THE FIRST LETTER.
§. 1. AS to the distinction betwixt inevitably and infallibly, (of which you desire my sence) it is certain you must understand no more by the infallibility, then is vulgarly meant by Necessitas*ex hypothesi, which is no more then that whatsoe∣ver is, cannot not be, or, omne quod est, eo ipso quod est, necessariò est. For so whatsoever is seen, or (which is all one in an infinite Deity) foreseen by God, is thereby supposed to have, in that science of his, an objective being; If it were not, or did not come to pass, it should have no such objective being, if it * have, it is thereby evidenced to be seen by him, who was, is, and is to come, and so (being infinite) is equally present to all, and equally sees, and knows all from all eternity. What therefore you conclude (as it is most agreeable to this, so it) is most true, that God knows all things as they are, such as come to pass contingently, he knows to come contingent∣ly, and from thence I undeniably conclude, there∣fore they are contingent; As for Socinus's resolution * that he foresees onely what are foreseeable, and that contingents are not such, but onely those that come to pass by his decree, I conceive it as dange∣rous Page 99 as M. Calvins, that he predetermines all things, * and it is visibly as false. For it is evident by the pro∣phecies of Judas &c. that God long (before) fore∣sees sins, which are as certainly contingent, and not decreed or decreeable by God. If therefore any * that writes against the Remonstrants go about to retort their arguments, and conclude from their ac∣knowledgements of Gods praescience, what is char∣ged on their adversaries doctrine of praedetermina∣tion, I conceive it is but a boast, that hath no least force in it, praedetermination having a visible influ∣ence and causality on the object, but eternal vision,* or praevision being so far from imposing necessity on the thing to be, that it supposes it to be already, from the free choice of the Agent, and that being of it is, in order of nature, before its being seen. Gods seeing, or foreseeing hath no more operation or causality of any kind on the object, then my seeing your letter hath caused your letter. You wrote freely, and now I see it, and that being sup∣posed, it is infallibly certain that you have written, and that you cannot not have written. And just so it is in respect of God. Onely I am finite, and so is my sight, I see few things, and those onely which are present, but God being infinite sees all ab infinito, that are never so long hence future.—At Cambridge they have lately printed Origen contra Celsum, and Philocalia Gr. & Lat. (which were rarely had and dear) the latter of which hath good Chapters on this subject.
§. 2. This Letter met with some prepossessions, so far advanced, as to cause a Reply of some length, and that necessitated my larger endeavours to re∣move them, which I shall here add also; His Re∣ply, Page 100 to which this referres, is none of my goodes, and therefore I may not take that liberty in dis∣posing of that, but you will discerne the force of it, in my returnes, which were as fol∣lowes.