The Doctrine of the SYNOD OF DORT And ARLES, reduced to the practise.

With a consideration thereof, and representation with what sobriety it proceeds.

I devide This discourse into two parts

  • 1. Preface.
  • 2. Treatise.

1. The preface like­wise hath two parts.

  • 1. A rule of Tryall, to wit, by reference to practise in 3 cases.
    • 1. The converting of a stranger.
    • 2. The correcting of a leud Christian.
    • 3. The comforting of the afflicted.
  • 2. The doctri­ne to bet tryed.

2. The treatise is the tryall it self of the former doctrine, according unto the former rule, & accordingly divides it self into 3 parts, and ech of them I devide into several se­ctions.

Praeface. SEing the doctrine of the Gospell, tyeth not the disciples unto bare speculation and mere knowledge of the history, but allso bindeth them to the practise & aedification of their ne [...]ghbours, every man will say that the use therof consisteth principally in these 3 things, which every Christian, but more especially a faithfull Pastor, ought to procure so farre forth as in him lieth; where The

  • 1. Is the conversion of a stranger to the faith.
  • 2. The amendment of a bad-living Christian.
  • 3. The consolation of the sick or otherwise afflicted.

2. If then that doctrine established and canonized in the two Synods, the one held at Do [...]t in Holland 1618. 1619. the other at Arles in Cevenes in France in 1620. cannot serve to any of these. 3. endes; nay, if they are directly contrary therunto, no Christian can doubt but that it is quite different from the doctrine of the holy Scripture, which is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for reproofe, for corre­ction, for i [...]struction in righteousnes. 2. Tim. 3.16.

Consid.What this Author is I knowe not▪ but by conjecture he seems by certeyne passages mentioned in this discourse, more naturally to speake French then Englishe. Neyth [...]r can I well tell in what [...]āke to place him of the three here mētioned, for whose aed [...]fication principally he pretendes the doctrine of the Gospell to be usefull. For first he seemes not to be a stranger vnto Christian faith, for as much as here at the first he mentioneth a passage out of 2 Tim. 3.16▪ concerninge the profitablenes of holy scripture; though thencefoorth he quotes not one place of scripture throughout: no, nor a stran­ger to Calvins doctrine, for he quotes one passage allso out of him; & not one more throughout (as I remember) out of any author ancient or modern. But he takes libertie to cry out upon a prodigious Labyrinth of Divinitye, belike of those [Page 3] who desire to mould their faith in conformitie to the word of God in the first place, and then also to take notice of what hath bene the most receaved doctrine of the Church of God in the severall ages therof. And to take such a course in this authors judgment, belike, is for a man to cast himselfe into a Labyrinthe or maze. I confesse it is a sweete thinge to wan­ton wits coelo liberiore frui. And it may be the nature of man repines more aga [...]nst limits of faith, then against limits of life and conversation. Yet Adam found more room [...] when he was cast out of Paradise, then within; but his condition I suppose was nothing more comfortable for that. Neyther is it likely this Author is of the ranke of bad-living Chri­stians, for it is not their course to trouble their braynes about points of faithe: well they may rayle against religion, but they doe not use to dispute divinitie. Neyther doth he seeme to stand in neede of a physician, he seemes rather to feele the pulses of others, and to professe out of deepe judgment the dangerous condition wherin others are, through errour of faithe in tender points, and in this censure of his, he caryeth himselfe like a very confident divine all alonge: whence it followeth that the doctrine of the Gospell is not so prin­cipally usefull for the aedification of such as himselfe: For if it were, I see no reason why such a condition shoulde be omitted, for, I praesume, he will not say that every doctrine of the Gospell shoulde be alike usefull to all conditions of men. There is good use to be made of terrors, good use to be made of comforts. But comforts are not fitt to terrifie, nor can terrors be of use for consolation. And truly our Church of England in her articles of religion, artic. 17, teacheth us that the godly consideration of Predestination & our election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, & vnspeakeable cōforts to godly persons & such as feele in thēselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the fleshe, & their earthly members, and drawing up their minde to high and Heavenly thinges; As well because it doth greatly esta­blish & confirme their faith of aeternall salvation to be en­joyed [Page 4] through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: But that for curious & carnall persōs, lac­king the Spirite of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of Gods praedestination, is a most dangerous downe fall, wherby [...]he divill doth thrust them into despe­ration, or into [...]chlesnes of most vncleane living, no lesse pe­rilous then desperation. And I r [...]member to have read in the History of the Councell of Trent, that the first opinion there mentioned concerning praedestination, whith was the opinion of the Swinglians, as there it is reported, as it is mysticall & hidden, keeping the minde humble and relying on God, without confidence in it selfe, knowing the deformitie of of sinne and the excellency of divine grace (which vndoubt­edly are excellent uses for aedification in an eminent d [...]gree) so the second opinion (contrary to the former) was plausi­ble and popular cherishing humane praesumption and making a great shewe; & it pleased more the preaching fryars, then the vnderstanding Divines. And the courtiours thought it p [...]o­bable, as, consonant to polit [...]que reason: [...]t was maynteyned by the Bishop of Bi [...]on [...]o, and the Bishop of Salpi shewed himselfe very partiall. The defenders of this, vsing humane reasons, praevayled against the others, but comming to the te­stimonies of scripture, they were manyfestly overcome. But to returne, I had thought the written word of God had prin­cipally concerned believers, and tended to the aedification of the body of Christ; according to that we reade Eph. 4.11, 12. that Christ gave some to be Apostles, and some Prophets, & some Evangelists, and som Pastors and Teachers, now observe the ende of their ministery in the wordes followinge, for the [...]epayring of the Saints, for the worke of the mi­nistery, and for the aedification of the body of Christ. As for Bad living Christians; they have no delight in Gods word at all; the ministery of the word is but a vexation vnto such; and Gods ministers are accoumpted by such, as Elias was, no better then troublers of Israel, and why? But because they can prophecy no good vnto such but evil. And as for the [Page 5] sicke, though weak in body, yet if not weak in faith, we can affoord them abundance of consolation in God even to the assurance of their election. If weake in faith, and oppressed vnder the burthen of their sinnes; yet is there no cause why they should despayre by reason of any doctrine of ours; but rather good hope that these troubles of minde may proove as panges of childbirth to deliver their soules into the world of grace.

2. Of any doctrine Canonized eyther in the Synod of Dort, which we knowe; or in the Synod of Arles which I knowe not; I am utte [...]l [...] ignorant. The course of comprehen­ding the doctrine of the Church concerning certeyne points, in severall theses, and denominating them canons, hath bene anciently of use, in Councells and Synods; but of canoni­zing any doctrine therby▪ I never heard, nor read till now. But if the Church be the pillar and butteresse of truthe; the authoritie therof is of no small force for the establishment therof; albeit we acknowledge no infallible rule of faith but the word of God.

The quaestion in praesent is, whether election be upon the foresight of mans obedience, or according to the meere pleasure of God? and in the issue it comes to this (as in due place I will shewe,) whether God hath mercy on whom he will, by giving faith and repentance vnto them, and whom he will he hardeneth by denying faith and repentance? Or ra­ther in the dispensation & distribution of these graces procee­deth according to mens workes? Now to me it seemes a strange course, when a quaestion is moved as touching two contrary opinions, which of them is true and to be embra­ced; to drawe the resolution herof to the consideration of the usefulnes of the opinions or doctrines quaestioned. As if because an opinion is usefull, therfore it is to be cōcluded that it is true; and not rather in case it be founde to be true, yea the very truthe of God, the rule wherof alone is Gods word, therfore we ought to conclude that it is vsefull; and be care­full to make such use of it, as it doth bespeake. Nay is it not [Page 6] most indecent for man to presume, [...]o ob [...]rude opinions upon Gods word, upon a bare praetence of the usefulnes of them in mans iudgment, to serve turnes as he thinkes good? And doe not as many as take such courses for the mayntenance of their owne way, manifest hereby that their cause is desperate, and that it seemes they have very litle or no ground for their opinions out of the word of God, when they runne out vnto such divinations as these, for the supporting of their labou­ring and wavering cause? As for example, if the Apostle shall playnly professe that election is not of workes; shall not we embrace this for truth, unles we finde it to be more usefull to the purposes here specified then the contrary; and if we seeme to finde the contrary doctrine more usefull then this in our phantasy; shall we therfore contradict the Apostle in expresse termes, or set our wits on worke so to fashion the Apostles meaninge by a forced interpretation as to make him to contradict his owne wordes? In like sort, if the Apostle sayth, God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth, Rom. 9.18. And withall manifests that by ob­teyning mercy at Gods handes he understandeth the obtey­ning of faith, Rom. 11.30. that, even in the former place being manifest enough by the antithesis of it unto obdura­tion; Shall we hang still in suspense as touching the acknow­ledging of S. Pauls meaninge, untill we have well weighed and considered the usefulnes of this doctrine, in comparison, with the usefulnes of the contrary doctrine; and according to the weight of each, by such weights, and in the scale of our judgment, pronounce judicially eyther for Paul, or against him; or at least make the holy Apostle by some practise or other to eate his owne wordes, as Saturne did his chil­dren?

And verily in the cause of such a triall, a good witt will serve a disputant in good steade; who can, if he list, bring forth pleasant ejaculations in commendation of a bald head, or of folly with Erasmus, or of a louse with Daniel Heinsius; and with our English Sonnetters of a st [...]awe [...] to witnesse th [...] [Page 7] songe: O the strawe the strawe! and then let them take forth and singe: Now here is a jolly cou [...]se, quoth the minstrill. And others, like e [...]ough, will be furnished with as good witt to the contrary, in displaying the unnecessary condition of ought; [...]ike him, who having f [...]st made an excellent speech in the commendation of justice; afterwards spake as wi [...]ily to the contrary, shewing that there was no justice at all in the World. And I have heard of a Gentleman, that would dis­course against any neede we have at all of fire; saying that at the end he was driven to a non plus, for as much as he could not devise how his horse could be shod without it. And, in like manner, I have with admiration receaved a relation con­cerning a Gentleman in an Assembly of States, such as we call Parliaments; namely, that he was absolutely the best speaker, yet nothing respected; and that for a most sufficient reason, which was this: They knew full well, that he could speake as well, and as movingly to that which was quite con­trary. And I willingly professe, the Author of this discourse seemes to be a wit [...]y Gentleman, and to enterteyne his readers in the following treatise with a pretty enterlude; & no mervail if he makes choyse of a fi [...]t scene, wherein to shew the feates of his activitie: Wherein how well he caryeth himselfe, when he comes to the triall of our Doctrine, by the serviceablenes thereof to the three endes here proposed, we shall by Gods helpe inquire in due place. But surely, though it be not serviceable to any of these ends, yet if it be as serviceable to other ends, above specified out of the history of the Counsell of Trēt; as also out of the 17. article of our church of Englād, as also to the glorifying of God, in acknowledging the prero­gative of his grace, as onely effectuall to every thinge that is good, & the prerogative of Gods soveraintie over his Crea­tures, in making whom he will Vessells of mercy, and whom he will Vessells of wrath, [...]o witt, by shewing mercy on whom he will, and hardening whom he will; This I hope shall be sufficient to uphold the reputatiō of it, yea albeit it be found contrary to other endes (which yet I deny) like as comforts [Page 8] are contrary to the use of terrifying, and terrours are contra­ry to the use of comfortinge; and yet Gods word co [...]taines both kindes of discipline. Like as Martin Luther and Me­lancthon were of different dispositions, and Erasmus his cen­sure of them was this, that Melancthon followed Luther, as Litae followeth Atae in Homer, yet Chytraeus in his Historiae confessionis Augustanae, as I remember, professeth, that God in his gracious providence made good use of both, for the service of his Church, and propagation of the Gospell in these latter dayes. And I well observe as touching S. Pauls testimony here alleaged concerning the profitablenesse of Scripture Doctrine, (which is the more considerable I con­fesse, because this whole treatise is like an Henne with one chicke, having not any one quotation out of holy scripture besides) that he takes no such course as this divine doth, from the profitablenesse of a doctrine, to conclude it to be the doctrine of holy scripture, but rather supposing a doctrine to be a doctrine of holy scripture concludes the [...]hence that it is proffitable for reproofe, for correction, for instruction in righteousnesse. Hovv can it be othervvise, as touching the doctrine here impugned, but that if it be the doctrine of holy scripture, instruction therein must be instruction in righteous­nesse, and shall be a just reproofe to them that refuse to re­ceave instruction, as in the vvhole Counsell of God, so in this particular among the rest, and lastly serve for the correction of thē that do not live ansvverably unto their profession, as in other things so in reference unto this, as namely, whē profes­sing of God worketh in us the will and the deede of every good worke, and that not according to the good pleasure of man, but according to his owne good pleasure, they are not so carefull hereupon, as they should be to worke out their salvation, with feare and trembling, in conformitie to the ho­ly Apostles exhortation, Phil. 2.12.13. worke out your sal­vation, with feare and trembling. For God it is that wor­keth in you both the will and the deede even of his good pleasure.

[Page 9]Thus I have considered the rule of Triall: I come to the consideration of the doctrine to be tryed, whether it be in a right manner proposed.

The second Section.

THe principall points & doctrines of which Synods are conteyned in these 5. Articles.Praeface. Sect. 2.

1. That God, by an absolute decree, hath elected and chosen to life a very small number of persons, without the least re­gard, either of their faith and obedience; and excluded the rest of mankind from all saving grace, destined by the same decree, unto aeternall damnation, without the consideration of their incredulitie or impaenitencie.

2. That Iesus Christ dyed for no other then the elect only, not having the least intention of his owne, or commande­ment of his Father, to make a propitiation for the sinnes of the whole world.

3. That by the sinne of Adam, his whole posterity hath lost their free will, being subject by an inevitable necessitie to do or leave undone, that which every man acteth or omitteth, being good or evill, being thereunto predestinated by the ae­ternall and efficacious decree of God.

4. That God, to draw his elect out of that, produceth a faith in them by a power aequall to that, whereby he created the world, and raysed up the dead, so that they, to whom he giveth grace, are not able to reject it, and that the repro­bates cannot obtaine it, although it be offered unto them, in the preaching of the Gospell.

[Page 10]5. That they who have once receaved this grace by faith, can never fall totally or finally, notwithstanding the most enormous sinns they can committ.

2. That this is the doctrine of the Synods, they who have beene, and still are persecuted for ref [...]sing to subscribe, have so plainly and sufficiently demonstrated by their publique writings, that none of their persecutors durst hitherto under­take to [...]fute or answer them; yea, and who are allwayes ready, before impartiall judges, to make it good, that the Ar­ticles, above mentioned, are to be found in the writings of their chiefest Doctors, even in the selfe same termes, nay farre more scandalous.

Consid. When the Apostle sayth, that Election is not of works, and prooveth it by this, that before Esau and Iacob were borne &c. it was said of them, the elder shall serve the younger; Let every sober Reader judge, whether it be not more agreeable to the Apostle, to professe, that election pro­ceedes rather without any regard had to mans faith and obe­dience, then with any respect thereunto: as also whether by the same reason, which the Apostle useth, it be not appa­rent, that as election is not of good workes, so likewise re­probation is not of evill workes.

Yet that God did decree to damne no man, but for sinne is the unanimous confession of all our divines. Neyther is there any of them that I know, who denyes that God did ordaine to bestow salvation on none of ripe yeares, but, by way of reward of their obedience. And accordingly Tile­nus himself, when he was on our side, took exception against Arminius his stating the decree of predestination and repro­bation, according to our opinion, to proceede citra omnem considerationem resipiscentiae & fidei in illis, aut impenitentiae & infidelitatis in hisce. For marke, I pray, how he excepts a­gainst it, At postrema haec particula perperam & praeter menter­nostram [Page 11] hvic sentētiae adjicitur; And he gives his reason on both parts: on the part of reprobation thus: Quandoquidem quos­cun (que) damnat Deus, Consid. sentent. I. Armin. cap. 1. p. 6.7. non aliam ob causam, quam propter impaeni­tentiam & infidelitatē atqu [...] adeopropter peccatum damnat, ac pro­inde ne (que) damnare decrevit sene hujus rei intuitu. On the part of election thus: Sicuti neminem in tempore serv [...] nisi resipiscen­tem & credentem (which yet is untrue, unlesse understood one­ly of men of ripe yeares); Ita neminē ab aeterno servar [...] decrevit nisi resipiscentem & credentem. In like sort, Piscator denyes not, but that there is such a will of God revealed in the Gospell, as namely to save such as persevere in faith, & damne them that persevere in infidelitie and impenitency;Resp. ad Apologet. Berti [...]. p. 150. only he denyes this to be the whole will of God revealed in the Gospell, as tou­ching the salvation of some, and damnation of others. And accordingly in the conference at the Haghe, when the first Article of the Remonstrants came to be discussed, which was: Deum ab aeterno decrevisse fideles perseverantes salv [...]s face­re; Their adversaries denyed not this, nay they professed, that no Christian denyes this, Praefat. ad Synod. Dordrac. fol. 10. p. 1. And therfore they urged them to declare, whether this Article of theirs contained the whole decree of prede­stination; which when they affirmed, herein their adversaries thought good to oppose them, and to encounter with them upon that point. But let us distinguish that which such, as this Author is, affect to confound. The absolutenesse of Gods decree may be considered two wayes, either on the part of the act it self of Gods decree, or on the part of the the things decreed. According to this distinction: Aquinas professeth, that no cause can be assigned of the will of God, quoad actū volentis, 1. q. 23. art. 5.1. cap▪ but there may be assigned a cause thereof, quoad res volitas; His words are these: Dictum est supra quod non est assignare causam divinae voluntatis ex parte actus volendi, sed potest assignari ratio ex parte volitorum. And applying this doctrine to predest [...]nation in speciall addeth, saying: Nullus fuit ita insanae mentis qui diceret merita esse causam divinae prae­destinationis ex parte actus praedestinantis. Sed hoc sub question [...] [Page 12] ver [...]itur, vtrum ex parte effectus pr [...]destinatio habeat aliquam causam. And whereas the distinction of voluntas absoluta & condition [...]lis, is interpreted by Vossius, as all one with volun­tus antecedens & consequens; both Vossius himselfe interpreteth voluntas conditionalis, as making the cause thereof to be only quoad res volitas. Hist. Pe­lag. p. 368. For he defi [...]es a conditionall will in this manner: A [...]iqua vult cum cond [...]tione▪ que id [...]ir [...] in effectum non prodeunt, nisi conditione impleta. Qu [...]modo [...]nes [...]om [...]nes sal­vari vult, sed per, & propter Christum fide approhensum. And doctor Iackson, in his last booke of providence, acknow­ledgeth that the distinction of voluntas antecedens & conse­quens is to be understood quoad res volitas; Now the con­sequent will is such a will as derives the cause therof from man. But this, sayth he, is to be understood as touching, the things willed; which we willingly grant, and accordingly ac­knowledge that some things willed by God have the cause of their being from m [...]n. As namely, faith, we [...]ay, is the d [...] ­sposing cause of salvation; finall infidelitie or impaenitency are the meritorious causes of damnation. Yet some thing there is willed by God which hath no cause from man, but [...] the cause therof is from the mere pleasure of God, and that is the giving or denying of grace, according to that of the Apostle: He hath mercy on whom he will and whom he will he hardeneth. Rom. 9.18. As for the decree of God considered as touching the act of God willinge, that it can have no cause from man, I proove, both as touching the decree of sal­vation, and touching the decree of damnation. And I wil­lingly challenge all the nation of Arminians to answere it. And the argument is this; If faith be the cause why God or­deynes a man to salvation; then, eyther by [...] necessitie of nature it is the cause herof, or by the mere constitution of God. Not by necessitie of nature, as appeares manifestly, (and I have founde by experience that Arminians themselves have confessed as much) therfor if any way it be admitted to be the cause herof, this must be only by the constitution of God. Now marke the absurditie herof; for herence it followeth [Page 13] that God did constitute, that is, ordeyne, that, upon the fore­sight of faith, he woulde ordeyne men unto salvation; where the very aeternall act of Gods ordination, is made the object of Gods ordina [...]ion, a thing utterly impossible; and every man knowes that the objects of Gods ordination are thinges temporall only, and by no meanes, things aeternall. In like sort, if sinne be the cause why God ordeynes men unto dam­nation; then eyther by necessitie of nature, or by divine consti­tution; not by necessitie of nature, for surely God is not ne­cessitated to damne any man for sinne If therfore by consti­tution divine, marke the absurditie unavoydably following hereupon, namely, that God did ordeyn that upon the fore­sight of [...] he would ordeyne men unto condemnation; where agayne Gods aeternall ordination is made the object of his ordination. Yet doe not I affirme, that in any moment of nature doth the decree of salvation goe before the consi­deration of mens faith and obedience; or the decree of dam­nation before the consideration of finall incredulitie or i [...] ­poenitencie. For as much, as the decrees of giving faith and crowning it with salvation; and, in like sort, the decrees of per­mitting finall incredulitie and impenitency▪ I make to be, not subordinate one to another, bu [...], simultan [...]ous and coordi­nate one with another. I proceede to the second.

2. The holy scripture, in designing unto us those for whome Christ dyed, useth different formes, Matth. 20, 28. it is sayde that the sonne of man came not to be served but to serve and give his life a ransome for many, and 26, 28. This is my blood in the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sinnes. This is a very indefinite notion, yet nothing so prone to signifie a comprehension of all, as an opposition to such an universality. But in other places these Many are defined, and therewith all the benefite of Christs death confined to some, as namely the people of Christ, Mat. 1.21. to the Church, Act. 20.28. Ephes. 5.25. Christs sheepe, Ioh. 10.15. the Children of [...], Ioh. 11.51. Christs freindes, Ioh. 15.8. to Israel, Act. 13.23. to the body [Page 14] of Christ, Ephes. 5.23. And accordingly our Saviour prayed for those onely that his Father had given him, Ioh. 17.9. and for those whom hereafter he should give unto him, v. 20. and that with exclusion, from the world, v. 9. and for their sakes he sanctified himself, v. 19. which, in like manner, is to be un­derstood with exclusion of the world. Now, by sanctifying himselfe, is understood the offering up of himselfe upon the Crosse, by the unanimous consent of all the Fathers, whom Ma [...]o [...]ate had read, as himselfe professeth in his Commen­taries on that passage in Iohn. Yet we are willing to take no­tice of those places also, which extend the benefite of Christs death unto all, as Rom. 5.18. As by the offence of one the fault came upon all unto condemnation; so by the justifying of one, the benefite abounded toward all men, to justifica­tion of life; But for the clearing of this, observe but the limi­tation, going immediately before, v. 17. If by the offense of one, death reigned through one; Much more shall they, who receave the abundante of grace of the gift of righteousnesse reigne in life through one, Iesus Christ. It is further said that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himselfe, 2. Cor. 5.19. That he is the Lambe of God that taketh away the sinnes of the world, Ioh. 1.29. That he gave his life for the life of the world, Ioh. 6.51. That he is the Saviour of the world, Ioh 4.42. and 1. Ioh. 4.14. Yet this admits a faire ex­position, without all contradiction to the former limitation, namely, of men in the world, which being an indefinite terme, is to be expounded by other places, where it is defined who they are, as Ioh. 13.1. He loved his owne that were in the world, to the end he loved them; Now, who are Christs owne but those of whom he speaketh, Ioh. 17.9. For they are thine, 10.11. and all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and thou art glorifyed in them. Now, these are proposed with an exclusion of the world in that very 9. verse: I pray for them, I pray not for the VVorld, for they are thine.

[Page 15]It is further said, that Christ is the reconciliation for our sinnes, and not for ours only, but for the sinnes of the whole world; which may fairely admitt this construction, for the sinnes of men dispersed throughout all the world, which is most true of Gods Elect, like as Ioh. 11.50. They are called the Children of God, which were scattered; and Matth. 24.31. God shall sende his Angells with a great sound of a Trumpet, who shall gather together his Elect from the foure Windes, and from the one ende of the Heavens to the other. But suppose it be understood of all and every one, yet that place, Ioh. 3.19. gives a faire exposition of this also, whence it is said: So God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Sonne, that whosoever beleeveth in him, shall not perish; And we willingly confesse, that Christ dyed to obtaine salvation for all and every one that beleeve in him.

And indeede our Adversaries doe usually please them­selves in the confounding things that d [...]ffer.

And in the stating of this thesis we have a miserable confu­sion, as if these men delighted to fish in troubled waters. For whē we say Christ dyed for us, our meaning is that Christ dyed for our good, and a benefite redoundes unto us by the deathe of Christ, now, it may be, there are diverse benefites redoun­ding unto us by the deathe of Christ, and they of so different nature, that, in respect of some, wee spare not to professe, that Christ dyed for all, and, in respect of others, the Arminians themselves are so farre from granting that he dyed to obteyn any such benefite for all, as that they utterly deny them to be any benefites at all redounding to any by the deathe of Christ. Though we willingly acknowledge them to be bene­fites redounding to us by the death of Christ, albeit not re­dounding unto all, but only to Gods elect. Now if this be true, is it not a proper course which this author takes in con­founding things so extreamely different? And that it is so as [Page 16] I have sayde, I now proceede to shewe in this manner. We say, that pardon of sinne and salvation of soules are benefites purchased by the deathe of Christ, to be enjoyed by men, but how? not absolutely, but conditionally, to witt, in case they believe, and only in case they believe. For like as God doth not conferre these on any of ripe yeares vnles they be­lieve, so Christ hath not merited that they should be confer­red on any but such as believe. And accordingly professe that Christ dyed for all, that is, to obteyne pardon of sinne and salvation of soule for all, but how? not absolutely whether they believe or no, but only conditionally, to witt provided they doe believe in Christ. So that we willingly professe, that Christ had both a full intention of his owne, and comman­dement of his Father to make a propitiation for the sinnes of the whole world, so farre as therby to procure both pardon of sinne and salvation of soule to all that doe believe, and to none other being of ripe yeares, according to that Rom. 3, 24. we are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Iesus. v. 25. Whome God hath sett forth to be a propitiation (or reconciliation) through faith in his blood. But we further say, that there are other benefites redounding to us by the death of Christ, to witt, the grace of faith and of repentance. For like as these are the gifts of God wrought in us by his holy Spirit, so they are wrought in us for Christ his sake, according to that of the Apostle, pray­ing for the Hebrewes, namely, that God will make them per­fect to every good worke, working in them that which is pleasing in his sight through Iesus Christ. Now, as touching these benefites, we willingly professe, that Christ dyed not for all, that is, he dyed not to obtaine the grace of faith and repentance for all, but only for Gods elect; In as much as these graces are bestowed by God, not conditionally, least so grace should be given according to mens workes, but abso­lutely, And if Christ dyed to obteyne these for all absolute­ly, it would follow her hence that all should beleeve & re [...] [Page 17] & consequently all shoulde be saved. And doe our adversa­ries blame us for denying that Christ dyed to procure faith and repentance unto all? Nothing lesse; nay it is apparant that the Remonstrants nowadayes openly professe that Christ hath not merited faith & regeneratiō for any. For whē this is layd to their charg as themselvs profess in these words: At (inquit censor) si hoc tantum meritus est Christus, Censura Censura p. 59. tum Christus nobis non est meritus fidem nec regenerationem, marke their an­sweare following, Sanè ita est. Nihil ineptius, nihil vanius est quàm hoc Christi merito tribuere. So that their playne meaning is that Iesus Christ dyed for none, so as to obteyne the grace of faith and regeneration for them, no, not for Gods elect, not having the least intention of his owne, or commandement of his Father to purchase these gifts these blessings for any. Proceede we to the third.

3. Of freedome of will in the creature we may dispute, and divines doe uswally dispute different wayes, and upon diffe­rent considerations; as namely in respect, eyther of the state of the creature from within, as under corruption, or free from it; or in respect of the divine decree from without. This author very judiciously, Arminian like, confoundes these into one.

It is utterly untrue that any of our divines, of my know­ledge, say that by the sinne of Adam, his whole posteritie hath lost their free will; In the time of my minoritie in the Vni­versitie, in divinitie disputations we heard concerning free will such a distinction as this of common course. The actions of men are eyther naturall or morall, or spirituall; the resolution of the truth, as touching free will, according to the foresayde distinction, was this; we have not lost our free will, in actions naturall, nor in actions morall, but only in actions spirituall,1. Cor. 2.14. So that the naturall man perceaveth not the things of God, for they are foolishnes unto him, neyther can he knowe them because they are spiritually discerned. And the affection of the fleshe is enmitie unto God,Rom. 8.7.8. for it is not subject to the law of God no [...] can be. So that they [Page 18] which are in the fleshe cannot please God. Of heathen men the Apostle professeth that their mindes are blinded, their hearts hardned,2. Tim. 2. last. and they estranged from the life of God Eph. 4.18. that they are in the snare of the divill, led captive by him to doe his will. That the Ephesians were dead in tres­passes and sins before the time of their calling by the Gos­pell;Eph. 2.1. and the like is affirmed of the Colossians Col. 2.11. Yet that which followeth in this Author is more unt [...]e imputing unto us, as if we maynteyned that every m [...]n is subject by in­evitable necessitie to doe or leave undone that which every man acteth or omitteth, being good or evill. This imputation, I say, is utterly untrue; we say that every one doth freely what­soever he doth, and omitteth freely whatsoever [...]e leaveth undone. Only this is to be understood aright, to witt, in re­spect of meanes tending unto endes, wherin alone and in the election therof consisteth the libertie of mans will, and not in the appetition of the ende; it being naturall to a man to be caryed to the liking of his ende necessarily; according to that of Aristotle.E [...]hic. 4. cap. 5. Qualis quisque est, ita finis apparet. And doth it become these men to dictate unto us, not only a new divini­tie, but also a new Philosophy at pleasure? As for the reason here added, fetched from the aeternall and efficatious decree of God, this is so farre from confirming their pre­mises as that it utterly overthrowes them, and confirmeth ours. For we say, with Aquinas, that the efficacions will of God, is the cause why some things come to pas [...]e contingent­ly and freely, as well as it is the cause why other things come to passe necessarily. Was the burning of the Prophets bones by Iosiah performed any whit lesse freely by him, then any other action of his? O [...] the proclamation that Cyrus made for the returne of the Iewes out of the captivitie, was not this as freely done by him as ought else? Yet both these were praedetermined by God. Nay I say more; that every thing which cometh to passe, in the revolution of times, was de­creed by God, I proove by such an argument, for answeare wherunto, I chalenge the whole nations both of Arminians [Page 19] and Iesuits. It cannot be denyed but God foresawe from every lastinge whatsoever in time should come to passe; ther­fore every thinge was future, fro [...] everlasting, otherwise God could not foresee it as future. Now let us soberly inquire, how these thinges which we call future, came to be future, being in their owne nature merely possible and indifferent, as well not at all to be future as to be future. Of this transmi­gration of things out of the condition of things merely pos­sible (such as they were of themselves) into the condition of things future, there must needes be some outward cause. Now I demand, what was the cause of this transmigration? And seing nothing, without the nature of God, could be the cause hereof; (for this transmigration was from everlasting, but nothing without God was everlasting,) therfore some thing within the nature of God must be founde fitt to be the cause herof.

And what may that be? not the knowledge of God: for that rather presupposeth things future, and so knowable [...] in the kinde of things future, then makes them fu­ture. Therefore it remaines, that the meere decree & will of God is that which makes them future. If, to shift off this, it be said, that the essence of God is the cause hereof, I further demaunde, whether the essence of God be the cause hereof, as working necessarily, or as working freely. If as working necessarily, then the most contingent thinges became future by necessitie of the divine nature, and consequently he pro­duceth whatsoever he produceth by necessitie of nature, which is Atheisticall: Therefore it remaines, that the essence of God hath made them future, by working freely, and con­sequently the meere will and decree of God, is the cause of the futurition of all things.Act. 4.24. And why should we doubt here­of, when the most foule sinnes that have beene committed in the World, are in scripture phrase professed to have beene predetermined by God himself? Vpon supposition of which will and decree divine, we confesse it necessary, that things determined by him shall come to passe, but how? not ne­cessarily, [Page 20] but, either necessarily, or contingently and freely; to witt, necessarie things necessarily, contingent things, and free things, contingently and freely. So that contingent things, upon supposition of the will divine, have a necessitie se­cundum quid, but simply a contingencye; and that the same thing may come to passe, both necessarily secundum quid, and simply in a contingent manner, ought to be nothing strange to men of understanding, considering that the very fore­knowledge of God is sufficient to denominate the most contingent things, as comming to passe necessarily secundum quid.

I come to the consideration of the fourth.

4. As touching this Article here objected unto us, we have no cause to decline the maintenance thereof, but chear­fully and resolutely to undergo the defense, as of the truth of God clearly sett downe unto us in the word of God. The illumination of the minde is compared to Gods causing light to shine out of darkenesse in the creatiō, 1 Cor. 4.6. God that commanded the light to shine out of the darknes, is he which hath shined in [...] heart, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Iesus Christ: And for God to say unto Sion, thou art my people, is made aequiva­lent to the planting of the Heavens, and laying the founda­tion of the Earth, Es. 51.16. I have putt my wordes in thy mouth, and defended thee in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the Heavens, and lay the foundation of the Earth, and say unto Sion: Thou art my people▪ Ps. 51.10. Create in me a cleane heart, saith David, and renewe a right spirit within me. Yet was David a regenerate childe of God, but when he fell into foule sinnes, and sought unto God, to re­store him, he acknowledgeth this his spirituall restitution, to be a creation; giving thereby to understand, that the very children of God have savage lusts, & wild affections in them, the curing & mastering wherof is no lesse work, then was the work of creation or making of the world, 2 Cor. 5.17. If a­ny man be in Christ, he is a new creature [...]; and [Page 21] Gal. 6.1 [...]. In Christ Iesus, neyther circumcision avayleth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Now, this new creature is all one with faith working by love, Gal. 5.6. For there the Apostle expresseth the comparison antitheticall in this manner: In Iesus Christ, neither circumcision avayleth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith working by love. And Eph. 2.10. We are said to be Gods workmanship [...] created in Iesus Christ (marke a new creation) unto good workes, which he hath ordeyned, that we should walke in them. God made the world with a word, but the new ma­king of man cost our Saviour Christ hot water, the very blood of the Sonne of God, agonies in the garden, & agonies upon the Crosse, and he must rise out of his grave, to worke this. The Schoolemen doe acknowledge this, namely, that grace is wrought in man, by way of creation; Otherwise, how could it be accoumpted supernaturall. And, as for the power whereby God raiseth the dead; It is expressely said, Col. 2.12, that faith is [...], who raised Christ from the dead; whereupon Cornelius de Lapide ac­knowledgeth, that faith is wrought by the same power, wher­by God raysed Christ from the dead. And Eph. 1 19. the A­postle tells us of the exceeding greatnesse of Gods power to­wards us, which beleeve, adding that this is according to his mightie power, which he wrought in Christ, whom he raysed from the dead. And therefore most congruously doth the Apostle take into consideration that worke of God in ray­sing Christ, when he prayeth for the Hebrewes, that God would make them perfect to every good worke, working in them that which is pleasing in his sight through Iesus Christ, Heb. 30.20.21. The God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Iesus Christ, the great sheapheard of the sheepe, through the blood of the everlasting covenant: Make you perfect in all good workes to doe his will, &c. It is called the worke of faith in power, 2. Thes. 1.11.

[Page 22]And as for perseverance therin with patience, the Apostle requires such a strength as is wrought by Gods glorious power. Col. 1.11. & 2. Pet. 1.3. we are [...]ayde to be called [...] Piscator, not knowing well what good sense to make of it as it lyes, interprets it unto glory and vertue, as if it were in the original [...], Daniel Heynsius in the preface to his Aristarchus Sacer, on Nonnus upon Iohn, makes bold to censure this interpretation; and shewes whence it proceedes, to witt, herupon, because he knew no other signification of [...] then vertue, and that in the sense as we usually take it. But, sayth he, in the Greeke Etymologicum we finde that [...], in the notion therof, is as much as potentia, and accordingly we are called as Saint Peter sayth by glory and power, as much as to say by Gods glorious power. And doth not the scripture clearly professe that God found us dead in sinne, Eph. 2.1. & Col. 2.13? And is not the worke it selfe called regeneration, Ioh. 3. and 1. Pet. 1. and in other places? Is it not a new life wrought in us? we were before estranged from the life of God Eph. 4.18. now we are not. And is not this life the life of faith accor­d [...]ng to that Gal. 2.20. The life that I now live in the fleshe is by faith in Christ who loved me and gave himselfe for me? Austin, in playne termes, professeth that God conver [...]eth men omnipo [...]ente facilitate; therfore he used his allmightie power therin, though he did it with case, like as he both made the world and shall raise the dead with ease: For he speake the word and they were made, he commanded, and they were created;Ioh. 5. and, in like sort, the time shall come when they that are in the graves shall h [...]are the voyer of the [...]one of man, and shall come foorth, some to the resurrection of life, some to the resurrection of condemnation. And power lesse then the power of God is not able to regenerate man; For can an Angell regenerate man, or can man regenerate himselfe, and make himselfe pertaker [...] of the divine na­ture? Or breath the life of God, the life of grace, or the Spirite [Page 23] of God into him? Consider but soberly the importance of faith that is so much slighted by this generation; Consider it a [...] touching the object therof, and the things believed; con­sider it as touching the forme of it; and the confidence of the creature [...]n his creator; and judge indifferently, whether any created power, can suffice to create faith in man. The thinges believed, are the mystery of the Trinitie; the incarna­tion of the Sonne of God, God manifested in the flesh, and to what end? that his soule might be made an offering for sinne, the just dye for the unjust, that so God might justifie the un­godly, [...] Rom. 4. What wisedome is there in this, by the judgment of flesh and blood? Are not these thinges of God foolishnes to the naturall man, 1. Cor. 2, 14. then the resurrection of the dead, the aeternall judgment the powers of the world to come; what reason can draw a naturall man to the embracing of these? Then as touching our confidence in God and dependance upon him according to these myste­ries. Is it in the power of nature a man should be brought to repose the fortunes of his salvation upon a crucified God? which was a scandall to the Iewes, foolishnes to the Gentiles, but to us that are saved, it is the very power of God and wisedome of God. For a sinner to be assured that God is his Father in Christ, and receaveth us unto him as sonnes and daughters, and, if sonnes, then heyres allso, even heyres of God, and heyres annext with Iesus Christ. To say, with Iob Though he kill me, yet will I put my trust in him, not only mangre his judgments, by which he fights against us, causing his arrowes to st [...]ck [...] fast in us, and the venome therof to drinke up our Spirits; but allso, in despight of our owne sinns, wherby the best provoke him, too oft, even the eyes of his glory.

Yet these disputers would not have it thought that they denyed faith to be the woorke of God; but they have come so farre as to deny, in expresse termes, that Christ merited, eyther faith or regeneration for any. Censura Censurae [...]. 59. A time may come for them to open their mouths, [...] [Page 24] litle wider, & deal plainly & openly profes that faith is meerly the worke of man, & not the worke of God. But as yet they thinke it not seasonable to divulge this mystery of State. They praetend acknowledgement, that it is the gift of God; only they will have it wrought in such a manner, that man may reject it; and they reproach us for saying that they, to whom God giveth his grace, are not able to reject it. For­sooth, they will have God to work faith in a man, no other­wise then by way of suasion. For Arminius professeth, that there are but two wayes, whereby God workes upon the will,Exam. p. 150. the one, as he expresseth it, is per modum naturae, the other secundum modum voluntatis & libertatis ejus: The for­mer he calleth a Physicall impulsion, the latter he sayth may fitly be called suasion. By the former operation, the effect comes to passe necessarily; and this they cannot brook. So that it remaines, that Gods operatiō, in bestowing faith, is only by way of suasion. Now, here they dash themselves upon a rock of manifest heterodoxy, even in Philosophy. For he that persuades workes immediately upon the understanding, representing the object whereunto he persuades in the most alluring manner that he can; Suadens agit (sayth B [...]llarmine) per modum proponentis objectum. And consequently leaves it to the object thus sett forth, to worke upon the will. Now, the object works only in genere causae finalis, not in genere causae ef­fi [...]ientis. And the end is well knowne to moove only motu me­taphorice dicto, not vero motu; & herehence it follows, that God while he persuades only, is no efficient cause at all of faith; which indeede is the most genuine doctrine of these di­vines, though they are loath the world should know so much.

Secondly, observe their language more narrowly; here is mention of Gods giving grace, yet so as they to whom he gives it, are able to reject it; and withall that this abilitie is very often exercised in such sort, that albeit God gives it, yet they, to whom he gives it, doe reject it. Now, this may be understood two wayes, as namely, that after God hath [Page 25] given it, and they receaved it, they doe reject it, or that they so reject it, as not at all receaving it. The first sense includes a sober notion though the truth of it may be questioned. But in that sense it belongs to the next Article, but in the latter sense only it belongs to this present Article; Now, say I, in [...] this sense there is no sobriety; For it mainteynes some thing to be given, which is not at all receaved; which is clearly non sense, and no merveyl, if in opposing Gods grace, they cary themselves as destitute of common sense. A thing may be offered and rejected; but that cannot, with sobriety, be said to be given, which is not receaved. Especially of gifts given to the soule: For a gift given to the soule, must eyther be a qualitie permanent, or an act immanent, both which are in­haerent in the soule, and unlesse they are made inhaerent in it, and the latter also produced by it, cannot be said [...]o be given unto the soule: As, for example, the praesent quaestion is of producing faith in the soule of man; Now, this may be under­stood, either of the habite & qualitie of faith, or of the act of faith; but neither of these can be said to be given, unlesse the one be made the qualitie of the soule, and the other the act of the soule. Which supposed, they are not rejected, nor can be rejected in such sort, as not at all to be receaved. And this inconvenience the Author seemes to have beene sensible of, and accordingly desirous to avoyde; and therefore ob­serve in the third place, he doth not say, that they, to whom God giveth faith, are able to (and accordingly some times doe) reject it, according to our opinion, which would imply that, in his opinion, though God gives faith to men, yet they, to whom he gives it, doe sometimes reject it. But he makes our doctrine to be this, that to whom God gives his grace, they are able to (and accordingly sometimes doe) reject, im­plying thereby, that the grace, which God gives man, may be, and is sometimes rejected.

And indeed, this grace being not faith it selfe, but an ope­ [...]ation tending thereunto, and that no other then suasion, this may in a good sense be said to be rejected, though it be both [Page 26] given by God, and receaved by man, though the like cannot be said of faith, which is not receaved but by beleeving; and unles it be thus receaved by man, it cannot be said to be given by God. In like sort, if God exhort a man to faith, it cannot be said, that that man is not exhorted thereunto; and therefore, to whom God gives exhortation, it cannot be but that the exhortation given, be receaved so farre forth, as the man is justly said to have beene exhorted thereunto. But be­sides, the receaving of suasion and exhortation in this sense, which cannot possibly be denyed wheresoever it is given; there is another sense hereof, namely, of receaving it so, as to obey it, and yeelde unto it.

And, in this sense, we confesse, that the grace of suasion and exhortation, though it be made by God, yet may it be rejected by man; for though it cannot be denyed but he hath receaved it so farre foorth as wherby he hath heard it, which is sufficient to denominate him a man exhorted unto faith; yet he hath not receaved it in such sort as to embrace it and obey it. And upon this ambiguitie of sense and aequivocation, doe these impostors proceede first willingly cheating them­selves, their affections being possessed with a love of errour, which will allwayes to use the judgment from the truth, and afterwards labouring to cheate others, as many, as doe not discerne their juglinge Now we clearely professe, that like as, in case the Sunne doth inlighten the world, it is not possible, but that the world should be inlighteyed: so if God inlighten mens mindes, the minde cannot choose but be inlightened. For the understanding is a power naturall, not free. And con­sequently, if God make it appeare to a Christian soule that God is his summum bonum, not only summum bonum, but his summum bonum; it is not possible but he shoulde be inlight­ned with this light of his loving countenance, which is called, in scripture, the glory of the Lord, 2, Cor. 3. last, and it is signified to be the glory of his grace appearing in Christ Ioh. 1.14. which we are sayde to behold in Christ with open face, 2. Cor. 3. last. Agayne, this glory of Gods grace appearing [Page 27] unto us as our chiefest good, it is not possible but we should love it; (For we love him because he loved us first. 1. Ioh. 4.19.) & our wills should be fixed upō him as on our supreame ende. For the libertie of the will consistes not in appetitione finis, but onely in electione mediorum, which is a rule of Schooles, acknowledged by Aristotle, and receaved general­ly, without controll, sealed unto us by the light of nature. And accordingly we are sayd by the very beholding of the glory of the Lord, with open face, to be transformed into the same i­mage; what is that but the image of Christ (as by the Lord there Christ is meant, in whom appeares the glory of Gods grace, and of his love to man) and that hath two parts, the one Christ crucified, the other Christ raysed from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and there sitting at the right hand of God, to make requests for us. And our transformation into this image, is our regeneration, consisting in mortifica­tion, which is a conformity to Christs death, and vivication, which is a conformity to Christs resurrection; thus we feele the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his pas­sions, Phil. 3.10. And in this worke of regeneration, con­sisting in the illumination of our minde, and renovation of our affections, we are meerely passive, and so changed as to discerne our chiefest good, and to have our heart sett upon it, as upon our ende, all which is naturall, not free; Freedome having place onely in the election of meanes unto our ende; wherein we faile often, partly through weaknesse of judge­mēt, partly through perversnesse of our affections. For we are regenerate but in part, & both darknes, in part, possesseth the understanding; & in our hearts and affections there is a prin­ciple of the flesh, which inclines inordinately to the creature, as well as a principle of the Spirit, which inclines to God our creator.

And whereas, in the last place, it is said, that the Reprobates cannot obtaine this grace of God, although it be offered them in the Gospell; this eyther hath no sobriety, or being brought to a sober sense, is utterly untrue. And nothing but the am­biguous [Page 28] notion of grace serves their turne, and gives them li­bertie to prate they knowe not what. For as for faith it selfe, that is not offered at all in the Gospell; men are called upon to believe, and promised, that upon theire faith, they shall ob­teyne the grace of remission of sinnes; & salvation; and these graces may be sayde to be off [...]red unto all, upon condition of faith; but faith it selfe, in no congruity, can be sayde to be offered; though by the preaching of the Gospell the Lord workes faith in the hears of whom he will; as it is sayde, that he hath mercy on whom he will and whom he will he hardeneth. But as for suasion & exhortation unto faith, this grace the reprobates in the Church of God are pertakers of, as well as Gods elect. I come unto the fift and last.

5. That they who have once receaved this grace by faith can never fall totally or finally, notwithstanding the most enor­mous sins that they can committ. Here are three thinges to be considered. first his phrase of a certeyne grace receaved by faith, in reference to the premises, for he calls it this grace by faith; wheras in the premises there is no mention at all of any grace receaved by faith▪ much lesse any such grace particula­ted; but this is their jugling cariage throughout. First he spake of Gods producing faith, then of Gods giving his grace; now he supposeth he hath spoken of a certeyne grace receaved by faith, this is their cogging course; when no such grace, as receaved by faith, was at all mentioned before. We speake playnly in saying of faith not of a grace (I knowe not what) receaved by faith, that it cannot totally or finally perishe.

The scripture playnly professeth, that it is not possible the elect should be seduced by false Prophets;matth. 24.24. now the practise of false Prophets is to corrupt their faith; but it is not possible they should herin prevaile over Gods elect. Now by the elect are here to be understood the regenerate elect; for before regeneration, it is apparent, they are as obnoxious to errours of faith and errours of life as any other; And the reason why [Page 29] they cannot be thus seduced, our Saviours signifies Ioh. 10.29. to be this, that they are in the handes of God the Fa­ther. My Father which gave them me is greater then all; (now to be given to Christ by God the Father, is to be brought unto faith in Christ by God the Father Ioh. 6.37.44. compared with verse 35, and 47. and Ioh. 17.9.20) And none is able to take them out of my Fathers hand. So that, when we say they cannot fall from grace, this is spoken, not in re­spect of any absolute impossibilitie, but merely upō supposi­tion, to witt, manutenentiae divinae, of Gods upholding of them. And accordingly they are sayd to be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 1. Pet. 1. Now this impos­sibilitie of falling away from grace, in Scholasticall accoumpt is but an impossibilitie secundum quid; like as we say, tis impossible that Antichrist should fall, or the Iewes be called till the time, which God hath appoynted, is come, for bringing foorthe these great and wonder full workes of his; but the contrary is▪ simply possible on eyther part. As for the last clause; not withstanding the most enormous sinnes which they can committ, this is most calumniosly annexed; as if we maynteyned, that the children of God can­not fall from grace, allbeit they should let the reynes loose to their lusts to committ sinne, & that with greedines; wheras, to the contrary, we teache, that God keepeth them from fal­ling away by putting his feare into their hearts accor­ding to that Ierm. 32.40. I will put my feare in their hearts that they shall never depart away from me; so that the right state of our Tenet is not, that God will keepe them from falling away in spight of their praesumptuous courses, but that he will keepe them by him, through an holy feare, which is as much as to say he will holde them fast by him by kee­ping them from presumtuous courses; and accordingly Da­vid after he had prayed that God woulde clense him from his secret faults, he entreates God that as touching presump­t [...]ous sinnes, he would keepe him from them, that so he might be innocent from the great offense.

[Page 30]And as this was Davids prayer, so answereable hereunto was Pauls faith: He will deliver me from every evill worke, (to witt, eyther by obedience or by repentance,2. Tim. 4.17 or els from every pr [...] ­sumptuous course) and preserve me to his heavenly Kingdom; And accordingly the Saints of God, as they are stiled his cal­led ones, his sanctifyed ones, so likewise are they denomina­ted his reserved ones in the Epistle of Iude; For his course is to make them meete pertakers of the inheritance of Saints in light; not to save them in spight of their unfitnes for it, but to make them first sitt for it by holinesse, and then to make them pertakers of it.

Never any of our divines maynteyned any such presum­tion in Gods children as to say with them, Deut. 29.19. I shall have peace though I walke according to the stubbornne of mine owne heart, thus adding drunkenes unto thrist; but rather their faith is like unto that of Pauls formerly men­tioned. The Lord will delive [...] me from every evill woorke & preserve me to his heavenly kingdome. It is true, David once committed adultery and that drewe after it a greater sinne, a practise to take away Vriah, that so he might cover the shame and scandall of the first, but we know the first oc­casion of it was by improvidence hapning to spye Bathsheba from the battellments of his house, going to wash her selfe; but he never committed the like afterwards.

And as for these sinnes of his, Bertius the chiefest main­tainer of the Apostacye of Saints, professeth, he will not say that David by these sinnes did expell the Spirit of God, and that for weightie reasons.

Peter likewise sinned fowly in the progresse of the tempta­tion, deny [...]ng his Master [...]h [...]ise, and that in a strange manner; but if we looke into the orig [...]nall of it, we shall finde how, through improvidence, he cast himself into the devills mouth, ere he was aware, but our Saviour had prayed for him, that his faith should not faile, and remembring his promise, (though Peter remembred not as yet the faire warning our Saviour gave him of Satans desire, to winowe him as wheate) looked [Page 31] back upon him; and he went forth, and wept bitterly; And immediately, upon his resurrection, word was sent hereof to the Apostles, and, by name, to Peter, that he should not thinke the worse of the love of God and of Christ towards him for this. Thus, He that is borne of God sinneth not (to witt the sinn unto death or the sinne of apostacye) for his seede remayneth in him, neyther can he sinne (that sinne) because he is borne of God. But yet as I said this impossibilitie is not absolute or simply so to be called, but only secundum quid, and, upon supposition, to witt, of manutenency divine.

And, as for the true state of our Tenets, and the truth of our Doctrine, I may be bold to say, that it is sufficiently cleered to the world, and that with better authoritie then any they have brought to the contrary. And that as many wri­tings of ours remayne at, this day, unanswered by them, as of theirs, are unanswered by us.

Howsoever, if that were sufficient for this Author, why doth he take penne in hand to write at all? I come to an­swere what he brings in this, and not to be putt off to the writings of others: I may deale with them, upon their owne ground, one after another, as God shall give opportunitie; and hitherto, God knows, I have enterteyned no thought or pur­pose, to decline any of their writings, not their Anti. Synod. Dordrac. nor Vossius his history of the Pelagian Heresie; but I have made choyse to beginn with their Goliah first against Perkins, then in his Conference with Iunius, and after that, to sett my self against Corvinus, the chiefest of his Lieutenants, and therein to meete with Arminius, his twenty reasons deli­vered in the declaration of his opinion before the States, and that in a particular digression at large. Neyther doe I de­sire, in any greater respect, to live and breath on earth, then to deale with every one of them, as I can. For, I conceave them to be no lesse then mountebankes in Logick, in Philo­sophy, in divinity, full of ostentation, I confesse, but voyde of all true learning throughout; and it grieves me to see the Christian world nowadayes, to be in da [...]ger to be cheated of [Page 32] their Christian faith, as Celestinus sometimes was of his Popedom. But it is just with God thus to give us over; For superstition encreaseth with an high hand, and profanenesse hath gotten a whores forehead: and holinesse and sinceritye are sett up as markes to shoote at, and as signes to be spoken against.

THE TREATISE,Treat. Consisting of three parts.

1. part.The first part touching the conversion of a stranger to the faith. This I devide into 3. Sections.

The first Section.

Sect. 1.LEt us see now, what profitt ariseth from this doctrine, and how it serveth to the 3. ends and uses hereabove mentioned.

First then, if he that is of this opinion will go about to convert an Infidell, the Infidell will tell him that he know­eth not how to love, nor yet to beleeve that God to be good and just, which only for his owne pleasure hath destinyed the greatest part of mankind to everlasting torments, without the least consideration of any sinne, at least only for the sinne of one man, who notwithstanding obteyned pardon for him­self, after he had willfully committed it. That herein he seeth not the least trace, either of goodnesse or wisedome, or ju­stice to use them so cruelly, that are destitute of certaine graces and benefites, which this God hath never willed to have given them, and which these miserable wretches could [Page 33] obtaine no other way, and to whom by an irrevocable de­cree, he hath imposed a necessitie as well of sinning without having any power to repent, as of perishing aeternally, which are the very words of Zanchy, one of the principall Doctors of that Synod.

That it cannot be, that God, who in his word doth make himself the lover of mankind, who would, that all men should be saved, and that none perish, who sweareth by himselfe, that he will not the death of a sinner, but that he repent and live. Yea he will still the more abhorre that doctrine, when it persua­deth him, that God useth double dealing, and hath a double will, the one exterior, whereby he inviteth a sinner, making as though he were desirous of his salvation; the other interior and hidden, which is allwayes accomplished, whereby he lea­deth him, by inevitable meanes, as well unto sinne as unto damnation.

The infidell will say unto his converter, that Homer were sooner to be beleeved then he, when he sayth, that: He who speaketh contrary to what he thinketh ought to be held as an enemye, and hated as the gates of Hell. And that, in the judgement of these Apostles of Dort and Arles, the most wicked Hypocrite and Traytor in the World, would most lively repraesent the image of that God, which he speaketh of.

Consid. We read of a strange judgement of God, in sen­ding strong delusions amongst men, that they should beleeve lyes, 2. Thes. 2.11. And the reason hereof also is discovered unto us, v. 10. namely, because they did not receve the love of the truth. This judgement of God seemes to have course in these times as much as ever; or rather in farre greater measure then ever. The Apostle telleth us of false teachers in his dayes, who were but [...], vayne discoursers, Tit. 1.10. yet were they [...]. For even illusions doe praevayle too oft. And is it not very strange, that our Churches, our reformed chur­ches; our Vniversities, our reformed Vniversities, should be [Page 34] caryed away with such base and senselesse discourses as these. Let us then cease to wonder at the simplicitie of Savages, which are taken with coppar in steede of gold; and receave vitre [...]s pro gemmis, and make as much reckoning of beades, made of glasse, as others doe of pearle. For observe, I pray, the force of this Autors argument comprised in briefe. An infidell is no way likely to brooke this doctrine of ours, as touching absolute reprobation; therefore this doctrine is un­sound and nothing agreable to Gods word.

Is it possible, that a Christian should be so farre infatuated, as to make the judgement of an infidell to be the rule of his faith in matter of salvation, and as touching the myst [...]ries of godlinesse? And if some French witt lea [...]ened with Armi­nianisme be caryed away with such vile phantasyes, shall i [...] spread so farre, as to sowre the witts of our Vniversitie also? why then doe they not proceede to turne Atheists? For it is well knowne, that the Gospell of Christ crucified, was both a scandall to the Iewes, and foolishnesse unto the Gentiles, 1. Cor. [...].

What a base opinion had the K [...]ng of Assur, concerning the Religion of Samaria, and of Ierusalem, preferring all o­thers before it, Esa. 10.10. Like as mine hand hath found the Kingdomes of the Idolls, seeing their idolls were above Sama­ria, and above Ierusalem, v. 11. Shall not I, as I have done to Samaria, and to the Idolls thereof, so doe to Ierusalem and to the Idolls thereof? Where was found a more wise writer a­mongst Heathens then Taci [...]us? And why should not his judgement be made the rule of our faith in matter of Reli­gion,Hist. l. 5. as soone as the judgement of any infidells. And what was his judgement, 1. Concerning the Iewes: Omnia (sayth he, speaking of the Iewes) profana illis, quae apud nos sacra. Rursum concessa apud illos omnia, quae apud nos incesta, and com­paring their rites with the rites of Bacchus, praeferres those of Bacchus before these of the Iewes. Liberum patrem coli, domi­torem Orientis quidam arbitrati sunt, nequaquam congruentibus institutis; Quippe liber festos lae [...]osque ritus posuit; Iudcorum mos [Page 35] absurdus sordidusque. 2. Concerning Christians, whom he describes to be Hominum genus propter flagitia invisum; This is delivered of Christians in the dayes of holy Paul, who teacheth us not to doe evill that good may come thereof; nor to recompense evill with evill, but to overcome evill with goodnesse. Yea, and commandes every soule to be sub­ject to the higher powers, even then, when soules were at best, and powers at worst. And then, let us proceede a littl [...] further, and turne direct Atheists, maintaining the world to have bene from everlasting▪ and that all things come to passe by necessitie of nature, because fo [...]sooth, in the judgement of Aristotle, God being goodnesse it self, not good by a con­crete denomination, but essentially goodnesse naturally and necessarily communicating it self, doth bring all things to passe by necessitie of nature, as Iacobus Naclantus observes in the first of his 4. Tractates, which is of the creation of all things by God, and that according unto Aristotle, but by ne­cessitie of nature, which utterly overthrowes all providence divine.

Againe, Zosimus that bitter Atheist, and enemye to Chri­stians, who writes so basely of Constantine the great▪ Doth he not reproch our Christian profession upon these very termes, that we offer the free forgivenesse of all sinnes to all them who shall embrace Christian faith? And shall we thinke the worse of Christianity, for his distasting the doctrine of free justification of all by faith in Christ? which distastfull­nesse of his, is not a thing feigned by us, or barely presumed of, as this Authors course is meerely to represent the fictions of his owne braines, but left upon record by the reall pro­fession of Zosimus himselfe in his history. I have read of an Arrian, executed at Norwich, for blasphemy against Iesus Christ, in the dayes of Queene Elizabeth, that being mooved to repent that Christ might pardon him, should reply to this effect: And is that God of yours so mercifull indeed, as to pardon so readily those that blaspheme him, then I renounce him and defie him.

[Page 36]Now, shall such a wretches judgement any thing moove us, so much as to waver in our faith, as touching the Deitie of Iesus Christ the Sonne of God, as also touching his facility even to pardon blasphemies delivered against him, in case of true repentance? What is the Socinian Tenet, at this day, con­cerning Christ? doe they not professedly deny, that he came into the world, to make satisfaction for sinne? For as much, as God, they say, can pardon sinne without all satisfaction. So that the preaching of satisfactiō made by Christ, is no way fitt to worke upon thē, it is so distasted by thē. But shall we think the worse of our doctrine in this particular for that? Consi­der what is the generall judgement of infidells concerning Originall sinne. Doe they thinke it just for God to condemne an Infant, dying in originall sinne unto aeternall fire? Or can they digest our Christian doctrine, concerning the generall condition of all mankind as borne in originall sinne, and therewithall borne Children of wrath? Especially, in case the soule of the childe proceedes not from the parents, but im­mediately from God, as who by infusing it creates it, and by creating it, infuseth it? Shall therefore we be awed by their judgements▪ frō hearkning to Gods word, both touching the sinfull condition, wherein we are all borne, and touching the condigne punishment thereof? Nay rather, as the Apostle professeth of the Gospell in generall, so let us be bolde to professe of every mystery thereof in particular, that If it be hid it is hid from them that perish, in whom the God of this world hath blinded their mindes, 2. Cor. 4.3.4. even of Infidells, that the light of the glorious Gospell of Christ, which is the image of God, should not shine unto them. Yet that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkenesse is he which hath shined in the hearts of many Infidells, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Iesus Christ. And in like sort hath God caused the light of this truth, as touching the absolutenesse of Repro­bation, to shine in the hearts of many, who in the state of na­ture were no better then Infidells, being borne children of wrath as well as others.

[Page 37]But come we to grapple with this man of warre, and try the mettall he is made of. The Infidell (he saith) will tell him, that goeth about to convert him, that he knowes not how to love, nor yet beleeve that God to be good and just, which onely for his owne pleasure hath destined the greatest part of mankind, to everlasting torments, without the least consideration of any sinne, or at least only for the sin of one man, &c. Observe first, how this Tragaedian caryeth himself in the making of his plea, to serve his owne turne. (For, Po [...]ta, cum primum animum ad scribendum appulit, id [...]ibi negoti credidit solum dari▪ populo ut placerent quas fecisset fabulas.) And there­fore he feigneth that, before any man setts hand to the con­verting of an Infidell, the Infidell is acquainted already with our doctrine, concerning absolute reprobation. This is like the making of his owne bed, that he may lye the more easily. Secondly, what if he will not love such a God, or beleeve such a doctrine? shall the doctrine be the lesse true, for this? In the sixt of Iohn we reade how some distasted the doctrine of our Saviour, concerning the eating of his flesh, and saide that this was an hard saying, and thereupon many of his dis­ciples departed from him, was our Saviours doctrine the lesse true, or did it deserve the lesse credite for this? If a man should preach unto an Infidell, that doctrine of Paul, where he sayth: Before the children were borne and when they had ney­ther done good nor evill, that the purpose of God according to elec­tion might stand, not of workes, but of him that calleth, it was said, The elder shall serve the younger; As it is written, I have loved Iacob, and have hated Esau. If an Infidell will not beleeve this, nor love such a God as is sett forth unto us herein; what therefore shall not we beleeve it, and acknowledge God to be good and just, notwithstanding this? what Christian that is not infatuated, doth not perceive the vanitie and absurdity of this Authors argumentation? and that in the investigation of divine truth, we are not to regard, how an Infidell is like­ly to be affected with it in our fancie, but whether such a doctrine be agreable to Gods word or no?

[Page 38]Now, by the Apostles argumentation, which is this; Be­fore Esau and Iacob were borne or had done good or evill, it was sayde, The elder shall serve the younger, ergo election is not of workes (to witt of good workes) but of the mere pleasure of God who calleth whom he will, as afterwards it is sayde that, he hath mercy on whom he will. It doth as mani­festly follow:

1. Concerning Election that as it is not of workes, so neyther is it of faith; seing before they were borne, they were aequally as uncapable of faith as of workes, and consequently that Gods ordeyning men unto salvation, proceedes merely according to the good pleasure of God, and not upon consi­deration eyther of workes or faith.

2. As touching reprobation, that it is no more of evill workes then election is of good workes, for as much as be­fore they were borne they were aequally uncapable of the one as well as of the other, and the doing of evill is expressely ex­cluded as well as the doing of good; whence it followeth manifestly, that Gods ordeyning men unto damnation pro­ceedes as much of the mere pleasure of God, and with as litle consideration of sinne, as Gods ordeyning men unto salva­tion, proceedes of the mere pleasure of God, & without con­sideration of any righteousnes in man; though fleshe and blood be farre more apt to tumultuate and make insurre­ction against this doctrine of reprobation, then against the proportionable doctrine of election.

Thirdly, consider the vanitie of his amplifications in two particulars.

First, in that he aggravates the matter by the circumstance of the greatest part of mankind; wheras it is manifest by rea­son, that if it be just with God to deale thus with the least part of mankinde, yea with any one; it is as just with God to deale in like manner with the greatest part of mankinde, yea with all and every one.

Secondly, he aggravates it by the circumstance of the least consideration of sinne which we are sayde to deny to have [Page 39] place in reprobation; wheras divine consideration hath no degrees at all wherby it may be capable of greater or lesse; sin indeede hath degrees in man, but divine consideration hath no degrees at all.

Fourthly, to come nearer to the point, and to discover their jugling in stating our Tenet most calumniously. Consi­der, I pray, doe any of our divines meynteyne, that God did ordeyne to damne any man but for sinne? It is apparent they doe not; all acknowledging that like as God doth damne no man but for sinne, so doth he ordeyne to damme no man but for sinne. For doe they not all professe that the ende intended by God in the reprobation of certein men is the manifestation of Gods justice; which if God doth intende, how can it be otherwise, but that whom he ordeynes to the suffering of everlasting torments, those he ordeynes to the suffering of everlast [...]ng torments for their sinne, and for no­thing els. And, to adde one thing more, not for their sinne which they sinned in Adam only (for thus I had rather ex­presse my selfe according to scripture phrase, then as this ob­scure Author doth in calling it only Adams sinne) but for those very actuall sinnes and transgressions which they are guilty of. Now this Author caryeth the ma [...]ter so, as if our doctrine were, that God ordeynes men to be tormented not for sinne, but merely for his owne pleasure. And to this pur­pose he caryeth himselfe very judiciously for the advantage of his owne cause, in confounding the cause of the decree with the cause of the execution therof. Confounding the most re­ceaved distinction of the Schooles, concerning the will of God as considerable; eyther quoad actum volentis, as touching the act of God willing, or, quoad res voli [...]as, as touching the thinges willed, by God.

The act of God willing can have no cause, sayth Aquinas, neyther doe I finde any crossing of this amongst Schoole di­vines untill the Iesuites arose. And the same Aquinas, ap­plying the same distinction to praedestination, which is the very will of God in a certeyne kinde, spares not to professe [Page 40] that Never any man was so madde as to affirme that merits are the cause of predestination, quoad actum praedestinantis as touching the act of God predestinating. It seemes, he knewe of none so madde as to affirme this, but, since his dayes, there hath risen up a sect of Iesuites, a sect of Armi­nians more then enough, that are so madde, and yet cary this madde doctrine of theirs in such a confidentiary streyne, as if they were the only sober men of the world. Then agayne the thinges willed by God in predestination are of different con­dition, and that so different; that looke what alone is the cause of Gods decree, that, and that alone is the cause of the execution; looke what alone is the cause of the decree quoad actum decernentis, that and that alone is the cause of the decree quoad rem volitam or decretam; but not so of the other, as for example, the things willed by God in predestination are grace and glory; by grace I understand the grace of faith and repen­tance. Now like as the act of Gods decree is of the mere pleasure of God, no temporall thing being fitt to be the cause of the aeternall decree of God; in like sort, the giving of faith and repentance proceedes merely of the good pleasure of God, according to that, God hath mercy on whom he will, Rom. 9.18. and to obteyne mercy at the handes of God is to obteyne faith, Rom. 11.30. But as for glory and salvation, we doe not say that God, in conferring it, proceedes accor­ding to the mere pleasure of his will, but according to a lawe; which is this, whosoever believeth shall be saved; which lawe we willingly professe he made according to the mere pleasure of his will, but having made such a lawe, he pro­ceedes according to it. No such lawe hath he made, accor­ding wherunto to proceede in the dispensation of grace, of faith, of repentance. And, in like sort, though God findes men aequall when he bestowes grace on some and not others; yet he findes them not aequall, when he comes to bestowe salvation on some and not on others. The like distinction is cōsiderable on the part of reprobation, which allso is the will of God in a certeyne kinde; I say we must distingu [...]she in this [Page 41] decree, the act of God decreeing, and the thinges decreed by h [...]m. And these thinges are of a different nature, and so d [...]f­ferent, that looke what alone is the cause of the act, that al­one is the cause of one thing decreed by it, but not so of the other. As, for example, the things decreed by reproba­tion are:

  • 1. The denyall of grace, (by grace I meane) faith and re­pentance wherby that infidelitie & hardnes of heart which is naturall to all, is cured.
  • 2. The denyall of glory, together with the inflicting of damnation. As touching the first of these; looke what is the cause of reprobation as touching the act of God repro­bating, that and that alone is the cause of the denyall of Grace, to witt the mere pleasure of God: For the Apostle playnly teache [...]h us that as God hath mercy on whom he will, to witt, in giving faith and repentance; so he hardneth whom he will, by refusing to give them faith and repentance.

But as touching the denyall of glory and inflicting dam­nation, God doth not proceede according to the mere plea­sure of his will, but according to a lawe, which is this, whosoever believeth not shall be damned. And, albeit God made that lawe according to the mere pleasure of his will; yet no wise man will say, that God denyes glory and inflicts dam­nation on men according to the mere pleasure of his will: the case being cleere, that God denyes the one and infl [...]cts the other merely for their sinnes, who are thus dealt withall. And indeede, albeit men are founde aequall in their moralitie, when God denyes the grace of faith and repentance unto some, which he bestowes on others, yet, when he comes to deny glory and inflict damnation on men, dealing otherwise with others, he doth not finde all to be aequall, but some he findes to have ended their dayes in the state of faith and true repentance, others to have finished their dayes in sinn, in infidelitie or impaenitencye. And accordingly we distinguishe betweene absolute election unto salvation, & election unto salvation absolute; absolute reprobation unto damnation and [Page 42] reprobation unto damnation absolute; we grant absolute ele­ction unto salvation; and absolute reprobation unto damna­tion; but we deny eyther election to be unto salvation abso­lute, or reprobation unto damnation absolute. Yet there is a considerable difference betweene these; for as much as fi­nall infidelitie and impenitency are the meritorious causes of damnation; but faith, repentance and good workes are but the disposing causes of salvation. Yet like as God inflicts not damnation but by way of punishment, so he doth not bestowe salvation, on any of ripe yeares, but by way of reward. Yet here allso is a difference; for damnation is inflicted by way of punishment for the evill workes sake which are committed: but salvation is not conferred by way of reward for the good workes sake which are performed, but merely for Christs sake. All this, this Author, as I sayde, doth very judiciously confounde for the advantage of his cause; taking no notice at all of these distinctions, whether wittingly dissembling them, or ignorantly not discerning them, albeit the genuine condition of our Tenet rightly understood, doth clearly be­speake them. So that, if he woulde fairely sett h [...]mselfe to the impugning of our Tenet as touching the absolutenes of Gods decree, he should leave the consideration of election and re­probation as touching those things willed by them which we call salvation and damnation, & insist upon the consideration of election and reprobation, as touching those other things willed therby, which we call the giving of faith and repen­tance unto some, and the denyall of faith and repentance unto others; wherin we willingly professe, that God caryeth him­selfe absolutely throughout; not only decreeing th [...]se accor­ding to the mere pleasure of his will, without all considera­tion of ought in man; but giving them allso unto some and denying them unto others, according to the mere pleasure of his will, without the consideration of ought in man. Now in this point, this Author is content to be silent; for he findes no such harshnes imputable unto us, in this Tenet of ours: Neyther indeede can he stande to maynteyne his owne Tenet, [Page 43] without plunging himselfe into manifest Pelagianisme. For, if God doth not give faith & repentance unto men according to the mere pleasure of his will, but upon consideration of somewhat founde in man, then grace shall be given according unto workes, which was condemned in the Synod of Pale­stine above 1200. yeares agoe, & all along impugned, by the orthodoxe, in opposition to the Pelagians and Semipelagians. But I am willing to proceede further with this Author and to proove that God shoulde not be unjust, though he inflict torment upon a creature though never so innocent. For, con­sider, shall it not be lawfull with God to doe what he will with his creature?

Hath not man power to doe what he will with the work­manship of his owne handes? And shall this power be denyed unto God? How did he afflict his most holy and innocent Sonne only to make his soule an offering for the sins of others? And what power hath God given us over inferior creatures, that are not capable of sinne, are capable of payne enough through diseases, and through our imployment of them to doe us their faithfull services; we put them to death after such a manner as wherby they may proove beneficiall unto us, eyther for food, or physicke, neyther doe we of­fende God in this, though some kindes of death proove more paynfull unto them, yet so long as hereby they proove more usefull unto us we doe not transgresse.

And now adayes all sides confesse, that it is in the power of God to annihilate the holiest Angell in heaven, and that in the execution herof, he shoulde execute no other then a lawfull power. And who had not rather be content to suf­fer a continuall payne (so it be tolerable,) then to dye, much more then to have both body & soule turned into nothing?

When the old world was drowned, how many thousands of infants perished in that deluge, choaked in the waters, which were guiltie of no other sinne, then what they sinned in our common Father Adam? So in the destruction of So­dom and Gommorrha by fire, how many Infants were burnt [Page 44] to ashes, some in their mothers wombe, some hanging on their mothers breasts; when the earth opened and swallowed up the congregation of Dathan and Ab [...]ram, their litle ones were swallowed up together with their rebellious parents; and shall we say that God was unjust in the execution of these and such like judgments?

Yet Medina professeth that God, as Lord of life and death, hath power to inflict any payne on any creature be he never so innocent, and this he delivers ex concordi omnium Theologorum Sententia. And indeed, no reason can define those boundes & limits of payne and sorrowe, eyther as tou­ching intension, or duration, within which, in the execution of payne, God must consist, & beyond which he cannot pro­ceede incolumi justitia. And will th [...]s Author deny that by the sinne of one man sinne entred into the world, and death by sinne hath spread it selfe over all, even over those that did not sinne after the similitude of Adams transgression, that is, over Infants? Is this the fruite of God his making us after his owne image, that herupon we shoulde circumscribe and l [...]mit the execution of his power over us in comparison with others, and that only by rules devised by fleshe and blood? And if he doth execute no other then a lawfull power, can he be justly censured of crueltie? But seing he ordeynes no man to damnation but for sinne, and that to the manifesta­tion of his justice, which is his glory; is he lesse good, or wise or just in this? The scripture playnely teacheth us that God made all thinges for himselfe, even the wicked against the day of evill, Prov. 16.4 and shall we suspende our judgements, as touching our adherence unto this divine and sacred truth, untill such time as we have made triall how this doctrine will relish with in­fidells? What if they are destitute of certaine graces, and that it was Gods will never to bestow any such grace upon them. What disparagement (I say) is this to Gods goodnesse, wise­dome, or justice, in damning men for sinne voluntarily and freely committed by them? Or, is his meaning that God doth damne them for being destitute of such certeyne graces? [Page 45] Why did he not speake it out plainly? Was he ashamed ex­pressely to deliver so shamefull an untruth? would he rather have the propitious Reader, to apprehend by [...] way a be­liefe of that which he was ashamed to utter? What divine of ours was ever knowne to affirm, that God doth damne a man, because God doth not regenerate him, or for the want of regeneration? God damnes no man but for sinne, and that actuall, most freely committed by him, in case he live to the committing of sinnes actuall. It is true, that all are born children of wrath, by vertue of that sinne, which we all sinned in Adam; This is as true as the word of God is true, and that the Epistles of S. Paul to the Romans, and to the Ephesians are a part of Gods word. And if he hath a tooth against our doctrine, touching originall sinne, eyther touching the na­ture, or touching the guilt of it, even the guilt of aeternall death, why did he not shew his strength in the impugning of it? Yet, what are these graces, which God (he sayth) hath ne­ver willed to have given them who are damned, according to our opinion, implying that, according to his opinion, God did well to bestow them even on those, who never enjoyed them? Why doth he scu [...]k in this manner, and conceal himself, for fear of comming to the light? Is it because he cherisheth an evill conscience in hugging some erroneous points in his bosome, therefore he hateth the light? Is faith one of those graces, which God did will to bestow on them, who yet ne­uer had faith? If God doth will to bestow faith on them, how comes it, that they have not faith? Is not God able to give them faith? Looke but upon our selves, whatsoever we will doe, and are able to doe, that we doe; if then God be able to worke faith in any man, if withall he will worke it, how is it possible that such a one should want faith? Who hath resist [...]d his will? Againe, to give a man faith, is to shew him mercy, for to obteyne faith, is to obteyne mercy, Rom. 11.30. If then God will give faith to any, he doth give faith unto him; For, he doth shew mercy on whom he will, Rom. 9.18.

[Page 46]But let us devise what is this Authors meaning, as touching God his willing faith to them that never have it; It may be, his meaning is, that God is ready to worke faith in man upon a condition; Now, what is that condition? Can it be any o­ther thing then some worke of man? And what followes herehēce? but that God gives faith according to mens works, which is pure Pelagianisme, condemned for heresie in the Church of God from time to time. Or will they say, that God is ready to worke faith in man, provided that man will; but let them speake out, and say plainly, that God is ready to worke faith in man, provided that he doth first worke it in himself. For even the will is Gods worke, Phil. 3.13. and God workes in us every thing that is pleasing in his sight, through Iesus Christ. And what shall be the condition of Gods working in us the very will? Yet still they frame them­selves to the Pelagian Tenet, as if grace were conferred ac­cording unto workes, directly contrary to the doctrine of S. Paul, 2. Tim. 1.9. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according unto our workes, but according to his owne purpose & grace.

Lastly, is their meaning this, God will concurre with us to the working of faith, so we will concurre with him; And doe any of our divines denye Gods concurrence to every good worke? though this concurrence we hold to be meerely impossible; For in like sort it is as true, that man will concurre to the working of faith, if so be God will concurre with him; and this is mainteyned by Iesuites and Arminians, and Gods foresight of this is their scientia media.

Now, consider, I pray, the absurditie hereof. For, upon this mutuall supposition on both sides, it is utterly impossible any action should proceede. As, for example, if you say you will go to London, if so be, I will go with you; and I say likewise, that I will go with you, if so be you will go with me; so long as neyther of us doe absolutely resolve to go to London, it is impossible eyther of us should go to London at all.

[Page 47]Againe, if God doth thus onely concurre to the working of faith, and this be sufficient to make him the Author of faith; why may he not as well be accompted the Author of every evill act, that is committed throughout the world? For, doe not your selves mainteyne, that God in like sort con­curres to the producing of every evill act?

But perhaps by Gods will, in this place, is meant Gods commandement, For, it is a jugling world, wherein we live, & aequivocation is most congruous to their courses, who desire to play fast & loose.

Now, doe any of our divines deny that God commands all in the Church, all that heare the Gospell to beleeve, whe­ther they be the elect of God, or whether they be reprobates? But will it follow herehence, that Gods purpose is to give them faith? Or will they deny faith, to be the gift of God, & oppose Paul to his face, Phil. 1 29. and Eph. 2.8?

Yet you will say, God punisheth them for refusing to be­leeve; I grant he doth: For this refusall is the free act of their wills; and by mere power of nature, they might absteyne from this refusall, and have beleeved as well as Simon Magus did, as well as profane persons doe, as many an hypocrite doe; which is only fides acquisita; And, it is well knowne, they be­leeve many a vile legend.

But then he will say, such a faith shall never save them; and I willingly confesse, it shall not; For it never brings forth any love of the truth, any conformity thereunto in their lifes. Yet are they never a whit the lesse inexcusable that refuse to beleeve.

Secondly, why doe they not beleeve but quia nō [...], and Austin, both in his lib. 3. de Gen. ad literam cap. 1. and his re­traction thereof, both sayth and justifyes, as omnino true, that even naturall men may both beleeve, if they will, and from the love of temporall things convert themselves to the the keeping of Gods commandements, if they will. For, indeed, this impotency, which is found in all, of doing that which is good, is not so much naturall as morall, having the [Page 48] the roote therof eyther only or che [...]fly in the will of man; And, if they may believe if they will, is it not just with God to punish them for not believinge? Therfore, if a quaestion be made, why the wicked doe not this or that, which is good, his answeare is quia nolunt; but, sayth he, if you further demaund, Quare nolunt? Imus in l [...]gum, sayth Austin, yet without prejudice to a more diligent inquisition of the truth, I answere, sayth the same divine, that the reason is, eyther because it appeares not unto them what it is, or, appearing what it is, yet it doth not delight them; Sed ut innotescat quòd latebat, & suave fiat, quod minime delectabat, gratiae Dei est, quae humanas adjuvat voluntates. But, to prosecute this argu­ment farther then this Author dreames of, we say there are but three sorts of supernaturall acts, and they are eyther faith devine, or hope devine, or charitie divine, all other acts are naturall and performable by a naturall man, whether they be the acts of all morall vertues, or an [...]xterior conformitie to the meanes of grace, wherby it comes to passe that some doe proficere ad exteriorem vitae emendationem; but none of these acts are acceptable with God unles they proceede from, and are rightly qualified by those three theologicall vertues, faith, hope, and love, all which are divine and supernaturall; the love of God being such as is joyned with the contempt of our selfes; as for faith and hope it appears how supernaturall they are, by the supernaturall condition of theire objects. Now suppose that a man were so exact, both in naturall moralitie, and in an outward conformitie to the meanes of grace, as not to fayle in any particular, as he hath power to performe any particular hereof naturally; in this case, I say, if there were any such, he shoulde be in the same case with those that are guilty of no sinne, but sinne originall, which yet the word of God teacheth us to be sufficient to make all men to be borne children of wrath; though, as Austin speaketh, their poena be omnium mitissima; and that such perhaps (for so as remember he proposeth it) ut mallent paenamillam sub­ire, quam non esse: As for the necessitie of sinning, which, he [Page 49] saith, God hath imposed upon them, Corvinus confesseth that all men, by the sinne of Adam, are conjecti in necessitatem peccandi, and that out of the opinion of Arminius; his wordes are these;Defens. Armin. p. 394. Fatetur Arminius hominem sub statu peccati necessa­riò peccare, nisi Deus istam necessitatem gratiose tollat. And this he calls, a litle after, necessitatem peccandi. But yet, to cleare this necessitie, which he doth not, we doe not say that any man sinnes any particular sinne, as the sinne of lying, whoring, swearing, stealing, necessarily; for undoubtedly it is in the power of man to absteyne from any of these; but this we say, whatsoever they doe, they sinne in some sort or other; whe­ther they committ fornication, or whether they absteyne from fornication, or from any other act forbidden, in as much as they doe not absteyne from it in a gracious manner and ac­ceptable unto God. For they that are in the flesh cannot please God; as in not absteyning from it, for Gods sake, in con­science of his word, in reference to his glory, out of the sence of his love towards them in Christ, in acknowledg­ment that all power of doing things pleasing in his sight pro­ceedes from him, &c. As for the imposing of this necessitie of sinning upon man▪ When a man, by defiling his body through incontinency, bringes some filthy disease upon him which he propagates to his posteritie, shall we say God im­poseth this disease upon him and his? though it cannot be de­nyed, but even the course of nature is the worke of God; in the like sort, when Adam, by sinning against God, corrupted his owne nature, and therewithall his whole posterity, shall we lay the blame of this on God, and call him the imposer of it, and not on Adam, yea on our selves, who sinned in Adam, as the Holy Ghost teacheth us to speake? We speake plain­ly, in saying that the love of God to the contempt of our selves, is not naturall to any man, unlesse he be indued with the Spirit of God, but Adam was created, (and we in him) in the state of grace, and indued with the Spirit of God; by ver­tue whereof the soule of man was fixed upon God, as upon his end, to enjoy him, and to use all other things even our selves, and all for him, and in reference to his glory.

[Page 50]But whan man, by the practise of Satan circumvented, did voluntarily avert himself from God, and converted himself first inordinately to the love of himself, and then to the eating of the forbidden fruite for the acquiring of a state of better perfection; It was just with God to withdraw his Spirit from him, and leave him in that condition wherein he found him, that is averted from God as his end, and convert to the love of himself, and to the creature, [...]o use, not for Gods sake, but for his owne sake, and for the satisfying of his owne lusts, 1. Thus were we all in Adam averted from the love of God to the contempt of our selves, unto the love of our selves joyned with the contempt of God, and, consequently, in an inordinate manner converted to the creature, which is the originall corruption, wherein we are all borne, bereaved, and that justly, of the Spirit of God. Wherefore let us not blaspheme God, and blame him as the imposer of this neces­sity upon us, but blame our selues, as the corrupters of our selves; Or, at least, if we cannot concoct this, yet let us deale plainly, and deny originall sinne, and give Paul the lye to his face, in saying we were all bo [...]ne children of wrath. Yet know and consider, that Gods power, in thus abandoning all mankinde for their sinne [...] Adam, is farre inferior to that power he shewed in cruciating his owne Sonne, his most in­nocent and holy Sonne, in making his soule an offering for our sinne. And that God hath power, not only to annihi­late the holiest, (which is without all question) but to inflict upon him any payne. Medina is bolde to professe, Ex concordi omn [...]um Theologorum Sententia; And Vasques the Iesuite ac­knowledgeth as much, though herein, they say, he should not cary himself as Iudex, but as Dominus vitae & mortis.

What that Zanchy is, who is here mentioned, as one of the principall Doctors of that Synod of Arles (for so I presume is his meaning, and not of the Synod of Dort) I know not; but had he alleaged the booke, and quoted the place, I would have returned my answer thereunto, and shall be ready to doe as much, as soone as I shall be made acquainted with the par­ticulars, [Page 51] out of the Author Zanchy himself.

It is as cleare as the Sunne, that God in his word makes himself the lover of Iacob,Rom. 9.11.12. and the hater of Esau before they were borne; and that as the Potter at his pleasure makes of the same lumpe vessells, some to honour, some to dishonour, so God takes power unto himself of the same lumpe,20.21.22. to make some vessells of mercy, other vessells of wrath, and in many places is this acknowledged by Austin.

And no more is required to this then to shew mercy on some,V. 1 [...]. and deny mercy unto others; and the scripture is ex­presse in testifying that God hath mercy on whom he will, & whom he will he hardeneth.

No such text of scripture is to be found, that God would have all to be saved; and none to perish. And, if this were true, then all should be saved, or his will altered; For, none can resist his will, Rom. 9.19. And Austin hath long ago professed,Enchirid. cap. 96. that, to say as this Author doth, is to deny the first Article of our Creede, concerning Gods omnipotency.

The Apostle sayth, indeed, that God will all to be saved, and come to the knowledge of his truth, which is given as a reason, why we must pray for all even for kings, and such as are in au­thority; Now, this speciall, is a speciall condition of men, and therefore the generall terme All must be understood suitably of all conditions of men, that is, of all sorts some, like as Peter saw in the vessell let down unto him [...], that is of all sorts some; and thus omne animal was in Noahs Arke; And in the same sense, it is sayd, that all Ierusalem, and all Iudea went forth to Iohn, that is of all parts som; & this is enough to animate every Christian to pray for their owne King; For why may not he be of the number of Gods elect as well as an other▪

As for reprobats, if they were known unto us, we should by Austins advise no more pray for thē then for the devils thē ­selvs.De civit. Dei. l. 21. c. 24. Si de aliquibus ita Ecclesia certa esset, ut qui sunt illi etiam nosset, qui licet adhuc in hac vita sint constituti, tamen praedestinati sunt in aeternum ignem ire cum diabolo: tam pro ijs non oraret [Page 52] quam proipso. And as Paul, as afore sayde, so Peter profes­seth of God, that he is [...] not willing that any of us shall perishe; is this to be the lover of all mankinde? then let that place also witnesse God to be a lover of all mankinde, where it is sayde:1. Ioh. 2, 19. They went from us but they were not of u [...]; for had they bene of us, they had continued with us. Yet be­cause we doe not love to cary our selves (this Author like) th [...]ough aequivocation, in hugger mugger. We consider the common doctrine, that passions are not attributed unto God quoad affectum, but quoad effectum. And accordingly we di­stinguishe of the effects of Gods love in respect wherof he is sayde to love his creature. For they may be considered eyther in respect of life temporall, or of life spirituall, or of life aeternall. The first effects of love, as touching life temporall, God communicates to all that have life; thus he is [...]ayde to save both man & beast, and the eyes of all are sayde to wayte upon him; he heares the cry of ravens; the sparrowes fall not to the ground without the providence divine; The very Lyons roaring after their prey, doe seeke their meate at God.

Thus he may be sayde to be as the Saviour, so the lover of all men; 1. q 23. art. 2. ad 1.but especially of them that beleeve, to witt, both in respect of the comforts of life spirituall, and the ioyes of life aeternall which he affoordes unto them. Thus in effect, Aquinas answerd long ago, Deus omnes homines diligit & etiam omnes creaturas, in quantum omnibus vult aliquod bonum, non tamen quodcunque bonum vult omnibus. In quantum igitur qui­busdam non vult hoc bonum quod est vita aeterna, dicitur [...]os habere odio vel reprobare. As for that of swearing by himselfe, that he will not the death of a sinner, there is no such text at all; or if in France there be any such text receaved, yet it becomes not our universities to followe outlādishe translations before the most authenticall translation of our owne Church; who reade it thus; I have no pleasure in the death of a sinner. And as Piscator observes, a man may will that, wherin he takes no pleasure; like as a sicke man takes no pleasure in a bitter potion, yet he is willing to take it to recover his health. So [Page 53] [...]s man willing to loose a limme, (though he takes no plea­sure in it) to save his life. And then agayne as the words lye, they are directly contrary to Christian reason; For doth not God inflict death on thousandes and doth not the scripture expressely testifie, that God workes all thinges according to the counsayle of his will, Eph. 1.11. And all­beit he takes no pleasure in the death of the sinner, yet the scripture is as expresse in acknowledging that God delights in the execution of judgement,Ier. 9.24 as well as in the execution of mercy. I am the Lord which sheweth mercy, judgement, & righteousnesse in the earth, for in these things I delight, sayth the Lord. Indeed he is said not to punish willingly, or to grieve the Children of men; but understand it aright, this is as much as to say, he doth not these things animi causa, for mere pleasure sake, but being provoked thereunto by somewhat, even by the sinnes of men, whereas favours he many times distributes according to the meere pleasure of his will, not so punishments: but therein he caryeth himself as a tender Fa­ther, chastising his Sonne, who is deare unto him. And, albeit Earthly Fathers sometimes chasten their children after their owne pleasure.Heb. 1 [...].10. Yet God alwayes chasteneth us for our pro­ [...]ite, that we might be partakers of his holinesse. Yet this dealing of God is with his children onely Father like, not with others.

Indeed, God takes pleasure in a mans repentance, but not in his death. As for the double will which he pretends, we make in God; we, to the contrary, acknowledge but one will in God in proper speech; and that is voluntas propositi, his pur­pose or decree; in which sense the Apostle speaketh, in saying who hath resisted his will, Rom. 9.10. And the Psalmist, what­soever the Lord will, that he doth both in Heaven and in Earth: but we finde in scripture phrase, that his commande­ments are also called his will. But the object of the one is farre different from the object of the other; which this Au­thor, and such like, desire to confound throughout; and no mervail, if an evill conscience maketh them to hate the light.

[Page 54]Now, we say, even Gods commandment notes the will o [...] God also in proper speach, to wit, what shall be our duety to doe; for undoubtedly whatsoever God commands us, it is his will in proper speech, that it shall be our duetie to doe it. But by the will of God in distinction from that will which is signified by his commandement, we understand his pur­pose to have this or that to be brought to passe. As for example, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, ther­fore it is Gods will to binde him to the doing hereof, and to make it his duetie to doe it; But it appeares by the sequel, that it was Gods purpose, that Isaac should not be sacrificed. In like sort he commanded Pharaoh to let Israel goe; this then was Pharaohs duety; & it was Gods will to oblige him here­unto, and to make it his duety to let Israell goe; but withall he revealed to Moses, that he would harden Pharaohs heart, the consequent whereof was this, that he should not let Israel goe for a long time.

Now, let every sober man judge whether there be any double dealing in this▪ or if it be double dealing, whether the Scripture it self doe not attribute it unto God; and whe­ther they may not as well charge the scriptures for attributing double dealing unto God, as they doe charge us with the like.

As for desires and velleities, we acknowledge no such im­perfections in God, being such as are incompatible with his omnipotency.

As for Gods invitation of a sinner unto grace, we know not what he meanes by grace, unlesse it be faith and repen­tance; and by grace heretofore he meant nothing lesse, for ought I could perceave, but the more aequivocall a terme is, the fitter it is for their turne, that desire to play fast and loose. Now, Gods invitation hereunto is no other thē by pro­fessing, that by faith and repentance they shallbe saved, with­out faith and repentance they shallbe damned. And here­upon by his ministers he commands them, entreats them, beseecheth them, that they will beleeve and repent, that they [Page 55] may be reconciled unto God and saved. But what is the ministers ayme in this? Surely, though they become all things to all men,1 Cor. 9.22. yet their scope is only to save some by all meanes, even by entreating, obt [...]sting, beseeching. And who are these some? None but the elect, 2. Tim. 2, 10. I suffer all things for the elects sake.

And this he learnt of the Lord Iesus, when he came to Corinth,Act. 18.9.10. for there the Lord spake unto him in a vision by night, saying: Feare not, but speake and hold not thy peace, for I am with thee, and no man shall lay hands on thee, for I have much people in this ci [...]te. And indeed, therfore Christ dyed, not for the Iewes only, but that he should gather to­gether into one the children of God,Ioh. 11.52 Ioh 10.16 which were scattered, all the world over. According to that profession of his formerly made: Other sheepe have I, which are not of this folde, them also must I bring, and they shall heare my voyce: and there shalbe one sheepefolde and one sheepheard.

And indeed, how could it be otherwise, then that Gods ministers should cary themselves indifferently towards all, in­viting all, entreating all, beseeching all; For can they d [...]stin­guish betweene elect and reprobate? [...] was God bound to reveale unto them, who were elect, and who were not?

Then againe,Gratia & de lib. ar­bit. cap. 2 we know full well, that man is of a presump­tuous nature, presuming of the power and liberty of their wills, Dicere solet humana superbia Sifecissem fecissem, & accor­dingly they are as apt to say, Si audivissem Evangelium &c didis­sem Evangelio.

The Arminians are acquain [...]ed with this full well. What then can they expect more at the hands of God then to cause his Gospell to be preached unto them. But if withall God revealeth unto us the naturall impotency that is in man, con­tracted unto him by the sinne of Adam, to the end he might beate out such presumptuous thoughts out of the hearts of man, that so as many as to whom he is pleased to affoord the grace of faith, and repentance might give him the glory of it. Shall proud mā take advātage of the ministry of the word, as [Page 56] Proceeding indifferently towards all that heare it, therby to outface the prerogative of Gods grace only effectuall to the working in us both faith and repentance; and to nourishe the presumption of their owne workes, concerning the power and libertie of their owne wills to that which is good; wheras those revelations of our naturall impotency should rather humble us, and move us to waite upon God for the curing of it, not by heating only, but by the sweete irradiation and inspi­ration of his holy Spirit.

But let Arminians continue to abhorre this doctrine, we by Gods grace shall continue to abhorre the contrary; and why should their abhorring of ou [...]s be any better argument on their side; then our abhorring of theirs is an argument on our side; yet our cause, God be thanked, is not so desperate, as that we shoulde be provoked to make use of so base argu­mentations; much lesse of running unto Infidells to begge their approbation; though commonly on the contrary we are charged, to have too great correspondency herin with the Stoickes of ancient times, and with the Turkes in these dayes; And indeede I reade in Busbequins, that when the Turkes hea [...]d him discourse of Gods loving Iacob and hating Esau, they herupon conceaved a good opinion of him, as likely to embrace their opinion; and indeede we are nothing ashamed to embrace the doctrine of S. Paul in that, not for the Turkes sake, but for the word of Gods sake, we discourse with the Apostle of leading men unto repentance, but where doe any of our divines discourse of leading men unto damnation? As for meanes of damnation; we knowe none; we knowe God hath given us meanes of grace. Meanes of damnation on mans part can be none but sinnes, yet these cannot be called his meanes, or intended by him as meanes, for as much as the in­tention of meanes ariseth from the intention of the ende; but no man or divell intends to bring upon himselfe damnation as the ende wherunto he intends to sinne. Agayne, the sinne of man cannot be any meanes intended by God; For as much as meanes are intended but by him who is the Author of them: [Page 57] but God neyther is nor can be the Author of any sinne, for sinne, as Austin long agoe professed of Malum, hath not causam efficientem, but only deficientem; and the cause of sinne deficient, is deficient culpabiliter, which is not inci­dent unto God. He coulde I confesse keepe any creature from sinne if it pleased him, but if he will not, and doth not, herin he committs not any culpable defect, for he is not bounde to preserve any man from sinne. The permission of sinne, I willingly confesse is Gods worke, and this he may and doth intende, and that as a meanes to his owne glorious endes, which is the manifestation eyther of his mercy or his justice, and not the damnation of any. For the damnation of the creature neyther is nor can be Gods ende, but his owne glory;Prov. 16.4 and accordingly Solomon tells us God made all things for himselfe, even the wicked against the day of evill. So he hath created some, both Angells and men, & permitted them to sinne, and will damne them for their sinne, to the declara­tion of his glory in the way of justice vindicative. Much lesse is the sinne of man Gods ende that by certeyne meanes he should leade them herunto which meanes this Author disem­bles throughout, contentinge himselfe (as I suppose) with his owne ignorance herin, or which is worse, dissembling what he meanes herby, by the generalitie and indefinitenes of the terme, giving way to the affections of his propitious readers to shape them and specifie them as they please▪ and so it be with a congruous accommodation to their owne Tenet, it shall be accepted with him, though their conceytes proove never so contrariant one to another.

The cause of sinne I know none, but the will of the crea­ture; occasions herof are many, all which (as Arminius con­fesseth) are brought to passe and administred by Gods provi­dence; and these God makes the matter of exercising the ver­tue of his children ordinarily; strengthening them against the temtations of Satan, who laboureth to corrupt their soules by such occasions, with others he deales not in like manner, but leaves them unto themselves eyther according to the [Page 58] mere pleasure of his will, who is not bound to give strength to any, whereby he shall resist temptation; Or, as in some cases, most deservedly, namely, when out of the pride of their hearts, they thinke themselves able enough both to resist oc­casions unto sinne, and to keep themselvs undefiled by them; and also the temptations of Satan.

And it is just with God to deale in like manner with his owne Children, when they growe wanton, and the feare of God is not so quicke in them, as it should be to wayte upon God, and committ themselves and their wayes, to Gods good providence, to be protected and ordered by him.

What Homer sayd in the person of Achilles, speaking to Vlysses, as concerning Agamemnon, we are reasonably well acquainted with.


But wherein can we be justly taxed for imputing any such hy­pocrisie to God? By his cōmandement he signifies what is our duetie to doe, but by his purpose he decrees what shall be done or not done, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his Sonne Isaak, and therby made it his duetie to offer Isaak; but withall he determined that Isaak shoulde not be sacrificed, but when Abraham came to the point to sacrifice him, to hold his hande: doe we reade that Abraham complayned of any hypocrisie in God herupon, or of his double dealinge herin? Nothing but grosse ignorance hindreth our adversaries in not discerninge so playne a difference and that most just without any colour of doublenes or hypocrisie; or nothing but grosse dissimulation is performed by them in not taking no­tice of it.

The second Section.

NOw, Sect. 2. if this new Evangelist doe tell him, that the passages of Scripture, which say, that God would have all men to be saved, ought to be understood of some of every nation and condition; the Infidell will reply, that then the Scripture ought with much more reason to say, that God would have all men to be damned, because that in every nation there are farr more of these then of them, and how that in all reason the denomina­tion should be taken from the greatest number. But then the Catechist perchance may say, that God indeed willeth the conversion of all men, yet onely so, as he approoveth of those things in themselves, and not that he gives all men the meanes necessary to obteyne them, whereupon our Catechumenist will be the more astonied, and demaund how it is possible that God by any absolute and irrevocable decree, should have ordeyned, that those things which he naturally detesteth and hateth, should come to passe, and yet that those things, which he loves and likes, should not, And if it were possible, his Catechist would make him turn Manichee, and thinke that this evill God, or evill begin­ning, that is the Author of all evill, hath continuall warr with that good God, which loveth righteousnesse, and hateth wickednesse. And that an honest man should have just reason to be angry with him that did interpret his words in that manner, that this Catechist interpreteth those of holy Scripture, whereby it followeth, that God is the Author of all the wickednesse, that hath beene, is, or shall be in the world. But then againe the other will re­ply, that he confoundeth the sinne with the act, and that [Page 60] God causeth the second, but not the first: Whereas the other, perceaving the mystery will againe tell him, that the greatest Doctors of both the Synods have written, that God hath praedestinated men as well to the meanes as un­to the end, and that the act is not the cause of damnation, as it is the act, but as it is the sinne; and that those mise­rable men, that are under the decree of reprobation, are no more able to absteyne from sinne, then shun their dam­nation.

Consid. I have read, that some in Scotland, about the be­ginning of Reformation, hearing speach of the New Testa­ment, suspected it to have beene Erasmus making, and rejec­ting it, called for the old, but this Author, who termes us new Evangelists, caryeth himself so, as if he cared not much, either for new or old: His writing throughout, savoureth so litle of the word of God. Yet here he mentioneth passages of scrip­ture at large, and all that he imputeth hereunto, is to say, that God would have all men to be saved: He alleageth or quo­teth none, neyther doe I know any passage of Scripture that affirmeth this.

That God will have all to be saved S. Paul sayth, 1. Tim. 2. but no where that I know doth it say, that God would have all men to be saved.

And as for that passage, 1. Tim. 2. S. Austin, 1200 yeares agoe, interpreted it of genera singulorum, and prooved it to be according to the analogy of scripture phrase, and disproved the sense which this Author embraceth, as overthrowing the first article of our Creed, as touching Gods omnipotencye. So then S. Austin by this Authors Criticisme is the new Evan­gelist, and this Author is the old Evangelist, if any Evangelist at all. And what sober Christian would not affect to be ac­coumpted a new Evangelist with Austin (if to concurre with him be to be a new Evangelist) then to be an old Evangelist, or none at all, such as this Author.

[Page 61]Nay, Gerardus Vossius, who is conceaved to have laboured most in communicating unto us the new Doctrine of Anti­quitie on these points;Vossius in trist. Pe­lag. p. 638. interprets this will of God, touching the salvation of all, of voluntas conditionata thus, God will have all to be saved, to witt, in case they beleeve. Which vo­luntas conditionata in this sense neyther Austin did; nor doe we deny. Though we thinke it nothing agreeable to this place of Paul, who attributes unto this will of God not onely the saving of all, but their comming also to the knowledge of his truth; The condition whereof Vossius (for ought I re­member) doth not explicate. But the same Vossius confesseth that the Apostle in that place, in saying▪ I will that prayers be made for all men, for Kings, &c. doth herein subijcere speciem generi, as much as to say, that by the word Kings, he setts downe the specialty of that generall (all men) which formerly he mentioned, Now, the specialtie, here mentioned, is clearly a speciall condition, and consequently by the gene­rall (all men) is to be understood all conditions of men, as Pisca [...]or a [...]gu [...]th. And so when giving a reason of this his ex­hortation, he addeth, that God will have all to be saved; in congruitie to the former we may very well understand there­by all conditions of men, which is enough to just [...]fie, that it is the duetie of every Christian congregation to pray for their rulers and governours, because even amongst Kings, God hath some that belong unto him, and therefore their owne Kings may be some of them, for any thing they know to the contrary.

So [...], which Peter in the Linnen Vessell let downe unto him, at the farthest extent, could but signifie of all sorts of fourefooted beasts some. And if we extend S. Pauls words to signifie all and every one, we must be ne­cessarily cast upon one of these two manifest absurdities, as eyther to maintaine that Gods will is changed, or to deny that God is omnipotent, seeing he can be resisted; for most certeyn it is, that all are not saved, most certeyn that all doe not come to the knowledge of his truth.

[Page 62]Now, God cannot be changed, Mal. 3.6. I the Lord am not changed, Iac. [...]. With him is no variablenesse, nor shadow of change, neither can his will be resisted, Rom. 9.19.

And if this Author thinke good to mainteyne the contra­ry, let the indifferent judge, which of us is to be accoumpted the new Evangelist, this Author, or we; or rather whether he be not to be reckoned a plaine Atheist rather then any Evan­gelist.

But then, sayth he: The Infidell will reply, that the scripture ought with much more reason to say, that God would have all men to be damned, because that in every nation and con­dition there are farre more of these, then of them, and how that in all reason the denomination should be taken from the greatest number. Whereto I answer, that the Infidell here mē ­tioned, is this Author, for he alleageth none that thus dispu­ted before him, either Infidell or other; But I deny, that the scripture ought with much more reason, or with any reason to say, that God would have all men to be damned; although put the case that in every nation & condition, there be more of these then of them. And his reason drawne from the de­nomination to be taken from the Major part, is nothing to the present purpose.

For the question here about the interpretation of S. Pauls phrase, is onely this, whether the word All be to be inter­preted of all sorts, or of all and every one; so that the rule of denomination taken from the Major part, is nothing per­tinent to this. The question being only, whether genera sin­gulorum, or singula generum, be here meant; not whether some of all sorts, or all of every one of all sorts. Which being re­solved, and that hereby is meant genera singulorum; It may be farther quest [...]oned, whether genera singulorum doe imply every particular of these kindes, or onely some of them; For it is well knowne, that the phrase is ind [...]fferent to the one as well as the other: and that genera singulorum, are aequally preserved inti [...]e in some particulars, as in many, or most, or all. Like as the Species of the Sunne is mainteyned exactly as well in [Page 63] that one Sunne, which shines by day in the Firmament, as if there were twenty Sunnes.

Secondly, though the reason here given from the deno­mination to be taken from the greater part, were pertinent, yet were it nothing pertinent to the Apostles purpose in this place, to say, that God would have all men to be damned; For, this were no agreeable reason to moove them, to pray for all, for Kings, and all tha [...] are in authoritie. As if the Apostle should say thus: I will have you to pray for all, for God will have all to be damned;Austin. d [...] civit. Dei. l. 21, c. 24. For, sayth Austin, if Gods Church knewe who were predestinated to be sent into ae­ternall fire with the devill and his Angells, they would no more pray for such then they would pray for the devill him­self; so that this Author doth miserably overlashe in this his subtiltye, and betrayes more nakednesse then any sober and wise Infidell were like to doe. Then againe, the Instances of scripture are clearly against him. For, when every footed beast, (as the scripture speakes) was seene by Peter in a vi­sion; In all likelyhood, they were not the most part of every kinde, but the smallest ra [...]her of euery kinde; and according­ly this Author might conclude, that considering denomina­tions are taken from the Major part, therfore it is rather to be sayd, that every fowre-footed beast was not seene by Peter, for certeynely the Major part of every kinde was not; Yet in this sense to speake of it, in that case was nothing perti­nent, but rather contrariant to that which followeth: Rise Peter, kill, and eate.

In like sort, seeing in all likelyhood more people stayde at home, both in Ierusalem and in Iudea, then were they who went out to Iohn, and according to this Authors rule it were more fitt to say, all Ierusalem, and all Iudea stayde at home, when Iohn the Baptist preached: Yet was it nothing con­gruous, but contrariant rather to the Evangelists scope to write so; his purpose being to sett downe of what aestima­mation was the Authoritie of Iohn by the confluence of people from all parts unto him, and therefore when he writes [Page 64] that all Iudea and all Ierusalem went forth unto him; the meaning can be no more then this, namely, that from all parts, of Iudea and of Ierusalem some flocked unto him; thus wee see how this Authors Spirit affecting to transforme himselfe into an Infidels opposition of the grace of God, becomes in the issue destitute of common sense, such be the successe of those, that preferre the dictates of their owne brayne before the oracles of God.

In the next place he desires to meete with a distinction of our divines concerning voluntas approbans, & voluntas decer­nens, which distinction this Author eyther understands not, at least the right accommodation of it, as touching that member he insists upon, or dissembles it, so that partly the ignorance of his minde partly the corruption of his will, is that leprosie wherewith this his writing is defiled throughout. For, volun­tas approbans in our sense, is subordinate to voluntas praecipiens; looke what God commandes to be done, the same God ap­proves when it is done, and would approve of it in any, if it were done by him; and thus the will of approbation is in like manner distinguished from the will of Gods decree as the will of Gods commandement; Only here is the difference be­tweene the will approving, and the will commanding; For Gods commandement precedes the doing of that which is commanded, but Gods approbation followeth the doing of it. But this Author takes voluntas approbans in a different sense presupposing it to precede the doing of a thinge as if it were all one with that will, which the Schoolemen call vo­luntas beneplaciti; which is nothing so, for that voluntas bene­placiti is all one with voluntas propositi, or voluntas decernens. the will of Gods decree, denoting that which God thinkes good shall come to passe whether it be good or evill: good by his effection, evill by his permission; For even the Iewes and Gentiles, Herod and Pilate when they were gathered to­gether against the holy Sonne of God, did but that which Gods hande and Gods counsayle had foredetermined to be done. So that taking Gods will of approbation as this Au­thor [Page 65] takes it, to witt, preceding the thing done, it is all one with Gods decree, and therfore cannot make a member di­stinct from it. Vndoubtedly the sacrificing of Isaake had bene accepted with God, and Abrahams obedience therin, had not God restrayned Abraham from execution of that which God commanded him; albeit by Gods restraint it ap­peares that God had determined, that, when it came to the issue, he shoulde not sacrifice him, which will of God was voluntas beneplaciti, as Schoolemen call it: In like sort had Pharaoh let Israel goe in obedience to Gods commande, God had approved it; albeit it appeares, by the revelatiō made to Moses, that God hardened Pharaohs heart, that he should not let Israel goe; this with us is as true as the oracles of God, whatsoever this Author conceytes, newe Euangelist like, out of the oracles and dictates of his owne brayne. In like sort, that God ordeyneth that many thinges which he naturally de­testeth and hateth, shall nevertheles come to passe, is no newe Gospell of ours, but the very doctrine of the newe testament; For the ignominious usages of the Sonne of God and Saviour of the world, wrought by Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and people of Israel, were as naturally de­tested & hated by God, as ever any courses were from the be­ginning of the world unto this day; yet the holy Apostles with one consent professe, that both Herod & Pōtius Pilate toge­ther with the Gentiles & people of Israel, were gathered to­gether against the holy Sonne of God, to doe that which Gods hande & Gods counsayle had (not only determined, but) pre­determined to be don. What courses are more naturally dete­sted & hated by God, then for Kings to use their power to the supporting of Antichrist? O what bloody courses were these! take but a scantling of them by the martyrdomes of Gods Saincts in the dayes of Queen Mary, when this land was made another Aceldama, a field of blood. Yet hath the holy Ghost testified that God it was who put into the hearts of those Kings to fulfill his will (not his will of commandement, but only his decree) & to doe with one consent, for to give their [Page 66] professe, that Non aliquid sit nisi omnipotens fieri velit (he doth not say, nisi quod omnipotens fieri praecipit) and, because amongst such things as come to passe, some are evill & some are good, and in this saying of his he comprehendes them all, therfore he addes, by way of explication, vel sinendo ut fiat, vel ipse facien­do. Therfore even evill thinges God will have come to passe in Austins judgment. But how? Only by suffering them; and good things by effecting them. So that this doctrine of ours is as old as the doctrine of Austin, yea, as the doctrine of the holy Ghost. And let this Author looke unto it how he will cleare himselfe from coyning a newe Gospell, and that ney­ther out of the new Testament, nor out of the old, nor out of any tolerable monument of Antiquitie so much as preten­ded by him, but merely out of the invention of his owne brayne.

Yet we want not cleere demonstration of the truth of this, manifestly provinge that, eyther they must deny Gods fore-knowledge of evill, or be driven to acknowledge that God decrees it shall come to passe by his permission: For it can­not be foreknowne by God as future, and that from everla­sting, v [...]les it were future, & that from everlasting, as all con­fesse. Now let us soberly inquire how the crucifying of the Sonne of God became future, and that from everlasting; Not of its owne nature; for, if so, then shoulde all things even the most contingent things become future by necessitie of nature. But if of their owne nature, they were thinges merely possible, their transmigration out of the condition of things merely possible, into the cōdition of things future, coulde not be wrought without a cause. And what coulde be the cause herof? Not any thing without God, for as much as this transmigration was made from everlastinge; for, from everlasting they were foreknowne by God as future, therfore from everlasting they were future. But without God nothing was from everlastinge, and consequently coulde not be the cause of that▪ which was from everlastinge. Therfore the cause of this transmigration must be found within the nature [Page 67] of God, or no where. Inquire we therfore, what that is with­in the nature of God that may be a fitt cause here of; Now the knowledge of God alone cannot be the cause herof, as which rather supposeth things future, then makes them so; It re­maynes then that the decree of God, and that alone, is the cause of this transmigration. If to avoyde this, they fly to the essence of God as the cause herof; I farther urge, that if the essence of God be the cause herof; then, eyther, as working necessarily, or as working freely. Not as workinge necessari­ly, for then all things shall proceede frō God working by ne­cessitie of nature, which is Atheisticall utterly overthrowing all divine providence: if as working freely; this is as much as to confesse that Gods free will is the cause herof, which in­deede is most true. But this Author, like his fellowes, is very cautious, for he doth not deny that God hath ordeyned that those thinges shall come to passe which he naturally de­testeth and hateth; but only seemes to deny that God hath ordeyned it by an absolute and irrevocable decree. So that he seemes willing to confesse, that what evill soever was, or is, or shallbe found in the world, comes to passe by Gods decree; only he denyes that this decree wherby he decreed the cruci­fying of Christ, and such like abominable courses was an ab­solute and irrevocable decree. So that the question betweene us, according to this Authors judicious stating of it, is, not, whether evill thinges are decreed by God or no; but rather, supposing on both sides that they are decreed by God, the question betweene us is only about the manner of this decree, or about the nature of it; as whether it be absolute or condi­tionall (for what other member they devise in this case con­tradistinct to decree absolute, I understand not) and, in like sort, whether the decree be irrevocable or of a revocable nature.

Now, as for this latter distinction, to justifie some decrees of God to be of a revokable nature, he must be driven to coyne, not onely a new Gospell, but a new word of God throughout. For, if Gods decrees be revocable, then is he [Page 68] also changeable, which is contrary to the testimony, both of the old Testament, and of the new, as before hath beene shewed.

In like sort, Bradwardine hath long agoe demonstrated, that no will of God is conditionall, but absolute throughout, which I understand quoad actum volentis, or decernentis. And his demonstration is this. If there be any conditionall will in God; he condition of that will of God, is eyther willed by God, or no. If not willed by him, then that must be ac­knowledged to come to passe in the world, without the will of God, which he holdes for a great absurditie; but if that condition be also in some sort willed by God, then eyther absolutely, or conditionally; If absolutely, then all­so the thing conditionated shallbe absolutely willed by God.

As for Example. if God doth will that a man shall be saved in case he beleeve, & withall doth absolutely resolve to give him faith, and make him beleeve, this is in effect abso­lutely to resolve to save him

But if it be said, that the condition spoken of, is willed by God, not absolutely, but conditionally: then a way is open to a progresse in infinitum, which all disclayme. For, as touching that second condition, I will renew the former ar­gument, inquiring whether that be also willed at all by God or no, and if it be, whether it be willed absolutely or condi­tionally, so that, eyther we must subsist in some thing that is absolutely willed by God, and, consequently, all that depend thereupon, as conditionated, shall in like manner be absolute­ly willed by God, or a progresse from one condition to ano­ther, and that without end, cannot be avoyded.

Lastly, if any will of God be not absolute, but conditionall, then surely the decrees of salvation and damnation are con­ditionall, even as touching the very acts of Gods decrees; but I will evidently demonstrate, that, in Christian reason, this can not be. For if any thing be the condition of the decree of salvation, then, eyther by necessitie of nature, or by the [Page 69] constitution of God: not by necessitie of nature, as is evident of it self, and all confesse; but neyther by the constitution of God, as I proove thus. If by the constitution of God; then God did constitute, that is ordeyne, that upon the position of such a condition (to witt faith, &c.) he would ordeyne men unto salvation.

Marke, I pray, the notorious absurditie hereof. God did ordeyne that he would ordeyne, or God did decree that he would decree. Where the aeternall act [...] of Gods decree and ordination, is made the object of his decree or ordina­tion; whereas it is well knowne, that the objects of Gods de­crees, are onely things temporall, and not things aeternall.

The same argument may, with the same evidence, be ap­plyed to the disprooving of the conditionall decree of con­demnation. As for this Authors reason, wherein he rests, namely, that thus the things, which God hates, shall come to passe, and the things he loves, shall not com to passe: Observe the vanitie of this argumentation, plausible only to ignorants, or such as shutt their eyes against truths evidence. For the things here spoken of, are not things considered in their kinde, but onely in the particulars of certeyne kindes.

God will have obedience to every commandement of h [...]s come to passe, but not every particular obedience possible, For, if God would prolong the lifes of his Children, more particular acts of obedience should come to passe then now there doe.

In like sort, if Saul had beene converted many yeares sooner, which undoubtedly was not impossible unto God, many gracious acts had beene performed by him more then were.

In like sort, if God had cutt shorter the lifes of wicked men, many evill actions of theirs had beene praevented.

But will any wise men hereupon chalenge God, for suffe­ring those things to come to passe, which he hateth, or for decreeing them to come to passe by his suffering; or for hin­dering many good acts in particular which he loveth? Espe­cially [Page 70] considering that the evill actions, he is able to make them fitt matter for the demonstration of his glory, eyther in the way of mercy, or in the way of justice. And, on the other side, his glory is sufficiently manifested by that obedience, which is performed by his children.

Lastly, if God loves obedience, doth he not most of all love perfect obedience? Yet it is not his pleasure to give any of his children, in this life, such a measure of grace as to keep them from all sinne. And, if he gives them not longer life, they cannot perform more, though, as long as they live, they want not the meanes of grace, no, nor reprobates, ney­ther, living in the Church of God, where the Gospell is preached: and other meanes of performing obedience [...]nto God I knowe none.

Now, will any wise and sober man finde this any thing strange in the course of Gods providence? But such like are the argumentations of this Arminian sect, right like unto the fruite of Sodome, faire to see to without, but, if you crushe them, in cineres abeunt, & vagam fuliginem, as Solinus writeth. Yet this Author is so in love with this his Iuno of invention, like as Ixion was with his cloude, that he addes furthermore, that, if it were possible (and why not possible for an Infidell to turne Manichee, and an Arminian to turne Atheist, if so be he be not one allready?) His Catechist will make him turne Manichee, and thinke that this evill God, or evill be­ginning, that is the Author of all evill, hath continuall warre with that good God, which loveth righteousnesse. This is like the cogging of a dye, which he foysts in, when substantiall matter fayles him, to cheate his reader, when he cannot in­forme him; and to humour his proselyte, when he wants all good meanes to strengthen his faith. He supposeth an evill God, as the Author of all evill mainteyned on our side, and that he warreth with the good God that loveth righteous­nesse;whereas no mention was made of any such imputation before, yet here he brings it in, as though it had beene, not onely mentioned before, but prooved. This is the frothe of his [Page 71] affection, whereby he is in love with his former argumenta­tion, though as vile a one, as ever sober man breathed. Be­like Austin was a Manichee, when, considering all things that come to passe throughout the world, he was bolde to pro­fesse that, Non aliquid fit, nisi omnipotens fieri velit, vel sinendo ut fiat, vel ipse faciendo. The Apostles were all Manichees, when, with one consent, they professed that both Herod & Pontius Pilate together with the Gentiles & people of Israel, were gathered together against the holy Sonne of God, to doe that which Gods hand and Gods counsell had foredetermined to be done. Belike Armi­nius himself was a Manichee in this shallow caps judgement, when he said: Deus voluit Achabum mensuram scelerum suorum implere; and that, when God permits a man to will ought, whether good or evill, necesse est ut nullo argumentorum genere persuadeatur ad nolendum. Brad wardine; no doubt, shall, in th [...]s Authors deepe and judicious censure, be reckoned for a Manichee; where he professeth, that, Circa quodcunque versa­tur Dei permissio, circa idem versatur eius volitio actualis. Yet the Manichees denyed the books of the old Testament to be the word of God, at least of the good God; and indeed they doe affoord plentifull testimony of the secret providence of God in evill; and, to my judgement, the Nation of Arminians are farre more likely to concurre with the Manichees, in this par­ticular, then we. As for the interpretation of that passage of Scripture intimated by him, but untruly represented, I have already spoken thereof, and justifyed our interpretation by the analogy of the Text of Scripture Phrase, by cleare reason, and by the authoritie of Austin concurring with us herein. As for his argument, here intimated, that an honest man might be angry to have his words so interpreted, I willingly grāt it. For truly my desire is, that all, and every one in my congregation would beleeve and repent, that he might be saved; but I have no power to worke this; but God is armed with power to effect this; and therefore vvere it his vvill or desire to save all, all should be saved; For who hath resisteth his vvill?

[Page 72]But this is the usuall course of Arminians, to compare man with God; and not so only, but to build arguments upon such a comparison, as if the weake desires of man were very de­cently to be attributed unto God. Yet this Author comes not directly to obtrude upon us such consequences, but cun­ningly insinuates them, so to creepe serpentlike upon a mans affections to infect them.

He talkes, how that it followeth, that God is the Author of all wickednesse, yet gives no premises where hence to con­clude it, leaving it to us, to picke them out of his drossy warehouse, be like, from Gods decreee, whereby things are decreed by our opinion, which yet he brought in Musis & Apolline nullo; not so much as mentioning the Author by whom, or place where this is delivered.

And indeed these men are so zealous in opposing Gods decree, as that they have an edge (so farre as we may guesse by the face of their discourse) to deny that foolish repentance and obedience is decreed by God. And some have not blu­shed to professe, that God decreed contingency, but not the contingent things themselves: which is as good as, in plaine termes, to professe that God decreeth no mans faith and re­pentance.

But Austin is expresse, Non aliquid fit, nisi omnipotens fieri velit; The Scriptures are expresse concerning the betraying, mocking, scourging, buffeting, crucifying the Sonne of God; to witt,Aug. de civit. Dei, lib. 12. c. 7 Ne quae­rat effi­cientem causam malae vo­luntatis. Non e­nim ef­ficiene sed defi­ciens. that in all these things they did what God had fore­determined to be done.

Hence he inferreth, that God is the Author of all wicked­nesse. I have mett with many dissolute discourses of this sect, but like to this I have not hitherto mett with any. Of wic­kednesse we say with Austin, that none can be the Author of it, by way of a cause efficient; the cause therof being only a cause deficient. Now man may thus be the Author of it, to witt, eyther in doing what he ought not to doe, or leaving undone what he ought to doe; but this cannot possibly be in­cident unto God; namely, that he shoulde, eyther doe what [Page 73] he ought not to doe, or leave undone what he ought to doe; and, if to determine that the crucifying of the Sonne of God be to be Author of the wickednesse committed, in the cru­cifying the Sonne of God, the scripture in testifying this, makes God the Author of wickednesse, by the learning of this divine.

That the act which is sinfull and the sinfulnes therof are to be distinguished, & that God is the cause of the one, & only the permitter of the other, is not our doctrine only, but of Arminius allso. As for the exception herunto proposed, of the Doctors of the Synods, namely, that God hath predesti­nated men as well unto the meanes as to the ende, is of so base a condition, as if this Author came not so much to dis­pute, as to vent spleene and gall, and therfore cared not much whether he spake sense or non sense, this being the fit­ter to confounde thinges, and he litle or nothing cares to ex­plicate ought. That he who intends an ende, doth allso in­tende the meanes, the very light of nature suggesteth unto us; Now the ende that God aymes at, is his owne glory; for he made all thinges for himselfe. And if he meanes to manifest his glory on any, in the way of vindicative justice it stands him upon, both to create them, and permitt them to sinne, and finally to persevere therin, and to damne them for their sinnes. Here we have the ende and the meanes intended by God; this Author talkes of predestinating men to the ende and to the meanes, in his owne language. The sinfull act is the cause of damnation, as wrought freely by them; and thoughe the sinfulnes be only from man, yet the act is not, but as well from God as from man, as all sides now a dayes confesse; even Arminius himselfe; but this Author so ca­ryeth himselfe, as if he woulde deny the act it selfe to be from God, not by any strenght of argument, but merely by a loose discourse; and I have a long time looked that they should come to this; but withall I looke they shoulde bring reason with them, and not in a base manner, (this Author like,) to begge the question. That reprobates have no power [Page 74] to absteyne from sinne, we grant, as reprobation signifies the denyall of grace; which this Author denying, he must be driven to confesse that men may absteyne from sinne without grace; & that of themselves they are able to regenerate them­selfes. Yet the Apostle tells us, that they who are in the flleshe cannot please God, and our Saviour that none can come unto him, except the Father drawe him; and that therfore men heare not his words because they are not of God. And this discourse, in the face of it, tends plainly to the maynteyning that neyther faith nor repentance are the gifts of God, but the workes of mans free will. Yet we doe not like this comparison that a man can no more absteyne from sin, then shunne his damnation; For, though a man would, he cannot shunne his damnation; but, if a man would absteyne from sinne certainly he not only coulde, but, de facto shoulde, in good measure, absteyne from sinne; For as sinne is chiefly in the will; so is the abstey­ning from sinne; but such aliene comparisons are as frequent­ly seene among Arminians; as lice among beggars.

The third Section.

Sect. 3. THe Cathechumenist will thē further ad. If the Gospell according to the doctrine of the Synods, be preached unto the most, not to any other end but only for their grea­ter damnation, that he will no longer hearken to it, seeing that it is most likely, that he is of the greatest number, and not of the small; that he remembers that he hath read in Calvin, that God directeth his word to them, wherby he makes them more deafe, and sheweth them the light of the Gospell, to blinde their eyes, and that, therfore, they, who never heard the word, are lesse miserable then they who could not therfore believe, because God woulde not [Page 63] give them grace sufficient to believe. Finally our Catechu­menist will say, that, if the decree of God be such as the Catechist proposeth, it must necessarily followe, that they both labour in vayne, seing that every man, before he is come into the world, is allready inrolled in one of the two Registers, eyther of life or death, and that it is no more possible to be blotted out, eyther of the one or other, then it is for God to deny himselfe.

The Catechist then fearing that his proselite will fall from him doth tell him farther, that it is not for us to searche into those secrets; that there is no visible marke wherby to discerne the elect from the Reprobate. That the elect themselfes knowe not their election before their cal­ling which is deferred sometimes; even to the last hower of their lifes, that every man ought to be readie to answere & obey God, when he calleth; that there are none but profane, & reprobates who say, that men labour in vayne, seing that they whome God hath elected to salvation, are likewise elected to faith and good workes.

But these thinges will the more provoke our Catechu­menist. For he will not say, or at least thinke, that it is no matter to be able to distinguish in particular the elect from the Reprobates; of that it sufficeth to know in gene­rall, that everyone is necessarily eyther of the one or of the other, seing that no man is able to doe any thing (before his vocation) which may avayle him: that therfore we should deferre all thinges till then, and seing that our saving vocation worketh with such a force, that it is im­possible to disobay, it would be extreame folly to hasten the execution of God by mans industry and studye: yea and that our prayers too were likewise hereto vayn, in as much as we cannot make any thing pleasing unto God without [Page 76] faith, which is never to be had before our calling: that the question is not of the qualitie of him who so speaketh, whether he be profane or no, but of the qualitie of the do­ctrine, which necessarily makes him so.

Consid. Vniversus mundus exercet histrioniam, sayth one; this was never more true (I thinke) then of the nation of Arminians at this day. And this Author seemes to be his craftsmaster in this kind; great pitie, he is not preferd to be the master of the Revells. Here he feignes his Catechumenist (being an Infidell) to be well studyed in the Synods of Dort and Arles, and well read in Calvins institutions, thus he promotes his present en­terlude.

But where I pray is it that these Synods of Dort and Arles doe teache, that the Gospell is preached unto the most, not to any other ende, but only for their greater damnation? For I am utterly to seeke of this in the Synod of Dort; and as for the Synod of Arles this writing hath first caused the noyse therof to sound in mine eares. Had he alleaged their woords, without quoting of the place, we might have had somewhat to woorke upon. The Gospell we all knowe is preached by man, but at the command of God; is the ministers ende in preaching it, the damnation of them to whom they preach it? or doth he deliver this of Gods ende only? Did it become him to confounde these? I cannot believe, that any of our divines are founde to deliver any such thing of Gods ende in preaching the Gospell. Gods ende is so expresse in Scripture to be his owne glory, that even there where he professeth that God made the wicked against the day of evill; he doth no way signifie the dānation of any to be the end he intends, but rather his owne glory; for, in the same place, it is sayde that God made all thinges for himselfe; which is as much as to say for his owne glory. Indeede I finde that Gods mani­festation of his aeternall power and Godhead, by his workes, was, that they might be without excuse; and in like sort the preaching of the Gospell, may justly tende to the bereaving [Page 77] men of all excuse; according to the explication of the for­mer g [...]vē by Austin de Gra [...] & lib. arbit. cap. 2. Quomodo dicit inexcusabiles, nisi de illa excusatione, qua solet dicere humana su­perbia, Si scissem, fecissem, ideò non feci, quia nescivi: In like sort, by preaching the Gospell, the like excuse is taken away, whereby a man might say, si audivissem, credidissem, or refipuissem; ideo non credidi, non resipui, quia non audivi, vel admonitus sui. Now this excuse is not taken away from the most only, but from all and every one that heare the Gospell. For as God sending Ezechiel unto the Iewes sayth; they shall knowe,Ezech. 2.5 that there hath bene a prophet amongst them; so by this they cannot be ignorant that some preacher or other hath bene sent unto them. It is true; all have no neede of any such excuse, to witt, as many as doe obey it, but only such, as in the hardnes of their hearts, stand out against it. But the ex­cuse is her by indifferently taken away from all. Agayne, I am of Austins opinion, that the Gospell may be preached to many a reprobate, ut proficiant ad majorem vitae emendatio­nem, quo mitius puniantur. Then agayne I see no reason why we should conceave that in every congregation where the Gospell is preached, the most part of them should be suppo­sed to be reprobates; Nay I see no cause why we should de­spayre of any in orthodoxe congregations; albeit the most part of them, to whom the Gospell is preached, are repro­bates. For consider, how many various sects there are amongst Christians, some of them, if not most of them, maynteyning dangerous, yea damnable heresies.

Christians in Aegypt, and in the Empire of the Abyssines, are all of them Coptites, joyning circumcision with the Gos­pell of Christ; And S. Paul hath confessed to the Galathians: If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profite you nothing. Then there are Nestorians and Armenians in the East.

The Greeke Church denyes the proceding of the Holy Ghost from the Sonne; Besides, they are full of super­stition.

The Church of Rome, how doe they derogate from the [Page 78] office of Christ? What corruption of the truth of God, with errour & heresie is found amongst them? what corruption of the worship and service of God with superstition & idolatry? Yet amongst them all is the Gospell preached. What co­lour of reason then is there to conceave, that in joyning with us, any should suspect himself to be of the number of the Re­probates rather then of Gods elect, although, the most part of them, to whom the Gospell is preached, were reprobates? But suppose that in every congregation the most part were re­probates; If they are so allready before the Infidell comes to joyne himself unto us, the number of the most being up all­ready on the reprobates part, what reason hath he to con­ceave that he is of the number of them rather then of Gods Elect? Againe, his case is different from all the rest, for all the rest have beene borne and brought up in the Church of God; and therefore it is more hard to distinguish betweene true faith and hypocrisie: But in case an Infidell convert and become a Christian; This alteration is so great, that it is more likely to affoord him better evidence and assurance of his election, then others have, whose conversion hath not beene from Infidelitie to Christianitie. For all that are brought up in the Church of God, whatsoever their hearts be, yet they have alwayes concurred in the profession of Chri­stianitie. Adde to this: why should it be more likely, that he is of the number of Reprobates, then any other, upon this ground, that the most part are Reprobates? And if it be as likely for all and every one; then it were most likely, that all & every one were reprobates, which is contradictious to the suppositiō. Lastly, what if it were more likely, as he speaketh, shall this be a sufficient motive, not to hearkē at all to the do­ctrine of the Gospell? The cōmon practise of the world doth manifest this to be most untrue; as it appeares by mens for­wardnes to venture in lotteryes; where it is most certeyn that the greatest part by farre sit downe with losse. At the poole of Bethesda how many wayted for the mooving of the wa­ters by an Angell, yet but one could be cured, namely he [Page 79] that prevented all the rest in stepping into the poole. Nay, we reade how that a creeple wayted there amongst the [...]est; and how unlikely a thing was it that he could get in before the rest, yet there he wayted in hope. And what if some are more hardned upon the hearing of the word? is this any discouragement to us to present our selves before the Lord, and to be humbled at his feete to heare the word? In the course of his fiction, he feignes his proselyte to remember somewhat out of Calvin, namely, that God directeth his word unto them, wherby he makes them more deafe, & she­weth them the light of the Gospell to blinde their eyes; but he tells not where Calvin sayth so. But are not these the words of Calvin which here he shewes his teeth at, Ecce vocem ad eos dirigit, Instit. l. 3. c. 24. num. 13. sed ut magis obsurdescant: lucem accendit sed ut reddantur caeciores. Now Calvin here in speakes, not out of his owne Spirite, but represents the word of God as playnly sig­nifying so much in his judgment; and gives reference to the place immediately related by him; in the first word Ecce; and the places immediately before alleaged by him partly out of Esa. 6 9. and partly out of Ioh. 12.34. His words are these: Sed magis etiamnū premit I saiae prophetia. Sic enim a Domino dimit­titur. Vade & dic filijs Israel, Audiendo audite, & ne intelligatis. Videndo videte & nesciatis. Obstina cor populi hujus, & aures eius aggrava, & oculos eius obline: Vt ne fortè videat oculis suis, & corde intelligat, quò conversus sanetur. And hereupon he saith: Ecce vocem ad eos dirigit, sed ut magis absurdescant: lucem accendit, sed ut reddantur caciores.

Now, this Author blames not Calvin, either for false translation of the Prophets, or for false interpretation of them, onely takes his words a part from the place quoted by him, as if he delivered this at large, out of his owne doctrine, without reference to any particular passage of holy scripture; & by concealing the place where Calvin writes this, thought himself safe from having his unconscionable caryage herein discovered.

[Page 80]Yet Calvin sayth no [...], that God, by his word, doth make them more deafe, or blindes their eyes, as this Author for­geth Calvins wordes. He signifies only Gods intention that they shoulde herupon be more deafened and blinded; and Saint Peter as good as in expresse termes professeth as much, where he sayth of some,1. Pet. 2.8 that Christ is a stone to stumble at, and a rocke of offense, to witt, to them that stumble at the word being disobedient, and that, to this thing they were even ordeyned. But how come they to be more deafened and blinded upon hea­ring the word, as Act. 19.9. it is sayde that some herupon were hardned, and disobeyed, speaking evill of the way of God be­fore the multitude; surely after the same manner that Saint Paul sayth, some are the worse for Gods lawe, Sinne, sayth he, tooke occasion by the commandement and wrought in me all man­ner of concupiscence. Rom. 7.8. So then their owne corruption is it that blindes them, deafens them, hardens them, more and more, together with the God of this world 2. Cor. 4.3. God only refuseth to cure that natural infidelity & impenitency he finds in them, and in this respect only he is sayde to harden them, to blinde them; that is, in denying mercy, according to that Rom. 9.18. God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth. And our Saviour was not ashamed to professe to the faces of the Iewes. Therfore we heare not my woordes, be­cause ye are not of God. And Ioh. 12.39. Therfore they coulde not believe because that Isaias sayth againe. He hath blinded their eyes & hardned their hearts, that they should not see which theyr eyes nor understād with their heart, & should be converted, & I should heale them. Yet this Author, to shewe of what Spirit he is, and how opposi [...]e to the Spirit of Christ and his Apostles, as if he were neyther new nor old Evangelist, but a very Atheist rather, & woulde as much oppose them all as he opposeth Calvin, if he d [...]st, repro [...]heth us with this very doctrine, as namely, that therfore men cannot believe because God would not give them grace sufficient to believe; which is as much as to reproache us, for saying that all men are born in sinne, & that infidelitie and impenitency is naturall unto all; & God alone [Page 81] can cure it. I wonder they doe not call Moses to a recko­ning also, and reproach him for saying as he doth unto the Iewes: Ye have seene all that the Lord did before your eyes in the Land of Aegypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his Servants, and un­to all his Land: The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, those great miracles and wonders. Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceave, and eyes to see, and eares to heare unto this day. And is it possible, that men can see, that have no eyes, or heare that have no eares; And yet, on the other side, it is true as Gods word is true, that, It had beene better for some never to have knowne the way of righteousnesse, then, after they have knowne it, to depart from the holy Commandement given unto them.

Now, this Authors practise is, to sett these doctrines of ho­ly writt together by the eares; because, forsooth, it is not suit­able with the Spirit of this old Evangelist.

Indeed, if men would beleeve, but could not, would re­pent, but could not, would obey, but could not, then this their impotency should not improve their condemnation by resi­sting the meanes of grace; but we say, this impotency is mee [...]e­ly morall, consisting in the corruption of their will, wherein they take such delight, and are so well pleased with it, that they are ready to fly in their faces that tell them of it; they will not be knowne of anie such impotency. They thinke themselves able enough, to discerne the things of God, to be subject to the law of God. For they finde themselves to have will enough in all their courses, I would they had not too much; for Libertas sine gratia non est libertas sed contuma­tia.

And in all the sinnes that we committ, we finde our selves free enough; yet we have learnt to give God the glory of ru­ling ou [...] wills, & keeping us from any sine by his grace. That every one before he comes into the world; is allready en­rolled in one of the two registers, either of life or death, I had thought no Christian had the face to deny.

[Page 82]Doth not the Apostle professe, that God hath chosen us before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1.4? And is not reprobation as ancient as election, which in the formall no­tion thereof connotates reprobation? But Paul belike, was a new Evangelist, and this Author affects to be an old one, or an Atheist rather; for in disputing against this, what doth he but dispute against the expresse word of God? Surely, it is no more possible that Gods decrees should be changed, then that God should deny himself; neyther yet doth it fol­low, that labour is in vaine; for God who ordeynes man unto salvation ordeynes him unto faith also, to be wrought by certaine meanes.

Had not God ordained what Children a man should have before he came into the world? What therefore is it vaine for him to k [...]epe company with a woman; as if by vertue of Gods decree he should have children, whether he companyed with a woman or no?

This vile sophistry was confuted long agoe, as Cicero shew­eth in his booke de Fato, acknowledged by Carneades him­selfe though, a great stickler against the Stoicks; & by Origen after them, as Turnebus shewes on Cicero de fato. Act. 27.22. Be of good cheare sayth Paul to those that sayled with him: for there shall be no losse of any mans life among you, save of the ship only. This was spoken to heathen men; but did they herupon accoumpt all labour in vayne to save them­selves? Nothing lesse; for first the marriners, they practised to provide for themselves, by stealing out of the shippe; and S. Paul professed v. 31. except these men stay in the ship, ye can not be safe, and verse 42. the Centurion commanded that they that could swimme should [...]ast themselves first in­to the Sea and goe out to land. And the other, some on boardes and some on certeyne peeces of the ship, and so it came to passe, that they all came safe to the land. These hea­thens were better acquainted with Gods providence, as it seemes, then this old Evangelist.

[Page 83]This is our Answeare, and not as this Author feignes it to serve his owne stage. For what secret is there in this that all are enrolled in one of the two registers of life and death, be­fore they come into the world? Who they are that are enrol­led in the one or in the other is a secret indeede; Yet that our names are written in heaven is a thing knowable in this life; otherwise to what purpose shoulde our Saviour admonishe his disciples not to reioyce in this that devills were subdued unto them, but in this rather, that their names were written in heaven. And to what purpose should S. Peter exhort us to make our election and vocation sure, if it be not possible for a man to be assured herof, as long as he lives in this world? And the Apostle was assured of the election of the Thessalo­nians by observation of the worke of their faith, the labour of their love, and the patience of their hope. And the Evan­gelist professeth Act. 13.48. that as many believed as were ordeyned to everlasting life.

But, as for assurance of reprobation, wee knowe none but finall infidelitie or impenitencye, and the sinne against the holy Ghost.

What the infidell, or the Arminian Catechumenist will say or thinke, we have no reason to regard; but with what judgment and soundnes he cary [...]th him selfe in his discourse. We say it is very materiall for the confort of a mans con­science, to be able to distinguishe himselfe in particular from a reprobate;Act. 13.48 Act. 11.18 2. Thess. 2.13. and this he may be inabled to doe by faith, re­pentance, and holines, and by no meanes els. Neyther is it suf­ficient for a mans comfortable walkinge to know in general that everie one is necessarily eyther of the one or of the other. We willingly professe that before God hath called a man out of darkenes unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, he is able to doe nothing that may please God, or fur­ther his salvation: For in that state he is led captive by the devill to doe his will 2. Timo. 2. last, and th [...] divill workes effectually in the children of unbeliefe Eph. 2.3. and S. Paul hath testified that they that are in the flesh cannot please God;2. Cor. 1.14. Rom. 8.8. that the [Page 84] naturall man perceiveth not the things of God, they are foolishnes un­to him, neyther can he knowe them, because they are spiritually dis­cerned. That the affection of the flesh is enmitie against God, it is not subject to the law of God, nor can be. As for the deferring of all thinges till thē,Rom. 8. if it be spoken of vocation outward by the word of God, it is a very absurde speech, considering that till such a vocation commeth, man neyther knowes God, nor Christ, nor the powers of the world to come, any more then an infidell doth, no nor so much as the name of Gods ele­ction and reprobation. If it be delivered of vocation inward and effectuall (for we are driven to distinguishe for this Au­thor, who affects to walke in the cloudes of confusion, and if confusion be his portion it is nothing strange) it is as ab­surde in another respect: For doth he know the time of his vocation, that he speakes of deferring his labour till then? Why may not this present be the time, why should, he deferre the hearing of Gods word, wherby alone is our calling wrought, though every one that heares it, is not effectually called unto faith and repentance. And a man may heare it with a purpose to oppose it, eyther in generall or in some particular truth thereof. Yet this humour of opposition can­not hinder Gods word and the operation of his Spirit where he will, in spight of their cōceytes, who thought the Apostles were filled with newe wine when three thousand were con­verted that day; and Austin acknowledgeth that God con­verteth not only aversas à vera fide but adversas verae fidei vo­luntates. We reade in the 7. of Iohn, that some who were sent to take Christ, were taken by him. And Father Latimer ob­serving that some came to Church only to take a nap; yet saith he, let them come, for, it may be, they may be taken nap­ping. If it be impossible for man to disobey, it is as impossible for man, in like manner, not to be industrious, when God will have him to be industrious. Yet I know no industry of man required to his effectuall vocation, but the hearing of Gods word; neyther is the execution of Gods goodnes to­wards him hastned by his hearkning to Gods word; For [Page 85] though men doe heare it dayly, yet are they not foorth with brought to faith. As for effectuall vocation, we take it to be all one with regeneration, in effect; and this Author will have God so to worke herein, as to leave it to man whether he will be regenerated or no, this is their sobrietie. Austin, I am sure, professeth, saying: Deus omnipotente facilitate converti [...], & ex nolentibus volentes facit. This Author seemes, by his discour­sing here of prayers, eyther to be poorely exercised in Anti­quitie, or richly exercised in the contemning of it. For he would have men to be effectually called by vertue of their prayers. The Apostle saith how can they call upon him, in whom they have not believed; but this Author is able by his prayers to obteyne faith, nay he makes shewe as if he could obteyne faith allso before his callinge; and feares not to maynteyne that grace is obteynable by mens workes; yet the contrary was condemned in the Synod of Palestine, and Pelagius himselfe driven to subscribe unto it. We nothing regard the qualitie of the person, who speakes, therby to condemne his doctrine; but we judge of his doctrine, and therby of the qualitie of his person. Here he hath runne himselfe out of breathe, as touching the first part of his performance. We come unto the second.


The first Section.

Sect. 1. LEt us now see whether the practise of this doctrine hath more power over a debau­ched Christian, to bring him to repentance and amendment of life.

To him then, he will shew the filthines of his sinne, the scandall to his neighbour, the ingratitude to his Creator and redeemer, the menaces of the law, and the vengeance of God prepared for all impenitents, &c.

Whereupon this man having more knowledge of our Doctrine of the Synods, then of a good conscience, will send his Censurer to the Maximes and Principles there­of, and will much muse how the other should be ignorant, that every thing which is done by men on Earth, be it good or evill, commeth not to passe but by the most effica­cious decree and ordinance of God, which doth all in all. That the first cause doth in such manner moove and di­rect the second, among which is the will of man, that they cannot otherwise stirre then they are stirred. That he is very sure, that he is given to such a vice; but his comfort [Page 87] is that God would have it so by his secret will; that God hath predestinated him thereunto, having as much willed and procured the treason of Iudas, as the conversion of Paul. That he hath no power to reteyne grace, when he that gave it, will take it away. That the Spirit bloweth where it listeth, inspireth whom it will, withdraweth when it pleaseth, & when it pleaseth, returns again. And if it be with an intention for his amendment, it shall be as impossible for him, to withstand, or else delay it, as it is now to worke or hasten it.

Consid. We have considered how well this Author ha [...]h instructed an infidell to play his part in opposing the doctrin of the Synod of Dort and Arles, Now, we are to consider how a debaucht Christian is fashioned by him to play his part in the same humour of opposition.

To such a one it is fitt we should apply the hamm [...]r of the law, which hath power to breake the bones, we will labour to bring him thereby to the knowledge of sinne, not onely of the nature of it, but of the power of it; Even of the power of that sinne, which as the Apostle speaketh, Rom. 7.8. takes occasion by the law to worke in man all manner of concu­piscence; and withall we will endeavour to bring him ac­quainted with the wrath of God, and how in the course ther­of a fire is kindled, that burneth to the bottom of hell. Against this how he strengtheneth his Disciple from our doc­trine, we are to consider in the next place.

Now, here first he supposeth his Factor to have more knowledge of the doctrine of the Synods then of a good conscience. So that all debaucht Christians throughout the world, he packs them together, and makes them very judiciously to be of our side; This is to hold up the enter­lude of his owne making.

[Page 88]He is no Darby-shire man belike, for their tales common­ly ende with woodcocke on the one side, as well as with woodcocke on the other side. And we willingly confesse, that our doctrine teacheth men not to trust to their selves, for the doing of ought that is good, but merely to the grace of God, & to give it the glory of working us to every thing that is pleasing in the sight of our heavenly Father; Now this, our adversary conceaves, is it which makes us dissolute, because we have learnt of S. Paul that God is he who makes us per­fect to every good work,Hebr. 13.21. & workes in us that which is plea­sing in his sight through Iesus Christ. As for these olde Evan­gelists, they have a better opinion of their sufficiency then so, and Aristotle hath taught them another lesson, and it stands them upon to maynteyne their credite and reputation in this point, by the exercise of their moralitie in a very accurate manner; least otherwise they shoulde seeme to vaunt much in wordes, but to preforme litle or nothing when they come to deedes. Therfore they provide accordingly to holde up the credite of their Tenets, and very artificially and histrioni­cally they turne over all the debaucht Christians in the world on our side; we must father them, or at least our parishe must keepe them, and that for good reason, because they can no where be maynteyned so conveniently as by our trenchers. For we must not be ignorant, that every thing which is done by men on earth, be it good or evill, commeth not to passe but by the most efficacious decree and ordinance of God, which doth all in all. Now what followes here hence, by this Authors artifice, but that therfore there is eyther no filthines in sinne, no scandall therby to our neighbour, no ingratitude to our creator and redeemer, and that the menaces of the law and vengeance of God are represented in vayne; or at least that they are not to be reproved for their sinne. Now since, by this Authors confession, we maynteyne that good comes to passe by Gods efficacious decree as well as evill, it follo­weth as well, eyther that there is no beautie in goodnes or obedience, no benefite therby redoundes to our neighbour, [Page 89] no thākfulnes manifested therby to our creator & redeemer, or at least no man is to be commended for it, and that the promises of the law and the rewards of God are represented in vayne, eyther to be mooved therby unto obedience, or to be comforted, and reioyce therin upon obedience.

To avoyde which inconvenience, if we will be advised by this old Evangelist, it were very fitt that we deny eyther evill or good to come to passe by Gods efficacious decree, but left to the wills of men, namely, to believe, if they will, and repent if they will; and that a man is as well able to repent with Paul, as to committ treason with Iudas. And albeit to obteyne mercy be clearely to believe Rom. 11.30. and the Apostle as clearly professeth that God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth; yet Aristotle doth not, neyther doe these old Evangelists, seeme to ac­knowledge any such oracle; neyther doth that give any sa­tisfaction to their argument.

Now, Peter dealt with the Iewes in convicting them of crucifying the Sonne of God Act. 2. But this Author did not appeare in that assembly or any of his Spirit; But if they had bene indoctrinated by this Author, they might have sayde, being better seene in Saint Peters doctrine then in mayntey­ning a good conscience, & they would have sent S. Peter to his owne principles, and maximes, and woulde much muse how Saint Peter shoulde be ignorant of his owne faith, namely, that Both Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and People of Israel, were gathered together against the holy Sonne of God, to doe what Gods hand and Gods counsayle had predetermined to be done. Act 4.28,

And, indeede, Peter feared no such colours, nay he was so farre from fearinge it, that he tells them as much to their face in that very sermon of his, verse 22.13. Ye men of Israel (sayth he) heare these wordes, Iesus of Nazareth a man ap­prooved of God among you with great workes and wonders, and signes, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye your selves allso know.

[Page 90] Him being delivered by the determinate Counsell and foreknow­ledge of God after you had taken with wicked hands, you have crucified & slayne; In the same breath, both convicting them of crucifying Christ, and withall acknowledging that he was delivered by the determinate Counsell and foreknowledge of God: The meaning whereof is fully sett downe, Act. 4.28. To this effect, namely, that what contumelious outrages so­ever they committed upon the person of the Sonne of God, in all this they did but that which Gods hand, and Gods counsell had praedetermined to be done.

In like sort, Moses feared not the like colours of opposi­tion, which are so plausible to this old Evangelist, who de­rives his Gospell from antiquitie, beyond eyther Paul or Mo­ses, seeing such as concurre with them, he accoumpts no bet­ter then new Evangelists. For, Moses reprooving the Iewes for their unprofitablenesse and hardnesse of heart; as who neyther by Gods word, nor by Gods workes, were hitherto brought unto repentance, unto obedience; feared not at all, least some of them should answer him in the like manner, & say: Good Syr, remember your self, what doe you meane to blame us for this? Doe you expect that they should heare who have no eares, or that they should see who have no eyes, or that they should perceave, who have no hearts? Or can you be ignorant, that hitherto God hath given us none of all these? And as he hath given us none of all these, so he determined by his efficacious decree, to give us none of all these, which is, in affect, as much as by his efficacious decree, to determine that we should neyther heare nor see, nor per­ceave hitherunto.

I say, Moses was so farre from fearing any such opposi­tion, that he seemed rather to feare, least they would not take notice of the hand of God in this; And therefore acquaints them with it particularly in this man­ner: Ye have seene all that the Lord did before your eyes in the Land of Aegypt, unto Pharaoh, and unto all his Ser­vents, and unto all his Land.

[Page 91]The great temtations which thine eyes have seene, those great miracles and wonders, yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceave, and eyes to see, and eare to heare unto this day, Deut. 24, 2, 3, 4. Yet let us not suffer this Au­thor to passe unconvicted of his ignorance and vnlearned­nes. First that nothing comes to passe, which God did not decree shoulde come to passe, we are ready to enter the lists of disputation herabouts with this Author, which he declines throughout, taking the contrary for principles, and laying them as foundations of his cause most congruosly (for fitt it is that a rott [...]n cause shoulde have a rotten foundation) and to proove our Tenet by cleere and invincible demonstration, and make it appeare, that, in respect of whatsoever future thinge they deny the decree, in respect therof they must with­all be driven to deny the foreknowledge of God and turne di­rect Atheistes.

But furthermore, we discourse not of this decree of God, as this Author supposeth, as if it passed upon all things, with­out distinction. For first, we distinguish betweene good and evill; Good things, we say, God decreed, should come to passe by his effection: but evill things he decreed they should com to passe onely by his permission. And therefore he deales falsely in imputing unto us, that God workes all in all: by all that he workes, understanding both good and evill.

We teach with Austin, that, Malum, non habet causam effi­cientem, but deficientem; If God will not worke a man unto faith, or to that which is good, this is enough to prostitute him to infidelitie, or unto any thing that is evill.

Further, we distinguish of things that are good: For, either they are good naturally, or good spiritually. Such things as are good onely naturally, Gods decrees shall come to passe by his effection, and that onely by a single influence, which we call influence generall, unto the act of every thing. But as for such things as are good spiritually, we say, God decrees such things shall come to passe by his effection, and that by a double influence, one generall unto the substance of the act, [Page 92] another speciall, as touching the manner of performing it.

Lastly, as touching the manner how all things shall come to passe, by vertue of Gods decree, this Author lurkes pur­posely under a miserable confusion; which we cleere thus. All things come to passe we say by Gods decree, whether they are such things as come to passe necessarily by second causes working necessarily; Or such, as come to passe contin­gently by second causes, working contingently and free­ly.

And accordingly upon supposition of Gods decree, we say, it is necessary that such things as God hath decreed shall com to passe, but how? Not necessarily allwayes, but eyther ne­cessarily or contingently and freely, according to the con­dition of second causes, some of them onely working ne­cessarily, but others working contingently & freely.

All this, this Author most judiciously confoundes, as whose ende is to serve his owne turne, and the advantage of his owne cause, but not the cause of God in the sincere and faithfull investigation of his truth. As in the very next sen­tence he manifesteth himself deep in this confusion, as when he saith:

That the first cause doth in such manner moove and direct the second, among which is the will of man, that they cannot otherwise stirre then they are stirred. For here he con­foundes the different manner of Gods mooving and dire­cting second causes, as if there were no difference herin, wheras indeede there is a very vast difference. For wheras of second causes some worke necessarily, some contingent­ly, God mooves them all not after one manner, but differently, that is, agreably to their different condi­tions.

Second causes working necessarily he mooves and directs to worke necessarily in such sort as they cannot otherwise stirre then they are stirred; but as for second causes working contingently and freely, he mooves and directs them to [Page 93] worke accordingly, that is, contingently and freely, to witt so, as they have power eyther to suspende their operation, which is their libertie quoad exercitium, or to produce another operation, which is their libertie quoad specificationem; Thus he mooved Cyrus to builde his cittie, and lett goe his cap­tives, as he had foretolde long before; thus he mooved Iosiah to burne the prophets bones upon the altar, which was fore­told in the dayes of Ieroboam many hundred yeares before: and no sober man makes doubt but that these workes of theirs, though predetermined by God, yet were performed as freely by them as any other workes of theirs. In like man­ner he mooved the souldiers to absteyne from breaking of Christs bones, prophecyed of about a thousand yeares be­fore; and the bordering nations to forbeare to invade the land of Israel, when all the males came up thrise in the yeare before the Lord in Ierusalem, according to the promise made unto them, Exod. 34.24. I will cast out the nations be­fore thee, & enlarge thy coasts, so that no man shall desire thy land, when thou shalt come up to appeare before the Lord thy God thris [...] in the yeare. Yet who doubts but they did as freely forbeare this as ought els, and that the souldiours as freely absteyned from breaking Christs bones, as they did freely breake the bones of them who were crucified with him: But these Lucifugae delight in confusion, like owles that are in love with darkenes, that is their best time for prey.

In that which followes I confesse he deales clearly, saying, that though a man be given to sinne, yet in case he knowes God would have it so by his secret will, and that God hath predestinated him therunto, this is a comfort unto him; and truly I doe not envy him such a comfort, and I see no reason but in the midst of the torments of hell it shoulde be likewise a comfort unto him, that God did predestinate him therun­to by his secret will. Only he is pleased to speake in his owne phrase, when he talkes of predestinating unto sinne. Of predestinating unto damnation the Ancients spake, ac­knowledging such a predestination.

[Page 94]But they acknowledged no predestinating unto sinne, for as much as they tooke predestination to be only of those things which were wrought by God, not of sinnes which are only permitted by God. Yet these, even as foule sinnes, as were committed Herod and Pilate together, with the Gentiles and people of Israel, when they were gathered together against the holy Sonne of God, are in the mouthes of the Apostles confessed to have bene foredetermined by the hand and counsel of God; which wee understand thus, God did fore­determine they should come to passe by his permission as touching the sinfulnes of them: Now as for the Spirit of this Author, how well it suiteth with the Spirit of Gods Saints, we may easily judge by the word of God. For when they doe expostulate with God in this manner, Lord why hast thou caused us to erre from thy ways, and hardned our hearts against thy feare? it seemes apparantly that they tooke no com­fort at all in this that God hardned their hearts against his feare,Esa. 63.18 and caused them to erre from his wayes. And when the Lord revealed unto Moses that he would harden Pharaohs heart, wherupon he should not let Israel goe for a long time; I never perceaved that herby any comfortable condition was denoted, that shoulde be unto Pharao, in case he had known so much.Rom. 9.28.19. It seemes allso S. Paul tooke no notice of any such comfortable condition, when having taught that God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth, he bring [...]s in one herupon expostulating thus, why then doth he yet complayne? For who hath resisted his will? Neyther doth the Apostle take any such course to pacifie him, as by repre­senting any cōfortable condition redounding unto him here­by, namely, in as much as God it is who hath hardned him un­to disobedience. But the course he takes to stop his mouth is of another nature, thus; O man who art thou that disputest with God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lumpe to make one a vessell unto honour, and another unto dishonour? And whatsoever a de­baucht [Page 95] Christian may be feigned to conceave; for mine owne part (and so I thinke I may be bold to say of every one of our profession, whose hearts God hath seasoned with his feare,) I may be bolde to professe a truth, that albeit I take notice of Gods hand sometimes hardening me against his feare, yet God knowes I take no comfort in it: but rather in this, that God knowes how to worke it for my good; according to that of Austin; Audeo dicere, vtile est superbis in aliquod apertum ma­nisestum (que) cadere peccatū, &c. & when I find that my sinnes doe not make a finall or a totall separation betweene my soule & God, this may well tende to the corrobaration of my faith, and persuade my soule that nothing shall be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Iesus our Lord; and I have good cause to take comfort in this. But it is unt [...]ue that God hath as much willed the treason of Iudas, as the conver­sion of Paul, though Bellarmine hath so calumnated us longe agoe. For albeit the treason of Iudas in betraying his mayster, is one of the thinges meant by the Apostle, which Iewes and Gentiles did against the holy Sonne of God, and which, they say, were foredetermined by the hand and counsell of God: And Austin is bolde to professe that Iuda [...] electus est ad pro­dendum sanguinem Dominisui; notwithstanding which, as a­nother Father speaketh, etiam Iudas potuisset consequi remedium, si non festinasset ad laqueum, yet there is a vast difference be­tweene Gods willing Iudas his treason and Pauls conversion. For as for Iudas his treason, his will was, that should come to passe onely by Gods permission; And Arminius is bold to profes, that, Voluit Deus Achabum m [...]nsuram scelerum imple­re; but as for Pauls conversion, that was not only willed by God, but wrought by God, and that in an extraordinary man­ner, appearing unto him in the way, and striking him downe with a light from heaven, so with a strong hand taking him off from his persecuting courses, when Ferox scelerum quia primò provenerat, and flesht in the blood of Steven, Iehu like, he ma [...]ched fu [...]iously against the Church of God. As for no power in man to retain grace, when God will take it away; [Page 96] First, where man is found willing to reteyne grace, I know no just cause to complaine of the want of power for this. And where there is no will to reteyne it, I see no likelyhood that any man should complaine of want of power to reteyne it. Yet like as man is not Lord of his owne Spirit, nor able to reteyne it, so I wonder it should seeme strange, that men should have no power to reteyne the Spirit of God, in case God should withdraw it from them. And as for grace of sanctification, which God should take away from man, we know none, as who mainteyn that God will deliver his chil­dren from every evill work, and preserve them unto his hea­venly Kingdom; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. That the Spirit bloweth where it listeth, is the doctrine of our Saviour to Nicodemus, Ioh. 3. That God inspireth whom he will with the Spirit of faith & repentance, we take to be all one with that, Rom. 9.18. He hath mercy on whom he will; And accordingly he denyes this inspiration to whom he will, as much as to say: He hardeneth whom he will. But as for any actuall withdraw­ing of the Spirit of sanctification, we acknowledge not. It is true, even his owne Servants he hardneth sometimes a­gainst his feare, as the Scripture speaketh, Esa. 63.17. Where­upon their peace of conscience is disturbed, and they have cause to pray unto God, to restore them to the joye of his salvation, Psal. 51. as David there did; But David did not pray that God would restore him to his Spirit, but rather that he would not take it from him: And Bertius professeth that he will not say, that David by those foule sinnes of his, was wholy bereaved of Gods Spirit, and that propter graves causas. As for Gods permission of men to sinne for their amend­ment, Arminius himself acknowledgeth in effect in the par­ticular case of David; His words are these: Permisit Deus ut ille in negligentiam istud incideret, Exam. 166.167. & peccatum istud illa occa­sione perpetraret, quò diligentiùs seipsum observaret, peccatum suum exemplo aliorum defler [...], egregium humilitatis resipiscentiaeque spe­cimen & Exemplar praestaret, & gloriosiùs ex peccato resurgeret. [Page 97] As for the impossibilitie to withstand Gods operation, the Scripture doth expressely justifie, Eze. Neyther shall that be done which commeth into your minde: For ye say, we will be as the Heathen, & as the families of the coun­tries, and serve wood and stone. As I live, sayth the Lord God, I will surely rule you with a mightie hand, & a stretched our arme, &c. And the issue followeth, which is this: I will cause you to passe under the rod, and bring you into the bond of the covenant. Yet what is the issue of this impos­sibilitie? Is it only in respect of the thing, which God will bring to passe, as these Arminians most superficially con­ceave? and not as well in respect of the manner how it shall come to passe? Nothing lesse, but as God will have it come to passe, and come to passe contingently, and voluntari­ly, and freely, So it is impossible, upon this supposition, but that it shall come to passe, but how? not necessarily, but con­tingently, & voluntarily and freely. And as it thus comes to passe, and no otherwise, when the time, which God hath appointed is come; So before that time, it shall not come to passe, but how? contingently also, and voluntarilly and freely, and impossible it is, that it should be otherwise.

The second Section.Sect. 2.

THat it is not for him to prescribe the time and houre of his conversion, Treat. wherein a living man doth no more then a dead man in his resurrection. That God is able to quicken him, & endue him with his Spirit, though he were allready dead 4 dayes, as stinking in the grave as Lazarus: yea and that perhaps it shall not be untill the last houre of the day. That as yet God giveth him not the grace to cry Abba Father. That he so abhorreth the [Page 98] doctrine of those that are stiled Arminians, that he dares not use the least endeavour to doe well, for feare of ob­scuring that grace, which worketh irresis [...]ibly, and attri­buting of any thing [...]o the will of man. Yet he remem­breth that he had sometimes good motions, proceeding doubtlesse from the spirit of God, which hath given him the true faith, which can never faile, and that for the present, he is like the Trees in Winter, which seem dead, though they are alive. That being of the number of the Elect, as every one is bound to beleeve by the two Synods, if he will not be declared perjured, by that at Arles, his sinne it self (how enormous soever) worketh together to his salvation, yea and that he hath allready obteyned pardon for it.

That his Censurer cannot deny it, seeing that he in­structeth him unto repentance, which is nothing worth without faith no more then faith it self, if it beleeve not the remission of all sinns, both done, and to be done. And though he were of the number of the Reprobates (a thing which he will not affirme, for [...]are of being so held in­deed by the Synod) yet notwithstanding his Censurer would gayne nothing by it, who by his exhortings and threatnings could not any way alter the decree of Heaven, but onely molest him with the torments of Hell, and stirre up a w [...]rme in his conscience to gnawe him to no pur­pose.

Consid. Were it in the power of man to change his owne heart, who is not able to change one hayre of his head; he might well prescribe the time and houre of his conver­sion. But seeing it is Gods worke alone to circumcise our heartes, Deut. 30.6. to take away the stony heart, and give us [Page 99] an heart of flesh, and put his owne spirit within us, Ezech. 36, 27. to quicken us when we are dead in trespasses and sinnes, Eph. 2.15. Surely, it belongs to God alone, to prescribe the time and houre when a man shallbe converted. And ac­cordingly our Saviour gives us to understand, that some are called at the first houre of the day, some at the third, some not untill the last.

And the Apostle exhorts Timothy, in effect by his meeke cariage, to wayte when God will give them repentance that are without, that so they may acknowledge his truth, and come out of the snare of the devill, by whom they are led captive to doe his will, 2. Tim. 2. last.

And albeit men are living as beasts, why should they be thought to have any more power to rayse themselves, or quicken themselves unto life spirituall, then a dead man hath to quicken himself to life naturall. Now, that men are dead in sinne; the scripture teacheth evidently, and that the worke of conversion is called regeneration; but the Scriptures are a strange Language to these Arminians; They are diserti lingua sua; And they discourse amongst Christians, as if they should discourse among Cannibals. Yet there is a difference be­tweene him that is dead naturally, and him that is dead spiri­tually. For he that is dead naturally, can performe no natu­rall action at all; but he that is dead only spiritually, is able e­nough to perform any action naturall. And some naturall actions are required, without which a man cannot be con­verted. As for Example, it is requisite a man should be ac­quainted with Gods word, which alone is the ordinary means whereby the Spirit workes in mans conversion. Now, it is in the power of man to heare the word: And albeit he can­not hearken unto it in a gracious manner pleasing unto God, yet shall not that hinder the efficacy of Gods word, if God be pleased to shew mercy on him; No, though he comes to the hearing of it with a wicked minde. As they that came to take Christ, Iohn. 7. yet when they heard him, were taken by him, and returned without him, saying: Never man spake [Page 100] as this man speaketh. So is it in the power of a man to reade the word. Now, suppose he exercise this power, and that with a minde averse from it; yet may this word proove a word of power to the changing of his heart. As Vergetius tooke Melanthons writings, to reade with a purpose to con­fute them, yet in the reading, himself was confuted by them, and this was a meanes of h [...]s conversion from Popery to the Protestant confession.

This Author discourseth in such sort, as if the power of God to quicken a man though 4 dayes dead, and stinking in the grave as Lazarus, were taken up in his mouth in scorne; For such is the manner and streng [...]h of his discourse, in the most hungry fashion that ever I thinke proceeded from a reasonable man; Our Saviour hath given us to understand, that some are not called till the last houre; & we have an ex­ample of it in the thiefe upon the crosse: If God hath not givē him as yet the grace to cry Abba Father, that Spirit of adop­tion, requiring a spirit of bondage to precede it, Rom. 8.15. Yet this houre, and that by our admoni [...]ion and conviction of his sinnes, God may humble him, and make him feare, and thereby prepare him to the Spirit of adoption. For his word is as a fire & as an hammat that breaketh the bones; the Infidell findes this by good experience, when hearing one prophecy, he is rebuked of all, judged of all; the thoughts of his heart are made manifest, and he falls downe on his face, and confesseth tha [...] God is in his ministers of a truth, 1. Cor. 14.24.

The Iewes did finde this power of the word, when hea­ring Peter discoursing how God made him both Lord and Christ, whom they had crucified, they were pricked in their hearts, and sayd: Men and Bretheren what shall we doe? Act. 2. When in the course of his histrionicall fictions, he feignes his Factor, not daring to endeavour to doe well; He suppo­seth and insinuateth that he would endeavour it, but dares not for his hatred to the Arminian doctrine, which is nothing answerable to our doctrine, who deny, that there is any such [Page 101] will in a carnall man. We say the maine reformation of man consists in the change of the will from evill to good; & we know that God accepteth the will for the deede. And the Saints of God commend themselves in this manner unto God: We that desire to feare thy name, Nehem. 1. And the desire of our hearts is towards thy name, Esa. 26. And we de­sire to live honestly, Heb. 13.

And Austin mainteynes, as I remember, that the Saints of God no otherwise fullfill the Law of God then desiderio & conatu.

And albeit this Author at pleasure feigneth his prolocutor to embrace our Tenets, yet if he be but a carnall Christian, he cannot embrace them, or any doctrine of faith, Fide vera & infusa, but onely fide acquisita.

Yet againe, it is in the power of any man not onely to de­sire and endeavour to doe well, but also to doe indeed, quoad exteriorem vitae emendationem; All the morall vertues, as they were found in Heathen men, so are they atteynable by a natu­rall man; For even Heathens were famous and renowned, some of them, not onely for their good rules, but for their vertuous practise of moralitie, which yet nothing hindered Austin from passing his censure upon their best actions, pro­fessing them to be no better then splendida peccata, and for a rule of direction, to judge aright herein, he tells us, non offi­cijs sed finibus discernendas esse virtutes.

And therefore there is no cause of so superficiary a con­ceyte forged in this Authors braines, as if endeavours to such moralitie should any way obscure the prerogative of Gods grace, as only effectuall to the working of that which is pleasing in the sight of God.

Such moralitie shall nothing at all commend the will for any goodnesse in the sight of God, any more th [...]n Socrates or Plato, or Aristides their moralitie did, though their dam­nation shalbe farre lesse then the damnation of such, who among the Heathens have bene given to a debaucht life and conversation.

[Page 102]Good motions undoubtedly God can rayse by his Spirit in the heart of the most wicked in the Church of God; but like as the devills suggestions are not our fault if we resist them, so such good motions of God doe nothing commend us in the sight of God, if we doe not give way unto them, but rather one day rise up in judgment against us to our greater and more inexcusable condemnation. But that a carnall man is here brought-in conceyted of true faith in him, that shall never faile is that part which this Comedian hath put in his Actors mouth to play: For it is fitt his care shoulde be accor­ding to his Art populo ut placerent quas fecisset fabulas. Yet I nothing doubt but a carnall Christian may be orthodoxe throughout, and persuade himselfe of a true faith. But if his life be not answerable, we will be bolde to tell him that his faith is vayne: For true faith worketh by love Gal. 5. and faith working by love, is as much as a newe creature Gal. 6. and whosoever is in Christ, is a newe creature, 2. Cor. 5. and they that are Christs have crucified the fleshe with the affe­ctions and lusts:Gal. 5.24. therfore where such a newe creature is wan­ting, where the fleshe is not crucified with the affections and lusts, they are not Christs, nor in Christ, nor have any faith working by love. Nay we know not how soone, if such an houre of [...]entation shall once come, such a one will turne Turke or Atheist. For whosoever heareth Christs wordes & doth them not, our Saviour likeneth him to a foolish man▪ which hath builded his house upon the sand, and the rayn felt, and the floods came, and [...]he winde blewe, & beate upon that house and it fell, and the fall therof was great, Matth. 7. 26, 27. The Corinthians were renowned professors, yet S. Paul calls upon them to prove themselves, whether they were in the faith & to examine thēselves, saying, know ye not your selves, how that Iesus Christ is in you except ye be reprobates? There is a secret hypocrisie wherby a man may deceave him­selfe, (as indeede the heart of man is a decei [...]full thing) all may seeme fayre, no reygning sinne appearing, wherby the conversation is defiled; and yet good cause for men to put [Page 103] themselves to the triall of their faith. It is true the children of God may sometimes be overtaken with some foule sinne, as David was, and they may continue in it too longe, without bringing forth so cleere and full evidence of repentance and satisfaction to the Church of God, as the condition of their sinne requires; and in this case they may be for a time as trees in the winter: but to apply this to every carnall Christian that lives in sinne, and goes on in a debaucht course of l [...]fe, and conversation may be very suitable to the scope of such a Comedian as we have to deale with, who is merely Scenicall throughout, but it is intolerable in a sober divine, whose ayme shoulde be to dispute truth, and not to enterteyne his Readers or hearers with Enterludes of his owne making and poeticall fiction? That every one is bound, to believe that he is elect, I no where finde in the Synod of Dort, and this Author loves to discourse at large as if he had nothing to doe but to tell a tale, as for the Synod of Arles I am utterly unac­quainted with the Acts therof.

But I have reade such a doctrine related out of Z [...]nchy, and Bucer; and I conceave the meaning to be this, that every one in the Church of God is bounde to believe, that God hath elected him to obteyne salvation, in case he believe; And indeede as God hath ordeyned none of ripe yeares to obteyne salvation unles he believe; so on the other side God hath or­deyned that every one who believeth shall obteyne salvation. But as God hath not ordeyned to bestow faith on every one eyther absolutely or conditionally; so did I never reade it layde to the charge of any one of our divines, that he should maynteyne, that every one is bounde to believe that God hath elected him, to the obteyning of faith eyther absolutely or conditionally. But such like confusion of things that differ, is very agreable, I confesse, with the learning and judgment of this Author, who seemes much better fitted to make a play, then to handle a controversie in divinitie. That all thinges work together for the good of them that love God, is as true as the Apostle Pauls epistle to the Romans is the word of God.

[Page 104]And Bishop Cooper a Scottish Bishop, applyes this to mens sinnes amongst other thinges, shewing how they allso doe worke for a mans good. But that the sinnes of a carnall man, a debaucht Christian, workes for his good, a Poet may faigne such a conceyte, I deny not, & pinne it upon the con­fession of whom he will for Pictoribus atque Poetis, quidli­bet audendi semper fuit aequa potestas; and by the illusions of Satan it is possible, like enough, that a carnall person may be so farre transported; but if this Author thinke good to ju­stifie any such persuasion, he may take his course; surely we and our doctrine doe not. No more then his persuasion of obteyning the pardon of his sinne, while yet he liveth in sinne.

And indeede so it is, he takes upon him to justifie these persuasions, and that with a face of confidence, saying, that his censurer cannot deny it: what doe I heare! cannot we de­nye, but that he who lives in sinne, and goes on in fulfilling the lusts of the fleshe, cannot but be persuaded, or may ne­vertheles be justly persuaded, that his sinnes (how enormous soever) worke together to his salvation, and that he hath all­ready obteyned pardon for them? I had thought impudency it selfe could not have bene so brazen face [...] as to impute this unto us. But, it may be, he hath some trickes of witt, and feates of activitie that way to discharge upon us, though contrary to his owne conscience.

And what are they? surely therfore his Censurer cannot deny, but that the sinnes of a debaucht Christian (how enormous soever) worke together to his salvation, and that he hath obteyned already pardon for them, because forsooth he ex­horteth him unto repentance, which is nothing worth with­out faith, no more▪ then faith, if it believe not the remission of all sinnes both done & to be don. Here we have an hob­goblin discourse, yet it is well we meete with some shewe of argumentation to cope withall: I doubt this Author is yet to learne what it is to obteyne pardon of sinne, we exhort such men unto repentance, that they may obteyne remission [Page 105] of their sinnes; we doe not suppose such wicked persons to have allready obteyned the pardon of their sinnes. It is true, repentance determines not upon obteyning the pardon of our sinnes, but the sense of that love of God in giving his Sonne to dye for our sinnes, and for his sake pardoning them unto us, of his free grace renewes our repentance; like as Da­vid never repented more fervently then after Nathan had sayde unto him from the Lord, the Lord hath put away thy sinne, witnesse the Psal. 51. Therfore we utterly deny this consequence, we exhort a wicked wretch to repentance, therfore we acknowledge him to have obteyned the pardon of his sinnes. But he insinuates a proofe of this, after this manner. Whom we exhort unto repentance, him we suppose to have faith allready, wherby he believes the remission of his sinnes. But this consequence agayne we utterly deny; we suppose not any such faith in him, nay we have it rather most probable that in case of his debaucht course of life, and con­versation that such a one hath no true faith at all. For if the Apostle exhorts such as the Corinthians were to proove, and examine themselves, whether they were in the faith, writing to the best of them; why shoulde we conceave a wicked per­son that lives in manifest profanenesse, and uncleanes, to have any true faith at all? Perhaps he may reply; why then doe you exhort him to repentance, seing without faith he cannot re­pent? I answere, why did Peter exhort the Iewes to repen­tance, who had killed the Lord of life as he tells them, Act. 3.14.15. and desired a murtherer to be given them: But, saith he, v. 18. those thinges which God before had shewed by the mouth of his Prophets, that Christ should suffer he hath thus fulfilled. Amend your lives therfore, and turn, that your sins may be put away, when the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Did Peter suppose them to have any faith in Christ, when thus he exhorted them to amendment? Surely he did not, and no more doe wee: but by Peters ministery God might be pleased to worke them both to faith, and to repentance, & so he did, for many that [Page 106] heard the word believed, and the number was about 5000▪ and the like he may, and doth usually worke by our mini­stery allso.

Then agayne there is a legall repentance, and there is an Evangelicall repentance. And that legall repentance may be unto desperation, as Iudas his repentance was. Agayne that legall repentance may be a fruite of the Spirit of bondage, which praepares for the hearing of the Gospell, and for the receaving of the Spirit of adoption by the Gospell. Then in the preaching of the Gospell the tender mercies of God dis­played unto us, and how ready he is to pardon sinne in ge­nerall, and that of free grace, may better our repentance; and when we are thus by degrees brought to the Spirit of adop­tion, to cry Abba Father then our repentance shall be most per­fect, as before I sayde; and when we looke upon him whom we have pearced, and can in assurance of faith professe with the Apostle saying: I live by faith in him who loved me, and gave himselfe for me, this is of power to pricke a Master veyne, and make us bleede out our repentance in the sight of our gracious God (whom we have offended, and who yet in despight of our sinnes hath loved us) more devoutly, and af­fectionately then ever before. Yet is it true, as he saith, that repentance is nothing worth without faith? What thinkes he of Ahabs repentance, when he put on sackcloth and wallo­wed in ashes, upon the word of judgment against his house brought unto him by the Prophet Eliah? Doe we not know what the Lord sayde herupon unto Eliah, seest thou how Ahab is humbled before me? because he submitteth him­selfe before me, I will not bring that evill in his dayes. The uttermost of the Ninivites faith was but this, that we reade of, who can tell if God will turne, and repent, & turne from his feirce wrath that we perish not? yet their repentance was such, that when God sawe their workes, that they turned from their evill wayes: he repented of the evill that he had sayde, that he woulde doe unto them, and he did it not, Ion. 3.9.10. And certienly the moralitie of some Heathens was such, [Page 107] that their damnation will be easier then the damnation of those that lived in all manner of impuritie, and vncleanes.

By faith, we say, the children of God are assured of the love of God towards them, which was aeternall, and is unchange­able; and, consequently, that God will never forsake them, but will from time to time pardon their sinnes, accor­ding to that faith of Paul; The Lord will deliver me from every evill worke, and preserve me to his heavenly Kingdom 2. Tim. 4.18. And no other faith of remission of sinnes doe we teach or any of our divines, that I know, and this Author foreseing it likely enough, that his Synodicall adversary will except against such a ones election, much more against his ef­fectual vocation, who walkes not after the Spirit, but after the fleshe; yet, to shewe his confidence of holding to hard­meate his wilde adversary, being in some degree wilder him­selfe; though he were, sayth he, of the number of reprobates, yet his censurer shoulde gayne nothing by it, for as much as his exhortations and threanings coulde not any way alter the decree of heaven, but only molest him with the torments of hell, and stirre up a worme in his conscience to gnawe him to no purpose. Wherto I answere, that, by our doctrine, as we have no encouragement to conceave such a person as here is brought in to play the part appointed for him, and wher­to this Author promts him to be an elect of God; so neyther have we any reason to conceave him, to be a reprobate; for as much as there neyther is, nor can be any ordinary evidence of any mans reprobation, but, eyther finall impaenitency, or guiltines of sinning against the holy Ghost. So that albeit where we observe the worke of a mans faith, the labour of his love, the patience of his hope, we have good reason to conceave of such a one, that he is an elect of God, as Paul did of the Thessalonians, 1. Thes. 1 3.4. Yet where we finde these to be wanting, and a carnall walking, and sensuall con­versation in the steede therof, we have no cause to conclude herupon, that such a one is certeynly a man rejected, and re­probated of God. For we were carnall, and sensuall be­fore [Page 108] God visited us with his grace, and quickned us by his holy Spirit: What a strange race did Manasses runne for a long time in a most si [...]nefull course, in the way of idolatry, blood, sorcery? yet God brought him to repentance before he died. Paul, likewise for a time was a bloody persecutor of Gods Church, yet even then was he a chosen vessell; not on­ly to be a professor, but a preacher allso of that way which formerly he had opposed, and persecuted even unto blood; whether a man be an elect or reprobate, we leave that as a se­cret unto God, only considering that Gods long suffering is sayde to be salvation, we hope the best; and it is our duty to become all thinges to all men that we may save some, as Paul professeth of himselfe, 2. Cor. 6. and those some whose sal­vation he aymed at, he professeth to be Gods elect. 2. Tim. 2.10. wherfore we enterteyne no such thought as of altering the decrees of heaven, as this Author in his scenicall imagina­tion shapeth the matter, but we endeavour therby to take him off from his ungodly courses, and worke him to godly sorrowe, that bringes forth salvation never to be repented of, as in case he may proove to be one of Gods elect, which may be for ought we know to the contrary;Esa. 49. And if it proove otherwise, and we have cause to complayne, that we have la­boured in vayne, and that we have spent our strenght in vayne; this ought to be nothing strange to us, seing it hath bene the condition of better, and more eminent servants of God then we are; neyther are we to seeke how to comfort our selves but in the Prophets language: Yet my labour is with the Lord, and my judgment with my God, though we have laboured all night, yea, and many dayes also, and caught nothinge;2. Cor. 2.15.16. & in S. Pauls language we are unto God the sweete savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that pe­rishe. To the one we are the Savour of death unto death: and to the other a Savour of life unto life; and herby we doe God service in bereaving them of excuse; for they cannot but by these meanes know that a Prophet hath bene amongst them;Ezech. 2. yea, and by molesting them with the torments of [Page 109] hell, and stirring up a worme in their conscience, to gnawe them, we may (as it were) throwe water in their faces, and quash their furious courses, in satisfying their lusts, so that hereby they may proficere ad exteriorem vitae emendationem quo mitiùs puniantur.

Now, judge of the soliditie of this Authors discourse, who conscious of giving litle satisfaction in good earnest, affects to refresh the spirit of his propitious reader with a jest, saying that his personate Actor will not affirme himself to be a Reprobate, for feare of being held so indeed by the Sy­nods.

But where doth eyther of these Synods teach, that who so conceaves himself to be a reprobate, is to be held by them to be such a one indeed? For albeit eyther of them did affirme every Christian to be bound to beleeve that he is an elect, for which we have no stronger evidence then the honesty of this Authors word, which of what price it deserves to be, let the indifferent judge, yet that they should hold every one to be a reprobate indeed, who conceaves himself to be such a one, is altogether incredible. Yet notwithstanding these and such like immodest and shamelesse pretences, this Author will not want some to applaude him herein, as a resolute cham­pion of their cause. And albeit he shapes his Actor such as feare not God, yet to serve his turne, he must shape him so, as to stand in feare of the censure of Arles, and of their hard opinion of him.

Sect. 3.The third Section.

Treat. IF hereupon the Censurer proceede. That allthough the Spirit alone doth produce repentance in the heart of a sinner; yet notwithstanding, that exhortations and threat­nings are the meanes and instruments, which it useth in the worke; The other will demaund further of him the explication of his saying therein, observing a most mani­fest contradiction, in that, on the one side, repentance is immediately attributed to the holy Ghost, and, on the other side, these exhortations and threatnings are held as means and instruments of this worke, the operation not being there immediate, where the meanes are used. That, if these meanes of exhortation be necessary, or, at least, if it be ordinarily required in the operation, how can it be that they who resist it, and reject the instrument, doe not, nay cannot likewise resist the principall cause, which is the ho­ly Ghost? He that will not suffer the rasour, the instru­ment of his cure, doth he not therein also reject the Chi­rurgeon?

The Censurer will say, that the elect reject, neither the one, nor the other, the holy Ghost pearcing the eare to make it heare, and opening the heart, to make it receave those admonitions, which are alltogether vaine & unprofitable, untill the holy Ghost doth so worke in them. Thereupon the other will make him confesse, that the word preached for the most part, is destitute of that operation of the holy Ghost, as it appeareth by the misprise, that the most part make of it, which cannot be, when the efficacy of the Spi­rit doth accompany it, it followeth then, that the whole [Page 111] ministery is but a dance, no more cooperating with mans conversion, then the clay which our Saviour, applyed to the eyes of the blind, did unto his sight, or the sole voyce calling upon Lazarus made him to rise out of his grave. He will also demand of him, why it is (seing nature doth nothing in vayne) that the Author of nature did appoynt the ministery of the word, and why those things which the Censurer attributeth onely to the Holy Spirit, are yet notwithstanding in the Scripture attributed like­wise to the word preached, and how it is that thereby we are said to be begotten, renued, edified, nourished, and pu­rified, &c. whereas the new doctrine of the Synod leaveth it no other function then to serve as an object, and to re­present that, (without which the Holy Spirit hath already wrought within, as well in the will as in the understan­ding, without any cooperation of the word) not onely un­profitable without the Spirit, but also dangerous, and ag­gravating the damnation of its contemners, although it were impossible to receave and cherish it even as it is un­possib [...]e for them to adde the efficacy of the Spirit, which is not in their power.

Consid. Here the Censurer is brought in, without any de­cent occasion, to discourse of the Spirits operation alone, in producing repentance, and yet, notwithstanding, that exhorta­tions and threatnings are the meanes and instruments, which it useth in the worke: so to make way for the discharging of some shot he hath in readinesse against this.

By the way I observe, that howsoever he puts upon his Actor in this seene the name of a Censurer, yet he might be called as well an exhorter and threatner; The word of God S. Paul tels us, is profitable to teach, to cōvince, to correct, to instruct in righteousnesse, but no where doe I finde any such [Page 112] act, as censuring attributed unto it. But as for the mayne, we acknowledge, that it is the Spirits operation alone, that changeth the heart, and yet notwithstanding that exhortations backt with promises upon our obedience, & threatnings up­on our disobedience are the meanes; for as much as God worketh in all agreably to their natures.

Now, having made man after his owne image, indued with an understanding heart and rationall affections, wherby he is fitt to be wrought upon unto that which is good, and from that which is evill, by way of instruction, exhortation, persuasion; therfore it pleaseth God accordingly to bring him unto faith, repentance, and obedience. Now let us con­sider what he hath to say against this; herupon he saith, the other will demaund further of him the explication of his sayings, therin objecting a most manifest contradiction, in that on the one side repentance is immediately attributed to the holy Ghost, and on the other side these exhortations, and threatnings, are helde as meanes & instruments of this worke, the operation not being there immediate, where the meanes are used.1. Sam. 18.4. We reade of Ionathan, that he put off the robe that was upon him, and gave it David, and his garments, even to his sword and to his bowe, and to his girdle. And the reason was,V. 3. because he loved him as his owne soule, In like sort, this bad living Christian whom here this Author re­presents to play a part for him, is such a one as with whom, he is in love for somewhat, though not for his fa [...]th; For I see he is willing to aray him with his owne sufficiency, and to bestowe his owne armour upon him (the best armour of his witt) even to his sword and to his bowe, and to his girdle; and the truth is, he playes his part for him, though the scene requires, that another should make shewe to personate him; and so the Arminian takes upon him the shape, and vizard of a debaucht Christian on our side. Now I willingly professe he makes the most of his wares in the utterance of them, that words can, and delivers himselfe with very great confidence; which though it be no to pick place, yet usually it is his best [Page 113] strength. And I have heard of a French Gentleman who in the troubles of France, when it behooved every man to stand upon his guard, having unadvisedly lett into his house cer­teyn freebooters, & perceaving his error too late, sett himselfe to seeke to help it with his witt, & caryed himself with such freenes, and confidence in the enterteyning of them, that therby he overcame them; and they parted without doing him any wrong, and, at parting, bid him thanke his confi­dence that he escaped so well. And truly coulde the matter beare it, we might suffer him to en [...]oy the benefite, and com­fort of his confidence. But we are upon the point of inve­stigation of divine truth, and, to spare him herin, were to un­doe him, and others with him. More profitable it is for him by much, to be beaten quite out of his fools paradise then to suffer him to enioy his errours, and so lace himselfe with them, and to corrupt others allso. Now as for explication of what was delivered as he requires, we see no neede therof at all, the playne truth therof is so visible, that he, who will not shutt his eyes against it, cannot but take notice of it, this is to requite confidence with confidence: for is it not fitt to pay him in his owne coyne?

And consider, I pray; let exhortation be made unto repen­tance, let this exhortation be backt with the most forcible motives therunto drawne from promises divine, of no lesse reward then aeternall life, from menaces divine, to the im­penitent, and that of the wrath of God, and that of such a condition, as wherin a fire is kindled which burneth unto the bottome of hell. Yet is it not in the power of man to assent to this exhortation or dissent from it? And in case he doe assent; after a while, as he shall thinke good, and take time to deliberate; shall not he be accoumpted, and his will the sole cause, yea, and immediate also in producing this operation? I say, the sole cause, in reference to the exhortation premised, which still leaves a man indifferent, whether he will yeelde thereunto, or no? I should thinke, the exhortation hinders not the will of man at all from being the sole, yea, and imme­diate [Page 114] cause of willinge, which if it cannot be denyed as I should thinke, it cannot; if withall the Spirit of God doth worke the will sooner or later to yeilde unto it, why should not that be accoumpted the sole cause therof? yea, and im­mediate allso, though that terme was not specified in the premises. And as for the clearing of the contradiction, the shew whereof is brought in afterwards, by foysting in the terme immediate, into the place of the word sole.

I answere, that man, being a rationall agent, and working upon deliberation: the judgement must first be informed before he can worke deliberately; Now, the immediate work of exhortation tendes no farther then to the information of the judgement.

And as reasons are given on the one side out of Gods word, to urge the necessitie of repentance, so reasons are given on the other sid, partly by flesh and blood, partly by the suggestions of Satan, to represent the needelesse con­dition thereof, eyther alltogether, or at least for the present. And the will freely makes choyse, to follow the one or the other, sometimes giving way to exhortations divine, some­times to contrariant suggestions, carnall or diabolicall.

And if God be pleased to rebuke Satan, and to dashe out of countenance the motions of the flesh, and make the will to yeelde to the ministers exhortations unto repentance, what shall hinder him from being the sole and immediate cause hereof?

Againe, this Author considers not, or wilfully dissembles, that exhortations are onely a cause morall, but Gods working immediately upō the will, after that the judgment is wrought uppon by exhortations & instructions (for Austin compre­hends these under one, saying, that if there be any difference between docere & suadere or exhortari, yet evē this doctrinae ge­neralitate cōprehenditur) this he workes as a cause physicall, & therfore albeit ther be a presupposall of a cause preceding, working morally, yet the Spirit of God in striking the stroake, is the sole and immediate cause working physicallie. [Page 115] Lastly he that persuadeth say the Bellarmine, (and light of na­ture justifies it) worketh only per modum proponentis objectum, only he setts it foorth in the most alluring manner that he can; Now the object proposed is well knowne to work only in genere causae finalis, the motion wherof is commonly called motus metaphoricus, or metaphoricè so called. But Gods ope­ration immediate in working upon the will is in genere causae efficientis; so that albeit a cause working in genere causae finalis be presupposed, yet still it is cleere, that the Spirit of God, works immediatly upon the will in converting it, in ge­nere causae efficientis. Now the ignorance herof is it, that makes this Author so bold and confident, in talking of ma­nifest contradiction; and who so bold as blinde bayard; but I woulde the scales might at lenght fall from their eyes, that they might see upon what rotten grounds they proceede in impugning the precious truth of God; we willingly grant, that information of the understanding is necessarily required both to faith, and to repentance, otherwise they were not acts rationall; but that this information shoulde be made by the minister, that is I confesse ordinarily required by the vertue of Gods ordinance, but not necessarily; which whether this Au­thor takes notice of or no, I knowe not; I finde him litle s [...]n­sible of any such distinction; And we willingly confesse that as often as men are found to resist these exhortat [...]ons divine, though delivered by Gods minister; they may justly be sayde to resist God working morally, and bes [...]eching them as the A­postle speaketh, 2. Cor. 5.20. as though God through us did beseeche you. So the Iewes with their Fathers resisted the holy Ghost, Act. 7.51. For as much as the wordes delivered unto thē & which they resisted, were sent by the Lord of hosts in his Spirit by the ministery of his prophets Zach. 7.12. & ac­cordingly God is sayde to have protested among them by his Spirit, by the handes of the prophets but they would not heare Nehem. 9.30. But they doe not resist nor can resist the holy Ghost, working immediately, and physically upon their wills the act of conversion, and physicall or rather hyper­physicall transmutation.

[Page 116]We willingly confesse, that the elect resist neyther, tending to their first conversion, provided the time be come, which God hath appoynted for their conversion; till then they resist all exhortations, tending thereunto, as well as others; but as for any divine act for a physicall transmutation of their wills, they are not made pertakers thereof; till the time of their ef­fectuall calling. Yet, after their effectuall calling, as they doe too often disobey God in his particular exhortations; So like­wise they have cause sometimes to expostulate with God, for hardning their hearts against his feare.

But in their first conversion he doth not only pierce their eares, (the word of the minister being able enough for that,) but he gives them eares to heare, & so also he gives them eyes to see; and as for the opening of the heart, that also I take to be all one, with giving them an heart, Deut. 29.4.

Now, hereupon this Author tells us, we must be driven to confesse, that the word preached, for the most part, is destitute of that operation of the Holy Ghost, (as it appeares by the misprise, that the most part make of it, which cannot be when the efficacy of the spirit doth accompany it) but this is untrue, we are not driven, nor neede to be driven hereunto, we must willingly acknowledge it, rightly understood, namely, that God [...]nto the outward ministery of the word, doth not, for the [...]ost part, adde the efficacy of his Spirit to worke men unto faith and repentance; as it is most evident by experience, and our Saviour in the parable of the sower, that went forth to sowe his seede, teacheth us as much; And the Prophet Esay also, when, prophecying of the times of the Gospell, he be­ginnes thus: Who hath beleeved our report? and giving the cause hereof in the next words, addeth: And to whom is the arme of the Lord revealed?

But as touching the consequence herhence deduced, name­ly, that the whole ministery is but a dance, no more coope­rating w [...]th mans conversion, then the clay which our Saviour applyed to the eyes of the blind, did unto his sight, or the sole voyce, calling upon Lazarus, made him to rise out of his [Page 117] grave: Here this great master of ceremonies is miserably out in his formalities as well as in his realities. It followeth not herehence that the ministery is a dance but a piping rather, as our Saviour signifies in the Gospell, when he sayth, wherunto shall I liken this generation? they are like to litle Ch [...]ldren sitting in the market place, and saying, we have piped unto you, but ye have not danced we have mourned unto you, but you have not wept; yet piping is a naturall provocation to dance; but the exhortation of the word without a more spe­ciall operation of Gods Spirit, is no provocat on at all to be­lieve; how can it be to naturall man to whom it seemes foolishnes; and witt wisdome is naturally more affected by men, then honestie: For qui velit ingenio cedere rariu erit; and the Italians have a proverbe, that witt is aequally divided; and the instance is given thus; Let a proclamation be made that all Taylers, appearing in an assembly, stand up; in this case Taylers will stand up, and none but Taylers; so of shoe­makers, so of other [...]ades. But if a proclamation be made that all wise men should stand up, every one will be ready e­nough to stand up; men of the meanest trade, being apt to conceave that they are likely enough to be as wise as they who are of the best. Yet, by this Authors leave, the mini­st [...]ry of the word confers more to a mans conversion then the clay did (for ought I know) to the curing of the blinde mans eyes, &c. For the word informes what is to be belee­ved, and likewise what is to be practised, though to discerne the wisedom of God in the one, and to be in love with the other, and to feele the power of God in both▪ requires ano­ther operation of the Spirit o [...] God, to the inlightning of the minde, and renewing of the will. He that said, nature doth nothing in vaine, sa [...]de, God and nature doe nothing in vayne, so that there was litle neede of such a gradation, as here is made. N [...]yther is the ministery of the word in vayne, though all, or the most part are not converted by it; For it informes all, it takes away excuse from all; they cannot say, si audivissem credid [...]ssem, they know hereby a Prophet hath beene amongst [Page 118] them, though they who yeelde obedience to it, have no need of any such excuse: and for their sakes it is principally in­tended, as appeares, both by the revelation made to Paul, Act. 18. Feare not, and holde not thy peace, for no man shall lay holde on thee; to hurt thee, for I have much people in this city; And accordingly by the Apostles scope in his ministery. For albeit he professeth that he became all things to all men, that he might save some, 2. Cor. 6. Yet he manifests who those some were, whose salvation he sought, where he sayth, I suffer all things for the elects sake, 2. Tim. 2.10.

And lastly, it is not in vayne towards any, for as much as the ministers thereof are the sweete savour of God, both in thē that are saved,2. Cor. 2.15.16. & in them that perish. To them that perish, a savour of death unto death, to them that are saved, a savour of life unto life, in both a sweete savour unto God in Christ.

As for the things, which we ascribe onely to the Spirit of God, we ascribe them to that Spirit of God onely, in the way of a cause physicall, we ascribe them to the word also in the way of a cause mo [...]all, as both informing the understanding concerning them, and persuading thereunto. But the Spirit of God alone both opens the eyes to discerne them, and the heart to embrace them, as the things of God.

And for the cause, fore-mentioned, to witt, because the Spirit of God doth not inlighten, to discerne the things of God, but as revealed in his word, nor to incline to any thing, as to the will of God, but as proposed in his word, therefore is the word called the sword of the Spirit, Eph. 6. Thus & justly, are we said to be begotten by the word, re­nued by the word, aedified by the word, fed by the word, clensed by the word.

And I finde it very strange, that when these men will have all that is preached in the word, in the issue left to the free will of man, to beleeve or no, to repent or no, to obey or no; and yet notwithstanding give out, that the word it is, which converts them, brings them to faith, repentance, and obe­dience; [Page 119] and yet cavill at our ascribing those effects to the word of God in one kinde of operation, which yet we ascribe solely and immediately to Gods spirit in another kind of operation; [...]specially considering that it is Gods word, & not their word; and sent by God in his Spirit, by the ministe­ry of the Prophets, and not sent by them in their Spirits; and it is the meanes whereby Gods Spirit workes, as before I have shewed, and not a meanes, appoynted by them, whereby their Spirit worketh.

But it is nothing strange, that they, who oppose Gods grace, should in the end fayle even of common sense.

The Synod (sayth this Au [...]hor) leaveth it no other func­tion, then to serve as an object, and to represent it. When Bellarmine sayth, that, Suadens agit per modum proponentis ob­jectum; He delivereth this as a dictate of common sense, knowne by the very light of nature.

I say a litle more, that he who persuades ought, his office is to rep [...]esent that wh [...]reunto he persuades in the most alluring manner, [...]o draw the partie whom he persuades to like it, and to labour for it.

Farther, I say, we doe ascribe to the word, as much as they doe, or can doe in truth. In pretence I deny not, but they may deale w [...]th it as they deale with Gods grace, mak [...]ng shew, as if [...]hey ascribed thereunto their faith, their repen­tance; When indeed they impute it to their owne free wills, not fearing to mocke God, if he would be mocked; And as the Iewes sometimes crowned Christ with thornes, so do these crowne the grace of God with scornes.

But the true difference betweene us is, not in ascribing or denying ought to Gods word; but in that we ascribe that to the Spirit of God, which they ascribe to the freedome of their wills.

[Page 120]I say, the difference between us is, whether it be not so in­deede as here I professe, and am ready to make good. But wheras he saith, we make the word of God only to represent that, without which the holy Spirit hath allready wrought within, as well in the will, as in the unde [...]standing, without any cooperation of the word, this passage is, eyther falsely copyed, or falsely translated out of the French: For the first (without) comes out of his place, the sense it beares being af­terwards represented at full in these wordes, without any cooperation of the word, and besides, it marres altogether the sense of the wordes following: therfore I leave it quite out, and reade the passage thus, to represent that which the holy Spirit hath allready wrought within, as well in the will as in the understanding, without the cooperation of the word; Now here is a prety mystery woorth the opening: For he imputes unto us, as if we should say, that the word per­suades, and exhorts to that, which the Spirit hath allready wrought both in the will, and in the understanding. Now, I desire to knowe, what that is, which the Spirit hath allready wrought, and when it was wrought, according to our opi­nion, as he saith; for I willingly professe, it is a myste [...]y unto me; namely, that we should maynteyne that God sends his mi­nisters unto us to persuade us to that, which God hath wrought in us, and that perhaps, long before we heard the word; And, I willingly confesse, in this case, we might well seeme to make the ministery of Gods word to be very unpro­fitable, and vayne. Now, as I sayd, so I say still; this is very my­sterious unto me. But I must fishe it out as well as I can, by Interrogation. And what is it, trowe we, that this Author meanes by this? Is it the worke of regeneration, consisting in the renovation of all the rationall faculties of man, both the understanding, and the will? Vndoubtedly, this is his meaning, though the Au [...]hor caryeth himselfe obscurely, without particulating what he meaneth, and wherin it con­sists. Then agayne, when was this wrought? If before we are pertakers of the word preached as he playnly signifi [...]th, is it [Page 121] not cleare that it must be before we come to the use of reason? being as we are, brought up in the Church of God, and accordingly made pertakers of Gods word, as soone as we come to the use of reason? And what time of infancy is more likely to be conceaved as most congruous herunto, than the time of our admittance unto the Sacrament of Bap­tisme. I am out of doubt that this is his meaninge; wherby it appeares that these Arminians, are of a contrary opinion, utterly denying that the grace of regeneration is conferd in Baptisme. Yet master Hooker, hath maynteyned that the grace of regeneration is conferd in Baptisme against master Cartwright, and one I knewe in my time (a favourer of his) that maynteynd in the divinitie schooles, that Baptisme is necessary unto salvation. And nowadayes our Arminians are eager in the mayntenance therof, which our Arminians beyond the Seas (as it seemes) doe utterly deny; yet they hugge one another in the armes of love, in opposing o [...]hers. But to make short, let our Englishe Arm [...]nians looke how they an­sweare this; For my part, I maynteyne no such opinion; and albeit master Montacute would put such an opinion upon our Church, out of the booke of common prayer, where it is sayde. Now this childe is regenerate; though the same Au­thor professeth, that all that we reade in the homilies is not to be receaved as the doctrine of the Church of England. Yet Bishop Carleton hath answeared master Montacute upon the same point; and hath shewed out of Austin, that it is one thinge to be truly regenerate, and another thing to regenerate Sacramento tenus. I willingly confesse that the Sacrament of Baptisme, is the seale of the righteousnes of faith unto us Christians, as Circumcision was unto the Iewes, Rom. 4. which is as much as to say, that it assures us of the remissiō of our sinnes, as many as believe; and that as a Sacrament in ge­nerall is defined in the smaller catechisme of our Church to be an outward, and a visible signe of an inward and invisible grace. And so I conceave baptisme to be, and that not of ju­stification only unto them that believe, but of the grace of [Page 122] regeneration allso, but how? not at that instant collatae; but suo tempore conferendae. To witt when God shall effectually call a man; and it is very strange unto me, that regeneration shoulde goe before vocation. And therfore we are free from maynteyning any such unprofitablenes, and vaynes of the mi­nistery of the word, as to persuade us to that which God hath wrought in us allready, yea long before both in our understan­dings, & in our wills, as here it is charged upō us, but causeles­ly, for ought I knowe; And if the Synod of Dort or Arl [...]s, maynt [...]ynes any such doctrine it is more then hithe [...]to I have learned, or can justifie. It is untrue that the word is dangerous by our doctrine▪ but rather that it is dangerous for any man to contemne or despise the goodnes of God therin; their con­d [...]mnation it agg [...]avates only occasionally; it is a mans owne co [...]ruption causally that aggravates his damnation, when the Lord calls unto them, and they will not hea [...]e, admonisheth them, but they will not hearken. It is true that it is not in the power of man to adde unto the word the efficacy of Gods Spirit, and it is as true that a carnall man hath no desire that God would adde the efficacy of his Spirit therunto.

The discipline of Christs Kingdom is as cords, and bonds unto them, they desire to breake them, and to cast off the yoke of ob [...]dience unto him. And agayne it is as true, that no man is damned for not adding the efficacy of Gods Spirit unto his word.

They are damned for contemning Gods word, and not hearkning to his gracious admonitions; but they coulde doe no other as this Author intimats; but what impotency is this? is it any where els then in thei [...] wills? which this Author con­siders not, nor distinguisheth betweene impotency naturall, and impotency morall; were they willing to hearken here­unto, but coulde not, then indeede their impotency were ex­cusable; but they please themselves in their owne, and [...] in their obstinate courses; and if they woulde doe otherw [...]se I make no question, but that they shoulde have no more cause to complayne of their impotency to doe that good which [Page 123] they would doe, then the servants of God have, yea, and holy Paul himselfe had. How can you believe saith our Saviour, here is a certeyne impotency of believing,Ioh. 5.44 which our Saviour takes notice of; but what manner of impotency is it? ob­serve by that which followeth, who receave honour one of another, & regard not the honour that comes of God only. Therfore you heare not my wordes, because ye are not of God, Ioh. 8.47. this is as true as the word of the Sonne of God is true, allthough this Author setts himselfe to impugne this kinde of doctrine all alonge. But withall consider, doe they deplore this impotencye? doth the consideration herof humble them? nay rather they delight in it as the Prophet noteth, Ier. 6.10. Their eares are uncircumcised eares, & they cannot hearken; beholde the word of God is as a reproch unto them, they have no delight in it.

The fourth Section.Sect. 4.

THere now remayneth no other instance for our Censu­rer thē to exhort this profane fellow to pray unto God that he would be pleased to give him the grace to leave his lewdnes, Treat. promising that if he pray as he ought to doe, that he shallbe heard, and receave what he demaundeth. But herupon this profaner being well instructed in the doctrine of Dort, will demaund of him, how it is possible to pray as we ought, if God give him not the grace before hand, and that allso so effectually, that it shoulde be im­possible for him not to pray, & therfore seing that he faileth so to doe, the Censurer must needes see that God will be no more invoked on by him, then he hath given him grace wherby to doe it.

[Page 124] And that it is no lesse easye to perceave, that God sent this Corrector unto him with an intention (not) to better him by his ministery, when he findes more confusion in the do­ctrine of the speaker, then amēdment in the practise of the hearer, to whom he bringeth either the pillow of Epicurus, to lull him asleepe in his securitie, or else the haltar of des­payre, wherewith he may hange himselfe as Iu­das.

But above all, this profaner will finde yet one more singular benefit, to the flattering of his flesh, by the answ [...]r which the Synodists doe usually make unto those who aske in what case David would have beene, had he dyed in his adultery, whereunto they say, it was impossible for David to have dyed before he had repen­ted, b [...]cause that after this he was to begett a Sonne, from whom the Messias must descend.

But hereunto our profaner will reply, that the impossi­bilitie of dying before repentance, according to the doc­trine of the Synods, is founded upon the generall promise, made to all the Elect and not on any particular promise, made to David, touching the Messias, whom God had sent into the world, by other meanes had he foreseen the impenitency of David, as he foresaw his repentance. That if the Synod be not deceaved, he is sure to dye never without repentance, as was David: So that following this doctrine, the true meanes, to avoyde death, is to com­mitt, and ever to continue in some mortall sinne, it being impossible for him to be killed in adultery, or perish in any other sin before, having first made his recōciliation with God, who is not angry for ever (to speake in the language of the Synod of Dort) but onely against the Reprobates. See then the invention of immortalitie found out, to sa­tisfye [Page 125] the Paracelsians, and such like fooles, who search for this remedy, against death in drugs and naturall causes. Our Synods shew the An [...]idote in a morall cause of so facile and agreable execution to their facile Auditors, that the Poets Ambrasia and Medusaes charmes, are fabulous unto it.

Now then our Corrector will eyther desist his enterprise, in reforming this mans deboisnes, or else forsake his owne principles, and correct the doctrine of his Synods.

Consid. Surely, we have small reason to exhort a profane fellow, to pray unto God, that he would be pleased to give him the grace to leave his lewdnesse, so long as we finde him, to delight in his profanesse, and take pleasure in his unrigh­teous courses; had he a desire to leave it, but findes himself unable to cast off this yoake of sinne, o [...] to breake the bonds of iniquitie, then, and in this case, it were seasonable, to ad­monish him, to cry unto God, that he would be pleased in mercy, to loose him, whom Satan hath bound so many years, and that for his Sonnes sake, whom he sent into the world, to loose the workes of the devill, he would be pleased to sett him free, and give him the libertie of his children; like as the children of Israel cryed unto the Lord, by reason of their sore bondage, and the Lord heard their crye, and considered their sorrowes, and came downe to deliver them. Neyther are we driven to any such course, as this Author feigneth; who all a­long opposeth the secret providence of God, in shewing mercy to whom he will, & hardning whom he will, in giving hearts to perceave, and eyes to see, and ears to heare, to whom he will, and denying this grace to whom he will, I say this, he opposeth all along, to the very face of it, nothing fearing the judgements of God, nor his power to harden thē, & to make thē feele that powr, which they will not confesse; saving that these, & such like spirituall judgements; are of such a nature, [Page 126] that they are least felt where they are most suffered.

And as he opposeth this, so doth he impugne the doctrine of Gods word, concerning the impotency that is found in all, to beleeve, to repent, untill God be pleased to cure that infidelitie and impaenitency, which by propagation of nature, is derived unto us all, and made as naturall unto us as flesh and bone.

As where it is sayd, that men cannot beleeve, cannot repent, they that are in the flesh, cannot please God; That the naturall man perceaves not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishnes unto him, neyther can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned; that the affection of the flesh is enmitie against God, it is not subject to the Law of God, nor can be. That we are all naturally dead in sinne; and that our raysing therehence, is no lesse worke then regeneration or new birth.

All this he setts himself purposely to oppose, and that in a vile manner by base insinuations, to undermine this doctrine rather then by any just argument to overthrow it. But when we deale about the reformation of such a one, we will pray unto God, to accept our endeavours, and to shew his power, in making his word in our mouths powerfull, as to the con­victing of his sinne, so to the humbling of him, and bringing him acquainted with the Spirit of bondage, to make him feare, and that he may be pricked in the heart, as the Iewes were, when by Peters Sermon the Lord brought their hor­rible sinne close home unto them, in crucifying the Sonne of God; If so be, he may finde sinn to be as an heavy burthen unto him; and cry out unto us to minister a word of com­fort unto his weary soule; and in this case we will be [...]old to apply unto him the comforts of God in Christ; because our Saviour calls unto him all such as labour & are heavy laden, promising that he will ease them. Yet if we doe exhort him to pray, it followeth not that this exhortation is in vaine, no more then exhortation to Infidels is in vaine, when we ex­hort them to faith in Christ. For albeit, neyther the one [Page 127] nor the other can be performed without grace; Yet upon our exhortation, God can worke this grace in him, if it please him.

Many come to Church with a profane heart, yet in the hearing of it, it pleaseth God to convert some of them; and Ekron may be as the Iebusite; and God is able to turne Le­banon into Carmel, and to make the most wast places finite­full, even as the garden of the Lord. And Saul was converted in his heate, and furious persecution of the Church of God. God can convert not only aversas à vera fide, but adversas verae fidei voluntates, & ex nolentibus volentes facere, and that omnipotente facilitate as Austin hath observed. It is untrue that grace workes a man to pray in such sort as to make it impos­sible for him not to pray; for that were not to worke him to pray freely. Vpon supposition that God by his Spirite doth worke a man to pray, it is impossible he shoulde not pray, but how? contingently and freely. So that impossibilitie is not simply an impossibilitie, but only secundum quid; and joyned with a possibilitie, simply so called to the contrary; Otherwise it could not be done contingently and freely. For to produce a thing contingently, is to produce it with a possibility to the contrary; and to worke this or that freely, is so to worke this or that, as joyned with an active power, eyther to forbeare and suspend the action, or to produce a contrary operation. And thus Aquinas most learnedly shew­eth, how that the efficacious will of God is the cause, why both necessary things come to passe necessarily, and contin­gent and free things contingently and freely; and according­ly he hath ordeyned different second causes, some working necessarily others working contingently & freely. But this is more it seemes, then this Author hath hitherto beene ac­quainted with. And as he hath exercised his Provinciall witt, in opposing the doctrine of Gods word, in the most untheo­logicall manner, that I thinke was ever knowne to the world; so I wish he would keepe his course, and shew as little scho­lasticalitie, in refuting Aquinas also in this particular.

[Page 128]And albeit God gives him not grace to mocke him, yet the dutie of prayer doth no lesse o [...]lige man, then any other duetie; seing God gave this grace to us all in Adam; and in Adam we all have sinned, and by that sinne our nature is be­come bankrupt of grace untill God in mercy, and for his sons sake be pleased to have compassion upon us, & to restore it. But he is master of his owne times, and bestowes this grace on some sooner, on others later, on some not at all; When God sent Ezechiel to his people, it seemes by that we read Ezechi. he sent him not to better them; but that they might not say they had no Prophet among th [...]m, and to cu [...] of that excuse; yet I hope this Author is not in such a measure obdu [...]ate as to say, there was any such confusion in Ezechiels doctrine as here he chargeth upon ours; which yet is mere­ly according to his owne shapinge; and with what felicitie he hath succeeded in this a [...]t [...]fice of his, I have endeavaured to make it appeare unto the indifferent, and unpartiall Reader. We teache that no man can have evidence of his re­probation but by finall impenitency, or by committing the sinne against the holy Ghost; and in eyther of these cases there is just cause of despayre to Pelagius himselfe, how much more to his disciples that oppose the grace of God after the truth therof is in such sort cleered; let them looke unto it whether not against the voyce, and light of their owne con­science. As for securitie, can the feare of God open a way therunto; or doe we maynteyne any other perseverance in the state of grace then by the feare of God? according to that Ier. 32.40. I will put my feare in their hearts, that they shall never depart away from me? To the question in what state David had bene had he dyed in his adultery, he tells us of an answeare which is usually made by the Synodists, as he saith; namely, that it was impossible for David to have dyed before he had repented, because that after this he was to begett a sonne from whom the Messias must descend.

But who these Syndodists be, whether of Dort or of Ar­les, he m [...]ntions not, much lesse the place where. As for the [Page 129] Synod of Arles, I never heard of it, but by this manuscript. In the Acts of the Synod of Dort I have beene something versed, but I have not mett with this answer there; nor ever heard of it, before I read it in this Pamphlet. And to my judgement, it is imperfect in two particulars, neyther of which this Author takes notice of; the one is, in altering the state of the supposition, without shewing cause, why the sup­position is unlawfull; yet such an answer was made by King Iames to D. Overall his interposition in the Conference of Hamton Court, as I receaved from the mouth of one that was an Agent in that Conference; the other is in feigning, that David must begett a sone, after his repentance, from whom the Messias should descend, for which fiction I know no ground. But as for this Authors exception, that is very vaine and frivolous, for certeynly they that make this answer, meant not to accommodate it to any other then to the particular of David; on whose part there might be a particular reason of his repentance, besides the generall ground, which is com­mon unto all. As for the argument it self, I finde it in Ar­minius in the Theses he wrote, ad Hippolytum de collibus; And I know how our English Arminians doe glory in it; but I an­swer, that the supposition is most unjust, dividing two decrees of God, which he hath conjoyned, in which case no merveyl if absurdities follow upon such wild suppositions more then enough. For, in case God hath ordeyned both, that no sinn shall cast a regenerate person out of the state of grace; and neverthelesse, that no sinn shall be pardoned without repen­tance; in this case that a man may be saved, he must not on­ly continue in the state of grace, but repent also; so that upon this feigned supposition it followes not, that David dying in the sinnne of adultery unrepented, shall dye out of the state of grace, onely it followeth, that, notwithstanding his dying in the state of grace, he shall be damned, to witt, by our wilde suppositon this would follow, not by any ordinance or constitution of God.

Yet how can he dye in impenitency, that hath the Spirit of [Page 130] repentance in him? though upon the fiction here represented repentance actuall is not exercised; The case is all one of any sinne, upon this supposition, vules they will deny every sinne to be mortall.

And to compare this argument of theirs with an argumēt of ours to the contrary; what a worthy act was that of Abrahams in sacrificing his sonne, of the Martyrs in sacrificing thēselves; Nay put all the heroically vertuous, and religious acts toge­ther, that have bene at any time performed by the Saincts of God, and suppose them to have bene performed by one child of God, yet coulde not this roote out the fleshe, that is, the part unregenerate. How improbable is it then that one act, to witt of adultery, is able to roote out in the childe of God, the Spirit, that is the part regenerate? But against this doctrine, that a regenerate person shall not dye in any sinne unrepented of, this Author brings an argument wherin he glorieth not a litle; but one of the wildest that (I thinke) was eve [...] knowne to the world: To my thinking such a wild goose dispute [...] de­serves to be sett in the Stocks in the Parvis, that yong so­phisters might gaze upon h [...]m, as smaller birdes doe at the broad faced foule in the day time. There was a time when wit [...]s did flourishe in Rome, and as some prooved excellente, and were delivered of materiall expressions to the admiration of their hearers, so others affecting applause, and streyning to surmount the expectation of their Auditors, sometimes d [...]scovered most absurd conceytes, such Seneca censures in his declamations for corrupta, and corruptissima. And some­times ba [...]e floorishes were applaud [...]d by the people, which Porcius La [...]o observing: when he came to declayme, gave himselfe purposely to imitate those absurdities; and once concluding an absurde gradation, like unto some mounta­banke orators that had bene in the place before him, with this Inter sepulchra monumenta sunt: and the people breakinge foorth into [...]cclamation or clapping of handes therupon, he leaves the prosecution of his oration, and falles upon the people, discovering the absurditie of that his floorishe, and [Page 131] reproching them as Audithors of no judgment, but applau­ding such passages as were nothing woorth, but most insi­pidly delivered without art or witt or judgment. Now let us see what good mettall there is to be found in this argumenta­tion, and whether it be not of as base an alloy as ever drop­ped from the mouth of a sober man. And first if this were a course to prolonge a mans life, what neede he affect to sinne, when the corruption of his nature caryeth him to sinne in such sort more or lesse, that he is driven to professe with Paul, what I would that doe I not, but what I hate that doe I; and agayne I finde that when I would doe good, I am thus yoked, that evill is present with me. For I delight in the lawe of God concerning the inner man. But I see another law in my members rebelling against the lawe of my minde, & lea­ding me captive to the law of sinne.

Have we not dayly cause to pray unto God to pardon our sinnes, both morning and eveninge, yea and every houre? yea and as soon as we have done our prayers, to pray unto him to pardon the sinnes of weakenes that have had their course in our very prayers. Abraham when he was sacrificing unto God, was put to drive away the foules that fell upon his sacrifice. This Gregory interprets of evill motions that have their course in us even while we are at our prayers. And in Zach. 3.1. we reade, how while Iehoshuah was stan­ding before the Angel of the Lord, Satan stood at his right­hand to resist him. Certeynly if the Lord should be extreame to marke what is done amisse even in our best performances, we should not be able to abide it. Therfore to helpe this flawe in this argument, the Author makes it proceede not of sinne in generall, but of mortall sinne; which if it be delive­red only [...] amplificandi causa, accoumpting all sinne mortall, my solution stands still in full force; but if it be delivered [...] distinguendi causa, as if in his opi­nion all sinne were not mortall, doth it become him to take that for granted, which we generally impugne as an untruth in disputing against Papists?

[Page 132]Secondly, will he impute unto us by way of exprobration, our doctrine concerning Gods decre [...]ing all thinges, and will he not suffer us to make use of it? or doth he not, or will he not perceave, that upon this supposition his argument is of no force; nay if we doe but acknowledge, that God hath power to hinder any sinne, it is of no force; For God can hinder them from accomplishing any such vile thought that this Author (very fruitfull of wild inventions) feigneth, and imputeth to a regenerate person. Like as Ezech. 20.32. the Lord professeth that, that shall not be done which came into their mindes: For they sayde we will be as the heathen & serve wood a stone; but the Lord professeth he would rule them with a mightie hande; and the issue v. 37. is this, I will make you passe under the rod, and bring you into the bond of the covenant. Thus the Lord caryeth himselfe towards them in their first conversion, and taking them off from their ungodly and wilfull courses, as he tooke off Saul from his persecuting courses, even then when he breathed out threats against the Saints of God, and had gotten him a commission from the high Priests to goe to Damascus, and bind all that called on the name of Iesus. But when he hath converted them, (which is my third answere) then he putts his feare in­to their hearts that they shall never depart from him; so that by restrayning them from sinne, and preserving the feete of his Saints, he keepes them unto him, not suffering such wilde thoughts, as these which this Author feigneth, to have place in them. Fourthly, that which here he fitteneth is incompetent to a naturall man, that hath but any sparke of naturall inge­nuitie in him. For suppose a Father shall be resolved concer­ning a debaucht, and lewde sonne, never to disinherit him, though he shoulde continue to the ende in his disobedient, and rebellious courses: if the Sonne should herupon take oc­casion to be the more riotous, and disobedient, would not the world of naturall men generally condemne such a Sonne as most unnaturall, and voyde of all sparkes of common in­genuitie?

[Page 133]How much more incompetent is such a disposition to him who is ruled, and governed by the Spirit of God; an earthly Father being not able to change the heart of his rebellious childe; but God our heavenly Father being sufficiently ar­med with power for this, who hath gifts even for the rebel­lious, to make them a fitt habitation for him, that so the Lord God may dwell among them. Fiftly, albeit the Spirit of this Author should perhaps serve him to be so much in love with this temporall life as by any vile meames to pro­long it, as namely, by committing one mortall sinne (as he calls it) upon the necke of another; yet why shoulde he be so charitable towards us his adversaries as to thinke so well of us as he doth of himselfe, and of those of his owne sect, who coumpt it our duetie to endeavour to be so possessed with the love of Christ, and to enjoy him, as to desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ in such sort that if he shoulde give us leave to choose, whether we would live Methusalehs yeares in all happines to serve him, & glorifie him, or for the triall of our Christian faith to be burnt at a stake, and as it were in a fiery charet to goe to Christ, we ought to accoumpt that God doth farre more honour us in this, then in the other, and we have good reason to make choyse of this to suffer for him, who was so well content to leave, as it were, the glory he had with his Father, and to empty himselfe for us, and to take upon him the shape of a servant, and be cru­cified upon the crosse between two theeves, that so he might overcome death, and open the gate to us of everlasting life. Let this, Montabanke of discourse goe then, and applaude himselfe for the subtiltie of his invention, and sacrifice to his witt, and burne incense to his artifice; and cry [...]; and solace himselfe in the sport he makes amongst his con­sorts, and make themselves merry with their Ambrosia beyond Paracelsian drugges; For these are his inventions, not ours, manifesting withall, how savoury they shoulde be to his affections, but that he wants faith to embrace our do­ctrine.

[Page 134]And no mervaile if such, as is their faith, they unadvisedly declare, that such like are their affections. That God is not angry for ever, is for substance the phrase of the Holy Ghost; And it is as true of some that their worme shall never dye, their fire shall never goe out, and there is no greater kinde of Gods anger then that; and consequently his Anger shall never end towards them; and if we devide the world of men into Elect and reprobates, who can these be but reprobates? and consequently they towards whom God is not allwayes angry, must needes be his elect, and not reprobates. Yet I nothing merveyle at this Authors Spirit, who throughout passeth his scoffes and scornes upon that which is the cleere doctrine of the word of God, as on that which he conceaves to be the doctrine of the Synods of Dort and Arles.

And therfore I commende his wisedome, that to a­voyde the appearance thereof, medles so litle with taking notice of any passage out of Gods word, alleaged by any of us, to addres any answer thereunto; for if he had, his blasphe­mous scoffes had been more apparantly terminated upon the doctrine of the Holy Ghost as well as upon the doctrine of Dort and Arles.

I finde, this Author is a very kindhearted Gentleman to­wards himself, and to the Helena he cherisheth in his bosom. For whatsoever his premises be, he will be sure to be full for his owne cause in the conclusion. Yet will we, neyther for­sake our owne principles by the grace of God, nor give over our course of reformation of any that is under our charge, to draw him from his profane courses; taking our president & direction herein from the holy Apostles admonition unto Timothy: The servant of the Lord must instruct them with meeknesse, that are contrary minded [...], if so be at any time (therfore it becomes us continually to wayt for this time and not to prescribe unto God) God will give them repen­tance, that they may acknowledge his truth, and come to a­mendment out of the snare of the devill, of whom they are taken prisoners to doe his will.

The THIRD PART.3. Part.

The first Section.Sect. 1.

BVt perhaps he will acquit himself farr better in undergoing the office of a Com­forter to one that is afflicted, Treat. then he did in playing the Converter of an Infidell, or Corrector of the profane Christian.

The ground of all comfort and consolation to each af­flicted soule, hath been ever sought and found in the death and passion of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ, whereby having sati [...]fyed the justice of his Father, he obteyned re­conciliation for all mankind actual [...]y, appliable to all those who acknowledging the infinitenes of the benefite, doe therupon imbrace the Author of it with a true and lively faith. Neyther can our com [...]orter find any other foundation, wherby to consolate & assure his patient against the terrors of God [...] justice, the condemnation of the lawe, and accusation of his owne conscience. But the sicke or otherwise afflicted, can never make this true foun­dation of Gods word agree with the false foundations of the second article of the Synod of Dort, to witt, that Christ [Page 136] dyed not but for a very small number of persons, allready elected unto salvation, by the heavenly Father, who in his decree did no more consider the death of his Sonne, then the faith of the elect.

How shall I truely know (will the patient then say) that I am rather of the small number then of the great, seeing that you my Pastor and Comforter will not, that the promises of salvation in Christ are made vniversally vnto all, and that those places of Scripture, which seeme generall, according to your opinion, are to be restreyned onely to the vniversalitie of the elect. And that in all the rest of Holy Scripture, there is no more speciall pro­mise, nor mention made of my self in particular, who also besides the Holy Scripture, have no testimony, whether of Angell or Prophet, to assure me thereof. When our Saviour sayd unto his Apostles: One of you shall betray me. Although this concerned but one of them, yet were they all exceedingly troubled therewith: So then were there but a small number of Reprobates, for whom (as you sayd) Christ dyed not; yet should I have just reason to feare or thinke, that I were one of them, but much rather seeing their number is so great.

Consid. Now, we are to proceed to t [...]e third Act of this Authors Comedy, and the severall scenes thereof. We have considered how well he had playde the part of an Infidell, refusing to be converted by us, as also of a bad living Chri­stian, refusing to be reformed at our hands; Now, we are to consider how well he performs the part of an afflicted Chri­stian, refusing all consolation that we can minister unto him. I finde he hath a good witt, and Proteus like can transforme himself into the likenesse of any condition, and can act more parts then many.

[Page 137]In this last personation of his, he is well neere as large as in both the former; which whether it proceedes from greater confidence of his cause in this particular than in the former, and that makes his witt to exuberate the more; or that he meetes with more difficulties in this passage then in the former, and therfore is put to the more paynes in Mastering them, I knowe not.

He feignes us in his introduction unto this, perhaps able to acquitt our selves farre better in undergoing the office of a comforter; but the fictions of poeticall, and comicall witts are nothing to be regarded as of any force to discover unto us their true meaninge.

As for us, we neyther take upon us to convert, or reforme or comfort any; but only to minister a word of comfort to a weary soule, a word of terrour to humble a debaucht Christian, and a word of conversion unto an Infidell: we leave it unto God, and pray unto him by the powerfull ope­ration of his Spirit, to strike the stroke in any mans con­version, reformation, consolation. Neyther is our do­ctrine of predestination, and reprobation that word which we minister eyther for the conversion of the one, or for the reformation of the other, or for the consolation of the third; but the terrors of the lawe we make use of for mans humi­liation, therby to praepare him for the grace of the Gospell; and being humbled, the gracious promises of the Gospell, we make use of, to rayse him, by bringing him to faith in Christ; then we instruct him in the dueties of Christianitie, exhorting him to walke answerably to his profession; and if he fayle herof; we sett the wrath of God before him, and shewe him how it had bene better for him he had never knowne the way of righteousnes, then after he have knowne it, to depart from the holy commandement given unto him.

Or if in the course of Christianitie he walkes uncomfor­tably, according as we shall finde the cause of his disconsolate condition, we will endeavour to fitt our consolations there­unto.

[Page 138]If affliction be the cause, we will represent unto him, how that this is the common condition of Christians, and that through manifold temtations, we must enter into the King­dom of God; that God sheweth hereby, that he receaves us for his owne Children▪ and not as bastards.

If conscience of sinne, and of walking litle answearable to our profession; we will represent unto him, how that if we judge our selves, we shall not be judged of the Lord; that griefe for this doth argue a desire of the contrary▪ and that God accepteth the will for the deede; and hath promised that if we confesse our sinnes, he is faithfull and just, he will forgive them. If weakenes of faith be the cause of dis­quietnes, without any farther cause we will represent unto him, how Gods gracious course is not to breake the bruised reede, nor to quenche the smoaking flaxe; and stirre him up to pray unto God to encrease his faith, or to helpe his unbe­liefe. That this disquietnes doth manifestly argue a desire to believe; and God hath promised to fulfill the desire of them that feare him, If he hath atteyned to faith and holines, we can assure him of his election by our doctrine, which the Arminians doctrine cannot. If he hath neyther, yet there is no cause of desperation; forasmuchas his condition is no worse then Saul [...] was before his callinge, yen, and the ho­lyest servant of God. God calls some at the first houre of the day, some not till the last. Nothing but finall impenitencie, or the sinne against the holy Ghost, is an assurance of reproba­tion. But let us proceede along with this Authors discourse, to examine it as we goe.

This Author hath but one ground of consolation; I have lately had to deale with another of his Spirit, that makes three grounds of consolation; to witt, the universalitie of Gods love, the universalitie of Christs death, the universalitie of the covenant of grace. By which it is manifest that he makes a Christian capable of no better consolation then a Turke or Saracen is capable; an elect then a reprobate. And if in all three he thrives no better in his course of consola­tion, [Page 139] what shall we thinke of this Authors successe in the worke of consolation, who insists but upon one of those three.

Yet I commend him for being sensible of the unseasona­blenes of his consolation, had he rested (as the other doth) only in this, that Christ having by his death and passion, satis­fied the justice of his Father he obteyned reconciliation for all mankind. But this Author caryeth not himselfe so covert­ly, but addes that this reconciliation is appliable to all those who acknowledging the infinitenes of the benefite, doe ther­upon embrace the Author of it, with a true and lively faith, wherby it is manifest, that in this Authors judgment, conso­lation arising from the death, and passion of Christ, is applia­ble to none, and consequently none are capable of it, but such as believe in Christ, which he calls the embracing of the Au­thor of the benefite, with a true & lively faith; Now we wil­lingly confesse, that we cannot finde any other foundation, wherby to consolate and assure any afflicted soule against the terrors of Gods justice, the condemnation of the lawe, and accusation of his owne conscience.

But wheras he saith that the afflicted can never make this true foundation of Gods word, agree with the second article of the Synod of Dort, which he calleth false foundations, but prooves it not; this we deny as utterly untrue, albeit that second Article did proceede in the very termes here proposed, to witt, that Christ dyed not, but for a small number of per­sons allreadie elected unto salvation, by the heavenly Father, who in his decree did no more consider▪ that death of his Sonne, then the faith of the elect. And this we proove though this Author keepes his course in prooving nothing, but Comaedian like, feignes at pleasure both objections, and answeres, out of his owne brayne, and those commonly of an aliene nature, nothing to the purpose; which yet I will consider with Gods helpe in due place, and somewhat els all­so; but first I will proove this that here I avouche; namely, that that second Article of the Synod of Dort, of Christs [Page 140] dying for a very small number, doth nothing at all perjudice that true foundation of consolation appliable to them that believe. For how small soever the number be of those for whom Christ dyed, according to the doctrine of that Synod; yet seing they deny not, but maynteyne rather that Christ dyed to satisfie divine justice for all that believe, and to pro­cure their reconciliation unto God; they make as much of consolation from this grounde, and extende it and apply it as liberally, and as largely as this Author doth; who profes­seth that it is appliable to all those who acknowledging, the infinitenes of the benefite, doe therupon embrace the Author of it with a true and lively faith, and dares not playnly pro­fesse that it is applyable to any other, only as it were to con­found his Readers attention, that which might be expres­sed in a word (Believers) he setts downe at large with a periphrase that takes up two or three lines. As for recon­ciliation for all mankinde, that is briefely and perspicuously enough sett downe, wheron alone he desires to insist, but seing how shamefully the issue therof was likely to fall, had he rested there, as wherby no greater comfort coulde a [...]ise to a Christian then to a Turke; no greater comfort to the virgin mother of Christ, then to Iudas; he addes that this comfort is applyable to none but believers, wherby he utterly ma [...]es his owne market. For we willingly confesse that this foun­dation of consolation, or consolation upon this foundation, is most liberally applyable to all believers, but to none els; and himselfe expresseth the one, and caryeth himselfe in such sort as if he dared not deny the other, namely, the sole application of this comfort unto believers. So that herby it is as cleere as the Sonne, that our doctrine not only affoordes as great abundance of consolation as theirs doth, but allso that it affoordes the same consolation to as many as theirs doth, namely, to all believers. But yet I have not done with this passage, I must call my Author to an accoumpt for somewhat els of Christs obedience satisfactory, I reade in this Author, but of his obedience meritorious I reade nothing.

[Page 141]Likewise of obteyning reconciliation for all mankinde this Author discourseth; but of obteyning salvation for all or any, he saith nothing, Yet we knowe that it pleased, the Father that in, him, that is in his Sonne Christ, all fulnes should dwell.

But let us consider the satisfactory nature [...] Christs death here acknowledged; I suppose his death satisfied Gods ju­stice, by making satisfaction for sinne (I say I suppose this; for the truth is I am not sure how to understand them in their phrases, and termes of Art.)

Now if Christ made satisfaction for all the sinnes of all and every one, in such sort that Gods justice is therby satis­fied; I d [...]maunde how it can stande with Gods justice to ex­act satisfaction at the handes of so many (as de doth) for their sinnes, and that by aeternall damnation in hell fire? For whether Christs death, and passion be satisfactory for all sins, for all and every one, by its owne nature, or by the constitu­tion of God, or by both; I comprehende not with what ju­stice God can put the damned persons to satisfie for their owne sinnes in the flames of hell fire.

Secondly if Christs obedience be allso of a meritorious na­ture, wherby he hath merited both pardon of sinne and everlasting life; if he hath merited this for all and every one, whether his obedience be meritorius hereof in its owne nature, or by the constitution of God, or by both; how can it be that any one throughout the world can in justice fayle of obteyning both pardon of sinne, & everlasting life? For shall not God deale with his Sonne Christ according to the exigence of his merits?

Then as for reconciliation, which this Author sayth Christ hath obteyned for all mankind, that is, I suppose for all and every one; here we have a word from him; but for the mystery of his meaninge we may be well to seeke. In the 2. Cor. 5.19. it is sayde, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himselfe, not imputing their sinnes unto them, here reconciliation seemes unto us to be [Page 142] all one with non imputation of sinnes, and non imputation of sinnes seems vnto us to be all one with forgivenes of sinnes; and so redemtion that we have in Christ through his blood seemes to be all one with forgivenes of sinnes Eph. 1.7. Now if reconciliation be obteyned for all, and every one, by the death of Christ, then likewise forgivenes of sinnes is obtey­ned for all, and every one; and seing it cannot be sayde to be obteyned unles it doth exist; it followes herence, that all and every one throughout the world, are reconciled to God in Christ, have all their sinnes forgiven them. Now in this case how is it possible that any one of them should be damned for their sinnes, to witt, in case not any of their sinnes be impu­ted to them?

To this I guesse this Authors answere is likely to be; that the reconciliation obteyned for all mankind, is reconciliation potentiall but not actuall: Forasmuchas in the words fol­lowing, he sayth, of this reconciliation that it is actually ap­pliable to believers, he doth not say only to believers (for he desires to cōfound his reader as much as may be) but I guesse, he dares not professe the contrary.

Now against this cariage of his I have double exception: First, what reason had he not to expresse so much, and call this reconciliation obteyned for all mankinde, reconcilia­tion potentiall, if that were his meaninge, but let his distin­ction, (somewhat obscurely here intimated,) fly with one winge; especially considering that albeit reconciliation may be so liberally extended as to signifie reconciliation poten­tiall, yet seing naturally it denotes some thing actuall, when it is thus expressed simply without addition to limite it, it shoulde be thus taken according to that rule of schooles. Analogum per se positum stat pro significatione famosiore.

But I have somewhat to say in excusing him herin, to witt, sic factitavit Hera [...]es, Arminius his Master was given to such collusions before him▪ My second exception is, that the wordes followinge (actually appliable) doe not sufficiently insinuate any such distinction as of reconciliation potentiall, [Page 143] & reconciliation actuall; it ra [...]he [...] implyes a distinction of the appliable nature therof, to wi [...], as eyther potentia [...]l [...] or actually appliable. And indeede this [...] the genius of the former distinction. For a thing is not applyable that doth not allready exist actually; as a plaster or a medicine must first have existence actuall, before it can be applyed.

And consequently all & every one throughout the world, must be actually reconciled unto God by Christ, before this their reconciliation can be applyed unto them. As indeede it may be sayde to be applyed unto us, when God doth re­veale it unto us by his Spirit, working in us the faith therof.

O [...]e thing more I mu [...] dispatche before I p [...]sse from this division, and that as touching the cleering of our doctrine in the [...]oint of Christ his dyinge for all; for as much as in my judgment, nothing but confusion of thinges that differ, doth advantage the Arminian cause, and hinders the light of Gods truth from breaking forth to the cleere conviction both of of what is truth, and what is errour.

But, first let me touch, by the way, one argument for the mayntenance of our doctrine in the generall. It is apparant Ioh. 17. that Christ professeth he prayed not for all, but only for those whom God had given him v. 9. or shoulde her­after believe, that is, be given unto him v. 20. And it is as cleere that like as for them alone he prayed, so for them alone he sanctified himselfe vers. 19. Now what is it to sanctifie himselfe, but to offer up himselfe upon the crosse, by the unanimous consent of all the Fathers whom Maldo [...]ate had read, as himselfe professeth on that place of Iohn.

Now for the cleering of the truth of this, when we say Christ dyed for us, the meaning is, that Christ dyed for our benefite. Now these benefites which Christ procured unto us by his death, it may be they are of different conditions, wherof some are ordeyned to be conferred only conditio­nally, and some absolutely. And therfore it is fit we should consider them apart. As for example it is without question [Page 144] (I suppose) that Christ dyed, to procure pardon of sinne, and salvation of soule, but how [...] absolutely, whether men believe or no? Nothing lesse, but only conditionally, to witt, that for Christs sake their sinnes shall be pardoned and their soules saved, provided they doe believe in him.

Now I willingly confesse that Christ dyed for all in re­spect of procuring these benefits, to witt conditionally, upon the condition of their faith, in such sort that if all and every one should believe in Christ, all and every one should obteyne the pardon of their sinnes, and salvation of their soules for Christs sake. And I praesume that no Arminian on the other side will affirme that Christ in such sort dyed for all and every one that all and every one should have their sinnes par­doned, and their soules saved for Christs sake, whether they believe or no. What cause then is there of any difference be­tween us on this point, thus explicated. Yet herby it is ma­nifest that the benefite of remission of sinnes, and salvation of soules for Christs sake, shall in the end redound to none, but such as believe; as this Author seemes to acknowledge.

But come we to faith it selfe and regeneration, are these benefits redounding unto us by the merits of Christ yea or no? If they be, as our Englishe Arminians seeme hitherunto to acknowledge; then I demaund whether by vertue of Christs merits they redounde unto us absolutely, or condi­tionally?

If only conditionally, let them tells us upon what condi­tion it is, that God bestowes faith, and regeneration upon us for Christs sake; and let them try whether they can avoyde manifest Pelagianisme, in saving that grace is conferd accor­ding unto mens workes. If absolutely, then eyther upon all and every one; or upon some only▪ If upon all and every one, it followeth that all, and every one shall have faith, and rege­neration bestowed upon them for Christs sake, and conse­quently all shall be saved, if upon some only, who can they be but Gods elect?

But if observing these precipices, they desire to decline [Page 145] them; and therfore deny that faith, and regeneration is any of those benefits which Christ hath merited for man; let the indifferent consider who they be that streiten the exten­sion of Christs merits most, we, or the Arminians. For when the question is for whom he merited pardon of sinne, and salvation of soule, therin we all agree, as before hath bene shewed, none of us extending the merits of Christ farther then other; none of us streitning them more then other. But when the question is, whether Christ merited faith, and regeneration for us; we readily maynteyne, that even these allso Christ merited for his Elect; but Arminians spare not to professe, that these benefits Christ merited for none at all.

And indeede so we finde it expressely in their Apologie or Examen Censurae pag. 59. For when such an objection was made unto them. Si hoc tantum meritus est Christus, tum Christus nobis non est meritus fidem nec regenerationem, marke their answere. Sane ita est. Nihil ineptius, nihil vanius est, quàm hoc Christi merito tribuere. Si enim Christus nobis meri­tus dicatur fidem & regenerationem, tum fides conditio esse non poterat, quam peccatoribus Deus sub comminatione mortis aeter­na exigeret, imo tum Pater ex vi meriti istius, obligatus fuisse di­catur necesse est ad conferendum nobis fidem. Now I come to fol­lowe this Author in his owne way.

His objection is this: How shall I truly knowe (will the patient then say) that I am rather of the small number then of the great, seing that you my Pastour, and comforter will not that the promisses of salvation in Christ, are made uni­versally unto all, and that those places of Scripture which seeme generall according to your opinion, are to be restray­ned only to the universalitie of the elect.

I answere, thou shalt truly knowe it by thy acknowledg­ing the infinitenes of the benefite wrought by Christ, and embracing the Author of it by a true and lively faith. For this Author who promts thee thus to object, doth as good as professe, that no comfort from Christs death and passion is [Page 146] applyable unto thee, but in case thou embracest Christ with a true and a lively faith.

Secondly though thou doest believe in Christ, this Au­thor cannot assure thee that thou art rather of the small num­ber, which are Gods elect, then of the great, which are repro­bates, I say he cannot assure thee herof by his doctrine, albeit thou shouldest adhere unto it; but we can assure thee as much by ours, in case thou embracest it; and there is reason thou shouldsten brace it, it is so agreeable to the word of God, Act. 13.48. As many believed, as were ordeyned to aeternall life, and Act. 2. last, God added daylye to the Church such as shoulde be saved; and the Apostle thus collects the Election of the Thessalonians 1. Thes. 1.3. we remember the worke of your faith, the labour of your love, & the patience of your hope. 4 Knowing, beloved brethren, that ye are Elect of God, & 2. Thess. 2 13. wee ought to give thanks alwaies to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because that God hath from the b [...]ginning chosen you to salvation, through sancti­fication of the spirit, and faith of the truth.

In like sort thy Prompter, will not have the promises of s [...]lvation in Christ, made universally to all, to be made abso­lutely but conditionally; and we willingly extende this universalitie to all and every one, provided he believe in Christ; so that unlesse thou believest, this Suggester can give thee no interest in them, as formerly he hath signified sufficiently; and in case thou believest in Christ, we can by our doctrine allowe thee as great an interest in them as he can.

But if it be founde that indeede none but Gods elect doe believe (which this Author will not deny, provided that by faith be understood, finall perseverance therin) it will followe herupon; that in the issue none but Gods elect shall have these gracious promises accomplished upon them.

Neyther will this Author I trowe, be so bolde as to tel thee that in scripture there is any mention made of thee in [Page 147] particular more then of himselfe; neyther will he say that any testimony of Angell or Prophet is required to assure thee that these promises doe more particularly concern thee then any other.

Only if thou believest in Christ then he can assure thee that they belong unto thee, and in that case, so can we; and more then that, that by faith thou shalt receave the Spirit of God, which shall testifie unto thee that thou art the childe of God, yea, and that this Spirit shall and doth seale thee to the day of redemtion; as much as to say, give thee assurance of thy perse­verance unto the ende; as being kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, which the Arminians doctrine can no way assure thee of. So that were the number of re­probates more then it is, yet by faith thou mayst be assured thou art none of them, according to our doctrine, without faith no Arminian can assure thee, that thou are none of them, no nor by faith neyther.

And yet consider, there is nothing but sophistry in all this; For consider thou art one brought forth into the world under the winges of God, and in the bosome of his Church, what if the number of reprobates were farre more then twelve times greater then the number of Gods elect; yet conside­ring, how great a part of the world is possessed with heathens, Savages, Turkes, and Saracens and Moores, thou wilt finde Christendom to be but a small number of them, allthough the Gospell be spread in these dayes farther then ever it was hertofore.

Then consider amongst them that beare the name of Chri­stians, how many sects there be miserably estranged from the true doctrine of Christianitie, as Coptites, Nestorians, Ar­menians, the Greeke Church; and the Church of Rome, here in the west; what an handfull is left of those wherin the truth of God is not subject to the same corruption, nor the holy worship of God defiled with the same superstitions; what reason hast thou to trouble thy selfe with consideration of the small number of Gods elect & great number of repro­bates?

[Page 148]To receave comfort the way is playne and short; if thou beleevest in Christ, a fountayne of consolation is opened unto thee by our doctrine; so long as thou believest not, this Author hath as good as expressely signified that no comfort is ap­plyable unto thee from the death of Christ. And over and above we say, that by faith in Christ thou mayst be assured of thine election accord [...]ng unto our doctrine; not so according to the doctrine of Arminians.

Sect. 2.The second Section.

Treat. THerupon our consolator (instructed in the Schoole of Dort) will alleage unto him, the judgment of charitie, which praesumeth well of every one, seing that God doth as litle reveale the decree of reprobation, as that of ele­ction.

But this patient will not there finde the least assurance, and that for many reasons. 1. First because this judgment of chariti [...] which presumeth well, if a man apply it gene­rally unto all, doth necessarily proove false.

The comforter not daring to mainteyne these two pro­positions together; that Christ dyed for all men, and that he dyed for a very small number. 2. Secondly the judgment of charitie ha [...]h never any place, when we must have the certitude of faith to believe or doe any thing with a good conscience. 3. Thirdly the judgment of charity extends it selfe no farther then to the suppressing of sinister opinions and suspicions too lightly conceaved against ones neigh­bour, whose infirmities it commands us to conceale, with­out preaching any falshood to him; When I see any one p [...]esent himselfe at the table of the Lord, in the judgment [Page 149] of charity, I thinke him to be prepared as he ought, seing nothing to the contrary. But that they who are thus well p [...]epared doe the [...]e participate to their soules healthe; this I believe with the judgment of faith, which suffereth no­thing that is, or may be, to be false. So likewise when I see a sicke man which is giving up the Gh [...]st calling upon Iesus Christ, I believe in charity that he dyed a Christian. But that God makes them happy who depart in the true faith of our Lord and Saviour, this I believe with the cer­titude of faith, and in such a manner as it is impossible for me to be deceaved, which yet notwithstanding both may, and often doth happen in the judgment of charitie.

In a word, the judgment of charitie hath no place, but in those thinges only, that are betweene man and man. But when there is a question of the divine promises, which have their foundation in divine tru [...]h, there is then required a certitude of faith, wherin there is nothing to be found that is eyther false or doubtfull. If every one should say, we should presume every one to be of the num­ber of the elect, untill he appeare to be the contrary; the patient will answeare, that by outward appearence we can knowe nothing, eyther of election or reprobation even by the judgment of the two Synods. And that therfore it is not sufficient to presume, but that allso we must have a full and perfect assurance that Christ dyed for him, whom we goe about to comfort, which assurance is not to be found in the doctrine authorised at Dort, seing it denyeth that Christ dyed for all men.

This Author may proove a valiant champion, and a [...]t [...]yne to very great atchievements upon his enemies; when he pre­scribes unto his adversaries how they shall strike; yet this is [Page 150] his course all along. And I commend his wi [...]t more then his valour in this; for he were a madde man if he would prompt his antagonist to strike where he is not able to ward; Now, his former argument I have allready answered with­out taking any such course as to flye to the judgement of charitie.

I have clearly showed, how that, according to this Authors owne grounds of consolation, we are sufficiently provided to minister a word of comfort to an afflicted soule, as well as he. For he confesseth, that the benefite of Christs death (the onely ground of consolation, as he saith) is actually ap­plyable to none but such as rely on Christ by a true and lively faith. Now, in this case we can assure, not onely of the fa­vour of God for the present, but also of finall perseverance therein, & of election, & of salvation by our doctrine. Wher­of they can assure none by the tenor of their doctrine.

Indeed, if a man hath no faith at all any more then a Turk & Saracen, we cannot assure him of his election any more then we can assure a Tu [...]k or Tartar thereof; nor any Armi­nian eyther, I think. But suppose a Christian in profession is notwithstanding voyde of all true faith, can such a one be assured of the favour of God to the pardoning of his sins, and to the saving of his soule, by any Arminian? I trowe no Arminian can or will undertake, to assure any man hereof without faith. Yet we may be bold to say, that albeit he hath not faith to day, notwithstanding he may have in good time, and that there is no cause to conceave himself to be a repro­bate. We doe not say, that he who hath no faith, is in the judgement of charitie to be conceaved to have faith. But looke what evidence we have of a mans faith, in the judgment of charitie, the same evidence we have of his election in the judgement of charitie. For the Apostle doth clearly conclude the election of the Thessalonians, by his observation of their faith, &c. 1 Thes. 1.1, 3.4, and 2. Thes. 2.13. Let us consider in this aliene discourse of his, proceeding from his own mere fiction, how well he overthrowes that which himself alone [Page 151] hath builded, as it were castles in the ayre. First, he saith, this judgement of charitie, which presumeth well, if a man apply it generally unto all, doth necessarily proove false. I wonder, he seeth not how this prooveth directly against himself; for hath he no [...] formally signified, that the number of the re­probats, being farre greater then the number of the elect, therefore a man hath just cause to suspect, that he belongs to the greater number rather then to the l [...]ss [...]? which applyed to all, must evince, that all & every one must suspect themselves, they are reprobates rather then elect, as if there were none elect at all. Now, looke what way he makes the [...]hence, to gett out for himself, the same way will serve our turnes, to answer this argumtnt also. For, we speake of comforting this or that particular person; we have nothing to doe with all men throughout the world.

Then againe, we are conversant in the comforting of an afflicted Christian; And affliction of soule for sinne, is usually as the panges of childbirth, whereby many a one comes to be brought forth into the world of grace Now, without the Church there are enough, to make up, & complete the num­ber of reprobates, not to speake of profane persons within the bosome of the Church, who goe on in their sinfull cour­ses, without all remorse of conscience. And whereas he tells us, we da [...]e not maintaine these two propositions together, 1. that Christ dyed for all men, 2. and that he dyed for a ve­ry small number. First, observe his retrograde motion; For at the first he manifested that the consolatiō, arising by Christs dying for us, is applyable to none but such as beleeve; And we deny not, but that abundance of consolation in Christs death, is derivable to all them that beleeve; Now, he goes backe, and treates of the consolation, arising from Christs death unto all, whether they beleeve or no; as if every one were to be comforted in Christs death, for as much as Christ dyed for all and every one by their doctrine; which is appa­rently to minister no more comfort to a Christian by Christs death then to a Canniball.

[Page 152]Secondly as touching those two propositions we can, and doe maynteyne them in a better manner then they; foras­much as we deliver the truth clearly, and distinctly on our parts, but they most confusedly, as if they were the sonnes of confusion.

For as touching the benefite of pardon of sinne, and sal­vation procured by Christs death, we say that Christ dyed to procure these for all, and every one, but how? Not absolute­ly; for then all and every one should be saved; but conditio­nally, to witt, upon condition of faith; so that if all and every one should believe in Christ, all and every one shoulde be saved. But as for faith it selfe, we say Christ merited this allso, (which the Arminians expressely deny Examen censurae. pag. 59.) not conditionally, for if so, then should grace be given according unto mens workes which was condemned in the Synod of Palestine above 1200. yeares agoe; and all along condemned in the Church of God for mere Pelagia­nisme, therfore he merited this absolutely, not for all and every one; for then all and every one should believe, and consequently all and every one should be saved; therfore he merited this only for some; and who can these some be, but Gods elect?

And if it appeare that but a small number believe and per­severe in true faith, it is manifest in the issue, that but fewe are saved, and that albeit Christ dyed to save all and every one conditionally, yet he died to merit faith for a very fewe. Now what is become of this Authors ridle, and the preten­ded contradiction betweene these two propositions? I come to his second argument.

Be it so, that the judgment of charitie never hath place, when we must have the cer [...]i [...]ude of faith to believe or doe any thing with a good conscience; but say I, this is nothing to the case we speake of. For what? is it required of every man, to believe concerning himselfe or concerning his brother, that he is an elect of God? Is this the Arminian Tenet? A man borne in the Church, and making profession of the Gospell, [Page 153] we are bound to conceave to have true faith (and conse­quently to be an elect of God) if we knowe nothing to the contrary;1. Cor. 13. 1 Thess. 1.3.4. this I say is required in the way of charitie, whose propertie it is to interpret all things to the best; so did Paul conceave of the Thessalonians, and by the leaves of their pro­fession, we must judge them to be plants of the Lords plan­ting, so long as we have no just cause to thinke the contrary. To the third, be it so, that the judgment of charitie extendes it selfe no farther then to the suppressing of sinister opinions and suspicions, too lightly conceaved against our neighbour; it is well for us that it extends so farre; therfore without just cause we must not conceave otherwise of them then that they are in the state of grace, and consequently that they are elect. And no other kinde of certitude is required in the case we treate of; so that this Author caryeth himselfe miserably ex­travagant in his very extravagancyes.

And as for an afflicted soule, we have reason to con­ceave better of him then of civill Christians, for as much as his state is not so obnoxious to hypocrisie, as is the condi­tion of Christians, who are nothing exercised with the ter­rors of God, and with the affrightments of a tender con­science.

Be it so that it hath course only betweene man and man, this judgment of charitie; such is the case we treate of; For as for the afflicted soule, we doe not say that in the judgment of charitie he is bound to conceave that he is an elect of God, any farther then he hath cause to conceave that he is in the state of faith. But we come to the application which he makes herof to divine promises; Now we willingly professe that di­vine promises are to be believed by certentie of faith, we doe not say, nor I presume was ever any of our divines knowne to say, that the truth of divine promises was to be believed by the judgment of charitie. Whosoever believes shall be saved, we apprehende this by certeintie of faith, not out of any judgment of charitie, what a wilde race doth this Author runne in his roaving discourse?

[Page 154]We will be bolde to affirm, that every one is to believe that he is of the number of Gods elect, so farre forth as he knowes himselfe to have faith in Christ; which as it is a gift of God Philip. 1.29. & Eph. 2.8. so God giveth us his Spirit by the hearing of faith, that we may knowe those things that are given to us of God, 1. Cor. 2.12. But this, to witt, whe­ther a man hath true faith or no, though it be knowne to him that hath it, yet is it not knowne to others, any otherwise then by the judgment of charitie. Yet Paul was confident of the truth of the Thessalonians faith, and consequently of their election, 1. Thess. 1.3.4. and 2. Thess. 2.13. It is untrue that we must have a sufficient assurance that Christ dyed to pro­cure pardon of sin, and salvation of soule absolutely for him, whom we goe about to comfort; it is enough that Christ dyed to procure these benefites for him condi [...]ionally, to witt, in case he believe and repent; and of this we have a most sufficient assurance. But these disputers, like owles, fly abroade only in the night of darknes and confusion; but let the light of distinction come, and then tis time to hide them­selves in their close harbours for shame.

But over and above we can treate with our Patiens about Christs dying not only to procure pardon of sinne, and salva­tion of soule conditionally, to witt, in case they believe and repent; but allso for procuring the gift of faith, and repen­tance for them allso; wherof we have the better hope when we consider their afflicted condition; this being Gods usuall course to transforme them into the image of Christ crucy­fyed first, then rising from the dead; by making them to feele the fellowshippe of Christs passions,Philip. 3. and the power of his resurrection. Now this way of consolation is quite out of the Arminians element.

The third Section.Sect. 3.

THe minister or Comforter will then aske the patient, Treat. if he never felt the witnes of adoption, which the Spi­rit of God beareth with the Spirit of the elect. And if he be assured that he once had faith, he may be certeyne that he hath it still, notwithstanding the small fruit that it produceth. Wherunto the Patient will reply that Cal­vin himself doth much trouble, & obscure this doctrine of certitude in his Institut. lib. 3. cap. 2. parag. 10. where saith he; The heart of man hath so many secret corners of vanitie, is so full of so many hiding holes of lying, is co­vered with such guilefull hypocrisie, that it d [...]ceaveth it selfe, and persuadeth him that he hath true faith when he hath it not.

If the patient acknowledgeth that he never found this testimony in his heart, his comforter will answere him in the same manner, as he formerly did the profane, when he tooke upon him the office of a censurer and corrector, to witt, how that all are not called at the same houre.

But if the patient doe then aske him some assurance that he shall be thus efficaciously called before his death, the comforter will finde none for him eyther at Dort or Arles, only he will tell him that assuredly Christ dyed for him, if so be he believes in him, wherin he will shewe himselfe eyther a praevaricator of his owne side, and an overthrower of the doctrine of the Synods; or else that he is deprived of common sense. For if he give the selfe same consolation to all that are sicke, to all that are afflicted, [Page 156] yea, even to those, who for their greater offenses are ledde to execution, and if this consolation be founded upon the truth, doth it not then follow, that Christ dyed for all and every one?

And if he so understandeth it, that this becommeth true by the faith, which the Patient addeth to the dis­c [...]urse of the Minister, he hath lost his sense, in affirming that the object of faith, or thing proposed to be believed, re­ceaveth its truth, and depende [...]h of the consent and beliefe of men, who by his approbation and faith, hath no more power▪ to make that true, which is false in it self, then to make that false by his incredulitie, which in it self is true. The incredulitie of man may deprive him of the benefi [...]e of this death, yet can it not make, that Christ suffered not this death, to testifie his love unto all mankind universal­ly, even as all are bound to believe in him, and yet no man bound to believe that which is false.

The Apostle saith, that God will sende the Spirit of er­rour upon them that have not receaved the love of the truth. And yet according to the Doctrine of Dort, he would have all men first to beleeve, that Christ dyed for him, which is false in the judgemen of the Synod, and then afterward for believing this falshood, he shallbe punished with the Spirit of errour, for giving credence to a lye.

Consid. That there is a Spirit of adoption, whereby, we cry Abba Father, is as true as the word of God is true; as also, that his Spirit doth testifie together with our Spirit, that we are the Sonnes of God. And that there is no falling a­way from the state of sanctifying grace, we are ready to mainteyne, according unto Gods word, whensoever we shall­be called thereunto.1. Iohn. 2.19. Of some Apostates S. Iohn writes plaine­ly, saying: They went out from us, but they were not of us, [Page 157] for had they bene of us,Matt. 16. they had continued wih us. By faith, we are built on Christ, as on a rocke, and our Saviour hath tolde us,1 Pet. 1. that the gates of Hell shall not prevayle against them that are built thereon; and no me [...]veyle, for they are kept by the power of God through Faith unto salvation.

And consequently whosoever is assured, that he once had Faith, may be as well assured that he hath it still.

Peter sinned fowly,Luc. 23. in denying his Master, yet Christ had prayed for him, that his faith should not fayle. An [...] not for Peter onely did our Saviour pray; but for all those, whom his Father had given h [...]m, and that in this forme: Father keepe them in thy name, Ioh. 17. Nor for those onely, whom his Father had at that time given him, but for those also, who hereafter should beleeve through their word, Ioh. 17.

And we know full well what smal fruit Peters faith brought forth at th [...]t time when he denyed his Master, and in David also, when he sinned in the matter of Vriah; yet would not Bertius professe, that David by those sinnes of his had de­prived himself of the Spirit of God;Bert. de apostas. Sanctorū. and that propter graves causas. Neither doth it follow, that because true faith bringeth forth small fruit at sometimes, as in the houre of temtation, and when a man sinkes under it, therefore it brings forth small fruit simply, as this Author caryeth the matter.

It is untrue, that Calvin doth tro [...]ble or obscure this doc­t [...]ine of Certitude: and that the Patient will say so, is but this Authors fict [...]on: if he should say so, we will be as ready to disproove it.

The words of Calvin are these: Tot vanitatis recessus habet, tot mendacii latebris scatet cor humanum, tam fraudulenta hypo­crisi ob [...]ectum est, ut seipsum saepe fallat. He might as well have said, that the H. Ghost troubles & obscures this doctrine of Certitude,Ier. 17.9. by saying: That the heart of man is deceitfull a­bove all things who can know it? But the Apostle makes this use of it, 2. Cor. 12.5. Examine your selves, whether you are in the faith, proove your selves; know ye not your selves that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

[Page 158]There is indeede a secret hypocrisie unknowne to a mans owne heart; as when he presumes that all thinges goe well be­tweene him and God, when indeede it is not so; their right­ousnes such as it is, is not simulata conterfeyted by them; but they deceave themselves as well as others; and from such a state a man may fall, as Austin acknowledgeth, who never­theles cleerly professeth his minde, that no man falls away from the state of spirituall, and wholsome repentance; that being such a condition as wherunto God never brings any one whome he hath not predestinate. Istorum (that is non prae­destinatorum) neminem adducit ad spiritualem & salubrē paeniten­tiam qua homo reconciliatur Deo in Christo, five illis ampliorem patientiam, five non imparem praebeat. Contr. [...] Pelag. lib. 5. cap. 4.

This is not the case of an afflicted soule; the hypocrite is secure, and without suspicion of the integritie of his condi­tion in the state of grace, but the afflicted soule is too suspi­cious of himself, conceaving his faith at the best, to be but counterfeyte; this is his sorrow, this is the cause of the dis­quietnesse of his minde, and whereof we may take good ad­vantage for his consolation, both in respect that he judgeth and condemneth himself; And in this case the word of God assures us, we shall not be judged of the Lord; as also that hereby is clearly manifested a desire to be free from hypocri­sie,1. Cor. 11. to be in a confortable condition, by a true and sincere faith in Christ; Now, these are manifest evidences of the life of grace. Not to speake of generall grounds of consolation, such as these: Blessed are they that mourne, they shall be com­forted; Blessed are they that hunger & thirst after righteous­nesse, they shall be filled.

It is true, that all are not called at the same houre; and seeing affliction, especially when it is of a spi [...]ituall nature, is the ordinary introduction into the state of grace, in the course of Gods providence, like as the valley of Achor was a doore of hope,Hos. 2.15. unto the Children of Israell; and our Saviour, in going to Ierusalem, (the vision of peace,) did commonly [Page 159] take B [...]thany (the house of mourning) in his way, we have cause to conceave good hope, that th [...]se pangs may be as the pangs of childbirth unto an afflicted soul. But yet we will not satisfy our selves with our Patients saying, that he never felt the testimony of adoption in his heart, as therupon to con­clude that as yet he is but in the state of nature, and not washed from his filthines, we will take notice of all circum­stances of his cariage in this condition, and of such observa­tions as we have made of them in the course of their conver­sation for the time past, and not suffer a melancholy passion to obscure the mercy of God towards them, we will be very loath to be streitned in our proceedings in the course of our consolation by a Comaedians witt, that coms to discourse of such tender pointes, as if he came to make a play, or to act a part upon the stage, to make his Arminian hearers sport. In the next place he puts a most absurd demaund in the mouth of his Patient, requiring forsooth some assurance that he shalbe thus efficaciously called before his death; A demaund, I am verily persuaded, never brought to light but by Arminian invention.

Can any Arminian assure their Patients of any such con­dition? We willingly professe, we can assure none therof; but where we find men afflicted in soule through conscience of sinne, and a fearfull apprehension of Gods wrath; this Spirit of bondage makes us to conceave hope, that a child is now come unto his birth, and that there shall not want strength in good time to bring him forth. We are not likely to tell him, that Christ surely dyed for him, if so be, he believes in him; this is a Gossips bowle of this Authors making, to carouse an health to his companions.

But by the way it appeares, that howsoever this Comedian did at the first entrance hereupon professe, that consolation in Christs death was not actually applyable to any, but such as beleeve in Christ, and consequently that a man can have no confort in Christ, untill he beleeve in him, by a true and lively faith; yet he carryeth the matter so, as if this were com­fort [Page 160] enough to a man to believe that Christ dyed for him, al­beit as yet he hath obteyned no true faith in Christ, wheras it is apparant; that no more consolation can arise is this case to a Christian, then to a Turke, to a childe of God then to a childe of the divil, to an elect, then to a reprobate. For their doctrine is, that Christ dyed indifferently for all. Yet albeit this practise of his is base enough, at pleasure to putt upon us what cause of consolation he thinkes good; I will not spare to examine how judiciously he caryeth himselfe in elevating this feigned suggestion of ours. Suppose we shoulde say, that whosoever believes▪ Christ dyed for him, I am ready to make it good in spight of this Authors course taking upon him to represent the absurditie therof; which imputation I nothing doubt, shall light in full weight and measure upon his owne head, to the discovery of his shamefull ignorance, which he is well content to cherishe for the advantage of his cause, by the confusion of thinges that differ. He saith that herin we shall shewe our selves eyther as praevaricators of our owne side, and overthrowers of the doctrine of the Synods, or else that we are deprived of common sense; all which is but the froth of his owne ignorance, as I hope to make it appeare to all in­different, and unpartiall judges; First he sa [...]th, that if we give the selfe same consolation to all that are sicke, to all that are afflicted, yea even to those who for their greater offenses are ledde to execution, and if that this consolation be founded on the truth, doth it not then followe that Christ dyed for all and every one? I willingly professe I am not a litle recreated with confidence of our cause, when I doe observe the despe­rate condition of the adversary cause, that takes delight in so vile props as this Authors discourse, and magnifie them as un­answerable, and call in others to take notice of them as [...], as if they were some notable at­chievemens, who seeth not that nowe we are upon the office of ministring consolation to an afflicted soule? Now is this the condition of all and every one? Alas how fewe are they that mourne in comparison to the Ioviall Neds of the world? [Page 161] How few are they that hunger and thirst after righteousnesse, in comparison to them that are full? But suppose it were delivered of all, namely, that if they beleeve in Christ, cer­tainly Christ dyed for them.

Dare any Arminian deny this? doe they holde it lesse sure that Christ dyed for them that beleeve in him, then that he dyed for all? Even for Turkes and Saracens, for Tartars & Canniballs, not one of them excepted?

Lastly, what doth it advantage their cause, that Christ dyed for all and every one? Surely, this nothing at all advantageth them; but the confused and indistinct consideration of the true meaning hereof, that is it which bringeth water to their mill, and that alone.

To dye for us, is to dye for our benefite; Now, we love to speake plainly, and distinctly, and accordingly doe distin­guish of those benefits, which Christ hath procured for us; Now, some of these are such as God useth to conferre upon men of ripe yeares, not absolutely, but conditionally. And these are the remission of sinnes, the salvation of soules; we say therefore, that Christ merited for us the pardon of sinne, & salvation of soule, to be conferred upon us onely condi­tionally, to witt, provided that we doe beleeve in him; and thus we may well say, that he dyed for all & every one; that is, he dyed to procure pardon of sinne, and salvation of soule for every one, in case every one should beleeve in him; which in effect is as much, as to say, that he dyed in this sense, for none but such as sometimes or other are found to beleeve in him. Yet, whether we beleeve or no, Gods word doth assure us, that he dyed to procure remission of sinne, & salvation of soule, to all that doe or shall beleeve in him. Now, besides these benefites, there are other benefits, which Christ hath procured for us, merited for us▪ & these are faith & repētance which are not conferred by God upon man conditionally, to witt, upon the performance of some cōdition by man; for if it were so, then these graces should be conferred, according to mēs works, which is clearly & undenyable, stark Pelagianism.

[Page 162]And these we say Christ hath merited for us, even to be absolutely bestowed upon us; Now will Arminians assure any man, who yet believes not, that Christ hath merited for him not only pardon of sinne, and salvation in case he be­lieve, but allso the very grace of faith and regeneration? I trowe, not one of our Englishe Arminians will undertake this, but rather acknowledge, that it cannot appeare who they are for whom Christ hath merited faith and regenera­tion, untill they doe believe, untill they are regenerate. As for outlandishe Arminians, they utterly deny that Christ merited faith & regeneration for any. Now wherin are wee found ey­ther p [...]evaricators of our owne cause, or overthrowers of the doctrine of the Synods, or voyde of cōmon sense in all, or any particular of this? Nay doth not this Author betray misera­ble nakednes throughout, emboldned & made confident by his [...]ich ignorance, wherin he cherisheth himselfe, and steepes sweetely as upon his Arminian pillowe, by miserable confusion of the meaning of this phrase Christ dyed for us, taking it hand over head and in the generall, without any due consideration of the particular benefites signified herby which Christ is sayde to procure for us. But let us proceede wi [...]h him who proceedeth [...]hus.

But if he so understandeth it, that this becommeth true by the faith which the patient addeth to the d [...]scours of the Mini­ster, he hath lost his sense, in affirming that the object of faith or thing proposed to be believed, receaveth its truth, and dependeth of the consent and beliefe of man, who by his ap­probation, and faith, hath no more power to make that true which is false in it selfe, then to make that false by his incre­dulitie, which in it selfe is true. The incredulitie of man may deprive him of the benefite of his death, yet can it not make that Christ suffered not this death to testifie his love to all mankind universally, even as all are bound to believe in him, and yet no man bound to believe that which is false. Thus he doth expatiate in a large fielde, nothing at all to the purpose. This argument is Bellarmines argument long agoe [Page 163] but against what? surely against the doctrine of our Protestant Churches, concerning the object of faith speciall, which we maynteyn to be the remission of our sins. Yet absurd enough on Bellarmines part, though very plausible I confesse upon a superficiary consideration of thinges. For he supposeth that God doth first pardon sinne, and afterwards we believe that God hath pardoned them. But can Bellarmine tell what it is for God to pardon sinne? or where it is that thus he pardons them? Sure I am the nominalls are very much to seeke about the formalitie of pardoning of sinne. And I verily believe, Bellarmine did nothing trouble his braynes about eyther of them, if he had, and well considered that justification in scrip­ture phrase, especially where S. Paul disputes of it, is a judi­ciary act; and all one with absolution, or pronouncing sen­tence for a man; And that the pronouncing of this sentence is not in heaven (though his love was aeternall, and his pur­pose aeternall as an action▪ immanent within him) for to whom should God pronounce it there? should he tell the An­gells of it? and when I pray might that be? at the first conver­sion of every one? this were a very pretie fiction, and fitt for such a Commaedian as this Author.

But if God pronounceth it no where but in the conscience of man, where he hath erected his tribunal seate, and that by the testimony of his Spirit, which can be no other then to make the Spirit of man apprehende it by faith; I say if Bel­larmine had seriously considered this, cecidisset̄ omnes de crini­bus hydrae, he woulde not have bene so forward to betray his shame by an argument plausible only through ignorance, in not understanding what that is, wherof he discourseth. So much for Bellarmine whose argument this is, which here is used by this Author, but nothing at all to his present purpose, we say not here that any thing becommeth true by the faith of him that believes it; but only this, that the benefite which is procured for all and every one, upon a condition be­comes his, and peculiarly his alone who performeth the con­dition.

[Page 164]Christ dyed to procure pardon of sinne, and salvation to be obteyned by faith; so that if all and every one should be­lieve, all and every one should be saved; which in effect is to say, that Christ dyed in this respect only for believers; and by the faith of man the benefite of Christs death is ap­prop [...]iated unto him; but till he believes, it is not knowne ey­ther to himselfe or any other man, that he shall have any be­nefite by the death of Christ▪ Only God knowes from ever­lasting, who shall have benefite by the death of Christ, and who not, for as much as he hath determined to give faith in Christ to some and not to others; and accordingly hath sent Christ into the world for their sakes, not only to merit par­don of sinne, and salvation, in case they believe, but to merit faith and regeneration allso for them. So that the love of God, and of Christ to all, goes no farther then this, that who­soever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Ioh. 3. but Gods speciall love to his elect is to send Christ into the world to merit, not that only for them which is to be conferd upon the condition of faith, but to merit faith allso for them, which is conferd upon them absolutely, and upon no condition, we doe not say that any man is bound to believe that which is false; but as for believing in Christ wherunto all are bound that are called by the Gospell, that is no such believing, the object wherof is capable of truth or falshood, as this Author according to his superfi­ciary course, is still in confounding thinges that differ.

The Apostle saith so indeede, and of Gods judgments in this kinde we have plentifull experience, at this day; how God striketh such persons with the Spirit of giddines, ma­king them to erre in their counsayles, and discourses as a drunken man erreth in his vomite; yet they thinke them­selves the only sober men of the world; and glory in their il­lusions, which are most pleasing unto them, like unto the dreame of an hungry man, who eateth and drinketh and ma­keth merry (as he thinketh) but when he awaketh, his soule is emtye. Surely the doctrine of Dort, teacheth not that God [Page 165] would have a man first believe that which is false, when he commandeth every one to believe that Christ dyed for him; like enough it is false in the judgment of the Synod that Christ dyed for every one: but where doe they say, or ac­knowledge that God commandeth every one to believe that Christ dyed for him? Can he shewe this, if he can, why doth he not; but he came only upon the Stage to play some gam­boles, which done, his discourse is at an ende. They mayn­teyne, like enough, that not all and every one, but all and every one that heares the Gospell, is bounde to believe in Christ, but it is incredible unto me that they should professe that every one is bound to believe that Christ dyed for him. But it is nothing strange for this Author to confounde these, as if there were no difference betweene believing in Christ, and believing that Christ dyed for us. And Arminians, I willingly confesse, doe usually confounde these; The truth is, we deny that Christ dyed for all, in as much as he dyed not to procure the grace of faith and regeneration for all, but only for Gods elect; and consequently neyther shall any but Gods elect have any such interest in Christs death, as to obteyne therby pardon of sinne and salvation, for Armi­nians themselves confesse, that this is the portion only of be­lievers. But seing pardon of sinne and salvation are benefits merited by Christ, not to be conferd absolutely but con­ditionally, to witt, upon condition of faith; we may be bold to say, that Christ in some sense dyed for all and every one, that is, he dyed to procure remission of sinnes, and salvation unto all and every one in case they believe; and as this is true, so way we well say, and the Councell of Dort might well say; that every one who heares the Gospell is bound to be­lieve that Christ dyed for him in this sense, namely, to obtayne salvation for him in case he believe. But what thinke Ar­minians; are we bound to believe that Christ dyed for us in such a sense, as to purchase faith and regeneration for us?

[Page 166]Surely, not one of them will affirme this, because they doe not beleeve this (no not one of them that I know) that Christ by his death merited faith and regeneration for all and every one; Nay, the Remonstrants professe, that he merited faith and regeneration for none, Exam. Cen [...]ura, p, 59.

We acknowledge, that Christ merited this for Gods elect, and accordingly, they are bound as soon as they doe beleeve, and are regenerated to give God the glory of it, as the be­stower of these graces upon them for Christs sake. For it is he, who makes us perfect to every good worke, working in us that, which is pleasing in his sight, through Iesus Christ, Hebr. 13.21.

But before God hath bestowed faith and regeneration up­on them, it is utterly uncertaine by ordinary meanes, both whether God hath determined to bestow any such grace up­on them, and whether Christ dyed for the procuring of any such benefite unto them.

As for the phrase, this author useth, of beleeving falshood; There is a great difference betweene the beleeving of some­what which is false, and the believing of falshood. When God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Piscator, conceaving that Abraham was bound to beleeve that it was Gods good pleasure, that Isaac should be sacrificed, which yet notwith­standing was false, as appeared by the event; and yet I hope Abraham needed not feare any such punishment for belee­ving this, as to be given over to the Spirit of errour.

And I hope this Author will bethinke himself, and take heede how he censureth Abraham, for giving credence to a lye in this, but he runnes on, more like a blind man, then like one, who (as Salomon saith) hath his eyes in his head. Yet am not I of Piscators minde in that; like enough, Abraham was apt to thinke so; but I see no cause to say, that Abraham was bound to beleeve that, which Piscator saith he was.

The fourth Section.Sect. 4.

SEe then if this be not a Labyrinth of prodigious Di­vinitie, Treat. which turneth obedience into punishment. For if the Synod speake true, and that Christ be not dead for those that beleeve not in him, how can they deserve to be punished, for not having b [...]leeved that which is false? And they that have obeyed his commandement in be­leeving of his death, how should they suffer the punish­ment due unto disobedients and incredulous, which is to beleeve lying.

In a word, to deny the vniversalitie of the merit of Christs death, is outragiously to dishonour God, as though the Author of truth commanded all men to beleeve a falshood. And the better to discerne the ficklenesse of this Spirit that did praeside at the two Synods, it is to be noted, how that as on the one side, this doctrine doth for­bid to beleeve that which the Script [...] affirme as most true, and in most expresse termes: So on the other side it commaunds every one, to beleeve that he is elected unto life, although he be a reprobate in effect. And that he can­not loose his faith, being once had, for any sinne, whatso­ever he doth committ, which the Scriptures deny, as a thing most false in the like termes.

If then that this doctrine, which denyeth that Christ dyed for all, bereaveth the afflicted of all consolation; the other point, which denyeth that a man may fall away from grace & faith doth cleane overthrow the ministry of prea­ching, which consisteth in exhortations, by promises and threatnings, which can no longer be meanes of doing any [Page 168] good worke, which is only by the immediate operation of the holy Ghost, as it hath bene abovesayde.

So neyther is there to be found in all the scripture any one promise of such a perseverāce in faith as the Synod in­timates; seing that all exhortations, wherof the Scriptures are full, doe directly oppugne the pretended promise. They admonish the faithfull that they take heede they doe not fall, of hardning their hearts, of receaving the grace of God in vayne, from falling from their stedfastnes &c. And yet the imaginary promise of the Synod doth declare, that they cannot fall, they cannot harden their hearts, that they cannot have receaved the grace in vayne, and that they cannot fall from their stedfastnes. By which means, the admonitions which denounce the danger, and begett feare, doe overthrowe the promise, which saith, there is no feare of danger, nor cause of fea [...]e. If it be not that the Synod would make us to believe, that the faithfull who feare danger that can no more happen then that God should lie, are more foolish then certeyne melancholy per­sons who feare that the havens will fall, which notwith­standing shall one day passe away.

Consid.We reade of one that while he slept, loosing his eye-sight, after he awaked out of sleepe, and had layne long on bed, wondering▪ that he saw no light, imagined that the reason thereof was, because the windowes were shutt, and therupon cryed out to open the windowe?.

In like sort, this Author cryeth out of the Labyrinth of prodigious Divinitie, when it is nothing but his prodigious ignorance, that makes our doctrine seeme prodigious divi­nitie unto him. It is untrue, that we turne obedience into punishment, but he feignes the object of obedience, and ob­trudes it upon others, before he doth sufficiently understand [Page 170] it himselfe being disirous that others should be like himselfe; in believing they knowe not what; As in believing that Christ dyed for them, we willingly confesse that Christ dyed not to procure faith, and regeneration for them that never believe in him, that never are regenerated. I doubt not but this Au­thor believeth this as well as wee; we farther believe that Christ dyed, to procure the grace of faith and regeneration for some, namely for Gods elect; I doubt whether this Au­thor (who vaunts so much of Christs dying for all according to his faith) doth believe so much; and herin I am confirmed in that the Remonstrants spare not to professe, that Christ merited not faith, and regeneration for any. Exam. Censurae pag. 59. Yet as touching Christs dying for all men so farre as to procure pardon of sinne, and salvation for them absolute­ly, I knowe no Arminian that affirmes that, on the otherside we willingly confesse, that Christ dyed for all and every one so farre as to procure them both remission of sinne, and sal­vation, in case they believe. In all which wee doe not mayn­teyne that any man is bound to believe that which is false; much lesse that they deserve to be punished for not believing that which is false. I dare admitt Impudency it selfe to be Iudge between us in this, who of us doe attribute more to the vertue of Christs death, as allso which of us doth more be­lieve that Christ dyed for us; let their owne conscience be Iudge, nowe the state of the difference betweene us is cleered. For as touching the benefites of remission of sinnes and sal­vation, in the extension therof unto all, and every one con­ditionally we are aequall. But as touching the benefites of grace, and regeneration that we allso attribute to Christs death as the meritorious cause therof to all that enioy those benefites; wheras the Remonstrants have openly professed to the world, that Christ hath merited faith, and regeneration for none. How then doe we at all deny the universalitie of Christs merit, when on the one side we extend it as farre as they, on the other side, much farther then they? and who de­serves to be censured as outragiously dishonouring God, let [Page 170] the world judge upon indifferent hearing of both parts. It is a false suggestion that we charge God, the Author of truth, to commande a falshood; not only for as much as we esteeme that there is no small difference betweene believing in Christ, which we acknowledge to be commanded; and believing that Christ dyed for us, which we finde no where commanded; but allso upon supposition that we are com­manded to believe that Christ dyed for all and every one; yet herin should we not be commanded to believe a falshood; for as much as in a good sense, and which alone is tolerable, we believe that Christ dyed for all, and every one as much as the whole nation of Arminians doe, and in another sense believing that Christ dyed for us, we goe farre be­yond them in extending the merit, and vertue of Christs death and passion.

Therfore it is most untrue which this Author doth reite­rate, charging us to deny that which the Scriptures affirme in expresse termes; but in as much as neyther doe the scriptures affirme that in expresse termes which this Author saith they doe, to witt, that Christ dyed for all and every one; and if it did affirme any such thinge in expresse termes, we should be farre enough from denying it; nay wee doe maynteyne it, not only as farre as they doe, but much farther. Where the Synod of Dort doth commaunde every one to believe that he is ele­cted unto life, I knowe not. Only I have read lately such a thing objected unto us, as out of the particular opinion of Zanchy and Bucer. Yet they deliver this only of Christians, who are such as believe in Christ, and for whom they make no question (I trowe) but that Christ dyed; so that the con­gruitie herin is accurate without all colour of contradiction. And yet if it should proove to be contradictious the one unto the other; I never observed such a condition to be taxed for ficklenes in the embracers of such opinions, till nowe. Ficklenes is shewed in changing from one opinion to ano­ther, not in holding the same opinions still, albeit some one perhaps may seem in the judgment of some malevalent adver­saries, [Page 171] contradictions unto the other. Yet Zanchy who sayth every one is bound to believe (speaking of Christians) that he is elected unto life; was never knowne to affirme that every one is bound to believe that he is elected to faith, and regeneration. Now aeternall life we knowe is ordeyned by God to be the portion of men, not whether they believe or no; whether they persevere in faith, holines and repentance or no; but only of such as believe, repent, and are studious of good workes; for it is ordeyned to be bestowed on men by way of reward for their faith, repentance, and good workes.

And will any Arminian deny but that every one that heares the Gospell (whether he believe or no) is bound to believe that aeternall life shall be his portion in case he believe, re­pent, and be given to exercise good workes? Now albeit this Author be for the present upon the pinne of disparaging our doctrine as utterly unsufficient for consolation to an afflicted soule, yet he spares not, as it were, in the same breath to cry downe our doctrine as touching perseverance in the state of grace, and holde up the Arminian Tenet as touching the Apo­stacye of Gods Saints; as if their doctrine in this particular were more seasonable for consolation then ours.

The sinnes of David were very foule, adultery and mur­ther; yet Bertius that zelous maynteyner of the Apostacye of Gods Saints,Psalm. 51. will not say that David by these foule sinnes did expell the holy Spirit out of his heart, and that propter graves causas. And in deede the Scripture teacheth us that al­beit David prayed, in his paenitentiall Psalme conceaved in reference to those sinnes, that God would restore him to the joy of his salvation; yet he prayes not that God would restore him to his Spirit, but rather that he would not take away his Spirit from him. And Peter sinned fouly, and sham­fully in denying his master with execrations, and oathes, and that as it were before his Masters face; yet our Saviour had tolde him before, that he had prayed for him that his faith should not faile.

[Page 172]And we knowe what promise the Lord made to David, Psal. 89.30. If his Children forsake my law, and walke not in my judgements, 31. If they breake my statutes, and keepe not my commandements 32. Then will I visite their trans­gression with the rod, and their iniquitie with strokes, 33. Yet my loving kindnesse will I not take from him, neither will I falsifie my truth.

The scripture, this Author sayth, denyes this doctrine of ours, as a thing most false in like termes, that is in expresse termes. But he quotes no place, referres to none, nor so much as intimates any such place, where this, which he pre­tends should be delivered in expresse termes.

Yet to the contrary, Matth. 24.24. our Saviour setting downe the efficacy of false Prophets in the seducing of many, expresseth it in this māner, so that if it were possible, they shold deceave the very elect; plainly signifying, that it was a thing not possible that the Elect should be seduced; Now, this can­not be understood of the elect, as yet unregenerate; for in the state of nature, who s [...]th not that they are obnoxious to the same errours, whereto others are?

And Iohn the 10.29. he plainly gives us to understand, that his she [...]pe are in the hands of his Father, and that none is able to take them out of his hands; and accordingly S. Peter saith, 1. Pet. 1. that they are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation. Yet when we say, that this faith can­not be lost, we deliver it upon supposition of Gods purpose, to mainteyn them in that state of grace, against all the powers of darkenesse;Ier. 32.40. which purpose is manifest by his promise, I will putt my feare in their hearts, that they shall never de­part away from me; and accordingly the Apostle promiseth on Gods behalf, that he will perfect the good work he hath be­gunne in us, Philip. 1.6. that he will not tempt us above our strength, but with the temtation will give an issue, that we may be able to beare it, 1. Cor. 10.13.

Now, albeit their opposite doctrine of the Apostacy of Saints, savoureth of no consolatory nature, yet to spitt his [Page 173] poyson against that also, though out of season in this place, he hath some what else to obj [...]ct against that, as namely, that it overthrowes the ministry of preaching, which consists in ex­hortations by promises and threatnings, which can no longer be meanes to doe any good worke, if so be, the good work be wrought by the immediate operation of the Holy Ghost; as it hath beene above sayd; & indeed this coms in here, as it were against the hayre, first, considering that we are now upon the point of consolation; Now, I presume no Arminian will say, that their doctrine, as touching the Apostacy of Saints is to be magnified, as a very comfortable Doctrine.

Secondly, whether good workes are wrought by the imme­diate operation of the Holy Ghost, is nothing to the present purpose; For that he avoucheth is this, that the doctrine of perseverance overthrowes the ministry of preaching; not that immediate working of perseverance by the Holy Ghost, over­throwes the ministry of preaching: yet if this were the present assertion of this Author, I have already sufficiently disproved it before. [...]f his vineyard of red Wine, the Lord professeth, that he is the keeper of it;Esa. 27.2. and that he watereth it night and day. God keepes it, and waters it, and by watering it, he keepes it; Can any sober man devise any sober opposition be­tweene these? Yet he can keepe it without the preaching of the word, and where that is is wanting, the Lord is able to keepe it, and will keepe it. And where these meanes are most rife, yet this hinders not the immediate operation of the Holy Ghost unto every good work, as I have shewed. For notwithstanding all exhortations backt with promises and threatnings, the will for all this is left at liberty, to obey, or disobey; but God by his Spirit doth immediately worke the will, to obey the ministery of the word; He is brayne sicke with errour, that seeth not how the preaching of the word nothing hinders the immediate operation of the Spirit of God, in working the will to assent and yeelde obedience thereunto.

He saith, there is not to be found in all the Scripture any [Page 174] one promise of such a perseverance in faith, as the Synod in­timates; yet is it possible that he should be so ignorant as not to knowe that many passages of holy Scripture are alleaged to confirme this, and that in the very Acts of that Synod? but this Author, being of a comicall witt, doth not finde him­selfe so fitt, as to enter upon a serious encounter. And in­steede of deb [...]litating any one passage of scripture, usually alleaged by our divines for the confirmation of this their Te­net: this judicious Author outfaceth them all blindfold, saying that all exhortations, wherof the scriptures are full, doe directly oppugne the pretended promise.

But we utterly deny this; nay nothing but shamefull in­conside [...]atenes makes this Author so bolde, as by such base pretences (which were exploded in the dayes of Austin by himselfe, and others in their disputes against the Pelagians) to cry downe the truth of God. For he considers not that as God workes men to perseverance; so it is fitt he should worke them hereunto in such manner, as is agreeable to their natures; Now, this is by admonition and exhortation. God promised Paul, that he would give him freely all that sailed with him, Act. 27.24. Yet this hindred not Pauls exhorta­tion to the Centurion, to stay the marriners in the shippe, saying: except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be safe, v. 31.

And what an absurd thing is it, to conceave that by beget­ting feare through admonitions, we overthrow the promise, when the promise it selfe is not accomplished but by this feare, as Ier. 31, 40. I will putt my feare in their hearts, that they shall never depart away from me; For God that he may beate presumption out of us, and teach us to depend on him, that so we may give him alone the glory of our preservation, will have us sensible of our owne weaknesse and feare there­upon; and therefore exhorts us expressely to worke out our salvation with feare and trembling. Philipp. 2.13. That so all our confidence may be in God, and none in our selves; and thus he leades us along in all the Holy wayes thereof unto salvation, to witt, with confidence in him, but with no confi­dence [Page 175] in our selves, but rather with feare and trembling in respect of our selves.

The promise saith not, there is no cause of feare, in respect of our selves, but rather overcomes those feares, by calling us, to lift up our eyes, towards our maker; that so we may be a people, saved by the Lord, he being the shield of our strēgth a sword of our glory, we feare unto the Lord, Hos. 3. last, that is come flying with feare and trembling unto him, and Hos. 11.10. They shall walke after the Lord, he shall roare like a Lyon: When he shall roare, then the Children of the West shall feare, trepidabunt, that is, festinabunt, trepide ad do­minum.

Be it that the danger cannot happen, by vertue of Gods ordinance; yet if God hath ordeyned that it shall not happen, by meanes of our fearing it, out of the sense of our owne im­potency to guard our selves from it, & thereupon are stirred up, to make the Lord our strength, whose grace we know is sufficient for us, are we foolish in fearing it, when our feare makes us fly and cleave to God, who alone can, and hereup­on will preserve us from it?

Nothing is to be done by us, to keepe the Heavens from falling, but something is to be done by us, to keep us from falling, & that something in part is to feare least we fall▪ The heavens shall one day passe away, and Gods covenant with day and night, shalbe at an end; but Gods covenant for the perseverance of his Saints, shall never be at an end, onely a time shall come when perfect love shall supply the place of feare, in our fruition of God, which shall be everlasting.

Sect. 5.The fift Section.

Treat. FOr summe of all, it will come unto that passe to be­lieve, it were better to addresse our admonitions unto God, for him, to finish his worke in men, to convert, cor­rect, and comfort them by his omnipotency, which no per­son is able to resist, and that it is his fault that so many persons continue faithlesse, profane, and desperate, because it is he that refuseth to give, or taketh away the grace ne­cessary, as well to their conversion, as to their repentance and perseverance in the faith, If any of these Synod [...]sts were sicke of the palsie, and praesented themselves to some Physician, who by the meanes of an excellent potion, pro­miseth him to make him leave his bed ere long, & goe whither he pleaseth; the other having recovered his health, and the use of his arme, and legge, would he fur­ther binde his physician to cary him upon his shoulder from place to place, for the sparing of his legges, and nourishing of his sloth, while he in the meane time lyes lazy in his bed, and continueth the excesse which brought him unto his sicknes? and yet not withstanding these men are not contented, that God should furnish them with necessary and sufficient grace to preserve, and keepe them from all temta [...]ion, from the divill, the world, and the flesh, and to continue in that faith, and therby to conserve this grace in watching, fasting, and praying, they will allso have God immediately, and irresistibly to produce all th [...]se thinges in them.

What remayneth then but to say, that God himselfe doth [Page 177] beleeve, repent, and persevere in well doing, even as Ser­vetus said, that the Fire doth not burne, the Sunne doth not shine, that bread nourisheth not, but onely that God doth all these things, immediately in his creatures, not ha­ving given them their properties.

Consid. In the like manner some there were, who op­posed the grace of God 1200 yeares agoe, in the dayes of Austin, and thereupon he wrote his booke de Correptione & gratia; Rursus (saith he) ad eosdem scripsi alterum li­brum, quem de correptione & gratia praenotavi, cum mi­hi nuntiatum esset, dixisse ibi quendam, neminem cor­ripiendum si Dei praecepta non facit: sed pro illo ut faciat tantummodò or andum.

And in the booke it selfe, and 4. chapter, he represents their discourse more at large in this manner: Praecipe mihi quid faciam: & si fecero; age pro me gratias Deo, qui mihi ut facerem dedit. Si autem non fecero, non ego corripiendus sum, sed ille orandus est, ut det quod non de­dit: id est ipsam, qua praecepta ejus fiant, fidelem Dei & proximi charitatem. Ora ergo pro me ut hanc accipiam, & per hanc ex animo cum bona voluntate, quae praecipit faciam. Rectè autem corriperer si eam mea culpa non ha­berem: hoc est, si eam poss [...]m mihi dare vel sumere ipse nec facerem, vel si dante illo accipere noluissem. Cum ergo & ipsa voluntas à Domino praeparetur, cur me corri­pis, quia vides me eius praecepta facere nolle: & non po­tius ipsum rogas, ut in me operetur & velle.

Now, to all this, Austin in the next chapter answereth in this manner: Ad haec Respondemus: Quicunque Dei precepta jam tibi nota non facis, & corripi non vis, etiam propterea corripiendus es, quid corripi non vis. Non vis enim tibi tua vitia demonstrari: non vis ut feriantur, [Page 178] fiatque tibi utilis dolor, quo medicum quaeras: Non vis tibi tuipse ostendi, ut cum deformem te vides, reformato­rem desideres, eique supplices ne in illa remaneas foedita­te. Tuum quippe vitium est quod malus es, & maius vitium corripi nolle, quia malus es: quasi laudanda vel indifferenter habenda sint vitia▪ ut n [...]que laudentur ne­que vituperentur; aut verò nihil agat timor correpti ho­minis vel pudor vel dolor: aut aliud agat cum salubriter stimulat, nisi ut rogetur bonus & ex malis qui corripiun­tur, bonos faciat qui laudētur. Quod enim vult pro se fieri qui corripi non vult, & dicit, [...]ra potius pro me ideo cor­repiendus est ut faciat etiam ipse pro se. D [...]lor quippe ipse quo sibi displicet, quando sentit correptionis aculeum, excitat eum in majoris orationis affectum: ut Deo mise­rante, incremento charitatis adjutus desinat agere puden­da & dolenda, & agat laudanda atque gratanda. Haec est correptionis utilitas, quae nunc major nunc minor pro peccatorum diversitate salu [...]riter adhibetur, & tunc est salubris, quando supernus medicus respicit. Non enim ali­quid proficit, nisi cum facit ut peccati sui quemque paeni­ [...]eat. Et quis hoc dat, nisi qui respexit Apostolum Pe­trum negant [...]m & fecit flentem. Vnde & Apostolus Pau­lus posteaquam dixit, cum modestia corripiendos esse di­versa sentientes, protinus addidit: Ne quando det iis Deus paenitentiam ad cognoscendam veritatem, & resipiscant de diaboli laqueis. Gods omnipotencie no creature is able to resist, and therfore if God will have any man to believe freely, to repent freely, to doe this or that good worke free­ly, it is impossible it shoulde be otherwise but that looke what he doth by divine instinct he should doe it freely; And that God is he who workes in us that which is pleasing in his sight through Iesus Christ, is as true as the epistle to the [Page 179] Hebrewes is a part of the newe testament, though like enough it is no part of the Gospell of this old Evan­gelist.

Now that any in Austins dayes eyther amongst the Adru­metine▪ monkes, or amongst the P [...]lagi [...] ̄s, did from the same ground object that it is Gods fault that so many persons con­tinue faithles, profane, and desperate, I reade not. For albeit our Saviour is bolde to tell the Iewes to their face that ther­fore they did not heare his wordes, because they were not of God, and Moses to the Israelites in the wildernes signifies; that therfore they did not profite eyther by Gods wordes which they heard, or by his wonderfull workes which they saw, because God gave thē not an heart to perceave, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear unto that day; yet neyther the Iews of our Saviours words, nor of Moses words, the Israelites took any such advantage, as to say that then it was, Gods fault that so many continue faithles, profane and desperate. For what though God coulde cure their infidelitie, profanesse, and de­sperate condition, yet if he be not bound to cure, it shall he be accoumpted faultie for not doing what he is nothing obliged to doe? how many uncurable diseases are to be founde in the bodies of men throughout the world, as leprosies, gan­grenes, the woolfe, cancers, gouts, dropsies, which no ques­tion God is as well able to cure as that uncurable disease wherof Hezechias somtimes lay sicke; what then, shall we not spare to blaspheme God in saying, It is his fault that so many diseases are not cured? God deales playnly and tells us to our face, that he will have mercy on whom he will; yea and that he hardneth whom he will, even to the blaspheming of him, and his providence in this profane manner. And albeit he will not cure profanesse, and hardnes of heart in many, yet will he take libertie still to complayne of their disobedience; And farre more savoury were it to object against this providence of God and say; If God hardeneth whom he will, why then doth he yet complayne, for who hath resisted his will?

[Page 180]Yet in this case, we know full well how the holy Apostle takes such a one downe; first with, O man, who art thou that disputest with God, and then answeres him in this manner: Shall the thing formed, say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the Potter power over the clay, of the same lumpe to make one v [...]ssell unto honour, an­other unto dishonour?

In Austins dayes I reade of such an objection, as this: Quomodo meo vitio non habetur quod non accepi ab illo, à quo nisi detur, non est omnino alius unde tale ac tantum munus habeatur. They sayde, it is he alone that giveth grace, and thereupon they built that objection; They sayd, as this Author doth, that it is he that taketh away the grace necessary, as well to their conversion as to their repentance, we acknowledge, that where God gives the grace of perseverance, thereby perseve­rance is wrought▪ and consequently impossible it is, that grace should be taken away.

In like sort, of conversion and repentance, neyther doe we mainteyne, that there is any falling away from this grace.

The Physician, I willingly confesse, doth not use to cary h [...]s Patient upon his shoulder, after he hath cured him, ney­ther doth the Patient expect it, or so much as accoumpt it any courtesie, for it would proove unnecessarily cumbersome un­to them both, and that were not to use his owne legges in going, but to have the soundnesse of them restored to him in vayne.

Man, if naturally sound, is able to go without the helpe of any Physician: And is man so sound spiritually taken at the best, that he is able to doe any thing that is good without the helpe of God?

What is it to contradict the Apostle to his face, if this be not, who professeth, that God it is, who worketh in us both the will and the deede, & that according to his good pleasure, Phil. 2.13. Yea, that worketh in us every thing that is plea­sing in his sight;Heb. 13, 21 doth the Physician sett the mans leggs; whom he hath cured?

[Page 181]I thinke he hath enough to doe, to sett his owne legges, & members going according to their severall motions, was holy Paul nourished in his sloath, who both professeth that he la­boured more abundantly then they all yet in the same breath,1. Cor. 15 10. acknowledgeth that nevertheles it cannot he, but rather the grace of God in him. Nay how is it possible that God should bring a man to a sermon while he lyes lazy in his bed? How is it possible he should continue that excesse which brought him to his sicknes, when God workes in him that which is pleasing in his sight? and fullfills the good pleasure of his goodnes towards him,1. Thes. 1, 11. and the worke of faith in power? But we may easily proceave the Spirit of his Author he would not be a child still, he would goe on highe alone, and not have any neede of the leading of his heavenly Father; his owne Spirit serves his turne to performe any holy duetie, any gracious worke; And as Plato discerned the pride of Antis­thenes through his patcht coate; so may we thorough these wilde expressions, as if God did mans worke for him, while he lay in sleepe, we may easily perceave the pride of his heart requiring no more succour from God, to the performance of to velle & agere of that which is good, then Pelagius of olde did. Yet the Lord by his prophet playnely professeth of himselfe that he causeth us to walke in his statutes and judgments and to doe them; and the Apostle as playnely tea­cheth us that God workes in us both the will and the deede according to his good pleasure;Ezech. 36.27. yea that he workes in us that which is pleasing in his sight through Iesus Christ. The mea­ning where [...] Pelagius his opinion was only this, that suadet omne quod bonum est; and in all liklihood no other is the mea­ning of the Apostle in the opinion of this Author; though he comes not so farre as to the discussing therof, and to treate of Gods concourse; For which kinde of exercise this comi­call witt of his, is nothing accommodated, and like enough this discourse of his, is plausible to none but such comicall witts as himselfe is of, and no merveyle if it be magnified of them; For Lactucas similes labra simillima habent, like lettice like lips.

[Page 182]Yet he doth us wrong in saying we are not content that God should furnish us with necessary and sufficient grace to preserve and keepe us from sinne; For albeit we doe require that God should immediately, and irresistibly worke all our good workes in us, yet surely we acknowledge this to be ne­cessary unto every good act, and no grace without this, suffi­cient ad velle & agere, though there may be without this a grace sufficient ad posse; and the word of God it selfe we ac­knowledge to be sufficient in its kinde, to witt, in the way of instruction; but the ministery therof, we willingly professe goes no farther then Pauls planting, and Apollos wateringe, over and above all, which▪ unles God be pleased to give the encrease, we shall continue unfruitfull still; only there is a sect, that have a better opinion of their activitie unto that which is good,2. Thess. 5 1.11. then so. Sure I am, the Apostle tells us that God doth fulfill the good pleasure of his goodnes in us, and the worke of faith with power; and if he fulfill the worke of faith with power, doth he not fulfill the worke of love, of repen­tance, of obedience, of all holy conversation and godlines, & that with power? Molira will have Gods concourse to be si­multaneous with the will, not antecedaneous in nature to the wills operation, least otherwise God should not be the imme­diate cause of the act, of the maintenance wherof he was ze­lous; and it seemes Armini [...]s tooke his conceyte from him, of making God in the same manner an immediate cause of every act. But Suares his fellowe Iesuite doth not approove of that Molinaes conceyte; and is of opinion that albeit God doth worke the will to her operation, yet this nothing hin­ders the immediate condition of Gods causalitie. So that all of them stande for the maintenance of Gods immediate cau­salitie; which this Author very judiciously and profoundely out of the depth of his scholasticalitie rejects, and after his manner takes it in scorne that God shoulde be required to performe an immediate operation in producing any good worke; he would have that left to the will of man; not that he desires to have wherof to boast; for he will be ready in [Page 183] great plerophory of wordes to professe, that he gives God the glory of all, but how? Forsooth of working him so to that which is good as to leave it to his will at the pleasure therof to be the immediate operator in all. Otherwise he should worke irresistibly, which is a phrase of an ill accent in their eares, and stickes as a burre in their throate it will not downe with them; for they are verily persuaded it would breede no good blood in them, not for feare least herby they should ascribe too much to God, and too litle to themselves; farre be that from the Spirit of their humilitie, but they would have the Allmightie cary himselfe decently in dea­ling with them; and sith he hath indued them with free will, not to damnifie the free course therof, which were to disa­null his owne workmanship. For as yet they are not arrived to any such faith, as to believe that it is in the power of the Almightye to make them to worke this or that freely.

But let me have leave to spurre this Author one quaestion. Cannot he endure that God should so powerfully worke them unto that which is good, that the world should have no abilitie to resist him nor the divill, and his Angells of darkenes? We knowe the course and fashions of the one, and the practises, and suggestions of the other are prest, and forward enough to hinder us in the good wayes of the Lord, as much as ever the Angell of God was to hinder Balaam in his wicked courses: Now, why should you be so zealous of maynteyning the power eyther of the world or the divill, to corrupt your soule, and overthrowe your faith? were it not rather cheifly to be desired, that God should so worke us by his holy Spirit unto every thing that is pleasing in his sight, that it shoulde not be in the power of the very gates of hell to prevayle against us? that is, I trowe to worke us unto that which is good irresistibly, that is, so that the world nor the divill should not be able to resist Gods opera­tion though they much desire it.

[Page 184]I shoulde thinke it is not the genius of this Author to oppose irresistible operation divine in this sense; though it may be he was never cast upon this distinction untill now.

In respect of whom then would he have this divine ope­ration to be resistible?

Is it in respect of the fleshe?

But if he be well content that it shoulde not be in the power of the worlds or the divill to resist Gods operation wor­king us to good, why should he affect to have it in the power of the flesh?

1. Considering, that if it be in the power of the flesh to resist divine operation, it is therwithall in the power of Sa­tan; For in fulfilling the will of the flesh, and the minde, we are sayde to walke after the Prince that ruleth in the ayre, Eph. 2.

2. Why should any man be so zealous for upholding the power of his flesh, is it not a signe he is in love with it still?

3. Or rather is it in zeale of the honour of his owne per­formances, in doing good as it were in despight of such a po­tent adversary?

If so, then let hell be loosed, and the divill, and the world both armed with the like power, and that honour in withstanding them is likely to be greater, and you shall have the greater cause to rejoyce; but where is your respect to the glory of God in all this?

Or in fine, would you have your regenerate part to be so strong and able, that neyther flesh within, nor world or di­vill without, be able to resist its course in grace; only you would have it free eyther to yeilde or to resist divine exhorta­tions?

But consider I pray, is not your unregenerate part, your flesh free enough, and forward enough yea most prop [...]ne and propense to resist that; and shoulde you not rather desire that your regenerate part should be as free, and forward; as [Page 185] propense and prone to resist them, and to doe that which is good?

Otherwise in what a miserable case shall man be even in state of regeneration; when his worse part is still prone to sinne, and wants not the world and the divill to drive him headlong therinto; and his best part, to witt, his regenerate part, shall not be as prone to good, but only indifferent to good or evill.

Beside, doe you not consider how you debase the grace of regeneration, making it inferior to morall goodnes? For morall goodnes doth not leave a man indifferent to good or evill, but inclines him naturally to that which is good, and to that alone, but the grace of regeneration is so shaped by you, as to bring a man but to an indifferent constitution, to doe eyther good or evill. But perhaps you will say, if re­generation, and the grace thereof, shall cary a man natural­ly unto that which is good only; where is a mans freedome? I answere, as much as in a morally vertuous constitution; For who was ever knowne to affirme that morall vertues take away a mans libertie? Agayne why should any man be so eagerly sett upon libertie to doe evill? were it not better for us to enioy such a libertie alone as of many good [...]hings to choose which we thinke good; but must we needes affect such a libertie as to choose evill allso if we thinke good? and doe you not perceave what colour of contradiction steales upon you ere you are aware; and shrewde evidence of the un­reasonablenes of your affections.

Yet take one thing [...] more to acquaint you with that which perhaps may seeme a mystery unto you in morall philosophy; for some may be so given to the stage, and taken up with the obsequies therof, that they may forget their philosophy. Ther­fore I say, that like as morall vertues tende only to the orde­ring of the reasonable soul aright, as touching her right ende by light of nature, so the grace of regeneration tendes to the ordering of the degenerate soule aright as touching her right [Page 186] end discovered by the light of grace. Now, Libertie of will consists not in appetitione finis, the nature of man rightly or­dered, is naturally caryed on thereunto. But freedome of will hath place in electione mediorum.

So that albeit my right end, being once discovered, and my nature so qualified, as it ought to be in respect thereof, albeit I am necessarily & naturally caryed to the affecting of that end, yet still I am free to choose amongst many, what shall seeme most convenient to the obteyning of that end. Whe­ther in all this I have not spoken parables and mysteries, in the judgement of this Author, I know not; yet this I know, God can open his eyes, and the eyes of those that are in love with these frivolous discourses of his; and make them to discerne the vanity of their wayes, in opposing the grace of God, and withall Gods judgements upon them, in striking them with such confusion, as not onely to shutt their eyes a­gainst the light of grace, but runne themselves on ground, and cast themselves away, as touching common sobriety, while the courses they take are contradictious to the very light of nature. What a sottish objection is that which followeth? & how dissolute a consequence is this, which here he frames? namely, that because we say, God doth worke in us both the will and the deed; Ergo, it is not Man, that willeth, but God, not man that doth this or that good worke but God; God doth repent, in making us repent; and God doth obey his owne commandements, in making us obey them? God hath given all creatures their naturall properties, and on som he bestoweth supernaturall qualities, and mooves them all, & that effectually to worke, according to their properties; whose operations, though they are from him, as the efficient cause thereof, for in him we live, and moove, and have our beings; and hitherto the Arminians themselves have preten­ded to concurre with us herein; yet they are not formally to be attributed unto him, but to the secōd causes, whose proper operations they are, as for a Lyon to roare, for an horse to [Page 187] neigh, an asse to bray, an oxe to lowe, a dogge to barke, and the like.

The sixt & last Section.Sect. 6.

THe preaching of the word being thus made of none effect by the doctrine of these Synods, Treat. there will re­mayne no use and profit of the Sacraments of baptisme, & the Lords Supper, unlesse it be, that the Ministers them­selves, in administring thereof, doe destroy this unhappy doctrine. For to every person, whom they baptise, they ap­ply the promises of the covenant of grace, cleane contrary to their owne doctrine, which saith, that they nothing be­long to the Reprobates of the World.

The Eucharist is likewise given to all with assurance, that Christ dyed for all those who do receave it, although their doctrine doe affirme, that he dyed not for those who receave him unworthily, and to their owne condemna­tion, the number of whom is very great in the Reformed Churches by their owne confession. What then remaines? Even their prayers themselves, (the exercise wherof is common, both to the Pastor and the Flocke) cannot be of any profit, either to the one or to the other, seeing that all are eyther elect or reprobate, they for their parts obteyne nothing by this meanes, if that God, as the Synod would have it, hath written their names in the booke of life from all aeternitie, without having more regard unto their prayers, then unto their faith, and that it is impossible for them to be razed out, and as for these, they are no more able to gett themselves registred therein by their prayers, thē to undo that inevitable & unchangable decree of God.

[Page 188] So that by this triall of the practise, each one may see what esteeme we ought to have of that religion, which re­sisteth the conversion of Infidells, the amendment of the scandalous, and consolation of the afflicted, which makes the preaching of the word to be of none effect, and quite overthroweth the use of the Sacraments, and exercise of prayers, and in a word, which overturneth the founda­tion of the ministry, which consisteth in sound doctrine & good discipline.

Consid. If the preaching of the word by the doctrine of these Synods be but thus made of none effect, that is, but by so hungry and comicall a discourse as this, we shall have very small, or rather no cause at all to think the worse of the doc­trine of these Synods, and we are confident, that the use and profitt of the Sacraments, will but in the like shallow and superficiary manner be enervated. And how the ministers in their administration of the Sacraments doe destroy the same doctrine, so unhappy as he conceavs it; for no doctrine, is so happy with them, as that which maintaynes grace to be conferred, according unto workes, or that looke what we call grace, as faith and repentance, is neither merited by Christ, nor indeed any gift of God, otherwise then by giving them power to beleeve if they will, repent if they will, and persuading them thereunto by the ministry of his word, (for I have good reason to suspect, that the Author of this discourse is a mere Anabaptist) we are now to consider in the last place.

Now, for proofe hereof, he sayth, that to every person; whom we baptize, we doe apply the promises of the cove­nant of grace, which he saith is cleane contrary to our owne doctrine, which saith, that they nothing belong to the repro­bates of the world.

[Page 189]I would he had particulated these promises of the cove­nant of grace, For with the practise of their Churches, in the office of baptizing, I am not acquainted, but onely with our own. The promises assured by baptism, according to the rule of Gods word, I finde to be of two sorts: some are of bene­fits procured unto us by Christ, which are to be conferred conditionally; others are of benefits, which are to be bestow­ed upon us absolutely.

They of the first sort are justification and salvation; For Abraham receaved circumcision, as a seale of the righteous­nes of faith; Circumcision therfore was an assurance of justi­fication to be had by faith; If such were circumcision unto the Iewes, we have good reason to conceave, that such is bap­tisme unto us Christians; For as that was unto them, so this is the Sacrament of regeneration unto us; And good reason, the Sacraments, which are seales of the covenant, should as­sure that unto us, which the word of the covenant doth make promise of.

Now, the word of the covenant of grace doth promise unto us both remission of sinne, and salvation upon faith in Christ.

This by our doctrine we promise unto all, and assure unto all, as well as they doe by theirs. If all and every one should beleeve, we nothing doubt, but they should be justified and saved. On the other side if not one of ripe yeares should beleeve, I presume our adversaries will confesse, that not one of them should be saved. But there are other benefites, both promised in the covenant of grace, and consequently assured by the Sacraments, which are commonly called the seales of the covenant, wherof there is or may be a question, whether they are conferred on man by God absolutely, or no? but onely conditionally; and the right solution thereof, I willingly confesse, is most momentous, for the deciding of all those controversies, and setting an happy end unto them. But that question is wholy declined by this Author, and generally [Page 190] by the Arminian partie. For such a light and evidence of faith breakes forth; herein, that they are not able to abide it.

Those benefites are regeneration, which in holy scripture is called the circumcision of the heart, in reference to the Sa­crament, that sealed it; and in the New Testament, it is called the washing and clensing, or sanctifying of our soules, in re­ference to our Sacrament of regeneration, which is called Baptisme; under regeneration we comprehend the illumina­tion of the mind, and renovation of the affect [...]ons; and these operations we commonly designe by faith and repentance.

Now, let it be enquired, whether regeneration and faith, commonly supposed amongst us, to be the gifts of God, are bestowed upon men conditionally, or absolutely; If condi­tionally, then like as the word of the covenant promiseth, these gifts upon a condition to be performed by man, so also shall the Sacrament of Baptisme seale it, and assure us, that upon the performance of that condition, we shall obteyne at the hands of God, faith and regeneration.

Like as justification & salvation is promised in the word, and assured in the Sacraments upon performance of a condi­tion on mans part.

Now, the condition of justification and salvation, we all acknowledge to be faith; but what should be the condition upon performance, whereof we should obteyne it, we are much to seeke; neither doe the Arminians willingly come to the defining of it; this Author utterly declines the question, though most proper and criticall, by the Orthodox resolu­tion thereof, to sett a blessed end to all the controversies wherwith the peace of Gods church hath been of late yeares so much disturbed.

Now, whatsoever be devised to be the condition, it must be in generall some worke of man, and consequently it must be acknowledged, that grace is given, to wit, the grace of faith, according to mens works, which is plain Pelagianisme?

[Page 191]So for regeneration, it being acknowledged to be a gift of Gods grace, if so be, God bestowes it conditionally, they must tell us what that condition is, upon the performance whereof God is pleased to regenerate us; but I never yet mett with any that undertooke to notifie unto us what that con­dition is, certeynly it must be, not onely a worke of man, but a worke of nature, seeing it precedes regeneration, and con­sequently the grace of regeneration shalbe conferred, accor­ding unto workes of nature, and this also is Pelagianisme, and that in a degree beyond the former; and withall directly con­tradictious to the word of God, where it is sayd, that God hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not accor­ding to our workes, but according to his owne purpose and grace, 2 Tim. 1.9. and where the Apostle saith, that God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he harde­neth▪ Rom. 9.16. and to bestow faith upon a man, is clearly to shew mercy, Rom. 11.30.

Hereupon we conclude, that faith and regeneration are gifts of grace, which God bestowes absolutely, according to the mere pleasure of his owne will, regenerating whom he will, and denying the grace of regeneration to whom he will.

Now then, who are they on whom God should bestow faith and regeneration but his Elect? and accordingly, the Apostle calleth it the faith of Gods elect, Tit. 1.1, and Act. 13.48. The Evangelist cleerely telleth us, that as many be­lieved, as were ordeyned to aeternall life; and Rom. 8.29. Whom God foreknewe, them he predestinated to be made confo [...]mable to the image of his Sonne, and whom he predestinated, them he called, and whom he called, he ju­stifyed, and whom he justified, he glorified. And according­ly, baptisme as it is a s [...]ale and assurance of performing this promise of justification and salvation unto them that believe, so it is a seale and assurance of the promise of circumcising the heart, and regeneration, only to Gods elect.

[Page 192]Yet I confesse, that, according to the booke of Common prayer, in use with the Church of England, we professe of every Childe, as he comes to be baptized, and when he is baptized, that he is regenerate and grafted into the body of Christs regeneration, whereupon Mr. Mon [...]acute sometimes tooke advantage to justifie his opinion, touching falling away from grace, as the Docteine of the Church of England, but he was answered by D. Carleton, then Bishop of Chichester, that there is a regeneration so called, Sacramento tenus, and which Austin, as he shewed, distinguished from true regene­ration.

And for ought we know to the contrary, every one that comes to be baptized by a minister, may be an elect of God, and therefore we have no reason to conceave them to be re­probates; And I would gladly knowe what this our adver­sary conceaves of every one that is brought unto him to be baptized, will he conceave them in the judgement of charity, to be elect or no? Or doth he beleeve them in judgement of faith to be elect? In my judgement, his opinion herea­bout is no more then this, that God hath ordeyned, that in case they beleeve, they shalbe justified and saved; and accor­dingly, that in Baptisme, assurance hereof is sealed unto them, and no more.

Now, that God hath so ordeyned, we beleeve as well as they, and that baptisme is a seale of the righteousnesse of faith and of salvation by faith. But if he thinkes the covenant of grace comprehends no more then this, herein alone we differ from him; and are ready to mainteyne that all, who are under the covenant of grace, are such, as over whom sinne shall not have the dominion,Ezech. 20.12. Deu. 29.6 Esa. 37.18. Mich. 7. Psa. 64 18 Ezech. 36.26.27. Rom. 6.14. and that the Lord vouchsafeth to become their Lord, and their God to sanctifie them, and to circumcise their hearts, to love the Lord their God with all their heart, and with all their soule, as he seeth their wayes, so to heale them; to subdue their iniquities, to give giftes, even to the rebellious, that he may dwell among [Page 193] them, to powre cleane water upon them, that they may be cleane, and from all their filthinesse to clense them.

A new heart also to give unto them, & a new spirit to putt within them, and to take away the stony heart out of their body, and give them an heart of flesh. And to putt his owne Spirit within them, and cause them to walk in his statutes, and to keepe his judgements, and doe them.

And as in the Prophet Ieremiah the Lord professeth:Ier. 31.3 [...] This shallbe the covenant that I will make with the house of Isra­el; After those dayes, sayth the Lord, I will putt my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shalbe my people. And Ier. 32.39. I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may feare me for ever, for the wealth of them, & of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will never turne away from them, to doe them good, but I will putt my feare in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. And Ezech. 16.60. Neverthelesse I will remember my covenant made with thee in the dayes of thy youth, and I will confirme unto thee an everlasting covenant. 61. Then shalt thou remember thy wayes, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receave thy sisters, both thy Elder and thy yonger, and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy cove­nant. And 20.37. I will cause you to passe under the rod, & bring you into the bond of the covenant. And 37.23. Neyther shal they be polluted any more with their idols, nor with their abominations, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places wherein they have sinned, & I will clense them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. 24. And David my servant shalbe King over them, & they shall have one sheapheard: they shall also walke in my judgements, and observe my statutes, & doe them.

So that regeneration, & sanctification, faith, repentance, holinesse, & obedience, these be the works which God pro­miseth to worke in them, and that by vertue of the cove­nant of grace he hath made with them.

[Page 194]The Eucharist, we confesse, is likewise given to all, who for their profanesse, impuritie, or con [...]umacy, are not ex­communicated, and that with assurance, that Christ dyed for all those that doe receave it worthily, not otherwise; but as many as receave it unworthily, doe receave it to their owne condemnation. And doe the Arminians themselves admi­nister it with assurance of the favour of God towards them, any otherwise then in case they are found worthy perta­kers?

As for Christs dying for mankind, I have already shewed at large how this Author treates of it hand over head, cary­ing it in the cloudes of generalitie.

Now, it is a rule of schooles, that in genere latent multae equivocationes.

Therefore for the cleering of the truth in this particular, I have distinguished the benefits, which Christ procured for us; some of them, as remission of sinnes, and salvation, are conferred onely conditionally, to witt, upon condition of faith; And herein we extend the vertue of Christs death, as fart as they, to witt, in conditionall manner; for we willingly pro­fesse, that, if all, and every one should believe, all and every one should be saved by Christ; On the other side, no Arminian will say, that any man of ripe yeares shall be saved by Christ, if he never beleeve in Christ.

But other benefites there are, which God bestowes upon man, for Christs sake, as we say, to witt, faith, regeneration, & repentance.

Now, these are conferred not conditionally; for if they were, then should grace be given according to mens workes, which is manifest Pelagianisme; Therefore these must be con­ferred absolutely, not on all, for then all should believe and be saved; but on some, and who can they be but Gods E­lect?

Now, as for the Remonstrants, they peremtorily deny, that Christ merited faith and regeneration for any, Exam. Censurae, [Page 195] p. 59. Now, let any indifferent person judge by this, who they are who streiten the vertue of Christs sufferings most, they or we.

In the last place he telleth us, that our Prayers common both to the Pastor and the flocke, cannot be of any profitt, eyther to the one or to the other, that is (as I conceave his meaning) eyther to the Pastor, or to the people: and why so? Observe, I pray, the strange reason which he gives hereof, to witt, because they are all, eyther Elect or reprobates; For doth not this Author beleeve this as well as we, namely, that all are, eyther elect or reprobate, eyther registred in the booke of life, or not registred therein?

To qualifie this, he doth afterwards more advisedly ground his reason, not upon election and reprobation, simply consi­dered, as being already passed upon them all; but upon the manner of these; in as much as election is shaped by us, to have its course without any more regard unto mens prayers, then unto their faith, and that it is impossible for them to be razed out; we willingly acknowledge it, and withall shewe how inconsequent is his inference, which he makes herhēce; God we say hath no more rega [...]d to our prayers then to our faith, having aequall regard of both; not that upon the fore­sight herof he did elect us; but in that as he did ordeyn us un­to everlasting life by way of reward of our faith, repentance, & good workes; so likewise he did ordeyne us to the obteyning of faith, repentance, and good workes, to be wrought in us, partly by the ministery of his word, therin speaking unto us, & partly by our prayers, seeking unto him, to blesse his word unto us, and fulfill the good pleasure of his goodnesse to­wards us, and the worke of faith in power. For God doth expect, that we should seek unto him by prayer for this, as we read Ezech. 36.37. Thus saith the Lord, I will yet for this be sought of the house of Israel, to perform it unto them. Neyther doe we mainteyne, that God doth ordeyne any man of ripe yeares unto aeternall life, in any moment of [Page 196] nature, before he ordeynes him to faith, repentance, & good works, & that to be wrought in him by the ministery of the word, with Gods blessing thereupon according to the prayers in common, both of the Pastor & the people.

So that neyther our faith, nor the ministery of the word and Sacraments, nor prayers, are any whit in vaine, or with­out profitt to Gods elect; though I willingly confesse, they are nothing profitable unto reprobates, save that hereby they may profitt somewhat, quoad exteriorem vitae emendationem quo mitius puniantur.

Neyther doe I thinke, that eyther this Author, or any Ar­minian, eyther on this side, or beyond the Seas, will affirme, that any of these are any farther profitable unto reprobates; my meaning is, they will not say, as I presume, that any repro­bate obteynes salvation hereby. For I presume, they hold with us, that Gods decrees are unchangeable; As for inevi­table decrees, that is a wilde phrase, the denomination of evi­table or inevitable, being onely in reference unto things pos­sible for the time to come; but Gods decrees, we know full well, are everlasting, as ancient as the very ancient of dayes; and therefore it is very absurd, to discourse of the evitable or inevitable nature thereof.

And yet it may be they have a tooth against the unchange­able and irrevocable condition of Gods decrees; I know none that speakes so plainly thereof, as one that hath written of divine essence.

And it may be this Author lickes his lips at the revocable nature of divine decrees.

By this we may see what estimation ought to be made of this vile discourse, that hath nothing in it worthy of the witt and learning of a very vulgar divine.

And with what applause he hath playd his severall parts, la­bouring to defame our doctrine, as if it stood in opposition to the conversion of Infidels, the amendment of the scanda­lous, and consolation of the afflicted.

[Page 197]The true ground of all which imputations is, because we mainteyne with the Apostle, that God hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will he hardeneth; bestowing the grace of faith and repentance on some, to cure that naturall infide­litie and impenitency, which is common to all; and leaving it uncured in others, by denying unto them the grace of faith, and of repentance. Forsooth, if we should mainteyne with them, that God gives faith and repentance, not absolutely, but conditionally, to witt, upon some condition, to be performed by man; then our doctrine should be magnified, as they mag­nifie their owne, as very profitable for conversion, reforma­tion, consolation; which is as much as to say in effect, if with thē we would directly becom Pelagians, thē we should prove very profitable and powerfull Christians; for then it should be out of question, that, Pelagianismus est verè Christianis­mus.

It may be, they would have us come one step farther, and deale plainly, in denying faith & regeneration to be any gifts of God; for if they be, I wonder with what face they should deny them to be bestowed upon us for Christ his sake, being they are such thinges as accompany salvation in a very spe­ciall manner.

Now, they have lately professed to the world, that Christ merited not faith and salvation for any. But because we coumpt all such Pelagian spirits no better then inimicos gra­tiae, as Austin sometimes did; (Prosper went farther in his E­pistle, ad Ruffinum, and in plaine termes calleth them Vasa irae, in distinction from vasa misericordiae) therefore it is that this flourishing divine in putes unto us, that our Religion makes the preaching of the word to be of none effect, and that it quite overthrowes the use of the Sacraments, and exercise of Prayers, and all this like a very confident Cavalier before the combate; he presumes he hath very sufficiently demonstrated in this his enterlude, consisting of three Actes, and severall scenes, belonging to each; and in the judgement of some [Page 198] Scholers in the Vniversitie, he is deemed to have performed his part so wel, ut abducant stultum, that they may well bring him a stoole, ut sit foris eloquentia, that he may sitt for his elo­quence.

And because he hath already atteyned to such credite and reputation among the learned, he addes in the close upon his word, like a man of authoritie, that it overturneth the foun­dation of the ministry, which consisteth in sound doctrine & good discipline; for I doe not remember that this came any where in his way throughout his whole discourse.

And thus I have examined with what judgement this Au­thor hath reduced the two Synods of Dort and Arles unto practise.


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