THE EQVALL WAYES OF GOD: TENDING TO THE RECTIFYING OF THE CROOKED WAYES OF MAN.

The Passages whereof are briefly and clearly drawne from the sacred SCRIPTVRES.

BY T.H.

EZEK. 18.29.

O house of Israel, are not my wayes equall?

LONDON, Printed for IOHN CLARKE, and are to be sold at his shop under St Peters Church in Cornehill.

1632.

TO THE CHRISTIAN Reader the Authour wisheth Grace, Peace, Salvation.

CHristian Reader, GODS wayes revealed are not only written for mans perusall, but also put to his considera­tion, as being beyond all ex­ception; for God demands of him, Are not my wayes equall? Ezek. 18.29. As if what the better sort of men readily acknowledge, the worst could not in reason deny; what the one set their hearts on, and freely blesse God for, the other, convinced by evident truth, could not but approve. These wayes of God I have indeavoured to trace out so farre as cleare Scrip­ture gave me light, and common consent of mens judgement went along with me. Further disquisi­tion might perhaps trench on things unrevea­led, Deut. 29.29. wch are a tree of knowledge still forbiddē by God; or prove [...],1 Ti [...]. 6.4. strife a­bout words and vaine disputes, which tend not to godly edification. The former [Page] being as culpable as it was to presse too neare Gods holy Mount; the later proceeding usual­ly to envie, contention, railing, evill surmi­sing. Moreover in laying open these equall and plaine wayes of God I have not used subtile, ei­ther discourse or dispute, which elsewhere hath its place and use:1 Tim. 6.25. sua se jactet in aula; but such, as Paul cals, wholesome words of Christ, borrowed from the Scriptures treasury; such as his practice allowes,Act. 26.25. words of sobernesse and truth, Plat. in Sym. and have made, as Socrates desired, truth my chiefest aime. As for the structure of my speech; it is, if not, as Socrates further said, [...], such as offered it selfe; yet farre from the quaint straine now affected.Eurip. in Phoe [...]. [...]· Truth is amiable and com­mendable of it selfe, and needs not to bee clothed in phrase fashionable to the time, and the humour of curious eares; especially seeing we finde, that the stile of speech accounted by the Mint masters thereof very elegant, holds fashion not an age, yea not much longer than the variable garbe of our outward habite: for ha­ving shewed it selfe to the world, it comes to the touch, and soone is exploded (for so usually it fals [Page] out) as being affected or phantasticall, or other­wise lyable to some just exception. But truth is constantly the same, still keepes the same splen­dour, still beholds us, as the Sunne, with the same glorious eye. And where it meets with most mas­culine and true eloquution fitted to the matter & circūstances therof (in wch regard it is praise wor­thy) it gives more grace and lustre to the speech, thē possibly it can borrow from the same. Againe, I have indeavoured for truth & plainnesse; for plainnesse, that I might not be misconceived, nor have what I reach out with the right hand, to be laid hold on with the left; for truth, that I might avoid contention; for Socrates found by experi­ence,Plat. Symp. that it was an easie matter [...], to gainsay Socrates, but not the truth: much more may I, who am lesse able to propound it. Furthermore may you please to un­derstand, that in the first composure of this dis­course, it was onely cast into certaine heads, and intended by me for mine owne better understan­ding of these matters, without any minde to make it publike; and now is made yours by the Presse at the instance of some loving friends, who en­tertaine better thoughts of it, than I my selfe [Page] could hope, or perhaps it deserves, for in a friends censure sometimes it happens, ‘Vt veris addat multa faventis amor.’ Some indeed have conceived that the plainnesse and briefnesse thereof may be usefull to men of plaine hearts and of not so deep apprehension; & to such, whose time is much taken up with vari­etie or frequencie of imployment. Which surely it is more likly to doe; If as I in setting the whole frame together laid aside all prejudice and par­tialitie: So the Reader come to the perusall thereof with like affection. Which I humbly in­treat you to doe. And then know, that what you herein finde sound and good, is Gods; give him the glory of it; what weake and defective, is mine, I acknowledge it; and shall be ready to doe what in Plato I am advised. [...],Plat. de Rep. lib. 3. not so to like mine owne, but that I will use and yeeld to what others have better & more exact.1 Cor. 13.9. The best mā here knows but in part; and if each would beare his part without jarring, the musick would be sweet and harmonious. No man can attaine all, and there­fore must not hope in himselfe, nor expect from others an unerring perfection. Wherefore much [Page] the rather I am emboldened to intreat, and assure myselfe to finde your Christian love, and favou­rable Candor in the reading and reflecting your thoughts on this treatise, which I earnestly crave of you: and committing it to your perusall and your selfe to Gods blessed guidance; beseech the same God, who is the God of truth, to lead us into all truth: who is the God of peace to goe a­long with us in the way of peace: who is the au­thor of all our good; during the time of this life to keep us in his feare and favour: and in the life to come to bring us to eternall blisse, purcha­sed for us by Iesus Christ.

Yours in all Christian services, T. H.

The contents of the severall CHAPTERS.

IN Chap. 1. Are set downe foure generall po­sitions concerning Gods dealing with man. Con­clusions deduced thence.

Chap. 2. Positions shewing more particularly what c [...]u [...]se God on his own part takes to bring man to salvation. Conclusions thence.

Chap. 3. What course & order God prescribes on Mans part to be taken; and practised by them, on whom he conferres salvation. Conclusions thence.

Chap. 4. Our salvation is of the Lord of his meere mercy, & is effected by his powerfull work in us. Conclusions thence.

Chap. 5. Mans perdition is of himselfe, and first by default of Rulers apostate from God, as of Cain, Nimrod, Jeroboam, &c. before Christs time; of the Jewes Rulers, of the Pope, of the Turk, &c. since Christ: So as yet such as be under them and fol­low their steps die in and for their owne sins. Conclu­sions thence.

Chap. 6. In the second place mans perdition is of himselfe, by each mans owne default, where Rulers and teachers doe their duties. Conclusions thence. Lastly, conclusions from the former and this last chapter jointly considered.

Faults escaped in some copies.

Page 13. line 16. confome for conforme. p. 18. l. 14. assured for allured. l. 24. Ellas for Ellasar. p. 22. l. 3. acdhere for adhere. l. 4. [...]ildren for children. p. 23. l. 26. tdhere for adhere. p. 27. l. 12. God for Gods. p. 38. l. 4. Chriss, promised in: for Christ promised, in.

THE EQVALL WAYES OF GOD: Tending to the rectifying of the croo­ked wayes of man.

CHAP. I. In which foure generall positions are set downe, as the ground-worke of all: Conclusions deduced thence.

FOr the opening and clearing of the equall waies of God, Ezek. 18.29. obvious to humane search, we must stil keepe in minde these foure Po­sitions.

1. God from all eternitie de­creed to doe, what the Scripture tels us, that in time he hath done, or doth doe, or (absolutely saith) he will doe.

2. God (before whom all things are naked, Heb. 4.13. Ier. 17.10. Psal. 139.2. who is the searcher of mans heart, who knowes our thoughts long before) from all eternitie sees, whatsoever in time cometh to passe.

3. The decrees of God for the making of the [Page 2] world,CHAP. 1. & for his dealing with the creatures there­in, are not in time, one former or later then ano­ther in God: But are all at once simul and semel, from all eternitie decreed by him.

4. All Gods decrees are infinitely wise, holy, just; tending to his glorie: and have no externall cause, but are squared according to the rule of his mercy and justice.

These positions are evident and granted (I sup­pose) by all sides. Hence these generall inferen­ces (as also diverse others) may be concluded.

I. That God, who will hereafter glorifie a cer­taine number of men; and adjudge a certaine num­ber of men to everlasting torment, both numbers knowne only to himselfe, hath decreed the same from all eternitie, before man had done good or evill.

II. God by his infinite wisedome seeth from eter­nitie what will be the estate of all men; and what in mercy and justice will be his dealing with them, first and last. So that whatsoever he hath absolute­ly decreed, and doth foresee, that very thing doth undoubtedly come to passe; most certaine salvation to some, most certaine damnation to others.

CHAP. II. Particular positions about Gods dealing with man, to bring him to salvation. Conclusions thence.

IN the next place we descend more particularly to these positions.

1. God from all eternitie decreed to make the world, and all things therein exceeding good, and man after his owne image.

2. God seeing man falne from this happie estate to have brought on himselfe death, and vanity on the creatures, from eternitie decreed, that the se­cond person in Trinitie should assume humane na­ture, and being God, and man also without sinne, should shed his pretious blood, and offer up him­selfe by death a sacrifice of infinite merit, and in it selfe sufficient for all mankinde.

3. God also decreed for making this sufficient sacrifice effectuall, to speake to man himselfe (as to Adam, Cain, Moses, Balaam, &c.) and by holy men his prophets, as Enoch, Noah, Moses, David, Esay, &c. who spake (as they were moved by the holy Ghost) sometimes by word of mouth, some­times by writing; and by other his servants,2. Pet. 1.21. the preists, and Levites, to instruct man. And in the last times of the world (for the perfecting of that doctrine) to speake to man by his sonne Iesus Christ; by his Apostles, and their successors;Heb. 1.1.2. & 2.3. with whom Christ promised to be alwaies even to the end of the world: Mat. 28.20. 1. Cor. 3.9. so that they were to cooperate with him [Page 4] by their preaching the word.CHAP. 2.

4. God decreed to give man certaine religi­ous rites; as of old, types, sacrifices of diverse kinds, circumcision, the passeover; and since Christs time Baptisme & the Lords supper; as to instruct man, so on Gods part to seal the covenant made to them, who rightly use the same: that he is their God in Christ.

Rom. 1.20. Hos. 5.15.5. God decreed by the visible things of the world, by severall punishments, and judgements, persecuti­ons, captivities, warres, famine, &c. and by mira­cles, Rom. 15.19. &c. (which the spirit of God wrought by the mi­nistry of his servants for the conversion of man,) to humble and instruct man.

Gen. 6.3. Acts 7.51. Esay 63.10. Nehe. 9.30.6. God decreed by his Spirit to strive with man­kind for the bringing them to repentance, and faith, both of old and in these later times; but not alwaies to strive with them: And therefore in his unsearchable mercy and justice, hath fixed cer­taine limits for the same; which are knowne on­ly to his divine wisedome: unlesse sometimes he reveale them, as in the hundred and twentie yeares set for the old world. Gen. 6. So there was a fixed time in Gods decree,Luk. 19.42.44. a day of the Iewes, untill which God by his Spirit working together with the preach­ing of his prophets, sent early and late, and last­ly by the preaching of his Son sued to thē to turn unto him. In which day of visitation, seeing they knew not the things which belonged to their peace, and would not be gathered to God; God strove no lon­ger with them: but left the generalitie of that nation to themselves.

[Page 5]7. God also from eternitie, seeing the falling away of the Gentiles of old, and of the Iewes, in these later daies, from the true Church (to whom belonged the promises in Christ, and the priviledges of the fame) decreed to leave a way open to the Gentiles, then, for their comming into the true faith and worship of God: Exod. 12.38. & 48. and now sets open the gates of the spirituall Ierusalem on each side of the Cittie, for all nations to come in.Reve. 21.25.

These decrees (distinctly laid downe for our better understanding) in God, are not one former or later then another; but all at once upon his sight of all things, from all eternitie, by his infinite wisedome, goodnesse, and justice, most holily decreed the word of God telling us, that these things in time have beene, are, or shall be done and perfor­med on Gods part.

Now from these positions it may be inferred,

I. That God by making man at first in an hap­pie estate; and when man was falne, by providing a Saviour in himselfe sufficient for all, by taking a course on his owne part for the salvation of all (so farre as in mercy and Iustice he pleased) by swear­ing that he wils not the destruction of the wicked; Ezek. 33.11. and by lamenting at it, shewes us evidently, that so far he wils the salvation of all men.

II. God did not decree to passe by, nor to for­sake the greatest part of mankinde in Adams fall, as not bound to them (as indeed he was not to any,) but on his part decreed to take a course af­ter Adams fall (so far as in mercie and justice he would) for the recovery of all: And when the [Page 6] fixed time of his striving with them was expired, then only (in the execution of his decree) he left them to themselves: as Cain and his house: the Iewes Apostate, and their seed continuing in apostacy: and so of others in like sort.

III. God hath taken a course on his part to keep man from sinne, and is not the author of mans sinne; having made man at the first in such an holy e­state, as that he had free will to good: and (when that free will was lost) taking a course on his part to have man guided by his word and spirit, a meanes in it selfe sufficient to keep man from sins dominion: for he hath promised to be with his ordinance, and on his part will not faile.

IIII. It is of Gods infinite mercy, that the fathers, and Iewes of old, that any nation now, have Gods word for their guide and instruction, in any kind whatsoever for their salvation: (& not any thing in themselves is a cause thereof.)

V. All good in man, whatsoever, whether natu­rall, morall, or divine, &c. in understanding, will and affections, is Gods free gift; either the remain­der of what was given man in the creation, or Gods gracious work since.

CHAP. III. What course and order God hath prescribed on mans part. Conclusions thereupon.

GOD (as on his owne part takes a course, so) on mans part hath appointed what course they should take, for the making the decrees above effectuall.

Namely, they ought (before the Law was writ­ten) to enquire of the former age, and prepare them­selves to learne of their fathers. The Patriarkes, Iob. 8.8. or fathers of families (being both kings and preists) were to be honoured and obeyed of their fami­lies; and did rule over their brethren: Gen. 4. [...]. Gen. 27.29. Gen. 18.19. and likewise ought to teach their children and houshold their du­ties (as God said, hee knew Abraham would doe his) to keepe the way of the Lord, and to doe righteous judgment. Also to teach them Gods worship, which must be after Gods owne institution; else Abels offe­ring had beene will-worship. Also to performe religious offices for them, as calling upon God,Gen. 4.26. and sacrificing: So Noah sacrificed for himselfe, and them that came out of the Ark with him. Abra­ham often built altars & sacrificed: Melchisedek was both king and priest. Iob 1.5. Iob sacrificed for his sonnes eve­ry day.

And (after the Law was written) the chiefe Rulers, Kings and others, of what title soever,Deut. 17.29. Ios. 1.8. ought to study the Law themselves: and so to go­verne the people, that they may live (according as [Page 8] God bids us pray) a quiet and peaceable life in all godlinesse and honestie. CHAP. 3. 1. Tim. 2.2.

Also these chiefe rulers, when in regard of the increase of their people, they were not able to beare the burden of them, should chuse Elders out of the people, men of courage, fearing God; men dealing tru­ly, Exod. 18.21. Numb. 11.16. Deut. 1.13. hating covetousnesse; who set over thousands, hun­dreds, fifties, tens, should judge the lesse, and bring the greater matters to the chiefe Ruler.

Also afterthat GOD had taken to him the Preists and Levits in stead of the first borne: The Kings or chief Rulers, Gods vice-gerents, should have these Preists and Levits their Spokesmen to the people for their instruction, (as GOD made Aa­ron the Preist to Moses the King:) as also to en­quire of God, Deut. 33.5. and to offer the offerings and sacrifices of all both rulers and people.

Also the Embassadors and Merchants in their na­vigation to forraine people, should call them to Gods holy mountaine and worship,Deu. 33.18.19. (as Moses said of Ze­bulon and Ishachar) and warriours fearing GOD should, if they conquered nations, strive to bring them to GOD, as the Israelites did divers Chana­nites, 1. Chron. 22.2. and David some people of divers nations. Or if they were conquered, should advise their con­querours for their eternall good, and teach them, as the Iewes the Chaldeans; that the gods, who made not heaven and earth, Ier. 10.11. shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens, and (as afterward in the times of the Persians) draw many to their religion.

Est. 8.17. And after that Christ (being incarnate and offe­ring himselfe for man, Heb. 7.21. & 10.12.13. & having ended the Leviticall [Page 9] preisthood) became both King and preist for ever af­ter the order of Melchisedek: hee (the Church now being under the Romane Infidell, and tyrannous Emperours) hee, I say, set up a Kingdome not of this world (though hee was de jure King of the Jewes) but a spirituall kingdome, and taught the people as never man did. Mat. last. Iohn 7.46. And further appointed the Apostles to goe and teach all nations, and baptise them, and performe other religious offices:1. Tim. 5.17. Tit. 1.5, 6. who also did ordaine Bishops and Elders to rule and teach in their severall Cities: which were to be qualified as the Overseers and Elders chosen by Moses above. Besides, Christ the great Prophet which should come into the world, foretold, that Kings (at length) should bring their glory, that is,Apoc. 21.24. Prov. 14.28. the multi­tudes of their people (for the multitude of people is the glory of a King) to the building of the new Jeru­salem, the Christian Church:Esay 49, 23. & 60.3. and so become nur­sing Fathers to the same: which now hath begunne to have the event; when Kings, whose ancestors had giuen their power to the Whore of Babylon, Apoc. 17. hate her, and make her desolate: and endevour a refor­mation according to Gods word.

Furthermore our Embassadors, Merchants, Heb. 7.21. & 10.12.13. and Warriers by our navigation abroad, upon all occa­sions offered therein (following their example above) ought (as they pray first for Christs king­dome, and then for bread and the necessaries of this life, so) to strive in the first place and prin­cipally for the advancement of Christs kingdome, and in the next place for matters usefull for their countrie. This God appoints on the rulers and [Page 10] their substitutes parts to be done.

God further appoints on the peoples part, what order and course they should take. The summe of all in briefe is; To feare God and keep his commande­ments. Eccles. 12.13. To read, heare, meditate on Gods word: to re­pent, to believe, to use Gods holy ordinances and sacra­ments reverently, &c. To honour the King, and be subject and submit themselves to every ordinance of man, Rom. 13.1. 1. Pet. 2.13. for the Lords sake; if both to Heathen Kings as supreme, as also to under-governours as sent by them, then much more to Christian Princes & sub­ordinate rulers under them, who rule according to Gods word: And (to shut up all in one word) to love their neighbours as themselves.

This course and order God hath prescribed to be used on mans part. From whence it may bee inferred,

I. That God (not only in taking a course on his owne part, but also) in shewing man a course and order to be taken on his part for the salvation of all men, shewes, that God thus farre wils the sal­vation of all.

II. That Rulers both supreme and subordinate in their several places must follow the course and order prescribed & appointed by God, as meanes, by which God hath ordered to conferre salvati­on on themselves & others, being such a meanes for the salvation of their soules, as the mariners abiding in the ship, and doing their office there, was for the saving of theirs and their passengers bodies, Acts 27.31. whom God had promised Paul to preserve.

III. Chief Rulers and others studying Gods word, [Page 11] being thereby directed in the ordering Gods people, & managing their most weightie affaires; and substituting under them officers of all sorts, men fearing God, and of courage, &c. Mainly striving to bring their owne people to God; and by all good meanes to plant the feare of God in nations yet living in darknesse;Esay 60.10, 11. are the true nur­sing fathers of the Church, and bring their glory to the New-Ierusalem, and are saved.

IIII. That people must perswade themselves (whē their Princes appoint, that by Bishops and Mini­sters they should be ruled and taught, and they rule and teach them faithfully) that God hath a cheif hand therein,1. Cor. 3.9. and that the Bishops and Mini­sters doe but cooperate with him: and that God hereby strives with them; and that in disobey­ing any thing taught them from Gods word, they strive against the Spirit of God, which Christ pro­mised should be with his Apostles and their succes­sors, even unto the end.

V. That it is a wicked and ungracious speech of them, which say: If God hath predestinated me to salvation, I shall be saved: and if God hath de­creed my damnation, I shall be damned, in what manner so ever I live. For God, as he hath prede­stinated any man to glory; so he hath ordered and set this course: that he repent and beleeve, and shew the life of his faith by his works: having chosen him before the foundations of the world, Ephes. 1.4. 2. Tim. 2.19. to be holy and without blame in love. Thus God having decreed a mans salvation: not onely his Rulers and Teach­ers must doe their duties, but each man himselfe [Page 12] must doe his owne dutie also.CHAP. 4. Acts 27.31. &c. As God having de­creed the safetie of all the people with Paul; not only the shipmen must stay in the ship, and doe their duties: But the passengers also must by swimming and on boards, and broken parts of the ship use meanes for their escape from death.

CHAP. IIII. Our salvation is of the Lord: of his meere mercy: And by his powerfull working in us.

GOd having so, as above, decreed on his part to deale with man: and appointed and declared what on mans part ought to be performed for making the meanes of salvation effectuall: It is manifest (man being falne from the happie estate in which God made him) that the salvation of them that be saved, is not,

1. Iohn 4.10.
Of or from their loving of God first:
Iohn 15.16.
Or their choosing God:
Ezek. 36.26.
Or having a soft heart of their owne:
Rom. 9.16.
Or their owne willing or running:
Iohn 6.44.
Or their comming to God without drawing:
2. Tim. 1.9.
Or their good works:
Ephes. 2.8.
Or of their faith, or any thing which is of them­selves.

2. Tim. 1.9. Phil. 2.13. 2. Tim. 1.9. Ephes. 2.7. But God, before the foundations of the world were laid, according to the good pleasure of his will, of his purpose and grace (of which there is [...] an exceeding riches,)

[Page 13]
Out of his compassion of them:
Predestinated them, whom he foreknew:
Rom 9.16. Rom. 8.29. 1. Iohn. 4.10. Ephes. 1.4. Rom. 8.30. Acts 20.32.
Loves and chuses them in Christ:
Decrees to call them:
Decrees to teach them by the word of grace preachead to them;
And by the working of his Spirit:
Iohn 16.13
Decrees to knock at their hearts:
Rev. 3.20.
To stand there knocking:
To open their hearts as he did Lydia's:
Acts. 16.14.
To draw them with cords of love:
Iohn. 6.44. Hos. 11.4. Ier. 31.3. Iohn 12.32. Ezek. 36.26. 2. Thes. 1.11. Heb. 12.2.

To change their stony hearts into fleshy hearts: to worke powerfully in them, so that they beleeue accord­ing to the effectualnesse of the power of God, who is the author and finisher of their faith.

To conform them to the image of his Some:
Rom. 8.29.
If they fall, to uphold them with his hand:
Psal. 37.24.
To correct them fatherly for their good:
Hos. 5.15.
To sanctifie them, to justifie them:
Rom. 8.30. Ephes. 2.8. 2. Tim. 2.25: Iohn 17.20.
To save them by faith, which is his gift:
To make Christ intercessor for them, that they may be kept safe, &c.
And finally to glorifie them.
Rom. 8.30.

Yet they which are saved thus by Gods infinite mercy and powerfull work, they (I say) according to the order and course appointed by God,

Heare Gods word:
Acts 10.33.
Attend to the things which be spoken:
Acts 16.14. Acts 2.37. Psal 119.10.143.5. 2. Cor. 11.7. Acts 2.38. & 41.
Ask what they should doe to be saved:
Seeke the Lord: Meditate on his statutes:
Are bumble minded:
Repent, and beleeve the Gospell: Mark 1.15.
[Page 14]Put up their prayers and supplication to God:
Acts 9.11. Acts 26.19. Psal. 119.71. 1. Iohn 5.18
Are not disobedient to Gods will revealed to them:
Are bettered by persecution and affliction:
[...], Looke carefully to themselves:
Iohn 14.21.
Love God, feare him:
1. Cor. 13.
Performe works of charitie: &c.
Mat. 10.12.
Persevere unto the end.

All these & the rest whatsoever duties they doe, they doe them truly and willingly, not by compulsion and necessitating: Phil. 2.13. Yet so, as that God works in them the will and the deed, according to his good pleasure.

From that which hath here beene declared, it may evidently be inferred;

I. That the title that any one hath to life eter­nall, is onely from the free grace and mercy of God.

II. No nation, man hath any good thing in and of him self,Deut. 9.4, 5. See page. 6. conclusion 4. first to move God to send the word, or any furtherance to make way for Gods working of his salvation.

III. The electing of them which be saved, is meerely in Christ Iesus: in whom alone God is well pleased.

IV. God doth predestinate to glory, before the world was made, men seen clothed with Christs righteousnes from eternitie (as they shall stand be­fore God at the last day) and brought to God by such courses, as GOD of his infinite wisedome and mercy useth to that end.

V. GOD elects not any for their Faith foreseen as a cause, why hee wils to elect them; his holy will is the square of his actions. According to this his will, hee at once decrees to elect them, to work [Page 15] faith in them, to sanctifie them, to justifie them, and to glorifie them. As [...], the change of the minde by repentance and faith, sanctification, justification are in man, they goe before, Glorification comes after, but GOD at once decrees them, and is the Author, cause and worker of them all.

VI. The Elect discerne not, that is, make not themselves differ from others, by any thing in and of themselves: But Gods meere grace works that in them; by which they are discerned and made to differ from the reprobate.

VII. Men are [...],Acts 13.48. set in order by Gods working on them, with his word and Spirit: and so beleeve, &c. and have salvation conferred on them.

VIII. Men predestinate doe not apostate or fall away, and be put out of Gods booke of life. For the work on Gods part is sure: and (though man in this life is in himselfe fraile, yet) God in the very predestinating of him, sees it sure by his gift of grace on mans part also: Who trusts not to himselfe, but makes God his rock: And submits and commends himselfe to his guidance.

CHAP. 5. CHAP. V. Mans perdition is of himselfe, and first by default of Rulers apostating from God: so as yet man dyes in and for his owne sins. Conclusions thence.

NOtwithstanding that God hath decreed a Sa­viour in himselfe all sufficient for the saving of all mankinde: & taken a course on his own part in it selfe also sufficient; and appointed a course and or­der on mans part, for the making the same effectu­all: Yet it fals out, that many men attaine not salvation, but are seised on by Gods justice to con­demnation.

Here observe. I. That seeing God hath not made us acquainted with his counsell concerning infants dying within the pale of the Church, and by the state of the land, and their parents intended to be presented to God, for the receiving the seales of his covenant in due time; or having recei­ved the seales, die before ripe yeares; or com­ming to ripe yeares are destitute of understand­ing by defect in the senses, which bee the doores to let in understanding: or distemper or indisposition of the braine the work-house of understanding; if on mans part be done for them what man is able, & they capable of; Modestie injoines us to lay a­side all curious disputes about them; and charitie to hope the best.

II. concerning children borne of parents out of the Church, and dying in infancie, or (when they [Page 17] come to riper yeares) being destitute or under­standing by defects above mentioned; whose pa­rents either utterly despised the seales of Gods co­venant, or abused them by superstition; seeing Gods word hath not revealed, whether and how farre his mercy may extend to such (considering his compassion to them in Niniveh, which could not discerne the right hand from the left,Ion. 4.11. in for­bearing their destruction, at least, temporall) we ought not (be it spoken with submission to better judgements) curiously to search into their estates, much lesse harshly and rashly to censure them: They stand or fall to their owne master.

Wherefore forbearing to comprehend these in the following discourse: Of the rest, many (I say as above) are seized on by Gods just judgement to condemnation; either by default, First, of Apostate rulers, whom they follow, as also their owne lusts and corruptions; Or Secondly, by de­fault of the people themselves, who will not follow their godly rulers and teachers direction and in­struction.

First,1. by default of the said Rulers supreme & subordinate,Ezek. 34.10. Ezek. 33.8. who are Gods Sheepheards & watch­men. For if by their default in their places the people miscarry; the people die in their iniquitie, and God requires their blood at the sheepheards and watchmens hands. The Explicati­on of this posi­tion. Gen. 4.7. Thus Cain (before the flood) a principall father and ruler over his posteritie, not ruling them in Gods waies and feare, nor teaching them Gods worship aright, perished himselfe; and his posteritie obstinately walking in his steps, and in [Page 18] very great part corrupting the children of God of the godly families, Gen. 6.2. &c. were drowned in the deluge, and are spirits in prison; such only excepted as died in the true faith.1. Pet. 3.19.

Gen. 11.Thus also (after the flood) Nimrod of Chams posteritie, with the fathers of many families and their people joining themselves to him, left the tents of Shem and his godly familie, and bandied themselves together for the making of a strange great apostasie from God. Whereupon they were scattered by divine Iustice over the earth, and left to walke in their owne waies. In which they walked till the time of Christ, albeit God many waies assured them, and wrought many wondrous and miraculous works to reclaime them.

For God made his people and worship (not only by the situation of the Israelites land, which was most obvious to all then habitable parts of the world: But also by many & admirable works done among them and for them) famous. As namely by Abrahams conquest, Gen. 14. with a smal number of reli­gious souldiers, over the conqueror Cedarlaomer, the most powerfull King in those times, and over the Kings of Shiner and Ellas: and over the King of the Nations, and their farre greater armie of wicked wretches. So that the dispersion being not yet into very remote parts; this must needs bee famously knowne.Gen. 19. God miraculously destroy­ed Sodome and Gomorrah. God first brought Ioseph an Hebrew,Gen. 39. then his father Iacob and his familie into Aegypt, a place well knowne (before) for traffick: (then) for Ioseph, and for plenty by Gods [Page 19] goodnesse and his providence. In so much that all nations came thither for relief,Gen. 41.57. and found there the most godly familie in the world in high fa­vour; and Ioseph a member thereof, next the King in honor; ruling the Princes after his will, Psal. 105.21. & teach­ing (why not as well forrainers hūbled by famine, as) Pharaohs Senators wisedome: doubtlesse that wisdome, Deut. 4. for the saving of their soules, as well as politicall for preserving their lives. After this God miraculously plagued a Pharaoh succeed­ing,Exod. 7. & 8, & 9. Exod. 14. and finally drowned him and his host in the red sea; through which he led the Israelites as on dry land: doing all this (as doubtlesse the rest of his wondrous works) to shew his powerfull God head, Exod. 7.5, & 9, 16. Rom. 9.10. and to make his name knowne through all the world. God wrought many and admirable miracles in the wildernesse; Gave Iosuah a miraculous victorie at Iericho: and over the Anakims, and the high wal­led citties of Chanaan: Staid the suns course, &c. Not to insist upon each particular; God made Da­vid and his worthies admirably victorious; made Solomon farre and neere renowned for his wisedome, honor, riches, the glorious temple, and skilfull navi­gation. So that the Queene of Shebah came from the ends of the earth, invited thereto by his fame,1. Kings 10.1. to heare his wisedome.1. Kings 10.24. Yea all the world sought to see Solomon, and to heare the wisedome which God put in­to his heart. God gave many and strange victories to other of the Kings: he gave recovery from a grievous and deadly disease, and a miraculous signe thereof to Hezekiah.

Moreover God preserved the three Princes, A­nanias, [Page 20] Azarias, and Mizael, in the fiery furnace. Whereupon Nebuchadnezar then Monarch of the world made a decree, Dan. [...].25. that all nations tongues and lan­guages should take notice of the true God, and of that wondrous work. God preserved Daniel in the Li­ons den: Dan. 6.25. whereupon Darius wrote to all nations & languages that dwell in the world, inioining in his do­minions, that men should tremble and feare before the God of Daniel. Ezr. 1. Further God put it into Cyrus his heart, to make a proclamation of the great God, that gave him victorie over Babel: And that Gods people should returne out of his large dominions to build Ieru­salem and the temple; and that they should be releeved with many and necessaries, from all parts where they dwelt. Esth. 8. & 9. The great favour which Achasuerosh vouch­safed the Iewes in his 127. provinces extending from India to Ethiopia, the downfall of Haman so highly esteemed; and free liberty granted them to be revenged of their enemies, could not but make the world to take especiall notice of them. By these and many other strange works of God for them, it must needs come to passe that diverse o­thers of the Gentiles, as well as they which left re­cords found by Artashaste, Ezr. 4 20. should understand the great might of Ierusalem and her Kings, Ezr. 5.8. and call (as the enemies of God did) their God the great God: And acknowledge that the Israelites were the only wise people and of understanding, Deut. 4.6. and a great nation. 1. Kin. 10.5. And blesse the God of Israel, as did the Queen of Shebah. Notwithstāding all these things at several times the chief people of Asia, Europe & Africa, one after another, since their great Apostacy [Page 21] with Nimrod, maliciously and obstinately bent themselves against God, and his people. As the wars with the Chananites, Amorites, Iebusites, &c. with the Edomites, Amalekites, Moabites, Ammo­nites, Philistins, Midianites, Aramites, Assyrians, E­thiopians, Chaldeans, Persians, Medes, Syrians, Egyp­tians, &c. abundantly shew. Amongst which peo­ple, as any one grew more populous and mighty than the rest, for the most part they fought against God, and walked in Nimrods idolatrous steps: or if they got any glimpse of light and knowledge, wic­kedly turned it into fables and lies; And till the dayes of Christ, continued in unbeliefe, except some few.Psal. 147.20. So that God dealt not with them as with the Iewes, neither had they knowledge of his lawes: such a Pearle was not to be cast to swine. Act. 17.30. The time of their ignorance (as Paul told at Athens, the place among them most of credit for knowledge) God regarded not: and Christ termed them dogs to whom the childrens bread was not to be given. Matth. 15.26.

Here I might adde the apostasie of Esau, and the Edomites, of Ismael and the Ismaelitess, &c. who falling away from God, mis-led their peo­ple. Thus their people, all that continued in the same rebellion with them, dyed in their sin: and God required their sinnes at the Rulers hands, and at the hands of succeeding Rulers, persisting in the same obstinacie.

So that it is evident, that by default of apo­state Rulers and subordinate, the people under them die in their sinnes, wilfully running on in the steps of their prime Governours, or in worse super­stition [Page 22] added by their Successors, for they would not leave the gods of their fathers, Ier. 2.11. which are no gods; And so are without God in the world, adhere to wicked traditions,Ephes. 2. are by nature the children of wrath, are dead in sinnes and trespasses, walke therein according to the course of the world, and after the spirit that rules in the ayre or darknesse, even the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience, Act. 14. Gen. 6. Rom. 1. and are suffered by God (who would not ever strive with thē) to walk in their own waies: professing them­selves to be wise, became fooles perswading themselves that they see, are blinde. They said (as the revolted Iewes in Aegypt) we will doe whatsoever goeth out of our own mouthes: Ier. 44.17. namely burne incense to the Queen of heaven, (to Molech, to Baal, to Dagon, &c. To Iupiter, to Mars, to Apollo, &c.) as we have done, both wee and our fathers, our Kings and our Princes. Es. 47.10. Thus their wisedome (being in truth folly) causes them to rebell: in this case God hides the true wisedome from the wise, such as be puft up with a pride of their owne wisdome.

Rom. 1.20.And though GOD had not left himselfe without witnesse; but by visible things shewed them his eter­nall power and Godhead, Act. 14.17. and given them raine from heaven, and fruitfull seasons; filling their hearts with food and gladnesse: as also by the wondrous workes above mentioned; yet they, so farre as they knew God, Rom. 1.21. worshipped him not as God, but became vaine in their imaginations, &c. and were without excuse; and so continued till after Christs death. At which time the partition wall was broken downe, and liber­ty was granted to goe into the way of the Gentiles. [Page 23] Before which time that wal did not so barre out the Gentiles, Exod. 12.38. but that God left them a way to come into the Iewes Church, and divers particular per­sons did returne, by Gods great mercy, to the true faith, drawne to it by such instruments and meanes as it pleased God to use. As namely the soules which Abraham got and converted at Cha­ran, Eliezer of Damascus his Steward, Gen. 12.5. & 13.12.15.2. Exod. 12.38. all or a great part of his 318. souldiers: a great multitude of sun­dry sorts of people that went out of Egypt with the Israelites: also Iethro a Midianite, Rahab a Chana­nite, Ruth a Moabite, Naaman a Syrian, (as many thinke) &c. The strangers in the land called together by David at the fitting of stones for the Temple: 1 Chron. 22.2. Exod. 12.44.48. all servants bought for money and circumcised: Stran­gers at any time circumcised. In Achafuerosh his Provinces many of his people became Iewes. Est. 8.17. So that even in the great Apostasie of the Gentiles, and long continuance in the same, some there were, who by Gods great mercy returned to the true Church.

Besides this Apostasie at Babel,1 King. 11.31. Ieroboam a­mongst the people of God made watchman and sheep­heard over the ten tribes, did fall off to Idolatry, & ill govern, & worse teach Israel. So that neither Iudahs example adhering to the true religion at Ierusa­lem: nor the withering of his hand, 1 King. 13.4. when hee would have laid hold on Gods Prophet: nor other miracles then done; nor Ahijahs the Prophets message to him from God;Es. 5. nor that God had done for his vineyard (of which Israel was a part) what he could doe in planting, hedging, and dressing it, &c. could [Page 24] reclaime him from his false worship, and mis-lea­ding the people, the flocke committed to him.

In the sinnes of this Ieroboam the sonne of Ne­bat, walked the Kings of Israel his successors: not­withstanding that God sent Elias, and Elisha, and other Prophets to them, and by them wrought many miracles: notwithstanding that God often punished them by warres, rebellions, famine and o­ther calamities: 2 King. 18.11. Es. 5. till at length God would no lon­ger strive with them, but tooke away their hedge and wall, 2. Chron. 36.16 & suffered the Assyrians, then most powerful, to treade them down, to lay the Vineyard waste, to captive them to the Cities of the Medes, & parts adjoyning: where many perished, and onely such as were humbled by affliction, &c. were saved. In these parts they continued captives till the Medes and Persians became Monarchs of the world, and sent out of their Provinces, whosoever of that people would returne. After wich time they continued in the land under much affliction, till Christs in­carnation. In this apostasie of Ieroboam and his successors, with their people, there were many persons among them which bowed not the knee to Baal: 1 King. 19.18. many that left and fell off from his Idolatry, 2 Chron. 15.9. to the true worship in Iudah.

When in the fulnesse of time Christ tooke our na­ture upon him, preached the glad tidings of the Go­spell, offered himselfe up to God a sacrifice in it selfe sufficient for all mankinde; commanded his Apo­stles now to preach to all nations & baptise thē. Mat. 28.19. Act. 17.30. Thē the Rulers of the Iewes apostate and mis-lead the people, who in great part held it reason suffici­ent: [Page 25] Doe any of the Rulers beleeve in him? and are perswaded to aske Barrabas and refuse Christ; Iohn 7.48. cry­ing, crucifie him, crucifie him; and his blood bee upon thē and their children. So that there is only a rem­nant of them according to the election of grace, saved. The Lord of his abundant mercy in his good time call their posterity, who since that time till this day continue in their wilfull blindnesse, and ob­stinate unbeliefe.

Vpon their rejection comes in the calling of the Gentiles: for effecting whereof,Act. 2. CHRIST by sending downe of the Holy Ghost in the apparition of fiery divided tongues, conferred on the Apostles and others the gift of speaking divers tongues; a thing most miraculous to religious men of all nati­ons under heaven, who at that time were present at Ierusalem: whereby the glad tidings of the Go­spell might with more speed and conveniency bee preached to all. To which end the Apostles, Paul and others travelled into Countries farre and neare, not danted with dangers and persecuti­ons, which often befell them; converted many to the faith of Christ, and planted Churches in di­vers parts of the world. So that it is written, Their sound went forth into all the earth, Rom. 10.18. and their words unto the ends of the world. The miracle of tongues ceasing, the successors of the Apostles were to cherish the knowledge of tongues: and to preach the Gospell freely in the first plantati­on of it; more seeking them, than theirs; where they spent their labours according to the Apostles ex­ample.

[Page 26] Eph. [...]. Rom. 11.25.Notwithstanding this course taken by God, ac­cording to the exceeding riches of his grace to us Gen­tiles, upon the unbeliefe of the Iewes; which is a myste­rie or secret, of which we must not bee ignorant: and when we see it effected,Rom. 11.33. cry with St Paul, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdome and knowledge of God! how unsearcheable are his judgements (be­fore towards the Gentiles, now towards the Iewes) and his wayes (of commanding the Cove­nāt of peace in Christ to be now preached to all nations,Rom. 11.31. and making it known that hereafter the Iewes shall obtaine mercy) past finding out!

Notwithstanding this course on Gods part taken for calling all nations. The Citie of Rome, which about the time of Christs birth was at the full height of her power,Luke 2. both then and since hath, and still doth chalenge rule over the Kings of the earth; Apoc. 17. and is the onely City famously knowne by her se­ven hils, hath first by her Emperours (almost all wicked and persecutors) killed Christ, and cruelly afflicted and murdered Christians, and afterward (when the Emperours were mastered) by Popes pretending like Lambes to use the two hornes of spi­rituall and temporall power,Mat. 7.15. Act. 20.29. Apoc. 13.11. but indeed turned Wolfes, exceedingly abused and mis-lead their sheepe; let the studie of tongues decay for a long time, especially of the sacred tongues, in which Gods originall truth is written; locked up know­ledge; commended ignorance to the people; sought not so much the peoples salvation, as honour, riches, soveraignty over all; making the people serve God by Images; pray without understanding in an un­knowne [Page 27] tongue, &c. and further became drunke with blood of the Saints, Rev. 1 [...]. [...]. and with the blood of the Martyrs of Christ, &c. Thus by default of these wicked sheepheards their sheep perished in their sinnes. Yet evē at Rome there was a little flock of Christ in Pauls time famous through the whole world for their faith: Rom. 1.8. who by the Almighty protection of God did propagate true religion, even under the worst and most tyrannous Emperors. And when Rome by the Popes pride advanced it selfe, and made the Kings of the earth, Rev. 18.2. and their people drunke with the wine of her fornications; Gods people (as they are commanded) went out of her by disclaiming her doctrine and Idolatries, and dyed for the witnesse of Gods truth; lest they should partake of her sinnes, and receive of her plagues. And Princes have worthily begun to hate the Whore of this spirituall Babylon, Rev. 17.15. to demolish the wals of Rome in their Dominions, or turne them to uses more for Gods glory.

Amidst the stirres and Idolatries of Rome, at length Mahomet arose, and the Turkes after him; they by sword and wicked and blas­phemous doctrine mis-lead their people and vassals: so that by their default they and their people are in a damnable estate; except such as in their dominions retaine the knowledge and worship of Iesus Christ according to Gods truth.

Cōcerning the people most remote, as they of China, of Cathaia, of India East and West, especi­ally of America, of Peru, and the rest of the parts orbis incogniti, (as it is called) of which little more than the ruder skirts are knowne unto our men; [Page 28] seeing it is not well knowne, how long some of these parts have been peopled, seeing some hold it disputable whether Solomons fame and Naviga­tion (to speake nothing of Gods other wondrous works) extended to all of them; & if but to some, then to which of them: and more especially, what Countries Ophir, 2 Chron. 9.10. 2 Chron. 2.6. 1 King. 10.22. 1 K. 10.24, 15. Pervaim, & Tharshish are, whence his gold came in such abundance: as also how farre that speech will reach, of all the worlds seek­ing to see Solomon, and of the gifts of all Kings and nations: which may perhaps extend to places ve­ry farre distant, whence probably men might tra­vell, seeing the Queene of Shebah a woman came so farre.

Seeing also that many will not easily grant, that in the Apostles and Primitive times, the sound of the Gospel extended even to these parts: and interpret Scriptures brought to prove this, diffe­rently:Rom. 10.18. Act. 1.8. Mat. 24.14. Or that God might since then, by his mercifull Providence, send among them some light of the Gospell by other meanes, since the great in­crease of navigation: and that our knowledge of their stories is small, as that we have not without uncertainty. Seeing these matters (I say) are not cleare and manifest unto us, it will not be amisse to forbeare defining any thing of them. But seeing wee know assuredly that GOD commanded the Gospel to be preached to all nations; and we finde that men of pharisaicall condition compasse sea and land with all earnestnesse to make Proselytes for Hel, it concernes all hearty Christians rather gloriously to spend labour and cost for the planting Gods re­ligion [Page 29] among them. to the advancement of Gods Kingdome and glory; then either peremptorily to determine, or (which is lesse) fruitlesly to travel, where we have no surer footing.

Forbearing therfore to enter into further deba­ting of these last matters: from the former which are more manifest, & as by Gods word, so by the si­tuation of the people and commerce with them better knowne unto us: it may be concluded.

I. That God (having at once decreed from e­ternitie the meanes for converting man falne un­to him: and seeing on whom they would not be effectuall, by default on mans part; and decreed their condemnatiō) in executiō of these decrees left not, nor passed by Cain, Nimrod, Ieroboam, &c. and their adherents, but upon their apostaste or malicious persecuting Gods truth, beyond their day or the set time of Gods striving with them; the knowledge of which time God hath reserved to himselfe for the most part.

II. That Apostate and maliciously persecuting Princes and their substitutes intrusted with a weigh­tie businesse by God and the people, and ill mana­ging the same, incur the heavy judgemēt of God by their owne sinnes: and by making others, or by giving occasion to others to sinne. When ei­ther for profit or pleasure, as Cain, for a name as Nimrod, for envie as the Iewes; for ambition, and having no King but Caesar, no soveraigne Lord but the Pope; and other their sinnes, most of them from this roote: As the Emperors, and the Bishops of Rome (in cheif place after them) they reject or [Page 30] persecute the true religion.

III. They that did or doe live under Rulers apostate from the true religion, or malicious­ly persecuting the same, lost and doe lose the title to happinesse jointly by Adams fell, in whose loines they sinned: and by default of apostate and persecu­ting rulers and ancestors, in whom they apostated & persecuted, and by actuall continuing together with their successors in the same apostasie, and resoluti­on to persecute. For instance, the Grecians the posteritie of Iaphet fell in Adam: God providing a remedie for that fall by Christ promised: in Nimrod and his complices they apostated from the hope of that promise: At Christs death the Gospell of peace is commanded to be preached to all nations, and was taught and received in their countrey. Whosoever since then, or now hath or doth apostate from the true religion taught by Gods Apostles in Grecia, and joyne with the Turk or Pope in misbeleif and persecuting Gods truth, & hath or doth continue in the same apostasie, lose the title to happinesse. And so of other people also.

IIII. That God hath done at severall times many miraculous works, and inflicted on mankind most strange judgements &c. all very conspicuous, so that even among the apostate nations before Christ,Exod. 9.27. Pharaoh confessed, that God was righteous, himselfe and his people sinfull: And others could not but acknowledge Gods power, Ezr. 5.8. Deut. 4.6. Dan. 2.47. & 3.29. & 6.26. and that he was the great God: That his Law is only wise: That no god could doe, as he did, &c. Besides, many nations [Page 31] did use sacrifices and offerings, but without true knowledge; and superstitious: Yet in so do­ing, acknowledged themselves sinners, and the goodnesse of a Deitie to them, &c. being able to say that we [...], are his offspring. Acts 17. Insomuch that they, when as they knew God, worshipped him not as God, but became vaine in their imaginations, were given up to their hearts lust, and are with­out excuse.

V. That some particular persons falne in Adam; apostated from the promise of Christ in their an­cestors, have beene called to the faith by Gods mi­raculous works & judgements & such other meanes as it pleased God to use, and of his meere mercy sa­ved; Such as Rahab, Ruth, and divers others a­bove named. In like maner some now in the Tur­kish Empire and Popish countries; who being vex­ed (as holy Lot) with the abominations about thē practised, deplore these and their owne sins, be­leeve the truth of God concerning redemption by Christ so far as it is revealed unto them, endeavor to lead an holy life accordingly, & meddle not with abuses, which they have no commission to amēd.

VI. That they that know not their masters will & doe things worthy of stripes, Luke 12.48. shall be beaten with few stripes. And that it shalbe easier for them at the day of judgment, then for those cities & places which have had the meanes of salvation more plentifully imparted to them. As appeares by Christs speech of Corazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. Mat. 11.22.24.

CHAP. 6. CHAP. VI. Mans perdition is of himselfe in the second place by his own default: Where the Rulers and teachers do their duties. Conclusions thēce. Lastly, conclusiōs from the former & this chapter jointly considered.

2.IN the second place, where Princes, their substi­tutes, Bishops and teachers doe their offices faith­fully, some people [...] a [...]ōg [...]n their own ruin.

For though God set watchmen over thē, which say,Ier. 6.17. Take heed to the sound of the trumpet: some (as the Jewes to Jeremie) say: we will not take heed. Though Gods word be to them precept upon pre­cept, Esay. 28.10. precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little and there a little; though God speake to them himselfe;Ier. 7.25. though God send to them his ser­vants the Prophets of old (and preachers now) yet they will not heare; Ier. 2.25. but goe after the stubbornnesse of their owne wicked hearts. They say desperately, no; for I have loved strangers, and I will follow them. In so much that God complaines: My people would not heare my voice, Psal. 81.11. and Israel would none of me. So he gave them up to their owne hearts lust. And Christ com­plaines of them, and bewailes their obstinacie: O Ierusalem, Mat. 23.37. Ierusalem, how often would I have gathered yee, as an hen her chickens, and yee would not?

Iob 21.14. Ier. 11.21. Iob. 22.17. Iob 34.9. Psal. 73.11.Nay, they say to God, depart from us: we desire not the knowledge of thy Lawes. Or bid the Prophets prophecie not. Or say, what can the Almighty doe for us! Or, it profits nothing to walk with God. Or, how [Page 33] doth God know it? is there knowledge in the most high? And so depart from the presence of God, as Cain and his posterity, & Nimrod & his followers, &c. setting afterwards their actions, as (before,Psal. 73.9.) their mouthes (as David saith) against Heaven.

Or they relie on their owne wisedome, and forsake God the fountaine of living waters, Ier. 2.13. and dig to themselves pits, 1. Cor. 1.18. even broken pits which will hold no water. They account the preaching of the Crosse foo­lishnesse, which is the power of God for the salvation of them that be saved. As for their owne wisedome (for so they esteeme it) God turnes it into follie.

Or they follow the il examples of their fathers,Ier. 16.11, 12. so that when their fathers have forsaken Iehovah, and walked after other Gods, &c. Ier. 18.12. They doe worse then their fathers; and walk every one after the stub­bornnesse of their owne hearts.

Or so addict themselves to pleasure and volup­tuousnes, as that they cannot come to the heaven­ly banquet of salvation, according to his answer, I cannot come. Luke 14.20. So the wicked before the flood (Noah being the preacher of righteousnes to them) ate, dranke, maried and gave in mariage: and so will they do before the generall day of judgement, Luke 17.26, 27 neg­lecting the call of Gods preachers: till destructi­on sweep them away, as it did the old world.

Or, they suffer the cares of the world, Mat. 13.22. Luke 14.19. and the de­ceitfulnes of riches to choak the good seed of the word, and forsake the feast of salvation made readie, for to goe after their farmes, and oxen and matters of profit.

Or, when persecution comes, because of the Gospell, they are offended, and suffer the seed of God, Mat. 13.20. for want of deepe rooting to wither, &c.

[Page 34]Or for envie at the conversion of others, and the graces of God in them; maliciously oppose and reject the Gospell: as did the Jewes, when they saw the whole citie of Antioch come together to heare Gods word: Acts 13.45. and were thereupon filled with envie, & contradicted those things which were spoken by Paul, and railed. So also did the Elder sonne, that is, the Jew,Luke 1528. repine, & would not come into the feast, whē God the father reconciled himselfe to the yonger sonne the prodigall, Acts 7.51. Ne [...]. 9.30. Esay 6, 10. that is, the Gentile. This resisting is cal­led a resisting of the Spirit of God both in the fathers and also in those present Iewes. And what did they in the old world,1. Pet. 3.18, 19, 20. but resist the spirit, by which Christ was raised from the dead? For with that very spirit Christ preached to them: And for resisting the same they are now Spirits inprison.

God from all eternitie seeing the rebellion and obstinate wickednesse of prophane men (under the father, before the law was written, and after in the Iewish Church, & now in the Christiā Church since) in all of many of the degrees above: as he willed that together with other meanes of salvatiō his Spirit also should strive with them: so he willed that his spirit should not alwaies strive with them. But when their wickednesse was come to the full, Gen. 6.3. & Gods long suffering had many years waited for their amend­ment; Luke 13.7. that they might agree with their adversarie in the way; Luke 12.58. when the limit of the time in which God gave them space to repent, Luke 19.42.44. Their day in which they ought to know the things which belong to their peace, (which day or fixed limit is known only to God, ex­cept sometimes it hath pleased him to reveale it) is past and expired: Then God will not heare their [Page 35] cry, who before would not heare his call: Ier. 11. Mat. 11.25. then God gives it not to them, to know the mysteries of the Kingdome of heaven: God hides those things from the wise and intelligent (in their owne proud conceit) because it so pleaseth him. 1. Kings 22.23. God sends a lying Spirit into the mouth of Ahabs prophets and gives him power to deceive them. Num. 22.12. & 19. & 22. When Balaam was forbidden by God to goe, or curse the blessed, and yet would not rest, 2. Pet. 2.15. Acts 28.27. but still shewed his love and desire of the wages of un­righteousnesse; God had him goe, but was angrie that he went. When the hearts of people are waxed grosse, their eares dul of hearing, & their eyes by themselves closed, lest they should see, heare, understand, and bee converted: Then God blinds, makes deaf, and takes away their understanding. God hardens them accor­ding to the most holy and just rule of his will, Rom. 9. who (being come to Pharaoh's case) harden themselves and so he hardens, whom he will: And then is there no disputing with God. God sends strong delusions, 2, Thes. 2.11. that they should beleeve lies, who would not receive the knowledge of the truth.

Thus Gods al-seeing eyes beholding from al eter­nitie, what courses he on his part would take, and how among his people the Rulers and Teachers should faithfully doe, what he ordered and ap­pointed for the salvation of their people; seeing even them also who are not in Christ, not by his or the Rulers or teachers default, but by their owne con­sulting with flesh and blood, and disobedience to Gods will revealed to them:Rom. 9. Simul & semel hee decreed the condemnation of them most justly (as Esau's) before actually they had done good [Page 36] or evil: and thereto tends Christs speech; He that beleeves not, Iohn 3.18. is condemned alreadie.

These things being thus, it may be hence con­cluded; 1. That in wicked mens neglecting or con­temning Gods dealing with them, and the order and course appointed by God for their salvation, some sooner some later fall off from, or reject the meanes of their salvation. The Gaderens after one mira­cle done among them, upon the losse of their swine, beseech Christ to depart out of their coasts. The Iewes at Antioch heare the Gospell preached to them one Sabbath: but the next Sabbath drive the Apostles out of their citie. They of Capernaum and Bethsaida had many great works of Christ done among them; but repented not. Demas heard the Gospell, walked with the Apostles for a time, but at length fell off to the present world. Iulian the A­postata heard the Gospell, professed the same for a time, at length violently and maliciously persecu­ted it. Iudas heard the Gospell, preached it, continu­ed a long time with Christ and the Apostles; was unsuspected of the Apostles: till at length he be­trayed his Master; and died desperately.

2. That carelesnesse and want of due considerati­on opens a very great gappe on mans part to his owne ruin. As not to regard the trumpet of Gods warning them: his miracles, promises, threats, &c. to preferre mans folly before Gods wisedome in the mouth of his messengers; to prefer this worlds wealth before the true treasure; momentany plea­sures before pleasures at Gods right hand for ever­more: To feare men that can but kill the body, [Page 37] and not feare God, who can destroy both body and soule; to envie other mens graces and conversion, at which GOD, good Angels and men rejoice; not principally and mainly to seeke Gods King­dome, and to use matters of this world, as if we used them not. In this manner they that were invited to the banquet of salvation, [...], made light of it, and went their wayes, to pleasure, profit, Mat. 22.5. &c. How shall [...] men neglecting so great salvation escape.Heb. 2.3.

3. That though Gods goodnesse and mercy is such that he knocks at mans heart,Rev. 3.20. and stands and abides knocking there; and notwithstanding many and great sinnes of infirmity and ignorance, &c. still continues suing to be admitted into the heart of man, drawing him to it by the preaching of the Ministers, who work together with him; 2 Cor. 6.1. as by other meanes also: yet if sinners proceed from one degree of sinne to another, and harden their hearts, that they cannot repent, following sinne with greedi­nesse, till the acceptable time, the day of salvation be past: and Christ who commanded all to watch, 2 Cor. 6.2. Mar. 13.37. Luke 13.46. and told them of his sudden comming, finde them not well doing, but sleeping in sinne, they are cut off and have their portion with unbeleevers.

4. That the wicked which lived in the Church before Christs time, lost their title to happinesse, joyntly by Adams fall, and (sinne comming in thereby) by actuall sinnes of their owne, by wilfull forsaking or otherwise losing the benefit of Christ promised, by persisting in all or some of the sinnes above named.

[Page 38]5. That the wicked, who lived in the true Church, since Christs time, lost their title to happi­nesse joyntly by Adams fall; and by falling off from the hope in Christ, promised in their Ancestors at Babels building; and by each mans owne actuall sinne in some or al the degrees aboue named, fal­ling from the hope of salvation through Christ, al­ready come and preached to them.

6. That God from all eternity decreed the har­dening of them, that obstinately harden themselves; the blinding of them, that obstinately blinde them­selves; the forsaking of them, that obstinately forsake him; that will follow their owne courses, their wic­ked Ancestors steps; and impiously bid God depart from them?

Furthermore from these two sections conside­red together, arise these conclusions.

I. That the condemnation of the wicked is meerly of & from mans default; where the trum­pet is not blowne, both by default of Rulers and teachers, and also in regard of their owne sinnes, in which they dye. And where Rulers and teachers doe their duties, by the sinnes of each particular person.

II. That the wickednesse of the damned is not the cause of Gods will to damne them: for sinne in man, which is evill, cannot produce justice in God (which is holy and good, and an attribute of God before sinne ever was) as its effect: But Gods holy and just will is the square of his actions. Yet sin in man truely his owne worke is cause of damnation in himselfe; a bad effect of a bad cause. So treason [Page 39] is the cause of the traitors condemnation and death; but the law of the land being the rule of justice, is the cause, that the Iudge wils the con­demnation, and puts to death the Traitor.

III. The worke of any of Gods free Graces and fa­vours not merited by any man, proceedeth not de facto so farre with some men, as with others, by default of the men themselves. The benefit of his raine & sun extends to all, so also many other out­ward gifts: Christ wrought one miracle among the Gadarens, but at that time preached not the word in their Cities; for they would not. Christ did many great works in Corazin, Bethsaida, and Caper­naum; preached there; when as they repent not, he pronounces a woe against them. God caused the word to be preached to Demas, gave him soci­etie with the Apostles; but left him to the corrup­tion of his heart imbracing this present world. God caused the word to bee preached to Iulian, accor­ding to which he walked for a time, and incou­raged Christians; but at length God left him to the cruelty of his owne heart to persecute Chri­stianity. God made Iudas an Apostle; he according to his office walked a while, and preached the Gospell; but at length God left him to the cove­tousnesse of his heart, to betray the Lord of life, and to desperation.

IV. They which be adjudged to condēnation, discerne and make themselves differ from the rest by being disobedient and rebellious to the or­der and course appointed by God for mans salva­tion. God made Paul differ from Demas and o­ther [Page 40] wicked men by the gracious worke of his holy Spirit on him. D [...]mas made himselfe to differ from Paul and other godly men, by yeelding to his owne corruption in following this present world.

V. That they which knew their masters or Gods will, and prepared not themselves for their Masters comming, Luke 12.47, 48 neither did according to his will, shall be bea­ten with many stripes; whereas he that knew his Ma­sters will, and did it not, is beaten with few; for unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall bee re­quired; Mat. 11.22, 24. so it is with Corazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum.

God for Christ Iesus sake guide us by his grace and good Spirit, that we may doe his will, and pre­pare for his comming; and of his infinite mercie pardon, what here hath beene weakly delivered about these great mysteries; and more and more illuminate our understandings in the knowledge of the same; and so powerfully work upon us, that as on his part there is not, so on our part there may be no default; that we may persevere his servants here, & hereafter raigne with him in the King­dome of glory, for the merits of Iesus Christ our Lord. Amen. *⁎*

FINIS.

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