with all our might to resist those, who teach the Gospel is not to be preached but to those whose hearts are first made con∣trite by the Law,

These are Propositions of theirs set downe by Luther, against which he had his disputations, Vol. 1. Sousselberge, lib. contra An∣tin. pag. 38. relateth more: as,

  • 1. The Law doth not shew good works, neither is it to be preached that we may do them.
  • 2. The Law is not given to Christians; therefore they are not to be reproved by the Law.
  • 3. The Preachers under the Gospel are onely to preach the Gospel, not the Law; because Christ did not say, Preach the Law, but Go∣spel to every creature.
  • 4. The legall Sermons of the Prophets doe not at all belong to us.
  • 5. To say that the Law is a rule of good works, is blasphemy in Divinity.

Thus you see how directly these oppose the Law, and there∣fore come under our Saviours condemnation in the Text: yet at other times, the proper state of the Question between the Orthodox & Antinomists, seemeth to be, not, Whether a godly man do not delight in the Law, and do the works of the Law; but, Whether he doth it, Lege docente, urgente, & mandante, the Law Page  278 teaching, urging, and commanding: As for the latter Antinomians, Doctor Taylor, and Mr. Burton, who preached, and wrote against them, do record the same opinions of them. Doctor Taylor in his Preface to his Book against them, saith, One preached, that the whole Law, since Christs death, is wholly abrogated and abolished. Another, that to teach obedience to the Law, is Popery. Another, That to do any thing, because God commands us; or to forbeare any sin, because God forbids us, is a signe of a morall man, and of a dead and unsound Christian. Others deliver, That the Law is not to be preached, and they that do so, are Legall Preachers.

Master Burton also in his Book against them, affirmeth, they divided all that made up the body of the Church of England into Hogs or Dogs: Hogs were such that despised justification, living in their swinish lusts; Dogs such, who sought to be justified by their works. He tels of one of their disciples, that said, Away with this scurvy sanctification; and that there is no difference between godly here, and in their state of glory, but only in sense and apprehen∣sion. Many other unsavory assertions are named by those Au∣thors, but these may suffice to give a tast of their opinions; for it is elegantly spoken by Irenaeus, in such falshoods as these are, lib. 2. c. 34. adversus Haereses. We need not drink up the whole sea, to tast whether the water be salt; but as a statue that is made of clay, yet outwardly so gilded, that it seemeth to be gold, if any man take a piece of it in his hand, and discover what it is, doth make every one know what the whole statue is: so it is in this case.

For my my part, I am acquainted with them no other waies, but by their Books which they have written, and in those every er∣rour is more warily pressed, then in secret. There I finde, that sometimes they yeeld the Law to be a rule of life, yea they judge it a calumny to be called Antinomists; and if so, their adversaries may be better called Antifidians And it cannot be denied, but that in some parts of their Books there are wholsome and good passages; as in a wood or forrest, full of shrubs and brambles, there may be some violets and primroses: yet for all this, in the very places where they deny this assertion as theirs, they must be forced to acknowledge it. The Author of the Assertion of Free-grace, who doth expresly touch upon these things, and dis∣claimes the opinion against the Law, pag. 4. and pag. 6. yet he af∣firmeth Page  279 there such principles, from whence this conclusion will necessarily follow.

For first, he makes no reall difference either in Scripture, or use of words, between the Law reigning and ruling; so that if the Law rule a man, it reigneth over him, Now then, they deny that the Law doth reign over a beleever (and so do the Ortho∣dox also) therefore they must needs hold, that it cannot be a rule unto him. And then, pag. 5. whereas Doctor Taylor had said, The Apostle doth not loose a Christian from the obedience to the Law, or rule thereof (he adds,) He dare not trust a beleever without his keeper, as if he judged no otherwise of him, then of a ma∣lefactor of Newgate, who wouldrob and kill, if his Gaoler be not with him. Again, this is most clear by what he saith, pag. 31. he re∣futeth that distinction of being under the mandatory power of the Law, but not the damnatory: he makes these things insepa∣rable, and as impossible for the Law to be a Law, and have not both these as to take the brains and heart from a man, and yet leave him a man still. Now then, seeing he denieth (and so do all Protestant Writers) that a beleever is under the damnatory power of the Law, he must also deny, he is under the mandatory, because (saith he) this is inseperable.

I will in the next place give some Antidotes against this opi∣nion, * and the Authors thereof. Luther calleth them, Hostes Le∣gis, Organa Satanae: he saith, their doctrine is more to be taken heed of, then that of the Papists; for the Papists, they teach a false or imperfect repentance, but the Antinomians take all a∣way from the Church. Rivet cals them Furores Antinomorum.

In the first place, awe thy heart with a feare against errours in*doctrine as that which may damn thee, as well as an open gross sin. Consider that place Galat. 5. 20. where heresies are reckoned a∣mong those sins that are very gross, and do exclude from the Kingdome of Heaven: and that he takes heresies there in a re∣ligious consideration, is plain, because it's made to differ from seditions, strifes, and variances. Neither do thou please thy self in that question, What is heresie? Tu Haereticus mihi & ego tibi; for, the Apostle makes it there a manifest work of the flesh, and 2 John 10. see how much afraid the people of God ought to be of any evill doctrine; and there the Apostle cals e∣vill doctrine, evill deeds.

Page  280 2. Look to all the places of Scripture, as well as some only. That * is a perpetuall fault among the Antinomians: they only pitch upon those places; where Christ and his grace is spoken of; but not of those Texts, where duties are commanded, especially those places of Scripture, where the Law of God is wonderful∣ly commended, for the many reall benefits that come by it; where likewise the perpetuity and eternity of it is much cele∣brated. Lex Dei in aeternum manet; vel implenda in damnatis, vel impleta in beatis, The Law of God abideth alwaies, either to be fulfilled in the damned, or already fulfilled in those that are made happy, said Luther. What a curb would it be unto this errour, if they would consider, with what an holy passion & zeal the A∣postle doth deny, that he destroyeth the Law, making this very objection to himself, Do we then make void the Law? God for∣bid. Now can we thing that the Apostle, who in the third chap∣ter to the Romans, doth so vehemently deny, that he destroyeth the Law, should so much forget himself, as in the fourth chapter to abolish it? No ordinary man would fall into such a contra∣diction.

3. Do not affect applause among people, as having found some new nigher way about Christ and grace, then others have. I have * observed this itching humor in the Antinomian Sermons prin∣ted; where they will call upon their hearers to mark; it may be they shall heare that, which they have not heard before, when the thing is either false; or, if it be true, is no more then ordina∣rily is taught by others. But now, when men desire to be ap∣plauded in the world, they suggest to their inward disciples, as if they had found out some new unheard thing; and their fol∣lowers broach it abroad, and so they come to be exalted. thus they do like Psaphon the Libyan: It's reported of him, that he kept ten tame birds at home, and taught them to sing, Magnus deus Psaphon; and when he had done so, he let these birds flye into the woods and mountains, where all the other birds learned the same song of them: which the Libyans per∣ceiving, and thinking it no plot, but a divine accident, decreed * to sacrifice to Psaphon, and to put him in the number of their Gods.

4. Do thou diligently study fundamentals and the principles of Page  281 Religion. As the childe groweth crooked, for not being well looked to at first; and many errours do now spread themselves, because men are not well catechised. They build without a foundation. It was a grave complaint of Maximus an Ecclesi∣asticall Writer, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. It is a great matter to have a sound and accurate knowledge in matters of Religion. It was a wise speech of Aristides, who being demanded by the Empe∣rour to speak to something propounded ex tempore, answered, Propound to day, and I will answer to morrow,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, We are not of those who vomit or spit out things, suddenly, but take time to be diligent, and considering.

5. When thou doest begin to encline to an opinion, that differeth*from the learned and godly, be not too rash and precipitate in publishing it. The Apostle giveth a good rule, Rom. 14. Hast thou faith? have it to thy self. He doth not there command a man to equi∣vocate, or dissemble, and deny a truth; but not needlesly to professe it, when it will be to the offence of others. Cyprian re∣proving the rashnesse of those Christians that would goe on their own accord to the Heathen Magistrates, professing them∣selves Christians, whereby they were put to death, hath a good and elegant speech, Confiteri nos magis voluit, quàm profiteri: he doth confesse, that doth it, being asked and demanded; he doth professe, that doth it out of his own free accord.

6. Consider, that Antinomianisme is the onely way indeed to over∣throw*grace and Christ. For he sets up free grace and Christ, not who names it often in his Book, or in the Pulpit, but whose heart is inwardly and deeply affected with it. Now, who will most heartily and experimentally set up Christ and grace of these two, i. Who urgeth no use of the Law, who takes away the sense or bitternesse of sin, who denieth humiliation; or he, who discovers his defects by the perfect rule of the Law, whose soule is inbittered and humbled because of these defects? Cer∣tainly, this later will much more in heart, and reall affections set up free grace.

Page  [unnumbered]


  • THe Law abolished as a Covenant, not as a Rule. Page 213
  • The Law abrogated to beleevers in six par∣ticulars. p. 217. 218. 219. 220
  • Three causes of the abrogation of the cere∣moniall Law, which agree not to the morall. p. 222
  • Six abuses of the Law. p. 17. 18. 19. 20
  • Conversion and Repentance are our acts, as well as the effects of Gods grace. p. 99
  • Whether Adam was mortall before his eat∣ing of the forbidden fruit. p. 110
  • Whether Adam in his innocency can be con∣sidered in his naturalls or supernaturalls, answered in two Positions. p. 132
  • Whether Adam needed Christs help. p. 133
  • Whether God required lesse of Adam then us. p. 138
  • Amorem mercedis a Godly man may have in his obedience, though not amorem merce∣narium. p. 14
  • What help the Angels had by Christ. p. 134
  • Calvin's two Reasons why Angels needed Christs mediation. ibid.
  • Some Antecedaneous works upon the heart before grace be bestowed. p. 88
  • Foure limitations concerning those antece∣daneous works. p. 88. 89
  • The first Antinomian. p. 39
  • Antinomian Differences betwixt the Law and Gospel confuted. p. 243. 246
  • The Antinomian why most inexcusable. p. 45
  • The Antinomian distinction of the Law be∣ing abolished as a Law, but still abiding in respect of the matter of it, a contra∣diction. p. 214
  • The Antinomian Arguments overthrow the use of the Law to unbeleevers as well as beleevers. p. 217
  • The opinion of the old Antinomians. p. 277
  • The word [As] taken variously. p. 165
  • Antidotes against Antinomian errors. p. 279
  • Antinomianisme is the onely way indeed to overthrow Christ and grace. p. 281
  • A Blaspheming Monk. p. 27
  • Blaspheming Papists. ibid.
  • The Lay-mans book is the whole universe. p. 77
  • Master Burton his Report of Antinomians. p. 278
  • A Cordiall for a broken heart. p. 22. 23
  • Contradictions of the Antinomians. p. 31
  • A Community of goods not taught by the law of Nature. p. 83
  • Christs Incarnation cannot be supposed, but upon supposition of Adams fall. p. 135
  • It is an hard matter so to set up Christ and grace as not thereby to destroy the law. p. 210
  • The doctrine of Christ and grace in the highest manner doth establish not over∣throw the law. p. 211
  • God entred into Covenant with Adam, in giving him a law. p. 122. 123
  • What a Covenant implyes. p. 124
  • Why the Covenant of grace is not still a co∣venant of works, seeing works are neces∣sary. p. 48
  • A Covenant of
    • Friendship.
    • Reconciliation.
    p. 124
  • No Covenant properly so called can be be∣twixt God and Man. p. 126
  • How God can covenant with man. ibid.
  • Five Reasons why God would deal with man in a covenant-way, rather then in an absolute way. p. 127. 128
  • A vast difference betwixt the covenant in innocency and in grace. p. 129. 130
  • The morall law delivered as a covenant, proved. p. 230
  • It hath the reall properties of a covenant ib.
  • In what sense the law may be a covenant of grace, explained. p. 232. 233
  • Arguments proving the law a covenant of grace. p. 234. 235. 236
  • Objections answered. p. 237
  • Doctor Crisp confuted. p. 15
  • Page  [unnumbered]Cursing taken two waies: 1 Potentially, so a law is alwaies condemning. 2. Actually, so a law is not ever condemning. p. 6
  • DEcalogue resembled to the ten Predica∣ments by Martyr, and why. p. 3
  • The threatning of death to Adam if he did eat, &c. was fulfilled, in that he became then mortall, and in a state of death, not naturall onely, but spirituall and eter∣nall also. p. 109. 110
  • Determination to one, takes not away natu∣rall liberty, nor willingnesse or delight in sin, which we are inevitably carried unto. p. 89. 90
  • Three generall waies of proving the Deity of Christ. p. 133. 134
  • Foure differences (not substantiall but ac∣cidentall) betwixt the Law and the Go∣spel. p. 251, &c.
  • Fire Differences betwixt the Law and Go∣spel strictly taken. p. 257. 258. 259 &c.
  • All Doctrine reduced to three heads:
    • Credenda.
    • Speranda.
    • Facienda.
    p. 252. 253.
  • THe Papists notion concerning Ecclesia, and Synagoge confuted. p. 252
  • If the Antinomians end were only to put men off from glorying in themselves, to deny the concurrence of workes to Justi∣fication, it were more tolerable. p. 31
    • but then their books and end were not reconcileable. p. 32
  • Other ends which might make the Antino∣mians more excusable. ibid.
  • How Christ is the end of the law for righte∣ousnesse. p. 267
  • End taken two waies. ibid.
  • Four waies Christ is the perfective end of the Law. p. 270. 271
  • Aquinas distinction of end. p. 267
  • Eudoxus said hee was made to behold the sun. p. 77
  • Exhortations, to what purpose given to them who have no power of themselves to doe them. p. 98
  • Errours in Doctrine damnable. p. 279
  • FAbles and fictions how used by the Fa∣thers. p. 2
  • How Faith justifies. p. 43
  • Two acts of Faith. p. 44
  • Faith and Repentance wrought both by the Law and Gospel. p. 261. 262
  • The same object may be known by the light of Faith and of Nature. p. 73
  • Whether justifying Faith were in Adam at first. p. 120
  • Faith of adherence and dependence in A∣dam in innocency, and shall be in hea∣ven. p. 128
  • Adams faith considered as an act of the soul, not as an organ to lay hold on Christ. p. 129
  • Finger of God. p. 157
  • Finis indigentiae & assimilationis. p 46
  • Free-will by nature. p. 85
  • Arguments for free-will answered. p. 94. 95
  • GEnealogies how usefull, and how vain. Page 2
  • How the Gentiles are said to be without a Law. p. 59
  • Who are meant by the word [Gentiles.] p. 58
  • The Gospel and Law may be compared in a double respect. p. 239. 240
  • The word Gospel] taken two wayes. p. 240
  • Whether the Gospel be absolute or no. p. 259
  • Gospel taken strictly is not a doctrine of Repentance or holy works. p. 262
  • All Good morally is good theologically. p. 59
  • Good works, how taken. p. 39
  • Foure things required to the essence of good works. ibid.
  • The word [Grace] used sometimes for the effects of grace, but more commonly for the favour of God. p. 21
  • Grace is more then love. p. 22
  • Grace implyeth indebitum and demeritum of the contrary, as Cameron observes. ibid.
  • What grace the Pelagians acknowledge. ib.
  • Much may be ascribed to grace, and yet the totall efficacy not given to it. p. 91
    Page  [unnumbered]H.
  • A Two-fold writing of the law in the heart. p. 60
  • The properties of holinesse fixed at first in Adams heart. p. 119
  • Humiliation comes by the Gospel as an ob∣ject, by the Law, as that which commands such affections to those objects. p. 263
  • IMage and likeness signifie one thing. p. 114
  • An Image four-fold. ibid.
  • Wherein the Image of God in man consists. p. 115. 116. 117
  • A Thing said to be immortall, four wayes. p. 110
  • The Injudiciousnesse of the Antinomians. p. 31
  • Whether Adams immortality in innocency be not different from that which shall be in heaven. p. 139
  • Some things just because God wills them: other things are just and therefore God wills them. p. 4
  • The 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉credere justifies no more in it self, then other acts of obedience. p. 16
  • Expecting justification by the Law very dan∣gerous. Fifteen evils which follow there∣upon mentioned. p. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27
  • Islebius, Captain of the Antinomians in Lu∣thers daies. p. 276
  • How the justification of the Gospel may stand with the good works of the Law done by grace. p. 39
  • Paul and James reconciled in the point of justification. page 44
  • KIngdome of Heaven] not mentioned in all the Old Testament. p. 253
  • How [Kingdome of Heaven] is taken in Mat. 5. 17. p. 274
  • HOw the Law is good in eight respects. p. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
  • Four acts of the Law. p. 6.
  • The two-fold use of the Law to the ungod∣ly. p. 8. A four-fold use of the Law to the godly. p. 9
  • Cautions concerning the Law. p. 11
  • 1. The word Law diversly taken. ibid. & p. 147. 226
  • 2. The Law must not be separated from the Spirit. p. 12
  • 3. To do a cōmand out of obedience to the Law, and out of love, are not opposite. p. 13
  • 4. Christs obedience to the Law exempts not us from obedience our selves, unlesse it be in respect to those ends for which he obeyed. p. 14
  • 5. The Law condemnes a beleevers sinne, though not his person. p. 15
  • 6. Inability to keep the Law, exempts not from obedience to it. ibid.
  • 7. Distinguish betwixt what is primarily, and what is occasionally in the Law. ibid.
  • That the Law hath a directive, regulating, and informing power over a godly man. p. 55
  • The derivation of the word [Lex.] p. 60
  • Two things necessary to the essence of a Law. p. 61
  • How the Law becomes a Covenant. ibid.
  • The division of Lawes in generall, and why the morall Law is so called. p. 147
  • The Law of Moses differs from the Law of Nature in three respects. p. 148. 149
  • Why the Law was given in the wilderness. ib.
  • That the Law was in the Church before Moses. p. 150
  • Three ends of the promulgation of the Law. p. 150. 151
  • The Law of Moses a perfect Rule. p. 152
  • Three differences betwixt the Judiciall, Ceremoniall, and Morall Law. p. 155
  • Generall observations about the Law, and the time of the delivery of the Law. pag. 155. 156. 157. &c.
  • Three observations concerning the prepa∣ration to the delivery of the Law. p. 155
  • Whether the law, as given by Moses, do be∣long to us Christians. p. 165. proved. p. 168. Objections answered. p. 173
  • Though the Law, as given by Moses, did not belong to Christians, yet the doctrine of the Antinomians holds not. p. 165
  • Page  [unnumbered] Christ in the Gospel onely interprets the old Law, and doth not adde new: proved by four reasons. p. 177. 178
  • The Law is spirituall in the Old Testa∣ment, as in the New: proved by eight instances. p. 180. 181. &c.
  • The Law may be instrumentall to worke sanctification and conversion. pag. 195. 3. Cautions about it. ib. & 196. proved by six reasons. p. 199. & 200. Objections answered. p. 202
  • The Law is established three wayes by the Gospel. p. 210
  • Three affections belonging to a Law. p. 211
  • Three parts in the Law. p. 213
  • Those phrases considered [Of the Law] and [Without the Law] and [under the Law] and [In the Law.] p. 226
  • A two-fold being under the Law. ibid.
  • False differences given by some betwixt the Law and the Gospel. p. 242
  • Law and Gospel united in the Ministery. p. 261
  • Law opposed and op∣pugned two waies:
    • Directly.
    • Interpretatively.
    page 274
  • Law opposed interpretatively three waies. p. 275
  • Law by men abrogated or made void three waies. ibid.
  • A three-fold liberty. p. 90
  • A three-fold light. p. 115
  • MInistery of the Gospel more excel∣lent then that of the Law in three respects. p. 267
  • Moses in his zeal breaking the Tables, vin∣dicated from rashnesse and sinfull per∣turbation. p. 160
  • The opinion of souls-mortality confuted. p. 111. 112
  • Adam was under the morall Law in inno∣cency.
  • What's meant by the word [morall.] p. 148
  • Morall Law bindes two waies. p. 166. 167
  • That the Morall Law perpetually continues a rule and Law, proved by four Reasons. p. 220. 221
  • Objections against the continuance of the morall Law, answered. p. 223
  • Morall Law having Christ for the end of it, may be considered two wayes. p. 266
  • Marcionites, and Manichees the first Here∣ticks that opposed the Law. p. 275
  • WHat is meant by the word [Nature] in Scripture. p. 59. 60
  • There is a law of Nature written in mens hearts. p. 60
  • Wherein the law of Nature consists. p. 62
  • Four bounds of the law of Nature. p. 63
  • Light of Nature considered in a three-fold respect. p. 67
  • A three-fold use of the light of Nature. p. 68
  • The light of Nature obscured three waies. p. 71
  • The light of Nature is necessary (though insufficient) in religious and morall things. p. 72. It's necessary two waies. ib. See p. 85. 86. 92
  • The light of Nature no Judge in matters of faith. p. 73
  • It's no prescriber of divine worship. p. 74
  • Natures insufficiency described in three reasonings. ibid.
  • The Mystery of the Trinity and Incarnati∣on of Christ, cannot be found out by the light of Nature. p. 79
  • How farre nature will reach in some other things. p. 81. 82. 83
  • Man by the power of Nature wholly unable to performe good actions, proved by 3. arguments. p. 86
  • Nature cannot dispose, or prepare a mans self for justification, or sanctification. p. 87.
    • proved by four reasons. p. 87. 88
  • All works of meere Nature are sins before God, proved by foure Reasons. p. 92
  • The Etymology of the word [〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉]. p. 60
  • COrrupt glosses of the Pharisees concer∣ning oathes reproved. p. 187
  • Promissory oathes dangerous. p. 186
  • The obedience of the Saints implies obedienti∣am servi, though not obedientiam servilem. p. 14
  • Page  [unnumbered] Christs active obedience to the Law imputed to beleevers. p. 271
  • The obligation of the law of Nature is from God. p. 64
  • Gods promises are obligations to himself, not to us. p. 127
  • Why the old Covenant is called old. p. 241
  • How an opinion may corrupt the life. p. 49
  • Whether Originall sin may be found out by the meere light of Nature. p. 82
  • PAlemon converted from his drunken∣ness by Plato's Lecture, which he came to deride. p. 70
  • Papists make three false differences betwixt the Law and the Gospel. p. 243
  • Paul and James reconciled in the point of justification. p. 44
  • The perpetuity of the obligation of the law of Nature. p. 64
  • A distinction of a three-fold piety confu∣ted. p. 80
  • The Law of God by Moses is so perfect a rule, that Christ added no new precept to it. p. 179
  • Different phrases used concerning the Ce∣remoniall law, which are never applyed to the Morall law. p. 20
  • The opinion of the Pharisees concerning the Law. p. 178
  • Why, besides the Morall law, a Positive law was given to Adam in innocency. Two Reasons. p. 106. 107
  • The Positive law did lay an obligation on Adams posterity. p. 108
  • The seven Precepts of Noah▪ What the Thalmudists speake concerning them. p. 145
  • It's a generall Rule that the pressing of mo∣rall duties by the Prophets in the Old Testament is but as an explanation of the Law. p. 180
  • The Primitive Christians held it unlawfull to kill in defence. p. 193
  • Capitall punishments lawfull in the New Testament. p. 188. 189
  • To what purpose are exhortations to them who have no power to obey. p. 98
  • Popery in a great part Antinomianisme. page 276
  • WHy a Reason is rendred by God for the fourth Commandement, rather then others. p. 170
  • Remission of sinnes under the law plenary, as well as under the Gospel, proved against the Antinomian. p. 246. 247. 248
  • Repentance how taken. p. 260. 261
  • Resemblances of the Trinity cōfuted. p. 79. 80
  • Every Rule hath vim praecepti as well as do∣ctrinae. p. 6
  • To do a duty because of reward promised, is not slavish and unlawfull. p. 128
  • Revenge forbidden in the Old Testament, as strictly as in the New. p. 192. 193
  • Righteousnesse of the Law and Gospel differ much. p. 5
  • Whether we may be now said by Christ to be more righteous then Adam in innocen∣cy. p. 138
  • The Law of Retaliation, Matth. 7. 12. opened. p. 82
  • The properties of the righteousnesse at first fixed in Adams heart. p. 119
  • Whether righteousnesse were naturall to Adam. p. 120
  • THe Sabbath in innocency not typicall of Christ. p. 137
  • Satan cannot work beyond a morall per∣swasion, as God doth in conversion. p. 130
  • What the word [Sanctifie] implies. p. 203. 204
  • How the Jewes were in more servitude then Christians. p. 255
    • Sinners. outward which are majoris infamiae.
    • Sinners. inward which are majoris reatus.
    p. 179
  • Sincerity taken two waies. p. 265
  • Socinians and Papists make additions in the Gospel, besides what was in the Law. p. 242. 243
  • Why the shell-fish was unclean to the Jewes. p. 2
  • Law called spirituall in a two-fold sense: 1. Effective. 2. Formaliter. p. 7
  • Page  [unnumbered] How the state of innocency excelled the state of reparation in rectitude, immorta∣lity, and outward felicity. p. 137
  • The state of reparation excells the state of innocency in certainty of perseverance. ib.
  • Eudoxus said he was made to behold the sun. p. 77
  • Summe of all heavenly doctrine reduced to three heads:
    • Credenda.
    • Speranda.
    • Facienda.
    p. 252 253
  • Symbolicall precept. p. 104
  • TEaching nova, & novè. p. 2
  • Tully said that the Law of the twelve Tables did exceed all the libraries of Philosophers, both in weight of authori∣ty, and fruitfulnesse of matter. p. 3. 4
  • The Threatnings of the Gospel against those who reject Christ, arise from the Law, joyned in practicall use with the Go∣spel. p. 261
  • Tree of knowledge. p. 105
  • Whether the Tree of life was a Sacrament of Christ to Adam or no. p. 136
  • No truth in Divinity doth crosse the truth of nature. p. 72
  • Doctor Tayler his Report of Antino∣mianisme. p. 278
  • THe reason of the variety of Gods admi∣nistrations in the two T. p. 256
  • A two fold Unbelief:
    • Negative which damnes none.
    • Positive which damnes many.
    p. 81
  • Unbelief a sinne against the Law as well as against the Gospel. p. 262
  • How God justifies the ungodly. p. 36. 37
  • MInisters ought to be wary, so to set out grace, as not to give just exceptions to the Papists, and so to defend holy works, as not to give the Antinomians cause of insultation. p. 29. 30
  • Warre lawfull under the Gospel. p. 191
  • Will, serious, and efficacious: the distin∣ction examined. p. 107
  • How the Word in generall is the instrument of conversion. p. 197. 198. Two Rules about it, proved. p. 199
  • Word] how used. p. 145
  • Works denyed by the Antinomians to be a way to heaven. p. 33
  • There have been dangerous assertions con∣cerning works, even by those who were no Antinomians, out of a great zeal for the grace of God against Papists. p. 30
  • The presence of good works in the person justified, denied by the Antinomians. p. 34. They deny any gain or losse to come by them. No peace of conscience comes by doing good works, nor lost by omitting them. p. 34. which is confuted ibid. They deny good works to be signes or testimo∣nies of grace. p. 35. Confuted. ibid.
  • Upon what grounds are the people of God to be zealous of good works. p. 38
  • The Antinomian erreth two contrary waies about good works. p. 39
  • Distinction betwixt saying that good works are necessary to justified persons, and that they are necessary to justification. p. 40
  • Good works necessary upon 13. grounds. p. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47.
Page  [unnumbered]

A Table of divers Texts of Scripture, which are opened, or vindicated by this TREATISE.

3427. 28161
62. 3246
1 Samuel.
2 Sam. 1.10240
1 Kings 8.9163
2 Kings 20.345
1. & 19. &1199
Isaiah 65.1248
1614. 15172
Ezek. 16. 244
Daniel 9.14244
Zech. 13.1244
51746. 273
 21. 22174
214. 1557
 6. 8. 1037
71. 2227
 per totum.9
 29. 3036
1 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians.
Galat. 3.2205
 23. 24269
55. 4. 13. 14221
110140. 134
 14. 1643
Philip. 3.9218
1 Thes. 2.16265
1 Timothy.
18. 917
2 Timothy.
Titus 211. 12204
 13. 14245
125. 6. 7. 8245
Jam. 2.8265
1 Peter. 3.146
2 Peter.
22. 15. 2133