The riches of Gods love unto the vessells of mercy, consistent with his absolute hatred or reprobation of the vessells of wrath, or, An answer unto a book entituled, Gods love unto mankind ... in two bookes, the first being a refutation of the said booke, as it was presented in manuscript by Mr Hord unto Sir Nath. Rich., the second being an examination of certain passages inserted into M. Hords discourse (formerly answered) by an author that conceales his name, but was supposed to be Mr Mason ...
Twisse, William, 1578?-1646., Jeanes, Henry, 1611-1662. Vindication of Dr. Twisse., Goodwin, John, 1594?-1665.
Page  103

The Second Part of this Discourse, consisting of ARGUMENTS CONVINCING, whereof there are Five sorts.

The First sort of Convincing Reasons Drawn from Scripture.

DISCOURSE.
SECT. I.

THOSE of the Second sort, by which for the present I stand convinced, that absolute reprobation is no part of Gods truth, are drawn from these five following heads,

  • 1. Pregnant Testimonies of Scripture directly opposite unto it.
  • 2. Some principall attributes of God not compatible with it.
  • 3. The end of the Word and Sacraments, with other excellent gifts of God to men, quite thwarted by it.
  • 4. Holy and pious endeavours much hindered by it, if not wholly subversed.
  • 5. The grounds of comfort, whereby distressed consci∣ences are to be relieved, are all overthrown by it.

It it contrary to pregnant places of Scripture, even in termi∣nis,* as will appeare by these instances.

1. Ezech. 33. 11. As I live saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but that the wicked turne from his waies and live. And least men should say 'tis true, God wills not the death of a repenting sinner, the Lord doth in another place of the same Prophet, extend the proposition to them also that perish, Ezech. 18. 32. I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth. In this Scripture we may note three things.

1. Gods affection to men set forth

  • 1. Negatively, I have no pleasure in his death that dyeth.
  • 2. Affirmatively, But that the wicked turne.

2. The persons in whose destruction he delighteth not, wicked men, such as for the rejecting of grace dye and are damned. If God have no pleasure in their death, much lesse in the death of men, either altogether innocent, or tainted only with originall sinne.

3. The truth of this affection, as I live; cupit sihi credi (saith Tertullian, Lib. de paenit. cap. 4.) God would faine have us to believe him, when he saith I will not the death of him that dyeth, and there∣fore he bindes his speech with an oath: O beatos nos quorum causa Deus jurat, O miserrimos si nec juranti Domino credimus. Happy are we for whose sakes the Lord vouchsafeth to sweare, but most unhappy if we believe him not when he swears. Now if God delight not in the destruction of wicked men, he did never out of his own pleasure take so many millions of men lying in the fall, and seale them up by an absolute decree under invincible damnation: for such a kind of decreeing men to everlasting death, is quite opposite to a delight in mens eternall life.

Page  104
TWISSE Consideration.

TO say that this or that opinion is untrue, because it doth in terminis con∣tradict places of Scripture, is a very superficiary consideration: yet it is not the first time that I have found it to drop from an Arminians penne: But that it is a very superficiary consideration, I prove thus; For to deny God the Sonne to be equall to the Father, is in terminis to contradict a pregnant place of Scripture, Phil. 2. Where it is expressely said of God the Sonne, that he thought it no robbery to be equall to the Father: yet notwithstanding it is agreeable to that of our Savi∣our, where he saith, the Father is greater then I; and so vice versâ. In like manner to say that God cannot repent, is in terminis to contradict pregnant places of Scripture: again to say that God can repent, is in terminis to contradict other as pregnant places of Scripture; yet neither of these is unsound; because each phrase is agreeable to Scripture in some place or other. And the reason hereof is, because in terminis only to contradict the Scripture, is not to contradict the Scripture; But when we contradict the meaning of Scripture, then and not till then, are we justly said to contradict the Scripture; And the reason hereof is, because the word of God consists not in the out∣ward barke or bone of the letter, but in the inward pith and marrow of the mean∣ing. And as for contradiction unto Scripture in terminis, it may easily be proved, that to deny Gods delight in the destruction of obstinate sinners, is to contradict a very * pregnant place of Holy Scripture, as namely Prov. 1. 24, 25, 26. Because I have called and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all my counsell, and would none of my reproofe: I will also laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your feare cometh; when your feare cometh as desolation, and your destruction as a Whirlewind. And yet never a whit the more, is any contradiction found in Scripture for this: because though they contradict each the other in terminis, yet there is no contradiction if we consider the true meaning: As for example, it is both true that the Father is greater then the Sonne, as touching the Sonnes Manhood; And the Sonne equall to the Fa∣ther as touching his Godhead. So of repentance, it cannot be attributed to God as it signifies change of mind or counsell; but it may be attributed unto God, as it signifies change of sentence; according to that of Gregory, Deus mutat sententiam, consilium nun∣quam. So as touching Gods pleasure or delight in the death of a sinner, as it is the destruction of the creature he delighteth not in it; but as it is a just punishment of the impenitent creature, he delights therein: Thus Piscator reconciles it, on Ezech. 18. v. 23, & 32. Surely God delights in the execution of justice, as well as in the execution of mercy, as Jer. 9. 24. I am the Lord which exerciseth loving kindnesse, judgement, and righ∣teousnesse in the earth, for in these things I delight saith the Lord.

2. Here first, the Author declines from the former phrase, of having no pleasure in the death of a sinner, to not willing the death of a sinner; which phrases have no small difference, as Piscator observes upon that in Ezech. 33. 11. for saith he, potest ho∣mo velle id quo non delectatur, ut aegrotus potest velle potum amarum, quo non delectatur, potest enim eum velle non perse, sed propter aliud, nempe ad recuper andam valetudinem. And to deny that God willeth the death of as many as dye, is in terminis to contradict a pregnant place of Scripture, as where it is said, that God worketh all things according to the counsell of his will, Ephes. 1. 11. And therefore seeing the inflicting of death is Gods work he must will it: But this Author is more happy for invention then his fellowes: For where∣as others of his opinion, work upon the place as it is rendred in the vulgar Latine, Nolo mortem peccatoris: this Author hath found out an argument from the very phrase of our last English translation, to advantage his cause, as when from Gods having no pleasure in the death of a sinner, he quaintly inferres, therefore God doth not of meer pleasure, will or decree their death; But how superficiary this is also, and how fouly it falls in the issue, upon the Author himselfe (as usually it falleth out with men, that affect new and quaint inventions) I hope to discover in due place.

Page  105 Farther observe; that place, Ezech. 33. 11. I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, according to our last English translation, and that, Ezech. 18. 23. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should dye, doe differently render one and the same phrase in the He∣brew, in the death of the wicked, Ezech. 33. 11. which is word for word according to the Hebrew; that the wicked should dye Ezech. 18. 23. which being not according to the pre∣cise termes of the originall, it followeth that hereby, our Translators did expound the sense of the Hebrew, which is word for word, in the death of the wicked, and so accordingly, that phrase, Ezek. 18. 32. in the death of him that dieth, importeth as much as this, that he who dyeth should dye.

And as for Tertullian, that which he alleadgeth out of him, neither makes for him nor against us: we all believe what the Prophet delivereth; but we enquire about the sense of it; But in the same place Tertullian interprets the place not absolutely but comparatively, thus, Vivo inquit Dominus, & paenitentiam malo quam mortem, and indeed thus it is accommodated more then once in the Book of Common prayer, as first in the generall absolution; then, in one of the Collects upon Good-Friday: There is a double pleasure, that God may be said to take in the one, but a single pleasure only in the other. For in the death of an impenitent sinner, God delights only in the exe∣cution of justice: but in the conversion of such a one that he may live, God delights both in the execution of mercy, which is equivalent to his delight taken in the execu∣tion of judgement, and over and above he delights in their repentance; For like as of such as fall from God, it is said, His soule hath no pleasure in them: so of such as turne unto him, it is as true, that his soule hath pleasure in them.

3. But give we him leave to enjoy the interpretation he affecteth, yet consider I pray, whether he doth not enjoy it tanquam Diis iratis, and to his bane: for marke I pray his argument, and consider whether I doe not from the same argument, most strongly conclude against him.

1. His argument runnes thus, If God delighteth not in the destruction of wicked men, he did never out of his own pleasure, take so many millions of men lying in the fall, and seale them up by an absolute decree under invincible damnation. Now from the rule of contraries, I here∣hence dispute thus; If this be a good consequence which he makes, then on the con∣trary it followes, that seeing God doth take pleasure and delight in mans eternall life (as this Author expressely acknowledgeth) therefore he did out of his own plea∣sure, take so many million of men lying in the fall, and seale them up by an absolute decree under invincible salvation. Now this conclusion is as directly opposite unto him in the poynt of election, as his conclusion is opposire to ours in the poynt of re∣probation. And my argument must be of the same force and validity with his; be∣cause Contrariorum contraria est ratio. Yet I will not content my selfe with this an∣swere.

2. Therefore consider I pray in the next place, the true meaning of this phrase I have no pleasure: in these places of the Prophet, the Author himselfe though he doth not plainly professe what is the meaning of it, as it became him to doe, and not to depend upon colour of words suitable; yet by his drift he manifests the meaning of it to be this, that God doth not bring death upon a sinner, of meere pleasure, but being provoked thereunto, (and that according to the purport of the first place E∣zech. 18.) by the sinner himselfe; and also, (according to the purport of the second place) only in case of impenitency. And I concurre with him in this: And so I con∣ceive it to be delivered in the same sense with that Lament. 3. 32, 33. For though he cause griefe (to wit by reason of mens sinnes v. 39.) yet will he have compassion according to the mul∣titude of his mercies, (to wit, in case he repents Ier. 18. 7. Iudg. 10. 16.) For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. Mark I pray, not willingly; to wit, in as much as he is provoked thereunto by sinne, and by refusall to repent. And this is in the for∣mer Scripture phrases, not to take pleasure in the afflicting and grieving of men. For if any work be such, as wherein pleasure is taken; we need not enquire after a cause why it is done, but though no pleasure be taken in it, yet for some benefit redounding there∣by, a man may doe it, yea though it be grievous and bitter unto him: As a sick man is willing to take a bitter potion for the recovery of his health. Now come we to the argument: God takes no pleasure in the death of any; therefore he doth not of pleasure inflict death. We willingly grant it, in as much as he never inflicts eternall death on any, that doth not dye in sinne unrepented of: And as he doth not inflict death on any of meere pleasure, that is, without just cause on the part of him that dyeth, deserving it: So we Page  106 willingly confesse, that God did never decree to inflict death on any without just cause on the Malefactors part deserving death. And this is the uttermost whereunto this Authors argument can be extended. And all our Divines unanimously confesse, that God neither decreed to damne any man of his meer pleasure, but for his sinne wherein he died without repentance.

3. Observe the cunning of this Disputer, to deceive himselfe first, and then to a∣buse his readers: For whereas he should have proceeded in his argument by degrees, thus; God hath no pleasure in the death of a sinner, therefore he doth not of his own pleasure in∣flict death; and thence proceed (if he had thought good) to conclude the like of Gods decree, thus; if God doth not of his ownpleasure inflict, then neither doth he of his own pleasure decree to inflict death and damnation: This author leaping over the inflicting of death, as a block in his way (for the last consequence would have betrayed its own naked∣nesse) flyeth at first to the application of it, to Gods decree: Now I willingly grant, that Gods having no pleasure in the death of a sinner, doth signify, that God inflicts death on no man without a cause, for that were of meer pleasure to inflict: But dares he here∣hence inferre, therefore God doth not of meer pleasure decree to inflict death and damnation on man for sinne, for to this alone comes all the force of this argument. Now to shew the vanity of this consequence, consider I pray.

1. It is as if he should argue thus in plain termes; sinne is alwaies the meritorious cause of damnation; therefore sinne is the meritorious cause of Gods eternall decree of damnation: Now this Enthymeme hath no force any farther, then it may be redu∣ced into a Categoricall Syllogisme; and this Enthymeme is reducible into no other Syllogisme then this; Damnation is the decree of Damnation, sinne is the cause of Damnation, therefore sinne is the cause of the decree of damnation. But in this Syl∣logisme the proposition containes a notorious untruth: Or thus, Sinne is the cause of damnation; therefore the foresight of sinne is the cause of the decree of damnati∣on: But this Enthymeme is not reducible unto any categoricall Syllogisme at all, for as much as it consists of foure termes; all which must be clapt into the Syllogisme whereunto it is reduced, and consequently make that Syllogisme consist of foure termes, which utterly overthrowes the illative forme thereof.

2. We may as well dispute thus; Good works as well as faith and repentance are the disposing cause unto salvation, therefore good works as well as faith and repentance (or the foresight of them) are the disposing cause to Gods election, or to the decree of salvation.

But shall I tell you, the chiefe flourish whereupon this Author (and usually the Arminians) doth insist in this his loose argumentation, I conceive it to be this; they hope their credulous readers, unexpert in distinguishing between Gods eternall de∣cree, and the temporall execution thereof, will be apt hereupon to conceit, that we maintain, that God doth not only of meer pleasure decree whatsoever he decreeth, but also that he doth decree of meer pleasure to damne men: which yet is utterly contrary (if I be not deceived) to the tenet of all our Divines: all concurring in this, that God in the execution of the decree of damnation, proceeds according to a Law, and not in the execution of reprobation only, but also in the execution of election. And the law is this, Whosoever believes shall be saved, whosoever believes not shall be damned, And like as he inflicteth not damnation, but by way of punishment, so he conferres not salvation but by way of reward. But in the execution of his decrees of election unto grace, and reprobation from grace; we willingly professe that God proceeds according to no law given unto men, to prepare themselves hereunto, but meerly ac∣cording to his good pleasure, having mercy on whom he will, and hardning whom he will: And this indeed is the criticall poynt of this controversy: But neither this Author nor his complices (some of them of my knowledge) have any heart to deale on this. I come to his Second pregnant place as he calleth it.

Page  107
DISCOURSE. SECT. II.

GOD hath shut up all in unbeliefe, that he might have mercy on all. Rom. 11. 32. in these words of the Apostle are two [alls] of equall extent; the one standing just against the o∣ther; an [all] of unbelievers, and an [all] of objects of mercy; look how many unbe∣lievers there be, on so many hath God a will of shewing mercy. And therefore if all men of all sorts and conditions, and every man in every sort be an unbeliever, then is every man of every condition under mercy, And if every man be under mercy, then there is no antecedent precise will in God of shutting up some (and those the most) from all possibility of obtaining mercy; for these two are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 they cannot stand together.

TWISSE Consideration.

I Willingly grant the word [all] in each place is of equall extent, but how? in the Apostles meaning in this place; that is, look in what sense the Apostle takes the word [all] when he saith God hath concluded all under unbeliefe: in the same sense he takes the word [all] when he sayeth, that he might have mercy upon all. And accordingly in case when he saith the one he meaneth by the word [all] no more but Jewes & Gentiles: it followes that when he saith God hath mercy on all, by the word [all] he understands no more then both Jewes and Gentile, and that is, certain nations of men only, not all men of all sorts and conditions; And therefore al∣though it were granted him, that all men of all sorts are unbelievers, yet unlesse he can prove, that in this sense the Apostle speaketh of [all] in saying God hath concluded all under infidelity, let any one that is indifferent, judge whether this argument be of any force. Thus our Divines understand it, to wit, of Jewes and Gentiles: Thus A∣quinas and Sasbutius Popish Divines interpret it. Aquinas his words are these, omnia, id est, omne hominum genus, tam Judaeos quam Gentes in incredulitate conclusit, ut omnium miserea∣tur, id est, ut in omni hominum genere misericordia locum habeat; And again; non est extendendum ad omnes homines sigillatim, sed ad omnia genera hominum: Fit enim hic distributio pro generibus singulorum, & non pro singulis generum. So Cajetan. Conclusit permissive omnes tam Judaeos quam Gentes in peccatum infidelitatis. The Text it selfe doth cleerely justify this, as appears by the two verses immediatly preceding, wherewith this coheres. v. 30. For even as the Gentiles in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy, through (the Jewes) unbeliefe. 31. Even so now have they (the Jewes) not believed, by the mercy shewed to you Gen∣tiles, that they also, that is, the Jewes, may obtain mercy. This construction was embraced of old by Austin, as appears by Beda upon the Romans, alleadging August. de Civit. Dei lib. 21. Conclusit Deus omnes in infidelitate ut omnium misereatur. Quos omnes? nisi de quibus lo∣quebatur, tanquam dicens & vos & illos. Deus ergo & Gentiles & Judaeos, quos praescivit & praedestinavit conformes fieri imagini filii sui, omnes in infidelitate conclusit, & de amaritudine in∣fidelitatis suae paenitendo confusi, & ad dulcedinem misericordiae Dei credendo conversi clamaret &c. And anon after, Omnium ita{que} miseretur vasorum misericordiae: Quid est omnium? & eorum sci∣licet quos ex Gentibus, & eorum quos ex Judae is praedestinavit.

2. Observe how he hides himselfe under an ambiguous phrase, least he should come with his foule opinion to the light: As when he saith every man of every conditionPage  108is under mercy. The Apostles phrase on Gods part is misereri, to shew mercy; on mans part as partaking hereof is to obtain mercy. v. 30. 31. and to obtain mercy is to believe. v. 30. as appears by the opposition: for to obtain mercy and not to believe, are there made oppo∣site, therefore to obtain mercy and to believe are the same: For to believe and not to be∣lieve are formally opposite. Now dares this Author avouch, that every man of every con∣dition doth believe? Again the Apostles word ut misereatur, that he may shew mercy, is not spoken of the time present; for as much as for the time present, the Lord had mercy only on the Nations of the Gentiles: But the time should come, that God would also have mercy on the Jewes, and consequently on all. But when should this come to passe? Surely not 'till 1600 years after, to wit, when the time cometh which is appoynted for the effectuall and generall calling of the Nation of the Jewes.

So that the foundation being most rotten, no marvail if the edifice he builds here∣upon must needs totter. For the Jewes were thus to be shut up under infidelity, for many hundred years, to wit, untill the time came which the Apostle prophesyeth of. And so were the Gentiles also before them, 'till the time came of their calling. And thus Sasbutius interpreteth the Apostle in this very place. Sensus est (saith he) sic vi∣sum est Deo dispensare utrius{que} populi salutem, Iudaeorum videlicet & Gentium; ut permitteret utrum{que} populum suo vitio concludi, sive constringi, sub incredulitate & damnatione. Concludi, inquam, ne ullâ ratione poscit ex incredulitate suâ vinculo se liberare, ut ipsius misericordia gratuita locum habe∣re agnoscatur in utro{que} populo tam Iudaeorum quam Gentium. Thus we see that both his [alls] are not worth a Bodkin; and to give him two [alls] more to encrease his store, we may justly say that all this is nothing at all to the purpose.

DISCOURSE. SECT. III.

IOhn 3. 16. God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Sonne, that whosoever &c. God lo∣ved the World, that is, the whole lump of Man-kind, therefore God did not absolutely hate the greatest part of Man-kind. God loved it fallen into a guilt of sinne and misery, for he so lo∣ved them, as to send his Sonne to redeeme them; and a Saviour presupposeth sinne. He did not therefore hate the most of them considered in the fall, for love and hatred are contrary acts, and can∣not be exercised about the same Object. Many expositors (I know) doe take World here in a re∣strained sense, and understand by it the company of the Elect, or the World of believers only, but they have little reason for it (in my opinion;) for, 1. I think there can be no place of Scripture alleadged wherein this word World especially with the condition of whole, as in 1 Epist. of Iohn. 2. 2. (which is a place equivalent to this for the matter of it, and a comment upon it) I say (I think) no place can be produced where World doth signify only the Elect, or only believers; but it signifies either all men, or at least, the most men, living in some certain place, and at some certain time, but without distinction of good and bad: or if it be used any where more restrainedly, it is applyed only to the wicked and Reprobate men, who are wedded in their affections to the World, and the transitory delights thereof, and therefore doe most properly deserve this name.

2. Suppose it be granted that World in some Scriptures is restrained to the Elect, yet it cannot bear this signification here; because,

1. The words then would have a bad and senselesse construction; for thus would they runne, God so loved the Elect that whosoever believed in him should not perish &c. And if they runne thus, then this would follow, there are two sorts of the Elect, some that doe believe, and shall be saved; others that doe not believe, and shall be damned, which is a division or distinction unknown in Divinity.

2. Believers and Vnbelievers, damned and saved comprehend all Man kind, for there is no man but is one of these. Now World in this place includeth believers and unbelievers, the saved and the dam∣ned, (as appears most plainly to him that considers the words;) therefore it signifieth here all Man kind without exception of any. Against this Scripture therefore fights this absolute reprobation and hatred of men.

Page  109
TWISSE Consideration.

BE it the whole lump of man-kind (if that Lettice like his lipps.) I should think by World, is meant homines in mundo degentes, men at any time living in the World without any restraint: But herehence it followeth not, that God doth not absolutely hate the greatest part of man-kind; which this Author should have proved, but he doth not; therefore I will not only deny it, but disprove it. First therefore consider, this love is only secundum Quid, in reference to mens per∣sons, namely, so farre forth as in case they believe, they shall obtain everlasting life through the Sonne of God: But if there were no farther love of God towards man, they might be damned, yea every Mothers sonne for all this. Secondly, if faith it selfe be a gift of God, and God gives it not to all, but to some only, and those but a few; (for even of them that are called few are chosen:) and withall if God hath ab∣solutely decreed to bestow this grace only on a few, and deny it to the greatest part of the World, will it not manifestly follow herehence, that if absolutely to decree the denyall of faith be to hate, then surely God absolutely hates the greatest part of men, notwithstanding this love here mentioned, albeit we extend it to all and every one. Therefore it became this Author to prove, that God is indifferent to give Faith to one as well as to another: and that either absolutely, whence it would follow, that all and every one, should both believe and be saved; or conditionally, and there∣withall represent unto us, what that condition is, whereupon God bestowes faith on one, and for the want thereof, he refuseth to bestow faith on another. This is the ve∣ry criticall poynt about the controversies of Gods decrees. Here therefore he should have shewed his strength: For as for Gods purpose to damne, we willingly professe, that as God damnes no man but for sinne, so he purposeth to damne no man but for sinne. But as for his purpose to give or deny the grace of regeneration, the grace of faith and repentance, we as readily professe, that not the purpose only, but the very giving of faith and repentance, for the curing of infidelity and hardnesse of heart in some, and the denying of it unto others, so to leave their naturall infidelity and hard∣nesse of heart uncured, proceeds meerely according to the good pleasure of his will, according to that of the Apostle, He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth; And by a cloud of testimonies out of Austin we can prove, that in this very sense he understood the Apostle in that place. And indeed no other interpretation of that place, can with any modesty be devised, or obtruded upon us. As for the re∣deeming of all and every one by Christ, distinguisheth that which the haters of Gods truth doe delight to confound. There is a redemption from the guilt of sinne, and a redemption from the power of sinne: For we are redeemed from our vaine conversation. Christ came into the World to dissolve the works of the Devill: No greater works of Sa∣tan then blindnesse of heart, 2 Cor. 4. 3. and hardnesse of heart, Ephes. 2. 2. and 2 Tim. 2. last. The pardon of sinne, and salvation, God bestowes only on believers, and upon condition of faith: Now like as God is ready to bestow these benefits on all and every one, and that for Christs sake, in case they believe: so Christ hath merited pardon of sinne and salvation for all and every one, in case they believe. Such is the sufficiency of Christs merit, that if every one of Adams race should believe, every one should be saved: and this present Text proceeds upon this, namely, upon the sufficiency of Christs merits. But enquire farther whether Christ did not merit for us the grace of faith, and if he did, whether absolutely of conditionally; if absolutely then all must believe de facto, and be saved; if conditionally, then faith is a grace, which God bestowes on man conditionally. Now let this Author shew us what that con∣dition is, upon performance whereof by man, God will give him faith, and let Page  110 him try whether he can carry himselfe so warily herein, as not to plunge himselfe in∣to plain Pelagianisme. This poynt is a break-neck, or Crevecoeur unto all Armini∣ans, they generally avoyd the delivering of their minds clearly hereupon, as a man would avoyd a precipice. It is true some Divines doe interpret the word [World] here, of the Elect, as Piscator; Rolloc doth not, making no mention of the Elect here∣upon. And Piscators meaning is no more then this, viz. that this love of God in re∣spect of every gracious effect (I mean in the way of sanctifying grace) determins on∣ly upon the Elect; for in all likelihood, he followed Calvin in this, Universalem notam apposuit (saith Calvin) tum ut promiscuè omnes ad vitae participationem invitet, tum ut praeci∣dat excusationem incredulis. To the same purpose (saith he) pertaines nomen mundi, quo prius usus est. And again, se toti mundo propitium ostendit, quum sine exceptione omnes ad fidem vocat: But here he subjoynes a caution, thus; Caeterum meminerimus ita communiter promit∣ti omnibus vitam si in Christo crediderint, ut tamen minime communis omnium sit fides. Patet enim omnibus Christus & expositus est, solis tamen Electis oculos Deus aperit & fide ipsum quaerant. So that this gracious promise is generall to all and every one, whosoever believes shall be saved; But yet notwithstanding if it shall appeare, that God gives the grace of faith, to none but to a certain number, (which are his Elect) it followes, that the effect of this love of God, to wit, Salvation shall in the issue redound to none but Gods Elect.

1. As for the designing a place where the World is taken for the Elect; we need no such place, as I have shewed; yet Piscator conceives that so it is taken, Iohn 3. 17. That the World might be saved by him. But what think you of Rom. 11. 15. Where the ca∣sting away of the Jewes is said to be the reconciliation of the World. And that 2 Cor. 5. 19. God was in Christ reconciling the World unto himselfe. I say the reconciled World is only Gods Elect, for the reconciled are all saved, as I prove by the Apostles argument Rom. 5. If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Sonne, how much more being reconciled shall we be saved by his life. Ioh. 1. 29. The Lamb of God that taketh away the sinnes of the World. Are their sinnes taken away that are damned for them? And Ioh. 6. 33. He gives life to the World; Is life given to any but to the Elect?

2. The second reasons, why in this place it cannot be so taken, are in effect but one, and that a weake one:

1. Because, that they that understand it of the Elect, understand it so in no other sense, but as I have expounded it.

2. If I should say of the twelve Apostles (Judas excluded, and Matthias substitu∣ted in his roome) that God so loved them, that he gave his only begotten Sonne, that whosoever of them believed in him, should not perish but have everlasting life; who can deny, but that this was a truth accommodated unto them? but will it here hence follow, that among those Apostles, some were believers some un∣believers? Suppose all the World were Elect, and it pleased God to give them all Faith, should this Doctrine be the lesse true, whosoever believes shall be saved? yet in this case it would not follow, that amongst the World of men some were believers, and some unbelievers.

But whereas he faines, that some of our Divines should interpret the word [World] here of Believers, that is such a fiction as is incredible. I come to the fourth.

Page  111
DISCOURSE. SECT. IV.

1. TImoth. 2. 4. Who would have all to be saved and come to the knowledge of his truth. In these words the Apostle delivers two things. 1. That it is Gods will, that all men should obtain an happy end, viz. Salvation. 2. That it is his will also, that they should use and enjoy the means, which is the knowledge of his truth, that so they might obtain the end, the salvation of their soules; there is no let in God, but that all men may be∣lieve and be saved, and therefore there is no absolute will, that many thousands of men shall never be∣lieve nor be saved.

Two answers are usually returned, which give me little satisfaction: The first is, that by All we are to understand all sorts, and not every particular man in every sort and condition. It is true that [all] is sometimes so used in Scripture, but (I believe) not here: for the very Text shewes that we are to understand by it, the Individualls and not the kindes: v. 1. There is a duty enjoyned, I will that prayers and supplications be made for all men, and in this verse the motive is annexed, God will have all to be saved; as if he should have said, our charity must reach to all, whom God extends his love to: God will have all to be saved, therefore we must pray for all: Now in the duty All signifies every man, for no man though wicked and prophane, is to be excluded from our prayers; pray for them (saith our Saviour) that persecute you; And pray (saith the Apostle here) for Kings, and all that are in Authority, men in those daies (though the greatest) yet the worst, yea very Wolves, and Lyons, and Bears of the Church; pray for them, and if for them, then for any other, thus in the duty it signifies every man; and if it doe so in the duty, it must have the same extent in the motive too; or else the motive will not reach home, nor have strength enough to enforce the duty. The second answer is, that God will have all to be saved with his revealed will, have Millions to be damned with his se∣cret will. If this answer stand, then (in my understanding) these inconveniences will fol∣low.

1. That Gods words (which are his revealed will) are not interpretations of his mind and meaning, and by consequence are not true; for Oratio quae non est mentis significatio, simulatio est.

2. That there are two contrary willes in God; a secret will, that many Sonnes of Adam shall ir∣revocably be damned; and a revealed will, that all the Sonnes of Adam may be saved.

3. That one of Gods wills must needs be bad, either the secret will, or the revealed; for of con∣traries if the one be good, the other is bad; and so of Gods contrary wills, if the one be good, the other must needs be bad, for malum is contrarium bono.

TWISSE Consideration.

THe Conclusion here is very loose; the Arguments being thus; It is Gods will that all should be saved; therefore there is no absolute will, that many thousands of men shall never believe nor be saved: and the vanity of this consequence, I will shew more waies then one.

1. The Apostle doth not say, It is the absolute will of God that all men shall be saved: nay Vossius interprets this place, and that according to the meaning of the Ancients, of voluntas conditionata, a conditionall will in God, not absolute; and he gives instance * of it thus; It is the will of God that all shall be saved, in case they believe in Christ. Now albeit it be the conditionall will of God that all, and every one shall be sa∣ved in case they believe, yet this hinders not, but that it may be the absolute will of God, that many thousands of men shall never be saved; as in case his will be to deny the grace of faith and repentance to many thousands, as it is cleare and un∣deniable that he doth.

Page  112 Nay the Remonstrants themselves, and particularly an Arminian that I had to doe withall lately, spared not to professe, that Election is absolute; if so, then re∣probation also is absolute; and I doubt not but that they will all confesse, that howbeit Gods will be, that all should be saved, yet thousands are repro∣bated.

2. Suppose the Apostle had said, it is the absolute will of God, that all men shall be saved, yet I say it followes not herehence, but that by the absolute will of God many might faile of falvation: for it was the absolute will of God, that every foure footed beast should be represented to Peter, let downe unto him in a linnen vessell; yet neverthelesse it might be that many thousands were not represented to him, and that by the will of God.

Thus having discovered the vanity of this conclusion; I will now proceed to demonstrate that this place cannot be understood, of Gods will in proper speech, viz. willing all and every one to be saved.

1. Like as it is impossible, that a man at the same time should be saved and dam∣ned; so it is impossible, that God should at the same time and duration, both will to save and will to damne the same man: But God from everlasting did will to damne many thousands; therefore it was impossible, that from everlasting he should will to save them.

2. If it be Gods will that all and every one shall be saved; then all and every one shall be saved, For who hath resisted his will. Rom. 9. 19. And for confirmation here∣of, we find in our selves, that if we will doe ought, we doe it if we can; and if we doe not ought, the reason is, either because we have no will to doe it, or because we have no power to doe it. In like sort, that God doth not save many thousands, the reason must be, either because he will not, or because he cannot; not because he will not; for these professe that it is his will to save all and every one; There∣fore the reason why he doth not save all, must needs be, because he cannot save them: this was Austins argument 1200 years agoe. Enchirid. cap. 96. and 97. hand∣ling this very place of the Apostle.

3. If God did from everlasting will the salvation of all and every one, then ei∣ther at this day he doth continue to will the salvation of all and every one, and shall continue for ever to will it, or no; if he doth continue to will it and ever shall, then say that God doth will the salvation of the damned both Men and Di∣vells; albeit it is well known he damnes them. If he doth not continue to will it, then is God of a changeable nature; directly contrary to the word of God, as well as to manifest reason: With him (saith Iames) is no variablenesse nor shadow of change. I the Lord am not changed, Mal. 3. 6. As for that which he thrusts in, to help make weight, saying, that there is no let in God, but that all men may believe and be saved, this is a most improper speech; for no man is said (in proper speech) to be let from doing ought, but upon presupposition that he would doe it; now we utterly deny that God hindreth any man from believing and repenting, whose will is disposed to believe and repent. But seeing all men have infidelity and hardnesse of heart naturall unto them, as a fruit of that corruption wherein all are borne; we deny that God c••es it in all, but only in whom he will, according to that of Saint Paul, He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. And our Saviour upon the same ground, is bold to tell the Jewes, saying, Ye therefore heare not my words (that is, * believe them not) because ye are not of God.

2. The first exposition here mentioned was given by Austin, many hundred years agoe. Enchirid. cap. 103. and he proves this his interpretation of the word [all] by the congruity of it to Scripture phrase in other places, as where it is said of the Phari∣ses, that they tythe every herbe; his words are these, Ito locutinis modo & Dominus usus est in Evangelio, ubi ait Phariseis, Decimatis mentham, & rutam, & omne olus: ne{que} enim Pharisei quaecun{que} aliena, & omnium per omnes terras alienigenarum omnium olera decimabant. Sicut ergo hic omne olus, omne olerum genus; it a & illic omnes homines, omne hominum genus, intelligere pos∣sumus: yet see the ingenuity of this great light of the Church of God: for forth∣with he gives leave to devise any other convenient interpretation; provided that we doe not violate Gods omnipotency, by saying, that any thing that God would have brought to passe, is not brought to passe; his words are these, Et quocun{que} alio modo in∣telligi potest, dum tamen credere no cogamur aliquid omnipotentem Deum noluisse fieri, factum{que} non esse; qui sine ullis ambagibus si in caelo & terra (sicut & veritas cantat) omnia quaecun{que} voluitPage  113fecit: profecto facere noluit, quaecun{que} non fecit. This interpretation is generally received by our Divines, because of the congruity thereof to the Text it selfe; for as much as the Apostle having first admonished them in the generall to pray for all, forthwith he descends to specialls, as Vossius acknowledgeth, Generi speciem subjicit; now look in what sort the Species is to be understood, after the same manner is the Generall to be understood. Now the Specialls mentioned, are certain sorts or conditions of men, as Kings, and such as are in authority; therefore the generall [all] must in like manner be understood of all sorts, and all conditions of men: upon this consideration also it was that Austin did insist, in the place before alleadged: Praeceperat (saith he) Aposto∣lus ut or aretur pro singulis hominibus, & specialiter addiderat pro Regibus, & iis qui in sublimita∣te sunt, qui putari poterant fastu & superbia seculari a fidei Christianae humilitate abhorrere. Pro∣inde dicens, hoc enim bonum est coram salvatore nostro Deo, id est, ut etiam pro talibus oretur; statim ut desperationem tolleret, addit, qui omnes homines vult salves fieri, & in agnitionem veritatis ve∣nire. Hoc quippe Deus bonum judicavit, ut orationibus humilium dignaretur, praestare salutem sub∣limium. Now I come to consider what this Author hath to say against this expositi∣on, for he gives us very gravely to understand, that it gives him little satisfaction: we are therefore to expect some better satisfaction from him.

It is true that [all] is so used in Scripture, not only some times, but very frequent∣ly; let him come to instance in his sense, we are ready to instance with him for ours. But the Text (saith he) shewes we are to understand the individualls and not the kindes. Where first (I doubt) his ignorance, in understanding the distinction aright, is his best ground of opposition. When Austin urgeth for his interpretation, that of the Phari∣ses tything omne olus, every hearb, who doubts but they tythe Individuall hearbs. In like sort when Peter saw in a vessell let down unto him 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 every foure footed beast; no question but Individuall beasts were let down unto him, not every one of every kind, but of every kind or of most kinds, or of many kinds some, so that the meaning of the distinction is not to exclude all individualls (as this Author seems to carry the matter,) but only, to exclude a necessity of understanding all individu∣alls of all sorts. It is enough if God will save some of all sorts, that is, of all condi∣tions some individualls. Then, seeing he undertakes out of the very Text, to give us better satisfaction, then either Austin or our Divines have hitherto received, it must needs be a shame for him to leave the present Text, and fetch grounds elsewhere, for the clearing of Pauls meaning here. Now let us observe, how congruously or incon∣gruously to his own undertakings, he carryeth himselfe in this businesse: of the duty enjoyned, and of the motive annexed, there is no question: but whereas he shapes the coherence thus, and makes Paul in effect to speak after this manner; our charity must reach to all to whom God extends his love to; God will have all to be saved, and therefore we must pray for all. Though all this were granted him, it makes nothing for him: but over and above here are causelesse errours more then enough:

For, first, our charity must extend farther then Gods love; was not Jacob bound to carry himselfe charitably towards his brother Esau? though Gods hatred of Esau, we know was as ancient as his love to Iacob.

2. We are not bound to extend our charity so far as God extends his love; for many thousands there be in the World, (not to speak of the Elect departed this life) towards whom it may be God extends his love, which yet are unknown to us; & are we bound to pray for we know not whom. Again, Gods love, with this Author, is extended as farre as his will to save, and that is extended to all and every one: and unlesse God be now changed, it must extend to them now after they are damned, and must our charity be extended towards them also? But he proceeds, let us proceed with him. Now (saith he) [all] in the duty signifies every man; but that we deny; he gives his rea∣son, for no man though wicked and prophane, is to be excluded from our Prayers.

Against this I have two exceptions, (and yet if the whole be granted him, it maketh nothing for him:) my first exception is this; he promised to give us satisfaction out of the Text it selfe; but who seeth not but that this rule of his, is brought in quite be∣sides the Text: I from the Text have proved, and from the coherence between the generall and the speciall, that the speciall being certain particular conditions of men, the generall [all] must conformably be understood of all conditions.

My second exception is this; he obtrudes upon us, that no man, though wicked and pro∣phane, is to be excluded from our Prayers. I confesse I doe not find my selfe apt to exclude any from my prayers; but I cannot endure, that a bold fellow should obtrude his Page  114 rules upon us as Oracles. The Apostle Saint Iohn forbids us to pray for them that sinne a sinne unto death. But let all this be granted, what then? If it extends to every one in the duty, it must have the same extent in the motive too; but this I deny; he saith, else the motive will not reach home, nor have strength enough to enforce the duty: but this likewise I de∣ny; and shew withall, how the motive shall reach home, and have strength enough even to enforce this duty, according to this Authors accommodation of it; albeit God hath a will not to save all and every one, but of all sorts and all conditions some; of Kings some, of them that are in Authority some; For seeing God saves of all sorts some, why should not every Christian Subject, pray for his Prince and Ru∣lers, seeing it may be they are those some, whom God means to save, even of the ranke of Princes, of the ranke of Governors, and of men in Authority. For God hath not revealed to us, who they are whom he hath elected, and who they are whom he hath reprobated. If he had, Austin tells us what we should doe in that case, De Ci∣vit. Dei. lib. 21. cap. 24. Si de aliquibus it a Ecclesia certa esset, ut qui sunt illi etiam nosset, qui licet adhuc in hac vitâ sint constituti, tamen praedestinati sunt in aeternum ignem ire cum Diabolo, tam pro i is non or aret, quam pro ipso. If it shall be farther urged, that we are to pray for all Kings, and all that are in Authority, not only for our own; I answer, that this is no∣thing agreeable to the end of such prayers here expressed by the Apostle, namely, That under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all Godlinesse and honesty. And what have we here in England, to doe with the King of Bungo, that we should pray for him, or for the Kings in terrâ australi incognitâ, discovered by Ferdinando de Quir, or for the great Duke of Crapulia?

3. As for the second interpretation; I doe not find it so usuall with our Divines: Cajetan distinguisheth here between voluntas signi and beneplaciti; so doth Aquinas, and this distinction of voluntas occulta and revelata, is usually reduced to that of voluntas sig∣ni and beneplaciti; But voluntas signi, and voluntas revelata, is more congruously applied to the things which God commands, then to the things which God himselfe work∣eth; as for example, he commands faith and repentance; and the commandements of God, are usually called the will of God in Scripture, though improperly; and thus the distinction is plain. God commands one thing, but it is not necessary, that he should will, that that which he commands shall come to passe: As for example, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaack, yet he determined that Isaack should not be sacrificed, as appeared by the event. In like manner he commanded Pharaoh to let Israel goe, yet withall told Moses he would harden his heart, that he should not let Israel goe. But this will of God called voluntas signi and Revelata, cannot so con∣gruously be said to passe upon mans salvation. Yet because God may be said to com∣mand salvation, in as much as he commands faith and repentance, that we may be sa∣ved; and in this sense, men are exhorted sometimes to save themselves; As, Save your selves from this froward generation; and Save some out of the fire with feare; and That thou maist both save thy selfe and them that heare thee; therefore we are content also to admit of this * distinction, and consider with what judgement and sufficiency this Author doth im∣pugne it.

1. By his first opposition, it appears, that meer ignorance bears him out against this distinction; For we doe acknowledge, that Gods revealed will, and his words revealing it, are true interpretations of his own mind and meaning; though not of such a meaning as he expects should be fashioned. For he conceives that Gods will in this case, is only of what shall be done; which is most untrue: Hereby is only signi∣fied, what is mans duty to doe, although it may be God will not give him effectuall grace to doe it. As for examples sake, when God commanded Pharaoh to let Israel goe; hereby was signified, that God would have it to be Pharaohs duty to let Israel goe; though withall he professes to Moses, that he would harden Pharaohs heart, whereupon he should refuse to let them goe. So when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaack, hereby it was signified, that it was Gods will to make it Abrahams duty to sacrifice his Sonne, albeit God had determined, that when Abraham came to poynt of execution of that which was enjoyned him, he would hold Abrahams hand, and content himselfe with Abrahams readinesse, and good heart to obey God in this.

2. As to the second; it is untrue that any such thing followeth as this Author pre∣tendeth, namely, that two contrary wills shall be found in God; For first there is no contrariety in the wills here shaped by the Author himselfe; thus, many shall be damned,Page  115and those, many may be saved. As for the word irrevocable, wherewith this Author stuffes his proposition, that is no attribute of damnation, or the manner thereof, but rather of Gods decrees; wherein still he proceeds and spares not to foame out his own shame, desiring to make Gods decrees of a revocable nature. Secondly, he under∣stands not the accommodation of the distinction aright, which is not directly to sal∣vation and immediatly, but rather to praecepta, consilia, remedia, (as Aquinas expresseth it) of voluntas signi, which is all one in this case with voluntas revelata.

1. Applyed to Gods commandement, joyned with a will not to give grace to o∣bay his commandement, thus, it's Pharaohs duty to let Israel goe; Tis not Gods will that Pha∣raoh shall let Israel goe, for he meaneth to harden his heart to the contrary.

2. Applyed to salvation, consequent or not consequent, according as men shall be found to obey or disobey Gods commandement: thus, it's my will, that as many as believe and repent shall be saved, and consequently it's true, If thou believest (whoever thou art) and repentest, thou shalt be saved. I will give grace to believe and repent to some on∣ly, whereby they may be saved; between those in like manner, there is no contrariety at all.

3. And if there be no contrariety at all, then surely it followes not by this Au∣thors Logick, that if one of them be good, the other must be bad. I say by this Au∣thors Logick; for now adaies men are given so much to Rhetorick, that they forget all good Logick, if ever they learnt any: who I pray gives any such rule, that if one contrary be good, the other must be bad? If heat be good, is cold bad? Or if white be good, is black bad? But as for the case we treat of, if these wills were found to be contrary, one of them should destroy the other, and the other should have no being at all; and in case it hath no being, shall it be said to be bad? Yes, like enough, by the learning of the Arminians. I come to the Fifth.

DISCOURSE. SECT. V.

2. PEter 3. 9. Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. This Scrip∣ture is not so liable to those exceptions, which are made against the former testimonies, for it is a negative proposition, and must be taken distributively; and therefore speaks that in plain termes, which is contrary to absolute reprobation.

That which is usually replied is this, that the persons here spoken of, are the Elect only. God is not willing that any of the Elect should perish. But the contrary appears plainly in the Text; for the persons here spoken of, are those towards whom God exerciseth much long suffering and patience; and who are they? Are they the Elect only, or chiefly? No, but the Reprobates rather, that dye for their contempt of grace. Reprobates are the proper objects of Gods long suffering and patience, as we may see, Rom. 2. 4. where the Apostle speaking of such as goe on in sinne, and treasure up unto them∣selves wrath against the day of wrath, saith that God useth patience towards them, that so he might lead them to repentance: and Rom. 9. 22. He endureth (saith the Text) with much long suffering the vessells of wrath fitted to destruction. Reprobates therefore as well as others doth Peter here speak of, and saith, that God would have none of them to perish; if they doe perish, it is their own fault and folly, and not Gods absolute pleasure, who would have none to perish.

TWISSE. Consideration.

HEre be odde gambolls; as when he saith the proposition here is negative, whereas the propositions are two, and the latter affirmative, as well as the former is negative. As for the taking of it distributively, as he speaks, the Text expresseth the negative distributively; implying belike, that when we interpreted the Page  116 former place de generibus singulorum, it was not to be taken distributively, which is a ve∣ry shallow conceit, for it is apparent we distribute it de generibus singulorum; and more then that, of the particulars of each kind, only we doe not distribute it of all the particulars. In like manner, though the Text in this place expresseth a distribution, saying, not willing, any to perish, this distribution is not extended to all: Nay, it ad∣mits of a greater limitation then the former place did by our interpretation; for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 here must be referred to that which goes before in these words, God is patient to us ward not willing any to perish, that is, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, any of us to perish, but all to come to re∣pentance, that is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, all of us; which can admit of no other sense then all such as the Apostle was; he saith it is contrary to absolute reprobation; that is wind; when he proveth it then we will believe it, his word is no oracle.

2. Let us see how he disproves their interpretation, who accommodate it to Gods Elect. The persons here mentioned (he saith) are those towards whom God exerciseth long suffer∣ing and patience, and demandeth whether these are the Elect only or chiefly? and answer∣eth himselfe negatively; saying, that the reprobates are the proper objects of Gods long suffering and patience, which he proveth out of Rom. 2. 4. and Rom. 9. 22. and so concludes the ar∣gument very learnedly and judiciously Arminian like, ex omnibus affirmativis, in secundâ Figurâ; which of what force it is every weak Logician knoweth; for thus in effect is his argument, They of whom God will have none to perish, are such towards whom God expresseth much long suffering and patience; But the Reprobates are they towards whom God ex∣presseth much long suffering and patience; Therefore the Reprobates are they, of whom God will have none to perish.

2. And whereas the Apostle saith, God is patient towards us, the meaning according to this Authors judicious enlargement is, towards us who are partly elect and partly reprobates: and so likewise when he saith, 2 Pet. 1. 2. To you who have obtained like precious faith with us, that is, with us of whom some are elect and some reprobates. And 1 Pet. 1. 3. God hath begot∣ten us to a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that is, begotten us, some of whom are elect and some reprobates.

3. Now because the Apostle saith plainly and simply, who is patient towards us; this Author desiring to frame it in a suitable manner, to that of the Apostle, Rom. 2. 4. whereunto he hath a hungry desire to reduce it, therefore he makes bold to say, that the persons here mentioned by Saint Peter are such, towards whom God exerciseth long suf∣fering and patience: Thus again he is willing very obsequiously to follow Lysanders counsell, who advised, when a Lyons skinne would not serve the turne, to piece it up with a Foxe skinne. We on the other side, though it cannot be denied, but that God doth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 towards such as Saint Peter was, and those to whom he wrote, who had obtained like precious faith with himselfe and his fellow Apostles, and other believers; which cannot be denied to have been the elect of God, (so he calls them to whom he wrote, 1 Pet. 1. 2.) yet we spare to draw any argument therehence, because we know ful well, that God doth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and useth long suffering towards the Repro∣bates also. So that we could not conclude that we would herehence, but either by a Syllogisme vitious in the forme, as this Author doth, or by a Syllogisme, that would be as faulty in the matter, thus; God shewes patience to none but Repro∣bates; they of whom God will have none to perish are such, as towards whom God shewes patience; therefore God will not have any Reprobate to perish. And is not this a proper doctrine, that God will not have any Reprobate to perish, both for the overthrowing of Gods omnipotency; for is it not a cleare case and undeniable, that all Reprobates doe perish? As also for the overthrowing of Gods immutability; for can it be denied, that when God damnes them, he will have them to perish? Which if before he would not, can it be avoided, but that Gods will must be changed? And lastly, for the bringing in of manifest contrariety into the will of God; seeing they dare not deny that God did from everlasting ordaine every reprobate unto damnati∣on: I say they dare not deny this in plain termes, though their carriage is such, as if their meaning were, that Gods will in decreeing their damnation is conditionall quoad actum volentis, as touching the very act of willing, whence it followeth that God shall not will their damnation untill their death in infidelity and impenitency; for it is fit the condition should exist before the thing conditionated, whose existence de∣pends thereupon. As for that he addes in the close, If they doe perish it is their own fault and folly; we make no question hereof, though neverthelesse we may well maintain, that it is Gods absolute pleasure, not to take them off from their sinfull and foolish Page  117 courses, nor to set an end to these vitious courses of theirs, which he could if it plea∣sed him, as well as he did set an end to the abominable courses of Manasses, as also to the persecution and bloudy courses of Saul; towards whom he did undoubtedly 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and exercise much long suffering and patience; though herein there is no difference between them and reprobates, or very little; according to that of Austin, Istorum neminem (non praedestinatorum) adducit Deus ad salubrem spiritualem{que} paenitentiam, quâ homo Deo reconciliatur in Christo; sive illis ampliorem paenitentiam, sive non imparem praebeat: contrà Julian. Pelagian. lib. 5. cap. 4. I come to the last of this ranke.

DISCOURSE. SECT. VI.

TO These testimonies, I may adde those conditionall speeches, if thou seek him he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him he will cast thee off, for ever, 1 Chron. 28. 9. If ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Chron. 15. 2. If thou doe well, shalt thou not be accepted? but if thou dost ill, sinne lies at the doore. Gen. 4. 7. The just shall live by faith, but if any man withdraw himselfe, my soule non approbabit eum, shall have no pleasure in him, he shall be a Reprobate. In all these and many other places it is cleare (for ought I can see) that God forsakes no man, considered simply in the fall, till by actuall sinnes and continuance in them he forsakes God. Now if God reject no man from Salvation in time or in act and deed, till he rejects God, then surely he rejected no man in purpose and decree, but such a one as he foresaw, would reject and cast off him. For Gods acts in time, are regulated by his decrees before time. Ephes. 1. 11. God worketh all things (saith the Apostle) according to the counsell of his own will; and therefore there must be an exact conformity between them, as between regulam and regulatum, the rule and the thing measured by the rule. By whatsoever therefore God doth in the World, we may know what he purposed to doe before the World; and by his actuall casting men off, when they grow rebellious and impenitent, and not before, we may certainly gather, that he decreed to cast them off, for their foreseen rebellion and impenitency, and not before. Be∣sides it is all one in substance, to cast a man off indeed, and to entertain a resolution to doe it; our velle and facere are all one in Gods account, and the reason is, because where there is a deliberate and setled will, the deed will follow, if nothing hinder; much more is Gods will and deed all one, seeing his will is omnipotent, and irresistible, and whatsoever he wills directly and absolutely, is certainly done when the time comes.

All these plain Scriptures doth this opinion contradict in terminis, and not only these, but the whole course of Scriptures, by which it is much safer for a man to frame his opinions, then by a few places pickt up here and there, and those obscure ones too: What Saint Austin speaks in another place, I may safely say in this, numquid ideo negandum quod apertum est, quia comprehendi non potest, quod occultum est? Shall we contradict plain places, because we cannot comprehend the obscure? Aug. de bono persever. c. 14. Secundum plura (saith Tertullian) pauciora sunt intelligenda;〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉ne unus sermo sub∣vertat alios; secundum omnes potius quam adversum omnes intelligendus erit, A few testimonies must be ex∣pounded according to the whole course of Scriptures, and not this according to a few testimonies. This is my first reason.

TWISSE Consideration.

TO the places of Scripture here alleadged, I give the interpretation, to pre∣vent the confusion of things that differ, which all affect who preferre the dark∣nesse Page  118 of Errour before the light of truth; for it is most advantageous to such, to fish in troubled waters.

To the two first, I say; God is first sought of us before we find him, as touching the obtaining of many blessings at the hands of God according to that, Ezech. 36. 37. I will yet be sought of the house of Israel, to performe it unto them. But as touching the obtain∣ing of an heart to seek him, thus God is found of us before we seek him; according to that, Es. 65. 1. I have been found of them that sought me not: witnesse Saul marching with a commission from the Priests to Damascus, to bind all that called on the name of Jesus.

To the third I answer, by distinguishing acceptation, as we distinguish love; Love is either complacentiae or beneficentiae; so acceptation is either un∣to reward, or unto complacency; Rewards alwaies follow our doing well; but grace of doing well is alwaies a fruit of Gods favour towards us in Christ.

To the last the just shall live by faith; But there is a grace of God preventing faith; cur ille credat, ille non credat, what is the reason but the meere pleasure of God giving the grace of Faith to one, and denying it to another, according to that of the Apostle, He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. They that withdraw themselves my soule shall have no pleasure in them; The meaning is, they shall feele the smart of his displeasure; but before they withdrew themselves God took not that pleasure in them, as to give them his custodient grace, to keep them from withdrawing themselves; which grace, and that out of his good pleasure he afforded unto others: But this grace comes in no ac∣count throughout with this Author, like unto the Remonstrants, who would have no other notice taken of any other counsell of God, then that whereby he decreeth to save believers and damne unbelievers. But if you call them to en∣quire of Gods decree, to bestow the grace of Faith and repentance upon some, and not on others; as whether it proceeds absolutely or conditionally, they usually lend a deafe eare to this; whereby it is as cleare as the Sunne, what estimation they make of the grace of regeneration, of the grace of Faith, and of repentance; and after what manner they give God the glory of it. By the way observe I pray, how he makes the state of man in being a repro∣bate consequent to his withdrawing himselfe, which undoubtedly is a Temporall act, and accordingly the act of Reprobation, whereby a man is denominated a repro∣bate, to be meerely Temporall; and consequently such an act must election be also, viz. not eternall but Temporall.

Still he keepeth himselfe in his strength of confusion, as most advantageous for him; as in saying, God forsakes no man, till by actuall sinnes and continuance in them he forsaketh God. But albeit God forsaketh no man, as touching the inflicting of punishment, untill man commits actuall sinne, and continueth therein impe∣nitently; yet before this God did forsake him, as touching the denyall of this grace custodient from sinne; and the denyall of the grace of repentance to rise out of sinne, which yet he grants to many; as in shewing mercy to whom he will, like as whom he will he hardneth, and so accordingly cures in some, that naturall infidely and hardnesse of heart wherein we are all borne, and leaves it uncured in others. Now consider we his argument following, which is this. If God reject no man from salvation in time, or in act and deed till he reject God, then sure∣ly he rejected no man in purpose and decree, but such a one as he foresaw would reject and cast off God. Now this argument not one of our Divines deny, not only as it is appli∣ed to reprobation; but neither doe we deny it, applied unto election. For we willingly professe, that like as God bestowes salvation on none, but such as he then findes believers, penitent, and given to good works: in like sort wee all professe, that God decrees to bestow salvation on none but such as he foreseeth will believe, repent, and become studious of good works. Like enough, many doe wilfully dissemble the true state of the Question between us: others ignorant∣ly mistake it. The question is not whether God decrees to bestow salvation on such as he foreseeth will believe, and reject those from salvation whom he foresee∣eth will not believe; but of the order of reason between these decrees of God, and the foresight of obedience the one side, and disobedience on the other; that is, whether like as faith, repentance, and good works in men of ripe years Page  119 doe precede their salvation, as disposing causes thereunto; so the fore-sight of faith, repentance, and good works, precede election, as disposing causes or pre∣requisites thereunto. In like manner on the other side, whether, as finall per∣severance in sinne precedes damnation, as the meritorious cause thereof; So fi∣nall perseverance in sinne as foreseen by God precedes reprobation as the de∣cree of Damnation, as the meritorious cause thereof: So that the argument here mentioned (which is all his strength in this place) rightly applyed must runne thus. Faith, repentance, and good works actually existent precede salva∣tion, as the disposing causes thereunto; therefore faith, repentance, and good works foreseen precede election, as the disposing causes thereunto; and what is this, but as good as in expresse termes to professe, that election is of faith, repentance, and good works: though it be in direct contradiction unto Saint Paul, professing in terminis (to speak in this Divines language) that the purpose of God according to election is not of works. So on the other side, Finall perseverance in sinne precedes damnati∣on, as the meritorious cause thereof; therefore finall perseverance in sinne fore∣seen, precedes the decree of damnation, as the meritorious cause thereof. And then what is to make reprobation to be of evill works, if this be not? Whereas Saint Paul, look by what arguments he proves that election is not of good works, viz. because before Jacob and Esau were borne, or had done good or evill, it was said of them the Elder shall serve the Younger: by the same argument it is e∣qually evident that Reprobation is not of evill works. Yet we acknowledge an exact conformity between Gods decrees and the execution thereof: because like as God damnes no man but for sinne, so he decreed to damne no man but for sinne: where sinne is in each place made the meritorious cause of damnation, not of the decree of damnation. And like as God bestowes salvation on no man of ripe years, but by way of reward of faith, repentance, and good works, so he de∣creed to bestow salvation on no man of ripe years, but by way of reward of faith, repentance, and good works; where faith repentance and good works, are in each place made the disposing causes to salvation, but not to election. There was never any so madde (saith Aquinas) as to say that merits are the cause of predestination, as touching the act of God predestinating, and Why? but because so is the cause of predestination to be enquired into, as the cause of Gods will is enquired into: but formerly he had shewed that there can be no cause of Gods will, as touching the act of God willing: Now let every one judge whether the act of reprobation, be not as clearly the act of Gods will, as the act of predesti∣nation; and consequently whether it be not equally as mad a course (in A∣quinas his judgement) to devise a cause of reprobation, as to devise a cause of pre∣destination on the part of Gods will. And no marvail, for the act of Gods will is e∣ternall, all the works of the creature are temporall: Then, the act of Gods will is God himselfe, for there is no accident in God; and therefore they may as well set themselves to devise a cause of God, as a cause of Gods will. His phrase of casting off, is ambiguous; if it signifieth the denyall of salvation, it followeth disobedience; if it signifieth the deniall of grace, it precedes disobedience, in what kind soe∣ver.

3. Our velle and facere are both temporall; in God it is otherwise; for his deeds are temporall, and may admit the works of men precedaneous thereunto; but his resolutions are his decrees, and they are all eternall, and can admit no work of man precedaneous thereunto; yet is God as just in the one as in the other. For like as he damnes no man but for sinne, so he never decreed to damne any man but for sinne; But as touching the grace of regeneration, the grace of faith and repentance, in the granting and denying of this, the Apostle plainly tells us, he proceeds meerly according to the good pleasure of his will; as when he saith, The Lord hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth: And here also God is as just in his decrees as in his executions. For if it be just with him, to give this grace to whom he will, and deny it to whom he will; it is as just with him, to decree the giving of it to whom he will, and the denying of it also to whom he will. And why shall not the Lord take liber∣ty to cure infidelity and hardnesse of heart in whom he will, as he cured it in Manasses and Saul; and leave it uncured in whom he will, as he left it uncured in many a proud Pharisee, and proud Philosopher, Page  120 notwithstanding all their Morality they boasted of? Very seasonably he confesseth Gods will to be omnipotent and irrefistible, when neverthelesse, he makes him to will the salvation of all Reprobates, though not one of them is saved. But by that which followes, by will omnipotent and irrefistible, it seems he understandeth only will absolute, which he distinguisheth from will conditionate, which can be no other (I suppose) then this, my will is that all and every one shall be saved, in case he be∣lieve and repent. Now seeing it is as true, that 'tis Gods will that they shall be damned, in case they believe not and repent not, let every sober man judge, whether this deserve to be accounted, a will of saving rather then a will of damning; especi∣ally in case all men naturally, are farre more prone to infidelity and impenitency, then to faith and repentance. As for a will conditionate in God, like enough this Author carryeth it hand over head without distinction, as he doth many other things besides: whereas no such will is agreeable to the divine nature, quoad actum volentis, as touching the act of willing, as both Bradwardine by clear reason, and Piscator out of the word of God have demonstrated, but only quoad res volitas, as touching the things wil∣led by him.

4. I have shewed the poverty of his performances, by the particular examination of every place alleadged by him, and made it plain, how he betraies his own naked∣nesse of interpretation of Scripture, and of argumentation throughout; and there∣withall, the vanity of this his boast, that our doctrine of absolute reprobation, doth contradict these plain Scriptures. But he like a brave fellow well conceited of his at∣chievements, and having thereby gotten some authority to himselfe, is bold to give his word, that it contradicts also the whole course of Scripture; which I verily believe he is as well able to performe, as he hath performed the former; and very judiciously takes upon him to distinguish between the whole course of Scriptures, and a few pla∣ces pickt up here and there, as if they were no part of the whole course of Scripture: Belike by reason of their obscurity, as he pretends, no matter if they were expunged; like as owles are offended with day-light. Our Saviour tells us of some that loved darknesse rather then light, because their deeds were evill. None hate the light of Gods truth, more then such as are possessed with errours, as with familiar spirits, e∣specially when they have been found to play the Apostates from Gods truth. Whe∣ther I have dashed my selfe upon the rocks of Austins censure, by contradicting any Scripture that he hath brought, or only his corrupt and vile interpretation and ac∣commodation of them, let the indifferent judge. Yet what more plain then this, Gods purpose of election is not of works; especially compared with the manner how Saint Paul proves it. What more plain then this? God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. It is apparent he utterly declines the criticall point of these contro∣versies, which is as touching Gods giving grace, even the grace of faith and repen∣tance; and of what spirit that savoureth let every one judge. As for interpreting any place, we doe not abridge his liberty in interpreting it after what manner he thinks good, but we are ready to weigh it, and if we find it too light, to esteem of it as it deserves: neither doe we refuse to take into consideration, what he or any of his com∣plices are pleased to insist upon.

Page  121

DISCOURSE. The Second sort of Arguments Convincing drawn from Gods Attributes.

SECT. I. As touching the Generall.

SEcondly it fights with some principall Attributes of God, therefore it cannot be true. For God useth not to make decrees contrary to his own glorious nature, and incompatible with those excellent Attributes, by which he hath discovered part of himselfe to men.

Two things are here to be premised.

1. That Gods chief Attributes are those perfections, in the manifestation of which by acts con∣formable to them, God is most glorified, which are Mercy, Justice, Truth, &c. For God is more ho∣noured by the exercise of these amongst men, then by the putting forth of his unlimited power and Soveraignty; as a King is more renowned among his Subjects, for his clemency, equity, candid and faire dealing, then for his Dominion and Authority, or any thing that is done only for the manife∣station thereof. And there is good reason for it. For,

1. Power is no vertue, but mercy, justice, and truth are; acts of power are not Morally good of themselves, but are made good or evill by their concomitants: if they be accompanied with ju∣stice, mercy, &c. they are good, if otherwise, they are naught. For justum oportet esse quod laudem meretur.

2. Power and Soveraignty may as well be shewed in barbarous and unjust actions, as in their contraries. Saul shewed his authority and power to the full, in slaying the Lords Priests, and Ne∣buchadnezzar in casting the three Children into the fiery furnace, and Daniell into the Lyons Denne; but no mercy, nor justice, nor any thing else that was good.

2. The second thing that is to be preconsidered is, that justice, mercy, and truth in God, are the same in nature with those vertues in men, though infinitely different in degree (as light in the aire, is the same with light in the Sunne in nature, not in degrees) and that which is just, mercifull, and upright in men, is so in God too. And by these vertues in our selves, and such acts as are conforma∣ble to them, tanquam ex pede Herculem, we may safely measure the same in God: For otherwise these things would follow.

1. The common and received distinction of Divine Attributes, into communicable and incom∣municable, would fall to the ground: for against it this night be said, that the mercy, justice, truth, and other vertues that are in us, are not Gods perfections in a lower degree communicated to us, but things of a different nature.

2. Men cannot be truly said, to be made after Gods image, Gen. 1. 27. Nor when they are regene∣rated, to be renewed after the same image, Col. 3. 10. And to be made partakers of the Divine na∣ture, 2 Pet. 1. 4. That Picture cannot be the picture of such a man, which doth not in its parts and lineaments clearly resemble him; nor can we be truly the image of God, in respect of our graces, if in these graces there be not a resemblance of Gods Attributes.

3. We may not safely imitate God, as we are commanded; Be you perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, Math. 5. 48. and be ye holy as I am holy. Nor when we shew forth mercy, justice, and truth in our actions, can we be properly said to imitate God, if these be one thing in God, and in men another.

These two things being thus premised, viz. that Gods mercy, justice, and truth, are three of his chief Attributes, in the exercise of which he takes himselfe to be much glorified, and that we are to measure these Attributes by the same vertues in ourselves. I come to the proofe of my second reason against absolute reprobation, which is, that it opposeth some of Gods principall Attributes, particularly his justice, mercy, and truth.

Page  122
TWISSE. Consideration.

I Cannot but wonder at the performances of the true Author of this Discourse, in comparing that which goes before, with that which comes after; His poverty of argumentation out of Scripture, and the exuberancy of his discourse follow∣ing. Before he was in some straits, but now he seems to have gotten Sea roome e∣nough: yet this is my comfort, I seem to perceive out of what chimney all this smoak proceeds, and to be as well acquainted with the spirit that breatheth here, as if I were at his elbow while he penned it. Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae: such like are Doctor Jacksons discourses; and him I have known of old, and his Ephestion also; I professe willingly of Scholar acquaintance, they were my greatest and dearest; But seeing it hath pleased God to put such a difference between us; I would have both them and the World know, I doe as little regard them as feare them.

Arminius himselfe is never more plausible, then in such like extravagant discour∣ses as a positive Theologue: But these inspirations were never derived from him; they are flowers of another garden. These have been shapen in a more Philosophicall brain whereof some having gotten the reputation, give Oracles therehence, first to forme interpretations of Scriptures, in congruity to these Theorems, as the true Author blusheth not to professe; which when he hath perswaded the World of, I see no cause to the contrary, but he may adventure a degree farther, and perswade the burning of the Bible, so farre as it concerneth the Doctrine of Predestination and Reprobation, Grace and Free-will, and content themselves with these magisteriall precepts, as most sufficient and soveraigne for the endoctrinations of the Christian World in these poynts. But he might have spared his pains in proving this consequence, that if our Do∣ctrine of Reprobation be contradictory to Gods principall attributes it cannot be true. I say he might have spared the proofe hereof, for all that he brings in proofe of this is but darknesse in comparison of the domesticall light, and selfe-evidence, which this consequence carryeth with it. His premises here, and discourse thereof is like unto the Turkes parly before the encounter, when he challenged any one of Scanderbegs army to a sin∣gle combate. For as that parley was meerely complementall, and to no purpose, save only, as he might conceit, to abate the fervor of his opposite, who longed to be dealing with him; so this introduction, I find to be of no Scholasticall use in the world, but meerely Politick, to work some impression upon the readers affections, where by it may come to passe, that when he reads of Gods mercy and justice, as here it is set forth, he may be the more enclined to judge thereof, according to the genius of hu∣man mercy and justice. Yet I am content to give my selfe to be wrought upon by these pretty contemplations, as farre as I shall be convicted of any truth and sobriety in them: though I willingly professe I am very suspicious (for I love to betray my infirmities) that there is little or no truth and sobriety at all in them.

1. Now because he hopes to hatch much advantage unto his cause out of these attributes, and to that purpose he sitts very long upon them, though his market may be never the better for all that. He tells us these are Gods chief attributes, and as it appeareth by that which followeth, his practice is to disparage his power (which I call the Lords Soveraignty) in comparison to these; Now it seems they are chiefe in∣deed in his opinion, for the furthering of his cause; but as for any absolute chiefty they have in God, I am not as yet acquainted therewith, what I may be by this Au∣thors performances I know not; yet in the next page save one, he professeth expresse∣ly, That all Gods excellencies are infinitely good, and one is not greater then another; wherein I doe much approve his judgement, as savouring of more depth then this, which yet I think not that he, who pretends to be the Author of this discourse, in respect of his minority, should be likely to broach; as for other respects of principality, I shall be ready to take notice of them in due place. But when he saith, God is most glorified in the manifestation of mercy, justice, and truth, it is a very odde phrase: For it is one thing to be glorious, another thing to be glorified; dare he deny that God is as glorious in Page  123 his power and soveraignty, as in his mercy, justice, and truth? As for the glorifying of him, that depends upon the will of the creature. It may be some are more thank∣full unto God, for blessing them with health, and riches, and honour, and prefer∣ment; then for bestowing his Gospell upon them; but will it follow herehence, that his goodnesse in giving riches, &c. is more glorious then his goodnesse is seen in gi∣ving us his Word and Gospell? We read that when God laid the foundations of the earth, the Starres of the morning praised God together, and all the children of God rejoyced, Job. 38. 7. did these Angells glorify God for his mercy, justice, and truth, in the creating of them? We read sometimes of Gods power, sometimes of his wisdome manifested in the Creation, as Jer. 10. 11. and 51. 11. and Psal: 136. 5. Jer. 10. 12. &c. But no where have I read (that I can remember) he made the World by his mercy, ju∣stice, or truth; and Revel. 4. 11. I find the glory of power given unto God in the creation, by the 24 Elders, but neither there, nor any where else (that I know) is the glory of his mercy, justice, and truth, given unto God therein. Thou art worthy O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy will sake, they have bee and are created. And albeit men faile in giving God the glory of his pow∣er and wisdome as they should, will it follow herehence, that God is not so much to be glorified for his power and wisdome, as for mercy, justice, and truth? yet who falles in this, that failes not in the use of the Lords Prayer; the conclusion whereof is this, For thine is the Kingdome, and power, and glory? And indeed albeit Power and Wis∣dome may be shewed other waies, then in the way of mercy, justice, and truth; yet Gods mercy, justice, and truth, cannot be shewed without the simultaneous demon∣stration of his power and wisdome: And therefore when God comes to make good his gracious promise, for the delivering of Israel out of Egypt: which cannot be de∣nied to have been a singular work of mercy, justice, and truth; the Lord professeth that then he would make himselfe known unto them by the name, Jehovah, by which name he was not known before. The Incarnation of the Sonne of God, was it not an admirable work, as well in the way of power, and wisdome, as in the way of mer∣cy, justice, and truth? I am apt to confound Gods justice with his truth, ere I am a∣ware, without having that awfull regard to the authority of this writer, as perhaps may seem fit: But I hope it is a pardonable fault, considering my education hitherto in divinity; whereby I have attained only thus farre, to the acknowledgement of ju∣stice Divine; for justice consisteth, in giving every one his due; now this due being ei∣ther in respect of God, or the creature: Justice Divine in giving God his due, Aquinas hath taught me, that it is all one with Gods wisdome, promoting his ends by con∣gruous means; justice Divine in giving the creature his due, I have learnt to depend wholy on Gods determination, manifested by his promises and threatnings, and this is commonly called justitia fidelitatis, which I take to be all one with truth. But I am very willing to be better informed by this Author, and I give my selfe to his contem∣plations, to have my thoughts fashioned by them as they can; and if hitherto they have not transformed me into a new Creed, I cannot help that. Now if it be so that Gods power and wisdome accompany the demonstration of his mercy, justice, and truth, I cannot see how God is honoured more by the exercise of the one sort, then of the other, but rather on the contrary. So that albeit a King is more renowned a∣mong his Subjects, for his clemency, equity, candid and faire dealing, then for his do∣minion and authority; yet I doe not easily perceive, how God is renowned more for his clemency, equity, &c. then for his power, &c. yet again this seems to me a very poore argument; to conclude Clemency to be a chiefe attribute of God, because men doe more magnify him for that, then for his Power. For consider, a Malefactor going to execution, is called back and saved by the Kings pardon, this man (be sure) will magnify the King more for his clemency in saving him, then he would for his justice in putting him to death: but will it follow herehence, that Clemency is a more chiefe attribute of a King then justice? Solomon the greatest of Kings hath said, the Throne is established by Justice: and it was wont to be said, fiat justitia, ruat orbis. No such thing is said of Mercy. Then again the King could not doe this but by vertue of his prerogative, yet the Malefactor magnifies him not for his prerogative, but for the favourable use of it for his good, for that is all he respects: yet aske I pray any man of judgement, which is the chiefer attribute of a King, and more glorious of the two; his prerogative or his clemency? Clemency is a very vulgar vertue, but the royall pre∣rogative is peculiar to one; A Thiefe after a robbery committed on the high-way, Page  124 meeting with a begger that beggeth a penny, if he astonish him with the gift of twelve pence, the begger is very likely more highly to magnify him, then any honest man going on the way, that bestowes but an halfe penny upon him; yet, Whose liberality is the greater of the two? Carnall men renowne others for the benefit they receive by them; not according to their true worth: yet there is a farther difference; hu∣mane authority may be abused, and Soveraignty on earth is not alwaies joyned with good Morality, much lesse with Piety; but in case a man could not sinne, the more honour and authority is laid upon him, the more glorious should he be; as be∣ing backt with the greater power to execute his goodnesse. Thus it is with God, it is impossible he should abuse his soveraignty; yea his mercy and justice are one and the same reality with his power: what a vanity then is it to discourse as this Author doth, in preferring one attribute of God before another, as if God were more glo∣rious in the one then in the other. But he hath farther reasons for this, let us consider them: 1. Power (saith he) is no vertue, nor morally good, but mercy justice and truth are. I answer: Though it be so, yet who will say, the glory of vertue is greater then the glo∣ry of power?

2. Especially considering, that vertue is common to the meanest.

3. A little vertue joyned with power, shall bring forth farre better fruits, then a great deale of vertue without power.

4. Though it be so in man, whose power may be abused, shall we transferre it to God, whose power cannot be abused, his power and his goodnesse being all one?

5. Morall vertues denote a goodnesse removeable where it is, obtainable where it is not; but no such goodnesse can be found in God, and consequently no Morall vertue in proper speech, whatsoever is in him, that being naturall and essentiall unto him.

6. Lastly, to power only and soveraignty we owe obedience, and not to good∣nesse, and jurisdiction is farre more glorious then subjection. Yet by the way it is un∣true (in my judgement) that acts of Power are made good by being accompanied with justice, speaking of Morall goodnesse; as acts of vertue alone they are morally good, not as acts of power. If justum oportet esse quod laudem meretur; then justice if not alone, yet chiefly, shall be that whereby one is renowned: yet herehence it followes, that every act of Gods power shall laudem mereri; because it is impossible that any thing he doth should be otherwise then just, such a justitia condecentiae followeth all his actions; o∣therwise we must grant, that God hath power to doe that which is unjust.

2. And accordingly, though power humane and Angelicall, may be shewed in barbarous actions: yet power Divine cannot; let him doe whatsoever he is able, it shall not be unjust; let God turne all the World into nothing, another manner of destruction then that of Sauls slaying the Lords Priests, or Netuchadnezzars casting the three Children into the fiery Furnace, yet dares this Author say, that God herein should be unjust.

I come to the second of his premises.

2. We have had a tast of this Authors faculty in roaving at large, and within the Horizon of his own braine, we shall drink a deeper draught of it ere we part. And once again I willingly professe, it cannot enter into my beliefe, that these conceits have dropt from the fancy of a young Divine; some old beaten Naturalist rather doth imploy his braine to doe the Arminians this service. I never found hitherto that Arminius, or any of his Batavian followers have thus discoursed, that justice, mer∣cy, and truth in God, are the same in nature, with those vertues in men, though infinitely differing in degree. I conceive Arminius (though wild enough in his 20 reasons, and especial∣ly in his reasons drawn from the consideration of Gods justice) to be more Ortho∣doxe, and farre more Scholasticall then so; though I nothing doubt, we have a ge∣neration amongst us that affect to have all learning in Divinity, to goe by their rules of Philosophy, and yet the basest Philosophy I think that ever was devised. And this Author whosoever he be, seems herein to discourse after such a manner, as if he were of the number of those that heard the Devill read Lectures through a grate in the U∣niversity of Toledo. If justice mercy and truth in God, are the same in nature, with those vertues that are in men, then there is something in man, that is the very essence of God; For undoubtedly whatsoever is in God, is of his essence; yet those are they that attribute Manicheisme unto us. And seeing the vertues of man are accidents, it followes that that, which under the same name is attributed to God, is either an accident in God; Page  125 or if it be his essence, then the essence of God, is of the same nature with accidents in man.

Thirdly; hence it followes, that the Divine perfections consist of degrees, and con∣sequently must needs be accidentall unto him, not substantiall; for substance ad∣mits no degrees.

Fourthly; if justice humane be of the same nature with justice Divine, it followeth, not only that, that which is just in man is just with God, but that it must be after the same manner just; that like as mens justice consisteth in obedience to Gods law, implying subjection thereunto: So justice Divine must consist in obedience to Gods law implying subjection. And like as man is obliged to be just, in the same manner God is obliged to be just. And consequently like as Soul sinned and became unjust in slaying the Lords Priests, so had God been unjust in doing the like.

Fiftly; man sinneth in suffering his brother to sinne, when it lies in his power to keepe him from sinne; and consequently, if that which is unjust with man is unjust with God, God sinneth as often as he suffereth any sinne to be committed in the world, for undoubtedly he could prevent it. August. contra Julian. Pelag. lib. 5. cap. 4. Nos certe, si eos, in quos nobis potestas est ante oculos nostros, perpetrare scelera permittamus, rei cum ipsis erimus: Quam vero innumerabilia illa permitit fieri ante oculos suos; quae uti{que} si voluisset, nullâ ratione permitteret, But let us see how he proves this, for he adventures upon it like a tall fellow, and that with variety of demonstration.

1. The first is drawn from the received distinction of divine Attributes, namely into such as are communicable unto the creature, and such as are incommunicable; but here he conceales his Authority. But let him bring forth the testimony of any Divine, that maintains any Attribute Divine to be the same quoad nomen & nominis rationem, with any Attribute humane. Yet we may talke of Gods Attributes so, as for distinction sake to say, some are such as are also Attributed to man, others are not; without maintaining, that humane vertues are of the same nature with Attribute Divine. Life is a Divine Attribute, it is also attributed to man, to a beast, to a plant; But will any wise man say that the life of God is of the same nature with the life of a Man, of a Beast, of a Plant? What more equivocall then the word Canis? Attributed to a Starre, to a Fish, to a Foure-footed creature on the Earth; I answer much more equivocall is e∣very thing in common attributed to God and Man; For whatsoever is in God, is his Essence, but between the Essence of God, and the essence of Man, there is a vaster difference, then between the essence of a Starre, of a Fish, of a Dogge; how much more difference is there between the Essence of God, and an accident in man, such as his vertues are. In a word, the vertue of Man is of an annihila∣ble condition, and if it be of the same nature with something in the nature of God, why should not something in the nature of God be of an annihila∣ble condition? I marvaile not if men of this generation are apt to professe that they will turne Atheists rather then concurre in some poynts with the Contra-Remonstrants; for their discourses breath Atheisme in a very high degree. It is a question among Schoolemen, whether Ens (the most abstract notion of all other) be predicated univocally of God and the creature; the Do∣minicans utterly deny it; Scotus maintains the contrary with some curiosity of ar∣gumentation: but his Arguments are answered by the Dominicans and particularly by Versor on the Metaphysicks; but never, I think, was it heard of Scotus or any other (till now) that the vertues of man are of the same nature with the Divine Attributes, differing only in degree.

I come to his second Argument.

2. It was wont to be accounted that man was the image of God, not in respect of the qualities of his mind and will only, but even in respect of his Essence also; And some have been anciently condemned for denying this: why then doe we not say that the Essence of man is of the same nature with the Essence of God differing only in degree. In the next place the power of understanding and liberty of will in man a bodily creature, brings him nearest to God, of all bodily creatures: it was wont to be said that all other creatures had ve∣stigia Dei, but man was imago Dei; as in whom is represented the Divine Nature as intelligent and free; so farre forth, as a compound creature of Page  126 body and soule can represent him; but who hath ever said that the understanding of God was of the same nature with the understanding of man: and the will of God of the same nature with the will of man? It is well known that the under∣standing, and will humane, are but naturall faculties in man; but the under∣standing and will Divine, is the very essence of God; and if mans essence be not of the same nature with his faculties, doth it become us to professe that the essence of God is of the same nature with the naturall faculties of man? As for the graces of Gods spirit, what are these but the three Theo∣logicall vertues; all other are but Morall vertues sanctified by these; Now shew me what Faith there is in God of the same nature with our Faith dif∣fering only in degree? What hope there is in God of the same nature with our hope, differing only in degree, what charity there is in God of the same nature with our Charity, differing only in degree. These indeed being of all other the most peculiar fruits of regeneration, whereby we are renewed after the image of God, as touching the adventitious qualification of our natures, should have Attributes divine answerable unto them (if any) of the same na∣ture with them, differing only in degree. Yet herein (as I conceive) consists not so much our participation of the Divine Nature, as in that, the Spirit of God the Fa∣ther, and God the Sonne is communicated unto us, given unto us to be the immedi∣ate fountain of all actions and motions spirituall in us.

3. And albeit these Attributes, which in common doe denominate God and man, are one thing in God, and in man another: yet this nothing derogates from our imitation of God; and striving to be perfect and holy in our kind as creatures; like as God is perfect and holy in his kind as Creator. And that I may represent some authority for my discourse, whereas this Author represents none for his, it is a poynt generally received in the Schooles, that in this weaknesse of our understanding, we come to know what God is by negation rather then by af∣firmation. Capreolus upon the first of the Sentences Dist. 2. Quest. 1. rehearseth diverse passages out of Aquinas to this purpose, as out of 1. Contra Gentes cap. 14.

In consideratione Divinae substantiae prae∣cipue utendum est via remotionis. Nam Divi∣na substantia omnem formam quam intelle∣ctus noster attingit, suâ excedit immensita∣te. Et sic ipsam apprehendere non pessumus, cognoscendo quid est, sed aliqualiter ejus noti∣tiam habemus, cognoscendo quid non est; tan∣tóque ejus notitiae magis appropinquamus, quanto plura per intellectum nostrum poterimus ab eo removere. Tanto enim unumquodque perfectiùs cognoscitur, quanto differentias e∣jus ab alio pleniùs intuemur. Quià in consi∣deratione Divinae substantiae non possumus accipere quid, quasi genus, nec distinctionem ab aliis rebus per differentias affirmativas ac∣cipere possumus; eam oportet accipere per differentias Negativas. Id. 3. Contra gen∣tes cap. 47. Per effectus Dei pertingere pos∣sumus ut cognoscamus de Deo, quia est, & quod causa aliorum est, aliis supereminens & ab omnibus remotus: & hoc est ultimum & perfectissimum nostrae cognitionis in hac vitâ, ut Dionysius dixit. lib. de Mysticâ Theologiâ. Cum Deo quasi ignoto conjungimur, quod quidem contingit, cùm de Deo, quid non sit, cognosci∣mus, quid vero sit penitùs manet ignotum: unde & ad hujusmodi sublimissimae cognitionis ignorantiam demonstrandam, dicitur de Mose Exod, 20. quod accessit ad caliginem in qua Deus er at.

In the consideration of the Divine Es∣sence, we must chiefly use the way of ne∣gation: for the Divine Essence, through its immensity, doth exceed every forme that our understanding can conceive: So that we cannot apprehend it by knowing what it is; but after a sort we have the knowledge thereof, by knowing what it is not. And so much nearer doe we ap∣proach to the knowledge thereof, the more we are able to remove from the na∣ture of God. For every thing is known so much the more perfectly by how much the more at full we doe behold how it differ∣eth from other things. Now in the consi∣deration of the Divine essence, we cannot take any thing as the Genus thereof; nei∣ther can we apprehend its distinction from other things, by differences affirmative; and therefore we must apprehend it by dif∣ferences negative. The same Thomas in his Third Book Contra Gent. cap. 47. By the effects of God (saith he) we may at∣tain to know that God is, and that he is the cause of other things eminent above them, and removed from them all: and this is the last and most perfect degree of our knowledge in this life, as saith Diony∣sius in his Book of Mysticall Divinity: We are conjoyned with God as unknown which verily comes to passe, when we know of God what he is not, but Page  127 what he is it remains utterly unknown un∣to us; and therefore to demonstrate our ignorance of this most sublime knowledge, it is said of Moses Exod. 20. that he came un∣to the darknesse where God was.

The same Capreolus proceeds to shew out of Aquinas in 1 Sent. Dist. 8. q. 1. art. 1. ad 4. How we must make progresse in our knowledge of God, by way of remotion or negation.

Quando, inquit, in divinis procedimus per viam remotionis, primò negamus corporalia, & Secundò intellectualia, secundum quod inve∣niuntur in creaturis, ut bonitas & sapientia, & tunc remanet in intellectu Quod est, & ni∣hil amplius, unde est, sicut in quadam confusi∣one.

When (saith he) we proceed by way of remotion, or negation, in searching out the Divine nature, first we deny of him all corporall things, and secondly we deny of him all intellectuall things, after such a sort as they are found in the creatures, as godnesse and wisdome, (mark this well for these and such like are the vertues which this Author saith are of the same nature in God and man differing only in de∣gree) and then there remains in the understanding, id quod est (as much as to say 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Ens) and nothing more; and hence the understanding remains as in a certain confusion.

And indeed the notion of entity is most generall, most abstract, and if any notion signifies one and the same nature, such as may be affirmed of God and the creature, surely this is it. Now observe Aquinas his judgement concerning this, out of the same Capreolus in these words.

Ad ultimum autem, Essentiam ipsam, secun∣dum quod est in creatur is, ab ipso removemus, & tunc remanet (intellectus noster) in quadam tenegrâ ignorantiae; secundum quam ignoran∣tiam, quantum ad statum viae pertinet, opti∣me Deo conjungimur, ut Dionysius dicit, & haec est caligo in qua Deus habitare di∣citur.

To the last (I answer) the very entity or existence in the creatures we remove from God, and then our understanding remains in the darknesse of ignorance; according to which ignorance, so farre forth as it pertains to our condition (as Viatores) and in the way, we are conjoyned with God in the best manner; as Denis saith: and this is the darknes, wherein God is said to dwell.

By this let any man judge, whether this Authors discourse be not as opposite to the discourse of Aquinas, as touching the nature of God in resemblance to ours, as the Antipodes are to us. And withall I doe not find throughout his discourse fol∣lowing, that he makes any use of these premises. And indeed there is no need of them at all: For if he cannot prove this Doctrine of ours repugnant either to Gods Mercy, or to his Truth, or to his Justice, these premises will stand him in no stead: and if he can prove it to be repugnant to those Attributes of his, his argument shall stand in the same force, as well without these premises as with them.

Now, how well he makes good the repugnancy of our Doctrine to Gods mercy, we are in the next place to consider.

Page  128
DISCOURSE. SECT. II. As touching the First Speciall. Gods Mercy.

1. IT opposeth Gods mercy. God is mercifull. It is a great part of his Title. Exod. 34. 6. Mer∣cifull and gracious. He is mercy in the abstract: 1 John 4. 16. God is love. A Father of mercies, and God of all consolations. 2 Cor. 1. 3. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Saviour of men. 1 Tim. 4. 10. Two waies is the mercy of God spoken of in Scripture, 1. absolutely, 2. comparatively. 1. Absolutely; and so it is set out in lofty and stately termes; its called rich mercy. Ephes. 2. 4. Great kindnesse. John 4. 2. A∣bundant mercy. 1 Pet. 1. 3. Love without height or depth, bredth or length, or any dimensions: love passing knowledge. Ephes. 3. 18, 19.

2. Comparatively. It is compared with his own justice, and with the love that dwells in the creatures, and is advanced above both.

1. It is sometimes compared with his justice, and advanced above that, not in respect of its es∣sence; for all Gods excellencies are infinitely good, and one is not greater then another; but in o∣ther things that concerne the expressions of it, particularly in these,

1. In the naturalnesse and dearnesse of it unto God. It is said of mercy, Mich. 7. 18. It pleaseth him, or he delights in mercy, but justice and judgement is called his strange work, alienum a natu∣râ suâ. Isai. 28. 21. He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. Lam. 3. 33.

2. In the frequent exercise of it selfe, Exod. 34. 6. He is slow to anger but abundant in goodnesse. Mercies are bestowed every day, judgements inflicted but now and then, sparingly, and after a long time of forbearance, when there is no remedy. 2 Chron. 36. 15. All the day long have I stretched out my hands to a gainsaying and rebellious people. Isai. 65. 2. that is, I have been patient a long time, and in that long day I have not been idle, but employed in exhortations, promises, and many mer∣cies, whereby I might doe you good. God waits long for mens conversion, as the Marriner for the turning of the wind.

3. In its amplitude or objects to whom it is extended. Exod 20. 5. Visiting the iniquities of Fa∣thers upon their children to the third and fourth generation, but shewing mercy to thousands: implying that his mercy is more largely extended then his justice and that look how much three or foure come short of a thousand, so much doth his justice come short of his mercy in exercise of it.

4. In the occasions that move God to exercise them: It is a great matter that moves God to pu∣nish, as we may see, Gen. 6. 5, 6, 7, 12, 13. When the wickednesse of man was great upon the earth, and all flesh had corrupted his way then God thinks of punishment. He would not destroy the Amorites, till their wickednesse was full, Gen. 15. 16. Quoties volui (saith Christ to Jerusalem) Math. 23. 37. How often would I have gathered you, that is, I have not taken advantages against you: nor upon the first, second, or third unkindnesse cast you off, small matters have not moved me to destroy thee O Jerusalem. But how small an occasion doth God take to spare man? When God had examined Sodome, and found their sinnes to be answerable to their crye, yet then for tenne righteous mens sakes would he have spared Sodome. Gen 18. 32. Nay, he would have spared Je∣rusalem, if the Prophet by searching, could have found one man that did execute judgement, and seek the truth Jer. 5. 1. What a small and slender Humiliation made him to spare wicked A∣hab and his house a long time. 1 King. 21. 29. And the repentance of Neneve, whose wickednesse cryed to the Lord for vengeance; Jonas. 2. did easily procure her a pardon.

Thus is Gods Mercy advanced above his justice.

2. It is also compared with the affection of a Father to his Sonne, of a tender mother to her child, and of the most affectionate brute creatures to their young ones, and set above them all. It goes beyond a Fathers affection to his Sonne. Matth. 7. 11. If you that are evill, can give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to them that aske him? What doth this [quando magis] imply? but that Gods love outstrips a Fathers? and so it doth a Mothers too, Isai. 49. 15. Can a Woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the Sonne of her wombe? yea she may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Women are compassionate towards their Children, because they are the fruit of their wombes, and are a part of themselves: but most indulgent are they toward those children to whom they are Nurses, as well as Mothers, to their sucking children: and yet Wo∣men may forget their children, their sucking children: but as for God, he can never forget his chil∣dren. And as if those comparisons were too small to expresse Gods affection to his creatures, he pro∣ceeds farther, and compares himselfe, with one of the most affectionate Females among unreasonable * creatures, the [Hen] Math. 23. 37. O Jerusalem Jervsalem, how oft would I have gathered thee, as a Hen gathereth her chicken under her wings? No bird (saith August.) expresseth such tender love to her Page  129 young ones, as the Hen doth. Videmus nidificare Passeres quoslibet, ante oculos nostros, herundines, circoni∣as, columbas quotidie videmus nidificare, quos nisi quando in nidis videmus, parentes esse non agnoscimus. Gal∣lina vero sic infirmatur in pullis suis, ut etiamsi ipsi pulli non sequantur, filios non videas, matrem tamen intel∣liges: Ita fit alis demissis, plumis hispida, voce rauca, omnibus membris demissa & abjecta, ut (quemadmo dum dixi) et si filios non videas matrem tamen intelligas. No Fowles discover themselves to be Mothers, so much as Hennes doe: others when we see them in their nest with their young, we know them to be Mothers, but no way else: but the Hen discovers her selfe to be so, even then when her Chickens doe not follow her, her feathers stand up, her wings hang downe, she clocks mournfully, and goes feebly; so that we may know her to be a Mother, when yet we cannot see her brood. He hath also such an∣other speech in another place, and concludes it with these Words, Quare ergo Dominus, nisi propter*hoc, Gallina esse voluit, in sanctâ Scripturâ dicens. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, quoties volui te congregare ut gallina, &c. Our Lord and Saviour did therefore compare himselfe to a Hen, rather then any other creature, because of her singular expressions of love to her young ones, even when they are out of her sight.

By these things we see how highly the Scriptures speak of Gods mercy, especially in the expressi∣ons of it to Mankind; To which testimonies let me adde these few more, Psal. 8. 4. Lord what is man that thou art mindfull of him, &c. Prov. 8. 31. In the children of men did the wisdome of God delight him∣selfe, when the foundations of the earth were appoynted. He took not the nature of Angells but the seed of A∣braham. Heb. 2. 16. When the bountifulnesse and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared. Tit. 3. 4. (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) the originall word is: where doe we read of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. More mercifull is God to man, then to all other creatures.

With such a mercy cannot stand such a decree; absolute Reprobation being once granted, we may (me thinks) more properly call God a Father of cruelties, then of mercies, and [hatred then of love:] and the Devills names, [Satan and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉] an adversary, a destroyer may be fitter for him then 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a Saviour; which I tremble to think. Doth mercy please him, when he of his own will only hath made such a decree, as shewes farre more severity towards poore men, then mercy? Is he slow to anger, when he hath taken such a small and speedy occasion to punish the greater part of men in Hell torments for ever, and for one sinne once committed, hath shut up the greater part of men under invincible unbelief and damnation? Is his mercy abundant, doth it extend it selfe farther then justice, when it is tackt up so short, limited to a few chosen ones, when 100 for one at least, (take in all parts of the World) are unavoidably cast away, out of his only will and pleasure? Or doth his love passe knowledge, when we see daily greater love then this in men and other creatures? What Father and Mother (that have not only cast off Fatherhood and Motherhood, but humanity too) (so the Authors Copy hath it) would determine their children to certain death, or to cruell torments worse then death, for one only offence, and that committed too, not by them in their own persons, but by some other, and only imputed unto them? How much lesse would they give them∣selves to beget Children, and bring them forth, that they might bring them to the rack, fire, gallowes, and such like tortures and deaths?

But to deliver things a little more closely. Foure things (in my conceit) being well and distinctly considered, doe make it apparent, that this decree is incompatible with Gods mercy.

1. That Adams sinne was the sinne of mans nature only, and no mans personall transgression but Adams; it was neither committed, nor consented to by any of his posterity in their own persons.

2. That it was the sinne of our nature, not by generation, for then the sinnes of our Grand-fa∣thers and Fathers, would be our sinnes also, because we come from them: and they would be our sinnes so much the more, by how much nearer we are to the stock, from which we doe immediatly spring, then to the first root and common Father of Mankind. It is the sinne of our nature by impu∣tation only, it was Gods will that he should stand up for a publique person, and that in him all men should stand or fall. This is generally granted by Divines, and particularly by that excellent servant of God M. Calvin. Ne{que} enim factum est (saith he) ut a salute exciderant ommes unius parentis culpâ. And a little after (he saith) Hoc cum naturae nequeat ascribi, ab admirabili Dei consilio profectum esse minimè ob∣scurum est. And a little after, thus: unde factum est, ut tot gentes uuà cum earum liberis, infantibus, aeter∣na morte involveret lapsus Adae abs{que} remedio, nisi quia Deo it à visum est.

3. That God did pardon it in Adam, who did actually and voluntarily commit it in his own person.

4. That Christ came into the World to take away peccatum mundi, the sinne of the World. Ioh. 1. 29. That God either did or might have satisfied his wronged justice in the blood of the Covenant for all man kind, and without any impeachment to justice, might have opened a way of Salvation to all and every man.

These things being well considered, will make no man (I think) to conclude in his thoughts, that if there be any such decree, God is not mercifull to man at all: much lesse is he more mercifull (sup∣posing this decree) to men, then he is to other creatures, but more sharpe and severe then he is to o∣ther creatures, to the Devills themselves.

1. To other creatures, because the most of men are determined by his omnipotent decree, to such a being, as is a thousand times worse then no being at all; whereas other creatures, even the basest of them, though they perhaps have but a contemptible being, yet they have such a beeing as is much better then no being at all: it is farre better not to be at all, then to be eternally miserable without any possibility of the contrary: for so saith our Saviour speaking of Judas: It had been good for that man if he never had been borne. Men would not have accepted of life and being, when first they entred * upon possession of it, if they had known upon what hard conditions it was to be tendred, and that it was to be charged with such an interest, as can no waies be recompensed by the benefits of life; or (did men firmely believe this decree) they would at adventure, with Job, curse their birth-day, be willingly released from the right of creatures, and desire that their immortall soules might vanish in∣to nothing. What Minutius saith of Pagans, might be truly affirmed of men in generall; Malunt ex∣tingui*penitus, quam ad supplicia reparari. Nay Parents out of pitty to their Children, would wish that Page  130 they might be borne Snakes and Toads, rather then men; and creatures, whose being shall at last be resolved into nothing, rather then immortall Spirits.

2. Then to the very Devills also, who are set forth in Scripture, to be the greatest spectacles of Gods wrath, and irefull severity. In one thing this decree makes most men and Devills equall, U∣tris{que} desperata salus, they are both sure to be damned; but in three things men are in a farre worse condition by it.

1. In their appoyntment to Hell, not for their own proper personall sinnes, for which the De∣vills suffer, but for the sinnes of another man, made theirs only By Gods order and pleasure.

2. In their inevitable destination to destruction, under a shew of the contrary. The Devills, as they are decreed to damnation, so they know it, they expect it, they look for no other: but men, even those that are appoynted unto wrath, are yet fed up with hopes of Salvation, and made to be∣lieve that the whole businesse is put into their hands; so as that if they doe perish, it is not [defe∣ctu misericordiae] because God hath no mercy on them, but [defeclu voluntatis propriae,] because they will not be saved, when yet there is no such mercy. Now if it be worse to be deluded in misery, then simply to be miserable, then the condition of men in this respect, is made by this decree to be worse then the state of Devills.

3. In their obligation to believe, and the aggravation of their punishment by not believing. The Devills, because they must be damned, are not commanded to believe in Christ, nor is their punish∣ment encreased by not believing: but poore men, who (by this decree) can scape Hell no more then the Devills, must yet be tied to believe in Christ, and must have their torments encreased if they believe not. These things being so (I think) I may conclude that this decree of absolute reprobation overthrowes the mercy of God in generall, and toward mankind.

Nor doth that quiet my mind, which is usually answered to these objections; viz. That God by this decree, doth fully manifest his justice and his mercy too; his justice towards the Reprobates, and his mercy toward the chosen vessells: and that it is necessary that his decrees shall be so ordered, as that both these may be clearly manifested by them. This (I say) doth not satisfy; for,

1. Gods mercy is revealed to be rich mercy, abundant, long suffering, beyond apprehension, and surmounting his justice, in its objects and expressions. Now such a mercy as this, set forth with such glorious titles, cloathed with such lovely properties, and exceeding the ability of any mans concepti∣on, such a mercy (I say) is not manifested by this decree.

2. Neither is the pure and spotlesse justice of God set forth by this absolute decree, as I now come to shew. this being my second argument, drawn from the Attributes of God, against absolute re∣probation.

TWISSE. Consideration.

HEre we have a great deale of noyse, and the most wastfull discourse that ever I yet met withall, in the enlarging of a most hungry argument; the answer whereunto himselfe perceives, and sets down (as he thinks good) in a few words, after three large leaves spent in the enlarging of his opposition; namely to this effect; that whatsoever he can say, in the advancing of Gods mercy we willingly acknowledge: but withall we say, this mercy of God which makes God so glorious, is peculiarly manifested towards the vessells of mercy, whom God hath prepared unto glory, in distinction from the vessells of wrath, as we read Rom. 9. 23. and that in a higher degree then he hath mentioned; this being one speciall end, why God suffereth with long patience, the vessells of wrath prepared to destruction, Rom. 9. 22. namely, That he might declare the riches of his glory upon the vessells of mercy, which he hath prepared unto glory, v. 23. And after so much froth of words spent to no pur∣pose unlesse to beguile his reader, and dull him with verbosity, that he might not at∣tend, and observe how accurately he performes in the issue, that which he intends. Consider (I beseech you) what a meager and starveling reply he puts to this. Gods mercy (saith he) is revealed to be rich mercy, abundant, long suffering, beyond apppehension; we grant all this, and adde that it is glorious also; and makes the partakers of it to re∣joyce, with joy unspeakable and glorious; but this belongs only to them that believe, and to certain who are called vessells of mercy, in distinction from vessells of wrath, Rom. 9. 22, 23. which vessells of mercy, in distinction from vessells of wrath, must needs be the e∣lect only, in distinction from Reprobates: with what face can he deny, that such a mercy is manifested on the Elect by our Doctrine?

2. I farther adde that such a mercy is not manifested by his Doctrine as by ours, for the glory of Gods mercy consists in this, that it is of free grace pardoning our sinnes, regenerating us, changing our hearts, giving faith and repentance to some, Page  131 when he denies it to others; all this I say is of meere grace, by our Doctrine without respect to any preparation or qualification in man; according to that of the Apostle, He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth: this is not their Doctrine, if it were, I see no cause of any materiall difference between us.

3. And I find it strange, that men should grow to such a degree of immodesty, as to affect singularity, and to shew a dexterity, in such sort to advance Gods mercy, as to obscure and deface his grace, as this Author doth; for all along you shall not find him to magnify Gods free grace: whereas Mercy shewed to one rather then to another, in respect of his being better disposed for the receiving of it more then ano∣ther, is rather of the nature of justice, then of Mercy distinct from justice.

4. And to this purpose he takes no pains to set down, wherein this mercy con∣sists, which he so much amplifies, but carryeth it throughout in hugger mugger, and in the clouds of generality, that it might appeare the more likely, to be indifferent∣ly extended to all; and albeit sometimes he expresseth it, to be the love of a Father towards his children, yet it is too too probable, that he extends this to all and every one, as the children of God by creation; And therefore particulates not wherein it consists, as namely whether in mercy temporall or spirituall; and as touching mer∣cy spirituall, whether this be not the pardoning of mens sinnes, together with the il∣lumination of the mind, sanctification of the will, change of the heart, and giving of faith, repentance, obedience, and finall perseverance therein. For had he particula∣ted those, he had apparently marred his own market, and been driven to loose that in retaile, which he hoped to gaine in grosse; For these mercies are not extended to all. But their meaning is, God offers these to all, and that any faile of them, it is be∣cause man disposeth not himselfe for the receiving of them. This is the issue of his advancing Gods mercy, utterly to disparage the freedome of Gods grace. Now of the Divine mercy in this sense, to wit, as freely extended to all, he hath not one word throughout, as I can remember, in so vast premises; all that he speaks of the ex∣tention of Gods mercy to variety of objects, is dispatched in three lines of these his three large leaves; as where he saith, his mercy is more largely extended then his justice, and that look how much three or foure come short of a thousand, so much doth his justice come short of his mercy in the exercise of it; And upon this poore interpretation, he grounds the only substantiall part of his reply, to our answer to this his argument. For to say that Gods mercy is rich, abundant, long suffering, beyond apprehension, is nothing to the pur∣pose. For all this hinders not, but that the application of it may be, and is, made on∣ly to certain vessells, who are called vessells of mercy, in distinction from vessells of wrath, Rom. 9. 22. 23. Therefore he addes, That it surmounts his justice in its objects and expressi∣ons: wherein what he means by its expressions, I know not. For I find no comparison made by him between Gods mercy and his justice in its expressions; but only in respect of the objects, and there the expression of justice, seems more quick then the expression of mercy: And as for the extention of mercy, to more then justice is extended to, he dispatcheth in three lines, as I said, of these three leaves of his discourse. But let us see what force he finds in that comparison to serve his turne. First he saieth the comparison is between three and foure on the one side, and a thousand on the other, as if the odds were a thousand to three or foure: but how doth he prove that? The Text compares three or foure generations to thousands; not to a thousand generati∣ons, but to thousands: and he boldly conceives it to be understood of thousands of generations; though it be much more then the World consists of, from the beginning of the World to the end of it: For suppose the World shall last seaven or eight thousand years; how many years will he allow to a generation? Suppose he allow but twenty, to explode the custome of the Germans of whom Tacitus writes, that Sera virginum venus, which to this day is continued: yet a thousand of such genera∣tions must make the World to consist of twenty thousand years: But if it consist but of seaven or eight thousand years, you must allow but seaven or eight years to a ge∣neration, to make up one thousand generations. Then againe the World was now two thousand years old when this was delivered, so that it had not above six thou∣sand years to continue, and accordingly but six years was from thenceforth to be al∣lowed to a generation; And all this liberality of allowance, is no more then will make the child a coat, to compleat one thousand generations; whereas the Text speaks of thousands in the plural number, and the least of plurality is two thousand; so that to help this, we must allow but three years to a generation, by which account Page  132 they had need be married at two, and have a child at three, and who then should rock the cradle? But leave we these fooleries, and content our selves with the plain Text, and not piece it out with our brainsick additions. We know that for Abrahams sake who feared him, and for the covenants sake he made with him, he had mercy on thousands of his posterity, to bring them out of Egypt, six hundred thousand men from twenty years old to threescore, and take them unto him to be his peculiar peo∣ple, which continued for the space of about 1600 years; and now for 1600 years they have been cast off from being his people. And of the goodnesse of God towards Abraham, in choosing his seed after him, even many thousands of them, the Jewes had sensible experience that very day he spake unto them from Mount Sinai; he did not mean to trouble their braines with any Algebra in counting up a thousand generati∣ons. But suppose this were granted him; yet these that feare him, being only within the pale of his Church, what a small handfull were these, in comparison to all the world of heathens besides, that hated him? Marke what difference S. Paul puts be∣tween the Jewes and the Gentiles, when he saith, we Jewes by nature, not sinners of the Gentiles. Gal. 2. And the Psalmist before him Psal. 147. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel, he hath not dealt so with every nation, neither have they known his judgements. According whereunto the Apostle having demanded, saying, What is then the preferment of the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision? Answereth thus, Much e∣very way, and chiefly because unto them were committed the Oracles of God. Rom. 3. 1, 2. And the same Apostle doth not acknowledge the Gentiles to have obtained mercy at the hands of God, untill the time of their calling by the Ministry of the Gospell. Rom. 11. 30. in these words: Ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbeliefe. This might suffice for answer to this argument, taking it in the full strength thereof. But I am content to runne over the whole discourse, and to take every part of it into consideration.

1. He saith, God is mercy in the abstract, and Love. By this it is apparent that the Attributes Divine, are the very Essence Divine, otherwise they could not be predi∣cated thereof in the abstract, and consequently, they can no more be of the same nature with vertues Morall in us, then the Divine Essence can be of the same nature with an accident.

2. He is a Saviour of men; true, and it is as true: that he saveth both man and beast: and as for men, though he be a Saviour of them all, yet in speciall sort of them that be∣lieve.

3. When he saith of the love of Christ, that it is without height, and depth, and length, and breadth, he doth overlash: for the Apostles prayer is in the place quoted by him on the behalfe of the Ephesians, that Christ may dwell in their hearts by Faith, that being rooted and grounded in love, they may be able to comprehend with all Saints, what is the breadth and length, and depth, & height. For though the height of it be such, as is incomprehensible by us in this World, yet the Apostle supposeth an height, depth, length, and breadth thereof, rather then denies it.

4. He saith Gods Mercy is advanced above his Justice; not in respect of its essence, for all Gods excellencies are infinitely good, and one is not greater then another; but in things that con∣cerne the expressions of it. Here we have words, but can any wise man draw it to any so∣ber sense? What I pray is it to advance mercy above justice, in things that concerne the expressions of it?

He saith it is more naturall and deare to God then his justice: what reason is there for this, if the one be equally as excellent as the other? To make this good with some colour at least; he alleadgeth Mich. 7. 18. Mercy pleaseth him, or he delights in it. The like we read Jer. 9 24. namely, that God delights in mercy: and in the same place the Lord professeth joyntly, that he delights in judgement. But Isaiah 28. 21. Judgement is called his strange worke; Now three severall times, have I received this, from three severall hands of Arminians; each giving the same interpretation of it, as if it were called a strange work, because it is alienum a naturâ Dei. I know none but Papists doe justify them in this interpretation; in my judgement a most unreasonable exposition; the Lord taking unto himselfe the execution of judgement, as his peculiar, saying, venge∣ance is mine and I will repay; And Magistrates are but Gods Ministers for this; And he * professeth his delight in this as well as in the execution of mercy. It is true he doth not inflict judgement without cause, for that were not a work of judgement in pro∣per speech, but of power, and absolutenesse rather, as in turning a holy and innocent Page  133 creature into nothing. And in that respect he is said not to afflict willingly; sinne al∣waies deserving it. Mercy is of another nature, and supposeth free grace, though I * find little or no notice this Author takes of this, throughout his discourse; Nei∣ther doe I find that he or any Arminian acknowledge, that the change of a mans heart is wrought in a man of the meere grace of God, without any mo∣tive cause in the creature. Neither doe all Papists concurre in this interpreta∣tion, for Lyra and Burgensis are together by the eares hereabouts; and our Di∣vines as Junius and Piscator doe render it, opus insolens & terribile, an unusuall and terrible judgement, interpreting it of bringing the Babylonians upon them; so strange a worke, that they should wonder at it. And as Moses foretold, that God should bring upon them Wonderfull judgements. Deut. 28. So the Prophet Abakuk sets it forth in like manner. Abak. 1. 5. Behold among the Heathen, and regard and wonder and marvaile, for I will worke a worke in your daies; you will not believe it, though it be told you. For loe, I raise up the Caldeans, that bitter and furious nation, which shall goe upon the breadth of the Land to possesse the dwelling places that are not theirs. And, Jer. 19. 3. Behold I will bring a plague upon this place which whosoever heareth his eares shall ingle. For seeing Gods lawes are strange things unto them. Hos. 8. 12. God would bring such judgements upon them, that should be as strange unto them. And in the same phrase it is said that destruction is to the wicked, and strange punishment to the workers of iniquity. Job. 31. 3. Yet be this granted him, it is nothing to the purpose. For be it never so deere unto God, yet if he restraineth his chiefe mercy which consists in changing the heart (whereof this Author seems unwilling to take any distinct notice) only to the Elect, called accor∣dingly in Scripture vessells of mercy, in distinction from vessells of wrath, which are the Reprobates, this nothing prejudiceth the absolutenesse of reprobation.

And as for the frequent exercise thereof; we read, Zeph. 3. 5. That every morning God bringeth his judgements to light: and as for the mercy which consists in regenerating man, which alone is to the present purpose; it is apparent, that it is farre lesse frequently shewed, then the contrary judgement in obduration; And certainly the vessells of mercy are by farre fewer then the vessells of wrath: and as for temporall mercies, the more frequent they are, the worse, where the spirit of regeneration is wanting, through the corruption of man, that makes him thereupon the more ob∣durate.

The vanity of the next, as touching the amplitude of the objects whereto mercy is extended (though this alone is to the present purpose) I have already sufficiently dis∣covered; it being apparent that in Scripture phrase, only the Elect are counted vessells of mercy, and all the rest vessells of wrath.

As there be examples of Gods long suffering and patience, so we have fearfull ex∣amples of the suddainesse of Gods judgements, taking Men and Women away in the very act of sinne. Thus the Israelites in the Wildernesse, when the flesh of Quailes was in their mouth, the heavy wrath of God came upon them, and sent them to the graves of lust. Zimri and Cozbi perished in their incestuous act, and gave up both lust and ghost together. Balshazzar a King, cut off in his drunken revells, to make good the Prophecy of Isaiah, The night of my pleasures hath he turned into feare unto me. And in like manner the wrath of God seazed upon Herod in his pride. But a∣bove all, this appears in Gods dealings with his Angells, who sinned once, and fell for ever without all hope of recovery. And as for Gods sparing a man in case God gives not repentance, what will be the issue, but filling up of the measure of their sinnes? For to speak in Austins language, Contra Julian. Pelag. lib. 5. cap. 4. Quantamlibet praebuerit patientiam, nisi Deus dederit, quis agit paenitentiam? Now the case is cleare, God gives repentance to a very few, who are in Scripture called ves∣sells of mercy; which nothing at all prejudiceth the absolutenesse of reproba∣tion.

5. Of the riches of Gods mercies to his children, we nothing doubt: but what doth this prejudice the absolutenesse of reprobating those whom he never meaneth to make his children? But here it is to be suspected, that this Author accounts all and every one the children of God; for forthwith he confounds this notion with the notion of creatures, quite contrary to the most generall current of Scripture, not of the New Testament only, which teacheth us, that we are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3. and if children then heires, even heirs of God, and heirs annext with Christ. Rom. 8. But of the old Testament also. Gen. 6: 2. The sonnes of God saw the daugh∣tersPage  134of men that they were faire, &c. Exod. 4. 22. Thou shalt say to Pharaoh, thus saith thè Lord, Israel is my Sonne, my first borne; wherefore I say, let my Sonne goe that he may serve me: if thou refuse to let him goe, behold I will visit thy Sonne, even thy first borne. Deut. 14. 1. Ye are the children of the Lord your God. 2. Thou art an holy people to the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a precious people to himselfe, above all the people that are upon the earth.

That of the Hen, though we give him liberty to amplify her naturall affecti∣ons, as one of the most affectionate Females among unreasonable creatures, yet doth it no∣thing profit him for it represents Gods love appropriated to his Children, which nothing prejudiceth the absolutenesse of his power reprobating others. Nay rather as it justifies his absolutenesse in electing them, if we consider the meere grace of God to have made the difference, as the Scripture sheweth. Deut. 7. 7. The Lord loved you be∣cause he loved you; and Deut. 9. at large he beats them out of all conceit of any righte∣ousnesse in them, moving the Lord to plant them in the Land of Canaan; so by con∣sequent it justifies the Doctrine of absolute reprobation also: for as much as the A∣postle professeth, that like as God hath mercy on whom he will, so also he hardneth whom he will. Yet hereis much matter made of the Hen; like as D. Jackson hath done it before him, but he betrayes no such authority for it out of Austin as this Author doth: to whom he is beholding for it, himselfe best knoweth; If the pedegree be enquired into, their conceits may be found to be of kinne; yet give me leave to say somewhat of this similitude also.

And first, this Author commits a very great Anomaly, in entring upon it with such state, as proves nothing answerable to his own profession anon after, almost in the same breath. Marke the state (I pray) of his entrance hereupon, thus: And as if these comparisons were too small too expresse Gods affection to his creatures, he proceeds farther: now the comparisons preceding were taken from reasonable crea∣tures, as namely from Fatherly and Motherly affections (amongst men) towards their children; and these comparisons he signifies to have been to small, to expresse Gods af∣fections to his creatures: and that therefore the Lord proceeds farther, and compares himselfe to a Hen, which he saith is one of the most affectionate females among un∣reasonable creatures; not daring to say, tis more affectionate then creatures reasona∣ble; yet most improvidently carried away with affectation of a Rhetoricall flourish, he faignes a gradation from creatures lesse affectionate, to creatures more affectio∣nate, and presently himselfe beats out the braines of his invention, (before he is a∣ware) as soon as it is borne.

As for Austins amplification of the affectionate nature of an Hen above o∣ther creatures; we may consider that Austins Tractates on John, are of the na∣ture of Sermons, and therein the ancients doe accommodate themselves to po∣pular amplifications. It is true we doe not know Sparrowes, Swallowes, Storkes, Doves, to be Mothers, but when we see them in their nests; but what is the true rea∣son hereof? Is it not because their young ones are wild, and as soon as they are apt to fly, one flies one way, and another flies another way, they come together no more; it is not so with chickens which are tame creatures, and we see the car∣riage of the Hen towards them, we doe not see the carriage of other fowles towards their young ones.

Yet we read not the like of a Hen, as of a Storke, that when her nest was on fire, out of a desire to save them with her wings from the fire, hath not forsaken her young ones till shee was burnt her selfe; And we have seen also how a Hen hath sometimes peckt her young ones, and driven them from her, when they would have roosted under her.

And in my judgement our Saviour doth not represent his tender affection to the Jewes, by the generall affection of an Hen to hers, but to that particular carriage of hers in desiring to gather her chickens under her wings. * Neither doe I think that he who invited those mighty men, but unto what? unto a Hen, was to expresse his singularity of affection towards them: be it that God is more mercifull to man then to all other creatures; whence I pray proceeds this? is it not meerly from the good pleasure of his own will? and if so, why may he not, out of the meere pleasure of his own will restraine his sa∣ving mercy to some few, who are accordingly called in Scripture expresse∣ly vessells of mercy; distinguished from all the rest who are called vessells of wrath.

Page  135 Whereas he saith, that with such a mercy cannot stand such a Decree, as absolute repro∣bation. We answer; neither doe we say any such decree doth stand with such a mercy; it is rather absolute election stands with such a mercy, then any reproba∣tion. The Scripture plainly giving us to understand, that they on whom re∣probation passeth, are not vessells of mercy, but vessells of wrath. But like as God though he spared not Angells when they fell, nor left any way open unto them for repentance, whereby to returne to his grace and favour, yet he spared man, and left a way open unto him, to returne to his grace and favour by faith in Christ. In like sort, though God were pleased absolutely to elect some amongst men, yet this nothing precludes him from dealing as absolutely in reprobating others, that is, in purposing to deny them the spirit of faith and repentance, whereby they might rise after they were fallen; which grace most freely and absolutely he decreed to bestow, and as freely and absolutely he doth bestow on others, ac∣cording to that of the Apostle, Rom. 9. 18. he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. By this I pray judge of the insipid nature of this discourse, yet see the foulenesse of his mouth; unlesse God be indifferent unto all, and make all vessells of mercy, he is a Father of Cruelty, and more properly so to be called, then a Fa∣ther of mercies, and the very name of the Devill (for so he takes upon him to in∣terpret that name in the Revelation 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉a Destroyer) is good enough for him. And the conscience of his own piety, no doubt expert in Paraphrasing, and shaping some Rhetoricall flourishes, and passionate expressions, bears him out with such confidence as to feare no Blasphemy. It is very likely he hath a high conceit of these performances, that he is so bold, as to professe in effect, that if the contrary be true, then will he be guilty of as great Blasphemy, as to have call∣ed God Satan; yet see the absurdity (that throughout he may be like himselfe) of his discourse; whatsoever God be accounted by him in respect of reprobates, doth this any way hinder him from being the Father of mercies towards his elect, who alone in Scripture phrase are called vessells of mercy? His hatred of Esau, doth it any way hinder his love to Jacob? If to damne be to destroy, and no creature hath power to damne but God only, can any be a destroyer in this kind but God, as the efficient cause of Damnation and destruction? But in case our Do∣ctrine holds, doth he damne any but for sinne? and shall he in this case be sti∣led 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in the sense it is delivered in the Revelation? What thinks he? If many thousands, even all the Infants of Turkes and Sarazens dying in o∣riginall sinne, are tormented by him in Hell fire, is he to be accounted the father of cruelties for this? And I professe I cannot devise a greater shew and ap∣pearance of cruelty, then in this. Now I beseech you consider the spirit that breatheth in this man; dares he censure God, as a Father of cruelties for ex∣ecuting eternall death upon them that are guilty of it? Now hath not he him∣selfe professed, that all borne in originall sinne, are borne guilty of eternall death? his words are these, Fol. 2. p. 2. That all mankind is involved in the first sinne, and the fruits thereof, which are corruption of nature, and the guilt of eternall death. And this he confidently believes. Now I should think, that there is no shew of cruelty in exe∣cuting eternall death on them that are guilty of it: For if God were cruell here∣in, then also he were cruell in damning each one whom he doth damne both Men and Angells. Now I pray, let every sober reader judge, which is the greater cru∣elty of the two, to execute eternall death on him that is guilty of it, or to make him by meere imputation guilty of eternall death, who otherwise is not guilty of it? Is not this latter farre greater cruelty then the former? Or indeed the only cruelty; there being no cruelty in the other at all? (like as Cicero said, for a Mule to bring forth having conceived, is no strange thing, but for a Mule to conceive that indeed is prodigious.) Now this latter is this Authors doctrine, expressely professing in the next page to that where now we are, that the sinne of Adam (the fruit whereof he makes to be the guilt of eternall death.) is the sinne of our nature by imputation only: whence it followeth, that God makes all men guilty of eternall death by imputation only. Now judge I pray which of us makes God the Father of cruelties, he or wee? This is the fruit of opposition to Gods grace; for how can they tast of that grace of God which they impugne, and in impugning it, how can it be but that they should be given over to Page  136 the curse of Gods wrath, to fill up the measure of their sinne, as it is said of the Jewes, to fulfill their sinne alway, for the wrath of God is come upon them to the uttermost; yea and to be stricken with the spirit of giddinesse also; and become like a drunken man, that erreth in his vomit, the issue whereof is to defile himselfe, and those that are nearest to him. Yet he trembles to think of these blasphemies; for in all this you must think his zeale is very warme, and his piety reakes. So Saul persecuted the Saints of God as blaspheamers; but when God did strike him downe with a light from Heaven, that he found that himselfe only was the blaspheamer. 1 Tim. 1. Well, I am contented to consider his reaking fit.

Doth his mercy please him, when he hath made such a decree, as shewes farre more severity to∣wards men then mercy? Why (holy Sir) Gods severity towards some, who in Scripture are called vessells of wrath, what doth it hinder Gods mercy towards his elect? Gods severity towards the Jewes, did it any whit qualify Gods bountifulnesse towards the Gentiles? I marvaile not, he holds up his discourse of Gods mercy in generall, that so it might be appliable to all; this was a pretty dogge-trick of his. But if Gods mercy hath his course towards his children only, as himselfe makes the accommoda∣tion, if God be severe towards those who are none of his, shall this any way preju∣dice his mercy towards them? or if he take liberty to account all Gods creatures his children by reason of creation, why doth he not extend the mercy of God to Devills also, and for shame leave off his former distinction of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and confesse ingeniously, that tis not worth a rush. But whether he will acknowledge it or no, the Apostle plainly speaks of vessells of mercy, in distinction from vessels of wrath, and surely the course of his wrath on them, doth nothing impaire the free course of his mercy toward others. But give we him leave, to breath on: Is he slow to anger, when he hath taken such a small and speedy occasion to punish the greater part of men in Hell torments for ever, and for one sinne once committed, hath shut up the greater part of men under invin∣cible unbeliefe and damnation? Now, I pray, apply this his devout interrogation unto the Angells that fell, who upon the first sinne committed by them, have ever since been shut up under invincible hardnesse of heart, and damnation. Yet what doth this hinder his slownesse of anger, which is to be understood of the execution of his wrath; not of his decree. For all the decrees of God are everlasting, nor can be other∣wise. And as for the execution of wrath, the Devills themselves feele it not yet; they are reserved to the judgement of the great day; they believe and tremble; they cryed out to our Saviour, art thou come to torment us before our time? Nay suppose all were to be damned to eternall death as soon as they were borne, what injustice were there in this, if so be all be found guilty of eternall death, which this Author denies not? Nay farther, he saith it is God that hath made them guilty of it by meere imputation: yet as for the corruption of nature, which he makes to be the other fruit of Adams sinne, I doe not find that he ascribes that to divine imputation. Now what is the nature of this cor∣ruption, is it invincible unbeliefe or no? if it be, then he disputes against himselfe, as well as against us; if it be not, what unbeliefe doth he call it, or is it no unbeliefe at all? So I demand whether it be invincible hardnesse of heart or no? if not, whe∣ther at all it is to be called hardnesse of heart? if notwithstanding this corruption a man hath power to believe, to obay, power to yeeld to any spirituall good whereto he shall be excited, why doth he call it naturall corruption? The Apostle plainly professeth of them that are in the flesh, that they cannot please God; that the naturall man per∣ceiveth not the things of God, and that he cannot know them: of some, that they could not believe: of others, that they cannot repent. But be all this granted, he is never a whit the lesse slow to anger, that is, to punish; the Devills themselves as yet doe rather feare then feele his wrath.

Lastly, touching punishing in hell, it is either spoken of Infants, or Men of ripe years, if of Infants departing in infancy; if guilty of eternall death, tis no injustice to inflict it; and though he be slow to anger towards some, yet it is not necessary he should be so to others. The Scriptures witnesse the contrary, in the flood where In∣fants perished as well as others; and in the destruction of Sodome by fire, where none were spared save Lot and his two Daughters. As for men of ripe years, their damna∣tion is not for originall sinne only, but for actuall sinnes unrepented of. The An∣gells fell irrecoverably upon one actuall sinne; I know not the like condition of any besides. And as for the smallnesse of Adams sinne, which this Author is pleased to ex∣tenuate, by calling it a small occasion, as if he were of his spirit that said, If God turned Page  137Adam out of Paradise for eating an Apple, shall not I turne thee out of my service for purloyning a fat Capon? Why doth he not charge God rather, for making all men hereupon guilty of eternall death by meere imputation, as himselfe saith; then for inflicting eternall death only on them that are guilty of it, as we say? But let we him finish the Declamation he hath begunne. Is his mercy abundant, doth it extend it selfe far∣ther then justice, when it is tackt up so short, limited to a very few chosen ones, when a hundred for one at least are unavoidably cast away, out of his only will and pleasure. As touching this I have al∣ready shewed, how much he is out in his Algebra, but let that passe, unlesse this Divine take upon him to deliver truer Oracles then Saint Paul, we are bound to believe, that the elect only are vessells of mercy, distinguished from reprobates, as vessells of wrath. Rom. 9. 22, 23. and toward these alone it is, that his mercy is abundant, in the way of be∣stowing saving and spirituall graces. It is untrue, that he hath proved any such thing as he pretends, namely that Gods mercy is extended to more persons then his justice. And applied aright, namely as touching mercy seen in pardoning sinnes, in changing the heart, and saving soules, which are peculiar to Gods elect, the most brazen faced opposite to Gods holy truth that liveth cannot deny, but that they to whom these are granted, are farre fewer then they to whom they are denied. And if within the Church only (for there only are found such as feare God) his mercy extends to thousands of them that feare him, when but to the third and fourth generation he punisheth the sinnes of the Father upon the Children, (which is all the proofe this Author brings to this purpose) it followeth not herehence, that his mercy extendeth any whit to more then doth his justice, considering the small proportion of those within the Church, and therein of them that feare him, in comparison to those with∣out the Church. And like as visiting the sinne of Fathers, which is commonly un∣derstood of temporall punishments, so in proportion the mercy is to be understood of temporall mercy. And we well know that it is nothing necessary, that a man that fears God, should have children. And like as God doth not alwaies thus visit the sinnes of Fathers upon the Children; in like sort it is not alwaies necessary, that God should shew mercy to thousands of every one of them that feare him. He dealt so with Abraham, Isaack, and Iacob; they to whom the Law was delivered, knew this full well; then again, must not they who look to have an interest in this gracious promise, look unto it, that they walk in the steps of their Forefathers that feared God? By all which may appeare, the superficiary nature of this Disputants argumen∣tation, even then, when the zeale of his cause makes him, as most confident, so also most luxuriant. Lastly, doe we say that God damnes any man out of his only will and pleasure? Doe we not professe that he damnes no man but for sinne? And as he damnes no man but for sinne, so likewise that he decreed to damne no man but for sinne, though there could be no cause of this his decree, but of his meere will and pleasure he made this decree, namely, to damne many thousands for their sinnes. But let him come to an end of this his roaving discourse, when he thinks good and not before. Or doth his love passe knowledge, when we see daily greater love then this in men, and other crea∣tures. What Father or Mother, would determine their children to certain death, or to cruell torments worse then death, for one only offence, and that committed too, not by them in their own persons, but by some other, and only imputed unto them? How much lesse would they give themselves to beget Chil∣dren, and bring them forth, that they might bring them to the rack, fire, gallowes, and such like tor∣tures and deaths; What doe I heare? Doth man or any creature, shew more love to their Children, then God doth towards his Elect? Did they ever provide such a sacrifice to make satisfaction for their Childrens sinnes, as God did provide for his? Yea but re∣probates also are Gods Children, this must needs be his meaning, though in plain termes he spared to expresse so much. How unnaturall then was Christ, who would not pray for the World if they were all his children? And what meant he to professe, that he sanctified himselfe only for them for whom he prayed? Which sanctification of himselfe, was in respect of the offering up of himselfe upon the crosse, as Maldonate confesseth, was the interpretation of all the Fathers whom he had read. And in that prayer professeth of them saying, they are thine, and thou gavest them unto me, as much as to say; the World was not his. And farther consider; Is it safe to measure out Gods proceedings, by the proceedings of men? What Father or Mother would be content to execute a Child of theirs upon the Gallowes, when by some capitall crime he hath deserved it? How much lesse hold them upon the rack of continuall tortures; what then? must not God be allowed to inflict eternall death upon his creatures? And Page  138 what hath an earthly Father or Mother to doe, either to determine or execute death on any? This belongs to God not to man, unlesse he make choyce of them, as of his Ministers for the execution of vengeance. But this Author is nothing yet awaked out of his dreames, or his Arminian Lethargy. Yet I hope he will grant that God did foresee all this, even the sinnes of Judas in betraying, and of the Jewes in crucifying the Sonne of God; yet neverthelesse, he was content to bring forth both him and them into the World. Now what earthly Father and Mother, would not make choyce rather to be Childlesse, then to bring forth such children as should deale with them, as Nero dealt with his Mother? Proceed then: and as from the affections of earthly Fathers and Mothers, he disputes against the absolutenesse of Gods decrees, so also in the next place, let him conclude the like, to the utter overthrowing of Gods fore∣knowledge. Yet who of our Divine saith, that God for one offence hath determined death and tortures to any reprobate of ripe years? Doe they not all professe, that as many as dye in actuall sinnes unrepented of, God determined to damne them for those actuall sinnes unrepented of? I doe not think he can alleadge any that denies this. Againe, what one of our Divines maintaines that Infants perishing in originall sinne, are damned for that sinne, which is made theirs only by imputation? What a shamelesse habit hath he gotten to himselfe to deliver untruths? yet will he not (I warrant you) be accounted a Pelagian, neither will he plainly deny originall sinne as Grevincovius is said to have done, and that testibus convinci potuit. Their Tenets are nothing lesse shamefull, then Pelagius his Tenets were, only they have not that inge∣nuity which Pelagius had, in professing plainly, that there was no originall sinne con∣veyed unto us by propagation.

Now he comes more closely unto the matter, yet but a little neither; a loose and dissolute discourse is most suitable with his Genius.

1. Adams sinne was no mans personall sinne but Adams; true, for there was no man then but Adam; but all men being the posterity of Adam, were then in Adam, in that one person of Adam, and in him all have sinned, saith the Apostle, Rom. 5. and without consent to sinne they could not sinne.

2. When he saith this sinne of Adam, was not the sinne of our nature by genera∣tion; it is so wild an expression, that I professe I cannot devise any tolerable sense of it. That we were in Adam when he sinned, it was fully sufficient to bring upon us that corruption, that depth of corruption wherein we are all conceived and borne, and not by imputation. What Divine amongst Papists or Protestants is he, that maintains, that Adams sinne, was the sinne of our nature by imputation? This is un∣doubtedly one of Arminius his flowers, which this Author takes up among the rest, to make himselfe a nosegay to smell unto. It was Gods will that all should stand or fall in him. For if it had pleased him, he could have destroyed Adam for his trans∣gression, and made a new stock, from whom to derive the World of Mankind: But resolving all should descend from him, he must withall resolve, that upon the sinne of Adam, and of them all in him, they must take from him such natures as Adams na∣ture, and therein all our natures were made corrupt by sinne; excepting Gods grace to provide better, both for Adam and his posterity, as he thought good. So that look in what sort Adams nature was corrupted by sinne, in such sort must we receive cor∣rupt natures from him. Here Calvin is brought in with a robe of commendation, as an excellent servant of God: But God knowes his heart, and the hearts of all that op∣pose Gods truth in these poynts. Tis true that Calvin saith, both in respect of Gods power, to have propagated Mankind from another originall then from Adam as also in respect of his power, to reforme corrupt nature, in whomsoever it pleased him. But did Calvin think it possible, for corrupt nature, to propagate any other nature then it selfe is? God made man after his Image and likenesse; but afterwards we read that Adam brought forth a sonne, after his Image and likenesse; who can bring a clean thing out of that which is uncleane, saith the book of Job? And that which is borne of flesh is flesh, saith our Saviour. But doth it herehence follow, or doth Calvin, or any Calvinist, or Lutheran, or Papist, say, that Adams sinne is made ours only by imputation? The case is not alike of other parents. For Adam was created in grace, and endued with the spirit of God: this holy condition was lost by the sinne of Adam, and we receiving our natures from him, in the state of his corruption, must therewithall receive, na∣tures bereaved of grace, and of the spirit of God. No such detriment to our pure nature was wrought, or could be wrought, by the transgression of any other proge∣nitor, Page  139 no, nor by any other sinne of Adam besides the first.

3. God did pardon it in Adam upon his repentance, so is he ready to pardon it, and all actuall sinnes also of all men upon their repentance. And God renewed Adam too, of his free grace after he was corrupt, and regenerated him by shewing mercy upon him; But this work proceeds according to the meer pleasure of Gods will, as the Apostle witnesseth saying, He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth.

4. Christ came into the World, to take away the sinnes of the World, that is by satisfaction for sinne, to merit the pardon of it, nor pardon of sinne only, but salvati∣on of soule also; but for whom? surely for none but such as should sooner or latter believe in him; for God hath ordained that these benefits of Christs death and obe∣dience, should not be distributed absolutely, but conditionally, to wit, upon the con∣dition of faith. But as for the benefits of faith and repentance, these are not benefits communicable upon a condition; for what condition can precede them but a worke of man? and it was condemned 1200 years agoe: to say grace is given according un∣to merits, that Bellarmine interprets simply of works; though Papists are apt enough to stand for merits, and the Apostle saith in plain tearmes, that God doth not call us * according unto works; these therefore are communicated according to the meere pleasure of Gods will: He might have given faith to all, but he would not, I will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Exod. 33.

These things (he saith) being well considered, will make any man (as he thinks) to conclude in his thoughts, that if there be any such decree, God is not mercifull to men at all. A most un∣shamefac't pretence, and savouring of a spirit that hath expectorated all naturall in∣genuity: doth not every one perceive, that all this nothing at all hinders the incom∣prehensible nature of Gods mercy towards his Elect? Dares he himselfe in plain termes deny this, namely that it nothing prejudiceth the course of Gods mercy to∣wards his Elect? For what if by the sinne wherein they are borne, they be made guil∣ty of eternall death, yet if God be pleased to pardon this sinne, nor this only, but all actuall transgressions of theirs; yea, and break the yoake of their corruption, and as he seeth their wayes so to heale them, yea to heale their rebellions, and backslidings, to subdue their iniquities, to rule them with a mighty hand, to make them passe un∣der the rod, and bring them unto the bond of the covenant, and when he hath brought them thither, to hold them there, to perfect the good work he hath begun in them; As he hath laid the foundation of his temple in their hearts, so to finish it, to be the Author and finisher of their faith, and as of their faith, so of their repen∣tance, to hold them in his hands, so that none shall take them therehence, to keep them by the power of God through faith unto salvation, to build them upon a rock that the gates of hell shall not prevaile against them; either to deliver them from the howre of temptation, or to deliver them out of it, or so to order it, that it shall not be above their strength, to be with them when they goe through the water, and through the fire, that the floods shall not overwhelme them, the fire shall not burne them, but as he leads them into it, so he will support them in it, and lead them through it, as he led the Children of Israel into the red sea, and in the red sea (as an horse in the Wildernesse, that they should not stumble) and out of the red sea, into the Wildernesse, and in the Wildernesse, and out of the Wildernesse; In a word, to fulfill the good pleasure of his goodnesse towards them, his grace in them, and every good work that he hath appoynted for them; in such sort that the beast shall not pre∣vaile over them, untill they have finished their testimony: and in which respect Saint Stephen, even when the stones flew about his eares as thick as haile, seems to have gone to his death, as composedly as a man goes to his bed; having ended his Sermon first, his prayer for them in the next place, and lastly the commending of his own spirit into the hands of God: this mercy, this rich mercy, this unspeakable mercy, this Author most virulently, and most unconscionably, in cunning and crafty carriage, labours to obscure and deface, and to dispute us out of the faith of it, if it lay in his power (which lies not in the power of the Devills themselves) as much as himselfe, and his informers scorne to apprehend any hope of it; And all this as unsipidly and unscholastically, as profanely, by generall and indefinite termes, saying, by this Do∣ctrine of ours God is not mercifull to men at all; wherein I guesse his lurking hole is, in the indefinite condition of the terme Men; for dares he say, that by this doctrine of ours Page  140 we make God unmercifull to all men, even to the very Elect? Yet when he saith, to men at all, the face of his discourse in the common understanding of it, should look this way. But if his meaning be, that he is not made mercifull to all, hath himselfe any farther improved the mercy of God, then by enlarging of it unto the children of God? And if he by children of God, understand all men created by him, and we, on∣ly those, whom God hath adopted in Christ and regenerated, I pray consider, which of us, delivereth himselfe in best congruity to the Scripture phrase and meaning? Can he be ignorant, who they be whom the Scripture stiles vessells of mercy? Or that these are set in opposition to vessells of wrath; and would he have us as brainsick as himselfe to put no difference in the accommodation of Gods mercy; between vessells of mercy, and vessells of wrath? As for the comparison between men and other creatures, he is like himselfe throughout in the execution thereof.

1. He undertakes to shew, that God is not so mercifull to men as to bruit crea∣tures; most men are determined by Gods omnipotent decree, to such a being as is a thousand times worse then no being at all. To let passe the absurdity of the comparison, comparing things incomparable, to wit, being with no being; and ascribing a betternesse to no being, which is as much as to ascribe a better being to no being. Doth not he himselfe ac∣knowledge that as the elect are but few amongst them that are called, so the number of Reprobates, is farre greater then the number of the Elect? Doth not himselfe maintaine, that God hath determined all reprobates (that is the most of men) by his omnipo∣tent decree, to such a being as is a thousand times worse then no being at all, according to his judgement, and that this determination Divine is everlasting? or though he dare not in plain tearmes deny, that God hath determined most of men to damnation. Doth he not here bewray the disposition of his heart, namely, either to maintaine that Gods decrees are not everlasting, nor determined concerning men, untill their deaths, or that they are of a revocable nature? Or will he fly to the qualification of the Divine decree here mentioned, and say that albeit the most part of men are destinated to damnation by the decree divine, yet not by an omnipotent decree? I guesse his mean∣ing is not by an absolute, but by a conditionall decree; for as for any distinction of Divine decrees, into decrees omnipotent, I never yet read or heard; but this Gentle∣man being of a phrasifying spirit, we must permit him sometimes to overlash, other∣wise we shall not have occasion to say of him, as Augustus said sometimes of Haterius, Haterius noster sufflaminandus est. But if by a conditionall decree only, God hath repro∣bated those whom he hath reprobated, then the decrees of reprobation cannot be e∣ternall, but must needs be temporall; for res conditionata, the thing conditionated cannot exsist before the condition it selfe (whereupon it depends) hath exsistence. Now the condition of reprobation is meerly temporall, to wit, finall perseverance in infidelity or impenitency.

2. What if the condition of other creatures, be better then the condition of re∣probates? For what sober man should expect that the condition of impenitent sin∣ners should be better in the end, then the condition of beasts, who have made them∣selves worse then beasts? But then he will say, what shall become of all those amplifi∣cations of Gods mercy towards men, commended to us in holy Scripture? I answere they all have place concerning Gods children, Gods elect, the Scripture phrase ac∣knowledging no other vessells of mercy, and counting all others in distinction from them vessell of wrath; and one end whereto tends Gods providence towards these vessells, the Apostle signifies plainly to be the amplification of his mercy towards the vessells of mercy. Rom. 9. 22, 23. Which may be unfolded thus, that by seeing the miserable conditions of vessells of wrath, they may be more sensible of Gods mercy towards them, in putting so gracious a difference between them.

3. It cannot be denied, but God foresaw what the condition of most men would be, if they were brought forth into the World; What then did God mean to bring them forth? Where was his mercy in this? Were it not a thousand times better for them not to be borne? And by being borne, was it not infallible that their condition would be a thousand times worse then the condition of beasts, according to this Au∣thors grave and Philosophicall discourse?

4. Consider though God foresaw, that being so dealt withall, as God meant they should be, they would never repent nor believe; yet seeing God had other means and motives in store, which he knew full well would prove effectuall, to bring them to faith and repentance, were he pleased to use them; (as Arminius acknowledgeth, Page  141 as I have often cited him, and it cannot be denied by the maintainers of scien∣tia media.) Where was Gods mercy, that would both have them brought forth, and use only such means to bring them to faith and repentance, which he knew would prove ineffectuall, and resolved not to use such means with them, which hee knew would prove effectuall thereunto? I appeale to the judgement of every sober man, whether this proceeded not meerely from Gods absolute de∣cree to make them vessells of Wrath, that is fit vessells in whom should shine the glory of his vindicative justice; even to shew the riches of his glory towards the vessells of mercy, whom he had prepared unto glory, as on whom he was pleased to bestow such means of grace, as he knew full well would prove effectuall to bring them to faith and repentance, and finall preseverance, that so their soules might be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ: Marke I beseech you an evi∣dent demonstration from invincible grounds of the truth, which this Author by base and superficiary considerations, labours to deface and exstinguish if he could. For what if in the state of nothing, they were so intelligent as this Author faines them, as to know to what end God made them, and thereupon, would not accept of life? What if afterwards they should curse the day of their birth, and wish they had been made Toads or Snakes? What shall God be therefore straitned in the exercise of his power, to make what creatures he will, and to what end he will? For qui dedit esse, good reason, quo fine sint habeat potestatem: What if the clay were so intelligent as to know, that it should be fashioned in∣to a vessell for a close-stoole or chamberpot, when his neighbour clay shall be fashioned into a drinking cup to serve at the table of King Agathocles, and it, out of the clayey stomack and pride thereof, shall repine and grudge to be so base∣ly used, and say (in one of Aesops Fables) that it had rather continue clay still; shall therefore the potter forgoe his soveraignty in making of the same lumpe one vessell unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God should tell Nebuchodonosor that after he is dead, his scull should be turned to some such base use, and that some common jakes should have the bottome of it pitcht with his bones; and he thereupon should wish he had never been rather; shall this be sufficient to derogate from the Soveraigne power of God, or restrain him from the like, or from giving Jehoiakims body no better burying then the buriall of an Asse? Or cause stately and proud Jezabells body to be eaten of doggs? O what base manner of discourses are these to deflower the Power and So∣veraignty of the Almighty! but I wonder not if after men have prostituted all honesty in opposing the grace of God, they are soon found to loose their witts also. Yet I have not done, I must not pretermit to answer his Scripture pas∣sage. What if it had been good for Iudas he had never been borne; it were as true if there were no absolute decree of God for his damnation, but foreknowledge only that he would be demned; but shall God therefore be forbidden upon the forfeiture of the reputation of his goodnesse, to bring forth Iudas into the World? But by the way our Saviours words doe not import hereby, that it were better for him he had not been; for a being he might have had though never borne into life, as many a one hath had, that never saw the light of the Sunne, their wombe being their grave. But because some mens tongues runne ryot against me, for the interpretation of this passage, which I make in my Vindiciae, not sparing to professe they will turne Atheists, when that is true, and as ready they have been to professe under their hand, that they will sooner deny there is a God then concurre with the Contra-Remonstrants in their Doctrine of Reprobation: I pray let them be enquired of, whether they, or any wise man else, was ever known after such a manner to outface the interpretation that Maldonate gives of that ve∣ry place, which here I will subjoyne for speciall reason: thus then Maldonate, De quo verbo nimis fortasse subtiliter quidam disputant, quomodo melius Iudae fuisset, natum non esse, cum non esse, nullum, damnatum esse, aliquod bonum sit; aliquid enim est, qui damnatus est; omne autem quod est, qua est, bonum est. Hieronymus judicat existimasse aliquos, Iudam fuisse, antequam nasceretur, Christum{que} certo consilio non dixisse, melius fuisset homini illi, si numquam fu∣isset, sed si natus non esset, quasi, etiamsi non nasceretur, futurus fuisset, ideo{que} naturalia bona sine malis habiturus. Suspicor D. Hieronymum Originistas notare voluisse, qui omnes a∣nimas initio creatas fuisse crediderunt & pro suo quamque merito aut expertem manere cor∣poris, aut in corpus tanquam in carcerem mitti; & vero Origines ipse ita hoc locoPage  142scribere videtur, ut non longe ab eâ sententiâ abhorrere videatur. Eodem fere modo, Enthymius interpretatur: at length he addes his own interpretation of the place in the words fol∣lowing, Sed non sunt hujusmodi, Scripturae locutiones ad Scholarum excutiendae subtilitatem: sunt enim proverbiales, & sumptae de vulgo, in quibus quidam plerum{que} hyperbolicum esse solet, ut a∣pud Job. cap. 3. 11. Quare non in vulvâ mortuus sum? Egressus ex utero non saltem perii? Et cap. 10. 18, 19. Quare de vulvâ aduxisti me? Qui utinam consumptus essem ne oculus me videret, fuissem, quasi non essem, de utero translatus ad tumulum. Et cap. 3. 3. Et Jer. 20. 14. Pereat dies in qua natus sum. Haec enim omnia non tam deliberato animi judicio, quam per querimoniam quae mala sua amplificare solet, dicta sunt. Christus ergo ita de Juda loquitur, quemadmodum credibile erat, ipsum de se in suppliciis positum esse loquuturum. Erat autem credibile eum dicturum esse uti∣nam nunquam natus essem, melius mihi fuisset non nasci, quam ista pati; cum Job & Jeremias vi∣ri sanctissimi multo minor a passi idem dixerint. Adde quod Christus non dicit melius futurum fuisse, ut Judas non nascitur, sed melius futurum illi esse, id est, ejus opinione, & judicio: quemadmodum multis res adversas patientibus accidere videmus, ut corrupto dolore judicio mortem vitae anteponant, cum dubium non sit melius esse vivere quam mori.

2. I come to the comparison he makes between men and Devills, objecting that our Doctrine makes God lesse mercifull to men then to Devills. In one thing (saith he) this decree makes most men and Devills equall, utris{que} desperata salus, they are both sure to be damned. Now I say, this is most untrue. What man living is in a worse state then Manasses was, when he made his Children passe through the fire to De∣vills, gave himselfe to Witchcraft and Sorcery, and filled Jerusalem with bloud? On Saul when flesh'd with the bloud of Stephen, and Ferox scelerum quia prima pro∣venerant, he got a commission from the High Priest to goe to Damascus, and bind all that called on the name of the Lord Jesus; yet it appeared in the issue that both these were the elect of God. Doe not they themselves professe that reprobation is upon finall perseverance in infidelity or impenitency? So that there is no sufficient evidence of reprobation, but this finall perseverance in sinne. In like sort by their Doctrine, none can be sure of his election untill he be dead, because they con∣stitute it upon foresight of finall perseverance in faith and repentance. It is true if God should reveale to any that he is a reprobate, he might be sure he should be damned, and that as well according to their shaping of reprobation, as according unto our.

But in three things he saith men are in a farre worse condition by it; let us consi∣der them.

1. The first is, In their appoyntment unto Hell, not for their own proper personall sinnes, but for the sinnes of another, made theirs only by Gods order and pleasure.

Now I see why he pretends to oppose the Sublapsarian way (keeping his li∣berty upon every occasion to ejaculate what his malice can suggest unto him against the Sublapsarian.) For only against the Sublapsarian way this objection hath place; and that not justly, but most unjustly, most untruely. For not one of them that I know, doth maintain that God by reprobation intended to damne, either Cain, or Judas, or Esau, but for their actuall sinnes and transgressions un∣repented of. And as for those Heathen Infants who perish in originall sinne, they perish for that corruption wherein they are borne, which is as naturall unto them as the Leprosy of the Father, or any hereditary disease is naturally derived to the Child; by vertue whereof they are borne children of wrath, as the Apostle expresseth, and if to be borne children of wrath, be to be in a worse condition then Devills, seeing to be borne children of wrath, is not our making; if it be of Gods making, and that according to Gods meer pleasure; it must be acknowledged, that this is a worse condition, and neverthelesse God is to be justified herein: and wisdome is justified of her Children: and if Arminius will not concurre with us herein, sure I am Papists will. For thus Bellarmine discourseth, De lib. arbit. lib. 2. cap. ult. Lon∣ge major justitiae rigor apparet in reprobatione hominum quam Angelorum, tum quia maximam partem hominum, minimam Angelorum reprobavit, tum! etiam quoniam Angelorum nullum De us paenae sempiternae addicit, nisi propter culpam propriâ voluntate comissam, hominum autem pluri∣mos damnat propter solum Originale peccatum, quod alienâ voluntate commissum fuisse non dubium est. And yet though in this respect, the rigor be greater, nevertheles considering the punish∣ments of Infants, which Austin professeth to be mitissimam, thus it is qualified that un∣doubtedly it is better for thē to be as they are then to be Devills. Though as touching the kinds & degrees of punishmēt, that is of a mysterious nature, the Scripture cōceal∣ling Page  143 it, and we have no help of reason to succour us in the investigation thereof. Farre better, our care be to avoid it, both as well by orthodoxy of Faith, as by holi∣nesse of life. And him that looks for salvation by grace it behooves, to look unto it, how he shapes this grace of God, least if he be found to mock God, giving the main stock of his conversion to his own Free will, rather then unto God, he may be mocked in the end, and meet with no better Salvation, then the liberty of his will can procure him, which will prove condemnation rather then salvation. See (I pray) what giddinesse of spirit he betrayes, in laying such a crimination to our charge, whereunto himselfe is obnoxious in an equall degree, or in a higher de∣gree then wee. For he hath confessed, that God of his meer pleasure, makes all Infants guilty of eternall death; now where appears the greater rigour? on our side, who say, God inflicts eternall death on none, but such as are guilty of eternall death? or rather on his side who saith, that God of his meer pleasure, makes men guilty of eternall death?

2. The second is, that their inevitable destination to destruction, is under shew of the contrary: the Devills as they are decreed to damnation, so they know it, but men even those that are appointed unto wrath, are yet fed up with hopes of salvation. Is it possible that a man in his right witts should so miserably forget, and so shame∣fully carry himselfe? Doth not he himselfe maintain that all reprobates are from everlasting appoynted to eternall death? It may be his meaning is, that no reprobate is appoynted to eternall death untill his death; so making Gods decrees temporall, and denying them to be eternall. But if this be his opinion, what Arminian or Re∣monstrant concurres with him in this? But if reprobation and election be eternall; how doe we feed reprobates up with the hope of salvation, more then he himselfe? Doth he think none but the elect are his heares? (for I doe not know whether he may run, and whether his shallow witts may carry him: whether to the dreaming of an univer∣sall election with Huberus.) And doth he not feed up all his hearers with hope of sal∣vation as well as we? And how doe wee feed them up with hopes of salvation? Doe we feed our hearers with any other hopes of salvation, then are builded upon faith and repentance, and finall perseverance therein? And doe we not strike them as well with the terrours of God, and fears of damnation, in case they doe not believe in Christ, or not break off their sinnes by repentance? And doth not he the like? Or if he hath good grounds of hope, that all and every one that hears him, is or may be an e∣lect of God, why may not we or any other Minister, have as good grounds as he for such an hope? But what doth he mean so superficially to presume, that we teach that men doe not perish, defectu misericordiae divinae, but defectu voluntatis propriae? Why should he so confidently presume, that we should teach such contradiction to the doctrine of Au∣gustine, who professeth expressely of many, that they perish non tam quia ipsi servari no∣lint,*quam quia Deus non vult. As is apparent of all Infants that perish in originall sinne, out of the Church of God: Nay why should he presume of all us to be stricken with the same spirit either of infatuation or obstinacy, as to Preach a Doctrine so di∣rectly contrary to the holy doctrine of Saint Paul, professing, that God hath mercy on whom he will, &c. And to our Saviour whose profession is, that therefore men heare not Gods word because they are not of God. How otherwise could the damnation of the vessells of wrath, tend to the augmentation of the riches of Gods glory towards the vessells of mercy; namely, when they shall consider, that it was the meer grace of God to put so mercifull a difference between them and others; regenerating them, and bestowing faith and repentance on them, the bestowing whereof he denyed to many thousand others, yet withall it is true that men therefore doe not believe and repent, because they will not: but if you aske quare nolunt, saith Austin, imus in longum; yet to this he accommodates his answer thus, men will not many things either quia latet, they know not the benefit of it, or quia non delectat, it is not pleasing to them. At (saith he) ut innotescat quod latebat, & suave fiat quod non delectabat, Dei gratia est, quae humanas adjuvat vo∣luntates: We doe not smother this truth of God, that we may delude men, we rather represent how all flesh are obnoxious and endangered unto God; that all are borne in sinne, and therewithall children of wrath, and such as deserve to be made the gene∣ration of Gods curse; and that it is at his pleasure to shew mercy on any: only the word of God hath power to raise us from the dead, his voyce pierceth the graves, and makes dead Lazarus heare it, and it is his course to call some at the first, some at the last hower of the day; Thus we desire to bring them acquainted first with the spirit of Page  144 bondage, to make them feare, that so they may be prepared for the spirit of Adopti∣on, whereby they shall cry Abba father: neither doe we despaire of any that are humbled with feare, we count rather their case most desperate, who are nothing mo∣ved hereby, or that perswade themselves they have power to believe when they will, and repent when they will; we account no greater illusions of Satan then these; yet these abominable opinions may be fostered by some, and masked with a pretence of great piety forsooth, and a shew of holinesse, and a zeale of defending Gods glory, and salving the honour of his mercy, justice and truth.

3. The third is, in their obligation to believe, and the aggravation of their punishment by not believing. The Divells, because they must be damned, are not commanded to believe in Christ, yet poore men must be tied to believe in Christ, and their torments must be encreased if they believe not. I make no doubt but this Author is as confident of his learned and judicious carriage in shaping this comparison, as that the fruit of Adams sinne is the guilt of eternall death in all mankind. But none so bold (we commonly say) as blind Bayard: and it seems either he knowes not, or considers not, that the first sinne of Angells was un∣to them as death unto man; that sinne placed them extra viam, and in termino incur abi∣lis miseriae, as death only placeth wicked men in the like case. Now we doe not say that God commands man after he is dead to believe in Christ, any more then he commands obedience unto Angells, since their case is become desperate. The Divells are not commanded to believe or repent, because God doth not, nor never did pur∣pose to damne any of them for want of faith, or of repentance, but for their first A∣postacy from God. But it is otherwise with man, for God doth not purpose to damne any of them but for sinne unrepented of. And therefore as good reason there is, why their damnation should be encreased, for want of repentance and acknow∣ledging of Gods truth, as why the Devills should be damned for their first Aposta∣cy. If perhaps (as it is likely enough) this Author to hold up his comparison, shall fly to God decree of reprobation, upon supposition whereof, it was impossible that men should either believe or repent; I answere first, that in like sort upon suppositi∣on of Gods foreknowledge, that they would neither believe nor repent, it follow∣eth as necessarily, as it is necessary that Gods knowledge should be infallible, that it was impossible they should believe and repent: and the like followeth as necessarily of the Apostacy of Angells, as of the infidelity and impenitency of man. And as men are pretended to harden themselves in vitious courses upon supposition of the unal∣terable nature of Gods decree; So Austin gives instance in like manner of one that hardened himselfe upon pretence of Gods infallible knowledge. De bono persever. cap. 15. Fuit quidem in nostro Monasterio, qui corripientibus fratribus, our quaedam nonfacienda fa∣ceret, & facienda non faceret, respondebat, qualicun{que} nunc sim, talis ero, qualem me Deus esse fu∣turum praescivit. Qui profecto & verum dichat, & hoc vero, non proficiebat in onum, sed vs{que} adeo profecit in malum, ut deserta Monasterii societte, fieret canis reversus ad uum vonutum, & tamen adbuc qualis sit futurus, incertum est Secondly I answer, that the like may be said of An∣gells upon presupposition of Gods decree to deny the grace of standing unto them, which Austin professeth expressely, namely, that either in their creation minorem accepe∣runt amoris divini grattam; or that afterwards, the reason why the one sort stood when the other fell was this, to wit, because they were amplius adjuti then their fellowes, and consequently the other minus adjuti. And as God gave grace to the elect Angells, which he denyed to others: So it cannot be denied, but that from everlasting he de∣creed, both to bestow it upon the one, and deny it unto the other. Now howsoever I know the Arminian party cannot swallow this morsell; yet by this it appears how supersiciary is that augmentation of the difference between Men and Angells, where∣with this Author contents himselfe: yet notwithstanding it is not want of faith a∣lone that condemneth any man; by want of Faith man is lest to the covenant of works, to stand or fall according to his own righteousnesse or unrighteousnesse: whereof if he faile, and withall despiseth the counsell or God offered him in his Go∣spell, is there noe good reason, his condemnation should be the greater? For certain∣ly it is in the power of a naturall man, to afford as much faith to this, as to many a vile and fabulous relation, which is farre lesse credible by judgement naturall: we see both prophane persons and hypocrites, so farre to believe the Gospell, as to em∣brace a formall profession thereof, and sometimes proceed so farre therein, as that 'tis a hard matter to distinguish them from sincere professors: yet we say a true faith is only such as is infused into the heart of man, by the spirit of God in regeneration. Page  145 Now, what one of our Divines can be represented, that ever was known to affirme, that the damnation of any man shall be encreased, because God did not regenerate him, and in regeneration inspire a Divine faith into him? As for our answer in gene∣rall to this argument considered in briefe, and this Authors reply; my refutation thereof I dispatcht in the first place. Although he carrieth himselfe not fairely in re∣lating the answer on our part; in as much as therein he mixeth the consideration of justice divine, which is aliene from the present purpose, with the consideration of mercy divine, which alone is congruous; that so while he puts off the plenary justifi∣cation of his reply, to that which is aliene, he may seem to undertake a full justifica∣tion of his reply to the whole. But I hope we shall be as able by Gods assistance, to manifest his sinister carriage in the interpretation of Gods justice, as we have done al∣ready, as touching his accommodation of Gods mercy.

DISCOURSE. SECT. III. This I divide into Five Subsections.
SUBSECT. I.

IT Fights with the justice of God, &c.

The Lord, saith David, is righteous in all his waies, Psal. 145. The judgements of the Lord, saith Solomon, are weight and measure, Prov. 16. 11. That is, exact and without all exception. So just is God, that he offers the justice of his decrees and waies, to the triall of humane under∣standing. Isai. 5. 3. Judge I pray you, between me and my vineyard: and Ezech. 18. 25. He is con∣tent to prove himselfe just by plain arguments, through the whole chapter; Are not my waies equall, and your waies unequall? And he permitted Abraham, when he was in his greatest humility, acknow∣ledging himselfe to be but Dust and Ashes, to reason with him about the equity of his doings; Wilt thou slay the righteous with the wicked. Shall not the judge of all the earth doe right? Gen. 18. 23, 25. And Moses also, Num. 16. 22. is suffered to argue Gods justice in the same manner; Shall one man sinne, and wilt thou e ••oth with all the Congregation▪ In a word; so evidently just is God in all his pro∣ceedings, that many both good and bad, who have felt his justice have cleared God, and deepely charged themselves, witnesse, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniell in their ninth Chapters, and Adonibezek, Judges 1. . and the Emperour Mauricius, who having seen his children butchered, and waiting every * minute for the bloudy stroake of death, brake out into these words; Justus es Domine, & justum est judicium tuum. Righteous art thou O Lord, and just is thy judgement. With this inviolable justice of God, absolute reprobation (of such especially as are commanded to believe and called to Salvation) cannot be reconciled. My reasons are these.

1. Because it makes God to punish the righteous with the wicked, as it is taught the Supralap∣sarian way, directly, as it is defended the Sublapsarian way by good consequence.

The Sublapsarians present man to God in his decrees of reprobation considered without sinne and will have God to determine the infliction of unspeakable misery upon millions of men, without con∣sideration of any evill in them originall or actuall (as I have touched before) and so they make him plainly to be a destroyer of the righteous.

The Sublapsarians (for against their way have I tied my selfe to bend my reasons) present man to God, considered indeed in originall sinne, which is a sinne (so farre as it concernes Adams posteri∣ty) made ours only by Gods order and appointment, and so in effect they say, 1. That God did lay upon every man a necessity of being borne in originall sinne. 2. That he hath determined for that sinne, to cast away the farre greater part of Mankind for ever; and so they make God to doe by two acts, the one accompanying the other, which the other say he did by one: and they will not stick, if they be put to it, to say as D. Twisse doth, Quod Deus potest intercedente libera sua ••stitutione, illud*etiam absolute poterit, vel sine ali ••• constitutione intercedent. That is God may decree men to hell (for that is the thing he speaks of) for Adams sinne, which is derived to them by the only constitu∣tion of God, he may as well doe it absolutely, without any such constitution. It is all one in sub∣stance, to decree the misery of an innocent man, and to purpose, that he shall be involved in a sinne, that so he may be brought to misery: neither of these Decrees are just. Non iustitia iusta dicetur (saith Fulgentius) si puniendum reum non invenisse sed fecisse dicatur: major vero eit iniustitia, si lapso Deus re∣tribuat*poenam, quem stantem praedestinasse dicitur ad ruinam.

Page  146TWISSE Consideration.

VVIth us Christians there is no doubt or question made of the truth of this, that God is righteous in all his waies: yea though he command Abraham to sacrifice his sonne; and though he caused not only A∣chan to be stoned for his trespassing about the excommunicate thing, but his children also with him; and though he visit the sinne of Fathers upon the Children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate him. And though in the drowning of the World, he caused Infants to perish with their parents, some in their Mothers wombe, some hanging on their Mothers breasts: And so in the destruction of Sodome and Gomorrah with fire from heaven. And not so only, but the righteous God hath given us power over inferiour creatures, to weare them out in serving our turnes with them, yea and to knock them in the heads, to cut their throats, and strangle them as we think good: and we are no whit the more unrighteous in executing this power, which God hath given us upon them: yea in giving his own and holy Sonne to be reviled, blaspheamed, betrayed, condemned, crucified, so to make his soule an offer∣ing for our sinnes. In all these waies the Lord is righteous, and holy in all his works, Solomon saith, Prov. 16. 11. That a just weight and ballance are the Lords, all the weights of the bagge are his worke. And the same Solomon in the same chapter saith, v. 4. The Lord hath made all things for himselfe, yea even the w••ed against the day of evill. This revives in me the remembrance of a pretty story; An odde fellow came to his Neigh∣bour to borrow a bushell of Malt, saying, the mercifull is righteous and lendeth; the other answered him in the same element saying, The ungodly borroweth and payeth not againe; Where is that saith the borrower? Where is yours saith the other? Why, saith he, the place I mentioned is in the 37 Psahne. So is mine too, saith the other. But proceed we along with him: Whereas he saith Gods judgements are without excep∣tion, that is untrue, for we find the Apostle Saint Paul to take notice of exceptions made against the waies of God in some particular casts; as when God hath mercy on * whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth: upon the proposall of this Doctrine the Apostle takes notice of such an exception as this. Thou wilt say then, why doth he yet complaine, for who hath resisted his will: and the justification hereof, the A∣postle derives from no other consideration then this, that God is our Creator, and we are his creatures: And that as the Potter hath power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessell to honour, and another to dishonour; so hath God. O man (saith Paul) who art thou that disputest with God, shall the thing formed, say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the Potter power over the clay? And as the Psalmist saith, That Gods judgements are like a great deepe: So the Apostle professeth, That his judge∣ments are unsearcheable, and his waies past finding out. And in the common opinion this is * delivered as touching the depth of Gods counsell in reprobation and predestination; and by the coherence of the words, with that which goes before it, appears to be spo∣ken upon Gods dispensing and denying grace to whom he will, and when he will; As for example; like as there was a time when God had a Church in the World, without distinction of Jewes and Gentiles, so afterwards the providence of God was to display it selfe after three severall waies, the first was in gathering a Church unto himselfe out of the World, from out of the posterity of Abraham, these were called the Jewes, in distinction from the Gentiles, who for a long time had not obtained mercy, as the Apostle speaks, Rom. 11. 30. In as much as they believed not: And this dispen∣sation of grace peculiar unto the Jewes, with rejection of the Gentiles, continued for about 1600 years. Then God gathered a Church among the Gentiles, with rejection of the Jewes, as the Apostle signifies in the place before alleadged, saying, now you have obtained mercy through their unbeliefe. And this dispensation of Gods grace peculiar unto the Gentiles, hath continued now, for about 1600 years. And we believe a time shall come, for the calling of the Jewes, and then the Church of God shall consist both of Page  147 Jewes and Gentiles, and the generall calling of them, as the Apostle signifies, Rom. 11. 12. If the fall of them be the riches of the World, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulnesse: and v. 15. If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the World, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead: and v. 31. Even so have these also now not believed, that through your (Gentiles) mercy, they also (the Jewes) might obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all under unbeliefe, that he might have mercy on all. And hereupon it is, that the Apostle breaks forth into admiration of this various providence of God, and different dispensation of his grace, saying, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdome and knowledge of God, how unsearcheable are his judgements, and his waies past finding out? So that albeit the justice of God, be apparent to the understanding of man in some of his waies, yet not in all. Neither doth it follow, that because God offers the justice of his courses, to the triall of humane understanding in some particulars, therefore he offers it to the same triall in all; or that the understanding of man is able to compre∣hend it in all. Not only carnall men cry out sometimes, Where is the God of judge∣ment? Mal. 2. 17. Again, it is in vain to serve God, and what profit is it that we have kept his commandements, that we have walked humbly before the Lord of hosts? But even the children of wisdome, which are apt to justify her, are yet some∣times offended through weaknesse of faith, or want of judgement to comprehend the depth of Gods providence, when they have considered the strange prosperity of the wicked, as Job. 21. 6, 7, 8. and David, Psal. 73. and Jeremy, Jer. 12.

But to consider punctually the instances here particulated. First not one of them treats of Gods decrees, though this Author boldly claps then in amongst the waies of God: And these places throughout entreat not of the decrees themselves, but of the executions of Gods decrees. As that Isaiah 5. 3. Judge I pray you between me and my vine∣yard; yet this was meere grace and not justice; but the laying of it wast, (as there he threatneth) for the unfruitfulnesse thereof, was just even in the conscience of man: So likewise the waies of God mentioned, Ezech. 18. 25. are most equall, as namely in rewarding the obedient, and punishing the disobedient. In like sort there is no question to be made of Gods decrees, concerning the rewarding the one, and punish∣ing the other. And it is as true, that all this is nothing to the purpose. The main question being touching Gods decree, to give the grace of obedience to one, and deny it unto others; and of the execution hereof, in shewing mercy on whom he will, and * hardning whom he will. No reason hereof can be devised by man without falling into manifest absurdity, or manifest heresy, or both. It is true God will not slay the righteous with the wicked: for the Infants of wicked Parents, untill God be pleased to regenerate them, are not to be accounted righteous, as being borne children of wrath. Ephes. 2. 3. And therefore as in the conflagration of Sodome, God took a course to save righteous Lot, yet the Infant children of the Sodomites were consumed * in the same fire with their Parents. And in like manner I answere to that of Moses. Num. 16. 22. Shall one man sinne, and wilt thou be angry with all the congregation? You know though Korah might be, and in likelihood he was the principall instigator yet Dathan and Abiram the sonnes of Eliab, and On, the sonne of Peleth, the sonnes of Reuben joy∣ned with him in the separation, and with these were joyned no lesse then 250 Cap∣tains of the assembly, and they famous in the congregation and men of renowne. Nor did those alone perish in this their separation, but their families also. So that whereas when Moses exhorted all the rest to depart from the tents of those wicked men, and thereupon Dathan and Abiram came out and stood in the doore of the Tent, with their Wives, and their Sonnes, and their little Children, all these were swallowed up, and went downe quick into the pit: and doe you think their little Children were partners with them in this conspiracy? And is not this judgement strange? What can justify this, but the power of God, is Lord over his creature, to∣gether with that originall corruption that is found in every one when they come into the world? Guesse, I pray, how happy this Author is in his observations. This makes me remember, how at my first coming into this place, having to deale with certain Brownists, being willed thereunto by our Diocesan: An old man among the rest, was willing to conferre, so we would give him liberty to open his mind at full; we willingly condescended unto him, and thereupon he began to alleadge places of Scripture to justify his separation; and wheresoever he found the word seperate, that he took up for an argument on his side (like him that did set downe every ship that Page  148 arrived in the harbour at Athens, as one of his shipps) and amongst the rest, this 16 chapter of Numbers afforded him one authority v. 21. where the Lord speaks unto Moses and Aaron, saying, separate your selves from among this congregation; whereunto I an∣swered; here indeed is a separation commanded, but from whom? Surely from those who rose up in rebellion against Moses and Aaron: Now if you can prove us to be such, as rise up in rebellion against Moses and Aaron, then, in the name of God separate your selves from us: But if we are not the men that rise up in rebellion against Moses and Aaron, but you rather, then are not you commanded to separate from us, but we ra∣ther are commanded to separate from you; yet we desire only, that you will not se∣parate from us, and all shall be well. But to returne, what doth this author think? Was God in a passion, or something precipitate when he said, separate your selves from a∣mong this congregation, that I may consume them all at once, and did Moses moderate him as being more-staid of the two? I hope, if God had done as much as he offered to doe, his action had been iustifiable, as well in the one as in the other. Certainly God should be just, even in turning his holy Angells into nothing: and was just in expo∣sing his holy Sonne to tortures unexpressable upon the crosse; other manner of pro∣ceedings, then were those which were used towards Adonibezek and Mauricius: they justified God from consideration of their former sinnes: No such course of justifica∣tion could have place in annihilating Angells, or had course in breaking the Holy Sonne of God for our iniquities. Yet these instances are remarkable to observe there∣in, the felicity of this Authors discourse. For first, was it God indeed that executed this judgement upon Adonibezek? Now the Text saith, the children of Judah were * they that dealt thus with him: did God then use their free wills, as his instruments for the execution of this judgement? And how was this? Was it by working them hereunto, or only by concurring with them to this act, as foreseeing they would doe such an act, and thereupon decreeing to concurre to the producing of that act? If God did work them hereunto, then can God work the will of any man to the doing of any free act freely: for who dares say that the children of Israel did not as freely doe this as ought else? But if God only concurred with them, to the doing of it mo∣do vellent, and only, upon foresight that they would doe it, decreed to concurre to the doing of it, calls he this Gods execution of judgement, depending meerely upon the pleasure of man foreseen by God?

As for the out-rage executed upon Mauricius by Phocas, this was no lesse then abo∣minable villany, as committed by him. Yet if God used him as an instrument herein, to execute his iudgement, then God by the sinfull act of one, can and doth punish the same of another, and consequently God must be the Author of that sinfull act, where∣by he punisheth another, and that by Arminius his rule, which is this, Omnis paena non permittitur sed infligitur a Deo, & habet Deum authorem. Now I come to consider his ac∣commodation of so impertinent a discourse. He saith absolute reprobation cannot be re∣conciled with this justice Divine: we say there is no need at all of reconcilement: for what an insipid thing is it, to talke of a course of reconciling them, who were never at odds? But he takes upon him to prove the repugnancy between them by three rea∣sons.

1. The first whereof is this. It makes God to punish the righteous with the wicked, as it is taught the Supralapsarian way directly. I confesse here is a direct somewhat, but whether a direct truth, or a direct lye, let the indifferent judge. He adventureth the proofe of it thus: The Supralapsarians present man in his decree of Reprobation considered without sinne: that is true I confesse, and it is as true that they present him considered without righteousnesse also; and for good reason, because Gods decree was eternall, and the creature at that time had no being & to consider a thing that hath no being, as having being, is not so much considerare, to consider, as errare or fingere, to erre or feign, this I have delivered in my Vindiciae gratiae Dei, and that in the first part of the first book. And this Author pretends he hath read the second, yet he takes no course to refute this or ought else. But let him goe on. God (he saith) is made by them to determine the infliction of misery on men without consideration of sinne, either Originall or actuall. First, let it be granted, yet herehence it followeth not, that he is made to be a destroyer of the righteous, or to punish the righteous with the wicked, which was that he affirmed. To determine punishment is one thing, to punish is another thing. Certainly in the opinion of those he speaks of, God punisheth none but the wicked; the very conscience of this Author cannot but convict him of falshood in this crimination: For certainly by their opinion it doth Page  151 not follow but that every one is found wicked, when God doth punish him. I may as well say in most absolute congruity, that by their opinion, God doth punish men, before they have any being by creation: for such they were indeed, and neither wicked nor righteous, when God passed the decree of reprobation upon them. But neither doe these Divines maintain, that God did decree to damne any man but for sinne. Nay, I goe farther: let the object of reprobation be men not yet created, and so considered, as I have proved it to be so, herehence it no way followes, that the de∣cree of reprobration, is in any moment of reason or nature, before the consideration or citra considerationem peccati: and this also have I proved. This Author boldly sup∣poseth the contrary to be true, without any proofe, yet pretends he hath read my Vindiciae Gratiae Dei farther off then where I have handled this. I say he pre∣tends it, but I doe not know how he comes by this, it may be as Capons come by Chickens.

Hence he proceeds to the Sublapsarians also, the whole Synod of Dort (as 'tis sup∣posed) our Brittain Divines, and all; for against their way he hath tyed himselfe to bend his reasons, but so, that as the Pope by his grants, doth never bind his own hands, for this Author hath power to untye himselfe at pleasure, and to fly out against the Supra∣lapsarians also: as Scanderbeg did against the two Persian challengers; but he was put thereunto, because they contrary to the compact, set both at once on him. But this champion like a tall fellow, and of a brave spirit, as if he should not have his hands full of a whole Synod, lets fly at all: They indeed, I mean the Sublapsarians, consider mankind in originall sinne; this he may well suppose: but he goes farther, and sup∣poseth also, that this sinne is made ours only by Gods order and appoyntment: For so, saith he, they in effect doe say.

1. That God did lay upon every man, a necessity of being borne in Originall sinne. But in this also he speaks at pleasure, quoting no passage of any Author. God may be said to lay upon man a necessity of eternall condemnation, dying in sinne unrepented of: yet no sober man will say, that God is the author of a mans condemnation, by Gods only or∣der and pleasure; For this implies, that there is no meritorious cause of condemnation in man. God (we say) of meer pleasure, bestowes the grace of repentance on whom he will; because he finds all equall in naturall corruption, and no difference in any, whereby to move God to bestow grace on him rather then on another. The case is not alike when God comes to bestow salvation and inflict damnation; for some he finds dying in sinnes, others dying in the Lord: yet we deny not but by power absolute, and secluding the determination of his own will, he could annihilate the righteous as well as the wicked. In like sort the whole course of nature depends meerely upon the pleasure of God: yet we say it is naturall for a Leprous person, to beget a Le∣prous person: and so as naturall it is, for that which is borne of the flesh to be flesh, though each depends upon the constitution of God. For albeit Adam lost the spirit of God by his transgression, and all supernaturall graces wherewith he was endued; yet like as God by regeneration, of his meere pleasure restored them afterwards to Adam, and in due time doth restore them to every one of his Elect: so in their very concepti∣on, if it pleased God, he could for Christs sake infuse them; notwithstanding the sinne of Adam; and consequently it is the free act of God, in refusing after this manner to deale with them. Yet this nothing hinders, but that the propagation of spirituall corruption unto all Adams posterity, may be as naturall as the propagation of any hereditary disease from the Father to the child: and over and above, that it is not in the way of meer pleasure, but in the way of justice; for the sinne of Adam, which was the sinne of our nature, bereaving him of that originall righteousnesse wherein he was reated: and causing all mankind to be, 1. Derived from him, whereas he could have otherwise provided, 2. And that from Adam after his nature was corrupt with sinne, whereas he could have derived posterity from him before his fall, had it pleased him. And therefore I approve the second Canon of the Synod of Dort, whereunto our English Divines with many others subscribed: where they professe, that the corruption derived from Adam to his posterity was, per vitiosae naturae propagationem justo Dei iudicio de∣rivata. This I take to be much different from saying, Adams sinne is made ours by meer pleasure, or by imputation only. So the fifteenth Article in the confession Ecclesiarum Belgicarum runs thus; Credimus Adami in obedientiâ, peccatum originis in totum genus humanum diffusum esse: quod est totius naturae corruptio, & vitium haereditarium, quo & ipsi infantes in ma∣tris suae utero polluti sunt, quodque veluti radix omne peccatorum genus in homine producit; ideo{que} itaPage  150foedum & execrabile est coram Deo, ut ad generis humani condemnationem sufficiat. Our Brittain Divines, in their second Thesis upon the third and fourth Articles, explicate themselves concerning the condition of originall sinne in this manner. Lapsae voluntati inest non tantum peccandi possibilitas, sed etiam praeceps ad peccandum inclinatio; Nec aliter se potest res ha∣bere in homine corrupto, nondum per divinam justitiam restaurato: cùm ea sit natura voluntatis, ut nuda manere nequeat, sed ab uno, cui adhaeserat, objecto excidens, aliud quaerat, quod cupidè amplecta∣tur, ideo per spontaneam defectionem habitualiter adversa a Deo creatore, in creaturam effraeni impe∣tu fertur, ac cum ea libidinose ac turpiter fornicatur, semper avida fruendi utendis, ac vetita molien∣di ac patrandi. Quid mirum ergo si talis voluntas sit Diaboli maneipium? I find indeed in Corvi∣nus such a profession of his, namely, that ex puro Dei arbitrio, qui Adami peccatum nobis im∣putare voluit, etiam in nos reatus derivatus est. And Walaeus in answer unto him writes thus; Nec quinto illo ad Rom. Capite, ad quod nos hic Corvinus remittit, quicquam ta∣le dicitur aut innuitur, nempe quod ex mero Dei arbittio pendeat haec primi peccati impu∣tatio.

2. The Second thing he puts upon our Divines is, That God hath determined for that sinne, to cast away the farre greater part of mankind for ever: and so they make God to doe that by two acts, the one accompanying the other, which the other say he did by one. To which I answer, First, that if they say that God doth no more by two acts, then, the other say, God did by one, seeing I have proved that the other doe no way maintain that God doth pu∣nish the righteous with the wicked, which is his immodest and unshamefac't crimi∣nation; no nor doe they maintain, that God determined to damne any but for sinne, and which is more then that, supposing humanum genus nondum conditum, to be the object of reprobation, yet doth it not follow, that in any moment of nature, the decree of damnation is before the consideration of sinne; surely neither will it follow, by the Sublapsarian Doctrine, that God doth not decree to punish any man with damnati∣on, but for those sinnes wherein he dyeth unrepented of; much lesse that God doth punish the righteous with the wicked, which is the crimination of this Author, pro∣posed, I doubt, against his own conscience. Tis true, some perish only in originall sinne, and that justly: for if they be borne children of wrath, is it strange if they dye children of wrath? And is it not just with God to inflict eternall death on them, whom this Author professeth to be guilty of eternall death? only he saith, that God of his meer pleasure, makes them guilty of eternall death: That is his saying, not ours: For though we say originall sinne makes a man guilty of eternall death, by the free constitution of God; yet we say not, that this free constitution of God was made of his meer pleasure, but justo Dei judicio▪ like as whosoever believes not shall be damned, here damnation is by the free constitution of God, made the portion of unbelievers: but dares this Author inferre herehence, that it is not made so justo Dei judicio? indeed God gives grace according to the meere pleasure of his will: but no wise man will say, that he damnes men according to the meere pleasure of his will; for this phrase implies, that there is no cause thereof on mans part: And indeed there is no cause on mans part, why God should give him grace, but there is cause enough on mans part, why God should inflict damnation on him, and yet this work of God though just, is never a whit the lesse free. So in damning for originall sinne only, though Gods constitution hereof be just, yet is it never a whit the lesse free; and though it be free, yet it is never a whit the lesse just: And like as damnation is infli∣cted on finall impenitents, sola Dei constitutione, only by vertue of this constitution Di∣vine, whosoever repents not of his sinne shall be damned; (for it is apparent, God might have annihilated them, had it so pleased him) yet is it never a whit the lesse just. In like sort it is by the sole constitution of God, that originall sinne is propagated to all men, Christ excepted. for God could have derived mankind from another stock af∣ter Adams fall: and as he doth regenerate men usually by his word, so he might if it pleased him, in their very conception give them his spirit, and those supernaturall graces, whereof Adam was deprived by sinne: yet the propagation of sinne from A∣dam to posterity. is never a whit the lesse just; no nor any whit the lesse naturall; like as the whole course of nature, depends upon the alone constitution of God. But when I say that God can without respect of sinne, inflict any torment upon his creature, this is delivered of power absolute. This power the Lord did execute upon his own sonne: for what was his sinne? Was he not the spotlesse lamb of God? Yet what ago∣nies did he suffer in the garden, what torments and terrours upon the crosse, when hee cryed out My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken mee? But the Page  151 like power he doth not execute on us, only he gives us authority to exercise the like power over other creatures: if the powder of an Hare burnt alive in an Oven, be found to be wholsome for us, he gives us leave thus to deale with him, and the like: yet have not these creatures sinned either against God, or against us. Of this abso∣lute power of God, I have discoursed more sparingly in the place cited by him, Lib. 1. p. 2. De Electione, digres. 3. If this Author hath any mind to except against it, either in whole or in part, he might have tried his strength, and not contented himselfe, with shewing his teeth only. Yet by his leave, whether those he speaks of, will concurre with me in this, it is more then I know, but to serve his turne at this present against those whom he hath tyed himselfe to oppose, as he professeth, he cares little what he avoucheth to save himselfe of farther pains. By the way let me take notice of one argument more then I dreamt of, for the maintenance of Gods absolute power to in∣flict any pain upon a creature, and that of his meer pleasure, which this Author ere he is aware suggests unto me; And accordingly thus I dispute. If God can out of his meer pleasure make a man guilty of eternall death, surely it seems that of his meer pleasure he may inflict eternall death on any. But God can of his meer pleasure make a man guilty of eternall death, as I prove out of this Author, who professeth that God out of his meer pleasure, made all mankind guilty of eternall death: Now we commonly say, that ab actu ad potentiam valet argumentum. And see farther how misera∣bly he overlasheth. The highest degree whereunto he can improve the harshnesse of our Doctrine is this, that we should teach, that God doth decree the misery of an innocent man. Now I pray consider, is it not as harsh, that God should decree the death, the a∣gonics, the sorrowes, and tortures of an innocent man? And is it not apparent, that God decreed the death and those unspeakable sorrowes of his innocent sonne? Yet we say not that God decreed any other mans death or damnation, but only for sinne. But it is all one in his opinion to say, God decrees the misery of an innocent man, and to pur∣pose that he shall be involved in a sinne, that so he may be brought to misery. First, I say his opini∣on is no Oracle, if it were, the world would soon grow wild. Secondly, this sufficeth not to prove his crimination, which was this, that by our Doctrine, we make God to punish the righteous with the wicked, not that we make God to doe that which is all one in substance. Thirdly, his best arguments are his phrases, whereby he hopes to season others affections as well as his own; as in saying God purposed man shall be involved in sinne: For if he speake of mankind, made guilty of the sinne of Adam, he forgets his own Tenet; that God of his meer pleasure makes Adams sinne the sinne of his posterity, and thereby of his meer pleasure makes them guilty of eternall death. And as touching our Tenet herein, is there any such harshnesse in saying, that God causeth a leprous child to be borne of Leprous parents? But if he speak it in generall of any sinne, for which any man is damned, our Doctrine is, that the sinnes which come to passe, must needs be permitted by God, and for God to permit any sinne, is to will that such a sinne shall come to passe by Gods permission. Arminius himselfe professing, that if God permit a man to will that which is evill, Necesse est ut nullo argumentorum genere per∣suadeatur ad nolendum. And the Scripture is expresse as touching the foulest actions that ever were committed by man, to wit, in the most contumelious usages of the sonne of God, namely that both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles, and people of Isra∣ell were gathered together, to doe what Gods hand, and Gods Counsell had predetermined to be done. And when Fulgentius saith, that God had been unjust, if he had predestinated stantem ad ruinam; ad ruinam here is ad peccatum, and Predestination in the Fathers sense, is only eo∣rum quae Deus ipse facturus erat, which God himselfe meant to effect, not what he meant to suffer. That they took predestination in this sense, it appears by Austin. lib. 2. de bono persever. c. 17. his words are these. In sua quae falli mutari{que} non potest praescientia opera sua futura disponere, illud omnino, nec aliud quicquam est praedestinare. Marke it well, opera sua, his works, now sinne is no work of God, but a work of the creature only.

I come to his second reason.

Page  152
DISCOURSE. SUBSECT. II.

IT is against Gods Justice, because it makes him to require faith in Christ, of those to whom he hath in his absolute purpose denied both ability to believe, and a Christ to believe in.

That Reprobates are bound to believe as well as others, it is the constant Doctrine of Divines; amongst whom Zanchius delivers it for a Thesis: Quisque (saith he) mandato Dei tenctur crede∣re*se ad salutem aeternam in Christo fuisse electum, maxime is qui fidem in Christum profitetur. And in his ex∣plication of this Thesis he saith, Cum dicimus unumquem{que} teneri hoc credtre, neminem, ne reproios qui∣dem, qui neque unquam credent, nec credere in Christum possunt, excipimus; & nisi credant, gravissime ommum peccant. Every man, especially he that professeth Christ, is bound to believe that he is chosen in Christ to salvation; every man without exception, even the Reprobate himselfe; and if he believe it not, he commits a most grievous sinne above all others. This that he saith, he proves by Iohn 16. 9. The spirit shall convince the World of sinne, because they believe not in me: Reprobates therefore are bound to believe.

But now they cannot be justly bound to believe if they be absolute and inevitable Reprobates, for three causes.

1. Because it is Gods will that they shall not believe; and it appears to be so, because it is his pe∣remptory will that they shall have no power to believe; for its a Maime in Logick, that Qui vult ali∣quid in causâ, vult effectum ex ista causa necessario profluentem: No man will say that it is Gods serious will, that such a man shall live, when it is his will, that he shall not have the concourse of his pro∣vidence, and the act of preservation▪ now will any say (that forget not themselves) that God doth unfainedly will that those men shall believe, whom he will not furnish with necessary power to be∣lieve. Now if it be Gods will, that absolute reprobates shall in no wise believe, they cannot in ju∣stice be tied to believe. For no man is bound to an act against Gods peremptory will.

2. Because it is impossible that they should believe, they want power to believe, and must want it still: God hath decreed they shall have none to their dving day: without power to believe, they can no more believe, then a man can see without an eye, and live without a Soule. Nemo obligatur ad impossibilia. To believe is absolutely impossible unto them; and therefore in justice they can be tyed to believe no more then a man can be bound to fly like a Bird, or to reach heaven with the top of his finger.

3. Because they have no object of saith. Credere ubet, d fidei nulium objectum 〈◊〉: This decree makes God to oblige men to believe, and to give them no Christ to believe in, and to punish them as transgressors of the covenant of grace, when yet they have no more right unto it, or part in it, then the very Devills. Can God justiy bind men to believe a lye? To believe that Christ died for them, when it is no such matter? If a man should command his Servant to eate, and punish him for not eat∣ing, and in the mean time fully resolve that he shall have no meat to eate: Would any reasonable man say that he were just in such a command, such a punishment? Change but the names, the case is the same.

TWISSE Consideration.

IN this discourse on the poynt of Gods justice, this Author seems to storme, and shewes great confidence of bearing downe all before him: but the more ridicu∣lous will it prove in the issue, when it shall appeare, that all this wind beats down no corne. He takes his rise from a particular opinion of Zanchy, whose opinion is, that all, even Reprobates are bound to believe they are elected in Christ unto sal∣vation, though never they shall believe nor can believe. But doth this Author him∣selfe concurre with Zanchy in this opinion? If he did, I presume it were upon some better ground then the authority of Zanchy; and in all likelihood we should have heard of those grounds: or doth himselfe believe, that that passage Ioh. 16. 9. He shall convict the World of sinne, because they believed not in me, doth evince as much, or import as much Page  153 as that is, whereunto Zanchy drives it? If he doth not concurre with Zanchy in either of these, why should he tye us to the particular authority of Zanchy? Must we be bound to stand to every interpretation of our Divines, or every particular opinion of theirs, wherein perhaps they were singular? Secondly, suppose this opinion of Zanchy be a truth, and suppose we concurre with him herein, will it from this opinion follow, that therefore even Reprobates, have power to believe? Who seeth not that it is a flat contradiction to the antecedent? For the Doctrine of Zanchy as here it is related, is this, that even Reprobates, though they cannot believe, yet are they bound to be∣lieve. Now will it herehence follow that therefore they have power to believe? Whereas it is manifestly supposed in the antecedent that they cannot believe. And to my understanding, the distinction of Elect and Reprobate in this case is most unsea∣sonable. For to what end doe we Preach unto our hearers, that all sorts of men are bound to believe, but this, to wit, that every one that heareth us, being privy to his condition, may understand that he, of what condition soever he be, which is suppo∣sed to be better known to him, then to the Preacher, or at least as well, is bound to believe. But as for these different conditions of elect and reprobate, no man can be privy to the one, untill he doth believe; nor to the other, untill finall perseverance in unbeliefe. And if I list, I could alleadge the opinion of another Divine (who is very peremptory in his way) professing that the Ministers calling upon us to believe, is no commandement at all, but like a Kings gracious Proclamation unto certain malifa∣ctors, who are all accused of High Treason, giving them to understand, that in case they will voluntarily confesse their sinne, and accept of his gracious pardon offered them, he will most graciously pardon them. But if they will not, but stand rather to their triall, presuming to acquit themselves right well, and prove themselves to be true Subjects, let them stand to the adventure, and issue of their tryall. And that thus the covenant of grace is offered to be received by them only, who feare to come, and dare not come to the tryall of the Covenant of works. But I will not content my selfe, in putting off Zanchy in this manner; although by the way I cannot but pro∣fesse, that were I of their opinion, who teach that God gives unto all and every one, when they come into the World, a certain grace, for the enlivening of their wills, whereby they are enabled to will any spirituall good, whereto they shall be excited; I see no reason but that the way is open to everlasting life, as well by the covenant of works, as by the covenant of grace: for let perfect obedience be the spirituall good whereto they are excited, let them but will it, as it is supposed they can; and then God will be ready to concurre to the doing of it, like as to the work in us 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉credere, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉resipiscere, modò velimus, so also I should think, to work in us perfect obedience modò velimus. And in this case I pray consider, what need were there of faith in Christ on their part, more then on the part of the Holy Angells; certainly there would be no need of repentance.

Thirdly therefore consider we the constant Doctrine of Divines, not that Repro∣bates are bound to believe, but that all that heare the Gospell are bound to believe: but in what sense? Piscator saith, as I remember, that the thing, which all such are bound to believe, is the Gospell; according to that Mar. 1. Repent ye and believe the Go∣spell. Now to believe the Gospell is one thing, the summe whereof is this, That Jesus Christ came into the World to save sinners; but to believe in Christ is another thing, which yet this Author distinguisheth not, though it appears by the course of his argumenta∣tion, that he draws to this meaning, and that in a particular sense, which is this, to be∣lieve that Christ died for them; as appears expressely in the latter end of this Section. And no marvaile if this Author carry himselfe so confidently in this, being, as he is, armed with such confidence. But I am glad that in one place or other, he springs his mean∣ing, that we may have the fairer flight at him, to pull down his pride, and sweep a∣way his vain considence: though we deale upon the most plausible argument of the Arminians, and which they think insoluble. My answer is; first, Look in what sense Arminius saith Christ died for us, in the same sense we may be held to say (without prejudice to our Tenet) of absolute reprobation, that all who heare the Gospell are bound to believe that Christ died for them. For the meaning that Arminius makes of Christs dying for us, is this, Christ dyed, for this end, that satisfaction being made for sinne, the Lord now may pardon sinne, upon what condition he will; which in∣deed is to dye for obtaining a possibility of the redemption of all, but for the actuall redemption of none at all. Secondly, But I list not to content my selfe with this; Page  154 therefore I farther answer, by distinction of the phrase of dying for us, that we may not cheat our selves by the confounding of things that differ. To dye for us, or for all, is to dye for our benefit, or for the benefit of all: Now these benefits are of a dif∣ferent nature, whereof some are bestowed upon man only conditionally (though for Christs sake) and they are the pardon of sinne and Salvation of the Soule, and these God doth conferre only upon the condition of faith and repentance. Now I am rea∣dy to professe, and that, I suppose, as out of the mouth of all our Divines, that every one who hears the Gospell (without distinction between Elect and Reprobate) is bound to believe that Christ died for him, so farre as to procure both the pardon of his sinnes, and the salvation of his soule, in case he believe and repent. But there are other benefits, which Christ by his obedience hath merited for us, namely, the bene∣fit of faith and repentance. For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulnesse dwell, Col. 1. And He hath blessed us with all spirituall blessings in Christ, that is, for Christs sake: and * God works in us, that which is pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ, and therefore see∣ing nothing is more pleasing in Gods sight on our part, then faith and repentance, e∣ven these also, I should think, God works in us through Jesus Christ: and the Apo∣stle praies in the behalfe of the Ephesians, for peace, and faith, and love from God * the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, as I interpret it, from God the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, as an efficient cause, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, God and Man, as a meritorious cause thereof. Now I demand whether this Author can say truly, that tis the constant opinion of our Divines, that all who heare the Gospell, whether Elect or Reprobate, are bound to believe, that Christ dyed to procure them faith and repentance. Nay doth any Arminian at this day believe this, or can he name any Arminian that doth avouch this? Nay doth himselfe believe this? If he doth not, if he cannot shew any Arminian that doth, with what face can he charge this opinion upon us, as if we should extend the obligation to believe, much farther then the Ar∣minians doe, whereas usually they criminate us, for not extending it so farre as we should. And indeed there is a main difference between these benefits and the former: For as touching the former, namely pardon of sinne and salvation, God doth not use to conferre them, but conditionally, to wit, upon the condition of faith and repen∣tance. But as for faith and repentance, doth God conferre them conditionally also? If so, then let them make known to us, what that condition is on mans part, and whatsoever it be, let them look unto it, how they can avoid the making of grace, to wit, the grace of faith and repentance, to be given according unto works. But if these graces are conferred absolutely, and Christ dyed for all to this end, that faith and repentance should be conferred absolutely upon all, then it followeth manifestly herehence, that all must believe and repent, and consequently all must be saved. So that not only Election (as Huberus that renegate faigned) must be universall, but Sal∣vation also. Thus have I given in my answer distinctly, to that which he delivered most confusedly. Fourthly I come to the scanning of the particular opinion of Zan∣chy, namely, that every one that hears the Gospell, whether elect or reprobate (for so I suppose it proceeds, to wit, only of them, who heare the Gospell, though this Author, takes no consideration of that neither, but hand-over-head, laies about him like a mad man) is bound to believe, that he is elect in Christ; and will trye whether I cannot reduce that opinion of his also, to a faire interpretation. And here first I ob∣serve, Zanchy is not charged to maintain, that every hearer of the Gospell, is bound to believe, that he is elect in Christ unto faith and repentance, but only to salvation: that puts me in good heart, that Zanchy & I shall shake hands of fellowship in the end, and part good friends. Secondly, I distinguish between absolute-Election unto Salva∣tion, and election unto Salvation-absolute. The first only removes all cause on mans part of election, the latter removes all cause on mans part of salvation. By cause of salvation I mean only a disposing cause, such as faith, repentance, and good works are, as whereby (to expresse it in the Apostles phrase) we are made meet partakers of the*inheritance of the Saints of light. Now albeit Zanchy maintains as we doe, that all the e∣lect are absolutely elected unto salvation, there being no cause on mans part of his e∣lection, as we have learned: yet neither Zanchy nor we doe maintain that God doth elect any unto salvation absolute, that is, to bring him to salvation, without any di∣sposing of him thereunto by faith and repentance. Now to accommodate that opi∣nion of Zanchy, I say it may have a good sense, to say that every hearer is bound to be∣lieve, both that Christ dyed to procure Salvation for him, in case he doe believe, and Page  155 that God ordained that he should be saved, in case he doe believe; where beliefe is made the condition only of salvation, not of the Divine ordination; and the confu∣sion of these by the Arminians, doth usually make them confident and insolent, and in a word, Magnas Tragoedias excitare. But take a way the confusion of things that dif∣fer, their combes are cut, their locks are shorne, and they are but as another man. Now having shewed in what sense every hearer, is bound to believe that Christ died for him, and in what sense not, let us consider of what worth this Authors arguments are, breathing nothing but smoak and fire, I will not say, like the great Potan, but like fell Dragon; but I nothing doubt we shall pare his nailes, and make him calme e∣nough ere we have done with him, so that a little child shall be able enough to lead him. Now that they cannot be justly bound to believe, if they be absolute reprobates he takes upon him to prove by three reasons.

1. The first is, because it is Gods will that they shall not believe, because it is his perempto∣ry will, that they shall have no power to believe. I answere, it is indeed the will of Gods de∣cree, that is, he hath decreed not to give any Reprobate a justifying faith, but hence it followeth not, that therefore they cannot believe thus farre the contents of the Go∣spell, namely, that both Christ hath merited, and God hath ordained, that as many as doe believe shall be saved. For this, as I take it, is not usually accounted by our Di∣vines a justifying faith, but rather it comes within the compasse of such a faith, as is commonly counted faith historicall.

Secondly I answer, it followeth not, that because God hath decreed to deny them the grace of faith, therefore they are not bound to believe; which I prove by Scrip∣ture: For was not Pharaoh bound to let Israel goe, when Moses was sent to him from * the Lord, to command him in the name of the Lord, to let Israel goe? Yet the Scrip∣ture plainly teacheth us, that the Lord told Moses that he would harden Pharaohs heart, and that he should not let Israel goe. What I pray is now become of his reason, com∣pared with the light of Scripture? And what have we to doe to enquire into Gods counsells, as whether he hath decreed to give us grace or no? Is it not enough to bind us to obedience, for God to command this or that unto us? Did Abraham en∣quire in his thoughts, whether it were his purpose yea or no, that Isaack should be sa∣crificed? Nothing lesse; but upon the Lords command, he forthwith addresseth him∣selfe to the worke, rising early in the morning, and going forward in the Lords busi∣nesse. Then again, we find by common experience, that naturall men are too to con∣fident rather, and presumptuous of their power, then diffident, and distrustfull; dicere*solet humana superbia (saith Austin) si scissem fecissem: it were better for them if they did acknowledge their impotency, and by what means this corruption of theirs is brought upon them, that would bring them nearer to the Kingdome of God. But if I have a debtor, whom I know to be a Bankerupt, but he knowes it not, but having many bagges of Brasse or Copper pieces, which he takes to be Gold, conceits himselfe able enough to pay all his debts, and more too: shall I be said to commit any inde∣cent thing, by urging him to pay that he oweth? This argument is as old as Pelagius: but what was Austin his answer? In mandato cognosce quid debeas habere, in corruptione cognos∣ce t uo te vitio non habere, in oratione cognosce unde possis habere.

3. Lastly, if God cannot justly command, and by command bind man to obey, in case he hath no power to obey; in like sort God cannot justly complaine of their disobedience, who being hardned by God, cannot obey him: And indeed as this Author argueth against the justice of Gods commands in this case, so the Apostle brings in one arguing the injustice of Gods complaints in the like case. For having delivered this Doctrine, that God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth: forthwith he brings in one tumultuating against it in this manner. Thou*wilt say then why doth he yet complaine, for who hath resisted his will? And if any man be not ashamed to argue as he did (saith Austin) let us not be ashamed to answer as the A∣postle did: and how was that? Surely only thus: O man who art thou that disputest with God? shall the thing formed, say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the Potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessell unto honour, and another unto disho∣nour? And albeit this, I trow, should be sufficient to satisfy a Christian, yet we observe farther, how this Author confounds impotency Morall, which consisteth in the cor∣ruption of mans powers naturall, and impotency naturall, which consisteth in berea∣ving him of power naturall. The Lord tells us by his Prophet Jeremy, that Like as a Blackamore cannot change his skinne, nor a Leopard his spotts, no more can they doe good, that are*Page  156accustomed unto evill. Now if a man taken in stealth shall plead thus before a Judge, My Lord, I beseech you have compassion upon me, for I have so long time inured my hands to pilfering, that now I cannot forbeare it: will this be accepted as a good plea to save him from the Gallowes. Again, it is observed that men are naturally prone to runne upon the committing of things forbidden them; Gens humana ruit per vetitum nefas: & nitimur in vetitum: yet this is no just excuse. Lastly; as for faith, it is well known that Divines distinguish between fides acquisita, and fides infusa; that we may call a faith naturally acquired, which is found in carnall persons, whether pro∣phane or Hypocriticall: and this is a faith inspired by Gods spirit. The object of each is all one, and a Man may suffer Martyrdome for the one as well as for the other, which manifesteth the pertinacious adherence thereunto. And it appears that all pro∣fessions have had their Martyrs; Ucali Fartax a Calabrian borne, endured the Gallies fourteen years, rather then he would turne Turke; yet at length he became a Turke, and only in spleen to be revenged on a Turke, who had given him a boxe on the eare, and became a great man amongst them: And at the famous battell of Lepanto, he a∣lone maintained his Squadron entire, and beat the Christians. But to returne, albeit it be not in the power of nature to believe fide infusâ, yet is it in the power of nature to believe the Gospell fide acquisitâ, which depends partly upon a mans education, and partly upon reason, considering the credibility of the Christian way, by light of naturall observations, above all other waies in the World. And when men refuse to embrace the Gospell, not so much because of the credibility of it, but because it is not congruous to their naturall affections, as our Saviour tells the Jewes, Light came into the World, and men loved darknesse rather then light, because their deeds are evill: Is there * any reason why their condemnation should be any whit the easier for this? Neither have I ever read, or heard it taught by any, that men shall be damned for not belie∣ving fide infusâ, which is as much as to say, because God hath not regenerated them; but either because they have refused to believe, or else if they have embraced the Go∣spell, for not living answerable thereunto, which also is in their power, quoad exterio∣rem vitae emendationem, though it be not in their power to regenerate their wills, and change their hearts, any more then it is to illuminate their minds: yet I never read that any mans damnation, was any whit the more encreased for not performing these acts. Thus farre I have been content to expatiate in the way of reasonable discourse, to meet with this Disputer in his own element; though every sober Christian (I should think) should rest satisfied with the word of God, which both teacheth us that the naturall man perceiveth not the things of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritu∣ally discerned, & that all men are found dead in trespasses and sinnes, before the spirit of regene∣ration comes, that men cannot believe, that they cannot repent, that they that are in the flesh cannot please God; and that a man hardned cannot obey; and yet withall, that God doth command faith, repentance, and obedience, and complaines of default in per∣formance. And if any man charge such courses as unjust, what is the Apostles course in meeting with such imputations, but either to shew, that the word attributes such a course to God, and therefore it cannot be unjust, as Rom. 9. 14. What shall we say then, is there unrighteousnesse with God? God forbid, for he saith to Moses, I will have compassion on him, on whom I will have compassion, and I will shew mercy on him, to whom I will shew mecy: or to fly to the consideration of the Lords dominion over all, as Creator over his creatures. I come to his second reason.

2. And that is, because it is impossible that they should believe, they want power to believe, and must want it still. God hath decreed they shall have none to their dying day. I answer: This argu∣ment is the very same with the former, not so much as differently drst, or crambe bis cocta, and therefore my former answer will serve in every particular. Yet adde this al∣so, this impossibility is only upon supposition of Gods Decree, which nothing hinders the liberty of the creature, in doing freely what he doth, and freely leaving undone what he doth not, as appears manifestly by divers instances. For upon supposition of Gods decree, that not a bone of Christ should be broken, it was impossible they should be broken: yet who doubts, but that the Souldiers did as freely abstaine from the * breaking of Christs bones, as they did freely break the others bones? And the Text notes the reason why they brake not Christs bones, to wit, because they saw he was dead already. In like sort upon supposition of Gods decree, that Josiah by name should burne the Prophets bones upon the Altar: Cyrus by name should build him a Citty, and let goe his captives; it was impossible that it should be otherwise: yet I Page  157 think no wise man doubts but that Josiah did the one, and Cyrus the other, as freely as they did any thing in their lives. And therefore this Author doth miserably overlash in the element of his Philosophy, and rationall discourse, in saying, a man in justice can be tyed to believe no more, then a man can be bound to fly like a Bird, or to reach heaven with the top of his finger. He might as well say, that because God had determined that the Souldiers should not breake Christs bones, therefore they had no more power to breake Christs bones, then they had power to fly like a Bird, or to reach Heaven with the top of their finger. Certainly there is no man but by grace may be enabled to believe: but never was a∣ny man known to affirme, that by grace a man may be enabled to fly like a Bird, or to reach Heaven with the top of his finger. If this be not miserably to over-reach, I know not what is. As for his rule, Nemo obligatur ad impossibile, judge I pray of the truth of it by this; What if a man by a vitious conversation, hath made it as impossi∣ble for him to doe good, as it is impossible for a Blackemore to change his skinne, or * a Leopard his spots; Shall he therefore be obliged no longer to doe good? And as by our own sinnes committed by our persons, so by the sinne of Adam, which was the sinne of our nature, upon the whole nature of man was this impotency brought, as the Scriptures teach, and none that I know were known in the dayes of Austin, to deny, but the Plagians.

I come to the Third.

3. Now this depends upon a notorious confusion of things that differ. For I have shewed, how the Lord hath given them a sufficient object of that faith, which he requires of them, as touching Christs dyeing for them; namily, to believe that Christ hath merited the pardon of sinne, and salvation for as many as believe in him, in such sort, that if all, and every one throughout the World should believe in him; they should be saved by him. And this depends meerely upon the sufficiency of Christs merits, and undoubtedly it was the will of God, that Christs merits should be of such a value, as was sufficient for the salvation of all, and every one: otherwise it were not true, that if all and every one should believe in Christ, they should be sa∣ved by the vertue of Christ merits. But as for any obligation to believe that Christ died to procure faith and repentance for all and every one; I never yet heard or read of any Arminian, that he believed it. Nay in their Apologia Remonstrantium, or Censura Censurae, they plainly professe, that Christ died not at all to merit faith, and regenera∣tion for any. In like sort it is not credible to me, that any Arminian believes, that Christ dyed for any so, as to procure pardon of sinne and salvation absolutely for him, whether he believe or no, provided that he live to be capable of faith and re∣pentance, and to enjoy the Gospell, and the Preaching of Christ crucified. And like as it is no lye, but truth, that Christ dyed to procure salvation, to as many as believe in him, so in being obliged to believe this, or punished for not believing it, is neither to be obliged to the believing of a lye, nor punished for not believing it. Therefore it is false to say there is no such matter. For look in what sense they are bound to be∣lieve that Christ died for them, in the same sense it is most true, that Christ died for them; they are bound to believe that Christ dyed to procure salvation for every one that believeth: and it is most true, that in like manner, Christ hath procured the sal∣vation of every one that believes: so that here is a truth to feed upon, and they that oppose it, are strengthned in their vaine confidence by a meere mist of confusion, which they raise unto themselves and others, that so they may set the better face up∣on that lye, which they hold in their right hand, wherewith they are so enamoured that they had rather forsake their own mercies, then forgoe it. And so I come to the third and last reason in generall drawn from Gods justice.

Page  158
DISCOURSE. SUBSECT. III.

THe third reason why absolute Reprobation infringeth Gods justice is, because it will have him to punish men for the omission of an act, which is made impossible unto them by his own decree, not by that decree alone whereby he determined to give them no power to believe, having lost it, but by that decree also, by which he purposeth that we should partake with Adam in his sinne, and be stripped of all that supernaturall power, which we had by Gods free grant, bestowed upon us in Adam before the fall: These are my reasons which move me to think, that this absolute decree is repugnant to Gods justice.

TWISSE Consideration.

I Have already shewed how Gods decree and impossibility arising upon supposi∣tion thereof, doth no way prejudice the liberty of the creature, as by pregnant passages of the Scripture is made plaine unto us. And as for the other decree here spoken of; First it is untrue which he supposeth, that, God by a speciall decree decreed all mankind to be made partakers of Adams sinne, and therein to be strip∣ped of all supernaturall power, which before the had by Gods free grant. For if it were just with God to decree, that Adams nature, upon his sinning, should be berea∣ved of all supernaturall power, which formerly he enjoyed, this and this alone should suffice to bereave all his posterity of supernaturall power to doe that which is good. For seeing all his posterity did receive their natures from Adam after his fall, they must therewithall necessarily receive their natures from him, bereaved of all su∣pernaturall power unto that which is good, untill such time, as God be pleased of his free grace to restore it by regeneration. 2. Is it not good reason that God, for Adams sinne, should bereave us of all supernaturall power in Adam, as of his meere grace he did adorne us all with supernaturall power in Adam? 3. Notwithstanding this depravation of supernaturall power in Adam, yet we acknowledge that never∣thelesse, whatsoever sinne a man commits, he committeth freely: and the Schoole hath taught it before us, Aquin. p. 1. q. 23. art. 3. ad. 3. licet aliquis non possit gratiam adi∣pisci qui reprobatur a Deo, tamen quòd in hoc peccatum vel illud labatur, ex ejus libero arbitrio contingit, undè & merito sibi imputatur in culpam.

Page  159
DISCOURSE. SUBSECT. IV.

TWo things are usually answered. First, that there are many things delivered for truths in Scripture, (among which this is one) which are above the reach of humane capacity, and therefore are we quietly to submit, as to other revealed truths, so to this, and not to be so bold as to examine the justice of this decree, or any thing else in it, by our shallow and erring understandings. But this answer takes not away the arguments, for I have these things to re∣ply.

1. That though there be diverse things revealed in Gods word, which are above reason, viz. That there are three Persons and one God; and that Christ was borne of a Virgin; that the world was made of nothing, that the dead shall be raised, &c. to all which we must captivate our understandings, and yeeld a firme assent propter authoritatem dicentis: yet there is nothing revealed therein, abhorring from, and odious to sound and right reason; for it cannot be, that the most excellent gifts of God, Faith and Reason, Nature and Scripture should overthrow one another: and that the wise God, who is the fountain of all right reason, should discover any thing to us in his word, or enjoyne us any thing to be believed, which is vere〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, truly and properly unreasonable. Our faith is an act of our service of God, and Gods service is cultus〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a reasonable service. Rom. 12. 2. and Gods word is also 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, milk reasonable and without guile; they are so called, no doubt, to shew that there is a sweet harmony between faith and reason, things revealed, and mens understandings: though there be a disproportion, yet there is no contradiction between them.

2. That therefore all those Doctrines which are adverse and repugnant to understandings, purged from prejudice and false principles, are not to be taken for doctrines of Scripture, but devices of men corrupting Scripture by false glosses and interpretations, and consequently, that this absolute repro∣bation of so many millions of miserable men, out of Gods only will and pleasure, because it is most irkesome to the eares and understandings of all sorts of men best and worst, that stand indifferent to the entertainment of any truths, that may appeare to be so, is no doctrine of the Text, no part of the word of God.

3. That howbeit some things in Scripture, which are peculiar to the Gospell, are above our un∣derstandings, and must without hesitation be believed, yet there are many things there, which have their foundation in nature, and may be apprehended by the light of nature, and demonstrated by rea∣son; and among these things the justice of Gods waies is one, as I have shewed before out of Isaiah 5. 3. and Ezek. 18. and it is but a meer evasion, when the absolute decree is proved by sound reasons to be unjust, to say, reason is blind, and must not be judge, but the Scripture only: for God offers the justice of his waies to the tryall of reason.

TWISSE Consideration.

THis Author seems to swell, in the conceit of his rationall performances, as if never any fly sitting upon a cart-wheele in a Sommers day had made such a dust as he had made. And fashioning to himselfe a victorious conquest, as if all his adversaries were but Pigmies to this Anakim, glad to runne into corners, or in∣to Acorn-cups to hide themselves there. For his reasons like some hobgoblins, doe so fright them, more then all the spirits that stand by the naked man in the book of Moones: And therefore all the help they have, if we believe this Pyrgopolinices is to charme them, by saying, that many things are delivered in Scripture, which are above the reach of humane capacity, among which this is one, &c. And I take this to be sound. For other∣wise, * why should the Doctrine of Godlinesse, be called a mystery of Godlinesse. And the Schooles teach, that Fides est assensus inevidens: and Cajetan who was no gras-hopper, Page  159 as great an Anakim as this Author, or his familiar spirit takes himselfe to be, spares not to professe, that about the reconciling of Gods predestination with the liberty of mans will (a poynt that comes so neere to this in hand as a poynt can doe) there are many distinctions devised by the learned, but yet he saith of them, that they did not qutetare intellectum, and therefore that he did captivare suum in obsequium fidei: and Alva∣rez, no dwarfe neither in Scholasticall, that is, rationall Divinity, addeth that here∣in Cajetan piissimè & doctissimè loquitur. But who they are, that have taken notice, of those arguments here specified, and at the sight of them were so ston'd, as at the sight of some Medusas head, and thereupon came to this course of incantation or pacifi∣cation, he doth very wisely conceale, and like a man of authority, puts it upon us to take it upon his word. Yet I doe not remember that I have rested my selfe upon any such course, though the holy Apostle thinks it sufficient to cleare any course of God from injustice, by proving that Scripture doth attribute such a course unto God, as I have shewed out of Rom. 9. 14. It is true, the spirit which this Author breaths, is the right Pelagian spirit, according to the Pelagians in Bradwardines daies: for their vaunt was, that they could not be refuted by any reason Philosophicall, but only by certain naked authorities Theologicall, (as I have heard of a Schollar, some∣times challenged by a friend and kinsman of his, for being given (as he heard) to the Arminian Tenet, made a ready answer with protestation, that that opinion was very plausible, but that St Paul was against it.) And therefore Bradwardine undertakes to confute them by reason Philosophicall; so farre off was he from being cowed with their vain boasts and braggs. His words are these; Sicut antiqui Pelagiani ventoso nomi∣ne secularium scientiarum inflati consistorium Theologicum contemnentes Philosophicum flagitabant; ita & moderni. Audivi nam{que} quosdam advocatos Pelagii, licet multum provectos in sacris apicibus; affirmantes Pelagium nusquam potuisse convinci per naturalem & Philosophicam rationem; sed vix arguebatur utcun{que}, per quasdam authoritates Theologicas, maxime autem per authoritatem Eccle∣siae, quae Satrapis non placebat: Quapr opter per rationes & authoritates Philosophicas ipsos dispo∣sui reformare. And for my part, though I affect not in those poynts, to goe beyond Scripture and Christian reason, yet I am content to be led whethersoever my adver∣sary thinks good to lead me: And as a Schollar of my acquaintance being left han∣ded, and accordingly casting his cloake over the right shoulder, was answered by a Cittizen observing it, when he enquired his way, saying, when you shall come to such a place, you must turne on your right hand, meaning indeed, on the left; so likewise I am nothing afraid of this mans Philosophy, nor his Abettors neither, no∣thing doubting, but as many as I find opposing this divine truth, which we maintain, their best dexterity, in Philosophicall and rationall discourse, will prove but a left handed Philosophy: and in this very field of argumentation, I purpose to lay upon him ere we part. But let us first consider the things that he replies.

1. He saith, There is nothing in Scripture abhorring from sound and right reason, he addes, Odious too: as if his Philosophy had taught him, that it is the part of reason to hate, and not rather of affections. This rule when we were initiates in the University, we were soon acquainted with: Yet this Author to vent his fulnesse, casts himselfe upon an unnecessary proofe thereof, and the mischiefe is, that his proofe maketh his cause worse then it was before. For having formerly made the comparison between the word of God, and sound and right reason; in his reason he states the comparison be∣tween faith and reason, nature and Scripture, not distinguishing between nature cor∣rupt, and uncorrupt, reason corrupt and uncorrupt. Our service of God is reasona∣ble, in as much as it is performed by reasonable creatures, and the rule thereof is not * naturall reason, but meerely the word of God. In whom was naturall reason more eminent, then in Philosophers? Yet were they wont to be called Haereticorum Patriar∣chae: and the Apostle hath professe of all such, that the things of God seem foolish∣nesse unto them, 1 Cor. 2. 14. Now I pray consider soberly, how reasonable such courses are judged to be, which are accounted foolishnesse, and what a sweet harmony there is between things revealed, and mens understandings; and whether reasonable, and foolish, be not a plain contradiction; as well as wise, and foolish. If we enjoy a more pure and refined reason then they, let us give illumination Divine the glory of it: and say with him in Job, verily there is a spirit in man, but the illumination of the Almighty giveth under∣standing. And seeing the word of God, is the only means of Divine illumination, let * us thank Gods word for all. I come to the second Materiall of his reply.

2. And that is this, that all those Doctrine which are aderse and repugnant to understan∣dingsPage  160purged from prejudice and false principles, are not to be taken for Doctrines of Scripture, but devices of men, corrupting Scripture by false glosses and interpretations. No marvaile that when men oppose the misteries of Godlinesse, they fall upon the mysteries of iniquity. Here we have a rule given to try whether a Doctrine proposed, be to be taken for a Do∣ctrine of Scripture yea or no? And mark it well, I beseech you, and I desire that eve∣ry sober man will mark it well, and judge whether it deserve not to be numbred a∣mongst the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the depths of Satan: And withall judge whether the preten∣ded Author of this discourse, can in any probability be the Author of this, and whe∣ther it becomes not rather some old beaten Souldier in Arminianisme, that takes up∣on him to be the Master and Dictator of Sentences. About Regula fidei, the rule of Faith, there is much question between us and Papists; the meaning whereof is, what that is whereinto must be made the last resolution of our Faith? We say it is the word of God contained in the Books of the Old Testament and the New; Papists say, it is the voyce of the Church. This Author deviseth a new way, which I think was never heard off before, except among the Socinians, namely, that it is the judgement of under∣standings purged from prejudice and false Principles. For albeit the Doctrine of Faith, we judge to be contained no where, but in Gods word, yet notwithstanding as touching the meaning of it, nothing must be taken to be the true meaning of Scripture, how fairely soever grounded thereupon in shew, unlesse withall it seem nothing repug∣nant to understandings purged from prejudice and false principles. Into this therefore must be made the last resolution of our faith.

Again, where shall we meet with these judges as they are here described, to wit, as having their understandings purged from prejudice and false principles: undoubtedly, like as the Church of Rome, when they have once brought the matter hitherto, that the last resolution of faith, must be made into the voyce of the Church, are confident enough, that when the question is made of the voyce of the Church, where that is to be found, they shall undoubtedly be able to carry it for the Church of Rome: So these Armi∣nians, or Socinians rather, when they have once brought the matter to this passe, that the last resolution of our faith must be made into the judgement of mens understan∣dings purged from prejudice and false principles; and that the question beginneth to be made of understandings thus purified, where they are to be found, they will be so favou∣rable to themselves, as to conceive, that such understandings are to be found no where, but amongst the nation of the Arminians; or at least among such, whose judgements are naturally inclined towards their Tenets. But is this a decent course to rest in the judgement of any mans understanding, whereas the soundnes of his un∣derstanding is not, nor cannot be discerned, but by the strength of his argument: and again, considering the judgement of man is miserably corrupted in such sort, as that the things of God seem foolishnesse unto them, Is it not much fitter that we should judge of e∣very mans understanding by Gods word, which cannot erre, rather then judge of the meaning of the word by the understanding of man? Let any man use his understan∣ding in opening and interpreting the word of God unto us, and clearing the mean∣ing thereof unto us as much as he can, by reason, by argument, by demonstration, but still let it be indifferent for any to judge, in what congruity his interpretation stands with the Text it selfe, and no mans judgement to be a rule of Faith unto o∣thers.

Before he goes off from this, he gives another description of those, whose judge∣ments must be the rule of the right interpretation of Scripture; to wit, such as stand in∣different to the entertainment of any truths. Now this seems to me to be as poore as the for∣mer, or rather much poorer. For this indifferency as I take it, is in respect of affecti∣ons; now albeit a man may be thus disposed, in respect of his affections, yet he may be of a very weak judgement; as for example, I have heard of a good man, that was sometimes wavering about the poynt of Ceremonies, yet very willing to receive in∣formation; and therefore conferres with both sides, as well such as held them law∣full in the use, as with those that held them unlawfull, and still was carried every way with the force of their reasons, who conferred with him for the present. Then again, suppose the indifferent were most fit to judge, where shall we find those indifferent persons, or who shall give rules, and what rules, according whereto to proceed in this our inquisition? Again, who are to be presupposed in likelihood, to be the more indifferent, then such as have not hitherto been versed in these controversies, and is it fit, that they who have been many years versed in them, should stand to the judge∣ment Page  162 of those who are little or nothing exercised therein? Lastly is the creature fit to judge of the Soveraignty of his creator, or being conceived of the freedome of his own will, to judge how farre it is reasonable, God should have power over his will and no farther? When the Apostle calls upon the Corinthians, to judge whether that which he wrote unto them, were the commandements of God or no, whom doth he call unto this office? Doth he call any other but such as are spirituall? If there be any amongst you that is a Prophet, or spirituall, let him know that these things are the com∣mandements of God. 1 Cor. 14. He doth not say, if there be any amongst you, that hath his understanding purged from prejudice, and false principles, let him know that these things which I write unto you, are the commandements of God. And the same Apostle tells us, that the things of God are spiritually to be discerned. 1 Cor. 2. 14.

Yet it is remarkable, that he appeals to the judgement not of the best only, but the worst also in this: but something qualified I confesse, to wit, provided that they stand indifferent to the entertainment of any truths. Marke it well, of any truths: and who are these? Not possessed with the entertainment of any Truths, but indifferent to the entertain∣ment of them, I say who are these? The regenerate or unregenerate? Here I am at a stand, not knowing which way to take. But it may be this is spoken only in reference to our Doctrine of absolute Reprobation. But of whatsoever it be spoken, let him give instance in either or in both; it seems he is indifferent to have it take place either way, for he proposed it of best and worst. But why should he presuppose an unrege∣nerate man to be indifferent, to the entertainment of any truth? Whereas the Apo∣stle professeth of a naturall man, that he cannot know the things of God, and he gives the reason of it, because they are spiritually discerned; and formerly said that they were foolishnesse unto him. Yet I willingly confesse, the Doctrine of absolute Reprobati∣on, is very harsh to the judgement and affections of carnall men; and such as we had never embraced, had it not been for the word of God, which plainly professeth, that election is not of (good) works; and that by such an argument, as whereby it is mani∣fest, * 1. That election is as well proved not to be of faith, as not of works. 2. That reprobation is not of evill works; yet the harshnesse hereof, is nothing like so much appearing in its proper colours, as upon their deciphering and blazing of it, who are as zealous for making election to be upon foresight of faith and works (though this latter member, they are loath to have the World take notice of) as they are opposite to the absolutenesse of reprobation. Now whereas before I have shewed, that there is a great deale of difference between absolute election unto salvation, and election unto salvation absolute: And that not one of our Divines doth maintain, that God doth elect men unto salvation absolute, but to obtain salvation upon their faith and repentance, and finall perseverance therein: In like sort there is as great difference between absolute reprobation unto damnation, and reprobation unto damnation ab∣solute. And if none of our Divines doe maintain, that God ordains any man of ripe years to obtain salvation, otherwise then upon their faith and repentance, and finall perseverance: how much lesse doe they maintain, that God ordains any man unto damnation, otherwise then for his sinne and finall perseverance therein without re∣pentance? Whereas these enemies of the grace of God, as Saint Austin sometimes called the Pelagians, to make their cause more plausible to the affections or carnall men carry the matter so, as if we maintained that God ordained them to be damned absolutely, and for the meer pleasure of God, concealing the only cause for which God ordained, that they should be damned, namely, for the wilfull transgression of Gods holy Commandements. Only the giving and denying of the grace of regenera∣tion, the giving of faith and repentance, for the curing of that naturall infidelity and impenitency that is found in all; and the leaving it uncured by denying faith and re∣pentance: this indeed we maintain to be absolute, according to that of Saint Paul, he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. Rom. 9. 18. Now, dare any of them deny faith and repentance to be the gift of God? They doe not, they dare not; only of late they have come thus farre, as to deny that Christ merited faith and regeneration for any. Secondly, inquire whether God gives faith and repentance to some, and denyes it to others of his meere will and pleasure, or because he finds some good works in the one, which he finds not in the other. Here is the criticall poynt, we defend no other absolutenesse of election and reprobation, but such as de∣pends wholly on this, namely, that God finding men equall in corruption, hath compassion on some, giving them faith and repentance, which he denies unto others: Page  163 All other absolutenesse of Election and Reprobation, besides that which we undertake by cleare demonstration to deduce herehence, we utterly renounce. Neither can our adversaries be so grossely ignorant, as not to perceive that this is the criticall poynt of these controversies, the resolution of the truths wherein, will set an end to all conten∣tion about Election and Reprobation. Why then doe they not deale plainly, and try their strength in this, whereby they should carry themselves fairely and ingenuously, and deale above board. For here alone is that absolutenesse of God in execution, which we maintaine; but here they are not so prone to shew their hornes: this argu∣ment is not so fit for the raising of clamours and Tragedies. And hating the truth of God as touching his soveraignty over his creatures, to have compassion on whom he will, and to harden whom he will; as also the prerogatives of his grace, to work us effectually to that which is pleasing in his fight, and that in whom he will also: yet not daring plainly to deliver their mind in this, as wherein they are found most ab∣surd, and encumbred with shamefull contradictions; therefore by the back dore as it were, they hope to discredit it, and by opposing the absolutenesse of Reprobation, to supplant and undermine the Doctrine of Gods free grace. And not content with this, they miserably corrupt our doctrine also, in the poynt of absolute Reprobation, drawing it to this; as if not reprobation only, but damnation also were made absolute by us: and that God damned men not so much in the way of justice for their sinne, as of his own meere pleasure. At length to come to the third particular of his reply.

3. And that is this, that howbeit some things in Scripture, which are peculiar to the Gospell, are above our understandings, and must without hesitation be believed: yet many things there, have their foundation in nature, and may be apprehended by the light of nature; and amongst these, the justice of Gods waies is one, as hath been shewed. Isai 5. 3. and Ezek. 18. To this I answer, That the waies of God mentioned Isai. 5. 3. is only in his expecting fruits after so great pains that he had taken, in husbanding his vineyard. And Ezek. 18. consists on∣ly in rendring unto men according to their waies. Neither doth it follow, that be∣cause the justice of God doth plainly appeare in these particulars, therefore it doth appeare as cleerely, or comprehensively in all others. Is there no difference between the waies of God there mentioned, and the waies of Gods justice mentioned in other place; as namely, in causing the Sonnes of Achan to be stoned to death with Achan him∣selfe, for his Sacriledge: in drowning the old World, not sparing the very Infants and sucklings: and for their conspiracy against Moses and Aaron, causing the earth to swallow up not Dathan and Abiram only, but their Wives and Children, and all that they had? So in consuming Sodom and Gomorrah with fire. And as for the punishing of of sinne, this is no peculiar truth of the Gospell. I had thought the Gospell, in the proper nature thereof, had been above reason altogether, and no way capable of de∣monstration. And as for the justice of God, must not this suppose him to be a free a∣gent? Or was this known to Aristotle by all the light of nature whereunto he attai∣ned? We that believe him to be a free agent, and withall the creator of all, are ready to demonstrate, that it is in his power to doe what he will with his creature, and that not only to annihilate him, though never so holy, but to inflict what paine soever up∣on him, yea even the torment of hell fire; which Medina acknowledgeth to have been Communem omnium Theologorum sententiam, viz. that this he can doe, ut Dominus vitae & mortis; as I have shewed in my Vindiciae graciae Dei, and by variety of arguments pro∣ved it, more then once in two severall digressions, which this Author pretends to have seen, yet answereth not one of them. And as for justice divine toward the crea∣ture (whereupon this Author doth with such confidence discourse,) both Vasquez and Suarez Jesuits, in other poynts concerning Gods justice, are miserably at odds, yet joyntly concurre in this, that all iustice Divine, doth presuppose the free determina∣tion of Gods will: Now, because I find this Gentleman, so conceited of the purity of his rationall faculty, and the power thereof, as to require that all interpretation of Scripture, should veyle bonnet to the soveraignty thereof; I purpose to try his ability this way, for the expediting of certain arguments about the absolutenesse of Gods decrees in generall, and particularly of the decree of Reprobation. Therefore to com∣bate with him on his own ground, and in his own element, I dispute thus.

1. No temporall thing can be the cause of that which is eternall, but the sinnes of men are all temporall, whereas Reprobation is eternall, therefore the sinnes of men cannot be the cause of Reprobation.

Page  164 If it be said, that sinne is not made the cause of reprobation, but as it exsists in Gods foresight, and so not so much sinne as the prescience of sinne is the cause of reprobati∣on. I reply, that this device cannot stand, viz. that the prescience of sinne should be the cause of reprobation, and that for this reason; The cause of reprobation where∣of we enquire, is of the nature of a meritorious cause, But the prescience of God can no way be said to be a meritorious cause thereof. Science and prescience are causes of Gods works in the kind of an efficient Physicall, not in the kind of an efficient morall, such as are all causes meritorious.

If it be farther said, that not so much the foresight of sin, as (to speak more proper∣ly) sinne foreseen is the cause of reprobation: I reply against it in this manner; sinne foreseen doth suppose Gods decree to permit sinne, and consequently if sinne foreseene be before reprobation, then also the decree of permitting sinne is before the decree of reprobation, that is, the decree of damning for sinne. But this cannot be, as I endea∣vour to prove by two reasons. The first is this; There is no order in intentions, but between the intention of the end and the intention of the means, and the order is this, that the intention of the end is before the intention of the means. Therefore if the decree of permitting sinne be before the decree of damning for sinne, the decree of permitting sinne must be the intention of the end, and the decree of damning for sinne must be the intention of the meanes. But this is notoriously untrue: For it is ap∣parent that damnation tends not to the permission of sinne, as the end thereof; for if it did then men were damned to this end, that they might be permitted to sinne. But far more likely it is, that sinne should be permitted to this end, that a man might be damned, which yet by no means doe I a vouch; other reasons I have, to shew the vanity of this argumentation. I rather professe, that permssion of sinne and damnation are not subordinate as end & means, but coordinate, both being means tending joyntly to a farther end, which, under correction from understandings purged from prejudice and false principles, I take to be the manifestation of Gods glory in the way of ju∣stice vindicative.

2. My second reason is, if permission of sinne be first in intention and then dam∣nation, it followes that permission of sinne should be last in execution; but this is most absurd, namely, that a man should be first damned, and then suffered to sinne.

2. My second principall argument is this; Reprobation, as it signifies Gods de∣cree, is the act of Gods will; now the act of Gods will is the very will of God, and the will of God is Gods essence, and like as there can be no cause of Gods essence, so there can be no cause of Gods will, or of the act thereof. Upon some such arguments as these, Aquinas disputes, that the predestination of Christ, cannot be the cause of our Predestination; adding that they are one act in God. And when he comes to the re∣solution of the question, he grants all as touching actum volentis, that the one cannot be the cause of the other; But only quoad praedestinationis terminum, which is grace and glory, or the things predestinated. Christ is the cause of them, but not of our prede∣stination, as touching the act of God predestinating. And I think I may be bold to presume, that Christs merits are of as great force to be the cause, why God should e∣lect man unto salvation; as mans sinnes are of force, to be the cause why God should reprobate him unto damnation. The same Aquinas (a tall fellow as touching Scolasti∣call argumentation) hath professed that no man hath been so mad as to say that merits are the cause of predestination, quoad actum praedestinantis; and why, but because there can be no cause on mans part of the will of God quoad actum volentis. Now reprobation is well knowne to be the will of God as well as election; and therefore no cause can there be on mans part thereof quoad actum reprobantis. And it is well knowne, there is a predestination unto death, as well as unto life, and consequently tis as mad a thing in his judgement to maintaine, that merits are the cause there of quoad actum praedestinantis

God by efficacious grace could breake off any mans infidelity if it pleased him, that is, by affording him such a motion unto faith, as he foresaw would be yeelded unto: this is easily proved by the evident confession of Arminius formerly specified. Now, Why doth God so order it, as to move some in such a manner, as he foresees they will believe; others in such a māner as he foresees they will not believe? but because his purpose is to manifest the glory of his grace in the salvation of the one, and the glory of his justice in the damnation of the other. Herein I appeale to the judgement and Page  165 conscience of every reasonable creature that understands it, in spight of all prejudice and false principles to corrupt him.

4. In saying sinne foreseen is the cause of Gods decree of damnation, they pre∣suppose a prescience of sinne, as of a thing future, without all ground. For no∣thing can be foreknown as future, unlesse it be future: now these disputers pre∣suppose a futurition of sinne, and that from eternity, without all ground. For consider, no sinne is future in its own nature, for in its own nature it is meerely possible and indifferent, as well not to be future, as to become future; and there∣fore it cannot passe out of the condition of a thing meerely possible, into the con∣dition of a thing future without a cause. Now what cause doe these men devise of the futurition of sinne? Extra Deum, nothing can be the cause thereof: For this passage of things out of the condition of things possible, into the condition of things future, was from everlasting, for from everlasting they were future; o∣therwise, God could not have known them from everlasting, And consequently the cause of this passage, must be acknowledged to have been from everlasting, and consequently nothing without God could be the cause of it, seeing nothing without God was from everlasting. Therefore the cause hereof must be found in∣tra Deum, within God; then either the will of God, which these men doe utter∣ly disclaime, or the knowledge of God; but that is confessed to presuppose things future, rather then to make them so; or the essence of God; now that may be con∣sidered either as working necessarily, (and if in that manner it were the cause of things future, then all such things should become future by necessity of nature, which to say is Atheisticall) or as working freely; and this is to grant, that the will of God is the cause why every thing meerely possible in its own na∣ture doth passe from everlasting into the condition of a thing future, if so be it were future at all. And indeed seeing no other cause can be pitched upon, this free will of God must be acknowledged to be the cause of it: And consequent∣ly the reason why every thing becomes future is, because God hath determi∣ned it shall come to passe; but with this difference, All good things God hath determined shall come to passe by his effection, All evill things God hath determi∣ned shall come to passe by his permission. And the Scripture naturally affords plenti∣full testimony to confirme this, without forcing it to interpretations congruous here∣unto, upon presumptuous grounds that these arguments proceed from understan∣dings purged from prejudice and false principles.

5. My fifth argument is this. If sinne be the cause of Reprobation, that is, of the decree of damnation, then either by necessity of nature, or by the constitu∣tion of God; not by necessity of nature, as all, that hitherto I have known confesse. But I say neither can it be by the free constitution of God; for mark what a notorious absurdity followeth hence, and that unavoidably, namely, that God did ordaine, that upon foresight of sinne, he would ordaine them to damna∣tion; marke it well, God did ordaine that he would ordaine, or God did decree that he would decree. In which words Gods eternall decree is made the object of Gods decree. Whereas it is well known that the objects of Gods decrees are meerely things tem∣porall, and cannot be things eternall: we truly say God did decree to create the World, to preserve the World, to redeeme us, call us, justify us, sanctify and save us, but it cannot be truly said, that God did decree to decree, or ordaine to or∣daine: for to decree is the act of Gods will, and therefore it cannot be the object of the act of Gods will. Yet these arguments I am not so enamoured with, as to force the interpretations of Scripture to such a sense, as is sutable hereunto, pre∣suming of the purity of my understanding, as purged from prejudice and false principles. I could willingly content my selfe with observation of the Apostles dis∣course, in arguing to this effect; Before the Children were borne, or had done good or e∣vill, it was said the elder shall serve the younger: therefore the purpose of God according to electi∣on*stands not of works. In like manner may I discourse: Before the Children were borne or had done good or evill, it was said the elder shall serve the younger: therefore the purpose of God concerning Reprobation stands not of works. And like as hence it is inferred, that therefore election stands not of good works; so therehence may I inferre, that therefore repro∣bation stands not of evill works.

6. If sinne foreseen be the cause meritorious of reprobation, then faith and re∣pentance and good workes are the disposing causes unto election. For there∣fore Page  166 evill works foreseen are made the meritorious cause of reprobation, be∣cause evill works exsistent, are the meritorious cause of damnation. And if this be true, then also because Faith and Repentance and good workes, are the disposing causes unto salvation, then by the same force of reason, faith, repen∣tance, and good workes foreseen, must be the disposing cause unto election; But faith, repentance, and good workes foreseen, are not the disposing causes unto election; as I prove thus.

1. If they were then the purpose of God according to election, should be of faith, repentance, and good works, which is expressely denyed by the Apostle, as touching the last part; and may as evidently be proved to be denied by him in effect of the other parts also, by the same force of argumentation which he useth: as for example, from this anticedent of the Apostles, before the Children were borne, or had done good or evill, it no more evidently followeth that therefore the purpose of God according to election is not of workes, than it followeth that the same purpose of God according to election is not of faith, nor of repentance: For before they were borne they were no more capable of faith, or of repentance, than of any o∣ther good works. And undoubtedly faith and repentance are as good works, as any other.

2. If God doth absolutely work faith in some, and not in others according to the meer pleasure of his will, then it cannot be said, that faith foreseen, is the cause of any mans election. For in this case faith is rather the means of salvation, then salvation a means of faith; and consequently, the intention of salvation ra∣ther precedes the intention of faith, than the intention of faith can be said to precede the intention of salvation. And to this the Scripture accords, Acts 1348. As many believed as were ordained to everlasting life, making ordination to everlasting life the cause why men believed; answerable hereunto is that Acts 2. last. God added daily to the Church such as should be saved: and that of Paul to Titus, according to the faith of Gods elect: So that according to Pauls phrase fides est electorum, but according to the Arminians Doctrine the inverse hereof is a more proper and naturall predication, as to say, electio est fidelium.

But God doth absolutely work faith in some men, according to the meer plea∣sure of his will, denying the same grace to others: which I prove;

1. By Scripture. Rom. 9. 18. God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth, compared with Rom. 11. 30. Yee in times past have not believed, but now have obtained mercy; where it appears by the Antithesis, that to find mercy is to believe, that is, to obtain the grace of faith at the hands of God, in Saint Pauls phrase.

2. By cleare reason: for if it be not the meer pleasure of Gods will, that is the cause hereof, then the cause hereof must be some good workes, which he finds in some, and not in others; whence it manifestly followeth, that God giveth grace ac∣cording unto works, which in the phrase of the ancients is according to merits: and for 1200 years together, this hath been reputed in the Church of God meere Pelagianisme.

2. I further demand, what that good worke is, whereupon God workes it in one, when he refuseth to worke it in another? Here the answer I find given is this, that God doth work in man 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉velle credere modo velit. Now of the absurdity hereof, I appeale to the very light of nature, and let all the books that ever were written on this argument be searched, and let it be enquired, whether ever any did expresse themselves in the manner of so palpable and grosse absurdity: as wherein the act of willing is made the condition of it selfe: whence it followeth evidently, that it must be both before it selfe, and after it selfe; for the condition must all∣waies exsist before the thing conditionated. Yet they are driven upon these rocks of absurdities in spight of their teeth: so shamefull is the issue of their discourses, who, in hatred of Gods truth revealed in Gods word, and in a proud conceit of their own performances in the way of argumentation, dare prescribe rules to all o∣thers, how to carry themselves in the interpretation of Scriptures; as namely, to be so warie, as that they doe not deliver any thing, repugnant to understandings purged from prejudice and false principles: as if the word of God supposed them that are admit∣ted to the studying thereof, to have their understandings already purged from pre∣judice and false principles: not that it is given by God for this very end, namely, to Page  167 purge our understandings: for what is the illumination or opening of the eyes of the mind, other than the purging of the understanding from prejudice and false princi∣ples: and how miserable these aeriall disputers doe betray themselves, and manifest how they are transported with prejudice, and corrupted not with false only, but grosse principles, by this it may appeare in part.

I come to the consideration of his reply to the second answer, which here he re∣presents.

DISCOURSE. SUBSECT. V.

SEcondly it is answered, that God is not bound to restore men power to believe, because they once had it, and have lost it through their own fault; as a Master is not bound to renew his Servants stock, if he have wasted it by his bad husbandry.

But this answer doth yet satisfy me as little as the former: for I grant that God is simply and absolutely bound to no man, he is agens liberrimum, a most free dispenser of his own favours, both what he will, and to whom he will; but yet he is conditionally; determinavit seipsum, he hath bound himselfe to give supernaturall abilities to men by three things.

1. First Decernendo, the Almighty is eternally subject to his own decree, or else he would be mu∣table; and therefore what gifts soever he hath decreed to men, he is bound to give them by vertue of his decree.

2. Secondly Promittendo. We use to say promise is debt, it is justice to performe what it was free to promise; and whosoever he be that promiseth, and payeth not, is guilty of a trespasse (witnesse A∣nanias and Saphira) and unworthy of the Kingdome of Heaven. Psal. 15. 4. If therefore God hath made a promise of any gift or grace to men, this promise binds him to performance.

3. Thirdly Legem ferendo. By giving men a Law to keepe, which without supernaturall power, they cannot keep any more than they can eat a rock. By such a Law the Almighty lawgiver binds himselfe to his creatures, to give them such power as may enable them to keep that law, or else he becomes the true and proper cause of the transgression of it. We shall find God evermore giving strength, when he giveth a command: when he commanded the creatures to encrease and multiply, he gave them a multiplying vertue. when Christ bid the lame man arise, take up his bed, and walke, he puts into his limbs an ability of walking: when Adam had a spirituall law given him to obey, which without spirituall strength he could not, God gave him strength answerable to the law, as all Divines agree, consenting to that noted speech of Austin, that Adam had posse non cadere, though he never had non posse cadere; a power and possibility, though not a necessity of continuing in obedi∣ence. That I may bring this home to my purpose. I say that God is bound to restore unto men, power to believe, supposing these waies that follow.

1. That he hath vouchsafed to enter into a New Covenant of Peace with men, when he needed not. 2. That in that Covenant he requireth obedience at mens hands, even at theirs that perish. 3. That he promiseth eternall life to every man, if he obey and keep the Covenant. 4. That he pu∣nisheth the disobedient with everlasting death. These particulars supposed, the most free God who is necessarily bound to none, is engaged to give ability of believing to men; nor can he justly with∣out this gift, punish the disobedient any more, then a Magistrate having put out a mans eyes for an offence, can command this man with justice to read a book, and because he reads not, put him to death: Or then a Master (that I may returne the Simile in the answer) when he hath taken away from his Servant the stock, which he hath misimployed, can afterward exact of him a just imploy∣ment of the same stock, and punish him because he imployeth it not. I conclude therefore, that the absolute and inevitable reprobation of such men as are called to believe in Christ, and punished if thev believe not, is utterly repugnant to the justice of God, and therefore cannot be a part of his word.

Page  168TWISSE Consideration.

THis Second answer is in like manner, delivered at pleasure, without quo∣ting the Author of it: And no marvaile if this Author desires to have the making of his own bed, that he may lye the more softly. Yet touching the similitude here mentioned let it be stated aright: a Master trusts his servant with a stock, not to receive it from him againe, though the stock be of a moveable nature, but to receive from him in lieu thereof, some yearely emolument. In this case let him say what he can against it: now here his discourse is for the most part at large, shew∣ing how God, though a most free agent, may oblige himselfe to his creature.

1. Decremendo; whether hereby God doth bind himselfe to his creature (which hath no being at all when Gods decrees are made) or to himselfe rather, it is little or nothing materiall to the present: what soever it be that God decrees, we are sure that must come to passe, provided that we doe not make his decrees of a revocable nature with some; but as touching any use of Gods obliging himselfe this way unto his creature, this Author is content to say nothing at all, in the accomoda∣tion.

2. Promittendo. And we willingly grant, that what God promiseth he never failes to performe, after that manner as he hath promised: as namely in case he hath pro∣mised that as many as believe in Christ shall be saved, we nothing doubt, but if all the world should believe in Christ, all the world should be saved. But whether any de∣vise a promise concerning the giving of faith & repentance unto all, & every one; and that whether conditionately or absolutely this Author is content to say just nothing. As likewise, neither doth he take upon him to plead any promise of God, to give to all and every one power to believe or power to repent.

3. Legem ferendo. This alone of all the three serves his turne, and therefore here he doth expatiate, much more than in the former. And herehence he inferres, that God binds himselfe to give supernaturall power, to keep the Law he commands, provided the Law be such, as without supernaturall power, he can no more keepe it, than eat a rock. Now this accommodated to Adam, had need of explication, seeing we read of no other Law given unto him, than of abstaining from a certain fruit: which I doe not deliver as if I doubted, but that to the performance of obedience herein, a super∣naturall power was requisite; but only to signify, that it were worth the labour to give a congruous explication of it. Though of Adam I nothing doubt but he was indued with supernaturall power, to performe other manner of duties than this. And yet again, this denomination of power supernaturall, had need also of explication; for though that power which Adam had given him in creation, be supernaturall to us, yet our Divines usually conceive it as naturall unto Adam, received together with his nature, and such as should have been naturall unto us all, had Adam con∣tinued in his originall integrity. But I am content to let that passe; only whereas he saith, that by such a law the Allmighty law-giver binds himselfe to his creatuees, to give them such power as may enable them to keepe that law; I think rather if any obligation had place in this case, it were rather to maintaine the power already given them, than to give it. For every law-giver rather presupposeth ability of obedience in them, to whom he gives a law; then first gives a law and then gives ability to performe obedience thereunto. And certainly God first created man after his owne image, before he gave him any law to be a rule of his obedience unto his creatour. So I take the multiplying vertue, was given to his creatures in their creation, before he said encrease and multiply: In the curing of the lame man, his word indeed was a word of power, like as when he said let there be light, and there was light. For though it goe under the forme of a command, yet it was not so properly a command (which is to command obedience) as the going forth of vertuous efficacy to create: like as that also Ezek. 37. O ye dry bones heare the voyce of the Lord. And undoubtedly the strength of obedience given unto Adam preceded Gods command, for his abstaining from the fruit of the tree, in the midst of the Garden. He had in his creation given Page  169 him, posse non cadere, not non posse cadere, the event manifested as much: and it is as true according to the same Austin, that God gave him posse stare si vellet, not velle quod potuit. But that God is bound to restore, any such power unto mankind, which they have wilfully lost, is boldly avouched, but let us consider how Scholastically it is pro∣ved.

1. The first reason hereof is, because God hath vouchsafed to enter into a new Covenant of Peace with men, when he needed not. To this I answer, that God hath entred into a new Covenant with men, is an indefinite proposition, as touching the persons in∣cluded in this Covenant, and being not in a necessary matter but contingent, this Covenant proceeding meerely from the good pleasure of God, it hath no more force than to signify, that God hath vouchsafed to enter into a new Covenant of peace with some men, which we wilingly grant but not with all, neither doth this propositi∣on, enforce any such meaning. And that God hath not entred into a new Cove∣nant with all, I prove by these reasons.

1. As many as are under the Covenant of grace, sinne shall have no dominion over them. Rom. 6. 14. Sinne shall not have the dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace. But sinne hath the dominion over too many, even over the most part of the world, as we find by lamentable experience, therefore too many, e∣ven the most part of the World, are not comprised under the Covenant of grace.

2. The covenant of Grace, doth covenant on Gods part, not only to give salva∣tion upon condition of faith and repentance, but for Christs sake to renew mens na∣tures also, and to give them faith and repentance. As appears by diverse passages of Scripture: Jer. 31. 31. Behold the dayes come saith the Lord, that I will make a new Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. v. 32. Not accor∣ding to the Covenant, that I made with their Fathers, when I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt, the which my Covenant they brake, though I was a Father unto them. But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those daies saith the Lord, I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Ezek. 36. 26. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your bodies, and will give you an heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my Statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements and doe them. Ezek. 20. 23. I will surely rule you with a mighty hand, &c. 37. And will cause you to passe under the rod, and bring you into the bond of the Covenant. Isai. 57. 18. I have seen his waies, and will heale him. Hos. 14. 5. I will heale their rebellions, I will love them freely. And that faith it selfe and repentance, is the gift of God, who hath taken upon him by his co∣venant of grace, to be our Lord and our God to sanctify us, is manifest by diverse pregnant passages of holy Scriptures.

2. I come to his second reason. And in that Covenant he requires obedience at mens hands, even at theirs that perish. God in his covenant of Grace requires obedience unto salvation, but of his free grace undertakes to regenerate them, and work them to o∣bedience; but how? Agreeable unto their rationall natures, that is by admonition, instruction, exhortation, that is to work faith and repentance, by exhorting and per∣swading them unto repentance: And because this he performes by his Ministers, to whom he hath not revealed who they are, whom he hath chosen, therefore he com∣mands them to Preach indifferently unto all, perswade all, exhort all, unto faith and repentance, whereof also he makes this use even towards reprobates, that whereas they are naturally confident of their ability, to doe as much as any other, and as Austin saith dicere solet humana superbia si scissem, fecissem. The Lord by his Mini∣stry takes from them this excuse, so that unto all that heare is this truth delivered, whosoever believeth and repenteth shall be saved: and thereupon every one is exhorted in the name of the Lord to believe and repent. But God resolveth to worke faith and re∣pentance in none, but those whom he hath chosen, according to that Acts 13. 48. As many believed as were ordained to everlasting life. And withall the Doctrine delivered in the Gospell is such, and so confirmed, as may justly make them inexcusable that doe not believe: when it shall appeare, that many a vile legend they are apt to believe, and in the mean time despise Gods holy Oracles, by divine Authority, many waies confirmed unto them.

Page  170 3. It is most true, eternall life is promised to every on that obeyeth and keeps Covenant with God; but God over and above worketh some unto obedience, unto faith and repentance, bestowing these gratious giftes on them, even on whom he will, when he hardeneth others even whom he will. Rom. 9. 18.

4. He punisheth the disobedient with eternall death; true: but acording unto what Co∣venant? Not according unto the Covenant of grace, that is only a Covenant for Sal∣vation, but according unto the Covenant of the law, the Covenant of works.

Whereas herehence this Author inferres, that the most free God is ingaged to give ability of believing unto men: he may as well inferre, that he is engaged to give ability unto men to the keeping of his law, and what need was there of Christs coming into the world? Seeing by his coming into the world, we have gained no better conditi∣on by the Arminian Tenet, than to be saved if we will; and if men have ability to to keepe the law even by the law, they may be saved if they will: and it will follow as well, that God, without giving this ability to keepe the law, cannot justly punish the transgressours of it; as that God without giving men ability to believe cannot punish men for not believing: no more than a Magistrate having put out a mans eyes for an offence, can command this man with justice to read a booke, and because he reads not, put him to death. But this is a very vile simile, and stands in no tolerable proportion to that whereunto it is resembled. For the man thus bereaved of his eyes hath a will to read, and consequently it is no fault for not reading: for all sinne is in the will. But it is not so, in not obeying either Law or Gospell. If a man had a will to obey and believe but he could not, in such a case it were unreasonable he should be puni∣shed. But in the case of disobedience unto God, we speake of, all the fault is in the will voluntarily and wilfully, they neither will obey the one, nor the other: like as they that have accustomed themselves to doe evill, can not doe good, as a blackemoore cannot change his skinne. Yet with this difference, that man is never a whit the more excu∣sable, or lesse punishable for not doing that which is good; not so the blackemore, for not changing his skinne. But such is the shamefull issue of them that confound im∣potency Morall with impotency naturall, as if there were no difference. As wild is the comparison following, of the Masters exacting from his Servant a just employ∣ment of that stock, which he hath taken from him. An evill servant may have a will to play the good husband in imploying his Masters stock, where he pleased to in∣trust him with it: But though he hath a will to be faithful and thrifty, yet without matter to worke upon, he cannot exercise this fidelity of his to his Masters behoofe. Shew the like will in a carnall man to believe if he could, and if God be∣reave him of power, in such a case, then conclude the unreasonablenesse of Gods courses herein. But if the Master gave him a stock to employ, upon a resonable rent to be payd him yearly for certaine yeares: if so be the servant wast the stock, Shall it not be lawfull for the Master neverthelesse to require his debt? And bid him pay that he owes him? This is the case we speake of. In Adam we all have sinned, saith the Apostle, and thereby have wasted that stock of grace which God had given us, and so disabled our selves to performe that duty we owe to God: What therefore? Shall not God call upon us to pay our debts, because we are become bankrupts? E∣specially considering the naturall man is proud enough of his abilities to performe any thing that is good. And as for ability to believe, is there not a kind of faith per∣formed by prophane persons, by Hypocrites, who concurre with the best in the pro∣fession of the Gospell? Nay, Is there not a secret kind of hypocrisie, as when a man thinks his heart is upright towards God, when indeed it is not? Otherwise what should move Saint Paul to call upon the Corinthians to examine themselves whether they were in the faith, saying, Know you not your selves how that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Car. 13. 5. It is true there is a faith infused by the spirit of God in regeneration; but who ever said that any man was damned, because he doth not believe with such a faith? As much as to say, that non-regeneration is the meritorious cause of damna∣tion. Now how well he hath proved that our Doctrine in the poynt of absolute re∣probation is repugnant to Gods justice, let the indifferent judge.

Page  171
DISCOURSE. SECT. IV. Which I divide into Three Subsections.
SUBSECT. I.

THe Third Attribute which it oppugneth, is the truth of God. God is a God of truth, Deut. 32. 4. Truth it selfe. Ioh. 14. 6. So called because he is the fountain of truth, and the perfection of truth, without the least mixture of false-hood; the strength of Israell cannot lye. 1 Sam. 15. 29. Never could any man justly charge him with dissembling; Let God be true and every man a lyar, (saith the Apostle) that he might be justified in his sayings, and overcome when he is judged. Rom. 3. 4. That is, men may lye, (for all men are lyars) but God cannot lye, (for God is true:) if any man should goe about to challenge him of untruth, his challenge would ea∣sily appeare to be a calumny. The truth of God, like a glorious Sunne, will break through all those clouds of accusations which seek to obscure and hide it. Simile gaudet Simili; God loves such as are of a true heart. Psal. 51 6. And hath an hypocrite in utter detestation, and therefore he must needs be true himselfe. No man (for ought I know) doubts of it.

But by this decree is God made untrue, and hypocriticall in his dealing with all men, and in all matters that concerne their eternall estate; particularly, in his commands, in his offers of grace and glory, in his threats, in his passionate wishes and desires of mens chiefest good, and in his expostula∣tions and commiserations also.

1. In his commands; for by this doctrine God commands those men to repent and believe, whom he secretly purposeth shall never believe. Now whom God commands to believe and repent, those he outwardly willes should believe and repent. For by his commandements he signifies his will and pleasure, and he must inwardly and heartily will it too, or else he dissembles: For words if they be true, are an interpretation of the mind, when they are not, are meere impostures, and simu∣lations.

2. In his offers of grace and glory: these offers he makes to such as refuse them, and perish for refusing them, as well as unto those who doe accept them to their salvation. This is evident Math. 22. where those were invited to the wedding that came not. And Acts 3. 26. Where tis said, To you hath God sent his Sonne Jesus to blesse you, in turning every one of you from your iniquities. Math. 23. 37. How oft would I have gathered of you, saith Christ, speaking of such as neglect the day of their visitation, and so lost their salvation: This is evident also by reason, for as many as are under the commandement, are under the promise too, as we may see, Acts 2. 38, 39. Repent and be Bapti∣zed every one of you, and you shall receive the gift of the holy Ghost; for to you, and to your Chil∣dren is the promise made. In which words Peter makes the command and the promise of equall ex∣tent, both universall: And there is reason for it, for he makes the promise his motive to perswade o∣bedience to the command; and it would not have reacht home, if it had not respected all those, to whom he gives the command.

No man, Reprobate or other, thinks any lesse; every man that hears the Gospell Preached, takes himselfe to be under the gratious offer of eternall life; and upon these thoughts hath some desires, some hopes of it, and stirres up himselfe to forsake some pleasing sinnes, which otherwise he would not part with, and to doe some unpleasing duties, which otherwise he would not doe; Now, if God doth not meane that most of those to whom he offers his grace and glory shall have either, will he not be found halting in his offers?

Zanchy tells us roundly, that every man that is called, is bound to think that he is elected; other∣wise * he doth offer great injury unto God, and doth perstringere Deum mendacii, qui illi in verbo dicit se velle salutem ejus, & in hunc finem ad Christum vocasse. In which speech he plainly implies, that if God call a man, whom he hath absolutely rejected, he doth but delude him when he calls him. The like speech hath Bucer; Primum quod Deo debes, est ut credas esse te ab eo praedestinatum, nam id ni credas, facis eum tibi, cum te ad salutem vocat per evangelium, illudere. A man must believe that he is predestinated, * or else he makes God to mock him when he calls him. A man therefore that is not predestinate, but an absolute reprobate, when he is called to salvation, is but deluded; it is the necessary result of their speeches. If a creditor should resolve upon no termes to forgive his debtor one farthing of the debt, and yet make him offers to remit the whole upon some conditions, and bind the offers which he makes, with a deep and solemne oath, Would we not say that he is a ranke dissembler, and a meer de∣luder of his poor debtor? We can say no lesse of God, if it be true that he hath irrevocably decreed, at no hand to save such particular men, and yet promiseth, and sweareth, that he will save them if they will believe his promises and repent. What can such promises be but meere delusions of mise∣rable men?

3. In his threats and commination also (by this doctrine) is God made to be hollow and unsin∣cere, for, Against what sinnes are they denounced? Alwaies against actuall sinnes: we never read that Page  172 they are denounced against us for originall sinnes, for the transgression of Adam, or for that corrup∣tion ot nature, which we brought with us into the world; and consequently they import that the sinnes for which men goe to hell, are their actuall transgressions. But if it be true that God decreed man to hell for originall sinne, that which those threatnings import and signify is not true, and so God is not sincere to them. Besides; all threatnings imply, that evills threatned may be avoyded, for therefore are they denounced, that men by them might come to repentance, and so escape the evill that are threatned: but if some men be peremptorily ordained to destruction, then their destruction cannot be prevented, and so the threatning of damnation (in this respect also) doth signify an un∣truth, and God in them deales not plainly with men.

TWISSE Consideration.

THat God is true, we make no more doubt than that there is a God at all: and that God is as farre from hypocrisy as hypocrites are farre from him. They that beat their fellow servants, and eate and drinke with the drunken, we are taught shall haue there portion with hypocrites: and we judge it impossible that God should cherish any such disposition in himselfe, which he so hates in others. But how God is made untrue and hypocriticall in his dealings with men in all (or in any) matters, that concerne their eternall estate by our doctrine of Reprobation, more than by our doctrine of election, it is a mystery unto me; whether we consider his commands, his offers of grace and glory, his threats, his passionate wishes and de∣sires of mens chiefest good, and in his expostulations and commiserations also. But come we to examine how learnedly and judiciously this is carryed throughout in the particulars.

1. That God commands by his Ministers many to believe and repent, whom he se∣cretly purposeth shall never believe we willingly grant; like as he comanded Abra∣ham to sacrifice Isaack, and yet secretly purposed that he should not sacrifice him. This is evident by the word of God, for both his command given to Abraham to this purpose is there expressed, as also his effectuall hindering of Abraham, when he came to the point of sacrifysing him; and looke what God did, that he secretly purposed to to doe: For he doth all things according to the counsell of his will Ephes. 1. 11. Only here is the difference, God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his Sonne, did positively hinder him from sacrificing Isaack, but God commanding all to heare the Gospell to believe, doth not hinder them from believing, when they are willing to beleive. But only refuseth to give them that grace whereby alone their naturall infidelity might be cured; according to those words of our Saviour, Yee there∣fore heare them (my wordes) not, because yee are not of God. Iohn. 8. 47.

Now let every sober man judge, whether Gods course be not to be censured for hypocrisy, as well in the one as in the other: yet is this a most triviall argument, and thus usually answered by our Divines, and particularly by Master Perkins. But this author takes no notice of this our common answer, to reply against it, but is content to pretermit it in silence; a manifest evidence that he hath nothing of worth to say against it: for I cannot conceive him to be so ignorant, as not to know this usuall answer of our Divines. But let we him proceed in his course. Whom God com∣mands to believe and repent, those he outwardly wills should believe and repent; for by his commands he signifies his will and pleasure, and he must inwardly and heartily will it too, or else he dissembles. All this is as congruously appliable to Gods commandement given unto Abraham for the sacrificing of Isaack, as to the commandement of believing and repenting given unto any; although there is a vast difference between Gods commandement of Sacri∣ficing Isaack, and his commandement of believing. For God himselfe gave the one immediately, and that to a particular person, Abraham: But God commands his Ministers to preach his Gospell unto all, that are present to heare them, and why? But as he tells Paul. Acts 18. 9. because he hath much people, in the place whereto he sends them, and yet tells them not who those people are, who his elect are and who are not. But they, though thereupon they proceed to Preach unto all without diffe∣rence, yet so, as aiming at the salvation of the elect. I doe all things for all men, saith Page  173 Saint Paul, 1 Cor. 6. 22. That I may save some; and who are they? Let himselfe an∣swere, where he saith, I suffer all things for the elects sake; and by the way where he di∣stinguisheth of Gods willing outwardly and inwardly, I willingly professe I ne∣ver * read nor heard of it before. Gods words and commandements are out∣ward, and uttered by him, but his will is alwaies inward, though it may be, and is signified by his words, and so is his will signified alwaies by his com∣mandements; But what will? Not that such a thing as God commands shall be done, as this Author ignorantly conceives, but that it shall be their duty, (to whom the commandement is given) to doe that which is commanded: for if Gods will were that such a thing should be done de facto, undoubtedly it should be done and come to passe de facto, for who hath resisted his will? So that here we have * a true interpretation of the mind of God by his commandement, to wit, quid ab homine fieri debeat, but no interpretation of any such mind in God, as if fieri vellet, whatsoever he commands. For the case is cleare and undeniable that Gods will was, that Isaack should not be sacrificed, as well as by his command, to make it Abrahams duty to sacrifice him. The like was the case of Pharaoh to whom the Lord sent a message by Moses to let Israell goe: hereupon it was Pha∣raohs duty to let Israell goe, and that upon Gods command, God thereby signify∣ing his will to make this act Pharaohs duty; But was it Gods will also that Pharaoh should de facto obey, and let Israell goe upon this command? If so, why doth God tell Moses that he will harden Pharaohs heart, and that he shall not let Israell goe.

Where we have a manifest example of the great difference of the objects of Gods will; the one what Gods will was, that Pharaoh ought to doe; and the o∣ther what his will was should be done by him: the letting of Israell goe, was that which Pharaoh ought to doe by the will of God, but the not letting of Israell goe by Pharaoh, was that which God willed should come to passe; And why doth not this Au∣thor take boldnesse to censure these proceedings of the Lord with Pharaoh as hypo∣criticall proceedings? The same spirit will serve the turne for both, though not without betraying as much judgement as honesty. In the like sort, it might be urged of the very elect, as of the reprobate, for the very elect are not alwaies converted at the first hearing of the Gospell, nor till the time God hath appoynted for their effectuall vocation: yet from their first hearing of the Gospell, this command is made unto them, and thereby is signified Gods will that they ought to believe it, yet is it not Gods will that they shall believe, and be converted untill the time that God hath appoynted. That which in my judgement is more to the pur∣pose is this, that by commanding to believe, he supposeth them at least in pretence to be indued with a power to believe; but then say I in like manner, he sup∣poseth them to be indifferent to believe or not to believe, as they will, that is ei∣ther to yeeld or else to resist; now this is indifferent to be objected as well against election, as against reprobation: For like as wee say it cannot be that the reprobate should believe de facto, so wee say it cannot be, that the elect should not beliefe at that time, de facto, which God hath appoynted for their effectuall conversion. And what advantage this Author can hence worke to himselfe, I will be ready to take into consideration, as soone as it is offered. So that hitherto I hope, I have freed the divine course maintained by us, from all just imputation of imposture and dissimulation: let him looke to it how he can cleare his conscience from the impiety of his crimination. I come to the Se∣cond.

2. Here those offers of grace and glory, which wee ascribe to God, he charg∣eth with imposture and simulation. But he contents himselfe with the generality of grace, that is for his best advantage. I will answere to each part. As for glory or salvation, wee offer it unto none, (neither doe we teach that God makes offer of it unto any) but to such as finally persevere in faith and repentance, according to that, Revelations 3. To him that overcometh, I will give to sit with mee in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set downe with my Father in his Throne. And be thou faithfull unto the death, and I will give thee a Crowne of life. And Gal. 6. Be not weary of well doing, for in good time ye shall reape if ye faint not. And accordingly we teach, that it is the will of God, that as many as believe & repent and persevere therein, shall be saved: & no other will of God is Page  174 signified herein. And if this be true, that God doth will this, and no other thing then this is signified in his offers of glory and salvation.

What colour of imposture and dissimulation, doth appeare in all this? For glo∣ry and salvation, God doth not will that it shall be the portion of any one of ripe yeares, absolutely but conditionally, to wit, if he repent and believe. And in case all and every one of the World should believe and repent, all and every one (how notorious sinners soever they be found) shall be saved; such is the suf∣ficiency of Christs merits. I say this is true, not of them only, who are invited to the Wedding. Math. 22. Nor of them only, to whom Saint Peter speaketh, Acts 3. 26. Or to them only, of whom our Saviour speaketh, Math. 23. 37. But of all and every one throughout the World: and it is as true, that none of them shall be saved, if they dye in infidelity and impenitency, this God himselfe signifyeth to be his will by his promise, Acts 2. 28, 29. on the one part, and on both parts, Mark 16. 16. And as God signifieth this to be his will, so indeed is his will according to our doctrine, and there is no colour of imposture or simulation in all this. In like sort as touching the grace of pardon of sinne, this also God offers unto all that heare the Gospell, but how? Not absolutely but conditionally, in case they believe and repent; and it is Gods will that every one who believeth, shall have his sinne pardo∣ned; none that I know either thinketh or teacheth otherwise, whether he falleth out either to be elect or reprobate; though how to distinguish men according unto this difference I know not, I leave that unto God.

And accordingly as touching the desire and hopes, that hereupon arise in the thoughts of Reprobates, I am nothing acquainted with them, any more than I am with their persons: as likewise neither am I private to their stirring up of them∣selves to forsake some pleasing sinnes, which otherwise they would not part with; and to doe some unpleasing duties, which otherwise they would not doe: But in generall I have read in Austin, that God calleth some (though Reprobates) ut proficiant ad exteriorem vitae emendatio∣nem quo mitius puniantur. But I can hardly believe, that Herod was any one of them, though he did many things at his admonition, because I see a shamefull issue, giving way to the cutting off Iohn Baptists head, for the gratifying of a wanton damsell.

Now like as we say, God doth signify his meaning to be, that as many as believe and repent shall have their sinnes pardoned, and their soules saved: So if it can be proved that there is no such meaning in God, then in my poore judge∣ment it cannot be avoyded, but that God must be found halting in his of∣fers. But for my part, I acknowledge such a meaning in God, neither have I to this houre, found any one of our Divines either by word or writing to have denyed this to be the meaning of God: and I wonder what this Author means af∣ter this manner to carry himselfe in the cloudes of generalities; and whether it be through sillinesse, or malitiousnesse I am to seeke: but if I may be so bold as to guesse, I think the root of all this his superficiary discourse is the confounding of absolute Reprobation with absolute Damnation, and in like sort absolute election with salvation absolute: for as for pardon of sinne, and salvation, we acknowledge them to be bestowed on men of ripe years condi∣tionally; and as God bestowes them, so also he decreed to bestow them (we say) conditionally, to wit, in case they believe and repent: but in case they believe and repent not, damnation is their portion, and that by the decree of God. But as touching the gift of faith and repentance, these we maintain to be given of God ab∣solutely, according to the meere pleasure of his will: and accordingly denyed un∣to others, as the Apostle signifieth, saying, He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. But this Author meddles not hither to with these gifts, but keeps * himselfe to the graces of pardon of sinne, and of salvation, which God bestowes conditionally; and signifies his meaning to be, to bestow them conditionally, name∣ly, in case they believe and repent, and not otherwise, and such indeed we maintaine to have been his meaning, and that from everlasting. So that in all this there is no colour of imposture or simulation. But in that which followeth, he stealeth upon the grace of faith it selfe; let us see how clearely, and with what felicity he carryeth himselfe, and whether it be not answerable to his former carriage which he continu∣eth throughout.

Page  175Zanchy (he saith) tells us roundly, that every man that is called, is bound to think he is elected; but why doth he not speake out and say, that every one is bound (in the o∣pinion of Zanchy) to believe that he is elected, as formerly he related it. I grant that to believe is to think, for credere, is defined to be cum assensione cogitare, but thoughts he knows are very wild, they have their course in dreames; as a hungry man may dreame that he eateth and drinketh, but when he awaketh, his soule is empty. And as for that doctrine of Zanchy, I have already given a faire interpretati∣on of it, upon consideration that he speaks it of election not unto faith, but unto salvation: and seeing God hath manifested in his word his determina∣tion to give salvation to every one that believeth, it followeth here∣hence, that every one is bound to believe, that as many as doe believe shall be saved: and consequently every one that heareth the Gospell is bound to believe, That God hath determined to bestow Salvation on him, in case hee be found to believe. The like construction may be given of Bucers Doctrine; namely, that God hath predestinated him to obtain Salvation in case he be∣lieve, not otherwise. For God hath not predestinated any man of ripe years to obtain Salvation, whether he believe or not. And seeing God hath plain∣ly professed that whosoever believeth shall be saved. Mar. 16. 16. If I doe not accordingly believe, that God hath predestinated me to obtain salvation in case I doe believe, I doe hereby make God to delude me in saying Whosoever believeth shall be saved. And whereas this Author upon the back of this addeth, that a man therefore that is not predestinate, but an absolute reprobate, when he is called to salvation is but deluded; and that this is the necessary result of our speeches. All the colour of this his inference, depends meerely upon confusion of things that differ. For he distinguisheth not between abso∣lute predestination unto salvation, and predestination unto salvation absolute: like∣wise he distinguisheth not between absolute reprobation unto damnation, and repro∣bation unto damnation absolute: neither doth he distinguish between predestination unto faith, and predestination unto salvation; nor between reprobation from faith, and reprobation unto damnation. And the absolutenesse of predestination appears only in predestination unto faith, not in predestination unto salvation. For salvati∣on being bestowed on none of ripe years, but by way of reward of their faith, repen∣tance and good works; hence it followes, that God predestinates none unto salvati∣on of ripe years, but by way of reward of their obedience. But as for predestina∣tion unto faith, it is cleare, that God purposeth absolutely to bestow faith on whom he will. So on the other side damnation being inflicted on none, but for sinne God hath destinated no man unto damnation but for sinne. But as touching obduration, like as God hardneth whom he will, so he decreed to proceed herein, to wit, in hardening of men according to the meere pleasure of his will, that is, ab∣solutely. Now let us not suffer a cauteriate conscience, to smother a plain truth, with the confusion of those things which are to be distinguished. Absolute is oppo∣sed to conditionate; and this distinction applied to Gods will is to be understood not quoad actum volentis, sed quoad res volitas; as for example, God decrees that a man shall be saved upon condition of faith, this is called voluntas conditionata, so oVssius ex∣pounds it. Hist. Pelag. lib. 7. p. 638. his words are these, Aliqua vult cum conditione, quae idcirco in effectum non prodeunt nisi conditione impletâ. Some things (God) willeth with a condition, which come not unto effect, but upon the fulfilling of the condition; this is plainly understood, not of the act of willing, but of the things willed, which he calls aliqua, and the instance he gives us is this, quo modo omnes homines salva∣ri*vult, sed per & propter Christum fide apprehensum, after which manner he will have all to be saved, but by and for Christ apprehended by faith; where faith is plainly made the condition of salvation, not of Gods will; yet this will of God, he calls forthwith a conditionate will, and that according to the ancients, in these words, de hac conditionatâ illâ Dei voluntate extant longe plurima apud veteres Scriptores. By which it is manifest, that voluntas conditionata, is by Vossius so called, and in his opinion by the ancients, not on the part of God willing, as if there were any condition thereof, which Brad∣wardine hath disproved as a thing impossible well neere 200 years agoe; but on the part of the things willed by God; now the things willed by God are either absolutely so willed, or conditionally; as for example, pardon of sinne and salvation, are only conditionally willed by God: to wit, upon the condition of faith and repentance, but as for the gift of faith and repentance, they are willed by God to be Page  176 bestowed absolutely, to wit, according to the meer pleasure of Gods will, hence it followeth that the will of God to conferre salvation, is only voluntas coditionata, and denominates not a man absolutely predestinated, but only conditionally, still under∣standing it not quod actum volentis, but quoad res volitas, as Vossius himselfe interprets it, and that according to the ancients. In like sort the will of God to inflict damnation, is a conditionate will according to the same construction that Vossius makes of a will conditionate, according to the Fathers; and denominates not a man absolutely re∣probated, but only conditionally. Now this being the will that Zanchy and Bucer speak of, most preposterously doth this Author shape a man hereupon, to be termed an absolute predestinate, or an absolute reprobate: For in this respect, like as the will of God in this case, is accounted not absoluta but conditionata, so the person deno∣minated hereby, in all equity is to be accounted, not predestinated absolutely, but conditionally, nor reprobated absolutely but conditionally. But in respect of ano∣ther will of God, I willingly confesse, one may be accounted predestinate absolute∣ly, and another reprobated absolutely, to wit, in respect of the will of giving the grace of faith and repentance unto one, and denying it to another: And that be∣cause faith and repentance are not given and denied upon any condition, but abso∣lutely, according to the meer pleasure of God; as we are ready to maintaine. But herehence no species of contradiction ariseth, for like as it is no contradiction to say that God willeth absolutely unto Paul the grace of faith and repentance, and con∣ditionally willeth unto him and every one salvation, to wit, upon condition of faith and repentance: In like sort, there is no contradiction to say, that the same man is predestinated absolutely unto faith, and conditionally unto salvation: In like sort it may be said without all contradiction, that the same man is both reprobated abso∣lutely from faith, and yet reprobated conditionally from glory unto condemnation. And lastly, in like manner, there is no contradiction to say, that the same man is pre∣destinated conditionally to obtain salvation; and yet absolutely reprobated from faith: especially seeing it is all one, to be predestinated conditionally to obtain sal∣vation, and conditionally to obtain damnation: For he that is ordained to be saved in case he believe, is therewithall ordained to be damned in case he believe not: The ground whereof is, that of our Saviour Whosoever believeth shall be saved, whosoever believeth not shall be damned. Now if God may both will unto a man salvation conditionally, * to wit, upon condition he believeth, and yet withall will the deniall of faith abso∣lutely unto him, without all contradiction, (as I have already proved) it followeth, that without all contradiction, a man may be said both to be predestinated to ob∣tain salvation conditionally, viz. In case he doe believe, and so to be predestinated absolutely, to be hardned, or to have the grace of faith denyed him. So that this Authors conclusion depends meerely upon confusion of different denominations of a man said to be absolutely, or conditionally predestinated: which may be in respect of different things whereto he is predestinated, to the one absolutly, to the other conditionally, and consequently without all contradiction. For he that is absolute∣ly reprobated from the grace of faith, may yet be conditionally predestinated unto salvation. For to be conditionally predestinated unto salvation, is to be conditio∣nally predestinated unto damnation, and what sober man will say, that there is any contradiction in this, to say, that the same man is both conditionally reprobated un∣to damnation, and absolutely reprobated from faith. Faith being such a gift of God, that like as God absolutely bestowes it on some, so as absolutely he denies it to others. But as for condemnation, that is inflicted on none but for sinne, like as salva∣tion is bestowed on none of ripe years, but as a reward of obedience. In like manner God decreed not either to bestow the one, or inflict the other but conditionally, to wit, upon condition of faith on the one side, and upon condition of infidelity on the other. Now if such confusion be committed in these denominations of the predesti∣nate and reprobate, absolutely and conditionally, on the part of things willed by God, as namely in respect of grace and glory on the one side, and in respect of the denyall of grace and glory, together with inflicting of damnation on the other; How much more must this confusion be augmented, if not only different things willed by God (as before mentioned) are confounded, but over and above the act of Gods will is confounded with things willed by him. For as for the act of Gods will, that it admitts no condition, I have formerly demonstrated by diverse arguments; one whereof, and that invincible, is this; If sinne be the cause or condition of Gods will, Page  177 or decree of damnation, then either by necessity of nature, or by the constitution of God; not by necessity of nature (as all confesse,) nor (say I) can it be by any con∣stitution of God, as I prove thus; If by the constitution of God, then God hath or∣dained that upon the foresight of sinne, he will ordaine men unto salvation; where the eternall ordination of God, is made the object of Gods eternall ordination; a thing utterly impossible, it being apparent that nothing can be the object of Gods e∣ternall ordination or decree, but things temporall. The similitude whereby he illu∣strates, not his conclusion, but the pretended absurdity of our doctrine, is most ali∣ene. For God is not like unto a creditor, Who resolves upon no termes to forgive his debtor one farthing of his debt, and yet makes offer to remit the whole debt upon some conditions. For as God hath professed that whosoever believeth shall be saved, so; Hath not God resolved that *whosoever believeth shall be saved? Was ever any of our Divines known to deny this? But herein they joyne issue with their adversaries, as the Contra-Remonstrants did with the Remonstrants, namely, in maintaining that this is not the whole decree of prede∣stination; But that there is another decree of predestination besides this; namely, that God over and above hath determined to bestow faith on some. So on the other side, none of our Divines were ever known to deny, that God hath decreed, that whosoe∣ver believes not shall be damned; but further they professe, that this is not the whole decree of reprobation, but that there is another decree concerning reprobation be∣sides this, namely, that God hath over and above decreed to deny some the grace of faith, and that absolutely. Now whereas he saith, we maintain that God hath irre∣vocably decreed not to save some, whom he promiseth that he will save if they be∣lieve; Is he well in his witts, for charging us with that, by way of crimination, which no understanding Divine among the Arminians themselves dare deny? I mean as touching the poynt of Gods irrevocable decree. For what Arminian hath dared in plain tearmes to professe, that Gods decrees are of a revocable nature? Whereas the meere prescience of God, is sufficient to make them irrevocable; How much more if Gods prescience be grounded upon his decree? as indeed there is no other ground imaginable, without falling upon manifest Atheisme. But whereas he fashioneth our Doctrine, so as if we said, that God hath decreed at no hand to save them, to whom he promiseth salvation upon condition of faith; this is a notorious untruth, and such as implyeth manifest contradiction: For to say he hath resolved at no hand to save them, is as much as to say, that he hath resolved to save them on no condition. But if he hath promised to save them in case they believe, undoubtedly he hath resolved, to save them upon condition of faith. Only Gods resolution to save them, is not held in suspence, considering that from everlasting, he well knew who would believe, and who would not; and therefore he knew this, because he purposed to grant faith unto the one, and deny it unto the other. So that in all this cry, we have little wooll, no substance of any sound proofe, but meere clamours and miserable confusion; as God sees how well it becomes him to smite them with the spirit of confusion, that build Babell of their own invention, and oppose the truth, the precious truth of his sove∣raignty over his creatures, and of the prerogative of his free grace, to have mercy on whom he will, like as he shewes his power in hardening whom he will, and in smi∣ting with giddinesse whom he will.

3. In the next place, we are to heare how God, by our Doctrine in his threats and comminations is hollow, and unsincere. I willingly grant these are alwaies denounced a∣gainst actuall sinnes, as also that the sinnes for which men goe to hell, are actuall sinnes, if they live to be conscious of actuall transgressions. But if God have decreed men to hell for originall sinne, then God (saith he) is not true, and so not sincere. This is utterly un∣consequent; For God can manifest his pleasure otherwise than by his threatnings. Of the Sodomites it is said, they suffer the vengeance of eternall fire; and Infants perished therein, as well as men of ripe years: And the Apostle plainly saith, that we have all sinned in Adam, and that the wages of sinne is death, without distinction; and that all are * borne children of wrath, and therefore as many as dye in that condition, dye chil∣dren of wrath. And whence hath this Author learned, that the sinne of Adam hath brought upon us the guilt of eternall death, as formerly he hath professed: but if I be not deceived, this extends farther than to Infants, and in as much as some of our Divines conceive the corrupt masse, to be the object of reprobation, hereupon he con∣ceits, they make God to damne all Reprobates for originall sinne; whereas their do∣ctrine is no other than this, that God determines to damne every man for no other Page  178 sinnes, but such wherein they dye unrepented of, whether they be originall or actuall. Threatnings are denounced unto all to this end, that men may know, that by con∣tinuing in sinne without repentance there is no hope of mercy, and therefore as they desire to be saved, it is there duty to breake them off by repentance: And in particular unto some that by this consideration, God may bring them unto repen∣tance. But these are only Gods elect, but as for others God never brings unto them true repentance, according to that of S. Austin, Istorum neminem adducit Deus ad salubrem spiriitalem{que} poenitentiam qua homo reconciliatur Deo in Christo sive illis ampliorum patientiam*sive non imparem praebeat. Yet God ordaines no man of ripe yeares unto destruction but for sinne finally continued in, without repentance; and the threatning of damnation signifyes no other thing but this, that if they repent not, they shall be damned, which is most true to whomsoever it is pronounced; and this dealing of God is plain e∣nough. But these Divines would not have faith and repentance to be the gifts of God, but the workes of mens free-wills, that so they might be their own crafts-men of their salvation.

DISCOURSE. SUBSECT. II.

4. GOd is also full of guile in the other things before named, by this opinion, viz. in his passionate wishes, that even those men might repent, that repent not, and might be Saved that through their impenitency are not Saved. Of these we read Deuter. 5. 29. Oh that there were such a heart in them to feare me, that it might goe well with them.

And in Psal. 18. 13. O that my people had harkened unto mee, and Israell had walked in my wayes. And Isaiah. 48 18. Oh that thou hadst hearkened unto my commandements. &c.

2. In his expostulations. Isai. 5. 3. judge I pray you between me and my vineyard, what could I have done more for my vineyard? Ier. 2. throughout. Especially v. 5. and 31. Have I been a wil∣dernesse unto Israell, or a land of darknesse? And . 32. Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire, yet my people have forgotten mee dayes without number. Ezek. 33. 11. Turne yee, turne yee, O yee house of Israell why will ye dye?

3. In his commiserations also of the woefull condition of foolish men, that would not be reclay∣med. Hos. 11. 8. How shall I give thee up Ephraim, how shall I deliver thee O Israell? My repen∣tings are kindled together, my heart is turned within me, and Math. 23. 37. O Jerusalem Jerusalem which killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee. In all these there is but little sincerity, if there be a setled resolution that the most of those, towards whom those wishes, chidings, and melting considerations are used, shall be unavoydable damned Gods fairest offers, his sweetest invitations, his greatest sympathies, and amplest curtesies, (if this doctrine be true) come very little short I think of Absolons feast, Ioabs congie, the kisse of Iudas, and the Hyaenaes teares, for in all these, aliud animo vult, aliud verbis significat; he sayeth one thing and meanes another, and therefore dissembles. This is so evident, that some maintainers of absolute reprobation doe not deny it, but ascribe unto God Sanctam Simulationem, duplicem personam, duplicem voluntatem a Holy counterfeiting a double face, a double will, by which they offer extreame injury unto God, for tolerabilius est (saith Tertullian) duos divisos quam unum versipellem Deum praedicare. It is more tolerable to set up two Gods then a double and deceitfull God. If this be granted, Iesuits have no cause to be ashamed of their * equivocations: nor Polititians of their Holy water, and crafty dissimulations; men need not be afraid to cogge and lye, and deale deceitfully one with another, but are ather to be commended for their courtship and complements, and false-heartednesse, because in this they doe but imitate God, to whom whosoever they be that come nearest, they are the best. But howsoever some doe inconsideratly ascribe such things to God, the most (I know) would tremble to entertaine such thoughts: and therefore the more horrible it is; to lay such things to the charge of the Almighty, the farther I take this opinion to be from all truth and honesty.

Page  179TWISSE Consideration.

GOD (he saith) by our Doctrine, is made full of guile in his passionate wishes, that even these men might repent, that repent not. The guile I guesse consists in this, that God hereby makes shew, that he would have them to repent, when yet indeed, he hath no such will. To this I answer, that by the same reason he might conclude, that God carrieth himselfe with guile, in taking unto himselfe eyes, and eares, and hands, and heart, for hereby he makes shew that he hath the members of a man. But to this we answer, that this shew is only unto them that understand that properly, which is to be taken figuratively: so that it is not the word of God, so much as the weaknesse of men in understanding it, that casts this colour. For these things indeed, are spoken only per 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is a metaphoricall kind of speech. And if God takes liberty to conforme himselfe to the members of our body, may not he take as great liberty to conforme himselfe to the passions of our minds, and to assume unto him, the passions of feare, wrath, and jealousy, joy, sorrow, and such like? Isai. 63. 8. For he said surely they are my people, Children that will not lye, so he was their Saviour: yet what followeth in the next verse save one: But they rebelled and vex∣ed his holy spirit. According to the course of this Divines superficiall consideration, a man might conceive, that God is subject to errour, and improvidence, as well as man; for God said surely they will not lye, but it appeared by the event, that they did lye. So that hereupon we are driven to conclude, that the former passage is delivered per 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in conformity to a mans judgement, who promiseth unto himselfe bet∣ter obedience from his child for the time to come, then afterwards he finds. In like sort, God in his passionate wishes, conformes himselfe to the condition of man, who useth this sometimes, as a means to worke impression upon his child, to be more care∣full to order his conversation towards his parents. And this being apt to work upon a child, though but naturally ingenuous, why may not God use this course? nay if he should not use this course, he could not be said to doe all for his vineyard, that could be done, in the way of outward husbandry. So that passionate wishes, are but a passionate kind of exhortation; God through us doth beseech you (saith Paul) we pray you in Christs stead, to be reconciled unto God. 2 Cor. 5. 20. Yet neverthelesse the same Apostle professeth that the Gospell was a savour of death unto death to some, 2 Cor. 2. 15. Now the Gospell includes all these and such like patheticall admonitions; And hereby God doth effectually signify, how much he delights in the obedience of the creature, and in the glorifying of his mercy in their salvation. But yet this mercy of God, in giving the grace of obedience, is not shewed indifferently towards all, but only to some, e∣ven whom the Lord will. Rom. 9. 18. And this consideration drives us to interpret such passionate wishes not properly, but figuratively. For whereas the Lord saith, Deut. 5. 29. Oh that there were such an heart in them to feare me. Who can deny but that God could give them such an heart, if it pleased him? And the same Moses professeth of these ve∣ry people of Israell, that God had not given them such an heart for the space of 40 years. Deut. 29. 4. you have seen the great temptations and signes; But the Lord hath not gi∣ven you an heart to perceive, nor eyes to see, nor eares to heare unto this day, and Jerem. 32. 40. He makes promise of giving it to some; I will put my feare in their heart, that they shall never depart away from me. In like sort whereas the Lord saith, Isai. 48. 18. Oh that thou hadst hearkened unto my commandements. Psal. 81. 13. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my waies! who doubts but that it was in the power of God, to work them hereunto, by boaring their eares, and circumci∣sing them, by regenerating them, and so making them to be borne of God; that so be∣ing of God, they might heare his words. Iohn 8. 47. As also to put his own spirit within them, and cause them to walke in his statutes, and keep his judgements and doe them: Ezek. 36. 27.

2. In his expostulations, in that, Isai. 5. 3. What could I have done more for my vineyard? What doth this signify more, than that more could not be done? But how? In the way of outward Husbandry, conforming himselfe to an husbandman, that hath planted a vineyard. For can it be denied, but that God could have made them fruitfull, had it Page  180 pleased him: and though Paul plants and Apollo watereth, yet, Is it not Gods peculiar office to give the encrease? Is it not he that worketh in us every good thing that is pleasing in*his sight through Jesus Christ. Heb. 13. 21. Is not he both the Author and finisher of our faith? Was it not he that gave repentance unto Israell; Acts 5. 31. And to the Gentiles. Acts 11. 18. And must we not waite with our hearers, if so be God may give them repen∣tance? 2 Tim. 2. 25. And as for that of Jerem. 2. 32. Can a Maid forget her Ornament, or a Bride her attire, yet my people have forgotten mee. And have I been a Wildernesse unto Israell, or a land of darknesse. Is not this exprobration of their unthankfulnesse just, and without * guile, unlesse God doe actually change all their hearts. Yet this might be a means and also was, and is, and ever shall continue to be a means to bring Gods people to repentance. And undoubtedly the worst of them, had power to have abstained from many of those foule sinnes, yea from all of them, wherewith God doth upbraid them; albeit to abstaine from any sinne in a gracious manner, be a worke of Gods speciall grace, which he affords not, according to mens workes (which way tends all this eager but superficiary discourse) but according to his own purpose and grace. 3. Hosea 11. 8. God represents as it were a conflict within him, between his mercy and justice; and his mercy hath the glory of the day; But wherein? To spare them, though their sinnes deserved at his hands, that he should make them as Adma and Zeboim, as Sodome and Gomorrah. He would rather shew himselfe to be as he is, God, and and not Man; And wherein? But in this, man may pardon his enemy, but cannot change his heart, it is otherwise with God, he can both pardon our sinnes, and change our hearts, and to this purpose he becomes our Lord and our God, and walkes in the midst of us, as the holy one of Israell, to sanctify us, as it followeth in the same place of Hosea, v. 10. They shall walk after the Lord, he shall roare like a Lyon, viz. In such expo∣stulations, comminations, &c. but the issue shall be gracious; for when he shall reare, then the children of the West shall feare, that is feare unto him, as Hos. 3. 5. That is, come fly∣ing unto him, and to his goodnesse with feare: like Birds scared from one place, fly with greater speed to another: so conscience affrighted with sense of sinne, and ap∣prehension of Gods wrath, shall fly from his wrath, unto his mercy, to his goodnesse: whereof God shall make unto them a full representation in David their King, that is in Christ, as in whom we behold the glory of Gods grace with open face, and trepida∣re in Latine, is found to be of the same signification with festinare. And v. 11. Is ma∣nifested as much, as where it is said, They shall feare as a sparrow out of Egypt, and as a Dove out of the land of Egypt; and I will place them in their houses, saith the Lord. That is, come fly∣ing unto the Lord with feare. As for that Math. 23. 37. O Jerusalem, how oft would I: &c. This is of another nature, as being delivered by Christ the sonne of God, made under the Law, who, as in his manhood, he might entertaine such desires in proper speech, so by the Law of God, was bound to desire the conversion of his brethren, as well as any other Prophet, or man of God, or minister of his word. But such confu∣sion becomes this discourse right well.

In all this (he saith) there is little sincerity, if there be a secret resolution, that the most of these, towards whom those wishes, chidings, and commiserations are used, shall be unavoydably damned. But what if but one of them, towards whom these are used, by a secret resolution shall be unavoydably damned, is there sincerity enough in these courses divine? Sure∣if this resolution, concerning the unavoydable damnation of the one, doth not pre∣judice Gods sincerity, neither shall such a resolution concerning the damnation of two, or of two hundred, or thousands, or the most, any way prejudice sincerity di∣vine. But this kind of discourse, is spread all over this Treatise, like a scab only to worke upon vulgar affection, where judgement is wanting to observe the frothy condition of it. And whereas he saith that in all this God aliud animo vult aliud verbis significat, its most untrue, as to every one should be made manifest, according to the right understanding of it, had he been pleased to accommodate it severally, and shew what that is, which God signifies by his word, and what that is, which he willeth in his heart. And indeed, as in the poynt of Gods commandement, I have shewed there is no colour of contradiction between it, and Gods purpose, but only according to this Authors superficiary interpretation. For to command a thing, is only to will, that it shall be our duty to doe it: notwithstanding which, it is apparent, God may purpose not to give grace to worke the doing of it. So in every one of the rest, had he instanced as it became him, and shewed wherein the guile consisted, the absurdity of this crimination might have been made as manifest as in this. That which he con∣ceales, Page  181 and which he would have his readers rather take to themselves, than shew himselfe clearely to stand to the maintainance thereof, seems to be this; that every one hath power given him to believe, to repent, to change his heart, yea to regene∣rate himselfe, but it sticks in his teeth, and he dares not speake it out plainly. On∣ly he keepes himselfe to Gods resolution, concerning mans unavoydable damnation; yet we maintaine not that any contingent things come to passe unavoydably, that were utterly against the nature of a contingent thing, which is to come to passe, so as joyned with a possibility of not coming to passe. And as for damnation in particular, we acknowledge it throughout, to be avoydable by repentance, and not otherwise, unto men of ripe years: And as for repentance, we say, that there is no man but may repent as long as he lives, through grace: so that in the issue the maine poynt to be debated herein is, whether every man living hath such a grace given him as whereby he may repent. But upon this poynt though his whole discourse be grounded thereupon, yet is he content to say just nothing; least their shamefull and most un∣conscionable courses in dishonouring the grace of God, should be discovered and brought to light. But consider in a word or two as touching this universall grace, which they make to consist in the inabling of the will, to will any goodthing whereunto they shall be excited. If such a grace be universall, then every one hath power to believe, and power to repent. But this is untrue, for the Apostle telleth us of some, that they cannot repent. Rom. 2. 4. of the naturall man, that he cannot discerne the things of God; and that they are foolishnesse unto him; and while they seeme foolishnesse unto him, is it possible that therein he should discerne the wisdome of God? 1 Cor. 2. 14. our Saviour tells us of some, that they cannot believe: Ioh. 12. 46. and tells others to their face, saying, How can you believe, when ye receive honour one of another, and seeke not the honour that comes from God only, Ioh. 5. 44. Likewise of them that are in the flesh Saint Paul saith, They cannot please God. Rom. 8. 8. 2. It is the habit of faith that inables us to believe, so that if all men have power to believe, it must be confessed, that all men have faith, but the Apostle saith, Fides non est omnium; 2 Thes. 3. 2. Tit. 1. 1. he saith it is electorum; like as Austin professeth Habere fi∣dem, sicut & habere charitatem gratiae est fidelium: de praedest. Sanct. cap. 5. 3. Whosoever hath power to prduce a vitall act, hath life in him; and consequently, whosoever hath power to produce any act of the life of grace, hath the life of grace in him: But the acts of faith and repentance, are the acts of the life of grace, therefore whosoever hath power to produce these, hath in him the life of grace. But this is not true of all, for the Scripture testifies of some, that they are dead in sinne. Ephes. 2. 1. Are strangers from the life of God. Ephes. 4. 18. Againe, then all should be regenerated, but that is untrue, for regeneration is signified, Psal. 19. in Scripture to be wrought by the word of God. 1 Peter. 1. 23. Iam. 1. 17. But all have not the word of God. 4. If a man hath power to believe and repent, then the reason why a man doth not believe and repent, is not because he cannot, but because he will not; so that in the issue it comes to this, that a man may believe if he will, repent if he will; But such a pow∣er is not grace, but nature rather, as appears by Austin. l. 1. de Gtnesi contra Manich. cap. 3. where he professeth, that omnes possunt credere si velint: now compare this, with that he hath in the same place, where though he saith that omnes credere possint si velint, yet posse credere, simply taken, ariseth meerely out of the gift of charity; which he professeth to be gratiae fidelium, de praedest. Sanct. c. 5. But there he professeth that posse habere fidem, is naturae hominum, the very naturall condition of all men. I farther prove it by rea∣son thus; Look by what power I can believe if I will, by the same power I can re∣fuse to believe if I will; Now such a power is no other, then whereby a man is in∣different to doe good or evill: but such a condition is not grace; for grace is good∣nesse, now goodnesse doth not dispose any, either to good or evill indifferently, but precisely to that which is good; like as naughtinesse disposeth a man only to that which is evill.

He sleepes so sweetly upon his Arminian pillow, that his very dreames make him confident of the evidence of his deductions. And he gives reasons for it, and that of most force for conviction, namely the confession of his adversaries; the main∣tainers of absolute reprobation, for even they, he saith, doe not deny this, but ascribe unto God sanctam simulationem, duplicem personam, duplicem voluntatem. But he names none, content to sing to himself & his Muses throughout, when he relats what our sides answer to his profound discourses. And I commend his wisdome more then his honesty in this, for if he had quoted his Authors herein, it may be something might have bin discovered that would Page  182 be little pleasing unto him: yet herein he confounds things much different; for as for a double will ascribed unto God, all the Learned doe acknowledge so much, and the Scriptures testify it; as namely, that his decree is called the will of God: as, what the Lord willeth, that hath he done, both in heaven and in earth, and who hath resisted his will? as also that Gods commandement is called usually the will of God, as, This is the will of God, even your sanctification, that every one should know how to possesse his vessell in holinesse, and honour, and not in the lust of concupiscence, as the Gen∣tiles doe which know not God. 1 Thes. 4. 4, 5. as for duplicem personam, that is a phrase which I never read before, yet the phrase of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is usually in the Holy Scripture, as when God takes unto him both the members of a mans body, and the passions of his mind; and so speakes in the way of condescension to our infirmi∣ties, as to put upon himselfe the person of a man: and this is undenyable by all that are not Anthropomorphites. And as touching our blessed Saviour, we acknow∣ledge in him duplicem naturam, a double nature, though not duplicem personam, a double person, and accordingly sometimes, he both speakes of himselfe, and is spoken of, as touching the nature of his God-head, and sometimes as touching the nature of his Man-hood. As for the first, that alone is materiall to his pre∣sent purpose, namely, as touching Sancta Simulatio, ascribed unto God by our Di∣vines. Now it were worth the while to know who is his Author in this, and that of the passages alleadged by this Author, doth professe that they doe represent in God an holy kind of simulation: How could he exspect that this should give any satis∣faction, seeing he conceales the Author of it? And what reader would not be mo∣ved, with a very greedy desire to know the Author of such an interpretation of the passages alleadged by this. Divine, that he might consider whether it be rightly al∣leadged or no; and if rightly, with what sobriety they deliver it? Now I re∣member well to have read in Piscator, that the Scripture attributes in a certaine place Simulation unto Christ, not in any passage of this nature wee treat of, as namely, Luke 24. 28. Where it is said, he made as though hee would goe farther: like enough to irritate their devotions, and to provoke their zealous desire so much the more to retaine him a little longer. And I willingly pro∣fesse not the Simulation, but the Dissimulation of this Author in this case hath stirred up a desire in me to be satified, as touching the Author of this Sancta Si∣mulatio. Now I find in Piscator his answer to Vorstius his Parascuen, the first part pag. 29. both that place of simulation attributed unto Christ out of Luke 24. 28. And also, how that in the examples of Gods messages sent to Hezekiah, that he should dye and not live; And to the Ninevites by Jonah, Yet forty daies and Nineve shall be destroyed, his opinion is, that therein God doth signify care, se velle quod non*vult. His words are these; Adhaec etsi Deus interdum significet se velle quod non vult, non ta∣men propterea hypocriseos insimulandus est; (for this Vorstius objected unto him) Sed po∣tius sapientia ejus agnoscenda in hominibus ad serias preces & seriam poenitentiam adducendis; ut liquet in exemplo Begis Ezekiae recuperantis sanitatem & Ninivitarum conservatorum: and whereas Vorstius laies to his charge, that in saying God commands one thing, and purposeth another, he doth impute unto God Hypocrisy, (which is the very sub∣stance of this Authors answere in this place.) See I pray how he answers it without attributing any holy simulation at all unto God in this case. Ad praecepta vero quod attinet: non statim sequitur Deum agere Hipocritam si quid praecipiat, quod fieri nolit; etenim hypocritam is demum agit, qui simulat pietatem quâ caret. Sane quicquid praecipit Deus, id vult voluntare ap∣probante, si fiat, nisi interveniat praeceptum contrarium, ut factum est in praecepto quod dederat Abra∣hamo de mactando Isaaco. Interim tamen voluntate decernente non vult ut singuli ea faciant quae om∣nibus*praecipit, ut liquet in caede Christi per Judam & Judaeos perpetratâ. Acts 2. 4. Hereupon I look farther, and consider what Vorstius hath answered unto this. Now Vorstius his answer hereunto is this. Amic. duplic. p. 137. Non is tantum hypocrita est qui pietatem simulat quâ caret, sed & ille qui dolosè alterum sub blandâ specie decipit, offerens ei salutem quam nunquam in animo habuit ipsi dare. Piscator in his answer hereunto, doth not distinguish between hypocrisy, and a holy simulation, as if he denyed the former of God, and affirmed the lat∣ter. But Vorstius himselfe doth not deny unto God, all kind of simulation, but only dolosam, such as is deceitfull, Amic. duplic. p. 135. 138. And withall professeth, that God may signify that he willeth some thing which indeed he willeth not. I am per∣swaded, for feare of starting this, this discourser was loath to name his Author, if so be he himselfe read that which he here speakes of, sancta simulatio in Pis∣cator,Page  183 and took it not hand over head from anothers information, without all crime of hypocrisy; his words are these. p. 138. Fateor equidem Deum non continuò hypocriseos insimulandum esse, si interdum aliquo modo significet se velle quod revera non vult: posset enim hoc facere si velit ex absolutâ suâ authoritate, nempe cum eis de rebus agitur, quae ne{que} cum sanctissima ipsius natura, ne{que} cum voluntate jam in verbo patefacta quicquid pugnant. And whereas he farther urgeth, that neverthelesse, we must not yeeld easily any manner of simulation attributed unto God, though it be not deceitfull, laying it to Piscators charge, that he did attribute simulation unto God, in the message he sent by Isaiah to Hezekiah, and that other sent by Jonah to the Ninevites; Piscator denies that he affirmed any such thing, or that he alleadged the examples of Hezekiah and the Ninevites to any such purpose, though he addeth, that in his opinion, it is not disagreeable to those exam∣ples, to acknowledge an holy simulation of God therein: take his own words; Tu hic pug∣nas sine Adversario: nam ego ne{que} affirmavi facile aliquam simulationis speciem Deo tribuendam esse, ne{que} exempla illa Ezekiae & Ninivitarum huc retuli: Interim non puto ab exemplis illis alie∣num esse, ut sanct a Dei simulatio in illis statuatur. And this it may be is the only ground of this Authors calumnious pretence in this place; namely, that some maintainers of ab∣solute reprobation, doe not deny that which he inferres concerning Simulation divine, in the passages alleadged by him, ascribing unto God sanctam simulationem: whereas Piscator acknowledgeth not any such thing, in any passages of Scripture alleadged by this Author, but only as touching the examples of Hezekias, and the Ninevites, and that in this modest manner only, that albeit he did not alleadge them to any such purpose, as to maintaine simulation in Gods courses, yet non puto (saith he) ab exemplis illis alienum esse ut sancta Dei simulatio in illis statuitur. And Vorstius himselfe acknow∣ledgeth that simulation may be attributed unto God, and I think he doth not meane it of any unholy simulation, and that he thinks God may signify, that he willeth some∣thing, which indeed he willeth not. Now judge I pray of the spirit of this man, that taketh such base courses, to calumniate both the servants of God, (who are now at peace with God, but his malice is not at peace with them) and through their sides, the truth of God also. But it may be this Author relates it but from a second hand. But whosoever be the Author, I pray judge accordingly of his Rhetoricall flourish upon the back of this, in comparing this opinion of Gods courses, which is no more Piscators, than Vorstius his, in some cases, with Jesuites equivocation, and Politicians Holy∣water and crafty dissimulations, with Absolons feast, Joabs congie, and Hyaenaes teares; because forsooth, God made shew to Hezekiah, that he should live no longer, and to the Nine∣vites, that their Citty should be destroyed, though he had no such meaning, and all to stirre them up to turne unto God by hearty prayer and repentance, and that to lay this to the charge of the Almighty, is farre from truth and honesty.

DISCOURSE. SUBSECT. III.

THat which is usually said by such as maintaine the absolute decree, to cleare God from hypocrisy in these things, is, That God seriously wisheth the salvation of the Reprobate, but not absolutely, he would have them to be saved, that are not saved; but yet upon condition they will repent and believe; and therefore though they doe perish, yet is God can did and sincere in his offers of salvation to them; for therefore doe they perish because they performe not the condition, not because God offers not seriously salvation unto them.

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Page  184 But this answer is too short. Tis true indeed, God will have all men to be saved only upon con∣dition they will believe and repent; according to the speech of Saint Ambrose, Deus vult omnes salvari si & ipsi velint; for if he would absolutely have it so what can hinder it? who hath resisted his will? And it is true likewise that a conditionall promise may be seriouse as well as an absolute; but then the condition must be possible unto them, to whom the offer and promise is made; and the per∣formance of the condition must be a part of Gods will, as well as the salvation promised; or else the promise cannot be candid and sincere. In substance it is all one, not to offer a curtesy at all and and to offer it under a condition not possible, and in circumstance it is farre better to deny a be∣nefite absolutly, than so to promise it. For such a promise is a denyall under a colour of the con∣trary. The Lawyers tell us that a contract Sub conditione impraestabili nullus aestimatur: And the Logi∣cians, that propositio conditionalis quae habet annexam conditionem impossibilem, aequipollet simpliciter neganti. Any offer which is made upon a condition not performeable by the party is equivalent to a bare negation. It is all one for a man to deny a piece of money flatly to one blind man, and to promise it to another blind man upon a condition that he will looke upon it with his eyes, and it is all one for a man that hath a daughter to bestow in marriage to tell the suitor I will giue you my daughter if you will but span the earth and touch the heavens with your finger; and to tell him plainly, set your heart at rest I will never bestow her upon you. And thus have I shewed the con∣trariety of this opinion to the principall attributes of God: which is my second generall reason against it

TWISSE. Consideration.

THat Salvation, and that by the ordinance of God, is only obtaineable by men of ripe years, by faith and repentance, as also, that in case every one should believe and repent, every one should be saved, is without question. For hath not our Saviour professed, that whosoever believeth shall be saved; and doth it not undeniably follow herehence, that it is Gods will, that whosoever believeth shall be*saved: Neither is this any wish as this Author faigneth, neither doth any of our Di∣vines say, that ever I read, or till now heard of, that God wisheth that all that believe shall be saved; this being a most absurd speech and contradiction to the ordinance of God. For those things which God or man are said to wish, are such which doe not alwaies come to passe: but this ordinance of God, whosoever believeth shall be saved, is more stable than the covenant which God hath made with day and night. Not any Arminian that ever I read, doth expresse himselfe in so prostitute a manner, as to say, God seriously wisheth the salvation of Reprobates, in case they believe. For he hath not wished, but ordained, and made it a positive law, that whosoever believeth shall be saved, and herehence it followeth, that if all and every one, from the beginning of the World to the end, shall believe in Christ, all and every one of them shall be saved. But when they speake of velleity in God, or wishing, the object thereof they make not to be the salva∣tion of men in case they repent, but absolutely the salvation of men: which kind of velleity, is resolved indeed in the issue, into a conditionate will, thus; Gods will is, that all shall be saved in case they repent: not thus, I doe wish that all may be saved in case they repent, according to the most absurd fiction of this Author. At length he grants that God will have all men to be saved, only upon condition they will believe and repent; and that con∣ditionall promise may be serious, as well as an absolute: but then (saith he) the condition must be possible to them, to whom the offer and promise is made, and the performance of the condition must be a part of Gods will, as well as the salvation promised, or else the promise cannot be candid and sin∣cere. Whereto I answer, that it is confessed on both sides, that God hath ordained, that all that believe shall be saved, and consequently it must be granted, that the promise of salvation hereupon, to wit, upon faith, must needs be candid and sincere, it being the promise of God. Now shall we herehence inferre hand over head, that therefore the condition must be possible unto all, in spight of all other evidences to the con∣trary, though never so plainly and expressely laid downe unto us in holy Scripture; as namely, that a naturall man perceives not the things of God, they are foolishnesse unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2. 14. That they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom. 8. 8. That they who are accustomed to doe evill, can no more doe good, then a Blackemore change his skinne, or the Leopard Page  185 his spots. Jer. 13. 23. This is the immodest course of this Author, to set up one piece of Scripture, by his paltry consequences, to outface another, nothing lesse evident. Notwithstanding this Scripture discovereth unto us, how this impotency of doing good, is contracted unto us all, by sinning in Adam, as whereupon we were bereaved of grace, and of the spirit of God: yet if he would deale fairely, and deny originall sinne, he should erre no more then Pelagius did, and withall, he should have as much ingenuity as Pelagius had: But now though equall to him in the one, yet is he inferi∣our to him in the other. But come we nearer to him than so; What one of our Divines denyeth the performance of this condition to be possible to al men? But is it fit that he should talke of possibility (as he doth at large,) without any reference to the grace of God? And dares he say that it is possible to any man, whether elect or reprobate, without grace? I say he dares not say so much, though like enough, he and all the Sect of them, have a good mind to it. What then is the issue of all this Controversy between us, but to enquire what manner of grace that is, without which it cannot be, that any should believe? Is it only such a grace, as gives only power to believe? This is no better than plain Pelagianisme, as appears by Austin de grat. Christ. cont. Pelag. & coelest. c. 6. and in the end, where he comes to make an overture for the compoun∣ding of the Controversy between them: Or, Is it some other grace prevenient, work∣ing only Morally by way of perswasion? This also appears clearely to have been the opinion of Pelagius, in the same book of Austin cap. 10. And he challengeth him to the acknowledging of another manner of grace, if he will not only be called a Chri∣stian, but be indeed a Christian: Or Lastly, is it only grace subsequent, by way of concourse, as to say, that God workes in us the act of believing, provided that we will believe? This, this is that Helena, that our homeborne Arminians are inamou∣red with, meere Pelagianisme: for who seeth not, that thus the grace of faith is confer∣red*according to the acts of willing in men, which is as much as to say, tis conferred accor∣ding to works. Then marke yet farther absurdities; for thus God hath not mercy on whom he will in giving faith, but on whom man will; and what colour is there in this case, for any such objection to be made hereupon, as is devised by the Apostle? Thou wilt say then, why doth he yet complaine, for who hath resisted his will? Fur∣ther consider; Doth not God in this manner concurre to the most sinfull act that is commited in the world? And why then doe we not as well say; that the commission of sinne is not possible without grace subsequent; for certainly tis not possible with∣out divine concourse. Lastly say farther, what is the grace required to the very act of willing; Doth God work this also by grace subsequent? As much as to say, God works in us the act of willing, provided we worke it in our selves. Such morsells as these can easily goe downe with these stomacks, which are apt to tumultuate upon the hearing that God hath power to make whom he will vessells of mercy, or vessells * of wrath; man must be the crafts-master of his own fortunes, and it were neither agreeable to Gods mercy, nor to his justice, nor to his truth, unlesse their free-will hath the greatest glory of their conversion; and God be admitted no more to the working of that act of faith, and of repentance, than to the working of the most sin∣full act that is committed in the world. But I find it nothing strange, that as many as refuse to be in subjection unto God, have liberty enough to be made vassalls, and be brought in subjection unto their own corrupt and unreasonable fancies. For the word of God forsooth must be tempered, and interpreted according to the rules of their reason; their reason must not be ordered, and squared according unto the word of God. But to proceed, the Lawyers rule of the nullity of a contract, sub conditione impraestabili, is nothing to the present purpose: For the case is not alike between man and man; and between God and man. God stands not at the pleasure of man, to contract in what manner he thinks good. And when he hath given him power to performe, whatsoever at any time he shall command him; if man disable himselfe, shall God hereby be deprived of his right to command what he thinks good, and to punish for disobedience as he thinks good? We read of some, that have cut off their thumbs, to disable themselves for military service: is it not just with men to punish such, as runne away after they have received their presse monies? But there is yet ano∣ther geofaile in the accommodation of this rule of Law. For, conditio impraestabilis there, is such as cannot be performed by reason of impotency naturall; but the im∣potency we speake of, in the case between God and man, is meerely impotency mo∣rall; to wit, therefore they cannot, because they will not, were it not for the corrup∣tion Page  186 of their will, no power were wanting in man to believe, and repent. But as Au∣stin saith, alleadged by the Brittaine Divines out of Retract. 1. 15. Voluntas sine charitate est tota vitiosa cupiditas; and upon the 3d and 4th artic. De conversione, qua denotat imme∣diatum opus Dei hominem regenerantis. Thesi. 2. They professe that in voluntate lapsa est po∣tentia passiva ad esse hoc supernaturale extrinsecus adveniens, recipiendum, non autem activa, ad idem vel per se, vel cum alio producendum. Jer. 17. 14. Sana me domine & Sanabor. And out of the Synodicall Epistle of the Bishops of Africa to the same purpose, they alleadge this passage, In vivificandis hominibus Deus nullum initium voluntatis humanae expectat, sed ipsam voluntatem bonam faciendo vivificat. And also that of Austin de corep. & gra. cap. 14. Creatio in Christo in libertatem voluntatis facta est, & sine nobis: si in libertatem, tum non ex libertate: si sine nobis, tum penes nos non est hoc Dei opus impedire. Be it all one to deny a piece of mony flat∣ly to a blind man, and to promise it upon a condition, that he will looke upon it with his eyes: In like sort, as touching the Reprobate, God hath no purpose to give salvation, but to deny it rather; although he give this generall rule, that whosoever believeth shall be saved; * and therefore he gives this rule, because he purposeth by these means, to draw his e∣lect unto Christ by faith; such a manner being most agreeable to their reasonable natures. And the reason why the rule is proposed to all, is, because partly Gods Mi∣nisters are not acquainted with Gods counsell so farre, as to know whom he hath e∣lected; partly in respect that the more carnall men are, the more confident they are of performing any such duties, I meane of power to performe it, as namely to be∣lieve, to obey, to repent: partly to the end, that some hereby may be brought, ad exteriorem vitae emendationem, quo mitius puniantur, as Austin sometimes speaketh: as also because there is a kind of faith, performeable by a naturall man; for we see both prophane persons and Hypocrites, concurre in an outward profession of Christianity, with the children of God: yet there is a great difference between blindnesse naturall, and blindnesse spirituall; for in the one there is a will and desire to see, not so in the other; the one being impotency naturall, the other morall. And in a word, there is no impotency morall in man, that hath not been brought upon him through sinne, either originall, of actuall. As for the spanning of the earth, or touching the heaven with ones finger, this never was in the power of man; but to believe any word of God, I hope this Author will not deny to have been sometimes in the power of man: nay he seems to be of opinion, that it is in the power of all men still, yet he would not be thought to deny originall sinne. One thing yet remaines to be considered; he said to whom the promise of salvation is made, the performance of the condition, must be a part of Gods will, as well as the salvation promised: But of what will of God must this be a part? Of his will as it signifies his commandement? We grant it is; for he commands, saying, Repent and believe the Gospell; and by this commandement it is apparent, that it is the will of God, that it shall be the duty of every man, that hears this commande∣ment, to obey it. But will he have it a part of Gods will, to worke it effectually in all? And how I pray? Either by way of grace prevenient, or by way of grace subse∣quent? Not by way of grace prevenient, for then all that heare the Gospell, should believe and be saved; for to worke Faith effectually that way, is to worke the will unto Faith. As for the working of it by way of grace subsequent; this I have been late∣ly taught by an Arminian, to be no other than the working of it by way of con∣course, and that depends on the will of man: and we doe not deny, but that if any Reprobate will believe, God will concurre to the working of this beliefe; but so we say, (and no Arminian that I know will deny it) that if man will work any sinfull act, God will concurre to the working of it; in as much as 'tis generally held, that no acts of the creature, can be performed without Gods concurrence thereunto. Now how well, and how judicially this Author hath plaid his part in shewing the contra∣riety of our opinion to the Attributes of God, I am content the indifferent may judge.

Page  187

DISCOURSE. The third sort of Reasons, namely, that it is contrary to the nature and end of Gods gifts conferred upon men.

SECT. I.

Thirdly, it is contrary to the nature and end of Gods giftes conferred upon, men which gifts are of two sorts:

1. Gifts of nature, our creation, sustentation; preservation; together with health, strength, beauty, wisdome; &c.

2. Gifts of grace, which have a more immediate relation to everlasting life, and are means either, 1. Of purchasing salvation, viz. the coming of Christ into the world to be made a sacrifice for sinne; or. 2. Of applying the salvation purchased, namely, the Ministry of the Word and Sacra∣ments, the long suffering of God, the illumination of mens understandings, the plantation of many excellent vertues in their hearts, and many more of the like sort.

What the true use and end of these gifts of nature and grace is, the Scripture doth plainly and particularly shew us. First, for the gifts of nature, we find that they are bestowed on all that have them, for the encouraging and enabling of them to serve God, and save their soules: for, Act. 14. 16, 17. the Apostle saith, that God (even in these times wherein he permitted the Gentiles to walke in their own wayes, and with-held from them the light of his holy word,) did give unto the people of the world, raine from Heaven, and fruitfull seasons, filling their harts with food and gladnes, by these not leaving him selfe without witnesse: which implyes that he gave them these good things, make himselfe known unto them, and so that he might draw them to glorify him, according to their knowledge of him, Acts. 17. 26. The Apostle saith directly, that men are therefore made and placed in this world, and appointed to their severall times and dwellings; that they may seeke God and finde him, that is, that they may serve him and save themselves; for what is it to seeke God but to serve him? And what is it to finde God, but to enjoy his face and favour here and in Heaven? Caelum quippe & terra & mare, omnis{que} creatura quae videri & intelligi potest, ad hanc praeci∣pue*disposita est humani generis utilitatem; & natura rationalis de contemplatione tot specierum, & de experimentis tot bonorum, de perceptione tot munerum, ad cultum & dilectionem sui imbueretur authoris, implen∣tis omnia spiritu Dei, in quo vivimus, movemur, & sumus. They are the words of Prosper: therefore is every creature made and ordained, especially, that mankind which is indued with knowledge and ability to discourse, might by the sight of soe many goodly sorts of creatures, and the rast of so many blessings, be drawne to the love and service of his and their maker. And a little after, in the same Chap. he saith, Quod ergo in Israel per constitutionem legis, et prophetica eloquia gerebatur, hoc in universis nationibus totius creaturae testimonia et bonitatis Dei miracula semper egerunt: looke of what use the law and Prophets were to the Israelites; of the same use were the gifts of creation and providence to the Gentiles. God intended not to doe to the Gentiles (as the Manichees say he dealt with the Iewes) to feed them and fat them up with more outward blessings, as so many hoggs and swines with husks and acornes, but to draw them up by these to an exspectation of better things, and a carefull endea∣vour to please God, that soe they might obtaine them. The end of all creatures and of all created gifts bestowed upon man is subordinate to the end of man; mans end is to glorify God on Earth and to enjoy perpetuall society with him in Heaven. And their end is to encourage and direct man to at∣chieve that high and noble end which his Creator hath appointed him.

TWISSE Consideration.

HEre we have a roaving discourse: I must pick out of it what I can, to draw it up to some sense of argument: the ground of all the pith and substance of it, is two places in the Acts, and two passages out of Prosper. The first out of Acts 14. 16, 17. God in times past suffered all the Gentiles to walke in their own waies; neverthelesse he left not himselfe without witnesse, in that he did good, and gave us raine from hea∣ven, and fruitfull seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladnesse. Now as for the first verse of Page  186〈1 page duplicate〉Page  187〈1 page duplicate〉Page  188 these, he is content to say nothing at all thereof; neither to deliver what those wayes were, nor in what sense God is said to suffer them to walke therein: which yet may easily be cleared, by comparing it with what is delivered, Acts 17. 30. Where the times preceding the Gospell, are called times of ignorance. The times of this ignorance, and this agreeth with the comparative difference made between Jewes and Gentiles, Psal. 147. 19. He sheweth his words unto Iacob, his statutes and judgements unto Israell. v. 20. He hath not dealt so with any Nation: and as for his judgements, they have not known them. So that by the wayes of the Gentiles, I understand the wayes of Ignorance; and these are no other than the wayes of darknesse, and can bring forth no better fruit, than the works of darknesse; according to that of the Apostle, Ephes. 5. 8. Ye were darknesse but now are light in the Lord, walke therefore as children of the light. And againe, the night is * passed, the day is at hand, let us therefore cast away the workes of darknesse, and put upon us the armour of light. And as for Gods suffering of them to walke in those wayes, that is expressed in another phase, Acts 17. 30. thus, And the times of this igno∣rance God winked at; and the meaning thereof appeares by the Antithesis, in the adver∣sative following, thus, But now he admonisheth every man every where to repent. Thus for∣merly he dealt with the Jewes, giving them a law, and sending Prophets from time to time, to call them to obedience, to repentance: but such were not his gracious pro∣ceedings with the Gentiles. But give we him leave to follow his own advantage. God left not himselfe without witnesse, in sending raine and fruitfull seasons. So it was in most places, I know none but Egypt excepted, and that is to be excepted; not only by evidence of Phylosophicall inquisition after the cause thereof, in that questi∣on, Utrum Aegyptus sit impluviata? but by evidence out of Gods word. Deut. 11. 10, 11, 12. The land whether thou goest to possesse, is not as the Land of Aegypt, from whence ye came,*where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot as a garden of hearbs; but the land whither ye goe to possesse it, is a land of mountaines and vallies, and drinketh water of the raine of heaven. This Land doth the Lord your God care for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are upon it, from the begin∣ing of the yeare to the end of the yeare. Yet had they fruitfull seasons by the inundation of Nilus; but this was not so apt to dispose them, to take notice of a divine providence, as the common course of fructifying the Land by raine. But yet the whole world in the frame thereof, was sufficient evidence of the Eternall power and Godhead. Rom. 1. 20. and Psal. 19. 1. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy worke. And albeit Aristotle, the greatest of Philosophers, maintained the eternity thereof without beginning; yet he confesseth ingeniously in his Book De coelo, that all that went before him maintained mundum genitum esse; neither was his discourse of power to raze out that naturall instinct hereof, which seems to be graven in the hearts of men, and was the chiefe ground of that universall acknowledgment of a divine power supreame. Now as God made himself known by his works so I nothing doubt but herewithall it was their duty to know him, and according to their knowledge to serve him and glorifie him, in acknowledgment of his glorious nature, so farre as they took notice of it; But as for a rule whereby they should worship him, I know none that God had given them, or that they could gather from contemplation of the crea∣tures. And surely the knowledge of God, as a Creator only, is nothing sufficient to salvation; but the knowledge of him as a redeemer: And therefore seeing the World by wisdome knew not God in the wisdome of God, it pleased God by the foolishnesse of Preaching to save them that believe. 1 Cor. 1. 21. And the Gentiles are set forth unto us in Scripture, as such who knew not God. 1 Thes 4. 5. 2 Thes. 1. 8. And had they means sufficient without, and ability sufficient within to know him? How could it be that none of them should know him? Was it because they would not? How absurd a conceit is this to every one that understands, and considers common Principles of Philosophy, namely, that the things that are subject to our free-will, are contingentia aequaliter, as soon falling out one way as the other? And it is well known not only what paines they have ta∣ken, but also with what strange successe, in searching after the nature of the first mover, as appears by Aristotle in the 12th of his Metaphysicks. Yet did not he attain (for ought ever I could find) to the acknowledgement of his free agency, in the ma∣king of the world, and in the government thereof. Yet were they inexcusable (and thus farre their knowledge brought them. Rom. 1. 20.) in changing the glory of the incor∣ruptible*God, to the similitude of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourefooted beasts, and of creeping things. The other place is Acts 17. 26. That he takes to be more full for his purpose; there the Apostle speaking in an University, and which had been mise∣rably Page  189 corrupted with the Atheisticall doctrine of Aristotle, concerning an eternity of the World, and Gods working necessarily, not freely, tending to the quenching of that light of naturall instinct, which is more or lesse found in all, as touching the Divine providence; yet the Apostle even amongst such makes bold to suppose the creation of the World by God; and that therefore he is Lord of Heaven and Earth; and also obtrudeth upon their naturall consciences, that God it is who giveth life, and breath, and all things; and that he of one bloud (whom we know to be Adam) made all mankind, to dwell on all the face of the Earth; that he hath assigned the seasons (of the yeare, and what are they but Spring, Summer, Autumne, Winter, depending upon the motions of the heaven above) and the bounds of their habitations, what is that but the severall habitable parts of the earth, for the habitation of all creatures, in whose Nostrills is the breath of life; not that every man, or Nation, hath his place of habitation appoynted by God, (though this also be true, but nothing agreeable to Arminian Divinity, which like an East wind, blasts the providence of God throughout) this the Apostle doth not obtrude upon them; but the former generalls only; and all this God hath done 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that they should seeke the Lord; now this may be understood two waies, either de facto, God did intend that this indeed should be done by them; or ex officio, that it should be their duty: of this distinction this Author takes no notice, but hand over head, takes it in the first sense, as it were in spight both of the Apostle, saying, Who hath resisted his will? And of the Psalmist, professing that what he willeth he hath done, both in Heaven and Earth. But indeed this is mans duty to endeavour to know him that made him: to this purpose he hath indued him with an understanding heart; The spirit of man being as the lampe of God which searcheth all inwardnesse; But as for the words following, if happily they might*seeke after him and find him; though he be not farre from every one of us; so that though he be not farre from every one of us, in as much as in him we live and move, and have our being, and though they should seeke after him, yet upon an if, the Apostle plainly puts the finding of him. For albeit Durand professeth, that by the very light of nature we may attaine to the knowledge of God, touching these things that belong to the unity of his nature; yet who ever amongst the Gentiles attained hereunto, after all their search? God hath set the World in mans heart, saith Solomon, yet can he not find out the worke that he hath wrought from the beginning to the end: we are yet to seeke in the * knowledge of the creature, how much more in the knowledge of the Creator? Yet what shall all such knowledge profit a man, if he be ignorant in the knowledge of him as a redeemer?

I come to Prosper l. 2. De vocatione Gentium cap. 4. God hath so disposed of the World, as that the reasonable creature, by the contemplation of Gods workes, and tast of so many blessings, imbuerctur, he doth not say might be drawne, but imbueretur, might be indued, to wit, with the knowledge of God in such sort, as to move him ad cultum & dilectionem Dei. And all here mentioned both as touching the knowledge of God, and touching the service and love of him; is but as the object of mans duty, signifying what ought to be done by him, not as the object of Gods decree, as whereby he determined what should be done indeed by him. For had he determined this, who could have resisted him? Shall we say that voluntatis omnipotentis effectus impeditur a voluntate creaturae, as Austin* expresseth the absurdity hereof? As for that which followeth, not in the same Chap∣ter, as this Author writes, (whether out of his own reading or mistaking anothers dictates I know not) but in the chapter following, to wit, c. 2. the former place being indeed c. 1. according to my book, not cap. 4. As this Author quotes it. And it is a truth considered in generall, for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to seeke the Lord, God did move both Jewes and Gentiles; the Jewes by his word over & above his workes; but the Gentiles only by his workes. But the manner of the revelation made to the one and to the o∣ther, was farre different, as the same Author expresseth cap. 3. Aliter eos juvit quos ad cognoscendum se caeli & terrae testimoniis conveniebat, aliter illos, quibus non solum elementorum fa∣mulatu sed etiam doctrina legis Prophetarum, oraculis, miraculorum signis, & Angelorum coopera∣tionibus consulebat, &c. God (he saith) intended not to feed the Gentiles with outward and more common blessings, but to draw them up by these to an expectation of better things, and a carefull en∣deavour to please God that they might obtain them. But what blessings had the Gen∣tiles more than common blessings; doth he particulate any? And as for the expecta∣tion of better things, than the things of this world, whereunto he pretends God doth draw them hereby; what oracle hath he for this? Prosper in the Book wherein Page  190 he insists hath nothing at all of any possibility of knowledge of God unto salvation, arriveable unto by the meere contemplation of the creature; neither have I found a∣ny such Oracle throughout the Nation of the Arminians. Nay he professeth plain∣ly, that that knowledge of God, which is attaineable by the contemplation of the creature is not sufficient, unlesse he enjoy the true light, to discusse the darknesse of mans heart. De vocatione Gent. l. 2. cap. 6. his words are these. Tam acerbo natura humana vulnere sauciata est, ut ad cognitionem Dei neminem contemplatio spontanea plenè valeat erudire, nisi obumbrationem cordis vera lux discusserit. And the Apostle more than once professeth of the Gentiles, that they were without hope; And the tast of the powers of the world * to come, seemes to be, by the Apostle, ascribed to the word of God as the cause of it. Heb. 6. Yet 'tis true, the Heathen had odde notions of a condition after death, (as many as believed the immortality of the soule) but where I pray, was it upwards in heaven, or downewards rather under the earth, as Styx, Phlegeton? and the Campi Elisii? yet Cicero looks upwards I confesse in his Tusculans questions, but yet he goes no farther than the starres; and this was their expectation of better things; though Adrian an Emperour and a Schollar too, bemoans himselfe, that he knew not what should become of his poore soule, Animula vagula blandula, Hospes co∣mes{que} corporis; Quae tu abibis in loca, nec ut soles dabis jocos, horridula, rigida, nudula. But this Author most confidently supposeth, that these better things are manifest by the crea∣tures; by the contemplation whereof, he might attaine to the knowledge of them: and then I doubt not, but he might entertaine a hope to attaine them; provided he carefully endeavoured to please God, (which this Author conceaves to have been very possible) and therewithall knew what that was, by doing whereof, he might be sure to please God: And all this he obtrudes upon his Reader, by a most disso∣lute course, without one crumme of reason for it. In like sort, he discourseth very confidently of the end of man, without distinction of any relation hereof; as if the end of man were equally known as well by light of nature, as by revelation of Gods word. Solomon telleth us, That God made all things for himselfe, even the wicked against the day of evill. Was this known to the Gentiles by the light of nature? Not one of all the * Philosophers of old acknowledged the Worlds creation out of nothing; and who ever manifested any such faith among them, as of enjoying a perpetuall society with God in heaven? But it may be they all erred in interpreting the book of na∣ture aright, and understanding the language thereof concerning this poynt of faith. This Author may doe well to cleare the World of this errour, and that out of the book of the creatures, and then proceed to interpret unto us therehence, a generall resurrection also. And if he could find Christ there too, togeather with the Incarnation of the Sonne of God, and his death and passion, resurrection and ascension, and sitting at the right hand of God to make request for us, and our justification by faith in him, togeather with regenerati∣on also, and the generall judgement; then no doubt though the Gospell should con∣tinue * to be a scandall to the Jewes, yet surely through the incomprehensible benefit of his comfortable atchievements, it should continue no longer to be foolishnesse un∣to the Gentiles; only our faith should then cease, and be turned into sight, before we are brought to the seeing of the face of God. And yet I see no great need of Christ, if it be in the power of an Heathen man to know what it is to please God, and to have an heart to please him; For certainly as many as know what it is to please God, and have an heart to please him, God will never hurt them, much lesse damne them to hell. Yet the Apostle telleth us, that they that are in the flesh cannot please God:* but whether this Author thinks Heathens, to be amongst the number of them that are in the flesh, I know not. But I little wonder, when an Arminian spirit of gid∣dinesse hath possessed him, if he proceed to the confounding not only of the Law with the Gospell, but heathenisme also (such as might be) with Christianity. But suppose a man might attaine to as much knowledge, by the meere contemplation of the book of nature, as we doe obtain by the Revelation of Gods word, yet we that conceive the knowledge of Gods word to be no impediment to the absolutenesse of reproba∣tion, must needs find our selves as much as nothing streightned herein, by this Authors roaving discourse, as touching the generall providence of God in his works: as long as that of the Apostle (he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth) shall stand * and be received for the word of God; we shall never want ground for maintaining the absolutenesse both of election by the one, and by just proportion, of Reprobation also Page  191 by the other. For so long as God doth absolutely, and according to the meere plea∣sure of his will, decree to have mercy upon some, by giving them faith and repen∣tance, for the curing of their infidelity and hardnesse of heart, this is very sufficient to maintain the absolutenesse of election unto grace, and if God doth absolutely, and according to the meere pleasure of his will decree, to harden others, by denying them the grace of faith and repentance, so to leave their naturall infidelity and hardnesse of heart uncured, this shall be as sufficient to maintaine the absolutenesse of Reprobati∣on from grace. As for election unto salvation, though the decree thereof can admit no cause, yet we say that God by this decree, doth not decree to bestow salvation on any man of ripe yeares, but by way of reward of faith, repentance, and good workes: as for the decree of Reprobation from glory, and to damnation; though the decree hath no cause, yet we say that God by this decree, doth not decree to inflict damna∣tion on any, but for sinne unrepented of: only I confesse, that as touching the inter∣pretation of those words of Saint Paul, (He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will*he hardneth) I doe not know how it may be charmed by good witts, least it may seem repugnant to some reason gathered by contemplation of the creatures; for some af∣fect, such a course in these daies, namely to temper Gods word according to the light of naturall reason; whereas in the simplicity of institution wherein I have been brought up, I have been taught that the light of naturall reason ought rather to be regulated by the word of God.

DISCOURSE. SECT. II.

NOw for the gifts of grace, they are all given to them that enjoy them for the same use and end also.

1. Christ came into the world, not that he might be a rock of offence, at which the greater part of men might stumble and fall; but shed his bloud, and by his bloud∣shed to purchase Salvation unto all mankind, not only for those that are saved, but for those also who through their wilfull impenitency and unbeliefe are not saved; as we may, see, Iohn. 3. 17. God sent his sonne (saith our Saviour) into the world, not to condemne the world, but that the world through him might be saved; In which words the end of his coming into the world is set downe; 1. Negatively [not to condemne the world.] 2. Affirmatively. [But that the world through him might be saved] and therefore fully. The like speech we have, Iohn 12. 47. I came not to judg the world but to save it. These Negatives joyned with the Affirmative deliveryes of the end of Christs comming shew that the Salvation of all men was the only end of his coming, the end exclusively, no other end was properly intended but this. The sonne of man came to seeke and to save that which was lost Luk. 19. 10. that is every man because every man was lost. And Acts 3. 26. To you hath God sent his Sonne Iesus to blesse you in turning every one of you from your iniquityes [every one] that is, you that reject him, as well as you that receive him. The end of Christs coming then into the world was the Salvation of all and every one therein.

TWISSE Consideration.

IF the gifts of grace are given for the same use and end, for which was given Creation and Providence to the Gentiles; then look to what end the gifts of grace are given, to the same end tends the making and governing of the World by God: as much as to say, look to what end tends the Book of Gods Word, to the same end tends the Book of Gods Creatures. And like as Page  192 Christ came into the World for the salvation of all, and every one. So the book of Gods creatures was given for the same end, namely, for the salvation of all and every one; and consequently it followeth (seeing Gods wisdome prescribes congruous means to the end intended by him) that the book of the creatures, is a very congru∣ous means for the salvation of all and every one. But whether this Author will have that knowledge of God revealed in the book of the creatures, tend only to this end, like as he saith, Christ came into the world, only to this end, I know not: Sure I am that Saint Paul saith, that the invisible things of God are made manifest from the creation in his*works, even his eternall power and Godhead,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that they might be without excuse.

In the next place he tells us positively, that Christ came not into the World, that he might be a rock of offence, at which the greater part of men might stumble and fall; but to shed his bloud, and by his bloudshed to purchase salvation for all mankind, &c. But this Antithesis which here he makes, is stark naught; For this very shedding of his bloud, in a word Christ cruci∣fied, this very thing (I say) was it, that was both a Scandall to the Jewes, and foolishnesse to the Gentiles. 1 Cor. 1. 23. And that not only the greater part of men might stumble and fall at this rock of offence, but all and every one, I thought it had been without all questi∣on: Nay undoubtedly all had stumbled, that is, had been taken with unbeliefe, if God in mercy had not provided better for them by the power of his grace. For dare any Arminian deny faith to be the gift of God? But was it not Gods will that not only the greater part might stumble, but that indeed they should de facto stumble at this rock, and fall; and consequently that Christ came into the World, with such a purpose of God concerning them? I prove it thus; First out of Isaiah. 8. 14. He shall be as a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Ierusalem. 2. Againe, 1 Pet. 2. 8. The Apostle professeth, that To them who are disobedient, Christ is made a stone to stumble at, and a rock of offence, being disobedient: and addeth expressely, that hereunto they were ordained. 3. Thirdly, Did not God intend that they should not be of God, as many as are not regenerated by him? If he did intend this, (and how can a man be of God, but by Gods making, and how is this possible to be done, without God his intending of it?) Then also he did intend they should not heare Christs words, and consequently, that they should stumble at him; for therefore men heare not Christs words, because they are not of God. Iohn 8. 47. Yet let him winne his opini∣on by argument, and weare it. But that out of Iohn 3. 17. God sent his Sonne into the world, not to condemne the world but that the world should be saved by him, is a great deale too short to make the Child a coate; likewise that Iohn 12. 47. is of no farther extent. The terme World in each is an indefinite terme, and it is in a contingent matter, and there∣fore it is equivalent only to a particular proposition, and not to an universall; Had it been delivered not of the world only, but of all the world, nor so only, but of all men in the world? yet Prosper, so much insisted upon by this Author, hath provided to our hands a faire interpretation, namely, that all men in Scripture phrase, is taken sometimes for all the elect only. As De vocatione gent. l. 2. c. 1. Apparuit gratia salutaris Dei om∣nibus hominibus, & tamen ministri gratiae odio erant omnibus hominibus: habente quidem salutis suae damnum rebellium portione, sed obtinente plenitudinis censum fidelium dignitate. And lib. 1. c. 3. Habet ergo populus Dei plenitudinem in electis & praescitis at{que} ab hominum generalitate dis∣cretis, specialis quaedam est universitas. Yet in my judgement, our Saviours words in each place tend only to shew, that his coming into the World in humility, was only to performe the worke of mans redemption; and not to pronounce the sentence of con∣demnation on any, as he shall doe at the last judgement, when he shall come in glo∣ry. And yet because much is to be done for a quiet life, let us distinguish the benefits of Christs merits; Salvation we know is to be conferred on none of ripe yeares, but such as believe and repent; and undoubtedly if all and every one should believe and repent, all and every one should be saved by him: on the other side, if not one should believe and repent, not one should be saved by him. But what doth this Au∣thor think of faith and repentance? Are these also benefits purchased unto us by the merits of Christ? This is the poynt that puts all the Arminians to their purgation. If they be so, then I demand, Whether Christ purchased these to be obtained by all and every one, absolutely or conditionally? if absolutely, then all and every one must have faith and repentance; and consequently, all and every one must be saved: if on∣ly conditionally, then let them name upon what condition the gift of faith is to be obtained, and let them look to it, how they avoyd the giving of grace according to Page  193 mens works, which in the phrase of the Ancients, is the giving of grace according to mens merits. The sonne of man came to seeke that which was lost. Luk. 19. 10. We grant that; but when it is added, that is every man, we deny this: As for the reason added, for every man was lost; put these propositions into a Syllogisme, and see what stuffe it will make; thus, Christ came to save that which was lost; every man was lost; therefore Christ came to save every man. Now let every young Sophister judge, whether here be not foure termes; had it been said, that Christ came to save every one that is lost, the place had been indeed alleadged to the purpose. It is also said, I am not sent but to the lost * sheepe of the house of Israel; let this be understood only as touching the exercising of Christs Ministry among them; for this Author (I suppose) will not say he was sent to redeem them only; will it herehence follow, that seeing every one of them was lost, therefore he exercised his Ministry unto every one of them? how improbable a thing is this? How much lesse did he exercise his Ministry amongst the twelve Tribes dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, &c. Yet my former distinction may serve to accommodate the businesse, and to cleare the truth, although we prove so liberall as to grant him his hearts desire. Lastly as touching that, Acts 3. 26. To you hath God sent his Sonne to blesse you, in turning every one of you from your iniquities; every one of you, that is, saith this Authors glosse, as well you that receive him, as you that receive him not. But let us not carry the matter in hugger mugger, without distinction. If this were the end of Christs coming into the world, then it was intended by some one or other, and that must needs be God; Now did God intend that they should be turned from their iniquities absolutely or conditionally? If absolutely then all must be turned from them; if conditionally, then shew what that condition is; if faith, we willing∣ly grant, that as many as believe shall be blessed, and turned from their iniquities. For Christ indeed dyed for this end, namely, to redeeme us from our iniquities, and to purge*us a peculiar people unto himselfe zealous of good workes; But as for faith and repentance which is also a gift of Christ, Christ did not purchase this for all absolutely, for if he did then all should believe; if conditionally, then upon some work of man, and consequently the gift and grace of faith, shall be bestowed according unto mans works; which is expresse Pelagianisme. To the contrary, that Christ died not for all; I prove thus: First, the reason why none can lay any thing to the charge of Gods e∣lect, is because Christ died for them Rom. 8. If therefore Christ died for all, none can * lay any thing to the charge of a Reprobate, more then to the charge of Gods Elect. Secondly, Christ prayed only for those who either did or should believe in him; and for whom he prayed for them only he sanctified himselfe. Ioh. 17. And what is the * meaning of the sanctifying of himselfe for them, but that he meant to offer up him∣selfe in Sacrifice upon the crosse for them; as Maldonate confesseth, was the joynt in∣terpretation of all the Fathers, whom he had read. Thirdly, did he dye only for all then living, or which should afterwards be brought forth into the World, or for all from the beginning of the world? If so, then he dyed for all those that already were damned. Fourthly, if he dyed for them, then Christ hath made satisfaction for their sinnes; and is it decent that any man should fry in Hell, for those sinnes for which Christ hath satisfied? Lastly, if Christ hath died for all, then hath he merited Salva∣tion for all; and shall any faile of that salvation which Christ hath merited for them? Is it decent that God the Father, should deale with Christ his Sonne, not according to the exigence of his merits? If we had merited salvation for our selves would God in justice have denied it unto us? Why then should he deny any man salvation, in case Christ hath merited salvation for him?

DISCOURSE. SECT. III.

1. THe Ministry of the Word and Sacraments is given also to the same end, and is in its owne proper nature and use an instrument of conveying the spirit of regeneration * to those that enjoy it, and to all those: I cannot have better proofes for this than those that our Reverend Divines of Dort have gathered to my hands. Isa. 59. 21. This is my Covenant with them (sayth the Lord) my spirit which is upon thee, and my words which Page  194 I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor seeds seed for ever. Hinc patet (say they) from these words it appears, that the Word and Spirit are joyned together in the Ministry of the Word, with an inseperable bond by promise of God. Hence it is that the Ministers of the New Testament are called Ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit, not of the letter which kills, but of the Spirit which gives life: and the Ministry of the Gospell is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, in the same place; v. 8. the Ministry of the Spirit. * Hence is the Gospell called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 grace bringing Salvation, Tit. 2. 11. and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 The word of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5. 19. To these let me adde 1 Pet. 1. 23. where the word is called the seed of the new birth, and 2 Cor. 5. 20. where Ministers are called Em∣bassadours for Christ, to beseech men to be reconciled to God; and they are so called to shew that the Word preached, is by Gods appointment an instrument to make men new creatures, and that the matter of Ministers errand is peace and reconciliation; and the proper fruit of it in Gods intent is not the obduration and destruction, but the conversion and salvation of men. The same men out of Ioh. 15. 22. (if I had not come and spoken to them, they should not have had sinne, but now they have no cloake for their sinne) doe say it is evident, that Christ in his Preaching did administer so much inward grace, as was sufficient to convince those that rejected the Gospell of posi∣tive unbeliefe, and so to render them obnoxious to just punishment, and consequent∣ly (say I) so much as sufficed by their good husbandry, to have converted and saved them. For that grace leaves none inexcusable, which is unsufficient to convert them. I will conclude that which they say of this gratious intention of God in the Ministry of the Word, with that speech of Prosper cited by them in the same place; non omnes vocari ad gratiam eos, quibus om∣nibus*Evangelium praedicatur, nonrecte dicitur; etiamsi sint qui Evangelio non obaudiant. They that say, that all those to whom the Gospell is Preached (even those that obay not the Gospell) are not called to grace, they say an untruth. God looks for grapes (sayth the text) Isai. 5. 2. What doth this imply? but that it was Gods principall aime in the husbandry which he bestowed upon the Church of Israell, that it should bring forth good fruit, though in the end it did not. How oft would I have gathered you, sayth Christ to Jerusalem, Math. 23. 37. and in John, 5. 34. These things have I spoken to you that ye might be saved, but ye will not come unto me that ye might have life. v. 40. Intimating no lesse than this that it was his full intent by his preaching to gather and to save those very particular men that in the end were not gathered nor saved through their neglect or con∣tempt of Christs Ministry,

TWISSE Consideration.

NO question but The word of God is the sword of the spirit. Ephes. 6. And the Law of the Lord is a perfect Law, converting the Soule, Psal. 19. And it seemes to be deli∣vered in opposition to the Book of the creatures, as if he had said, though The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work, yet this is the peculiar prerogative of the Book of Gods word, and the Doctrine contained therein, that it converteth the soule: and upon this is grounded the great preferment of the Jews above the Gentiles, chiefely that unto them were committed the Oracles of God. Yet this Au∣thor is content to make no difference, between the use and end of the Book of Crea∣tures, and the Book of Gods word; but professeth the use and end of both, to be the very same. The passage alleadged out of the suffrages of the Brittain Divines, is most aliene from the present purpose: For the Thesis of theirs, proceedeth of the admi∣nistration of grace by the word, not of regeneration, but of conviction of all such, who believe not, and continue impenitent; that through their own fault, they perish for neglecting or contemning the Gospell. In Ecclesia ubi, juxta promissum hoc Evangelii, salus omnibus offertur, ea est administratio gratiae, quae sufficit ad convincendos omnes impenitentes & incredulos, quod sua culpa voluntaria, & vel neglectu, vel contemptu Evangelii perierint, & ob∣latum beneficium amiserint. And in the explication of this Thesis, they propose two things to be cleared. 1. That some measure of grace is ordinarily administred in the Ministry of the Gospell; aliquam mensuram gratiae ordinarie in Ministerio Evangelii administrari: and for proofe hereof alone, they alleadge this passage out of Isai. 59. ult. This is my cove∣nant with them saith the Lord, My spirit which is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth: So that the word and spirit are joyned togeather al∣waies; but not alwaies to regenerate; but either to regenerate and bring to obedience, or to convict of disobedience.

And accordingly, The Ministers of the New Testament, are called Ministers not of the let∣ter, but of the spirit: that is not of the Law; the Ministry whereof, is not the Ministry of Page  195 the spirit, but yet this is rightly to be understood, to wit, of the spirit of adoption, for undoubtedly even the Ministry of the Law, is the Ministry of the Spirit also, but * of the spirit of bondage, to hold men under feare: it is called the Ministry of con∣demnation, and the reason hereof I conceive to be, because God doth not concurre with the Ministry of the Law, by the holy Spirit, to worke any man to the perfor∣mance of the condition of the Law, which is exact and perfect obedience: but thus he doth concurre with the Ministry of the Gospell, namely, by his spirit, to work men to the performance of the condition thereof, which is faith in Christ, and true repen∣tance, therefore the letter, to wit of the Law, is called a killing letter; but the Go∣spell is joyned with a quickning spirit, and therefore Piscator conceives, that the Go∣spell in this place is called by the name of the spirit. Soe then the Gospell giveth life by the spirit which accompanyeth the Ministry thereof; but to whom? To all, as this Author supposeth? Nothing lesse, the generall experience of the world doth manifest the untruth thereof. But this Author is ready to suppose (though not very forward to speake out in this) that it would regenerate if men were not de∣fective to them selves. So then man must first performe some worke on his part, and then the spirit of the Gospell doth regenerate them: as much as to say the grace of regeneration, is dispensed by God according to some work of man, which in plain termes Pelagius durst not professe, but joyned with others to anathematize it in the Synod of Palastine. Yet this Doctrine is the very Helena wherewith the Arminians are enamored. Now the Apostle professeth in plaine termes of himselfe and his fellow-labourers, we are unto God the sweet savour of Christ in them that are saved, and in them which perish; to the one we are the savour of death unto death and to the other a savour of life unto life.* So then it is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Tit. 2. 11. and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉the word of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5. 19. And the seed of the new birth. 1 Pet. 1. 23. As where by God regenerates man; according to that of Saint Iames, of his owne will hath he begotten us by the word of truth, Iam. 1. 18. Not whereby man doth regenerate himselfe according to the Ar∣minian tenet, whose doctrine it is, that God workes in us 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉velle credere and resipiscere modò velimus. Now as God hath mercy on wom he will in converting his heart unto obedience, of faith and repentance, Rom. 9. 18. and 11. 30. So God regenerates whom he will. So that we all grant that Gods word is by Gods appointment an instru∣ment to make men new creatures. But whom? Not all indifferently, but the elect of God called the sheepe of Christ; Iohn 10. 16. Other sheepe have I which are not of this fold, them also must I bring and they shall heare my voyce. Marke I pray, who they are that shall heare Christs voyce, to wit, Christs sheepe, called also Christs people. Acts. 18. 9, 10. Then said the Lord to Paul by night in a vision feare not but speake and hold not thy peace, for I am with thee and no man shall lay hands on thee to hurt thee, for I have much people in this Citty. Paul knew not who these were, yet for their sakes being thus encouraged, he would goe on to Preach, and to become all things to all men, that he might save some. 1 Cor. 6. 22. And who were these some, but the elect, as elsewhere he signifies, saying, I endure all * things for the elects sake, called also the children of God. Ioh. 11. 51, 52. This he spake not of himselfe, but being High-Priest that same yeare, he Prophesyed that Jesus should dye for that Nation, and not for that Nation only, but that he should gather together in one, the children of God which were scattererd. This gathering was to be performed by the word the instrument, by Gods appoyntment, to make men new creatures: but upon whom should it worke effectu∣ally? The Text plainly calleth them, and setts them forth unto us, by the name of Gods children. The same men (saith this Author) that is, our Brittaine Divines at the Synod of Dort, doe say out of Iohn. 15. 22. (If I had not come and spoken to them, they should not have had sinne, but now they have no cloake for their sinne) it is evident that Christ in his Preach∣ing did administer so much inward grace as was sufficient to convince those that rejected the Gospell of positive unbeliefe, and so to render them obnoxious to just punishment; Now hence this Author frames this inference, And consequently (I say) so much as sufficed by their good husbandry, to have converted & saved them; For that grace leaves none unexcusable which is insufficient to convert them. Now to this I answer, If our Divines had acknowledged any such consequence to be just, they had a faire calling to make profession of it at that time. But consider we the rest of their Thesis delivered in the same place. The first is this, Ex speciali amore & intentione tum Dei patris tum Chisti, mortuus est Christus pro electis, ut illis remiffionem peccatorum & salutem aeternam reipsa obtineret, & infallibiliter conferret. It was of the intention and spe∣ciall love of God the Father and God the Sonne, that Christ should dye for the elect, effectually to procure for them, and infallibly to conferre on them pardon of sinne, Page  196 and salvation. The second is this, Ex hoc eodem amore per & propter meritum & intercessio∣nem Christi dantur iisdem electis fides, & perseverantia, caetera{que} omnia per quae conditio foederis impletur, & beneficium promissum, id est, vita aeterna infallibiliter obtinetur: out of the same love through and for Christ are given, to the same elect, faith and perseverance, and all other things, whereby the condition of the covenant is fulfilled. The third is this, Deus lapsi generis humani misereatus, misit filium suum qui seipsum dedit pretium redemptionis pro peccatis totius mundi; God having compassion on mankind fallen, sent his Sonne who gave himselfe, a price of redemption for the sinnes of the whole World: this I under∣stand of the sufficiency of the price given, whereby it comes to passe, that Christ is remedium universo generi humano applicabile: as I have received from the mouth of one of those, and a principall one, in such sort, that if all the World should believe, all the World should be saved: now marke I pray, how they carry themselves in the expli∣cation of this Thesis, and what difference they put betweene Christs dying for the e∣lect, and his dying for others. Sic ergo pro omnibus mortuus est ut omnes & singuli mediante fide possint virtute〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉hujus remissionem peceatorum & vitam aeternam consequi: Sic pro e∣lectis est mortuus ut ex merito mortis ejus secundum aeternū Dei beneplacitum specialiter illis destinato & fidem infallibiliter obtineant & vitam aeternā. So Christ died for all that all & every one by faith intervening, may by vertue of this redemption, obtaine pardon of sinne, and salvation; the meaning whereof is this, that every one may obtaine remission of sinne and salvation in case he doth believe, not that they have power to believe; For they professe immediatly before, that whereas God hath ordained that after the accepta∣tion of Christs sacrifice, remission of sinne and salvation, shall be conferred on none, but such as believe on the redeemer, here the secret decree of election openeth it selfe, when the price which was paid for all (marke the explication hereof in the words follow∣ing) and which unto all believers shall redound, certainly to eternall salvation, yet it doth not pro∣fit all, because it is not given to all to fulfill the condition of this covenant; as much as to say, because faith is not given to all. The fourth Thesis. In hoc merito mortis Christi fundatur*universale promissum Evangelicum juxta quod omnes in Christum credentes remissionem peccatorum & vitam aeternam consequantur. In this merit of Christ, is founded that universall pro∣mise of the Gospell, according whereto all that believe in Christ shall obtaine par∣don of sinne, and everlasting life. The fifth Thesis, Is that which this Author in∣sists upon, but preposterously applyed by him; the Thesis runs thus, In Ecclesia ubi juxta promissum hoc salus omnibus effertur, ea est administratio gratiae quae sufficit ad convincendos omnes impoenitentes & incredulos, quod suâ culpa voluntaria & neglectu vel contemptu Evangelii perierint. Take the last Thesis in the last place. Non obstante hoc pacto universali de salvan∣dis credentibus, Deus nulle pacto aut promisso tenetur Evangelium aut gratiam salutiferam omnibus & singulis communicare. Notwithstanding this generall covenant of saving believers, God is not tied by any covenant or promise to communicate the Gospell and saving grace to all and every one. And that he bestowes it on some, passing by others, it is of divine mercy and liberty. But let us examine the sobriety of the consequence, which this Author makes: namely, that if the grace administred in the Gospell, be suffici∣ent to convict them who resist it of positive unbeliefe, then it is sufficient also by their good Husban∣dry to convert them. Marke I pray the nature of grace here shaped thus, sufficient by their good Husbandry (to wit, by the good Husbandry of the hearers) to convert them. Now wherein doth this conversion consist? Surely in believing, for of unbeliefe they are convicted by the Gospell, as many as contemne or neglect it: and hence he inferres, that it was sufficient to convert them, which must be by the Antithesis, to bring them to faith, provided that they (that is the hearers) play the good husbands in the u∣sing of it; But what is it to play the good husbands? These and such like Phrasiolo∣gies, are the usuall sculking courses of the Arminians, like the inke which the Fish Saepia casts forth, that she may thereby the better hide her selfe, and escape from the hands of the Fisher. But certainly it must be some worke or other to be performed by the hearer, whereby he shall be brought to faith: therefore I say, it is either the worke of Faith it selfe, or some other worke preceding it: not of faith it selfe, for faith it selfe, cannot in reason be said to be a worke, whereby a man is brought to faith. Secondly, herehence it followeth, that Mans good husbandry, being here di∣stinguished from the worke of Faith it selfe, the act of Faith is hereby made the work of mans will, not of Gods grace: if some work preceding faith, whereupon faith is wrought by grace, it followeth that the grace of faith, is given according to mans works: this is the foule issue of their tenet, making faith either not at all the worke Page  197 of God, or if wrought by God, to be wrought according to mans worke. And thus they shape the grace of God, conferring faith, not only towards Reprobates, but al∣so towards the elect. Now observe I beseech you, how our Brittaine Divines doe purposely reject this Doctrine in the Synod of Dort art. 3. in their third Thesis, of those which are rejected by them. The Thesis which they reject is, positis omnibus gra∣tiae operationibus quibus Deus ad efficiendam hanc conversionem utitur, voluntatem hominis relin∣qui in aequilibrio: velitne credere vel non credere convertete se ad Deum vel non convertere. All the operations of grace supposed, the will of man is left in an even ballance, whether he will believe or no, whether he will convert himselfe to God or no: this is the very o∣pinion of this Author, against which our worthy Divines dispute there in this man∣ner. If this were so, then it would follow that God by his grace, is not the principall cause of mans believing and conversion, but man by his free will rather: For in this case God shall not predomi∣nantly worke mans conversion, but upon condition only, to wit, in case the will first move it selfe whereby the lesse worke is given to God, and the greater worke to man, to wit in mans conversion. 2. Herehence it will follow that God gives no more grace to the Elect than to the Reprobate, and that the elect are not bound to be more thankefull to God than the non-elect, because the worke of God in both is no other than to place the will in an even ballance. 3. The grace of conversion is given with an intention that it shall prove effectuall and to move, nay rather to bring man to the producing of the act of faith, in such sort, as it cannot be made in vaine; Haec gratia a nullo duro corde respuitur ideo quippe tribuitur ut cordis duritia primitus auferatur.

And seeing the good Husbandry of mans consists in obedience to the Gospell it ap∣pears hereby, that the grace they speake of is no other than the Gospell, exhor∣ting to repentance, and this we confesse is sufficient in a certain kind, to wit, in the kind of instruction and exhortation: and is not this sufficient to convict of un∣beliefe as many as wilfully resist it, and such is the condition of all in hearing the Gospell, to whom God gives not the grace of conversion, for as Saint Austin* saith, Libertas sine gratiâ non est libertas sed contumacia, and no other impotency of beliefe doe we ascribe to a naturall man, but such as consists in contumacy, which is meerely a fault and corruption of the will, not the defect of any natu∣rall power: and therefore as I said, the impotemcy of converting to God by faith and repentance, is impotency morall, consisting meerely in the corrup∣tion of the will; and there is no question but every man hath as much power to be∣lieve as Simon Magus, of whom it is said that he believed. Fides in voluntate est (saith Austin) & credimus quando volumus, but the will of man is so corrupt, that without spe∣ciall preparation by Gods grace, it is rather wilfully set to walke in the waies of flesh and bloud, than obsequious to that which is good: we make no question but that as Prosper saith, every one that heareth the Gospell, is thereby called unto grace, even to obtaine pardon of sinne and salvation upon his faith in Christ and is called upon also to believe: but withall we say with our Brittaine Divines, Art. 3. De Conversione Thesi 1a. In the explication thereof, that God gives his elect not only posse credere si velint (which in Austins opinion lib. 1. de gen. contra Manic. cap. 3. and de prae∣dest. Sanct. cap. 5. is common to all,) but velle credere, nay they spare not to professe that if God should worke in us only posse credere, posse convertere, and leave the act of be∣lieving and converting to mans free will, we should all doe as Adam did; and fall from God through our free will, and never bring this possibility into act; take their own words. Quod si vires quasdam infundendo daret Deus tantum posse credere, posse con∣vertere, ipsum interim actum committeret libero hominum arbitrio, certe quod primus parens fecit faceremus omnes: libero arbitrio a Deo deficeremus nec possibilitatem hanc in actum perduceremus. Haec ita{que} eximia est illa specialis gratia qua non modo possunt credere si velint, sed & volunt cum possunt. Phil. 3. 13. Dat Deus nobis & velle & perficere. As for that which he discourseth of Gods principall aime, that the Church of Israell should bring forth good fruit: let us speake plain∣ly, and not cheat our selves first, and then become impostors unto others: was it that which God did principally intend? Gods intentions are his decrees, now if God did decree they should bring forth fruit de facto, who hath resisted his will? Nay take their own rules according to their doctrine of Scientia media. Why did God give them only such a grace to move them unto fruitfulnes, which he foresaw they would resist? And refuse to give such grace, as he foresaw would not be resisted, and that without all prejudice to their wills? Let thē answer unto this, for that God in the storehouse of his wisdome hath such courses as being used, he foreseeth infalliby that any sin will be hindred, Ar∣minius acknowledgeth, as I have oftē alleadged him. But we may safely say, 1. That God Page  198 intended it should be their duty to bring forth fruit. 2. If he did farther intend that the Church of Israel should de facto bring forth fruit, this he did bring to passe also: but withall let us consider what the Apostle teacheth us, and take that along with us also, namely, that all are not Israel, that are of Israel; and so in his elect he effecteth this. 3. I doubt not but this is pronounced chiefely for the elects sake, and though they are not as yet so fruitfull as they should be, yet I nothing doubt, but this passionate expostulation, was a means to turne them to the Lord, that is, some of them: For God calls them not all at once, but some at one houre of the day, some at another. 4. It might be a means to bring others also, though not to true conversion, yet ad ex∣teriorem vitae emendationem. As for that of our Saviour over Jerusalem Math. 23. 37. That is of another condition in two respects. Jerusalem neither saw his teares, nor heard his bemoaning of it; but we heare of it, and read it in his word, and it is equal∣ly effectuall with the elect of God, and others also; as the expostulation we read Isai. 5. Secondly our Saviour was a man as well as God, and though the Sonne of God, yet made under the Law, and accordingly as much bound to desire and endeavour the salvation of all amongst whom he was sent, as any Prophet, or Apostle, or Mi∣nister of Gods word. That in the 5. Ioh. 34. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye might be saved; What is the meaning thereof but this. These things have I spoken unto you, exhorting you to believe, that ye might be saved; according to that v. 24. He that hear∣eth me, and believeth him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but hath passed from death to life: and by the words following, in the words alleadged by him it appears, that there is no other intention of salvation meant, than in case they believe: But ye will not come unto me that ye might have life, v. 40. And as before I said, Christ being made under the Law, was bound, as well as we are, to desire the salvati∣on of his Brethren, that is to desire and labour the conversion of those to whom he was sent, that so they might be saved.

DISCOURSE. SECT. IV.

THis is also the use and end for which the Sacraments were ordained, as we may see Luk. 7. 30. Where we have these wordes, But the Scribes and Pharisees and expounders of the Law despised the councell of God against them selves, and were not Baptized of Iohn. In which words thus much is plainly included, that it was Gods counsell and purpose in Iohns Baptisme, to bring them to Christ, and in him to Heaven; much more is it in the end of Christs Baptisme which is more excellent than Iohns was, not in substance but in the fulnesse of grace administred, and dispensed by it. *

All that have been Baptized into Christ (sayth the Apostle) have been Baptized unto his death. Rom. 6. 3. And Gal. 3. 29. All ye that are Baptized into Christ have put on Christ, the very phra∣ses there used shew, that Baptisme is in its originall intention an instrument of uniting men to Christ and giving them communion with him in the benefits of his death: except a man be borne of water (saith Christ) and of the spirit, he cannot &c. Ioh. 3. 5. In which words are delivered two things. 1. The necessity of regeneration; (except a man be born again.) 2. The working causes of it, efficient, the Spirit of God, instrumentall, the Sacrament of Baptisme, there called water from the outward mat∣ter of it. Baptisme therefore is appointed to be a means of regeneration to all those that are Baptized, and doth effect it in all that doe not put an obstacle in the way to hinder it. For this cause doth the Apostell dignifye it (the layer of regeneration) Titus 3. 5. I will shut up this with Acts. 2. 38. * Where Peter sayth, repent and be Baptized every one of you for the remission of sinnes: plainly im∣plying that therefore is Baptisme ordained to be received that those who doe receive it might have their sinnes remitted.

The patience of God also, which is another singular donation and gift of God to men, is exercised to this very end, as appeares Rom. 2. 4. Despisest thou the riches of his goodnesse, and forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodnesse of God leadeth thee to repentance? But thou, after thy hardnesse of heart that canst not repent, heapest up &c. In these words we may note for our purpose, 1. Gods end and intent in forbearing sinners, and that is the leading of them to repentance, and so to Salvation, (for repentance is Per se ordinata ad salutem as a means to the end.) 2. The persons to whom God intends this good by his forbearance, and they are such as dispise the riches of his goodnesse, and have hard and impenitent hearts. 3. The issue and event of this theire contempt of Gods patience, and that is a treasuring up wrath unto themselves against the day of wrath. Out of all which laid togeher ariseth thus much, That God by sparing wicked men, who have hard and im∣penitent hearts, intends their everlasting good, though they, by the abuse of his patience, and refu∣sall to repent, doe treasure up to themselues wrath and eternall misery. The like to this is delivered in the 2 Peter 3. 9. God is not slack, (as some men count slacknesse) but patient toward us, that is, us men. And why patient towards us? Because he would have none to perish. The end therefore of Gods patience is mans repentance and Salvation.

Page  199
TWISSE. Consideration.

THough this Author doth little answer your expectation, in confining him∣selfe to Reprobation, therein to give you satisfaction, as touching the rea∣son why he hath changed his mind in certain controversies; yet it may be, his purpose is to make you amends, by acquainting you with some misteries of his, concerning Baptisme, out of Luk. 7. 30. Where it is said of the Scribes and Pharises, that in refusing to be Baptized of Iohn, they despised the counsell of God against themselves; hence he inferres, that it was Gods counsell and purpose in Iohns Baptisme, to bring them to Christ, and in him to heaven: as much as to say God purposed to bring them to Christ and to heaven, but they would not; and so it came to passe that Omnipotentis Dei voluntatis ef∣fectus, was hindered by the will of the creature, which Austin accounted a very foule * absurdity, as if God were not able to bring them to Christ: yet our Saviour professeth, that like as none can come unto him except the Father draw him, so on the other side, every one that the Father giveth me comes unto me, Ioh. 6. And the Apostle saith, Who hath resisted his will?*Omnipotente facilitate convertit, saith Austin, & ex nolentibus volentes facit. But as for the Text, suppose the Evangelist had called it the purpose of God, yet the object of his purpose is not expressed, and why might it not be Gods purpose to make it their duty to hearken to Iohn, and to submit to the Lords Ordinance administred by Iohn, as well as Gods purpose that they should obey him, and be perswaded to be Baptized by him: yea and much rather too, considering the foule absurdity wherewith this in∣terpretation is charged, as formerly I have shewed; and he must have the stomack of an Ostrich, that can digest it. But where I pray was it ever read or heard before, that Gods purpose is at any time despised? Gods counsell indeed is too often despised, as when he saith, I councell thee to buy of mee gold, &c. Revel. 3. And the counsell of God sig∣nifieth no other will of God, than is the will of commandement, of admonition, of exhortation, and such like. But whereas he talkes of a greater fulnesse of grace in the Baptisme of Christ, than in the Baptisme of Iohn, this beliefe is one of his mysteries concerning Baptisme. Iohn Preached Christ unto the people, Acts 19. 4. And Iohns Baptisme was the Baptisme of repentance for the remission of sinnes, that is, Preach∣ing of repentance, he administred Baptisme unto them in assurance of the forgive∣nesse of their sinnes, upon their repentance. And therefore he put off the Scribes and Pharises, calling upon them to bring forth fruits of repentance first. So Peter speakes of the Baptisme of Christ, Acts 2. Repent and be Baptized for the forgivenesse of your sinnes. So was circumcision unto the Jewes a Seale of the righteousnesse of faith, that is, of the forgivenesse of sinnes through faith. It seems this Author is none of the Rhemists adversary in this, who upon Math. 3. 11. writes thus. It is an Article of our adversaries, that the Baptisme of Christ, is no better then the Baptisme of Iohn, they make it of no more value or efficacy for remission of sinnes, and grace, and justification than was Iohns: where∣unto Mr Fulke makes answer, saying, Remission of sinne is proper unto God as well in Iohns Baptisme, as in the Baptisme of Christ, and that Iohn in that place compares the Ministry of Man with the authority and power of God, and though some of the ancient Fathers were of another opinion, yet Saint Marke saith expressely, That Iohn Preached the Baptisme of repentance. unto forgivenesse of sinnes. And who can separate forgivenesse of sinnes from true repentance? When the Lord pro∣miseth, at what time soever the sinner repenteth, to pardon his sinnes. The seale of Baptisme also added to the doctrine of Repentance, must needs testify remission of sinnes, namely, the soule to be washed by mercy, as the body is with water. Neither doth this doctrine derogate any thing from the Baptisme of Christ, seeing it is Christ that forgiveth sinnes, and giveth grace in the Baptisme mini∣stred by Iohn and ministred by his Apostles: For Iohns Baptisme was by Gods institution, not of Iohns devising.

It is true, All that have been Baptized into Christ, have been Baptized into his death, Rom. 6. 3. and Gal. 3. 26. All that have been Baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. But take Baptisme aright, and let Peter be an interpreter of Paul. Baptisme saveth us, saith he, 1 Pet. 3. 21. But least you should mistake him, marke what he addes, Not the putting away the filth of the flesh, here is the outward Baptizing with water, but the interrogation which a good conscience makes to God. Nay let Paul be an interpreter of himselfe. 1 Cor. 6. 12: Page  200But ye are washed, but ye are sanctifyed, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God. Now I willingly confesse, that as many as are washed and sanctified and justified by the spirit of God, have put on Christ, and are Baptized into his death, to the mortifying and crucifying the old man in them. And as by the Bap∣tisme of the spirit we doe put on Christ, so are we united unto Christ, and have a communion with him in the benefits of his death. But as for the intention of Bap∣tisme of water, I know none it hath, much lesse doe I know how to put a difference between intention originall, and some other intention which he conceales, content to suffer the distinction, to fly with one wing. The Baptize is intention I am some∣what acquainted with: On mans part, to Baptize such as are brought to the font for that purpose, and by Baptisme to consecrate them to the service of that God, who is one in nature, but three in persons, Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost: on Gods part, to seale unto us the righteousnesse of faith, which I learne out of Rom. 4. 11. In the description of Circumcision, and the meaning thereof, I take to be the assuring of forgivenesse of sinnes to them that believe, and this is congruous to the description both of Johns Baptisme, and Christs Baptisme set forth unto us in holy Scripture. As for that Iohn 3. 5. Except a man be borne of Water and of the Spirit, he cannot &c. Master Fulke in his answer to the Rhemists on that verse writes thus; It is not necessary in this place by Water, to understand materiall Water, but rather the purifying grace of Christ, as, cap. 4. v. 11. Whereof the washing with water in Baptisme, is an outward signe and seale, which also is ter∣med fire, Math. 3. 11. The water therefore in Baptisme is not our regeneration properly, but a Sa∣crament and seale thereof; Isid. Origen. l. 7. cap. de Spiritu Sancto. Aliud est aqua Sacra∣menti, aliud aqua quae significat Spiritum Dei; aqua enim Sacramenti visibilis est, aqua spiritus sancti invisibilis est, ista abluit corpus, & significat quid sit in anima, per illum autem spiritum Sanctum anima mundatur, & saginatur. And a little after, Indeed (saith he) the words of our Saviour Christ are not properly of the externall Sacrament more then, Ioh. 6. Of the other Sa∣crament; except you eate the flesh of the Sonne of man, and drinke his bloud, you have no life in you: whereas all Infants are excluded from that Sacrament, and consequently should be excluded from life, if the words were meant of the outward Sacraments. And the Fathers of the ancient Church, which thought Baptisme was necessary, did likewise think the communion to be as necessary for Infants; as Augustine, Innocentius Bishop of Rome, and all the Church of their time, for any thing we can gather by their writings. Finally, when the word of Water in this Text signifieth the purifying grace of Christ, rather than the outward element of Baptisme, here can be no argument drawn out of this place, that Sacraments conferre grace of the worke wrought, but according to the dispensation of Gods spirit, who worketh according to his own pleasure; as in this chap. v. 8. 1 Cor. 12. When this Author talkes of the necessity of regeneration, I doubt he considers not, that hence it followeth, that either all that dye unbaptized are damned, (for I presume he speaks of the necessity of it unto salvation,) or that many thousands are now a∣daies regenerated without any Sacrament of regeneration. That the Spirit of God is the efficient cause of Regeneration, I think no Christian doubteth; but this Author maketh the Baptizing with Water to be an efficient also, as when he saith, Baptisme is appoynted to be a means of Regeneration to all that are Baptized, and not only so, but that it doth effect it also in all that doe not put an obstacle in the way to hinder it. I acknowledge willingly that Baptisme materiall, is an instrument, to wit, both as a signe & as a seale: But that it is an instrument in any other kind of operation, than belongs to a signe and seale, I have not hitherto learned out of the word of God. And as I remember, Arminius was sometimes challenged for Heterodoxy about the Sacraments; and withall, that his Apology was this, he never ascribed any other efficacy unto the Sacraments, than is denoted under the tearmes of Signes and Seales; but no marvaile, if a degenerated condition hath seized on any, that such proficiunt in pejus, and grow more and more degenerate. The phrase used here in calling Baptisme a means of regeneration, sounds harsh in my eares, we commonly say, and it is the doctrine of our Catechisme, that a Sacrament is an outward and visible signe, of an inward and invisible grace: now this grace in Baptisme I take to be the grace of regeneration; and is it a decent expression to say, that the signe of Regeneration is the means of Regeneration? As for Baptismus spiritus, the Baptisme of the spirit, that is the very working of regeneration, but Baptismus flu∣minis, the Baptisme of water, that is the administration of the outward signe, and seale of the grace of regeneration. The word Preacheth forgivenesse of sinnes to all that believe, so doth the Sacrament of Baptisme; but the word Preacheth this to the eare, the Sacrament to the eye. The word assureth it, for it is Gods word, the Sacrament Page  201 assures it, for it is Gods seale, but neither of these worketh the assurance without the spirit of God: and as for the working of Faith it selfe, I have read that Faith comes by hearing, I no where read that Faith comes by the being Baptized. And sure I am when men of ripe yeares came to be Baptized, they were first Catechumini, then compe∣tentes, and none admitted unto Baptisme, unlesse the word had formerly brought them unto faith. The Apostle calls Baptisme the laver of regeneration, by the Rhemists translation, the fountain of regeneration, by the former English translation, the wash∣ing of regeneration, by the last: but whereas this Author dignifies it with this title, be∣cause it doth effect regeneration in all that doe not put an obstacle in the way to hinder it: if this Author shall prove it (while his head is hot,) we shall give that credence to it, as it deserves; in the mean time, it stands for a bold affirmation; let him take his time to make it appeare to be sound: the Rhemists upon the place have this note; As before in the Sacrament of holy Orders [1 Tim. 4. 2 Tim. 1.] So here it is plaine that Baptisme giveth grace, and that by it, as by an instrumentall cause, we be saved. Master Fulkes answer is this, Here is no word to prove that Baptisme giveth grace of the worke wrought, but the Apostle saith that God hath saved us by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which is testified by the Sacrament of Baptisme (marke I pray the office of Baptisme in Master Fulkes judgement, to testify the renewing,) which is Sacramentally the laver of regeneration; not by the worke wrought but by the grace of Gods spirit, by which we are justified. So speaketh Saint Peter, and explicateth himselfe 1 Pet. 3. 21. Baptisme saveth us not the washing of the flesh of the body, but the interrogation of a good conscience. And because I know no obstacle that an Infant can put to hinder the effect of it, for I suppose the obstacle must be rationall, and Infants are not come to the use of reason, to performe any rationall act, which may prove any rationall ob∣stacle; therefore it seems this Authors opinion is, that all who are Baptized in the Church, are regenerate: this indeed was the profession of Master Mountague before he was Bishop; and was answered by Bishop Carelton, as touching the best firmament of his opinion; the Book of our Common-Prayer, where the Child Baptized is said to be regenerate; that is to be understood Sacramento tenus, which is Saint Austins phrase, and which he distinguisheth from truly regenerate: And Bishop Usher in his History of Gotteschaleus, alleadgeth out of the Author of the imperfect work upon Mathew, Hom. 5. this sentence, Eos qui cum tentati fuerint, superantur, & pereunt, videri quidem filios Dei factos propter aquam Baptismatis, revera tamen non esse filios Dei, quia non sunt in Spiritu Baptizati. As also out of Austin De Unitate Ecclesiae, cap. 19. Visibilem Baptismum posse habere, & alie∣nos qui regnum Dei non possidebunt: sed esse donum Spiritus Sancti quod proprium eorum est tantum qui regnabunt cum Christo in aeternum. And lastly out of the same Austin, as he is alleadged by Peter Lombard, l. 4. Sent. dis. 4. Sacramenta in solis electis efficere quod figurant. All this is to be found in that Book of Bishop Usher p. 188. Besides many more pregnant pas∣sages are collected by him for the same purpose. And not to charge him with authori∣ty only, but with some reason; when Saint, James saith Jam. 1. 18. Of his own will he hath begotten us by the word of truth; what I pray is here meant by the word of truth? Is it not the Gospell, to wit, The Preaching of Christ crucified? Now consider to whom doth he write, but to the twelve Tribes, that is, to the Christian Jewes, such as were begotten to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as Saint Peter speakes writing also to the Jewes. If then these Jewes were regenerated by the Preaching of the Gospell, surely they were not regenerated by Circumcision; and if regeneration were not ne∣cessarily annexed to the Sacrament of Circumcision, amongst the Jewes, then nei∣ther is it necessarily affixed to the Sacrament of Baptisme amongst the Christians. For our Divines doe usually maintaine against the Papists, that the Sacraments of the Old Testament, were as effectuall to the Jewes, as the Sacraments of the New Testa∣ment are effectuall unto us Christians. It is true, Baptisme is ordained, that those which doe receive it may have the remission of their sinnes, but not absolutely, but conditionally, to wit, in case they believe and repent, as appears both in that place, Acts 2. 38. and Rom. 4. 11. And Baptisme as a Seale doth assure hereof, only in case they believe and repent; and therefore none of ripe years were admitted unto Baptisme, untill they made profession of their faith, and as for Infants, they were also anciently said to be Baptized in fide Parentum.

Gods patience Rom. 2. 4. And the goodnesse of God manifested therein, leadeth a Man to repen∣tance: so doe his judgements also, Hos. 5. In their affliction they will seeke me early; and so doth Gods word: and all this only in the way of a moving cause, and exciting to repentance, every morning God brings his judgements to light, he faileth not yet; will notPage  202the wicked be ashamed. Zeph 3. 5. But it is the duty of all to be moved by his word, by his works, by his mercyes, by his judgments, to turne to the Lord by true repentance. But God alone is he that workes them hereunto, without whose efficacious grace none of all these courses will prevaile, as Isai. 57. 17. For his wicked covetousnesse I was angry with him and have smiten him, I hid me and was angry. They wanted neither admoni∣tion from his word, nor from his corrections yet they profited by neither, as it fol∣loweth; yet he went away and turned after the way of his own heart: yet what is Gods reso∣solution, but to overcome their stubbornesse by the power of his grace, as there we read; I have seen his waies, and will heale them: now who are these whom he leads so, as to bring them to repentance, let Austin answer, Contra Julian. Pelag. l. 5. c. 4. Bonitas Dei te ad poenitentiam adducit, verum esse constat, sed quem praedestinavit adducit, and he adds a reason, Quamtamlibet enim praebuerit poenitentiam, nisi Deus dederit, quis agit poenitentiam. And in the same Chapter professeth, touching the Non-praedestinate, that God never brings them to wholsome and spirituall repentance, whereby a man is reconciled to God in Christ, whether God affords them greater patience than he affords his elect; or no∣thing lesse? His words are these, Istorum neminem adducit ad poenitentiam salubrem, & spi∣ritualem, qua homo in Christo reconciliatur Deo, sive illis ampliorem patientiam, sive non imparem praebeat: God intends by this his patience, that it is the duty of all to repent; that is, that they should repent ex officio; but did he intend they should de facto repent? what then could hinder it? Then he would afford them efficacious grace, to heale them, as he promiseth Isai. 57. 18. Then would he rule them with a mighty hand, and make them passe under the rodde, and bring them unto the bond of the covenant. So then to the poynt in particular here observed. 1. God leads all to repentance by his goodnesse, manife∣sted in his forbearance and long suffering, by way of admonition, that it is their duty to turne unto God by repentance, while he gives them time and space for repentance. 2. But as for those whom he hath elected, he not only thus leads, but also effectually brings them to repentance, in the time he hath appoynted, before which time they are found sometimes to despise the riches of his goodnesse, and to have hard and im∣penitent hearts, as much as any Reprobate: who more foule in the committing of horrible abominations than Manasses? Who more furious in persecuting the Church of God then Saul? Yet God took away the stony heart (and what is harder then stone) out of their bowells, and so he doth to all whom he regenerates. 3. As touching a finall contempt of Gods patience, that is peculiar unto Reprobates; as for the elect, though some are called at the first houre of the day, some not till the last, yet all are effectually called, before they drop out of the World. To say that God intends the everlasting good of Reprobates, is to deny the first Article of our Creed, even Gods omni potency, as Austin hath disputed 1200 years agoe; we find in our selves, that whatsoever we will doe, if we doe not it, it is either because we cannot doe it, or because our will is changed, but to ascribe either mutability or impotency to God, is intollerable in a Christian, and it cannot be denied, but God did from e∣verlasting intend their everlasting damnation: so that to say he did intend their e∣verlasting good, is flat contradiction; neither is there any way to charme it, but by saying, God intends their everlasting good conditionally; but to intend it after such a manner, is apparently no more to intend their salvation than their damnation, nay lesse rather; considering the conditions of salvation are utterly impossible unto man, unlesse God correct, and cure his corrupt nature; but this grace he dispenseth accor∣ding to the meere pleasure of his will, as the Apostle signifyeth in saying, he hath mer∣cy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. As for that 2 Pet. 3. 9. He is patient towards us, not willing〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉any of us to perish, it hath been already considered; but here he in∣terpreteth towards us, as if it had been said, towards us men, and I hope the elect are men, as well as others: but what ground hath he for this liberty of interpretation? Why may he not take the liberty in interpreting of Iohn, as well as Peter, both were pillars; (Gal. 2.) where he saith, They went out from us, but they were not of us, for had they been of us, they had continued with us; and still swalloweth a palpable absurdity follow∣ing hereupon, even to the denying of Gods omnipotency, in as flat contradiction to the Apostle, where he professeth, that God hath mercy on whom he will, which is not to have mercy on all, but on some only, hardening others, as Rom. 11. The ele∣ction hath obtained it, but the rest are hardned.

Page  203
DISCOURSE. SECT. V.

IN the last place those other gifts of God, whereby mens understandings are enlightened, and their soules beautifyed, (which are knowledge, repentance, fortitude, liberality, temperance, humility, charity, and such like) are bestowed upon all them that have them, (among whom are many that may prove Reprobates in the end) that by the exercise of them, and continuance in them, they might be Saved. The Reprobates are adorned with many of those graces, as apears plainly by many Scriptures, especially Hebr. 6. 4. Where the Apostle sayes, that it is impossible for those that have been enlightned, tasted the heavenly gift, been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they fall away, should be re∣newed by repentance: and the graces which the Apostle speakes of here, are not ordinary and com∣mon, but speciall graces, illumination, faith, relish of the sweetnesse of Gods Word, and the tast of Heaven. The persons spoken of, are Apostates, such as are under the possibility of falling away, (for upon a dainger not possible cannot be built a solid exhortation) and if Apostates then Reprobates, and the thing intimated is that upon Apostates and Reprobates are these gifts bestowed. The Like speech we have: Hebr. 10. 26. For if we sinne willingly, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaines no more sacrifice for sinne &c. from whence we collect, that men that sinne willingly and unpardonably, may receive the knowledge of the truth, yea and be sanctifyed by the bloud of the Testament and the Spirit of grace, v. 29. 2 Pet. 2. 20. They may escape the filthinesse of the world i. e. be washed from their former sins by repen∣tance, the uncleane spirit may goe out of them. Mat. 12. 43. They may receive the word with joy, Mat. 13. 20. And many excellent graces they may have besides: All which graces are not given them that they might abuse them, and so purchase to themselves the greater damnation; or that they might doe good to others with them, but none to themselves; but rather that as by the former gifts * of nature, so by these of grace, they may obtaine Salvation. If God aime at this in those gifts that are farther off, much more in these, which make those that have them (like the yong man in the Gospel) not farre from the kingdome of Heaven. Thus we see what end God aimes at in his gifts to men.

TWISSE Consideration.

THese gifts this Author formerly described to be gifts of grace, applying sal∣vation unto men, which he distinguisheth from gifts of grace purchasing salvation, in the entrance upon this reason of his. Now it is apparent, that most of these gifts have been found in the heathen men: and who was ever heard to call these vertues found in the heathen, gifts of grace, applying the salvation purcha∣sed by Christ, whereof they were wholy ignorant, like as of Christ himselfe. And whereas he makes, faith and repentance, to be gifts communicated unto such, who (as he expresseth it,) doe prove Reprobates in the end; Saint Austin to the contrary, as formerly I have alleadged him out of his 5. lib. contra Julian Pelag. c. 5. Expressely professeth of the Non praedestinate, that God brings not one of them to wholsome and Spiritu∣all repentance, whereby a man is reconciled to God in Christ: And our Brittaine Divines in the Synod of Dort, upon the 5th Article and fourth position, professe in like manner of all such as are none of Gods elect, that it is manifest they never really and truly attaine that change and renovation of the mind, and affections, which accompanieth justification; nay, nor that which doth immediatly prepare or dispose to justification. For they never seriously repent, they are never affected with hearty sorrow for offending God by sinning, nor doe they come to any humble contrition of heart, nor conceive a firme resolution to offend any more. And whereas he saith, that such doe prove Reprobates in the end, he may as well say of others, that they prove elect in the end, which doth wholly savour, of shapeing the decrees of God, to be of a temporall condition, and not eternall; unlesse he delivers it of the manifestation of Page  204 it in the judgement of men, which yet as touching Reprobates cannot appeare untill their death, and 'tis a very hard matter for any man, to passe upon men generally the censure of elect, or reprobates; the hypocrisy of man hath such power to evacuate the one, and the secret operation of Gods mercy and grace the other. How farre re∣probates may attain to the illunination of their mind, and renovation of their wills, and reformation of their lives, is set downe more fully by our Brittain Divines in the Synod of Dort, than by this Author; not one particular (if I mistake not) being mentioned here, as touching the places of Scripture, containing the indication there∣of, which is not set downe there, and some there are set downe, which are not set downe here. In their first position concerning those who are not elect, upon the fifth Article (this Authors quotation here leaving out the Article) and by a wild refe∣rence to the page, being fitter to confound a Reader than direct him) the first positi∣on there is this,

There is a certain supernaturall enlightning granted to some of * them who are not elect, by the power whereof they understand those things to be true, which are revealed in the word of God, and yeeld an unfained ascent unto them.
And in the explication of it Luke 8. 13.
The seed which fell upon the sto∣ny ground, noteth unto us such hearers, as for a while believe, that is, those that for a while give ascent to things revealed from above, and especially to the cove∣nant of the Gospell; and thereby it is plaine, that this their ascent, is no way faig∣ned, because they received the word with joy.
Acts 8. 30. And afterwards they * give a farther reason of it thus,
For it is not to be imputed for a fault to any man, that he is fallen from an Hypocriticall faith, neither can a shipwrack be made of a faigned faith, but only a detection and manifestation of it, nor indeed can he suf∣fer shipwrack, who was never in the shippe. 2 Pet. 2. 20. Some are said to have es∣caped from the filthinesse of the world, by the knowledge of the Lord, whose lat∣ter end is worse than their beginning: and of those Ioh. 12. 42. who believed in Christ, but did not confesse him, they write that they believed with an unfaigned dogmaticall faith, which then lay secretly hid in their hearts: but never shewed it selfe in any outward profession, for feare of danger ensuing.
Thir second positi∣on is this,
In these fore-mentioned, there doth arise out of this knowledge and * faith, a certain change of their affections, and some kind of amendment of their manners.
This they prove out of Math. 13. 20. They received the word with joy: and 1 Kings 21. 17. concerning Ahabs humbling of himselfe: and out of Heb. 6. 4. al∣leadged by this Author, and over and above out of v. 6. observe a renovation also, in as much as it is said, That it is impossible they should be renued againe, which implyeth, that they had been formerly renued in some sort, and out of Chap. 10. 19. That they trod un∣der foot the blood of the Covenant, by which they are sanctified; and that they attained to some amendment of life, they prove both by the example of Herod; and out of 2 Pet. 2. 20. where tis said of them, that they had escaped from the filthinesse of the world. And Chap. 1. 9. Where they are said to have forgotten that they were purged from their old sinnes. And out of Math. 12. 43. Where 'tis said the unclean spirit was departed out of them, and that all this was not faigned, but that they proceeded out of the power of those dispositions unto grace, and from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost: yet notwithstanding all this in their fourth * position they pronounce, that they never attaine unto the state of adoption and justification: and in their explication of it, that they never attaine the change and renovation of the mind and affections, which doth immediatly prepare and dispose unto justification; For they*never seriously repent &c. at large. Now seeing God brings them no farther, as he doth his elect; with what sobriety can it be said, that God intends their salvation? And as for the poynt of sanctification, which here is attributed to them, other Divines doe not goe so farre, as to interpet it of any inward sanctification, as Paraeus; Erat autem (saith he) Sanctificatio Apostolorum non interna sed externa in professione fidei, & participatio∣ne sacramentorum externa consistens, erant sanctificati, hoc est, a Judaeis & Paganis professione se∣gregati, & pro veris Christianis habiti. Loquitur enim secundum judicium charitatis, quae omnes de doctrina for is consentientes habet pro sanctificatis, licet non omnes cordibus vere sint sanctificati, Non eergo hinc sequitur, Apostatas. Vere fuisse regeneratos. Pro quibus enim Christus ne or are quidem dignatus est, eos multo minus sanguine suo sanctificavit: ideo Johannes Apostatas de Ec∣clesia renatorum fuisse negat: ex nobis egressi sunt, quia non erant ex nobis. Et Petrus vocat eos canes & porcos redentes ad vomitum, & volutabrum, canis vero etiam post vomitum est canis, & sus lota est sus, canem vero & suem se semper mansisse, & ille & ista per reditum ad vomitum & vo∣lutabrum declarat. Cameron likewise in in his Myroth. p. 334. Dupliciter sanctificantur homi∣nesPage  205alii absolute, ut soli fideles, cum scilicet non tantum ab aliis hominibus segregantur (hoc enim verbum sanctificare saepe significat in Scriptura) a Deo, sed & remissione peccatorum apprehensa & Spiritus Sancti virtute sanctificati, & in sanctitatis studio permanent. Alii comparate, qui scilicet separantur quidem ab aliis hominibus externa fidei professione, & aliqua fortè vitae instituti immu∣tatione, at non sanctificantur absolute ut fideles, ad hoc posterius sanctificationis genus pertinet hoc A∣postoli dictum, in quo sanctificatus fuit. But albeit they were truly sanctified, (to suppose that for the present) yet if God purposed not to give them perseverance therein, un∣doubtedly he intended not their salvation. Nay, no Arminian denies, but that God did from everlasting intend the salvation of all such Apostates; and to say that he had a velleity to save them, is to dash a mans selfe against the rock of absurdity, as to deny Gods omnipotency, unlesse he will say Gods mind is changed: and to talke of a conditionate will intending their salvation, is no more to say, that he intends their salvation in case they doe believe, than to say, he intends their damnation in case they doe not believe. And as for his allegation out of the suffrages of our Divines in the Synod of Dort, that is very wild, neither mentioning the Article, nor rightly quoting the page: though the things here proposed are mostly taken out of the first and second Thesis, concerning the Non-elect, upon the fifth Article: but no glimps doe I find there, of any such end of Gods granting these dispositions, as that thereby they might be brought unto salvation; though as in the elect such like dispositions are, so in the Reprobate, they might be preparations to farther grace, if it pleased God so to ordaine as to bring them on forward to justification and true sanctificati∣on conjunct therewith, and thereby unto salvation.

As for the ends which God doth intend thereby, to wit, by bringing them so farre; look whatsoever God doth bring to passe hereby, that God doth intend. For no∣thing can fall out casually unto God. If they doe persevere in this condition, to wit. as touching the outward emendation of their life, it is, ut mitius puniantur, as Austin expresseth himselfe somewhere, which now doth not come to my remembrance, if they fall from it, whereupon they shall be more grievously punished: this also was in∣tended by God. Or if others are bettered by them, undoubtedly this also was in∣tended by God, as also to teach all others not to content themselves with superfici∣all renovation, superficiall obedience; and so likewise illumination clearely takes a∣way that excuse, which some are apt to make, as Austin observes, namely, Dicere solet humana superbia si scissem fecissem. Which how well this Author infringeth, we are to * consider in the next place.

DISCOURSE. SECT. VI.

BUt there are some Scripturs which seem to say the contrary. v: g. Rom. 1. 20. Where God is said to reveale himselfe to the Gentiles by the creatures 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 that they might be without excuse. Luke 2. 34. Simeon said of Christ, that he is appointed for the falling, and rising againe of many in Israell; and. 1 Cor. 1. 23. I preach Christ (sayth Paul) to the Jewes a stumbling blocke. 2 Cor. 2. 16. We are the sweet savor of death unto death: and it seems by these places, that God gives these things to some, that they may stumble, and be left without excuse; What shall we say therefore to these places? Of all these Scriptures in generall, I may say this, that they are to be understood of the end, which is many times effected by these gifts of God, and not of the end that is primarily intended in them; and they shew what Christ, the Word Preached, and the gifts of nature and grace, are (occasionally) to some men through their voluntary rebellion against God, and his Ordinances; and not what they are (intentionally) in Gods first thoughts and resolutions. He intends them for them, for their good, though many times they re∣ceive them to their hurt: it is with Gods Ordinances and gifts (and that very often too) as it is sometimes with Physick, it is given by the Physitian for the Patients good, many times through the distemper of his body, it doth him hurt. And as it is with the Sunne, God intends by the shining of it, the enlightning and clearing of men, and other creatures in this inferior World, others are hurt by the light of it, (accidentally) by reason of the climates wherein they live, or the ill affectednesse of their eyes and bodies. So the blessings of God, which out of his abundant goodnesse, are bestow∣ed upon men for their eternall good, through the ill frame and temper of their heart, doe effect their hurt; partly because lighting upon naughty hearts, they loose their force and edge, (for quicquid recipitur, recipitur ad modum recipientis;) and partly because of the severity of God, who as he hath an antecedent and gratious will to doe men good, so he hath a consequent and judicia∣ry will of giving up wicked men to the lusts of their hearts, and of permitting them to dash Page  206 against Christ, and other means of eternall life, and so to fall into endlesse misery and mischiefe, as we may see, Psal. 101. 11, 12. and Rev. 22. 11. He that is filthy let him be filthy still.

Now if this be the meaning of those Scriptures, then they thwart nothing that hath been said of Gods gracious intent of promoting the eternall good of men, by his blessings bestowed upon them. For argumentum ab eventu ad intentionem Dei non valet; because no sinfull event is properly under Gods will and decree, but his prescience only, or at most under a permissive decree, and many things happen in the World, which are besides the antecedent and principall purpose of God, not because there is any want of power in God, but because his will is oftentimes conditionall, and therefore not effected, because the condition is not performed.

TWISSE. Consideration.

THe gifts of grace he speakes of are three. 1. The knowledge of God revea∣led in his workes, 2. Christ, 3. The Gospell; for these alone are they, whereof the objection proceeds, which he proposeth to be answered. Of the first: it is most true, that the end thereof represented in the objection, is effected by it, to wit, the bereaving men of excuse, as namely in a certain kind, which Austin inter∣preteth, De grat. & lib. arb. c. 2. in this manner, Quomodo dicit inexcusabiles nisi de illa ex∣cusatione, qua dicere solet humana superbia si scissem fecissem, ideo non feci, quia nescivi. How doth he call them inexcusable, but in respect of such an excuse, which the pride of man moveth him to use, saying, had I known it I would have done it, therefore I did it not, because I knew it not: thus the Gentiles were left without excuse, in turning the glory of the incorruptible God, to the similitude of the image of a corruptible man, &c. And for as much as he had sufficiently manifested himselfe by his workes, to be eternall, and consequently uncorruptible. So that knowledge sufficiently revea∣led, doth alwaies take away the pretence of ignorance for a mans excuse, whether a man have any need of excuse, as in case he lives not answerable to his knowledge, or no need at all to excuse himselfe, as in case he doth conforme himselfe to that know∣ledge which God hath given him, in which case he is not said to be inexcusable, though pretence of ignorance by way of excuse is taken from him, as well as from o∣thers; but because he hath no need of any such excuse, as depends upon pretence of ignorance, therefore he is not denominated inexcusable, but such only who would excuse themselves by such a pretence, but cannot. But as touching the other gifts of grace mentioned, to wit, 1. Christ, 2. The Gospell, 'tis most untrue that the end specified, is effected by them: for Christ doth not effect the falling of any; neither is the setting of him up, any cause of any mans falling, neither is the stumbling of any, effected by the Preaching of the Gospell; for what is mens stumbling thereat, but their disobe∣dience thereunto. 1 Pet. 2. 8. Now the Gospell doth not effect any mans disobedi∣ence, but the corrupt heart of man alone is the efficient cause thereof. And I cannot sufficiently wonder, at so crude a conceit as this Author manifesteth, by so inconsi∣derate an expression. I grant the end primarily intended, was no other then Gods glory: But as for the salvation of Reprobates, that is neither primarily nor seconda∣rily, nor at all intended by God, as I have often demonstrated; both in as much as God hath from everlasting intended their damnation, and therefore cannot with∣out contradiction intend their salvation. And withall God is unchangeable and omnipotent, and therefore as he can procure the Salvation of any, if withall he intends and wills to procure it, undoubtedly such a one shall be saved. Against all which, this Author proceeds without taking any course to charme those foule absurdities whereinto he precipitates himselfe. And when he saith of the stumbling of many at the Gospell, that it is not primarily intended, he doth most inconsiderately confesse, that it is intended by God, though not primarily, which is enough for us; and the Apostle is expresse, professing of such who stumble at the word through disobedience, That thereunto they were ordained. 1 Pet. 2. 8. Neither doe we say that the Gospell or Christ, is the cause of any mans falling; but onely Page  207 the occasion thereof: mans corrupt heart alone (as formerly I said) being the cause thereof. But God intends their stumbling shall come to passe, which must needs be, in case it is through disobedience that they stumble, and God hath purposed to de∣ny them the grace of obedience, as indeed he hath to many, like as he doth deny it to many; as appeareth by his hardening of many, even whom he will, like as on the o∣ther side, he hath mercy on whom he will. So Christs carriage was not the cause, but the occasion only of the Jewes plotting against him, because they observed that he did many miracles, and if they let him alone, all men would believe in him, and the Romans would come and take away both their place, and the Nation. Ioh. 11. 47, 48. Yet look what they did against him, God had before intended and determined to be done; For both Herod, and Pontius Pilate together with the Gentiles, and people of Israell, were gathered together, to doe what Gods hand and counsell had determined before to be done. Acts 4. 28. Yet not primarily inten∣ded neither, for all this was to a farther end, namely, to procure the redemption of the World, yea of some of them who crucified him. Yet there was a farther end than all this, namely, the glory of God, in the way of mercy mixt with justice, and that brought to passe by admirable power and wisdome. This was first in Gods thoughts and resolutions, as the supreame end, all the rest were but as meanes tending there∣unto: yet doe we not say this was intentionally in Gods first thoughts and resolutions, which is as if he should say, intentionally in Gods intentions; and with the like genius of sobrie∣ty, he distinguisheth between occasionally and intentionally, inclosing the tearmes with a parenthesis, as if there were some great judgement, though little wit, in this distincti∣on, and therefore would have it observeable. Occasion is justly distinguished from a cause, but I never found it distinguished from intention, till now. It seemes he would say accidentally or casually, for such alone are praeter intentionem, if any, and so fit to be opposed to intentionally; but this distinction sticks in his teeth, he was loath in plaine tearmes to expresse so shamefull an opinion, as to professe that any thing comes to passe in the World, besides Gods intention, which is the distinction of things fortuitous in Aristotle. Nay, he leaves place for Gods intention of them secon∣darily, denying only that he intends them primarily. But still he keepes this conclusi∣on, and holds that up, whatsoever becomes of his premises, as when he saith God in∣tends them for them, for their good, that is his Oracle; but Saint Pauls Oracle is, that the invisible things of God, that is his eternall power and Godhead, are seen by the Creation of the World being considered in his workes,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that they may be without excuse, and that the Preachers of the Gospell, were unto God a sweet savour of Christ in them that are saved, and in them that perish; without putting any difference according to this Authors Gemora, that this is to be understood of the one occasio∣nally, of the other intentionally. But to ransack this also, and to speake distinctly, What is the good that God hereby intended them? Was it Salvation? And how did he intend that unto them? Was it intended to be their portion, whether they believed in Christ or no? Undoubtedly his meaning can be no other then this, he intended they should be saved by him, provided they did believe in him: Now what Christian was there ever known to deny this, namely, that as many as believed in Christ, should be saved by him? But let me aske another question, Did God intend they should be∣lieve in him? Yes surely in the opinion of this Author: but is not faith the gift of God? They are ashamed to deny this, at least in concione populi, whatsoever they doe consessu familiari. Why then did not God give them faith? Why surely because they refused to believe in him, so that had they believed in him, then God would have given them faith; as much as to say, had they bestowed faith on themselves, then God would have bestowed faith on them: this is their sobriety that oppose the grace of God, and such be their sobriety still that fall away from the truth of God. If Physick doe the Patients harme through the distemper of their bodies, this must be through the ignorance of the Physitian, who either knowes not the distemper of their body, or else knowes not how to master it. But spare, I pray, to make God obnoxious to the like ignorance or impotency, when the Lord saith, I have seen his wayes and will heale them, Isai. 57. 18. When was it ever known that such a patient was not healed? What greater distemper of the soule than back-sliding or Rebellion? Yet when God saith I will heale their back-sliding, and I will heale their Rebellions. Hosea 14. vers. 4. When was it ever knowne, that any of his Patients, were not the better for his operation, but the worse rather? At length, that breakes out of this Author, that formerly Page  208 stuck in the way, like a burre in his throat, as when he saith that God intends the chear∣ing of men by the shining of the Sunne, but that some are scorched by the heat of it, some hurt by the light of it, is accidentally, as if these effects were not intended by God; as much as to say, that God doth not intend, that the sunne should scorch in Zona torri∣da, though the sunne works by necessity of nature, and cannot but scorch there, as the Abissines felt to their smart, who were wont to pray unto the sunne as he was ri∣sing to spare them, but after he was passed, and going downe, to curse as fast for his scorching of them, whence it is conceived that proverbe came, plures adorant solem orien∣tem quam occidentem: as naturall it is to the light to scatter the sight, and if by scattering the eye be ill affected, this is as naturall to the sunne; like as to make sweet flowers send forth their odoriferous savours, as a dung-mixen, to exhale an unsavoury smell: but suppose a man should loose his sight by the light, as some have by the light of the sunne, being kept long in some darke place before, shall this be accidentall unto God, wheras the Prophet professeth, there is no evill in the City which the Lord hath not done? Like as Gods blessing it is, that neither the sun scorcheth him by day, nor the influence of the Moon, or any other planet, hurt him by night. But come we to the Apodosis of the simile, He renewes his coccismes of Gods blessings out of his abundant goodnesse, bestowed on men for their good; which is a generall speech, and in the generality nothing to the present purpose, we know God saveth both man and beast, he makes his sunne to shine, and his raine to fall on the just and on the unjust, but as for the knowledge of God revealed in his creature, whatsoever is brought forth according to it, we doubt not but God intended it, as civill society, and some naturall feare of God, and civill con∣versation; where any thing is done contrary unto it, the Apostle hath discovered unto us, the end of naturall revelation is, that they might be without excuse; they connot say, si scissem fecissem, that excuse is taken from them. As for the dictates of supernumera∣ry Apostles, we have no cause to regard them, especially when they are cantradicti∣tions to the word of God, and Christian reason, the Gospell is unto God throughout a sweet savour in Christ, both in them that are saved, and in them that perish; It is true, that it is through the corruptions of mens hearts, that men doe not yeeld obedience to it, but that corruption God can cure, and doth cure where it pleaseth him; that men doe obey, 'tis also through the good temper of their hearts, but through the grace of God, curing that corruption in them, that he leaves uncured in others; And we wil∣lingly grant, that he intends their salvation in whom he means to cure this corrupti∣on, to bring them to the obedience of faith: but most absurd it is to say, that he in∣tends their salvation, on whom he never meant to shew any such mercy, but rather to harden them; where the honest and good heart is wanting, the word proves not fruitfull, but only where such an heart is found. Now it is Gods work, (I know) alone to take away the stony heart, and to give an heart of flesh. But this Author car∣ryeth himselfe so throughout, that he would have this worke to be the work of mans free will, not of God, any other way than by perswasion, admonition, exhortation, and concourse; many talke of Robin Hood that never shot in his Bow; and this Au∣thor talkes of the anticedent will of God, which I doubt whether he understands either the meaning of Damascen herein, or of Crysostom either Vossius reduceth it as I have shewed before, to Voluntas conditionata, thus, God willeth that men should be saved if they believe, is it not as true, that his will is, they shall be damned if they doe not be∣lieve? this is the only gratious will this Author magnifyes; but God give me experience of another manner of his gratious will towards me, namely, as he seeth my wayes, so to heale them, yea, and to rule me with a mighty hand, so he make me to passe un∣der the rod, and bring me unto the bond of his covenant. But yet see I pray whether this Author be yet come to the sobriety of his sences, in speaking here of Gods severity in the way of a will judiciary; as when he gives wicked men up to the lust of their hearts, and per∣mits them to dash against Christ, and other meanes of eternall life, Now I pray consider, who are those wicked men whom God thus gives over to their lusts? Were we not all such? Did not God find us all weltering in our bloud. Ezek. 16.? Had not we all sto∣ny hearts. Ezek. 36.? Were we not all blind, lame, deafe, nay were we not dead in sinnes. Ephes. 2. 1.? Did not the Gospell find the Ephesians so? Did not the Word of truth find the Jewes so? James, 1. 18. How then comes this difference that Christ is a stumbling blocke to some and not to others? We say the difference is, because God hath mercy on some, and hardens others. Rom. 9. 18. Because some are borne of God, therefore they heare Gods Word, others are not borne of God, and therefore they Page  209 heare not Gods word. Ioh. 8. 47. The Arminians say God giveth power to every one by an universall grace to will any good whereto he shall be excited. So when the Gospell is Preached, every one hath power to obey it: if he doth obey it, then Christ is a precious stone to him, but if it disobey it, then he is given up to the lusts of his heart, and permitted to dash against Christ, and other meanes of eternall life. Here we have a phrase, but we are to seeke of the meaning thereof; what is it to dash against Christ? It must needs be to commit some sinne or other, for that is the object of Gods permition, for of all other things God is acounted the Author, not the permitter, the object of permition is nothing but sinne, now what sinne can that be, whereby we are said to dash against Christ, and other meanes of salvation, but disobedience to Christ and to the meanes of grace: so that from the first to the last, the sence comes to this, as many as disobey Christ and the meanes of grace, they are given over to the lusts of their hearts, and permitted to dash against Christ and other means of eternall life, that is, are permitted to disobey Christ and to resist other means of eternal life. So that their disobedience to Christ and the Gospell is very punctually and juditiously set downe to precede by two degrees their disobedience to Christ, and his Gospell. Some may thinke that this Arminian prosilite doth not carry himselfe well in his businesse and for betray∣ing the nakednesse of his cause may be in dainger to be excommunicated out of their Synagogue. But Sir you must believe it, this is the very leprosy of their Doctrine that over spreds it from the crowne of the head to the sole of the foot, and they are in love with it, accounting it not only sanity, but perfect beauty. God indeed is said in Scripture, to give men over to their lusts, when he forbears either courses of admonition and reproofe by his word, or by his judgements in his workes, or when he forbears to restraine Satan, as formerly he did: but disobedience to the Gospell undoubtedly is, hoc ipso, a dashing against Christ, although God may continue to ad∣monish and exhort even to the end; as to prophane and hypocriticall persons in the Church, he gives not over this course of his untill the end. I have often represented the absurdity of this Authors conceit, of a gracious intent in God, of promoting the eternall good of Reprobates; whereas it cannot be denied, that God hath from everlasting intended their damnation: and as for our saying, that God intends they shall be without ex∣cuse, that Christ is set up for their falling, that the Gospell is unto God a sweet savour in Christ, not only in them that are saved, but in them that perish. This Author is so farre from overthrowing the truth of it, that (besides other absurdities delivered by him in the way) the Author himselfe hath no heart to deny it, only saying, that God intends it not primarily, which is rather to grant that he intends it (though not primarily as whereabouts there is no question) than to deny it, and that occasionally they are so; whereas no man but himselfe hath said (in saying that they doe effect this end) that Christ or the Gospell are the cause hereof, but only that they are the occasion. But this hinders not Gods intention of them: For undoubtedly God intends as well things occasioned as things caused, though not in his first thoughts and resolutions, which belongs rather to the end than to the meanes, to wit, to be first intended. So that in plaine tearmes, he hath not hitherto dared to deny, that God intends them, though he manifests a good mind to maintaine, that they come to passe accidentally and casually in respect of God; For he spares not to professe, that the scorching of men, and the hurting of weake eyes falls out accidentally, and that to God; for he proposeth this by way of distinction, from that which God intends, which he saith is the chearing of men by the light of the Sunne: like as here he denies that mens stum∣bling at Christ, is a thing intended by God; like as in saying a sinnefull event is not pro∣perly under Gods will and decree, but under his prescience only, or at most under a permissive decree. And this I confesse, is a very plausible doctrine in the judgement of flesh and bloud; save that this Authors faint carriage in the delivering of it, is enough to make a man suspect it, as plausible as it is, yet it is hardly true and sound. For he dares not say, that a sinfull event is not at all under Gods decree, only that he saith, it is not properly un∣der Gods decree. But Saint Peter speaking of them that stumbled at the word of God through disobedience, professeth in plaine termes, that hereunto they were ordained, 1 Pet. 2. 6. And all the Apostles there assembled. Acts 4. 28. Doe professe, that both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and people of Israell, were gathered together against the Holy Sonne of God, to doe what Gods hand, and Gods counsell had determined before to be done. And ere I part I hope to prove, that any sinfull act that comes to passe in the world, is as properly intended of God, as any good act whatsoever, although there be a vast Page  210 difference in the bringing of them forth: God causing the one, & only permitting the other as it is evill. And that because it comes under Gods prescience, & it is well they are not so Atheistical as to deny Gods prescience; but I doubt not to make it good, that either they must deny that every thing comes under Gods prescience, or they must grant that every thing comes under Gods decree. For consider, nothing can be fore∣knowne of God as future, unlesse it be future. Now let us quietly enquire how any thing becomes future, and if any cause hereof can with reason be devised without the decree of God, let us all become Arminians, and deny God either at all to be, or to be a free agent, but working by necessity of nature: For if future things be future of their own nature, then all things must be acknowledged to come to passe by necessity of their owne nature, which is to deny God. But if things be of their owne nature meerly possible, and indifferent to become either future or non-future, then there must be acknowledged some cause whereby they are brought out of the condition of things meerly possible, into the condition of things future. And this cause must exist from everlasting, otherwise it should not be so ancient as the effect thereof, for it is well knowne that all things future have been future from everlasting, otherwise God could not have foreknown them from everlasting: but all confesse that God from everlasting foreknew every future thing; Therefore the cause making them to passe out of the condition of things meerely possible (such as they were of their owne nature) into the condition of things future, was also from everlasting. Now con∣sider where was this cause to be found? Not without God: for nothing without God either was or is everlasting without beginning; therefore is it to be found within God or no where. Consider in the next place, what is that within God which is fit to be the cause hereof. We say 'tis his decree, but this Author cannot away with that. Therefore Si quid novisti rectius isto candidus imperti. Certainly the knowledge of God cannot be the cause; for as Aquinas saith, that causeth nothing but as joyned with Gods will, and therefore it is commonly conceived that foreknowledge doth rather presuppose things future than make them so: nothing then remaines to be the cause hereof, but the essence of God. Now the essence of God may be considered two waies, either as working necessarily, or as working freely: if it be the cause of things future as working necessarily, then it followeth that God shall produce them by necessity of nature, which utterly overthrowes Divine providence. What remaines then but that we must be driven to confesse that Divine essence makes them future, as work∣ing freely, which is as much as to professe, that Gods will and decree is that alone, which maketh things to passe out of the condition of things meerly possible in to the condition of things future. And I challenge the whole Nation of Arminians, and Jesuites to answer this argument. Yet this decree we willingly acknowledge is a per∣missive decree: but look that we understand that aright also; thus God decreeth this or that evill to come to passe by his permission, like as good things he decreeth shall come to passe by his effection: and that upon Gods permission, it is necessary that that which he permits shal come to passe, is acknowledged not only by our Divines, but by Vorstius, by Arminians, by Navarettus the Dominican as I have quoted thē in my Vinditiae gratiae Dei, which yet they deliver without clear expressing how: which I perform thus, look what God decrees to permit, it is necessary that it should come to passe, but how? Not necessarily but contingently & freely, And the Scripture is expresse as before ex∣pressed, that the most barbarous actions cōmited against Christ by Herod, Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and people of Israell, in their contumelious usages of him, were all predetermined by the hand and counsell of God. Marke the issue of this Au∣thors most frivolous discourses: for this will whereof he speakes, whereby God is pre∣tended gratiously to will mans Salvation, conditionall; as much as to say, 'tis Gods will that a man shall be Saved in case he believe in Christ; now what Christian was ever known to deny this. Secondly, consider whether this deserves to be called a will to save more than a will to damne, for like as 'tis certaine a man shall be saved if he believe in Christ, so it is most certaine a man shall be damned if he believe not, and withall consider to which of these the nature of man is most prone, whether to faith or to infidelity.

Page  211
DISCOURSE. SECT. VII.

BUt by this opinion the gifts of nature and grace have another end, either God doth not meane them unto those that perish, albeit they doe enjoy them; because they are mingled in the world with the elect, to whom only they are directed: or if he doe, he meaneth they shall have them, and by them be lifted up above the common rank of men, [ut lapsu graviore ruant] that their fall may be the greater: for how can God intend that those men should receive them or any good by any of them, whom he hath by an absolute decree cut off and rejected utterly from grace and glory. More particularly by, this doctrine,

1. Christ came not into the world to procure the Salvation of them that perish, because they were inevitably preordained to perish.

2. The word is not sent to them, or if it be, it is that they might slight it or contemne it and increase their damnation by the contempt of it; and so these inconveniences will arise;

1. That God is a meere deceiver of miserable men whom he calls to Salvation in the name of his * Sonne, by the preaching of his word; because he fully intends to most men the contrary to that which he fairly pretends:

2. That Ministers are but false witnesses; because in their Ministry they offer Salvation conditi∣onally to many, who are determined to damnation absolutely:

3. The Ministry of the Word canot leave men inexcusable, for Reprobates may have this just plea: Lord, dost thou punish for not believing in thy Sonne, when thou didest call us to be∣lieve by the preaching of thy Word, thou didest decree to leave us (woefull men) in Adams sinne, to leave us neither power to believe, nor a Christ to believe in; how canst thou justly charge us with sinne, or encrease our punishment for not believing in him, whom thou didest resolve be∣fore the world was that we should never believe in. That Ministry gives men a faire excuse which is given to no other end than to leave them without excuse.

4. The Sacraments (by this opinion) signify nothing, seale up, conferre nothing to such as are not Saved, but are meere blankes and empty ordinances unto them not through the fault of men but by the primary and absolute will of God.

5. Lastly, other gifts bestowed upon men of what nature soever they be, are to the most that re∣ceive them in Gods absolute intention,

1. Unprofitable, such as shall never doe them good in reference to their finall condition.

2. Dangerous and hurtfull, given them not of love but extreame hatred, not that they might use them well and be Blessed in so doeing, but that they might use them ill, and by ill using of them procure unto themselves the greater damnation. God lifts them up (as the Divell did Christ) to the pinacle of the Temple that they might fall, and loades them with knowledge and other goodly indowments that with the weight of them, he might sink them into Hell, and so by good consequence Gods chiefest gifts are intended, and laid as snares to entrap mens Soules. Men that have them have little cause to be proud of them, (for they are the more unhappy be∣cause they have them) or small reason to be thankfull for them, or to love the giver of them, but to hate rather, because they are but giftlesse gifts, no better than an usurers bounty, Jaells courtesie Souls bestowing Michal to David, or a bayte for a proud fish which he swallowes with an hooke to boore.

TWISSE Consideration.

VVEE have hitherto received a poore and hungry discourse, but now in the accommodation of it he thunders & lightneth, as his manner is, both the Master and the Disciple would have it in their owne power to make themselves elect, otherwise it seemes they have little comfort, and therefore they discharge a great noise of thunder against our Doctrine of reprobati∣on: as if they would awe God to give them liberty to elect themselves, otherwise they will powder his absolutenesse, in taking upon him to Reprobate whom he list. Me thinkes these Arminians talke in the spirit of Dr Story, as if they would scould us out of our faith, I will not say God out of his Throne; but he is able to plead his Page  212 own, we are unworthy to plead for him, yet thus farre he is pleased to honour us, as to admit us to plead for him, like as he is the God that pleades the cause of his peo∣ple: I have shewed how absurdly this Author makes the salvation of reprobates to be intended by God, which yet in the issue is but after a conditionall manner, which is no more to intend their salvation, then their condemnation: well let us see the quality of these absurdities he fastens upon us. The first is, that God doth not meane the gifts of nature and grace unto those that perish: where to I answer, That as touch∣ing the gifts of nature, there is no colour for this, for they (as the Author sets them downe) are these, creation, sustentation, preservation, health, beauty, wisdome; now let any sober man consider whether it be possible, that it should not be Gods meaning for as many as doe enjoy them, to enjoy them. As for the gifts of grace, these he divides into graces purchasing Salvation, and graces applying Salvation, after it is purchased: the grace purchasing Salvation is Christ; now we say that Salvation is purchased, to be conferred upon every man of ripe yeares conditionall only, namly, in case he believes, and on all that doe believe; for our Saviour hath said that whoso∣ever believes shall be saved, whosoever believes not shall be damned: as for the purchasing the grace of faith, that we say is so purchased to be conferred absolutly and not upon condition of any worke for that is manifest Pelagianisme, and therefore Christ dyed not to procure that for all, for then all should believe de facto, & be saved: therefore we say, he dyed to procure this only for his elect. But the Arminians doe now openly professe to the world. that Christ merited not faith and regeneration for any: so that God meant not, that Christ should be given to any for the purchasing of faith for him. So that herein certainly they are more to blame than we, by this Authors rules. As for the graces of applying Salvation, these are the Ministry of the word and Sacraments, the long suffering of God, the illumination of mens understandings, the plantation of many exellent vertues in their hearts. I will answer particularly concerning thē all, leaving those many more which he conceales, to his owne enjoying the contemplation of them. And first as touching the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments, we willingly professe, that we find no monument of the Americans enjoying of them before the discovery of that westerne world by Columbus Vesputius, and Magellan, no nor to this day in the terra incognita Australi, whereof relation is made by Ferdenando de Quir: but herein I con∣fesse the Arminians goe beyond us in there spirituall discoveries; for, by the Catop∣tricke glasse of their owne fancy, they tell us, that though Christ hath not been preached amongst them by man, yet it may be he hath been preacht amongst them by Angells, and deliver it for certaine, that having universall grace given them, if they use that well; as many as use it well shall have the Gospell preached unto them, if not by men yet by Angells: but as for the administration of the Sacraments by. Angells also they have discovered nothing unto us hitherunto that I know. And as for Gods patience, undoubtedly they enjoy it as much as we, if they be as long lived as we. And I know nothing to the contrary as touching illumination naturall; that I doubt is not meant to be comprehended under the graces, aplying Salvation pur∣chased by Christ, yet why not as well as fortitude, liberality, temperance, humili∣ty, chastity, and truly herein I doe not find them any whit inferiour unto Christians, in some they went beyond us apparently; if we goe beyond them in any thing, I for my part take it to be in gace rather than nature. As for illumination spirituall, hu∣humane I know none they had, and as for Angelicall Revelation that is a dish of Lettice for Arminian lippes; I want faith to give me any stomach to it: I come to those exellent vertues which this Author pretendes to have been planted in their hearts; had he spared faith and repentance I could willingly have acknow∣ledged the rest amongst heathens, and that according to Gods meaning; but what soever and in whome soever they are found, he thinks too hardly of us, when he saith, that God according to our opinion, doth not meane them to those that enjoy them: and if he doth meane them unto such, surely they are directed unto them: how is it possible it should be otherwise, especially as touching vertues, yea and the Ministry of the Word also, for he comman∣ded them to Preach the Gospell to every creature, to wit, where they came: only we willingly confesse, then he doth not meane any of those shall bring any of them that perish unto Salvation. Secondly, as touching the lifting up of them up a bove the common ranke of men by these giftes, heare is a miserable confused discourse, so many things being put together, to make up one tearme in a proposition; Page  213 but it is beneficiall to some to fish in troubled waters, and if my answer savour of the like confusion it is nothing strange, for he that walkes in the Sunne, must needs be co∣loured. But I think I may say, looke what gifts men have, caeteris paribus, they are above the ranke of those that have them not, but that they are given ut lapsu graviore cadant, That their fall may be the greater, This deserves to be particularly considered. First, in generall, I say whosoever doth by occasion of those gifts here spoken of, fall the more grievously (which in many particulars is a mystery to me, to the consideration whereof I purpose to descend in the next place) God did both intend that such a fall of theirs should come to passe by his permission, and that upon such an occasion: for even they that stumble at Gods word through disobedience, and expressely said by Peter to be ordained thereunto, thus I look out for a ground for that I deliver, giving leave to the adversaries of Gods truth to roave at pleasure in the pouring forth of their impious dictates: but come we to the particulars, & first as touching the gifts of nature, I confes as touching the first of them (creation) that if that had not been, he had never fallen, but neverthelesse when God resolved to create, he resolved to create all things for him∣selfe, Even the wicked against the day of evill, and if I erre in that I have an honourable Prophet to be my companion, even Solomon himselfe. As for preservation and susten∣tation, * I willingly confesse that if Judas had perished before he had been admitted into Christs service, his damnation had been the more easy: and God electing him ad prodendum sanguinem (if I may be so bold as to speak in Austins language) did determine that his sinne by Gods permission should be the more grievous, by occasion of his ad∣vancement into the number of Christs disciples. As for health, strength, beauty, wis∣dome, I see no reason why they should promote any mans damnation, but that a foole, or an ill-favoured, or a weake, or a sickly person, may be as great a sinner as the wise man, or beautifull, or strong, or healthy. How, because Christ died for the salvation of as many as doe believe, which we all hold, or dyed to procure faith & regeneration for none (as the Arminians hold) any man is promoted to a greater measure of sinne thereby, is a mistery to me. As touching the ministry of the word, Saint Peter speakes plainly of some, that it had been better for them they had never known the way of right ousnesse, than after they have known it, to depart from the holy Commandement given to them, he saith not this of all, & Austin professeth of some Reprobates, that by the Gospell they are called Ut proficiant ad exteriorem vitae emendationem quo mitius puniantur. As for the patience of God S. Paul professeth plainly, that some after the hardnesse of their hearts which cannot repent, de∣spising the patience and long suffering of God, and therein his goodnesse leading them to repentance, doe*thereby treasure up wrath against the day of wrath, and Reprobation of the just judgement of God. And I should think that even this God intended should come to passe by his permissi∣on, otherwise he would have given them repentance, or shortned their daies, for give me leave to say with Austin, Quantamlibet prebuerit patientiam, nisi Deus dederit, quis agat pae∣nitentiam. Contra Julian. Pelag. l. 5. c. 4. As for knowledge, that doth cleerely take away excuse, grounded upon pretence of ignorance, and like as our Saviour said to his Dis∣ciples Ioh. 13. If you know these things happy are yee if you doe them: So likewise the more men know good things, the more unhappy are they, if they doe them not: yet it is not necessary that knowledge should aggravate the damnation of the Reprobate, as in case they doe thereby, proficere ad exteriorem vitae emendationem, for in this case sure∣ly, mititus punientur, but if they doe grow worse by occasion of their knowledge, we spare not to professe that God intended this should come to passe by his permission, why not as well as the crucifying of the Sonne of God? Act. 4. 28. As for the vertues in the last place, which here are pretended also to be given to worke for their harme, and among them faith and repentance, we are so farre from affirming, that they are given for the harme of them that perish, that we to the contrary maintaine, that they are given to none but Gods elect, and to bring them unto salvation, Acts 13. 48. As many believed as were ordained to eternall life. And faith is called the faith of the elect. Tit. 1. 1. and Acts 11. 18. Then hath God also unto the Gentiles given repentance unto life.* Marke it well, not unto death, but unto life: And Austin long agoe hath pro∣fessed, that of those who are not predestinated, God brings not one unto wholsome and spirituall repentance, whereby a man is reconciled unto God in Christ. Know∣ledge is here shufled in among the rest of these vertues, as if that were not all one with the illumination of the mind, at least most deservedly to be ranged with it. As for other vertues here mentioned, as fortitude, liberality, temperance, humility, chasti∣ty, where these vertues are bestowed after a naturall manner (for no other∣wise, Page  214 nor in any gracious manner, are they found in Reprobates, as I suppose, ready to be called at any time to an account upon that poynt, and to manifest six maine differences between the morall vertues of heathen men, and the same vertues (in name, and as touching the substance of the acts, wrought by them in Christians) I should think they are rather given for their good that enjoy them, than for their harme, namely, Ut profici ant ad exteriorem vitae emendationem, quo mitius puniantur. All the harme that may come by them, that I can devise for the present, is to grow proud of them: and I willingly professe, that nothing makes a greater separation from God then pride, and it may be, Moralists fret at this, that their Morality is no bet∣ter esteemed of. But what thinke you? May a man be proud of humility, for that is one of the excellent vertues here specified; why not, of the naturall humility which is in them? As Sir Philip Sidney observes in his defence of Poetry, that Philosophers write Bookes against vaine-glory, whereunto neverthelesse they set their names. So they might write Books in commendation of humility, and thereunto set their names also. Yet I am not truly of such an opinion, as to think, that God should give any of these vertues, to the end they should grow proud of them: for I doe not find it any way requisite to a proud man, that he should be vertuous: for in my judgement, pride is a very humble vice, and disdaines not to dwell in the hearts of the meanest. Plato could discerne it through Antisthenes his patcht coate: and when Diogenes trod under foot Platoes hangings, saying, I tread under my foot Platoes pride: it is observed that he did this majori festu, with greater pride: And as one sometimes said, a man may be as proud of a Cloakebagge which he carrieth behind him, as Cardinall Campeius was of his Sumpter-horse, that followed after him; and yet that pride of his, might be of no better then of Brick-bats when all was known, what shew soever it made unto the people. And men of generous minds, and parts, and meanes answerable, are many times found, through the grace of God, more truly humble, than many a base fellow, that hath nothing to be made reckoning of but his own conceit. As the fly sitting upon the Cart wheele in a dry Summer, said, see what a dust I make. Saint Pauls righteousnesse which he speakes of, Phil. 3. I take to be better than the vertue of any Philosopher, which yet he accounted but dung, that he might winne Christ. But by the way I observe how liberall these men are, in acknowledging the gifts of God in grosse, which they will be found utterly to de∣ny if they be examined upon them in particular. As for example, Morall vertues (we commonly say) are Habitus acquisiti, acquisite habits, and that by frequen∣tation of consimilar acts, whereupon the habit ariseth naturally: Now doe these men maintaine that God is the Author of these acts, otherwise than by concourse, working in them, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉velle & facere modò velint? I can shew it under the hands of some of them in expresse termes. Now I pray you, is not God the Author of eve∣ry evill act after this manner, as well as of any good, by their own confession? for they grant that God concurres to every sinnefull act, & works 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉velle and facere thereof also, modò homines velint. Who then is so simple as not to observe, that they make God the Author of vertues after no other manner, than they make him the Author of vi∣ces: Yet they are content to talke liberally of the gifts of God, only to cheat the simple; I meane as many as are not acquainted with their juggling: as for us wee maintaine, that God determines the will, not only to the substance of a good act by determination naturall, but also to the goodnesse of it by determination supernatural: as for example, no vertuous act is truly good, but as it is performed out of the love of God, but what love? Out of such a love of God, as is joyned with the contempt of himselfe (judge you whether such a love may be performed by power of nature) and this amor us{que} ad contemptum sui, Gerson makes to be the character of the child of God: like as amor sui us{que} ad contemptum Dei, he make the character of a child of the Devill. But to draw to an end of this confused discourse, wherein are clapt together gifts of nature, seaven whereof are reckoned up as creation, sustentation, preservation, health, strength, beauty and wisdome; and gifts of grace, & that either purchasing salvation as Christ, or applying salvation, which are of foure forts. 1. The Ministry of the word & Sacra∣ments, 2. Gods patience, 3. Illumination of the mind, 4. The plantation of many ex∣cellent vertues, eight whereof are particulated, as 1. knowledge, 2. faith, 3. repentance, 4. fortitude, 5. liberality, 6. temperance, 7. humility, 8. chastity, (which by this time I have gotten by heart ere I am aware, I am so beaten to it, through a tedious dis∣course) of all which hand over head, it is affirmed that either God meanes them not to Page  215 them that enjoy them, but as they are mingled with the elect, which hath no colour as I can perceive, save of the Ministry of the Word & Sacraments, for is it sober to im∣pute to any, to say that creation, or preservation, or health, strength, beauty, wis∣dome, or Christ himselfe, or Gods patience, or illumination of mind, or the vertues he speakes of; as knowledge, faith, repentance, fortitude, liberality, temperance, hu∣mility, chastity, are not given to any, but as they are mingled among the elect? Or that they are given for their hurt: touching this last I answere in briefe, that it is a very absurd thing to say, that God gives any of these gifts to man to this end, that they may by occasion be hurt by them: but God both gives them, and (in case they prove an occasion of harme, of sinne unto them) he permits them through occasion from them to sinne, and therein to presevere (as touching Reprobates) to damne them for their sinnes, to the manifestation of his own glory, in the way of justice vindica∣tive: as also hereby, the more To declare the riches of his glory upon the vessells of mercy which he hath prepared unto glory. Rom. 9. 23. When they shall find, that had not God put a gra∣cious and mercifull difference between them and others, Christ had been a rock of offence, as well unto them as unto others: the Gospell had been a savour of death un∣to death to them, as well as others. All other gifts which God hath bestowed upon them, look in what sort they have been an occasion of falling unto others, so they might have been in like sort, an occasion of falling unto them also: for it is as true as * the word of God is true, that the Gospell is a savour of death unto death to some: and that Christ was set up as well for the falling of some, as for the rising of others: yea a rock to fall upon to both the houses of Israell, and as a snare, and as a net to the Inhabitants of*Jerusalem, and many among them shall stumble and shall fall, and shall be broken, and shall be sna∣red, and shall be taken. And that as many as stumble at the word, and are disobedient, they were there∣unto ordained. And the holy Prophet wanted not faith when he delivered this execrati∣on, * let their table be a snare before them, and their prosperity thir ruine. And how poorely this Author labours to charme the energy of these & such like passages, let the indifferent judge by that which is delivered. As for the last of an absolute decree, cutting off and rejecting some from grace and glory, I will end this with representing the sottish con∣dition of this Author, herein parbreaking his stomack, without all judgement and sobriety. First observe, how he claps together grace and glory, as if there were no difference in the manner of Gods cutting off from the one & from the other. (where∣as the manner of Gods cutting off from the one, as it is maintained by us, is such as impudency it selfe, hath not the face to lay any thing to our charge therein.) As for the manner of Gods cutting off from the other, as it is maintained by us, there is in∣deed such absolutenesse, as they maligne bitterly, but withall it is so cleerely set down in holy Scripture, that their hearts serve them not with open face to vent their spleen against it; and that is a chiefe reason of this Authors declining the other controversies, and keeping himselfe only to this, though I verily think, this hath proceeded from the counsell of his abettors: And for the same reason it is, that he claps togeather the cut∣ing off from grace and glory. But I will take leave to distinguish them, and answer distinctly to both a part, to make their madnesse and unreasonablenesse more appa∣rent. And first I will speake of Gods absolute decree of cutting off from glory. Now this is well known to be opposed to a decree conditionall, as in the end of the former Section this Author calls it, and useth it, as according to their own doctrine, in oppo∣sition to ours, but most indiscreetely and unlearnedly. This conditionall will of God is to be understood, quoad res volitas, as touching the things willed by God, so Vossius accommodates it in his History of the Pelagian Heresy, as before I have shewed, and makes it all one in effect with Gods antecedent will: and D. Iaokson in his Book of Di∣vine providence treating hereof, professeth in plaine termes, that the distinction of Voluntas antecedens and consequens, is to be understood, quoad res volitas, as touching the things willed. Now the thing willed here, is the cutting off from glory: now this Author togeather with his instructer, will have the will of God concerning this, to be conditionall, to wit, that it is Gods will, that no man shall be cut off from glory, but for sinne, now we say so too, and professe, that like as God hath not ordained that any shall be damned, but for finall perseverance in sinne: so likewise God hath not ordained that any man shall be cut off from glory, but for finall perseverance in sinne. But whereas the Remonstrants maintained, that there is no other decree of Reprobation but this, and so likewise on the other side, that there is no decree of Predestination, but such as is properly opposite hereunto, namely this, That the decreePage  216by which God hath purposed in Christ, and for Christ, to save those that believe and repent to the end, is the whole and entire decree of Predestination unto salvation. On this poynt the Contra-Remonstrants opposed them: and accordingly our Brit∣taine Divines, make this the first erroneous opinion, which they reject up∣on the first Article as touching election. And likewise as touching Reprobation, the first erroneous opinion which they reject, is this, That the decree by which God from all eternity, and that irrevocably, hath purposed out of lapsed mankind to leave none, but the impeni∣tent and incredulous in sinne, and under the wrath of God, as being aliens from Christ, is the whole and entire decree of reprobation. This I say is the first erroneous opinion which our Brit∣taine Divines reject: which this Author takes no notice of, but most unlearnedly discovers, that he understands not the state of the question. Secondly, Now I come to Gods absolute decree of cutting off from grace, this we willingly confesse, is meerely absolute and unconditionall quoad res volitas, as touching the things willed by God; for the things willed by God herein, are the denyall of mercy, and grace, to regenerate some; the denyall of the grace of faith and repentance, concerning which the Apostle professeth, that God proceeds herein, meerely according to the good plea∣sure of his will, Rom. 9. 18. He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. Rom. 11. 30. Even as they in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbeliefe. Where to obtaine mercy, in the Apostles language, is plainely as much as to believe. Austin in many places justifies this, Epist. 105. ad Sixtum. 〈◊〉 ille credat, ille non credat, cum ambo idem audiunt: etsi miraculum in eorum conspectu fiat, am∣bo idem vident, altitudo est divitiarum sapientiae & scientiae Dei: cujus inscrutabilia sunt judici & apud quem non est iniquitas: dum cujus vult miseretur, & quem vult indurat. And neere the end, Audiat haec & non contemnat, quod si contempserit, ut contemneret inveniat se obduratum. Enchirid. 98. Quis porro tam impie desipiat ut dicat, Deum malas hominum voluntates quas volu∣erit, quando voluerit, ubi voluerit, in bonum non posse convertere? Sed cum facit pre misericordia fa∣cit: cum autem non facit per judicium non facit, quoniam cujus vult miseretur, & quem vult ob∣durat: Here misereri eujus vult, is voluntates hominum quas vult in bonum convertere. See lib. 1. De grat. Christi, contra Pelag. & Caelest. cap. 46. He cites this saying out of Ambrose. Sed Deus quem dignatur vocat, & quem vult religiosum fecit. And thereupon breakes out into this exclamation. O sensum hominis Dei ex ipso fonte gratiae Dei haustum, videte si non Propheti∣cum illud est, miserebor cujus misertus ero: & Apostolicum illud non volentis ne{que} currentis sed mi∣serentis Dei: quia ut dicit etiam nostrorum temporum homo ejus quem dignatur vocat, & quem vult religiosum facit. Here Misereri, Rom. 9. 18. is all one with Vocare, & Religiosum facere. And lib. 1. ad Simplician: cap. 2. Unde datur intelligi, quod infra utrum{que} posuit, ergo cujus vult mise∣retur, & quem vult indurat, ita sententiae superiori potest congruere, ut obduratio Dei sit nolle mise∣reri, ut non ab illo irrogetur aliquid quo sit homo deterior, sed tantum quo sit melior non erogetur: quod si fit nulla distinctione meritorum, quis non erumpat in eam vocem quam sibi objecit Apostolus, dicis ita{que} mihi, quid adhuc conqueritur, nam voluntati ejus quis resistit: conqueritur enim Deus saepe de hominibus sicut per innumerabiles apparet scripturarum locos, quod nolint credere & recte vivere. So that the meliority of man, which God workes sine meritorum distinctione, doth by Austins judgement consist in recte vivendo & recte credendo, now here is the proper field of Scholasticall combate betwixt us. Ecce Rhodus, ecce Saltus, let them try their strength to the uttermost, to prove that the reason why God regenerates one, and not another, why God bestowes faith and repentance upon one, and not on another, is because man hath disposed himselfe by some good worke performed by him, which another hath not: and when they have proved this, then will we truly confesse, that Pelagia∣nismus est vere Christianismus, not Semi-Pelagianismus only, as it was sometimes objected to Arminius. But proceed we to the particulars following, for by this Doctrine of Gods absolute decree in opposition to their conditionall decree, this Author saith;

1. Christ came not into the World to procure the salvation of them that perish. I answere, That look in what sort he came into the World, to procure the salvation of them that perish by their Doctrine, after the same sort he came to procure their salvation by our Doctrine. For as it is their Doctrine, that God decreed that for Christs sake, sal∣vation should redound to all that believe, so is this our Doctrine also: but we deny that this is the whole decree of predestination. We farther say, that God purposed to bestow Faith on some, and not on others, and accordingly to send Christ to merit faith and regeneration for them, which the Remonstrants in the Censura Censurae, doe now a daies utterly deny; and if this Author, together with his instructer, think that Page  217 Christ was sent to merit faith and regeneration for all, then either absolutely or con∣ditionally; if absolutely, then all must believe de facto, and be regenerated; if condi∣tionally, then let them discover unto us this condition, and avoyd direct Pelagia∣nisme if they can. 2. Indeed we think the word is not sent to all that perish, we find it by manifest experience: in reference to Ministry humane, and if they have so stre∣nuously rubd their own foreheads, as to faine out of their own heads a Ministry An∣gelicall, let them not expect that we should take their forgeries for Oracles Divine. 3. It is not true, that where it is sent among them that perish, 'tis sent only that they should slight it, it may be sent as well, ut proficiant ad exteriorem vitae emendationem quo mitius puniantur: as for those that doe slight it, and stumble at it, being disobedient, Saint Peter plainly saith, that hereunto they were ordained. Let them therefore cry downe Peter first, and then we will take it in good part, to be cryed downe also. And if God sent his Sonne into the World to be crucified by some; why might not he as well send the Preaching of Christ into the World, to be slighted and despised by others: and Saint Paul hath professed, that the Preachers of it, are unto God a sweet savour in Christ, even in them that perish: Yet we say not that this is the end why God sends it to any: But we say God both sends it, and permits many to slight it, and to persevere in the contempt of it, that he may manifest his glory in their just condem∣nation, and declare thereby also the riches of his glory on the vessells of mercy, whom he hath prepared unto glory, by making it appeare, what a mercifull diffe∣rence God hath put between them, and others. To the particulars subordinate here∣unto, I answer distinctly thus.

1. God deceives none in calling them to Salvation, in the name of his Sonne, by the preaching of his Word, any more by our Doctrine, than by the Doctrine of this Author: for as he maintaines that God intends Salvation to all men, no otherwise than in case they believe, so doe we; and as we maintaine that God doth fully intend to most the contrary, but no otherwise than in case they believe not, so doth he: only as touching the obtaining of faith and regeneration, here is the difference be∣tween us: we maintaine with Saint Paul, that God hath mercy on whom he will, in bestowing the grace of faith and regeneration, and hardeneth whom he will by denying of it; soe doth not he: and accordingly we say, Christ merited faith and regeneration for his elect. But the Remonstrants openly professe that he merited faith and regeneration for none at all. Hereby let the indifferent judge which of us makes God the greatest deceiver they or we. And the truth is, this Author nor his instructer, are willing to discover themselves in this poynt, for feare least nothing should save them from breaking their necks, but to be received upon the featherbed of Pelagianisme: so fearfull a precipice is likely there to meet with them; at the margent of this, there stands a wild quotation thus, Suffrag: Britaine, p. 43. as if the Author was loath his meaning should be found: or it may be in transcribing the coppy sent him he did mistake. But the Article upon which these Theses are dilivered he utterly leaves out, like as in his former quotation of the sufferages. But after much searching I guesse I find that which he refers unto on the 3. Article, 3. Position, which is pag: 166. in Synod. Dordare: and in the English sufferages of our Divines of Great Britaine, the position is this, whome God doth thus prepare by his Spirit (as was signifyed in the former position) through the meanes of the word, those doth he truly and seri∣ously invite and call to faith and conversion. I make no question but whatsoever God doth, he doth truly and seriously: And as for that sancta simulatio which this Author for∣merly upbraided our Divines with, for attributing it unto God, I have formerly dis∣covered the false nature of that aspertion, though he thought to walke in the clouds, that his jugling might not be discovered. The explicatiō of the position is added thus, By the nature of the benefit offered, and by the evident word of God we must judge of those helpes of graces which are bestowed on men, and not by the abuse of them. Therefore when the Gospell of its' owne nature calls men unto repentance and Salvation, when the incitements and Divine graces tend the same way, wee must not thinke any thing is done fainedly by God; this is proved too. All these I willingly acknowledge neither doe I know any of our Divines that deny it; and more particularly I am willing to particulate wherein I take it to consist. God hereby doth signify that as many as believe shall be Saved: and so I say he doth seriously intend as much; as likewise, that none shall be saved without faith; likewise God doth signify, that he is well pleased, with faith and conversion, in whomsoever he finds it, and herein he deales most truly and seriously, likewise here∣by Page  218 he signifies his own will to make it their duty to believe, which also is most true and serious. But none of all these I know full well, will satisfy these with whom wee deale; unlesse we acknowledge, that God hath a kind of velleity also, both of their conversion and salvation; but let them shew me any passage out of these Suffra∣ges where this is acknowledged. They adde, If God should not seriously invite all whom he vouchsafeth this gift of his Word and spirite, to a serious conversion, surely both God should deceive many whom he calls in his Sonnes name, and the messengers of the Evangelicall promise might be accused of falsewitnesse, and those which being called to conversion, doe neglect to obey, might be more excusable. All this I willingly grant, neither doe I know any Divine of ours that de∣nyes it, according to the three particulars formerly specifyed, wherein I desired to ex∣plicate the truth and seriousnesse of all this, though those worthy Divines of ours goe not so farre. As for their last clause which is this, For that calling by the Word and spirit cannot be thought to leave men unexcusable, which is only exhibited to this end, to make them unexcusable. I willingly confesse I doe not sufficiently understand them in this. For albeit I have already particulated divers things werein the seriousnesse of this Divine invitation doth consist, (neither doe I find any end of this Divine invitation mentio∣ned at all by these our Divines, whom from my heart I honour for their just desert;) yet to me it seemes most cleare, that Revelation doth so necessarily take away excuse, upon pretence of ignorance, and admonition, and invitation, as necessarily takes away excuse, upon pretence of not being admonished and invited, that if God did invite them to no other end than this, namely to take away these excuses, surely these excuses were clearly taken away, and consequently so farre they should prove un∣excusable: But I guesse they take the denomination of inexcusable, not according to the signification formall as it signifyes bereaved of excuse: but rather according to the signification materiall, connotated thereby which is faultinesse, and in this sence I confesse, it is ordinarily taken togeither with the condition of being without ex∣cuse, and thus & in this sense I willingly subscribe unto them, and therewithall shew what I take to be their meaning, namely this, that if God, making shew that if they believe he will accept them, and that they shall be Saved, did not indeed meane that he would in that case accept and save them, then there were no reason why they should be accounted faulty and condemned for their not believing. Thus in a desire exactly to conforme my selfe to the judgement of these worthyes of our Church, made choyse of by our Soveraign to be sent in so Honourable an Embassage, to countenance that famous Synod of the most reformed Churches; I have made bold to interpret them, and to shew my concurrence with them, although I have not con∣sulted with any of them upon that poynt, which if I had; like enough I might have received better satisfaction: And I hope they will not disdaine that without con∣sulting them I have adventured thus to interpret them; and what doe I know whe∣ther their judgement may not prove to be the very same, and that in deed they had no other meaning.

2. My former answer will serve for this, Gods Ministers doe offer Salvation conditionally, to wit, upon condition of faith, neither, are any ordained to be con∣demned, but in case of infidelity: yet I see the cunning carriage of this Authors in∣structer, for he would faine fly from the absolutenesse, or conditionality of Gods de∣cree, as touching the things willed quoad res volitas, unto the absolutenesse or condi∣tionality of it: quoad actum volentis, as touching the act of willing, although both Uossius practise, and this Authors also in expressing his owne meaning of Gods con∣ditionall will, and Doctor Jacksons profession is to the contrary: namely that it is to be taken quoad res volitas only, and not quoad actum volentis: but withall we teach, that Gods Ministers doe not only teach upon what tearmes on mans part, God will either bestow salvation, or inflict damnation: but also they teach that upon no tearmes on our parts, but meerely according to the good pleasure of his own will, doth God shew mercy unto some, bestowing faith and repentance upon them, and by denying the same grace harden others, and they are the true witnesses of God, equally in both.

3. Neither is there any iust excuse hereby left to Reprobates, yet I confesse, this were a very plausible pretence, if we had no Oracles of God at all to be the rule of our faith, concerning God, and his providence: but as we have, so we faile not therein, of a direct answer hereunto, Rom. 9. For after the Apostle had professed, That God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth: v. 18. Forthwith he Page  219 brings in this ojection upon the stage v. 19. Thou wilt say then, why doth he yet complaine? for who hath resisted his will? And both Bellarmine and Arminians confesse, that where obduration hath place, there is no power of obedience: And the Apostle himselfe implyes no lesse in that place. Now what doth the Apostle answer hereunto but this v. 20. O man who art thou, which disputest with God? shall the thing formed say to him that for∣med it why hast thou formed me thus? 21. Hath not the Potter power over the clay of the same lumpe to make one vessell to honour and another to dishonour? as much as to say, if God be acknowledged to be our Creatour, we must give him leave to doe what he will with his creature, for doth not every creature doe what he will with the worke of his hand? Every tradesman in his trade takes as much liberty to doe with the work∣manship of his hands, as this comes to. And Medina hath not spared to professe, and that tanquam ex concordi omnium Theologorum sententiâ: that if God should inflict the very paines of Hell upon an innocent creature; he shall doe no unjust act, though herein he should not carry himselfe as Judex, Judge, but as Dominus vitae & mortis as Lord of life amd Death. And we all know what power God giveth us over in∣feriour creatures, to strangle some, to cut the throats of others, to knocke downe others, not with reference to the moderation of their paine, but only to the whol∣some condition of their flesh unto us. And we know what power God executed upon his own deare Sonne to break him for our iniquityes, on him to lay the cha∣stisement of our peace, that so by his stripes we might be healed. But let that passe, let us try another way that may be answered unto this. Suppose not one shall be con∣demned for want of faith, but only left to be judged by the covenant of workes, who seeth not but that the same plea hath place here as well as in the former case, and God may be as well chalenged for injustice, in condemning men for breach of the law, who have no power to keepe the law? And who sees not how ready this Author is to justifye this plea, and consequently acknowledge that every man hath power to keepe the law; and so to bring us back againe to the covenant of works, or to confound the covenant of grace with the covenant of works: which in∣deed is their course throughout. For they maintaine that every man hath universall grace for the enlivening of their wills, whereby they are inabled to will any spiri∣tuall good whereto they shall be excited, and who doubts but obedience to the law, and that in all perfection, is a spirituall good: againe they maintaine that they can believe if they will, and so accordingly doe any good thing that they will: and in∣deed were not the will in fault, I know no naturall power defective in the perfor∣mance of any good, that a man hath a will unto: this I can shew under the hands of one of them, in a manuscript sent unto me. And I have good reason to conceive there are more hands in it than one. Thirdly consider, dost thou complaine thou hadst no power to believe, but I pray thee tell me, hast thou any will to believe? If thou neither hast, nor ever hadst any will to believe, what a shamefull and unreasonable thing is it to complaine that thou hast no power to believe? Saint Paul had a most gratious will, but he found in himselfe no power to doe that he would, but what is * the issue of this complaint? To fly to the face of God? Nothing lesse! but to con∣fesse his own wretchednesse, and flee unto God in this manner, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? And receiving a gracious answer concerning this, concludes with * thankes, I thank my God through my Lord Jesus Christ: if I have a will to believe, to re∣pent, I have no cause to complaine, but to runne rather unto God with thankes for this, and pray him to give that power, which I find wanting in me. And indeed (as I may adde in the fourth place) this impotency of believing, and infidelity, the fruit of naturall corruption common to all, is meerely a morall impotency, and the very ground of it is, the corruption of the will: therefore men cannot believe, can∣not repent, cannot doe any thing pleasing unto God, because they will not, they have no delight therein; but all their delight is carnall, sensuall, and because they are in the*flesh they annot please God: and because of the hardnesse of their hearts they cannot re∣pent, sinne is to them as a sweet morsell unto an Epicure, which he rolleth under his tongue. Fiftly, dost thou blaspheame God, because of Leprous Parents, thou art begot and conceived, and borne a leprous child? What impudency then is it in thee, to challenge him for injustice, in that the spirituall leprosy of thy first Parents, is pro∣pagated to thy soule. Lastly, if thou renouncest the Gospell, what reason hast thou to complaine of want of power to embrace it, so farre as not to renounce it? hast thou not as much power to believe, as Simon Magus had? as many a prophane person Page  220 and hipocrite hath, that is, bred and brought up in the Church of God? Hadst thou gone so farre as they, and performed submission unto the Gospell, by profes∣ing it, surely thou shouldest never be brought to condemnation for not professing of it, but rather for not walking according to the rule of it; which thou promisedst when first thou gavest thy name to Christ. I come to the third.

3. Look what the Word promiseth, that doe the Sacraments scale: the word promiseth Justification & Salvation to all that beleive, the same doth the Sacraments seal. As Circumsion Rom. 4. 5. Is said to be the seale of the Rightiousnes of faith so is Baptisme: it did in our Saviours dayes and in the dayes of his Apostles seale to the believer, and penitent Person the assurance of the forgivenesse of their sinnes; over and above Baptisme is the Sacrament of our birth in Christ, and the Lords Supper of our growth in Christ, each an outward and visible signe of an inward & invisible grace. But what is the grace were of the Sacrament is a signe? Is it a power to doe good if a man will? Call you that grace which is not so much as goodnesse, for certainly goodnesse consists not in a power to doe good if a man will, but in a definite inclina∣tion of the will it selfe, to delight in that which is good, and to be prone to doe it. But this grace whereof Baptisme is a signe, is suo tempore conferenda, like as Circumcision was, even to those Jewes who yet were not regenerated, untill they were partakers of the Gospell. Jam. 1. 18. Of his own will hath he begotten us by the word of truth. Writing unto the twelve tribes of the Jewes. And it is very strange to me, that regeneration should so many years goe before vocation. But this opposite Doctrine, and the seal∣ing of a blanke is nothing strange to me: I was acquainted with it twenty yeares agoe, and I seeme plainly to discerne the chimney from whence all the smoake comes.

4. As for other gifts bestowed on the Reprobates.

1. We willingly confesse they shall never bring them to salvation, be they as great as those who were bestowed on Aristotle, Plato, Aristides, Sophocles, and the most learned morall and wise men of the World, that never were acquainted with the my∣stery of Godlinesse: it was wont to be received generally for a truth, that Extra Ec∣clesiam non est satus; But Arminians take liberty to coyne new Articles of our Creed.

2. But yet they may doe them good, hereby they may Proficere ad exteriorem vitae emendationem quo mitius puniantur. For certainly it shall be easier in the day of udge∣ment, for Cicero then for Cattline, for Augustus than for Tiberius, for Trajan than for Heliogabalus.

3. And therefore it is certainly false that they are hurtfull, and that they pro∣ceed out of extreme hatred. And as for love, the Scripture teacheth us that Jacob was loved of God, and Esau hated, each before they were borne. Such is the condi∣tion of all the elect as Jacob, of all the Reprobates as Esau; and in Thomas Aquinas his judgement, Non velle alicui vitam aeternam est ipsum odisse. Knowledge I confesse of the mysteries of Godlinesse, where life and conversation is not answerable, doth encrease mens condemnation: neither is God bound to change the corrupt heart of any man: if they are workers of iniquity Christ will not know them at the great day, though they have Prophesyed in his name, and in his name cast out Devills; neither was it e∣ver heard of, that the graces of edification, and graces of sanctification must goe to∣gether, and that God in giving the one, is bound to give the other. As for being proud of them, pride for ought I know, requires no other causes but domesticall corruption: but he that acknowledgeth God to be the giver of any gift, and hath an heart to be thankfull for it, I make no doubt but he hath more grace than of edifi∣cation only: certainly the gifts they have, sinke them not to hell, but their corrupt heart in abusing them. And hath a man no cause to be thankfull unto God for one gift, unlesse he will adde another? The Gentiles are charged for unthankfulnesse Rom. 1. But it seems by this Authors Divinity, it was without cause, unlesse we will with this Author say, they all had sufficiency of meanes without, and power within to bring them to salvation: and what had Israell more? Or the elect of God more in any age? True, for according to the Arminian tenet, an elect hath no more cause to be thankfull to God for any converting grace, than a Reprobate. In a word, what good act wrought in the heart of man, whether of faith or of repentance, or any kind of obedience, hath man cause to be thankfull to God for, when God workes it in him no otherwise than modó homo velit, and so they confesse he workes every sinfull Page  221 act? Have they not in this case more cause to thank themselves than to thank God? And unlesse we concurre with them in so shamelesse, unchristian, gracelesse, and senselesse an opinion, and in effect, if God converts the heart of man according to the meere pleasure of his will, and hardeneth others: all the gifts that he bestowes on man, are censured by this audacious censurer, as Sauls bestowing Michal on David, Ja∣ells courtesy, and usurers bounty, &c. or a baite for a poore fish, as if God needed any such course to permit him to sinne in what kind or degree soever, to expose him to any de∣gree of condemnation; or as if the Creator hath not power to doe what he will with his creature, any more than an Usurer hath over his poore brother, or Saul over Da∣vid, or the like. Thus the consideration of his third reason I have brought to an end. I come to the Fourth.

DISCOURSE. The Fourth Reason. It is prejudiciall to Piety.

SECT. I.

MY Fourth Generall against absolute reprobation is, It is a hinderance of Piety: it ser∣veth to discourage holinesse, and encourage prophanenesse. It makes Ministers negli∣gent in Preaching, Praying, and every duty else, that tends to the eternall good of their People. It makes people carelesse also of hearing, reading, praying, instructing their fa∣milies, examining their consciences, fasting and mourning for their sinnes, and all other godly exer∣cises. In a word, it cuts asuder in my opinion the very sinewes of religion, and pulls away the stron∣gest inducements to an holy life. Therefore it is no true and wholsome doctrine. That it doth so, it will appeare these two waies that follow. 1. It takes away (Hope) and (Feare) Hope of attain∣ing any good by Godlinesse; Feare of sustaining any hurt by wickednesse: and so it takes away two principall props of Religion. This reason may be resolved into two branches. Hope and Feare up∣hold Godlinesse: Were it not for these it would fall to ruine: by these are men strongly led on to vertue, and with-held from vice.

1. Hope doth (excitare) stirre men up to beginne, and (corroborare) strengthen in the doing of any good action begunne. By this hope of heaven did our Saviour stirre up himselfe to endure the Crosle and despise the shame Heb. 12 By this he heartned his Disciples to doe and suffer for his sake Math. 5. 11. Abraham left his Country and kindred at Gods call, because he looked for a Citty whose builder and maker was God. Heb. 11. 8, 9, 10. Moses left all the pleasures and treasures of Aegypt, and endured afflictions with the people of God, because he saw him that was invisible v. 27. The Martyrs endured racks, gibbets, Lyons, sword, fire, with a world of other torments, because they looked for a better resurrection, v. 35. Paul endeavours alwaies to keep a good conscience through the hope of a blessed resurrection. Acts 24. 15. All the heroicall acts of active and passive obedience, have sprung from the hope of a weight of glory.

Husbandmen, Souldiers, Merchants, are all whetted on by hope to diligence in their callings, as daily experience shewes. Hope (saith Aquinas) confert ad operationem, and he proveth it first by Scrip∣ture 1 Cor. 9. 10. He which Eareth and Thresheth must Eare and Thresh in hope: And then by a two∣fold reason. 1. From the Nature of hopes object, Bonum arduum & possible, some excellent good at∣tainable by industry. Existimatio ardut excitat attentionem, hope to get that by paines, which is concei∣ved to be a thing of worth, stirres up to paines taking. 2. From the effect of hope, which is delecta∣tio, an inward pleasure, which the party that lives under hope is affected with by his hope. There is no man which hath an inward contentment and satisfaction of heart in the work that he hath to doe, but goes on merrily. The hope of Heaven therefore is a great encouragement to piety.

2. The feare of Hell also is a strong curb to hold men in from Wickednesse, and therefore (saith one) God hath planted in men a feare of vengeance, that by it, as the ship by the rudder, the soule may be presently, turn'd aside from any rocks, or gulfes, or quick-sands of sinne, when it is neere them, and so may steere its course another way. For this cause, feare of God, and abstaining from e∣vill, are often joyned together in Scripture Job. 1. 1. Exod. 1. 17. And the want of this feare is made the root of all licentiousnesse in sinning Gen. 20. 11. Nor doth feare only hinder a bad action, but it promotes a good. It hinders a bad action directly, because it is fuga mali, a flying from that evill of misery, which is annexed to the evill of sinne; and it promotes a good action accidentally, because men think that they are never so safe from the mischiefe which they feare, as when they are exercised in such imployments as tend to the getting of a contrary state.

Worke out your salvation (saith the Apostle) with feare and trembling; implying, that the work∣ing out of salvation goes not on handsomly except the fear of missing it be an ingredient to the work.

The second branch of this Reason is, That by the absolute decree Feare and hope are taken away. For hope is properly exercised about Bonum futurum & possibile haberi, some good thing that may be obtained, not a good thing that must be obtained of necessity: and the object of feare is malum possibile vitari, an evill that may be escaped. For metus est fuga mali, feare is a flying from evill, and therefore supposeth that the evill is avoydable; for no man will fly from an evill that cannot be prevented, but will yeild himselfe up to it, as Caesar did to the murtherers in the Senate house. Now by this decree Heaven and Hell are not objecta possibilia, but necessaria. Heaven shall unavoydably be obtained, by those that are elected, and Hell must as certainly be endured, by those that in Gods eternall purpose are re∣jected. For men have no power to alter their eternall states: all men by this decree, are precisely de∣termined ad unum, to one state, to necessary salvation, or necessary damnation, without any power or liberty to choose whether.

Page  222 And from hence the conclusion is cleere, that the absolute decree, takes away the chiefest induce∣ments to holinesse, and determents from wickednesse, and consequently hinders a Godly life ex∣ceedingly.

TWISSE. Consideration.

TRavailers report of the Territory of Venice, that the farther they goe into it, the stronger and stronger they find it. But such is not the condition of this Authors discourse; for the farther I wade into it, the weaker and weaker it appeares. And to this I answer first in generall, That our Brittaine Divines make answer to the like crimination made against our Doctrine upon the 5. Article p. 168. according to the English translation of it; saying, Both Gods truth, and mans expe∣rience, easily wipe off this aspersion. For this Christian perswasion of perseverance and salvation, not only in respect of its own nature, but also according to the very event in the Church, doth by Gods blessing produce a quite contrary effect. First in respect of the thing it selfe. The certainty of the end doth not take away, but esta∣blish the use of the meanes. And the same holy men, who upon sure grounds pro∣mise unto themselves, both constancy in the way of this Pilgrimage, and fruition of God in their everlasting home, know also that these are not obtained without per∣formance of the duties of holinesse, and the avoydance of contrary vices: And there∣fore they turne not their backs from these meanes, but industriously embrace and prosecute them. 1 Iohn 3. 3. Every man that hath this hope in himselfe, purifyeth him∣selfe, even as he is pure. Esay 38. 5. When Hezechiah had received that promise from God of an addition of fifteen years to his life, he did not therefore neglect the use of medicines or meat, but, that this promised event might be brought into act, he ap∣plyed for the cure of his body, the plaister which was prescribed unto him by the Prophet. The Apostle doth altogether reiect this consequence of carnall security im∣puted to this Doctrine, and that with a kind of indignation Rom. 6. 1. Shall we con∣tinue in sinne that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we which are dead to sinne, live any longer therein? As if S. Paul would intimate unto us, not only the incongruity, but also the impossibility of such a sequel. 2. As touching the event; true it is, that any the most wholsome truth of God, may be perverted by the abuse of men. But upon this doctrine, we cannot acknowledge that there groweth any such inconvenience, no not de facto, that is, in the event it selfe. Let us take a view of the reformed Churches, in which this confidence of perseverance and inviolable a∣doption is believed and maintained. Doe we find that thereupon the bridle is let loose unto ryot? That piety is trampled downe? We give thankes unto God through our Lord Jesus Christ, that amongst ours (who enjoy this full perswasion of spiritu∣all comfort, and are confident that there is an inheritance which cannot be lost, laid up for them in Heaven) there is not found lesse care of Godlinesse, nor lesse endea∣vour (so farre forth as mans infirmity will suffer) to live an unblameable life, then is to be found among any sort of these, who pinne their perseverance on their own free will, and will not grant it to flow from any foregoing election of God. This may suffice for answer to the generality of the crimination.

From the generality he descends to specialties. And in the first place he urgeth, It takes away hope and feare. He beginnes with hope, and enlargeth himselfe in the commendation thereof out of Scripture, By this hope of Heaven, did our Saviour stirre up himselfe to endure the crosse, and despise the shame. Heb. 12. He could not alleadge a more pregnant passage to cut his own throat, and mortify the vigour of his argument; For in this place it depends upon such a notion of hope, as signifies only a possibility of obtain∣ing a future good, and not a necessity of obtaining it, as afterwards himselfe accommodates it, and so he will have the hope which here he insists upon, such as is mixed with feare; as if our Saviour were in doubt of obtaining a Crowne of glory. By this he heartned his Disciples to suffer for his sake. Math. 5. 12. Rejoyce and be glad for great is your reward in heaven. Here also we have no hope mixed with fear, whereupon he heartens them; but the very assurance of faith grounded upon Christs promise, and what greater assurance then Page  223 this? The like promise for assurance of faith is made Math. 10. 32. And indeed hope in the Scripture phrase (though in these places there is no mention thereof) is but an expectation of enjoying that whereof we have a certain assurance by Faith. The object of faith being Verbum rei, of hope, res verbi, as Luther is said to distinguish them. Such is the hope signified by our looking for the Saviour Phil. 3. 20. For therefore we look for him, because we are perswaded by the assurance of faith, that he shall come, and that as a Saviour unto us, as there 'tis expressed in these words, Who shall change our vile bodies, and make them like to his glorious body. Such is the hope mentioned, Col. 1. 5. as grounded upon their true knowledge of the grace of Christ v. 6. And upon their Faith v. 4. For upon believing we rejoyce with joy unspeakable and glorious, 1 Pet. 1. And this joy is in hope of the glory of God, Rom. 5. 2. Of the same nature is that hope Tit. 2. 13. So Abrahams looking for a City whose builder and maker is God. Heb. 11. 8, 9, 10. But was not this hope of his grounded upon assurance of faith to enjoy it? So Moses his seeing of him that was invisible, was by the eye of faith. And the scope of that whole Chapter, is for the commendation of faith; a faith therefore they had of a better resurrection, and the certainty hereof, was the certainty of faith. Now let every sober reader judge, which of our doctrines doth more tend to the justifying of a certainty of salvation, the Arminians or ours.

That which followeth of the Husbandmen, Merchants, Souldiers, is farre of another nature; their hopes of their ends have no ground of faith: many times it comes to passe, that spem mentita seges, & though aliquis pendens in cruce vota facit, yet most common∣ly it proves but a vaine hope. Merchants many times prove bankrupts; and Souldi∣ers when they are most erected with hope of victory, doe sometimes most shamefully take the foyle: What a proud message did Benhadab send to Ahab 1 King. 20. 10. The Gods doe so to mee, and more also, if the dust of Samaria be enough to all the people that fol∣low mee, for every man an handfull. But Ahab answered him saying. Let not him that girdeth his harnesse boast himselfe as he that putteth it off. At the battle of Lipsich upon Tillies defeating of the Duke of Saxony, word hereof was dispatched with post hast to the Emperour, together with some of the Dukes Ensignes, and scoffes upon the Duke himselfe; they were confident of beating Sweden and that so all Germany should be theirs; but herein that old Lad reckoned before his host; the same Post brought heavy newes to Vienna at length, of a great discomfiture to the Imperialists, and of the victorious Army of the King of Sweden. Yet a hope not only upon weake, but sometimes upon very vaine grounds, stirres up the spirit; how much more upon certain grounds of good successe, as that of the Apostle Rom. 6. Sinne shall not have the dominion over you, for yee are not under the Law but under grace, therefore let not sinne raigne over you, as much as to say, Play the men, fight valiantly the Lords battailes against sinne and Satan, for yee shall have the victory in the end.

The feare of Hell is a curbe to hold men in from wickednesse I willingly con∣fesse, but the knowledge hereof is not naturall, but by revelation divine, which to carnall men who live by fight is of little force: Witnesse the story of the Welch-man who robbing an honest man upon the high way, and being told by him, that he should answer for it at the day of judgement, saist thou me so (quoth the thiefe) and wilt thou trust me till that day, then give me thy cloake too. We finde by ex∣perience, the most uncleane person, if he meets with never so beautifull a piece, yet if he knowes shee hath the Poxe; the feare of infection will be of more power to re∣straine him then the feare of Hell. Yet God by his word workes in men, (e∣ven in carnall men) as a tast of the sweetnesse of Heaven, so of the bitternesse of Hell; the one to erect with hope, the other to awe with feare: and in both respects they may be said (in my judgement) to have a tast of the powers of the World to come. And like as the Law was added because of transgression, that is, to restraine transgres∣sion, as some expound it: so likewise the representation of Gods wrath and jealousy, may in the sanctions thereof have good force in this. And in the Godly also I make no question, but it is of good use; though the love of God, hath in great measure o∣vercome that servile feare; yet as their faith is not so perfect, as to be voyd of all doubting, so neither is their hope so perfect, as to be free from all mixture of feare: But the chast feare, the filiall feare, feare of displeasing God who hath been so graci∣ous unto them, is that feare which is predominant in such. And even feare of Gods fa∣therly chastisements in this world, is an hedge of thornes keeping them within Page  224 the goodnesse of the Lord, and farre more forcible then the feare of Hell fire to the carnall Gospeller. And this Author doth carry himselfe very unlearnedly in con∣founding their differences, and discoursing of the feare of God without distinction; As if the feare of of God in Job. 1. 1. were the feare of Hell, and the feare of the Mid∣wives Exod. 1. 17. As if there were no difference between servile feare, and a filiall feare. Saint Paul was so confident of his salvation, that he professeth his perswasion, That neither death, nor life, nor Angells, nor Principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, should be able to separate him from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8. 38. Yet 2 Cor. 5. 11. Knowing therefore (saith he) the feare of the Lord we perswade men. Gen. 20. 11. Abraham said, The feare of God is not in this place, therefore they will kill me for my Wifes sake. But doth this Author carry him∣selfe as it becomes a Divine, to take the feare of God, wheresoever he meets with it, for no other feare then the feare of Hell. Certainly the feare of God is as a fountaine of life to avoyd the snares of death. Yet I presume though our Saviour was nothing affected with the feare of hell, yet was he never a whit the lesse forward to all holy coversation; Nor Paul neither, though he professeth, I know whom I have trusted &c. The Lord will de∣liver me from every evill worke, and preserve me to his heavenly Kingdome.

That feare and trembling Phil. 2. 13. is not feare of hell, but humility, standing in op∣position to presumption of a mans own strength; as appears by the reason, wherewith the Apostle enforceth that exhortation of his, To worke out our salvation with feare and trembling: for saith he, God it is that worketh in you both the will and the deed, according to his good pleasure. And if the working out of our salvation goes not on handsomely, except the feare of missing it, be an ingredient to the worke, as this Author discourseth; then it seemes his feare of missing makes him goe on more handsomely, in working out his salvation, then ei∣ther Paul the Apostle, or our Saviour did: for I no where find that our Saviour fea∣red the missing of it; no nor Paul neither, after his conversion; though he knew full well, that conscionable carriage in his vocation, was a necessary meanes, without which he could not obtaine it; and therefore professeth, that he did beat downe his body, and bring it in subjection, least Preaching unto others himselfe should become a cast away.

We deny that by the absolute decree maintained by us, hope and feare are taken away; and we prove it by an invincible argument. For undoubtedly the decree of Christs sal∣vation, was absolute, yet did not this take away either hope or feare: for it is re∣corded of him, That for the hope that was set before him, he despised the shame, and also, that he was heard in that which he feared: though sinfull feare, and slavish feare, was farre from him, as farre as hell from heaven. The object of Christian hope is not only a good thing possible to be had, but certainly to be had. For we read of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Heb. 6. A full assurance of hope, were it of a thing uncertaine, how inde∣cent were it for the Apostle to compare it to an Anchor 1 Iohn 3. 3. He that hath this hope purgeth himselfe as he is pure. Was this a wavering hope, grounded upon an uncertain apprehension? Marke the verse immediately preceding, and consider whether it doth not enforce the contrary. Now are we the sonnes of God, but yet it is not made manifest what we shall be: And we know (marke his assurance well) that when he shall be made mani∣fest, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. The description of feare, is answera∣ble to the description of hope. we were wont to define the one by the expectation, appropinquantis boni, the other by the expectation imminentis mali. Yet it is true the ob∣ject of the one is such a good, as in its own nature is possible to be obtained, and of the other, is such an evill as is possible to be avoyded. But like as eternall life is not attainable without faith and repentance; so neither is damnation avoydable, but by faith and repentance. And we willingly grant that both eternall life is attainable, and damnation avoydable by faith and repentance, yet undoubtedly the unprevent∣able nature of an evill, doth no way hinder a mans feare, unlesse he knowes it to be unpreventable. Neither doth the knowledge of the unpreventable nature thereof hinder feare, but improveth it rather, in as much as in such a case, there is no place for any hope to qualify the feare. And this is farther apparent by the example of the Devills, of whom Saint Iames saith That they believe and tremble, surely they doe not tremble the lesse, because their torment is unpreventable by the appoyntment of of God: yet doe they not give themselves up to their sorrowes, but cryed out to our Saviour, What have we to doe with thee thou Jesus the Sonne of God, art thou come to torment us before our time: Caesars case was not the case of feare, for feare is the apprehension of an evill before it come; but Caesar was so farre from fearing, that though he were Page  225 forewarned to take heed of the Ides of March (as I remember) least they proved fatall to him, was so far from apprehending any feare thereupon, that going that day to the Senate House, and meeting by the way with him who had given him that warning, he called him by his name, and to shew his fearlesse condition sayd, The Ides of March are come; true Sr quoth the other, but they are not yet past. The mortall wound in the Senate House was given him before he feared it; for of thirty and odde wounds there received, it is written that every one of them was mortall. His heroicall spirit bare him out neverthelesse (not against the feare, for that was now out of season, but) against the sense of mortall paine, in such sort, as not to commit any indecent thing, in dying under the hands of so many Assassinates either in word or deed; for not a word of distemper, was uttered by him, only to Brutus his neere Kinsman, and deare unto him, when he came upon him in like manner as the rest, he said 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and took care to gather his garments in such sort about ut honeste caderet. Heaven and hell are ordained by God as the portion, of the righteous the one, of the wicked the other. I hope this Author will not deny but that Heaven (according to his phrase) was unavoydably obtained by our Saviour, yet this no∣thing hindred his hope, but rather confirmed it by casting out of feare. And the hope of Christ is the first thing this Author instanceth in, while he amplifies the nature of hope; but in his large expatiation thereon, according to his course he spent so much time, that he might well forget it, before he come to the accommodation of it unto his Argument. And indeed hope in Scripture phrase, is the looking for of Christ, and the glory he brings with him; and what a senselesse thing is it to conceive, that the more sure we are of blessednesse, the lesse we should expect and look for the enjoy∣ment of it? Doth not our Saviour bid his Disciples Luke 10. 20. not to rejoyce in this, that Devills are subdued unto them, but rather to rejoyce in this, that their names are written in heaven. Now let any sober man judge, whether this joy shall be of force to expectorate our hope, and not rather to confirme and increase it. As for Hell, I know none are assured thereof, as of their due portion, but the Devills, yet they feare and tremble never a whit the lesse for that. But men while they live on earth, not one of them in particular that I know are, or have any just ground to be assured of their damnation. For albeit faith in Christ may well be an assurance of mans ele∣ction; yet nothing but finall perseverance in infidelity or impenitency, can be a just assurance to any man of his damnation. As for the eternall states of men, they are not existent, but only in Gods intention, and consequently to alter their eternall states, is to alter Gods intentions. Now what Arminian of these daies, that is of a∣ny learning and judgement, dares boldly affirme, that it is in the power of the crea∣ture to alter Gods intentions. In like sort with what sobriety can any man deny, that every man is determined either to salvation or damnation, the prescience of God be∣ing sufficient hereunto; and we acknowledge that none is ordained by God to be damned, but for finall perseverance in sinne unrepented of: none to be saved of ripe yeares, but by way of reward for his faith, obedience, repentance. As for power and liberty to choose either, let that be first rightly stated: Moses Deut. 30. 19. (or the Lord rather by him) professeth that he hath set before them life and death; and exhorts them to choose life, the meaning whereof is to choose that, the consequent whereunto is life; now that was obedience unto the lawes and holy ordinances of God. Now as touching the power and liberty, to choose this, we say,

1. That this power was given to all in Adam, and we have all lost it in him through sinne: for we all sinned in him, as the Apostle in expresse tearmes professeth Rom. 5. 12.

2. The power that we have lost in Adam, is no naturall power, but a morall power like unto that whereof the Lord speaketh by the Prophet Jeremy. Jere. 13. 23. Can a Blackamore change his skinne? Or the Leopard his spotts? No more can you doe good, that are accustomed to evill. Nor will any sober man judge that such an impotency as this doth make a man excusable? In the like sort our Saviour unto the Jewes: Iohn. 5. 44. How can yee believe that receive Honour one of another, and seek not the Honour that comes of God only? So that this impotency is meerly morall, arising from the corruption of their wills. Had a man a will to believe to repent, but withall had no power to believe and repent though he would, here indeed were a just cause of excuse: but all the fault hereof is in the will of man. This our Britaine Divines at the Synod of Dort upon the 3. and 4. Articles of the second Position expresse in this manner. ThePage  226nature of man being by voluntary Apostacy habitually turned from God the creatour, it runs to the creature, with an unbridled appetite, and in a lustfull and base manner commits fornication with it, being always desirous to set her heart and rest on those things which ought only to be used on the by, and to attempt and accomplish things forbidden. What marvell then if such a will be the bondslave to the Devill. The will without charity is nothing but a vitious desire, inordinata cupi∣ditas. Aug: Retract. 1. 5. 3. Yet the same Austin professeth Lib. 1. de Gen. cont: Manich: cap. 3. credere possunt & ab amore visibilium rerum & temporalium, se ad ejus praecepta servanda convertere si velint. And ad Marcel. De spiritu & littra. proves at large that fides in voluntate est. Only it is the grace of God to prepare the will, ut velit, and so to encrease with * the gift of charity ut possit, so that there is a great deale of difference between posse si velit, and posse simpliciter, in Austins judgment posse si velit is lesse then velle, but posse simpliciter, is more then velle. 4. Lastly what meanes this Author to discourse thus hand overhead of power and liberty to choose whether as if (whatsoever they pretend) their true meaning were, that man hath power to believe and repent without grace. For as for power to believe and repent through Gods grace no man denyes. Why then doth he not try his strength on this point which indeed is the criticall point of these controversies, and wherein it will clearly appeare, whether they differ one iot from the Pelagians. For the question between the Pelagians, and the Catholiques in Austins dayes was not about the possibility of willing or doing that which is good, but only about the act of willing and doing: And herein they granted instruction and exhortation requisite. All the question was about the working of his will, to will and doe that which is good, as appeares by Austin in his booke De gratia Christi contra Pelag: & Caelesti: cap. 6. And repeated againe towards the end, coming to an issue of the businesse, after he had discovered much concerning Ambrose his opinieon there∣abouts.

But whatsoever his premises be, in his conclusion he commonly speakes it home, as herein saying, It is cleare that the absolute decree, takes away the cheifest inducements to ho∣linesse, and determents from wickednesse, to wit, because it takes away hope and feare; whence it followeth, that seeing Christ had hope of heaven, he was not absolutely destinated unto glory. And seeing the Devills are said to believe and tremble, there∣fore certainly their damnation is yet preventable, although there is yet this maine difference between reprobate men on earth, and Devills, that though the Devills are assured of their reprobation, yet no man either is, or can by any ordinary way be as∣sured of his reprobation. I conclude thus, This his Discourse tends mainly against all certainty of Salvation: whence it followes, that either he had no certainty of his salvation while he was with us, or if he had, it stands him upon now to professe that he hath utterly lost it.

DISCOURSE. SECT. II.

2. THe injuriousnesse of this Doctrine to Godly life, may farther appeare by these considera∣tions that follow, one depending upon another.

1. Absolute and peremptory decrees are inevitable, whatsoever the things be a∣bout which they are exercised; and mens everlasting states, if they be absolutely deter∣mined, are altogether undeclinable. Stat sali lex indeclinabilis, the law of destiny is undeclinable. And the reason is, because it hath an inevitable cause, the adamantine decrees of Allmighty God, which are indeclinable two wayes.

1. Irreversible, lyable to no repeale (as the Statutes are which are made in our Parliaments:) but sarre more unalterable then the Lawes of the Medes and Persians. As I have spoken so will I bring it to passe: I have purposed, and I will doe it. Esay. 46. 11. Men doe many times bite in their words againe, because they doe utter things rashly, and doe repeale their Statutes and Ordinances, because they see some inconveniences in them, which they could not foresee: but God never alters or calls in his absolute decrees because they are all made with great wisdome and foresight.

2. Irresistible. It lies not in the power of any creature to disanull them. Who hath resisted his will? Rom. 9. 19. Our God is in Heaven: he doth whatsoever he will: Psal. 115. 3. Whatsoever is once determined by his absolute will is no wayes alterable by the will of man. It is more possible for a man to hinder the rising of the Sunne, or to stay his course in the Heaven, to stop the revolu∣tions Page  227 of the yeare, and overturne the whole course of nature, then to make the least alternation in any of Gods absolute decrees.

2. Mens actions about ends, and things determined by an absolute decree are vaine and fruitlesse; and the reason is, because they cannot make them otherwise then they were determined to be; and therefore in vaine doe men labour to obtaine Everlasting Life and avoid Eternall Death, if there be noe liberty and power in their hands to choose Life or Death, but must of necessity take that which is assigned them, be it Life or Death; for by their labour they effect just nothing; for if they be abso∣lutely appointed to distruction, their hearing, reading, praying, almes-giving, and mourning for their sinnes cannot possibly procure their Salvation; damned they must be. And if they be absolutely or∣dayned to Savation, their neglect of holy dutyes, their ignorance, their love of pleasures and conti∣nuance in a course of ungodlinesse, cannot bring them unto damnation; they must be Saved: If somany Soules in a Parish be in this manner decreed to Heaven or Hell, the Minister Preacheth in vaine, and the people heare in vaine. For there cannot one Soule be Saved, for all their paines, which is ordai∣ned to Hell, nor one Soule be cast away by their negligence, which is appoynted for Heaven. It is in vaine for thee (saith Christ to Saul) to kicke against the pricks: (i.) to endeavour by thy persecu∣tions and slaughters to root out my Church in the world; because the preservation of it is absolutely * decreed in Heaven. Teaching us by that speech, that a mans labour in any thing whatsoever, is never profitable, except it be exercised about an end attainable thereby, and without it not possible.

3, Men are not willing to be employed in fruitlesse actions if they knowe it. I so runne (saith the Apostle) not as uncertainely; so fight I, not as on that beates the Ayre: but I keep under my * body and bring it into subjection, least that by any meanes, when I have Preached unto others I my selfe should be a cast-away. The meaning is, I endeavour to keepe Gods commandements, I fight with the tentations of the Divill the allurements of the world, and mine owne corruptions, I keep my body low by watchings and fastings, and other severe acts of holy discipline. But Cui bono? doe I all this at randome? Uncertaine whether I shall get any good, or prevent any mischiefe hereby? No, but I doe this, as one that is sure that by so doing, I shall obtaine Eternal Life, and otherwise I cannot escape Eternall Death: intimating in these words the common disposition of men, which is to labour where some proportionable good is to be gotten, or evill prevented, otherwise to spare their heads and their hands too.

TWISSE Consideration.

TO talke of the decrees divine as things evitable or inevitable, is very absurd: for things denominated evitable or inevitable are only things to come, not yet existent; but such are not decrees divine, they are as everlasting as God himselfe without any begining of duration. As for the things decreed by God, they are of a double nature. For God hath decreed some things to come to passe necessarily, other things to come to passe contingently. Now those things that come to passe contingently do so come to passe (and that by the decree of God) as joyned with a possibility not to come to passe, and consequently to come to passe so as ioyned with a possibility to be avoyded. Such are Salvation and damnation in as much as God hath annexed these as rewards, unto finall perseverance in faith and repentance, the one; unto finall perseverance in sinne unrepented of, the other. This is the undeclinable law of Gods decree, that, whosoever believes shall be Saved*and whosoever believes not shall be damned. But we doe not say, that this is the whole decree of predestination and Reprobation, with the Remonstrants, and with this Author. But that there is another decree of God, the effect whereof is as undeniable, as the effect of the former, which this Author dissembleth throughout: and the effect of this decree is not conditionall like unto the effects of the former decree, but abso∣lute. And it is the more strange that this Author should so much insist upon the effects of the former, & nothing at all on this: wheras the effects of the former nothing at all serve his turne, but through meere confusion: for he carieth the matter so as if we maintained that God doth decree to dispense Salvation and damnation absolutly according to the meare pleasure of his will, and not conditionally as he finds his creatures either dying in faith or dying in sinne, which is most untrue. And yet his usuall course to relieve himselfe in the case of impertinency and extravagancy is to fly to the effects of the other decree which we willingly confesse to be absolute; yet hath he no appetite to deale directly in the discussing thereof. Now we professe that Page  228 as God according to the meere pleasure of his will bestowes faith and repentance on some and denies it to others, according to that of the Apostle. He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth. Rom. 9. 18. So God from ever∣lasting decreed, according to the meere pleasure of his will to bestowe the gift of faith & repentance on some & deny it to others. All the decrees of God we acknowledge to be unchangeable from within, irresistible from without. Yet this Author applyes these attributes only to Gods absolute decrees, intimating that it is otherwise with Gods conditionall decrees: which conceit of his savoureth of the same learning and judg∣ment with the rest. Besides it is his course hand over head to talke of the di∣stinction of Gods decrees, into decrees absolute, and decrees conditionall: whereas the decrees of God as touching the acts of God willing, admit noe such dis∣tinction; the act of Gods will being allways absolute and never conditionall, as both Piscator theologically hath proved against Uorstius and Bradwardine most scho∣lastically hath demonstrated; and by other reasons may be demonstrated and made as cleare as the Sunne; some of which reasons I have formerly mentioned in this discourse: only quoad res volitas as touching the things willed this distinctiō hath place; as both Dr Jackson in his booke of Providence acknowlegeth of that distinction of Voluntas antecedens & voluntas consequens (which by Uossius interpretation is all one with voluntas absoluta & voluntas conditionata) namely that it is to be understood only quoad res volitas. And in the same sense is voluntas conditionata interpreted, as appears by the practice of Uossius* and of this Author throughout. Now in this sense we doe not ac∣knowledge that Gods decrees of Salvation and damnation are absolute, but mere∣ly conditionall; so that this Author doth but fight with his own shadow in this his ar∣gumentation, making as shamefull a mistake as ever Don Quixot did, when he conceived the Barbars bason to be the Helmet of Mambrino, and fell furiously upon him, in a zeale of martiall glory, to recover Spolia opima, so fat and rich spoyles. By the way observe, to alter Gods absolute decrees, is no other thing, then to alter that which is once determined by Gods absolute will. For after this different manner doth this Au∣thor expresse one and the same thing in this Section. Now consider, is not the rising of the Sunne the course of Heaven, the revolution of the yeare, the whole course of nature, some of these things which are determined by Gods absolute will? With what giddinesse then doth he affirme that to hinder or stay or overturne any of these is more possible then to make alteration in Gods decrees; seeing to make alteration in Gods decrees is but to alter things which God hath once determined by his absolute will. But as for Salvation and damnation these are not determined by God, like as the rising of the Sunne, the course of Heaven the revolutions of the yeare, and the whole course of nature. For these are determined by God to come to passe absolutly; but the Salvation or damnation of man are determined by God to come to passe con∣ditionally.

2. And accordingly mans ends are not determined by an absolute decree, like unto the rising of the Sunne. For the rising of the Sunne is by God determined to come to passe absolutely, so are not the speciall ends of men, to wit, Salvation and damnation (for these are the ends of men which this Author speakes of) these (as I said) are determined to come to passe not absolutely but conditionally: And there∣fore mens actions hereabouts, are not vaine and fruitlesse: And the reason is because mans Salvation is determined to befall him only in case he believe and repent and become studious of good works: In like sort damnation is determined to none of ripe yeares, but in case he gives off all care of faith repentance and good workes. Did God determine a man shall be Saved whether they be good or evill, like as he de∣termined the Sunne should rise whether men sleepe or wake, whether they be idle or well occupied (for so he makes his Sunne to shine and the raine to fall upon the just and unjust) then indeed mans actions in furthering their Salvation were vaine and fruitlesse. But the Antecedent is a notorous untruth. For our Saviour hath professed in expresse termes that whosoever believeth shall be Saved, and whosoever believes not shall be damned. As for the liberty and power of a man to performe faith and repentance, whether this be granted unto all? Is an other question, which this Author might have discussed had it pleased him, and taken upon him to main∣taine universall grace; but he declines this throughout, like as others of this sect too, fearing therein some precipice. And herein we are willing to grant that God hath absolutely determined that some shall believe and repent, as he hath determined Page  229 the Sunne rising, not upon any condition in man, but according to the meere plea∣sure of his will, bestowing the grace of faith on some, and denying it to others. For if God did bestow faith on man upon condition of some precedent work in man, then grace should be given according to mens works (that is in the phrase of the Antients) according to mens merits, which is direct Pelagianisme, and condemned in the Synod of Palestine above twelve hundred years agoe. But this Author carrieth himselfe ve∣ry preposterously, thus confounding two questions into one: the one, Whether salvati∣on be determined by God, to be conferred absolutely on man? Which we deny as much as himselfe doth. The other is, Whether faith and repentance be determined by God to be conferred on man conditionally? Which we maintaine; and wonder not a little that this Authors stomack (working like the raging Sea) chiefly against this, yet dares not come to the debating of this, no nor so much as in plaine termes to speake out his opinion, and professe, that the reason why God bestowes faith on one, and not on another, is because he finds some disposition or work in him, on whom he bestowes faith, which he finds not in another to whom he denies it. Yet he goes on most ridiculously in the same tenour, saying. If they be absolutely appoynted to destruction, their hearing, reading, praying, almesgiving, and mourning for their sinnes, cannot possibly procure their salvation: damned they must be. But we still deny that men are absolutely appoynted to destructiō, we willingly grant the elect are absolutely appointed unto grace, namely to have regeneration, faith and repentance to be conferred upon them, and that ab∣solutely, not upon any foregoing condition performed by them, but according to the meere pleasure of God; but as for salvation, that is appointed to be bestowed upon them, only by way of reward of foregoing faith, repentance, and good workes, ob∣serve by the way, how he considers not the contradictious nature of that which he im∣putes unto us. As first that we deny man to have any liberty or power to choose life and death. And secondly, that we maintain, That their hearing, reading, praying, almesgiving, and mourning for their sinnes, cannot possibly procure their salvation; which is to imply, that they have power to heare, read, pray, give almes, and mourne for their sinnes, and consequently that they have power to choose life or death. For to choose life or death, is no other then to embrace such courses, as by the ordinance of God, lead to life or death. Now such are hearing, reading, praying, giving asmes, and mourning for sinnes; for these courses are the way to everlasting life. Yet as touching the latter, well we may say that Reprobates can nei∣ther heare, nor read, nor pray, nor give almes as they ought, nor mourne for their sins; yet surely we are so farre from saying, that these courses cannot possibly procure sal∣vation, that on the contrary rather, we are ready to professe that these courses rightly used, shall infallibly procure salvation; for there is none more pretious mourning, then to mourne for sinne; and our Saviour hath pronounced them blessed, adding, that they shall be comforted. Was it ever heard amongst us, that men should be damned for reading, hearing, praying, and mourning for their sinnes? Yet the word of God teach∣eth us, that men may houle, yet be farre enough off from mourning for their sinnes, as Hos. 7. 14. They cryed not unto me when they houled upon their beds: they assembled themselves for corne and wine, & they rebelled against me. And if men be damned notwithstanding such mourning, I should think it is nothing strange. Of the same tenour is that which fol∣loweth. If they be absolutely ordained to salvation, their neglect of holy duties, their ignorance their love of pleasure, and continuance in a course of ungodlinesse, cannot bring them to damnation; as if this were our doctrine: whereas to the contrary we maintain, that from election flowes holinesse. Eph. 1. 4. Who hath elected us in Christ, that we should be holy. And faith, Acts 13. 48. As many believed as were ordained to everlasting life. And 2 Thes. 2. 13. God hath elected you un∣to salvation, by sanctification of the spirit, and faith of the truth. And indeed our profession is, That Gods purpose is to bestow salvation by way of reward of faith, repentance, and good workes: And accordingly there is no other assurance of election, then by faith and holinesse. 1 Thes. 1. 3, 4. Remembring the work of your faith, the labour of your love, and the patience of your hope, knowing beloved brethren, that ye are elect of God. And therefore Saint Peter exhorts Christians, To make their election and vocation sure, by joyning ver∣tue with their faith, and with vertue knowledge, and with knowledge temperance, and with temperance patience, and with patience Godlinesse, and with Godlinesse Brother∣ly kindnesse, and with Brotherly kindnesse Love. 2 Pet. 1. 5, 6, 7. 10. But it were pitty this Author should have liberty denyed him servire scaenae, and to execute his Historicall part in conforming our Doctrine to the Heresy of the Predestina∣tians, (so called) as it is recorded by Sigebert. And indeed the very Doctrine Page  230 of Austin, was charged with the same crimination: For albeit Sigebert professeth that this Heresy arose ex Augustini libris male intellectis: out of Austins Book not rightly un∣derstood; yet the learned Arch-Bishop of Armach, had made it manifest, that this ve∣ry crimination was charged upon Austins doctrine. Histor. Gottesc. pag. 22. And that out of the beginning of the 6. book Hypomnestican or Hypognosticon. The words are these, and I pray mark it well, whether it be not punctually the very objection which this Author makes in this place: Credere nos vel praedicare sugillatis (quia cum lege Dei & Pro∣phetis cum Evangelio Christi ejus{que} Apostolis Praedestinationem dicimus) quod Deus quosdam ho∣minum sic praedestinet ad vitam regni caelorum, ut si nolent orare, aut jejunare, aut in omni operé di∣vino vigiles esse, eos omnino perire non posse, nec prorsus sui debere esse sollicitos, quos Deus, quia vo∣luit semel jam eligendo praedestinavit ad vitam: Quisdam vero sic praedestinavit in Gehennae paenam, ut etiam si credere velint, si jejuniis & orationibus omni{que} se voluntati divinae subjecerint in his Deum non delectari, & vitam illis aeternam in toto dari non posse; sic electione praedestinatos esse ut pereant. Judge I pray whether this be not the very objection charged upon the do∣ctrine of Austin, which this Author chargeth upon our doctrine. And indeed that most learned Bishop sheweth, how that albeit, the Predestinatian heresy is pretended by Sigebert to have risen out of Austins bookes not rightly understood, as also by Tyro Prosper (Auncient to Sigebert) as he is set forth in Print; yet Tyro himselfe plainly pro∣fesseth, that the Heresy mentioned orta est ab Augustino, rose from Augustine himselfe, as appears by the Manuscripts of that Author, which that learned Bishop had search∣ed, one found in Bennet Colledge in Cambridge, and another in the Kings Library: whereby it is apparent, that this pretended Heresy of the Predestinatians (no Author thereof being ever known to the world) was a meere nick-name devised by the Rem∣nants of the Pelagians, and reproachfully cast upon the doctrine of Austin, as now a daies it is upon our doctrine, which is the same with Austins. As for the Ministers Preaching in vaine in some sense, and in some cases; this is nothing strange to them that have their eyes fixed on Gods oracles, and not on the oracles of their own braines. For the Prophet Esaiah thus complaines, and that as some conceive in the person of Christ, Then I said, I have laboured in vaine, I have spent my strength for nought, and*in vaine, yet surely my judgement is with the Lord, and my worke with my God. And Jerem. 8. 8. How dare ye say, we are wise, and the love of the Lord is with us? Loe certainly in vaine made he it, the penne of the scribe is in vaine. And Ierem. 6. 29. The bellowes are burnt, the lead is con∣sumed of the fire: the founder melteth in vaine: for the wicked are not plucked away. Reprobate silver shall man call them, because the Lord hath rejected them. And like as the sowing of seed is sometimes in vaine. Levit. 26 16. So why may not Preaching be in vaine, which is a sowing of seed also. Yet in respect of Gods end, it is not in vaine: For he hath the ends he aimed at; for even in them that perish, there ariseth a sweet savour unto God 2 Cor. 2. 15. As well as in them that are saved. And if they stumble at the word being disobedient, Saint Peter telleth us, that hereunto they were odained 1 Pet. 2. 8. Yea and Austin tells us, that even Reprobates by the Ministry of Gods word, are some∣times brought ad exteriorem vitae emendationem, quo mitius puniantur. And as for the Prea∣chers of the Word, their labour is not in vaine in the Lord. 1 Cor. 15. last. And Esay 49. 4. My judgement is with the Lord, and my worke with my God. For even Christ himselfe was forsaken of many. Iohn 6. Yet was that no disparagement to him before God. They desire indeed that all men might be saved that are partakers of their Ministry, as they are bound in charity, but with submission to the will of God, so that finally their de∣sires in the issue are terminated only in the elect. They became all things to all men, that they may save some. 1 Cor. 6. And who are they let Paul speake. I endure all things*for the elect sake. As for the hearers themselves, as many as are elect, they believe by it sooner or later and are brought to repentance. 2 Tim. 2. 25. And finally to salvati∣on, That thou maist both save thy selfe and them that heare thee, (saith Paul to Timothy) So that * to them surely 'tis not in vaine; And as for Reprobates they are convicted by it of their unbeliefe, Suffrag. Britt. on the 3. & 4. Articles. Excuse is taken from them for they cannot plead that they never heard the Gospel, whereby mē are admonished to repent Act. 17. 30. Thereby to excuse themselves: yea & sometimes they may be the better for it, in respect of an outward cōformity, only it is in vain in respect that salvation is not obtained by them though the Gospel & the Ministry thereof be a means tēding there∣unto, in as much as it openeth the way of salvation, & discovereth all false waies. But paines for obtaining salvation, and Hell, are ill joyned together; For therefore hell is their portion because they neglect the means of salvation, and take no paines about it Page  231 at least good paines. For our Saviour plainly tells us of some that they shall seek to enter in at the straight gate, and shall not be able Luk. 13. 24. It seems they took some paines, though they were not able to enter. We are accounted Predestinarian Heretiques for saying so much; but I hope he will not reckon our Saviour too amongst the number. So Esay 58. 2. Yet they seeke mee daily, and will know my waies, even as a Nation that did righteously and had not forsaken the statutes of their God: They aske of me ordinances of justice. They will draw neer unto God, saying. Wherefore have we fasted and thou seest it not? We have punished our selves & thou regardest it not. Here is devotion and paines too, in the way thereof, but I think they had never a whit the better interest in heaven for this. Doth this doctrine also savour of the Predestinarian heresy? As for that pretended passage out of Acts 9. It is in vain for thee to kick against the pricks, I find no such saying of Christ to Saul but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 an hard thing; for shall he not wound himselfe that doth so, more then hurt the pricks themselves? So was Paul by those persecuting courses of his, in the high-way to dam∣nation; yet it is true also, Gods Church is nothing damnified by the persecutions and martyrdomes of Gods Saints. For sanguis Martyrum semen Ecclesiae; one is cut off, but many rise up in the place of a few. Like as a seed of corne falls into the ground and dyes; but a blade springs out of that one that dyes, and brings forth an eare of many graines. By the way I am wondrous glad to heare the acknowledgement of a preci∣ous truth, to breake forth out of the mouth of this Author ere he is aware, namely, That the preservation of Gods Church is absolutely decreed in heaven. For marke I beseech you, wherein the preservation of Gods Church consists. 1. One is in preser∣ving them that are called from Apostacy. If this be absolutely decreed, then the per∣severance of men in the state of grace is absolutely decreed; and consequently it is ab∣solutely maintained; And if perseverance in faith be absolutely maintained; then faith it selfe was absolutely wrought, and absolutely decreed to every one that enjoyeth it. 2. Another is the restraining of Tyrants from persecuting the professors of Christ: If this be absolutely decreed, then the free actions of men are absolutely decreed by God: for to abstaine from persecuting is undoubtedly a free action of man. 3. But in case both Tyrants are permitted to rage, and many are permitted to fall away; And all are mortall and must dye; therefore the next effectuall meanes of preserving the Church, is the raising of others in their place to professe the Gospell. Now this is wrought by the effectuall calling and converting of men unto faith in Christ, and consequently the effectuall calling and converting of men is absolutely decreed by God. Thus truth hath prevailed over the mouth of errour, to make it testify for Gods truth and against errour: Magna est veritas, ut praevalebit. Here this Author hath raised spirits against himselfe improvidently; let him try how he can lay them, and conjure them downe againe. 3. I come unto the third. I willingly grant that men are not willing to be exercised about fruitlesse actions; And as for the actions speci∣fied by Saint Paul; as they were not fruitlesse to him; so I make no question but that they are in like manner profitable to all that performe them, as Paul did, namely the actions of mortification. We have Saint Pauls word for it, which is of some force (if so be he be not reputed among the number of Predestinarian heretiques, as well as Austin and our Divines) If by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live. Endea∣vour * goes beyond desire: yet Nehemiah commends himselfe to God in this manner. We that desire to feare thy name. And the holy Prophet Esay. The desire of our hearts is to∣wards*thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. And S. Paul. We desire to live honestly. And to fight with the temptations of the Devill, the allurements of the World, and a mans own corruptions, is undoubtedly a manifest token of a true Souldier of Christ Jesus. And mortification in speciall; such need not doubt, but that they shall cruci∣fy the flesh, with the affections and lusts. For they that walke in the spirit, shall not fulfill*the lusts of the flesh; their faith shall give them the victory over the world, and God in his good time will tread Satan under their feet.

Page  232
DISCOURSE. SECT. III.

TO be exercised in fruitlesse affaires, it is both a folly and a misery. 1. A folly, for, de ne∣cessari is nemo sapiens deliberat, saith the Philosopher. And our Saviour speaking of things above our power; Cur estis solliciti? saith he to his Disciples, Mat. 6. 27. Luke 12. 25, 26. Why take ye thought about such things? Which is as much as if he had said, It is an ar∣gument of folly in you, to trouble your selves about such things, as lye not in your liberty. 2. A mi∣sery in the opinions of all men, as the fable of Sysiphus implies, who (as the Poets feigne) is puni∣shed for his robberies in hell, with the rolling of a great stone to the top of a sharpe hill, where it cannot rest, but presently comes tumbling downe againe. The Morall of that fable is, that it is a tor∣ment, and a torment fit for Hell; for a man to be set about any worke that is fruitlesse and vaine. Men will rather be exercised in high and hard imployments, that produce proportionable ends; then pick strawes, play with feathers, or with Domitian, spend their time in flapping or killing of flies, or doe any other easy workes, which end in nothing but ayre and emptinesse, except they be fooles or selfe-tormentors. And therefore when Balaam once saw that the Lord had fully determined to blesse Israell, and that all his Sorceries could not effect the contrary; he presently gave over, and set no more enchantments; And reason teacheth every man to doe the like.

If any man were fully possest with a perswasion that this temporall estate were determined in Hea∣ven, and that he should be worth just so much, neither more nor lesse; he would conclude, that his care and paines could not profit him, nor his idlenesse impoverish him: and so would be quickly perswaded to take his ease. And if it were evident, that every Common-wealth had a fatall period, beyond which it could not passe, and short of which it could not come, and that all occurrences good or bad, were absolutely preordained by the Almighty, then the King would call no Parliament, use no Privy Counsell: for there would be no use of them at all. As once a famous Privy-Councellor told our late Queene Elizabeth, men would neither make lawes nor obey them, but would take the Councell of the Poet.

Solvite mortales ammos, curis{que} levate,
Tot{que} supervacuis animum deplete querelis:
Fata regunt orbem, certa stant omnia lege.

From these three premises laid together, it followes directly, that the doctrine of an absolute de∣cree, which determines mens ends precisely; is no friend to a Godly life. For if events absolutely decreed be unavoydable; if mens actions about unavoydable ends be unprofitable; it in unprofitable imployments men will have no hand willingly: men that know and consider this, will have nothing to doe with the practice of Godlinesse. For their ends being absolutely pitched and therefore una∣voydable; they will conclude, that their labour in Religion will be unprofitable, and so will not la∣bour in it at all.

That which hath been said, may be yet farther confirmed by two witnesses. The one of them is by two witnesses. The one of them is our Calvin, who in his Institutions hath these words: Si quis it a plebem compellet; si non cred it is, ideo fit, quia jam divinitus exitio praedestinati estis; is non modo igna∣viam*fovet: sed etiam in dulget malitiae. If any man (saith he) should speake thus to people; If there be any among you that believe not, it is because ye are ordained to destruction; this man would not only cherish slothfulnesse, but wickednesse also. Which is as much to say (me thinkes) as this; If a man should set out the doctrine of absolute reprobation in its colours, and explaine it to a people in a cleare and lively fashion, he would hereby open a doore to liberty and prophanenesse.

The other witnesse is a man of another stampe, the miserable Landgrave of Turing, of whom it is re∣corded by Heisterbachius, that being admonished by his friends, of his vitious and dangerous conver∣sation * and condition, he made them this answer: Si praedestinatus sum nulla peccata poterunt mihi Reg∣num Coelorum auferre: si praescitus nulla bona mihi illud valebunt conferre. If I be elected no sinnes can be∣reave me of heaven; if I be a reprobate, no good deeds can help me to heaven. I conclude therefore that by this opinion (which is taught for one of Gods principall truths;) Religion is, or may be made a very great looser, which is my fourth generall reason against it.

TWISSE. Consideration.

DE necessari is nemo sapiens deliberat; This is true of things necessary by course of nature, not of things necessary meerely upon supposition of Gods de∣cree. For such things are as often contingent as necessary; For as he de∣creeth that some things shall come to passe necessarily, so he decreeth that other Page  233 things shall be brought to passe contingently: As the buying of the Prophets bones by Josiah, Cyrus his dimission of the Jews out of Babylon to goe to their own Country: the contumelious usages of Christ by Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gen∣tiles and people of Israel, were necessary in respect of Gods decree; it being expresse∣ly testified by the Apostles with one mouth, that all these were gathered together a∣gainst the holy Sonne of God, to doe what Gods hand, and Gods Counsell prede∣termined to be done. Act. 4. 28. Yet who is so impudent as to deny, that all these did freely, whatsoever they did against Christ. In like sort you know what was the course of proceedings against Protestants in Queene Maries daies, when they were convicted by Ecclesiastiques of such opinions, which they accounted hereticall, and which were made capitall by Law of the Land: then they were delivered over unto the secular power, to be put to death. So that herein, to wit, first in making such bloudy Lawes. Secondly, in executing them for the establishment of Popish Religi∣on: The Kings gave their power to the Beast, that is, implyed their Regall power and authority to the countenancing of Romish Religion: this undoubtedly was a contingent thing. Yet was this determined by God (as the Scripture testifies Revel. 17. 17.) God hath put in their hearts (that is in the hearts of the tenne Kings) to fulfill his decree, and to be of one consent, and to give their Kingdome unto the Beast, untill the word of God be fulfilled. Againe, suppose God hath determined my salvation; yet if he hath deter∣mined to save me no other way then is revealed in his word, namely, by growing in*grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ: If he hath made known unto us that, without holinesse no man shall see God. That a man in good time shall reape, provided that he faint not, nor be weary of well doing. Who seeth not that a necessity of Godly life is laid upon all that will be saved. Now God hath revealed this latter expressely unto us in his word, but as for the salvation of particular persons; we have no such revelation at all set downe unto us in Gods word, but in generall thus. Whosoever be∣lieveth shall be saved, whosoever believeth not shall be damned. Be thou faithfull unto the death, and thou shalt receive a Crowne of life. Whosoever continueth unto the end shall be saved. And good workes (as Bernard saith) are via Regni, though not causa regnandi. Therefore if any man desire to come to the Kingdome of Heaven, he must be carefull to walke in the way that leadeth thither. The Word saith not to any man in particular. Thou shalt be*saved, but, If thou shalt confesse with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Such was not the promise made to Paul concerning the saving of them, who were in the ship with him, but it proceeded in an ansolute forme. Acts 27. 23, 24. There stood by me this night the Angell of God whose I am, and whom I serve, saying. Feare not Paul, for thou must be brought before Caesar: and loe God hath given unto thee freely, all that saile with thee. Here is a manifest signification of Gods decree and determination to save all that were in the ship: yet did this make Paul or the rest negligent in using such meanes whereby they might save themselves? It is ap∣parent that it did not: For the Mariners they thought to fly out of the ship; and to that purpose had let downe the boat into the Sea, under colour as though they would cast anchor out of the foreship, meaning to provide for themselves, and leaving others to shift for themselves. But Paul perceiving this, and the dangerous condition of it unto the rest, as that which would bereave them of the ordinary meanes of pre∣servation, he said to the Centurion and the Souldiers, except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be safe. Did not Paul feare the failing af his own credit and reputation? Who having before assured them, and that by the message of an Angell of their safe coming to land; now on the other side tells them, that unlesse the Marriners abide in the ship, they could not be safe? Nothing lesse; neither did the Captaine and Souldiers fly in his face, as an impostor, and one that had abused them; as by this Authors dictates they might, especially if he had had the Catechising of them; but rather of them∣selves conceiving it an unreasonable thing so to depend upon the promise of man or Angell, as not to use the best meanes that lay in their power: Forth with the Souldi∣ers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let it fall away, choosing rather to loose their boat (which yet was of good use too) then their Marriners. This was not all, but Paul useth spirituall meanes, and by exhortation comforteth them, that so they might take heart, and the better set themselves to the use of the best meanes, not weakely but couragiously for their preservation. This is the Fourteenth day that y e have tarried, and continued fasting receiving nothing. Wherefore I exhort you to take meat, for this is for your safe∣guard, for there shall not an hayre fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken hePage  234tooke bread, and gave thankes to God in presence of them all, and brake it, and began to eate. Then were they all of good courage and they also tooke meat. Well at length the ship brake, and the Centu∣rion commanded, that they that could swim should cast themselves first into the Sea, and goe out to Land; and the others some on boards, and some on certaine pieces of the Ship. Here to the end we see no meanes neglected; And so it came to passe (to wit by use of such meanes) that they all escaped to Land. Yet was the promise of their Salvation made to Paul in an abso∣lute forme, so is not the promise of Salvation made to us. Now I leave it to the in∣different to judge of the wisdome of this Authors discourse. Yet non deliberation is no suffitient evidence of the needlesse condition of meanes. For Aristotle sayth that Ars non deliberat, not because he useth no meanes to bring about his ends, but because the Artificer which is his crafts-master, is not to seeke of the meanes. For the same reason deliberation is not incident unto God, his wisdome is nothing the lesse in dis∣cerning congruous meanes to bring about his intended ends. As for that of our Sa∣viour Cur estis solliciti de vestitu? Surely tis not of any thing above our power in respect of use of meanes; Indeed to ad one Cubit to our stature is not in our power, neither doe I know any that take thought thereof, But it is no more in mans power to blesse his owne cares and labours for the procuring of himselfe meat, drinke, rayment, then it is in his power to adde a cubit or two unto his stature. Therefore it becomes us not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 that is, to distract our selves with carking cares, as touching the end of our affaires, but he forbids us not to be carefull in the use of means. For to this purpose God would not have Adam to be idle in Paradise, he must dresse the Garden, though the thriving of ought thereby was not so much by his care as by Gods providence. And therefore he hath given us six dayes to worke and commands us to doe all our works therein; but as for the issue of our labours, leave that to God & his blessing; And whether our labours are successefull or not successefull, not to trouble our selves there abouts. It was spoken to the singular cōmendation of Dr Raynolds by him that Preached his funerall Sermon, that he was most carfull of the means, most carelesse of the end. Thus I have endevored to distinguish those things which this Authours very judiciously con∣founds. And as it was no folly for Paul to doe as he did that all good meanes might be used for their preservation; so much lesse was misery, nay they had bene in amise∣rable case, had they neglected any due meanes to preserve themselves: for St Paul (notwithhanding the message delivered unto him by an Angell, and his promise therupon made unto the Centution) spared not to professe that unlesse the Mariners staid in the ship they could not be Saved: so that this Authours fable of Sysiphus, is no better accommodated then the rest, save that herein he may refresh his reader, & thank him for his curtesie, for representing unto him as in a glasse the nature of his proceedings. For in this his discourse he doth very accuratly play the part of Sysiphus for he takes great paines inkindeling a fire, but alasse he cannot warme himselfe thereby; he must blow his nails still; there is no remedy. And truly I see noe reason to the contrary, but that a man as profitably bestowes his paines in picking strawes, or playing with feathers, as this Authour doth in such maner of discourses. Domitian killed flyes, but this Author doth not so much as flap a flye; only I confesse he doth very energe∣tically discover the nakednesse of his owne discourse. And such be the issue of those that affect a name by becomming Arminian Proselits; and shew as litle grace in their writings, as it becomes them whose growth in perfection (by their owne account) is to appose the grace of God Pelagian like, whom Austin was bould to call the enemyes of Gods graee; Indeed it was high tyme for Balaam to leave his sorceries when he saw the Lord was determined to blesse Israel. For his sorceries were no meanes to blesse them, but to curse them rather. In like sort, if I am perswaded that God hath ap∣poynted me unto Salvation, it will be high tyme for me to leave off all care of faith repentance and good workes, when this Author shall make it appeare, that these stu∣dies are no more conducent (in Gods ordination) unto salvation, then Balaams sor∣ceries were to the blessing of Israel, but rather the high-way unto damnation, as his sorceries were to the cursing of the Lords people.

I make no doubt (what this Authors creed is to the contrary I care not) but that every mans temporall estate is determined in heaven, as well as Pauls escaping safe out of shipwrack, and all that were in the same ship, to the number of two hundred threscore and sixteen soules, yet both Paul and all the rest did not take their ease, but were vigilant to take all opportunity, to use the best meanes for their safe arrivall at the land; some by swimming, some by sitting on bords, some on one piece of the ship Page  235 some on another, and so (and not but so) they came all safe to land. And as our Divines in the Synod of Dort observe, albeit the Lord had promised Ezechiah, he should recover, and fifteen years more should be added to his life, yet he refused not the counsaile of the Prophet Esay, in laying a plaster of figges unto his sore. We know what was the forme of Ionahs Preaching to the Ninivites Ion. 3. 4. Yet forty daies and Niniveh shall be de∣stroyed. Here we have an absolute forme of sentence denounced against them. And the people of Niniveh believed God, Yet did they not give over all courses for the pacifying * of the wrath of God, but proclaimed a fast, and put on sack-cloath, from the greatest of them to the least of them; the King himselfe arising from his throne, and laying his robe from him, and co∣vering himselfe with sack-cloath, and sitting in ashes, and commanding others to doe the like. And mark their reason. Who can tell if God will turne and repent, and turne from his fierce wrath that we perish not. In like sort damnation being determined to none, but to such as are * finally impenitent: and this being not doubtfully or obscurely, but clearely revealed unto us in Gods word, shall our endeavours to turne unto God by Godly sorow and repentance, be accounted vaine and fruitlesse in the judgement of any sober man? And let this Author look unto it, that these Ninivites doe not one day rise in judge∣ment against him; And not the Ninivites only, but the Stoicks also, who as they ac∣knowledged some things fatalia, so they confessed there were some things confatalia; And this very argument here used they commonly called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, an idle argu∣mentation; because it tended to the humouring of men in their idle courses: And thus is it censured above 1500 yeares agoe by Cicero in his Booke De fato. It is the blessing of God that makes men fat, and if God hath determined this, and man knows it, will he therefore sit still and starve himselfe? It is the blessing of God that makes men rich. God promised as much to the Israelites, in case they kept his Commandements, which com∣mandements did not instruct them in good husbandry; but where they instigated hereby to neglect any usuall meanes of making themselves rich? Nothing lesse, nay God was jealous least in presumption of their owne wise and thriftie courses they should give the glory of it to themselves and not to God. Deut. 8. 17. Beware least thou say in thy heart, My power and the strength of mine owne hand hath prepared me this abundance. But remember the Lord thy God: for it is he which giveth thee power to get substance. If it be sayd that God hath not determined to make any man fat, but by feeding; nor any man rich but by labouring in some vocation, or other, I answer, That neither hath God determined to bring any man to Salvation, but by Sanctification of the spirit and faith of the truth 2 Thess. 2. 13. By feeding on Gods Word, which is the word of grace able to save*our Soules. Iam. 1. and to build further and to give us an inheritance among them that are sanctified through faith in him. In like sort if God hath appoynted every Commonwealth a fatall period, yet if he hath appointed to bring them to flourishing estate by certaine meanes, or to desolation no otherwise then by neglecting the meanes of prosperitie, as it is aparent he doth not, would any wise man conclude hence, that it were boot∣lesse either to call Parliaments or to make use of privy Councelors? But this Au∣thor perhaps will reply, that this is not absolutely to ordaine a period to a state, for as much as the period is brought to passe by meanes. Be it so; Now let the indifferernt consider whether we doe maintaine, that the periods of men, to wit Salvation on the one side and damnation on the other, are by God brought to passe without meanes. Doe we maintaine that God damnes or decreeth to damne any man but for finall per∣severance in sinne? Doe we maintaine that God brings any man to Salvation (if he come to the use of reason) but by faith repentance and good-workes? But the truth is this Authors ignorance in part, and in part a dexterity that this Sect hath to con∣found things that differ, is his best armour of proofe, to hold up his confidence in spending his powder liberally, but without shot. For salvation is not bestowed, or damnation inflicted absolutely, but that meerely upon the foregoing of faith and re∣pentance; this meerely upon finall perseverance in sinne. Only regeneration together with the grace of faith and repentance, is bestowed absolutely by God upon whom he will, and denyed to whom he will, according to that of Paul, He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. And it is very strange that this being the criticall poynt, and the most momentous poynt of controversy, and such, the decision where∣of carryeth with it the decision of all the rest, this Author should unshamefacedly de∣cline it. But some there be that hate the light because their workes are evill; but doth it become him to taxe others for declining the triall, when none sheweth more vile carriage this way then himselfe? What that Privy-Councellor was, I know not, Page  236 nor have I any evidence of the truth of the story, but as it lyeth dictated at pleasure; I have shewed how it nothing disadvantageth our cause, though the Author of that speech were not only a Privy-Councellor but a great Divine too. Yet amongst many good, there might be some bad in Queen Elizabeths dayes. If that were true which is reported to have been mentioned by Dr Lively in a Lecture of his in Cambridge, namely that a certaine Booke was found under a Privy-Councellors pillow, whose inscription was this De tribus Mundi impostoribus, Mose, Christo, Mahumite. As for fate stoicall (to give the Divell his right) I no where find it maintained by any of them so as to prejudice mens wills, but by many great ones I find this expresly denyed and hereof I have already spoken more at large.

Still he keepes his course in impugning an absolute decree determining mens ends precisely: What secret misteries he conceales in the Word, precisely. I know not; but it is aparent, we maintaine no such determining the Salvation of any man, so as to exclude a God∣ly life. We both know and teach that without Holinesse (as much as to say without a Godly life) no man shall see God. But we further say, that this is not wholy the decree of predestination, though this Author with his Remonstrants would faine rest here: but we farther say, that a Godly life is the gift of Gods grace, and that God bestowes this gift on whom he will; but this Author hath no great lust to oppose us here. The more Equivocall a phraise is, the fitter it is to serve his turne, that lyes upon advan∣tages, to promote error and obscure truth. And therefore keepes himselfe to the abso∣lute decree and precise determinations; either not understanding or not considering, that an absolute decree may be takendivers waies, either quoad actum volentis as touching the act of God willing, or quoad res volitas, as touching the things willed, the decree properly signifies the act of God willing; but this Author in consideratly takes it quoad res volitas as touching the things willed all along, as appeares by his oppossing it to decree or will conditionall; And will conditionall with him is such, as when the thing willed is not effected because the condition is not performed. They are his owne words in the last Section save one of his former sorts of reasons, the very last words. As for example, the will of Saving men is not accomplished, because men doe not believe. Then as touching the things willed Gods decrees being considered, here also arise different considera∣tions; for as much as the things willed are different Grace and Glory; As for Glory and Salvation we doe not say that God hath decreed to confer that absolutly, but only conditionally; yet thereupon he stiks throughout. supposing his adversaries to maintaine an absolute decree concerning the conferring of Salvation abolutely, which is most untrue, wherein he fights without any adversary; yet there he discharg∣eth himselfe very strenuously, and layes about him like a mad man. But as for grace, to wit, the grace of regeneration, the grace of faith and repentance; this we readily professe that God doth bestow it absolutly, to wit, on whom he will, according to the meere pleasure of his will. All this, It is the glory of this Author in his discourse most juditiously to confound; which made him the more to abound in matter, that he might seem to say some thing, when indeed it is nothing, supple to the purpose. And to meet with him in every particular of his conclusion; The events (to wit of Salva∣tion or damnation) are not at all decreed by God to come to passe absolutely, but meerely conditionally, and consequently not unavoydably, but avoydably rather; like as things that come to passe contingently doe come to passe with a possibility not to come to passe, and accordingly God decreed they should came to passe contingent∣ly; And consequently mens actions hereabouts are not unprofitable, nay they are both necessary for obtayning the ends here intimated, & such as never faile of obtayn∣ing them. As for example. Sanctification of the spirit, and faith of the truth, never faile of pro∣curing Salvation; for as much as God ordained by these meanes to bring men unto Salvation 2 Thess. 2. 13. And by no meanes else. And therefore most absurd it is to conceive, that the practise of Godlinesse proves unprofitable, and from such wild pro∣mises the unprofitable nature of the prctise of Godlinesse, can prove no better then a wild conclusion.

I come to his two witnesses; the first is Calv. Inst. l. 3. c. 23. sect. 14. Si quis ita plebem com∣pellet; si non creditis, ideo fit, quia jam divinitus exitio destinati estis, is non modo ignaviam fovet, sed indulget malitiae. This (saith this Author) is as much to say as this; If a man should set downe the doctrine of Reprobation in its colours, and explaine it to people in a cleare and lively fa∣shion, he would hereby open a doore to liberty and prophanenesse. Now this Calvin delivereth as out of Austin; as appeareth both by his entrance hereunto, and by his shutting up of it; Page  237 His entrance into it is this. Et tamen ut singulare aedificationis studium sancto viro fuit, (that is Austin) sic docendi veri rationem temperat ut prudenter caveatur, quoad licet, offensio. Nam iquae vere dicuntur congruenter simul posse dici admonet; The man he speakes of still is Austin, as is apparent to him that shall consider the coherence of this Section with the former. Then he sets downe the inconvenient manner of Preaching this truth, as Austin doth, though not in Austins words but in his owne. Si quis ita plebem compellet; si non creditis, ideo fit, quia jam divinitus exitio destinati estis. &c. And shutting the whole up he expressely names Austin, misliking such manner of Preaching thus; Tales ita{que} Augustinus non immerito tanquam vel insulsos Doctores, vel sinistros & ominosos Prophetas ab Ecclesia jubet facessere. What is the mystery then of this, that Calvin is here brought in for a witnesse, in making a relation of Austins discourse, and Austin himselfe whose judgement Calvin doth but relate is pretermitted, especially considering that Austins testimony, where it serves his turne, would give farre more credit to his cause then Calvins: you will give me leave to guesse at the mistery, which I take to be this; Cal∣vin is well known to be opposite unto him in the doctrine of reprobation; but Calvin acknowledging that this Doctrine might be delivered in a harsh manner, which yet nothing moved him from entertaining it: this harsh manner of propounding it, is e∣nough to serve this Authors turne, to defame it both in his own conceit, and in the conceit of others, such as himselfe. For as for Calvins opinion to the contrary, that is of no consideration with him, yea though Luther also joyne with him in this. Hee is especially in these daies, and with some persons so contemptible, as never was honest man more. But to bring in Austin acknowledging this Doctrine, and taking notice of some harsh manners in propounding it, and yet notwithstanding embra∣cing it in despight of the harshnesse thereof, and shewing withall, how this harsh manner of propounding the same truth may be tempered; his Authority this Au∣thor well knew, and considered would be of greater Authority to sway for it, then some harshnesse in the propounder, or this Authors Me thinks, would sway a∣gainst it: And therefore he thought fit to spare the bringing in of Austin to testify for him, and contents himselfe to bring Calvin only upon the stage, though he doth but relate in effect the discourse of Austin; Thus as formerly I said, this Treatise savours more of the Fox then of the Lyon. But let us bring him unto Au∣stin De bono perseverantioe. cap. 16. Where the objection made by them of Marseiles against Austins Doctrine of Predestination is proposed thus. Sed aiunt ut scribitis neminem posse correptionis stimulis excitari, si dicatur in conventu Ecclesiae audientibus multis. Ita se habet de praedestinatione definita sententia voluntatis Dei, ut alii ex vobis de infidelitate, accepta obediendi voluntate veneritis ad fidem, vel accepta maneatis in fide: caeteri verò qui in pec∣catorum delectatione remoramini, ideo nondum surrexistis, quia nec dum vos adjutorium gratiae mi∣serantis erexit. Veruntamen si qui estis nondum vocati, quos gratia sua praedestinaverit elegendos, accipietis eandem gratiam, qua velitis & sitis electi: Et si qui obeditis si praedestinati estis rejiciendi, subtrahentur obediendi vires, ut obedire cessitis. But they say (as you write) that no man can be excited by the good of reprehension, if in the congregation before many, the Prea∣cher shall thus discourse. Such is the sentence of Gods will determined as touching predestination, that some of you receiving the will of obedience, shall come from infi∣delity unto faith, or receiving the gift of perseverance shall continue therein. But if there be any among you who are not called, whom God hath through his grace pre∣destinated to be elected, they shall receive the same grace, whereby to will to be, & to become elect. And if there be any of you, who obey the Gospell, that are predestinated to be rejected, the strength of obeying shall be taken from you, that you may cease to obey. Here is the objection against it, Austins doctrine of predestination, and reproba∣tion at full; his answer to it followeth at full; but how? Not in denying ought that hereby is implyed concerning his doctrine of Predestination, but to the contrary; First shewing that this harsh proposition of things, must not deterre us from the em∣bracing of it; Secondly, shewing how the same truth may be delivered in a more tem∣perate manner. Ita cum dicuntur (saith he) ita nos a confitenda Dei gratia, i. e. quae non secundum merita nostra datur, & a confitenda secundum eam praedestinatione Sancto∣rum; that is, These things thus delivered, must not deterre us from confessing Gods grace, which is not given according unto workes, and from con∣fessing the predestination of Saints, according thereunto. Where observe I beseech you how farre he joynes together the doctrine of Gods free grace, with his doctrine of predestination according to his Tenet, which here was opposed by the same Page  238 Argument, wherewith the Author in this place oppugneth ours. Manifestly giving to understand, that his doctrine of Predestination could not be impugned as there it is, but withall they that impugne it, must deny the freenesse of Gods grace, & maintain that it is given according unto works or merits. So that as he answers them, so we may take liberty to answer this Author, and say that this argument of his must not deterre us from confessing predestination according to Gods free grace; least so we be driven to maintaine that Grace is given according unto works. And the reason is manifest; For if it be not of the meere pleasure of God, that he bestowes faith on one, & denyes it unto another, then the reason hereof must be because God findes some better dispo∣sition in one then in another, and therefore he gives him, that is better disposed, the grace of faith which he denyes unto another. Now this both in Austins judgement & in cleare reason appears to be the maintaining, that grace is given according unto workes, which is condemned in the Synod of Palestine above 1200 years agoe. Yet Au∣stin rests not here, but shewes how the same objection may have place, as well for the overthrowing of prescience divine, as for the overthrowing of predestination divine. We (saith he) must no more be deterred by this objection from confessing, the freenesse of Gods grace, and predestination divine suitable thereunto, then we are hereby de∣terred from acknowledging Gods fore-knowledge, and shewes how the same objecti∣on may be accommodated against Gods fore-knowledge, thus. Sive nunc recte vivatis sive non recte; tales vos eritis postea quales vos deus futuros esse praescivit, vel boni si bonos vel mali si malos. That is, Whether at this time you live well or not well, such you shall be as God foreseeth you will be; either good if he foreseeth it will come to passe, or evill if he foreseeth you will be evill. Now (saith he) if upon the hearing of this, some are converted unto slothfulnesse (this is the very objection proposed by Calvin for the matter of it, but the forme is different. For Calvin saith the Preacher, doth cherish slothfulnesse, &c. Austin signifieth only, that by such kind of Preaching, men take occasion of slothfulnesse, and therefore it is fit that Calvin should in that sense only be interpreted, seeing he only relates in effect that which he findes in Austin,) suppose (saith Austin going on) That hereupon they runne after their lust, shall we therefore thinke, that to be false, which was delivered as concerning Gods fore-knowledge? Then he tells a History of his own experience, namely how one in the same monastery whereof he was, abused in this manner the doctrine of fore-knowledge. For when his bre∣thren reproved him he would stubbornly answer, Whatsoever I am now, surely I shall goe out of the World, such as God foreseeth I will be. Wherein saith Austin, he speakes truth, but he was so farre from profiting by it unto good, that at length he utterly forsooke our society, returning as a dog to his vomit; and yet what he will be, saith he, the Lord knoweth. Now who doubts but that our doctrine of justification by faith, and not by workes, may be an occasion to some, to abuse the grace of God unto wantonnesse; such there were even in the Apostles daies: but what? Shall we therefore renounce that doctrine? I am not yet come to the tempering of the manner of proposing this doctrine, I have more to say before I come to that. What difference is there in harsh∣nesse between these doctrines, If ye doe not believe, therefore ye doe not believe, because God hath ordained you to destruction, and this, If ye doe not believe, therefore ye doe not believe because God hath not regenerated you: Let any man shew how a doore is open to slothfulnesse, more by the one, then by the other; especially considering the ground of all, is mans inability to believe, without this grace of God effectually preventing and working him unto faith. Now this doctine is plainly taught, and that particularly of certain persons, to their faces: Ioh 8.. He that is of God heareth Gods word, ye therefore heare them not, because ye are not of God. The phrase, to be of God, I interpret here of regeneration, but both Austin of old, and our Divines of late, doe interpret of election; and so it is precisely the same with the Preaching of reprobation in his true colours, as this Author interprets it, and passeth this censure upon it, as opening a doore to liberty and profanenesse; which may I confesse well be occasionally to carnall men, or to men possest with pre∣judicate opinions, yet here it appears plainly, to be in effect the same with that which our Saviour himselfe Preached. But take this withall; as it may be an occasi∣on of slothfulnesse, so it may be a meanes to humble men, and beat them out of the presumptuous conceit of their own sufficiency to heare Gods word, to believe, to repent, and the like; and thereby to prepare them to look up unto God, and to waite for him in his ordinances, if so be as the Angell came downe to move the waters in the poole of Bethesda, to make them medicinable; so Gods spirit Page  239 may come downe and make his word powerfull to the regenerating of them, to the working of faith, and repentance in them. And I appeale to every sober mans judge∣ment, whether to this end tended not the very like Doctrine and admonition proposed by Moses to the Children of Israel in the Wildernesse. Deut. 29. 2, 3, 4. Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh and all his servants, and unto all his Land. The great temptations which thine eyes have seene those great miracles and wonders. Yet the Lord hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and eares to heare unto this day. For is it not Moses his purpose to set before their eyes how little they have profited in obedience and thankfulnesse unto God, and amendment of life, by all those great workes of his, in the way of mercy towards them, and in the way of judgement to∣wards the Egyptians? And what was the cause of all this, but the hardnesse of their hearts, and the blindnesse of their eyes? and to what end doth he tell them, that God alone can take away this hardnesse of heart, and blindnesse of mind, which hitherto he had not done? Might he not seem to justify them, in walking after the hardnesse of their hearts by this, and harden them therein by this Doctrine of his? like as this Author casts the like aspersion in part upon the like Doctrine of ours? Yet Moses passeth not for this, so he might set them in a right course, to be made partakers of Gods grace, and that by the ministry of the Law, to humble and prepare them for the grace of God, which is the Evangelicall use of the Law. And it is remarkable that in the first verse of this Chapter, these words are said to be the words of the Cove∣nant, which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Children of Israel in the land of Mo∣ab, beside the Covenant which he made with them in Horeb. Wherefore seeing the Covenant made in Horeb, was the Covenant of the Law, it followeth that this Covenant is the Covenant of grace, and these words are the words of the Covenant of grace, which is plainly expressed in the next Chapter v. 6. And the Lord thy God, will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, that thou maiest love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soule, that thou maiest live. And what is the usuall preparation hereunto but to humble men by convicting them of sinne, and of their utter inability to help them∣selves, and that nothing but Gods grace is able to give them an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and eares to heare. But yet because we doe not speake in the same measure of the spirit, and of power, as Moses and our Saviour did, therefore we labour to decline all harshnesse as much as lyeth in our power, where we see occasion is like to be taken of offence. Therefore first as touching this discourse of Calvins. If you believe not, therefore it is, because you are already destinated unto damnation. I say this is untrue more waies then one. First if he conceives destination unto damnation, goes before Gods decree to deny faith: this I utterly deny, and have already proved, that in no moment, of rea∣son doth the decree of damnation precede the decree of denying grace. Therefore Gods decree to deny them grace, is rather the cause why they believe not then the de∣cree of damnation. Secondly whether we take it of the one or of the other, or of both, yet the proposition is utterly untrue. For it doth not follow, that because a man doth not as yet believe, therefore God hath decreed to deny him faith; and be∣cause he hath so decreed, therefore he denies him faith. For he that believes not to day, may believe to morrow. Saul was sometimes a persecutor of Gods Church; but was it at that time lawfull to conclude, that because he did not then believe there∣fore he was destinated unto damnation: so that the reason indeed is, either because God hath not decreed at all to give them faith, or because the time which God hath ordained for their conversion is not yet come. This is so cleare that Calvin himselfe were he alive, would not gainsay upon consideration. Neither doth he justify this discourse, but only saith, we must be more wise, then so to discourse to our Auditors. But this Author in saying, this is to set downe our doctrine of reprobation in its co∣lours, delivers that which is shamefully untrue, and nothing sutable with our do∣ctrine. More necre to the matter we should say rather, That like as therefore a man heareth Gods word because he is of God (that is as I interpret it, because he is rege∣nerated of God) so therefore men heare them not, because they are not of God, that is not yet regenerated; but yet neverthelesse they may be in good time. Yet here also there is some defect for want of cleare explication of this truth; For will you conclude hence, that non-regeneration is the cause of infidelity (as some doe in effect)? Why but this is either notoriously false, or if true it is true in such a sense, as whereby God is no more the cause thereof, then a Physitian is the cause of a di∣sease, because he will not cure it. For infidelity is a naturall fruit of mans he∣reditary Page  240 corruption, and God alone can cure it, but if he will not, God is not to be said to be the cause of any disobedience issuing therefrom, otherwise then per modum non removentis, by way of not removing the cause of it; or per modum non dantis quod pro∣hiberet, by way of not curing the cause, that is, by not giving faith. Now what harsh∣nesse there is in this, to as many as doe not concurre with the Pelagians, so as in plain termes to professe, that Grace is given according to mens works; And the objection framed against Austin, and grounded upon that doctrine which he acknowledged ranne thus. Caeteri qui in peccatorum delectatione remoramini ideo nondum surrexistis, quia nec dum vos adjutorium gratiae miserantis erexit. Therefore you are not risen out of that de∣light you took in sinne, because the succour of Gods grace hath not raised you, not as Calvin expresseth it. Therefore you believe not, because ye are ordained to destruction. And this very doctrine, as formerly I said, our Saviour spares not to apply to some parti∣cular * persons, and Preach it to their faces; like as Moses Preacheth the very same do∣ctrine to the Children of Israel, Deut. 29. 2, 3, 4. Yet Austin to prevent harshnesse doth not like this manner of proposing it so well, seeing it may be and it is fit it should be delivered coveniently thus. Si qui autem ad huc in peccatorum damnabilium delectatione remoramini appre∣henditis saluberrimam disciplinam. Quod tamen cum feceritis, nolite extolli quasi de operibus vestris, aut gloriari, quasi non acceperitis. If any of you doe yet continue in the delightfull course of damnable sinnes take hold of wholesome discipline, which when you have done, be not proud thereof as of your own work, or Glory as if you had not received this grace of God. Now what advantagious service this first witnesse hath done him, I am well content the indifferent may judge. I come to his second witnesse, that is of the Land-grave of Turing, reported by Hesterbachius; as I remember it is about the Twelfth Century of yeares since our Saviours incarnation. This man being admo∣nished by his friends of his dangerous and vitious courses, made this answer. Si praedestinatus sum nulla peccata poterunt mihi Regnum Caelorum auferre; Si praescitus, nulla bona mihi illud valebunt conferre. It is not the first time I have met with this story; not in Vossius only, but in an Arminian Manuscript; it seems they make some account of it; yet I see no cause they should make any such account thereof. It is the common voyce of prophane persons corrupting the doctrine of Predestination to serve their own turnes. My selfe remem∣ber an instance of it in my minority, when I was little more then a child; and I re∣member both the Person whom, and the place where it was delivered, and it was ac∣counted as a signe of a prophane heart; yet this Vossius makes use of, as an instance forsooth of a Predestination Heretique. And I wonder why they doe not devise as well a Praescientiarian Heresy; and that by as good an instance as this, of one of Austins Monkes, who being reproved by his brethren, made the like answer as touching Gods praescience, but yet with more sobriety, saying, Whatsoever I am now, I shall be such as God foreseeth I will be. Yet herein as Austin professeth, he spake nothing but truth; but the saying of the Landgrave implyes a notorious untruth, namely, that if he were predesti∣nated he should be Saved, though he continued in his sinfull courses; Now this I say is a grosse untruth; For predestination is the preparation of Grace (as Austin de∣sineth it) and consequently such as are predestinated shall be taken off from their sin∣full courses in good time, and by Grace be brought unto Salvation. In like sort he supposeth a Reprobate may be truly righteous; whereas Austin professeth of such, as are not predestinate that God brings none of them to wholsome and spirituall repentance, where∣by man is reconciled unto God in Christ, what patience soever he affords them. Contr. Jul. Pelag. l. 5. c. 4. Nay this kind of Argumentation, drawn from destiny Stoicall, wherewith our adversaries doe usually reproach our doctrine of Predestination, like as the Pela∣gians did in the same manner reproach Saint Austins doctrine concerning Predestina∣tion. I say this argument was in course, and profligated in the daies of Cicero, and censured as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, an idle argumentation (as before I mentioned) and it is to be seen in Cicero his book De Fato; and thereupon they distinguished of some things which they called, Fatalia, as victory, and some things which they called, Confatalia, as all necessary meanes requisite to the getting of the victory. And Origen though he be accounted a favourer of our adversaries Doctrine in his writings, yet he shewes the vanitie of this Argument applyed to fate, wherby undoubtedly he meanes provi∣dence divine. For he proposeth such a kind of objection, as if a sicke man should di∣spute himself from taking Physick after this maner. Either by destiny is it appointed I shall recover or no; If my destiny be to recover I shall recover though I use no Physicke, if my destiny be not to recover, all the Physitians in the world shal doe me no good. And the vanity of this is represented Page  241 by the like argument in another manner thus: If it be thy desteny to beget children, whe∣ther thou usest the company of Woemen or no, thou shalt beget children: And concludes thus; Ut enim hic si fieri non potest ut quis procreat, nisi cum muliere concubuerit, sic si valetudinis recupera∣tio medicinae via efficitur necessariò adhibetur medicus. The Greeke of Origen is set downe at large by Turnebus in his disputation upon Cicero his book De Fato, against Ramus. Now judge you I pray, what colour of detriment to Religion, hath he produced from our doctrine of absolute Reprobation, and whether his discourse herein is any better then the imagination of a vaine thing.

DISCOURSE. SECT. IV.

BUt there are two things chiefly, which are said for the vindicating of this opinion from this crimination.

1. First, that many of them which believe and defend this opinion, are Godly and holy men, and therefore it doth not of it selfe open a way to liberty; but through the wicked∣nesse of men, who pervert the sweetest, and the surest truths revealed in Gods word, to their own damnation.

Resp. It cannot (I confesse) be denyed, that many of this opinion are Godly men, but it is no thankes to their opinion, that they are so; (the true and naturall genius of which is to breed sloth, to drowne men in carnall security, and to countenance carnall liberty.) but to some thing else, either to Gods providence, (who will not suffer this doctrine for his own glory and the good of men, to have any great stroake in their lives;) or to mens incogitancy, who think not of reducing it ad praxim, or drawing conclusions out of it, but rest in the naked speculation of it, as they doe of many others; or lastly to some good practicall conclusions, which they meet with in the word of God, and apply to their lives (as they doe not the former deductions) such as these are for example; Be ye holy as I an holy. Without holinesse no man shall see God. If ye consent and obey, ye shall eat the good things of the land. Godlinesse hath the promise of this life and of the life to come, and such like. And hence we may learne to measure this opinion, not by some few of the men that hold it, but by the sequels, which the Logick even of simple men, if they should apply their braines to ponder and consider it, would fetch out of it. No man that hath thoroughly suckt it in, and understood the force of it, but will either relinquish it, or live according to the naturall importment of it, that is, licentiously.

2. Secondly, it is said, that albeit this Doctrine doth teach, that men are absolutely elected, or absolutely rejected; yet it tells no man who in particular is elected, who rejected, (that must ap∣peare by themselves and their lives) and so it doth not stifle holy endeavours in any, but rather en∣courage them in every man, because it makes them to be signes, whereby men must and may get the knowledge of their election.

Resp. For answer to this (in my judgement or the present) the ignorance of a mans particular case doth not alter the case a jot. For he that believes in generall, that many and they the greatest compa∣ny without comparison, are inevitably ordained to destruction, and a few others unto salvation; is a∣ble out of these two generall propositions, to make these particular conclusions, and to reason thus with himselfe; Either I am absolutely chosen to grace and glory, or absolutely cast off from both, If I be chosen, I must of necessity believe and be saved; If I be cast off I must as necessarily not believe and be damned, Therefore what need I take thought either way about meanes or end? My end is pitched in Heaven, and the meanes too; my finall perseverance in faith and my salvation; or my continuance in unbeliefe and my damnation. If I lye under this necessity of believing, and being saved, or of dy∣ing in unbeliefe, and being damned, in vaine doe I trouble my selfe about meanes or end, I have my supersedeas, I may take mine ease, and so I will, it is enough for me to sit downe and waite what God will doe unto me.

And in this manner (it is to be feared) doe too many reason in their hearts, and by this very ground (though they will not perhaps acknowledge it) encourage themselves to prophanenesse. Though men cannot hide their wickednesse, yet they will hide their grounds which flesh them in it, either through modesty, or to avoyde some farther ignominy. The foole hath said in his heart there is no God: Psal. 40. Suetonius de Vita Tiberii c. 69. p. 180. Saies of Tiberius that he was circa Deos & re∣ligiones negligentior, quippe addictus Mathematicae, persuasionibus plenus omnia fato agi.

Page  242
TWISSE. Consideration.

I have already made answer to his objections after my maner; it remaines I con∣sider what he delivereth in debilitating those answers which he takes in to con∣sideration.

1. This answer was made by our Brittaine Divines in the Synod of Dort upon the first Article, but so, as that they proposed it not by it selfe alone, but joyntly with shewing that neither the Nature of our Doctrine doth any way prove any hinde∣rance unto pietie; as formerly I have made mention therof.

Whereas he sayth that many of this (our) opinion are Godly men but that is no thankes to their opinion that they are so. I answer, that neither doe we give the glory of our Godli∣nesse to our good opinion, nor have cause to thanke it therefore; but we give God the Glory both of leading us into this truth amongst many others, and for that Godlinesse that is in us also. For we acknowledge that God is able to convict our consciences of that trueth hereof, and yet refuse to lead us thereby into any Holinesse at all. Yet let every sober man judge who are in a fairer way to true Holinesse, or who are more likely to be in the state of true Holinesse, they that oppose the grace of God in working our wills to faith and repentance, or they that acknowledge it. They who maintaine that God of the meere pleasure of his will, regenerates us, en∣dueth us with the spirit of faith and repentance; or they who maintaine that God doth not give faith and repentance to whom he will. Neither is it the meaning of St Paul where he sayeth God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hard∣neth; but rather where he findes an absolute disposition or worke in one, which he finds not in an other. Againe consider I pray indifferently, who are more likely to be partakers of Gods grace; they who truly magnifie it as the Author of their faith and repentance and of every good worke performed by them, and that in a pre∣venting manner; or they that pretend to make Gods grace to be the Author of their faith and repentance and every good worke only by giving them power to believe, if they will (which we are able to prove both by the judgment of Austin and by cleare reason to be meere nature and not grace) and accordingly exhorting them to believe, and last of all concurring with them to the producing of the act of faith in them in case they will; And seeing grace proves effectuall only by this subsequent manner of operation; whether they doe not plainely mocke God in making him the Author of grace, seing in respect of this effectuall operation they might as well make him the Author of every sinfull act as of every gratious act, For it is agreed on all hands that God concurres as well to every sinfull act as any gratious act. Whereas he sayth, The true and naturall genius of our Tenet is to breed sloth, and to drowne men in carnall security, and to countenance carnall libertie. I answer these words of his are but wind, his reasons I have already considered, and proved them to be of no weight. For they depend partly upon a vaine supposition, as if we maintained that God hath oppointed men unto Salvation though they live as they list, whereas our doctrine is directly contradictious here unto. For we teach that God ordaines no man of ripe yeares to obtaine Salvation but by Sanctification of the spirit and faith of the truth as we are plain∣ly taught 2 Thess. 2. 13. And the Evangelist signifies as much, where he saieth. As ma∣ny believed as were ordained to Everlasting Life. Act. 13. 48. It may be as well said that as many repented, as many gave themselves to worke out their Salvation with feare and trembling to purge themselues from all pollutions of flesh and spirit, and to perfect Holinesse in the feare of God, as were ordained to Salvation: partly because we maintaine that God gives faith and repentance and regeneration to whom he will, that is only to those whom he hath chosen, denying the same grace and that ab∣solutely; unto all others, which if it be not true; but that God doth grant it, or ordaine it according to mens workes, then we must all turne Pelagians, whom Austin calls inimicos gratiae Dei; And in such a case judge I pray whether it be possible that such can be partakers of Gods grace, namely, if they are the enemies of Gods grace. Is Page  243 it possible that he who partakes of Gods sanctifying grace should stand out in hostile opposition against it? Can we be at once both friends of the Bridegroom and enimies of his grace? Further consider more particularly wherein doth this consist, which he imputes unto us, of drowning men in carnall securitie, is it in denying unto man any grace that he attributes unto him? Surely well we may deny unto every Reprobate such a grace as he himselfe hates, and impugnes to wit, grace effectually preventing the will, and making man to believe and repent, but if you scanne every particular of those which he calleth grace, you shall find that we deny not any one of them unto Reprobates more then he doth. This perhaps may seeme strange unto you; therefore it deserves the more carefully to be considered; for I doubt not but to make it good. Grace subsequent is the only effectuall grace with them, and that consists in Gods concurrence to the working of faith in the heart of man, if man will worke it in him selfe. Now dare they say we deny, this namely, Gods concourse to the act of faith, whereas we maintaine with them that God concurres to every act, even to the most sinfull act, that ever was committed since the world began; only we are a shamed to call this concurrence grace, because it is found to have course as well in the producing of evill actions, as in the producing of good. So that if every man in the world should believe, we deny not but that God should concurre with him to the working of that belief, we professe that if every Reprobate in the world will believe, God is ready to concurre with him to the act of that will of that belief. From the consideration of their grace subsequent I arise to the consideration of their grace prevenient, and that is two fold, one is the grace exciting, to wit, by morall admoniti∣on, suasion, exhortation, This act we are willing to call and account a gratious act, & we doe as willingly acknowledge that God affords it unto all Reprobates (as well as to the elect) within the pale of the Church. For every one that appeares in any Congregation is equally exhorted to believe, to repent, to turne from their wicked wayes. So that hitherto we find no difference. We willingly acknowledge that Re∣probates are partakers of these operations divine as well as the elect. One grace pre∣venient remaines, which is habituall, and which our adversaries will have to be uni∣versall and it consistes in a power to believe and repent, and to will any spirituall good whereunto they were excited, and accordingly they call it the enlivening of mans will. This I deliver by experience of what I have seen under the hands of some of them. Yet they will not acknowledge that all are regenerate; yet what is regeneration, but the infusion of life spirituall, and that chiefly into the will; And they will have the will to be enlivened by grace, which cannot be spoken in respect of life naturall, therefore it must proceed of life spirituall, unlesse they will devise a life intermediate between life naturall, and life spirituall. Some times they call it a power to believe if they will, and such a power Austin acknowledgeth common to all, lib. 1. Gen. ad li∣ter: cap 3. And justifies it in his Retract. lib. 16. Now this seemes somewhat strange, considering the very regenerate have not such strength of goodnesse, as whereby they are inabled to doe what good they would, as Rom. 7. 18. To will is present with me but I find, not to performe that which is good. And Gal: 5. 17. The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to the other, so that ye cannot doe the same things that ye would. To helpe this and to cleare Austin from contradiction to expresse Scrip∣ture in this; I find that posse si velit is one thing, posse simply delivered is another thing. And this I find distinguished in that very place of Austines Retractations; For whereas as he had sayd in that lib. 1. de Gen. contr. Man. cap 3. That, Omnes homines possunt si velint, both credere, and ab amore visibilium rerum & temporalium se ad Dei praecerta implenda convertere. And comming to retract this, and perceiving what advantage the Pelagi∣ans might satch hence for the countenancing of their cause, in extolling the power of nature, he wisely prevents that by expounding himselfe, and clearing his owne meaning thus. Non existiment novi haeretici Pelagiani secundum eos esse dictum; manifesting thereby that this was the Pelagian Tenet yet were they not to be blamed for this, but only because they called not in Gods grace for further helpe then this, save only in the way of instruction. For Austin concurred with them still in this particular even then when he wrote his books of Retractations, as there it followes in these words Verum est enim omnino (marke by this Emphasis with what assurance of faith he delivered this) Omnes homines hoc posse si velint: Thus farre he goes along with them: but then marke wherin he goes beyond them in these words following; Sed praeparatur voluntas a Domi∣no & tantum augetur munere charitatis ut possint; When he sayeth, praeparatur voluntas a Domino,Page  244 the effect thereof undoubtedly is ut velint which is the state and condition of the rege∣nerate, who yet may complaine that they cannot doe that which they would as the Apostle formerly signifies, that is that simply and effectually they have not yet power enough to what they will; therefore Austin addes to the preparation of the will, ut velint, an augmentation of strength ut possint, saying tantum{que} augetur munere charitatis ut possint; that is; not only to will that which is good, but so intensely to will it, as to prevaile over the flesh lusting against the spirit, whereby it comes, ut non modo velint, sed & possint; and consequently & efficiant quod velint. So that posse simpliciter doth in∣clude velle; and addes such strength thereto as now to goe on to the doing of that it wills without restraint from the flesh. And that this posse is but an augmentation of the gratious disposition of the will, appeares by the same Austin de corrept. & gratia. cap. 11. Prima gratia est qua sit ut habeat homo justitiam si velit, secunda ergo plus potest, qua etiam sit ut velit, & tantum velit tanto{que} ardore diligat, ut carnis voluntatem contraria concupiscen∣tem voluntate spiritus vincat. The first grace is that whereby a man may have righteous∣nesse if he will, therfore the second grace is of more power, as whereby a man is made to will and that in such measure, as by the will of the spirit to overcome the will of the flesh affecting that which is contrary thereunto. And in the very next chapter, c. 12. He calles this prevailing will, Posse simply, Tantum spiritu sancto accenditur voluntas eorum, ut ideo possint, quia sic velint, & ideo velint, quia Deus sic operatur ut velint; Their will is in such measure inflamed with the Holy Spirit, that therefore they are able (to doe that which is good) because they will in such a measure, & therefore they will in such a measure be∣cause God so works as to make them willing in such measure: Austin goes on in this manner Nam si in tanta infirmitate vitae hujus ipsis relinqueretur voiuntas sua, ut in adjutorio Dei manerent si vellent, nec Deus in iis operaretur ut vellent inter tot & tantas tentationes infirmitate sua voluntas ipsa succumberet, & ideo perseverare non possent, quia deficientes infirmitate nec vellent, aut non ita vellent infirmitate voluntatis ut possent. For if in so great infirmitie of this life, their will were left unto thē, that in the helpe of God they might continue if they would, & God should not work in them that they would, amongst so many and so great tenta∣tions, this will it selfe would sinke (under the burthen of them) and therefore could not persevere, because failing through infirmity they would not, or (at least) they would not in such a measure, through the wills infirmity, as to be able to stand. So that posse simpliciter still with Austin includes the will, and is a denomination of the will, arising from the strength of it prevailing above the flesh, lusting to the contrary. In like sort Honorius Augustodunensis de praedest. & lib. arbit: diverse times ascribes posse to grace subsequent, like as he ascribes velle to grace prevenient, as when he sayth; Deus operatur in electis suis sua gratia praeveniendo velle, & subseqendo posse. And againe, gratiam accipimus, cum nos Deus praevenit, ut velimus, & subsequitus ut possimus. And againe Gratia Dei praevenit ut bonum quod sprevit cupiat, & sequitur ut illud implere praevaleat. So that in effect this posse comes to be all one with agere or perficere quod volumus. For when we not only will that which is good, but so affectionately will it, as to prevaile over the flesh lusting against it, all inward impediments being thus mastered, the perfecting of that we will must needes follow. But as for that posse si velint, this goes before the willing of it And I see no reason to the contrary but that we may with Austin ac∣knowledge such a power common to all; which in the disputations between Austin and Pelagius was called possibilitas agendi quod bonum est; and Austin was so farre from excepting against it as maintained by Pelagius, that more then once; he professeth, that in case like as he acknowledged posse to be from God, so he would acknowledge velle and agere to be from God he should be received for a good Catholique in this, by Austins judgment. I will cite a passage or two out of Austin expresly signifying this, & that out of his booke de gratia Christi, contra Pelag: & Caelest: The first is cap 6. Pelagius his words are these. Qui ipsius voluntatis & operis possibilitatem dedit whereupon Austin wri∣teth thus Hanc autem possibilitatem in natura eum ponere, de verbis ejus superioribus clarum est. Sed ne nihil de grati a dixisse videretur, adjunxit, Qui{que} ipsam possibilitatem gratiae suae adjuvat semper auxilio; non ait, ipsam voluntatem vel ipsam operationem, quod si diceret, non abhorrere a doctrina Apostolica videretur: as much as to say, did he acknowledge this he should be a good Catholique; Now ad juvare voluntatem & operationem, in Austins phrase is effectual∣ly, operari ut velit & operetur homo quod bonum est; as appeares by that which followeth. Sed ait (to wit Pelagius) ipsam possibilitatem illud videlicet ex tribus quod in natura locavit gratiae suae adjuvat semper auxilio. Now marke Austins interpretation of him thus, ut sci∣licet in voluntate & actione non ideo laus sit Dei & hominis quia sic vult homo, ut tamen ejus vo∣luntatiPage  245Deus ardorem dilectionis inspiret; so that adjuvare voluntatem in Austins phrase, is in∣spirare voluntati dilectationis ardorem. So then I see no reason, but that wee may well grant unto our adversaries, that all men have a power to believe if they will, and from the love of temporall things, to convert themselves to the keeping of Gods commandements; But this is meere nature in Austins judgement; for he calls it in that very chapter, naturalem possibilitatem, and cap. 47. coming to an issue: Si ergo consenserit nobis, non so∣lam possibilitatem, sed ipsam quoque voluntatem & actionem divinitus adjuvari, & sic adjuvari, ut sine ullo adjutorio nihil bene velimus & agamus, eam{que} esse gratiam Dei per Jesum Christum, ni∣hil de adjutorio gratiae Dei, quantum arbitror, inter nos controversiae relinquetur. And indeed to say that a man hath power to believe and repent if he will; this is not to maintaine any universall grace otherwise; then as nature may be called grace. For grace is goodnesse, but goodnesse doth not consist in a power to do good if we will; but it is an habituall disposing of the will to that which is good only, how much more is it so of grace which we count supernaturall goodnesse. Neither is the maintenance of such a power to doe good, any contradiction to holy Scripture, testifying that Men cannot believe, cannot repent, cannot please God, cannot be subject to the law of God, cannot doe good; For, this impotency is only morall, and the subject of this impotency is only the will and it consists in the corruption thereof, being wholly turned away from God, and converted to the creature in an inordinate manner; Enemies and strangers from God, their minds being set on evill things. Col. 1. 21. And to say that a man can believe if he will, can from the love of visible and temporall things, convert himselfe to the observation of Gods pre∣cepts if he will, which Austin in his latter daies, even then when he wrote his Re∣tractations, professeth to be true omninò. And in his Book ad Marcellinum De Spiritu & litera. cap. 31. Professeth it an absurd thing to deny this namely, that every one may believe if he will. Vide nunc utrum quis{que} credat si noluerit aut non credat si voluerit. Quod si absurdum est &c. And cap. 32. Cum ergo fides in potestate sit, quoniam cum vult quis{que} credit, & cum credit volens credit. I say to affirme this (namely that a man can believe if he will) is no more then to say, that a dead man can speake if he were alive. For as the Scripture teacheth, that all men are dead in sinne, 'till the spirit of regeneration comes to breath into our hearts, the breath of a spirituall life; So this deadnesse is to be found no where so much, as in the will. And therefore Aqui∣nas professeth, that a man is more corrupt, quoad appetitum boni, then quoad intellectum veri. The Heathen could professe, Video meliora probo{que} deteriora sequor. And in my experience I find that Arminians doe not satisfie themselves with this universality of grace, as to say, A man can doe good if he will, unlesse they adde, that also potest velle; as I have observed in Corvinus. And those whom I have in private been acquainted with doe not rest in this, that All men can believe if they will, but they say also, that by u∣niversall grace, the will is enlivened, as I have seen under their hands, and thereby enabled to the willing of any spirituall good, whereto they shall be excited. So that if they rested here, to wit, in saying, that by universall grace all men may believe if they will, there is no grace acknowledged by them, tending to the furtherance of the good of mankind, but we acknowledge it as well as they, and make the extension of it as large as they. And therefore the more vaine and voyd of all reason is their pretence, that we for want of acknowledging such an universality of grace as they doe, doe drowne men in carnall security, and countenance carnall liberty. Only though we grant the reality of that which they maintaine, yet we deny that it deserves to be called grace, as touching the first prevenient grace as they call it, which we with Austin say deserves to be called nature rather then grace, as we speake of grace, to wit, as distinct from nature, and indeed supernaturall. And as for grace subsequent, that consisting only in concourse, we deny that to be grace; for as much as Gods concourse is grant∣ed as well to any sinfull act, as to any gracious act, as now adaies is commonly ac∣knowledged on all sides. But as for the enlivening of all mens wills, and enabling them to will any spirituall good whereto they shall be excited (for this is their very forme of words) we utterly deny this, and are ready to demonstrate the unreasonablenesse thereof. For first seeing this cannot be understood of life naturall but of life spirituall, it followeth that all men by this doctrine are regenerated; and as they confesse this disposition continues in all unto death, so it followeth, that all and every one should dye in the state of regeneration also: Secondly, seeing there are but three sorts of qualities in the soule of a reasonable creature, as Aristotle hath observed, to wit, powers, passions, and habits; it followeth that this enlivening of the will must consist, Page  246 either in giving it new powers, or new passions, or new habits, which it had not be∣fore. But neither of these can be affirmed with any sobriety, neither doe I find that they look to be called to any such account, but in their aëriall contemplations of Gods attributes, especially of his mercy and justice, shaped at pleasure, doe conceive hand over head, that such an enlivening there must be of the will of man in all, with∣out troubling themselves to enquire wherein it consists. But let us proceed in our triall of the soundnesse of it, by the touch-stone of rationall and Christian discourse. First therefore, I say it can be no new power infused into the will by this enlivening; For the will it selfe is a power; and it was never heard that potentia can be subjectum potentiae, a power can be the subject of a power; and that a power should be in a pow∣er, as an accident in the subject thereof. Rationall powers are but two, the power of understanding, and the power of willing, and both these are naturall, following ex principiis speciei, from the very nature of the humane soule, as all confesse. But some may say, are there not supernaturall powers bestowed on man as well as na∣turall? I answer, these supernaturall powers, are but the elevating of the naturall powers unto supernaturall objects; as the understanding by enlightning it, and the will by sanctifying it. Never was it said, I presume, that a man regenerate had two understandings in him, by the one to understand things naturall, and by the other to understand things spirituall; but that by the same understanding he understands both, but by light of nature the one, by light of grace the other. The holy Ghost saith, That they who are accustomed to doe evill, can no more doe good, then a Blackemore can change his skinne, and a Leopard his spots: Yet when men of evill become good, they get not new powers properly, but new dispositions rather of their naturall powers, which we call habits, and may be called morall powers, but not of indifferency to doe good or evill, such as the naturall power of the will is, but such as whereby is wrought in the will, a good likeing of that which is good, an abhorring of that which is evill; so that indeed these morall powers doe not make the will able to will, but rather actu∣ally willing of that which is good in generall, which generall willingnesse is specified according to objects present, and opportunities offered of doing good in one kind rather then another. Like as justice makes a man willing unto just actions, which willingnesse is exercised this way or that way, according to emergent occasi∣ons. Secondly, no new passions are given by this enlivening of the will; well our pas∣sions may be ordered aright, both touching their objects, and touching the season, and touching the measure, & touching the rule of them; and in respect of this gracious ordering of them, they may be called new; like as a man regenerate is called a new man, though as he hath the same members of his body, nor more nor lesse, so he hath still the same faculties and passions of the soule, no more nor no lesse; but these facul∣ties are better seasoned, these passions are better ordered, and in like sort, these mem∣bers of the body, are better employed then they were before; before they were made weapons of unrighteousnesse unto sinne, now they are made, weapons of righteousnesse unto God. Rom. 6. 13. Thirdly, let us enquire whether by this pretended enlivening of the will common to all men, there are any new habits engendred. For that is the most pro∣bable. And so we commonly say that in regeneration, besides the receiving of the spirit of God to dwell in our hearts, which is a great mistery, there are certaine habits whereby our naturall powers are elevated unto supernaturall objects, and thereby fitted to performe supernaturall acts; and these are but three, (and accordingly but three sorts of supernatuall acts) and commonly accounted the three Theologicall vertues, Faith, Hope, and Charity; And all morall vertues, which for the substance of them, in reference to their acts whereby they are acquired, and which they doe bring forth, are found in naturall men, doe become Christian graces, as they are sanctified by these three, and as their actions doe proceed from these. By faith we apprehend things beyond the compasse of reason, by hope we wait for the enjoying of such things, which neither eye hath seen, &c. And by charity, we love God (whom yet we have not seene) even to the contempt of our selves. Now I pre∣sume they will not say that these habits of Faith, Hope, and Charity, are bestowed up∣on all and every one, by that fained universall grace of theirs. And what other ha∣bits they doe or can devise, I have had as yet no experience, neither am I able to comprehend. And indeed faith doth not leave a man in indifferency to believe or no; nor hope to wait, or no; nor charity to love God, or no: but they doe all dispose the heart of man to believe only, to wait upon God only, to love God only; they Page  248 being the curing of infidelity, and despaire, & hatred of God, or rather the removing of them, yet but in part, as regeneration in this life is but in part, there being still a flesh in us lusting against the spirit. Gal. 5. 17. Thus we may maintaine, that albeit eve∣ry man hath power to believe if he will, and repent if he will, a will to believe and a will to repent being the greatest worke in the work of grace, I meane the reno∣vation of the will, and making it willing to that which is good, though it requires strength also to master the lusting of the flesh, whereby it growes simply and abso∣lutely potent to doe every good thing, without any effectuall impediment from with∣in, yet neverthelesse, till this renovation be wrought by the hand of God, we may well say there is an utter impotency morall to doe any thing that is good and pleasing in the sight of God, whereby they cannot believe, they cannot repent, they cannot be subject to the law of God, And if to Preach this doctrine be to breed sloth, to drowne men in carnall secu∣rity, and to countenance carnall liberty; then our Saviour did breed sloth &c. when he told his hearers plainly, He that is of God heareth Gods words, ye therefore heare them not, because ye are not of God, Ioh. 8. 47. As likewise when he Preached unto them in this maner. No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him. Ioh. 6. 44. And the Evangelist also in saying, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardned their hearts, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heale them. Ioh. 12. 40. And none more then Moses, when he tells the people of Israel in the Wilder∣nesse, saying, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, unto Pharaoh and unto all his servants, and to all his land. The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, those great miracles and wonders, yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and eares to heare unto this day. Yet this Author confesseth that our Saviours hearers, and Moses his hearers, many of them might be Godly men; but no thankes to this doctrine of theirs that they were so (the true and naturall genius whereof (to wit, of Christs doctrine and Moses his do∣ctrine, for it is apparent, that it is the same with ours in this particular we now speake of) is to breed sloth, to drowne men in carnall security, and to countenance carnall liberty) but to some thing else, either to Gods providence who will not suffer this Doctrine (for his own glory and the good of men) to have any great stroake in their lives; or to mens incogitancy, who think not of reducing it, ad praxim, or drawing conclusions out of it, but rest in the na∣ked speculation of it, as they doe of many others; or lastly to some good practicall conclusions, which they meet with in Gods word, and apply to their lives (as they doe not the former deducti∣ons) such as these are. Be ye holy as I am holy: without holinesse no man shall see God: Specta∣tum admissi risum teneatis amici? Yet I pray restraine that, and give your sorrow course rather in beholding such prophane aspersions cast upon the holy Doctrine of Christ, his Prophets and Apostles; as if thereby sloth were bred, and men drowned in carnall security, and carnall liberty countenanced. We are of another mind, for Wisedome is justified of her Children; we observe the wisedome of God herein to prevent the greatest illusions of Satan; and such Doctrines as stand in most opposition unto grace. The morality of Heathen men was admirable; yet were it farre greater, we conceive no greater opposition unto grace, then to look for justification by it. In the next place, we conceive there is no greater opposition unto grace, then for a man to arrogate unto himselfe, ability to doe that which is pleasing in the sight of God. Our Saviour hath said. Iohn 15. 4. that, As the branch cannot beare fruit of it selfe, except it abide in the Vine, so neither can wee except we abide in him. So that either all the World must be engrafted into Christ or else it is not possible they should bring forth sweet grapes. Yet these men will have all and every one, to have their wills en∣livened and enabled to will any spirituall good, whereby they shall be excited. Is this doctrine of theirs fit to humble them, and not rather to puffe them up with a conceit of their own sufficiency? Is not our doctrine farre more fit to humble us, and to what other end tendeth that of Moses, The Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, eyes to see, and eares to heare unto this day, But to beat them out of the conceit of any sufficiency in them, to profit either by Gods word, or by his works, so as to be drawn thereby to doe any thing that was pleasing in the sight of God; and can there be any true holinesse where humility is wanting? Againe, they are only thankfull unto God for giving them power to believe, to repent, and for exciting them hereunto; and concurring with them to the act of faith and repentance, for they acknowledge no other grace but this; We are bound by our doctrine to be thankfull, not only for these operations, but also for causing us to walke in his statutes, to keepe his judge∣ments and doe them, for healing our wayes, our back-slidings, our Rebellions, they by their Page  248 Doctrine, are bound to be thankfull unto God, for no other grace in the way of grace prevenient, then such as he vouchsafeth to reprobates, and did vouchsafe to Cain, to Judas, and to the Divells themselves; how is it that they are not stricken with feare, least in this case their condition be no better, then the condition of reprobates though God in good time may provide better things for them, then their opinions, have any congruity unto, having course only to the obscuring and defacing of Gods grace? We by our doctrine are bound to give God thanks for ruling us with a mighty hand, and making us to passe under the rod, and bringing us unto the bond of the * Covenant; for taking away our stony heart, and giving us an heart of flesh; for cir∣cumcising our hearts to love him with all our heart; for raising us out of the dead, when he found us dead in sinne; for working in us both the will, and the deed of eve∣ry good worke, not according to any thing in us, but according to his good pleasure: And this is so farre from breeding sloth in us, or to drowne us in carnall security in the Apostles judgement as that upon this very ground, as by a forceable inducement he exhorts us to worke out our Salvation with feare and trembling, manifestly implying, that when men are of another opinion, as namely to thinke that the will and deed of any good thing is their owne worke, or if they doe acknowledge it to be Gods work, yet if they doe not acknowledge it to be wrought by God, according to his good pleasure, but according to some disposition whereby they di∣spose themselves thereunto; that is the high-way to make them carnally secure, and how but by a carnall confidence that they have power to turne to God when they list, to believe and repent when they will, and withall that their wills are as plia∣ble to good as to evill, and so make it an easy mater at any time to turne to God. I appeale to the judgment of every sober conscience to judge betweene us which of our Doctrines most tends to the countenancing of carnall security, according to the Tenor of the Apostles exhortation in this place and that in coherence with the rea∣son whereby he doth enforce it, theirs, or ours. But to proceed, they acknowledge Christ to have merited for them only a power to believe and repent and meanes to excite them hereunto, and concourse divine to the act of believing and repenting in case they will; we acknowledge not only all this, but over and above that Christ hath merited for us, the working of our wills effectually and predominantly here∣unto, and that God makes us perfect to every good worke, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight through Jesus Christ. Nay what will you say, if the Remon∣strants * now a dayes openly professe, that Christ merited not for any man faith and regeneration, and I commend them for their ingenuity, in dealing fairly and plainly confessing that which their opinion doth manifestly drive unto. Lastly we confesse that God hath power as to shew mercy on whom he will, and harden whom he will, so to make whom he will a vessell of mercy, and whom he will a vessell of wrath, this we clearely professe, namely, that God hath such power even over our selves, and our childeren and all those that are neere and deare unto us, as over any others: But this these adversaries of ours now a days utterly deny; now I pray consider whose doctrine savoreth of greater holinesse in acknowledging the soveraignty of God over his crea∣tures, theirs or ours? But it will not be labour lost altogether to consider those cau∣ses whereunto he is pleased to impute that Godlinesse, which is found in us. The first is Gods providence; and indeed I find them liberall enough in acknowledging Gods providence in generall termes, and as forward to blast it when they come to particu∣lars. Now as for that providence which is the cause of Godlinesse, we like plaine fellowes comonly call it grace, and the ground of this Authors subtility in calling it providence and not grace, I comprehend not. But what is that operation of pro∣vidence divine or grace which is the cause of Godlinesse? Is it any other in his opinion then that universall grace whereby they have power to be Godly and which grace God affords unto Reprobates, and that exciting grace whereby God perswades them to be Godly, and his readinesse to concurre to any act of Godlinesse in case we will: and is not all this afforded (in his opinion) to Reprobates as well as to the e∣lect, to them that have no Godlinesse at all in them, as to them that have? And why may not this doctrine of ours whereby we maintaine, that God workes in us both the will and the deed according to his goodpleasure, be a meanes to make us set our selves to the working out of our Salvation with feare and trembling, considering that the Apostle professeth this doctrine of Gods energeticall operation of every good thing in us as a strong induce∣ment to worke out our Salvation with feare and trembling; and wherein consists Page  249 any mans Godlinesse if not in this, to wit, in working out his Salvation with feare and trembling? And is it not apparent that we maintaine this doctrine. namely, that God is he who workes in us both the will and the deed, and every good thing, and that according to his good pleasure in farre more undoubted manner then they doe. And how can it appeare that they doe acknowledge this? To give us power to will that which i good (which is the effect of that universall grace they talke of) is this to worke in us either the will or the deed? To excite us by per∣swasion and exhortation to will & doe that which is good, to believe and to repent, is to worke either in us the will or deed of that which is good, of faith of repentance? Lastly to be ready to concurre with us to the will or deed of faith and repentance if so be we will concurre with him to the same, or to concurre with us to the produ∣cing of the act of willing & the act of doing that which is good, in case we produce the same act of willing and doing that which is good, is this to worke in us both the will and the deed? Consider I pray is it not true that God is as ready to concurre with us to any sinfull act, in case we will concurre with him; and doth he not con∣curre with man to the produceing of any sinfull act, in case man at that time doth produce it; And will any sober man say that this is also for God to worke in him both the will and the deed of every sinfull act? And why might we not say so, if God workes it only by concourse? Lastly to worke in us both the will and the deed provided that man will concurre to the working hereof not otherwise, is this to worke it according to his good pleasure, and not rather according to mans good pleasure? And how I pray, or in what sence doth he say that God by his providence will not suffer this doctrine to have any stroke in our lives? For if he suffers it not, then he hinders it; let it therefore be made appeare how he hinders it; To concurre with us, if we will concurre with him in the producing of any act of Godlinesse, is this to hinder our carnall security? If so then to concurre with us to the producing of any sinfull act is to hinder our Godlinesse. Surely to give power whereby men are enabled to doe any spirituall good if they will is not to hinder carnall security, for such a power is given to all by universall grace, yet this doth nothing hinder the carnall security of many thousands. Or doth he hinder it by exciting us to the con∣trary? Yet if this doctrine (as we conceive) be apt to drowne us in carnall security, how can he be sayd to hinder us from it? For either the doctrine must yeeld to such excitations & exhortations from carnall security; or such exhortations must yeeld to the doctrine, especially considering what Austin sayth, that if there be any difference betweene docere and suadere or exhortari; yet even this doctrinae generalitate comprehenditur. And for incogitancy, which is a second device, pretended as the cause why this do∣ctrine doth not expose us to carnality, is it not incredible, these poynts being so much ventilated by them as none more? The Church of God having been exercised with none more (as I think) these hundred yeares; that men should not think of, or con∣sider of those dangerous consequences in manners, as these doe forge in their own braines. And as for the last, imputing our Godlinesse to some good practicall con∣clusions; may I not justly say, that if ever any man wrote with the spirit of giddi∣nesse, this Author deserves to have a chiefe place amongst them: For compare his an∣swer to the second objection with this; There he saith such dissolute conclusions as these following, doe arise out of this doctrine of ours: If I be chosen, I must of necessity believe and be saved; If I be cast off, I must as necessarily not believe and be damned; what need I therefore take thought either way about meanes or end. Now will it not as well follow, what need I therefore take thought of holinesse, of obedience? For even these are as good practicall conclusions. Believe and thou shalt be saved. Repent and thou shalt be saved, and whosoever be∣believeth not shall be damned. As these, Be ye holy as I am holy. Without holinesse no man shall see God. If ye consent and obey, ye shall eate the good things of the Land. And by the way observe I pray, with what judgement he calls them practicall conclusions; whereas all save two of them, are exhortations rather then conclusions; And those two; to wit, With∣out holinesse no man shall see God, and, Godlinesse hath the promises, both of this life &c. I should take them to be principles rather then conclusions. Whether simple men doe apply their braines to ponder and consider this doctrine or no, I know not; but certainly the learned and Godly maintainers of it, have had cause enough to ponder it, and consider it throughly, and have given evidence enough of their thorough consideration of it; yet have they fetcht no such sequells out of it. If simple men doe, and our adversaries be of the number of them, and content themselves with such simplicity; yet is it not Page  250 enough for us that the Apostle doth not? the holy Apostle S. Paul? but expressely en∣forceth the contrary there from; namely; that because of God worketh in us the will and the deed according to his good pleasure, therefore it becomes us to worke out our Salvation with feare and trembling? Now which of us doe most exactly concurre with the Apostle in main∣ning that God doth worke in us both the will and the deed according to his good pleasure, I am ve∣ry well content, that all the World both wise and simple, both Learned and unlear∣ned may judge.

2. As touching the second; First let us consider how the objection is shaped. Secondly, as it lies, with what judgement and sobriety it is impugned.

1. It is true men are absolutely elected or absolutely rejected; but we content not our selves with generalities, wherein as Aristotle hath observed, doe lurke many equivocations: Neither doe we delight in confounding things that differ. Election and rejection or reprobation, and in generall the will of God, may be considered, either Quoad actum voluntis, as touching the act of God willing, or as touching the things willed. Of this distinction this Author takes no notice; It is fit for some and advantagious to fish in troubled waters. Now as touching the act of God willing; both Aquinas hath proved, that there can be no cause thereof; and withall profess∣eth, that never was any so mad as to say That merites can be the cause of predestination, quoad actum praedestinantis, as touching the act of God predestinating. And Bradwardine hath curiously disputed this way that no will of God is conditionall, to will quoad actum volentis, And Piscator against Vorstius hath proved the same after his way; and by variety of demonstration this way may be convinced, as in part I have shewed in this discourse, both on the part of election, and on the part of reprobation. And both Dr Jackson in his booke of Providence, professeth that the distinction of Voluntas ante∣cedens and consequens, or antecedent and consequent will in God is to be understood quoad res volitas as touching the things willed, as much as to say, non quoad actum volentis. And Gerardus Vossius drawing the distinction of will antecedent and will consequent unto the distinction of will absolute and will conditionall, applyes it only quoad res*volitas, and so interpriteth Fathers discourse thereof; And of a conditionall will gives this instance; God will have men to be Saved, in case they believe where faith is clearely made the condition of Salvation, a temporall thing the condition of a temporall thing, not the condition of Gods will to save; it being no way fit that a temporall thing should be made the condition of a thing eternall, such as is Gods will to save. And this is more apparent by the reading of Vossius himselfe. Histor: Pelag: l: 7. treating of Gods will to save all. Now if we speake thus of Gods will quoad res volitas as touching the things willed; these things willed being very different, wee have reason to consider them distinctly also. Now these things are either grace or glory cō∣monly called Salvation, And as touching grace, to wit, the grace of regeneration, the grace of faith and repentannee, we willingly confesse that Gods will to conferre them is so absolute, that he hath determined to conferre them according to the meere pleasure of his will, not according to mans workes (which is plaine Pelagianisme and condemned in the Synod of Palestine above 1200 yeares agoe) and as he gives them to whom he will, so he denyes them to whom he will according to that Rom. 9. 18. He hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth. But as touching Sal∣vation or damnation in which respect this Author usually speakes of the absolute or conditionall will of God; we uttererly deny, that God in the dispensation or ad∣ministration, or execution of these proceeds or ever did decree to proceed according to the meere pleasure of his owne will, but altogether according to theire workes. For albeit God hath made no law according whereto he meanes to proceed in giving or denying grace, yet hath he made a law according whereto he proceeds in bestowing Salvation, and inflicting damnation. And the law is this: Whosever believeth shall be Saved, Whosoever believeth not shall bedamned 2 Cor. 5. 10. We must all appeare be∣fore the Judgement Seate of Christ, that every man may receive the things, which are done in his body according to that he hath done, whether good or evill. So that according to that sence wherein this Author usually speakes of the absolute and conditionall will of God, we utterly deny that God doth absolutely elect any man to Salvation, or reject any man unto damnation; though he doth absolutely elect some unto grace, that is to the grace of regeneration; to the grace of faith and repentance, and absolutely re∣ject others there from. For as much as he bestowes these graces on some and denies them unto others not according to their workes, but according to the meere plea∣sure Page  251 of his owne will, but he doth not inflict damnaton or bestow Salvation according to the meere pleasure of his will, but according unto mans works. And as he car∣rieth himselfe in the execution of Salvation and damnation, after the same manner he did from everlasting decree to carry himselfe, namely to Save no man of ripe yeares but by way of reward of their faith, repentance, and good workes; so to damne none but for their infidelity, impenitency and evill works. As for the mani∣festation of Gods will of election and reprobation unto any, we say, that ordinarily, man may be assured of his election. For the spirit of God is given to this very end even to shed the love of God in our hearts, that is, Gods love towards us. Rom: 5. 5. And what is the shedding therefore in our hearts, but his working in us a sense and feeling thereof, especially considering that the sence of Gods love to us is the cause of our love to wards God; according to that 1 John. 4. 19. We love him because he loved us first: and accordingly the spirit is sayd to testifie unto our spirits that we are the sonnes Rom. 8. And if sonnes then heyres, even heyres of God, and heyres annexed with Christ. And the Apostle St Peter exhorts us to give diligence te make our election & vocation sure; implying ma∣nifestly * that men may be sure of their election; otherwise why should our Saviour wish his Disciples to rejoyce not in this that Divells were subdued unto them, but that their names were writen in Heaven. And by what meanes may a man be assured hereof, but either * immediatly by the testimony of the spirit, or mediatly by the fruits of the spirit as the fruits of our election; one where of is faith plainly so signified Act, 13. 48. As many believed as were ordained to everlasting Life. And Act. 2. last. God added daily to the Church such as should be Saved; And repentance is another: Act. 11. 18. Then hath God unto the Gentiles also given repentance unto life. Giving to understand that as many as to whom God giveth repentance, he hath ordained them unto life. And indeed by the worke of our faith, and labour of our love, and the patience of our hope, others come to be assured of our election (how much more our selves, no man knowing the things of mā so as the spirit of man 1 Cor: 2.) Thus St Paul professeth his assurance of the election of the Thessalonians 1 Thess. 1. 3, 4. We remember the worke of your faith, and the labour of your love &c. Knowing beloved bretheren that ye are elect of God. And hereupon he proceeds to assure them, that Antichrist by all his deceiveablenesse of unrighteousnesse shall never prevaile over them; in as much as he prevailes only over them that perish 2 Thess: 2. 10. But as for them they are the elect of God; And how doth he know that? Surely by their faith and sanctification which were visible in them v: 13. But we ought to give God thankes allwayes for you, bretheren beloved of the Lord, because that God hath from the begining chosen you unto Salvation by sanctification of the spirit and faith of the truth. But as for reprobation we say that no man can by any ordinary way be assured thereof, seing nothing but finall perseverance in infidelity or impenitency is the infallible signe thereof, whence it followes that no way of desperation is open to one, but the way of assurance and abundance of consolation is opened to the other, and thereby encouragement to proceed cheerefully in the wayes of Godlinesse, being assured that the more holy they are the greater shall be their reward. And surely if certainty of salvation were a meanes of licentiousnesse, the Apostle S. Peter would never have exhorted us, to give diligence to make our calling and election sure. And we manifestly seem to perceive strength * of encouragement hereby unto Godlinesse; as being assured that Christ dyed for us, to the end we might live unto him. And God receives us as Sonnes and Daughters to this end, that we should purge our selves from all pollutions of flesh and spirit, and perfect holinesse in the feare of God. As also being assured, that God will not lay our infirmities and * sinnes unto our charge, and will be ready to keepe us from presumptuous sinnes, and however it fares with us, Yet sinne shall not have dominion over us, (and consequently we shall have the victory over it, either by obedience, or by repentance) because we are not under the law but under grace. Rom. 6. 12. Now what encouragement is this to the Souldiers of Christ, to goe on chearefully and couragiously in fighting the Lords battailes against the world, the flesh and the Divell, seing we are assured the day of victory and the glory of it shall be ours in the end: God keeping us by his power through faith unto Salvation 1 Pet. 1. And delivering us from every evill worke (to wit either by obe∣dience or by repentance) and preserving us to his heavenly kingdome; and that either, by delivering us from the houre aftentation which comes all over the world Revel: 3. Or delivering us out of it 2 Pet: 2. 9. Or having an eye to our strength so to order it that we shall be able to beare it 1 Cor: 10. 14. As for those that have not yet any comfortable evidence of their election; yet considering that they may have it, and albeit the number of Page  252 the elect are by farre, fewer then the reprobate; yet considering how few have the Gospell in comparison to those that enjoy it not; though Turkes & Saracens and Hea∣thens are without hope Eph. 2. 12. and 1 Thess. 4. 13. Yet we Christians are not yea, albeit of them that are called, but few are chosen Mat. 20. 16. and 22, 14. Yet considering how many corrupt wayes there are amongst Christians, Nestorians, Armenians, Abyssines or Coptites, who joyne circumcision with the Gospel, as in Egypt and Ethi∣opia, (the Greek Church denying the proceeding of the Holy Ghost from the sonne) and corrupted with many other superstitions. Lastly considering how farre Anti∣christanity is spred and the abominable Idolatry of the Church of Rome, we whom God hath delivered out of Babylon have no cause (I meane any particular person) to project, that because the elect are but few, therefore we are not of the number of them, and thereupon give over all care of hearkening to Gods word, which is the power of God unto Salvation and may shew its power upon us also we knowe not how soone, but rather as our Saviour answered (being demanded of his disciples whether there were but few that should be saved) saying strive [you] to enter in at the streight gate, plainly giving to understand, that as the gate is said to be streight that leadeth unto Life, so there be but few that enter thereat & therefore they should strive so much the more to be of the number of those few. For what if along time we have little or nothing profited, what if we have cause to doubt whether we have any true faith or no; such doubts maybe better signes then we are awar of; otherwise why should the Apostle exhort the Corinthians to examine themselves and prove whether they were in the faith or no? But however it fairs with us doth not the Apostle plainely teach us, that God calls some at the first houre of the day, some at the the third, some at * the last?

2. Now I come to the consideration of his answer to the objection, as himself hath formed it. And first I observe, that whereas he pretends to build his answer upon consi∣deration of the number of Reprobats without comparison greater then the number of the elect, yet the absurd reasoning which he brings hereupon, doth nothing at all de∣pend on that. For albeit the number of the elect, were greater then the number of such as are Reprobats, and that without comparison; yet the reasoning here de∣duced from the contrary proposition hath equally place, as in the contrary case, As namely, to reason thus: Either I am absolutely chosen to grace and glory or absolutely cast off from both. Secondly the joyning of grace and glory together, as this Author doth joyne them in this reasoning shaped by him is a miserable confounding of things that differ. For to be absolutely chosen unto grace is to be ordained to have grace con∣ferred upon him not according to any worke of his, but meerely according to the good pleasure of Gods will, answerably to that of the Apostle, God hath mercy on whom he will, but no man is so chosen unto glory, as namely to be ordained to have Salva∣tion bestowed upon him not according unto workes, but according to the meere pleasure of God, if we speake of men of ripe yeares. For God hath ordained to be∣stow Salvation on such only by way of reward of their faith, repentance, and good workes. So on the other side to be asolutely cast off from grace, is to be ordained to have grace denied him; not according to any worke of his, but meerely according to the good pleasure of Gods will, like as Paul professeth, that the Lord hardeneth whom he will, But no man is so castaway from Glory, or unto damnation, as namely, to be ordained to be deprived of Glory and to be damned, meerely for the good pleasure of God, but altogether for his infidelity, impenitency and evill workes. Thirdly, no such thing followes as here is inferred from the supposition of election unto Salva∣tion. For seing no man is elected to obtaine Salvation, whether he believe or no, but only in case he believe, hereupon men are rather excited to labour for faith, then to be carelesse thereof; and farther we say, that as God hath ordained to bring them to Salvation, so he hath ordained to bring them hereunto by sanctification and faith. 2 Thess. 2. 13. And the word of God is a powerfull meanes to worke them hereunto, even to the working out of their Salvation with feare and trembling, & that because they are given to understand that God is he who wroketh in them both the will*and the deed according to his good pleasure. On the other side if a man be ordained to dam∣natiō, yet seeing no man is ordained to be damned but for despising the means of grace in case he heare the Gospel; & for ought any man knowes he may as well be ordained to salvation as to damnation; this I should think, is rather an excitement not to despise or neglect the meanes of grace, then to despise or neglect them. Suppose God should Page  253 not damne any man, but annihilate them, and suppose this were known unto us; by the same argumentation it would follow, that a man should have no care of good workes: But this consequent is notoriously untrue. For seeing the perfecti∣on of my reasonable nature, whereby I differ from brute Beasts, consisteth in know∣ledge and morall vertues; and there is no knowledge that doth more ennoble us, then the knowledge of God, and no better rule of morality, then the law of God; surely it stood me upon in reason, to strive according to my power to know God, and to be obedient rather then otherwise; although I know for certaine, that after certaine yeares, both body and soule should be returned unto nothing. Come wee now to the consideration of this reasoning, in respect of grace. Suppose God hath elected me unto grace; yet seeing he bestowes not grace but by his word, therefore there is no reason I should neglect the use of his word, but rather good reason why I should embrace it, and that with all earnestnesse. Like as in case God hath ordai∣ned I shall have Children, doth it hence follow that I neede not use the company of a Woman; because seeing God hath decreed I shall have Children, therefore I may be sure to have them, whether I company with a Woman or no, belike right as Ca∣pons come by Chicken? On the other side, suppose God hath not ordained me unto grace; yet hence it followeth not, that I should neglect all care of morall vertue, yea or the use of Gods word. First not of morall vertue; for next unto grace, morall vertue commends a man, and like as many heathens were famous for morality, without any sanctifying grace; so may I be in the same kind of reputati∣on also. And seeing no better rules of morality are to be found, then in the Scrip∣tures, therefore may I well be moved to give my selfe to the study thereof. And Au∣stin telleth us, that some, even of reprobates, by the word of God may Proficere ad exteriorem vitae emendationem, quò mitius puniantur. Last of all, consider how the like ob∣jections were made against that destiny, which was maintained by the Stoicks. Car∣neades was a great oppugner of the Stoicks, yet was ashamed of such a kind of Argu∣mentation as this Author affecteth. For it was commonly accounted ignava ratio; and thus Turnebus writes of it, Ignava autem ista ratio, captiosa cum esset, & calumniae plena, a Carneade non probabatur, alio{que} argumento factum sine ulla captione oppugnabat. He had other manner of reasons to oppose Fate Stoicall, then by so sorry an argumentati∣on as this. And this is delivered by Turnebus, upon that passage in Cicero's book De Fato, Where he sheweth how Chrysippus did make answer unto this very argument in effect above 1600 yeares a goe; Take the words as they lye in Cicero, Nec nos impediet illa ignava ratio quae dicitur: Appellatur enim quidem a Philosophis〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, cui si pare amus, nihil est omnino quod agamus in vita. Hic enim interrogant (now I beseech you marke the argument well) si fatum tibi est ex hoc morbo convalescere, sive medicum adhibueris, sive non, convalesces. Item si fatum tibi est ex hoc morbo non convalescere sive tu Medicum adhibueris, sive non, non convalesces. If it be destined that you shall recover out of this disease, whe∣ther you use the help of a Physitian or no, you shall recover. Againe, if it be desti∣ned that you shall not recover out of this disease, whether you use a Physitian or no, you shall not recover. Now compare this, I pray, with this Authors argumen∣tation in this place; If I am chosen I must of necessity believe and be saved; What need therefore to take thought either about meanes or end? as much as to say, either of believing or of salvation. Againe, If I be cast off, I must as necessarily not believe and be damned; In vaine therefore doe I trouble my selfe about meanes, or end; as much as to say, about labouring and en∣deavouring for Faith, whereby I may avoyd damnation: And judge, I pray, whe∣ther there be one hayres breadth of difference, between these argumentations. For like as it is unreasonable to conceive, that man is destined to recover out of sicknesse, but by use of meanes, such as is the use of a Physitian; in like sort, as unreasonable it is to conceive, that God hath destined any man of ripe yeares to be brought to sal∣vation, but by faith in Christ; or that God hath appoynted any man to be damned, but for want of faith, or want of repentance. Observe I pray the censure that is pas∣sed upon it in Cicero, Rectè hoc genus interrogationis ignavum at{que} iners nominatur, quod ea∣dem ratione, omnis è vita tollitur actio. And farther he sheweth how that the same argument, if there were any force in it, might have place, without all men∣tion of Fate. Licet etiam immutare (saith he,) ut Fati nomen non adjunges, & eandem tamen teneas sententiam hoc modo, si ex eternitate verum hoc fuit, ex iste morbo convalesces, sive adhibueris medicum sive non, convalesces. Item{que} si ex aeter∣nitatePage  254hoc falsum fuerit, ex isto morbo convalesces, sive adhibuer is medicum, sive non adhibuer is, non convalesces; deinde caetera. In the next place there it is shewed how Chrysippus made answer to this argument. Haecratio a Crysipo reprehenditur: Quaedam enim sunt (inquit) in rebus simplicia, quaedam copulata: simplex est moretur eo die Socrates, Hinc sive quid fecerit, sive non fecerit, finitus est moriendi dies. At si ita fatum sit, Nascetur Oedipus Laio, non poterit dici, sive Laius fuerit cum muliere, sive non fuerit. Copulata enim res est & confatalis; sic enim appellat qui a ita fatum sit, & concubiturum cum Uxore Laium & ex eo Oedipum procreaturum. Then he illustrateth the absurdity of the deduction in another manner thus, Ut si esset dictum, luctabitur Olympiis Milo, & referret aliquis, Ergo sive habuerit adversarium sive non habuerit, luctabitur, erraret. Est enim copulatum, luctabitur, quia sine adversario nulla luctatio est. And he concludes all of this kind to be but captious argumentations, and that they admit the same soluti∣on. Omnes igitur istius generis captiones, eodem modo refelluntur. Sive tu medicum adhibueris, sive non adhibueris, captiosum: tam enim fatale est medicum adhibere quam convalescere. Haec, ut dixi, confatalia ille appellat. And this manner of solution was so sufficient, that Carnea∣des disdained to presse the Stoicks with this kind of argumentation, though oppo∣site enough to their opinion, as forthwith Cicero expresseth it. Carneades hoc totum ge∣nus non probabat, & minùs inconsiderate concludi hanc rationem putabat: ita{que} premebat alio modo, nec ullam adhibebat calumniam. So that he condemned this as a calumnious argu∣mentation against the Stoicks, though himselfe were a sore adversary of theirs.

And therefore if any Christians doe reason thus, either in their hearts to counte∣nance them in prophane courses; or justify such reasoning, thereby to oppose Gods free grace in election, the unreasonablenesse thereof being thus set forth, and ac∣knowledged on both sides by the very light of nature, let them take heed and feare least heathen men rise up in judgement against them. As for Tiberius his opinion and perswasion, Omnia fato agi, it is apparent what he understood by Fatum, for there it is said, that he was Mathematicae addictus; whereby it seems, he went no farther then the starres, for the originall of his fate. But it Tiberius was circa Deos & religiones negligentior, were the Stoicks so too? I had thought that like as none were more op∣posite to the Epicures then they, so none were more religious and devout among the Heathens then they. Yet there is no opinion so true or good, but by a prophane heart may be abused. But as for the efficacy of Gods will, we are so farre from maintaining, that it takes away either the liberty of mans will, or the contingency of second causes, that we professe with Aquinas, that the root of all contingency, is the efficacious will of God; and with the Authors of the Articles of the Church of Ireland, Artic. 11. That God did from all eternity ordaine, whatsoever in time should come to passe; and yet neither the liberty, nor the contingency of second causes, is thereby destroyed, but esta∣blished rather.

Page  255

DISCOURSE. The Fift and last sort of Reasons. It is an Enimy to True Comfort.

SECT. I.

I Am come to my last reason against it, drawn from the Vncomfortablenesse of it: It is a doctrine full of desperation, both to them that stand, and to them that are fallen, to men out of tempta∣tion, and in it.

It

  • 1. Leads men into temptation.
  • 2. Leaves men in it.
And therefore it is no part of Gods word, for that is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, good newes to men, a store-house of sweet consolations for them that stand, and such as are fallen. These things are written (saith the Apostle) Rom. 15. 4. That by patience and con∣solation of the Scriptures we might have hope; implying that therefore was the word written, and left to the Church, that by the comforts contained in it, those poore soules that look towards hea∣ven, might never want in any changes or chances of this mortall life, a sweet gale of hope to refresh them, and carry on their ship full merrily towards the Haven. It leads men into temptation, and in∣to such a one too, as is as sharpe and dangerous as any the tempter hath. The Devill can easily per∣swade any man that makes absolute reprobation a part of his creed, that he is one of those absolute Reprobates; because there are more absolute Reprobates (even an hundred for one,) then absolute chosen ones: and a man hath a great deale more reason to think that he is one of the most, then one of the least, one of the huge multitude of inevitable castawaies, then one of the little flock, for whom God hath absolutely prepared a Kingdome. Such a man is not only capable of, but framed and fashio∣ned by his opinion for this suggestion; which is a very sore one, if we may believe Calvin, Bucer, and Zanchius.

Calvin tells us, Quod nulla tentatione vel gravius, vel periculosius fideles percellit Satan, that the Devill cannot assault a believer with a temptation more dangerous. And a little after he saith, It is so much * the deadlier, by how much commoner it is then any other, Rarissimus est cujus non interdum animus hac cogitatione feriatur, unde tibi salus nisi ex Dei electione? Electionis autem quae tibi revelatio? Quae si apud quempiam semel invaluit, aut diris tormentis miserum perpetuo exeruciat, aut reddit penitus attonitum. So or∣dinary is the temptation, that he who is at all times free from it is a rare man (we are to conceive that he speakes of those that believe absolute reprobation:) and so dangerous it is, that if it get strength, he which is under it, is either miserably tormented, or mightily astonished. And a little af∣ter this, he saith againe. Ergo si naufragium timemus, sollicité ab hoc scopulo cavendum, in quem nunquam sine exitio impingitur, He that will not wrack his soule must keep from this rock.

Bucer also hath a passage like to this, Vt caput omnis noxiae tentationis (saith he) repellenda est quaestio, sumusnè praedestinati? Nam qui de hoc dubitat, nec vocatumse, nec justificatum esse credere poterit, hoc est, ne∣quit*esse Christianus: This doubt whether we are predestinated or no? Must be repelled as the head of every pernitious temptation: for he that doubts of this cannot be a Christian. Praesumendum igitur ut principium fidei nos omnes esse a Deo praescitos. Every man therefore must presume it as a principle of faith that he is elected.

This very speech of Bucers Zanchy makes use of to the same purpose. We see then by the restimo∣ny of these worthy men, that this temptation is very dangerous and ordinary too, to such as think * there are absolute reprobates. The truth of both will farther appeare by the example of Petrus Hosua∣nus a Schoolemaster in Hungary, who intending to hang himselfe, signified in a letter which he left in his study for the satisfaction of his friends and Countrymen, the cause of it, in that writing he de∣livered these three things.

1. That he was of Calvins and S. Austins opinion, that men are not dealt withall, secundum bona, or mala opera, according to their works good or evill, but that there are occultiores causae more hidden causes of mens eternall condition.

2. That he was one of that woefull company of absolute castawaies, Vas formatum in ignominiam, a vessell prepared to dishonour: and that therefore (though his life had been none of the worst) he could not possibly be saved.

3. That being unable to beare the dreadfull apprehensions of wrath, with which he was affright∣ed he hanged himselfe. For these are some of his last words there recorded, Discedo igitur ad Lacus Infernales aeternum dedecus patriae meae, Deo vos commendo, cujus misericordia mihi negata est. I goe to those infernall lakes, a perpetuall reproach to my Country, commending you to God whose mercy is deny∣ed mee.

Out of this example we may easily collect two things.

1. That men who think that there are many, whom God hath utterly rejected out of his only will and pleasure, may be easily brought to think by Satans suggestion, that they are of that company: And

2. That this temptation is very dangerous; I conclude therefore the first part of my last Reason, that absolute Reprobation leads men into temptation.

Page  256
TWISSE. Consideration.

AS I remember, when this Author first had resort unto some prime stickler for the Arminian way to conferre with him there about, it was told me that this Authour should alledge, that our doctrine of election was a com∣fortable doctrine: but then on the other side, it was alledged, that granting that, yet with all it did expose to dessolutenes of life. And therefore I little expect any such ar∣gument as this to be proposed, least of all to be ranged amonst the nūber of those that are taken to be of a convincing nature. Yet is it the lesse strange, because the Apostle telleth us of some, that their course is proficere in pejus, to growe worse and worse. But let us consider, whether he speeds any better in this then in the former. And whereas he saith, It is a doctrine full of desperation both to them that stand, and to them that are fallen. I doe not find that in the accommodation of this argument, he takes any more no∣tice of this distinction throughout this Section. The Gospell is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and the power of God unto Salvation; but to whom? Surely to them that believe. Rom. 1. 16. and preserve: Be faithfull unto death and I will give thee a Crowne of Life. Revel. 2. 10. He that believeth in him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned alredy, because he hath not believed in the name of that only begotten Sonne of God John 3. 18. Likewise the com∣fort which the Scripture ministreth to strengthen men with patience to hold out in the promise of Everlasting Life, though it be long in comming; as which is the porti∣on only of such as are not weary of well-doing, & faint not for according to that of the Apostle, Be not weary of well-doing, so in good time yee shall reape if you faint not. Gal. 6. 9. And as for poore soules, if they be poore in spirit, undoubtedly they are blessed, for theirs is the Kingdome of Heaven: And whose doctrine, the Arminian or ours, doth best maintaine poverty of spirit, I am very willing the different may judge Yet of the poore of the world and most dispised, God doth choose to be rich in faith, and (in this poverty of spirit) heires of the Kingdome which God hath prepared for them that love him. And Gods Kingdome doth most consist of such poore and dispised creatures. * 1 Cor: 1. 27, 28. And as for this love of God, we acknowledge that God doth not leave it in his elect to the liberty of their wills, but rather that he workes it in them by the circumcision of the heart: Deut: 30. 6. The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart and the heart of thy seed to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and withall thy soule that thou mayst live. And indeed the Kingdom is promised to none but such as love him. Jac: 2. 5. It is a singular consolation that all things work together for the good of man; but this consolation is applyed only to them that love God, which are called according to his purpose. Rom: 8. 28. And as for the phrase of looking towards Heaven, if thereby be meant their waiting for Christs comming, I make no question but such also shall be delivered from the wrath to come. 1 Thess: 1. 10. It being not possible they should waite for him, unlesse they love his appearing: and the Apostle hath assured such that the Lord hath a Crowne of Righte∣ousnesse in store to bestowe upon them 2 Tim: 4. 8. And I take the like phraise to signify no lesse then the conversion of their hearts to God. Jer: 50. 4. In those dayes and in that time sayth the Lord, the children of Israell shall come, they and the children of Judah toge∣ther going, and weeping shall they goe, and seeke the Lord their God, v. 5: They shall aske the way to Sion with their faces thither-wards saying, come let us joyne our selves to the Lord in a perpetuall Covenant that shall not be forgotten.

Now I come to the particular accommodation of this argument against our doctrine. And of this he sayth, that It leads men into temptation, and into such a one as is as sharpe and dangerous as any the tempter hath. Now the temptation here spoken of consists in this, that The Divell can easily perswade a man that makes absolute reprobation a part of his Creed, that he is one of those absolute reprobates because those are more absolute reprobates (even an hundred for one) then absolute chosen ons, and a man hath a greatdeale more reason to thinke that he is one of the most then one of the least, one of the huge multitude of inevitable castawayes, then on of that little flock, for whom God hath absolutely prepared a Kingdome. And this he pretends to prove out of Calvin, Bucer, and Zanchi∣us;Page  257 and this togither with a story related out of Georgius Major a Lutheran concer∣ning Petrus Glosuanus, a Schoole-master in Hungary is all his proofe. Now in answer hereunto I will proceed by degrees. First he continueth still to serve his turne with the equivocation of this phraise of absolute reprobation without distinguishing: And al∣beit, it may be gathered by his discourse, that as Others doe, so he himselfe considers it not quoad actum volentis, as touching the act of God willing, but quoad res volitas, as touching the things willed. Yet he is well pleased to confound the things willed into one, as if they had no difference as touching their absolutenesse, whereas the deniall of grace together with the inflicting of damnation, (which are the things willed by reprobati∣on which accordingly is distinguished into Roprobation from grace, & reprobation from glory, or unto damnation) are so different, that God doth decree indeed the absolutenesse of the one, but he doth not at all decree the absolutenesse of the other, but meerly the conditionall nature thereof. For grace he denieth and purposeth to deny absolute∣ly. For the Apostle plainly professeth, That as God hath mercy on whom he will Rom: 9. 18. By bringing them unto faith. Rom. 11. 30. So he hardeneth whom he will by denying faith unto them. But as for Glory and damnation, like as God doth not absolutely, so neither did he decree absolutely to deny the one & inflict the other, but only conditi∣onally, to wit, in case of finall perseverance in sin. Therefore I have reason to under∣stand him of reprobation from grace, as often as he speaks of absolute reprobation, & cōsequently his meaning must be that God doth not deny grace, but upon condition of mans doing or not doing some thing, so that if either man did something or leave un∣don some thing, thē God would give him grace, which for want thereof he doth not; which is as good, as in plain termes to professe, That grace is given according to works. Then againe consider, what is that grace, which is given upon condition, and not abso∣lutely by these mens opinion; Is it which thy call universall, and wherein consists the enlivening of mans will, & the enabling of him to will any spirituall good whereto, he shall be excited? This cannot be given any otherwise then absolutely; for as much as they make it to be given when a man commeth into the world: and to that purpose doe alleadge that, John 1. 9. This is that true light which enlightens every man that commeth into the world. Or Is it exciting grace, that is not given absolutely? This cannot be neither; For this exciting grace is in the ministry of the Word. Now when the Gospell is brought unto a Nation, not only the civill sort; but the most prophane are made partakers of it indifferently; so that predestination hereunto must be acknowledged even by the Arminians themseves to be absolute, as it signifies predestination unto grace preve∣nient. So that if any predestination unto grace, be not absolute but conditionall, it must needs be predestination unto grace subsequent. As for example, God doth de∣cree to worke in man the act of willing that which is good; this decree (say they) is not absolute but conditionall. Now I pray consider what is, or can be the conditi∣on hereof, but the act of willing? And this indeed is their doctrine, as I have seen it under the hand of one of them, namely, that God doth work in us 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉velle modo velimus, as much as to say, If we will make our selves willing to believe, to repent, to doe any good work, then God will make us willing hereunto. This is the issue of the comfor∣table doctrine of these Arminians; and unlesse we concurre with them in such unsober expressions, we expose our selves to the temptations of Satan (yea the forest temptations if we believe this Author;) and bereave our soules of all comfort from the Scriptures; As if divine consolations were like to their argumentations, the one as unsober as the other. But let us consider the force of his Argument; If it be so easy a matter for the Divell to perswade a man of this, how came it to passe that he did not perswade Austin hereof, or Prosper, or Fulgentius, or any of those ancient writers, in this argument against the Pelagians: How is it that he could not performe so easy a matter upon Calvin, Bucer, Beza, Zanchy, Junius, Piscator, or any other of those fa∣mous writers in this argument? How is it that he prevailes over so few in compari∣son? Nay, consider was there ever any that was perswaded, or can this Author pro∣duce any evidence to prove, that ever any was perswaded that himselfe was a Repro∣bate upon this ground, to wit, because the number of Reprobates are by farre few∣er then the number of Gods elect. though (as he speakes) an hundred for one? I have read of diverse, collected by Goulartius within that century of yeares next preceding his worke, that have cast themselves away in despaire; yet not all neither upon con∣ceit of their absolute reprobation: And of them that have so conceived, not one doe I find that hath entertained this conceit upon the ground here mentioned by this Page  258 Authour Francis Spira is a strange president, but the ground of this desperate conditi∣on is manifested to have bin this, that he cōceived himself to have sined the sin against the Holy Ghost. Many in our dayes have been knowne to have made themselues a way, and this very yeare 1632, hath brought forth many strange examples in this kind; but hitherto I have not heard that the ground of this their desperate resoluti∣ons was this, that the Devill had perswaded them they were absolute Reprobates, much lesse that they were perswaded hereunto by so sorry a ground, as that which this Authour alledgeth. And as before I signified, all this must proceed of reproba∣tion from grace; And if God deny grace upon the meere pleasure of his will, and not according to mens workes, the way is open to desperation, and it is an easy matter for the Devill to perswade us that we are absolute Reprobates; as this Authour with great zeale of his cause, belike upon the singular comfort he finds in his owne way, disputeth. But over whom hath the Divell this power? Not over Heathens, for they are nothing acquainted with the doctrine of election, and reprobation; but over Christians; Yet consider I pray, who are Christians, but such as believe in Christ? And is it an easy matter for the Devill to perswade such as believe in Christ that they are Reprobates? If so then either as it is reprobation from grace, or as it signifies re∣probation from glory, not as it signifies reprobation from grace; for it is supposed they are in the state of grace, to wit, in the state of faith, which is the prime grace. As for reprobation from glory, we doe not maintaine that God doth absolutely de∣ny that, or that he decreed absolutely to deny that, but only to such as should be found to dye in sinne. Againe, as many as maintaine absolute reprobation, they doe withall maintain that faith is a fruit of election and consequently by the Genius of their doctrine must conclude that they are elect and not Reprobates. Againe, they according to their doctrine doe maintaine, that who is once in the state of regenera∣tion connot fall a way totally or finally: Therefore they are not so easy to be per∣swaded that they are Reprobates at all, but elect rather. Let them, that is our ad∣versaries, looke to this, and that they are not easily perswaded by the Devill that they are reprobates, at least, that they neither have or can have any assurance of their election, for as much as they deny faith to be a fruit of election; and whatsoever their faith be, yet are of opinion that they may totally and finally fall from it, and be damned. Farther consider, seeing this Authour denies not, but the damnation of every Reprobate is decreed by God everlastingly, and that irrevocably, though upon foresight of finall perseverance in sinne. I pray what comfort is it for any man that he is not an absolute Reprobate, if so be he is perswaded that he is a Reprobate, and from everlasting ordained to condemnation? Now I will prove that it is an easy matter for the Devill to perswade any Arminian that he is a Reprobate, by the same argument which this Authour useth against us. For seeing the Reprobates are more by farre then the elect, even an hundered for one, and withall that it is an easy thing for the Devill to perswade any man that he is rather of that number which is greatest then of that which is least, hence it followes by his owne forme of argumentation that it is an easy matter for the Devill to per∣swade any Arminian that he is a Reprobate. Yet the vanity of this argumentation I have formerly shewed by representing first the vast number of Heathens in all ages in comparison unto Christians. Secondly the variety of Sects in Christian Religion, and that most of them miserably corrupt, together with the vast number of prophane persons on the on side, and of Hypocrites on the other, why should any man that is privy to his owne heart, as looking towards Heaven, be carried away with so base a pretence, as to conceive himselfe to be a Reprobate, especially considering the nature of man to hope the best of his fortunes, and that upon no ground to speake of, as it appeares in those who venture in Lotteries. Whereas every true Christian believing in the Christ hath a certaine ground for the assurance of his election by our doctrine. And truly I am verily perswaded the Devill is more wise then to think so base an illu∣sion as this, is likely to prevaile; Save that in case this Author or his Informator doe believe as they pretend, hereupon he may take advantage to work upon them accor∣ding to their own rules to perswade them thereby, that they are Reprobates: and 'till we find he hath prevailed so with them, we have no reason to conceive that it is an easy matter for him to perswade us that we are absolute Reprobates; no nor then nei∣ther considering that we make no such rules, but rather conceive them to be the fan∣cies of crackt or crazed braines. And the Devill had need be more wise then so, if he Page  259 practice to prevaile with us, which undoubtedly, so long as God be pleased by his grace to keepe us in our right wits, he never shall: Certainly if they desire to bring this rule into our faith, they must first manifest that the Devill hath so prevailed with them to make them conceive themselues to be Reprobates; otherwise it cannot be they should conceive so easy a matter for the Devill to perswade any of us up∣on so sorry a ground as this, that we are absolute Reprobates. As for them that are fallen, (to prosecute that distinction this Authour gives according to the parts of it, which the Authour himselfe doth not) Christians fallen may be understood two manner of wayes, either as fallen from the state of grace, or as fallen only into sinne, but still standing in the state of grace. As touching the first we acknowledge no such falling away, St John professing of certaine Apostates saying, They went*out from us, but they were not of us; for had they beene of us, they had continued with us. As for such as fall into sinne, we that maintaine absolute election and reprobation, doe withall maintaine with King James in the conference at Hampton Court, that all such shall arise againe by repentance. And therfore there is no reason we should conceive, upon the committing of any such sinne, that we are Reprobates; least of all upon so base grounds as here are specified by this Authour. Now I come to his proofe of this by his three testimonies.

1. The first whereof is the testimony of Calvin: whereto I answer first in generall, That not one of these Authours here mentioned take any notice of the ground whereupon this Authour builds, namely, of the paucity of the elect in comparison to Reprobates, therehence to conclude, That it is an easy matter for the Devill to per∣swade them that they are Reprobates, if they should have beene sure to have recei∣ved so much from the pen of this Authour. More particularly I acknowledge the words of Calvin here alledged, namely, that the Devill doth not assault the believer with a temptation more dangerous: But why doth not this Authour goe on to tell, what the temptation is which as it were in a breath Calvin sets downe thus, Quam dum ipsos suae electionis dubitatione inquietans, simul prava ejus extra viam inquirendae cupitate solicitat. It consists of two parts. The first is disquieting of them with doubting of their election. The se∣cond is, his solliciting of them with an ill desire of inquiring about it, after a wrong way. Both these Calvin so compounds, as to make up but one tentation: In the next place, Calvin shewes what it is for a man to inquire of his election a wrong way. Extra viam in∣quirere voco, ubi in abditos divinae sapientiae recessus perrumpere homuncio conatur, & quo intelligat quid de se sit constitutum apud Dei tribunal, ad supremam us{que} aeternitatem penetrare. To inquire after it out of the way, is, when a vile man endeavoureth to breake into the secrets of divine wisdome, and to pierce into the highest eternity, to know what God hath ordai∣ned of him there. This he sayeth is for a man to cast himselfe into a deep, to be swallowed up of a bottomlesse gulfe, and to throw himselfe into innumerable snares, such as he can never wind himselfe out off. And to this he sayeth we are very prone; and hereupon comes in the next sentence alledged by this Authour, Rarissimus enim est few there be whose minds are not taken up with this contemplation, Whence doth Salvation come unto thee, but from Gods election? Now what revelation hast thou of thine election? And if these thoughts doe once take hold of a man, either in cruell manner it torments miserable man continually, or makes him altogether stand astonished. All this is delivered by Cal∣vin of them who enquire about their election a wrong way; the very same way being condemned also by King James in the conference at Hampton Court, or that which he there delivereth much at one. And all this, this Authour very judiciously conceales, thinking such a dog-trick well becomes his free will, and his grace also. But then Cal∣vin discovereth also another way, in ea lustranda, that is, in discovering a mans election; and such as wherein, tuta est pacata, addo etiam jucunda, navigatio a man may saile safely, peace∣ably, and sweetly: and that they who search after their election in a due order, as it is contained in Gods Word, they are like to reape thence singular consolation, eximium inde referent consolationis fructtum. Then he shewes what this way is, and that we must beginne from our vocation (to wit, unto faith and unto repentance) and thence ascend to our election, in this way he professeth no uncomfortable condition, but most comfortable is likely to accrue unto him. The wrong way he warnes us to avoyd carefully: but withall professeth, that no rocke at all is likely to be met withall in this right way. By this I desire every indifferent person will judge aright of this Authours car∣riage.

2. The next is Bucer in 8. ad Rom: q: de praedest: Now Bucers discourse, as it is re∣lated Page  260 by this Authour himselfe appeares to tend to no other end but this, that Chri∣stians should not disquiet themselues with doubting, whether they are predestinate or no, but rather without doubt perswade themselues that they are of the number of those whom God hath predestinate. And by this I perceive what is his meaning here in, which formerly I understood not, when this of Bucer was alleadged by this Au∣thour to an other purpose. And his meaning seemes to be this, whosoever is called and believes in Christ, ought to believe that he is predestinate. For indeed faith in his opinion is the fruit of our election, and from the like in the Thessal: Paul was perswa∣ded of their election 1 Thess: 1. 3, 4. Remembring the worke of your faith and labour of your love, knowing that you are elected of God. Now shall others hereby be drawne to be confident of our election, and shall not we our selves who alone are privy to the secret passa∣ges of our hearts, when others are not. Now I pray consider, whether this be so much as to intimate that it is a farre easier matter for a man to be perswaded that he is a Re∣probate, then that he is of the number of Gods elect.

3. By this I perceive the meaning of Zanchy also, in saying, That every Christian is bound to believe that he is elect: Let us in the name of God examine our faith whether it be true faith or no; but surely so farre as we are perswaded of the truth of our faith, so farre have we no cause to doubt of our election. But this of Zanchius is no more to the purpose, whereunto this Authour alleadgeth it, than that of Bucers.

4. In the last place, I come to the relation of Georgius Major of a certaine Schoole-Master in Hungary, Petrus Hosuanus by name, for so I find him called in Dietricus, though this Authour calls him Ilosuanus, mistaking belike the copy which he transcri∣bed. Now Dietricus relates it as out of Georgius Major as this Author doth. But I won∣der not a little that Osiander in his last Century makes no mention of it, that I can find, though I have searched after it, as the Woman in the Gospell did after her lost groat: Whether he gave any credit to Georgius Major his relation, I know not; or whether any thing came to his knowledge afterwards, as touching the unfaithfull∣nesse thereof. But take we it as it lyes in this Authours relation.

1. That he professed himselfe of Calvins and Austins opinion: I hope this makes no more against Calvin and us, then it doth against Austin and all those that tooke part with him, against the Pelagians in his dayes, and the remnants of them after∣wards. But if his opinion was, that men are not dealt withall secundum bona or mala opera, but that there are occultiores causae of mens Eternall conditions, will any sober Arminian impute this unto us? Doe we say that God damnes any man but for sinne, or that God rewards any man of ripe yeares with Salvation but by way of reward, of theire faith repentance and good-workes? When the Remonstrants at the Hague con∣ference proposed their doctrine of predestination and reprobation, after this man∣ner, namely, That God from eternity did ordaine to save believers and to damne unbelievers, (to this effect), Did any of the Contra-Remonstrants, or any of the Synod of Dort except against the truth of this? But whereas the Remonstrants and Arminians did acknowledge this to be the whole decree of predestination and reprobation: Against this exception was tooke both in the Hague conference, and in the Synod of Dort, and Theses also by divers forraine Divines laid downe against it, & particularly by our Brittayne Divines amongst others; All of them maintaining that there was an other decree concerning the giving of the grace of regeneration, of the grace of faith and repentance unto some, and denying it unto others. And this decree, we willingly maintain, proceeds not, no not in the execution thereof, accor∣ding to mens workes good or evill, whatsoever be the end of any that maintaine it. The contrary, namely, that grace is given according unto workes, being a doctrine generally condemned in the Church from the yeare 415, at that time it was con∣demned in the Synod of Palestine, and Pelagius himselfe driven to subcribe unto it, otherwise himself had been anathematized. But this Authour delivers it as the opinion of Hosuanus concerning mens Eternall conditions, whereby I take to be meant Salvation and Damnation. And indeed as here the doctrine is expressed, it is more agreable with the doctrine of the Predestinarians, as Sigebert relates it, then with the doctrine either of Austin or Calvin: and the same Sigebert writes not that it was Austins doctrine, but that it rose out of the misunderstanding of Austins writings: Yet I confesse that Tyro Prosper before Sigebert spares not to professe, of that Predestinarian hereby, that it rose from Austin; as Dr Vsher observeth. But this was a meere practice Page  261 of the Semi-Pelagians, corrupting the doctrine of Austin, the better to expose it to obloquy and reproach. 2. As for the second, that he was one of the woefull company of absolute castawayes. Herein the Author of this discourse accomodates himselfe to his own stage; Throughout Dietricus his relation, I find no mention of any such distin∣ction as of reprobates and absolute reprobates, but an acknowledgement, certum esse numerum salvandorum, & praedestinatorum vel ad vitam, vel ad mortem; And of himselfe, that he was ex numero damnatorum, but I doe not find the word absolute throughout. That his life was none of the worst, himselfe was no competent judge: yet I confesse there are degrees of prophanenesse and hypocrisy, and the very reprobates are not equall in sinne. And withall a morall life is esteemed in the world in respect of their conversati∣on towards men; but we know that to deny Gods truth, and to oppose it against the light of conscience, is of an higher nature in the sight of God, and usually is of more fearfull consequence. Of Francis Spira I find no complaints made in respect of his mo∣rality towards men, but he laid unto his own charge, That he had sinned against the ho∣ly Ghost. Yet neither this Hosuanus, nor Spira doe I find to have broken forth into any blasphemy against Gods justice in reprobating them. Nay, this latter was heard strangely to discourse of the justice of God, without any murmuring against his pow∣er. And in our time we have heard of strange examples, of some that have gone so∣berly on to the destroying of themselves, in a very devout acknowledgement of Gods justice in giving them over.

3. As touching the dreadfull apprehensions of Gods wrath, I nothing doubt, but when God gives men over to the power of Satan, they may be so improved by him, as to make a man weary of his life, though I find not this specified in Dietricus, who yet relates this story out of Georgius Major. But I read the like in Goulartius his collections of a desperate man in his time dying, that said (among many other horrible speeches) that he wished to be already in Hell. And being demanded the cause of so wicked a desire: For that (said he) the apprehension of torments which doe attend me, cause me presently to feele a double Hell; when I shall feele it at the full, I shall not exspect it any more. But no mention throughout of any opinion of his concerning Divine reprobation that moved him thereunto. The words here alleadged, Discedo ad lacus infernales, Deo vos commendo, cujus misericordia mi∣hi negata est. These, I say, and the matter of these alone, I find in Dietericus his relati∣on out of Georgius Major on 2 Tym. c. 2. p. 59. 6. It runs thus.

Ait in Hungaria & multis aliis locis notissimum esse de homine quodam Calviniano, Petro Hosuano Rectore Scholae Gengerinae, qui ex desperatione sibi ipsi laqueo injecto vitam fini∣vit, Anno 1562. die 22. Julii; relicto manuscripto, in quo (praeter alia) haec exstitere. O me infaelicissimum omnium, quia satius fuisset me nunquam natum. Verum est certum esse numerum salvandorum; hoc ex me, sed quid ad me? Hoc ità necessariò fieri debuit. Nemo igitur argumentetur, Deus omnes vocat; longe secùs se res habet. Calvini sententiam de certo praedestinatorum numero, item Augustini, quisque teneat. De me intelligo quemlibet ante uterum matris prade∣stinatum, vel ad vitam, vel ad mortem, quod nunquam quisquam nisi in horâ mor∣tis cognoscere potest. Ego sum ex numero damnatorum, ergo Deo nunquam as∣scribi possum. Hoc certo credatis rectum esse quod Paulus Rom. 9. scribit. Mise∣reor cujus misereor. Discedo ad lacus infernales. Deo vos commendo, cujus mi∣sericordia mihi negata est. Et addit Major haec verba, Hic est fructus perversae do∣ctrinae de praedestinatione hominum.
Concerning which relation give me leave to observe somewhat.

1. Here is no such thing as this Author relates, that Hosuanus should say that man by Calvin and Austins opinion, is not dealt withall, secundum bona or mala ope∣ra, (and indeed this deciphering out of Austins and Calvins opinion, is notorious∣ly untrue;) neither as touching occultiores causae, of mens eternall conditions, as in∣deed it is apparent, that in the way of a cause meritorious, there is no other cause of damnation then sinne, and in the way of a disposing cause no other cause of salvation then faith, repentance, and good workes; And as touching the effici∣ent cause of both, none is or can be the cause thereof but God. But as touching the cause why God gives grace to one, and denyes it to another, wee willingly con∣fesse there is no cause thereof, but the meere good pleasure of God. In like sort, of ab∣solute cast-awayes here is no mention, no nor of Vas formatum ad ignominiam, nor a∣ny such saying of himselfe, that he was none of the worst.

2. Here is no mention made of the cause moving him hereunto, as this Author Page  262 pretends, but only 'tis said, that it proceeded of desperation. And though Major adds as a Coronis his censure, that, Hic est fructus perversae doctrinae de praedestinatione hominum; yet I hope his censure is no Oracle with us, no nor with Lutherans neither; for I find him branded by Osiander in his Ecclesiasticall History. And though he were of Austins and Calvins opinion in this poynt of predestination, and did despaire, yet it followes not, that this doctrine moved him to despaire. Suppose the conceit of being a reprobate moved him hereunto; might it not move him hereunto according to the Arminian tenet, as well, and according to any tenet, provided they doe not believe that God hath as yet decreed nothing, or if he hath, that his decrees may be recalled? And then again by our Doctrine of Predestination it cannot be concluded of any man that he is a reprobate while he lives. Nay, this seems contrary to his own opinion, which was this, that no man can know whether he be predestinate to life or death, till the houre of his death; and his death was not brought upon him, but wrought by him. And as it was in his power not to have killed himselfe, so was it in his power not to believe that he was a reprobate by this opinion of his. Then again, what moved him to conceive that he was a reprobate, is concealed all along. Now the conscience of sinne com∣mitted against the Holy Ghost, may make a man conceive he is a reprobate, of what opinion so ever he be concerning reprobation. And as I take it, That famous Doctor of Germany, whom Goulartius mentioneth remaining then at Hall in Swabe, was no Calvi∣nist; of whom he reports out of the History of Germany, That having oftentimes turned his Conscience, some times toward God, some times toward the World, having inclined in the end to the worser part, said and confest publiquely, that he was undone, and fell so deepe into despaire, as he could neither receive, nor take any comfort or consolation, so as in this miserable and wretched estate of his soule, he slew himselfe most miserably. It was not the doctrine of Prede∣stination or Reprobation brought him unto this. And though a man hath not sinned against the holy Ghost, yet a conceit of such a sinne may drive a man unto this; or of blasphemies in an inferior degree, when God gives a man over unto the power of Sa∣tan, as Gaulartius makes mention by his own experience of another desperate man, whom he had heard,

who being exhorted to turne from the too vehement appre∣hension of Gods justice unto his mercy, which was open unto him: He answered very coldly, you say true, God is God, but of his children, not for me, his mercy is certain for his elect, but I am a reprobate, a vessell of wrath and cursing, and I doe already feele the torments of Hell: When they did exhort him to call God his Father, and Jesus Christ his Sonne, My mouth (saith he) doth speake it, but my heart hath horrour of it, I believe that he is the Father of others, but not of mee: When they did lay before him that he had known God, heard his word, and received his Sacrament; yea but (he added) I was an hypocrite, and guilty of many blasphemies against God; And then he returned to his ordinary discourses; I am a vessell prepared to wrath and damnation, I am damned, I burne.
The same Goulartius reports out of the History of the times of a Lear∣ned man at Lovaine, called Master Gerlach,
Who had profited so well in his studies, as he was one of the first amongst the learned of that time. And that being touch∣ed with a grievous sicknesse, he sighed continually; and feeling himselfe to draw neer his end, he began to discover the ground of his sighes, speaking such fearfull words, as desperate men are accustomed to utter; crying out and lamenting that he had lived very wickedly, and that he could not endure the judgement of God, for that he knew his sinnes were so great, as he should never obtain pardon, so as in this distresse he dyed, oppressed with grievous and horrible despaire.
What this wicked∣nesse of his was in speciall it seems he concealed; it might be horrible enough, though done in secret, yet no just cause of despaire, unlesse it were the sinne against the holy Ghost. The like is recorded of M. Iames Latomus one of the chiefe Doctors of the Uni∣versity of Lovaine, being one day out of countenance in a Sermon before the Empe∣rour Charles the Fift, returning ashamed and confounded from Brussells to Lovaine, and did so apprehend the dishonour, that he fell suddainly into despaire, whereof he gave many testimonies in publique; the which did move his friends to keepe him close in his house, from that time unto his last gasp. Poore Latomus had no other speech then that he was rejected of God, that he was damned, and that he hoped for no mercy nor salvation, as having malitiously made warre against the grace and truth of God. He dyed in this despaire, neither was it possible for any friends, or Physiti∣ans to make him change his opinion.

Page  263 3. If this story of Hosuanus be a truth, I like his condition the worse for not giving any reason moving him to this desperation, and making him to conceive that he was a castaway. For it is apparent that by our Doctrine the way is open, (namely by faith in Christ) to be perswaded that he is an elect of God, but no way open to conceive that he is a reprobate. Not any sinne before faith, for faith in Christ gives sufficient assurance of the pardon of all former sinnes, nor yet want of faith, for though a man want faith to day, yet he may enjoy it to morrow, as Palmer told the Sheriffe that executed him, saying, As it hath pleased God to call me to day, so it may please him to call you to morrow. Least of all was the consideration of the great number of Repro∣bates in comparison with the small number of Gods elect, likely to be the cause thereof; neither is any such mentioned either of Hosuanus or of Spira, or of Latomus, or of Krans, or of any other that ever I heard or read, which is sufficient to discredit this Authors discourse in this place.

4. Lastly, observe the absurdity of this speech, Commendo vos Deo, cujus misericordia mihi negata est: Though he had no heart to commend himselfe to Gods mercy, yet he takes heart to commend others thereunto, as if God though he would shew no mercy to him, yet for his sake, and his prayers, and commendation sake, he would shew mercy unto others.

I find a story in Osiander of one Adamus Neuserus, delivered with a farre better grace to discredit Calvins doctrine, not in poynt of Predestination, but as touching the person of Christ, in opposition to the Ubiquitary Chimera of the Lutherans, as Sir Edwin Sands calls it; and it is this, Neuserus Pastor Heilderbergensis ex Calvinista Arrianus, ex Ar∣riano Mahumetanus, & Eques Turcici Imperatoris factus, & Constantinopoli circumcisus est, in{que} des peratione Turcica ad Inferos descendit. Ante mortem suam D. Stephano Gerlachio referens, qua occasione in Arrianismum & Turcismum incidisset, dixit, Qui vult cavere Arrianismum caveat Calvinismum. Yet Dietericus alleadgeth the former story of Hosuanus, only to requite Lampadius, who gave instance of the uncomfortable ends of certain Lutherans, as also to shew that personall faults or unhappinesses, must not prejudice the truth of any cause, albeit it be maintained by them. I could in some part requite Georgius Major with a saying of Augustus the Elector of Saxony, concerning his Lutherans, which I find in Melchior Adamus in vita Penceri. This Pencer had been imprisoned by the Duke of Saxony, and in that state had continued many yeares, yet at length being set free by the mediation of the Prince of Anhalt. When the Duke found that he continued still in the same faith for which he was imprisoned, Laudo (quoth the Duke) Doctorem Pencerum, facit quod viro bono dignum est, perseverat in sua confessione firmiter & constanter. Ego quid credam, & in quo acquiescam incertus sum prorsus, quod Deus novit. De die enim in diem aliquid novi mei sacerdotes cudunt, & proferunt, & ex uno me errore in alterum pelli∣ciunt, at{que} implicant dubitationibus perpetuis.

One story more; for I am compelled unto it by the Genius of this adversary. The day before I entred upon this Section, a Gentleman of good quality coming to this Towne, sent unto me, desiring to enjoy my company with him at his Inne. I had heard well of him before, both of his service in the Low Countries, and at the Isle of Ree. A∣mongst other things, he fell upon discourse of the good discipline in the Low Countries, especially as touching the preparation of the people to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, both by preparatory Sermons before the day comes, as also by going to their houses, to know of their purpose to come to the Lords table; and whether any diffe∣rence between them and their neighbours were any impediment thereunto. In this course of theirs one coming to a certain house, the Master whereof and his Wife were turned Arminians, and making the usuall motion unto the Wife (for her husband was not within) she beganne to raile upon him, and to defye him, and to professe her disdaine to come to their Communion at all. The Minister used not many words, but as soone as he heard whereto her speech tended, departed; not long after the Ma∣ster of the house coming home, and hearing the Minister had been there, and where abouts he beganne to raile much more then his Wife, disdaining and indigna∣ting that the Minister should come unto him about such a businesse, and calling him black Devill, with protestation that if he had been at home when the other came, he would have had his bloud or trodden out his guts. That night this Armini∣an Bedlem fell sick, and in his weaknesse vomited bloud, which not only came out of his mouth, but out of his nose, eyes and eares, as it is said. Hereupon he sent for the Minister, who came unto him, when he came he confessed his fault and fury Page  264 against him, beseeching him to pardon him, The Minister exhorted him to make his peace with God, for as for himselfe he had not offended him, and gave him the best comfort he could; never the lesse the fellow dyed. The Gentleman, that made this relation to my selfe and an other with me, upon the noyse of so strange a buisinesse, thought good to enquire of the truth; and comming to Leyden (there was this Tra∣gedy acted) he went to his Painter, whom he meant to employ in drawing his picture, and asked him about the matter: This Painter was also become an Arminian, and told him, that indeed the Man had raved against the Minister in the street, but the manner of his death was nothing so as he had heard. After this, the same Gentleman passing over from Flaunders side unto Dort; as he was in the boat, asked the Boat∣man of the truth of this report. This Boatman also was an arminian, and he tells him it was nothing so, but that the man dyed by accident, as any other man might; An other in the boat hearing this, turnes to the Gentleman, saying, Captaine, believe him not, for the story you have heard is a certaine truth, but this Rogue (sayeth he poynting to the Boat-man) is an Arminian, and these Arminians are like the Egyp∣tians, let God shew never so many miracles and judgements upon them, yet they will not believe; I protest I doe nothing affect them, nor please my selfe in these and such like relations, but I am driven to it, to requite the adversary, who helpes out his hungry discourse with such tales as these.

DISCOURSE. SECT. II.

IT leaves men in temptation: and this it doth two waies, First by making the tempted unca∣pable of true comfort. 2. By making Ministers unable to give true comfort. First it maketh the tempted uncapable of true comfort; like a Gorgons head, it doth so trouble their fancies, and amaze them, especially in their paroxysmes and fits, that the strongest arguments of comfort, applyed with as much art and cunning as can be, will not fasten upon them. With David they say in their feare, that all men are lyars, namely, all such as come to comfort them in their temptation: And the reason is, because it is an opinion incompatible with any word of comfort, that can be ministred to the distressed soule in this temptation. Gods love to mankind, Christs death for all mankind, and the calling of poore sinners without exception to repentance or salvation, with all other grounds of consolation. the tempted will easily elude with the grounds of his opinion: which that we may the better see, let us imagine that we heare a Minister and a tempted soule, reasoning in this or the like manner.

Tempted.

Woe is me; I am a castaway: I am absolutely rejected from Grace and glory.

Minister.

Discourage not thy selfe thou poore afflicted soule; God hath not cast thee off. For he hateth no∣thing that he hath made; but bears a love to all men, and to thee amongst the rest.

Tempted.

God hateth no man as he is his creature, but he hateth a great many as they are involv'd in the first transgression, and become guilty of Adams sinne. And God hath a two-fold love, (as I have learned,) a generall love, which puts forth it selfe in outward and temporall blessings only, and with this he loved all men: And a speciall love, by which he provideth everlasting life for men, and with this he loves only a very few, which out of his alone will and pleasure he singled from the rest. Under this generall love am I, not the speciall.

Minister.

God so loves all men, as that he desires their eternall good, for the Apostle saith, he would have all to be saved, and he would have no man perish, nor thee in particular.

Tempted.

All, is taken two waies: for all sorts and conditions of men, high and low, rich and poore, bond and free, Jew and Gentile; and for all particular men in those severall sorts and conditions. God would have all sorts of men to be saved, but not all particular men of these sorts; some of my Coun∣try, and my calling, &c. but not all; or mee in particular. Or if it be true that God would have all particular men to be saved; yet he wills it only with a revealed Will, not with a secret will, for with that he will have a great company to be damned absolutely. Under this revealed will am I, not the secret.

Minister.

Christ came into the World to seeke and to save what was lost, and is a propitiation not for our sinnes only, (idest) the sinnes of a few particular men, or the sinnes of all sorts of men, but for the sinnes of the whole world; therefore he came to save thee, for thou wast lost, and to be a propitia∣tion for thy sinnes, for thou art part of the whole world.

Page  265
Tempted.

The World, as I have heard, is taken two waies in Scripture; largely for all mankind, and strictly in a more restrained signification, for the elect, or for believers: Or if it be true that he dyed for all mankind, yet he dyed for them but after a sort, he dyed for them all dignitate pretii, he did enough to have redeemed all, if God would have had it so: but he did not dye for all voluntate propositi, God ne∣ver intended that he should shed his bloud for all, and every man; but for a few select ones only, with whom it is my lot not to be numbred.

Minister.

God hath founded an universali Covenant with men, upon the blood of Christ thy Mediator, and therefore he intended it should be shed for all men universally. He hath made a promise of salvation to every one that will believe, and excludes none, that doe not exclude themselves.

Tempted.

God purposed his Sonne should dye for all men, and that in his name an offer of remission of sinnes and salvation should be made to every one but yet upon this condition, that they will doe that which he meanes the greatest part of them shall never doe, (idest) Repent and Believe, nor I among the rest.

Minister.

God hath a true meaning that all men who are called, should repent and believe; that so they might be saved: as he would have all to be saved, so to come to the knowledge of the truth; and as he would have no man to perish, so he would have all men to repent; and therefore he calls them in the Preaching of the word to the one, as well as to the other.

Tempted.

God hath a double call; an outward call by the Preaching of the word, an inward call by the irre∣sistible work of the spirit in mens hearts. The outward call is a part of Gods outward will, with that he calls every man to believe; the inward and effectuall call is a part of his secret will, and with that he doth not call every man to believe, but a very few only whom he hath infallibly and inevita∣bly ordained to eternall life. And therefore by the outward will, which I enjoy among many others, I cannot be assured of Gods good will and meaning that I shall believe, repent, and be saved.

By this we may see, that no sound comfort can be fastned upon a poore soule, rooted in this opi∣nion, when he lyes under this horrible temptation; The example of Francis Spira an Italian Lawyer, will give some farther light and proofe to this. This Spira about the yeare 1548, against his know∣ledge and conscience did openly abjure his religion, and subscribe to Popery; that thereby he might preserve his life, and goods, and liberty. Not long after he fell into a deep distresse of Conscience out of which he could never wrestle, but ended his woefull daies in despaire. To comfort him came many Divines of worth and note; but against all the comforts that they applyed unto him, he oppo∣sed two things especially. 1. The greatnesse of his sinne: It was a sinne of a deep dye, commit∣ed with many urging and aggravating circumstances, and therefore could not be forgiven. This ar∣gument they quickly took from him, and convinced him by the example of Peter, that there was no∣thing in his sinne, that could make it irremissible. Peter that committed the same sinne, and with more odious circumstances, repented and was pardoned, and so (no doubt) might he. 2: He oppo∣sed his absolute reprobation; and with that he put off all their comforts. Peter (saith he) repented and was pardoned indeed, because he was elected: as for me I was utterly rejected before I was borne; and therefore I cannot possibly repent, or be saved. If any man be elected he shall be saved, though he have committed sinnes, for number many, and haynous in degree: but if he be (ex repu∣diatis) one of the castawaies, necessario condemnabitur: though his sinnes be small and sew. Nihil in∣terest, an multa, an pauca, an magna, an parva sint, quando nec Dei misericordia, nec sanguis Christi quicquam ad eos pertinet. A reprobate must be damned, be his sinnes many or few, great or small; because Gods mercy, and Christs merits belong not to him. In this very story, (recorded by Coelius Secundus, and Calvin, with some others who lived at that time, and wrote of it to their friends;) as in a glasse we may see the disconsolate condition of a poore soule, that is strongly conceited, that the greatest part of the world, are absolute reprobates, and that he is one of them; he sticketh so fast in the mire and clay, that he can very hardly be drawne out.

TWISSE. Consideration.

THis Section I may fitly divide into two parts. The first whereof is a pret∣ty Comedy. The second a Tragedy. The first is practised by this Au∣thour in a dialogue, shaped by himselfe and accordingly accomodated to his owne stage, as an Enterlude of his owne making. The Tragedy is related only of Francis Spira; and I willingly confesse, It is the strangest that ever, I heard or read, of a man going on soberly to the utter undoing of himselfe both body and soule. But the relation of it is most hungryly performed by this Authour as if his care were Page  266 only to serve his owne turne, and then cares not what becomes of the maine condi∣tion of the story, which indeed is most remarkable: I have but touched upon it in former passages, but here I shall insist upon it more at large; and the rather, because it is here proposed not more unfaithfully then impiously, to deface or out-face the precious truth of God concerning his absolutenesse in making whom he will a ves∣sell of wrath. But first I must dispatch my answer to the Antegredients of those two parts. And let it be remembred what formerly I have delivered, that still he confounds reprobation from grace, with reprobation from glory; as if we main∣tained the absolutenesse of the one, as well as we do maintain the absolutenesse of the other; which is most untrue. For albeit, we maintaine that God hath decreed abso∣lutely to bestow grace upon some, (which are Gods elect,) and absolutely to deny grace unto others, (whom we account Reprobates here upon,) not conditionally; for if grace were ordayned to be bestowed conditionally, to wit, upon condition of some worke performed by man; then should grace be bestowed according unto workes, which in the phrase of the Ancients is all one, with saying, that grace is bestowed ac∣cording unto merits. And this was condemned above 1200 yeares agoe in the Sy∣nod of Palestine, & Pelagius driven to subscribe unto it, lest otherwise himselfe had bin excommunicated. But we, doe not maintain that God hath ordayned that damnati∣on shall be absolutely inflicted on any but only conditionally, to wit, in case they dye in sin. Yet it became this Authors wisdom to confound them, least distinguishing them as they ought to be distinguished, & carrying himselfe fairly in opposing the absolute∣nes of reprobation there alone, where alone it is maintained by his adversaries, to wit, in the particular of reprobation from grace, he should at first dash manifest himselfe to maintain, that grace is bestowed not according to the good pleasure of God, but according to the workes of men; and that upon this ground it is, that he buildeth the comfortable condition of his doctrine, concerning predestination, which indeed makes no difference in Gods proceedings between the elect and reprobate, but re∣spects them all alike; For their power to believe and repent is their grace universall, which they say is given to all alike. So exciting grace in the ministry of the Word is equally made to all that heare it, whether elect or reprobate. And these are the kinds of grace prevenient: Then as for grace subsequent, that consists only in Gods concurrence unto the act of faith and repentance which depends meerely upon mans will (in their opinion) and God is as ready to concurre to the working of it as well in one as in another, in case man will. On the other side it would appeare that our doctrine is censured as uncomfortable, only because it teacheth man for the obtaining of true comfort to depend meerely upon the grace of God, and not upon his owne free-will.

Againe, observe how that like as Gregory observes that the same spirit of Antichrist might be found in them that are farre distant in time, so an Arminian spirit savoreth the same things one with an other, and perhaps at unawars, though they in whom it is found be much distant in place. Vossius in his last booke of his History of the Pelagian heresy sayth, That our Divines doe aleadge that place of St Paul against their adversaries in the poynt of predestination, as the head of Medusa; a place indeed that clearely justifies Gods absolutenesse both in predestination and reprobation: And this Authour sayeth that our doctrine on the same poynt is like to Gorgons head: Now the Learned well know that Gorgon and Medusas head have no difference. Now whether our doctrine be so uncomfortable as this Authour objects, it will appeare when we come to examine the paroxysme and fit of temptation, especially the kind of it being such, as this Authour out of his fruitfull invention hath made choyce of to represent, as able to elude the strongest arguments of comfort, and they applyed with as much art and cunning as canne be; supposing that of this art and cunning also, he hath given plentifull testimony in the succeeding dialogue; which is a very remarkeable passage of this Authours sufficiency, especially comming out of his owne mouth; Of the integrity whereof there seemes no cause to doubt, considering that Arminian in∣genuity and modesty whereunto he hath lately arrived.

He further addes as much weight to his former assertions as words can, which though they be but wind, yet with some, who Camelion like live by the ayre, may prove very weighty, saying, that this doctrine of ours is incompatable with any word of comfort (which is very much, though a word and any word be very little) that can be ministred to a distressed soule in this temptation. Now it is very likely that in his dialogue Page  267 following he brings in as potent arguments of consolation, as our doctrine will afford. The heads or placss of consolation he reckons up, Gods love to mankind, Christs death for all mankind, and the calling of poore sinners without exception to repentance and Salvation with all other grounds of comfort, and all arguments (he sayeth) drawne from hence our opinion will elude and preclude all consolation from the distressed soule. But give me leave to make a faire motion as touching the speciall heades of consolation here particulated. If it shall be found that these heads of consolation doe admit a double sense, one of the Arminian making, an other of our interpreting; if consolations drawne therefrom in an Arminian sence be eluded by our Tenet, will any disparage∣ment thereby arise to our tenet, provided we find store of consolatiō from them taken in our sense, especially being ready to admit any indifferent tryal concerning the sense thereof, whether theirs or ours prove most agreeable to the word of God; But Ecce Rho∣dus, ecce Saltus, we are come to the Dialogue it selfe, where he undertakes to make good, that which he saith And here begins the Enterlude.

Tempted.

Woe is me; I am a Castaway; I am utterly rejected from grace and Glory.

CONSIDERATION.

Let me take liberty to set down what I should think fit to answer unto such a com∣plaint, Now my Answer is this, Who hath revealed this unto thee? Art thou privy Councellour to the Almighty? We are taught that secret things belong to the Lord our God,*but the things revealed are for us and for our Children to doe them. Now where, and when, and how hath God revealed this his counsell unto thee, namely, concerning thy re∣jection from Grace, & Glory? We know no other revelations divine then are contay∣ned in his Word: Now hath God in his word revealed unto thee more then unto me that thou art a reprobate. The word saith unto thee, If thou shalt confesse with thy mouth the Lord Jesus: and believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, Rom: 10. 9. Now how canst thou make it appeare that this belongs lesse unto thee then to any Martyr that ever was content to lay downe his life for Christ? Wilt thou say, Thy sinnes make thee to conceive so: I answer, are thy sinnes greater then were the sinnes of Manasses, who made his sonnes passe through the fire to Molech, gave himselfe to witchcraft and sorcery, and filled Jerusalem with bloud from corner to corner? If his sinns were not sufficient to conclude that he was a Reprobate, why should thy sins be thought sufficient to conclude that thou art a Cast-away? Are thy sinnes greater then Sauls were, who was a Blasphemer, a Persecutor of the Saints of God from Citty to Citty; Yet was he received unto mercy. Wilt thou say, Thy sinnes have been committed since thy calling? Yet are they greater then was the sinne of Peter, in denying Christ his Master, with execrations and oathes? And these sinns were committed not only after his calling; but even within his Masters hearing too. Yet he went out and wept bitterly. And Christ as soone as he was risen, sent word of his resurrection by name to Peter to comfort him. Nay hath not God taught us in his word, that the bloud of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sinne, 1 John. 1.? And how canst thou make it appeare, that any one that ever was or is, hath greater interest therein then thy selfe? wilt thou say this remedy belongs unto none, but such as believe and repent; but I doe not. I answere, in like sort there was a time when Paul believed not, and when every one believed not; yet at length they believed, and so maist thou: wilt thou say, But I cannot believe and repent? I answer, this is the condition of all till God takes away the stony heart out of their bowells, and gives them a heart of flesh, and puts his owne spirit within them; wilt thou say God gives grace to others, but not to thee? I answer, there was a time when God had not mercy on them, at length an houre came wherin he called them: so an houre may come wherin he may call thee. And thou hast no more cause to conclude that he hath rejected thee, then every Child of God had before his calling, that God had rejected him: without grace neither thou canst, nor they could believe; but grace can bring all to faith and repentance; and thou hast no more cause to think that God will not bring thee to faith, then any elect had, before his calling, to think that God would not bring him to faith. Now seeing this grace is given in the Word, doe thou wait upon God in his owne ordinance, (which any naturall man hath power to doe; as namely, to goe heare a sermon) Page  268 thou knowest not how it may worke upon thee, yea though thou commest thither with a wicked mind. For we read of some that comming to take Christ were taken * by him. And Father Latimer taking notice of some that come to Church to take a nap, yet never the lesse (saith he) let them come, they may be taken napping.

Minister.

Discourage not thy selfe thou poore afflicted soule, God hath not cast thee off, for he hateth no∣thing that he hath made, but bears a love to all men, and to thee amongst the rest.

CONSIDERATION.

And not only poore, but miserable also is that afflicted soule that hath no better comforter; whether we consider the nature of the consolation, or the warrant of it. For first, hath not God made Froggs, and Toades, and Devills, as well as man; And hath an Arminian that boasts so much of strongest arguments of comfort, no better com∣fort to an afflicted soule, then that she is Gods creature, which is the condition of a Frogge, and a Divill, and a damned spirit. 2. Then as touching the warrant of it; Is the booke of Wisdome the best store-house of comfort for an afflicted soule, a booke writen by Philo the Jew that living after Christs passion, resurrection and ascention, yet never believed in him. Againe speake out and tell us what is the fruit of that love, which God beares to all men; Hath he ordained to give Salvation unto all, & to this afflicted soule in particular? If he hath not, but damnation rather unto some, and particularly to this soule; (for upon what ground darest thou say, or canst assure he hath not:) art not thou as miserable a comforter to her, as ever Jobs friends were to him? Or hath God ordained to give all men the grace of regeneration, the grace of faith and repentance; if so, then either absolutely or conditionally; if absolutely, then all must be regenerate, all must believe and repent. If conditionally, speake it out, and let thy Patient know what condition that is, on performance whereof by man, God will give him faith; say what thou wilt, the comfortable issue shall be this, That grace is given according to workes; and this indeed is the only Arminian consola∣tion.

Tempted.

1. God hateth no man as he is his creature, but he hates a great many as they are involved in the first transgression, and become guilty of Adams sinne.

CONSIDERATION.

Pooresoule, suffer not thy selfe to be instructed by them that labour to deprive thee not only of the comfort of Gods grace, but of the comfort of common sence: Dost thou well understand what it is to hate a man as a sinner, and not as a man? If hatred be no more then displeasure; surely whatsoever be the cause of it, in hating thee he is displeased with thee, as thou art his creature, and that in thy proper kind of man; if withall it signify punishment, whatsoever the cause thereof be, surely he punisheth thee as man, though not for thy natures sake, for that is the worke of God, but for some corruption he finds in thee. And we should prove very sorry comforters; if on such a distinction as this, we should ground any true consolation; which hath his course not only with the Devills, but even with them that are already under the torments of Hell fire. But let not the authority of the booke of Wisdome, with thee weigh up and elevate the authority of Scriptures; nor Philo the Jew be preferred before St Paul, or the Prophet Malachy, by whom wee are taught that as God loved Jacob before he was borne, so he hated Esau; and before they were borne, what difference was there betweene them? Yet this passage out of the booke of Wis∣dome is in a Collect of the Papists Liturgy; I conceive a good sence may be made thereof without any prejudice to absolute reprobation, (for of Papists we ate sayd to have learnt it and are reproached for it.) And what is that good sense they make of it? Take it if thou wilt from Aquinas 1. q: 23. art 3: ad. 1. Dicendum quod Deus omnes homines diligit, & etiam omnes creaturas in quantum omnibus vult aliquod bonum: non tamen quodcun{que} bonum vult omnibus; In quantum igitur quibusdam non vult hoc bonum, quod est vita aeterna, dicitur eos habere odio, vel reprobare: Now if we take this Colect from them, let us take also their good meaning with it; and if we can, let us make it better and not worse. We commonly say, that passions are attributed to God not quoad affectum,Page  269 but quoad effectum: Now the effect of hatred is either the denyall of grace, or the denyall of glory, or the inflicting of damnation; The two latter are executed only according to mens sinnes; but the first, to wit, the denyall of grace, proceeds meere∣ly according to the good pleasure of Gods will; like as the giving of grace (as the A∣postle (not Philo) signifies, that God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth; Now to shew mercy is to bring a man to faith. Rom. 11. 30. And if grace be not given according to the meere pleasure of Gods will, it must be given accor∣ding unto workes, which is as much as to say in the phrase of the ancients, according unto merits, which all along hath been condemned in the Church of God, as meere Pelagianisme. Yet hitherto tends all the consolation that Arminianisme can reach forth unto thee; which is to afford thee no better consolation then can be afforded to a Reprobate.

2. As for Adams transgression, let not that affright thee, who art borne within the pale of the Church, and of Christian parents; for the children of such are holy. 1 Cor. 7. when all others are uncleane. Yet why should any man find it strange, that some of them who are guilty of eternall death, should suffer eternall death? And this Author hath formerly confessed, that Adams sinne hath made all his posterity guilty of eternall death. Now albeit God hates many, whether as involved in Adams transgression, or no, what matters that to thy discomfort, if he hate not thee. And what ground hast thou to conceive, that thou art in the number of them whom he hates, rather then of those whom he loves? He is no good Physitian, that lookes not into the cause of the desease, to remoove that; nor he any good comforter that lookes not into the cause of thy discomfort, to remoove them; It is to be thought that such an one desires rather to feed thy discomfort, then to cure it. Such is the practice of this comforter, otherwise he should not apply his arguments of comfort (which he magnifies as the strongest) with as much art and cunning as can be: But under∣stand him aright, this art and cunning tends not to the furtherance of thy conso∣lation, but to the advantage of his owne Arminian cause;; and to this end, I confesse, he doth apply them with as much art and cunning as he can.

2. And God hath a two-fold love, a generall love, which puts forth it selfe in outward and tem∣porall blessings only, and with this he loves all men. And a speciall, by which he provides everla∣sting life for men, and with this only he loves a very few, which out of his alone will and pleasure he singled from the rest. Under this generall love am I, not the speciall.

CONSIDERATION.

1. As touching the distinction, hold thee to it, least otherwise thou never proove capable of more comfort then a Reprobate is capable of. No Arminian hath the face to deny that God saves but a very few; And the reason is, because very few doe believe and repent: in this we all agree. Againe, no Arminian denies that very few doe believe and repent, and finally persevere therein. Againe, no Arminian denies faith and repentance to be the gift of God, and that hereby alone men are singled out from the rest. Now the question is, Whether God singleth out some men from the rest by giving them faith and repentance according to the meere pleasure of his will, or according to their workes? We say, according to the meere pleasure of Gods will, for he hath mercy on whom he will. Rom: 9. 18. Arminians say according to mens workes; and hereupon in the issue comes all their consolations to be grounded, that is upon a notorious Heresy condemned above 1200 yeare agoe.

2. But as touching the accommodation of this distinction unto thy selfe, saing thou art under Gods generall love not under his speciall: I pray the tell me what ground thou hast for that? what one of Gods elect, while they were in the state of nature, had not as greate cause to be as uncomfortable as thy selfe; and why maist not thou be in Gods good time in as comfortable a condition as any of them, and to say as John doth, see what love the father hath shewed us that we should be called the sonnes of God? dost thou mourne for thy sinne or no? if thou dost not, Why shouldest thou looke to be partaker of those comforts which are peculiar to them that mourne? If thou dost, thy Saviour hath said, Blessed are they that mourne for they shall be comfor∣ted. Dost thou hunger and thirst after the favour of God, and to be made partaker of the righteousnesse of Christ which alone can give thee assurance Page  270 of thine election? If thou doest not hunger and thirst after this, why shouldest thou be cast downe, because thou hast not this assurance? If thou doest desire this assu∣rance, and to that purpose hast an hungry appetite after the righteousnesse of Christ; thy Saviour saith, Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousnesse, for they shall be filled. Or hast thou a desire to have thy sinnes pardoned, and thy soule sa∣ved; but not any desire that thy soule may be sanctified; what comfort shouldest thou or any such expect at the hands of God? Thou wouldest serve the Devill, but thou, wouldest not goe to hell with the Devill. But I tell thee, God hath decreed the contrary, namely, that all such shall have this doome; Goe ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the Devill and his Angells. Yet I will not leave thee, nor give over all hope of thee; for I am glad to heare thee confesse, that though thou desirest thy sinne may be pardoned, and thy soule saved, yet thou hast no desire that thy soule should be sanctified; therefore answer me but to one thing more, and I have done with thee; Is it thy griefe and sorrow, that thou hast no desire, that thy nature may be sanctified, or is it no griefe at all unto thee? If it be no griefe unto thee, then still thou takest delight in sinne; and how can delight in sinne, stand with the feare of Gods judgements, and if thou fearest not God, how canst thou breake out into such complaints, Woe is me for I am a Cast-away: These motions usually proceed from the terrours of God; And if thou art once acquainted with Gods terrours, in conside∣ration of thy sinnefull condition; then be of good cheere, for these symptomes are commonly as the pangs of Child-birth, whereby it comes to passe, that a Chri∣stian soule is at length brought forth into the world of grace. And therefore the spirit of bondage, to make us feare, doth prepare, and make way for the spirit of a∣doption, whereby we cry Abba Father. And by experience I have known some, be∣ing * thus cast downe, and stricken with feares of being cast-awayes, when they have been demanded which condition they have thought better of, either this present condition of feare and terrour, or the former condition of their prophanenesse, when they were without all remorse or check of consciences; they have readily pro∣fessed, that this present condition of feare and terrour, was the better of the two. Now let us heare how well the comforter plaies his part.

Minister.

God so loves all men, as that he desires their eternall good; for the Apostle saith, he would have all to be saved, and he would have no man perish, nor thee in particular.

CONSIDERATION.

He proceeds very judiciously I confesse, by way of gradation from the Apocry∣phall, to the Canonicall; but at once he makes use both of corruptor stilus, and adulter sensus. The very words of the Apostle he corrupts; for the Apostle no where saith that God would have all to be saved, that God would have none to perish; 'tis 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 who will have all to be saved in the one; and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, not willing any to perish in the o∣ther. Men would doe many things that they cannot; it is not so with God. And if it be not adulter sensus, to apply this to all and every one, here is comfort indeed with a witnesse; For if God will save every one; and withall can save them, where∣of there is no doubt to be made, then there are no Reprobates at all; every one is predestinate to salvation by the will, that is, by the decree of God; And who hath re∣sisted his will, saith S. Paul. And will he not have all & every one to believe & repent? If not, then seeing he will have all to be saved, it follows that God, wil have all men to be saved, whether they believe or no, repent or no; But if he will have all to believe & repent, by that will whereby he will have all to be saved; seeing God can give all men faith and repentance; what followes but that all and every one shall believe and repent, & be saved, and consequently, there are no Reprobates at all? But I know full well what their interpretation of this is, namely, that God is ready to give faith and repentance unto all, to wit, in case they will; but doth not God give the very will to believe and repent? Yes in case they will. Take this comfort then into thy bosome, and make the best use of it to perswade thee that thou art no cast-away; For if thou believest and repentest, all is safe, thou hast as good assurance of thy salvation as Gods word can give thee. And though faith Page  271 and repentance be the gift of God, yet this comforter doth assure thee, that if thou wilt believe thou shalt believe, if thou wilt repent thou shalt repent. For God doth not give the grace of faith and repentance, according to the meere pleasure of his own will, but according to mens workes; for albeit the Apostle saith, God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardneth; yet that is not to be understood of vocation, but rather of justification. And let it not startle thee, that justification in Scripture phrase, is opposed to condemnation, and not to obduration, but to thy comfort be it spoken, it must be opposed to obduration here; least otherwise faith and repentance should not be given according to mens workes, but according to the meere pleasure of God; which is a very uncomfortable doctrine. But be thou assu∣red, that if thou wilt believe and repent, thou shalt believe and repent, such is Gods grace; and though it be as true, I confesse, on the other side, that if thou wilt not be∣lieve and repent, thou shalt not believe and repent; yet that is not to be accounted Gods grace, least so we should say, that Gods grace is as active to evill, as it is un∣to good. So that hereby thou maist still perceive, that all thy comfort de∣pends on this, that the grace of faith and repentance is given according to mens works.

Tempted.

All, is taken two waies: for all sorts and conditions of men, and for all particular men: God would have all sorts of men to be saved, but not all, or mee in particular.

2. Or if he will have all particular men to be saved; yet he wills it only with a revealed Will, but not with a secret will, for with that he will have a great company damned. Under his revealed will am I, not the secret.

CONSIDERATION.

1. That All is taken after these two waies in Scripture, and that in this place 1 Tim. 2. it is to be taken of genera singulorum, I have formerly proved, both by the cir∣cumstances of the Text, and by the analogy of faith, for otherwise we should trench upon Gods omnipotency and unchangeablenesse; and lastly by the judgement of Austin. But take the meaning aright, not that God would, but that God will have all men, that is, of all sorts, even of Kings and Princes, some to be saved; but not all and every one.

As for the distinction of a revealed will, and secret will applyed to salvation, thou maist learne that somewhere of Papists, but not of us. For the revealed will is Gods commandement; now that which God commands is a part of his Law, so is not salvation, but rather a reward of obedience. Yet they apply this distinction only in reference to faith and repentance, whereunto God hath annexed salvation. And it is Gods revealed will that all who heare the Gospell should believe and repent ex officio; but it is not Gods will to give every one of them grace to believe and re∣pent, as we find by manifest experience. It was Gods will in like manner to com∣mand Abraham to sacrifice his sonne, but it was not Gods determination that Isaack should be sacrificed. In like sort he commanded Pharaoh to let Israel goe, but withall he told Moses, he would harden Pharaohs heart, that he should not let them goe for a long time.

2. But in the accommodation of these distinctions unto thy selfe, What ground hast thou to affirme, that God willeth not thy salvation in particular? If thou be∣lievest, Gods word assureth thee thou shalt be saved; if thou believest not, yet thou maist believe; and Gods word hath power to bring thee unto faith, as formerly I have discoursed. And as for the best of Gods Children who doe believe, to the great comfort of their soules, rejoycing with joy unspeakable and glorious. 1 Pet. 1. They were sometimes in as uncomfortable a condition as thou now art. And the ra∣ther I put thee upon this, because I see he that takes upon him to comfort thee, doth take a course rather to feed thy humour, then to remove it, in as much as he never enquires into the cause thereof. For albeit he gave to understand, he would apply his argument with as much art and cunning as could be, yet it may be, that was ra∣ther with respect to the advantage of his own cause, then to thy consolation. But let us see whether he mends it in the next.

Page  272
Minister.

Christ came into the World to seeke and to save what was lost; and is a propitiation, not for our sinnes only, i. e. the sinnes of a few particular men, or the sinnes of all sorts of men, but for the sinnes of the whole World; therefore he came to save thee, for thou wast lost; and to be a propitiation for thy sinnes, for thou art part of the whole World.

CONSIDERATION.

Still he continues to afford thee as much comfort as any Reprobate in the world; and if thou desirest no more, thou maist rest satisfied with this; but withall I confesse, he affords thee as much comfort, as he can afford any of Gods elect, for he maketh elect and Reprobate all alike in receiving comfort from Gods Word. Christ came into the world to save that which was lost, but unlesse he came to save all that is lost, it will not follow that he came to save thee. We know that pardon of sinne and salvation is procured by Christ, for none but such as believe; and therefore be not de∣ceived, without faith looke for neither; by faith be assured of both, and that thou art one of Gods elect and no Reprobate. And observe well he tells thee nothing of Christ meriting faith and repentance; this now a dayes is plainly denyed by the Re∣monstrants; and this Authour is content to say nothing of it; when he is put to it we know what must be the issue of it; if he sayeth Christ hath merited faith and repen∣tance * for thee, the meaning is but this; Christ hath merited that if thou wilt be∣lieve thou shalt believe, if thou wilt repent, thou shalt repent. And that Christ hath merited that God should bestow faith and repentance not on whom he will according to the meere pleasure of his will, but according to mens workes.

The comfort that our doctrine ministers unto thee, is this, If thou dost believe in Christ, thou maist be assured thou art an elect of God, if thou dost not believe, there is no cause why thou shouldest thinke thy selfe a Cast-away; for albeit thou hast not faith to day, yet thou maist have faith to morrow. Give thy selfe to Gods Word: and waite upon him in his ordinances, thou maist be so wrought upon as that unbeliever was, 1 Cor: 14. Who is there represented falling downe on his face, and confessing that God was in the Preacher of a truth. And though at first thou attendest to it, but in a carnall manner, yet God may open thy heart as he opened the heart of Lidia, and make thee attend unto it in a gracious manner. *

Tempted.

The World (as I have heard) is taken two waies in Scripture, Largely for all mankind; and strict∣ly for the elect, or believers: In this latter sense Christ dyed for the World. Or if for all, yet it was only dignitate pretii, not voluntate propositi; thus only for a few selected ones, with whom it is not my lot to be numbred.

CONSIDERATION.

Suffer not thy selfe to be abused by them, who pretending thy comfort, yet seeke nothing lesse, but only the promoting of their owne cause. And observe how he takes notice of no other benefits of Christs death, then such as belong unto men up∣on the condition of faith, to wit, pardon of sinne and Salvation; in which case the mention of Gods elect comes in very unseasonably. And thus is the love of God set forth unto us; so God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Sonne, that whosoever be∣lieveth in him should not perish but have everlasting life: And if it be not thy lot to be num∣bred amongst believers, then we can give thee, by Gods Word, no assurance of thy Salvation. But if thou art not a believer yet, thou maist be in good time as formerly I have spoken more at large; and therefore no reason to think thou art a Reprobate. And if once thou dost believe in Christ, our doctrine gives thee assurance of Justifi∣cation, Salvation, and Election; the Arminan doctrine doth not.

As for faith and repentance, we say Christ hath merited them also, but to be be∣stowed how? According to mens workes say our Arminians, though forraine Ar∣minians professe plainly that Christ merited not faith and regeneration for any. And if thou relishest this comfort, be satisfied with it; we say faith and repentance are bestowed absolutely according to the meere pleasure of Gods will, and accor∣dingly Page  273 Christ merited them, but not for all, for then all should believe and repent and be saved; but only for some, and who can these be but Gods elect; whence it followeth clearly that whosoever believes may by our doctrine be assured of his election, not so by the doctrine of Arminians; but if thou believest not thou art in no worse case then the best of Gods childern have been; for there was a time when they believed not; therefore thou hast no more cause to think thy selfe a cast-away then they had.

Minister.

God hath founded an universall Covenant with men upon the bloud of Christ, and therefore he intended it should be shed for all men universally; he hath made a promise of salvation to every one that will believe, and excludes none that will not believe.

CONSIDERATION.

This I confesse is to administer as much comfort, as is administred to any Repro∣bate; but how can this qualify thy discomfort, and discontent, which riseth from this conceit, that thou art a Reprobate. And the truth is, that by our Doctrine, wee were all in a miserable case, if Gods Covenant of grace extended no farther then this. But hath not God promised to be our Lord, and our God that sanctifyeth us, to circumcise our hearts, and the hearts of our Children, to love the Lord our God * with all our hearts: to take the stony heart out of our bowells, and give us an heart of flesh, and to put his own spirit within us; as he seeth our waies, so to heale them, yea, to heale our back-slidings, to heale our rebellions. All this, this sweet comforter takes no notice of, contenting himselfe with such a grace to be merited for him by Christ as this, if he will believe he shall believe; if he will repent he shall repent; if he will love God with all his heart, he shall love him with all his heart. Yet when a man doth believe, they are able to give him no assurance of his salvation, or of his e∣lection; because they maintaine, that a man may totally and finally fall away from grace: And all because their doctrine is, that Gods effectuall grace in working the act of faith and repentance, is given meerely according to mens works.

Tempted.

God purposed that his Sonne should dye for all men, and that in his name an offer of remission of sinnes, and salvation should be made to every one, but yet upon this condition, that they will doe that which he meanes the greatest part shall never doe (i. e. Repent and believe) nor I among the rest.

CONSIDERATION.

How doth God meane that the greatest part of men shall never believe and repent, by our opinion? Is it in this sence, that they shall not believe and repent if they will? When was it ever knowne that any of our Divines ever wrote or taught this? We think rather it is impossible it should be otherwise, & therefore say it is a very absurd thing to call this [Grace] as the Arminians doe. Indeed we say that God doth not meane by his preventing grace to work the wills of the greatest part of men to believe & repent: Doe not the Arminians say so too? Yes verily, and a great deale more: for they deny that he workes any mans will to believe and repent in this manner; but we say God purchaseth thus to worke the wills of all his chosen ones, and when he hath wrought them, to keepe them by his power through faith unto Salvation; and put his feare in their hearts, that they shall never depart a way from him. Jer 32. 40. And upon this * ground we can assure believers of their election which Arminians cannot; And them that believe not, keepe from dispaire in better manner then the Arminians can, for they leave them to themselves to believe; whereas the Scriptures shew that to be im∣possible: so that they take upon them to comfort such quite against the haire. But we comfort them with a possibility. of being converted unto God by representing his allmighty power, whose voyce is able to pierce into the graves and make dead Lazarus heare it. This power he shewed in converting Saul, when he marched furi∣ously (Jehu like) against the Church of God. Therfore be thou of good comfort, especially considering thou art as it were under the wings of God, thou hearest his voyce; many come out of their graves at his call; some at one time, some at another, Page  274 and so maist thou God knowes how soone; then shalt thou be assured of thine ele∣ction, which by Arminianisme thou canst not be; in the meane time thou hast no cause to conclude that thou art a Reprobate.

Minister.

God hath a true meaning, that all men who are called should repent and believe, that so they might be saved; as he would have all to be saved, so to come to the knowledge of the truth; and as he would have no man to perish, so he would have all men to repent, and therefore he calls them in the Preaching of the word to the one, as well as to the other.

CONSIDERATION.

He keepes his course to afford thee the best comfort his doctrine yeelds, which is as much as is incident to a Reprobate, and how that should make thee conceive better of thy selfe, then as of a Reprobate, I doe not perceive, Gods meaning is that as many as heare the Gospell should believe and repent ex officio; that is, that it shall be their duty, for he commands it: but he hath no meaning to bestow on all and every one the grace of faith and repentance, as appeares by experience. And if God did will they should de facto believe and be saved, then either God is not able to bring them to faith and to save them, or else his will is changed. In like sort if it were his will that all and every one should know his truth, then God is not able to make all and every one know his truth, for it is apparent that all doe not; it is apparent that all have not the Gospell; The Apostle saith, That God will not have any of us to perish but all to come to repentance: he doth not say he would but he will: And this is true of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, such as the Apostle speakes of, believers and elect. But as for others, the Scriptures plainly professe, that God blinds them, hardens them; and of Israell in the wildernesse, The Lord (saith Moses) hath not given you an heart to perceive, nor eyes to see, nor eares to heare unto this day. Deut: 29. 4. He calls all that heare the Gospell indifferently by the Mi∣nistry of the Word, but he openeth not the heart of all to attend unto it, as to the Word of God, like as we read he opened the heart of idia. Acts. 16. 14.

Tempted.

God hath a double call, outward by his word, inward by the irresistible work of his spirit; with this he doth not call every man to believe, but a very few only, whom he hath infallibly, and inevi∣tably, ordained to eternall life, and therefore by the outward call, which I enjoy among many o∣thers, I cannot be assured of Gods good will and meaning, that I shall believe, repent, and be saved.

CONSIDERATION.

Our Doctrine teacheth not that God calls every one by his Word, that is an Ar∣minian interjection. But the outward call belongs to many more then are chosen, as our Saviour sayth, many are called but few are chosen; Indeed he gives faith and repen∣tance to a very few, which no Arminian denyes; only the Question is, Whether God gives faith and repentance to whom he will, or according to mens works. We saytis to whom he will, proceeding herein according to the meere pleasure of his will; and not according to mens workes; which to affirme is manifest Pelagianisme, and publikely condemned many hundred yeares agoe. It is true, if thou dost not believe, Gods Word doth not assure thee that he will make thee believe; that were to assure thee of thine election before thy vocation; a most unreasonable thing to be expected. But God by his word assures thee, that tis his meaning that without faith thou shalt not be saved. Yet there is no cause thou shouldest think thy selfe a Reprobate; for this was the con∣dition of every one of Gods elect before their calling. It may be thou maist have expe∣rience of the same power of divine grace, to bring thee to faith also, and to repentance; therefore seeing Gods Word is the only meanes to worke faith, waite daily at his Gates and give attendance at the posts of his doores; and doe not prescribe unto him, or say with *Joram, Shall I wait upon the Lord any longer? though it be longere he calls thee, yet it may goe never a whit the worse with thee for that, for sometimes it falleth out that the last are first, and the first last: and the commendation that Austin makes, of the Theef's faith upon the Crosse, is remarkeable, De orig, animae, lib. 1. cap. 9. Tanto ponderePage  275appensum est, tantum{que} valuit ap ud eum qui haec novit appendere, quod confessus est dominum cruci∣fixum, quantum si fuisset pro Domino crucifixus. Tunc enim fides ejus de ligno floruit, quando dis∣cipulorum marcuit, nisi cujus mortis terrore marcuerunt ejus resurrectione reviresceret. Illi enim despe∣raverunt de moriente, ille speravit in commorientem. Refugerunt illi authorem vitae, rogavit ille consortem poenae. Doluerunt illi tanquam homines mortem, credidit ille regnaturum esse post mortem, Deseruerunt illi sponsorem salutis, honoravit ille socium crucis. Inventa est in eo mensura Mar∣tyris, qui tunc in Christum credidit, quando defecerunt, qui futuri erant Martyres.

2. From the Comedy I come to the Tragedy, I meane the story of Spira. Sleidan saith of him, that Incredibili ardore caepit complecti puriorem doctrinam: & cum indies magis magis{que} proficeret, non domi tantum apud amicos quid sentiret de singulis dogmatis, verum etiam passim apud omnes explicabat. Tidings hereof coming to the Popes Legat then at Venice John Casa Arch-Bishop of Beneventum, he convents Spira, who confesseth his errour before him, intreats pardon, and promiseth obedience for time to come. The Le∣gat not contented with this, commands him to goe home, and publiquely to revoke his errour. Sleidan writes no more here of but this, Accipit ille conditionem, & licet etiam tum inciperet ipsum paenitere facti, tamen urgentibus amicis, qui non ipsius modo, sed conjugis etiam & liberorum & facultatum ipsius spem totam in eo positam dicerent, obtemperavit. Osiander writes that pessimo consilio obsecutus, abnegando veritatem caelestem perrexit, eam{que} publice ut haeresin blasphemavit & abjuravit. The distresse of conscience which overtooke him hereup∣on is notorious, the issue whereof was to end his woefull dayes more woefully in despaire. But nothing more strange then his discourses and meditations in the midst of this his desperate condition. As for the particulars following, 1: Touching the greatnesse of his sinne, and that he was taken off from that by the example of Peter, I find no such thing neither in Sleidan, nor Osiander, nor in Goulartius; but rather in this latter, who makes the largest relation thereof taken out of the discourse of one Henry Scringer, a learned Lawyer who was then at Padua, who did see, and many times talke with this poore Spira; I find that which makes to the contrary, namely, that the sinne which he laid to his owne charge was the sinne against the Holy Ghost. And no example I trust neither of Peter, nor any other was sufficient to take him off from despaire in such a case. 2. And as for the discourse here suggested of his absolute reprobation, which he opposed against their comforts ministred unto him, no menti∣on thereof, neither in Sleidan, nor in Osiander; nay Osiander writes that he was wish'd to revoke doctrinam Lutheranam, and this was it which he did (as he sayeth) blaspheme as an heresy, and abjure. Goulartius indeed relates how he conceived himselfe to be reprobated of God, as justly he might in case he judged himselfe to have sinned a∣gainst the Holy Ghost; And as for that which is here set down in Latin, of him that is a Reprobate, namely, that necessario condemnabitur, though his sins be small & few, & that nihil interest multa an pauca, magna an parva sint; quando nec Dei misericordia, nec Christi sanguis quicquam ad eos pertinet. Neither Sleidan, nor Osiander nor Goulartius makes any mention of it. And therefore I wonder not that he neither followeth Sleidan, nor Osiander much lesse that he followes not Goulartius. He cites Caelius secundus and Calvin as his Au∣thours, and some others that wrot thereof to their friends, but names them not; as neither where it is that Caelius secundus makes mention of it, or in what booke of Calvin it is found. I imagined it might be in his Epistles; I have spent some houres in search∣ing therein from the yeare 1545 to the yeare 1663, and can find nothing concerning it. Now Goulartius wrote since Caelius secundus, and Calvin and Sleidan, and his relation is large; and it semes he inquired in to it somewhat better then they that went before him. And thus he relates it out of the discourse of Henry Scringer a Lawyer of Padua, who saw Spira at that time, and divers times spake with him.

In a small towne of the territory of Padua called Civitelle there was a Learned Lawyer, and advocat, a wise and very rich, man and an honourable father of a fa∣mily, called Francis Spira, who having sayd and done divers things against his consci∣ence, to maintaine himselfe and his charge, (observe by the way he delivers the cause only in generall concealing the speciality, it being so strang a testimony and evi∣dence against the Romish Religion) being returned to his house, he could never rest an houre, not a minut, nor have any ease of his continuall anguish: And even from that night he was so terrified and had such horrour of his actions, as he held himselfe for lost. For (as he himselfe did afterward confesse) he did set plainely before his eyes, all the torments, all the paines of the damned, and in his soule did heare the fearfull sentences, being drawne before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ (a fearfull Page  276 example to all Apostates;) The next day and so following he was not seene to re∣sume any courage, but his spirits were strangely troubled, and the terrour tooke from him all rest and appetite. This accident was so greivous to his friends, as some repented them much that they had beene the cause of so great an inconvenience, by their intreaties. Others, thinking it did proceed from some cholerick or melancholy humour, were of opinion to send him to Padova to be Physicked by the Learned Phy∣sitians, revived by honorable company, and setled by the coference of Learned men there, to some of which he was well knowne. His Wife and Children with some of his familiar friends did accompany him, and he was lodged in one of the chiefe hou∣ses. Frisimilega Bellocat and Crassus (famous Physitians) did visit him, and give him Physicke with singular affection: and soone found that he was little sicke in body, but grievously in mind, for in all other things he discoursed gravely, and constanstly, so as none of his familiar friends could discerne that the quicknesse of his discourse was any thing impaired. Continuing still in his weaknesse, many were much trou∣bled, and dayly his Chamber was full of People; some curious to see and heare, o∣thers were desirous to draw him to hope in the mercies of God; I was present at ma∣ny of his speeches, with some men of honour and Learning. To deliver that which I could observe, I began first to note his age and his fashion. He was about 50 yeares old, free from the violent passions of youth, and from the coldnesse of old age. Nothing came out of his mouth, that was light or foolishly spoken: or that might discover any doting in him; although he did dayly discourse of grave and important matters with the Learned, and that some did propound unto him high questions e∣specially in Divinity.

2. I will briefly relate same speeches they had with him. During his abode at Padua and I will not forget that he declared with a setled judgment, that he did see the eternall vengeance of God prepared against the sinne, that he had committed: (This was the true cause of his dispaire, and not an ungrounded conceit of his reprobati∣on; but the conscience of his sinne cast him upon this, and made him conceive he was a Reprobate.) For that he did find in him selfe that those things which God had given to others to rejoyce their spirits, all conspired against him in despite of his horrible forfeit: (I doubt the phrase here in the originall was not well understood by the Traslatour;) For although, said he, that God for a great blessing had promised to ma∣ny holy men a goodly issue, and a great number of children, in whose love and o∣bedience they may repose their age; yet in the midst of his miseries, The hands and faces of his Children were as horrible unto him as the hangmans (and indeed for the good of his children he renounced Gods truth for meere temporall respects.) It can∣not well be expressed what griefe & vexation he seemed to receive when his children brought him meat, forcing him to eat, and threatning him when he refused it. He confessed his children did their dutyes, and yet he tooke it in ill part, saying, that he did not acknowledge God any more for his father, but did feare him as his adver∣sary armed with judgment. For he had been three weeks in this apprehension, when he spake these things, without eating or drinking, but what they forced him unto, the which he received with great difficulty, resisting with all his power, and spitting out that which they forced him to take. Some of the Assistants were of opinion to make him afraid, to make him the more apt to receive food, first for the soule, then for the body; asking him if he did not feare greater and sharper torments after this life then those he then felt. He confessed that he expected farre more sharpe, and had already horror of them: yet he desired nothing more then to be cast head∣long in to them, that he might not feare other more grevious torments. They asked him againe if he thought his sinne so foule as it could not be pardoned through the bounty and infinite mercy of God? His answer was, that he had sinned against the Holy Ghost, which was so great a sinne, as is called a sinne unto death; that is to say, subject to the eternall vengeance of God, and to the paines of Hell: (now judge I pray whether the example of Peter was sufficient to take him off from desperation; for will any say that Peter in denying his Master sinned against the Holy Ghost;) whereof (to wit, the sinne against the Holy Ghost) this poore wretch discoursed amply, learnedly, and too subtilly against him selfe: Learned and Godly men, which did assist him, omit∣ted no testimonies that might assure a wounded conscience that God is mercifull, gen∣tle and ready to pardon. But all this could not divert him from this opinion, neither could they draw any other thing from him, then that he desired much that Page  277 he might returne to some hope of pardon. But it fares with me (saith he) as with criminall persons, shut up in close prisons, and fettered hand and foot. Sometimes they are saluted by their friends passing by, who advise them to breake Prison, and to deceive their guards if they can. Such Prisoners would gladly follow their coun∣sell, but it is a vaine desire: Even so is mine, said he.

3. As for the Scriptures which were cited to him, touching the love and affecti∣on of God the Father, by reason of his Sonne Jesus Christ, he did avow them; ad∣ding, that they belonged only to them, whom Jesus Christ did repute his brethren, and his members; but as for him, he had renounced that love, and willingly reje∣cted brotherly alliance, neither was ignorant in how great tranquillity of mind they might be, who had once embraced the promises of salvation, and did wrest them continually therein. For confirmation whereof, this his sad disaster (said he) was propounded for an example before all mens eyes: that if they were wise they should not hold it light, nor happened by any chance, but to learne by his ruine, how dangerous it is, to fall any thing from that which belongs to the great glory of the Sonne of God: Adding that it was a slippery, and very dangerous passage, yea most fearfull to him that stood not carefully on his Guard. More∣over forasmuch as such evident examples, of the vengeance of Almighty God did seldome appeare to the eyes of men, they deserved to be the more carefully re∣garded. That amongst a great number of Reprobates in the World, his calamity was not singular; but his only punishment and ruine did satisfy God, a just Judge to admonish all others to have a care of themselves. He added withall, that therein he did acknowledge the severity of Gods judgement, who had chosen him to make him a spectacle, rather then any other, and to admonish all by one mans mouth, to abstaine from all iniquity; confessing withall, that there was no reproach or punishment, which he had not deserved, by reason of his foule offence. After he had discoursed thus sincerely and gravely of the justice Divine, he said they should not take it strange, this his long speech touching the true reason of the will of God: for that oftentimes God doth wrest out of the mouthes of Repro∣bates, most assured testimonies of his Majesty, his justice, and his fearfull venge∣ance. How strangely doth he plead for Gods justice against himselfe as a Re∣probate? when our Arminians are like to blaspheame that justice of God against Spira, which Spira justifies against himselfe, using a long discourse upon this sen∣tence, and desirous to shew the greatnesse of Gods judgements. There are some (saith he) who have all things so wishfully, as they live in all delights, who not∣withstanding are registred for perdition, whereof Jesus Christ propounds an ex∣ample in the rich man. Luc. 16. That God doth often propound to mankind an hope of reward to draw them to the right beliefe of his holy will, and oft∣times withdrawes them from impieties, by fearfull and prodigious signes. And yet as impiety is naturall to men, they make not their profit of such instructi∣ons, and think not that it concernes them: but impute it to any other thing, rather then to the wisdome of God, to feare and reverence him: Hereupon he made a bitter invective against a certain Philosopher, whom he had known a∣bove twenty years before, for that his Morosoph had been so impudent to deliver in his lessons, yea to write it, and publish it in Print, that all the Mira∣cles that Christ had done upon the earth, might well be done by a man that were skilfull in the knowledge of naturall things. It were hard to represent the ad∣miration wherewith they were surprized, and with what compassion they were moved, that came to visit him, for the discourses which they heard come from his mouth. Every man laboured to reduce this poore man, to some hope of his salvation. Among others there was one, a Reverend man for his holinesse of life, who departed not from the Patients bed, it was the Bishop of Capod' Istria in the Ve∣netians Territory; (This was Vergerius, who afterwards renounced Popery, and became a Protestant:) He ceased not to exhort Spira, and ceased not by many te∣stimonies of the holy Scriptures, to divert him from that apprehension; Adding that he did not think his spirit was altogether voyd and destitute, of some good and heavenly inspirations, seeing he spake so holily and devoutly of the excellency of Christian Religion.

4. Although the sick man knew ful well that these admonitions proceeded Page  278 from a sincere and true heart; yet for that he had diverse times rejected them, he be∣gan to frowne, saying to the Bishop, you believe, as I think, that I doe willingly nourish this obstinacy in my mind, and that I take delight in this vehement passion of despaire: If you be of that opinion, you are deceived: I will tell you, to the end you may know my resolution, that if I could be perswaded that the judgement of God, might by any meanes be changed or mitigated for mee, it should not grieve me to be tormented ten thousand yeares, with the sharpest paines of hell, so as I might have any hope of rest after this long sufferance. But even in that whereby you doe exhort me to gather any hope, I see all meanes of health and pardon taken from me. For if the testimonies of holy Scripture have any authority (as they have) doe you thinke that Jesus Christ hath said in vaine, that he which hath renounced him be∣fore men, he will renounce him before his heavenly father? Doe you not see that it concernes me, and that it is as it were, particularly verified in my person? What shall become of him, whom the Sonne hath disavowed before his Father, when as you say, we must hope for no salvation but in Jesus Christ. Thereupon he did ex∣pound certain passages of the Epistle to the Hebrewes, and of the second Catholique Epistle of Saint Peter, out of which he drew terrible conclusions against himselfe. Wee cannot believe with what gravity and vehemency, his words were delivered, neither was there ever heard man pleading better for himselfe, then Spira did then against himselfe. He did alleadge notable things of Gods justice, detesting his fore∣passed life; admonishing all that were about him, very earnestly, not to think that Christian life was a light thing, and easily discharged. That it doth not consist on∣ly in having the head Baptised, in reading certaine verses and texts of the Gospell, and to be termed an honest man, but it was needfull to live as the word of truth doth command him. Thereupon he repeated a Text out of Saint Peter, exhorting us to shew through holinesse of life, certain signes of the love of God towards us, and of the confidence we should have in him: He said moreover, that he had known many who after they had tasted the sweetnesse of true felicity, suffered themselves so to be carried away, as they had no longer care to performe that which belonged to a child of God.

5. He protested that he had sometimes imagined, that his sinnes had been hid∣den, and that he could not be punished, for that Christ had made satisfaction for them: but then he knew too late, that those things belonged only to the elect, and chosen of God, betwixt whose sinnes, and the celestiall Throne, Jesus Christ sets his precious bloud, and the dignity of his obedience, as a veile and shadow to co∣ver them, and doth plant them against the Divine vengeance, as an high and strong Rampart, that sinners repenting them, might not be opprest, nor drowned with the deluge and overflowings of their offences and sinnes. As for himselfe, seeing that he had renounced our Saviour Jesus Christ (here was the true burthen of his sorrow∣full heart) he had, as one should say, overthrowne this strong Rampart with his own hands, so that after this ruine, and overflowing the deluge of waters of this ven∣geance, had covered and swallowed up his soule. One of his most familiar friends said unto him, that he did hold the cause of this his great torment, proceeded from abundance of Melancholy humours, that did so trouble his braine. Spira remem∣bring that he had many times refuted that opinion, and seeing they were to begin againe, said unto the other; You may think what you please, but God in truth hath troubled my spirit, and deprived me of judgement; seeing it is impossible for me to have any hope of my salvation. Having continued in such and the like speeches, during his abode at Padua, they carried him back, to his own house at Civitelle, where he dyed in this despaire.

Page  279
DISCOURSE. SECT. III.

It makes Ministers unable to afford true comfort to the tempted; and this it doth, because it

  • 1. Takes from them all solid grounds of comfort.
  • 2. Leaves them only weake and insufficient grounds.

1. It bereaves them of the solid grounds of comfort; which are these. 1. The universality of Gods love. 2. Of Christs death. 3. And of the covenant of grace. That Minister which doth ex∣plaine and apply these three things soundly, and wisely to him that is tempted in this kind, doth that which is abundantly enough for the relieving and releasing of him from his temptation, and he that doth not apply these, leaves him as he found him in the midst of his temptation still, whatsoever may be said to the contrary in the hear of disputation.

Etsi multa disputantur durius (saith Melancthon) tamen necesse est in vero agone ad hanc arcem confugere,*videlicet, quod de voluntate Dei indicandum sit ex verbo expresso, & quod promissio sit universalis, & quod sit mandatum Dei aeternum & immutabile audire filium & assentiri promissioni. Though there be many things disputed in this poynt more harshly, yet when all is done, the universall promise of grace, and salva∣tion, is a Christians only Bulwarke in this temptation, and combate. Obtemperemus igitur (saith he) ne vagentur animi quaerentes electionem extra verbum, & relicto Christo, & omisso mandato de amplectenda promissione; sed teneamus certa est indubitata fide promissionem gratiae non inanem esse fabulam; sed Deum vere patefecisse voluntatem suam in promissione, & verè praestare quod promisit. Let us not therefore leave Christ and looke for an election out of the word, but let us judge of Gods will, in saving men by the pro∣mise, and commandement, which are both universall. And in another place of the same booke, he hath these words. Sicut est necesse scire Evangelium promissionem esse gratuitam, ita est necesse scire Evan∣gelium promissionem universalem esse, hanc universalem tenere necesse est, adversus periculosas imaginationes de praedestinatione, ne disputemus hanc promissionem ad paucos quosdam alios pertinere, non pertinere ad nos. Non enim dubium est, quin omnium animos haec cogitatio exerceat. As it is needfull to know that the pro∣mise of salvation is free, so it is needfull to know and hold, that it is universall, against some dange∣rous conceits of predestination, &c. By these speeches we see clearely, what this learned man thought to be the true balme of Gilead, whereby a wounded scule should be cured, viz. the universality of the promise (and of Gods love and Christs death too, for they all hang together, and cannot be dis∣joyned.) The reason why these grounds are able to help a man in this case, is two∣fold.

1. Because they are directly contradictory to the temptation; a will to save all, a giving of Christ to death for all, and an offer of grace to all, cannot possibly stand with an absolute antecedent will, and intent of casting away the greatest part of mankind, or indeed any one man in the world. Upon this followes the second reason.

2. Because they serve to convict the tempted, that he cannot be in that condition in which he supposeth himselfe to be. For if two contradictories cannot be true, he that evinceth the truth of the one, convinceth the understanding of the untruth of the other: and he that makes it appeare that this contradictory, [God would have all to be saved, redeemed, and called to repent and be∣lieve,] is true, puts it out of doubt to the understanding, that the other contradictory, [God will have most men to be absolutely, and inevitably damned,] must needs be false, and so raiseth up that poore soule that was pressed downe with an erroneous conceit and feare that it was true. In this manner did Junius (though not in the same temptation) relieve a Woman perplexed exceedingly with a strong perswasion, that shee and all her Children should be damned; because she was busied a∣bout her Children at a certain time, when she should have been at Masse. Junius maketh short work with her, tells her that her employment about her Children, was a duty pleasing unto God, but the Masse was a meere Will-worship: and so delivering her of her errour, (upon which the temptati∣on was built,) gives her present ease and comfort. In like manner tell a man that feares he is an abso∣lute reprobate, that there are no such absolute Reprobates, and that his feare is but a meere fancy, and his doubt a dreame; convince him once by contradictory grounds that there is no man in the World in that state in which he thinkes himselfe to be, and you drive out one naile by ano∣ther, and expell the temptation. These are the Sword of Alexander, which will cut asunder the Gordian knot of absolute Reprobation, and these are the true Nepenthes of a sicke soule.

Page  280 Now these true Grounds of hope and comfort, a Minister cannot make use of, that holds absolute Reprobation; if he doe usurpe them, he cannot maintaine them against the replyes of the tempted, unlesse he relinquish his opinion; because (as I have said) there is a plain contradiction between them, and no man is able to maintaine two propositions; which speake contrary things, to be both true, any more then he can make it good, that the same thing may have a being, and yet not have a being at the same time. For example, a Minister comes to comfort a man, that thinkes himselfe to be an absolute Reprobate; and how doth he set about it? He tells him, that God would have all to be saved, that Christ dyed for all, &c. But what right hath he to these grounds of comfort, holding the contrary conclusions. viz. That God will have a great many to be damned, and to have no part in Christ? Well he usurpes them notwithstanding, but is he able to maintaine them against the answer of the tempted, can he make a good reply? No: for thus the tempted answers, God would have all to be saved with a revealed will, and, Christ died for all sufficiently, not intentionally: Or if God did intend that he should dye for all, yet he intended it upon a condition, which he purposeth, the most should never performe; What can the Minister reply upon this? If he will make a direct reply, that shall take away the answer, he must deny that God hath two wills contrary to each other; a secret will, that many shall be unavoydably damned, and a revealed will that all may be possibly saved; and he must also deny that God hath an intent, that Christ should not dye for a great many; or that he in∣tended he should dye for all, upon condition they should believe and repent; and yet intend that the most should never believe and repent. But can he deny these things? He cannot, except he deny his own conclusion, and opinion, which is, that there are many thousands, eternally and unavoyda∣bly rejected in Gods absolute purpose, from grace and glory for ever: For that conclusion is all one, with the answer of the tempted, and contradictory to those arguments of comfort, which he is glad to make use of. Absolute reprobation therefore, bereaves that Minister, who believes it, of the solid grounds of consolation, and so makes him unable to recover a poore soule wounded with this temptation.

TWISSE. Consideration.

1. HEre in this Section the question is, Whether our Doctrine of absolute Reprobation, bereaves a Minister of the solid grounds of comfort? Still wee must remember how magnificently this Author goes on, to con∣found things that differ. For whereas we maintaine that God hath decreed to pro∣ceed absolutely with men, only in the giving and denying of grace, not absolutely in the giving of salvation, or inflicting of damnation. And this Author, though he so carrieth the matter all along, as if we maintained Gods proceeding to be absolute herein, to wit, in granting salvation to some, and inflicting damnation upon others, yet hath he no meanes to help himselfe herein, and cast a shew of a true crimination, but by flying to Gods absolute proceedings, in giving or denying grace. And albeit in this poynt, wholly consists the Crisis of this Controversy, yet this Author utterly declines the sifting thereof, as some precipice and breake-neck unto his cause; to wit, Whether God gives and denyes grace according to the meere pleasure of his will, or according to mens workes; albeit the issue of all his comforts comes to this, namely, that either God is not the Author of our faith, (which now adaies the Remonstrants with open mouth professe, that Christ merited for none,) or if to juggle with the World they pretend an acknowledgement, that God is the Author of it, yet they plainly professe, that he dispenseth it to some, and denyes it to others, according to some good condition, or disposition, he findes in the one, and which he findes not in another. But let us take into consideration what these solid grounds of comfort are, whereof a Minister is bereaved by our Doctrine; Three I find here mentioned; A treble Universality. 1. of Gods love. 2. Of Christs death. 3. Of the Covenant of grace. As if universality now adayes were a better Character of the Arminian faith, then of the Roman Religion. I may take liberty to equivo∣cate a little, when this Authour equivocates throughout, and that in a case, wherein i is most intollerable, in a case of consolation to be ministred to conscientia timorata, as Nider calls it, a poore afflicted soule as this Authour expresseth it. To the dis∣covery whereof I will now proceed, having signified in the first place, that all these consolations are no other, but such as every Reprobate is capable of, as well as the Children of God, which is so apparent as needs no proofe; only in the issue of their Tenet, the faith of them freeth a man from the conceit of being an absolute Repro∣bate. Page  281 So that in effect it comes to this; Thou poore afflicted soul, be of good com∣fort, for if thou wilt hearken unto me, and imbrace those solid grounds of comfort which I will reveale unto thee, assure thy selfe they shall be as the Balme of Gilead unto thy soule; whereby thou maist be confident, that albeit it may be thou art a Reprobate, and that God from everlasting hath ordained thee unto damnation, that yet certainly thou art no absolute Reprobate, no more then Cain, or Esau, Saul, or Judas, or the Devills were; For these my principles will assure thee that there never was, nor is, nor shall be any absolute Reprobate throughout the world.

2. I come to the examining of them particularly, & to shew that every one of them is as it were against the haire. So evident are the testimonies of Scripture against them all; and they are obtruded upon a superficiary and most most unsound inter∣pretation of Scripture in some places. For 1. as touching the first, the universality of Gods love; For hereby Gods love is made indifferent unto all, and consequently towards Esau as well as to Jacob, whereas the Scripture professeth that God loved Jocob and hated Esau; and this the Apostle makes equivalent to the Oracle dilivered to Re∣bekah concerning them before they were borne. 2. He might as well have pro∣posed it, of the universallity of Gods mercy; whereas the Scripture expressely distin∣guisheth between vessels of mercy & vessells of wrath. 3. This love is explicated by them to consist in a will to save all. Now election is but Gods will to save; and the Scripture plainly teacheth, and it is confessed by all that I know (excepting Coelius Secundus to whom this Authour it seemes is most beholding for his story of Spira) that though Many are called yet but few are chosen. And whereas it is confessed, that the most part of men are Reprobates, that is, from everlasting willed unto condemnation; yet never the lesse they beare us in hand that all men even Cain and Judas, yea and (as I think) the Devills and all were willed by God unto Salvation. And that there is no contradicti∣on in all this. And every poore afflicted soule must believe hand over head that all this is true (what species of contradiction soever be found therein which this Authour from the begining of his discourse to the end hath taken no paines to cleare) least otherwise he forfaits all hopes of comfort, upon such soveraine grounds as are here proposed, by faith wherein aman may be as well assured of his Salvation and free∣dome from damnation, as any Reprobate in the World. For albeit he be a Repro∣bate, and God should reveale this unto him, yet upon these grounds he may be con∣fident that he is no absolute Reprobate. 2. I come to the Second comfortable sup∣position, and that is, the universality of Christs death, namely, that he died for all. Now this is opposite to Scripture evidence, as the former; yea and to Christian reason, if not more: For albeit God so loved the World, even the whole World, that he gave his only be∣gotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have Life Everlasting: which gives a fair light of exposition to those places where Christ is said to have dyed for the sins of the World, yea of the whole world, to wit, in this manner, that whosoever believes in him shal not perish but have everlasting life. yet the Scripture speaks as often of Christs death in a restrained sense, as where it is said Christ gave himselfe a ransome for many. And that his bloud was shed for his Apostles, and for many, for the remission of their sinnes. And that Christ should save Gods people from their sinnes. And that God hath purchased his Church with his bloud; And Christ gave himselfe for his Church. And that he is saviour of his body; And that he dyed for the elect. And in the 17 of John, our Saviour would not pray for the World, but only for those whom God had at that time given unto him; and who afterward should be∣lieve in him through their word; And look for whom he prayed with exclusion of the rest for their sakes he sanctified himself: Now that this is spoken in reference to the offering of himselfe up unto God, upon the crosse, it was the joynt interpretation of all the Fathers whom Maldonate had read as he professeth on that place, and there reckons up a multitude of them. Then againe, Christs death and passion (we know) was of a satisfactory nature; and therefore if he dyed for all, he satisfied for all the sinnes of all men; why then are not all saved? Why is any damned? Is it just with God to torment with everlasting fire, for those sinnes, for which he hath received satisfaction; and that a more ample one, then mans satisfaction can be, by suffering the torments of Hell fire? For therefore it shall never end, because it shall never satisfie. Againe, how many millions were at that time dead and in hell fire; and did Christ satisfy for their sinnes by his death upon the Crosse, and they continue still to be tormented? A∣gaine, the obedience of Christ in generall, is of a meritorious nature, even meritori∣ous of everlasting life; Now if Christ hath merited everlasting life for all and every Page  282 one, how comes it that all and every one doe not enjoy Everlasting Life? Shall not God the Father deale with his owne Sonne according to the exigency of his merits, whether it be that they are so meritorious in their owne nature; or by the constitu∣tion of God; either meerely, or joyntly with the dignity of their nature, in reference to the dignity of the person who performed them, as being not only man but God, even the eternall Son of God one & the same God with his Father, Blessed for ever. Now it can be made good that all sins of all men are fully satisfied for, by the death of Christ, & that Christ hath merited in better manner Everlasting Life for all & every one, then they could have done for themselves, although they had passed the whole course of their lives, as free from sinne as the very elect Angells; this I confesse is a comfortable doctrine with a witnesse; though God leave men to themselves and to the power of their owne free wills to doe what they list. And I see noe reason, but that in the midst of all Ryot and excesse, they may be as confident of their Salvation, as if they had all faith; as of certaine Lutherans it is written, as I saw in a letter of an English Divine writen from Rome. I make no question but their answer will be, that albeit Christ hath thus satisfied for all sinnes of all and every one, and merited Eternall Life for all and every one, yet the benefit of his merits and satisfaction by Gods Ordinance shall redound to none, but such as believe, and repent, and per∣severe therein unto death. And what comfort can herehence arise to an afflicted soule, unlesse she doe believe and repent? If she doe believe and repent,