WRITTEN FIRST IN THE LATINE tongue, by the reuerend and faithfull seruant of Christ, Maister ROBERT ROLLOCK, Preacher of Gods word in Edenburgh. AND NOW FAITHFVLLY TRANSLATED for the benefite of the vnlearned, into the English tongue, by Henry Holland, Preacher in London.

2. PET. 1. 10.

Giue diligent heede to make your calling and election sure.


AT LONDON Imprinted by FELIX KYNGSTON. 1603.


THE AVTHORS EPISTLE TO THE MOST HIGH AND MIGHTIE Prince, IAMES the sixt, now by Gods free mer­cie, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. grace and peace by Iesus Christ.

AFter some ad­uising with my selfe, in whose name I should publish this litle worke, your Maiestie (my most dread So­ueraigne) aboue all others came first into my mind, for that you may iustly challenge as your owne right, the first fruites of my labours, of what kinde soeuer they be. Hauing then heretofore consecrated the first fruites of [Page] the first kind of my writings vnto your Highnes: I thought it meete also, that this second kinde of meditations (in the com­mon places of diuinitie) should be pre­sented to the same your Maiestie. From this purpose although many things feared me, among which your princely Maiestie (to speak as the truth is) adorned with rare knowledge of diuine things, did most oc­cupie my minde: your Maiestie, I say the greatnes whereof, my owne meannes, and the slendernes of this work, were not able to endure. Yet when I recounted with my selfe how great your curtesie and gentle­nes was alwaies accustomed to bee to­wards all men, but especially towards my selfe; I determined rather to incurre some suspition of ouermuch boldnes, then not to giue testimonie of my dutie, and of my most humble deuotion towards your Ma­iestie, euen by the dedication of this small worke of mine how meane soeuer it be. Respect therefore (most noble King) not so much this smal worke, as the testimonie of a mind most dutifully affected towards your Maiestie in the Lord, and as my dutie [Page] requireth, most readie according to my small abilitie, with all lowlines to do your Maiestie most humble seruice in any thing that I can during life. But what is there wherein I can do your Maiestie better ser­uice then in striuing with my God, with continuall & earnest prayers, that through his grace and singular goodnes you may for euer maintaine, continue, and make good that excellent opinion which you haue (not vndeseruedly) alreadie gotten, in forraine nations amongst such men, as are most eminent in this our age, both for learning and godlines: that so you may haue a happie raigne in this present life, and in that other life may be a fellow heire of that heauenly kingdome: in compari­son of the glorie of which kingdome) that I may speake this by the way) I my selfe a good while since, haue heard you despise al these earthly kingdoms, at such time as amongst other matters, in a certain fami­liar conference, where there were but a fewe present, you discoursed of many things learnedly (I speake the truth to the glorie of God, without any flatterie) and [Page] godlily, and delightfully, concerning Christ, and of praying to him onely, and not to Angels, or Saints departed out of this life) you may, I say, be a fellow heire together with your head, euen that most high King, Lord, and heire of all things Iesus Christ, whose grace, mercie and po­wer defend and protect you both in bodie and soule, from all your e­nemies, bodily and ghostly for euermore.

Your Maiesties most du­tifull Seruant, ROBERT ROLLOCK.


I May seeme slow in aunswering your letters (good Maister Iohnston) for that they were long in comming to my hands; I vnderstoode by them, to my great ioy, that you are safely arri­ued in your owne countrie: and haue found your Churches there in ablesscd and peaceable state, wherein, I desire in heart, they may long continue. And why may I not confidently hope that this my desire shall be fulfilled? specially seeing they were from the begin­ning The blessing of God on the Churches of Scotland. so happily, soundly, and excellently founded by those faithfull and worthie seruants of God, those skilfull mai­ster-builders which begun the worke: and they whose­conded them, brought no stubble or hay, but siluer, gold, and precious stones to the building: Nay which is more, the Lord himselfe hauing so clearely and apparantly fa­uoured, and furthered their holy labours, that whosoeuer haue stumbled at this building, haue not onely missed and failed of their purpose, but haue been (as it were) by the strong, and powerfull hande of God, scattered and throne out into vtter darkenes. To these we may adde that sin­gular, [Page] and most precious gift of God, which the same good God hath bestowed vpon you, I meane your worthie King, Maister Bezas iudgement, and commen­dation of the Kings Maie­stie in the happie go­uernment of the Churches of Scotland. whom he hath likewise miraculously preserued from ma­ny and great perils, who hath ioyned to his singular, and admirable care, and watchfulnes, in defending the Gos­pell, and preseruing the puritie, and vnspotted sinceritie of this Church, so great and exact knowledge of Chri­stian religion from the very grounds and principles thereof, that the Lord it seemes hath made his Maiestie both a Prince and preacher to his people: so that your Our blessed King may in veritie, be well accounted a second Salo­mon, who was both King and preacher. Realme of Scotland is now become of all other most hap­pie, and may iustly hope for increase of tranquillitie and felicitie, if onely (as we are perswaded she will) she can discerne, and thankfully acknowledge the great blessing she inioyeth; and as she hath begun, so continue to direct them all, to the right scope and end, which is to his glorie, who is the father and fountaine of all goodnes.

And I assure you, I reioyce from my heart, that occa­sion was giuen me to congratulate by these my letters your happie condition with the rest of my reuerend brethren, both by your countrie man Maister Dauid Droman, a man both godly, and well learned, whose presence though but for a few dayes, was most acceptable to vs here, who is now vpon his returne to you with these letters; as likewise in that I chaunced of late to meete with a great treasure, which I know not by what mishap being frequent in o­ther mens hands, hath hitherto missed my fingers. For why should not I esteeme as a treasure, and that most pre­cious, the commentaries of my honorable brother Maister Rollocke, vpon the epistle to the Romans and Ephe­sians, Maister Beza commendeth Maister Rol­lockes workes. both of them being of speciall note among the wri­tings Apostolicall? for so I iudge of them, and I pray you take it to be spoken without all flatterie or partialitie, that [Page] I neuer read, or met with any thing in this kinde of in­terpretation more pithilie, elegantly, and iudiciously written: so as I could not containe my selfe, but must needes giue thankes, as I ought, vnto God, for this so ne­cessarie, and so profitable a worke, and reioyce that both you and the whole Church enioy so great a benefit; desi­ring the Lord to increase with new gifts, and preserue in saftie this excellent instrument, especially in these times wherein thorow the scarcitie of skilfull workemen which labour in the Lords vineyard, and by the decease of those well exercised and experienced souldiers, and worthie Christians, Sathan and his companions begin againe to triumph ouer the truth.

Concerning the estate of our Church and schoole, we yet continue, and proceede in our course, by the migh­tie hand of our God and Sauiour, protecting vs, which is admirable to our very enemies, being deliuered from the iawe of death. But in truth, for ought we see, it is like to last but one yeare, our estate depending on those acts which shall bee concluded in the Or meeting at Roane. Or the Prince our neigh­bour. diet of Roane betweene the French King, and our neighbour Duke, either con­cerning peace or warre, wherein we hope to be compre­hended vpon equall condition. In this fraile, and vn­certaine estate that is our principall consolation, that we are sure this slender and twined threed, whereupon we rest, is sustained by the hand of our good God, who will not suffer that to be falsified which we haue learned of the Apostle, that all things worke together for the Rom. 8. good of those that loue him. In the meane while I beseech you brethren continue your remembrance of vs in your daily prayers. I for my part, for some moneths, though I be not much pained with any Feuer, Gout, Stone, or any of those sharpe diseases which be the vsuall [Page] companions of old age, yet I feele my selfe so infeebled and weakned, that I am constrained in a manner to giue o­uer both my publike duties, to keepe house and home, loo­king euery day for that ioyfull and happie dissolution whereunto age it selfe calleth me, being now seuentie eight yeares old. And herein I desire your prayer with the rest of my brethren, by name of my reuerend brother Maister Meluin, and Maister Peter Iunius, whom (vnlesse memorie faile me) Maister Scringer of blessed memorie, was wont to call his cosen: vnto whom, remem­bring withall my hartie commendations, I desire you to communicate this my letter, desiring the Lord (my deare, and louing brother) to preserue your whole Church there with his mightie, and blessed hand, against all both for­ren, and domesticall dangers. Fare ye well from Geneua the Calends of Nouemb. after our olde computation. CIC. IC. XCVI.

Yours wholy THEODOR BEZA.


WHen I had finished my last sommers worke of reui­sing, and correcting Ma­ster Rollockes readings on the Colossians, I was in­wardlie much affected with the holy spirit of the man, which I found as in that, so in the rest of his workes. Then my heart desired that as forraine Churches greatly reioyce in him, and blesse God for him; so the Churches of England and Scot­land, might to their greater ioy heare him speake yet more vnto them in their owne natiue lan­guage.

This is the cause (right worshipfull) that moo­ued me the winter past, to gaine some houres from mine ordinarie labours, to giue this little [Page] booke a new coate, that it might be knowne also in all this Iland, where it was first conceiued and borne.

It hath the protection of our most mightie King, for saftie and free passage into other parts of the world, where it hath been intertained with kinde acceptation: and so now, no doubt, it shall be no lesse in both these kingdomes, when as all true hearted subiects shall see, with what christian affection our most noble King affected this faith­full seruant of Iesus Christ, and his holy workes. Now blessed bee God for being thus mindfull of vs; and for annoynting his sacred breast with such a measure of the spirit of iudgement, as an 2. Sam. 19. 27. Phil. 19. 10. Esa. 11. 3. 4. Angel of God, to discerne the things that differ, and so to respect the meeke ones of the earth, to the vnspeakable ioy of the good, and terror of the wicked.

Behold now, praise the Lord with vs, and let vs magnifie his name together, for the Lord hath done great things for vs: the Lord hath so set the wheeles of his admirable prouidence, and so car­ried his blessed hand this yeare past in all his pro­ceedings round about vs, and so touched the hearts 1. Sam. 10. 26. of all this kingdome, as hauing a purpose to ac­complish a great worke in the building of his Church, and in his good time to lift vp such strokes as shall destroy for euer, euery enemie that doth euill to the sanctuarie. Psal. 74. 3.

The Lords compassions faile not: O Lord with­draw Psal. 85. 3. 4. thine anger, and turne backe the fiercenes of thy wrath: Turne vs O God of our saluation, turne thou vs Lam. 5. 21. vnto thee that wee may bee turned, and cause thy face [Page] to shine vpon vs, that we may be saued. Cease not to pray for vs, that we may not returne to our olde securitie and vnthankfulnes any more, but that wee may attend what the Lord saith, for now he begins to speake peace vnto his people, and vnto his Saints, crying in their doores euen as it Prou. 1. Psal. 85. 8. were in the open streetes, that they returne not againe to folly.

Now we see that the counsell of the Lord shall stand for euer, and that the thoughts of his heart shall continue throughout all ages: for he hath broken the counsels of the wicked, who haue euer sought to be possest of Gods habitations: but the Lord shall make them as stubble before the wind, the Lord will persecute them with his tempest, and make them afraid with his storme. O Lord fill their Psal. 83. 16. faces with shame, that they may seeke thy name. Finally, the Lord hath made our corners full and abound­ing with diuers forts of blessings: hee hath made Psal. 144. 13. the barres of our gates strong, and hath setled peace in our borders: he hath stablished his Gos­pell and holy couenant with vs: he hath taught vs to obserue his iudgements, and his wonderfull ad­ministrations both of his iustice and mercie: he Psal. 147. 13. hath not dealt so with any Nation round about vs. Wherefore, O praise the Lord with vs: let England and Scotland now with one heart, as with one mouth praise God in all the assemblies: Psal. 6. 8. 26. O praise the Lord ye that are of the fountaine of Israel, praiseye the Lord.

To returne to our purpose, as touching this sweete treatise in hand, I say no more but this, (I trust the reader shall finde my words true) that so [Page] many common places of diuinity as be here briefe­ly couched, as branches appertaining to this one head, the religious and wise (I hope) shall finde them as iudicially, comfortably, and compendi­ously set downe and knit together, as any one thing of this kinde as yet extant in the English tongue.

Next, as for the argument of this booke, our ef­fectuall calling is one principall linke of the gol­den chaine of the causes of our saluation. And it is the very first (in the execution of Gods eternall decree of our election) which manifesteth the e­uerlasting loue of God in Iesus Christ vnto the heart of euery beleeuer: that almightie God should loue him being his enemie, seeke him, and finde him, when he wandered in the maze and vanitie of his owne minde, quicken him when hee lay dead in sinne, loose him when he lay fast bound in the bonds of death, inlighten him when he sate in extreame darkenes: giuing him the spirit of grace, and of faith by the Gospell, to attend his holy cal­ling, and in time to reioyce with an exceeding ioy Rom. 5. 2. 3. therein.

Lastly for the translation, albeit I haue not fol­lowed the authors words, yet haue I endeuoured faithfully to deliuer his meaning, in the plainest forme, and in words most in vse among the peo­ple. Horat. art. non verbum verbo curabis redde­re fidus inter­pres. The Lord giue it a blessing, wheresoeuer it shall rest, among Gods elect of both these king­domes.

Now (right Worshipfull Maister Scot) I come vnto yourselfe: your most christian and holy loue in these cold and euill times, as vnto all the Saint, [Page] so specially to this good seruant of Christ, like as it comforted him greatly in his latter dayes: so as­suredly it shall much refresh your owne heart, not onely all your life, but also much more (I doubt not) in the very houre of death.

There be three infallible notes knit together in one Scripture, to iustifie our pretious faith vnto our owne hearts, that we may be truely perswaded we are possest of that faith which shall iustifie vs before God: loue to the brethren, hospitalitie of loue, and christian sympathie to the Saints in their 1. 2. afflictions. Loue to the holy members of Christ, 3. is often commaunded and commended in Ioseph, in Moses, in Nehemias, in Daniel, in Dauid, who being aduanced to great dignities, yet esteemed they nothing more then the good of the Church, and to become seruiceable (as it were) by all meanes to the Saints. To loue the seruants of Christ, and to be beloued of Rom. 15. 31. Philip. 1. 9. them, it is (as Saint Iohn saith) an infallible argument that God hath taken vs by the hand, loosened our 1. Iohn. 3. 8. bands, and translated vs from death to life, and from 1. Pet. 2. 9. darknes into the glorious light of God. All that talke of Charitie, doe not loue the Saints, that is, the liuing members of Christ on earth. We may discerne our loue to be sound by these notes. First, it is a flame which comes downe from God into our Rom. 5. 5. Luk. 7. 47. hearts, kindling (as it were) within vs, and giuing vs no rest, till we performe duties to the Saints. And this is that which the Apostle meaneth, when he willeth vs to Heb. 10. 24. stirre vp one another vnto a paro­xysme of loue. Secondly, hence it comes to passe, that loue to the Saints, being neuer colde, is neuer [Page] idle in well doing, and therefore proceedes the second note which the same Apostle calles Heb. 6. 10. labour [...]. Psalm. 16. 4, 5. of loue: for that this loue trauailes by all meanes possible, to doe good to the members of Christ. Thirdly, next, this loue is sincere Rom. 12. 9. voide of all dis­simulation. Fourthly and lastly, it is Hebr. 13. 1. Act 2. 42▪ 46. constant, con­suming, as a fire, all offences, Phil. 1. 9. 10. and cannot bee quenched.

The second marke, in the same Scripture, of our most holy faith, is Hebr. 13. 2. hospitalitie of loue (as the Syriack translation hath it) not of lucre. The Lord gaue often Rom. 12. 10. 11 1. Pet. 4 9. 1. Tim. 3. 2. 15. 20. charge by his Apostles concerning this, foreseeing the necessitie and afflictions of the Saints in the tenne bloodie persecutions, which euen then began and were to follow. The practise Hilariter exci­pere, affabiliter tractare, ami [...] dimittere. of this we see commended in all ages: in Abra­ham and Lot receiuing Angels, they receiue them cheerefully, they intertaine and vse them courte­ously, they dismisse them louingly. So did Bethuel Eleazar, so did Iethro Moses, so did Manoah the Angell of God, so did the good olde man of Gi­beah, the Leuite and his wife; so did Obadiah the Prophets, so did the widow of Zarephath Elias, so did the Sunamite Elisha, so did Mary often re­ceiue Christ, so did the Tanner and Cornelius Peter, Lydia and the Iayler the Apostles, Aquila and Priscilla, Paul; Phebe, and Stephanus many, and Gaius the whole Church at Corinth. All these are Chro­nicled in the booke of God as most memorable presidents for all ages.

The third note of the precious faith of Gods e­lect, in the same place annexed: is Christian sym­pathy to the seruants of Christ in all their afflicti­ons. [Page] This grace is found, when loue hath set on fire our very Matth 9. 36. Philip. 1. 9. [...]. bowels (as the holy Ghost speaketh) that in all their passions, it fils vs with a feeling and a tender compassion. This stirres vp men to Matth 25. 36. visit the members of Christ in all their miseries, to con­sider Psalm. 41. 1. wisely of their afflictions, to Rom. 12. 15. mourne when they mourne, to Rom. 12. 13. distribute to their wants: and so to proceede on to the duties of instruction, ad­monition, consolation, instant and Iam. 5. 13. 20 feruent in prayer, and to adde confession of sinnes, with fa­sting, if the state and heauines of the affliction so require.

These things I write vnto you (right Worship­full) first not so much for your instruction, as for the edification and confirmation of others, in this frozen age, wherein carnall and selfe loue, and all iniquitie increaseth, and loue to the Saints decrea­seth and waxeth cold, as Christ hath Matth. 24. 12 forewarned vs: a manifest signe that sauing faith faileth, in most places, euen where it is professed most. Se­condly, I write thus vnto you, for that you haue been taught of God (as I heare) to practise these things, and to obserue the Canons of Christ in his Gospell concerning loue to the Saints. This holy seruant of Christ Maister Rollocke, if he were liuing, could and would testifie of your sincere loue, when you intertained him into your owne familie, respecting his wants with all compassion and tendernes of heart.

The most prouident ruler of Heauen and earth, which hath shed, by the working of his holy spi­rit, this precious loue into your heart, will fully repay and recompense this your loue, with mani­fold [Page] comforts of his spirit, euen then specially when the comforts and props of this present life shall most be wanting. Now the God of hope fill you with all ioy and peace in beleeuing, that ye may abounde in hope, through the power of the holy Ghost, that so ye may perseuer in this your holy faith in Christ, and loue to the Saints vnto the end.


Yours to vse in the Lord Christ Iesus, HENRIE HOLLAND.

To the Reader.

ALthough the greater part both of authors and translators of bookes may be taxed of officious­nes, and not a few of vngodlines: yet are there some whose merits in this kinde doe out-way the demerits of the other. These are either those wor­thie lightes themselues, or else those second can­dlestickes to translate the light into, which God specially in these latter yeares hath bestowed as gifts (to vse Saint Paules word) vpon his Church to the edification of it. It is true indeede in one sense, that both the one and the other are but candlestickes, for the light is Gods: but otherwise com­paratiuely the author is the light, and the translator is as it were an other candlesticke, to translate the light into, and that for those which thorough ignorance of the tongue, could not attaine to the light when it shone out of the authors owne lampe. Now although there seeme no great gifts to be required in a translator; yet the truth is, that if he be not of good dis­cretion, to choose the fittest workes, of good speech to expresse the authors sentence with fittest wordes, and of so great apprehension, and former store, that by that which he seeth in the author, he hath attained to more, then paraduenture the author himselfe saw or minded: his defectiuenes will bring him in daunger of shewing what gifts are required in a tran­slator: for a good translator is neither a paraphrast, nor a periphrast, which is committed by needeles chaunging or adding words. He so behaueth himselfe that the comparing of the originall, will commend his fidelitie, and that they which know of no originall would take the translator for the author himselfe. He must naturalize his translation for the reader, without miuring the gift of the author in the natiue worke. But these seeme criticke rules to the irregular, which offend against their authors, to please themselues: for as there are many translations of vnworthie workes; so are there many transportations of worthie workes, which like plantes ill taken vp, reioyce not to growe in the soyle into which they are translated. And yet neuerthelesse it cannot without iniurie be denied, that this age hath afforded many excellent translations of excellent and learned au­thors to the benefit of our people: amongst whom Maister Rollocke the reuerend Author of this worke deserueth an eminent place, as also this worke it selfe is very acceptable together with the translators godly la­bour [Page] in this, and other things commodious to the Church of Christ. This inclined me the rather to commend it to thee, in these few lines, not as taking vpon me any thing, but as a poore man where he is better knowne, is sometimes engaged for a rich. This labour is become ours not onely be­cause it is thus well englished, but also because the Author is a Scottish­man, which is now to the wise hearted a synonymie of an Englishman. And it shall be to the praise of both the Nations to receiue both mutuall and common benefits, without that emulation which was betwixt Israel and Iuda. It is a comely thing, (to speake in the words of that King that was so miraculously restored) to declare the signes and wonders of the high God, which we see this day, euen this vnanimitie in receiuing the King wrought (no doubt) by diuine instinct, rather then grace in some, which otherwise, mendaciter deduntie, as Dauid saith. Let vs on the otherside goe out in our sinceritie and meete the King of Kings with Hosanna. And I beseech you by the wonder of our neighbours, which is our innocent aggregation to this scepter: let the solution of an obiection by King Henry the seuenth of noble memorie, and of so renowned wise­dome, be our satisfaction, that the soueraigntie is deuolued where it is, (not onely by the prouidence, but also by the ordinance of God) to the comfortable vniting of that Nation, rather then Nations which at the first vpon the matter was indeede but one, though for some yeares past it were diuided by conceit. Let vs take vp the argument of Abraham: We are brethren, &c. And as this is a worke of vocation, so let vs hold the comming of our King to bee the worke of reuocati­on, to call vs backe to vnitie. And so gentle reader I commit thee to the God of peace and vnitie.

Thine in Christ, Francis Marbury.

To the Reader.

CHristian reader, I pray thee pardon all faults in this first impres­sion: I could not well be present with the workemen for their direction. Some schoole poynts and phrases of schoole men doe not so well relish in the English tongue, nor could be rendred to my content, whatsoeuer is wanting in word or matter in this edition I will amend in the next if the Lord permit: farewell.

Thine in Christ Iesus, Henry Holland.

The Contents.

  • 1 OF our effectuall calling. 1
  • 2 Of the word of God, or of the couenant in generall; and of the couenant of workes in speciall. 6
  • 3 Of the couenant of Grace. 11
  • 4 Of such as be comprehended in, may truely be said to be vnder, the couenant of God. 27
  • 5 A comparison of our iudgement and of the aduersa­ries, concerning both these couenants. 31
  • 6 Of the written word, or of the written couenant of God. 38
  • 7 Of the number of the controuersies which are concer­ning the written word: and first whether the scripture be the word of God. 40
  • 8 How it may appeare that the scripture is the word of God, 45
  • 9 Of the first proprietie of the sacred scripture. 54
  • 10 Of the second proprietie of the sacred scripture. 57
  • 11 Of the third proprietie of the sacred scripture. 62
  • 12 Of the fourth proprietie. 66
  • 13 Of the fift proprietie of the scripture. 70
  • 14 Of the sixt proprietie of the scripture. 74
  • 15 Of the seuenth proprietie of the scripture. 77
  • 16 Of the eight proprietie of the scripture. 80
  • 17 Questions more accidentall concerning the holy [Page] Scripture, and first of the bookes wherein the same is contained. 82
  • 18 Of the authenticall edition of the Bible. 90
  • 19 Of the Greeke edition of the new Testament. 97
  • 20 Of the translations of the old Testament. 102
  • 21 Of the Syriacke translation of the new Testament. 108
  • 22 Of the Latin translations of both testaments. 110
  • 23 Of the translation of the Bible into the mother tongue. 113
  • 24 Of sinne in generall. 127
  • 25 Of originall sinne. 133
  • 26 Of concupiscence. 144
  • 27 Of actuall sinne. 146
  • 28 The controuersie concerning the sinne against the holy Ghost. 153
  • 29 Of iustifying faith. 158
  • 30 Of the improper significations of faith. 167
  • 31 The opinion of the aduersaries concerning faith 176
  • 32 Of hope. 191
  • 33 Of Charitie or Loue. 198
  • 34 Of Repentance. 202
  • 35 How farre a wicked man may proceede in repen­tance. 210
  • 36 What the iudgement of Papists is of repentance. 213
  • 37 Of mans free-will. 216
  • 38 Concerning the free grace of God. 226
  • 39 Of the meanes whereby God from the beginning hath reuealed both his couenants vnto mankinde. 238

A TREATISE OF OVR EF­fectuall Calling, and of certaine common places of Theologie contained vnder it.

CHAP. 1. Of our effectuall Calling.

GOds effectual calling is that, wher­by God calleth out of darknesse in­to 1. God cals by his word preached. his admirable light, from the power of satan vnto God, in Christ Iesu, those whom hee knew from eternitie, and predestinated vnto life, of his meere fauor, by the pro­mulgation of the couenant of grace, or preaching of the Gospell.

Such also as be called by the same grace of God, an­swer, 2. Man answers by beleeuing. and beleeue in him through Iesus Christ. This an­swer is of faith, which is, in verie truth, the condition of the promise which is in the couenant of grace. Where­fore our effectuall calling doth consist of the promise of the couenant (which is vnder condition of faith) and in faith also, which is nothing els but the fulfilling of the condition.

Therefore there be two parts of our effectual calling, the first is the outward calling of such as are predestinate Two parts of our effectual calling. vnto life, from darknesse vnto light, and that of Gods meere grace; and that, I say, by the publication of the co­uenant [Page 2] of grace or preaching of the Gospell. The latter part is their inward faith wrought in them by the same grace and Spirit of God, whereby they are conuerted from Sathan vnto God: for I cannot see how this second part of our effectual calling, can differ from faith it selfe.

In the first part of our effectual calling, first we are to consider the persons, calling & called. The person which calleth vs, properly to speake, is God himselfe: for he on­ly promiseth in his couenant, calling those things which bee not as though they were, Roman. 4. ver. 17. The persons called, are they whom God knew before, and hath pre­destinated vnto life; for whom he hath predestinated, them he hath called, Rom. 8. Secondly, in the first part of our effe­ctuall calling, the cause which moued God hereunto, is his owne speciall grace: for the cause of all Gods bles­sings vpon vs is in himselfe. For as hee did predestinate vs in himselfe, according to the good pleasure of his owne will, Ephe. 1. 5. so hath hee called and iustified vs in himselfe, and shall glorifie vs in himselfe, to the praise of the glorie of his grace; that all glorie may be wholy ascribed vnto him. Thirdly, we be to obserue the instru­ment of our vocation, which is the couenant published, Instrument of our vocation. or the Gospell preached. Fourthly, in this former part of our effectuall calling, we bee to consider the estate from which; and the estate whereunto we be called. The con­dition from which we be called, is darknesse, the power of Sathan, and that miserable plight, which is without Christ in sin and death.

The state whereunto we be called, is light, God him­selfe, and that blessed condition of man in Christ. Hence it is euident that these common places of Diuinitie, Of Gods word, and of sinne, and the miserie of mankind, must bee referred to this argument of our effectuall calling, as to a most generall head in religion.

In the second part of our effectuall calling, these branches must be noted. First, that the cause wherefore [Page 3] we answer Gods calling, or beleeue in God, is Gods own grace, which worketh in vs this faith by the holy Ghost, which is giuen vs with his word: For like as God of his meere grace calleth vs outwardly vnto himselfe; so the same his grace and free loue in Iesus Christ kindleth this faith in vs, whereby we answer his heauenly calling.

And in this 2. part of our calling (which we say doth 2. Part of our calling faith. consist in faith) if we desire yet more deeply to search it, there is a double grace or working of God in our hearts▪ The 1. is whē he inlightneth vs by his holy spirit, pouring a new & a heauenly light into our mind before so blind, as that it neither saw, nor could see the things which doe belong to the Spirit of God. 1. Cor. 2. 14. 15. The natu­rall man perceiueth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishnesse vnto him, neither can he know them. In the wil which is altogether froward and quite fallen from God, he worketh an vprightnesse, and in all the affections a new holinesse. Hence proceedes the new creature, and that new man which is created after God in righteousnesse and true holinesse Ephe. 4. 24.

The Papists call this first grace in the faith, and work of the holy Ghost, not the creation of any new creature, which was not before, but the stirring vp of some good­nesse and sanctitie, which (as they say) was left in nature, Free-will. after the first fall of man, which they call also free-will, which (they say) was not quite lost in the fall, but lessened and weakened. But this free-will whereof they speake, is in verie truth nothing els, but that holinesse of nature and life of God, and the spirituall light of man in his first crea­tion and innocencie. But of this more in place conueni­ent. This they say then, that after the fall, man retai­ned not only the faculties of his soule, but also the holy qualities of those powers, only hurt and weakened. And this is that free-will, which they say is quickned by Gods preuenting grace, which they define to be an externall motion, standing as it were without, and beating at the [Page 4] doore of the heart.

In this first grace of God, which we call a new crea­tion of diuine qualities in the soule, man standeth meere passiuely before God, and as the materiall cause of Gods worke. For in this first renewing of the soule of man, what diuine vertues hath man to work with Gods Spirit, or to helpe the worke of grace? Yet we say not that man in this new birth is no more then a trunke or dead tree: for that there is in man (that so I may speake) a passiue pow­er to receiue that diuine grace, and life of God; as also the vse of reason, which dead trees haue not. The aduersaries say, that in quickening of free-will, there is a libertie or strength in it to reiect, or to receiue, that grace which they call preuenting grace. Therefore they giue a fellow­working vnto grace, and a fellow-working vnto freewil.

The second grace, or the second worke of Gods spi­rit The action of faith. in the second part of our effectuall calling, or in faith, is the verie act of faith, or an action proceeding from this new creature, the action of the mind enlightned in kno­wing God in Christ; of the will sanctified, in imbracing and apprehending God in Christ. And here the princi­pall agent is that verie Spirit of Christ, who after the first grace and creation abideth and dwelleth in vs, not idle, but euer working some good in vs, and by vs. The second agent working with Gods holy Spirit, is the very soule of man, or rather the new man, or the new creature in the soule and all the faculties thereof. By this the holy Ghost (that so I may speake) knoweth God; or otherwise to speake the same; to know God, the holy Ghost vseth the new creature in man: and by this the holy Ghost doth embrace and apprehend God in Christ. Thus speakes the Apostle, Rom. 8. The holy Ghost (saith hee) maketh in­tercession for vs with sighes which cannot be expressed. Obserue here how he ascribeth this action of sending forth sighes vnto the Spirit, as to the principall agent.

In this second grace, which is the action or worke [Page 5] of faith, we stand not as meere passiuely, but being mo­ued by the holy Ghost we worke our selues, as being stir­red vp to beleeue, we beleeue; and in a word, we worke [...]. with Gods Spirit working in vs.

The Aduersaries say, this second grace in faith is an action of free-will, when as we by our own free-will dis­pose and prepare our selues to a iustifying grace, in be­leeuing, in hoping, in repenting. In this action they say, not the holy Ghost is the principall agent, or any motion (to vse their owne word) of the Spirit; but free-will it selfe, which (as they say) goes before, whē as that motion of God working together with their free-will, must fol­low after. They speake not a word here of Gods Spirit, either in the first or second grace, who works effectually in both, as is aforesaid: but in steede of the holy Ghost they talk of, I know not what motion standing without and knocking at the doore. They say, this motion stirres vp free-will; they say it worketh with free-will when it worketh, and prepareth vs vnto the grace of iustice or iustification. This their doctrine is strange; it sauoureth not the holie Scripture of God, nor the phrase of Scrip­ture. Thus farre of Gods grace in faith, or of the second part of our calling, and of the two speciall branches of it.

Next, in it we are to consider of the points or con­ditions before noted, which are the verie same with those in our calling afore-going. To this second part of our effectuall calling, referre the doctrine of faith, which in verie truth is the same with it. Hope, loue, and repen­tance follow faith; and Free-will is a common place in diuinitie subalterne, or to bee referred vnto that of Repen­tance.

CHAP. II. Of the word of God, or of the couenant in generall, and of the couenant of workes in speciall.

THE common place in religion which is con­cerning The common places of religion how they follow in order. Gods word or couenant, is to be re­ferred vnto this of our effectuall calling, as to a most generall heade: next follow these points, of sinne, and of the miserie of mankind: thirdly, that of faith; then follow hope, loue, and repentance.

Now therefore we are to speake of the word, or of the couenant of God; hauing first set down this ground, that all the worde of God appertaines to some couenant: for God speaks nothing to man without the couenant: for which cause al the scripture both old and new, wherein al Gods word is contained, beares the name of Gods coue­nant or testament.

The couenant of God generally is a promise, vnder Couenant defi­ned. some one certaine condition. And it is twofold: the first is the couenant of works; the second is the couenant of grace. Paul Galath. 4. vers. 24. expresselie sets downe two couenants, which in the olde Testament were shado­wed by two women, as by types, to wit, Hagar the hand­maide, and Sarah the freewoman: for saith he, these be those two couenants. Let vs then speake something of these two couenants, and first of the couenant of works. The co­uenant of workes, which may also be called a legall or Couenant of works, the first ground of it. natural couenant, is founded in nature, which by creation [Page 7] was pure and holy, and in the law of God, which in the first creation was ingrauen in mans hart. For after that God had created man after his owne image pure and holy, and had written his law in his minde, he made a co­uenant with man, wherein he promised him eternall life, vnder the condition of holy and good workes, which should be answerable to the holinesse and goodnesse of their creation, and conformable to his law. And that na­ture thus beautified with holinesse and righteousnes, and the light of Gods law, is the foundation of the couenant of works, it is very euident: for that it could not well stand with the iustice of God, to make a couenant vnder condition of good works & perfect obedience to his law, except he had first created man pure and holie, and had ingrauen his lawe in his hart, whence those good works might proceed. For this cause, when he was to repeat that couenant of workes to the people of Israel, he first gaue the law written in tables of stone: then he made a coue­nant with his people, saying; Doe these things, and ye shall liue. Therefore the ground of the couenant of works was Note. not Christ, nor the grace of God in Christ; but the nature of man in the first creation holy and perfect, endued also with the knowledge of the law. For as touching the co­uenant of workes, there was no mediator in the begin­ning betweene God and man, that God should in him, as in and by a mediator, make his couenant with man. And the cause that there was no need of a mediator was this: that albeit there were two parties entring into a couenāt, yet there was no such breach or variance betwixt them that they had neede of any mediator to make reconcilia­tion betweene them: for as for the couenant of works, God made this couenant with man, as one friend doth Note. with another. For in the creation we were Gods friends, and not his enemies. Thus far of the grounde of the co­nant of works.

The thing promised in the couenant of works, is life e­ternall [Page 8] first, not righteousnes: for that man, in his creati­on, was euen then iust and perfect, by that original iustice, as they call it: vnlesse you will say that the righteousnes of works was promised in that couenant, for which righ­teousnes sake, after that man had wrought it, God would pronounce and declare him to be iust. For we are to vnderstand, that in this couenant there is a double righte­ousnes: the first is that originall iustice, which is nothing else but the integritie of nature in that first state of man. This iustice out of all doubt is not promised in the coue­nant of works, for it is the ground of it. The second iustice is that which was to follow the good workes of nature in that integritie, & might be called the iustice of works: for after that man had liued godly and iustly according to Gods law in that integritie, then he might be said to be iust againe, and to be declared of God to be iust by his good workes well pleasing vnto God, and so eternall life might be saide to be giuen vnto him, as iustified by his works. For Paul to the Rom. teacheth, that there may be some imputation of righteousnesse by good works, if so be that works be perfectlie good: Hence come these manner of speeches; Abraham was not iustified by his works: by workes no flesh shall be iustified. Thus far of the promise Rom. 4. 2 of the couenant of workes, or of the things promised in the couenant of works.

Now to come vnto the condition: the condition of ye co­uenant of works, is the condition of good works; of good works, I say, not which proceed from Christ, or from his The condition of the couenant of works. grace, but frō nature only in the integrity thereof, & being informed with the knowledge of the law, and perfectlie good, as it was in the first creation; proceeding, I say, from that ground of the couenant of workes. Therefore works meere naturallie good, onlie are required as the condition of the couenant of works. So then by this condition, doe you exclude hence faith in Christ? I doe so. And do ye except here from the condition of the couenant of [Page 9] works, all the works of grace and regeneration? I doe except these also. But the couenant of works is often propounded in the Gospell, to such as be in grace and in Christ Iesu? for how often is the reward of eternall life promised to such as do well? wherefore it may seeme that the works of regeneration appertaine also to the co­uenant of works, for that such works be required of them which be vnder grace? I answer, the antecedent is false: for if at any time we heare or reade in the Gospell of grace, that good works be required of them which be in Christ and iustified by him, to that end that they may ob­taine eternall life, we may not thinke that God speakes Note. vnto them after the forme of the couenant of works: for in the Gospel, good works are required of them which be in Christ, not such as proceede from their owne nature, or such as they can yeelde of their owne strength, but onely such as proceede from the grace of regeneration. For we neuer finde in the new Testament, that they which are in Christ, be commanded to do the workes aforesaide of the couenant of works, which bee naturallie good; or that the couenant of works is set before thē, that by it, & the works therof acted by the strēgth of nature, they may receiue eternall life. For thou shalt neuer finde it saide to them which are in Christ: Do this of your own strēgth, that so ye may liue: which is the very sum of ye couenant of works.

As for that place Math. 19. 17. where Christ said to a certaine young man, which called vpon him, saying: Maister, what good shal I do that I may haue eternall life? The Lord answered, and saide. If thou wilt enter into life, keepe the commandements: I graunt that heere hee vnderstan­deth the couenant of works, and that the Lord propoun­deth to the young man the forme of the conenant of works. But obserue that the Lord so answereth to one that sought his life and saluation by the law, and which did before cleaue vnto the couenant of works, and tru­sted to works as meritorious. For so the couenāt of works [Page 10] and the rule of the law of works must be set before euery one which is without Christ, seeking righteousnesse by the law and the works of the law, to this end, if it may be, that by the sense of sin & the feeling of his owne misery, he may be prepared to embrace the couenant of grace in Christ. For to returne vnto his words: that young man saide to the Lorde, What good shall I doe? Therefore he sought saluation by workes, and not by faith in Christ. So then the Lord answered fitly to his question, Doe this, and thou shalt liue: Which manner of speaking is neuer wonted to be propounded in the Gospell to them which haue once imbraced and professed Christ. For those good works of nature be neuer required of them, according to the forme of the couenant of works, neither be the promises made vnto them vnder condition of any such workes.

I confesse good workes be required of them which be in Christ, and iustified by him: but all such works be­long to grace and regeneration; to grace, I say, only; and they be not the works of free will nor of nature. Know this thē, that to such as be in Christ, the couenant of works to thē is abolished, & of none effect so far forth as by it iu­stificatiō & saluation is obtained. I graunt, the law abideth which is the rule of those works, which properlie & speci­ally How far the law is abolished. did first appertaine to the couenāt of works: but now it hath another speciall vse; for it serueth for our direction in the workes of grace and sanctification. So then the law hath ceased, as it was the rule of the works of nature required in the couenant of works: but it is still in vse to them which are in Christ, as it is the rule of the works of grace. For the same iustice of God is vnchangeable: and the law of God is the very image of diuine iustice: where­fore the law of God must abide for euer, albeit it haue not euer the same vse, nor be not alwaies the rule of the same works. But of this we shal speak more at large here­after. It is a question heere, whether in the first creati­on, [Page 11] good works in the couenant of works, were required of man, as meritorious for the promised life? I answer, not so: But they were due in the creation, as pledges of thankefulnesse in man to his creatour, for that excellent worke of his creation, and to glorifie God his creator. But it may be obiected, that Paul to the Rom. disputing against the works of nature (for in that epistle he dispu­ting principally against this kind of works) he reasoneth against thē, as seeming meritorious, & not as duties & te­stimonies of mans thankfulnes vnto God: wherfore it may seeme they were commanded vnto man in his creation as meritorious. I answer, true it is, Paul disputes there of thē as of merites, not for that this was his iudgement of them, but because the Iewes had that conceite of them, which were so farre blinded, that they thought the good works of nature were not only good and iust, but also might merit iustification and life. But of this blindnesse of the Iewes, we shal speake more at large herafter. Thus farre of the condition of the couenant of works, and of this kinde of couenant accordingly, and as we purposed in this present treatise.

CHAP. III. Of the couenant of grace.

IN the free couenant of grace, or of the Gospel, the first grounde is our mediator Iesus Christ, 1. Ground of the couenāt of grace. crucified also, and dead: or (which is the same in effect) the bloud of the mediator, the vertue whereof is twofold. The first serues to satisfie the iustice and wrath [Page 12] of God for our sinnes, for the breach of that couenant of works. The second is, to purchase and merit a new grace & mercie of God for vs. And this grace or mercie of God 2. Grounde. obtained by the bloud of the mediator, is ye second ground of the couenant of grace, wherby we stand reconciled vn­to God, and in grace with him. Wherefore the first imme­diat grounde of the couenant of grace, is Gods free sa­uour or mercie (whereby mans miserie is presupposed) and not nature, or any good thing in it: For that all our naturall goodnes, after the breach of that couenant of works, is quite vanished: that is to say, nature as touching holines, iustice and wisdome is vtterlie lost. For we are not to approue their iudgment which say, that the freedome of will, that is, the goodnes and holines of nature, is much worne and weakened (as they speake) in this corrupt nature.

And thus far of the ground of the couenant of grace. Vpon this ground I say, first of the bloud of Christ; next of God free mercie in Christ, the couenant of grace (vsually so called) is founded.

The first and principall grace promised in this couenant, is righteousnes; which must necessarily heere haue the first place, for after the breach of the couenant of works, that one first originall iustice (as they call it) was quite lost; and vniustice did succeede into the place thereof. And this iustice which is here promised in the couenant of grace, is no inherent righteousnesse, as that originall iustice was: but it is the righteousnesse of our mediator Iesus Christ, which is ours by faith, and by the imputation of God; for which cause the Apostle cals it the righteous­nes of God: for without this imputatiue iustice we can not Rom. 3. 20. possiblie stand before the tribunall of God; and by the imputation of this righteousnesse are we said to be iusti­fied before God. Next after this kinde of righteousnes which is by imputation, there is another kind of inherent iustice promised in the couenant of grace, euen such a [Page 13] sanctitie and goodnes of nature as was lost in the fall of man, and this is but begunne in this life, but perfected in another. And this inherent iustice is nothing else but life eternal in vs, begunne, I say, in earth; and perfected in hea­uen: And this heauenly and spirituall life doth proceede from that righteousnes of Christ which is imputed vnto vs by faith: For that righteousnes of Christ is effectuall in vs vnto eternall life by the spirit of Christ, who sanctifi­eth and quickneth vs. And thus far of the promise, which is in the couenant of grace.

Now it followeth that wee see what the condi­tion is of this couenant. The verie name of the co­uenant of grace, might seeme to require no condi­tion; for it is called a free couenant, because God free­ly, The condition of the couenant of grace. and, as it might seeme, without all condition, doth pro­mise herein both righteousnes and life: for he which pro­miseth to giue any thing freely, he bindeth not to any condition. But we are to vnderstand, that grace, here, or the particle freely, doth not exclude all condition, but that only which is in the couenant of workes, which is the condition of the strength of nature, and of works na­turally iust and good, as we may call them, which can in no wise stand with Gods free grace in Christ Iesu. For neither that freedome of will, which doth import some purity & holines in nature, nor the works of free-will as they call them, can agree with the grace of God in Christ Iesus. What is the condition then, which this word grace or freely, will admit in this couenant of grace? I answer, as­suredly none other thē that which may stand with Christ, and with Gods free grace: and that is faith only, which is also by grace (for it is Gods free gift, Phil. 1. 29. It is giuē vnto you, not onely to beleeue in him, but also to suffer for his sake) hauing Christ first the obiect thereof; and next, Gods free mercie in Christ: for faith embraceth Gods mercie in Christ, and makes Christ effectuall in vs vnto righteousnesse and life. For this cause Paul, Rom. 4. 16. [Page 14] saith, our inheritance is by faith, that it might come by grace. Ephe. 2. 8. Ye are saued by grace, by faith, and that not of your selues: that is, as he after expoundeth it, not of works: so he concludeth, that saluation, because it is of Gods free grace by faith, is the free gift of God. Wherefore we see faith stands best with the grace & mercie of God; as with­out Rom. 6. 23. which, Christ, and Gods mercie in him, cannot bee effectuall vnto righteousnesse and life. For if we receiue not Christ by faith, and Gods mercy in Christ; Christ and the mercie of God can profit vs nothing vnto iustification and life. Howbeit we be heere to remember, that where­as God offereth righteousnesse and life vnder condition of faith; yet doth he not so respect faith in vs (which is al­so his owne gift) as he doth the obiect of faith, which is Christ, and his owne free mercy in Christ, which must be apprehended by faith: for it is not so much our faith ap­prehending, as Christ himselfe, and Gods mercy appre­hended in him, that is the cause wherefore God perfor­meth the promise of his couenant vnto vs, to our iustifi­cation and saluation. Wherefore the condition of the couenant of grace is not faith onely, nor the obiect of faith only, which is Christ; but faith with Christ, that is, The condition of the couenant of grace. the faith that shall apprehend Christ; or Christ with faith, that is, Christ which is to bee apprehended by faith. Note then briefly this, howe these three are one in sub­stance, the ground of the couenant of grace; the condi­tion of it; and the cause wherefore God performeth the condition: yet in reason they differ something. For Iesus Christ is the ground, being absolutely considered, with­out any respect of application vnto vs. But Christ is the condition of the couenant, as he is to be applied vnto vs, and must be embraced by faith: for euerie condition is of a future thing to be done: And the cause also of the per­formance of the couenant, is Iesus Christ alreadie embra­ced, and applied vnto vs by faith, Wheras Paul then saith, that we are iustified by faith, his meaning is, that wee are [Page 15] iustified by Christ applied vnto vs by faith alreadie in our effectuall calling; which by order of nature goeth euer before the benefite of iustification.

It may be heere demaunded, whether the works of grace and regeneration (as they are called) haue not some place in the condition of the couenant of grace: for all the good works of nature are hence excluded. I an­swer, that the very works of regeneration are not contai­ned in the condition of the couenant of grace. First, for that the couenant of grace is made with the vniust and vnregenerate: now how can their works be iust & good? Next, in the couenant of grace both regeneration it selfe, and all the holy fruits thereof are promised: for in it all the benefits of Christ be promised the beleeuers: Now then, the promise of the couenant must necessarily differ from the condition of the couenant. But this you will Obiection. say: It is euident, & that in many places of the new Testa­ment, that life eternall, or, as they say, the reward of eter­nall life is often promised vnder the condition of good works, that is, the works of regeneration, as 1. Timoth. 4. Godlinesse is profitable vnto all things, hauing the promises both of this life, and of the life to come. Luke 14. It shall be re­paid thee in the day of the resurrection of the iust. Matth. 5. Your reward is great in heauen. Matt. 19. He shall not lose his reward. Gal. 6. Let vs not be wearie in weldoing, for in due sea­son we shall reape, if we faint not. Ephe. 6. Knowing this, that what good soeuer euerie man doth, that he shall receiue of the Lord. Heb. 6. The Lord is not vniust to forget your worke, and the loue which ye ministred vnto the saints. 2. Thess. 1. 6. Notwithstanding it is a righteous thing with God to render af­fliction in like manner to them which afflict you, and vnto you which are afflicted rest with vs. To these I answer: In my Answer. Three kinds of promises in the Gospell. iudgment there are three distinct kinds of promises in the Gospell. The first, is the promise of the couenant of works, wherein eternall life is promised vnder condi­tion of works done by the strength of nature. These­cond, [Page 16] is the promise of the couenant of grace, which is propounded vnder condition of faith. The third kind of promises, are those particular and special promises, which are to be referred to the couenant of grace, found euery where in the Gospell, and made vnder condition of the works of grace and regeneration.

These three kinds of promises differ first in conditiō; next, in propriety; thirdly, in subiect; fourthly, in end and vse. First thē, they differ in condition: for ye promise in the First difference. couenant of works, is vnder condition of ye works of na­ture, & the strength therof: In the couenant of grace, the promise is vnder condition of faith in Christ: In the pro­mises which I cal particular or special promises, there is a cōdition of works indeed, but of the works of grace and regeneration, and not of the works of nature, or any na­turall facultie. Secondly, these promises differ in pro­prietie: for the promise in the couenant of workes is Second differēce. meerely legall, and requires the condition of works done only by the strength of nature, commanded in the lawe, and to be done according to the strict rule of Gods law: and the works of nature, or wrought by natural strength, are properly called the works of the law, Rom. 9. 32. And the promise in the couenant of grace is not legall, but meerely Euangelicall, for the condition here is not of any worke morall and naturall, but of faith in Christ, and of Christ himselfe to bee apprehended by faith. Lastly, those particular promises, they are partly Euangelicall, partly legall: for the condition is of workes which pro­ceed from grace and regeneration, and therefore of such works as in regard of their originall, may truly be cal­led Euangelicall works: but because the law morall is the rule of them, in this respect they may also be called legall works. Thirdly, these promises differ in subiect, be­cause Third differēce. the promise in the couenant of works, is propoun­ded to them, which now after the breach of that first co­uenant of works, lie dead in sins & offences, hauing notwith­standing Ephe. 2. 1. [Page 17] for the time no sense of sin nor death. The pro­mise in the couenant of grace is giuen to them, which are also dead in sinnes and transgressions, but hauing some feeling of sinne, of death, and of their owne miserie wrought in them, by the law and legall couenant: and as for those particular promises, they are proposed to them which are alreadie iustified & renewed by faith in Christ. Lastly, these promises differ in vse and end; for the end of the couenant of works is, that wretched sinners, which 4. difference. are void of sense of their sin and miserie, may be awake­ned to feele and acknowledge their owne sinne and mi­serie, that is (as the Apostle speaketh Rom. 7. 9. 10.) that sinne may reuiue in them, and that they may die, that is, they may feele that they be dead in sinnes and offences. Of this vse of the law, see Rom. 3. 19. 20. 11. 32. Gal. 3. 22. and 5. 23. This is the vse then of the couenant of works, to worke in vs the sense of sinne and miserie, and to prepare men to receiue grace. Therefore the doctrine of the Gospell begins with the legall doctrine of works, and of the lawe morall: for the Gospell should preach and promise in vaine righteousnesse and life to the be­leeuers, if they were not first prepared by feeling their owne corruption, and miserable condition to heare and receiue grace by the Gospell. For this cause Christ him­selfe first, Matth. 5. 17. and after; freeth and restoreth the law as pure from the leuen of the Pharisees, expounding [...]. the perfection and exact seuerity thereof, for this very cause, that men by this light of the couenant of works & law morall, might acknowledge how miserable they be by nature, and so might hereby bee prepared to embrace the couenant of Grace. So did Christ prepare that rich young man (which came vnto him to be schooled, as hee made shew) to entertaine the couenant of grace: Wilt thou (saith he) enter into life? Keepe the commandements. Paul begins his doctrine in the Epistle to the Romans from the law and couenant of works, and spends neere [Page 18] his three first chapters of his Epistle in this doctrine, to this end, that he might conclude all vnder sinne and con­demnation, and so might prepare men to the doctrine of grace, which begins Rom. 3. 21. So Gal. 4. 21. he tea­cheth the Galathians that would be vnder the law (as he speaketh) their miserable seruitude, which be in that con­dition; and how at the last they are cast out of Gods king­dom: for this verie cause, that the Galathians renouncing all confidence in that righteousnesse, which is by the law & couenant of works, might lay hold on that righteous­nesse which is by faith and grace. This might appeare by manie arguments, which now I willingly passe ouer. The end and vse of the promise in the couenant of grace is, that men cast downe and humbled in the sight of their owne sinne and miserie by the legall couenant, might be raised vp and comforted by hearing and receiuing that righteousnesse and life, which is freely promised and of­fered to the beleeuers in the Gospell. Of this vse reade Rom. 5. 1. Therefore being iustified by faith, we haue peace with God. This is the proper end of the Euangelical do­ctrine: therefore the second and principall part of the Gospell doth consist in the doctrine of the couenant of grace, which is properly and principally to beare this ti­tle of an Euangelicall doctrine; teaching vs what Christ our mediator is; what his humiliation first, next his glo­rification; and then what benefits, life, and righteousnes we get by him: and these be the speciall branches of the Gospell, and of that ioyfull message of our saluation. Last of al, the vse of those particular promises is, that Gods E­lect, iustified, renewed, comforted, and quieted in their consciences, may testifie their thankfulnesse by their ho­ly obedience and good works. The Apostle noteth this end, Tit. 2. 11. 12. 13. 14. For that grace of God which brin­geth saluation vnto all men hath shined: teaching vs, that re­nouncing vngodlinesse and worldly lusts, we liue soberly, iustly, and godly in this present world. And for that this is the end [Page 19] of these promises, they haue also their place in the third part of the doctrine of the Gospell, which concernes the life and Christian conuersation of the Saints: for which cause ye haue these promises often in the Gospell, anne­xed to exhortations, admonitions, and instructions con­cerning manners, as Gal. 6. after that (vers. 6.) he had gi­uen in charge, that he which is catechised in the word, should minister vnto him which teacheth him, of all his goods: hee forthwith addeth, vers. 7. and 8. a promise and a threat­ning. Againe, vers. 9. hauing warned them not to waxe wearie in weldoing, he addeth this promise, We shall reape in due time, if we faint not. So, Ephe. 6. after that his charge giuen to seruants to serue their maisters in al vprightnes, ver. 5. 6. 7. he addeth a promise v. 8. Whatsoeuer good thing euery man doth, that shall he receiue of the Lord. The like te­stimonies are euery where, in which ye may find admoni­tions, exhortations and instructions confirmed with pro­mises and threatnings. Of this kind then are al those pro­mises before mentioned, which must be carefully discer­ned, first, from the couenant of works; next, from the couenant of grace, wheresoeuer we find them in reading the new Testament.

And finally, concerning the aforesaid promises wee are to obserue, first, that the condition of the works of re­generation and grace is required of beleeuers, not as me­rits, but as duties only, and testimonies of their thankful­nes to God their redeemer: like as the conditiō in the co­uenant of works is not of merits, but of duties onely, and of testimonies of their thankfulnes to God their creator. I grant that the works of regeneration are necessarie vn­to eternall life promised in the Gospell, but not as me­rits, or meritorious causes: but as the means and way, wherein we are to proceed on frō iustification and rege­neration vnto glorie and life eternall. They may also be said to bee causes, after a sort: for they please God in Christ, and in some respects moue him, but not as merits, [Page 20] but as effects of the only merit of Iesus Christ, whereof they testifie. But of this wee shall speake in place more conuenient. Secōdly, note in this third kind of promises, that the condition therein is of the works of regenerati­on, which are also most perfect in their kind: for the great iustice of God cannot beare the least defect. The rule also of all works is the iustice of God, whereof ye haue a cer­taine expresse image in the morall lawe. Wherefore the condition here is of works most absolute, but not in thē ­selues, but in Christ, and in the perfection of his satisfa­ction and merit. If ye obiect: Doth not the lawe require that perfection of works, which is in works themselues? I answer, it doth so; of them which are vnder the couenant of works, vnder the law, and without Christ: but as for such as be in the couenant of grace and in Christ, it doth not require a perfection in the works of regeneration, but is content with the good beginnings which the be­leeuers haue, the perfection of whose obedience is sup­plied, and to be found in Christ Iesus. For like as hee iu­stified vs of his meere grace in Christ, and by his merit, being his enemies: so now much more will he accept vs, Note. Rom. 5. 9. 10. 11. 12. being iustified and regenerate; I say, much more will he accept vs, being his friends, and our obedience in Christ euen for his merit sake. For so the Apostle concludeth, Rom. 5. 9. Being iustified therefore by his bloud, we shall now much more be preserued from wrath by him. And thus farre of these three kinds of promises which are distinctly set downe in the New Testament.

And here this might also be demāded, whether these 3. kinds of promises be not as distinctly to be found in the old Testament? I answer, they may so be found; yet not without some difference: for that the old Testament did serue specially to prepare men to receiue Christ, which in his appointed time was to come. For the law was a schoole­maister vnto Christ, Gal. 3. Therefore the greatest part of the old Testament is spent in propounding, repeating, [Page 21] expounding the couenant of workes. And because Christ was not as yet manifested in the flesh; therefore the doctrine of the couenant of grace, is more sparinglie and darkelie set forth in it. Finallie, as touching the faithfull in the old Testament which embraced Christ the me­diator of the couenant of grace, howsoeuer then but shadowed before their eies in types and figures; to them, I say, being iustified in him which was to come, & rege­nerat by his grace, the promises of eternal life were made vnder condition of the works of regeneration: as this promise made to Abraham Gen. 17. 1. Walke thou before Rom 4▪ me and be thou vpright, & I wil make my couenant with thee. This promise was made to Abraham being before iustifi­ed by faith and renewed by grace. The like promises are often in the old Testament annexed to moral precepts, as in the books of the Prouerbs and Ecclesiastes. And thus farre of the couenant of grace, the ground thereof, the promise thereof, and the condition thereof.

Now it remaineth that we answere a question or two concerning this couenant: The first, whether the coue­nant of works be abolished, and of none effect to such as 1. vse of the co­uenant of workes or of the Morall lawe. be vnder the couenant of grace? I answer, the couenant of works hath two endes and vses. The first and proper end & vse of the couenant of works is, that men by it may be iustified and saued, or otherwise, condemned. The co­uenant of works had this vse in Adam before his fall, that Adam by it might be iustified and liue: After the fall, it hath the same vse in the vnregenerate, elect and repro­bate, to wit, to iustifie and saue them, or to condemne them. And for as much as it can not iustifie them because of their corruption, Rom. 8. 3. it followeth that it must necessarilie condemne them: And the verie vnbeleeuing and vnregenerat doe otherwhiles feele this condemnati­on in themselues. Of this vse, read Rom. 3. 19. where he sayth, that by the law Euery mouth is stopped, and made obnoxious to the condemnation of God. And of the experi­ence [Page 22] of this condemnation reade Rom. 7. 10. I, saith he, when the commandement came, was dead, that is, condem­ned in my conscience; so that I felt in my selfe present condemnation and death. And albeit this first vse of the couenant of works be cōmon to al vnregenerat, elect and reprobate; yet this wants not some difference: for in the elect the acknowledgmēt of sin and condemnation which they haue by the couenant of works, is vnto them a pre­paratiue to imbrace the couenant of grace: but in the reprobate it is the way to extream desperation. Thus far of the first vse.

The second end of the couenant of works is this: It 2. End of the couenant of works. serues to driue on and to stir vp al beleeuers to march on forwardes in all faith and godlinesse. This vse it hath I say in the regenerat, who in the legall couenant, or mo­rall law doe desire principallie to behold as in a glasse euermore first the holinesse, maiestie and iustice of God. 1. The vse of the morall law to the beleeuers. Ro. 7. 12. Therefore the law is holy, and the commande­ment is holy, iust & good. Next they see here that which they call the originall holines and iustice of man, to wit, 2. the same which was in the creation, which is defined to consist, of iustice, holines, and wisdome. Thirdly, they behold here that life eternall, which was to follow that 3. first originall iustice. Fourthly, they see that corruption and vnrighteousnes which is now in nature after mans 4. fal, but this they see by consequent, as we say, one contra­ry is discerned and knowen by another: for while we consider first that infinit iustice of God; next our original iustice, which are properlie discerned by that glasse of Gods law and couenant of works, by the light and brightnes of these, I say, we may take a view of the grosse darknes, filthinesse, and deformitie of our corrupt nature. For this cause it is said Ro. 3. 20. By the law commeth the knowledg of fin. Fiftly, they see herein Gods wrath kindled against yt deformitie of nature, so contrarie both to Gods iustice & to mans original iustice: For this cause it is said, [Page 23] Rom. 1. The wrath of God is reuealed from heauen against all the vngodlines and vnrighteousnesse of men: and Rom. 4. The law causeth wrath. Sixtly and lastly, they behold how pre­sent death followeth that wrath of God: Ro. 1. 32. Which men though they knew the law of God, how that they which commit such things are worthie of death, yet not onelie doe the same, but also fauour them that doe them: & Chap. 7. 9 10. When the commandement came, I dyed.

The regenerate when they consider these things in the law and couenant of workes, they are forthwith terri­fied with that heauie spectacle 1. of their sinne; 2. of the wrath of God against sinne; 3. of eternall death which followeth Gods wrath: And then doe they more & more relinquish and renounce 1. that legall righteousnes requi­red in the couenant of workes; 2. that originall iu­stice and all opinion of free-will; 3. that life and safety which followeth that legal righteousnes of works. And hauing renounced all confidence in these thinges, with like in deuour they follow hard after Christ by con­uersion and faith, to this end, that they may finde in him, first that mercie of God in Christ, contrarie to that iustice of God: secondlie, they seeke for that imputatiue iustice (as they call it) so contrarie to their owne righteousnes, & to that originall iustice of the law or of works. Thirdly, they labour for that sanctification and regeneration, that so they may bring forth the fruites of the spirit. Fourthly, they waite for to attaine that life eternall, which is giuen vs of Gods free grace in and by that imputed righteous­nes of Christ.

If we were possest in this life of a perfect faith in Christ, A perfect faith we haue not. and so of perfect holines; then I graunt the beleeuers should not need this terrible glasse of the law and of the couenant of works. But because vnbeleefe still resteth in this our nature, and the reliques of that inherent con­tagion still abide in vs, and for that so long as wee liue here, neither our faith nor holinesse can be perfected: [Page 24] Therfore to weaken more & more our vnbelcefe and in­herent sinne in vs, and more and more to increase faith and holinesse, we haue euer need of this terrible glasse, as a continuall seuere Schoolemaister, which euer casting many feares before vs may driue vs to the faith of Christ, and to sanctimonie of life.

Now then seeing it is euident that there is a double vse of the couenant of workes, the answer to the question aforegoing is easie. For this we auouch, that, as touching the former vse, the couenant of works is abolished to them which are vnder grace. To this the Apostle poin­teth when he saith Ro. 6. 15. Yee are not vnder the law, but vnder grace. Gal. 4. that he might redeeme them which were vnder the law. Rom. 7. Being dead to the law we are now free from the law. 2. Cor. 3. 11. For if that which should be abolished was glorious. But as for this second vse it is not abolished. This distinction is commonlie receiued, that the law & legall couenant is abolished, as it is a condem­ning tyrant: and not to be abolished as it is a Schoole­maister to chasten vs, and with terrours to driue vs vnto Christ. For this second vse we haue an example in Paul after his regeneration. Ro. 7. 14. &c. For when he consi­ders in the glasse of Gods law the spiritualitie (that so I may speak) the holines and goodnes of the law first: next his owne carnalitie (to vse that worde) and rebellion, and lastly death it selfe: first he breaks forth into these wordes, Miserable man that I am, who shall deliuer me from the bodie of this death? Next he flieth to the mercie of God in Christ Iesu, saying, I giue God thanks in Christ Iesus. And 2. Cor. 5. 11. Paul sayth of himselfe, he was inforced and mooued forwardes to doe duties in his calling be­cause of the terrors of the Lord set downe and offered vn­to him in and by his law: Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we bring men to the faith. The same Apostle Ga­lath. 4. 21. when he saw that the Galathians which began to beleeue in Christ, notwithstanding not to cleaue vnto [Page 25] him only by faith, but to make a mixture of the law with Christ; he sets before them this glasse of Gods law, or of the couenant of works: wherein he layeth open first the miserable bondage of such as are vnder the law; next their finall reiection: to this end and purpose, that they might be mooued by this fearefull speculation to stick to Christ only, and to the couenant of grace.

Hereunto refer those cōminations which we find partly annexed to the couenant of grace in the secōd part of the Euangelicall doctrine: partly put to the particular promi­ses, instructions, exhortations in the 3. part of the doc­trine of the Gospell. For this is the duty of the moral law & of the couenant of works, to containe ye beleeuers with threatnings and terrors within the bounds of the grace of Christ, and of his Gospell. Io. 3. 18. we haue a commi­nation of the law or of the couenant of works, added to Note the office of the law to be­leeuers. the couenant of grace: He that beleeueth in him, is not condemned, this is the conenant of grace: He that beleeueth not, is condemned already: This commination doth pro­perlie appertaine to the law or couenant of works. Rom. 8. 13. He conioineth a threatning of the law or couenant of works with a particular promise, wherein life is promi­sed vnto sanctimonie. If ye liue according to the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye mortifie the deeds of the bodie by the spirit, ye shall liue. See Gal. 6. 8. And thus farre of the first question.

The second question is this: whether the morall law, which we call the decalogue, be abolished to them which The 2. ques. whe­ther the lawe be abolished to the regenerat. be vnder the couenant of grace? I answer by way of di­stinction: The morall law as it commandeth workes done by the strength of nature, and as it is the rule of all works of this kinde, to wit, of such works as be required in the couenant of works, that is, in respect of the first and pro­per vse thereof (for it concernes properlie the works of nature, which make the condition in the couenant of works) in this respect (I say) the morall law it selfe also is abolished to them which are in Christ, euen in like man­ner [Page 26] as the couenant of works is cancelled and of none ef­fect against them. For which cause Paul vseth these phra­ses, We be not vnder the law, we are dead to the law, we are freed from the law, to wit, either as touching iustification, or condēnation. And looke how farre the couenāt of works serueth for their vse which be in grace; so farre the law of workes is in vse for them: And what vse the beleeuers haue of the couenant of works, we haue alreadie shewed. Againe, looke how farre forth the same morall law serues to giue rules for the works of grace, and attendeth not on the couenant of works, but of grace, and of the Gos­pell; so farre it resteth in vse for the seruants of Christ. For there is but one rule and law of all good works whatsoe­uer, whether they proceede from nature or from grace: like as there is but one and the same iustice of God, euer like it selfe, whereof the law of God is a verie expresse image, or a liuelie representation. Thus then the lawe morall abideth for such as bee vnder the Gospell, yet in some respect (that is in vse) changed: for like as all things are become new in Christ Iesus; so also the law it selfe af­ter a sort is renued. And that the law serueth and is in vse for them which be vnder the couenant of grace, it is ve­ry cleere by many scriptures. This may appeare by those very testimonies which are before produced for the co­uenant of works, and other scriptures many, where the works of the law are commended. Rom. 13. Loue one a­nother; for he that loueth another hath fulfilled the law. Gal. 5. 13. 14. By loue serue one another, for all the law is fulfilled in one worde, which is this, Thou shalt loue thy Neighbour as thy selfe: See Iames 2. 8. &c. And thus farre as we purposed, haue we spoken of the couenant of grace.

CHAP. IIII. Of such as be comprehended in, or may truly be saide to be vnder, the couenant of God.

NOW it followeth that we speake briefelie of such as be vnder the couenant of God, or (if I may so speake) confederates with God. E­uery reasonable creature must of necessitie be liable to one of both couenants, either that of works, or this of grace. For the very Angels are vnder the couenant of works: but because the Scripture speaks so sparinglie of them, therefore we say this onelie in a worde, that they also be vnder the couenant of workes, Againe, man must bee vnder some one couenant. Adam in the state of his innocencie, was vnder the couenant of works: man after the fal, abideth vnder the couenant of works; & to this day life is promised him vnder condition of works done by strength of nature: But if he wil not do well, death and the euerlasting curse of God is denoun­ced against him, so long as he is without Christ, and without the Gospell. And being freed from the couenant of works, he is not become a libertine, or not subiect to Gods people in grace be not law-les libertines. any couenant, or as it were law-lesse, but forth with he is admitted to the couenant of grace, and thence forth li­ueth vnder it. Therefore concerning Angels and men, it is euident, that they are vnder some one couenant.

It is a doubt indeede concerning Christ, whether he were then vnder any couenant, when he dwelt among men, and did conuerse on earth? I answere, there be two natures in Christ, a diuine and humane: Christ as hee is [Page 28] God, and the Sonne of God, is not vnder the couenant of works or of grace: for that he is no creature, but the bles­sed Creator, to whom, to whose couenant and law euerie creature is and must be subiect. But as he is man, he is vn­der the couenant of works; and that in two respects. First, Christ vnder the couenat of works in what respect. in respect of himselfe, because he is a creature; because he is a seruant, and made man, and was in the loines of A­dam, when that couenant of works was first made with him. But wee be to speake sparingly of that state of the man Christ, which is in respect of Christ himself, whether that his humane nature as touching itselfe, were vnder the couenant of works? whether this nature did purchase for it selfe life eternall by obseruation of the couenant of works? Next, I say the Or christ the Mediator hath subiected him­selfe in his hu­manitie to the law for our sake.humane nature of Christ, is vnder the couenant of works in respect of vs; for being vnited to that diuine nature, it is become a mediatour for vs, to make intercession and peace betweene God offended, and man offending. For Christ our Mediatour, albeit he be God and man in that personal vnion, yet was he made subiect to the couenant of works, and to the course of the law for vs, properly in respect of his humane nature, that, as the Apostle speaketh, he might redeeme vs from the law, and the curse of the law. See Gal. 4. 4. and 5. After that the fulnesse of time was come, God sent his Sonne made of awoman, made subiect to the lawe, to redeeme them which vvere vnder the lawe. And Galath. 3. ver. 13. But Christ saith he, hath redeemed vs from the curse, while he was made a curse for vs. Christ therefore our mediator subiected him­selfe vnto the couenant of works, and vnto the lawe for our sake: and did both fulfill the condition of the coue­nant of works, in his holy and good life, euen in the highest degree of perfection, as being God and man (euen that most holy one of God) in one person: and al­so he did vndergoe that curse, which was denounced a­gainst man in that couenant of works, if that condition of good and holy works were not kept: for in the coue­nant [Page 29] of works ye haue together with the promise of life to him who doth well, a commination of euerlasting death to him who doth not well. For this cause Christ our mediator, both did wel according to the promise, & died also according to the curse denoūced. Wherefore we see Christ in two respect, to wit, in doing & suffring, subiect to the couenant of works, & to haue most perfectly fulfil­led it, & that for our sake, whose mediator he is become.

It may be demaunded, Had it not beene sufficient for our good, and to the end he might redeeme vs, if he had only liued well and holily, and not also so to haue suffe­red death for vs? I answer, it had not sufficed: for all his most holy & righteous works had not satisfied the iustice and wrath of God for our sins, nor merited the mercie of God, reconciliatiō, righteousnes & life eternal for vs: the reason is, for that the iustice of God did require, for our breach of Gods couenant, that we should be punished with death eternall, according to the condition de­nounced and annexed to the promise of that couenant. Therefore no good works of our owne, or of any Me­diator for vs, after the breach of that couenant of works, could haue satisfied the iustice of God, which of necessity after asort required the punishment and death of the of­fender, or certainly of some mediator in his steed. If then all the good & holy works of the Mediator could not sa­tisfie that wrath and iustice of God for sin, it is cleere they could not meritany new grace or mercy of God for vs.

But you will say, that the good and holy works of Christ our Mediatour haue wrought some part at least of that satisfaction, whereby Gods iustice was appeased for vs: and some part of that merit whereby Gods fauour was purchased for vs? I answer, these works did serue properly for no part of satisfaction or merit for vs: for that to speake properly, the death of Christ and his passi­on onely did satisfie Gods iustice, and merited his mer­cie for vs.

[Page 30] If anie will yet further demaund: May we not di­uide the satisfaction and merit of Christ, into his doings and suffrings, that we may speake on this manner, Christ by his death and passion hath satisfied Gods iustice, and by his good and holy works he hath merited Gods mer­cie for vs, that so satisfaction may bee ascribed to his death, and merit to his workes; that the righteous­nesse wherewith wee are iustified before God, may bee partly the satisfaction which Christ perfourmed by his death for vs, partly the merits which he obtained by his works for vs? I answer, to speake properly, the satisfacti­on and merit which is by the only passion of Christ, both He saith, we are iustified only by the passiue righ­teousnesse of Christ. was and is our righteousnesse, or the satisfactorie and me­ritorious death of Christ, or the satisfaction which was by Christs death, or the merit of his death, or the obedi­ence of Christ, as being obedient to his Father vnto the death, the death also of the Crosse; to bee short, that iu­stice of Christ, which he obtained when in his passion he satisfied his Fathers wrath, this is our righteousnesse. For we may say, that either the death of Christ, or his satisfa­ction, or his merit, or his obedience, or his righteousnesse is imputed vnto vs for righteousnesse. For all these are ta­ken for one and the same thing.

But here it may bee replied: If the works of Christ cannot properly procure for vs any satisfaction, nor me­rit, nor anie part of satisfaction or merit; then it may bee demaunded: What hath beene, and what is the vse of Christs works, or of his actiue obedience, or of the obe­dience of his life? I answer, that the holinesse of the per­son The actiue obe­dience of Christ, or the righteous­nes and holinesse of his person and life, how it is the ground of the sa­tisfactorie and meritorious pas­sion of Christ. of Christ, and of his natures diuine and humane, and of his works, is the verie ground or foundation of the satisfaction and merit which wee haue in the passi­on of Christ, that is, the excellencie and worthinesse of that person, and of his works did cause that his passion was both satisfactorie and meritorious: for if this person which suffered, had not beene so holy and excellent, as [Page 31] also his life so pure and godly, it is most certaine that his passion could neither haue satisfied Gods wrath, nor me­rited mercie for vs. For which cause the Apostle Heb. 7. 26. speaking of this ground of this meritorious passion of Christ, saith, that such an high Priest it became vs to haue (which is) holy, blamelesse, vndefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher then the heauens. And thus farre of Christ, and how hee may bee said to be vnder the couenant of works.

And that he was not vnder the couenant of grace, the matter is so cleare, that it needs no disputation. For the couenant of grace was made in him, and established in his bloud, and the promise in the couenant of grace is made to them, which were vniust and dead in sinne, be­cause of the breach of that couenant of works: and last­ly, Christ not vnder the couenant of grace. the condition in the couenant of grace is faith in Christ the mediator. Wherfore if ye respect either the ground, or condition, or promise of the free couenant, Christ can not be said to bee vnder it. And thus farre of both coue­nants, & of them which are vnder the couenant of God, either of works, or of grace.

CHAP. V. A comparison of our iudgment and of the Aduersaries, concerning both these Couenants.

NOw we be to compare a little our assertion with the aduersaries, and to consider which of both sides is of soundest iudgment touching both these couenants of works and of grace. A rule to trie the [Page 32] opinion of the aduersaries & ours by, can none better be found, thē the doctrine of Paul, speciallie that in the Epi­stle to the Romans, and namely, in that disputation which he hath of iustification in the 3. first Chapters, against the Iewes of that time. If after conference we shall find that our assertiō doth consent with Paules mind and doctrine, and that the aduersaries are of the same minde and iudg­ment with the Iewes which liued in Pauls time; then it shall plainly appeare, that our iudgement is better then the aduersaries concerning the couenant of God.

Wherefore in this disputation of Paul, we are to consi­der first the mind & purpose of ye Apostle; next by Pauls doctrine we shall gather what the opinion was of those Iewes, against whom hee disputed: this done we will applie both his and their assertion, to our selues which liue in this age, and to the doctrine & conclusions which we maintaine concerning both these couenants. By this means if it shall appeare that our doctrine is agreeable to Pauls minde, and that our aduersaries follow the Iewes; themselues being witnesses, it shal (I say) be manifest, that our iudgement is better then theirs in this argument.

To come then to the point: Paul in that place to the Romans, disputeth against those Iewes which were ob­stinate and peruerse, defending first Christ and his merit, which is the first ground of the couenant of grace; next he disputeth for grace or the mercie of God, which is the Paules disputa­tion. Rom. 1. 2. & 3. Chap. second ground of the free couenant; thirdly, he auou­cheth against those aduersaries, that the couenant of grace was founded in Christ, and in the grace of God; fourthly, he proueth the iustification of man, and so con­sequently the saluation▪ which is according to the coue­nant of grace: he disputeth, I say, for these things, first a­gainst nature, which is the grounde of the couenant of workes; next against the very couenant of works it selfe founded on nature; thirdly, against the iustification of man, and saluation which is by it, arising of the iust and [Page 33] good works of nature, according to that couenant of works. I graunt he doth expressely fight against that iu­stification and saluation, which is by the works of nature, required in the couenant of works; and for the iustifica­tion of faith, which is required in the couenant of grace: but by one and the selfe same disputation he concludes both against nature and the couenant of works, and for Christ, and for Gods grace in him, that is, for the coue­nant of grace. For the doctrine of antecedents must ne­cessarilie be included in the doctrine of the consequent.

By this purpose of Paul, we may see what was the drift of those aduersarie Iewes, and what was their iudgment against whom he disputeth in the Epistle to the Rom. Those Iewes, they on the contrarie part did striue for na­ture, as being the ground of the couenant of works; as also for the very couenant of works or of nature; for iu­stification and saluation by works, and according to the forme of the couenant of works: They did (I say) con­tend for these things, against Christ, against the grace of God in Christ, and against the couenant of grace, and against iustification and saluation of men, which is accor­ding to the couenant of grace. Igraunt, that (as is afore­said) the question was of this last point, which is iustifi­cation: but this question includes al the former branches, as is before shewed. Wherefore let vs consider againe that old controuersie, and the very ground thereof.

In this controuersie, by the way note how great the The state and blindnesse of the Iewes in Pauls time. blindnesse was of the Iewes of those times: first they did not vnderstand, that mans nature after the fall was lost, as touching goodnes: they saw not their own corruption, neither were they touched with any sense of sinne or of their owne miserie. Next, they knew not Christ the medi­ator, and the mercies of God in him. Thirdly, beeing so blinde in the premisses, they could not conceiue also how that couenant of works was abolished in Christ. Fourth­ly, they vnderstood not that there was any couenant of [Page 34] made with man in Christ Iesus. Fiftly, they did not con­sider that those works of nature (whereby they would be iustified, according to the prescript forme of the coue­nant of works) they did not consider, I say, that they were but duties only, and testimonies of thankfulnes, accor­ding to the first institution of that couenant; but they did ascribe some meritorious vertue vnto them: for which cause the Apostle disputeth against the workes of nature, as against merits, because of this blinde conceite of the Iewes. And that they were of iudgement that these works were meritorious, may appeare by their glorying in workes, against which the Apostle speaketh often. Where is then the glorying or reioicing? it is excluded, Ro. 3. 27. If Abraham were iustified by works, he hath wherein to glory, Rom. 4. 2. Not by works, least any should glory, Eph. 2. 9. For he which glorieth, doth not deeme that he hath receiued that of God, for which he glorieth; and there­fore he iudgeth it to be meritorious: What hast thou, that thou hast not receiued? And if thou hast receiued it, where­fore boastest thou, as if thou haddest not receiued it? 1. Cor. 4. 7.

Thus farre of the question in controuersie, which was betweene Paul and the old Iewes of his time, concer­ning the couenant of God. How like to this is that, which at this day is controuersed betweene vs and the Papists? We in this age conclude wholy for the onely merit of Our defence at this daie against the Papists. Christ, for the sole and meere grace and mercie of God in Christ, for the couenant of grace, for iustification and saluation by Christ only, by grace only, by faith only (for all these Phrases serue to one effect) we dispute, I say, for these things against the strength of nature, the liberty of free-will, that is, the goodnesse and holinesse of nature, against the couenant of works, against iustification by works, euen that which is according to the rule of the couenant of works. The Romanists of this age defend that nature is holy in it selfe; yet hurt, impouerished, and [Page 35] weakened (for this is their freedome of wil) they defend, I say, the couenant of works, and the works which pro­ceed Free-will. from free-will, Iustification by works of free-will, meritorious also according to the couenant of workes; for they say, the ground of euery merit, whether it be of congruitie or condignitie (to vse their owne tearmes) is free-will: These things, I say, they striue to defend, a­gainst Christ only, and his merit, against the only grace of God and mercie in Christ, against the only couenant of grace, against iustification which is by Christ onely, by the grace of God only, by faith only: for al these haue one respect and purpose.

Obserue then here by the way, what the palpable blindnesse of the Papists is, in this cleere light of the Gos­pell. Popish blindnes. First they see not how nature is plainlie lost, as tou­ching sanctitie. Secondly, they know not the sole grace and mercie of God, neither do they vnderstand what the excellency is of Christs merit. Thirdly, they perceiue not how that couenant of works is abolished to them which are in Christ, as touching iustification. Fourthly, they con­ceiue not, that the only couenant of grace is made with mankinde after the fall, speciallie now after the incarna­tion of Christ, in the Gospell, and that vnto iustificati­on and life eternall. Fiftly, they see not that the works of free will; as they call them, if there were any such, to be duties only and testimonies of thankefulnesse, according to the first institution of the couenant of works, which be done by the strength of nature: but ascribe some speci­all meritorious vertue vnto them. Wherefore we con­clude concerning these men, that albeit they be not iust of one minde with those old Iewes, against whom the Apostle disputed in the Epistle to the Romans; yet they hold much on their side, striuing to defend that nature is in part good and holy, so contending against the pure and only grace of God, and to diuide iustification and The popish iusti­fication. mans saluation, betweene Christ and Gods free grace & [Page 36] the vertues and workes of nature: whereas notwithstan­ding these two, nature and grace, can neuer stand to­gether in the worke of our saluation. For whosoeuer shall conioine or make a mixture of grace and nature in this matter, shall quite ouerthrow and extinguish grace, which either is alone, or not at all, as Rom. 11. 6. If it be of grace, it is no more of works; for otherwise grace were no more grace. And in the Epistle to the Galathians, he doth pur­poselie dispute against those Iewes, which did couple to­gether in the matter of iustification, the guifts and works of nature, with Christ, with the grace of God, and with the Gospell: And these Iewes (as I iudge) the Papists seeme most to resemble; I meane those Iewes, against whom he wrote in the Epistle to the Galathians. For in that other epistle to the Romans, he disputeth against such Iewes, as did openly deny Christ, and reiect him: but to the Galathians his disputation is against such Iewes as were not content with Christ only, but would haue Christ and the law ioined together. Thus far of the com­parison betweene Paul and vs on the one side, the old Iewes and the Papists on the other.

Now because it will be demanded, what Paul thought of the works of regeneration, and what we, and what the aduersaries thinke also; therefore I will touch this que­stion in few wordes. Here then, some one will say, did Paul then in that disputation to the Rom. and to the Ga­lathians oppugne the works of grace and regeneration? I answer, Paules chiefe purpose in that disputation is a­gainst the works of nature, which the Iewes thought to be holy and iust, and also meritorious: he did not reiect the works of regeneration, as they be duties and testimonies of thankfulnesse vnto God, but in that respect commends them, Rom. 6. 7. 8. Chapters, and in other places. But as touching the cause of iustification, he would not haue these workes (as we call them) of regeneration, coupled with the grace of God, or with Christ, or with faith, as [Page 37] anie cause, or as part of anie meritorious cause of saluati­on. To this purpose he saith Rom. 4. that Abraham him­selfe being regenerate, was not iustified before God by anie works of his regeneration: And Rom. 6. hauing commended the works of sanctification, in the end vers. 23. where he attributeth death to the merit of sinne, hee doth not there notwithstanding ascribe life eternall to the merit of the works, or fruits of sanctification: but when he had said, that the wages of sin is death; he doth clearely auouch it, that eternall life is the free gift of God in Christ Iesu. In which place, if the Apostle had beene of this iudgement, that the works of regeneration be in anie respect meritorious, assuredly he would not so passe ouer the commendation of the works of regeneration, specially for that this heere is principally intended. Wherefore the Apostle to the Romans so reiecting the works of nature, which the couenant of works requi­reth: yet hee vnderstandeth also all kinds of workes, morall, and naturall going before grace and faith, as al­so all ceremoniall works, and the very fruits of regene­ration which follow grace and faith; that faith onely, Christ only, grace only, may herein be all in all. Thus far of S. Paules iudgment.

We at this day are of one and the same mind with the Apostle concerning works of regeneration. Our aduersa­ries, granting there be such works, ascribe too much vnto them: for they will not haue them to be duties and testi­monies onely of thankfulnesse vnto God, but also that they be meritorious causes of that iustification, which they call the second iustification.

Again, we are to remember, that the aduersaries iudg­ment concerning works of regeneration is, that they proceed not onely from infused grace, and first iustice (as they speake) but also from nature and free-will, which works together with that iustice, in respect whereof also they account good works meritorious (as was before The popish opini­on of good works. [Page 38] shewed) so ascribing their good works in part to that their first grace, and in part to free-will. And thus farre of this comparison: wherby it appeares, whether we or our aduersaries haue the better, or the more sound iudgment concerning both couenants, of the grounds of both, na­ture, grace, and Christ: as also of the effect of both, which we call mans iustification. And lastly, for that this is the most fundamentall point of true religion, we may here­by discerne also whether we, or the aduersaries, haue the religion and worship of God the more purely & sound­ly established amongst vs.

CHAP. VI. Of the written Word, or of the written Couenant of God.

THe word in both couenants was for a long time in the world, euen from Adams time till Moses, vnwritten; deliuered as from hand to hand, and continued by a liuelie voice: for I passe ouer such matters as Ioseph recordes to be ingra­uen in columnes before the floud, as also the Apocry­phals of Henoch.

And whē as in continuance of time corruptions grew, by these traditions, and the puritie of the doctrine of the couenant could not thus be preserued, and yt God would no longer follow the former course onely, he beganne in Moses time to ordaine and to publish another forme, to wit this, to preserue and to continue the puritie of the [Page 39] celestiall doctrine in written books, approued and sealed by diuine authoritie and testimonie; & the more to com­mend his written word vnto men, in all succeeding ages, God himself with his owne hand did first write in tables of stone the words of the Decalogue: Next after this, he gaue it in charge vnto Moses, that he should afterwards write and record all things which hee receiued at Gods owne mouth: and that the people of God might be assured that the bookes of Moses came not by mans will, but were giuen by diuine inspiration, the Lord sea­led 2. Tim. 3. 16, and testified these writings to be his heauenly ora­cles, by manie great wonders, before they were written, when they were written, and after they were written. And Moses wrote the Word of both couenants; of both I say, Legall and Euangelicall: but whereas he gaue, but as it were, the first lineaments of the Euangelicall coue­nant, he set forth the Legall couenant clearely and in full measure. For the legall couenant in the bookes of Mo­ses is cleerely recommended and vrged, but the Euange­lical more darkly set before vs. For which cause all the do­ctrine of Moses is said to be legall: The Law came by Mo­ses, Ioh. 1.

After Moses, God stirred vp his Prophets, whose writings also he confirmed with his great miracles, and gaue them great authoritie: yet were they not to set forth any thing diuers or contrary to the doctrine of Moses and the Patriarches; nor to publish any thing, but what was grounded in the bookes of Moses: but by diuine reuelation they did ad more cleere interpretati­ons, as the morning starre of the new testament did more neerely approch. These holy men wrote the summe and chiefe heads of their doctrine, euen so much as God him­selfe thought meete to be reserued for posterity. And these records being written, were laid vp with the holie books of Moses, which were kept in the side of the Arke, Iosh. 24. 26.

[Page 40] Finally, after the incarnation of Christ, the Euangeli­call doctrine, or the Gospell first beganne for certaine yeares to be deliuered by voice, and to be preached by Christ himselfe; and then after by his Apostles: And last­ly, the same was written by the Apostles. The works of Gods law, and nature are commanded in the bookes of the new Testament: And the verie moral law is expoun­ded by Christ himselfe, & freed from the leauen and cor­ruption of the Pharisees: but the works of the law and nature, are not recommended to the end, that by them men might be iustified and saued; but they be commen­ded, either to prepare men to intertaine grace offered, or to quicken them to proceed and grow in grace receiued, as is before shewed. Againe, the works of regeneration be commanded, not for iustification, but as testimonies of that iustification which is by faith, and of thankfulnes vnto God: for which cause, so soone as the Apostle hath taught the doctrine of faith, he descends to the works of the lawe, teaching men that their life and conuersa­tion must be worthie that high calling, whereunto we are called in Christ Iesu. See Ephe. 4. 1. 1. Thess. 2. 12. But faith in Christ is that, which is principally required in all the books of the new Testament. And thus farre gene­rally of the written word of the couenant.

CHAP. VII. The number of the controuersies which are concerning the written Word: and of the first controuersie, whe­ther the Scripture be the word of God.

THere be two kinds of controuersies concerning the holy Scripture. The first kind is of such con­trouersies as bee more essentiall, that is, which [Page 41] concerne the very essence (if I may so speake) or be­ing of the Scripture. The second kind is of those con­trouersies which bee more accidentall, and doe not so neerely concerne the essence of the Scripture. Of the first kind there are ten controuersies or questions: the first is, Whether the Scripture Propheticall and Apostolicall bee the word of God? The second is, How it may appeare that this Scripture is Gods word? The third is, Of the antiquitie of it. The fourth is, Of the perspicuity or cleerenes of it. The fift is, Of the simplicitie or plainnesse of it. The sixt is, Of the viua­citie, quickening power, or life of it. The seuenth is, Of the simple & euident necessitie of it. The eight is, Of the perfe­ction & sufficiencie thereof, that it is sufficient and perfect in it selfe, without all vnwritten verities, or traditions whatsoeuer. The ninth is, Whether the Scripture may bee the iudge to de­termine all controuersies? The tenth is, Whether the Scrip­tures Propheticall and Apostolicall must haue the chiefe place of excellency, and be in authoritie aboue the Church.

As for those eight controuersies which follow the two first, they are touching the properties of the holie Scripture; and these, when we shall haue proued that the Scripture is Gods word, will appeare euidently: for they are necessary consequents of that Theoreme. For grant we this, that the Scripture is Gods word; then these things must follow necessarily; first, that it is most ancient; secondly, most cleere; thirdly, most simple or pure; fourthly, most powerfull; fiftly, most necessarie; sixtly, most perfect; seuenthly, the greatest & best iudge of all controuersies without exception; eightly, most ex­cellent. But for as much as the aduersaries denie these eight properties, therefore (as is a foresaid) there is of eue­rie one of them a speciall controuersie.

We are then to handle these controuersies in order: and first of that which by due right, & naturally is to haue the first place: Whether the Scripture be the word of God? The Aduersaries graunt generally that the holy Scripture [Page 42] is the word of God: but when they are brought from the generall to a speciall, they break from vs. To speake more plainely: the word of God at this day, is twofold in the Church of God, 1. immediate. 2. mediate. I call that the Gods written word. immediate word of God, which doth proceede imme­diately out of Gods owne mouth: and that I call me­diate, which the Lord speakes by his preacher or Mini­ster. We hold then and auouch, that the holie Scripture is that immediate and primarie word of God, and to bee vnto vs in steed of that first, immediate, and liuely voice of God himselfe: yea, that it serues vs in place not only of that liuely voice of God, but also of the secret and in­searchable mind of God, and of Gods vnspeakeable my­steries. Our arguments are these: 1. For that this is the verie will of God. They haue Moses (saith he) and the pro­phets, that is, the bookes of Moses and the Prophets, Luk. 16. 29. 2. If we had nothing to supply the defect of the liuely voice of God, then doubtlesse our state were worse then that of the old Church of the Iewes, which had the oracles of God: but it is against all light of reason so to Rom. 3 1. 2. affirme. 3. Our third reason is this: The first ground of our faith must be, either the liuely voice of God, or the verie mind and counsell of God, or something to supply the want of Gods liuely voyce, and of the secret mind of God, which must also be vnto vs no lesse certaine and firme, then if we heard God himselfe speake, or did be­hold and reade the verie mind of God; yea the very di­uine oracles written in Gods owne breast: but now we haue not the liuely voice of God; now we see not the se­cret mind of God: therefore it must follow that we haue something to supply the want of the liuely voice of God, euen meanes to reueale vnto vs the secret mind of God: and nothing can do this, but the sacred Scripture: there­fore Gods holy written word is, and must be vnto vs as the verie voice, and as the verie mind or wil of God him­selfe manifested vnto vs. The fourth reason. The Scrip­ture [Page 43] containes all those things which God hath spoken in elder ages, and what God himselfe hath decreed in his secret counsell (so farre as is meete for vs to know) con­cerning our life and saluation: Ergo, &c. Thus far of the immediate word of God. The mediate voice of God, we call the voice of the holy and true Church of God: for al­beit men speake, yet the word spoken, is the word of God himselfe.

Here the aduersaries rise vp, and contend, that the voice of the Church must haue the priority of excellen­cie, and that it supplieth the want of Gods liuely voice, and the manifestation of his mind, rather or better then the Scripture: for, say they, the voice of the Church is a Popish Obiection cōcerning the te­stimonie and the authority of the Church before the Scripture. Scripture written, not with the penne of any Scribe, but by Gods owne finger in the heart of the Church: there­fore the voice or testimonie of the Church, ought to bee accounted the principall voice of God: For it is a liuely voice, proceedings from the liuing heart of the Church, wherein God hath ingrauen all truth with the finger of his owne Spirit: whereas the Scriptures of the Prophets and Apostles, albeit they were deliuered, and spoken by God himselfe, yet they were not written by Gods owne hand, but by the Prophets and Apostles, which were the pen-men: Again, they were not written in ye liuing hearts of men, but in papers, and books, or tables. Hence there­fore it followeth, that this scripture, which is found in the heart of the Church, is the principall Scripture of God, and that the voice of the holy Church, is that most excel­lent voice of God, & ought to be vnto vs, as the immedi­ate voice of God, & in steed of the secret counsel of God.

I answer: true it is, the testimonie of the Church is a liuely voice, proceeding from a liuing heart, sanctified by the holy ghost (for we speake of the true Church:) But first I say, that the only Scripture prophetical and aposto­lical, is to be accounted that Scripture which was writ­ten by Gods owne finger, and that immediate word of [Page 44] God. Next, I say, that the heart of the Church is taught and sanctified by the Spirit of the Scripture; and that the Scripture which is in the heart of the Church is nothing els, but a certain transcript (that so I may speak) or a copy, which the holy Ghost hath written in our hearts, accor­ding to that ancient and authenticall copie, which is the holy Scripture. For the holy Ghost teacheth the Church nothing now, but that which is written; and doth by the scripture after a sort, beget the Church: & the Scripture is the mother, the Church is the daughter; the Scripture is the mistresse, the Church is the scholler. Thirdly, I adde that the knowledge of the truth, which is in the heart of the Church by means of the scripture, is not so perfect nor so absolute, as is the holy Scripture. And lastly, I say, that the Church being inlightened and renewed but in part, may erre from the truth, euen in the greatest matter of waight, and that it doth erre so often as it forsakes the canon and rule of the sacred Scripture.

Their former assertion being thus cast downe, it is eui­dent that the voice of the Church (I vnderstand here the true church only, not that whoorish church of Rome) the voice of the Church (I say) is not that primarie and most excellent word of God, nor ought to be vnto vs in steed of the liuely and immediate voice of God; nor to be reputed for Gods minde and counsell; but this preroga­tiue is due only to the sacred Scripture. I ad further, that if thou doest first not so much respect the truth it selfe, which the Church speaketh, as the instruments of the speech vttered, which are men: next, if ye compare the voice of the Church speaking with the sacred Scripture it selfe, it doth not deserue at all to be called by the name of Gods word, but may more properlie be called the worde and testimony of man. For Christ himselfe calles that testimonie which Iohn the Baptist gaue of him, the te­stimony of man. I receiue not, (saith he) or desire not the testimnoie of man, Ioh. 5. 34. Be it so, that the testimonie [Page 45] of the Church be true, & agreeable to the holy scripture, notwithstanding it is truly called an humane testimonie, whether yee respect the men which speake, or compare their testimonie with that, which doth proceed from the mouth of God and Christ himselfe.

But it may be replyed, that the very Apostles and Pro­phets, which writte and spake all these things, which we haue in the Scriptures, were men in like manner: & there­fore all the Scriptures are but an humane testimonie. I answere, that I denie not all is obiected, if we were to e­steeme the words or writings of an Apostle or Prophet, as they are instruments and Ministers, or if this were to be compared with the very liuely voice of God and Christ himselfe. For in respect of the instruments, (if we compare the words or writings of these men, with the words and writings of God himselfe) theirs (I say) must come after and giue place vnto this, and must beare the name of an humane testimonie: for so the testimony of Iohn Baptist himselfe, as being an instrument in comparison of Christ the Lord of life, was called the record of man. Where­fore when we auouch that the Propheticall and Apo­stolicall Scripture is the immediate testimonie of God himselfe, we make no comparison with the liuelie voice of God himselfe; neither doe we so much respect what Organs the Holy-Ghost vsed to set forth the Scriptures: but we consider the matter it selfe, and the diuine oracles which be written, and we ponder in what estimation God himselfe will haue vs to accept the sacred Scripture; not as the writings and sayings of men, but as the wri­tings and words of God himselfe. And we consider this also, as in a comparison made with the Church: For to vse that comparison againe, the voice of the Scripture is Gods owne voice; but the voice of the Church of Christ, is called an humane testimonie, as the word or writing of a Prophet or an Apostle compared with the liuely voice of God, is called the record of man, as Christ himselfe testi­fieth, 10. 5. And thus farre of the 1. controuersie.

CHAP. VIII. How it may appeare that the scripture is the worde of God.

THE second controuersie is, by what argu­ment may it appeare, that the scripture is the word of God. Like as then the first question was this: whether the Scripture bee Gods worde? So the question in hand is this; how and by what euidēce this may appeare, that the Scripture is Gods word? To this I answer on this manner: That we haue no need simplie of any other light, or of any one speciall euidence to demonstrate this matter, but that very light which is in the Scripture. For the Scripture (being the first and immediat word of God) is of authoritie suffici­ent in it selfe, Scriptura est [...]. and so likewise of it selfe m [...]st cleere and e­uident, and the onely cause of al that light which is in the Church, and in the harts of men. For like as the light of the sun is not perceiued nor to be seene by meanes of any S. other light, for that it so far exceeds al other bodily & ex­ternal Note. light: So that spirituall light of the Scripture, hath no need in it selfe of any other light to set forth the same, for that of all spiritual lights to inlighten the mind with­al, it is the most bright and most beautifull in the world. But whereas euidences and demonstrations be here de­manded for the proofe of this matter, to confirme the Scripture to be Gods word, that is, to be the very light: [Page 47] the cause of this doubtfulnesse is in our selues, for that we be so bleere-eyed and so blind by nature. Wherefore the arguments which are brought for this purpose, ad no light to the light of the Scripture, (which is of it own na­ture so cleere, and can not be made to shine more bright by any additiō) but al serue to this end; to make that thing manifest vnto vs which is most euident in it selfe, and that our eies may be opened to see that most ful, and most glorious light of the sacred Scripture: that is, to behold the diuine maiestie of God shining bright, and speaking S. vnto vs in the holy Scripture. Like as if a man were to proue to a blinde man that the Sunne did shine, hee would not produce arguments to commend the excel­lencie of the light of the Sunne, but rather prouide such things, as whereby (if it were possible) he might open the eies of the blind, that with his own eies he might looke on the glorious light of the Sunne. Wherefore in a word, whatsoeuer arguments, men aske of vs to demonstrate the light of the Scripture, they ought not to be demaun­ded, because of any defect in the Scripture, but in respect of vs, because we bee so blind, hauing neede of all argu­ments and helpes, euery way, to open our eies, that our sight may be quickned to behold this glorious light.

The arguments and helpes whereby our eies may be opened to behold the light of the Scripture, or God spea­king and shining in the Scripture, these arguments, I say, which the godly and learned vse for this purpose, be not of one sort, but many in number. But if the holy-Ghost speaking in the Scripture, doe not first of all inspire our Eph. 1. 16. 17. minds, & opē the eyes of our vnderstanding (for he alone can do it) assuredly it is but lost labor to speak of any other argument, or help; if we be not taught of God, and by his Esay. holy spirit, all other meanes shall profit vs nothing at all. Wherefore the first & most principal cause to effect this, yt we may behold the light of the Scripture (so bright in it selfe) must be the holy ghost, teaching vs inwardly in our [Page 48] hearts, and opening our vnderstanding, that we may be­hold that light of the Scripture, and may acknowledge the voice of God, and of Christ himselfe speaking in the Scripture. And the holy Ghost also himselfe in this work giues no new light to the Scripture, which is cleere and glorious in it selfe, as is aforesaid; but inlightens our minds, to this end, that we may see the great light of the sacred Scripture. Againe, the holy ghost in this great work of our illumination, effecteth it by certaine meanes & in­struments, whereby it pleaseth him to work in our hearts and minds.

The meanes which the H. G. vseth for this worke, are of two kindes. The first is internall: the second is ex­ternall. The inwarde meane, is in the very Scripture it selfe; the outward is without the Scripture. The internal meane is the principall organ, or instrument of Gods spirit in this work, and it is that verie light which shineth in the Scripture. The holy Ghost then doth first of al open How the holy Ghost first tea­cheth vs to know the Scriptures. the eies of our vnderstanding, by the light of the Scrip­ture, to discerne that light of the Scripture, so bright in itselfe, and so vnknowen vnto vs. And hee cleereth our vnderstāding to see the light of the Scripture, by the ve­rie scripture it selfe; and by the light of the scripture, manie waies: For partlie hee effecteth this by produ­cing 1 certaine testimonies of Scripture, which plainly te­stifie Inward meanes to see the light of the scriptures. of this great light of the Scripture, and of God speaking in the Scripture, as that place, al Scripture is giuen by diuine inspiration, 2. Tim. 3. 16: partly by suggesting into vs, that we obserue the spirituall matters which are 2 therein described: partly by admonishing that we note 3 the spirituall words, whereby the same spirituall matters are expressed and set before vs: partly by warning vs to 4 obserue the truth of the diuine oracles by the comple­ment of the prophecies: Againe, he sets before vs the 5 beautifull harmonie of the Scripture in the old and new Testament, the one sweetly testifying of the other: And 6 [Page 49] heere he omitteth not the miracles which be recorded therein, whereby the celestiall doctrine had in the begin­ning a confirmation. Hee putteth vs also in minde of the Martyrs, which sealed ye same truth with their blood, as we read in the same Scripture. By these meanes and such like, the spirit teacheth vs out of the very Scripture, that the sacred Scripture is Gods word, by cleere eui­dence manifesting that great & excellent light which is in the Scripture. Ad also vnto the aforesaide meanes, the worth and holinesse of those men which wrote the Scrip­tures, as the same is testified and recorded in the Scrip­tures. And this is the internall and principall meane and instrument of the holy Ghost, whereby he teaceth vs, & breedeth faith in our hearts, whereby we be certainly per­swaded that this Scripture is the very word of God.

There are also other meanes without the Scripture, Externall meanes to proue the scrip­ture to be God▪ word. whereby the Spirit proueth the same thing: as the con­stancie of the Martyrs, which daylie seale with their blood the truth of this heauenly doctrine; & the persecu­tion raised by the enemies of the Church against it; & the enmitie of Sathan against it; and the preseruation of the diuine oracles of God vnto our times; and to be short, the testimonie of the true Church of God for it. All these are without or beside the Scripture, and giue vs a secun­darie kinde of demonstration, whereby the holy Ghost worketh also, as it pleaseth him, and openeth the eies of our vnderstanding, inlightening vs to see and heare God him-selfe speaking and shining in the Scripture.

But here we be to obserue, that the holy ghost doth God rather by these meanes the testimonie of the Church and co­uersation of the saints, prepareth vs to receiue the pretious faith. not beget faith in our harts, properlie and principallie, by this second kinde of externall meanes (for the proper and principall instrument of God to breed faith, is the very word of God himselfe: for it must be necessarilie, ei­ther the liuely voice of God, or the sacred scripture which serueth vs in steede of the liuelie voice of God himselfe) but either prepares our hearts only to receiue faith after­wards Io. 4. 1. Pet. 3. 2. 3. [Page 50] wards by the word of God; or to confirme the same in some sort, beeing already ingendred in our hearts by Gods word. For this cause this second kind of meanes sometimes is sent before the voice of God in the scrip­ture, whereby the holy Ghost otherwhiles makes mens minds ready to intertaine faith and grace offred. This we reade of Augustine; for he speaks it of himselfe (I would not haue beleeued the gospell, but that the authority of the Catholicke Church moued me thereunto) by which words he meaneth, that when he was a Manichee, he was prepared by the authority and testimonie of the Church, to beleeue the Gospell. Afterwards notwithstanding, the same holie spirit, which thus prepared him by the te­stimonie of the Church, I say, the same spirit did beget faith in Augustines heart, by the very scripture of the gos­pell; whereby he did beleeue that the gospell was the ve­rie word of God. For this cause he speaks else where of himselfe: And let vs follow them (saith he) which doe inuite vs first to beleeue that which we cannot behold Augustines wordes. as yet, that being strengthened by faith it selfe, we may be worthie to vnderstand what we beleeue, not by the re­lation of men, but by the grace of God himselfe inward­lie confirming and inlightening our mindes. So the wo­man of Samaria Io 4. as a member of the Church, did by her kinde of preaching prepare the Samaritanes to the faith of Christ, & they hauing heard Christ himselfe, said to the woman: We beleeue no longer because of thy sayings, for Io▪ 4. 42 1. Pet. 3. 2. 3. Win them with your conuersati­on, which are without the word. we haue heard him our selues, and know that this is indeed the Christ the Sauiour of the world. By which wordes they plainely testified, that they were prepared only by the womans testimonie to embrace the faith, and that faith was ingendred in their hearts by the powerfull voice of Christ himselfe. Wherefore it is cleere, that sometimes this kind of meane and argument (as is aforesaide) goes before faith is begotten in the heart to prepare vs, and sometimes this followes faith, for confirmation: And [Page 51] sometimes also this kinde of argument goes before faith, and followes after it; it goes before, I say, for preparation; it followes after, for confirmation. For the spirit teacheth vs many waies, applying himselfe to diuers men in di­uers Note well Io. 3. manners, as it seemeth good vnto himselfe, and as mens infirmities do require.

And here we be to obserue, that there is no absolute necessitie of this secondarie kind of argument (which is externall and lesse principall) to beget faith in vs. For it ought to suffice vs, if the spirit teach vs onely by Gods worde: but to helpe our weakenes the same spirit addeth the other secondarie kind of argument: as Christ plainly teacheth vs, Io. 5. where he sayth, the testimonie of Iohn Baptist concerning him, was not simply necessarie, but that God so prouided to helpe their weakenesse and vn­beliefe, ver. 33. Iohn gaue testimony to the truth, but I desire not the testimonie of man: Neuerthelesse these things I speake that ye may be saued. And that Iohns testimonie was but a secondarie argument only, and that Christs owne re­cord of himselfe was the first, he sheweth plainly in the words following. ver. 36. But I haue a greater witnes then the witnes of Iohn: for the works which the Father hath giuen me to finish, the same works that I do, beare witnes of me, that the Father sent me. And this is our iudgment concerning this argument; whereby we proue the Scripture to be the word of God, and our answere to the question, where­fore it is so, as we auouch it.

What the Papists thinke in this matter, it is easily seene How the Papists proue the scrip­ture to bee Gods word. by their words and writings: Their iudgement briefly is this. The meane and principall argument, and in a man­ner the only way with them to demonstrate the scripture to be Gods word, is the testimony of the church, not only the catholick (as they speak) but also those of their church which haue preserued the faith (as they speake) by conti­all successions from the Apostles vnto our times: and here they vnderstand principally the Popes, who (as they [Page 52] say) succeeded Peter and his chaire. These men will haue the Church the iudge and interpreter of all Scriptures, from whose iudgement it may not be lawfull for any man to depart for an appeale to any other iudge: And they a­scribe this dignity & prerogatiue to the testimony of the Church, because they will haue the Scripture which is written in the heart of the Church, to be the principall Scripture, and that we account and esteeme of the voice of the Church, as the very liuely voice of God himselfe; as if God now spake first principally in his Church, and by the voice of his Church. If they will haue it so, that the voice of the Church, bee the primarie voice of God, and the primarie Scripture of God; it is euident, that they deeme the greatest light we haue, is to be found in the voice of the Church, and the same to be most cleere and demonstratiue, not only to vs, but also in and by it selfe: and therefore that this light inlightens the sacred Scrip­ture, not in respect of vs only, but in respect of themselues also. For which cause one of them hath said, that the The blasphemy of Papists. Scripture is of no more validity without the authority of the church, then AEsops fables. For the voice of the church being vnto them the primarie voice of God in all re­spects, for as much as it is liuely and vocall; and for this cause both by nature and to vs most manifest: it follow­eth, according to their iudgement, that it yeelds light vnto the Scripture, not only in respect of vs; but also in re­spect of the Scripture it selfe; & yet is it in verity but a cer­taine secondary Scripture, and a certaine secondary voice. For (as they auouch it) the voice of the Church is as Gods owne voice sounding from heauen, seruing to confirme the voice of the Scripture (which now is but mans voice only) and to ratifie and make authenticall the very Scrip­ture, as being written but by certaine Scribes, and publi­shed onely by the hands of men: This must bee the con­sequent of their principles, or conclusion of their pre­misses, albeit other men be of another iudgment.

[Page 53] As for our selues, like as we denie the conclusion which they inferre vpon the former principles, so we re­iect also their very principles. For we denie & refuse their first ground, to wit, that the voice of the Church is to be accounted the liuely voice of God himselfe, and that the Scripture written in the heart of the Church, is to be ac­counted for that scripture which was written by the very finger of God: And we affirme that the only propheti­call and apostolical scripture is to be esteemed as the liue­ly voice of God; we auouch it, I say, that this Propheti­call and Apostolicall scripture only serueth vs in steed of that scripture, which was written by Gods owne finger: We adde also that the sacred Scripture is vnto vs a booke of reuelation of those diuine mysteries which were hid­den in Gods owne breast from eternitie: for this is the very will of God, that we attend on him speaking in the scripture, as it were in his owne liuely voice. They haue (saith he) Moses and the Prophets, Luk. 16. vers. 29. that is, the bookes of Moses and the prophets. And God will not haue this scripture in no lesse account then that scripture, which hee wrote in times past with his owne finger in tables of stone. The voice of the Church (I meane the true Church, not the lying papisticall sy­nagogue) is but as the voice of the handmaide, or as the voice of a crier, which is to publish and to proclaime that voice of God, full of excellencie, speaking in the scripture: But the scripture in the heart of the Church, that is, the Maximes of Gods truth written in the hearts of the faithfull, they be nothing els but a certaine secun­darie scripture, taken out by the holy ghost, out of that primarie and most sacred scripture, and ingrauen in the minds of men. For how much, think you, of that ful mea­sure of the Propheticall & Apostolicall scripture is there taken forth and ingrauen in our minds? I say, that if all mens hearts were bound together, yet all they could not comprehend all those things fully and perfectly, which [Page 54] be recorded in the Propheticall and Apostolicall scrip­tures: For the catholicke Church, so long as it is conuer­sant on the earth, is not capable of al that light which shi­neth in the sacred scriptures of ye apostles & the prophets. Let their first principle be thus beaten downe, and their Corolatie, or second conclusion (to wit, that the voice of the Church is most manifest, both in it selfe, and vnto vs) will fall to the ground of it owne accord: and so both principles being shaken, their conclusion which they in­ferre, is of no strength to stand, but must fall away.

CHAP. IX. Of the first proprietie of the sacred Scripture.

WE are now to proceed, and to make it ma­nifest, that the holy scripture is of greatest antiquitie: and this is the first proprie­tie The 1. propriety of the scripture, most ancient. before ascribed to the Scripture. Here first we be to find out the diuers accepta­tions of this word Scripture. This word Scripture may be taken, either for the matter onely, and Acceptation of the word scrip­ture. the very substance which is contained in the words and letters; or not only for the matter and substance, but also for the verie writing it selfe, or the forme wherein that substance is expressed and set before vs. Now if by this word Scripture, ye vnderstand the verie substance it selfe, it is without all controuersie, that the Scripture is most ancient: because it is the substance of those diuine ora­cles, [Page 55] which not only Patriarches and Prophets haue spo­ken, but also God himselfe vttered; which things also were hidden in Gods mind from eternitie. But if yee vn­derstand by this word, not onely the substance, but the very writing, and in this respect also, the scripture may be said to be most ancient. For as touching the Propheti­call and Apostolicall scriptures, in respect also of the wri­ting and manner of reuealing of them (as wee said often before) it is Gods will that we so esteeme them, not one­ly as the liuely voice of the Prophets and Apostles, nor onely as the liuely voice of God himselfe, or as a booke written with his owne hand (as the Decalogue was set downe with his owne finger in tables of stone) but also that we so accept them as the very mysteries, and if I may so speake, as the verie diuine notions, which were ingra­uen in Gods owne mind from eternitie.

To cleare this point a little; The veritie kept secret in Gods mind from eternitie, was in time manifested manie wayes, or in diuers formes; for it was reuealed partly by the liuely voice of God himself, partly by the voice of the Patriarches, Prophets, and Apostles (to passe by Angels in silence) and partly also by the scripture which was written by the Prophets and Apostles. The liuely and immediate voice of God did cease long since; neither haue we that copie which God himselfe wrote: the Pa­triarches How to esteem of the written word of God. also, & the Prophets, and ye Apostles haue ceased to speake: the writings only of the Prophets and Apo­stles remaine to this day. Wherefore this we hold as ne­cessary vnto faith, that we accept these writings or books, first in steed of the liuely voice of the Prophets and A­postles: 1 Next, in place of the liuely voice of God himself: 2 Thirdly, of the Scripture written with Gods owne finger: 3 Fourthly and lastly, as that holy veritie and diuine myste­ries 4 which are recorded in Gods owne breast: which O­racles being simply without comparison of greatest anti­quitie, it is very manifest that the Propheticall and Apo­stolicall [Page 56] scripture is after a sort most ancient. For what may be auouched of the liuely voice of God himselfe, or of the Oracles of his mind, the same in some respect may be said of the scripture, supplying vnto vs their defect. For Substance of the scripture, simply most ancient. if I may truly say in some sort, the scripture is the liuely voice of God himselfe, doe I not as truly speake also in like manner, the scripture is most ancient, for as much as the voice of God is most ancient? But it shall suffice vs to commend the antiquitie of scripture, to consider the substance onely of the scripture, which without all con­trouersie is most ancient. But the verie scripture and wri­ting it selfe hath his excellencie also, for that the scripture in respect of the very writing, is said to be giuen vs also by diuine inspiration. For there is not a iote or pricke in the Scriptura, est [...]. very writing, which is not by the inspiration of God.

Here the Aduersaries take exception, and as els where often, so here they prefer their Church before the scrip­ture, and they affirme the Church is more ancient then the scripture: For they say there was a Church two thou­sand A Popish obie­ction. full yeares before Moses, the first writer of the scrip­ture. And since Christs comming the Church for many yeares wanted the scriptures. But that which hath beene alreadie written, and is aforesaid, can easily solue this ob­iection: For if we vnderstand by this word Scripture, not only the characters and books, but also that substance and matter contained in them (for we haue the Prophets and Apostles speaking in the scriptures, & we haue their liuely voice, we haue (I say) the liuely voice of God him­selfe, and the very expresse mind of God contained in them) if I say, we vnderstand by this word that substance; it cannot thē be denied, but the scripture is more ancient then the Church, which was borne not of mortall seed, but of immortall, euen by the word of God, who liueth and endureth for euer, 1. Pet. 1. 23. I say (the premisses well conside­red) it shall appeare, the scripture is not onely more anci­ent then the Church, but to be of greatest antiquitie, and [Page 57] to haue beene with God from euerlasting. But if by this word ye vnderstand both the matter and writing; in this respect also, it shall be no disparagement to auouch it to be of greater antiquitie then the Church; yea to be most ancient, as we haue at large before shewed. And thus far of the first propertie of the sacred scripture, and of the third controuersie.

CHAP. X. Of the second propertie of the sacred Scripture, where begins the fourth controuersie.

THe second propertie of the sacred scripture is opened sufficiently in a manner alreadie, in the second controuersie before handled. This propertie is this; that the Scripture is most cleere in it selfe, and most easie to be vnderstood: for it being the very word of God (which word euerie man must ne­cessarily graunt, to be in it selfe most cleere, most manifest and most perspicuous, whether you respect the words or the matter contained in the words, if men will not offer extreme iniurie to Gods holy Spirit:) assuredly it must follow (I say) that the holy scripture is in it selfe, and of it selfe, most cleere and euident in euery part, and in euerie respect. Of this great perspicuitie of the scripture, the ho­ly ghost testifieth often, Psal. 119. The word of the Lord is a lanterne to my feete. Psal. 19. The precept of the Lord, saith the Psalmist, is cleere, and inlighteneth the eyes. Prou. 6. The [Page 58] commandement is a lanterne, and the law is a light. The Lord by the Prophet Esay, chap. 45. 19. saith, I haue not spo­ken in secret: and 2. Pet. 1. 19. he saith, We haue a most sure word of the Prophets, to the which ye do well that ye take heede, as to a light that shineth in a darke place. Wherefore the whole scripture, & al places of the scripture, are by them­selues, and in themselues most manifest, most cleere, and applied also to the capacity of the vulgar sort, and of the most vnlettered among the people. For it is certaine, that the Lord in the scriptures doth as it were lispe with vs, Io. 3. 12. If I haue spoken to you of earthly things, and you be­leeue not, that is, I haue spoken vnto you, after an earthly and plaine manner, and I haue applied my selfe to your capacitie, &c.

I haue auouched that the sacred scripture is in it selfe cleere and easie: True it is, if ye respect men, as they are All the scripture cleere and easie to the weakest beleeuer. 1. Cor. 2. 14. men, that is, naturall and carnall, the holy scripture vnto such is altogether obscure and strange: For the naturall man doth not conceiue the things which appertaine to the Spirit of God. But if ye consider the spirituall man, and such as be taught of God, I grant to such it is partly obscure, be­cause they be as yet in part carnall: And for this cause the godly put vp continually supplications vnto God (as fee­ling the reliques of their naturall blindnes and corrupti­on) and making requests, that the eyes of their vnder­standing might be opened, that they may behold the bright shining light of the scriptures, and of euerie place and portion of the scripture, being otherwise most eui­dent in it selfe. All the religious and godly in their pray­ers are so farre from laying any imputation of hardnesse and obscurity on Gods word; that they do euer accuse & condemne themselues, and their owne blindnesse and dulnesse.

And albeit this be true, that all the scripture, and all places of the scripture be simply and in themselues most Note. cleare and easie, and onely darke and hard by reason of [Page 59] our corruption and blindnesse, yet this cannot be denied, but that some places of scripture be more cleere in them­selues, then others, more easie and more euident; as those scriptures, concerning faith and manners, which bee so necessarie vnto saluation: they be (I say) so cleerely set downe, so often repeated, and in so manie places expoun­ded, that we need not manie rules for interpretation, or to find out the knowledge of them. But these places also require the grace of Gods holy spirit: for without him, spirituall things which be most perspicuous and euident, cannot be vnderstood of anie man on earth. Wherfore he that is ignorant of the most cleere scriptures, which doe so much concerne his saluation, is altogether blind, and lieth as yet in the wofull state of perdition, for so the A­postle speaketh: If that the Gospell be hid, it is hidden to them that are lost, 2. Cor. 4. 3. 4.

As for other scriptures which are more hard in appea­rance, for that they do not so much concerne the necessa­rie articles of faith, and rules of life and conuersation, we may be ignorant of them without danger of faith and saluation: albeit the knowledge of such places might bring some light for the better vnderstanding of the How to interpret & expound hard scriptures. scriptures, which of necessity must be knowne concer­ning faith and manners. And we may attaine some tole­rable interpretation of these scriptures, analogicall vnto faith, if we obserue those rules of knowlege and interpre­tation, which are commonly recommended by the lear­ned, euer making Gods holy spirit our first and principal guide for our inward illumination and instruction. The rules which follow this, are but the meanes which the ho­ly Rules. Ghost vseth; and they are borowed partly out of the 1 holy scripture, as by conference of places of the scripture, 2 either the very same, or the like in sense and phrase: part­ly 3 from els where, as of the common places of diuinitie, 4 of the testimonie of the Church, of the Grammar it selfe, 5 specially, the Hebrue and Greeke: and good rules and 6 [Page 60] helpes are had from Rhetoricke and Logicke; which tea­cheth vs to consider not onely of simple arguments set a­part, 7 but also of the disposition and connexion of argu­ments, bound and knit together in Axiomes or proposi­tions, in syllogisme and methode. For Logicke teacheth vs the coherence of Antecedents and consequents, which serueth not a little for the vnfolding and opening of hard places. And to passe ouer other things, some little insight in Ethickes and Physickes, &c. may giue some helpe hereunto. But aboue all things we must remember to put vp vnto God contiuall and feruent prayers, to open and to enlighten our minds by his holie Spirit. If men obserue these meanes for the interpretation and vnder­standing of the Scriptures, and hard places of the Scrip­ture, we shal not lightly erre from the truth of God.

Here fume the aduersaries, and endeuour to proue by The drift of Pa­pists in affirming the scriptures to be obscure. manie arguments, that the Scriptures in themselues and of themselues are obscure, euen in those places which are necessarie, and appertaine to saluation: to this end and purpose, forsooth, to withdraw mens minds from rea­ding the Scriptures, that they may attend and trust to their dreames, and that they may obtrude their glosses on the Church, euen what please them, & what for the most part they preferre before the text it selfe; writhing as it were, and drawing rather the text of Scripture to be their glosse, then giuing any light of interpretation by or from the text it selfe. And heere they contend against vs with testimonie, first, of the Scriptures themselues; next, of the Doctors and Fathers of the Church; & lastly, with argu­ments of their owne: all which may easily be answered, if we obserue well the grounds before set downe. It shall suffice vs now to heare onely one or two of their argu­ments refuted.

They demaund, whether for these Scriptures now ex­tant of the old and new Testament, we haue no need of commentaries, which are now in the world verie manie, [Page 61] written by manie men? I answer, that the diuine Scrip­tures of themselues haue no need of the comments and interpretations of men; for the Scriptures we account thē to be the liuely voice of God himselfe: and what is there that can make this voice of God more cleere and eui­dent in it selfe? Can either man or Angell speake anie thing more cleerely, then God himselfe? or doth God purposely affect obscuritie? both which to auoch is verie blasphemous. As for the Commentaries or expositions Commentaries, of the godly learned, which haue spent some good time in the Scriptures of God, we graunt they helpe the igno­rant and the common sort very much, and that they serue well to dispell the clouds of our naturall corruption.

But this may seeme a greater question and more doubtful, touching the preaching of Gods word, and the expounding of the Scriptures, by Pastors and preachers in the publike assemblies: whether preaching be not ne­cessarie, I meane the liuely preaching of Pastors and tea­chers? I answer, the Scriptures of God, which we ac­count as the liuely voice of God, haue no need of this meanes in themselues; I say, that God and his word in themselues need neither this preaching nor interpreta­tion of the scriptures: But the necessitie of the ministery and of preaching is only in respect of vs, and of our blind­nesse and ignorance, which be but as children, yea as in­fants in a manner, all the dayes we liue on earth Ephe. 4. 1. Cor. 13. And when as we shall become men in the world to come, then shall we haue neede of no such mi­nisterie: for we shal rest contented (being filled with that The state of the elect in heauen. onely light of God, and of Christ) without any further instruction of men or Angels. And thus farre of the se­cond propertie of the Scripture, and of the fourth con­trouersie.

CHAP. XI. Of the third propertie of the sacred Scripture, whereof ariseth the fift controuersie.

THE third propertie of the sacred Scripture is this, It is most Simplicissima plaine and pure, whether ye respect words or phrase: neither hath it any ambiguitie or doubtfulnesse in it. This property differs frō the former here­in, for that whereas perspicuitie ex­tendes it selfe, and concernes words and matter; this sim­plicitie or plainnesse (as I may so speake) is of words on­ly. This we auouch then, that the sacred Scripture is of it selfe most single and plaine, voide of all ambiguitie, and Circumlocution by speech. Amphibologie, or that it contayneth nothing doubtfull in one place, which is not expressed in another, if there be any obscuritie in it. For the word of the Lord and his spirit be euer single and sincere; neither doth God at any time speake to catch men with ambiguous and doubt­full speeches, as doe Diuels and Sophisters; but to teach men his holy truth. For the spirit of truth leadeth vs into all truth, Io. 16. 13. And the Scripture is giuen of God by in­spiration, & is the very word of God, as is before shewed: Wherefore if we will not offer God extreame iniurie, we must necessarily graunt, that the Scripture in it self is most plaine, and If the scriptures seeme doubtful, condemne thine owne sinne and corruption. simple in sense and signification. I say, the Scripture in it selfe is plaine, as touching the sense: for if [Page 63] there be any ambiguitie in any words of scripture, that diuersitie or darknesse may not be imputed to the Scrip­ture, but to the blindnes and ignorance of men, euen of such also which do not of any euil purpose of hart peruert the Scripture. For there be many which impiously wrest the same to the one side and the other; when as they know right well notwithstanding, the sense of the same Scrip­ture is onely one, plaine and euident. To approue this plainenesse and simplicitie of the Scriptures, first the Son of God himselfe, in his disputations against Sathan and all his aduersaries, borroweth hence his weapons, by his owne example recommending the sacred scriptures to all men. Next after him the Apostles, and their successors, and the Fathers themselues haue drawen their arguments from the sacred scriptures against Heretickes, both for confirmation of truth and confutation of error.

The aduersaries here contend against this property of the sacred scripture, and they hold that that is doubtfull, ambiguous, and blasphemously report, that it hath a nose A lutae instar. of waxe, and may be turned here and there: For which cause they affirme it is the book of Heretiques, & that of it spring heresies, and that al men seeke to maintaine their errors by it. But these blasphemies are easily answered, by that which is before shewed. For this ambignitie, and flexiblenesse is not to be imputed to the scripture, which is giuen of God by diuine inspiration, and serueth vs in steede of Gods owne voice: but must be ascribed either to the ignorance or malice, or malapertnesse of men, who either cannot apprehend the simple & true sense of scrip­ture, or malitiouslie peruert and turne the same into a strange sense.

Here they obiect, that the scripture is full of tropes, al­legories, Ob. parables, words of diuers significations, am­phibologicall sentences, visions; all which haue their am­biguity. I answer, that this matter may the better be clee­red, we are to looke a little more soundly into it. The A. [Page 64] ambiguity which is contrarie vnto simplicity, being in the words and not in the matter: for the words are am­biguous, and not the matter: Let vs reduce all ambiguity 5. Principall heads. which is in the words, vnto 5. principall heads. For first there bee simple or common words of diuers acceptati­ons: secondlie, there bee tropicall or figuratiue words: thirdly, there be whole speeches or sentences, which carry a doubtfull signification: fourthly, there be allegorical speeches consisting of the continuation of tropes: fiftly, there be also typicall words and sentences concerning types and figures.

Of all these, this I say generally; that in all such places the holy Ghost hath but one only simple sense and mea­ning. For as touching words of diuers significations, if any such words be found in scripture in the originals, He­brue and Greeke (as that can not be otherwise, but there must be such in the scriptures) first I say that such words haue but one signification only in such places, and that the holy Ghost purposeth and intendeth, but one thing by them. For the holy Ghost desireth not to vse any falla­cion or sophistication. Next I answer, that wee may de­prehend that one signification, and that one plaine How to vnder­stand a doubtfull worde, Phrase or sentence in scripture. meaning of the word (we desire to finde) either by the drift of the holy Ghost in that place or text, where any such word is; or by conference of other places of Scrip­ture, where the like worde is to be found; or by other Scriptures, expressing the same sense and matter in other words; or by obseruation of Grammaticall accidents, ac­cents, points or pricks, and such like. And where we find tropes and words borowed and drawn from their pro­per and natiue signification in any text of scripture, I say that there such words are vsed by ye holy ghost, purpose­ly to expresse in a more significant and liuely manner, but one sense and meaning. As where it is saide (this is my bo­dy) by the Metonymie, which is in the word body, the spirit speaketh more significantly, then if he had said; This is a [Page 65] signe of my body: For by that metonymicall phrase, the holy Ghost plainly auoucheth the sacramentall vnion, which is of the signe and of the thing signified. Next I say, if the trope seeme somewhat obscure and strange, that ye may finde the signification of the same trope by a word of proper signification, either in the same scrip­ture, or in some other scripture, where the like trope may be found.

If ye meet in scripture with a sentence seeming ambi­guous, A sentence in scripture seeming ambiguous first be wel assured that Gods spirit doth not pur­posely speake doubtfully, as sophisters do, but hath euer one single and plaine meaning: but men doe both giue and receiue an euill construction of the context, either ignorantly or malitiously. Next, I say, that other places of scripture do more cleerly set forth the selfe same mat­ter: Finally; if you find allegories in scripture, of them this I affirme, that first they serue for illustratiō: next, that they haue but one signification or sense: and the same is either manifest and needeth no further exposition, or if it be ob­scure, it is more cleerly expressed some where else in the scripture. And as for scriptures concerning types, I say of them also first, that they haue but one signification, and A typicall speech in scripture. signify types only, and not also the matters signified by them: next, that one very sense of the types is applyed to signify another thing, that is, the body it self: for the types themselues cary in them the signification of the things signified, and shadowed by the types, and not the words themselues which are vsed to set forth the types: for in that historie recorded, Gal. 4. this name Sarah signifieth Abrahams wife, that is, the type only: next the type sig­nifieth the couenant, that is, the thing shadowed, figured, and signified by the type. And thus farre of the third pro­perty and fift controuersie.

CHAP. XII. Of the Fourth propertie, and Sixt controuersie.

THis we say also cōcerning the sacred scripture, that it is most effectuall, most liuely, and most vocall, sounding to euery man an answer of all things necessarie vnto saluation. The life which here I vnderstād, is not any fleshly or carnal life, as the life of man; but that spirituall life, as the life of God: and by a liuely voice I meane, a spirituall voice, speaking not so much to the eare, as to the minde of man. For first if ye respect the substance of this diuine reuelation, this which I auouch, is without all controuersie. For the scrip­ture containes in it the word of God, which is liuely & power­full, &c. Heb. 4. Next in respect of the forme of the reue­lation thereof, that is, the very writing of God, this is eui­dent in like manner; for it was giuen and written by diuine inspiration: and whatsoeuer is of this kinde, must neces­sarily be in it selfe both liuely and spirituall. Againe, this Scripture is vnto vs, if not the liuely voice of God; yet certainly in stead thereof. For we haue none other liuely voice of God but this: for as for the voice of the Church, pastors and teachers in the Church, the same may erre; neither may it properly be called the voice of God. The voice of God we must auouch of it, that it is a liuely voice: [Page 67] ergo, &c. Thirdly, the very Scripture speaks of it selfe, as hauing a liuely voice, as we may reade, Rom. 9. The Scripture saith &c. Againe, Esaias Scripture is said to crie concerning Israel, Rom. 9. 27. Fourthly, so many as pro­pound questions of any matter necessarie to saluation, be sent to it: Esaie. S. Should not a people inquire at their God? from the liuing to the dead? Turne rather to the law & to the testimonie: If they speake not according to this word, there is no morning light in them. Againe, the Sonne of God him­selfe, so often as any propounded questions vnto him of the law, of diuorcement, of the Sabboth, of the Messi­as, of regeneration and of the resurrection, or how to attaine eternall life: he alwaies gaue them answer out of the sacred Scripture, and euer he sends such as moue any such doubts, vnto the Scripture. How readest thou? saith hee: and haue ye not read? Haue ye neuer read? How is it written?

Againe, the Apostles of Christ for all their assertions, bring proofe and testimonies out of the old Testament. Apollos was a man mighty in Scriptures, He strongly con­futed publiquely the Iewes, with great vehemency shewing by the Scriptures, that Iesus was that Christ, Act. 18. 24. 28. The men of Beraea receiued the word with all readinesse, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Act. 17. 11. Thus the primitiue Church, and the fathers refu­ted heresies by the Scriptures. To conclude this point, most memorable is that worthy fact of Constantinus the Great, who propounding the Bible to the Fathers assem­bled in the Nicene councell, spake on this manner: Here I set before you the writings Euangelicall, of the Apostles, and the sanctions of the auncient Prophets, which can informe vs concerning the sacred law of God. To beat back therefore the dint of the sword of the aduersarie, let vs learne how to answer all obiections of the aduersarie, out of the words which are gi­uen vs of God by diuine inspiration. Lastly, this I haue said, that the Scripture is in it selfe liuely and vocall: for as con­cerning [Page 68] deafe and dead men, that is, the naturall neuer taught of God, vnto such (I say) it is but as deade & mute.

Here the aduersaries blaspheme and reply, saying, that ye sacred scripture is but as a dead letter, mute, and not able togiue answere to any man, not able to decide questions and controuersies in religion: And contrarily they glo­ry that the voice of the Church, which proceeds from the Scripture (as they speake) which is in grauen by Gods own Spirit in the hearts of men; they boast, I say, that this is vocall, and able to answer the demaunders of all questi­ons appertaining to saluation, & that this cannot be wre­sted nor peruerted, but euer abides the same in al respects. The answer to this calumniation and blasphemy, is cleere of that which is before shewed: for we made it cleere and manifest, that the sacred Scripture is most liue­ly and vocall in it selfe. And whereas controuersies are not so soone decided by the Scriptures, the cause is not in Gods word, but in men, which be either so naturally blind and dull, that they cannot heare & vnderstand the Scrip­ture, speaking, answering, yea crying in their eares: or they be so malitious and obstinate, that they will not heare and vnderstand; yea that they will full often, against their owne conscience, wrest the voice of the Scripture into a­nother sense, and that to their owne perdition. Where­fore we conclude this point, that the scripture is in it selfe, 2. Pet. 3. and by it selfe, most liuely and vocall.

And further we be to remember, that to the end it may speake as a liuely voice vnto vs, and to the end we may vnderstand it concerning all controuersies in religion, we must vse the meanes before mentioned, & our very Grā ­mar Meanes to be v­sed for the vn­derstanding of the scripture. is one speciall instrument for this purpose. For our eies & eares are opened by such meanes to vnderstand the Scripture, and to attend vnto Gods voice speaking in the scripture, if it shall seeme good to the holy Ghost to worke effectually by them in our hearts and minds. If so be that the spirit worke effectually by the aforesaide [Page 69] meanes, then the Scripture shall answer to all contro­uersies concerning faith and religion, with a more cleere, liuely, intelligible, and distinct voice, then all the men in the whole Church shall answer, who can auouch no­thing sound and certaine, vnlesse first they haue recei­ued it from the mouth of the Scripture, and answer in the verie words of the scripture. For whereas these men say, the voice of the Church is liuely, and vocall, heard of all men, and cannot bee peruerted and wre­sted: To this I answer first, that the voice of the Church, (as is aforesaid) doth depend on the voice of the scrip­ture: Next, that the voice of the Church is subiect to errours and change: so that they may this day answer one thing, and to morrow another: and this serues no better in a manner, then a Lesbian rule, to decide controuersies concerning faith & religion. As for the church of Rome, they haue so long and so corruptly answered concerning faith and religion, that they haue caried the world from the truth to lies and errours, and infinite heresies: that there is now no cause wherefore these men may so put forth to sale, the voice and sound of their Church, which is become so corrupt and adulterous.

CHAP. XIII. Of the fift property of the Church, and of the seuenth controuersie.

NOw it resteth that we proue, that the sacred Scripture is simply most necessarie. Here then I say, that if by Scripture yee vnderstand the substance and the verie matter contained in the words written, it cannot be denied that the scripture is so necessarie, that without it there can be no Church in earth, for the church is borne and bred, not Fift propertie, Scripture is most necessarie. of mortall, but of immortall seede, which is the word of God, 1. Pet. 1. 23. But if ye vnderstand by the scripture, the ve­rie writing and forme of reuelation, I say, that in this re­spect also it is so necessarie, that without this there cannot be a Church. For the liuely voice of God is simply neces­sarie: The scripture after a sort, is the liuely voice of God: therefore simply necessarie.

I graunt it, that when as the liuely voice of God did sound, and was heard in the Church; this writing, and this forme of reuelation was not then so necessarie: but when as God did cease to speake, and that the scripture came in place of Gods own voice; then the scripture was no lesse necessary, then the liuely voice of God. For the voice of God must euer be in the Church, that the church may haue her being, and may continue on the earth; yea this voice must be heard by the Church, either by it selfe, or by that which may best supply the want of the [Page 71] liuely voice of God. Before Moses time, this voice it selfe was heard: after his time, this voice sounded and spake in, and by the voice and writings of Moses, and the Prophets: When Christ was come, his owne liuely voice was heard: After Christs ascension, for a time the 2. Cor. 5. 19. 1. Pet. 2. 19. preaching of the Apostles, and the bookes of the old Te­stament were receiued for the liuely voice of God him­selfe, and of his sonne Iesus Christ. Then followed the Apostolicall Scripture, which together with the holy scripture of the old Testament continue in the Church, to supply not only the liuely voice of the Apostles, but also of God, and of Christ himselfe. By the premisses it is euident, yt it is simply necessary at all times, that the liue­ly voice of God sound euer in the Church of God, either by it selfe, or by this supply, which wee now auouch to be only the sacred Scriptures of the old and new Testa­ment. Wherefore we plainly conclude, the Scripture is most necessarie.

The Aduersaries oppose themselues against this as­sertion, as against the former, and they denie that the scripture is simply necessarie: it is necessary (say they) that is, it is profitable or commodious for the well being of a Church; but is not so necessarie for the being; nor no such thing as without which the Church can haue no be­ing. And for this cause do these men denie the necessitie of the Scripture, that they may open the doore to their authoritie and traditions, that is, to their owne dreames, which they say, be simply necessary, and preferre them before the scripture. They are easily answered by the rules before set downe. For if by scripture they vnder­stand the substance of the scripture, it cannot be denied that the scripture is simply necessarie: but if they vnder­stand not the substance onely, but also the verie writing; in this respect also, we haue shewed it by cleere demon­stratiō, that the scripture is simply necessarie; for that it is vnto vs in place of ye liuely voice of God himselfe. Wher­fore [Page 72] their assertion is false, howsoeuer they take this word Scripture either in this sense or the other.

But they say, the Church wanted the scripture neere two thousand yeares, all which time religion was pre­serued by tradition only: Therefore the Scripture is not simply necessarie. I answer: If you vnderstand by Scrip­ture the verie substance of the couenant, then your argu­ment followeth not: for the substance of the scripture was in those verie traditions, whereby the Church was edified and kept. But if by this word ye vnderstand the verie writing; then I grant the scripture was not extant so manie yeares: and I say, that it was not then necessarie, for that then the liuely voice of God it selfe was heard. If they conclude, that because it was not then necessarie, therefore it is not now necessarie; or that it was not ne­cessarie, after that God had commanded it, and after that it began to be extant: surely the consequence is very e­uill: for as ages and times haue changed, so diuers formes of reuelation were necessarie.

Or we may more briefly set downe this controuersie in this forme.

THe scripture is necessarie not onely for the well-be­ing (as Popish Schoole-men speake) but also for the being of the Church: Et hactenus est simplex necessitas.

And this necessitie is in respect of time only: for there was not a necessitie of the scripture in all ages; I vnder­stand The word writ­ten not necessary in all ages. Heb. 1. 1. 2. by the word Scripture, not onely the substance of the written word, but also the manner or forme of reuela­tion: but this simple necessitie must bee auouched of the substance and forme of reuelation in diuers respects. For the scripture as touching the substance of it, was necessa­rie to the Church in all ages, but in respect of the manner of reuealing the same, it was necessarie for a certaine time only, to wit, vntill it seemed good vnto Almightie God [Page 73] to teach his church by the scripture. ARG. 1. For the Lord God had not giuen his Church the Scripture, if he had not thought it necessarie euū for the being of his Church. ARG. 2. The liuely voice of God was necessarie in the time appointed for it: ergo, the Scripture also is necessary in the time the Lord hath decreed for it: for there is but one and the same reason of both. ARG. 3. It is necessa­rie that Gods will be reuealed and communicated to the Church at all times in one forme or other, either by Gods own liuely voice, or by writing, or by both: but now the liuely voice of God hath ceased: therefore now the word written is necessarie.

The aduersaries deny this absolute necessitie, moued hereunto with these arguments following. First, from A­dam to Moses there was no Scripture: Ergo. I answer, the Lord God thought it not necessarie for all that time. But when as the Lord himselfe began to write, and that the 2. Pet. 1. 18. 19. 21. holy men of God were acted and moued by the holie Ghost, first Prophets, then Apostles; then the Scripture began to be necessarie, & euen simply necessary. ARG. 2. From Moses vnto Christ, Iob and his friends both belee­ued and were saued without the Scripture. I answer, It is most like these also read the scriptures; as may appeare by the Eunuches story, Act. 8. Next, I answer, that so ma­nie as were called without the visible Church, God dealt with them in an extraordinary manner. ARG. 3. They did more attend the traditions of the Fathers then the written word, euen in the second age. I answer, this is false. ARG. 4. In the third age there was no scripture of the new Testament extant for a long season. Ergo. I an­swer, the Apostolicall scripture beganne not long after Christ: Next, all that time, I grant it was not necessarie; but when the Apostles were dead, and when their liuelie voice ceased, then began it to be necessary.

CHAP. XIIII. Of the sixt propertie of the Scripture, and the eight controuersie.

THE Scripture is perfect, containing in it all things necessarie for faith and manners, not onely sufficiently, but also abundantly: for this is the perfection which heere wee doe auouch. The sense then of the Proposition is this: This kind of reuelation containes all things, &c. The proofe is this. Argument 1. The liuely voice of God contained all articles or instructions concerning faith and manners: Ergo, so doth the Scripture. The reason of the argument is euident; for that nothing, in respect of substance, was spoken by that liuely voice, which is not recorded in the Scripture. ARG. 2. If the Scripture contained not all things necessarie perfectly, then euill were the condi­tion of our Church, and of our time, which heareth not the liuely voice of anie man speaking by diuine in­spiration, nor of any prophet or Apostle. ARG. 3. The religious and such as be taught of God, haue an holy ex­perience of the sufficiencie of the Scriptures, and of the fulnesse of it. Adde to these arguments these diuine te­stimonies. Deut. 4. Ye shall not ad to the word that I speake, &c. Reuel. 22. If anie shall adde to these things, God shall Vers. 18. adde vnto him the plagues which are written in this booke. Albeit these sayings are to bee vnderstood properly of particular books, yet the same reason serues for all books of the canonicall scripture: and surely the reason binds [Page 75] more strongly: for if we may not ad to particular books, how much lesse is it lawfull to adde to the whole Canon. Prou. 30. Thou shalt ad nothing to his words: This seemes to be vnderstood of the whole Scripture. Matth. 28. Teaching to obserue all things which I commanded you. Gal. 1. 8. If we or an Angell from heauen shall preach vnto you ano­ther Gospel, or otherwise then that which we haue preached vn­to you, let him be accursed. Ioh. 20. These things are written that ye may beleeue, &c.

And as for the iudgment of the Aduersaries in this matter, which affirme that the scripture is lame and mai­med, chiefly note Bellarmine and his arguments for this purpose. They teach the scriptures to bee defectiue and weake, that we might giue place to their traditions and forgeries: wherefore let vs a little consider this matter of Of Traditions. traditions. The word Tradition is generall, and signifi­eth any doctrine written or vnwritten: and so this word is vsed both in the sacred scriptures, and in the ancient Writers: albeit the Papists affirme that the Fathers vse this word onely to signifie a doctrine not written. Te­stimonies of scripture which cleere the generall accepta­tion of the word, are these. Act. 6. 14. And shall change the ordinances which Moses Quos nobis tradidit Moses: [...]. gaue vs, or which wee had from Moses by tradition. 2. Thess. 2. 15. Keepe the tradition or doctrine Traditam do­ctrinam. [...]. deliuered vnto you, which ye were taught, either by word, or by our Epistle.

The word tradition in Scripture is giuen other whiles to things ncessarie and continuing; and sometimes to things not necessarie and temporarie. The testimonie which is 2. Thess. 2. vers. 15. is of necessarie doctrine. The place which is cited out of the Acts, 16. 4. is of cere­monies: for heere the Spirit speaketh of a decree of the Councell holden at Ierusalem concerning bloud, and things offered to idols, and that which is strangled: Of which Act. 15. 28. As touching traditions which concerne necessarie points of faith & manners, they were first deliuered by the [Page 76] liuely voice of Christ & his Apostles: and then the short summe of them recorded in bookes, as may appeare by that speech of the Apostle concerning the Lords supper, 1. Cor. 11. 23. And againe 1. Thess. 4. 2. [...]. where he giueth rules of an honest conuersation. And againe 2. Thess. 2. 15. And as touching traditions which be not necessarie, but ceremoniall, they were either recorded, as of Eccle­siasticall rites, 1. Cor. 11. 14. or not recorded. 1. Cor. 11. 34. Other things will I set in order when I come. He pro­miseth heere to set in order, but ceremonies, and namely such as did concerne the Lords supper. Of ceremonies, onely this I wil say, they did no way exceed, neither were Of Ceremonies. Good rules. they vnprofitable, neither were they deliuered with anie 1 opinion of necessity to bind mens consciences, neither 2 were they contrarie to those things which were written: 3 yea, this I auouch, yt there was nothing deliuered by way 4 of tradition; or touching ceremonies by the Apostles, which had not good ground & warrant in Gods word, that is, in the bookes of the Prophets, and in the do­ctrine of Christ, which not long after was written by the Euangelists and Apostles. And as for Popish traditions Popish traditi­ons and ceremo­nies. and ceremonies, there is no end of them; they are vnprofi­table; they are like old wiues fables; all for the most part deliuered with an opinion of necessitie; and most of them most repugnant to the Apostolicall doctrine. And thus do we distinguish traditions.

The aduersaries vnderstand by Tradition, their vnwrit­ten veritie, not that which is no where found written, but that which is not written by the first author thereof, that is, by him which deliuered the same by his owne liuely voice. This then the Papists do here professe, that they cannot find their traditions in the Scriptures, nor proue them by the Scriptures.

CHAP. XV. Of the seuenth propertie, and ninth controuersie.

THE sacred scripture is the iudge of all con­trouersies: I meane such controuersies, as are concerning religion. Now there bee two principall controuersies concerning religion; the first is of the scripture it selfe, who shall be iudge here, or how it may be tryed, that the scripture is the word of God. The second The iudge of the scripture. is of the sense and interpretation of the scripture, who shal iudg of that, or how it may appeare that this, or that, is the very naturall sense of the Scripture. I meane by iudge­ment here a definitiue sentence pronounced and giuen with such authority, as that all men must herein rest. By the word scripture, I meane not only the substance there­of, but also the form of reuelation, which is also by diuine inspiration. Againe, this manner of speaking is improper, when we say of the scripture, that it is the iudge of con­trouersies. For to speake properly, the holy Ghost is the iudge; for the iudge must be a person, and the holy Ghost he is the third person in Trinity. The Scripture therefore is not properlie said to be a iudge: but it is the voice and sentence which the Iudg hath giuen the principall instru­ment or meane, wherby ye spirit sets forth his iudgment, & [Page 78] whereby he teacheth vs, and worketh faith in our hearts. And the spirit here iudgeth freely in and by whom he pleaseth, being not tied to any one kind of men, as Pa­stors & Doctors, but in and by whom it seemeth good to him. Here then three things must be considered of vs: First, whether the holy ghost be a iudge. Secondly, whe­ther the scripture be his principal voice wherby he giueth First, whether the holy Ghost be a iudge. sentence, or determineth any question. Thirdly, whe­ther he iudg in and by any man without difference or re­spect of persons, or be bound to one certaine kinde or sort of men. For the first question, I answere; the holy Ghost is a Iudge, first, for that he was promised of Christ Io 14. Math 28. Mar. 16. vnto his church, at his last departure from the Apostles, & is giuen & as it were deputed Christs vicar on earth, both to teach and to iudge, &c. Secondly, for that among other offices of the holy Ghost, this is one, to iudge. But because the aduersaries do not much gainsay this assertion concer­ning Io. 16. Gods spirit, that by him all things are to be iudged and tried, and that by him the scriptures are to be inter­preted, therefore we will be briefe in this point. Now for the second point, that the holy scripture is the prima­rie Secondly, that the holy scripture is the principall voice of the iudg voice of this iudge, iudiciarie, and proper to him, whereby he begets faith in our harts; may appeare by these reasons following. First, the scripture is the word of God. Secondly, it is most auncient. Thirdly, it is most cleere or euident. To these I ad the testimonie of the scripture it selfe. Ioh. 14. 25. 26. He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to Suggeret. remembrance which I haue told you. And here­unto may also be added the common experience of the Saints. There are other meanes to prooue this, but lesse principall, among which the testimony of the Church is one. The aduersaries withstand this conclusion, and in­fring it, with these arguments. First the scripture is not written in mens hearts with the finger of God, neither is it the primary voice of God. Secondly, the scripture is of no antiquity. Thirdly, it is obscure. Fourthly, ambiguous, [Page 79] &c. Bellarmine ads more to these, of which ye may read in him. They conclude, that the voice of the Church is the principall and proper voice of the holy Ghost, as he is the Iudge of controuersies. Their proofe is this: The scripture is written in the heart of the Church with Gods own fin­ger, & this is the primary voice of God: And whatsoeuer excellency wee doe ascribe to the scripture, that they attribute to their owne Church, which is nothing els but a den of theeues.

And that the spirit being this great iudge, is not bound to one sort of men, as those of the Ecclesiasticall function, the Pope and Councels (as they speak) but doth performe this office without all respect of persons, in whom and by whom soeuer it seemeth good vnto himselfe; this is ma­nifest, first: for if the holy Ghost be not the Iudge both of the very context of the scripture, whether it be Gods word, and of the interpretation of scripture; if he be not (I say) in man himselfe, assuredly there can be no faith. For the spirit only begetteth faith in mans heart. Second­ly, the holy Ghost executeth his other offices freely in & by any man; therefore so may he this function of iudging. What is meant by iudging in the holy Ghost▪ For I demand, what els is it to iudge, but to inlighten, & to teach that the scripture is giuen of God by inspiration, and that this is the naturall sense of this scripture. Third­ly, the same we be taught by our experience: for we find it true by experience, that he doth freely iudge in and by whom it pleaseth him. Testimonies of scripture proue al­so this assertion. 1. Cor. 12. 11: And all these things worketh euen the selfe same spirit, distributing to euery man seuerallie as he will. And Esay, 54. All thy children shall be taught of God. Ier. 31. I will write my lawes in their harts. The aduer­saries impugne this truth of God with some argumēts of their owne, of which ye may reade in Bellarmine. And these men binde the holy Ghost to the Pope, and to councels confirmed by him, which point our men im­pugne also & refute with many arguments, of which this [Page 80] is one: that of their conclusion, this must be the conse­quent, that the Pope and his councels must be aboue the scriptures: which thing is absurd to be graunted. See more arguments of this subiect in their disputations.

CHAP. XVI. Of the eight propertie, and the tenth controuersie.

LASTLY, we auouch that the sacred scrip­ture is of highest authority, excellency and 10. Propertie. dignity on the earth. Here againe by this word scripture, we vnderstand both the sub­stance of it, and the writing. And here wee meane it hath such excellency, as makes it most wor­thie of credit, and whereby also it gaines authority and estimation to the Church. For which cause the Church is called the Pillar and ground of truth, 1. Tim. 3. 15. And it hath many other titles, which are giuen to it often in the scriptures. This is prooued by the former demonstrations, as these: The scripture is the word of God, it is most perspi­cuous, it is most pure and simple, &c. Ergo.

The aduersaries vary in iudgment touching this au­thority of Scripture: For some of them detract from this soueraigne authority of it, affirming that of it selfe it is not authentical, but takes authoritie and estimation from the Church. Of this minde are these, Eckius in Enchiridio. Pighius in his booke de Hierarchia, and one Hermannus [Page 81] an impudent Papist, he with a black mouth auoucheth it, that the scripture is of no more validity without the te­stimony of the Church, then AEsops Fables, &c. Others, more late writers and more subtile, say, that the scripture hath authoritie in and by it selfe, and is authentical; but not to vs, before the church approue it, and ascertain it to be so. Of this iudgmēt be these: Bellarmine, Coclaeus, Canus, Stapleton, Canisius, &c. They which speake thus, that the written word of God is not authenticall to vs, before the iudgment of the Church be manifested: these men (I say) haue this meaning, that we bee not bound to be­leeue that the Scriptures bee authenticall, before the iudgment of the Church be past of it; and that we sinne not at all, if wee beleeue them not before the definitiue sentence of the Church. But we hold this to be false also, to say that the scripture is not to vs authenticall, without the authority of the Church: For it is the holy Ghost that teacheth euery man to know & beleeue that the scrip­ture is authenticall, and hath soueraigne authority in it selfe. And this he teacheth, not by any externall meane How the holy Ghost teacheth vs what authori­ty the scripture hath. first, but by the very sacred scripture, by which alone he properly breeds faith in our hearts to beleeue and appre­hend this truth of God. And so we resting on this illumi­nation of the holy ghost, teaching vs by the scripture, that this is the excellencie and authority of the scripture, doe beleeue this to be so, albeit the whole world did oppose it selfe against vs. And thus farre of the more essentiall questions concerning scripture.

CHAP. XVII. Questions more accidentall concerning the holy Scripture: and first of the bookes where­in the same is contained.

THE first question is concerning the books of holy scripture: These bookes are commonly called (for the excellency of them) The Bible. The Bible, as it is commonly receiued and caried in hands, containes in it two sorts of books: the first is of books Canonicall: and the second is Apocryphal. Regular or Canonicall bookes are such, as giue rule and direction touching faith and manners. The bookes of Moses are the first Canon, or president sent from God, First Canon. which may not be iudged or tryed by any other externall Canon whatsoeuer: For there was no booke extant be­fore the books of Moses. The authoritie of the writer so holy, and the euidence of the spirit so powerfull, and the holinesse of these books (to passe by other arguments) so great, hath gained these books this high estimation and authority in the Church. The books of the Prophets make vp the second Canon: which bee adiudged cano­nicall Second Canon. by that externall Canon of the Mosaicall books, by which they were examined. Next, they were and are di­scerned (of such as be taught of God inwardly by the holy Ghost) by the great euidence of Gods spirit which is ma­nifested in them both in words and matter. The third Third Canon. [Page 83] Canon are the Apostolical books of the New Testament, which are adiudged and approoued as Canonicall, partly by the Canonicall books of Moses, partly by the bookes of the Prophets, partly by the spiritual euidence they carry in themselues, which the Sons of God instructed by his holy spirit, can easily discerne. The Canonicall bookes of the Bible are either of the Old, or of the New Testament. The Canonicall books of the Old Testament are these.

  • 1. The 5. bookes of Moses.
  • 2. Ioshua. 1. booke.
  • 3. The booke of iudges. 1.
  • 4. Ruth. 1. booke.
  • 5. The bookes of Samuel. 2.
  • 6. The bookes of Kings. 2.
  • 7. The bookes of Chroni­cles. 2.
  • 8. Ezra, 1. booke.
  • 9. Nehemias 1. booke.
  • 10. Hester. 1. booke.
  • 11. Iob. 1. booke.
  • 12. Psalmes.
  • 13. Prouerbs.
  • 14. Ecclesiastes.
  • 15. The book of Canticles.
  • 16. Esaiah.
  • 17. Ieremiah.
  • 18. Ezechiel.
  • 19. Daniel.
  • 20. The twelue small Prophets.

The Canonicall books of the New Testament are these, which are commonlie. receiued.

  • 1. The Gospel according to S. Matthew.
  • 2. The Gospel according to S. Marke.
  • 3. The Gospel according to S. Luke.
  • 4. The Gospel according to S. Iohn.
  • 5. The Acts of the Apost.
  • 6. S. Pauls Epistle to the Romans.
  • 7. S. Pauls Epistles to the Cormthians. 2.
  • 8. The Epistle to the Gal.
  • 9. The Epistle to the Ephesians.
  • [Page 84]10 The Epistle to the Philippians.
  • 11. The Epistle to the Colossians.
  • 12. The Epistles to the Thessalonians. 2.
  • 13. The Epistles to Timothie. 2.
  • 14. The Epistle to Titus.
  • 15. The Epistle to Philemon.
  • 16. The Epistle to the Hebrues.
  • 17. The Epistle of Saint Iames.
  • 18. The Epistles of Saint Peter. 2.
  • 19. The Epistles of Saint Iohn. 3.
  • 20. The Epistle of Saint Iude.
  • 21. The booke of the Re­uelation of Saint Iohn.

And whereas some haue doubted for a time of some of these bookes, as of the Epistle to the Hebrues, the Epistle of Saint Iames, the last of S. Peter, the 2. and 3. of S. Iohn, the Epistle of Iude, and the Apocalypse: yet they were neuer vtterly reiected, but for a time onely doubted of, whether they might be accepted as Canonical. These Ca­nonical books of the Old and New Testament were writ­ten by holy men, as they were moued by the holy Ghost, 2. Pet. 1. 21. And of these, some are called the Prophets, which wrote the bookes of the Old Testament, so called, because they were gouerned by the spirit of prophecy: Some be called Apostles, so called, because of their functi­on, & these wrote the books of the New Testament. The books of the old & new Testament some haue their wri­ters names expressely set downe, or noted by speciall cha­racters or signes: some haue no names at all annexed, whereby the holy Ghost would signify vnto vs, that these men were but instruments onely, and not the ve­ry authors of such books: wherefore we be not so much [Page 85] to respect their names, nor so busily to inquire after them, if they be not expressed. Thus farre of the Canoni­call bookes.

Now as concerning the Apocryphall bookes: they be so called, because the Church would haue them kept hid, and not to be read or taught publickly in the Chur­ches; the priuate reading of them was onely permitted. The Apocryphall bookes are such as were found onely annexed to the old Testament, and they bee eleuen in number.

  • 1 Iudith.
  • 2 Tobit.
  • 3 Esdras third & fourth booke.
  • 4 The Wisedome of
    falsly so called.
  • 5 Ecclesiasticus.
  • 6 Baruch.
  • 7 The Epistle of Ieremi­ah.
    Apocryphall bookes.
  • 8 Additions to Daniel.
  • 9 The Prayer of Manas­ses.
  • 10 The two bookes of Ma­chabees.
  • 11 The supplement of He­ster, from the third ver. of the tenth chap.

Among these some there are, which the verie aduersa­ries account to be Apocryphall. First, the prayer of Ma­nasses. Secondly, the third and fourth booke of Esdras. Thirdly, the third and fourth booke of Machabees, wher­of Athanasius maketh mention in his Synopsis. But we are to proue, that all these before named, bee Apocryphall. The first Argument is from the Writers: All the Cano­nicall bookes of the old Testament were written by the Prophets: But these were not written by the Prophets: Therfore they be not Canonical, but Apocryphal. I proue the Proposition, Luk. 16. They haue Moses and the Pro­phets, that is, the bookes of Moses and the Prophets. Luke 24. 27. of Christ it is written, that he began at Mo­ses [Page 86] and at all the prophets, and interpreted vnto them in all the Scriptures, the things which were written of him: Therefore Moses and the Prophets were the writers of the old Testament. To the Rom. 16. He cals the scrip­tures of the old Testament, the Propheticall Scriptures. And 2. Pet. 1. 19. The most sure word of the Prophets. And for the assumption: But these were not written by the Pro­phets, [...]. I proue it: Malachie was the last of the prophets: and betweene Malachie and Iohn the Baptist there arose no prophet. But these bookes were written after Mala­chies time, and this cannot be denied of some, as of Eccle­siasticus, & the books of ye Machabees: Ergo. 2. ARG. This is from the language wherin all the canonical Scriptures were written. They were written (I say) in the language of Canaan, in the Hebrue tongue, which was the speech of the Prophets, wherein they wrote their prophecies: But these bookes be not written in the Hebrue tongue, but all for the most part in Greeke: therfore our propo­sition or assertion is manifest. The Assumption is eui­dent, that I shall not neede to cite either the testimonie of the Fathers, or the aduersaries owne confession. ARG. 3. is from the testimonie of the old Church of the Iewes. If these books were Canonicall, the old He­brues had heard some thing of them: But they neuer heard of them: Therefore they be not Canonicall. The Proposition is cleere: I proue the Assumption. In Ezraes time all the canonicall bookes were gathered into one volume; and the Iewes care was such of them, that they nūbred all the letters which were found in the Prophets, & set down the sum of thē: how much more would they haue had care of these whole bookes, if they had heard of them. The 4. ARG. is from the testimonie of the late Church of the Iewes, which was in Christs time. If these books were canonicall, then the latter Rabbins or Iewish Writers would haue accepted them: but they did not re­ceiue them, but reiect them: Therefore they bee not ca­nonicall. [Page 87] I proue the Proposition: For out of all question, if they had not receiued the Canonicall bookes, Christ would haue taxed them for it, for that he so reprehends them for their sinister and false interpretations of the Ca­nonicall Scriptures. The Aduersaries grant the Assump­tion. The 5. ARG. is from the testimonie of Christ and his Apostles. If these before named books were canoni­call, then Christ and his Apostles would haue cited them somewhere for confirmation of their doctrines: but that can neuer bee found they did, no not in all the new Te­stament: therefore they be not Canonicall. The propo­sition is manifest: The matter it selfe will make sure the Assumption. The 6. ARG. These Apocryphall bookes containe some things differing from the canonical scrip­tures, some things contrarie, some things false, some things fabulous, and some things impious: Therefore these bookes be not canonicall. I proue the Antecedent. Tobit. 3. 8. and 3. 25. 5. 15. and 11. 12. Iudith 8. 6. and 9. 2. and 9. 13. and 16. 8. Baruch 6. 2. the Additions of Daniel 13. 1. and 14. 32. the Additions to Hester 15. 1. 2 Mach. 2. 1. 7. 8. 27. and 12. 43. and 14. 37. and 15. 39. The 7. ARG. These bookes containe contrarieties, and points repugning one another. Conferre 1. Mach. 6. 8. with 2. Mach. 1. 16. and 2. Mach. 9. 5. Conferre 1. Mach. 9. 3. and 2. Machab. 10. 1. Conferre 1. Machab. 4. 36. and 2. Mach. 10. 1. Conferre 1. Mach. 6. 17. and 2. Mach. 10. 11. The 8. ARG. is taken from an hu­mane testimonie, first, of Councels: secondly, of Fathers; the ancient first, next, the latter writers. The Councels which giue canons touching the canonicall bookes, and the Apocryphal, are these for the most part: The Laodicen Councel, which was held in the yeere after Christs incar­natiō 300. The 3. Councel of Carthage in the yeere 400. The Trullan in the yeere 600. The Florentine in the yeere 1150. The Tridentine in our age. Of these we may reason thus: The Laodicen Councell (the most ancient here [Page 88] numbred) reiects these bookes as Apocryphall: See the 59. Canon of that Councell: Ergo. But the aduersaries obiect heere: that at this time before the third Councell of Carthage, the canonicall bookes were not distinctly known. I answer, first, that this councell was not held till foure hundred yeeres after Christ: but it is absurd to say, that there was no Canon knowne, or that the canonicall books were not discerned till this time. Ergo. Secondly, I answer, that Councell was not general, but prouinciall: But a prouinciall Councell may not prescribe any canon for the Catholike Church: Ergo. But, they say, this Coun­cell was confirmed by that of Trullan. I answer, that the Laodicen Councell also was approued by this: and that the Trullan Councel is reiected by the Papists themselues in manie things.

Thus far of Councels: now for the ancient Fathers: they also did reiect these bookes, as Apocryphall: Ergo. I proue this by an induction. 1. Athanasius in his Sy­nopsis. 2. Cyril of Ierusalem. 3. Hilary Bishop of Picta­uia. 4. Melito bishop of Sardinia. 5. Nazianzen in his poem. 6. Hierom in his prologo Galeato, which is prefixed before the books of Kings. 7. Gregorie the Great. 8. Io­seph against Appian. 9. Ruffin in the exposition of the Symbole Apostolicall. 10. Augustine. The aduersaries here except, saying: But these men haue spoken of the canon of the old Testament of the Hebrues (say they) & not of Christians? I answer first, as if the Hebrues had one canon & the Christians another? Secondly, they did ap­proue that very canon of the Hebrues. But it may be (say they) that then peraduēture there was no Canon known or determined of by the Church. I answer, and I demand then, when was this decreed? and in what Councell? was this done in the Councell of Trent? but this is too late, for this Councell was euen in our age. Was it decreed in the Florentine Councell? that is but little elder. Was this Canon agreed vpon in the third Councell of Carthage? [Page 89] But that Councell, 1. was but prouinciall. 2. and this is reiected of the very Papists themselues in some things, as in the canon of the high Priest, which in number is the 26. They will say, this Councell was confirmed by the Trullan Councell. I answer. 1. So was the Laodicen. 2. So the canon was concluded or established later, to wit, in the yeare of Christ 400. 3. The Trullan Councell is reiected in many things of the verie Papists. 4. After the Trullan Councell there were Fathers which would not receiue the Apocryphall bookes. And so now let vs come to the second classe of Fathers, that is, to the latter Writers.

Heere then I reason thus: The late Writers doe not reckon these bookes among the Canonicall: Ergo. This I proue by an induction. Lib. de Officiis▪ Isidore, Iohn Damascen, Nice­phorus, Leontius, Rabanus Maurus, Radulphus, Lyra­nus, Carthusianus, Abulensis, Antoninus, Hugo Cardi­nalis, Erasmus in some of his writings, Cardinall Caie­tanus. All these were after the Trullan Councell; yea some of them were reputed for sonnes by the Church of Rome after the Florentine Councell.

By these testimonies first of Councels; next, of Fa­thers, it is euident, that none of these bookes was ac­cepted for Canonicall in anie lawfull iudgment: for if there had beene anie such matter, so manie ancient and late Writers would no doubt haue so acknowled­ged. Wherefore these bookes are Apocryphall, and so to be accounted.

The aduersaries for their defence alleage also hu­mane testimonies, and this in a manner is all they can say: They cite the Councels before named, as the third of Carthage, the Trullan, Florentine, and the Councell of Trent. But we reiect the two latter as tyrannicall, and congregate purposely to oppresse the truth and light of God. And touching the Trullan, and the third Councel of Carthage, we haue set downe our iudgment. And as [Page 90] for Fathers, they bring forth for this matter principally the Popes themselues, as Pope Innocentius, and Gelasius, and Augustine in some place. But I answer, that they can­not bring so many as we can, nor so ancient for them­selues. Secondly, when these Fathers, which they name, call these bookes canonicall, which we reiect as Apocry­phall, they take the name of Canonicall bookes, more large­ly then we, to wit, for bookes which haue some such san­ctity, as in prophane Writers cannot be found; and they call them so, not for that they meane that they are of like authoritie with the Canonicall bookes of Scripture. And we denie not, but that in many of these such holi­nesse may appeare, as cannot be found in the bookes of prophane authours. And thus farre of the Apocryphall bookes.

CHAP. XVIII. Of the authenticall Edition of the Bible.

WHereas there be extant many Editions of the Bible in diuers languages, as the Hebrue, Greek, and Latine, & other proper tongues, it is a question which of these must be repu­ted for authenticall? I answer, the Hebrue edition of the old, and the Greek of the new Testament, is authenticall; & so must be accounted: so that all things are to be determined by these, & all other editions must be approoued so far as they agree with these. Wee will therefore first speake of the Hebrue edition of the old Testament: we auouch then, that the Hebrue edition of [Page 91] the old testament is authenticall. This proposition shall haue his confirmation, after we haue giuen a short pre­face touching the Hebrue tongue, and the writing of the old testament in that language, and the preseruation of these bookes of the old testament, written in the Hebrue tongue to this day.

The Hebrue tongue was the first, and the The Hebrue tongue onely be­fore the floud. Gen. 11. 1. only lan­guage on earth to the floud, and to the building of the tower of Babel, Gen. 11. 1. 9. The whole earth was of one lauguage, and of one speech, or Et verba erant eadem. had the same words. At the building of Babel began the confusion of languages, and from the Hebrue, as from the mother of all the rest, all o­ther tongues had their first beginning: for all other lan­guages are nothing els in a manner, but as Dialects to the The Hebrue tongue mother of all the rest. Hebrue tongue, of which some resemble their mother more then other: some be more estranged from her. In that confusion of tongues, the Hebrue was preserued as the wombe or mother (as Hierome speaketh) of all the rest; this was preserued (I say) in the family of Heber, who was the fourth from Noah, and liued that verie time Hebers family kept the Hebrue tongue. that the tower of Babel was built, and when the confusi­sion of languages began. The Hebrue tongue then was so called first of Heber, & from him it came to his posteri­tie, not to all, but to them onely of whom came Abra­ham: and from him continued to the verie last of all the Prophets: for Haggai, Zacharias & Malachie wrote their prophecies in this very language. Thus farre of the He­brue tongue.

The olde testament was written first in this Hebrue and holy tongue. The first writer was Moses: the pro­phets The old testamēt written in He­brue. followed him: of whom some wrote before the captiuitie; some in the captiuitie; some after the cap­tiuitie: and they writ all in Hebrue, except Daniel and Ezra, which wrote some things in the Chaldee tongue. And this letteth not but that we may say, that all the old testament was written in the Hebrue tongue, for that the [Page 92] Chaldee and Hebrue haue no great diuersitie.

Now to speake of the preseruation of these bookes of the old Testament: the bookes of Moses & the prophets, that is, the old Testament written in Hebrue, was kept by the admirable prouidence of almighty God vnto this day. They were preserued (I say) in most perillous & hard times, as in the burning of the citie and of the temple of The admirable prouidence of God in the pre­seruation of the Bible. Ierusalem, in the captiuity, & in that most grieuous perse­cution of Antiochus Epiphanes: for hee raged also against these very books; & in the great persecutions which were after Christ, vnder the Roman Emperours.

But here it is demanded, whether the same very books which were written by Moses & the Prophets before the captiuity, be come into our hands? I answer, for this mat­ter, diuers men haue thought diuersly. For there were that thought, that those bookes which Moses & the pro­phets left, were lost when the temple and the citie were destroyed with fire, and that these which we haue, were repaired and written ouer againe by Ezra the Scribe, in­spired by God, & called extraordinarily for this purpose. Of this iudgment are these, Epist. ad Chi­lonem. Basil, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cle­mens Alexandrinus, Lib. de Offic. Isidorus, Rabanus Maurus, Leontius. It may be they were thus minded, because of that storie or fable rather, which we may reade Esdras 4. 14. But that booke is Apocryphall, and reiected not onely of our Church, but also of the Church of Rome. The point may be thus refuted. If Ezra had written ouer these bookes againe, then assuredly it is most like, that he would haue written them, not in the Hebrue, but in the Chaldee tongue, or in a mixt language of Hebrue and Chaldee to­gether: for that Ezra did write two bookes in that mixt maner, euen those two bookes of Esdras. Secondly, Ne­hem. 8. Ezra is said to haue brought forth, and to haue read, not his owne bookes, or bookes which he had writ­ten, but the bookes of the law of Moses. Thirdly, it is not like, but some godly man, or Prophet, or some other was [Page 93] left, which in that time of the fire, preserued these sacred books, or kept some copie of them: & the rather, for that thē, out of al doubt, Ezechiel & Daniel the prophets liued. 4. The very name which Daniel giues to the Chaldee mo­narchie (calling it the golden empire) doth argue that this did not so rage against the sacred books of God: for if this monarchy had laide such violent hands on Gods books, assuredly the holy Ghost would not haue giuen it a name of such excellency. Therefore that assertion is false: and the contrary is true, to wit, that the books of Moses & the old Prophets were preserued from daunger, when the Temple and the City were consumed with fire, as also in the captiuity, and so be reserued by diuine pro­uidence, and so deliuered by Gods owne hand at last into our possessions. Neither yet do we gaine-say, what the godly haue recorded, that is, that Ezra after the captiui­ty, did reuise the books of Moses and the Prophets, dige­sted them into one volume, and set them downe in this certaine order. Thus farre of this question.

Now it resteth, after the premisses, that we prooue the Hebrue edition of the old Testament to be only authen­ticall. That edition which was written in the first lan­guage that euer was, and first in the primarie language, and hath beene preserued in that tongue, purely & fully, euen vnto our times; I say, that edition of the old Te­stament is authenticall: But such is the Hebrue edition: Ergo.

The aduersaries cannot deny, but that it was written, in the first language and mother tongue, and also that it was first written in it; and they cannot deny, but that it was preserued in some purity euen vnto this day: but they will not graunt, or allow it this excellency of sincerity and purity which we auouch. Bellarmine hath obserued out of all the old Testament, 5. places only, whereby hee would prooue that the Hebrue fountaine hath lost some part of this puritie. The first place is Esay, 9. 6. And he Vajikra Sche­mo Pele.[Page 94] shall call his name (to wit, the Lord) Wonderfull. But the vulgar Latine readeth, and he shal be called, which reading Caluin approoueth: And therefore by Caluins confession, heere the Hebrue fountaine it selfe is not cleere. I answere first; the sense is the same, whether ye reade shall call or shall be called. Secondly, the letters are the same in both words in the Hebrue, shall call, and shall be called, the Vajikra. points being diuers do not make the body of the word to be of diuers significations. Thirdly, the Hebrue Doctors, as Uatablus, say often, that with the Hebrues a verbe per­sonal of the third person, is taken for an impersonall, as heere, shall call, for shalbe called. Fourthly, Tremelius and Iu­nius retaine the Hebrue reading, and say thus, and he doth cal his name, &c.

The second place is Ier. 23. 6. And this his name, where­with he shal cal him, the Lord our righteousnes: But the vulgar Vezeh Schemo asher jikreo, Ie­houah Tsid­kenu. Latin edition saith, that they shall cal him, the Lord our righ­teousnesse: and this translation also Caluin approoueth: Therefore by Caluins testimony, the very Hebrue text is here corrupted. I answer, the sense shall not de greatly vnfitting, if ye read whereby he shal cal him, to wit, the Lord our righteousnesse: The name going before is the name of a people of securitie, of a people that dwell safely, as Tremelius and Iunius vnderstand and reade the place. Thirdly, Ieremy leaues it to our free choise▪ Fourthly, the Hebrue Doctors Vatable, Pagnine, Arias Montanus, read vocabit, he shal cal; and yet turne the word, vocabunt, they shal cal.

The third place is in the 22. Psalm. 17. ver. They pierced Caari Iaddai Veraglai. my hands and my feete. In the Latine edition it is, Foderunt, they digged or pierced, and so read all Christians; but the Hebrue is, Sicut Leo, as a Lion: Wherefore in this place the Hebrue text is corrupted. I answer, ye Masorites testify that they haue read in some Hebrue copies Caru, which signifieth to dig into or to pierce. They also which haue ye word Caari in their books, say it is not to be taken here in Caari. [Page 95] the proper and common signification. The Chaldee Para­phrast doth knit both particles together: As a Lion smites with his teeth, so haue these pierced, &c. But these were be­fore Ierom, I meane the Masorites, and the Chaldee Pa­raphraste: therefore it is false, that this place was corrup­ted by the Iewes after Ieroms time. Ierom in his Psalter keeps this reading Caari, and yet he translates the word, foderunt, they digged or pierced. Lastly, a certaine Popish writer one Augustine Iustinianus, who set forth the book of Psal. coliected of many languages, doth plainly auouch it, this place is not corrupted, but that there is a defect of a word which the Chaldee Paraphrast hath supplyed.

The fourth place is Psal. 19. 5. Their line is gone forth Becol haarets iatsa kauuam. [...]. through al the earth. Here not only the vulgar, but the Septuagint also, whom the Apostle to the Rom. 10. fol­loweth, doe reade, their sound is gone &c. therefore this place is corrupted. Let Genebrard alone answer this in his obseruations on the Psalmes, who saith, the Sep­tuagint and Paule, did rather expresse the sense of the word, then the proper and naturall▪ signification thereof.

The fift place is, Exo. 2. after the 22. ver. in ye vulgar La­tine edition, all this place is read of a second son of Moses. And she bare a second, whose name he called Eliezer, saying, the God of my Father is my helper, and hath deliuer [...]d me from Pharaohs hand. But all this place is not to be found in the Hebrue text: Ergo. To this I answere: the very Louaine editions haue here their marginal note, to put vs in mind that this place hath crept into the text, and the better sort of the Papists are of this iudgement, that this place is not the natural or very text of Gods worde, as Caietanus, who writes of this place in this manner: All this clause of a se­cond sonne is superfluous. Wherefore Bellarmine can not conclude by these places, that the Hebrue edition is cor­rupt, and therefore is not authenticall.

I shall conclude contrarily with this one argument, that [Page 96] the Hebrue edition is not corrupt: If the Iewes corrup­ted it, it was before Christ or after: But not before Christ; which point (to passe by all testimonies of auncients) The Iewes before Christ did not corrupt the He­brue: Christ is witnesse, and so the apostle, Rom. 3. 1. I make euident with this one reasō. If the Iewes had cor­rupted the Hebrue text, Christ would haue texed them for so horrible an offence: But we neuer find that Christ so chargeth them for any such cause: but contrarily, we reade that hee sends them to that very Hebrue edition, which they had in their hands: Search the scriptures, saith he, Io. 5. 39. The Scripture was not corrupted after Christs time: which assertion I proue (to passe by the au­thority of auncients) with this one argument. The Iewes could not corrupt al the Hebrue copies, albeit they were neuer so willing to effect it, for that they were now for the most part come to the hands of Christians. Hence it followeth, that if the Hebrue text was not corrupted neither before Christs time, nor after his comming; then was it not corrupted at all. But happily they will say, that the Iewes corrupted it after Augustine and Ieromes The Iewes coulde not corrupt the Hebrue after Christs comming time? I answere, in what places? For as touching Bel­larmines 5. places, we haue already shewed, that both in Ieroms time and before, these places were thus read, as we read them this day. Wherefore we conclude, the Hebrue edition is most pure, and consequently in the old Testa­ment, this edition only is authenticall.

CHAP. XIX. Of the Greeke edition of the New Testament.

WHereas there bee many editions of the new Testament, wee say the Greeke only is the authenticall: which first I de­monstrate on this manner. First in Christs time and the Apostles, the Greeke tongue among the Gentiles was of greatest ex­cellency. Secondly, and as it was accounted of best note; so was it most famous and most common in the world: For albeit as then the Romane Empire was most large & great; yet the Latine tongue was not so common, as is te­stified by a good Cicero in oratio­ne pro Archiae poëta. writer of that age. Thirdly, the Idola­trie and superstition of the Gentiles, and all the Philoso­phy of the Greeks was written in the Greek tongue. The Lord hauing these and such like respects, no doubt, at what time it pleased him to carry his Gospell from the narrow bounds of Iewrie into the great and spacious field of all the world: It was the Lords will and pleasure, I say, at that time that the Gospel should be written prin­cipally in the Greeke tongue.

The writers they were, some of them, Apostles; some Euangelists; al which first wrote in Greek, except Mathew and the author to the Hebrues. For first concerning Ma­thew, [Page 98]In Synopsi.Athanasius saith, he wrote first in Hebrue; the same saithLib. 3.Irenaeus, & Incarmine. Naztanzen and Ierom, In Praefat. in 4. Euang. ad Da­mas. et in Cata­log. in Math. who saith that Mathew first in Hebrue. in his time Mathews Hebrue copie was reserued in the library of Cesaria which Pamphilus the Martyr built. A­thanasius saith, that Saint Mathews Hebrue edition was translated into Greeke by Iames the Apostle: others say, by Saint Iohn the Apostle: others by Mathew himselfe. Thus write the Fathers, but their assertion hath no strong grounds. For when Christ liued with his Apostles, all the Iewes spake Syriack, that is, a language mixt of Hebrue & Chaldaiack: Therefore if Mathew had purposed to write in any other language but the Greek, he would no doubt haue written specially in the Syriack tongue, and some Papists of this age are of the very same iudgment. Where­fore it is vncertaine whether Mathew first wrote in He­brew, Syriack, or Greeke: yet is it more probable that he did first write in Greeke, both for that this tongue was not vnknowne to the Iewes; and other Apostles first wrote in it, not onely to Iewes and Gentiles indifferent­ly, but also particularly to the very Iewes As Saint Iames and Saint Peter 1. Epist. Mathew in He­brue. In Catolog. in Paul.. Well, howso­euer it is, the Greeke edition which we haue in the Church at this day, is authenticall; for that it was both written and approoued, while the Apostles were yet li­uing: For as touching the Hebrue edition (if there were any) I doubt now, it can no where be found. And as for this Hebrue copie which is in many hands, it is not the true copy.

As concerning the Epistle to the Hebrues, Ierom sayth, that first it was written in Hebrue: next, turned into Greek either by Barnabas, or Luke, or Clement: but it is vncertaine, and it is more like to be true that this Epi­stle also was first written in Greeke. Howsoeuer it be, this Greeke edition of this Epistle which we haue at this day, is authenticall.

Now the New Testament written in Greek by the A­postles and Euangelists, hath beene so preserued by the [Page 99] admirable prouidence of God, euen in the middest of persecutions and heresies, vnto this age, and in all former ages so freed and kept by godly and Orthodoxall writers from the corruption of Heretiques: the Lord God, I say, hath so prouided that it is come into our hands most pure and perfect. Thus then I reason. That edition of the New Testament which was written in the best language and first, and originally written in it, to wit, the Greeke, I say the same must be accepted, as authenticall of all men: But such is the Greeke edition of the New Testa­ment, Ergo.

The aduersaries except onely against the purity of this edition. For albeit some of them, the latter, and the better learned, as Bellarmine, doe not say that the Greeke edi­tion of the New Testament is altogether corrupt, as some of them haue blasphemed; yet they say it is not so pure, that they can graunt it to be authenticall, because in some places it is corrupt. Bellarmine brings forth seuen places, whereby he indeuours to prooue this assertion, that the Greek edition is corupt; and therefore cannot be authenticall.

The first place is 1. Cor. 15. 47. The first man is of the earth earthly; the second man is the Lord from heauē. But in the vul­gar [...]. Latine edition, it is, the second is from heauen heauenly; & this reading is approued: therfore the Greek edition is corrupt and not authenticall. I answer, first, albeit we read as the Greeke is; yet the sense is good and orthodoxall, and the same with that which is of the vulgar reading, differing in word only, and not in matter. Secondly, the Arabick and Syriack translation so read the place. Third­ly, the Fathers, Chrysostome and Theophylact so reade. Fourthly, Epiphanius citing Haereseon. 22. 2 all the places which Marcion corrupted, yet remembers not this place. But (saith he) Tertullian saith, that Marcion Tert. lib. 5. con­tra Mar. hath corrupted this place. I answer, that Tertullian in that booke and place, reads these words in the very same manner, as we do: The [Page 108] Lord from heauen.

The second place is 1. Cor. 7. 33. He that is maried careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife. The [...], &c. wife and the Virgin are distinctly set downe. So reads the Greek. But the Vulgar thus: He that is ioined to a wife ca­reth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is diuided: but the woman that is vnmaried, and the Virgin bethinketh of the things which please the Lord both in body and spirit: Wherefore the Greek edition is here corrupted, and so can not be authenticall. I answere. First, that the sense which is by the Greek, is not only sound, but also more fitting in this place, then that which is by the Vul­gar translation. Secondly, the Syriack translation so reads these words. Thirdly, Theophylact, the Greek Scho­lies, and Basil so read the words. But he sayth that Ierom Lib. 1. contra Io­uinan. auoucheth it, that this Greek reading is not Aposto­licall: I answer, the same Ierom in another place Contra Helui­dium & Eusto­chium. reads these words as we doe: wherefore seeing he changeth his mind, he is not fit to iudge for this scripture.

The third place is Ro. 12. 11. seruing the time: But the old Latin is, seruing the Lord: Ergo. I answer. First, albeit [...]. ye read so the place, yet the sense is good and sounde. Secondly, the reading varies in manie Greeke copies, as witnesseth Origens Interpreter, who reads the Lord, [...] and hee noteth it, that in many bookes he founde, [...] the time: the same saith Ambrose, who reades [...], ser­uing the time, yet saith he in some bookes wee find, [...], the Lord. Thirdly, the Syriack, Chrysostome, Theophylact and Basil read [...], the Lord: which reading wee best like: For which cause our Beza translates the word, Do­mino, the Lord.

The fourth place is Ioh. 8. where in the beginning of that Chap. many Greek copies want the storie of the a­dulterous woman, which the cōmon translation in Latin hath, & the Church approues it as canonicall. I answere: First, that our Greeke books which we haue and hold for [Page 109] authenticall, haue this historie also, and our Church re­ceiues it. Secondly, yet we denie not, that this hath beene gainsaid by some, and the Syriacke translation hath it not.

The fift place is Mark. 16. where, in many Greeke co­pies, that whole chapter is wanting, which notwithstan­ding the Latine edition retaineth. Ergo. I answer, first, that all our Greeke bookes, which we account authenti­call, haue also this chapter, and our churches receiue the same as canonicall. Secondly, Ierome some-where moues some doubttouching it, but to no purpose.

The sixt place is 1. Ioh. 5. 7. where the seuenth verse (which containes a worthie testimonie of the Trinitie) in manie Greeke copies is missing, but in the vulgar it is retained: Ergo. I answer, first, our Greeke bookes, which we hold for authenticall, haue this verse, and our Church receiues it. Secondly, we denie not but some haue gaine­said it.

The seuenth place is, Matth. 13. For thine is the king­dome, [...], &c. power and glorie, Amen. But this place is not in the vulgar translation: Ergo. L. Valla answereth, this place is not added to the Greeke, but detracted from the Latine: and I pray you, what hereticall or vnsound matter hath this place?

Thus we see then the▪ aduersaries cannot proue by these places, that the Greeke edition of the new Testa­ment is corrupted, and so not authenticall. Wherefore it resteth, that the Hebrue edition of the old Testament, and the Greek of the new Testament, is only authentical.

CHAP. XX. Of the Translations of the old Testament.

NOw it resteth that we speake of the Translati­ons of the old and new Testament. And first, of the translations of the old Testament. The old Testament was first written in Hebrue, and afterwards translated into diuers lan­guages, specially the Chaldee, and Greeke: First concerning the Chaldiacke translation; next, of the Greeke: and for the Chaldiack, we be to consider first, what manner of translation it is: Secondly, by whom this was done: Thirdly, what authoritie this hath. For the first, the Chaldiacke translation is rather a Paraphrase, then a translation word for word. The Rabbins call this Authors of the Chaldee para­phrase. paraphrase the Targum. For the second point, by whom this Paraphrase was set forth: Rabbi Aquila translated the Fiue bookes of Moses. Pentateuch, and this they call Onkelos: the rest of the bookes of the old testament were translated, partly by Rabbi Ionathan, partly by Rabbi Ioseph blind. Caecus: they liued not long before Christ, or about Christs time. For the third point: The Chaldee paraphrase with the Ancients was euer of great note and authoritie, specially that part of the Pentateuch: for as for the rest of this Paraphrase, one Praefat. in Biblia complu. tensia. Ximenius a Cardinall auoucheth it to be full of Iew­ish fables, and of the vaine conceits of the Thalmudists. And thus farre briefly of the Chaldee paraphrase.

Now touching the Greeke translation of the old te­stament: [Page 103] there were diuers translations of it into the Greeke tongue. Some number nine translations. Of these the first and principall is that of the Septuagint, which those 72. Ancients did at the appointment of Pto­lomaeus Philadelphus: for whereas Lib. stromat. Clemens Alexandrinus writeth, that the Scripture was translated long before in­to Greeke, and that Plato had read the same, it is not like to be true: for neither Plato, nor anie of Pythagoras sect euer saw the sacred Scriptures. To speake then of the in­terpretation of the seuentie interpreters, and to bind our selues to certaine questions, sixe in number: the first may be this, whether there was euer any Greeke translation set forth by the 72. interpreters. Secondly, if there were anie, when it was done. Thirdly, of what bookes. Fourth­ly, how this was done. Fiftly, what authoritie this tran­slation is of. Sixtly, whether this be the true translation of the 72. Interpreters which we haue at this day?

For the first question, the answer is easie: for there is no doubt but that there was a Greeke translation by the 72. interpreters, for that all antiquitie accords to this. This is testified by Lib. de mensu­ris & ponderib. Epiphanius, De praeparat. euangel. Eusebius, In dialog. cum Tryphone. Iustin Mar­tyr, with many others. And as for the second question, the answer also to it is easie,: for all men doe agree that this translation was done in the raigne, and at the ap­pointment of Ptolomaeus Philadelphus: this write and a­uouch these men, Ioseph, Philo, In Synopsi. Athanasius, Epiphanius, Tertullian, In historia sua de hacipsare. Aristaeus, and manie others. And for the third question, what bookes were translated by them, the an­swer is not so easie: for some thinke they translated but the fiue bookes of Moses only. Of this mind is In pro [...]io antiq. Ioseph, and Ierome seemes to incline this way. Others say, they translated all the Scripture: and this is likest to be true: For first it is not like that king Ptolomie could haue con­tented himselfe with the Pentateuch only. Secondly, the Apostles of Christ vsed the Greeke translation in citing testimonies out of the prophets: but in the Apostles time [Page 112] there was none other translation, but that of the Septua­gints. Thirdly, there had beene no matter of admirati­on, in that this worke was done with such expedition (if the Pentateuch onely had beene translated) and finished in the space of 72. dayes: for they say his translation was miraculous. Fourthly, Chrysostome and Theodoret, among the Fathers, are of this iudgement: Wherefore it is best we hold this as most probable, that all the old Testament was translated by them.

And as for the fift question, what authoritie this tran­slation had? Hereunto men answer diuersly. For some a­scribe too much to it, as In lib. de men­suris & ponde­rib. Epiphanius, who saith, they were not interpreters only, but in a manner Prophets. Augu­stine is too much in the commendation of it, he saith; It was done by a speciall dispensation of God, and thinks it to be set forth by diuine inspiration. Others ascribe not so much to it: In praefat. in Pentateuchon. Ierome saith against Epiphanius, they were no prophets. And often in his Commentaries, he taxeth it not onely as corrupted, but as verie faultie in it selfe, which thing he would neuer haue don, if he had thought this worke had beene done by diuine inspiration. What authoritie soeuer this translation is of, assuredly it can haue no more, then what may, by good right, be giuen to an interpretation: for we may not auouch it to be giuē by the inspiration of God, nor make it of equall autho­ritie with the Scripture.

As touching the sixt question, some thinke that the old translation of the Septuagint is as yet extant; but to Old translation of the 70. be so corrupt, that it is no wisdome to correct either the Hebrue or Latine copies by it. Bellarmine is of this mind. Others affirme, that the ancient translation of the 72. in­terpreters is lost, and that this which wee haue is mixt, and verie corrupt. This also they proue by an induction of certaine places corrupted. First, the Greeke Bible numbers from the creation of the world vnto the floud, 2242. yeares, as we may see, which Augustine, Eusebius, [Page 105] and Nicephorus in his chronologie: but the Hebrue ve­ritie saith, the number of yeares be 1656. therefore the Greeke number exceedes the Hebrue in yeares 586. Se­condly, from the floud to Ahraham, the 72. interpre­ters reckon of yeares 1082. but according to the Hebrue text of Gods word, there be no more yeares but 292. so the Greeke exceedes the Hebrue veritie 790. yeares. Thirdly, in the Greeke copie, Adam is said to haue li­ued 230. yeares, and in some bookes 330. when he be­gat Sheth: but the Hebrue Bible saith, Adam begat Sheth when he was 130. yeares old. Fourthly, according to the Greeke copie Methusalem liued fourteene yeares after the floud, which is verie ridiculous: for where li­ued he? or how was he kept from the waters? In the arke? That cannot be, for but eight soules onely entred into the Arke, among whom Methusalem is not reckoned. The Hebrew bible speakes farre otherwise of Methusa­lems Methusalems life and death. yeares and age: for by it we gather that he died that verie yeare, the deluge came on the whole earth, to wit, the yeare of the world 1656. Fiftly, in Ionas, the Greek copy denounceth destructiō to the Niniuits after the third day, As yet three dayes, & Niniuie shall be destroy­ed: but in the Hebrue text we reade, Yet fortie dayes, and Chap. 3. 4. Niniuie shall be destroyed. By these places wee see there is great difference betweene the Greekes and the Hebrues in their numbring: but all agree that they Hebrue num­bers are true. De ciuitate Dei lib. 18. Augustine fames, I know not what myste­rie in this diuersitie of numbers, to defend the authori­tie of the 72. Interpreters, which notwithstanding hee could not maintaine in the place concerning Methusa­lem. Ierome deales more plainely and faithfully, saying, that the Septuagint haue erred in their numbers. By these before cited places, and many such like corrupted, wee conclude, that this Greeke translation which is nowe extant, is not that which the 72. ancient Iewes wrote; or if it be the same, that it is so corrupted, as we may reckon [Page 106] it to be of very small authoritie.

Thus farre of the Greeke edition of the 72. interpre­ters: now we are to consider of other Greeke translati­ons, which were written after that the Gospell was pub­lished farre and neere among the Gentiles. And there be eight seuerall translations numbred. The first was A­quilas written in Adrian the Emperours time, as testifieth Epiphanius. This Aquila was first a Pagan, and after tur­ned Christian, and was baptized: after this being admo­nished, Aquila Synopen­sis, and his apo­stasie. for his studies in iudiciall astrologie; and at last cast out of the Church for his obstinacie; he fell away to the Iewish religion: and conuersing with the Iewes, hee learned the Hebrue tongue, and then and there transla­ted the old Testament out of the Hebrue into Greeke, but with a peruerse and froward mind (as saith Theodoret) purposely intending to obscure the doctrine of Christ, and to colour his apostasie.

After this translation of Aquila, followed Theodotions, in the raigne of Commodus the Emperour, as Epiphanius also writeth. This man was of Pontus, and of the sect of Marcion the heretike, after a time renouncing his sect, and abiuring all Christian religion, he fell to Iudaisme; and hauing learned the Hebrue tongue, he translated in like manner the old Testament into Greeke, but with a malicious heart, and vnfaithfully (as Theodoret speaketh) intending the confutation of his owne sect.

After this translation of Theodotion, followed that of Symmachus, in the raigne of Seuerus Augustus. This man Symmachus trā ­slation. was a Samaritane by birth and countrie, and for that hee could not attaine some superioritie hee desired in his owne countrie, he fell in like manner into Iudaisme, and was circumcised the second time: & how this was done, Epiphanius noteth it out of 1. Cor. 7. 18. to wit, by gathe­ring his vncircumcision, after his first circumcision; that so there might be matter for a second circumcision. This man translated the old Testament out of Hebrue into [Page 107] Greeke; but vnfaithfully (as Theodoret saith) intending most the confutation of the Samaritans, of whom he had his first beginning.

After this translation of Symmachus, there were two others, whose names bee not knowne. The one was found in Iericho, laid vp in great vessels for the preserua­tion of it, in the raigne of Caracalla the Emperour. The other was found at the North-Nicopolis, in the time of Alexander the Emperour, the sonne of Mammaeas. This Apud Nicopolia Aquilonarem, because there were three of that name. is testified by Epiphanius, Theodoret, and others.

After all these followed Origen, who liued in the yeare of Christ 261. in the daies of Valerian & Galienus the Em­perours. Origen laboured exceedingly in the conference of such translations as he found extant before his time: for he gathered into one volume foure translations, to wit, first, Aquilas: secondly, Symmachus: thirdly, the Septuagint: fourthly, Theodotions: and set them down in foure distinct columnes, and this was Origens Tetra­pla. This doue, hee added to these foure columnes, Origens [...] two more of the Hebrue text; the one set downe in He­brue; the other in Greeke characters: and this was Ori­gens Hexapla. Lastly, to the six former columnes, he anne­xed [...]. the two editions before noted to bee of vnknowne Authors: and this was called Origens Octapla, a worke of [...]. great labour and excellencie, the losse whereof hath beene, no doubt, no smal domage to the Church of God. Origen in these his works had his marginal starres, to ob­serue what he liked: his long strokes, to put out what he disliked: his little labels for addition, and his second la­bels for a second addition, according to the varietie and diuersitie of his copies. A certaine godly man complai­ning for the losse of these works, said, Well we may de­plore the losse of these works, but restore the same we cannot.

After Origen there was one Lucianus translation a­bout Lucianus. Diocletians time. This man was a minister of the [Page 108] Church of Antioch, and a martyr. A copie of this edition (as I haue read) was found written with this martyrs owne hand, and kept in a marble chest at Nicomedia. Hierome also writeth, that in his time there were Greeke copies, which were called by Lucians name.

Finally, after Lucians translation, followed another edition, set forth by one Hesychius, which corrected the interpretation of the Septuagints, and gaue it to the Hesychius. Churches of Egypt. And thus farre of the eight Greeke translations which were after Christ, all which be lost: howbeit the Papists sell for good Canonicall Scripture, certaine remnants (as they say) of Theodotions translati­on, Dan. 13. and 14. chap. a fragment which that foule heretik & Apostata left in their safe keeping. For as con­cerning this Greeke edition of the old Testament which is now extant, howsoeuer it comes to vs, we haue none pure, but mixt and corrupted, as we haue before obser­ued. And thus farre of the translations of the old Te­stament: first the Chaldee Paraphrase; next the sundrie Greeke copies of all ages.

CHAP. XXI. Of the Syriacke translation of the new Testament.

NOw let vs come vnto the translatiō of the new Testament. The new Testament being first written in Greeke, was translated into the Syriacke tongue, which in the dayes of Christ and his Apostles was the proper and naturall [Page 109] language of the Iewes, by reason of their long captiuity in Babylon, and for that the Assyrians were so transpor­ted to the possession of Iurie. It is vncertaine who was the Author of this translation, as also at what time it was done: Tremelius thinks it most like to be true, that this was done: in the primitiue Church, in the very beginning; & that by the Apostles themselues or their Disciples. He prooues also the reuerend antiquity thereof, First by the elegancy of the tongue. Secondly, by the defects & losse of certaine books and places of the N. Testament, which Syriack transla­tion anncient. are to be found in the Syriack translation: as the 2. Epist. of S. Peter. The 2. and 3. of S. Iohn. The Epist. of Iames and of Iude, the Apocalypse, and the storie of the woman taken in adulterie, which is found in the beginning of the 8. Chap. of the Gospell according to S. Iohn. By this de­fect he gathereth, that seeing the Syriack translation was extant before the Church accepted these books as cano­nicall, the Syriack translation must be very auncient. A­gaine, he saith he found a singular faithfulnesse in the Sy­riack translation, by conferring it with the Greeke and o­riginall: which experience any shall finde, if they shall please to conferre both languages together. Of the pre­misses the conclusion is this, that the Syriack translation both was in elder ages, and is now at this day of great au­thority in the Church. Thus farre of the Chaldiack and di­uers Greeke translations of the old Testament, and of the Syriack translation of the New.

CHAP. XXII. Of the Latin translations of both Testaments.

WE be now to speake of the Latin translati­ons of the New Testament, and of the Old. The Latine translations of the Bible were very many. This say De doctrina Christ. lib. 2. cap. 11. Augustine and In prooemio in lib. Iosuae. Ierom, who complaineth much of the varietie and diuersity of Latin translations. Of all the Latin translatiōs, the first was an Italian: De doctr. Chri. lib. 2. cap. 15. Augustine pre­ferres this before all the rest, as keeping most strictly to the wordes of the originall, and beeing more perspi­cuous then others in sentences. This was not that tran­slation of Ierom: for it is euident, this was far more anci­ent then that translation of Ierom. And who should bee the Author of this, it is vncertaine.

After this Italian translatiō, Ieroms followed next: who is said to haue left a double translation in Latin of the old Testament. In the first, he followed the 72. interpreters: in the latter, the Hebrue originall text. For as touching the New Testament, Ierom is said not to haue translated it into Latin, but to haue corrected the old Latin tran­slation: as himselfe affirmeth it in many places. This e­dition of Ierom, when it came forth first, it began forthwith to be Aug. Epist. 10. ad Hicron. accepted, and read publiquely in the Churches; but with no contempt of that old Italian copy. [Page 111] For as Gregorie saith, these two translations, that elder I­talian, and the latter of Ierom, were of greatest note in the Latine Churches, and most vsed. At length all those old Latine translations together with that Italian, were not respected; and Ieroms translation only remained, if we may truly auouch this to be Ieroms translation, which at this day is vsed, and is caried about in his name: for the learned greatly doubt of this matter. Here therefore we bee to consider of this point: And two questions principally are to be answered: First, who was the Author of this: The second, what authority it may haue in the Church.

As touching the Author of this Latin translation, di­uers men speake diuersly. Some thinke it was Ieroms, and that it is pure without any mixture: So think al Papists for the most part, speciallie the Iesuits. Others thinke it not to be Hieroms, as Sanctes In praef. in Interp. Bibl. ad Clement. 7. Pontif. Pagninus, and Forosempro­uianus. Paulus a Bi­shop; to passe by Erasmus, Munster, and other popish writers. Others deeme it to be Hieroms, but not to want corruption: of this iudgmēt are these men, Ioannes Driedo, Sixtus Senensis; and Bellarmene seemes to incline this way, as may easily be gathered by his propositions and reasons touching this matter. We say, it is neither Hieroms, nor yet Not his in whole, nor yet in parte. pure, nor mixt: and this we proue on this manner. Hie­rom translated the old Testament out of the Hebrue into Latine accurately, or exactly: But this vulgar edition is not exact: therefore it is not Hieroms. The proposition is euident: for Hierom himselfe testifieth in many places of his works, that he had labored and done this translati­on very exactly: as in his preface before the 5. books of Moses; in his Preface before the books of the Kings; in his Preface on the Psalter: in all which places he saith, he changed nothing, but followed faithfully the Hebrue text, and he appealeth to the Iewes to testify of the faith­fulnes of his translation. And De ciuitate Dei lib. 18. cap. 43. Augustine affirmeth it, that the very Iewes did confesse his translation was sound [Page 112] and true. Hispalensis▪ lib. 6. Etymolog. cap. 5. Isidore preferres Hieroms translation before all mens, for keeping himselfe more strictly to the words of the Hebrue text, and for his perspicuity of phrase: where­fore if we may beleeue these men, Hieroms translation was exactly done. So farre the proposition, the assumpti­on followeth: But the vulgar Latine edition is not accurate; neither doth it agree with the originall the Hebrue text, yea it so far dissenteth from it, that necessarily one of these two assertions must be true, either that this Latin edi­tion is most corrupt, or that the Hebrue fountaine is most troubled and disordred: And this last point Bellarmine himselfe dare not auouch, but taxeth such as do so affirme, and that worthily.

It resteth therefore that we proue this great disagree­ment, betweene the Latine edition and the Hebrue text. And this can no otherwise be done, but by conference of the one with the other. Let the comparison begin at the book of Genesis; & compare not al places which dissent (for that were infinit) but some speciall places, whereby ye may soone conceiue of the rest, and iudge what they be. And by this conference of places, you shall discerne that the defaults are not of one kinde, but of diuers, as for changing of words and sentences, for defect and super­fluitie. For so many waies the vulgar Latine edition is faulty. In my iudgement this comparison cannot better be found by any man, or meanes, then by that vulgar La­tine which was corrected by Iohn Benedict a diuine of Pa­ris, whom (that I may passe ouer this point briefly) I re­commend vnto thee gentle reader. By this cōference that shall appeare, both that this is not Hieroms translation, & that this vulgar Latine edition is not authenticall; so as we shal not need to spend▪ any time in handling the other question.

CHAP. XXIII. Of the translation of the Bible into the mother tongue.

IT remaineth now that we speake of such edi­tions and translations as be in the vsuall mo­ther tongue. I vnderstand that translation to be in the mother tongue, which is done in that language, which is vulgar & common among the people of that countrey, whose language it is; as the Dutch, Italian, French, English, Scottish, and Spanish translations, &c. We may moue three questions of these translations. First, whether it be lawfull to translate the sacred Scripture into euery mother tongue. Secondlie, whether the leiturgie or common prayers of the Church ought to be in the mother tongue. Thirdly, whether it shal be lawfull for the common people to read the scrip­tures translated into their owne language or mother tongue.

To the first question we answer, that it is lawfull, yea also that it is expedient it should be so: and this we proue by some few arguments. First, the sacred scriptures must be read publiquely before all the people: therefore must they be translated into their owne known language: for otherwise it were in vain to read them. The antecedent is proued Deut. 31. ver. 11. 12. The Lord commandeth that the books of Moses be read to all indifferently, when [Page 114] they were assembled, Men, Women, and Children with the strangers. Ier. 36. chargeth Baruch the scribe, that hee should read before all the people the book which he had Translating of the scripture into the vulgar tongues. First argument. written from his mouth. But some will heere obiect, that this precept was to indure but for a time. I answer, the end shewes it must be perpetuall, Deut. 31. The end being this, that this people may heare, learne, and feare the Lord. This end is perpetuall, therefore so is the law in like man­ner, specially seeing that the reading of the Scripture is the ordinarie and necessarie meanes whereby we be to come to this appointed end. So the antecedēt being thus cleered, it followeth necessarily that the scripture must be translated into our knowne mother tongue.

Arg. 2. The people are permitted to read ye Scriptures: Second argu. therfore they are to be translated into the vulgar tongue: for otherwise the common people could neuer reade them. The antecedent I proue thus. The Sacred Scrip­tures do furnish vs with weapons against the Deuil, as we be taught by Christs example, Matth. 4. who gaue Sathan the repulse, vsing none other weapons against him but testimonies of Scripture. Ioh. 5. chap. Christ commaun­ded the multitude to search the scriptures. Acts chap. 17. the Christians of Beroea are commended for searching the scriptures, whether the points were sound and good, & agreeable to the sriptures, which were taught by the Apostles. But see more of this antecedent in the handling of the 3. question.

Arg. 3. The very Papists graunt, the scriptures may be read before the people; but they say it must be done in an Third argu. vnknowen tongue: wherefore, I reason thus. If the scrip­tures must be read before the multitude in an vnknowen tongue, that shall be fruitlesse, and without all edificati­on: therefore they must be translated into their knowen language. The Antecedent is prooued by, 1. Corin. 14. 6. If I shal come vnto you speaking in tongues, what shal I pro­fit you. q. d. nothing. And after in the same Chap. ver. 19. [Page 115] I had rather speake fiue words with my vnderstanding, that I might also instruct others, then ten thousandwords in a strange tongue. But of this point more hereafter.

The fourth argument: God requires in his people wis­dome, knowledge, and instruction: Therefore the scrip­tures Fourth argu. must be read, and therefore translated into the vul­gar tongues. The antecedent I prooue thus. Deut. 4. God wil haue his people to be wise & of vnderstanding, that the nations round about hearing of this, might bee smitten with an admiration, and say, ver. 4. Only this peo­ple is wise, and of vnderstanding, and a great nation. The A­postle, Col. 3. 16. will haue Gods worde to dwell in them richly, or plenteously. Paul in his Epistles euery where re­quires the Churches to whom he writes, to be filled with all knowledge. The aduersaries contend and dispute much against this knowledge which God requires in the common people.

The fift argument. Christ while he liued among the Iewes, spake and preached vnto them in their owne mo­ther Fift argu. tongue: The Apostles of Christ in like manner did preach the Gospell in their vulgar tongue, as in the day of Pentecost, and after; and for this very cause, that they might speake to euery nation in their owne knowen lan­guage, that gift of tongues was giuen them. Thus then I reason; If to preach the Gospell in the vulgar known languages, was no profanatiō of the Gospell; then so in like maner, to write the Gospel in the vulgar known languages, is no profanation of the same: for there is like reason of both.

The sixt argument is from the perpetuall vse and prac­tise Sixt argu. of all the auncient Church. For in the Primitiue Church, the sacred Scripture was translated, neere hand into all languages, as the Chaldiac, the Syriac, the Arabi­an, the Armenian, the Egyptian, the Ethiopian, the In­dian, the Persian, the Scythian, the Sarmatian tongue. There are not a few do auouch this; Homil. 1. in Io. Chrysostome, De corrigend. Graecorum Affectib lib. 5. Theo­doret, [Page 106]De doctr. Chri. lib. 2. cap. 15.Augustine, with others. And at this day there be extant the Chaldiac, the Syriack, the Arabick, the E­gyptian, and the Ethiopian translations; all which the learned say, were done in the Apostles times. Chrysostome turned the sacred Scripture into the Armenian tongue, as Sixtus Senēsis reporteth. Ierom trāslated the scripture into the Lingua Dalma­tica. Dalmatick tongue, as these men do testify; Alphonsus a Castro, Eckius, Hosius, Erasmus. Methodius translated it into the Sclauonian tongue, as saith Auentine in his Chronicle. Socrates tripar­tita historia. Vlphilas Bishop of the Gothes, translated the same into the Gothes language. De ciuitate Dei lib. 15. Augustine writeth that the old Testament was translated into Syriack. Har­ding against Iuel, and Eckius write that the Musco­uites, and the people of Russia had the scripture in their owne mother tongue. The historie of England written by Beda affirmeth, that the scriptures were translated into the English tongue before his time. Beda saith, he transla­ted part of the new Testament himselfe. Thus far the pra­ctise of the old church, whereby as by the rest of the argu­ments afore going, it followeth, that the sacred Scripture is to be translated into euery countrey vulgar language.

Now it resteth to see what the Papists answer to this question we haue in hand. Some few yeares past they vt­terly denied that the sacred Scripture might bee transla­ted into any mother tongue. De choris cano­nicis. Petrus Asoto, Censura Colo­niensis, and Harding before named, these write that some are of this iudgment: The Scriptures are not to be transla­ted into the vulgar languages. And for this cause such as translated Scriptures, they were banished and condem­ned by the Pope: and their bookes were prohibited and burnt. And when they saw this to be odious to all men, these graue Fathers changed their minds, and now for­sooth they auouch the Scriptures may be translated into the vulgar languages, yet by the Popes permission. And this, albeit it seeme to be something diuers from the for­mer assertion, yet in effect it is the verie same. For the [Page 117] Pope will permit no man to doe this, but to such a one as shall turne all the corruptions which are to be found in the old Latine edition into the vulgar tongue, and so re­commend the same to posterity. This is Bellarmines iudg­ment, and the Rhemists. But we auouch the contrarie, to wit, that euery godly, learned man, skilful in the tongues, may translate the Scripture without the Popes permissi­on: yea, albeit he prohibit the same. And that it shall bee lawfull for the Church of Christ, to accept of the same translation after examination, albeit the Pope giue none authoritie nor approbation hereunto. For in the ancient Church, when the authoritie or tyrannicall iurisdiction of the Pope was vnknowne, the translations before specified, were both done and receiued of the Churches without the Pope. And thus farre of the first question.

It followeth in the second place, whether the Lei­turgie or common prayers of the Church, are to be cele­brate in a knowne tongue? I meane the publike seruice or worship of God in ecclesiasticall assemblies: as the publike prayers, the reading of the Scriptures, the admi­nistration of Sacraments, singing of psalmes, &c. These be called by the name of [...]. diuine seruice. To the questi­on we answer affirmatiuely, that this publike seruice of God is to be done in the vulgar tongue. Our first argu­ment, we take from the 1. Cor 14. where, from the 6. ver. to the 21. the Apostle teacheth, that nothing is to bee done in the Church in an vnknown & strange language. But Bellarmine excepteth saying, that in that chapter the Apostle vnderstandeth principally, a collation & exhor­tation, which in the old Church followed after the pub­like prayers: and to this end he sheweth out of Apolog. 2. Note the order of the old Church on the Lords day. Iustin Martyr, the custome of the old Church. The Christians assembled on the Lords daies, and first, the Scriptures were read: then after this, the chiefe minister of the place preached: after this the Sacramēts were administred: last­ly, [Page 118] they did vse conference of diuine arguments, or of godly questions. I answer, the Apostle here intreateth generally of all ecclesiasticall duties, and that in this or­der; first, ye haue a general doctrine from the sixth verse to the fourteenth. Next, there followeth a special instru­ction how prayers must bee conceiued, how to sing psalmes, not in an vnknowne tongue, but in a knowne or common language, to the ninteenth verse. After this, he returnes to his generall doctrine againe.

Bellarmine excepteth againe, that Paul here speaketh of songs, which in that meeting they sung, which were endued with some extraordinarie gift of the holy Ghost. I answer, the Apostle distinctly nameth prayers & songs: againe, he speaketh of those prayers and thanksgiuings, whereunto the people did answer, Amen: now the peo­ple did not answer Amen, but to the publike prayers: wherfore he meaneth here publike prayers conceiued in the diuine administrations, in the publike assemblies.

Bellarmine againe obiecteth: The publike prayers at Corinth were in the Greeke tongue, a speech wel known to the people, and that the Apostle knew: and therefore If in Greeke, not in Latine. there was no need to prescribe any such rules for their di­uine seruice. I answer, albeit it be graunted that the com­mon prayers, &c. at Corinth were done in the knowne mother tongue; yet it followeth not but that the Apo­stles doctrine is generall, of all Ecclesiasticall offices to be done in the publike assemblies. Next, it is most like, that there were at Corinth some which had the gift of tongues, which abused it to vaine ostentation, euen in the publike administration, and that is it which the Apo­stle taxeth in that Chapter. And thus farre of the first Argument.

The second is of the same Apostle, in the same chap. v. 6. If I shall come vnto you speaking with tongues, that is, vn­knowne Argument. 2. tongues, what shall I profit you? Hence I conclude, the publike worship of God must be not in an vnknown, [Page 119] but a knowne language. Bellarmine answereth, that hee which administreth the publike prayers in an vnknowne tongue, shall profit others: for it is sufficient that God vnderstand him: And this he goeth about to cleare by a similitude: Like as (saith he) if a man speake for a rustick or rude man, ignorant in the Latine tongue, in Latine to the king, this shall suffice if the king vnderstand him, to conferre any benefit by the king vpon the same igno­rant person. I answer, what is this els but to say, that the publike administration doth profit the people by vertue or merit of the worke done, albeit in the meane time the Opus operatum. people be without faith & knowledge of the true God: but of this in place appertaining.

The third Argument is of the same Apostle in the same chap. vers. 11. He that speaketh vnto mee in a strange 3. Arg. tongue, shall be as a Barbarian: therefore the publike admi­nistration of the word and Sacraments, and of all Gods worship and seruice must be in the vulgar and knowne tongue. Bellarmine answereth, that hee which speaketh Hebrue, Greeke, or Latine, albeit he bee not vnder­stood; yet is he not to be reputed as a Barbarian, because these tongues be not barbarous: but if he speake in anie other language, he is to bee accounted barbarous. I an­swer. If the speaker (who speaketh in these tongues) be not vnderstood, he shall be to him that vnderstandeth him not, as barbarous. For so the verie Poet auoucheth it of himselfe, When, saith he, he was in exile in Pontus, he complaineth, that albeit he spake Latine, yet hee was accounted of those strangers as barbarous:

Barbarus hîc ego sum, quia non intelligor vlli.

And when it was obiected to Anacharsis the Philoso­pher at Athens, that he was barbarous: he answered, The Athenians are Barbarous vnto me.

The fourth Argument is of the same Apostle in the 4. Arg. same chap. ver. 16. When thou blessest with the spirit, to wit, speaking in an vnknowne tongue, how shall he that occu­pieth [Page 120] the roome of the vnlearned say Amen, at thy thankesgi­uing; seeing he knoweth not what thou sayest? Whence it fol­loweth necessarily, that all publike prayers and seruice of God, must be done in the knowne vulgar tongue. Bel­larmine answereth, that it sufficeth, if some of the people vnderstand and answer Amen: yea, it sufficeth, if he whō they call the Clarke, say Amen for the people. I answer, this was not the custome of that old ancient Church, which neuer knew what a Clearke meant.

My fift Argument is of the same Apostle in the same 5. Arg. chapter, vers. 40. Let all things in the Church be done decent­ly, and in order: But if ye Minister shal pray in an vnknowne tongue, and the people shall conceiue other prayers dif­fering from the Ministers: then shall the Minister in the publike congregation haue his prayers, and euery one of the people his owne prayers also, and not the same with the Minister. What good decencie can be in this, when the people are so diuided in prayer, which in the publike assemblie should offer vp with one mind, and with one mouth, one and the same prayer vnto God?

The sixt Argument is from a point which Bellarmine himselfe yeeldeth. He granteth that the publike admini­stration 6. Arg. of prayers, &c. at Corinth, were done in the known Greek tongue: wherfore then may not all other Churches in the like manner haue their Leiturgie in the vulgar knowne language? What can he answer heere, but this happily, that the publike administration at Corinth was done in the mother tongue, not for that it was the vulgar tongue, but because it was Greeke: for Papists giue the Greeke tongue (when they please) some prero­gatiue.

The seuenth Argument is from another point which 7. Arg. Bellarmine graunteth. The Collations (as himselfe spea­keth) and the exhortations ought to be done in the mo­ther tongue: wherefore in like manner may not the publike administration of Gods worship be done in the [Page 121] mother tongue best known to ye people? He answereth, that the reason is not the same of the collation & seruice; For (saith he) the collations tend to the instruction and consolation of the people: but the publike seruice prin­cipally concernes Gods worship. I answer, Doth not all the people worship God in the publike administration or seruice of God, and therefore ought they not to wor­ship God in a knowne language, if they wil worship their God in faith?

The 8. Argument is from the practise of the old and best Church. In elder ages, so manie translations were done principally to this end, to celebrate the publike ser­uice of God, and that herein the Scriptures might bee read to euery man in his owne knowne mother tongue. Lib. de origine Bohemorum. AEneas Syluius writeth, that to Cyril & Methodius it was permitted, that the people of Morauia should haue their common prayers in the mother tongue. And at this day the people of Armenia, AEthiopia, Egypt, and the Musco­uites haue their common prayers in their known tongue. Here Bellarmine answereth, all these are heretiques. I say they be no more heretiques then Papists. Assuredly as touching publike prayers, I had rather be in this heresie with them, then with the Papists, as they thinke, to meane well. And thus for our iudgement in this matter.

The Aduersaries say, that the publike prayers may not be in a knowne tongue, but in Hebrue or Greeke, as in the East and Greeke Churches; or in the Latine tongue, as in the Latine and West Churches. The arguments they produce for this purpose, be first from the prerogatiue of tongues: the first is this, Christ in the title of his Crosse, gaue honour to these three languages, therefore publike prayers ought to be done in these. I answer, albeit wee graunt the antecedent, the consequent will not follow: yea rather we may infer the contrarie. The Lord would haue the cause of Christs death to be manifested to all people in those languages, which then were best known: [Page 122] which cannot be denied of the Greeke and Latine: ther­fore publike prayers ought to bee done in the vulgar tongues, and knowne to the people.

The 2. Arg. These three tongues Hebrue, Greek and Latine are of greatest excellencie, antiquitie & authority▪ therfore the common prayers and seruice of God ought to be done onely in these tongues. I answer. Grant the Antecedent be true, yet the fequele is not good: for that verie gift of tongues, which was giuen the Apostles in the feast of Pentecost, plainly proueth, that euery toong, be it neuer so base, is sanctified of God for holy vses, and Note. for the execution of publique and ecclesiasticall offices and seruice vnto God.

The 3. Arg. The Scriptures was originally written in these three tongues: therefore the publique prayers ought to be done in these only. I answer, first, the Ante­cedent is false: for neither the whole Scripture, nor anie part thereof was written first in the Latine tongue. For whereas they say, Saint Marks Gospell was first written The Papists say Saint Marks Gospe [...] was first written in Latin. in Latine, it is false: but of this point else where. Next, I answer, that it will not followe of that Antecedent, that publike prayers should be sayd in vnknowne tongues; but rather the contrarie followeth: for that whereas the Scripture was first written in these two tongues, Hebrue and Greeke, for this very cause, for that euen then, and in those times, these two languages were most common, and best knowne to the people: hence it followes rather, I say, that the publique prayers ought to bee in the most common and best knowne tongues.

Thus farre we haue heard of arguments drawne from the prerogatiue of tongues: now follow arguments from the practise and vse of the Church. The first here is this: From Ezra vntill Christ the Scripture was woont to bee read in the Church of the Iewes in the Hebrue tongue, that is, an vnknowe tongue: Ergo publike prayers may be said in an vnknowne tongue. I answer. I grant the [Page 123] Scriptures were read in the Hebrue tongue: but I denie that this was an vnknowne tongue. For Nehem. 8. it is very cleare, that the sacred Scripture which Ezra read in Hebrue, was vnderstood by the people which were pre­sent and heard it. Whereupon the contrarie consequent must follow: The Scripture was read in the Church of the Iewes in elder ages in a known tongue: therfore it must be read at this day in popular and knowne tongues.

The second Argument is from the practise of the Iew­ish Synagogue of these times. To this day (saith hee) the Scripture is read in the synagogue of the Iewes in the He­brue tongue: therefore publique prayers must be cele­brate in an vnknowne tongue. I answer. The Argument followes not from the euill example of the synagogue of the Iewes; for that this reading of the old Testament in an vnknowne tongue, is the cause wherefore so manie of them hold backe, and will not be conuerted to the faith of Christ.

The third argument is from the practise of the primi­tiue Church. In the primitiue Church the publike pray­ers were said in one of these 3. tongues: therfore the con­clusion followeth. I answer, the Antecedent is false, for that, as hath beene before shewed, in the time of the old Church, yea in the verie dayes of the Apostles, the Scrip­tures were translated in a manner into all languages.

The fourth Argument is from the continuall practise of the catholike Church: for in it the publique prayers were euer either in the Greeke or Latine tongue. I an­swer, if by catholike Church, they meane the Church of Rome, then I weigh not the example and practise there­of: but if by this word they meane the true catholike Church, then it is cleare alreadie by that which is before deliuered, that the Antecedent is false. And thus farre of these Arguments taken from the practise and vse of the Church.

To the former Arguments, they adde more from a [Page 124] finall cause: The publike administration of Gods seruice and worship being performed of all or most Churches in one tongue, to wit the Latine, this might serue well for the preseruation of the vnitie of faith. To this I answer, this serues notably for the continuance and increase of vnbeleefe and ignorance. Againe, our verie experience teacheth (by Gods good blessing in these times) that not­withstanding the great variety of tongues in the refor­med Churches, yet they agree well (to God be praise) in the vnitie of faith.

Next, they reason from the little good which hence ensueth, as they imagine: It profits the people nothing at all that the Scriptures be read in the vulgar tongues: for they vnderstand not any sentence of Scripture, albeit they know the words? To this I answer: Euerie one of the vnlearned, if they come to heare the Scriptures with Gods feare and reuerence, they shall reape and receiue some profit by it.

Againe, from another danger which may happen, they reason thus: The reading of the Scriptures in a knowne tongue may more hurt then profit the people: for de­uotion hath rather decreased then increased, since pub­like prayers or seruice of God hath beene celebrated in popular tongues. I answer, the consequent is not good: The sacred Scripture read in the mother tongue hurts manie; therfore it is not so to be read at all: because accidentally, and through the default and corruption of the people, it hurts, and profits not. So the preaching of the Gospell is the sauour of death vnto death vnto ma­nie; therefore the Gospell is not to bee preached. Fur­thermore, be it knowne that this is no religion, nor true pietie, which is so coupled with ignorance, but a dam­nable superstition, when as the sacred Scriptures are read, and prayers administred in a strange and vnknowne tongue. Thus far these three Arguments from the finall causes and effects.

[Page 125] Againe, they reason from an inconuenience, first, on this wise. If the scriptures must bee read in the vulgar tongue, then translations must bee renewed in euery age: for auncient words weare out of vse: and this is in­conuenient. I answere, what losse is it, if translations be reuised and renewed in euery age? for the whole tran­slation needes no renuing, but some words which happi­ly are become obsolete and out of vse.

Againe, an other euill which might follow this con­clusion is this. The Pope vnderstandeth not all vulgar tongues: But the publique prayers must be celebrate in a language which the Pope knoweth: Ergo. I answere, it is not necessarie that prayers be in that tongue which the Pope knoweth. This they proue Vne concesso errore mille con­sequuntur. because he is the vniuersall Bishop: And this I deny also. Wherefore there is no domage shal follow, if publique prayers be contai­ned in a language which the Pope knoweth not. And thus far the 2. question.

The 3. question followeth: whether it is lawfull for the lay people, as they call them, or the vulgar sort, to read the holy scriptures? We auouch that it is lawfull for euery one, euen of the basest of the people to read the holy Scriptures. For this point see Deut. 6. Chap. & 11. c. and 17. c. Iosh. 1. c. and 10. c. 5. Search the Scriptures, saith the Lord Christ. Acts. 17. the men of Berea searched the Scriptures, and for this cause are commended by the ho­ly Ghost. Matth. 4. The example of Christ (who resisted the Deuill with no other weapons, but of the scripture) teacheth vs that the scripture ministreth vnto vs such a furniture, as euery man must be prouided of to withstand Sathan in his assaults against vs. Lastly, this is prooued by the practise of the Church: For wherefore were the scriptures in the old church translated into so many popu­lar languages, but that they might be read & vnderstood of the people? And this is our iudgement in few words. What say the aduersaries? Some yeares past they taught [Page 126] it was not lawfull at all for any of the common and lay people (as they vsuallie tearme them) to reade the holy Scriptures. Afterwards when they saw how odi­ous Vide Censuram Coloniensem. this was, they changed their minde: and now for­sooth they say, it is lawful to read the scriptures, but with conditiō if it be permitted: permitted, I say: of whom? They answer, by the Pope, his Bishops, or inquisitors. I de­maund: what, of these only? They answer, not of these on­ly, but of them with the aduertisemēt of the parish Priest or confessor. Well, I vnderstand who be to permit the reading of the holy scripture: now I aske, to whom is this permitted? They answer, not to all indifferently, but only to such as the parish Priest, whom they call the Curate, shall well discerne, both by their confession, and by their whole cariage of their life, to be a true Catholick, that is, a stubborne or stiffe-necked Papist. I see then to whom they yeeld thus far the reading of the scriptures. I demand in the next place, what translations be allowed them? They answer, they will not haue them to read all translations indifferently, but such only as some Catho­licks haue published, such as at this day, the English Rhe­mish translation of the New Testament is.

Thus far briefly of that permission, which hath so de­creed the condition of this libertie of reading the scrip­tures. And this is their meaning according to the decree of Pius Quartus the Pope, which decree is confirmed also by the councel of Trent, & commended by the Rhemists, in the preface of their English translation. And this is Bel­larmines iudgment; who differeth in words only a little from the former popish assertion, but in matter and pur­pose is the same in effect: for what difference is there, if there be no permission at all, & to be thus permitted with such a condition, as is aforeshewed?

And thus of the 3. question, and as touching the con­trouersies which are moued at this day, concerning holy scripture, I remember not any that we haue left vntou­ched. [Page 127] We haue therefore spoken of the word of God, which is the word of both couenants: as also of the sa­cred scripture, which is a certaine meane, wherby it plea­sed God to manifest his word and wil vnto men. It resteth now that wespeake of sinne, and of mans miserie.

CHAP. XXIIII. Of sinne in generall.

THE common place of sin, as also the former before handled, is subalterne to the place or generall head of our calling. For calling is the transferring of a man out of the state of sin What our cal­ling is. and miserie, into the state of righteousnesse and happi­nesse. Therefore we shall speake of sinne first in generall; after we shall come vnto his kindes or partes. The name of sin signifies a certaine thing compounded of his owne matter and forme. The matter of sinne, to speake there­of in the first place, is a certaine being, or thing that is: and that being is not a substance, but an accident; and What sin is. that is either a qualitie or action: and this quality or action belongs not to euery creature, but only to the reasonable creature, Angell or Man: for God gaue his law vnto these only. Of this being, which we say is the matter of sinne, God himselfe is the author and principall efficient: for it is he alone that calleth those things which are not, as if they were; and that createth all things, both substances and accidents: But the creature neither is, nor is called the principall efficient of any being. Therefore that being, which is the matter of sinne, seeing God is the principall [Page 128] efficient thereof, necessarily in, and by it selfe, is good: for that whatsoeuer God createth or maketh, hath an ingrafted forme of goodnesse in it. Gen. 1. 31. When God (saith he) saw whatsoeuer he had made, behold it was very good. This forme of goodnesse is so naturall and essentiall to Being, whether quality or action, which God made, that there from it can neuer be separated. But now I graunt that this same Being hath put on another forme, to wit, [...]. The cause of sin. Lawlesnesse, the cause whereof is an euill instrument, as we shall shew hereafter: for this Lawlesnes is from another cause; neither doth it destroy that essen­tiall forme of the goodnesse of being it selfe, which pro­ceedeth from God the creator and maker thereof. For as for the being which God maketh, nothing can be put to it, or taken from it, that in it selfe it may be better or worser. So much concerning the matter of sin.

Now as touching the forme: The forme of sinne is cal­led Lawlesnes, that is, the want of conformitie with the will and law of God. 1. Ioh. 3. Sinne by his forme is thus The forme of sin. defined. Sinne is the transgression of the law. This Law­lesnesse or transgression, which wee call the forme and [...]. manner of sinne, is not a beeing, or a thing positiue, but a thing meerely priuatiue, to wit, a priuation, and want of conformitie with the law of God. This tran­gression happeneth through the cause and fault of an euil instrument, which God vseth in that being, or in doing his owne worke: and this instrument is either the Deuill, or an euill man and vnbeleeuer. For when the Diuell or an euill man concurreth with God, to bring forth his work, he is not the principall efficient of the being it selfe, or of the worke done, but only an instrumentall or ministeriall cause; but the Deuill or man is the principall efficient cause of the transgression, or of the deformity or sin of that action.

And this transgression, the efficient whereof is an euill instrument, is euill either for that the action it selfe, or Causes of sinne. [Page 129] worke is contrarie to the law of God: as when a man committeth murther; the action of murther is expresly Causes of sinne. condemned by the lawe; Thou shalt not murther: or for that the fountaine and beginning of the action or worke is against the law of God, although the action in it selfe be conformable to the law: for as the law of God com­mandeth the action or worke it selfe, so hath it regard of the fountaine and beginning of the action; comman­ding that the whole worke which is commanded by the law, proceed from a pure, holy, and beleeuing heart of that instrument, which God vseth in doing his worke. An example of this kind of transgression may be this: When any man giueth almes, which worke indeed is comman­ded of God, and yet not done of charitie, it is reiected: see 1. Cor. 13. Or lastly, it falleth out to be a sinne, for that the end, which the euill instrument in doing or wor­king together with God proposeth to it selfe, is against the lawe of God. For as the law of God commandeth the worke it self, and the fountaine and beginning of the worke; euen so it commandeth the end, as the chiefe and principall, to wit, the glorie of God himselfe: Whether yee eate or drinke, or whatsoeuer ye do, do all to the glorie of God, 1. Cor. 10. And in this respect a man sinneth, when he doth ought, not for God, nor for his glory; but for him­selfe, his owne profit, and only for his owne glorie.

Here it is to be noted, that whosoeuer sinneth, as tou­ching the fountaine and originall of the action, the same man alwaies sinneth touching the end; and so contrarily. Wherefore these two last wayes of transgression are al­wayes ioyned together. Againe, it is to be noted, that he who sinneth touching the original and the end, doth not alwayes sin in the action it self: For the action or work of any instrument, how euil soeuer in it self, may be good & The person must please God, otherwise the worke shall dis­please. conformable to the law. Wherfore the first way of trans­gression, & the two last are not alwaies conioined. Now then this transgression (which we cal the maner & forme [Page 130] of sinne, comming, or put to that Being, the author wher­of is God, and which in it selfe is good, whether it be a qualitie or an action) maketh vp that which we call sinne, and which is so called of the forme thereof, and not of the matter, seeing all things haue their denominations from their formes.

These things thus declared, it shall bee easie to gather some definition of sinne: That sinne is a quality or action of a reasonable creature, lawlesse, or contrarie to the law of God. The generall proprietie of sinne, or the conse­quent thereof, is guiltinesse; and guiltinesse is that which meriteth or deserueth punishment: as therefore guilti­nesse followeth after sin, so after guilt followeth punish­ment, both temporall and eternall.

Let this suffice concerning sinne in generall; which be­ing knowne, it is easie to answer those questions, which are wont to be made touching sin; and namely to this Three questions concerning the causes of sin. which they aske, If Sinne be of God? or if God be the author of sin? Answ. In sin there are two things; a Being and a transgression. God is the Author and principall efficient of that Being; but of that transgression God is not the author; but the euill instrument is. Againe, it is as­ked, whether this transgression be any way from God? Answ. It is from God, not effecting, but permitting it: for he suffers it to be done by an euill imstrument. Thirdly, it is demanded, if God permit sin, in as much as it is trans­gression of his law? Answ. Not so, which euen by this one reason may be shewed: He permitteth it vnto his glory: and all the meanes of Gods glory, so farre as they haue such respect, are good; and darknes it selfe, as it is permit­ted of God vnto the glory of his name, becōmeth light.

Againe, if here it be asked: If therfore the transgressi­on of Gods lawe, in so farre as a transgression, bee not permitted of God, doth it not of necessity follow, that sin in respect, or as it is a transgression, is done against Deo inuito, whether he will or no. Gods will? Ans. It followeth not: for that which is done against [Page 131] Gods will, is said properly to be done against Gods de­cree, and not against his reuealed wil, or expresse law: but sinne, as it is a transgression of the law, is not done against any decree: therefore sinne, as it is a transgression of the lawe, is not done against Gods will. The Assumption is shewed, because God decreed not from euerlasting, that sinne as it is a transgression of his law, should not be done of an euill instrument. Therefore thou saist, hee de­creed that it should be done? Answer. It followeth not. 1 For both these are true concerning God: God hath nei­ther decreed that transgression, as it is transgression, 2 should not be done; neither hath he decreed that trans­gression, in so farre as it is transgression, should be done. For there is no decree of God extant, either in this or that respect touching sinne, as it is a transgression, or breach of the law of God.

But thou maist aske, is not sinne effected as it is trans­gression, some way by the permission of God? Answ. A thing is said to be done two wayes by Gods permission; either by it selfe, or by accident. That, which by Gods permission commeth to passe by it selfe, must of necessi­tie respect, and put on the nature of good; seeing God proposeth and directeth the same vnto a good end: but that, which by an accident is done, God permitting it, or forsaking the creature, nothing hindreth, but that, as it is such, it is euill: for God leauing the creature, and euill instrument to it selfe, the creature doth that which is euil, as it is euil: neither can it otherwise do, being left of him, who is the Author of al good. But now, in respect of God permitting and leauing, that euill, as it is euill, is done by accident, not by it selfe, because God in forsaking, purposed not euill, as it is euill; but on the contra­rie, so farre forth as it respecteth good, and is a meane of his glorie, of that especially which is the consequent of his mercie: for all meanes, whether wrought by God himselfe, or suffered to be done of euill instruments, in [Page 132] the first place are both ordained of God himselfe, and di­rected to the glorie of his mercie, arising from the salua­tion of the creature: God hath shut vp all vnder sinne, that he might haue mercie on all. And in the second place, for the hardnesse of man, and because of the heart that can­not repent, sinnes and euils which are done by an euill instrument, serue to that glory, which God getteth vnto himselfe, by his iustice and iust punishments.

If on the contrarie thou obiect: God suffereth sinne, that he may punish the same: but he punisheth sinne, in Or, I would an­swer the maior, That God suffe­reth not sin to punish it (for that he respecteth not) but for that be hath a purpose to manifest his owne glorie in the punishment of sinne. that it is sinne, or transgression: therefore he permitteth sinne, as it is sinne. I answer vnto the Assumption: Sinne, as punishment followes thereupon (which in it selfe is good, and turnes to the glorie of God) in this, sin (I say) hath not respect vnto euill, but vnto good, producing a good effect; for an euill cause, as it is euill, cannot bring forth a good effect: But if that cause, which in it selfe is euill, be also considered as the cause of a good effect, it must needes in some sort, take vnto it the nature of good. I confesse indeed, that sinne, as it is sinne, is the cause of punishment: and the punishment, as it is the effect of an euill cause, must needs it selfe be euill. And indeed punish ment, Punishment in it selfe is euill. which is inflicted, is considered two wayes: first, as a thing in it selfe euill: for there is some transgression How punishmēt is euill. in euerie punishment, and euery punishment after a sort, is also a sinne. Againe, it is considered as a thing that is good, to wit, as a meane of Gods glorie. This I say in a word: that all meanes (which in, and by themselues are euill) in respect of God propounding, and of the end, which is the glorie of God, in some sort are good. And that whole chaine of meanes (which is betweene God propounding, as the head and beginning, and the glorie of God as the end) is the order of things, which either by themselues are good, or at the least in some sort, may be so accounted. For those two extremes chaunge all darknesse after a sort into light.

CHAP. XXV. Of Originall Sinne.

THVS farre of sinne in generall: the first diui­sion of sinne is into originall and actuall. To speake of originall sinne first, we be first to ob­serue the reason why it is so named. It is called Originall sinne why so called. original, because it is in vs & with vs from our first being, conception, and natiuity: for it comes by propagation, and is deriued from parents to children, as an hereditary disease, as a leprie, the stone, or any such like malady of the body.

And that there is such a kind of sinne, it is most mani­fest: for there is none so fottish, and so voide of all sense, that he feeleth not this hereditarie sicknes in himselfe, as the infection and corruption of his nature. But the holy Ghost, who best knoweth what is in man, doth cleerely auouch this in many scriptures. Gen. 5. 3. When as Adam (saith he) begat a sonne, according to his owne image. Note heere the propagation of that corrupt image, which was in Adam, into his sonne Sheth. Iob. 14. 5. Who can bring forth a cleane thing of an vncleane? not one. Behold here the propagation of vncleannes. Psalm. 51. 7. Behold I was formed in iniquitie, and in sinne did my mother cherish Tremel. fouit: kept me warme in hir bed.mee. Behold the sin which we haue from our mothers wombe. Ioh. 3. 6. What is borne of the flesh, is flesh: Behold the pro­pagation [Page 134] of flesh, that is, of our corrupt nature. Rom. 5. 12. Like as by one man sinne entred into the world, and by sin death. &c. Obserue here the propagation of sinne. Eph. 2. 3. We were by nature the children of wrath: Note here our corrupt nature, and therefore how subiect it is to the wrath of God. And thus far we see that there is a sin which we call originall.

Now let vs consider what the subiect thereof is. The subiect of originall sinne is the whole man, body and soule: which thing is taught vs cleerely by that one name Soule infected with Orig. sin. which is giuen it, Ro. 6. 6. as els where, that old man: whereby nothing els is signified, but the whole man cor­rupted: or the corruption of the whole man. That the minde is infected with this sin, first we be taught it by very sense it selfe; next, by many testimonies of scriptures. Genes. 6. 5. When the Lord saw all the imaginations, that is, all the thoughts of his heart, were only euill continually. Gen. 8. 21. Albeit the imagination of mans heart be euill from his youth. Ephes. 2. 3. Fulfill the will of the flesh and of the minde.

And that the body is infected with this poison, see Rom. 6. 12. Let not sinne raigne in your mortall body. And that e­uery The body and all the members poi­soned with origi­nall sinne. one of the members is infected and poisoned with the same sin, is shewed v. 13. Neither giue your members as instruments of vnrighteousnes vnto sin.

Againe the very names of this sinne, shew the subiect thereof, or where it resteth: As when it is called flesh, con­cupiscence, the law of the members, the body of sin, the body of death. And thus farre of the subiect of originall sinne.

Now wee bee to come to the parts of it: and be­cause it is as a compound thing, we are to consider, first, The materiall cause of originall sinne, threefold. what the matter thereof is: next, what the forme. The matter of originall sin is threefold: The first part of the matter thereof, is that apostasie wherein we fell all away from God in the loines of Adam: This we receiue from [Page 135] our mothers womb; for we are al born Apostates & back­sliders frō God. For that the first apostasie was not Adams only, but did appertaine to vs al; first, reasō it selfe may suf­ciently conuince it: for we were all as then in his loynes, and as parcelles of the substance and nature of the first man; and so we all fell in him and with him from the li­uing God. For this very cause Heb. 7. Leui is said before he was borne, to pay tithes to Melchisedeck because he was then in the loynes of Abraham. Abrahams fact was therefore Leui his fact also, and of all his posterity, which then were in his loynes. Next, this is testified by scripture, as by name in that place which is Rom. 5. 12. In whom (to wit Adam) all men haue sinned.

That first Apostasie, I grant, is past and vanished a­way, as euery action passeth away: yet after a sort it is saide to continue still, for albeit the fact be past, yet the How the Aposta­sie of Adam con­tinueth still. guilt thereof remaineth still: for euery man is borne guilty by nature of that first Apostasie. The same is to bee said of euery other sinne; Murther, Adultery, Theft, &c. For whatsoeuer it is, it may be truly sayd to remaine still, so long as the guilt remaineth, which is consequent thereun­to. Wherefore euery man is guilty of that first defection and falling from God, vntill this guilt be taken away by the bloud of a mediator. And that we be such Apostates by nature, the scripture testifieth. Rom. 5. 15. By the of­fence of one, many be dead. Wherefore many must be guilty that one offence. Ro. 5. 16. The fault came of one offence vnto condemnation. And thus farre of the first part of ori­ginall sinne, that is, of the first backsliding and our falling away, which we bring forth with vs from our mothers wombe into the world.

The second part followeth of originall sinne: which is a certaine defect, or a certaine want of originall iustice, Second part of Originall sinne. that is, of that righteousnes, or integrity wherein man was created, according to the image and example of the righ­teousnesse which is in God the creator. For he created [Page 136] man after his owne image, wise, iust, holy. For the A­postle to the Eph. 5. and Col. saith, that in these respects man was like to God himselfe in his creation. This want, I speake of originall iustice, is the first effect of that apo­stasie before shewed. For that apostasie, whereof we are al by nature guilty, depriueth vs in our first birth, euē in our very conception, of that originall iustice and image of God. This part of the matter of originall sinne very sense sheweth, and many scriptures testifie of it: I meane such as speake of sinne negatiuelie or priuatiuelie. For Proofe of our want of original iustice by 1. sense. 2. by scripture. all such places shew plainelie what defect is in vs, and what want of originall iustice. Rom. 3. 23. All haue sinned and are depriued of the glory of God. Ro. 7; 18. I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. And a little after. I find no meanes to performe that which is good. Rom. 8. 7. The wisdome of the flesh is not subiect to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 1. Cor. 14. The naturall man per­ceiueth not the things of the spirit of God, neither can he know the. 2. Cor. 3. 5. Not that we are sufficient of our selues to think any thing as of our selues. Eph. 4. 18. Hauing their cogitation darkened, and being strangers from the life of God. And thus far of the 2. part of the matter of original sin, to wit, the want of originall iustice.

The third part followeth: and this we say is an inclina­tion The 3. part of the matter of origi­nall sinne. or quality contrary to that originall iustice and inte­gritie before mentioned, succeeding euen in place there­of. This is, that which they call our naturall corruption, and it is the second effect of the apostasie of Adam, in Paradice. For that rebellion of our first parents, first de­priueth vs of originall iustice and of the image of God: next, in place there of by Gods iust iudgement, it infecteth vs with a quality cleane contrary to that righteousnesse, whereby we are made prone and apt to al euil. This con­tratie qualitie or inclination vnto sin to be in vs, very sense procues it, with many testimonies of the holy Scripture: all which speake of sinne affirmatiuely; or, that I may so [Page 137] speak, positiuely. Ro. 7. 7. I had not known concupiscence, but that the law sayth, thou shalt not couet. Rom. 7. 23. I see ano­ther law in my members, rebelling against the law of my mind. Eph. 2. 3. Fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and of the minde. Ad to these the places before cited, Gen. 6. and 8. And thus farre of the third part of the matter of originall sin.

And here as touching the want of iustice, and inclina­tion vnto sinne, which were two parts of the matter of originall sinne, ye must be aduertised: that there is no fa­cultie A speciall note. of the soule of man, which is not infected with both these euils together. We reckon as principall powers of the soule, the minde or vnderstanding, the will and the affections. These two last the scripture often vnderstan­deth them, in the worde, hart: because the will and affec­tions be seated in the hart. The first defect then is in the mind, and this is the want of light and knowledge: here is also the want of holinesse, that is, of a quality, wherewith our very knowledge and light must be affected, and assu­redly was affected with, in the first creation.

The light of the minde or knowledge is twofold; na­turall A two fold light of the mind. 1. VVant of na­turall light. and spirituall: In the mind there is a defect of light or of naturall knowledge, not in whole, but in part: for there do remaine euen in the vnregenerate, certaine ge­nerall notions of good and euill things, which are com­manded and condenmed in the law: but they be such as serue only to make men inexcusable, for that they are but lame and corrupt. Rom. 1. 19. The mind also wants spiri­tuall 2. VVant of spi­rituall light. light, not in part but in whole, for it is vtterly void of this light: for as concerning those things which apper­taine to the kingdom of heauen, the vnderstandings is so darkened, that it doth not only not perceiue them, but also hath no power to conceiue them. 1. Cor. 2. 14. To be short, the minde wants holinesse; for the things it vnder­standeth, 3. VVant of ho­lin [...]sse in the mind. it neither conceiueth them rightly and holily, but impiously and prophanely all things, euen the things which in and by themselues are good: For the facultie of [Page 138] vnderstanding albeit it be not vtterly lost, yet that holy­nes of this facultie, wherein it was created after the image of God, was vtterly lost in the fall of man. This want of this naturall light, the Apostle sheweth Rom. 1. 21. Be­cause when they knew God, they glorified him not as God. These latter wordes plainly shew that the naturall light of the minde is but a dim light, and soone vanisheth away. The want of the spiritual light, the Apostle sheweth 1. Cor. 2. 14. The naturall man perceiueth not the things of the spirit of God. The want of sanctitiy in ye vnderstanding, the Apostle sheweth Rom. 8. 7. The wisdom of the flesh is enmity against God, euen then when it vnderstādeth those things, which otherwise be in themselues true & good. 2. Cor. 3. 8. Not that we are sufficient of ourselues to thinke any thing, to wit, well and holily. Eph. 4. 18. Hauing their cogitation dar­kened, & being estranged from the life of God. And there ver. 23. And be ye renewed in the spirit of your minde. And thus farre of the want or defect which is in the mind.

There is also a quality in the minde, which hath suc­ceeded or stept in place of that light and holinesse, which was lost in the fall of man: For darknes hath taken posses­sion in the very seate of light. Ephesi. 5. 8. Yee were in times past darknes, but now ye are light in the Lord. In place of sanctitie & integrity haue crept in impuritie and a cer­taine malitiousnesse of nature, which euidently appea­reth, when it is said Rom. 8. 5. For they that are after the flesh, sauour the things of the flesh: This wisdome is of some euill quality. 1. Cor. 1. 18. The preaching of the crosse is to them that perish, foolishnesse. And 1. Cor. 2. 14. For they are foolishnes vnto him. This word foolishnes argueth the per­uerse iudgment of the minde.

Thus far of the want of the mind, & the contrary qua­lity crept thereinto. Both these in like manner are to be seene in the will and in euery affection. The want of inte­grity The will corrup­ted. and vprightnes in the will, the Apostle testifieth saying, I find no meanes to performe that which is good, Rom. [Page 139] 7. 18. and Phil. 2. 13. It is he which worketh in you both the will and the deed. The corruption and frowardnes of the will, and of the motions thereof, is testified by many scriptures. As Gen. 6. 5. 6. The conceit of a mans heart is only euill. Eph. 2. 3. Doing the will of the flesh and of the minde.

Finallie, this I say, that mans will is more poisoned by this originall corruption, then the minde is: for which Video meliora proboque, deteri­ora sequor. cause the very heathen could say: I see & approue (by the light of reason) the better things, but (through the cor­ruption of my will) I incline to the worser. And this the Apostle saith, Eph. 4. 18. Affirming that the ignorance The will worse then the mind. which is in men, is by reason of the hardnesse of their hearts. & Rom. 1. 28. They regarded not to know God, therefore God deliuered thē vnto a reprobate mind. Note, how the obstinate will resisteth the light of the mind, and causeth the mind to be ouerclouded.

And thus far of the threefold matter of originall sinne. These parts of the materiall cause of originall sin, because they are so many Beings Entia., and are of God, euery one of them must retaine in them some goodnes (as we say) in re­spect of their being: for that very apostasie and falling a­way was good in it selfe: as so the want of originall iustice, because it is athing in nature, and a consequent of that Apostasie, this want (I say) as it is of God, is good in it selfe: and to conclude, that positiue qualitie, which succeedeth in place of that holinesse and image of God, for the being thereof, is of God as principall efficient, and is good in itselfe.

The forme of originall sinne followeth. And this is a The forme of ori­ginall sinne. very speciall repugnance against the law of God, causing a very speciall kind of sinne. And like as the matteriall cause of originall sinne is threefold; so there is in it a threefold [...]. repugnance against God and his law: For e­uery part of the materiall cause hath a repugnance a­gainst the law in it, and so a forme which is from another, in respect whereof it is sinne: The first Apostasie hath in [Page 140] it a repugnance against God; and so the want of originall iustice; and the positiue quality also, which succeeded in place thereof. This threefold iniquitie Or breach of Gods law., is not of God as efficient, but from the euill instruments, the deuill first, next Adam, and lastly, the very man, which is of Adams progenie: For we also which are sick of this hereditarie e­uill, are the very causes of our sicknes. And thus far of the forme of originall sin.

Now we be to define originall sinne of the matter and forme thereof, on this wise: Originall sinne is an apostasie from God, a want of Originall iustice, and a certaine positiue qualitie, repugning against the law of God. The threefold Originall sin defined. materiall cause stands for the genus of it; and for the forme the threefold breach of Gods law. And like as guilt in ge­neral, is the consequent of sin in general; so a speciall guilt Guilt following originall sin. is consequent to originall sin: and this is threefold also, as the matter and forme of this sinne is threefolde: For the apostasie hath his speciall guiltinesse following it; so also the want of originall iustice; and that positiue qua­lity. And euery guiltinesse merits death, and eternall damnation.

It resteth now, that seeing we see this sinne originall is deriued by propagation from the parents to the children, that we search out the manner thereof: and this may bee expressed on this wise. The propagation of sin must be, by one of these 3. waies: for it is deriued either by the soule, or by the body of the parents, or through their default. It cannot bee said that the propagation of this sin is by the soule, for the soule of the Father or Mother is not deri­ued by propagation to the children, in whole or in part, as is very euident: wherfore this sin coms not by the soule of the parents.

But it may not vnfitly be said, that there is some deri­uation How sin is deri­ued from parents to their children. of this sin by the body of the parents, to the body and soule of the child begotten by them. This propagati­on of sinne by the body of him which begetteth, into the [Page 141] bodie of him which is begotten, is easily discerned: for the seede of the parents, being in the child, is corrupted & infected with sin: whence it followeth necessarily, that the bodie which is begotten of such corrupt & vncleane seede, must also be corrupt and vncleane in like manner.

The propagation of sinne by the body of him which begetteth, into the soule of him which is begotten, is more hardly expressed: yet I deliuer what seemes most How sin infe­fecteth the verie soule. probable vnto me, on this manner. After that by the bo­die of him which begetteth, sinne is deriued into the bo­die of him which is begotten; now the body begotten being corrupt, & infected with sin, this bodie, I say, infe­cteth and poisoneth the soule, created euen then of God, before, and infused into it that very moment of time, wherein it was created. Here you demaund, whether the soule were pure and cleane the time it was created, and so Quest. infused into the bodie: and then afterwards so defiled by the contagion of the bodie? I answer, it is not like to bee so: for that the soule is created, infused, and corrupted, in Ans. the very selfe same moment of time. This corruption of the soule is, partly by reason of the desertiō of God, part­ly by reason of the contagion of the body whereinto it is infused: for God the very same moment of time wherein he createth & infuseth the soule, in his iust iudgment for­sakes it, and giues it ouer to the body to bee so defiled with sinne: wherefore this I auouch, that the soule is created, infused, forsaken of God, and defiled by the bo­die the very same moment of time.

The manner of the propagation of this sinne, which is said to be through the default of the parents, followeth; and this I expresse on this wise. Adam by that his first of­fence, did deriue, as by a certaine conduit, whatsoeuer corruption was in him to his posteritie: for this cause the Apostle, Rom. 5. 12. saith, By one man (to wit, sinning) sin entred into the world.

Here it may be demaunded, whence proceedes this [Page 142] efficacie or power of that first sin, to ingender, as it were, and to deriue sinne into all and euerie one of Adams pro­genie. I answer, this efficacie of that sinne, is by reason of that word and couenant which God made with Adam in his creation, as it were in these words: If man wil stand and persist in that his innocencie, which he had by creati­on, he shall stand for his owne good, and for his proge­nie: but if he do not stand, but fall away, his fall shall turn The Couenant of God in the crea­tion. as to his owne dammage, so to the hurt of his posteritie: and whatsoeuer euill shall be tide him, the same shall en­sue to all his off-spring after him. And this last way of the propagation of originall sinne pleaseth me best, and ought to content all sober wits, for that this is grounded on the authority and words of the Apostle. And thus far our iudgement concerning originall sinne.

Now let vs briefly see what the old hereticks, and late aduersaries of Gods truth say concerning this sinne. First The opinion of the heretikes cō ­cerning originall sinne. heere wee be to meete with the heresie of Pelagius the Monke, and Caelestius his Disciple, which said, there was no originall sinne: that Adam by his fall did hurt him­selfe only, and not his posteritie, excepting onely by his example. They said his posteritie sinned, not by propaga­tion of his sinne, but by imitation of their father Adams preuarication.

When it was obiected against them, that young in­fants died; which could not be, but that they are infected with originall sinne: They answered, that Adam himselfe also had died by the law of nature, albeit he had not sin­ned. And this was the Pelagians principall argument a­gainst The Pelagians argument a­gainst originall sinne. originall sinne. If sinne be by propagation, then it must needs be deriued to the posteritie by the soule, or by the body: but not by the soule, for that it is not by tra­duction: and it is not by the bodie, because it is void of reason; neither can sinne be said to bee first and properly seated in it: and not by both vnited, because it is not by the parts: therefore there is no originall sinne at all. [Page 143] The answere is easie of that which hath beene before set downe in this chap▪ touching the forme or manner of the propagation of this sinne. First, their proposition Answer. doth not number all the formes & meanes of the propa­tion of this sinne: for there is besides those meanes a de­riuation of sinne, which is through the default of the pa­rents. Next the Assumption is false, for albeit there be no propagation of sinne by the soule, yet it may well bee by the bodie, as is afore shewed. And thus farre of Pelagius and Caelestius heresie.

Next, the Schoole-men had diuers opinions of origi­nall Schoolemens o­pinion of original sinne. sinne: for some said, that originall sinne consisted only in the guilt of Adams apostasy: others said, it was but the want of original iustice. But Peter Lombard reiecting these opinions, auoucheth it to be also a positiue euill qualitie, contrarie to that first originall iustice. Albertus Pigghius, & Ambrosius Catharinus said, that it was nothing els but that first transgression of Adam. And out of this conclusion, they drew forth three other opinions: the first was this: Originall sinne is one and the selfe same onely Three grosse opi­nions of papists concerning origi­nall sin. in all men: 2. This sin in Adam was reall and actually his; but it is ours only by imputation: the third, that infants in verity, haue nothing in them that hath any appearance of sinne: for they said, that guiltinesse, want of iustice, and the spots of nature, and such like things, seeme rather to be punishments then faults, if ye speake not happily improperly, as when ye apply the name of the cause to the effect.

Bellarmine following all these, first blames Lombards conclusion concerning his positiue qualitie; and next, Bellarm. obiect▪ against Lumbard Answer. condemnes Pigghius assertion as hereticall. One of his principall arguments against Lombard is this. God is ei­ther the cause of that positiue quality, or not the cause: if the cause, then is he the cause of sin: if he be not the cause of it, then is he not the authour of all things. Therefore there is no such positiue qualitie at all. We answer to the [Page 144] Assumption: in that euill positiue quality two things must be respected. First, the qualitie it selfe, or the being of it; next, the euilnesse, or irregularity, or deformity ther­of: God is the the authour and principall efficient of the first: but the diuell and the euil instrument is the authour and cause of the second.

This done, at last the Iesuit sets downe his owne iudge­mēt, auouching that original sin consisteth in two things: Bellarm iudg­ment of originall sinne. first, in the first transgression of Adam, not as hee was a certaine priuate person, but as being then the person of all mankind: next, he saith, it is also a want of that gift of originall iustice. And thus farre he speakes wel, affirming that there are two parts of original sin: but herein he er­reth, for that he omitteth that euil positiue quality before mentioned. And thus farre of the iudgement of the Ad­uersaries concerning originall sinne.

CHAP. XXVI. Of Concupiscence.

BVt because there is some controuersie tou­ching concupiscence, which is the third part of originall sinne; therefore we be to speake something of it apart. The word Concupi­scence, doth first and properly signifie that coueting, or lusting, which is said to be in the baser facul­tie of the soule, to wit, in the sensible and the naturall po­wer thereof: and tropically it signifieth our naturall cor­ruption, and that euill positiue quality, which resteth not [Page 145] onely in the concupiscible faculty of the soule, but in all the powers therof also, euē in reason it self. For the word Concupiscence in Scripture is as generall as the old man, or the flesh: for Paule vseth these words indifferently for one and the same matter, the old man, the flesh, concupi­scence, and the law of the members, to wit, for the third part of originall sinne, which is that euill positiue quality. And that concupiscence is properly and truly a sinne, ap­peares plainly out of the Epistle to the Romans, ch. 7. 7. I had not knowne lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not lust. And this briefly is our iudgment touching Concu­piscence.

Pelagius reckoneth Concupiscence in the number of the good things, or benefits of nature: for hee de­nies originall sinne. Our aduersaries the Papists, by Concupiscence vnderstand nothing els, but that concu­piscible faculty of the soule, which is in it self good, or at­least indifferent, but euill accidentally, and in some re­spect: to wit, for that now the bridle or originall iustice is let loose, whereby Concupiscence ought to haue been curbed: so then this curbe being lost, it inclines (say they) to sinne. This is the iudgment of the Councell of Trent, The iudgment of the papists con­cerning concu­piscence. concerning Concupiscence, that it may not be saide tru­ly and properly that it is a sin, but that it is so called, be­cause it proceedes from sin, and inclines to sinne. But that Concupiscence is sinne, is more manifest by Paules do­ctrine, then that it needes any proofe at all: and that it is a sinne not onely in the vnregenerate, but also in the re­generate. And thus farre of Concupiscence, and of ori­ginall sinne.

CHAP. XXVII. Of Actuall sinne.

ACtuall sinne is the fruit, and effect, and the punishment also of originall sin. The first and principall diuision of actuall sin, is into Actuall sinne. internall and externall. The internall I call the sinnes of soule, and of the faculties thereof. Internall sinne is partly of omission, partly of commission. A sinne of omission, in the mind, is the want of a holy and good motion: and the roote of this is the want of originall iustice. And like as that defect of ori­ginal iustice is in all the powers of the soule; so this inter­nall Sinne of omission what. sinne of omission, is of all the powers of the soule. Of the sinne of omission the Apostle speaketh, 1. Cor. 2. 14. when he saith, that the naturall man cannot conceiue the things of the Spirit of God. Lo here the want of a holy mo­tion in mans nature: the fundamentall cause whereof he addeth in the next words, saying, neither can he perciue them: In which words yee haue the want of that power and faculty, whence a holy motion doth spring.

The internall sinne of commission followeth: and this is a peruerse and euill motion of the mind. And this pro­ceedes from the third part of originall sinne, to wit, that A sinne of com­mission. euill positiue qualitie, or naturall corruption. And like as yt positiue quality is of al the faculties of the mind, so that internall sinne of commission is of all the powers of the soule in like manner. Of this sinne the Scripture speakes [Page 147] euery where. Rom. 7. 5. When we were in the flesh, the or affections. moti­ons of sinnes which were by the law, had force in our members, to bring forth fruite vnto death. Where three things are to Three things, Rom. 7. 5. be obserued: first, the flesh, which is original sin: Second­ly, Affections or motions, whereby vnderstand the inter­nall sinne of commission: Thirdly, the fruit of those mo­tions [...]. or affections: whereby he meanes euery externall actuall sinne. Againe, ye haue the same three things knit together, Ephe. 2. 3. Fulfilling the will of the flesh, and of the mind. 1. the flesh, that is, originall sin. 2. Next, the thought or lust of the flesh, which is the internall commission of sinne. 3. To fulfill the same, and this is externall sinne. The same things ye haue Iam. 1. 15. When concupiscence hath conceiued, it bringeth forth sinne. Concupiscence is ori­ginall sinne: conception is actuall internall sinne: the birth thereof is an externall sinne. And thus farre of actual in­ternall sinne.

The externall actuall sinne followeth, which is a sinne of the bodie, and of the members thereof: and this sinne Externall actual sinne. also is partly of omission, partly of commission. The ex­ternall sinne of omission is, when things to bee done are omitted: and this proceedes from the internall sinne of omission: And here also, like as the internall sinne of o­mission is of all faculties of the mind, so the externall sin of omission is of all the members of the body. Of this sin the Apostle speaketh Roman. 7. 9. I do not the good which I would do. The externall sinne of commission followeth. This is when that is done, which ought not to be done: Externall sin of commission. and it proceedes from the internall sinne of commission: This is also of all the parts of the body, like as the inter­nall sinne of commission is of all the powers of the soule. The testimonies of Scriptures before cited, proue this, Rom. 7. 19. The euill which I would not, that do I.

The externall sinne of commission is twofold, partly of errour and ignorance, partly of knowledge. It is of ig­norance, when a man ignorantly committeth any thing: [Page 148] This was Paules sinne, 1. Tim. 1. 13. For I did it ignorantly through vnbeleefe. This ignorance is either of the law, or of the fact. The ignorance of the law, is to be ignorant of Gods will: Of this Sin speaketh Christ Luke 12. 48. He that hath not known his masters wil, & hath done things wor­thy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. This was also Paules ignorance, when hee blasphemed and persecuted the Church of Christ, 1. Tim. 1. The ignorance of the fact, is when a man knowes not what he doth: And a man may be said not to know what he doth, or to erre in the Sin of ignorance. fact, either when he doth a thing negligently, or when a thing is done by him (as we say) by fortune or chance, or rather by the ineuitable prouidence of God. An example of sinne of negligence may be this, as when a ship is lost by the negligence of the Gouernour or maister thereof, An example of a sinne by fortune, or Gods prouidence, may be, as when one casting a stone, killeth a man passing by, of whom he neuer thought: for this sinne in the old Church, the cities of refuge were appointed, Numb. 35. 23. Thus farre of the external sinne of commission, which proceedes of errour or ignorance.

The externall sinne of commission followeth, which is committed in knowledge, or as we say, wittingly: and this is when a man knoweth that hee doth euill: hereof speakes Christ, Luk. 12. 47. That seruant who knoweth his masters will, and doth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.

This sin is either of infirmitie, or of contumacie. An ex­ample Actual external sinne committed willingly. of a sinne of infirmitie is in Peter, who three times denied his Lord and maister for feare of death and perse­cution. An example of a sin of contumacie we haue in Iu­das the traitor. Againe, a sin of contumacie is either done in hypocrisie, as when a man is not openly rebellious, but hides his sinne vnder the cloake of hypocrisie: this the Apostle taxeth Rom. 2. 5. Thou (saith he) after thy hard­nesse, and heart that cannot repent, doest treasure vp wrath a­gainst the day of wrath. Againe, it is an open rebellion or [Page 149] pride; when a man ioynes to his contumacy, pride against God himselfe: for which cause he is said to sinne with an high hand, Numb. 15. 30. This manifest rebellion and Heresie. pride, is either against the second Table of the law, as o­pen murther, knowne adulterie; and this is the lesser contumacie: but if it be a proud rebellion against the first Table, the sinne is intolerable: And of this latter kind is Open rebellion. heresie first, when as a man in a proud obstinacy, wil de­fend anie opinion against the manifest truth of Gods word.

Of all the sinnes before specified, this is one proper­ty, that a man may repent of them, or for them all: whereupon followes another property, that they are all pardonable. But if ye adde to knowledge, pride, froward­nesse, a malicious heart, striuing against the holy Ghost inlightening a man, & teaching inwardly: then the great sinne ariseth, which they call the sinne against the holy Sinne against the holy Ghost. Ghost: the propertie whereof is this, that hee which so sinneth, cannot repent him of his sinne: whereupon it followeth that this sinne is impardonable. And this sin is called irremissible, not for that the greatnesse of it ex­ceeds the greatnes of Gods mercy & grace in Christ; but VVherefore im­pardonable. because finall impenitence is the reward and punishment, which by Gods iust iudgment is inflicted vpon this sinne. Read of this point Matt. 12. 21. Heb. 6. 4. 5. and chap. 10. 26. 1. Ioh. 5. 16. And thus farre of actuall sinne.

Now it remaineth to see what the aduersaries say of ac­tuall sinne. Here the greatest controuersie is of the diui­sion of actuall sinne into mortall and veniall. We auouch that euery sin by nature is mortall, that is, that the guilt Sinne mortall & veniall, a popish doctrine. of eternall death followes it: And that if any sinne be ve­niall, that is, may find pardon of God, this commeth to passe, not for that it is so by nature, but of Gods meere mercie in Iesus Christ. Many scriptures approue our asser­tion. Ro. 6. 23. The wages of sin is death. He speakes here of sin in generall, and of eternall death. Matth. 5. 19. Who so­euer [Page 150] shall breake one of the least of these commandements, and shall teach men so, heshall be called the least in the kingdome of God, that is, he shal haue be of reckoning in heauen. Ob­serue then here, how for the least sin a man deserues to be shut forth out of heauen. Deut. 27. 26. Cursed be he that abideth not in all things which are written in the booke of the law: Therefore there is no sinne which deserueth not the curse or malediction of God. For in that the law denoun­ceth an execration against euery sin, there is no excepti­on we see of anie, euen the least sinne. I am. 2. 10. Whosoe­uer shall keepe the whole law, and yet fayleth in one point, hee is guiltie of all. Therefore if ye rest in any one sinne against the law, ye sinne against the whole law, and stand guiltie of all sinnes, which are committed any way against the law: So there is no cause why wee should measure our guilt by anie one sinne, euen the verie least. For euen the verie least sinne we liue and lie in (without faith & repen­tance) The least sinne merits hell. caries with it the guilt euen of the greatest sinnes, as may clearely appeare by that place of Iames. Matth. 5. 26. Thou shalt not depart thence till thou hast paid the vtmost farthing: Therefore God in his accounts respecteth euen the least parts of sinne, and the smallest sinnes that are. The tenth law condemnes euen the least motions of con­cupiscence. Matth. 22. 37. Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soule, and with all thy mind: Therefore the law requires an exact or perfect obedi­ence. Wherefore he that offendeth euen in the least point, is a transgressor of the law: and that euerlasting curse fol­loweth the breach of the law, if redemption be not pur­chased by Iesus Christ. Matt. 5. 18. Till heauen and earth perish, one iote, or one tittle of the law shall not scape, till all things be fulfilled. Note here, there shal not passe away one iote, or one tittle, that is, the least branch of the breach of the law, which shall escape without satisfaction either by our selues, or a mediator. And thus far touching our iudg­ment of this matter.

[Page 151] The aduersaries for actuall sinne, respecting it either according to the greatnesse thereof, or for the punish­ment it deserueth, they diuide it into mortall and veniall. They cal that mortall sinne which doth extinguish chari­ty, Mortal sin defi­ned of Papists. or iustice, making vs enimies vnto God, and there­fore guilty of eternall death. They call that veniall sinne, which doth not quench charitie and iustice, nor doth not cause an enmitie betwixt vs and God: but dooth a little staine iustice, which they place in charitie, and they say it A popish veniall sinne. spots it a little: wherefore this sinne (say they) is soone pardoned, and expiate with a light punishment: as in this life, with the repetition of the Lords prayer, the smiting of the breast, satisfactiō or penance imposed by the priest or which men do of thēselues voluntarily vndergo. After this life all venial sinnes be expiat in purgatory, if they be not pardoned in this life, by the meanes before expressed.

They say, veniall sinne is twofold: the first veniall sin is so called, because it is so by nature, and for the substance Venial sin 2. of it, as an idle word, or immoderate laughter. The next veniall sinne, they say, is that, which is not so by nature, but for some imperfection, for that sin by nature is mor­tall: but because it is imperfect for the measure or quan­tity of the euill, therefore it is veniall. This imperfection, say they, is twofold: for this imperfection is either by rea­son of the will, as when there is not a full consent of the will vnto a secret motion of concupiscense: In this kind of venial sinne they reckon all euil secret motions, which stirre in the affection, before the mind can think of them, and which get not any full consent of the will, as the mo­tions of lust, of anger, of enuie, &c. Oragaine, there is an imperfection in respect of the matter of the sinne, to wit, when the matter is so small and light, that it makes the sin veniall, as for example; if a man steale a half-peny, or some such trifle, wherby the neighbour is little or nothing tou­ched, and charity is not violate.

And they go about to proue their opinion concerning [Page 152] veniall sinne by diuers kindes of arguments. First by te­stimonies of the scripture, and of the Church: next by rea­sons of their owne: in refutation of which arguments my Popish argu­ments for veniall sinne. meaning is not to insist. For veniall sinne they cite Mat. 12. 32. Whosoeuer shall speake against the holy Ghost▪ it shall not be forgiuen him, neither in this world nor in the world to come: Therefore say they, there is a kinde of sinne which shalbe pardoned after this life: and the same is venial sin, which is purged with the fire of purgatory. But let Mark. chap. 3 29. bee the interpreter of this phrase which Mathew hath in this place. Whosoeuer (saith he) shall blaspheme against the holy Ghost, shal neuer haue forgiuenes, but is culpable or guilty of eternall damnation. Therefore where Mathew saith, nei­ther is this life nor in the life to come, it is the same, as if he said: It shall neuer be forgiuen him.

They bring also the place which is. Mat. 5. 22. Whosoeuer is angry with his brother vnaduisedly, shalbe culpable of iudg­ment; and whosoeuer saith vnto his brother Raca, shalbe wor­thy to be punished by the Councel: and whosoeuer shal say foole, shalbe worthy to be punished with hell fire. There are here 3. kinds of sins, say they, of which he adiudgeth one kinde only worthy of hell fire: wherefore the two former are to be expiat with some light punishment, and therfore be veniall sinnes. I answere, this place teacheth vs that there is an inequality, first of sinnes, next of punishments; and those also spirituall and infernall, which Christ ex­presseth here by an allusion to ciuill and politique penal­ties which were vnequall.

They reason also on this wise: No man (say they) will denie that one sin is lesser then another by nature: There­fore Popish reasons for veniall sin. is not the lesser sinne veniall by nature? I answer, it followeth not, for that the least sinne by nature meriteth eternall death, and eternall punishment, albeit not the greatest punishment. For we deuie not the inequalitie of the paines of the damned.

[Page 137] Next say they, is not one sin lesse then another in quan­tity? And therefore is it not veniall in respect of the im­perfection thereof? I answer; it followeth not, for euery sin howsoeuer imperfect, meriteth eternal death: or if it be venial, it is not for the imperfectiō of it; but for Christs sake, and his satisfaction for it.

Thirdly, they say, is not that sin veniall which doth not destroy or ouerthrow iustice, charity, or inherent grace? But there are some sinnes which doe not ouerthrow or extinguish iustice: Ergo, there be some venial sinnes. The assumption is proued. The iust man fals 7. times in the day and riseth againe: Behold here one sinneth, and yet ceaseth not to be iust. I answer: The proposition is false: for that very sinne which doth not extinguish the grace of Christ, and inherent holines, that very sinne by it owne nature is mortall: And in that it is pardonable, and doth not abo­lish holines, that is not to be imputed to the sin it self, but to the free mercy of God in Iesus Christ.

CHAP. XXVIII. The controuersie concerning the sinne against the holy Ghost.

THE aduersaries say, there be 6. kindes of this sinne: The first sinne is presumption, when a The Papists say, there be six kinds of the sinne a­gainst the holy Ghost. man presumeth ouermuch of the grace of God and of faith, in the meane while deny­ing his faith by his works: This is the man whom Iames [Page 174] taxeth in his Epistle, Chap. 2. vers. 14. and after. These­cond is desperation, contrary to presumption: this was Cain and Iudas sin. The third is to impugne the knowne truth: hereto belongs the blasphemie against the holy 3 Ghost; this was the sinne of the Pharasies, Matth. 12. The fourth is to enuy or to repine at the graces of God in our 4 brethren: this was the sin of the Iewes, which did re­pine and grieue at the grace of God giuen the Gentiles. The fift is obstinacy, when as a man shal persist in a known sin with an obstinate mind. This was Pharaohs sinne, and 6 the obstinate Iewes. The sixt is finall impenitency, when as any shall die in contempt of the sacrament of penance, and of any satisfaction imposed vpon him by Ecclesiasti­call order. Of this they vnderstand that place, 1. Ioh. 5. 16. There is a sin vnto death, I do not say, that ye should pray for him. They say, a man sins against the holy Ghost al these waies, and that all these sins be inexpiable: and that these sins are called irremissible, because they bee seldome and hardly forgiuen; as men seldome and hardly repent them of these sins. But the last which is finall impenitency, they thinke that onely is properly sayde to be impardonable, because it is neither forgiuen in this life, nor after this life. And this is their iudgment of the sin against the holy Ghost.

But we auouch that the scripture doth teach vs, there is but one sinne only against the holy Ghost, Matth, 12. 32. Mark. 3. 29. Luke. 12. 10. called the blasphemy against the holy Ghost. Ye haue a description of this sinne, Heb. 6. 4. and 10. 26. 27. the Apostle calling it an apostasy or backslyding from God. It is so also described, 2. Pet. 2. 20. And 1. Io 5. 16. It is called a sinne vnto death. As for the other kinds of this sin before specified, some of them are consequently of this sin, which we call a blasphemie, and appertaine vnto it: for desperation and final impeni­tency are the punishments of this sinne: Obstinacie is in the very nature of this sinne, for it caries with it an obsti­nate [Page 175] maliciousnesse. And as for the other kinds I cannot see how they may be called sins against the holy Ghost: for as for presumption, what is it els but hypocrisie? To Presumption. repine at the graces of God in our brethren, is a sinne against our neighbour, and against the second table of the law. Therefore let this rest, that there is but one sin against the holy Ghost, so called, to wit, the blasphemy against the holy Ghost, or an apostasy from the grace of the spirit once receiued: for these are one and the same, to blaspheme against the holy Ghost, and to fall from grace receiued. Notwithstanding I deny not, but that this sin, which is but one in substance may haue his increase or growth: for then it is come to a height, when as it figh­teth against all the known truth which is according to godlinesse. Next we say, that this one sinne is impardo­nable, not for that it is seldome and hardly pardoned; but for that it is neuer pardoned, because such a one can ne­uer repent him of his sinne, that he hath committed. For this mans heart groweth to such a hardnesse (and that by Gods iust iudgment) as can neuer after be mollified.

And that this sin is simply impardonable, is manifest by ye very words of the lord in ye gospel, before cited: for where it is sayd in Matth. it shall not be forgiuen him neither in this world, nor in the world to come: and in Mark▪ This sinne is neuer forgiuen, but is culpable of eternall damnation: Do not these words cut off all hope of pardon? So as I cannot but wonder at the Rhemists, so impudently to extenuate Rhemists impu­dency. [...]. the force of the words of the lord. To the Heb. 6. he saith, it is impossible that he which so sinneth should be renu­ed by repentance: then he addeth a waighty cause and most necessarie, for (sayth he) This man crucifieth againe to himselfe the Sonne of God, that is, as much as in him lyeth.

Which point, the better to conceiue it, we must know there is a difference betweene all other sinnes, and this sin against the holy Ghost, as touching the remission and ex­piation [Page 176] of them. For to expiat all other sinnes, the sacri­fice of Christ once offered, is sufficient for them all, and the vertue thereof extendeth it selfe to purge all sinnes for euer. But when a man hath once sinned against the holy Ghost, and profaned that pretious bloud, the ver­tue thereof will neuer after be effectual for the expiation of his sin. Wherefore he stands in neede of some new sa­crifice to purge his sinne; which thing shal neuer be gran­ted him: For if this were graunted, then must Christ be crucified againe, or some other sacrifice must be offered: but neither can Christ be crucifyed againe, neither can any other sacrifice bee offered for him, as it is written Heb. 10. 26. For there remaineth no more sacrifice for sinnes. Therefore this sin can neuer be expiat, because a new sacri­fice can neuer be giuen for it: And this is the cause of the impossibility of the pardon of this sinne.

The aduersaries, namely, the Rhemists in their obser­uations on this place, do thus interpret this impossibili­tie: they say, there is a double repentance, or renuing, or purging of sinne: They say, the first is easie and light, in and by Baptisme: where (say they) all the sinnes before Baptisme, are purged by that light washing of baptisme. The second they call penance, or the purging of sinnes, Popish sacrament of penanc. as they say, by the sacrament of Penance: and in this Sa­crament (as they speake) such sinnes are purged which are committed after baptisme; and this is hard and pain­full, as consisting of fastings, prayers, satisfactions, and o­ther corporall afflictions. If you graunt them this distin­ction, then they say, this impossibilitie of being renewed, is in respect of that repentance, renewing, and purging of sinne which is in baptisme: For (they say) it is impossible that a sinne committed after Baptisme, some baptisme be­ing iterated, should be purged: for we may not be rebap­tized. As for the latter, penance and renewing, they say, there is a possibility in it: For the greatest sinne after bap­tisme may be expiat by it. Therefore they affirme, the A­postle [Page 177] speakes couertly to such as sinne after baptisme, sending them to the Sacrament of Penance, that by ver­tue of that Sacrament their sinne may be expiat, and that they may be renewed: But by this their interpretation 2. Pet. 3. 16 they peruert the holy Scripture to their owne destructi­on. For this is certaine, that the Apostle here takes away all possibilitie of being renewed, as the reason annexed manifestly proueth.

Finally, it is euident by that place of Iohn before cited, that this sinne is impardonable, and that this is proper to that sin, that it can by no meanes be pardoned. For Iohn saith, we may not pray for that sinne: If we may not pray for it, there is no hope of repentance, or pardon for it. I know what the Rhemists heere would say, to wit, that by this sinne vnto death we must vnderstand finall impeni­tencie: finall impenitencie is not remitted, because here wants repentance, and therfore we may not pray for such a one after his death: for he died in impenitency, con­temning the Sacrament of Penance. But they affirme it to be lawfull to pray for other sinnes after death.

This againe is to peruert Scripture, for the Apostle speaketh not of prayer to be or not to be after his death which hath so sinned, but that prayer must not bee con­ceiued for him whilest he liueth, after that it hath mani­festly appeared vnto the church by infallible arguments, that such a one hath sinned vnto death. As for Iulian the Apostata, for whom the Church prayed not while he li­ued, yea it prayed against him, in his life time, after it was clearely discerned, that hee had sinned vnto death, that is, had blasphemed against the holy Ghost. I passe ouer that place of Peter before cited, where the Apostle speakes of no difficultie, but of a meere impossibilitie of being renewed, of repentance, and of remission of sinnes, where it is said, Their latter state is worse then the first: and as it followeth, but it hath happened vnto him (as it is in the true prouerbe) the dog hath returned to his owne vomit, and [Page 178] the sow to her wallowing in the mire. And thus farre of this second controuersie, and so much shal suffice concerning sinne.

CHAP. XXIX. Of iustifying Faith.

OVr effectual calling is effected, first by ye Law, then by the Gospell. The whole doctrine of the Law may be reduced to this or forme of reason. syllogisme: Cursed is he that continueth not in all things which are written in the booke of this law, to do them: But I haue not continued in them: Therefore I am accur­sed. The proposition of this reason is the voice of the Law: and that commination which is added to the coue­nant of works: which is thus conceiued, Do this, and thou shalt liue: but if thou do it not, thou shalt die. THe assump­tion of this reason, is the act of euerie ones conscience that applieth to it selfe the transgression of the law. The conclusion likewise is the act of each ones conscience, applying to it selfe the iust punishment and curse of God for sinne. This forme of reasoning belongs not so much to the calling it selfe, as to our preparation to that Our preparation to our effectuall calling. effectuall calling, which is properly effected by the do­ctrine of the Gospell. For by the doctrine of the Law, which is comprehended in this argument, wee are ama­zed, and affected with the feeling of our miserie, which feeling is the first degree vnto saluation,

Now the doctrine of the Gospell may be comprehen­ded in this forme: Whosoeuer beleeueth, shall be iustifi­ed and liue: But I beleeue: therefore I shall be iustified; An Euangelicall syllogisme. and liue. The proposition is the voice of the Gospell, [Page 179] or of God himselfe calling. For therein is contained the first part of an effectuall calling, which is nothing els but a proclaiming of the free couenant, the forme where­of is contained in this proposition. The Assumption is not indeed the act of the naturall conscience, but of eue­rie ones supernaturall saith applying to himselfe Christ Iesus the Mediator of the couenant, and him first crucifi­ed, and next glorified. The Conclusion also is the act of faith, applying to euerie one the benefits of Christ, his righteousnesse and saluation by him. This reason doth properly belong to Calling: and the Proposition of it is the first part of calling: and the Assumption and conclu­sion is the second part. And seeing the assumption and conclusion are the acts of our faith, whereby we doe as it were make answer vnto God that calleth; surely we shall not without cause say, that the second part of effectu­all calling is nothing els but faith: Wherefore the com­mon place of Faith must be comprised vnder this of our effectuall calling.

It followeth therefore that we speake of Faith, yea of that faith which is properly & simply so called; that is, of faith which they call iustifying faith. For as touching the other kinds of faith, which are commonly numbred, as a Iustifying faith. dead faith, &c. they are so termed, not simply, but in some respect, and with an addition, dead faith, temporary faith, &c.

Now in the declaration of faith, the first thing that of­fereth it selfe to be considered, is the obiect thereof. The The obiect of faith. obiect is generally whatsoeuer is contained in the word of God, that is, the whole truth of God. But specially and properly, the obiect of it, is Iesus Christ with all his be­nefits.

There is a twofold consideration of Christ and his be­nefits: for first Christ with his benefits is considered as he is offered in the word and Sacraments: that is, as he is of­fered vnto vs, as in a looking glasse; and yet not so much [Page 180] Christ himselfe, as a certaine image or picture of him. Of this looking glasse of the word and Sacraments ye reade, 1. Cor. 13. 12. We see now as it were in a glasse, and by a darke speaking. And 2. Cor. 3. 18. But we with open face beholding the glorie of the Lord as in a glasse, are transformed into the same image from glorie to glorie. Now Christ so conside­red, The glasse where­in we may finde and see the face of Christ. is nothing els but Christ preached in the word, and represented in the Sacraments. We (saith he) preach Christ crucified, 1. Cor. 1. 23. For the Gospell preached doth set Christ in a manner before our eyes. Gal. 3. 1. To whom Ie­sus Christ was before pictured before your eyes, and among you crucified.

Next, we be to consider Christ without this glasse of the word and Sacraments, as he is in himselfe. Of Christ so considered the Apostle speaketh 1. Cor. 13. 12. But then we shall see him face to face. And 1. Ioh. 3. 2. But we know that it shall come to passe, that when he shall appeare, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. As there is a two­fold consideratiō of Christ, so the knowledge and appre­hension of him is twofold. The first is called Faith, the A twofold know ledge or appre­hension of faith. latter Sight. Of both these ye reade 2. Cor. 5. 7. For wee walke by faith, not by sight. These two wayes of knowing & apprehending, do agree one with another in nature and essence: for both of them are the knowledge and appre­hension of Christ: but they differ in quantity, and as they vse to speake, more or lesse: for the knowledge of faith is the lesser, as also is the apprehension: whereupon 1. Cor. 13. 9. it is said, that we know in part. But the knowledge & apprehension by Sight is the greater; & so perfect know­ledge and apprehension: and this shall haue place in the next world. Of this perfect knowledge is spoken in the same chap. vers. 10. But after that which is perfect is come. And vers. 12. Then shall I know euen as I shall be taught.

These things thus laid downe and knowne, it is easily perceiued, what the speciall and first obiect of faith is: namely, Iesus Christ with all his benefits, and euen so, as [Page 181] he offereth himselfe in the word and Sacraments. Or the obiect of faith is the word it selfe, or the promises which are made of Christ, which is all one. Hence it followeth, The necessitie of the word prea­ched. that whensoeuer the preaching of the word, and admi­stration of the Sacraments shalcease, this faith also wher­by we now walke, must also cease. See 1. Cor. 13. Then shall that which is in part be done away.

To conclude, it is to bee noted of this obiect of faith, that it is speciall, that is, offered to me, to thee, and to eue­rie man specially and distinctly. For albeit the words bee generally conceiued; yet they are specially to be taken, as spoken to me, to thee: or of me, and of thee. Thus much touching the obiect of faith.

Now we are to speake of the subiect thereof; namely, wherein it is, and from which it proceedeth. The subiect of faith is the soule of man; and in the soule of man the The subiect of faith. reasonable and principall faculties: those I terme, first the mind; then the wil. For as touching the other inferior faculties and affections of the soule, faith is not so much said to be resident in them, as to sanctifie them, and to stir them vp vnto good, and as a Ladie, to gouerne them. Whereupon it is said, After that by faith he had purified their harts. Now that faith belongs to the mind, it is appa­rant by those titles which are giuē to faith euery where in the Scripture, as whē it is called knowledge, vnderstanding, sight: as whē it is said, We see now in a glasse. And that it is in the will, it is euident by that which is said Ro. 10. 10. For with the heart man beleeueth vnto righteousnesse. And Eph. 3. 17. that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: for the seate of the will is attributed to the heart. Furthermore, the names whereby faith is termed in the Scripture, doe sufficiently conuince, that the seat of it is not only in the mind, but also in the will and heart: as when it is called an apprehension, and when it is termed a certaine em­bracing, and such like names, which signifie the office of the heart and will. Thus farre of the subiect of faith.

[Page 182] Now let vs come neerer to the nature thereof, and to the parts of the nature of it. The first part of faith, is the knowledge or vnderstanding of the mind, whereby the mind doth plainly vnderstand some sentence or proposi­tion of the Gospell, and by name that proposition which is in the syllogisme of the Gospell, which we alleaged be­fore: for the proposition of that syllogisme is as it were an abridgment of the whole Gospell. From this part, as the principall, namely knowledge, faith is named euerie where in the Scriptures.

The second part of faith, is the iudgment, or as it is commonly called, the assent of the same mind. Of this iudgement the scripture speaketh euery where, as 1. Cor. Parts of faith. 2. 15. The spirituall man iudgeth all things. 1. Ioh. 4. 1. Trie the spirits whether they be of God. This iudgement is two­fold, the first, of truth; the second, of goodnes. The iudg­ment Iudgment two­fold. of truth, is when the mind assenteth to the propo­sition of the Gospell, that it is true: of this iudgement see Ioh. 3. 33. He that receiueth his testimonie, hath sealed that God is true. 1. Tim. 1. 15. This is a faithfull saying, and wor­thie by all meanes to be receiued, &c. To conclude, this iudg­ment of truth is gathered out of all places of Scripture, wherein there is mention made of the truth of Gods word. The iudgement of goodnesse is, when the mind assenteth to that thing, which is in the proposition of the Gospell, that it is good; and therefore to be followed. For it must be knowne, that all the propositions of the Gos­pell The sayings of the Gospel be practicall. be practical, as they say; in the naked speculation and contemplation of which none must set vp his rest; but they are to be drawne out into the manners and life eue­rie day. Of this iudgement of goodnesse, ye haue that Rom. 7. 16. I consent to the law that it is good. 1. Cor. 1. 18. The preaching of the crosse is to vs which are saued the power of God. And in the same chap. vers. 24. We preach Christ, to them which are called, the power and wisedome of God. And thus much concerning the twofold iudgment, which (as [Page 183] we haue said) must be of the generall proposition of that Euangelicall Syllogisme: of both which, this last of all is to be held, that it is not only general, but also speciall; whereby I do iudge that those things which are spoken in the Gospell, are true of me, and good to me. For, as we said before, those things which are published in the gos­pell, are to be vnderstood to be spoken specially of mee, and of thee. And this special iudgement is properly that which is called [...]. full assurance. After this followes [...]. confi­dence, which belongs to the heart and will: whereof we will speake in the next place.

There followeth therefore in the third place, the choice or hold-taking of the will, which is, when any one doth with his will or heart peculiarly apply to himselfe that The third point of faith. which he hath iudged, first true; then good, not onely in generall, but also in speciall. This apprehension or appli­cation, is in the Assumption or conclusion of that syllo­gisme of the Gospell, alleaged before by vs. For after that the mind hath seene and iudged the proposition of that syllogisme, then the will of euery one doth particularly apply vnto himselfe in the assumption and conclusion, those good things which that generall Proposition did concerne. Of this apprehension ye haue 1. Tim. 6. 12. Lay The apprehension of faith. hold on eternall life. Phil. 3. 12. I follow, if I also may appre­hend it. 1. Tim. 1. 15. This is faithfull saying, and worthie by all meanes to be embraced by vs. To conclude, this third part of faith is to be vnderstood in all those titles, wherby the choise of the will is signified in the Scripture. From this part faith is termed a speciall confidence or trust: for the nature of faith is chiefly seene in it.

These things thus declared, it will be easie to gather a definition of faith. For Faith in Christ with all his benefits, Faith defined. as he is offered in the word and Sacraments, is first aknowledge of the mind; then an apprehension of the will or heart. In this definition we haue first the obiect of faith; then the sub­iect of it; thirdly, the parts. Vnder the knowledge of the [Page 184] mind I vnderstand also the iudgement or assent of the mind, and that twofold, whereof we haue spoken afore. It is to be knowne that faith thus defined by vs, is impro­perly taken for the function and worke of faith, seeing faith is properly an infused habit (as they call it) or an ho­ly qualitie, first of the mind; then of the will or heart.

Now this quality in the mind, what is it els but that light, of which the Scripture speakes euery where? Ye were once darknes, but now ye are light in the Lord, Ephes. 5. 8. The eyes of your minde being opened, that ye may know what Faith a light. is that hope of his calling, Ephes. 1. 18. God which comman­ded that the light should shine out of darknes, is he which hath shined in your hearts, to giue the light of the knowledge of the glorie of God in the face of Iesus Christ, 2. Cor. 4. 6. But God hath renealed those things vnto vs by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, euen the deepe things of God. 1. Cor. 2. 10.

And this light ofye mind, which is the first part of faith, seemeth to be not onely a restoring of that natural light, which was impaired in Adams fall: but also a certaine su­pernatural light put into the mind by the Spirit of Christ, to this end, that the mind might behold and see those things which excell all naturall knowledge. Whereupon Ephe. 3. 18. 19. it is thus said, That ye being rooted & groun­ded in loue, may be able to attaine with all Saints, what is the length, and breadth, and depth, and height, and to know that loue of Christ, which passeth all knowledge. I doe not thinke that this knowledge was in Adam, in his first creation, before his fall. For all the knowledge in Adams mind, Adams know­ledge before his fall. before the fall, as it was holy; so it seemeth it was natural: it seemeth it was a naturall knowledge of God himselfe; it seemeth it was a naturall knowledge of the things cre­ated. Neither did he before his fall see God in the me­diator Christ, nor was it needefull he should see him so. Besides, this light which I speake of, is kindled in our minde by looking on the face of Christ the Mediator, as [Page 185] it were in the glasse of the Gospell. 2. Cor. 3. 18. We all with open face beholding as in a glasse the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from gloxy to glory. Also 4. chap. ver. 6. To giue the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Iesus Christ. But Adam before his fall, as he heard nothing concerning the Gospell of Christ, so he saw not his face in the glasse of the Gospel. Besides 1. Co. 15. 45. of Adam it is said, the 1. Adam was made a liuing soule: but of Christ, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Out of which words the difference betwixt Adam and Christ is seene, that Adam was made only naturall, yet holy: but Christ was made spirituall and supernaturall: for spirituall things are supernaturall. Againe, out of this difference wee gather that that spirituall and superna­turall light, which we haue only by the benefit of Christ, that is, the second Adam, was not in Adam before the fall. For in the same place vers. 48. 49. Our heauenly or spiritual condition is ascribed vnto Christ. But of this thus farre, and but sparingly.

Also in the will or heart faith is a supernaturall abilitie; put into it by the Spirit of Christ, of which Or the saith of the operation of God. Ephe. 3. 20 According to the power that wor­keth in vs. Col. 2. 12. By the faith of God that worketh mightilie in vs. This power al­so, as I thinke, was not put into Adams heart before the fall, being induced by the same reasons which wee allea­ged before. And seeing that light of the mind, and effi­cacie of the heart are supernaturall, it followeth also that the functions of that light & efficacie, namely, the know­ledge of the mind, and the apprehension of the heart, are likewise supernaturall. Wherefore vnto that definition of saith before set downe, we adde this branch (superna­tural) as the last: so that iustifying faith in Christ, with al his nofits offered vnto vs in the word and Sacraments, is not onelie Iustifying faith defined. an holie, but also a supernaturall knowledge of the mind, and ap­prehension of the wil. Thus thē we define faith, as we admo­nished before, as the name of faith is taken for the functi­on and worke of faith: For so the Diuines do commonly [Page 186] define it: so also in the Scriptures is the name of faith wont to be taken, namely, for the function or worke of faith, as it is tearmed 2. Thess. 1. 3. But if the description of faith properly, and as it is taken for an infused qualitie, do like any man better; thus also he may haue it descri­bed: that Faith is a light of the mind, and an [...].effectuall action in the hart supernaturally, put into them both, for the knowing and apprehending of Christ with all his benefits, offered in the word and Sacraments.

Now it remaineth that we speak something touching the effects of faith. That knowledge and apprehension of Christ which we speake of, sith the seat of it is in the principall and reasonable faculties of the soule, namely the mind and the will, it cannot be idle, neither doth it Effects of faith in the mind and heart. &c. containe it selfe within the bounds of those higher facul­ties of the soule, the mind & the wil; but is effectuall also in the lower heart, that is, in all the affections: and there is not anie of al the affections, but is affected some way or o­ther by this knowledge & apprehension, being not only sanctified by it, but also rapt vp aboue it self & the nature therof. For as we said of faith, yt it is a supernatural know­ledge and apprehension, the same is true also of the fun­ctions of all the affections: for they are al not onely made holy, but also supernatural, by a certaine supernatural fa­cultie put into them by the Spirit of Christ.

But to speake distinctly of the effects of Faith: Christ with all his benefits being once knowne and apprehen­ded, an hope of good to come, & a feare of euill to come, Note the specivll effects which follow faith. the loue of Christ, and the desire of him, and ioy & glad­nesse, are in a wonderfull manner kindled in the soule, as 1. Pet. 1. 8. Beleeuing in him ye reioice with ioy vnspeakeable and glorious. Griefe also which is according to God, is kindled, with grones which cannot be expressed, Ro. 8. 26. To conclude, the whole heart burnes to Godward. By faith also our affectiōs toward our neighbour are stir­red vp, and that for God & Christ: as loue of our neigh­bour, [Page 187] and delight in the Saints, Psal. 16. 3. And these are the first effects of faith, and those are inward in the lo­wer heart or affections.

There be also outward effects of faith, hauing their be­ing in the body, and in all the members of the bodie; and those are outward actions of the body, into which the inward motions of the affections breake forth. And those are, first, such as respect God: then, such as respect our neighbour for Gods cause. And thus much of the ef­fects of faith, both inward and outward, as also of faith, which is properly so called, which they commonly tearm iustifying faith.

CHAP. XXX. Of the improper significations of Faith.

IT followeth that we speake of the improper significations of faith. For this word, faith, is Diuerse accepti­ons of faith. ambiguous, and signifieth many things. Pro­perly 1 it signifieth this faith which they call iu­stifying: for that is properly and simply ter­med by this name. Secondly, it signifieth that faith which 2 they call historicall, or dead; which is nothing els, but as it were the carcase of iustifying faith: for it lacks the soule, that is, the full assurance of the mind, and the confidence of the heart in the speciall assent of the minde, and in the trust and apprehension of the heart.

Thirdly, it signifieth faith which they call temporary, 3 which is as a certaine Ape of iustifying faith, Fourthly, & 4 [Page 188] last of al, that faith, which they terme miraculous.

These three last significations of faith are improper, and the name of faith is but by an Homonymie or impro­perly put vpon them, to signifie these things. For not any of these may be called by the name of faith, vnlesse you say in some respect, in part, and after a sort, and with an addi­tion: for example; the knowledge of history is termed faith, but with this addition, historicall or dead; and so of the rest. Now a generall notion of this word faith is that which is Heb. 11. 1. And that is a knowledge in general, with assent and agreement to all those things which are comprehended in the word of God, and that whether generall or particular. I meane by a particular worde, when any thing is reuealed to any one peculiarly out of order, by which kinde of reuelation it came to passe that miracles were done by some. We must speake therefore in the first place concerning historicall or dead faith: and first for the testimonies of scripture touching it. Iam. 2. 15 Faith if it haue no works, is dead of it selfe. 1. Cor. 12. 9. Un­to other, faith by the same spirit. The coherence of the text Historicall or dead saith. and comparison made with other gifts of the holy Ghost, which in that place are numbred, doe shew sufficiently that the Apostle speaketh of historical faith. Hitherto be­longeth that place which is 1. Cor. 13. 2. If I had all faith, so that I could remoue mountaines. Here he doth not only meane the faith of miracles, but also the historicall: for he sayth all faith; and after he sets downe one kinde, as if he had saide by name, miraculous faith to remoue moūtaines. The reason of the name is this: It is termed hi­storicall, because it is only a bare knowledge of the holy history, concerning God, Christ, the will of God, and his works, and not an holy apprehension of the things knowne. And why it is called dead, Iames rendreth a rea­son in the place before cited, namely, because it hath no Dead faith. works: the reason is from the consequent or signe. For want of works or actions, argueth and sheweth that faith [Page 169] is as it were dead, and without life, and if I may so speake the carcase of faith: euen as if there be no motions nor actions in a man neither inward nor outward, thereby it is declared, that the man is dead, and the bodie without life, or but the dead carcase of a man.

Our aduersaries, that I may speake of this by the way, when they heare out of Iam. 2. 16. that saith is there­fore The papists tou­ching faith. called dead, because it hath no works, by & by con­clude, that charitie, and the works of charitie, is the soule of faith: but this followeth not, that charitie, and the works of charity are the soule of faith: but this follow­eth, that charitie, and the works of charitie are the signes and tokens of the soule, that is by name, of that apprehen­sion of Christ which is in the heart: for this is indeede the soule and forme of faith. I will declare this thing by a like example. A man, if he haue no workes, no actions, nei­ther inward nor outward, that indeed argueth, that there is not a soule or forme in him, out of which actions doe proceed: but it doth not argue that works or actions are the soule and forme of man.

But they thinke that the words of Iames, chap. 2. 26. do make for their opinion. For out of that that Iames saith, As the bodie without the Spirit or breath is dead, so also faith which is without works is dead: thus they infer: Ther­fore as the Spirit is the forme of the bodie, so are workes the forme of faith. But this consequent is not of force. For the comparison and similitude is not in that, but in this, that euen as the bodie without the soule or breath is dead, so faith without works is dead: The bodie without the spirit, as her soule and forme, is dead: faith without workes, as the signes and tokens of the soule, is dead. Euen as therefore the want of the Spirit or the soule, doth argue the death of the bodie: so the want of the signe & token of the soule of faith doth argue the death of faith: It is therfore a comparison of the spirit and works in the like effect, and not in the like nature: For both haue the [Page 170] like effect, which is death; but both the things are not of the same nature. Hitherto of the reason of the name. The obiect of historicall faith, is all the holy storie, that is, the whole truth which is according to godlinesse, and the word of both couenants: wherein this faith differs from iustifying faith, which hath the word of the Gospel, or of the couenant of grace for the obiect thereof.

The subiect of this faith is the mind, which knoweth and iudgeth: but the iudgment of the mind, doth onely Subiect of an hi­storicall faith. reach to the truth of the historie, as I thinke, and not to the goodnes of the things themselues, which are con­tained in the storie. For although an hypocrit do professe that al those things, of which the Gospel speaks, are true; yet he doth not assent to thē in his mind, as good things: Note well. which is the first step of practise or action. For after the iudgement of the goodnes of a thing, followeth the ap­prehension thereof, which belongs to the will; out of which after proeede the motions of the affections, and out of them last of all do issue the outward actions of the bodie. Therefore this dead faith, doth not sincerely at the least assent to those things which are in the word as good things, but rather doth indeed reiect them, and count them as euill. So the diuell, who hath this faith, is said to tremble, Iam. 2. 19. Out of which it is manifest, that the diuell doth reiect Christ and all his good things. For this horrour ariseth out of reiecting and hating of the thing. Therefore in one word, this historicall faith pertaines only to the mind, and hath that for the subiect of it.

It followeth, that we speake of the nature thereof. By these things which haue beene spoken of the subiect, it The nature of an historicall faith. may easily be learned what is the nature of it. For it is wholy comprised but onely in the generall knowledge of the mind, and iudgment of truth: it hath therefore one or two degrees of iustifying faith. Out of all these things which we haue spoken of an historicall faith, it is easie to [Page 171] gather the definition thereof. For historicall faith is a knowledge in the mind of the whole truth both of the Historicall faith defined. law, and of the Gospell, and the iudgement of the mind made thereupon, as farre as concernes the truth thereof. And thus farre concerning historicall or dead faith.

Next followeth a temporarie. Of this faith yee haue these texts. Matth. 13. 20. 21. But he that receiued the seede 3. Faith a tem­porary faith. in stonie ground, is he who heareth the word, and by and by re­ceiues it with ioy, yet hath no roote in himselfe, but is for a time, and when persecution and trouble ariseth because of the word, is offended presentlie. To the same purpose reade I. uk. 8. 13. Of this faith see also Heb. 6. 4. 5. For it cannot be, that they which haue beene once inlightened, and tasted of the good word of God, and of the powers of the world to come, if they fall a­waie, &c. To conclude, of this faith ye haue Ioh. 5. 35. He (namely Iohn) was a burning and a shining candle: and ye would for a time haue reioiced in his light. The reason of the name is this: it is called Temporarie, because it endures but for a time: and it endureth but for a time, because it hath no roote.

It hath the same obiect with iustifying faith, & which is properly so called, namely, Iesus Christ with his bene­fits, offered in the word of the Gospell and in the Sacra­ments; wherein it differs from historicall faith, which hath for the obiect thereof the vniuersall truth. It hath The subiect of a temporary faith. the same subiect with iustifying faith: for it hath it scat both in the mind, and also in the will and heart.

Last of all, it hath as many parts of nature as the iu­stifying faith hath. For it is a knowledge of the vnder­standing, conioyned with both the iudgements of the mind, & it is the apprehension of the wil or heart: where­out follweth also the stirring of the affections, as of ioy, delight, &c.

But that I may speake a little more largely of this ap­prehension, which is in Temporarie faith, and of this ioy. First, it is certaine by the scripture, that these things are in [Page 172] the Temporarie faith. For Christ saith in Matth. That hee which is but for a time, doth receiue the word, and that with ioy. And in Ioh. The Iewes are said to haue reioiced for a time in the light of Iohn Baptist: And to the Hebr. How the histori­call and tempo­rary saith differ one fro another, and both from the iustifying. there is attributed to this faith, not onely the enlighte­ning of the mind, but also the taste of the heart, and that performed not onely by the word, but also by the Spirit: for he saith; They which haue beene made partakers of the holy Ghost. Therefore in Temporarie faith there is indeede a kind of apprehension, there is indeede a cer­taine ioy, wherein Temperarie faith differeth from histo­ricall faith. For in historicall faith these things are not indeed, but he that hath it, doth faine, and dissemble and lie, in his outward profession that he hath these things: wherfore he is a shamelesse hypocrite. But hee that hath temporarie faith, hath these things indeede, apprehensi­on (I say) and ioy, after a certaine manner: neither doth he so faine or sie, as he that hath an historical faith: yet he is an hypocrit, because this apprehension and this ioy, are not sincere, albeit after a certaine manner they be true.

I say, they are not sincere, because they are not for that cause for which they should be, that is, they are not for Christ himselfe, offered in the preaching of the Gospell; they are not for Gods sake, they are not for his glory, nor for those heauenly benefits of Christ, his righteousnes and eternall life: but they are for other causes, as for the newnesse of the Gospell, which is to bee vnderstood in that place, Ioh. 5. 35. He was a burning & a shining candle, and ye would haue reioiced for a time in his light, namely, for the newnesse of the matter: Secondly, they be, because of a licentiousnesse to sinne, which men by and by snatch to themselues, vpon the hearing of free iustification by Christ, and Christian liberty: To conclude, they are for riches, honours and other commodities of this life. Now seeing the Temporizing professor hath these causes pro­pounded to himselfe in hearing and receiuing the word, [Page 173] and in reioycing, it must needes be that these are not sin­cere in him. For nothing is done sincerely, vnlesse it bee Synceritie. done in respect of the glorie of God. And herein differs Temporarie Faith, from iustifying: For the iustifying Faith doth all things for Christ himselfe, for God him­selfe, for the heauenly and spirituall benefits of Christ, as much as it can for mans infirmity.

Out of this therfore it followes, that the Temporizer is also an hypocrit, seeing he is not sincere, and that the Temporizer is an hypocrit. temporary faith is hypocriticall, seeing it is not sincere. Out of that againe, that it is not sincere, another thing fol­loweth, namely, that it is not sound & firme: for nothing that is not sincere, can be sound. For those causes vpon which it depends, are not sound: as for example, those worldly things, as riches, honours of the world, &c. In which thing temporary Faith differeth from iustifying Faith: for iustifying Faith, as it is sincere, so it is sound. For of that it is said Col. 2. 5. And the stedfastnesse of your The difference betwene a tem­porary faith, and true iustifying faith. faith in Christ. For iustifying Faith is, as it were, a solide body, consisting of three dimensions, length, bredth, depth: for it possesseth the depth, and lowest of the heart: but temporary Faith is not a body with three di­mensions, but only a surface, sticking in the vpper part of the heart: for it is not either a sound light, enlightening all the heart, or a sound apprehension, arising from the bottome of the heart; or to conclude, a sound ioy posses­sing the whole body: but all these things are only super­ficiall in the temporary Faith. Whereupon Heb. 6. that apprehension of heauenly things which is therein, is compared to tasting, or sleight touching, seeing that the heart doth but as it were with the tip of the tongue light­ly tast those heauenly things, and not quite drinke them vp, and receiue them into it selfe.

Againe, out of this, that temporarie Faith is not sound, another thing also followeth, namely, that it doth not endure for euer, but onely for a time. For that which is [Page 174] not sound, is not durable and perpetuall; but only tem­porary. Wherein also it differeth from iustifying faith, which as it is sound, so it is perpetuall and constant. From this property this faith tooke her name, and was called temporary: now this property doth presuppose the two other going before; namely, first that it is not sounde: secondly, that it is not sincere, albeit it bee in some sort true.

While I consider somewhat more diligently of the cause of these three properties, I found that it is not to be imputed so much to those outward things for which this faith doth apprehend Christ in the word, and reioiceth in him, as to the inward euill affection of the heart. For the heart of man, as Christ sayth, is stony ground, that is, it is neither good nor honest of it owne nature. Now we measure this goodnesse and honesty, chiefly by simplici­ty and sincerity, which is opposed to hypocrisie and dis­sembling. Therefore a deepe hypocrisie, which is con­trary to sincerity possesseth the heart of this man. Now the heart so affected, doth beleeue, apprehend and reioice, not sincerely for a true cause, for which it ought to do these things, but for other worldly causes. It follo­weth therefore, that the cause of these euils doth lurke in the heart. Wherefore, if any man will not be a tempori­zer, A good admoni­tion for a tempo­rizer. let him aboue all things looke to his heart, and sift and examine it diligently night and day, so long till hee feele that the faith of Christ takes roote in the bottome of his heart, and doth throughout possesse the whole heart, as much as may be.

Out of these things which we haue spoken, touching the properties of this faith and of the cause of them, a marke may be taken, whereby any one may discerne true & iustifying faith from temporary. And that is, in a word, sincerity in doing, in beleeuing, in apprehēding, in reioi­cing, Synceritie. & in doing all things throughout the whole course of the life. Now sincerity is knowne by this, if all things [Page 175] be done and performed by vs for God and for Christ, whether those things be of small or great moment. Whe­ther ye eate or drinke, or whatsoeuer ye doe; doe all to the glory of God, 1. Cor. 10. 31. By these things which haue beene spoken, it is easie to gather a definition of this faith. For Tempor. F. defined. temporary faith is a knowledge in the minde, and an ap­prehension in the will, of Christ with all his benefits; but yet tēporary, or enduring but for a time. And thus much of temporary faith.

The miraculous faith followeth, which is the third vn­proper signification of the word of faith. Touching this faith these are testimonies. Matth. 17. Yf ye haue faith as a graine of mustard seed. 1. Cor. 13. If I had all faith, so that I could remoue mountaines. The reason of the name is this: 4. Miraculous faith. It is termed miraculous from the effect of it, because it is powerfull to doe miracles.

The obiect thereof is not the bare generall word of God, but rather a special promise or reuelation made to some one, touching the doing of some certaine miracle. Now that the bare generall word sufficeth not, it appea­reth hereby, for because many holy men haue had faith in the generall word, yea they haue iustifying faith in the promise of grace; and yet could doe no miracles. Simon Magus beleeued by an historicall faith in the generall word, and yet he could do no miracles: therefore hee would haue bought this facultie with money for a price. Act. 8. 31. Vnlesse therefore vnto the generall word, there be added a speciall promise or reuelation, it is no miraculous faith; which is a certaine speciall and extraor­dinarie gift of the Spirit. Wherein the Aduersaries do erre verie much, who thinke that the generall word suffi­ceth for this, to make a miraculous faith. The subiect of it The subiect of a miraculous faith is the mind, first vnderstanding, and withall iudging the speciall promise: and then the will or the heart apprehen­ding that which is promised.

The parts of the nature thereof are; a knowledge with [Page 176] a iudgement of the mind, and an apprehension with the will and heart. Out of these things now spoken, I gather this definition of this Faith: that Miraculous faith is a Miraculous faith defined. knowledge in the mind, and an apprehension with the will of a speciall promise or reuelation, for the doing of a miracle. Thus farre of miraculous Faith; and in summe, of the true do­ctrine of faith.

CHAP. XXXI. The opinion of the Aduersaries concer­ning Faith.

IT followeth now that we see briefly, what the aduersaries doe hold touching Faith. First, they do not acknowledge the diuers significations of Faith: they entreat onely of one faith, and that they terme iustifying, that is, as they expound the word, that The Popish opi­nion of Faith. which disposeth vs to iustice, being to be infused after in the time thereof. Thus thinks Bellarmine in his Treatise touching faith.

In this doctrine of faith, which they terme iustifying they differ from vs, first about the obiect of it. Indeede they doe not denie, that the obiect of faith, is the mer­cie of God in Iesus Christ, offered in the Gospell, that is, that it is the Gospell, and the promises of grace concer­ning Christ, and Gods mercie in him. But they will haue the obiect to be not onely the word of the Gospell, but [Page 177] equally the vniuersall word of God.

To confirme this opinion of theirs, they alleage that definition of faith which is set downe Heb. chap. 11. 1. Faith (saith the Apostle) is the ground of things that are hoped for, and the euidence of things which are not seene. This (say they) is the definition of iustifying faith: But this definition stretcheth it selfe, not onely to Christ, to the promises of God, and to the Gospell concerning him; but also to the whole word of God, & to all things that are contained in the word of God. For example: it stretcheth it selfe to the word of God, which is concer­ning the creation of the world, as is euident by vers. 3. which followeth in the same chap. By faith we vnderstand that the world was ordained by the word of God: Hence they conclude, that iustifying faith hath the whole word for the obiect of it. But to this we answer, that not onely iustifying Faith is defined by the Apostle in that place, but that that definition of Faith is common to all the sig­nifications of faith, as is plaine enough by that indu­ction of examples which followeth in that place and chapter.

Neither is that their argument, which they gather out of the coherence of the text, of anie force. They say that that faith is defined, of which the Apostle spake in the last verses of the chapter going afore: Now the iust shall liue by faith, &c. But there the Apostle spake of iustifying Faith: therefore heere in the 11. chap. iustifying faith is defined. I answer, this definition, I confesse, doth belong to iustifying faith, but not to that alone, but it is commō to it with other significations of Faith, as with historicall Heb. 11. 1. A generall defi­nition of faith common to all kinds of faith. faith, and miraculous, &c. as is euident by the induction that followeth. Seeing therefore that this definition doth not onely belong to iustifying faith, it followeth that out of this definition they get not that they would haue, namely, that the obiect of iustifying Faith is equally the vniuersall word of God: Therefore let the obiect thereof [Page 178] properly be that which it apprehendeth: and that is the Gospel, and the promise concerning Christ.

Secondly, they dissent from vs about this same speciall obiect, namely, the mercy of God in Christ. For we say and affirme, that the obiect of iustifying faith is, not onely a generall mercy, nor only a generall promise touching Christ, but much rather a speciall mercy, and a speciall promise: that is, mercy offered in the Gospel, not in common to all, but peculiarly to me, or to thee. For al­beit the promises and sentences of the Gospell be con­ceiued generally; yet it is certaine, that they are to be re­ceiued particularly by euery one, as if they were spoken to euery one in seuerall: as for example, Ioh. 3. the pro­mise of the couenant of grace is conceiued generally in these words, Whosoeuer beleeueth in the Sonne shall not pe­rish, but haue life euerlasting. This promise is indeed gene­rally conceiued, but it is to bee vnderstood particularly and singularly by euery one, as if it had beene spoken to me, or to thee: If thou beleeuest in the Sonne, thou shalt not perish, but haue euerlasting life. The Apostle 1. Tim. 1. doth vnderstand this generall sentence, namely, that Christ Iesus came into the world to saue sinners, no other­wise then if it had beene pronounced onely concerning himselfe: whereupon he doth apply it particularly vnto himselfe, assuming by name, that he is the sinner, and con­cluding, How the belee­uer is to make a syllogisme in forme. at the least secretly, that Christ came into ye world to saue him by name. We may make trial of this thing by those promises that are made specially in the Gospell to saue certaine men: as to the man sicke of the palsie, Matt. 9. to the woman that was a sinner, Luk. 7. to the Adul­tresse, Ioh. 8. to Zacheus, Luk. 19. to the thiefe, Luk. 23. For the Spirit of Christ, when any generall promise or sentence touching Christ and his mercie is alleaged, doth no lesse particularly now apply the same to euerie man, by speaking inwardly to the heart of euery one, then at that time Christ did by his liuely voice apply those [Page 179] particular promises to some certaine persons. Roman. 3. Whē the righteousnes of God is said to belong to al be­leeuers, and that without distinction, it is plainly signifi­ed that that righteousnesse is offered to men of euerie sort and condition, and also propounded to euery seue­rall person. 1. Tim 2. after he hath admonished that wee are to pray for all men, he addeth, that God will haue all men to be saued, and come to the knowledge of the truth. Out of which it followeth, that in the publishing of the Gos­pell, God hath respect, not onely of all men in common, but also distinctly of euery seuerall person: which regard also he will haue vs to haue in our prayers. What neede many words? For if there were nothing els that did The mercie of God in Christ of­fered generally to all the world, particularly ap­plied to euery one by the Spirit, is the obiect of iu­stifying faith. teach this, the administration of the Sacraments alone hath force enough in it to proue, that the mercy of God in Christ is offered specially to euerie one. For in both the sacraments, the seales of that mercy are giuen and offered to euery one seuerally. And let this suffice, to shew that speciall mercy (as it is called) is the obiect pro­perly of iustifying Faith, against which our aduersaries hold.

The obiect of iustifying Faith being made to bee a ge­nerall mercy, it followeth that faith, in the opinion of our aduersaries, is generall, and not a speciall assent. For see­ing there is only a generall mercy propounded general­ly to the Church, and not offered particularly to the se­uerall members therof, how can any particular man chal­lenge that particularly to himselfe, which is not spoken and offered particularly? But we affirme, that iustifying faith is that whereby euery beleeuer doth particularly, not onely assent to the promise that it is true in it selfe, but also apprehends with the heart the promised thing, and applies it properly to himselfe. For this being made plaine, that the mercie of God was particularly offered to euery one, it followeth, that faith must be particular. But for the proofe hereof there are almost infinite testi­monies [Page 180] of the Scriptures: we will be content but with a few. Gal. 2. 20. And the life that I now liue in the flesh, I liue by faith in the Sonne of God, who loued me, and gaue him­selfe for me. Marke here, he doth by faith peculiarly ap­ply to himselfe the Sonne of God, and his life, his loue and his death. Neither is there any cause why any one should say, that this might be lawfull for the Apostle, who had some extraordinary reuelation of that thing, but that it is not lawfull to the common sort of Christi­ans: in as much as the Apostle doth in this place beare the person of euery Christian and beleeuing man. Rom. 8. For I am perswaded that neither death nor life, &c. Marke here that speciall trust and particular application is pointed at by the verbe of the singular number. Be­side, that which is cited out of Habakuck by the Apo­stle, The iust shall liue by faith, doth sufficiently insinuate a speciall faith: for thereby is signified that euery iust person doth liue by his faith, that is, by a speciall assent to, and application of the righteousnesse of God in Christ. Matth. chap. 9. a particular faith is commended to the man sicke of the palsie: to whom it was saide, Sonne be of good comfort, thy sinnes be forgiuen thee. Ioh. 3. when it is said, He that beleeueth in the Sonne hath e­ternall life; that verie same speciall faith is signified, which is when euerie one doth assent particularly to, and apply to himselfe euerlasting life offered to him­selfe. What neede manie words? The same thing doth that verbe (I beleeue) which is found in the Apostles Creede, teach: For to beleeue, is there specially and par­ticularly to beleeue.

Out of the generall mercy, and generall faith of the aduersaries, followeth the vncertaintie of particular faith, and of Gods peculiar grace, which they defend. For it is easily discerned, that vncertaintie doth fol­low necessarily out of that generality, first a doubtful­nesse of mercy; then of faith. For when as mercy is pro­pounded [Page 181] and offered, not specially, but generally; and when there is onely a generall assent of faith, how can I be certaine of that mercy, which pertaines not certainly by name to me?

But that there is a certainty of faith, against which they hold: first it easily appeareth by those things which haue The certainty of faith. beene spoken of Gods speciall mercy, and speciall faith. For seeing mercy is offered particularly to thee and to me &c. and I againe assent particularly to it; now am I cer­taine of that mercy that it is mine, specially, seeing I doe already by faith and speciall application possesse it. For Christ dwelleth in our harts by faith, that is, we now possesse Christ, and doe enioy him as present. Of this speciall cer­tainty, see Rom. 4. 16. The inheritance is of faith, that it may be by grace, to the end the promise may be firme to the seed. And in the same Chapter, ver. 18. Which Abraham against hope beleeued vnder hope. But hereof there is a notable place, Heb. 6. 18. That by two immutable things, in which it is not possible that God should lie, we might haue strong consolation, which haue our refuge to holdfast the hope that is set before vs. Where you see, first that God hath promised it: secondly, that he hath bound himselfe by an oath, that is, that hee hath declared the vnchangeablenesse of his councell for sauing of vs by two immutable things, to this end that we might haue strong consolation. Now the comfort is not strong, vnlesse it rise out of our firme and certaine assent, whereby we consent to the truth of Gods promise. For if our assent wauer and be vncertaine, certainly there Note. can no strong consolation arise out of our assent: Second­ly, that it may be a strong consolation, some generall cer­tainty of our assent is not sufficient, but it must needes be a speciall and particular certainty of assent, whereby, to wit, I am certain, that that which is promised, is true of mee. For what consolation at al, much lesse a strong con­solation can that be, when as I am certaine that the pro­mise concerning Christ doth belong only in generall to [Page 182] the Church, and not to my selfe also in particular? Nay rather, in that very thing is the griefe increased, when one sees that the benifites of Christ pertaines to other, but not to himselfe at all.

But to the end that this which we speake of, touching certainty and vncertainty, may be the more manifest, we must search into this point a little more deepelie. In ge­nerall therefore certainty, is either of the thing, or of the person. Concerning the certainty of the thing, & the firm truth thereof, there is no question. The certainty of the The certainty of faith. person apprehending the obiect is nothing els, but the firmenesse of the iudgement, or the assent of the minde, consenting to the truth of some thing or sentence. Wher­fore certainty is nothing els, but a certaine property of the iudgment, or of the assent of our mind. And seeing the assent of the mind is twofold, either generall, when I generally assent to the truth of some sentence that it is true, as for example; concerning the vniuersall Church: or it is speciall, when as I assent to the truth of any sen­tence, that it is true, euen of me and of each particular: seeing, I say, there is a twofold assent of the mind, it follo­weth that there is a twofold certainty, one generall, namely, the property of a generall assent: the other speciall, namely the property of a speciall assent.

Now that we may come to the state of the controuersie, What the controuersy is concer­ning a particular faith. the question is not concerning generall certainty, but all the controuersie is of the special certainty of a speciall as­sent, which they call the certainty of grace, or of speciall mercy. For we do affirme and defend the certainty of spe­cial grace: but they oppugne this same certainty of speci­all grace; but I pray with what arguments? First they say, that in the Gospel no mercy is any where offered & pro­mised to any particular or any one man: Therefore, there can be no certainty of special grace. I answer, and doe in­uert the argument. In the Gospell grace is promised and offered, not only in generall to all, but in speciall to eue­ry [Page 183] one, as we haue taught before: wherfore the certain­ty of a speciall grace is required in euery one. Now to those things which we said touching speciall mercy offe­red to seuerall persons, I adde these few things, to the end that the whole matter may more cleerely appeare, and to the end that we may learne by sense and experience it selfe, that grace is offered to euery one by God. The spirit of Christ only is Christs vicar on earth, who teacheth and instructeth vs in those things which Christ spake, and The spirit of Christ is his only vicar on the earth which are written in the Gospel. Now this spirit teacheth, not only generally, that the promises and sentences in the Gospell touching Christ and his benefits, are true of the whole Church; but much more that they are true of that speciall and particular man whom he in­wardly teacheth. And sith the spirit of adoption dooth testifie with our spirit that we are the sons of God, Ro. 8. this testimony of the holy Ghost is not generall concerning the whole Church, that they which are in the Church be the sonnes of God: but it is a speciall testimonie of mee, and of thee, that I am the sonne of God, and that thou art the Sonne of God. Besides 1. Corin. chap. 1. it is saide of the Spirit, that he searcheth euen the deepe things of God, that is, the spirit which is giuen to euery one and which dwelleth in euery one, doth search that grace and mercy in Christ Iesus which lieth hid in the deepe, and makes it to bee knowne to euery one. For the spirit of God dwelling in me, reueales to me that, which is hid in the very hart of God. Now I demand whether he reueale to me some generall mercy only, belonging in generall only to the Church; or whether he reueale to me that spe­ciall mercy hid in God, which belongs to me peculiarly? Certainly there is no man, to whom this spirit dwelling in him hath at any time reuealed any grace that lyeth hid in God, but he will constantly affirme, that by the holy spirit there is reuealed to euery one, not a generall mercy I know not what rough draught of mercy: but a speciall [Page 184] mercy belonging particularly to himselfe. Wherfore these same defenders of generall grace and mercy only, Defenders of ge­nerall grace are but meere natu­rall men. seeme to mee to be only naturall men and not spirituall; of whom that of the Apostle may be truly spoken: The naturall man perceiueth not the things which are of the spirit of God.

Secondly (they say) that it is not expedient that euery one should be certaine of his owne grace, righteousnesse and saluation: for certainty breedeth pride, but vncer­tainty humility. I answere, certainty is a gift of the spirit regenerating, which is bestowed only vpon the elect. I speake of true and sound speciall certainty, which is the property of true iustifying faith. Can it therefore be spo­ken without blasphemy, that the holy spirit and iustifying faith, is the cause of the greatest of al euils that are, & that the worst of al, that is, of pride? Nay rather the vncertain­ty of a man is vtterly the property of one that exaltes him selfe against God, euen, when he promiseth and offereth speciall mercy, and binds it with an oath.

Thirdly, they say, certainty of speciall mercy, is a speci­all prerogatiue of some certaine men, to whom God was pleased to reueale extraordinarily, some speciall mercie proper vnto them. Is therefore a speciall prerogatiue which belongs but to some, and but to a few men, to be reckoned among Gods common or generall graces? I an­swer: It is false that the certaintie of speciall grace, is a speciall prerogatiue of some certaine men. For if iustify­ing faith be reckoned among the common good things and gifts of all Christians, and this speciall certaintie be the propertie of iustifying faith, with what face dare any deny this gift of speciall certainty to the common sort of Christians? Is it because it was reuealed but to some cer­taine and few of them, that their sins are forgiuen, as to that man sicke of the palsie, to that sinner, to Zacheus, to the thiefe, is therefore this gift of certainty no other but special and extraordinary? Nay wee haue alreadie said, [Page 185] that the speciall mercie of God is no lesse now promised, and offered to euery seuerall and particular person, as to me, and to thee, then it was offered in times past to those men by Christs expresse words.

Fourthly, the holiest men (say they) haue bewrayed with a lamentable voice at the very point of death, & do bewray dayly the vncertaintie of their saluation: There­fore there is not that certaintie of mercy and life, which wee say there is. I answer: there is much difference be­tweene that which is, and that which ought to be: This argument doth only conclude that which is, that is, that there is an vncertaintie, but it concludes not that there ought to be an vncertaintie; nay, it concludes against it, that it ought not to be. For they that weepe and lament for the vncertaintie of their owne saluation, doe ther­by declare, that there ought not to be an vncertainty: but our aduersaries doereckon the vncertaintie of our owne saluation among the chiefe Christian vertues. Secondly I answer, that out of that complaint of holy men, being ready to giue vp the Ghost, the certainty of speciall mer­cie M. Rollock argu­eth of the con­flicts of the godly in their death, that they haue a good faith. doth neuer a whit the lesse follow, then the vncertain­tie. For that speech riseth out of that warre that is be­tweene the Spirit and the flesh, betweene faith and vn­beleefe, betweene certaintie and vncertaintie. Wherefore it is no lesse an argument of certainty, then of vncertain­tie: nay, it argueth that in that warre certaintie hath the vpper hand.

Fiftly, they say, the best may fall from grace and faith; therefore what certaintie can there be of speciall mercie and saluation? I answer. They which are indued onely with temporarie grace and faith, both may indeed fall, and doe fall away: but they which are indued with true iustifying faith, and with regenerating grace, can neither Of falling from grace. fall away totally nor finally. Now that comes to passe, not in regard of the men themselues, for of their owne nature they are prone to finall and totall defection (such [Page 186] is their infirmity and weaknesse) but it comes to passe, by the nature (as I may speak) of that grace and gift of God, which is giuen in Christ Iesus: For the gifts and calling of God are such, as that hee cannot repent himselfe of them. Rom. 11.

Sixtly, they obiect testimonies of Scripture, these chiefly which commēd vnto vs care, thought & endeuor for the keeping and preseruing of grace. As, He that stan­deth, let him take heed least he fall, 1. Cor. 10. 12. Also 2. Cor. 6. 1. Paul exhorts the Corinthians, that they receiue The Papists cite it thus euer, but falsly: for the text is, [...], &c. & so it is against them. Phil. 2. not grace in vaine. To conclude, Christ admonisheth that we should watch and pray: To say nothing of those pla­ces wherein feare is commended to vs, as Rom. 11. Thou standest by faith, be not high minded, but feare. And in ano­ther place, Worke out your saluation with feare and trem­bling.

Out of these and the like places, they say, followeth doubting of a mans owne grace and saluation: for why should there be such commandements giuen, vnlesse it might be so, that one might fall from grace, and faith; and therefore that he ought to doubt of his owne grace and saluation. I answer, that out of these and the like pla­ces Christian care & feare how good. it followeth, that there is no perseuerance in grace, vnlesse there bee ioyned a care, thought and labour to keepe grace. For care and thought, is set (God so ordai­ning it) to bee as it were the keeper and watchman to grace; forbidding that a man fall not into carnall securi­tie, which is the enemie of grace: and this thought and care is giuen with grace, yea and it selfe is a kind of speci­all grace, and a companion of grace, which neuer depar­teth from her side: for where grace is, there is alwayes surely some thought and care to retaine that grace, which is neuer all quite lost, euen as grace it selfe is neuer who­ly lost: for it is euer in proportion to the grace. For when there is great grace, there is great care: & when there is but a small grace, the care is but little. And because God [Page 187] knoweth how necessary this care is, which is ye companiō and preseruer of grace, therefore doth he so often in the Scriptures stir vs vp vnto care, & commendeth it vnto vs. And all these exhortations are nothing els but so many outcries, as it were, wherby this care, which we said is the watchman and keeper of grace, is stirred vp & prouoked to do her dutie, that is, to keepe grace, and to driue away carnall securitie, which is an enemie to grace, and which would, except care stood vpon▪ her watch, vtterly abo­lish grace it selfe, as faith, regeneration, righteousnesse, and life. Therefore out of these and the like places, care and not doubting, vertue and not vice doe follow. For doubting hath beene euer reckoned in the Scriptures among the worst euils, & of most enmitie to God & man.

Now let vs speak of the subiect of iustifying faith, what that is, according to the mind of our aduersaries. They Subiect of iusti­fying faith with Papists. make the mind only to be the subiect; and in the mind onely one facultie properly, which is that that iudgeth and assenteth to the truth of any sentence: But of the will and heart they speake nothing, when yet iustifying faith doth chiefly belong to the heart, as wee haue said before.

For the parts of the nature of iustifying faith, they make not so manie as we. For as touching knowledge, which is the first part of iustifying faith, either they say, yt Parts of the na­ture of iustifying faith with Pa­pists. it is not necessary, or els that some obscure knowledge will suffice: which thing they labour to proue by this rea­son. There is (say they) a double assent of the mind, wher­by we consent to the truth of any sentence. The first assent is, when we consent vnto it for some reason or cause: and this is termed knowledge: this assent doth necessarily re­quire knowledge to goe before it, to the truth whereof we assent. The latter assent is, when we assent to the truth of a sentence, not for some reason, but for the authoritie of him that speaketh: this assent is is called Faith; but it doth not require that the knowledge of that thing, wher­to [Page 188] assent is giuē should go before it, being content only with the bare authoritie of the speaker. Out of this distin­ction & difference of assent (say they) it followeth, that in faith there is no need of knowledge, seeing faith is an as­sent, whereby we do agree to the truth of some sentence, being induced not by any reason or cause, but by the au­thority of the speaker.

To this reason we answer, & first we do grant this dif­ference of assents: but we denie, that that assent which is yeelded because of the authoritie of the speaker, hath no need of knowledge to go before it. For that it may be iustifying Faith to vs, it is required that that which is spo­ken by God himselfe be some manner of way vnderstood by vs. For God doth not require that of vs, that we should assent to his word and voice, because of the bare authori­ty of him that testifieth, when as we vnderstand them not at all.

Secondly, they reason out of that definition of faith, Heb. 11. Faith is the ground of things that are hoped for, and the euidence of those things that are not seene. Here, say they, we see faith of things vnknowne, namely of such things as are to be hoped for, & as are not seen. But (say I) these two words [...]. ground, and euidence do argue suffici­ently, that those very things which are hoped for and not seene, are in the meane time in some sort present, and seene of vs. Whereupon Paul 2. Corinth. chap. 4. saith: Why, we looke not on those things which are seene, but on those things which are not seene. Heere you see, that The popish impli­cite faith. euen those things which are not seen, nor obiect to these eyes of our bodies, are yet seene and beheld with the spirituall eyes of our faith. And this is their opinion tou­ching the knowledge of faith, which tendeth to this pur­pose, to establish that faith which they terme implicit or infolded faith.

Concerning that assent which we said is the 2. part of iustifying faith, they do place the nature of faith only in [Page 189] that assent, which is yeelded in regarde of the truth of a thing: for they speake nothing of the assent or iudg­ment of goodnes: and they make that same iudgment of truth which they hold, to be only general: namely, wher­by one doth iudge that some sentence is true, not of him­selfe, but in generall of the whole Church: when as not­withstanding that iudgement, aswell of truth as of good­nesse, which is the propertie of faith, is rather particular; yea a very peculiar grace, which in the Scripture is cal­led that ful assurance, as we haue said before. [...].

Touching the third part of faith, which we tearmed the confidence of the heart, they doe not acknowledge it. For they say that confidence is nothing els but hope strengthened, and a certaine effect of faith, whereas not­withstāding confidence which the Greeks tearme [...], is a certain motiō of the wil or hart not expecting, but in present apprehending some good, and depending therupon, and reioicing therein as present. Furthermore, Confidence and faith of the same roote in Greeke. [...] and [...], that is, faith and affiance are of the same roote: For both of them come from the verbe [...] which signifyeth to perswade. Besides the verbe [...] is taken euery where by the Apostle for, to be perswaded, to beleeue and not to hope. Rom. 8. [...], that is, I am perswaded, that neither life, nor death, nor things present nor things to come, &c. Phil. 1. [...], I am perswaded that he that hath begun in you a good worke, &c. 2. Cor. 5. Knowing therfore the terror of the Lord, [...], we perswade, or draw men to the faith. I graunt that the name [...], is some times taken for confidence which is a consequent of faith, and a certaine property of it: for it comes to passe that he which beleeueth or trusteth, dooth depende on him in whom he placeth his trust. Of this signification of [...], read Eph. 3. 12. In whom we haue freedome and ac­cesse with confidence, [...], by faith in him.

Out of these things which we haue spoken, it is easie to gather a definition of faith, according to their opinion: [Page 190] who take iustifying faith to bee nothing els, then that whereby euery one doth in generall assent to the truth of the word of God, & that for the authority of the speaker: A popish defini­tion of faith. which definition what els is it I pray you, then a generall notion of faith, and such as is common to all the signifi­cations of faith, which we set downe before. From this definition of iustifying faith they gather, & that truly, that iustifying faith may be in euery wicked and most hainous A popish defini­tion of faith. sinner: For in him this generall assent may be, which can­not be denyed to the very deuils, as Iames witnesseth. The Deuils, saith he, beleeue and tremble: and yet they call this, iustifying and true faith, though not liuing. For they distinguish betwene true and liuing faith. True faith (they say) is euen that which worketh not by loue, yea though it be dead: but a liuing fatih they terme that which worketh by loue, as by hir forme, and not as an in­strument: whereupon they terme this by another name formed faith.

But we do vtterly deny this distinction of true and li­uing faith: for we take true faith and liuing faith for one and the same; euen as one and the same man is true and liuing: and as true or liuing man is so termed from his soule or form: so also true or liuing faith is so tearmed frō hir soule or form, which consists in ful assurance & trust, as we haue said, without which, faith is nothing els but a carcase, euen as a man without a soule is not so much a man, as a carcase and dead body.

But they indeuour to proue out of Iames. 2. last verse, that euen dead faith and not liuing, is neuerthelesse true faith. As the body is to the soule, so is faith vnto works: but the body without the soule is a true body, albeit not liuing: therefore faith without works is a true faith, al­though not liuing. I answere, that this is a sophisticall ar­gument: for the comparison of the body and faith, which Iames maketh, is not in the truth, but in the death of thē: and Iames assumes and concludes out of that proposition: [Page 191] But the body without the spirit is dead: wherefore also faith without workes is dead. For betweene faith and the body this is the difference: one and the same body may be both dead and true: but faith is not both true and dead, euen as a man is not both true and dead: for as a man is a com­pound thing of his body and his soule; so faith is a certaine compound thing, as it were of her body and of her soule, the tokens or signes whereof are the actions. Where­fore in Iames the comparison is made betweene a simple and a compound: the simple thing, which is the body voide of the soule: the compound which is faith. And the comparison is of force in that wherein it is made, namely, in the death of both & not in other things. And so much of iustifying faith according to the opinion of our aduer­saries, as also of the whole doctrine of faith.


HOPE followeth faith: for that apprehensi­on of Iesus Christ with his benefits offered Hope. in the worde and sacraments, which is the property of faith, dooth giue hope vnto vs that wee shall one day inioy Christ present. The Apostle, Rom. 5. saith, that experience breedes hope. Now by faith we get experience, and as Peter sayth, wee taste how good the Lorde is: wherefore it must needs bee [Page 192] that faith begets hope.

That we may therefore speake of hope: it must first of all be seene, what is the obiect thereof. The obiect of faith and hope is the same in substance, namely, Iesus Christ with his benefits. Heb. 11. It is said that faith is the Obiect of hope the same in sub­stance with the obiect of faith, and how they differ. ground of things that are hoped for. It may be againe said, that hope is of those things which are beleued or which haue after a sort a being by faith. By these things it is eui­dent, that the obiect of faith and hope is the same thing in substance or effect.

Yet the obiect of hope differeth in reason from the ob­iect of faith. The chiefe difference is this, that the obiect of faith is Christ in the word & sacraments, or the word concerning Christ and the sacrament, which shadoweth him: Wherefore the obiect of faith is a certaine image of Christ, which is propounded to vs to be looked vpon in the glasse of the worde and Sacraments. Whereupon 2. Cor. 3. we are saide with open face to behold as in a glasse, and to be transformed into that image, which we behold in that glasse.

But the obiect of hope, is Christ with his benefits, not indeed appearing to vs in the word & sacraments, but ap­pearing as he is, and as I may say, in his owne person. For hope is not setled vpon that image of Christ which we be­hold in a glasse by faith, but vpon the face of Christ him­selfe which we hope we shal see at the last. Phil. 3. 20. from whence also we looke for the Sauiour our Lord Iesus Christ. Tit. 2. Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious comming of the great God our Sauiour Iesus Christ. 1. Ioh. 3. 2. Be­cause we shall see him as he is: and whosoeuer hath this hope in him, that is, he that hopes that he shall see him as he is. By these things it appeareth, that hope hath for it obiect the very face of Iesus Christ. There be three things which are conuersant about one Christ, Faith, Hope, and Sight, 1. Faith. 2. Hope. 3. Sight. but each in a diuers respect. For faith is properly of [Page 193] his image; hope is of his face, but to come and appeare hereafter: and sight is likewise of his face, but present.

The second difference betweene the obiect of faith and hope, is a consequent out of yt first, and this is it, that faith is of present of things, namely, of Christ and his benefits, or rather of the image of these things, which we behold present in the glasse of the word and sacraments: where­upon Heb. 11. it is called A ground and an euidence, which words signify the presence of those things which are be­leeued. But hope is of things to come hereafter: for hope if it be seene, is no hope, that is, if it bee of things pre­sent, it is no hope. For why should a man hope for that which he sees? Ro. 8. 24. Beside, hope is of his face, which is not yet seen. The third differēce followes also out of the first: for faith is of the thing only in part, seeing that it is of the image and as it were of the shadow, and as I may say, of the earnest, which is but part of the summe. See 1. Cor. 13. We know in part. But hope is of the whole thing, it is of the face, of the complemēt; to conclude, it is of the whole summe, the hope whereof that earnest which we apprehend by faith, giueth vnto vs. And thus far of the ob­iect of hope.

The subiect followeth, which is not the mind, or some faculty of the mind, whether of vnderstanding or iudge­ing; Subiect of hope. nor is it the wil, for faith hath made her seate in these. But hope being content with the inferior seate, hath it a biding in the heart. For it is an affection of the heart, euen as feare is which is opposed to it. If we speake of the na­ture of it, it is not iudgment or assent; it is not an appre­hension or trust: for all these belong to faith, but it is an expectation which followeth faith, and is begotten by faith.

The property of hope, is not that certainty properly which is of faith, or of that assent which is in faith. For faith is properly said to be certaine: but hope is not pro­perly How hope is cer­taine. called certaine; but it is tearmed certaine because [Page 194] of the certainty of faith. In scripture I finde that patience is attributed to faith, as a certaine property thereof. Rom. 8. 25. But if we hope for that which we see not, we doe with pa­tience [...]. Patience of hope. abide for it Heb. 6. it is said of Abraham, that when he had patiently taried, he obtained the promise. 1. Thes. 1. 3. there is mention made of the patience of hope, or of pati­ent hope. And this patience is it, whereby hope doth su­staine all the crosses and afflictions of this life, and doth as it were goe vnder them: For all the promises of heauenly things are made with an exception of temporall afflicti­ons. Wherefore, whosoeuer hopeth that he shall obtaine those heauenly promises, he must needes make himselfe ready to beare and sustaine all the calamities which are in­cident to this life. Wherefore patience is so necessa­rilie ioined with hope, as that hope cannot bee without it.

Out of these things which we haue spoken, the definiti­on of hope may be gathered: that hope is a patient abiding Hope defined. of the heart for the face of Christ or fulfilling of the promise. It is to be noted that this is the definition of hope, as the name is taken for the worke, and office of hope, which properly signifies an affection of the heart, and that a san­ctified one; and not onely so, but an affection caryed vp aboue nature. For when we are regenerated by the spi­rit of Christ, we doe not only recouer that holines of na­ture lost in Adam, but also in regeneration there is not a faculty of the minde or an affection of the heart, but some supernaturall power or quality is put into it, for the exer­cising of supernaturall functions. For our regeneration is not so much effected according to that image which was entire and holy in Adam before his fall, as according to the image of Christ. 1. Cor 15. 49. We shal beare the I­mage of the heauenly man: Whereupon the motions of VVhat affectiōs a man regenerate hath in him. our heart are termed vnutterable, and such as cannot be declared. Rom. 8. they are called grones which cannot bee expressed. 1. Pet. 1. Ioy is called vnspeakable and glorious: [Page 195] and the faculties of the mind & the affections of the heart regenerated are caried to those things which are incom­prehensible, and which I think, could not be comprehen­ded by Adams holy nature; such as these are: The vnsearch­able riches of Christ, Eph. 3. 8. the loue of Christ which passeth all knowledge, in the same Chap. vers. 19. As those things which the eie hath not seene, nor eare heard, nor euer entred in­to mans heart, 1. Cor. 2. 9. But we haue spoken of these things already in the doctrine of faith.

This last of all is to be obserued concerning hope, that there be many degrees of it: For there is a certaine more Degrees of hope [...]. earnest or vehement hope, which is called by the Apostle Rom. 8. 19. the feruent desire of the creature. Phil. 1. 20. Paul doth professe this kind of hope and earnest loo­king for. And thus much of hope according to the iudg­ment of our Churches.

Now bee aduertised in few words, what our aduer­saries Popish opinion of hope. thinke of it. They make the obiect of hope to be those things which belong to him that hopeth; for this difference they make betweene hope and faith, that faith is of generall mercy, and not of proper: but that hope is of proper mercy. But this difference is false: For as wel faith, as hope, is of proper grace and mercy. They say with vs, that the subiect of hope is the heart: For they teach that hope is a vertue put into the heart.

They make the nature of it to consist not in knowing nor in iudging, but in expecting. Bellarmine makes a dif­ference betweene hoping and expecting. We hope (saith he) for those things which we doe not know certainly that we shall obtaine. Whereupon the blessed soules in heauen are said to expect the resurrection of their bodies, because they know certainly that it shall come to passe. But Paul. Rom. 8. seemeth to take the words of hoping and expecting for one and the same thing: If we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience expect it. You [...]. see that with Paul, to hope and to expect, are one and the [Page 196] same.

They make the property of hope to be certainty: For they say that hope is certaine: but they teach, that this certainty belongs to the vnderstanding. For it is the vn­derstanding that dooth know certainly that saluation will come to passe; and because of the certainty of the vn­derstanding, hope is said to be certaine, and the heart ho­peth certainly that saluation will come. Therefore this certainty is not properly in hope, but hope presupposeth it. They say that this certainty is not simple and absolute. For they say that no man is simply and absolutely certaine of his saluation, or dooth certainly know that hee shall obtaine saluation: Nay contrarywise they teach that there is simply and absolutely an vncertainty of hope, and hee that hopeth (say they) is simply and absolutely vncertain of his saluation. But he that hopes (say they) is certaine of his saluation not simply and absolutely, but after a cer­taine manner and in some respect. First in regard of the foundation of hope, that is, the promise of God which cannot deceiue, and for which, if there were not other causes of certainty, one might be saide to be simply and absolutely certaine of his saluation. But seeing there be other causes of certainty, beside the promise of God, a man cannot be saide to be simply and absolutely certaine of his owne saluation for the promise of God only, and the infallible truth thereof. Secondly, a man is said to bee certaine of his saluation in respect of charity, which they say, is the forme of faith. For he that hath charity, is in this part, and in this respect certaine of his saluation: For cha­rity is a sure cause of saluation, and if it could bee that a man might neuer fall from charity, euen for that cause a­lone he might be simply & absolutely certaine of his sal­uation. But seeing any man may fal from charity and leese it, therefore there is no absolute certainty of hope in re­spect of charity neither.

This is then their opinion, that hope is likewise vncer­taine, [Page 197] but yet that it is certaine in some respects. First, in respect of the promise; then in respect of charitie: and therefore that the certaintie of hope is alwayes mixt with vncertaintie. For what time it is certaine because of of the promise of God, at the same time it is vncertaine for other causes which are in our selues: as in regard of our repentance▪ in respect of our works and merits, which are also required to make hope certaine. Againe, what time it is certaine because of charity, at the same time it is vncertain, because of the changeablenesse of charity. This is their opinion. But we hold thus, that hope is called certaine, because of faith going afore it, & for the full as­surance Certainty of hope of that faith. For certaintie doth properly belong to faith; and it is faith whereby euery one of vs doth cer­tainly know, that saluation belongeth vnto vs: Hence commeth the surenesse of hope, and the certainty there­of. Secondly, we say, that this certainty of hope, which is for Faiths sake, is simple and absolute: and wee deny that hope is in one respect certaine, and in another respect vncertaine, which thing they affirme: but we affirme that it is certaine in all respects, at least that it so ought to be, in respect of Gods promise, in respect of charity, and of our whole regeneration, in respect of our perseuerance: and so of the rest. For all these things are certaine and sound, vpon which hope dependeth, and for which it is said to be certain: & these things do depend vpon Gods vnchangeablenesse, whether they be out of vs, as the pro­mise of God; or within vs, as charity and all regenerati­on: for grace once giuen in Christ Iesus, can neuer be to­tally and finally lost.

Our aduersaries doe place some cause of certainty in our selues, and in our strength, and in our workes and merits. And therefore it is no maruell, though they say that hope is not simply and absolutely certaine: for there is nothing more vncertaine then these things, in which they place some, or rather the chiefe cause of [Page 198] the certainty of hope.

Concerning the absolute certainty of hope, these bee some testimonies of Scripture. Psal. 31. In thee, O Lord, haue I hoped, let me not be confounded for euer. He that tru­steth in the Lord shall be as mount Sion, which shall not be mo­ued for euer, Psal. 125. Rom. 5. We reioyce vnder the hope of the glorie of God. And after. Hope maketh not ashamed. Rom. 8. We are saued by hope. Phil 1. 20. According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be ashamed. Rom. 9. Whosoeuer beleeueth in him shall not be confounded. And thus much of hope.

CHAP. XXXIII. Of Charitie or Loue.

AMong the principall effects of Faith, charitie is reckoned in the next place after hope: and Paul knits them together, as the three spe­cial graces of the holy ghost, Faith, hope, cha­ritie, 1. Cor. 13. There are three (saith he) faith hope, and charitie, and the greatest of these is charitie. The A­postle knits these together, and we do not seuer them, specially for that Gods loue is a certaine bond vniting vs to God, together with the bond of faith, which is the primary and principal. For this cause Peter saith, that our communion with Christ now absent from vs, doth con­sist loue & faith. And this moueth vs in the third place after faith, to intreat of Charitie, in this treatise of our ef­fectuall calling. And charitie or loue proceedeth from [Page 199] that sweet apprehension and taste of the Lord: for that taste stirs vp in the heart an exceeding loue of the Lord, VVhence loue proceedeth. and of our neighbour for the Lords sake. And when as Charitie hath receiued this life by Faith, it becomes the instrument of Faith, whereby it worketh other effects of the Spirit; as the gifts of knowledge, of prophesying, of tongues, and of miracles. These also are the instruments & meanes, wherby iustifying faith worketh; but the prin­cipal is loue: for which cause it is said, Gal. 5. that faith worketh by loue, and loue with the works or fruits thereof, among all signes and testimonies, giues the surest eui­dence Loue the best e­uidence of faith. vnto faith.

If this be compared with other graces of Gods Spirit, it must be preferred before them all: for it hath the third place after Faith. Therefore if ye set aside Faith and hope, loue hath the first place of all the graces of ye holy Chost, and is, as it were, the soule of all gifts which followe after it. For this cause the Apostle 1. Cor. 12. 13. hauing num­bred diuers gifts of the holy Ghost, saith, That if these graces wanted loue, they were either as dead, or as no­thing, or should profit nothing. Whereby he giues vs to vnderstand, that all other vertues haue no soundnesse in them, if ye seuer them from loue, but to be onely certaine dead shadowes of vertues. We may therefore iustly call charity the life of all gifts and graces which follow it.

If the aduersaries had contented themselues with this prerogatiue of Charity, they had not erred: but for that Popish charitie. they auouch it to be also the life and forme of faith, here­in they sin greatly, that faith rather contrarily is the life of charity, for that without Faith, there is no man hath but the dead shadowe of Loue. Wherefore the faith of Christ is the principall life or soule both of charity, and of all other vertues for without it they are all but vaine and counterfeit, and very sinnes before God: for whatsoeuer is not of faith, is sinne.

The primarie obiect of loue is the same with the ob­iect [Page 200] of faith and hope: For what wee first apprehend by faith, and next expect in hope, the same we embrace in Obiect of loue. loue. The secondary obiect of loue is our neighbor, whō we loue in and for the Lord. The subiect of loue is the heart: for we loue with the heart: as the Apostle spea­keth, Loue out of a pure heart. 1. Thess. 1. 5.

The nature thereof is not in knowledge, nor in ho­ping, but in louing. In loue two things are principally to Nature of loue. be respected: first, a diligent endeuour for the prescrua­tion of that we loue: next, an earnest affection to be vni­ted and conioyned with it: both which we see are to bee respected in the loue of God and of our neighbour.

The properties of loue are many, 1. Cor. 13. 4. &c. For whereas loue is, there is a heape of vertues: for Cha­ritie is neuer alone in any man, but hath euer many other vertues as companions & handmaids attending on it. Of the premisses ye may gather some definition of faith; as namely, that Loue is an holy endeuour for the preseruation of that which is beloued, whether God, or man, with an earnest de­sire Loue defined. to be vnited vnto it: For loue is that bond (as the Apo­stle speaketh) whereby the members of the body are knit together. And it serues also in some sort and place to vnite vs vnto God and Christ; notwithstanding that the communiō of Christ the head of his body the church, be principally to be ascribed vnto faith. And in this re­spect loue goes before iustification, and is a branch, in our effectual calling, euer going together with faith, hope, & repentance. For which cause principally, I thought good to speak of it briefly in this Treatise, after faith and hope: for that faith, wherein we say consisteth the second part of our effectuall calling, hath these for inseparable com­panions, faith, hope & repentance: after which followes our iustification by order, not of time, but of nature. But in another respect loue followes iustification, and apper­taineth to the grace of regeneration: but of this we shal speake in fit place.

[Page 201] Now to returne to our purpose: the definition giuen before, is not so much of loue it selfe, as of the worke and function thereof. For Loue is properly an affection, holy A larger defini­tion of loue. or sanctified: and not so onely, but also supernaturall, ca­ried vp to loue those things which are aboue nature, and exceed all naturall affection: for like as faith is of those things which excell all naturall knowledge and appre­hension; and hope is of those things which excell all na­turall expectation: so Loue also is of those things which be aboue the reach of all naturall affection. For as wee haue often before admonished, this our new-birth in Christ Iesus, is not so much a restoring of vs to that image of Adam, which he had before his fall, as vnto the image of Christ, who is a spirituall and an heauenly man, in whom, and by whom we haue not onely (so to speake) a naturall sanctitie or holinesse: but also doe receiue from him a certaine heauenly and supernaturall vertue and ef­ficacie infused into all affections and powers of the soule. But this our supernaturall condition as yet appeareth not vnto men, neither doe we sufficiently feele it and find it our selues, but it shall be seene in another life, when as we shall put on, & beare the image of that heauenly man, 1. Cor. 15. 49. Now we are called the sonnes of God, but as yet it ap­peareth not what we shall be: but we know it shall come to passe, that we shal be like vnto him, when he shall appeare. 1. Io. 3. 2.

The Aduersaries spend all their labour in setting forth the commendations of loue, and they be too long in ex­tolling charitie: For they adorne it with the spoiles of iu­stifying faith, so gracing it with stolen colours, and not with it owne proper beautie, ascribing the iustification and saluation of man (which they take away from faith) vnto charitie: as shall be seene when we come to speake of the doctrine of free iustification. And thus farre shall suffice of charity or loue.

CHAP. XXXIIII. Of Repentance.

REpentance followeth faith, as the effect follow­eth his cause: For that godly sorrow which is according to God, and worketh repentance, is the daughter of Faith, as we shall see afterward. Of this benefit there are diuers names in diuers languages. The Hebrues do cal it TESCHUBHAH, the Grecians, [...], and [...]. The word [...] is of a verbe which signifi­eth to bee wise after a thing is done, to retract his sen­tence, to change his mind, & to returne to a right mind. Whereupon Repentance is nothing els but an after wit, a reuersing of iudgment, and chaunge of determinations. The word [...] is of the verbe [...], which signifieth to be carefull and anxious after a thing is done: Wherup­on [...] is nothing els but a trouble and disquietnesse of heart, after a thing is acted. Therefore these two Greeke words differ, for that the first concerneth pro­perly the mind or vnderstanding: the second, the heart and affection. They differ also in another respect, in that [...] comprehendeth the whole worke and benefit of Repentance (for the change of the mind, which is impli­ed in this word, doth necessarily presuppose the sorrow of the heart: and that same [...] (which is a contrition & an axnietie after the fact committed:) whereas [...] [Page 203] is rather restrained to signifie only a part of this benefit, namely, the first, which consisteth in sorow, in contrition, and the disquiet of the heart after a thing is done: for it followeth not, that wheresoeuer this same cōpunction of of heart be, there should presently follow that sound Re­pentance; as it is necessarie that wheresoeuer sound Re­pentance be found, there also must be that compuncti­on of heart. Some there are which make a third diffe­rence betweene these two, affirming that this sound Re­pentance properly belongs to the godly, and to the E­lect, and onely to them; for the elect onely, properly, and in very truth become wise after their fals, and they doe onely change their minds, and their purposes, & returne to a sound mind; whereas some compunction, and dis­quietnesse of heart doth not onely belong to the god­ly and the elect, but also to the wicked, and to the Repro­bates, in whom there is found after a sin committed, some griefe, and disquietnesse of heart, not so much for the sinne committed, as for the punishment of the sinne. But we are to vnderstand that wheresoeuer this same sorrow is attributed to the wicked, there is not vnder­stood hereby that godly care and sorrow which is accor­ding to God; but a worldly sorrow, and a sorrow which is vnto death. In which sense it is attributed to Iudas, Mat. 27. 3. Iudas repented himselfe: but contrariwise, when it [...]. is attributed to the Godly, thereby is signified not so much a sorrow for the punishment of sinne it selfe, as for the offence and displeasure of God. Thus farre of the Greeke names of Repentance.

The Latines do call it a Conuersion, an after-wit, to re­turne to heart and vnderstanding, and repentance. Con­uersion Conuersio. Resipiscentia. doth fitly answer with the Hebrue word: and it is a word which the Prophets haue vsed in the old Te­stament, Teschubbah. Conuert me, O Lord, and I shall be conuerted, Ier. 31. Euen as Christ and his Apostles themselues vse the foresaid Greeke words in the newe Testament, of Re­pentance [Page 204] and Compunction of heart. A change of the mind is properly signified in the Greeke word [...], for to [...]. change the mind is to begin to be wise after the deede done. Penance is signified in the Greeke word [...]: for it is deriued of the verbe Poenitere, which signifieth a punishment: for in this kind of repentance, that sorrow and anxietie of the heart is a punishment. For as the Greeke word [...] doth differ from the word [...], so doth poenitentia, penance, from the word Resipiscentia, Resipiscentia. Repentance. For to passe by other differences, the word Penance signifieth properly one part onely of this bene­fit, to wit, sorrow, disquietnesse, and anxietie after the deed done. But the word Resipiscentia, which is a change of the mind, doth comprehend this whole benefit: for the change of the mind, and to become wise after our fals, doth necessarily presuppose the sorrow of the heart, as the efficient cause. The old Latine translation doth tran­slate both the Greeke words euery where Poenitentia, Pe­nance. The aduersaries doe earnestly contend, that the word Penance is euerie where to be retained, to wit, that they may defend the Sacrament of Penance (as they call it) euen by the very name it self, to consist in externall and corporall affliction. The word Resipiscentia, which signi­fieth a change of the mind, is more vsed by our Diuines when they speake of this grace. And thus much concer­ning the names of this benefit.

The parts thereof are generally these, first sorrow, then after sorrow a chang of the mind & purpose, which Parts of Repen­tance. is properly (as is afore said) signfied by the Greeke word, vsed for repentance. Wee are therefore first to speake of sorrow, which is the first part of repentance, and this sor­row is of two kinds. First for the punishment of sin, which 2. Co. 7. is called The sorrow of the world, and also a sorrow Sorrow twofold. which is to death: Secondly, it is a sorrow for the sinne it selfe, and because of the offence which is committed a­gainst God, which in like manner is called of the Apostle [Page 205] A sorrow according to God. Of both these we will speake seuerally. The principall efficient of the first sorrow which is conceiued in heart, for the punishment of sin, is the holy Ghost, which Rom. 8. verse 15. 16. is called the spirit of bondage to feare, that is to say, which testifieth vnto vs of our seruile and miserable condition without Christ, and therefore doth beget feare and horror within vs.

The instrument wherby the spirit doth worke this sor­row in our hearts, is the preaching of the law. The sum whereof is in that syllogisme, concerning the which we haue spoken in the doctrine of faith: the proposition of which syllogisme is this. Cursed is euery one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of this law to do thē. The assumption is by euery mans conscience thus an­nexed. But I haue not continued in them: & the conclusi­on therefore is this: I am accursed. From hence dooth that sorrow, or rather that horror of the heart arise or spring, not somuch for sin which is in the assumption, as for the punishment, and feare of the curse, which is in the conclusion. And this is that which is called the pricke of conscience, which by meanes of the conclusion be­fore shewed, doth not only prick a wounded mind, but al­so pierce euen through the heart. And this legall sorrow, if the grace of the Gospell did not put an helping hand betweene it and vs, would driue a man into vtter despe­ration. And thus much concerning that first sorrow.

The very same spirit of God is likewise a principal effi­cient cause of the latter sorrow, but not proceeding as be­fore: for now he becommeth the spirit of adoption, Wher­by we crie Abba, Father. Rom. 8. that is, testifying of our adoption in Christ, and therefore doth inlarge both our heart and mouth to call vpon God familiarly, as vpon our Father.

The instrument whereby the holy spirit doth worke this faith in our hearts, it is the preaching of the Gospell: the summe whereof is contained in that syllogisme con­cerning [Page 206] which we haue spoken in the doctrine of faith. The proposition of this syllogisme is, He that beleeueth shal be iustified, and shall liue; whereupon faith doth assume, saying: But I do beleeue; and concludeth saying: There­fore righteousnesse and life pertaineth vnto me. In this conclusion there is I confesse, matter of ioy, & of vnspeak­able gladnesse: but it is as true that there is in it matter of sorrow also; which is conceiued after we haue known the mercy of God in Christ to be so great, and doth arise in this respect, because we haue offended so merciful and so louing a Father. It is then a ioy mixt with sorrow, & with the vnspeakable and glorious ioy of faith hauing ioined with it sighes that cannot be expressed. And thus much also of the later sorrow.

Now let vs see how both these kinds of sorrow be­long vnto sound repentance: That first sorrow which is of the law, and is conceiued by reason of the punishment which followeth sinne: I confesse it is no part of this ho­ly change and conuersion vnto God: for of it own nature it doth rather estrange vs from God, then conuert vs to The terror of the law a preparatiue for the Gospell. God; and in very deede it dooth altogether alienate the wicked from God as from a terrible iudge. Notwithstan­ding in repentance it hath his vse for it prepareth the e­lect by giuing them sense of their misery, to that grace and mercy which is propounded in the Gospell. The latter sorrow which is according to God, and is effected by the Gospel, is properly a part of repentance and dooth effect that change of the mind, and reason before speci­fied. And therefore the Apostle saith, 2. Cor. 7. that the sorrow which is according to God, causeth repentance. And thus far of the first part of this benefit which is found to be in sorrow. The other followeth which is called pro­perly by the Apostle 2. Cor. vers. 7. a Chaunge of the minde. For there followeth after that godly sorrow a certaine wonderfull change of the minde, of the will, and of the heart. As touching knowledge, and that illumina­tion Second part of repentance. [Page 207] of the mind, this goes before the sorrow we haue spoken of, & is an acknowledgment wrought in vs first of sinne and of our misery, by the law: next of mercy, by the Gospell. Therefore the chaunge of the mind which follo­weth this sorrow: it pertaines to the faculty or iudgment of reason, which also is called the counsell and purpose of the mind Act. 11. 23.

He exhorteth them that with one purpose of heart they would cleaue vnto the Lord. And the iudgment or coun­sell of the mind is chaunged in this sort: The mind disal­loweth the euill which is committed, and alloweth the good hereafter to be practised. There are therefore two parts of the change of ye iudgement or counsell, the first is the disallowing of the euill committed: the second is the The change of the mind hath two branches. approuing of the good to be done. After the change of the iudgement, or counsell of the mind, there followeth a change of the wil in this manner: The will reiecteth that euill which is committed, or it declineth from it, and allo­weth the good to be done hereafter, or inclineth there­unto. There are there two parts of this change, first a de­clination from the euil committed: secondly, an inclina­tion to the good which is, or ought to be done. After the 2. Change of the will. change of the wil followeth the change of the hart, which is on this manner: The heart hateth and detesteth that e­uill which it hath heretofore done, and it loues, and af­fects the good, which hereafter it ought to doe. There are therefore two parts of this change, the first is the de­testation 3. Change of the heart. of euill done and committed: the second is the loue of that good which ought to be done.

In general therfore there are two parts of that chang of the mind, which is an effect of sorow, the first is a change from euill, and from sinne committed: the second is a change to good hereafter to be practised and followed. Commonly these parts are called mortification, and vi­uification, but I know not how rightly & iustly: for mor­tification and viuification are properly parts of regene­ration, [Page 208] which doth differ from repentance, as shalbe seene Regeneration and repentance differ. hereafter.

By that which hath bin already said, we vnderstand what be the especial points of repentance, from whence it pro­ceeds, and wherunto it serueth. The point from whence it proceedes, is the euill, or sinne committed; the point to which it tendeth, is the good heereafter to bee done. Repentance therefore standeth betweene two acti­ons, past, and future; and it doth differ from regeneration: for the points thereof are not deeds and actions, but qua­lities, to wit, the corruption of nature, or the old man; and sanctitie, or the new man: but of this we shall entreate af­terward, when wee come to speake of the difference of repentance, and of regeneration.

Ye see thē, after that great sorow, how there is a change in the whole mind of man. Next, ye see by that hath been saide of this benefit of repentance, that repentance doth begin from the heart and doth proceede by the reasona­ble faculties of the mind and will; and last of all, it dooth end and rest in the heart: To conclude, it may easily be gathered by that which hath bin sayd in the the treaty of the parts of it, what the definition of repentance is, that it Repentance de­sined. is an after-wit, after the deede, and euill committed, and a sor­row, because God is offended, and from that sorrow a certaine change of the whole minde from euill vnto good. The effect of repentance is in the outward life, to wit, an amendment of life bringing forth fruit worthy of repentance, Matth. 3. vers. 8.

There is question concerning repētance, whether it be the same with regeneration or new birth; for the common oipnion of Dimnes is, that the benefits of regeneration, and new birth differ not in matter it selfe; notwithstan­ding it appeares vnto vs that there is a differēce between these two, and it shall appeare to them also who diligent­ly Repentance and regeneration differ. consider the ends of both; for repentance is to be refer­red to our effectuall calling, and it is an effect of faith [Page 201] which is another part of our effectuall calling: for as ma­ny as beleeue, they repent, they change their counsell and returne to a better mind. But regeneration is the be­ginning of our glorification, and the beginning of a new creature. Repentance goeth before iustification, euen as faith and hope; for of the Baptist it is said, That he prea­ched the baptisme of repentance for the remission of sins, Marke 3. 4. Luk. 3. 3. But regeneration followeth iustification, for being iustified we receiue the spirit of sanctification whereby we are renewed, and as it were find a new crea­tion begun euen in this life: Repētance is the cause, rege­neration is the effect: for therefore God doth renews vs in How renenera­tion and repen­tance differ. Christ, and make vs new men, because we repent vs of our old life, and begin to be wise after sin cōmitted. Notwith­standing in the middle place betwixt repentance & rege­neration, comes in iustification; when as God doth of his meere mercy & grace accompt, and repute vs as iust. The name of repentance employeth sorrow, but the name of regeneration gladnes. To conclude, the points of repen­tance, as whence it proceeds & whereunto it tends, they are deedes, the euil or sin committed; and the good which ought to be practised: but the bounds of regeneration are qualities, inherent corruption, and sanctity or holinesse, which is wrought in vs: the old man, and new man re­newed in Christ.

But you will say, in repentance there is a change from euil to good; a change I say of the mind & hart: I answer, in our effectuall calling there begins a change of ye mind of man. Notwithstanding al Diuines distinguish calling, & faith from regeneration, why then should they not in like manner distinguish betweene repentance, (which follo­weth faith and our effectual calling) & regeneration? for euery change of the mind is not to be deemed forthwith How repentance followeth regeneration. regeneration, but there are certain changes of mans mind which goe before regeneration, and which prepare the mind, and so the whole man vnto regeneration, and to [Page 201] that new creation: in which kinde repentance is an espe­cial grace. These things are to be distinguished not in time but in nature: for at that very same instant, we beleeue and be effectually called, and do repent, and be iustified, and be regenerate.

CHAP. XXXV. How farre a wicked man may pro­ceed in repentance.

HAuing thus far spoken of repētance, which is proper to the elect & godly, we are next to consider how far the reprobate, and vngodly man may proceed in repentance. All wicked & vngodly men do not make like progresse: for they profit some lesse, some more in the work of repē ­tance. We wil first speak of them which be least proficient These first haue a sorrow, or horror in their minds, which Degrees of repen­tance in the im­pious. commeth from the law, and that not for sinnes or any of­fences committed against God, properly and truly: but because of the punishment of sinne properly, and for sin accidentally, because punishment followeth sin. Next after this sorrow there followeth in them some dislike in mind of the sinne committed, but because of the punish­ment: Note this distinc­tion. but as touching affection to the good which ought to be don, so far they come not. Further, yet there follo­weth in the wil a declining from euil committed but be­cause [Page 211] of the punishment; for in the meane while their will is not bent, or inclined to the good which ought to be done. After this little change of the wil, there follow­eth in the heart a detestation of euill committed, but in regard of the punishment; for all this while the heart dooth not proceede to loue iustice, or the good which ought to be done. And as touching the outward, life there is no good change or holy amendment in it.

In this kind was Iudas the traitor, of whose repentance read Mat. 27. where first it is said, that Iudas did repent him of that he had done. Note here in this word his sorrow, Iudas example. & anxiety of hart. Next, he is sayd to haue brought againe ye 30. pieces of siluer to the high priest: whēce may neces­sarily be gathered a change of the wil, of the mind and of the heart: which thing also by his owne confession may appeare, because he said afterward, I haue sinned, betraying the innocent bloud: for this word doth argue a dislike of sin in some sort, and a renouncing, and detestation of sin, al­beit not sincere, but principally in respect of the punish­ment; accidentally in respect of the sin, because sin and the punishment thereof goe together: finally, whereas he cast the siluer peeces into the temple, it appeares there was in him an inward dislike, and detestation of euill, and yet that no amendment of life followed this change of mind, it appeares in this, because presently going aside he han­ged himselfe.

There are other impious men, who proceed a little fur­ther in repentance then these, hauing in their minds some change vnto good, their mindes allowing that which is good, and their will choosing the same, and their heart af­fecting it: yet these things be not sincere in them, but proceede from feare of punishment. And as concerning the amendmēt of their outward life, they begin that also: but as the Prophet saith: Their goodnesse vanisheth as a mor­ning cloude, and as the morningdew. Amos. 6.

Of this number was Saul. Sam. 15. & Achab. 1. Kin. 21. Saul. [Page 212] And of this kind also, it seemes was Esau, Gen. 27. His sor­row appeareth by his teares shed: the change also of his mind in some sort vnto good appeares by that it is said, he would haue obtained the blessing, he sought the blessing: but there was nothing sincere in him. For forthwith after he returned to his old haunt, or wonted course againe. The wicked which yeeld best signes of repentance, are those, who haue attained the temporary faith, whose sorrow al­so doth arise from the Gospel, and the acknowledgment of the mercy of God in Christ; and the change of the mind vnto good, is in some sort for the good it selfe: for they tast after a sort the sweetnes of God in Christ, and are delighted in it. And as concerning the amendment of outward life, that also is in them a little longer then in those before described They do also returne and relin­quish many sins.

Of this kind it seemes Herod was, of whom it is written Mar. 6. 20. Herod feared Iohn, knowing that he was a iust and an holy man, and he receaued him, & when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly: And thus far of these 3. steps of impious men in repentance, & here also I end the doctrine of sound repentance.

CHAP. XXXVI. What the iudgement of Papists is of Repentance.

IT followeth now that we consider what the Papists do thinke of their Penance: for they reiect the very name of Repentance T: heir er­rours are manie which they hold, we will take view of some few of them, & briefly confute them: first, they say, that Repentance is a Sacrament. But A Sacrament. I aske, if it be a Sacrament, what sensible signe hath it? They answer, that the signe is partly the act of ye penitent person; & partly the words of the Priest, whereby the pe­nitent is absolued. But I answer, in a sacrament there must be not only an audible signe, but also a visible: there must be also a certaine element, and not a ceremonie onely: as in Baptisme, and the Supper of the Lord. Besides the ce­remonies and rites, there are elements, water, bread, and wine. Concerning this errour this shall suffice.

Secondly, they affirme that the vse of Repentance is this, to abolish mortall sinne committed after Baptisme, 2. Errour. and to make him, who of a friend, through sinne, was become Gods enemie, the friend of God againe, that is, a iust man. To this I answer. To the restoring and repairing of man, who hath sinned after Baptisme, we haue no need of any other Sacrament then Baptisme, the force and ver­tue whereof is perpetuall, and effectuall throughout the whole life of man, for the washing away of sinne to re­generate men: for it is false that in Baptisme these sinnes [Page 214] onely are washed away, which were committed before Baptisme; seeing Baptisme reacheth to the whole life of Baptisme effe­ctuall to the re­generate all his life. man, and the remembrance thereof is effectuall for the remission of sinnes, and our regeneration, euen then, when a man giues vp the Ghost, and departs this life.

Thirdly, they say that the Repentance which was in the old Testament, and before the resurrection of Christ, 3. Errour. is not the same with the repentance which followed the resurrection of Christ; for that was no Sacrament, but this is: I answer, that the doctrine of Repentance, and of our conuersion to God, is one and the selfe same; which all the Prophets, Iohn Baptist, Christ before and after his in­carnation, and the holy Apostles haue preached.

Fourthly, they say that the principall efficient cause of Repentance is free-will, and the strength of nature stir­red 4. Errour. vp by a preuenting grace, and that grace is but onely our helper, working together with nature or free-will.

I answer, that it is cleane contrarie: for the Spirit, or grace of God is the principall efficient cause of Repen­tance, but the instrument are the faculties and powers of the mind, not such as they are by nature, but as they are sanctified by the Spirit: which may appeare euen by this testimonie, Ier. 31. Conuert me, O Lord, & I shall be conuer­ted: where the principall efficiencie, & cause of the work is giuen to the Lord himselfe, and to his grace. But of vs, it may well be said, that we become actiue in repentance, being acted and moued by the holy Ghost.

Fiftly, they diuide Penance essentially into the act of the Penitent, as the matter; and absolution of the Priest, 5. Errour. as the formall cause: I answer, that there is no necessitie why repentance should be so parted betweene the peni­tent or confessing sinner, and the Priest absoluing. For the sinner who doth repent him of his sinne, may pri­uately confesse vnto God, and of him also bee absolued, without any conceiued or set forme of absolution by the Priest. We repent daily, and yet there is no need that the [Page 215] matter should be dayly so perfourmed by the sinner re­penting, and the Priest or minister absoluing. Where­fore repentance is not to be restrained to this forme and dialogue, or communication, which must passe (as they say) betweene the sinner repenting, and the Priest absol­uing.

Sixtly, they diuide Penance materially into Contriti­on, 6. Errour. Confession, and Satisfaction: for these three parts doe (as it were) appertaine to the acts of their Penitents, which be the matter of their Sacrament of Penance. I an­swer, concerning Contrition, which is nothing els but a sorrow of heart, we verily admit of it, but without anie opinion of merit, which they attribute thereunto.

And as touching Confession, first we say, that it is not Signes of Repen­tance. properly any part of Repentance, but an outward signe of Repentance, which is wrought inwardly in the mind: for amongst the signes these are numbred; confession of the mouth, teares, humbling of the bodie, and other acti­ons of like kind. Againe, we say that their auricular Con­fession, wherein all, euen the priuate sinnes of a man must be numbred, as neere as they can remember, and whispe­red into the eare of the Priest; we affirme, I say, that such a Confession is the inuention of mans braine, wherof there is no commandement or example extant in the whole Scripture: Yea verily the will of God is, that manie pri­uate sins, vnto which we alone are priuy, should bee con­cealed, & not vttered, euen as God doth couer the mul­titude of our priuate sinnes of his free will and mercie, wherewith he embraceth vs in Christ Iesus. Notwithstan­ding this, he requireth of vs that we priuately repent of them, so oft as we shall remember them.

To conclude, concerning Satisfaction, we vtterly con­demne and renounce it: for by it (as they teach) we satis­fie of ourselues the wrath and iustice of God, and that by temporall punishments, which we willingly suffer for our sinnes. This we do vtterly condemne, as an opinion [Page 216] which doth derogate from the merit and satisfaction of Christ, whereby alone the wrath and iustice of God is sa­tisfied for our sinnes. And as for these temporall afflicti­ons of the godly, they are not truly satisfactions for their sinnes, but by them God doth mortifie the remnants of sinnes, and by that meanes prouoke vs to earnest repen­tance; hereby curbing, and keeping vs from falling in­to sinne againe. Finally, as all things worke for the best to them that loue God, so these things which are not so much punishments, as crosses do worke together for the best for the godly. Neither is that distinction of tempo­rall and eternall punishments to be allowed: for it is cer­taine that whosoeuer are punished temporally for their sinnes, and in that respect, and for that cause, such also (without repentance) shall be punished for their sinnes eternally: for temporall punishments of the vngodly in this life, are the very beginnings of eternall punish­ments to be suffered in another life. And thus farre of re­pentance.

CHAP. XXXVII. Of mans Free-will.

AFter the doctrine of Faith, Hope, and Repen­tance, the doctrine of Free-will is to follow, because the Aduersaries do attribute Faith, hope, repentance, or as they call it, Penance, to the liberty of our will, as to the principall agent or cause: but they assigne to grace the second place [Page 217] in the worke of Faith, hope, and repentance: for they say after that Free-will is stirred vp by a preuenting grace, man by the benefit of his free-will, doth of his owne strength beleeue, hope, and repent him of his sinnes. And as for grace, that is only a fellow-worker, say they, and a helper of mans Free-well, which principally worketh in faith, hope, and repentance. But to this we haue answe­red before in the doctrine of repentance, & we shal here­after answer it a little more plainely. Now hauing thus far shewed the occasion, why after the doctrin of Faith, hope and repentance, we speake of Free-wil: let vs come to the point it selfe, and discourse of it. The will of man is a fa­cultie The wil descri­bed. of the reasonable soule, following next after the fa­cultie of reason: for the mind first vnderstandeth, and thē iudgeth. The function and vse thereof is in willing, in nilling, in choosing, in refusing, and in doubting of those things which were before concealed, and considered of in the vnderstanding. The obiects therof are things sim­ply good, and euill, and things indifferent. I call those things simply good, which are commanded by some ex­presse Things simply good. law of God. I call those things simply euill, which are forbidden by the some expresse lawe of God. And those things I count indifferent, which are neither ex­presly commanded, nor expresly forbidden in the law of God. And if they be commanded or forbidden by anie law of God, that is by accident, to wit, so farre forth as they further or hinder the edification of our neigbour. These obiects of the will I subdiuide again into their final causes or ends, and into those meanes which tend and leade vs to the ends.

And thus I apply the functions of the wil to the ends, and to the meanes: We be said as well to will, and nill, the meanes as the ends vnto which they serue: for to will and nill are things generall; but we are said onely to ac­cept, and to reiect, and to doubt of the meanes: for these things are speciall. And thus farre of the will, according [Page 218] to our present purpose.

There is ascribed vnto the will a certaine propertie, which the Latines call Libertie: the Greekes a Power, as Libertas. [...]. Rom. 9. 20. where the Apostle speakes of the power the Potter hath ouer the clay. And 1. Cor. 7. 37. He that hath power ouer his owne will: As if he should haue said, hee that hath libertie or power of his will: in our vulgar tongue it is called Soueraingtie. This libertie of the will is as it were a royall power, and the Greeke word is vsed to set forth the power of a king, or some supreme Magistrate. Rom. 13. 27. Let euery soule be subiect to the higher power. For this cause the will in the soule of man is receiued as a Queene, and in that respect is said to haue as it were the iurisdiction in her owne hand.

But to come to some description of Free-will: This freedome of will, is a libertie, whenas a thing being offe­red to the wil, as to a certain Queene, whether it be good or euill, or indifferent, the will euen then can by it own A descripttion of free-will. proper right and power, either will it or nill it; reiect or receiue it; or hold a man in suspence. For which cause commonly in schooles it is defined to be a power or fa­cultie, to like or dislike things that are directly opposite, that is, to incline to either part of the contradiction, to re­ceiue, or reiect the one or the other: and thus commonly they describe it. Yet I like best this descriptiō, to wit, that libertie of will should bee in respect of good and euill things (for concerning them the controuersie is) it is, I say, a power of the will, or a certaine right it hath, where­by of it selfe, and of it owne inward and naturall motion, without constraint, it wils onely that is good, it chooseth the good, it wils not that is euill, it reiecteth that is euill: In one word, libertie of will is a power vnto good, not to euill.

I am induced to like best this definition of libertie, by the example of the libertie of God himselfe, who by the confession and grant of all men, most freely wils, and Gods free-will [Page 219] doth all things: notwithstanding, the libertie of God is not so defined, that it should be a certaine power, where­by he doth so will good, as though he might nill it, or doth not so will euill, as though he might will it; but the liberty of God is this: of his owne right, & without con­straint, onely to will that which is good, and nill that is euill. Againe, the same is plaine by the example of the blessed Angels, who haue liberty to that is good onely, and not vnto good, and euill: that is, they do not so will good, as if they might nill it: for they are so gouerned & Freedome of Angels. strengthened of God, that their will onely is inclined to good, & doth abhor from euill. To conclude, the same is shewed in the example of Adam, & of his state before his fal; for then truly the liberty of his will was to will good Adams freedom in his innocencie. only, & not both good and euil, that is, he did not so will good, as if he might nil it, except you vnderstād a remote power: wheras we by this word Liberty (to speake pro­perly) do vnderstand a more neere faculty of the soule.

I call that a remote facultie, which is incident to the matter, as is the power or propertie of laughter in the bo­die of a man, before it hath either forme or life. I call that Remota potentia: a neere facultie which is incident to the forme, as laugh­ter Propinqua po­tentia. in a man that hath life. So in the will of man there is a remote power, as appertaining to the matter; and there is a neere power, as pertaining or consequent to the forme: but we (as a little before we spake) by liberty vnderstand not that remote power, which is incident to the matter, but that neere power which is consequent to the forme: and by the forme we vnderstand that sanctitie which is according to the image of God, which is the soule as it were of our soule, and without which our soule is as it The image of God. were dead. For which cause the Apostle saith Ephe. 2. 1. That without this holinesse, wee are truly said to be dead in sinnes and trespasses. Whence I conclude, that the li­bertie of will is properly a power or facultie, which is a consequent of sanctity, as of the formall cause, and as [Page 220] it were, the very soule of the will. Wherby it commeth to passe, that the will in this state without constraint, doth incline onely to good, and doth decline from euill: for this libertie of a mans will, is according to the similitude & image of the libertie of God himself. Vnto this liberty, constraint is opposite, proceeding from some outward a­gent, & is contrarie to the nature of the will: for it is not a wil, if it be constrained, neither is it said, that the will is constrained, albeit man himselfe, in whom the will is, may be said to be constrained. I say that constraint is opposite to libertie, and not necessity: for those things which wee will or nill freely, we will or nill those things of necessity: first, because of the necessity of Gods decree: secondly, because of the incident forme of the will it selfe, as of ho­linesse, of corruption, of both. As when man was holy in his creation; so long, as that holinesse continued, of neces­sitie he did will that which was good, and nill the euill. So the blessed Angels of a certaine necessitie will that is good, and nill the euill, and at length when man is glori­fied he shall incline to good, and decline from euill: So The will of the vnregenerate. man being wholy corrupt, before his regeneration of a certaine necessitie, he wils the euill, and nils that is good, and notwithstanding after his manner, he doth will free­ly, albeit this be not a true libertie, as we shall hereafter see. To conclude, a man regenerate partly of necessitie doth will good, in respect of his new birth; partly of ne­cessity hee doth will euill, for that he is as yet partly corrupt; yet in both respects hee willeth freely: for we must distinguish betwixt necessity, and constraint; for ne­cessitie is more generall and large then constraint is: for that which is constrained, is necessarie, but on the con­trarie that which is necessarie is not cōstrained. And thus much concerning the libertie of the will in generall.

There is then a foure fould hate of man to diuers con­ditions 1. State. or states of man to be considered. The first state of his innocency before his fall: secondly, the state of his [Page 221] corruption after his fall: thirdly, the state of regene­ration: fourthly, the state of glorification. First then con­cerning the first state, it is a question whether man in his innocency had liberty of will? I answere, if you follow the former definition of liberry, which is a faculty, or power respecting inclining to either, side, I graunt that in things▪ indifferent it had a liberty, but in things simply good and euil, man had not in that state of innocency, that liberty of wil, whereby when he did will good he might nill it, and when he did nill euill, he might will it: except you vnderstand a remote power: for in respect of his neer power, he was inclined to good, only because of the form of sanctity and goodnes in the will which was in him, ac­cording Propinqua po­tentia. to the image of God; but if you follow the lat­ter definition of liberty, which is, when the wil of it self of an inward motion without coaction, or constraint of any externall agent, is carried to that which is good only: if I say you follow this definition, I answere, that man in the state of innocency had a liberty of will.

Concerning the second state of man, the question is, whether man in the state of corruption now hath liberty 2. State. of will. I answer, if you follow the former definition of li­berty, I doe not deny that in things indifferent he hath his liberty: But in things simply good and euill, he hath not liberty. For man which is wholy corrupt, doth not so will euill as that he may or can nill it: neither dooth he so reiect that is good as that he may or can will it; except yee vnderstand a power remote: for in man vnregenerate that neere power of the will is only inclined to euill, be­cause of the form of corruption & of impurity which doth wholy possesse his will. But if you follow the latter defi­nition of liberty; then verily we cannot ascribe that liber­ty of the wil which is according to the image of the liber­ty of God himselfe, and is a neere power or faculty, and wherby without constraint he is caried to that only which is good, we cannot, I say, truly attribute this vnto the vn­regenerate [Page 222] and his will. For a faculty to euil cannot truly be said a liberty; but rather a certaine seruitude: And in verity the vnregenerate mans will is not free but bound: yet because the vnregenerate dooth not will euill by con­straint, but of his owne accord and meere motion, in some sort it may be said that his will is free.

Here our aduersaries dissent from vs, ascribing liberty of wil to the man vnregenerate, whereby also of his owne meere power he may will good; where as this liberty or Papists of free will. selfe power, before preuenting grace lyeth indeede a sleepe: yet notwithstanding (say they) it is in him like as a man though he be a sleepe, yet he is both a man and li­uing. From whence it followeth necessarily (as they would haue it) that there is some holines and integritiy in the will of a man vnregenerate. For there is no selfe power of the will to good, vnlesse there be in it the form of sanctity and integrity, which is as it were the life of the will, and quicknes of this selfe power in the will vnto good.

The Papists therfore erhere two manner of waies: first, because they will haue some sanctity and integrity to re­maine in the wil of man vnregenerat now after the fal: & secondly, because they wil haue this self power of the wil (which necessarily is a consqeuent of the formall cause thereof, which is holines, as is aforesaid) they will haue this selfe power (I say) vnto good to be in the will. For as touching holines and righteousnes, it is certaine that all the image of God was lost in the fall of man, and what portiō soeuer hereof we shal haue in this life, it is repaired & as it were created a new by Iesus Christ: for which cause it is called a new creature. And if this in any respect bee old, wherefore is it called new? And if any sanctity (which is the soule of our soule, remaine in man after the fall) why is man said after the fall, before regeneration, to be dead, and not halfe dead? We forbeare to vse testimonies of scripture in this matter, which are infinite. And as con­cerning [Page 223] the liberty or selfe power which they ascribe to the will of man, how many euidences of scripture might be produced to refell ye same? Ioh. 6. 44. No man can come Propiqua ma­teria. to me, except the father which sent me draw him. Rom. 8. 5. The wisdome of the flesh, it is not subiect to the law of God, nei­ther indeede can be. 1. Cor. 2. 14. The naturall man percei­ueth not the things which are of God: for they are foolishnesse to him, neither can he discerne them. These places of scripture and other such like, are to be vnderstood of that neere power of the wil vnto good, which therfore the scripture denieth to man in his corruption, because there is in him no holinesse left since the fall of Adam. For as touching the remote power of the will vnto good, which is a con­sequent of the matter, not of the forme, we do not deny, that it is in the wil of a man vnregenerat. And that this al­so becomes of a remtoe power a neere power, so soone as any holynesse is wrought in the will of man by the spi­rit of Iesus Christ. Seeing then we leaue this remote pow­er to the will of the vnregenerate man, that is, a certaine power of the cause materiall: there is no cause why our aduersaries should say, that we make men very stocks and blocks, because we denie free will vnto them. For this power of the materiall cause vnto good, which we ascribe vnto the will of man vnregenerat, may not truly be ascri­bed to any dead stock, or trunke.

We must vnderstand in this place, that wheras we deny this neere power to the vnregenerate, that is, a liberty to good; we meane hereby that which is good, as it is tru­ly good: For euen the vnregenerate person may wil that which is good, in it selfe; as the conseruation of his coun­trey, iustice, equity, &c. But that which in it selfe is good, becomes euill in some sort, in regard of the man vnrege­nerat; who dooth not will well, that which is good in it selfe, that is to say, neither in that manner, nor to that end doth he will it as he ought to will it, because himselfe is not good, and cleane; and to the vncleane, all things are vn­cleare, [Page 224] as to the cleane all things are cleane. Tit. 2. 15.

Againe, be aduertised that in this matter of free will, I hold that there is one, & the same reason of good things of what kind soeuer they be, naturall, or ciuil; and humane or spirituall: for the vnregenerat man hath not this liber­ty, or neere power to any good thing, as it is good and acceptable to God, and agreeable to his law: albeit by na­ture his will is most farre estranged from spirituall things, which the naturall man perceiueth not, & which (as the postle saith, He cannot know, yea they are foolishnes vnto him. By spirituall good things I meane faith, hope, repentance, iustification, eternall life it selfe. There is no cause there­fore why our aduersaries should ascribe faith, hope, re­pentance to the liberty of our will, that is to say, to the strength of nature, as to the principal efficient cause of the same: as if we by nature, & the strength thereof could be­leeue, could hope and truly conuert our selues vnto God.

But to the intent this thing may yet be more manifest, we must vnderstand that there bee two kinds of good things, the one is of humane good things: the other is of kinds of good things. diuine and spirituall good things. Humane good things are either morall, and pertaine to euery priuate man, or Oeconomicall, and pertaine to a mans family: or they are Politicall, and pertaine to the whole common-wealth, or to the whole City. Spirituall good things are faith, hope, repentanceiu, stification, sanctification, life eternall. To both these kinds of good things mans will is not like affected, for vnto humane things, or vnto humane good things, it is somewhat more inclined: as for example, na­ture doth incline vnto temperancy, fortitude, liberality, iustice, albeit it doth neither will nor choose these things, which in themselues are good, in that manner or to that end it ought. Whereby it commeth to passe, that those things which in themselues are good, yet (in respect of him, who is vnregenerate) become euill and very sinnes before God. And concerning things spirituall, the nature [Page 225] of man is more estranged from them: and when they of­fer themselues to the will, nature it selfe doth wholy ab­horre from them.

This thing may be yet more plain by example, & expe­rience. There are two certaine good things, to wit, iustice by works, and iustice by faith, which is called the iustice Righteousnes by works naturall. or rightcousnes of God: we all haue experience that our will naturally is inclined to that righteousnesse which is by works, and which is a certain humane good thing. Hence it comes that euen to this day, all the world following nature seekes to be iustified by good works. But the same will doth wholy abhorre, and vtterly dislike that righte­ousnesse whichis by faith: the reason is, because it is a cer­taine spirituall & vnknown good thing. Hence it comes to passe that so few seeke to be iustified by faith, and by the alone mercy of God in Iesus Christ.

By this and other such like examples it appeares, that mans will is more inclined by nature to humane good things; and wholy to abhorre spirituall good things. Al­beit in truth, to speake exactly, it is inclined to no good at all, as it is truly good. It is not inclined at all, no not to those humane things, as they be truly good and accepta­ble vnto God: for it wils them neither in that maner, nei­ther to that end it ought. So far forth then, as it willeth them, euen those things that are good in themselues are sins, and vnpleasing to God. Notwithstanding they differ from those euils and sinnes, which euen in themselues, & in their own nature are sinnes, as manslaughter, adultery, theft, and in which I graunt there be more degrees of sin; for in these things men sinne both in the substance of the things themselues, and in the manner of doing, and in the end. And the will of man vnregenerate is more inclina­ble vnto these things by it owne nature, then vnto those things, which are good in themselues. For first, it is caried of it owne accord to those which are euill in themselues. Secondly, it hath but some inclination to things humane, [Page 226] which in their owne kind are good. Lastly, it doth who­ly abhorre spirituall good things before regeneration. Againe, I conclude, that humane good things, so farre forth as mā vnregenerate doth wil them, become in som sort euill; and the man vnregenerate doth sin in the very desire of them: which thing also is true in things indiffe­rent, which are neither good nor euill in themselues. For so far forth as man vnregenerate doth will them, so far forth they become euill; and the vnregenerate man doth sin, when he doth wil & desire euen that, which of it own nature is indifferent, because he doth wil it, neither in that manner, nor to that end he ought.

Now concerning the estate of regeneration, the que­stion is, whether the regenerate man hath his free-will: I answer, if you define free-will to be a liberty or power to choose, or wil (they say) any of both sides: First, in things indifferent, we say that he hath this liberty. Secondly, wee do not denie vnto him this liberty also in things good & euil: for seeing there is double act & a double form in the wil of the regnerat man, to wit, the forme of holines, and the form of corruption; & because he hath the first fruits of the new man, and the remnant of the old, it cannot be, but that the neere power of his will be double also, one inclining vnto good, the other declining vnto euill: So that this receiued definition of free-will seemes vnto mee to agree best with the will of the regenerate person. But if you define liberty to consist of a power not constrai­ned, tending to good only, and not to euill; then verily the man regenerate is not so free; but proceedes only to this liberty, which shall at length be perfected in another life.

Finally, concerning the estate of glorification, the que­stion is whether man whē he shall be glorified, shall haue this liberty of will? I answer, if you define free-will a po­wer to make choise of either part, euen in good things, and in euill; then I say, man in this state of glorification [Page 227] shall not haue it. For hee shall haue that neere power to good only, because of that forme of holinesse, or glorie rather, wherewith then, his will shall be indued withall. I deny not that there shall be in him also a remote power to euill in respect of the necessarie mutability of the crea­ture; but this remote power shall neuer be a neere po­wer, because God shall for euer strengthen him, and su­staine him in yt state of glorie. But if you follow that latter definition of free-will, the glorified person shal at length be set free: for he shal wil that only which is good and ac­ceptable to God, and that without constraint, and for e­uer. Man had free wil in the state of innocency, according to the image of that diuine liberty; but in the estate of glorification, wherein he shall come more neere vnto the image of his God, and shall beare the image of that hea­uenly man Iesus Christ, his wil shall be much more free, and far more ready to that which is good only. And thus haue we spoken hitherto of the liberty of will, that is, of that propriety, or naturall quality of the wil.

Now we be to speake of *free-will. But there be which referre the word Arbitrium to the mind: for that they deeme it is nothing els but the iudgement of the mind, which goeth before the free action of the will: but the word free, they say, doth pertain to the wil: notwithstan­ding I think the word Arbitrium doth signify the decree of the wil it self, that is, that by this word, we vnderstand the fūction of the will, whatsoeuer it be, whether it wil, or nill, whether it choose or reiect. We ascribe liberty to this purpose or endeuour of the will, and it is said to bee free, euen as the will it self is called Free-will, for that euer the propriety of the cause doth predicate (as the Logiti­ans speake) both of the effect, and of the action of the same cause. Free-wil then is nothing els in my iudgment, but the decree or endeuour of the wil, which is without constraint, and which proceedeth from some inward mo­tion of the will, and not from any externall constraining [Page 228] power. A question may be demaunded whether the will when it doth freely execute his function & office in wil­ling freely, or nilling any thing, whether I say, the mind and vnderstanding haue not some working herein? I an­swer, that obiect, whatsoeuer it be which the wil, & ye free functiō therof doth respect, is first discerned by the mind.

The iudgment aiso of the mind is two fold: first, simple Iudgment of the mind twofold. and intelligible; as when without any discourse and reasoning, it iudgeth that this is good, & that is euil; this is to be followed, and that to be auoyded. This iudgment of the mind is of the end, or of some meanes seruing to the end, which is but only one. Next, the iudgement of the mind is, when as by discourse, and arguing, it iud­geth any thing to be good or euill; to bee auoyded, or to be followed. This iudgment is where diuers meanes fall out, of which, after discourse had in the mind, one is chosen, and the other is reiected. Now the obiect which by the mind and vnderstanding is in some sort shewed and discerned, the will doth freely will, or nill; choose, or refuse: howbeit since the fal of man, such is the confusion of these faculties, or powers of the mind of man, that what the vnderstanding iudgeth to be euill, and disallo­weth, the very same doth the wil chuse, and prosecute: The disorder and confusion. which is by na­ture in the soule of man. and on the contrary, that which the mind approueth for good, and alloweth, that very same the wil reiecteth. Of the mind it may be demaunded, whether it can discerne betweene good and euil; approue the one, improue the other. This question must be answered by the considera­tion of that fourefold state of man. But because the que­stion chiefly is of the vnderstanding of man in the state of corruptiō, whether that can approue or accept the good, and reiect the euill: our answer shal be accordingly: We say therefore, that if you vnderstand that neere power, which is a consequent of that corrupt essential forme, the mind of man, in this state can but only allow that which is euil: It may also allow that which is good in it selfe, but [Page 229] not as it is truly good, because it cannot allow it, neither in the manner, nor to the end it ought, as is aforesaide of will. But to approue that good, which we call humane good, the mind of man in the state of corruption is more inclinable: but far is from intertaining any spirituall good at all, for as the Apostle Saint Paul saith, 1. Cori. 1. 2. 4. It iudgeth euery spirituall grace to be folly; for the things which are of the Spirit of God are foolishnesse vnto him. And thus farre haue we spoken concerning the freedome of mans wil, or of free-will. It followeth now that we speak next of the grace of God, which is contrary to free will, or to nature, and which is not onely the principall effi­cient cause of Faith, Hope, & repentance, but also the sole efficient cause of them: It followeth then that we treate next of the free grace of God.

CHAP. XXXVIII. Concerning the free grace of God.

THe grace of God is the vndeserued fauour of God, or it is that whereby God fauoureth his creature without any desert of his. Th'Apostle Grace described. dooth intimate thus much Ephes. 1. 9. in that he putteth no difference betweene these words Grace, and a good pleasure: for whereas he saith in that verse, that God [...] had elected vs according to his free grace, it seemes to bee spoken in the same sense and meaning with that which [Page 230] he said before in the same chapter, ver. 7. In him we haue re­demption according to the riches of his grace: for the grace & loue of God are taken in differently one for another, Ro. 9. 13. I haue loued Iacob. This is that loue or that free grace wherewith from all eternity he loued Iacob. Eph. 3. 19. That (saith he) You being rooted and grounded in loue. &c. And this is that grace whereby he loued vs from all eternity Tit. 3. vers. 4. The grace of God as it respecteth mankindis called [...] or loue towardds Man.

Againe, this word Grace is taken more generally, then this word Mercy, for whereas mercy doth properly re­spect such as are in misery & sinners: grace reacheth vnto al creatures of what kind or condition soeuer they be, as­well to the blessed Angels as to sinful mē, as may appeare by the salutation which Paul vseth to Timot. in the first, & second epistle, where he wisheth first grace to Tymothy, as being a more generall thing: then in the second place mercy, as a more particular thing, restraining it to the Grace more gene­rall then mercy. person saluted. For although in those salutations Grace and Mercy are taken metoymically for the blessings and benefits which are conferred, and conueyed to men of Gods free grace and mercy: yet hereby may appeare that the mercy of God, which is the cause & fountaine of these benefits hath not so generall an acception as grace. For the meaning of the words is thus much, as if the Apostle had sayd, the benefits which God doth giue vs, are freely bestowed vpon vs, without any desert of ours, and not only without desert, but to vs which deserue to be puni­shed with all the miseries and calamities that can be.

That it may further appeare that all the blessings and benefits of God, are deriued and conueyed vnto vs by meanes of his grace, and same fauour of God, wee will search into and consider more deepely of the doctrine of grace. God from and before all eternity, purposed to be glorified specially in his grace, Ro. 11. 32. God hath shut vp all in vnbeleefe, that he might haue mercy vpon all. In which [Page 231] place we may see the iustice of God, to attend on his mer­cy and grace. So in like manner all the other essentiall pro­perties of God, as his power and wisdome, &c. all which be subordained to serue his grace and mercy. Hence it is that first of all, God before all eternity past his decrees of grace to the praise and glory of his grace. Ephe 1. 6. 12. The 1. decree of Gods free grace. The first decree of Gods free grace, was cōcerning the in­carnation of his Sonne, and the glorifying of him, at the appointed time, vnto the praise of his grace. Concerning the decree of his Son Christ, read Act. 2. 23. & 4. 28. on­cerning the loue of the father to Christ, Colos. 1. 29. Because the Father was well pleased in him: where you may see that the loue of the Father is the cause why the fulnesse of the deity doth dwell corporally in Christ: for it was of his admirable grace that God would haue flesh, yt is, so base and vile a creature to be vnited vnto God, the glorious and incomparable creator. The second decree procee­ding 2. Decree of Gods free grace. from grace, was concerning the first creation of man after his owne image: then after the fall, concerning his restoring by his Sonne Iesus, I trust, vnto the image of his Sonne: that is to say, by calling, iustifying, and glorifying of man to the glory of Christ, and to the praise of his own grace in his appointed time. For the restoring and repay­ring of manking after the fall, is summarily set downe in these three chiefe points: read Eph. 1. 4. 5. Ro. 9. 11. Ro. 11. 5. 6.

Hence followeth the execution of these decrees by same grace of God, and the first execution was of the decree of God concerning man; which by order of Execution of Gods free grace. nature had the second place, for that which was first in de­cree and ordination, became the second in execution; and contrarily, that which was the second in decree and ordi­nation, became the first in execution. Therefore the exe­cution of the decree of God concerning man hath the first place, and the same was of the free grace of God, vnto the glory & praise of the same grace. Therfore the execu­tion [Page 232] of the decree of God concerning man to speak some thing thereof, was first the creation of man, of Gods free grace after the image of his creatour, and to the praise of that his grace. Then after the fall of man followed the re­stitution of man, of Gods free grace in and by his Sonne Christ, to the glory of Christ his Sonne, and to the praise of the grace of God the Father. This repairing, which is one of the parts of the execution of the decree of God concerning man consisteth of many parts all which pro­ceede from the meere grace of God, and first tend to the glory of Christ the head, and our mediator between God & man: next, to the praise of ye grace of God the father. 1. Co. 3. 22. 23. Al things are yours, & you are Christs, & Christ is Gods. And concerning this restoring of mankind, before we come to the parts therof ye must be aduertised, that in time it partly went before the execution of that decree, concerning Christ the Sonne of God; and partly did fol­low after it: For before the fulnes of time came, where­in Christ was manifested in the flesh, God begā to restore mankind, euen from the very fall of the first man, that is, men were called, iustified, and glorified: and that part­ly by vertue of that decree concerning Christ, which was from euerlasting; & partly because of the manifestati­on of the same Christ which was to come. But when that fulnes of time came, & when Christ was now manifested in the flesh, had suffered and was glorified, this redemp­tion of man was more fully and richly accomplished. For Christ being now come works our restitution more effe­ctually by his Gospel, I meane his power is more effectu­ally seene and knowne in our vocation, iustification, and glorification, then it was before his incarnation. There­fore the execution of the decree concerning Christ the Son of God, which was first, falleth now as it were into ye midst of the repairing of mankind, or of the execution of the decree concerning mans redemption. Wherefore we shal also speak thereof in the middle place, that so from it [Page 233] we may proceede to speake of the parts of the redempti­on of mankind.

The execution then of that decree touching the Son of The execution of the decree con­cerning Christ. God Iesus Christ consisteth in his incarnation, passion, and glorification, and that of the free grace of God which respected partly the humanity of Christ, & partly respec­ted vs, who be repaired and redeemed by that same very flesh of Christ hypostatically vnited vnto the Son of God. Therfore the execution of the decree concerning the Son of God Iesus Christ, did proceed from a double grace, & was to the praise of that grace of God.

Now I come to speake of the recouery or redemption The execution of the decree concerning. mans redemptiō. of mankind, or of the execution of the decree concerning the restitution of man: the parts hereof briefely be these: vocation, iustification, glorificatiō. Our calling, to speak thereof in the first place, is by Gods free grace, and that in a double: respect, for first in our effectuall calling the publishing of the couenāt, & the preaching of the gospel, is of the only free grace of God. Ephe. 1. 9. Hauing opened Our calling is by grace. vnto vs (saith he) the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure. Next faith, whereby we receiue the promise of the couenant, which is offered vnto vs in Christ, is of the Faith. meere grace of God. Philip. 1. 29. For vnto you it is giuen for Christ, not only to beleeue, but also to suffer for him. Hence it followeth that faith is the free gift of God. That former grace may be called the grace of our vocation, this grace is common to all that are called elect and reprobate. But the latter grace in our effectuall calling, may bee called the grace of faith, appertaining only to the elect: for it is gi­uē only to those that are predestinated, to life euerlasting, to beleeue. Vnder the grace of faith I likewise compre­hend the grace of hope, and of repentance, as being sub­alterne graces, & comprehended vnder this argument of our effectuall calling.

The grace of iustification followeth this double grace in our effectuall calling: For that very imputation which follweth faith, and that apprehension of faith in our effec­tuall [Page 234] calling proceed also of a certaine new grace of God: For it cannot be but of grace that the iustice, and satisfac­tion of another should be imputed or accounted vnto vs as ours, Ro. 3. 14. We are iustified freely, that is, by grace; as els where often. This grace the Apostle doth alwaies oppose to works, and to merits, making it the companion of faith Merits. in Christ: for the free grace of God doth well agree, and stand with the merits of Christ apprehended by faith; not only because that merit is not ours but Christs, that is, the merit of God himself, but much more rather, because the satisfaction and merit of Christ is of Gods free grace and meere mercy: For God spared not his Son, but gaue him to dy for vs. Ro. 8. 32. Hence it is, that the grace of God dooth more appeare in this satisfaction and merit of his, then if he had iustified vs without any merit at all, either of our own or of any other.

Therefore the free grace of God dooth very well stand with that merit, which God gaue vs of his owne. And if that merit and price of our redemption had not bin paid by God himselfe, then surely the grace of God had not so manifestly appeared in our redemption. And as for mans merit, we say that the grace of God cannot in any wise stand with it.

The grace of glorification, or regeneration, followeth the grace of iustification; for as pronunciation, & giuing of sentence is of grace; so the execution thereof is likewise of grace: for regeneration or glorification is a certaine execution of the sentence of iustification aforegoing. Of Regeneration or glorification is as it were an execution of the sen­tence of iustifi­cation. this grace see. 1. Pe. 2. 3. Who of his great mercy hath begotten vs vnto a liuely hope. Tit 3. 5. According to his mercy he saued vs by the fountaine of regeneration and renewing of the holy Ghost. Eph. 2. 5. 8. They are saued by grace.

Here ye must obserue that in this worke of the restituti­on of mankind, and that in all the parts thereof, there is but one only grace of God, which is the beginning and first cause of all these proceedings: but we according to [Page 235] the varietie of the effects thereof doe thus distinguish it, and consider of it diuersly: like as the spirit of God which is one 1. Cor. 12. 4. in respect of the diuersitie of the gifts and effects thereof, is after a sort distinguished, for that in some respect (but not indeede and verity) he seemes not to be one and the same (as it were) Rom. 8. 15. For you haue not receiued the spirit of bondage to feare any more, but you haue receiued the spirit of adoption.

By this that hath been spoken, vnderstand that there are as it were 4. graces of God in the restoring of mankind, and in the parts thereof. For whereas there is a double mercy of God in our effectuall vocation, to wit: First, an offering of Christ with all his benefits, in the couenant of grace, or the Gospell: secondly, faith to receiue Christ being offered (vnder faith I comprehend hope and re­pentance, which follow faith) Therefore in our effctuall Parts of our effe­ctual calling. calling two graces must bee vnderstood the grace of our vocation, or of offering Christ vnto vs, and the grace of faith, or of receiuing Christ by vs. In iustification we haue a third grace, which we may cal the grace of iustification; & in glorification there is a fourth grace; which we may not vnfittly call the grace; of glorification.

Hence we may see, that the first grace (which they call preuenting grace,) is that grace whereby God first calleth vs to himselfe by his Gospel; and the last grace which is Preuenting grace the complement of grace, to be that grace whereby God doth glorify vs together with his Sonne in his kingdome: for he beginneth the last grace in this life by regeneratiō, but reserueth the full consūmation therof to another life by glorification. Thus much of the parts of the restitutiō of mankind, all which proceed from the meere grace of God, and are directed vnto the glory of his grace.

We must obserue this in general, that al the blessings of God as wel those that were from al eternity, as those that are in time, be founded vpon the only and meere grace of God. And that in respect of grace there is no difference [Page 236] betweene those benefits of God, that were before all worlds, as his prescience, and predestination, and these which are in time, as our vocatiō, iustificatiō, glorificatiō.

This is the truth of God, & it will stand in despite of all the aduersaries & enemies of the grace & crosse of Christ, which notwithstāding hold I know not what freedom of will, & that our meritorious works do cōcurre in our vo­tion, iustification & glorification, with the grace of God. For as touching our calling, although they confesse this to be true, that preuenting grace (as they speak) doth so preuent or preoccupy vs, euen then, when we thinke no­thing of the grace of God, or of preparing our selues to receiue grace, but being (as it were) a sleep in sin: yet they do ascribe to free-wil, that affiance which we giue vnto faith, wherby we assent vnto preuenting grace, & admit ye same: as though we had any actual free-wil, or self power, (as they speak) to receiue the grace of God. We do grant some power or freedome of wil, wherby it inclines after a sort vnto that which is is good: I vnderstand a power of the matter: but wee do vtterly deny that men by nature haue any actual free-will, or that we haue a selfe power to do that which is good, as it is good. That selfe or neere power of will, or liberty of will to good, I define to be that liberty in the will, which is by the essentiall forme of Potentia pro­pinqua. holinesse, or by the image of God which is imprinted in the will, as may appeare in the Chap. of free-will before handled. Therefore wee hold, and teach that in receiuing the first grace, our will stands before God meere passiuely and not actiuely, that is when the free grace of God pre­uenteth it, we say it hath a power vnto good, but the same to be of the matter only (as schoolemen speak) & passiue, which they call a remote power. Againe, we auouch that the same power is made actual, by meanes of diuine grace preuenting vs, yt is, by the working of the holy spirit, who taketh possession as it were of vs by the preaching of the Gospell, whereby the holy Ghost doth renue our hearts, [Page 237] inspiring that life of God into vs, frō which we were be­fore altogether strangers: as it is writtē Eph. 4. 17. 18. 19. creating in vs againe that image of God which was lost, that image (I say) of holinesse, & true righteousnesse.

As touching our iustification where our aduersaries do affirme that it is two fold, terming ye 1. habituall & the 2. Popish iustifica­tion. actuall: they say, that we are prepared by our free-will, to the 1. iustification, as by a principal agent, & by the grace working together with the same. But as for the 2. iustifi­cation, that they place in works proceeding from free wil & from our▪first iustificatiō, which they cal infused grace. And here they ascribe life euerlasting to the merit of this 2. iustification, which dooth consist in the workes of our free-will and of infused grace (as they call it.)

Hence we may see, that they do not attribute to the only grace of God, any of the former benefits, neither iustifica­tiō, nor vocatiō, nor glorificatiō, nor any of those spiritual graces, which God in time giues to his children: But they do part them betweene Gods grace, free-will, and mans merit. Finally, if any comparison be made between God, & vs concerning the conferring of these benefits, we shall Note. find them to ascribe more to vs, and our free-will, & our works, then to the grace of God. But we haue written somewhat of this before in the chapters of our effectuall calling of repentance, & of free-wil. Therefore I refer the reader to these places, and here I end this matter.

Thus far then haue we spoken of this common place of our effectuall calling, which because it comprehendeth vnder it many other points of diuinity, it may be wel rec­koned amongst the most generall heads of Theologie.

OF THE MEANES WHERE­by God from the beginning hath reuealed both his couenants vnto Mankind.


HOW many waies are there, whereby God from the beginning hath reuealed all his will, that is, Kinds or forms of reuelation. the doctrine of both couenants, of works & grace, vnto mankind?

A. They are two.

Q. Which be they.

A. The first is a liuely voice: the second is the Scrip­ture.

Q. What callest thou a liuely voice.

A. The first meanes of reuelation, whereby God part­ly by his owne mouth, and partly by men, hath manife­sted VVhat is meant by a liuely voice. the whole doctrine of both couenants to his church, from time to time.

Q. What were the instruments of that liuely voice from the beginning?

A. First, God himselfe spake sometimes by his Sonne in VVhose it was. the forme or likenes of man, appearing to the Fathers; sometimes by his spirit inwardly in the heart. Secondly, the liuely voice of Angels was heard: Thirdly, the liuely voice of men, first of the Fathers, then of Moses, and the Prophets; after that, of Iohn the Baptist vntil Christ. Then [Page 239] lowed Christ himselfe manifested in the flesh. Last of all, the liuely voice of the Apostles of Christ.

Q. This kind of reuelation which was by a liuely voice of al The quality of it. these whom you haue named, was it by inspiration and altoge­ther free from error?

A. Concerning the liuely voice of God himselfe, of Christ and of the Angels, there is no question: and as concerning men, whose liuely voice God hath vsed from the beginning of the world hitherto, in reuealing his wil to his Church, they truly albeit they were sinfull men, and in part onely regenerate; notwithstanding in the de­liuery of the doctrine of the truth of both couenants, they were so extraordinarily gouerned and inspired with the Holy Spirit of God, that they could by no meanes erre.

Q. Doest thou meane then, that all men, as manie as haue beene from the beginning of the world hitherto (by whose mouth God hath-spoken to his Church) were men extraordinary, endu­ed with extraordinary gifts of the holy Ghost, & confirmed by miracles.

A. I meane euen so: for prophecy in times past came not by the will of man, but holy men spake as they were moued by the spirit of God. 2. Pet. 1. 2.

Q. At what time began this liuely voice in the Church? VVhen it began.

A. It began euen in the first creation of man.

Q. How long hath the liuely voice of God and men, who could not erre in deliuering the doctrine of the truth continued Continuance of it. in the Church of God?

A. It hath been from the beginning of the world, euen to the death of the Apostles: all which time, there was al­most no age, wherein at least some one holy man of God, was not extraordinarily stirred vp; who could not erre in deliuering the doctrine of the truth.

Q. Why doe you say almost: was there anie intermission at all?

A. Truly there was: but I will name onely some more notable intermissions, which may be gathered out of the [Page 240] holy scriptures. First in the age of the Patriarches it is ob­serued, that there was an intermission in Terachs time who was the Father of Abraham: for albeit he retained some grounds of truth receiued from his Fathers, not­withstanding he became an Apostata and an Idolater, as is manifest by the historie. Next, there was an intermission also, when the people liued in Egypt: for from the death of the Sonnes of Iacob, euen to the departure out of Egypt, Ezechiel testifieth Chapter 20. that al the people were fallen frō God to the Idols of the Egyptians. Lastly, there was an intermission from Malachy the last of the Prophets vntil Iohn Baptist, in all which time no Prophet was raised vp; notwithstanding the word of God was cōtinued, amongst the people of ye Iewes by high Priests and the ordinary ministery, but not without corruptions: so that at the comming of Christ for the more part, the doctrine of truth was now corrupted.

Q. Ought not the liuely voice of God, which is not subiect to errour, bee continued in the Church vntil the comming of VVhether a liuely voice not sub­iect to error con­tinues til Christ. Christ; because you said that this liuely voice did continue in the Church till the comming of the Apostles only?

A. The liuely voice of Christ continues in the Church, I confesse, but not the liuely voice either of God or of ex­traordinary men, such as were the Fathers, Prophets, and Apostles: but only the liuely voice of ordinary men, of pa­stours and doctors, who both may erre, & do erre when­soeuer they depart neuer so little, from the prescript word of the Prophets and Apostles.

Q. But God hath giuen a greater measure of his holie spirit, to his Church which now is vnder Christ, then euer he gaue to the old Church. Therefore if in the old Church there was a liuelie voice which could not erre, how much more shall there be now in the Church of Christ a liuelie voice which cannot erre.

A. It is true indeed, that together with this full reue­lation, which is cōtained in the writings of the Apostles, a more full spirit was giuen to the Church of Christ, [Page 241] which now is, then was giuen to the the old Church: But hence it followeth not, that either the Church, or the Pa­stors and doctors in the Church, are so gouerned with that Spirit, that they cannot at all erre in deliuering the truth: For this was the extraordinarie gift of the holy Ghost, which was giuen but for a time; but the gift of the Spirit which was giuen to the Church of Christ since the times of the Apostles, is ordinarie and perpetuall, to wit, the gift of sanctification, illumination, and regene­ration.

Q. The Church then which now is, seemes to be in a worse case, then the old Church was, which had the liuely voice of God, & of men which could not erre?

A. That doth not follow: for this Scripture of the Prophets and Apostles, which nowe the Church hath, doth not erre in doctrine, and containes also a most full and most cleare reuelation of the truth.

Q. Albeit I should graunt the condition of our Church to better then of that old Church which was before Moses, and which had the tradition and vse onely of the liuely voice, and that verie imperfect and obscure: notwithstanding I see not how the Church was not in better case, which was after Moses, euen to the comming of Christ, as hauing not onely the vse of tradition, and of a liuelie voice, but also of the Propheticall Scripture, as a light shining in a dark place?

A. Truly that Church had both, that is, both the sound of a liuely voice, and of the Scripture and written word of God; but neither perfect, and absolute. But this Scripture which our Church alone hath, containes a most full and plaine reuelation: for euen one forme or maner and kind of reuelation, which is perfect and full must be more excellent, then two which are both imperfect, or which containe an imperfect reuelation of the truth.

Q. But there is no man who would not say, it were better with this our Church, if it had some liuelie voice which in spea­king and answering to all controuersies, might not erre?

[Page 242] A. They haue Moses, the Ptophets and Apostles, that is, the writings of Moses, of the Prophets, and of the A­postles, and those truely not onely sufficient, but most perfect: whēce only if they cānot learne the truth by thē, and decide and end all controuersies, they will not be in­structed with the liuely voyce of anie extraordinary man: howbeit, as I haue said before, the liuely voice was to continue onely so long in the Church, as some thing was wanting to the full declaration of the mystery of Christ. So that if now there should be any need of the liuely voice either of God, or of some extraordi­narie man in the Church of Christ; that truly should plainely argue, that the reuelation of the truth and my­sterie of Christ, is not perfect as yet, nor accomplished.

Q. You conclude then, that since the Apostles time there hath beene no liuelie voice heard in the Church, which could not erre.

A. Yea truely.

Q. Whie did a liuelie voice not subiect to errour, continue in the Church all that time, which was from Adam to the Apo­stles?

A. To speake nothing of the will of God, with the which alone we ought to rest contented; first, the condi­tion of the Church did require this continuance: & then the measure of the reuelation that then was.

Q. Whie the condition of the Church?

A. Because the visible Church in all that time, which was from Adam to the Apostles, was both in place more streight, as being shut vp in one family, or in one nation, & was by reason of age weaker, or not so wel growne. For the Church before Christ (if I may so speake) was ei­ther as a child, or as a young man.

Q. What then?

A. The liuely voice doth more easily reach, or extend it selfe to a Church, which is in place more streight, and to the Saints fewer in number: & the church being as yet [Page 243] vnexpert by reason of the age of it, and lesse growne, had neede of the liuely voice of a teacher, none otherwise then children haue neede of the liuely voice of a maister, who as it were stammereth with them: but after the com­ming of Christ, when the Church was sufficiently instru­cted by the liuely voice of Christ, and of his Apostles, and now come to mans estate, there was no more heard anie liuely voice either of God, or of men extraordinarie.

Q. Whie did the measure of Reuelation require this?

A. Because all that time, which was from Adam to the Apostles, there remained as yet some thing more clearely and more manifestly to be reuealed; and the re­uelation of the doctrine was in seuerall ages, made more manifest still as pertaining to the substance of it: and so long, as some thing remained to be more clearely reuea­led, so long a liuely voice was to continue; for euerie new reuelation ought first to begin with a liuely voice.

Q. Seeing that the last and most full reuelation was by the liuelie voice of Christ and his Apostles: hath there euer since beene heard anie liuely voice, either of God or of anie ex­traordinarie man?

A. None at all.

Q. Do you gather by these things which you haue spoken, concerning the causes of the continuance of a liuelie voice in the Church, what was the vse of it heretofore in the Church?

A. Yea truly: for the vse of it was first in respect of the Church it selfe, to giue it instruction while it was yet so small for place, and so young in knowledge: next, in re­spect of reuelation, to deliuer it from time to time more cleerly and euidently vnto the people.

Q. By this vse of a liuelie voice, which you haue here men­tioned, it seems that this kind of ruelatiō, which was by a liuely voice, was the more simple and the more familiar, and the more imperfect, and therefore the more fit for persons and things that were of like imperfection?

[Page 244] A. It is euen so as you haue said.

Q. Hitherto I haue heard you speake concerning a liuelie voice: now I would heare something of you concerning the sub­iect of it, what say you then was taught all that time by a liuely voice?

A. In al that time, and in euery age the selfe same, and the whole truth of God was deliuered by a liuely voice. The subiector master of the liuely voice.

Q. Wherefore then, said you, that the perfect manifestation of that mysterie of godlinesse was not accomplished till the A­postles time?

A. By that fulnesse & perfection I vnderstood not the substance of the doctrine it selfe, but the quality, that is, the clearenesse of one and the same doctrine. For the my­sterie of Christ was in the Church, and was manifested in some measure from Adam vnto Christ, and the Apo­stles: but if the comparison be made of times, it may be said to be shut & hidden in all ages before the comming of Christ.

Q. Was the paritie of the heauenlie doctrine sufficientlie conserued and kept, by a liuely voice?

A. The historie shewes plainely that the doctrine de­liuered by liuely voice, was often corrupted and adul­terated.

Q. How then was it restored?

It seemed good to God, afterward by new reuelations to restore the puritie of his word decayed, to conserue and keepe it, and to giue a more full declaration of it.

Q. Was the puritie of doctrine sufficientlie preserued and kept so?

A. Not so verily: and therefore it seemed good to God, at length to adde hereunto the written word.

Q. Are there no other causes of writing the holie Scrip­tures?

A. There are: for first the condition of the Church re­quired, that the Scripture should be added vnto the liue­ly voice: and next, the measure also of reuelation.

[Page 245]Q. Why the condition of the Church?

A. Because at length, in Moses time, the Church began to be both in place more large, as being spred through­out a whole nation, and to grow greater and riper in yeares: for the time from Moses vnto Christ, was as it were, the time of the midde age, or young yeares of the Church.

Q. What then?

A. The written word therefore was first in respect both of place, and ripenesse of age: for both a whole na­tion is more easily taught by writing then by voice: and the age which is more ripe, is more capable of that do­ctrine which is deliuered by writing, that is, by that kind of reuelation which is not so familiar and simple: and by writing doth more easily conceiue any mans meaning.

Q. Why doth the measure of reuelation require the written word?

A. Because whereas before Moses, the reuelation of the mysterie of godlinesse was small and very obscure, it seemed not good to the Lord to cause it straight waies to be written, to the intent it might be kept for posteritie. But when in Moses time the Reuelation began to bee much more cleare then before, then it seemed good vn­to God to commit it to writing, to the intent it might be reserued, and remain for those which should come after. For that which is more perfect and full, that wee are to write, to this end, that it may remaine both for vs and our posterity; but that which is more imperfect, that we doe not esteeme worthy the writing, or to be reserued vnto posterity.

Q. Before you go anie further, I would haue you declaare vnto me the ages of the Church, where of you haue so oft made mention?

A. I will so do.

Q. How manie ages then, say you, are there of the Church?

A. Three: the first was from Adam vnto Moses, which [Page 246] was the infancy and childhood of the Church: the se­cond from Moses vnto Christ, which was the youth or middle age of the Church: the third, from Christ and his Apostles, euen vnto the end, which may be called the ripe age of the Church, if it be compared with the ages past: for otherwise we are not men growne vntill we bee gathered together with Christ our head in heauen.

Q. Do you meane then, that God had respect alwaies of these three ages, in his proceedings with his Church?

A. I meane so indeed: for (that I may so speake) hee hath tempered these three things proportionally to these three ages of the Church: to wit, first the measure of reuelation: secondly, his holy Spirit: thirdly, the man­ner of reuelation.

Q. Declare I pray you more particularlie what you haue said?

A. To the infancie and childhood of the Church, he gaue the least measure of reuelation to wit, first, the first principles of religion onely. Secondly, the least measure of the holy Spirit, to wit, that which was proportionable to the reuelation. Thirdly, one onely kind of reuelati­on, which was by liuely voice, as being the most fit for the instruction of infants, and of such as were weake in the faith.

Q. I vnderstand what you saie concerning the first age of the Church: now I would haue you speake concerning the mid­dle age, which you call the youth of it, and to applie these three things mentioned to it in like manner?

To the middle age of the Church he gaue first a grea­ter measure of reuelation. Secondly (so to speake) a grea­ter portion of the holy Spirit. Thirdly, a double kind of reuelation, the liuely voice, and the Scripture. The liuely voice I say, because as yet it was but weake: and the writ­ten word; because it was in age better growne, and so more capable in some sort of the word written: for God hath tempered these two kinds of reuelations together, and of both hath made a middle kind of reuelation, ac­cording [Page 247] to the time and age which wee call the middle, and as it were the temperate age.

Q. You haue spoken of the first & second age of the Church, now I pray you speake of the third.

A. To the third age of the Church (which I call the manly or ripe age) he gaue first a full measure of reuela­tion. Secondly, a most plentifull effusion of the holy Ghost. Thirdly, both those kinds of reuelation, and that now truly containing a full and perfect reuelation; hee taught it by liuely voice for a certaine time: & after this, he added the writings of the Apostles. And when as the mystery of our saluation was fully reuealed by that liue­ly voice first, and then that full reuelation was written, euer since there hath beene no more vse of the liuely voice of any extraordinarie Prophet or Apostle. But the Scriptures written first by the Prophets, and after by the Apostles, remained only without any liuely voice, which could not erre.

Q. Where must wee begin to count the third age of the Church?

A. Not so much from the comming of Christ, and the sending of his Apostles to all nations, as from that time when the Apostles ceased to speake with liuely voice as­wel to the Iewes as to the Gentiles: for euen then the Church catholick came to mans estate & full growth, and then the Church began to vnderstand and to learne the wil of God by the written word, as being a more ac­curate and perfect manner of reuelation. The time then which was frō the cōming of Christ vntil the death of the Apostles, was as it were a passage from the middle age of the church, vnto the ful growth & ripenes of the same.

Q. I vnderstand what you say cōcerning the causes of additiō of the written word to the liuely voice, & of the seuerall ages of the Church: now I would haue you speake some thing concer­ning the scripture, or of the writing of Gods word.

A. I will do so.

[Page 248]Q. What then call you writing or Scripture?

A. I call scripture or writing the second kind of reuela­tion, whereby God either by himselfe, or by the meanes of men extraordinarily reuealed those things, which already had beene deliuered by liuely voice before, to wit, in that first kind of reuelation.

Q. Who then were they, who euer since the beginning haue written?

A. First, God himselfe, next, men Moses, the Prophets, and the Apostles.

Q. This kind of reuelation which was by writing, was it not subiect to error, like as that kind which was by a liuely voice?

A. No truly: for concerning that which God himselfe did write, there is no question: and touching men, they were so extraordinarily inspired and gouerned by the spi­rit of God, that in writing they could not erre at all.

Q. When began it then to be written?

A. In Moses time.

Q. How long did the word written continue in the Church?

A. The scripture or the act of writing continued from Moses, euen to the Apostles: all which time there was al­most no age wherein extraordinarily some one was not stirred vp, who in deliuering the doctrine of truth by wri­ting, could not erre.

Q. You thinke otherwise of the scripture it selfe, then of the act of writing?

A. I do so: for the scripture it self or that which is now written by Moses, the Prophets, and Apostles yet conti­nues in the Church, and shall continue vnto the second comming of Christ.

Q. Was there any intermission of writing the word from Moses vnto the Apostles?

A. There was: for it appeareth in all that time, which was frō Malachy to Iohn the Baptist none was stirred vp, either Prophet, or writer inspired by God: for the books of the Machabees be not giuen by inspiration, as we shal shew hereafter.

[Page 249]Q. You said that writing continued in the Church vntil the time of the Apostles, ought it not then to continue euen vnto the end?

A. Like as since the Apostles time there is no liuely voice heard in the Church, which can be said to be so go­ned by the holy Ghost, that it can not erre at all: So since the Apostles, nothing is written in the church, which may worthily be called or said to be giuen by inspiration.

Q. What then do you think of so many writings of godly and learned men, which haue been published since the times of the Apostles from time to time, to the great good and profit of the Church?

A. Verely I thinke of the writings of Pastors and Doc­tors in the Church, as I think of their preaching, to wit, that both be subiect to errour, and neither is so gouer­ned by the holy Ghost, but that in deliuering the truth of God they may erre.

Q. It seemeth then that the condition of the Church, which is since the time of the Apostles, is not so good as hauing neither the liuely voice (as is afore said) nor the writings, as now you speak, of those very mē who in deliuering the truth cannot erre?

A. It hath the scriptures of the prophets and Apostles, which as pertaining to the substance of reuelation is full; and as touching the kind & forme of reuelation, it is gi­uē by inspiration & not subiect to error: out of the which scripture, whosoeuer do not learne all things which are necessary to faith and saluation, assuredly such would not receiue from the mouth of God himself, openly speaking in an audible and intelligible voice, the doctrine and in­structon of faith and saluation.

Q. Wherefore did the Lord so continue to record his will by The cause of the continuance of▪ writing Gods word. writing in the Church all that time, which was from Moses to the Apostles?

A. There are the same causes of the continuance thereof, as are of the addition of the liuely voice vnto writing: For both the condition of the church and [Page 248] the measure of reuelation required the same.

Q. Why the condition of the Church?

A. Because the church continually increased and grew, as in number so in knowledge.

Q. What then?

A. The greater number and riper knowledge do require this, that the word be written.

Q. Why the measure of reuelation?

A. Because the reuelation of the doctrine of saluation, was from time to time made more cleare and manifest, e­uen vnto the times of Christ & of his Apostles; at which time it was in the end compleate and perfected. For it was meete that euery reuelation manifested more cleere­ly & fully, should be recorded in writing, to this end, that it might be surely kept and deliuered to posterities.

Q. Can ye gather by these things the vse of the continuance The vse of wri­ting. of scripture in the Church of God.

A. Yea truly.

Q. What is then the vse of it?

A. To passe by the conseruation of the purity of doc­trine, the first vse was in respect of the Church, for the in­structiō thereof, as being now in place more ample & large, & in knowledge more perfect. Secondly, it was in respect of the reuelation of the doctrine it selfe, that it might cō ­prehend and keepe it more fully and cleerely.

Q. By this vse of scripture or writing which you giue, it seemes that this kind of reuelation which is by writing, is some­what more perfect & high, as that which is best agreeing & fit­ting to persons and things that are more perfect?

A. It is euen so.

Q. Thus far then forwriting or scripture: now I would haue you declare something vnto me concerning the subiect of this writing, & of the matter it selfe which is written?

A. As touching the substance the very same is written which was before deliuered by the liuely voice.

Q. I pray you speak in order vnto me of the subiect or argu­ment [Page 249] in scripture, written first by God himself: secondly, by mē, by Moses, the Prophets and Apostles?

A. I will do so.

Q. What then hath God written?

A. The sum of the doctrine of the couenant of works, & of the law, euen the very same which he had deliuered first by a liuely voice to the Fathers, and to Moses.

Q. What hath Moses written?

A. All the celestiall doctrine, which he had receiued partly of the fathers by tradition, partly of God himselfe, Moses books who spake mouth to mouth with him; for so the scripture speaketh: partly he had learned of the holy Ghost by an inward inspiration; & to speake in a word, whatsoeuer had happened to him, and to all the people in his life time, for the space of 100. and 20. yeares, all these things he com­mitted to writing and gaue to the people.

Q. Did Moses then write what soeuer true doctrine was de­liuered from the beginning of the world to that time?

A. Moses omitted no point of true doctrine, which at any time had bene deliuered concerning either faith or manners: for from the beginning vntil that very time one and the same doctrine of truth, as touching the substance, was taught full and whole, in all ages. The difference on­ly was in the measure of the reuelation of it, that it is acci­dentall & Moses deliuered this doctrine fully and wholy by liuely voice more cleerely and manifestly then euer before: then after this, it was recorded in writing.

Q. What did the Prophets write, who followed Moses euerie one in their time, and order?

A. The same and all, as touching the substance, which Moses had written before; the difference only was here­in: that euery one by reuelation did adde a more cleare & manifest interpretation, as the bright morning starre did approch more neere.

Q. What haue the Apostles written after the Prophets.

A. All and the same, which from the beginning of the [Page 252] world in al ages before them was both by liuely & audi­ble voice deliuered and written; they first also by a liuely voice deliuered the same, and after committed it to wri­ting.

Q. Doe you then make no difference betwixt the writings of the Prophets and of the Apostles?

A. In the matter and substance none; in the clearenes and perspicuity thereof, very great: for the scripture of the Apostles conteineth the same reuelation of the mystery which was declared from the beginning of the world, but most fully and most clearely.

Q. I haue heard you speake concerning both kinds of reue­lation, considered without comparison: now I would haue you to compare together the liuely voice & writing, that by comparison it may appeare whether is of greater dignity & authority.

A. I will compare them together, the liuely voice and scripture are compared either in respect of substance and matter is selfe, which is reuealed by these meanes, or in re­spect of the kinds of ye reuelatiō of it. If cōparison be made in regard of the matter or substance, they must needes be both equall & alike, seeing that the matter in either is one and the same: but if you compare the kinds of reuclation together, it cānot truly be denied but that the first & bet­ter place is due to the liuely voice, seeing that the liuely voice is both in respect of time more auncient, & was be­fore the organs or instruments thereof (for the mouth is an instrument more worthy & to be preferred before the hand) and is a kind of teaching more familiar & more fit for the capacity of such, as are more rude & ignorant. Al­beit also in some respects writing is to be preferred before the liuely voice: For it is a more perfect & accurate kind of reuelation, fit to instruct those that are more perfect, & to keepe the truth more firmely. In the meane while it cā ­not be denied, but yt in other respects they are both alike, for they haue both spoken, & written the same thing, & in the same manner, to wit, as being guided & moued by the [Page 253] holy Ghost & inspired of God, 2. Pet. 1. 21. 2. Tim. 3. 16. To conclude, seeing that now the liuely voice, by the wil of God hath ceased, and in the place of it the scripture hath succeeded; so that whole dignity of the liuely voice before mentioned, is and ought worthily to be ascribed and referred vnto the scripture, or written word of God.

Q Doe you meane then that the Prophetical & Apostolical scripture ought to be now in as great account with vs, as the liuelie voice of God himselfe, and of extraordinarie men was in times past?

A. I meane so, and in his kinde of reuelation alone I wil­lingly rest, as in that which came by inspiratiō from God, so long, vntill I shall heare at his glorious comming that liuely and most sweete voice of Christ my Sauiour; when he shall say to them, who shall be at his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdome, prepared for you from the beginning of the world. To whom be all praise for euer Amen.

To God only wise be praise through Jesus Christ for euer, Amen.

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