Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W.

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Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W.
Wallis, John, 1616-1703.
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Brooke, Robert Greville, -- Baron, 1607-1643. -- Nature of truth.
Truth -- Early works to 1800.
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"Truth tried: or, animadversions on a treatise published by the Right Honorable Robert Lord Brook, entituled, The Nature of Truth, its vnion and vnity with the soule. Which (saith he) is one in its essence, faculties, acts; one with truth. By I. W." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 28, 2024.


CHA. XVI. Whether divisions in other parts of Learning be remedied by it.

NExt he shews us many doubts in Morall Philosophy, as well as those precedent in Naturall Philosophy. But I doe not see that his Lordships Position will help to clear any one of them whatsoever.

Whether the Ʋnderstanding and the Will be Really the same, or di∣stinct, is nether Materiall nor Determinable, in Morall Phylosophy: It belongs only to Naturall Philosophy, viz. to that part of Physicks that treats de Animâ.

How the Will may somtimes omit the prosecution of the Understan∣dings direction; I have already shewed, without making the Will an Ʋnderstanding.

He glanceth at Aristotle's maintaining the Eternity of the World a∣gainst Hermes, Orpheus, Anaxagoras, &c. For my own part, I would

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be thankfull to him, that would solidly demonstrate the Worlds Crea∣tion from principles in Nature, and make it appear from Naturall Light, that the World could not have been from Eternity. For though I deny not, but that there may be in Nature, Demonstrative Arguments; yet I confesse, I have not as yet seen those (and yet I have examined many) that have given me so full satisfaction as I desire concernng an absolute Impossibility; but that I have seen (at least seemed to see) some just exception.

But if his Lordships Opinion be True, I shall have more cause to doubt then I have formerly had. For if all things did exist in their Be∣ings with God, ab omni aeterno; and their Temporall Existence be onely Imaginary, to our apprehension: (as his Lordship affirms in his 11. Chapter, pag. 99.) I cannot imagine any hinderance at all, Why that which did really exist from all Eternity, might not be without a beginning; Why that which Was ab aeterno, might not (though it did not) ab aeterno Appear to be, and be Apprehended. I will not therefore blame A∣ristotle for maintaining the Worlds Eternity as a disputable Probleme, till I see some Light which might have convinced him, whilst he en∣joyed not the benefit of Revealed Light; at least, till this opinion of his Lordship be rejected.

In the next place, I grant to his Lordship that there are doubts also in Metaphysicks, in Logick, in Mathematicks. But I perceive not how this opinion dissolves them.

There be doubts also in Divinity, (though I do not see how this doth clear them▪) Whether Faith, or Repentance be precedent: Whether Faith be a particular application of Christ to my selfe: or only a bare spirituall beliefe, that Christ is the Sonne of God.

I asent not, to place (the Saving Act of) Faith, either with Mr. Cotton, (as his Lordship cites him) in the laying hold of, or assenting to that Promise, That, Hee that beleeveth that Christ is the Sonne of God, shall be saved; Nor yet in a Particular application of Christ to my selfe in Assurance, or a beleeving that Christ is mine: (For though these also be acts of Saving Faith, yet they are not the Saving Act of Faith.) But I choose rather to place it in an act of the Will, rather then in either of these fore-named acts of the Ʋnderstanding. It is an Accepting of Christ offered, rather then an Assenting to a Proposition affirmed. To as many as [Received] him, &c. that is, to them that Beleeve in his name, Joh. 1. God makes an offer of Christ to all, (else should not Reprobates be condemned for not ac∣cepting

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of him; as neither the Devils are, because he was not offered to them) Whosoever Will, let him come, and Take of the water of Life freely Rev. 22. 17. Whereupon the Beleeving Soule replies, I will, and so Takes him. When a Guift is Offered to mee; That which makes it to be Mine, is my Acceptation, my Taking it; Not the Knowing that it is Offered; nor the Knowing that it is Mine; For the one of these precedeth, the other followeth, the appropriating it to my selfe.

If you call this Taking of Christ, (or consenting that Christ shall be my Saviour▪ a Depending, a Resting, or Relying upon Christ for Salva∣tion; (if you speak of an Act of the Will:) It is all One. For, Taking of Christ to be my Saviour, and Committing my selfe to Christ to be Saved, is the same: Both of them being but a Consenting to this Covenant▪ I will be your God, and you shall be my people; I will be thy Father, and Thou shalt be my Sonne.

And if you make this the Saving act of Faith; then will Repentance (so farre as it is distinct from Faith) be a Consequent of it. Confidence also or Assurance that Christ is mine ariseth from it: For Christ must first be Ours, before we can Know him so to be.

Then also that, Whether Faith be a beleeving that I am Saved; (he meanes, in statu salutis.) or a depending upon God for Salvation, (to be put into such a Condition of Salvation,) will be easily resolved, and Bel∣larmins Dilemma soon answered. viz. If Beliefe be to Beleeve that I am saved, (that Christ is mine,) then was▪ I saved without Faith: If it be, to beleeve that God will give me Grace to be saved, then do I beleeve before▪ I have Grace, before I have Faith. I say, It is easily answered, by ma∣king the Saving act of Faith, an Acceptance or Taking of Christ: For although the Guift be mine, before I Know; or am Assured, that it is mine; Yet is not the Guift mine, before my Accepting of it, but by my Acceptance it becomes Mine.

If (with Mr. Cotton) we should make Faith to save us, only Decla∣rativè (which wee must by no means admit;) Then, Why is it said, that we are saved by Faith, and not by Works? Why do we allow, that Faith doth concurrere efficaiter ad salutem, but deny the same to Works? Seeing that Good Works do save us Declarativè, as well as Faith.

That we are saved not only in the eternall Decree without faith, but even in the Execution, is strange Divinity. For if without Faith, then with∣out Christ; for Christ is no further Ours, then apprehended by Faith. As for the Eternall Decree (of Election, he meanes,) it is true, we are not▪ through Faith, Elected to Salvation; but we are Elected, to Salvation

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through Faith. Faith is not the Cause of the Decree, but Faith is de∣creed to be the Cause of Salvation.

To that Question, whether there be a prescript Form of Church-Go∣vernment, I shall say nothing; For it being a Question maintained both wayes, I will not oppose either of them, unlesse I had leisure, to confirm what I say, to prosecute what I affirm. Only to his Argu∣ment I may lay an exception. Church-government, (which he presu∣meth to be enjoined in the second Commandement,) is not of the na∣ture of Morall Precepts, because not of Perpetuall Continuance: (For such a prescript Form, as by which the Church since Christ should be governed, had not its beginning till since Christ: And therfore not commanded in the second Commandement any otherwise then by Consequence; (as particular temporary duties are.) However, it is like, Church Government is not more expresly commanded in the se∣cond Commandement, then Civill Government in the fift; and yet none ever inferred from thence, a prescript Form of Civill Government. If he ask therfore, Doe they leave us any latitude in any other Commande∣ments? I say, Yes: and I instance in That. He must search for a Pre∣scription, in the Evangelists, and Apostles writings, if he would find it, not in the second Commandement.

(Only, by the way, I wish his Lordship would do us the favour, from his doctrine of Ʋnity, (which he makes the Salve to cure all Con∣troversies,) to demonstrate to us, Whether there be a Prescript Form, and What it is. And I should then judge his Opinion well worth imbracing, though for nothing else. Wherein yet I shall wish him to beware, that he say not of this as of the division of Quantity, pag. 42. that all must at last be reduced to an Ʋnity; Nor, as pag. 98. that it is divisibilis in infi∣nitum. Lest we establish Episcopacy▪ (which himselfe likes not;) or be∣come Independent; which others like as ill.)

The distinction between Scientia simplicis Intelligentiae, and Scientia Visionis, if it be taken only for distinctio rationis (and I suppose none ever tooke it otherwise) may well enough be admitted. By the One, God knows the Nature of All things Possible: By the Other he Sees, that These things Are. The Object of the One, is All things Possible, all things Intelligible: the Object of the Other is only, Things Existent, either past, present, or to come

But (saith his Lordship) If Gods Power, and Will be all one; If God be pr•••• Actus and not Potentia; Then all things that ever Shall be, Were ab aeterno under Decree; and so what God Could doe, he Did doe, and

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Can doe no more. (Hee had said before, pag. 99. That all things did exist [in their Beings] ab omni aeterno; And are they now but under Decree?) But for answer.

I grant, that God cannot doe, what he hath not decreed; for then were his Decree either Void, or Imperfect: And, supposing such a Decree, the Power of God is limited by his Will. But a Conditionall, and Hypotheticall Impossibility, doth not inferre an Absolute Impossibility And therefore we affirm, that Deus Potest ea quae non Vult. He Can doe More then he Will, (in sensu diviso, not in sensu Composito.) God is able (saith Christ) of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham; Yet he doth not. Knowest thou not that I can pray to my Father, and he will send e more then twelve Legions of Angels? But neither did Christ pray, nor the Father send them. The God which wee serve is [Able] to deliver us (said the three men in Daniell;) yet they were not certain that he Would doe it.

And if Media Scientia, (wherby God is supposed to know an Hy∣potheticall Proposition; as That the men of Keilah would deliver up David, if he stayed there) had no other hinderance but this; It might well enough be admitted.

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